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December 11, 2012 to December 20, 2012
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December 20, 2012


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

The San Pedro Sun

San Mateo cleanup campaign off to a great start
The San Mateo cleanup campaign took place on the 17th and 18th of December and it was a great start to a long-term beatification project of the area. Fifty garbage bins, which were donated by the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) were distributed to residents who came out to work towards the initial cleanup of the area. Residents, along with Town Council members, came out to support the cleanup campaign, while UNICEF provided demonstrations and training on proper hand washing and water purification techniques. This is just yet another “blessing”, as stated Karina Romero – resident of San Mateo – in her vote of thanks at the commencement ceremony of the campaign. As of recent, the San Mateo committee has seen much attention with some $100,000BZ being donated by Bay Trust International in Belize which facilitated the construction of various streets throughout the subdivision. With the construction of the streets, residents that were forced to reach their homes via “London Bridges” (elevated wooden walkways above contaminated water) or via canoes – finally had proper access to their homes. Further to this, there has been much work by international entities, such as students from the University of Mississippi under the guidance of Miss Kim Shackelford – who helped to create the San Mateo Empowerment Committee which has organized much work in the area. These are just two very positive initiatives that work to bring a better life to residents of San Mateo.

Victims of alleged police brutality in San Pedro call for justice
Two San Pedro men and one female, along with their families and the wider community of San Pedro Town are asking for “justice” into what they call blatant “brutality” and use of “unnecessary” force by police officers attached to the San Pedro Police Formation. The officers in question include are a woman police constable (WPC) and a corporal of police who were off duty, out of uniform and drinking minutes prior to incident. The altercation erupted in the wee hours of Monday, December 17th in front many witnesses, some of whom captured the chilling clash on their personal cellular phones. According to the official police report, a man was detained by officers who were “socializing” at a local downtown bar, the Tackle Box Bar, sometime around 12:40AM on Monday. Ricky Jurado, a life-long resident of San Pedro was detained that night and ended up spending hours behind bars at the San Pedro Police Station. Eventually charged for assaulting a police officer, Jurado told the press that as he was coming out of the bathroom inside the establishment when he saw a male dancing in a seductive manner behind his girlfriend. Jurado went on to explain that his girlfriend was unaware of what the male person was doing behind her and that it was only after the “dark-skinned male” proceeded to grab her from behind the waist did she realize what he was doing. “I confronted him and asked him what is happening with you Ricky Jurado (the male). From there, they (the male) eventually walked out. I told all my friends let’s just go so when we came out of the bar, they (the police) were waiting in the middle of the bridge (dock) and they started the altercation. That is when Mr. Young (Police Corporal), both seemed to be under the influence of alcohol, took out his gun, grabbed my neck and put his gun in my mouth,” said Jurado adding that “he threatened me that he would kill me if I even move. The female officer that was involved said ‘shoot that Spanish’.” It was not until then Jurado said, that he learned that the male person was in-fact a Police Corporal and one of the two females was WPC Young. According to Jurado, he then put up his hands indicating that he was total submission to the police. “My fiancé said ‘officer why are you doing this’ and that is when the other officer, the female (WPC Young) assaulted her – it was two of them. I tried to move from the officer and he chocked me and I almost passed out. When he saw I was falling, that is when he moved his hands from around me and then put the gun to my head. He then walked me off the dock, with the gun to my head, all the way to where I was put into a police car,” recollected Jurado who was taken to the police station until late the next afternoon. The officers in question were later confirmed to be Corporal Mark Young and WPC Sherifa Young.

Ambergris Today

Over 300 Children Attend 3rd Annual Spirit of Christmas Concert
Approximately 325 children from around the country attended the 3rd Annual Spirit of Christmas Concert held on Saturday, December 15, 2012, at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts in Belize City. The event is hosted by Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, especially for children with disabilities and children living in childcare institutions. This year’s attendees included residents of Hopewell House, King’s Children’s Home, Hossana House, Dorothy Menzies Childcare Center, Liberty Children’s Home; and students of Stella Maris School and the Patsie Brownie Special Education Center in Orange Walk. The children were treated to two hours of entertainment with performances by Melonie Gillett, Elle Marie, Wilson Grinage, the Futuristic Marching Band, Ms. Independence Day Jr., Abigail Castellanos, Himanshi Chadwani, Nu Generation Dance Group, and Ascenthium. Additional entertainment was also provided by Ozzie the Clown, Santa Claus, as well as Snow White and Dora the Explorer mascots. During the ceremony, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow handed over gifts to each institution in attendance. The home managers and principals also received a personal gift as a token of appreciation for their hard work running the homes and schools, while all the children in attendance received a wristband with a positive message and at the end of the show, their snack and juice.

Jasmine Alert Calls for Nationwide Vigil for Victims of Violence
The Jasmine Alert Executive Body has called out to all Belizeans nationwide, to a Candlelight Vigil for the VICTIMS of the Massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut USA. “We must share the pain and send our condolences to those that suffered such great loss and tragedy; seeing that we are all members of the same family and the same race (the human family and the human race),” stated the press release. The Jasmine Alert Executive Body also requests that all Belizeans who have lost a child to gun violence, and all those whose child kidnapping/abduction or enticement, to join this Vigil, bearing the name of the child, friend or family member that has been hurt or killed.

Belize Takes Steps for Sustainable Management of National Conch Fishery
The Fisheries Department advises and reminds the fishing community and the general public that it has implemented a range of management measures for the conch fishery to ensure that employment and livelihood opportunities for fishers, processors and others associated with the fishing industry are safeguarded over the long-term future. The measures being implemented by the Fisheries Department are also focused on sustaining the abundance of the conch stocks and the integrity of the environment upon which these species depend. The Management measures include the implementation of a Quota System or TAC, size limits and closed season regulations for the species, as well as the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Fishing Cooperatives and the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development for the current 2012-2013 Conch Season.

Have San Pedro Residents Lost Respect and Trust on Police?
This picture shows the reality of a San Pedro resident who got beaten up by a Police Officer who clearly abused her power of authority. What makes matters worse is that the police officers involved in this case of abuse were allegedly off duty, without their uniform and drinking at a local bar. The end result is that three island residents have been charged for various offenses as the police officers turned the case on them. But the four island residents are fighting back and filing counter charges on the officers with proof and eye witness accounts to back them up. The altercation occurred between 12:30 – 1:30a.m. on Monday, December 17 at the Tackle Box . According to Ricky Jurado, his girlfriend was approached by one of the police who was off duty and without uniform. The officer placed his hands on her waist and wanted to dance with her. This was when Jurado confronted him and admits to only raising his voice and telling the officer to respect his girlfriend. Jurado stated that this was when he intended to leave the establishment to avoid any trouble, but that the officers were waiting for him as he descended the dock. Words broke out and a shoving match erupted, at which point the off duty officer drew his gun and pointed it at the face, head and mouth of Jurado. His only option was to follow their instructions as they dragged him down to the beach, onto the streets of town and to the Police Station.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Rum, Cigar & Coffee House, San Pedro Ambergris Caye
Free Samples, Mixed Liquors, Hand Rolled Belizean Cigars, Cuban Cigars and BEST cup of Coffee in town! Roasted Fresh Daily.

Educating Future Environmentalists at UB
The University of Belize hosted five primary schools for their Environmental Education Outreach Program. "EEOP was facilitated by students from the Professional Skills for Environmental Managers from the Natural Resources Management Program (NRMP) of the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University. The vibrant students performed skits, sang a song, and brought awareness by showcasing environmental models which they had created. The presentations targeted environmental problems, impact, and conservation. Saint Martin’s Government School took home the grand prize followed by Kuxlin Ha with second place, and third place went to Garden City Primary School. Other participating schools were Saint Ann’s Anglican Primary School, and Our Lady of Guadalupe School."

Apocalypse Tourism in Cayo
The 13th Baktun is almost over, and there are special events planned around Cayo for the occasion. The overnight camping at Caracol is full, but at Cahal Pech they are doing a Maya Sacred Fire Ceremony through the night. It starts at 8pm tomorrow night, and ends with the final ceremony at sunrise on the 21st.

Channel 7

British National Accused of Revolting Acts of Pedophilia and Pornographic Exploitation
Tonight, 39 year old British National David Taylor is at the Placencia police station awaiting arraignment. He has been charged for two counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature and possession of pornographic material. Police raided his home earlier this week and found computers with 50 videos and 500 photographs of 4 young boys between the ages of 10 and 13 years old being made to pose nude and engage in various homosexual acts with adult males. Those who have seen the images say they are revolting in the extreme - and describe them as "nasty." Police note with concern that the photos and the videos found on his hard drive only cover the months of August to November of 2012. That has investigators trying to find other files because they believe Taylor's deviant practices had been going on for some time. Taylor worked as a home tutor for students and is a resident of Belize. He will be arraigned in Dangriga Magistrate's court tomorrow.

"Easy Glen" And "Chainsaw Man" Caught In Sugar City
Last night UDP Senior Member Michael Finnegan put UDP soldiers Easy Glen and James Swaso on blast! He told the media how they had impersonated his voice and hustled money in his name. Well today, the police report that they caught the pair in Orange Walk and detained them. They are expected to be transferred to Belmopan for questioning. As we noted, no official complaint has been filed with police. Finnegan told us today that since going on the news he has gotten calls from a surprising number of persons who say they were taken in by the scam and facilitated either of the two with cash or favours.

The Fuss Over Fried Chicken: Chicken Dread Pleads Guilty, But Defiant
When we left you last night Paul Ferguson known as the Chicken Dread - was defiantly back on Albert Street selling his fried chicken. That's after the City constables and the police went to remove him from that spot yesterday afternoon. The police were there to arrest him because he had used insulting words on the head of the City Constables. Ferguson went with the police, took his charge, got sign bail and went right back to his spot. More on that later, but today he went to court for arraignment on the charge. He told us what happened: Paul Ferguson - Fried Chicken Vendor "Yes sir, I went in front of the magistrate. I pleaded guilty. I did insult the man. I am a man. I insulted him. That's what it is." Jules Vasquez "You insulted Mr. Butler." Paul Ferguson "Yes, I did. I did insult him." Jules Vasquez "So, you pleaded guilty, and got a fine." Paul Ferguson "I got a fine of $100 to pay by January 31. But by me selling chicken, hopefully, I can pay the fine by selling chicken."

Extradition Proceedings For Lebanese Belizean Khaled El Turk Commence
Khaled El Turk, a Lebanese-Belizean was arrested two months ago in Belize because the United States wants him extradited to that country where he has been indicted for pseudoephedrine trafficking. Under guard from the US-funded Anti-Drug Unit, El Turk appeared for his first extradition hearing today in Belize City Magistrate's Court. He appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Williams where the Ministry of Foreign Affairs - through the Solicitor General's Office presented the bundle of evidence that is being relied upon to cause his extradition. The hearing was just a formality and it was adjourned until February 7th., 2013. He remains in custody at the Hattieville Prison on a provisional warrant. El Turk was represented by Senior Counsel Edwin Flowers and The Sol Gen's Office by Senior Crown Counsel, Magali Perdomo. It may be coincidence, but it is still of note that one week after El Turk's arrest, two Lebanese businessmen - including the well established Alfred Schakron - were executed in Belize City.

Murder Victim's Family Speaks
Gushany Fred Wagner was killed early on Sunday morning - a direct consequence of the gang brawl that erupted at the BTL Parkfest on Saturday night. He was killed on his block in front of the Salvation Army Primary School on Cemetery Road - right at the mouth of the alley where he hung out. No one spoke up for him at the time - because his death was gang related and his family is from Orange Walk. But today, they came to town for the post mortem and that's where Monica Bodden spoke to his sister: Jessica Wagner - Sister of Deceased "We received the news at about 1:30 on Sunday morning, and it was really shocking." Monica Bodden "What were you told?" Jessica Wagner "We were told that someone rode up on a bicycle and shot him 5 times in the back, and once in the head." Monica Bodden "He was shot at around a well-known gang territory, Taylor's Alley. Could you say if your brother was a gang member, or was he just staying there?" Jessica Wagner "Well, actually I don't know. All I know is that my brother was a very loving person, and he chose that. He chose to be around Taylor's Alley. He said that the people through there showed him a lot of love and respect.

Father Of 10 Allegedly Killed By Rogue Cops In PG; No Answers Yet
It's well known that the Belize City Council is implementing a residential garbage tax - to help cover the costs of the Municipal Bond. But, businesses are complaining that they are being taxed twice because their trade license fees are also being revised upward. As we've reported, businesses have complained that their trade licenses have increased by anywhere form 30% more to 250% more! A survey of a portion of the members of the Chamber of Commerce show that 90% are reporting that their trade license went up and 80% of those saying that they never knew it would go up. But the City Council has said it is not a revenue increasing measure. Yesterday the Mayor said that there is an argument to be made, but the argument would have to be that the tax rate is too high: Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council "They problem is that the Trade License Act provides a rate that is too high, and I've always said that. I said it at the bond, that the Trade - but nobody wants to talk about that. Nobody really wants to talk about how you change laws to make it conducing to stimulating economic growth. But, they want to talk about, 'Okay, I got an increase.'

Minister's Younger Brother Involved In Accident W/ Govt Vehicle
At first light on Saturday morning, drivers on the early part of the Western Highway saw a pickup truck with a government license flipped and flattened near two and a half at the Faber's Road junction. The driver was Education Minister Patrick Faber's younger brother 36 year old Paul Faber. Much has been made of the fact that the plates were removed and the driver appeared to have been intoxicated. Police today reported that Faber was charged with drove motor vehicle without being the holder of a Belize driver's license, failure to provide specimen, and drove motor vehicle without due care and attention.

Hon. Faber Gets Endorsements Of Two Former UDP Leaders
Faber may have been celebrating the smashing success his big brother Minister Patrick Faber had at a banquet on Friday night. It was a banquet in support of Faber's candidacy for the Deputy Leader of the UDP. According to reports, he managed to get representation and support from every division in the Belize district with the notable exceptions of Queen Square and Port Loyola. He also managed to get endorsements from two former party leaders (and there have only been four) - and here's what they said about him: Dr. Dean Lindo - Former UDP Leader "I have clearly indicated that I will be supporting Patrick Faber." Rt. Hon. Manuel Esquivel - Former Leader of the UDP "He will be stepping up because he is now contesting the post of deputy party leader, which implies that he is actually aspiring to be the Deputy Prime Minister of Belize. Now, I am supporting him for all the good things that people have said. But, I want to go a little step further. It is my firm conviction, and it has always been, that the deputy leader of the party, and much more the Deputy Prime Minister of the Government must be the Prime Minister's chief advocate, and chief sword-bearer.

COLA Advises GOB to Withdraw From OAS
And while Faber is jostling for position, COLA has come up with its position on the International Court of Justice. Not surprisingly, it is opposed to going to the ICJ, but the lengthy position paper details the reasons for not doing so. It's a two thousand word document - but COLA President Geovannie Brackett outlined the major reasons for us today: Giovanni Brackett - President, COLA "We view the International Court of Justice as an entity that cannot bring about a viable solution - a lasting solution. As, we've seen in the case of the US and Nicaragua, the US has completely ignored the ruling of the courts. Their attorney went as far as to describe the court as semi-legal or semi-judicial, an entity that some countries sometime listen to, or sometimes don't. If the US can have such an opinion of the International Court of Justice, how then can the OAS suggest that Belize to take the subject of its sovereignty to an international jurisdiction that the US does not recognize?

Sports Minister Speaks On Mess At MCC
On Monday, 7News told you about Yaya Marin-Coleman's 24-hour, 2-person protest for against the use of the MCC Grounds for the big DIGICELL 10th Anniversary concert. Well, with the public interest and pressure it has been generating, today, Minister of State with responsibility for Youth and Sports Herman Longsworth has decided to state the clear position of his ministry on this issue. As we told you, the Football Federation of Belize has loudly protested the use of the MCC Grounds for anything other than sports because these other functions cause damage to the integrity of the facility. Their biggest complaint is that there are signs of tire tracks on the field where the people in charge of those public functions drive unto the football pitch to transport equipment. Well, Longsworth addressed the media this evening, and he told us that there will be more strict measures put in place to protect the facility. But first, he put the need for the use of the facility for public functions into context by drawing comparison to the public terror incident which unfolded at the BTL Park Fest, the next day after the Digicell Concert at the MCC.

More Drugs From SB Intel
Information from the Special Branch has led to more drug seizures. A search was conducted on Sunday inside a gold Toyota Camry which turned up 206 grams of compressed Cannabis. No one was in the area so the drugs were labeled as Found Property. And on Tuesday afternoon, at about 3, Police searched an abandoned lot in the Pickstock area which led to the discovery of 99 grams of cannabis and one 16 Gauge Cartridge. Again, no one was in the area and the stuff got the found property treatment.

Hon. King Holds Traffic Blocking Motorcade to Give 15K Gifts
If you know anything about politics at the people level - you'll know that other than elections, divisional Christmas Parties are one of the only times when politicians meet their voters en-masse. Every politician has his or her own style, some do block parties, some rent out halls, some go house to house. But no matter which way they play it, the event has to be big because every child needs a gift - and you can't play politics with "pikni"! But today first term representative Mark King did his in a novel fashion; he had a motorcade where he gave out thousands of gifts. 7news was on the street: Jules Vasquez Reporting Lake I residents - and their children - lined up for miles along Mahogany street and La Croix Boulevard. A trailer truck blasting music and fronted with a Santa icon led the way for a marching band, and a trailer truck full of gifts and goodies...that took over the street and stopped traffic for miles Area rep Mark King was leading the parade, beaming with pride: Hon. Mark King - Area Representative, Lake Independence "We want all the Lake I children to have a toy. We want them to be jolly also with us, and we want to show them that at this time of the year, it's for the children." And the children were grateful - as were their parents:

Castro Buys From Division to Give to Division
And while King didn't know about any 50 grand, another UDP Representative told us differently. Edmund Castro also had a novel way to get his Christmas gifts out. Now he has dozens of villages in his division, so a motorcade was out of the question. But he did do things differently; to put a twist on an old saying, he bought form Peter to give Paul. Today in Maskall Village He explained how he kept it in the division:.. These are fresh vegetables that Minister Castro purchased from famers in Belize Rural North to give as Christmas gifts to constituents. Instead of apples, they get tomatoes and instead of turkey and ham they get green peppers, lettuce and cabbage. Hon. Edmund Castro - Area Representative, Belize Rural North "At this time, what we're doing is buying all the vegetables, 15,000 - 20,000 pounds of vegetables, of each kind, about 7 or 8 of them." The vegetables were purchased for 13 thousand dollars from 13 famers in the area and were distributed to fifteen hundred families across Belize Rural North.

Castro Says Xmas Public Transport Will Be Ok
And while we caught up with Castro, we used the opportunity to speak about the state of public transport. The holidays are coming and folks will want to be shuttling back and forth on the highways. But that's where crammed busses lead to all kinds of chaos. We asked Castro about the checkpoints: Marion Ali - Love News "We have people breaking the law, and it has to do with drivers, conductors, and even the traffic personnel taking and accepting bribes. The passenger who needs to get home will stand." Hon. Edmund Castro - Minister of State/Transport "Basically, I think that now that we have checkpoints on the Phillip Goldson and George Price Highways, different checkpoints other than the ordinary checkpoints, we posted our officers out there. It is very difficult for an officer to be taking bribes in front of so many other officers. The bribe cannot be big enough to share amongst them. So, I think I think that we will eliminate that situation, and with those checkpoints, we're also eliminating the standees. However, we still have some of the smart operators who are trying to cram. 'Well, a checkpoint is coming up, so we have to put 3 people in a seat.' And it's only when they get caught, they cry out like 'the hog who got the lick'. But, we are vigilant on the highway to make sure that we have a safe enjoyable Christmas season."

Harris Accused Of Running Major Scams
And probably no checkpoint could have caught a sly Belize City man - who police say got away with a fortune. 44 year old Keith Harris, a truck driver and businessman of Freetown Road, is at prison tonight after he was taken in connection with the theft of almost 150 thousand dollars' worth of items. According to police, between October 5 and 8, 2012, in Belize City, Harris stole $25,000 in cash, the property of Arturo Matus. Additionally, according to police, he was connected to the October 27 theft of 150 sheets of plywood value to the total of $9,500 which were acquired from Caribbean Tires with a bogus check. Police also say that between the 5th and 8th of October, 2012, he stole twelve 40-foot containers to a total value of $120,000, the property of Marine Services Company Limited. But, it doesn't end there, because according to police, a school warden alleged that Harris has refused to return her $1,500 laptop which she loaned him.

Another City Murder
And before we leave, some bad news. There was a murder in Belize City about an hour ago. An unidentified male was shot in the head at the corner of Partridge and Peter Seco streets. He is reported to be in his late teen's or early twenties. Two men were seen leaving the area and it is suspected to be part of an ongoing gang rivalry in that area.

Channel 5

British national long trail of abuse of children documented
A British national has been charged and will be arraigned for sexually abusing minors and for possession of sexual material. David Taylor has lived in the Placencia Peninsula since 2005; his suspicious behavior gave way to a search at his house that turned up a treasure trove of pictures and videos of him and minors [...]

Mexican in Court for drugs and arsenal inside hotel room
A drug trial was set to start this morning in the Corozal Magistrate Court. Units of the police and B.D.F. were deployed to the courtroom area in numbers as a Mexican national arrested in the November Las Vegas Casino bust was escorted to court. As the first order of business, attorneys for Zurisday Villasenor Mendez, [...]

Pregnant woman at Northern Regional’s horror story
There is another reported casualty at the Northern Regional Hospital where at least nine other victims have suffered from alleged hospital negligence. Over the weekend, a new born passed away soon after delivery and the mother’s uterus was severely damaged and removed.  Headi Chable told News Five today that she was admitted at about three [...]

Paul Faber crashed Ministry vehicle and removed plates
Police have finally released information regarding the driver of a vehicle assigned to the Ministry of Trade and Industry that crashed over the weekend at the corner of Faber’s Road and George Price Highway. The police are confirming that the driver of the Isuzu pick-up is Paul Faber, the brother of the Minister of Education. [...]

In the name of Finnegan, Easy Money for Easy Glenn
On Tuesday night we reported on a scam involving Goldburn “Easy Glenn” Adolphus and James Swaso, both high profile U.D.P. operatives. Senior Minister Michael Finnegan blew their cover following reports that they had been impersonating him to swindle money from unsuspecting business persons. As the story was being aired on Tuesday night, the duo attempted to [...]

Khalid Al Turk to be extradited to U.S.A.?
Lebanese businessman Khaled Jamil El Turk, wanted by U.S. authorities for conspiring to import pseudo ephedrine, appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith this morning, after being on remand at the Belize Central Prison since mid-October.  In court, a bundle of documents, presented as evidence requesting El Turk’s extradition to the United States, was tendered [...]

COLA’s position paper rejects going to ICJ
The Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) rejects the referendum that could land Guatemala’s claim to Belizean territory before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).   According to some estimates, Belize requires about ten million Belize dollars while Guatemala says it requires forty-six million US dollars for public awareness and to carry out the referendum. [...]

COLA’s recommendations to end Belize/Guatemala differendum
Earlier in the week, COLA launched its position paper rejecting the referendum and the ICJ. In that paper, COLA outlined several recommendations that it believes will put an end to the dispute. One controversial recommendation includes withdrawing from the Organization of American States.   Giovanni Brackett, President, COLA “The reason why we put this paper [...]

Fry chicken dread says he’s guilty of insulting words
Paul Ferguson is back on Albert Street tonight with his fried chicken business. Earlier today, he appeared in the courtroom of Adolph Lucas Junior to answer to a single charge of insulting words. According to Special Constable Selbert Butler, Ferguson insulted him when he was being evicted from his Albert Street stand. Ferguson, who was [...]

Salvadoran national happy to be deported in a year
Edwin Vasquez Salinas, is going back home to Salvador, but not by choice. And though Salinas told the court he is happy to return home, he was fined one thousand dollars, which he has to pay before he leaves. When he appeared before magistrate Dale Cayetano this morning, he was slapped with a single charge [...]

He says he’s innocent, but owes several businesses
A Belize City truck driver appeared in court this morning to face a charge of Theft for allegedly stealing a friend’s laptop. But forty-four year old Keith Harris was in way more trouble than he expected when four additional charges were levied against him. He first appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer for the charge [...]

Island Yellow Pages advertising scam
Earlier in the newscast you heard about the scam involving two high profile U.D.P. operatives; well, there’s another scam and this time it is an online advertising company. A number of businesses have fallen prey to the hoax which appeared legit and linked to the Yellow Pages. News Five’s Isani Cayetano spoke today to various [...]


Police News
A shooting incident early this morning has left one persons injured. The victim has been identified as Robert Tracey. Police say when the visited the emergency room around two o’clock this morning, they say Tracey with a gunshot wound to the left wrist. Initial ...

Brother of Minister Crashes Government Vehicle Whilst Driving Without License
Four days after a government vehicle was destroyed in a crash on the George Price Highway, police today identified the driver of the vehicle. Thirty six year old Paul Faber was behind the steering wheel of the pickup truck which overturned and was extensively damaged at the corne...

Homosexual Activist Denied Entry Into Belize?
As if the legal challenges from the former owners of BTL and the impending challenge to section 53 of the criminal code are not enough, tonight there is word of another legal challenge that the Barrow administration may have to deal with. And this time it comes from Jamaica. ...

Belize City Man Charged Following Theft Rampage
Forty-four year old Keith Harris, a truck driver of Freetown Road was charged with three counts of theft and two counts of handling stolen goods when he appeared in court today. Harris was charged with the theft of a laptop computer when he went to the #2 court. He pled not guilty to t...

Placencia Man Charged Following Allegations of Child Pornography
Police have arrested and charged a man from Placencia village following allegations of child sex abuse and child pornography. According to reports, David Toylor was today charged with two counts of the crime of aggravated assault of an indecent nature and the possession of pornog...

Position Statement Presented by Citizens Organized for Liberty Through Action
On Sunday Citizens Organized for Liberty Through Action (COLA) launched a Position Statement on the Referendum on Belize-Guatemala Territorial Adjudication at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). This document outlines their arguments on not supporting the move of going to t...

Belize Rural North Residents Receive Christmas Hampers
Today the villages in the Belize Rural Central were bustling as villagers were busy transporting hundreds of bags loaded with basic grocery items and farm produce. They were Christmas hampers destined for 15 hundred families in the constituency from their Area Rep, Edmond Castro....


Police explain telephone and response problems
A media manhunt was in full swing in Belize City today for Goldbourne Adolphus, better known as Easy Glen. But Adol...

Lady calls Rise and Shine about Police non-response
A woman called into the Rise and Shine show to express that she has also tried calling the Police on several occasi...

British national accused of child abuse
A British national is being accused of child abuse and possessing pornographic material. According to information, ...

Khalid El-Turk appears in extradition hearing
Today, formal extradition proceedings began before Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith in the Belize City No. 1 Magist...

Paul Faber faces several charges after Government vehicle crashes
Police have released the name of the person charged in connection of a traffic accident involving a government vehi...

Rosewood continues to be illegally harvested
The mass harvesting of the Rosewood in the forests of the Southern part of the country, led to a moratorium on Rose...

Family seek answers in death of Francisco Shol
53 yr old Francisco Shol was allegedly beaten by two Police Officers and later succumbed to injuries received due t...

Belize City Police make weekend drug bust
Police made a drug bust on Sunday. Based on Special Branch information, a search was conducted in the trunk of a To...

“Chicken Dread,” says he will continue to sell fried chicken from his stand in Belize City
Vendor of Belize City Paul Ferguson, aka “Chicken Dread,” says he will continue to sell fried chicken from his stan...

GSU makes arrests of persons connected to MS 13 Gang
GSU has made a number of arrests of persons believed to be connected to MS 13 Gang. On Monday afternoon, GSU office...

Fisheries Department is informing the fishing community on Conch regulations
Fisheries Department is informing the fishing community and the general public, that it has implemented a range of ...

Mark King gives toys to Lake Independence children
‘Tis the season for giving – and Lake Independence area representative for the United Democratic Party (UDP), Mark ...

Belize City man was shot during an early morning cycle ride
A Belize City man was shot during an early morning cycle ride. Yesterday at 1:15am, Robert Tracey was riding his bi...

Homosexual organizations ready to challenge another legislation
Homosexual advocacy organizations and individuals are getting ready to challenge another of Belize’s legislation. A...

Roaring Creek man hospitalized after a road traffic accident
A Roaring Creek man has been hospitalized after a road traffic accident on the George Price Highway. A blue motorcy...

Bus robber given a non custodial sentence
Yesterday we told you that Evan Bruheir was convicted on earlier this month for robbing a bus conductor of his bicy...

Police seek two Missing Persons
We have two Missing Person reports today. On Sunday, 23 years-old Guadalupe Percy Humes, also known as “Nana” , lef...

Police on Ambergris Caye respond to aaccusation of Police Brutality
Police on Ambergris Caye are responding to an accusation of Police Brutality, by giving their side of the story. Th... <


‘Good Day Sunshine’ in Ambergris Caye, Belize
Up even earlier this morning – 3.30am- than I normally am. I get up early but this is ridiculous. Must cut out those early evening naps! Had coffee on the veranda while I took care of correspondence ( mainly to family and friends back in the UK) and then reconciled recent bank transactions . Showered, shaved and dressed and was at Estel’s ‘for ‘fuelling’ by 7.15am. Had a great ( and filling) breakfast ( as it always is) served by really friendly and efficient staff. All topped off with the great view. Fed and watered ( OK coffeed – I know there is no such word, but …) I set off to see what progress was being made on our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. As has been the case on previous occasions, I was pleased to be surprised by what work had taken place. When I got to the top of the ramp and looked down into the water tank I saw that concrete had been poured into all of the forms. Not only that but the guys were removing the form boards and supports. All was soon revealed by Anhill. The guys had worked until 7.30 pm last night to complete the pouring. It had been necessary to put in place temporary lighting and they had to get by with one wheelbarrow less ( a tyre was punctured ) until two replacement wheelbarrows were taken by Daniel Camal, our building cintractor, to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize to try to recover some of the lost time .

Natural health food store
While it can be done and there is noticeable improvement lately, it is not always easy to find healthy foods in grocery stores here San Pedro. In an effort to help tacoboy and I get better at healthy foods and healthy ways, I decided to pay a visit to our local health food store and see what they had and do some price comparisons for the items I bought. After all was said and done I was happy with the items I got for the price paid. Even the unknown brand of probiotics I checked out at GNC in Playa Del Carmen fell in the $25 USD range. Since the store prices were all in Belize dollars I converted them to USD dollars to go with the online comparison. PB8 probiotcs on sale $5 off $22.50 – online sale $14.26 – list price was shown at $24.99 Now Brand Spirulina $21.00 – online sale $24.50 – list price was shown at $41.99 Xyliwhite toothpaste Now Brand $8.50 - online sale $4.49 list price was shown at $4.99 Xyliwhite mouthwash Now Brand $11.00 – online sale $8.01 – list price was shown at $10.21 2 Lara Bars 1/2 price $4.00 - online sale $2.5 - list price was shown at $3.40 Holy Tea $10.00 - line price $12.00 Grand total $77:00 - online sale pricing grand total $64.51 Phyllis the shop owner is willing to take special orders for products and she will let you know if some items the shipping will be reasonable or not. She also sells smaller sized quantities for people who are on vacation and do not want to pack things like protein powder, stevia, vitamins and Dr Broners soap. Don’t forget to join GoNature Health & Wellness Centre facebook page if you want to keep up with their weekly specials and their latest stock.

Marching Bands, Carolers and TONS of People Support Duran Family at Wayo's
On Saturday evening, the beach street in Boca Del Rio was diverted to make way for a fundraising block party at Wayo's Beach Bar. A very worthy cause...Hector Duran was killed accidentally just a few months ago while filling scuba tanks. One exploded in a horrible accident and killed him instantly. And leaving behind his family of five children. There were donations from people and businiesses all over town. Raffles, silent auctions... Hey look...I won! There was music of all kinds. Zac and Tanya on her steel drum... then a drum corp came marching down the beach from a performance of drums and dancing... This little drummer boy could really get down. There were carollers from the Roman Catholic ministry.

BTB approves ‘Tarpon View’ to be a reserve!!
If you have not been lucky enough to pass to the West side of the island, just by Raggamuffin (between Blue Wave and Barefoot Caribe) you will not have witnessed the Tarpons that gather there, quite domesticated, next to the Badillo ‘ranch’! Tarpon’s are one of the toughest gamefish for fly fisherman and they are protected in our waters. Fly fishing aficionado’s Ken and Parnell Coc some three years ago started feeding a small school of six baby tarpon with sardines that they caught each day. Within two years the school has grown to 100 strong and the tarpons, some that have migrated to the area and the majority descendants of the original school and they have all become quite an extension of their family!! With the help of the Village Council Chairman Alberto Villneueva and the Badillo family, the Belize Tourist Board have recognized the unique nature of this area and the need to protect it both for the environment and for tourism and education purposes. The idea is for those passers by will be charged a nominal fee which will go towards the feeding and protection of the area as well as the BTB intend to market it as a new tourist attraction here on Caye Caulker.

International Sources

The king of con-men
The biggest fraud in history is a warning to professional and amateur investors alike. Things soon got much worse for the Poyers (MacGregor preferred this to “Poyasians”). The officer class—the banker and clerks—refused to help set up camp. Hunting and fishing trips were badly organised, and the settlers went hungry. Lacking leadership, they began to fight over rations. As the wet season set in they became despondent, with some men refusing to make their own huts watertight. Children began to die. Recognising they were in trouble, one brave settler built a canoe. Shortly after setting out to get help he drowned. An Edinburgh cobbler—a man promised the title of Official Shoemaker in Poyais—shot himself. In May a passing ship came to the rescue, and began to ferry the settlers to Belize. But malaria, yellow fever and malnutrition had already ravaged the Poyers and two-thirds of them—including many that made it to Belize—died. Word of all this reached London and the British Navy sent out ships to catch and turn back the five more boats that had already set sail.

Turtle Inn: Where Sofia, Roman and Francis Ford Coppola Like To Stay
Ever wanted to live vicariously through a Coppola? You know, make a film or two, become a household name, travel affluently? Well, we can promise you only the latter, friends, as we now have the official 4-1-1 on where Francis, Sofia and Roman stay when they travel to Belize. Obviously, they're going to crash at the Turtle Inn, a 17-acre beachside property FFC bought back in 1999. But which rooms do they shack up in? First, let's talk about Turtle Inn. It's the only luxury resort in the fisherman village of Placencia, Belize, reachable by a 30-minute puddle jumper from Belize International Airport. There's 25 rustic villas and cottages, two salt-water pools, three restaurants, a beach bar and a memorable staff to boot (shout out to Rudy!). Accommodations come equipped with outdoor showers and gardens, homemade cookies (in a bottomless jar), screened porches and thatch roofs reaching up to 30 feet. The spa is fronted by Thai masseuses who can have you knackered in minutes and the new Miss Ellie dive boat that can drop you off at a deserted island within an hour. Should you want to do the Coppola resort like an actual Coppola, you have three accommodations to choose from... Sofia takes the Beach House, right on the sea with its own pool. It's incredibly stylish, thanks to architect Laurent Deroo, whose Harajuku A.P.C store actually served as a location in Lost In Translation. Obvi, Sofia loved him so much, she asked him to create something natural-modernistic. Expect teak wood, slab slate and aluminum design in the main house, in addition to a bungalow out back for two more guests.

VIDEO: Howler Monkeys in the Belize Jungle
Love the sound of Howler Monkeys. Shot with consumer video camera in Belize Jungle with my guide & my friend Karen tagging along.

Bracing for the Maya Apocalypse: Holiday in Belize
The Maya Apocalypse is coming. The end of the world. Doom. If the world is ending, how do you face it? Cowering in a basement surrounded by stockpiles of ammunition and boxed mac ‘n cheese, which will make you wish you’d died in the apocalypse after a few months? Rioting through urban streets and ruining other people’s apocalypse? Bargaining with God? The walkway from the Belcampo main building to my cabin. (Photo: James Picht) God doesn’t bargain, and riots aren’t as fun as they look on TV. If you believe that the Maya calendar really predicts an apocalypse, there’s only one sensible thing to do. Celebrate! And where better to celebrate than at ground zero for the apocalypse – Belize? The Belcampo Lodge (formerly the Machaca Hill Rainforest Canopy Lodge) combines a 15,000 acre rainforest preserve, a 3,000 acre farm, an agritourism center, and a luxury 12-cabin resort all on one property. Located near Punta Gorda, Belize, the lodge boasts exquisite dining (most of the food produced on site), river excursions, incredible birding, scuba diving, horseback riding, a pool, a spa, outstanding service, and all the privacy you could ever need or want.

If it’s the end of the world, let’s eat like the Mayans
A bite of Belize. This country was once home to the ancient Mayans, who are said to have predicted the end of the world on Dec. 21. If that’s the case, go out with a full stomach. Pureco Cochinita Pibil “Cochinita (small pig) pibil (to bury) literally translates to ‘buried whole suckling pig,’” write the editors of Flavors of Belize magazine in their book of the same name about this recipe. “Traditionally, you should marinate the pork in the same manner but cook the whole pig wrapped in banana leaves underground with fire wood and hot stones for hours until tender.”

Belizean Seafood Soup
The seafood in this soup from coastal Belize can vary depending upon what is available in your market. Heat vegetable oil in a heavy pot. Add flour and whisk constantly until flour is copper in color. Add onions and tomato paste and stir for two to three minutes until onions are a deep golden brown. Add coconut milk, fish stock, thyme and garlic. Mix well, bring to a gentle boil, lower heat and let sauce simmer for 10 minutes. Add potato, cassava, bell pepper and carrots. Boil until vegetables are cooked. Add lobster, fish, shrimp and conch; simmer until cooked. While soup is cooking, mix grated plantain with coconut oil and salt and pepper to taste. Form into little dumplings the size of a teaspoon. Add dumplings along with half-ripe plantain to the soup and bring to a rapid boil for 5 minutes or until plantains are cooked. Makes 8 servings.

End of the World? Not for the Maya of Belize
Much has been made about December 21, 2012 by doomsday prophets, busily proclaiming that the end of the world is upon us. But archaeologists and scholars of Maya culture explain that the mystical date of 12.21.12 will not be the catalyst for apocalypse. The Maya’s long-form calendar will end, but not the world itself, which will simply enter a new period. In Belize, the end-of-the-world hype is being used as an opportunity to offer experiences that give visitors a more accurate understanding of Maya culture. The most significant of these is a once-in-a-lifetime event held at Caracol, one of Belize’s most important Maya archaeological sites. The National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) will be holding the last of four overnight camping trips at Caracol on the “end of the world” date. The trip will be led by the NICH’s most prominent archaeologist, Dr. Jaime Awe, and is limited to 200 participants, who need to bring their own camping gear. The $150 cost includes a traditional Maya dinner and fire ceremony. Members of Belize’s roughly 40,000-storng Mayan community will prepare the meal, build the fire and lead the prayers and chants. The highlight for many previous campers has been Dr. Awe, who gives a 2.5 hour long guided tour of the Maya site during the camping trip. In the 1970s, Awe led the first official excavation of Caracol by a Belizean team (some exploratory excavations occurred in the 1950s, headed by an American archaeologist). Today, Awe is considered to be the site’s greatest authority and remains at the forefront of archaeological excavation and preservation in Belize, where it is thought that more than three-quarters of Mayan sites have not yet been discovered or excavated.

Activist to sue Belize entry ban on gays
A gay Jamaican activist is suing the government of Belize over its entry ban against homosexuals Maurice Tomlinson, an LGBT advocate is to challenge Belize’s entry ban on gays in an international court. Tomilnson, a Jamaican national and legal advisor for the NGO AIDS-Free World has been invited to conduct training and sensitization sessions regarding the rights of individuals infected and affected by HIV and AIDS. The sessions, due to take place in Belize on the 14-16 January 2013, are an initiative of the United Belize Advocacy Movement, the country’s only civil society group promoting the health and human rights of LGBT and men who have sex with men citizens. However, section 5 of Belize’s Immigration Act prohibits entry to homosexuals, people with mental health issues and physical disabilities. The law, which is written in an archaic and offensive language, prohibits entry into Belize to: ‘(b) any idiot or any person who is insane or mentally deficient or any person who is deaf and dumb or deaf and blind, or dumb and blind; ‘(e) any prostitute or homosexual or any person who may be living on or receiving or may have been living on or receiving the proceeds of prostitution or homosexual behaviour;’ As an attorney-at-law Tomlinson has no intention of lying, nor breaking the law and therefore he had to reject the invitation from the United Belize Advocacy Movement.

John McAfee's Run from the Law Made John McAfee's Company Look Really Bad
Since John McAfee first ran away from the Belizean police following the murder of his neighbor on on November 12, the public perception of his anti-virus software giant has lost credibility with consumers. At least according to the latest research trend from BrandIndex, which calls itself the "authoritative measure of brand perception." The new survey data found a notable decrease in public perception of McAfee, the company founded but no longer overseen by the renegade tech guru, between his first run-in with the law and the madness that's ensued in the month since: BrandIndex puts together what it calls a "buzz score," based on a sample of customers. The surveyors asked the following question about McAfee: "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?" The chart above tracks McAfee against its chief competitor Symantic, with a noticeable dip in November, when both Gizmodo and Wired and pretty much everyone else ran rather lengthy articles and updates about McAfee's rather absurd run-ins with the law, the media, international waters, and everything in between.

McAfee Inc. takes reputation beating after founder fled police
Brand measurement firm links John McAfee's bizarre behavior to nosedive of security company's 'Buzz' score. In the wake of his Belize neighbor's unsolved murder, John McAfee's lurch through the news damaged the reputation of his namesake, the security company McAfee Inc., a brand expert said Thursday. McAfee, 67, founded the firm in 1987 as McAfee Associates, took the company public in 1993, raising $50 million, but resigned from his creation in 1994. In early 2011, the company was acquired by Intel for $7.7 billion. But although McAfee has had little or no connection to the security firm for nearly two decades, the link was strong enough to drag down the latter's consumer perception score, said Ted Marzilli, the global manager for BrandIndex, a brand awareness service of U.K.-based YouGov. McAfee Inc.'s "Buzz" score -- an indicator of its current standing in the "noise" generated by advertising, the news and word-of-mouth -- had been in a slump before Belize authorities said they wanted to question John McAfee about the shooting death of neighbor and fellow American expatriate, Gregory Faull. But almost as soon as McAfee began blogging -- maintaining his innocence, boasting of his evasion of the police, telling tales that made some Belize officials wonder if he was mentally unstable -- McAfee Inc.'s numbers began plummeting. And when news broke of McAfee's flight to neighboring Guatemala, McAfee Inc.'s consumer perception score nosedived to -17.

December 19, 2012


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Specials and Events

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

The Island Academy Presents; Christmas Wish List to Santa Claus at the annual Christmas Pageant
The Island Academy did not disappoint the school’s guests for their annual Christmas Pageant that took place on Wednesday December 12th. The 17th annual Christmas Pageant was held under the theme “Christmas Wish List to Santa Clause,” and as expected, brought much fun, laughter and enjoyment to those in attendance. The highly anticipated concert started with a grand entrance by the entire school, followed by a beautiful and touching personal wish list letter to Santa Clause from Wilema Alamilla, the school’s administrator. During the hour long show, there were excellent performances such as song, dance, music and a main skit all highlighting the main message of caring, sharing and spreading love and cheer during the Christmas season. Speaking to The San Pedro Sun Lady Dixie Bowen explained that while it is always a special event, the show is geared to bring across the true meaning of Christmas. Lady Bowen said that while having fun, the students as well as the teachers invested a lot of energy and time in preparing the best possible performance for the parents and community as a special gift. From the start to the end of the show, the use of props and costume, combined with the performance of the students, surely captured the attention of all.

Ambergris Today

UNICEF Kicks Off Cleanup Campaign in San Mateo Area
When it rains it pours and this is the case in the San Mateo area of San Pedro Town. Lately we have seen the vast improvement of its streets, the bringing of electric supply, distribution of water filtering buckets, and now distribution of hygiene literature and equipment, as well as garbage bins for individual homes. San Mateo is on the long list as recipients of many amenities that will bring a healthier standard of living for everyone. The San Pedro Town Council carries as slogan on this drive: Creating a Clean and Safe Environment in San Mateo, San Pedro Town. UNICEF (United Nations International Children Education Fund), which has partnered very generously with the Town Council, carries its own slogan: Fulfilling Every Child’s Right to Clean Water, Proper Sanitation and Hygiene Sanitation.

Christmas Carol Concert Brings Community Together
A Christmas Carol Concert was held on the beach near Wayo's Bar on Saturday, December 15, 2012. The event was a first for San Pedro and had three main aims; to celebrate the festive season, to socialize together as a community and most importantly, to raise funds for the five children who face Christmas this year without their father for the first time. Hector Duran or 'Chapin' as he was fondly known was tragically killed just two months ago in an accident at work, when a compressed air cylinder exploded. This brought great sadness to the whole island and the outpouring of grief was immense. With Christmas fast approaching, a decision was made to try and offer some support to the children and show them just how much the community cared for, respected and loved their father. A small committee was set up and work began in earnest to raise funds and prepare for an evening of entertainment. Committee members included Vic Murphy, Grant Guy, Bertha Vasquez, Joe Chung, Dee Regis, Melanie Paz, Eduardo (Wayo) Vasquez and Shirlee Arnould.

Teen Talk: Maya 2012 End of the World...Nope!
So you probably already heard the rumors on the “End of the World” that is suppose to take place on the 21st of December! A lot of people think it’s not real but then there are those who are deep into the idea that the Maya have predicted the end of life as we know it. Facts have proven that all the rumors that people made up are not true, for example the rumor of the planets coming in one straight line. NASA has issued a statement saying this is not true and also stating the reasons why this is not going to happen. A major planetary alignment isn't in the cards, and certainly not on Dec. 21. Yet we still don’t know if something will happen on the 21st, maybe nothing will happen or maybe aliens from outer space will arrive. The Mayas were very fond of the sky and stars so maybe the Maya calendar was actually a countdown to the aliens returning or coming.

Pic of the Week: Finding Tranquility in Southern Belize
The staff of Ambergris Today was fortunate enough to travel to southern Belize this past weekend and spend a very relaxing time at the beautiful Hopkins Bay Resort in the tiny village of Hopkins, Stann Creek District. This Picture of the Week explains our entire weekend - TRANQUILITY! Finding such peace, quiet and amazing views like this one is not hard at all in the picturesque village. A wonderful destination in the country of Belize.

Letters: Organizers of Duran Family Fundraiser Extend Gratitude to Community
On behalf of the five children of Hector "Chapin" Duran, we would like to say "Thank You" to all of those who so generously donated products or services to the "Chapin's Christmas Benefit": The list is believed to be accurate however, it is possible that we may have inadvertently missed someone. If we have, please accept our sincere apologies for the oversight. Events like this do not happen on their own, and we feel it is really important to acknowledge and thank all of those who gave of themselves and their time and services without ever considering payment. These are good honest people who displayed camaraderie and community spirit from start to finish. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you all for helping to put on a brilliant show with an amazing outcome.

Misc Belizean Sources

End of Maya Calendar start of a New Era celebration in San Pedro Town
Maya Celebration on Ambergris Caye: Block Party and Music Festival. Friday, Dec. 21st at the Central Park, starting at 5:00am. Anyone wanting more information can contact the Jorge Aldana, Vice Chair of the San Pedro Cultural Committee of the San Pedro Town Council at 662-0143. The event is open to the public for free!

Homemade Hamburgers
In this video, I share with you how to make burger patties in a skillet from scratch. I also use one of my other recipes called Yeast Cakes to make the bread or bun.

Belizean Rum Popo
Due to popular demand, I'm uploading this one earlier than I had planned.

In Belize, the small business community, known as MSME-(Micro, Small, and Medium enterprises) is a vital sector for economic development. It is estimated that MSMEs account for over 70% of main export crops and an even higher percentage of domestic food crops. It is within this spectrum that the Government of Belize has strengthened its focus on supporting the development of the MSME Sector. How is the SBDC beneficial to you? The provision of long term one-on-one assistance to SBDC clients is of priority to us. You can receive assistance from a counselor at any point in your business operation. The technical trainings and advisory services provide YOU, our valued SBDC client, with technical information at workshops, and ensured implementation through personal follow up advice from a counselor to answer any questions. In Belize, the small business community, known as MSME-(Micro, Small, and Medium enterprises) is a vital sector for economi

Channel 7

Lucky Store Robbery Unlucky For Robber & Grocer
Police have swarmed the streets, but pre-Christmas crime isn't easy to eliminate - and today a robber pounced on a grocer at the very edge of Lake Independence. It happened just before 9:30 this morning when there was an attempted robbery at Lucky's store on Triple D Street in the Mahogany Extension area. The 58 year old Chinese proprietor - who is known to the neighborhood as Mike- was inside his store when the robber entered and clubbed him in the forehead with a handgun. But police responded quickly and the robber was unable to steal anything, as he scrambled into the nearby bushes. In an off camera interview this morning with 7news, an employee of the injured shop owner told us what happened... Voice of: Employee of the Establishment "I was at my other garage when my boss - because I work for him as his personal mechanic. So, no job was here, so I went to the next garage to go work. He called me, and he said, Dennis, they are robbing me right now. And the phone dropped, so couldn't get back to him. So, I called his personal phone. And when I called, I heard a struggle in there, but the phone is breaking up, so he couldn't tell me anything. So, I jumped on the bike, and I came. When I came on the bike, I didn't see anybody.

Platitudes In Response To Pandemonium
Platitudes In Response To Pandemonium Email Print And while police responded promptly to that incident - there still has not been a coherent official explanation of what happened on Saturday night at BTL Park. As we reported, a concert featuring local artists erupted into public terror after a gang brawl broke out and three salvos of shots were fired. Hundreds of terrified concert goers made a desperate dash for safety - only to find nearby venues locking up their doors and gates to keep out the stampede. In the end, four persons were stabbed and one shot - all of them believed to be gang affiliated. Later on that night one man was killed, and another injured. It was a major gang clash in a public space and one that left public confidence in their personal security at public venues badly shaken, but there's been nothing from officialdom. Today we caught police minister John Saldivar at a BDF event and he mouthed the sort of platitudes we've heard from many an exasperated minister of national security before: Hon. John Saldivar - Minister of National Security "We get it under control for a few weeks, and then one weekend or so, people just go ballistic, and we have a lot of murders or so. And we have got to find a way to deal with it. I think that the crime ridden areas strategy has worked in terms of reducing major in crimes in these areas, and specifically in Belize City. But, it doesn't seem to have an effect on the murder situation. And there's another approach that we must try to deal with the Murder."

"Chicken Dread" Defiant
Today police were also on Albert Street in the heart of the city shutting down an open-air fried chicken vendor. For some years now Paul Ferguson known as "Chicken Dread" has been selling fried chicken on the sidewalk across from the commercial center. It's the epicenter of the Albert Street action - and that's where he puts his deep fryer to lure in pedestrians with that unmistakable fried chicken aroma. But according to City Hall, that aroma - or the fumes from it - has been causing public complaints - and this afternoon Ferguson was shut down. 7news was there and we got both sides of the story: His bowl was full of fried chicken his deep frying still bubbling but Paul Ferguson had to go - police and city constables were there to remove him. Ferguson didn't seem the least bit intimidated; the devout PUP supporter says he's being persecuted because of competition: Paul Ferguson - Being Removed by City Hall "He has his dirty restaurant in the Commercial Center which is not making any money, so he is just jealous that I am out here selling chicken. Everybody buys my chicken."

Hon. Finnegan Says Easy Glen Hustled In His Name
Tonight a senior member of the UDP says two of the party's soldiers have gone rogue - and they're impersonating him to hustle money in his name. UDP Party Whip Michael Finnegan says Goldbourne Adolphus known as Easy Glen has been calling government departments and business persons saying that he is Michael Finnegan and that he will send Easy Glen to pick up some money. Finnegan claims his sideman is James Swazo known to us as the Chainsaw Man for the role he played in that Chainsaw debacle with a political sign back in 2007. Finnegan told us it first came to his attention four weeks ago when he claims Glen went to the Minister of Works and his CEO - to pick up some money: Hon. Michael Finnegan - Area Representative, Mesopotamia "Both called me and said, 'Minister, the favor that you called for this morning, in connection with those boys in your area, we have looked after it, and they are right here with us, now. And we are going to deliver on what you asked for this morning.' I said, 'But which favor did I ask for?' He said, 'But the gentleman is right here with me. It's Goldburn Adolphus, better known as Easy Glenn, and one James Swazo.' Well, I told them, 'Deliver nothing to them, and give them nothing because I did not request any favor.' And I reported the matter to the Commissioner of Police, but somehow, the Commissioner of Police failed to pick up these guys, when I was promised by him that he will look after it.

Mayor Cuts Off Major Traffic ArteryAt Christmas!?
The Belcan roundabout - or the flag monument as it is also known - may be the busiest intersection in the country. But tonight the eight way intersection is like a heart with 15% blockage - because one of the main arteries has been closed - until next year! You heard it right, the leg of the roundabout which leads to the Northern Highway has been shut off - and not just for a day - it will be weeks as they cement it. Sounds like a crazy idea at Christmas time, but the Mayor says it's just got to be done, as part of the plan for the paving of Freetown Road: Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council "We had already envisioned that we were going to do the roundabout, and about 100 feet unto the Northern Highway. And what we're going to do is that, we're going to remove the crosswalks, because that is a perennial problem in traffic congestion in the morning, and we're going to allow people - we're going to actually compel people to use the overpass, and it's supposed to be an ease in traffic. Actually we're trying to see if we could construct that section of the road, in a certain way where they entire road didn't need to be closed at any given time because there are different ways in which the contractor can actually operate. That work is actually being done by our own City Council staff, and what we are doing in that area is that, we're trying to - as much as is possible - minimize the work, and work as fast as possible to ensure that this thing is finished by New Year's."

GSU Goes to Benque
Last night, 7News told you about the Gang Suppression Unit conducting raids on suspected members of the MS 13 Gang in the city - well now they have focused on reputed gang members in Benque Viejo. Well tonight, the GSU says that it has busted another man they believe is connected to that gang. Yesterday at 12:25 p.m., GSU officers conducted a search at the residence of 23 year-old Hector Antonio Perrera, located on Joyce Blair Street in Benque Viejo Del Carmen. When the officers approached, they saw Perrera trying to flee, but he was immediately detained. The officers searched him and found 3.1 grams of cannabis in his pocket. While the officers were conducting the search on Perrera, they spotted 25 year-old Carlos Gomez standing on the side of the street. The decided to search him, and they found 1.5 grams of cannabis under his right foot. As result of these finds, police arrested and charged both Perrera and Gomez with separate counts of possession of controlled drugs. The GSU said that these men had tattoos of both the MS-13 and 18th Street gangs. The GSU says that these men displayed loyalties to both gangs.

Soldiers Get Thanks of a Grateful Nation
Being a BDF soldier is no easy life - whether patrolling in the Chiquibul or on George Street, it's always dangerous, the pay isn't all that, and the working conditions are rugged. But, once a year, the BDF Brass rolls out Christmas Dinner - and the Big Men from Belmopan show up to give thanks of a grateful nation. Monica Bodden was there today: Just after 12 this afternoon lunch was served to 300 BDF soldiers at their headquarters in Price Barracks. The men and women who serve on the frontlines of our country's borders and in the streets against crime - got to sit back and enjoy a tasty Belizean Christmas meal. It is a traditional luncheon to honor and show appreciation for the hard work of these officers over the 12 months - This afternoon Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega and Minister of Security John Saldivar became waiters -as they helped with the serving of lunch. Hon. John Saldivar - Minister of National Security "This is our small way of saying thanks to the officers of the Belize Defence Force, who have served so selflessly, tirelessly over the last 12 months. For all the good the good work they have put in, I am sure that we don't see it in the media all the time, but they're out there behind the scenes, in the jungles out there protecting us, and providing us with a safe environment in which to live. So, this is our way of saying thanks to them. As you can see, from the response, I think that their moral is up. Their energy is high, and they feel good to belong to an organization like the BDF, and we want to keep it that way. So, that's why we want to show them our thanks, by coming here and being here today to celebrate and eat with them."

55 Year Old Awaits Sentence For Sex with A Teenager
55 year-old Winston Dennison is at prison tonight awaiting sentence after he was convicted of 3 counts of carnal knowledge yesterday in the courtroom of Justice Troadio Gonzalez. In the trial, Crown Counsel Thalia Meagan Francis called 6 witnesses, but the main witness was his 15 year-old victim. She testified that Dennison had intercourse with her three times. According to this minor, Dennison had been pursuing her for a length of time professing his love for her, and she finally gave in. In his defense, Dennison initially chose to remain silent, but he then changed his mind and emphatically protested his innocence in a statement from the dock. After deliberating for almost 3 and a half hours, a jury of 9 returned with guilty verdicts on all 3 counts.

Kalilah From "Jamdown" Trains Journalists and Newcomers
For years, Kalilah Enriquez was a fixture on the KREM W-U-B morning show. But over three years ago, she headed to Jamaica to get her masters in Media Studies. Since then, she's worked at a number of Jamaican Television stations as a news reporter and presenter. But now, she's home for the holidays and held a 2-day workshop to try to share her knowledge with local journalists and newcomers interested in a media career. It concluded today right here at our studio, and 7News spoke to Enriquez about the response she got: Kalilah Enriquez - Organizer, Media Workshop "So, what we're doing for the past couple of days is media training workshps. On day 1, we focused on writing, which I think is very important in how we communicate because writing for an audience, writing in journalism is a whole lot different from how you would write an academic paper, a story. So, I thought that this was something very important that Belizean journalists need to learn. Now, on day 2, which was today, and what you guys saw and walked in on, was the presentation workshop. So, we're learning how to use our voices; how to project our voices; what to say; what not to say as an interviewee; how do I get my point across when the journalist is asking me something else. And as an interviewer and as a presenter, what do I do with these things, my hands? Where do I put them? Do I cross my hands? Do I show tha I am open and honest as some of the videos showed? So, how do I convey my message? How do I fluctuate my pitch and tone, and how do I realize and pay attention to endings of words. Many people speak in a way that because they speak Kriol every day, we forget to say the ending of words. As soon as I contacting the media houses about whether they would want to have their people participate in this workshop, almost everybody was immediately like, 'Yes, we definitely need this.' And they turned out. For the 2 days, we had a full house, and they were all very appreciative. At the end, some of them gave me hugs because they were like, 'Yes, I really needed to hear this. And now, I know what to look for in my own speech patterns and writing.'"

How Literacy Programme Will Work
How Literacy Programme Will Work Email Print Last night we told you about the Computer Assisted Learning programme that Restore Belize is spearheading with Taiwanese funding. It's generated a lot of interest from our viewers - and tonight we re-visit yesterday's launch to tell you a little more about how it will work: Randy Boissonnault - Executive Director, Literacy Without Borders "What happens is that you're going to come in; you're going to be getting a little orientation to the program. We're going to sit you down, and we going to show you - you might not know how to use a mouse. You may have never sat down in front of a computer. So, we'll show you how to use the keyboard. All you really need to do is use the mouse, and click the arrow on the screen. And what's going to happen is that we're going to get you to start a tutorial. So, there's going to be - we're just going to ask to read one sentence, and you're going to answer some questions. And you're not able to read that one sentence, the software will automatically know what to do, and it'll get you started. And so, what's going to happen is that you're going to go to another screen, and it's going just put up letter combinations, and you're going to hear some sounds. And it's going to ask you to associate the letters on the screen with the sound that you're hearing. And it's just going to build. It's going to build from a very simple sound and letter recognition exercises, to more complex words, word combinations, letter combinations. And then, depending on how much time you spend with the program, within 20 to 30 hours, you'll be up at least a grade level."

Fried Chicken Ferguson Is Back
And before we close we have a quick update on two stories we ran earlier in the newscast. First, Michael Finnegan called our newsroom a few minutes ago to tell us that even as we've been reporting on the Easy Glenn imposter incident - Glenn was calling UDP Politician Li Mark Chang to order 54 dollars' worth of food in Finnegan's name. City Police have been alerted. And, in another update, as we told you earlier, the so called Chicken Dread Paul Ferguson was picked up today for insulting words - and the Belize city Mayor also said he had been generating too much fumes at his open air location. But tonight, he is back at his spot. A few minutes ago, he told Daniel Ortiz why he came back: Daniel Ortiz "You are testing the patience of the City Council. Why is that, sir?" Paul Ferguson - Resisting City Hall "First thing, the Mayor is a liar, and the Mayor never gave me any warning. The Mayor never told me anything about someone has a health issue with me. What health issue is that, sir? All the Spanish who are selling in the park area, why don't they go and move them? All the people selling on the sidewalk, why don't they move them? Why now will they think about moving me?

Channel 5

Disgusting Report: British National alleged child pornography
There is a disturbing report out of Placencia tonight. A British teacher is being questioned for alleged child pornography and sexual abuse. According to reports, the British national, who is a private tutor in the peninsula, was first detained for drug possession. But because of suspicious activity, police went to his house where they found [...]

3 badly beaten and 1 threatened at gunpoint in alleged police brutality
There is another allegation of excessive use of force by cops in San Pedro and tonight, there is an ongoing investigation of two police officers, including a woman police constable, for an allegation of brutality. Four residents of La Isla Bonita were assaulted by the rogue cops: one was threatened at gunpoint while the three [...]

BCCI says trade licenses hikes are too much; but the Mayor says it’s the law
Business owners across Belize City, including members of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, have been experiencing, in some cases as much as three hundred percent spike in trade licensing fees since the start of the month.  The Belize City Council, which is responsible for the collection of such revenue, says it has been [...]

Why do you shop in Chetumal?
Tonight’s question is: Do you shop in Chetumal because of: High taxes in Belize, More variety or cheaper goods? 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]

P.G. Family alleges police brutality in death of hospital driver
While police are investigating two of their own in San Pedro for alleged brutality, in the south there is also an ongoing investigation into what caused the death of Punta Gorda Hospital driver, Francisco Shol. By family accounts, Shol was beaten up by an off duty police officer who transported him to the hospital. He [...]

Easy Glenn busted using Minister Michael Finnegan’s name to scam businesses
Easy Glenn; he’s a well known U.D.P. supporter but tonight a government minister is calling him out as an “old thief.” According to Minister of Housing, Michael Finnegan, Easy Glenn has used his name to con various businesses. Finnegan says he found out weeks ago that Goldburn Adolphus has been impersonating him in telephone calls [...]

1st time offender spared jail time for Robbery conviction; fined $3,000
A cop’s son who was convicted on December sixth, was today spared from jail time after he was imposed a non-custodial sentence for a robbery charge. Twenty-three year old Evan Bruhier along with a fifteen year old minor was found guilty of robbing, twenty-two year old Oscar Dimas of his bicycle and cell phone on [...]

Fried chicken vendor fights City Council as he is moved from Albert Street
Food vendor, Paul Ferguson, was hauled from his popular fried chicken stand on Albert Street and taken to the police station at around one p.m. today. It triggered a big commotion as patrons and bystanders crowded the stand when he was taken away by the cops. Ferguson, who is a fixture in downtown Belize City, [...]

Sting operation delays police response to burglary in P.G.
Aside from the incident involving Francisco Shol on Friday night, Janny’s Restaurant and Sports Bar, formerly known as the P.G. Sports Bar, was the target of thieves on Sunday. Sometime around three a.m., two men—one armed with a firearm—gained access to the premises through a door on the roof to the building. The burglars held [...]

GSU operations in the west yield drugs and ammo
Early this morning, the Gang Suppression searched the house of Rafael Martinez in the Santa Cruz area of Benque Viejo del Carmen. The GSU found fifty grams of cannabis in a black plastic bag placed in a school bag in the living room of the house. An additional amount of three hundred and eighty-four grams [...]

Decomposing body identified as Tyrone Simon
The decomposing body of a man was found on Sunday night in his house in East Canal in Belize City. The man has been identified as Tyrone Simon, who had no known relatives in Belize and was last seen last Friday in the area of Dean Street and East Canal. His disappearance did not sound [...]

Belize City Northern entrance locked off for construction
There was a bottleneck this morning caused by ongoing road works at the northern entrance of the city. Commuters, entering and leaving Belize City via the Phillip Goldson Highway, were surprised by the unannounced closure of the thoroughfare at its juncture with the Freetown Road roundabout. Motorists exiting the Old Capital this morning were met [...]

United Belizeans Incorporated brings goodies for Dangriga/PG children
United Belizeans Incorporated (UBI) is a Los Angeles based charity organization that raises funds to assist Belizeans at home and abroad. In 2011, it started a Christmas initiative to collect toys and other goodies to bring for needy kids. Children’s homes in the Belize District benefitted from that first toy drive, but UBI is back [...]


Toledo Family Craves Justice For Death of Family Member
The family of a Toledo man who died under mysterious circumstances continues to look for answers and today they are offering a reward for information they believe will help to solve the case. Fifty three year old Francisco Shol died on Saturday, about a day after he was found in ...

Child Sexual Abuse Reported In Placencia
Police in Placencia village are investigating a disturbing report of alleged child sexual abuse and child pornography in the community. A man, whose identity we cannot release because he has not yet been officially charged, is in police custody pending the outcome of an investiga...

Police News
There was an attempted robbery this morning in Belize City. It happened at the Lucky Store located at miles two and a half on the George Price Highway around nine thirty this morning. Police say that a man of dark complexion went into the store and attacked the proprietor, a fift...

Ladyville Man Chopped Following Attempted Robbery
A Ladyville man was injured in an attempted armed robbery on Saturday afternoon in Belize City. The victim, a thirty five year old man told police that he was walking on Frederick’s Alley around four thirty on Saturday afternoon when he was accosted by two men, whom he know...

Christmas Luncheon at Price Barracks
Christmas is a week away and today the Belize Defense Force held its annual Christmas luncheon. Reporter Marion Ali was at Price Barracks and filed this report. MARION ALI “The men and women who stand shoulder to shoulder in protecting our jewel’s borders toda...

Policeman's Son Guilty of Robbery
Twenty-three year old salesman Evan Bruhier, the son of a police officer, was found guilty of robbery today. Magistrate Adolph Lucas did not give him a custodial sentence because he had no previous conviction. He fined Bruhier $3,000.00 and gave him until March 31, 2013 to pay. If he d...

OAS and EU Signs Agreement Supporting Peace Fund Project
The Organization of American States and the European Union have signed an agreement to support the Peace Fund project which implements Confidence Building Measures in the Adjacency Zone between Belize and Guatemala. The Peace Fund is managed by the hemispheric organization. Speaking at...


Two Cops Investigated For Corruption
Two cops attached to the Orange Walk Police Station are in the hot seat tonight after being accused of brutalizing and stealing a whapping $10,000 from a Fisherman from Orange Walk Town. Reports are that around 2:30 Saturday morning, Lisandro Sanchez was socializing inside Butchies Night Club located on Belize Corozal Road, when he was detained by two police officers. The officers; however, did not take Sanchez to the police station, instead, he was allegedly taken to the Orange Walk By Pass near the San Estevan Roundabout, where he was beaten by the cops. To make matters worst, the law enforcer’s allegedly took away $10,000 from Sanchez, money which he obtained from selling a pearl in Belize City early Friday morning. Reports to CTV3 News are that both cops, one from the Village of Guinea Grass and the other from the Village of Progresso, have been detained by police. Investigations continue.

Man Knocked Down And Killed While Heading Home
Sunday evening Proved to be fatal as a resident of Libertad Village in Corozal, was knocked down while riding his bicycle home. Sixty two year old Candido Fuentes was killed in a traffic accident near the Village of Aventura located between miles 77 and 78 on the Philip Goldson Highway. It is the 3rd traffic accident that ends fatal over the last three weeks. Reporter Elmer Cornejo has the details. At minutes past 8:00 on Sunday night, 62 year old Candido Fuentes, resident of Libertad Village, was riding his bicycle back home in Libertad Village Corozal District when he was knocked down by an oncoming vehicle travelling in the same direction between miles 77 and 78 on the Philip Goldson Highway. Fuentes was knocked down by this gold in colour Toyota Camry bearing License plate CZL C 01053 driven at the time by 24 year old Nester Juan Sosa from San Narciso Village Corozal. Reports are that Sosa collided into the rear of Fuentes’ white beach cruiser which had neither lights nor reflectors. When police arrived at the scene Fuentes’ body was observed in the middle of the highway, his bicycle laid next to him. The 62 year old died on the way to the Corozal Community.

Dead Body Floating In The Sea Identified
On Friday nights newscast we reported on a dead body that was found floating in the sea near the Rainbow Beach Area in Corozal Town. Tonight the news is that the body has been identified as that of 44 year old Hernan Lazaro, a resident of Diego Street in Corozal Town. At about 10:00am on Friday last, Corozal Police visited Rainbow Beach Park in Corozal Town where a Hispanic male person dressed only in a long Khaki pants was seen floating in the sea about 150 feet away from the sea wall. The body was observed with a small cut wound on the left eyebrow and abrasions to the left cheek and chin. Lazaro was known to most as “sucio” and would do the daily errands for his neighbors. Today as we headed north, we spoke to Henry Marroquin, one of Lazaro’s friends, who last saw him alive on Thursday December 13th. Henry Maroquin- Friend of Hernan Lazaro “I gave him a shirt and he tear it up and then he started talking about the killing of a little girl and the man is coming for us and this and that then I notice that the man is out if his sense.” Hernan Lazaro was a regular alcohol consumer but was appreciated by all his neighbors. We understand that on Thursday he was transported to the Corozal Community Hospital after he collapsed on the street near his home.

Honourable John Briceno Sharing The Xmas Spirit
Christmas is a time when giving is more important than receiving. Every year the People’s United Party Orange Walk Central Executive Committee puts great effort into organizing a Children’s Party to share the joy of Christmas among the youngest of Orange Walk Central residents. Since last week Friday, the Orange Walk Central Area Representative Hon. John Briceño has been joined by Santa Clause on a whirlwind tour taking gifts to three kids’ parties; the first in San Lorenzo Housing Site, the second in the Village of San Estevan and third in the area of Union Town. Jolly Old Saint Nick made his first stop in San Lorenzo Housing Site on Friday night bearing gifts, sweets, and full entertainment for a packed audience. Santa was so comfortable with the crowd that he wasted no time in dancing and playing musical chairs with the kids. And then it was time for the kids to eat their way to the many gifts that Santa brought from the North Pole. As every year it was a total rush when the time came to give out the goodies bag. Luckily there was more than enough and no child was left out. At the end of the night, two lucky winners walked away with a DVD player and a microwave.

Guishany Wagner Murdered In Belize
here were three murders in Belize City over the weekend including that of 22 year old Guishany Fred Wagner from Orange Walk Town. Last night Wagner and a 16 year old minor from Belize City were standing on Orange Street in front of the Salvation Army Primary School when they were approached by male person of dark complexion who fired several shots at their direction. The bullets fatally wounded Wagner as he was shot on the back, head and hands while the 16 year old minor was injured on the left foot and right side of the chest. Wagner was no stranger to the law.

Winning Your Way To Free Fuel Only With Shell
T’is the season to be merry, that’s what Christmas, is all about. But how can we be when times are this hard, right? Well, sharing some of the season’s joy is one usual generous company. Shell One Stop started off two Christmas promotions which have been giving back tons of gifts and prizes to customers. To begin with the Christmas promotion, Shell Orange Walk is raffling one Christmas Hamper every Friday during the month of December. The first lucky winner was selected this past Friday and it was no other than Raul Osorio of number 2 Lyle Street Orange Walk Town. Remember you can also be the lucky winner of a Christmas Hamper raffled every Friday during the month of December if you purchase $30.00 fuel or more at Shell or one quart of Felix HX 7 Oil or one quart Felix Ultra. The second promotion is the Drive In To Win Raffle. For every $30.00 fuel spent at Shell or for every quart of Felix HX 7 Oil or one quart Felix Ultra you purchase, you get a chance to win one year supply of fuel as first prize, six months supply of fuel as second prize and three months supply of fuel as third prize. The mega prizes will be raffled in the month of February.


Two weekend murders in Lord’s Bank village
A high school student was shot dead on Sunday night in Lord’s Bank village. The killing of the teenager was homicide for the weekend in the quiet community. Love TV’s Marion Ali reports.

Murder on Cemetery Road
The weekend’s bloodshed was not confined to the Lord’s Bank area. In Belize City a man was struck down by a murderer’s bullet in front of a church on Cemetery Road.

Shooting at a crowded park sent people scurrying for safety
A social event in Belize City was interrupted by gun play and violence on Saturday night. The frightening occurrence added to the weekend’s already crime ridden atmosphere.

Taiwan helps with computer assisted literacy project
The Republic of China, Taiwan has gifted over three hundred thousand dollars to Restore Belize for implementation of a computer assisted learning program. The symbolic handing over of one hundred computers and the software to facilitate this bold new approach to literacy was done this morning in Belize City. Mary Vasquez is the program manager for Restore Belize. Vasquez says this project will usher in a new phase in literacy competency for Belize. Taiwan’s ambassador to Belize David Wu said that his government is pleased to partner with its diplomatic ally in this way to help in Belize’s crime-fighting initiative. The software program which will be used in the program was acquired through a partnership with the Canadian-based Literacy Without Borders organization. Executive Director Randy Boissonnault expressed confidence that the Computer Assisted Learning Solution software will make a huge difference in literacy for Belize.

Football Federation boss laments damage caused to MCC Grounds
The Football Federation of Belize is once again raising concerns over the continued use of the pitch at the MCC Grounds for activities other than sports. Last Friday night a concert was held at the ground and today we spoke with president of the FFB, Ruperto Vicente. Love News has sought, without success, to get comments from the Ministry of Sports about this weekend’s destruction caused at the MCC Grounds.

Government vehicle destroyed in George Price Highway crash
There was a horrific crash just before dawn on the George Price Highway. When Love News arrived on the scene at the corner of the George Price Highway and Fabers Road, a salvage vehicle was in the process of pulling the crashed pickup truck out of the drain alongside the road and hauling it away. The vehicle was extensively damaged and best information to the RSV Media Centre suggests that the pickup truck, believed to be a government vehicle, was heading into Belize City from Belmopan sometime before four o’clock on Saturday morning when it went out of control and overturned. Love News has been unable to ascertain who was driving the vehicle or who its occupants were. But a credible source tells the News Centre that the driver of the vehicle was the younger brother of a Belize City based government Minister. Our reporter who went to the scene did not see any license plates on the vehicle because these had been removed earlier. We note that the police press officer has not provided any report on the accident, which by all accounts did not result in serious injury to any of its occupants.

Libertad man knocked down and killed
The accident that the police press officer did report happened on the Phillip Goldson highway in the Corozal district and claimed to life of a resident of Libertad village. The victim has been identified as sixty two year old Candido Fuentes. According to police reports, Fuentes was riding his beach cruiser bicycle on the highway between miles seventy seven and seventy eight, when he was knocked down from behind by a car. The driver of the vehicle, twenty four year old Nestor Juan Sosa, told police that around eight o’clock last night, he collided into Fuentes, saying that he was in the middle of the road and that the bicycle had no lights or reflectors. Sosa says that he stopped to render aid, and that Fuentes was rushed to the Corozal community hospital via ambulance where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Police have since taken a urine sample from Sosa who lives in San Narciso village, Corozal, and have impounded his car. Police investigations continue.

Parolee found guilty of carnal knowledge
Fifty-five year old Winston Dennison, a woodcarver, who was on parole for a conviction of manslaughter, was found guilty of three counts of carnal knowledge today in the court of Justice Troadio Gonzalez. The jury of five men and four women deliberated about three hours before it arrived at its verdict which was unanimous. Justice Gonzalez has deferred sentencing until Friday, December 21 in order to give Dennison time to prepare a plea for mitigation. The first incident occurred in April, 2010. The virtual complainant, who was 14 years and 9 months old at the time, testified that Dennison came to her and begged her to have sex with him while he rubbed her leg. She said she agreed. She said that the second incident occurred on August 22, 2010 and the third incident occurred on August 24, 2010. Dennison gave a statement from the dock in which he denied that he committed the offences. Dennison was not represented by an attorney. Crown Counsel Thalia-Megan Francis represented the prosecution.

Unemployed man caught trying to dispose of a loaded firearm
Twenty-four year old Nelson Martinez, an unemployed of West Street, was charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license when he appeared in court today. Martinez pled not guilty to the charges. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser explained to him that the court cannot offer him bail because of the nature of the offences. She remanded him into custody until January 28, 2013. The incident occurred yesterday. The police reported that they were on mobile patrol on West Street when they saw, Martinez who was in his yard, throw a bag over a fence into his neighbor’s yard. The police said that when they retrieved the bag it contained one black Glock nine millimetre pistol with a magazine that contained 14 rounds of ammunition. As a result, Martinez was taken into custody and charged. The firearm and ammunition were labeled as exhibits.

Weekend shooting incidents kept police busy
There were also a number of other shootings that occurred in Belize City over the weekend, one that have left a seventeen year old recuperating with gunshot wounds. The Police Press Officer, Raphael Martinez, shared the details. The other shooting happened on Saturday night at about 9:30. There was a third shooting in Belize City that has left 19 year old Yasmin Dominguez of Partridge Street with a gunshot wound to the right side of the upper abdomen. Police say that Dominguez and his brother-in-law, 29 year old Hezron McLaughlin were riding on separate bicycles on Glenn Street an upon reaching in-front Cairo Street two men approached them and fired five shots at them. Police have no leads.

Annual Governor General Christmas party held at Government House
Governor General, Sir Colville Young, this past weekend hosted his annual Christmas party for children. The venue for the event was the Belize City House of Culture. A communiqué from Belize House says that the Head of State hosted one hundred and fifty children to the traditional event. Each child attending the party received a present from Sir Colville, along with a bag of party favors to take away. Sir Colville wishes to thank all those who gave generously of their time or made donations to make this year’s Christmas party a joyful event for the children.

Policemen accused of corruption in Orange Walk
Two police officers stationed in Orange Walk are tonight in detention, accused of corruption. Information received at the RSV News Centre indicates that the officers are accused of an early Saturday morning attack on a fisherman and furthermore, of stealing money from the man who is alleging police wrongdoing. Preliminary investigations so far indicate that around two thirty on Saturday morning, Lisandro Sanchez was socializing at the Butchie’s nightclub when two police officers accosted him, dragged him out of the establishment and pushed him into a pickup truck. The two policemen reportedly took Sanchez to the area of the Orange Walk bypass where they allegedly searched him and proceeded to beat him up. During the search, Sanchez alleges that the officers took away ten thousand, six hundred dollars which he had in his possession. Sanchez says that he managed break free from his attackers and ran all the way to the police station where he reported his ordeal to the authorities. Police went looking for the two policemen and were able to catch up with one, while the other eventually handed himself in to authorities. Investigations continue.


Male teacher from Placencia accused of having sex with teenage boys
A teacher from the south is being accused of having sex with teenage boys. Information is very sketchy at this time...

Lucky Store was the target of an attempted robbery
Lucky Store was the target of an attempted robbery this morning. Around 9:30 am a man entered the grocery shop loca...

Belize City man discovered dead in his room
A Belize City man was discovered dead in his room after neighbors complained of an unpleasant odor. On Sunday aroun...

Man shot by Policeman is in Guatemala City seeking urgent medical attention
Earlier in November we told you about 53yr old Donatilo Canales who was shot by Sgt. Paulino Reyes in Valley of Pea...

Policeman's son spared from further jail time
A cop’s son who was convicted on December 6, 2012 was today spared from further jail time after he was imposed a no...

New Police Station inaugurated in the Maya Beach area of Placencia
A new Police Station was inaugurated in the Maya Beach area of Placencia in the Stann Creek District. This past wee...

Belmopan Active Youths to form Marching Band
Belmopan City Councillor Anna Guy is the director of a youth initiative called Belmopan Active Youths -BAY. The gro...

COLA states official position on Belize- Guatemala Referendum
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) offered their official position statement on the Belize- Guate...

Purple Movement has a mission to engage the youths of Belize
The Purple Movement is an advocacy group whose mission is the engage the youths of the country to join collectively...

Nelson Martinez charged with firearm offences
24 year old Nelson Martinez was charged for possession of an unlicensed firearm. The incident occurred on Saturday ...

Bradley’s Bank is now receiving electricity
A new area of the Santa Elena Town known as Bradley’s Bank is now receiving electricity. The rural electrification ...

Winston Dennison found guilty of three counts of carnal knowledge
A 55 year old man, already on parole for a manslaughter conviction, was found guilty of three counts of carnal know...

A man was fined for gang membership
A man was fined for gang membership. 32 year old Angel Antonio Ruiz confessed to police that he is a member of the ...

MSNBC in the House of Representatives
There was a US based news team in the audience at last Friday’s House Meeting. But they were not just any news team...

Two men detained for attempted robbery
A laborer of Orange Walk District reported that on Sunday at 9:00pm he was at home, when he heard a noise coming fr...

Man chopped with machete while walking in Belize City
A man was chopped with a machete as he walked on a Belize City
street. A 35 year old resident of Ladyville, reporte...

Man detained in Orange Walk for aggravated assault
A man has been detained in Orange Walk following an aggravated assault. On Sunday at 9:50pm, a Carpenter of Orange ...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Let’s welcome the New Era at the Lazy Lizard!!
The last party of the year! New Years Eve!


On Friday morning in an emergency hearing via a 3-way video conference, lawyer for the Government of Belize Denys Barrow announced to the Caribbean Court of Justice that as of 8:05 a.m., they had paid out dividends to their large shareholders. The Court of Appeal had refused to extend a 3-month restraint imposed by the CCJ, which came to an end on Friday, December 14, 2012. The dividends paid out to the large shareholders — Social Security Board, Central Bank of Belize and GOB — amounted to almost $12 million. But an emergency hearing was ordered by the CCJ to review the decision of the Court of Appeal. And at that meeting, which was held at 9:00 on Friday morning, Barrow made the announcement of the dividend payments, in the presence of Eamon Courtenay, attorney for British Caribbean Bank, and Godfrey Smith, attorney for Dean Boyce and Trustee of the Employees Trust. Courtenay and Godfrey reacted to the announcement with vehement opposition. But so did the President of the CCJ, who, after hearing arguments posed by both sides, ordered GOB to put back the money into an escrow account by 2:00 p.m. Friday, and to let it remain there until they had reviewed the Court of Appeal’s decision and given their own. In speaking with the press after Friday’s hearing, Godfrey told reporters that the CCJ just barely fell short of holding GOB in contempt of court. He went on to say that the President informed Barrow that GOB did not act as it should have in such a matter, especially since they knew that an emergency hearing was to be held concerning this issue.

Businessman and student murdered over the weekend. Otto Peterson, 69, owner of the Lords Bank Laundry and Grocery Store as well as former owner of the Oasis Bar at Mile 5 on the Philip Goldson Highway, and Dane Bodden, Jr., 15, of Ladyville Technical High School, were both shot dead in Lords Bank – Peterson on Saturday by thieves during an attempted robbery in his store, and Bodden on Sunday while riding on his bicycle on the Lords Bank Road towards the highway. Police say that on Saturday, December 15, at about 8:30 p.m., they went to Lords Bank to Peterson’s grocery store, and found that he had been shot in his chest and head. He was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) in a private vehicle, but he died on the way. An investigation by police revealed that at about 8:25 p.m., two men went into the store to rob Peterson. Police said that there was a struggle, during which the gunmen fired several shots at Peterson, hitting him in the chest and the head. The gunmen then ran out of the store. Upon their arrival at the crime scene, police searched the area, but the shooters were nowhere to be found. The officers did, however, retrieve two 9mm expended shells in the store.

Dennison told his victim: “You are the only woman for me!” Today, Winston Dennison, 55, was found guilty on all three counts of carnal knowledge after it was alleged that he had engaged in sexual intercourse with a minor on three different occasions. In the trial, part of which was held en camera, the victim, who was 14 years and 9 months at the time, testified that while at Dennison’s house, sometime between April 8 and 30 of 2010, Dennison propositioned her for sex. He allegedly told the victim, “Please, I am nothing without you. You know how hard it is to be around someone you love and cannot touch them?” After hearing his “love pleas”, she told the court she got “vexed” and agreed to it. She further stated that Dennison then took off her clothes, his clothes, performed oral sex on her, and proceeded to have sexual intercourse with her. After they had sex, they both went to sleep on the bed. The victim continued that on August 22, 2010, Dennison again came to her requesting sex. This time, he told her: “You are the only woman for me! Only you can satisfy me!” Dennison used the same methods of sex as he did on the first occasion, and it was again repeated two days later on August 24, 2010.

Gangs clash in the park; almost 1,000 terrified revelers flee the gunfire The unthinkable has occurred, and a miracle also happened – a week and a half before Christmas, with the police seemingly out of the loop, shooting between two rival gangs erupted in the BTL Northside Park on Newtown Barracks during a concert, the Christmas Park Fest, at about 11:45 p.m. on Saturday, December 15, and while the bullets were flying, in attendance were almost a thousand people, including men, women and children. Mercifully, according to police, only one person was shot, and no one was killed, although six people were subsequently stabbed during the revelers’ frantic attempt to escape the terror and the shooting. The area of the park, for revenue collection of $5 per person, had been blocked off on the south by the Ex-Servicemen’s League almost opposite Princess Hotel, and on the north by MJ Grand, almost opposite Marina Towers. In the clash that erupted between the two Belize City gangs, during which there were three shootings at the park, Gregory Jones, 21, of Bocotora Street, was shot in the left side of the neck; Tulio Caceres, 28, of Taylor’s Alley, was stabbed in the right side of the abdomen and cut on the right hand; David Cabral,16, also of Taylor’s Alley, was stabbed in the left side of the abdomen; Kareem Smith, 16, also of Taylor’s Alley, was stabbed in the left side of the back and in the right side of the abdomen; and Dillon Diamond, also of Taylor’s Alley, was stabbed twice in the left side of the back.

The Finals of the FFB’s Inter-District Champion of Champions 2012 climaxed yesterday at the Ricalde Stadium in Corozal Town where home standing San Antonio FC prevailed in penalties over Benguche FC to take the title after they had ended regulation in an aggregate tie, and overtime was scoreless. Game 1 of the home-and-away Final series was won, 4-2, last Sunday, December 9, by Benguche FC at the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga. Yesterday, on their home turf in Corozal, San Antonio FC pulled off the needed 2 goal margin of victory with their 3-1 win on goals by Russell Cassanova (21’ & 90’) and Everal Bodden (60’). Benguche’s only goal was by Shanti Castillo (58’). Trailing by a 2-1 margin in the waning moments of the match, Benguche was ever so close to the championship; but Cassanova’s last minute goal (90’) saved the day for his team, as it created an aggregate tie, 5-5, thus forcing overtime. After the scoreless 30 minutes of overtime, the championship was decided by penalty shootout, where San Antonio prevailed, 4-1, with goals from Johann Clavel, Russell Cassanova, Darnell Mossiah and Christian Pena. Benguche missed 2 of their first 3 attempts, to end the shootout. For Benguche, Eric Vasquez, Jr. missed; Kenton Flores scored; and then Leroy Garcia missed, and it was over for the boys from the south.

About thirty years ago, Leroy Taegar explained to me that the United States Defence Department had bought out Belize. He said that this was it, so to speak, for the Creole people of Belize, and that we would become like the flavor in a soup, which is to say, people would be able to taste us, but we would be, like, invisible. These were things I really didn’t want to hear, and so I would find ways to move these conversations away from the above subjects. Leroy, however, never deviated from these positions over the next three decades, and he would go back to these theses over and over again. In retrospect, we can see that the peak of the Creole people here would have been in the five or seven years before Hattie in 1961, and the five or seven years afterwards. There had been a journey upwards we had begun after being captured and enslaved in West Africa, and transported in the holds of sailing ships across the Atlantic Ocean. After centuries of work, our ancestors had been freed of the iron chains in 1838, but after that it became a question of fighting against mental slavery, and division. Between 1954 and 1961, for argument’s sake, we had reached our highest point of family structure, community consciousness, and social pride. The international symbol of our pride was the lightweight boxer Ludwig Lightburn, who was British Empire and Commonwealth lightweight champion and reached no. 3 in the world rankings. He could easily have been world champion if he had been given a shot at the title. The thing about Ludwig was that, as proud as we Belizeans were of him, it may be said that we took him for granted. What I mean is that we were not overwhelmed by his success. We took it in stride because in those days we were, overall, confident as a people.

Placencia Assassins 0:0 Belmopan Bandits Belize Defence Force 0:0 Police United. Both weekend Premier League of Belize (PLB) semifinals Game 2 ended scoreless (0-0), so the previous week’s winners, Belmopan Bandits and Police United, emerged aggregate winners of their series, and thus have each earned a spot in the championship Final, to begin this coming Sunday. On Saturday night, it was Placencia Assassins coming into the capital city to try and overturn a 1-0 defeat they had suffered at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium the previous week at the hands of the Belmopan Bandits. The Assassins brought out their veteran big game star Stephen Lopez in goal, and he succeeded in keeping the Bandits scoreless; but they were likewise unable to shake the net of their opponents, ably guarded by no less than Woodrow West, the final gatekeeper of a very stingy Bandits defense. It was an intense contest, in which Placencia coach David “Rat” Torres used his 3 substitutions in quick succession early in the 2nd half, trying to get a goal. The heavy dew added to a patchy clay surface to make the ball and the turf slippery at times, causing some difficulty for strikers at both ends. But no goals favored the Bandits, whose 1-nil win in Independence stood up to give them the series victory.

The BTL board of management must be careful to keep the company’s nose clean, one reason being that BTL was taken over in the name of the Belizean people, and another reason being that they owe the owner for this company and have not yet paid him a cent in compensation. It is true that the BTL owner, Lord Michael Ashcroft, was/is a predator and so on and so forth, and it is also true that he is claiming an exorbitant amount for the company, but that does not give the BTL board the right to behave as if they are John McAfee or someone from outer space. The dance hall promotion held at the MCC Grounds on Friday night, December 14, in the name of Digicell, a BTL subsidiary or some such, was a crazy package which should be analyzed. The media organs of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition – the People’s United Party, are always telling us how to do our business at Kremandala. In this specific matter, we think the responsibility lies on them to untangle this web, which featured BTL being involved in at least two situations which will become more embarrassing as the truth is exposed. The first situation has to do with a Digicell anniversary promotion which went crazy extravagant and committed a hundred thousand dollars to several foreign entertainers. Only after remonstrations were a few token Belizeans added to the package. The second situation has to do with the nationalized BTL, through the Digicell promoter, wreaking havoc on the football playing surface of the MCC Grounds, the home of “the beautiful game” in the nation’s population center. The reason we think the matter requires the attention of the Opposition PUP is that they have the lawyers and accountants who know how these corporations are run. They also have access to their good friend, Lord Michael, who would be only too glad to assist them.


Seven Reasons Why the World Won’t End This Week
Lack of data – there is simply not enough data to support the conjectures. The Spanish conquistadors had embarked upon a very successful campaign to destroy Maya libraries and repositories of information, leaving very little real information about their future views. Contradictory – Dr Awe pointed out significant contradictions in apocalypse scenarios. Manipulated – Dr Awe gave examples of how what little data that does exist was often manipulated to support various conjectures. Scholars disagree – In his presentation, Dr Awe noted that virtually all respected Mayanists, archaeologists, universities and scholars disagreed with the doomsday conjectures. The Maya never mention destruction on December 21 2012 – According to Dr Awe and colleagues such as noted author Dr Mark Stone, while the ancient Maya did record the date of December 21 2012 on their highly accurate calendars, they never linked that date with destruction. The Maya calendar actually continues to 4772AD – Far from ending on December 21, 2012, which marks the completion of the 13th Bak’tun, or cycle of time, examples of Maya dates up to 4772AD exist. The 2012 Winter Solstice was not significant – Dr Awe said one would expect that an event of such importance as the end of the world would be given significance by the ancient Maya and while recorded, the solstice was never given any real significance.

The Long and Winding Road in Ambergris Caye, Belize
‘The Long and Winding Road’ in today’s headline is inspired by the song by The Beatles which was released in 1970 and was a track from the ‘Let It Be’ album. It made number one in the UK and US charts and was the group’s last number one in the US. So why did I choose this song ? The road from the northern side of the bridge to our build in Ambergris Caye,Belize is not that long. At half a mile I would say ( can’t be precise because our golf cart doesn’t have a mileometer) it cannot be described as long. It does wind a bit though and that is reason enough for me. Plus, I think it is a great song. The road ahead immediately ahead of us after crossing the bridge. The next stretch takes us to the beginning of Reef Village.

International Sources

Fleeing the Daily Grind of the Office to Belize
Last Saturday Emily Stone went diving for conch in the morning. She ate that conch for lunch. Not everyone does that on their day off, but that’s life in Belize. At just 25 years old, Emily made a decision it takes most people years to make. She was working 50 plus hours a week in a stuffy office building in Boston. Although her work in the field of environmental advocacy was interesting, Emily realized she was settling into a typical career path of long hours and little sunshine. She wanted something more… She joined up with the founder of Maya Mountain Cacao, Alex Whitmore, who was developing a new way of sourcing cacao (used to make chocolate)—organically, sustainably and at a fairer price to farmers—in the Toledo District of Belize. Emily walked away from her office job in Boston and moved to Belize. She rented a two-bedroom, ocean-view apartment for $150 per month in the town of Punta Gorda in the southernmost district of Belize. She rarely spends more than $10 on a delicious meal out. “This would certainly not be possible in Boston,” says Emily. “It has made bootstrapping a start-up enterprise much easier!” Maya Mountain Cacao grew 300% last year and Emily’s job has transitioned into managing the growth of the business. She’s tasked with keeping the business operations running smoothly, assisting with any issues the farmers may have and showing them ways to increase their crop.

Celebrate Mayan style
Contrary to popular belief, the Mayan calendar doesn’t predict the world will end Friday. Take it from Tanya McNab, a Belizean cookbook author. Belize has one of the largest concentrations of Mayans living in one country. Friday will be a day to party hardy there. It’s not only the last day of a Great Cycle in their rather lengthy calendar, but also the beginning of a new one. “It’s a new beginning, rather than the end,” McNab says in a telephone interview from her home in Belize. “People in Belize are doing celebrations in all different ways.” The Central American country traces its Mayan roots to 2000 B.C. and had a Mayan population of 1 million in the 7th Century, she says. Now, the population is about 300,000. Over the centuries, the Belizean people have been influenced by 13 different cultures, McNab says. The country’s cuisine shares some characteristics of Mexican dishes, but there are major differences caused, in part, by language. Unlike other Central American countries, English is the primary language in Belize, attracting English speakers from around the world. There are many people from China, as well as from Lebanon, East India and, of course, Great Britain, living in Belize. “It’s really a collection of all these cultures that has given us our unique food,” McNab says.

Norwegian Cruise Line announces 2014/2015 cruise deployment
Norwegian Sun will arrive in Tampa for the first time and sail seven-day Western Caribbean itineraries departing every Sunday from October 19, 2014 to April 12, 2015. Ports of call include: Roatan, Bay Islands Honduras; Belize City, Belize; Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico. In 2014, Norwegian will return to Houston, Texas with the arrival of Norwegian Jewel, sailing a series of Western Caribbean cruises from October 11, 2014 through April 11, 2015. Ports of call include: Cozumel, Mexico; Belize City, Belize; and Roatán, Bay Islands Honduras. Norwegian Dawn will make her debut in New Orleans on November 23, 2014, offering a series of 21 seven-day Western Caribbean cruises through April 12, 2015 with stops in Roatan, Bay Islands Honduras; Belize City, Belize; Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico.

The Real John McAfee: Four Hours in South Beach With the World's Most Wanted Man
For an instant, John McAfee is anonymous. He is haggard, sleep-deprived, and a bit unhinged, but anonymous. For the first time in days, there are no cops, guards, or handcuffs. No TV cameras or tape recorders or questions. But he can't escape them forever. Dressed in the same dark pinstriped suit he's been wearing since his release from a Guatemalan jail two days ago, McAfee ducks into a small sunglass shop in South Beach. "I need a disguise," he says. McAfee slips on a pair of Ray-Bans. The salesman has no idea who this overly tanned customer is. No idea that McAfee has been accused of running a heavily armed harem of sex, guns, and bath salts on a tiny island in the Caribbean. And no idea that McAfee is a "person of interest" in a bizarre murder last month in Belize. But then McAfee begins to talk, and it is instantly clear something is not right. "I need a pair of these," McAfee says, holding up the shades. "Women are always trying to stab me in the eyes with needles." McAfee, the 67-year-old millionaire antivirus software guru, is the most wanted man in the world: coveted by newscasters, Belizean authorities, and mobs of fans from Central America to South Florida. Yet for some reason he agreed to let me into the quiet center of the chaotic shitstorm his life has become. During the four hours we spent together, I heard him plead his innocence, watched him blow well over $1,000, and witnessed him hit on a half-dozen women.

Off The Beaten Path In El Pilar, Belize
If you don't intend to get to El Pilar, you don't. The Maya site is separated from the highway by miles of ranches and teak plantations, not to mention a fair bit of forest. Even if someone were to wander up the road and onto the appropriate path, there is the off-chance that they might pass through the encroaching lianas and gumbo limbo trees without noticing the ruins peaking out from underneath the soil, which rises and falls in waves. This landscape is the counterpoint to the gleaming temples nearby, a humble place that raises fundamental questions about what exactly tourists in Belize, Guatemala and Mexico are seeing when they visit more popular Maya attractions. "We need to be honest about the Maya and make sure people witness something with a level of veracity," said Dr. Anabel Ford, the University of Santa Barbara archeologist who discovered the ruins in 1983 and has maintained them amid what she calls a "forest garden" ever since. "I believe you can both show people something and have it be real.

December 18, 2012


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun welcomes a new team member: Meet Janelle Cowo!
The San Pedro Sun is pleased to introduce our newest staff reporter, Ms. Janelle Cowo. Originally from Orange Walk District, Janelle has lived in San Pedro for the last two years. A graduate from Muffles College High School, Janelle is studying accounting at the San Pedro Junior College. With her outgoing personality and writing talent, Janelle is certainly a welcome addition to The San Pedro Sun team. We are excited to have Janelle as a new staff member and welcome her aboard!

The Harmonious voices of the San Pedro choir
There has been a significant growth in programs geared to providing healthy activities to children in San Pedro. Carolyn Kumar and her husband Surendra Kumar, along with Natalie Arceo have come together to create a youth choir for the children of San Pedro that will be run under the Roman Catholic Church. A form of creative expression, choir will ensure that the members will enjoy vocal lessons and other basic techniques which will assist them to become either a singer or musician. According to Arceo music, is a strong form of worship and it is a great value to instill in our youth, “It’s not just singing, but to know the purpose of each hymn that is sung. When you sing…your prayers are twice as strong!”

SP Police’s Commanding Officer to be transferred
For weeks it has been widely rumored within the Belize Police Department that the Officer Commanding San Pedro Police Station Assistant Superintendent of Police Viennie Robinson would be transferred before the 2013 Easter Holiday. It has now been confirmed that her transfer is imminent and that in fact, will be done even before completing a year at the helm of the San Pedro Police force. The confirmation was made by her direct superior, Commander of the Eastern Division Police Formation responsible for San Pedro, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Elodio Aragon Jr. Aragon made the confirmation during the regular Monday Police Press Conference on December 10th. “When it comes to Mrs. Viennie Robinson, the officer commanding San Pedro, she has been slated for transfer and I think presently that is being looked at for January. If I am not mistaken it is for the 15th of January of next year for her to be transferred to Belize City, and at that point in time, a replacement will be sent out to San Pedro. That has been in the plan already,” said Aragon.

San Pedro Police launch Christmas Anti-Crime Campaign
The San Pedro Police Department has officially launched its Christmas Season anti-crime campaign as part of the policing plan for the Christmas holidays. The campaign started on Saturday December 1st and will run through January 15th, 2013. The campaign launched by the Police Department is geared to have more police visibility during one of the busiest times of the year when visitors and shoppers prepare for the Christmas holidays. When speaking to The San Pedro Sun, the deputy Commanding Officer of San Pedro Police Formation Inspector of Police Reynaldo Pook explained that following the launching of the Christmas anti-crime campaign, there has been more foot and mobile patrols, especially in the business sector of town. In addition, there have been more concentrated patrols on the northern and southern sections of the island. “With the increase of shoppers and visitors, we want to ensure that the island is as safe as possible,” said Pook. He added, “We will also do vigorous stops and searches including check points where we will be targeting all sort of traffic offenders.”

Ambergris Today

HGTV House Hunters Spotted in San Pedro
More spotlight on Belize in the near future as a film crew of HGTV’s House Hunters International was spotted on its way to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye over the weekend. Solanie Graniel, a former Teen Talk Reporter of Ambergris Today, captured this image of the film crew on board a flight to the island along a couple that was looking to buy a home in the country. It’s not the first time that HGTV’s reality show House Hunters International has been in Belize, or San Pedro, Ambergris Caye for that matter. With more people looking at Belize as a destination to retire or make their living, the network has had various opportunities to bring house hunters to Belize in areas that include Cayo District, Corozal and San Pedro, Ambergris Caye.

Isla Bonita Elementary School Christmas Show
School's out for the Christmas Holidays and the island kids are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus. But before closing for the holidays, most of the island schools presented their annual Christmas Variety Shows to kick off the end of the year celebrations. One of these schools was Isla Bonita Elementary School, whose students put on a fantastic and cheerful show on Friday, December 14, 2012, at the Paradise Theater. Ambergris Today's Gerry Badillo was host of the event, who called on stage each class division to perform two differente presentation which included a mixture of song, dance and a skit that had everybody moving to the popular beats of PSY's 'Gangnam Style'. It was the class of Standard 4 that brought Santa, Mrs. Claus and their little helper elves on stage to perform the global sensation that is Gangnam Style. With great Chrismas costumes and performances, the school's Christmas show was a complete success. At the end of the evening, Santa Claus dropped by to share some gifts to all the students who worked really hard to put on a great show.

The Incredible Santa To San Pedro by Sea
Santa Claus is known to travel by air and land but not by water. However, in San Pedro before the days of airplane and before the coming of vehicles, Santa used to arrive by sea as seen in this memorable flashback. He jumped into a skiff with all his bags of toys and goodies for the children of San Pedro from an unknown place and arrived right at the main pier in front of Daddy’s Club. From there he went to the Central Park where the children were awaiting his arrival. However the bigger children could not hold their excitement and jumped into the boat to try to touch dear good Santa as Willito Leslie laughed his heart out at the end of the pier.

Misc Belizean Sources

Old Photos of the Caribbean
This website was sent to me by John Longsworth. I found the photos very interesting. They are some of the best I've seen of the Pine Ridge/Macal River area and brought back many memories of pitmans, camiones and adventures in the area where my father had his mahogany logging camp - Guacamallo. He built the first "bridge" crossing of the Guacamallo River for his camiones, loaded with logs, to cross, and we used to hop on a camion to go down to the river to swim every day and afterwards hike back up hill to the camp and fresh johnny cakes & butter. Nothing tastes better than a fresh Johnny Cake cooked on a wooden stove by Myra, the Maya-Spanish cook. At night it was so dark (only kerosene lanterns were used in the camp and were out by 8), that we could see the sky, Milky Way & shooting stars in brilliant clarity & listen to the loaded camions in the distance, grinding up-hill in low gear (they ran all night during the season). Never will again, I guess. Homesick!

Island Art Group Charity Sale Dec. 22

VIDEO: Exploring Tikal with Amigos
Join us as we depart San Pedro for a day trip to Tikal with Amigos Jungle Tours. For more info visit online at

Soul Project Opening Night
Cayo's new cultural center, The Soul Project, had their grand opening this weekend. It was awesome. Great music, food, fun, and friends. Ricky Galvez, aka The Nudist, can jam! "Last night great art exhibit and jam session, lots of young talented musicians from the Metal and rock scene in Cayo filled the room, jamming in front of exhibiting art made in Belize by local and international artist. thanx to everyone who came."

Channel 7

Public Terror Erupts As Shots Rings Out At "Parkfest"
Chaos and public terror erupted at the Park Fest Concert on Saturday night at the BTL park. Four persons were stabbed and one was shot in a brawl between rival gangs. But hundreds of concert-goers, including families and young people scattered in terror as three salvos of gunshots were fired in the crowded public space. They made a dash for their lives, trying to find cover in the open area. According to reports the terrified crowd ran towards thirsty Thursday's, Ex Servicemen's League and the Princess to try and get to an enclosed area - but all 3 establishments closed their entrances when they saw the stampeding crowd approaching. Our Daniel Ortiz who moonlights as a guitarist was on stage performing with Jenko, when he sensed something had gone terribly wrong. He told Monica Bodden what he saw: Daniel Ortiz - Was Performing At Park Fest "We were at the Park Fest. I was supposed to help out an artist - 2 artists actually - performing. My band was supposed to be backing them up. So, it started at 8:30, and the show was going fine. I saw that all of the female local artists were performing, and the crowd seemed to very receptive of it. And when it was about our time to go on. We were start off with Jenko; there were only 2 more performances left. And at time, we're 2 songs into Jenko's performance when I see everyone just rushing past. At first, I thought that a fight had broken out, or maybe it was the music that we were performing. So, I figured, well, something has gone on. I see the show promoter rush on to the stage and tell us to stop. I have never experienced that before; I thought that he was being disorganized and unprofessional. But, he was trying to get us to safety. Someone apparently fired shots into the crowd, and looked out in the crowd and saw mass panic, people running all over the place.

Man Killed In Park Brawl Aftermath
And while those person were only injured - one man was killed and another shot and likely as a direct consequence of that gang brawl at the BTL park. 22 year old Gushany Wagner of Taylors Alley was shot multiple times to his body at around 12:30 on Sunday morning. The shooting happened in front of the Salvation Army Primary School on Cemetery Road - right at the mouth of the alley. A 16 year old minor was also injured in the shooting. Charles Middleton was shot to the left foot and to the right side of the chest. According to police both men were standing on the street when the gunman approached them and opened fire. Guishany Wagner was pronounced dead at 2am on Sunday morning.

Teenaged First Former Victim Of Mistaken Identity In Gang War
And so while that murder happened in Belize City as a direct consequence of the Parkfest Gang Brawl - the aftermath was still being felt the next night, Sunday - al the way in Lord's Bank. According to reliable sources - gunmen were looking for a gang affiliated personality who lives in Lord's Bank on Sunday night as part of an ongoing retaliation. But they ended up executing a young man whose only wrong was having a slight physical resemblance to the intended target. That error resulted in the slaying of a blameless teenager. Jules Vasquez was at the scene: Jules Vasquez Reporting Fifteen year old Dayne Bodden Jr lay dead on the side of Parks Road - crumpled over his bicycle last night. Just before 8 last night, the first former who worked tending horses in the morning and evening - had gone to collect his pay and was riding home when a gunman came out of these bushes and shot him to the head, chest and foot. The teenager died on the spot - the few dollars he had earned still in his waist. Sources say the shooters were in these bushes lying in wait for a tall, dark skinned male who lives in the area and has known gang affiliations in the city. But they mistook Dayne who is 6 feet tall and killed him. That is no consolation for his father, Dayne Sr:

Another Lord's Bank Murder
In our first segment we told you about the teenager who was killed in Lord's Bank on Sunday night. Well, that small village also saw the murder of a 69 year old business owner 24 hours earlier on Saturday night. At 8:25, Otto Jergen Peterson - who owns the Lords Bank Grocery and Laundry was held up by two men. It seems he put up a fight - and then shortly after, his stepson who lives behind the story heard gunshots. He ran to the store and told us what he saw: Jules Vasquez "You said that when you got there, he was still conscious?" Mario Martinez - Step-son of Deceased "Yes, he was still breathing. He was still alive." Jules Vasquez "And he spoke to you." Mario Martinez "He told us not to worry, that everything will be okay. I helped him get to the hospital. We put him in a vehicle, and took him to the hospital, but he died on the way."

17 Year Old Shot
And a 17 year old was shot in Belize City last night. It happened on Euphrates Avenue near the corner with Dean Street. The police press officer told us a van pulled up on the youth and opened fire: Raphael Martinez - Police Press Officer "On Sunday December 2012, a, about 9:45pm, this minor was walking on Corner Dean Street and Euphrates Avenue, Belize City when a red van heavily tinted, approached him, reportedly. And occupants of the van fired several shots at him causing his injuries. eleven 9mm expended shells were recovered and minor was admitted to the hospital in a stable condition." Four of those 11 shots hit Baizar. He was shot to the torso, wrist, groin area and on the right leg.

Shooting in SSG Territory
And while all those shootings happened after the public terror event at BTL Park, there's one that happened before. On Saturday at around 9:00 p.m., 37 year old Darwin Middleton, known as Zeb was shot as he stood near the Wilt Cummerbatch field - which is where he has his business. He was shot to the right leg and groin area. He is reportedly seriously injured from what is said to have been a high powered weapon. The shots were fired from a grey SUV. That area witnessed the murder of an innocent man about a hundred feet away from that spot three weeks before - and in that case it was also a drive by. We note that there was also a shooting on Glynn Street over the weekend, but police could not provide details on that. That brings the Belize District weekend total to three murders, four persons shot, and four stabbed.

Did Police Beating Cause Mans Death In PG?
A pair of police officers are being investigated in Punta Gorda after they allegedly beat Francisco Shol - which is believed ot have led to his death. It happened early on Friday morning. The officers - who are not assigned to the PG Police Station and were in a civilian vehicle allegedly beat him up near the PG Sports Bar. They then took him to the PG Hospital and left him there - where he did not get treatment - and started to walk home. Shol didn't make it; he collapsed in a drain on his way home - where his family found him the next morning dead. He reportedly had a cracked skull and internal bleeding. Police are investigating but the PUP Town Council says QUOTE, "the continuous brutality must cease immediately…the attitude of these rogue cops must not be accepted."

A Real Sleeping Policeman?
And while police have plenty on their hands - one Constable seems like he was trying to sleep it off on the KHMH floor. Now, we've heard of sleeping policemen - but this is ridiculous! Constable #6, Ack was captured sleeping on the KHMH floor. We can't say if he was on duty, or if he was ill, but the picture has been making the rounds on facebook, causing - shall we say - prejudice to the good image of the police department. We contacted both Ministry of National Security and Police press officer today to find out if Ack was sleeping on-duty or just un-conscious off duty - but we got no reply - even though this image is sure to cause the top brass some...sleepless nights?

BTL/Ashcroft Alliance and The CCJ
Last week, 7News told you about the Caribbean Court of Justice's big judgment in favor of the Ashcroft Alliance against the Government of Belize as majority shareholder in Belize Telemedia Limited. As we told you, the CCJ delivered a conservative order restraining the BTL from issuing dividends until not before December 14, which expired on Friday. On the day before, Thursday, the Court of Appeal announced that they refused application for interim relief to restrain BTL from issuing dividends to take effect after Friday. Well, seeing no legal boundary, the Board of Directors of BTL attempted to pay out the dividends, but the CCJ, after hearing this, immediately ordered GOB to ensure that an amount of equal value, which represented almost 12 million dollars, to be paid back into an escrow account. So, with that slap down judgment, the Central Bank of Belize, the Social Security Board, and GOB were forced to refund the checks issued personally by the Executive Chairman himself. Well, the matter went back to court early this morning, where via a 3-way video conference, the CCJ went a step further, and they ordered that there will be no further payment of dividends, which is an annual event, to those majority shareholder until the court says otherwise, or until the matter is heard to completion. The effect of that is a major loss for GOB because their appointed board members are only able to use finances to cover expenses, run the company, and manage its bills. They are prohibited from doing anything else with the company's profits. But, there was a minor positive development from today's proceedings; the CCJ granted an application by attorney for GOB, Denys Barrow, to allow the small shareholders, all 1400+ of them to be paid. Both attorneys spoke to us outside of court and explained their position on the small shareholders who were getting crush by this fight between these 2 giants:

GSU Cracks Down On MS-13
And while a gang brawl erupted right near the GSU headquarters on Saturday, it doesn't mean the unit wasn't busy. Over the weekend they targeted the Central American MS-13 gang operating in Belize City as well as the George Street gang following the spate of violent crimes. Mauricio Lemus, a reputed member of the MS 13 was arrested and charged for drug offences. He was caught on Friday December 14 at around 11:45am, on Central American Boulevard where they found 4 pieces of crack cocaine in his pockets, to a total amount of 0.4 grams. Lemus was arrested and charged for Possession of controlled drugs. And on Sunday - another alleged MS13 gang member was arrested and charged for Possession of Controlled Drugs. Just after 5am, the GSU searched the residence of Hilberto Ruiz at #22B Neal Pen Road. Ruiz who is a Taxi Driver, 27 year old Jose Carlos Reyes, and others were charged for mere 0.2 grams of cannabis - which is less than .01 of an ounce! Still, all five persons who were present were charged for Possession of Controlled Drug. The GSU says that Hilberto Ruiz and Jose Carlos Reyes are members of the MS-13 gang. Reyes has been charged twice, most recently in November of 2011, for professing to belong to a criminal gang.

Yaya Fought The Good Fight
On Friday, 7News told you about social Activist Yaya Marin-Coleman's 2-person protest against the big DIGICELL 10th Anniversary concert at the MCC Grounds. It's a touchy subject because the Football Federation of Belize has loudly protested the use of MCC and other football facilities for anything other than football. However, the National Sports Council has issued a statement saying that they have authority to allow anyone who wants to rent the facilities for private functions. As we told you, Coleman's protest was a 24 hour venture, and she protested loudly through the entire performance, which was rained out. By all accounts, the concert went on right through the rain; members of the public simply took off their shoes and danced late into the morning. 7News caught up with Coleman early Saturday morning, who was still at it. With her reports, we stopped in and looked at the MCC ourselves, and found it in a damaged state.

How to Fix A Digicell Dizzy Spell
Recently, we've received plenty of complaints from viewers wanting to know what's up with their Digicell phones. The phones have lost signal - and can't get it back. Well, there have been many public notices - but still many keep falling into the signal void - losing use of their phones for days - some even concluding that their phone is no good! Customer Service Manager, Dr. Dionne Miranda told us what to do if it happens to you: Dr. Dionne Miranda - Customer Services Manager, BTL "First of all, I'd like to apologize because they didn't really need to for the entire weekend. We've had our operators working 24 hours a day. And we did announce through the media over the past week that this issue may occur. And let me explain to you why the issue has occurred. The devices that many of you hold in our hands, they're what we call intelligent devices, and they will seek out the best possible network. And so, in seeking out the best network, they've decided to latch on to a service that you don't even have, because we've turned on our cell sites. And because of that, it sought out the best, and it latched on to the 4G network. Now, you're not a 4G customer, so of course, it's going to say that you have no service, and all anybody needs to do, and we've been advertising this for a while, is to just go into the settings section on your telephone, you downgrade it from WCDMA, which is where the 4G service is, and downgrade it to GSM only.

Upliftment Through Literacy
Tonight on this newscast, you've seen so much about crime and violence - but that's only a symptom. For many the problem is a lack of opportunity, reinforced by poor education - which started most likely when they dropped out of school. And - if you want to go back one more step - that dropping out was possibly preceded by doing poorly in reading. And of you can't read well, school will always be a challenge. And that's the focus of a new program from Restore Belize. It's called"Computer Assisted Learning" and will spend 318 thousand dollars to improve the literacy skills of children and their families. The poster youths will be Nia Arthurs and Michael Young. They come from different backgrounds: she's a prolific readers and he can't read: but they share a hunger for learning. They explained at the launch this morning: Nia Arthurs - Member of Literacy Program "Reading is so special to me. I love reading. I spend most of my time reading. TV, internet, and computers they aren't as important to me as reading. So I really enjoy reading." Michael Young - Member of Literacy Program "I won't tell you any lie. I want to learn how to read, and I know a lot of individuals who would want to learn too. But, they won't be like me. They will not say, 'I can't read. Help me.' They won't do that. They have too much pride. I am not saying that I don't have pride too, but you have to look past that sometimes. I know that I need help, so"

Channel 5

G.O.B., S.S.B. and Central Bank can’t touch Telemedia dividends
Since it nationalized Telemedia in 2009 and again in 2011, the government has enjoyed at least thirty million dollars in dividends payments, some of which it used to finance its re-election campaign in February this year to the tune of forty thousand dollars for each standard bearer. But that is no longer to be. In [...]

Dean Boyce/BCB withdraw application seeking Justice Awich’s recusal from nationalization case
In related news, the application for special leave to appeal to the CCJ against the decision of the Court of Appeal that Justice Awich didn’t have to recuse himself from the nationalization case was withdrawn this morning by attorneys for Dean Boyce, the Trust and the British Caribbean Bank. Godfrey Smith explained that they agreed [...]

Elderly man and a minor murdered in separate shootings in Lord’s Bank
Leading up to the Christmas holidays, three families are grieving loss of their loved ones. Of three persons who were murdered, two were from Lord’s Bank, Ladyville where less than a month ago, the Vellos/Skeen family was executed, allegedly by one of their own. On Saturday night, a businessman was shot and killed in his [...]

Park Fest shooting leads to murder in Taylor’s Alley; 1 dead, 5 injured
Aside from the murders in Lord’s Bank, one man was killed in Belize City and five were injured. The mayhem started at a mass event at the BTL Park where a huge crowd had assembled for the Digicel Park Fest. Several shots were fired and four persons were injured. The violence spilled to Taylors Alley, [...]

2 men and a woman injured in City shootings
Three other persons were also injured in separate shooting incidents. Thirty-seven year old Darwin Middleton was shot on Caesar Ridge Road on Saturday night while a minor was shot at the corner of Dean Street and Euphrates Avenue on Sunday night. Both were victims of drive-by shootings and received multiple injuries as Police Press Officer [...]

Government vehicle involved in traffic accident
One accident that did not make it onto the police blotter took place at the corner of Faber’s Road and the Western Highway involving a government vehicle that is believed to have been speeding into the City. The new government vehicle, an Isuzu pick-up assigned to the Ministry of Trade and Investment was coming into [...]

Sudden death in the West and North
Two other men lost their lives on Friday. In the west, forty-three year old Carlos Bautista, a Guatemalan farmer of More Tomorrow Village, died unexpectedly while working on his farm on Friday. His son, nineteen year old Dolmon Esquivel, told police that his father was chopping a piece of log when he suddenly collapsed and [...]

55 year old man convicted of Carnal Knowledge of a 14 year old girl
A jury of nine persons unanimously found fifty-five year old Winston Dennison guilty of three counts of Carnal Knowledge of a fourteen year old girl. During the trial, the victim testified that Dennison had sex with her once in April 2010 and twice in August of that same year. The minor testified en camera, recounting [...]

Self-professed MS-13 gang member charged and fined $500
Twenty-year old Angel Antonio Ruiz confessed to police that he is a member of the international criminal organization known as the MS-13.  His admission landed him in court today where he appeared unrepresented before Magistrate Adolph Lucas Junior.  Ruiz, who was being remanded to the Belize Central Prison, quickly changed his plea when he learned [...]

F.F.B. president says MCC pitch badly damaged after concert
The MCC football pitch is usually the center of fan filled football matches. But instead of a game, this past Friday night, the MCC Grounds on Princess Margaret Drive was used for Digicel’s anniversary concert, which featured several Jamaican artists. The Football Federation of Belize (F.F.B.) and some local activists gathered to protest at the [...]

Charges for drugs and ammo result from GSU operations
The Gang Suppression Unit says it conducted successful operations over the weekend against gangs including the George Street and the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) operating in Belize City. In the first operation on Friday, Mauricio Lemus, a reputed member of the MS-13 was arrested and charged for drug offences. Inside his pants pocket, the GSU retrieved [...]

Restore Belize receives over $300,000 for Computer Assisted Learning
The Taiwanese Embassy stepped up to the plate today and delivered computers as well as software to Restore Belize.  The equipment will be used for the Computer Assisted Learning Program, proposing to use a life cycle approach to improving the literacy skills of children and their families. News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports.   Delahnie Bain, [...]

Patrick Faber rounding up support for Deputy Party Leader seat
Minister of Education and party chairman, Patrick Faber picked up major support over the weekend in his bid for U.D.P. deputy party leader.  Faber hosted delegates from the entire Belize District at an event on Saturday night. Of the thirteen constituencies, eleven offered support. Big players in the U.D.P., such as two former party leaders, [...]

Football and Cycling dominate weekend sports
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   Crunch time came Saturday night for the Placencia Assassins who needed to win by a goal to extend the semifinal series in the PLB Football playoffs against the Belmopan Bandits who have been impressive all season long. It could have been a perfect start [...]


Police Report Several Weekend Murders and Shootings in the Old Capital
Several shootings and three murders were reported over the past weekend. Police Press Officer Raphael Martinez today provided an update. RAPHAEL MARTINEZ Police Press Officer Belize Police Department “On Sunday, December 16 at approximately 8:10pm Police vi...

Restore Belize Receives Aid From Republic of China, Taiwan
The Republic of China, Taiwan has gifted over three hundred thousand dollars to Restore Belize for implementation of a computer assisted learning program. The symbolic handing over of one hundred computers and the software to facilitate this bold new approach to literacy was done this ...

Orange Walk Policemen Under Investigation For Alleged Theft
Two police officers are in trouble with the law. Reporter Arturo Cantun has the story. ARTURO CANTUN Reporter RSV News Centre “Two policemen attached to the Orange Walk Police Station are in trouble for allegedly attacking and stealing from a fisherman. &nbs...

New Executive for BTIA Orange Walk Chapter
New members have been elected to serve on the executive of the Orange Walk chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association. According to a release from BTIA, the election was held on Monday of last week and was supervised by president Herbert Haylock and Executive Director Efr...

Unemployed Resident Remanded For Unlicensed Weapon
Twenty-four year old Nelson Martinez, an unemployed of West Street, was charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license when he appeared in court today. Martinez pled not guilty to the charges. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser explained to him that the court cannot offer ...

Parolee To Be Sentenced For Carnal Knowledge
Fifty-five year old Winston Dennison, a woodcarver, who was on parole for a conviction of manslaughter, was found guilty of three counts of carnal knowledge today in the court of Justice Troadio Gonzalez. The jury of five men and four women deliberated about three hours before it a...

Hit and Run Proves Fatal For Senior Citizen
An elderly man lost his life as a result of a hit and run accident in the Orange Walk District on Thursday. Reports are sometime around six o’clock yesterday evening, 76-year-old Primitivo Pott was on the Phillip Goldson Highway in San Jose Village when he was hit by a whit...


Guatemalan Nationality Applications In Belize Put On Hold
A number of Guatemalans who renounced to their nationality should be sworn in at Capital City Belmopan this December 21st. But apparently they won’t be getting a Belizean citizenship. The new Minister of Immigration Honorable Godwin Hulse is not convinced that the current renunciation procedure for Guatemalans is effective. What that implies? Easy, Belize law requires that for any Guatemalan to become a Belizean they must first renounce their Guatemalan nationality. In practice, all that means is filling out a form at the Immigration office and signing it. However, such a renunciation is not legal in Guatemala since their law states that to properly renounce their citizenship a person must make it formal in that country - by sending in their passport - and filling out a formal Guatemalan renunciation form. The Guatemalan Ministry Of Foreign Affairs must then accept the application in order for the renunciation to be official. With the current manner in which the procedure is done in Belize citizens can still return to Guatemala to regain a new passport.

Hit And Run Accident Leaves One Man Dead
Another man lost his life yesterday in what seems to be a hit and run traffic accident on the Philip Goldson Highway. The tragedy occurred shortly after 6:00 yesterday evening in the village of San Jose San Pablo in the Orange Walk District. CTV3 News arrived at the scene minutes after the accident. Here is that report. The life of 76 year old Primitivo Pott came to a sudden and tragic end shortly after 6:30 last night when he was knocked down by an unknown vehicle. The villagers of San Jose are still in shock since Pott was well known. The 76 year old was walking along the highway when he was knocked down a stone’s throw away from his son’s home where he lived. It was during last night’s heavy shower that a white pickup truck travelling under high speed knocked down Pott taking away his life instantly. When we arrived at the scene last night we spoke to Pott’s son who assisted police in removing his father’s corpse from the highway.

Four Lawsuits Filed Against The NRH
Four women from the Orange Walk District who gave birth at the Northern Regional Hospital and have either experienced complications after surgery and babies have suffered brain damage among other complications during delivery or died after birth have filed a lawsuit against Nicaraguan Doctor Geovannia Orozco of the Northern Regional Hospital and the Attorney General’s Office. Magdalena Chable, Alicia Pott, Sally Coh and Reina Gomez are not sitting around waiting for the investigation launched by the Ministry of Health into the allegations of malpractice made against the NRH to conclude. In fact, since preliminary findings don’t point to negligence on the part of the hospital the four women have hired the services of Attorney Anthony Sylvester. In the case of Magdalena Chable, and Sally Coh there baby was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, epilepsy and microcephaly. In lay mans terms they suffered brain damage. As for Alicia Pott, her baby is doing fine; her condition; however, is another story. After giving birth to her baby through C-section, Pott underwent two other surgeries including a hysterectomy, allegedly due to negligence. And in the case of Reina Gomez she gave birth to her baby girl Harmony on the 30th of November at the NRH. The baby died one day after at the KHMH after suffering severe complications. Harmony died of severe meconium aspiration syndrome caused by lack of oxygen in the body caused by the ingestion of fecal matter. The law suits were to have been filed in today.

OWTC, Assisting The Youths Of O/W
In these hard economical times a little financial assistance can come a long way and with that in mind the Orange Walk Town Council will host a two week work program for students from across town with monies obtained from Fiesta Rama 2012. The Student Self Aid Educational Program will assist 100 students, 80 from the secondary level and 20 from Tertiary level. Kevin Bernard- Mayor Orange Walk Town “Due to the financial constraints we were on we were unable to launch the summer program so we decided to put it off until December when we would be able to manage it. How this will work is that the students will be split in two working groups. The first 50 students will start working on Monday and then the following week the other 50 will be coming on board. Apart from the work which will be have day the Deputy Mayor has decided that they get a workshop where they will be discussing how the program has assisted them and what’s not.” The selection process was not easy since more that 300 applications were received by the council.

Will 2013 Bring An Increase In Your Electricity Bill?
Life haad in Belize and even BEL is feeling the pinch of the financial crisis and the elevated cost of electricity seems to be the main problem. For the past year rainfall has reduced and consequently enough Hydro power is not being produced. BELCOGEN has not been producing anywhere close to capacity and Mexico has been selling BEL energy power for almost 43 cents per kilowatt hour - which is about the same amount consumers pay per kilowatt hour. This means that BEL is basically non profitable. Viewers might recall that in a release sent out in July of this year, the company revealed that their cost of power has increased by more than 30% since the rate reduction of January 2012. So, are consumers on the brink of paying more for energy consumption? In an interview with Channel Seven last night BEL Representative Ernesto Gomez said that the decision to increase the rate of electricity lies in the hands of the Public Utilities Commission who is well aware of the financial constraints BEL is facing. Ernesto Gomez - Sr. Manager of Energy & Supply, BEL "Under the law, the cost of power that BEL purchases for its suppliers, it's just a pass through to the customers. So, the expensive of the cost of power, if you remove that from the rate, BEL has just a small margin to operate on, like 30%. So, if the cost of power rises, it takes away from our everyday cash to be able to operate. BEL has used all its resource to be able to easily keep the lights on for the customers. And as a result, the customers do not even know that this thing is occurring, but as a result, we are committed by law to report these changes to the Public Utilities Commission for them to look at it. And they may or may not make decision. That's their prerogative. In January 25 of this year, BEL put out a press release to the public, just after they had given the initial decision for the full tariff, the PUC had given that. And, we had studied the decision and the rates, and we realized and decided that we can easily operate efficiently with those rates, if the cost of power would remain at the price that it was in January of this year. But since the price of power did not stay at that level, we are now obligated by law to make a submission to the PUC that would report them our actual cost power and our forecasted cost of power from the end of June, which tariff review period.


Libertad man dies in road traffic incident
A man was knocked down and killed last night on the Phillip Goldson highway in Corozal. The victim has been identified as sixty two year old Candido Fuentes, a resident of Libertad village. According to police reports, Fuentes was riding his beach cruiser bicycle on the highway between miles seventy seven and seventy eight, when he was knocked down from behind by a car. The driver of the vehicle, twenty four year old Nestor Juan Sosa, told police that around eight o’clock last night, he collided into Fuentes, saying that he was in the middle of the road and that the bicycle had no lights or reflectors. Sosa says that he stopped to render aid, and that Fuentes was rushed to the Corozal community hospital via ambulance where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Police have since taken a urine sample from Sosa who lives in San Narciso village, Corozal, and have impounded his car. Police investigations continue.

Prime Minister accompanies his wife on medical visit
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has traveled to the United States to accompany his wife Kim for a medical visit. An official statement says that the Prime Minister left Belize on Saturday and is due to return on Thursday, December 20. Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega is holding over as Prime Minister.

Man’s body pulled from the sea in Corozal
The body of a man was pulled from the Corozal Bay on Friday morning. The body has been identified as that of Hernan Lazaro, 44, a resident of San Andres village, Corozal. Police say they observed a small cut wound to Lazaro’s left eyebrow as well as abrasions to his left cheek and chin. While police have initially classified the incident as “sudden death,” their investigations continue.

Teenager sprayed with bullets
A 17 year old boy was walking at the corner of Dean Street and Euphrates Avenue on Sunday night when he was wounded by gunshots. Police say that around 9:45 pm Sunday, the boy was approached by a heavily tinted red van, at which time the occupants fired shots at the teenager, hitting him in the right leg, scrotum, torso and wrist. The injuries to the teenager are not life-threatening and police say they have recovered 11 nine millimeter shell from the crime scene.

Man shot dead in front of Salvation Army Church; teen injured
Belize City resident Guishany Wagner was shot dead and a 16 year old boy injured in a shooting incident just after midnight on Sunday morning. Police say when they visited the crime scene around 12:30 am on Sunday, they found Wagner’s bullet riddled body in front of the Salvation Army church and school. He had been shot in the back, head and both hands. The teenager boy was wounded in the left foot and right side of the chest. Police investigations so far have revealed that Wagner and the boy were standing on Orange Street when they were approached by a dark skin man who opened fire on them, fatally wounded Wagner and injuring the teenager.


15 year old Dayne Bodden shot dead in Lord's Bank
It was a particularly violent weekend in the nation of Belize. A number of teenagers as well as older persons were ...

Murder at Lords Bank Grocery
There was another murder in Lord’s bank just the night before. This time it was not a teenager but a senior citizen...

22 year old Guishany Fred Wagner killed Sunday morning
There was a third murder for this weekend. This one happened at about 12:30 on Sunday morning. The victim is 22 yea...

CCJ begin hearings on Belize Telemedia Limited
This morning the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) began a marathon day of hearings in relation to the matter of Bel...

Teenager shot Sunday night in Belize City
Another teenager was shot this weekend. He is 17 year old Sakadi Baizar. This one also happened last night at about...

Shootings in Belize City on Caesar Ridge Road and Caro Street
On Saturday night, 37 year old Darwin Middleton was also shot multiple times. He was shot to his right leg and to t...

Shots fired at event being held at BTL park.
Where there were no bullets, there were blades. On Saturday night, shots were fired at the event beinfg held at the...

Crime Control and Criminal Justice amendment Bill approved in House
The House of Representatives met in the City of Belmopan last week Friday. At Friday's meeting, the Crime Control a...

CCJ to hear British Caribbean Bank arbitration case in January
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) granted special leave for a hearing to be held by the later part of next Janua...

BTL nationalization case will be ruled on next year
In the last of the cases to be decided today before the CCJ panel, the Court considered an application for special ...

Belmopan Bus Terminal Street officially opened
The Belmopan Bus Terminal Street was officially opened this morning. A brief ceremony was held to officially declar...

MCC pitch left in appalling condition following weekend concert
President of the Football Federation of Belize Mr. Ruperto Vicente wrote a letter last week to Chairman of the Nati...

Delores Balderamos-Garcia objects to derogatory terms being used to describe sex-workers
Minister of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Anthony Martinez presented a bil...

Elderly man dies after being knocked off his bicycle
An elderly man died after being knocked off his bicycle. The incident happened at about 8pm on Sunday between miles...

Man found hanging on Baking Pot Ferry
Police are investigating a death. On Saturday morning, at about 6:00am, police were called to the Baking Pot Ferry ...

Body discovered in Corozal
There was another body discovered, this time in Corozal. The body of 44 year old Hernan Lazaro was found floating i...

The Reporter

$23,000 fine for not resisting temptation! Bar owner charged for employing without valid permits
Raul Magaña, the owner of the well-known Temptation Bar, was fined $23,000 for employing 12 ladies who were not in possession of a valid working permit. Magaña, a resident of the New Site, Ladyville, area appeared before Magistrate Adolph Lucas to answer to 12 counts of employing persons not in possession of a valid working permit on Thursday, December 13. Immigration personnel conducted a sting operation on Temptation Bar, located at Mile 10 on the George Price Highway, the night before and rounded up 12 of his employees, who tried to run away when they saw the officers. Eventually all twelve were caught, charged and summoned to appear before Magistrate Adolph Lucas. Magaña arrived at court before his employees and pleaded guilty to the charges. It is alleged that all twelve persons were women and are identified as Magali Murillo, Damaris Morel, Jennifer Cruz, Jessica Lorena Zaldivar, Aleza Hernandez, Diyanira Moradiaga, Silvia Guzman, Kenya Marisela Villanueva, Kennia Zelaya, Rosemelin Suarez, Olinda Milian De Burstcheff, and Linda Lopez. In court Magaña explained that he had visited the Immigration Department to apply for permits but was unable to obtain them, as the department would not accept applications until January 2013.

More illegal rosewood in Toledo! Ministry of Agric’s tractor impounded
The Forestry Department has initiated an investigation into the discovery of two stashes of illegally harvested rosewood. On Wednesday evening, a team of officers from the Forestry and Police Departments and the BDF intercepted and seized a small stash of rosewood at Gomez Estate in Elridgeville Village, located a few miles from Punta Gorda Town. At the scene, the joint team also found a Ministry of Agriculture registered tractor, which they suspect was used to transport the rosewood. Five men who were at the scene were also taken into custody and are awaiting charges. On Sunday, another joint unit intercepted a large amount of harvested rosewood—a stash that disappeared from its storeroom only two days later. People’s National Party (PNP) leader and PG resident, Will Maheia, said, “[The sting operation] intercepted rosewood that was about to be transported out of the Boom Creek Road…the Forestry Department asked the police to stand by for the rest of the night to secure the rosewood…there’s got to be some kind of corruption somewhere because rosewood, as you know, is not something that is easily moved.

Two Fila Brasileiro dogs maul Hope Creek watchman to death
A 66-year-old watchman of Hope Creek Village, was apparently mauled to death on his job site by two ferocious guard dogs, police reported Thursday. According the police, when they visited the Agricultural Development Service (ADS) compound at mile 9 ¼ around 7:00 am on Wednesday, December 12, they found the body of Clive Bernard Coe. Coe had what appeared to be abrasions and bite marks all over it, and there were two Fila Brasileiro breed dogs on either side of him. Superintendent of Police, Robert Mariano, told The Reporter that the two dogs, which were owned by ADS, were shot and killed earlier on Thursday. Mariano said that according to the police’s investigation, the dogs, which were used as watch dogs for the company, were around two years old, and that Coe had been caring for them since they were puppies. The Fila Brasileiro originated in Brazil and is believed to have been developed from a number of breeds, including the mastiff, the bulldog, and the bloodhound.

Low rainfall may force electricity rates to go up! BEL appeals to Public Utilities Commission
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) announces that the company is making a submission to the PUC to increase electricity rates to Belize consumers. BEL is saying that the Cost of Power has increased by more than 30 per cent above the PUC’s approved reference Cost of Power. This significant increase in Cost of Power has been occurring since July 2012 due to various challenges faced by the three largest Independent Power Producers that supply BEL with electricity, a company release states. BEL states that it is committed to do all within its control to meet its cost of power projections and seek ways to lower it even further. BEL will be working closely with the PUC in this regard and meetings on this matter have already commenced. BEL has said that the increase in costs in July 2012 was caused by low rainfall levels at the onset of the rainy season, which resulted in considerably lower hydroelectric production. This, coupled with production problems at Belize Cogeneration Energy Limited (Belcogen), has forced BEL to buy more power from Mexico, at an average cost of 42.9 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) compared to the PUC’s reference cost of 26.2 cents per kWh.

Oceana VS GOB: the battle rages on
The Government of Belize is trying to strike out the Oceana referendum case before it goes to trial, Oceana Vice-President Audrey Matura-Shepherd said Thursday. Shepherd explained that GoB has made an application to have the case struck out on the grounds that the applicants did not file for judicial review within the 14 days prescribed by law. She also said that when the parties went to court on Wednesday the matter had to be adjourned until next Thursday, because the judge did not have time to read a late submission made by GoB. Government has submitted that the court should rule in its favor and dismiss Oceana’s claim. The matter dates back to February of this year when Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai announced that 8,047 of the 20,160 signatures gathered by Oceana in its December 2011 referendum were rejected. In May Oceana filed notice that it would be seeking judicial review and in June that application was granted. The heart of GoB’s claim is that Oceana filed for judicial review on July 11, but should have done so by July 5.

Politics: the art of compromise
“In a world of complete concord—or overwhelming oppression—politics could not thrive, because disagreement would be either absent or obliterated. “We need to live politically because there is no general agreement about how the good things in life should be shared out; about who should have authority over whom, and how it is decided. … politics is war without bloodshed: a means of resolving conflict without recourse to violence. “The only common agreement, in a politically open society, is an agreement to tolerate difference, so politics is the art (or perhaps the science—views differ) of compromise.”—Ben Dupré. Politics is essentially the eternal debate about authority and distribution of resources. For the most part the conversation has been divided along the lines of the left-right political spectrum of “progressive” versus “conservative” view points and philosophies—with political institutions finding themselves somewhere between the two extremes. The right-winged school of conservative thought would argue that the role of government should be restricted. They advocate for less government regulations, while promoting the principles of individual responsibility and a preference for the private sector to provide most services. Those leaning towards right-wing ideals also traditionally demand fewer taxes and support curtailed non-defence-related government spending, among other things.

YWCA launches market outlet
The Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) has officially launched their market outlet at their headquarters on corner Freetown Rd. and St. Thomas street. As part of the YWCA’s Enhancing Economic Opportunities through Entrepreneurship and Market Development (EEOEM) program, the outlet will provide a place for women from the Cayo, Toledo, Stann Creek and Belize districts to sell their products. The outlet received funding from the European Union (EU), the Government of Australia and the US Embassy through the CARSI program, in collaboration with BELTRAIDE and the Ministry of Economic Development. The EEOEM project encourages rural women and youths to become small business owners and offers mentoring and technical support to help facilitate their business ventures. The project also offers training for those who want to hone a marketable skill for employment. Grants of up to BZ$20,000 are offered to those who submit good business proposal.

Creditors and Belize square off on restructuring agreement
Belize is now unlikely to reach a restructuring agreement with holders of its US$544m 2029 “superbond” after a 60-day standstill period expired with the country and its creditors still some distance apart. Creditors last week urged Belize to reconsider their restructuring proposals, noting that they have offered US$150m-plus in debt relief over the next 10 years versus the existing 2029s and have provided the government with enough flexibility to refinance at a later stage. This came in response to the country’s broad rejection of creditors’ counter-proposal to the sovereign’s own new plan to restructure its debt. Belize’s revised proposal includes a 40-year par bond with no principal reduction, a mortgage-style repayment, a 10-year grace period and a coupon that pays 2.75% during the first five years and 4.5% thereafter. Also on the table is a 30-year discount bond with a 33% principal reduction, a mortgage-style repayment, a five-year grace period and a coupon that pays 4.5% for the first five years and 6.75% thereafter. “While these improved on the scenarios presented in August, which asked for near-unprecedented levels of debt relief, the committee believes they are not yet close to acceptable burden-sharing or Belize’s own long-term interest,” the creditor committee said in a statement.

Venezuela’s Chavez in delicate state after surgery
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is in delicate condition after his latest surgery for cancer, the government said on Wednesday in a somber assessment that may indicate an end to his 14-year leadership of the South American OPEC nation. Looking grave-faced in an address to the nation the day after Chavez’s six-hour operation in Cuba, Vice President Nicolas Maduro urged Venezuelans to unite in prayer for the 58-year-old president and keep faith he would return soon. “Yesterday’s operation was complex, difficult and delicate, so the post-operation process will also be a complex and tough process,” Maduro said, flanked by ministers who flew in to Caracas overnight after accompanying Chavez in Cuba. Chavez’s downturn opens gaping uncertainty about the future of his self-styled socialist revolution in a nation of 29 million people with the world’s largest oil reserves.

Guatemala deports McAfee to the U.S
After weeks on the run and after spending days in Guatemalan detention for illegal entry, American technology pioneer John McAfee arrived in Miami on Wednesday. He said he had no choice in the matter; that Guatemalan authorities expelled him to the United States and put him on a plane to a destination they determined. “I was whisked out of prison,” McAfee told CNN affiliate broadcaster WSVN in front of his South Beach hotel. “I was forcibly separated from Samantha, and now here I am.” Samantha Venegas is McAfee’s 20 year old girlfriend,, who can now decide to join him in Miami or return home to Belize.. .McAfee had been held for a week by immigration officials in Guatemala, where he surfaced after evading officials in Belize for nearly a month. McAfee’s lawyers managed to block an attempt to deport him back to Belize. Guatemala said on Wednesday it would deport McAfee, to his country of origin. McAfee had been held for a week by immigration officials in Guatemala, where he surfaced after evading officials in Belize for nearly a month. “Complying with migration law, Mr. John McAfee is to be deported to his country of origin,” said Fernando Lucero, a spokesman for Guatemala’s immigration office. Guatemala has been holding McAfee, 67, since he was arrested last Wednesday for illegally entering the country with his 20-year-old Belizean girlfriend. Police in Belize want to question McAfee as a “person of interest” in the killing of American Gregory Faull, his neighbor on the Caribbean island of Ambergris Caye.

Higher murder record in 2012, but police step up efforts for holiday season
With a little over two weeks remaining to bring in the New Year, the grim news coming out of the Police Department is that the official murder figures this year are at an all time high, Officer Commanding Eastern Division, Assistant Commissioner of Police Elodio Aragon said Monday, December 10.

Black Orchid aggravated burglary case dismissed
A case of aggravated burglary against 42-year-old Carlos Seguro, who is accused of robbing $39,000 worth of goods from the owners of Black Orchid Resort in Burrell Boom, was dismissed at the Magistrate’s Court on Monday, December 10. Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer dismissed the case because Douglas Thompson and his wife Karen Thompson, the resort’s owners, did not appear for the trial.

Testing for cervical cancer with vinegar
Cervical cancer used to kill more women in the United States than any other cancer. Today, deaths in the US are almost unheard of thanks to a decades-old test called a pap smear, which allows for early detection and treatment.

Healthy Christmas – Healthy weight!
One of the dominant images of Christmas is food. The mention of Christmas brings to mind Christmas lunch, Christmas dinner, work Christmas functions, Christmas drinks and other Christmas get-togethers. Christmas is not seen as a good time for anyone on a diet. It doesn’t matter if you are on a diet to lose weight, be healthy or deal with a disease, the range of food available at Christmas is intimidating for dieters.

Faith Nazarene boys win National Football Championship
The boys of the Faith Nazarene Primary School, the Cayo district champions, won the National Primary Schools Football Championships organized by the National Sports Council at the M.C.C. Grounds on Friday, December 7.

Belize Elementary girls win Natianal Football Championships
The girls of Belize Elementary School won the national primary schools football championships organized by the National Sports Council at the Institute of Technical, Vocational and Employment Training (ITVET) and at the M.C.C. grounds on Friday, December 7. The Belize Elementary girls won the championship final 3-1 in penalty shootout. The BES eleven, coached by Jose Palmiro Salas, held the Cayo district champions, the girls of Santa Elena Primary School, to a scoreless draw in regulation time.


The 2012 Maya Winter Solstice “a New Beginning”
Ms Fleming said that Chaa Creek has been working throughout the year to help debunk the many doomsday scenarios populating the internet and popular culture, and this week will be the highpoint of those efforts. “It’s not a culmination, as our efforts to educate the world about this fascinating culture are ongoing. December 21 2012 is, however, a pinnacle of our year-long program to show the world the true face of Maya civilization and counter some of the ridiculous ways in which the May have been portrayed,” she said. Ms Fleming said films such as the Hollywood blockbuster “2012” did little to present a true picture of the Maya. “The ancient Maya weren’t some shadowy witch doctors predicting the end of the world with mumbo jumbo and weird incantations. Rather, they were astute scientists and astronomers who were at the forefront of many of history’s most notable achievements. “Many people don’t realise that the Maya had one of the first written languages, were some of the first people to make paper, conduct intricate heart and brain surgeries, discover the concept of zero, and calculate the movement of heavenly bodies with astounding precision. “Because their huge libraries were burnt by the Spanish Conquistadors hundreds of years ago and all evidence of their achievements virtually wiped out, we have scant information about them. But what we do know is simply amazing, and we expect research to reveal more,” Ms Fleming said.

The Blueprint for Ambergris Caye,Belize
With no work on our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize yesterday I was denied my daily fix. Tried to substitute it with a look at the Sunset Boulevard project but , not unsurprisingly, didn’t get the same high. So am really pleased that the building site was ‘all action’ again today ( more about that later). From comments/ feedback I have received ( all welcome) I sense that a good number of regular readers ( and perhaps some infrequent readers too) have a keen interest in the more technical aspects of our build in Ambergris Caye,Belize. So – although not by popular demand – I thought I would let you have a look at the blueprints that Daniel and his team are working to. I will do my best ( memory fails me sometimes – either age or the heat, or a combination of both) to include the relevant blueprint at each stage of the build. In earlier editions I used a lot of words and perhaps even more photos when describing the piles required for our house. I never went into a lot of detail though as to what the dimensions of them should be nor where they had to be positioned . The blueprint below hopefully addresses my earlier oversight.

International Sources

Newly-freed and sharply-dressed: 'Penniless' fugitive John McAfee goes for a romantic stroll with a mystery woman days after returning to Florida
Anti-virus software tycoon John McAfee took a romantic stroll with a mystery woman in Miami over the weekend. Wearing a pinky ring and chatting on the phone, McAfee seemed relaxed, despite the fact he remains wanted for questioning over a death in Belize and faces a $5million lawsuit in Arizona. The 67-year-old claimed last week that he has no money or a home in the U.S. and that he was going to stay in Florida until his 20-year-old Belizean girlfriend could join him. But on Saturday McAfee walked arm in arm with an unknown companion near his boutique hotel in South Beach, Miami. He attended to some business on his cell phone before sitting down to a romantic meal with the woman. The software mogul usually updates his personal blog with pithy comments and tales of his international escapades on a regular basis.

Frolic Barefoot, But Don't Leave a Carbon Footprint
As the world’s most tourism-dependent region, with the sector accounting for one in every eight jobs, the Caribbean has much to fear from climate change.Three years ago, the Belize-based Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) signed a 1.8-million-dollar agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to enhance climate resilience in the tourism sector, and work towards designating the Caribbean a carbon neutral destination.Programme coordinator Earl Green told IPS said that the project’s main outcome is the development of a web-based carbon footprinting tool, which provides a common platform for development of tourism sector greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories in the region.“GHG inventories allow for baseline and future scenarios, which may be used for cross-country comparisons, (and) also represent a key step in planning for low carbon development in the tourism sector across the region,” he said.The programme was piloted in four countries - The Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize and Guyana – that the CCCCC said were chosen because of the strong support from the tourism industries in these countries and also the diversity of their product, including cruises in the Bahamas, scuba diving in Belize, small-scale ecotourism and cultural tourism in Guyana, and resorts in Tobago.

Kayaking the 'Cayes' of Belize
Belize isn't the crossroads of the world. And that's one of the reasons it's so great. It's a natural wonderland of wildlife-filled rainforest, thundering waterfalls, isolated coves and beaches, and hundreds of offshore "cayes" - small tropical islands ranging from 200 feet to 30 miles long, all protected by the world's second-longest barrier reef. On Belize, the way it was is the way it still is. This Central American country's natural assets have not been harmed by environmental degradation. The waters off the coast of Belize are an unbelievably-clear shade of turquoise, and they're filled with an astounding variety of marine life. As a result, the country's got one-of-a-kind spots that are so removed from civilization that you can practically call them your own. And some of these spots include ancient Mayan ruins.

Mayan Apocalypse 2012: A Visit To Tikal (PHOTOS)
The day I cross the border from Belize at Benque the man hawking newspapers from a moped in La Maquina is shouting into his bullhorn that John McAfee has been extradited to Miami. La Maquina is a small Guatemalan town and no one seems moved by the news, the narrative of a single man's bath salt-fueled insanity paling in comparison to a couple of frenetic millennia that saw the ambitions of the Maya empire written in stone then eroded by a tidal wave of Old World Catholic violence. The towns along CA13, which leads microbuses full of tourist to Tikal, sit in a rolling landscape cut into pieces by slash and burn farming. Men carry sacks of black beans on their backs and women carry laundry on their heads down to Lake Salpeten Macanche, which is on schedule to release its annual sulfurous burp in the next few weeks if dead fish are any indication. This is exactly the sort of country that tourists never go through in that it is poor, rural, full of gun-toting military types and inside Guatemala, a country that is gaining a reputation as Mexico's Mexico. Travelers wander through here because this is how to get to Tikal and, by God, people want to get to Tikal. The first thing I notice as our minivan drives up to the entrance to Parque Nacional Tikal is that the vaulted gate is profoundly reminiscent of Jurassic Park. The forest beyond is as well. As we buy passes no one will check from guards who look exhausted despite the fact it is just after nine in the morning, I watch a man with a distinctly Maya face slowly release a rope that allows a cantilevered weight to pivot the gate arm blocking our path. His eyes are narrowed and his stands with his weight held evenly between his feet. I'm certain I couldn't knock him over if I tried, not that I had any urge to do so. Looking up the two pyramids that dominate Tikal's Gran Plaza, it is impossible not to wonder how many men like the gatekeeper helped build this city, which dominated the region during the Maya's Classic period in around 300. The answer is, of course, lots. When it comes to archeology, estimates are expressed in ranges and when it comes to Tikal, the best estimates generally come at the top of the ranges. Miles of causeways once linked the clusters of temples and buildings here and may have penetrated deep into the forest.

Belize! It’s unBELIZEable! ;)
I finally crossed Cave tubing off of my bucket list! While in Belize last month I had the pleasure of zip lining(again) and cave tubing with one of the funniest guides I have ever come across! Which is a very good thing because had he been a bad guide, I probably would not have enjoyed the experience so much. Zip lining is what it is, you dangle by a harness & rope then fly through the trees. As far as I am concerned, you can’t ever go wrong with that. Cave tubing on the other hand, was not what I expected. Don’t get me wrong, it was great and the hike to the starting point was breathtaking but I expecting it to be a lot more “exciting” and free. Instead it was VERY controlled and it had to be, considering that there were at least 150 of us there all trying to do the same thing, at the same time. We had to be put into groups of 8-10 and tied together(by our tubes) then we were released, one group at a time with the guide controlling the pace and direction the entire time. Needless to say, the the day dreams I had about floating down the river alone and stopping at my leisure “national geographic style” to explore with my headlamp were just that, daydreams.

US Capital Energy is preparing to drill for oil in an effort to exploit and export the rich geological resources of Belize for their own financial gain. To: Honourable Prime Minister Dean Barrow An international community of friends, allies and consumers of Belize tourism, agriculture and marine products want the governments of Belize and the United States to know that we are aware of the tenuous situation that is unfolding in the pristine cloud forest, ancient bog, and unique tropical wetlands of Southern Belize. 1. The sensitive ecological systems of Belize must be protected from damage by oil or other industry. 2. Belize’s burgeoning tourism industry must be protected from the negative impacts of oil development. 3. The environmental risks and environmental health consequences of oil or other mineral development must be factored in to the economic equation completely and comprehensively (including possible spills, leaks, and contamination).

Charity boxing match raises funds for conservation in Belize | Fauna & Flora International
British boxer Georgina Banton was fighting for the future of the natural world when she donned her gloves to raise funds for Belizean NGO, Ya’axché Conservation Trust. Ya’axché Conservation Trust (Fauna & Flora International’s partner NGO in Belize) has been committed to the conservation fight in southern Belize since 1997. It has won many battles such as successfully managing the Golden Stream Corridor Preserve and co-managing Bladen Nature Reserve with the Forest Department. However, the hardest battle to win for this Belizean organisation is the fight to achieve the financial stability that will allow it to continue managing the natural resources within its protected areas. But they are not alone in this fight, with committed supporters right by their side. One such supporter is Georgina Banton, an amateur British boxer who decided to dedicate her first fight to Ya’axché, helping to raise funds for the ranger team to conduct patrols of Bladen Nature Reserve and to collect biodiversity data on the resident fauna and flora.

From Bermuda to Belize: Small US businesses scope offshore locales
Fighting the cliche of the dot-com start-up that runs out of a basement, David Ward is living the dream. The 32-year-old web designer moved his one-man operation from Albany, New York, to the Cayman Islands last year. "My wife hates the winter. She wanted to be near a beach" said Ward, owner of Meticulosity, a support company for online retailers. He is not alone. American small business owners of all stripes--some relocating existing ventures and others starting new ones--are considering tax-friendly locales ranging from Bermuda to Belize. Relocation experts say the so-called "fiscal cliff" that threatens to end the Bush-era federal tax cuts at year-end may be fueling renewed interest. An estimated $11.5 trillion of funds is held offshore by individuals in tax-friendly jurisdictions, roughly five times the amount estimated by the World Bank in 2002, according to the Tax Justice Network, a coalition of researchers and activists that promotes tax transparency. "These tax havens begin to look fantastically attractive," said Bruce Hoch, managing director of DCG Corplan Consulting, a West Orange, New Jersey-based firm that assists private companies with relocation strategies and helps communities attract new business.

Immaculate Tomb: Exploring ATM
What an amazing article about Actun Tunichil Muknal at Gear Patrol! Definitely worth a read. And it's not a 'Crystal Maiden' anymore; the skeleton is that of a boy. "In the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve of Western Belize, late in 1989, Dr. Thomas Miller jumped into a tributary of the Roaring River and swam inside an unnamed cave’s vine-covered mouth. The American geologist wasn’t in pursuit of a lost Maya relic; he was there to study geomorphology: the formation of caves. What he found, however, led him to contact Dr. Jaime Awe, director of the Belize Institute of Archaeology, who recorded his findings in 1992. The cave’s twisting river, in places neck deep, wove underground to an elevated cavern filled with the skeletal remains of 16 human sacrifices, ranging from infants to mid-40-year-olds. And, in an upper, farther recess of the cave, a slender skeleton lay calcified to the cave floor amidst bat guano and predatory spiders."

McAfee: Why Belize Is Really Trying to Silence Me: Video
McAfee Assoc Founder John McAfee explains his situation and motives regarding the drama in Belize. He speaks on Bloomberg Television. (Source: Bloomberg) (RT @BloombergWest: [email protected] is back on US soil.

Tips for Planning a Scuba Diving Trip – Ocean Enterprises Dive Blog
Many vacations are planned around sporting hobbies. The chance to dive in exotic locations with clear, warm water and colorful fish and big animals is something every scuba diver dreams about. With the life-changing experience divers get when diving in an exotic location, it’s no wonder that scuba diving trips are one of the most popular themed vacations of recent years. Ocean Enterprises specializes in worldwide dive travel and not only organizes many group trips each year to locations like Palau, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Bahamas, Mexico, and more, our travel expert Sherrie Murphy can also help travelers organize their own custom dive trip whether it’s for a family vacation, honeymoon, or just a quick getaway. .

December 17, 2012


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Specials and Events

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

This Week's Stories:

  • Santa Elena Woman Facing Murder Charge:
    The latest murder in the twin towns occurred shortly before midnight on Saturday, December 8, 2012, on Carillo Puerto Avenue in Santa Elena, Cayo. The incident actually came as no surprise to the neighbourhood as many are of the opinion that, given the regular confrontation between the major players, it was an incident just waiting to happen. While the incident has resulted in a murder charge, San Ignacio police is classifying it as a crime of passion between two gay female lovers whom, the investigation revealed, had been living together for over two years. San Ignacio police reports that at 11:45 pm on Saturday, December 8, 2012, they were summoned to La Loma Luz Hospital in Santa Elena where they came upon the lifeless body of a female with a stab wound to the throat, bruises to both arms, abrasions to both lips and a cut wound to the right arm.
  • Another Drug Trafficker Sent to Jail:
    Failure to pay a ten thousand dollar fine could result in a three year prison term for a convicted young drug trafficker. The case against the convicted youth, Kemani Grinage, 19, began over five months ago on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 when, at around7:45 pm, San Ignacio police, on mobile patrol in Santa Elena Town came upon the then accused, along with another older person, Alexander Hernandez, 28, as they stood under a shrub in the center of La Loma Luz Boulevard near its junction with George Price Highway. Both Grinage and Hernandez were searched but nothing incriminating was found on their person. The police however observed a white plastic bucket on the ground between both male persons and when questioned, Grinage reportedly told the police that the bucket was his and that he had just taken it out of his car. A search of the bucket led to discovery of a black plastic bag containing a tightly wrapped package in a transparent wrapper which, when cut open, was found to contain suspected marijuana. At this point both men denied knowledge of the illegal substance.
  • Official Opening of Mental Health Resource Center:
    The Mental Health Day Care/ Resource Center Project was officially inaugurated this past month in a small ceremony in Belize City. The new facility will not be a residential center but it will provide a daily meal, medical referral and recreation for the homeless and people living with mental health problems. Speakers at the opening included representatives from the Mental Health Association, the Mental Health Program of the Ministry of Health and from the Social Investment Fund. The Mayor of Belize City His Worship, Darrell Bradley also provided contributing remarks. Minister of Health, Hon. Pablo Marin spoke at the ceremony where he congratulated all the partners who came together to make the center a reality.
  • National HIV Program Reveals Behavioural Survey Findings:
    A Behavioural Seropervalence Survey (BSS) was conducted earlier this year in three specific groups. Men who have Sex with Men (MSM), Female Sex Workers (FSW) and Persons Living with HIV (PHIV.) The specific objectives and results were released to the press last month and can be found on the Ministry’s website: A summary of the other findings that are worthy to mention include the following: Out of the 220 FSW recruited, only three did not accept to undergo the HIV test and 35 did not get a test for STIs. For MSM, 136 were recruited for the survey and out of that, 130 accepted to undergo the HIV test as well as the screening for other STIs. 60% reported having gotten the HIV result in the last 12 months and also all have received their results. We also noted that 58.9% had done their test at a Public clinic or hospital.
  • Northern Regional Conducts Training In Maternal And Child Health:
    Although no formal complaints of Maternal care at the Northern Regional Hospital have been reported to the Ministry of Healh, we have investigated specific reports from the news media outlets and an aggressive plan of action including trainings in specific areas has been implemented over the past month. The Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Unit of the Ministry has conducted training for both doctors and nurses on the use of the partograph in the progression of labor. It shows when labor is proceeding at a normal rate and when care providers should begin possible intervention procedures. Training for both doctors and nurses has also been carried out in the general review of the management of Postpartum Hemorrhage and Hemorrhagic Shock, also reorientation in the monitoring of fetal wellbeing, and also in the use of referral instruments and transfer protocols when facilitating patients that need to referred to the specialist at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. Most of the training has been facilitated by the Technical Advisor of MCH in the Ministry.
  • Trinity College Awards Doctor Of Laws Degree To Senior Belizean Lawyer:
    It is with great pleasure that the Board of Directors at Trinity College has this day awarded Dean R. Lindo, a Doctor of Laws (Legum Doctor, LL.D.honoris causa ad gradum). This is in recognition of his achievements in the field of law, his public service, and his unfailing support to the social and economic welfare of the country of Belize. Dr.Lindo has previously been awarded the Degree of Utter Barrister from the Grays Inn, London, England, a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Arts from New York University, and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Durham, England. Dr.Lindo has been a senior partner for the law firm of Lindo & Arnold since its formation in 1964. He was admitted to the Inter-American Bar Association and admitted to practice law before the United States Supreme Court, the New York Court System, the United States Federal Court of Appeal, the United States Court of Customs and Patents Appeals and was admitted as Barrister-at-Law and Solicitor to the Belize Bar and as a Barrister-at-Law to the English Bar.
  • BNET Funds New Library For ACC:
    Energy Trust provided a grant of $54,000 to the Anglican Cathedral College (ACC) for the renovation of a fully functioning library. Today, the Inauguration ceremony for the newly renovated library 10:00 a.m. Mistress of Ceremony for the event was Ms. Sherlene Cabral. The program got underway with the opening prayer by Barry White. The national anthem was performed by the school’s recorder group and the welcome address was delivered by Jaime Williams. Principal’s remarks was delivered by Principal Ismael Requena and this was followed by student Asher Lopez reciting a poem. The introduction of the Chairman of the Belize Natural Energy Trust, Daniel Gutierez, was delivered by Ryan Bainton.
  • STAR Humor: Magician and Parrot
  • Editorial:
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices

The San Pedro Sun

Doctor Love: “Help! I’m jealous of my own mother!”
Dear Doctor Love, I know this may sound silly but I am going to go ahead with it anyway. I was born when my mom was sixteen years old. Now I am in my early twenties and she is in her mid-thirties. The problem that I have is that she looks better than I do. [...]

Editorial: Police have the “smoking gun” on McAfee; so why no charges?
John McAfee, the on-the-run from the police/anti computer-virus pioneer has swallowed the attention of the local and international press, but in Belize he is simply wanted by authorities for “questioning” in the murder of his neighbor, Gregory Faull. Faull was found dead on the morning of November 11th, but according to Police Press Officer Raphael Martinez, until McAfee can be questioned, the murder investigation has “stalled”. With police claiming that he might be able to shine some light on to the investigation, the calculating and media savvy McAfee gave Belize the slip and fled to Guatemala well over a week ago. Now headed to the US, we may have lost the chance to bring McAfee in for questioning. One has to wonder why it was so hard to locate the man when all the while he claimed to be in Belize, with rumors of him even being at his house here on the island. As local authorities claimed they were scrambling to solve the murder of Faull, islanders, as well as “people in the know” accused the Police Department of “dragging their feet,” not only slow in solving the crime but in locating McAfee. Some claim that the “good relationship” McAfee maintained with some of the senior officers within the Belize Police Department resulted in a half-hearted attempt to bring him in. It seems to me that the one way the police could have heightened his status from “wanted for questioning” to charges of “Kept Firearm and Ammunition without a License” was completely dismissed. With the new amendments to the Firearm Act that came into effect in 2012, police are now tasked to charge “everyone and anyone found in a particular house when a firearm is found when they are not authorized to have it”. In addition, there have been several cases when the property owners were not present, and even though he or she was not at home at the time of the search, were sought and charged with “Kept Firearm and Ammunition without a License”.

Wolfe’s Woofers: Trophy
Jose's uncle in Chicago has all kinds of trophies and medals...Mario is impressed with his athleticism. There's only one problem...

Misc Belizean Sources

Community-based climate change adaptation programme launched in Belize
The Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP) implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Friday launched the Belize community based adaptation (CBA) programme funded by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), of the government of Australia. Daniel Alemu, assistant resident representative, UNDP and Lisel Alamilla, minister of forestry, fisheries and sustainable development, provided encouraging remarks on this occasion and thanked all the agencies and partners involved in facilitating Belize’s adaptation to climate change. The launch was preceded on Thursday by an orientation workshop for potential grantee partners. The orientation will enable the participating organizations to apply for grant funding from the new CBA programme, which has received a country grant allocation of US$120,000. At a brief ceremony held on Friday, grant awards were also presented to the GEF SGP and COMPACT programme grantee partners funded in 2012. The 13 grants awarded on Friday added up to BZ$1,088,415. Established in 1992, the year of the Rio Earth Summit, the GEF small grants programme embodies the very essence of sustainable development by "thinking globally acting locally". By providing financial and technical support to projects that conserve and restore the environment while enhancing people's well-being and livelihoods, GEF SGP demonstrates that community action can maintain the fine balance between human needs and environmental imperatives.

VIDEO: ATM Cave - Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve
Cayo Adventure Tours - ATM Cave - Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve

VIDEO: Surface Interval and The Aquarium
After lunch at Half Moon Caye we start our third dive of our Blue Hole Day Trip from San Pedro,, next stop, The Aquarium. Awesome schools of fish big Tarpon and more!

VIDEO: Diving Belize, The Blue Hole
Another great dive as we explore The Blue Hole with Amigos. Check out these Amber Jacks as they chillax at 140ft. Thanks for joiniung us on this dive Tom and Cindy.

VIDEO: Belize Diving, Half Moon Wall, Lighthouse Reef
Featuring Guest Divers Tom and Cindy. Caribbean Gray Reef Sharks appear after "Barry the Barracuda" eats Lionfish from our spear.

Work continues on the rehabilitation of East and West Collet Canals in Belize City. It is part of the ongoing rejuvination project in the old capital.


National AIDS Commission holds end of year forum
Today the National AIDS Commission held its Annual Assembly at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel. The event is the Commission’s end of year gathering of all who work in HIV across the country to recommit to the work they do as part of the National Operational Plan. It was an important year for the Commission, which has introduced its National Strategic and Operational Plan and increase the participation of people living with HIV/AIDS in the programs it carries out. Executive Director of the Commission, Dr. Martin Cuellar, explained. The Commission has also mobilized specific multi-sector committees and in its fight to lower Belize’s numbers per capita. But despite the accomplishments, the year also came with its challenges. Executive Director of the Collaboration of Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS, Eric Castellanos, whose untiring effort has been for the Ministry of Health to put into use the viral load machine it has for over a year, did not divorce from that same appeal today. Lydia Rancharan is a person living with HIV since 2002 and conducts home interviews with people who are also infected. One of the presenters at the event was Love Radio and Television Reporter, Marion Ali, who challenged everyone to do their part in changing the per capita number of HIV infections in the region. Dr. Cuellar said that a lot more advocacy and prevention work will come in 2013.

Soft launch for Digicell 4-G
Digicell is celebrating its tenth anniversary, and with that, the much anticipated and talked about telecommunication service, Digicell’s 4G network was launched this afternoon at the BTL Office on Church Street in Belize City. The soft launch comes within twelve months of the initial contract signing with Telecommunications giant, Ericsson. Tom Noble is the representative from Ericsson and this afternoon he commented about the 4G network during his speech. Executive Chairman of BTL, Nestor Vasquez said that he believes that this technology will give a major competitive advantage in the market Vasquez went on to say that with 4G, Digicell is dramatically changing the way in which their customers will communicate with their mobile phones A lot of things have happened since the Government nationalized BTL, according to Vasquez and today he spoke about some of the changes occurring Since today is the soft launch, only friendly users will enjoy the service at the moment. When the service becomes available and a customer enters an area without 4G, the service will back down to 3G automatically then back to 4G when the service area becomes available.

School holds book fair in Belize City
If you’re not quite sure what to get for your loved ones this Christmas, remember that a good read is always a good choice and Horizon Academy will be holding a book fair this weekend at their school located on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Principal of Horizon Academy, Dianne Maheia told us more about what you can expect in visiting the fair. The fair will be held on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday it will begin at 9:00 am and proceed through the lunch hour until 6:00 p.m and on Sunday from 9:00 a.m. through the lunch hour until 4:00p.m. A grand raffle of a flat screen television will take place at the fair.

House of Representatives meets in special session
A special sitting of the House of Representatives took place today in Belmopan. A series of eight bills introduced at the last sitting were brought back for second and third readings before going to the Senate for ratification. Among the bills approved today was the Crime Control and Criminal Justice amendment bill, which seeks to streamline and strengthen the provisions relating to the declaration of special crime-ridden areas. In their contribution to the debate on the Bill, members of the Opposition People’s United Party expressed concerns that the sweeping powers could be abused; but the Prime Minister, who introduced the piece of legislation, said that the necessary safeguards are in place to ensure that that does not happen. In a rare show of bi-partisanship, the opposition PUP gave their full support to two pieces of legislation, those being the Trafficking in Persons prohibition Bill and the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Prohibition Bill. The Senate is schedule to meet next week to consider the Bill approved at today’s Special Sitting of the House.

Man dies in hit and run incident in Orange Walk
Yet another hit and run accident was reported, this one in the orange Walk District. Reports are sometime around six o’clock yesterday evening, 76-year-old Primitivo Pott was on the Phillip Goldson Highway in San Jose Village when he was hit by a white D-Max pickup truck. Pott suffered severe injuries and died at the scene. The driver of the vehicle did not step to render assistance.

BEL makes submission to the PUC
As part of its election campaign leading up to the last General Elections the government promised a reduction in electricity rates. But while the Belize Electricity Limited has not asked for an adjustment, it has suffered a blow to its pocket over the past few months as a result of a dry rainy season and an increase in the cost of power. Senior Manager of the company’s Energy and Supply Unit, Ernesto Gomez, explained to Love News today that the company has, as is required by law, submitted to the Public Utilities Commission, showing the current cost of power since July. And what the company is hoping will happen is that the PUC will reconsider the 30.2 million dollars that it has ruled the company owes BEL customers. Gomez advises its customers that there are a few ways to save on your electricity bill, including plugging out electrical appliances when not in use and ironing clothes all at once rather than on a daily basis.

Benque police nab suspected drug trafficker
A Belize City man was charged with drug offences in the Cayo District following a police operation. Correspondent Elaine Berry has the details.

Annual Banana Cycling race canceled
The annual Banana cycling classic has been cancelled. Sagitun Cycling Club in Independence Village today issued a press release informing the public that the eighth Annual Banana Cycling Classic that was scheduled to be held in Independence on Sunday December sixteenth has been forced to cancel. The Club says that this action is being taken on the advice of the Minister of Sports, the President of the National Sports council and several reputable Cycling Officials, as a result of the boycott of cyclists and club managers of events being held under the jurisdiction of the Belize Cycling Association or Federation which they say is now defunct with no leadership. The Sagitun Cycling club says it regrets the stand it now has had to take for the betterment of the sport and continued interest of the fans and they extend thanks to their sponsors and supporters for their patience in this matter. They regret most of all the disappointment of the villagers in the Banana Belt and Southern part of the country especially the youth. The Annual Banana Cycling Classic has for eight years formed part of the calendar of races held under the BCA.

Community helps the Belmopan police
The Belmopan People’s Coalition today stepped forward to lend a helping hand to the police in the nation’s capital. Correspondent Fem Cruz has the story.

CCJ orders BTL not to pay out dividends
The Caribbean Court of Justice, in an emergency application, ruled that Belize Telemedia Limited cannot proceed with the payment of dividends. This follows a decision by the Belize Court of Appeals on Thursday. Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke with Love News via telephone about the ruling.

Cruise operator says industry rival behind his imprisonment
Member of the Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize, FECTAB, Yhonny Rosado, is out of prison tonight, after he was arrested and charged on Thursday with a gun-related offense. Rosado says that the charges stemmed from an incident three months ago. Upon his release, Rosado made his media rounds to explain what he endured and to say that he strongly suspects it was the result of a vicious attack by one of his competitors in tourism. Rosado says that he will return to his tours and will return to court when his case is called.


Chapin Duran fundraiser at Wayo’s and Judging the Christmas Lights of San Pedro
I really wanted to go to the Chapin Duran fundraiser at Wayo’s but I just did not have in me and I have strict orders from a few people that when I am not feeling the energy I need to take it easy and that is all there is too it. My mood was more solitary and I decided to go for a walk and find someone to hang out with for a bit. I went as far as Tropic Air then turned around again and headed for home. In all that time the only person that stopped me and wanted to do something was Percy and while he seemed like an ok guy, he was not anyone I was looking to get into trouble with As I kept walking south a friend offered to give me a ride, since he was headed to close to where I live that made my decision of where next easier. Not quite ready to banish myself to absolute relaxation and quiet, I decided to go around the corner to Glenn’s house to drop something off, he offered me a Baileys on the rocks and we chatted in his workshop for a while, just what I needed. Write up from junior blogger Nina Kumar, she also gets photo credit for all the great pictures below. The fundraiser for Mr. Hector Duran’s family at Wayo’s Beach Bar, was a HUGE success. It was a great turnout with over a hundred people.

Judging the Christmas Lights of San Pedro: It Ain't Easy
Each year, our local newspaper, the San Pedro Sun, hits the streets to find some of the best holiday lights and displays around. I was asked to judge for the second year in a row. Well...let's be honest...I lobby hard for this job. It is so much fun. Here is some of what we saw last night. Graniel's looked beautiful. Our judging sheet. Seems like so many categories but by the end of the night, it is so hard to pick. Do you pick someone who has an amazing display and clearly spent tons of money? Or something simple and cute? Oh my... Next week's paper will have a full color insert with all of the winners. Our decorated golf cart caravan readied. Do you see that giant cooler? Rum punch. I am feeling it today. And by the way, if you heard us caroling way too loudly last night, I apologize! Okay...enough whining. Let's look at the lights. Thomas Hotel. I've never seen the inside but the outside sure looked great. Polo came running out to ask us to come back tomorrow.

Gentle On My Mind – in Ambergris Caye,Belize.
“After the Lord Mayor’s show” is a saying in the UK which quite simply means that it is exceptionally quiet after an eventful and enjoyable time . An anti-climax. Well, that was today after the fun of the Christmas Charity Concert yesterday . And the fact that because it was a Sunday there was no work on our build in Ambergris Caye,Belize. The day started with an overcast sky and a very strong breeze and was quite cool. Actually thought at one stage that I was going to have to get a sweater out. Great weather though for the youngsters of the San Pedro Sailing Club who took full advantage of the wind to develop their skills in the Optimist dinghies. What do you do when you have been monitoring the build of your house all week and you have a free day? You go look at another building project, that’s what ( sad isn’t it). Rose and I decided to see what progress has been made on the building of the Water Taxi Terminal and the Sunset Boardwalk which is a major development on what a short while ago was the site of the Saca Chispas Football Field and the ‘El Embarcadero’ area. It is not an area that we have much call to go to. True it can be used as a route to our build and there are some shops there. It is also worth visiting to buy fruit, vegetables and fish but we tend to go to the north side of the island via Barrier Reef Drive because, more often than not, we have something to do or get in that part of San Pedro Town. We were surprised to see how much had been done since we last went there. The road between Caribeña Street and Buccaneer Street is being laid.

International Sources

The University of Chicago Wants to Know Who Sent This Journal to Indiana Jones
Earlier this week the University of Chicago received what might be an elaborate hoax, a miracle, or the best college admissions application of all time: Abner Ravenwood’s journal from Raiders of the Lost Ark. The journal came in a package addressed to Henry Walton Jones, Jr. but wasn’t sent through the U.S. mail — its stamps are fake. It’s a near-perfect replica of the journal Indiana Jones uses in Raiders, but it’s not the real deal – Lucasfilm also doesn’t know its origins — and the university has absolutely no idea how it found its way into Rosenwald Hall, which houses the school’s admissions department and where the staff initially thought it was just a piece of mail meant for a professor that got lost on the way. “This package was a little perplexing because we couldn’t find the staff member or the professor [it was intended for] in the directory,” Garrett Brinker, director of undergraduate outreach for the university, said in an interview with Wired. “So that’s when the plot thickened.” Since its discovery, Brinker said, the university has been doing everything it can to figure out where exactly the package came from. (See its contents above.) After determining that the replica they’d received was not a recently sold item on eBay, they decided to ask the internet. They put an “Indiana Jones Mystery Package” post on Tumblr, set up an e-mail tip-line for anyone who might know its origins and even asked Lucasfilm, which responded, “We were just as surprised to see this package as you were!” And then, Brinker said, followed up to ask the school to let Lucasfilm know if it determined its origin. “We don’t know where the package came from but would love to know,” a Lucasfilm spokesperson told Wired in an e-mail. Fans of Raiders will remember that Abner Ravenwood’s journal was what Indy used to find the Ark of the Covenant. Ravenwood was a professor at the University of Chicago and one of Indiana Jones’ mentors. The replica of his journal that was sent to his former university is meticulous in its details: photos of Harrison Ford as Indy, maps, currency, and even – as one eagle-eyed internet responder pointed out – handwritten text that can be found here. “The entire journal must’ve taken hours upon hours to create,” Brinker noted.

Guatemala Dispatch: Inside the Stranger than Fiction Saga of John McAfee
It was barely 6:30 a.m. on Dec. 8 when John McAfee, 67, the eccentric U.S. software pioneer wanted for questioning in the slaying of his neighbor in Belize, called me from the Guatemalan detention center where he was being detained for illegally crossing the border. “I’m sorry if I’m not making much sense,” he said. “I just woke up, but I want to talk.” The former Silicon Valley millionaire said, “There’s not that much to do here. I’m kind of bored.” Just over 36 hours had elapsed since McAfee’s last interaction with the media. At that time, he was being carried into a Guatemalan hospital on a stretcher. His lawyer claimed McAfee had suffered two heart attacks. (On Wednesday Dec. 12, McAfee–by then in Miami–acknowledged faking the incident to buy time to appeal Guatemala’s efforts to deport him.) On the night of Dec. 7, he had frantically called his lawyer, a former Guatemalan attorney general. The police, McAfee claimed, were surrounding the immigration shelter where he was being held and trying to whisk him away. The lawyer must come at once, and bring reporters. “Are you sure?” his lawyer, Telesforo Guerra, asked. I accompanied Guerra as he rushed to the shelter, but immigration officials said there had been nothing of the sort. The facility had been quiet for hours. “He’s very paranoid,” Guerra said. Earlier in the day McAfee had lashed out at one of Guerra’s assistants, claiming he had promised to put him in touch with Guatemala’s president, Otto Perez, but failed to do so. “I don’t understand where he got that from,” Guerra said. “My assistant can’t just call the president.”

From Bermuda to Belize: Small US businesses scope offshore locales
Fighting the cliche of the dot-com start-up that runs out of a basement, David Ward is living the dream. The 32-year-old web designer moved his one-man operation from Albany, New York, to the Cayman Islands last year. "My wife hates the winter. She wanted to be near a beach" said Ward, owner of Meticulosity, a support company for online retailers. He is not alone. American small business owners of all stripes--some relocating existing ventures and others starting new ones--are considering tax-friendly locales ranging from Bermuda to Belize. Relocation experts say the so-called "fiscal cliff" that threatens to end the Bush-era federal tax cuts at year-end may be fueling renewed interest. An estimated $11.5 trillion of funds is held offshore by individuals in tax-friendly jurisdictions, roughly five times the amount estimated by the World Bank in 2002, according to the Tax Justice Network, a coalition of researchers and activists that promotes tax transparency.

December 16, 2012


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Specials and Events

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

DFC and Mama Vilma’s Family Home hosts Christmas joy to underprivileged children
The Development Finance Corporation (DFC), San Pedro branch, in collaboration with the Mama Vilma’s Family Home hosted a party on December 10th. The festivities were initially scheduled for fifty underprivileged children of San Pedro, but that number quickly escalated to over one hundred. The kids were invited to Bistro Mestizo Restaurant to celebrate and bring in the Christmas season in a more than merry fashion. The youngsters enjoyed treats including food, drink, gifts and even a visit from Santa Clause. All in attendance had a blast playing and even dancing the night away with upbeat music. Debby Gomez, Officer in Charge of DFC San Pedro sub-branch believes that this activity is one of DFC’s few efforts to bring holiday cheer to the less fortunate residents of San Pedro who may otherwise be deprived of holiday treats. It is the hope of DFC that in the coming years there will be more support from the community to make a grander affair of this event.

“All hands on deck” needed to clean up San Mateo says UNICEF and SPTCC
The unplanned subdivision of San Mateo just north of San Pedro Town is finally beginning to get the attention needed to address the many issues affecting the area. The residents of San Mateo, estimated to number 568, have had to endure living in very extreme conditions as a result of the lack of proper infrastructure such as electricity, water and up to recently, inadequate street access. But after being repeatedly catapulted into the media, both at home and abroad, the relevant local authorities are beginning to focus their attention on the deprived subdivision. For that reason the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) is partnering with the United Nation International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to launch a clean-up campaign that the organizations hope will have a long term trickle effect on the entire community. On December 17th and 18th, UNICEF and SPTC will begin their efforts in creating a better environment for San Mateo residents. According to Denise Robateau, Early Childhood Development and Education Officer at UNICEF, she is looking to address the children’s rights to clean water, proper sanitation and hygienic education. According to Robateau, people have been treating the area of San Mateo as a “dump”. With the presence of humans, especially kids and the fact that Holy Cross Anglican Primary School is in the area, it is a must that the needs for a healthy environment and for the proper stimulation be looked at. Robateau describes the situation of San Mateo as “unique” to the entire country and said the norm in which people treat the area as if it is a “dump”, highlighting that the women and children are living in close to deplorable conditions.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Giant Cave Belize
Here is a video for all of those that wonder what it looks like directly under Caye Caulker. Mid December 2012 Chip Peterson of Belize Diving Services put together an expedition to re-introduce the cave diving world to Giant Cave. First explored by Paul Heinerth in the late 1970's and made famous in Sheck Exley's book Caverns Measureless To Man. The 4 day expedition succeeded in re-surveying approx. 3000 feet of old guidelines in the cave and cleaning up some old existing line traps.

Belize's First Lady Kim Simplis, at a cancer event releasing blue morpho butterflies
Yesterday, Pelican Beach Resort hosted a lunch for Hummingbird Elementary School, Standard 1 class ... the event was celebrating the fact that the class raised $3000 for the Cancer Clinic and children with cancer. The entire class, plus some of the children with cancer where in attendance along with Belize's First lady, Kim Simplis, a cancer warrior herself. At the end of the event, all participants where given an envelope and told to hold it gently. Then, in unison, they opened their envelopes and out flew incredibly beautiful blue morpho butterflies (supplied by Chaa Creek) ... I was lucky to get this single image which says so much about the strength, joy and hope of those afflicted by cancer.

Connecting Cayo Communities Conference
Mary Open Doors had the Connecting Cayo Communites through Education Conference at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel a few weeks ago. MOD will be closed for the holidays starting today, and will reopen on January 7th.

Rotary Spaghetti Day
The Rotary Club of San Ignacio is having their annual Spaghetti day today at the Saturday market. "Come and join our annual Spaghetti Day at the market in San Ignacio. You will get the most delicous spaghetti sauce you can imagine. We also will have a rummage sale and thanks to the donation from BTL, we can raffle a brand new cellphone (Nokia C2-01). It comes with a simcard and a 10 BZ credit."

Old School Belizean Breakfast
I wanted to honor the request of some of the viewers to make a video completely in Creole/Kriol. I decided to do Fry Jacks or Fry Cakes, but the 1/2 recipe because this meal is the reason why I started the show. Fry Jacks can be eaten with any meal, but primarily it is a breakfast dish. Normally we have eggs with Dutch Cheese, Avocado (pears) and re-fried beans for an old school Belizean breakfast.

Sweet Charity in Ambergris Caye, Belize
Charity begins at home so the adage goes. Well home for us now is Ambergris Caye,Belize and during the many visits Rose and I have made and particularly since we moved here permanently in May have found that this truly is the case. When someone is in need -locally born or expatriates alike – the community joins together to provide whatever help and support it can. Such was the case today when a Christmas Charity Concert was held to generate financial aid for the surviving children of Hector ‘Chapin’ Duran. Hector, or ‘Chapin’ as he was more commonly known, was only 39 years of age when he tragically died on 8 October when, in the area he was working at the Amigos del Mar dive shop , a gas tank that he was filling exploded and took his life.

The Belize Times

René Villanueva said to Francis Gegg, “Francis, what topic will be discussing tonight?” Francis answered, “well poverty in Belize is around fifty-five percent and they promised us to imagine the possibilities…” Before he could complete the sentence, Henry Gordon butts in, “What is poverty?” or was it “Do you know what causes poverty?” “Poverty”, said the Reverend Henry Gordon, “comes from disobedience to God. When man moves away from God that is when he becomes poor”. Francis replies, “So in China or Singapore, where they do not follow God, how is it they are prospering?” Reverend Gordon then goes into religion, theology and issues of the soul. He ranted of about God breathing the Breath of Life into something he fashioned from the dirt. René, who has for years operated the most successful media house by keeping away from controversy, did not join in the conversation on Gordon’s side. A trained priest, Father Leslie from the Roman Catholic Church agreed with the position of Francis Gegg. That the soul never dies. René on two occasions asked another one of the panelists how come he was so silent and was not joining in the discussion. This person is Steve Duncan, Manager of one of the local banks. He performed a minor miracle. He stayed silent throughout what was a talk show and a discussion panel. Perhaps, Mr. Duncan was reflecting on the phrase, “Fools rush in where wise men fear to tread”. Or that “Speech is silver and silence is golden.” He made no contribution.

The Music Mess
There are many things I need to say about the cultural and artistic affairs of Belize. I wish to start with music. In April 2010 Moses Michael Levi AKA Shyne was appointed Music Ambassador by the UDP government. Wilfred Elrington, the Minister of Foreign Affairs who appointed him said at the time, “What we want to have him become the director of the music program in NICH working in conjunction with NICH for the government of Belize so that he will put in train the formal music education in all our schools and learning institutions to give our children the chance to tap into that tremendous resource they have.” The appointment of Shyne as a music ambassador was a slap in the face to the credibility and emergence of a vibrant original music industry in Belize. Nothing against Shyne the artist, I am a big fan, but his grandiosity rubbed many people the wrong way, especially the struggling artists. I heard DJ Keegan recently making the salient point on air that each day that passes with an absentee ambassador is an insult to all artists not just musicians. In April 2011 at a University of Belize forum on culture Belize’s acclaimed music producer Ivan Duran stated that music in Belize is in a state of “coma.” The reason for this began with the blow to the head from Shyne’s appointment. Music is about credibility and authenticity. Shyne’s appointment was and remains a sick joke.

Exercise for Healthy Bones and Joints
As we get older, our bodies change. Bones can become weak and fragile, which is a bone –thinning disease called osteoporosis. Muscle size and strength decrease (a condition called muscle atrophy) mostly due to inactivity. Bone mass and density decrease, increasing the risk of breaking a bone (fracture). Ligaments and tendons lose their elasticity, making it easier to suffer overuse injuries such as rotator cuff tendonitis, tennis elbow or Achilles tendonitis. Joint inflammation and cartilage degeneration (arthritis) occurs. Exercise works on bones much like it works on muscles — by making them stronger. Because bone is a living tissue, it changes in response to the forces placed upon it through constant buildup and breakdown. Osteoclast cells absorb bone when there is no stimulus, as in a sedentary lifestyle and osteoblast cells build up bone when there is stimulus. Weight-bearing exercise increases the action of osteoblast cells and is the only exercise that increases bone mass. Exercise also improves balance and coordination, which is important in the elderly to prevent falls, the primary cause of broken hips, wrists and spine in the elderly. Below are types of exercise one can do for healthy bones and joints.

AMAZING GRACE: Jesus Walks in Belize
The word “walking/walketh” is mentioned 189 times in the Bible. The word “walk” is mentioned 315 times. That is a large number. There is a quotation that says “Walk long enough and we all trade places”. A mystic phrase that caused me deep spiritual reflection. Jesus himself was in fact a traveling evangelist who healed and touched the lives of many persons as he walked in and out of their lives and villages. He traded places with the blind and gave them sight. He traded places with the sick and gave them health. He challenged the cripple and they traded themselves from the places of restrictions to smiles of freedom and restoration. They were moved from the narrow and daunting corners that trapped them. Whether they were trapped in the small spaces of their physical deformity or their lifestyle habits or their overzealous religious shackles, Jesus walked those who believed on top of the water of life. His message was liberation and hope, the scripture reminds us to keep walking “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Phillipians 4:8.

Gang Truce Dead
After spending millions of dollars in an unsustainable and poorly-thought out programme, which paid taxpayers’ money to gang members so they stop shooting each other, the Government has announced that they have run out of money and have shut down the initiative. Last Wednesday, GOB officials gathered notorious gang members for an official meeting. In that meeting, the gang members were told that the program, known as a gang truce, in which they were paid a salary would be discontinued as of Friday, December 7, 2012. As consolation, the Government said they would continue paying for a month. No labour will be needed in return. The Government has yet to disclose how much tax dollars were paid to the gangs since the programme started in September 2011. And we want to know both the Government cheques and under the table deals. More startling is that the Government has still not come up with an alternative programme, one which is sustainable, comprehensive and long –term. The result of all this will only be more unemployed young Belizeans seeking to exact anger and fury on the innocent.

Home Economics – Cigarettes vs. Tomato Ketchu
Belice no longer manufactures cigarettes……yet it struggles in manufacturing tomato ketchup, BBQ sauces, pizza sauces, spaghetti sauces, Catsup Salsa Dulce and other tomato based sauces. There are two avenues of cigarette importation into Belice: [1] Caribbean Tobacco Company (CTC), a subsidiary of the Roe Group that imports their own brands of cigarettes INDEPENDENCE, COLONIAL, MILPORT, etc….which is now manufactured in Trinidad & Tobago. It also imports Benson & Hedges, the largest foreign cigarette brand, from T&T. Together, CTC controls 99% of the domestic market for cigarettes [2] several companies in the Corozal Free Zone import many brands of cigarettes duty-free from India, China, etc. and some “escape” into Belice, while others are shipped in containers to Mexico and Guatemala. When cigarettes were being manufactured in Belice…..the Government of Belice justified protecting the industry with very high customs tariff rates of 100%….in addition to Revenue Replacement Duty, General Sales Tax and Environmental Tax… that the imported brands were more than two times the price of the local brands. Of course, the local brands controlled 90% of the domestic market for cigarettes, as a result of this policy. Verena Foods, a Belice-based manufacturer of food products, started manufacturing tomato-based sauces in 2002, and has since garnered 5% marketshare in Belice….without any customs tariff protection, as afforded the cigarette manufacturers.

Manuel Heredia: the Modern Day Rafael Trujillo?
One of the most divisive leaders of the 20th century is undoubtedly Rafael Trujillo. The longtime dictator of the Dominican Republic ruled in an era called the ‘Trujillo Era’ which is often dubbed as the most bloody in the country’s history. Nonetheless, Trujillo’s years as the leader of the Dominican Republic promulgated the so called ‘personality cult’ and greed through power. The notorious Caribbean leader and Belize Rural South Hon. Manuel Heredia seem to have a lot in common? Both leaders demonstrate high marks for conceitedness through power. Less than a year after his party emerged victorious in a nail biter election, Hon. Manuel Heredia is again on the spotlight. This time around, the insidious San Pedro based politician gave the media a strong dose of his political lunacy. Top leaders inside the United Democratic Party are running around, hastily trying to frame a response to yet another blunder by Heredia. What is the answer? A bold- NO APOLOGIES! The controversial transfer of Police Officer Sharmane Young clearly demonstrates the wretched reality of using one’s position to quantify power. President Ronald Reagan stated it correctly when he said that “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely”. The honorable minister was utterly wrong to use his position to please his own agenda. Whether, you call it corruption, or abuse of power, the truth of the matter is that he disrespected and undermined the job of our law enforcement officials.


Belize Bank donates bus to police department
The Belize Police Department, at least its Belize City Formation, has a new police bus. The bright yellow and green bus comes as a gift from the Belize Bank Limited. Marketing Manager of the Belize Bank, Misty Michael, says that the bank was concerned about the level of crime in the old capital and wanted to help out. Assistant Commissioner of Police, Elodio Aragon, Junior, told Love News that Eastern Division, where the bus will be stationed, was handicapped for about a week in transporting huge numbers of its officers. The bus was purchased at a cost of twenty thousand dollars.

Lotto winner claims jackpot
A Belize City woman is fifty thousand dollars richer tonight, but her luck did not come in the recent jackpot draws. In fact, 51 year old Karen Lanza was not even in the country in October when she realized that she had won. Lanza’s prize was 57 thousand 500 dollars and after taxes she collected 48 thousand 875 dollars. Meanwhile, the next jackpot for Saturday’s draw is 105 thousand dollars.

Salvation Army hosts children’s Christmas party
The Salvation Army church today hosted its annual Christmas lunch and party for children from around Belize City. Over a thousand primary school children from various institutions gathered at the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall for the event. Major Joliker Leandre is the Regional Commander of the Salvation Army in Belize. Today’s Christmas party for the children is made possible with contribution from the general public, particularly the proceeds generated from the red kettle appeal which has been going on since last month. Major Leandre says that slowly but surely the church is meeting its commitments to those it serves, especially at this time of the year. Guests at today Christmas party for the children included Governor General Sir Colville Young and Belize City Mayor Darrel Bradley.

Senior Citizens attend Christmas part in PG
The HOPE Organization held its Christmas party yesterday for 200 senior citizens in Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details.

Government tractor caught hauling illegal Rosewood flitches
The issue of the illegal harvesting and extraction of rosewood from the forests of Toledo is back in the news again. In the last week, there have been at least two incidences of illegal rosewood extraction activities, the latest occurring on Wednesday afternoon. Inspector Ernel Dominguez is the officer commanding Toledo Police. The latest incident of logwood harvest and extraction indicates that the announced moratorium announced earlier this year by the ministry of forestry is being violated. According to Inspector Dominguez, the tractor bearing government of Belize Licence plates and the eighty pieces of rosewood remain in police custody at the Punta Gorda police station compound.

Custom-made swing set donated to Stella Maris school
The Stella Maris School and the Academy for the Deaf in Belize City today received a donation of valuable piece of recreational equipment. The custom-made swing set was donated by the Belize Bank which is a corporate sponsor of the institution that caters for children with special needs Misty Michael is the marketing manager for the Belize Bank. The customized swing set includes a ramp for children who are wheel-chair bound. According to the Acting Principal of Stella Maris School Dana Staine, the entire student body will benefit from the donation, including the twelve students who get by in a wheel chair. In addition to today’s donation, Stella Maris School has also been the benefactor of other assistance from other organizations during the course of the year.

International Sources

Mystery of the Mayan calendar
Video: Nick Parker reports from Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula on the origins of the Mayan calendar.

Belize: ACP's son charged with drug trafficking
The son of an assistant commissioner of police in Belize has been charged with drug trafficking. The Belize police report that 27-year-old Noel Richard Leal Jr was arrested on Thursday after his vehicle was intercepted by law enforcement officials and a quantity of marijuana found in two tyres. Leal made his first court appearance in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court yesterday and is scheduled to return on January 29 next year. Assistant Superintendant of Police Dinsdale Thompson told reporters that law enforcement personnel found 12 plastic bags containing 43lb of marijuana in two tyres that were in the back of Leal’s vehicle.

McAfee says he won't return to Belize
U.S. Internet security pioneer John McAfee proclaimed his innocence and said he won't return to Belize to answer questions about the slaying of a neighbor. "I will not go back to Belize," he told CNBC's Squawk Box Friday. "I had nothing to do with the murder of Gregory Faull." Faull was found dead on an island off Belize's coast last month. McAfee said he would answer questions in a "neutral country." He also repeated his claim that dozens of Belize police attacked his property in April and that demands for bribes were what prompted him to flee Belize after Faull's death. McAfee fled when Belize authorities sought to question him in the death. He spent three weeks on the lam before emerging in Guatemala Dec. 3. As Guatemalan authorities debated deporting him to Belize or the United States, McAfee became ill and was taken to a hospital -- a condition he told ABC News he faked to give a judge more time to stay his deportation to Belize. Since he returned to the United States Wednesday, McAfee has conducted impromptu news conferences on the steps of his hotel in Miami. Whether McAfee remains free in the United States or is returned to Belize likely will depend on whether he becomes a "person sought for prosecution," as stated in the U.S.-Belize extradition treaty with the Central American nation, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. While he hasn't reached that status, Bill Hing, an immigration lawyer and law professor at the University of San Francisco, said, "This guy is definitely not out of the woods."

December 15, 2012


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Specials and Events

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

7th Annual Lighted Boat Parade brings in the Christmas Season

San Mateo residents get help in purifying their contaminated drinking water
On Saturday December 8th, a group of San Mateo residents gathered at their local community church ready to learn how to purify their often contaminated drinking water. The San Pedro Sun has widely reported about the troubling water contamination issues in the disenfranchised community located just north of the Barry Bowen Bridge. While most islander have heard of San Mateo, many residents have not been there personally and are always shocked to witness and learn that the children and residents of San Mateo often become ill from the bacteria present in their drinking water. In addition, San Mateo residents regularly have to walk through the wetlands that surround their homes to get to the street; in many instances this causes infection of open wounds due to contaminated water that has been further exposed to raw sewage in the surrounding wetlands.

A treasure trove of Belizean Cuisine at Pirate’s Treasure
A couple of weeks ago, we were out delivering newspapers when we stumbled upon a most intriguing property. From a distance, the wood fence concealed a true hidden treasure, quaint and laid back. We pulled up closer and realized it was so much more. Maresha Reid, talented personal chef was behind the bar. After a few minutes of conversation, we learned that Maresha, along with bartender/chef David and owner Jason, were manning Pirate’s Treasure. In no time at all, we were accepting an invitation to experience a true Pirate’s Treasure. After deciding on a Sunday afternoon of fun, The SPSun gang set way across the bridge northwards to Pirate’s Treasure. With the sun high in the sky and perfect clear blue skies with just a slight wind blowing we had the perfect weather for our short, five-minute drive. I can tell you from now – the phrase that best describes the Pirate’s Treasure experience is: Flavor Explosion! A tropical, serene setting accompanied by great food and even better drinks is what awaits you at Pirate’s Treasure. Upon arrival, our mood is instantly calm and relaxed, and we cannot wait for our outdoor dining experience. With sandy floors and rustic wooden tables shaded with palm-lattice, the dining experience offers a tropical island picnic feel. Towering coconut trees in front Pirate’s Treasure draws your attention to the horizon where the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea shimmers under the bright afternoon sun. We refresh ourselves with a cooling cocktail. Pirate’s Treasure’s signature drinks are perfectly paired blends of tropical fruit, Belizean rums and liquors. If you’re the type to enjoy a cocktail every so often, be sure to try their famous PumPum juice shot – a tasty blend of fruit juice, rum and a very unlikely ingredient, vanilla cream! On a warm afternoon, David’s perfectly blended concoctions were most welcoming to start our dining experience. First up was the Purple Fairy, followed by the Blue Hole daiquiri (my choice to indulge), the Lady in Red and finally the Sapodilla Daiquiri. While we each had our individual drink, we couldn’t resist sampling each others cocktails. Each libation was made with three or more ingredients, perfectly blended to create just the ultimate refresher.

Ambergris Today

John McAfee Returns to the United States
Will Belize be seeing more of John McAfee in the future? That’s anybody’s guess, but what is for sure right now is that McAfee has been out of the country for a few weeks and after being detained in neighboring Guatemala after seeking asylum there, he now finds himself back home in the United States. After a long, crazy and month-long drama, reports indicate that John McAfee is in the South Beach area of Miami. McAfee’s return to the United States marks the culmination of him being on the run after police in here in San Pedro, Belize announced that he was a person of interest the November killing of Gregory Viant Faull, who lived near McAfee's home on the island. To this date, McAfee still denies any involvement in Faull’s death and insists that he fears for his life in the hands of Belizean authorities. He fled from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye to Guatemala where he was arrested for illegally entering the country, leading to his deportation.

Video Pick: Coca Cola's 'Smile Back Belize' Advertising Spot
Back in October 2012 Coca Cola International Latino spend a couple weeks in Belize shooting a commercial that would be aired in Latin America. Just a couple days ago, the new advertising spot was posted on YouTube called Smile Back Belize! The Coca Cola YouTube Channel says: “Coca-Cola loves seeing people happy, which is why we set out across Belize on a mission to spread the simplest, most universal expression of Happiness, a SMILE... hoping that you would return one to us.” Check out the great ad that features scenes from Belize City and San Pedro with some familiar faces throughout the spot.

Misc Belizean Sources

Scrooge – Mayor taxes city residents but spends tax dollars in Chetumal
The business community in Belize City is enraged at Belize City Mayor Darrel Bradley. Residents are highly disappointed. Mayor Bradley, who has double and tripled taxes on Belize City residents and businesses and also wrecked the entire city’s infrastructure in the guise of fixing about a dozen streets, also has tricked the business community into supporting the UDP’s idea of keeping the city in long-term debt bondage with a municipal bond. What Mayor Bradley hasn’t told residents is that his Council has no innovative way of creating revenue to pay back the bond and will have to resort to increasing taxes even more on residents and businesses. You thought the new garbage tax and the doubling of trade license was enough, right? But the Mayor doesn’t seem to be concerned about the dilapidated and depressed city. In fact, days after the business community willingly supported the bond; Mayor Bradley showed them total disrespect when he abandoned the city to go shopping across the border, over into Chetumal, Mexico. Mayor Bradley and a caravan of four vehicles that included his father the defacto Mayor, deputy mayor and three councillors and a few other party friends set off to Chetumal, 100 miles away, to spend city funds on fuel to buy alcohol and goodies for a Christmas staff party last week Friday. At a time when the city is economically-depressed and in dire need of investment, small, medium and big, the Mayor chose to slap the very same businessmen by going to shop, not away from the city, but outside of the country instead of buying at local stores.

Castro: Sex, Scandal and Sickness
Edmund Castro, who is the UDP Area Rep for Belize Rural North, is no stranger to the media. His acting skills are wanting but the man loves the spot light. As result we will give him some after much pressure but not to shame him; rather, that the child may equalize the odds against these UDP politicians who manipulate and corrupt the system to victimize those they disapprove. The fact is that stories of Edmund Castro’s “sexcapades” have long and frequently reached the BELIZE TIMES, whether they are his “feedings” of “under-sized tilapias”, the extra-marital children or the rage of violence from cheating caught in the act. We at BELIZE TIMES have restrained ourselves. But when we were asked to intervene to give a voice to a situation where this UDP politician is being accused of neglecting his own sick child and putting a single mother in fear and under threat from police officers, we have to tell her story. At the end of this Castro should give proper maintenance and financial support for his child. His actions so far are inexcusable. A young lady has filed an official complaint against Edmund Castro. This young lady works as an “Infection Control Sister… at the Southern Regional Hospital.” She has mothered a now two-year old child with Castro, who is severely ill. She had to apply to Family Court to force Castro to pay maintenance but somehow Castro, a Minister, is paying only the very minimum by law. He is paying a grand total of $7.14 a day in maintenance to his child. If you break it down, if all that $7.14 went only to food and nothing else, Castro is giving his little two year old child 42 cents per meal. Remember this is a sick child who needs medical attention. So not one prescription can be filled or taxi to doctor be paid and not even a pack of pampers can be bought. This is a sin.

DPM Vega presides over corruption
Two years ago Mr. Manuel Padron a farmer and cattle rancher of San Felipe Village in the Orange Walk district was approached by the then UDP representative for Orange Walk South Marco Pech and by the Minister of Lands Gaspar Vega for Mr. Padron to sell an 18 acre parcel of land at the entrance of San Felipe Village. The land was needed to provide house lots for village expansion. Mr. Padron agreed to exchange his 18 acres of cleared lots for 100 acres of high bush on national land. The Minister agreed to the exchange and instructed the Lands Commissioner to give Mr. Manuel Padron permission to survey the 100 acres of agricultural land. Mr. Padron in turn transferred his 18 acres to the Village Council of San Felipe. That was two years ago in 2010 when Manuel Padron was a strong supporter of Deputy Prime Minister Vega and the UDP. In the General Elections of March 2012, Manuel Padron, who had become disillusioned with the UDP, openly expressed his support for the PUP candidate Abelardo Mai. He has now discovered that his own niece Darlene Padron who is the National Estate Officer in the Ministry of Natural Resources has been making corrupt deals over the same 100 acre parcel of land. Minister Vega has refused to keep his side of the bargain and even though Manuel Padron has already transferred the 18 acres to the Government for village expansion, he has been unable to get title for the 100 acres he was promised.

MCHS Fun Day
Mount Carmel High School had their fun day to celebrate the end of the semester.

Feed the Children Christmas Fair
The Cornerstone Foundation is having their Feed the Children Christmas Fair all day today at Falcon Field. There will be a tons of food and games.

SHJC's End of Semester Dance
Sacred Heart Junior College is having a dance tonight. DJ Porchy and DJ Caesar will be mixing. It goes from 7pm until midnight. "End of semester bash this Friday at SHJC!"

Santa Paws Visiting Belmopan
The Belmopan Humane Society is bringing Santa Paws to George Brown Park in Belmopan today at 4pm. They'll have food and games at the fundraiser. "Please take a moment to spread the word. This event is not a fund raiser, it is an awareness raiser and a fun time for the children of the community. Even though there are many activities going on through out the City the same day we hope you will still be able to lend your support to ensure this will be a successful. If we could cover our costs that day it will be a bonus."

Channel 7

Yhony Rosado Gets Free After Only 1 Night In Jail
When we left you last night, business owner Yhony Rosado was spending his first night in jail, remanded on a firearm offence. Bail for those offences can only be gotten from the Supreme Court and only on Friday's. But his attorney Kareem Musa put in the application for bail yesterday - and managed to get a bail hearing today. The DPP's office had no objection and so Rosado managed to get out of ail in a little over 24 hours. That's not bad at all considering he was charged with pulling a firearm on a business rival's son. When he got out, he came to 7news and told us what it was like:.. Yoni Rosado, "You see it from other stories and movies and when it happens to you, you cannot really believe it. I was sleeping after work on Wednesday, so Thursday morning I was getting up as usual, I picked up my kids to take them to school and about 6:30 in the morning I saw the police ran in the house like I was some type of criminal, I ask him how can I help and the officer say to me that he was looking for Yhony Rosado. I told him that I am here sir.

CCJ Delivers A Slapdown To GOB On Dividend Issue
Tonight the Government of Belize is smarting after the CCJ put a smackdown judgment on it today. It's about the BTL dividends. As we told you yesterday, the Court of Appeal lifted a 3 month restraint imposed by the Caribbean Court of Justice - which ended on December 14th. With that out of the way, BTL could go ahead and pay the dividend - which had been declared at its Annual General Meeting in September. And so this morning, bright and early at 8:00 am, BTL's Chairman proceeded to issue cheques for almost 12 million dollars in dividends. But, an emergency CCJ hearing was pending - to review the Court of Appeal decision. That was set for 9:00 am - by which time, the dividend cheques had already been cut. That's what the attorney for the government Denys Barrow told the Court - but the President of the CCJ bristled when heard of the development. He directed Government to put back the money in an escrow account by 2:00 pm today. Here's how attorneys for both sides described it today:... Eamon Courtenay - Attorney for the British Caribbean Bank "The court of Appeal had dismissed the application for the injunctions, and you will remember that what the Caribbean Court of Justice had said was that Telemedia was not to deal with the question of dividends before December 14, which is today. We came to court this morning, and Mr. Barrow informed the court that at 8:05 this morning, Belize Telemedia apparently paid out the dividends. I think that you were present in court, and you can see that the court - to quote the president - is very troubled by what has happened. The president went further and said that it should not have happened. The truth of the matter is that what we have here is a continuation of the rogue-like behavior.

BTL Exec Chairman Says Small Shareholders Suffer Dividend Block Most
As we told you in our top segment, it's been a day of confusion for BTL shareholders; first their dividend checques were paid, and then suddenly they weren't, the decision of the Caribbean Court of Justice. They couldn't get the checques at the Annual General Meeting in September, and now there is an air of uncertainty surrounding the issue because the court order will not be lifted until the CCJ fully hears the this application to extend the conservative order. And when that hearing is completed, there is a chance that the CCJ could rule in the favor of Boyce and BCB, which would mean that no dividends will be paid until the CCJ makes the decision. So tonight, and for the next few weeks, the company remains in limbo unable to do anything with that money. This evening at the soft launch of the BTL 4g service, 7News caught up with the Executive Chairman of BTL. We asked him about the decision to issue them today. He told us that he and other board members were blind-sided by this decision when they were informed that they must retract the checks that the issued:

Opposition Rejects New Crime Measures
The House of Representatives met today in Belmopan to debate and vote on an entire raft of new legislative measures that were introduced two weeks ago. Foremost among them were the amendments to the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Amendment Bill - which seeks to update to current legislation in a few meaningful ways. The Prime Minister explained and a quite heated debate got started after that:.. Prime Minister Dean Barrow "The way the law is currently structured the minister needs the concurrence of the Crimes Control Council. Crimes Control Council Mr. Speaker has been defunct for a number of years and so to try to get them together to give the minister that concurrence that he needed proved very difficult indeed. There was a question of whether the members were even still validly in place. What we are doing is to say now that the minister will have to get hence forth the concurrence of the National Security Council of this country. In addition to that we are giving the minister rather more flexibility under this bill to have the declaration lasts for a longer period in each 24 hours."

Gov't Says Ombudsman Not A "Party-Flunky"
The appointment of a new ombudsman also stirred debate. As we told you two weeks ago, he is 45 year old Toledo resident Lionel Arzu. He takes up the post in January after it has been vacant for a year. And while Arzu is a teacher and an academic, the Leader of the Opposition says he fears that Cabinet gave him the job because he is a UDP supporter. Hon. Francis Fonseca "I certainly hope that this is just not just another case of the UDP government finding a job for a good UDP. It certainly does not instill any confidence in us on this side Mr. Speaker when we see that Mr. Arzu's two primary references; the two persons offering strong references for him for this job and these references are attached to this application or the former UDP representative for the Toledo East Mr. Peter Eden Martinez." Hon. Patrick Faber "For them now to taint old Mr. Arzu as a UDP - I don't know Mr. Arzu and in fact several others of the Cabinet members don't know Mr. Arzu and that was why we had to ask who is this man and in fact the former mayor and the former representative did give their nod to say that they know Mr. Arzu to be a man of good character - that don't means to say that the man is a UDP flunky - he did not put Peter Eden Martinez as his recommender.

Festively Clad Finnegan Says He's Feeling "Hugo"
And there was also a lighter side to today's house meeting. Senior member and UDP Party Whip Michael Finnegan was suitably dressed for the pre-Christmas House Meeting - when he digressed to a matter of public interest: those anti-Dean Barrow ads that you see on the news every night. He says he's feeling Hugo Chavez, not Barack Obama in the Mesopotamia division:.. Hon. Michael Finnegan "They have an advertisement where they tried to demonize the Prime Minister. I don't know if you look bad and you are simple because you say Obama don't give us anything - God knows it's true. I don't feel him in Mesopotamia at all. I feel Hugo in Mesopotamia and I am not an ideological kind of politician but I am telling you the truth - I feel Hugo there. Then what is it to stand up and tell the man from IDB Moreno that he is a coward and he is basically in my view dishonest because he renege on what he promise to the Prime Minister. I would want to be the Prime Minister - I want to be manly like you sir - it shows that you have "bolas.""

Ferryman Found Dead: Was It Murder Or Suicide
A man was found dead at the Baking Pot Ferry in the Cayo district at 7:00 this morning. He was found hanging - which suggests it was a suicide, but his family and co-worker say they think it was foul play. We visited the area today:.. Jules Vasquez reporting Here at the Baking Pot crossing, the life of a ferryman is mostly worry free. But today, this ferry operator says he feels shaken after his co-worker, the night shift man, 40 year old Martin Cesar Castellanos was found dead on the ferry this morning. He was found hanging from this crossbar at 6:00 am - police estimate that he had been there for 3 hours. He was last seen yesterday. Maria Castellanos, Wife of Deceased "Yesterday around 3:30 he was here all day with us and then he went to work, I didn't see him again." Jules Vasquez "You saw him yesterday, how did he seem?" Eliud Cruz, Ferryman "He looked all right and fresh. He took over the shift at 4pm because he works from 4-7 the next morning." What happened between yesterday evening and this morning is unknown - did he kill himself, or was he killed? Reporter "I understand that he had a confrontation a while ago with someone. Did you know of anything like that or why anyone would want to kill him?"

Man Loses Life In Hit And Run
Another life was lost on the Northern Highway last night - it is the second one in a week. This one appears to be a hit and run which happened shortly after 6:00 yesterday evening in the village of San Jose San Pablo in the Orange Walk District. CTV3 News reports that 76 year old Primitivo Pott was knocked down a stone's throw away from his son's home where he lived. It was raining at the time and a white pickup truck, reportedly travelling at high speed knocked down Pott and drove off. Primitivo Pott was launched into the air and landed on his back in the middle of the highway. He received massive injuries to the head and died on the spot. The driver of the pickup truck he is yet to be identified.

Special Branch, More Weed and Weapons
The Special Branch continues to come up with major weed and weapon busts. Yesterday evening at 5:30, the special Branch directed police to an abandoned lot in "Brides Alley" which turned up a buried .38 special Revolver. No one was found in the area. On the same operation searches were made in another abandoned lot on Pinks alley, which also led to a black Plastic bag containing 103 grams of Cannabis.

Christmas With Choral Society
By now, unless you've been under a rock somewhere - you probably know about the Digicell 10th Anniversary Concert. But if dancehall Reggae's not your thing, then there's the Chorale Society's annual Christmas Concert. One of the members of the Choral Society stopped by to tell us what you can expect tomorrow night: Here's what she told us: Courtney Gillett, Member - Belize Choral Society "The concert is our annual event; one of two, we have one in June. This one is going to be held at the Holy redeemer Parish Hall starting at 8pm and tickets are $15 and you can get tickets from me or any of the other members and you can also get at the door." Daniel Ortiz "What can the public who may want to go expect?" Courtney Gillett "You can expect a musical fusion. We have Latin pieces, we are singing some of Dr. Colville Young's Christmas selections; "Neighbor get up," "What a glory," and we also have some contemporary Christmas carols that we will be singing, just pieces that you can enjoy and really appreciate at Christmas time."

Sister Yaya Protests Concert At MCC
And while that will be at the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall, the weekend's other big concert will be at the MCC Grounds. But as we've been reporting for several days now, the Football Federation of Belize is unhappy that the MCC Grounds is being used as the venue. Well, social activist Yaya Marin-Coleman has taken up the cause and from 6 p.m. this evening, she began a one-woman protest against the concert. 15 minutes later, she was joined by FFB president, Ruperto Vicente, who, along with the FFB have aligned themselves with the protest. We caught up with them and they told us that even though they are only 2, they have followers who are with them in spirit: Yaya Marin-Coleman "It's not the first time I know of where Belizean people are making it known that they are not happy, they are not pleased, they are not satisfy with the MCC field is getting used for anything other than sports. I just take the responsibility that I will demonstrate and the way things worked out is that I did get a permit after all so that other people could have joined me. there are stipulations of course about how you conduct yourself out here."

But, the Show Goes On...
And while the protest goes on, for concertgoers, so does the party. No doubt, with 10 featured acts, tonight's Digicell Concert is the concert event of the year. Yesterday we spoke with headliner Beenie Man - and today another very popular Reggae artist arrived. He is Baby Cham and he told Monica Bodden why it's more than just a regular show and how he plans to turn it up:.. Monica Bodden "When you talked about "tun up" that the thing that everyone is talking about right now. What does that mean?" Baby Cham - Dancehall artist "It's like you have kids - you know how it feel; when you have a new born it's like you wish so much for this child and you hope for so much blessings and prosperity - it's just like a song. in the studio when you record "tun up" there is no way - you want people to accept like that but you are not expecting everywhere in the world that understands English and loves dancehall and reggae music to be saying "tun up" and every female taking it to their heart to raise their self-esteem no matter what or how it may sound but it does it."

BTL Soft-Launches 4G
And while DIgicell is celebrating 10 years, BTL is upgrading its cellular network to 4G capability. Today, the company held what they called a "soft launch" of the network. 7News stopped by and we asked the public relations manager what they mean by "soft launch". Here's how she explained it, along with what customers can expect: Anjali Vasquez - Public Relations Manager "It basically means that today we put on some of friendly user testers, some of our business people - selected few people who will help us sort of break the ice and initiate the 4G service. These people are being put on and if you take a look there are quite a few here. They are being put on as we speak, so that we work out the kinks before we commercially launch to the public next week which we will announce that date. Besides just launching 4G service the first of its kind in Belize - there is a huge concert tonight December 14 and we have a whole lot os promotions coming up in the next week.

Channel 5

Put it back! But government refuses CCJ order
We reported on Thursday that the Court of Appeal had dismissed an application by Dean Boyce and the British Caribbean Bank to prohibit Telemedia from paying dividends arising from this year’s Annual General Meeting. We also reported that, on the heels of that decision, the Caribbean Court of Justice had issued a notice late in [...]

Top cop’s son, Leal Jr., shames name with 43 pounds of weed
Twenty-seven year old Noel Richard Leal Junior, the son of the Assistant Commissioner of Police, was busted on Thursday afternoon with some forty-three pounds of marijuana. The drug was found in two vehicle tires he was carrying in the pan of his Ford pick-up truck. Leal was intercepted by a police patrol on a road [...]

Ferry Operator was found dead near Spanish Lookout
A ferry operator was found dead near Spanish Lookout this morning. The body of Martin Cesar Castellanos was found suspended from a ferry but police are treating it as a case of sudden death. The family says that the circumstances show that Castellanos could not have taken his own life and furthermore they have information [...]

Dangerous powers, entire country can be declared crime-ridden
The last sitting of the House of Representatives for this year was convened today.  A number of Bills came up for second and third readings but the most controversial was an amendment to the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Act.  Several changes were proposed and passed, which the opposition described as draconian since it moves [...]

Opposition concerned about selection process for new ombudsman
The appointment of forty-five year old Lionel Arzu as the next ombudsman will be signed off by the Governor General in the days ahead.  Arzu, has been recommended by the government to succeed former ombudsman Cynthia Pitts, whose three-year contract was not renewed when it expired in January.  Following advertisement of the post, Arzu, was [...]

Yohhny Rosado, cave tubing tour guide, got a personal prison tour
Yohhny Rosado, the owner of and tourism activist, spent Thursday in prison after being charged in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court for Aggravated Assault with a Firearm upon Vitalino Reyes Junior. The alleged incident occurred about three months ago when Reyes claims Rosado went to his property in Frank’s Eddy Village, pointed a gun at [...]

Sanjay and Lino get committed for separate attempted murder
Two young Belize City men will stand trial in the January session of the Supreme Court for separate indictable offenses including attempted murder, murder and conspiracy to commit murder. The first to be committed was Robert Tracey who has been accused of attempting to take the life of Loren Lennon, a former Security Guard of [...]

Family time: Mom and 2 sons busted for weed
A mother and her two sons were on trial today for a drug trafficking offense, allegedly committed in July of 2011. Twenty-seven year old Dennis Sanchez, his brother, Derrick and their mother, forty-six year old Sheril, were jointly charged for trafficking sixty-three point two grams of cannabis found inside their family yard in Ladyville. When [...]

Will electricity go up in 2013? A definite maybe
Belize Electricity Limited (B.E.L.) is saying that the acquisition cost of electricity is going up but will it be reflected in your light bills? To answer that question, we spoke to B.E.L. today. They explained that currently the hydro dams are below operational levels and there is also a weak production of electricity from BELCOGEN [...]

Liberty Children Fundraiser for the kids
Liberty Children’s Home continues to face financial challenges, which have been compounded recently by a series of burglaries. It has created additional expenses for the charity foundation to replace the stolen items as well as to implement and maintain new security measures. Fortunately, they received assistance from the Seattle based organization, Professionals without Borders, which [...]

Cycling gets political too?
Elections for a new executive of the Cycling Association Elections were first postponed from the twenty-fourth of November to December eighth and then to January twentieth, 2013. Deputy Mayor Dion Leslie is challenging President Emil Moreno.  The President of the Pan-American Cycling Federation, Jose Manuel Palaez Rodriguez, wrote to the Minister of Sports to say [...]

Ho Ho Ho; Belize Bank Part for Stella Maris kids
The students from Stella Maris were treated to a fancy carnival party on Wednesday, courtesy of the Belize Bank’s community outreach. Aside from the food and games, Santa and Misses Claus were on hand to deliver the well earned gifts to each student to make their Christmas more meaningful. Duane Moody joined in the celebrations. [...]


Special Needs Students Benefits From Donations
The Stella Maris School and the Academy for the Deaf in Belize City today received a donation of valuable piece of recreational equipment. The custom-made swing set was donated by the Belize Bank which is a corporate sponsor of the institution that caters for children with specia...

Salvation Army Church Hosts Christmas Party For Children
The Salvation Army church today hosted its annual Christmas lunch and party for children from around Belize City. Over a thousand primary school children from various institutions were present at the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall for the event. This year’s Christmas party...

Renowned Bar Owner Fined For Illegal Employment
Fifty-eight year old Raul Magana, the owner of Temptation Bar, located at mile 10 on the George Price Highway, was fined a total of $23,000.00 when he pled guilty to 12 counts of employing persons not in possession of employment permits. Magistrate Adolph Lucas also ordered Magana to p...

Indian Couple Fined For Fake Visa
An Indian couple, 25 year old Chetankumar Patel and his wife, 28 year old Jagrutiben Patel , both of them students, were each fine $2,000.00 today in Court after they pled guilty to attempting to use a visa permit not issued by lawful authority. Magistrate Adolph Lucas ordered them to ...


2012/2013 Crop Season Sweeter Than Sugar
The 2012/2013 crop season kicked off on November 28th, at exactly 10:00 in the morning. The first week of crop got off to a good start and so has the second week. This week, 40,854 tons of cane was milled by the factory totaling to 93,316 since the season begun. This is an increase from last year’s crop season which saw the milling of 65,932 tons of cane after the first 2 weeks. Last crop season, 5,760 tons of sugar was produced in the first 2 weeks. The 2012/2013 crop season saw a 5,760 increase in tons of sugar produced. 1,606 tons of mud was extracted this week, which totals to a sum of 3,839 tons of mud being extracted this week; a 579 increase from last year. This week, 302 tons of cane was grinded per hour; this is an increase from the 264 tons which was grinded in the 1st 2 weeks of last year’s crop. This week, juice purity was at 83.70%, totaling to 83.63 for this year’s crop season so far, an increase from last year’s 83.04%. TCTS stood at 10.85% this week, and for the two weeks at 10.76%, seeing a decrease from last year’s crop which stood at 11.45% for the 1st two weeks of crop. The dry weather supported the harvest week, but rain is needed for the late 2012 fields. For the Christmas season cane will be received up to 10:00am on Sunday December 23rd. The factory will resume operations at 10:00am on December 27th.

Anti Virus Guru Faces $5 million lawsuit
But while the man of the hour might have managed to escape the long arms of Belizean Law, he is already facing a law suit in the U.S. Tonight it seems McAfee has jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire and it remains to be seen if there is anywhere else he can run to escape the heat. The Software tycoon faces a $5m lawsuit over the death of 61 year old Robert Gilson from Arizona. Gilson's family blame McAfee for the horrific crash of the married father-of-three who was taking lessons in aero trekking- a sport that McAfee invented himself and involves flying a trike with and engine at speeds of 75mph. The wrongful death lawsuit alleges that McAfee hired his 22-year-old nephew, Joel Bitow, as flight instructor even though he didn't possess the right qualifications. Bitow then took Gilson to one of the most dangerous parts of the canyon in Arizona where they suddenly lost control and went into a spiral dive to their deaths.

Police Investigate Burning Of Cane Field
Adelita Keme, 45 year old Belizean domestic of San Narciso Village Corozal District, reported to police that about 11:00am on 12th of December she sent her workers to burn her cane field located in the San Narciso Village Corozal. Upon reaching the cane field the employees observed that the crop had already been burnt down by Arnoldo Correa, the complainant’s brother, and his workers. To avoid conflict Keme’s employees left the area and informed their employer about what had transpired. According to Keme, upon visiting the area she noticed that the 10 acres of cane field, valued at approximately $8,000, had been burnt down without her permission. While there she confronted her brother who threatened her. Fearing for her life Keme left the area and reported the matter to Police who are now carrying out their investigations.

John McAfee Back In Miami Florida
After being on the run for one month, anti virus Guru John McAfee has managed to dodge the laws of Belize. John MacAfee was deported to the U.S from Guatemala were he left his 20 year old girlfriend Samantha Vanegas. Yesterday afternoon McAfee boarded an American Airlines flight back to Miami Florida after he entered Guatemala illegally about one week ago. The fugitive software tycoon wanted for questioning in Belize over the murder of his American neighbor, spoke to reporters at a hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, on Wednesday night. Here is what he told reporters. In an interview given to ABC after landing in Miami yesterday, McAfee said he'd been faking illness in Guatemala. Asked if his apparent heart problem in court there was a ruse, he said, "Of course. It kept me from going back to Belize." He said all his money and assets were still in banks in Belize and he had left Guatemala with just his clothes and shoes. He held up a stack of 5-dollar bills and said a stranger had given them to him after he arrived in Miami. McAfee also said he had made up stories while he was on the run to gain news coverage, although it was unclear what parts of the tale he was referring to. "What's a better story (than) millionaire madman on the run?" he told ABC.

Santa At Saint Peters School
Christmas season is here and with it the end of the 1st term of classes. Various primary schools across the country celebrated the end of classes with the traditional Christmas Party and added to the list this year was St. Peters Anglican School. Today we visited the school where we found students, teachers and parents having a jolly good time. Rosanna Briceno – Principal St. Peters Anglican School “Every year teachers plan mini or class parties but actually not all the teachers and plan the party properly so we decided it is Christmas and the kids have done a lot in participating in so many things so we decided to do a whole Christmas party for the entire school.” Today, St. Peter’s fed 275 children plus teachers and parents thanks to donations made by the teachers, customs department, the ministry of education, and the business community. With a huge smile on their face each student enjoyed every moment of the Christmas Party organized especial for them. But truth of the fact is that these students together with the institution have come a long way. St. Peters Anglican School has too often been perceived as a school that is solely for children with special needs, but Principal Rosanna Briceno expresses that this perception is far from the truth.

Honouring La Virgen De Guadalupe
Yesterday around the world catholic faithful celebrated the last day of the novenas a La Virgen De Guadalupe and Belize was not the exception. Early yesterday, even before dawn, the mañanitas was dedicated to the Virgin who has her origin in the Mexican territory when she appeared to faithful Catholic Juan Diego on December 9th of 1534 on the Tepeyac Hill. Last night we captured the last novena in the village of Trial Farm where faithful flocked to the celebration. December 12 marks the birthday of the Virgin of Guadalupe which is celebrated each year, since 1534, in a series of Novenas which starts on the 3rd of December and finalizes on the 12th of December when it is believed that the Virgin of Guadalupe made her final appearance on the cloak of Juan Diego. Last night, in Trial Farm Village, a faithful catholic family hosted the celebrations at their premises where Catholics from as far as Belize City and even Crooked Tree gathered to offer their prayers, graces and petitions to their Saint. Gumersendo Richard “Indian” “Tonight we had a procession then we will have prayers and after the prayers we will have a dance. What we do we do it from the bottom of our hearts and at the same time after the prayers we have free food, free drinks and free dance everything is free we don’t charge one cents for nothing.”

Guatemalan Nationality Applications In Belize Put On Hold
A number of Guatemalans who renounced to their nationality should be sworn in at Capital City Belmopan this December 21st. But apparently they won’t be getting a Belizean citizenship. The new Minister of Immigration Honorable Godwin Hulse is not convinced that the current renunciation procedure for Guatemalans is effective. What that implies? Easy, Belize law requires that for any Guatemalan to become a Belizean they must first renounce their Guatemalan nationality. In practice, all that means is filling out a form at the Immigration office and signing it. However, such a renunciation is not legal in Guatemala since their law states that to properly renounce their citizenship a person must make it formal in that country - by sending in their passport - and filling out a formal Guatemalan renunciation form. The Guatemalan Ministry Of Foreign Affairs must then accept the application in order for the renunciation to be official. With the current manner in which the procedure is done in Belize citizens can still return to Guatemala to regain a new passport. So, all Guatemalan nationality applications in Belize are currently on hold. But what the thousands of Guatemalan - Belizeans who in the past have gotten by with the meaningless paper renunciation? We tried reaching the Immigration departments both in Belize City and Belmopan to comment on the issue but all our calls proved futile.


Indian nationals caught with fake Belize visa
An Indian couple, 25 year old Chetankumar Patel and his wife, 28 year old Jagrutiben Patel , both of them students, were each fine $2,000.00 today in Court after they pled guilty to attempting to use a visa permit not issued by lawful authority. Magistrate Adolph Lucas ordered them to pay the fines forthwith and told them that if they default on payment they will serve one year. He also ordered that they be deported to their country of origin. They paid the fines and avoided the prison sentence. The facts of the case revealed that the couple, who were living in Bolivia for three months, came to Belize yesterday via a flight from El Salvador. When they arrived at Phillip Goldson International Airport immigration officers checked their passports and saw that there were discrepancies in their visa permits. The investigation unit of the Immigration Department was called in and upon inspection it was confirmed that the visas were not authentic. As a result, the couple was detained and charged. Further investigation by immigration officers revealed that the couple obtained the visas in Bolivia and went from Bolivia to Peru and then to Equador and from Equador to El Salvador. They then came to Belize to visit and they had made reservations to stay at Red hut Inn in Bella Vista.

Police recover firearm and weed; carpenter charged
Belize City carpenter, forty six year old Delroy Chambers was busted with a loaded firearm and drugs on his property early yesterday morning. According to police report, they searched Chambers’ house around twelve-fifty yesterday morning; but found nothing incriminating. Police say they then searched a coconut tree in Chambers’ yard where they found a nine millimeter Lugar brand firearm and a magazine containing nine live rounds of ammunition. Police say they also found one thousand, five hundred and twenty five grams of marijuana along with the firearm. As a result, Chambers was arrested and charged for the crimes of Drug Trafficking and keeping an Unlicensed Firearm and Ammunition.

News from the Crime Beat
Fifty-eight year old Raul Magana, the owner of Temptation Bar, located at mile 10 on the George Price Highway, was fined a total of $23,000.00 when he pled guilty to 12 counts of employing persons not in possession of employment permits. Magistrate Adolph Lucas also ordered Magana to pay the cost for the return of the 12 women to their country of origin. Magana has to pay the fines between December 28, 2012 and November 30, 2013. Around 9 p.m. yesterday immigration officers went to Temptation Bar where they observed 12 women there who admitted that they were employed by Magana but they did not have employment permits. As a result, Magana and the women were detained and Magana was charged. A 17 year old boy was attacked and robbed at gunpoint on Wednesday night in Belize City. Because of his age, the name of the victim cannot be released; but the teenager and his sister were walking on Dolphin Street around 8:45 pm Wednesday when he was hit in the head with a firearm by one of two men who approached from behind. When the gunman hit the teen in his head with the weapon, the other attacker proceeded to search his pocket, relieving him of his cell phone, I-pod and fold earrings, all to a total value of $1,050. After the jacking, both culprits ran away in different directions. The police are investigating. A Belize City woman was left traumatized after she was held up, tied up robbed at her workplace, a small stationary and electronics establishment on Cleghorn Street on Wednesday morning. The woman, who asked that her identity be not revealed, was at work around 10:15 am Wednesday when two men walked in and one asked to get a document copied. When the woman turned around to go fill the order, one of the men pulled out a weapon and held her up. The unmasked men proceeded to duck-tape her feet and tied both of her hands. They then proceeded to help themselves to three laptop computers and about $200 in cash from the drawer. All total, the robbers made off with $7,900 worth of stolen items. The frightened woman says the thieves also took away her passport and threatened to go looking for her if she went to the police station to make a report.

Graduation held for apprentices
Since 2010 the Ministry of Education’s Apprenticeship Program has been turning out young persons who at some point in their lives made a wrong turn but are now making a positive difference. Today, the program, headed by Dianne Finnegan, graduated its third enrollment of 113 young apprentices, who have spent the last six months of their lives at various workplaces getting on-the-job training in specified fields of work. It was a bittersweet moment for Finnegan, who was elated at the youths’ accomplishment, but saddened at the loss of one. The aim of the program is to equip the youths with the knowledge, skills and competence they will need to get a job and hold onto it. Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, challenged the graduates to prove their worth in society and to disprove everyone who treats them with disdain. But while Minister Faber challenged the youths to excel, Mrs Finnegan was candid in her thoughts about the limited opportunities available to troubled youths. A number of the past apprentices who completed in the first two enrollments have been gainfully employed at businesses throughout Belize City. The program started out with 30 students and has expanded to as many as 150. They receive a stipend of 100 dollars a week from the Ministry for their effort.

Lotto winner claims her prize two months after winning
A Belize City woman is fifty thousand dollars richer tonight, but her luck did not come in the recent jackpot draws. In fact, 51 year old Karen Lanza was not even in the country in October when she realized that she had won. Lanza’s prize was 57 thousand 500 dollars and after taxes she collected 48 thousand 875 dollars. Meanwhile, the next jackpot for Saturday’s draw is 105 thousand dollars.

Concert artists arrive for Friday’s event
Imported artists who have been booked to perform this weekend in Belize City arrived at the Phillip Goldson International Airport today. Our colleagues from MORE FM were there and spoke with the performers. The artists are scheduled to perform on Friday at the MCC Grounds in Belize City.

Belize Zoo celebrates important milestone
The Belize Zoo this week celebrated a special milestone. Love TV’s Marion Ali and video journalist Brian Castillo report from La Democracia village.


Third reading of the appointment of the Ombudsman sparks lively debate
This afternoon’s House Meeting was filled with its own style of pageantry and there was heated banter in the House ...

PM made derogatory reference to the comments of House member.
After members from both sides of the house had commented on the appointment of Lionel Arzu as the country's new Omb...

Telemedia dividend payouts put on pause again by court injunction
In media broadcast last night it was aired that BTL was getting ready to make dividend payout totaling almost 12 mi...

Second reading of Trafficking in Persons prevention Bill
The Hon. Anthony Boots Martinez, who is the Minister of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Allevi...

Current renunciation process for Guatemalans is not effective
A fresh set of new Belizean citizens will be sworn in on December 21st in Belmopan. But there may be a contingent o...

The Football Federation of Belize has been busy re-constituting itself
The Football Federation of Belize has been busy re-constituting itself... as an injection of new blood has re-fuell...

Deon MaCauley aims to play professional football abroad
Earlier in the news we featured interviews with a couple of the players from the National Football selection. Just ...

Lady mugged near Primary School in Belmopam
Yesterday morning just before the 11:30am bell a mugging took place near to the United Evergreen Primary School in ...

Belmopan People’s Coalition rehabilitate Police Station
Belmopan People’s Coalition is getting their gears working. Last month Plusnews had announced that the coalition ha...

National Aids Commission meets in a two days
National Assembly in Belize City Today the National Aids Commission met in a two days National Assembly in Belize City, where all partners and stake...

A firearm is recovered in Corozal Town
A firearm is recovered in Corozal Town. At 1:15pm yesterday, Police conducted a search on an empty lot in the Rainb...

Special Branch hauls in more drugs and a firearm in Belize City
Special Branch hauls in more drugs and a firearm in Belize City. Yesterday at 5:35 pm, based on Special Branch info...

Quick Police response recovers stolen skiff and engine
Quick Police response leads to the recovery of a stolen skiff and engine. A 28year old Boat Captain of #3650 Mauric...


Belizean journalist and social activist from behind the Zinc Fence, YaYa Marin Coleman said today that she will stage a 24-hour protest against the continued abuse of the MCC football field by the holding of concerts there. The MCC, already poorly maintained, is the traditional Mecca of Belize City football, and its playing surface can only be further damaged by the placing of bandstands and other heavy structures on the grass surface. The football community, including the President of the Football Federation of Belize, has repeatedly appealed to the National Sports Council to stop this practice. (See FFB press release on page 44 in this issue.) The last time, about a month ago, that a big concert was planned by NICH at the MCC, they hearkened to the appeal from the public and the FFB President and moved the event to another venue. But this time, the organizers seem hell bent on trampling on footballers’ sacred turf. YaYa says she plans to protest alone. She will walk up and down a portion of the sidewalk in front of the MCC from the corner of Calle Al Mar and Newtown Barracks Road. “Jah will protect me,” replied YaYa, when we expressed concern about her safety through the long night hours alone.

It was a classic climax to a well sponsored, organized and run youth football tournament – the Smart 13 & Under Mundialito, which kicked off on Saturday, September 29, and finished right on schedule with the championship match 11 weeks later on Sunday, December 9, at the MCC Grounds. There were 10 teams in the tournament, and it was a single round-robin; thus, each team had 9 games in their regular season schedule, all on Saturdays. That was followed by knockout semifinals last week Saturday, and then the one-game 3rd place and championship Finals this past Sunday. Brown Bombers had accomplished a feat of sorts, not only completing the regular season undefeated, but they did it without conceding a single goal in their 9 games, of which only 1 was won by default. One of those victories, 2-0, was against Hattieville, who ended the regular season in 3rd position, having lost only once, to Brown Bombers. In the semifinals on Saturday, December 1, the Bombers easily disposed of 4th ranked Third World, 2-0; while Hattieville had to go to penalties before getting the win over 2nd ranked United Rangers. With the MCC vacant, F.C. Belize having failed to make the Premier League playoffs, the Mundialito organizers shifted their final games to Sunday, along with a couple exhibitions featuring Belize District/Mundialito selections against a YWAM U-12 selection and their Gold Medal U-15 team from Belmopan.

Henry Patnett, 23, was found guilty today of attempted murder, wounding and child destruction after a jury of 9 – 8 women and 1 man – deliberated for just under 3 hours. Patnett was charged with the attempted murder of Valerie Sheran; the wounding of Ernesto Ireland; and with child destruction for the dead, premature neonate (baby) that was extracted from Sheran’s womb. Patnett, who was undefended in court, was accused of stabbing his ex common-law wife, Valerie Sheran, 30, who, at the time, was 7 months pregnant with his child. Ernesto Ireland, 71, Sheran’s current boyfriend, was with her at the time of the attack, and in trying to protect her from further injury, was himself injured by Patnett. On August 2, 2010, in the wee hours of the morning, Sheran and Ireland were at her house asleep in her bedroom when Patnett entered and attacked Sheran with a machete. Sheran was first stabbed in her left breast, then in her abdomen. In her testimony to the court, she recounted that she struggled with Patnett for the machete and after wresting it from him, he pulled a knife. During her struggle with Patnett, Ireland awoke, and after realizing that she had been stabbed, fought with Patnett. But his fight with Patnett only resulted in him suffering injuries to his hand.

The recent episodes involving U.S. visitors John McAfee and Lisa Merz provided graphic examples for Belizeans of tourism’s damaging effects when it spins out of control. McAfee’s wealth was compromising the morality of our young ladies, and Merz’s importance to the San Pedro Ambergris Caye economy resulted in a Cabinet Minister’s interfering in the legal process in order to get special treatment for her. Those of us Belizeans who reside in this house, our house, do so because we don’t want to or because we can’t, go to the United States. We know that the United States is the world’s superpower, the largest economy on planet earth, and we know that, by comparison, we are a very small and perhaps marginal nation. As a result of having achieved political independence in 1981, nevertheless, we Belizeans have the right to decide whom we want to invite and accept in our house. During his years in power, Mr. Price was careful with this tourism thing. In the Caribbean, former British possessions like Jamaica and Barbados were going crazy over tourism. In Cuba, however, the region should have learned a lesson. Tourism can undermine a small country’s nationalism, compromise its integrity, and mock the dignity of its citizens. In Cuba, out-of-control American tourism had ended up sparkling a violent revolution, which triumphed in 1959 and, in retaliation, declared itself communist. The problem with tourism is simple. Successful nation-states are built on a work ethic and a basic morality. It is expected that adult citizens put in an honest day’s work, and it is expected that adult citizens give maximum respect to the family concept. Tourism encourages none of these things when it spins out of control. Citizens of host communities and societies find that they can make relatively easy money providing illegal and immoral services for visitors, and the more wealthy of these visitors are not here to encourage family values.

The Grigamandala project, or experiment, lasted only a single semi-pro football season – 1999/2000, but there are a couple of the Belize City players from that project who have become active and exemplary working with young footballers in Belize City. These are Stanley “Air Jordan” Reneau and Dion “Pussy” Flowers. I guess we on Partridge Street would like to think that the Grigamandala experience contributed to their maturing and community awareness. We had some specific young men we felt were in absolute need of such a project. These were young men out of the Mayflower/Banak area of Southside Belize City. Neither Reneau or Flowers came out of that area, so they were not the primary targets of our exercise. If the Grigamandala experience was positive for Jordan and Pussy, then perhaps those benefits may be described as ancillary. Some history is necessary here. There was a time when Belize City only reached as far as Pound Yard. Going west from the area where the Vernon Street fish market is presently located, where the Haulover Creek and Collet Canal intersect, the area west of that used to be all mangrove swamp, and in the middle of that swamp was a body of fresh water that we knew as “Prisoner Creek” in the 1950s. In line with his Belizean self-esteem and nationalism program, Premier George Price began referring to Prisoner Creek by the lofty title of “Lake Independence.” This was when Belizeans in the old capital, mostly working class, were beginning to push westwards in the 1960s.

In a short meeting held at the National Assembly in Belmopan, the members of the Public Accounts Committee finally agreed this Monday — after debating divided positions — that it would make its meetings open to the public. PAC Chairman, Julius Espat, informed Amandala that the five committee members present agreed, however, that the first two PAC meetings, slated for 2013, at which they will sort out procedural matters, will be private. The next meeting is scheduled for January 14, 2013. Espat also noted that there may be exceptional circumstances, such as for national security reasons, when PAC sessions would have to be private. Espat said he is happy to have gotten what they were lobbying for from the beginning – open meetings. Espat is one of two Opposition People’s United Party members on PAC. The ruling United Democratic Party has four of six seats.

“Cost of power has increased more than 30 per cent” – BEL Belize Electricity Limited (BEL), in accordance with Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 116 of 2009, section 7, and in compliance with the Public Utilities Commission’s (PUC) Rate Setting Methodology bye-laws, is making a submission to the PUC showing that cost of power has increased more than 30 per cent above the PUC’s approved reference cost of power. This significant increase in cost of power has been occurring since July 2012 due to various challenges faced by the three largest independent power producers that supply BEL with electricity. According to the Law, BEL’s submission is to occur no later than 21 days prior to January 1, 2013, which may trigger a review for the period January to June 2013. In its January 25, 2012 press release on the PUC’s Full Tariff Review ruling, BEL noted that “…the proposed reductions [in the electricity rates] will only be sustainable if the actual cost of power remains at the projected level or lower. “BEL is committed to doing all within its control to meet its cost of power projections and seek ways to lower it even further. BEL will be working closely with the PUC in this regard, and meetings on this matter have already commenced”. Therefore, BEL is providing all the necessary information to the PUC to help inform their decision.

In his book A brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking wrote that the whole of what is called the cosmos was contained in a particle of matter, infinitely small and infinitely dense, which grew and expanded prodigiously till it exploded and scattered the material of the universe into space many billions of years ago. To someone like me, who believes in logic and reason, that event can only be explained as a miracle. Logic and reason tell me that nothing cannot give birth to something. That miraculous particle that Stephen Hawking writes about could not create itself. So, assuming that what he postulates is a fact, that event confirms the existence of a Supreme Being, which Genesis affirms. And, it confirms also that before creation nothing material existed, which is the state that I will venture to describe in the next paragraph. Before the Supreme Being, whom we call God, created the universe, which was before the Earth with animals, plants, other creatures, and finally human beings were created, there was nothing (no thing). Nothing animate or inanimate existed in what we call space. What is space? Space is only a name for nothingness. To get an idea of space, consider that everything material that exists is in motion. The whole universe is hurtling through space at a great speed. The scientists say that the initial motive force of the universe began with an explosion, as described in the opening paragraph. If the galaxies were not in motion, they would fall, the way a stone would fall, through space, at a speed 33 feet per second, per second. Which means that in the first second, it would fall 33 feet, but in the next second its speed would increase to 66 feet per second, and so on. In five years, its rate of descent would be faster than the speed of light. The stone would continue to fall at an increasing rate of speed, unless it was destroyed by atmospheric friction. And since there was no atmosphere before creation, it would continue to fall forever. So would all the matter in the universe if they were motionless.

McAfee boasts of eluding “inept” Belize police and fooling Guat officials, but now faces an expensive lawsuit in the US, about a man’s death Antivirus pioneer John McAfee, 67, on the run from Belize police since the murder of his San Pedro neighbor and fellow American, Gregory Faull, on Sunday, November 11, gleefully reported from Miami on Wednesday night that he had fooled the Belize police, who he said were “inept,” and duped officials in Guatemala into admitting him to a hospital there on a fake heart attack report. McAfee later admitted that he had faked the heart attack to buy his lawyers time to contest the effort by Belizean authorities to have him returned to Belize, because he was a “person of interest” in the murder of Faull. For the past month McAfee has been one of the most talked about personalities in the media, blogging racy stories of his escapades, along with his 20-year-old Teakettle girlfriend, in avoiding the clumsy Belize police. Apart from denying that he killed Faull, McAfee kept insisting that Belize police wanted to kill him. He escaped San Pedro Ambergris Caye, crossed over to the mainland, and then reached Guatemala reportedly on Monday, December 3, seeking asylum there, as Belize doesn’t have an extradition treaty with that country. Although Belize authorities made it clear that they only wanted to talk to McAfee, he said he still feared returning to Belize.

Earlier in the week there were reports of a bust of illegally harvested rosewood in Boom Creek, Toledo. Around 2,000 board feet of the hardwood were confiscated at that time and stored at the Machaka Hill Forest Station in Punta Gorda. Those logs, worth over BZ$100,000, were later stolen from the compound. To add to that problem, Police and the Forestry Department came up on more illegally harvested rosewood yesterday, Wednesday. This time, the wood was found seven miles outside Punta Gorda. Those logs, too, were confiscated by authorities. According to Wil Maheia of PGTV, the land owners of Gomez Estate noticed that logs from their property were going missing and alerted the Forestry and Police Departments. Maheia said that the wood was already attached to a trailer and tractor and seemed to have been ready for transportation. According to reports, Chief Forestry Officer Wilber Sabido said that 20 pieces of rosewood were confiscated and transferred to the Punta Gorda Police Station, and another 50 pieces were transported to the Ministry of Works compound. Sabido said that the Forestry Department is treating the situation “with the utmost confidentiality.” He also said that charges will be brought against those caught with the wood.

The body of a 66-year-old watchman of the Agricultural Development Service at Mile 9 on the Stann Creek Valley Road was found under a work shed on his work compound around 7:00 Wednesday morning. The body of Clive Bernard Coe had multiple dog bites to the face, arms and right leg. According to police, near Coe’s body were two Fila Brasileiro dogs when a co-worker discovered him. It was almost as if the dogs were guarding the body, standing over him on opposite sides, facing each other. Police said that when they arrived at the scene, Coe, of nearby Hope Creek Village, was laying face up on the ground with bite marks all over him, suggesting that the dogs had something to do with his death. Police, however, are baffled, because Coe had raised the dogs from they were puppies, and together, they provided the security on the compound. They are not sure what happened. Police theorize that Coe may have suffered a heart attack and as a result fell down hitting some part of his body, causing bleeding. The scent of blood, they surmise, may have triggered the dogs to attack him.

The former president of the Senate under former Prime Minister Manuel Esquivel, Edward Flowers, 81, OBE, JP, died at about 1:00 this morning, Thursday, at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, after battling illness. His wife of 53 years, Myrtle, told Amandala that she was at the KHMH earlier with him. She came home and shortly after, she got a phone call informing her that he had died. She said that he begun ailing earlier this year. Myrtle said that she will always remember him as a man who loved his family. He was a father of 3 children and the grandfather of 8. In his biography, Flowers said that he prided himself on being the student of National Hero, Hon. Philip Goldson, under whom he served as deputy party leader of the National Independence Party (NIP). Additionally, Edward Flowers worked with the Belize Estate Company ( BEC) and eventually rose to be deputy manager. He served on the executives of several non-governmental organizations as chairman, secretary or treasurer, including on the Belize Harbor Regatta Committee and Belize Ex-Servicemen League.

Dear Mr. Banner, I want to thank you and your staff there at the Ministry of Rural Development for the concern and quick attention with which you responded when I called a few weeks ago to report a hand pump (for a drill well) out of commission in Biscayne Village. Because Rural Water Coordinator, Mr. Hilberto Lopez, was on leave when the problem occurred, you attended to the problem personally. Not only did your crew get right on the job, but they called me three times from the field to check with me and inform me of the progress of the work. I lodged the complaint to you on a Thursday evening and you promised you would send a crew out to check it on Friday – which you did. The crew leader, Alfredo Coye, called me that Friday to say that they had identified the problem, and promised they would be back with the necessary parts to do the repairs on Monday – which they did.

Dear Editor, Please allow me the opportunity to share with our people what I heard on Wave Radio this morning from Minister Patrick Faber. A caller from Dangriga voiced his opinion about the politricks towards Dangriga as one of “The Forgotten South”. It was quite obvious that the caller ruffled some feathers, because Patrick and the other two gentlemen jumped like idiots, explaining about the building of schools, roads, scholarships, etc. here in Griga. The drama was quite amazing to me, to the point where I had a very good laugh. It seemed as if the caller opened a can of worms and I loved every bit of it. We need more callers to voice their concerns so we can have the same reaction, and hopefully, they will all see the big picture. Now here is my version. Looking at the big picture, I personally and honestly believe that the Southern districts have more to offer to our country’s economy via the tourism industry. I agree with some of the comments made by Mr. Faber and the other two gentlemen that the Hopkins road is a disaster. Our people have been living on promises that this road would have been paved by both parties. Before I stray away from the picture, let me remind Mr. Faber and everyone else that the Southern districts have the longest coastal plain, the two deepest water ports, and so far, one of the two most peaceful districts in the country of Belize.


SAGA's Cook-Off Of Champions Packs Wet Willy's with Supporters
Last night SAGA Humane Society held a Cook-off of Champions to raise money for the animals of San Pedro. An invitational competition with all of our winners from our 2012 monthly themed cook-offs. The best of the best. We were doubly excited since all the donations and money raised at the event (and until the end of today) are being matched up to $2000US by a long term supporter and hand's on helper, Heather Beck. Thanks Heather! Wet Willy's Cantina and Smokehouse Restaurant was the venue...and I do not lie when I say that by 6pm, starting time, the place was PACKED. After we sold the last of our 130 tasting tickets at about 6:05pm, we had to vacate our little sales table to provide more seating. I would guess that we had almost 200 supporters and volunteers attend. AMAZING crowd. Also amazing, we had 14 delicious entries from all sorts of categories. From Chicken Tamales to Bacon Cheddar Mashed Potato Ball (from AJ's Bar) to a gooey Apple Crisp (from Crazy Canucks) to Wet Willy's Smokehouse Asian Marinated Pork Loin with Ginger Sweet Potatoes....this decision was close to impossible for all the tasters.

Belize Archaeologist Distances Himself from Indiana Jones Suit
The Belizean archaeologist at the centre of a lawsuit against the makers of an Indiana Jones film using the likeness of a crystal skull said that he has been misrepresented both in the claim itself and the media attention surrounding it, according to a manager of Belize’s Chaa Creek Natural History Centre. Brion Young, assistant manager of the Chaa Creek NHC, which, among other activities, catalogues the Maya presence in Belize, was commenting on media reports that the Director of the Institute of Archaeology of Belize, Dr Jaime Awe, is suing the producers of the 2008 Harrison Ford film “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” for use without permission of one of Belize’s most iconic and controversial images, the Crystal Skull. However, Mr Young said he has just received news that Dr Awe is disturbed by the reports and has said that he was unaware of the lawsuit, which was filed by promoters as part of a scheme to publicise celebrations to be held in Belize as part of the 2012 Maya Winter Solstice celebrations. “It seems that Dr Awe, a serious Mayanist who is respected worldwide for his research into Maya civilisation, thought he was merely lending his name to an attempt on the part of the Government of Belize and Belize’s National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) to contact the present owners of the Crystal Skull. He had no idea it would result in this lawsuit.

‘When the ship comes in’ to Ambergris Caye,Belize
Something that I should perhaps have mentioned some while ago about building in Ambergris Caye, Belize is that nearly everything ( think I have mentioned that Ambergris Caye is an island) that you need or want has to be ferried in. For the build of a home there is a lot of stuff to be ferried in because although there are building supply stores on the island the range is not extensive and the prices will be higher. Far better to go to one of the builder merchants on the mainland or import, say from the USA, and then barge it from Belize City over to Ambergris Caye. When considering our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize we had looked at project managing it ourselves. Had we done this it would have been us that would have employed the labour and ordered and arranged for the delivery of all materials. We chose not to take this approach – even though we would most probably have reduced the cost of the project – because in all honesty we didn’t want the hassle of worrying if deliveries were made by the required time. Employing, and managing, staff. We also didn’t want to have to organise and manage site security for the materials.

What’s it like building in Ambergris Caye,Belize?
Was on the final piece of bacon when my ‘phone rang. It was Rose . She had showered, dressed and wanted to join me in going to watch our build in Ambergris Caye,Belize. I paid the bill (BZ$17.50) and went to collect Rose. We got to the site at 7.20 am, 80 minutes after the guys had started to work and it was obvious straight away that they had been busy and were still very busy filling the forms with concrete when we arrived. The guys were expertly and vigorously using the long and precarious ramp to the forms. Rudimentary improvisation was in place making use of small boards as ramps to provide access for the wheelbarrows ( and three were in constant use today – skilfully and energetically used by Nicholas, Alfredo and ‘Junior’) to the forms for the pouring. The guys on the wheelbarrows , once again, showed high levels of energy to deliver the concrete as quickly as possible. Daniel Camal , our building contractor , and Anhill worked together to make sure that the small ramps were moved and positioned as required and helped to empty the wheelbarrows at the correct place.

International Sources

Blue Hole Named to Most Awe-Inspiring Sites by TripAdvisor
Blue Hole at Lighthouse Reef named #2 most awe-inspiring site in world by TripAdvisor. #1 is Antelope Canyon in AZ US & #3 is Angkor Wat.

Mayan Apocalypse 2012: A Journey Into Belize In Search Of Mayan History (PHOTOS)
Modern Belize is small enough that passengers on my Belize City-bound Delta flight spent nearly half an hour before takeoff figuring out how they knew each other's relations, assuming that they must. They did, but it's no surprise given that this territorially tiny country is home to about 300,000 people benignly organized into racial subsets: Taiwanese small business owners, Low German-speaking Mennonite farmers, creole-slinging slave descendants. This file-folder diversity is charming, but it is also the result of a great homogenous loss. Before the Spanish explored Belize and the English colonized the Mosquito Coast with a rash of mahogany camps, roughly twice as many people lived here as do today. They were Mayan, and this was arguably the heart of their empire. The most obvious evidence of Belize's Mayan past are signs denoting natural wonders named with a surfeit of hissing Xs and guttural Us. Also the ruins. The ruins are towering and strange, their strangeness highlighted by the communities around them. Where Americans traveling in Mexico experience Teotehicuan as an unusually strange destination within a strange land defined by a foreign-and-mestizo history, travelers to Belize are given directions to the ruins in clear English from the stoops of clapboard homes. Within the context of towns quaintly named Ladyville, Teakettle and Blackman Eddy by the English, the pyramids' photogenic qualities are rendered eerie by a juxtaposition with recognizable modernity. The temples of Xunantunich, devoted to the lords of the underworld, sit just off a highway boasting a roadhouse named "Cheers." Xunantunich is not merely a relic. The Castillo, as the largest pyramid at the site is known, and the lawns in front of it sit on centuries worth of buildings. A stella showing the bottom half of a warrior found and displayed at the site dates from 150 BC. The Maya were here for a very long time and -- at least on the scale of their own history -- until quite recently. They lingered long enough to flatten the top of a mountain for their city and to construct massive pyramids without the aid of the wheel or, for that matter, thousands of Jews. Then they were gone...

Treaty Energy Corporation (OTCQB: TECO) (, a growth-oriented international energy company, is pleased to update investors on the progress of the San Juan Prospect in Belize. San Juan No 2 Well: San Juan # 2 well was perf'ed in a 10-foot section between 1197 FT-1207 FT in order to test the Top of the Cretaceous Lime. We swabbed on the 1200 feet zone and got gas and traces of oil. We expect to continue swabbing sometime this weekend and if all goes well, begin work on installing pump jack and temporary storage and flow lines. We plan to pump the well into a temporary storage tank for a few days to determine the daily production rates. San Juan no 1: San Juan # 1 well was perf'ed in a 10-foot section between 1222 FT-1232 FT in order to test the Top of the Cretaceous Lime. Initial Swabbing of San Juan #1 indicates limited fluid entry and will need to be acidized. We are reviewing the best ways to accomplish this with or engineers and technical staff in order to determine an action plan going forward. San Juan 3 and 4: We have applied for 2 additional Permits for wells a mile north of the initial San Juan Wells. We are currently acquiring casing, pipes, and mud to be loaded during the next 2-3 days out of Houston. The truck is expected to leave Houston by Thursday and to arrive in Belize on Monday morning. We will be clearing the location and preparing the pad sites by this weekend and expect to begin drilling sometime around the week of December 26th. We expect drilling to take around 5-7 days. Max Mohamed Project Manager

Papaya volumes on the rise
Red papaya production in Belize won’t peak until March, but shipments are expected to edge up weekly from now until then on a crop pegged for hefty volume increases. “Brooks is projecting a 25% increase in Caribbean Red papaya volumes in 2013,” said Bill Brindle, vice president of sales and marketing for Homestead, Fla.-based Brooks Tropicals. Late November production, however, was lighter than normal as growers continued to rebound from hurricane activity earlier in the year, said Eric Crawford, president of Sunrise, Fla.-based Fresh Results LLC. “We replant as fast as we can to fill the gaps Mother Nature gives us,” he said. Fresh Results ships red tainung papayas year-round. “There are just a couple large operations in Belize, Brooks and ourselves,” Crawford said. “Mexico is the largest producer, but out of Belize we’re definitely up double-digits year after year, probably 30% this year over last.” Given Belize’s vulnerability to hurricanes or tropical storms, only demand can explain the production increases there. “Demand on red tainungs is increasing exponentially,” Crawford said. “It has to do with the sugar levels and the flavor. They’re less pungent than a maradol out of Mexico.” Publicity on the health benefits of antioxidants in papayas has helped drive those sales — as have other marketing efforts.

OAS and EU to support peaceful resolution of Belize-Guatemala territorial dispute
The Organization of American States (OAS) and the European Union will sign on Monday at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC, an agreement to support the peace fund project, implementation of confidence building measures in the Adjacency Zone between Belize and Guatemala, managed by the hemispheric organization. The agreement will help to fund a civic education campaign to generate awareness of the consequences of the referendum that will be held simultaneously in both countries on October 6, 2013, in order to support efforts to find a peaceful and permanent resolution to the territorial dispute between the two countries. Participating in the ceremony will be the secretary general of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza; the permanent observer of the European Union to the OAS, Joao Vale de Almeida; the permanent representative of Belize, Nestor Mendez; the permanent representative of Guatemala, José Rodrigo Vielmann de León, the chair of the Permanent Council and representative of Mexico, Joel Hernández; representatives of member states and observers, and other senior officials of the organization.

The 6 Craziest Things John McAfee Said In His Unforgettable Interview On CNBC
Tech mogul John McAfee was on the run from authorities in Belize, now he's in Miami. He is suspected of murder in Belize, and has also said that the government has gone after him for having a meth lab and an illegal antibiotics lab. This morning the 67 year-old Mcafee did an interview on CNBC's Squawk Box about his plight, live from a studio in Miami. It was amazing. He touched on everything from drug use, to torture, to the status of his 20 year-old girlfriend and her companion. Here are some of the best quotes from the interview: The CNBC reporters wanted to know if this was all a hoax. He said not, but: "I do love hoaxes.... I did a hoax on bath salts once." His real stance on bath salts? "Bath salts are used by people that don't have a lot of money that make them want to eat people's faces. If I decided to start using drugs again, I have the resources to use good drugs." Despite his supposed history of drug use, McAfee told the interviewers, "I don't drink and associate with people who drink." He also said he does not hire them. On whether he'd start a business again, "Making money is easy. Any idiot can make money, it's keeping it that's the hard part." On guns: "It's certainly accurate that I had guns and lots of guns but they were in the hands of my security guards. I live in a country, sir that has the highest murder rate in the world, check it out on the internet." On being handcuffed for fourteen hours straight, he repeatedly told his interviewers: "You should try that."

McAfee 'not out of the woods' legally
Software developer John McAfee is a free man because he managed to elude police in Belize and slip into Guatemala, from where - like any run-of-the-mill illegal immigrant - he was deported. Whether he stays free in the United States or is sent back to Belize is likely to depend, in the words of the extradition treaty with the Central American nation, on whether he becomes a "person sought for prosecution" in the murder of a fellow American expatriate. He hasn't reached that status, according to news accounts. But, said Bill Hing, a veteran immigration lawyer and law professor at the University of San Francisco, "This guy is definitely not out of the woods."

McAfee says will not return to Belize, willing to talk to police
U.S. software pioneer John McAfee said that he will not return to Belize where police want to question him about a murder case, but that he is willing to let authorities from the Central American nation interview him in a "neutral country." McAfee, 67, went into hiding after his American neighbor Gregory Faull was fatally shot in November. He made his way secretly to neighboring Guatemala, but the authorities there deported him to Miami on Wednesday. "I will not go back to Belize. I had nothing to do with the murder," a relaxed-looking McAfee said in an interview on CNBC. Police in Belize want to question McAfee as a "person of interest" in Faull's killing, though authorities there say he is not a prime suspect. McAfee said he barely knew Faull and had "absolutely nothing" to do with his death. Belize police say their country's extradition treaty with the United States extends only to suspected criminals, a designation that does not apply to McAfee.

December 14, 2012


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Specials and Events

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The San Pedro Sun

Tropic Air inaugurates Maya Flats Airstrip
Tropic Air has added a new destination to their stops. Maya Flats air strip is located in the heart of the Maya Mountains, Cayo District. The air strip is only five miles from San Ignacio town and two miles from Benque Viejo del Carmen. The strip was officially inaugurated on Wednesday, December 12th in a brief ceremony. Invited to attend this inauguration were: Mayor of San Pedro, Daniel Guerrero; Mayor of San Ignacio, John August; Mayor of Benque Viejo, Miguel Velasquez; Minister of Tourism and Culture, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr.; Chairman of the Belize Tourism Industry Association, Michael Simmons and President of Tropic Air, John Greif III. The flight is about 45 minutes directly from San Pedro to Maya Flats. It takes you through amazing scenery of both the Caribbean Sea and the mountainous forests of Belize. This new flight brings the best of both worlds together; it is the surf and turf of Belize. The plane lands on an unpaved run way, and as you step out of the plane, you are met with a most beautiful landscape that leaves you breathless. Cayo District is considered to be one of the top beauties of the country – and she boasts greenery and mountainous regions that hide all manner of wonderful places to explore. It is no wonder that Tropic Air has ventured deeper into the territory to make traveling and exploring easier for Belizeans and visitors alike!

BEL Makes Submission to PUC as Required by SI 116 of 2009
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL), in accordance with Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 116 of 2009, section 7, and in compliance with the Public Utilities Commission’s (PUC) Rate Setting Methodology bye-laws, is making a submission to the PUC showing that Cost of Power has increased more than 30 per cent above the PUC’s approved reference Cost of Power. This significant increase in Cost of Power has been occurring since July 2012 due to various challenges faced by the three largest Independent Power Producers that supply BEL with electricity.

San Pedro Triathlon Team competes at “End of the World” Marathon in Placencia
The “End of the World” half and full marathon took place in Placencia on Sunday, December 9th, and San Pedro was well represented. Making the long journey south from San Pedro were Eric Donis, Daniel “Ducky” Gregorio and Kent “Bob” Gabourel, and their combined efforts managed to bring home medals and trophies. Competing in the half marathon at a total length of 13.1 miles were Eric and Daniel. The boys went up against about 78 other competitors, and Eric managed to place third, while Daniel placed fourth. Bob competed in the full marathon which was a total of 26.2 miles. In the end, he was won by two international runners, taking third place with a time of 3 hours and 20 minutes. Thirteen males and three females competed in this competition.

Ambergris Today

Tropic Air Officially Inaugurates San Ignacio Service and New Maya Flats Terminal
Tropic Air held the official inauguration ceremonies for its new San Ignacio passenger and cargo service on Wednesday, December 12, 2012. The ribbon was also cut on its new terminal facilities at Maya Flats Airstrip which will serve the people of San Ignacio, Santa Elena, Benque Viejo and surrounding areas. In addition, the new route will serve to link the area resorts with those in the rest of the country. This will make travel easier, increase tourism, and further enhance the diversity of the available tourism product for Cayo. Mayors of San Ignacio Town, Benque Viejo del Carmen and of San Pedro Town were present at the inaugural ceremony and they all reiterated how the entire surrounding areas will benefit from the new flight service by helping with increasing tourism and jobs, not only in the towns of San Ignacio/Santa Elena and Benque Viejo, but also for the nearby villages.

Belizean Officers Trained in Contraband Detection
Earlier today, Col. George Lovell, Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of National Security and His Excellency Vinai K. Thummalapally, Ambassador of the United States of America, hosted the first Graduation Ceremony of the Mobile Interdiction Team (MIT) on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at the Belize Police Training Academy in Belmopan. The ceremony commemorates a three-week training sponsored by the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) program. Eight instructors from the U.S. Border Patrol’s Special Operations Group (SOG) based in El Paso, Texas, trained twenty members of the Mobile Interdiction Team, represented by the Belize Police, Customs, and Immigration Departments. This team combats contraband and illegal smuggling on roads, highways, and clandestine border crossing areas throughout Belize.

Santa Wish Lists at Island Academy’s Christmas Pageant
Each student had an integral part to play in the Christmas Pageant and showed of their talent. They worked really hard in preparation for the main event and it was great to see all the props, costume changes and fun dances they put together for their audience. The singing was exceptional as every student shared in the joy of song and dance, which included some great solo songsters.

Letter to John McAfee
Dear John, We have been worried about you, and are happy to hear that you’re safe in the hands of the Guatemalan authorities. We are worried about your health, physical and otherwise, but it sounds like you’re in good hands and presumably receiving the best treatment money can buy across the border. It’s also good to hear that the jails are so much better there, and the “excellent” coffee must be an added bonus. At least it will keep you going until you’re back home and near a local Starbucks. Now that you are safe and sound and have some time to relax and reflect, we wonder if you can answer a few questions I and my fellow Belizeans have. We appreciate that blogging is keeping you very busy, so we’ll keep them short.

Misc Belizean Sources

Government Gazette, British Honduras, for the entire year of 1940
Interesting find, old Belize document Huge document, 443 pages plus 100 Supplements and 16 index pages. And a very interesting Forest Report.

Horizon Academy's Christmas Book Fair - Dec 15 &16
Come out to Horizon Academy's Christmas Book Fair: Date: December 15th (9am - 6pm) December 16th (9am - 4pm) Place: Horizon Academy, 3 1/2 Miles Phillip Goldson Highway Scholastic books will be available for children from pre-k to high school. See You there!

Meluchi's Black and White Party
Everyone had a wild time at Meluchi's last Saturday for DJ Porchy's birthday bash. This Saturday, they're having DJ Blaze's birthday bash.

Tropic Air's Open Day at Maya Flats
Tropic Air had its Open Day at Maya Flats yesterday, with the official ribbon cutting, to celebrate 12/12/12. Tropic Air at this point will have one flight daily from Belize City to Cayo. "12/12/12, what a perfect day for an opening. Tropic Air is officially open for business at the Maya Flats airstrip owned by Mr. Amin Bedran. We applaud Tropic Air for continually improving and creating ways to keep the country of Belize connected!"

Channel 7

Yhony Rosado In Jail!
In the past two years, Yhony Rosado the owner of has emerged as a national figure, well known for his outspoken tirades against bigger players in Cruise Tourism. But tonight Rosado is IN JAIL, on remand at the Kolby Central Prison in Hattieville. He was arraigned this morning in Belmopan Magistrate's Court on a charge of aggravated assault with a firearm upon Vitalino Reyes. Reyes is a competitor in the tour guide business who owns - very similar to Rosado's - which is part of their professional rivalry. Almost four months ago, on August 23rd, Rosado is accused of going to Reyes's property in Frank's Eddy Village and pulled a gun on 22 year old Vitalino Reyes Jr. Multiple witnesses say he went to the property allegedly to threaten Reyes, Jr. They reportedly had a dispute earlier at a nearby store. This reported incident we should note was the product of an ongoing rivalry between the two companies. Reyes and six other family members made statements attesting to the event. Last week, Rosado attested to his innocence in an interview on 7news: Police took months to investigate - and based on a directives from the DPP's Office picked up Rosado at his home at mile two on the western Highway this morning at 6:30.

Court: BTL Can Pay Dividends
Tonight, accountants at BTL are getting ready to sign off on almost 12 million dollars in dividends after the Court of Appeal refused an injunction today. That injunction was sought by the British Caribbean Bank and Dean Boyce of the Employee's Trust. Viewers may remembers that the Caribbean Court of Justice gave an order back in September when the Ashcroft Alliance argued that BTL Annual General Meeting was being pulled up on the calendar to quickly declare a dividend - much of which will accrue to Government which holds controlling interests in the company. The CCJ obliged with an injunction restraining BTL for three months - which ends tomorrow. As we reported, the Ashcroft Alliance weren't taking any chances in the event the Court of Appeal hadn't decided on whether the acquisition of the Company was constitutional or not. They applied for interim relief to extend that restraint of issuing of dividends far past tomorrow when the CCJ's order ends. Written arguments were presented to the Court of Appeal several weeks ago - and that decision was handed down today by President Manuel Sosa. He announced today that the Appeal Court refused the injunction leaving BTL free to pay the dividends - which is 45% of the company's profits, about 11.9 million dollars. Attorneys for both sides discussed the outcome today:

Indian Couple Pays Fine For Bogus Visa Bust
Last night, we told you about the 2 illegal immigrants who showed up at the Phillip Goldson International Airport with fake Belizean visas. Well, they are in the custody of the Immigration Department, who will deport them to their home country at the earliest convenience. They are 25 year-old Chetankumar Patel, and his wife, 28 year-old Jagrutiben Patel, both Indian nationals claiming to be students on a visit to Belize as tourists. At around 9:40 a.m. yesterday, they arrived on the Taca flight from El Salvador and attempted to pass through immigration to be allowed entry into Belize. But when they presented their passports to the Immigration Officers, they immediately noticed several telltale features of their Belizean Visas which did not match those officially issued from the Immigration Department. Those features included a reflective surface of the visa, rough borders of the document, and seal and stamp on it which appears to have been printed on as compared to those on official Visas which are imprinted.

Watchdogs Kill Watchman Who Nursed Them From Pups
A watchman was killed by two watchdogs in Southern Belize on Tuesday night. The next morning at 7:00 am, the watchman, 66 year old Clive Bernard Coe was found dead at his workplace, Agriculture Development Service at 9 ¼ Mile on the Stann Creek Valley Road. Police say he was lying face up under the work shed with injuries to the face, arms and right leg - and bit marks all over his body. Two Fila Brasileiro dogs - which help him watch the compound were found beside him - one on each side. The dogs look like something like these ones we found on the internet. Police believe the dogs killed him - even though he raised them form they were pups. The dogs are two years old and belong to the company. They were put down with a gunshot this morning by the owner. The Fila Brasileiro is a rare and highly sought after breed of dog - and, according to WIKEPEDIA, in some countries it is illegal to own them and they are automatically classified as a dangerous dog in other countries.

Can't Stop The Rosewood Hustle
There's still an embargo on the Rosewood trade in Belize, that means no Rosewood can be harvested, extracted from the forest, or exported - but like junkies, the Rosewood smugglers just can't get enough. The Forestry Department recently picked up three different sets of Rosewood flitches in the Toledo District proving that trade is still happening. Two weeks ago, the Forestry Department found a large amount of Rosewood in a covered truck in the Trio area in the Toledo District. They confiscated it and have since cancelled the license of the short term forest license holder Gilmer Alamilla. And then on Sunday night, KREM Radio News reports that the Forestry and Police Departments found two thousand board feet of Rosewood - broken down into flitches - on the Boom Creek Road. When the team got there, they saw a Guatemalan truck speeding away. Forestry impounded it at the Machaca Hill Forest Station. But, overnight, someone stole it from there - and it still unaccounted for. And then last night Forestry made another bust outside Punta Gorda at mile 7 on the San Antonio Road where they found 70 flitches. Interestingly, these ones were found on a tractor belonging to the ministry of agriculture. In that case, reports are that some persons have been detained and charges are expected.

58 year-old Raul Magana Sr., namesake of the popular brothel, Raul's Rose Garden, which burnt down in June of last year, is facing 23,000 dollars in fines after he was taken to court for employing illegal immigrant workers - all females. According to the Immigration Department, yesterday at around 9 a.m., they conducted an operation on his new establishment, Temptation Bar, which is located at Mile 10 on the Western Highway. Immigration Officers interviewed 12 of his female employees who admitted that they did not possess valid working permits. As a result, Magana, who was identified as the employer by these persons, was charged with 12 counts of employing persons not in possession of valid employment permits. He was arraigned today before Magistrate Adolph Lucas where he pleaded guilty to all 12 counts. As a result, he was sentenced to pay fines to a total amount of $23,000. Magana has from December 28, 2012 to November 30, 2013 to pay these fines. Additionally, he was also ordered to pay the transportation cost for these women to return to their home countries because they also did not have any proper immigration status in Belize. We are told they were issued with orders to leave - but that must have meant to leave with Raul as we understand they left the Immigration Office with him this evening.

BEL Says Cost Of Power Crippling: Will It Ask For A Rate Increase?
3 months ago, we gave you a brief preview of the financial difficulties that BEL was facing. The main problem then as it is now is the cost of power. Rainfall was low this year, so there hasn't been enough Hydro power; BELCOGEN has been producing under capacity, and energy from Mexico was selling BEL power for almost 43 cents per kilowatt hour - which is about what you pay for it! And everyone knows you can't sell a product for the same price you're buying it for! In a press release sent out today, the company noted that since July of this year, their cost of power has spiked up to more than 30% since the rate reduction of January 2012. So, what does all this mean for you the consumer? Well, BEL representatives spoke to us today saying that by law they are required to report the costs of electricity at the current period as compared to when the new rates were effected. They told us that it is their obligation to report to the country and the PUC what their financial position is. Here's what they told us about the financial difficulties they've been facing with the soaring cost of power: Ernesto Gomez - Sr. Manager of Energy & Supply, BEL "Under the law, the cost of power that BEL purchases for its suppliers, it's just a pass through to the customers. So, the expensive of the cost of power, if you remove that from the rate, BEL has just a small margin to operate on, like 30%. So, if the cost of power rises, it takes away from our everyday cash to be able to operate. BEL has used all its resource to be able to easily keep the lights on for the customers. And as a result, the customers do not even know that this thing is occurring, but as a result, we are committed by law to report these changes to the Public Utilities Commission for them to look at it. And they may or may not make decision. That's their prerogative.

Police Get Guns + Ganja
In the Police Department, it should be numbers that matter, but appearances count for a whole lot too, and that's probably why, lately, the Special Branch has stepped up its public relations game to prove that when it comes to high value seizures, they're even more efficient than the GSU. On Saturday afternoon, Special Branch intelligence led to an open lot at the corner of Oleander street and Rose Lane which turned up half a pound of cannabis. And then yesterday morning, at 6:30 the Special Branch led Police to the Ebony street residence of 33 year old Darren RAMIREZ, who was at home with 49 year old and 25 year old Edmond WILLIAMS. Police found two live .38 rounds of ammunition - which is enough for a charge of "Kept Ammunition Without a Gun License." And then yesterday afternoon, the Special Branch led police to 46 year old Delroy CHAMBERS, a furniture maker of Police Street Extension.

McAfee Says He Faked Heart Attacks
John Mcafee arrived in Miami last night - where he was greeted like a dignitary and treated like a Rockstar - which, we gather, is what it's really all about for this shameless, compulsive self-promoter. We've compiled a number of international news reports which talk about how he came off the plane - and how he 'fessed up to faking those heart attacks in Guatemala. The story starts at his hotel, the Beacon on South Beach. OK then! McAfee is the only persons of interest in the Greg Faull murder and Belize police have no other leads. They have not indicated if they will request that US authorities send him back for questioning.

A Programme With Purpose
This morning the Ministry of Education Apprenticeship Program held its 3rd graduation. We've told you about the program before where at-risk youths are enrolled and given employable skills with job training and the opportunity for further employment. This morning at their third graduation Monica Bodden found out why for some it was a celebration. Monica Bodden reporting The third graduation for the Ministry of Education Youth Apprenticeship Program was held today inside the King's Room at the Princess Hotel. The program first started off with 30 at risk youths in its first intake. By its second intake it was double the amount. Today one hundred and thirteen youths completed the 6 month program and were awarded with certificates - that's more than triple the amount of young people when the program first started. Dianne Finnegan- Coordinator, Apprenticeship Programme "The program focuses on young people who did not finish school and single mothers ages 16-29. It is about giving them the opportunity to become transformed from idleness into productive citizens making sure and understand that they have a space and a place within our society that they can do just as well as an individual who went to school. The program also kind of make sure that they go back to school, so the majority are going back to the Gwen Liz Evening Division. We've seen graduates already from the program that is already going to six form; the evening division college and we have one who have won the Barton Scholarship who is going to UB." And while these young men and women are given the opportunity to transform themselves into productive citizens - there is a process they each need to undergo.

Working In Canada: The Other Side Of That Story
Last week we told you all about the 150 Belizeans recruited to work at MacDonald's in Western Canada, and the more than 1100 who lined up for job interviews. On the surface, it's an attractive offer, after all minimum wage over there is about 9.50 US per hour. But a Canadian news agency reports that it's often not what it's cracked up to be. CBC.CA the website for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has a lengthy print feature on the plight that many immigrant workers face. It describes one 21-year-old from Mexico working at a fast food chain "who says he found himself walking to work in the snow and living in a basement with five other Mexican men." Karl Flecker, the national director of anti-racism and human rights for the Canadian Labour Congress says that quote, "Many of these migrant workers who are coming in for work, who are often desperate for work, are put in incredibly vulnerable situations where exploitation, abuse, dangerous, unsafe working conditions are actually too often the norm for their situation." Earlier this year four Mexican workers launched a human rights complaint against the former owner of two restaurants. One official is quoted as saying that quote, "The only people who are willing to do this work at those wage rates are people who are willing to live three, four and five people within an apartment."

Salvation Army: Soldiering The Burden
The Salvation Army Annual Christmas dinner was held at the Holy Redeemer's Auditorium today. One thousand, two hundred students from various Belize City Primary schools were hosted at the luncheon. It is an annual event that is made possible with a little help from the Belize City Council along with many other sponsors who all believe in making the Christmas season special for the less fortunate. We found out more:.. Major Joliker Leandre - Regional Commander "It's really a pleasure for us having the children come in today for the Christmas dinner and as you can see for yourself they are enjoying themselves." Monica Bodden "Tell me how many students were invited here for the luncheon?" Major Joliker Leandre - Regional Commander "About 1,200 children in all. Apart from this we also have other distributions at other places so it's really a joy having these children coming here today to participate in this event." Monica Bodden "I know you guys do this annually, are the students from different schools in the city? What's the selection process like?"

Belize Bank Buys Bus For "Babylon"
And the spirit of giving was in the air because this morning the Belize Bank gave the Eastern Divisions police a big ole bus. Now, it's not like the police are going to compete against BBOC…so what is the bus going to be used for? Officer Commanding Elodio Aragon explained: ACP Elodio Aragon, O/C Eastern Division "It is a bus that is much needed for our department and you all know the police department is always involve in the movement of police officers whether it be for operations or whether it be for things like funeral yesterday for Mr. Escalante - this bus will come in very handy for us so that we could assist in seeing that our police officers are moved in a comfortable bus - a good working bus." Misty Michael, Marketing Manager - Belize Bank "It's valued about BZ$20,000.00. Given the current crime situation in Belize the bank wanted to do whatever we could to assist the police in fighting crime and violence and when we are approached by them to assist we were eager to do what we could and fortunately we were able to make this donation today to them."

Beenie Man In Belize
And they'll probably need a busload of those cops to provide security for tomorrow night's Digicell 10th anniversary concert. 5 of Jamaica's biggest dancehall celebrities are in Belize tonight for that event. 7news was there to greet the King of the Dancehall himself Beenie Man along with Leftside A.K.A Doctor Evil, Chan Dizzy, Future Fambo and Trevor Off Key. They told us they are hyped to get on stage on Friday night: Beenie Man "It always feels good to be in Belize. Belize is a beautiful country - beautiful audience, beautiful people, people who love music, people who create their own music. Jamaica have been to Belize for how many years; from Belize's existence, so you have to know that we are always happy to be here and when it comes to doing a show its one of the greatest fans and greatest audience and the most liveliness audience. All you have to do is come do your best and the best will support it, so I am feeling very good." Geovanni Brackett, reporter "This is your first time in Belize?" Leftside A.K.A Doctor Evil "No this is my third show. I was here two years ago me and Wayne Marshall."

Lotto Winner Sat On Winning Ticket For 3 Months
It's the Christmas season, and citizens all across the country are trying to find that Christmas money. But, one Belize City resident who isn't having that problem - at least not anymore - is Karen Lanza. She won the Lotto 3 months ago and just cashed in her ticket today for the jackpot of more than $57,000 dollars. 7News caught up with her today, and told us how she'll use that money: Karen Lanza, winner "It was a quick pick and I am happy and I am thankful to God." Marion Ali, reporter "This was any time in the recent past - this was about almost 3 months ago." Karen Lanza, winner "I was away." Reporter "How did you find out that you won?" Karen Lanza, winner "I check the website after every draw." Reporter "What was it like for you knowing that you have this winning here and you were not here to collect?"

PROFILES: Ernie Alpuche
Tonight's profile is about Ernie Alpuche. You may not know his name but you may have seen his photographs. Tonight on profile he talks about how he took the road less travelled and chose to become a creator of images:..

Mexican Army Will Build Bridge
And in two follow up items that we don't have space for on last night's news - and hardly have time for tonight…we note first a report coming out of Quintana Roo that that the Mexican Senate has authorized new President Enrique Peña Nieto to send 11 elements of the Mexican Army to come across to Belize to help to build 800 meters of road to the new bridge linking Mexico and Belize. A colonel, a captain, a lieutenant and eight troop elements of the Mexican Army Engineers, will participate in the construction of the new road. They must travel to Belize without weapons and uniforms, for a period of four months. And, in a follow up to the story we did about the FFB's complaint about the use of the MCC Grounds for a concert, the National Sports Council has replied. That organization which manages the field says that Belizean Organizations can rent any of its facilities for non-sporting functions, provided that the event does not conflict with sporting events - in which case the sporting event will get preference. The FFB had complained that concerts damage the pitch.

Channel 5

Illegal logwood, 6 busted; including Agriculture Ministry Employee
On Wednesday, we reported that a moratorium has not stopped the extraction and exportation of rosewood from the south. And tonight, the Forestry Department has its hand full because a shipment of various species of precious woods was confiscated at the Belize City Port on Wednesday; the third this week. As required, Forestry officials were [...]

Indian couple bought fake Belize visas in South America
An Indian couple was busted at the Phillip Goldson International Airport on Wednesday morning when they arrived in the country using forged Belize Visas that were issued in South America.  Twenty-five year old Chetankumar Mohanbhai Patel and his wife Jagrutiben Babubhai Patel flew into the PGIA shortly before ten o’clock on a Taca flight from [...]

Raul, of Rose Garden fame, busted for work permits at Temptation Hill
Businessman Raul Magana Senior was slapped with a hefty fine in court today after pleading guilty to hiring a dozen women without valid work permits.  Magana’s bar and brothel, Temptation Hill, was raided by immigration officials on Wednesday night during an ongoing sting operation.  Magana and the women were escorted to court today by Immigration [...]

Can’t understand how two dogs just killed a man
The life of a caretaker in the south was cut short when he was mauled to death by two ferocious Fila brasileiro dogs, commonly known as the Brazilian Mastiff. The sixty-six year old caretaker went to work on Tuesday evening but sometime during his shift, he was viciously attacked by the guard dogs. It is [...]

Appeals Court says B.T.L. can now issue dividends
An oral decision was handed down in the Court of Appeal shortly after two this afternoon, which would allow Belize Telemedia to issue dividends to shareholders. The shares would have been issued in October, but an application by Dean Boyce and British Caribbean Bank (BCB) to the Caribbean Court of Justice restrained the government, as [...]

But when will $30 Million U.S. debt to BCB be paid?
The attorneys for BCB and Boyce hope the dividends would be placed into an escrow account but today’s ruling will probably launch more counter suits. Barrow believes that the eight amendment solidified government’s control of Telemedia and it would come down to a monetary payment rather than a return of the company to the previous [...]

4 lawsuits to be filed against Northern Regional Doctor
The government will be receiving notice of four lawsuits against Nicaraguan Doctor Geovannia Orozco of the Northern Regional Hospital and the Attorney General’s Office this Friday. Dr. Orozco is the obstetrician at the center of allegations of medical negligence at the hospital in Orange Walk where several women and newborns suffered severe complications after c-section [...]

McAfee back in Florida, but wants 2 girlfriends to join him
Businessman John McAfee was deported from Guatemala to the United States on Wednesday. He left behind his twenty year old girlfriend Samantha Vanegas, who accompanied him when he went into hiding. McAfee is wanted for questioning about the murder of his neighbor Gregory Faull, an American national who was shot in the head in the [...]

B.E.L. says $30 Million owed to consumers will keep electricity cost constant
The Belize Electricity Limited is applying to the Public Utilities Commission for a rate adjustment because it says that since July, the cost of acquisition has been thirty percent above the approved cost of power. If the adjustment is approved, B.E.L. says that it will have little or no impact on your electricity bill in [...]

Belize Bank gives a needed bus to the police
In the spirit of Christmas, the Belize Bank has been spreading good cheer. This morning, the Police Department received a brand new vehicle to shuttle officers to their different destinations. The twenty thousand dollars bus will immediately hit the road. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.   Isani Cayetano, Reporting The Belize Police Department’s Eastern Division, [...]

Lotto winner claims her 48 thousand Christmas dollars
A winning ticket was purchased for the October twentieth lotto draw, but for almost two months, the fifty-seven thousand, five hundred dollar jackpot went unclaimed. That is, until this afternoon when Belize City resident Karen Lanza, turned up at the Tropical Gaming Company’s office on Queen Street. Just in time for the Christmas, she collected [...]

Healthy Living strolls with a restless leg syndrome
Some medical conditions are very tricky to diagnose especially when the symptoms are a bit difficult to explain. That is the case with this week’s topic on Healthy Living. Restless leg disorder is a neurological disorder that does exactly as the name suggests. Healthy Living gets the stats from one medical professional.   Dr. Francis [...]


Businesswoman charged with the murder of her partner
Police in San Ignacio town have arrested and charged businesswoman, forty three year old Rosalilia Castillo for the crime of murder. Castillo, also known as Lilly, is accused of fatally stabbing her partner, thirty four year old Pamela Perez on Saturday night inside the Las Palomas Del Norte Bar located on Carrillo Puerto Avenue in Santa Elena Town. Perez was taken to the La Loma Luz hospital following the stabbing incident, but she died while undergoing treatment. Police press officer, Raphael Martinez told reporters on Monday that Lilly Castillo told authorities that four men attacked Perez inside the bar and ran off. Police, however, say that they noticed scratches on and a cut wound on Castillo and she was detained along with a 19 year old man. A post mortem examination on Perez’ body certified that she bled to death. Castillo was arraigned in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court this morning. No plea was taken because the offence is indictable. She was remanded to prison until her next court appearance on March sixth, 2013.

Youth charged with murder of a man gunned down near primary school
Twenty year Henry Cornejo, a resident of Plues Street, was charged with the murder of 29 year old Marvin Nunez when he appeared today in the number two Magistrate’s Court today. No plea was taken because the offence is indictable. Neither could the court offer him bail. He was remanded into custody. Nunez was shot 4 times, 3 to his head and 1 to his chest around 1 p.m. on Friday, December 7 in front of St. Ignatius Primary School on Euphrates Avenue. Nunez was pronounced dead on arrival at KHMH a short time later. Cornejo was recently acquitted of the murder of Gilbert Olivera who was shot to death in 2009. Olivera who was a witness in a murder trial, was shot in his back while he was walking on Plues Street. The case for the prosecution fell apart when an oral confession was not admitted as evidence and the main witness did not come to court to testify.

Man guilty of attempted murder and destruction of a child
A jury of 8 women and 1 man deliberated for almost 3 hours today before it found 22 year Henry Patnett guilty of attempted murder, child destruction and wounding. The jury’s verdict was unanimous. Patnett asked the trial judge Justice Adolph Lucas to sentence him today and Justice Lucas sentenced him to 12 years in prison for attempted murder, 12 years for child destruction and 2 years for wounding. He stipulated that the 12 year sentences are to run concurrently to each other and consecutively to the sentence of 2 years. The incident occurred around 1:30 a.m. on August 2, 2010 at the residence of Patnett’s ex-girlfriend 30 year old Valerie Sheran, located at 132 Neal Pen Road. Sheran, a mother of 3 who was about 7 months pregnant with Patnett’s baby at the time, testified that she was awakened from sleep by a light on her cell phone and when she got up she saw Patnett in front of her armed with a machete. She said she struggled with Patnett and wrestled away the machete from him but that Patnett produced a knife and stabbed her multiple times. One of the stab wounds was to her abdomen and it caused her to bleed profusely, resulting in the death of the unborn child. Sheran’s boyfriend, 73 year old Ernesto Ireland, who was sleeping on the bed beside her, testified that he was awakened by her screams and he was stabbed 7 times in his arm and shoulder when he put his arm around Sheran to protect her. Four doctors and a nurse testified at the trial. Throughout the trial Patnett remained silent. Patnett was not represented by any attorney. Crown Counsel Stevanni Duncan represented the prosecution.

Police recover AK-47 in Roaring Creek
Another powerful weapon is safely it the custody of the police as law enforcement authorities in the nation’s capital continue their stepped-up operations for this time of the year. Our Cayo correspondent Fem Cruz reports.

Bush and pickup truck collide; man dies
A man from the Corozal district was killed and another seriously injured in a road traffic incident last night on the Phillip Goldson highway. The victim has been identified as forty one year old Jenaro Gaspar Sanchez. According to police reports Sanchez was northbound around six thirty last night, when upon reaching between miles fifty nine and sixty on the Phillip Goldson Highway he crashed into passenger bus that was heading to Orange Walk town. A passenger traveling with Sanchez, identified as forty five year old Primitivo Cano sustained cut wounds to his head, abrasion to his left arm and complained of chest pains. Our Orange Walk Burau Chief Manuela Ayuso Cantun was on the scene shortly after the incident, and spoke with a passenger on the bus, Elias Cantun about the crash. No one on the passenger bus belonging to Belize Bus Owners Cooperative was injured in the crash.

PG clinic opens late; residents complain
Concerns about the tardiness in the opening of a health facility in Punta Gorda town have been addressed by authorities in that southern municipality. Our Toledo Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Red Cross and Jane Usher community celebrate collaborative effort
The Belize Red Cross and the Jane Usher Neighborhood Association today hosted an open at the community Basketball Court. Organizers say the purpose of the open day was to let the community know about the work that the Red Cross is doing in the area. Lily Bowman is the Director General of the Belize Red Cross. President of Jane Usher Neighborhood Association Noreen Hulse told Love News about what the organization has been doing since its inception. Bowman says that climate change can have very dramatic impacts in urban communities such as the Jane Usher boulevard community and it is of utmost important that they educate themselves as to the approaches they can take.

Information kits on HIV released
Discrimination and stigma towards people living with HIV/AIDS has been a common practice by people in general, but now with an agenda to decrease the number of new cases, create better networking to stomp out the stigmatization, and including more publicity on the positive lives that people living with the disease lead. So today, the National AIDS Commission, the Collaborative Network of Persons Living with HIV in Belize, or CNET Plus, and relevant and supportive agencies, introduced a bi-lingual informational kit and held a media luncheon in its bid to reverse the current status. Executive Director of C-NET, Eric Castellanos, said that the informational kits include data on topics that people don’t know much about. He explained the contents of the kits, developing a new poster with people of all walks of life with the disease, and then shared why today’s meeting with the media is an important step. Meanwhile, Adi Mai is HIV positive and said that three months ago when she delivered her son, she had to travel abroad to take the C-Section that she opted to take in order to prevent the infant from acquiring the disease during childbirth. The informational kits will be distributed among persons living with HIV/AIDS across the country.

Baby needs special care; family appeals for financial assistance
At this time of year everyone is making their wish list of things they want to receive this Christmas. But all that one family from Forest Home Village, Toledo would really like to have is to spend their first Christmas at home with their newborn baby. The problem is that baby Sanjay Armstrong was born two months ago with a rare disease that requires him to spend most of his days in the Pediatric Ward at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The infant needs a specialist diagnosis not available in Belize and medication in order that he might live a normal life. With that, Pediatrician at the hospital, Dr CecilioEck, has written a letter for the family, who is asking you to help them keep their little boy alive. Doctor Eck explains what the medical condition is that the baby is suffering from. But in order for Baby Sanjay to receive the professional diagnosis and medication he needs in order to live a normal life, he needs your help. His grandmother, Edith Armstrong, says that her family is turning to you for that help. The cost of the specialist treatment is too much for the family to afford, but if the community comes together, they can raise the estimated five and ten thousand dollars they need in no time. If you or someone you know can help Baby Sanjay with the money he needs to get the proper diagnosis and treatment abroad, you may contact his grandmother, Edith Armstrong at cell number: 669 3383. That number again is: 669 3383.

Annual Christmas program ready to take off on Love FM
It is that time of the year again, and the biggest event of the season starts in under twenty four hours time. We’re talking about the annual Twelve Days of Christmas program organized by our sister network, Love FM. The program has been a staple at Christmas time for several years now, and this year it takes on an added twist. Organizers of the Twleve Days of Christmas are taking the show on the road, this year, literally. The new venue for the presentation will be the confines of the Old Belize Museum at mile five on the George Price Highway. Carmen Barrow is the chief coordinator of Twelve Days of Christmas. Aside from the new venue, Barrow says Belizeans can expect many of the mainstays of the program, such as the Toy Tree. The show nightly at seven o’clock, right after the Evening News. Sponsors for this year’s event include BTL, Karl H. Menzies, Courts, Fultec Systems, Coca Cola, Cuellos Caribbean Rum, Marie Sharp’s Fine Foods, the Belize Bank Limited, the Habet and Habet group of companies, that is Brothers Habet, Habet and Habet and Builder’s Hardware, Quality Poultry Products, Home Protector Insurance and Image Pro.


Belmopan Taxi Operators meet with Senior Traffic Officer Kevin Jones.
The big meeting with the taxi operators and Mayor Lopez was set for this morning at 9am. But when Plus news team ar...

Drugs and firearm recovered in Belize City
On Saturday, Police searched an abandoned lot on Rocky Road, Belize City, which led to the discovery of two plastic...

Belize Bank donates bus to Eastern Division Police
Police Department receives a bus from Belize Bank. This morning the official handing over ceremony was held at the ...

Woman with HIV talks about discrimmination
Earlier this week we aired a piece on the work of the National AIDS Commission as it continues to advocate for prop...

OCEANA’s lawsuit against GOB has been adjourned OCEANA’s lawsuit against GOB has been adjourned to next
Thursday: A showdown was scheduled yesterday morning in the...

John Saldivar addresses crime solutions on Rise and Shine
The Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar spoke to the need to arrest the crime situation when he was o...

David Gegg must pay delinquent GTS by December 21
David Gegg was accompanied by his attorney, Andrew Marshalleck, and his accountant, when he appeared before Magistr...

Baby boy needs special treatment for a rare condition
A baby boy needs special treatment for a rare condition: The family of 2 month old Sanjay Armstrong of Belize City ...

Belize City businessman arrested or drug and firearm offence
Belize City Police have arrested a businessman for drug and firearm offences. Yesterday at 12:50am, Police conducte...

Three arrested in Belize City for illegal possession of ammunition
Two men and a woman have been arrested in Belize City for the illegal possession of ammunition. Yesterday at 6:30am...

Belizeans train with U.S. Border Patrol’s Special Operations Group
Last night we told you about the immigration and customs officers who underwent five weeks training along with sixt...

Dangriga Police investigate Sudden Death
Dangriga Police are investigating a Sudden Death. Yesterday at 7:00am, Police were called to the machine shop at th...

Employee tied up during robbery
An employee was tied up during a mid-morning robbery. A businessman of Belize City told Police that yesterday morni...

12 years old boy is missing
A 12 years old boy is reported missing. Suzette Balan who lives at the corner of Jasmine Street and Croton Lane, Be...

The Guardian

UDP Pickstock’s New Executive Committee
On Saturday, December 8th, the Pickstock UDP Division met and elected their New Executive Committee. Elected to serve were Dawn Coye as Chairperson; Dorla Staine, Arlette Bevans, Lloydia Johnson, Deborah Flowers, Sheila Carter, Shelmadine McCauley, Shirlene Leslie, Therese Peters, Dorian Avilez, Loretta Helmsley, Luis Ayuso, Stephanie Craig, William Locke, and Francis Arana as members. Gaye Coye-Mckenzie, Carla Jones, Dion Martinez, Shirlette McGregor and Gareth Gill were named alternates.

From Bad to Worse at Orange Walk Town Hall
The Orange Walk Town Council finds itself in a position where it is simply collapsing. When last we reported on the escapades of the Mayor, we pointed on the self-imposed financial struggles in which he had put the Council in. Now, sources from within Town Hall indicated that the Traffic Manager has been given his walking papers. That fellow, in the name of David Madrid, had come in shortly after the PUP took up office at the Town Council but no sooner had he made it in than he is being booted out.

Charting A Way in Sports
Currently in Belize are two consultants, Mark Mungal and Andre Collins, both directors of the Caribbean Sport and Development Agency (CSDA). They are in country after they bid to be the consulting agency, which will chart a way for sports in Belize. CSDA is tasked at coming up with a strategic plan, which will guide sports in Belize. The project is funded by UNICEF to the tune of $25,000.

Eden Drive in Santa Elena, Cayo has been paved with Asphalt
Students and teachers of the Eden Seventh Day Adventist High School in Santa Elena Town have welcomed the asphalt surfacing last Friday of the portion of Eden Drive, which runs parallel to the school. The modernization of Eden Drive comes thanks to funding from the first phase of the Belize Municipal Development Project (BMDP), a comprehensive project which seeks to improve infrastructure in Municipalities across Belize.

Situation Analysis of Gender and Politics released
Under the Millennium Development Goals to promote gender equality and empowerment of women, Belize should have at least 30 percent women representation in the National Assembly. Sadly, that is a far cry from where Belize currently stands and the Women’s Commission, which has been a lead advocate for the empowerment of women launched a study on Monday, December 10th seeking the answers as to the disparity.

Situation Analysis of Gender and Politics in Belize: 1998 – 2012 Launch
A Situation Analysis of Gender and Politics in Belize “Toward Equality of Opportunity for Equality of Results” was launched today, Monday, December 10th, 2012 by the National Women’s Commission (NWC) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), at a ceremony held at the Best Western Biltmore Plaza in Belize City. This is an important milestone of the partnership launched in February 2011 when a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by UNDP and the NWC, which would seek to document the impediments that preclude the presence of female representatives in the House of Representatives. The main findings of the Report were presented by the consultant Debra Lewis.

Officials from the Government of Belize and the IDB meet in Belize City
At the request of Inter-American Development Bank President Luis Alberto Moreno, senior officials from the Bank, including Vice President Roberto Vellutini, met in Belize City yesterday with officials from the Government of Belize to discuss the future of their partnership and strategies to advance the country’s social and economic agenda. As a member of the IDB since 1992, Belize values the Bank’s contributions in the form of loans, grants and technical assistance to address development challenges. Belize intends to remain an active member of the IDB. Belize's membership in the Bank has also provided unique perspectives and distinctive programs. In the last two decades, the IDB has provided US$190 million in loan financing and US$25 million in grants to Belize. The current Bank-financed portfolio in Belize includes loans in the areas of tourism, agriculture, water and sanitation, flood mitigation and citizen security, along with technical assistance grants for sectors such as health, education, social protection and disaster risk management. In the context of the forthcoming Country Strategy 2013-2017, and in a manner consistent with IDB's role in the international financial system, the Bank and Government will continue to explore alternatives to help Belize to surpass its development challenges and achieve its national development goals.

Opportunities for Belize from India
On Thursday, December 6th, the new Indian High Commissioner, H.E. Sujan R. Chinoy presented his credentials to Governor General of Belize, Sir. Colville Young. Chinoy arrived in Mexico in August of this year and presented his credentials in that country in October. He was then invited to visit Belize to do the same.

Belizean Law Enforcement improves Illegal Smuggling Interdiction Skills
On December 12th, Col. George Lovell, Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of National Security and His Excellency Vinai K. Thummalapally, Ambassador of the United States of America, hosted the first graduation ceremony of the Mobile Interdiction Team (MIT) at the Belize Police Training Academy in Belmopan.

San Andres Village Council Team Ready
On Sunday, December 9th, the UDP held a meeting in the Village of San Andres in the Corozal North Division where the United Democratic Party selected the team to contest the upcoming village council elections.

Ministry of National Security Clarifies and rectifies Issue Regarding Transfer of Corporal Sharmane Young
The Ministry of National Security wishes to clarify that the re-posting of Corporal #834 Sharmane Young from the San Pedro Sub-formation to Belize City is well within the established transfer policy of the Police Department. Reports of her transfer to the Placencia Sub-formation have been confirmed to be completely inaccurate. The letter to Corporal Young dated November 27th, 2012 states that the re-deployment is from San Pedro to Belize City, “under the overall command of the Officer Commanding Eastern Division with effect from November 27th, 2012”. The records confirm that Corporal Young asked for and received, as per regulations, an extension of the transfer date to December 15th, 2012. The Ministry is satisfied that this reposting to Belize City had nothing to do with the incident involving an American tourist, and regrets that the timing of the incident and that of the redeployment have led to understandable speculations about the motive for the decision.

Charged for Carnal knowledge
On Wednesday, December 12th, Stann Creek Valley resident, Ever Alex Ortiz, 21, appeared in Magistrate's Court in Belize City after being accused of having sex with a 15-year-old girl. He appeared Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer where he was read a single charge of unlawful carnal knowledge. Due to the nature of the offense, the Senior Magistrate informed Ortiz that the lower court could not grant him bail for the offense until 90 days’ time. She informed him that it is his right to apply for bail through the Supreme Court with the assistance of an attorney. He was then remanded to the Hattieville Prison until February 13th, 2013.

Gion Bernard committed to stand Trial for Attempted Murder
On Monday, December 10tha preliminary inquiry into two shooting incidents concluded before Senior Magistate Sharon Frazer. The PI, were in the case of 27-year-old Gion Bernard, a resident of #27 Castle Street. At the conclusion of the inquiry, the Magistrate found that there is sufficient evidence to commit the cases of Bernard to the Supreme Court. Bernard will have to answer to the charges of attempted murder in the shooting of Carrington Bowden which occurred on April 23rd, 2012. He is also to stand trial in the attempted murder of 30-year-old Jermaine Garnett, who was shot a day after Bowden, in the same vicinity on April 24, 2012. At the end of his PI, Bernard, who was on remand at the Belize Central Prison, was offered bail in the sum of $10,000 plus two sureties of $5,000 each. He was told that he must appear in the January Session of the Supreme Court set to commence on January 15th.

Two Years for Attempting to assemble a Firearm in Prison
On Friday December, 7th, 27-year-old Cecil Castillo was found guilty of attempting to assemble a firearm whilst inside prison. Castillo appeared before Magistrate Adolph Lucas. On the evening of Wednesday, May 29th, 2012 whilst an inmate at the Belize Central Prison Castillo was caught with the firearm on his bunk bed by a prison officer. According to the officer, Castillo admitted that the firearm was his, despite the fact that three other inmates were inside the cell. At the end of the prosecution's case, Kaysha Grant, the Crown’s representative was able to prove the charge against Castillo and Magistrate Lucas found him guilty. Castillo had nothing to say in mitigation and was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment effective October 4th, 2012 when the charge for keeping a prohibited firearm was downgraded to attempting to assemble a firearm without a gun license.

Guilty of Possession of Prohibited Firearm
Kareem Harvey, Christopher Sosa and Ashton Anderson On Monday, December 10th, two of three Belize City men busted at a home in the Port Loyola area on June 19th, 2011 in possession of prohibited firearms and ammunition were found guilty in Magistrate's Court. They had been charged jointly with possession of a .40 pistol with an empty magazine, and a .38 revolver loaded with 4 live rounds. The men, Kareem Harvey, Christopher Sosa and, Ashton Anderson had been jointly charged with firearms and ammunition offenses but of the three, Harvey and Sosa were convicted while Anderson was found not guilty. The men were sentenced to 5 years in prison on each count by the Chief Magistrate. All told, it adds up to 15 years in prison; however, because the charges stem from a single incident, they will spend only 5 years in prison since the sentences are to run concurrently.

Man charge for Midday Murder
On Tuesday, December 11th, 20-year-old Henry Cornejo appeared in Magistrate’ Court before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer where he was charged for the December 7th murder of Marvin Nunez. Cornejo who was unrepresented, was read a single charge of murder for the shooting of 29-year-old Marvin Nunez. No plea was taken and he was remanded to the Hattieville prison until January of 2013. Just as classes were about to resume for the afternoon session at Saint Ignatius school on Friday, December 7th, Marvin “Inches” Nunez had accompanied his wife and two step-children, ages 6 and 8, to the school. As Nunez’s wife walked into the compound with the children, he was approached by a gunman who opened fire on him. Nunez was hit three times to the head and once to the chest; he died whilst receiving treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The man accused of the killing is Henry Cornejo, a unemployed resident of #58 Plues Street. He is a known associate of the George Street area.

Two men found Guilty of Robbery
On Monday, December 10th, 28-year-old Ernie Miranda also known as Ernie Hyatt and Edward Burns were to appear in Magistrate's Court to answerto robbery related charges; however, only Burns was present. Both men were accused of robbing 37-year-old Marilou Smith, a telephone operator with the Police Department, in the wee hours of the morning of November 11th, 2012 whilst she was heading to work. Burns appeared before before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer where he gave a dock statement where he said that he didn’t have much to say but he has accused the police of wrongfully arresting him because he never robbed “anyone in m life." In making her ruling, Magistrate Frazer told Burns that while she is certain he did not rob Smith, the evidence pointed to Miranda as being the one who robbed Smith. She however, found that there was enough evidence to show the court that he was Miranda accomplice in the robbery as he stood there armed with a machete as Miranda robbed with woman.

Domestic Dispute between Women ends in Death
At about 11:30p.m. on December 8th, police received information that a female had been transported to the La Loma Luz Hospital, a private hospital located in Santa Elena Town, Cayo District. On arriving at the hospital, the authorities saw the lifeless body of a female person, lying on the bed with stab wounds to the throat. Further investigation revealed that Rosalia Castillo was the person who had transported Pamela Perez to the hospital. Police then picked up Castillo at her residence at #4 George Price Avenue, where she informed them that her bar had been robbed. Police visited the establishment, Las Palomas Del Norte Bar located on Carrillo Puerto Avenue, Santa Elena Town. There, they saw blood on the floor, broken bottles and a pair of shoes belonging to Perez. As a result, Castillo was detained and taken to the San Ignacio Police Station. Further investigations into the incident revealed that Castillo and Perez had a domestic dispute at the bar, where Castillo pulled out an object and stabbed Perez to her throat. Witnesses say that the wound on Perez was caused by Castillo. Rosalia Castillo has since been arrested and charged for murder. She has appeared before a Magistrate, where she is now remanded to the Hattieville Prison.

New Library for ACC thanks to BNE Charitable Trust
On Wednesday, December 12th the Anglican Cathedral College officially inaugurated its new library. The library, which features Internet-ready computer stations, an Audio Visual component with overhead projector, WiFi access, a study area and book shelves, came at a cost of 54 thousand dollars. ACC's school principal, Ismael Requena told the Guardian that he has been at the high school for the past 20 years, 9 of which he has been the principal, and since that time, there has been no real library at the school. He explained that there were areas designated as library areas but they were not true to the word. The newly equipped and designed area now does fit the billing and Requena says the school is truly appreciative of the Charitable Trust's contribution. He said that the library will serve the student and the community as a whole well. He added that while the school has some books to fill the shelves, there is capacity for additional books and the school is accepting contributions. The library was built in 8 weeks at a cost of 54 thousand dollars and included the repair of the ceiling, tiling of the floor, installing bookshelves, and repairs to windows and doors and the installation of air conditioning units. The library will serve 550 students from ACC.

A Panoramic History of ‘El Cayo’ presented
Joe Awe, son of Elias Awe; Dr. Jaime Awe, Head of Belize’s Institute of Archaeology; Melanie Santiago-Smith The first Annual Elias A. Awe Memorial Lecture was held on December 7th, 2012 at the Octavia Waight Conference Center in San Ignacio. The lecture was held in memory of Elias Awe, a community member of San Ignacio, who recently passed away. Awe was a contributor to the Towns’ dynamism in history, culture and humanitarianism, especially to the aged. The lecture was organized by Melanie Santiago-Smith, a Belizean sociologist, who also lectures at the University College of Belize. The first lecturer was Dr. Jaime Awe, Head of Belize’s Institute of Archaeology, who offered an anthropological history of the Cayo District. Dr. Awe reviewed the extensive cave systems in the Cayo District and how they became repositories to the history of the Maya. These caves, which number in the thousands, were once used by the Maya for religious purposes. The Maya used the caves, because they were portals to the underworld. They believed that the Corn God is re-born inside a cave. As a consequence, there was blood letting in those caves as the Maya offered sacrifice to the gods, as was evidenced by skeletons in several areas within the cave systems. A sword and an olive pot found in Cayo and examined by Awe signified that the Maya had eventually made contact with Europeans. In 1623, there was a major revolt by the Maya and that had tremendous significance to modern-day Belize said the Belizean expert.

Human Rights Commission of Belize celebrates World Human Rights Day
The Human Rights Commission of Belize (HRCB), Belize’s principal human rights advocacy group, has celebrated World Human Rights Day. The theme of World Human Rights Day is “My Voice Counts” and that was put into practice on Monday, December 10th, 2012 with a meeting near the Belize Police Force Headquarters in Belmopan. This international celebration also coincides with HRCB's 25th Anniversary. According to a United Nations website, Human Rights Day represents an opportunity every year to celebrate human rights, focusing on specific issues. This year the attention falls on the rights of all people - women, youth, minorities, persons with disabilities, indigenous people, the poor - to make their voices heard and be included in political decision-making. In his address at HRCB’s function, guest speaker Gustavo Perrera, who was once the program Director for the Society for the Promotion of Education and Research SPEAR, called on everyone to move beyond the ‘participatory approach’ to the ‘deliberative approach’. He called on participants in the Democratic process, to first get the facts, consult and reach shared decisions.

Liberty foundation holds fundraiser
On Sunday, December 16th, 2012, Liberty Children Home will be having a family fair and concert on Bird’s Isle to raise much needed funds. The fair will be from 10 am to 8 pm. Free entrance will be from 10 am to 12 noon. After 12 noon, entrance fee is $5.00 for adults and children age 14 and below is $2.00. There will be lots of games for children and adults with great prizes, fun rides, a variety of delicious food, pastries, fresh fruit juices, sodas, and beer. Santa Clause will be visiting from 12 noon to 3:30 pm with a gift for every child. The management and staff is asking that you come out and support our children as you get into the holiday spirit. Digicell and Smart will be offering top up and double up on the Bird’s Isle fair grounds from 10 am to 8 pm. Liberty Foundation is an NGO which relies heavily on donations cares for abused, abandoned, and neglected children who are placed in their care by the Department Of Human Service. For more information, visit their web site at or if you wish to make a donation contact Delfena Mitchell, director at 225-2158 or 624-3696.

Rotary Club annual Orthopedic clinic
The Rotary Club of Belmopan, in collaboration with the Illinois Rotary District 6510 and World Peace Partners, announces its annual Orthopedic Clinic for the Belize Children’s Project with Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Coles L’Hommedieu from St. Louis, Missouri. The Belize Children’s Project is an ongoing collaboration with Rotary Clubs in Southern Illinois and Shriner’s Hospital for Children in St. Louis to help children throughout Belize suffering from bone abnormalities such as curvature of the spine, shortness in one leg, difficulty walking, club foot, etc. Since 1972, periodic clinics have been held countrywide to assess new children brought in and revisit children currently in the program. Once a child has been accepted into the program, his or her progress will be monitored until 18 years of age. The clinics will be held again in 2013 in Santa Elena, Belmopan, Dangriga, Belize City and Orange Walk. The dates and times for the clinics are:

Belize Elementary Girls are National Primary Schools Football Champions
The 2012-2013 National Primary Schools Football Championship came to an end on Friday, December 7th, at the ITVET compound and the MCC Grounds. In the girls’ championship game, Belize Elementary School, representing the Belize District, defeated Santa Elena Primary School, representing the Cayo District, by the score of 3-1 via penalty kicks. The goals for Belize Elementary School were scored by Donna Che, Keila Qyuela and Chelsea Williams, while the goal for Santa Elena Primary School was scored by Shantel Robinson. In the first girls’ game, Belize Elementary School defeated Trial Farm Government School, representing the Orange Walk District, by the score of 3-0 via penalty kick. The goals for Belize Elementary School were scored by Alyssa McKenize, Iyannie Castillo and Donna Che. In game two, Santa Elena Primary School won over Ranchito Government School, representing the Corozal District, by the score of 4-1 via the penalty kick. The goal scorers for Santa Elena Primary School were Shantel Robinson, Jinelly Bentacourt, Sherile Williams and Marie Fernandez. The goal scorer for Ranchito Government School was Becky Cassanova. In game three, Holy Ghost School defeated Belize Elementary School by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Kaylin Mejia. In the fourth game of the day, Golden Stream Government School, representing the Toledo District, edged Santa Elena Primary School by the score of 3-2 via penalty kicks. The goal scorers for Golden Stream Government School were Regina Cal, Emma Pop and Ellia Pop, while the goal scorers for Santa Elena Primary School were Shantel Robinson and Shelby Smith.

BWSL Firms Basketball Competition Champions
The Belize District Basketball Association Firms Competition came to an end on Saturday, December 8th, 2012, when the budding champions BWSL defeated the competition’s favourite Port of Belize in 2 games. In the 2nd and final game played, BWSL captured the championship when it defeated Port of Belize by the score of 59-51. The top scorers for BWSL were Karim Thompson who scored 21 points and 8 rebounds; Travis Lennon who also scored 21 points, and 11 rebounds; and Ashley Hemsley who contributed 9 points towards the win. For Port of Belize, the top scorers were Lennox Bowman with 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists; and Leroy Forbes with 9 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 steal. On Friday, December 7th, in the first game of the championship series, BWSL edged the Port of Belize by the score of 53-50. The top scorers for BWSL were Travis Lennon with 15 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal; Karim Thompson with 11 points, 11 rebounds;1 assist and 3 steals; and Lindburg Graham with 8 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal. | Meanwhile, the top scorers for Port of Belize were Ian Augustine with 15 points, 12 rebounds,1 assist and 2 steals; and Lennox Bowman with 13 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals.

Police United and Belmopan Bandits win
The semi-final round of the 2012 Premier League of Belize Football Competition commenced on Saturday, December 8th, out at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village and then continued on Sunday, December 9th at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town. On Saturday, December 8th, at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium, the visiting Belmopan Bandits blanked the national defending champions Placencia Assassins by the score of 1-0. The Belmopan Bandits were able to get on the scoreboard when Jerome James scored the only goal of the game in the 22nd minute of play. Meanwhile, at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town in a game between the security forces, it was the Police United squad that won game one in the series when it clipped the Belize Defence Force by the score of 2-1. The home team, the Belize Defence Force was able to get onto the scoreboard first when Vallan Symms scored his team’s only goal of the game in the 11th minute of play. Meanwhile, the Police United squad was able to get onto the scoreboard when Evan Mariano scored his team’s 1st goal of the game in the 33rd minute of play to tie the score at 1-1 by the first half of the game. ended 1-1.

Sadie Vernon Technical and St. Catherine Academy to defend National Basketball Title
The National Secondary Schools Sports Association Basketball Championships will be played this coming weekend at the Independence High School on Friday and Saturday, December 14th - 15th, 2012. The schools that are participating in this year’s competition are the defending champions in both the female and male categories from Central Region St. Catherine Academy (female) and Sadie Vernon Technical High School (male). From the Northern Region, New Hope High School (female) and San Pedro High School (male), from the Southern Region Delille Academy (female) and Stann Creek Ecumenical High School (male) and from the Western Region, Belmopan Comprehensive High School’s male and female teams. The competition will commence on Friday, December 14th, 2012 with four games on the schedule. In the first female game, St. Catherine Academy will go up against Belmopan Comprehensive High School. In female game two, it will be New Hope High School against Delille Academy. In the first male game also on Friday, it will be Sadie Vernon Technical High School against Belmopan Comprehensive High School and in the second male game, it will be San Pedro High School against Stann Creek Ecumenical High School.

St. Catherine Academy repeats as Central Champs
The Central Region Secondary Schools Female Basketball Competition came to an end on Friday, December 7th, 2012, when the defending champions St. Catherine Academy edged Wesley College by the score of 31-30 in overtime to repeat as Central Region Female basketball champions. The top scorers for St. Catherine Academy were Indie Dixon with 17 points and Gilda Estrada with 10 points, while the top scorers for Wesley College were Genae Samuels with 10 points and Kristy Terry with 6 points. St. Catherine Academy advanced to the championship game when it eliminated Gwen Lizarraga High School on Thursday, December 6th, by the score of 33-24. The top scorers for St. Catherine Academy were Gilda Estrada with 14 points and Indie Dixon with 10 points, the top scorers for Gwen Lizarraga High School were Shaneen Flowers with 10 points and Ann Ma Chen with 8 points. On Tuesday, December 4th, Gwen Lizarraga High School eliminated Pallotti High School via the default route.

Sadie Vernon Technical Central Champs again,
The 2012-2013 Central Region Secondary Schools Basketball Championship in the male competition came to an end on Monday, December 10th, 2012, when the third and final game in the championship series was played at the Bird’s Isle. In the third and final game, the defending champions Sadie Vernon Technical High School defeated Gwen Lizarraga High School by the score of 56-49. The top scorers for Sadie Vernon Technical High School were Lincey Lopez with 17 points and Jamal Augustine with 15 points. Meanwhile, the top scorers for Gwen Lizarraga High School were Akeem Richardson with 19 points and Albert Longsworth with 9 points. On Friday, December 7th, Sadie Vernon Technical High School won the pivotal 2nd game when it defeated Gwen Lizarraga High School by the score of 69-47 to force the must win game three. The top scorers for Sadie Vernon Technical High School were Lincey Lopez with 19 points and Deon Roches with 18 points, while the top scorers for Gwen Lizarraga High School were Albert Longsworth with 26 points and Akeem Richardson with 9 points. On Thursday, December 6th, in the 1st game of the championship series between Gwen Lizarraga High School and the defending Central Region Champions Sadie Vernon Technical High School, it was Gwen Lizarraga High School that captured the 1st game by the score of 52-49. The top scorers for Gwen Lizarraga High School were Akeem Richardson with 21 points and Albert Longsworth with 10 points. Meanwhile, the top scorers for Sadie Vernon Technical High School were Kadeem Olivera with 15 points, Lincey Lopez with 13 points and Jay Palacio with 12 points.

Faith Nazarene is National Primary Schools Football Champions
The 2012-2013 National Primary Schools Football Championship came to an end on Friday, December 7th, at the MCC Grounds. In the boys’ championship game, Faith Nazarene School, representing the Cayo District, defeated San Pedro Roman Catholic School representing the Belize District by the score of 2-1. The goals for Faith Nazarene were scored by Brandon Cante, while the goal for San Pedro Roman Catholic School was scored by Jason Maldonado. In the third place game, La Inmaculada Roman Catholic School, representing Orange Walk defeated Golden Stream Government School, representing the Toledo District by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Amir Munoz. In the first boys’ game, San Pedro Roman Catholic School defeated La Inmaculada Roman Catholic School by the score of 4-0. The goals for La Immaculada School were scored by Melvin Trujillo and Jason Maldonado.In game two, Faith Nazarene School won over Our Lady of Guadalupe Roman Catholic School representing the Corozal District by the score of 1-0. The goal scorer for Faith Nazarene School was Edberto Concha. In game three, San Pedro Roman Catholic School also blanked Christ the King Anglican School, representing the Stann Creek District, by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Jason Maldonado. In the fourth game of the day, Faith Nazarene defeated Golden Stream Government School, representing the Toledo District, by the score of 1-0. The goal scorer for Faith Nazarene was Edberto Concha.

Public attention this week was drawn to an incident which saw the lackluster PUP Orange Walk South Area Representative, Jose Mai caught in a very compromising situation. Reports are that Mai was caught at a checkpoint set up at the Chan Chen cut off with 15 cases of Miller Beer. Thing is, that the importation of beer is not allowed unless persons have a permit. That was not the case for Mai and the beer was confiscated. Mai was allowed a "bly" as he is an elected representative. It is not the first time that Mai has found himself in this kind of sticky situation before. He was reportedly found in a compromising situation in Chetumal a few months ago involving a firearm. He managed to wiggle his way out of that one as well.

GST Gets Gegg
Sheffield Eck, David Gegg and Andrew Marshalleck Businessman David Gegg, the owner of Discovery Expeditions and Cruise Solutions, lawyered himself up on Wednesday, December 12th when he made an appearance at the Magistrate's Court in Belize City to answer to charges of not paying General Sales Tax (GST). Gegg appeared alongside his attorneys Andrew Marshalleck and Priscilla Banner. A day earlier, Gegg was to have appeared in court on a committal warrant; however, he never showed up, instead his accountant, Sheffield Eck appeared on his behalf. After that court session, the committal warrant was lifted after a meeting was held between Gegg and the GST Department in which the Commissioner of GST allowed him time to pay. Gegg was still asked to reappear in court on Wednesday and he did so before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. The GST Department has been after Gegg for the past 6 months for non-payment of GST. Representative for GST, Jacklyn Meighan informed the court that there are two outstanding fines against Gegg. His company Cruise Solutions had owed GST in the sum of $111,530 and his other company, Discovery Expeditions, owes GST in the amount of $152,584. On Tuesday, he made payments to both the accounts which brought the balance on the Cruise Solutions account to $56,584 and $89,912.60 for the Discovery Expeditions account. He now has an outstanding $146,496.90. Gegg agreed to make payments on the balance by February of 2013.

McAffee deported to the U.S.
John McAfee left Guatemala at La Aurora International Airport on an American Airlines commercial airplane seated in coach at 2:00p.m. on Wednesday, December 12th; his destination was Miami. The plane landed in the U.S. at 6 p.m. According to U.S. news reports, McAfee was escorted by federal authorities after he cleared customs and would not make any appearance in any public part of the terminal. McAfee had been detained in Guatemala on Thursday last week after he entered into that country illegally; he was seeking asylum after he fabricated a story of being persecuted in Belize. That application was denied but he remained in detention by immigration authorities after which the Supreme Court ordered that he be released and expelled to the US. McAfee entered Guatemala after he was being sought in Belize for the killing of fellow American national, Gregory Faull who was shot and killed in San Pedro on November 11th. McAfee was the victim's neighbor and police were seeking him for questioning in relation to the murder.


Island Academy annual Christmas Pageant
This morning while I was getting the pictures from Drop Box that my junior blogger Nina had successfully sent in, I kept getting google+ emails for a cool kite-surfing video that Richard Branson had posted. After the original one came and I watched it in I got 5 more and decided if one more came in while I was retrieving and sorting Island Academy pictures I would include the kite surfing video too. Although it was taken in Maui it made me happy to think that it is mid December and the weather is perfect for outdoor beach activities like kite surfing Hobie cats and jet ski’s. Island Academy Christmas Pageant, opened it’s doors at 7oo:pm so people could relax and mingle with friends and a cocktail after work, before the show started . This year instead of a pitch in, the decided to sell food tickets from 3:00pm – 5:00 pm at the Island Academy office. Tickets were $20 per adult and $10 per child and raised funds for the school.

Island Academy Does It Again: The 17th Annual Holiday Pageant
The Island Academy put on an amazing Christmas show again! These kids work amazingly hard to put on a very serious production. This year's theme was Christmas lists in today's world. Tweeting, IMing, textings Santa...we found out that in the end, he's all about the old fashioned way. Santa, apparently, loves a letter straight from the heart. Awwww... Before the show, the ladies checking out the after-performance baked goods table. The parents, teachers and administrators looked GORGEOUS! Here are Lisa and Wilema. The huge tent, that was relatively empty when I first arrived, was packed for showtime. There were lots of people standing to enjoy the show. Let me take a moment to again moan about my lack of night time photography skills. Some of these pics are blurry...some are way too dark...sigh. Maybe a few more years of practice? Wilema, the school administrator and Lady Dixie Bowen, the founder and the principal gave the opening welcome speeches.

Swimming with sharks at Hol Chan Marine Reserve in Belize

Settlement Day 2012, Dangriga
A small collection of images from the 2012 Settlement Day celebrations in Dangriga, Belize

International Sources

Crystal Skull Follies
Some amusing news for the week. Dr Jaime Awe, the Belizean archaeologist, Is suing the creators of the last Indiana Jones movie. No, not because the movie was horrible beyond belief, but for using a replica of the skull. The comments in the Huffington Post article are worth reading. "Dr. Jaime Awe, a real-life Indiana Jones and director of the Institute of Archeology of Belize, is suing on behalf of the country of Belize, according to THR. Awe is demanding the return of the crystal skull, which he says was stolen by the treasure-hunting family Mitchell-Hedges 88 years ago and used as a money-maker, as well as damages from 'illegal profits' accrued by Disney, Lucasfilm, and Paramount for allegedly using a replica 'likeness' in the 2008 Steven Spielberg film."

(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) The CARICOM Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED), at its Thirty-Fifth Meeting held in Guyana, made an historic decision by adopting the Regional Standard for the Labeling of Retail Packages of Tobacco Products as presented by the CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ). All Member States present at the Thirty-Fifth COTED Meeting voted in favour of the Regional Standard. CARICOM Member States have now taken a major step in meeting a significant obligation under Article 11 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) to which most Member States are signatories and which entered into force in February 2005.

Chris Sailer, Niguel Miguel among Notre Dame Hall of Fame inductees
Sherman Oaks Notre Dame has announced its 2013 inductees into the athletic Hall of Fame on Feb. 23 in the school gym, and among the honorees will be kicker Chris Sailer and basketball standout Nigel Miguel.


December 13, 2012


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Specials and Events

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 December 12th, 2012 issue of The Northern Star is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

    John McAfee was arrested lastWednesday night at the Intercontinental Hotel in Guatemala City by the Guatemalan Police and a member of Interpol. The Guatemalan Interior Minister, Mauricio Lopez Bonilla stated that “He (McAfee) entered the country illegally andwe are going to seek his expulsion for this crime”. The Guatemalan Government was seeking to expel McAfee to Belize on Thursday morning a move that his lawyer, Telesforo Guerra attempted to block by seeking an injunction to secure his release. Early Thursdaymorning Telesforo Guerra applied to the Guatemalan Court seeking “Political Asylum” for McAfee. That petition was denied by the Guatemalan Court and McAfee was faced with immediate deportation to Belize. Then we were treated to the latest episode of John McAfee on the run Saga. McAfee who is also selling his life story began to perform. (John McAfee has been on the run for approximately a month from Belizean Police who just want to question him about the murder of his neighbor Gregory Faull. While on the run McAfee has taken the International Media through a run-a-way train-type ride filled with accusations, lies, deception, mad-stories, false leads and most recently Holly-wood type acting.)
  • Columbia de-recognizes the ICJ:
    The Associated Press has a confusing and muddled account of the consequences of Colombia’s withdrawal from the Bogota Pact (American Treaty on Pacific Settlement), which had committed Colombia to the ICJ for disputes with other signatory states. Here is where theAP account doesn’t make much sense (or is flat out wrong): Legal experts, however, said [Colombian President] Santos’announcementwas unlikely, in practice, to diminish the court’s authority in any international disputes involving the South American nation. International legal experts said [Colombian President] Santos’ announcement would not, in practice, exempt Colombia fromthe jurisdiction of theWorld Court, as it is recognized as the arbiter of last resort under customary international law and practice. Uh, with all due respect to theAP’s international legal experts, that’s not quite right. By withdrawing from the Bogota Pact, Colombia is no longer committed to go to the ICJ to resolve disputes with other Bogota signatories (not that there are all that many). Colombia has also not accepted the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ under the ICJ Statute. Colombia is therefore free frombeing forced to go to the ICJ unless it has specifically agreed to do so in a particular treaty.And it has not always done so. For instance, it has never ratified the Optional Protocol to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which would have committed to compulsory dispute settlement before the ICJ.
    The latest decision of the ICJ regarding Columbia and its’ territorial dispute with Nicaragua over the San Andres Island has led us the conclusion thatwe in Belize cannot afford to fall under the same demise. The ICJ ruled that Columbia will keep the San Andres Island which is a tourist vacation haven but besides losing two other Islands, Columbia will also lose some 46 to 56,000 miles of sea which was once considered an integral part of their territory. The reality that now confronts Columbia is that its’ fishermen cannot fish in these waters anymore as Nicaragua upon the ruling of the ICJ has placed its’ soldiers to patrol what is now considered theirwaters. The damage to Columbia even goes further to the very lost of future revenues for that country that now sees a major part of its sea which is considered very rich in oil given away to Nicaragua by the very ICJ it trusted.
    On 10/12/12 about 6:45 pm, acting on information received, Police visited Phillip Goldson Highway between miles 59 and 60, where upon arrival saw a Green Blue Bird Bus(BBOC) bearing License Plates D- 00257 parked on the middle of the highway with its left front extensively damaged and facing a Eastern direction and several feet away on the right side of the highway when travelling from a South to North direction was a Grey Toyota pickup bearing License plates OWC- 17611 extensively damaged. Further checks made in the pickup led to the discovery of a motionless body of Jenaro Gaspar SANCHEZ, 41 years, Belizean cane farmer of Santa Clara Village (driver), Corozal District with multiple injuries to his body and was apparently dead, meanwhile his passenger identified to be Primitivo CANO, 45 years, Belizean cane farmer of the same address had already been transported to the Northern Regional Hospital suffering from a cut wound to his head, abrasions to his left armandwas complaining of pain to the left side of his chest.
    Ministry of National Security Clarifies and Rectifies Issue Regarding Transfer of Corporal #834 Sharmane Young TheMinistry of National Security wishes to clarify that the re-posting of Corporal #834 Sharmane Young fromthe San Pedro Sub-formation to Belize City is well within the established transfer policy of the Police Department. Reports of her transfer to the Placencia Sub-formation have been confirmed to be completely inaccurate.
    I met a brother this week in Belmopan who happens to be one of the few successful Belizean born businessmen in the country. We had a short discussion about the increasing difficulty of doing business in Belize, the various obstacles, themultitude of red-tape in place andmost specifically the crime. The discussion was general in nature but eventually lead to us talking about the establishment of the Forensic Laboratory which is the single most urgently needed unit for the Country of Belize in order to help address crime along with the famous legal term which has now become a part of regular Belizean vocabulary “null-persecute”. The Government of Belize has committed itself to create this unit and placing it under the Ministry of National Security. The problem is of course the cost, not only for the equipment but for the training of personnel etc. This brother happens to also be a long standing member of the Chamber of Commerce. Now I have always been critical of the Chamber because I genuinely feel that they need to play a more vital role in assisting to address some of the causes of crime in Belize and I still firmly believe that they operate in a bubble as if though they are not a part of the larger Belize Community from which they earn theirwealth. Nevertheless, in the discussion he suggested that the Government of Belize should offer open bids for any group, individual, organization or entity to finance, build and operate the Forensic Laboratory and he is of the opinion that the Chamber of Commerce and or several of its’ members would welcome such an opportunity. He said without hesitation that he would readily put up the first hundred thousand for the project and he assured that several of his other colleges in business would do the same.
  • 10 Creepiest Food Facts that Everyone should know:
    1 The average fast food fan eats 12 pubic hairs in a given year. 2 A strawberry McDonald’smilk shake contains 50 artificial flavors Apparently, real strawberries are expensive. So fast food companies like McDonald’s choose to use a ridiculous concoction of 50 chemicals to effectively imitate the flavor of one real world food. These chemicals include ethyl acetate, phenythyl alcohol and solvent. 3 This iswhere chicken nuggets come from Before reshaping, food like chicken nuggets, hot dogs, bologna and pepperoni look like a disgusting sludge of pink paste. This is done through a process called mechanical separation, which is a cost-effective way to “smooth out” bone remnants left after the de-boning process. The process results in excessive bacteria, which is fixed by washing the meat in ammonia.
  • 11 Secret Facts about Hair & Nails:
    1 Facial hair grows faster than any other hair on the body. In fact, if the average man never shaved his beard it would grow to over 30 feet during his lifetime, longer than a killer whale. 2 Every day the average person loses 60-100 strands of hair. Unless you’re already bald, chances are good that you’re shedding pretty heavily on a daily basis. Your hair loss will vary in accordance with the season, pregnancy, illness, diet and age. 3 Women’s hair is about half the diameter of men’s hair. While it might sound strange, its shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that men’s hair should be coarser than that of women.
  • Orange Walk Mom Earns $6,795/Month Part-Time:
    Patricia Feeney of OrangeWalk, never thought she would have a job working at home until one day she filled out a simple form online. Before she knew it, she discovered her secret to beating the recession, and being able to provide for her family by working from home. I read Patty's blog last month and decided to feature her story in our Career News segment. In our phone interview she told me her amazing story. "Since getting my Work-At-Home-Digital I actuallymake about $5,000-$7,000 a month using the internet. It is enough to comfortably replace my old job's income.And the best thing is that I only work about 10- 12 hours a week from home so I now have a lot more time for my family." Working online has been a financialwindfall for Patty,who struggled formonths to find a job in a struggling economy through many online job agencies such as, and big break came one daywhen she found the Work-At-Home-Digital in an online classified ad. "I lost my job shortly after the recession hit, I needed reliable income, I was not interested in those "get rich quick" scams you see all over the internet. Those are all pyramid scams or stuff where you have to sell to your friends and family.
  • The Ladyville Massacre:
    Exactly two weeks and three days ago, 26 year old Jared Ranguy was found half naked and covered with blood in the Vellos home in Ladyville, where almost an entire family were killed savagely. In a small neighborhood known as “Japan” in Ladyville was where the well-known family were killed while still sleeping in their bedrooms early Sunday (November 25th, 2012). Neighbors fromthe communitywere awaken as early as 4 a.m. while police processed the scene of the very brutal murder of 51 year old Karen Skeen Vellos, 72 year old Robert Earl Vellos Sr. and 32 year old Teena Beth Skeen. Police Press Officer, Raphael Martinez said that when they visited the house they met a person kneeling in front of a room screaming and holding a machete. Two bodies were found lying motionless in front of that person, Karen Skeen with apparent multiple stab wounds and her husband Robert Earl Vellos Sr. with an apparent gunshot wound behind his head. In another roomTeena Beth Skeen was found with apparent multiple gunshot wounds.
  • Sleeping Disorders:
    Sleep disorders are disturbances that affect the ability to fall asleep, stay asleep, or stay awake or that cause abnormal behaviors during sleep, such as night terrors or sleepwalking. Sleep can be disturbed by many factors, including irregular bed times, activities before bed, stress, diet, disorders, and drugs. Lack of sleep makes people feel sleepy, tired, and irritable during the day and interferes with functioning. Less often, a sleep disorder makes people unable to resist falling alseep during the day. Adetailed description of the problem, sometimes with information froma sleep log, usually indicates the diagnosis, but sometimes testing in a sleep laboratory is needed.
  • Amazingly Good Eggnog:
    Ingredients: 4 cups milk 5 whole cloves 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 12 egg yolks 1 1/2 cups sugar 2 1/2 cups light rum 4 cups light cream 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg Directions:
  • George W. Bush retoma el debate sobre una reforma migratoria integral:
    El expresidente de Estados Unidos, George W. Bush, quien encabezó en 2007 el más reciente intento por aprobar una reforma migratoria integral reiteró este martes su creencia de que los inmigrantes son parte benéfica y total del estilo de vida estadounidense.
  • La persona ms anciana del mundo fallece a los 116 aos:
    Besse Cooper, la persona más anciana del mundo, murió este martes a la edad de 116 años. Cooper falleció enMonroe, Georgia, a unos 45minutos al este de Atlanta. Su hijo Sidney dijo que su madre "tuvo una vida larga y buena. Se fue muy tranquila". Nacida el 26 de agosto de 1896, Besse Cooper fue reconocida por el Libro Guinness de los Récords como la persona más vieja del mundo en enero de 2011.
  • Juez de líneamuere tras recibir una golpiza de futbolistas adolescentes:
    Un juez de línea aficionado murió este lunes en Holanda después de ser golpeado por futbolistas adolescentes en un partido el día anterior. Richard Nieuwenhuizen y la llegada de una ambulancia, se encontraba en estado crítico y fue trasladado a un hospital.Allí murió el lunes por la tarde", informó el sitio oficial de la falleció a las 5:30 p.m. local en el hospital de Nieuwegein, según su club Buitenboys.
  • Rosalia “Lily” Castillo Charged with Murder!:
    A post mortemexamination was conducted on the body of Carla Patricia Perez, 34 year old, Honduran waitress of #4 George Price Avenue, Santa Elena Town where at the conclusion; the doctor certified that cause of death was exsanguinations as a consequence of internal and external bleeding due to stab wound to the neck. The woman detained for apparently killing Carla Patricia Perez is her female lover 43 year old Rosalia “Lily” Castillo.
  • Romel Jr. Goes Missing:
    The Palacio family are seeking information regarding their love-one, Romel Palacio Jr. who has been missing sinceThursday, December 6th, 2012. Last year June theywere the victims of a home invasion where many believe Romel Sr. was attacked and killed because the assailants mistook him for his son, Romel Jr. who they were after because he was the only witness to a murder.
  • GSU BUST !:
    The GSU made a number of arrests and seizure. Rudolph Bennett, the uncle of a reputed member of a SouthsideGangwas arrested and charged with kept Ammunition without a gun license for a singleround. The GSU officers were on operation on Caesar Ridge Road, in the base of the Southside gangs’territory. A search was conducted at 47 year old Bennette’s apartment at the corner of Faber’s and Caesar Ridge Road. It led to the discovery of one .380 round of ammunition under his mattress.
  • Drug Trafficking:
    At 10:30am on December 11th, 2012, whilst Police were conducting foot patrol on Clement Street, Punta Gorda Town, they observed Joseph Cachou, 51 years old, Belizean Labourer of #50 FarWest Street, PuntaGorda Town coming frombehind a building at the corner of Far West Street and Clement Street. Upon seeing the Police Cachou ran away.
  • Many Cubans to pay taxes for first time in half a century:
    Most Cubans have not paid taxes for half a century, but that will change under new regulations starting January 1. The landmark move will change the relations of Cubans with their government and are a signal thatmarketoriented reforms are here to stay. They were launched after President Raul Castro succeeded his brother, Fidel Castro, in 2008. The recently published code constitutes the first comprehensive taxation in Cuba since the 1959 revolution abolished just about all taxes.
  • Microsoft’s CEOSteve Ballmer's Nightmare Is Coming True:
    Microsoft’s nightmare scenario is actually starting to take hold. 1 The iPad eats the consumer PC market. This is happening right now. In the third quarter of 2012, PC sales were down 8% on a year-over-year basis worldwide. In the U.S., saleswere down 14%. Abig chunk of the decline can be attributed to the rise of the iPad. Apple sold 14 million iPads last quarter, which is more than the top PCmaker, Lenovo,which shipped 13.7 million PCs. Throw in Apple’s 4.9 million Macs, and it’s the top computer maker by a mile. 2 Employees gradually switch away from using Windows PCs for work. This trend has not played out that dramatically in 2012.
  • Protesters attack palace, party headquarters in Egypt:
    Protesters marching on Egypt’s presidential palace Tuesday night broke through barbed wire around the building and hurled chairs and rocks at retreating police. Officers lobbed tear gas back at them. After initial clashes, police drew behind fences and protests were peaceful for several hours. More violence broke out at the headquarters of the Freedom and Justice Party in Menia, south of Cairo. At least 19 protesters were injured.
  • Cartoons and Joke of the Week
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The San Pedro Sun

The Anglican Archdiocese of Belize promotes HIV/AIDS Education
The Anglican Archdiocese has taken a stand in the fight against HIV AIDS through Education. Through the program; “Empowerment for all – HIV and AIDS” the diocese encourages HIV AIDS education with five major objectives: *Increasing knowledge and skills of teachers on how to deliver age appropriate information to and conduct life skills sessions with their students. * Promoting school environments which promote non-discriminatory practices among students, teachers and staff. *Increasing the availability of information on HIV and AIDS including the availability of services, care and support. *Increasing student’s knowledge of HIV and AIDS and increasing the number of students with the necessary life skills to prevent HIV infection. *Increasing parents’ knowledge of HIV and AIDS and increasing the number of parents displaying positive attitudes towards persons living with HIV and AIDS.

NEMO holds appreciation dinner for volunteers concluding the 2012 Hurricane Season
The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) in collaboration with the Minister of Tourism/Culture and Chairperson of the Emergency Operations Committee (EOC), Hon. Manuel Heredia; Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Mayor of San Pedro and Deputy EOC Chairperson and Mr. Brian Cook of Fido’s Restaurant, hosted a “Thank You” dinner event on Friday, December 7th. The dinner was held at the end of 2012 hurricane season as a token of appreciation to all volunteers and supporters of NEMO in the Belize Rural South who assisted throughout the season. The social started at 5PM upstairs of Fido’s Courtyard and saw the gathering of over 20 public officers and volunteers from the various Government Offices in San Pedro as well as Non-Governmental Organizations. Speaking at the event was Jeromey Timrose Augustine, District Emergency Coordinator, who offered much thanks to everyone present for their continued support of NEMO and expressed a desire to continue to work closely towards assuring the safety of lives and property of residents on both Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker. Further to this, she extended appreciation to Brian Cook and Fido’s Courtyard for providing the venue for most of the NEMO trainings throughout the year.

SPADAI – Working towards addressing the problems of Drug Abuse on the Island
The tiny fishing village of San Pedro has seen much growth since it became a town in 1984. With this growth came a booming economy, the advent of the Tourism Industry and an increase in the population to an estimated 20,000. Along with these advances, of which many have proven to be quite positive, it is expected that there come some negatives. One of the most obvious or more visible, would be that of alcohol abuse here on the island. San Pedro is home to dozens of restaurants, bars, night clubs and stores – all licensed to sell alcohol. With all these establishments catering to the needs of both visitors and residents alike, one would expect that there would be some sort of system in place that would combat the irrefutable effects of substance abuse on the island. As we walk around town, the effect of alcohol abuse is apparent in the individuals we see who are publically intoxicated on the streets on a daily basis. With many families torn by the addiction of a loved one, this substance has now managed to seep its way through the school systems and has reached our children, threatening to destroy their very future.

Kakaw Chocolate Boutique Opens on 12-12-12
We heard the announcement a while back, and have been eagerly anticipating its arrival. And now, finally, the Kakaw Chocolate Boutique has opened in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. It is right around the corner from our office, and we could not resist stopping by for a few photos (okay, and a couple bites too!). Chris and Jo have created a very pretty shop that sells delicious goodies made of chocolate: How about a marshmallow smothered in milk chocolate? Or would you rather brave the chocolate-dipped jalapeño? Maybe a cool Mocha-Chocolate drink is more your taste? MMM, whatever you prefer, be sure to swing by and check them out on Barrier Reef Drive!!

Misc Belizean Sources

Soul Project Announces Grand Opening
The new Cayo Cultural Center, the Soul Project, is having their soft grand opening this Saturday, December 15th. Great job, Daniel Velazquez and Abdela Bedran! "Cayo's new Soul Project Art and Cultural Center has some local Belizean art on exhibit. They have done a few movie screening there, including Kurse a di Xtabai. It will be opening for the general public soon, but if you see it open, check it out."

SHC's Annual Elocution Contest
Sacred Heart College is having their annual Elocution Contest tomorrow night, December 13th, at 6pm. They'll have a poetry showdown, comedy, music, and much more. The cost is only $3.

Lucky Boy's Home is Finished
Starting today, Thursday, December 13th, everyone can go see Lucky Boy the black jaguar at the Belize Zoo. They've finished his new home. "The future is NOW! Lucky Boy is now at home in his new 5 star home on site at the Zoo, and loving every moment of it! The big official ribbon cutting ceremony kicks off tomorrow at noon, so, come Thursday, EVERYONE will be able to visit the boy in person. Hope all the Lucky Boy fans out there enjoy this sneak preview. Paws way way up!"

How to get rid of Heartburn
I was a heartburn sufferer for 12 years. It got so bad that surgery was the next necessary step, so I decided to investigate the natural way to treat my heartburn. This method was successful for me 9 years ago and to this day I am heartburn free.

Channel 7

Belize Putting A Hold On Giving Guatemalans Nationality
A group of new Belizean citizens will be sworn in on December 21st in Belmopan. But, for the first time in probably decades - it will not include a single Guatemalan. And that's because the new Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse isn't satisfied that the current renunciation process for Guatemalans is effective. What do we mean by that? Well, Belize law requires that for any Guatemalan to become a Belizean they must first renounce their Guatemalan nationality. In practice, all that means is filling out a form at the Immigration office and signing it. But, it turns out, that such a renunciation is largely meaningless. And that's because the law in Guatemala states that to properly renounce their citizenship a person must make it formal in that country - by sending in their passport - and filling out a formal Guatemalan renunciation form. When the Guatemalan Ministry Of Foreign Affairs accepts that, only then is the renunciation official. So, it doesn't matter what form they swear to in Belize - that's only a paper renunciation, and those persons can return to Guatemala and get a passport because - until they renounce over there, they are considered citizens for life.

New Bze Visas Already Forged; Two Caught
And while that is just one of the many areas of dubious Immigration practices that Minister Hulse is trying to regularize - it's often a case of one step up and one step back. Proof of that came today when two persons of Indian descent - a male and a female - arrived at the PGIA airport with bogus Belizean Visas. They are currently detained and are expected to be charged tomorrow. There is no official information at this time, but the discovery has caused some alarm to senior officials at the Immigration Department because this is the first time they have seen forgers try to copy the new Belizean visas. These were recently re-designed with security features to make them more difficult to copy - but the forgers are already stepping up their game. We'll have more on this story tomorrow...

Traffic Safety Advocate Gets Rude Wake-Up Call
Recently, Stephen Okeke has emerged as an advocate for traffic safety on the early part of the Northern Highway, between the City and the Haulover bridge. In August he made a public call for the installation of "thumb-bumps" to slow down traffic in this residential area. One month later, an elderly man on a morning jog was knocked down and killed. And last night, the hazards of that stretch of road literally went knocking at Okeke's front door. He lives on the stretch of road at mile three and was awakened by an all too familiar crashing sound. But nothing could have prepared him for what he found in front of his fence. He explained: Steven Okeke - One of the First Respondents "I believe it was yesterday at around 12 midnight. At around that time, the accident happened. We heard the big bang as usual, and we believe that somebody must have been killed again like always. And, when I came around, the police was around helping the man out of the vehicle. And that is how he survived, I believe. But, if it was in the daytime, we would have been looking at another fatality. The speed here on this stretch of the road is unnerving, at least one speed control. I must congratulate the guys who are building a pedestrian walk up the road, but we need at least one speed control between the Haulover Bridge, and the Benny's Apartment. You can see the vehicles here probably racing around here. It is just unnerving."

Bus Driver Caused For Causing Major Collision
And in other road safety news, Police have charged 30 year old bus driver Cyril Wade, for Monday night's fatality between miles 59 and 60 on the Northern Highway. He was charged with Manslaughter by Negligence, Causing Death by Careless Conduct, Drove Motor Vehicle without Due Care and Attention and Negligent Wounding. As we reported 41 year old Jenaro Gaspar Sanchez, of Santa Clara Village was northbound in a Toyota pickup when he crashed into Wade's Blue Bird BBOC Bus headed to Orange Walk. No one in the bus was hurt, but Sanchez died in his pickup - and his body was trapped there for over an hour before it could be moved. The pickup was wrecked beyond recognition.

Gegg Gets Breathing Room On Mega Sales Tax Arrears
Yesterday 7News told you about David Gegg's financial issues with the GST Department for over quarter million dollars in back taxes. Well, he now has 2 months to clear up all his arrears because the court has given him some breathing room. As we told you yesterday, he was required to show up in court yesterday to say why a committal warrant for him to be jailed should not be executed. But, as we reported, he sent his accountant on his behalf, and the magistrate gave orders that he must show up in person. So today, Gegg, flanked by his attorney, Andrew Marshalleck, and his accountant, appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano in relation to those arrears. GST Legal Represenative Jacqueline Meighan reported to Magistrate Cayetano that with yesterday's 50-thousand dollar payment, on these arrears, Gegg now owes $146,496.90 on the previous arrears for which the committal warrant was issued. Marshalleck then submitted to the court that his client would like to ask the court to grant an adjournment of today's proceedings to determine if he can pay. According to Marshalleck, Gegg has taken steps to pay off all his arrears in 2 months' time, so there will be no need for a determination if he is able to pay. Meighan indicated to the court that her superiors will not object to adjournment, but they will hold Gegg to that time period very strictly.

McAfee Runs ... Into the Arms Of America
He is the only person of interest in the murder of Gregory Faull, but it looks like the Belize police won't get a chance to interview John McAfee anytime soon, and that's because he has run into the arms of America. Yesterday, a Supreme Court judge gave McAfee ten days to regularize his immigration status - so he was permitted to leave the Immigration holding facility where he had been since Thursday night. Guatemalan authorities made it clear they would not give him a visa, but he was given the opportunity to leave the country - and he bolted. Here's what McAfee told the Guatemalan media as he got into a police and immigration escort car headed for the airport: That was at 3:00 pm - and so at this hour McAfee is believed to have arrived in Miami. There is no word from Belizean law enforcement if they will be seeking his extradition to Belize.

New Elite Law Enforcement Unit Is US Funded And Trained
We all know about the GSU, the Gang Suppression Unit. They are very controversial for their aggressive operations - but, if you go by the numbers, they are also very effective - and their weapons seizures alone are unmatched by any other single police unit or formation. The GSU is also believed to be largely free of the corruption that bedevils other police units. And that model of a specialized, insulated unit of elite and clean officers is what may be motivating the formation of another specialized unit, designed to be highly efficient and effective. It's a US funded initiative - and it was launched at the police training academy in Belmopan today. 7news was there: Jules Vasquez Reporting The sound is real, but the explosives and bullets are not - it's a demonstration by the police department's latest elite unit, the Mobile Interdiction Team or MIT. The 20 member multi agency unit debuted this morning with training and about a half a million dollars in equipment from the US Government.

Police Find Drugs, Recover Weapon
Police conducted a search last Saturday in an abandoned lot on Rocky Road - which led them to the discovery of two black plastic bags. Inside the bags were a total of 167 grams of cannabis. No one was in the immediate area and the drugs were deposited as Found Property. And later that night at about 7:35 Special Branch personnel were in an area on Albert St South when they saw a 17 year old from Kraal Road. He was seen throwing an object resembling a firearm. Special Branch personnel proceeded to the area where the object was thrown and found a .38 Revolver. He was arrested and charged for possession of Unlicensed Firearm. According to police, the teenager is a known member of the South Side Gangster's and is also known to commit robberies within the Albert and Regent Street Area.

Belize Will Have A Sports Policy
Two sports directors' form the Caribbean Sports and Development Agency in Trinidad are in Belize for two weeks. Andre Collins and his colleague Mark Mungal have been invited by the National Sports Commission to develope a strategic plan for sports in Belize. Over the past couple days Collins and Mungal have engaged in discussions about the process - which involves reviewing the current sport act, the development of a national sports policy and the strategic plan. Over the next couple of months they are hoping to engage stakeholders from around the country to get an input of their vision for Sports in Belize. Now, if it sounds like more bureaucratese to you, it shouldn't because the sport policy should create greater organization across disciplines: Andre Collins - Director, CSDA "Our experience throughout the Caribbean has been in our previous incarnation of the organization called the Trinidad and Tobago Alliance for Sports and Physical Education, we've been supporting the rest of the region in various sports-specific development programs, more along the lines of the development of physical education for elementary and secondary school children, along the lines of sports for persons with disabilities, as well as sporting for at-risk or underserved youths. So, this is an opportunity to bring all of those things together into one framework, as well as to try to capture the aspects of sports, not just sport but sport development, and sport excellence in terms of high-performance sporting as well."

21 Year Old Sent To Jail On Accusation of Sex With 15 Year Old
21 year-old Ever Alexander Ortiz, a store clerk from the Stann Creek Valley, is in prison tonight after he was taken to court today for allegedly having intercourse with a 15 year-old female minor. According to police, it happened on December 6, 2012, when she had the encounter with Ortiz, whom she knows very well, at his mother's residence in Belize City. She was taken to a doctor who certified that she was carnally known. As a result of this report, police arrested and charged Ortiz with unlawful carnal knowledge, and he was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer today. Due to the nature of the offences, he was remanded prison until his next court date, which is scheduled for January 28, 2013.

The Belize Zoo Is 30!!!
At the Belize Zoo, they just loooove birthday celebrations. If it's not April the Tapir, then it's Junior Buddy the jaguar or Panama the Harpy…and they just keep coming. Today was another birthday, but a very special one - as the place that calls itself the Best Little Zoo in The World turned 30. As we found out, it's not so little anymore - but it is a lot easier to get around! Jules Vasquez reports: Jules Vasquez Reporting The Zoo celebrated its birthday today with the opening of a new visitor's Centre: Sharon Matola - Founding Director, Belize Zoo "Overwhelmed is not descriptive enough about how I feel. I'm just - I've seen this place together in the past 4 months with amazing energy, and you know how much it's been raining here, some of the challenges that we've been facing. But, there it is, and I'm just overjoyed. We've really created a spacious, useful building with its own education program and it's own education classroom. It's all handicapped access, and that will allow people - especially school groups which come here - they'll have a classroom with interactive components in it. We're going to have a restaurant, a café, and we're going to have an expanded gift shop. So, I think all those things are going to help us look into the future." And that center - as well as most of the zoo now - can be accessed by over two thousand five hundred feet of wide concrete pathways: Sharon Matola "We call it the SHED project, because stroller, handicapped, elderly and disabled friendly, and we hosted Miss Belize a few days ago, and we know that it's high-heels friendly too. So, anybody can go there, and people who have been restricted in the past, can enjoy what Tony's ingenious abilities have provided, which is a pathway. It's user-friendly. Because it's go air pockets so water soaks through it. It's pretty; it's comfortable. It is just wonderful. They handicap access that we are now opening up for the public, it'll be easier for people to come here."

How to Feed A Veritable Noah's Ark
And like all the other animals, Lucky Boy has his own specialized diet. If you run a household, you'll know that feeding a family three square meals a day isn't easy and it ain't cheap. Well imagine what it's like for the folks at the zoo, they have to feed 140 wild animals including herbivores, omnivores, insectivores, and carnivores who love to taste blood. And all of them have to eat everyday! In 2009, Jacqueline Godwin went inside the zoo to find out first-hand - literally - how they feed all these wild and wonderful creatures: Jacqueline Godwin Reporting, The Belize Zoo offers visitors a rare glimpse of the animals not easily seen in the wild. Yes, it is a haven for wildlife that must be well preserved. How is it done? Well, it is no easy task as I discovered working as a zoo keeper for one day. My day started off in the commissary. This is where all the animals foods are prepared. A job that senior zoo keeper Antolin Cano has been doing for the past 11 years. Jacqueline Godwin, What do you like about the job? Antolin Cano, "Well it is very interesting to learn the animals behaviour; what they like to eat, what's their habitat and it is very interesting, it is like living in another world. Up to now definitely I like dealing with animals, I love that part."

Clinic For Bze. Rural
Belize Rural North and Central are getting a major upgrade in the availability of medical care. The administration at the Central American Health Science University, which is located at the junction of the Hattieville Boom Road and the Phillip Goldson Highway, have teamed up with the Belize Rural North Representative, Edmund Castro to open a new clinic which will be free of cost to any member of the public. Today, the clinic was officially opened and the Executive Dean of the University explained how the clinic came about, and how it will be managed and funded: Dr. Maurice Modavi - Executive Dean, Central American Health Science University "There is a large community around this area including Sandhill, Boom, and Ladyville, and there has not been a clinic to service the population. So, this was a necessity, and there was a need for it." Reporter "How did this come about? Where did you get the funds for it?" Dr. Maurice Modavi "We have been discussing the issue with Minister Castro for some time, and initially, we intended to start the clinic somewhere in Sandhill, and allocate some space to it. But since that is going to take time, our University provided the space at no cost. The professors who are teaching are going to provide some of their time, and it is for non-profit institution."

Archeology Attorney Says Jaime Awe Signed Off On Lawsuit
Last night we told you about the lawsuit filed against William Homann, the Estates of Anna and F.A. Mitchell-Hodges, LucasFilm, Walt Disney Co., and Paramount Pictures, in US Federal Court by Belize's director of the Institute of Archaeology, Jaime Awe. He told us that he wasn't aware that it would be a full fledged lawsuit, and wanted to disassociate himself from it. Well, this evening we got a release from James Reed the Director of a group called the Belize Archaeological Preservation Society Ltd. His statement says that quote "We are in possession of an original copy of the Attorney Engagement Agreement signed by Dr. Awe and are, therefore, mystified by any assertions that the suit was unintended." It adds that quote, "The basis of the suit was vetted over the course of several months and several meetings with various government officials at the highest levels of the Belize government." It adds that: quote: "The law suit seeks to compensate Belize for the failure of LucasFilms to have gained permission to replicate objects of cultural and historical significance derived from Belize."

Channel 5

Guatemala deports McAfee to the U.S. without Samantha
John McAfee has been deported from Guatemala to the United States after spending a week at a detention center for illegally crossing the border. This afternoon, he boarded a flight back to Florida and left behind his twenty year old girlfriend Samantha Vanegas. Vanegas was in tears as the sixty-seven year old antivirus founder got [...]

Taxi drivers in the Capital protest relocation
There was a protest this morning in the nation’s capital, where taxi drivers find themselves at odds with the Belmopan City Council. The cabbies are outraged that the number of parking spaces at the bus terminal has been reduced to twenty-one and they are being relocated to areas that are not as heavily trafficked, which [...]

Another bust of illegal harvested rosewood in Toledo
There is a breaking story out of Toledo tonight where the illegal trade of rosewood continues at a brisk pace. At four p.m. today, a joint operation by Police and Forestry Department personnel led to the discovery of eighty pieces of Rosewood several miles from the seacoast of Punta Gorda Town, at Gomez Estate in [...]

Here comes the M.I.T., highway cops looking for contraband
It’s the time of year when contraband is at an all time high but there’s now a unit in place to monitor the highways and borders to curb the illegal trade; primarily from the Commercial Free Zone and neighboring Mexico. Twenty officers from the police, customs and immigration departments have completed training to combat the [...]

Mexico sends military to help build road to international bridge
The Mexican Senate has authorized eleven members of the Mexican Army to cross the border of Belize and assist in the construction of a section of the road that links the international bridge between Belize and Mexico. Ninety two senators voted in approval of the request during a senate meeting on Thursday.  The Mexican team [...]

Government tries to end Oceana’s case before it gets underway
The Elections and Boundaries Office disqualified eight thousand and forty seven petition signatures that could have triggered a national referendum on the issue of offshore exploration and drilling. That set in motion a Supreme Court case filed by Audrey Marie Bradley, Thomas Greenwood and Oceana in Belize. Bradley, Greenwood and Oceana are seeking judicial review [...]

Businessman David Gegg avoids prison by paying some of his GST
Businessman David Gegg, owner of Discovery Expedition and Cruise Solutions Limited, made an appearance in court this morning after eluding the GST on Tuesday.  The GST had issued a committal warrant for Gegg for a hefty sum of two hundred and six thousand plus dollars in unpaid taxes. But this morning at nine o’clock, Gegg [...]

Stann Creek Store Clerk busted for carnally knowing 15 year old girl
Twenty-one year old Evan Alex Ortiz, a store clerk of Bella Vista Village in the Stann Creek District, appeared unrepresented before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer today where he was charged for unlawful carnal knowledge.  Ortiz is accused of having sexual intercourse with a fifteen year old Belize City student on December sixth, at a house [...]

Lucky Boy, once emaciated jaguar, makes a comeback
At the Belize Zoo, Lucky Boy met the media today. On the previous occasion when we reported on the black jaguar, he was severely malnourished after months of neglect while in captivity. Well Lucky Boy has made a remarkable recovery and today, he showed off his new fur as he well as his new habitat. [...]

CASHU’s Community Clinic for Belize Rural Villagers
A community health clinic was inaugurated today to provide free medical services primarily to communities in the Belize district. The facility is located at the Boom cut-off on the Philip Goldson Highway and is an initiative by the Belize Medical College. Current and former area reps turned up for the ceremony. News Five’s Jose Sanchez [...]

Man mauled to death by dogs in Stann Creek
There’s a disturbing report from the Stann Creek District where a man has been mauled to death by two dogs. The victim is sixty-seven year old Clyde Ku, who was last seen on Tuesday when he headed to work as a watchman seven miles outside Dangriga. Ku was found this morning, severely bitten on the [...]

Newly renovated library inaugurated at the Anglican Cathedral College
The Anglican Cathedral College is boasting a newly renovated library through collaborative efforts with the Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust. The students and staff of the ACC joined in the celebration as did the Minister of Education, who said he’d still be in the classroom if he weren’t a politician. Duane Moody was also on [...]

Red Cross says climate change affecting Jane Usher Boulevard
The Jane Usher Boulevard area is usually in the headlines for negative reasons, but tonight there is some positive news coming out of that community. The Belize Red Cross has been working with residents of Jane Usher Boulevard to build awareness on the threats posed by climate change, particularly since it is a flood prone [...]

Red Cross video proves poverty in Jane Usher and surrounding areas exists
As part of the project, a ten minute video was also launched highlighting the work that the Red Cross has been doing in the Jane Usher Boulevard area and how community involvement has improved conditions. The images, however, also show the great need that still exists in the poverty stricken areas.   Lily Bowman “We [...]


Around The World Celebrates Our Lady of Guadalupe
In 1531, Our Lady of Guadalupe is said to have appeared to indigenous Native American peasant, Juan Diego in the slope of the hills of Tepeyac in Mexico City. The vision of this girl of fifteen or sixteen years of age spoke to him in Nahuatl, the native language and asked him tha...

Ministry of National Security Clarifies W Corporal Young Removal From San Pedro
The Ministry of National Security has issued a statement seeking to set the record straight regarding the removal of Corporal Sharmane Young from her post in San Pedro Town. According to the official release, Corporal Young’s transfer was made on November twenty seventh, we...

McAfee Back In The United States But Remains Person of Interest In Belize
There are reports in the international media that a judge in Guatemala has ruled that the detention of John McAfee was illegal. The reports, which relied heavily on a posting on McAfee’s website, say that McAfee would be released from an immigration detention center as a result o...

Belize City Back In Prison Months After Release
Forty-seven year old Rudolph Bennett, of Caesar Ridge Road who was released from prison in August after serving nine years, went back to jail yesterday when he appeared in Court and was charged with kept ammunition without a gun license. Bennett pled not guilty to the charge and Magist...

Thirty Year Old Belize Zoo Boasts New Visitors Centre
It is almost as old as independent Belize, and at thirty, the Belize Zoo on the George Price Highway has made some positive strides since then. Today US Ambassador and member of the House of Representative, Dolores Balderamos Garcia, assisted in cutting the ribbon to a new Visito...

Belize Natural Energy Finances Library for City High School
The BNE Charitable Trust which is a partnership between Belize Natural Energy and the Ministry of Belize, was established to empower people and communities through grants of educational-related projects, capacity building programs and initiatives that support the social environment. Th...

Two Men Remanded Following Sexual Relations With Minors
Two men who allegedly had sex with females under the age of 16, have been charged with carnal knowledge, an offence for which the magistrate court cannot offer them bail. They are 21 year Ever Alex Ortiz, a store clerk of Stann Creek Valley and 22 year old Jermain Parham, an unemployed...


Belmopan City Council faces the discontent of taxi men
The taxi operators are not budgeting and it seems that is the position they are putting forward to the Belmopan Cit...

Belmopan Mayor and Taxi Operators still at odds
MAYOR Lopez was not available for comments today and neither did he have an audience with the operators. It resembl...

Charges brought against woman in crime of passion
Police have charged 43yr old Rosalilia Castillo with one count of murder for the stabbing death of 34yr old Pamela ...

Mobile Interdiction Team ready for action
Fourteen months ago the Government of Belize and the United States Embassy commenced discussions surrounding the va...

Minister John Saldivar deals with hot topics on Rise n Shine
Minister John Saldivar was on Rise n shine again this morning and a plethora of issues were covered. He dealt with ...

Henry Comejo arraigned for murder of Marvin Nunez
Last week Friday just at high noon 29 year-old Marvin Nunez, was executed near the entrance of Saint Ignatius Prima...

David Gegg in court for arrears of GST
David Gegg, owner of Cruise Solutions and Discovery Expeditions, was this week before the courts as he managed to n...

12/12/12 - a special date
A group of children celebrated their 12th birthday in Times Square this morning December 12, 2012. Why is that news...

Belize seeks return of ancient artifact
An archaeologist in Belize has filed a lawsuit against the makers of the film "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the...

Chamber of Commerce and Industry commends Custom Officials
It was in the news this week that a municipal government convoy on a Christmas shopping spree across the border and...

Police train with U.S. Border Patrol’s Special Operations Group
Earlier we told you about the two immigration and customs officers who underwent five week training with sixteen po...

Bus driver charged with Manslaughter by Negligence
A bus driver has been charged with Manslaughter by Negligence. Last night we told you of the Fatal Traffic Accident...

Special Branch active in Belize City
On Saturday, following information received by Special Branch, Police searched an abandoned lot on Rocky Road, Beli...


Airport pickup
Yesterday was a big day, Cindy’s mum Cherie arrived from England. We were on standby to pick her up as she has a bad back so she could not make the trip north on the ATV and needed a cart ride. Quite often when flights arrive on time or slightly early at Belize international airport, the person will get bumped on an earlier flight to San Pedro, thankfully that was not the case today and we got the call from Cindy to meet up at Maya Island Air at 1:00pm instead of noon. Paul and I decided to walk to Pedro’s to pick up the cart and luckily when we got to the next road Anthony stopped to give us a ride, he was also on his way to the airport to pick up Hilly for a football [soccer] lunch at Pedro’s. We got talking along the way and realized he was our secret DJ across the canal, thankfully he plays rock and roll music we like. We got to Maya airport with minutes to spare for meeting the plane. Cherie came to catch the birth of her grandson, we still do not know what sex the baby is but I am betting on a boy and that he will come very fast. One thing I did not tell you in the simple baby shower post was that around 4am that morning Cindy thought she was going to go into labor and she has been mentally staving it off till her mom arrived. These could be the last few pictures of a very pregnant Cindy. Her due date is December 24th but now that her mum is here many of us are guessing it could be any time now, especially those that have already done this before.

SAGA Humane Society's COOK-OFF of CHAMPIONS Plus An AMAZING Opportunity
Almost every month, SAGA does a cook-off...a fun competition where restaurants and individual chefs donate dishes that serve 60. Anyone who comes pays $10bzd to have a taste, to vote and to declare a winner. It is always good times. To get the gist if you've never attended, here's an example: May's Bar Food Themed Cook-off At AJ's. SAGA does amazing work for San Pedro. From taking care of pets' medical needs, spaying and neutering, helping pick up and adopt out strays to trapping and fixing stray cats for hotel and resort owners. Tomorrow evening we are hosting our Cook-Off of Champions. All of the winners throughout the year have been invited to duke it out. To declare THE champion. To win the crown. (YES! We will have an actual crown.) All at Wet Willy's...

International Sources

Maya From The Inside Webcast
December 21, 2012, signals the much-anticipated passing of the 13 Bak’tun in the ancient American indigenous system of time keeping. As we approach the Mayan Calendar day that marks the turn of eras, Dr. Victor Montejo offers a fascinating presentation on the deep meaning of Maya culture and history from the perspective of a noted Native scholar and author. Victor Montejo is a Jakaltek Maya originally from Guatemala. Previously a professor and chair of the Native American Studies Department at the University of California, Davis, Dr. Montejo now lives in Guatemala. He was formerly Minister of Peace in the Guatemalan Republic. Montejo also served as a member of the Guatemalan National Congress from 2004 to 2008. An internationally recognized author, Montejo’s major publications include Testimony: Death of a Guatemalan Village; Voices from Exile: Violence and Survival in Modern Maya History; Maya Intellectual Renaissance: Critical Essays on Identity, Representation and Leadership; Popol Vuh: Sacred Book of the Mayas; and Q’anil: Man of Lightning. His current projects focus on indigenous migration and transnationalism, as well as in developing a curriculum in Native knowledge and epistemology in his new manuscript, Mayalogue: An Interactionist Theory of Indigenous Cultures.

The eyes have it: The iris pictured in remarkable detail by incredible close-up shots
When you think of an eyeball, you probably think of a smooth marble-like sphere. But these remarkable pictures seem less like a part of human anatomy and more like pitted cratered landscapes. They show the complex and intricate textures hidden within the iris that give our eyes our unique and enchanting character.

Belize Children's Project Holding Orthopedic Clinics Countrywide in January 2013
The Belize Children’s project is an ongoing collaboration with Rotary Clubs in Southern Illinois and Shriner’s Hospital for Children in St. Louis to help children throughout Belize suffering from bone abnormalities such as curvature of the spine, shortness in one leg, difficulty walking, club foot, etc. Clinics will be held in January 2013 to find children who can be helped by the program.

Inaugural Tropic Air Service Boosts Belize Travel Says Chaa Creek
Travellers to Belize will find it easier to combine a Caribbean beach vacation with a rainforest and Maya temple experience, thanks to today’s launch of a new air service linking Belize’s San Ignacio Town to San Pedro on Ambergris Caye. According to Tropic Air, their new service will run between the Maya Flats airstrip located midway between San Ignacio Town and Benque Viejo del Carmen on the Guatemalan border, and the domestic airports at San Pedro and Belize City. “The new service is a direct response to requests from its valued customers, and carries through on the airline’s commitment to the people of Belize. It also will allow for the growth of tourism in both regions, facilitating easy and quick transfers for visitors, and for increased trade between Cayo and the rest of the country,” John Grief III, Tropic Air’s President, said. “We hope that in the coming months, we are able to add flights and other destinations from San Ignacio,” he added. Mr Waight said that the new service will compliment Chaa Creek’s all-inclusive Belize vacation packages that allow guests to divide their time between Chaa Creek’s luxury rainforest experience and holidays at select Caribbean resorts.

Two-story apartment becomes home for education
There are many unique laws in Belize, which allowed many turns and twists over a land dispute among Christians who ran Cayo Christian Academy. Worldwide Christian Schools sat down with Pastor Tate, one of the school's board members, and talked about the future and the need for the school to thrive and exist. With tears in his eyes, Pastor Tate passionately talked about the children and the need to provide schooling in the country of Belize. WWCS chose to help Cayo Christian Academy relocate and remodel a two-story apartment into classrooms for a school. Two days after the teams from WWCS left Belize, the Ministry of Education came for a visit. In that one visit, the new school location got fully approved. The school started with 153 students at first registration. That was 30 over the capacity in the classroom space, so the lobby area was turned into a classroom for students. Thank the Lord for giving the school favor with the Ministry of Education and for the unexpected increase in enrollment. Pray that they will be able to effectively minister to the children that are attending school there.

Clemson team helping to educate children
A Creative Inquiry team at Clemson University has launched $60 Scholarships, a social enterprise that provides educational opportunities to impoverished children living in Belize. Class members and volunteers from various campus organizations were to staff a donation booth in the Hendrix Student Center breezeway from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday-Friday. The class has partnered with Unity Christian School in Belize City in the selection of children for scholarships. For $60, a child can be provided with a school uniform, books, supplies and tuition for an entire year. The group has raised $600 thus far, enough to send 10 Belizean children to school next year.

December 12, 2012


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Specials and Events

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

Wild to go adventuring in old-time Belize
This is a hot spot for saltwater fly-fishing. While Belize’s northern islands host polished lodges with gourmet meals and groomed bartenders, those to the south remain wild paradises where the fish are plentiful. Placencia sits on the southern tip of the Placencia Peninsula, a 20-mile-long spit of land with a creamy-green lagoon on the west and the Caribbean Sea on the east. It holds a string of villages with names like Maya Beach and Seine Bight, and still-rustic throngs of shacks that provide a glimpse of what the peninsula must have been like until 1991, when power, phone, cable, and pavement were brought in. Before then homes were lighted by hurricane lamps, and families fished for tuna and lobster and lived in a bartering society where life was simple.

“Pat the Great Cat: A Jaguar’s Journey” launched in Belize
“Pat the Great Cat: A Jaguar’s Journey” and literacy in Belize was launched on Monday December 10, 2012 at Belize Elementary School on Princess Margaret Drive in Belize City. In this beautifully illustrated book, students from Belize and urban Milwaukee, Wisconsin describe the compelling world of a very special jaguar. Written side-by-side in English and Spanish, Pat the (Great) Cat: A Jaguar’s Journey, tells a wonderful, true story and serves as an ideal educational tool, dedicated to the goal of cooperation between nations to improve literacy. The book sparks the imagination as a resource to teach the natural history of the Americas, the Maya, geography of our hemisphere, science, ecology and conservation, creative writing, art and beauty, all through the journey of a unique, and very real, jaguar.

Dr. Giovanni Solorzano is the new director at Dr. Otto Rodriguez PolyClinic II
Dr. Giovanni Solarzano has now joined the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II in the capacity of Clinical Coordinator/Medical Director as of November 16, 2012. Dr. Solorzano replaces Dr. Javier Zuniga, who has left to further his studies. Solorzano, a resident of San Pedro has been working in the Medical field for over 20 years. Most residents will know him from his private practice at the San Carlos Medical Clinic. Before taking on his new position, he was previously employed by the Pan American Health Organization as a maternal and family child health consultant. Prior to this, he was employed at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) as the Deputy Director of Health Services at the KHMH where he was responsible for Quality Assurance. Dr. Solorzano told The San Pedro Sun that his employment relationship with the Government of Belize goes way back to 1991.

Ambergris Today

Castillo’s Hardware Donates to San Pedro Cancer Society
The San Pedro Cancer Society is a hard working non-profit organization that are constantly working on raising funds to help cancer patients on the island. On Friday, December 7, 2012, the non-profit group received a kind donation to assist in its community projects. Castillo’s Hardware donated $500 to the Cancer Society and on hand to receive the donation were chairman Gonzalo Muñoz, Lucy Muñoz and Monica Prevett. This donation will be used towards the activities scheduled for Cancer Awareness Month in February 2013. Anyone interested in giving a donation to the organization can do so by contacting Mr. Gonzalo Muñoz at 601-5543.

Ministry of National Security Clarifies Issue of Transferred San Pedro Police Officer
The Ministry of National Security issued a press release in which it wished to clarify the issue of the re-posting of Corporal #834 Sharmane Young from the San Pedro Sub-formation to Belize City following controversy of her transfer out of the island. The release stated that is well within the established transfer policy of the Police Department for her to be removed from the San Pedro Police Department. Reports of her transfer to the Placencia Sub-formation have been confirmed to be completely inaccurate. The letter to Corporal Young dated November 27, 2012 states that the re-deployment is from San Pedro to Belize City, “under the overall command of the Officer Commanding Eastern Division with effect from November 27, 2012”. The records confirm that Corporal Young asked for and received, as per regulations, an extension of the transfer date to December 15, 2012.

Water Filters Distributed to Poverty Stricken San Mateo Area
“This has been my personal volunteer project focus this year,” Ann Juffner told Ambergris Today. “I am working with several groups, but I’ve spearheaded this project and convinced the Rotary Club of Belize City to commit from 100-200 filters to San Mateo. The critical thing was that we wanted to also teach the locals about water treatment and the need to wash their hands and sanitize and receiving containers before using them.” Ann has also been working along with the island’s health inspector, Ms. Lisa Tillett, who spearheads health outreach at San Mateo. They have obtained the support of Mayor Guerrero and are working as a team for in the water purification project. In January 2013, Ann will be working along with a group of college engineering students from both the University of Texas and the University of Mississippi. The student group form Texas is a member of the Engineers Without Borders group and will be assisting Ann with her work in San Mateo with the filter program. She has also asked then to focus on finding a simple wastewater treatment approach that could work for homes in the area. Just recently the San Pedro Town Council, with help from outside donations, has started improving the street conditions that did not even existed in most of the neighborhood so that proper water and sewerage system can be put in place. Even a new city dump truck has been assigned to the area to improve sanitation conditions.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Giant Loggerhead, Spotted Eagle Rays
Another day of local diving, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize

University of Denver Leadership Group at MCHS
Recently, ISIS brought a student leadership group down, and they went to Mount Carmel High School. "A group of University of Denver students come to Benque, Belize each year to do leadership training with the Student Council at Mt. Carmel High School. The camaraderie is evident in these photos."

SI United Awards Ceremony
The San Ignacio United Football Club had their end of year party and awards ceremony. "End of season 2012-13 party and awards."

Cayo Tour Guide Association AGM
The CTGA had their annual general meeting last night at Hode's. Congratulations to the new crew! President: Emil Gamez Vice President: Juan Carlos Treasurer: Mr. Anastacio Bol Secretary: Fidel Montes Jr. "On a yearly basis we elect the president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and three board members. And every three years we elect a liaison to the BTB, Belize Tourism Board... Out going President Joe Awe severed for seven years, he was the president for four consecutive years the then there was a hiatus for a few years as he was studying at Galen University. He returned with the vengeance as if he had unfinished business and did another three years. We certainly applaud Joe Awe for the many years he served and dedicated in office, as a great boxer with many fights and titles belts he now steps back and retires."

Flavors of Belize Cookbook for Christmas
The Flavors of Belize Cookbook has a nice little ad mentioning how great of a gift it would make for Christmas. It says you should be able to find it at Courts. They have many great recipes in the cookbook.

Horse Riding for 12/12/12
Banana Bank is doing some night horse riding tonight night for 12/12/12. They'll also be doing another night ride on the 21st. Call them at 832-2020 by noon tomorrow. "There is nothing like horse riding at night. It is an experience that is unlike any other riding experience and everyone should try it at least once. It is magical and will hold you in awe as you trust your horse to glide you through the jungle. In celebration to the unique dates this month brings we will conduct our first ride on December 12th 2012. "

Channel 7

Lily Charged For Killing Her Lady Lover
Last night we told you about the weekend murder of 34 Year Old Pamela Perez, mother of three. She was stabbed multiple times - eventually bleeding out from a massive wound to her throat. The woman detained for the apparent crime of passion is her partner 43 year old Rosalia "Lily" Castillo. Police believe that she killed Pamela Perez, whom she had been living with for two years. This afternoon, she was escorted to San Ignacio Magistrate's Court where she was arraigned on a single charge of murder and remanded to prison. Friends of Castillo have said her partner was abusing her. But police found that there was no suggestion of Castillo being a victim of abuse - in fact there were statements which portrayed her as the aggressor. Those familiar with the couple say they had a long history of violent arguments - and they'd had an argument that day - with Castillo allegedly accusing the deceased of owing her money.

Cornejo Charged For "Inches" Murder
Last week Friday, we told you about 29 year-old Marvin "Inches" Nunez, who was executed near the entrance of Saint Ignatius Primary School on Euphrates Avenue. Well, tonight 20 year-old Henry Cornejo is on remand for his murder after he was taken to court today. He was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer this morning. There's no bail for murder, so he was remanded to prison until January of 2013. Cornejo was allegedly lying in wait for Nunez who went with his girlfriend to drop off his stepchildren at Saint Ignatius at around 1 p.m., just like he normally does. As soon as his girlfriend went inside the compound, the gunman ambushed Nunez and shot him 3 times in the head and once in the chest.

Man Killed In Head On Collision With Bus
There was a terrible head-on collision on the Northern Highway in the Orange Walk District last night - and it caused the loss of one life. It happened at about 6:45 pm between miles 59 and 60, where 41 year old Jenaro Gaspar Sanchez, a 41 year old cane farmer of Santa Clara Village was northbound in a Toyota pickup when he crashed into a Blue Bird BBOC Bus headed to Orange Walk. No one in the bus was hurt, but Sanchez died in his pickup - and his body was trapped there for over an hour before it could be moved. The pickup was mangled and crushed beyond recognition. His passenger, 45 year old Primitivo CANO did survive and suffered a cut wound to his head, abrasions to his left arm and was complaining of pain to the left side of his chest.

Sr. Killed Last Year, Jr. Missing This Year - Are They Linked?
The Palacio family has been in the news before after their loved-one, 53 year-old Romel Palacio Sr., was killed in a home invasion in June of last year. Many believe that he was attacked and killed because his assailant mistook him for his son, Romel Jr., who they were after because he was the only witness to a crime. Well, tonight, we report that Romel Jr. is missing, and he has not been seen since Thursday of last week. Today, his family came to speak to 7News immediately after they made a missing person report to police. His sister told us that there are rumors going around that he has been killed and buried, but they hope that he is still alive Here's what she told us about how they believe that her brother going missing and her father's death may be connected in some way:

Committal Warrant For David Gegg; He Owes Quarter Mil!
Tonight, David Gegg, one of the big names in the Belize Tourism sector, is breathing easier after he dodged a committal warrant to prison today. It's for non-payment of General Sales Tax, and Gegg's company, it is alleged, owes almost a quarter million dollars! The precise figure according to the General Sales Tax Department, is ($206,639) two hundred and six thousand, six hundred and thirty nine dollars in arrears. This matter was taken before Magistrate Kathleen Lewis this morning in the Municipal Court by the GST Department because according to them, his arrears had once climbed to more than three hundred thousand dollars. Now, usually, the person whose name is printed on the warrant is the one who's supposed to show up in court. But, Gegg didn't appear today; instead, he sent his accountant, Sheffield Eck, to appear on his behalf. GST Legal Officer, Jacqueline Meighan, explained that an order on was given over a year ago for Gegg to pay off ($264,000) two hundred and sixty-four thousand dollars in arrears dating back to December 2010 for his 2 businesses, Cruise Solutions and Discovery Expeditions.

McAfee Denied By Guat Supreme Court
And while Gegg has to go to Magistrate's court in Belize tomorrow - John McAfee's attorney was in court in Guatemala City today. Telesforo Guerra asked the Guatemalan Supreme Court to put a stay on the deportation order against McAfee. Guerra asked the court to put a 3 month stay of the expulsion order - which would give McAfee freedom to move around. But, word this evening from credible source in Guatemala City say that the court ruled against the application, meaning that Guatemalan Immigration can proceed with his deportation. That deportation would be to the country he entered Guatemala from: Belize in this case. But, not so fast, McAfee has another case pending in the Constitutional Court. That case is to determine whether his human rights are being violatd if he is deported. So, the legal maneuvering is expected to drag on a few days more. In the meantime, McAfee's been busy looking at more angles for self-promotion and has sold the rights to his life story to his Canadian public relations firm, Impact Future Media.

Public Press Brings Cpl. Sharmane Consolation
For the past week - "and change" - Corporal Sharmane Young's name has been in the news. She is the Tourism Police Officer who was immediately transferred from San Pedro after she had a difference with the Tourism Minister over an arrestee. Well today the Ministry of National Security finally weighed in on the story. They issued a release this evening which says that quote, "the re-posting of Corporal #834 Sharmane Young from the San Pedro Sub-formation to Belize City is well within the established transfer policy of the Police Department." It adds that quote, "Reports of her transfer to the Placencia Sub- formation (are) completely inaccurate." She will be transferred to Belize City effective December 15, 2012. The release adds that, quote: "The Ministry is satisfied that this reposting to Belize City had nothing to do with the incident involving an American tourist, and regrets that the timing of the incident (has) led to understandable speculations about the motive for the decision." No kidding on that one, right? But it doesn't end there: the release offers an olive branch: Corporal Young will be offered responsibility for the Burrell Boom Police Station. That is, if she wants it.

Is Climate Change Inundating Jane Usher?
Climate change, we hear a lot of talk about it, but is it real? Well, you'd have to ask the scientists - and even then, you'd probably end up with more questions than answers. But, the Red Cross says residents of Jane Usher Boulevard are already living with the effects of Climate Change - and if you don't believe just visit the area after a heavy rain - and now you might say this is a drainage problem - but the Red Cross says it's a people problem - and today the organization held an open day to show how they are responding. But, hardly anyone - including relevant Government agencies - showed up which left the Red Cross Executive Director Lilly Bowman more than a little crestfallen: Lilly Bowman - CEO, Red Cross Belize "The Belize Red Cross has been working with this community since 2010 after Hurricane Richard when we were doing assessments and distribution of relief items- we saw the dire need of coming into this community to assist them with disaster reduction and to give them the knowledge for better resilience in order to respond in times of disasters."

Gang Truce Gone!
And similarly there were no big officials to meet with Belize City Gangsters on Friday when the gang truce work programme was officially ended. In fact, the event passed by without even any official mention. But 7news has confirmed that on Wednesday - mid level officials met with Gang Leaders at the CYDP Office in Belize City where the leaders were told that the programme was officially terminated. We understand that all the participants were given a gratuity of one month's pay. That is one month at the current rate of work which had been reduced to three days a week. At its peak, the programme employed 15 members from 13 gangs. It started in September of 2011 - after an ugly confrontation between the GSU and the George Street Gang. The main movers behind it were Sheldon Pinky Tillett and Prime Minister Dena Barrow, but when Tillett was executed earlier this year - the programme seems to have lost its center. Couple that with government's decline in finances - and its end was foretold. Now, some of the gangs are being assisted to move unto other sustainable enterprises. We are told some have been allowed to keep their tools for this purpose.

Fire Scare At Biggest Gov't Building In city
The fire alarm went off this morning at the CB Hyde building in the St Martins area. It's the largest Government office in the city and employees had to be evacuated after an extraction fan on the third floor became overheated. It was a small electrical fire that took firefighters only minutes to put it out - but it caused quite a site. A senior government manager told us more:.. Kent Clare - Commissioner of Income Tax "Maybe like about half hour ago we had a situation brought to our attention that there was an electrical fire upstairs at the 3rd floor - Elections and Boundaries Department. Standard procedure - we evacuate the building, call the fire department and they were able to identify what the problem was." Reporter "Is it one of the extractor fans that went bad?" Kent Clare - Commissioner of Income Tax "Yeah that what's they said that it was one of the extractor fans that are used to get the foul smell out of the bathroom. That just went out and basically overheated and caught fire. There was a lot of smoke but nit any kind of damage. It really hadn't gotten into a major fire, the fire department was able to come in and tape that up. We are now in the process in getting our electrician to certify that we can go back to business as normal before we undertake a more comprehensive addressing of the electrical needs of the building."

14 Years For Man Who Stabbed 30 Yr Old Girlfriend & Killed Her Unborn Fetus
23 year-old Henry Patnett is at prison tonight spending 14-year sentence after he was convicted of attempted murder in the courtroom of Justice Adolph Lucas. He was accused of stabbing his ex-girlfriend, who was pregnant with his 7-month old baby. He also stabbed her new 73 year old boyfriend. In his trial, the Crown Counsel Stevanni Duncan called 8 witnesses, but the main witnesses were his 2 accusers. 30 year-old Valerie Sheran, his ex and the mother of 3 children, testified that at around 1:30 p.m. on August 2, 2010, she woke up and saw Patnett in front of her with a machete. She struggled with Patnett and she wrestled the machete from him but then he took out a knife and stabbed her multiple times with it. One of the wounds was to her abdomen, which killed her baby girl while inside the womb. Sheran's boyfriend, 73 year old Ernesto Ireland, testified that he was sleeping beside her when he was awakened by her screams. He said that he put his arm around her to protect her and he was stabbed 7 times in his arm and shoulder.

Critical Newborn Needs To Get To Guatemala
Tonight a 2 month old baby is fighting for his life at the KHMH. Little Sanjay Armstrong has been in and out of the hospital since birth and is tonight in a critical condition. Doctors say that the baby's body is not storing sodium, which is causing many complications. Baby Sanjay had suffered a cardiac arrest only a month ago. The child is in need of treatment that is not offered here in the country. His family is in desperate need of 5 thousand dollars to take him out of the country for treatment in Guatemala. We spoke to his grandmother today:.. Edith Armstrong - Grandmother of Sanjay "The doctors say that he has a rare disorder; he is not keeping sodium in his body and right now they are giving him ORS and other medication to keep him up until we can take him to Guatemala." Monica Bodden "When he was born, I understand that he was in and out the hospital. When did you guys found out that he had this condition?" Edith Armstrong - Grandmother of Sanjay "On the second time when we came back after he had the cardiac arrest and he came back and they did some more tests and they say that that was what wrong with him and we need to take him out of the country because they can't do the test here and they don't have the medication in this country to give him."

FFB Objects To Beenie Man Concert On Soccer Pitch
We've already told you about the Digicell Tenth Anniversary concert planned for Friday night at the MCC Grounds. Well the President of the Football Federation of Belize Ruperto Vicente has written the Chairman of the National Sports Council to say that he does not approve. He warns Henry that the surface of the pitch is damaged by such events and residual objects left on the pitch - can injure players. He urges Henry to consider using other locations within the facility but not the pitch for concerts. He closes by saying, quote, "I humbly beg that the sanctity of the MCC Grounds be preserved for our football players and other athletics," end quote.

Making The Media HIV Sensitive
Today the National Aids Commission invited the media to learn about the HIV situation in Belize, the UNAIDS strategy and guidelines for the media when reporting about the disease. Representatives of the Central American Network of Persons with HIV also spoke about the important role of the media as an advocate for HIV Awareness.:.. Eric Castellanos - Executive Director, C-Net + "Since I our involvement in Central America with the regional level of persons living with HIV we have notice the great difference with the involvement of the media in Central America. It's not the fault of the media, in fact it's our fault as civil society and persons interested because we lack to send invitations to the media to cover our stories. We usually seek the media when we have big problems and we forget to share the positive news also with the media. Today wad that approach - this new beginning of collaboration with the media win which we will share the responsibility of working together and contributing to the national response since the media has so much to contribute in the national response to achieve the 2015 goals."

Woman With HIV Says Doctors Discriminated
And while they are many organizations which advocate for those living with HIV and AIDS, those living with the disease are still frequently subjected to stigma and discrimination. Today with met Adi Mai - who is HIV positive and was first diagnosed in 2009. In February of this year, Mai found out she was pregnant and fearing that her baby would be born HIV positive - she requested a C-Section. But the surgery was refused - instead she was told that C-Sections are only done in Belize on high risk pregnancy patients. Mai felt that her particular medical needs as a pregnant HIV positive person were not taken into account. She did manage to get her surgery done in El Salvador. Here's her story. Adi Mai - HIV positive "First of all it was this year on February they gave me the news that I was pregnant - I wasn't expecting it but well it came and during the 4 months it was difficult for me because I was vomiting, I couldn't eat and drinking my medications as a HIV person was difficult and I was afraid that probably the baby won't take the medication that I was drinking.

GSU Gets Major Guns
The GSU was at it again this morning - and are reporting a number of arrests and seizure tonight. Rudolph Bennett - the uncle of a reputed member of the Southside Gang- was arrested and charged with kept Ammunition without a gun license for a single round. This morning the GSU officers were on operation on Caesar Ridge Road, in the base of the Southside gangster's territory. A search was conducted at 47 year old Rudolph Bennet's apartment at the corner of Faber's and Caesar Ridge Road. The search led to the discovery of ONE .380 round of ammunition under his mattress. He was arrested and charged with Kept Ammunition without a gun license. A search was also conducted on the rail of the verandah of the same apartment building where a black plastic bag with 237grams of cannabis was found under a cloth jacket. The drug could not be linked to any of the occupants of the apartment building and it was labeled as found property. The GSU believes that the drug is a part of the SSG gang's supply.

Director Of Archaeology Says He Wants No Part of Crystal Skull Lawsuit
It's been all over the international news these past few days that Director of Belize; Institute of Archaeology Jaime Awe is suing William Homann, the Estates of Anna and F.A. Mitchell-Hodges, LucasFilm, Walt Disney Co., and Paramount Pictures, in US Federal Court. Why? Because they possess or used Belize's Crystal Skull for commercial gain. Now, it does sound a little cock-eyed - since the Government of Belize has never possessed the Crystal Skull - and Awe himself does not believe it is a genuine Mayan artifact. But, it seems that some over-ambitious promoters of dubious provenance want in on the Crystal Skull action - or the publicity. These are the same promoters behind the failed December 21st Concert. It seems a part of their deal with NICH was to bring up this claim - but Awe told us today he never knew it was a lawsuit. He said they suggested that they knew that the person who had the skull lived in Chicago and would assist the GOB and NICH to try and recover it - but he never knew it would go so far. Awe says he wishes to disassociate himself and NICH from the suit.

Channel 5

Bus and pickup mash up on highway; one dead
Three persons have died in traffic fatalities in the past five days. At about six-thirty on Monday evening, forty-one year old canero, Jenaro Gaspar Sanchez perished in a traffic accident on the Phillip Goldson Highway between miles fifty-nine and sixty.  Sanchez and a friend, Primitivo Cano, were heading to Santa Clara village when a Belize [...]

Rosalia Castillo charged for Palomas Del Norte Bar murder
Thirty-four year old Honduran National, Pamela Perez was murdered at the Palomas Del Norte Bar in Santa Elena Town, Cayo District. It is alleged that just before midnight on Saturday, Perez was stabbed to the throat at the bar and her body was dropped off at the La Loma Luz Hospital by the owner of [...]

George Street gangster charged for Murder by St. Ignatius School
Marvin Nunez was gunned down execution style in front of Saint Ignatius Primary School on Friday. The cold blooded murder happened just after one o’clock when school children were heading back into their classrooms and a funeral was taking place at the church.  Today, twenty year old Henry Cornejo Jr., an alleged associate of the [...]

Murder witness disappears after hung jury in Appeals Court
Thirty-five year old Rommel Palacio junior has been missing since last Thursday. His family members presume he is dead and want information on where his body may be found. There have been previous attempts on Palacio’s life and his disappearance it may have repercussions on an upcoming trial. Palacio has been a key witness in [...]

Spurned lover guilty of stabbing pregnant ex and new hubby
A jury of eight women and one man stepped into the deliberating room just before noon this morning to decide the fate of twenty-two year old Henry Patnett. He was accused of entering the home of his pregnant ex-common-law wife, Valerie Sheran and stabbing her multiple times then turning the knife on her new lover, [...]

Owed GST lands businessman David Gegg in Court
Belize City businessman David Gegg, proprietor of Cruise Solutions and Discovery Expeditions, today evaded a committal warrant for failure to pay General Sales Tax.  The GST Department wanted Gegg for non-payment of almost two hundred and six thousand, six hundred and thirty-nine dollars in taxes. In court this morning, GST Legal Officer, Jacqueline Meighan, explained [...]

Should a Commission of inquiry investigate Northern Regional?
Tonight’s question is: Given the grave reports of malpractice, should a Commission of Inquiry be established to look into the situation at the Northern Regional? 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 [...]

Rosewood still being harvested
A moratorium was imposed on the harvesting of rosewood by Minister of Forestry, Lisel Alamilla, back in April in response to complaints over the unsustainable way that the valuable logs were being cut and sold. But after a major bust on Sunday night, it’s clear that the illegal trade is still very much alive. A [...]

Wanted for narcotics in U.S., but Courts return their cash
Over six thousand US dollars are said to have been confiscated from US National Arthur Schuh and his wife Sheryl, following two police raids at their Ladyville in May, 2005.  Back then, it was reported that with the help of an informant, U.S. officials collaborated with the Belize Police Department for close to a year [...]

Adi mai, Living with HIV, and her baby is fine
You’ve heard the horror stories about malpractice at the Northern Regional Hospital, but there’s one woman who was probably lucky that she wasn’t treated at the hospital. Adi Mai is living with HIV and got unexpected news that she was pregnant in February. Mai suffered complications in the first months of her pregnancy and feared [...]

Sensitizing media in role for national health response
The story of Adi Mai came up during today’s media launch of the strategy for Getting to Zero and an informational kit for persons living with HIV. The concern from the organizers is that the media is not doing enough to sensitize the public on the transmission of the virus and that patients are often [...]

Police Corporal to be transferred to Burrell Boom Police Station
Since the pressure from the National Trade Union Congress of Belize and the public has increased about the transfer of Corporal Sharmane Young, following an incident with a tourist on San Pedro, the Ministry of National Security has finally issued a commented. The Ministry sent a press release late this evening and it won’t have [...]

McAfee to be released and will return to the U.S.
Businessman John McAfee still sits in cell at a detention center in Guatemala City where he continues to fight constitutional challenges to avoid deportation to Belize. He told various media outlets that he expects to be released today and deported to the United States very soon. Late this evening McAfee’s lawyer, Telesforo Guerra received a [...]

2 year old in need of medical attention abroad; family needs your help
The family of two-month-old Sanjay Armstrong, diagnosed with a rare condition which causes his body to reject sodium, is appealing to the public for assistance to send him abroad for treatment.  In October, baby Sanjay was admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital suffering from respiratory distress syndrome.  His [...]

F.F.B. complains again on the use of the MCC Grounds for a concert
The Football Federation of Belize is up in arms against the National Sports Council for allowing the use of the MCC Grounds for an upcoming concert this Friday, featuring a number of international artists. In a letter sent to the Acting Director of the Council, Patrick Henry, President of the F.F.B., Ruperto Vicente says that [...]

YWCA opens a center for women to sell products
The Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) has a long documented history of implementing programs that advance women issues while educating marginalized sections of that gender. It’s most recent initiative involves self employment opportunities. With the help of the European Union and the government, a building was constructed to host a market outlet. The facility cost [...]


Police News
Twenty year Henry Cornejo, a resident of Plues Street, was charged with the murder of 29 year old Marvin Nunez when he appeared in Court today. No plea was taken because the offence is indictable. Neither could the court offer him bail. He was remanded into custody. Nunez was shot four...

Estranged Lover Guilty of Attempted Murder on Woman and Unborn Child
A jury of eight women and one man deliberated for almost three hours today before it found 22 year Henry Patnett guilty of attempted murder, child destruction and wounding. The jury’s verdict was unanimous. Patnett asked the trial judge Justice Adolph Lucas to sentence him today ...

Separate Road Accidents Leave One Dead and Another Injured
A man from the Corozal district was killed and another seriously injured in a road traffic incident last night on the Phillip Goldson highway. The victim has been identified as forty one year old Jenaro Gaspar Sanchez. According to police reports Sanchez was northbound arou...

Twelve Days of Christmas Kicks off on Love FM and Love Television
Love FM’s twelve Days of Christmas kicks off tomorrow and there are many novelties coming with the show this year. First of all, this year, the show changes its venue and it will be taken five miles up the George Price Highway to the Old Belize Museum where everyone will be...

Agenda Presented To Decrease New Cases of HIV-AIDS
Discrimination and stigma towards people living with HIV/AIDS has been a common practice by people in general, but an agenda to decrease the number of new cases, create better networking to stomp out the stigmatization, and including more publicity on the positive lives that people liv...

Newborn Suffers From Rare Disease; Parents Appeal for Help
At this time of year everyone is making their wish list of things they want to receive this Christmas. But all that one family from Forest Home Village, Toledo would really like to have is to spend their first Christmas at home with their newborn baby. The problem is that b...

Woman Stabs Lover In Bar
Police in San Ignacio town have arrested and charged businesswoman, forty three year old Rosalilia Castillo for the crime of murder. Castillo, also known as Lilly, is accused of fatally stabbing her partner, thirty four year old Pamela Perez on Saturday night inside the Las Palom...


Accident on George Price Highway that leaves a little girl dead
The family of four year old Sherika Gentle is reeling from her sudden death on Sunday when she was knocked down on the George Price Highway. The incident happened as fifty year old Israel Gonzalez was driving his pick-up truck at around three-twenty on Sunday afternoon from Cayo towards Belmopan. Gonzalez told the police that as he reached Teakettle Village, he saw a vehicle parked on the right hand side of the George Price Highway facing San Ignacio Town just moments before the tragedy occurred. Meanwhile, Gareth Gentle, the father of the four year old, told Love News that the grief is overwhelming because he was very close to his little girl. He said that his daughter followed her aunt across the highway when she was killed. Police have detained Israel Gonzalez pending the outcome of their investigations

Tourism Police Unit Corporal gets transfer from San Pedro
The saga of the transfer of the head of the Tourism Police Unit Corporal Sharmane Young from San Pedro town continues to generate much discussion. Area representative and Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia Junior has been soundly condemned and criticized for interfering in the police’s. Today, the officer in charge of Eastern Division, Assistant Commissioner of Police Elodio Aragon, Junior told reporters that, yes, he did get a telephone call from the minister. And while much of the public discourse have centered in the impending transfer of Corporal Young, today ACP Aragon confirmed that the officer in charge of the San Pedro police station Mrs. Robinson is also being moved from her post. The whole uproar over the transfer of the officers exploded onto the national scene last week when it was reported that Corporal Yong had arrested and charged a United States national for various offences. The woman, identified as forty three year old Marie Merz has since been found guilty of the charges.

Police anti-crime Chirstmas initiative underway
The Police’s Anti-Crime continues in full force and officials of the department’s high command are positively upbeat about the results so far. ACP Elodio Aragon is the head of Easter Division. ACP Aragon says that good old common sense can go a long way in public safety this Christmas. And for persons who have a slot of socializing on their calendar this Christmas, the police say they will also target those who break the law in their time of merry-making. The Police’s Christmas Anti-Crime initiative has been in effect since early November.

39 year old man chopped in the Buena Vista
Thirty-nine year old Jose Ramon Sabala is slowly recuperating in the Western Regional Hospital after he was chopped in the head and beaten unconscious at around three-fifteen on Saturday morning. Sabala told Love News from his hospital bed that he was with friends at a house in the centre of the village. He said that he went outside on the dirt road to show off his skills with a motorcycle and returned to the house. That was when he became embroiled in a physical fight with one of his friends at the house. It was during the fist fight that Sabala claimed he was hacked in the head and rendered unconscious. Doctors at the hospital have treated him for a large chop wound to the forehead and left hand and bruises to his body. Sabala remains in a serious condition as police wrap up their investigations into the incident.


Women’s Political movement gaining ground in Belize
Belize as a developing nation has a long way to go as it relates to the political empowerment of women. Articles of..

Government workers evacuate building because of electrical problem
Government workers evacuate Old complex building. This afternoon sometime around 12:15pm fire department officials ..

Assistant Commissioner of Police promises a safe and secure Christmas
Crime has reached a record high in certain respects this year. And with the onset of December there more than likel..

Minister of National Security answers questions about Police Transfers
Minister of Tourism the Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. and Assistant Commissioner of Police Elodio Aragon have come under ..

Red Cross hosts climate change session in Belize City
Climate Change is perhaps one of the largest singular environmental issues. That is because some scientists predict..

YWCA opens entrepreneurship market outlet
The Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) yesterday held the official opening for its new entrepreneurship mar..

Inspirational singer releases Christmas CD
The CD is entitled “Christmas Holy Bible” and the artist is well known Hattieville gospel singer Duane Everry Ysagu..

Boy found begging for food is placed with host family
Christmas is the time of Glad Tiding and Goodwill... but there is one little boy was not experiencing glad tidings...

A giant asteroid is headed to pass earth
A giant asteroid is headed to pass earth. The near earth asteroid called 4179 Toutatis will be making its flyby of ......

UB students teach Primary School pupils about Environmental Awareness
An Environmental Awareness Competition was held this morning (Dec 11) at the University of Belize Auditorium here i......

Cane farmer killed in Road Traffic Collision
A cane farmer from Santa Clara Village has died after the pick-up he was driving was struck by a bus on the Philip ..

Response to job openings in Canada has been overwhelming
The response to job openings in Canada has been overwhelming as a surge of people waited for hours at the Radisson,..


Father of five shot down in front of school at 1:08 p.m. Marvin Nunez, 29, a father of 5 children and resident of Miller Street in Lake I, died after he was shot three times by a gunman who ambushed him in front of St. Ignatius Primary School on Euphrates Avenue on Friday, December 7, 2012, at about 1:08 p.m. Witnesses said that Nunez and his girlfriend brought two children to school, and as he stood by the gate, and the mother and children went into the schoolyard to the children’s classrooms, a man who was behind him bent down as if to tie his shoes, then fired a shot into the back of Nunez’s head. When Nunez fell, the gunman fired more shots into his head and his shoulder. The killer then rode away on his bicycle as if nothing happened, and escaped into the surrounding area. There was confusion in the schoolyard as the children who were just going into their classes became alarmed by the gunfire just outside their gate. Police reports are that they went to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where they saw Marvin Nunez, 29, with 3 gunshot wounds. Nunez succumbed to his injuries at 1:25 p.m.

Pamela Perez, 34, a businesswoman of George Price Avenue, Santa Elena, is dead after she was stabbed in her neck and throat during an altercation in the Las Palomas Del Norte Bar on Carrillo Puerto Avenue in Santa Elena. The incident occurred around 11:45 p.m. on Saturday, December 8. A report to Amandala is that Perez went into the bar and was having some drinks, during which time she engaged a female bar worker in an extended conversation. The bar owner, who reportedly became angry at the conversation between her “close friend” and the female bar worker, told police that four men entered and assaulted Perez, stabbing her, before they then ran off. The bar owner reportedly took Perez to the Loma Luz Hospital in Santa Elena, and then drove away from the hospital. Police reports are that they were called by hospital authorities to the La Loma Luz Hospital, where they saw the body of Pamela Perez, 34, a Honduran businesswoman of George Price Avenue, with a stab wounds to the neck, bruises on both arms and a cut wound to the right arm.

Naturalized Belizean Hector Romero Jimenez, 52, of San Joaquin Village, Corozal, has been given a 12-year jail sentence by the Supreme Court in Orange Walk after he was found guilty for the second time of raping a girl, 12. The sentence was handed down yesterday by Justice Herbert Lord. Jimenez was found guilty on Wednesday, November 14, at the end of his retrial that began on Tuesday, November 6, in the Northern Session of the Supreme Court at the Orange Walk Court building. After he was found guilty, his sentence was deferred until Thursday, December 6. Police contend that on July, 13, 2008, Romero Jimenez went to the home of the little girl in San Joaquin to seek a relative, but as he entered the house he attacked the child, who had just come into the house from the bathroom with a towel wrapped around her. Reports are that he forced her into the bedroom, tied her hands, pushed her down on the bed and raped her. When the ordeal ended, he walked out of the house and yard. Police later arrested and charged him with carnal knowledge.

Sadie Vernon High School boys tonight won their third straight Belize City high school basketball championship – their fourth championship in five years. They defeated Gwen Lizarraga High in the decisive Game 3 of the finals at Birds Isle tonight, 56-49. Sadie Vernon was led by their explosive national team point guard, Lincey Lopez. The game was close throughout, with the first half ending 26-25 in favor of Sadie Vernon. Gwen Liz was led by their versatile forward, Aleem Richardson. He finished with a game high 20 points, but Sadie Vernon’s Big Three proved too much for the much taller Gwen Liz team. Lincey Lopez, who finished with 17 points, was ably assisted by Jamal Augustine who dropped 15 points and Jay “Bobby G” Palacio, who added 12 points. Gwen Liz had won Game 1 last Thursday by 2 points, but Sadie Vernon rebounded in Game 2 the following night to win by nearly 20 points.

The Forest Department, along with police and military personnel, made a substantial rosewood bust last night in the vicinity of Boom Creek Village, Toledo. As a result of the operation, the officials confiscated more than 2,000 board feet of the prized hardwood, valued at US$26 a square foot on the world market. Indications are that although this find is valued only about BZ$100,000, it points to a much larger illegal operation in the south – despite a moratorium on rosewood harvesting declared by Forestry Minister Lisel Alamilla 9 months ago. The find confirms that a substantial amount of rosewood is still being extracted from Toledo, and with the prime market being China, questions are now being raised as to whether such a substantial export of rosewood could be sustained without inside help or collusion. According to Wil Maheia of PGTV, the Forest Department confirmed the bust today, noting that it was the result of a joint operation, but no arrests have been made since no one was found in the area when the bust occurred last night. Amandala tried to reach Forest Department officials this afternoon for comment, but they were unavailable. Maheia said that the exporters may have been trying to get the rosewood to either the Commercial Free Zone in Corozal or to the Belize City port, but he also indicated the possibility of the wood being trucked through the Belize-Guatemala border, near Jalacte.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Elodio Aragon said in a press conference today Monday, December 12, at the Racoon Street Police Station, that the police department is requesting the assistance of the general public in carrying out their Christmas anti-crime operation. Aragon said that the operation commenced on November 13, 2012, as a crime reduction initiative by the Eastern Division of the Belize City Police Department and the operation has so far been productive. “Since the operation commenced in November we have seen a marked reduction in crime,” he said. “I want to assure the public that this Christmas we are working quite diligently to ensure that they have a safe Christmas,” he went on to say. Aragon said the presence of police officers in certain areas in the city and the numbers of available police officers from different divisions participating in the operation have contributed to the impact of the operation. He said he wants to assure the public that the police department is doing their part in looking after the public’s safety, but the department also needs the cooperation of the general public to ensure their security. “The police department can only do so much when it comes to us putting out our officers in the areas we have identified that there is a lot of business taking place,” Aragon said. “But I would like to speak out to the general public because the police cannot do it alone. We need the support of the public until the end of the year, especially during the Christmas time,” he added.

The two Zones, North and South, collided over the weekend in Game 1 of the semifinals in the Premier League of Belize (PLB) Opening Season 2012-2013 tournament. North Zone #1 seed Belmopan Bandits clashed with #2 seed from the South Zone, defending champions Placencia Assassins; and the South Zone #1 seed Police United FC collided with the #2 seed from the North Zone, Belize Defence Force (BDF). There were 12 teams in this PLB tournament, 6 in each group or zone. With a double round-robin in each zone, that gave 10 games per team. In addition, there were 4 “out-of-zone” meetings, where each team from the North played 4 additional games, 1 each against different teams from the South; and vice versa. Therefore, not all the teams had a chance of meeting; and this has been a concern for fans from certain teams, who saw their schedule as being harder than that for other teams, because of the teams selected for them to meet in the “out-of-zone” meetings. As tight as the race was for 2 playoff spots per Zone, some teams felt they were dealt an unfair “hand.” Bygones are bygones, but one notable result of that scenario is that in these semifinals, the meeting between Belmopan Bandits and Placencia Assassins was the first meeting between them for this season; they did not clash in “out-of-zone” games. But Police United FC and Belize Defence Force did meet before in “out-of-zone,” and in that meeting on Sunday, October 28, at the Norman Broaster Stadium, it was BDF, 3-1, over Police. The semifinals are home-and-away series; and the #1 seed has the choice of whether their “home” game will be Game 1 or Game 2. In these semifinals, both #1 seeds chose to play Game 1 “on the road,” so they will both end their series at home with Game 2 this weekend.

Company considers raising more debentures in 2013. The Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) announced that it is closing the series 5 debenture offer for BZ$25 million, launched on November 15, 2012, eleven days early, because it has been fully subscribed. BEL reported that “as of today, these subscriptions are for over $14 million in excess of the $25 million offer.” The series 5 debenture offer, which pledges a fixed interest rate of 7% to mature in 12 years on December 31, 2024, is being sold in multiples of $100. The offer was not due to close until December 17. The Belize Social Security Board (SSB) is purchasing $5 million worth of debentures, in addition to $10 million in preference shares from the government-owned utility company. BEL, understandably, is happy about the outcome of the debenture offering. BEL’s Senior Manager Finance & Human Resources, Betty Tam, said in a statement, “We appreciate the high interest in our offer and thank all subscribers to the series 5 debentures. We stand on a strong record as we have consistently paid interest on time to holders of our series 1, 2, 3 and 4 debentures. Holders of our series 5 debentures can expect the same consistency from us going forward.” The proceeds of the series 5 debentures will come just in time for BEL to pay those who had subscribed to its first debentures, due at the end of December 2012. “With the proceeds from this debenture offer, the company will in whole or in part refinance its $16.9 million series 1 debentures currently bearing interest at 12% and maturing on December 31, 2012; as well as help fund the company’s medium-term needs,” BEL had previously explained.

There is turmoil in cycling again. Last Wednesday, December 5, our sports desk received a copy of a letter dated November 28 and signed by close to fifty cyclists from a dozen prominent cycling teams, addressed to “Mr. Patrick L. Henry, Director, National Sports Council” and copied to the President, UCI; President COPACI; Hon. Herman Longsworth, Minister of Sports; Mr. Ned Pitts, President Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association; and Mr. Trevor Bradley, President Caribbean Cycling Federation. The letter declares a “Vote of no-confidence in the B.C.A. and its current executive,” and lists 6 grounds upon which it has made that declaration. The letter requests the assistance of the Sports Director to “remove the current President and his Executive and to oversee a smooth transition to free and fair elections.” And it ends by stating that, “Our request is urgent as the new cycling season is to start in December.” We waited to hear a response from the Ministry, and that response came on Friday, in the form of a strong letter, dated December 7, signed by Hon. Herman Longsworth, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, and addressed to the President of COPACI, Mr. Jose Manuel Palaez Rodriguez. The letter is copied to UCI President, Mr. Pat McQuaid and BCA President, Emil Moreno, as well as the Belize Olympic Committee. The Minister’s letter begins by making reference to “your correspondence dated November 26, 2012, and addressed to the Hon. Patrick Faber in which you expressed your concern about ‘the situation that is presently taking place with the Belize Cycling Association.’” The Minister then lays out the position of Government and the National Sports Council regarding “the situation” and, while the letter declares that “neither the Government of Belize nor the National Sports Council (NSC) has any interest in running the everyday activities of any sport discipline in Belize,” it nevertheless listed some points describing how it views the present crisis in the BCA. It then goes further and lays out “the final position” of the Ministry “on this matter.”

“In the Belizean context, some of those who professed to be socialist in fact turned out to be enemies of the workers, as witnessed more recently by that singular political incursion on the executive body of the Teachers Union which led to the undermining of the people’s protest in March of 2005 but nevertheless resulted in the electoral defeat of the Musa administration.” - David Gibson, pg. 40, Amandala, Sunday, December 9, 2012 There is a very important article by David Gibson on page 40 of last weekend’s Amandala. In honoring the memory of his deceased colleague, “comrade and friend,” David Price, Mr. Gibson has commented publicly for the first time on a couple notable events in Belize’s modern history. One is the 1975 reform initiative on the Belize City waterfront organized by the aforementioned Gibson and Price, and the second is the Assad Shoman initiative in February of 2005 in support of the Said Musa government. All indications were that there was substantial intellectual ferment on the campuses of the University of the West Indies (UWI) during the 1970s. It may be said that such ferment began with the work of the Guyanese historian, Walter Rodney, on the UWI’s Mona, Jamaica campus in the late 1960s. There was, in fact, a landmark rebellion on the Jamaica campus when the Hugh Shearer government refused to allow Rodney back into Jamaica for the 1968/1969 school year. Around the same time when the pro-Rodney rebellion took place in Kingston in late 1968, the Mexican military and police slaughtered hundreds of Mexican students in Mexico City just before the opening of the 1968 Olympics there. 1968 was an unprecedented year in the history of international student protest. In Belize, our mini-version of Jamaica and Mexico involved the organizing in late 1968 of a demonstration to begin on New Year’s night – January 1, 1969. The lead organizers were Assad Shoman and Said Musa, and the target was an American propaganda movie extolling the United States war effort in Vietnam.

A columnist in last weekend’s issue of our newspaper competitor expressed dissatisfaction with what he called “the distribution of power.” Specifically, he was dissatisfied with what he referred to as “the domination of Belize City over the rest of the country.” He declared, “Belize City has virtually become the center of the universe in Belize.” He goes on, “What the rest of the country cannot understand is why most of the financial resources always have a tendency to go to the one place that contributes the least towards the national coffers. In other words, we continue to subsidize Belize City. To add insult to injury, Belize City continues to have a disproportionate representation in the House of Representatives.” The columnist’s end game is to “reduce the number of seats from Belize City in the House.” Presently, Belize City has 10 seats in a 31-member House of Representatives. From 1961 to 1979, Belize City had 6 seats in an 18-member House of Representatives. The overall seats were increased to 28 for the 1984 general elections, and Belize City then held 10 of the 28 seats. The seats were increased to 29 for the 1993 general elections, and subsequently to 31. The significance of Belize City’s 10 seats was never greater than in this year’s general elections, when the ruling UDP won 8 of the 10 Belize City seats, almost half of the 17 seats which comprised their winning total. Of the Opposition PUP’s 14 seats, 12 came from outside Belize City. It is possible to view the present government, then, as a Belize City government, which is what the columnist appears to have done.

My name is Petter Kragset from Norway. I am a collector of the highest point of every country in the world. My climbing friend and I are leaving in December for three months to Central America and the Caribbean. We are trying to reach the highest point of 22 countries, including Doyle’s Delight in Belize. Most of these countries highest points are reachable for us except Doyle’s Delight in Belize. This mountain has no direct route for the summit, but as we understand, we need to maneuver through virgin jungle. It looks to me that this mountain could be even harder to reach than Everest! I understand also through reading and research on the internet that two expeditions have made the summit. An expedition in 2008, led by Christian Rodríguez from Guatemala, started from San Jorge Town and made the summit with help from two Maya Indians, Alfredo and Emilino (as they are two of the few who know the route to the summit through virgin jungle, without trails). On a later expedition, Alfredo and Emilino tried to guide a third group to the Doyle’s Delight, and on the first day of hiking, they were attacked with guns. They survived, but sincerely have doubts if they want to go back again. Our problem is that we need information or contacts that could be helpful to us in trying to make the summit of Doyle’s Delight. We are willing to spend money on the necessary help (military?). Best Regards, Petter Kragset

My name is Sharon Weaver and I am part of the team of “One Day on Earth.” I am coordinating the participation of Central America in the project. Our next event is on December 12th, 2012. A little more about our project: ”One Day on Earth” is an online community of filmmakers who collectively create global works of participatory media. Our first project was a documentary film made from footage shot in every country of the world. We’ll be shooting our last global one-day effort on December 12, 2012. I am writing to see if through your newspaper you could give us some support by connecting us with filmmakers or filmmaking organizations in Belize, people who may be interested in joining us to film this December 12. Unfortunately, we have not heard back from Belize so far, and we are hoping you could help us. We want the voice of the Belize to be heard! The interested parties can join us at Best, Sharon Weaver +1(321) 947-8168; Skype: sharonpy2


A Guide: Travelling from Cancun, Mexico to Belize for Many Budgets
This is one of my most frequently asked questions and my post on the trip from Belize City to Cancun on the overnight bus is one of my most read. It's just a fact. Flying into Cancun is usually so much cheaper than flying to Belize City. There are so many more direct flights, the airport probably has 100x the traffic. If you have time, it's a great way to save money on your trip to Belize. I usually suggest it to someone that is coming to Belize for at least 8 days. Depending on the times of your flights to and from Cancun, you will probably have a travel day on either side of your trip. One quick suggestion for saving money: If you don't want to travel to and from Cancun, try booking a "multi-city flight". Mix it up. Flying into Cancun and out of Belize City or the other way around. You can often save a few hundred dollars hat way. Okay. Let's break it down by how expensive the option is. And the more money always means the fastest.

Belize, the Maya and Indiana Jones – a 2012 Saga
“With everyone from filmmakers, video game producers and even actor and comedian Dan Aykroyd making money from the Crystal Skull, with nothing going to the Maya or Belize, it’s easy to understand the frustration,” Mr Young said. Dr Awe, who is also Director of the Institute of Archaeology of Belize, is suing the producers of the 2008 film “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” for use without permission of one of Belize’s most iconic images, the Crystal Skull. The legal action also includes LucasFilm, the Walt Disney Co. and Paramount Pictures who released the Steven Spielberg film. The December 5 2012 suit is part of a legal action to recover the Crystal Skull, which was allegedly stolen from Belize in 1930 by F.A. Mitchell-Hedges, an adventurer who claimed his daughter found the artefact on her birthday at the Maya archaeological site of Lubaantun in Belize. The Mitchell-Hedges said that they then took the skull from Belize and exhibited it in the United States and other countries, and action that would have been in violation of the law at that time. It is currently said to be housed in Canada. Dr Awe’s complaint cites a 1928 “Antiquities Ordinance” which expressly prohibited the removal of artefacts from Belize without government permission. Such laws continue to be current in Belize.

International Sources

The Maya collapsed - could we?
On December 21, 2012, our calendar will align with the Maya date, completing a great Maya cycle of time. There's been a lot of hoopla that we are about to face a doomsday -- better known as the Maya apocalypse. There are television specials and panic buying of disaster supplies in Russia, a reminder of the stockpiling that took place for Y2K back in 1999. While the Maya date will coincide with the solstice, the shortest day of the year, will it also coincide with the end of the world? I'm no seer, but I am confident that December 22 will see the dawn. The ancient Maya of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras were close keepers of time. They charted every day, organizing them into 20- and 400-year periods. Using a base-20 counting system (ours is base 10) and zero, they easily calculated thousands of dates, some noting the existence of millions of years. Why we're fascinated with the apocalypse During the height of their civilization in the 8th century, the Maya recorded dates and deeds at dozens of city-states, from births and battles to the triumphant wrenching of trophies from enemies. Artists inscribed their signatures on painted pots and stone sculptures. Stucco inscriptions adorned monumental pyramids that crested over the rainforest canopy. But to continue building ever grander structures, the Maya needed resources. Most of all, they needed timber to burn limestone in order to make cement. By the late 8th century, the rainforest was in retreat, fuel was scarce and recurrent drought led to desperation. Eventually, there was chronic warfare as well. And so one of the most extraordinary civilizations came to a crushing halt. Small groups of desperate dwellers in some cities held out behind hastily thrown-up palisades. Elsewhere, foes burned enemy cities to the ground and smashed monuments, leaving them scattered across the surface to be found in recent times. Scrub jungle overtook what had been sparkling white plazas. Compact ball courts that had seen raucous competition of a team sport played like soccer went silent. Wildlife scavenged lavish furnishings for their nests and dens. The reasons were many, and the outcome was shocking. The Maya civilization collapsed in most of its southern lowlands, leaving only abandoned pyramids in silent cities. This was the true face of apocalypse. Did they see it coming?

Belize paper evaluates value of currency peg
Belize's currency peg to the US dollar has supported export growth and the economy's openness during the past 30 years, according to a working paper published by the Central Bank of Belize. The Belize dollar has been pegged to the US dollar since 1976, at an exchange rate of 2:1, and the paper's author, Ydahlia Metzgen, weighs up the benefits and costs the regime has entailed. Metzgen finds the country has – broadly – retained its competitiveness. Between June 2008 and March 2010, the real effective exchange rate appreciated by 3.5% as the US dollar strengthened, but this followed depreciation of 10.2% in the preceding decade. The paper attributes the depreciation to low domestic inflation in comparison with Belize's trading partners. Indeed, it notes inflation in Belize has not exceeded 7% for more than 20 years. Metzgen says Belize's exchange rate policies have been supportive of export growth and increased openness, which he says is important given its dependence on international trade.

Belize: Learn the rich art of making coffee, from field to cup
Discover the secret life of coffee in a master class held at Belcampo Belize, a farm and rain forest preserve in the coastal hills of southern Belize. James Freeman of Blue Bottle Coffee teaches guests the fine points of coffee-making -- not in a pot, but from field to cup. Five days are spent examining coffee's plant cycle, learning roasting practices and tasting different blends in the quest to become a "master barista." It all takes place at Belcampo, where a new 12-room lodge has been built in this remote and lush setting. While not in class, participants may canoe the Rio Grande or go snorkeling in the Belize Barrier Reef. (In case coffee isn't your thing, this farm retreat that accents sustainability and conservation offers other teachable moments on cacao, the culture and history of rum and a chocolate master course. Check class options and dates on the website.) When: The coffee course runs from Jan. 21 to 26. Price: $4,961 (single course participant) to $6,086 (two course participants) per person, double occupancy. It includes transfers from the airstrip at Punta Gorda, lodgings, meals and daily guided coffee tours and tastings. International airfare is extra.

Things you should know before traveling to Belize
Belize is quickly becoming a major destination in Central America because of its unique mixture of Caribbean crystal clear blue waters, best diving and snorkeling on the second largest barrier reef in the world, Mayan ruins, caving and tropical jungles. Personally, I feel everyone should give Belize a shot and visit it. So if you're on board, here's some fun info and advice to make your trip so much fun! A FEW HISTORICAL FACTS TO GET YOU GOING: 1. The territory that now belongs to Belize was also home to a couple of different ancient Mayan Cities and Cultures. Right next to the Guatemalan border, in the heart of the jungle, you'll find these ruins.

A lawyer for John McAfee said Tuesday that a judge has ordered the software company founder released from a Guatemalan detention center where he has been fighting being returned to Belize. Attorney Telesforo Guerra said the judge notified him verbally of the ruling, but added that it might take a day for formal written notification to win McAfee's release, possibly as soon as Wednesday. Judge Judith Secaida did not immediately return phone calls seeking to confirm the ruling. Guerra said Secaida ruled that McAfee's detention was illegal, ordered him released, and gave him 10 days to put his immigration situation in order. It was not immediately clear if McAfee could get some kind of temporary or transit visa to allow him to leave Guatemala. McAfee has said he wants to return to the United States with his 20-year-old Belizean girlfriend. Guerra said that would be his client's best option.

Antivirus firm founder John McAfee, who recently fled from Belize to Guatemala to avoid questioning as part of a murder investigation, has sold his life story to Montreal-based Impact Future Media. The 67-year-old's life story is tentatively titled -- wait for it -- Running in the Background: The True Story of John McAfee. The deal was announced in a statement released by Impact Future Media, which described McAfee as both a "famed antivirus software pioneer and human rights advocate." "We are very excited about working with John McAfee on this initiative," said Francois Garcia, CEO of Impact Future Media, in the statement. "Mr. McAfee has entrusted us with his life story, and that is a responsibility we take very seriously. We will work tirelessly to make certain that his story is shared with the proper industry partners." Impact Future Media said it could develop the story itself, but was also open to licensing the story to others. "My most heartfelt thank you goes to Impact Future Media and CartoonMonkey Studio," said McAfee in a statement. "Their dedication to the truth is very uncommon in the world we Impact Future Media live in today (sic). I am now, and will always be grateful to their organizations." The news led renowned ex-hacker Kevin Mitnick to ask via Twitter who might best play McAfee. As of press time, recommendations included Gary Busey, Gary Oldman, Billy Bob Thornton, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Sacha Baron Cohen.

December 11, 2012


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Specials and Events

The latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!! Waiting, Part V
He had been moved inside when the chill in the air grew too cold even for Julia. Around them, the mountaintops sent in a mist that slowly spread like smoke to the valley, enveloping everyone in a damp cold. Sometimes, their breaths came out in puffs, making them look like they were smoking. The children sometimes would breathe out long streams of cloudy air, imitating the men (and maybe even a woman or two) who often came out from the bars on the other side of town. They would often be stumbling, but a lighted glowing cigarette would dangle from their fingers, and two streams billowing from their nostrils, or one large cloud emanating from their mouth.

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

The San Pedro Sun

San Pedro Town Council gives Christmas treats to school children
The Christmas season is here and with it, comes the feeling of sharing. The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) has started spreading the Christmas joy with the children of San Pedro. On Monday December 10, 2012, the SPTC visited first the San Pedro R.C School, handing out Christmas treats to the students. The students were more than happy to be receiving gifts on this jolly season. Instead of the typical toys, which are most likely given out during this season, the SPTC went in a healthier path, gaving out apples, pears and ideals instead. Speaking to the Mayor of San Pedro, Daniel Guerrero, he stated that due to renovation expenses at the Council’s office this year, only a small Christmas gesture was given but much greater Christmas activities can be expected for the coming years. During the course of the day the Mayor and the SPTC employees visited the other primary schools including New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist School, Holy Cross Anglican School as well as the pre-schools around the island.

SPCC to celebrate “El Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe”
The San Pedro Cultural Committee (SPCC), through the San Pedro House of Culture and other residents are making final preparations to celebrate “El Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe” of “Our Lady of Guadalupe.” The celebration is set aside by believers of the Roman Catholic faith to commemorate the date that Saint Guadalupe appeared before Saint Juan Diego at the hill of Tepeyac in Mexico in 1531. In Mexico and many other parts of the world where the Catholic Church is dominant, the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe is celebrated on December 12th in honor of the Saint’s image. According to catholic teachings, it commemorates the day in which Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to St. Juan Diego. For that reason the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City and the temples and churches that have her as patron Saint is visited by millions of pilgrims and worshippers. It represents one of the most significant traditional religious celebrations of the liturgical calendar of the region. In San Pedro Town, where the Catholic faith is larger than other churches, the SPCC has also planned activities to coincide with the Catholic celebration on the 12th of December. Following the annual evening procession and open mass at the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church, the statue of the Our Lady of Guadalupe will be placed on an altar, depicting an old San Pedro setting. After the altar is blessed by the Priest, visitors as well as islanders will have the opportunity to place their candles and other offerings before the statue, after which dedications in the form of songs, poems and prayers will be made. In addition, warm beverages and traditional Mestizo food will be served throughout the course of the night until midnight.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Town Council Spreading Christmas Cheer
Mayor Daniel Guerrero and councilors were out spreading the Christmas cheer to all the students of our beautiful Isla Bonita. The group from the Town council visited the San Pedro RC School and New Horizons SDA School on Monday, December 10, 2012 and personally delivered treats to the students. It is said that an apple a day keeps the doctor away; so all students received an apple and ideal popsicle that were personally handed out by Mayor Guerrero, Councilor Gaby Nuñez, Councilor Kenrick Brackett, Councilor Carlos Barrientos, Mayor’s Assistant Yolanda Parham and Town Foreman Freddie Gonzalez Jr. Students were very grateful for the treat and thanked the Mayor and councilors with a huge smile and holiday greeting! Mayor Guerrero will continue spreading the Christmas Cheer and will visit all schools on the island throughout the week.

San Pedro Holiday Boat Parade Livens Up Christmas Season
The San Pedro Holiday Boat Parade has proven to be a fantastic event that draws hundreds Central Park and various other viewing stations along the beach in downtown San Pedro. The Seventh Annual Boat Parade that kick starts the holiday season celebrations on Ambergris Caye took place on Saturday, December 8, 2012, as saw newcomer El Secreto Resort taking the top boat prize this year. It was an even more festive celebration this year as more boats entered the friendly and cheerful competition of light parade over the sea as compared to last year’s. Around 7p.m. the participating boats lined up in front of Wayo’s dock and started to spread the Christmas cheer all the way to Caribbean Villas. After the parade of lights all the boats and participants headed to Central Park where hundreds gathered to join in the fun and celebrate with Santa.

UNICEF Joins San Pedro Town Council to Clean Up San Mateo
The San Pedro Town Council and UNICEF have teamed up for a Clean Up Campaign which will take place on Monday, December 17 and Tuesday, December 18, 2012, at the San Mateo Area. Representatives of UNICEF Mrs. Anna Hoare and Dennise Robateau were on the island to promote the cleanup campaign and invite the entire community to participate in this activity. An official opening ceremony will take place on Monday, December 17, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. and the cleanup will follow immediately after the official ceremonies. Representatives of UNICEF will be on hand to do demonstrations and training on water sanitation. UNICEF will officially be donating 50 garbage bins for the area as well as trash bags.

Love FM's 3rd Annual Holiday Parade Fun
Christmas is here and La Isla Bonita was in full Christmas spirit this weekend as activities kicked off with the Annual Holiday Boat Parade on Saturday, December 8, 2012 and the Christmas fun continued on Sunday, December 9, 2012 with Love FM’s 3rd Annual Christmas Parade. As organizers promised, it was indeed bigger and better! People stood along the busy streets of San Pedro waiting for Santa to pass by on the fire engine. Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Councilors lead the parade giving out sweets to children and spectators; Santa and parade revelers followed behind. Others in the parade included Isla Bonita Marching Band, the San Pedro Dance Academy, San Pedro R.C. School Marching Band, San Pedro High School Marching Band, Leo’s Club, ABC Pre-School and Belize Tourism Board to name a few. Below are some pictures for your enjoyment.

Misc Belizean Sources

Climate change and disaster risk management at centre of regional fisheries talks
The hurricane season just ended, and particularly the trail of death and destruction carved out by Hurricane Sandy in October, has left many with a reminder of just how devastating natural disasters can be. Climate change is a compounding factor that regional fisheries managers cannot ignore. This is why for the next three days, more than 90 collaborators from across the region will be focusing on these issues, as they convene the Workshop on Formulation of a Strategy, Action Plan and Programme Proposal on Disaster Risk Management (DRM), Climate Change Adaptation in Fisheries and Aquaculture in the CARICOM Region at the Knutsford Court Hotel, in New Kingston, Jamaica, from Monday, December 10 to Wednesday, December 12. “The Caribbean is said to be one of the most disaster-prone regions in the world based on the frequency and severity of hazard impacts, as well as the significant damage, destruction and social and economic losses experienced. We are very mindful of the potential devastating impact of both man-made and natural hazards such as tropical storms, hurricanes, floods, droughts, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes and tsunamis. Over the past 2-3 decades, these hazards have had devastating impacts on the people, their property and livelihoods, and on the social and economic development of our countries,” said Executive Director of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), Milton Haughton.

Belize archeologist sues over Indiana Jones skull
I guess this is real, though doesn't sound like Dr. Jamie Awe to me. "...A Belize archeologist is suing the makers of a blockbuster "Indiana Jones" film for using a likeness of a so-called Crystal Skull, which he says is a stolen national treasure..."

'Dr. Awe Talks at Caracol' Series
This website has a series of videos with Dr. Jaime Awe. In this video, he explains why he became an archaeologist. In other videos, he discusses Mayan topics. "In this video–the last in the 'Dr. Awe Talks at Caracol' series–, Dr. Awe explains how he became interested in archaeology, and how the questions he asked as a child still guide his work today– even though his sandbox is much bigger now."

Xunantunich Open All Season
Xunantunich will not be closing for most of December, like it was originally planned. After hearing from the Succotz vendors, tour guides, business owners, and just about everyone else, the Institute of Archaeology and the National Institute of Culture and History annouced that the concert will be postponed. Thanks, NICH!

Tropic Air Starts Flights to Cayo
Tropic Air starts their flights to and from Cayo today. The flight gets in from Belize City at 12:40, and then leaves for its return flight at 12:45.

Channel 7

Woman Killed By Lady Lover in Santa Elena?
There was a murder in Santa Elena Cayo on Saturday night - when a 34 year old woman was stabbed to death. It appears to be a crime of passion - as the person presently detained is her partner. But, the case is a little unusual, because her partner is a woman. Monica Bodden went to Cayo to find out more:.. Monica Bodden reporting The incident happened here at Las Palomas Del Norte Bar located on Carrillo Purto Avenue in Santa Elena Town. Around 11:45 on Saturday night Pamela Perez - who is the girlfriend of the Bar owner- was rushed to the La Loma Luz Hospital fighting for her life. She had an apparent stab wound to the neck, bruises on both arms and a cut wound to the right arm. Perez died while undergoing treatment. Today this silver Kia Sportage - belonging to 43 year old bar owner Rosalilia Castillo- is parked in the San Ignacio police station's compound. It was in this vehicle that Castillo transported her dying girlfriend to the hospital - Bloodstains are still visible on the left side of the vehicles doors. We understand that after Castillo rushed Perez to the hospital, she left and went her own way.

Four Year Old Knocked Down And Killed
On Sunday afternoon, a small child was killed as she ran across the Western Highway in Teakettle Village. Police say Sherica Gentle ran out from behind a pickup truck - right into the path of an approaching pickup. The child died on impact. And while that is the driver's account, relatives say that the child was knocked down near a pedestrian crossing and the driver should have been more cautious. Here's what her father told us today:... Gareth Gentle - Father of Deceased "I wasn't there, she was with her aunt. She went from Friday with her granny; she says that they will be having a party, so they took her along." Monica Bodden "You were at home when you received the news?" Gareth Gentle - Father of Deceased "Yes I was at home then I went to the hospital. She was already dead. The only thing that is bothering me is that I only want to see the guy face. I will not do him any harm - that would make me feel better to hear what he has to say and I will tell him what I have to say also."

Many For Mickey-D's
Last week we showed you the rush of persons who waited for hours at the Radisson to get a job interview for McDonald's in Western Canada. Well in three days of recruiting, more than eleven-hundred (1100) persons showed up to fill 150 job openings. The recruitment firm, named ACTYL say that all 150 vacancies for McDonald's were filled - and some other persons for skilled trades were also hired. Other who did not get the jobs, will have their names put in a talent pool and they may get job offers in the next week or two. ACTYL was impressed with the pool of available labour and say they will be back in early 2014 for another round of recruitments.

Are Quotas Needed To Get Women Into Politics
You might not know it, but in 2011 Belize was tied for dead last position on the Gender Gap Index as it related to political empowerment of women. We were tied with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei - which are Islamic Monarchies - so, definitely not good company in terms of women rights. Women's activists say something has to be done about it and that is the subject of a major new study. It's called The Situation analysis of Gender and Politics in Belize 1998 - 2012. It makes a sweeping study to understand why women have been largely excluded from political representation. The book was launched today at the Biltmore Best Western. Executive Director of the National Women's Commission, Anne Marie Williams told us why it is so important:... Ann-Marie Williams - National Women's Commission "The importance of this study is to get everyone involve in trying to raise women's political representation. If you notice there are recommendations for government for political parties and for civil society and other organizations. It is important because its justice, its party and its actually right for women." Jules Vasquez "We live in a system where you cannot be selected to do something - you must be elected."

Record Number of Murders In City
December is a prime time for criminals - and today the Officer Commanding Eastern Division, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Elodio Aragon briefed the media what is being done to deny criminals the opportunity to prey on innocent citizens. He started with the grim news of this year's murder statistics so far:.. ACP Elodio Aragon, O/C Eastern Division "At this point in time I can tell you that we have 133 murders countrywide compare to last year which we had at the end of December 124. In Belize City in specific we have presently 72 murders that we have recorded and last year at the end of December we had 71." Jules Vasquez reporting That means Belize City accounts for 56% of the murders nationally. With these record figures, police are hoping a Christmas crackdown can keep it from getting worse: ACP Elodio Aragon, O/C Eastern Division "We understand the fact that people out there especially the criminals are looking at ways to commit crime to make money. I want to assure the general public that this Christmas we are working very diligently and vigilantly to ensure that they have a safe and secure Christmas. I am confident that that will be the case."

ACP Aragon Explains San Pedro Transfers
Arragon also spoke about the recent dust up in San Pedro where the officer in charge of the Tourism Police Unit on San Pedro Corporal Sharmane Young was transferred after the area representative and minister of tourism Manuel Herredia complained about her. Young had arrested an unruly tourist Lisa Marie Merz. But, she's not the only one being transferred. ASP Viennie Robinson who is the officer in Charge at San Pedro is also being transferred. She has bucked heads with the Commissioner a number of times. Today Arragon explained her transfer wa sin process for some time: ACP Elodio Aragon, O/C Eastern Division "When it comes to Ms. Vianney Robinson, the officer commanding San Pedro. She has been stated for transfer and I think presently that is being looked at for January. If I am not mistaken it is for the 15th January of next year for her to be transfer to Belize City and at that point in time a replacement will be sent out to San Pedro. That has been in the plan already." "In regards to Cpl. Young, I would like to tell you that Cpl. Young transfer is an administrative transfer and that transfer was made from police headquarters. Like I mention it would be best to address your question to police headquarters whom are responsible for the transfer of Cpl. Young and I am quite sure they will have reasons as to why they transferred her." Jules Vasquez "If we can't get an answer from the 4th or 5th in command in the department - Officer Commanding Eastern Division - there is no answer to be had. Mr. Henderson doesn't take our calls."

McAfee Wants to Go Home, Will Guatemala Let Him?
John McAfee remains in a Immigration holding facility in Guatemala City - but tonight, one thing has changed; he's asking to be taken back to his home in the US. That's a sharp change if direction from a few weeks ago when McAfee had an outlaw fantasy and said he wanted to fight corruption in Belize. On Sunday afternoon, he had a sort of electronic webcast from the holding facility where he answered a few questions via email. Here's how he explained his new longing for his home:.. We do know that McAfee was visited by US Embassy Officials in Guatemala city today. No telling how that will go, but the standard practice - in this country and Guatemala - is that when an illegal immigrant is caught they are deposited in the country from which they originated on their journey - in this case that would be Belize. Belize has also indicated via diplomatic note that authorities here want to interview McAfee as a person of interest. ACP Aragon elaborated on that today:.. ACP Elodio Aragon, O/C Eastern Division "We are just waiting for Mr. McAfee so we could interview him properly and from there the investigation will carry on." Reporter "You have no suspects in this murder?" ACP Elodio Aragon, O/C Eastern Division "Other than wanting to speak with McAfee for now, I am not too sure if there is any other names that came up as yet."

Mayor Caught Up In a Contraband Moment
On Friday Belize City Mayor, along with three councilors and senior staffers from City Hall went to Chetumal on a sort of mini excursion. They travelled in four vehicles and they went to buy items for their staff luncheon on Friday. On the way back, they got authority from Customs to shop in the Corozal Free Zone as well - with the only strict directive being that they could not purchase beers or soft drinks. But when the convoy of vehicles arrived at the border - Customs officers searched and found 14 cases of beer, that's 10 cases of Old Milwaukee and four cases of Heineken. We are told by reliable sources that those cases were not in the Mayor's vehicle or in the Deputy Mayor's - but spread across the other two vehicles in the convoy. The beers were surrendered and handed over to customs, which has them in custody now. The mayor did not return our text message request for a comment, but we did speak to his father who was in the convoy and is a City Council Employee. He went on a tirade and told us that we can report anything we like.

We Can All Just Get Along!
5 weeks ago, 7News told you about the back and forth between the Opposition Party and the Government of Belize about whether or not the Public Accounts Committee, which hasn't met in years, and which is the only committee chaired by an Opposition member, should or should not be held in public. According to the PUP, the GOB doesn't want these meetings public because it would expose perceived mismanagement of finances, while the GOB says that the PUP members are attempting to grand-stand and don't want to follow the procedure of the standing orders. Well, today was scheduled date for the next adjournment of the meeting, and we note that it's now official; all meetings will be held in public. 7News spoke to the Chairman of the Committee, Julius Espat, who told us the Commitee had a very good meeting. According to Espat, all 5 members were present and they all agreed that the meetings will be held public from here except the first two. Espat told us that at these 2, the members need to sit down as a team to decide on rules and regulations because public meetings have never been held with regularity before. Espat said that the Committee will be inviting Jose Coye and others for historical view on how to actually put it in place.

Primary Schools Get A Say In Literacy Programs
Primary schools across Belize will be adapting a new literacy programme in the coming months. Now, this programme is unique because the children themselves influenced its direction in the preliminary stages. It is based around Pat, a Belizean jaguar transported to the US in hopes of keeping his species alive after being classed as a problem jaguar. This great cat was captured after he started hunting and killing cattle belonging to farmers in the Honey Camp Lagoon. Children from Belize and Milwaukee in the US teamed up to try to raise awareness by documenting their version of how the cat would have given his version of events, which was adapted into a book. That book is called "Pat, the Great Cat, a Jaguar's Journey", and it was launched in October of this year. It now has a fully planned out, GOB endorsed Literacy project which was launched today at the Belize Elementary Gym. 7News stopped by and asked the project coordinator about the significance of this programme. Here's what she had to say: Barbara Thumalapally - Belize Coordinator, PTGGC Literacy Project "The literacy project grew out of the book that was written by children of Belize and children of Milwaukee who got together - we told them the story of Pat who is a Belizean jaguar that went up to Milwaukee and he is true jaguar and he just had baby cubs in fact and was announced today, so it's very exciting and so our project was built on this book and when we started taking it around the schools and telling the story - we collected all the materials from the children and it was turned into this beautiful book that you see now "Pat the great cat.""

YMCA Launches entrepreneurship Outlet
And while that programme was being launched, the YMCA was also opening its new entrepreneurship market outlet. This initiative seeks to target rural women and youths from Belize City, Cayo, Stann Creek and Toledo, and provide them with an avenue to learn how to open and manage their small businesses. It also gives them a venue to sell their products. Today, 7News dropped in at the opening, and spoke the project coordinator about it. Here's what she had to say: Regina Campbell - Coordinator, YMCA EEOEM Project "We are launching today the WYCA market outlet. Its something that has been that has been in the work for any of years and the idea of having a place for women and youth to sell their goods and services because we realize that market access is a difficulty for many rural women and youth." "The idea came about that we would have an outlet here at the YWCA where women and youth can sell their products but also that YWCA students can sell their products and services as well."

Cop Dies In Motorcycle Accident
A police officer was killed in the north on Friday - when he experienced a front tyre blowout on his motorbike. It happened on the Progresso/Chunox Road in the Corozal District on Friday at around 4:30. 34 year-old Police Constable Oscar Escalante seems to have had a blowout on his motorbike and was flung unto the road. He was found lying on the right side of the road in an unconscious state with massive head trauma. His police motorcycle was found lying beside him. He transported to the Corozal Community Hospital, and was later transported to the KHMH where he succumbed to his injures 7 ½ hours later.

Gunplay in Toledo
And in other police news, there was gunplay in the Toledo district that could have been fatal this weekend. Now, it's not often that we hear of gunplay in Punta Gorda Town - but that's just what happened this weekend in what sounds like a crazy domestic dispute. The police press officer told us more: Raphael Martinez - Police Press Officer "At 10pm on the 8th December police received information of shots being fired on West Street in Punta Gorda where they visited #55 West Street and they met Billy Castillo who reported that Ryan Gonzalez had fired several shots at him and his family. Police then visited Jose Maria Nunez Street where they saw 28 year old Ryan Gonzalez lying on the ground with a small wound to the right side of the neck." "Initial Investigation revealed that approximately 9:50pm on the same date Gonzalez and his girlfriend were involved in an argument at #55 West Street. Gonzalez reportedly began hitting his girlfriend when Castillo who is the uncle of Gonzalez's girlfriend intervene and a struggle ensued - Gonzalez then left and returned about 10 minutes later with a firearm and fired several shots at the girlfriend's family, as a result Rufelia Anderson, 42 years old, Antonio Castlllo, 36 years old - both of #55 West Street were grazed by bullets to the leg. Gonzalez has since been detained pending charges."

Channel 5

Woman’s life partner detained after her murder
A Santa Elena woman is in police custody for the murder of her partner, Pamela Perez, a Honduran national who was once married and is the mother of three children. The murder happened on Saturday night at a bar owned by Rosalia Castillo where she allegedly stabbed Perez in a fit of jealously.  Police are [...]

City man was murdered while taking daughter to school
The weekend violence began as early as Friday. In fact a violent and brazen murder was committed on December seventh at midday. The victim, twenty-nine year old Marvin Nunez, was killed near Saint Ignatius Primary School while the children were going back to classes and a funeral was taking place at the church. The police [...]

4 year old child killed in Teakettle Traffic Accident
Tragedy hit the family of four year old Sherica Gentle from Ontario Village in the Cayo District. Sherica and her family had gone over to Teakettle when on Sunday she was hit and killed as she crossed the highway. The driver of the offending vehicle says he did not see the young girl; instead he [...]

Police Officer lost life in motorcycle accident
The four year old child was not the only person who died tragically on the highway.  A police officer lost his life after receiving a blowout on his motorcycle tire in the Corozal District on Friday.  The thirty-four year old Police Constable was injured on the head.  The police could not determine whether or not [...]

Crime down, but murder up; Cops need public help
Believe it or not, police statistics say that crime is going down, but murders are on the rise. The police currently have on record one hundred and thirty-three murders for 2012 so far. At the end of December in 2011, the total was one hundred and twenty-four; that nine less than this year with a [...]

Patrick Faber says campaign for Deputy Party Leader picking up steam
The second highest post in the country is that of the Deputy Prime Minister, which is currently held by Gaspar Vega. The post is usually held by the Deputy Party Leader of the ruling political party but the powerful Vega will face a challenge at the United Democratic Party Convention in February 2013. The Chairman [...]

Situation Analysis of Gender and Politics in Belize; women far behind
Also in the political arena, a report on gender and politics was released this morning by the National Women’s Commission and the scale is heavily tipped in favor of men. The report looks at the situation of women’s representation globally, in the Caribbean region and narrows it down to Belize.  It also studied the data [...]

U.D.P. Chairman says McAfee crazy
Faber also responded to the allegations by John McAfee whose creative barbs had cast a bad eye on the U.D.P. and the country. McAfee is fighting deportation to Belize for Illegal Entry to Guatemala. He has claimed that the government and police are out to kill him because he refused to donate to a U.D.P. [...]

Can the government service the superbond?
After five months of negotiations, both the government and the bondholders are miles apart in reaching any agreement on the restructuring of the five hundred and fifty-four million US dollar super bond. So far bondholders have twice rejected proposals and counter-proposals and the government has struck out once. As it stands, the government insists that [...]

They robbed a cop and get time to think about it
Twenty-eight year old Ernie Miranda and thirty-one year old Edward Burns were both found guilty of robbery and abetment to commit robbery in the Magistrate’s Court today, following an incident during which a female telephone operator was held up at gunpoint.  Marilou Smith, an employee of the Belize Police Department, was walking to work in [...]

Cecil Castillo’s homemade gun in prison
On Friday, twenty-seven year-old Cecil Castillo, better known as Sadiki, was found guilty of attempting to assemble a makeshift firearm whilst on remand at the Belize Central Prison.  Castillo was discovered with the weapon in his possession inside a holding cell by a warden on duty.  Despite arguing that he was coerced by his fellow [...]

2 San Pedro transfers including Officer in Charge
The sudden transfer of Sharmane Young, the Officer formerly in charge of the San Pedro Police Tourism unit, following her arrest of an unruly U.S. National Liza Mertz, had evoked criticism from the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (N.T.U.C.B.). The N.T.U.C.B. chastised Manuel Heredia, the Minister of Tourism, for his involvement in the situation, [...]

Pat the Cat; 10,000 copies and lesson plans delivered
Pat the Cat, written in English and Spanish by children of Belize and Milwaukee, will be used as part of school curriculums. The book, which is a beautifully illustrated story of the journey of a jaguar, has the support of the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports as a supplementary reader in all primary schools. [...]

Not a lifetime movie; NICH suing Indiana Jones
Dr. Jaime Awe, the Director of the Institute of Archaeology, is suing the makers of the 2008 Steven Spielberg film “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”. The claim, filed last Wednesday in the Illinois Federal Court, is described in the Hollywood Reporter as one of the most entertaining lawsuits of the year. [...]

Venezuela’s Chavez returns to Cuba for medical treatment
Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has returned to Cuba for emergency surgery after his doctors revealed that a tumor that had been removed, has surfaced again in his battle against cancer. On Sunday, Chavez appeared on television to tell the Venezuelans of his health condition. He also said one more thing: he wants support for his [...]

Sports Monday: James Adderley with the weekend equalizer
Good Evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The 1st post season in the PLB Football Competition got off to a roaring start as 4 semifinalists made the mandatory appearance in game II of a home and away series.  We take you south to the Michael Ashcroft Stadium at Independence. Here the [...]


Governor General Hosts Party For Underprivileged in Southern Belize
The Governor General’s Christmas party for underprivileged children was held on Saturday in Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports. “The event had the participation of 175 children from four schools namely St. Peter Claver, PG Methodist, Bethel ...

Police News
Twenty-seven year old Cecil Castillo, remanded in prison for a charge of murder, was sentenced to two years after he was found guilty of assembling a firearm in prison. The incident occurred on May 29, 2012 in the Tango 9 section of the prison. One prison officer testified that he saw ...

Police Constable Dies In Traffic Accident
The Police Department is mourning the death of one of its own. Thirty four year old Oscar Escalante was badly injured on Friday afternoon and did not survive the weekend. Police press officer Raphael Martinez shared the details this morning, during the police’s weekly...

Toddler Knocked Down on George Price Highway
The family of four year old Sherika Gentle is reeling from her sudden death on Sunday when she was knocked down on the George Price Highway. The incident happened as fifty year old Israel Gonzalez was driving his pick-up truck at around three-twenty on Sunday afternoon from Cayo ...

Assistant Commissioner of Police Comments on Murder Rate for 2012
2012 will go down as one of the most violent years in Belize’s history. Officer commanding the Eastern Division of the Police Department, Assistant Commissioner Elodio Aragon, Junior, shared the statistics with reporters during the police’s weekly press conference. ...

Home Invasion Reported in Cayo District
A San Ignacio man has reported being the victim of a home invasion and robbery. Twenty two year old Lloyd Molina, who works as a Pharmacist, told police that around nine o’clock on Wednesday morning a man whom he recognized, entered his house and pointed a black firearm at him.&n...

Guatemalan Charged Following Illegal Hunting in Belize
A Guatemalan labourer from Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala has been arrested and charged by law enforcement authorities in Belize after he was found hunting illegally in the Chiquibul National Park earlier this week. Thirty six year old Eliseo Coc was detained by park rangers and his weap...

Police News
Another vehicle has been reported stolen in Dangriga. Thirty three year old Zhongan Ruan told police that sometime between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, someone stole his green, Jeep Cherokee, valued at five thousand, five hundred dollars. Ruan says the vehicle was parked...

American Couple Donates To The KHMH Neonatal Care Unit
Newborns and infants who are hospitalised at the Neonatal Care Unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital today received a radiant infant warmer from Alan and Colleen Spring and Mary and Pat Karney of the United States. The donation was made in memory of Thomas Spring, who was bo...

PM Travels To Miami For Weekend Meetings
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is tonight in Miami, Florida on official business. A brief statement from his office this afternoon announced that Prime Minister Barrow will take part in scheduled official meetings over the weekend. The Prime Minister is due to return to the cou...


Dangriga police remove another illegal weapon from the streets
Police in Dangriga town continue to remove illegal weapons from the streets of that municipality. Correspondent Harry Arzu reports.

Updates on Belize’s biggest drug case
Belize’s biggest drug case involving the landing of an aircraft on the Southern Highway has ended with the defendants freed of the major charges. The judge’s decision was handed down this morning in the southern session of the Supreme Court in Dangriga town. Correspondent Harry Arzu was at the courthouse and spoke with defence attorney Dickie Bradley. Although the defendants were freed of the major charged relating to the important of the drugs and facilitating the landing of the aircraft on the Southern Highway, they are still facing possession of ammunition charges, alleged to have been found in a white van that was stopped and searched in the area at the time of the discovery.


San Ignacio Police investigates fatal stabbing
San Ignacio Police investigates fatal stabbing that claimed the life of a woman. Police visited the La Loma Luz Hos...

Police Constable dies after motorcycle accident
On Friday after just before 5pm, Police visited the Progresso/Chunox Road in the Corozal District. They found 34 ye...

Police investigate two robberies in Belize City
Two robberies were reported in Belize City over the past weekend. We begin with the hold up at a Chinese shop on th...

Man detained following shooting incident in Punta Gorda
A man has been detained following a shooting incident in Punta Gorda. At 10:00 pm on Saturday, police received info...

4 year-old girl fatally hit in Teakettle
A driver has been detained after fatally hitting a four years-old girl. The incident took place yesterday afternoo...

A substantial seizure of rosewood has been made
A substantial seizure of rosewood has been made. This rosewood lumber was seized last night on the Boom Creek Road ...

KHMH receives vital Pediatric equipment
The KHMH has received a generous donation from the Spring Family. Alan and Colleen Spring of Table Rock Jungle Lodg...

Health and Human Development Committee meets
Members of the Health and Human Development Committee meet today in chambers at the National Assembly. The meeting ...

16 days of activism against abuse
16 days of activism came to an official end today – December 10 - and activities were held throughout the nation hi...

Children involved with Human Rights Day
Today (DEC 10) was celebrated as World Human Rights Day...and the Commission was out on the green in front of the p...

International Anti-Corruption Day observed
Another important day was also observed yesterday (DEC 9), International Anti-Corruption Day. In last week’s news w...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Congratulations Mercedes Requena
The Board of Governors, Administration and Staff of Ocean Academy congratulates Ms Mercedes Requena, graduate 2012, for obtaining seven (7) CXC passes and a Ministry of Education Scholarship to attend Muffles Junior College! Congrats Merc! Keep up the good work!

Ocean Academy female students earn community grant from Full Basket Belize
FLC stands for Female Leadership Community and is an empowerment and leadership club at Caye Caulker Ocean Academy. Every Tuesday afternoon ten female students join together and discuss issues such as healthy relationships, self esteem, anger management, academic and career goals. Mentor Ms. Susanne Michelus guides the girls through a curriculum organized around three units: Ignite, Education, Agitate. Reading and journal writing are integrated into all activities. Guest speakers have included a homeopathic healer, lawyer, self-defense instructor and social worker. With Full Basket Belize funding, the FLC club can now travel to Belize City in March 2013 and participate in Women’s Month activities and seminars. The grant will also fund inspirational books selected by the girls, shelving repairs in the school library, and the purchase of one computer. You can read the girls’ poems and reflections on the FLC blog: and like them on Facebook.

Channel Listing from Barrier Reef Cable System
Here is the listing for the channels from Barrier Reef Cable System.


Simple Baby Shower
I was giving it my best shot trying to get the lighted boat parade post done before the party and realized I better start the simple baby shower one for the many people who wanted to be here to wish Cindy and Andy well in person but could not come. Always so much to do and so little time to get it done. It all started with waking up to a power out, Cindy and Paul were textng back and forth from 7:00am onward. We were all wondering if we would need to scramble for a plan B as none of us had any idea that there was going to be an outage, she still needed to cook her curry and we had a freezer full of ice. Thankfully it lasted long enough for me to stay away from work do the chalk writing decorations. I never got a chance to ask Cindy if she got her pre-party nap, Paul and I did not. All of the sudden the Baby Shower was in full swing and we had a backyard full of sailing club kids, friends food and fun. Everything went very well all things considered. Cindy had not wanted a shower to begin with and we staved everyone off as long as we could but the baby shower people won out in the end and she agreed to have a no fuss no muss deal. I could see by the horrified look on her face as the Syme girls were describing traditional shower shower games that she was glad we did not subject her to any of that torture.

San Pedro Shines Again with LoveFM's Holiday Season Kick-Off Parade are only just recovering from the Lighted Boat Parade when there is another huge holiday event. This one solely on land. Very typical San Pedro...there really is always something going on. Yesterday at 5pm, the entrants in the LoveFm parade were asked to line up at Wayo's Beach Bar. I expected maybe 100 people...and what I found was the whole town. Seriously. All the way up to Boca Del Rio Park, float after float, marching bands and drummers, kids in super cute costumes and...Barney. Kids were launching themselves like Angry Birds on to him all along the parade route. Now I know why they put the padding in those costumes. SAGA Humane Society was there to get the word out about responsible pet ownership.

Happy Birthday sweet Adela!!
We want to make a big shout out to our one and only Adela for her birthday on Saturday!! There is not much that happens at Raggamuffin that Adela is not involved in as she has over the past year taken over much of what was her sisters work (Edith), masterminding the daily set up at the Raggamuffin office! Adela kept her birthday much under wraps and let very few of us know about her special day and therefore, aside from Madai trying to get her drunk on Saturday night – she kept a very low profile!! We have obviously given her a piece of our mind as we are entitled to want to celebrate her birthday for her and we promise to make up for it next year!!!!! We just want to take the time to thank Adela for her tireless work in the Ragga office – she has been pure joy for all of us to work with and really strengthened us by adding her efficient and bubbly personality to our crew! We were blessed the day she walked into our office.

International Sources

New device can open hotel room locks
TRAVELER BEWARE..and we ALL might start demanding a FIX for this at every hotel we go to. I saw this when it was first revealed in July. The scariest part is that nothing has really been done in the six months that this has been on You Tube for all criminals to discover… When you lock your hotel door, you assume both you and your belongings are safe, but thieves have developed a simple device that can unlock hotel doors in potentially millions of rooms. NBC’s Jeff Rossen investigates.

Belize More Than a Tax Haven
Wedged against the Caribbean Sea, Belize has no strategic importance to anyone. Maybe that’s why it has such a peaceful history. Four hundred years ago, pirates would lie in wait among the 200 islands scattered off the coast. But these days, all you’ll find hiding on the cayes and islands are divers, sailors and anyone looking for an affordable way to enjoy total privacy. Belize is still a solid banking and tax haven, but it’s the lifestyle that puts most people under a spell. This is picture postcard Caribbean. Snorkelers explore its 176-mile barrier reef. Sport fishermen are equally happy. They reel in snapper, grouper, barracuda, bonito, tuna, kingfish, sailfish, and marlin. You’ll be blissfully free from commuter crush, 24-hour news, and workaday stress. This is a land of few cars, abundant fresh food from the sea and the trees, and great natural beauty. Belize is undeveloped and sparsely populated. You’ll have lots of room (on the beaches, in the jungle, in the rainforests) to stretch out. There is no rush. Where would you rush to? Yes, there are fiber-optic phone cables, computers, and cell phones, but these things are conveniences, not obsessions. Everyone who visits English-speaking Belize talks about the friendly people. Lots of countries have friendly locals, but in Belize you can quickly and easily make friends with them—because you already speak the language.

Here Comes the John McAfee Movie
In a move that will surprise absolutely no one, John McAfee, the media hungry anti-virus tycoon running from the Belizean police, has sold his life story to Future Media. The deal will "exploit his life story across a range of media, including film, print and TV," reports The Hollywood Reporter's Etan Vlessing. Which makes a lot of sense, given that he's attaching and re-attaching himself to different media outlets with "an ambiguous blessing," as we learned from The New York Times's Jeff Wise at some point before, during, or after McAfee's UStream performance Sunday night. Honestly, we can't wait for the movie. And neither can the rest of the Internet, which has already begun speculating about who will play McAfee. (Can you blame us? This guy's story has had so many bizarre twists and turns that it can't not entertain.) Plus, as of right now, the biopic will have a surprise ending, since its main character is still stuck in Guatemala, attempting to go home, instead of back to Belize, where he will likely face charges of some sort. Knowing McAfee, who may have faked a heart attack last week, a lot more plot points can happen between now and production. While we await the movie and the actual ending to McAfee's real-life run from the law, the news gives us an excuse to imagine the casting and plot of The Life and Times of John McAfee: Bath Salts, Dogs, and Guns.

In Pursuit of McAfee, Media Are Part of Story
Late last month, the editor in chief of Vice magazine, Rocco Castoro, joined by a photographer, Robert King, managed to secure a plum exclusive: an invitation to travel along with the fugitive tech millionaire John McAfee. Years earlier, Mr. McAfee had relocated to a Colonel Kurtz-like compound in the jungles of Belize, surrounding himself with armed guards and multiple young lovers. Then, with reports that he was a “person of interest” in the death of a neighbor, Mr. McAfee had gone on the lam. Last Monday, after several days of surreptitious travel, Mr. Castoro and Mr. King posted their first dispatch. It bore the smirking headline, “We Are With John McAfee Right Now, Suckers.” The gloating was short-lived, however. Within minutes, a reader noticed that the photograph posted with the story still contained GPS location data embedded by the iPhone 4S that took it, and sent out a message via Twitter: “Check the metadata in the photo. Oooops ...” Vice quickly replaced the image, but it was too late. “Oops! Did Vice Just Give Away John McAfee’s Location With Photo Metadata?” a headline asked. The article included a Google Earth view of the exact spot the picture had been taken — poolside at the Hotel & Marina Nana Juana in Izabal, Guatemala. The Vice debacle was just one colorful twist in the relationship between the press, which is always willing to indulge a colorful subject, and Mr. McAfee, who was always eager to bend news coverage to his often inscrutable ends. I first wrote about Mr. McAfee five years before, when he was merely a colorful software pioneer — an apparently clean-living citizen who courted the press mainly to promote his favorite pastime, flying ultralight aircraft. Since then, his life had taken several darker turns. I had only just published a long piece about his purported connections with Belizean drug gangs on the Web site Gizmodo when I received a curt e-mail from a police official in Belize on Nov. 11, “It may interest you to know that there was a murder yesterday in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye and McAfee is the prime suspect.”

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