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3/1/2013 to 3/10/2013
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March 10, 2013


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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

Actun Tunichil Muknal facilities inaugurated
Actun Tunichil Muknal Items-2On Thursday, March 7, 2013, the Belize Tourism Board hosted media and stakeholders at the official inauguration of the Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) archaeological site. The Actun Tunichil Muknal lies in the heart of the Tapir Mountain Forest Reserve approximately 45 minutes from San Ignacio town. It is one of the most spectacular subterranean Mayan archaeological sites in the region, characterized by a series of chambers (some requiring swimming access) housing substantial remains of sacrificial ceremonies that includes pottery and human remains. The cave system was discovered in 1989 and opened to the public in 1998, with current visitation restricted to specific tour operators. The ticket office is several hundred yards before the car park within a joint station with Belize Audubon Society presence for managing Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve.

Re: CITES March Conferences. An Op-Ed by Ambassador Vinay Thummalapally
In observance of the upcoming Conference of the Parties for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the Embassy requests that you print the attached Op Ed by Ambassador Thummalapally in your newspaper this week. The meeting in March will consider listing a number of marine species in CITES, including proposals to list the oceanic whitetip shark, three species of hammerhead sharks, porbeagle sharks and manta rays. Op Ed by Ambassador Thummalapally: It is difficult to put on paper the beauty of watching the sun rise over the ocean while heading out to sea for a day on the water. I have seen Belize’s extensive biodiversity while snorkeling off of the cayes, including a variety of sharks and stingrays. The United States and Belize have long worked hand in hand to protect our natural heritage, especially in the sea. Sharks and manta rays are important to ocean ecosystems, and the United States is concerned about the conservation status of species that are increasingly affected by international trade. These species are all biologically vulnerable to over-exploitation, as a long-lived, low productivity species. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is a valuable tool to address the threats posed by unsustainable global trade in shark and manta ray parts and products, including fins, meat, and gill plates.

Saga Humane Society says THANK YOU!!
The San Pedro Saga Humane Society would like to offer our sincere thanks to all the people and businesses that helped make February 2013 a great start to Operation SNIP (Spay/Neuter Initiative Program). To celebrate Saga HS completed 60 free spay/neuters the week of World Spay Day, February 26, 2013. World Spay Day is an annual campaign of Humane Society International and The Humane Society of the United States that shines a spotlight on spay/neuter—a proven way to save the lives of companion animals, feral cats, and street dogs who might otherwise be put down in a shelter or killed on the street. Operation SNIP is Saga HS ongoing plan to sterilize 75% of the islands’ animal population in the next 3-5 years. This was a great partnership between local businesses and visiting animal welfare professionals from the USA. Dr. Don Tummons of Duck Hollow Animal Hospital in Uniontown, PA, Mary Maykuth, Heather Beck of K9 Lifeline in Draper, UT are superstars for coming to assist Saga HS with this event! Thanks also Ken and Joanne Hibbard of Durango, CO for visiting local schools to talk about the importance of being a responsible pet owner and helping with our new education program for kids and to Matt Beatty for the donation of Hip to Snip stickers and Saga banners. Our deepest thanks to these dedicated professionals for using their knowledge, money, vacation time and skill to help the animals and their owners on Ambergris Caye.

Enjoying the bird’s eye view
Every time I take the Tropic Air plane to and from the city (or really, anywhere over the water), I check to see if I can snag the co-pilot’s seat. Not only do I get to see my little house as we fly past the southern tip of the island, but for about those precious minutes when I am in the air, I am afforded the most gorgeous views of our breathtaking Caribbean Seas. Ranging from deep, almost navy blue to the iridescent aquamarine that’s just the stuff of dreams, to shimmering jades, there can’t possibly be a better view from above. When the wind is blowing especially hard from the north, the pilots choose their safest route and take what we call the scenic way out of the island. There is nothing more astounding than the views of north Ambergris Caye, the jagged edges of the Meso-American reef a foamy white that stretches onward, until it meets land at Rocky Point.

Misc Belizean Sources

Fisherfolk engage on regional fisheries policies
A four-day regional consultation on small-scale fisheries, the most extensive fisheries subsector in the Caribbean, has paved the way forward for fisherfolk to become more active in shaping and implementing policy and better poised to play a more impactful role in steering the way forward, even as critical challenges such as overfishing; illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing; and weak policy implementation confront the region. Representatives of the Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organisations Coordinating Unit (CNFO-CU), national fisherfolk organizations (NFOs), and NFO Steering Committees from 15 CARIFORUM member states last week attended the CTA/CRFM/CNFO Consultation to formulate Small-scale Fisheries Governance Arrangements for the Caribbean, held at Grand Coastal Hotel in East Coast Demerara, Guyana. “Today’s gathering is… making sure that our fisherfolk, the people who are actually the ones keeping this industry alive, are very much part of this [common fisheries] policy—not only in the crafting of it, not only in the adoption of it, but also in its implementation,” said Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy in ceremonies held to kick off the event.

6 ripe plantains 1-2 tbs melted butter 6 thick slices of Happy Cow Cheese Pre-heat oven to 350 F Peel the plantains, place them on a baking sheet and rub them with butter Bake the plantains for 30 minutes, then turn each one and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until golden on both sides. Remove the plantains from the oven, made a horizontal slit on the middle of each plantain, and stuff them with the cheese slices. In a few minutes the cheese will have melted, serve immediately ENJOY!!


Day One Concludes For Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge
Day one of the 15th annual Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge was from San Ignacio to Banana Bank, a total of 49 miles. Finishing in first place was Belize Bank with a time of five hours, 16 minutes and 26 seconds, pulling in taking second place was BTL Cub Arms from Cor...

Minister Louis Farrakhan Prepares For Final Address to Belizeans
The Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan today hosted a press conference in Belize City as his six-day visit to Belize winds down. A number of issues was raised during the hour-long question and answer period. One of the first questions posed to Farrakhan was about the death of...

PG Town Council Holds Public Meeting
The Punta Gorda Town Council held a public meeting last night in this municipality. &nbs...

Belize Cancer Society Receives Donation
When we hear the word cancer, it is not often that the picture of a child comes to mind. But according to Clinical Director at the Belize Cancer Society, Ivorene Bulwer there is a significant number of young Belizeans suffering from various forms of cancer Bulwer said the wor...

Woman of the Year Awarded In Belmopan
Former Government minister and speaker of the House of Representatives Sylvia Flores is this year’s woman of the year. Flores received the award today in Belmopan. Reporter Marion Ali has the story. MARION ALI "She has served in the capacity of...


Principal Dishes Out About Students Who Beat Up Howler Monkey
Last night we told you about the badly injured Howler Monkey that was rescued by the Forestry Department after it was found behind the campus of the Belize High School of Agriculture on March 5th. The male monkey is presently being treated for its injuries yet all indications are that it might not survive. How the adult male monkey received its injuries is cause for speculation and a teacher and a group of students from the Belize High School of Agriculture located in the Village of San Lazaro in Orange Walk, are at the centre of the dispute. Allegations are that a teacher of the institution instructed a group of students to capture and kill the endangered species. Yesterday we were unable to get comment from the school but today Principal Cecilo Pech decided to speak out and clarified some of the allegations made against the institution. This adult male monkey is tonight suffering from injuries to its tooth, lip and from all indications can lose an eye. The animal is presently receiving treatment at Wild Tracks, a Monkey Rehabilitation Facility in Sarteneja Village in the Corozal District. We understand that veterinarians are doing everything possible to save the animal’s life. An online blog on states that a group of students captured the monkey in the nearby bushes behind the schools plantation area, after they were instructed by a teacher to do so because the monkey had defecated on him. The blog says that the students shot at the monkey with sling shots after which the animal was beaten and tied. Further allegations suggest that the group of male students carried the injured and bleeding monkey throughout the school flaunting what they had done. But as they say there are two sides to every story and today we went looking for the high school’s version of what happened.

Ceviche, Sal Picon, Everything Mexican at La Fonda Restaurant
If you enjoy eating Mexican food and like to snack on Sal Picon and Ceviche with an ice cold beer after a long day of work, then we got a place that you might want to visit. It’s called La Fonda Restaurant and proprietor Blanca Lopez told us why you should stop by. Blanca Lopez, La Fonda Restuarant “He notado que en más Chetumal, que nada lo hice porque de la economía, porque veo que está lleno de Chetumal Beliceños comiendo tacos. ¿Y cuánto cuesta un taco? 12 pesos. Eso es de 2 dólares de Belice. Así que le dije que yo pueda vender los mismos tacos por sólo 1.50, esto es mucho mejor y el dinero se quedará aquí en Belice. Tenemos un menú que lista todo tipo de comida mexicana. La comida es de México y Belice. Hicimos la ceremonia de inauguración y fue excelente. Gracias a Dios todo se vende. El arroz y el frijol terminado y estamos haciendo ceviche, sal picón y que también venden cervezas frías. " La Fonda Restaurant is located on the Northern Highway, in front of Rapidito Loans Pawn Shop.

Could It Be? A Drug Plane?
Tonight there are reports that a suspected drug plane crashed in a shallow inner lagoon off the New River near the Pueblo Viejo Ferry. We have been informed that early this morning, Corozal Police, BDF personnel, Civil Aviation Authority and other Law Enforcement Officials were dispatched to the area where they found a Cessna plane partially submerged in the water. So far we have unable to get in contact with Corozal Police but we understand that the plane was not found with any illegal cargo and no one was there to claim it. As to when the plane went down, that has not been revealed but reports suggest that it occurred just days ago. Of note is that this type of plane is known for carrying illicit drugs. We’ll bring you the full details of this story in Tuesday’s newscast.

New Board Of Directors At BSI
And in more news coming out of the Sugar Industry, today the Belize Sugar Industries Limited announced that they have a new Board of Directors. The newly constituted Board, formed by Jonathan Bamberger, Ricardo Lima, Celestino Ruiz and Armando Tabernilla, nominated by ESH Barbados SRL, Sir Manuel Esquivel, nominated by the Government of Belize and Arsenio Burgos, nominated by BSI Employee Holdings Ltd., met for the first time on Tuesday March 5th 2013. During the meeting, Arsenio Burgos was appointed Chairman of the Board. Burgos, who has been a long standing Director on the BSI Board, becomes the first Belizean appointed to the Chair. In a release sent out by BSI today, the company’s CEO Joey Montalvo states that Burgos’ appointment demonstrates ASR Group’s confidence in and respect for Belize and the Belize Sugar Industries Limited. For clarification, ESH (Barbados), SRL holds the majority shares in BSI and is a member of ASR Group.

Today La Inmaculada Primary School held their annual business expo as part of their activities for Child Stimulation Month celebrated under the theme “Molding Today’s Learners into Tomorrow’s Leaders”. It is the second year that the expo is organized in order for students to interact with the business community and experience their products and services first hand. Carmelita Perez reporting Amidst this mornings hustle and bustle we found good deals and smiling faces as preschoolers and their parents enjoyed this year’s expo organized by preschool teachers of La Inmaculada Primary School. The event now forms part of the school’s annual list of activities for Child Stimulation Month. Similar to last year, a total of 12 businesses signed up for the event. Each business had their products on sale at unbeatable prices. If your taste bud was longing for ice cream, honey, pastries or even some delicious roast chicken then the expo was the place to be. Oneydi Carrillo- Preschool Teacher “This expo is intended for the kids to come and have fun and for them to learn about the business that we have here in our town. In this way they will be aware on how these businesses go about doing their things. For example, the Rain Forest Honey is giving a good description as to where honey comes from, why it is good and the local sweets that can be found here in Orange Walk Town.”

BMHS SWEEPS AWARDS AT National Science Fair
Another school that is in the news tonight is Bishop Martin High School but it’s on a positive note. Bishop Martin High School was one of 11 catholic high schools that participated in this year’s Belize Catholic Secondary High School National Science Fair that took place today in Cayo. The good news is that Bishop Martin was overwhelmingly victorious as they were named the overall champions of the competition. Bishop Martin entered four projects for the lower and upper level of the competition. Project “I-C, Vitamin C” won first place in the lower division, “Sugar Low” received first place in the upper division and project, “Fire Ablaze” received honorable mention. Bishop Martin High School was also named “Overall Champions” for the most wins. We’ll speak to the winners on Tuesday.

Happy International Women's Day
Various events over the last year have shown beyond doubt that there are gender inequality issues all over the world, including Belize that desperately needs to be dealt with. Women’s Month celebrated in March and International Women’s Day, observed today March 8th, has given people the chance to speak out against many issues affecting women, and to have their voices heard on a global scale. Here in Belize a number of activities are taking place in commemoration of International Women’s Month including the Belize Woman of the Year Award hosted by the U.S Embassy in Belize. The event took place this morning at the U.S Ambassador’s residence In Belmopan where ten outstanding Belizean women were recognized for their inspirational accomplishments and positive contributions their respective communities. Of note is that Orange Walk was represented by Victoria Hernandez, the former president of VOICE Orange Walk Branch. And while Hernandez and nine other women were being honored in Belmopan, here in Orange Walk, approximately 25 women’s group leaders and community leaders took part in a Leadership and Team Building Workshop organized by the Orange Walk Women’s Department.

For The Love Of The Sports
Today five primary schools in the Orange Walk District gathered at the Yo Creek Village Football Field where they participated in a male and female knockout football tournament. The friendly tournament has been taking place for the past 6 years and today the games were hosted by Yo Creek Compassion School. Principal of the school, Manuel Rejon, told us that over the years participating teams have learnt more about good sportsmanship. Manuel Rejon, Principal Yo Creek Compassion School “This year we added something else to the football marathon. We have a kiddie’s corner children can have items like toys and play games and win some prizes as well. We have for right now eight teams participating because some schools bring more than one team for the males. It is a knock out tournament and the winners advance to the second rounds and to the finales. Likewise with the females we have knockout tournaments, winners advance and it is a 20 minutes game for both male and female. From the start it has been exciting and I can see children having fun especially with the football happening at this moment. We can see the parents shouting and cheering for their teams. And I believe that schools in general that are here are having a great time.” The event also served as a fundraiser in which the money will be used to construct a side walk at the school.

Details Of The Dividends
On March 14th 2013 the Belize Sugar Industries Limited will payout three million dollars in dividend payment for the 2012 financial year, to BSI shareholders. The dividend payment was approved during the company’s Annual General Meeting held on March 5th based in accordance with the stipulation of the Subscription Deed. The imbursement amounts to approximately 6.8 cents per share based on BSI’s 44 million issued and fully paid shares existing prior to the company selling its majority shares to ASR on October 2nd, 2012. Today CTV3 News spoke via phone to BSI’s Financial Director Belizario Carballo Jr. who outlined the details of the payment. Belizario Carballo Jr.- BSI’s Financial Director “That dividend of 3 million Belize dollars will be distributed or paid out to shareholders on the basis of the shareholdings before the entry of ASR. So essentially it will be paid to the shareholders that existed before.

Farewell Chavez
More than 30 world leaders, countless athletes and left-wing celebrities, gathered at a music-filled state funeral honoring Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez today which took place in a military academy. Multitudes waited outside to start the day that ended with the swearing in of Chavez’s hand-picked successor as interim president, Nicolas Maduro. The streets outside Caracas Venezuela, took on a carnival atmosphere with military bands launching into marches and an expanse of supporters wearing red promoting Chavez's socialist party. A line to see Chavez's body, stretched 1.5 miles, was halted as the funeral got under way. In the funeral hall, more than 30 political leaders including Cuba's Raul Castro and Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stood at attention before Chavez's flag-draped coffin. Belize was represented by Deputy Prime Minister, Honorable Gasper Vega. The glass-topped coffin, which had been opened since Wednesday, was shut for the funeral. Venezuela announced on Thursday that it would embalm Chavez's body and put it on permanent display. An election is due within 30 days and Maduro is expected to face opposition candidate Henrique Capriles, a young centrist state governor who lost to Chávez last October. International reports suggest that Maduro will probably be carried to victory on a wave of post-Chávez sympathy and grief.


How to grow a banana tree
In answer to your questions on banana tree care, Yes bananas love gray water but not any with much bleach. Be aware they they will spread on their own and can inter fear with any plumbing in the area with their roots. Over the years they will take OVER a large area . For planting, three foot high plants would be the max .Any higher and all you have to do is get a sharp machete and chop off the stalk about 2 to 2.5 ‘ from the base and it will start to grow immediately from the center doing no harm. Once a banana has fruited it will produce no more bunches and at that time must be cut down to ground level. Others will be popping up to replace that one around the same area.

DandE’s Frozen Custard Shop in San Pedro, Belize: DON’T Call it Ice Cream
Some classics and some with a more tropical/Belizean flair. In case you don’t know what soursop is...check out this post. It’s one funky looking but delicious fruit. One quick thing: I had to give Eileen a call this morning to clarify the pronunciation of the name. Since the “DandE” is smushed together, is it DAN DEE’s (like I’ve been saying for years?) or is it D and E’s. I’ll leave you hanging (with breath that is baited) to find out the answer. The shop is filled with fun knick knacks, photos, toys and drawings by kids and adults about how they love DandE’s, love Eileen and Dan and how they love frozen custard.

Oh Happy Day!
The body clock appears to be getting more and more in sync at last. Woke up at 6 am this morning. Only an hour or so to retrieve now. Could be totally back in sync by the time we are heading back to Ambergris Caye, Belize! After five days of travelling and shopping (more of the latter than the former) Rose and I decided to treat ourselves today with a day of doing touristy type stuff instead of hitting the stores. So we decided to go to the Farmers Market (it had been highly recommended by Renee and Dave on Ambergris Caye). We went for a reasonably early breakfast in the hotel and once finished I went to sit in the car and set the co-ordinates in the Tom Tom (OK so I just entered the address) whilst waiting for Rose. Got slightly worried when a police car drove through the parking lot...

International Sources

Medwood gets Gold
Belize's Kenneth Medwood (C) runs to win the gold medal between Costa Rica's Gerald Drummond (L) and Guatemala's Gerber Blanco in the men's 400m hurdles final at the Central American Games in San Jose March 9, 2013

Belize vs El Salvador 2013 Battles in U21 Central American Games
Belize vs El Salvador 2013 (en vivo live score below) battles in the U21 Central American Games futbol match today March 9, 2013. Delivered by host country Costa Rica, the San Jose 2013 Central American Games (aka los X Juegos Centroamericanos en San José de Costa Rica) kicked off three days ago. The Games will last until March 16, officials remind news. Belize vs El Salvador 2013 (start time 10 am local time) is the second of three group round soccer games today. Belize played on March 7 in its first game but was dealt a dreadful defeat by host country Costa Rica. That ended in 3-0 final score, officials remind news. El Salvador, in contrast, destroyed Nicaragua in its opener. El Salvador delivered five goals and gave up none, news analyst note.

Windows God Mode – How To
Windows users on Windows 7 got a treat in a secret feature called God Mode that gave them access to just about ALL of the controls, settings and options built into Winodws. In this article we’ll walk you through unlocking God Mode in Win8. I am told this can be done with Windows Vista as well.

Video: cruising the river in Belize
I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor

March 9, 2013


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

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 March 6th, 2013 issue of The Northern Star is online HERE



This Week's Stories:

  • The President of Venezuela Comandante, Hugo Chavez dies on 5th.March:
    The great President of Venezuela Commander Hugo Chavez died on 5th March, 2013 at approximately 3:55pm EST in the afternoon after battling cancer for over two years. The announcement of his death was made by his vice-president shortly after the President passed away. The rippling effect of a nation dashed into mourning, shock, confusion, uncertainty and despair could be felt all across the globe as the realization that this revolutionary commander who has transformed the image and way of life of the entire Nation of Venezuela both internally and externally, after fourteen years of successive leadership was gone. Countless Nations across the world have expressed their condolences to the Government and People of Venezuela while we in Belize, our other brothers and sister Nations of the Caribbean and Latin America have joined in mourning the loss of the President whose word was as good as gold and whose action assisted and uplifted the lives of countless poor in all our various countries.
  • Editorial:
    The Media plays a critical role in the development of any nation. This role must be taken seriously and guarded by the same consciences that guide us every day in our very lives. There is also the question of Ethics, Moral Obligation and Social Responsibility which goes hand in hand with the principles of patriotism that should be embedded in the fulfillment of our duties in the media as the movers and shakers of this young nation called Belize. Wrong is wrong and right is right.Yes we must be responsible. I can recall vividly a certain headline which appeared in a local newspaper here in Belize which read, (The name of the person has been omitted by us so as to not cause further injury to the family...) “XYZ dies in accident with sweetheart!” That edition of that newspaper sold out that weekend but the damage it did to the surviving family members of the deceased has been irreparable.
  • Belize Mourns the Passing of President Hugo Chavez Belmopan.:
    The Government and people of Belize join the Government and people of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in mourning of H.E. President Hugo Chavez who passed away on 5 March 2013. President Chavez was a true friend of Belize and over many years, the Belizean people enjoyed the fruits of friendship and cooperation that the Government and people of the Bolivarian Republic offered Belize under the leadership of President Chavez.
  • A Twisted Tale of Deceit!:
    The Saga of a young, Sittee River, mother and grandmother both of Southern Belize continues today as it was revealed to them that their baby who they allowed to go to the United States for medical reasons in the company of a U.S. couple (who are also members of their church in Sittee River Village, Stann Creek District, Belize) was given up for adoption without their knowledge. A Jefferson county judge in Texas granted approval to have the child named Sarah formally change her last name to that of her adoptive parent, Smith. Xuan and Aaron Smith have adopted Sarah, a baby who was thought to have been abandoned in a bucket by her parents. The story was seemingly a great humanitarian story that a local television reporter in the U.S by the name of Ashley Gaston did a story on it which was featured on their local news. The story headlined, Belize baby found in bucket caught the attention of one of our local Media House here in Belize. Great Belize Production, Channel 5 News then carried the story of baby Sarah as was reported in the U.S in its entirety. Diana McNab, the maternal mother was at home watching the news when it dawned on her that the child Sarah being referred to in that newscast was indeed her child.
  • Unbelievable Facts: 48. Ways to Use Vinegar ALL over the House and Home.:
    1 Clean your computer and mouse. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water, dampen a clean cloth, squeeze well and wipe - use cotton swabs for tight spaces. Remove mouse tracking ball and clean inside parts too. Let equipment dry before putting it all back together. 2 Get rid of mildew. White vinegar works on almost any surface - bathroom fixtures and tiles, clothing, furniture, painted surfaces, and plastic curtains. To eliminate heavy mildew, use full strength and for lighter buildup, dilute with an equal amount of water. 3 Prevent mildew. You can also prevent mildew from forming on the bottoms of rugs and carpeting by misting the backs with full strength white vinegar from a spray bottle.
  • Missing plane from Belize found in Venezuela !:
    On Friday Tropical Vision Channel 7 broke the news that a plane had gone missing in the afternoon of the 21st. February, 2013 from the registeredAir Strip in Spanish Lookout (Mennonite Community in Western Belize). The plane which was reported to be an Aero Commander 500 carried U.S. registration number N345MP, had left Belize airspace failing to file a flight plan, or making the required checks with customs and immigration Missing plane from Belize found in Venezuela ! which is illegal. The plane was suspiciously outfitted with extended range fuel tanks for the purpose of long distance flight. Channel 7 further reported that a Newspaper in Venezuela published that the day after it left Belize, the plane made an illegal, early morning landing at an unauthorized airstrip in the Northwestern region of that country known as Acarigua. The Venezuelan Minister of Home Affairs and Justice,Nestor Reverol told the press the following day that its reconnaissance system tracked the plane when it landed at an airfield in Acarigua. The onboard GPS showed its final destination as the Apura State, which borders with Colombia. Officials of the Scientific, Penal and Criminal Investigations Branch performed a drug screening in the aircraft which tested positive for cocaine residue.
  • Dealing with Cyberbullying: Tips for Kids and Parents to Prevent and Stop Cyberbulling:
    bullying is no longer limited to schoolyards or street corners. Cyberbullying can occur anywhere, even at home, via email, texts, cell phones, and social media websites 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with potentially hundreds of people involved. For those who suffer cyberbullying, the effects can be devastating, leaving you feeling hurt, humiliated, angry, depressed, or even suicidal. But no type of bullying should ever be tolerated. These tips can help you protect yourself or your child online and deal with the growing problem of cyberbullying. What is Cyberbullying? Cyberbullying occurs when a child or teen uses the Internet, emails, text messages, instant messaging, social media websites, online forums, chat rooms, or other digital technology to harass, threaten, or humiliate another child or teen. Unlike traditional bullying, cyberbullying doesn’t require physical strength or face-to-face contact and isn’t limited to just a handful of witnesses at a time.
  • Honey Butter Ham:
    1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. 2. Melt butter in small microwave- safe bowl. Stir in honey, brown sugar, and mustard until smooth; set aside. 3. Place ham in roasting pan. 4. Score the top surface of the ham in a diamond pattern, making the cuts about 3/4” apart. 5. Push a whole clove, point side down, into the center of each diamond in the ham. 6. Spoon half of the butter mixture over the ham. 7. Roast, uncovered, for 20 minutes, then spoon over the rest of the butter mixture. 8. Roast for another 20minutes, then baste the ham with the pan drippings.
  • Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development to Host Capacity-building Workshop:
    The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development (FFSD) will be hosting a workshop to build capacity for participation in global carbon markets and other mitigation activities. More specifically, the workshop is aimed at the delivery of detailed information to a targeted audience of government officials, policy makers, members of the private sector and civil society on recent developments in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations regarding markets and mitigation. Realizing that climate change is a pressing and urgent issue; the Government of Belize has made every possible effort to participate in the global architecture which is aimed at facilitating climate change mitigation and adaptation for the benefit of developing countries. As such, Belize signed the UNFCCC in 1992 and ratified the Convention in 1994.
  • Los proxenetas usan las redes sociales para reclutar esclavas sexuales:
    Todo comenzó con una solicitud de amistad en Facebook. “Me pareció lindo y lo acepté”, recuerda “Nina”, que hoy tiene 22 años. Con 18 años en aquel momento, jamás pensó que aceptar la solicitud la llevaría al horror: cuatro años prostituyéndose por todo Estados Unidos. “Nina” es un seudónimo; CNN cambió el nombre de la víctima para proteger su privacidad. De clase media-alta y con planes de ir a la universidad, Nina era una joven solitaria que buscaba atención en Internet. Así, comenzó a intercambiar mensajes con un hombre que decía estar enamorado de ella.Hablaron de viajes, matrimonio y hasta de formar una familia. “Me vendió una historia de fantasía”, cuenta Nina. “Creí que viviríamos juntos este sueño”, agrega la joven. Se enviaron mensajes durante un mes hasta que decidieron conocerse. El cuento de hadas terminó abruptamente.
  • Closing Ceremony for “Business Labs Focused on Cultural Enterprises” Course:
    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is pleased to inform of the closing ceremony of the on-the-spot training course entitled “Business Labs Focused on CulturalEnterprises”, on March 8th, 2013 at 1:00 the University of Belize, Belize City Campus.
  • Planet of sound: Meteor blast resonated around Earth:
    The meteor that exploded over the steppes of southwestern Russia sent a low frequency rumble bouncing A large chunk of a meteor that exploded over Russia is found in a lake on Friday, February 15. through the Earth, giving scientists new clues about the biggest cosmic intruder in a century. The big boom over Chelyabinsk on February 15 also produced a wave of sound thousands of times lower than a piano’s middle C - far below the range of human hearing, according to the international agency that watches for nuclear bomb tests. The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization said that sound wave showed up on sensors from Greenland to Antarctica, making it the largest ever detected by its network.
  • Benedict XVI quits Vatican City for last time as pope:
    Amid pomp and ceremony, Benedict XVI left Vatican City Thursday for the last time as pope, ahead of his historic resignation as leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. An honor guard of Swiss Guards, the soldiers who traditionally protect the pope, lined up to bid him farewell as he left the papal apartment, alongside senior Vatican officials and staff. Applause swelled as Benedict, looking frail and carrying a cane, climbed into a car that took him to the helicopter that flew him to the summer papal residence, Castel Gandolfo. The sound of bells from St. Peter’s Basilica chimed across the city of Rome as the helicopter soared overhead, passing above landmarks like the Colosseum.
  • Cartoons and Joke of the Week
  • Your Weekly Horoscope
  • Belize Police News

The San Pedro Sun

2013 Inter-Office Basketball Tournament has begun
The Inter-Office Basketball Tournament is a competition between teams from local businesses of San Pedro and Caye Caulker, San Pedro High School (SPHS) and San Pedro Junior College (SPJC). The tournament takes place on Saturdays and Sundays at the R.A. Nuñez Auditorium showcasing the island best ballers. A total of nine teams are competing for this year’s Inter-Office Basketball Championship. The tournament will see eleven games, and team’s scores will be tallied at the end of the tournament to decide the winners. The organizers of the event are Renison Crawford and Focion Riverol. interoffice basketball league 3The tournament started off on Saturday March 2nd and saw a matchup of Latitudes Café vs. the Jaguars in game one and SPHS vs. SPJC in game two. It was an exciting night and many islanders made their way out to view the games that started at 8PM. At the end of the first match, it was a tight 56-58 win for the Jaguars. SPJC took the second game against SPHS with a whopping 54-93 win.

Australian travel writer features her Belizean experience online
A travel writer originally from Australia, has been in Belize for the last three weeks. Erin Bender, her husband Josh and her two energetic children have been taking in much of what Belize, and especially San Pedro Town, offers to its tourists. The travel writer posts about their family experiences during their trips to various parts of the world on their website entitled “Travel with Bender.” Travels-with-BenderThe website provides travelers with information about the destination the Benders have been to. Through their writing, the Binders give useful tips to get to different places, things to look out for, adventures and dining in various areas and even how to move around when travelling the world with two children. In speaking to The San Pedro Sun, the Benders said that they got to know about Belize and San Pedro Town after they met another tourist who had been in Belize previously.

Claiming issues with employers (BTB), four tourism police in San Pedro resign
The San Pedro Police Station Tourism Unit has lost four policemen in that department. The four officers are Special Constables Dean Dawson, Ian Wagner, Shedrack Dominguez and Donicio Sanchez. Their sudden departure from the department is a result of internal problems within the tourism unit. The confirmation was made by the Officer Commanding San Pedro Police Formation Superintendent of Police Luis Castellanos. Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Diane Hall also confirmed that the officers had resigned but would not state the purposes of the resignation. However, according to the officers, the reasons for their resignation have to do with salary, unpaid Social Security Contribution, welfare and other benefits. In an interview with The San Pedro Sun, Ian Wagner said that the tourism police officers employed under the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) have been treated with much disrespect and no regard for their living situations. “They at the BTB treated us like garbage that is at the bottom of the garbage can. Ever since we have worked under BTB they look on us like nothing. We have gone through whoever and everyone to have our concerns addressed so that they can understand what we are going through, and there was no one to listen to us,” said Wagner as he outlined the unit’s frustration in trying to get the attention of the upper hierarchy at BTB.

San Pedro Sun reporter Jorge Aldana attended the ACTUN TUNICHIL MUKNAL (ATM) INAUGURATION of the archaeological site on Thursday March 7th.

Ruta Maya off to a start!
This morning the annual Ruta Maya race kicked off with lots of competitors paddling their hearts out. San Pedro Sun's ace reporter Jorge Aldana is on the scene and will be sharing photos with us through out the day!

Ambergris Today

Holy Bible’s New Testament Launched in Belize Kriol
On March 6, 2013, historic St. John’s Anglican Cathedral will be the venue for the launching of both the book and audio versions of the Holy Bible’s Nyoo Testiment eena Bileez Kriol (The New Testament in Belize Kriol). The translation into Kriol began in the early 1990s, involving the Belize Kriol Project of the National Kriol Council working with teams of linguists from SIL, pastors, and others in Belize’s religious community, who collaborated with Wycliffe Bible Translators, the Bible Society of the West Indies, and the Belize Bible Society. When the Belize Kriol Project was formed, two of its major deliverables were the production, testing, and revision of a spelling system for the Belize Kriol language and the production of reading materials in the Kriol language, particularly the Bible. Thus, in 1993, work began in earnest with training those committed to literacy in Kriol in language translation approaches and techniques.

Pre-Schools Celebrate Child Stimulation Month 2013
Early Childhood Education is quite important and for this the entire country of Belize is observing Child Stimulation Month under the theme “Molding Today’s Learners into Tomorrow’s Leaders”. Here in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, pre-schools have a month filled with activities including Family Talent Day, Hug Day, Grandparents Day, Sports Day, Doctor & Dentist Visits, Cultural Day and visit to businesses, to name a few. Below are some pictures of ABC Pre-School’s Grandparents Day and Sports Day. Be sure to follow Ambergris Today’s Facebook Page for more updates on child stimulation month.

Misc Belizean Sources

Mango Bread
Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter a loaf pan and dust inside with flour. Whisk the eggs and honey!, brown sugar and butter together. On a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and ginger. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and mix well until well blended. Add the diced mango, raisins and lime zest and blend well.. Bake the bread for 1 hour, or until it is golden brown and a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. ENJOY!

Basic Bookkeeping Workshop by SBDCBelize, BELTRAIDE
Accounting Part 1: Basic Bookkeeping. LEARN ABOUT Importance of Record Keeping Keeping track of Income Keeping track of Expenses Profit and Loss Presenter: Ms. Astrid Salazar Silva Business and Investment Facilitation Officer for BELTRAIDE Profile: Presenter Background: Graduate of Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford, England. Earning a Bachelors in Accounting and Finance

Suspected Drug Plane Plummets into Corozal Lagoon
Early this morning, Friday March 8th, 2013 the Corozal Police, BDF personnel, Civil Aviation Authority and other members of law enforcement were dispatched to an area near the Pueblo Viejo Ferry where a Cessna plane suspected of carrying drugs was found in a shallow inner lagoon off the New River with its nose fully submerged. The site is accessible only by boat or a one hour muddy trek hike. Corozal Police and BDF were able to take note of the registration. We were unable to ascertain if the plane was found with any illegal cargo, pilot or passengers.

VIDEO: Belizean Style Tough Love
World's Strictest Parents UK ~ Belize. Brash teens Calvin and Rosie try their luck with this unique Central American family...

Open Mic Night at the Soul Project
The Soul Project had another Open Mic night last night. If you play, bring your instrument, and hit the stage. Open Mic nights at the Soul Project are always a great time. Tonight, the Soul Project will screen Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Cayo Welcome Center Unveiling
The Cayo Welcome Center was unveiled yesterday. The SISE Town Council got some great pictures of the celebration. Afterwards, they had the La Ruta Maya Cultural Night. 1000's came out to enjoy the festivities.

Channel 7

Superbond 2.0: The Deal Is Sealed
A release posted held an hour ago on the Central Bank of Belize Website announced that Superbond 2.0 has been fully subscribed. That means the deal to renegotiate this huge chunk of Belize debt is now complete, all the bondholders have subscribed to the terms of the bond. Within the next few days they will be given the new bonds in exchange for their old ones. How did it happen? Well, the bond offering went public 3 weeks ago - and the understanding then was that once 75% of the bondholders buy into the new terms, it would trigger what's known as the collective action clause, and force in all the remaining hold-outs. Well, the release explains that, they got more than the 75%. It says, quote, "holders of 86.17 percent of the country's U.S. Dollar Bonds tendered their bonds…to exchange those instruments for new Belize U.S. Dollar Bonds."

Guat Ministry Of Education Says "Belice Es Nuestro"
Tonight, news has emerged from the Guatemalan press which shows a map of their country, including Belize - which their Ministry of Education has said should be circulated to all schools. The report in the Prensa Libre says that the Vice Minister of Education has ordered that quote, "It is right that the territory of Belize is included in the map of the Republic of Guatemala, divided by a dotted line and a phrase: territorial dispute, insular and maritime unresolved," For context, a vice-minister is similar in rank to a Ministry's CEO in Belize. Her letter also raises concern that "they view with concern the fact that some media, print and television are using only a partial map of Guatemala" Belize's Ambassador to Guatemala Fred Martinez told us today that it, quote, "surprised us tremendously." He called it "a retrogressive step" and "totally out of order." He stressed however that this is the recommendation of the Guatemalan ministry of education - and at this point it is not clear whether it is an official policy. Martinez says he will not be able to confirm until next whether it is or isn't policy.

Farrakhan Still Fiery
At this hour, the public is getting ready for Minister Louis Farrakhan to make his major public address at the Bird's Isle. It was supposed to starts at 6:00, but it hasn't yet. That is the final and culminating event of his trip - and it is meant to be memorable. Today, at a closing press conference, he told the media why he couldn't wait for an opportunity to address all of the Belizean public. Jules Vasquez reports: Jules Vasquez Reporting Flanked by the phalanx of security that accompanies him everywhere, Minister Louis Farrakhan stepped into the Santa Rita room at the Radisson in a genial mood - but in the 67 minute press conference, he was mercurial, at times easygoing and jocular, at times explosive and fiery, and occasionally, he smoldered. But, overall, Farrakhan says the maturity of his 79 years has tempered his rhetoric: Louis Farrakhan - Leader, Nation of Islam "So my anger; listen to me good! It was against our former slave masters and their children. I had no love for them whatsoever, and today, they have to earn my respect, by being in fairer, and more just in the way they treat my brothers and sisters, my people. I am filled with the energy now of love, and the bitterness that I experienced, by seeing what happened to my people - the anger that I had, even the hatred that I had, and the desire to destroy those who destroyed my people, I realized that I couldn't be an effective teacher of the will and wisdom of a God who is the author of all causes, if I didn't understand what he had in mind for our suffering. So with understanding, you grow to study more and bitter less."

High Speed Chase Nabs One Robber
There was a high speed police pursuit on the Northern Highway this morning - and Ladyville police caught one robber while another had to jump into the river to get away. It started with an armed robbery in Ladyville. At 11:30 this morning when a Mennonite delivery truck was making its usual rounds near the village Fire station when four men held up the truck driver and stole all the cash they could get their hands on. They escaped in a car, but alert police were in the area and set chase on the Northern Highway - pursuing them right into the Belama area. That's where they ditched the car and ran in different direction, one of them jumping in the river to flee police. They did catch one of the suspects with a portion of the proceeds and he is detained tonight. However, the rest of them are believed to have gotten off with some of the stolen money. At this time, it is an undisclosed amount of cash...

Wilfred Elrington is making major news again tonight, but this time not as Foreign Minister, but as Attorney General - and this time he's going up against no less than the Bar Association. According to a letter printed in the Belize Times today, Solicitor General Cheryl Krusen has written to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court saying that she has been instructed by the Attorney General to send a proposed bill which proposes to amend the Legal Profession Act to quote, "remove the requirement of compulsory membership by attorneys at law to the Bar Association of Belize." That would be a seismic shift for the legal profession because presently all lawyers who wish to practice in Belize mustbe members of the Bar Association. The bill proposes to relegate the Bar to being only one of multiple professional bodies representing the legal profession. It is of note that the Supreme Court has ruled that persons cannot be compelled to be members of any group - because it denies them their constitutionally assured freedom of association. This has been well established by those same lawyers in the Citrus Industry where the CGA's monopoly on membership was nullified by the courts.

Teenager Charged For Killing Frank Neal
On Wednesday, 7News told you about 36 year-old Frank Neal, the stevedore who was senselessly killed on Glenn Street. Well tonight, a police are saying he was killed by a 17 year-old minor. The minor, a laborer of Cemetery road, was arraigned in Family Court for murder today and remanded until his next court date, which is scheduled for April 30. As we reported, on Tuesday just before 6 p.m., at around Neal was riding on Glenn Street, and he had gone to buy Johnny Cakes. That's when a gunman rode up behind him and shot him in the back of the head. He fell in the drain, and died on the spot. Neal's Brother was killed ten years ago.

Who's the Woman Of The Year
Today is International Women's Day and this morning at the US Embassy, for the fourth time, the "Belize Woman Of The Year" was honored. 7News was there and found out who got recognized: Daniel Ortiz Reporting The 2013 Belize Woman of the Year, Ms. Sylvia Flores, has celebrated several land marks in Belizean history as she scaled the political landscape to its heights, despite a culture of male predominance. She was the first woman Mayor of Dangriga Town, the first woman Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the first woman parliamentarian elected from Dangriga. She's has served the country as the Minister of Defence, the Minister of National Emergency Management, the Minister of Human Development, the Minister of Housing, and President of the Senate. From a list of nine other outstanding women, she was chosen by the panel of judges appointed by the US Embassy of Belize. The Ambassador underscored the importance of the distinct honor of her recognition.

Police Train In Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives
For the past two weeks, the United Nations Regional Center for Peace, Disarmament & Development in Latin America & the Caribbean has been training 44 law enforcement personnel in Combating Illicit Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives. It's been happening at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan and today was graduation day. Officer in charge of the training Academy Linden Flowers told us what they learned and how it will make them better at what they do: Supt. Linden Flowers - Commandant, Police Training Academy "The training's effectiveness on the street starts from anywhere the officers from this training are going back within the next couple of days. They will be going back to their work, and it has to do with principles of the importation of firearms and ammunition, as well as identifying explosives that are trafficked across or through our boarders. This will help the customs officer in either of the border stations or the police officers in doing their investigations. They'll be identifying components of firearms, ammunitions and explosives. It has also given them an awareness of the kind of techniques that the elicit traffickers are using in concealing their trafficking trade, and I believe the information they have gain will assist them when they are back in their area of work. They will be able to identify traffickers, and to deter persons trafficking firearms to come into Belize as to use in our local environment, as well as for trans-shipment through onto other parts."

BSI Appoints New Board, First Belizean Chairman
Yesterday we told you about the dividend payout to the former shareholders of BSI, and now that they've gotten that out of the way, the new owners are setting up their corporate governance. The new board of directors met on Tuesday to declare that dividend. The chairman is Arsenio Burgos, the nominee from BSI Employee Holdings. The long-standing board member becomes the first Belizean Chairman as a gesture of goodwill from the majority shareholder. But his post - though prestigious - is mostly titular because The ASR Group ahs the majority shareholding and has four directors, Jonathan Bamberger Ricardo Lima, Celestino Ruiz and Armando Tabernilla. They are joined by Government's nominee Sir Manuel Esquivel.

For Whom The Bridge Tolls
The City Council has been all over the news this week - as they mark their first year in office. Most of it has been fluff, but the most substantial part came when the council outlined its strategic plan going forward. A major part of that is the plan for the northern highway between Belize City and the Haulover Bridge. As we told you earlier this week, it's going to be tolled, but we didn't know it would starts to soon. Councilor Dion Leslie told us more today: Dion Leslie - Deputy Mayor, Belize City Council "This isn't something that were trying to get at you; it's just that you're going to contribute to the city that you use. So first of all, you'll contribute to the cementing, and concreting of the Northern Highway from the flag monument to Haulover Bridge, and other things as we look at other infrastructure projects throughout. The way it will work is we're looking to get an investor; it will cost somewhere between 10 to 12 million dollars to do the entire project. We will hire separate contractors so that work is done at the same time on the entire highway. You won't have one contractor doing it piece by piece from phases, but what we want to highlight is that at no time will the existing highway be closed. The 2 things that really stick out on the way forward over the next 2 years was of course the concreting of the Northern Highway from the flag monument to the Haulover Bridge and placement of the toll. We're going off Coney Drive, so those are 2 of the major projects that we look to kick off this second year in office with those 2 projects. We're looking at it; we've been in discussion for over the past months with various contractors, various possible investors so those are 2 of the main projects that we look at."

Cycling Is Back
This Sunday, the sport of cycling returns to some sense of normalcy with the riding of the 32nd Smart Belmopan Classic. The race is from Belize City to Belmopan and back on Sunday. Official Kwame Scott told us more: Kwame Scott - Race Organizer "This race, traditionally and historically, has always been the biggest race second only to the cross country. The 100 mile race; being 3 weeks before Cross Country, is very significant because riders get to test their legs in such a fashion that they don't have to worry about making mistakes. You can gamble. You can go out and run. You don't have to worry if you get caught because the 140-mile run is in the next 3 weeks." Jules Vasquez "How are the strongest riders going into this race?" Kwame Scott "Most of the favorites hail from the Western Spirits Cycling Team who easily has the best team assembled. They have the current Cross Country champion, and Shane Vasquez the past Cross Country champion. They have Ron Vasquez, the defending champion of this particular event, and there's Peter Choto who has also won this event 2 years ago. I must say also that we have foreigners in the race. So far, we've confirmed that 2 deadly foreigners in this race should be John Delong and Scotty Weis of Hincapie Cycling Team which will add lot more fire to this event. While there's rumbling going on in the hierarchy of cycling, with all the bureaucracy, and the constitutional challenges back and forth, there's still love on the asphalt. They're still rivalry on the asphalt; riders want to race."

Running Down The River With Ruta Maya
And so while the Belmopan Cycling Classic starts this weekend, the 2013 La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge started this morning in San Ignacio. With the help of our colleague Rhonda Chrichton, we have the first few minutes of the start of the race, and the subsequent finish of the first day at Banana Bank. The Belize Bank team was the winner of the first leg of the race. They arrived at Banana Bank a little more than 5 hours after the start.

Bronze For Belizean Softballers
The tenth Central American Games started a week ago and sotball was the first discipline to have a go at it. The Belize Female National Softball team competed against El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama and host country Costa Rica. Belize started out well with a 4-1 record which meant a chance to play in the medal round. But Guatemala defeated our girls 2-0 to advance to the gold medal game. And then, El Salvador defeated Belize by the score of 14-4. So, the team returned home today with bronze medals. 7news was at the airport to greet them: Gregory Moguel - Coach, Female National Softball Team "We went up against El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama and Costa Rica. The tournament was fierce, and our competition was up against Guatemala and Salvador. The Panamanian team is a very great and hard-hitting, team but they didn't have the level of pitching that we had. We played pretty well in our regular tournament, and we placed second which we played Guatemala because 1 played too. When we played that day, obviously we had great opportunities, bases loaded at least 2 times for us to score runs, and we did not capitalize. I think the team played well. They did what they had to do, but they just didn't come through at the point where we should have come through. We were there for basically a week; the contingent for us was 16 players, and I have 2 assistant coaches along with a pitching coach, and the head of the delegation. So, it was basically about 21 people from the softball delegation."

Women's Art For Women's Day
As part of the observance for women's day, Last night the 5th annual Women In Arts exhibition was opened at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. The exhibition featured 29 artists- some of who are writers, poets, visual artist and a fashion designer. These women are from across the country and this particular exhibit is a part of celebrating women's month. The theme is "The Bliss Chronicles" - and here's a glimpse. Kim Vasquez - Program Officer "We had the opening of the women in art, our annual exhibit women in art, and it is the fifth year we have been doing it here at N.I.C. We had a really powerful a really fun night last night. We have 29 artists participating this year including 8 writers, a first for us in women in art including the writers, and we are very pleased to have creative writing this year in the exhibit. We have one fashion designer Rebecca Stirm, who is also a part of the exhibit this year. We put out a call for entries, and we did that some months ago. The requirement is that you must just be a woman; you must be female. You don't have to have any prior experience; we work with a few agents, and we try to work with somebody every year. This year, we worked with Melissa Quan. This was her first time curating an exhibit. She's an artist herself; she did an spectacular job. We did a news chronicle theme this year, so she was able to use recycled newspaper a lot in the decoration and the putting together of the pieces. We try to get participation but from across the country. So, we try to make sure we have artist represented from each district."

Channel 5

Barrow’s Proposed Budget: No cuts and No new taxes
The second reading of the General Revenue Appropriation Bill for Fiscal Year 2013/2014 took place this morning during a meeting of the House of Representatives.  The presentation of the budget proposals for the upcoming financial year was made by Prime Minister Dean Barrow.  He emphasized that the impending fiscal calendar will not see any new [...]

Foreign direct investments and tourism up
In the banking and financial sectors, Prime Minister Barrow also reported that there is excess liquidity in commercial bank holdings due, in large part, to foreign direct investments, as well as tourism.  The surplus, he said, serves to limit the interest rates currently applied to loans.     Prime Minister Dean Barrow “Reflective of the [...]

Sedi Elrington blasts critics on the maritime areas act
The Budget reading turned to the topic on the tongue of every nationalist, the unfounded Guatemalan claim on Belize, and in this particular instance Belize’s maritime area. In mid-February, former Minister of Foreign Affairs Eamon Courtenay published an article in the Amandala Newspaper in response to statements made by Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington during [...]

National basketball team bounces out of competition in Guatemala
Belize’s territorial rights are at the forefront of current national discourse. And if it were any other year, it wouldn’t be the maritime area but homegrown topics such as love and basketball that would be discussed in the living rooms and barbershops. But the next item encompasses love of country, territorial rights and…basketball. The National [...]

Guatemalan Mayor in Belize; Sister City Relations established
Belizeans are not exactly happy with neighboring Guatemala right about now given the upcoming October sixth referendum and this week’s fiasco with the national basketball selection in Peten. The referendum will decide whether the Guatemalan claim to Belize’s territorial land should be taken to the International Court of Justice for final settlement. But despite the [...]

Mayors comment on territorial dispute
And with the dispute between both countries on the forefront of the medias, the mayors say that the national politics should have no effect on the exchanges between the two cities.   Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor “Our jurisdiction has to do with the municipalities. And our interest is that the City of Belize would [...]

Farrakhan returns to Belize for third time
The visitors from Petén are not the only official delegates seeking to speak with Belizeans. The highly anticipated visit of the Head of the Nation of Islam, Minister Louis Farrakhan, was postponed in December, 2012 at the eleventh hour after Farrakhan experienced exhaustion and dehydration in Saint Thomas. Farrakhan’s Caribbean Tour was cut short to [...]

GSU discovers firearms
The minister intends to take his firebrand into the heart of troubled communities and that is also where the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) removed two firearms from the streets. On Sunday February twenty fourth, members of the GSU were on operation on Lakeview Street, Belize City, and conducted a search in an open lot. The [...]

First woman to be charged for escape
  The minister has a history of speaking to those who try to run from their problems in life. And perhaps he would also speak to people similar to twenty-one year old Latifah Augustine, the first woman to be tried for the offense of escape.  Augustine is the first female to be tried for escape [...]

Caught twice in possession of weed
  Forty-nine year old Benjamin Lester Chaplin, a resident of Fabers Road, appeared unrepresented this morning before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart where he pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a controlled drug.  Chaplin, who was before the court three weeks ago for assaulting a minor with a belt, was busted twice in one [...]

150 wheelchairs; 3 donated to K.H.M.H. and its Auxiliary
One hundred and fifty wheelchairs are being donated to Belize. Earlier in the week, three were handed over to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and its Auxiliary. The donation was made by the Saskatchewan Canada Rotary Club through the local Rotary Club. The other wheelchairs were received a week ago and the club is wasting [...]

Preschooler parade for launch of Child Stimulation Month
There are events to honor our senior citizens, and others to showcase productive students at the Festival of Arts. But this entire month of March is one dedicated to our children. News Five’s Duane Moody attended the launch of Child Stimulation month in the Yabra area of Belize City.   Duane Moody, Reporting Today hundreds [...]

Meet the delegates of Miss African Queen 2013
On the heels of the parade to celebrate our children, is an event that will raise funds to assist children and women in need. The pageant showcasing our cultural heritage will be held this Saturday at the Bliss Center for the performing arts. Seven delegates will showcase their African heritage as they compete for the [...]


VIDEO: Farrakhan speaks to UB students

La Ruta Maya kicks off
The 15th consecutive running of La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge got under way this morning at the Hawksworth Bridge in San Ignacio: 64 teams, 8 divisions, 170 miles to paddle in less than 24 hours. Plus news was there for the start and spoke firstly with President of...

Plane crashes in Corozal Lagoon
While rivers in the Cayo District were flocked with canoeing enthusiasts, a lagoon in Corozal was swarmed by Police, BDF and Civil Aviation after a suspected drug plane was found submerged in water. Details are sketchy at this time, but reports are that a Cessna plane has been located...

International Woman’s Day observed
Today is being observed as International Women’s Day, and around the world, women are being recognized for their contribution to national development. Here in Belize, the US Embassy named its Woman of the Year Award recipient. This year’s awardee is Sylvia Flores. Sylvia Flores, under the People’s United Party, ...

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez laid to rest
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was laid to rest today in a state funeral. Friends and families of the late president, along with world leaders, dignitaries and thousands of mourners, gathered in Caracas, to bid farewell to Venezuela’s “El Comandante.” Inside the funeral hall, presidents, including Cuba’s Raul Castro and...

BSI declares 3 million dollar dividend
The Belize Sugar Industry Limited has declared a 3 million dollar dividend for 2012. The beneficiaries of the dividend are holders who had shares in the company prior to it being bought out by ASR. The dividend is approximately $0.068 cents per each of the 44 million issued shares...

Citco reports on its first year in office
Yesterday the City Council of Belize City reported to the public on its first year in office. A main highlight has been the improved infrastructure with 53 streets concreted and 90 upgraded, but behind the scenes at City Hall there have been other improvements in governance. One of the...

Minister Louis Farrakhan speaks out on the LGBT agenda
The visit of Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan to Belize is close to wrapping up. Due to time constraints he was not able to greet the Belizean press corps at his arrival Monday at the International Airport in Ladyville, but a planned press conference went on as scheduled...

FIU has amended money laundering act
The Finance Intelligence Unit of Belize – an integral part of Belize’s engagement in the global fight against money laundering and other financial crimes has amended its money laundering act. The new changes require persons in real estate, jewelers and vehicle dealers to register with the FIU. Application forms...

Cyclists are getting ready for Holy Saturday Cross Cycling Classic
Cyclists are getting ready to return to the pavement in the last major race before the Holy Saturday Cross Cycling Classic at the end of March. The 32nd Smart Belmopan Cycling Classic kicks off at 8 a.m. on Sunday, March 10 for elite male riders who will ride 100...

Bust of Phillip Goldson mysteriously moved
The bust of Phillip Goldson carved by Stephen Okeke has long been a source of controversy. But it was thought that earlier this year the statesman had found a permanent home in his own division – the Battlefield Park on Albert Street, albeit without much fanfare as Okeke was...

National Women’s Softball Team won bronze
The Belize National Women’s Softball Team won bronze in the 10th Central American Games. The national selection returned home today after defeating Panama 16-9, to snatch 3rd place. The team also beat out Costa Rica and Nicaragua, but fell short against Guatemala and El Salvador. Other Belizean sports teams...

Delivery truck robbed at gunpoin
A Mennonite delivery truck was robbed at gunpoint this morning. Police say that just before noon today, the truck was near a store complex adjacent to the Ladyville Fire Station, when a number of men, believed to be four, robbed the occupant of the truck. The men then took...

Prison Supervisor has been freed of Drug Charges
A prison supervisor has been freed of possession of a controlled drug. The charge dates back to September of 2012, when Donald Gillett was allegedly caught entering the prison with fifty grams of cannabis inside his tennis shoes. At the time, the officer who discovered the drugs was said...


According to a press release yesterday from the Softball Federation of Belize, the National Women’s Softball Team had finished the Round Robin play at the Central American Games in San Jose, Costa Rica with a 4-1 won-loss record, which assured Belize of at least a medal in the Games. In its first game on Monday, March 5, Belize defeated hosts Costa Rica, 9-2, behind winning pitcher Kenreen Gillett. Belize then lost, 4-0, to Guatemala, with Francine Hoare picking up the loss. On Tuesday, Belize dropped Nicaragua, 4-1, with Lanisha Jones the winning pitcher. On Wednesday, Belize shut out El Salvador, 4-0, with Francine Hoare getting the win. Then Belize overpowered Panama, 16-9, with Francine Hoare again picking up the win, this time in relief of Kenreen Gillett. Yesterday’s press release continued: “Belize is currently seeded two into the playoffs” and “has assured itself at least a medal in the X Central American Games.

Mr. George Lamb, 1963 British Honduras National Table Tennis Champion, visited Belize a couple weeks ago and was joined by members of the table tennis association to share his 1963 experiences. - See article on George on our web site @ “” - See more photos of George while in Belize and in 1963 at the Riverside Hall @“” (Ed. Note: We located an excellent article by Peter J. Carr on that nail-biting 1963 championship match, between George Lamb and Orlando Rhamdas, on the BTTA web site, and thought we should share it with our readers. Lamb was apparently an expatriate Barclays Bank employee, and the report appeared in the Barclays Bank Staff Magazine – 1963. See story below.) Extract from Barclays Bank Staff Magazine – 1963 Another strong contender for the Sportsman of the Year title would be George W. Lamb, just completing his first overseas tour at Belize, British Honduras. The photographs which we reproduce on page 654 were sent us by Mr. Peter J. Carr who has written a detailed description of George Lamb’s becoming a national table tennis champion: ‘The British Honduras National Table Tennis Tournament was played over three days – 16th, 17th and 18th April, 1963, at the Riverside Hall, Belize, in very humid conditions, and George’s weight at the end of his considerable effort – he lost nearly a stone (14 lbs) – reflected best of all the results of a really energetic week of practice and competition.

There were reports on the evening news yesterday, and at a press conference this morning at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City, Football Federation of Belize (FFB) President Ruperto Vicente made it official, confirming that he had received a letter of resignation from Mr. LeRoy Sherrier Lewis, who coached the Belize National Team to success at the Central American Cup in Costa Rica, where Belize secured a spot for the first time ever in the prestigious Gold Cup tournament to be held in 13 American cities in July of this year. Optimistic fans were looking forward to another fine showing for the Belize National Team under the able guidance of coach Sherrier Lewis, who has won the hearts of Belizean players and fans on both occasions when he has coached our national team. Back in 2001, coach Lewis and Belize had almost upset Guatemala in the Central American Cup, with Guatemala equalizing the game in injury time with a controversial penalty. Then FFB President Dr. Bertie Chimilio had rewarded Lewis’ performance by firing him after the tournament, ostensibly for Lewis’ criticisms of the officiating after the match.

If there was one man the Caribbean and the Americas could not afford to lose, it was Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela. Yet, as life would have it, Chavez is the man we lose this week, at the relatively young age of 58. The reason we could not afford to lose Hugo was because he stood for poor people and for people of color, and because he controlled the fabulous petroleum resources of Venezuela. In other words, Chavez’s heart was in the right place, and he had the wherewithal to help the people of countries like Belize. In real terms, Venezuela’s aid to Belize while Chavez was Venezuelan president was more significant and substantial than aid to Belize from the mighty United States of America. The American newspapers and television networks tried their best to make Hugo Chavez out to be a buffoon. The American government wanted a different kind of government in place in Venezuela, a government which would facilitate the exploitation of Venezuela’s petroleum resources by American oil companies. Hugo Chavez was too nationalistic for them, and American foreign policy supported all those who were opposed to Chavez.

From time to time over the years, I’ve told you that this newspaper is an aberration, an anomaly. The fact that Amandala is clearly the leading newspaper in the nation-state of Belize, has been so for more than three decades, is a reality that goes against the grain, so to speak. This extraordinary state of affairs is highlighted by the fact that in Guatemala their leading newspaper, Prensa Libre, is so manifestly the voice of the ruling oligarchy and military. When Prensa Libre speaks, the voice of the rulers of Guatemala is speaking: when Amandala speaks, it is the voice of the masses of the Belizean people which is speaking. This unusual state of affairs in Belize allows the ruling party here to disown opinions expressed in Amandala, even if those opinions are editorial opinions. The power structure in Guatemala cannot disown editorial opinions expressed in Prensa Libre because those opinions are always the opinions of their power structure. Before we consider how this state of affairs came to exist in Belize, let me say that it can be an uncomfortable state of affairs, both for the power structure and for our humble selves on Partridge Street. The people who are in positions of power pretend that Amandala does not exist and that they do not read it. For our part, fully conscious that we have no constitutional place or authority, we have to “hold our corner.” Foreigners in the diplomatic corps must not be sure that we actually exist as living, breathing entities. But, we do.

Dear Editor, The group, Belizeans Against GMOs, is working this month to educate the public about Genetically Modified Organisms. There are different kinds of GMOs, but we are particularly concerned about Genetically Modified Food. We are eating GMOs everyday in food that is processed, packaged and imported from our main importer, the United States, who is pushing this new agri-business technology. Currently Belize imports GMOs as food and as feed, but not as Living Modified Organisms (LMOs) – not as seed. Many of our group try hard NOT to eat GMOs in any form, but we are especially concerned about living GMOs because planting them, growing them, and harvesting them affects not only us humans; it directly affects our environment here in The Jewel – Belize. The “ecological impacts resulting from the vast introduction of genetically modified organisms are perhaps the least completely understood, though certainly the most significant, for our sustained health and well-being.” (Britt Bailey)

The Belize Creole Project (Bileez Kriol Projek) launched its “Nyoo testament eena Bileez Kriol” [Creole version of the Bible’s New Testament] today, Wednesday, at a ceremony at the St. John’s Anglican Cathedral. Several notable figures were in attendance at the launch, including Governor General Sir Colville Young, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Hon. Patrick Faber, Belizean artist Lila Vernon, and several members of the National Kriol Council, Belize Creole Project, and the church community. The ceremony was done in Belizean Creole, including singing of the National Anthem and song presentations. Selected persons were invited to read scriptures from the “Kriol Baibl.” Supporters of the new Bible version said that it makes the word of God more powerful to Belizean readers because it is in their language and they can better relate to the messages of the word. Governor General Sir Colville Young, who is also a linguist and writer of Creole songs performed at the launch, said that he believed that the Bible needed to be translated into Creole.

And, what is Bt-corn? GMO refers to any genetically modified organism; meaning a piece of DNA from one species, often from a bacterium, is spliced into the DNA of another species. This discussion focuses on a specific genetically engineered (GE) crop species, Bt-corn, with a background on the difference between traditional, conventional and sustainable cropping systems and an emphasis on environmental effects, real and potential, of Bt-crops. Traditional cropping systems often grow multiple crops, having different canopy heights and growing seasons, and may include crop rotation and livestock versus conventional cropping systems that are often mono-cultures with short, repetitive growing seasons and high energy input (machinery, fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides). Conventional cropping systems are profit-driven (versus subsistence) so they may or may not rotate crops or use fallow periods. Sustainable cropping systems cause minimal land degradation or reduction in natural capital/resources, maintain ecological integrity, yet are still profitable to the farmer. Many researchers evaluating these farming techniques point out that using universal indicators to assess cropping systems is necessary; not just yields but soil quality, nutrient balance, organic matter, water holding capacity, biodiversity, etc., all need to be considered to evaluate total sustainability of the system over only yields (Altieri 2002, Seufert et al 2012).

The beautiful seaside village of Hopkins in Stann Creek will this weekend, March 8-10, host the 29th Annual Convention of the National Garifuna Council at the Holy Family RC School. Organizers say that, “Garinagu from all over Belize congregate annually at this event to celebrate our culture, discuss the challenges of our communities and set the course for future course of action.” The Belize-Guatemala Referendum (to be presented by a team including Percy Lewis and Matthew Martinez); social drinking and crime and crime prevention (to be presented by Dr. Elma Augustine from the Ministry of Health); and funding opportunities for rural projects (to be presented by Romaldo Lewis and Mr. Villafranco of Ecumenical College) are among the key topics billed for discussion at the convention. Presenters are to address issues relating to gang violence, as well as other challenges confronting Garifuna in Belize and the world over. Apart from business meetings and panel discussions, the convention will host a youth forum, featuring talks on leadership training, as well as a song workshop.

Racquetball is not a sport that may be very familiar to many Belizeans, but Denise Frank, an avid racquetball player since 1976, is trying to change that. Frank, who played the sport at a professional level in the United States, found, upon moving to Belize, that there are no resources in the country to permit the playing of the sport at a competitive level. But she makes an effort to play racquetball at least three times a week, and promotes the sport wherever she goes. She defends the sport, not only as “the best sport in the world,” but also as a sport for all ages that develops hand and eye coordination and promotes body movement and stretching. “We’re looking for more sports for the youth to get involved with. We’re trying to find activities for them,” she said. “It’s fun at any age you play. It’s a healthy, good exercise and it’s fun. It’s crazy good fun.” Frank, who says she prefers to remain in the background, working from behind the scenes, is trying to spark the passion in more people to push for the fast-paced game to be played in Belize. “I want to get more people behind the desire to bring it here so that there’s more push to get the Government to come up with the money to bring it,” she said. Frank said that there are already international racquetball associations interested in forming connections with teams in Belize and set up tournaments.

Myvette was shot and killed while washing a bus at the corner of Tigris Street and Kut Avenue. Dwayne Evelyn, 22, a resident of Amarillo Street, was acquitted of murder this evening after a jury of 3 men and 9 women unanimously found him not guilty of killing Peter Myvette, 22. At noon on February 17, 2010, shots rang out at the corner of Tigris Street and Kut Avenue, and when the noise stopped, the scene that residents of the area beheld was the body of Myvette under a bus, bleeding profusely from multiple gunshot injuries. Myvette was immediately rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, but was declared dead on arrival. He had suffered injuries to his neck, arm and rib cage. Two days later, Evelyn was charged with the murder of Myvette in the Magistrate’s Court. According to police, they had a witness who saw the shooting, and a police officer who claimed to have critical information on the murder and the person who allegedly did it.

Ratification exchanged at Guatemala, September 12, 1859 Whereas the boundary of Her Majesty’s settlement and possessions in the Bay of Honduras, and the territories of the Republic of Guatemala, has not yet been ascertained and marked out; Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Guatemala, being desirous with aaview to improve and perpetuate the friendly relations which happily subsists between the two countries, to define the boundary aforesaid, have resolved to conclude a Convention for that purpose and have named as their Plenipotentiaries, that is to say: Her majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Charles Lennox Wylie, Esquire, Her Britannic Majesty’s Chargé d’Affaires to the Republic of Guatemala; And his Excellency the President of the Republic of Guatemala, Don Pedro de Aycinena, Councillor of State and Minister of Foreign Affairs; Who after having communicated to each other their respective full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed upon and concluded the following Articles: Article I. It is agreed between her Britannic Majesty and the Republic of Guatemala that the boundary between the Republic and the British Settlement and Possessions in the Bay of Honduras, as they existed previous to and on the 1st of January 1850, and have continued to exist up to the present time, was and is as follows:

Eternal display in glass casket planned for embalmed Chavez. Venezuela president Hugo Chávez Frías, 58, lost his two-year battle with cancer at 4:25 Tuesday evening and today, Friday, millions of mourners are expected to attend his state funeral in Caracas. Chavez won’t be buried in the dust; neither will he be cremated. Instead, his body is to be embalmed for permanent display at the Museum of Revolution, according to his interim successor, Venezuelan vice president Nicolás Maduro. The decision to put Chavez on permanent display inside a glass casket reportedly sprung from his last words: “I don’t want to die. Please don’t let me die.” Chavez, it is said, wanted to continue serving his people. Sixteen countries, including Cuba, where Chavez had received treatment for cancer, have declared national mourning for a man described as “a Latin American giant.” A statement issued by the Embassy of Cuba in Belize said, “Official mourning [in Cuba] was declared starting from March 6, 6:00 p.m., until March 7, midnight, and National Mourning for March 8.”

Some businesspeople and other concerned citizens, however, urge reinstatement of death penalty. Canon Leroy Flowers, President of the Belize Council of Churches, has confirmed to Amandala that the Anglican Diocese in Belize has conveyed to the Barrow administration the official position of the Anglican community in Belize against the application of the death penalty in Belize. Last week, a shocking daylight murder of a young woman sparked a commitment from Antigua and Barbuda to reinstate the hangman’s noose. Canon Flowers told our newspaper that the position of the Belize Anglican church was concretized via resolution at the last October’s synod—the highest governing body—against the death penalty. We can’t implement the laws, so copies were passed to the governing authority, Canon Flowers said. At last week’s sitting of Parliament, Prime Minister Dean Barrow tabled a bill from the Anglican church in Belize, for a change of name from The Branch of the Church of England in Belize to the Anglican Diocese of Belize, so that the church can be correctly identified with the other dioceses in the Province of the West and the worldwide Anglican community, said Barrow.

The Hand in Hand Ministries again steps up and is building and donating a moderate-sized house for a needy Belizean family, free of charge. The house is being built on a lot in the Moya Street area in Lake I for a mother and her four children. The house is estimated to be completed on Friday, and it will be dedicated that same day, at which time the keys will be handed over to the owner. The construction began on Monday, March 4, and 12 volunteers from the United States, in collaboration with local builders, are constructing the house, a two-bedroom one-flat unit of plywood and plycem. Bernard Panton, the director of programs and projects of Hand in Hand Ministries, told Amandala that they have built over 200 houses for needy Belizean families, and will continue to do so. At the completion of this present house on Moya Street, construction will begin on another house on Monday, March 11.

The Belize Times

UDP gets an “F”
On Wednesday afternoon, the Opposition People’s United Party held a press conference to review and grade the UDP administration which was re-elected to a second–term office one year ago on March 7th 2012. “The UDP gets a ...

Barrow kills the Bar
The UDP is plotting and while our children sleep they are building a devilish scheme to destroy democracy and Belize. Remember November 2010 when Dean Barrow humiliated the Chief Justice of Belize because Barrow was angry at the fact that the Judge refused to do his bidding? The Bar Association spoke out in an attempt to protect the integrity of the Court and legal system. On that Friday, November 12, 2010 in the House of Representatives Dean Barrow called the Bar Association “PUP” – meaning that it is controlled by the People’s United Party. For context, we remember that Barrow was calling everyone that dare oppose him “PUP”. ...

THEY DID IT They came from across the country. A few from Orange Walk. Some from San Ignacio. Some from battered, embattled Belize City, Dangriga and of course Punta Gorda. Their objective. To gather at the area of the Belize /Guatemala border to get a clear picture of the situation, conduct a ...

A land fall cometh?
By G. Michael Reid Nigel Petillo did not draw a very big crowd for his land reform protest in spite of much promoting and advertising. His biggest disappointment was obviously with the very people of Harmonyville, who stood to gain the most from that exercise. Welcome Nigel, to the real world. According ...

In the Kingdom of the Blind
In 2006 the then PUP Government of Belize took a proactive decision based on the best international financial expert advice to restructure Belize’s commercial foreign debt. Calm and respectful discussions were held with the Caribbean Development Bank and the InterAmerican Development Bank. Both international institutions provided policy based financing to facilitate ...

Placencia Assassins take down San Felipe Barcelona
The 2011 champs Placencia Assassins enjoyed their 2nd win: 3-1 against FC San Felipe Barcelona at the People’s Stadium. Placencia’s Kareem Haylock put the visitors up 1-0 when he blasted ...

Zhi Chen & Tyrone Tun win table tennis tournament
Zhi Chen won the A-Division, Tyrone Tun won the B- division, Sen Sen won the C- division and Petie Matus-Usher won the women’s division when the Belize Table Tennis Association held the 2013 RF&G Bi-Annual national ...

DHC Excellence – leads SMART Harrison Parks cricket competition
The defending champions, excellence of Double head Cabbage continue to lead the SMART Harrison Parks national cricket competition walloping the Alfred Dawson Cricket Club of Gardenia Village by the score ...

Faber badmouths Dangriga residents
Patrick Faber is still licking his wounds after he was soundly defeated by Gaspar Vega’s money and power, and some UDP-style backstabbing too, in the race for UDP Deputy Leader. One would have thought that the loss would have made Faber a bit humble and contrite, ...

Danger at SP Central Park
The tourism capital of Belize is San Pedro. Not only financially but the majestic barrier reef and the splendor of the brilliant colors which caresses its coast makes other countries jealous. Tourism contributes to over ...

National Basketball player shot on Youth For the Future Drive
A member of the Belize National Basketball team almost had his future taken away when he was attacked and shot by a gunman on Youth For the Future Drive. The victim, Ronald ...

Art is for the Spirit
St. John’s College hosted thousands of primary and secondary students at a grand Science, Reading and Art Fair on Landivar Campus from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m on February 21, 2013. Students from all four forms prepared ...

AMAZING GRACE – Why is Belize So Expensive?
The cost of a gallon of gasoline today is around eleven to twelve dollars. Because of this, too many trips have been cancelled, and too much money has been spent on goods that should be far cheaper. To help with this problem, I converted my vehicle to butane a couple ...

In my perspective – Land Ownership – the Real Deal!
By Rayford Young This past weekend I had some time on my hands, was searching the web and came across a website and decided to check out my ancestry. My parents always told me that we came from a large family and would be surprised who we were related to, and ...

Belize Tourism – A look at cost competitiveness
By Richard Harrison In 2012, Belize recorded 277,135 overnight tourist visitors....and 640,734 cruise visitors. Total 917,869 visitors, with hotel occupancy below 40%. The Riviera Maya, which spreads from Cancun south to Majahual....a coastline distance of 200 comparable to the coastline distance between Corozal and Punta Gorda. They registered total 17 million ...

Of this and that…
Cement Potholes We spent 20 million on cement streets. Some of the streets lead to nowhere. The streets that are not cemented are in terrible shape. Craters. It is mashing up all the dollar vans and taxis. A bad thing is happening. The City Council is already digging up lots ...

Hush Money!
By Anthony Sylvestre Jr. Marshall Nunez is a genius. He has introduced a new phrase to Belize’s already colourful political lexicon. Ah mean, it has be a brilliant mind to come up with the phrase “hush money”. For it so aptly captures the practice of this UDP government. Hush money is also referred to ...

UDP gets an “F” Friday, March 8, 2013 14:44
On Wednesday afternoon, the Opposition People’s United Party held a press conference to review and grade the UDP administration which was re-elected to a second–term office one year ago on March 7th 2012. “The UDP gets a ...

DPP’s Deadly Losing Streak
The current Director of Public Prosecutions, Cherylin Vidal, is on a deadly losing streak. It splashed big when she lost a historic case in Dangriga late last year. In that trial the DPP decided not to ...

Questions to Ministers
Will the Minister of Health Pablo Marin confirm or deny that he recently sent his wife to give birth to his child in the United States in fear of the neglectful health system in Belize, over which he presides? Can the Minister of Natural Resources Gaspar Vega say how much land ...

Wasteful Spending! GOB rents Minister’s building to house Vital Statistics Unit
While the Barrow Administration refuses to grant a salary increase to teachers and public officers, they continue their wasteful spending in unnecessary areas. Information to the BELIZE TIMES is that the Vital Statistics Unit, which was housed at a Government-owned building on Gabourel Lane, will now be ...

No salary increase! No tax relief! – Barrow’s budget offers no ease in hard times
If you were hoping to hear about economic relief or an ease in taxes in the Barrow Administration’s fifth Budget, you were left miserably disappointed. Also, if teachers and public officers were hoping that the Budget included their much-needed salary increase, they were left wanting. Barrow’s Budget ...

PUP on the passing of President Hugo Chavez
Belize City, March 6, 2013 The Leader of the People’s United Party the Hon. Francis Fonseca sends a message of deep sympathy and condolence to the Government and people of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela at the passing of President Hugo ...

Setting the record straight
Dear Editor, I write to set the record straight on an article appearing in the Sunday, March 3rd 2013 edition under the sub caption CitCo 2.3 mil debt inherited from Fonseca Administration 2005. Why am I not surprised that in 2013, eight years after the PUP was in office, the PUP ...

When will the madness stop?
Dear Editor, Belize is a beautiful country with extremely bad leadership. After reading your article on the Minister of Transport Edmond Castro’s blatant interference in the running of the Belize Port Authority, I was appalled that this man is still serving in our country’s Cabinet. I waited patiently on Friday to hear ...


What to do when your internet goes down
We came home from our trip to Belize City Wednesday and our internet was acting sluggish and then cut out completely. Usually I text tacoboy at work and see if Pedro’s Hotel has net, but since he was with me that was not an option. We waited a bit and I decided to call BTL, I and got Karla who was great. I told her I had rebooted router and all but not laptop since the lights were flashing on router an specifically the DLS one so she told me she would all me back in regards to service. She was prompt at getting back to me and said that we were the morning list to be seen. I thought about how I wanted to spend my time off aside from cleaning house and hula hooping and decided to go See Dick and Zac before they took the water taxi to the city. Zac is doing weekly tai chi classes there and since First Caribbean Bank is no longer on the island Dick has to go to another district by plane or boat to do teller banking. What a funny place we live

Return to Wild Mangos - well worth the wait
We hadn't eaten dinner at Wild Mangos, one of San Pedro's most popular restaurants, in quite awhile, only lunch. It was time to ride our bikes to town and enjoy the delicious creations of well-known Chef Amy Knox once again. Since we had reservations, we got a primo table! We started by sharing a tasty black bean gordas appetizer. Barry enjoyed a Pantyripper (coconut rum and pineapple juice), and I went with SanPedroScoop's favorite here -- Caipirinha (not on the menu, but delish and reasonably priced at $8 BZD).

A Week Of The Most Glorious Spring Weather Gives Way to Some Morning Rain
And I don’t like to toss around overblown words like “glorious” often…or at least I should try not to. On the island, it has been warm and sunny with low humidity during the day and cool, snuggle up with a blanket weather at night. I could not ask for any better. The kids sailing team getting ready to launch at Caribbean Villas. And some pretty beaded necklaces at a vendor’s table near the beach. Agreed. They have absolutely nothing to do with the weather.

How to Make Belizean Ceviche
Traditional Belizean style ceviche made with Caribbean shrimps Ingredients: About half a pound of raw (uncooked) cleaned shrimp 2 cups diced ripe tomatoes 1 large onion diced 1 bunch cilantro chopped 1 habanero pepper minced 5 good limes 1 tsp salt (salt to taste)

Belize's Delegation To Chavez's Funeral
Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow, has appointed the Hon. Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister of Belize, to lead Belize’s delegation attending the funeral of the late President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. The Belize delegation includes the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Alexis Rosado and Ambassador Nestor Mendez, Belize’s Ambassador to Washington and the Organization of American States.

Belizean Creole Bun 1/2 Recipe
I realize that some people live alone and the full recipe of the bun that's originally at the site may yield too many loaves. This recipe will yield only 2 loaves of this wonderfully delicious bread. Great for all occasions.

Government confirmed today that Belize will send a delegation to attend the funeral of Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez. That state funeral is scheduled for Friday morning, though there is still uncertainty surrounding the location. Reports are that the longtime President had requested that he be buried on the plains of his home state of Barinas. Family members, however, are saying he will be buried in the military museum overlooking Caracas. Still others are saying he will be buried in a mausoleum he had ordered built for the remains of Simon Bolivar. It is expected that as many as twenty-two world leaders and hundreds of thousands of supporters will attend the funeral, and among them will be Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, C.E.O. in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Alexis Rosado and Belize’s Ambassador to the OAS Nestor Mendez. But from diplomacy to politics, we note that in the absence of Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, has been appointed as acting Prime Minister. Traditionally, Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, has acted as Prime Minister. Those in the political know tell us that the choice of Saldivar, who has been a rival of Faber and who openly supported Vega in the recent U.D.P. convention, is a slight of Faber, and a clear indication that in the wake of the convention he has still not gained favor from his boss, the P.M.

Takin’ Care of Business
Could be the different bed. Or the strange surroundings. Might be that the concentration I am giving to driving a car on alien roads (well alien to me anyway) is just that little bit more tiring than dawdling around in a golf cart on Ambergris Caye! Whatever it is I am waking later in the morning. Not up this morning until 6.50 am. A hearty breakfast at the hotel and Rose and I were ready to hit the shops again. With a fairly local Lowe’s store being first on our list. And this one was only eleven miles from our hotel. Virtually next door by Dallas standards! Some little while ago Emily ( commented on this blog that too much choice might make things more difficult for us. I am now starting to think that she might well be right. When there is so much on offer it is sometimes nigh on impossible to choose just one! But choose we must and today Rose and I believe that we are now very close to making our choices. With our window shopping done we went back to the hotel to download the photographs. Quickly freshened up and went out for dinner. Our choice once again was – yes, you guessed it – steak.

The dispute moved now to the “court phase.” Guatemala proposed arbitration, and Britain suggested taking the matter to the Hague Court. Guatemala was not in favour of the dispute being examined purely on a legal basis. In July 1939, Guatemala published a White Book on her claims, and in 1940 Britain again offered arbitration in any of three ways: either to the Hague Court, or to a tribunal of international lawyers examining the matter under Chapter 4 of the Hague Convention, or to a tribunal of three international lawyers-one member to be selected by each party and one of them by the President of the United States. Guatemala rejected all three, and in 1940 Guatemala claimed that the Treaty was invalid, and therefore, for the first time, claimed the whole of British Honduras, “She also considers that the non-compliance of the obligations on the part of Great Britain has caused to the Republic, material and intangible damages because of the loss of advantages which the country would have derived from its development and from its foreign trade if the expected highway to the Atlantic Coast had been constructed. The British occupation of British Honduras cut off all maritime communications with the Department of Peten closing it off thereby orographic and political barriers that have prevented its progress and development”. (69) During the Second World War, President Ubico did not press the matter, but after his downfall in 1944 the new Guatemalan Government promulgated a constitution in 1945, declaring British Honduras to be a part of Guatemalan territory. Britain offered in 1946 to take the dispute to the International Court, but Guatemala refused unless it would be determined ex aequo et bono, acceding to the principle of equity, what is just and good. Another principle Which Guatemala adheres to is the principle of uti possidetis, which is based on the theory that “… the Central American Federation inherited the sovereign rights formerly possessed by Spain and that on its dissolution its member-states inherited the territorial jurisdiction which corresponded to them respectively as administrative divisions of the old Captaincy-General of Guatemala .” Guatemala further argues that during the colonial period, Belize formed a part of Peten or Verapaz during the period of Guatemala’s membership of the Central American Federation and after the Federation had dissolved. This principle, applied by Gautemala and between other Latin American states, is a principle which is not recognized by international law and applies only to those states who have agreed to be bound by it. (70)

International Sources

Hurricane Hattie, Author: John D. Friesen
Online version of the Story of the hurricane that ripped through the British Honduras, on October 31,1961.

10th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest
Smithsonian magazine's 2012 photo contest attracted more than 37,600 submissions. Those images have been whittled down to 50 finalists in the natural world, people, travel, Americana and altered images categories.

See The Comet
Starting last night, look west close to the horizon. This is the big week so many of us in the northern hemisphere have been waiting for. Comet C/2011 L4 PANSTARRS, which has put on a splendid show in the southern hemisphere, now finally comes to a sky near us northerners! Sky watchers in Australia and southern South America report it looks like a fuzzy star a little brighter than those in the Big Dipper with a short stub of a tail visible to the naked eye. The comet should brighten further as it wings its way sunward. Closest approach to the sun happens on March 10 at a distance of 28 million miles. That’s about 8 million miles closer than the orbit of Mercury. Though very low in the western sky after sundown, the comet should be visible across much of the U.S., southern Canada and Europe beginning tonight March 8.

Belize strikes deal to restructure outstanding debt
Belize on Friday struck a deal with a majority of its creditors to renegotiate longer terms and lower interest rates, officials said Friday. "The government of Belize today announced that the holders of 86.17 percent of dollar bonds due in 2029 have exchanged the instruments for new bonds maturing in 2038," said an official statement. The country needed agreement from at least 75 percent of its creditors to move forward with the deal. In addition to giving Belize an extra nine years to repay the capital, the interest rate for the first four years will be 5.0 percent, before reverting to the current rate of 8.5 percent.

Clemson students to donate scholarship money, film documentary in Belize
A Clemson University Creative Inquiry student team will travel to Belize March 17-24 to interact with a school’s students and educators while filming a documentary to raise awareness about the need for educational opportunity in impoverished areas of foreign countries. The visit to Unity Christian School and film are part of the development of “$60 Scholarships,” the students’ effort to award scholarships to children in the Burial Grounds community of Belize whose families aren’t able to pay for their educations. “The education system there is privatized, meaning that the government only pays half of the tuition,” said Sara Grace Bailey, a $60 Scholarships team member from Lancaster. “The families are responsible for the remaining $75 and we are raising money to pay $60 of that. This way, we are helping but still holding the family responsible so that they come to appreciate their work toward education.” “Sixty dollars gives students uniforms and school supplies, as well as tuition for an entire year,” said Anne Coker, a team member from Hendersonville, N.C.

Belize Debt Exchange Offer Successful
The Government of Belize announced today that holders of 86.2 percent of the country's U.S. Dollar Bonds due 2029 (the "2029 Bonds") had tendered their bonds in response to Belize's February 15, 2013 offer to exchange those instruments for new Belize U.S. Dollar Bonds due 2038 (the "2038 Bonds"). Belize's offer required tenders to be submitted to Citibank, in its capacity as the Exchange Agent for the transaction, by 5:00pm (New York time) today. Under the terms of the 2029 Bonds and Belize's exchange offer, holders of not less than 75 percent of the 2029 Bonds have instructed the Trustee for those instruments to tender the entirety of the 2029 Bonds in exchange for 2038 Bonds in accordance with the terms of Belize's offer. The results of the tender process that ended today means that such an exchange of the entirety of the 2029 Bonds is expected to take place at a closing of the transaction later this month.

US - Belizean Cultural Heritage Effort Hailed
The recent signing of a memorandum of understanding between the United States and Belize is a major step forward in protecting the little Caribbean country’s cultural heritage, a spokesman for the Belize Natural History Centre at Chaa Creek said today. Brion Young said that the memorandum, announced 5 march 2013 by the US Department of State, demonstrates a commitment on the part of the two countries to end the looting of Maya temples and archaeological sites in Belize and halt the illegal trade of Maya artefacts. The MOU also covers the illegal trafficking of Belize’s African, Spanish, British and other cultural treasures. “Over the years we have lost so much of our heritage to looters, and we salute the United States in working with the Government of Belize to put a stop to this. Just as the original Declaration of Independence and other historical artefacts are important to US citizens, we value the icons of our country’s history and culture,” Mr Young said.

Belize says superbond offer taken up by over 75 pct of holders
Belize's government said on Friday it had met the required threshold needed to complete a debt exchange on the country's $550 million superbond, allowing the tiny the Central American nation to restructure its debt. In a statement, the government said that holders of 86.17 percent of Belize's U.S. dollar bonds due in 2029 had agreed to swap them for new bonds due in 2038. The Belize government needed a 75 percent take-up rate to trigger a collective action clause, a mechanism used to restructure government bonds in a crisis.

Farrakhan addresses university students in Belize
Minister Farrakhan's Bird Isle address comes at the conclusion of his visit to the Central American nation of Belize. The Minister's visit included meetings with political, civic and social leaders and activists. In addition to radio/TV interviews, he also addressed university students and the staff and inmates of Belize Central Prison.

Trinidad to play Belize, Peru in football friendly
Trinidad and Tobago will play two Central American opponents later this month as they continue preparations for the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July. The Trinidadians will take on Belize at home March 22 and travel to Lima to face Peru three days later, reports CMC. The March 26 encounter against Peru is a return friendly after the Caribbean side lost to them 0-2 here last month. "We had a good opportunity to see some of the players from abroad in the last game against Peru and we also had the chance to see the local-based players in that particular game," said national head coach Hutson Charles. "The process of seeing what the players have to offer will continue in these two matches coming up."

March 8, 2013


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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

GOB enacts Justice of the Peace Act of 2005
The Government of Belize (GOB), through the Attorney General Ministry office, has approved, gazetted and enacted the Justice of the Peace Act of 2005. It’s a very important piece of legislation that will make the work of the Association of Justice better. The Act has been awaiting approval, and has been the constant calling of the organization, since 2005 when it was shelved pending approval. The Act came into effect February 21st after the Attorney General of Belize Wilfred Elrington signed it into law. Danny Madrid, National President of the Association of Justices of the Peace (JP) and Commissioners of the Supreme Court said that the enactment of the Act is a big step and will give their association more autonomy. “This means that the association will be able to do its work in a more professional way and will be able to deal with those Justices of the Peace who commit themselves. The Act actually tells you that if a Justice of the Peace is caught charging for their services or giving wrong information or signing wrong documents, the JP can even go to prison,” said Madrid.

Tour Company abandons couple on Half Moon Caye
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) has started an investigation following an incident at sea in which a European couple was left stranded on an island by a tour operator located on Ambergris Caye. The incident has the two visitors questioning the level of professionalism involved in diving in Belize. St. John and Claire Neilson, told reporters on Caye Caulker, that on February 27th they were left stranded at Half Moon Caye by the dive company, Aqua Scuba. According to the tourists, who had traveled to Belize from London, England on an extended honeymoon trip, they had booked a scuba diving package with Big Fish Dive Center in Caye Caulker. Since Big Fish Dive Center was having trouble with their vessel they subcontracted the tour to Aqua Scuba Dive Center in San Pedro to take the couple out diving off Half Moon Caye and the Blue Hole.

Explore the underwater world with Belize Diving Adventures
Underwater adventures abound off the shores of Ambergris Caye with each site a beautiful and unique look at marine life along the Meso-American Barrier Reef. One snorkeling and dive spot that offers an exceptional view of pristine habitat and creatures protected to the point that they emanate health and happiness is the world renowned Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Officially established in 1897, and by far the most popular site in the area, the reserve is located off the southern tip of the caye, just a short 15-20 minute boat ride from San Pedro Town. Hol Chan means “little channel” in Mayan, and it is the dramatic coral walls that border this narrow, 30 foot-deep channel, as well as the coral and sea grass perimeter that offers spectacular snorkeling and diving.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro AIDS Commission Hosts HIV/AIDS Talk at Local School
The topic of HIV/AIDS is something that not many like to talk about, but it is a serious topic which we should all be educated on. HIV is an epidemic that is affecting our country and the world; proper education is essential for young minds. For this reason teacher Lozano of the San Pedro Roman Catholic School invited the San Pedro AIDS Commission to address his Standard VI class on HIV/AIDS. “Although we were invited to talk about this subject, we felt that the best person to address these children was Mr. Eric Castellanos of C-NET + (Collaborative Network of Persons Living with HIV). His presentation to the students falls under our educational program as the SP AIDS Commission was fully responsible for paying everything for Mr. Castellanos to make this trip and address the class,” stated Felix Ayuso, President of the San Pedro AIDS Commission.

Successful Operation Snip by Saga Humane Society
The San Pedro Saga Humane Society held a very successful Operation SNIP (Spay/Neuter Initiative Program). To celebrate World Spay Day, Saga HS completed 60 free spay/neuters the week of World Spay Day, February 26, 2013. World Spay Day is an annual campaign of Humane Society International and The Humane Society of the United States that shines a spotlight on spay/neuter—a proven way to save the lives of companion animals, feral cats, and street dogs who might otherwise be put down in a shelter or killed on the street. Operation SNIP is Saga HS ongoing plan to sterilize 75% of the islands’ animal population in the next 3-5 years. This was a great partnership between local businesses and visiting animal welfare professionals from the USA. Dr. Don Tummons of Duck Hollow Animal Hospital in Uniontown, PA, Mary Maykuth, Heather Beck of K9 Lifeline in Draper, UT were superstars for coming to assist Saga HS with this event!

Misc Belizean Sources

Temperatures - Belmopan
These are some temperature records for Belmopan Now, just starting to include Rain / Month figures also. . . Note the 50°F Line = Zero ( 0 ) rain, 60°F Line represents the 200mm/Month Rain.

Rotary District 4250 Conference Gala
The Rotary District 4250 Conference Gala at the Bedran Hall made for an entertaining night. SHJC's Tourism students did a great job. "The Bedran Hall at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel is where Rotary's Grand Gala was held. The F&B students from Sacred Heart Junior College once again did a fantastic job with the food and drinks."

Panerrifix at Banana Bank Tonight
Panerrifix, the amazing steel band, will be playing at Banana Bank tonight. The La Ruta Maya starts tomorrow at 7:00am, under the Hawkesworth Bridge, and finishes at Banana Bank. A big thanks to the Belmopan City Council for sponsoring the event.

Bullet Tree Preschool Visits the SIPL
Feelgood news of the day. The Bullet Tree Preschool visited the San Ignacio Public Library to see some stories acted out. Great way to celebrate Children's Month. "Preschool visit for activities and stories"

Banana Bank Building Observatory
Banana Bank Lodge is building what?!? Wow, an observatory in Cayo! Could this be the first? "We are so excited about all that has been going on at Banana Bank that we just can't wait to share it with you and get all your responses and feedback either by email or on our facebook page!! Below are pictures of the installation of our new dome!! This is a real live observatory for the 16" inch computerized telescope. We are very excited to share this new feature with you so come to Banana Bank and tour Belize during the day and the universe at night!!!! "

FIU Amends Money Laundering Act
Financial Intelligence Unit Amends Money Laundering & Terrorism (Prevention), which now requires new businesses to Register under the said Act.

Channel 7

Farrakhan Tells Prisoners "You’re Responsible For Yourself!"
On Friday night, Minister Louis Farrakhan will make his major public address at the Bird's Isle. And as he begins to wind up his five-day tour of Belize - he gave one of the most anticipated speeches today: he spoke to inmates at the Kolbe Central Prison. It was billed as an address to 1,600 inmates and staff - but most of the general population had to hear it via monster speakers, since only 400 persons can fit into the prison auditorium. 7news was there to hear his message: Jules Vasquez Reporting This morning, a select, low-risk 350 of the 1,400 inmates at the Kolbe Central Prison filled up the prison auditorium to hear Minister Louis Farrakhan. You might say he had a captive audience but they seemed genuinely locked in to his message, and indeed, even at 79, Farrakhan is magnetic, charismatic and powerful. Flanked by his two sons, he spoke about spirituality, personal accountability and the role of women. For this audience, the theme of accountability resonated most deeply:

Vega To Venezuela, Saldivar Is PM
The funeral for Hugo Chavez will be held tomorrow in Caracas, Venezuela and Belize will be represented by Deputy Prime Minister, Gaspar Vega. He will lead a delegation comprising CEO in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Alexis Rosado and Nestor Mendez, Belize's Ambassador to Washington and the OAS. They left today to return on Sunday. In the interim, John Saldivar is holding over as Acting Prime Minister. That is of note, because, in the past, when both PM Barrow and Deputy Vega were out of the country, the hold over post would go to Patrick Faber. But since losing his seat in the party executive with a failed bid for Deputy, it seems he his standing in executive has also suffered for it. Vega will join heads of state and government and senior officials from all over the world including the United States.

Howler Monkey Mauled
An adult male howler monkey is clinging to life after it was badly beaten up by humans - allegedly high school students - in Orange Walk. According to Wildlife Officer Rasheda Garcia at the Forestry Department, they received a report on Wednesday morning that the howler had been savagely beaten on the grounds of the Belize High School of Agriculture in Orange Walk the day before. According to the report, a teacher had told some boys at the school to kill the monkey because it had defecated on him while he was sleeping in the bushes. The report said that in the afternoon the students brought down the monkey with a slingshot, then beat it with tree limbs, tied up its hands and feet and dragged it unto the school grounds. Again, this is just the report that was posted on the net, it could not be confirmed by us or by the Forestry Department which is investigating. But, the monkey was on the school grounds, badly injured and barely alive. A teacher rescued it and took it home to try and save it - which is when the Forestry Department got the report, and took it from the teacher's house to a vet in Belize City. According to Garcia, the monkey is in a quote, "really, really bad condition."

Who Will Coach National Football?
Last night, we told you that the National football Coach, Leroy Sherrier, abruptly vacated the post for a second time. It came as a surprise to the entire football community in Belize because the last time he spoke with the media, he said that he was about to sign a contract to remain in Belize for the long term. Information to 7News was that he had difficulties with some of the members of the National Team Committee, but at a press conference today, the President of the Football Federation of Belize, Ruperto Vicente said that there were a number of issues that led to his departure. In a very diplomatic letter to the President, Sherrier outlined a list of personal reasons which led him to the decision to leave. Those included a lack of motivation, his old age while nearing 70 years, the fact that he missed his family back home, and some issues he had with certain Committee members. He was diplomatic throughout the letter, but when he touched the topic of the committee members, he bravely questioned their commitment to football in Belize, requesting that Vicente and the executive look closely at the criteria for appointing members because he called them figureheads.

Belize B-Ball Ready To Go!
And while an air of uncertainty surrounds international competition for football, the coach for the National Basketball Selection says that he is confident that his team will perform well in the upcoming Central American Games. Despite the fact that the team has been having problems with funding and a suitable practice facility, Matthew Smiling says that they will do well in the tournament, which starts this Sunday. He discussed the team's readiness with 7News today: Matthew Smiling - Head Coach, Belize Basketball National Team "We have the players like Darwin Carter, Leon Jacobs, Jean Myvett, Inglebert Cherrinton,, Keith Acosta, Ty Bradley, Linsberg Graham, Steven Williams and a bunch of others." Daniel Ortiz "So, what are the strengths of the team that is going to be representation?" Matthew Smiling "I think we are very fast. We're not big because Inglebert is the only legit big man we have along with Farron Lauriano, but we're a very fast team and that's the way we want to play." Daniel Ortiz "So, we expect a very fast pace; as you grab a rebound, you make a move."

Goldson Bust "Busts A Move"
Phillip Goldson may be a national hero, but his bust can't seem to find a final home. In January, we told you that it was moved into the Battlefield Park - and we thought the understanding was that it would stay there. But, lo and behold, this morning we saw it on the move again, this time it's been relocated to the head of the Northern Highway median at the Belcan Roundabout. Is it temporary? is it permanent? We can't say - but what we do know is that the Sustainable Tourism Project plans to do major remodeling work in the park - and the massive bust would have been in the way. So when that's done, will it go back from the roundabout to the park? No one seems sure at this time.

Newly Named City Streets
And while that will be a year two decision, the City is still busy self-congratulating for its first year in office. Today, they held a Street naming award ceremony where 58 Belizeans were honored by having their names used as street names in Belize City. The Mayor explained the importance of recognizing these members of the public for their commitment to public service. Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council "What we chose to do, marking our 1 year anniversary, was to recognize certain people who have made an outstanding contribution to the development of Belize City. Previously, the City Council has recognized teachers. So, we have chosen to recognize persons in the various arts. We chose to recognized historical figures, trade unionists, and persons in the various sports areas. We chose to recognized wives of the former Prime Ministers and also the wife of our current Prime Minister. I believe the 3 of them have made significant contributions to the advancement of Belize City in the area of community service. We recognized persons like the late Beverly Smith Lopez, the late Edison Coleman - people who really distinguished themselves in the area of public service, in their chosen field and who really made a mark on a chosen society. Of note is that we recognized 2 young persons in Belize. 1 of them is Rowan Garell, and I think that he himself, through his short life, made a significant accomplishment and mark on his community and in Belize City."

Man Gets Off Murder, Witnesses Had Differing Accounts Of Clothing
23 year-old Dwayne Evelyn, the man who was charged with the February 2010 murder of 22 year-old Peter Myvette is at home tonight after he was freed by a jury of 12 in the end of his murder trial today. Viewers may remember that at around 12 in the afternoon on February 17, 2010, Myvette was washing a bus door at the corner of Tigris Street and Kut Avenue when a gunman rode past and shot him multiple times in an area crowded with school children. Evelyn was arrested and charged for the murder a couple days later because the crown's 2 chief witnesses linked him to the crime. So Evelyn was forced to wait on remand for 3 years, and when he faced his accusers in the murder trial before Justice Lucas this week, their story did not add up to the jury. One civilian took the stand and said that the gunman wore a mask when he launched the attack on Myvette, and a police officer testified that he was on West Street when he heard the gunshots. He said that he responded, he saw Evelyn, who he knew very well, removing a mask and throwing it away.

Profile Of A Sailor
Tonight's profile is about a young man and the sea. Roberto Pott came to Belize with his family from Jamaica as a boy and quickly latched unto sailing as a favourite past-time. Now he's carrying on the tradition with the Belize Sailing Association - and in tonight's profile he explained his passion for a sport and past0-time that's experiencing a rebirth in Belize.

New Car Sales Up, Japanese Auto Prices Down
And if sailing's not your thing - you might be into cars - especially the kinds we all love so much: we mean the ones we can't afford! But it doesn't cost anything to look - and today we got an eyeful of the 2014 Toyota RAV4. It's news because after three consecutive down years, new car sales in Belize are making a comeback - nearly 500 sold last year - and even more robust sales are expected this year. Coupled that with the fact that prices of Japanese products are down due to currency fluctuations, and the remodeled RAV is cheaper than last year's model. Pi Marin of Belize Diesel told us more: Israel Pi Marin - Managing Director, Belize Diesel And Equipment "We have a new product, a new design, better features, better pricing. We're expecting that this year that - we've ordered like 30 and we've had a very strong liking for the design, so I think we will be doing very well with this unit. What we're seeing is new features, new engine, and new transmission. This one for example has a 6 speed automatic transmission, and we have 16 different models of the Rav4, models meaning options and price points, andwe have different price points in the Rav4."

BSI Employee Holdings Get A Dividend, Finally!
Fortunes are turning around in the sugar industry as production is up and the company has declared a dividend. BSI held an annual general meeting on Tuesday where the shareholders declared a 3 million dollar dividend payment for those groups that had shares in the company before ASR bought controlling interests in October 2012. The dividend is approximately $0.068 cents per each of the 44 million issued shares before ASR's investment, so the BSI's Employee Holdings will receive 81% of the 3 million dollars dividend or $2.4 million dollars. Those moneys will be disbursed on March 14th and the Employee's Trust will then distribute it to its membership on Thursday, March 21st.

Senior Citizen Knocked Down On Way To Farm
There was a terrible accident this morning on the northern highway in which a 68 year old man was killed. A little after 5:30 am Teodosio Cabanas from the Louisiana Area of Ornage Walk was knocked down as he was riding to his farm in Indian Hill. The accident occurred on the Orange Walk By pass road just before the bridge. The driver of the vehicle stopped to render aid but Cabanas had been crushed. The 68 year old was known to ride to his farm daily.

Israel Assisting With Cultural Products
Over the past week a group of young Belizean entrepreneurs have been participating in a workshop sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs along with the Embassy of Israel. The workshop is aimed at generating creative ideas for the cultural industry. The workshop is called "Business Lab, Focused on Cultural Enterprises" and today we found out how this entrepreneurial initiative can positively affect the society and our communities. H. E. Shmulik A. Bass - Ambassador, State of Israel "I am very happy to arrive here again to Belize, this time to be part of a workshop given by 2 Israeli experts on economic or business laboratories together with the organization of Y.A.B.T with its branch here in Belize. As the Israeli technical assistant agency Machave, has very good close relations with the Y.A.B.T world organization to promote business. We have our knowledge on business. We helped our rural part in Israel through incentives from the government, and from the private sector to promote and advance, and develop the business in rural areas. This way, we can show Belizeans the Israeli way. It's not like we teach how to do; it's to show what was the Israeli way.

Channel 5

Official delegation to attend funeral for Hugo Chavez
Government confirmed today that Belize will send a delegation to attend the funeral of Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez. That state funeral is scheduled for Friday morning, though there is still uncertainty surrounding the location. Reports are that the longtime President had requested that he be buried on the plains of his home state of Barinas. [...]

Adios to Costa Rican Coach Sherrier
The Football Federation of Belize held what it called an emergency press conference this morning to confirm what we reported on Wednesday. Leroy Sherrier-Lewis, the Costa Rican coach of the Belize Jaguars which placed fourth in the Copa Centro Americana 2013, has left the building…again…and this time for good. Sherrier-Lewis first left in late January [...]

Charlie Slusher now interim national football team coach
When Coach Leroy Sherrier-Lewis departed on Wednesday, he left behind a letter for F.F.B. President Ruperto Vicente. That letter was mostly warm wishes directed toward Vicente and the national team, but Sherrier-Lewis does state that he had lost motivation since last year, so didn’t want to coach the team in that frame of mind. And [...]

No football prize money, but more football fields
While the big news was the status of national team coach Leroy Sherrier-Lewis and a new appointment for local football legend Charles Slusher, there was also some bad news to report. Because the Belize Jaguars placed fourth in the Copa Centro Americana 2013 the team was entitled to some football prize money, which Vicente stated [...]

Drug plane took off from Spanish Lookout Airstrip
A U.S. registered plane landed without authorization in Venezuela on February twenty first. The men in the plane were identified as fifty-one year old Canadian citizen, Sawatzky David William, and thirty-one year old Colombian national, Jorge Bustamante. Officials of the Scientific, Penal and Criminal Investigations Branch performed a drug screening in the aircraft which tested [...]

Not guilty in murder trial; accused was home with mother
  After deliberating for four hours and a half, just after four this afternoon, the jury in the murder trial of Dwayne Evelyn returned a unanimous verdict of not guilty. And today, after being behind bars for two years Evelyn walked out of court a free man. Evelyn had been accused of the February 2010 [...]

Prison supervisor freed of drug charges
  A prison supervisor, who was accused of trying to smuggle marijuana inside the Kolbe Correctional Facility, today had no case to answer after the testimony of the officer who found the drugs had too many inconsistencies. On September twelfth 2012, thirty-six year old Donald Gillett was searched as he entered the prison and fifty [...]

Suspension in sight? P.U.P. gives U.D.P. an F for midterm
The Government presented its budget for fiscal year 2013-2014 last Friday and debate takes place next week. Prime Minister Dean Barrow stated that the economy grew by five point three percent in 2012, and it will continue at a modest pace of three percent this financial year. According to the P.M. there will also be [...]

Meet Israeli Ambassador to Belize, Shmulik Bass
The Israeli Ambassador to Belize, Shmulik Bass, is in the jewel and he is bearing gifts. Since Monday, a five-day workshop, “Business Labs Focused on Cultural Enterprises,” has been ongoing at the University of Belize Campus in Belize City. The on the spot course is sponsored through the Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation and [...]

World Culture Day at Horizon Academy
Culture was on display in many forms today at Horizon Academy at mile three on the Northern Highway. As a way to promote international culture day, the students were invited to project the culture of various countries, from far away places such as Greece to nearby Mexico. There was food, music, dance and many other [...]

Ruta Maya canoe race across western Belize to Belize City
The annual Ruta Maya canoe race is hours away from beginning. Tonight in San Ignacio, the participants and Cayo residents are feasting at a cultural event. The race will start under the Hawkesworth Bridge and the competitors will paddle to Banana Bank, Double Head Cabbage, then to Henderson’s Bank in Burrell Boom, and on to [...]

National female softball team wins bronze
While Ruta Maya is just getting off, the Belize National Women’s Softball Team returns to the jewel this Friday.  The team isn’t coming home empty-handed; it’s bringing a bronze medal from the tenth Central American Games in Costa Rica.  In the second semi-final game Belize lost to Guatemala two to nil. The losing pitcher was [...]

Exhibit honors the works of women
This Friday is being set aside as International Women’s Day. The theme calls for the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls. All over the globe, there is an urgent call to end discrimination and for strong laws to stop violent behavior against females.  To celebrate the occasion, an exhibition [...]

Check out the brand new ride at Belize Diesel
If you are looking for a new brand vehicle, there is one on the market that is likely to suit your image. The Toyota Rav-4 is now available from Belize Diesel; it has been upgraded and redesigned to make it attractive to both genders, and especially the younger generation. Duane Moody also found out that [...]

Healthy Living’s options for birth control
Proper family planning is highly encouraged in today’s society. With a planned approach to building a family the well-being of children and parents are considered in the decision of how many and how often a woman will have children. Birth control or contraceptive methods are the main options for women and men who are looking [...]


Endangered Howler Monkey Found Badly Beaten Behind School Campus
Belize has a diverse ecosystem of wildlife and natural resources. Some of the most exotic animals that inhabit Belize are great tourist attractions and this morning, our newsroom received a report of a Howler Monkey that appears to have been severely injured. The male howler monkey was rescued yesterday in Orange Walk by the Forestry Department of Belmopan. Our news room has learnt that a male howler monkey was found severely injured two days ago behind the compound of the Belize High School of Agriculture. Whether or not the howler monkey was found injured or if it was harmed when it was found are questions that have not been answered. When we contacted the school this afternoon we were told that they have no comments on the matter as it is being investigated by the Forestry Department in Belmopan. We then called the Forestry office in Belmopan and the response was the same; no comment.

Caribbean Tires Burglarized! Thief Is Captured!
Tonight a Carmelita Village resident is sitting behind bars at the Orange Walk Police Station after he was arrested and charged for the crime of burglary. Shortly after seven this morning, Timothy Miller, the Manager of Caribbean Tires situated at the eastern end of the Orange Walk By-pass, reported to Police that after he arrived at the business establishment to open for the day, he noticed that one of the glass panes was broken. Further checks in the business revealed that the culprit ransacked a part of the store and went straight for the cash. After a count was made, Miller reported to Police that over $7,000 in cash was taken by the burglar. Quick police investigations, led police to the residence of Nelson Rhaburn of Carmelita Village where a search was conducted. Inside the residence police found over $4,000 in cash and as a result, Rhaburn was arrested and charged for the crime of burglary.

Elderly Man Lose Life After Being Run Over
There was a tragic accident this morning in which a 68 year old man lost his life. A little after 5:30 this morning, Teodosio Cabanas from the Louisiana Area lost his life after he was knocked down while on his way to his farm located at Indian Hill. The accident occurred on the Orange Walk By-pass a short distance away from the bridge. Here’s that report. Hipolito Novelo reporting For the past five years sixty-eight year old Teodosio Cabanas would travel to his farm in Indian Hill on a daily basis using the Orange Walk By-pass road. But this morning, his life was abruptly ended when this Toyota Hilux fatally hit Cabanas. Enrique Cal was taking his morning jog when he witnessed the tragic incident unfold before him. Enrique Cal, Witness “Early this morning I was running by the by-pass, by the bridge going towards the by-pass and due to the darkness and the dust I usually take one of these. So I was running then two buses were coming from the round-a-bout to the bridge and when it passed me it created a lot of dust and it was also dark. So in a while a Hilux pick up flew pass me going towards San Estevan and not too far from me I saw the pickup served out and I just heard something knock. The pickup served in back and all the while I heard something knock like “bang, bang, bang” and clearly I saw something role off underneath the vehicle. I then realized that that this man had knocked down somebody and ran over him.”

BSI 2012 Dividends Around The Corner
2012 proved to be one that will forever go down in the history books of the Belize Sugar Industry; with financial difficulties faced by the industry which threatened the closure of the factory to its buyout by ASR, American Sugar Refinery. But not to linger too much on those trialing times of the sugar industry, today, BSI is in the news for another reason, one of a positive note. In an information bulletin issued yesterday evening to all employees of BSI, the Belize Sugar Industries Group announced that dividends for the 2012 financial year will be issued on the fourteenth of March. According to the internal memo, BSI held its Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, March 5th where it was agreed upon the payment of three million Belize dollars in dividends to employees as stipulated in the Subscription Deed. BSI has a total of forty-four million shares issued and each was valued at $0.068 at the time BSI sold its majority shares to ASR on October 2nd, 2012. According to the information bulletin, the three million dollars payment will be made to shareholders on Thursday, March 14th in respect to their shareholdings.

Coach Sherrier Splits Again! Slusher Steps In
2013 has already been a historic year for Belize as for the first time in Football History; Belize has defeated a Central American team, Nicaragua, and qualified for the Gold Cup to be played in the US this time around. After ending the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana in fourth place, Belize returned home heroes to the nation of over 350,000 Belizeans. But the triumphant effort on the field was quickly forgotten as the focus of the team became the problems faced at the Head Coaching position. Leroy Sherrier Lewis coached Belize’s National A-Selection in Costa Rica and orchestrated the historic outing but did not return home with the team as he had quit the job immediately after the team finished the tournament. Once the jubilation was over with, FFB executive sat down with Coach Sherrier in efforts of coming to an agreement with his contract and the commencement of the team’s preparation for the Gold Cup. Well, it appears that all negotiations have fallen apart as Coach Sherrier boarded a flight yesterday en route to Costa Rica. Reports to our newsroom is that Sherrier was not comfortable with several parts of the agreement and as a result, he has decided to quit once more and this time, he has indicated that he will not come back; well that is unconfirmed at this time. In a press conference held this morning by the FFB President Ruperto Vicente, he mentioned that the doors to Sherrier will remain open at this moment should he wish to return to the negotiating table. Vicente also went on to say that they have several résumés on hand that they will go through in search of a replacement.

Create Drama To Create Awareness
This morning, the Belize Audubon Society held a drama competition in three communities in Northern Belize; Chunox Village, Sarteneja Village, and Copper Bank Village. Five primary schools from these villages participated in the competition and Environmental Education Project Manager at the Belize Audubon Society, Dareece Chuc, told us via phone this afternoon that the competition was held in efforts of engaging the students and to create awareness on the importance of the Belize Barrier Reef and the fishing regulations. DAREECE CHUC Environment Education Project Manager Belize Audubon Society “It is the first time in recent years and we have worked for many years with these communities in creating awareness about the importance of marine protect areas and about wise use of the marine resources. So it is the first drama competition but we continue to work with the community in doing different community, fishermen and the other community groups to create awareness. The response was great. We had full participation from the five primary schools. Each school had a group that participated in the drama competition and they participated well. Our message is to respect the marine protected areas, the laws that govern our marine resources and to appreciate the Belize Barrier Reef and its importance to us as a country.”

Swing, Slide, Jump, Run- New Play Ground Officially Opened!
Earlier this week we told you about the joint effort of the Rotary Club of Canada, the Orange Walk Rotary Club and the Orange Walk Town Council, to erect a heavy duty play ground in the Louisiana Area. Well, all the plans and hard work paid off because today the park was officially inaugurated and officially open for the children to play on. CTV3 News was present for the ceremony and here is how it went. Kevin Bernard Mayor “I want to officially inaugurate the new Nature Park Play Ground with your blessing and with all with us great pride.” Libby Weir, Rotary Club Canada “This project meets the four way test. It is beneficial and it fosters good will and better friendships.” Kevin Bernard, Mayor “What you see before you today is only a symbol of something which is very deep and meaningful- a sign of friendship, cooperation, of community participation, commitment and unity.”

The Past, Present And Future- OWTC 1st Year
Today marks one year since the March 7th, 2012 double elections for the Government of Belize and Municipalities across this country. It was a close election between the United Democratic Party and the People’s United Party to see who controlled the majority in the House of Representatives. The UDP won seventeen out of thirty-one constituencies. Here in Orange Walk Town, Kevin Bernard and his slate won the Municipal elections taking back control of the Council from the UDP after six years. According to Mayor Bernard, it has been a year filled with difficulties and major accomplishments; accomplishments that were part of their manifesto. We caught up with the Orange Walk Mayor this morning who told us what the second year of their term will be focused on and what projects they hope to accomplish.


FFB discusses way forward after coach calls it quits
Football president Ruperto Vicente says his federation will now have to “move on” from Costa Rica’s Leroy Sherrier Lewis. Lewis was lauded for his guiding of the national team to its best ever regional performance. News broke yesterday that Lewis was hastily departing Belize and his post as national...

Dwayne Evelyn found not guilty of murder of Peter Myvett
22-year-old Dwayne Evelyn was found not guilty today of the shooting murder of George Street associate, Peter Myvett. The jury delivered a unanimous not guilty verdict. Myvett met his untimely death at around 12:00 noon on February 17 of 2010 while he was at the corner of Kut Avenue...

Teenager charged with attempted murder of Ronald Rivers
A teenager has been charged with the attempted murder of Belize City resident Ronald Rivers. Earlier this week, we told you that 28 year Ronald Rivers was shot while fixing a vehicle in front of the UNO Gas Station. Police were in the area at the time and saw...

PUP rate UDP on 5 years in power
Yesterday we gave a brief overview of the PUP’s press conference called on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the 2012 general elections which they lost narrowly.Today we have highlights of that press conference. First, Party Leader Francis Fonseca summarizes Belize after five years of the UDP in...

PUP plan education campaign on ICJ
The PUP says it is continuing internal consultations on the party’s decision to support or oppose going to the International Court of Justice to settle the dispute with Guatemala. Party Leader Francis Fonseca offers an update. Francis Fonseca – Leader of the Opposition: In terms of the party level,...

Belizean Delegation heads to Higo Chavez Funeral
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is presently out of the country accompanying his wife as she continues medical treatment. The Deputy PM has now also left the country leaving Hon. John Saldivar as the country’s acting Prime Minister. Minister Vega headed to Caracas, Venezuela to represent the Government and people...

Belize City streets named after prominent residents
58 prominent residents of Belize City were honored this morning by having streets named after them. This ceremony was part of the one-year anniversary of the Council’s election which happened on today’s date last year. The youngest recipient is 13 year old Rowan Garel, a visually impaired boy who...

Four family members on remand for keeping unlicensed ammunition
Ellis Meighan Jr., his mother Sheldon Meighan, sister Shanique Meighan and his 17 year old brother were all charged with keeping unlicensed ammunition, after GSU found nine two millimeter cartridges inside a barrel in their home. All four family members pleaded not guilty to the charge when they appeared...

20 year old Stephen Anderson walks free for lack of case file
A man who was jailed after robbing a businessman at gunpoint and shooting at a responding cop, walked free yesterday. 20 year old Stephen Anderson was charged for holding up a businessman and stealing his motorbike in April of 2012. Soon after, Police reportedly got into a high speed...

20 year old Thyrell Hyde develops Tourism board game
Plus News has been introducing you to entrepreneurs from around the country and tonight, we shine the spotlight on a young and upcoming business owner, whose current pursuit might very well be the ideal marketing tool for other businesses in the country. 20 year old Thyrell Hyde is the...

Legacy Youth Conference this weekend
Legacy Youth Conferences are some of the most widely attended Christian events in the Cayo district. This weekend, another conference kicks off under the theme, Surrender. Organizer Patrick Andrews told us more. Patrick Andrews – Youth With A Mission: Starting tomorrow, Friday the 8th of March, we’ll our Annual...

Workshop on clean development mechanism held in Belize City
A workshop on the subject of clean development mechanism was held in Belize City this morning. It is an outgrowth of the worldwide reaction to climate change, especially in developed countries, which are being charged to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 25% by 2020. One of the...

Final preparations underway for La Ruta Maya River Challenge
It’s that time again – when kayakers from Belize and abroad gear up to compete in the La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge. As is customary, the teams will take-off from the the Hawksworth Bridge in San Ignacio and end at the Belcan Bridge in Belize City. This year,...

Fatal traffic accident leaves one man dead
There was a fatal traffic accident in the Orange Walk district. A 68 year old man was knocked off his bicycle this morning at around 5:30. Orange Walk Town resident 68 yr Teolosio Cabanas was riding his bicycle on San Estevan Road heading towards his farm located in the...

19 year old student arrested for burglary
A 19 year old student has been arrested for the crime of burglary and handling stolen goods after police say he stole over 7,000 worth of jewelry from a home. The owner of the home reported that on several occasions from December of last year to February of this...

Burglars broke into Belize National Youth Cadet Corp
A pair of burglars broke into the Belize National Youth Cadet Corp store room. According to police, sometime between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, two cadets made their way into the association’s storeroom and stole four luncheon meats, a box of happy cow cheese, two pack cakes, two boxes...

The Guardian

6-Lane Entrance to Belize City
Mayor Darrell Bradley has announced that in the coming weeks the Northern Highway from the Haulover Bridge to the Belcan roundabout will be concreted. More than just being concreted, the highway will be expanded in some areas where the first portion after crossing the Haulover bridge will see it become into a 6-lane highway. Getting closer into the city, it will be reduced to a 4-lane highway. According to the Mayor, the project will cost in the region of 10 million dollars and will be financed through the raising of a second Municipal Bond. That bond will be repaid through an inbound toll which will collect $1 for traffic that flows into the city. In 6 years, that toll will generate as much as 18 million dollars more than enough to pay off the bond. The project to concrete the highway is expected to commence in the next few weeks as there is already interest by at least 5 financiers who are willing to purchase the bond. The work is expected to be done by three contractors currently doing work in Belize City including RJB Construction Company, Matus and Matus Engineering and Medina’s. The work is anticipated to last for 18 months with portions of the highway being improved through piling.

A Handsome Dividend to BSI Employee Holdings
The Belize Sugar Industry Limited held an annual general meeting on Tuesday March 5th during which the company declared dividends for the year 2012. During the meeting it was announced that a 3 million dollar dividend payment will be made to entities who had shareholding in the company previous to the October 2nd, 2012 equity transaction to ASR which took over majority shareholding in the company by virtue of over U.S. 100 million dollar investment in the company. In that transaction, ASR bought out BSI's liabilities at international and local banks as well as the Government of Belize. It also paid out outstanding dividends to the BSI's Employee Holdings, and committed to have at least 30 million U.S. dollars invested in the company. With the declaration of dividends, which is approximately $0.068 per each of the 44 million issued shares before ASR's investment, the BSI's Employee Holdings will receive approximately 81.29% of the 3 million dollars or $2,438,627. Those moneys are expected to be disbursed on March 14th and the Employee's Trust will then disburse to its membership on Thursday, March 21st.

Budget 2013-2014 “Absolutely No New Taxes” “Increase in Social Assistance”
Though there was a 26.8% decrease in oil production in 2012 and an 11.9% decrease in cruise tourist arrivals, Belize’s economy grew by approximately 5.6%. Considering that the United States’ economy grew by only 2.2% and Latin America and the Caribbean have an estimated growth of 3.0%, Belize’s economic performance is the marvel of the region. The greater than projected decrease in oil production and the unexpected decrease in cruise tourism were offset by a 10.2% increase in overnight tourist arrivals. The banana and citrus industries also boosted the economy with a significant rebound year. Banana and citrus production suffered greatly in 2011 due to Hurricane Richard in late 2010 and a destructive thunderstorm in September of 2011. The incredible rebound of those two products combined with another impressive year for sugar production resulted in higher than projected growth in the GDP.

Softball plays for Gold in Costa Rica today
The National Women’s Softball Team of Belize will play for Gold today at the on-going 10th Central American Games that are being played in San Jose, Costa Rica. Six countries, namely Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama and host country Costa Rica participated in the Round Robin Competition with the top four countries advancing to the Page System Playoffs. Belize completed the Round Robin play with a 4-1 record and a date with history. Belize will finish with a medal at the 10th Central American Games. Belize played two games on Wednesday March 6th, 2013. In the second game played, Belize defeated Panama by the score of 16-9. Belize’s outfielder Barbara Cadle had a 3-run homer in the bottom of the 6th inning that sealed the victory for Belize. The winning pitching was Kenreen Gillett, who had relief help from Francine Hoare.

The Strongest Political Machinery This Nation has ever seen
As the number of supporters expressing the desire to join Village Council slates for the United Democratic Party (UDP) continues to grow countrywide, the Party is fully engaged in conducting conventions in an increasing number of villages.

13 Million still Available for Infrastructure
In December of last year, the Belize City Council became the first in the Caribbean to successfully float a bond to fund municipal development. The value of the three-tranche bond was 20 million dollars and 54 streets later there is still enough to go around to do more than what was projected.

More Mobility for Belize Defence Force
Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar hands over keys to vehicles to Commander of BDF, General David Jones On Thursday, February 27th the Belize Defence Force (BDF) received three new Mahindra Pickup trucks from the Ministry of National Security.

State Funeral for President Chavez Scheduled for Friday
His Excellency President Hugo Chavez lost his battle with cancer after a brave two year fight on Tuesday, March 5th, at 4:25 p.m. inside a military hospital in Caracas, Venezuela. Thousands of supporters flooded the streets of Venezuela’s capital city, Caracas, to bid farewell to “El Comandante” as his coffin was transported from the military hospital to a military academy where it will remain until the official state funeral on Friday, March 8. The government has declared a seven day period of mourning and schools will remain closed for the rest of this week as the country bids farewell to its populist leader of 14 years.

One Year of CITCO under Darrell Bradley
March 7th will mark one year since the Belize City Council under the leadership of Mayor Darrell Bradley was elected into office. Based on the grade A concrete streets - 54 of them - the tenure of this Belize City Council has seen unprecedented development. The council's successes are not limited to streets; however, speaking to Mayor Darrell Bradley, he explained that there has been much more, less visible accomplishments that the Belize City Council has been able to achieve in one year.

The Death of Debt Watch
For days, weeks and months on end, there was this amorphous entity calling itself Belize's Debt Watch hammering and beating the country's financial position ad nauseam. They did everything under the sun to try to convince the Belizean public that the country was in dire financial straits. They made up figures for how much BTL and BEL are worth, they even took the Prime Minister speaking to the press out of context to try to get their message across. Their purpose turned so pathetic that they had seemingly everyday people speaking finance in their backyards. Their plan seemed simple yet evil at the same time; their focus was to ensure that those who held the Superbond would not sit with the Government and renegotiate it.

Minister Louis Farrakhan at the Big Bird’s Isle
The leader of the Nation of Islam, Minister Louis Farrakhan, is visiting the country of Belize for the third time, first in twenty-seven years. News of his visit first surfaced in late November of 2012 when he was scheduled to come to Belize on December 6th. Unfortunately, Minister Farrakhan was forced to cancel the trip due to exhaustion and dehydration after visiting five Caribbean countries. Belizean Muslims and other supporters of the black movement were disappointed by news of the cancelation and hoped for a makeup visit. The date for that makeup visit was announced by Nuri Muhammad late last week and on Monday, March 4th, Minister Louis Farrakhan arrived in Belize.

A Post in The Wrong Place
As The Guardian has been moving around the City looking at the infrastructural upgrades taking place, we were taken aback by this sight. A lamp post which is sitting well into Chetumal Street, at least two feet on the street and we were left to wonder if BEL will be moving the lamp post or if it will be left there and concrete poured around it.

Prime Minister departs Country to accompany Wife for Continuation of Her Medical Treatment
The Office of the Prime Minister informs that the Hon. Dean Barrow will depart the country today, 5th March, 2013, to accompany his wife, Mrs. Kim Simplis-Barrow for continuation of her medical treatment.

Belize City and San Benito sign Sister City Relations
The Belize City Council hosted a Guatemalan delegation from the town of San Benito for three days between Friday, March 1st and Sunday, March 3rd. The 12-member delegation was hosted in Belize City and even taken to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. The highlight of the visit by the Mayor of San Benito, Sonia Rivera, was the signing of a sister city relations agreement.

Another Impressive Month for Tourist Arrivals
The Belize Tourism Board has released the statistics for tourist arrivals in the month of January and it shows that Mother Nature’s secret is out as the number of people visiting Belize continues to increase. Overnight tourist arrivals have increased by a remarkable 17.2% compared to last year’s stats. A total of 28,431 overnight tourists were recorded in January. Last year the number was 24,263. 19,965 passengers arrived at the Phillip Goldson International Airport this January which is 1,407 more than last year, an increase of 7.6%. Even more impressive news is that cruise tourism was up by 19.4% in comparison to January of 2012. 102,871 cruise tourists arrived in Belize in January. Last year, 86,128 cruise tourists made it to Belizean shores. This has been the most impressive January for tourist arrivals in Belize’s history.

Deputy Prime Minister Presents Land Title to University of Belize
The Deputy Prime Minister and Acting Prime Minister, Hon. Gaspar Vega today presented the title for University of Belize Toledo Campus to the President of the University, Dr. Cary Fraser. This is second title presented by Hon. Vega to the University. In September 2012, the University was presented with the title to the campus for its Central Farm campus by Deputy Prime Minister Vega.

UB establishes Endowed Scholarship for ACC Student
The University of Belize last week established an endowed scholarship that will create for a student from the Anglican Cathedral College (ACC), who will major in science and mathematics at the University of Belize. The scholarship will cover full tuition and fees and will be awarded on an annual basis by the University.

UDP Leadership revisits Dangriga
The second stop on the post National Convention tour of the United Democratic Party (UDP)Team was in Dangriga for a meeting and social interaction with representatives from Dangriga and Stann Creek West constituencies.

UDP Leadership returns to the South
True to the promise of coming back to the people after the February 17th, National Convention, today Deputy Party Leader, Hon. Gaspar Vega; Party Chairman, Alberto August and Deputy Chairman of the United Democratic Party, Fern Gutierrez met, in Punta Gorda Town, with delegates from Toledo East and Toledo West in the company of Caretaker Representatives ,brothers Eden Martinez and Juan Coy respectively.

It is so good to be back in the pages of the Guardian again. ********** It once was, many years ago, when Mike Espat could have been considered a political force to recon with. Those days have long gone by as was clearly demonstrated during the last sitting of the House of Representatives. The NOW poor excuse for an area representative truly embarrassed himself when he “proudly” sought to express a private issue as a matter of “grave” public interest. ********** It is no secret that Mike Espat supported neither Said Musa nor Francis Fonseca for leadership of the now dwindling opposition but the very least they could have done was to advise him that such matter has no place in the House and thereby save him all that public embarrassment. ********** Yes everyone knows that Mike Espat supported the Pineapple face Marin Sr. for leadership of the opposition and that when he sought advice from the Junior Marin in the House, the poor fella, who knows not his posterior from that section of the arm just below the shoulder, wrongfully encouraged him to make a fool of himself in the House of Representatives and by extension to the nation by way of national radio and television.

Abel Arana’s Family asks: Where is the Gun?
23-year-old Abel Arana died shortly after he was involved in a shootout at a residence on Camal Street, Hattieville Village on Sunday, March 3rd. According to a preliminary report from the Belize Police Department, Arana was at the house on Camal Street socializing with Sherlock Ralph Martinez and others when an argument ensued. According to police, “shots were fired apparently by both persons who took out weapons and fired at each other.” Arana was shot to the abdomen and left side of the buttocks. He was taken to the Hattieville Health Center where he later succumbed to his injuries. Martinez was shot in the lower part of the abdomen. He was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he continues to receive treatment for the injury. Relatives and friends of both men have been outspoken about their assumptions of what happened in the house on Camal Street. Those close to Martinez are saying that he and Arana never had a relationship as friends; therefore, they would not have been socializing together. One friend of Martinez appeared on 7 News and said that Arana went to the house with the intent of killing Martinez. However, during the attempt, Martinez managed to knock the gun away and fired shots of his own. Arana’s parents dispute the allegations. They believe that their son was ‘chanced’ out of his life. They claim that the two men were friends as Martinez was very visible at a party that Arana had thrown for his child a few days earlier. Arana’s parents believe their son was beaten by numerous individuals and then shot. They ask, “If he [Arana] had gone there to kill him [Martinez] why not leave the gun on the scene so the police can find the gun? Where is the gun now?”

First Woman to be tried for Escape at the Supreme Court
On Friday, March 1st, the case of escape against 21- year-old Latifah Augustine, a student and resident of #170 East Collet Canal in Belize City, was committed to the April Session of the Supreme Court by Magistrate Dale Cayetano. As a result of the decision, her old bail was revoked and she was placed in lock down; she was offered a new bail in the sum of $3,000 plus a surety of the same amount. In the past, the offense of escape was treated as a summary offense and was tried at the Belize City Magistrate’s Court but an amendment to the act now sees the charge being dealt with on indictment. When a person is charged for the offense, no plea is taken and a preliminary inquiry is held to determine if there is sufficient evidence to commit the matter to the Supreme Court. Augustine is accused of escaping from lawful custody on Saturday, November 3rd, 2012 whilst at the Queen Street Police Station. She had been detained for assaulting a police officer and drinking in a public place. In a report, Sgt. Titus Parham reported that on Saturday, November 3rd, 2013, at about 10:40 a.m., he was on duty at the Queen Street Police Station as the EDO (Executive Duty Officer), when he was informed that Augustine was detained and placed into the female cell area for the offenses.

Woman withdraws Bail from Ex-Cop
On Monday, March 4th, an ex-police officer, who was dismissed from the Belize Police Department after being charged for robbery, saw his 2012 bail revoked in court. Kimberly Grant, his former girlfriend, visited Court #6 where she appeared before Magistrate Adolph Lucas requesting the urgent withdrawal of her bail from her ex boyfriend, Michael Diaz. Grant told Magistrate Adolph Lucas that on several occasions, Diaz has not been showing up at court despite the fact that in December 2012 she made a personal visit to him make sure he showed up. Diaz defied her request and as a result, she revoked her bail. Magistrate Lucas granted her request after she explained her situation. In court, Diaz, who was unrepresented, explained that his ex-girlfriend is being malicious against him because they recently broke up. He says he did not show up on his latest court date because it was changed without his knowledge.

Guilty of Possession of a Controlled drug
In February 49-year-old Benjamin Lester Chaplin, a Plummer of Faber’s Road pleaded guilty to assaulting a 12-year-old child when he beat her with his belt. On Friday, March 1st, he again appeared in Magistrate's Court, this time to answer to charges of possession of a controlled drug. Chaplin appeared before Magistrate Hettie Mae-Stewart where he pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a controlled drug. For the two offenses, despite the fact that he has 3 previous convictions for possession of a controlled drug, Chaplin was spared from jail term as he was fined $8000 plus $5.00 cost of court for 9.8 grams of cannabis, and another fine of $300 plus $5.00 cost of court for 3.7 grams of cannabis which were found in his possession. The two fines were ordered to be paid by April 29th, 2013 or in default of payments, he is to serve 9 months altogether.

Drug Plane that left Belize detained in Venezuela
Jorge Bustamante Ustariz and David William Sawatzky A Plane with U.S. registration number N345MD, which left from a licensed airfield in Western Belize without a flight plan, was intercepted in Venezuela by the armed forces of that country. The Plane, an Aero Commander 500, flew illegally into Venezuelan airspace to land in an unregistered airstrip in Venezuela on Friday, February 22nd but was intercepted sometime around 2:40 on that morning. Venezuelan news reports indicate that the plane was occupied by 51-year-old Canadian, David William Sawatzky and Colombian, 31-year-old Jorge Armando Bustamante Ustariz. The airplane was equipped with 4 auxillary fuel tanks for an approximate flight possibility of 8 hours. Inspection of the on-board GPS system determined that the plane had left Belize and was destined to an airstrip near the border of Venezuela and Colombia. Authorities in Venezuela are speculating that the plane would have been used for narcotraficking.

Two detained for Murder of Frank Neal
Police have detained two persons in their investigation of the murder of 36-year-old Stevedore, Frank Neal. Neal was riding his bicycle on Glynn Street at about 5:50 p.m. on Tuesday, March 5th, when a dark complexioned man rode up from behind and fired several shots at him. One of the bullets struck Neal to the back of the head causing him to die instantly. Neal is not from the area where he was killed and there is still no certain motive established by police as yet. He is a resident of Guerrero Street and the ride on Glynn Street was a routine one for him since he frequented the area to buy Johnny Cakes. Police have not confirmed if anything was stolen from Neal who, according to reports, had just collected his pay. One 9mm expended shell was recovered from the scene and police investigation continues.

Honduran beaten to Death in Dangriga
35-year-old Honduran maintenance worker, Julio Cesar Lopez Funez collected his pay from the Belize Bank Dangriga Branch at approximately 1 p.m. on Wednesday, February 27th. He then exited the bank and while walking on Tubroose Street, he was assaulted and left in an unconscious state. Funez’s wallet, which contained cash and identification cards, was stolen. Police responded to the scene at 1:26 p.m. and found him lying in an unconscious state with injuries to the face and head. He was rushed to the Southern Regional Hospital then transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries on Friday, March 1st, at 9:15 p.m. Police investigation into Funez’s murder continues.

Eugene Palacio gunned down on Caesar Ridge Road
37-year-old Eugene Eric Castillo Palacio spent Sunday night, March 3rd, partying with his relatives on Caesar Ridge Road on the occasion of his aunt’s birthday. The family’s celebration came to an abrupt halt at about 9:30 p.m., when the festive music was overlapped by the sound of gunshots just outside the premises. Palacio was standing on the side of the street with a female cousin when a gunman of dark complexion came walking from the direction of Gill Street. The gunman walked up to Palacio and shot him in the face. He then fired several more shots at Palacio before he fled the area. Palacio received gunshot injuries to the head and chest. He died on the scene. Police are asking individuals with information that can assist the investigation to visit the nearest police station. According to reports, there were numerous people on the street at the time of the murder.

Charged for Prohibited Firearm
Police conducted a search at #79 Tigris Street in Belize City on Monday, March 4th at around 5:45p.m. where they found a .40 caliber pistol along with two rounds in a crate filled with garbage. At the time of the search three women were present and they were subsequently arrested by police. Before the day was done, a man who also lives at the home visited the police station and gave a caution statement admitting to police that the gun was his. That man is 21-year-old Keron Pinto. After an overnight in lock down, Pinto appeared before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith on Tuesday, March 5th where he was charged with keeping a prohibited firearm and keeping unlicensed ammunition. In court, Pinto who was unrepresented pleaded not guilty to both charges. Due to the nature of the offenses, bail was denied and Pinto was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until April 5th.

Guilty of Drug Trafficking
On Tuesday, March 5th, Prison inmate, Lenton Polonio, who has been serving time for money he owes the court, changed a not guilty plea to guilty for the offense of drug trafficking. As a result he was fined $10,000 plus a $5.00 cost of court. In default of payment, he will spend 3 years in prison. He has until June 30th, 2013 to make payment. The fine was imposed on Polonio when he appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano in Court #4. Polonio, 34, was arrested and charged on September 14, 2012 in Orange Walk Town but was arraigned in Belize City after he was caught in possession of 147 grams of cannabis. The bust occurred at about 7:30 a.m., when police officers stopped a brown bus heading north. According to PC Abner Pasqual, of the Anti-Drug Unit, he and other officers on operations in the old Maskall Road stopped the bus. When the back door of the bus was opened, he smelled the high aroma of cannabis.

Ronald Revers escapes Death
28-year-old Ronald Revers is lucky to be alive after he was targeted by a gunman on Monday, March 4th. A little before 11 a.m. on Monday, Revers was doing mechanical work on a Ford Escape that had shut down in the Uno Gas Station compound on Youth for the Future Drive when he was approached by a gunman who rode up on him and fired a single shot at Revers. Life and death was a matter of inches for Revers who was lucky since the bullet went through his cheeks. Police responded quickly to the incident and managed to detain Mayflower Street resident, 18-year-old Lloyd King, for the shooting. A .38 revolver was recovered and Revers was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for treatment. He is expected to make a full recovery.

Softball plays for Gold in Costa Rica today
Team Belize finished Round Robin Competition with a 4-1 record. The National Women’s Softball Team of Belize will play for Gold today at the on-going 10th Central American Games that are being played in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Belize Defence Force halts The Belmopan Bandits
The 2013 Closing Season of the Premier League of Belize continued over the last weekend with a number of games across the country. On Sunday, March 3rd, at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, the defending champions and current leaders in this year’s competition, the Belmopan Bandits were dealt its first defeat of the tournament by former champions the Belize Defence Force by the score of 2-0. The Belize Defence Force got on the scoreboard in the early minutes of the game when Richard Jimenez scored the 1st goal of the game by the score of 2-0 to give his team an early lead. The first half of the game ended 1-0 in favour of the Belize Defence Force. In the second half of the game the Belize Defence Force was able to extend the lead when Khalil Velasquez scored his team 2nd and final goal of the game in the 58th minute of play for the win.

Nazarene High School Girls and Boys in Grand Finals of High School Softball Competition
The Central Region Secondary Schools Softball Competition for 2012-2013 will come to an end on Friday, March 8th, at Rogers Stadium with the Grand Final games in the Playoff System. In the female championship game, Nazarene High School will face the winner from the Final Game which is scheduled to be played on Thursday, March 7th, at Rogers Stadium between Edward P. Yorke High School and Ladyville Technical High School. Nazarene High School advance to the Grand Final Game on Monday, March 4th, when it defeated Edward P. Yorke High School by the score of 13-7. The winning pitcher was Elma Wade and the losing pitcher was Jessica Lauriano. Meanwhile on Tuesday, March 5th, Ladyville Technical High School eliminated Wesley College by the score of 18-7 to advance to the Final Game. The winning pitcher was Amber Wade and the losing pitcher was Brianna Meighan.

National Primary Schools Softball Championship This Friday
The 2012-2013 National Primary Schools Softball championships will be played this Friday March 8th, 2013, at Rogers Stadium for the girls and at the ITVET Compound for the boys. The competition will commence at 8:30 am with the Official Opening Ceremony. The championships will be declared opened by Mrs. Philippa Griffith-Bailey, ISF Hall of Fame Member, Women in Sports Commissioner and Treasurer of the National Sports Council of Belize. The teams are representing the six districts of Belize in both the boys’ and girls’ competition. The teams participating in the girls’ competition are Biscayne Government School (Belize District), Trial Farm Government School (Toledo District), Aguacate Roman Catholic School (Toledo District) St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic School from Esperanza Village (Cayo District), Independence Primary School (Stann Creek District) and Xaibe Roman Catholic School (Corozal District). The schools that will participate in the boys’ competition are Holy Redeemer School (Belize District), Carmelita Government School (Orange Walk District), San Pedro Columbia Roman Catholic School (Toledo District), St. Jude Roman Catholic School from Camalote Village (Cayo District),Independence Primary School and Xaibe Roman Catholic School (Corozal District).

Belize City Interoffice Softball Competition 2013 Game Results
Game 1: KHMH - 16 Baby Ruth - 12 Highlights: KHMH scored 16 runs on 11 hits. Meanwhile, Baby Ruth Baaba Shap scored 12 runs on 8 hits. However, the Baby Ruth Baaba Shap offence was keyed by shortstop Brian Grant who collected 3 hits in 5 official-at-bats. All 3 hits were of the home runs type. Grant had a 3 run homer in the bottom of the 1st inning, a solo blast in the bottom of the 6th inning and a 2 run homer in the bottom of the 7th inning. The winning pitcher was Ricardo Hermoso and the losing pitcher was Jumoke Castro. Game 2 BTL – 16 Kit Kat Baaba Shap - 0 Highlights: BTL scored 16 runs on 10 hits. BTL Shortstop Nelson Tillett and Centre Fielder Lupito Acosta was the key to the BTL offence. They both collected 2 hits each. Tillett went 2 for 2, while Acosta went 2 for 3. The winning pitcher was Bernard Pitts and the losing pitcher was Leonora Morales.


Mayan Architecture: Student Models of Temples
Holy Cross: Every year our Standard 3 (5th Grade) students study Mayan architecture as part of their social studies curriculum. This year they made great models from all sorts of materials. Our standard 3 students had a lot of fun in social studies producing excellent models of Mayan Ruins as part of the social studies. Their creativity was incredible. Some carved from polystyrene, others made theirs from cardboard and construction paper. Several poured a block of concrete then shaped and carved before it was all set. The models looked great, as did the smiles of achievement on their faces! Well done, Std 3 Enjoy the photos of these great models – and the smiles of achievement on the student’s faces.

Upper Division Field Trip
Last week our students from Standards 4,-6 (Grades 6 – 8) went on a field trip to Belize Zoo and the Western Dairies factory in Spanish Lookout. They raised all the funds themselves, and from all accounts had a fantastic time. The Std 6 students wrote letters to imaginary friends talking about their day, a few of which are below. I’ll post pictures from the day when I have them, but in the meanwhile the image above is of the Harpy Eagle that the students write about. At 3 tall it is one of the largest eagles in the world.

El Fogon Restaurant in San Pedro: Traditional Belizean Food in a Traditional Setting
El Fogon is legit. Authentic Belize in all ways…family run, old school cooking over a “fogon” or open fire stove and delicious simple Belizean dishes. All the classics from stew chicken (the unofficial national dish of the country) to salbutes. The restaurant is located just a street north of the San Pedro Tropic Air terminal in San Pedro…if it’s your first time and you are rightly confused about my super vague directions, just ask. Here is a look at the kitchen that you see as soon as you walk in. It’s almost like being at someone’s house. Well…if you had friends that cooked this way.

How to Make Belizean Coconut Shrimps
nstructions: In medium bowl, combine egg, 1/2 cup flour, belikin beer and baking powder. Place 1/4 cup flour and coconut in two separate bowls. Hold shrimp by tail, and dredge in flour, shaking off excess flour. Dip in egg/ belikin beer batter; allow excess to drip off. Roll shrimp in coconut, and place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat coconut oil to 350 degrees F in a deep-fryer. Fry shrimp in batches: cook, turning once, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Using tongs, remove shrimp to paper towels to drain. Serve warm with your favorite home made dipping sauce.

What Went Wrong?
Our children are being raised in fear of going outside. When I was I young girl growing up in Belize the only thing that would keep me from going outside was severe thunderstorm. I am saddened to see the severe stress and worry that our children are going through. There is the old saying that says "It Takes A Village", but in Belize our village is in a desperate state of disrepair. Crime and the fear it induces is driving our children indoors and on occasions they are still not safe in their beds. We need to help our children and the best way to do so is to repair the breakdown of marriage, family and community togetherness. What a legacy we have passed unto our children!! But together we can do so much more, change is coming; it has to come.

Ten Powerful Marketing Tips for the Small Business
Print your best small ad on a postcard and mail it to prospects in your targeted market. People read postcards when the message is brief. A small ad on a postcard can drive a high volume of traffic to your web site and generate a flood of sales leads for a very small cost. No single marketing effort works all the time for every business, so rotate several marketing tactics and vary your approach. Your customers tune out after awhile if you toot only one note. Not only that, YOU get bored. Marketing can be fun, so take advantage of the thousands of opportunities available for communicating your value to customers. But don’t be arbitrary about your selection of a variety of marketing ploys. Plan carefully. Get feedback from customers and adapt your efforts accordingly.

Small Business Success
Small business owners are a hard working bunch. It seems that the only time they come up for air is, well, never. And that’s a problem, says small business expert Bill McBean. The serial entrepreneur — and author of the book Facts of Business Life: What Every Successful Business Owner Knows That You Don’t – has experienced firsthand what it’s like to be consumed by the day-to-day pressures of running a company. He cautions that a relentless focus on closing that next deal, keeping the books in the black and constantly putting out fires can be harmful to a business in the long term. While drive and ambition are admirable qualities, there are times when it’s OK to take a step back and take stock.

Missing You
Rose and I are having a great time in Dallas. With the Tom Tom and the hire car we have been able to find our way around reasonably successfully. Think I have only overshot a turnoff twice since we have been here. In England it wasn’t uncommon for me to that on a single journey to somewhere new to me. Mind you, I didn’t use a GPS then. Everything here is on a grand scale. Huge roads. Massive shopping malls. Large shops. No ‘big hair’ though. Really disappointed. When I watched JR and Sue Ellen back in the late 70s all of the women had ‘big hair’. Suppose things have changed in the last thirty-five years! We have had plenty to occupy our time. The roads are great and, unless we have travelled during rush hour, we haven’t been subjected to traffic jams. The journeys though – from one shopping center to the next- still eats up the time because they always seem to be around twenty miles apart. Perhaps it is bad planning on my part. Or maybe it’s just the way Dallas is because of its sheer size.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Roasted Chicke with Raisin Bubbat
Thishere is un old fashyuned Mennonite method uf stuffin' a he . . . no onyuns, no celery er sage. T' stuffin' is simlar t'a raisin breed, a lil uf t'sweet and savery blend. Ingredients: 3 – 4 lb roastin' chicke 1 tsp salt peppr Laurie##Q##s seesonin' Stuffin' (Bubbat) 1 1/2 cups flour 1/4 cup sugar 3 tsp bakin' powdr 1/2 tsp salt 1 cup raisins 1/2 cup chopped prunes

International Sources

Trinidad to play Belize, Peru in football friendly
Trinidad and Tobago will play two Central American opponents later this month as they continue preparations for the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July. The Trinidadians will take on Belize at home March 22 and travel to Lima to face Peru three days later, reports CMC. The March 26 encounter against Peru is a return friendly after the Caribbean side lost to them 0-2 here last month. "We had a good opportunity to see some of the players from abroad in the last game against Peru and we also had the chance to see the local-based players in that particular game," said national head coach Hutson Charles. "The process of seeing what the players have to offer will continue in these two matches coming up." The match against Belize will be played at Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva due to the unavailability of other venues, which are currently being upgraded. Belize lost 0-1 to Costa Rica and drew 0-0 with Guatemala in their opening two games of the Central American finals in January.

VIDEO: Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (UNESCO/TBS)
The coastal area of Belize is an outstanding natural system consisting of the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere, offshore atolls, several hundred sand cays, mangrove forests, coastal lagoons and estuaries. The system's seven sites illustrate the evolutionary history of reef development and are a significant habitat for threatened species, including marine turtles, manatees and the American marine crocodile.

Belize Makes Lonely Planet's 'Most Relaxing Destinations' List
Lonely Planet have their Traveler's Choice lists out for 2013, and Belize is ranked 7th on the Relaxing list. Of course! "No surprises here. All of the top 10 destinations for relaxing are known for their amazing beaches. Most are also well-known for their unhurried ‘island time’ sensibility."

March 7, 2013


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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

Foreva Fancy Fashion hosts fanciful show
Seduction, Domination and Utopia/Perfection reigned poolside as Foreva Fancy Fashion hosted its first ever, sold-out fashion show to eager fashionistas. The temperature may have fallen on Saturday, March 2nd, but poolside at Sands Villas, the heat was on. Gorgeous models strutted in beautiful, fanciful lingerie for ‘seduction’, hitting darker notes for ‘domination’ and bringing the colors for ‘utopia’. Each outfit was chosen to shimmer and sparkle under the lights of the poolside ‘runway’. To the alternately smooth R&B and the thumping sounds of club pop, the runway was aflutter with pretty girls as they pranced in high heels, twisting and turning every which way for the appreciative audience to take in the full effect of the ensembles. Hosted by the gracious and lovely Wilema Gonzalez, the evening also showcased entertainment for the night including Cory McKay singing an original slow jam. After an exciting fire dance, there was a display of incredible body feats was performed by Sapphira Pelayo. She twisted and bent into unimaginable yoga positions, much to the awe of those in attendance. For a little bit of added fun, there was an impromptu walk-off with five brave gentlemen from the audience and Miss Pelayo herself. Shirts came off and lots of mugging happened, but in the end, visitor “Brad” took the prize, as he seemed to have the most fun pretending to be a catwalk model – and received the most applause.

Clearance initiative near Jalacte on the Belize-Guatemala borderline starts without incident
Not even the thick mud and wet, hilly terrain could deter the resolve of about 125 Belizeans who trekked their way from the Jalacte community in Toledo District to the Belize-Guatemala border near the Guatemalan community of Santa Cruz. The group, comprising of members of Belize Territorial Volunteers led by Wil Maheia and other civil groups, decided to take a historic and symbolic stand in which they kicked off their bold initiative to clear the Belize-Guatemala borderline on March 2nd. The group’s action is a result of continuous reference to the Belize-Guatemala borderline as “artificial” in comments made by Belize’s own Foreign Affair Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington in several interviews. The Belize Territorial Volunteers have maintained that the Belize-Guatemala borderline has been clearly defined in the Belizean Constitution and as such gives the Government of Belize (GOB) the power to prevent continuous incursions by Guatemalans. Evidence of the incursions is seen on a continuous basis by Belizeans living along the bordering communities. Those residents have raised concerns as it relates to people squatting on Belizean soil, Guatemalans planting inside Belizean territories and even illegal trade from one side of the border to the other. “Despite the fact of the jungle, that they claim is here, I am glad that you are here today so that you can see that we are losing forest on a daily basis.

Belize City and San Benito, Guatemala establish a Sister City Relationship
On Friday March 1st, the Belize City Council hosted Mayor Sonia Rivera of San Benito, Petén Guatemala as part of an adjoining visit made by Mayor Darrell Bradley of Belize City. Mayor Rivera, along with her councilor members and members of the Guatemalan congress travelled to Belize to sign the agreement of Sister City Relationship between the two municipalities. Mayor Bradley had visited San Benito in January of this year as part of an invitation made by Mayor Rivera to establish the relationship. “We have already been talking about various housing projects and exchanges in culture and our intention is that we should have regular exchanges with the city of San Benito. So I want to extend on behalf of the people of Belize City, our hand of friendship to Alcaldesa Sonia Rivera to the members of the Guatemalan congress, to the councilors of the council of San Benito, to the people of San Benito and to the people of Guatemala,” said Mayor Bradley. Although the current relationship between Guatemala and Belize is not at its best due to the impending debate on whether Belize should take the matter of Guatemala claiming Belizean land to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), there is still a long lasting connection between Guatemalans and Belizeans. Both mayors expressed the importance of fostering a diplomatic relationship between the two countries. Mayor Rivera lived in Belize for seventeen years, and currently has her daughter studying in a Belizean institution. Many Belizeans have family connections in Guatemala, including with elected officials. Amidst all the conflict, the formal declaration of friendship that has taken place seems to be a silver lining. Mayor Rivera stated “My brothers and sisters of Belize, we are going forward; we will find the peace one day, but remember God is first.”The purpose of signing the Sister City Relationship agreement is for the two municipalities to be able to exchange ideas, knowledge, culture and history in the hopes for a better society for the people of both cities.

Ambergris Today

Belize Territorial Volunteers demarcate Belize’s border lines
Territorial Volunteers (BTV) spearheaded by Wil Maheia of PG TV and the People’s National Party (PNP), met at Belize’s border with Guatemala, to carry out a cleanup campaign to clear vegetation on Belize’s side of the border. The group consisting of 150 volunteers began the work at Container Hill from sunrise to late afternoon. The contingent had representation from various social groups including Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA); the University of Belize; the Belize Coalition for Justice; BelizeCan, a NonPartisan, nongovernmental Organization established as a “Watchdog Group” to strengthen the Democratic principles and social justice in the Nation of Belize; Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association, various media representatives, along with Belizean men, women and children. According to Maheia, the day was a successful one with approximately 20 meters being cleared along Belize’s side of the border. “The day went without a hitch. During our preliminary work, we discussed the border and pointed out exactly where it is at. As we walked along the road, we met up with Guatemalans who had with them the presence of a representative from the Organization of American States (OAS) who confirmed, after verifying his GPS coordinates that the Guatemalans were indeed on Belizean soil.” After a conversation with the Guatemalan neighbors Maheia stated, “rather than being arrested at the border as the Foreign Minister [Hon. Wilfred Elrington] had indicated, there were hugs instead.”

Foreva Fancy Boutique Holds Fashion Show
Foreva Fancy Boutique held its Exclusive Fashion Show on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at the Island Club Resort. It was a night full of fashion, dresses, shoes and great modeling. Sixteen beautiful models took hold of the runway and displayed beautiful accessories, dresses and shoes that can all be found at Foreva Fancy Boutique located in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. The host for the evening was Mrs. Wilema Gonzalez and the 16 beautiful models were Shantiiee Lu, Michelle Nunez, Liliana Nunez, Dianne, Gabriela Varela, Naiely Puc, Aylin Nunez, Jordana Segura, Elma Gonzalez, Sky McCorkle, Ivy Saldivar, Brianna Hope, Gowsi, Nathalia, Gia Rodriquez, and Elaila Castillo.

Misc Belizean Sources

History of Banana Bank
In the 1800's logging was the main thrust of the economy. The only way to the interior was by boat and people spoke of the jungle in hushed tones. Banana Bank was an outpost of this forbidden land on the Belize River. The colonial system was to award certain companies huge tracts of land with logging rights in exchange for support for the crown. From February to June, the logs were cut and dragged to the company headquarters. They were sorted, branded and lashed together in large rafts, awaiting the rains that raised the river enabling them to float to the sea. Such gathering sites for the logs were called barquadiers. As well as a barquadier, Banana Bank was a headquarters for the owners of the company, Belize Estates Corporation. It was a place to come and find a good meal, exchange news and get a good night's rest. Stories were embellished by those coming from the city and others coming from deep within the jungle where the logs were found. It was a place of refuge from the hardships of the jungle and of excitement for those thirsty for a taste of adventure. A newspaper article from the Clarion in 1910 designated Banana Bank as a place of great hospitality and intrigue. The logging operation depended on the transfer of logs first of all from the bush to the river, which was usually accomplished by oxen. These same oxen when old or wounded were used to feed the workers. If there was no river then in certain parts of the country, small rail lines were built. One such rail line was built in the early 1930's going from Gallon Jug to Hill Bank, another outpost of the logging era.

Howler attacked and captured by students
On the day of March 5th 2013, a school teacher at The Belize High School of Agriculture in Orange Walk instructed a group of male students to capture a howler monkey in the nearby bushes behind the school’s plantation area. According to a student the teacher told him and the rest of the guys that the howler monkey had defecated on him while he was sleeping in the bushes. On this day the students were dismissed a little after 1o’clock due to the absence of water. The ringing bell that indicated dismissal was over passed by the uproar of students as the group of males carried the injured and bleeding monkey through the school as if they were heroes for what they had done. Some of the other teachers and I were disturbed by such a cruel and inhumane act. After speaking to several students it was known that the boys had been shooting the monkey with sling shots, beating the monkey with tree limbs and then tied the monkey’s hands and feet so that he /she couldn’t run away. My question today is WHY? Why hurt one Belize’s own animals?! This inhumane act done instructed by one of BHSA’s ignorant and asinine teacher will not be overlooked! Something must be done!

VIDEO: Diving The Belize Barrier Reef, Eagle Ray Canyon
Join Josh and Teryl as we explore Eagle Ray Canyon at Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Many thanks to Josh and Teryl for helping us create awareness of reef conservation in Belize.

'13 Years of Chilillo Dam' Documentary Trailer
Daniel Velazquez has another film documentary in the works. This one is about the Chilillo Dam, and its impact on the area. The trailer looks awesome! There's an interview with the Belize Zoo's Sharon Matola, and many great shots from the area. "a 13 year reflection of habitat and wildlife, yesterday and today, stock footage from Richard and Carol Foster wildlife films, along with current HD documentation of latest environmental impact."

The BWRC Story of Saving Mia
Great story about the Howler Monkey that was hit by a car, and saved by the Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic a month ago. It chronicles the story from the day of the accident to this week. Dr. Isabelle and her team at the BWRC saved Mia, and she's been rehabilitating at Wildtracks ever since. She'll be released into the wild later this year. "Mia was later taken to the Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic where the medical team discovered that she had suffered severe head trauma in the accident. Dr. Isabelle and her team administered stabilization treatment, fluid therapy and intensive care for several days. On February 6th, she was placed on board a Lighhawk flight en route to Wildtracks, a manatee and primate rehabilitation center in the village of Sarteneja, run by Paul Walker, a zoologist, and his wife, Zoe, to undergo careful rehabilitation. Several weeks later, Valerie called Paul to check on Mia's progress."

La Ruta Maya Cultural Night
The La Ruta Maya Cultural Night is tonight at the Cayo Welcome Center. There will be live music from the Galen Eagles Band, a Mayan Rain Dance by Orquidea Negra, and Dr. Jaime Awe will present 'The Old Belize River,' which is all about the fascinating history of the Maya and their use of the rivers of Belize. "This Year the San Ignacio & Santa Elena House of Culture (NICH) is proud to organize the Cultural Night in Collaboration with Bowen and Bowen. Working with the Pioneers of the Challenge has been very enlightening with the three founding pillars of the race which are the Environmental, Cultural and Historical value of the Belize River. Celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the Ruta Maya River Challenge with us on Thursday March 7th, 2013"

Kiddie Kinder Preschool Visits SIPL
The San Ignacio Public Library is having Cayo schools visit for Children's Month. Kiddie Kinder Preschool visited for some storytelling. Thank you, SIPL! "'Molding Today's learner's into tomorrow's leaders'. Stories and activities for CSM began today at the SIPL."

SHC's Dr. Aird Interviewed for ICDB
Dr. Eve Aird, the president of Sacred Heart College, gets interviewed by Alexandria Young for the International Children's Day of Broadcasting. Some great questions are asked of Dr. Aird. Perfect timing for Women's Month and Children's Month. "International Children's Day of Broadcasting interview: Alexandria Young and Dr. Eve Aird"

THE TOURIST BELIZE Marketing with a Global Perspective! Conference March 8th, Belize City, Bliss Institute

Channel 7

Plane that Left Belize Illegally Busted In Venezuela
On Friday's news, we broke the story of a small plane, an Aero Commander 500 which had left Belize airspace without filing a flight plan, or making the required checks with customs and immigration - which is both illegal and suspicious. As we reported at the time, it left Belize from the Spanish Lookout airstrip on the afternoon of February 21st., without filing a flight plan - which would make it impossible to land anywhere legally. What made it even more suspicious is that the plane had been outfitted with extended range fuel tanks - enabling it to fly long distances. And sure enough, illegality was afoot. Reports from newspapers in Venezuela say that the day after it left Belize, the plane made an illegal, early morning landing at an unauthorized airstrip in the Northwestern region of that country known as Acarigua. The onboard GPS showed its final destination as the Apura state, which borders with Colombia. Those onboard were Canadian David William Sawatzky and Colombian Jorge Armando Bustamante. They have been charged with illicit trafficking of narcotics and conspiracy to traffic. They were also charged with interference in the operation safety of civil aviation, diversion from and fraudulent acquisition of route, illegal piloting of aircraft and transportation of dangerous goods. They have been remanded to Los Llanos Prison.

Man Caught With Gun, Stuns Court, Pleads Guilty; Victim Still In Serious Condition
On Monday, we told you about the shooting of 28 year-old Ronald Rivers. Well, the man who police believe could have been the shooter is at prison tonight. As we reported, at 10:30 a.m., Rivers was fixing his Ford Escape at the Bel-China UNO gas station when two men reportedly rode up on bicycle and shot him in the face. Rivers slumped over the back seat, and he somehow survived the attack. He was rushed to the KHMH in a critical condition. Fortunately, police officers were on patrol at the corner of Vernon Street and Youth for the Future Drive when they heard the sound the gunshot which nearly killed Rivers. One of the officers saw a young man, identified as, 18 year-old Lloyd King, riding away, and he was attempting to shove what looked like a gun into his pants. The officers pursued him, as he went down Johnson Street. When he arrived in front of the Matron Roberts Polyclinic, he got off his bike, and tried to escape through an alley. In his haste, he tripped, and fell, and the officers were able to catch up and detain him.

Man Killed In Drain Was Hard Working, No Criminal Record
At the top of the newscast last night we told you about a late evening shooting that left a man dead in a drain on Glynn Street. His identity has been confirmed as 36 year old stevedore Frank Neal, a resident of Guererro Street in the Port Loyola Area. Today we spoke to his family who could hardly find words to explain how senseless his killing is. Jules Vasquez Reporting Yesterday, Frank Neal's family had to be carted away from the scene, fainting, overwhelmed at the image of him lying dead in the drain. His family says that the 36 year old Neal came around here regularly to buy Johnny Cakes Jamelia Neal- Niece of Deceased "Anybody who knows my uncle Frankie knows he is not a troubled man. He was just walking behind extra house to collect his pay. Upon going to collect his pay, well the person know who kill him and we will leave that to God. They will pay back in their own way, the person that shot my uncle, when they see his picture on news tonight, they will know he is no trouble or in any gang. Anybody that knows him knows he works as a stevedore. Every day he goes to buy Johnny cake from the same spot, so the person that shot him knows he goes to buy Johnny cake around there every day.

PUP Gives DOB's GOB An "F"
On Friday, we showed you PM Barrow's Budget presentation where he boasted of 5.3% economic growth last year, with a projected growth of 3% for next year, which is above the regional averages in Central America and the Caribbean. When 7News interviewed the Leader of Opposition, Francis Fonseca, he didn't have much to say about it. But, after digesting the budget for almost a week, the Opposition came back today with a press conference which lasted just over an hour. The topic of interest was none other than the performance of the UDP while in government for 5 years, with focus on the 1 year anniversary of their re-election. Their message addressed many aspects of the difficulties and shortcomings facing the country, but we start at the most-outstanding moment of the event. That's when Belize Rural Central Representative Dolores Balderamos-Garcia read their assessment of the GOB's performance. Here's how that went, along with the Leader of the Opposition's response when asked for his impression of the budget 6 days later:

For Hugo, The Thanks Of A Grateful Nation
And while the UDP's performance in Government was the main focus, the PUP did take a moment to offer condolences to the Country of Venezuela and its people for the loss its President, Hugo Chavez. Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca remarked that Venezuela has been a great friend to Belize under Chavez's tenure as president: Hon. Francis Fonseca - Leader of Opposition "Our party has put out a brief release earlier today, sent out to the media which outlines our obvious -and great respect to the life of the late president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. As you said, he was and up to the time of his death, remains a good friend to the people of Belize. We certainly in the People's United Party mourn his lost and we are in great sympathy with the good people of Venezuela at this time of lost and mourning." Government issued its own statement today saying quote, "President Chavez was a true friend of Belize and over many years, the Belizean people enjoyed the fruits of friendship and cooperation that the Government and people of the Bolivarian Republic" The statement adds that Acting Prime Minister, Gaspar Vega has contacted acting President Nicolas Maduro to convey the condolences of the Government and People of Belize.

Where "God" Becomes "Gaawd"
Months ago, we told you about the effort to produce the audiobook version of the New Testament bible in Kriol. It took hours upon hours of work to record and compile the voices of dozens of Belizeans speaking in kriol. They were reading from the written version of the text, which also took years to translate. But finally, as they say in the good book: it is accomplished. The book and audiobook were launched today at the first press conference we've attended in a church. Jules Vasquez reports: Jules Vasquez Reporting Myrna Manzanres - National Kriol Council "From the top of my head to the bottom of my feet, welcome to this historic launching of the Bible in Kriol, our Bible, all of us who speak Kriol." And in the church built by slaves two centuries ago, the kriol language came home in grand style, in the written and spoken word, Belize's own Kriol Bible:

Entire Meighan Family To Jail; They Say Police Set them Up; Police Provide Video
The Meighan Family on Banak Street: they've been in the news countless times - for all those times when their home was shot up and for those many times when police arrest the Meighan Brothers. Indeed, they are targeted - it seems almost non-stop - by law enforcement and the outlaws. And tonight, the entire family, mother, sons and daughter are in jail, remanded after the GSU claims to have found two rounds of live 9mm ammunition in their home. We say - "claims to have found" - because the Meighan family says those bullets were planted. They told us that the GSU conducted a search on their house just yesterday and found nothing. And then, they returned early this morning just after 4am and came up with the two bullets inside a barrel in one of the bedrooms. But the GSU claims differently. First off, they flatly deny searching the house yesterday - but concede that some other police unit may have searched it. Nonetheless, the GSU did their own search this morning acting on their own information, which is when they made the find.

BTB Says It Will Assist The Artisans
Yesterday, we showed you the discontent at the BTB's Fort George Craft Market in which the artisans complained about enforcement of rules, which confined them to the market while other artisans were allegedly given preferential treatment to approach the tourists at the gate of the Tourism Village. They also added that since they've been forced to operate from the market, business has been slow, as compared to when they were allowed to sell their goods on the street corner. In all of the frustration venting, the artisans lashed out at the BTB for forcing them to operate only from that specific area. Well, BTB heard their comments, and today, they spoke to us to set the record straight that they have no control over enforcement of those stray artisans who are breaking the rules. In addition, the Director of BTB also explained that they are cognizant of the issue that proximity to the Tourism Village determines whether or not the artisans make any sales for the day. She outlined in detail why allowing artisans operate without regulation hurts the country's tourism profile, and what measures are being taken to assist them in the long term.

Shot At Cops, But Walks Out Of Court Free
Viewers may remember 20 year-old Stephen Anderson. He allegedly robbed a businessman, and shot at responding police, but tonight he is free after walking out of Magistrate's Court this morning. As we reported, police said that at around 7 p.m. on April 2, 2012 he robbed a businessman at gunpoint of his red motorcycle. Police officers were on patrol, and they activated to intercept Anderson on Evergreen Street. That's when he allegedly pulled out a gun and fired 2 shots at the police mobile, hitting the front bumper and radiator. He was then apprehended on Hondo Street, where the officers allegedly recovered a .38 pistol from him, which contained 2 expended shells, and a live round. He was then charged with attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm, robbery, keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition. Since then, he has been brought back and forth from prison to Magistrate's Court, and today his matter was called up once again before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith.

City Hall Stays On Message
On Friday, the Belize City Council will also be celebrating its first anniversary in office, and they've planned out an entire week of activities to commemorate it - one of which we told you about yesterday as they fed the elderly. Today, the council hosted an open day fair in the NICH Parking lot in which all of the different departments put on a presentation of their roles and functions. Now that might sound about as interesting as watching grass grow, but the Mayor explained why it should matter to the public. Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council "This is the marking of our 1 year anniversary in office, and actually the fair is something routinely done. We invested a little bit more, we asked the staff to go a little bit more since it marks the 1 year anniversary of us being in office. What we've done is every department of the City Council is represented out here, and they're showcasing to the general public what the city council does. We would have information about the court; we have information about trade licenses, liquor licenses, works, and sanitations. We have information from the office of the Mayor; we have about our prospectors and our bond information. Any question that anyone has about anything that goes on at the City Council, they could come here, and there will be person from the City Council who will be able to give a quick response. We've also invited a lot of schools and so you will see during the fair a lot of young people are coming out, because we want, especially our younger person to have that awareness as it relates to what role and functions the City Council performs within the city."

Boom Gets A New Police Station
There is some good news for the villagers of Burrell Boom. The village Police Substation is under serious renovation after being neglected for years. It's long overdue, but the officer in charge says better late than never: ASP Chris Noble - Regional Executive Officer "It is not major improvement; it is working on what we already had and improving on a level where it will be accepted by the community and the police. It will be more conducive. We're trying to make it so that you can walk in, you can talk, and communicate. The area had some challenges, but when I came on board in late December we looked at La Ruta Maya. This is one of the central areas where that event stops. We're looking at getting it up and running before that; because we want the people to know that we will be here. We will be doing our jobs and we will be in the area defiantly trying to do better police work.

National Team Football Coach Gone, Again!
Tonight, 7News has confirmed that the National Team Coach, Leroy Sherrier, who was trying to mend fences with the football community in Belize, has decided to leave once again. The last time he spoke to us, he had announced that he was in the very final stages of negotiating - and signing - a contract with the Football Federation of Belize where he would have been given security of tenure. Well, it seems that he could not come to an agreement with the National Team Committee, the body which exists separate from the FFB, and which governs the matters of the national team. Reliable information to our newsroom is that while in negotiation with the Committee, Sherrier could not accept any contract drafts they presented because they allegedly put him at a disadvantage.

Channel 5

Drug plane left Cayo and busted in Venezuela
There have been many recent, but unconfirmed reports of low flying planes over Orange Walk and the Southern Highway on the outskirts of Punta Gorda. While only a trail of smoke have been spotted across the skies, a recent bust of a drug plane in South America had a direct trail to western Belize. The [...]

Football’s off and on and now off again coach
And the plane was not the only export that left Belize without a plan. Costa Rican Coach, Leroy Sherrier Lewis, in an abrupt decision, walked off his job this morning when he boarded a flight back to his home country.  The Gold Cup to be played in numerous U.S. cities is a few months away, [...]

Why was Frankie killed?
Just before the start of our newscast on Tuesday, a stevedore was gunned down as he was taking his daily ride to buy Johnny cakes in the area behind Extra House. Thirty-six year old Frank Neal was killed by a man who rode up on bicycle and fired the fatal shots. It happened at the [...]

Country mourns President Chavez, friend of Belize
Around the world today, the news has been about the death of President of Venezuela, fifty-eight year old Hugo Chavez. In Venezuela, multitudes took to the streets to honor the late president as his coffin draped in Venezuela’s blue, red and yellow flag, was moved through Caracas, from the hospital where he died to the [...]

Venezuela programs are Chavez’s living legacy
Tribute has been flowing from many countries including Belize to honor the late president. The opposition issued a statement today and since Prime Minister Dean Barrow is out of the country, Acting Prime Minister, Gaspar Vega has communicated with acting President Nicholas Maduro to convey the condolences from Belize. Vega referred to Chavez as a [...]

Opposition says government gets an F on report card
March seventh marks one year since general elections returned the incumbent United Democratic Party to office. Today the Opposition, People’s United Party, help a press conference at party headquarters Independence Hall to offer a report card on the government and very pointedly, on the performance of Prime Minister Dean Barrow for the period 2008 – [...]

Opposition says P.U.P. report card shows mass improvement
And since today seemed to be report card day, at least on the political front, we asked Francis Fonseca to grade his own party in Opposition. He based his report against the backdrop of the devastating loss suffered by the P.U.P. in 2008 and says that while the internal organization continues, the party is doing [...]

Working on it—P.U.P. still not decided on Belize/Guatemala going to ICJ
The Referendum Unit on the Belize–Guatemala dispute working out of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs kicked off its awareness campaign in January. While that campaign’s stated purpose is to provide Belizeans with the pros, cons and risks associated of taking the territorial claim to the ICJ, the Government has officially stated that it is in [...]

Mom says she didn’t give up ‘baby in bucket’ for adoption
On Tuesday night’s news, we featured a KBTV Fox Four report on a true life story of a ten week old baby found abandoned in a bucket in a village in Belize by a Beaumont couple. The report said that the child was not only an orphan, but also suffered from club foot. The couple [...]

‘Hohlih Mohziz’ New Testament of the Bible in Creole
Religious and cultural history was made today with the launching of the New Testament of the Bible in Creole. The formal presentation took place during an inspirational mass at a fitting venue, the two hundred year old St. John’s Anglican Cathedral in Belize City. The finished products, a written version and a spoken version on [...]

Minister Farrakhan preaches education to UB students
While the New Testament was being launched in Creole, there was another positive event in Belmopan. The Leader of the Nation of Islam and devout Muslim, Minister Louis Farrakhan, continued at a steady pace on his visit to Belize. Farrakhan has tailored his message to suit the various interest groups; he met activists and grassroots [...]

Entire Meighan family behind bars
  The entire Meighan family is tonight behind bars after a mother, daughter and her two sons were remanded on a charge of keeping unlicensed ammunition. They now join another son, Tyrone Meighan, who is currently on remand for a charge of murder. Early today, the GSU conducted a surprise raid on the family home [...]

18 year old charged with Attempted Murder and Harm
This morning when eighteen year old Lloyd Alexander King appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, he was charged for Keeping an Unlicensed Firearm and Ammunition. And if that wasn’t enough, this afternoon the teenager appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer where he was additionally charged with Attempted Murder, Use of Deadly Means of Harm [...]

A tribute to heroes of Belize
There are many heroes who have made an impact in Belize’s history, but whose name may not necessarily resonate among Belizeans. With this in mind, the contributions to the jewel by men such as Isaiah Morter and Sidney Turton came to the fore this morning.  NICH today launched an exhibition to pay them homage just [...]


Belize Extends Condolences On The Passing of Venezuelan President
The Government of Belize has extended condolences on the passing of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Government says President Chavez was a true friend of Belize and over many years, the Belizean people enjoyed the fruits of friendship and cooperation that the Government and peo...

Minister Louis Farrakhan Addresses Students During His Visit to Belize
Minister Louis Farrakhan continued his official visit to Belize by addressing students in the Belmopan area. The event was held at the University of Belize’s auditorium in Belmopan. Minister Farrakhan spoke on the topic, the role of the student in a developing Belize. M...

Main Opposition Party Grades Government's Performance
Thursday, March 7th will mark one year since the United Democratic Party regained power at the polls. But while the ruling party is no doubt celebrating its achievements, the Opposition People’s United Party is pointing to the government’s failures in that one year re...

Belize Counts Down For The La Ruta Maya River Challenge
The La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge has evolved into an international event, attracting tourists not only to cheer on and observe, but also to compete. Since its inception in 1998 with 30 teams registered to participate, the race peaked in 2007 with a total 130 canoes partici...

Leaders of Salvation Army In The Caribbean Scheduled To Visit Belize
The leaders of the Salvation Army in the Caribbean will be coming to Belize for an official working visit next week. Colonel Onal and Edmane Castor are due to arrive in Belize on Wednesday of next week and will be conducting a series of activities including a review of the work o...

The New Testament of the Bible Launched In The Creole Language
The historic St. John’s Anglican Cathedral in Belize City was the venue this morning for the launch of the New Testament of the Bible in Creole. Various dignitaries including the Governor General, members of the clergy and different denominations were present for the event....

Man Killed While Buying Journey Cakes
A man was shot and killed late yesterday evening in Belize City, reporter Marion Ali has the story. MARION ALI “It was near the corner of Glynn and Cairo Streets that someone riding on a bicycle, edged up behind 36-year-ol, Frank Neal and shot him in the back of the head....

Charge of Attempted Murder Dismissed Following Unavailable Case File
Twenty year old Stephen Anderson, who was charged with attempted murder and other charges for allegedly shooting at a police vehicle, was freed of all the charges when they were dismissed today by the chief Magistrate, Anne Marie smith, for want of prosecution. Apparently the case file...

Burglary Charge Levied On High School Student
Nineteen year old Justin Cuellar, a high school student of Lizarraga Avenue, was charged with burglary and handling stolen goods for over $5,000.00 worth of assorted jewelry when he appeared in court today. Cuellar pled not guilty to the charges. He was released on a bail of $1,000.00 ...

Teenager Sentenced To Five Years On Ammunition Charges
Eighteen year old Lloyd King, an unemployed of 5 Mayflower Street charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license, was sentenced to five years for each count today after he pled guilty to the charges. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, who imposed the sentences, stipulat...

Mother and Her Three Children Remanded on Ammunition Charge
A 38 year old mother, her two sons and her daughter were imprisoned today after they appeared in Court and were charged with kept ammunition without a gun license. The mother is Sheldon Meighan. One of her son is Ellis Meighan Jr and the other is a 17 year old minor. Her daughter is 21...


Spread The Word To End The Word. The Word "Retard" That Is
Saint Peter’s Anglican School is the only school in the Orange Walk District that caters for children with special needs. Unfortunately, children with disabilities experience many challenges, some of which could be avoided if the proper education is set in place. And we are not talking about the education offered to children with special needs; we are referring to society’s lack of information when it comes to disabled children. Often at times children suffering some sort of disability are looked at in a negative manner and to make matters worse are even referred to as Retards, a word that Saint Peters Anglican School seeks to ban from your vocabulary. Hipolito Novelo reports. Children with Special Needs are indeed special but often at times their disability has become cause for bullying. The reality is that behind closed doors children with disabilities are called all sorts of names including retards. With this in mind, Special Education Teacher at Saint Peter’s Anglican School Diany Medina says, it’s time to “Spread the word to Stop the Word”, the word retard that is. Today the school opened its gates and welcomed several students and other community members to sign the school’s banner that seeks to have the “R” word banned.

Meet the Recipients Of the LICU SSEDDAT Two Program
As mentioned, 15 MSC’s are being assisted under the micro grants awarded by the LICU SSEDDAT Two Program valued at six hundred and seventy seven thousand thirty four dollars and eighty five cents. The aim of the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Grant, which is valued at BZ$195,000.00, is to provide and create more diversified sources of income thus enhancing living conditions in the rural communities of the north. Yesterday we spoke to a few of the recipients who told us how they will be investing their funding. Osmany Salas, President BTIA Orange Walk Chapter “The main purpose of the grant, for a 9 months period, is for us to put out a quarterly tourism publication. Our sister chapters from other parts of the country like Toledo chapter has the Toledo Howler, the Placencia Chapter has the Placencia Breeze and so we will come up without own for the Northern Region. So we will be working close with the Corozal Chapter but the main purpose of that is to have a venue through which we can promote not only tourism but agriculture based projects and activities in the northern region. Also to promote the other recipients who got help from the LICU SSEDDAT Project. So the whole idea is to promote the northern region, Corozal and Orange Walk Districts, with the goal that more people will know about us and we would get more visitors. After this grant from LICU SSEDDAT is exhausted, we will continue the publication on a quarterly basis.”

PUP Says UDP Government Failed Miserably
Today the People’s United Party held a press conference at its Headquarters on Queen Street Belize City where they graded the performance of the Barrow Administration after a year of re-election. And from the P.U.P’s perspective, the United Democratic Party has failed the Belizean people miserably. Francis Fonseca, Party Leader PUP “After 5 years of UDP Government is rooted in one that Dean Barrow. His petty decisive vindictive arrogance has cast a long dark shadow of fear and intimidation and hopelessness across our country. Mr. Barrow’s greatest skill is confrontation and destruction. He is a stranger to nation building dialogue and humility. Look no further than Mr. Barrow to understand the social and economic crisis that we are in. But there is hope brother and sisters. The People’s United Party is committed to serving Belize, to leading Belize out of this dark and gloomy chapter in our history.”

PUP Mourns The Lost Of Hugo Chavez
Venezuela has announced seven days of mourning after the death of “El Comandante”, 58 year old Hugo Chavez. Chavez’s body is expected to be transferred from the military hospital to the military academy, where he trained and where people will be able to pay their respects just before he is buried on Friday during a state funeral. In Venezuela, the constitution requires new elections to be held within 30 days, although there has been no announcement so far. Chavez has been described as a great ally to Belize and that is because under his rule Venezuela and Belize established a relationship in which Belize benefited from. Today the People’s United Party send out a press release in which Rt. Honorable Said Musa is quoted as saying that Chavez was always ready and willing to provide developmental assistance to Belize; in housing for the poor, in quality and affordable healthcare and in improvements of sport facilities for our young people. The former Prime Minister also stated that the Petro-Caribe initiative, which shares the oil wealth of Venezuela with its neighbors, stands as a testament to the great spirit of generosity and solidarity of Hugo Chavez to many struggling countries of the Caribbean and the Americas including Belize.

Plane Leaves Belize And Is Busted In Venezuela
Belize is tonight making international headlines but it’s the kind that gives the country a black eye. International reports suggest that 51 year old Canadian citizen William David Sawatzky and 31 year old Colombian National Jorge Bustamante were charged with crimes of smuggling of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances in the mode of transport and conspiracy, incurring interference in the safety of civil aviation, and fraudulently obtaining diversion route, and the illegal driving of dangerous goods and transport. The men were charged after they allegedly transported drugs in an aircraft that landed on February 22nd at the General Oswaldo Guevara Mujica Airport, located in Acarigua, Portugal. So what does this have to do with Belize? Well, according to the investigation, on the morning of February 21st 2013 officials of the National Guard visualized an aircraft flying over the airspace of Acarigua and as they moved to the airport, they watched as the plane landed. Military troops found on board the aircraft the two foreigners, who said they took off from a private airport in Belize. Later, officers of the Scientific, Penal and Criminal Investigations performed drug screening expertise in the aircraft, which was positive to cocaine. Immediately the two men were arrested. It is worth noting that within the aircraft four cans of gasoline, a hand pump, a hose and an additional tank for fuel was found. Here in Belize it was reported that the Aero Commander 500 reportedly left Belizean airspace from a licensed airfield in Western Belize on the afternoon of February 21st without a flight plan.

PUP: Barrow's Budget Doesn't Solve Anything
The Government of Belize presented the countries 2013/2014 fiscal budget titled “Achieving debt sustainability, Stimulating economic expansion”, during a special sitting of the House of Representative on March 1st. During his presentation, Prime Minister Dean Barrow, boasted that there would be no new taxes and no cuts. Barrow’s speech lasted more than an hour but it had no effect on the Leader of the Opposition Honorable Francis Fonseca, who has stated that he is not impressed by the budget. Today the People’s United Party held a press conference in Belize City where the Party Leader elaborated on the budget adding that even though the financial plan provides for no new taxes or cuts, it lacks solution to the problems currently faced by Belizeans. Francis Fonseca, Party Leader PUP “We will be holding consultations as we did for the last several years as a party, hold consultation with the private sector, with the unions, church community, and young people. We are meeting with the student government leaders of the University of Belize and Galen University because we believe that it is important. So we are making sure that we are consulting so that when the debate comes on March 21st and 22nd we will be able to speak from an inform position having discussed the budget with these various stakeholders. There is no plan in the budget to deal with growing the economy in a very serious way. There is no plan in the budget to tackle the very serious problem that we are having in the health sector. There is no plan in the budget to deal with crime and that is reflected at every step of the budget. "The budget really is a lot of empty rhetoric, and it's a budget that reflects very clearly that we have our Prime minister that lives in one world. We have a UDP Government and Mr. Barrow living in Barrow land. They're living in their own world and out here on the real streets, in the village communities and in our homes. People have a very different reality."

Do You Have A Name For Pat The Cat's Cub?
If you are a standard five student then we advise that you pay keen attention to the following report. The Embassy of the United States of America has launched a nationwide competition for standard five students to come up with a name for Pat the great Cat’s cub. Years ago Pat the male jaguar was captured in Belize after becoming a cattle killing problem jaguar. He was then entered into the Belize Zoo Problem Jaguar Rehabilitation Program. Pat the cat was then transported to the Milwaukee County Zoo after officials of the zoo visited Belize. Soon Pat the cat became a big star as graphics were developed, telling thousands of visitors at the Milwaukee Zoo about Belize. Today news coming out of the Milwaukee Zoo is that Pat the famous real jaguar featured in Pat the (Great) Cat: A Jaguar's Journey has become a father.

LIS Celebrates Cultural Day
Today the celebrations for Child Stimulation month continued at La Inmaculada School as preschoolers paid tribute to the rich cultural diversity in Belize. From the Mestizo to the Creole these young minds, accompanied by their parents or guardians, learnt about the food, religion and music of each culture with the aim of keeping it alive. Lenny Umana: Administrator Infant Division “We are trying to instill in students the different cultures that our country have and we also involve the parents. We tried to reach out to the community in instilling what is culture in our young children. Today we have the Mestizo, Hindu, Chinese, Garifuna and the Creoles. Well you know it is an identity and our country is identified by its rich culture and I think our children need to have this culture instill in them so that we don’t lose what is our tradition and heritage. So it is very important that our children be instilled with the culture.” With all the information provided learning proved to be fun and according to Lenny Umana, Administrator for the Infant Division preschoolers can now distinguish the various cultures found in Belize.

Yes Or NO To The ICJ? PUP Has Not Decided
Whether or not to take Guatemala’s Claim to the International Court of Justice has received mixed reviews from Belizean’s across the country. So far pressure group, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, have voiced out that they do not believe that the matter should be taken to the ICJ. On the other hand, the United Party Government, voted at their party convention in Corozal to have the situation resolved at the ICJ. Just recently, over 150 Belizeans, lead by President of the Belize Territorial Volunteers, Wil Maheia, travelled to the South West border between Belize and Guatemala to publicize that Belize does have a border and that the long standing despite should not be taken to the ICJ. The People’s United Party is yet to take a stand on the national issue. In today’s press conference, Party Leader, Honorable Francis Fonseca, revealed that discussion papers on the issue have circulated in the party’s caucuses in order to fully educate their members about the cons and pros of taking the matter to the ICJ.


Kriol Bible launched at Historic St. John’s Cathedral
Belize Kriol is the national lingua franca, a requirement to get around and get along in the Jewel. But while few give thought to speaking it, not that many know how to read it. Today, a special tool was launched that its creators hope will change that. It is...

Frank Neal shot while riding his bicycle on Belize City
A late evening murder in Belize City yesterday has left another family devastated. Around 5:50 Tuesday evening, 36-year-old Frank Neal, a stevedore of Guerrero Street, Belize City, was shot while riding his bicycle on Glynn Street. Police report that a man they believe to be of dark complexion rode...

Man awaiting trial for murder now faces charges of escape
A man awaiting trial for murder reportedly escaped from police custody, but was caught the following day. In Orange Walk on Monday, 19 year old Trinidad Pineda was being escorted to prison and when the vehicle reached a speed bump at the Tower Hill Junction, he jumped out of...

Farrakhan speaks to University of Belize student Body
Minister of the Nation of Islam Louis Farrakhan continues his six-day visit to Belize and on Tuesday he sat down with community activists at the UWI Open Campus in Belize City to talk about their role in “participatory democracy.” Farrakhan spoke of the role of activists in society today:...

Belize City Council holds an Open Day
The Belize City Council continued its week of activities with an Open Day today at the NICH Parking Lot. The various departments of the Council from Finance to Sanitation to Works were on display for school children who came to learn more about how the Council works. Activities continue...

PUP addresses the nation on important national issues
The People’s United Party this afternoon called a press conference at the Independence Hall headquarters on Queen Street to address the nation on important national issues. This week marks one year since the double elections of March 7, 2012 in which the UDP held on to 17 seats to...

Belizean plane caught in Venezuela with unprocessed cocaine
Two men who allegedly flew a plane from Belize carrying cocaine appeared at an initial court hearing in Portuguesa State, Venezuela. 51 year-old Canadian William David Sawatzky and 31 year old Colombian Jorge Armando Bustamante ware detained when the plane landed on February 22nd at General Oswaldo Guevara Mujica...

Hammon Lemmott awarded by Do The Right Thing Program
A student from the Belmopan Baptist High School was rewarded today for doing the right thing. Every year, schools from around the country recommend students for the Do The Right Thing Program, organized by the Police Department. And this morning, the Department awarded Hammon Lemmott, from the Belmopan area,...

Alleged George Street gang member remanded on firearn charges
An alleged George Street gang member is in prison on firearm and ammunition charges. On Monday, the Gang Suppression Unit conducted a search at the residence of 21 year old Keron Pinto, who is said to be affiliated with the George Street gang. GSU found a chrome forty caliber...

Dangriga resident Darwin Duran charged with drug trafficking
A suspected drug dealer has been charged with drug trafficking. 27 year old Dangriga resident Darwin Duran was charged with the offense after GSU discovered 98 grams of cannabis hidden in a black plastic bag at his residence. The bust was made last week Friday, after GSU searched an...

New well drilling at Blue Creek is expected to produce positive results
Despite shares dropping last week, and disappointing oil drilling results so far, executives at New World Oil and Gas say they are confident, that the new well drilling at Blue Creek in North-West Belize will produce positive results. New World Oil and Gas has commenced drilling at the Rio...

Hand gun discovered in Salvapan Area of Belmopan
Police discovered a hand gun at an empty lot in Belmopan. The discovery was made yesterday on Costa Rica Street Extension, in the Salvapan Area. The .38 revolver was found wrapped in a paper bag. Since no one was found in the area at the time, the firearm was...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Village Council Elections – Running Councillors
The time for the Caye Caulker Village council elections is getting closer and we’re starting to see different slates for candidacy. We see a mixture of all ages in the running for chairperson and councilors. More people are stepping forward and its good to see that we even have independent candidates for councilors. Here are a few young ladies that believe that they can make a difference in their community by being in the council. That is exactly what Caye Caulker needs, vibrant and dedicated people willing to work for the betterment of the community.


Where to buy a Cell phone in San Pedro – a blog reader review
Hope this finds all well with you ! I just wanted to update you on the final chapter of my lost phone saga ! As you know, just over a week ago I lost my phone, ugh ! Not a fun thing to do on an island where replacing a phone can be as painful as a root canal ! However, I’ve found the most interesting & helpful place in town. Everybody said go to Cellular World, ok, so I did. Wow, I left there without a phone and absolutley no interest in going back in there, I would rather be without a phone. A few days go by & I’m thinking maybe I do need a phone, someone suggested BTL, since I have a plan with them, no luck there, they suggested SMART, but not sure they had anything but prepaids. Worth a try…….they only have prepaids, but their employee said to try ‘Island Movies’ on Front St. & gave me directions. My friend was with me & when we left SMART, I said to her….’why of course, why didn’t I think of that ? Everyone shops for phones @ the movie store” None the less, we found Island Movies & what an experience. Terry (owner) is an absolute peach!! She was so helpful, I’m not a phone wizard & need all the help I can get when choosing a phone, she answered all my questions, showed different features and even installed my SIM card (which I probably could have done, but why take that chance . She has a nice selection of phones, both SIM card phones and prepaids, reasonable prices, accessories, etc. Her phones are even charged up so that one can see how they function BEFORE you buy, unlike somewhere else I tried to get a phone. Long story short………… I now have a phone again & an experience that ended well, which sometimes is not the case…….

Fox News Says Chaa Creek is Best Value for Spring
A new Fox News article highlighting Belize as one of the world’s best values for a spring break vacation featured Chaa Creek even before the Belizean eco resort announced significant spring discounts, marketing manager Larry Waight said today. “We think travellers will be very happy to hear that Chaa Creek was identified by Fox News as one of the world’s very best spring break value destinations, and they’ll be even happier to know that we’re offering 15% discounts off of all accommodation from April 7 to May 31 this year,” Mr Waight said. “What Fox news considered to be a great deal just got even better,” he added. A Fox News feature, “Best spring break value travel destinations: Belize,” by Nadine Jolie published 3 March 2013 said, “Belize is rich in history and beauty, with Mayan temples, lush rainforests, uncrowded beaches and ample adventure activities perfect for spring breakers like zip lining and jungle river canoeing. With affordably-priced all-inclusive deals that will allow you to tap into your inner adventurer without breaking the bank, it also features the world’s second largest barrier reef…”

5 Amazing Blue Hole Photos
The Great Blue Hole shown is one of the top attractions in Belize and is a mecca for those wanting to dive among its giant stalactites and stalagmites, which were formed during the last Ice Age. Below are five amazing blue hole photos.

Hugo Chavez, Dead At 58 - What's Next For Venezuela?
President Hugo Chavez, the fiery leader who declared a socialist revolution in Venezuela, crusaded against U.S. influence and championed a leftist revival across Latin America, died Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at age 58 after a nearly two-year bout with cancer. Vice President Nicolas Maduro, announced the death during a national television broadcast. He said Chavez died at 4:25 p.m. local time. During more than 14 years in office, Chavez routinely challenged the status quo at home and internationally. He polarized Venezuelans with his confrontational and domineering style, yet was also a masterful communicator and strategist who tapped into Venezuelan nationalism to win broad support, particularly among the poor.

Baubles, Bangles & Beads
First of all to those of you who looked for but could not find an edition of the blog for Wednesday 6 March apologies. I did not publish one. Too busy orientating myself in Dallas and, in all honesty, a lack of available time allied to the fact that I felt bloody tired. We spent a fair bit of Tuesday going to a local (well fairly local but US$ 40 taxi ride – might have been done on that one though) Walmart to buy a Tom Tom (without a GPS I would have no chance of finding anything/getting anywhere). That done we headed straight to the car rental place (by taxi again but this time a more reasonable US$ 11- could see the meter this time) to pick up a vehicle. A bit different to the golf cart. It’s got doors. And a windscreen! With wheels and the Tom Tom we were ready to hit the stores and the Home Depot store in Irving was our first stop where we spent a couple of hours looking at fans, faucets, shower heads and kitchen cabinet furniture. Envious? I suspect not. Feeling pleased with our first day we decided to head for an early meal and both of us had steak. Those of you reading this on Ambergris Caye will know just how difficult (impossible is probably a more accurate description) it is to get a decent steak. Never used to eat steak much when I lived in England but now when I leave Ambergris Caye it’s the first meal I go for. Classic case of what you can’t have I suppose.

How to deal with Stress
Just thought I would share- Stress may be inevitable. But how you deal with it is largely up to you. Here are some tools to help you manage the stress in your life. It seems like everyone is stressed out these days – from your co-workers, to your friends, to the person standing next to you in line. Stress, by itself, isn’t necessarily bad. Low or even moderate amounts of stress can be good for us, provided we manage it in healthy ways. But poorly managed stress can take a toll. Heart disease, fatigue, and obesity are just a few of the potential consequences. If stress is bothering you, consider the following 10 ways to regain control:

International Sources

United States and Belize Work Jointly to Protect the Cultural Heritage of Belize
The Department of State is pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the United States and the Government of Belize regarding protection of Belize’s cultural heritage, effective February 27, 2013 for a period of five years. This MOU demonstrates a commitment by both governments to staunch the pillage and illicit trafficking of Belize’s archaeological heritage of African, indigenous Maya, Spanish, and British influences. The Government of Belize requested this agreement under Article 9 of the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. The Convention offers a framework of cooperation among State Parties to reduce the further pillage of intact archaeological sites and ethnological objects.

UDP changed the referendum law in 2008
There is much hand wringing in Guatemala over the apparent failure to inform the President that the UDP changed the referendum law in 2008 to make it next to impossible to obtain a decision not wanted by the government. The Belize Commission has been disbanded and the ambassador here put on the carpet. Now a dissident letter has surfaced accusing the current Vice Foreign Minister of being very well aware of the dirty trick the UDP pulled and not telling his boss of the president about it before they signed up to the compromise.

New World Oil and Gas commences drilling of Rio Bravo well in Northwest Belize
New World Oil and Gas said that it has commenced drilling on Rio Bravo #1 well at the Blue Creek Project in Northwest Belize. The well is targeting the West Gallon Jug Crest prospect, which is expected to contain P50 un-risked prospective resource of 113 million barrels of oil (MMbo) with a Net Present Value of $2.6bn, according to an estimate by RPS Energy. The company will use ThermaSource International's rig #104 to drill the well to a total depth of 8,800ft and to target the Upper Jurassic Margaret Creek Formation. Upon reaching the total depth, the company is expected to release the drilling results by 1 May 2013. According to the drilling results of B Crest prospect, an active hydrocarbon system has been found to be present at the Blue Creek and West Gallon Jug acreage, particularly at the Blue Creek #2 and #2A ST wells. The West Gallon Jug Crest prospect is situated about 35km SSW from the B Crest Prospect, which is a four way structural closure. New World Oil and Gas CEO William Kelleher said the first two wells in NW Belize have confirmed the presence of several main elements, which will support to prepare a working hydrocarbon system such as source, migration and seal.

Anonymous Donor Offers $100k for Belizean Orphans, Dani Johnson Calls for Support
As a long time partner of the King’s Ransom Foundation, Dani Johnson has used her various public platforms as a radio host, best-selling author and speaker to advocate support for the Foundation’s work with Belizean orphans. And recently, when an anonymous donor offered a $100k dollar-for-dollar match to help finish the King’s Children’s Home in Belize, Dani took up the cause with her iconic passion and conviction: “The quality of life in Belize is no where near the life we have here in the US. Education is a given here. It's not a given in Belize. Education determines whether or not these kids stay in poverty, or get out of the bad cycle of selling drugs or selling their bodies just to eat. And that's what King’s Ransom does for these kids in Belize. They not only provide a home, they provide critical education!” Leonie Gillham, founder of The King’s Children’s Home in Belize, has, for 25 years, brought children in from the street and has personally raised and educated over 650 kids, saving them from depredations of poverty and abandonment. In the last five months Leonie has seen the orphanage expanded from 42 children to 90, with those 90 living with only two bathrooms (one for girls, one for boys) and often sharing beds. The King’s Children’s Home has been working to raise money and build a sorely needed new orphanage.

United States and Belize work jointly to protect cultural heritage of Belize
The US Department of State has announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the United States and the government of Belize regarding protection of Belize’s cultural heritage, effective February 27, 2013 for a period of five years. This MOU demonstrates a commitment by both governments to staunch the pillage and illicit trafficking of Belize’s archaeological heritage of African, indigenous Maya, Spanish, and British influences. The government of Belize requested this agreement under Article 9 of the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. The convention offers a framework of cooperation among state parties to reduce the further pillage of intact archaeological sites and ethnological objects.

Dr. Marvin Minsky — Immortal minds are a matter of time
Dr. Marvin Minsky — A.I. Pioneer & Mind Theorist. Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, MIT, Media Lab Widely recognized as one o...

March 6, 2013


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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

SPHS dominate National Softball Northern Regionals
The San Pedro High School (SPHS) softball team traveled to Orange Walk Town to compete in the Northern Regionals in the male and female division of the National High School Softball Competition. It has been about seven years since SPHS has had a female softball team representative. The competition took place on Saturday March 1st at the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk Town. Coaching the male team was Marion Mejia, while the female team was coached by Iris Perez. The first game saw reigning national champions SPHS boys against the Belize Rural High School. A strong pitching performance from Konrad Gonzalez and great defense from SPHS ensured the first win with a 10-0 score. The great performance of the boys in the first game was elevated when SPHS girls won their first game against Escuela Secundaria Mexico of the Corozal District.

Belize Tourism Board boasts hike in Tourism Arrival in early 2013
The impressive increase of arrivals into Belize in the year 2012 has continued into the start of 2013. January numbers are in, and overnight tourists have increased by a remarkable 17.2% compared to last year’s stats. A total of 28,431 overnight tourists were recorded in the first month of this year- an increase of 4,168 compared to January 2012. Arrivals at the Phillip Goldson International Airport were up as well, showing 7.6% higher than last year’s January arrivals. Our records show that 19,965 passengers disembarked at the PGIA in the last month, making it 1,407 more than January 2012.

San Pedro RC School promotes Healthy Eating
When we become adults, the words “healthy” and “nutritional” finally start making more sense to us as our metabolism starts to decline and the pounds start adding up. However, as a child, it just doesn’t seem that important. Don’t you remember craving all the sinful delights that held absolutely NO healthy or nutritional values? We are talking such ‘delicacies’ as “choco bananas” (chocolate covered frozen bananas), chips, biscuits, sweets, ideals and pops – just to name a few. Remember gagging at the veggies our poor harassed mothers tried to make us eat? Tsk, tsk! Yes, we were taught about healthy eating – but for some reason, the concept just never really seemed to sink in. Well, last week Friday at the San Pedro Roman Catholic School, Health and Family Life Education teacher, Kenny Witzil took his students through an entire event promoting healthy eating. The event took some preparation. After teaching the kids about the value of eating from all the main food groups and combing the proper portions of meats, legumes, vegetables and fruits – the kids were tasked to come up with their own meals showcasing a healthy, nutritional balanced meal comprised of all the main food groups.

Former PM of Belize Said Musa remembers Hugo Chavez
Former Prime Minister of Belize Rt. Hon Said Musa says that the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is a “loss to the region.” President Hugo Chavez, 58 years, lost a long battle to cancer on the afternoon of Tuesday March 5th. The Vice-President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro made the announcement during a press conference; news that captured world-wide attention. Even Former PM Musa, considered an ally of Chavez, lamented about the passing during an interview with The San Pedro Sun following news of Chavez’s death. The Government of Belize (GOB) has enjoyed a good relationship with Venezuela through generous financial policies initiated by the Chavez administration ever since his election to office in 1998. “I am grieving for the loss of Hugo Chavez. It’s a great loss for Venezuela and indeed for Latin America and the Caribbean. Hugo Chavez was undoubtedly a very controversial leader but there is no doubt in my mind that his heart was in the right place – he felt for people, especially the poor people of Latin America and the Caribbean. There is no doubt that he will go down in history as someone who transformed the lives of millions of people, particularly in his own country. I think it is a great loss not only for Venezuela but for the whole region. I have no doubt that in Latin America and in this region the Chavez legacy will live on because people will remember him for the good work he has done in his life time. He will be greatly missed,” said a somber Musa.

Deputy Prime Minister presents Land Title to University of Belize
The Deputy Prime Minister and Acting Prime Minister, Hon. Gaspar Vega today presented the title for University of Belize Toledo Campus to the President of the University, Dr. Cary Fraser. This is second title presented by Hon. Vega to the University. In September 2012, the University was presented with the title to the campus for its Central Farm campus by Deputy Prime Minister Vega.

Ambergris Today

Three Peat Win for San Pedro High School Softball Team
The San Pedro High School Male Softball Team is the Northern Regional Champion once again! The male and female softball teams of San Pedro High School travelled to Corozal Town on Saturday, March 2, 2013 and Sunday, March 3, 2013, where they participated in the Northern Region Championship Games and did the town very proud. In their first game, the San Pedro High School Male team played against Belize Rural High School. Behind a strong pitching performance from ace, Konrad Gonzalez, and air tight defense San Pedro triumphed over Belize Rural High School. Although San Pedro would score 10, one was all they really needed as Gonzalez would hurl his first career perfect game striking out 12 of the 15 batters he faced in the 10 to 0 shutout. San Pedro took the lead in the bottom of the first when leadoff hitter, Damian Pollard, stroked the second pitch he saw for a leadoff homerun, a lead that was never relinquished.

The History of San Pedro's Community Center
The Community Center was used for public activities, like social dances. A couple of Peace Corps volunteers lived there for many years and operated a library and child educational/recreational center for many years. By the way, the water reservoir on the ground level provided water for the village for some 15 years. (NOTE water reservoir still there) It was designated as a hurricane shelter but has never been used. In 1971 San Pedro High School opened its doors for the first time right here. The door where the students are gathered was the Principal’s Office 1971 to 1987. The other door and first window was a small classroom of eight. The remaining windows was a classroom for Form One and Typing Room. In 1987 San Pedro High moved to its own premises and the San Pedro Town Board remodeled it to the First San Pedro Town Hall under Mayor Gilberto Chico Gomez. Six consecutive mayors have held offices here. Court sessions also took place here for many years.

Misc Belizean Sources

Ferry and Ferry Generator For Sale
Ferry 12 ft x 25 feet with one adjustable ramp Same design and same fabricator as ferry in Succotz at Xunantunich crossing Originally set up to be free wheeling in the river. Does not include motors, gas tanks or batteries. These were stolen. Currently in dry dock in Spanish Lookout Bz $42,000 Ingersoll Rand “Power Source G25, Version IV” Been in storage in container almost new NEW Environmental, low noise diesel generator Staged, High Efficiency 480 Volt, 60 Hz, 26 kVa, 24 kW, 31 amp, 1800 RPM, 3 phase, Cos Phi 0.8 Weight 980 kg with extra 200 amp transfer switch, only 7 run hours Operating manual Bz $19,000 Original cost was $26,000 plus customs and shipping CALL 600-2853 By Appointment ONLY

Belize border clearing exercise takes place without incident
On Saturday, a private group known as the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV), spearheaded by Wil Maheia of PG TV and the People’s National Party (PNP), met at Belize’s border with Guatemala, to carry out a cleanup campaign to clear vegetation on Belize’s side of the border. The group consisting of 150 volunteers began the work at Container Hill from sunrise to late afternoon. The contingent had representation from various social groups including Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA); the University of Belize; the Belize Coalition for Justice; BelizeCan, a nonpartisan, nongovernmental organization established as a “watchdog group” to strengthen the democratic principles and social justice in the nation of Belize; Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association; and various media representatives, along with Belizean men, women and children. According to Maheia, the day was a successful one, with approximately 20 meters being cleared along Belize’s side of the border.

VIDEO: Loggerhead Mating Season 2013 "Let The Games Begin"
Around March each year in Belize, divers often report Loggerhead sightings. Here a look at a recent pair kicking off mating season. Thanks to Arlen, Josh and Teryl for supporting reef conservation awarness here in Belize

Sam Harris and The World Culture Band
Sam Harris and the World Culture Band played Saturday night at Lucky 5 Sports Bar and Grill. The WCB plays at Lucky 5 most every weekend. Cayo finally has some great live music on a regular basis. On a related note, In Bloom will be playing at Lucky 5 on Friday.

BumSplash Ultimate Pool Party Pictures
The Bum Squad had a successful Bumsplash pool party at Midas Resort Saturday. Danny Chung was there to capture the moment.

Belikin's La Ruta Maya Teaser
La Ruta Maya is only 3 days away. Belikin put together a teaser from last year's LRM start. There are some good camera angles from the canoes themselves. "Belikin, the beer of Belize presents the Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge."

National Youth Policy Launch in Belmopan
Today in Belmopan, at the Univestiy of Belize's gymnasium, there will be the National Youth Development Policy Launch for Cayo. It'll be from 4pm until 6pm.

Communication Workshop at Cornerstone
The Cornerstone Foundation will be having a Communication and Decision Making workshop today, from 1pm until 4pm, to celebrate Women's Month. "Learn the skills of proper communication and the steps to making decisions."

Belizean Rice Pudding
Rice Pudding, like Bread Pudding is a popular Belizean dessert. This pudding is decadent, rich and milky.

8 Tips To Get Around Belize Easily & Safely
Getting around Belize is not the easiest of things, especially if this is the first time you have actually set foot here. I am a local and even I find it tedious to get to places. It is not because Belize is over populated or traffic is a major problem — it is just that access to things, in general, are so hard to get in some parts of Belize. Unlike other countries, Belize has a town every couple miles and it not until you reach the other town that you have access to most commodities and services. I can talk all day about the troubles you may face getting around Belize, but instead of wasting quality time on that, I will give you 8 tips that will help you to get around Belize easily and safely. This goes for both visitors and locals.

Channel 7

Chavez Passes, Could The End Of the "Bolivarian Revolution" Be Bad News For Belize?
He called himself El Comandante, and tonight 58 year old Bolivarian revolutionary Hugo Chavez is dead. The Venezuelan President died this afternoon at 4:25 in Venezuela - after battling cancer for 2 years. It is news in Belize because Venezuela was a venery generous ally of Belize giving tens of millions of dollars for housing, medical, fuel and financial assistance. This evening Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington told us that "Chavez was a visionary and a regionalist, and the region will mourn his passing." He added that, quote, "Venezuela has a long history of assisting us - we would wish to have that relationship continue and we would hope the passing of Chavez would not affect it adversely." Presently the Government of Belize benefits greatly from the Petrocaribe initiative, which was re-activated in September of last year. A regime change could spell disaster for this programme in which Government is able to purchase Venezuelan fuel and pay for it over time at very concessionary rates.

Late Evening Killing In City
A man was killed in Belize City an hour ago. It happened on Glynn Street - which is at the end of Church Street in the city's southside. When we got to the scene, his body was face down in the drain. No identity has been confirmed but his family and friends were at the scene - and were pleading with police to get access to the crime scene - which they were eventually allowed to do. The man had reportedly just been paid and his death may have been the result of an armed robbery.

OW Police Recapture One, Lose Another
A man accused of murder escaped from police custody in Orange Walk yesterday - but was recaptured at noon today. The police press office predictably hasn't issued any release but 7news has learned that 19 year old Trinidad Pineda was being taken from the prison - where he is on remand - to the Orange Walk Magistrate's Court for an adjournment. But, reports say, when the Police pickup slowed down for a speedbump at the Tower Hill junction, he made a run for it. Today, Police caught him at a roundabout in Orange Walk town. He was driving his uncle's Ford Ranger pickup, which had been reported stolen by the owner earlier in the day. Pineda is accused of the March 2012 murder of 24 year old Cristobal Santos. Pineda is accused of stabbing Santos to death in a drunken brawl. And while he is in custody pending charges of escape - we can't say the same for Abbas Khan. On Sunday police searched his home at 18 3rd Street in Corozal Town and found five Indian passports. So he was detained pending charges, but according to reports he's disappeared. Corozal police say he's in Orange Walk, and Orange Walk police say they know nothing of it.

Woman's House Burns, She Says Arson is Retaliation For Murder
Last night we told you about the shooting in Hattieville that left one man dead and another injured. 23 year old Abel Arana was shot and killed inside the yard of Ralph Sherlock Mini-Man Martinez who was also shot. According to police, Arana and Martinez were socializing at the residence when they started to argue and shot each other. But the details of that story remain sketchy since police have not yet recovered any weapons from the scene. Martinez's girlfriend and brother-in-law are detained by police. But only 24 hours after we reported this story, there is another possibly related incident to report on tonight. Mini-man's sister-in-law is claiming someone burned her hosue down in an act of retaliation. Tiffarah Usher was not at home at 4:00 this morning when her house burned but she told us she was receiving threat messages from unknown persons in regards to the death of Abel Arana. This mother of two who lost everything told us she is the victim of guilt by association:

Mother Of Murder Victim Disputes Story Of His Death
And then there is the other side to this story. Today 7news caught up with the mother of Abel (Able) Arana who believes that her son was chanced out of his life. Caroline Castillo claimed that her son was indeed friends with Mini-Man Martinez. She wanted to speak out about certain allegation made against her son that she claims is false: Caroline Castillo - Mother of Abel Arana "Well his friends told me that they set up my son. And that hurt me a lot becasue his friend went on TV, and said that my son and his friend are not friends. They are friends because my son's baby's birthday was thursday. The same boy that killed him was at his house celebrating the birthday with him. He said he came for his cake.

GSU Finds Big Gun
Yesterday afternoon at 4:20 the GSU search the home of 21 year old Keron Pinto, on Tigris street. Pinto was not at home, but three women were, and in their presence, police found a firearm in the yard. It's an unusual weapon, a Chrome .40 Millimeter AMT brand pistol fitted with a chrome magazine containing two .40 Millimeter live rounds. The firearm was stuffed in a garbage crate in the yard. Keron Pinto later accepted responsibility for the firearm and was formally arrested and charged for Kept Prohibited Firearm and Kept Prohibited Ammunition. With that, the three females were released. But when Pinto was taken and arraigned before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith today, he changed his tune completely and pleaded not guilty to both charges. Due to the nature of the offences, Chief Magistrate Smith remanded him to the Belize Central Prison until April 5, 2013, his next court date.

CITCO Back To The Drawing Board On Southern Foreshore
The City Council is celebrating its one year anniversary - we'll tell you about that shortly - but first we look to the downside of what ahs been the Hallmark of that one year in office: those concrete streets, dozens of them! But, as we pointed out a few weeks ago - the streets are supposed to last for decades, yet some of them have proved to be substandard. In fact, right now, a section of the street on southern foreshore is being ripped up and re-done. The mayor says the city council has staffed itself with three engineers and is now demanding a higher standard of proof from contractors: Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council "We are monitoring our contractors very vigilantly. They're giving us regular reports. We're requiring PSI testing of all our streets so that we know the PSI and strength, that it's going to last. And where we find deficiencies, even if it is something arguable, we will require the contractors to go in and do corrective work.

Mayor Says Traffic Lights Not Fit For City
The mayor also answered another vexing issue for city residents: the traffic lights that haven't been working for weeks at the Mahogany Street junction. Now, all of Central American Boulevard is the responsibility of the Ministry of Works - including those lights - but today the Mayor proposed that maybe lights are not the best idea: Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council "We don't have the system to support traffic lights. And it's very expensive to maintain. The parts are not obtainable in Belize city. So I favor the round about. And actuaclly when the central american bulivard is upgraded. There is plans for a round about in that very vasinity. But ofcourse we've been trying to source the part for the traffic light. So that we can repair it. But every single traffic light that is in Bleize city has malfunction at some point. And when you have a round about. It's a far easier thing to operate. And it's far less maintainance. So my personal view is that you are likly going to see additional problems with more traffic lights. And where trying to move away from that system."

Farrakhan To Activists
Yesterday, we told you about the arrival of the Leader of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan for his third visit to Belize. Minister Farrakhan has a full itinerary of public appearances planned for this week, and this afternoon, he had a 2 hour seminar with the activists at the UWI School of continuing studies. His message is extensive, but we'll a small excerpt of the conversation he had with the activists, and the role they play in an informed democracy. Here's what he had to say: Minister Luis Farrakhan - Leader of the Nation of Islam "So an activist today is a valuable person, for the future of the country. But activists must not just be activists, because you don't like this one or that one. We must be activists for something bigger than ourselves. And the biggest thing in Belize is Belize itself. And when we love Belize, more than we love our party, more than we love the personality of the person for whom we are voting, then our interest is not in what you say. Our interest is in what you do."

Vendors Complain About BTB
The artisans who work out of the BTB's Fort George Craft Market are tonight dissatisfied with the mode of business that they've been restricted to conducting. Over 2 years ago, the market was created to organize them in one general area where the tourists can visit, peruse and buy from them. But according to them, business has been bad, and as a result, they've had to resort to leaving the market to approach tourists to convince them to buy. They told 7News that if the tourism police officers will enforce the rules against them, no one should get preferential treatment. Here's how they explained it to us: Timmy Stamp - Crafting Vendor "In the yard where they have us selling carvings, it's not working. Nothing is not happening in there. So, I have to come out and walk on the street for me to make a dollar. If you don't walk on the street, you will not make anything."

Observing International Children's Day of Broadcasting
Good evening, and welcome to the 7news celebration of international children's day of broadcasting, I am Kelcy Longsworth. Every year in March, broadcasters around the world join in airing quality programming about children, and allow them to take part in actually making the news. Here at Channel 7, we thought we would use the opportunity to find out how kids feel about violence. My peers and I are fed a daily dose of it in movies, video games, music, and, the evening news. Our youth correspondent Lovell Mejia is one of those youths. He is a fourth former at EP Yorke and on Sunday night a man was killed a block from his home in Hattieville. Today, he asked his shoolmates at EP Yorke how they feel about violence: Thanks very much guys! 16 year old Lovel Mejia is a fourth former at EP Yorke and 10 year old Kelcey Longsworth is a Standard 3 student at Horizon Academy. Great work guys!

Belize Ballers Find A Place In US Rosters
And staying on the subject of youths - we're following up on two young men who left Belize for basketball opportunities in the USA. Kashief Thomas and Andrew Ortiz, both former stars at Sadie Vernon High are doing well in basketball programmes in the states and so is Devin Daly, the former SJC Standout. Andrew Ortiz is on scholarship to finish High School at St. Peter Chanel High School in Cleveland Ohio is playing for St. Monica's Church in the Catholic Youth Organization Regional Finals. Menawhile, Kashief Thomas plays for Iowa Western Community Colege while Devin Daly plays Lake Superior State University.

Belizean Youth Seeks UK Post
Another Belizean boy is making news abroad. He is Ramel Flores, whose parents Melvin and Aracelly relocated from Orange Walk to Ireland about a decade ago. Ramel is now offering himself for the UK youth Parliament where he proudly touts his Belizean ancestry. He has been featured in multiple newspapers. Voting finishes on Thursday.

PM Accompanies Wife For Cancer Treatment
Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country today, to accompany his wife, Kim Simplis-Barrow for continuation of her cancer treatment. He returns on the 13th. March and during his absence, Deputy Gaspar Vega, the Deputy Gaspar Vega will act as Prime Minister.

Channel 5

Shot to the head while buying Johnny cake
There was a murder late this evening in the heart of Belize City.  Frank Neal, an employee of the Port, was shot in the head at the corner of Cairo and Glenn Street which is located behind X-tra House near the downtown area. Residents in the area say Neal does not live in the neighborhood [...]

Woman thinks arsonist wanted her and children dead
Twenty-two year old Abel Arana was killed on Sunday night after he was shot twice—once to the abdomen and to the buttocks. His alleged killer, Sherlock Martinez, is currently hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after according to reports; he was shot to the abdomen by Arana. But the village where the incident occurred [...]

Santa Cruz, the shire across from Jalacte
On Saturday News Five was a part of the group led by Wil Maheia of the Belize Territorial Volunteers on what was dubbed an expedition to demarcate Belize’s border line between the villages of Jalacte and Santa Cruz. While a majority of the hundred or so persons from different organizations stayed on top of Container [...]

Passport charges appear and Pakistani Belizean disappears
Where is Abbas Khan? Inside his home at number eighteen Third Street in Corozal Town, the police found six passports in the names of Tajinder Singh, Gagandeep Singh, Parminder Singh Baryar, Gurdeep Singh and Surjit Singh. The thirty eight year old Khan, under, told the police that the foreign nationals were not present in the [...]

B.N.T.U. district branch consult on salary adjustment
Today the general membership of the Belize National Teachers Union (B.N.T.U.) Belize District Branch held a regular meeting at the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall in Belize City.  News Five spoke to Belize District President, Kathleen Flowers, who declined an interview at this time but stated that the meeting was a regular pre-convention session. We were [...]

Is Belize being soft on Guatemala?
And our question for tonight is: Do you think our government is too soft with Guatemala? 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]

Venezuela President Hugo Chavez passes away
  President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, died today after a long bout with cancer. The very vocal and powerful Chavez was diagnosed with the disease last year, but his government had kept the gravity of the medical situation under tight wraps. His condition had steadily deteriorated since a fourth surgery in Cuba in December of [...]

Minister Farrakhan scrutinizes Land of the Free
Another international firebrand who has kept ties with Belize returned for a visit on Monday. Leader of the Nation of Islam Louis Farrakhan is meeting with various community groups and educational institutions over the week. Today at the University of West Indies campus in West Landivar, Farrakhan spoke to activists who normally take their issues [...]

Busted with weed on bus
  A sculptor from the village of Maskall on the old Northern Highway was today fined ten thousand dollars after he pleaded guilty to drug trafficking. Thirty-three year old Lenton Polonio was arrested and charged for drug trafficking on September fourteenth, 2012, after he was found with a bag containing one hundred and forty seven [...]

Females released after Pinto pleads guilty to gun possession
  The Gang Suppression Unit continues to conduct regular operations in Belize City, and on Monday executed a search at the home of alleged George Street gang member Keron Pinto at number seventy-nine Tigris Street. Pinto was not home at the time, but the search was conducted in the presence of three females. While the [...]

City Hall sits with the elderly
And while the GSU visited the homes of alleged criminals, other public servants gave some other city residents a welcome home visit.  Dozens of elderly men and women at the Sister Cecilia Home were treated for lunch today by members of the Belize City Council.  Mayor Darrell Bradley took time out of his otherwise busy [...]

Mayor envisions roundabout at the Mahogany crossroads
Motorists traveling along Central American Boulevard would notice that traffic lights at its inter-section with Mahogany Street have been malfunctioning for quite some time.  While City Hall awaits the arrival of a much needed component in order to repair the stoplight, Mayor Bradley has his sights on building a roundabout at the crossroads.  The signal [...]

Galen University student apologizes for sports/nationalism foul up
While the softball team is writing some victories at the games in Costa Rica, another local athlete has also penned a statement regarding his performance at a recent basketball tournament in Guatemala. It was the same tournament that caused the Belize National Basketball Team to return to Belize prematurely from Peten, because the facility, the [...]

Softball team wins 2 games in Costa Rica
The Central American Games is underway in San Jose, Costa Rica and the National Women’s Softball Team is making great strides in the event by winning two of its games.  On Monday, Belize won over Costa Rica with a score of nine to two. The winning pitcher was Kenreen Gillett. However, Belize with zero points [...]

Patrick Faber says former G.O.B. caused UB problems
One man who held no apologies at last week Friday’s House meeting in the Capital is Minister of Education Patrick Faber. Faber addressed the payroll audit of the University of Belize which was commissioned by U.B. President, Doctor Cary Fraser.  The draft report has been the reason why the Faculty and Staff Association held an [...]

Education Minister says payroll audit not complete yet
UB’s Faculty and Staff Association wrote a letter to the government suggesting that an independent, external auditor should be hired to carry out a new payroll audit.  Minister Faber suggested that Sanchez Burrell and Associates is an independent, external auditor and he said that the audit is not yet complete to make any assertions about [...]

Fairytale ending for baby found in a bucket
Some people say fairy tales are for kids because there is no such thing as a happy ending. The true life story that our online geek squad found proves that saying is only half true as it is for kids. KBTV Fox 4 reported on a baby that was found abandoned in a bucket in [...]

US gives hugs and toys to Liberty Children’s Home
The sentiment does not end with that story. Loving Hugs is an American charity that collects donations of stuffed animals, called “hugs”, and sends them to children around the world to bring them comfort and hope.  The organization has collected over seven hundred stuffed animals. And this afternoon, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy [...]

Meet the Y’s Women of Valor
The Young Women’s Christian Association is hosting a pageant on Wednesday entitled Women of Valor. It features five young students at the school and organizer, Leroy Green says that it will be a clean, fun competition aimed at building confidence and exposure with competition geared to promoting Christian values and school spirit. Today, freelance reporter [...]


University of Belize Receives Land Title For Its Toledo Campus
The University of Belize has received the title for the University’s Toledo campus. Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega today presented the land title to President of the University of Belize, Dr. Cary Frazer. In September 2012 Deputy Prime Minister Vega presented the t...

Belize Prime Minister Accompanies Wife For Further Medical Treatment Abroad
Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country today. The Prime Minister is accompanying his wife, Kim Simplis Barrow for her continued medical treatment. Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega will act as Prime Minister until the Prime Minister’s return on March 13. ...

Belize National Teachers Union Holds General Meeting
The Belize National Teacher Union, Belize branch held a general membership meeting today. The venue for the meeting was the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall. The meeting, according to executives of the Belize Branch, discussed the upcoming national teacher’s convention, part...

Teenager Detained On Allegations of Sexual Assault On Minor
Police in Orange Walk town have detained a seventeen year old boy following an allegation of sexual assault. A fourteen year old girl, accompanied by her grandmother, went to the police station to report that on Saturday, she had sexual intercourse with the seventeen year old who...

Teenager Detained Following Attempted Murder of Basketball Player
Police have detained an eighteen year old man in connection with the attempted murder another on Monday morning. Lloyd Alexander King, a resident of Mayflower Street is in police custody pending investigation of the shooting incident which happened around eleven o’clock yes...

Accused Teenaged Murderer Sentenced For Handling Stolen Goods
Nineteen year old Anthony Carballo Jr. , a remanded prisoner charged with the murder of 53 year old businessman Jeremy McNab, was sentenced to six months today by Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith after he was found guilty of handling stolen goods for a memory card that was stolen alon...


Accused Murderer: Hands Himself to Police, Escapes From Custody, Is Captured!
It did not make the news last night since police were tight lipped about the escape of a convict. CTV3 News understands that 19 year old Trinidad Pineda, who was charged back in March of 2012 for the murder of 24 year old Cristobal Santos, escaped from police custody yesterday morning while being transported from the Hattieville Prison to Orange Walk. As mentioned, the incident was not reported by police yesterday, but we do understand that when the police pickup truck which was transporting the prisoners stopped by the bump near the BSI Junction, Pineda saw an opportunity and jumped out of the vehicle making good his escape by running into some nearby bushes. Despite the fact that police set chase after the convict, it was not until this morning that the he was apprehended. With an accused murderer on the lose, Officer in Charge of the Orange Walk Police Department, Senior Superintendent Joseph Myvette, launched a manhunt for Pineda. It was around 12:30 this morning that the convict was recaptured by police near the roundabout by the Establo Restaurant. Pineda, we understand, was driving a black Ford Ranger pickup truck when he was detained. The vehicle is in police custody and it allegedly belongs to Pineda’s uncle. That information is presently being investigated by police. We have been informed that this morning the owner of the vehicle visited the Orange Walk Police Station and reported it as stolen.

Baby Girl Abandoned In Bucket, Now Has A Family
Tonight we bring you a heartfelt story from the United States that involves a Belizean child. Years ago, a couple from Beaumont Texas, was in Belize when they found a 10 weeks old baby girl in a bucket suffering from club foot. The child was allegedly abandoned by her mother and the couple decided to rescue the baby girl and take her to the United States. The child was named Sarah and just recently she was adopted by the Smith Family. KFDM Channel 6 news in South East Texas aired this report yesterday.

Khan On The Run From Police
Last night we told you about the search that led Corozal Police to the discovery of five passports for the Republic of India belonging to Tajinder Singh, Gagandeep Singh, Parminder Singh Baryar, Gurdeep Singh and Surjit Singh. The finding was made on March 3rd after Belmopan Police searched the residence of 38 year old Abbas Khan, a naturalized Belizean businessman of number#18 3rd Street Corozal Town. When interrogated by police Khan stated that none of the individuals are in Belize. He; however, could not give a proper account as to why the passports were in his possession. Now, here is where the story becomes interesting because sources tell us that Khan has escaped from police custody. We understand that the 38 year old was apprehended by Orange Walk Police for a commitment warrant which was issued for money he owed. Kahn was scheduled to appear before the Belize City Supreme Court for the commitment warrant on Monday March 4th. But during his detention here at the Orange Walk Police Department, he was picked up by Belmopan Police who took him to Corozal and searched his residence. After the passports were found Khan was informed that he had committed the offence of unlawful possession of passports and would be charged by the Corozal Police Department after his hearing at the Belize City Supreme Court. With that, Khan was transferred back to the Orange Walk Police Station where he was detained in a holding area and not a cell as is customary. And it was at around 2:15 Monday morning that Khan absconded from police. How he managed to escape is another question, since Orange Walk Police area mum about the situation. Presently Khan is still on the run.

Toyota Pickup Stolen
And while Orange Walk Police investigate if the vehicle Pineda was traveling in was indeed stolen, Leonardo Hernandez, 45 year old Belizean Car Dealer of #87 San Andres Street, Orange Walk Town, reported that at around 7:00 last night he parked his red 1989 Toyota EX-10 pick-up truck with California L/P, valued $6,000.00bcy in front of his residence. Six hours after, at 1:15 this morning to be exact, Hernandez’s wife informed him that the vehicle was missing. Police investigations continue.

Another Case Of Carnal Knowledge
It seems that the reports of Carnal Knowledge filed across the country are becoming a norm. The latest report was made by a 14 year old girl from Orange Walk Town who visited the police station in the company of her grandmother and reported to police that on the 2nd of March 2013 she and her 17 year old boyfriend had sexual intercourse at his residence. Police have detained the 17 year old pending investigations.

New Horizon To Come To Belize
New Horizons Belize through the U.S. Southern Command has once again partnered with the Belize Defense Force to provide a large-scale humanitarian assistance exercise. It is a joint exercise where the Belize Defense Force, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education will be working hand in hand to train over 200 U.S. soldiers in engineering and in the medical field. According to Humanitarian Manager at the United States Military Liaison Office, Cruzita Cadle, the exercise will benefit Belize in the education and health sectors. When it comes to education, Cadle says classrooms will be built at four primary schools across the country, including here in Orange Walk. Cruzita Cadle, Humanitarian Manager “In the engineering aspect we will be building classes rooms with the Ministry of Education and the Belize Defense Force. They will be working side by side with US forces to construct classrooms building in Louisiana Government School, Trail Farm Government School, Lady Technical High School and as well as Crooked Tree Government School.”

Hugo Chavez Dies After Battling Cancer
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez died this afternoon after a two-year battle with cancer. His death ends 14 years of tumultuous rule that made the socialist leader a hero for the poor but a loathed figure to his opponents. The flamboyant 58-year-old had undergone four operations in Cuba for a cancer that was first detected in his pelvic region in mid-2011. His last surgery was on Dec. 11 and he had not been seen in public since. The news of Chavez’s death was announced by Venezuela’s Vice President Nicolas Maduro this evening in a televised address. Maduro said quote, “We have just received the most tragic and awful information. At 4.25 p.m today March the 5th, President Hugo Chavez Frias died.” Chavez swept to power in 1998, promising to stamp out corruption and improve the lot of his country's poor. But as the economy slumped, he was criticized for his autocratic style and his government's harsh suppression of any opposition. He succeeded in changing Venezuela's constitution to allow him to run for re-election in 2012 - a vote he won, despite battling cancer. Here is a story aired by BBC World News Network after Chaves death was announced.

SEDATT 2 Makes Dreams Come True
Today was a good day for members of the La Inmaculada Credit Union and 8 groups formed by residents living in Rural Areas in the Orange Walk and Corozal Districts. The groups were the proud recipients of a grant funding under the Micro and Small Enterprises Development and Strengthening program, which falls under LICU’s Small Scale Enterprise Development In Agriculture and Tourism for Orange Walk and Corozal Rural Communities. SEDATT 2 was approved funding in the amount of 80 thousand Euros or one hundred and ninety five thousand Belize dollars. According to General Manager of LICU, Yolanda Gomez, a total of 45 applications were received. That amount was narrowed down to 21 through the Project Steering Committee. Out of the 21 applicants 8 groups were selected and today they received their grants during a special ceremony held at the parking lot of the La Inmaculada Credit Union. As mentioned, there was much to celebrate as LICU also signed a contract for two hundred and fifty five thousand dollars with R and A Construction Company Limited from Orange Walk who will be charged with the construction of a small business development centre and bathroom facilities. The building will be constructed on the second floor of the LICU building. Construction of the building is expected to commence tomorrow. We will have a full coverage of this story in tomorrow’s newscast. Be sure to tune in to find out about some of the innovative projects that have been launched or will be lunched here in the north with the assistance of LICU.


Galen University student Raul Roches appologizes for his actions
The issue of Belize’s Territorial dispute and whether or not to take it to the ICJ has been a main topic of discussion across the airwaves. There are supporters of the idea, but the loudest voices so far have been opposers. The Belize Guatemala issue has caused certain flare...

Belize Territorial Volunteers promise to make more trips to the Belize/Guatemala border
Passions are running high over the ICJ issue. As we told you , a group of nationalistic Belizeans headed to the border on Saturday to clear along a part of the border on the Belize side. The Belize Territorial Volunteers say it was their first of many trips to...

New details on shooting of Ronald Rivers
New details have emerged surrounding a shooting yesterday morning in front of the UNO Gas Station in Belize City. The victim, 28 year old Ronald Rivers was a part of the National Basketball Selection that was in Guatemala, but returned prematurely in protest of the Guatemala Federation’s now infamous...

House fire possible retaliation for murder
There was a house fire this morning in Hattieville. The sister to the girlfriend of shooting victim Ralph Sherlock Martinez, aka Miniman believes that her house was deliberately targeted for arson this morning. The house is located in Hattieville, directly behind where the incident was said to have taken...

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is dead
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is dead. At age 58, the polarizing president of Venezuela lost his long battle with cancer. The country’s vice president made the announcement today. Chavez’s cancer diagnosis was first announced in June 2011, however no details were ever revealed about what kind of cancer he...

Belize City Council addresses concerns
The adage about “progress brings problems” can be applied to the ongoing renovation of streets across the Old Capital. Even as the Council claims credit for concreting 53 streets and counting and upgrading a total of 90, the long-standing traffic lights at the corner of Central American Boulevard and...

Businessman charged with Immigration violations escapes custody
Last night, Plus News told you about a Belizean businessman who is under investigation for unlawful possession of five passports. The passports, which are for the Republic of India, were found by police inside the 38 year old’s home in Corozal. Because he could not give a proper account...

Rehabilitation of Burrell Boom Police Station in progress
La Ruta Maya river challenge canoe race is set for this coming weekend and Police are planning a major presence. Work has begun on rehabilitating the village police station in Burrell Boom and Rural Executive Officer for the Police ASP Chris Noble gives details. ASP Christopher Noble – Rural...

Successful Clean-up Campaign in Santa Elena
The Bishop Martin Neighbourhood Watch Committee is not your ordinary neighbourhood watch group; besides being an invaluable participant in reducing crime, the committee is also active in different sectors of their society. And this past Saturday, they continued in this effort by organizing a cleanup campaign in the Bishop...

Recycling encouraged by Resource Recovery Recycling Company
Technology moves fast, and what’s fresh and in style this year may be passé and out of date very quickly. With computers and accessories available literally at your fingertips, there’s little place for the classic CPU and many are gathering dust in basements, attics and the like. The Resource...

Belize City Council celebrates first anniversary of election
Belize City Council is marking its first anniversary of election with a week of activities. Today, the Council hosted a special luncheon at Sister Cecilia Home for the Elderly. Mayor Darrell Bradley spoke to PLUS News on why they chose this location. Darrell Bradley – Belize City Mayor: When...

Home Going Service held for Diplomat Rafael David Baptist
Today, family and friends congregated in Belmopan for the home going of Diplomat Rafael David Baptist. Baptist, who served as the Foreign Service Officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Belmopan, passed away last Saturday. Loved one described Rafael or “Raf” as he was affectionately known, as a...

PM accompanies wife for more treatment abroad
Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow left the country today to accompany his wife for continuation of her medical treatment as she battles breast cancer. Prime Minister Barrow expects to return to the country Next week Wednesday, March 13th. During the Prime Minister’s absence, Hon. Gaspar Vega, the Deputy Prime...

Minister Gaspa Vega presents land title for UB Toledo to University President
Today, Minister Gaspa Vega presented the land title for University of Belize Toledo Campus to the President of the University, Dr. Cary Fraser. This is second land title presented by Hon. Vega to the University. In September 2012, the University was presented with the title to the campus for...

Police Officer grazed by bullet during scuffle with armed robber
An officer was grazed by a bullet during a scuffle with an armed robber. On Saturday, sometime around 12:30am, two masked men, one armed with a hand gun, entered the Hong Kong Restaurant on Belize Corozal Road. Both men approached the owner of the restaurant and demanded her to...

Chopping incident almost turned deadly
A chopping incident almost turned deadly for a Belize City resident. The victim, Kareem Foreman Swaso told police that on Sunday morning, he was in Belmopan when he got into a quarrel with a 17 year old resident of the area. Foreman said the teen chopped him to the...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Vote for Vanessa Smith for Councillor


There is no Players Draft in the Premier League of Belize (PLB) like in the NBA, to improve parity among competing teams, but something is happening in Belize football that has resulted in another monster contest among the top clubs in the country. While one club – San Ignacio United – went the whole of the Opening Season without a win, and two others – Paradise/Freedom Fighters and FC San Felipe Barcelona – didn’t register their first win until their 7th outing, presently at Week 4 of this Closing Season, all 8 teams have already made their mark in the “win” column. Last season, with 12 teams participating, was hailed as the most competitive in recent memory; but this one, down to 8 teams, looks to be even tougher. There is no “light” team in this tournament, and courageous fans would be well advised to be a bit modest in their predictions. In Week 4 games this past weekend: On Saturday night at the MCC Grounds, visiting San Ignacio United got a first half goal from Rosny Martinez (23’), but Police United FC got the equalizer from Daniel “Danny” Jimenez (50’) for the 1-1 final score. Also on Saturday night, F.C. Belize travelled to the Marshalleck Stadium, where they fell, 2-1, to host Verdes FC. Julian Maldonado (23’) gave Verdes the early lead, but Norman Nunez (36’) equalized for FC Belize before the intermission. Verdes got the game winner from Julio Ayala (90’+) in injury time for the 2-1 win.

Andrew Ortiz, who is on scholarship to finish high school at St. Peter Chanel High School in Cleveland, Ohio from the King James Project, will play today at Akron St. Vincent and Mary’s High School (Home of LeBron James) in the CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) Regional Finals game to advance to the State Championship games. The team he plays for is St. Monica’s Church in Garfield Heights, Ohio. I also have video footage from his game last Saturday, which I will send to you guys once I figure it out. If I can’t, on Monday I will hand deliver it to you so you can download it. I will also have pictures from today’s game. Also, Kachief Thomas plays tonight at 7:00 p.m. for Iowa Western CC, and Devin Daly plays today at 1:00 p.m. for Lake Superior State University. It’s “March Madness” for sure.

The high tension in the nation of Belize on Friday was reflected in the nationally broadcast meeting of the House of Representatives where, early in the afternoon, the elected PUDP representatives of the people, perhaps realizing how irrelevant the following morning’s border clearing expedition of the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) was and would be making them and their discourse, began lashing out at one another across the aisle in all kinds of personal, scurrilous and scandalous attacks. It was the worst House exchanges we have ever heard. There was high tension in Belize on Friday because Belizeans did not know how the BTV expedition, led by Wil Maheia, would turn out. The Foreign Ministry and the National Security Ministry of Belize had both done their best to frighten off Maheia and the BTV in the days leading up to the expedition. This was because the Guatemalan government had sent a diplomatic note the Friday before, February 22, branding the expedition’s stated border clearing mission as provocative. The Belize government immediately panicked, and did everything in their power last week, short of tying up Wil Maheia and the BTV, to prevent the expedition from setting out for the Jalacte/Santa Cruz border between Belize and Guatemala. Wil Maheia was calm and steadfast throughout. He had traveled the road from Punta Gorda to Jalacte hundreds of times, and his core group of Toledo-based BTV were also hardy and experienced on the road and in the jungle. As it turned out, the activities of the BTV expedition were somewhat different from what most Belizeans had understood these activities were going to be. Where the BTV drove and trekked on Saturday was not heavy bush and jungle border. Between Jalacte and Santa Cruz, the border is pretty much cleared already, so there was no danger of crossing the border into Guatemala “by mistake.”

The power structure of Guatemala is a militarized one. By that I mean that military personnel have been prominent in their decision making for almost the entire life of the republic. In the late 1980s, a stream of civilians began to be elected, but most political observers believed that the generals were never too far in the background. Today, Guatemala has returned to a military presidency, in the person of the former general Otto Pérez Molina, and his military career was very controversial, to put it mildly. Guatemala’s aggressive claim to Belize had the effect of introducing militarization in Belize, and the claim will inevitably increase Belize’s militarization. Belize will not be able to enjoy a situation like that of Costa Rica, which does not have an army and can therefore use all its resources for education, health, housing, infrastructure, and so on. It was the late Hon. Philip Goldson who first introduced the concept of a Belizean army in the House of Representatives. He was the only Opposition National Independence Party (NIP) representative in the House between 1961 and 1965, and one of just two between 1965 and 1969. I am not sure if Mr. Goldson called for a Belizean army before 1965, or afterwards. What I do know is that he was ignored by the ruling People’s United Party (PUP) until the Belize City uprisings provoked by Bethuel Webster’s Seventeen Proposals in 1968. The police proved unable to cope with the mobility and ingenuity of the protestors in the old capital, and that was when the Belize government decided to establish the so-called paramilitary force, which was designed to be part police, part army. Original members of that paramilitary included the late Charles Good, Ornel Brooks, James Sanders, and Michael “Pro” Myvett. The officer in charge of their training was the late Fred Gill.

“…they have not concluded that there exists any instance of missing funds.” At Friday’s Sitting of the House of Representatives, Minister of Education Patrick Faber, who is also the United Democratic Party area representative for Collet, rose to defend the integrity of the board of trustees of the University of Belize (UB), chaired by Imani Fairweather-Morrison, saying that they have his unwavering support. Since last year, there have been reports of possible irregularities in the university’s payroll, and a special audit is being undertaken by Castillo Sanchez and Burrell, independent auditors. The board of trustees, said Faber, is “not perfect, but they are not into fleecing and robbery as others would like you to believe.” He said that Morrison has given selflessly to the University of Belize: “For two years, she did not take the stipend given to board chairmen,” Faber said, indicating that there were others on the board who also did not take the stipend. “She donated over $10,000 cash of her personal money to UB. She did it without fanfare, because that is how she is.”

A traffic accident that occurred around 9:50 p.m. on Sunday, March 3, 2013, between Miles 33 and 34 on the George Price Highway claimed the life of 28-year-old Barney Shol, a police officer attached to the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU). Shol was travelling in a white four-door Toyota Camry with two other passengers – Hilberto Ack, 22, and George Ferguson, 27, both police officers attached to the GSU in Belize City. They were travelling from Belmopan towards Belize City. Reports are that Shol lost control of the vehicle and it flipped several times. The vehicle landed about 30 feet in the bushes away from the highway. The three officers were taken to the Western Regional Hospital. Shol, who was originally from Laguna Village in the Toledo District, was pronounced dead on arrival. The other officers are reported to have sustained minor injuries to their bodies.

Resurgence of controversial maps, a response to ICJ process. The continued use by Guatemalans of a national map annexing all of Belize as their territory is causing quite a stir on the international front, as Belizeans continue to protest the use of what Belize officials describe as an “offensive” map that clearly does not respect Belize’s land borders. Alexis Rosado, Chief Executive Officer in the Belize Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told Amandala today that Guatemala stands alone across the entire international community, since no other country uses the annexed map to represent Belize and Guatemala, but they all recognize Belize’s land borders. We asked the CEO: What can Belize do to have the map corrected? He pointed to the juridical process at the level of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which, he said, would put an end to this once and for all. Asked if Belize could seek the passage of a formal resolution from the international community at the upcoming Organization of American States (OAS) General Assembly in June in Antigua, Guatemala, CEO Rosado said “even if they wanted to do it, I don’t know that they can do it.”

5.3% growth for 2012 best of Barrow’s 5 preceding budgets; better than Latin America and Caribbean average Despite plummeting petroleum production and earnings, Belize’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)—the value of all the goods and services produced in the country for the year—is approaching $3.2 billion, up from the $2.9 billion reported for 2011, according to Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow, reading his 6th budget in Parliament today. “Preliminary estimates compiled by the Statistical Institute of Belize indicate that our economy grew by 5.3% during 2012, well above the 1.9% recorded for 2011 and just about the best in the Anglophone Caribbean,” Barrow said at the presentation of the proposed 2013 budget. “Contrast that to the best in the Caribbean, which is Guyana, at 3%,” Barrow added. He explained that “brisk activity in agriculture, agro-manufacturing, tourism, construction and telecommunications, which more than compensated for the sharp downturn in petroleum extraction, domestic electricity generation and cruise-ship disembarkations,” accounted for the sharp increase in the country’s GDP. Barrow said that according the Central Bank Belize, “…this growth is notably above the entire Latin American and Caribbean Region’s estimated average of 3.0%.” Looking ahead to the economic performance for 2013, Barrow cited projected GDP growth to decelerate to about 3.0% in 2013.

The US Islamic leader, 79, is on a 6-day visit to the Jewel. Islamic Minister Louis Farrakhan, 79, leader of the Nation of Islam in the United States for over 42 years, arrived in Belize City this afternoon on a six-day tour, coordinated by Nuri Muhammad, a former imam in Belize. The media was invited to a press conference, but was strangely excluded from an interview given exclusively to the Government Press Office at the VIP Lounge. In fact, KREM and other private media had to interview Farrakhan through the chain link security fence. Afterwards, Farrakhan called on Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow at his Coney Drive, Belize City office. This is Farrakhan’s third visit to Belize. Farrakhan also visited Belize in 1975 and 1986. “I am very happy to be back again after 27 years and I’m looking forward to meeting as many of [the] people of Belize in [the] 5 or 6 days that I shall be here with you,” Farrakhan told the media on his arrival at the Philip Goldson International Airport after 3:00 this afternoon. “I am honored to be here, happy to see you all and I’m looking forward to making contact. You are what I live for,” he went on to say.

No incidents – Wil Maheia and Belize Territorial Volunteers prove Foreign Minister Elrington wrong. Despite the best efforts of the Government of Belize, in the person of Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington, to scare Toledo activist Wil Maheia, his group, the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV), and other interested persons who had announced plans to go on Saturday, March 2, to the Belize-Guatemala border and clear a 3-foot path along a borderline that reportedly had been used previously by British soldiers, the exercise, dubbed “Clearing Our Borderline,” has been declared a success, if only symbolically. The declared intent of the group was to cut a 6-mile path in this, their first attempt, beginning with Jalacte, and to do the rest of the border in stages. In fact, only 500 feet were cleared by the approximately 150 persons who “roughed it” to the area and converged on an area dubbed “Container Hill,” which is about seventy-five meters from the border. This was reportedly because much of the time was spent observing the historic occasion through speeches, the holding of hands, the observation of a moment of silence, the partaking of light refreshments, and the relishing of entertainment by drummers from Punta Gorda, who also travelled to the area to mark the importance of the moment.

2013 budget boasts super-bond success and no new taxes. “…this Budget will see absolutely no new taxes and no overall spending cuts.” “The Draft Estimates of Revenue and Grants amount to $871.1 million for FY 2013/14 and are comprised of $825.6 million in Recurrent Revenue, $5.1 million in Capital Revenue and $41.1 million in Grants.” Shortly after 10:00 a.m. Friday, March 1, inside the National Assembly, Prime Minister Dean Barrow read his 6th national budget speech, captioned “Achieving debt sustainability, stimulating economic expansion”, in which he boasted nearly half-a-billion dollars in savings for debt repayments and no new taxes. The proposed budget calls for $934 million in overall spending, $72 million more than last year, despite significant savings in interest repayments on the US$544 million super-bond, which is being restructured with international bondholders this month. Barrow, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, struck “two high notes” at the start of his presentation: “We have pretty much done what the skeptics said was impossible: The super-bond—that bane of our existence, that monster of our nightmare—has been tackled and tamed. Not vanquished, mind you, but put on a leash and confined to its lair,” said Barrow. “And as a direct consequence, but also as a result of adroit stewardship and unshakeable commitment to the welfare of this nation, this budget will see absolutely no new taxes and no overall spending cuts….”

Two Hattieville residents shot each other after an argument, and as a result, one is dead and the other is critically injured. The incident occurred about 8:20 yesterday evening, Sunday, on Camal Street in Hattieville. Abel Arana, 24, was shot in his abdomen and buttocks, while Sherlock Ralph Martinez suffered gunshot wounds to the lower abdomen. Arana was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at about 12:20 a.m. He is awaiting a post-mortem to certify the cause of his death, while Martinez had been admitted to ward in a critical condition. Police reports are that both men were socializing at a house on Camal Street in Hattieville when they became involved in an argument. Both men, after a while, drew their licensed firearms and fired at each other. The people in the area ran for cover.


Catching up with friends at Blue Water Grill
Not quite a year ago we met a future Belizean expat, Debbie, and her family for a nice lunch at Aji. They are building a condo on north Ambergris, which due to some initial problems with the development that is now back on track, has been in progress for several years. This month she and her family were visiting Ambergris Caye again, and they were kind enough to invite us out for lunch. This time we chose Blue Water Grill and had an absolutely beautiful day for it. Joining us were Debbie's husband Tom, son Justin, and friend JW. It was great to catch up with the "Wags", and since I know Debbie will be reading the blog at some point, I'll say thank you once again for your generosity. We truly enjoyed spending time with all of you!

An Opinionated Guide to Belize – My New Website
Welcome to my new website, San Pedro Scoop – An Opinionated Guide to Ambergris Caye & Belize. I know lots of people don’t like change (me included), but I’m hoping you like this site. I want it to be colorful, information and hopefully fun. While I will continue to focus on Ambergris Caye (hard not to…I live here), I’m going to be expanding to as much of the country as I can. And lucky, lucky me, that means doing a bunch of travelling so that I can cover it properly. Burrell Boom, Punta Gorda, Placencia, Barranco, Mango Creek, Double Head Cabbage, Tobacco Caye, Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve…finally…here I come!

As the Caribbean gateway to Central America, Belize shares the best of both worlds. With an English speaking, well-educated workforce, stable political economy, investor-friendly tax environment, and a location only two hours from the US, there are many advantages to investing in the beautiful country of Belize.

Belize Tourism Board boasts hike in Tourism Arrival in early 2013
Press Release – Belize Tourism Board – Thursday, February 28, 2013- The impressive increase of arrivals into Belize in the year 2012 has continued into the start of 2013. January numbers are in, and overnight tourists have increased by a remarkable 17.2% compared to last year’s stats. A total of 28,431 overnight tourists were recorded in the first month of this year- an increase of 4,168 compared to January 2012. Arrivals at the Phillip Goldson International Airport were up as well, showing 7.6% higher than last year’s January arrivals. Our records show that 19,965 passengers disembarked at the PGIA in the last month, making it 1,407 more than January 2012.

International Children’s Day of Broadcasting is celebrated worldwide on the first Sunday of March each year. In keeping with our tradition to encourage children participation in the media, here at News Five we invited Mariana Moguel to show her budding skills as a teen journalist. Working along with Isani Cayetano, Mariana put together a report on an enterprising entrepreneur who started a small and growing business from scratch. Here is Mariana’s report.

"Dallas” not Ambergris Caye
Up nice and early this morning at 4.45 am . Pleased with this because there were just one or two things that I needed to take care of before we headed off to Dallas. Had to be a little more conscious of my noise levels though because our friends Jane and Brian are staying at our rented condo. Not that I don’t try to keep quiet for Rose but … I had organised the last element of our travel arrangements on Sunday when I booked our flights from/to the island with Tropic Air. I had a credit note from a previously unused flight and got a ten percent discount so the tickets for Rose and I came in at US$103.45 each. Nearly two and half times what we are paying to get to/from Dallas! With the tasks taken care of I headed off to Estel’s ( yes again) for a hearty breakfast – my last one there for a couple of weeks – to set myself up for the day because with the connection times we have it might be difficult to have a decent meal on the way. Just before 1 pm we said goodbye to Jane and Brian and drove our golf cart to our friend’s house for safekeeping ( neither Jane or Brian drive or we would have left it with them). He took us to Tropic Air and we got there at 1.20 for the 2 pm flight. For those of you who have never been to Ambergris Caye below is a photo of Tropic Air’s relatively new check-in desk.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Brisket Chili
I wuz intrigued wen I saw a chili recipe usin brisket and deecided t'adapt it t'air lackin. T' meat wuz so nice and tendr at t'end. Thishere is a recipe that will feed a group uf 20 easilee. Mah photo at t'end shows t'chili with more uf t'oppings we had availabull t'add. As usual y'all should adjust t'seesonings t'yer own lackin er tolerance uf spices.

International Sources

Why Go Barefoot?
Lately, there’s been a lot of hype about being barefoot. Barefoot-style shoes, barefoot running…it’s cool to be barefoot. I tried it out after hearing about the Tarahumara people of Mexico, who can run for miles and miles barefoot or in sandals called huaraches. I thought, “there has to be something to this” and so I started walking barefoot more often and then decided to take up barefoot running. The first time I took off my shoes and took a walk, I felt amazing…it felt like the receptors on the soles of my feet were waking up. I was in contact with the ground and it created a feedback loop between the earth and my body that had me feeling…well…more grounded.

Who comes after Chavez?
For 14 years, Hugo Chavez was a troubling global presence. He was an avowed critic of American capitalism…and yet he generated billions selling oil to the United States. He was a populist, whom some revered but others despised. One thing's for sure, Venezuela’s president was a fighter: last year it seemed he might even have defeated cancer. But the cancer returned, and when he couldn’t attend his own swearing-in ceremony, it sparked a natural set of questions in Venezuela and around the world: what's next? Whoever inherits the presidency, Chavez has cast a long shadow. Look at his record. On the one hand, the poorest are actually better off. According to the Center for Economic Policy and Research, poverty has declined by 50 percent since 2004. Extreme poverty has declined by 70 percent. Over the same period, college enrollment doubled, and millions of Venezuelans gained access to health care. Many are getting free housing – Chavez announced on public television last year he would build two million homes for the poor.

United States and Belize Work Jointly to Protect the Cultural Heritage of Belize
The Department of State is pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the United States and the Government of Belize regarding protection of Belize’s cultural heritage, effective February 27, 2013 for a period of five years. This MOU demonstrates a commitment by both governments to staunch the pillage and illicit trafficking of Belize’s archaeological heritage of African, indigenous Maya, Spanish, and British influences. The Government of Belize requested this agreement under Article 9 of the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. The Convention offers a framework of cooperation among State Parties to reduce the further pillage of intact archaeological sites and ethnological objects. With this MOU, the United States now has agreements with Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua in Central America, promoting a regional approach to combating pillage and trafficking of cultural property. The Designated List of restricted types of objects, published by Customs and Border Patrol, and information about the Agreement can be found here.

Fantasy Island
Indulge your every whim at Royal Belize. Peter Luppi doesn’t wear a white suit like the enigmatic Mr. Roarke. And he doesn’t have a frenetic, diminutive sidekick named Tattoo. But the elegant general manager of Royal Belize, a private island resort in the Caribbean Sea, nevertheless dabbles in tropical fantasy, and he excels in the art of ensuring his guests’ dreams come true. Like a castaway from reality, I find myself marooned at Royal Belize for a birthday weekend with a friend. Because the island only takes one-party bookings (up to eight people), we have the whole seven-acre tropical paradise to ourselves—well, ourselves and the myriad staff, from personal chef to masseuse to butler. Though surrounded by support, we barely see a soul until we actually need them. When we do, they seem to appear as if summoned by telepathy. “Bring us a piña colada,” we mutter lazily from a hammock, certainly not loud enough to be heard. Yet suddenly, even before we awaken from our sun-induced stupor, a staff person appears, frozen drinks held aloft on atray, all delivered with flowers and a swishy little bow. At World’s End, I contemplate the meaning of life. That’s easy to do at this aptly named spot with cushy seating at the end of an astonishingly long pier. Around me, the breeze swirls fingers of salty air through my hair. Pelicans dive for dinner, herons bend in ballet positions and the water hums with the riveting buzz of a thousand tranquil monks in chant mode. Sitting here, I alternate between profound philosopher and spoiled hedonist.

No Tax Changes For Belize In 2013-14 Budget
The Belize Government has announced no new tax measures in its 2013-14 Budget, but instead anticipates that improvements to tax administration will boost tax compliance rates. The Government has newly implemented the ASYCUDA tax administration system, a computerized customs management system, developed by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNTCAD), which covers most foreign trade procedures. In particular, the system handles manifests and customs declarations, accounting procedures, transit and suspense procedures. The Belize Governments hopes the system will boost customs duty collections and improve authorities' ability to tackle non-compliance with respect to the nation's General Sales Tax (GST) and Business and Income Tax regimes.

New World Oil & Gas starts work on third Belize well
New World Oil & Gas (LON:NEW) said drilling of the Rio Bravo 1 well on its West Gallon Jug Crest prospect began on March 1. This is the company’s third well in Belize after a mixed start to the campaign there. B Crest 2 and 2A wells drilled last year found oil - just not in commercial quantities. In fact the group uncovered three of the four attributes required for a working hydrocarbon system - source, migration and seal. The element missing was the trap for the oil. What showed up on the seismic was either a late trap development (created after the migration of the oil past), or late tectonic movement, which causes traps to breach. Tectonic movement seems the likeliest explanation given the oil saturation levels (as much as 65%) that just wouldn’t be present with late trap development. Luckily, the current well, which is being drilled to 8,800 feet, is not fault dependent.

5 Active Adventures in Belize
Sure you can relax in a hammock with a cocktail in Belize, but why would you want to, with so many adventures to be found? Here are the top must-dos, from diving the Great Blue Hole to hiking through the jungle to discover Mayan ruins. If your idea of the perfect winter getaway revolves around a cocktail, a good book and a hammock with a view, I won’t judge. But if you’re going to Belize, you might want to rethink the focus of your trip. Yes, Belize has beaches and cabanas and the obligatory decent local bottled beer (side note: try the stout), but the country’s speciality is doing things: scouting for wildlife, exploring Mayan ruins and getting out there in nature rather than just watching it from the sidelines.

Andrew swims with sharks and sting rays in Belize. He explores an ancient cave and sinks his teeth into Maya-style pork brains and the country's most prized rodent!

Top 10 Maya Secrets
The Maya world remains shrouded in mystery, and many misconceptions about the people and their history endure. Here are some secrets of the Maya revealed. The Maya haven’t disappeared. Just as the fall of Rome didn't meant the end of Romans, the decline of great Maya metropolises, such as Guatemala’s Tikal, which reached its apex in the ninth century, doesn’t mean the indigenous people have vanished. About 40 percent of Guatemala’s 14 million people are Maya, and southern Mexico and the Yucatán Peninsula are home to many more predominantly Maya regions. Not only are the Maya enduring almost five centuries after the Spanish conquest, but their cultural traditions, agrarian lifestyle, and celebratory festivals continue on. There are more than 20 distinct Maya peoples within Guatemala, each with their own culture, style of dress, and language, and hundreds of thousands more Maya live beyond the borders. The Maya don’t believe the end of the world is coming. Apocalyptic movies may suggest the Maya believe the end of the 5,000-plus-year calendar—December 21, 2012—is an end-times moment, but that’s just not true. Many Maya may celebrate the beginning of the next 5,125-year cycle of the Long Count calendar just as we celebrated the new millennium. But they don’t believe the end of the world is on the horizon. If anything, they’re hopeful that a new era will usher in an age of higher consciousness, greater peace, and enhanced understanding among the diverse peoples on the planet.

Maya Rise & Fall
The saga of a civilization in three parts: the rise, the monumental splendor, and the collapse. A late bloomer in the Maya world, the city of Uxmal in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula continued to flourish in all its splendor after the fall of Tikal, Palenque, and the other great cities to the south in the ninth century. A ruin with ornate roof combs known as the House of the Doves showcases the Puuc architectural style, named for the hills of the northern Yucatán Peninsula.

Top 10 Foods of the Maya World
We may not realize it, but many of our favorite foods—from guacamole to tamales to chocolate—were discovered, developed, and refined centuries ago in the Maya world. Here are a few of our favorites. Chocolate Cacao is endemic to the lands of the Maya, who were the first to take the seeds of the fruit and roast them to make hot chocolate. The ancient Maya didn’t make candy bars, nor did they add sugar and milk to the cacao. Instead they took their chocolate as a ceremonial elixir and a savory mood enhancer. For the Maya, cacao was a sacred gift of the gods, and cacao beans were used as currency. Ek Chuah, the Maya god of merchants and trade, was also the patron of the cacao crop. When the Spanish invaded Maya lands in the 1500s, they adopted the beverage, adding sugar and milk to make it sweet and creamy. To learn more about cacao and taste chocolate, visit the Ecomuseo del Cacao in the Puuc region of Yucatán, Avocados and Guacamole The avocado, originating in southern Mexico and Guatemala, is loved for its rich taste and creamy texture and was a treasured crop of the ancient Maya. Even today a person from Antigua Guatemala is called a panza verde, or green belly, because of the region's reliance on avocados in hard times. Combined with chilis, garlic, cilantro, onions, and lime or lemon, avocados become guacamole, a sumptuous appetizer. Don’t expect to find lots of Hass avocados in the Maya world—there are many other varieties, most of which are bigger. In 1917, Wilson Popenoe, a California Avocado Association explorer, reported why Guatemalan avocados are best: “The flesh is of a deeper yellow color, smoother, more buttery [in] texture, and richer [in] flavor than any varieties yet known in the United States.” Poc Chuc This distinctly Yucatecan dish dates to the days before refrigeration, when meat was preserved with salt. Slow-cooked pork is combined with sour orange juice and vinegar to temper the saltiness of the meat. The orange juice refreshes the salted pork and gives it a tangy flavor—“sour orange” is a variety of orange; the juice hasn’t gone sour. The dish is topped with onions sauteed with coriander and a bit of sugar.

Top Ten Maya-Themed Family Activities
With its towering yet climbable temples, beguiling and accessible caves, and inclusive indigenous festivals, the Maya world is an inviting region where families can play and learn. Following are some of the most enticing experiences. The single can’t-miss attraction in the Maya world is a visit to the ruins of a lost civilization, and perhaps the most engaging place for this is Tikal in Guatemala’s Petén jungle. The towering temples of Tikal, some as high as 20-story buildings, pierce the jungle canopy. Several can be safely climbed. Here’s what makes Tikal so special—it remains surrounded by wild jungle just as it did while inhabited by the brilliantly advanced Maya civilization, which mysteriously began to decline in the ninth century. After the signing of 1996 peace accords, local Maya have officially been allowed to return to the Grand Plaza to celebrate rituals. Many travelers visit just for the day, but those who stay overnight in Tikal or nearby Flores can experience dawn at Tikal and hear the howler monkeys roar. Explore the caves of Río Secreto. In Mexico’s Riviera Maya, just south of Cancún, is Río Secreto, an underground river that traverses a hidden world of shimmering limestone curtains, stalactites, and stalagmites. The water in the caves is calm and typically only knee-to-waist-high, though there are a few places where it gets higher and you need to swim across. All tours are led by trained guides who explain how the caves formed. All guests wear a helmet, life vest, and headlamp for safety, and wet suits are available. On our tour there were several children; they had a fantastic time exploring the caves, often exclaiming with delight as we entered each new “room.” The minute of silence in the ethereal caves is priceless.

Top Ten Maya Secrets
The Maya world remains shrouded in mystery, and many misconceptions about the people and their history endure. Here are some secrets of the Maya revealed. Just as the fall of Rome didn't meant the end of Romans, the decline of great Maya metropolises, such as Guatemala’s Tikal, which reached its apex in the ninth century, doesn’t mean the indigenous people have vanished. About 40 percent of Guatemala’s 14 million people are Maya, and southern Mexico and the Yucatán Peninsula are home to many more predominantly Maya regions. Not only are the Maya enduring almost five centuries after the Spanish conquest, but their cultural traditions, agrarian lifestyle, and celebratory festivals continue on. There are more than 20 distinct Maya peoples within Guatemala, each with their own culture, style of dress, and language, and hundreds of thousands more Maya live beyond the borders. The Maya don’t believe the end of the world is coming. Apocalyptic movies may suggest the Maya believe the end of the 5,000-plus-year calendar—December 21, 2012—is an end-times moment, but that’s just not true. Many Maya may celebrate the beginning of the next 5,125-year cycle of the Long Count calendar just as we celebrated the new millennium. But they don’t believe the end of the world is on the horizon. If anything, they’re hopeful that a new era will usher in an age of higher consciousness, greater peace, and enhanced understanding among the diverse peoples on the planet.

Belize is a cultural and historical oddity: the only part of Central America that has English as its national language, a relic of its time as British Honduras. Even after independence in 1981, British troops underwent jungle training here; their bullet cases are easy to find, scattered on the jungle floor. Now, though, Belize manages its security alone, and the ruler-straight border with Guatemala isn’t far away. Belize has an uneasy relationship with a larger neighbour that has long coveted its shoreline as well as the riches of its rainforest. Roni Martinez is conservation officer at Blancaneaux Lodge, a gracious bit of tourism infrastructure in a particularly peculiar part of Belize. Take those pines, for example. Much of this country is clad in broad-leaf rainforest, damp and exotic, full of orchids and bromeliads, strangler figs, vines and creepers. Huge palms stretch upwards. Ferns shoot sail-like fronds up to the canopy. Below all the dripping vegetation lies soft limestone, riddled with caves and cenotes, once thought by the ancient Mayans to be the gateways to the underworld.

March 5, 2013


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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 SpecialsThe March 3rd, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • The Low Key Appearance Of Bert Vasquez:
    In the absence of all the hype and public assembly in front of the police station in San Ignacio on the two previous occasions when Bert Vasquez, the accused murderer of Jasmine Lowe, appeared in San Ignacio court, his third appearance today went almost unnoticed. Is it a case of the public losing interest in the matter? Is it a case of the case gone cold? Can it be a case of the public forgetting the adjournment date? Can today’s low key appearance of the accused murderer be attributed to the absence of policemen who crave the media and public spotlight resulting in neither the media nor the public being alerted of today’s event?
  • Businessman Busted With Undeclared Cash:
    A businessman from San Ignacio Town today pled guilty to the offence of failure to declare money in excess of the stipulated ten thousand Belize dollars A police report informs that Suresh Jaisinghnai was detained at the Phillip S.W Goldson International Airport after he was found in possession of nine thousand two hundred and seventy six thousand US dollars just as he was attempting to board an international flight.
  • Jorge David Moro Dies In Car Crash:
    Relatives of a deceased taxi driver are today making arrangement to lay him to rest while they are still struggling to come to terms with the sudden change in their lives. The deceased Belizean taxi driver, , from San Ignacio, Cayo, was last seen by his wife Azucena shortly after 8:00 am on Tuesday, February 26 as he left home to transport their children to school. He reportedly departed from San Ignacio shortly thereafter on a regular charter trip eastward to Belize City to drop off a businessman.
  • Amazing Voter Turnout In San Antonio Village:
    The almost 62% voter turnout in San Antonio Village for today’s United Democratic Party convention to elect a candidate to contest the upcoming village council elections is nothing short of AMAZING!!! With 972 voters on the list for this village, a whopping 601 voters today made their way to the community center to cast their ballots. There was a steady stream of voters from the time the polling station was declared open at 9:00 am right up to closing time at 4:00 pm. The two candidates in the race were Rene Canto the incumbent chairman of the village and Cruz Mai, himself a former chairman of the village.
  • Prohibiting Vehicular Traffic On Burn Avenue:
    A work crew from the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) was this week busy replacing all the plastic manhole covers with more durable metal ones on Burns Avenue in San Ignacio Town. The changing of manhole covers became necessary when several of them were broken due to the load of vehicular traffic on the carriageway. While the Town Council had initially announced that vehicular traffic would not be allowed to transit the area, it nonetheless began experimenting with allowing them to do so. The experiment has resulted in damages to the pavers. The Town Council is now contemplating to revert to the original plan of prohibiting vehicular traffic in the area.
  • Mexico Union Leader Elba Esther Gordillo Arrested:
    Union head Elba Esther Gordillo, known as Mexico's most powerful woman, has been arrested on corruption charges. Ms Gordillo, who runs the 1.5 million-member Mexican teachers' union, is alleged to have embezzled more than $156m from union funds. No-one from her legal team has responded to the allegations, but in the past she has denied any wrongdoing. Her arrest came a day after the government enacted major reforms to the education system.
  • Nation Builders Commits To Championing National Youth Policy:
    The Nation Builders national youth movement celebrates today’s launching of the NationalYouth Policy, as it will further empower young people. Since the inception of our movement, almost a year ago, the National Youth Policy has been one of our key demands, as the lack of a comprehensive youth development strategy has been a major setback in the creation of an enabling environment for our young people to become fully productive citizens.
  • Belizeans Must Become More Nationalistic To Save Their Country From Guatemala:
    The British landed in Belize in 1638 long before Guatemala ever dreamt of become a nation state and still Guatemala is claiming our country up to this day. Why? Because in the early part of Belize’s history, the British had no intention of making Belize one of their colonies until 1862. If the British wanted to obtain Belize as their property, they had several opportunities when they signed treaties with Spain to make it their territory. This was done because the British settlers who lived in Belize loved the country and exerted pressure on the British to grant them colony status. Also, the settlers fought in the Battle of Saint George Cay on the 10thof September 1797 to drive the Spanish out of Belize. This day should have been the Independence Day for the country of Belize because of its significance in demonstrating our forefathers true nationalism when many of them died in defense of our homeland.
  • St. Ignatius Students Expressing Their Views:
    I am a student attending St. Ignatius High School and I am concerned about the dramatic increase of unemployment in our country. This has been the highest recorded for the past fourteen years. As we face changing occurrences, our country can only become better and better or worse and worse. However, the extensive increase in unemployment only makes our nation worsen. Research shows that the main reason our population suffers from unemployment is because of lack of education combined with the advancement of technology.
  • Pay The Boys:
    There is an issue that I thought should be addressed. Our Men’s National Football Team – The Belize Jaguars – recently qualified to play in the Central American Gold cup. This is the first time we as a country have ever qualified for such a tournament and we are proud of the men for having achieved such a historical accomplishment for our country. Now, we also know that sports in this country doesn’t pay, and I’m proposing to the government to pay our players a suitable sum of money for the next six months in order for them to train hard and not have to concentrate on their job and practice after work. It would only be for a short period of time. Our players need to train to get to their highest potential.
  • STAR Humor
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  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices

The San Pedro Sun

SPHS enter Sagicor’s “Visionary Challenge” with a paper recycling project
SPHS-Sagicor-Challenge-3Six senior students; Eric Donis, Ervin Chacon, Julio Chacon, Conrad Gonzalez, Brandon Munguia, Chris Saldivar and Riel Contreras, all from the San Pedro High School (SPHS) have entered a Caribbean competition called “Sagicor Visionary Challenge.” The fourth form science students, based on the rules of the challenge, are making cardstock from recycled papers. The winning school at the national level will then go on to the regional competition as the country’s representative. Sagicor Visionary Challenge is a collaborative effort between the Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF), SAGICOR (a regional insurance company), and the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC). Aimed at secondary schools from 12 Caribbean countries, the purpose is for the participating school to find solutions to problem challenging their institutions. “We see students dumping out paper every day. An estimated 20 four-foot size garbage bags of paper are thrown away every other day. That’s a lot of paper being wasted and it’s a lot of paper that can be reused… if you look at it, it also saves trees and helps the ecosystem,” said Donis. “The project mainly entails recycling papers used at our school. We were tasked in finding a problem and then a solution to the problem. Our problem in our school is the usage of papers and our solution is to recycle it,” explained group member Riel Contreras in an interview with The San Pedro Sun.

Columbia’s La Sonora Dinamita to perform in San Pedro on March 9th
Sonora-Dinamita-FlyerSan Pedro Town will come alive on March 9th as well known international musical band, La Sonora Dinamita will be on the island for a live concert. The Colombian based band is one of Latin America’s popular musical groups known for their salsa, merengue, cumbia and all around tropical music. It is the first time that the band will be performing in Belize; the closest they have ever been to Belize was in Campeche a few years ago. The concert will take place at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium in San Pedro Town. The 12 member band, along with its dancers, is being promoted in Belize by LRS Promotions of San Pedro Town. According to Luis Romero Soler from LRS promotions, the concert on Ambergris Caye is one of many done in the region since the band is going through a musical tour through Mexico. “It is one of the first bands to popularize the cumbia music with a little tropical touch. They became popular because they bring across the day to day experiences through their music,” said Romer-Soler.

Ambergris Today

San Benito, Guatemala Mayor Visits San Pedro, Belize
Mayor Darrell Bradley of Belize City and Mrs. Sonia Rivera Mayor of San Benito Guatemala, along with their councilors and members of congress from Guatemala City, all arrived on San Pedro, Ambergris Caye on Saturday, March 2, 2013, where they were officially welcomed to the island by Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Councilors and Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. Mayor Darrell Bradley welcomed his counterparts from San Benito, Peten on Friday, March 1, 2013, in Belize City as part of agreement on the establishment of a Sister City Relationship that was signed between the municipalities of San Benito Petén and Belize City. It was a reciprocal visit after Mayor Bradley went to San Benito in January.

Belize Tourism Board Shows Increase in Arrivals for January 2013
Thursday, February 28, 2013- The impressive increase of arrivals into Belize in the year 2012 has continued into the start of 2013. January numbers are in, and overnight tourists have increased by a remarkable 17.2% compared to last year’s stats. A total of 28,431 overnight tourists were recorded in the first month of this year- an increase of 4,168 compared to January 2012. Arrivals at the Phillip Goldson International Airport were up as well, showing 7.6% higher than last year’s January arrivals. Our records show that 19,965 passengers disembarked at the PGIA in the last month, making it 1,407 more than January 2012.

International Film Crew Spotted in San Pedro Belize
Many visitors come to the beautiful country of Belize and take with them fantastic memories captured in cameras, later shared to the world. As the weekend approached, an international film crew was spotted capturing life in San Pedro Town. They were taking imagery of local street vendors at central park. This tourist hot spot is where you can find the best hand made arts and crafts, which can be customized to your liking. We are more than likely sure that we will see great exposure of our beautiful country in the international market.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize Territorial Volunteers demarcate Belize’s border lines
On March 2nd, 2013, the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) spearheaded by Wil Maheia of PG TV and the People’s National Party (PNP), met at Belize’s border with Guatemala, to carry out a cleanup campaign to clear vegetation on Belize’s side of the border. The group consisting of 150 volunteers began the work at Container Hill from sunrise to late afternoon. The contingent had representation from various social groups including Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA); the University of Belize; the Belize Coalition for Justice; BelizeCan, a NonPartisan, nongovernmental Organization established as a “Watchdog Group” to strengthen the Democratic principles and social justice in the Nation of Belize; Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association, various media representatives, along with Belizean men, women and children.

Bishop Martin Neighborhood Watch Cleanup
The Bishop Martin Neighborhood Watch had a cleanup this weekend. The SISE Town Council and the Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association were there to lend a hand in cleaning up the community. Great work! Betta No Litta!

Bella Dee's Soaps at Women in Arts Fiesta
The Benque House of Culture had their Women in Arts Fiesta Saturday, at the beautiful Centennial Park, in honor of Women's Month. Bella Dee's Soaps was there. "Bella Dee's would like to thank NICH Benque House Of Culture for the opportunity to participate in the 5th Women in Arts Fiesta, which was held in Benque Viejo this past Saturday. Bella Dee's would also like to thank everyone who supported us by buying soaps or gave words of encouragement. I had the opportunity to meet some amazingly talented women, like Marilu Uck, who does some seriously, wonderful embroidery; so different from all the rest. To see her work, give her a call at 624-1953."

Women's Month in Belize
Happy Women's Month! The Women's Month Booklet for Belize has been released. In it are messages from Kim Simplis-Barrow and Minister Martinez from the Ministry of Human Development, schedules of events for Cayo and all of Belize, and biographies of female role models throughout Belize. The image was made by Greg Godfrey. International Women's Day is March 8th. Have a great Women's Month! "The Women’s Department has shown each year that there is no shortage of role models in this country. I hope that the bios contained in this booklet will serve as a beacon of hope for those who place a limit on where they can go because of where they come from. Let’s keep the momentum growing by motivating more women and girls to uplift themselves, rise above the odds and chart their own paths to success. I want to congratulate the awardees, not only for the accomplishments that earned them this recognition, but for having the drive and determination that made it possible. Happy Women’s Month to all!"

In Bloom Rocks Midas Ice Bar
Midas had their big Saturday this past weekend at the Ice Bar, with the Bumsplash Pool Party during the day, and In Bloom playing at night. Looks like In Bloom had a great time. Encore! In other news, Midas will be doing live concerts a few times a month. They'll have their Abraxas Rock Anthem Concert on March 16th. In Bloom will open that night. "LIVE music at Midas Resort a night of rock ballads... In Bloom: (Members of the band) Kevin Berganza Ronni Orellano Brent Coombs Emmanuel Mangar Romario Pech Jorge Tesecum Jose Barrera"

Burrel Boom police station has been renovated
Congratulations to the police department. The Burrel Boom police station has been rennovated and good things are in store for the people of this rural Belize district community

Belizeans are not exactly happy with neighboring Guatemala right about now given the upcoming October sixth referendum and this week’s fiasco with the national basketball selection in Peten. The referendum will decide whether the Guatemalan claim to Belize’s territorial land should be taken to the International Court of Justice for final settlement.

The second reading of the General Revenue Appropriation Bill for Fiscal Year 2013/2014 took place this morning during a meeting of the House of Representatives. The presentation of the budget proposals for the upcoming financial year was made by Prime Minister Dean Barrow. He emphasized that the impending fiscal calendar will not see any new taxes being introduced, nor will there be any budget reductions. P.M. Barrow also lauded the accomplishments of his administration in restructuring the super bond, as well as other economic developments in 2012, notwithstanding a sudden decline in electricity production, crude oil mining and cruise tourism arrivals.

House of Representatives
The 2nd Sitting of the House of Representatives for 2013 has begun. Prime Minister Dean Barrow is now presenting the budget for Fiscal Year 2013/2014. You can find a transcript of the PM’s speech at the link below: Listen live on major radio stations.

February 24, 2013 - March 2, 2013 Fishing Report
Return guests - Bill and Carol, Ron and Susan, Gary and Joyce, Graham and Annie, welcome back! We had a really nice week where guests met new friends and bonded with established friends. The fishing was toss up because the weather was so crazy this week. It is very unusual for a cold front to come in this time of year dropping to 60 at night! That may not sound cold, but it is for here. All the fish are around – so each day anglers went out with a great attitude to try skill and luck with the sea. Dreams came true, and new goals reached. Thanks everyone for a great week.

Corozal Rotary Thanks Town Council
The Corozal Chapter of Rotary International would like to thank the Corozal Town Council who contributed in the Santa Rita Playground project. They supplied, tents, tables, chairs, security guard, lunches for 40 people for 2 days, 3-5 workers, tools, cement mixer, water truck, repaired lights, hooked up electricity and all round were wonderful to work with. The Rotary Club of Corozal thanks Councillor Elva Perez, Mayor Hilberto Campos, Mr. Efrain Gomez and all the Town Council workers for their support and hard work. The neighbors contributed snacks, hard work, bathrooms. The school gave us drinks, sang the national anthem and played on the new playground. The Rotary Club of Corozal is currently seeking new Rotary members. Members make a financial commitment of support and also donate time to assist with Rotary projects. They also need Friends of Rotary - folks who want to help, but can't become a member for whatever reason. And, last, but not least, they need donations of funds to help sustain and expand its service to the Corozal Community.

Black Gold or Not?
by Jamie Ashcroft "I believe it is just a matter of time before we crack the code on locating traps," Kelleher said. New World chief Kelleher still confident of Belize oil discovery. New World Oil & Gas (LON:NEW) chief executive Bill Kelleher remains confident that the company will discover oil within its Belize acreage. The shares plummeted last week as the Blue Creek 2 well was determined to be non-commercial. The well did, however, confirm that an active hydrocarbon system exists within the acreage, and live oil shows were measured in both the Y3 and Hillbank reservoir targets. This was not enough to prevent a sharp drop for the New World shares, which at one stage had halved in value, but Kelleher remains undeterred. "I'm not hanging my head, in fact I'm encouraged," he said in a call with Proactive Investors. "I'm incredibly positive . We now know that oil has moved through this area, and we know it has accumulated in massive amounts – I'm talking about hundreds of millions of barrels. "And I believe it is just a matter of time before we crack the code on locating traps, and identifying the differences between the sealed and the breached traps. "We've learned a lot, and the key thing to take away from this result is that we will make a discovery and we will be producing oil – so sit tight."

Channel 5

Minister Farrakhan’s message to Belizeans
Leader of the Nation of Islam, Minister Louis Farrakhan, arrived this afternoon at the Phillip Goldson International Airport on American Airlines. It is his third visit to Belize; the last was twenty-seven years ago. Farrakhan was scheduled to visit Belize in early December but the trip was cancelled at the last minute because of illness. [...]

Who murdered Corrupt?
There were no murders on Friday and Saturday, but on Sunday, two men were shot and killed within hours of each other. Gunshots rang out at about ten o’clock on Sunday night in the heart of the Southside Gangsters territory in the City. A lone gunman walked up to Eugene Palacio aka Corrupt and unleashed [...]

Sherlock shot, Arana murdered in Hattieville
Less than two hours before that murder, there was another homicide. An argument between two men escalated in an exchange of gunfire in Hattieville. Two bullets found their mark on Abel Arana who succumbed within hours of the shooting, while Sherlock Ralph Martinez remains hospitalized in critical condition after being shot to the abdomen. News [...]

Killed after he collected his salary from bank
Aside from the murders in Belize City and Hattieville, another man lost his life after he was attacked and beaten. The incident happened last Wednesday, but he died on Friday. On Wednesday, Dangriga police visited a wooden yellow house on Tubroose Street where they found thirty-five year old Julio Cesar Lopez Funez, a Honduran maintenance [...]

Basketball player survives shooting on BelChina
There was another shooting incident in Belize City this morning. The victim has been identified as Ronald Rivers. Rivers went along with the delegation of Belizean basketball players in Peten, Guatemala last Thursday and returned on Friday. According to the Belize Basketball Federation, his place on the team was not permanent, but he did play [...]

Belize territorial Volunteers chop along border
There were dire forecasts from the Minister of Foreign Affairs and from the security forces, as Belizeans prepared to make the symbolic journey to the border with Guatemala. Officials warned that the move would be seen as aggressive and could invite a violent response from Guatemala’s residents and from the army. Guatemala’s president Otto Perez [...]

Guatemala’s Foreign Minister in Belize
  The Foreign Minister of Guatemala was in Belize today in an unannounced visit.  Fernando Carrera arrived by private aircraft at the Philip Goldson International Airport this afternoon around one o’clock, met with Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington before departing at four p.m.  Carrera’s call on the foreign minister had to do with the upcoming [...]

Petén basketball players bounce into national discussion
The Belize National Basketball Selection withdrew from playing in a Guatemalan tournament called “New Era of the Mundo Maya”, which was held in Peten and organized by the renegade National Sports Federation of Guatemalan Basketball. The team cut short its participation because local organizers found it distasteful that the Federation had included Belize as part [...]

Gang Suppression Unit Officer dies in accident
A fatal traffic accident on the George Price Highway on Sunday night claimed the life of a police officer attached to the Gang Suppression Unit. Twenty-two year old Bani Shol perished after his white Toyota Camry overturned between miles thirty-three and thirty-four sometime before ten p.m. Shol was traveling along with two other GSU officers: [...]

Arson cause of fire that burnt down building
Police are treating an early morning fire in downtown Belize City as a case of arson. The fire started from the lower flat of a building which was unoccupied and without electricity so authorities believe the building was deliberately set ablaze. Two other buildings were damaged, but luckily no one was hurt. News Five’s Jose [...]

Tourists abandoned and stranded in paradise
Belize is paradise to many no matter if the tourism industry’s selling point is no longer “Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secret.” But for a couple from the United Kingdom, the country for a brief moment became a small road to perdition. Last Wednesday, the Neilson family went diving near Halfmoon Caye, and while basking in [...]

Boom resident runs from weed charge
  A caretaker from Burrell Boom was today formally arraigned in Magistrate’s Court on four charges. Police claim that on Friday, Eugene Henderson was caught with a bag full of cannabis on the Burrell Boom Road and when approached by Police Constable Ronald Sutherland, he tried to run away. During his capture he allegedly got [...]

Youth Business thrives with creativity
International Children’s Day of Broadcasting is celebrated worldwide on the first Sunday of March each year. In keeping with our tradition to encourage children participation in the media, here at News Five we invited Mariana Moguel to show her budding skills as a teen journalist. Working along with Isani Cayetano, Mariana put together a report [...]

Sports Monday with James “Jah over all” Adderley
  Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   Week 4 of the PLB Season saw the People’s Stadium in O.W. host the monster clash between San Felipe Barcelona and Placencia Assassins as both teams sought to make advances in the standings. We’re just five minutes in when visitors get this look [...]


Nation of Islam Leader Arrives In Belize
The wait for the arrival of the Leader of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan, ended today when the American Airlines plane landed at the Phillip Goldson International Airport with the motivational and inspirational speaker. Farrakhan was met by protocol officer, Guadeloupe Will...

Belizean Basketball Player Shot To The Face
Twenty eight year old Ronald Rivers is lucky to be alive after having been shot to the face this morning on Vernon Street. The basketball player, we understand would have been in Guatemala, and because of the ongoing controversy returned home with the rest of the team. This...

Wood Carving and Basket Weaving Training Ends
Ceremony to mark the completion of a basket weaving and wood carving training program was held on Friday evening in Punta Gorda. The training program was held at the Punta Gorda We Art Gallery located on Far West Street in town. Coordinator of the event was Curlette Palacio w...

East Indian Culture Celebrated
The East Indian Culture was celebrated throughout this weekend in the Corozal District. The Corozal Organization of East Indian Cultural Heritage, whose primary objective is to promote the East Indian Culture, organized a pageant and an East Indian Food Festival. Sylvia Gil...

Burrell Boom Police Station Gets Uplift
The Burrell Boom police station is getting a makeover. Work on the restoration started over the weekend and will continue throughout the week. Officer Commanding, Assistant Superintendent Christopher Noble told Love News that the upgrading of the infrastructure at the Burre...

Separate Traffic Accidents Claim Two Lives
A traffic accident on the George Price Highway on Sunday night left one police officer dead and two others injured. Correspondent Fem Cruz reports. FEM CRUZ “On Sunday, March 3 sometime around 9:50pm, Belmopan Police received information of a road traffic accident b...

Chopping Incident Leaves Man Critical
A chopping incident in Belmopan on Sunday morning has left a Belize City man hospitalized in a critical condition and a teenager in police detention. Reports are that sometime after ten o’clock on Sunday morning Kareem Foreman Swaso, a resident of Belize City was involved i...

Armed Robbery In Orange Walk
Police are investigating another armed robbery in Orange Walk. According to reports, on March second at around 12:30 a.m two male persons, one armed, entered Hong Kong Restaurant located on Belize Corozal Road. The men wore masks over their faces; one of the men was of dark complexion ...

Channel 7

Border Clearing At Jalacte Went Without Incident
We start with a piece of news that caught us completely off-guard: that is a surprise visit by the new Guatemalan Foreign Minister, Fernando Carrera to Belize. He flew in at about 1:00 pm for a lunch meeting with Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington. That meting was held at the VIP Room of the Radisson and lasted for about three hours. Elrington was accompanied by his CEO Alexis Rosado, Opposition Representative Lisa Shoman and James Murphy from the Referendum Office. 7news got an exclusive interview with Foreign Minister Carrerra and we'll have that for you shortly, but to set things in the right order, we start at Jalacte on Saturday morning. That's where Wil Maheia and his Belize Territorial Volunteers went to clear the southern border. It was not a state-sanctioned effort, and so due to the many warnings from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the BDF Commander, it was expected that the first day of that effort would be tense. But it turns out that it wasn't tense at all. Daniel Ortiz went down to witness the beginning of the clearing first hand, and here's what he found: Daniel Ortiz Reporting The Belize Territorial Volunteers arrived in Jalacte Village at around 8:30. They all came together in a caravan consisting of a rented bus, and about 10 vehicles, all to a total of approximately 125 people representing different activist organizations.

Alcalde From Santa Cruz, Guatemala, No Problem with Wil
And coming up shortly, you'll hear how the Guatemalan foreign Minister feels about Wil Maheia's initiative, but, first, how does the Alcalde of Santa Cruz, Guatemala feel? As we told you in that story she was quite pleased with the effort. That's because of the interesting dynamic between Santa Cruz and Jalacte. It is an example of living together in peace and respect important and Daniel Ortiz examined this relationship in the context of the climate surrounding the pending referendums: Daniel Ortiz Reporting Down in Jalacte Village, the Belizean citizens there have no access to electricity, and very spotty access to Belizean telecommunications. Making a phone call to a Digicell number is very close to impossible and taking the Speednet route is easier, but that person must go searching for phone signals at different strategic locations in the village. As a result, the residents simply sign on with the Guatemalan phone companies, after all, their towers are less than a mile away. Their Guatemalan neighbors enjoy access to power lines which provide them with much needed electricity, while those on the Belize side must use generators, if they have the finance, or a rigging of car batteries to power their homes.

New Guat Foreign Minister Makes Surprise Visit
And while the Alcalde has no problem with the volunteers, how does the Guatemalan Foreign minister feel about it? We'll have his reaction shortly, but, first, why was he here today in the first place? As we told you at the top of the newscast, he made a hastily arranged three-hour trip to Belize City this afternoon, landing at 1:00 pm and leaving by four-thirty. The meeting was held at the Radisson and 7news caught him in the lobby as it was finished. He told us about the purpose of his visit: Fernando Carrera, Guatemala Foreign Minister "We have conversation on two issues that we shared with the Minister and his colleagues and advisors what is known as the political situation of the referendum of Guatemala and the political climate. The second thing is since this is my first visit to ensure that we will continue to have the positive relationship we have had in the past and that we will work to strengthen that relationship." Jules Vasquez "How concern is your country about the threshold that Belize has on its referendum: the 60% threshold?" Fernando Carrera, Guatemala Foreign Minister "It has been a concern but as it is in politics we have understood that that is your role and that is the way you want to solve this situation the referendum. Although we have a concern that it is a very difficult threshold to reach for any country not just for Belize but for any country. We will have lots of problems in Guatemala to reach that threshold and maybe that's part of our concern because we haven't been able to do that in the past. But it's your decision and it's your rules, you legal framework."

Guat Foreign Minister Calls Maheia and His Crew "Extremists"
And "provocative" is just what Wilfred Elrington said last week about Wil Maheia and his border clearing initiative. But when we asked the Guatemalan Foreign Minister about it, he seemed to be hardly concerned: Jules Vasquez "The border adjoining our village of Jalacte your village of Santa Cruz to clear that border, is that something that concerns you?" Fernando Carrera, Guatemala Foreign Minister "Not really because at the end of the day both what you did here from this side of Belize and we did from the side of Guatemala was very positive. We all understood that this is not the way of solving our disputes. The only way of solving of disputes of civilized countries is have a conversation and go to a legal framework like the one provided by the ICJ. We are more reasonable people today than a few decades ago and we can contribute to a solution for a specific point of view."

Man Shot in Broad Daylight At Busy Intersection
And "provocative" is just what Wilfred Elrington said last week about Wil Maheia and his border clearing initiative. But when we asked the Guatemalan Foreign Minister about it, he seemed to be hardly concerned: Jules Vasquez "The border adjoining our village of Jalacte your village of Santa Cruz to clear that border, is that something that concerns you?" Fernando Carrera, Guatemala Foreign Minister "Not really because at the end of the day both what you did here from this side of Belize and we did from the side of Guatemala was very positive. We all understood that this is not the way of solving our disputes. The only way of solving of disputes of civilized countries is have a conversation and go to a legal framework like the one provided by the ICJ. We are more reasonable people today than a few decades ago and we can contribute to a solution for a specific point of view." Jules Vasquez "You issued very dire warnings about the Belize Territorial volunteers Mr. Maheia. You were wrong, A) nothing happened and B) the Foreign Minister said that it's something that hardly concerns them, as people, we learn to live together."

Death Stalked "Corrupt" On Caesar Ridge
And while he looks as if he will make it, there was no such luck for two men who were shot and killed last night. The first shooting happened in Hattieville at around 8:30 and the second happened about an hour later in the city. We start with the City murder, where Eugene Palacio, known as "Corrupt" was killed in his neighborhood - and as his aunt celebrated her birthday across the street: Jules Vasquez Reporting Voice of Cousin: Was at Party When Eugene Palacio Was Killed "We just hear shots start to bursts. It was real crazy." In that hail of gunfire at, 37 year old Eugene Palacio was shot across the street from his Aunt's home at 9:30 pm: Voice of Cousin: Was at Party When Eugene Palacio Was Killed "He and my other cousin were standing there talking. The gunman came from Gill Street side and walked straight up into him, he knew what he wanted to do because he and she was standing there because tried to use my cousin as a shield but my cousin is short. The gunman knew what he wanted to do because he popped him in his face then he went over him and gives him some more shots."

Did "Mini-Man" Slay Abel In Hattieville?
And while right now, police don't know who killed Eugene Palacio, they suspect they do know who killed Abel ("Able") Arana. Arana was killed last night, reportedly in a shootout with and man he was reportedly socializing with, Ralph Sherlock Martinez, known as "mini-man". It happened in Hattieville and tonight Arana is dead and Mini-man is recovering from a gunshot wound. Today Monica Bodden went to Hattieville looking for answers: Monica Bodden Reporting 23 year old Abel Arana was murdered last night inside this yard in Hattieville on Camal Street - meanwhile Ralph Sherlock Martinez better known as Mini-man, who resides at the residence, is tonight hospitalized. The murder/shooting happened just after 8 o'clock last night. According to police, Arana and Martinez were socializing at the residence when an argument ensued between the men - Both men shots at each other. But while that theory is under investigation, a friend of Martinez denies that version. According to him, Martinez and Arana knew each other from prison but where never close associates to the point where they would be socializing together. He told us Abel Arana entered his friend's yard with the intention to kill him, but out of self-defense Martinez ended up using Arana's gun on him.

Man Died After Being Robbed and Beaten Up In Griga
And while those murders happened in the Belize District, there was a murder in Stann Creek. It happened form last week, but police only just reported it today. Tonight, the family of 35 year-old Honduran National Julio Lopez Funez is making preparations to bury him after he was robbed and beaten last week Wednesday. According to police, at around 1 p.m., Lopez, who is a resident of Dangriga Town, was walking on Tubroose Street after cashing his pay checque at the Belize Bank. He was approached by unknown culprits who beat him badly, leaving him unconscious.

Police Loses Life In Fatal Accident
Tonight, one Police officer from the Gang Suppression Unit is dead, and 2 others are in the hospital after they were all in a traffic accident, which occurred last night. At around 9:30, 22 year-old Hilbert Ack, 27 year-old George Ferguson, 28 year-old Bani Shol, were in a Toyota Camry heading to Belmopan. When they got to an area between miles 34 and 35, Shol, who was the driver, lost control, and that caused them to flip several times. They all suffered bodily injuries of varying degree, but Shol's injuries were too severe. He passed away while the other 2 men made it to the Western Regional Hospital. He is the second police officer to die in a traffic accident in the past eight days.

Serious City Shootings
We've told you about the murders, but the violence in Belize City spiked once again this weekend. At around 2:50 p.m. on Sunday a 37 year-old Naturalized Belizean businessman and his wife were exiting their Mitsubishi pickup, and they were attempting to get into their home on Sun Flower Street. As soon as they got out of the vehicle, a dark complexioned gunman approached them and fired several shots from at them. Fearing for his life, the businessman pulled out his licensed 9 mm pistol, and fired back at the assailant, who escaped into a nearby yard.

Fire In The City
There was an early morning fire yesterday at the corner of West and Bishop Streets. Around 4 yesterday morning, 42 year old Charles Herrera was asleep inside his apartment located on the upper flat of the two story wooden building, when he was awakened by the sound of barking dogs.

Farrakhan's Message For Belize
Leader of the nation of Islam Louis Farrakhan arrived in Belize this afternoon for a five-day visit. A press briefing at the airport's VIP Room was planned but it was abruptly cancelled. Instead he granted only the Government Press Office an interview. He spoke on a range of issues, from trade to crime: Minister Louis Farrakhan "I am here not just to speak to the Muslims but to the Christians, the Mayans to all of the members of this potentially powerful nation and my message all throughout the Caribbean is that one island can exist in a global economy by itself.

Belizean Ballers Stayed and Played In Guatemala
Last week we told you about the Belize National Basketball Team's hasty return from Guatemala after they were forced to withdraw from a tournament because the organizer's logo included Belize as a part of Guatemala. But three Belizeans did stay behind and that's because they were contracted to play with the Peten team. According to reports, Kirk Chengo Burgess, Winston "Air Jun" Pratt and Raul Roches all stayed and played in the offending jerseys.


Belize Territorial Volunteers: Success At The Border
Over the weekend 150 Belizeans including President of Belize Territorial Volunteers, Will Maheia travelled to the Belize/Guatemala Border near Jalacte Village to take part in the “Clear Our Borderline” campaign. With machetes in hand these volunteers travelled to the edge of the border, meeting with people living on Belizean soil. It was in that area that the group decided to plant the Belizean Flag signaling out that they were standing on Belizean territory. Despite the fact that the group only managed to clear part of the border line, President of Belize Territorial Volunteers Wil Maheia says, a strong message was sent to those watching on the other side of the border. Wil Maheia, Belize Territorial Volunteers. “It was just like a great thing and a great day to be a Belizean. You know our intention is to clear our borderline which is already defined in the 1859 treaty and was recognized by the rest of the world when we got our independence. The deal that this government just continues to neglect the activities is putting our country at risk. We as citizens of this country we should be able to go ahead and take care of our border.” Hipolito Novelo, Reporter “Was your objective met?” Wil Maheia, Belize Territorial Volunteers. “Yes, I think, loud and clear we wanted the world to know that we have a border and we went there with GPS and the guy from the OAS and the Guatemalan Mayor, they all agreed that the road that they were standing one and the road that Guatemala claim that is part of their territory is actually in Belize Territory. Because of the scare tactics, we didn’t go there, we want to clear but the area that we wanted to clear was already cleared by the Guatemalan. We will educate the people around here about what is happening in our country; the deforestation of our forest, the incursions of forest and protected areas. Definitely as a human being you have that fear but within a few minutes that fear was gone. Never one did I feel that my life of any of the Belizeans life was in danger.”

Hong Kong Gets Robbed
Over the weekend a police officer received minor injuries after he attempted to stop a robbery in progress here in Orange Walk. On Saturday, at about 12:30am, two men of dark complexion entered Honk Kong Restaurant located on Belize Corozal Road, walked straight to the counter, and robbed 42 year old Anna Reyes at gunpoint. Fearing for her life Reyes handed over $1,000 to one of the robbers. But little did the criminals know that a police officer was in the restaurant. According to reports, the officer confronted both men and during the process was hit on the face with the gun which he attempted to take away from the armed robber. Despite a shot being fired, the struggle between the police officer and the armed robber continued. But as the gun fell to the ground, the robbers made good their escape but not before one of them crashed into the entrance door made of glass. During their quick exit the criminals left behind a 9mm Taurus pistol, (1) 9mm expended shell and a green and brown jacket which was retrieved by police. So far no one has been detained and police investigations continue.

She Was Raped, Now She's Pregnant
Last week a 13 year old girl from Caye Caulker accused her brother-in-law of rape. Tonight there is another disturbing case of rape to report on, this time coming out of a Village in the Corozal District which has resulted in pregnancy. A 15 year old minor, accompanied by her father, visited the Corozal Police Station and reported that at about 6:00pm on Christmas Day last year, she was walking along the Philip Goldson Highway heading to a store located in the Village when she was accosted by a man she knew. The individual, who was on bicycle, informed the minor that he wanted to have sexual intercourse with her and when she refused he grabbed her from the arm, dragged her into some nearby bushes, raped her and then left the area. Afraid of her family’s reaction, the child did not report the matter to them until recently when she found out she was pregnant. Police are now seeking a man who lives in the same village for questioning. Of note is that in order to protect the child’s identity we will not reveal the name of the Village or the individual police are seeking.

Busted And Charged For Unlawful Possession Of Passports
And while police look for their suspect in this latest reported case of rape, one man is tonight behind bars after he was found in possession of several passports. The discovery of five passports for the Republic of India was made on March 3rd after police conducted a search at the residence of 38 year old Abbas Khan, a naturalized Belizean businessman of number#18 3rd Street Corozal Town. The passports belong to Tajinder Singh, Gagandeep Singh, Parminder Singh Baryar, Gurdeep Singh and Surjit Singh. When interrogated by police Khan stated that none of the individuals are in Belize. He; however, could not give a proper account as to why the passports were in his possession. As a result Khan was charged for unlawful possession of passport and he remains detained at the Corozal Police Station for commitment warrant.

Orange Walkenos Head To The Border
Out of the 150 Belizeans that travelled to the South-West Border between Belize and Guatemala, about 12 of them were from Orange Walk Town. Orlanda De La Fuente was among the group and today he told us how symbolic the trip was for him and those traveling along with him. Orlando De La Fuente, Belize Territorial Volunteers “The problem is that because of the press releases that the Government put out and the statements by the Minister of Foreign Affairs that the group was not as big as we expected but we had a good representation of the Orange Walk District; my two brothers and myself, “Bull” from Palmer, an ex-police man from Yo Creek, a retired captain from the BDF and about six other civilians joined us.” Hipolito Novelo, Reporter “Was it what you expected?” Orlando De La Fuente, Belize Territorial Volunteers “It was what- in a way it was but i was also relief to know that the border isn’t as lawless as we think. The Guatemalans respect it because we left PG at 6am and we drove about a little over an hour to Jalacte. From Jalacter, we hike for about ¾ of a mile and went to the Container Hill where the Guatemalans had once erected a container. So the group stayed there and a few of us wanted to proceed further and Mr. Maheia was very cautious. He had a big responsibility for the group and so he would not take the group further but I thought to really achieve our objective we need to go to the borderline and open up the flag and make our presence known there.”

New World Oil And Gas Keeps On Digging
The last time we reported on the oil drilling taking place in Blue Creek is when New World Oil and Gas reported that the Blue Creek #2 well was determined to be non-commercial. The company estimated the B Crest to hold a P50 un-risked prospective resource of 92.1 million barrels of oil and a P50 un-risked net present value of US$2.4 billion on a 100% working interest basis. Shares, however plummeted after the well turned out to be non-commercial. But New World Oil and Gas is not giving up and today announced that the Rio Bravo-1 well targeting the West Gallon Jug Crest Prospect commenced drilling on 1 March 2013. The company estimates the West Gallon Jug Crest to hold a P50 un-risked prospective resource of 113 million barrels of oil and a P50 un-risked Net Present Value of US$2.6 billion on a 100% working interest basis. The ThermaSource International rig #104 will drill to a total depth of 8,800ft, targeting the Upper Jurassic Margaret Creek Formation. Drilling results will be released once total depth has been reached, which is expected to be by 1 May 2013. New World Chief Executive William Kelleher is quoted as saying “Our first two wells in Northwest Belize confirmed the presence of several main elements which make up a working hydrocarbon system: source, migration and seal. An essential element, trap, was likely breeched at B Crest as a result of a leaking fault, possibly caused by late tectonic activity. Unlike B Crest however, West Gallon Jug is a structural high, and is not fault dependent in order for a trap to exist and contain oil. Hydrocarbons can migrate up and be trapped, and crucially not leak off through leaking fault planes, which is likely what happened at B Crest. As a result, we are tremendously excited by the commencement of drilling at our West Gallon Jug Prospect.” End of quote.

Nature Park Gets Play Ground Set
A few weeks ago the Orange Walk Town Council began clearing a portion of the Louisiana Nature Park for the installment of a new playground set donated by the Rotary Clubs of Canada. Over the weekend the project jumped into its final phase as the playground was installed by volunteers of the Rotary Club of Canada and Orange Walk and the Orange Walk Town Council. Hipolito Novelo, reporting This is one of the three large playground sets that were shipped to Belize under the Playground Build Project headed by the Rotary Club in Alberta Canada. The gift comes as a grant from the Province of Alberta through their Community Initiative Program. According to Rotarian and Chair of the International Committee, Libby Wear, all three playgrounds come at a cost of approximately U.S $26,000. Kathy Jenkins, Casper Rotary Club “This equipment use to be set up in a play ground in Canada and there is a company called the Emmanuel Foundation. They dismantled these play grounds because they are going to be replace by news one in Canada. They put them in shipping containers. So we shipped three play grounds down here in the container and in that container there were also some bikes, some clothes and some computer. So one play ground came here- one in Orange Walk Town, Corozal and Western Paradise in Belize City. So we had a lot of help. We put up the structures and today it is sanding, painting and the kids are helping. It’s hard to keep them off.”

March: Women's Month
Every day hundreds of thousands of women from across the globe experience some type of abuse. In order to bring awareness of that statistic, Women’s Month is celebrated every year in March with International Women’s Day on March 8th. This year, the month is being celebrated under the theme “Gender Agenda Gaining Momentum.” According to Makesha Swazo, head of the Orange Walk Women’s Department, this year’s theme focuses on gender issues as it relates to men and women working together. Makesha Swazo- Head Orange Walk Women’s Department “On March 8th is International Women’s day and what we will be having is a Leadership and Team Building Workshop for women’s group leaders and other community leaders in Orange Walk. On the 16th of March, the usual time of 5:30 we will be assembling at the Establo round-a-bout for our annual bike rally. In reality each district has activities but there are certain activities that are nationalized in terms of the National Women’s Summit and the awards ceremony to high light the woman of the year in each district.”


Abel Arana gunned down in Hattieville
Abel Arana gunned down in Hattieville. There was a murder on Sunday night in Hattieville Village, the possible product of a family dispute. Police say 23-year-old Abel Arana was shot in the abdomen and buttocks while Sherlock Ralph Martinez, other particulars unknown, was shot in the lower abdomen when...

Eugene Palacio killed in Belize City
Eugene Palacio killed in Belize City. 36 year old Eugene Palacio was shot and killed in Belize City on Saturday night during a birthday celebration for his mother. It was cruel and ruthless, the gunman determined to get Palacio in his sights and succeeding. We spoke with a relative...

Murder suspected in death of Julio Cesar Lopez Funez
What was supposed to be a quick errand to the bank, turns deadly for a Dangriga resident. Harry Arzu has this story. HARRY ARZU – Dangriga Corresopondent: Police here in Dangriga are investigating the circumstances surrouding the death of an Hispanic male person, that occurred on Friday, March 1st,...

Ervin Augustine lost his life in traffic accident
One man is dead following an accident that happened on the Stann Creek Valley road. Our Dangriga correspondent Harry Arzu has this report. HARRY ARZU – Dangriga Correspondent: A Resident of Alta Vista Village in the Stann Creek District lost his life as a result of a traffic accident...

Barny Shol dies following traffic accident
There was another fatal traffic accident over the weekend. Last night at about 9:50pm, Belmopan Police responded to a traffic accident which occurred between miles 33 and 34 on the George Price Highway. Upon arrival at the scene Police saw a white four door Toyota Camry approximately 30 feet...

Ronald Rivers shot in Belize City
Ronald Rivers shot. Police have released no details but PLUS News can confirm that there was a shooting in Belize City this morning around eleven. The victim’s name has been confirmed as Ronald Rivers and we understand he was attacked on Vernon Street in front of the UNO Gas...

Belize Territorial Volunteers made their point at the border
The Belize Territorial Volunteers made their point at the border this weekend. After being told that they would not have Government and military support and under threat from Guatemala for what President Otto Perez Molina has referred to as “erasing” the border, there were questions of whether the group...

Sister-city relationship between San Benito and Belize City
In an historic first on Friday afternoon, a sister-city relationship between municipalities of Belize and Guatemala was agreed, at a time when the neighbouring countries are in bitter dispute over their territorial boundaries. Earlier this year, Mayor of Belize City Darrell Bradley and a team visited San Benito, Petén,...

Belize National Basketball Selection pull out of tournament in Guatemala
Just when you thought you’ve seen it all in the latest Belize Guatemala border dispute, the matter stirs controversy in the sports world. Last week, the Belize National Basketball Selection pulled out of a tournament in Guatemala in disapproval of the Guatemalan Sports Federation’s logo. The logo includes a...

Fire destroys house near downtown Belize City
Fire destroys house near downtown Belize City. Residents of the Bishop and West Street area awoke to news of a fire before dawn on Sunday morning. According to police, they visited 49 Corner West and Bishop Street, Belize City, where they saw a green two storey wooden apartment building,...

Miguel Guerrero reportedly shot himself
Reports coming out of the Cayes is that a well known San Pedrano committed suicide. Details are still sketchy at this time, but it is reported that Miguel Guerrero, who was known around the island as Mike, reportedly shot himself to the head sometime after 9pm last night. Plus...

Taxi and passengers in accident with pick-up
A taxi carrying passengers was involved in an accident on Saturday night. Sometime around 7:40pm, the taxi – a white Geo Prism was travelling on the Hummingbird Highway and in front of it was a Chevy Silverado Pickup, going in the same direction. The pickup truck made a right...

Cyclists agree on way forward
Cyclists agree on way forward. Cycling has been in a state of flux in recent times with members of the community in open revolt against President Emil Moreno over his attempts to change the voting process for election of a cycling executive. But Moreno got a heavy boost from...

Businessman under investigation for unlawful possession of passports
A Belizean businessman is under investigation for unlawful possession of five passports. This came after police found five passports for the Republic of India in the 38 year old’s Corozal home. He informed police that the owners of the passports are in Belize, but failed to give a proper...

Four men armed with machetes stalked a village
Four men armed with machetes stalked a village in the Cayo District last night, and put two residents in the hospital. The first incident happened shortly after 7:30pm; 36 year old Santos Vasquez was walking on a back street in the village, when four men reportedly attacked. He was...

15 year old girl reportedly pregnant after being raped
A 15 year old girl is reportedly pregnant after being raped. According to police, the minor, who lives in a village situated in the Corozal District, reported that on Christmas night of last year, she was on her way to a store some 400ft away from her home. The...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Village Council Elections – Team Slate
Elections are soon here and the time to make a decision is going to be difficult.

The Reporter

The vicious cycle of inequality
“Without the cooperation of the population, there will be insufficient resources and effort to break free from the vicious cycle of inequality” (Regional Human Development Report for Latin America and the Caribbean, 2010).

University of Belize student murdered by farmer, 16
A 16-year-old boy has been charged and remanded to prison last Friday, after he allegedly confessed to killing 24-year-old University of Belize student Corina Coh last Thursday evening in Laguna Village, Toledo.

Cops post heavy security around courthouse
San Ignacio’s sitting Magistrate, Nardia Morgan, this week indicated that the police informed her that there is a threat against her safety.

You’re on your own
The Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Wilfred Elrington said publicly that the government will not support activist Will Maheia and the Belize Territorial Volunteers’ border-clearing exercise planned for Saturday, March 2.

Petillo to grassroots people: “You dropped the ball”
The Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association protested Tuesday against what it describes as government’s flawed land-distribution system, but with less than a 15 percent turnout of BGYEA’s members, the association’s president, Nigel Petillo said Belizeans missed yet another opportunity to unite for a greater cause.

Contempt of court proceeding against Mayor Bradley adjourned
The failure of the Belize City Council to pay an outstanding debt to Belize Waste Control Limited (BWCL) has led to an application for contempt of court proceedings against Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley.

Belize signs MOU with US on archeology
To combat the looting of Belize’s archeological sites, the Government of Belize has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United States government to place restrictions on the illegal importation and exportation of archeological material.

North Front St. vendors protest relocation
With unemployment as high as 16.1 percent and tourism accounting for one of every four new job, Belize City street vendors are angered at having their piece of the tourism pie shrunk. Recent street works on North Front Street have forced them to abandon their prime business location over the weekend.

Snake bite kills 11-year-old student
Monique Moore an 11 year standard five student at St. Edmond Campeon Roman Catholic School in Teakettle Village, Cayo, died 24 hours after a poisonous snake, suspected to be a coral snake, bit her on Sunday night.

Babies can hear syllables in the womb, says research by Michelle Roberts
Scientists say babies decipher speech as early as three months before birth. The evidence comes from detailed brain scans of 12 infants born prematurely.

Legend or Legit? The real deal on classic beauty
As much as we love trying all of the new products and potions that come our way, sometimes we like to go classic with homemade beauty treatments, whether as a natural fix for our finicky skin or as a break for our wallet. Fancy treatments for hair, skin and nails are undoubtedly luxurious, but as our mamas taught us, sometimes the best beauty fixes can be found in your medicine cabinet – or even in your kitchen.

Biscayne girls & Holy Redeemer boys win Belize district softball championships
The girls of Biscayne Government School and the boys of Holy Redeemer RC School will represent the Belize District at the National Primary Schools Softball Championships organized by the National Sports Council to be held at Rogers’ Stadium in Belize City on Friday, March 8 after clinching the district championships last Monday afternoon, February 25.

Head of Mexico’s powerful teachers’ union jailed
Authorities have arrested the leader of Mexico’s largest union, accusing her of embezzling millions of dollars and using some of the money to pay for plastic surgery, shop at luxury stores and buy real estate.

Cuban President Raul Castro to retire in 2018
Cuban President Raul Castro has said he will stand down at the end of his second term in 2018, following his re-election by the National Assembly.


How to grow Bougainvillea
Gardening in the tropics is not always easy, the soil is often too sandy and there are sometimes bug issues and diseases like lethal yellow for palms. The owners of the duplex where we live were down recently and happened to mention that they would love add bougainvillea to our garden. We do actually have one but it is very puny and does not produce the amount of flowers it should. I told them I would talk to my plant connection – if there is anyone that knows about bougainvillea care it is Marsha Waight. She has been helping businesses and private clients grow beautiful gardens for the past 20 years on Ambergris Caye. I wrote Marsha to ask about bougainvillea flowers and how come the ones in our garden they either did not make it or are not growing well. We got email chatting back and forth and in addition to her answer below, she is going to provide occasional ongoing gardening advice on So if you have any tropical gardening questions for Marsha email them to me at tacogirlbelize{at} Growing Bougainvillea The soil mixture has to be right, some Peat Moss added for acid to the black dirt and sometimes the soil purchased is from the island and not the mainland and is extremely alkaline. No fertilizer for the first 3 weeks or until new growth is seen. They need to be in a sunny area for maximum growth and not too much water as to not get root rot. They also don’t like salt air too much. If the area is dredged sand [not uncommon here] it will need really big hole to be filled with a soil mixture.

Chaa Creek Resort: Belize’s Playground
After two days of hiking, climbing and swimming, I was ready for a bit of a change of pace, so we headed to the eco jungle resort, Chaa Creek. At this 365 acre resort, you’ll have everything at your fingertips to customize your own jungle adventure. I had met someone from Chaa Creek a few years ago at a travel trade show and had been staring at their promotional disc for years, waiting for the day I’d get to Belize so I could stay there. After checking in to our private thatched cottage, we met with the concierge to organize the activities for the following day. Many are included in your stay, but a few such as horseback riding and canoeing carry a small surcharge. With so many to choose from, he was very helpful in putting together an itinerary that would maximize our time. We started our day with the 6:30 bird watching tour followed by breakfast, then the Medicinal Mayan trail, in which our guide pointed out all sorts of trees and plants and explained what remedies they have been used to cure. Lunch was next, followed by a three hour horseback ride to the property’s organic farm, and then a guided sunset canoe trip and the creatures of the night tour, which we didn’t end up getting to since we didn’t want to miss dinner. The next day, we went to the butterfly farm and natural history center and I enjoyed some fabulous spa treatments, which after my week and a half of diving, hiking, climbing Mayan ruins, and swimming through caves, was well deserved and needed!

Belize Voted Top Relaxing Country in the World by Lonely Planet
Lonely Planet fans have voted Belize a top relaxing country in the world. According to Mark Broadhead, more than 3000 people on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Thorn Tree participated in the survey to find out the best destinations for relaxation, entertainment, shopping, transportation, off the beaten path, accommodation and beyond expectations. “No surprises here. All of the top 10 destinations for relaxing are known for their amazing beaches. Most are also well-known for their unhurried ‘island time’ sensibility” states the article entitled “Lonely Planet Traveller’s Choice: the top destinations of 2013”. Caribbean countries that made it in the list including Belize were the Bahamas, Barbados and the Dominican Republic.

Taking Liberties
Spent the early part of the morning assembling the stuff -clothes,toiletries, chargers,notepad, etc for the trip to Dallas that we are making. Not taking a lot with me so didn’t take too long to pull it together. With the packing virtually finished – just a few items to put in to the case before we leave – we (if I haven’t mentioned it before, Rose is an Arsenal fan too) settled down to watch the Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) game versus Arsenal. Regret to say that Arsenal weren’t really in it and lost two goals to one. It’s going to a mammoth challenge for us now to achieve forth place and qualify for next season’s Champions League. In a somewhat dejected mood we needed a pick-me-up so decided to go have a look at the finished concrete pour for the Second Floor of our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and got there around 3 pm. With nobody else on the site it was very quick and easy to access the scaffolding and climb up to the top floor where the concrete was curing nicely.

Bird Trifecta at Lower Dover Jungle Lodge
Yesterday we were doing a little afternoon bird watching near the cabanas at Lower Dover Belize Jungle Lodge. The birding was excellent near the Horseballs Tree that was bearing ripe fruits. Horseballs is also known as Grandpa’s balls by some locally. Imaginations are creative here in Central America. At first we spotted this Red Crowned or perhaps Red Throated Ant-Tanager. Birds of Belize claims the Red-Crowned Ant Tanager is rare or absent in the lowlands, but based on the photos we believe this is what we saw. Horseballs: The Maya used this medicinal tree for removing the larvae of botfly. When the outside of the fruit is punctured a very strong latex substance is secreted. This latex is used to suffocate the botfly and allow for easy removal.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Cabbage Roll Soup
1 pound leun groun beef er groun turkey 1 medium onion, diced fine 1 cup celery, sliced fine 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped fine 3 cups watr 2 cups loe sodium beef broth ( glute a'loose) 1 cup mater sauce 4 cups canned diced maters 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice ( I use Kokuho Rose gourmet sticky brown rice, which is wheet and glute a'loose) 2 cups cabbage, finelee chopped (er more) 1 tablespoon sugar 1 bay leaf 1 teespoon salt 1 teespoon peppr

International Sources

Drilling Commenced at New World's Belize Well
New World Oil and Gas Plc, an oil and gas exploration and development company focused on Belize and Denmark, announced that the Rio Bravo #1 well targeting the West Gallon Jug Crest prospect commenced drilling March 1 at its Blue Creek Project in Northwest Belize. The Company's Competent Person, RPS Energy, estimates West Gallon Jug Crest to hold a P50 un-risked prospective resource of 113 million barrels of oil (MMbo) (Y1 and Y2 intervals) and a P50 un-risked Net Present Value (NPV10) of $2.6 billion on a 100 percent working interest basis. The ThermaSource International LLC (ThermaSource), rig #104 will drill to a total depth (TD) of 8,800 feet, targeting the Upper Jurassic Margaret Creek Formation. Drilling results will be released once TD has been reached, which is expected to be by May 1, 2013. Analysis of the technical data recorded at the Blue Creek #2 and #2A ST wells that were recently drilled at the B Crest prospect has confirmed an active hydrocarbon system exists on New World's Blue Creek and West Gallon Jug acreage. The West Gallon Jug Crest prospect is located approximately 22 miles (35 kilometers) SSW from the B Crest Prospect and is a four way structural closure that is not fault dependent, as was the case at B Crest.

Beaumont adoption; Belize baby found in bucket
A Beaumont couple found a 10 week old baby in a bucket, abandoned, suffering from club foot in a village in Belize. The couple brought the baby back to Texas. Now the couple's friends are giving little Sarah a forever family. It's a day that couldn't come soon enough for Xuan and Aaron Smith. They've waited for the opportunity to appear before a Jefferson county judge for 6 years. "One day Xuan walked in and said hey there's this girl that needs a family at the clinic and I was like let's go for it," said Aaron Smith. Aaron's wife, Xuan volunteered at a pediatric clinic in Beaumont where she met Sarah, a one year old girl from Belize who was receiving treatment for club foot. Sarah's mother had abandoned her in Belize. Another Beaumont family brought her here to get help. "We thought she would be a perfect fit for our family," said Xuan.

Memorial held for Calgarian who died in Belize
Family of a Calgary father who reportedly died of head injuries while in Belize police custody say they’ve hired a lawyer and are pushing ahead with legal action against the authorities. It’s been more than a month since police reported finding Jeffrey Furgala unconscious inside a jail cell amid a vacation in the Central American tourist hub. On Sunday, friends and family gathered shoulder-to-shoulder inside a Shinto shrine to remember the 35-year-old martial artist. Speaking after the memorial, Furgala’s mother expressed concerns over the investigation, noting there are “discrepancies” in the police report obtained by the family. In Fern Tiberio’s account of events, her son went into town one night in January to pick up his phone from a bar. He was attacked shortly after and subsequently suffered “stroke-like symptoms,” Tiberio said, which made him unable to tell police where he was staying. According to police, Furgala was detained overnight in the San Ignacio Police Station for being intoxicated in public. “He was so misunderstood,” Tiberio said. “He needed immediate medical attention.”

Best spring break travel destination values
1) Belize Belize is rich in history and beauty, with Mayan temples, lush rainforests, uncrowded beaches and ample adventure activities perfect for spring breakers like zip lining and jungle river canoeing. Why go: You can stay at a colorful resort where the rooms start at $61/night. See the slideshow of beautiful Belize

From Belize to the bayou, Barcott recounts
The wave tops rolled with a heavy layer of black oil below the boat Bruce Barcott stood upon, and lapped onto the shore of a miniscule island just off the coast of Louisiana. The early morning light reflected from the sticky substance covering the feathers of hundreds of pelicans who lined the water’s edge like birds on a wire. Barcott watched as the helpless creatures pecked at their bodies, at their outstretched wings, attempting to rid themselves of the oil, an impossible task. “To see it first hand, and to see how inadequate all the efforts that BP and the government made were, everything they were throwing at the oil spill, you just could not stop that thing. It was too incredible,” Barcott said. While Barcott is arguably most recognized as the author of “The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw,” this year’s Campus Read, his work as an environmental journalist has taken him far beyond the Belizean jungle featured in his popular nonfiction novel. According to Barcott, the most impactful of his assignments came while on location with National Geographic during the 2010 BP oil spill. “Coming away from that and thinking about the ways in which my own region here in the Northwest is put at risk by oil tankers coming to refineries, thinking about offshore oil drilling in the arctic, even boiling it down to my own life. I had an old gas guzzler van and we gave it away and bought a Prius, as cliché as that sounds, it really was like, ‘I just cant justify this anymore. It’s not working,’” Barcott said.

March 2013 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper: Half Moon Caye, Belize
I took this photo at Half Moon Caye, a natural monument located at the southern end of the Lighthouse Reef atoll in Belize. You couldn’t ask for a better desert island than this: Half Moon has palm trees kissing an azure sky, iguanas lolling on logs and hermit crabs scuttling on the empty beaches. It’s also a well-known haven for birders, as its home to one of the world’s few colonies of red footed boobies. I came to the island during my cruise on the Yorktown, a small ship owned by the company Travel Dynamics International. The ship caters almost exclusively to groups booked through educational tour companies, such as Smithsonian Expedition Journeys, the American Museum of Natural History or college alumni networks. I was there through Adventure Life, a custom tour provider based in Missoula, Montana. TDI has carved out a niche with themed itineraries that are heavy on enrichment, guided tours and daily lectures. My cruise covered Mayan ruins, rainforest and reefs, with stops along the southern Belize coast and Guatemala. Our cruise director, John Frick, had a masters degree in Science Education, and three naturalists, as well as a visiting scientist from the AMNH and an archaeologist from Wake Forest, were also on board. There was definitely a lot of brain power on board!

Wildlife in the Cayo District
There are good reasons for my not updating the blog for almost a month now, mostly due to being off on a marvelous birding and nature trip to Belize for a couple of weeks, a one-day turn around to fly to my Mom’s house for a family celebration of a major birthday for her, and then about a week of wading through the more than 1500 pictures that made it home from Belize to cut them down to a more manageable size. I’ll be showing some of my favorite ones from the trip in this rather lengthy posting, but there’s lots more at the Belize Travel page on my website. One of the first birds we saw (and there were plenty of them wandering around) at Bird’s Eye View Lodge in the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary was the Northern Jacana. This is one of the first pictures I’ve ever gotten of one of them flying, and if you look closely you can see the little spur on the wing similar to a Southern Lapwing.

March 4, 2013


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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 latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!!
That tiny little thing called ‘friendship’: Women friends. I write about them because they are what I know, and they are what I am: a woman. (I try and pretend to understand guys and their friends – and fail miserably. Sigh.) As I have written before, my mother raised me with the clear-cut idea that I was “born alone…will die alone.” This was told to me in a moment of absolute fright and hurt; amidst screaming and things flying at us by way of the man who had once promised to love, honor and cherish her. Her reasoning behind that hard statement came from a place of pain and hurt.

The San Pedro Sun

Wolfe’s Woofers: More Confessions
A husband asks his beautiful wife of 20 years if she has ever been unfaithful to him. Her answer is surprisingly...well, you should just read on...

Letters to the Editor: San Pedro Serendipity
I am JoAnn Sullivan, of 8 Mile North @ Blue Reef. What follows is one account of San Pedro Serendipity. At some time in one’s life, we almost all experience the loss of a purse or luggage while vacationing. On February 7th, Bill and Pat Blacha and family arrived on the island for a three-week rental stay at my beach house Waba Laru Beya (Garifuna: Our House by the Sea). They were met by me in taxi; 6 people for 3 weeks, plenty of luggage. After 30 minutes on the island they had already become enthralled. Due to such an excess of luggage, some of us walked to the shops while the full taxi followed behind. We proceeded to add groceries and cases of drinks to an already jammed van. From taxi we transferred to private boat charter. Once in the beach house, Bill and Pat mentioned that after a thorough search, Bill’s carry-on bag did not make the trip, a swell start to their vacation. The Blacha’s were accepting, never made one negative comment about San Pedro. They continued to enjoy all of the Jewel’s treasures, Maya archaeological sites, cave tubing, fishing, snorkeling and kite board sailing.

Doctor Love: “Calling All Brave Guys…”
Doctor Love says: A smile is worth a lot when you want to attract someone for a date.

Misc Belizean Sources

Miguel Guerrero passes away
Miguel Guerrero (Mike of Mike and Lisa from Holiday Hotel) passed away last night. Went to their wedding 15 years ago and have known him since. He was a great guy and a good family man.

Rotary Cultural Night at Cahal Pech
Rotary's District 4250 Conference had their Cultural Night at Cahal Pech. DJ Caesar was there to provide the music and lights. They had the Mayan Harp, traditional dances, and wonderful food from SHJC's Tourism students. Great job, Rotary! "The Rotary District 4250 Conference's Culture Night at Cahal Pech was a special event. Joe Awe was the MC. There was delicious food from Sacred Heart Junior College's Food and Beverage students. It was a night of food, dance, and great music."

Caribbean Coolers "The Cyclist" Commercial.
Caribbean Coolers, made here in Cayo by Island Time Beverages, have a new commercial out, and it features Back to My Roots in it, along with Mr. Flowers riding around Cayo. Caribbean Coolers have 3 flavors, Rumango, CocoPina, and Rum Punch. Try them today. "After a hard day of cycling, a sip of a Caribbean Cooler always takes you back to 'Island Time!'"

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Molding Today’s Learners into Tomorrow’s Leaders
The month of March is filled with fun and interesting activies for the Preschools of Belize. Little Stars Preschool in Caye Caulker is no exception. March is known as Child Stimulation Month, and this year’s theme is: Early Childhood Education – Molding Today’s Learners into Tomorrow’s Leaders. Little Stars opened Child Stimulation Month by having a special mass for the children at 9:00am on Sunday followed by a Bicycle parade around the island. The little kids were all excited to ride thier decorated bicycles in the parade. This month they will be doing some kite flying, green crafts, learning about different cultures, careers and sports. We wish them all a happy and safe Child Stimulation Month for they truly are our leaders of tomorrow.

The Belize Times

Facey Castro! – Minister ordered Port Authority to hire daughter, then son
This UDP Government has brought new meaning to the colloquial word “facey”. That’s just what Junior Minister ...

How to victimize a Magistrate!!!
The Judiciary is the most important arm of Government because it protects the citizenry from abuse by the other two power hungry branches. The other two branches like the Executive, which consist of the Police and BDF need to be kept in check. The most dangerous ...

UDP crony gets $148,000 for GOB’s unlawful land seizure
One well-known UDP supporter from Orange Walk Town laughed all the way to the bank when he was awarded $148,000 by the Minister of Natural Resources Gaspar Vega to quash any legal proceedings in a matter ...

Elizabeth Pridgeon PCSD is a not-for-profit corporation, run by a group of volunteers, who seek to protect and respect the natural environment along the entire length of the Placencia Peninsula. Established in ...

HAVE THEY GONE TOO FAR? They were not naked. They had on some clothes. A little thong in their butts. Their bottom cheeks raw and exposed. Their fat sexy legs on full display. But it was the dancing. Slack, vulgar and unbelizean. Three Belizean women on stage at Konshens show at Riverside Tavern two ...

Shape Up or Ship Out!
By G. Michael Reid The UDP government is facing pressure from many sides and while Dean Barrow keeps ducking, dodging and dancing away from the issues, nobody is impressed with his personal version of the Harlem Shake. The teachers’ demands are far from being met, and while leaders of the unions ...

It was my grandfather who would sternly chant, at every opportunity, that land is the only thing that God did not make two of. As colloquial, “bushy”, unpolished and rudimentary as this may sound, that truism is entrenched in the history of the world and its wars of ownership, imperialism ...

Champs crowned in Smart Jr. Table Tennis Tournament
Harim Ochaeta in the under-18 category, Fabio Carballo in the under-15 category and Bjourne Gabourel in the under-12 category, were crowned when the Belize Table Tennis Association and Smart Speednet held the first bi-annual primary schools ...

Holy Redeemer boys are district softball champs
The Holy Redeemer RC School boys will represent the Belize District at the softball championships in Belize City on Friday, March 8. The Holy Redeemer boys won the district ...

Biscayne girls win softball championships
The Biscayne Government School girls will represent the Belize District at the softball nationals held in Belize City on Friday, March 8. The Biscayne Government girls won the district championships ...

Fired BWS employees seek legal recourse
A handful of employees who were fired from the Government-owned Belize Water Services abruptly and under suspicious motives have sought legal defence. The BELIZE TIMES understands that this week, BWS received multiple letters from at least two attorneys indicating that legal challenge will commence to contest ...

AMAZING GRACE – You Think You Understand God?
A couple days ago I went to one of the outlets where I do music classes and noticed one of my little students smiling from ear to ear. He called out for his teacher with great anticipation. His dad clasped his hand firmly as they awaited the arrival of the ...

New Passport Fees & Rules take effect March 1st
In September 2012, Belize suffered an international black-eye when a global terror suspect was caught with a false Belizean passport, birth certificate and driver’s license. The case of Rafic Mohammad Labboun Allaboun who was busted in Mexico with the said documents has not been solved by Belize’s ...

Not Now, Not Ever to Guatemala!
By Rayford Young Gorge Mitchell won admiration from across the political divide in Northern Ireland for his work to boost the peace process. The former United States senator received almost unanimous praise for his skill and patience in chairing the Northern Ireland peace talks that led to the Good Friday Agreement. ...

The Decline of Businesses owned by Roots Belizeans
By Gilroy Usher, Sr. This week Miss Jenny and another roots Belizean, who have been selling Creole food at Ground Zero for over eight years were ordered to vacate the area at the request of the Belize Tourist Board. This is the former site of the General Post Office near ...

How to fix the economy!
Part III by Richard Harrison SPECIFIC ACTIONS RECOMMENDED AND EXPECTED RESULTS i. Lower GST from 12.5% to 10%, and charge across the board on all goods and services traded. GST is currently charged only on 35% of consumption, and total intake is around $270 million. This change will raise GST intake to ...

Of this and that…
Rose Garden There is a brothel at mile 8. It was burnt down. It is being rebuilt. It looks like a hurricane shelter. Everything is cement. The pace of the building is increasing. A bird told us that the old Williamson Industries Compound will be used as a Canadian Military base. If this ...

HEAD-U-cation Part 1
“The teacher is of course an artist, but being an artist does not mean that he or she can make the profile, can shape the students. What the educator does in teaching is to make it possible for the students to become themselves.” - Paulo ...

When street justice is preferred!
By Anthony Sylvestre Jr. The movie “Dirty Harry” starring Clint Eastwood (his latent prejudices notwithstanding) was a popular flick in the ‘70s, `80s and even the `90s. It gives insight into a police officer’s extra judicial way of dealing with ‘badmen’ and ‘gunmen’ in the City of San Francisco in the ...

A tribute to Justo Leon Castillo
By his son, Raul Castillo Our father Justo Castillo was born to parents, Justo Sabas and Marcelina Castillo, on April 11th, 1920; he was just one among sixteen children. At that time, none would have guessed how many lives he would ...

Citrus Growers Getting screwed
The last time Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke to citrus growers a few years ago, he made a political commitment to them that he will not oversee the demise of the Citrus Growers’ Association (CGA). He did not commit to working in partnership with them in the best interest of ...

Hon. Dolores visits Belize Rural Central schools
Belize Rural Central Area Representative Hon. Dolores Balderamos Garcia is continuing her outreach in her constituency by visiting all the schools in the area to learn of their ...

20 yr. old redefines tourism marketing strategy
Every year, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) spends millions to improve its marketing and branding of Belize as a prime tourist destination. The challenge is to convince prospective tourists, located continents away, that Belize is the ...

Macebearer Caught AGAIN!
Public drinking is illegal – so declares an ad paid for by the Ministry of National Security and which airs on the UDP’s radio station several times every day. But the Barrow Administration’s appointed Macebearer for ...

PUP defends PLUS TV’s Patrick Andrews
The People’s United Party views the threat of legal action levied against Plus TV and Mr. Patrick Andrews, a private citizen, by the Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, as a threat against democracy and an attempt to stifle public discourse on an issue that ...

More Vega land grab exposed – Placencia fights to retain land given to greedy family
While grassroots Belizeans took to the streets on Tuesday to show their frustration with the land distribution system that seems to benefit the haves instead of the have-nots, more reports have surfaced of the “not normal” Vega family grabbing up land. This time, however, the land grab ...

PUP: Castro should resign or be removed
The People’s United Party (PUP) once more decries in the strongest terms the rank political interference and high-handedness displayed to the Ports Commissioner Major John Flowers as well as the continuing nepotism displayed by the UDP government. In December last year, the PUP issued a strong ...

Disappointed with Union Leaders
Dear Editor: I’m very surprised at management level of the unions. During that Friday meeting with the PM and other government officials, they couldn’t point out the flaw in the terms of what the government had in the agreement. It’s when the members of the unions met that they saw the ...

Resign Sedi!
Dear Editor, I’ve been saying months ago that Minister Elrington needs to go as foreign minister, and taken off this ICJ case. Man, this man outright comes out saying that Hondo to the Sarstoon Rivers are ok but when it comes to our Maritime he’s not sure if we will come ...

The Espat and Barrow/ Finnegan Arrangement
Dear Editor, I must remind your readers of the Tuesday February 12th meeting of the National Assembly in Belmopan, when the Master of Games Dean Oliver Barrow decided to up his game when he allowed the House jester Michael Finnegan to disgrace the Honorable house by praising the Espat Brothers and ...


Introducing the Cats (Keiley and her Margays)
I have been a volunteer at Wildtracks for around 7 months and have worked with a wide range of animals, but more closely with the wild cats. Unfortunately, like most of the animals in rehabilitation care at Wildtracks, people think they all make great pets, but I have the scars to prove that these incredible animals do not make good pets and do not belong anywhere but free in the wild. My aim is to help them return safely to their beautiful natural environment where they can hopefully enjoy the rest of their lives and have families of their own, the way they are meant to live. We have 3 wild cats here, all margays. The oldest is Diego. He is around 8 – 9 months. He was confiscated at a road checkpoint by police officials, from people who were trying to pass him off as a domestic cat. He has been with us from an estimated age of 5 weeks, and has recently been moved to a spacious new cage specifically designed to imitate his natural environment.

A chilly but sunny Sunday on da island
We woke up this morning to the coolest temperature recorded on our digital thermometer since moving to Ambergris Caye -- 62F. Yes, that's sixty-two. COLD by island standards! The humidity was desert-like for here (which I love), and the wind was blowing fairly hard out of the northwest. Dressing quickly as I shivered, I got Paisley out for her morning ablutions, and felt just how brisk it was out there. This would be a much cooler than usual Sunday morning bike ride! Once we'd had a snack (and a quick cup of coffee for me), we saddled up and headed north on the beach and over to Grand Belizean Estates on our bikes. It was a bit chilly starting out, and the wind was at our noses as we headed west on the road towards the lagoon side of the island. It was a slow slog as we fought the fresh breeze, but once we'd hit the most westerly point of the road and made the u-turn, we were flying! Such fun that is, to be pushed along by the wind. We continued riding east, then southward, right past our condo and on into town as we had breakfast at Estel's by the Sea on the brain. We hadn't been there in a long, long time, and were hoping that with high tourist season in full swing, the slight chill in the air would keep at least a few folks away so we'd be able to snag a table on the beach, and fortunately, we were rewarded with a nice one.

Taking Liberties
Spent the early part of the morning assembling the stuff -clothes,toiletries, chargers,notepad, etc for the trip to Dallas that we are making. Not taking a lot with me so didn’t take too long to pull it together. With the packing virtually finished – just a few items to put in to the case before we leave – we (if I haven’t mentioned it before, Rose is an Arsenal fan too) settled down to watch the Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) game versus Arsenal. Regret to say that Arsenal weren’t really in it and lost two goals to one. It’s going to a mammoth challenge for us now to achieve forth place and qualify for next season’s Champions League. In a somewhat dejected mood we needed a pick-me-up so decided to go have a look at the finished concrete pour for the Second Floor of our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and got there around 3 pm. With nobody else on the site it was very quick and easy to access the scaffolding and climb up to the top floor where the concrete was curing nicely.

International Sources

New World kicks off latest Belize drilling
New World Oil and Gas (NEW) has commenced drilling at the Rio Bravo #1 well at the West Gallon Jug Crest Prospect at its Blue Creek Project in north-west Belize. On the completion of this third well, the AIM-listed firm will have earned into a 100% working interest in its Blue Creek Project, chief executive William Kelleher said. The prospect is estimated to hold probable reserves of 113 million barrels of oil a year, as well as probable reserves valued at $2.6 billion (£1.7 billion) on a 100% working interest basis. Drilling results will be released once a total depth of 8,800 feet has been reached. This is expected by 1 May. Additionally, analysis of technical data recorded at the recently drilled Blue Creek #2 and #2A ST wells on the B Crest, located approximately 35 kilometres from West Gallon Jug Crest, confirmed an active hydrocarbon system exists on the Blue Creek and West Gallon Jug acreage. "Our first two wells in Belize confirmed the presence of several main elements which make up a working hydrocarbon system: source, migration and seal," Kelleher commented. "As a result, we are tremendously excited by the commencement of drilling at our West Gallon Jug prospect."

New World Oil & Gas announce West Gallon Jug well commences drilling, Belize
New World Oil and Gas Plc, an oil and gas exploration and development company focused on Belize and Denmark, is pleased to announce that the Rio Bravo #1 well targeting the West Gallon Jug Crest prospect commenced drilling on 1 March 2013, at its Blue Creek Project ('Blue Creek' or 'the Project') in Northwest Belize. The Company's Competent Person, RPS Energy, estimates West Gallon Jug Crest to hold a P50 un-risked prospective resource of 113 million barrels of oil ('MMbo') (Y1 and Y2 intervals) and a P50 un-risked Net Present Value ('NPV10') of US$2.6 billion on a 100% working interest basis. The ThermaSource International LLC ('ThermaSource'), rig #104 will drill to a total depth ('TD') of 8,800ft, targeting the Upper Jurassic Margaret Creek Formation. Drilling results will be released once TD has been reached, which is expected to be by 1 May 2013. Analysis of the technical data recorded at the Blue Creek #2 and #2A ST wells that were recently drilled at the B Crest prospect has confirmed an active hydrocarbon system exists on New World's Blue Creek and West Gallon Jug acreage. The West Gallon Jug Crest prospect is located approximately 35 km SSW from the B Crest Prospect and is a four way structural closure that is not fault dependent, as was the case at B Crest.

Memorial held for Calgarian who died in Belize
Family of a Calgary father who reportedly died of head injuries while in Belize police custody say they’ve hired a lawyer and are pushing ahead with legal action against the authorities. It’s been more than a month since police reported finding Jeffrey Furgala unconscious inside a jail cell amid a vacation in the Central American tourist hub. On Sunday, friends and family gathered shoulder-to-shoulder inside a Shinto shrine to remember the 35-year-old martial artist. Speaking after the memorial, Furgala’s mother expressed concerns over the investigation, noting there are “discrepancies” in the police report obtained by the family. In Fern Tiberio’s account of events, her son went into town one night in January to pick up his phone from a bar. He was attacked shortly after and subsequently suffered “stroke-like symptoms,” Tiberio said, which made him unable to tell police where he was staying. According to police, Furgala was detained overnight in the San Ignacio Police Station for being intoxicated in public. “He was so misunderstood,” Tiberio said. “He needed immediate medical attention.” The next morning, officials found him lying unconscious in a holding cell, with blood in his nose. He was transported to hospital but pronounced dead on Jan. 29. Police said Furgala’s fellow detainees heard a loud crash that sounded like someone fell about 1 a.m., followed by loud snoring sounds coming from his cell.

Dunkirk-Fredonia AAUW hears presentation on Belize journey
The February meeting of the Dunkirk-Fredonia Branch of the American Association of University Women was held at the SUNY Fredonia Alumni House. The speaker, SUNY Fredonia Professor Dr. Janeil Rey, brought four students, Kelli Barnes, Brooke Shutrum, Alissa Cole and Jackie Ellmauer, to report on their J-Term experiences as participants in SUNY Fredonia's Belize Service Learning Project. As participants, the 29 SUNY students who accompanied Rey worked in classrooms in Belize City. In a country where most of the teaching is done by rote memorization, the Fredonia students were able to educate the Belize teachers (most of whom have associate's degrees) in the variety of ways limited resources can be used to develop more creative teaching styles. At the same time, the Fredonia students learned a great deal from the Belizean teachers whom they found hard working, warm, caring, and concerned for their students' learning and lives.

New World drills again in Belize
Belize-focused New World Oil & Gas (LON:NEW) has started drilling its second well in the country, the Rio Bravo #1. The well is targeting the West Gallon Jug Crest prospect at the Blue Creek project in the north west of the country which is estimated to hold a prospective resource of 113 million barrels of oil with a net present value of US$2.6bn (£1.7bn) according to a competent person's report. The report has been conducted on a 100 per cent working interest basis. The rig that is now in place at the well will drill to a target depth of 8,800 feet and is expected to reach this by the start of May. While an active hydrocarbon system has been identified at the project, the last well to be drilled, Blue Creek #2 on the Blue Creek prospect failed to find sufficient reserves to complete. The new prospect is located 35 kilometres from the last and is said not to be fault dependent as was the case before.

March 3, 2013


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The San Pedro Sun

San Pedro Town Council News
The San Pedro Traffic Department has been working hard on the island to ease traffic related problems and new parking regulations have been set in order to alleviate street congestion on the three main streets. Beside these regulations there has also been a significant increase in traffic wardens patrolling the streets to ensure maximum safety for both pedestrians and motorists. With all these new changes, it only seems fit to have San Pedro’s traffic wardens properly skilled for the task. Kenrick Brackett, Councilor in charge of traffic on the island, arranged a Customer Care and Public Relations Workshop for the island’s seven traffic wardens. The workshop was held on Saturday February 23rd and it was an all-day event. The purpose for the workshop was to educate the traffic wardens on the proper way to handle problems with the public as well as ways to enforce traffic rules of the road. Speaking at the seminar were Rudolph Orio, former Inspector of Police responsible for the San Pedro Formation and Francis Williams former Superintendent of Police in charge of the Traffic Department in Belize City, both retired assisted by Inspector Pook of the San Pedro Police Formation. Orio and Williams shared their experience on how to interact with people to ensure maximum productivity. Councilor Brackett stated that he wants the traffic wardens to be effective in doing their job but at the same time for them to be polite when dealing with the public.

Berne Velasquez featured in prime role in Jurassic Attack
Berne Velasquez is no stranger to the Belizean public, as he is known for his music and more recently for his roles in various movies. On Ambergris Caye Berne has performed on the international stage at the Annual Costa Maya Festival 2012 and was well received. But the talented Velasquez is also making waves in the acting arena. Berne stopped in at The San Pedro Sun office to speak of his role in the recently released film Jurassic Attack; a movie filmed in its entirety in Belize. Berne said that while he loves music, he has been concentrating a lot more on acting. Jurassic Attack is the third movie in which he was given a prime role. Berne played the role of Tank, a jungle and tactical military person. The movie centered on a military rescue mission of a young female scientist who was held captive at an uninhabited jungle, disconnected from civilization. The scientist was held by a terrorist known as Marques and his gang. Marques attempted to force the female scientist to develop a chemical substance that he could use to terrorize innocent people. During the military mission the female was rescued and Marques was captured. All was well until the helicopter in which he was being transported was shot at, causing a crash landing in a dinosaur infested jungle. The group of military personnel eventually found themselves being attacked by carnivorous dinosaurs. The group was forced to make a life or death decision to cross “death valley.” Once across the other side of the valley, the group would be able to make it to the highest point of the jungle where rescuers awaited them. We could share the ending, but can you say SPOILERS?!

Volunteer Dentists return to bring healthy smiles on La Isla Bonita
Yet another set of long-time volunteers have made their way to our sunny island of Ambergris Caye to offer their services to the children of Holy Cross Anglican School. These enthusiastic volunteers combined their vacation with their desire to help the community, and they are always warmly welcomed by islanders. Doctor Paul Roggow along with his wife Linda Roggow, have been coming to the island for the past four years offering their services at the Holy Cross Anglican School as well as the Poly Clinic Smile Center. Roggow and his wife decided to make their annual trip a family affair this year, bringing their daughter Brielle, son Brendon and Brendon’s fiancé Hatty Rossow. The family traveled to Belize from Minnesota, Florida and Maine, USA. The entire family volunteered their time helping the children at the school and at the Holy Cross Smile Clinic. Smile-Clinic-Bender-CoupleAlong with their volunteer work, the family enjoyed plenty of sun, sand, sea and the rich culture of San Pedro. Plans are already being made by the family to return next year on a similar family mission.

Holy Grouper on a Kayak!!
It was a calm morning on Thursday, February 28th when Roman Mejia decided it was the perfect time for some fishin’. He dragged his kayak out, paddling away, deciding that it was just fine if he paddled a little further, and a little further out, until he was past the reef and into the deep waters of the Caribbean. His line was busy all morning, with fish after fish just biting and being reeled in. His kayak was weighed down with all the good catch when, suddenly, he felt the big one latch on. What was a fisherman to do?! Mejia was not to be deterred, and he fought to reel that sucker in. At one point, he had to free-dive for him; well, when you’ve battled with a fish THIIIIIIIIIS big, you do NOT just let it get away! The fight was worth it when he eventually managed to haul in this massive grouper onto his kayak.

Northern Region Softball Champions!!!!
Congrats team!!!! Two shutout games including a perfect game and a no-hitter!!! Time to focus on the nationals!!!

Misc Belizean Sources

Belizeans must become more nationalistic to save their country
By Wellington C. Ramos. The British landed in Belize in 1638, long before Guatemala ever dreamt of becoming a nation state and still Guatemala is claiming our country up to this day. Why? Because, in the early part of Belize’s history, the British had no intention of making Belize one of their colonies until 1862. If the British wanted to obtain Belize as their property, they had several opportunities when they signed treaties with Spain to make it their territory. This was done because the British settlers who lived in Belize loved the country and exerted pressure on the British to grant them colony status.


Mr. Belize, Rigo Vellos, Set To Represent Belize In England
Corozal’s very own Rigo Vellos won the Mr. Belize competition in 2012. The 33 year old is well known for entering bodybuilding competitions here in Belize and in the Caribbean. News tonight is that Vellos has been offered an opportunity to compete in the Mr. Hercules Olympia Competition scheduled to take place in Colchester England on May 11th 2013. When we spoke to Vellos yesterday in Corozal, he told us he is looking forward to the competition. Rigo Vellos- Body Builder “It is just a more intense work out that I have to do know being that it is a more complicated and I would say a challenging competition. It increases the level of your work that you are use to. Basically it is this way, because it is a far more challenging competition you tend to want to gain more body mass, more muscles so for that you have to increase the weight that you start work out with. That is how we body builders more or less do it. Normally I would go online, get into the website and look at the picture of the other guys and see how they look. I try to compare myself to that level. Many times for me to reach that level we need to increase the intense of the workout by increasing the weight so that we can increase the body mass. Well, I work out from Monday to Saturday, 6 days of work out. My time within the day would be between an hour and a half and two hours every morning.” But for him to be able to represent Belize in the international competition, Vellos needs to cover his airfare, hotel accommodation and food.

Passport System Enters The Technology Era, Finally
If you are thinking about renewing your passport or applying for one then you should know that there are some new application processes to follow which came into effect today March 1st 2013. According to the Immigration Department new passport regulations will strengthen the application process, ensure that applicants are indeed of Belizean nationality, and remove the gaps that are used by those who try to attain a passport illegally. While the standard time frame for receiving the document remains the same six application forms have been added to the new process, including detailed forms for minors, adults, persons living abroad, and for persons applying for a passport replacement. The same procedure will apply for a renewal of passports. Another change recorded in the system is that the application forms will now need to be signed by various authorized personnel. For persons under 16 years of age, a recommender must be provided and there are two forms that must be filled out. Form 4-A must be filled out by a Justice of the Peace, minister of religion, medical practitioner, notary public, or an attorney at law. Form 4-B must be filled out by a member of the House of Representatives, chief executive officer in any ministry of the Government, a head of department, or a licensed teacher. Persons 16 years and older must complete forms 3-A and 3-B. For Belizeans living abroad, they must complete form five from the Belize Foreign Mission. Form six is for the declaration of a lost, stolen, or mutilated passport. This particular adjustment applies to section five of the application form, the Authentication of Application. And just in case you are wondering, application fees for passports have also been revised. For persons 16 years and older, the application fee is $50.00, and $30.00 for minors. For a passport that was lost, damaged, or stolen, the fee is $85.00 for adults and $55.00 for minors. For applications in the case of a medical emergency, the fee is $100 for adults and $60 for minors. For an expedited passport to be processed within 24 hours the fee is $200.00 while the processing within 48 hours is $100; and for processing within 3 to 5 working days it’s $50.00.

Graciano Ramos Needs Your Help
Today 12 year old Graciano Ramos is still hospitalized at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital and according to his mother; there hasn’t been much change in his condition. Ramos is still in a coma on life support and what’s worrying doctors is that the swelling in the brain is not reducing. With that, there is not telling when Ramos will be released from the hospital and meanwhile medical bills are mounting. If you would like the assist the family financially you can do so by depositing your donations at the Belize Bank account number 64022251580. The standard three student of La Inmaculada Primary School fell off a tree on Sunday evening and suffered a fractured skull.

OW Town Council Supports "Clear Our Borderline"
Yesterday Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina announced that his country is on high alert after receiving information that Belizean activist Will Maheia will lead a large group of Belizeans from across the country, including Orange Walk, to clear the borderline from Gracias Adios up to the Sarstoon River and eventually to the Chiquibul and Caracol. Despite the fact that Government has stated that they do not support the actions taken by Maheia and the Belize Territorial Volunteers and that security will not be provided for this weekends “Clear our Borderline Project”, the group is not backing down. In fact, Maheia has stated that they will be accompanied by trained and experienced guides who are able to tell where the borderline lies. And instead of causing a negative chain reaction, more Belizeans are joining the patriotic movement. Today, Mayor of Orange Walk Town Kevin Bernard sent out a press release expressing his support for those who will this weekend travel to the border. In the release the Mayor states and we quote “Our nation does not share an ‘artificial border’ with Guatemala, but a very real and tangible border which separates both countries.” End of quote. The Mayor also states that he finds it ludicrous that the Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington continues to express that Belize is weak and militarily unable to defend the country’s borders. And in the matter of taking the Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute before the International Court of Justice for resolution, the Mayor is saying no to the ICJ. Of note is that the People’s United Party has not made its position known as it pertains to the matter. Hence why the P.U.P Mayor states in his release, that saying no to the ICJ is his personal opinion as a Belizean. Of note is that Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA are also in support of the “Clear our Borderline Project”.

BHSA's Open Day
Today the Belize High School of Agriculture held their annual open day on campus whereby students got to display the projects they have been working on for the past months. From what we found out, this year’s open day was dedicated to the Mestizo Culture. Cecilio Pech, Principal BHSA “We have the science department, the math department, information technology and the Agriculture Department and the Spanish which is highlighting foods and cultural dances. Well the students are also enthusiasm to go out to the community and learn their dance. In fact they were put in groups and they had to find someone in the community who will teach them the dance. It is an opportunity for us to invite parents. They come and see what their children are doing in school and we are also grateful for their support that they give to us throughout the air”. One booth that attracted much attention was the one highlighting the famous Atole drink.

National Youth Policy Launched In Orange Walk
was in Orange Walk presenting the document to youths. The policy, which was developed by youths, with the assistance of UNICEF and other non-governmental organizations, calls for the formation of the National Youth Commission which will ensure that the policy is implemented. During today’s launching we spoke to Jewel Crawford from the Department of Youth Services who says that when it comes to the policy Government should be held accountable. Jewel Crawford, Department of Youth Services “With government support, technically and financially, we hope that the young people will take the lead in developing programs for themselves and charting the way in which we can coordinate with other stakeholders and see them as partners in the process and not as just as participants to programs are developed on their behalf. It is also to ensure that young people share leadership in the development of Belize because sometimes the approach is that Government and organizations would plan programs and they would plan all the activities for young people but this approach shows that they are the one who are taking the lead, holding the organization and government to task to put and prioritize the youth development agenda. Through that in the policy we will tracking the investment of young people. We would also hope that to develop the youth development index that in the years to come we would see the development would provide for greater collaborations, outputs and prepare young people for adulthood.”

Belize/Guatemala Dispute Reaches Sports Level
While hundreds of Belizeans prepare to clear the borderline, Belize’s National Basketball Team is moving out of Guatemala where up to last night, they were competing in the "New Era of the Mundo Maya" International Competition organized by Guatemala’s National Basketball Federation. So what caused this latest rift? Well, take a look for yourselves. The map of Guatemala is the federation’s logo and if you pay keen attention you will see that it includes Belize as part of its territory. At the beginning of the tournament Belize’s National Team was unaware of the infringement but as soon as they found out, they decided to pull out of the competition. Today’s edition of Guatemala’s Newspaper, Prensa Libre, makes mention of Belize’s withdrawal from the tournament and while it states that the team’s retirement was mainly because the federations logo includes Belize as part of Guatemala’s territory, an apology is still forthcoming. Belize’s team was in Guatemala participating in friendly matches in preparation for the upcoming Central American Games in Costa Rica from March 11th to the 17th.

Budget Presented, No New Taxes, No Cuts
This morning at the House of Representatives the Government of the day presented its 2013/2014 budget. All members of parliament were present with the exception of Corozal Bay Area representative Honorable Pablo Marin. The meeting began minutes after 10:00am with the Prime Minister informing the nation that the 2013/2014 budget came with no new taxes and no overall spending cuts. Honorable Dean Barrow- Prime Minister of Belize “The picture is one of almost unrelieved economic gloom. With countries all around us teetering on the brink, close to the edge, Belize's Houdini-like performance is phenomenal good news. And it is fitting that, if all goes as expected, the superbond exchange offer would have been completed in the next couple of weeks. So that by the time we return for the Debate on the 21st and 22nd, laurels and garlands should be much in evidence and the UDP and Belize will be taking their victory lap.” The pace of the global economic recovery since the financial crisis of 2008-2009 continues to be anemic and uneven. Global growth is estimated to have weakened from 3.9% in 2011 to 3.2% in 2012 amid broad-based sluggishness in advanced economies. Japan slipped into recession, the Euro area turmoil intensified, and China’s economic pace decelerated.


What people wear when it is cold in San Pedro
This morning was fricken freezing, I left the house in jeans, t-shirt, hoodie, shoes and socks and I was still cold enough that my teeth were chattering – no exaggeration. As I was hitching a ride part way to town with tacoboy who was on his way to work, I was second guessing my decision have left the house and wishing I had crawled back under the covers instead. By the time I got to Wings department store I had to step inside to warm up and much to my surprise it was very toasty inside – of course I was drawn to go browse the blanket aisle. While walking around town I saw people all kinds of warm weather wear from jackets and shorts to full out covered up with jeans long sleeves and even a few hats – was wishing I had worn mine. I hit the beach for a bit and was surprised to find a girl in a bikini suntanning – to be fair with less wind it was warmer on the Caribbean sea side of the island than the lagoon side. On way home I decided to stop at Roadkill bar for chicken nuggets and fries, I knew already this was going to be a junk food kind of day with the poker run and figured I may as well start early. It was around that time that the temperature started warming up enough to loose my hoodie and feel over dressed in jeans. Now I have to figure out what to wear tonight so I am warm enough but not to hot.

Strange Fruits: Tamarind Or Tambran Pods & Three Cheers for Fruit Season!
Winter is a bit of dry spell for fruit variety here in Belize. Sure you can always access oranges, bananas, grapefruit and watermelon. During the holiday season, apples seem to be shipped in from the USA in large quantity. And it's fine. But they say "variety is the spice of life" and, I'll be honest, I can hardly even look at a banana anymore much less eat it. So, over this past week, I've been happy to see some fruit variety come to the local road side produce stand. Yesterday the strange and delicious custard apples. Not the world's most photogenic fruit but if you are looking for something healthy that tastes strangely like ice cream? This is it. They are accidentally posing next to a banana. Why is it that local bananas are covered with that powdery, sticky stuff? Something natural that is probably power washed off with bleach & lye by Dole before it ships to the states? I also saw some small plums...delightful. Just about two bites, they are the perfect snacking fruit.

Belize Youth Policy: An Young LGBT Prospective
The Launch of the National Youth Policy was 27th February, 2013 at the Bliss, but the approval by cabinet was done on 8th January, 2013. This is important progress that should be credited to the Minister of Education Patrick Faber and his Minister of State Herman Longsworth. Both seen here in speeches. The policy itself recognises that base on the 2010 census,young people ages 15-24 represented just over 20% of the population with additional data revealing that 20-29 year old individuals had a 13.6% accounted for of HIV/AIDS in 2008. The policy revealed that 50% reported already having had a sexual experience and 18.4% first sexual intercourse as less than 15 years old. In 2009, 15-24 year old individuals accounted for 18.6% of the new infections for HIV/AIDS. Yet the UNGASS report of 2010 pointed out to weak sexual and reproductive health programs resulting from the lack of clear standards in the entitlement of delivery of service. The legal requirement is that persons under 18 require parental consent, thereby, preventing young people from accessing services and forcing individual to self-diagnose sexual transmited infections because they cannot readily access medical care. Pointing out to room for growth and strengthening.

The Miraculous Story Of Floyd Lesli
Floyd Allan Leslie — Fisherman — 44 years old — was chopped on his left under arm in front of the Bellvue Hotel in 1993. Almost fatally wounded, he nearly bled to death. When he arrived at the KHMH it was believed that he was DOA (dead on arrival) as there was no apparent heart beat. One nurse believed that he she could detect a faint heart beat and believed that he was still alive and so he was transfused in an attempt to save his life. As it turned out the blood which was used to save his life, was tainted with the HIV virus. This event would thereafter, forever change the course of his life. Soon thereafter he was unable to earn a living, he became a beggar on the streets of Belize City. He was shunned by family and friends and ostracized by society. As a Homeless person, he lived under the Bel-China Bridge and in other locations, out in the open, under the elements for 18 years, begging for his daily needs. He eventually almost succumbed to the ravages of the HIV/AIDS virus. His body would become covered from head to toe with purple lesions which were further covered with white puss. He wasted away to skin and bone with unstoppable diarrhea. He suffered severe dementia. His body smelled of rotting flesh. He developed Bronchial Pneumonia and Tuberculosis. He received a miraculous healing in 2004 and today he is a living medical anomaly, surviving on the island of Caye Caulker as a fisherman. His body has returned to perfect health without the use of anti-retrovirals. Today his skin glistens over well-toned “Buffed Up” muscles. He paddles his 12 foot dorey for hours every day in an attempt to sustain himself as a fisherman. His CD 4 count is now 516 and his CD 8 count is 1304. These are the normal levels of the white blood cell T Lymphoctes which healthy people who are neither HIV positive or in the advanced stages of AIDS maintain. Floyd is a living miracle.

On The Belize - Guatemala Borderline
On the Belize-Guatemala borderline where over 125 Belizeans decided to clear Belize's defined borderline. The Guatemalan had the presence of the OAS while the Belize Defense Force soldiers observed from a distance as the Belizeans descended on Container Hill. Transportation from Jalacte Toledo to Santa Cruz Guatemala (borderline).

Good Vibrations
Not up until 6 am today. The after effect of celebrating our anniversary a bit too enthusiastically. The first mug of coffee appeared to have no boosting affect whatsoever. The second one did, however, marginally improve how I felt. It’s true to say though that I have felt a lot,lot better. Not looking for sympathy though. I brought it all upon myself. Feeling on the way to revitalisation I showered, shaved, brushed teeth, got dressed (yes,I can do all of this for myself) and headed off to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and within two or three minutes of the journey I realised that I should have put on a sweat top. It was chilly, very chilly. Nowhere near as cold as days I experienced in England but I am obviously starting to become acclimatised and now feel a drop in the temperature more. But being a hardy soul I continued with my journey and got to the build just after 7.30 am. Parking the golf cart I could see the mixer at work with the guys on ‘bucket duty’ taking a break in between loads. Try and remember the size of the piles of sand and shingle. A quick walk around the back of the bodega so as not to disrupt the guys on the wheelbarrows and I could see a human tower lifting buckets from pairs of hands to pairs of hands.

Photo Essay: Simple Fun In Burrell Boom Village
Good food, drinks and the cool breeze of the river bank – that is all that it takes to have an excellent time in Burrell Boom. Burrell Boom is small Belizean Kriol community near Belize City. It received its name after a Scottish logwood and mahogany lumberjack who built a massive log boom in the area during the 1700s. This village is brilliant at a couple things; one is making local wines of cashew, sorrel, potato, rice and berry, and two, is hosting awesome events by the river during La Ruta Maya Canoe Race. I’ve prepared this photo essay so that you can witness the simple life in Belize:

International Sources

Oil Company Attempts Bribery, Corruption of Traditional Leaders
Traditional Maya leaders reported that Texas-based US Capital Energy has made numerous attempts to buy support for their oil drilling project on Maya lands including those inside the Sarstoon-Temash National Park in Southern Belize by infiltrating the Maya leaders’ traditional forms of governance. They declared the the company is blatantly undermining and disrespecting Indigenous governance, in violation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Toledo Alcaldes Association (TAA) is the group of 78 traditional leaders or alcaldes who govern the 38 Maya villages of southern Belize in accordance with generations of tradition. Over the last several years, US Capital Energy has been exploring for oil in Maya traditional lands. Their concession was granted without any notice to or consultation with the Maya villages whose ownership of those lands has been confirmed by two court judgments. Two of the company’s permits have been issued in defiance of an injunction prohibiting the government to allow any such activities without the express consent of the affected villages. Most recently, the government gave the green light to an extraction well at the edge of the park, on lands that belong to the Maya village of Crique Sarco.

Belizean Music Influences Danny Michel
Danny Michel has his 10th album out, and once again it was inspired by Belizean music. This time, he recorded with the Garifuna Collective in Benque. In some of his previous music videos, you can see how he incorporates his visits to Belize into them. See him on Youtube with the Garifuna Collective: "Black Birds Are Dancing Over Me is a collaboration with Benque Players and the indigenous music of Belize’s Garifuna Collective. It was recorded and produced at the Stonetree Records studio of Benque Players’ Ivan Duran. It’s in the creative mode of Simon’s Graceland, the famous 1986 collaboration with South African and New Orleans zydeco musicians. But Michel’s album is far more personal...

March 2, 2013


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The San Pedro Sun

Casa Pan Dulce wins Saga’s Dessert-themed Cook-off
The Saga Humane Society monthly cook-off was a treat for the sweet tooth this month. The decadent Desserts Cook-Off was held at Average Joe’s, with all donations going towards the SNIP program. Along with the tasty desserts from the extraordinary cooks of Ambergris Caye, guests also got to enjoy Average Joe’s delicious $1 wings while the Small World Band played the night away. On Wednesday February 27th, contestants displayed their delicious desserts to tempt the sweet loving patrons. There was everything from cakes to pies, and those that made it in time were lucky indeed. For the minimal contribution of $10, lucky attendees got to sample all the treats and cast a vote for their favorite entry. After tasting and voting the votes were tallied and winners were chosen. With a scrumptious apple pies and vanilla ice cream, Casa Pan Dulce managed to edge out the competition and take first place, Elizabeth Burkey’s pineapple upside down rum cake with a twist, took second place. Black Orchid Restaurant’s deliciously gooey Baklava took third place.

Two Norwegian University students conduct research on oil issues in Belize
According to Espen Knutsen, their research has taken them to various parts of Belize. “We are researching oil exploration and production in Belize and we are looking into conflicts and issues that have arisen because of oil concession giving. We are also looking at exploration issues; for example, we have seen the conflict as it relates to oil in the Maya community. We are also looking at production in the Mennonite community in Spanish Lookout. We are also looking at the issue from a tourism perspective where people here [San Pedro Town] are not into drilling and exploration efforts offshore because of the consequences it can have on the reef. So we are looking at all the oil related conflicts in Belize.” Carl Knutsen said that they have also spoken to a number of people. “We have gotten a lot of support from the various communities. A lot of the interviews have been done with academics at the University of Belize which are particularly helpful. We have gotten quite a few interviews with NGOs (Non Governmental Organization) which have been opposing offshore drilling. However we have had trouble getting to government officials. They haven’t been forthcoming in talking to us; they have been avoiding us. ” The Norwegian students indicated that government officials have promised to get in contact with them but have not done so, which is one of the barriers encountered in Belize. “We have been to the Belize National Archives and done some research. We have actually found out that oil exploration goes back further than much people know in Belize. It is interlinked with many other social issues in Belize. It’s not just the oil and whether we drill or not; it’s a big political issue that digs deep into the society both historically and politically,” explained both researchers.

Let’s recycle with The Recycling Network of Belize
RECYCLE your OLD electronicsThe Recycling Network of Belize is a program managed by the Belize Tourism Industry association (BTIA) and Resource Recovery Recycling Limited. Within the program they encourage citizens of Belize to donate any material deemed recyclable, which they then process into new products such as cups and t-shirts. The Recycling Network of Belize’s mission is to be economically self-sustainable, with a low level of pollution. This is a nonprofit organization that strives to one day establish a nationwide recycling center available to the entire country. Since this program is managed under the tourism industry, its products are designed to strengthen Belize’s tourism industry by promoting Belize as an Eco-Friendly country. On March 2nd the Recycling Network of Belize will be holding an Electronics Collection Event. Any person wanting to get rid of old electronics in an efficient manner are invited to drop off their equipment at the former ITVET compound located in Belize City. The event will take place from 10AM to 4PM. This is an excellent manner to give a hand in the preservation of our country.

Fire Dancers light up the beach in San Pedro
Under a waning full moon the beach in San Pedro Town was graced on Wednesday night, February 27th with the sound of hypnotic music and glowing fire dancers. The group of dancers were visiting the island from Mexico and they held impromptu performances throughout the evening, entertaining those who were dining and drinking at beach side businesses. With the moon lit Caribbean as a backdrop, it was a magical moment watching the graceful moves of the dancers while the fire trails wove around them, creating radiant patterns in the dark. Read more: Fire Dancers light up the beach in San Pedro - My Beautiful Belize Follow us: @MyBeautifulBze on Twitter | MyBeautifulBelize on Facebook

Ambergris Today

No More Mayan Artifacts Thefts - U.S. and Belize Sign MOU
The Government of Belize has signed on with the United States Government to place restrictions on the Illegal importation and exportation of archeological material particularly Mayan antiquities. Through a Memorandum of Understanding signed on Wednesday, February 27, 2013, between Belize and the US, law enforcement agents from that country are authorized to restrict the antiquities from entering the US and have them returned to Belize. “The United States is committed to combating the looting and trafficking of cultural property of Belize just as it is all around the world,” stated Vinai Thummalapally, US Ambassador to Belize. “As they say it is the market that you have to address. If you can address the market and protect and keep people from buying stolen goods that’s how you make progress towards preventing from stealing in the first place.” Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism, stated that the signing of the MOU represents an equally important manifestation of the close and collaborative relation that the two nations have fostered and maintained since the Country’s Independence in 1981.

New Passport Application Process Implemented
The application process for attaining a Belizean passport has been revised and goes into effect Today, Friday, March 1, 2013. A countrywide awareness campaign will be launched to inform the public of the new procedures. Six application forms have been added to the revised process, including specific forms for minors, adults, persons living abroad, and for persons applying for a passport replacement. This procedure will also apply to applications for a renewal of passports. Also, application forms will now need to be signed by various authorized personnel; this particular adjustment applies to section five of the application form, the Authentication of Application. For persons under 16 years of age, a recommender must be provided and there are two forms that must be filled out. Form 4-A must be filled out by a Justice of the Peace, minister of religion, medical practitioner, notary public, or an attorney at law. Form 4-B must be filled out by a member of the House of Representatives, chief executive officer in any ministry of the Government, a head of department, or a licensed teacher.

Healthy Living and Fitness Tips by Kathy
Katherine Portillo (Kathy) is a San Pedrana at heart and known as a health and wellness enthusiast. She was born and raised on La Isla Bonita and then moved to the United States to join the U.S. Air Force. She is currently a Captain and serves as the Command and Control Lead for the Space Systems Engineering Directorate at Los Angeles Air Force Station. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science from Auburn University and Masters Degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry Riddle University. Kathy describes herself as having ‘no athletic background” and has always struggled with emotional eating. She grew up feeling ugly, was teased by friends and felt she wasn’t good enough for anything in life. She found comfort in running by the beach and weight training…exercising became her therapy.

Misc Belizean Sources

New Playground Equipment at Santa Rita Park
On Fen 25, a short ceremony to inaugurate a new playground at Santa Rita Park was made on Feb 25. A substantial investment estimated at well over $250,000.00 BCY was a gift from The Rotary Club of Edmonton Glendora Canada with partnership from the Corozal Rotary Club and the Corozal Community.

Belize group to conduct 'border clearing' exercise
A group known as the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) is planning what it describes as border familiarization exercise and clearing on Saturday on the western border of Belize with Guatemala. According to the BTV, the exercise is designed to increase the awareness of Belizean people, concerning the “all-too-real existence” of the country’s western border. “Despite the efforts by other to discourage our intended trek to the border, the people of Belize have bolstered our resolve. We have received commitments from Belizeans across the entire spectrum including: attorneys, members of the media and former security force personnel who are intimately knowledgeable of the border area; who have committed to join in this worthwhile endeavour,” the BTV said in a statement. The exercise is described as a “peaceful exercise in civic pride and, by extension, participatory democracy” as an exercise of rights as citizens of Belize, to educate people on matters with which they may not already be aware.

The Belize Barrier Reef Series
Sometimes I come across a photo that makes me look twice. At first I thought "this looks like a hell of a low tide, all that coral is exposed". But looking closer, I notices a slight break of waves over the top of some of the coral heads. In fact, the water is so clear, that it is an illusion that the coral heads are above water. This photo provides a clear view of what our barrier reef is - not rubble and dead coral skeletons - but a living, growing, healthy organism.

The Belize Barrier Reef Series
Many Belizeans should know this Caye, but some may not recognize it from this altitude; all should realize just how beautiful it is sitting on top of the Belize Barrier Reef.

VIDEO: Scuba Diving Hol Chan Canyon
Diving with our island guest Josh and Teryl Anderson from Edgar, Nebraska. Thanks for supporting our efforts to create awareness of reef conservation in Belize. Come back and see us, we have many more dive sites for you to explore.

Belize Economic Update Looking Good
Good news for Belize on the economic front: economic activity, real GDP growth, is forecasted to expand by 2.7% in 2013. Overnight tourism numbers are expected to go up also, and Cayo will surely benefit immensely from that. "Economic activity is forecasted to expand by 2.7% in 2013, as the underlying factors that boosted activity in 2012 are expected to moderate. The projection, which is subject to sizeable downside risks such as commodity price shocks and weather-related setbacks, assumes that the gradual upturn in global growth to 3.5% (Source: IMF World Economic Outlook) continues to support the tertiary sector through the tourism channel. The primary sector is expected to return to low single digit growth owing largely to a return to normal crop cycles and a forecasted downturn in citrus output. The secondary sector is expected to eke out a small increase despite headwinds facing the petroleum and domestic electricity generation sub-sectors."

Predator Party at the Belize Zoo
There are a couple of birthdays at the Belize Zoo this week, and some Cayo students got to go and celebrate the occasion. "The Belize Zoo recently celebrated two important milestones, with a fantastic “Predator Party” for Junior Buddy the Jaguar’s sixth birthday and Panama the Harpy Eagle’s tenth birthday. To mark the occasions, zoo officials invited children from La Democracia Pre-School and the Infant Two class from the Howard Smith School in Benque Viejo del Carman to join in the celebration and learn more about the contribution of these apex predators to the health of the forest."

Women Art Fiesta in Benque
Today the Benque House of Culture will have their Women Art Fiesta to celebrate Women's Month. They'll have art work on display, a corn tortilla competition, and live music from the Benque Marching Band, the Benque Marimba Academy, and Johnny and the Playmates. The festivities start at 2:00pm at Centennial Park.

Maya Fest at Sak Tunich
The 1st annual Maya Fest at Sak Tunich is one week away. It starts on March 8th, and will run though March 17th. Over the 10 days, they'll have cultural events, dancing, music, food, and much more. "You probably had heard all about the Mayan prophecy last year, which many people travel to the favorite Mayan Sites and carried out ceremonies as the world was predicted to end. Starting March 8th Through March 17th, 2013 – Be a part of the festivities as we celebrate all things Mayan. See Traditional Dancing, Cultural Presentation, Food, Music and much more. Location at Sak Tunich - on the road to San Antonio from San Ignacio"

Channel 7

Budget Boasts of Great Growth, No New Taxes, Heaps Bombast On Opposition
Today was Budget Day in Belmopan - and it was also the first post Superbond Budget. You might think that would lend itself to an air of celebration, or lightness, but in the budget titled "Achieving debt sustainability, Stimulating economic expansion" it was all business, with more than a little self-congratulation. Jules Vasquez was in Belmopan for his 19th Budget Presentation - and he has this report".. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "This Budget will see absolutely no new taxes and no overall spending cuts." Jules Vasquez reporting And that's because of unmatched economic growth: Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "Our economy grew by 5.3% during 2012, well above the 1.9% recorded for 2011 and just about the best in the Anglophone Caribbean." The projection for next year is that growth will continue at a more modest pace of 3% - but the growth in revenue from taxes will benefit public officers: Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "I say again with great pride that we do not propose to increase any taxes in this new budget. Instead, we sound the tocsin of improved administration and efficiency of collection. And we believe that Public Officers will answer the call. For they, and we, know that, in the face of declining petroleum revenues and grants, it on this that the salary increases depend; it is this that must carry the day."

Leader Of The Opposition Not Impressed Or Inspired
The Leader of the Opposition will lead off that debate - and today after the House Meeting we asked him for his initial impression. Not surprisingly, he wasn't impressed or inspired:.. Hon. Francis Fonseca "To borrow your word I think it's a superficial budget. I think it did not excite my senses at all. It was very difficult to see through it but I want to give the process the benefit of the doubt. I want to be able to go back and look at the budget, look at all these figures - that's what we will do as a party now and of course we will hold consultations as we did last year with the private sector, with the unions, church communities, university students so that we can share with them what is in the budget." It is customary media practice to interview Leaders of the Opposition after the Budget Presentation for an initial response; Fonseca's was the shortest we've ever done.

Fonseca Won't go To Jalacte With His Machete
The Leader of the Opposition did have more to say about Wil Maheia's Clear the Border campaign which starts tomorrow morning at Jalacte. Fonseca said he's not going to the border with a machete, but he's not quite telling you not to go:.. Jules Vasquez "Will you be going to Jalacte with your machete tomorrow?" Hon. Francis Fonseca "No sir, I will not be." Jules Vasquez "Are you in support of those who do?" Hon. Francis Fonseca "I think they have a right to be there. I think the government could have and should have handled it better. I think the proper response should have been to say to the persons or group who are going out there, listen, this is a sensitive issue, it is a sensitive matter, and you have to be very cautious and careful in how you approach this matter." Jules Vasquez "If Wil Maheia were to ask your advice as a national leader what would you say? Should he clear the border or should he not?"

Belizean Ballers Withdraw From Guat Tourney In Protest, Return Home
Last night, we told you that the Belize National Basketball Selection would withdraw from the Guatemalan tournament called "New Era of the Mundo Maya", which was organized by National Sports Federation of Guatemalan Basketball. The withdrawal is in protest of the Guatemalan Sports Federation's logo which boldly displays Belize as a part of Guatemala. Well today, they arrived back in Belize after playing only one game -which they were urged to do in this jersey - which contains the offending logo. The national team members did not wear the jersey. They were greeted on arrival by the Vice-President of the Belize Basketball Federation. Here's how he explained the decision to us and the coach also have us his reaction: Charles Ellis - VP Belize Basketball Federation "We got an invitation from the Guatemalan federation and we jumped on the opportunity because we are preparing for the Central American Games to held in Costa Rica the end of next week. This was a good opportunity for us to give our players some game time preparation and it was basically for free.

The Ties That Bind Bze And Guat: San Benito Mayor Visits
While there is hostility in the sports world and tension at the Jalacte border between Belize and our Western neighbor, there was only goodwill to Guatemala in City Hall today as Mayor Darrell Bradley welcomed his counterparts from the city of San Benito, Peten. The visit included the Mayor, Sonia Rivera and councilors of San Benito as well as members of Congress from Guatemala City. It's a reciprocal visit after Mayor Bradley went to San Benito in January. An agreement on the establishment of a Sister City Relationship was signed between the municipalities of San Benito Petén and Belize City. The mayor explained the significance of this:.. Mayor Darrell Bradley "This visit of today is the exchange and response to that visit, so that the same way that they have extended a hand of friendship to us now we respond in kind and we are signing today a document that will signal a formal friendship between the City of San Benito and the City of Belize.

The Trouble With GPS Devices On The Border
At this hour, Wil Maheia and the Belize Territorial Volunteers are making last-minute preparations for the first day of a venture that has never been embarked upon in Belizean history. They will attempt to clear the Belize/Guatemala border using machetes. Maheia says that BTV and he have made realistic contingency plans to ensure that they do not enter and infringe on Guatemalan territory by having the support of extensive maps, compasses, and GPS devices. The GPS is one of the most high-tech instruments that they can use to track their location, but even this equipment has its limitations. Today, Ian Gillett, who is an experienced surveyor, and who has been studying GPS for years, explained to us just how it works, and what those limitations are: Ian Gillett - GPS Expert "GPS is basically a navigational system. It is system built by the US Defense System, it has 24 satellites that are in orbit and they circle the earth 2 times per day in 12`hour sequence. They operate basically with atomic clocks. What we go in the stores and buy are receivers. The average person can go and buy a handheld receiver. Just as with any other thing - the cheaper the receiver the less accurate it is. The more expensive the receiver the better accuracy you get from a receiver. For a GPS to function properly you need a fair view of the sky. GPS are used only outdoors. Limitations occur when you are in heavy forested area and when you are against tall buildings. Once you are against a tall building or a heavy forested area and you do not have a direct line of sight between the receivers that is in your hand or satellite then you have a decrease in accuracy or basically a limitation and then the accuracy is thrown out.

A War Of Words Across The House Floor
On Tuesday, we showed you villagers from Blackman Eddy who were clearing out land behind their village - with the intent to settle the area - with or without approval from the lands Department. It's the Harmonyville model - peppered in this case with more than a little politics. And while government gave wings to the Harmonyville initiative - they won't do that in Blackman Eddy. In fact, at today's house meeting, they threatened to shut the villagers down. The discussion of the subject gave rise to a much wider discussion on land distribution - a discussion that got very ugly. We start though at the beginning with Mesopotamia Representative Michael Finnegan:.. Hon. Michael Finnegan "When you representative seek to fool people and have them in Teakettle Blackman Eddy cutting out land as though the area representative is the Minister of Lands - fooling the people, making them sweat that they chop land and the get land. Mr. Speaker, that is being dishonest to their own supporters. I can understand then being dishonest to us and be dishonest to certain people in this country, but when you will be dishonest to your own supporters and having then with machetes sweating with the impression that they are going to get a piece of land and they could be able to build houses on the piece of land, Mr. Speaker, that is taking it too far. I would want to advise them in this House to desist and stop with what they are doing. You are fooling these people and the government will have to get involved and intervene and put an end to that."

A Suspect Plane Disappears From Belizean Airspace
This plane, an Aero Commander 500 is under investigation after it reportedly left Belizean airspace from a licensed airfield in Western Belize on the afternoon of February 21st without a flight plan. It might sound like just some missing paper work, but the absence of a flight plan makes it impossible to land at any legal airport in the world. More than that, it suggests that illicit cargo could have been involved. Typically, such a flight - if it intends to leave Belizean airspace - would have to first fly to the Phillip Goldson international, check with immigration, customs and police and file a flight plan with civil aviation, and then it could leave the country. The plane was reportedly equipped with long range tanks to enable a longer flight - about 800 miles. Due to the late breaking nature of the story, we were unable to get comment from Civil Aviation. We will follow up on Monday though.

GSU "ber Alles"
We used to regularly tell you about seizures made through Special Branch intelligence - so many that they were outmatching the GSU, which usually dominates the news. But since the GSU and Special Branch have been realigned to come under the same commander, ASP Marco Vidal, we haven't been hearing anything from the Special Branch - and the GSU is back in the news with high value seizures, starting tonight with 2 more guns taken off the street. On Sunday, the GSU searched an open lot on Lakeview Street where they found a 12 gauge sawed-off shotgun in a plastic bag tucked under a pile of garbage. No one was in the area, and as a result, it was deposited as found property, but the GSU believes that it belongs to a member of the Ghost Town Crips who resides nearby. Then at around 10:45 today, GSU officers were operating on Prince Street, and they conducted a search on an abandoned house. The officers discovered a 9mm pistol, which was holstered into a cement block on a portion of the house.

Farrakhan Visits Belize On Monday
In December of 2012, 79 year-old Minister Louis was forced to cancel his trip to Belize because he fell ill from exhaustion and dehydration on a tour across the Caribbean. He's better now and the Leader of the Nation of Islam is coming to Belize on Monday. Today, the coordinator of his visit spoke to us and he told us why he should be warmly embraced by the Belizean people, young and old: Nuri Muhammad "Minister Farrakhan is schedule to come back into Belize on Monday the 4th and he is happy to be coming back because he knows the level of disappointment that happened in Belize and the Bahamas as a result of his incapacity. More than half of the population was not even alive at the time that Minister Farrakhan came 27 years ago. I think that his message 38 and 27 years ago would be very similar to his message today because that message is a universal message. One important aspect of it is that you have to discover a sense of purpose in your life. You cannot live your life switching everyday into this and that and the other. You must find a purpose and then you must discipline yourself to work towards the achievement of that purpose. Out of that comes self-improvement. Out of that come improvement with those who are around you."

General Examining His Army's Readiness
Yesterday, we got an opportunity to speak to the newly installed BDF Commander, Brigadier General David Jones. He's been the leader of the nation's military force for exactly one month, but he's got decades of experience in the BDF along with a wealth of international military leadership training. He discussed the military's needs and the road ahead: General David Jones "Today has mark exactly a month. I took over on the 28th, and what I have been doing so far is making checks to see what sources the BDF have and what we need and looking at the structure of what we have and then revising what structure we need because with the current threats that we have we don't believe we are structured the right way, so we are going to revised the structure and then looking at increasing the size of the force or doing a re-structuring to meet threats that we are now facing. With the budget exercise we went through it seems they are not going to be really unkind to us this year. I think we may get a little increase; there is always a need for more equipment. As you know the government is not in the financial situation that we would like. We need to make the best the budget that we get and make the best of the resources that we have."

Who Will Be Miss African Queen
They call themselves "Concerned Belizean Women", a group of ladies who have joined forces to help fund raise and donate to various female, and child-centric organizations and charities. One of their biggest fundraisers for the year is their annual "Miss African Queen" Pageant- which will be taking place this weekend. It's the fifth year for the pageant and 7 young women will be vying for the title. 7news got a glimpse of the girls at this morning's rehearsal. Karen Vernon "Miss African Queen 2013. This is 5th Annual Miss African Queen. This idea came about because of women came together, we call ourselves "concern Belizean women" and we do fundraiser to assist women and children in need. We have two major fundraising effort for the year; Miss African Queen being one and then Little Miss Independence in September." Reporter "Of course there are several segments to the pageant and one of the main things that we heard from the contestants is the fact that it's an educational pageant. Tell us about that."

Elrington Lashes Courtenay In House
As we told you at the top of the newscast, it was Budget Day in Belmopan. And while the Budget was the biggest news of the day, the hottest news came on the adjournment when opposition members spoke on matters of national interest. Representative for Orange Walk Central John Briceno raised an issue that his bosum companion Eamon Courtenay raised in a letter to the Amandala two weeks ago -in which Courtenay questioned the competence of current foreign minister Wilfred Elrington. Briceno got a fiery reply from Elrington, only thing is Elrington was answering to Courtenay - who was also a formers foreign minister. Here's how it started: Hon. John Briceno "Isn't it in the best interest of Belize now that negotiations are over that the Foreign Minister brings to this Honorable house a amendment to the Maritime Areas Act to claim the full amount of our territorial sea Mr. Speaker."

Channel 5

Barrow’s Proposed Budget: No cuts and No new taxes
The second reading of the General Revenue Appropriation Bill for Fiscal Year 2013/2014 took place this morning during a meeting of the House of Representatives.  The presentation of the budget proposals for the upcoming financial year was made by Prime Minister Dean Barrow.  He emphasized that the impending fiscal calendar will not see any new [...]

Foreign direct investments and tourism up
In the banking and financial sectors, Prime Minister Barrow also reported that there is excess liquidity in commercial bank holdings due, in large part, to foreign direct investments, as well as tourism.  The surplus, he said, serves to limit the interest rates currently applied to loans.     Prime Minister Dean Barrow “Reflective of the [...]

Sedi Elrington blasts critics on the maritime areas act
The Budget reading turned to the topic on the tongue of every nationalist, the unfounded Guatemalan claim on Belize, and in this particular instance Belize’s maritime area. In mid-February, former Minister of Foreign Affairs Eamon Courtenay published an article in the Amandala Newspaper in response to statements made by Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington during [...]

National basketball team bounces out of competition in Guatemala
Belize’s territorial rights are at the forefront of current national discourse. And if it were any other year, it wouldn’t be the maritime area but homegrown topics such as love and basketball that would be discussed in the living rooms and barbershops. But the next item encompasses love of country, territorial rights and…basketball. The National [...]

Guatemalan Mayor in Belize; Sister City Relations established
Belizeans are not exactly happy with neighboring Guatemala right about now given the upcoming October sixth referendum and this week’s fiasco with the national basketball selection in Peten. The referendum will decide whether the Guatemalan claim to Belize’s territorial land should be taken to the International Court of Justice for final settlement. But despite the [...]

Mayors comment on territorial dispute
And with the dispute between both countries on the forefront of the medias, the mayors say that the national politics should have no effect on the exchanges between the two cities.   Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor “Our jurisdiction has to do with the municipalities. And our interest is that the City of Belize would [...]

Farrakhan returns to Belize for third time
The visitors from Petén are not the only official delegates seeking to speak with Belizeans. The highly anticipated visit of the Head of the Nation of Islam, Minister Louis Farrakhan, was postponed in December, 2012 at the eleventh hour after Farrakhan experienced exhaustion and dehydration in Saint Thomas. Farrakhan’s Caribbean Tour was cut short to [...]

GSU discovers firearms
The minister intends to take his firebrand into the heart of troubled communities and that is also where the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) removed two firearms from the streets. On Sunday February twenty fourth, members of the GSU were on operation on Lakeview Street, Belize City, and conducted a search in an open lot. The [...]

First woman to be charged for escape
  The minister has a history of speaking to those who try to run from their problems in life. And perhaps he would also speak to people similar to twenty-one year old Latifah Augustine, the first woman to be tried for the offense of escape.  Augustine is the first female to be tried for escape [...]

Caught twice in possession of weed
  Forty-nine year old Benjamin Lester Chaplin, a resident of Fabers Road, appeared unrepresented this morning before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart where he pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a controlled drug.  Chaplin, who was before the court three weeks ago for assaulting a minor with a belt, was busted twice in one [...]

150 wheelchairs; 3 donated to K.H.M.H. and its Auxiliary
One hundred and fifty wheelchairs are being donated to Belize. Earlier in the week, three were handed over to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and its Auxiliary. The donation was made by the Saskatchewan Canada Rotary Club through the local Rotary Club. The other wheelchairs were received a week ago and the club is wasting [...]

Preschooler parade for launch of Child Stimulation Month
There are events to honor our senior citizens, and others to showcase productive students at the Festival of Arts. But this entire month of March is one dedicated to our children. News Five’s Duane Moody attended the launch of Child Stimulation month in the Yabra area of Belize City.   Duane Moody, Reporting Today hundreds [...]


Prime Minister of Belize Presents Proposed Budget
The House of Representatives met this morning in Belmopan. The main agenda item was the presentation of the proposed budget for fiscal year 2013/-14 by Prime Minister Dean Barrow. The Prime Minister started his budget speech by telling the nation that the budget for the next fisc...

Belize and U.S. Sign Memorandum of Understanding
On Wednesday, the Government of Belize and the Government of the United States of America signed a Memorandum of Understanding which seeks to restrict the importation to the US of Belize’s archaeological and cultural heritage properties dating back to the early and later colonial...

Belize City Mayor Signs Sister City Relations With Guatemalan City
History was made this afternoon at City Hall in Belize City when for the very first time, Belize City signed sister city relations with a Guatemalan city. Belize City and San Benito City in Guatemala are now officially sister cities. It’s more than a symbolic signing ...

Activities Held In Punta Gorda For Child Stimulation Month
Activities for Toledo Pre-Schools were held this morning in connection with official opening of Child Stimulation month celebrations in March. The program began with the National...

Belize Tourism Board Presents Tourist Arrival Figures
The Belize Tourism Board issued the numbers for tourist arrivals for January. In the overnight sector an increase of 17.2% compared to last year’s statistics. A total of 28,431 overnight tourists were recorded in January, an increase of 4,168 compared to January 2012....


2013/2104 proposed Budget speech presented today
The 2nd Sitting of the House of Representatives for 2013 took place this morning. The Prime Minister presented his budget speech for Fiscal Year 2013/2014 at this morning’s sitting. In his presentation, PM Barrow stated that the global economic recovery since the financial crisis of 2008-2009 continues to be...

Brigadier General David Jones advises against border clearing activity
All this week we have been covering the plans of a group called Belize Territorial Volunteers to begin clearing and marking the border between Belize and Guatemala, starting on Saturday. We have previously heard from Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington who has disassociated the Belize Government from the initiative...

Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, discusses UB payroll audit
The University Of Belize’s Faculty and Staff Association has been very vocal regarding its dissatisfaction with the UB payroll audit. The association has maintained that the audit report, contains financial and managerial irregularities involving the Board of Trustees. The board issued statements in response, saying that the payroll audit...

Police discover more drugs in Stann Creek District
Police have discovered more drugs in the Stann Creek District. PlusTV correspondent Harry Arzu has the story. HARRY ARZU – Dangriga Correstondent: Personnel from the Police Special Branch and the Quick Response Team conducted an anti-drug operation this morning in Alta Vista Village in the Stann Creek District. The...

Brigadier General David Jones talks about his new position
The BDF changed leadership at the start of February, with Brigadier General Dario Tapia retiring to make way for Brigadier General David Jones. General Jones is well-known to viewers for his expertise in dismantling bombs and grenades and was called on during the grenade spree of 2008-2011 when several...

Japheth Bennett sentenced to life in prison for murder of Ellis Meighan Sr.
A convicted murderer will spend the rest of his life in prison. Investigators say 20 year old Japheth Bennett gunned down Ellis Meighan Sr. in September of 2009. Bennett, who was only seventeen at the time, was found guilty of the crime on Tuesday. A witness of the 2009...

Bert Vasquez has six common assault charges dropped
Belize City businessman Bert Vasquez made headlines last year when he was charged with the murder of 13 year old San Ignacio resident Jasmine Lowe. This led to a domino effect of numerous under-aged girls accusing Vasquez of trying to lure them into his car, with one teen even...

Belize Defense Force receives three new vehicles
Yesterday, the Belize Defense Force was the recipient of three new vehicles. The handing over ceremony took place at the Price Barracks in Ladyville, where Brigadier General David Jones accepted the vehicles on behalf of the BDF, from Minister of National Security John Saldivar. General Jones says the new...

Changes in the passport application process
The Immigration Department enacted some new policies that take effect today. The early announcement of the changes in the passport application process caused quite a stir amongst the public, and yesterday, people poured into immigration offices in order to meet the deadline of the old process. Officials from the...

Leader of the Nation of Islam, Minister Louis Farrakhan, arrives on Monday
It was delayed for several months, but the leader of the Nation of Islam, Minister Louis Farrakhan, is scheduled to make his third visit to Belize starting on Monday, March 4. Organizer of the trip is Nuri Muhammad. Nuri Muhammad: Minister Louis Farrakhan is scheduled to arrive in Belize...

Mayor of San Benito, Peten Guatemala, visits Belize
The Mayor of San Benito, Peten Guatemala is in Belize on a tour of the Towns and Cities of the western Corridor. Her entourage includes several of her counselors, senior staff members; including the City Planner and City manager, and 3 members of the Guatemalan congress. The tour started...

Children in Santa Rita Village have new playground equipment
Kids in Santa Rita Village have a new playground equipment to enjoy. The Corozal Rotary Club completed restoration works on a community park in the village earlier this week. The Rotary Club, along with community members cleaned the park, painted benches and installed a brand new playground equipment. The...

Belmopan man dies after tree falls on him
A Belmopan man died after a tree fell on him. The incident happened on Thursday morning near mile 8 on the Hummingbird highway just outside Belmopan. 62 year old Hugo Rodriguez, a resident of Salvapan, Belmopan, was at mile 8 cutting down a tree with a chainsaw. The tree...

Gunmen rob Tacos Vendor in Trail Farm Village
Police are looking for two men believed to have robbed a woman of thousands of dollars. The incident happened yesterday morning in Trail Farm Village situated in the Orange Walk District. A tacos vendor told police that she was at her place of business along with her workers and...


The US, the primary market, agrees to help block illegal trade, and protect archaeological and ethnographic objects from Belize After years of negotiations, officials from Belize and the United States this morning inked a milestone bilateral agreement, in the form of a memorandum of understanding (MOU), for the protection of Belizean archaeological and ethnological objects. US Ambassador to Belize, HE Vinai K. Thummalapally, said the MOU will permit US authorities to impose import restrictions on Belizean antiquities imported and sold on the US market, from the pre-ceramic period (9000 BC) through to the colonial era. In fact, the import restrictions would apply to indigenous antiques older than 100 years. Director of the Institute of Archaeology, Dr. Jaime Awe, who spearheaded the scientific aspect of the work, told Amandala that anything older than 100 years is deemed an antiquity and the property of the state, unless the Government has granted a permit to an individual in Belize to hold such an item. Apart from that, he said, an antiquity cannot be bequeathed or sold unless permission is granted by the Government of Belize, and it should remain in Belize. Awe told us that, “Every once in a while you go on eBay and you see stone tools or beautiful pottery vessels on sale… Well any of these objects now, once they are put on sale, that’s against the US law.”

He was one of SJC’s distinguished class of ’37 and was their class leader for four consecutive years. Shortly after graduation he, with other classmates entered the civil service (as it was then called); as did most outstanding students of St. John’s, Wesley, and St. Michael’s Colleges. Three members of the class of ’37 reached the highest level of the Public Service (the new name for government workers). Justo Castillo and William Hoy were appointed and served as senior managers of several Ministries with the title of Permanent Secretary. Rafael Fonseca became Financial Secretary. The Permanent Secretaries were chief administrators and advisors to the Ministers concerned. They were men of the highest integrity and under their leadership, the public service was considered to be incorruptible. In his private life, the late Justo Castillo was the head of a family of nation builders. He was a model of what a Christian gentleman should be. The name of his friends was “legion” and, I have not heard of his detractors.

Under pressure in Belmopan on Tuesday morning when his numbers did not materialize, Nigel Petillo, the leader of the Belize Youth Grassroots Empowerment Association (BYGEA), displayed a fierce determination on national television. For this, he must be given big respect. The fact that the BYGEA demonstration in the national capital did not have major support is a setback to BYGEA. But, more important I think, it is a defeat for the masses of the Belizean people. Everyone knows that the target of the demonstration – the Lands Department of the Natural Resources Ministry, has caused more frustration, heartbreak, and pain for the Belizean masses than any other government department. But, the Belizean people did not show up in numbers on Tuesday. In their post-mortem discussions, the BYGEA leadership will have to figure out why that was so. In this column, I only wish to look at the situation in overview, and from a distance. BYGEA chose to make their stand in Belmopan, which is about 7 or 8 miles east from Harmonyville, the land development which BYGEA essentially controls. From Harmonyville to Belmopan, you are operating in the electoral constituencies of Belmopan and Cayo South, which are controlled by the UDP’s John Saldivar and the PUP’s Julius Espat, respectively. In targeting the Lands Department, you are confronting Natural Resources Minister/Deputy Prime Minister, Gapi Vega, whom Saldivar just openly supported in a national convention ten days ago. You therefore expect that Saldivar will be very much opposed to your demonstration efforts, and that he will do all in his power to ensure that you fail.

Dear Editor, Belmopan is called the Garden City. Taking care of a garden is hard work. I live next to two vacant lots. I was told once there is an ordinance against vacant lots not being mowed, chopped, or macheted. The lot next to us has not been attended to for so long I can’t remember when it was chopped. The lot beyond was never chopped and this is going on seven years. I have been trying to get City Hall to do something for more than two weeks. Mr. Philip Timmons has put me off too long. I then went over to the man’s house who owns the lot, got his name and street where he lives. This information I gave to Mayor Simeon Lopez. Nothing has happened. I am tired of living next to a jungle. Every day there are tarantulas in the dogs’ water and feed bowls. One as large as a baseball was in our houses.

Dear Editor, Belize has been entertaining the possibility of planting Genetically Modified Crops for more than seven years now. Unfortunately, our current understanding of GMOs does not appear to be any better than when discussions first began. Roughly 95% of people asked on the streets in Belize this past month were unable to say what the letters “GMO” stood for. How did a laboratory-created food crop become so prevalent in the world environment with so many of us knowing so little about it? The truth is, a tremendous amount of secrecy has surrounded GMOs since they were first released for commercial planting in 1996. One such secret is how the bio-tech industry was able to convince the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that GMO crops are the same as non-GMO crops. The FDA identified GMOs as “substantially equivalent”, meaning that no testing was required for either safety or nutritional standards. With the blessing of the FDA, Genetically Modified Organisms were permitted to be grown and put into our foods without any labeling requirements, without contest, and with no one really knowing if they were even safe to eat.

Dear Editor, During the days leading up to the recent elections in The Jewel, there was a grand uproar about the nationalization of immigrants by the ruling United Democratic Party. While there were some valid concerns raised; much of the criticism was politically motivated, and to some degree hypocritical, since in reality, the mad rush to secure votes is an established, albeit corrupt practice by both political parties. Politics and demographics aside, however, I feel compelled to express my thoughts on a subject that comes close to home. While going through the motions of applying for US residency status recently, I faced a uniquely American predicament during the finger-printing process. When asked why I hadn’t marked off the Hispanic box as my race, I explained to the officer that it’s because I am not a Hispanic, but a Mestizo. He didn’t seem amused so I opted for “Race Unknown.” Had he been any nicer, I would’ve pulled out my Destination Belize magazine and given him a lesson in geography. Truth be told, of all the labels and categories that are flying around these days, the only one I embrace whole-heartedly is “Belizean.” The question is…what does it mean to be a Belizean? And is there such a thing as a true Belizean? Who among us can say with certainty that he/she is a real Belizean? There are some who would argue that our country is a melting pot, somehow suggesting that everyone and everything has merged with one unique result…one unique Belizean face as it were.

An unprecedented drama will be played out this weekend when Wil Maheia leads his band of Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) to the Belize border with Guatemala in Toledo and tries to clear the border so that it can be demarcated. Symbolically, this would represent the first time that any Belizean or group of Belizeans has put up a red flag for the Guatemalan government to see, essentially saying to Guatemala City that these are territorial rights Belize is declaring, for Guatemala, the region, and the world to see. This coming weekend’s expedition represents, again symbolically, a rollback of the “confidence–building measures” of 2005 wherein the Organization of American States (OAS), Guatemala and Belize agreed to replace the border between Guatemala and Belize with an enlarged area called an “adjacency zone.” Predictably, the Guatemala government protested last week to the Belize government when they heard about the mission of the Belize Territorial Volunteers. The Belize government reacted by immediately calling on Wil Maheia to cease and desist from the Belize Territorial Volunteers’ expedition, declaring that the members of the expedition would be in physical danger, and basically telling the BTV that they would be on their own, or, in other words, that the security forces of Belize would not provide any cover for them. Where we found the Belize government’s response to the Guatemalan government’s diplomatic note to be disappointing, was in the panicked speed of it. The Maheia expedition was ten days away: the Belize government could have hemmed and hawed a little, but they rushed to try to discipline the Belize Territorial Volunteers, using scare tactics. The Belize government behaved like an adjunct of the Guatemalan government. The Belize government did not behave like a sovereign, independent government.

The Football Federation of Belize (FFB) announces the official Male U-20 and Female national teams final list of players who will be travelling to Costa Rica on Sunday, March 3, for the Central American Games. The selected players are: Male U-20 players: Avian Crawford, Khambrel Blease, Delone Torres, Luis Torres, Edmund Pandy, Jamil Cano, Denmark Casey, Brandon Jones, Jason Thurton, Jermaine Jones, Gilroy Thurton, John King, Kyle Flowers, Highking Roberts, Darrel Novelo, David Madrid, Nahjib Guerra, Eduargo Gongora. Female players: Idania Ramirez, Ermin Marie, Rashida Guerra, Zulma Ortega, Miriam Villamil, Sherean Tracey, Jennisha Scott, Iris Centeno, Noemi Magana, Samantha Carlos, Kaya Cattouse, Shirley Codd, Shanell Gentle, Cynthia Salazar, Melonie Tasher, Sarah Arzu, Beatrice Alfaro, Abbe Halliday.

The 2013 SMART Bi-Annual Junior Ranking Tournament took place this past Saturday at the BES Auditorium, “the home of table tennis.” With some 72 participants ranging from ages 7 to 18, and from high schools and several primary schools, the first SMART Junior Ranking “kicked off” at around 1:00 on Saturday afternoon with three categories being contested – 18Under, 15Under & 12Under. The tournament started with a Round Robin group phase, from which the top two from each group would advance to a Final Double Elimination competition. The 18Under Category started off with 19 players divided into 4 Round Robin groups, from which the 8 top finishers advanced to the Double Elimination Championship Finals. Top seed Harim Ochaeta and Fabio Carballo, along with Daniel Sanchez, Gian Lisbey, Joshua Gegg, Aaron Stock, Ashar Arthurs and Matthew Usher all advanced to the Finals.

The Belize National Triathlon Association would like to congratulate Sidney Turton, Jr. who placed 3rd in his first race representing Belize regionally. The race was held on February 16 in Roatan, Honduras. Sidney Turton, Jr. and Eric Donis will be representing Belize in the upcoming Central American Games on March 9 in Costa Rica. Giovanni Alamilla President Belize National Triathlon Association (Ed. Note: Congrats to Sidney, Jr. from the sports desk! It is the first time we are hearing of him, so we asked Giovanni for some background information on Sidney. His reply: “Sidney is a 17-year-old Belizean who lives in Belize City and is a student at Belize High School. His parents are Karla Turton and Sidney Turton, Sr., both Belizeans. He has participated in a number of our smaller races. Because of his age, he was not allowed to partake in the Lionman.”)

Belize Territorial Volunteers marches to Belize-Guat border on Saturday! Wil Maheia, activist and leader of the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV), issued a press release today, Thursday, assuring the public that the Western border cleanup project is still on for Saturday, March 2, despite persistent efforts by the Government of Belize to scuttle the project, called “Clearing Our Borderline.” During the past week, there has been strong opposition from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, who has told the media that no one knows where the border between Belize and Guatemala is, and those who participate in the project can risk being arrested by Guatemalan authorities, and can even cause an international incident. The Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced its disagreement with the BTV project through a diplomatic note to the Government of Belize. All those acts of discouragement seemed to have been in vain, because Maheia and the BTV has not backed down. In fact, the group has exceeded its 100-persons support team aim. Maheia said that so far, they have around 200 committed volunteers, and enough machetes to accommodate that number.

Reports were made repeatedly, but GoB acts as if it “couldn’t care less” There were reports last week Monday that about 20 Guatemalan trawlers had been spotted operating in the waters of southern Belize, south of Punta Gorda, but word to us at press time tonight, Thursday, is that the trawlers are still in what is believed to be Belizean waters. Punta Gorda activist and leader of the People’s National Party, Wil Maheia, told us tonight that this is a regular occurrence whenever the weather is good, as it is now. “We have reported this time and again to our Belizean authorities,” he told us, “but nothing is ever done – the Guatemalans do as they like.” Maheia said that he blames the lack of enforcement in the area for the repeated acts of illegal trawling by the Guatemalans. It is for this reason that Maheia started his activism, because he feels that there is no official concern for what is happening in that area. This incident only brings to mind the situation Belize and Guatemala are in as they prepare their countries for what could be one of the biggest historical events in both countries, the October 6, 2013 referendum on the matter of taking the territorial, maritime and insular dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

CitCo’s $2.3 mil debt to Waste Control inherited from Fonseca administration, 2005 New garbage collection fee coming soon – but Mayor says no sale of assets Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley was spared from being cited for contempt of court today, after his attorney, Michael Young, SC, bought time—just over seven weeks—for Bradley to begin to meet payments towards a $2.3 million debt the Belize City Council (CitCo) has owed the Belize Waste Control since 2005. “As of today, I can tell you that the total debt owed under the judgment is about 2.3 million…” said Fred Lumor, SC, attorney for Belize Waste Control. “Not one cent has been paid.” Bradley’s United Democratic Party administration inherited the liability from the administration of former UDP Belize City Mayor Zenaida Moya, who inherited it from the administration of David Fonseca of the Opposition People’s United Party. Young points out that at the time BWC was awarded the settlement, the tab was $1 million, but because it has remained unpaid for nearly 8 years, the debt has more than doubled. The court has agreed to give Bradley’s administration until Monday, April 22, 2013, to begin to settle the debt—or he could face a contempt citation and possible imprisonment for such contempt.

“I have accepted that the jurors found me guilty, but as there is a God above, I did not kill him” On Monday, February 25, Japheth Bennett, 20, was found guilty of killing Ellis Meighan, Sr., 37, on September 13, 2009. Today, Thursday, he was sentenced to life in prison by Justice Adolph Lucas, Sr. Meighan was shot in the back of his head, while at the corner of Banak Street and Central American Boulevard. A statement from Meighan’s brother-in-law, Marlon Middleton, had to be admitted into evidence by the officer who recorded it because when Middleton took the stand, he denied that he told police everything that was in the statement. That statement turned out to be the proverbial nail in the casket for Bennett, as it stated that Middleton saw him standing over Meighan’s body, holding what appeared to be a black colored handgun. Although Middleton had to be treated as a hostile witness by the prosecutor, the jury believed the statement he gave, and not his testimony from the stand.

Even with super-bond savings, financing gap is nearly $130 mil “…a statutory instrument will be presented to amend the Sports Act, to expand the gamut of doping tests to be administered in Belize.” At around 10:00 this morning, the House of Representatives is scheduled to convene for the presentation of the proposed national budget by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dean Barrow. Amandala understands from an official source that the budget book was still being published by Print Belize as we went to press Thursday night, but it should be available first thing today. Multiple government sources indicate to Amandala that the numbers in this year’s budget are not much different from last year’s. The proposed recurrent revenue for the new budget is $823 million, compared to $819 million for the outgoing year; whereas recurrent expenses are estimated at $777.9 million for the upcoming financial year, compared to $727.7 million for 2012-2013. The financing gap was estimated at $139 mil for 2012-2013, and the new budget could have a financing gap of $129 mil, if current estimates hold. Amortization of debt will require another $64 million. This figure, we were told, was derived based on the new terms of the renegotiated super-bond. The budget deficit is also projected at roughly $60 million, or just about 2% of GDP.


Road work continues & a fun visit with friends
The town has been widening parts of the unpaved road in the Tres Cocos area of Ambergris Caye this past week, as we showed in some photos in a previous blog entry (Ch-ch-changes north of the bridge). In some areas, this involved plowing down vegetation and relocating fences that were apparently encroaching into the town right-of-way. In other areas, it is swampy or low near the road on the lagoon side, so fill had to be brought in. The fill consisted of a mixture of tree branches, stumps, vegetation, and dirt (probably gleaned from early-week plowing). Yesterday, the dozer was at work again flattening it all out. This is the area right across the road from Lazy Croc BBQ. Looks like the low concrete walls that demarcate the driveway for this home/bed & breakfast (to right in photo above) are going to have to be torn out as they extend into the right of way, which I believe runs right up to the power pole. We snapped the photos above on our way to Lazy Croc with Chunky and Ruthie. We had barely seen them since they arrived back on the island in November as they've been having nearly continuous visits from family or friends. It was great to catch up with them again. They are always so much fun to hang out with and full of laughs.

Cold front and how I saved us $145 a month
I am sure most of you who live here and a many who are repeat visitors to Ambergris Caye have a ‘how rumors get started’ story or two. My last one started late last night when tacoboy arrived home from Trivia at Pedro’s Pizza and a night with the Bat Sub boys. He came home with a report that Sunday was supposed to be the record coldest day in San Pedro in a very long time. I thought it was possible because at 3:00am we could already feel the cold front moving in. I was at Belize Telemedia paying our internet bill today and decided we could drop down from 2mb to 1mb connection this would save us $110 a month. While sitting at the customer service desk I decided to take a chance ask if we could loose our land-line since we never use it and do not even own a telephone and much to my surprise she said yes. Years ago when we got our BTL account it was not an option and they made everyone get a land-line and today I learned that the policy had been changed for the past year. Had I known, we could have saved another $420 [never mind the other 4 years we paid for a service we never used lol.] I was happy to finally loose the land-line and bump up our savings to $145 a month. Check out BTL website for full range of Belize internet rates.

A Cold Front Moves In and The BIG Ruta Maya Race
After almost a week of what seemed like unseasonable very warm, very humid and very pretty weather on the island... A hammock hanging limp at Victoria House. ...a cool north wind is blowing this morning, the temperature has dipped perilously into the mid-70s and the sky is grey and overcast. Let's hope the sun returns for next weekend's huge Belikin Ruta Maya River Challenge (for the viewers at least, the racers would probably enjoy the coolness). An intense 4 day, 180 mile, 300 participant canoe race right across Belize. I have always wanted to go...and this year, I'm gonna do it. I feel like it's my duty to cheer on the sweaty, exhausted racers by saluting them with a cold Belikin beer. I know they will appreciate it.

The Weekly Photo: Sunset in Belize

It’s Party Time for Predators at the Belize Zoo!
The Belize Zoo recently celebrated two important milestones, with a fantastic “Predator Party” for Junior Buddy the Jaguar’s sixth birthday and Panama the Harpy Eagle’s tenth birthday. To mark the occasions, zoo officials invited children from La Democracia Pre-School and the Infant Two class from the Howard Smith School in Benque Viejo del Carman to join in the celebration and learn more about the contribution of these apex predators to the health of the forest. Environmental Educator Jamal Andrewin-Bohn shared information on wildlife conservation with the children and, as a special treat, gave them an up-close encounter with Lucky Boy, the black jaguar whose rescue by the zoo and return to good health in its care has captured the hearts of people all over Belize and beyond. All in all, it was another great day at the “Best Little Zoo in the World!”

Up on the Roof
Sitting on the veranda this morning with my friend Mr Coffee at around 4.45 pm I realised what a wonderful day it was. Why? Well, it was thirty-eight years ago today that I met Rose for the very first time. We met at a bar called The Horns in Shoreditch. She was the best looking girl in the room . And she still is (now that should make up for not getting an anniversary card. Hopefully?). I mentioned in yesterday’s edition that when I was up on the roof I got a good view of the road that there has been a great amount of comment about on the Ambergris Caye Forum. It starts just in front of the Bamboo House, our soon-to-be-neighbour Bertrand’s house, and runs through to where a right will take you to the Palapa Bar and Grill and straight ahead will eventually take you to Grand Caribe.

International Sources

Belizean artist shines at EvCC
If you have spent any considerable amount of time in Whitehorse Hall art rooms, you've probably noticed him. Nicomedes Gomez spends most of his time in the painting studio. He is very relaxed in his surroundings and smiling as he focuses in on some details in his latest masterpiece in progress, a portrait of a boy. If you haven't noticed him, you will notice his art soon. A painting by Gomez was just selected by Student Activities to purchase. The large painting is of a tropical landscape rich in color, with vivid imaginary and bold lines. It features a sunset, the ocean, palm trees, sea and wild life, including a Keel Billed Toucan, the National Bird of Belize. The painting does not have a name, but Gomez said that if he was to name it, it would be "A piece of peaceful paradise". "My paintings are about where I live and where I come from," Gomez explained. "I come from a tropical, very peaceful place. It's very relaxing there. In my paintings I use a lot of bright colors from the tropics." Gomez was born and raised in Belize, where he worked as a professional artist. He relocated to Everett in 2009 because it was where his wife was from and worked as an elementary teacher.

Belize Baboon Sanctuary
Get close and personal with black howler monkeys in this community-run project in Belize. (Locals refer to howlers as "baboons," hence the Community Baboon Sanctuary name.)

Ads Worth Spreading: See The 10 Most World-Changing Ads, According To TED
Communicating on behalf of a brand can be tricky business. A decent idea once passed through the brand’s filter and massaged and molded to hit key messaging targets can come out the other side a shell of its possible self.

Don’t Be A Victim – Your Smartphone As A Personal Safety Device
Traveling can be a magnificent adventure, but there are some places where traveling can be somewhat unsafe.

How does 200 calories look like
Amounts of various foods it takes to equal 20 calories

March 1, 2013


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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

Government warns Belizeans about clearing border between Guatemala and Belize
The Government of Belize (GOB) today issued an official warning against a group of Belizeans to cease from their plans to clear the Belize-Guatemala borderline. Toledo based activist Wil Maheia announced a few weeks ago that he had secured 100 machetes and was recruiting people for a group called Belize Territorial Volunteers who would be taking it upon themselves to clear the borderline. It’s a strong and bold move, but one that the GOB says is “dangerous” and can cause “tension.” The statement from the Belize Ministry of Foreign Affairs explains that the area is part of what Guatemala and Belize has been committed to work on together; to reduce problems as part of the confidence building measures. Those measures were put in place because of continuous confrontation that had occurred on the borderline as a result of the Guatemala territorial claim over portions of Belize. In his social media account (Facebook) Maheia explains that “the planning continues for our trip to clear the Belize borderline with Guatemala. Today (February 25th) we will meet with Santa Elena villagers and San Antonio villagers. Yesterday we met with the Belize Territorial Volunteers in San Jose and people are fired up to show the world we have a border and we Belizeans love our country and since the PUDP’s have neglected it, we will clear it and show the world where our borderline is at…we will all show up in the village of Jalacte on March 2nd and start clearing the line.”

New regulations introduced for passport application
Starting on March 1, 2013 there will be many changes to adhere to when renewing or applying for a new Belizean Passport. The Ministry of Immigration and Nationality recently unveiled the new regulations for the application process. The changes are being implemented in order to facilitate legal travel procedures abroad and to safeguard the validity of the nationality of a person. Passports will only be given out to Belizean nationals. Apart from the new regulations for the application process, there is also a revised application form. The revised application forms consist of two separate forms, one for minors and one for adults. Minors (anyone below the age of 16) filing for a passport must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, and their passport is valid for five years. Any applicant 16 or older can file independently for a passport which is valid for ten years. Together with the completed application form,the person must submit a certificate of birth along with a form of photo identification; no driver’s licenses will be accepted. Two recent passport size photos must be presented along with a police record, previous passport (with the exception of first time applicants),a form filled by a Class A recommender and a form filled by a Class B recommender. Class A recommenders can be a Justice of the Peace, Minister of Religion, Medical Practitioner, Notary Public or Attorney at Law, while Class B recommenders are Members of the House of Representatives. After the application form is completed, it takes a month to process the request.

Death of US National Kristy Lynn Sy being investigated by San Pedro Police
The female was declared dead shortly around 9AM by Dr. Giovanni Solorzano of the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Poly Clinic II. Speaking briefly to The San Pedro Sun, Dr. Solorzano explained that bruises around the neck of the female was observed which can be consistent with “strangulation” but said however that it could only be confirmed by a proper post-mortem examination. When asked if the female had signs of drowning, Dr. Solorzano explained that “it does not appear so” but repeated that a post-mortem would be necessary to determine that. Based on the initial examination on the body, it is believed that the person may have died between the hours of 3AM and 7AM. “We understand that the female suffered from continuous seizures. However, the police is treating it as a murder investigation until a post mortem indicates otherwise. We are hoping that the post mortem can point the investigation in a different direction other than a murder, but we are not discrediting that possibility either,” said Superintendent Castellanos. So far, police investigation indicates that while in San Pedro Town, Sy would go for daily walks along the beach in the area in which she was found. According to police the US Embassy has been notified and from there on they will be making contacts with Sy’s family back in the USA. Meanwhile, Sy’s body has been transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) for a post mortem examination. Police continue their investigation.

Eric Donis to represent Belize in Triathlon at the Central American Games
Well known island athlete Eric Donis is the second Sanpedrano to join the 2013 Belize delegation to the Central American games scheduled for March in San Jose, Costa Rica. This will be the first time in history that Belize will have a triathlon competitor in the Central American Games and the first for Donis in the biggest competition in our region, next to the Pan-American Games. The fourth form student athlete is preparing both physically and mentally and remains optimistic of his chances in Costa Rica. Donis is the second resident of San Pedro Town, who will travel to Costa Rica to represent Belize; Gustavo Morataya was named a member of the Beach Volleyball Team last week. Eric-Donis-SwimmingDonis has been taking on triathlons seriously since the age of 15. He has participated and done respectfully well in various competitions within Belize. When speaking to The San Pedro Sun from the San Pedro High School, Donis said that travelling to the Central American Games is a big step in his athletic aspirations. “To me it’s a step forward, perhaps the first step in maybe a 1000 more as my goal is to one day represent Belize in the Olympics. This means a lot to me; I am overjoyed and excited,” said Donis who will be travelling around the same time that he is due to sit exams. “I am trying my best to cope with the two of them since education is also a priority,” he said determinedly.

Belize City’s Albert Street comes alive with Street Art Festival
Belize City’s Albert Street was teeming with people of all ages at the annual Street Art Festival held on Albert Street. The festival has been gaining momentum, and this year featured decorated booths of artwork, handmade items, foods and beautifully decorated pastries, children’s corners and even fashion designs and a tattoo booth! Organizers of the event had the street festively set up, with music blaring from 2PM until 10PM. Many families came out to enjoy the event, which provided a variety of entertainment for everyone. The most popular booths included the face-painting area, and for the many mini-musicians, the Winds and Strings and Puppet Booth presented quite the attraction.

Ambergris Today

Female Tourist Found Dead South of San Pedro Town
San Pedro Police is investigating the death of a female US National whose body was found in a shallow area of the sea south of San Pedro Town. The 32 year old female from the state of Wyoming in the USA was found dead at 8:00 am on the beach front area of Royal Palm Villas. The female was identified to be 33-year-old American National Kristy Lynn Sy. An autopsy was conducted on the body of Krysty Lynn Sy which confirmed that Kristy died of natural causes.

Mexican Army's 100th Anniversary Commemorated in Belize
On Tuesday, February 19, 2013, Mexico celebrated the Mexican Army and Air Force Day and its 100th Anniversary. In Belize, the office of the Military Attaché of the Mexican Embassy held a commemoration ceremony on Saturday, February 23, 2013. The event was headed by the Mexican Military and Air Attaché, General Pedro Almazan, and the Mexican Ambassador Mario Velazquez. In celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Mexican Army, General Almazan remarked that this military force includes individuals from all sectors of the society, the voluntary recruitment of its members and its positive reputation for its subordination to civil authority, which have characterized it above other defense forces in the world.

Misc Belizean Sources

Turkey Dinner Fundraiser
The Aguada will be having a turkey dinner fundraiser today for lunch to raise funds for Tarun Butcher, who is the frontrunner in the Mr. and Ms. SHC Pageant. Have a wonderful meal, and support a great cause at the same time. "Limited Tickets available. Grand Turkey Dinner Sale on Friday, March 1st, 2013. We will deliver within town limits or you can pick food up at Serendib Restaurant. Turkey, ham and all the works for only $10. Call Aguada 804-3609 to reserve your tickets."

Channel 7

BDF Commander To Wil Maheia: Soldiers Will Not Come To Your Rescue
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has already sent Wil Maheia and his Belize Territorial Volunteers a warning. And tonight the Commander of the BDF, General David Jones confirmed that Maheia and his Volunteers are on their own. Jones, who walked the borderline as a young soldier and know the area well said that BDF officers, no matter how experienced they are, often wander unknowingly into the Guatemalan territory. More than that, he said that the BDF cannot maintain a presence among the Belize Territorial Volunteers because they cannot risk a military stand-off. He told us more:.. General David Jones "I sympathized with the patriotism that these people have. However I don't believe it's a wise idea because as I soldier walking up and down the border especially the Western border with Guatemala it is difficult in some areas to determine exactly where the border is. Even us as soldiers stray sometimes into Guatemala. In advertently sometimes we meet up with the Guatemalan armed forces - they were courteous enough to escort us back and there have been cases where Guatemalan soldiers also have strayed into Belizean territory and out of courtesy we escort them back to where they belong.

Waste Control Takes Mayor To Court For Contempt For 2.3 Mil Dollar Debt
Last night 7news broke the story that Belize Waste Control was taking Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley to Court for contempt - and that the Mayor was facing a committal warrant. It's for a multi million dollars arbitration award dating back to 2009 - which the council did not pay. Now, the debt - with interest - is 2.3 million dollars. A court ordered the Council to pay it from last year - again, they didn't and so today Waste Control's Attorney Fred Lumor took the Mayor to the Supreme Court to ask Justice Michelle Arana to cite him for contempt. He backed that up with a committal warrant, so that if she cited him - he would be committed to jail! High stakes and it went before Justice Arana in her chambers this morning. Mayor Bradley, supported by his councilors waited patiently to learn the outcome of that audience before the judge. When Lumor exited the court, he told the media that the judge decided to give the council a few months breathing room:

Life Behind Bars For Japheth
20 year-old Japheth Bennett, the man who was convicted the murder of 37 year-old Ellis "Pepper Gacho" Meighan Sr, will spend life in prison. That was the sentence that Justice Adolph Lucas handed him in the mitigation hearing today. Bennett was convicted in a landmark case on Monday in which, a statement was used as evidence, even after the witness - who gave that statement - refused to cooperate and said that he didn't give it in the first place. But, using a new law, it was admitted into evidence. In that statement the witness said he saw Bennett with a gun in his hand standing over Meighan after he was killed. It was admitted into evidence, and after deliberating for just under 4 hours, a jury of 12 believed that the written statement was given freely, and reflected the true events as the occurred on the night, even though the witness took the stand and denied he ever gave it. In today's mitigation hearing, Bennett's friend took the stand and begged the court for leniency and a second chance. On his own behalf, he told the court, quote, "I apologize for the struggle the family has gone through. I believe I did not kill Ellis Meighan, so I am asking you to have mercy on me and to give me back some time. I have accepted that the jurors found me guilty, but as there is a God above, I did not do it." End quote.

Accused Girl Killer Bert Vasquez Gets Off Six Assault Charges
Bert Vasquez appeared in a Cayo courtroom for an adjournment hearing today, and 6 common assault charges against him were dropped. Back in June of 2012, he was arraigned for 11 counts of common assault. These were for inappropriate contact he allegedly had with a number of under-aged girls in the Cayo District. It is unclear at this time why the charges were dropped. Vasquez remains on remand for the murder of 12 year old Jasmine Lowe. His next hearing is on April 16th, 2013.

American Tourist Found Dead Was Not Killed
A post mortem has confirmed that the American woman found dead on San Pedro yesterday died of natural causes. 33 year old Kristy Lynn Sy, a resident of Casper, Wyoming in the USA was found dead yesterday morning in front of Royal Palm Villas. She had gone for her morning run a few hours earlier - and that was the last time she was seen. She was found fully clothed and police said there were no signs of violence to her body. Police today report that they had quote "interviewed two of her Belizean friends that had interacted with her for almost a month who indicated to us that she suffered from seizures and was on medications for such seizures." Sy had been in Belize for a month and was to have returned yesterday. A newspaper in Wyoming notes that her husband filed for divorce on February 8th.

Bze Ballers Withdraw From Guat Tournament After Offensive Logo Appears
Belize is sending about 160 athletes and officials competing in 13 disciplines to San Jose, Costa Rica for the tenth Central American Games. They will be competing in Athletics, Judo, Basketball, Karate, Body Building, Softball, Boxing, Tennis, Cycling, Triathlon, Fencing, Volleyball and Football. The games run from March third to the 18th. But Belize's men's basketball team got a jump on the competition by signing up for a warm-up tournament which started today in Guatemala. It's an international tournament called the "New Era of the Mundo Maya" organized by the National Sports Federation of Guatemalan Basketball. From the paperwork, it has all appearances of being a good opportunity for the Belize Team because they will meet national selections from Guatemala, Nicaragua, Dominica Republic and two professional teams from Guatemala and Mexico. The only problem is, the Guatemalan Federation's logo. Watch it closely and you'll see that it depicts Belize as a part of Guatemala. Right there on the imaginary Western coast of Guatemala, that's Belize.

Change In Passport Procedures Produces Panic
Starting tomorrow, there will be new requirements imposed by the Immigration Department for persons applying for passports. One of those new requirements includes an addition of a second recommender for the person making the passport application. According to the Immigration Department, these new measures are being put in place to ensure the security of the process. But for some Belizeans, this new passport regulation simply complicates an already complex application process. And so, crowds thronged to the immigration office today and lined up both inside and outside the corridor trying to beat the new system. Mario Arzu "Actually it's one of our peak seasons for applications when Easter comes around. The other part is also because of the new application process that should take effect tomorrow March 1st. I guess Belizeans also wants to take advantage of the old application process which may appear to be less cumbersome than the new application process that should take effect tomorrow, so they are trying to put in their application before the deadline." Monica Bodden "Tell us about the new application and why the change?" Mario Arzu "The new application process why that comes about primarily for two reasons; one, that the applicant say exactly who they are and that we could verify indeed that that individual is who they are and secondly that the applicant is indeed a Belizean national.

Tourism Still Trending Up
2012 was a strong year for tourism, and the figures for January show the numbers continuing to climb. According to a release from the BTB, January figures show that overnight tourist arrivals have increased by 17.2% compared to the same period for last year. That's 28,431 overnight visitors 4,168 more than January of 2012. Encouragingly, Cruise tourism figures are also showing a sharp increase by 19.4% for January, 2013. That's 16,743 more visitors than January of last year.

Budget Looks To Be Grim, But Regionally, Belize Doing Well
The budget for 2013/2014 will be presented tomorrow, but there's like zero buzz about it. And that's probably because it promises to be a fairly un-inpsiring affair, with few sugarplums for the citizenry. In fact, in the wake of the Superbond renegotiation, it kind of has to be a grim affair - to demonstrate to bond-holders that Belize remains poor - while the Superbond in its original form would have made us broke. But, while that is the context for tomorrow's presentation, within the wider regional context, Belize is doing surprisingly well. This is what we take from a CDB press conference held earlier this month in Barbados. President of the CDB Dr. Warren Smith said that Belize leads the region in growth:.. cdb from 7News Belize on Vimeo. The growth in the agricultural sector is owing to the rebound in the banana and citrus industries.

Faber's Road Property Owner Bedeviled By Bureaucracy
And while the figures may look good, poverty in Belize is a crushing, omnipresent reality. In Belize City - or any municipality - you don't have to go far to find it. We spoke to one woman on Faber's Road today who's got her land, but not much else:.. Jules Vasquez reporting Marilyn Burgess lives here at the corner of Faber's Road - her family home for 50 years. But she has land problems - not the kind most people have. She has land, plenty of it, about an acre off Faber's Road. It was willed to her by her parents in the 60's and she also has title, free and clear: Marilyn Burgess, Frustrated Property Owner "Only because I have my title, but its lots of things that I had to go through. I had to put back myself in the system - lot of things I had to do. They took me at the court and I made a deal with them that I will pay how I can. I have all the documents there to prove and I had to live without electricity for 5 years just to pay them their money so they didn't have to take away any of my land." But she can't subdivide the land and her son in law who's building here had to stop work: Rafael Caceres, Son-in-Law "They don't want to give us the final approval for the sub-divide because they say that we have to push a road that isn't necessary - it's not us that is supposed, it's the government that supposed to do that."

Fewer Oil Concessions In Offshore Areas
The event billed as the People's Referendum happened exactly one year ago. Nothing came of it formally, because of those famous rejected signatures - but as a sign of success the Coalition which sponsored the referendum points to the before and after maps showing the lessening of offshore oil concessions in Belize. The areas that have come out of active concession areas are Turneffe, Lighthouse (including the Blue Hole) and the Glover's Reef Atolls. Five offshore oil concessions, including the Princess Petroleum Limited oil concession remain active.

BDF Gets Trucks
Tonight, the Belize Defence Force has 3 brand new Mahindra pickup trucks courtesy of the Ministry of National Security. It is part of a fleet of 10 vehicles which the ministry committed to donating, and today the Minister of National Security himself handed them over to the Commander of BDF, Brigadier General David Jones. Jones told the media this afternoon that these vehicles come at an opportune moment: General David Jones "These vehicles are excellent for what we needed because some of the terrains that we need to deploy are off roads. Sometimes we need to go behind the Mountain Pine Ridge area. You may be aware that there is an escort of tourist hat we do in the De Silva area, the terrain is rough and it is dirt road and those are the terrain that we use to have our Land rovers working on. We don't have the Land rovers that we use to but now these vehicles work as good as the Land rover, they are very comfortable and they stay on the road very well and they are very rugged. So far we've tested them for over a couple months now and they've been working excellent."

Savouring The Street Art
The Street Art Festival was held over the weekend in downtown Belize City. We told you a lot about if in advance, but we also got to see it up close. Tonight, we take a look at some of the live art pieces and learn about the successes of the street fest:.. Karen Vernon "Albert Street was totally into a very artsy area, people came out with paintings, sculptors, jewelry, there was entertainment, there was the fashion show, there was the youth stage. The entire section of that area came alive on Saturday." "The feedback that I got walking along and taking pictures and talking to people was very positive. One of main thing was they ask if this can be done every month or can we do it more often or in different areas. The people that were out there certainly enjoyed it. I saw families and young children enjoying themselves. All in all I think it was a tremendous success." The 2014 Street Art Fest is set for the last Saturday in February of next year.

Celebrating Belize's Best Secondary School Athletes
Last year, the National Secondary Schools Sports Association selected teams to represent Belize in the Central American Scholars' Games organized by CODICADER in Guatemala, El Salvador and Panama. Seven teams which included a total of one hundred and seventy Belizean athletes were sent to these games to represent the country. After the tournaments were over, our athletes brought back 14 medals - 10 of which were gold. Today award ceremony was held to honor those outstanding athletes. 7news was there. Deon Sutherland - NSSSA "Last year was one of our best years; we had a total of 14 medals, 10 of them gold medals and 3 team medals; 2 gold and 1 bronze. In basketball and softball we got gold medals in team sport as well as volleyball we got bronze medal. We got 3 gold medals in track and field and a gold medal in baseball which was the first time we participated in that discipline. Overall we did very well." Monica Bodden "How many disciplines did Belize took part in?" Deon Sutherland - NSSSA "We participated in 7 disciplines; 4 in Guatemala, 2 in El Salvador and 1 in Panama."

Tonight's profile is about Sandra Felix. She's a volunteer teacher whose love for learning was formed at an early age. In tonight's profile she says she learned early that a good teacher has to be generous with his or her time:..

Channel 5

Several charges dropped from alleged sex offender, Bert Vasquez
  In June of last year, there was a huge uproar by residents from the Twin Towns of Santa Elena and San Ignacio after a promising youth was killed. Thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe’s body was found on June sixth, 2012 in bushes on the Cristo Rey Road. This prompted the neighborhood watch committees of [...]

Guatemalan president alerted by group ‘erasing’ border
Patriotism is the guiding force of the Belize Territorial Volunteers. The group headed by Wil Maheia of PGTV and the People’s National Party will take busloads of people to carve out a clear and distinct line to demarcate the border between Belize and Guatemala. When the exercise is complete, the volunteers intend to clear an [...]

B.D.F. does not support actions by Territorial Volunteers
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has gone on record to say that it does not support the initiative. Foreign Affairs Minister Sedi Elrington recited the incident in 2000, when four soldiers were taken by the Guatemalans military which claimed they were trespassing on Guatemalan soil. It took great measures to get the soldiers and he [...]

National basketball team in Guatemala; but claim persists in sport
The referendum process has encouraged Belize to be more aware of trends and slights by different organizations in Guatemala that are obligated to promote that country’s propaganda. The latest infraction has been reared in sports. The National Basketball Selection is preparing for the upcoming Central American Games in Costa Rica from March eleventh to the [...]

Passport Office flooded to beat technology transition
If you plan to attend the games in Costa Rica you probably intend to make sure your visa requirements are updated in your passport. But today was not the day for a regular visit to the Passport Office. Dozens of Belizeans flocked to the Passport Office in Belize City in a last-minute effort to apply [...]

ICJ Campaign teaches principals about Referendum
The education process for the Belize/Guatemala Referendum is ongoing and it is expected to take place inside the classroom, at political rallies and at sessions with the business community. Today educators became students as they were presented with a history of the claim. News Five Isani Cayetano attended a session with the Office of the [...]

Mayor Bradley hauled to court for contempt
The Belize City Council often sends reminder to citizens to pay their taxes or face the court. In a reversal of fortune, the Mayor of Belize City Darrell Bradley had the unenvious task of being hauled before the court over a debt incurred by the City years before he became mayor. Belize Waste Control (B.W.C.) [...]

Council intends to pay year old debt to Waste Control
The morning’s session lasted merely half an hour and a cool headed mayor exited the courtroom with his attorney Michael Young. Mayor Bradley admitted that the council has not paid a dime of the old debt which has doubled with the years of interest on the principal amount. How will the council make good on [...]

Female U.S. national was not murdered
The lifeless body of thirty-two year old Kristy Lynn Sy, an American national, was retrieved from shallow waters in San Pedro Town on Wednesday morning.  The corpse was discovered by a teenager running along the beach.  Local authorities immediately launched an investigation, treating the incident as a potential homicide.  Doctor Giovanni Solorzana, who declared Sy [...]

Convicted of murder on strength of written statement
  The murder count did not increase since the cause of death has been determined; however, the poor conviction rate was increased by one today. Twenty year old Japheth Bennett, who at the age of seventeen was accused of murder Ellis Meighan senior, was found guilty on Tuesday. Bennett appeared before Justice Adolph Lucas today [...]

Repeat offender owed the court money
  A resident of Mahogany Heights is charged a second time for Drug Trafficking. Thirty-three year old Albert Weller, an Auto-Painter appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano where he pleaded not guilty to a single charge of drug trafficking and was offered a bail of five thousand dollars. But Weller already owes the court for a [...]

No pay before the end of day; former K.H.M.H. guards
At midnight a new security firm will be assuming the responsibility of safeguarding the grounds of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.  That decision, taken by the management, has raised the ire of a handful of employees, who have been dismissed in the wake of the privatization of the hospital’s security.  For all, today is their [...]

B.D.F. receives 3 vehicles from Ministry of National Security
Earlier this week, the Ministry of National Security donated two Mahindra pickup trucks to the Police Department. And today at the B.D.F. compound at Price Barracks in Ladyville, three were handed over to the force. The vehicles now bring the fleet to ten vehicles. Following the brief ceremony, B.D.F. Commander, Brigadier General David Jones told [...]

Oceana wants offshore referendum on October ballot
A year ago on March second, the Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage along with other environmental groups stood together to collect signatures that would advance a Referendum on the question of offshore drilling. Twenty nine thousand two hundred and eighty Belizeans participated in the drive and ninety six percent voted no. However, after the [...]

Wildest party in the country
And while Oceana celebrated the seas, there was a very wild celebration on the mainland. Our camera friendly buddies at the Belize Zoo were gyrating to the sound of the voices of preschoolers from La Democracia on Wednesday morning.  The singing group called “The Gibnuts” regaled Junior Buddy, the ambassador Jaguar and Panama, the Harpee [...]

Healthy Living helps couch potatoes leave the room
The rise in non communicable diseases, or what some people call lifestyle diseases has been an area of concern for most health professionals in Belize. Diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and high cholesterol are only a few of the common non communicable diseases that we hear about so often. The Ministry of Health and several other health [...]


National Secondary Schools Sport Association Holds Award Ceremony
The National Secondary Schools Sport Association, NSSSA (“N” triple “S” “A”) today held an award ceremony to honor their sponsors, outstanding athletes, teams and schools for the Central American Scholars’ Games, CODICADER 2012, held in G...

Mexico Hosts Belizean Officials At The Army's 100th Anniversary
Belizean officials were guests as the Mexican Army observed its 100th, Anniversary in Belize on Monday. The event was headed by the Mexican Military and Air Attaché General Pedro Almazan, and the Mexican Ambassador Mario Velazquez. During the event Almazan remarked t...

Tacos Booth Targeted by Armed Robbers
Armed robbers hit again in Orange Walk. Police are investigating another armed robbery this time at a popular tacos booth in Orange Walk Town. The two reported male robbers held up forty-three year old Modesta Alicia Gregoria Garcia at her tacos place “Cafeteria Luis Garcia&rdquo...

Duo Gets Off On Charge of Handling Stolen Goods
Thirty-six year old Kelvin Geban and 19 year old Hugh Thomas, charged with handling stolen goods for a motorcycle engine and gas tank, were freed of the charge when it was struck out today by senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser after the virtual complainant, Marlon Flowers, testified that ...

Stolen Items From School Recovered; Robber Pleads Guilty
Twenty-six year old Cruz Allen, charged with handling stolen goods for some computers which were stolen from Salvation Army Primary School, pled guilty to the charge. He will be sentenced by senior magistrate Sharon Fraser at the conclusion of the trial for burglary of the school...

Convicted Murderer Sentenced to Life Imprisonment
Twenty year old Japeth Bennett, who was convicted of the murder of 37 year old Ellis Meighan Sr., was sentenced to life imprisonment today by Justice Adolph Lucas. Justice Lucas stipulated that the sentence should commence from October 4, 2011, when Bennett first appeared in court. Bef...


Tacos Vendor Robbed Of $14K
Another day marked another armed robbery here in Orange Walk Town and this time the robbers made off with approximately $14,000 in cash. Early this morning, at 4:00 to be exact, 40 year old Alicia Gregoria and her female employee, fell victim to the hands of robbers as they were opening “Cafeteria Luis Garcia” located in the heart of Orange Walk Town. Reports are that seconds after the business was opened, two male individuals of dark complexion barged into the establishment and held up both the owner and employee at gunpoint. We understand that besides the $14,000 that was stolen, the criminals also made off with Gregoria’s personal documents and cell phone. Fortunately no one was hurt during the incident. The robbers made good their escape on separate bicycles. Again we must note that for the past few weeks there seems to be a growing trend on robbery reports.

SY-FY In Sugah City
If you are a fan of Science Fiction then you probably know all about the Sy-Fy Channel. SY-FY is a division of NBC Universal and for the past 9 days, a crew of 15 persons including cameramen, producers, reality actors and all the personalities that it takes to produce a show has been in Belize filming an episode for an upcoming season. Today was the last day of filming and the Sci-Fi crew was seen at the Panacea Restaurant at the Banquitas House of Culture. The crew has been all over Belize filming with 4 of their star actors. The producer on set told CTV3 News that they were unable to provide any interview due to confidentiality reasons. But we understand that the show is part of a 6 episode program and is a reality documentary that will begin to be aired on the SY-FY channel this April. The crew will fly out of the country on Saturday.

Orange Walkenos To Take Part In "Clear Our Borderline"
Bright and early on Saturday morning well known activist, Wil Maheia will be leading the Belize Volunteers Group along with other individuals to the South-West border between Guatemala and Mexico. The group’s objective is to demarcate the border line between Belize and Guatemala as an action of patriotism. The assemblage is set to leave Punta Gorda Town at 6:00am and travel to the bordering village of Jalacte where, with machete in hand, they will commence their “Clear Our Borderline” campaign until they reach south to the community of Gracias A Dios. The action is being condemned by Belize’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington and by Guatemala’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but that is not stopping a group from Orange Walk from joining the planned action. Orlando De La Fuente, Going to Border “Depending on the mood of the Guatemalan Army because it’s not part of the border that is divided by the river. So we will be in plain sight of the Guatemalan Army. We could see them and if they seem to be agitated or seemed that they will cause trouble we will probably will not be clearing the land but it is very likely that we will. Most of us want to really clear the land even if the Guatemalan Army is there because we believe that we have a right to do it. It is our land. It is our country and it is absurd that even the government could support Guatemala’s position, causing trouble for us and our land that we were born in.

Pope's Last Day
Pope Benedict XVI ended his papacy today, becoming the first pontiff in 600 years to step down and from now on, he will be known as Benedict XVI, pope emeritus. The historic resignation took effect at 8:00pm Rome time, that’s three hours after the 85 year old left Vatican City and was flown to Castel Gandolfo, a summer residence just south of Rome, in a white Italian air force helicopter. After Benedict the 16th’s official resignation, the ring that carried the seal of his authority was broken. Earlier Thursday, in Rome, the pope pledged obedience to his future successor. Meeting with cardinals for the last time inside the Apostolic Palace, Pope Benedict said he would remain with them "in prayer". "Among you, the College of Cardinals, is the future pope to whom I pledge today unconditional obedience and reverence," the pope told the cardinals. In his last hours as pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI addressed a crowd of faithful from the balcony of his summer palace, saying that he would soon no longer be leader of the Catholic Church, rather "a pilgrim who begins the last stop of his pilgrimage." Greeted by a crowd of people chanting "Benedetto, Benedetto" and waving flags, the pope thanked his supporters and said that he would continue to "work for the good of the Church."

Post Mortem Shows US National Died Of Natural Causes
A post mortem examination conducted on the body of a female Caucasian who was found partially floating in the water at about 8:00 yesterday morning, near the southern part of San Pedro Town, has determined that she died of natural causes and was not murdered as was initially suspected. The woman has been identified as 33 year old U.S National Kristy Lynn Sy of Casper Wyoming. Sy’s body was discovered yesterday morning by a teenager running along the beach. It was later retrieved from the water by group of men, who were cleaning the beachfront near Mata Rock Resort. Reports coming out of San Pedro are that Sy was staying in a nearby resort and had been in the country for about a month and was scheduled to leave Belize yesterday. At first Sy’s death was being treated as a criminal investigation since the body was observed with what appeared to be bruises around the neck consistent with strangulation. The post mortem; however, has determined that Sy died of natural causes. The report does not mention what exactly she died of. We understand that two Belizeans who had been interacting with Sy during her stay in Belize told police that she suffered from seizures and was on medications which would explain the foam in her mouth when she was discovered. Police investigations also reveled that while in San Pedro Town, Sy would go for daily walks along the beach in the area in which she was found.

2013: Tourism Off To A Great Start
2012 proved to be a good year for tourism in Belize and it seems that the success is making its way into 2013 as latest statistics show that tourist arrival for January of this year has increased compared to January last year. According to the Belize Tourism Board, overnight tourists have increased by a remarkable 17.2% compared to last year’s numbers. A total of 28,431 overnight tourists were recorded in the first month of this year- an increase of 4,168 compared to January 2012. Arrivals at the Phillip Goldson International Airport were up as well, showing an increase of 7.6%. Records also show that 19,965 passengers disembarked at the PGIA in the last month, making it 1,407 more than last year during the same period. Cruise arrivals also increased whopping 19.4% for the first month of this year. The year also started with off with 102,871 tourist arrivals via cruise, an increase of 16,743 compared to last year’s January.

Molina: Guatemala On High Alert!
And while Wil Maheia and the Belize Volunteers group are showing no signs of recalling their mission, Guatemala’s President, Otto Perez Molina says, that they will be vigilant after being notified of Maheia’s intentions to clean up the borderline. A Guatemalan Newspaper states that Maheia has rounded about 500 Belizeans who are willing to be part of the Clear Our Borderline Campaign. For its part, the Guatemalan Foreign Minister, Fernando Carrera, said on local radio today, that the process which Maheia and his group are taking does not contribute to solving the path of dialogue for the territorial dispute. Carrera added that actions like those sought by the group convened by Maheia, would undermine the efforts being made with Belize for the referendum scheduled for October 6th, as part of bilateral efforts to resolve the territorial dispute. As previously mentioned, GOB, through Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington, has expressed that they do not support Maheia’s actions.


Mayor of Belize City narrowly avoided a contempt order
Mayor of Belize City Darrell Bradley narrowly avoided a contempt order threatened against him and the Belize City Council by a company with which they have been doing business for many years – Belize Waste Control Limited. Claiming losses due to a previous Council violating the terms of their...

CCJ panel set dates for written submissions from BCB/Belize Bank and the Government
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) is inviting the attorneys representing the British Caribbean Bank Holdings Limited (BCB) and Belize Bank as appellants and the Attorney General as respondent to argue the appeal of a majority decision at the Court of Appeal given last year in which the Court...

President of Guatemala on “alert” regarding Belize Territorial Volunteers’ proposed actions
The “Clearing Our Borderline” saga continues. By now you probably know that there is a group of Belizeans called the “Belize Territorial Volunteers” who have committed to demarcate the borderline where Belize and Guatemala meet. This Saturday, the group, along with a number of other NGO’s, intend to take...

Mayor of Orange Walk supports Belize Territorial Volunteers’ proposed actions
The Belize Territorial Volunteers’ proposed actions have gained the disapproval of Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington, but they also have the support of many other Belizeans. And today, the Mayor of Orange Walk Town expressed his full support of the initiative. In a press release sent out today, Mayor Kevin...

Ministry of Health launch Field Epidemiology Training
A third cohort will embark on a Basic Level Course in Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) in Belize. The Ministry of Health launched a Field Epidemiology Training yesterday. The exercise is geared at preparing public health and military personnel with the knowledge and tools to eliminate public health threats...

U.S. Fleet team donates eight Seabee boats to the BDF
Earlier this week we told you about the U.S. Fleet team that is in Belize working with the BDF to strengthen civil and maritime capabilities in our seas. We told you about several initiatives they have been conducting – building a multipurpose open bay structure called a seahut, providing...

Tim Tam and wife Lisa involved in traffic accident
Tim Tam and wife Lisa involved in traffic accident. Tim Tam, is Executive Director of The Word At Work; and yesterday evening around 3pm, the Tam’s were involved in an automobile accident near San Jon, New Mexico. Plus news understands that Lisa Tam is in serious condition as she’s...

Belize begins to export cattle to Mexico
For the past decade, Belize has been barred from exporting cattle to Mexico – this is because of the drawn out process of testing, screening and documentation that each head of cattle must undergo in order to meet Mexico’s standards for exportation. After several failed attempts to export cattle...

Villagers of Blackman Eddy clear community land
Villagers of Blackman Eddy are taking on the task of clearing community land for themselves. Approximately 100 residents of Blackman Eddy; some with machete in hand, have taken it upon themselves to clear 20.703 acres of land belonging to the Government. Their reason for doing so; well simply put,...

Bishop Martin Neighborhood Watch Committe plan to hold a mass demonstration
The Bishop Martin Neighborhood Watch Committee is one of the most active neighborhood watch groups in the country. The group was formed in 2011, when the community was shaken by a series of criminal activities. The committee has since grown in number and has made a significant impact in...

CARSI donation assists crime fighters
We have previously reported on donations from the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) to local organizations including Police. Yesterday Crime Stoppers Belize, the Community Policing Unit and The National Neighbourhood Watch Program received support from the program. Crime stoppers Belize Executive Cris Garcia thanked her partners and the...

American National Kristy Lynn Sy found dead
An American National was found dead in Belize this morning. This morning at approximately 8:00am police were called out to an area South of San Pedro where they saw the motionless body of a female apparently dead. She was later identified as 33 year old American National Kristy Lynn...

The Guardian

Handover of Vehicles to the Police Department
On Monday, February 25th, Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar handed over two additional vehicles to the Police Department.

Foreign Affairs warns of Dangers in Clearing Western Border
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is warning individuals who are attempting to clear the western border. According to a press release by the Ministry it “advises all members of the public that any attempt on their part to clear the Western Border can give rise to serious danger to themselves and we therefore strongly advise against participation in any such action.” The release continues stating that, “proposed efforts as reported in the media may conduce to a disturbance of the peace and to unnecessary tensions between two countries, contrary to the long-standing efforts that successive Belize Governments have been working hard to secure.” The release then sites a specific incidentin February of 2000 when a joint BDF and Police border team, comprising of Second Lieutenant Romaldo Herrera, Lance Corporal Lucio Arana, Private Luciano Tzub and Police Constable Macedonio Sanchez, were on a routine patrol within Belizean territory when they were detained by 25 Guatemalan soldiers and taken into Guatemala where they were later charged with illegal entry and possession of prohibited firearms.

Belize now exporting Cattle to Mexico
On Monday, February 25th, for the first time in many years, Belize began the legal exportation of cattle into Mexico. As many as 44 cattle were trucked into the northern country to officially mark the beginning of Belize's formal trade of cattle into Mexico. According to the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Jose Alpuche, Belize has been certified as being a country that Mexico can import cattle from.

Ministry of Health conducts Field Epidemiology Training Program
Ministry of Health conducts Field Epidemiology Training Program A third cohort has embarked on a Basic Level Course in Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) in Belize.

Mexican Army commemorated in Belize its 100th Anniversary
On February 19th, Mexico celebrated the Mexican Army and Air Force Day and its 100th Anniversary. In Belize, the office of the Military Attaché of the Mexican Embassy held a commemoration ceremony on February 23rd. The event was headed by the Mexican Military and Air Attaché, General Pedro Almazan, and the Mexican Ambassador Mario Velazquez.

Old Paslow Building Site renovated
The site where the Paslow building was once located (popularly known as Ground Zero) is scheduled for a makeover. Over the past weekend, the Belize City Council moved vendors who were located on the grounds and placed some of them in the Battlefield Park while others chose other areas across the city to place their booths. Speaking to Public Relations Manager at the Belize City Council, Kenny Morgan, he explained that a request came from the Sustainable Tourism Programme to move the vendors as extensive work will be done in the area as the project nears the foot of the Swing Bridge. Morgan says that the vendors were given two weeks notice during which they were to have found somewhere else to go. For those who did find a new location, they were moved to the new location while others who were unable to identify a new location were placed at the Battlefield Park for a period of 90 days during which they will once again be moved since that park will also undergo major renovations. As for the Paslow site, Morgan says that the persons who is leasing it will fence the property and begin to collect parking fees from people who use it.

New Requirements for Passports
As of March 1st, the Immigration Department will be adding requirements for persons to apply for passports. Among the new requirements is the addition of a second recommender for the persons making the passport application. Persons who are making applications from foreign missions will also be asked to fill out an additional form. For those persons who have lost or have their passports damaged, a form is also being introduced that needs to be filled out as well. According to Acting Director of Immigration, Maria Marin, the measures are being put in place in order to ensure the security of the process. In the past, the application process only required an applicant to have one recommender who would have been a Justice of the Peace, Minister of Religion, Medical Practitioner, Notary Public or an Attorney at Law. Now, there is a second recommender being added who should be a Member of the House of Representatives, a Chief Executive Officer in any Ministry of Government, a Head of Department or a Licensed Teacher. In addition to filling out the form, those making recommendations will be asked to certify by way of a picture that the person is who he or she says they are. Other changes in the application process the addition of expedited services where passports can be delivered in 24 hours for a fee of $200, 48 hours for a fee of $100 and 3 to 5 day service for a fee of $50. All other fees for passports remain the same as before.

Petillo’s Fair Distribution of Land
Every time Nigel Petillo appears on the news media, he harps on having fair distribution of land. Well, while nobody can fault him for asking, we can fault him for not practicing what he preaches. And the Harmonyville distribution of land is proof of this.

Who will show up at the Next Protest?
There have been three protests 4 protests since the year started and from the way things are shaping up to be, there is a guarantee that there will be another sometime soon. Maybe the reason for that protest will be that the sun is shining brighter and hotter these days and people are not happy about it. Whatever the protest however there is one certainty: the same people will show up to demonstrate. The following is a list of those who will surely make it. In no particular order they are: Don Hector, Geovanni Brackett, Moses Sulph, Wil Maehia, Nigel Petillo, Murphy McClaren and Micah Goodin. We haven’t seen Yolanda in a while still we will include her.

John Gideon murdered in Hattieville
Popular employee of San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi, John Gideon was gunned down just after giving two friends a ride home on Friday night, February 22nd. According to reports, 32-year-old Gideon left his home in New Site Hattieville Village at around 11:30 p.m. to drop two friends home. It is believed that on his return home, his grey Mercedes Benz ran out of gas near Mile 17 on the George Price Highway. Gideon got out the vehicle, took out his battery, and started to walk. Shortly after, he was approached by a man riding a bicycle who stopped and fired several shots at him before riding off. Gideon was shot to the face, head and back. He died on the scene. Police have not reported any arrest in the case as yet and the investigation continues. Gideon leaves behind a wife and two children (a 6-year-old daughter and 14-month-old son).

Guilty of Murder
On Monday, February 25th a jury of 12 stepped into the deliberating room to decide the fate of Japheth Bennett, who was only a teenager when he was accused of killing Ellis Meighan Sr., the brother of well-known cyclist, Ernest “Jawmeighan” Meighan. After almost 4 hours of deliberations, they reached a verdict of guilty of murder and their decision was unanimous. When Bennett heard the verdict, he was in shock; he disbelieved that he could have been found guilty. Meanwhile, Justice Adolph Lucas deferred sentencing for Thursday, February 28th, 2013. Ellis Meighan Sr., was gunned down on September 9th, 2009 at the corner of Banak Street and Central American Boulevard. He was shot once to the head and according to Dr. Mario Estradabran who testified in court, Meighan died from trauma due to a single gunshot wound to the head. He explained that the shot he received to the head had entered the back and exited the front and that it was shot from a distance ranging from 28 to 30 inches.

Jose Guido Campo chopped to Death
Police are investigating the murder of 56-year-old Jose Nemencio Guido Campo which occurred sometime between 6 p.m. and 12 midnight on Friday, February 22nd. According to reports, Jose was travelling with his son, Luis Campo, from Cotton Tree Village to their residence in Sunset Park Village. Luis told police officers that his pickup truck experienced mechanical problems near ile 9 on the George Price Highway and his father decided to continue the journey home on foot through a shortcut that is situated between Miles 8 and 9 on the highway. It was at about 11:45 p.m. that Luis became concerned over his father’s whereabouts since he did not arrive at home. Luis stated that he went to search the shortcut that led from the highway to Sunset Park Village when he saw blood stains on the path. He later saw the lifeless body of his father with cut wounds to the face and right hand. His left arm was amputated. Police was informed of the incident at 12:01 a.m. and they responded to the scene of the discovery. No arrest has been reported in relation to the incident as yet and police are encouraging anyone with information that can assist with their investigation to call the nearest police station or 0-800-922-8477.

Bail granted to Pregnant Woman
On Friday, February 22nd, 25-year-old Natalie Coleman, a pregnant Libertad woman who was convicted on January 3rd and sentenced to 5 years for possession of 4-16 gauge cartridges, was granted bail in the sum of $5,000 plus one surety of the same amount. Her attorney, Anthony Sylvester, took the matter of bail to the Magistrate's Court, where Coleman was convicted since her conviction has been appealed and is to be heard soon. In his submission to the court, Sylvester asked the court for a stay of execution of her January 3rd, 2013 conviction as they have already filed a notice of appeal in the Supreme Court. He asked the court to consider bail for several reasons. One reason being that Coleman's case has a reasonable prospect of success. Another point was that she is 7 months pregnant and prior to her conviction, she had no record or had been before the court. His main ground is that Coleman’s penalty was inhumane as the punishment does not fit the circumstances and the law indicates that her sentence upon conviction was nothing less than 5 years. The minimum now for firearm and ammunition conviction is 5 years. Before the amendment it was 2 years minimum.

Accused of having Sex with a 13-year-old Girl
A Gardenia mechanic, who is accused of having sexual intercourse at least once with a 13-year-old primary school girl, was arraigned in Magistrate's Court on Tuesday February 26th where he was read a single charge of carnal knowledge. 22 year-old Marlon Dawson, appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano where he was denied bail due to the nature of the offence and was remanded to the Belize Central Prison. The matter was reported to the Belize Human Services Department on Friday, February 22nd. The girl, who was accompanied by her father told authorities that on December 14th, 2012, Dawson had sexual intercourse with her whilst at a home in the village. The child has since been examined by a doctor who has confirmed that she was carnally known. Dawson is due back in Court #4 on March 28th, 2013.

Waitress convicted of Drug Trafficking
On Tuesday, February 26th, 31-year-old Elvia Dominguez, a Biscayne resident was convicted in Magistrate's court for drug trafficking. She appeared before Magistrate Anne Marie Smith unrepresented. In court, Dominguez gave sworn testimony denying the allegations. She said that on that day, she had gone to the Municipal Airstrip in Belize City and heading back home, she caught a taxi. She added that another man had also boarded the taxi earlier on but that he was dropped off at the Conch Bay area. Whilst inside the taxi, the police stopped it and found weed in her purse. She told the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith that all she had in her purse was a big butcher's knife and that she had no idea or knowledge of how the weed got inside her purse. But the Chief Magistrate did not believe her side of the story and found her guilty. Dominguez was then fined $10,000. She was ordered to pay $2,000 forthwith or in default of payment, she will spend 6 months in prison. The balance she was ordered to pay by January 30th, 2014 or in default of payment, she will spend 3 more years in jail.

Honduran Driver charged for Manslaughter
On Monday, February 25th, 57-year-old Honduran truck driver, Luis Beltran Garcia, appeared in Magistrate's Court before Magistrate Dale Cayetano where he was charged with manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct, driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention and permitting a person to travel without being properly seated. In court, Magistrate Cayetano denied Garcia bail since his status in Belize is uncertain. He was then remanded to prison until March 29th, since he is considered a flight risk. Garcia was charged after Kenrick Sutherland fell off a garbage truck on Friday, February 22nd, and was run over. Sutherland, who was sitting in the pan of the vehicle, fell out and was crushed by the rear wheel after he fell under the truck as it was dumping garbage at the landfill located at mile 3 on the George Price Highway.

Ex-Cop acquitted of Perjury
On Monday, February 25th Justice Troadio Gonzalez intervened in the trial of former police officer, Anthony Polonio, who was before the court on charges of perjury. In his intervention, Justice Gonzalez asked a jury of 9 to find the accused not guilty of a charge of perjury. Polonio had been charged after he allegedly lied to the court during the trial of businessman Chayben Abou-Nahra, who had shot and killed Belize City resident Shawn Copious on Lottie Waight Street in the Kings Park area back in 2005. Bou-Nahra was charged with manslaughter after he claimed he acted in self-defense. But Copious was shot in the back. He was granted bail and in 2007, stood trial for manslaughter but walked free at the end of the trial. During the trial, none of the three officers, Darius Ramos, Clement Cacho and Anthony Polonio were able to identify Bou-Nahra despite the fact that they claimed they dealt with him in some way or the other. The manner in which the trial concluded before Justice Adolph Lucas led the judge to call the officers "wicked and worthless." Two of the three officers were later charged criminally for perjury while the third, Cacho was only disciplined before a tribunal. PC Darius Ramos later died from illness leaving only Anthony Polonio, now 46, to stand trial.

Ernest Savery Executed
In October 2010, 32-year-old prison officer Miriam Gillett was shot in the head while travelling in a vehicle that was being driven by her co-worker, Ernest Savery. Gillett and Silvano Cal were traveling with Savery when a gunman ambushed the vehicle near the Boom Road junction with the George Price Highway. The vehicle was riddled with bullets and crashed into a lamppost near the junction. Savery and Cal were injured in the incident but Gillett died on the spot as a result of the gunshot wound to her head. It is speculated that Savery was the intended target in the 2010 shooting. However, he did not escape death on Friday night, February 22nd; as a gunman pulled up on him while he walked out of his home on Perez Road in Ladyville Village and fired four shots in his direction. One of the bullets hit Savery in the right side of the abdomen. He was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital but succumbed to the injury shortly after. In August 2004, Savery was one of three men convicted of the murder of a 67-year-old resident of San Pedro Town. He was later set free when the Privy Council reversed the guilty verdict.

Three Called to the Bar
Candice Westby-Fisher, Michelle Trapp-Zuniga and Baja Shoman On Friday, February 22nd, three persons were called to the bar before the Chief Justice, Kenneth A. Benjamin in the Supreme Court. They are 25-year-old Candice Westby Fisher, the daughter of Former COPOL, Gerald Westby, who is originally from Belmopan City; 39-year-old Michelle Trapp-Zuniga, a Belize City resident and an employee at Legal Aid, along with 27-year-old Baja Shoman, who is also presently employed at Legal Aid. Ceremonies were held where all three women were given opportunities to speak of their long journey. Putting into motion the grand moment for Fisher was attorney, Fred Lumor while Attorney, Anthony Sabido made the motion for Baja Shoman and Hubert Elrighton did so for Michelle Trapp Zuniga. Fisher is presently employed at the Belize Intellectual Property Office in Belmopan as the Deputy Registrar. She graduated from Norman Manley Law School in 2012, and was awarded the Belize Bar Association Prize. In 2010, she graduated from the University of the West Indies where she was awarded the Pitts and Elrington Award.

Graffiti Artists win Snorkeling Trip to Great Barrier Reef
First place winners of the BTB’s Graffitti Competition During the Belize Street Art Festival on Saturday, February 23rd, ten young artists took part in a graffiti art competition. The competition was sponsored by the Belize Tourism Board. BTB’s media relations officer, Andrea Polanco told the Guardian that they wanted the youths to display their talent in front of a live audience. The artists were given a blank canvas and wide range of materials to work with. Hundreds of people stopped at the work site to get a look at art in progress. They saw young artists formed images of national monuments and historical sites using materials that can be found around the house. Some artists formed alliances and at the end of the day six pieces were submitted. On Wednesday, February 27th, the Belize Tourism Board handed out prizes to the winners of the competition. Third place went to Micah Vernon and second place went to Brad Steadman. They received gift bags. First place went to the team of Shantel Carter, Kristen Carter, Miguel Chan and Moises Granedos. They received gift bags and a snorkeling trip to the Great Belize Barrier Reef. The Belize Tourism Board also recognized Erron Golanche, Briheda Haylock, Kody August and Gian Novelo for their pieces.

3rd Annual Street Art Festival
The third annual Belize Street Art Festival, held on Saturday, February 23rd, was a huge success. A steady flow of Belizeans and tourists made their way out to Albert Street to enjoy the food, entertainment and other works of art on display. Albert Street was blocked off from the Belize Bank to Doony’s Store on Prince Street. Tents were set up across the stretch featuring the works of various artists. There were paintings, weaved baskets, sculptures, local fashion accessories and, more. There were also booths where people stopped in to get tattoos, facial paintings and other body art. In the children zone, there were trampolines, bouncy houses, puppet shows and lively games. The youths had their own stage in front of Scotia Bank to showcase their talents. It was an expressive display as young men and women presented poems, songs and dances of world class quality. Performances at the youth stage ended at 8 p.m. and all the attention was turned to the established local artists. The main stage was inside the Battlefield Park and a few hundred people gathered in and around the park to watch their favourite local artists perform. The crowd enjoyed the latest from gifted vocalist Melonie Gillett and listened attentively to lyrical genius Jenko Veli. The song of the night was “Street Anthem” by Nello Player and the most electrifying performer was Ernestine Carballo. Karen Vernon, Coordinator of the Festival, said that there were so many requests for booths that she anticipates the festival zone will be extended by one block next year.

Alex Neal won Boxing Bout over Mohammad Harmouch
The Lion’s Den in Ladyville, a member of the Belize Boxing Federation, sponsored a most successful Boxing Card at the Bird’s Isle in Belize City on Sunday, February 24th, 2013. The day’s events included boxers from the promoting gym Lion’s Den in Ladyville, Leopold Smart Gym here in Belize City and the Lion’s Den in Cayo. There were a number of fights before the main event which featured Alex Neal and Mohammad Harmouch. In the first bout of the day which featured Eduard Garcia and Brandon Aguilar, the fight demonstrated a lot of skills especially by Garcia in the early goings when he showed superior foot movements. However, Aguilar because of his better fitness was able to overcome the early goings and started to land the much needed hits on Garcia. At the end of the fight, the judges’ decision was in favour of Brandon Aguilar. The second fight of the day featured Simeon Lino against Rayford Smith. Rayford Smith was declared the victor in this fight based on the judges’ decision. In fight number three, J.R. won over his opponent based on the judges’ decision that he landed more hits that Brenton Flowers. In the fourth fight of the day, it was Portio Anderson against Oren Velasquez. At the end of the fight, it was Portio Anderson that was declared the winner. In fight number five, Kenyon Wright came up victorious via the Knock out route over “Chino”. In the only female exhibition game, between Pauline Reneau and Shenique Michael, ended in a draw. In the final and main event of the day, Lion’s Den Alex Neal went up against the older, experienced and heavier Mohammad Harmouch. At the end of the bout and the judges tabulations, it was a unanimous decision that Alex Neal was the victor.

More Crime Fighting Tools for communities
The United States Embassy through the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) handed over hand-held radios, flashlights, handcuffs and whistles to some 20 community watch groups across the country. The donation is part of a three year program where the U.S. embassy will provide support and equipment to these organizations to a total of 400 thousand dollars. According to the U.S. Ambassador, Vinai Thummalapally, the contribution is part of the U.S. State Department’s support to Belizeans in the fight against crime. He stated that since the introduction of the program in Belize in 2009 the U.S. has trained some 33 police officers in community policing specifically to address the growing problem of crime. The CARSI program he noted is specifically geared to help Central American countries by assisting the citizens in security matters, helping youth and empowering communities to reduce crime through community participation.

Belizean Athletes to 10th Central American Games
The Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association will have representation at the 10th Central American Games scheduled for March 3rd -17th, 2013, in San Jose, Costa Rica. Belize will send a contingent of 175 athletes and officials to the 10th Edition of the games, which will be made up from 13 Sport Disciplines. Belize will have participation in softball (female), Volleyball, Track & Field, Tennis, Judo, Fencing, Triathlon, football, Basketball, Bodybuilding, Karate, Cycling, and Boxing. The Official Opening Ceremonies of the 10th Central American Games is scheduled for Sunday, March 3th, 2013, with the first wave of Belizean athletes to the games leaving the country on Saturday, March 2nd, which includes Softball, Judo and Fencing. The second and third waves of athletes will follow after that. The Chef-De-Mission to the 10th Central American Games is Frank McKenzies.

Belmopan Bandits continues on Winning Path
The Premier League of Belize 2013 Closing Season continued over the last weekend with four games played across the country. On Saturday, February 23rd, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the defending champions and the league’s leading Belmopan Bandits defeated the national sub-champions Police United by the score of 3-2. The visiting Police United was the first to get onto the scoreboard when Amin August, Jr. scored the 1st goal of the game in the 25th minute of play to give his team a temporary lead. However, it was in the closing minutes of the 1st half of the game that the host team Belmopan Bandits were able to get onto the scoreboard when Jerome James scored his team’s 1st goal of the game in the 40th minute of play. In the second half of the game, Police United was able to take the lead once again when Daniel Jimenez scored the 2nd goal of the game to give his team a 2-1 lead. Once again, the defending champions and current leaders in this year’s campaign the Belmopan Bandits were able to tie the score at 2-2 when Jeremy Bermudez scored the equalizing goal in the 75th minute of play. The Belmopan Bandits took the lead for good when David Trapp scored his team’s 3rd goal of the game in the 82nd minute of play for the 3-2 victory.

Tuff “E” Nuff and Baby Ruth Baaba Shap leads Interoffice Softball Competition
The 2012 Belize City Interoffice Softball Competition continued over the last weekend with seven games at Rogers Stadium, the MECCA for softball in the country. On Friday, February 22nd, in the first game played, BWSL defeated Tuff “E” Nuff by the score of 29-16. BWSL scored a total of 29 runs while pounding the combined pitching of Cojac Smith and Kamira Black for 22 hits. Included among the hits were a3 run home run by third baseman Joe Domingo in the top of the 4th inning and a 2 run home run by left fielder Earl Noralez in the top of the 6th inning. The winning pitcher was Sharea Pandy and the losing pitcher was Cojac Smith. In game two, the defending champions BTL defeated Baby Ruth Baaba Shap by the score of 13-9. BTL scored 13 runs on 14 hits. The BTL offence was led by catcher Nelson Tillett who collected 3 hits which included 2 double and a single. Tillett also drove in 4 runs. For Baby Ruth Baaba Shap, it scored 9 runs on 9 hits.

Secondary Schools Challenge Cup opens in Orange Walk
The Orange Walk Football Association will be having its opening of the Orange Walk District Secondary Schools Challenge Cup on Friday March 1st, 2013 beginning at 4:00 pm at the People’s Stadium. This weekend’s games will be hosted by Muffles College and the cover charge is only $2.00 and all proceeds will go to the school hosting the games. The first game is scheduled for 4:00 pm between New Hope School and Belize High School of Agriculture. In game two, it will be Muffles College High School against Orange Walk Technical High School.

Nazarene High School Girls unbeaten in softball
The Central Region Secondary Schools Softball Competition in both the male and female categories continues at Rogers Stadium. On Tuesday, February 26th, 2013, in the only game on the schedule in male competition, Maud Williams High School defeated Wesley College by the score of 20-5. The winning pitcher for Maud Williams was Amir Ramos and the losing pitcher was Keiron Young. On Monday, February 25th, in the female game played, undefeated Nazarene High School blasted St. Catherine Academy by the score 17-2. The winning pitcher was Elma Wade and the losing pitcher was Jacqueline Alas. In the second female game, Ladyville Technical High School defeated Pallotti High School by the score of 21-6. The winning pitcher was Denika Noralez and the losing pitcher was Marlette Martinez.

Biscayne Government School girls and Holy Redeemer Boys are Belize District Softball Champions
The 2012-2013 Belize District Primary Schools Softball Championship came to an end on Monday, February 25th, 2013, at Rogers Stadium. In the girls’ championship game, Biscayne Government School defeated St. John Vianney by the score of 6-4 to capture its first ever district title. The winning pitcher was Ashley Robinson and the losing pitcher was Princella Samuels. In the first game of the day, St. John Vianney School, the Belize City champions ,defeated Belize Rural Primary School the Belize Rural sub-champions by the score of 6-5. The winning pitcher was Princella Samuels and the losing pitcher was Erleen Casasola.

Big Nothing!
BGYEA has a membership of 1,000 persons, or so we thought. And we were led to believe this because that is the number of people who Petillo submitted to get an acre of land each at the Harmonyville area outside of Belmopan. To be exact it was 1,040 names that were submitted under the BGYEA banner so we were left to assume that that is the number of members that belong to the organization. The demonstration held on Tuesday, February 26th, however, clocked exactly 136 persons. A head count proved that. To have even been able to have a head count proves that the demonstration could not live up to the billing. What's more, those who participated were the regular demonstration prototypes. Those who will come out for any and all demonstrations (we wonder if these people work for a living to be able to find time to be at every demonstration even during the week. Or maybe it is that they make their living off demonstrations.)

Youths Take Ownership of Their Future
On Wednesday, February 27th, young Belizeans from across the length and breadth of the country gathered at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts to celebrate the launch of the National Youth Development Policy of Belize. The policy was developed after extensive consultation with youths from urban and rural areas in every district of the country. According to the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Hon. Patrick Faber, “The policy is reflective of the vision and drive of our Belizean youths and their ability to harness their abilities to achieve a common goal.” The first National Youth Policy was ratified by Cabinet in 2001. There was no real effort to implement the policies of the document and a decision was made to update it in 2006. The policy remained in draft state on a bureaucrat’s desk until the Ministry of Education and Youth partnered with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 2011 in an agreement to revisit the Draft National Youth Development Policy with an aim to update the policy based on new approaches. That new approach was based on youth leadership. Throughout the consultation process, the youths directed the conversation and drove the debate. UNICEF representatives explained that there were to be separate consultations with youths in each district; however, the youths became totally engaged and the process featured a travelling party in which youths travelled from district to district in order to get their peers involved in the development of the national policy.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Teachers Improving Child Safety at the Schools
The Administration, Teachers and members of the PTA from Caye Caulker’s Ocean’s Academy, Caye Caulker Roman Catholic School and Little Stars Preschool are taking theirfirst step in creating an efficient School Safety Plan for their Staff, School and most importantly thier Students. An efficient School Safety Plan is essential for the prevention and mitigation of a risk, as well as the preparedness of a school community to adequately respond to any emergency. Their first step was partaking in a School Safety Course given by Mr. Jose Zuniga from the Ministry of Education starting on the 27th of February. They are now getting better prepared and learning necessary information on what to do or not do in case of different emergencies. This will help them improve their existing plan, resources and reduce future risks. Working together with various organizations such as the Police, Fire Department, NEMO, Red Cross to coordinate further training in first aid, prevention and safety is important for any School Safety Plan, and these teachers are dedicated to have all the resources at hand for the safety of their children.

We love Danny Michel
Here at the Caye Caulker Chronicles, we LOVE Danny Michel. Danny has been one of the biggest cheerleaders and benefactors our our little island high school. His contributions to the school are nothing short of phenomenal. He is a true friend of Caye Caulker and we cannot be more grateful. Danny, we wish you only the best on the launch of your new album! To read the story of the launch of Danny’s new album, please visit the Windsor Star HERE.

Volunteering at the Caye Caulker Humane Society Gets Hectic!
So January comes around and we are tired and overworked from a busy schedule of our own celebrations and work commitments that we all have here on the island. But we are ‘Cooper’s People’ so we sit and listen while she outlines the next few weeks. ‘So’, she says, ‘ I think we really need to get a few things done in the next month or so, to start with we need to keep up the numbers on the Spay and Neuter Clinic, then work on getting around the dogs and cats in the Bahia area and the back neighborhood where the owners are not so willing to bring the critters into the clinic for vaccines etc, then I have a contact who is coming to town to volunteer for 10 days and we need to make the most of that’. We sigh, she has too much energy. ‘On top of that we are getting pressure from the Village Council to get more strays off the streets and as you know we don’t want to euthanize so let’s get our collective heads around the problem dogs and find them homes…. Oh and I think we need to get some more cats fixed as people are saying there are so many feral cats’. Easy right? All this is on top of the regular weekly clinics and inevitable emergencies. So, she sets us up with the program and we react like the well trained organ grinders that we are and set to work. Week one, three dogs are identified as being stray, we find fosters for them, while we work on how to get them a ‘forever home’. 3 cats are caught in cat traps and we spay or neuter them. Week two, we get a list of required surgeries and set to work on that…. And more cats.


Early morning flights, my whirwind trip to Belize Cty and our Crawl North
I had the best intentions to finish an post this Tuesday afternoon and ended up on on Belize time and an adventure crawl to North Ambergris Caye which you will see pics and details of below. Wednesday the exciting Tropic Air announcement of Belize to Cancun flights bumped it and my morning was reserved for spending time with Dennis before he left on the 3pm Thunderbolt water taxi to Corozal. After seeing him off, emails took precedence and before I knew it it was time to go meet Mawags and her crew at the Squirrels nest beach bar for a drink. The sky is busy this morning, puddle jumpers have been flying back and forth since 6:20 am today. I was laying in bed listening to the planes thinking I was glad I did not have to be at the airport till 9:30. Taking a Tropic flight to Municipal as I have an 11:00 am appointment in Belize City today. I would have taken a shopping day after but decided to make it a quick trip and get back home asap to hand out with Dennis on his last day on the island. Left San Pedro at 10am and was back by 1:00pm and that included a stop at Philip Goldson International Airport too – I love how quick and easy it is to fly here.

AMAZING Community Support for February's SAGA Humane Society Cook-Off
Yesterday evening, Average Joe's (AJ's) Bar hosted the monthly SAGA cook-off to raise money for the kick-off of the operation SNIP program. Animal control has always been a problem on the island of Ambergris Caye and this program is being put in place to spay or neuter as many dogs and cats as possible. This is an island folks! If we all get our animals responsibly fixed and keep them safely contained in our houses and yards, we can solve this problem. August 26th and 27th were part of the official kick-off with a free veterinary clinic to fix pets on the island for free. The event was a huge success. But there is so much more to do. So what better way to raise money and make islanders and visitors happy? Serve them cake. And LOTS of it.

The Kaleidoscopic Colors of Belize
Belize is one of the most enchanting and colorful places to visit in Central America and the Caribbean because it offers a travel experience unlike anywhere else in the world where visitors have the opportunity to enjoy three unique destinations in one visit – Lush Mountains, Pristine Rain forest and White Sandy Beaches. In this blog post we highlight the beautiful colors that you will encounter on a Belize vacation:

Awarding the graffiti artists
Graffiti is an emerging form of art in the jewel, through which messages are scribbled or painted on public property. This past Saturday at the Street Art Festival, a number of artists competed in a graffiti contest but their work was not on buildings or sidewalks, instead their message found their way on canvas. This afternoon, the Belize Tourism Board says the unique competition has potential.

Ministry applauds youths for policy
Seventy percent of the population is under the age of thirty five which means Belize is a young society. Perhaps that is why youths, with the assistance of UNICEF and NGOs, have developed their own policy. It was compiled into a document called the National Youth Development Policy of Belize 2012-2022. The policy’s commitment gives existence to a National Youth Commission as an autonomous youth body that will be responsible for the implementation and monitoring of the policy. It also encourages dialogue between youths and related Ministries. Minister of Education Patrick Faber and Minister of State Herman Longsworth attended the launch. Longsworth says the most important factor in the fifty- eight page document is that the policies were devised by the youths.

U.S. and Belize sign MOU
The Government has signed on with the United States Government to place restrictions on the Illegal importation and exportation of archeological material particularly Mayan antiquities. Through a MOU signed today between Belize and the US, law enforcement agents from that country are authorized to restrict the antiquities from entering the US and have them returned to Belize. News Five’s Jose Sanchez was present for the signing of the MOU.

Trade & Investment Convention (TIC 2013)
The region’s largest business-to-business event, TIC brings together manufacturers, service providers, exporters, buyers, distributors, wholesalers and investors in Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean’s largest economy and the gateway to the Americas.

Up, up and away
Didn’t get up this morning until 7.15 am. The consequence of an action packed,fun-filled day (OK so I am easily satisfied) yesterday. Had two mugs of coffee to give the body the caffeine boost it needed whilst reading The Times on line and trawling through my emails. The best -and most welcome one- being from my sister Chris (for those of you that think you know me there is a soft side to me). A quick shower and shave and four slices of jam (no butter!) on toast ( see I don’t eat a fried breakfast every day – although if you read this blog regularly it might seem like I do) and I was ready to knuckle down and pull the paperwork together for our application to enter the QRP ( Belize’s Qualified Retirement Program). First off was assembling the documentation needed to prove that I (Rose will be a dependent – always told her she depended on me!) will be able to meet the requirement of bringing in to Belize not less than US$ 24,000 (equivalent of US$ 2,000 per month) a year. This is the only element of the application process that a dependent does not have to provide. Then it was digging out copies of our Birth Certificates and our Marriage Certificate. I then moved on to completing the application form ( I got mine from the Belize Tourism Board office located in Barrier Reef Drive, San Pedro Town but you can get a copy on-line). There are only four pages to it ( but most of these are filled with explanatory notes) so this didn’t take too long.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Maple Blueberry Granola Bars
2 cups old-fashyuned rolled oats 1/3 cup chopped pecans 1/ 2 cup sunflowr seeds 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetabull 1/4 cup brown sugar 1/3 cup pure maple syrup 1 egg 1 teespoon vanilla extract 1/2 teespoon cinnamon 1/4 teespoon salt 1/2 cup flour 1 cup froze blueberries (nairy thawed) er 3/4 cup dride blueberries

Punta Gorda Sports Center
Punta Gorda town is in need of a proper sport auditorium so that the young people can expend their energies in a positive way.

International Sources

Wyoming woman found dead in Belize
The body of a Casper woman was found south of the town of San Pedro, Belize, about 8 a.m. Wednesday, according to authorities. An autopsy performed Thursday confirmed that Kristy Lynn Sy died of natural causes, according to The San Pedro Sun newspaper. San Pedro police initially treated the case as a murder investigation. At the time, Dr. Giovanni Solorzano of the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Poly Clinic II told The San Pedro Sun that bruises around the woman’s neck could be consistent with strangulation. According to Eric Heyden, public affairs officer for the United States Embassy in Belmopan, Belize, the autopsy "may have determined" that Sy had a seizure in the water and drowned. “I have no information which would confirm strangulation or foul play,” he said in an email to the Star-Tribune. The San Pedro Sun Editor Tamara Sniffin, formerly of Laramie, told the Star-Tribune that Sy’s driver’s license had a Casper address.

Belize Police investigating death of Wyoming woman
The body of a Wyoming woman was found near the southern part of San Pedro, Belize, about 8 a.m. Wednesday, according to a local newspaper report. San Pedro Police are treating the case as a murder investigation until they know more details. Kristy Lynn Sy, 32, was identified after police began circulating photos around resorts and hotels on the island, according to the San Pedro Sun. According to police, an initial examination revealed bruises around Sy’s neck that could be consistent with strangulation. However, Superintendent of Police Luis Castellanos, Officer in Charge of the San Pedro Police Formation, told the Star-Tribune there is still a “strong possibility” that the woman died of natural causes.

LMU's Rollins Discovers Previously Unknown Slime Molds
Lincoln Memorial University’s Dr. Adam Rollins, assistant professor of biology, has coauthored a paper in the journal Mycologia which describes 10 previously unknown dictyostelid cellular slime molds from the Central American seasonal rainforests. Four of the 10 newly discovered species were collected from Belize utilizing LMU’s Rainforest Science Cooperative Lab, which is operated under the purview of LMU’s Cumberland Mountain Research Center (CMRC) and located on the Belize Foundation for Research and Environmental Education (BFREE) compound. As a member of the Appalachian College Association (ACA), LMU has built a partnership with the non-profit foundation. BFREE is a private research and educational facility located on an 1153-acre reserve in the Toledo District of Belize. These four newly described species have been named Dictyostelium angelicum, Dictyostelium capillare, Dictyostelium montium and Dictyostelium reciprocatum. They and the six other species described in the paper represent a growing trend which consists of the discovery of small species (2 mm or less) which have presumably been overlooked in the past.

VIDEO: Huron Scuba Dive Team - Belize 2012/2013
Shot with GoPro3 Black edition on location at Halfmoon Caye in Belize. Jan.1 2013. TURTLE!!!!!!!!

VIDEO: Afternoon With The Manatees At North Caye Caulker
A day spent visiting and filming the pair of manatees that live in the North Caye Caulker Channel, just South of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. They are about the most beautiful, gentle and curious creatures I have ever had the pleasure of encountering.

It All Began in Belize…
Brie Cokos is a marine scientist at Ocean Consulting, LLC, in Miami, as well as a competitive rugby player, traveler, and writer. Thanks to her go-with-the-flow travel philosophy, she landed in Belize in 2001 and ended up staying for three years, exploring and researching the coral reef ecosystems of Glover’s Reef Atoll. It changed her perspective, her career, and her life. Amble Resorts: So how exactly did you end up in Belize? Brie Cokos: Well, it was a bit of good fortune, but I think Belize was definitely going to cross my path at some point. I wanted to experience a different culture and immerse myself in a world totally foreign to me. I opted to pursue Environmental Biology at Columbia University and I had to do an internship before my senior year. I went for what sounded the most exotic: coral reef ecology in Belize. Living on a secluded atoll with five other people – perfect. AR: What was it like? BC: I lived on Middle Caye, one of the five islands that makes up Glovers Reef Atoll. It is about 17 acres of dense brush. There is a little section of the island carved out for the staff and guests – no tourists allowed. I lived there for two and a half months. The only other people I saw were the local staff: a cook, caretaker, boat captain, divemaster, and the station manager. We had limited phone service, no internet at the time, and limited electricity.

An islet for a sea
Colombia smarts from the loss of territorial waters WHEN Nicaragua took Colombia to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague in 2001 over a handful of small islands in the Caribbean, Colombians felt they had little to lose. The islands have been theirs ever since independence in 1822. They remained so after Colombia lost its former province of Panama to a 1903 separatist revolt engineered by the United States. Colombian sovereignty over the islands and their waters was confirmed in a treaty with Nicaragua in 1928. In 1980 Nicaragua’s Sandinista government declared the treaty invalid. But by then, the two countries’ maritime border had long been accepted as the 82nd meridian. After studying the case for 11 years, the court issued a ruling on November 19th that stunned Colombians. Although it confirmed the country’s sovereignty over seven uninhabited islets near the Colombian islands of San Andrés and Providencia, it granted Nicaragua an exclusive economic zone extending 200 nautical miles (370km) from its coast. It drew a new maritime boundary sharing out the waters claimed by both countries (see map). By Colombia’s calculations, this transfers to Nicaragua about 30,000 square miles (75,000 square km) of sea, with valuable fishing rights and, perhaps, oil. Two islets are now cut off from the others.

An Orgasm A Day: For A Better Tomorrow
The real question is: Why are we all so sexually uncomfortable -- why do we act like adolescents who want sex but are equally afraid of it?

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