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5/11/2013 to 5/20/2013
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Today's Belize News

May 20, 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 San Pedro Sun

Doctor Love: Follow the head or the heart?
Four months ago I went through a breakup with my boyfriend of two years. We had been drifting apart for the last six months and when it ended, neither of us had any hard feelings toward the other. I guess you would say it was a mutual breakup. We ran into each other at a party this weekend and after sharing a few laughs and memories, things started turning serious. He wants us to try it again. I admit, I still have feelings for him.

Letter to the Editor: UB Condemns destruction of Noh Mul
This letter is in reference to the destruction of one of the main temples at the Ancient Maya site of Noh Mul, in the Orange Walk District. Students and alumni from the Department of History and Anthropology of the University of Belize are outraged by what has occurred. As a group of young intellectuals preparing to dedicate the rest of our lives to the preservation of our tangible and intangible heritage, this occurrence is simply disheartening and demoralizing. It is already difficult to fulfill our duty to the Belizean society because of the many financial hurdles we face, now to witness the outright disrespect of our heritage. We would go as far as condemning this act as an act of patrimonial genocide.

Wolfe’s Woofers: Drowning your Troubles
“Waiter, bring me another Bloody Mary.” “Yes, sir. Coming right up.” I sat at a table at Estel’s Restaurant waiting for Charlie to come downstairs. The waiter brought the Bloody Mary to the table next to me and set it down. I watched the tourist drink it off in four big gulps. “Waiter, another Bloody Mary.” By the time Charlie made it downstairs fifteen minutes later the man had already drunk two more Bloody Mary’s. “What’s up with this guy?” Charlie asked, as we watched the customer down two more drinks. “I’m not sure,” I told him. “He’s drinking those things as fast as the bartender can make them.” Charlie and I went out to a table on the beach and by the time we came in the tourist was gone. The next day we were sitting at one of the inside tables and the tourist came in again and sat at a table close to us.

Misc Belizean Sources

24th Annual Female Cross Country Cycling Classic
Top finishers in the 24th Annual Female Cross Country Cycling Classic. Congrats to all 1st - Shalini Zanabeh; 2nd - Kaya Cattouse; 3rd - Kerah Eiley. The Race finished in a sole fashion by the champ in 3:55:21. (Belize Cycling Association)

VIDEO: Tourism Awards, SingingSands

VIDEO: Maya Beach Bistro

Education Week in Santa Elena
The San Igancio Public Library finished up their Education Week school visits with a trip to Santa Elena primary school. "Education week concludes with Santa Elena Primary School. It was a very informative afternoon."

Creative Kaos Premiere Screening
Creative Koas, the documentary about the making of Kurse a di Xtabai, was shown Friday night at the Soul Project. The directors of both movies, Daniel Velazquez and Matthiew Klink, were there to answer questions from all the film students from New Mexico State University, who are in Cayo doing their own documentaries. Creative Kaos was as great as its name implies.

2013 BNYCF Chess Olympiad
The BNYCF has released a video from the Olympiad they had at the UB gym last week. They really went all out for the event, ensuring that the kids will never forget it. The list of winners and more pictures can be found on their website. "Highlights and interviews from the 2013 Belize National Youth Chess Foundation Olympiad."

Dr. Ryan Educates on Dental Hygiene
Feelgood news of the day. Dr. Meg Ryan went to Santa Familia primary school to teach the kids proper dental hygiene. Thanks, Dr. Ryan! "Dr Ryan teaching kids about proper dental care"

Ascenthium Rocked Benque
Ascenthium really rocked the Cancha Marshalleck in Benque Friday night. It had been way too long since they'd played in Cayo, but they made up for it. They had a great laser light show, thanks to DJ Caesar, to go with the rocking rythym. Guido had a wicked drum solo, and thankfully they were coaxed into performing an incredible encore too. Can't wait for them to come back. Great show, Ascenthium! "Ascenthium rocked Benque last night! In Bloom opened. What a night!"

In Bloom At The Cancha Marshalleck
In Bloom opened the night Friday night in Benque. They got the crowd ready for Ascenthium. What a concert!

Protected nurse shark killed in San Pedro
A large mature nurse shark - a protected species in Belize since July 2011 - was hooked, hauled onto the beach, stabbed in the head and eventually killed between RAmon's and BC's bar and the BElize Yacht Club on SAturday evening around 5-5:30. The hauler is apparently not the fisher who made off with the tail section. If anyone has information on this nurse shark death, please call it in to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve Office 226-2247. Nurse sharks are protected and represent a major attraction for 1000s of tourists and the livelihood of over 100 guides in the area.


Still kicking up dust and pork chop day
The city is still working on replacing the cobble stones on Coconut drive and the dirt road detour is still in effect. As a result we are still kicking up major dust and I am sure many of us would not mind some rain to clean things up a bit. The good news the Town Board opened up one of the roads further so now we have 2 options instead of one. When you turn left at the alley beside the orange store instead of going to the end and turning right on Seagrape Drive, you now have the option to take the newly opened up road that will lead you right to Saga Humane Society. From there you can continue on the back road or turn off onto the main road and head for town. Don’t forget it is Sunday so head on down to the beach at Banyan Bay and support the San Pedro Sailing Club, sailing begins at 9:00am and Charity Beach Barbecue at 11:30. Check out a pic from last week of the chops for their Sunday Barbecue on the Ambergris Caye message board. Remember one of the 4 easy ways you can support the San Pedro Sailing Club and have fun doing it - Liking the San Pedro Sailing Club Facebook page. We are also organizing a group of us to fly to the first Placencia sailing regatta next weekend, anyone interested just email me or leave comment and I will get you details. Watch for upcoming #traveltuesday post about my Belize City shopping adventures with Commodore Andy to find some deals for the sailing club barbecues. We totally scored at Food and Beverage and Smiling Meats and I have a new favorite Belize City Taxi guy whose info I will share. I will also be including a reader review on a well known luxury resort in Belize.

Happy Birthday Malcolm X
Born Malcolm Little and also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, was an African AMerican Muslim minister and human rights activist. To his admirers, he was a courageous advocate for the rights of blacks, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans. Detractors accused him of preaching racism, black supremacy, and violence. He has been called one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history. On February 21, 1965, Malcolm X was preparing to address the Organization of Afro-American Unity in Manhattan’s Audubon Ballroom when someone in the 400-person audience yelled “N*****! Get your hand outta my pocket!” As Malcolm X and his bodyguards attempted to quiet the disturbance, a man seated in the front row rushed forward and shot him once in the chest with a double-barreled sawed-off shotgun. Two other men charged the stage and fired semi-automatic handguns, hitting Malcolm X several times. He was pronounced dead at 3:30 pm, shortly after arriving at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. According to the autopsy report, Malcolm X’s body had 21 gunshot wounds to his chest, left shoulder, and arms and legs; ten of the wounds were buckshot to his left chest and shoulder from the initial shotgun blast.

Belize Tourism Awards 2013
For the twelfth consecutive year, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) has awarded the country’s finest establishments of the travel industry with top honours during the National Tourism Awards. The reception was held on Saturday May 18, 2013 on the secluded Bannister Island, which is two miles from the Belize Barrier Reef and nine miles east-southeast of Belize City. At the ceremony, stakeholders of the tourism industry from every destination in Belize were able to indulge in local food made by the finest chefs and treated to animated music by many talented Belizean artists. The Belize Tourism Awards happens every year and features the best of Belize, from boutique hotels that wowed tourists, restaurants that produced tantalizing cuisines, and the many dedicated frontline personnel who captured the hearts of many travellers.

International Sources

How to Ditch a Vehicle in Belize: A Running Diary, Part I
After a whirlwind 72 hours last week that saw me leave home with my prized Jeep and return empty-handed, I figured the story deserved it’s own kind of post. So… welcome to my Belize-trip running diary! And yes, if you’ve ever read any of Bill Simmons’ running diaries over at, I’m not ashamed to say I totally “borrowed” the format from him. At the very least, I hope this gimmick makes for more interesting storytelling, as I’ll narrate it exactly as the event unfolded. On with the diary: February 6, 2013 – The Cannonball Run 8:01 a.m: I finally load the last of my bags onto my Jeep and say goodbye to the family. Wife is so pissed that I’ve refused she go on the trip, it takes some nudging before she grudgingly says goodbye. I asked her for understanding, as I did not want to drag the family for the sake of saving time and money. She doesn’t quite buy it, but resigns herself to stay home on this go-round. Little did my family know that it would be the last time they’d see the vehicle we affectionately called “Mister Boxy”.

Running Diary: How to Ditch a Vehicle in Belize, Part 2
To recap, my last day in Guatemala, at least on this particular tourist visa has been a disaster. While the trip itself to the Guatemala-Belize border went fine, all things considered, things had definitely taken a turn for the worse. Customs officials in Guatemala had just informed me that I’d be unable to bring the vehicle back into Guatemala for at least 90 days. Needing time to ponder my options, I headed towards Belize’s immigration building to at least check myself into the country. On with the diary: 7:05p.m.: I drive through the “fumigation” machine at the Belize border. For the honor of letting my car be sprayed with what I suspect is just water, I pay $10BZD. I park the Jeep to the side and walk towards the Customs/Immigration building, paperwork on hand. 7:09p.m.: The lines are much thinner than I expected for a Friday night. In fact, there’s just one person ahead of me in line.

May 19, 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 San Pedro Sun

Letter to the Editor: Thank you from ACES
ACES/ American Crocodile Education Sanctuary ACES would like to thank The Belize Audubon Society (BAS) for coming to the rescue of an 9 1/2 ft problematic Morelet’s Crocodile in Crooked Tree last Friday. BAS immediately called ACES after capturing the croc before locals could kill it after the croc ate a local pet. ACES Volunteer, Evan Sims, responded and the croc is being monitored in a holding pen at ACES in Ladyville. After the tragic torturing of a croc last week in San Pedro, it is a great reward that locals helped to save a croc in another part of the country. Additionally, ACES applauds The Belize Forest Department, The Belize Tourism Police, Captain Mike of the ‘Thunderbolt’, Saga Humane Society and WildTracks for their critical roles in the expedited rescue of an illegally captive Yucatan Spider Monkey the morning of May 14th. Only by working together can we protect the species for future generations.

SPTC celebrates teachers and nurses
On Thursday night, teachers from the various schools on Ambergris Caye, along with the nurses from the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II came together at the R. A. Nuñez Auditorium to be feted by the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC). In honor of Teachers’ Day and Nurses’ Week, a celebration is held to show appreciation for the hard working teachers and health care providers of our island. Speaking at the event was Minister of Tourism & Culture, Manuel Heredia Jr. He thanked all teachers for their contribution to society, molding the minds of the upcoming generations while also showing compassion, giving of their extra time in an effort to make a difference. Mayor Daniel Guerrero also spoke of the work of teachers, expounding on the merits of discipline. He called on all teachers to ensure that while teaching to ensure that discipline was a part of their daily curriculum. Guerrero asked that teachers help the community to ensure that “we do not lose a generation”, by speaking up, and showing children the right way.

Misc Belizean Sources

Pouring concrete the old-fashioned way: by bucket
A broken concrete pumper truck didn’t stop members of New Horizons from pouring concrete at the construction site of Trial Farm Government School May 15. Originally, a concrete pumper truck was scheduled to pour concrete into the stay-in-place concrete wall system the week prior. However, the electrical circuit of that truck burned up after pouring 68 cubic yards of concrete. The only truck available to finish the job was a concrete pumper truck with an inoperable hydraulic boom. The construction project required an additional 33 cubic yards of concrete to be poured in the walls in order to continue construction of the classrooms and keep the project on schedule. To finish the job, the New Horizons team would need to use a little bit of creativity and sweat equity to pour the concrete using the resources they had available. Many members of New Horizons volunteered to lend a hand to pour concrete by bucket to include members of the Belize Defence Force, the New Horizons construction team from Ladyville Technical High School, and the New Horizons support staff including members from the legal office, civil affairs, the tactical operations center and public affairs.

Fox Update at BWRC
The Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic has rehabed the fox they've been taking care of for a few weeks. He's got a healthy check up, and has gained a lot of weight. Good luck, Foxy. "Foxy has moved out of the rather busy clinic, into our first rehab enclosure in the private protected area across the street! A few pic to document..."

Bishop Martin Visits SIPL
Bishop O.P. Martin primary school had some storytelling sessions during Education Week, courtesy of the San Ignacio Public Library. "The classes of Infant 1 and 2; Standard 4 and 5 visited the SIPL as part of education week. Activities included a talk about the importance of libraries, how to handle a book and much more. They had a great library visit."

Sign: Help Us Keep La Isla Bonita Safe
This Crime Stoppers sign was created by Gecko Graphics and I used it on my large signs around town. CLICK HERE for a downloadable version, a 70kb PDF


Orange Walkenos Speak Out On Destruction Of Maya Site
Since the destruction of the Maya Mound in Nuevo San Juan is the main topic of discussion to date, today we hit the streets of town an obtained the reaction of Orange Walkenos on the matter. Concerned Resident “Realmente es un caso que para mí no tiene ningún sentido en la cual hacerlo no, porque es el patrimonio del país y al mismo tiempo es una belleza de mostrar como país del mundo Maya y ahora como se destruyó es una vergüenza y no tiene precio porque ese patrimonio estuvo haya por anos.” Amada Balam – August Pine Ridge “A mi parece que no está bueno porque es algo arqueológico y ellos no tienen por qué destruirlo.” Seferino Flores – Concerned Resident “Pues como dicen golpe pegado ni dios lo quita ya está hecho. Pues en todo debe de hacer su trabajo y ser parejo no solo en la ruina pero en todo debe de hacer su trabajo la ley hacia se debe hacer pero si al él le aplican la ley y al otro no se lo aplican entonces no está bien Lorena Torres – Concerned Resident “Pues fue triste porque fue un trabajo de mucho tiempo de los Mayas haciéndolo de nuestros ancestros.” Magdalena- – Concerned Resident “No es correcto lo que hicieron porque es patrimonio y deben de cuidarlo y eso en todo trae beneficio para el país porque así los turistas pueden venir a ver y es algo que no se debe destruir y yo no digo que se deben de hacer con ellos.” Oscar– Concerned Resident “La reserve que Belice mantiene debería respetar porque es algo grande para el país, porque el puesto Belice es un puesto de turismo y lo que hicieron es una ignorancia.” Nichole Hamilton – Concerned Resident “I think that they should be criminally charge whose ever was responsible because that is part of our history and legacy an for the next generation what is left of the Maya ruin and it is very unfair for us who are particularly interested in our history and the archaeologist who are upcoming and the ones already here studying it.” As mentioned at the top of the newscast, investigation into the destruction is ongoing and charges are expected to be levied soon.

Incumbent Chairman Seeks Re-election
Last Sunday, the first phase of the Village Council Elections was held in the entire country of Belize. Here in the Orange Walk District, the United Democratic Party had a clean sweep in the villages of Trinidad, San Lazaro, and Trial Farm while in the village of Chan Pine Ridge, the village council was formed by a UDP Chairman, five UDP Councilors and one PUP Councilor. In the Corozal District, the race was more even-handed; the PUP had a clean sweep in the Corozal South East constituency which is considered to be the strong hold of the Hon. Florencio Marin Jr. Villages such as Ranchito, Calcutta, and San Joaquin all went blue. The villages of San Pedro, Cristo Rey, Yo Chen, and Carolina however, all went red. The second part of the village council elections will be held this Sunday May 19th, in the villages of San Pablo, Yo Creek, San Roman Rio Hondo, and Palmar here in the Orange Walk District. Today we when spoke to the incumbent Chairman of Palmar Village, Orlando Balam, who is now seeking re-election, he told us why he is the best person to serve his community. Orlando Balam, Chairman of Palmar Village “Yo creo que es algo muy importante yendo visitando a la gente de casa en casa, veo de que las personas tienen la confianza de que uno tengo la experiencia, por seis años he estado trabajando en la aldea, tres años lo he hecho como tesorero, tres años como alcalde y realmente han visto el interés, el tiempo que tengo para poder servir a la aldea bien y hacer lo que debo de hacer como alcalde. Creo que uno de las cosas que nos va a llevar y la gente han puesto esa confianza es la experiencia que tengo como chairman y han visto de que lucho para lograr lo poco que he logrado pero lo he logrado con la unidad de la aldea y eso es de adonde yo me baso y paso mi tiempo en demostrarle a la aldea de que ese es la única forma que nuestras aldea va a prosperar y que unidos podemos lograr mucho, hemos logrado abrir una oficina, hemos logrado comenzar con el waste management control, hemos empezado a trabajar con el Mayor que es algo muy importante que yo creo que la amistad con el vamos a poder lograr componer las calle.”

Grijalva Says His Company Should Be Fined
By now the name of Denny Grijalva is probably being mentioned in most households across Belize. But just in case you don’t know who we are talking about, which is highly unlikely since his name has been plastered all over the local and international media, he and his company, De Mar’s, are being pinpointed as the main perpetrators of the destruction of a 2,330 year old Maya Mound that lies in the middle of a cane field in Nuevo San Juan, Orange Walk. Grijalva has exonerated himself from all responsibility and has out rightly blamed his foreman Javier Nunez and the Chairman of Douglas Carlos Zetina for the demolishing of the Noh Mul Maya Site from which material was extracted to rehabilitate streets in the Village of Douglas. But today, in a twist of events, the Foreman of De Mar’s Stone Company, Javier Nunez, also washed his hands of all culpability and held Chairman Zetina responsible for the demolition of the Noh Mul complex. Here is what he told Love F.M. Javier Nunez- Foreman De Mar’s Stone Company “I would like to emphasize that this ruin has been broken from about fifteen years now and it has been done by the ministry of works and other private contractors so what you see on the TV that we did, we met that like that, I am not trying to justify what happened, people feel very proud about it and very good about it but it happened but there are other facts that people need to know. For example, when you go and do this types of jobs in the villages to service villages, the contractor has nearly any control over nearly anything but do the job, the village will take you where you will mine the material, they tell you where you will eat, and they run the whole show you just go and you know what to do. We took our equipment to Petrojam, the pit from Petrojam, the chairman of the village was not happy with that type of material and he steered the equipment to the ruin, personally we were not aware when this was happening then, so when we found out about it we stop the operation, personally, I did know at the point that the equipment was taken to this particular road to be specific.”

Week 24 Of 2012/2013 Crop Shows Increase In Sugar Production
Tonight our weekly crop review continues to show an increase in sugar production. To date one million thirty two thousand one hundred and twenty tons of cane has been milled by the factory, producing one hundred and twelve thousand seven hundred and thirty three tons of sugar. Here is our weekly crop review. Carmelita Perez - Reporting Week 24 of the 2012/2013 sugar cane crop season began on May 8th and ended on May 14th 2013. So far the factory has milled a total of one million thirty two thousand one hundred and twenty tons of cane. That’s sixty seven thousand and fifty three tons more compared to last year when nine hundred and sixty five thousand sixty seven tons of cane was milled during the 24 weeks of crop. For this week alone the factory milled thirty nine thousand seven hundred and four tons of cane. Taking a look at sugar production one hundred and twelve thousand seven hundred and thirty three tons of the sweetener has been produced so far. Compared to last year, its eight thousand eight hundred sixty six tons more when one hundred and three thousand eight hundred sixty seven tons of sugar was produced. This week’s sugar production stood at four thousand nine hundred fifty four tons.

Teacher Minerva Castillo Bestowed Pre-Primary Level Award
Last night the nation’s outstanding educators were honored for their history of long time service to the country’s children. The 2012 – 2013 Outstanding Teachers and School Leaders of the Year Award took place in Belize City and the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts and as is customary a number of outstanding teachers, representing pre-primary, primary, Tertiary, the special Education Teacher, the Technical and Vocational Teacher and the School Leaders Awards were handed out. The selection process was not easy, as each district nominated four teachers to compete for the prestigious titles. From there, a special committee selected the best teachers from among the finalists. Tonight we are proud to note that among the awardees is a teacher from Orange Walk Town. Mrs. Minerva Castillo, from La Inmaculada R. C. School, was bestowed the Pre-Primary Level Award. Castillo is described as being an enthusiastic, dynamic and creative teacher when it comes to the delivery of her lessons. Apart from always being willing to assist her colleagues, she always encourages her students to do their best. As a humble person, Castillo has gained the respect and the admiration of her students and fellow colleagues. We were unable to speak with Castillo today since she is away on a trip celebrating Teachers Day. We will do our best to speak with her on Monday. Congratulations also go out to Teresita Canto of Buttonwood Bay Nazarene Belize District who received the Primary Level Award, Giovanni Pinelo from Mount Carmel High School in the Cayo District who was bestowed the Secondary Level Award, Cecilia Smith from Stella Maris in the Belize District who received the Special Education Teacher Award and Rene Allen from ITVET in the Belize District who was awarded the Technical Vocational Teacher Award. Silvaana Udz received the award for Tertiary Level while the award for the category one Pre-Primary and Primary Level was given to Carolyn Betson from Unity Presbyterian Primary School in the Belize District. And last but not least the Outstanding School Leader was bestowed to Brenda Armstrong from Wesley College in the Belize District.

Investigation On Destruction Of Noh Mul Continues
The investigation on the destruction of one of the temples in the more than 2000 year old Mayan Archaeological Site, Noh Mul, continues and today members of the Archaeological Department were in Orange Walk where they submitted their final report to the police officers who are heading the investigation in order to ensure that person or persons involved be prosecuted with the full extent of the law. The topic has caused mix emotions across the country and today the public’s outcry continues. Today we spoke to Orange Walk East Area Representative Honorable Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez, who shared his sentiments on the socially debated topic. Hon. Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez, Area Rep. O/W East “Bueno es una situación muy emocional lo que sucedió y claro uno se puede dejar por la frustración y por saber de qué han pisoteado una historia en nuestro país tan sagrada con tantos años de que tenía esta ruina y estamos hablando de casi 2000 mil años ya, el haberlo destruido de esta manera y traer estas maquinarias como para no importarle lo que es el significado en cuanto a nuestro ante pasado, en cuanto a nuestra historia, en cuanto a nuestra forma que hemos estado trascendiendo en la vida es algo imperdonable ya y realmente me da náuseas y frustrado por lo que hicieron.” Irvin Aragon – Repórter “Hemos escuchado muchas críticas en términos a lo que sucedió y mucha gente habla y dice que supuestamente la tierra que se estuvo escavando es la mejor tierra para hacer este tipo de trabajo de rellenar los caminos y aún más todavía unos llaman y dicen que el lugar no estuvo bien señalado entonces cuál es su reacción a esto para aqueas personas que dicen es un accidente, todos cometemos errores y veamos que esto no vuelva a suceder.” Hon. Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez, Area Rep. O/W East “Bueno como es la mejor tierra para hacer la calles entonces empecemos a derrumbar a Lamanai y a todos los templos más grandes y usemos esas tierras para rellenar esas calles es ridículo pues y es ridículo”

BHOC Celebrates International Museum Day
International Museum Day is a celebration held every year on or around May 18th. The event is coordinated by the International Council Of Museums with the aim of providing museums across the world with the opportunity to meet with the public and alert them as to the challenges that museums face. Yesterday the Banquitas House of Culture here in Orange Walk, joined hands with the rest of the world in celebration of International Museums Day celebrated under the theme “Memory Plus Creativity Equals Social Change”. Yvette Torres – coordinator of the Banquitas House of culture. “Today we are celebrating international museum day and we have focus today as an open day and with that we have a lecture which is based on the Caste War and it influence on Northern Belize and today we have visitors from the Trial Farm government school and they are going to be coming in for the whole day to visit and tour our museum whereby we have permanent exhibit which has our history or Orange Walk and what the museum has to offer, you know, the knowledge, the information, our history so this day we are creating an awareness of our existence and what we have to offer, what we are and the way forward.”

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Tracie Young for Councilor
I would like to take this opportunity to say that I, Tracie Nadine Young, have made the decision to run for this year’s village council election to hold a seat as one of the six councilors in office. This decision was made 10 years ago, unfortunately i was not ready to hold any position then as i was not as educated or informed on how to run an island. I now believe that this is the right time for me to take that step. I welcome any advise from my peers and anyone who has more knowledge on the processes in an election and running of the island. I do have a home, family and a personal life to attend to but Caye Caulker is my home. It is a priority and a privilage to serve this island and its people. I urge everyone to come out on June 16th and vote, vote for people who are willing to work for the betterment of the island and its people. We are made up of many cultures, colors, sizes, characters etc… and we need to learn to work together. I can have countless things to say about past and present councils but the fact remains i can only speak for myself. About how i am willing to fight for the island for the children for the people for what i believe in. I know that it is not an easy task but everything worth fighting for is never easy. And we learn from the past what is good and what can be made better. Vote for me, give me a chance to prove my intentions are pure.

The Belize Times

No More Noh Mul! – UDP Politician Destroys 2,300 Year Old Mayan Site
In a rushed and shameless attempt to carry out late and last minute repairs to village roads in order to win votes in the upcoming village council elections, a UDP politician’s construction company desecrated a world-recognised Mayan site. An entire week after Denny Grijalva’s heavy-duty equipment was caught by CTV-3 News of Orange Walk clawing desperately into the 2,300 year old Mayan mound known as Noh Mul for the removal of limestone, no one has been detained nor charged. It appears that because this case involves a UDP politician and because the embattled Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources Gaspar Vega is implicated, the wheels of justice are barely turning. There has been global outrage at the act. Countless international news agencies, from CNN to Fox News, NBC and National Geographic, have reported on the incident, accusing Belizeans of having lost respect for the kind of cultural heritage treated as treasures elsewhere.

Police shoot to kill
The Police Department has launched an investigation into the shooting death of Rasheed Elijio who was killed by a Police Officer while reportedly attempted to escape. On Friday May 10th, Elijio was being ...

Cultural Genocide Strike 2!!
The destruction of Noh Mul is déjà vu for the UDP. They have been found guilty of the exact crime before. Double jeopardy plays no role here. Attacking cultural heritage is like attacking an entire people, their history and significance. Guatemalan President Rios Montt was just convicted and sentenced to 80 plus years for that kind of crime. It is definitely genocide of another kind. The UDP is guilty of that. Twice now. Back in 1998, the same Noh Mul was targeted by another UDP politico. Back then Ambassador for life Alfredo Martinez was the man “bringing down the hatchet” on Mayan history, so to speak. As UDP candidate in Orange Walk North, Martinez hired a contractor who rammed into an important Noh Mul structure and excavated away, again to use the material for road fill. It is now clearly dangerously pathological. Can the UDP explain how it didn’t know that it was Noh Mul when they have committed the same crime at the same crime scene before?

By G. Michael Reid. A bigot is a blinkered, narrow-minded person, usually also very intolerant and unable to see anyone else’s point of view. People can be bigoted about things that have nothing to do with race, for example, religion or sexual orientation. A prime example would be Archie Bunker from the old television sitcom “All in the Family.” ~Wikipedia Belize is a melting pot of many different races, cultures and lifestyles. We currently exist in a state of what might be considered relative harmony. It was not always that way. I have always felt that the greatest accomplishments of our late leader George Price, was his ability to hold this mangled mess together and steer us from colonialism to our state of “jerry-built” Independence. It could not have been very easy. As it is, we are very much a polarized nation, deeply divided along religious, philosophical and in particular political lines. We are governed by a Constitution which affirms “that the Nation of Belize shall be founded upon principles which acknowledge the supremacy of GOD…” Considering our attitudes toward others and the types of crimes and gross indiscretions of late, one would be hard-pressed to convince anyone of any such thing. Belize started out as a settlement of ragtag pirates and a few slaves. They subsequently turned to the harvesting of the rich mahogany and logwood trees that they found growing in the area. They pushed inland as far as the Rio Hondo and established parameters for what would become this “tranquil haven” of “wealth untold”. Of course, from early in our existence, our neighbor to the west has been violating the tenth commandment and “coveting” all that we hold to be ours.

The sentiments of all right-thinking Belizeans have been expressed in superlatives and sometimes expletives, as we are disgusted by the “Talibanistic” destruction of a two thousand year old Mayan building. A priceless part of our national soul has been irreparably gouged by the actions of this group of UDP plunderers. Our agony has been amplified to produce undiluted venom towards this heinous act. The unexplainable stupidity, greed and laziness is going to be sustained by the international humiliation, which looms over our country. It is difficult to rank the desecration of Noh Mul, amongst the unforgivable political and cultural sins of Belizean History but it is safe to say that the loss of Noh Mul is as bad as the tomb raiding of the crystal skull which was found in Belize by Anna Hedges at Lubaantun. On a comparative local scale of un-retractable historical losses, Noh Mul’s bulldozing is our idiot secured version of the pillaging of the Egyptian pyramids. To think that we have forever lost the incalculable benefit of this Mayan archeological site because a UDP politician wanted to build a road is mind boggling. A road? And to add insult to injury that the reason for the road was to win the smallest level of elections i.e. village council. This is simply unbelievable. At a very important time in the Mayan lifecycle which recently marked the end of the 2012 mayan calendar, this is how the Government respects the rich culture of the mayans. Fresh on the heels of the “year of the Maya” and the dawn of the new “baktun”, the largest Mayan Monument in Northern Belize, the very ceremonial center of Noh Mul was ravaged for road fill. Unfathomable.

Jury acquits man of rape charge
A jury of 6 men and 3 women deliberated for about 2 hours and 15 minutes yesterday in the court of Justice Herbert Lord before it found Brian Smith, 35, not guilty of rape. The jury’s verdict was not unanimous. It was in ...

22 yr. old walks from Murder charge for second time
On Friday evening, May 11, 22 year old John Chessman, beat a second murder rap when a jury of 8 women and 4 men found him not guilty of the murders of Karen ...

Oceana No Limits & CYDP win back to back in interoffice basketball
Oceana No Limits enjoyed their 3rd win 106-103 over the Department of Youth Services on Saturday night. Greg “Chippy” Rudon led with 36 points while Jacob “Snake” Leslie added 24 ...

Belize’s Rigo Vellos excels in UK Hercules Olympia
In his first attempt to put Belize’s bodybuilding talent on the world map, Mr. Belize Rigo Vellos did a spectacular job. Rigo competed in the Hercules Olympia held in Colchester, London on Saturday, May ...

Police United vs. FC Belize in finals
FC Belize will host Police United in Game 1 of the 2013 Premier League of Belize football championship finals at the MCC Garden on Sunday, May 19. FC Belize upset the No. 1 seed, Belmopan Bandits, 1-0 in Game 1 of the semifinals and shut them out 0-0 in Game 2 to eliminate the defending champs at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan last Saturday night.

Ministry of Natural Resources continues assault on Public lands in Dangriga
The Ministry of Natural Resources continues to assault and victimize the people of Dangriga Town. On Tuesday 7 May 2013 at about 5:45 PM The Dangriga Town Council confirmed that one Mr. Kelly of Sittee River, without any consultation, was surveying the prime piece of property, Parcel # 1217, situated on Front Street, on the beach north of the Carl Ramos Football Stadium, east of the Ignacia Cacho Library and South of the Dugu Temple within the Juan Lambey Institute Parcel. This maneuver, the Dangriga Town Council believe, is a deliberate attempt by the UDP Central Government to further punish the people of Dangriga and in so doing continue to deprive the residents of Dangriga of their fundamental rights to earn a living. This sustained onslaught will further plunge the residents into poverty. Furthermore, this is clearly a case of political and cultural isolation, and an assault on fundamental human rights of the people of Dangriga. This Policy and agenda will therefore further marginalize and keep the residents of Dangriga dispossessed. In 2002 this property Parcel # 1217 was surveyed by the Dangriga Town Council and an Application for Grant of National Land was lodged at the Ministry of Natural Resources on 7 February 2002, File # 759/02. Since that time subsequent Councils have sought to finalize this transaction with a view to provide the infrastructure for Tourism and Economic Development for the people of Dangriga. Despite the efforts of this Council, the Ministry of Natural Resources continuously denied the people of the Title to this Property. Similar to how the people were denied of property on the Foot of the main bridge spanning the North Stann Creek River. Reportedly, the reason why the People and Town Council are denied is because the United Democratic Party (UDP) aided by Central Government plans to build a Headquarters for the UDP Executive Dangriga Branch there.

Fathers And Homosexuals – What’s the Relation?
In Belize the topic concerning sexual orientation of its citizens is still a sizzling one. Some men believe they are women and some women believe they are men and some believe they are both men and women! As I listened to a talk show one morning I heard one confused person boastfully declare that the constitution or (Bible) is out of date! This was said in an effort to justify this person’s sexual preference, and it sounded intelligent. It worked as a perfect excuse to completely ignore any instruction given in the manual, and now any man can live as they please because the constitution or Bible is no longer valid. It is out dated and no longer modern and for that matter can be thrown in the trash can! Before I move on I would like to ask that person one question. It has been thousands of years now since a principle of gravity existed, is it now outdated because we have today’s technology of electronics? Has it gone away now because it is now too old? To many people, the scriptures is simply a story book that can be tossed to and fro worth only to be ignored. Well I must take the time to clarify that the scriptures is not only a law book, but it is actually a treasure chest of principles! Principles that if ignored carry fatal penalties!

Yasser On Books
By Dickie Bradley. Knowledge is only good if it is useful. What is the purpose of having knowledge if you cannot put it to any use? What good is it, if for example, you read and acquire a lot of knowledge about the history of the planet and you cannot put such information to any use? And yet, knowing about things is a value in itself. These are some thoughts that flowed through my head this morning when I read a short article by Yasser Musa. Yasser is one of my favourite persons, although I hardly know him. He is an artist and an excellent one. But he is also a very practicable man. And he is smart. He would have gotten some of his brain power from his dad, who is very intelligent. I hope he gets none of his father’s bad luck. His dad was very bad-lucked in politics. Yasser is a lover and a reader of books. That is what endears him to me. His brother Saido manages the Image Factory Bookstore and Saido is practical and insightful. I, here, thank him publicly for all the books he helped me obtain, including the enjoyable “Wolf Hall” by Hilary Mantel. Did I enjoy reading that. Especially as I no longer read fiction.

How Do Children Cope When Mommy and Daddy Are Incarcerated?
By Dr. Angela Banner Joseph. “I am convinced that imprisonment is a way of pretending to solve the problem of crime. It does nothing for the victims of crime, but perpetuates the idea of retribution, thus maintaining the endless cycle of violence in our culture. It is a cruel and useless substitute for the elimination of those conditions—poverty, unemployment, homelessness, desperation, racism, greed—which are at the root of most punished crime. The crimes of the rich and powerful go mostly unpunished. It must surely be a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit that even a small number of those men and women in the hell of the prison system survive it and hold on to their humanity.” - Howard Zinn, You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times Having a parent in prison can be stressful on children and caregivers. Oftentimes, children of inmates suffer from embarrassment, depression, anger, or self-hate because of the backlash they may endure from friends and family members due to one or both parents’ incarceration. Recently, I viewed Mothers of Bedford, a documentary about the life of women who were incarcerated at New York’s only maximum security prison, Bedford Hills Correctional Facility. The movie depicted the lives of five women and examined the relationship between their children and the children’s caregivers. In most cases, the caregiver was a grandparent. The filmmaker Jenifer McShane videoed the women as they spent time in an innovative children’s center at the prison that created space for the women to spend positive time with their children while behind bars. I learned that children served time along with their parents and were unfairly sentenced by society because of their parents’ poor decisions to commit a crime. How many parents leave their babies annually to live in a prison cell?

Legalized Corruption
By Gilroy Usher, Sr. For some time members of the public have been expressing outrage that the government has rented two premises in Belize City in which two Ministers Santiago Castillo and Anthony “Boots” Martinez have major interest. One of the properties is a large building for Martinez cor. Euphrates and Kut Avenue that is being used as a police precinct reportedly at a whopping cost of $7000 per month. The other property belongs to Santiago Castillo Co. in which Minister Castillo is a director. That property is being rented to the Vital Statistics Unit, and is located cor. New Road and Hydes Lane. The rental cost is reportedly a large figure per month. The Prime Minister held his first press conference for the year on Monday. When asked about the conflict of interest with the government renting premises from ministers, the Prime Minister stated that he approved of the decision to rent the premises because the premises are being rented at market rate. Barrow shied away from disclosing the monthly rent the government is paying for each of the premises. It is common knowledge that corruption is rampant when ministers direct the funds of government towards projects or undertakings in which they have a direct interest. Corruption in such cases often comes in the form of bloated contracts, bloated rent, bloated request for supplies, and weekly wage for many ghost employees (employees who only exist on paper). The Prime Minister said that the premises are rented at market rate, but anybody can say that. If the government has nothing to hide, why doesn’t it disclose the actual monthly rent, and why did it not invite offers from the public for rental space for those two particular purposes. Talk that only those two buildings are suitable for the intended purpose is total nonsense. There are many suitable concrete buildings for a police precinct in the Queen Square Division, and there are many buildings in the heart of Belize City that are more suitable the Vital Statistics Unit. The truth is that those two particular premises were rented to butter the paws of the ministers connected with them, while there is a lack of funds for the most basic services in communities across the country. That is what stinks most about this abuse of taxpayers’ money.

The Work in Belize Rural Central Continues
Chairman of the PUP Belize Rural Central Committee Jose “Pepe” Garcia, husband of Area Representative Hon. Dolores Balderamos Garcia, has been leading the charge on behalf of Dolores and the Committee in giving much needed attention to various sporting facilities in this constituency of over 6000 voters and nine villages. In just over one year he has spearheaded the building the new basketball court for Mahogany Heights, and worked at the refurbishment and upgrading of basketball courts throughout the division. Recently the uprights and backboards have been replaced at the La Democracia basketball court. Also, rims have been replaced at the basketball court in Lord’s Bank, with replacement of the backboards at the BDF housing area basketball court on Xunantunich Street soon to be done. Also on the list for attention shortly is the basketball court at Old Hattieville.

Mangrove reserve under threat
Strange activity is taking place within an environmentally sensitive area along Belize City’s northside shoreline. Construction workers have set up camp and are digging into the ground, preparing to erect an unknown structure, next to Dolphin Park on Seashore Drive in the Caribbean Shores area. Several weeks ago, 7 News had inquired into the goings on at the site and the explanation given back then was that the area would be used as “storage” for construction equipment. The area is designated as a mangrove reserve, but no reason was given as to how it came to be that the public space was occupied by unknown private interests. The storage area now appears to be a fully-operational work site as the men enclosed the area with chain link fence and have begun physical work. A large container sits at the site. Holes can be seen in the ground. Steel pipes and concrete beams lay nearby.

Caleb Orozco’s security includes Police & GSU?
A group of specially-assigned security personnel trails behind UNIBAM President Caleb Orozco with his every movement. Orozco and his team of attorneys had been going to the Supreme Court for five days last week, asking the Court to remove Section 53 of the criminal laws, which he claims denies rights to the LBGT individuals. Orozco said a security detail was assigned to him after increased threats on his safety. There was one reported attack on his vehicle and his home on Wednesday night. His security, he said, observed suspicious activity, but no one was arrested. Security personnel were also seen escorting Orozco from the courtroom to his vehicle. The BELIZE TIMES has learnt that the security involves ex-BDF, ex-Police and Gang Suppression Unit officers. We also understand that Orozco’s security was contracted to a senior Police official. Members of the security team were assigned weapons and ammunition. They are paid $250 per day. This security detail is also doubled up by a team of GSU officers who trail Orozco also.

THE BELIZE TIMES has been reliably informed that there is interesting news coming out Belize’s judiciary. We are told that the DPP, Cheryl-lyn Vidal, who has been widely criticized for the dismal 3% conviction rate at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions is being called to Bar. This process is undertaken when a person wants to practice law privately in Belizean Courts. However, we are advised that this process may be telling of something else. Persons within Belize’s justice system are estimating that Vidal’s move is an indicator of a possible future appointment as a Supreme Court Judge. We over here at the BELIZE TIMES can only shake our heads. Further investigations reveal that coming out of the departure of Judge Oswell Legal, the UDP are looking to stuff the Judiciary as they please. We are told the word in the hallways of the Court house is that the UDP are considering to put another one on the Belizean public. We are informed that the UDP are looking at two other non-nationals, particularly, the District Magistrate from Punta Gorda, Shawna Griffith (Jamaican), the current Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith (from Eastern Caribbean) and possibly the Solicitor General, Cheryl Krusen (Jamaican).

UK scholarships open doors for Belizeans
Rudolph (17) and Daniel’s (18) decision to accept scholarships to study in the UK was primarily influenced by the financial difficulties they faced. They had been going to high school every day knowing that after its ...

Gilroy Usher sponsors checkers competition in Port
First place in the Belize City weekend checkers competition that was sponsored by Gilroy Usher, Sr. and Rufino Lin over the weekend was taken by Charlie Hyde from the Japan area in Ladyville. Second place went ...

This is Village Council Elections season and the districts are conducting polls for the village representatives. The UDP are particularly desperate. On Sunday May 12, 2013 villagers contacted the BELIZE TIMES to inform us that in Chan Pine Ridge, the UDP desperation was at fever pitch. So unpopular is the UDP in Orange Walk that Dean Oliver Barrow was running around like a chicken without head. In fact, we are reliably informed that the UDP was leaning on and intimidating the electoral process in that small village. The report is that there were several persons who were sent by the UDP who had only been living in Chan Pine Ridge for less than a month. They arrived at the polling booth with pieces of papers with the signature of a Justice of the Peace who is the father of the UDP candidate running for the post of Village Chairman. To make matters worse, this piece of paper arrived after the polling station had already been closed by law.

Senior citizen lives in terror
62 year old Christopher Lamb is calling on the Police to keep permanent presence in his neighborhood. If this is done, he says, a lot of criminal activity would be stopped. Lamb, who ...

Dusty streets pose serious health risks
The ad hoc construction of paved streets throughout Belize City is raising an alert for health officials. The uncontrolled and fast-spreading dust emanating from construction zones and cement poses dangerous health risks. Health officials told the BELIZE TIMES that dust causes numerous health problems, such asthma and ...

Henderson exposes UDP DNA
Some people have no shame. Commission of Police David Henderson, under whose leadership crime escalated in record numbers, was prancing around in full regalia during the village council ...

“An incredible display of ignorance” – – Dr. John Morris, “It’s like being punched in the stomach, it’s just so horrendous” – Dr. Jaime Awe
Belize’s eminent archaeologists have reacted strongly to the destruction of Noh Mul, one of Belize’s largest Mayan sites. Dr. John Morris was called to the site on Friday May 10th after the Institute of Archaeology received a call from CTV-3 News in Orange Walk on Thursday about an excavation at a Maya mound. Dr. Morris did not know then that it was one of the oldest and important Mayan sites that was being ravaged. Since the discovery, the archaeologists have expressed outrage at the destruction. Noh Mul is a Belizean treasure. It dates back to 2,500 years ago; built by the Mayans who used stone tools to quarry the rocks. The site, which sits in an area about 12 square miles, consists of twin ceremonial clusters surrounded by 10 plazas and connected by a raised causeway. Historians believe some 4,000 Mayans lived there between 500 and 250 BC. The site was first recorded in 1897 by Europeans.

X-Mas Day pick axe murder trial concludes
Today in the Belmopan Supreme Court, 35 year old Teakettle resident, Jose Garcia, was freed of the charge of murder after his Attorney, Kareem Musa, made a successful no case submission. The submission came a week and a half into trial following a series of ...

UB exploits students with new fees
The BELIZE TIMES has received numerous complaints from students of the University of Belize who claim that they feel financially exploited by the University. The students informed us that on April 24th, just weeks prior to the 2013 graduation, the University issued a notice that in order ...

Mother’s Day in Corozal Bay
On Saturday, May 11, 2013, mothers from the Corozal Bay Constituency were given a treat by the People’s United Party (PUP) Corozal Bay Executive to commemorate Mother’s Day – a day that is dedicated to all mothers for ...

PUP commits to defending rights of Village Leaders
Yesterday, May 12, 2013 Village Council Elections were held in 44 communities representing all six districts countrywide as follows: - 7 in the Corozal District - 4 in the Orange Walk District - 8 in the ...

BDF musicians being neglected
Dear Editor, Musicians who are playing for almost three years in the Belize Defence Force Band are concerned about their fate. These musicians are concerned as they traveled throughout this country with the Band and believe that they should enjoy the same privileged that other members would enjoy in the event ...

National Garifuna Council supports Mayor Gilbert Swaso in land dispute
Dear Editor, The Dangriga Branch of NGC supports Mayor Gilbert Swaso in his efforts to keep the parcel of land by the bridge foot at North Riverside as public property, for the use of the PEOPLE OF DANGRIGA now and for the generations yet to come. This has always been used ...

Mayor Bradley’s war on northern Belize
Dear Editor, On February 21, 2013, the Mayor of Belize City effectively declared war on the residents of northern Belize by expressing his intent to toll the portion of the Philip Goldson Highway leading into Belize City. Thankfully the Minister of Works (the Hon. Rene Montero) has stepped in and put ...

Audrey Matura Shepherd cautions Mayor Darrel Bradley
Dear Editor, Allow me to address this letter as an open letter to the mayor of Belize City, Mr. Darrel Bradley. Honorable Mayor Bradley, I have become concerned at the reports that you, the Mayor of the City, an attorney by profession and a Christian is refusing to obey the ruling of the ...


Belize is Wildly Civilized at Chaa Creek
In 1981, the Chaa Creek Experience was created by owners Mick and Lucy Fleming. This young couple were traveling through Belize in 1977 and met the owner of an overgrown 140 acre farm on the Macal River in the Cayo District. Soon, they moved to this property and before long, they were living off the land. They started to outgrow their small farm with more than home grown vegetables. The Flemings welcomed two children, and then guests, and the word spread….more travelers who heard about the farm, wanted to come visit and stay. Inspired by the rich Belize culture and respect for diverse ecology, they pioneered sustainable, nature based tourism with Belize’s first jungle lodge. At the base of the Maya mountains, and in the heart of the rainforest, they have grown 365 acres of a private nature reserve into an award winning Belizean Rainforest eco lodge – Chaa Creek Lodge.

Earth Dr Reese Halter is award-winning broadcaster and writer, distinguished biologist and sought after public speaker. Earth Dr Reese Halter’s love of Nature began as a child. A springtime tree-planting ritual with his father and brother became his passion. He knew from the time he was a child that he wanted to be an Earth Doctor and has a PhD in eco-stress tree physiology from The University of Melbourne, Australia. It became clear at a young age to Earth Dr Reese that there was a tremendous lack of basic information on how trees and forests function. He believed that teams of interdisciplinary problem-solving scientists needed to work together to short-circuit ecological disasters, and identify and protect fragile ecosystems.

Silence of the Bees
In the winter of 2006, a strange phenomenon fell upon honeybee hives across the country. Without a trace, millions of bees vanished from their hives. A precious pollinator of fruits and vegetables, the disappearing bees left billions of dollars of crops at risk and threatened our food supply. The epidemic set researchers scrambling to discover why honeybees were dying in record numbers — and to stop the epidemic in its tracks before it spread further. Silence of the Bees is the first in-depth look at the search to uncover what is killing the honeybee. The filmmakers of Bees take viewers around the world to the sites of fallen hives, to high-tech labs, where scientists race to uncover clues, and even deep inside honeybee colonies. Silence of the Bees is the story of a riveting, ongoing investigation to save honeybees from dying out. The film goes beyond the unsolved mystery to tell the story of the honeybee itself, its invaluable impact on our diets and takes a look at what’s at stake if honeybees disappear. Silence of the Bees explores the complex world of the honeybee in crisis and instills in viewers a sense of urgency to learn ways to help these extraordinary animals.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Rhubarb Coffee Cake
I’ll admit that I had nevr used rhubarb n' mah kitchin befor but wuz pleezed with t'lovelee coler and result. 3/4 cup sugar 1/3 cup cernstarch 4 cups fresh washed and chopped rhubarb 2 tablespoons fresh rung lemon juice 3 cups flour 1 cup sugar 1 teespoon bakin' powdr 1 teespoon bakin' sody 1 cup cold buttr 2 aigs 1 cup buttarmilk (I used powdered buttarmilk mix) 1 teespoon vanilla 3/4 cup sugar 1/4 cup flour 1/4 cup quik cookin oatmeel 1/4 cup cold buttr

International Sources

Belize Comes To CFW In Force - Delegation To Be Headed By PM's Wife
Kim Simplis-Barrow, wife of the Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow and the country's special envoy for women and children, will be leading a delegation to this year's Caribbean Fashionweek (CFW). The Belizean delegation will include officials, designers and models. Belize is interested in developing its creative industries, including fashion. This year, CFW takes place in Kingston from June 6-10. While in Jamaica, Barrow and her team will visit CFW events and participate in activities such as the business forum and designer workshops. She will also meet with local officials, especially those responsible for creative industry development. The initiative comes on the heels of an official visit to Belize by Kingsley Cooper, executive chairman of Pulse Investments Ltd and chairman of Jamaica's Entertainment Advisory Board. Cooper was accompanied by Romae Gordon, Pulse's general manager and fashion director. They went on the invitation of Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Mrs Kim Simplis-Barrow, their visit organised by Belize's Foreign Ministry. While in Belize, Cooper was special guest at an invitation-only gala event called Fashion Forward, organised in his honour and hosted by Mrs Barrow. It featured Belizean designer Rebecca Stirm's collection, shown by the country's top models, including reigning Miss World Belize Chantae Guy.

Bungle in the jungle: John McAfee's Belize home burns to ground
Just when you thought the strange story of John McAfee was over…. The former island home of anti-virus software pioneer John McAfee burned down Thursday afternoon under circumstance he told were “suspicious.” It’s an odd choice of words from a man whom the Belize police found suspicious, following the November 2012 murder of American expatriate Gregory Faull, a well-liked builder from Florida who was shot at his home in San Pedro Town on the island of Ambergris Caye. That incident led McAfee on a bizarre “Catch Me If You Can” flight from the police that took him into Guatemala and eventually back to the U.S. and Portland, Ore., where he now resides, hard at work on several books and movies about his life. McAfee chronicled his own exploits by blog and phone, turning the crime into farce. The murder remains unsolved. "I am sure that the public has had various opinions of my trials and tribulations over the months,” McAfee told “But I am hoping that this will bring to light that my concerns were based in reality." “I believe that there are a select few with great power in Belize that will go to great lengths to harm me,” McAfee said. “This fire was not just a strange coincidence." According to a news report on, the two main structures in McAfee’s compound were destroyed by the fire, which started at 1:00 p.m. on May 16 when a bush fire enveloped the compound. Property Manager Noel Codd estimates the value of the buildings at $250,000 each.

May 24-25 rummage sale benefits Youth Midwest Mission
Ascension Lutheran Church in Fond du Lac is sponsoring an incredible cross-cultural mission experience here in the Midwest (Fond du Lac, Milwauke and Chicago) July 19-29, for their high school students; and for 15 of their brothers and sisters in Christ from Belize, Central America. These are the same Belizean youth (the Jaguar Scouts) and adult leaders Ascension served with last summer on their mission trip in Belize. They’re calling this a “Reverse Mission Trip.” For many of these Belizeans, this may be the only chance they will ever have to go on a mission trip and/or come to the United States.

May 18, 2013


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The San Pedro Sun

Oceana calls on GOB to demand that Treaty Energy respect our laws
Oceana in Belize today was able to confirm that Treaty Energy has resumed drilling operations in San Juan#3 following up on their statement that they would do so based on the advice from their attorney Rodwell Williams and Prime Minister Barrow’s press statement. The court ruling was clear that the contract of Princess Petroleum, which has a joint venture with Treaty Energy, is “unlawful, null and void” and thus it stands that by extension any work Treaty does under the umbrella of Princess is unlawful and a violation of the declaration made by Justice Oswell Legall. “It must be noted that under our system of law, the courts and spirit of the law expect Governments to be gentlemen and abide by pronouncement made in any court declaration based on the fact that our governments are constitutionally formed and thus the guardian of the principle of “Rule of LAW” which is the basis of the Constitution,” explained VP Oceana, Audrey Matura-Shepherd. However as an extra pre-caution the court also issued an injunction stopping government from implementing or allowing any oil company from implementing any of the provisions of the Production Sharing Agreement, which are the contracts signed between the company and the government.

3rd straight win for Tuff E Nuff in National Interoffice Basketball Tournament
Ambergris Caye’s Tuff E Nuff basketball team has won three consecutive games in the National Interoffice Basketball Tournament in the 2013 season. On Thursday May 9th, Tuff E Nuff defeated the Sir Belikin Team. It was a much anticipated and interesting match since most of the Tuff E Nuff’s 2012 players had moved over to Sir Belikin. Notwithstanding, the islanders took the lead from the first quarter. The team dominated the entire game, taking the largest lead in the third quarter which ended in an 81-55 margin in favor of Tuff E Nuff. By the end of the fourth quarter, the undefeated Tuff E Nuff pulled out a 20-point victory with the final score of 103 – 83. Tuff E Nuff’s Winston Pratt was the game’s best player, scoring 25 total points in the game.

‘Northern II’ about to get new owners
Oceana in Belize today held discussions with a team from the Placencia Producers Cooperative Society Limited to finalize plans for the donation of Northern II to this southern fishing coop. “It’s been an arduous process, but we have finally reached agreement in principle with the Placencia Coop to transfer this asset which will allow them to take their Seaweed Project to a new level. We are pleased to be able to make this donation to a worthy and sustainable cause within Belize,” stated Oceana VP Audrey Matura-Shepherd. The Placencia Coop team included Chairman of the Management Committee Mr. Sydney Lopez Jr, Secretary Mr. Leopold Leslie, Operations Manager Mr. Justino Mendez and Peace Corps Volunteer Ms. Shaz Davison. “Transfer of this vessel could not be timelier as we enter a new phase in our Seaweed Project. We see other benefits accruing to our Members and Belize with the presence of the Northern II at our project site, so we are most appreciative for this donation,” commented Manager Mendez.

IDAHO: International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia, May 17th
In light of the ongoing deliberation based on human rights (Orozco vs. Attorney General), The San Pedro Sun stands in solidarity with those who fight discrimination. Today, May 17th, is International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia (IDAHO), and we bring to you this stirring video from the UN human rights office. IDAHO is an annual event created in 2004, and its intent is to draw attention from policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the public and the media. There are 76 countries where homosexuality is considered illegal. The repercussions of being gay in some of these countries are extreme, in some instances even punishable by death!

2013 Sea Turtle Nesting Season
Three nests were found on Wednesday the Robles and Rocky Point nesting Beaches. This marks the start of the 2013 Sea turtle nesting Seasoon

Ambergris Today

Oceana Belize Donates Trawler for Seaweed Project
Oceana in Belize today held discussions with a team from the Placencia Producers Cooperative Society Limited to finalize plans for the donation of Northern II to this southern fishing coop. “It’s been an arduous process, but we have finally reached agreement in principle with the Placencia Coop to transfer this asset which will allow them to take their Seaweed Project to a new level. We are pleased to be able to make this donation to a worthy and sustainable cause within Belize,” stated Oceana VP Audrey Matura-Shepherd. The Placencia Coop team included Chairman of the Management Committee Mr. Sydney Lopez Jr, Secretary Mr. Leopold Leslie, Operations Manager Mr. Justino Mendez and Peace Corps Volunteer Ms. Shaz Davison. “Transfer of this vessel could not be timelier as we enter a new phase in our Seaweed Project. We see other benefits accruing to our Members and Belize with the presence of the Northern II at our project site, so we are most appreciative for this donation,” commented Manager Mendez.

US Navy Conducts Special Warfare Operations Course
Graduation Ceremonies were held on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 for 24 members of the Belize National Coastguard and five members of the Anti-Drug Unit (ADU), who all completed a 5-week intensive Special Warfare Operations Course. They were trained by Special Warfare Combatant Crewmen of the US Navy. The course covered Navigation, Small-Boat Handing, Communications, Board Search and Seizure, Vectoring, Radar and GPS Operation, Weapon-Handling Skills, and Waterborne Techniques.

Zumbathon® Benefit For SAGA Humane Society
SAGA Humane Society Zumbathon® Charity Event Presented by licensed zumba® fitness instructor, Karen Mielcarek Come dressed to dance, sweat and shake your tail! When: Friday, May 24th Time: 6pm – 8pm Where: San Pedro High School Auditorium Price: Only $10 Bz Tickets go on sale 5:30pm Water and snacks available for purchase All Proceeds Donated to SAGA HUMANE SOCIETY’S SNIP Campaign The Responsible and Humane way to control the animal population on Ambergris Caye. We can neuter/spay one needy animal for $50bzd (25 animals for $1000bzd). Remember that for each puppy born, a grown dog is homeless or euthanized.

Misc Belizean Sources

San Pedro Town Council Master Plan 2012 - 2015
Following municipal elections, the new San Pedro Town Council tasked itself with formulating a strategic plan that sets out this Council’s vision, mission and guiding principles while giving clear direction on the objectives for the next three years and beyond. This is the high-level, overarching plan that guides and shapes our municipal programs, and the services provided to our community. The 2012 - 2015 San Pedro Town Council Strategic Plan identify our priorities for the social and economic well being of our community, the sustainability of our environment, and for town services and administration. These priorities are dependent on budgeting and available resources and we have made the commitment to find innovative ways of addressing these priorities and achieving our objectives. We stress the importance of embracing change and diversity and the significance of principled action, accountability, openness and transparency.

VIDEO: International Day against Homophobia message by Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow
Kim Simplis Barrow, the Special Envoy for Women and Children, has released a great video for the International Day against Homophobia. Great timing, and her message is well said and delivered. It has gone far enough. It's a matter of human rights, and nobody should be bullied or discriminated against. The diversity of Belize is what makes it the best. Thank you, Miss Simplis-Barrow, for doing such a great job.

AF surgeon helps Belizean boy get 'new hand'
An Air Force surgeon deployed here performed surgery on a 4-year-old Belizean boy May 2, to improve the usability of the boy's hand. The boy, Isai Carrillo, underwent surgery May 2 to correct syndactyly, otherwise known as hand fusion, in his right hand. The surgery took three hours and consisted of separating the fused unit into fingers using skin grafts from his abdomen. The hand that was once fused now has three fingers. This operation will give the boy more of a pincher mechanism, said Lt. Col. Matthew Talarczyk, a plastic surgeon from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. "It could mean having ease opening up a door," Talarczyk said. "(It will help with) very little things that can mean a lot in terms of functioning." Talarcyzyk and his surgical team at the plastic surgery clinic here performed the operation as part of U.S. Southern Command exercise, New Horizons. New Horizons gives U.S., Canadian and Belizean service members an opportunity to train jointly in an exercise setting to prepare for future challenges.

This is what the representative of Oceana Belize, Audrey Matura Shepherd, said today, on the International Day Against Homophobia and during a very sensitive time for LGBT people, as shown, with such class, by First Lady Kim Simplis Barrow. “"So section 53 Criminal Code of Belize refers to not only sodomy, but also bestiality... I wonder if we will soon have another group maybe animal-bam claiming it is theri human right to have sex in the privacy of their home with their animals? consent will not then be an issues since human own animals... so need for consent needs only be form the human aspect... ooops!"

SIPL Visits Bullet Tree
Feelgood news of the day. The San Ignacio Public Library paid a visit to Immaculate Conception primary school in Bullet Tree Falls. What a way to celebrate Education Week. Thanks, SIPL! "The San Ignacio Public Library staff visited Immaculate Conception RC Primary as part of eductaion week. The SIPL staff spoke about the importance of libraries and reading. Stories and activities were also a part of this visit. Students had educational fun."

Launch of Benque Tourism Plan
The Benque Viejo Tourism Committee had their grand launch of the tourism plan for Benque Thursday. Orquidea Negra Dance Company was there providing some cool entertainment.

The burning of fires and the resulting smoke continues to be a menace to residents of the Cayo district. Thanks to Blanca Orellana for sharing these snapshots from the area near the San Ignacio commuity hospital on the Bullet Tree Road. THe fire engine had to be summoned to assist with knocking down flmes in front of the hospital.

Channel 7

Richie Russell, Escaped Bze City’s Means Streets But Death Found Him In B’pan
In 2008, the name Richard Russell was at the epicenter of street violence in Belize City – he’d been shot at multiple times, ambushed and chased down – but he escaped every time. Eventually though, it became too much and he relocated to Belmopan to escape the pressure. That’s when the streets claimed his younger brother in a brutal murder. Russell never came back to Belize City – but last night in Belmopan – death went looking for him. Was it an old beef that had caught up with him, or old habits he was trying in a new place? That’s what Daniel Ortiz tried to find out today. Daniel Ortiz reporting When we arrived at his house this in the Salvapan area, the wife of 31 year old Richard Russell was trying to cleanse their home of the large volume of blood he lost. And just as they were having difficulty getting the stains out of their possessions, so too will they have a hard time removing the stain of the violent end which he met in front of his family. Whoever did it was remorseless and highly efficient because that person took him out through the window of his bedroom in the presence of his wife and 3 children. Voice of: Andrea Russell - Sister of Deceased "Around 9:45a.m. my brother got home and he got inside and took off his clothes and he left on only his boxers and started taking out his breakfast. He heard someone calling for him from outside saying 'Richie' and they came to the front window and he told them go to the side window. Then he told my sister in law to check who was calling for him and she told him to check for himself because she was already lying down and that he was the one they came to see. He went and as he opened the window they shot him."

Chiac Was Killed On The Road’s Shoulder, Not fondly Remembered By His Granny
Last night, 7News told you about 20 year-old Angel Chiac Jr., who was found dead on the side of the road between miles 25 and 26 on the Northern Highway on Tuesday night. His body didn’t show any physical signs of violence, so police couldn’t say yesterday if it was foul-play or not. Well, Dr. Mario Estradabran conducted the post-mortem yesterday, in which he concluded that Chiac was choked to death by an assailant. So now, police are treating it as a homicide, in which they are actively pursuing leads. But, 7News found out today that they will have a difficult time because there weren’t many witnesses, and that his body was found in almost total darkness. We spoke with one of the first responders, and with his grandmother, who was very frank about Chiac as a grandson: Daniel Ortiz "Can you tell us when and what you guys saw when you went out there on the road side?" Ruby Seguro - First Responder "Just a young man laying down on the road side, apparently dead. They called to tell us that someone was knocked down by my house but when we went there it didn't seem that he was knocked down." Daniel Ortiz "Describe to us what you saw and what you did in order to preserve the young man's dignity?" Ruby Seguro "Well he was laying there and everybody is just coming to look at him so we go a sheet and covered his body. We stayed to assist the police to put tires on the road side and we gave them food."

Police Shot 16 Year Old Who Turned Gun On Them
In an update to the shooting we told you about last night, police have confirmed that a 16 year old is the person they shot after he allegedly turned his weapon on a responding patrol team. The minor was shot to the left hand above the wrist area. Police say when they shot his hand he dropped a 9 millimeter pistol with an extended clip – which has been recovered. The person he was allegedly in a shootout with is Ryan Myles who was shot to the left thigh, left knee and left ankle. Police investigation so far says that Myles was at the corner of Oleander Street and Tulip Street when he was approached by the minor who opened fire on him. The minor then ran towards the corner of Tulip and Flamboyant Street where he kept firing and shot Myles those three times. The minor then ran towards Vernon Street where he was intercepted by police who ordered him to drop the gun. They say that instead he pointed it at them. That’s when he was shot in the hand. So police got his weapon, and searched an abandoned lot at the corner of Tulip and Oleander Streets where they found a Black Ruger brand 380 pistol with magazine and three live rounds of ammunition. They believe that Myles may have thrown the weapon there. Over 20 expended shells were found at the scene.

Police Charge Mennonite Robbers
On Tuesday, we told you about how police nabbed the suspected robbers right after a brazen, daylight armed robbery, and recovered a firearm. Well tonight, the men who police caught on the scene are at spending their second night in prison after they were taken to court yesterday. As we reported, four men on bicycles rolled up on a trio of Mennonites who were making sales in their cargo truck at the corner of Amara Avenue and King Street at around 5:30 p.m. They robbed the men with a firearm and then rode off towards Dean Street. Precinct police were in the area and responded immediately. They intercepted 18 year-old Ljaman Young, and 24 year-old Tarique Cadle on Dean Street. When they searched them, a small .25 pistol fell out of one of the men's pockets. Police also found one of the Mennonite’s wallets with a small amount of cash.

Grijalva Speaks (Not To Us)
Denny Grijalva, the Managing Director of De-Mar’s Stone Company has been at the center of a firestorm of national and international controversy for the past week. He’s issued a statement, and now Grijalava has started giving interviews. Not to 7news – even though we’ve been asking for one since last week Friday – but yesterday he gave interviews to the Amandala and to LOVE FM. He told the Amandala that quote, “My company should be fined, because we did something wrong.” But as he and his foreman explained to LOVEFM – there’s enough blame to go around. Here’s a small portion of that interview: "Voice of: Denny Grijalva, Managing Director, De-Mar’s Stone Company "In this place apparently they have been digging for many years, I don't know how many years, fifteen, twenty years they have been digging there. It couldn't be done in one day that is something that had to happen through many years. My company was there only one day." Voice of: Javier Nunez, Foreman, De-Mar's Stone Company "So what you see on the tv we did not do that .I am not trying to justify what happened we don't feel very proud about it. When you go and do this type of jobs in the villages, to service villages, the contractor has no control over anything but to do the job. It really takes you where we mine the material. Personally I didn't know at the point that the equipment was taken to this particular ruin to be specific. Bad taste - we stayed with a bad taste and we are sorry about it and we would like to extend our apologies to whoever is involved and whoever concerned."

Treaty Drilling At Will?
Treaty Energy Belize is an oil exploration company that operates under the umbrella of Princess Petroleum. But in April the Supreme Court declared the Princess Contract null. So why have they resumed drilling operations? In a press release, they said they would based on the advice from their attorneys at Barrow and Williams and Prime Minister Barrow’s press statement. The PM had said that there was nothing stopping them since the injunction was against the government not the oil companies. And so, according to OCEAN, Treaty Energy has started exploratory work again at a well called San Juan #3. OCEANA maintains that any work Treaty does under the umbrella of the Princess concession is “unlawful, null and void.”

UB Looking Into Claims Of Student-Fleecing
Last night, 7News told you about the group of students and their professor, Patrick Menzies, who alleged that the UB has basically been fleecing students seeking a bachelor’s degree. According to them, UB rejects a lot of credits and courses offered by junior colleges they come from, credits which should count toward the undergraduate degree because they are the same ones that the University offers, just with a different name. The further allege that UB over charges Bachelors students for the same prerequisite courses that they offer to Associates students at a fraction of a price. Well today, 7News spoke with the University’s Public Relation’s Officer. He told us that they want an opportunity to review the report and the research done by the students to support these claims: Selwyn King - Public Relations Officer "At this point in time the president has not received any report so we really cant make any comments but what I can tell you is that once the report is received sometime today or early next week we will review the report and upon reviewing the report he will then call upon the academic deans to basically brief him and to give him an insight in terms of how the process is done and by the various faculties.

Prostate Specialist Visits
It’s Cancer Awareness month and today as part of its regular continuing education sessions, the KHMH had a special guest: Dr. Jorge Gonzalez, Director of the Institute of Oncology Radiation in Cuba. Speaking to a room full of medical professionals, he gave a one hour presentation on prostate cancer. He spoke to us after about some of the relevant indicators for prostate cancer in Belize including the issue of race. Dr. Jorge Gonzalez - Visiting Oncology and Urology Expert Director (Translation: Omar Avilez - KHMH Medical Officer) "Race is a very important factor in Prostate Cancer. People of black race have a much higher incidence of Prostate Cancer than people of white race that's why in countries like China and Japan they have a very low incidence of prostate cancer as oppose to countries like Cuba and Belize that have a very high black race and the African Continents as well." Jules Vasquez "A person with perhaps a higher chance of incidence maybe it has occurred in their family before or perhaps if they are out the black race - is their any lifestyle changes they can make on nutritional changes they can make?"

Budna Gets “Shilling”
A week ago, we told you about 33 year-old Belizean Joseph Budna, who was standing trial for abduction in Guatemala. Well, he will spend 25 years in prison because he was convicted in the Guatemalan Supreme Court. The allegation against him was that Budna, who is believed to be head of a kidnapping ring operating in Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico, kidnapped 19 year US National Luis Bryon Reyes Onofre in August of 2012. Onofre reported that Budna and his organization abducted him, took him to Honduras and held him hostage on a farm in that country, in an effort to extort 1 million quetzales from his father, Luis August Reyes Salazar. He told police that it was not until his father made 2 payments that he was released. Budna’s defence was that Luis Onofre colluded with them the entire time. According to Budna, it was not until the money was paid that Onofre changed his story and claimed that he was kidnapped.

Man Dies In Road Accident
A man died this morning in an accident on the Hummingbird Highway. According to reports, George Crawford from Pomona was coming down a hill at mile 28 on the Hummingbird where he lost control of his truck. He reportedly jumped out to try and save himself, which is where he experienced massive head injury and died. In other news, there was a frightening home invasion in the Lord’s Bank area near Ladyville this afternoon. It happened on Old Well Road where three men with machetes and knives reportedly stormed into a woman’s house. They reportedly tied her up – and cut her on the throat while demanding certain unspecified items they believed to be in the house. But, according to police, they didn’t get much and left. The woman received a non life threatening injury.

Women’s Cross Country On-Again
Two days ago, we received the notice that the women’s cross-country had been cancelled. Well tonight, the news is that it’s one again. A Release from the Cycling Association says that, quote, “after further consultation with our legal counsel we are satisfied that we would not be infringing on the legal process before the Courts if we continue our calendar of races.” And so with that, the 24th Annual Women Cross Country Classic will ride on Sunday May 19, at 8:30 a.m. from San Ignacio to Leslie's Imports. The legal issues stem from an injunction against the association filled by former president Emil Moreno.

Muscle Man Comes Home
Earlier this week, we told you about Mr. Belize -33 year old Rigo Vellos who excelled in the 2013 Hercules Olympia contest in Colchester London about a week ago. Vellos placed second in the international event, a significant achievement being that he is the first Belizean to compete at that level, alongside the best bodybuilders from North America and Europe. Today he stopped in at our studios to show off his prize and spoke about his experience at his first international competition. Rigo Vellos - Mr Belize "For my first international competition - the experience was great and unforgettable. It made me grow up in the sport of body building actually. I'm a more open-minded person when it comes to that sport. I came in second in my category which was the Tall Category. The tall category is anybody that has the height of 5'7" to 5'11", I was 5'10". I got a second place trophy in the category for the Hercules Olympia and I won some supplements along with it too. All the preparation started at my home town, Corozal Town. The training immediately after Mr. Belize last year - I started training and the opportunity came up in January and I agreed to do some fund raising and the people from Corozal helped me. I tried contacting some business places like BTL and they responded, places like CBC and they also helped me out. I did some BBQ sales and I had some private people that actually helped me to come up with the money which was like $8,000bzd."

At Last, Santa Martha Gets Electricity For Water System
Earlier this year we told you about a school strike in Santa Martha, where parents weren’t sending their children to school because there was no water. It had been a problem for months – where the village – at mile 29 on the old Northern Road – didn’t have a generator to push its water pump. NEMO eventually came to the rescue loaning them a generator. But it was a short term fix because keeping the generator running required costly diesel fuel. But now they’ve hooked up to the main power supply – which simplifies things and lets NEMO get back its generator in time for hurricane season. A Ceremony was held yesterday to celebrate the accomplishment. The rural Development minister explained the importance… Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minster of Rural Development and NEMO " The power was passing right by so it was more convenient to get a set of transformers and hook up to the system. It is now automatic, there is a flow and while it will still require maintenance, it's far less. When you're running these kinds of engines from my manager as an engineer I know that you run them full out, used or not used you're burning the fuel. When you're coming off the grid you pay for what you use because it is metered so when the pump cuts off there is no power being consumed and when the pump starts again there's power being consumed. So it is a tremendous advantage."

A Pageant For Men?
Tonight 5 male contestants will be hitting the stage at the Birds Isle basketball court – where they will be vying for the title of Mr. Smooth and Silky. The pageant has been stirring up much controversy as it is being perceived by many as a Pageant for homosexual men. But today 7news had a chance to clear up those accusations when we spoke to Pageant Organizer, Marina Welcome. Marina Welcome - Pageant Coordinator "A lot of people are getting it twisted about thsi pageant. It is just a clean pageant, it's really a male fashion show so please people don't get it twisted. It's for a worthy cause it's for fund raising for the Jump Street Posse Carnival band. Unfortunately right now one of our contestant has to drop out because of his job. Everybody is getting this pageant twisted, please it's a nice and clean pageant." Monica Bodden "When you say twisted - what are they saying?" Marina Welcome "They think that this pageant is connected with UNIBAM and it's not, its a Jump Street Posse production. It's a fashion show for male and I think the problem is that they are not used to males doing a pageant they are used to only the females. Well people you have to get used to it because i'll be back with it next year." Monica Bodden "Tell me what can people expect coming out tonight?" Marina Welcome "Tonight the contestants are very secretive but they will be doing an introduction, sportswear, talent, swimwear and the last segment is a GQ style that means you come out looking 'pimping' right with a question and answer."

Walking For HIV
Today Belize joined in with more than 115 countries worldwide to celebrate the second annual Solidarity Day for Persons Living with HIV. The memorial commenced with a solidarity walk through the city streets and ended with a commemorative ceremony. With approximately 33 million persons living with HIV worldwide, and more than five thousand in Belize, organizers of today’s event hope that it will continue to break down barriers in Belize by giving a face to HIV and courage to those living with it. Eric Castellanos - Executive Director, C-NET "Today we are celebrating our 2nd annual solidarity day with persons living with HIV. Last year we had a celebration but we didn't have a march, this is the first time we are having a march. It's a day where we commemorate the lives of our loved ones - all those persons that have died due to HIV, our partners and relatives. It's not in a sad way, it's a celebrating way because we are honoring their lives - taking into consideration that they might not have the resources that we have right now. So we're in a very lucky position and because of their sacrifice and what they went through is because we are where we are right now and have the benefit of better medication and better services. This is a regional initiative - it started in El Salvador, which was the first country that observed it. In fact in El Salvador the legislation has declared it a national day so all the schools and everywhere observe it as a national solidarity day with persons living with HIV. It's very critical because it's a moment where people who are not HIV can show their solidarity and support. This is a very good initiative and a very good way to support persons who are not positive can come in solidarity with persons living with HIV to reduce stigma and discrimination.

A World OF “Vibez”
Positive Vibez is an artist who is making the transition between traditional Punta Rock, informed by a Belize City based urban street sensibility. He has finished recording his 4th album called “The Musical World of Positive Vibez”, and today he spoke with 7News about the audio treat that he’s offering to his fans: Positive Vibez - Entertainer "The concept and the Musical World of Positive Vibez - to my fans I just want to inform them that this is my fourth CD album. The reason why I named it Musical World of Positive Vibez simply is that when my fans that actually support the project end up putting the CD in their deck or wherever and then they transfer into my world, meaning I own their two ears. They are in my world now so everything that you hear is from me and how I feel towards the music at that moment and time." Daniel Ortiz "Tell us about the singles and songs, how did you come up with them?" Positive Vibez "Actually I would have to say that the Most High blessed me with the talent and give me the inspiration to do what I do. Sometimes when the songs are finished I can't tell how I made it. The album is compiled of 18 songs, 10 Punta rock and 8 dancehall songs."

Channel 5

Oil contracts null and void, but Treaty Energy ‘Drill baby drill!’
In the south today, drills cranked up as Treaty Belize Energy resumed operations at its San Juan Three well. There are two areas of concern according to OCEANA; that the company is going against a court ruling in mid-April which declared null and void six oil contracts including one that Princess Petroleum shares with Treaty [...]

Moved to different city, but hitman finds his target
Notorious Belize City bad man Richard Russell may have been running from his past when he relocated to Belmopan, but he couldn’t run far or fast enough and on Thursday night one bullet fired into his face through the window of his house in the Salvapan area of Belmopan ended his life. A check of [...]

She said money disappeared when cops were on the scene
And even as Diane Lamb grieves for Richard Russell, she is dealing with another loss. She claims that while Police were in her home on Thursday night, they stole money which she had in her purse in a drawer. She showed us the blood on the purse, which she alleges must have come from the [...]

Chiac’s sudden death on roadside was actually a murder
The investigation into the death of twenty-two year old Angel Chiac has turned to one of murder. Chiac’s body was found on Tuesday night at about eight o’clock not far from a bus stop in Biscayne where he was seen alive thirty minutes  earlier. Chiac originally from Belmopan moved to Gardenia to live with his [...]

Truck driver loses life in accident
There was a traffic mishap on the Hummingbird Highway which resulted in the death of one man, George Victor Crawford from the village of Guinea Grass in the Orange Walk district. Belmopan Police were called out to mile twenty-nine on the Hummingbird Highway where they found the lifeless body of Crawford on the road, and [...]

Finding Belize border marker with Guatemala at Garbutt’s Falls
Gracias Adios and Aguas Turbias are two of the markers that signify Belize’s border with Guatemala. Those markers are not normally visited because of the journey it takes to get there. But Garbutt’s Falls is another marker that many Belizeans have come in close contact but never realized it was there. If you have ever [...]

Women will ride despite brakes being pulled on cycling president
Earlier this week, an injunction was served on Hilly Martinez, the president of the Belize Olympic Committee and the interim executive of Belize Cycling Association at the behest of UCI-recognized president, Emil Moreno. As a result, the BCA indefinitely postponed cycling races and other events until the court settles the ongoing dispute in the BCA.   [...]

Security beefed up at UB following dorm robbery
On May eighth, six armed and masked men entered a dormitory at the University of Belize Central Campus in Belmopan. Nine students were tied up by the men who wielded handguns and shotguns, and their rooms were ransacked for over an hour. The men, described as Hispanic, made off with over forty-thousand dollars in cash, [...]

UB bachelor students pay large fee for same course as associate students
On Thursday, several students of the University of Belize held a press conference at which they levied accusations at the institution. The students say that UB is overcharging students from the Bachelor’s Program for Associate Level courses which they must re-take when the school, seemingly without reason, does not accept credits for courses taken in [...]

K.H.M.H. launches investigation into death of ill patient
An Orange Walk family is tonight mourning the death of their infant after he passed away just after four this morning at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Twenty-seven days old Josiah Murcia was born prematurely and his lungs were not fully developed and Baby Josiah was transported to the K.H.M.H. from the Northern Regional Hospital. [...]

Time to get your prostate checked
The local media was today invited to the conference room of the K.H.M.H. for a continuing medical education session. It featured a presentation by head of the department at the National Institute of Oncology and Radiology in Cuba, Doctor Jorge Alberto Gonzalez-Hernandez on prostate cancer. Doctor Gonzalez has investigated the tumoral markers in prostate cancer [...]

Gender Policy updated and is against discrimination by sexual orientation
The updated national gender policy is a process that began in 2009. It included the development of a situational analysis to understand what’s happening in Belize in regards to men women and children throughout the life cycle. It embodies all the issues that affect Belizeans. The launch of the policy was held at the Belize [...]

Life-celebrating in More Tomorrow Village. Day
The village of More Tomorrow isn’t in our news that often, but with all the history attached to it, maybe it should be. It is one of the oldest villages in the country, and this weekend will be celebrating an especially important milestone. Today C.E.O. of the More Tomorrow Farmer’s Group Daud Robinson visited our [...]


Western Belize Anxious For Rain; Bush Fires Smokes Out Residents
Marion Ali, Reporting The rainy season is still a few weeks away and the people and wildlife in the Western portion of the country will welcome it gladly. For the past few days, brush fires in the Cayo and Western Belize Districts have blanketed the horizon. In the Hill...

Single Mother Asks For Help For Reconstructive Surgery
Thirty six year old Adelia Herbert, a single mom from the Old Northern Highway, visited our news center to appeal for help from the public. According to her she has been suffering with a urinary problem for over three years now, and it’s not only taking a physical toll but ...

Villager Found Strangled On Road Side
There is another murder to report tonight and this one occurred earlier in the week. On Tuesday night Ladyville Police were called out Phillip Goldson Highway between miles twenty five and twenty six in Biscayne Village. Upon arriving police say they observed the motionless body of...

Belmopan Resident Shot and Killed In His Home
Marion Ali, Reporting Salvapan is a quiet Salvadoran community set on the northern edge of the capital, Belmopan but that peace was momentarily interrupted on Thursday night when a gunshot reverberated in the small residential area. It happened at the humble dwelling of ...

Truck Driver Jumps Out Moving Truck
A traffic accident sometime after nine o’clock this morning has left a man dead. Reports are that 50-year-old George Crawford was driving a tow head truck loaded with sand and gravel from Dangriga to Belmopan. Upon reaching between mile 28 and 29 going up a hill, the ...

Possession of Crack Cocaine Leaves Carpenter Out On $5K Bail
Fifty year old Mark Usher, a carpenter of Neal Pen Road, who the police alleged had 5.3 grams of crack cocaine, was charged with drug trafficking when he appeared in court today. Usher pled not guilty to the charge. He was released on a bail of $5,000.00 and his case was adjourne...


Father of three murdered in Belmopan
A father of three was murdered last night in the City of Belmopan. The shooting incident took place shortly before 10pm on Costa Rica Street which is located in the San Martin Extension area. We advise that the video footage used in the following story is graphic and would...

Fatal traffic accident on the Hummingbird Highway
A man lost his life in an accident this morning on the Hummingbird Highway. 50 year old George Crawford was traveling to Belmopan, when he lost control of his truck. In attempt to save his life, Crawford leaped out of the vehicle, but unfortunately he didn’t make it. Harry...

Post-mortem examination reveals Angel Chiac was murdered
In last night’s newscast, we told you about the body of 22 year old Angel Chiac, which was found off the road on the Phillip Goldson Highway. There appeared to be no signs of violence on the body and so police were awaiting a post mortem examination. Today, we...

KHMH Pharmacy staff protest pay situation
Workers at the in-house KHMH pharmacy have been pursuing actions which may land them in trouble with their bosses. Reports are that they have expressed their dissatisfaction with their pay situation by not showing up to work on Wednesday of this week and the pharmacy was allegedly also closed...

Police refute alleged assault victim’s claims
On Tuesday, we spoke with a young woman of Placenica Village, who told us that she was violently assaulted by three police officers, attached to the Placencia sub-formation. As we mentioned, the matter is before the courts and so the woman chose not to speak formally with the media....

Man shot three times by minor
A man was rushed to the KHMH yesterday, after being shot three times. His shooter, believed to be a minor, also had to be admitted for a gunshot injury. The incident happened just before 5 pm yesterday; Ryon Myles was at the corner of Oleander Street and Tulip Street,...

Leshawn Lino acquitted of murder of common-law partner
26 year old Leshawn Lino of Ladyville, accused of manslaughter in the death of her common-law husband and former BDF soldier 23 year old Shamir Henry in September of 2010, was acquitted late last night in the court of Justice Adolph Lucas. Lino was accused of slicing Henry’s throat,...

Man shot in December has died
Tonight we report on the passing of 22 year old Gregory Jones, who was injured during a shootout at the BTL Park last year December. Jones was attending a concert with his girlfriend, when he was shot and left paralyzed from the chest down. Earlier this month, we spoke...

Doctors instructed on Postrate Cancer
Prostate cancer is an important but often uncomfortable topic for men, especially older men, who may not like the invasive method of detection needed to uncover it. Nevertheless, the threat is real and today Belize’s leading public hospital, the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) and the Ministry of Foreign...

Persons Living with HIV hold Solidarity Walk
This afternoon a small group of Belizeans, many close to and familiar with the ravages of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) which causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), marched down Princess Margaret Drive in the first-ever annual Solidarity Walk. They marched from the KHMH parking lot to the PASMO office...

Cycling champion upset at race postponement
Earlier this week we told you about the ongoing conflict in cycling which has resulted in the case moving to the legal arena. The Cycling Association and National Olympic Committee went ahead with elections it ruled had to be held after incumbent Cycling President Emil Moreno’s election was ruled...

Belize Bodybuilder competes in England
He lays claim to the title of “Belize’s best looking man”, but bodybuilding veteran and reigning Mr. Belize Rigo Vellos found himself in a different class when he participated recently in the Hercules Olympia bodybuilding competition in Colchester, Essex, England. In the Men’s Tall Class category, he placed second...

Global Day of Prayer observed on Sunday
A day of repentance and united prayer – the Global Day of Prayer will be observed this coming Sunday. It is a time when believers from all over the world unite for corporate submission to God and Here is Pastor Lance Lewis, with the history of Global Day of...

Lupus March Saturday in Belmopan
We want to remind you of the Lupus March taking place this Saturday in Belmopan. The march is in recognition of Lupus Awareness Month and will start at the Mae Gordon Park, go around the ring road, and culminate back at the park. It starts at 5:30pm.

The Guardian

Denny responds to Noh Mul Destruction
The man at the center of the firestorm surrounding the destruction of a Maya mound at the Noh Mul site, Denny Grijalva, has issued a press release on the subject. Grijalva, the UDP’s Caretaker for Orange Walk Central issued the following press release: “In light of the public reaction to excavation on a private property between the villages of San Pablo and San Juan in the Orange Walk district, as the Managing Director of De’ Mar’s Stone Company, the entity currently occupying center stage in this matter, it is my duty and indeed my obligation to inform the public, at home and abroad, of the sequence of events leading to this unfortunate incident. De’ Mar’s was recently contracted to undertake the construction and rehabilitation of roads in Douglas Village also in the Orange Walk District. My understanding is that a first site for the excavation of material was identified by the company foreman. The Chairman of Douglas Village was reportedly not satisfied with the quality of the material and as such, he obtained permission from a landowner to extract material from his property from which material has been excavated for well over a decade. De’ Mar’s excavation on the site began at around 8:00 am on Thursday, May 9th and continued up to 5:00 pm that day. Operations resumed the following day when at around 10:30 am persons identifying themselves as officials from the National Institute of History and Culture (NICH) reportedly appeared on the site accompanied by a crew from an Orange Walk Town-based television news station. The officials instructed the company foreman to halt operations informing that the site is of archaeological interest.

UDP sweeps First Round of Village Councils - 31 of 44 villa
The United Democratic Party has done exceptionally well in the first round of village council elections held on Sunday, May 12th. In those elections, the party secured an overwhelming majority of village councils. 44 villages in total held elections and the UDP secured victories in 31 of these villages. In the Belize Rural North Constitutency, Hon. Edmund Castro delivered all 8 villages on the Old Northern Highway including Maskall, Bomba,Boston, Corozalito Lucky Strike, Rockstone Pond, Santana and St. Ann's. In Orange Walk, Deputy Party Leader, Hon. Gaspar Vega delivered Trial Farm Village while Orange Walk South caretaker, Juan de Dios Moguel secured victories in San Lazaro and Trinidad. Orange Walk East caretaker, Landy Burns delivered Chan Pine Ridge for the UDP from a formerly PUP held council. In the Corozal District, Hon. Hugo Patt secured victories in Yo Chen, Cristo Rey and San Pedro. Meanwhile, caretaker Raul Rosado brought in Carolina and 4 councilors in Calcutta getting a majority hold in that village. There were unsuccessful bids in Ranchito and San Joaquin. Out west, it was pretty much the same scenario with Hon. Rene Montero taking Esperanza village and Cristo Rey. Caretaker Miley Garcia secured Blackman Eddy Village and with great work from UDP Chairman Mike Juan, for a third consecutive time, he maintained his position in Unitedville Village. The bid was unsuccessful in Valley of Peace.

More Mental Evaluation for Felicia Chen
On Tuesday, May 14th, 22-year-old Felicia Chen, the young mother, who is accused of killing three of her four children on Saturday, April 27th, Belizean was back before the Belize City Magistrate’s Court for a third appearance in her triple homicide case. Dressed in full black and apparently frighten and scared, Chen was first brought to court room #4 before Magistrate Dale Cayetano, but for some unknown reason, her case was transferred to Court #1 but the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith was absent. Chen was escorted to Court #2 to appear before the Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer. The appearance of Chen in court #2 came as a surprise for the Senior Magistrate, who reverted the matter back to Court #4. When she reappeared before Magistrate Cayetano, her case was adjourned. While neither her nurse nor the psychiatrist would comment on the matter, the DPP briefly explained that an evaluation was conducted on Chen and at the end of that evaluation, it was concluded that she needed to spend 8 more days in a psychiatric facility.

$10 Million Grant from Taiwan
PM Hon. Dean Barrow received grant from H.E. David C. K. Wu On Thursday May 9th, His Excellency David C. K. Wu, Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) presented a cheque in the sum of US Dollars Five Million to the Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Belize. Graduation Ceremonies were held on Wednesday, May 15th, for 24 members of the Belize National Coastguard and 5 members of the Anti-Drug Unit (ADU), who all completed a 5-week intensive Special Warfare Operations Course.

Cancer Societies in Cayo at the Frontline
The San Ignacio Cancer Society, a Chapter of the Belize Cancer Society, held its first educational outreach on May 11th, 2013 at the Cayo Welcome Center in San Ignacio Town. The Chapter was first launched on March 6th and Saturday’s event was timed to reach as large an audience as possible.

Connecting Landscapes across the Belize Corridor
A Task Force to look at developing the Conservation Action Plan (CAP) for the Central Belize Corridor was launched at the “The Best Little Zoo in the World,” The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center, at mile 29 on the George Price Highway on May 9th, 2012. A biological corridor is an area of habitat connecting wildlife populations separated by human activities such as roads and agricultural activity. This allows an exchange of individuals between populations, which may help prevent some negative biological effects. According to Doctor Rebecca Foster, the Director of the Jaguar Program for Panthera in Belize and who is now contributing to the CAP, some of these negative effects include the lack of genetic variability among species. Fragmented populations in species lead to fertility issues and a general reduction of resistance to diseases along with other problems. “But beyond that, other problems can happen from wildlife populations being isolated, for example if a small population is very isolated and gets wiped out by natural disaster like a hurricane, a fire or flood or by disease then animals can’t get to repopulate the area so that area is effectively dead now, there are no animals there and no way to re-colonize it…”

Mothers Day in Lake Independence
A never tiring area representative, Hon. Mark King, on Sunday May 12th hosted 125 mothers of the Lake Independence Constituency to a Mother's Day program. According to King, the mothers from the division were treated to food, gifts and pampering all in an effort to show that they are appreciated. King added that while it was not yet possible to host all mothers in his division to the program, he is working diligently to ensure that next year's program can accommodate as many as 500 mothers of the constituency.

Foreign Ministers of Belize and Guatemala Meet at OAS Headquarters in Washington, DC.
The delegation of Belize led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington met on May 8th, 2013, with a Guatemalan delegation led by Foreign Minister Carrera and the OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza at OAS Headquarters. The meeting, held at the invitation of the OAS Secretary General, was convened to discuss the next steps in the Belize Guatemala process following the announcement by Guatemala of its inability to proceed with the simultaneous referenda originally scheduled for 6 October 2013.

Public Relations Training for Commanding Officers
Commanding Officers of the Belize Police Department and their deputies took part in a public relations workshop at the Raccoon Street Police Station on Wednesday, May 15th. Commissioner of Police, Allan Whylie, said that the purpose of the workshop is to “improve the force’s relationship with the media and enhance the officers’ ability to communicate effectively”.

Three Simultaneous Training Courses for Police Officers: Adjudicators, Crime Investigators, and Mobile Interdiction
Three new training courses got underway on Monday, May 13th, at the Belize National Police Training Academy in Belmopan.

Members of Belize Coastguard and Anti Drugs Unit graduate from Special Warfare Operations Course Supervised by the US Navy
Graduation Ceremonies were held on Wednesday, May 15th, for 24 members of the Belize National Coastguard and 5 members of the Anti-Drug Unit (ADU), who all completed a 5-week intensive Special Warfare Operations Course.

Carnal Knowledge Charge leads to Teenager’s Death
On Tuesday, May 7th, 18-year-old Punta Gorda resident, Rasheed Elijio was arrested and charged after he was found inside a house with his 15-year-old girlfriend. The minor was taken to the Punta Gorda Police Station along with her mother where she confessed to police that she has had sexual intercourse with Elijio on seven separate occasions. Elijio was then charged with carnal knowledge. At 5 a.m. on Friday, May 10th, Elijio was to be transported to the Belize Central Prison with another detainee, Brian Garcia, who was charged for carnal knowledge and Lino Ical, who was charged for drug trafficking. Garcia and Elijio were handcuffed together and as the men were being boarded on a James Bus they dashed out and escaped from police. Police launched a search operation and a little over 3 hours later the escapees were seen in the Carib Reserve Area. At 8:30 a.m., Police Constable David Griffith called the police station to report that Elijio had been caught but was shot in the process. Elijio was transported to the Punta Gorda Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Remanded to Prison for molesting a 9-year-old girl!
Jose Aquino On Wednesday May 15th, Honduran national, 48-year-old Jose Aquino, who is accused of touching a 9-year-old minor inappropriately, was remanded to the Belize Central Prison when he appeared before the Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer. He was charged with a single count of aggravated assault of an indecent nature. Aquino, who was unrepresented, pleaded not guilty to the offense but due to his uncertain immigration status in Belize, was denied bail and remanded to the Belize Central Prison until July 10th. Aquino is accused of touching the 9-year-old girl’s private parts. The incident occurred on Monday, May 13th.

Bar Owners Charge for hiring Illegal Immigrants
Zhao Shen Cao, Rexis Mejia and Nolberto Vasquez On Friday, May 10th three bar owners were arraigned in Magistrate’s Court where they were charged for employing a person not in possession of a valid working permit. Those charged included Zhao Shen Cao, 40, owner of Fusion Bar; Nolberto Amancio Vasquez, 38, owner of La Catracha Bar and Rexis Mejia, 31, owner of Long Island Bar. Cao is accused of employing a female Honduran national, Evelyn Rosinos Dias, who was not in possession of a working permit. He pleaded guilty to the offense and since he was a first time offender, Magistrate Dale Cayetano fined Cao $1,000 plus a $5.00 cost of court which he has until August 31st, 2013 or to pay in default 6 months imprisonment. Vasquez was accused of employing Honduran national, Osiris Yovileth Morodel Padilla at his bar. He also pleaded guilty and was fined $1,000 plus a $5.00 cost of court which he is to pay by August 31st, 2013, or in default 6 months imprisonment. Mejia was similarly charged with three counts of employing a person not in possession of a valid working permit where she pleaded guilty to the offence. Allegations are that on May 9th, 2013, she employed three Honduran nationals, Nuri Isabella Ramos Castro, Myrna Alexandra Duron Hernandez, and Silvia George Castillo Castro. Mejia was fine $1,000 for each count which she must pay by August 31st, 2013 ot default 6 months imprisonment.

Busted with 50 Pounds of Weed
29-year-old taxi driver, Walter Beaton, 28-year-old fisherman, Pedro Ayuso, and 36-year-old boat captain, Kirk Dougal were busted with over 50 pounds of weed on Saturday, May 11th. According to police, officers at the Mile 3 ½ checkpoint on the George Price Highway stopped a cream colored van with three occupants inside at about 8:40 p.m. on Saturday. The driver was asked to pull over to the side and a search of the vehicle led to the discovery of a brown crocus sack in the backseat. The crocus sack contained what appeared to be cannabis. The occupants of the vehicle, Beaton, Ayuso and Dougal, were arrested and taken to the Queen Street Police Station where the cannabis was weighed. It amounted to 25.1 kilograms, more than 50 pounds. The trio was arrested and charged with drug trafficking. The men appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Monday, May 13th. They pleaded not guilty to the charge of drug trafficking and Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer granted bail in the sum of $15,000. Bail was not granted to Dougal because he has outstanding fines before the court. Court records show that he owes the court $41,360 for drug convictions in 2003 and 2006. The men are due back in court on June 28th.

Security Guard gunned down in San Ignacio Town
A security guard has been gunned down in San Ignacio Town. Randy Tyrell Casey, 23, was discovered on May 10th, in San Ignacio Town gasping for air at about 8:00 pm as his life slowly ebbed from him. Casey was an employee of Force Security and was on duty last Friday night at Kenny’s Store on Flamingo Avenue in San Ignacio Town. While Casey worked in San Ignacio, he was a resident of Camalote Village. He was armed with a .22 pistol at the time and was standing outside the store, when he was approached by a male dressed in a black T-shirt and a black ¾ pants and also wearing a mask over his face. The gunman fired at Casey hitting him to the upper left side of the chest and to the lower left side of the abdomen. The gun shot injuries caused him to fall to the ground. Seeing this, the gun man took away the pistol and then melted into the night. Meanwhile, the victim was rushed to the San Ignacio Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Police have since recovered one black magazine containing eight .22 live rounds of ammunition as well as a slug.

Albert Clother charged for Conspiracy to Commit Murder
On the evening of Friday, March 22nd, 19-year-old Samuel Clifton Halliday was the target of an assassination attempt which took place at the corner of Central American Boulevard and Vernon Street. According to police, Halliday was near the traffic lights on Vernon Street when he was approached by a gunman who opened fire at him. Halliday escaped death and police have since made an arrest in relation to the shooting incident. On Monday, May 13th, Albert Alexander Clother, a resident of #24 Lindos Alley in Belize City, was slapped with one count of attempted murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder against Halliday. Allegations are that he plotted with a minor in the attempted murder of Halliday. Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer took no plea from Clother and due to the nature of the offense, bail could not be granted. Clother was remanded to the Belize Central Prison.

Excelsior Student Needs Surgery for Broken Jaw
The family of 19-year-old Shafane Flowers, astudent of Excelsior High School, is seeking financial assistance so that she can undergo corrective surgery for a broken jaw she suffered during a conflict at school. According to police report, Flowers was at school on Thursday, May 9th, when she was ordered to sit at a picnic table by a school warden. She told police that when she sat at the table her schoolmate, 18-year-old Ernest Leslie, said, “I nuh wah she sit by me”. To that Flowers responded, “I nuh need fi sit beside you.” The two continued to quarrel in which they called each other names. According to Flowers, she got up and while she was walking away, Leslie told her that she would see what will happen the next time she points in his face. Flowers responded, “You can’t play with me, Ernest.” That was when Leslie walked towards her and punched her to the left jaw. She fell to the ground and Leslie kicked her to the left side of the face and in her back. After the attack, Flowers got her bicycle and rode home. Her mother then took her to the police station to make a report. Before filing a report, she was taken to the hospital where a doctor classified her injury as grievous harm due to a broken jaw. Ernest Leslie was arrested and charged for committing grievous harm upon Flowers. The doctor at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital recommended that she see a specialist to treat the injury. According to Flowers’ mother, Shirley Mejia, the cost of the surgery required is $5,000 and the family does not have the money available. Anyone wishing to assist the family can contact the family at telephone number 669-2986.

George Dakers Charged for grabbing Little Girl’s Butt
On Monday, May 13th, 48-year-old George Dakers appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court to answer to a charge of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a 10-year-old girl. In the presence of her guardian, the child reported to police that on Saturday, May 11th, she visited Dakers’ home on Freedom Street in the Port Loyola area to barrow a nail. She said it was then that Dakers grabbed one side of her buttocks. The act annoyed the child and she immediately went to inform her guardian. The guardian took the child to make a report and court action was requested. Dakers was unrepresented in court before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. He pleaded not guilty to the charge. He was offered bail in the sum of $1,500 plus one surety of the same amount. Prosecutor Hector Rodriguez asked for conditions to be imposed along with the bail. Magistrate Frazer ordered Dakers to stay away from the victim. He is due back in court on July 8th.

Jury acquits Woman of Manslaughter
A Jury has acquitted 26-year-old Leshawn Lino of manslaughter. In a late Wednesday evening verdict, the jury voted 8 to 1 in favor of acquitting her of a charge of manslaughter. In September of 2010, Lino was accused of killing her common-law-husband, Ex-BDF, soldier, 24-year-old Shamir Henry, after she inflicted a single stab wound to his neck. On Wednesday May 15th, Justice Adolph Lucas summed up the case and at 4:00 p.m., a jury of 7 women and 2 men stepped into the deliberating room to decide her fate after which they came out with a not guilty verdict. | On Tuesday May 13th, Lino told the court that “I have three child, two daughters and a son. On September 2nd, 2010, at about 7:00 p.m., the day before my birthday, I was at home inside sitting with my son, when my daughter came and said Shamir wanted to see me. I put my son in the couch and went outside to see him. Since it was the day before my birthday, I thought he had come to wish me happy birthday; I was excited to see him. When I got in front of him, instead of being greeted by a hug and a birthday greeting, he grabbed me in my hair and started to punch me on the left side of my face, near the temple area. He slapped me on the right cheek. I got kicked in my stomach and punched in my chest.

Women fighting over how to talk to a 2-year-old
A dispute over how to talk to a child between two women got really ugly and on Tuesday, May 14th the women were charged with criminal offenses after the fight got out of control. On Monday, May 13th, 2013, at about 7:30 p.m., 36-year-old Stefanie Vargas and 28-year-old Chanique Robinson were engaged in a fight that resulted in both women causing harm to each other. The two women appeared before the Belize City Magistrate’s Court to answer to separate charges after they both made a report against each other. The first to be arraigned in court was Robinson, who appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano in Court #4 where she was read a single charge of wounding upon Stephanie Vargas. Vargas on the other hand was charged with harm and common-assault upon Robinson.

What does the Bible and Human History say about same sex marriage?”
While the Bible does address homosexuality, it does not explicitly mention gay marriage/same-sex marriage. It is clear, however, that the Bible condemns homosexuality as an immoral and unnatural sin. Leviticus 18:22 identifies homosexual sex as an abomination, a detestable sin. Romans 1:26-27 declares homosexual desires and actions to be shameful, unnatural, lustful, and indecent. First Corinthians 6:9 states that homosexuals are unrighteous and will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Since both homosexual desires and actions are condemned in the Bible, it is clear that homosexuals “marrying” is not God’s will, and would be, in fact, sinful. Whenever the Bible mentions marriage, it is between a male and a female. The first mention of marriage, Genesis 2:24, describes it as a man leaving his parents and being united to his wife. In passages that contain instructions regarding marriage, such as 1 Corinthians 7:2-16 and Ephesians 5:23-33, the Bible clearly identifies marriage as being between a man and a woman. Biblically speaking, marriage is the lifetime union of a man and a woman, primarily for the purpose of building a family and providing a stable environment for that family. The Bible alone, however, does not have to be used to demonstrate this understanding of marriage. The biblical viewpoint of marriage has been the universal understanding of marriage in every human civilization in world history. History argues against gay marriage. Modern secular psychology recognizes that men and women are psychologically and emotionally designed to complement one another. In regard to the family, psychologists contend that a union between a man and woman in which both spouses serve as good gender role models is the best environment in which to raise well-adjusted children. Psychology argues against gay marriage. In nature/physicality, clearly, men and women were designed to “fit” together sexually. With the “natural” purpose of sexual intercourse being procreation, clearly only a sexual relationship between a man and a woman can fulfill this purpose. Nature argues against gay marriage.

Infant Entrepreneurs Impressive at Business Fair
One area in which Belizean children have long been behind those in developed countries is financial literacy. Belize has a culture where children are excluded from financial conversations in the home. This causes them to have a limited understanding of crucial life concepts such as budgeting and saving. Fortunately for a few, there are some parents, who encourage their children to save at a young age. Such children usually grow up to be more financially responsible than others. The Ministry of Education hopes to extend that sense of financial responsibility to all Belizean children. That is why they formed a partnership with Peacework International and Price Waterhouse Cooper (PWC) to promote financial literacy in the education system of Belize. Since 2008, Peacework and PWC have held financial literacy camps for students of Belize City from the age of 5 to 18. They establish camp sites in several schools across the city in which the participants learn concepts such as saving and investing, keys to starting a profitable business, establishing a budget for a business, creating a brand and targeting a customer base. The overall intention is to heighten the students’ entrepreneurial spirit. Teachers have played a huge role in those camps and they have kept the concepts from camp inside the classroom.

More Flights and Cruise Calls to Belize
After a record breaking first quarter, in terms of tourist arrivals, the tourism industry continues to benefit from good news. Starting in November of this year, Delta Airlines will be adding an additional Saturday flight from Atlanta to Belize. Delta currently deploys seven flights a week (one flight per day) to Belize. Increasing its total number of flights to eight per week will add an additional 596 seats per month. According to the airline company, this additional Saturday flight will be a permanent addition to Delta's schedule to Belize. The Belize Tourism Board also announced that American Airlines will be increasing the number of flights from Dallas to Belize from three to seven flights per week in the month of October. That is a total of 600 additional seats. BTB’s Director of Marketing and Industry Relations, Alyssa Carnegie, said, “These flights are being increased during a time that was generally considered to be a slow time for traveling by air. It shows amazing growth and more opportunities for the industry and Belize.” There is also positive news in the cruise tourism sector. Royal Caribbean International announced that they will deploy the recently remodeled “Navigator of the Seas” year round out of Galveston, Texas, starting in winter of 2013. This means that Belize will receive a total of 30 calls in 2014 by the vessel that recently added unique features such as a Flow Rider Surf Simulator and the first ever Virtual Balcony. For the past two years, Belize has not had more than 10 calls from “Navigator of the Seas”. This increase in cruise calls is expected to bring over ninety thousand cruise visitors to Belize.

2nd Annual Solidarity Day with Persons Living With HIV
On Friday, May 17th, the National AIDS Commission will be holding a Solidarity Walk for persons living with HIV. Since 1983, the Candle Light Memorial is celebrated in May to remember the countless lives lost to illnesses associated with advanced HIV. Today, more than 115 countries worldwide unite in this memorial every year. This initiative aims, among many other things, to create greater social conscience of HIV that will translate in a decrease in the number of new infections and an eradication of stigma and discrimination towards persons living with HIV. The Solidarity Walk begins at 3:30 p.m. in front of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and end at the PASMO office where a Candle Light Memorial will be held at 4:30 p.m. The Solidarity Day with Persons Living with HIV is an opportunity for persons living with HIV, their family and friends to step out of the shadows and unite to voice their demands for greater access to high quality healthcare and share stories of hope and solidarity. According to the National AIDS Commission, “with approximately 33 million persons living with HIV worldwide and more than 5,000 in Belize, this event will continue to break down barriers in Belize by giving a face to HIV and hope to new generations…an HIV free Belize generation!”

Holy Redeemer Girls and St. Martin De Porres Boys are Belize District Primary Schools Basketball Champions
The 2012-2013 Belize District Primary Schools Basketball Championship came to an end on Friday, May 10th, at the Bird’s Isle in Belize City. In the girls’ championship game, Holy Redeemer School edged Belize Elementary School by the score of 15-14 to capture the 2012-2013 Belize District Primary Schools Basketball title and the right to represent the district at the National Primary Schools Basketball Competition scheduled for May 24th, 2013. The top scorer for Holy Redeemer School was Zaria Jenkins with 10 points, while the top scorer for Belize Elementary School was Donna Che with 6 points. In the first girls’ game of the day, Holy Redeemer School defeated Holy Cross Anglican School from San Pedro by the score of 18-2. The top scorer for Holy Redeemer was Diana Elijio with 8 points while Tatyana Estrada scored the 2 points for Holy Cross Anglican School. In the second game, it was Belize Elementary School that defeated Lucky Strike Government School by the score of 18-4. The top scorer for Belize Elementary School was Chelsea Williams with 9 points, while Shenieva Herbert scored all 4 points for Lucky Strike Government School.

Belize at The Business of Sport International Conference
Minister Herman Longsworth receiving a copy of the Jamaican Sport Policy from Minister Natalie Neita- Headley The Hon. Herman Longsworth, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports with direct responsibilities for youth and sports along with Patrick Henry Acting. National Sports Director attended the 3rd Annual The Business of Sports International Conference held under the theme “Change the Game” at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica, from April 30th – May 3rd, 2013. The three days working conference brought together key presenters from Canada, United Kingdom, USA and Jamaica who all presented on the role of sports as a business including the issue of Branding, which includes both athletes and merchandises (Rule 40) of the International Olympic Committee and how it is applied to Caribbean countries; as well as a lunch presentation on the topic “Sports for All” that was presented by the Hon. Michael Fennel, Immediate Past President of the Commonwealth Games Federation and the current President of the Jamaican Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association. The conference organizers also took the advantage of having three Caricom Ministers of Sports at the conference and were able to include onto the official programme a ministerial presentation segment. The Ministers of Sports that were in attendance at the conference and whom participated in the ministerial segment included the Hon. Herman Longsworth, the Hon. Stephen Lashley (Barbados) and the Hon. Natalie Neita-Headley (Jamaica). The ministers also responded to questions that were posted to them by the audience.

FC Belize to face Police United in Premier League Football championship
The closing season for the Premier League of Belize Football Competition is fast coming to an end. The semi-final round of the championship came to an end on Sunday May 12th, 2013 at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town when the Police United team eliminated the Belize Defence Force by the score of 2-1. The first half of the game ended 0-0 and it was until the second half that both teams were able to score. The visiting Police United was able to get onto the scoreboard first when Daniel Jimenez scored the 1st of his 2 goals in the 50th minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. However, that lead was short -lived when Byrone Usher scored the equalizing goal for his team in the 60th minute of play. With the game fast winding down, Daniel Jimenez struck again when he landed his 2nd goal of the game in the 88th minute of play for a 2-1 lead that eventually proved to be the margin of victory for the Police United Team. This is the third seasons in as many that the Police United Team will appear in the championship game.

Belize Rural Softball Competition in Full Swing
The Belize Rural Softball competition continued on Sunday May 12th, 2013, with four games on the schedule. In the first game played, Easy Does It defeated St. Paul’s Bank by the score of 12-2. The winning pitcher was Margaret Hendy and the losing pitcher was Jacqueline Cassasola. In game two, Butter Cup Uprising won over Arrows Reloaded from Bermudian Landing by the score of 15-10. The winning pitcher was Trecia Flores and the losing pitcher was Christine Brackett. In game three, Ladyville Rising Star won over Village Gyal by the score of 14-10. The winning pitcher was Crystal Hernandez and the loss was tagged to Angie Smith. In the fourth and final game of the day, UB Jaguars blanked Mell’s United by the score of 11-0. Herlette Clarke picked up for the win and Valerie Vernon was tagged with the loss.

Religious Rights
An interesting idea has emerged from some quarters that challenging religious dogma is in some way an attack on freedom of religion. Strangely, many of the people who hold this view are outraged that in some Muslim countries there is no freedom of religion. People can face the death penalty for blasphemy against Islam, apostasy (or leaving Islam for another religion or no religion at all for a person born a Muslim) is forbidden, and a fatwah (or permission to execute a person) can be issued against anyone including the famous author Salman Rushdie. I think we can all agree that such restrictions are not part of Belizean culture or tradition and we would not want anything similar here to protect Christian beliefs. True freedom of religion includes the right of others not to agree with your particular beliefs. Most organised religions have regular, usually weekly, opportunities to put forward their own beliefs. Sometimes their spokespersons use this opportunity to outline all the good things that their particular brand of faith has to offer; sometimes they spend their time pointing out the weaknesses in the beliefs of other brands and sometimes they highlight the trials and tribulations awaiting those who transgress in some way against their religious doctrine. This is all perfectly permissible and is in no way restricted because some people may not agree with any particular point of view. As with all freedoms, freedom of speech is not absolute. If such preaching incites hatred or encourages violence against others then it is no longer protected by the right of free speech because it imperils the freedom of others to live without the fear of violence. There are differences of opinion within denominations. One sector of the Episcopal Church in the USA has recently elected an openly gay bishop and other individual churches and church members have a welcoming attitude. However, the mainstream denominations in Belize are implacably opposed to homosexuality. These church members and preachers are free to believe that certain practices are immoral, unnatural or wrong. They are equally free to say these things both in their religious services and within the public domain. However, those who do not agree are equally free to express their disagreement both within the Church and in the public domain. Just as those who oppose decriminalisation of sodomy are free to believe and preach that it is an abomination, those who disagree are free to believe and state that such an opinion is bigoted. Most of the latter are offended at being told that their behaviour is an abomination and most of the former do not like to be called bigots but that is the price of religious freedom.


An honor student of Excelsior High School has been arrested and will face charges of grievous harm for punching a female student in the face and stomping her when she fell to the ground. The incident occurred at about 1:00 p.m. last Thursday, May 9, on the Excelsior High School compound on Fabers Road. The blow to the girl’s face was so forceful that her jaw was shattered, and she must undergo surgery to repair the damage. The cost of the surgery, which the girl’s mother said is to be conducted by a specialist in Orange Walk, is $5,000 – money that the girl’s family does not have. Witnesses told police that the student punched the girl, Shafane Flowers, 19, viciously on the left side of her face with his right hand, and when she fell, he stomped her several times. According to Flowers, who reported the matter at a police station that same Thursday afternoon, she was instructed by a school warden to sit on a picnic bench. A male student who had been bullying her for the past few weeks was already seated on the bench, however, and he reportedly told her, “I don’t want you to sit near me.” Flowers reported that she responded to the young man’s remark by saying, “There is no need for me to sit beside you.”

Belize’s Ambassador to Guatemala, H.E. Alfredo Martinez, has confirmed to Amandala that former Belizean freelance journalist, Joseph Budna, 33, has been sentenced, after his trial concluded last Friday in Guatemala, to 25 years in prison for the kidnapping of a US teenager, Luis Byron Reyes Onofre, back in August 2012. Budna has claimed that Onofre had colluded with him and his associates to stage a fake kidnapping so that the youth could get money from his dad. The father, Luis August Reyes Salazar, was asked to pay a million quetzals (just over quarter-million Belize dollars) to have his son, who was being held in Honduras, freed, and the reports indicate that two sums of money were paid by the father before his son was released to his custody. Ambassador Martinez said that based on his recollection, this is the first time a Belizean has been convicted of such a crime in Guatemala.

Lino was accused of stabbing Shamir “Metro” Henry, 23, in his neck in September, 2010. Leshawn Lino, 26, a mother of three, was acquitted last night after a jury of nine found her not guilty of manslaughter in a ratio of 8 to1. Lino was accused of stabbing Shamir “Metro” Henry, 23, in his throat on September 2, 2011, causing him to bleed to death after he collapsed on the street. The incident occurred on Cahal Pech Street in the Belize Defence Force Housing site in Lords Bank Village. Reports are that Henry went to visit Lino, the mother of his child, at her house sometime after 7:00 that night. The house is located a short distance from the street, so Lino had to walk out to Henry, a distance of about 25 yards. A few minutes later, Lino was seen running toward her house, screaming for someone to call the police. Henry was then observed lying on the ground, apparently dead from a wound to his neck. During the trial, which started last week Wednesday, May 8, Henry’s mother, Rose Henry, testified that when she arrived at the scene, she saw her son lying on the ground, apparently dead. She said that Lino then ran to her saying, “Ah neva mean it, ah neva mean it, Ms. Rose.”

A Chinese businessman, Wei Tao Liu, 42, died after being beaten in the back of the head by one of his workers, who is now on the run. The incident occurred about 1:00 this morning. Liu was reportedly with his workers at his business, the Foam Factory, at Mile 12 on the George Price Highway, when he was hit in the back of the head, reportedly with a piece of iron, by one of the workers. After the worker hit Liu, he reportedly took the keys for Liu’s white Toyota Tacoma,L/PC-37288, and drove away in it. Liu was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:00 a.m. His body was then taken to the morgue, where it awaits a post-mortem. Lee Mark Chan, president of the Chinese Association of Belize, said that the association is working closely with the police to capture the man who killed his friend, and they are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to his arrest and conviction.

Gunman stood guard at back door; his accomplices kicked down the front door, went inside and shot Peters multiple times. Wilfred Peters III, 26, the grandson of the beloved musician and Belizean cultural icon, the late Sir Wilfred Peters, died almost instantly after three killers stomped down his door, went into his house in the Racoon Street Extension area, and shot him about 6 times in his head, face and body. The incident occurred at about 1:30 this morning. Neighbors told Amandala that about five men went to Peters’ house: one stationed himself at the back door, and another stood guard at the front door area, while the other three kicked down the front door. When Peters got out of his bed to see what was happening, one of the gunmen shot him. The killer then stood over him and fired multiple shots into his head and body. The murderers then ran out of the house and escaped. Neighbors, alarmed by the noise of the door being kicked down, and the explosions of the murderous gunfire, quickly called police, who rushed to the scene of the crime. They conducted a search of the area, but the killers had already escaped.

For his crime against a 15-year-old student with disabilities, Hamilton was given 4 years Kareem Hamilton, 26, shocked a packed courtroom this afternoon when he changed his not guilty plea to guilty even before a jury was selected to hear his trial. Hamilton was accused of committing an unnatural act against a male minor, 15 at the time, who is also a student with disabilities. According to the facts of the case which were read out after Hamilton changed his plea, on April 28, 2011, Hamilton, who was 24 at the time, told the child that he had something for him and later that evening, the child went to his house, located on Morter’s Lane. When the child went to his home, Hamilton had anal sex with him. The next day, the child’s step-mother noticed that the child was walking differently and when she asked him about it, the child complained of having pain.

All roads lead to the MCC Garden this Sunday afternoon, where the Premier League of Belize (PLB) Closing Season 2012-2013 home-and-away championship series kicks off at 4:00 p.m. The home team in this one will be FC Belize; and the visitors, Police United. (Game 2 is next Saturday night in Belmopan.) The PLB Opening and Closing seasons for 2012-2013 have been two hotly contested competitions. In the Opening Season late last year, FC Belize missed making the playoffs due to goal difference only, having tied in points with BDF. BDF lost in the playoffs to Police, who then fell to Belmopan Bandits in the finals. Being from two different groups in the Opening Season, FC Belize and Police United had met only once in an “out-of-zone” meeting, and it was Police over FC Belize, 3-nil. But in this Closing Season, the reduced number of teams, 8, all played together in a double round-robin, and FC Belize prevailed in both encounters with Police, 1-0 and 2-0. Two key additions in this Closing Season for FC Belize have been veteran midfielders Mark “Kelo” Leslie and Norman “Tilliman” Nunez, who have added stability and experience to a very young FC Belize team. FC Belize recently lost the services of their former captain, Cristobal Gilharry, the only FC Belize player who was selected to the national team for the Copa Centroamericana in January of this year. For their part, Police United FC features a number of stars from that history-making national selection – Danny Jimenez, Evan Mariano, Trevor “Burger” Lennen, Andres Makin, Jr., and Devon Makin.

Even UDP loyalists have to admit that there is a moral crisis in the Dean Barrow government. For the second time in weeks, the Prime Minister seems unable to speak publicly to a scandal in his administration because the problem is too close to his Deputy Prime Minister, and the Deputy Prime Minister is, of course, too close to him. Noh Mul has come too soon after rosewood. The Prime Minister’s moral authority has been subverted. He can’t do anything to address the situation because the Deputy Prime Minister is untouchable, politically speaking. We saw a similar thing happen in August of 2004 when the then Prime Minister, Said Musa, less than a year after his PUP was re-elected to a second term of office, decided that he could not listen to seven of his Cabinet Ministers. Finance Minister Ralph Fonseca was untouchable. The second Musa administration lost its moral authority less than a year after being re-elected: the second Barrow administration has lost its moral authority a little more than a year after being re-elected. After the second Musa administration lost its moral authority, it remained in office for more than three and a half years. The likelihood is now great that this Barrow administration, even though it has lost its moral authority, will remain in office for a similar period. When an administration loses its moral authority, it has a difficult time governing, and crisis follows crisis. We have a flawed political system in Belize. The evidence has mounted to support the argument there should be some changes made.

When a man grows old, he no longer has the same capacity for righteous anger. In my case, if whimsy had not replaced some of my passion, I suppose I would have been a candidate for the local insane asylum and/or some kind of seizure. Remember, four plus decades ago, I wrote of hatred in our eyelashes. Now, those eyelashes are grey, and a form of tolerance has taken residence there. When I returned home from college 45 years ago, there were light-skinned Creoles who could not come to grips with the fact that there was some African ancestry in their genes. These were people in absolute denial, and denial is one of the worst mental conditions with which you can be afflicted. Denial of their African reality had become a place of psychic refuge for these particular Creoles, because the racist reality of slave and colonial Belize had made it so that Africa was portrayed as the darkest of pagan, cannibal, hell holes, while Europe was considered a region of absolute light, enlightenment, and Judeo-Christian civilization. On the Garifuna side, there are prominent Garifuna people who speak only of their Carib and Arawak indigenous ancestry. The scholar Nancy Gonzales claimed one time that the DNA of the Garifuna was 75 percent African. There seems to me some kind of a disconnect between what she is saying and what some Garifuna leaders choose to emphasize, but I won’t pursue this subject.

by Tom Greenwood Ms. Diane Haylock President National Institute of Culture and History (NICH). Dear Ms. Haylock, FECTAB hereby joins the voices, both national and international, in totally condemning the atrocity which was perpetrated on the Belizean people, and our Maya people in particular, when the entities shown on the media worldwide, were seen to be responsible for the monstrous act of destruction on the main temple at the archaeological site of NOH MUL in the Orange Walk District. Words cannot describe this event. Only criminals would carry out such a barbarous act. Please be reminded that, as a tour guide, several years ago my attention was called to a similar event while I was in Orange Walk Town on a Lamanai transfer. I picked up other guides in that town, and made our way to the same site, to see destruction being carried out on a small temple at Noh Mul, again, of course, to acquire raw material. We quickly notified the authorities and put a stop to the illegal activity, with the help of the police. No one was prosecuted, if I remember right.

Denny Grijalva, owner and managing director of De’ Mar’s Stone Company and the man who unsuccessfully contested the last general elections for the United Democratic Party in Orange Walk Central in 2012, told Amandala this afternoon that his company should be fined for the destruction of the Noh Mul Archaeological Site last week, when it was reported that an excavator belonging to Grijalva’s company had hacked into the Maya ceremonial monument to obtain gravel for landfill. “My company should be fined, because we did something wrong,” Grijalva, who was born in Guatemala but who has lived in Belize since his youth, told us. However, he added that it is unfair for his company to get all the blame for the destruction of the monument, because, as he puts it, others had been digging for landfill from the site for years. He said that his foreman, Javier Nunez, had only been working in the area for a day and there is no way he could have caused the damage reported in that short space of time. Some reports say that more than half of the Maya monument, once the tallest structure in that part of the country, had been hacked away.

Joseph Boski, Political and Economic Section Chief at the U.S. Embassy in Belmopan, Belize, told Amandala today that the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which will see its full implementation in 2014, was put into place to ensure better tax compliance. “The principle is pretty clear,” said Boski. “The FATCA law addresses tax compliance.” The FATCA applies also to Belizeans with dual US nationality, as well as “green card” holders and US nationals living in Belize or any person in those categories who have financial interest in Belize, including offshore bank accounts. Boski said the FATCA is “very ambitious” and he hopes it will be very effective, as well. He notes that anyone who is paying US taxes or should be paying those taxes and who has financial assets overseas should double-check whether they need to report financial assets overseas. This, he said, especially applies to US citizens or financial institutions overseas doing business with US citizens located either overseas or in the US.

Some years before Independence, the Government of Belize chose a name for our country, a national flag, a national anthem and, national symbols, a tree, a bird, a flower and an animal. They also commissioned the composition of a prayer and declared it to be our National Prayer. The prayer was to be said on special occasions and it was decided that it should be read at the beginning of every meeting of the House of Representatives. Reading of the National Prayer by the Speaker at the beginning of every meeting of the House of Representatives became a tradition, beginning with the first session of the House after self-government in 1964 and continuing up to the last meeting before the general elections of 1984, when the United Democratic Party replaced the People’s United Party as the Government of Belize. End of tradition. No National Prayer from 1984 to 1989. From 1989 to 1993, the tradition was renewed. There was another break from 1993 to 1998, renewed again from 1998 to 2008, broken from 2008 up to the present. Good traditions contribute to the unity and strength of a nation. Having a national prayer to be said on special ceremonial occasions, when we ask for divine intervention in our affairs and blessings on the deliberations of our leaders, is certainly a tradition worth preserving and, there is no more fitting occasion than a meeting of our Legislature.

pgs. 58-60, The End of Power, by Moisés Naím, Basic Books, New York, 2013) Nowadays, remittances are more than five times larger than the world’s total foreign aid and larger than the annual total flow of foreign investment to poor countries. In short, workers who live outside their home country – and who are often very poor themselves – send more money to their country than foreign investors, and more than rich countries send as foreign aid. Not only are there more people today, more of whom live fuller and healthier lives: they also move around a lot more. That makes them harder to control. It also changes the distribution of power within and among populations, whether through the rise of ethnic, religious, and professional diasporas or as individual vectors of ideas, capital, and faiths that can be either destabilizing or empowering. The United Nations estimates that there are 214 million migrants across the globe, an increase of 37 percent in the last two decades. In that same period, the number of migrants grew by 41 percent in Europe and by 80 percent in North America. We are experiencing a Mobility revolution, in which more people are moving than at any other time in world history.

The Reporter

Painter charged with aggravated assault
A Belize City painter pleaded not guilty in the Magistrate’s Court on Monday, when he was arraigned on a charge of aggravated assault of an indecent nature, before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. George Dakers, 48, a painter and resident of Freedom Street, was released on a bail of $1,500 and [...]

Man sentenced for sodomy
A Belize City man, indicted on a changed of sodomy, was sentenced to four years in prison, after he changed his ‘not guilty’ plea to guilty, in the Supreme Court of Justice Troaido Gonzalez.

STRONGER! Special Envoy for women and Children: A healthy dose of hope is the best medicine for cancer
It has long since been said that strength does not come from physical capacity, but rather it comes from an indomitable will—(Mahatma Gandhi). And, with the rising number of cancer cases, people around the world get to see the truth of Ghandi’s words epitomized in the lives of those who [...]

Government outraged over Noh Mul destruction
The deplorable destruction of the Noh Mul archeological site has prompted an aggressive response from the government. CEO in the Ministry of Tourism, Tracy Panton, said that once the Institute of Archeology concludes its damage assessment and formal report of the site, the report will be forwarded to the office [...]

UB Lecturer blows whistle; says UB is over-charging
University of Belize is overcharging students, UB lecturer and social activist Patrick Menzies said Thursday. Menzies, speaking at a press conference and flanked by two U.B. students, said that the current structure, as it relates to the credit-per-class acceptance policy and tuition rates, is flawed.

Belize Coast Guard SEALS get U.S. training
The Belize National Coast Guard is preparing to crack down hard on illegal drug trafficking with the assistance of the United States Navy, which provided U.S. Navy SEALS instructors for an intensive five-week training course in special warfare operations, which 24 Coast Guard officers and five Anti-Drug Unit Police officers [...]

Belize Ambassador says 2014 is last chance for referendum
Disrespectful, irresponsible, unforgivable, callous: are just a few of the words that several organizations have used to describe the destruction of the Nuh Mul archeological site; however, Denny Grijalva, the owner of the company responsible for the excavation has stated that the incident was not his fault.

Murders in Belize City, Hattieville
Two men were killedde in separate incidents during the wee hours of Thursday morning. The first happened at a foam factory at Mile 12 1/2 on the George Price Highway, owned and operated by businessman, Wei Tao Liu, 42.

UDP sweeps Village council elections
The United Democratic Party swept the complete slate in 26 of the 44 village councils which held elections on Sunday, May 12, and won a majority in five more for a total of 31 villages which now have newly elected UDP village councils. The party won 202 of the 302 [...]

Grijalva: ‘Noh me’ destroy Noh Mul
Disrespectful, irresponsible, unforgivable, callous: are just a few of the words that several organizations have used to describe the destruction of the Noh Mul archeological site. However, Denny Grijalva, the owner of the company responsible for the excavation, has stated that the incident was not his fault. He issued a [...]

Monumental Ignorance, Irreplaceable loss!
Road contractors have destroyed the main ceremonial plaza of the Noh Mul archeological site, a structure representing more than 2,000 years of Mayan history.

Bee venom destroys HIV and spares surrounding cells
Nanoparticles containing bee venom toxin, melittin, can destroy human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) while at the same time leaving surrounding cells unharmed, scientists from Washington University School of Medicine reported in the March 2013 issue of Antiviral Therapy.

UN urges people to eat insects to fight world hunger
Eating more insects could help fight world hunger, according to a new UN report. The report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization says that eating insects could help boost nutrition and reduce pollution. It notes than over 2 billion people worldwide already supplement their diet with insects. However, it [...]

Wolverines & Ontario Rebels win in Miley Garcia Softball
Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy and Ontario Rebels posted big wins in the fourth week of the Miley Garcia softball competition organized by the Cayo Softball Association in Roaring Creek Village on Sunday, May 12.

Holy Redeemer girls & St Martin’s boys win basketball championships
The girls of Holy Redeemer RC School repeat as the Belize District primary schools basketball champions, while the boys of St. Martin de Porres RC School won the male championship in the district finals organized by the National Sports Council at Bird’s Isle last Friday, May 10.

Guatemala’s Rios Montt guilty of genocide
A court in Guatemala has found former military leader Efrain Rios Montt guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity.

Mexican priest fights for immigration reform in U.S.
Known for his outspoken, unapologetic support of migrants from Mexico, the Rev. Alejandro Solalinde is bringing his message to the United States.


Did you know?? Developing a Business Plan can be as easy as 1 2 3
USINESS PLAN GENERAL INFORMATION What is a Business plan? A business plan outlines your vision and goals for your business; it is the roadmap for future development. Importance of the business plan: Crucial when you are seeking financing. It helps investors and financial institutions understand your business and what you intend to spend the money on. It is an important management tool for setting development goals for your business. It is also an evaluation tool as it will help you evaluate where your business is and whether it has achieved any of the objectives you have set.

The 12th Annual-National Tourism Awards
Belize is a destination, best served authentic, and the prestigious “2013 Annual National Belize Tourism Awards”, is your chance to follow as we celebrate one of the most outstanding Tourism Events in Belize. With an allurement that is as captivating as its diversity, join us on Saturday, May 18, 2013, for a “real-time” coverage, via: Face Book, Twitter and YouTube, as you become more intimate with the innovative tourism partners competing to give you the best vacationing experience! From Hotel of the Year, Small Hotel of the Year, Tour Operator of the Year, Hospitality Award, Major Festivals and Events Award, Minister’s Award and more, be inspired and start planning for the time-of-your-life! Having this much fun online is only the start! Enjoy the melodies of popular local artist, such as: Tanya Carter and the Pantempters Steel Pan, and catch a glimpse of paradise as the event gets underway on the secluded Bannister Island, starting 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

“Let’s Do It Again” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Yesterday morning I spent a bit of time ‘bouncing’ emails between myself and Benny’s trying to secure an improvement on the discount they had offered on the appliances (ovens (ranges), microwaves, refrigerators, washer and dryer) we need for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Pleased to say that eventually I did get a small (every bit helps!) improvement so we are ready now to formally place an order. With that out of the way I sent an email to Daniel Camal, our building contractor, in which I detailed the dimensions for all of the appliances we have chosen so that he has the necessary information for when the kitchen (Ground Floor and First Floor) and Utility Room cabinetry and countertops are installed. Rose and I then made a visit to F C’s Aluminum in Sea Grape Drive to enquire about having an aluminium (English spelling) cargo box made for our new golf cart. We want one that we can bolt on when we need it or take it out if we need the back seats for passengers. He is going to think about the design and revert to us with a price. We then set off for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and got there around 2.30 pm to find an eyrie silence. No sound of the cement mixer at work! It became patently obvious why this was so when we saw Porfelio and Angel peering at the engine compartment of the yellow ‘mixer.

Teacher’s Day
Today is teacher’s Day in Belize, I know it’s a bit late but here goes anyway. Teacher’s Day is celebrated as a tribute to the valuable contribution made by teachers to the society by imparting knowledge and enlightening and shaping the career of students. Celebration of Teacher’s Day is fairly popular in many countries across the world and is even acknowledged by UNESCO. Teachers are not just people that teaches you, they impart knowledge that will server you throughout your life; they are your friends, they are philosophers and guides to put and keep you on the right track. Today in Belize is a special day for teachers, not that all days should not be special; but it is a day to celebrate the greatness of all teachers and to express your gratitude for what they do for you and what they give up to provide it to you and for their selfless effort in shaping their career and enriching the education system in the process. Most schools prepare special events for their teachers but nothing says thanks like a heartfelt and sincere thank you that comes for students.

Noh Mul has been clearly marked since the 90s
Mid 1990s, I did an extensive photoshoot on the Maya site of Noh Mul. Unfortunately, early 2000, we had a multiple hard drive failures at the studio and lost all except these 4. I always planned on going back … sad indeed …

International Sources

10 Best Wildlife Travel Adventures
(WILDLIFE) Whether you are deep in the outback or on the shore of a coastal cay, every destination is an exciting wildlife adventure waiting to be explored.

Spelunking the Crystal Cave
Cayo's Crystal Cave, also known as Mountain Cow Cave, had a great article written about it lately. Great way to put it: Actun Tunichil Muknal is for tourists, Mountain Cow is for adventurers. Both are great ways to spend the day. "I said it before, but I'll say it again: ATM is for tourists, Crystal is for adventurers. Crystal is different. It was a challenge the memory of which still gets my blood pumping. It is impossible to overstate how incredibly breathtaking it is. It was one of the most exciting and intimate ways I have ever experienced the earth. I will never forget it."

Belize Tops Wildlife Adventure List
Belize was listed first on the list of Best Wildlife Travel Adventures. Of course, due to Cayo, where the wildlife is. The picture is of the Twin Falls, taken from La Capitana pontoon boat on Lake Benque. "Located on the northeastern coast of Central America, Belize is brimming with unique and exciting wildlife. There are approximately 145 species of mammals, 139 species of reptiles and amphibians, and over 500 species of birds that call the Latin American country home. Belize contains remarkable protected parks and coastal cays abundant with indigenous wildlife. To see some of Belize’s rarest animals, such as Baird’s tapirs and scarlet macaws, a tour guide is required, but many exotic animals can be spotted all around the tropical paradise. Swim with sharks and stingrays in the crystal-clear Caribbean waters, and make sure to visit the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, which is recognized internationally as the world’s first jaguar preserve."

May 17, 2013


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The San Pedro Sun

John McAfee Orange Walk Estate up in Flames
Fire officials in the Orange Walk District have confirmed to The San Pedro Sun that at mid-afternoon today, May 16th a wild bush fire in Carmilita Village just outside of Orange Walk Town, Belize has consumed three structures on the John McAfee Estate. Officials are still on the scene battling the fire but it has been confirmed that two buildings and a thatch-roof gazebo has been consumed by the fire. According to an eyewitness the fire started in the Toll-Bridge area and eventually made it to the property at about mid afternoon. “The buildings were totaled, everything was destroyed,” said a witness to The San Pedro Sun. According to the witness, her sister and other family members were living on the premises at the time of the fire but no one was injured. Fire officials are still battling the wild fire after which they will be assessing the damages.

US Navy Supervises Special Warfare Operations Course
Graduation Ceremonies were held this morning, May 15, 2013 for 24 members of the Belize National Coastguard and 5 members of the Anti-Drug Unit (ADU), who all completed a 5-week intensive Special Warfare Operations Course. They were trained by Special Warfare Combatant Crewmen of the US Navy. The course covered Navigation, Small-Boat Handing, Communications, Board Search and Seizure, Vectoring, Radar and GPS Operation, Weapon-Handling Skills, and Waterborne Techniques. The keynote address at this morning’s ceremony was delivered by Vice Admiral Joseph D. Kernan, Deputy Commander of US Southern Command, headquartered in Miami, Florida. Commander of the Belize National Coastguard, Rear Admiral John Borland thanked the US Navy for their assistance and presented a plaque of appreciation to Vice Admiral Joseph D. Kernan. The plaque bears the image of a boat with members of the Belize Coastguard Seal Team on Board.

Public Service Information Day celebrated in San Pedro
Belize will be observing the United Nations sanctioned International Public Service Day on June 23rd, but as a forerunner to the celebration, the Ministry of the Public Service and Elections and Boundaries are spearheading several activities countrywide. In San Pedro Town, a Public Service Information Day was held as part of the countrywide activities on Friday May 10th at the Central Park. This year’s theme for Public Information Day is “Belize Public Service: Facing the Challenges Embracing the Changes, while Striving for Excellence and Professionalism.” Twelve (12) government departments were represented at the Public Information Day which was declared officially open by the Minister of Public Service, Elections and Boundaries, Honorable Senator Charles Gibson. Joining the Minister on stage were Mayor of San Pedro Town, Daniel Guerrero and Freya Parham August, Chairperson of the Public Service Day National Committee. When speaking at the event, Mayor Guerrero underscored the importance of public officers and the critical role they play. “When we think of the Public Service, we must bring to mind all those workers who provide the day to day service in all the different areas… Being a member of the public service is challenging and at the same time, rewarding. It is challenging because you provide the day to day work necessary to keep our country functioning and it is not an easy task to deal with the public…. [but] there are exemplary workers who do not hesitate to go out of their way to provide the services in good faith – this is what is rewarding to them,” said Mayor Guerrero.

Noh Mul…No More!
There has been wide outrage from every corner in Belize after word broke loose that one of the four largest Maya ruins of northern Belize, thousands of years old, has been bulldozed for roadfill aggregate. The news first broke out on May 9th that the main structure at Noh Mul Maya site situated 10 miles northwest of Orange Walk Town was almost completely demolished. Since then the actions have received condemnation from various sectors of society calling on the Government of Belize (GOB) to bring those responsible to justice. According to CTV 3 News based in Orange Walk Town, Noh Mul meaning Big Hat, was being demolished by construction company D Mar’s Construction Company who currently has government contracts to repair rural roads in both the Corozal and Orange Walk districts. According to reports, the material bulldozed by the company was being trucked to nearby Douglas village where the BC era Maya temple stones were being converged to hardcore for the rural roads. It’s an action that has archeologists in Belize at dismay at the level of ignorance displayed by the contractor who almost completely bulldozed a 20 meter structure considered to be thousands of years old.

Ambergris Today

Goodwill Brings Comfort to Senior Citizen on Wheelchair
If you frequent Boca del Rio Drive you might have stumbled upon this elderly lady sitting on her wheelchair, mostly during the afternoons across from the Oasis condo complex. Doña Maria Lourdes de Cano loves to spend her time enjoying the cool breeze under the seagrape tree. But have you noticed the condition of the wheelchair she sits in? It looks very uncomfortable; a makeshift wheelchair made out of a plastic chair, bicycle wheels and parts of a real wheelchair. Well, thanks to Mama Vilma Family Home and a group of generous and thoughtful individuals, Doña Maria has a new and much more comfortable wheelchair and better mobility. Mrs. Shelly Huber, President of the Mama Vilma Family Home, presented her with the new wheel chair courtesy of the Rotary of Belize-Sunrise and Rotary of Fort Sascatchewan Alberta, Canada. Special thanks also go out to Caye Caulker Water Taxi, Carms Mancia, Perlita Zapata, and Ms. Patty Arceo for their cooperation.

Three Simultaneous Training Courses for Police Officers
Three new training courses got underway on Monday, May 13, 2013, at the Belize National Police Training Academy in Belmopan. The first is a One-Week follow-up Training Course for Adjudicators and Presenters, mainly officers involved in tribunals within the Belize Police Department. Lecturers for this course include attorneys, magistrates and other legal experts, including Assistant Commissioner of Police Keith Lino, who holds an LLB Degree. The second is a Two-Day Training Course for members of the National Crimes Investigation Branch, focusing mainly on investigative techniques; intelligence and evidence gathering; and legal interpretations. Lecturers also include seasoned legal experts, including Mrs. Donelle Hawke, a full attorney who now heads the Prosecution Branch of the Belize Police Department.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Ladies and Gentlemen we have started our final descent into San Pedro
... and thank you for flying MAYA.

Belize Documentary Film Course
The New Mexico State University Documentary Film Course is in full force in Cayo. The students have been around Cayo this week, filming the subjects of their documentaries. They visited Lucas Island in Bullet Tree Falls.

SIPL Visits El Progresso
Feelgood story of the day. The storytellers from the San Ignacio Public Library took a trip to see the students of El Progresso, and get them interested in reading. The SIPL had a busy Education Week.

International Museum Day at SISE HoC
The SISE House of Culture is celebrating International Museum Day today. If you wnat to learn how to play the marimba, today's your chance. The El Cayo Historical exhibit and George Price: Man of Purpose and Vision exhibit will be on display.

Ascenthium in Benque Tonight
Ascenthium is playing in Benque at the Cancha Marshalleck tonight. In Bloom will be opening for them. Doors open at 8:00pm.

Mashed Craboo With Condensed Milk
This a quick,cheap dessert that we enjoy in Belize. The fruits of a number of species of Byrsonima have been consumed by the Indians of Central America and northern South America. The best-known of these is the Nance or Craboo. The tree is native and abundant in the wild, sometimes in extensive stands, in open pine forests and grassy savannas, from southern Mexico, through the Pacific side of Central America, to Peru and Brazil; also occurs in Trinidad, Barbados, Curacao, St. Martin, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and throughout Cuba and the Isle of Pines and of course Belize.

Choking Smoke
The Cayo district and some parts of other areas of the country are blanketed by choking smoke. The smoke is from burning fires in the forest, people's backyards and along the major roads.

Sharks & Rays NEW DVD
Sharks & Rays, a new film release from Dive Into Your Imagination for the home, school, and retail markets, takes you on a journey to discover the wonders of sharks and rays. Underwater photographer, filmmaker and ocean explorer, Annie Crawley takes you on a high definition adventure around the world documenting these amazing creatures. Sharks & Rays, shares with you the biology of these elasmobranchs and engages you with complex information in easy to understand language woven into interesting stories about these creatures. Exclusive footage will have you diving with schooling hammerhead sharks, observing manta rays feeding, nurse sharks entering a state of tonic immobility, plus you will experience the first Shark Sanctuary in the world while diving in the blue waters of Palau. This program takes you on a journey to discover sharks and rays around the world. Whale sharks, hammerheads, great white sharks, electric rays, manta rays, reef sharks, mako sharks, dozens of species of sharks and rays from around our world’s ocean are explored in this program. The importance of sharks in the world can in no way be understated. People are often terrified of these animals because of misinformation. Sharks & Rays shares with you how sharks and rays move, what they eat, what makes these animals similar and different plus shares some of the threats they are facing.

Channel 7

Wild City Shootout – Police Shoot One, Get Two Guns
There was a wild shootout in the Lake Independence area this evening – but quick police response has led to the recovery of two weapons, and the detention of two suspects, who were both shot. It happened just before 5:00 pm on Flamboyant Street. Two men started shooting at each other, and 7news has confirmed that over 20 rounds were fired. Police from precinct two arrived while the shootout was happening. They report that one of the men pointed his weapon at a police officer, who fired back, hitting him in the arm. The gunman’s weapon, a 9 millimeter pistol with an extended clip, fell to the ground and police recovered it. The other man ran off and police set chase, recovered his weapon from the area where he had been standing. It was a 380 pistol. He was reportedly shot three times in his foot.

Wilfred Peters, The Third Killed
Gun violence had subsided in the city for the past two months – but last night there was a killing which had all the marks of a gang related execution. The victim had a famous name: Wilfred Peters, The Third – grandson of the great brukdown legend. But his death was the kind of event befitting the notorious, not the famous. Daniel Ortiz tried to find out how he got murdered inside his own house. Daniel Ortiz reporting Today the family of 26 year old Wilfred Peters III was back at his house looking for an explanation as to what made 3 gunmen ambush him in the safety of his own home. He only lived there for about 1 month, and he probably wanted to increase his security. That's probably why he had video camera surveillance partially installed. If it only were capturing, what a brutal attack it would have caught on tape. Wilfred Peters Jr. - Father of Deceased "About after 2 last night they called and told us that they killed my son, he's my only child in my life." Daniel Ortiz "Do you know how it happened sir?" Wilfred Peters Jr. "They shot him - he got about 5 shots." Daniel Ortiz "He was in his bed right?"

Chinese Businessman Killed By Employee
Police got the report of the Peters murder at 2:20 am, and twenty minutes later, they got another report, this one at mile 12 on the Western Highway. The murder had happened earlier in the morning, around 1:00 am when a Chinese business-owner was fatally clubbed across the head by his own employee. We found out more today. Daniel Ortiz reporting There are more questions than answers in the murder of 42 year-old Wei Tao Liu, which happened at his foam factory at 12 ½ miles at on the Western Highway. His family isn’t speaking with the media, but we have confirmed that they were witnesses to the entire incident. Police say that his own employee was the one who hit Liu in the back of his head with a blunt object. That blow was massive, and he died on the spot. ASP Chris Noble - Regional Executive Officer "We had an incident in the area of the foam factory. The police did visit and we do have a male person that was injured and has been transferred to the hospital. That person succumbed and subsequent to that our investigations has led us to record some statements and the matter is still ongoing. The suspect in this case or the person of interest in this case has not been detained and we're hopeful that he will."

Shot At Park Concert, Paralyzed, Gregory Jones Dies
Two weeks ago, we told you about Gregory Jones. He’s the 22 year old who was shot out at the BTL Park in December when a gang brawl broke out at a public concert. Jones was left paralyzed from the chest downwards and was experiencing a severe case of bedsores on his legs and buttocks. His family was on the news trying to raise money to get Jones across the border for better medical assistance. But today all hopes for a speedy recovery expired after Jones succumbed to his injuries at around 12:45 this afternoon at the KHMH. We spoke to his family this evening who informed us that a bar-b-q sale was set up for this Saturday out at the Sikaffy empty parking lot on Bishop Street to raise funds for his medical expenses. The bar-b-que will proceed, but this time to raise money for his funeral and his first child, which is on the way.

Accused of Killing Boyfriend, Woman Gets Off Manslaughter
A jury acquitted 26 year-old Leshawn Lino of manslaughter last night in Justice Adolph Lucas’s courtroom. Lino was accused of slicing her boyfriend, 23 year-old Shamir Henry, on his throat which caused his death on September 2, 2010. Well, Lino stood trial before Justice Lucas, and a just after 7:30 p.m. last night, she got a not guilty verdict from the jury after a little less than 2 and half hours of deliberation. We got a chance to speak with both Lino and her attorney, Brian Neal, after they got the positive outcome. Neal told us that there were too many loose ends that the prosecution couldn’t tie up, and that evidence came out that Henry had abused Lino. Here’s how that conversation went with both of them. Bryan Neal, Attorney for the Defense "Well we had put forward three defenses, first was that it wasn't the accused who in fact inflicted this wound, the second was the defense of accident, and third defense was self defense." Daniel Ortiz "So can you explain to us the rational behind those three defenses Sir, it seems a bit strange that you would offer them a choice, conceading that she might be guilty of inflicting the injury but not of an actual legal criminality?"

McAfee OW House Goes Down In Flames
The John McAfee compound on the outskirts of Orange Walk Town at the Tower Hill Bridge, burnt down this afternoon. As these pictures show, the two main structures were destroyed. The fire started at 1:00 this afternoon when a bush fire enveloped the compound. Property Manager Noel Codd is reported to have said that he was informed of the encroaching bush fire and called the Fire Department, but by the time they got there, the bush fire had overtaken the wooden buildings and flattened them. Codd estimates the value of the buildings at two hundred and fifty thousand dollars each. The buildings are of some significance in terms of the trajectory of the Mcafee’s demise in Belize – because that’s where the GSU led an intensive search almost exactly two years ago in May of 2012. They found a bunch of guns and enough ammunition for a small army. They briefly detained McAfee and set him off on a paranoid excursion which saw him re-locate to San Pedro, and ultimately disappear after his neighbor, American Greg Faull was murdered.

SJC Suspension, A Slight Reprieve
Last night, we told you about the situation which was brewing at Saint John’s College, well it seems that a compromise has been struck. As we told you, the 3rd form class, 3D, was suspended en masse and faced the threat of academic failure because of a stolen cellular phone belonging to one of the female teachers. The entire class was suspected of having information that could lead the administration to discover the culprit. The problem is that the students all denied that they had any such information, and the principal was determined to get to the bottom of the situation. They were suspended and parents called us in an uproar to complain that her disciplinary action is too extreme. That forced a meeting today between the parents, the 3d students in their casual clothes and the administration, and they came to a resolution.

An Agenda For All
This morning, the National Women’s Commission launched the Revised National Gender Policy. The policy is a follow up to a situation analysis – and it will now specify actions or commitments to address issues of gender inequality. Lead consultant Adele Catzim Sanchez explains that the policy is designed to reflect changing times:… Adele Catzim-Sanchez, Consultant "Life changes over time and there are new emerging issues that have come to our attention over the last few years and one of those critical areas is the commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents and so the national gender policy includes those things and it makes specific commitments for how the Government will address that situation and that's just one of the situations. We have other things like the accidents; the number of accidents that are affecting men on the road. You know men die more from road accidents than women but also the gun violence; that's a gender equity issue that is now in the updated national gender policy so it's not just a women's document as people would tend to believe but it truly embodies all the issues that affect us as human beings, being male or female, young or old"

UB Students, Professor Allege Rip-off By School
Near the end of every academic year, students from the Junior Colleges around the country start to make preparations to transfer to different tertiary institutions, be it local, regional, or intentional. And that is always a stressful process because often times, they have to be accepted into the school, and they must prove that they have the financing to afford it. They have one other additional burden in which they must painstakingly and tediously go through all their courses that they’ve taken over the 2 years to see if they will be accepted at the new institution to count toward their bachelor’s degree. Well, one group of students, led by their professor Patrick Menzies, has come out swinging at the University of Belize. That’s because according to them, UB rejects a lot of credits and courses offered by junior colleges which count toward the undergraduate degree, and most of the time, those rejected courses are the same ones offered by the University. The second issue is that they say UB over-charges Bachelor’s students by 300 percent when they offer those same per-requisite courses to Associates students for far less. They say they’ve conducted intensive study on this issue, and today, they presented findings to media.

Wrecked GOB Prado Is A Write-Off
As we reported, a Toyota Prado with government plates which flipped and tumbled off the road. 4 prison officers were hitching a ride, and they received injures. As we told you, the officers responding to the accident found contraband beer, and today, the media asked the Regional Executive Officer to comment on that find. Here’s how he responded: Daniel Ortiz "It was an accident in which the police had to respond to and they found a contraband licquor in the vehicle" ASP Chris Noble - Regional Executive Officer "We had an accident that we did respond to involving a Government vehicle but regards to contraband, I believe they were damaged, beer on scene but to say that it was inside the vehicle or had been there prior to the vehicle being in the accident, I can't say"

What Killed Angel Chiac?
48 hours ago, on Tuesday night at around 8:00, 22 year old Angel Chiac was found dead on the side of the Northern Highway near mile 26. He had last been seen alive half an hour earlier at a bus shed near to where he was found. His body showed no signs of violence and today we asked the officer in charge of the rural Belize District if foul play was involved. ASP Chris Noble - Regional Executive Officer "In Biscayne, to be exact, we do have an autopsy being conducted on a male person that was found on the highway and was pronounced dead at the hospita. The autopsy is yet to reveal what are the causes of death; what may have lead to his demise" Daniel Ortiz "Have you guys been able to identify who the person is?" ASP Chris Noble "Yes, that I believe has been released in a press release but I'll give you the name as soon as we are off" A post mortem was scheduled for this afternoon.

It’s Education Showcase week two, and tonight’s profile is of a career educator, CLORISELA TORRES. Her story is not so much about teaching, as it is about learning, the hard way. This child from San Roman Rio Hondo in Orange Walk’s Albion islands attended school in Belize City where she got an education in bullying. She told the profile how it led her down a path where she almost lost her chance at an education:…

US Capital, Winning Hearts And Minds In Toledo East
US Capital energy has come under sustained criticism in southern Belize – where the oil company has been harshly criticized by community groups such as SATIIM, the Maya Leaders Alliance and the Toledo Alcalde’s Association. But, the reality on the ground is not as simple as a press release; poverty is widespread in Toledo and US capital energy has lots of money to go around, both in terms of the jobs they create and the hearts and minds they can win over with donations. Yesterday, Monica Bodden went south to find out about how they’re generating goodwill and bi-partisan political clout inside the communities, even as community leaders try to fend them off at the official level. Monica Bodden reporting For over 6 years USCapital Energy Belize Limited has been working in a number of communities in the Toledo District. The company is trying to show the communities how the Petroleum industry brings the promise of development. Nial Gillett - PR Consultant, Us Capital Energy "What the US Capital is doing is that they have been in these communities for over six years and they've invested a lot of money in these communities to show that the petroleum industry can bring development to these communities. Behind us right here we have the Roman Catholic School that was start by SIF - the downstairs and it was completed by US Capital so the entire upstairs was done by US Capital. This is just one of the various places that we're demonstrating our commitment to development in Toledo. Even before the company has even found a drop of oil. So we're doing this as far as a partnership with the communities, partnerships with the people who are working here providing jobs and employment and mostly showing what development can do."

Channel 5

Evening shootout in Belize City, several injured
There has been a surge in violence in the past sixteen hours. Two men were murdered overnight…but this evening, a sustained shootout, purportedly between members of rival gangs in the Lake Independence area, has resulted in the hospitalization of two Belize City youths. Just after five p.m., a barrage of as many as twenty shots [...]

Namesake and grandson of legendary musician, murdered
Gun blasts were heard just before two o’clock this morning in the vicinity of George Frazer and Iguana Streets. When the gunfire subsided, twenty-six year old Wilfred Peters, the third lay dead in a pool of blood in his kitchen. But who killed the grandson of the legendary king of brukdong and why? That’s what [...]

Foam factory boss murdered by employee
Just before Wilfred Peters the third was gunned down, there was another murder. A Hattieville businessman, Wei Tao Liu, succumbed to injuries when he was hit on the head by one of his employees. The incident occurred at his place of business at mile twelve and a half on the George Price Highway just before [...]

Man falls dead on road
Police are also investigating the sudden death of twenty-two year old Angel Chiac, whose body was discovered just after eight on Tuesday night between miles twenty-five and twenty-six on the Phillip Goldson Highway. The Biscayne resident was last seen around seven-thirty that night under a bus shed in the village. Chiac’s body was found about [...]

6 months later, shooting victim succumbs
Gregory Jones was shot in December 2012 while he was at an event at the B.T.L. Park on Princess Margaret Drive. The youth was shot while partying with his girlfriend at the public event. He never recovered and his condition worsened when he became afflicted with bedsores at the K.H.M.H. A fundraising effort to pay [...]

Buildings on John McAfee’s compound burn to ground
John McAfee – now there’s a name you probably never wanted to hear again…but you will, because early this afternoon two large wooden houses on his gated compound in Carmelita in the Orange Walk district went up in flames. Reports are that the blaze was fast and furious, and by the time the Fire Department [...]

Belizean kidnapper gets 25 years in Guatemalan jail; more charges pending
There is word tonight from Guatemala that thirty-three year old Joseph Budna has been sentenced to twenty-five years in a Guatemalan prison after being found guilty of kidnapping.  The former freelance reporter, who apparently became the leader of a regional kidnapping and extortion ring, was condemned in the Department of Chiquimula, following a case in [...]

UB students upset about fees (lowest in region)
The University of Belize is the only educational institution in Belize which offers degree programs at both the Associates and Bachelor’s levels, and each year enrollment grows. But the institution has not been without its fair share of hiccups, drama and outright controversy. Even now, there is still tension between the office of the President, [...]

El Turk will soon know if he will be extradited to U.S.A.
Extradition proceedings for Lebanese businessman Khalid Jamil El Turk to be handed over to U.S. authorities continued this morning in the courtroom of Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith.  El Turk, who is wanted for his role in conspiring to import pseudo-ephedrine, is being represented by senior counsel Edwin Flowers and attorney Anthony Sylvester.  In his [...]

Woman who stabbed and killed B.D.F. freed
At about seven-thirty on Wednesday night, a jury of seven women and two men concluded deliberations in the manslaughter trial of twenty-six year old Leshawn Lino. When they emerged after deliberating for about two hours and half, the verdict went in favor of Lino, the mother of three. The jury found her not guilty of [...]

Mental appraisal needed for man charged with carnal knowledge
Also in court, the trial of Dean Bennett for a charge of attempted carnal knowledge and aggravated assault of an indecent nature was interrupted today by Judge Troadio Gonzalez. Bennett is accused of sexually abusing a ten year old girl.  The trial was suddenly halted by the judge when Bennett displayed peculiar behavior, a mental [...]

John Briceño appalled by destruction of Noh Mul
The destruction of Noh Mul continues to draw condemnation from numerous sectors. Late last week, Noh Mul was savaged by a company, De Mar’s, owned by businessman and U.D.P. affiliate, Denny Grijalva for road fill. It has been a personal loss for John Briceño, P.U.P.’s Area Representative for Orange Walk Central. Briceño told News Five [...]

Mexican exhibit honors Yucatecan expert in ink collages
Friendship between Belize and Mexico has recently further enhanced by a meeting of representatives working in the tourism sector. But for those who don’t cross the border to visit, our neighbors have brought the art of one of its painters to Belize. Tonight, the Embassy of Mexico invites the public to view the works of   [...]

Despite Noh Mul fiasco, tourism industry is booming
The Ministry of Tourism and Culture has been taking a hit in the wake of the destruction of the Mayan monument, Noh Mul. While its C.E.O. Tracy Panton, acknowledged these are dark days for the ministry, there are at least two rays of sunshine to report in the areas of flights to Belize and cruise [...]

Healthy Living: an apple a day keeps the doctor away
The last time we sat down with nutritionist and the coordinator for the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP) and PAHO advisor, Evelyn Roldan, we spoke about the minimum amount of physical activity that your body requires. This week’s Healthy Living looks at another important element of a healthy lifestyle: Eating healthy [...]


Reward Is Out For The Apprehension of A Man Who Allegedly Killed A Chinese Businessman
MARION ALI REPORTING: LEE MARK CHANG “The Chinese Association is ready to give a five thousand dollars reward through the Police Department for the arrest of Christian Alexander Mejia Munoz.” MARION ALI “While it is not normal for the police...

John McAfee's Structures Go Up In Flames In Northern Belize
The two main buildings in the John McAfee estate in Orange Walk is now ashes after a fire gutted the two buildings. Love News understands that the two structures with thatch roofing, one measuring forty by fifty and the other measuring fifty by sixty, went up in flames due to a nearby ...

Activist In Belize Reveals Studies Done at Local University Concluding on A Rip Off of Students' Money
Today adjunct lecturer at the University of Belize, Patrick Menzies, came out swinging at the institution for which he works. Menzies has accused UB under its current structure UB is guilty of unethical practices with regard to its credit/class acceptance policy and tuition rates...

Senior Police Officer Awarded; Course on Intensive Warfare Operations Ends in Belize
Head of the Northern Zone, Senior Superintendent of Police Joseph Myvette, was presented with a cheque of $1,000 is for the best by his department in reducing Major Crimes during the month of April, and the Certificate of Award is for the best performance by the Orange Formation for th...

Police Department Releases Statistics on Crime
There have been forty one murders so far for the year 2013 a decrease of 3 compared to last year during the time frame from January to April; that’s according to the statistic issued yesterday by the Belize Police Department. January had the most murders with thirteen while Febru...

Grandson of Legendary Brukdown Belizean Artist Murdered In His Home
MARION ALI “Wilfred Peters III, the grandson of Belize's brukdown icon, the late Wilfred Peters Sr. was awoken by gunmen who had kicked in his front door at his home at the corner of George Frazer and Iguana Street Extension in Belize City at around two this morning. The ...

Minister of Immigration Comments On The Arrest of Illegal Indians
Last night we told you about the eleven Indian Nationals that appeared in the San Ignacio Magistrates court yesterday morning where they were each charged with one single count of illegal entry. The group consisting of eight men, two women and a minor was found in Santa Elena Tow...

Art Exhibition Opens At The Institute of Mexico In Belize City
Today doors open at the Mexican Institute in Belize City to welcome the public to view the art work of contemporary artist, Maria Luisa Villarreal Sonora. Sonora is showcasing twenty three art pieces in an exhibit called “My life, my dreams, My World”. The forty year old ar...

Chief Magistrate Sets Date To Render Decision In Extradition Case
The Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith today reserved June 28 to give her decision in the extradition hearing of Kalid Jamil El Turk, a Lebanese national living in Belize who is wanted by the U.S. Government for alleged conspiracy to import pseudoephedrine into the United States. The su...

Judge Stops Carnal Knowledge Trial To Have The Accused Evaluated
The trial of 44 year old Dean Bennett, charged with attempted carnal knowledge of a girl, 10 years old, was stopped today by Justice John Gonzalez for Bennett to get a psychiatric evaluation. Justice Gonzalez stopped the trial because from since it began, Bennett kept saying that he ha...

Mother of Three Acquitted After Standing Trial For Her Boyfriend's Murder
Twenty-six year old Deshawn Lino, a mother of three, charged with manslaughter, was acquitted of the charge late yesterday evening in the court of Justice Adolph Lucas. The jury of seven women and two men deliberated for two hours and 32 minutes before it arrived at its verdict, wh...

Chocolate Festival of Belize Heads Into Its Seventh Year
At the end of the month all road will be leading down south for the 7th annual Chocolate Festival of Belize. The festival will span from the 24th, to the 26th of May and Chairman of the Chocolate Festival of Belize, Dennis Garbutt spoke to Love News about what you can expect at this ye...


Belizean And Mexican National Remanded To Prison For Firearm and Ammunition Charges
Today, George Valencia, 32 year old Belizean laborer of G-Street South Corozal Town and 46 year old Mexican National Juan Alliesto Hernandez Zuniga of Chetumal Quintana Roo were charged with two counts of kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license at the Corozal Magistrates Court. As previously mentioned, on Sunday May 12th, Police were on mobile patrol when they set chase after a black F150 pickup truck driven at the time by Valencia. Travelling along with Valencia was Hernandez Zuniga and another individual of Mexican Nationality who managed to escape from police by running into some nearby bushes as the vehicle came to a stop. Reports are that before police intercepted the vehicle; the men were seen throwing a number of objects out of the pickup. The objects were later discovered to be a 9mm Beretta Pistol, three magazines: one containing fourteen 9mm rounds and two containing fifteen 9mm rounds and a black ski mask. When police visited the area the following morning along with Hernandez Zuniga and Valencia, they found one 9mm Browning Pistol along with one magazine containing thirteen 9mm live rounds. Both men were remanded until the 31st of this month.

John McAfee's Property Goes Up In Flames
Just a little over a year ago the Gang Suppression Unit entered John MacAfee’s premises located in the Village of Carmelita near the toll bridge and raided his home, busted into his research facility, killed his dog, took his passport and even placed him under arrest for weapon charges. MacAfee made the news again in November of 2012 when he was wanted for questioning into the murder of U.S National Gregory Faull which occurred in San Pedro Town. The anti virus guru is now in the U.S but today he received the bad news that two of his houses erected on the property near the toll bridge here in Orange Walk, went up in flames. According Manager of the property Noel Codd, at around 1:00pm he was informed that an empty bushy lot adjacent to MacAfee’s property was on fire. He immediately informed the Orange Walk Fire Department but by the time the fire truck arrived in the area both wooden structures and a palapa were already engulfed in flames. Noel Codd – Manager “They call me and tell me that the fire coming close to the building or one of the building was already on fire and I went straight to the fire department, I was in Orange Walk Town so I went to the fire station and reported it and they came but by the time they reached it was too late the other house had already caught fire, the second building, both of them had caught fire at the same time. Each one of those building are over BZ$250,000.00 each and they were fully furnished so we are talking about half a million dollars Belize that lost right there and unfortunately the buildings are not insured. The fire department came as we reported it they came and they are still here, they came from the time we reported it so I have to give them thanks and they did a good job and we were lucky we were right beside the river so we had more water but they came as we reported it but these house are made out of what you call trash top and they are like kerosene and wood they were gone.” According to Codd, the entire property was a step away from being sold to new investors who would have signed the purchasing contract sometime next week. Noel Codd – Manager “When the fire was happening I called Mr. McAfee, of course other people would have called him you know. I was with some investors for like a whole week and they came to purchase the property and I just got an e-mail saying that they would have purchased the property sometime next week but now it is all gone there is nothing else that we can do it is all gone. The buyers were going to purchase the property for much less that it is worth but it is gone now.” Both structures, valued at more that $250,000 each, were not insured. According to personnel from the Orange Walk Fire Department there was little they could to salvage the structures.

Did Douglas Chairman Contribute To The Destruction Of Noh Mul?
When he ran for politics back in 2012 he did not attract as much attention as the one he is getting today for the destruction of Noh Mul, one of the four largest Maya Mounds found in Northern Belize. Denny Grijalva, the Managing Director of De Mar’s Stone Company, is tonight swimming in turbulent waters as he is being chastised here at home and abroad for bulldozing more than 70 percent of the 2,300 year old Maya Mound located in Nuevo San Juan for land fill used to rehabilitate streets and roads in the Village of Douglas and other communities in Orange Walk North. Despite the fact that Grijalva has abolished himself from all responsibility, through a press release issued late yesterday evening, and practically laid the blame for the destruction of the archeological site on his company’s foreman and the chairman of Douglas Village Carlos Zetina, he is at the center of the conviction. In his unapologetic release, Grijalva stated that the Company’s Foreman had identified a site for the initial excavation of road material, but the Chairman of Douglas Village was not satisfied with the quality of material and as such he obtained permission from a landowner to extract material from his property from which material has been excavated for well over a decade. Bottom line is that the UDP politician is blaming his foreman and the Chairman of Douglas Village for the destruction of Noh Mul. So today we went looking for answers and tried to get an interview with the chairman of Douglas Village Carlos Zetina. We found him at the San Pablo R.C School where he teaches but he refused to give us an interview. All he stated was that if deemed necessary he will issue a press release sometime in the near future or will call on the media if and when he decides to given an interview.

Putting Orange Walk On The Tourism Map
Apart from the Sugar Industry, the Tourism Industry is one of the main backbones of the Belizean Economy. But here in the north tour guides and other stakeholders of the industry enjoy only a small piece of the pie due to a number of reasons. It is good to note though that the scenario is slowly changing and with the formation of BTIA Orange Walk Chapter who seeks to put the north on the tourism map, the tide is expected to shift in our favour. Giving an extra push to BTIA’s initiative is a newly launched project funded by the European Union and the Government of Belize which seeks to develop nine archaeological sites across Belize including Lamanai erected here in Orange Walk. Victor Castillo - Reporting Last night approximately seven executive members of the Northern Tour Guide Association witnessed the launching of a project which seeks to enhance nine archaeological sites including Lamanai found in the Orange Walk District. The project, funded by the European Union and the Government of Belize, seeks to promote broad based rural economic growth, reduce the incidence of poverty in rural communities, and increase household incomes and food security through tourism. According to the program’s Policy Coordinator Geraldo Flowers, one of the objectives of the project is to increase the economic opportunities in rural communities thus reducing the poverty rate by enhancing the services offered at the nine archaeological sites.

Reports Of Major Crimes Decreases In Orange Walk
Yesterday Officer in Charge of the Northern Zone, Senior Superintendent of Police Joseph Myvette, received a cheque for a thousand dollars for the best performance in reducing Major Crimes during the month of April. Minister of National Security John Saldivar also presented Myvette with a certificate with a Certificate of Award for the best performance by the Orange Walk Police Formation for the month of April. And based on the crime statistics for January to April 2013, the awards are well deserved since Orange Walk saw a reduction in major crimes for the month of April. Statistics show that there was a decrease in the number of murders and rapes committed in Orange Walk compared to 2012 while Corozal remained the same. A decrease in other crimes such as robbery and theft were also recorded for both Orange Walk and Corozal. But it’s not all good news since Orange Walk did see an increase in burglaries and carnal knowledge. Corozal on the other hand recorded a decrease in burglaries but saw an increase in carnal knowledge. The same cannot be said for other municipalities where crime statistics remained the same or increased. Of note is that the Old Capital saw the highest numbers in all major crimes from January to April but saw a decrease in robberies and burglaries in comparison to 2012.

Honouring Our Nurses
This week is being dedicated to the people whose work although significant, usually goes unappreciated. Nurses are amongst the professionals whose work, though vital, also goes unrewarded. That’s why this week is being celebrated as Nurses Week for the country’s five hundred plus nurses with a number of activities. On Tuesday, nurses at the Northern Regional Hospital celebrated their week with a special church service. Guadalupe Longworth – Regional Health Manager “This week basically we come out and give them thanks to our nurses and give them credit for all the hard work that they do and we must acknowledge that they are the back bone of the doctors, they are the back bone of all that we do and five of the gaps that we are trying to close it is an international goal and five of the gaps that we are trying to close deals with nurses and doctors with medical team. We are having our Orange Walk nurse’s week ceremony normally every year we have a day that we celebrate nurses week and nurses international is celebrated on the 26th of May but since it was mother day we decided to do it today.” Two of the problems that the NRH is seeking to eliminate have to do with malnutrition and vaccination of children underage, according to Regional Health Manager, Guadalupe Longsworth.

Mayor Bernard Denounces The Destruction Of Noh Mul
As the days go by, public out cry for the destruction of one of the largest Maya Edifice in the north, increases. Since we first broke the story on Thursday May 9th people have been commenting on the issue and tonight we can safely say that those being blamed for the destruction of Noh Mul, specifically Denny Grijalva, are being chastised. Strong worded press releases issued by various organizations condemning the actions of De’ Mar’s Stone Company owned by Grijalva have been making headlines. And from the looks of it the topic of Noh Mul will be on the media for quite sometime. Today two names were added to the already long list of disgruntled Belizeans as Mayor of Orange Walk Town Kevin Bernard and Randy Jones President of the Northern Tour Guide Association weighed in on the issue. Kevin Bernard, Mayor of OWT “I would use the word distasteful, I think it is an outrage I was very much appalled when I saw the images and in fact the day when I was at a workshop in Belmopan when we got the call that this was happening. At the same time it shows that serious level of ignorance from their part that they wouldn’t not have known, a claim to not have known that Noh Mul existed there, I myself studied history in primary school and these are things that have been thought to us so why is it that they will tell me that they didn’t know anything at all, I think it is very unfortunate and it is wrong and I believe that the people are the archaeological department , the police department they need to take serious action against those perpetuators and those who created this because we have been bruised internationally, I mean I have watched Mexican news, BBC news, NBC news all of these things we look very bad internationally as a people because how can we allow our culture heritage to go like that I mean it is sad to say that somebody right from Orange Walk a company responsible that has destroyed our own Orange Walk heritage and I think it is wrong and it needs to be dealt with and if I was the law I would have taken it to the very length.”

Developing A Master Plan For the North
The first phase of the Belize Municipal Development Project, BMDP, saw the rehabilitation of three streets in Orange Walk: Tangerine, Avilez and San Ignacio Streets. Currently plans are underway for the second phase of the project to commence which will see the restoration of the Orange Walk Central Park. The 30 million dollar project, funded by the Government of Belize through a thirty million dollars loan from the World Bank and implemented by the Social Investment Fund, has four components: infrastructure, revenue enhancement, capacity building and the development of the municipal growth plan. In order for the fourth component to be carried out, a local planning group was formed in all seven municipalities that currently benefit from the BMDP. Today members of the local planning group from both the Orange Walk and Corozal Districts along with members of the Ministry of Natural Resources and other organizations met at the Banquitas House of Culture to formulate the master developmental plan for the north. Kevin Bernard, Mayor of OWT “This morning what we are doing we have put together both the two local planning working groups from Corozal District and the Orange Walk District who have come together in a cluster workshop, cluster meeting to discuss the way forward in terms of the municipal development plans that we are set out to achieve through the VNDP project and it is very important to understand that the people that we have put together in our various planning working groups stems from the town, people from the community, people from the town and so we have the councillors on board as well, people with different ideas and different expertise and so the idea here is to get people on board that would be able to come up with ideas and plans that we want to see Orange Walk within the next ten, twenty, fifty years. The investment that have been placed in today we have the team from IUD, the consultancy firm as well as representation from the Ministry of Natural Resources, from the lands and survey department planning section especially, that would assist these local planning working groups in achieving these goals and setting up these plans but they are not the ones doing the plans it is us the community members that will work in developing that plan, they are just basically going to guide us along the process and I want to welcome whoever in Orange Walk Town as well that would be willing be part of this and a broader committee of this local planning working group to come up with ideas, to come up with plans that we think would benefit Orange Walk Town in the longer run.”


Grandson of late popular musician murdered
In a few weeks time, it will have been three years since legendary brukdown musician Wilfred Peters died at 79 in June of 2010. While his death was peaceful and he was rightfully honored by all Belizeans, the family today mourns a more tragic and sudden loss, his grandson,...

Chinese businessman murdered by worker
One hour before Wilfred Peters III’s death, Hattieville police were dealing with a murder of their own. At the KHMH in Belize City, the body of businessman 42 year old Wei Tao Liu, 42, was observed with apparent injuries to the back of his head. He was at his...

Dead body was discovered on the outskirts of Belize City
The body of a 22 year old was found on the outskirts of Belize City. On Tuesday night, acting upon a tip, Police visited an area between Miles 25 and 26 on the Phillip Goldson Highway. There, they discovered the body of a Biscyane resident, Angel Chiac. Chiac’s body...

Shooting in Belize City Thursday evening
There are reports coming in of a shooting incident that happened in Belize City this evening. Details are still sketchy at this time but we know the incident happened on Flamboyant street. We understand that two persons were shooting at each other on that street and both received gunshot...

PNP condemns demolition of Noh Mul
The vocal agitation surrounding the destruction of Noh Mul continues. Today, the People’s National Party has come out to condemn the demolition of the archeological site, saying, “We consider this an act of sacrilege against all indigenous people, especially the Mayan community, and the entire nation and people of...

Dr John Morris comments on Noh Mul desecration
Last night, we brought you the story of an ancient Mayan civilization in the Capital City, which now sits under private development. This is a little known fact, but was brought to our attention by former Mayor of Belmopan, Anthony Chanona. He brought us a letter, written by him,...

Members have issues with Albert Street Taxi Union
Last month the men of the Albert Street Taxi Union were tangling with City Hall concerning their parking spaces on Albert Street in the wake of the renovation of Battlefield Park. That has been resolved but now there is concern of internal wrangling in the union with regard to...

Some UB students are being overcharged for courses
Today adjunct professor at the University of Belize Patrick Menzies and students of his Management Information Systems class at UB released details of what they believe is continued misinformation and misrepresentation of credit transfer policy between the University and junior colleges, resulting in students paying thousands of extra dollars...

Guatemalan farmer jailed after being caught in the Chiquibul Forest with unlicensed weapons
A Guatemalan farmer will spend the next ten years in a Belizean jail cell, after he was caught in the Chiquibul Forest with unlicensed weapons. 55 year old Salome Ramirez, was one of two men who tried to flee from Belizean authorities on Tuesday night; he, along with another...

Belize City resident robbed by men claiming to be Police
A Belize City resident says he was knocked over the head and robbed by men claiming to be Police. The 27 year old electrician says that around 12am on Wednesday, he was driving his SUV on Euphrates Avenue, and when he reached the intersection of Euphrates Avenue and King...

Burglars target Palotti High School
Burglars targeted the Palotti High School sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. They broke into the administration office and stole close to $2,000. The monies stolen were students’ graduation fees.

Two men in jail following armed robbery of fruit vendors
Two men, one of whom is an eighteen year old student, are tonight behind bars, after they allegedly robbed three fruit vendors at gun point. It happened just before 6 o’clock on Tuesday night, when a fruit vendor, along with two friends, who work with him, were standing on...

Men detained after car chase charged with firearm offences
Earlier this week, two men were detained after a high speed chase with Police that resulted in the discovery of a number of weapons. Those men, Belizean George Valenica and Mexican national Juan Alberto Hernandez have since been formally charged, with two counts of kept firearm and ammunition without...

Diesel price increases
Motorists will have to dig a bit deeper into their pockets, as the cost of diesel takes a slight increase. As of today, the cost per gallon of diesel is now $10.23, that’s a thirty-two cents rise.


Education Seen as Best Cure for Maya Destruction
The assistant manager of the Belize Natural History Centre (NHC) said that while worldwide condemnation and anger surrounding last week’s destruction of the ancient Maya pyramid at Nohmul in northern Belize is understandable and even healthy, the time has come to move on to finding solutions to prevent a repeat of the tragedy. Brion Young, who is also a naturalist guide at The Lodge at Chaa Creek, which sponsors the NHC, said he believes that education is the key to preserving Belize’s rich Maya heritage. “It’s only natural that all Belizeans are incensed with this wanton destruction of our Maya heritage. Our children’s children and literally millions of future visitors to Belize have been robbed of the chance to experience a magnificent part of Belize’s past. “However, we now need to move on to developing solutions and putting systems in place to ensure this never happens again,” Mr Young said, “and education is the key to this. That’s something that Chaa Creek and the NHC has always promoted, and we’ll be ramping up our efforts in this area.” Mr Young said that the NHC was founded as a way to showcase the natural and cultural history of this tiny Central American country on the Caribbean Sea as well as display some of the many Maya artefacts found in the Chaa Creek area, which was a major agricultural and trade centre for the ancient Maya.

“On the Floor” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Spent some time yesterday morning exchanging emails with Benny’s firming up on the appliances Rose and I have chosen for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Pleased to say that following this exchange we have decided what we want for both the (our) kitchen on the First Floor and for the kitchen in the Ground Floor self-contained apartment. Prices agreed and Benny’s will hold the goods ‘in store’ until we are ready to take delivery of them. I now just need to provide them with proof of my acceptance in to the “QRP” ( so that import duty is not applied) and arrange payment (ouch). Oh, and organise arrangements for a barge to get them to Ambergris Caye. Next job for Rose and I now is to choose the TVs we would like, get prices from Benny’s and compare these to buying on-line (and arranging/paying for shipping) from the States. I then sent an email to Excess International (the company we are using to ship the household goods and personal effects we put in to storage before we left the UK) to establish if they can deliver direct to Ambergris Caye as opposed to Belize City.

John McAfee Belize Property Up in Flames
Worth over half a million dollars, the main structures on the John McAfee estate in Carmelita, Orange Walk are now ashes as a result of a nearby bushfire lit on the adjoining property. Uninsured, the fire started at 1:00 this afternoon rapidly spreading throughout the compound. Two years ago, the GSU found an arsenal of guns and ammunition for a small army on the compound.

International Sources

Globetrotting: Belize – May 2013
The sun is hot, in that Central America kind of way, but it’s the soft drizzle that’s pestering, like the ubiquitous mosquitos. Insects, I can surprisingly handle, but the rain is a monkey wrench for my perfectly planned excursion at Caracol. Not only is it Belize’s most popular attraction, it’s a major Maya archaeological site in the Cayo District, covering approximately 30 square miles and one of the best-kept ruins to date. Additionally, and what excites me most, Caracol is one of the best-preserved astronomical observatories—it points to the equinox and solstice. What further makes Caracol a gem is the little foot traffic: Belize only gets half a million visitors a year. Thrilled from my adventure and running on a natural high, I arrive back at my resort only to find another monkey wrench, this time in the form of an iPhone. I left mine at the archaeological site. A disheartening moment, I inform the staff of the resort but have already accepted the fact that I will never see my phone again. It’s not until a few hours later that I get the news my phone was found and would be sent to my hotel the next afternoon. Staff had made various calls to park rangers, one of whom discovered it untouched, held onto it, then had it delivered to me the next day. While this is reflective of the unforgettable staff, it speaks volumes for the people of Belize.

10 Best Wildlife Travel Adventures
1. Belize:Located on the northeastern coast of Central America, Belize is brimming with unique and exciting wildlife. There are approximately 145 species of mammals, 139 species of reptiles and amphibians, and over 500 species of birds that call the Latin American country home. Belize contains remarkable protected parks and coastal cays abundant with indigenous wildlife. To see some of Belize’s rarest animals, such as Baird’s tapirs and scarlet macaws, a tour guide is required, but many exotic animals can be spotted all around the tropical paradise. Swim with sharks and stingrays in the crystal-clear Caribbean waters, and make sure to visit the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, which is recognized internationally as the world’s first jaguar preserve.

VIDEO: 1 Day in Paradise -- Scuba Skydiving. Gulliver Page.
There's only one thing that's better than scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, and that's skydiving from a helicopter, releasing your parachute just above the water, swimming down to the bottom to get your tank and then scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef. This is Scuba Skydiving.

Scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change
A comprehensive analysis of peer-reviewed articles on the topic of global warming and climate change has revealed an overwhelming consensus among scientists that recent warming is human-caused.

May 16, 2013


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Today's Tropical Weather Outlook
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The San Pedro Sun

Emaciated Spider Monkey rescued on Ambergris Caye
Authorities on Ambergris Caye, acting on information received, launched an operation at a residence in the southwestern tip of the San Pedrito area of San Pedro Town where a spider monkey was rescued. The adult female spider monkey was being held captive and is believed to be in very poor condition and extremely underweight for its size. Scientifically known as Ateles Geoffroyi, spider monkeys are classified as a critically endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and in Belize they are protected. The operation was carried out by members of the San Pedro Police Department, the Tourism Police Unit and American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES) on behalf of the Belize Forestry Department. According to Cherie Chenot-Rose, research biologist at ACES, the monkey was tied to a rope that was fastened to a metal chain hooked to a small little shed in a yard. “The police noticed the monkey chained outside, two iguanas and some other miscellaneous wildlife, not yet identified in the person’s home… it is illegal to have any wildlife in Belize without the proper permits from the Belize Forestry Department,” said Chenot-Rose. More importantly is that the Forestry Department does not issue permits to keep any species of monkey as a pet. The rescued spider monkey was transported to the Wildtracks facility in Sarteneja Village in the Corozal District where it will be treated and rehabilitated.

Caleb Orozco’s case against Attorney General now in deliberation
Section 53 of the Belize Constitution states, “Every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.” Essentially this law criminalizes all acts of anal sex between men and men, men and women and men and children, regardless of age and consent. For about three years Caleb Orozco, Executive Director of the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), had prepared to challenge Section 53 in the Belize court of law, since according to the law homosexual intercourse between consenting adults is a criminal activity. The court hearing began on Tuesday, May 7th. The claimant’s party consisted of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association, the Human Dignity Trust, the International Commission of Jurists and UNIBAM. They argue that the case is not about legalizing gay rights in Belize, but rather empowering a person’s right to privacy and human dignity since the laws seems to degrade and criminalize acts that occur in the privacy of home. “I am forcing the issue to the Supreme Court because of discrimination, whether it’s selective discrimination or unjust discrimination. You cannot pick or choose the fundamental rights and freedom that we have as humans. It is my right to bring the issue to the court and treat the issue fairly, not with the prejudice that is perceived but with the discussion it deserves,” said Orozco.

Consolidated Waters donates to Rotary for San Mateo residents
One community on Ambergris Caye that does not have proper access to safe drinking water is San Mateo, situated just north of the heart of Belize’s largest tourism town of San Pedro. Water samples extracted along various sections of the waterlines conducted by Engineers without Borders, as recently as January, 2013, showed that the waters were contaminated with coliform (fecal bacteria), making it unsafe to drink. In an effort to continue addressing the lack of proper drinking water, Consolidated Water Belize Limited has made a donation to the Rotary Club of Belize. The donation was held on Friday May 10th, where members of the Belize Rotary Club were presented with a check. One of the organizations in Belize that has been helping in addressing the water issue in San Mateo is the Rotary Club of Belize. The club has been providing water-filter buckets to the people of San Mateo in order for them to treat their own water – making it safe for drinking. After carefully following the work that The Belize Rotary Club has been doing with San Mateo residents, Consolidated Waters – Belize Limited decided to help by ways of a donation of $2,500BZ. President of the Belize Rotary Club Maria Coye said that the donation will go a long way in their efforts in San Mateo. “This donation will be used to purchase more water-filter buckets. What will happen is that we will have Rotary International match the donation so that we can get more from it. The essential thing is that the people of San Mateo will be benefiting from filter buckets so that they can have safe drinking water. This is part of a countrywide effort in different rural communities to address the lack of proper, clean and safe drinking water,” said Coye.

Nyisha Gabourel – a multi-faceted diamond in the rough
For our first Diamond in the Rough, we are very excited to present our first artist, Nyisha Gabourel. Nyisha is a multi-talented artist (we are talking the usual arts and THEN SOME…Nyisha is a barber too!). We share with you just a few of the many extraordinary pieces in Nyisha’s gallery (see above). MBB knows talent when it sees it, so be sure to keep an eye on her!

Ambergris Today

Teens Belize Org. Crowns Miss Top Celebrity 2013
Press Release - Teens Belize Organization is humble to present the official results of the Miss Top Celebrity Pageant, verified by the Chairpersons of Teens Belize, Floridalma Fajardo and Abel Coleman; the Executive Director, Kenny Jacobs; the Teens Belize Committee and the official judges. Charlyn Flowers Miss Punta Gorda Miss Top Celebrity 2013-14 The ten candidates who participated in this year’s pageant are Roxannie Bowman, Leilani Nah, Victoria Canul, Marilyn Lopez, Charlyn Flowers, Nikki Chan, Shanice Flowers, Ivorie Mendez, and Jenny Ramirez. They brought a package of intellect, talent, beauty, grace, eloquence and national pride to this year’s pageant which positively echoed across the world. Besides this, they advocated the values of discipline, respect and self- growth to our Belizean youth. They are “The Belizean Inspiration: Nothing More, Nothing Less.” s

Crime Stoppers Signs Go Up Around Town
Eight Crime Stoppers information signs have gone up at key points around San Pedro Town, especially at entry points on the island on Monday, May 13, 2013. On hand to do the work were Town Councilor in charge of Policing, Wally Nuñez, along with fellow Councilor Gabriel Nuñez, Town Council Forman Freddie Gonzalez and San Pedro Superintendent of Police, Luis Casteaños. The signs were placed at island entry points which include aross from Tropic Air and Maya Island Air airport terminals and one each at the San Pedro/Belize Express and Caye Caulker Water Taxi Terminals, two at the Villas at Banyan Bay intersection and two on the north end of the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge in the Boca del Rio Area.

Misc Belizean Sources

“My Life, My Dreams, My World”: By Maria Luisa Villarreal
The Mexican Embassy invites you to the opening of the art exhibition: “My Life, My Dreams, My World” By Maria Luisa Villarreal. Opening: Thursday, May 16th, 2013 6:30 pm Entrance is FREE and open to the general public Institute of Mexico Belize City (Corner of Newtown Barracks and Wilson Street)

Chocolate Week in Belize with Taza Chocolates
Cotton Tree Lodge & Taza Chocolate are proud to present Chocolate Week! This March, we invite you to join Taza cofounder Alex Whitmore for a full week in beautiful Belize, exploring the Mayan origins of chocolate and relaxing in the thatched-roof cabanas of Cotton Tree Lodge. Alex has spent the last several years travelling extensively through Latin America and the Caribbean, sourcing the highest quality organic cacao for Taza Chocolate. These efforts have recently led us to Belize where, in partnership with Cotton Tree Lodge and Maya Mountain Cacao, we're laying the groundwork for our next single origin chocolate bar. For enthusiasts seeking to better understand the chocolate-making process from bean to bar, this is the opportunity of a lifetime.

Drums not Guns a fundraiser to help the youths of Belize
I would like to pass on to you a link to a good cause started by Emmeth Young. A Belizean trying to make a difference for the youths of Belize. "Drums not Guns came about because many of the youths of my villages were going up into the city to join gangs, and when they come back, they come back in their coffin. They get killed by gun violence. So I decided to start a program called 'Drums not Guns'." If you have been looking for a hand carved drum from Belizean hard woods you can get one made by the youths of Belize and help this is a great cause.

Placencia Belize Resorts Prepare for the Annual Lobsterfest Celebration in Placencia Village – June 28, 29 & 30
The Placencia Lobsterfest is a grand celebration of the opening of the lobster season in Belize and attracts thousands of local and international visitors to the Placencia Peninsula. The manager of guest services at Chabil Mar, Tiffany Edwards, tells us about what to expect at Placencia Lobsterfest 2013. "Of course there are lobster dishes of all types and recipes and each dish will be eligible to enter the Placencia Lobsterfest 2013 "Best Lobstah" Dish Competition. And for those not so keen on lobster, no worries. The food vendors have you covered with shrimp, fish, chicken, steak, pork and sumptuous vegetarian sides. Many of the cooks at the Placencia Lobsterfest come to the beach carrying years of strong family kitchen traditions. Food is Placencia’s ultimate cultural immersion experience. Taste Creole, Mayan, Garifuna, Caribbean, European, Asian and North American culinary influences at the leading gastronomic party in Belize." "No Belize festival would be complete without Music. Popular local DJs, musicians and major headlining Belizean bands will have visitors and locals alike moving and shaking their feet in the sand throughout the weekend. Chabil Mar Resort will be featuring Garifuna drummers at their open-air beachside restaurant on Friday evening to compliment the weekend's event and then guests can stroll along the beach to the site of the official festivities."

International Museum Day Celebration 2013
The Benque House of Culture posted some publicity stills from their celebration. In related news, they'll be having the Benque tourism plan launch today at Centennial Park at 2:00pm.

BNE Fire Unit in Action
Cool news of the day. Belize Natural Energy's Fire Unit went to Buena Vista primary school to assist with their fire drill. They spoke to the students, and showed how their equipment works and stops fires. Thanks, BNE, for making their day! "Members of BNE's Fire Unit visited Buena Vista Village this week to participate in the school's fire drill."

Melonie Gillett Releases Lord Be Her Breath
Melonie Gillett has uploaded Lord Be Her Breath to Soundcloud for cancer month in honor of her aunt being a cancer survivor. You can download it for free. Beautifully sang. Thanks, Melonie! "In 2009, my aunt was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer. She battled and survived for 2 years, defying the next day death certificate that the doctors had given her. She was and still is a major part of me, and who I am as an artist. I wrote this song for her and she did a picture video for it...just like she had done with so many of my performances and songs before. Here you go....dedicated to Verna Gardiner Ewing and all those who batttle with cancer. I will always love you, auntie!!"

Scarlet Macaws in the Chiquibul
Tony Rath got some amazing pictures of the Scarlet Macaws, and many other birds, when he joined the FCD and the Scarlet Macaw researchers as they performed health checks last month. Beautiful shots. A selection of scarlet macaw images from an April 2013 expedition into the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, Belize, with the Scarlet Macaw Biomonitoring Team.

Sacred Heart Primary Enjoys Education Week
Feelgood news of the day. The San Ignacio Public Library hosted Sacred Heart Primary students from standard 1 and standard 3, where they got some great stories read to them. The SIPL takes Education Week seriously. "This morning the Std 1 students of Sacred Heart visited the SIPL as part of education week for stories and activities."

Benque Tourism Plan Launch
The Benque Viejo Tourism Committee will be launching the new tourism plan, website, travel guide, and Heritage Tour for Benque today at 2:00pm in Centennial Park. This is a monumental event for Benque, and Cayo, because Benque will be another tourism destination. Lake Benque is on its way to becoming a major tourist attraction too. Everyone is invited.

International Museum Day at Benque HoC
The Benque House of Culture's celebration of International Museum Day was great, and they had a great turnout from the local primary schools. They launched their new Belizean Heroes and Benefactors exhibit for the occasion. Antonio Beardall was there from the Institute of Archaeology, and he did a wonderful job of explaining to the students about antiquities, and how we need to preserve the culture and history of Belize. The Belize Audubon Society was there to give information on their 9 protected areas in Belize, and the National Heritage Library had an interesting display of older books and memorabilia. "The Benque House of Culture celebrated International Museum Day by inviting all the local schools out for events and presentations, and the opening of their Belizean Heroes and Benefactors exhibit."

Pedestrian Safety Month
May is Pedestrain Safety Month, and the GOB has released some safety guidelines. They are helpful, especially when you consider how some people drive. Stay safe! "It's Pedestrian Safety Month! Be sure to check out the list of pedestrian safety tips from the Road Safety Unit. Remember, 'Wheels and Feet Share the Street!' Happy Monday Facebook Family!"

Channel 7

Grijalva Accepts Blame for Noh Mul Destruction
Since Friday of last week, Denny Grijalva has gone from a relatively obscure northern politician to a household name. He’s the owner of De-Mar’s Stone Company – and after a long and, (can we say?), “stony” silence, he issued a statement today. Grijalva says he was out of the country – and addressed the matter as he returned today. His statement says, quote. “as the Managing Director of De’ Mar’s Stone Company - it is my duty and indeed my obligation to inform the public…of the sequence of events leading to this unfortunate incident.” The statement explains that quote, “De’ Mar’s was recently contracted to undertake the construction and rehabilitation of roads in Douglas Village also in the Orange Walk district. My understanding is that a first site for the excavation of material was identified by the company Foreman. The Chairman of Douglas Village was reportedly not satisfied with the quality of the material and as such he obtained permission from a landowner to extract material from his property from which material has been excavated for well over a decade.” The statement the goes unto say, quote: “De’ Mar’s excavation on the site began at around 8:00 am on Thursday, May 9 and continued up to 5:00 pm that day. Operations resumed the following day when at around 10:30 am persons identifying themselves as officials from NICH…appeared on the site…(and) instructed the company Foreman to halt operations.”

Institute Of Archeology Director Visits Noh Mul
But whether they did it for a day or a decade, De-Mar’s Stone Company is the one in the crosshairs of legal and public scrutiny. The investigation is underway and today the Director of the Institute Of Archaeology went to the site to see it for the first time. 7news was there when he arrived. Jules Vasquez reporting Today when Dr. Jaime Awe arrived at the scene, he shook his head in weary bewilderment, seeing the site for the first time - the rubble of the ruin, he walked around it to get a sense of the scale of destruction. Looking at the back side, the towering, fractured edifice and it’s near demolition was apparent and undeniable. Dr. Jaime Awe - Director, Institute of Archaeology "Now seeing it firsthand like you said in 3-D, it's just gut wrenching. It's obivous as you look at the stratigraphy there that this was a big temple that was built stone by stone and was carved out by the Mayas from their own qurries in the past. When I looked at it just now it reminded me of the coring of an apple - when you core an apple you cut out all the outside and what you're left at the end is the core. So you don't have any idea of what the apple used to look like in the outside." Awe said it is the undoing, the rubbishing of centuries of painstaking work by hand with stone tools:

Police And Media Make Peace, Plan to Move Forward
Often in our Newscast, we are forced to highlight the strained relationship that the media has with the Police Department. And that’s because we often work at cross purposes: On one side, the media requires full disclosure to properly inform the public, and on the other hand, police have to protect certain information to ensure a proper investigation results in a successful prosecution. And that creates friction – leaving the media to speak to a designated police press officer – who often has not been updated by the officers commanding at various formations. And so, the information that reaches our newsroom is in such a form that if we were to present it to you, in the form it arrives, there would be more questions than answers. Well that should change now – or at least, start to change. Police Commissioner Allen Whylie, who has been making bold administrative decisions since he was appointed he has extended a hand of friendship to the press. In an unprecedented first step, members of the media were invited to make presentations to the senior police officers in the first ever police-media summit. Today, Commissioner Whylie opened the workshop with a surprising move in which he changed the rules of media engagement for these commanders, allowing them to speak freely if they so choose, on matters in their jurisdiction. Here’s what he said -

Compol Assures Successful Investigation In Eligio Killing
And while we had the opportunity, we asked Whylie to comment on the death of 18 year old Rasheed Eligio, who was shot to death by police last Friday in Punta Gorda. As we showed you, his family is very upset with the department because according his mother; the officers abused their authority when they used deadly force against him. As we also reported, that Senior Superintendent Robert Mariano was having difficulty with the PG officers, who have refused to own up to firing the bullet which killed Eligio. Today, Whylie told us that these challenges will not stop the department from pursuing justice in this shooting. Allen Whylie - Police Commissioner "Let me first express condolences to the family of Mr. Eligio. As Mr. Mariano explained there is a thorough investigation both criminally as well as internally been done. I know that sentiments are high because it's a police related shooting but the process of investigation is not an overnight system and it does take time. Indeed the post mortem results were required and the ballistics is needed to confirm which weapon - there were a number of different weapons out there. Officers did admit to shooting but none have admitted to shooting the individual and that will take us through the issue of investigation and the ballistic match.

Crime Stats: Murder, Carnal Knowledge Up, Other Major Crimes Down
And while senior police officers got to hear from the media today, one of them, the officer in charge of the Northern Zone, also got a big up from police. Senior Superintendent of Police Joseph Myvette, who heads the Northern Zone received a cheque for a thousand dollars for the best performance in reducing Major Crimes during the month of April. In Belmopan this afternoon, Police Minister John Saldivar also presented Myvette with a Certificate of Award for the best performance by the Orange Walk Formation for the same period. Those crime statistics still show 2013 outpacing 2012 for murders – there have been 41 up to the end of April, 2013. Up to the end of March 2013, reports of Robbery, Burglary and Theft were down – when compared to the same period in 2012, while rape was unchanged and carnal knowledge went up.

We’ve Heard of US Navy Seals, But Belize Coast Guard Seals?
This morning 7News and other media houses got a last minute invitation to attend a graduation ceremony at the Coast Guard Headquarters. But as soon as we got there, we were un-invited – and that’s because the US Navy training was classified. We later got the story in a press release form the ministry of national security. 24 members of the Coastguard and 5 members of the Anti-Drug Unit (ADU) participated in a 5-week intensive Special Warfare Operations Course. The release says they were trained by Special Warfare Combatant Crewmen of the US Navy in Navigation, Small-Boat Handing, Communications, Board Search and Seizure, Weapon-Handling Skills, Waterborne Techniques among other areas. The release says this is moving towards development of what is called the Belize Coastguard Seal Team. It adds that “The Coastguard Seal Team is the special operating arm of the Belize National Coastguard, and is charged with the responsibility of conducting high-risk operations, counter-narcotics operations, counter-terrorism operations, and maritime interception operations.”

Fisheries Makes Off-Season Bust
Tonight, the Fisheries Department is in possession 2,000 dollars’ worth of out of season lobsters, undersized conch, and illegally harvested fish fillet. They intercepted these fisheries products on a commercial vessel yesterday, and the captain and crew are now facing criminal charges. Their vessel has been confiscated by the Fisheries Department, and it will not be released until June 10, the earliest, when the matter goes to court. Today, a member of the Fisheries Department, allowed us to view the cache, and he briefed us about the status of those products: Hampton Gamboa – Member, Fisheries Department "Yesterday which was the fourteenth of May - we got some information that a vessel was harvesting lobsters in the southern portion of Tobacco Caye range and South Water caye marine reserve. This vessel came into Belize City harbor yesterday morning right about 9:00a.m and there was a quick response by fisheries personnel both in vessel and in vehicle - and we were able to board this sailboat.

Female Cross Country Abruptly Cancelled
The 24th Female Cross Country was scheduled for Sunday May 19th but tonight Belize’s female cyclists are crestfallen because the event has been abruptly postponed. Who’s to blame? Well, you can safely chalk it up to the ongoing upheaval in the sport …. A press release was sent out by the Belize Cycling Association stating that an injunction has been brought against Hilly Martinez – the President of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth games association and the interim executive of the Belize Cycling Association. The injunction is from president of the Association, Emil Moreno. “As a result the Female Cross Country race and other upcoming events have been cancelled until the matter gets straightened out.” That leaves the lady cyclists very let down and understandably very angry. Defending Champion Kaya Cattouse told us how she feels: Kaya Cattouse - Defending Champion "First and foremost receiving this news today was - I really don't know how to explain it; you have been training for a race and you're the defending champion, you're looking for that repeat and it's just postponed. I don't even know if the word is 'postponed' because it's just cancelled there will be no female cross country this year.

SJCJC Grants Scholarships, SJCHS Threatens Mass Suspension
Saint John’s Juniour College today announced that it is making 1.54 million dollars worth of Jesuit scholarships available to its 2013 Juniour College graduates. This year’s awardees are Natasha Khawani, Dionne Habet, Edgar Nah, Aaron Stock, Shan Shan Tam, Gian Hernandez, Aldair Gongora, Yael Perrera and Ki’ila Salas. In other, less happy news from the school, today, 7News received several calls from concerned parents in relation to a developing situation at Saint John’s College high school. It centers around a 3rd form class which is facing the threat of mass suspension and academic failure because of a stolen cellular phone belonging to one of the female teachers. The class is suspected to have information which could lead to the discovery of the culprit, but they have been uncooperative with the administration. As a result, the Prinicipal of the School is determined to get to the bottom of the situation, and it is causing the parents to worry that her disciplinary action is too drastic.

Four Injured When Government Prado Flips
There was an accident today on the Burrell Boom Road near the Data Pro Compound. It happened this afternoon around three when a Toyota Prado with government plates flipped and tumbled off the road. Four prison officer who were hitching a ride received injuries and were transported to the KHMH. Reports tell us that the Prado was found to have four or five cases of contraband Carta Blanca Beer.

Cacao Fest Comes Around Again
The 2013 Chocolate Festival is scheduled for May 24 -26, and the Festival’s committee is finishing up preparations, for the event. It is one of the biggest events on the calendar which is focused primarily in Southern Belize. It will be filled with activities, but the centerpiece is those organically grown cacao beans from the south and the many delicious treats they can make. Today, the Vice Chair of the Committee told us why you should go. Armando Chocho - Vice Chairman "One of the objectives of the chocolate festival is to raise awareness for Toledo district as a responsible tourism destination. We do that by true the Cacao Chocolate Festival, by promoting the Toledo's rich culture, the food that we have to offer and of course the natural resources - the waterfall, the Archaeological site, the snorkeling and the barrier reef, all of this in the Toledo district. That is one of the reasons but also to celebrate Cacao and chocolate, a lot of Belizeans love chocolate and who else wouldn't love chocolate and so the chocolate festival weekend was designed about all things chocolate and cacao. People can come down to the Toledo district and learn more about how chocolate is made and learn more about the Mayan farmer and how they cultivate their cacao and of course their living. There will be a chocolate demonstration making process; we'll also have Cacao trail tours - going into the communities for people to have an opportunity to learn where cacao comes from and how chocolate is made."

Channel 5

Wasn’t me? Denny Grijalva passes blame on Noh Mul destruction
Denny Grijalva, the politically connected Orange Walk businessman in the very hot center of what has become worldwide condemnation of the destruction of Noh Mul, has been missing in action since Sunday. News Five attempted to contact him with no success, and we were told he was in Guatemala City and that he arrived back [...]

Commissioner of Archeology, Jaime Awe assesses destruction of Noh Mul
And while the release from Grijalva makes no reference to Mayan mounds, the fact is that the land is full of them, and they are very obvious even to the untrained eye. Commissioner of Archaeology, Dr. Jaime Awe and members of his team have maintained that the destruction of the monument could not possible be [...]

‘Mind boggling’ comments from archeologist over destruction
After our visit to the site today, it is clear that notwithstanding a release in which he refers to the matter as just an unfortunate accident, the authorities…at least those from the Institute of Archaeology, are not buying that story. In fact, speculation is that the destruction was deliberate since, as inconceivable as it seems, [...]

11 Indian nationals charged with illegal entry
Charges of illegal entry were formally read to eleven Indian nationals, who appeared in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court today, after being detained by police on Tuesday for entering Belize unlawfully.  Arraigned were thirty-six year old Ghanshyamkumar Patel, nineteen year old Ronakbhai Patel, thirty-one year old Davinder Singh, twenty-two year old Dalbir Singh, thirty-three year [...]

Will Emil Moreno ride again as cycling president?
The twenty-fourth running of the Women’s Cross Country Cycling Classic, scheduled for this Sunday as well as other upcoming races have been postponed indefinitely.  The annual Women’s Cross Country ride from San Ignacio Town to Belize City is the second largest sporting event for female cyclists.  This year’s race promised a number of familiar faces, [...]

Monkey held captive for 11 years
Authorities have rescued a spider monkey at a house in the San Pedrito area of San Pedro where the animal has been held captive for some eleven years. The female spider monkey is described as being in very poor condition and extremely underweight. The monkey was rescued during a special operation carried out by members [...]

BelAm family loses everything in fire
A family of seven relocated back to the Belize from the United States just a few days ago to start a business and retire in Crooked Tree. But those dreams and plans literally went up in flames when their belongings and cash were completely destroyed by a mid-afternoon fire in the center of the village. [...]

Cost of diesel goes up
There is more gas pain to report on tonight as the cost per gallon of diesel will increase by thirty-two cents at midnight.  Motorists will now be paying ten dollars and twenty-three cents, up from nine dollars and ninety-one cents per gallon.  While the cost of diesel is on the rise, the price per gallon [...]

Investigation into shooting of man in police custody
The family of eighteen year old Rasheed Elijio, a fisherman of Dangriga, is seeking answers in his shooting death, saying that his killing was unnecessary. Elijio’s grieving mother also told News Five on Tuesday that they know who shot and killed her son last Friday in Punta Gorda after he escaped from lawful custody earlier [...]

April major crime stats shows Belize District is leading
Moments ago the police department released its major crime statistics for the month of April 2013. There were eleven murders in April; Belize City had six murders more than half the monthly total while Orange Walk and Toledo reported none. There were two rapes for the month in the Corozal and Stann Creek Districts. Twenty-three [...]

Honduran national, 48 years, remanded for touching 9 year old
There are growing reports of sexual abuse against minors. Forty-eight year old Honduran national, Jose Aquino, is the latest person to be remanded to prison following an allegation that he molested a nine year old girl.  Aquino is being accused of touching the underage girl inappropriately in her private parts. On Tuesday, he appeared before [...]

Police and media train on getting along and sharing
Dialogue between the Belize Police Department and members of the local media, in an effort to improve an often hostile relationship, is a rare occurrence.  So, when reporters were invited to make presentations to the brass of the force this morning, it was a unique opportunity to openly discuss opinions and impressions that have been [...]

Youths tell how chess improves the mind at 6th Chess Olympiad
The annual Chess Olympiad was held this year in Belmopan; one hundred and fifty players from primary to high schools tested their mental ability in a game that requires tremendous concentration. The event didn’t disappoint, aside from the competition there were side shows which also required special skills. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports.   Jose [...]


Police Commanders Meet With The Media
This morning the Belize Police Department hosted representatives of the media to discuss ways of improving the relationship between the two. According to Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie, the purpose of the workshop is to enhance the officer’s abilities to communicate with the...

Thorough Investigation Has Been Launched Into Noh Mul Destruction In Northern Belize
The destruction of the over two thousand year old ruin Noh Mul has drawn national and international attention and not in a good way. Today, archaeologists were back on the site in the San Jose Village area in Orange Walk Town. Dr. John Morris Associate Director for Research at the Inst...

Mexican Authorities Complete Bridge Spanning Belize and Mexico
A new bridge at the Belize/Mexico border has been completed after six years of construction works. It was supposed to be a joint operation carried out by both Belize and Mexico but back in 2009 Mexico had concluded its part of the bridge and works on this side of the border had not beg...

Family of Six Remains Homeless Following House Fire
A fire at the Aldana residence in Crooked Tree Village, Belize District, shortly after noon on Tuesday has left all six of the occupants homeless. The brothers, David, John, Derek and Leon Aldana were preparing lunch and left a frying pan with fish frying unsupervised. The ...

Police Commissioner Says Internal and Criminal Investigations Continue Into The Shooting Death of An Escaped Prisoner
Preparations to put eighteen year old Rasheed Elijio to rest are under way for Saturday. Elijio is the detainee that escaped from police custody on May 10th while being escorted to a bus that would take him and others to the Belize Central Prison. Elijio was fatally shot once on the ri...

Company Owner Makes Statement Regarding The Destruction of Noh Mul By His Workers
The man at the center of the controversy, Denny Grijalva issued his own release today. Grijalva says his company De’ Mar’s was recently contracted to undertake the construction and rehabilitation of roads in Douglas Village. He says his understanding is that a first s...

Chinese National Charged For Employing Without Permit
Thirty-four year old Jin Tian Chen, a naturalized Belizean originally from China, was charged with employing a person not in possession of an employment permit when he appeared in court today. Chen wanted to plead guilty to the charge but Magistrate Dale Cayetano entered a plea of not ...

Jury Deliberates Woman's Fate Following The Stabbing Death of Her Boyfriend In 2010
A jury of seven women and two men is deliberating today in the court of Justice Adolph Lucas to see if it can reach a verdict in the trial of 26 year old Deshawn Lino, charged with manslaughter in the fatal stabbing of her boyfriend, Shamir Henry, which occurred on September 2, 2010, a...

Eleven Indian Nationals Charged for Illegal Entry to Belize
Eleven Indian nationals appeared in the San Ignacio Magistrates court this morning where they were each charged with one single count of illegal entry. The group consisting of eight men, two women and a minor was found in Santa Elena Town yesterday afternoon, not too far from the...

UB's History and Anthropology Department Issues Release On Noh Mul
The incident involving the destruction of Noh Mul has gained an unprecedented amount of attention both locally and internationally. Today the Students and Alumni of the Department of History and Anthropology of the University of Belize sent out a press release expressing their outrage ...

Young Boy Endures Medical Complications and Massive Weight Loss Following Fall From Tree
Twelve year old Graciano Ramos is currently at the KHMH receiving treatment. Back in February, Ramos sustained a fractured skull and went into a coma after he fell from a tree in Orange Walk. Since the unfortunate incident Ramos’s road to recovery has been bumpy and tonight Ramos...

Diesel Fuel Increases By Three Percent
The price of gasoline has increase, well for diesel that is. As of last night the price of Diesel increase from $9.90 to $10.22- an increase of 32 cents. The price of regular stays at $11.71 and super remains at $12.12. ...

Activities Continue For Education Showcase 2013
Education Showcase 2013 continues with a number of activities held at various schools throughout the country. We join Correspondent Fem Cruz to hear about activities held in Belmopan. FEM CRUZ "In connection with Education Week under the theme, ' Working together...

Man Remanded To Prison For Stealing School Bag and Books From Teenage Student
Twenty-three year old Kenroy Parham, a laborer of Curassow Street who allegedly stole a school bag with school books from a 15 year old female student, was denied bail when he appeared in court today. Parham was charged with theft, common assault, handling stolen goods and using threat...


BTIA Orange Walk Chapter Takes First Hand Look Of Destruction Site
In last night’s newscast, we informed you of the press release the Belize Tourism Industry Association, BTIA, issued in reference to the demolition of the Noh Mul Archaeological Site. This morning, Chairman of the BTIA Orange Walk Chapter Osmany Salas, visited the Maya site where he expressed the sentiment of the action being a deplorable one. Osmany Salas - Chairman of the BTIA Orange Walk Chapter “You know representing the Orange Walk Chapter of BTIA, I think I speak for all of them when I say that we are deeply sadden and outraged about this and we hope that something is done about this, by the authorities because I been made to understand that is happening too frequently. A senior government official told me just yesterday and he didn’t want me to mention his name but he told me that Orange Walk is the most culprit when it comes to knowingly destroying Mayan sites for road fill. Unfortunately a major site such as this one, one of the tallest if not the tallest mount of NOK MUL site had to be destroyed for the people to get more interested and concerned about these activities, like this main mount behind us, I understand from the archaeologist is pretty much a write off and looking at it now you can see that ones the rains come the rest will basically wash off so literally this major structure will be wash down the drain. We at BTIA have always had NOK MUL in our long terms plans. We are a small growing chapter just became active and just figure that somewhere down the line NOK MUL would play a key role in developing this destination in Orange Walk so this is what is so outrageous and what saddens us, I mean Cuello site is another one that is in our plans and we already had preliminary contact with the landowner.” Salas also stated that the BTIA Chapter in Orange Walk Town has become active in the North and that they will keep a close eye on the development of the criminal process in this situation.

New Bridge Officially Opens For Vehicular Traffic
If you are heading out to Chetumal or anywhere within the Mexican states anytime soon, you will enjoy the relief of passing through the border at least, faster than what we are used to and that is because the new bridge named “Chaktemal” has been completed and opened for motorists and pedestrians. The new bridge, which has been long awaited, promises to reduce traffic congestion that by now many Belizeans have become accustomed to and often at times deterred many from visiting neighbouring Mexico. However, that is no more. Reporter Irvin Aragon and Cameraman Kenric Simpson made the journey this morning to the border and filed the following report. Irvin Aragon - Reporting For a little over 5 years, Belize was unable to complete the Belizean side of the road and facility leading to the new bridge named “Chaktemal” as was agreed between the two countries. Mexico began complying with their part of the bargain in 2007 when the agreement was made and two years later they had completed their side of the bridge, Belize however, showed no sign of development on our side. Prime Minister Barrow stated that the rest of the work needed for the bridge to be operable would have been funded by the Central American Bank of Economic Integration but that the process of the bank was too slow. It was not until early this year in the month of February that the outgoing president of Mexico, Felipe Calderon, pledged to complete the work on the bilateral bridge. The then president Calderon, lobbied with Mexico’s ministry of communication and transport in the state of Quintana Roo and the ministry of defence, to use eleven members of the Mexican military and some four millions dollars to complete the project. According to the Mexican officials, the work only lasted three weeks and today the good news is that it was officially tested in order to design a system here on our side of the Bridge. We spoke to some of the motorist who on a daily basis will use this new bridge.

Orange Walk Police To Investigate Destruction Of Maya Mound
The story of the destruction of the largest structure of the Noh Mul Temple has travelled across the globe and has caused an outpour of condemnation by the wider community, conservationists, and historians. The magnitude of the demolition is greater felt outside of the country of Belize, than within Belizean communities as is evident by a tourist that travelled all the way from the US just to witness the destruction first hand. Our news team was present on the scene as they were waiting for the man who heads the Archaeological Department here in Belize and filed the following report. Victor Castillo - Reporting This morning, we travelled to the Noh Mul Site where the evidence of the destruction can be seen from far away. Once we arrived on the scene, we were met by a tourist who travelled all the way to the site to see the magnitude of the destruction for himself. Steve Parks from Idaho, USA, has been following the stories on the international media and cannot believe what he is witnessing. Steve Parks – Tourist “Oh yeah I actually I read about it first and then I read the home town newspaper from our home town in IDAHO in the states and it is a large article talked about excavation of a Mayan ruin in northern Belize and then I looked further and then I found the pictures in the internet and then we drove over here today to take a look at it. It is unbelievable and then I think they said something that I didn’t know what it was but there is no way somebody didn’t know what this was, it is obvious even somebody from IDAHO know what this is.”

Denny Says "It Wasn't Me"
Grijalva goes on to say that he instructed the Foreman after that to immediately cease all operations, to shut down all the equipment, trucks and excavator and had them removed from the site on Saturday, May 11th at around 10:00am. In the final paragraph of the five paragraph unapologetic release, Grijalva states, and we quote, ”Recognizing that the buck stops at my desk, I share the public’s concern and indeed condemnation at the unfolding of this very unfortunate incident. While I will be launching an internal investigation, I am committed to fully cooperate with the authorities in their investigation into this regrettable incident.” End of quote. With that statement, is Denny Grijalva absolving himself of all culpability? Is he passing the blame on to his Foreman? Is he laying the blame squarely on the shoulders of the Chairman of Douglas Village or land owner? He says he will launch an investigation into how the demolition of Noh Mul could have happened and to us here at CTV-3 that can simply be interpreted as one of those persons mentioned in the release will take the blame. Of importance is that at no time in his release did he mentioned that De’ Mar’s Stone Company had a valid mining permit for that site. Our attempts to contact Denny Grijalva have been futile but we do understand he is presently out of the country. We will continue to follow this story as well as our attempts to speak with Grijalva in this matter.

Future Historians Denounce Demolishing Of Noh Mul
Chiming in this morning with a letter condemning the actions of De Mar’s Construction Company and its owner Denny Grijalva, is the History and Anthropology Department of the University of Belize. In their letter, the UB History and Anthropology students express their outrage at what has occurred and state, “We would go as far as condemning this act as an act of patrimonial genocide.” End quote. The university students put together four points that they suggest government implement in efforts of preventing any future occurrences of the destruction of any National Heritage Site. 1. When a license is given out to any company to conduct land clearing or mining, a trained inspector that can identify mounds, must be sent to assess the land in consideration and approve the license to carry out such activities. 2. Government has to provide closer oversight when any Maya and colonial period archaeological related structures, landmarks or artifacts are found. 3. Government should work fervently in enforcing our laws and making sure that Belizeans get retribution for the irreparable damage caused to the Maya World. Political affiliation, religious orientation, race, ethnicity, and all other aspects of social status must be set aside so that the law can be upheld. The constitution states clearly that mounds are protected by the government therefore, the protection must be observed. And 4, measures be set in place to inform all such agencies as well as those which assist with the preservation and promotion of Belize’s heritage that Belize will not tolerate this kind of activity and will seek to mitigate the effects of the destructive acts through continued education.

Three Day Workshop Seeks To Strengthen The Work Of SIRDI
Yesterday morning, members of the Ministry of Agriculture, technicians of the Belize Cane Framers Association, sugar cane farmers and personnel from the SIRDI team, commenced a three day workshop that is taking place at the BSI staff club. IICA country representative Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim, along with facilitator of the workshop Dr. Falguni Guharay, was on hand yesterday morning for the opening of the very important workshop. Dr. Ibrahim mentioned that the Inter-American Institute for the Cooperation on Agriculture is joining hands with the European Union in efforts to strengthen the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute. Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim - Country Representative of IICA “We have training course her to train extensionist from SIRDI, from the Sugar Cane Association, BSI, University of Belize and the Ministry on new techniques for extension services to farmers. The main objective is to promote better capacity for participatory methodology using farm approach where the technicians will be more prepared to help farmers to make better decision on improving the productivity of the sugar cane production. IICA is working closely with SIRDI to provide training to the extension workers here so that they would have a better capacity to work and provide technical assistance to the farmers.” According to Dr. Guharay, his visit to Belize is in the capacity of a consultant for the project, so as to improve the competiveness of sugar cane in Belize.


De Mar’s managing director issues statement on Noh Mul destruction
The excavation of the Noh Mul mayan monument has been at the forefront of social and media discussions. There has been outrage expressed both at home and abroad. Well today, managing director of the company accused of the incident issued a press release. Denny Grijalva says that his company...

History of another Mayan site damaged by developers
While all eyes have been on Noh Mul, or at least what’s left of it, there is another regarded Mayan Site in the country that suffered damage by the hands of developers. Parcels #7139 and #7140 in the Mountain View Area of Belmopan, were set aside as “Special Develop...

Indian nationals in Court on Immigration charges
Yesterday we reported on another group of Indian nationals who were caught entering Belize illegally through the Western Border. This would make a second group in two weeks. The group of eleven, two of whom are women, were caught on Tuesday morning at around 2am. Police set chase on...

Crime Statistics for April released
The Ministry of National Security has released its major crime statistics for the month of April. There have been eleven murders in total with the most of those happening in the Belize District; six in all. Cayo and Corozal both had two murders last month while the Stann Creek...

Fishermen intercepted with illegal lobsters
A group of fishermen suspected of making multiple raids in central and southern Belize for outlawed seafood were caught at it by authorities this week. The group faces individual and total fines of nearly $11,000 for lobster, conch and fish fillet that do not fit the prescribed criteria for...

Commissioner of Police recognizes the importance of the media
Today the Police Department’s senior command was in Belize City for its latest strategy meeting – on relations with the press. They have not always been the best, but Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie says the Department recognizes the importance of the media in Belize. Allen Whylie – Commissioner...

Police launch investigation into shooting of escaped prisoner
This week the Police Department has come under fire for the alleged role of police officers in Punta Gorda in the death of 18 year old Rasheed Elijio. Elijio was shot while being chased by police officers who claimed that he escaped from them while being transported to Central...

UB Professor Alleges Abuses By Administration
Ahead of the close of the school year and first registrations for the University of Belize (UB), a study conducted by the students of the school under the watch of Adjunct Professor Patrick Menzies has revealed alleged abuses by the university’s administration. This is on the issue of acceptance...

St. Martin’s Government School celebrates Education Week
Fresh off an extravagant Mother’s Day celebration, the St. Martin’s Government School today, in conjunction with Education Week, has organized a host of activities for students, as well as teachers. Today, the school campus was abuzz with excitement, as the kids were engaged in creative expression activities, such as...

29 Graduate from Special Warfare Operations Course
Twenty four members of the Belize National Coastguard and five members of the Anti-Drug Unit (ADU), graduated from a 5-week intensive Special Warfare Operations Course. They were trained by Special Warfare Combatant Crewmen of the US Navy. The course covered Navigation, Small-Boat Handing, Communications, Board Search...


We Need To Save The Earth!
We Need to save the earth! Our environment is precious and without it we wouldn’t be alive. Plants and animals need us and we need them. We have an ecological relationship with each other. But the problem is that we are releasing more carbon than we could even imagine. Such as burning petroleum, gas and using factories that release it into the atmosphere, even our carbon footprints. A carbon footprint is the measure of the amount of greenhouse gases, measured in units of carbon dioxide, produced by human activities. A carbon footprint can be measured for an individual or an organization, and is typically given in tons of CO2-equivalent (CO2-cq) per year. Think, for 1 gallon of gasoline the car burns that’s 19 pounds of carbon dioxide, so if your family drives a car 1,000 miles for 1 month that’s 240,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide released.

Belize National Coastguard Graduation: Trained By US Navy Special Warfare Combatant Crewmen
Members of Belize Coastguard and Anti Drugs Unit Graduate from Special Warfare Operations Course Supervised by the US Navy

NOW WITH AN EXTENDED DEADLINE – Regional Entrepreneurship Training Program

“Baby Boy” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
A really lazy morning for me yesterday. A couple of email exchanges with Benny’s in respect of appliances (oven(range for non UK readers), microwave and refrigerator) for the Ground Floor self-contained apartment of our build in Ambergris Caye,Belize to fully understand the quotation that they sent me and my administrative tasks for the day were completed. Easy. I next took a drive to the lots that we have in Fire Coral Street (the San Pablo area) to see if the area in front of them had been cleared of the car carcasses that were there when I last visited. Pleased to say that all of the broken down vehicles had been removed (OK some of the parts e.g. an engine had been dumped on our land to join the brush and plastic bags) and it was a lot,lot more presentable. Perhaps my letter to the Mayor (even though it did not receive the courtesy of a response) may have worked after all. Rose and I had thought that our visit to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize yesterday would -because of the planned one/two week closure of the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge- mean parking the golf cart on the southern side and walking (the bridge will be operational for pedestrian and bicycle access) the half mile to the house. I had picked up the news though (when taking my daily read of the Ambergris Caye Forum) that the closure has been delayed until midnight on Saturday.

Granito: How To Nail A Dictator
In a stunning milestone for justice in Central America, a Guatemalan court recently charged former dictator Efraín Rios Montt with genocide for his brutal war against the country’s Mayan people in the 1980s — and Pamela Yates’ 1983 documentary, When the Mountains Tremble, provided key evidence for bringing the indictment. Granito: How to Nail a Dictator tells the extraordinary story of how a film, aiding a new generation of human rights activists, became a granito — a tiny grain of sand — that helped tip the scales of justice. An Official Selection of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. A co-production of ITVS. A co-presentation with Latino Public Broadcasting.

When the Mountains Tremble
When the Mountains Tremble filmed in 1982 at the height of the Guatemalan Army’s repression against the Mayan indigenous people, has become a classic political documentary. It describes the struggle of the largely Indian peasantry against a heritage of state and foreign oppression. Centered on the experiences of Rigoberta Menchú, who later became a Nobel Peace laureate, the overall effect of the film is exhilarating. With clarity and energy it conveys the birth of a national and political awareness.

A Message to Belizeans
by PACO For quite some time now, some of us have stated emphatically that going to the ICJ is not a viable option through which Belize should seek an end to Guatemala’s unfounded claim to our sovereign territory. During this period, we have been maligned by those who opt to tow the line and adhere to the status quo. That has not deterred us, for we know that our position is based on the truth and reality. Recently, a certain gentleman gave an interview in which I believe he actually highlighted a critical element on which many who oppose going to the ICJ, base their position. I contend that as long as the military oligarchy controls the Guatemalan government, that institution lacks credibility and can not be trusted, especially within the construct of going to the ICJ, whose decisions have been demonstrated to be unenforceable.

International Sources

Indigenous Hawaiian’s Take on Monsanto and GMOs
At 9 am on an overcast morning in paradise, hundreds of protesters gathered in traditional Hawaiian chant and prayer. Upon hearing the sound of the conch shell, known here as P, the protesters followed a group of women towards Monsanto’s grounds. “A’ole GMO,” cried the mothers as they marched alongside Monsanto’s cornfields, located only feet from their homes on Molokai, one of the smallest of Hawaii’s main islands. In a tiny, tropical corner of the Pacific that has warded off tourism and development, Monsanto’s fields are one of only a few corporate entities that separates the bare terrain of the mountains and oceans. This spirited march was the last of a series of protests on the five Hawaiian islands that Monsanto and other biotech companies have turned into the world’s ground zero for chemical testing and food engineering. Hawaii is currently at the epicenter of the debate over genetically modified organisms, generally shortened to GMOs. Because Hawaii is geographically isolated from the broader public, it is an ideal location for conducting chemical experiments. The island chain’s climate and abundant natural resources have lured five of the world’s largest biotech chemical corporations: Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont Pioneer and BASF. In the past 20 years, these chemical companies have performed over 5,000 open-field-test experiments of pesticide-resistant crops on an estimated 40,000 to 60,000 acres of Hawaiian land without any disclosure, making the place and its people a guinea pig for biotech engineering. The presence of these corporations has propelled one of the largest movement mobilizations in Hawaii in decades. Similar to the environmental and land sovereignty protests in Canada and the continental United States, the movement is influenced by indigenous culture.

Traveling Photographer: Belize
Belize serves up a delightful cocktail of white sandy beaches, turquoise Caribbean waters, steamy green jungles, and blue mountain view. With Mexico to its north and Guatemala to its south, Belize lies on the Caribbean coast of Central America. The potent combination of its warm climate, lush scenery, and compelling wildlife will get your creative juices flowing. Just pack your swimsuit, a waterproof camera, and your sense of adventure for this photo trip of a lifetime. Here’s how. Highly popular among sun-worshipping tourists, Belize’s glittering sandy beaches are just as perfect for photo enthusiasts. Dangriga, Hopkins, and Placencia are wonderful tourist towns, and all three give you easy access to coastal scenery.

Regional body launches climate change project
The European Union has given a grant of $8.6 million euros to support a regional project to improve Caribbean food security in the context of climate change. The project, which was being introduced and coordinated in a two-day session in Trinidad, is being conducted in four countries in the region: Belize, Barbados, St Kitts and Nevis, and Trinidad and Tobago. The project is being organised by the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute. The crops that are being planted will be, in Barbados, sweet potato and yam; in Belize, corn and beans; in St Kitts and Nevis, sweet potatoes, beans, peas and pigeon peas; and in Trinidad and Tobago, sweet potatoes and corn. The project is aimed at producing plant materials that are resilient to extreme climate and which must be put in the hands of the farmers and ensure that consumers have access to these nutrition rich foods. Deputy permanent secretary in the ministry of food production, Stephanie Elder-Alexander, who represented the ministry at the session, said climate change has become the overriding environmental issue of our time.

May 15, 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

Editorial: What happens when child animal abusers grow up?
Two months ago headlines countrywide were heavy with the story about a wild Howler Monkey that was brutally killed by school children at the Belize High School of Agriculture in Orange Walk. As if the story wasn’t disturbing enough, a video taken on someone’s phone was circulated on the Internet, capturing the gruesome mob of children as they delighted in killing the helpless animal. The act of senseless violence outraged the public and when the Belize Forest Department pressed charges against the killers it was a step applauded by many. And although it was gratifying to see justice served, the root of the problem was overlooked. Just what possessed, and I mean possessed in every sense of the word these children to behave this way. How can children gleefully partake in the beating death of a helpless animal? Last week The San Pedro Sun reported on another story of children actively participating in animal cruelty. And a very treacherous one at that! Risking life and limb to pull a live crocodile from a trap with the sole intention of torturing and killing it makes for what some may consider an unbalanced mind…and perhaps a dangerous one at that. What would possess a group of young boys to do such a thing? Herein lays the question, and the root of the problem.

Contestants for Miss SPHS announced
San Pedro High School (SPHS) is preparing for its annual Miss SPHS Pageant to be held Saturday June 1st at 7PM at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium. The seven lovely young contestants that will be competing for the honor of being the 2013/2014 Miss SPHS title are Veronica Choc, Isolene Bailey, Amari Duncan, Janelle Tillet, Reyna Chavez, Vivianie Duran and Chelsea Munoz. The pageant promises to be a night of fun-filled presentations and entertainment. According to organizer Renison Crawford, the pageant will be bigger and better than ever before. All seven girls are currently being coached in the art of pageantry and dance by Jhoshi Alexander Valencia, Mr. Jade World 2012-2013/ Mr. Centro America y El Pacifico 2013-2014. The pageant will start with an introduction of all the contestants, after which the young ladies will perform a dance. They will then model professional/business attire, cultural costume, casual wear, the evening gown and then fa

Ministry of Tourism & Culture, NICH & BTB speak on Noh Mul’s destruction
The Ministry of Tourism & Culture, along with its line agencies, the National Institute of Culture and History and the Belize Tourism Board, expresses its outrage on the destruction of the Noh Mul Mayan Archaeological Site. This total disregard for Belize’s cultural heritage and national patrimony is callous, ignorant and unforgivable. The Ministry of Tourism & Culture, along with relevant agencies, has commissioned a vigorous investigation to determine all the facts in this case. Cultural landmarks such as Noh Mul are sacred artifacts of Belizean history and should be protected at all costs. This expressed disdain for our laws and policies is incomprehensible. The Ministry of Tourism & Culture, the Belize Tourism Board and the National Institute of Culture & History remain committed to its mandate for the sustainable use and protection of Belize’s natural and cultural resources.

“Crime Stoppers Belize” signs placed across San Pedro town
Crime Stoppers Belize has donated eight “Crime Stoppers Belize” signs to the newly installed Crime Stoppers San Pedro branch. The signs were placed in key points around San Pedro Town. On Monday, May 13th, Councilor Gabriel “Gaby” Nuñez, Councilor Wally Nuñez, SPTC foreman Freddie Gonzalez and SP Chief of Police, Luis Castellanos were up and about installing the signs themselves. The purpose of the signs is to make the “Crime Stoppers Belize” contact number readily available to the community and to encourage people to call and be part of the fight against crime. The signs were strategically placed where they would receive the most visibility for the public. The first two signs were placed in front of each airline station: across from Tropic Air on the south wall of the San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School, and across from Maya Island Air on the Captain Shark’s building. Another two signs were placed in the roundabout located by Banyan Bay Resort. Signs were also placed at both water service terminals: San Pedro/Belize Express Water Taxi and Caye Caulker Water Taxi. The last two signs were placed at both entrances of the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge.

Ambergris Today

New Developments in Belize’s Overnight and Cruise Sectors
There is fantastic news to report in the tourism travel industry for Belize. Hot on the heels of the release of record breaking tourist arrivals in the first quarter of 2013, new flights and cruise calls to Belize were announced for the final quarter of the year. Starting in November, Delta Airlines will be adding another Saturday flight from Atlanta to Belize. Delta currently deploys seven flights a week (one flight per day) to Belize, increasing its total number of flights to eight per week (twice on Saturdays). This is an additional 596 seats per month, and will be a permanent addition to Delta's schedule to Belize.

Mothers of San Pedro Honored at Grand Gala
The highlight of the San Pedro Town Council’s Mothers’ Day Program on Saturday, May 11, 2013 was the performance of X’Pet and El Cocotazo, two comedians from Merida, Yucatan, Mexico, but the participation of the mothers on stage also made for great entertainment. X’Pet and El Cocotazo had everybody in tears as they cracked joke after joke with a non-stop performance for almost one hour long. These great comedians from Mexico were playful and witty and had highly entertaining jokes; not one person with a dry eye. They danced, sang, made fun of each other as well as others in the audience. They really showed their love for San Pedro and expressed their joy of having the opportunity to entertain all the mothers at the show.

Flashback: Real Estate Now Multi Million in San Pedro
Walk around San Pedro Town on Ambergris Caye and at every block you will find a Real Estate Office with its walls pasted with photos of properties on sale. Real Estate is a multi-million dollar business on Ambergris Caye. But this is not how it all started. In the beginning it was two or three Sanpedranos/Belizeans who used to advertise by word of mouth and sell properties, small and large to U.S. visitors. These Sanpedranos did not have a college degree nor a realty license (simply not needed). Then came the foreign businessmen like Lester Langdon and South Wind Properties and took control of the Real Estate. On the Front Street, now Barrier Reef Drive, you could not miss the office of South Winds because it was standing all alone right across Fido’s on a property belonging to Felipe, “Tio Pil” Paz. It was a tiny office with a huge sign and the amount of business must have been huge also because there was almost a monopoly. When the Island Plaza was built, South Winds moved right across inside the Fido’s complex. If you hear that real estate is poor today, it is not true. It is because the pie is being shared by scores of other realties sharing the billion-dollar business.

25 Years Ago: The British at San Pedro High School
The Brits were very active in Belize from 1970’s and through the 80’s making reconnaissance flights around the country, airlifting emergency patients, and of course protecting our borders with Guatemala. They also vacationed on Ambergris Caye and were very generous tourists. For a while they were very active in San Pedro and helped tremendously with the construction of the new San Pedro High Building. Since 1981 when we formed the San Pedro High School Building Committee, Mr. Allan Forman, chairman of the committee solicited help from the British High Commission and was very lucky to obtain the help we needed. Approval was given for 20 British soldiers stationed at the Belize airport to come to San Pedro to work on the construction of the building.

Ancient Belize Maya Pyramid Destroyed for Landfill, Somebody Needs to Pay
It’s on USA Today, CBS News, FOX News, Washington Post, ABC News, BBC News, Yahoo News, The Huffington Post, Japan Times and who knows what other international media outlet. No it is not John McAfee back in Belize again or a huge murder case in the country, but that of an incident that has all Belizeans in an outrage. A construction company has essentially destroyed one of Belize's largest Mayan pyramids with backhoes and bulldozers to extract crushed rock for a road-building project. A large portion of the Maya ceremonial temple Noh Mul located in the vicinity of the villages of San Jose/San Pablo, just north of Orange Walk Town, was demolished by a construction company to purportedly use the material to fill roads in a nearby community. Noh Mul (known as Big Hill) stood ten miles north of Orange Walk and was constructed over 2,000 years ago. The site consisted of two twin ceremonial cluster surrounded by plazas and connected by a central cause way. The Maya site did not have a distinctive pyramid temple like most popular sites around the country, but that does not make it less important within our rich Maya heritage.

Misc Belizean Sources

Nightly Closure of Hawksworth Bridge in San Ignacio
Belmopan. May 14, 2013. The Chief Engineer is advising that the Hawksworth Bridge in San Ignacio will be closed to all vehicles effective today from 9:00p.m to 5:00a.m for nine consecutive days. The Ministry of Works and Transport will be doing major repairs to the bridge. Any inconvenience caused is regretted.

Placencia Belize Resorts Prepare for the Annual Lobsterfest Celebration in Placencia Village - June 28, 29 & 30
The Placencia Lobsterfest is a grand celebration of the opening of the lobster season in Belize and attracts thousands of local and international visitors to the Placencia Peninsula. The manager of guest services at Chabil Mar, Tiffany Edwards, tells us about what to expect at Placencia Lobsterfest 2013. "Of course there are lobster dishes of all types and recipes and each dish will be eligible to enter the Placencia Lobsterfest 2013 "Best Lobstah" Dish Competition. And for those not so keen on lobster, no worries. The food vendors have you covered with shrimp, fish, chicken, steak, pork and sumptuous vegetarian sides. Many of the cooks at the Placencia Lobsterfest come to the beach carrying years of strong family kitchen traditions. Food is Placencia’s ultimate cultural immersion experience. Taste Creole, Mayan, Garifuna, Caribbean, European, Asian and North American culinary influences at the leading gastronomic party in Belize." "No Belize festival would be complete without Music. Popular local DJs, musicians and major headlining Belizean bands will have visitors and locals alike moving and shaking their feet in the sand throughout the weekend. Chabil Mar Resort will be featuring Garifuna drummers at their open-air beachside restaurant on Friday evening to compliment the weekend's event and then guests can stroll along the beach to the site of the official festivities."

Rescued Yucatan Spider Monkey
Rescuing animals and getting them to proper care is a costly but very necessary service we need here on the island. Please consider helping if you can! ACES thanks the BFD and the Belize Tourism Police. He will go to Wildtracks for rehab.

Education Week at Benque Library
Feelgood news of the day. For Education Week, The SIPL met up with the Benque library to do some storytelling to the students of Hills of Promise SDA. "The San Ignacio Public Library in a joint effort with the Benque branch library teamed up for storytelling and activities for Hills of Promise SDA Std 3 and 4 students. They had a fun and informative afternoon."

La Capitana Cruise on Lake Benque
Did you know that Cayo has lakes, and pontoon boat tours? Lake Benque is very easy and inexpensive to get to, and Martz Farm has the 'La Capitana' pontoon boat. You can see waterfalls, including the Twin Waterfalls, hike the Maya Mountains, swim in granite pools, see exotic wildlife, and even camp overnight if you'd like. La Capitana even has a BBQ grill on it. You can cruise in style, and enjoy lunch right next to waterfalls."Cayo has lakes, and you can boat them now at Martz Farm. There are quite a few waterfalls to hike to and play in around Lake Benque. You can even camp overnight."

Festival of Arts Call for Entries
The Institute of Creative Arts is doing a call for entries for this year's Belize National Festival of Arts, which starts on June 3rd, and runs through June 22nd. If you're an artist, and you create in and of the media listed, then you have until May 24th to submit any entries. Call 227-2110 or email [email protected] for more information. They have the entry form on their fb page.

Martha's Guesthouse Promotional Video
Martha's Guesthouse has a new video out. It showcases their rooms, restaurant, and laundry service, and shows the panoramic view of downtown Cayo from the top floor. Nicely done.

Belizean Cassava/Yuca Pudding or Plastic Pudding
Cassava or Yuca is a vegetable that can be used to make a certain type of bread and puddings. It is very starchy so is makes this pudding gelatinous and sticky, but very tasty. This pudding is a lot like the Taro or Coco Cake already at this site.

May 5, 2013 - May 11, 2013 Fishing Report
We were honored here at El Pescador to host for the second time “Buccaneers and Bones.” What a blast. Tom Brokaw landed his biggest bonefish, Lefty told him it was the best cast he had ever seen Tom make….Yvon get’s his first Grand Slam with Captain Emir, Meredith rocked it out the first day with Captain Cesar landing a nice forty pound tarpon….A twenty five something jack ripped up Lefty’s hand, and what was super cool was that Orion’s director, Kevin Faye, landed a really nice four pound bone right from the dock! “Start rolling….and whamoo!” One landed big bone landed on fly from the dock. That was a VERY good omen. Thank you to everyone. We are an extended family at El Pescador. Thank you everyone for a great week of hanging out, fly fishing and most important…building exciting relationships. I look forward to seeing everyone in the future as we pursue our quest to understand and explore more about saltwater fly fishing. The fish don’t care if you just started, or if you are a pro. What matters is that is that we have fun trying new tricks and practicing what we have learned along the way.

Channel 7

Tourism and Culture Ministry Say Noh Mul Destruction “Unforgiveable”; DPM Agrees
Today, the chorus of condemnation against the destruction of Noh Mul swelled into an official outrage as the Ministry of Tourism and Culture issued a forceful statement – essentially against operators within the ruling party. The statement says, quote, “The Ministry of Tourism & Culture, along with...NICH and the BTB, expresses its outrage on the destruction of the Noh Mul Mayan Archaeological Site. This total disregard for Belize’s cultural heritage and national patrimony is callous, ignorant and unforgivable. This expressed disdain for our laws and policies is incomprehensible.” “Unforgivable…incomprehensible”? That’s pretty strong stuff, especially considering that Noh Mul was being quarried reportedly to fill roads in the Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega’s Orange Walk North Division. Today in a press briefing, the CEO in the Ministry of Tourism amplified those comments and, again, pulled no punches: Tracy Taegar-Panton - CEO, Ministry of Tourism and Culture "It's incomprehensible, really - there's no recovering the history that we have lost, that is the true tragedy of this situation. We are certainly outraged, saddened and it is unforgivable to us. The destruction 2000 years of our Belizean history and culture - we will deal with this matter to the full extent of the law because it's so important to our national identity and our national patronage."

Mother Accused of Infanticide Felicia Chen Remains At Mental Facility
22 year-old Felicia Chen, the young lady accused of killing her 3 children was back in Magistrates Court today. She had been remanded to a Mental Health facility because the psychologist, Dr. Elma Augustine, certified that she was a danger to herself due to severe clinical depression. Well, Magistrate Dale Cayetano was presented today with a second report from Dr. Elma Augustine which concluded that Chen needs to continue to be housed at the facility because she is still not able to cope with the trauma. So, she was remanded to the hospital until her next court date, which is set for May 22, 2013. Chen is now being represented by Human Rights attorney, Antoinette Moore.

Man Pleads Guilty To Sodomizing Teenager
26 year-old Kareem Hamilton will spend 4 years in prison because he pleaded guilty to sodomizing a 15 year-old, mentally challenged boy. A jury was selected to start hearing his trial before Justice Troadio Gonzalez, but before any testimony was heard, Hamilton changed his plea to guilty. Before handing him the sentence, Justice Gonzalez scolded him that he didn’t show any signs that he was sorry for what he did. With that, Justice Gonzalez sentenced him to 4 years in prison. On April 28, 2011, the 15 year-old, who was a student at a mental institution, met Hamilton at his home on Morter’s Lane. Hamilton had told him that he had something to give him, but when the young man got there, Hamilton sodomized him. Two days after the incident, the boy’s stepmother that he was walking strangely. She questioned him, and, he started to complain that he was experiencing pain. The stepmother then took him to a doctor who certified that the boy had been sodomized.

Corozal Police Make Major Bust With Mexicans
A Belizean and a Mexican are locked up tonight at the Corozal Police Station where they both face multiple firearm and ammunition charges. On Sunday Corozal Police chased a black pickup truck in the Dominguez layout area of that town. The driver was 32 year old George Valencia – a Belizean laborer of G-Street south Corozal town. The truck was intercepted, but during the chase, police saw the passengers tossing objects out the truck window. Police got the truck to stop and George Valencia remained inside, while the men dashed out and ran into the nearby bushes. Police chased them and captured one of the men. He was later identified as 25 year old Juan Alliesto Hernandez Zuniga – a Mexican of Chetumal. The other man who made good his escape is also believed to have been a Mexican.

Family Says Police Never Responded To Progresso Accident Scene
Last night we told you about two weekend traffic facilities in the Belize District, Well, there was one more, in the Orange Walk District. It happened on Sunday night around 7:20 a mile out of Progresso Village – near the junction of the Progresso/San Estevan Road. 42 year old Jose Serafino Marin had flipped his pickup and landed in a ditch. Police say that Marin had extensive head injuries and was apparently dead. Police say he was taken to the Northern Regional hospital where he wa spronoucned dead at 9:55 pm/ But Marin’s family has a very different account. They say that their loved one was left on the road for over an hour – while still alive, and no police or ambulance ever came. They say they ended up taking him to the hospital themselves where they had to stretcher him inside themselves – only to hear that he had passed away.

Clinic Robbery In OW Was Pure Terror
Tonight, police are providing startling details on the robbery that occurred yesterday afternoon at a Doctor’s Office in Orange Walk. As we told you last night, at about 1:30 pm, two men stormed into “Brigidos Dental and Medical Clinic” and held everyone at gunpoint. Today police say that a female doctor reported that while she was tending her patients a tall brown skinned man entered the clinic room, pointed a black handgun and asked for her husband. He demanded fifteen thousand dollars which he said both doctors had. His accomplice then tied up three patients with plastic straps. They then robbed those patients of $450.00 dollars in cash. After that they pointed a gun to head of a 55year old woman who shouted for help. Dr. Angel Brigido – who was sleeping – heard the ruckus and walked outside, which is when one of the culprits fired a single shot towards him but missed. The thieves then ran out of the clinic and escaped. No arrests have been made.

PG Police Not Owning Up to Shooting Death Of 18 Year Old
This evening, a post mortem was conducted on the body of 18 year old Rasheed Eligio. The Punta Gorda teenager was killed by police on Friday – after he escaped on his way to prison. Tonight, many questions surround his shooting death – and his family says police indiscriminately used lethal force. The officer commanding the Southern Region, Robert Mariano has to find out what happened – and bring appropriate charges. But this morning, he called in to the KREM WUB Morning show where he admitted that none of the police in the search team is accepting responsibility. Here’s how he put it. Voice of Sr. Supt. Robert Mariano - O.C. Southern Region Police "The firearms or some firearms and a led which we expect to retrieve from the body will be forwarded to the ballistic experts and we hope that the ballistic expert could conclude his analysis as early as next week. I can guarantee everybody that as soon as we get the results, a police officer will be arrested."

Broken Jaw at School
Tonight, 18 year-old Ernest Leslie, a 4th Form Senior at Excelsior High School, who is only days away from graduation, is facing a grievous harm charge after he allegedly broke the jaw of one of his female peers on the high school’s compound last week Thursday. The victim of the injuries, 18 year-old Shafane Flowers needs extensive surgery, and today, her mother spoke to the media pleading to the public for assistance. Daniel Ortiz got her version of the story, and he also spoke with the school’s administration. Here’s what he found out. Daniel Ortiz reporting 19 year-old Shafane Flowers is in visible pain as she holds on to her lower jaw which remains broken in 3 separate places. She suffered these injuries due to a fight with a male 4th form student, which took place on the Excelsior High School compound. According to her mother, this situation escalated because her daughter was being bullied for almost a month where the young man reportedly called her disrespectful names. They had an exchange of insults, and it became violent. Now, Flowers’ broken jaw makes it difficult for to speak, and more importantly, to eat.

Discount King is Shutdown
This evening at around 3:30, representatives of the Belize City Council went to shut down Discount King, the business at the corner of North Front and Queen Streets. That’s because according to the City Hall, the business owner, Alfonso Silva, owed them just under 1 thousand dollars in tax arrears. So, the CitCo representatives went to enforce an order from their financial department but it didn’t go very smoothly because the employees were sure that their employer did pay – and they resisted. They even showed us a receipt. So, the council workers called in police to help enforce the order, and they got the business closed for half hour. That’s the amount of time that Silva took to pay cash to ensure that he didn’t owe anything. He told us this evening, that he is very sure that he doesn’t owe anything but he paid so that he could operate his business until the end of the day. He said that he is going to the City Council’s office tomorrow, where he will query with them if he does or does not owe any taxes.

Attempted Murder
25 year-old Albert Clother is spending his second night in prison after he was taken to Magistrate’s Court for allegedly shooting Samuel Halliday. According to police, on the evening of Friday, March 22, 2013, Halliday was walking on Vernon Street, when Clother and others ambushed him and fired 5 shots at him, injuring him in the lower back. Police investigated for almost 2 months, and they charged Albert Clother with attempted murder, and conspiracy to commit murder. He was arraigned yesterday before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, who remanded him until June 27th. The minor who he is jointly charged with was arraigned and remanded on a separate date. Police say that they are seeking a third suspect in this shooting.

Aggravated Assault
48 year-old George Dakers is out on bail after he was taken to court for fondling a 10 year-old girl’s. The child reported that on Saturday, she visited Dakers’ home to borrow a nail. That’s when Dakers allegedly grabbed the girl’s backside. The child’s guardian requested court action against Dakers, and as a result, he was charged with aggravated assault of an indecent nature. He was arraigned yesterday before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer who granted him bail of $1,500 with the condition that he must stay away from the victim. That’s when Dakers told the court that he does not even know who the victim is. He was able to meet bail, and he must return to court on July 8, 2013.

Incident with gun on Dean St.
A lightening quick response by police this evening resulted in the arrest of two suspected robbers and the recovery of a firearm believed to have been used in a robbery. This evening after five four men on bicycles rolled up on a pair of Mennonites who were making sales in their cargo truck at the corner of Amara Avenue and King Street. They robbed the men with a firearm and then rode off towards Dean Street. Precinct police were in the area and responded immediately. They intercepted two of the men on Dean street – and as they went to search them a small .25 pistol fell out of one of the men's pockets. Police also found one of the Mennonite’s wallets with a small amount of cash. The men were taken into custody.

More Indians Coming In
Last week we told you about 11 Indians who were caught coming into Belize illegally in the Billy White Area of the Cayo district. Well last night, 11 more were caught – this time in Santa Elena, Cayo. Police were operating a checkpoint when they saw a vehicle loaded with passengers avert to try and avoid the checkpoint. Police set chase and found the 11 persons had been let out and were hiding in a deep drain by the 3 Flags store. They are detained at the San Ignacio Police station pending charges for illegal entry. They were reportedly trying to get to Belize’s northern border. Notably, of the last 11, 6 were remanded to prison. We’ve been having a hard time trying to find out where the others got to.

Honduran Remanded
48 year-old Honduran National Jose Aquino, was remanded to today for indecent assault against a 9 year-old. According to police, the child, accompanied by her mother reported that Aquino touched her privates yesterday, and as a result, police arrested and charged him with aggravated assault of an indecent nature. He was arraigned in Magistrate’s Court today, and he was remanded because his immigration status in Belize is not known. He is to return to court on July 10.

Broke into the Cancer Society
Last night, the Belize Cancer Society had a break in at their Cancer Center. The culprits broke several of the locks and were able to get inside. But, they didn’t take anything, at least, according to the members of the Cancer Society. They said that they didn’t find anything missing, and they suspect that the burglars were looking for cash. Today, the Director put the burglary in perspective, given that they are working towards raising awareness in Cancer Month, leading up to their annual cancer walk. Here’s how she described THE STATE she found the Cancer Center in this morning. Ivorine Bulwer – Director, Belize Cancer Society "This morning when I arrived at the office at 8:17am I opened the door and i observed that one of the door that normally is closed was open and that created a concern so I just exited the office and decided to do a spot check. At that time I observed that doors were opened and were damaged. They gained entry into the building and for more observation nothing has been taken.

Chess Olympiad
On Saturday, The Belize National Youth Chess Foundation, held its 6th annual CHESS OLYMPIAD at the UB GYM in Belmopan. 140 of the best youth chess players in the country participated and Brent Toombs of OXA Productions helped us out with this story on the grand event. Monica Bodden reporting As per tradition, the Chess Olympiad started with a rush of fanfare and pageantry but once the opening was done all the bells and whistles were hushed and the players were left to the beauty of strategic silence of their game. Black versus white within the confines of 64 squares - a battle of mental might. Ella Anderson - National Programme Director, BNYCF "We really see the best players from all the districts because the idea of the Olympiad is that all players who want to participate have to go through the qualification tournaments in their district and then the best 24 players from each district qualify to play here." This year the tournament directors are kids who’ve come up in the programme

Channel 5

Trafficking of Indians; 11 try to cross border
Another group of illegal immigrants were captured in the wee hours of this morning behind a culvert in San Ignacio. At news time, it is known that a B.D.F. soldier is being detained and is likely to be charged. Indications are that there is an organized ring of the trafficking in persons operating under the [...]

U.D.P.’s Grijalva destroyed Maya site for roads in Deputy Prime Minister’s constituency
The story and images of the irresponsible destruction of one of the largest Mayan Archaeological Sites in northern Belize has been picked up by most international news networks and there is shock, outrage and disgust expressed in every quarter locally. The scuttling of Noh Mul by U.D.P. political aspirant, Denny Grijalva, has reduced the more [...]

Road fill? N.G.O.s comment on destruction of Noh Mul
The international media, including CNN, the BBC and other major syndicates across the world, are on fire after the destruction of the Noh Mul Archaeological Site in northern Orange Walk. There is widespread outrage, made worse by the knowledge that there is no hope of recovering what has been lost, either in infrastructure, historical value [...]

More time in mental facility for mother accused of filicide of 3 children
Twenty-two year old Felicia Chen, the mother who killed her three children, has been ordered back to a mental facility. She reappeared in court this morning for the April twenty-seventh triple homicide of her children. Dressed in full black and looking frightened and scared, Chen was assigned before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, who was [...]

Will Denny Grijalva be prosecuted to the full extent of the law for the destruction of Noh Mul?
The headline stories last week was about an attempt to change section fifty-three of the criminal code and our online poll dealt with that issue. There was a record number of persons who voted and shared their views on whether or not sodomy should be decriminalized. The result is as follows: a whopping two hundred [...]

“He was honest” says mother of youth killed by police during escape
Eighteen year old Rasheed Elijio’s life was cut short this past Friday when he was killed by Punta Gorda police. The background is that Elijio was being transferred to the Hattieville Prison from Punta Gorda for a charge of carnal knowledge when he, along with another prisoner, nineteen year old Brian Garcia, escaped. Both Elijio [...]

Cops need more cooperation on murder of security guard
The murder of twenty-three year old security guard Randy Casey, while on duty at Kenny’s Store on Friday night, goes on unsolved tonight as witnesses to the dreadful killing remain uncooperative with San Ignacio Police.  Following the weekend homicide, two persons, including an employee of the Ministry of Works, were detained, questioned and subsequently released.  [...]

Kareem Hamilton guilty of sodomizing 15 year old boy
In court this morning, twenty-six year old Kareem Hamilton pleaded guilty to sodomizing a fifteen year old mentally challenged minor in April of 2011. Hamilton’s trial began with the selection of jury and he soon changed his plea from not guilty to guilty in the court of Justice Troadio Gonzalez.  Hamilton showed no remorse and [...]

Real fight talk lands 2 women in court
A dispute between two women over how to talk to a two year has ended up in court with charges and counter charges. The incident occurred on Monday when thirty-six year old Stefanie Vargas and twenty-eight year old Chanique Robinson became embroiled in fight.   Today, they appeared before the Belize City Magistrate’s Court to answer [...]

Crack dealer flings product outside, but not far enough
A man alleged to be a drug peddler by the Gang Suppression Unit was arrested this morning when members of the unit executed a search warrant at his Antelope Street house. Windell Vernon was seen throwing a plastic bag in an open lot behind his house. In the bag, the GSU claims it retrieved a [...]

Red Bank villagers fuming about results of election
Village council elections were held last week in forty-four communities and by today and not surprisingly, both political parties were claiming overwhelming support. That aside, in the Red Bank Village near Independence, the results are in dispute and residents are clamoring for a reelection. Over a hundred villagers gathered turned out in the center of [...]

Ambassador says Rios Montt trial would have had adverse effects on October 6th referendum
Former Guatemalan dictator Efraín Ríos Montt was sentenced to eighty years in prison after being found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity on May tenth.  Under his regime, one thousand seven hundred and seventy one indigenous people were killed in 1982 and 1983.  A witness at the trial accused current Guatemalan president Otto Perez [...]

Emil Moreno fights to keep status in cycling organization
While the chess Olympiad concluded with many winners, the dust is yet to settle in cycling. Elections for a new president of the Western Regional Association Executive Committee of the Belize Cycling Association were held on Saturday, despite an application for an injunction to bar the exercise.  Former BCA president, Emil Moreno, through attorney Leo [...]


Nine Year Old Student Gives Food Hampers To Less Fortunate In Celebration of His Birthday
Today we bring you a story of a small boy with a big heart; in fact, with a humongous and generous heart. Nine year old Triston Hulse is a Standard two student at All Saint’s Primary School and last week Friday Hulse celebrated his birthday but not in the manner most kids do. Ins...

Operations In Corozal Uncovers Firearms and Ammunition
Police have recovered a number of unlicensed firearm and ammunition during operations in the Corozal District. While on mobile patrol this past Sunday in the Dominguez layout area of Corozal Town, police pursued a black pick-up truck owned and driven at the time by thirty two yea...

Robbery At Medical Clinic In Northern Belize
A clinic in Orange Walk Town was robbed yesterday afternoon. According to police, a doctor of Cinderella Street reported that around 1:20 pm while attending patients inside the clinic, a tall brown complexioned man who was wearing a yellow shirt entered the clinic room and pointe...

Afternoon Fire In Crooked Tree Leaves Seven Homeless
A mid-afternoon fire in Crooked Tree Village has left a family of seven homeless. The fire started shortly after two o’clock this afternoon and quickly engulfed the two bedroom wooden house. The house belonging to Norma Wade along with all its contents were destroyed....

Road Accident Proves Fatal In Northern Belize
A traffic accident up north has claim the life of a man. Reports are that on Sunday night at about 7 o’clock, forty two year old Jose Serafino Marin, a Belizean watchman of Progesso Village in the Corozal District, left Progresso Village en-route to Orange Walk driving a GMC pick...

Female Student Needs Reconstructive Surgery Following Fight With Schoolmate
Excelsior High is a south side Belize City high school that offers academic learning to youths who would ordinarily find themselves in at-risk situations and last Thursday evening, a confrontation between two of its fourth formers resulted in one suffering a severe injury. Accord...

Couple Remanded On Drug Trafficking Charge
Thirty-six year old Shinette Staine and 29 year old Melvin Flowers, a common-law couple were remanded into custody when they appeared in Court today and charged with drug trafficking for 64 grams of cannabis. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser told them that she will not even consid...

Honduran National Faces Allegations of Sexual Assault On Nine Year Old Female
Forty-eight year Jose Aquino, a Honduran national whose immigration status in Belize is uncertain, was remanded into custody today when he appeared in court and was charged with aggravated assault for allegedly committing a sexual assault on a nine year old girl. Aquino pled not guilty...

Bus Conductor Will Serve Six Years For Sodomizing A Teenage Boy
Twenty-six year old Kareem Hamilton, a bus conductor of Morter’s Lane charged with an unnatural crime, was sentenced to six years today by Justice John Gonzalez after he pled guilty to the charge. Justice Gonzalez stipulated that he will only serve four years because the two year...

Mother's Stay In Mental Health Facility Extended Following Her Act of Filicide
22 year old Felicia Chen, the mother who allegedly drowned three of her children two weekends ago, re-appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court today. A second evaluation was conducted on the young mother over the past couple weeks that she has been at a Mental He...

Airlines' Increase In Flights To Belize Spells More Tourists Arrivals According to Marketing Director
There is good news coming from the Belize Tourism Board tonight. The new flights and cruise calls to Belize were announced for the final quarter of the year of 2013 and the numbers have increase. Delta Airlines and American Airlines have increased their flights to Belize. BTB’s D...

Belize Tourism Board Comments On Destruction of Mayan Pyramid
There has been public outburst from what archaeologist are calling the ignorant destruction of one of Belize’s largest Mayan pyramids. Noh Mul, or what’s left of it, is situated in the San Jose/San Pablo Village in the Orange Walk District and tonight one of the tallest man...

Bridge Closes For Repairs In San Ignacio
The Ministry of Works and Transport will be doing major repairs on the Hawksworth Bridge in San Ignacio. As a result the bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic from nine p.m. to five a.m. daily beginning tonight for nine consecutive days. ...

Farmer Field School Approach Taken In Workshop For Personnel In Sugar Industry
Extension officers in the sugar industry are taking part in a three day workshop that seeks to increase their knowledge in methods of how to better the industry. The workshop is being offered by IICA and SIRDI with financing from the E-U. According to the IICA representativ...

Friend Stabs Friend; Victim Says It Was For No Reason
A man has been hospitalized following a stabbing incident in Armenia Village in the Cayo District. Correspondent Fem Cruz has the details on the incident. FEM CRUZ "Belmopan police is investigating a stabbing incident which occurred on Monday night, May 13 sometime a...


Court settles land dispute in Corozal
A long standing land dispute has been put to rest in the Supreme Court. It all started back in 2007, when the Ranchito Village Council, situated in the Corozal District, surveyed and distributed 216 lots for villagers. Due to a hurricane and congestion at the Lands Department, the official...

Mother accused of murdering three of her children back in court
Felicia Chen, the 22 year old mother of four who is accused of murdering three of her children returned to court today. Felicia Chen is accused of drowning three of her children at Belizean Beach on Saturday afternoon, April 27, and also alleged to have attempted to drown her...

School brawl results in broken jaw, 18 years old youth charged
A nineteen year old graduating senior of Excelsior High School in Belize City faces a long road to recovery after becoming embroiled in a brawl with an 18 year old classmate last Thursday on the Fabers Road campus. The incident allegedly occurred in front of several teachers and the...

Karim Hamilton admits to unnatural act on a male minor
The nation of Belize is awaiting the decision of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin as to whether or not to remove the portion of section 53 of Belize’s law which criminalizes an unnatural act not only with animals but with persons as well. Self proclaimed homosexual Caleb Orosco says the...

Condemnation of Moh Hol destruction
The destruction of the Moh Hul monument in northern Belize, has garnered much national and international attention – outrage rather, as a portion of the late pre-classic Mayan temple was demolished for road fill. Today, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture issued a release, stating “This total disregard for...

Police detain two men on firearm charges after vehicle chase
Masks, firearms and ammos – that’s what three men tried to get rid of when Police set chase on their vehicle over the weekend. On Sunday, Corozal Police were on mobile patrol in the Dominguez layout area when they began to pursue a black pickup truck, carrying three men....

17 years old detained for stabbing incident in Armenia
A 17 year old is tonight in Police custody in connection to a stabbing incident yesterday in Armenia Village. The person he allegedly stabbed, 19 year old Melvin Choc, says that he was only trying to get the 17 year old to his home, as he was highly intoxicated....

Corozal Police find over five thousand grams of suspected cannabis
Corozal Police found over five thousand grams of weed hidden in some bushes. Yesterday morning, acting on a tip, authorities searched an open lot on G-Street South in Corozal Town. There they discovered seven bags containing green leafy substances, suspected to be cannabis. The drugs were weighed which amounted...

Belmopan Farmers’ Market has been relocated
The Tuesday and Friday Farmers Market has been relocated. Jesse Mendoza reports. The Belmopan City Council has faced an exhaustive three years of finding a location to place the Belmopan Farmers Market. In June of last year it was agreed on by all parties that the Market would remain...

Another eleven Indian nationals detained for illegal entry
Report coming out of Cayo is that a group of Indian nationals were busted after they entered the country illegally through the Western Border. PlusNews understands that the group of eleven, two of whom are women, were caught this morning around 2 am. Police set chase on the group,...

Woman alleges Police brutality
PlusNews has received information of alleged Police brutality on a young woman in Placencia. The matter is presently before the court, as Police are charging the woman for resisting arrest but the woman is pressing charges against authorities for injuries she received. The young woman was picked up by...

Third break-in this year at Belize Cancer Society
The Belize Cancer Society is in the middle of Cancer Awareness Month activities but it has had to deal with a third break-in since the start of the year. In none of the break-ins was anything taken, but there has been damage and it has been a tiring experience...

Hawksworth bridge closed at night for repairs
The Hawksworth bridge, which joins San Igancio and Santa Elena, will be closed during the night time. Effective today, Tuesday May 14, the bridge will be closed to all vehicles in the night time only, from 9:00 p.m to 5:00 a.m. This will be done for nine consecutive days,...

New training courses for police officers begin in Belmopan
Three new training courses for police officers began yesterday in Belmopan. The first is a One-Week follow-up Training Course for Adjudicators and Presenters, mainly officers involved in tribunals within the Belize Police Department. The second is a Two-Day Training Course for members of the National Crimes Investigation Branch, focusing...


Noh Mul (Big Hill), an ancient Maya ceremonial center described as the tallest structure in the Orange Walk/Corozal area, was illegally mauled late last week in construction works reportedly being undertaken by a company owned by a politician of the United Democratic Party. However, as we go to press tonight, there are no indications that anyone has been charged for the destruction of the nationally protected site, to obtain road fill. Neither the Government of Belize nor the National Institute for Culture and History (NICH) has issued a statement on the matter, which is now the focus of international attention, having been reported by Business Week, USA Today, Fox News, and other major news outlets overseas. Dr. Jaime Awe, Director of the Belize Institute of Archaeology, a subsection of NICH, however, expressed to the media his outrage over the sacrilege done to our patrimony. Located a mile from the Northern Highway, Noh Mul is part of the twin villages of San Pablo and San Jose, and it is connected to late pre-classic and late classic Maya civilizations spanning 350 BCE to 900 CE. The Opposition People’s United Party issued a press release Monday saying that, “The damage done to the Mayan temple will certainly diminish the growth of a tourism industry starting to develop in the northern districts, and will decrease the potential for much needed employment in the region.”

Randy Casey, 23, had a premonition that he might die. Randy Casey, a 23-year-old resident of Camalote who was a security guard at a store in San Ignacio, is dead after a masked man shot him multiple times while he was on duty. Police have since detained a 16-year-old young man who they believe can assist them in solving this senseless murder. The killing occurred about 8:00 p.m. on Friday, May 10, at Kenny Store on Flamingo Street in San Ignacio. According to police, they responded to a shooting on Flamingo Street in San Ignacio, and went to the store, where they saw the security guard, Randy Casey, lying on the floor gasping for breath with three gunshots wounds. He had been shot in the lower and upper left side of his chest, and in the right side of the abdomen. Police took him to the San Ignacio Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. It appears that Randy Casey might have been killed for his firearm. Police say he was on duty outside the store when an armed, masked man came up and opened fire on him, hitting him multiple times. Witnesses in the store told police that when Casey fell down after being shot, the killer quickly stole his firearm and ran away.

Judgment is expected before August. Arguments came to a close today, Friday, for one of the most impassioned trials in Belize — Caleb Orozco against the Attorney General, challenging Section 53 of the Criminal Code. Attorney for the churches, Eamon Courtenay, spoke to the media after the trial today and he explained one of the main arguments the defendants used against Orozco’s claim. That is, to start with, that the court was never the right place to which to bring such an issue. Courtenay said that Orozco, president of UNIBAM (United Belize Advocacy Movement), had no personal experience of being victimized as a result of Section 53 and so his claim had no real value. He said that they understood Orozco’s issue, but disagreed with the way in which he raised it. “We are understanding of Mr. Orozco’s position and in fact, Mr. Orozco should be praised for having raised this issue,” Courtenay said. “The point is that he has raised it in the wrong forum. The court is not an academic institution. It is not a place where you come and ask for advisory opinions. You have to suffer a [contravention of your] right; you have to suffer a prejudice and when that happens to you then you come to court.”

A prisoner who was being taken to the Belize Central Prison on remand on charges of carnal knowledge died after police shot him when he was being recaptured after he had escaped from custody. The incident occurred about 8: 30 this morning, Friday, in the Caribe Reserve area of Punta Gorda. Police reports are that about 5:10 this morning, Rasheed Elijio, 18, of Ogaldez Street, Punta Gorda, and Brian Garcia, both prisoners who were charged with carnal knowledge, were being taken to the Belize Central Prison on board James Bus Line, from Punta Gorda to Hattieville, when the two prisoners, who were handcuffed together, sprinted away from the bus and escaped into the surrounding area. Police said that they immediately went to the Caribe Reserve area, about three miles away from Punta Gorda, where people reported seeing them. According to police, on their arrival in the area, they saw the prisoners, who ran away, and police fired at them, and as a result, one of the escapees was hit in his side. They were both recaptured, and the man who was injured, Rasheed Elijio, was taken to the Punta Gorda Hospital, where he died shortly after due to his injuries.

Joshua Chan, 15, of Patchakan village, a student of Cornerstone Presbyterian High School in Corozal, is presently in a coma at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he was knocked down by a vehicle at about 10:30 a.m. on Friday, May 10, in front of his school. Chan suffered severe head and body injuries. Students in the area told police that Chan was crossing the road after getting off a bus that had stopped in front of the school, when a vehicle that was travelling towards Corozal Town knocked him down. He was rushed to Orange Walk Hospital; from there he was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Some of the injuries Chan suffered included a broken leg, fractured jaw, and head trauma, which has affected his brain. He is now on life support at the KHMH.

There are some intelligent Belizeans who believe that sports are frivolous, and they will not consider the manifest deterioration of the MCC Grounds and the virtual death of the Civic Center to be the socio-economic catastrophes they have been in the old capital. Over the last three decades plus, we have experienced five changes of government in Belize. The value of those changes from PUP to UDP, and vice versa, is that Belizeans have been able to see for themselves that in some important policy areas, such as sports, there is not that much difference between the red and the blue. In the days of colonialism and self-government, we Belizeans entertained ourselves with our own sporting events. Our weekends were taken up with football, softball, cricket and basketball games, in addition to boxing and cycling, which were community events. Today, in 2013, we spend most of our leisure time watching American and European athletes play these games on television, and our local games have suffered dramatically in attendance and energy. The MCC and the Civic are prime examples of how PUDP governments ignored, and sometimes abused, the most important facilities for the playing of Belizean sports at the highest domestic levels. With the advent of television three decades ago, there should have been more investments in upgrading Belize’s sporting facilities, because television made it more difficult to bring Belizeans out of their homes. Instead, the facilities were ignored, and in some cases openly and cynically abused.

Between 1980 and 1983, El Quiché saw increased levels of violence in the conflict between the Army and various rebel guerrilla factions. Hundreds of Roman Catholic catechists and heads of Christian communities, most of whom were of Mayan origin, were brutally murdered. Gerardi repeatedly asked the military authorities to control their actions. – WIKIPEDIA Former army general and president of Guatemala, Efraín Rios Montt, 86, was convicted of genocide and sentenced to 80 years in prison on Friday in a Guatemala City court. There will be an appeal of the ruling, but some die have been cast here, and the implications for the people of Guatemala are very, very important. In the Holy Bible, it is written plainly, that those who have much, will gain more, and those who have little, even the little they have will be taken away. This has been what we may describe as the unrestrained history of Guatemala since it became independent of Spain in 1821. The big people in Guatemala, an elitist oligarchy who include mostly Guatemalans of European descent, have gobbled up most of the land and control trade, business, banking, agriculture, and industry, while the majority indigenous population have been marginalized, which is to say, they struggle to stay alive. Indigenous Guatemalans are practically landless. During his presidency of Guatemala between 1951 and 1954, Jacobo Arbenz tried to initiate land reform, but not only did he anger his country’s domestic land bosses, he made enemies of a couple huge American companies which were very influential in Washington, the seat of political power in the United States. Washington, through its Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and with the support of the Guatemalan oligarchy, military, and church, overthrew Arbenz and installed Carlos Castillo Armas, who immediately began the return to pre–Arbenz policies.

The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) today announced new developments which they say will bring increased tourist traffic and more revenues to Belize. Starting November, Delta Airlines will be adding one more weekly flight from Atlanta to Belize – an additional 596 seats per month, and American Airlines will increase its Dallas to Belize flights from three to seven per week (one flight daily), providing a total of six hundred additional seats in the month of October, the BTB announced. Additionally, Royal Caribbean International will also deploy the Navigator of the Seas year-round out of Galveston, Texas, starting in winter 2013 – a move that should increase port calls by 200%, from 10 to 30 a year. “It is expected that this increase in cruise calls will bring over ninety thousand cruise visitors to Belize,” the BTB said. “This is fantastic news!” the BTB’s Director of Marketing and Industry Relations, Alyssa Carnegie, said. “The tourism industry is doing so well that even the airlines have seen a need to increase flights, and these flights are being increased during a time that was generally considered to be a slow time for traveling by air. It shows amazing growth and more opportunities for the industry and Belize.”

Police made a big bust when they intercepted a van at the checkpoint on the George Price Highway this past Saturday night. Inside the van at the time of the bust were Kirk Dougal, 36, a boat captain and fisherman of #29 Fabers Road; Walter Beaton, 29, a taxicab driver of #44 Dolphin Street; and Pedro Ayuso, 28, a fisherman and diver of #5 Linda Vista Street. According to the police, at 8:40 Saturday night, a cream-colored van with three occupants approached the police checkpoint and the driver was asked to pull the vehicle over. When the vehicle was searched, a brown crocus sack was found on the back seat of the van. When police opened the sack, they discovered the suspected drugs. The men and the suspected drugs were taken to the police station, where the sack was weighed and found to be a whopping 25.1 kilos, or 55.33 pounds.

Dear Editor, I listen to you every morning here in Honduras. I lived in Belize for about 10 years when I was studying in Wesley College and Belize Technical College. Those were the best years of my life; I considered Belize as my second home. Every time I have a chance to talk to the people, the first thing I mention is Belize; I tell them to go and visit Belize, it is so beautiful. Well, I have lost contact with my old friends in Belize, but soon I’ll be back. I’m surprised how Belize has progressed. I’m very happy to see that my second homeland is progressing. Keep it up. Alejandro Robertson


#TravelTuesday Taking our Mulligan at Caye Chapel
If you remember Paul’s birthday blog from last year Caye Chapel Golf taking a Mulligan, And we set off like a herd of turtles on our way for our Caye Chapel golf day. We were doing ok then all of a sudden the waves got worse and the people at the back of the boat started getting a salt water bath, so we turned around and back to San Pedro. We all agreed to take a mulligan and that we would have an even better time going back then the pool was finished. In a golf game, a mulligan happens when a player gets a second chance to perform a certain move or action. The practice is also sometimes referred to as a do-over. It was a rough ride back and even though we were a bit disappointed that our golfing party did not work out it turned out to be a great day. This year the Zoo crew decided while we were doing the overnight tour that we would make it back to Caye Chapel as an extended part of Paul’s Birthday. We decided to take the Maya Island Air Caye Chapel Golf Tour instead of a boat, flight cost was cost $155 bzd. We were all excited for a plane ride and glad to be going to a new island for the day. For those of you who might not know, Caye Chapel is a par-72 golf course is the only full size golf course in Belize. It’s location is 16 miles north-northeast of Belize City and 3 miles south of Caye Caulker. The island itself is is 265 acres, or 2 miles long and 1/2 mile wide with the entire eastern shoreline being sandy beach and the western side is the golf course. Caye Chapel resort is officially closed but the golf course is open. A full day of golf including rental clubs, cart and all the golf you can play on your own private island course, as well as coolers and ice $150 bzd and must be paid in cash. Advance notice is required to play there.

Is San Ignacio the Next Hollywood?
In another artistic milestone for Belize, the first ever entirely Belizean film has just been released internationally. “Curse of the Xtabai.” an 80 minute film billed by its producers as a jungle thriller-comedy with “the distinction of being the first major movie fully produced with Belizean talent,” has a Maya theme and makes use of Belize’s rich tradition of folklore and storytelling. And, interestingly enough, “Xtabai” (pronounced “ish-ta-by”) was shot and acted without the use of a script. “We want movies from Belize to offer audiences something unique and special, so we’re using improvisation to bring a raw energy to the screen,” the film’s producer, Matthew Klinck said. Klinck said that he founded the production company, Make-Belize Films, last year to encourage economic development through “a new youth-centred exportable creative industry,” and that Xtabai provided training and employment for some 65 Belizeans. He reported that the film is attracting a growing international audience through online rental streaming of the film and Facebook marketing. “It’s pretty awesome that our Belizean jungle thriller (is) being enjoyed as far away as Australia, India and Singapore,” says Klinck, “it’s a giant leap for Belizean artists.”

Workshop: Marketing and Sales
Marketing and sales teams need to work together for business success, but do sales really support your marketing programmers and are you achieving the best results possible? This workshop could be for you!! Marketing and sales, may 15th, 2013, 9am to 12pm at the university of belize, west landivar. For more information contact: 223-3195 or email: [email protected]

DFC & BELTRAIDE Placencia Roadshow
Starting a business? Expanding a business? The DFC and Beltraide opens doors for you through access to business planning and finance.

Belmopan City Public Service Information Day
On Friday, May 10, 2013, the first ever Public Service Information Day was held in San Pedro. It was a countrywide campaign which started in Belize on Thursday, May 9, 2013; it is a day where government departments proudly put their services on display. Being the first ever Public Service Information Day held on the island, the fair kicked off with a short, yet meaningful ceremony. His Lordship Mayor Daniel Guerrero delivered the welcome address where he emphasized the importance of all public officers and the excellent and hard work they have each day. “Being a public officer is both challenging and rewarding,” stated Mayor Guerrero. “Public Workers play a vital role in a day to day basis and are necessary to keeping this country forward. It is quite difficult to deal with people when resources are limited yet they are there to make life easier for all of us and they are exemplary workers, keep striving for excellence and professionalism.”

It’s All in the Game” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Rose and I knuckled down this morning to use the tile and wood samples we have to make our final selections for the granite surfaces (kitchens and bathrooms) we want Daniel Camal, our building contractor, to try and match for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. We don’t expect exact replicas but do want them to be as close as possible. For the granite choices we once again made use of the very good 1000 Granite Colours website. With these selections out of the way we now need to finalise the wardrobe and walk-in closets and the internal light positioning and the decisions we have to make are competed. Getting there, slowly but surely. With the day’s house related tasks out of the way I took the Kindle down to the beach in front of the condo we are renting for a spot of reading and basically not doing a great deal. Very enjoyable. Just before noon Rose and I set off to drop the golf cart we have been renting in for a service and then walked the short distance to Pedro’s Inn for the lunch he had organised for the all important (well if you are an Arsenal or Tottenham fan that is) Arsenal versus Wigan Premiership game.

International Sources

Family of 7 Takes on Poverty in Belize During Year-Long Mission Trip
Inspired by a news story she saw when she was 14, Julie Kuhnert and her family realized her lifelong dream to help those less fortunate than themselves by leaving the comfort of home and serving as missionaries in Belize. Julie Kuhnert shares her story helping children and alleviating poverty in Central America. Q: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve taken on? A: In 2011-2012, we decided to take our five kids to the Central American country of Belize to spend a year of missionary service. While there, we worked to improve education, provide opportunities for children in the arts and we worked with grassroots programs to help alleviate poverty. With very little money to our name and no specific organization sponsoring us, we spread the word, asked for support from our community, and walked away from the "securities" of home. We trusted that by following our heart and listening to the call, our family would be taken care of.

Bringing smiles to Belize
Dr. Frank Schmid, dentist with Edmonson, Rouse and Schmid of Saranac, completed a trip to Belize with the Army Reserves in April. This trip was one of three he completed in the past year; in June 2012, he went to Barbados and in September 2012 he was in Malaysia. Schmid has been a member of the Army Reserves for 10 years. During that time, he has been to Iraq once and Afghanistan twice. While in Belize, Schmid was one of 45 in the medical unit. This group consisted of eight doctors, two dentists, one pharmacist, one optometrist and many nurses and other medical professionals. Many of the people Schmid worked with while in Belize were raised in other countries, including Guam, Guatemala and Vietnam. "The reason I like to do this is because I get a chance to interact with people from a younger age group. I also get to experience, through conversation, other cultures in the Army. Many of the people in the training were raised in different countries," said Schmid. The 11-day training exercise began on April 15 and served the people of Belize at three locations in the northern part of the country. These locations were the San Felipe School, Guinea Grass School and the San Pablo School. This trip is one of many training exercises that will be performed this year from April through June. U.S. military personnel will also be in El Salvador and Panama to conduct these exercises and bring medical assistance to those in need as part of the Beyond the Horizon exercises through the U.S. Air Force.

Have archaeologists discovered the mysterious lost city of Ciudad Blanca?
Honduras's ancient metropolis ‘found’ using revolutionary 3D mapping technique. The Google Map of eastern Honduras is almost blank. A vast and virtually unexplored rainforest region known as the Mosquitia covers around 32,000 square miles, home to dense jungle, hostile terrain and the terrifying-sounding jumping viper. Legend has it that somewhere beneath the forest canopy lies the ancient city of Ciudad Blanca – and now archaeologists think they may have found it. Tomorrow in Cancun, Mexico, an interdisciplinary group of scientists from fields including archaeology, anthropology and geology will appear at the American Geophysical Union’s annual conference to present the technology that has allowed them to discover a “lost world” in the Honduran interior. The team photographed the ground using new technology known as airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR). They found what appears to be a network of plazas and pyramids, hidden for hundreds of years. The legend of Ciudad Blanca (“The White City”) has captivated Western explorers ever since the Conquistador Hernan Cortes mentioned it in a letter to Spanish Emperor Charles V in 1526. Cortes never found the city, nor the gold it was said to contain, and the inhospitable region remained unconquered by the Europeans. In 1940, an American adventurer, Theodore Morde, emerged from the jungle claiming to have a found a “lost city of the monkey god”, where the local indigenous people worshipped huge ape sculptures. He was said to have been tipped off about the ruins by Charles Lindbergh, the first solo aviator to cross the Atlantic, who glimpsed “an amazing ancient metropolis” when he was flying above the forest. Morde was killed in a car accident before he could reveal its location. Steve Elkins, a film-maker and amateur archaeologist from Los Angeles, became interested in the legend during the 1990s, when he travelled to the region in an unsuccessful attempt to find the rumoured ruins of Ciudad Blanca. “Some people believe it’s a bunch of hooey. Others believe that where there’s smoke there’s fire,” said Elkins, who is now 62. “I became captivated by it, and I decided to wait until technology advanced to produce a better way to find it than walking aimlessly through the jungle. Many years later, that opportunity presented itself.”

The Riddle: new anti-homophobia message from UN human rights office
76 countries still criminalize consensual same-sex relationships and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people everywhere continue to suffer violent atta...

John McAfee breaks long silence in interview
In his first extensive interview since he returned to U.S. soil in December, John McAfee talks to USA TODAY about what he calls 'the truth.'

SI Rotaractors Travel to Honduras
Pictures from the Rotaract Club of San Ignacio, chronicling the three Rotaractors from Cayo, Astrid Salazar, Frankie Montero, and Debbie Alfaro, and many others from Belize as they represented Belize in Honduras at the Bi-District Conference last week. Looks like they had a fun time while doing so. Congratulations to the 4 winners! "Rotaractors from the 5 Rotaract Clubs in Belize represented our country at the 18th Rotaract/Interact BiDistrict Conference 2013 in Honduras from May 1-5, 2013. We are proud to say that our beautiful country won 4 Awards at this year's Conference. Rotaractor of the Year: Stephanie Ayuso Acosta from Orange Walk Rotaract Club; Rey Feo: Kevin Lewis from Dangriga Rotaract Club Best Arabian Costume: Grisel Rosseli Carballo from Orange Walk Rotaract Club and; Miss Rotaract 2013: Grisell Rosseli Carballo from Orange Walk Rotaract Club."

Belize Zoo Excursion Review
The Belize Zoo, along with cave tubing, are featured in another well written travel article. The author really liked the witty signs that the zoo has all around. It's a great place to have fun while learning about Belize's wildlife. "The Belize Zoo is unique in that all of the animals are native to Belize, and are not fit to live in the wild – they’ve either been injured or abandoned or raised in captivity. For example, some people think that ocelet kitties are cute and fun pets…and then the kitties turn into big cats and become more than they can handle. So it’s part refuge/part educational facility. The signs for the animals are all hand-painted and deliver messages to the public about the animals. They work to dispel myths (such as harpy eagles do NOT eat human babies) and raise awareness about the environment and human-wildlife-environment interactions."

This Is the Most Detailed Picture of the Internet Ever (and Making it Was Very Illegal)
An anonymous researcher with a lot of time on his hands apparently shares the sentiment. In a newly published research paper, this unnamed data junkie explains how he used some stupid simple hacking techniques to build a 420,000-node botnet that helped him draw the most detailed map of the Internet known to man. Not only does it show where people are logging in, it also shows changes in traffic patterns over time with an impressive amount of precision. This is all possible, of course, because the researcher hacked into nearly half a million computers so that he could ping each one, charting the resulting paths in order to make such a complex and detailed map. Along those lines, the project has as much to do with hacking as it does with mapping.

May 14, 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

San Pedro mothers celebrated with fabulous extravaganza!
The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) spread love to the mothers of the San Pedro community in a huge celebration that took place on Saturday May, 11th. Every year, mothers look forward to an evening of entertainment, dinner, laughter, drinks, prizes and surprises, and this year it was no exception. Hundreds of mothers filed in to Central Park, which was transformed into a comfortable venue for the event. There they were greeted by Miss San Pedro Naiely Puc, who presented them with a beautiful rose. They were then guided to tables by ushers for the night, San Pedro High School (SPHS) students. Once seated, mommies waited for the show to commence. Master of Ceremonies, Eiden Salazar Jr., led the evening’s events. After the national anthem and a heartfelt prayer by Clive Welsh, Mayor Daniel Guerrero addressed the crowd and delivered a speech to all mothers present. He expressed his gratitude to all the mothers – past, present and future – who take care of us on the island. He indicated that though he felt the loss of his own mother, he was grateful for the time and memories he had with her and implored those who still had the gift of their mother’s presence to show appreciation not only on one day, but every day. Area Representative, Honorable Manuel Heredia, also took the stage to express his heartfelt sentiments to the mothers who build the backbone of society.

Mama Vilma Fashion Show dazzles the night
The Mama Vilma Family Home Organization was formed based on the legacy of Mrs. Vilma Arceo known to many as Mama Vilma. She was a woman that emulated love and courage. Her compassion towards her community and its members allowed her to touch the lives of many that needed a helping hand. In honoring the legacy of Mama Vilma and in efforts to raise funds to sustain the home’s mission, a fashion show is held annually in attempts to allocate funds to continue striving for their goal: a family home for those in need. Gracious hosts Horacio Guerrero and the lovely Monica Prevett set the ambiance for the night, presenting the various boutiques’ fashions and the gorgeous models that dazzled on the runway. Amongst the lineup of lovely ladies that graced center stage were both Miss San Pedro 2012-2013 Naiely Puc and the newly crowned Miss Chiquitita 2013-2014 Zillah Flota. Even young David Syme joined both his stunning sisters on the catwalk – it was a family affair indeed!

Celebrating rich history and tradition
At the break of dawn, the fishermen head east into the deep blue waters in small rustic fishing boats. In high spirits, the fishermen turn their trust to Saint Peter in hope of inspiration, as their ancestors did before them. On stormy days, against monstrous storms and crushing waves lashing on the reef, when the fog blankets any sign of land, they turn to Saint Peter – the patron saint of the fishing community of San Pedro Town. And so, every June the town of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye comes alive as it pays homage to their patron saint, San Pedro. Hundreds of Sanpedranos, and those who have adopted the island as their home, come together in prayer as well as lively festivities to celebrate and thank their patron for yet another bountiful year. It’s a time that islanders come together to share stories of the past – of fishing experiences at sea, and to remember those whom the sea has called home. “La Bajada” is the traditional and religious celebration that starts on June 21st and includes ten days of novenas leading up to Dia de San Pedro, an event that officially kicks off the celebrations on the island. The patron saint’s statue is brought down from its permanent altar inside the Catholic Church just before dawn. This year at La Bajada, islanders will relive tradition when they breakfast at the municipal dock as in years long gone, in a traditional morning meal known as El Desayuno.

Ambergris Today

First Ever Public Service Information Day Held In San Pedro
On Friday, May 10, 2013, the first ever Public Service Information Day was held in San Pedro. It was a countrywide campaign which started in Belize on Thursday, May 9, 2013; it is a day where government departments proudly put their services on display. Being the first ever Public Service Information Day held on the island, the fair kicked off with a short, yet meaningful ceremony. His Lordship Mayor Daniel Guerrero delivered the welcome address where he emphasized the importance of all public officers and the excellent and hard work they have each day. “Being a public officer is both challenging and rewarding,” stated Mayor Guerrero. “Public Workers play a vital role in a day to day basis and are necessary to keeping this country forward. It is quite difficult to deal with people when resources are limited yet they are there to make life easier for all of us and they are exemplary workers, keep striving for excellence and professionalism.”

Technology To The Rescue!
By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant Some people may consider it as pathetic, even disgusting perhaps, that today’s super-advanced mobile technology has surpassed and replaced everyday human interaction. Raging over the internet this month is a picture of Albert Einstein, with a caption next to his picture, “Has this day arrived?” The controversial saying that some people attribute to Einstein, although it has not been proven, is one wherein he predicts that technology would surpass humanity and eventually create a generation of idiots. The fact is that today’s advanced technology is no longer science fiction, as it may have been in Einstein’s time, or even only 25 years ago. Regardless of whether we understand or accept it, advanced technology is now everyday reality in all corners of the world, including Belize. To know what I’m talking about, simply step onto any crowded bus, train, or mass transit system; walk through any open grocery store or mall; enter a crowded bank or Post Office to transact business; enter any popular restaurant to enjoy a meal, and casually glance around you. It’s almost guaranteed that you’ll see more people talking into cell phones, or checking Facebook and email on a Smart Phone or some type of hand-held mobile electronic device than you’ll see people chatting face-to-face with each other or looking directly into each other’s eyes. Casually look around in any public place and you’ll see a majority of people, young and old, with their faces buried in the latest hand-held and touch technology mobile fad; many of them will be seen and heard talking loudly into the cell phones, and paying no attention whatsoever to anything or anyone around them. What then has happened to everyday human interaction? Has it now been replaced by advanced mobile technology?

Pic of the Week: Mishap at North Ambergris Construction Site
A pier gave way to the weight of a heavy truck filled with sand as made its delivery to a construction site in North Ambergris Caye, adjacent to Las Terrazas (Journey’s End) resort this past weekend, Sunday, May 12, 2013. As can be seen, fortunately the truck remained lodged into the pier and did not plummet into the water. There have been no reports of injuries, but major damage was caused to the weakened pier and some fuel spillage was also reported. As construction of resorts and homes continues in the northern part of the island, it is easier to barge construction material on site as some areas have limited road access to larger vehicles.

Misc Belizean Sources

Turning the Tide on Ocean Waste
Cigarettes, plastic bags, food containers, caps, plastic bottles, and more litter the beaches in Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. In a new report, ELAW’s science team found that inadequate management of waste at the local level poses a regional challenge. “Waste management in Belize, Guatemala and Honduras is not just an aesthetic issue, it is a serious public health and environmental problem, says ELAW Staff Scientist Meche Lu. “Data from Belize indicate that approximately half of the waste there is not collected. Much of it is burned or disposed in waterways.” Elito Arceo, Chairman of Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development (ACCSD) in Belize, concurs: “The amount of garbage that ends up on our beaches and reef is unbelievable. This is not what our tourists come here to see.” ELAW’s science team recently published: “Ocean Waste in the Gulf of Honduras: Where it goes and what to do about it.” The report was a collaborative effort with organizations in the region working to turn the tide on ocean waste. “This report shows that first of all we need to take responsibility for our own garbage,” says Arceo. “It’s time for all of us to change our habits. Education is the going to be the key.”

Ocean Waste in the Gulf of Honduras: Where it goes and what to do about it
Waste management is a serious global and regional issue and multiple entities have attempted to characterize the problem and identify solutions. We have confined our review to investigating the potential sources of waste in the part of the Western Caribbean that stretches from Corozal (Belize) to La Ceiba (Honduras) including the Gulf of Honduras (hereafter ‘the Gulf of Honduras’) that could be affecting the coast of Belize and its atolls. We hope results from this review will be used to identify potential solutions for NGOs and/or governments to employ to address the massive human health and ecological problems that solid waste causes. We reviewed national census data from Belize, Guatemala and Honduras; analyzed reports from the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB); and incorporated information from interviews with local people in the study area, including local government representatives and fishermen. This review has identified the following factors influencing waste in the study area:

Episode 8 'Loving Belize' Paul Nabor, How to make Chocolate, Trees of Belize, killer Bees
Yey episode 8 of 'Loving Belize' enjoy! - Have you ever fallen in love with a 70 year old woman? I did the other day, the beautiful soul of Mrs Coleman from Punta Gorda. This episode of 'Loving Belize' starts with the sweet lady Mrs Coleman singing you a song. Then you are taken to met Paul Nabor, and 85 year old Garifuna musical artist who has traveled the world. I then whisk you off to learn 'How to make chocolate' with Juan Cho and Abelina Cho at IXCACAO Maya Belizean Chocolate in San Felipe, google: ixcacaomayabelizeanchocolate Then Juan Cho takes you through his tropical rainforest farm and teaches you about the trees and plants of Belizean and their the nutritional and medicinal properties. You are then witness to 'The attack of the killer African bees' when Scott and I have to run away for a swarm of angry killer bees in The Rio Blanco national park.

VIDEO: PGtv interview, Painting Pirates mural with School kids
Painting Pirates Club completed a mural workshop in Punta Gordra town, in Saint Peter Clavers RC school. We taught the kids to design their own mural to represent their school. Then the we taught them to take the small and blow it up to the size of the wall. They painted and decided together what colors to use. We just touched in up when mistakes were made. They were very very proud of their achievement.

Bulldozers destroy 2,500-year-old Mayan pyramid in Belize
One of Belize's largest Mayan pyramids, which survived more than two thousand years of environmental hazards, has been largely destroyed by heavy equipment belonging to a local construction company seeking gravel for road fill. The head of the Belize Institute of Archaeology said the destruction was discovered late last week, and only a small portion of the centre of the pyramid mound was left standing. "This is one of the worst that I have seen in my entire 25 years of archaeology in Belize," John Morris, an archaeologist with the Institute of Archaeology, told Channel 7 News in Belize. "We can't salvage what has happened out here -- it's an incredible display of ignorance. I am appalled and don't know what to say at this particular moment." Jaime Awe, director of the Institute of Archaeology, said he was sickened by the destruction of the Noh Mul pyramid and temple platform, which date back about 2,500 years. He told Channel 7 News it was "intolerable."

Martha's Guesthouse Promotional Video
Martha's Guesthouse has a new video out. It showcases their rooms, restaurant, and laundry service, and shows the panoramic view of downtown Cayo from the top floor. Nicely done.

Ascenthium in Benque Friday
Ascenthium is coming to Benque this Friday. Are you ready to rock! They've posted some publicity stills that Demian Solano took, and where Cayo's Vanessa Awe did the makeup. Looks like they had some fun while doing it. In Bloom, one of Cayo's up and coming bands, will be opening for them. This is the concert you don't want to miss.

SI Rotaract Club at Bi-District Conference
The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio, along with the other Belizean Rotaract clubs, attend the bi-district conference in Honduras. The Orange Walk club captured the fun times they all had representing Belize. Congratulations to Stephanie Acosta, who was named Rotaractor of the Year, Grisel Carballo, who was named Miss Rotaract 2013, and Kevin Lewis, who was named Mr. Rey Feo. "Belize was well represented by Belize City Club Mr Hershel Armstrong, Belmopan Club was Represented by Mr. Leon Castillo, Cayo Club was Represented by Predisendt Miss Astrid Salazar Silva, Miss Debbie Alfaro and Mr Frankie J. Montero while Dangriga Club was Represented by Mr. Kevin Evil Angel Lewis represented as Acting President and Represented Belize for the Mr Rey Feo (Mr Rotaract) Pageant. Our Country was filled with pride since we won four Awards for the Country: Miss Stephanie Acosta Won ROTARACTOR OF THE YEAR. Miss Grisel Carballo Won Best Costume for the Arabian Night as well as Miss Rotaract 2013 and Mr. Kevin Lewis Won Mr Rey Feo. GO BELIZE WE WERE REPRESENTED WELL CONGRATS GUYS. Job Well Done."

Nature and the Maya Creation
Dr. Jaime Awe produced and stars in this video about the Popul Vuh. Elfego Panti is the narrator. The Mayan archaeological sites of Xunantunich and Caracol are featured. "This is the narrative of the Maya creation story and it follows the descent of the hero twins Hunahpu and Xbalanque to the underworld. Taken from the Popol Vuh, “Book of the People” found in the 18th century by friar Francisco Ximénez in the Guatemalan highlands. This documentary features archeological destinations like Caracol, Lamanai, Xunantunich, a wide variety of wild animals and jungle scenes. It is narrated by Elfego Panti and special appearances by Dr. Jaime Awe."

International Museum Day at Benque HoC
The Benque House of Culture will be celebrating International Museum Day today by kicking off their latest exhibition on the National Heroes of Belize. They'll also have booths from the Belize Audubon Society, the Institute of Archaeology, the Belize Archives and Records Service, and the National Heritage Library. The festivities start at 9:00am. See you there! "Be our guest at the 3rd Annual International Museum Day Celebration. Educational Booths with Invited Guests: Belize Audubon Society, Belize Archives & Records Services,National Heritage Library & Belize Archeology Department. Theme 2013: Museums ( Memory + Creativity) = Social Change"

Belize Chess Olympiad Pictures
More great pictures from the Belize National Youth Chess Foundation's Chess Olympiad. Great to see so much interest in a game that teaches strategy and critical thinking. They really transformed the UB gymnasium for the event. They even had stlit walkers show up. "Teams from across the country travel to Belmpan to compete in 'the game of WAR' Once again a wonderful day as Stann Creek defended the National title. Special thanks to our fearless President Pedro Pixabaj who lead us to victory again!"

Caye Boy – Barefoot Adventures of an Island Child
We are all aware, living on our tiny little island paradise, that we are all blessed!!! Our simple lifestyle is different from that of those in the larger world and its simplicity is part of its enormous beauty! This has been proved by a totally charming book that has been written by our resident yoga guru Jessica Retseck Wigh. Jessica, originally from Indiana, lives on the island with her husband Brad and their two young sons. She appreciates the carefree lifestyle of the children born and raised her on the Caye and has decided to write a book to illustrate this and we LOVE IT!! For more information on the book and how to purchase click here.

Esmeli - Belize Top Model of The Week - Behind the Scenes Video
Belize's Top Model is selected Weekly and shot on location at various sites in and around the beautiful travel destination of Belize. Models are selected bas...

Don't forget its Crooked Tree's Cashew Festival this weekend
Feast on Caribbean style dishes while sipping on cashew wine at the Crooked Tree Village’s Cashew Festival, located in Northern Belize. Games and

Channel 7

Director Of Institute Of Archaeology Says Noh Mul Temple A Write-Off
Today, there was no quarry work at the Mayan site of Noh Mul in the Orange Walk District. Police have shut it down, and the D-Mars, the company, which was extracting aggregates or road fill, has withdrawn from the area. And while the work has stopped, it’s too late. Dr. Jaime Awe, the Director of the Institute of Archaeology today told us that from what he has seen in the report compiled by his Archaeologists, the site is completely destroyed. Dr. Jaime Awe - Director, Institute of Archaeology "Jules, the destruction is horrendous, its deplorable, its unforgivable. I had hoped that I could have gone in and find something that was salvageable. That we can go in and do repairs to the damages so that we could preserve some aspect of the ancient building. I completely regret that I have to say this - I think that 80% or more of this building is destroyed . There is simply no way or no hope that we could attempt any kind of preservation on this. The only thing left now is to watch the last bit of it crumble with the coming of the rainy season or to go in there and try to salvage the parts that remain that are scattered all over the site.”

Belize Accepts Possibility of 2014 Referendum, What Will Guate Do?
Fred Martinez and 25 other UDP candidates went on to lose the election, which was held a few weeks after that interview. It’s worked out better for him, and for the country because instead of becoming a transient politician, he became a career diplomat, serving an unprecedented 13 years uninterrupted as Belize’s ambassador to Guatemala. That’s given him an unmatched perspective on Belize Guatemala relations and negotiations. And this morning we spoke to him about the latest round of talks at the OAS in Washington. Those took place last week and while Press Releases have been issued, Martinez allowed us to peep behind the diplomatic velvet rope – where he revealed the OAS had heard talk for Guatemala. H.E. Fred Martinez - Belize Ambassador to Guatemala "I was very pleasantly surprised to see the aggressiveness of the Secretary General towards the whole issue and especially towards Guatemala insisting that twice already Guatemala would have backed down from an agreement to hold a referendum. If you remember the first occasion was in 2002 for the proposals and the facilitators and now again. Both Belize and the Secretary General made it very clear that this was a matter of survival for Belize to get this to closure somehow or the other. For Guatemala it may be a luxury to just keep pressing down a claim whilst its people benefit handsomely along the border and Belize works as an escape fall for their poverty levels in the Peten. But for Belize this could not be a luxury - for Belize it is a matter of utmost national security necessity and survival. The special agreement therefore which gives an option for a solution at an international court of justice must remain alive. Changing the date of the referendum is not a substantial breach of the agreement itself because the agreement does not have a date. The Minister of Guatemala mentioned once that we could have the referendum in 2014. Belize therefore did not break away from the agreement and I think that it was unilateral on Guatemalan side but we are willing to proceed in 2014 if you are. We would like you to process in 2014 because that's the last window of political opportunity. Allow me to explain why - by September 2014 goes into it's presidential campaign, 2015 is the Presidential campaign and election so that is out for a referendum. Then 2016 the new government takes office in January but then Belize enters a General campaign for elections the ending of 2016 and the beginning of 2017. So we said we are posing to you that we want to go to a referendum and soon. Whatever is the soonest for you - then we are ready"

Broad Daylight Robbery At Doctor’s Office, OW
There was a broad daylight robbery in Orange Walk town today – and it happened at a doctor’s office! At 1:30, two masked men stormed into the “Brigidos Dental and Medical Clinic” and held everyone at gunpoint. CTV-3 in Orange Walk reports that the Doctor was tied up while the robbers ransacked the place. One shot was fired and the men fled on bicycle. No one was hurt, and it is not known if the robbers got away with cash or valuables.

Security Guard Killed for Gun In Cayo
For the second week in a row, there was a murder in Cayo. This time a 23 year old security guard was killed – apparently not because the thief wanted to get into the Chinese store he was robbing, but because they wanted his gun. We spoke to his mother today. Monica Bodden reporting The murder of 23 year old Randy Casey happened here in front of Kenny’s Store on Flamingo Avenue in San Ignacio Town. When police arrived on the scene around 7:50 on Friday night, Casey was seen lying face up still gasping for air. He was rushed to the San Ignacio Town Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. According to police Randy Casey was on duty at the time when a man dressed in a black t-shirt, a black ¾ pants and wearing a mask over his face approached him with a gun and fired 3 shots in his direction. Casey fell and while on the ground struggling for his life, the gunman took away his point .22 pistol and the fled the scene. Nadia Casey - Mother of Ryan Casey "Well when we went to Cayo on Friday night, the police told us that persons went and gave statement saying that my son went into the shop to buy and when he was finished buying he was coming out and then the person just moved off from the side of the building and shot him without asking any questions."

Mom Says Police Didn’t Have To Kill Her Son
On Friday’s newscast, 7News told you about 19 year-old Rasheed Eligio, the man who police shot to death in Punta Gorda after he escaped from custody. Eligio was arrested for carnal knowledge and along with another prisoner, Brian Garcia, was being transported by bus to prison after being remanded. According to police, Eligio and Garcia saw an opportunity to escape, and they bolted. 3 hours later, according to the officers, they tracked them down in the Carib Reserve Area. The fugitives saw the police and made an attempt to escape, which prompted the officers to open fire on them. One of those bullets fatally injured Eligio, and by the time he got to the PG Town Hospital, he was beyond help. Police say that an internal investigation has been launched, but today 7News met Eligio’s mother who has no doubt in her mind that police made a poor judgment call when they shot at both men. Curtline Flores - Mother of Rasheed Eligio "On Friday May 10th, my son was murdered by the polic in Punta Gorda. I said he was murdered because he was not armed, he was not convicted of any crime and he was running when the people shot and killed him. My son is not a killer, he's not a murdered, he's a nice person and I'm not here to criticize anyone - all we need is justice."

19 Year Old Dies In Traffic Accident
Tonight, we report on the weekend’s 2 fatal traffic accidents, which claimed the lives of 2 young men. We start first with the accident which occurred on the early hours of Sunday Morning. According to police, they responded to a report at Mile 1 on the Western Highway in front of Harry’s Imports. There, they found an overturned car, which had 19 year-old Lexie “Alex” Dixon trapped inside. The emergency personnel rescued Dixon from the vehicle, but they he passed away from massive head and bodily injuries. Police are still investigating, so all the details are not known, As a result, 7News tracked down one of the 5 men who were in the vehicle at the time of the accident to get an understanding of what took place. He told us off camera that they had a few drinks at a party, and that while they were driving to Belize City, Dixon grabbed the steering wheel and startled the driver, which led to the accident: Voice of: Wellington Armstrong - Eyewitness/Accident Victim "We were at a party behind St. Martin's area after Leslie's. We were drinking there and before we left we were looking for a song to put on. After that we took off full speed from in front of the party and we went on the highway to come back to Belize. All I remember was when Lexie pulled the steering wheel while the guy was driving and after that he was struggling to get back on the road. I don't remember if it flipped because I only felt we were spinning but my friends say we flipped, they said the first land was on Lexie's side. After that we tried crawling out and we couldn't talk and we couldn't see. Every time I crawled I fell after that I came out. One of my friends was telling me something but I couldn't hear him good and my neck was hurting, my should and the back of my head."

16 Year Old Knocked Down and Killed
The second fatal traffic accident occurred a few minutes after 6 on Friday night between miles 24 and 25 on the Northern Highway. Police found the body of 16 year-old Dellon Davis on the left shoulder of the road. Preliminary investigation revealed that Davis was knocked down by 17 year-old Joshua Bueckert, who was driving a pickup towards Belize City. Bueckert reported that Davis was riding a bicycle and suddenly turned into his lane, and he could not avoid the collision. 7News spoke to Davis’ sister, who told us that her family is devastated: Voice of: Lavinia Davis - Sister of Deceased "I understand they said that he was riding on the road and he was hit at the back and he died on the spot." Daniel Ortiz "Riding what, a bicycle?" Voice of Lavinia Davis "Yes he was riding a bicycle" Daniel Ortiz "Can you tell us what the police are saying at this moment? Have they contacted you?"

Taxi-Man Shot Outside Home
There was a shooting in Belize City early on Sunday Morning. A 57 year old taxi driver was shot as he entered his house. Manuel Mendez; a resident of Boots Crescent was walking into his home around 2am when a lone masked gunman walked up and shot him in the jaw. Mendez is in a stable condition; police have not made any arrests.

Police Expanding Training
Police are getting training in a number of areas, from law to self-defence. The three courses are happening at the Police Academy in Belmopan. The first is for Adjudicators and Presenters where attorneys, magistrates and other legal experts train them in the conduct of police tribunals. Then there’s also a course for the CIB in investigative techniques, intelligence and evidence gathering and legal interpretations. And the Mobile Interdiction Team is learning about defense tactics. It’s all part of the Department’s expanded Training Plan for 2013.

Police Bust Over 50 Pounds Of Drugs
Tonight, 29 year-old Walter Beaton, 28 year-old Pedro Ayuso, 36 year-old Kirk Dougal are out on bail tonight after they were taken to court for over 50 pounds of marijuana. According to police, the men were intercepted at the police checkpoint at mile 5 on the Western Highway. The bust occurred at about 8:40 p.m., on Saturday night when the officers stopped a cream in color van with the 3 men inside. The driver was asked to pull over and that’s when a search of the vehicle, led to the discovery of a brown crocus sack in the back seat which contain 25.1 kilograms of cannabis. All three men were arrested and escorted to the Queen Street Police Station where they were all charged with drug trafficking. They were arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, who granted them bail of $15,000.

Bodybuilding Belizean Excels In UK
Mr. Belize Rigo Vellos excelled in the 2013 Hercules Olympia contest held in Colchester, London on Saturday, May 11. Judges scored points on size, shape, balance, proportion, symmetry, condition and vascularity. Vellos placed second behind Kai Lyons who advanced to the Mr. Hercules finale and ended up winning the grand prize. It is a significant achievement because Vellos is the 1st Belizean to compete at that level, where the best bodybuilders from North America and Europe compete. He returns to Belize on Tuesday night.

Moreno Won’t Ride Again?
Former Belize Cycling Association President Emil Moreno suffered a major setback yesterday in his bid for re-election. That’s because a new election for the Western Region was held yesterday and he was not elected. The man who filed the petition against the last election Daniel Cano was elected as Vice President while Gilroy Spence was elected as president. Moreno did not attend the meeting, but we understand he did get his attorney to file an injunction against the proceedings, but the injunction could not be enforced. As we understand it, he is protesting the decision of the protest board. If Moreno is not an elected executive member of a regional executive, he cannot become national president.

Showcasing Budding Entrepreneurial Brilliance
A business fair was held at the ITVET compound in Belize City today. But it wasn’t your typical business showcase – instead the businesses on display were by youths who participated in the financial literacy training staged annually by teams from Price Waterhouse Coopers. They got to show what they’ve learned and be honoured for it. We found out more:… Dr. Carol Babb - Deputy Chief Education Officer "We are having a business fair originated out of the fact that we've had financial literacy campy for two years form 2008. We’ve partnered with Price Waterhouse Coopers and peace work and they've partnered with us at the ministry to teach young people about planning and savings, budgeting and planning towards their goal. So these students have been taught about entrepreneurship and today this gives the opportunity to display their products. You will notice that they become very creative and they come up with very innovative products. That's the whole idea. We're trying to change the mindset. We want them to think about becoming employers instead of employees"

Channel 5

Important Maya monument is savaged; U.D.P. political aspirant is responsible
There is huge public outrage over the reckless destruction of Noh Mul, one of the most important Mayan monuments in northern Belize. Noh Mul stood proudly ten miles north of Orange Walk; it was known as the Big Hill constructed over two thousand years ago. The site consisted of two twin ceremonial clusters surrounded by [...]

COLA says damage to Noh Mul deplorable and obscene
It is not the first time that there has been destruction to Noh Mul. Our records show that in June 1998, similar destructive activity was reported by the Archeology Department on one of the smaller plazas. Fortunately, the damage was not as extensive as it is tonight to the main ceremonial plaza. But the motive [...]

Security guard killed for his gun in San Ignacio
An employee from the Ministry of Works was released late this evening from police detention following a murder on Friday night in San Ignacio. Calvin Welch and a minor were both detained and questioned for the murder of Randy Casey. It happened at Kenny’s Store situated on Flamingo Avenue just before eight o’clock when fortunately [...]

Is a referendum even possible in 2014? Ambassador Fred Martinez says its easier said than done
There will not be a referendum to take Guatemala’s unfounded claim to fifty percent of Belize’s territory to the International Court of Justice, at least not this October sixth. Both nations had agreed to that date on April twenty-seventh 2012, but since last year, the Guatemalan President and Foreign Minister made several public declarations about [...]

Ambassador Martinez says no offensive map to be displayed at O.A.S. General Assembly in Guatemala
The forty-third regular assembly of the Organization of American States is being held in Antigua, Guatemala from June fourth to sixth. Guatemala had produced videos that show Belize and Guatemala as one country and those images had been presented at a previous O.A.S. General Assembly in Colombia and at an O.A.S. gathering in Washington. It [...]

Department of Civil Aviation employees injured in afternoon traffic accident
A number of traffic accidents were reported over the weekend. While various persons were lucky enough to have sustained only minor injuries, two persons perished in separate accidents. The most recent traffic accident happened this afternoon in which two men escaped grave injury when the Toyota Hilux they were traveling in was clipped by a [...]

Lexie Dixon killed in accident in the city
On Sunday night at about twelve thirty, another traffic accident claimed the life of a Belize City man. A trip from Hattieville to Belize City ended fatally for Lexie Bradford Dixon. Dixon was a passenger in a Pontiac car which overturned near Harry’s Imports on the George Price Highway. The driver of the vehicle Dominic [...]

16 year old killed in Friday night traffic accident
The second fatal accident occurred between miles twenty-four and twenty-five in Biscayne Village. The body of sixteen year old Dillon Davis was seen lying on the left side of the highway with multiple head and body injuries. Davis was riding his bicycle on the highway when he was knocked down by a Chevrolet pickup driven [...]

Knowing your history; 45th annual Association of Caribbean Historians meet in Belize
Belize is this week entering the history books as it hosts the forty-fifth Annual Association of Caribbean Historians for the very first time. Those historians, some of the most eminent from the Caribbean and the world, will be presenting papers, fielding questions and facilitating discussion on a wide range of topics affecting the Caribbean…past, present [...]

Weekend Sporting Highlight with Sportscaster, James Adderley
Good evening I’m James Adderley and this is sports Monday.   The tension in the camp was painfully obvious as the defending champions Belmopan Bandits hosted FC Belize Saturday night in the final leg of the home and away series that would determine which of the 2 makes it to the 2013 PLB finals. The [...]


Police News
There was a shooting in Belize City early Sunday morning. According to reports, Belize City police visited the KHMH on Sunday May 12th at about 2:00am where they observed 57 year old Manuel Mendez suffering an apparent gunshot wound to the right side of the jaw. Initial investigations ...

Father of Dead Teenager Wants To Know Why The Police Shot and Killed His Son
Investigations still continues in the shooting death of 18-year-old, Rasheed Elijio which occurred on Friday, May 10. According to police reports, Elijio along with 19-year-old, Brian Garcia and a third person were being escorted to a James Bus so that they can be transferred to the Ha...

Government Vehicle Flips On Highway
At about 1:30 this afternoon, a government vehicle was involved in a traffic accident on the Phillip Goldson High Way. The government vehicle bearing license plates number B-1655 belongs to the department of Civil Aviation and was transporting three passengers in it at the moment of th...

Belizean Places Second In Hercules Olympia In London
Over the weekend Belize’s body building champ, Rigo Vellos, participated in the 2013 Hercules Olympia, a body building competition held in Colchestor, London. The 2013 Hercules Olympia is being described as the best body building show over the last decade with world class body bu...

Opposition Party Speaks On Village Council Results and Destruction of Mayan Temple
As we have been reporting, Village Council elections started this past weekend in a number of villages across the country – 44 to be exact. The People’s United Party has issued a press release following the elections. In it, the PUP states that in ten of 28 of t...

Belize Police Training Academy Houses Training Courses For Its Officers
Three new training courses are underway at the Belize National Police Training Academy in Belmopan. The first is a one week follow-up training course for adjudicators and presenters, mainly officers involved in tribunals within the Belize Police Department. Lecturers for this course in...

Primary and Secondary Students Tested On Financial Literacy
The ITVET in Belize City is being swarmed by primary school students in yet another effort by the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders in the field of education. The compound is the venue for a business fair and a financial literacy competition for primary and high school...

Cannabis Uncovered in Motor Vehicle; Three Men Charged
Three men have been charged with drug trafficking in connection with 25 point one kilograms of cannabis that were found in a van. They are 36 year old Kirk Dougal, a boat captain of 29 Faber’s Road; 39 year old Walter Beaton, a taxi driver of 44 Dolphin Street; and 28 year old Pe...

Two Remanded and One Still At Large For Attempted Murder in Belize City
Twenty-five year old Albert Clother, one of three persons who the police believe were involved in a shooting incident, was charged with attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder when he appeared in Court today. No plea was taken because the offences are indictable. Neither could...

Painter Out On Bail After Squeezing Minor's Bottom
Forty-eight year old George Dakers, a painter of Freedom Street who allegedly committed a sexual assault on a 10 year old girl, was charged with aggravated assault when he appeared in Court today. Dakers pled not guilty to the charge. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser offered him a bail ...

Painter Out On Bail After Squeezing Minor'Pats Female Minor
Forty-eight year old George Dakers, a painter of Freedom Street who allegedly committed a sexual assault on a 10 year old girl, was charged with aggravated assault when he appeared in Court today. Dakers pled not guilty to the charge. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser offered him a bail ...

BELTRAIDE Seeks to Develop Entrepreneurship Strategy for Belize
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service, BELTRAIDE hosted a workshop for the development of a National Entrepreneurship Strategy for Belize, in conjunction with a Colombian based company by the name of NEXUS. The Local Project Coordinator for the Entrepreneurship prog...

Ambassador Speaks On The Calling Off of Belize Referenda With Guatemala
The simultaneous Referenda between Belize and Guatemala have been called off by Guatemala’s announcement that it will not take part in the event. But since that, and Belize’s common-sense decision to not carry through with holding our end of the bargain since that pos...


Demolishing Of Archaeological Site Gains International Attention
The obliteration of one of the North’s four largest Mayan Mounts has also captured the attention of the international media. Today Fox News published the story entitled Bulldozers destroy 3,200-year-old Mayan pyramid in Belize. The report was covered with pictures of the destruction bringing to light the extent of damage done to the Maya Mount. Here at home the issue is also causing controversy and gaining momentum so much so that it has even prompted Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA to issue a strong worded statement on the topic. In the release COLA out rightly attacks the government by stating and we quote “The current administration shows no respect for the environment or for the historic perspective of Maya society and culture embodied by these monuments.” COLA further states that they are completely revolted by the destruction of the Mayan Mount. In the release COLA also calls on the Department of Archaeology to follow through on its promise to enforce the law and assign strict penalties to those responsible. The archeological department has indicated that they are seeking to levy charges against the company in this case De Mar’s and the owner of the property where the site is located.

PUP Loses Seats in Orange Walk North and South
The first round of the 2013 Village Council Elections commenced yesterday, Sunday May 12th, for the northern districts with elections slated in 11 Villages, four from Orange Walk and seven from Corozal. In the villages of Chan Pine Ridge, Trinidad, San Lazaro and Trial Farm, polling stations opened at ten in the morning with both major political parties in full gear. We start our coverage here in Orange Walk where the United Democratic Party almost had a clean sweep. Victor Castillo - Reporting Our coverage began in the Village of Trail Farm considered to be one of the strong holds of Deputy Prime Minister and Orange Walk North Area Representative Honourable Gaspar Vega. As polling stations opened at ten in the morning, residents of Trail Farm took the line ready to cast their vote. The area, as was expected, was decorated with red t-shirts making the presence of the United Democratic Party known. But as the good old saying goes, t-shirts don’t vote and the blue machinery stuck to the program and did everything possible to get their people out. In Trail Farm, the UDP team had the full support of their Area Representative Gaspar Vega while the team running under the PUP ticket had the backing of Orange Walk Central Area Representative John Briceno.

Clean Sweep For the PUP In Corozal South East
In the District of Corozal seven Villages held elections as voters from Calcutta, Ranchito, San Joaquin, Carolina, San Pedro, Cristo Rey and Yo Chen went out in full swing to exercise their constitutional rite. Polling stations in the different Villages opened at 10:00am and by four in the afternoon some of the results were already in. In the Villages of Ranchito, Calcutta and San Joaquin considered strong holds of Corozal South East Area Representative Honorable Florencio Marin Jr., the PUP had a clean sweep. Incumbent Orvin Rancharan and his team was once again elected by the people of Ranchito while in Calcutta Rofino Lin and his team won the elections and Florencio Martinez and his team was victorious in San Joaquin. In the Villages of Carolina, San Pedro, Cristo Rey and Yo Chen the UDP teams formed the new Village Councils. Elections in the Corozal District continue this Sunday in the villages of San Roman, Santa Clara, Louisville, Consejo and Chan Chen. Yesterday 44 communities held Village Council election country wide: 7 in the Corozal District, 4 in the Orange Walk District, 8 in the Belize District, 5 in the Cayo District, 7 in the Stann Creek District and 13 in the Toledo District. The People’s United Party is reporting that it endorsed and supported the elections on 28 of these communities. In 10 of the 28 communities all 7 candidates of the party were successful. Some 8 communities were split, and a majority of the winning candidates from 5 of these communities are either supported by the PUP or have Chairpersons endorsed by the PUP.

Who Will Be Held Responsible For Destruction Of Noh Mul?
The destruction of one of the largest Mayan structures in Northern Belize has prompted an investigation from the Archeological Department and according to our sources several heads will role that is, if there is no interference from Government. This particular Maya Mount which forms part of Noh Mul Archeological Site located is believed to have been the focal point of other small mounts found in the area, marking the epicenter of the Maya settlement in Northern Belize. But today this is all that’s left of the Mayan edifice that was constructed around 250 BC as it is being excavated for its rich material used to upgrade streets and roads in Orange Walk North. The blame for the destruction of the site is being placed on De Mar’s Stone Company who was awarded the contract to upgrade the streets of Orange Walk North represented by Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega who is yet to speak on the issue. As for Grijalva, we approached him for an interview during yesterday’s Village Council Elections here in Orange Walk but he told us that he will issue a press release sometime this week giving his side of the story and that he knew nothing of the project even though equipment bearing his company’s logo on them was being used for the excavation. As for Prime Minister Dean Barrow who was also here in Orange Walk for the Village Council Elections he told us he could not speak on something he was not familiar with when questioned about the demolishing of one of Belize’s historical sites.

Dental And Medical Clinic Robbed In Broad Daylight
A brazen daylight armed robbery at “Brigidos Dental and Medical Clinic” located on Cinderella Street here in Orange Walk has left many people in shock especially the victims, in this case, Doctor Anel Brigido and his wife Maria Caridad Carollo. What’s more surprising is that at the time of the robbery the clinic was closed for business and the only ones inside were the doctor, his wife who is a dentist and a few customers. Here is what transpired, at approximately 1:30 this afternoon; two masked men of Hispanic descent entered the clinic where they held everyone inside the building at gunpoint. Reports are that Doctor Brigido was tied up while the robbers ransacked the place. One shot was fired and a short while after, the men exited the building and made good their escape on bicycle heading towards the direction of Progress Street. Still in shock, one witness told us what she saw. Witness “Mire la gente y yo salí a ver que es pero no mire nada y salí de otro lado y mire la gente que está gritando, la doctora está pidiendo auxilio y que llamen pólice pero nada y después mire que ella salió en su vehículo y se fue y arratito vino el pólice y oí los tiros adentro de la casa pero yo no sé qué se y mire la gente que estaban saliendo. Las personas no los bidé quien son, ya después que la doctora salió con su vehículo mire una familia que estaban saliendo y la señora venia de este lado pero la volvieron a hablar a dentro y el señor les dijo que no salgan porque no hicieron nada y después oí que asaltaron haya a dentro.”

17 Year Old Student Knocks Down Man On Bicycle
A 17 year old student from the community of Blue Creek in the Orange Walk District is in serious trouble tonight after hitting a 16 year old Belizean mechanic of Gardenia Village in the Belize District while travelling from the direction of Orange Walk to Belize City. At around 6:45pm on Friday, Ladyville police visited an area between miles 24 and 25 on the Phillip Goldson Highway where they saw the lifeless body of one Dillon Davis lying on the left hand side of the highway with multiple head and body injuries. Initial investigations have revealed that at around 6:15pm, Davis was riding his bicycle in the direction to Orange Walk when he reportedly made a sudden left turn and as he crossed the highway collided right into a blue Chevrolet pickup truck bearing license plate OW-C-15487 driven at the time by Joshua Bueckert of Blue Creek. A Notice of Intended Persecution was served on Bueckert and a urine sample was obtained from him. The body of Davis was transported to the KHMH where it was pronounced dead on arrival. Police investigation continues.

Controlling The Use Of Pesticides
Controlling the use of Pesticides for a healthier living is very important to the Pesticides Control Board hence why they held a three day training workshop for 10 field officers of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association last week. Those officers are now ready to go into the field and disseminate all the necessary information to cane farmers about the positive and negative effects of using pesticides on the cane fields. The aim of the workshop was to educate farmers on the proper selection and use of pesticides with its ultimate goal to reduce the amount of pesticide residue on the final product, in this case the sugar cane. But when it comes to educating famers on the proper use of pesticides, there is more that needs to be done. With this in mind, the Pesticides Control Board will soon embark in another training workshop this time catering for five farmers in every district. According to Selvin Molina of the Pesticides Control Board farmers will receive training in a number of areas including the testing of the product to determine the amount of pesticide residue that it contains. Selvin Molina, Pesticides Control Board “That we are venturing along with it Pesticides Control board, BAHA, the Taiwan Technical Mission in Belize and the Ministry of Agriculture, we are selecting five farmers per district, where they will get intense training so that they can become examples or role models farmers in the proper use of pesticides.”


Security guard killed while on duty
A security guard was killed on Friday night. 23 year old Randy Casey was on duty outside Kenny Store, situated on Flamingo Avenue in San Ignacio Town, when shortly before 8pm, a masked man, dressed in a black T-shirt and 3/4 pants, approached him and fired three shots at...

Taxi man recovering from shot to his jaw
A Belize City taxi man is recovering after he was shot at his home on Sunday. 57yr old Manuel Mendez said that around 1:45 that morning, he exited his cab and was heading toward his house, when a masked gunman approached him and fired a single shot at him....

Ambassador Alfredo Martinez contemplates alternative referendum date
It may not be on October 6, 2013, but Belize and Guatemala, sooner rather than later, must decide on a date for a simultaneous referendum to send the territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Backstopped by the Organization of American States (OAS), the two sides met...

Two fatal road accidents
Ladyville Police are investigating a fatal Friday evening traffic accident. It happened at an area between miles 24 and 25 on The Phillip Goldson Highway. Police say when arrived on the scene, they saw the body of 16yr old Dillon Davis, a Belizean Mechanic of Gardenia Village lying on...

Maya monument in Orange Walk severely damaged
News broke late on Friday that the Department of Archaeology is investigating a serious breach of a Maya monument in the Orange Walk District called Noh Mul. It means “Big Hill” and is located between the villages of San Jose and San Pablo. The Department has confirmed that on...

Two vehicles collide on George Price Highway
There was yet another traffic accident over the weekend on the George Price Highway. This one happened between miles 13 and 14 on the George Price Highway. The two vehicles involved were a grey four door Terrios and a black four door Accura. 43 yr old Gregory Nicholas told...

15 year old minor reported missing
Belmopan Police are seeking the assistance of the general public in locating a 15 year old minor, who has been reported missing. Gloria Perez, a Guatemalan Domestic of the Maya Mopan Area, in the City of Belmopan reported that on Saturday May 11th, her daughter, 15 yr old Jennifer...

Weekend stabbing in Belmopan
There was a stabbing incident in Belmopan over the weekend. It happened on Saturday, around 4:20pm, at Chens Restaurant, located in San Martin. 21yr old Jonathan Sho, a student of Santa Cruz Village was at the restaurant with a cousin, when he was allegedly approached by a man of...

Village Council Elections begin
The Village Council Elections got underway this weekend. The elections are held every four years and in the first round, which took place on Sunday, over 44 villages cast their votes at the polls. Earlier this month, we sat down with Ernest Banner, Coordinator for Rural Development to discuss...

Cycling rift still not resolved
PLUS News learned on Saturday that the rift in the sport of cycling may not yet be healed. We were there for the election of the board representing the Western Region at the Belmopan Hotel, a re-do of the election held a few weeks ago in San Ignacio Town...

ITVET hosts business fair
For several years now the international accounting and services firm Pricewaterhousecoopers U.S. branch along with international community development firm Peaceworks has been working with the Belize Ministry of Education to teach primary and secondary school students the value of money. Today as part of the Education Showcase, the Belize...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Little Stars Preschool Community Service. By Tracie Young
Parents and Teachers along with students of Little Stars Preschool Caye Caulker did their part in giving back to the island. The Community Service was a clean up at the Community Park by the Split. It was a good experience for the kids as they enjoyed assisting their parents and teachers clean up while learning not to litter.

Belize Archaeology & Anthropology Symposium

September Celebrations “Theme Competition”


May First Aid Training at Seascape Villas
Below are details on the May San Pedro Belize Red Cross first aid course. Our goal is to make Ambergris Caye and Belize safe and bring awareness to both tourists and locals of all the business that trained staff onsite, in case of an emergence. Website buttons and window stickers will be coming soon for all participating businesses to make them easily identifiable in case of an emergency. Thursday May 30th 2013 Course Location: Seascape Villas Hosted by Las Terrazas Course: starts at 10:00am and will finish by 4:00pm Cost: $50bz per participant with all funds raised going to the San Pedro Red Cross. Lunch: to be determined cost is usually $13 or less Advance payment and registry required to register your staff. If you have paid for staff and for what ever reason they could not make the course, that money goes to the sponsor program. Please contact Laurie at tacogirlbelize[at] to register this course is open to anyone not just businesses. We have sponsorship program in place and so far 2 of the 4 post office boys have been sponsored as well as 2 community Health Workers from San Mateo and One staff from the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary. we have also identified DFC and San Juan Community Health workers that need sponsorship. If you know someone worth sponsoring or you would like to sponsor a spot please let me know.

Literature’s Alive and Well in The Jewel
Given the enthusiastic response during this week’s launch of a new book of stories, poems and drama at the Leo Bradley Library in Belize City, literature continues to thrive in Belize. “Moments in Time -A Collection of Poems, Short Stories and a Play” by Belizean writer Dr Corinth Morter-Lewis, drew immediate acclaim from the local literati, including Belize’s Minister of Education Youth and Sports, Patrick Faber, who said, “Now that I have had a chance to look through these two volumes of her book, I am even more convinced… what an excellent lady she is and how great her contributions have been to Belize’s education system.” Dr Morter-Lewis is a prominent Belize educator as well as an author and poet, having served as President of the University of Belize. As a poet, she is well known for penning the “Tribute to the Belizean Flag” which commemorated Belize’s Independence in 1981 and is still recited in schools throughout the country. Her latest work is presented in two volumes; Volume One, consisting of poems, short stories and a play, is intended for a broad audience of all ages, while Volume Two is aimed at upper primary and high school students. ”I really want you to read this book because it’s about you” Dr Morter-Lewis told the audience during the launch, and given the way her work resonates throughout Belize, it’s safe to say that there are many Belizeans who will agree.

The Belize Economy – A Review of 2011 – 2012
The Belize Economy has traditionally been dependent on one crop or product going back more than 200 years, when it was dependent first on logwood and then on mahogany. Since that time we have come a long way in diversifying our economy. While forestry does continue on a limited scale, the Belize economy now produces and exports sugar, citrus, bananas, seafood as well as smaller exports of papayas and farmed shrimp. More recent additions to our economic diversity include a well-established tourism industry that offers a wealth of opportunities for visitors and potential investors alike. All of this has contributed significantly to our growing population providing our people with sustainable employment. The Belize Economy has grown significantly from 2011 – 2012. According the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB), the economy grew at a rate of 5.3% as compared to the 1.9% rate during 2011. This was achieved mainly through growth in the value of sugar, citrus concentrate, bananas, and farmed shrimp in the agriculture sector. Growth was also experienced in overnight tourism, construction, and telecommunications. This increase in economic activity was enough to offset a sharp decline in the value of oil production, electricity generation and a decrease in cruise ship visitors. This also included Corozal Free Zone exports. In 2012, merchandise exports from Belize amounted to BZ$1,250.2 million as compared to BZ$1,207.2 million in 2011.

VIDEO: Sea Spray Hotel, Beachfront Facilties Tour

VIDEO: Sea Spray Hotel, Accommodations Tour

“Lessons in Love” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Spent a bit of time yesterday pulling together the required supporting documentation for the importation of our golf cart (absent of import tax) to Ambergris Caye. This required copies of the following : Belize drivers license, “QRP” ID card (I also included a copy of the “acceptance in to the ‘Program” letter I received for good measure), photograph of the off-street parking I have at the accommodation we are renting, photograph of the off-street parking we will have when we move to our build in Ambergris Cate, Belize, a copy of the Title for our land and, just to be sure, a copy of the letter we received from the San Pedro Town Council approving the build for our new home. After a visit to Gekko Graphics in Buccaneer Street to get photocopies of everything I went straight to Captain Shark’s to hand over the documentation – along with the application form and the fee of BZ$ 100 – so that they can now provide the Belize Tourism Board with a copy of the purchase order so that approval can be granted to import the golf cart without having import duty applied. Whilst at Captain Shark’s Enrique told me that our ‘cart was ‘on its way’ and could be with us in two or three weeks. Then it will just be a matter of getting the permit ( and having the registration plate fitted) from the San Pedro Town Council at a cost of BZ$ 335 and getting insurance (I am only going to ‘go’ for third party).

International Sources

2,300-year-old Mayan pyramid bulldozed
A construction company has essentially destroyed one of Belize's largest Mayan pyramids with backhoes and bulldozers to extract rock for a road-building project. The head of the Belize Institute of Archaeology says the destruction was detected late last week. Only a small portion of center of the pyramid mound was left standing. Dr. Jaime Awe says he was sickened by the destruction of the Nohmul pyramid and temple platform, which date back about 2,300 years. Photos of the portion that remained showed what appeared to be classic Mayan-arched chamber dangling above one clawed-out section. The Nohmul complex sits on private land, but Belizean law states any pre-Hispanic ruins are under government protection.

Chocoholics rejoice: Belize to hold Chocolate Festival
Chocolate lovers should head to Belize this month, where the country will be indulging in this sweet treat at the annual Chocolate Festival of Belize. The festival will take place from May 24 to 26 in the Toledo district of the country, which is known as the chocolate Mecca of the country, and will celebrate Belize’s history in the production of cacao, dating back to the times of the Maya. The three day event includes a full programme of fun chocolate-inspired activities for visitors, including meeting cacao farmers, touring cacao farms and chocolate factories, and witnessing chocolatiers at work. There will of course be plenty of tasting sessions and cultural entertainment too.

RED HORSE airmen build education opportunities
Approximately 90 airmen deployed from Hurlburt Field, Fla., are building school structures from the ground up throughout Belize as part of an exercise known as New Horizons. The first of the airmen assigned to the 823rd Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers, commonly known as RED HORSE, began to arrive in Belize in February to begin pre-construction activities and set up logistics for the three-month training exercise that started April 1 and is scheduled to run through the end of June. “Our mission as part of New Horizons is to deploy to another country, set up our operations, construct the buildings and then redeploy our airmen and equipment back home,” said Maj. Timothy Barnard, 823rd Expeditionary RED HORSE Squadron commander. Barnard explained the importance of the structures the team of airmen in red hats is now building. “We have been fortunate enough to take part in this humanitarian assistance effort to build these four schools,” said Barnard. “The additional buildings will provide the opportunity to educate at least 500 more students based on the numbers they have given me to design the classroom sizes to.” The four school structures are being built at Ladyville Technical High School, Crooked Tree Government Primary School, Louisiana Government Primary School and Trial Farm Government School. The largest of the buildings is more than 5,000 square feet and consists of four classrooms, boys and girl’s bathrooms and a faculty office with separate bathrooms.

Mayan Nohmul Pyramid In Belize Destroyed By Bulldozer
A construction company has essentially destroyed one of Belize's largest Mayan pyramids with backhoes and bulldozers to extract crushed rock for a road-building project, authorities announced on Monday. The head of the Belize Institute of Archaeology, Jaime Awe, said the destruction at the Nohmul complex in northern Belize was detected late last week. The ceremonial center dates back at least 2,300 years and is the most important site in northern Belize, near the border with Mexico. "It's a feeling of Incredible disbelief because of the ignorance and the insensitivity ... they were using this for road fill," Awe said. "It's like being punched in the stomach, it's just so horrendous." Nohmul sat in the middle of a privately owned sugar cane field, and lacked the even stone sides frequently seen in reconstructed or better-preserved pyramids. But Awe said the builders could not possibly have mistaken the pyramid mound, which is about 100 feet tall, for a natural hill because the ruins were well-known and the landscape there is naturally flat. "These guys knew that this was an ancient structure. It's just bloody laziness", Awe said.

The Five Places Everyone Should Visit in Belize
Belize has a lot going for it. For a tiny country, it packs a big wallop when it comes to charm and scenery. For the would-be expat—especially if you’re looking for real value—there are many places that deserve your attention. Places where you can live the laid-back, Caribbean lifestyle of your dreams. And yes, there are a couple of places that aren’t worth much attention… Let’s start with the places to avoid. The big one is Belize City. If you should ever put down roots in Belize, you’ll no doubt spend some time here. The international airport is here, after all. As are services you may need, such as hospitals, attorneys, and some shopping. But other than for these relatively uninspiring reasons, you probably won’t find any need to spend time in Belize City. Belize is a glorious country and there are many far more attractive places.

From Belize City I took a boat to Caye Caulker. It a 30 or 40 minutes ride and when you land you definatly feel like you've reached a carabean island. Rasta man everywhere, reggae music in the streets and the wind constantly blowing from the sea. Even the language seams from another world. Beacause of the strong african influence the english spoken here is close to arab to me, and even the food sold in the streets has that creol look and smell you can't resist to. Coconut milk and curry are at the base of any meal and the sea food is very accesible. A Story apart is Sarteneja! This cute little fishermen village, close to the border with Mexico, is the place where you can breathe some real life going on. I wanted to go there because I read somewhere that they were about to have this famous regatta with some very tipical boats, and I knew all the boat builders were busy getting their vessels ready! Only dirt roads cross the town and the slow rithm going on around here make you feel finally back in the nature. I was coming from la "isla bonita" San Pedro (have you ever listened to the famoes song from Madonna?'s dedicated to it), and I was sooo disappointed that I couln't wait to get to Sarteneja.

Top 10 most Romantic places in the World, Belize is Ranked #3
Belize is a gorgeous resort and a favorite holiday destination for couples in love. Nothing feels quite as magical as being in the warm embrace of your true love in one of the most enchanting places. Belize's azure sea, endless beaches, lush green jungle, mystic Maya temples and tropical weather make it the perfect place to get away with your beloved one.

May 13, 2013


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The latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!!
Defiant IV:
The bleeding had begun days ago. For Irma, this was a lifesaver, as it meant sleeping through till morning without having to endure the nightly torture her father was becoming accustomed to. There was no pain to deal with, no humiliation, except having to walk to the outhouse with rags. This she did early in the morning, when she got up early to begin her day.

The San Pedro Sun

Wolfe’s Woofers: Circus People
A group of circus people are debating loudly in a restaurant - and of course, someone has to step in and share their point of view right?

Doctor Love: How can we help an addict?
One secret to the success of an addict's rehabilitation is that it is never complete.

Misc Belizean Sources

BWRC Wild Spring Break
The Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic has a new video out that highlights the visit from the University of Florida veterinary school students. The video shows them rehabilitating some wildlife, and then working with iguanas at the Green Iguana Conservation Project. It also has some spectacular video from their student trips to Xunantunich, where the dueling handstands are cool, and DuPlooy's, where they had a rush cliff diving. Daniel Velazquez did a great job on this video. "The Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic hosted University of Florida vet school students for Spring Break 2013; Wildlife Medicine, Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation, Immobilization, the Experiencing the Cultures of Belize, and having lots and lots of fun! All while learning and working in conservation in Belize!"

Galen Eagles Band Visit SE Primary
Feelgood news of the day. The Galen Eagles Band went to Santa Elena Primary School to do some playing for the kids and their families for an early Mother's Day. Thanks, Eagles, for making them smile! "Our Galen Eagles Band having a good time with the children and mothers of Santa Elena Community Preschool...Mothers' Day Style!"

Hun Chi'ik Tours Unveils New Website
This is the month for new websites. Hun Chi'ik Tours has just released theirs. Looking good. "Hun Chi'ik Tours Limited provides tours that are unique, fun educational and above all leave our clients with a memorable experience. to promote greater understanding, respect and appreciate culture and natural beauty of belize."

Belmopan City Map
Belmopan now has a real map, thanks to Technological Advancement Services. Hey, TAS, can you help us with one for Cayo? Looks great. "BROCHURE DESIGN: (inside) The First map on Belmopan City, this side of the map brochure features the map, legend and four ads for businesses in Belmopan.

BNYCF Olympiad Pictures
The Belize National Youth Chess Foundation had their annual Chess Olympiad Saturday. Patrick Jones got the first round of pictures. They always have amazing displays and a unique presentation. "The University of Belize gymnasium in Belmopan was the venue today, Saturday, May 11, for the 2013 National Chess Championship. Hundreds of boys and girls from all over the country, except Belize district traveled to the nation's capital to compete in the championship."


Orange Walk Resident Charged For Drug Trafficking
A man from the Village of Carmelita is tonight bars pending charges after police found him in possession of 27.9 grams of cannabis. Yesterday police conducted a search on 23 year old Orlando Choc, Belizean laborer of Carmelita Village in the Orange Walk District and found a transparent plastic bag containing the 27.9 grams of weed hidden in his boxers. Choc was subsequently detained and escorted to the Orange Walk Town Police Station where he is presently incarcerated pending charges.

Traffic Accident Victim Goes Into Coma
There is sad news to report tonight as it pertains to the first form student of Cornerstone Presbyterian High school who was knocked down yesterday as he crossed the Philip Goldson Highway. We understand that 15 year old Jeshua Chan of Patchakan Village in the Corozal District is fighting for his life at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital. As mentioned last night, Chan was knocked down by a van in front of the schools compound. His parents were notified immediately and within minutes the student was rushed to the Northern Regional Hospital. Chan was later transferred to the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital where we understand he went into a coma. Due to the accident Chan sustained a broken leg, 2 fractures to the jaw, and injuries to the left side of the brain. According to principal of Corner Stone High School, Albert Zanthing, a number of students who witnessed the accident yesterday had to be sent home today since they were still traumatized. Of note is that the name of the driver of the van has still not been released, in fact the traffic accident was not reported today in the police sitrep.

Controlling The Use Of Pesticides For Healthier Living
On Wednesday we told you about the seminar titled “training for trainers” that the Pesticides Control Board was carrying out for ten field officers of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. Three days of intense training culminated today as participants applied the knowledge and techniques they learnt during an evaluation phase which at the end indicated to the instructors if those trained were ready to disseminate the information to other farmers. As each participant received their certificate of completion today, we sat down with Selvin Molina of the Pesticide Control Board who outlined the importance of the workshop and the proper way to use pesticides. Selvin Molina, Pesticides Control Board “About two of them have already presented doing very excellent jobs, applying the technique, applying the knowledge they have been thought so that give us a good heart to go.” Irvin Aragon – Reporter “These people will be training farmers, why do farmers across the country need to know about the use of pesticides?” Selvin Molina, Pesticides Control Board “Farmers have the tendency of having to use pesticides because it is being utilized as a weapon, because they have enemies within their fields which are the pest fighting with the crops so therefore one of the tools that they use is pesticides and so they need to be trained on the use of it.”

Destroying Belize's History for Land Fill
Yesterday we broke the news of the Maya edifice that is being destroyed in the Village of Nuevo San Juan in the Orange Walk District. When we arrived in the area we observed a heavy machine excavating the Maya Mount for white marl. Sources tell us that the excavation is being carried out by De Mar’s Stone Company, owned by UDP stalwart Denny Grijalva. The material obtained from the archeological site is being used by the company who was awarded a contract by Government to upgrade roads in the villages of Orange Walk North represented by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources Honorable Gaspar Vega. Now, we don’t know if the upgrading of roads in Orange Walk North forms part of a political propaganda since Village Elections is right around the corner, but what we do know is that one of the largest Maya structures in Northern Belize has been destroyed and the demolishing will have serious repercussions. Carmelita Perez – Reporting When we arrived in the area today, the scenario was less hostile that what we encountered yesterday when this grey Toyota pickup truck impeded us from getting closer to one of the Maya Mounts that forms part of the Nok Mul Archeological Site meaning Big Hill in Maya. With no one in sight we were able to get closer to the Maya Mount which as you can see is almost completely destroyed and apparently this is the machine that is doing all the damage.

CCC Tops ATLIB Scores
Angel Navidad, that’s the name of the student from Bishop Martin High School who topped the English ATLIB examination. But Navidad is not the only student that made the north proud as three students from the Corozal District, enrolled at the Corozal Community College also outdid themselves in the Math and English ATLIB examination. Today we caught up with all three students as they took a break from their CXC examinations. Angeles Itzab, 4th Form student “I would owe this accomplishment to my teacher, Mrs Maria Wade, and my mom for supporting me and my dad for helping me, he gave me some past questions that I would work on that during the weekends.” Irvin Aragon – Reporter “Have you thought about your future goals, short term, long term?” Angeles Itzab, 4th Form student “Well, my short term goal is to graduate from this institution and future goals are to plan to become a lawyer in the longer run.”

The May 12th, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Burke Charged For Slusher’s Death:
    Preparations are underway for the Saturday morning, May 11, funeral service in Gales Point, Manatee, for Shaheem Slusher, 19, the latest victim of murder in the western twin municipalities. At around 6:00 pm on Friday, May 3, 2013, after receiving his pay for the week Shaheem left the construction site on Carillo Puerto Avenue in Santa Elena on his way home. He normally rides a bicycle to work but walked home on Friday as he told coworkers earlier that the bicycle had a flat tire. As is said to be customary when returning home after work, he stopped by the Macal River for a wash off swim before heading home. It is reported that on this occasion he came in contact with a man and three females socializing behind the Coconutz bar on the San Ignacio Bank of the Macal River where an argument reportedly first started with one of the females. The argument reportedly extended into a physical confrontation with the girl’s boyfriend. In the confrontation the boyfriend reportedly pulled out a pen knife from wearing, flipped out the blade and rushed to the victim inflicting a first stab wound to the right side to the neck.
  • Contrabanding Guatemalan Hens:
    A joint Belize Defence Force and Benque Viejo police operations resulted in the interception of a shipment of 500 live chickens originating from a neighboring Guatemalan village with reported destination to a western village on the Belize side of the border. It was shortly after 8:00 am on Monday, May 6, 2013, near Calla Creek Village on the Belize side of the border, when the joint team came upon a maroon Isuzu Trooper pulling a trailer stacked with wooden crates containing live chickens. The investigation revealed that the cargo of 500 laying hens originated in Santa Rosa, Peten, Guatemala and was reportedly intended to be delivered to an egg production farm in Valley of Peace, a community of mostly Hispanic villagers, located behind Roaring Creek Village near Belmopan.
  • Santa Elena Primary School Open Day Invitation:
    We would like to invite you to attend our School Open Day on May 13, 2013. This is a great opportunity for you to have a better understanding of our school vision and mission; our educational philosophy; our teachers and students at SEPS. For the past three years the teachers at SEPS have been involved in a Teacher Leadership Program, focusing on Educational Leadership and Teacher Efficacy. They strive to be: ‘Engaging Teachers who ENGAGE all students’. Come see the changes that have taken place in our school community that has lowered truancy and behavioral problems. Our teachers at SEPS are Education’ and children are experiencing the JOY OF LEARNING. At Santa Elena Primary School we are excited to share with the general public skills and strategies they have learned through the Teacher Leadership Program.
  • Two More Stolen Guns In Illegal Hands:
    This week we bring to the public’s attention yet another reported but unreported major crime, as no arrest has been made resulting in no official release from the police as the public remains ignorant of another major crime and potential danger lurking out there. We were reliably informed that sometime last Sunday, May 5, the Unitedville home of Belizean laborer, Kent Smith, 51, was burglarized. The identified stolen items include a point 223 semi-automatic rifle; a twelve gauge shotgun and five twelve gauge cartridges. It is strongly suspected that the burglary was committed or masterminded by someone who is familiar with Smith’s activities and that the guns and bullets were the specific items of choice.
  • Keynote Address by the Honorable Gaspar Vega, Opening Ceremony for the National Agriculture and Trade Show 2013:
    Ladies and gentlemen, a pleasant good afternoon to all of you. Once again, it gives me great pleasure to address you, at this, my second Agriculture and Trade Show as Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture. This afternoon I am particularly proud, as this new Multipurpose Centre we are using represents the start of a five year redevelopment programme for the Show Grounds. These grounds, all sixty acres, are truly a national asset and we must treat it as such. When you consider the rich history of the Agriculture Show and its prominent place in Belizean culture, then I dare say this is really a National Heritage Site. This year’s theme “Stimulating Prosperity in Agriculture and Food Production Through Renewed Public- Private Partnership” captures the essence of the work the Ministry is undertaking. We are very much aware that for us to succeed, the active participation of private sector stakeholders in the work of the Ministry is vital. We facilitate, the private sector invest profitably, Belize and all Belizeans prosper!
  • STAR Humor
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices


4 easy ways you can support the San Pedro Sailing club and have fun doing it
The San Pedro Sailing Club is a very worthwhile cause that can use your support. Commodore Andrew Milner identified a need to give the island kids an activity that builds confidence, life skills and offers job potential down the road. The kids also develop a great sense of teamwork. Since it’s start the sailing club has done amazing work teaching the kids to sail and raising money to keep the program running. At mainland Regattas the San Pedro crew have come out big winners on many occasions. Many of these kids are come from disadvantaged home and would not otherwise be able to afford such a wonderful opportunity. Here are 4 easy ways you can support the San Pedro Sailing club and have fun doing it. Go Team 1. Join San Pedro Sailing Club facebook page. super easy and totally free. You will get updates on how the kids are progressing, Sunday barbecues, the latest cool prizes they are raffeling off to raise money and where the next Regatta is.

Happy Mother’s Day from Chaa Creek!
We think it’s a great idea that at least one Sunday a year we take time out to pay extra attention to that special someone who brought us into the world and introduced us to love. So we invite all of you the world over to join us here in Belize in saying a special thank you to mothers the world over. Each one is different, each one is special, and each one deserves our gratitude, respect, and most of all, a simple; Le amamos mamá! Vi elsker deg mamma! Is breá linn a mháthair agat! Chúng tôi yêu em nh vy!   ! Ama maite dugu!  Rydym wrth ein bodd eich mam!

“When There’s No One Around” in Ambergris Caye, Belize
Had a very lazy day yesterday. An early start on the veranda where I knocked out an email to Benny’s detailing the electrical appliances that Rose and I want for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. We now await the response that will detail the price for each of them so that I can carry out a cost comparison versus purchasing them in the States and having them shipped here. With that done I moved indoors for a sports fest. This started with the Aston Villa v Chelsea match. Swiftly followed by the Huddersfield Giants versus Leeds Rhinos Rugby League Challenge Cup match which led me nicely to the FA Cup Final between Manchester City against Wigan Athletic which I was thoroughly pleased to see Wigan deservedly win. After lunch I spent some time looking at granite colours on line via a neat web site that lets you see how various granites with different wood finishes look. Before we knew it the time had nearly reached 4 pm and we decided it was time to go visit our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize so we got in the golf cart and headed north to Tres Cocos. When we got to the site all of the guys had left because on Saturday they finish at 4 pm so we had the freedom of walking around the house without worrying if we are getting in the way of someone. We really enjoying seeing the guys at work on our house but it is nice to go there when there’s no one around.

Will Moreno along with 3 international model scouts are looking for the new model face of Belize - here is a video that some of the models represented by Will Moreno participated in.
El Secreto is a unique barefoot luxury resort surrounded by tropical beauty and bathed by turquoise blue waters of the Caribbean. El Secreto offers 13 exclus... Will Moreno's insight: Have you got what it takes to break into the modeling business in Belize? If you have, then your face could be your future in Belize Model Search. Belize Model Search really can be the first step to a career in modelling. Make sure to enter and see your possibilities increase.

International Sources

John McAfee breaks long silence in interview
John McAfee slides out suddenly from behind a glass door. It's a sun-splashed morning in the eclectic neighborhood where he now lives, and the former software mogul-turned-international fugitive needs a caffeine fix. Now. "I have some stories and things to tell you, sir," he says, rapping his right hand against a coffee table while nervously shifting his feet. "Do you have time for the truth?" In his first extensive interview since he returned to U.S. soil in December, an animated McAfee agreed to meet a USA TODAY reporter at a nondescript apartment building in southeast Portland last week. For four hours, he explained his innocence, engaged in self-deprecation and eviscerated the news media for what he called exploitation. "People ask me how did it feel to kill a man, and I can honestly tell them I wouldn't know because I never have," he says, gazing through piercing green eyes. McAfee is wearing a black hoodie, jeans and flip flops.

Revisiting The McAfee Saga
Billionaire entrepreneur John McAfee went on the run in 2012 after his neighbor in Belize was found shot in the head. Journalist Jeff Wise profiled McAfee from 2007 to 2012, and says he found himself taken in by McAfee's charm. He's written about the experience in Psychology Today. Ultimately, Wise says he was duped. ARUN RATH, HOST: It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Arun Rath. Writer James Salter has a new novel. It's been 34 years since his last. I had a great conversation with him about his legacy and culture of the Kardashians. Well, they come up briefly, so stick around for that. But first, you've likely heard of McAfee security. You may even have McAfee virus protection on your computer. John McAfee, the company's brilliant founder, cashed out, made millions and went on to lead a colorful life in Belize. But then last year... JOHN MCAFEE: I had absolutely nothing to do with the murder in Belize.

From Abigail Adams to Anne Sexton to Maya Angelou, History’s Finest Letters of Motherly Advice
“Live to the HILT!” Last year, we celebrated Father’s Day with an omnibus of history’s finest letters of fatherly advice, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck, Jackson Pollock, and Neil Armstrong. Later adding to them was more timeless epistolary advice from notable dads like Ted Hughes, Sherwood Anderson, Richard Dawkins, and Charles Dickens. It’s only fitting to honor Mother’s Day with a similarly spirited selection of history’s finest motherly advice, spanning nearly half a millennium of poignant and prescient counsel from notable moms.


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The San Pedro Sun

Don’t have kittens because it’s raining cats…and more cats in San Pedro!
Cat overpopulation in San Pedro is bad news for people and cats. Right now there are hundreds of stray and abandoned cats hiding in bodegas, alleys and only coming out at night to hunt, scavenge and reproduce. These cats rarely live longer than two years as they succumb to injuries and disease. They cause a nuisance by ripping open garbage, fighting and making noise as well as spreading infectious diseases. They have no one to love them or care for them and that is the fault of the people who allowed them to breed and continue to breed. Unfortunately, their irresponsibility has now become the responsibility of the community and SAGA Humane Society. SAGA Humane Society is already overflowing with cats and kittens. Currently they have almost 30 in their care and very few are being adopted. If you walk around the Town in the evening, you’ll see many sad, sick and very skinny cats slinking between the golf carts and cars. So, what can San Pedro do to stop it from raining cats?

Belize Participates in 18th Annual Bi-District Rotaract Conference
Rotaract is a Rotary-sponsored club for youth aged 18-30. With more than 8,400 clubs in about 170 countries, Rotaract has become a worldwide phenomenon, and Belize is a member. Every year, the Central American Rotaract clubs from countries such as Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and Belize converge in a Bi District Conference. During this event, Rotaractors share in the experience of Rotaract over the past year and elect new leaders at the respective District Levels. This year’s conference was held in Tegucigalpa, Honduras from May 1st to May 5th. Over a 100 delegates were present at the 18th Annual Bi District Conference, eight of whom were from Belize. The countries that participated are from two districts: district 4240 and district 4250. District 4240 consists of Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Nicaragua, while district 4250 consists of Belize, Guatemala and Honduras.

The National Agriculture & Trade Show 2013 – a success!
What started as a simple show giving light to agricultural practices and success in Belize has become one of the country’s major events, attracting thousands of Belizeans – despite the fierce heat – to the nation’s capital each year. The city of Belmopan hosted its 44th annual National Agriculture & Trade Show (Agric) on May 3rd – 5th 2013 and this year was no different when thousands of faithful Agric-goers showed up, enjoyed great food, drink and what the private and public sector had to offer while taking note of the significant improvements to the grounds. Mr. Eugene Waight, Chairman of the National Agriculture & Trade Show explained that the purpose of these renovations is to attract other stakeholders who would be interested in using the grounds for other events. Improvements to the show grounds include the addition of the secondary roads that helped control traffic. Before, the main road was used by both cargo vehicles and people making their way around, now the pressure has been taken off that main road and vehicles have easier access within the compound. Added security measures were taken with the installation of metal detectors at the new main entrance in a new building sponsored by the Belize Telecommunications Limited. Also, the main stage where Love FM hosted their live coverage of the weekend’s events was rebuilt by the Government of Belize, a BZ$105,000 project. Both buildings were commemorated on Friday, May 3rd at 3:30PM prior to the opening of the weekend festivities. Additionally, two parks for kids were donated by the Wood Stop in Belmopan and constructed strategically in a quieter and less populated area for young children. Mr. Waight also explained that the activities are now and forever divided into a Bar/Drinking Section beginning from the northern tip of the Agric grounds and ending at the infamous Running W’s Meats stall. The No Bar/Drinking Section begins south of Running W Meats and continues into the children’s favored area, the Mexican and Guatemalan carnival rides. The Development Finance Corporation also assisted with the renovations by donating a dozen wooden chairs alongside the main road for the weary to rest on.

Misc Belizean Sources

Mother's Day at SIRH
The San Ignacio Resort Hotel is having a Mother's Day dinner special tonight. The fish fillet in white wine sauce sounds like a winner. They also have a brunch special. Hode's and the Aguada are also having Mother's Day specials.

Following the recent meeting held between Belize’s Foreign Affairs personnel and their Guatemalan counterparts at the OAS Headquarters in Washington, D.C., under the aegis of the OAS Secretary General, it was announced that the decision was taken to acquiesce to the DEMANDS of the Guatemalans to postpone the referendum. Undoubtedly this decision by the GOB, is consistent with its failed foreign policy involving Guatemala, which is steeped in: ACCEPTANCE, ACCOMMODATION AND CAPITULATION. It does not bode well for Belize, for it demonstrates distinct weakness and an unmistakable dearth of competent leadership on this matter of national significance. As a result, despite Guatemala’s intentional breach of the mutually agreed upon date to hold simultaneous referenda on 6th October 2013, the Belize delegation caved in and let them off the hook. By virtue of this determination, the Guatemalans were, in effect, rewarded for their intransigence and Belize has agreed to allow for the date of the referendum to be rescheduled for sometime in 2014.

International Sources

New Record CO2 Concentration
Here is an AP news release on the current CO2 concentration measured at Mauna Loa, Hawaii. 400 ppm is a disturbing milestone and the trend is for continuing increases in atmospheric concentrations as humans continue to spew millions of tons of CO2 gas into the atmosphere annually in the name of development and the good life. The repercussions are frightening! We must brace ourselves for an active hurricane season this year in the Caribbean, no El Nino to suppress convection, and enough heat to stir the atmosphere.

Belize gay rights campaigner faces ‘Antichrist’ death threats
Caleb Orozco, a gay rights campaigner fighting to have the laws that criminalise homosexuality in Belize overturned, has faced death threats that have increased in frequency during a court hearing that has lasted four days. Orozco has received death threats, had a beer bottle smashed into his face and been labelled the ‘Antichrist’ during his battle to challenge the attorney general of Belize and the leaders of the country’s churches. One particular message received suggested adjourning the case until Orozco died of a ’cause due to sexual preference.’ The case has developed a huge media following in Belize City, where the hearing is taking place, and according to local News 5 Channel has caused increased resentment towards the gay community who are looking to overturn the ‘anti-buggery’ legislation. Lisa Shoman told News 5, ‘There has been a visible increase of threats and violence against Mr Orozco and against all homosexuals in Belize. There are threats for killing, burning, shooting; you name it. It has to stop. We are all Belizeans. We can agree to disagree without getting violent about it.’

Activist Working To Overturn Sodomy Ban Receives Death Threats
An activist suing to end Belize’s beyond-outdated ban on same-sex sexual activity has been subjected to an escalating pattern of death threats as his case comes closer to resolution, according to report in The Guardian. Caleb Orozco is an openly gay man in a country that criminalizes his existence. Belizean law says that “every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for 10 years;” the statute defines sex between between consenting same-sex adults as being one such unnatural act. Orozco and his organization (the United Belize Advocacy Movement) succeeding in pushing a legal case against the ban on same-sex activity to the nation’s highest court on Wednesday. As the Central American nation’s most visible campaigner for LGBT equality, Orozco has received death threats before. Last year, Orozco “suffered a violent physical assault which required extensive dental surgery.” But as the legal argument continues, the threats have gotten more vicious: Death threats against Caleb Orozco, the gay rights campaigner attempting to overturn laws that criminalise homosexuality in Belize, have escalated during the four-day courtroom hearing, his lawyer has claimed. The high-profile challenge to the Caribbean state’s colonial-era “anti-buggery” legislation has stirred up resentment of the gay community, according to Lisa Shoman. “There has been a visible increase of threats and violence against Mr Orozco and against all homosexuals in Belize,” she told the local News 5 TV channel in the capital Belize City. “There are threats for killing, burning, shooting; you name it. It has to stop. We are all Belizeans. We can agree to disagree without getting violent about it.”

Killing, burning and shooting threats directed at campaigner fighting Belize sodomy laws
Caleb Orozco has reported an increase in violent threats during a four-day court case that debated Belize's sodomy laws. Orozco, chair of United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), is campaigning to amend Section 53 of the Laws of Belize, which states ‘every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.’ His lawyer Lisa Shoman told local news channel News 5 TV that the gay rights campaigner has received more and more threats since the case went before the Supreme Court on 7 May. ‘There has been a visible increase of threats and violence against Mr Orozco and against all homosexuals in Belize. ‘There are threats for killing, burning, shooting; you name it. It has to stop. We are all Belizeans. We can agree to disagree without getting violent about it.'

Ancient world on display
“This is a really big deal,” said Science Museum of Minnesota Curator of Archaeology Ed Fleming. You can take that literally. The upcoming “Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed,” will be the Science Museum’s largest show ever. At 15,000 square feet, it is believed to be the largest exhibition on the Maya that has traveled the United States. Focusing on the classic period, from A.D. 250 to 900, the exhibit explores the “social, natural and spiritual realms of the ancient Maya through the eyes of powerful kings and queens and the lesser-known people who were the backbone of Maya society,” according to a news release. “It will feature immersive environments, authentic artifacts and hands-on activities that tell the story of the ancient Maya and their modern descendants,” the release said. Traces of the ancient civilization of the Maya can still be found in Honduras, Belize, Guatemala, and western El Salvador to as far away as central Mexico. The more than 300 artifacts featured in the exhibit include the contents of a tomb of the ruler named Great Scrolled Skull found in Santa Rita Corozal, Belize.

Former Guatemala dictator Rios Montt convicted of genocide
Former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt was found guilty on Friday of genocide and crimes against humanity during the bloodiest phase of the country's 36-year civil war and was sentenced to 80 years in prison. Hundreds of people who were packed into the courtroom burst into applause, chanting, "Justice!" as Rios Montt received a 50-year term for the genocide charge and an additional 30 years for crimes against humanity. It was the first time a former head of state had been found guilty of genocide in his or her own country.

May 11, 2013


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The San Pedro Sun

Belizean students on UK Pestalozzi Scholarship share their experience
Rudolph (17) and Daniel’s (18) decision to accept scholarships to study in the UK was primarily influenced by the financial difficulties they faced. They had been going to high school every day knowing that after its completion, despite all their efforts, it was almost impossible for them to continue their education in their home country. The scholarships, offered by Pestalozzi International Village Trust, enabled them to pursue their dreams. With The San Pedro Sun they shared their motivation to go abroad, their experience in the UK and hopes for the future. Founded over 50 years ago, Pestalozzi is an international educational charity offering two year scholarships to academically bright, but economically disadvantaged 16-19 year old students from around the world, giving them the chance to realise their potential. In cooperation with Sussex Coast College Hastings (East Sussex, UK) Pestalozzi gives students the opportunity to take their International Baccalaureate. The charity currently hosts 50 students from seven different countries: Belize, India, Nepal, the Tibetan communities in exile, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The organization promotes holistic education, developing the person as a whole following the principles of ‘Head, Heart and Hands’.

Why are globally endangered great hammerhead sharks still being fished by locals?
In March of this year, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) voted to list five commercially fished species of sharks and three species of rays currently threatened with extinction. One of those species is the great hammerhead sharks. That means that the sale of fins or flesh for export is prohibited under the CITES Appendix II regulation, something Belize is forced to uphold. For that reason, the killing of a great hammerhead shark on Caye Caulker this week has been met with outrage by environmentalists and other concerned citizens in the area. That’s because great hammerhead sharks are considered globally endangered, and sightings of these creatures in Belizean waters is not common. Fishermen with a special shark fishing license claim to fish for shark to supply local markets where it is cooked in Belizean cuisine, specifically the traditional shark panades. The fins on the other hand are suspected to be illegally taken to Guatemala where it is later shipped to Asia where the demands are high and the market price is highly attractive – an activity that is all illegal and internationally banned. But even as various international organizations banned such activities, the Belize Fisheries Department continues to allow shark fishing in Belizean waters. In 2013 alone, 65 shark fishing license were issued – something that environmentalists claim goes contrary to regional and global efforts to protect endangered species such as the great hammerhead sharks. Even more so, it sets back the local effort done in Belize through the Belize Shark Project, which studies and documents the shark population in Belize.

Monitoring Unit of Gulf of Honduras Project to reactivate key stakeholders network
The monitoring unit of the Gulf of Honduras Project is looking to reactivate their network in the region. The Gulf of Honduras project was set up few years ago in Belize, Honduras and Guatemala to look at potential threats on the marine life and ecosystem as a result of maritime activities in the five ports within the Gulf of Honduras. It also set up a stakeholder’s network for prevention and pollution control of marine environment arising from maritime transportation within the Gulf of Honduras. Coordinators for the monitoring unit were in Belize for the first national Committee Key Stakeholders Network of Belize meeting. It took place at the Belize Coastal Zone Management office in Belize City on Thursday May 2nd and had the attendance of various government agencies as well as representation from the two ports in Belize. Otto Guillermo Noack, Executive Director for the Central American Commission for Maritime Transport (COCATRAM) said it is important to reactivate the stakeholder’s network so that Belize, like Guatemala and Honduras, can make good use of past research done as part of the Gulf of Honduras Project. “COCATRAM was the executing body of the Gulf of Honduras Project. What we are doing now is that we visited Belize to reactivate the stakeholder’s network that was used when the Gulf of Honduras project was active.

Ambergris Today

Have You Tried the Belizean Seaweed Drink?
Belize is to Seaweed and the US is to Gatorade! Ha! Well, kinda. Yeah, you might cringe at the thought of drinking seaweed, but as a matter of fact it is quite a delicious and refreshing drink – and it’s not green and slimy as many of you would think. On the hot summer days, it is nicer (and cheaper) to down a cold and refreshing seaweed drink rather than a Gatorade. It’s a local energy drink here in Belize, although many laugh when you talk about drinking it. You see, many say that the revitalizing drink is sort of an elixir that is said to be ‘good for the back’ (aka a good aphrodisiac and virility booster). There are those who add a bit of rum or brandy to give it that extra kick; but that is always optional.

Foreign Ministers of Belize and Guatemala Meet at OAS Headquarters in Washington, DC.
The delegation of Belize led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington met on May 8, 2013, with a Guatemalan delegation led by Foreign Minister Carrera and the OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza at OAS Headquarters. The meeting, held at the invitation of the OAS Secretary General, was convened to discuss the next steps in the Belize Guatemala process following the announcement by Guatemala of its inability to proceed with the simultaneous referenda originally scheduled for 6 October 2013. The meeting proceeded in a constructive spirit, with both delegations reiterating the need to seek an early resolution to the age old dispute, despite the present obstacles to the holding of the referenda in October 2013. It was also agreed that essential to the expediting of the process was the need to enhance the confidence levels in both countries by strengthening Confidence Building Measures. The parties agreed that the prolongation of the dispute is not conducive to building stronger bilateral ties, nor does it contribute to furthering the regional integration process. Belize took the opportunity to emphasize that the existence of the dispute represented an unsustainable cost for Belize, from the environmental, economic and security perspectives.

Misc Belizean Sources

With OAS blessing, Belize acquiesces to Guatemala demands... as usual
By Frank Edward Paco Smith, Jr., JP Belizeans and true friends of Belize, in the ongoing saga concerning Guatemala’s unfounded claim to Belize’s sovereign territory, there is a new and deeply troubling development. On Wednesday, 8 May 2013, Belize’s foreign minister and his Guatemalan counterpart met, along with officials of the OAS in Washington, D.C. The fundamental topic of discussion involved the government of Guatemala’s breach of the agreement to hold simultaneous referenda on 6 October of this year. Reports concerning the meeting come as no surprise to me, given Belize’s illogical and bereft foreign affairs policy (or better yet, lack thereof) which is steeped in: acceptance, accommodation and deference. In keeping with what the PM signaled and endorsed during his first quarterly press conference of a week ago, it appears as though the “brain trust” at Belize’s ministry of foreign affairs has opted to let Guatemala off the hook. Yes, you heard correct. Despite their breach of the agreement to hold simultaneous referenda on the aforementioned date, and amid their numerous, other “bad faith” advances, the GOB’s ‘Plan B’ is, in effect, to resort to their ‘Plan A’, despite it already being proven as bankrupt and basically a zero-sum (for some), harebrained approach to addressing Guatemala’s unfounded claim on our sovereign territory. Now that it is clear the GOB intends to continue down this ill-conceived and destructive path, civil society must rise up and stand resolute.

BNYCF 2013 Chess Olympiad
The Belize National Youth Chess Foundation's 2013 Chess Olympiad is tomorrow at the UB gymnasium. Best of luck to all the bright minds that play! "Since all the chess players are trained thru chess to become the leaders of the communities, this is the message that we, as chess community, send out: 'Leave wildlife free, Capture Only in Chess!'"

Cahal Pech Tour Video
The Cahal Pech Archaeological site is featured on this video. It's narrated and edited well, and shows most of the site, including the museum, and the recent improvements. "Cahal Pech Mayan Ruins in San Ignacio, Belize are a great set of ruins to visit. Cahal Pech sits on the top of the hill overlooking the town of San Ignacio. From pretty much anywhere in town you can see the cell phone tower that dominates the skyline .. the ruins sit below it well to the north a little. Its a medium hike up the hill from town to the site but it can be done. Or like us you can stay at the Cahal Pech Resort which is also below the tower. This is a great site, having many halls and staircases worth exploring. When you come to Belize I would come here again its a really cool place."

Chocolate Stout Tastings
Belikin will be having free tastings of their Chocolate Stout this weekend. Tonight, it'll be at Piache and E and L Sports Bar, and during the day, Lin's Supermarket. They are rolling it out again in honor of the Chocolate Festival of Belize, which will be down in Toledo the last weekend of this month.

Feed the Children Runway Call
The Cornerstone Foundation is gearing up for the next Feed the Children Fashion Show, and they are looking for runway models. If you are interested, email them at [email protected] They are accepting applications through May 24th.

Photos: Belize Agriculture Fair 2013
More great pictures from Agric, courtesy of Barry Cuthbertson.

Belize Travel and Trade Show 2013
The Belize Diaspora Network, LLC (BDN), Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and BELTRAIDE, is pleased to have the opportunity to present Belize’s first, and very own Travel & Trade Show in a priority geographical market, i.e. Miami & the greater South Florida area.

Channel 7

No More Noh Mul? Contractor Bulldozes Mayan Temple
Today we learned that a major Mayan Monument had been bulldozed for roadfill aggregate. 7news went to Orange Walk District, near the northern district boundary to find out that Noh Mul – or at least a large part of it – is no more. It’s a stunning development – and Jules Vasquez reports. Jules Vasquez reporting Noh Mul. it’s name means the Big Hill but it’s not so big any more, this once towering and stout ceremonial center in San Jose/San Pablo has been whittled down to a narrow core by excavators and bulldozers. Whodunnit? Contractors who’re using the rich gravel and limestone content to fill roads in nearby Douglas Village. Now, this was the main temple, the ceremonial center for Noh Mul, at about 20 metres among the tallest buildings in Northern Belize - and it’s not centuries old, it’s millennia, thousands of years old and the thought that it’s rich limestone bricks cut with stone tools in the BC era, the thought that this could be used for road fill is a manifest outrage and a particularly painful one for these Archeologists who were called out to the area today. We were there when they first arrived and got their initial emotional reaction: Dr. Allan Moore - Archaeologist, Institute of Archaeology "This is one of the largest bulding in Norther Belize. I am appalled! I was hoping that when I was driving up from the main San Juan road that it would not be this one but when I got closer I couldn't believe it when I saw all the trucks. This is an incredible destruction."

PG Police Kill Escaped Prisoner
PG Police shot and killed a man today. Rahseed Eligio was arrested for having several sexual encounters with a 15 year old girl. That was two days ago, and this morning at 5:00 am, he was being escorted to prison, by James Bus. Eligio was handcuffed to and another prisoner, Brian Garcia – who is accused of the same crime in Punta Gorda Town. They were both remanded to prison, but police say Eligio and Garcia bolted and escaped. A police report says that 3 hours later at 8:30 am, Constable David Griffith called the police station to say that they had caught Eligio but shot him in the process. Apparently police tracked them down in the Carib Reserve Area. Police say they fled, and they fired shots – one of them caught Eligio in the left side. He was taken to the Punta Gorda Town Hospital where he was pronounced dead. A internal investigation has been launched into the shooting Elijio’s death.

Arguments Close In UNIBAM Case
After 3 years of anticipation, and 4 long days of legal back and forth, the Caleb Orozco challenge to Section 53 of the criminal code has finally been argued to completion, and tonight, it is in the hands of the Chief Justice to make a decision. Eamon Courtney, the lead attorney for the Churches, finished his presentation this morning. His argument explained why the Orozco challenge should be struck out of court. After a 5 hour presentation, Courtenay briefly explained that thrust of his argument: that Orozco could not prove that any of his constitutional rights were violated because he’s never been prosecuted, and will likely never be prosecuted for his sexual preference. Eamon Courtenay - SC - Attorney for the Churches "Once UNIBAM was struck out as a claimant then it left Mr. Orozco's affidavit with very little evidence about a personal prejudice that he was being affected by and in the absence of that - the cases are very clear that you cannot bring a claim under the constitution. We relied on cases and I heard Mr. Hamel-Smith in reply criticizing me for the submission for making it late but I think he will understand that that is the law. Whether I make it now or yesterday - that is the law. He has no standing in this claim. I don't want the impression to be given as I understand it has been given in some quarters of the media that the church is insensitive or intolerance to the rights of gay people, lesbians or transgender people. I submitted quite carefully and clearly to the court that in face one of the most tolerant entities in our democracy is in fact, the church.

Budna Could Get Major Years In Guatemala Jail
In September of last year we told you about the kidnapping charges against Belizean Joseph Budna in Guatemala. Guatemalan Police charged him for kidnapping, conspiracy and illicit association with other criminals. According the Guatemalan press, Budna was the leader of a ring of criminals specializing in international kidnappings in Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico. Well, today’s edition of the Amandala newspaper reports that Budna is in a maximum security prison in Zacapa, located near the Guatemala/Honduras border, while he awaits trial on the kidnapping charge in the Supreme Court in that country. Budna is reportedly being accused of kidnapping 19 year-old US National Luis Bryon Reyes Onofre in a scheme to solicit one million quetzals from Reyes’s father, Luis August Reyes Salazar. Budna’s defense before the court is supposed to be that Reyes Onofre pretended to be kidnapped so that they his father would pay the money, but he changed his story afterwards and claimed to be abducted, taken to Honduras, and held hostage on a farm.

The Humble Wisdom Of “Don Choc”
Leonel “Chocolate” Heredia passed away a month ago at the age of 83. In July, to coincide with his birthday, his family plans to take his remains to scatter them in the Noh Mul reserve. As we told you at the time of his passing, Chocolate Heredia was a giant of the conservation movement, and a hero and inspiration to many, all this from a man who never went to school. Before his death, the old fisherman told Sundog Films about what he thought to be an incredible life. Leonel “Chocolate” Heredia "In 2002 I declared nine thousand acres of wildlife of the manatees; I don't know how I did it but here I am in places that I never believed one day I would be. Every time I remember that what I did - its a little history in my life that maybe even the last hours of my life I will remember as the time when I found Swallow Caye and when I found it I was a fisherman and I saw one twisting up and then I took the dowry and I went close and I saw this thing coming out from the manatee and inside the bag I saw the little manatee and she turned around and hit it and brought it to her breast;

Belize Rural Primary: An Interesting Experiment
The Belize Rural Primary School is an interesting experiment: it amalgamates 6 schools, both Catholic and Anglican into one large school to serve the Belize River Valley. It’s a major integration of resources requiring major machinery: there’s free transport along the valley for all the students and free lunches for all of them as well – as part of the meals programme. Yesterday, as part of education showcase week, Ministry officials visited the facility in Double Head Cabbage. Education Minister Faber outlined what makes the amalgam work. Hon. Patrick Faber – Minister of Education "There were six schools that were acclimated to become the Belize Rural Primary School - three of them were Roman Catholic and three of them were Anglican and they're now being managed by a community board made up of representatives made up of the various stakeholder bodies that have an interest. The children also are now able to sit in full size classrooms and the multi-grade teaching is no more. It is a wonderful success story. It is a work in progress and we hope that our continued push along with the support with our stakeholders - particularly the community in this regard will come and we will continue to move from strength to strength in terms of the quality that comes out of the Belize Rural Primary School."

Giga Councilor Threatened?
In Dangriga, police are reporting that a councilor at Dangriga Town Council was threatened at gunpoint. She reported to police that on Monday night at 11:00, she was driving in the town when she noticed that a a dark blue Ford SUV with Belmopan plates was following her. When she reached a speedbump on Ecumenical Drive, the SUV pulled up beside her and a clear complexioned man rolled down his wind and pointed a firearm at her. She drove directly to the Dangriga Police Station and reported it. No one has been arrested. We asked the Mayor about the incident today – and he said he had not heard of it.

Red Cross Celebrates Globally, Locally
On Wednesday Red Cross volunteers from around the world joined to celebrate World Red Cross Crescent Day. As a part of the local observance, today the Belize Red Cross held an Open Day inside the Bliss Parking lot – to showcase and educate the public on the purpose they serve. It was all demonstrated by youngsters themselves who played a major role in today's Open Day. Lily Bowman, Director General of the Belize Red Cross "Today we are having an awareness fair and it is in celebration of the day that we set aside for World Red Cross day which was Wednesday, 8th May. That day is celebrated all over the world and by all the 188 national societies. It is also the birthday of our founder, Henri Dunant, and so on that day we take the opportunity to let everybody know about the work we do; to invite people to come and join this happy family; to become volunteers and to share in the successes and to also listen to our needs and make a little contribution or to sign up as a volunteer. We also take the opportunity to bring out the school children and teach them a little bit about all the different areas we work in. We have today, the first aid sector, doing some practical techniques, teaching about CPR and first-aid and we also have the HIV and Aids program out here giving good solid facts about HIV and aids to the children; we also have the disaster risk reduction here, of course, very very significant being the month before the season opens; we have games which we are teaching children facts about disaster preparedness and of course we have a little section selling some pastries just to raise a few little coins for our operations and basically just letting everybody know what we do every single day in disaster, out of disaster, in preparedness, in health. We also started working with our youths in violence prevention; that is a new area so we are telling them about all these good things that we do"

Prolific Poet Norman
A new book called Expressions was launched today. It is a collection of poems celebrating motherhood penned by the prolific Norman Rodriquez. It is his 3rd major collection of poems and he launched it today at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. And even though the book is launched right before Mother’s Day- Rodriquez clarified that it is not a mother’s day book, per se. He explained that these poems are not just for a day, they are for all time: Norman Rodriquez - Poet "It's a collection of poems celebrating Motherhood and I take this opportunity to use it as a way to wish all Mothers in Belize and the world a Happy Mother's Day. There are 45 poems celebrating Motherhood eventhough the book is being launched near to Mother's day it is not a Mother's Day book. It is a collection of poems celebrating motherhood, different aspects of motherhood". Reporter "Any particular poem that stood out for you?"

Conviction In OW Court
There are 2 major judgments coming out of the Northern Sessions of the Supreme Court. In the first, Justice Herbert Lord delivered his verdict yesterday in the case of Kenroy Foreman, who was charged with attempted murder. Justice Lord heard the matter in a trial without jury, and yesterday, he delivered his judgment that Foreman was guilty of cutting his former common-law wife’s throat 3 times in April of 2009, which almost caused her death. In the other case, Justice Herbert Lord heard the matter of Santiago Coc, who was charged with rape. He sent the case to the jury yesterday who found him not guilty of rape, but guilty of the alternative charge of carnally knowing a mentally challenged woman contrary to Section 47(2) of the Criminal Code. Both men will be given a mitigation hearing at a later date.

A Last Gasp Of Protest
In our last segment, we told you about day 4 of Caleb Orozco’s challenge in the Supreme Court. Well, while the attorneys were inside finishing up their legal arguments, John Brackett, the leader of CIFOS, Citizens for Safety, was engaging in a 1-man protest. In the interest and fairness of freedom of expression, we spoke to Brackett about why he’s decided that he must voice his disapproval of this court case so loudly. He told us that Belizean citizens should not accept it because it is a Christian state. John Brackett - Leader, CIFOS "After Independence we have received this constitution and it is good for us and vital for us in this manner and I beleive that any changes would be a plus to the homosexual world and this is what we don't want. Giovannie, Orosco has already had a lot of rights; he has the right to move around freely; the right to associate; the right to have a job; he has the right to be paid for the job that he has done; he has the right to associate with anyone he wants; he has the right to live; I mean, we don't want any changes to the constitution especially to section fifty three (53). As a nation we need to look at the Bible; the truth; the word of God; Leviticus 20:13 Giovannie, the year we are living in; look at it, if a man also lies with mankind as he lieth with a woman both of them have committed abomination"

Free Plastic Surgeries By US Army
The US Military’s New Horizon Operation si providing specialized plastic surgeries to persons in southern Belize. One case is 4 year old Isai Carrillo, who underwent surgery last week Thursday to correct a condition known as syndactyly, or hand fusion, in his right hand. A US Army plastic surgeon explained. U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Matthew Talarezyk, Plastic Surgeon "Syndactyly is the most common congenital hand abnormality in the United States with an incidence of one in one hundred thousand, one in two hundred thousand children. It is more common in males; this child has what is called Apert Syndrome which is an extremely rare condition which is an incidence of one in two hundred thousand children but the syndactyly is very common in the Apert's child and so our goal today; he has syndactyly in both hands and we are going to release one hand Syndactyly" After the surgery, his hand that was once fused has three fingers.

Channel 5

Arguments wrap up in openly gay case
Arguments in the case of Caleb Orozco versus the Attorney General of Belize wrapped up today in the chambers of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. The trial started on Tuesday and a total of fifteen lawyers—local, regional and international—argued the case in which Orozco is challenging the constitutionality of section fifty-three of the criminal code which [...]

UNIBAM says it wants same sex activity legalized
But even as the case wraps up, there is still confusion in many quarters on what exactly the claimant wants done to section fifty-three which penalizes persons who engage in carnal knowledge against the order of nature with a ten year prison term. According to propaganda and ads from the churches and other groups, Orozco [...]

Clifton Hyde charged for human trafficking of Indian nationals
The arraignment of a group of eleven Indian nationals, who entered Belize illegally from Guatemala on Wednesday night, has been deferred to Monday in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court.  The men have been in police custody since being caught by officers attached to the Mobile Interdiction Team near Billy White, in the vicinity of the Spanish [...]

Poll generates more votes than possible in elections
At news time tonight, there have been more votes cast in this week’s online poll than were cast in the last general elections in Belize. The question which was asked on Tuesday is: Do you support the decriminalization of sodomy? And at last check at six o’clock this evening, two hundred and five thousand four [...]

If found guilty, Belizean faces 38 years in Guatemalan prison
According to a report coming from Guatemala, a Belizean may face thirty-eight years in prison if he is found guilty of kidnapping. Thirty-three year old Joseph Budna was charged along with three other individuals of kidnapping nineteen year old U.S. national, Luis Byron Reyes Onofre through which they hoped to obtain one million quetzales from [...]

Shooting death of young escapee charged with carnal knowledge
A young man has been shot and killed in Punta Gorda by the police.  The cop who pulled the trigger has been named in a previous shooting death, but was never charged. An internal investigation has been launched, following the shooting of eighteen year old Rasheed Elijio just after eight this morning. According to a [...]

UB students robbed by Hispanic gang in facility leased by Chinese
On Wednesday night, a gang of six armed robbers hit the University of Belize dormitory in Belmopan, stealing an array of personal items, including laptops, cell phones, cash and jewelry, among other effects totaling an estimated forty-one thousand dollars.  It was a brazen heist carefully orchestrated by individuals believed to be members of a Hispanic [...]

$43 million BCB and Belize Bank case at Caribbean Court
It might appear that national matters have come to a standstill as all eyes and ears focused this week on Caleb Orozco versus the Attorney-General. But the wheels of state are still turning, and so are the wheels of those with grievances against the state. A very significant appeal case is currently before the Caribbean [...]

Gideon charged with burglary at Victoria Street home
Eighteen year old Jonathan Gideon, accused of breaking into a residence on Victoria Street, appeared in court today, where he was charged with burglary.  Reports are that on March twenty-third, Gideon, an unemployed of a Hensley Street address, entered the home of Elsworth Staine and stole a laptop and a personal computer, at a combined [...]

Court fixes a mechanic and his marijuana
Twenty-three year old Victor Seaman, a mechanic of McKay Boulevard in Belize City, appeared unrepresented before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer on Thursday evening, where he was arraigned on two drug-related charges stemming from a GSU raid on his home.  On Wednesday, GSU personnel visited Seaman’s residence, where a search led to the discovery of separate [...]

Medical Tourism between Belize and Mexico
Medical Tourism is in its development stage in Belize. In August 2012, a workshop was executed to create awareness of the industry and to gauge the receptiveness of stakeholders in the healthcare profession. The initiative was started by BELTRAIDE because of the potential for employment in Belize which could possibly increase foreign direct investment. While [...]

Amalgamated schools functioning as Rural Primary
Earlier in the week, the official launch of the South-side School Feeding program was held at the Skills Training Center on Magazine Road. The project does not only feed needy students selected from participating schools in the city but also includes rural areas of the Belize District and some schools in Stann Creek. However, the [...]

Former Guatemalan president gets 80 years in prison for crimes against humanity
While the case of Caleb Orozco was being argued all week in court, across the border, the courts in Guatemala were also hearing the case against Efrain Rios Montt, the former president who was being tried for genocide and crimes against humanity. This afternoon, the tribunal found the eighty-six year old Rios Montt guilty and [...]

World Red Cross Day celebrated downtown
May eighth is celebrated worldwide as World Red Cross Day. In Belize, the Red Cross organized a fair at the Bliss Parking Lot in downtown Belize City to highlight the wide range of services provided by the organization. The Belize chapter of the Red Cross is one of a hundred and eighty-eight national societies and [...]

Norman Rodriguez’s poetic “Expressions” launched
Earlier this week, two books; Moments in Time Volumes one and two, penned by Doctor Corinth Morter Lewis were officially launched. There is another book to add to your collection of books. Expressions; A collection of poems celebrating motherhood was launched today at a Bliss Center for the Performing Arts by its author, Norman Rodriguez. [...]


Arguments Wrap Up Today In Orozco vs Attorney General; Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin To Render Decision
Caleb versus the Attorney General of Belize, the most talked about case for this week came to an end today in the court room of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. This morning the courtroom was once again packed to capacity as it was on day one of the case with supporters for UNIBAM and t...

Pathology Lab Displayed During Public Service Awareness Day
The Pathology Lab’s display at the Public Service Awareness Day on Thursday included a portion of the human body that forensic experts rely on after a body has decomposed. According to Dr Mario Estradabran, aside from the teeth, skull and bones, which can be used to help id...

Red Cross Belize Holds Awareness Fair
On Wednesday May 8, Belize joined the world in celebrating “World Red Cross Day”. One hundred and eighty eight Red Cross National Societies, around the world celebrated the birthday of the Founder of the Red Cross Movement, Henry Dunant. This year’s Red Cross day is b...

Belizean Literary Work Launched
This morning writer and poet, Norman C. Rodriguez launched his new literary art work entitled ‘Expressions” which is a collections of poems celebrating motherhood. The launch was held at the Bliss for the performing arts and Love News was there and we got a chance to speak ...

National Chess Olympiad Takes Place At The Weekend
At this time of year the youths are engaged in a number of academic exercises. Some just recently completed part two of the Primary School Exams while others were in the district finals of the National Coca Cola Spelling Bee competition. And on Saturday, others will compete...

Police Fataly Shoots Escaped Prisoner; Another Remains On The Run
A man was fatally shot by police in Punta Gorda earlier today. Investigations continue into the circumstances in which 18-year-old Rasheed Elijio was shot. Elijio was in the news earlier this week when he was charged with the carnal knowledge of a 14 year old gir...

Three Prison Inmates Charged With Wounding Following Stabbing Incident
Three prison inmates, one of them a 17 year old boy, were charged with wounding another inmate when they were brought to court today. The adults are 25 year old Harry Jacobs and 19 year old Anthony Carballo Jr. Carballo wanted to plead guilty to the charge but he changed his plea to no...


Two Orange Walk Resident's Found Guilty Of Their Crime At The Supreme Court
A man from the Orange Walk District who slit his common-law wife’s throat three times back in April of 2009 was found guilty of attempted murder at the Northern Session of Supreme Court. Today, Justice Herbert Lord found Kenroy Foreman, who stood trail by judge alone, guilty for the attempted murder of Lilian Lorena Hernandez who was 30 years of age at the time the incident. The crime was committed in the Village of Trail Farm on April 8th 2009. At that time Hernandez reported to police that at around 11:45pm whilst at Paraiso Bar located in the Village of Trail Farm, she was approached by an infuriated Foreman who for no reason started an argument with her, took out a knife and slit her throat three times. Luckily for Hernandez she was rushed to the Northern Regional Hospital and received treatment in time. Sentencing is set for May 23rd 2013. The case was prosecuted by Crown Councils Shanice Lovell and Sabita Maharaj.

Corozal Taxi Driver Held Up At Gun Point
Today, a 64 year old taxi driver from Corozal is recuperating from a frightening experience after he was held up at gunpoint by two men. Yesterday, at around 6:50am, the taxi driver was driving his car around the Corozal Town Bus Terminal, when two male persons of Hispanic descent, hired him to take them to the Belize Chetumal Border. Upon reaching somewhere between miles 90 and 91 of the Philip Goldson Highway, one of the men travelling in the back seat of the car placed a gun to the drivers head while the other individual placed a knife to his side. Both men then demanded that the victim reverse the vehicle into a nearby feeder road. Fearing for his life, the taxi driver complied with the demand of his assailants. As the driver drove into the feeder, he saw a van travelling in the opposite direction. The man immediately made a desperate move to save his own life. He swerved in front of the van causing a collision, luckily no one was hurt. For their part, the assailants exited the vehicle and made good their escape into some nearby bushes but not before firing two shots in the direction of the van. No one was injured. The men are described as being of Hispanic descent. One of them is said to be tall, slim and has curly hair while the second is described as being stout-built and wearing a blue cap.

Is The Minister Of Natural Resources Destroying Maya Mount?
Belize’s first and most enduring inhabitants, the Maya, left a rich legacy of art, science and mathematics that continues to unfold and astound us. Much of this ancient knowledge was lost leaving many Maya records parts of their history and predictions in stone inscriptions that can be seen today in stelae and the remains of elaborate cities, buildings, and temples that survived centuries of jungle encroachment. But unfortunately they are been put to risk as is the case of a Maya Mount located in the Village of San Juan in the Orange Walk District which is being excavated for white marl allegedly being used for a project carried out by Orange Walk North Area Representative Gaspar Vega who also happens to be the Minister of Natural Resources. After receiving several calls from concerned residents of Nuevo San Juan we headed to the area and here is what we found out. Victor Castillo - Reporting After receiving several calls this morning, mainly from villagers of Nuevo San Juan located in Orange Walk, we headed out to the area where we observed this heavy machine unearthing white marl from what is believed to be a Maya Mount. Upon sighting our news team an individual driving this grey Toyota pickup truck with licence plate OW C-17439 impeded us from getting closer to the area by blocking our path.

1st Form Student Knocked Down On Philip Goldson Highway
Details are still sketchy but CTV3 understands that late this afternoon a 1st form student of Corner Stone Presbyterian High School, located along the Philip Goldson Highway between the Villages of Concepcion and Louisville in the Corozal District, was knocked down by a van. The driver of the vehicle is yet to be identified but what we do know is that he or she stopped and rendered aid. The student was transported to the Corozal Community Hospital for treatment. The extent of his injuries is unknown. We will have more on this story in tomorrow’s newscast since we were unable to get an official word from the principal of Corner Stone as he was on his way to Corozal from Belize City and police are yet to release the name of the victim and the driver of the vehicle.

Residents Of Chan Pine Ridge Head Out To The Polls
On Sunday residents of Chan Pine Ridge will elect a new Village Council and running under the umbrella of the People’s United Party is the current chairman, Feliciano Torres. Of course, the PUP slate has the full support of Orange Walk East Area Representative; Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez. Hon. Marco Tulio Mendez, Area Rep. Orange Walk East “Vamos a tener una elección del concilio este domingo. Las votaciones van a empezar desde la diez de la mañana hasta las tres esto es un tiempo bastante corto bueno pidiéndole a todos de la aldea que salgan a votar y que salgan a ejercer su derecho y escoger a las personas de quien ellos miren las personas que son responsables y que quieren dedicar sus esfuerzos para de alguna manera trabajar por la aldea y por las necesidades, aunque son mínimas pero son necesidades que uno puede brindasrle a sus aldeanos verdad. Esta como presente chairman el sénior Feliciano Torres va estar corriendo como chairman también va a estar el señor Cornelio Torres, también Shaniny, va a estar corriendo, también Mr. Jaime Carillo, Mr Antonio Flores, Mr. German Tzul, Mr. Cawich o sea son siete de ellos que van a estar integrando el equipo que han mostrado el interés y que siempre han trabajado para la aldea, no son personas que han solamente han estado allí sin hacer nada para la aldea, entonces estoy pidiéndole el apoyo para esta gente que definitivamente quieren trabajar para Chan Pine Ridge.”

Belize/Guatemala Delegation Meet At The OAS
As we reported yesterday, the Belize delegation led by Minister of Foreign affairs Hon. Wilfred Elrington, the delegation of Guatemala led by their Foreign Minister Fernando Carerra, and the secretary general of the OAS Jose Miguel Insulza met at the OAS headquarters in Washington DC yesterday to discuss the next step in the Belize Guatemala process following the announcement by Guatemala of its inability to proceed with the simultaneous referenda originally scheduled for 6th October 2013. Both parties expressed the need to seek an early resolution to the long standing dispute between the two countries and reiterated that a solution must be found as soon as possible. It was also agreed that essential to the expediting of the process was the need to enhance the confidence levels in both countries by strengthening Confidence Building Measures. The parties agreed that the prolongation of the dispute is not conducive to building stronger bilateral ties, nor does it contribute to furthering the regional integration process. The Belize delegation took the opportunity to emphasize that the existence of the dispute represented an unsustainable cost for Belize, from the environmental, economic and security perspectives. The meeting explored various ways of ensuring that the commitment to submit the dispute to the International Court of Justice, as contemplated in the Special Agreement is maintained and acted upon in the shortest possible time. Secretary General Insulza agreed to convene a subsequent Ministerial level meeting to confirm the way forward by June 2013.

PUP Presents Future Changes For Village Council Leaders
Presently both major political parties in Belize are gearing up for the upcoming Village Council Elections with the first leg of the race scheduled to commence this weekend. At this hour, the boxing gloves are on and candidates of both parties are in the ring ready for the battle to commence. Which party will win the majority of seats is a question that will be answered at the end of the election process. But what we do know is that the People’s United Party has plans to change the Village Council Act when elected in Government in order to give more autonomy to the elected officials. The party’s plans were unraveled yesterday during a press conference held in Belize City and presented in a 14 point brochure entitled True Development for our Village Communities. Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez- Orange Walk East Area Representative “Por ejemplo primero, ellos mencionan de que se va a respetar el papel y la función y las responsabilidades de todos los alcaldes. Sabemos de qué muchos de los alcaldes de la oposición de partido Unido del Pueblo acido no tomados en cuenta en algunos proyectos y en algunos desarrollos que han llevado a cabo en algunos de las comunidades no se les ha respetado y yo creo y el partido cree que definitivamente todos los alcaldes y todos los líderes que han escogido por la gente deben de ser respetados no importando la afiliación política que tenga el líder porque ellos fueron los escogidos entonces el Partido está tomando la position de que todos los alcaldes se les va a respetar, se les va a involucrar dentro que sean los proyectos y los desarrollos que se lleve dentro de la aldea.”


The case of Caleb Orozco versus the Attorney General wraps up in the Supreme Court
Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin this afternoon reserved judgment in the case of Caleb Orozco vs. The Attorney General of Belize after final submissions by Eamon Courtenay, Senior Counsel representing the church and a rebuttal from lead counsel for Orozco. This morning Courtenay expanded on yesterday’s submissions in which he...

18 year old dies after being shot by Police
An 18 year old man was shot after he faced charges for having sex with his 15 year old girlfriend. 18 year old Rasheed Elijio, was picked up by Police on Tuesday, for the crime of carnal knowledge, after he was caught with a 15 year old inside a...

Eleven men from India are detained at Belmopan Police Station
Tonight, eleven men from India are detained at the Belmopan police station after they were caught last night in the Billy White Area – which is in Western Cayo. Information is sketchy and police are mum, learned that a round 8:00 pm, the Police Mobile Interdiction Team, acting on...

Protest outside Supreme Court, as gay rights lawsuit takes place
This morning the UNIBAM case resumed for its final day of presentations. The case has attracted its fair share of attention and today a single protestor hit the streets to make his opposition to changes in Section 53 known. John Brackett tells us why he is opposed. John Brackett...

AGUSM considering filing suit against Fawda Henry
Today we got a response from Philip ‘Fawda” Henry on the accusations of president of American Global University School of Medicine Dr. Malik Soudah that he was paid to instigate a smear campaign against the school a few weeks ago. Henry made reference to the recent press conference called...

Dangriga Mayor surprised by land survey
Yesterday, we brought you a story of a land dispute occurring in Dangriga, that land is parcel 991 and is located near the main bridge. Since 2000, the Dangriga Town Council has been in a tug of war for the area. We spoke to Mayor of Dangriga, Gilbert Swaso...

Under-aged motorcyclist knocked down
14 year old Jamie Braun was rushed to the KHMH yesterday, after he was knocked down by a motorist. The accident happened shortly before 11, in the Spanish Lookout area. Police say a 66 year old Belizean resident and Missionary of Las Flores, was driving his Dodge Ram Van...

Graduation held for GREAT Program
There is good news coming out of the Police Department. The Department just wrapped up another series of its GREAT Program, an initiative aimed at encouraging gang resistance education and conflict resolution in primary schools. This is a new project by the Police Department and the first of its...

Helpage celebrates Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day will be celebrated this coming Sunday, and the women at the Belize Helpage got an early mother’s day treat, filled with a luncheon and some good old entertainment. The event took place yesterday morning at the Helpage Center in Belmopan. The ladies also enjoyed a performance from...

Red Cross celebrates “150 years of Humanitarian Action.”
The Belize Red Cross is holding a week of activities to mark its 99th year of existence and Red Cross day on Wednesday. Today they hosted an awareness fair in Belize City. With more here is director general Lily Bowman. Lily Bowman – Director General: The theme that is...

New book “Expressions” celebrates Motherhood
A book of 45 poems about mothers titled “Expressions” was released this morning. Author Norman Rodriguez tells PLUS News about his inspiration. Norman Rodriguez – Author: It talks about death, the losing of a mother. It talks about those mothers who piggy-back on the good motherhood that some of...

Village council elections begin this weekend
Village council elections get on the way in certain villages this weekend. Village Council Elections are held every four years in Belize. The first round of the Village council elections for the Corozal District will begin on Sunday May 12th for seven of the districts 28 villages. The other...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

National Song Competition 2013


“ The second leg of the home-and-away semifinal series in the Premier League of Belize 2012-2013 Closing Season takes place this weekend, and it will indeed be the closing of the curtain for two teams, while two others will go on next week to the championship finals series. On Saturday night at the FFB Stadium, Police broke the deadlock in injury time to drop Belize Defense Force, 3-1. Amin “Tacos” August (4’) put Police ahead early, but BDF got the equalizer quickly from Tyrone Pandy (11’). Tacos (90+’) struck again, and also Trevor “Burger” Lennen (90+’) in injury time to give Police the 3-1 victory. On Sunday afternoon at the MCC Grounds, there was also an early goal, Avian “Chiches” Crawford’s strike at the 2nd minute, to give FC Belize the 1-nil lead over defending champion Belmopan Bandits. The difference is that there were no more goals, and FC Belize came away 1-nil winners. A month ago, with top striker Deon McCaulay on a tear, having scored 8 goals in 4 games, it seemed like defending champions Belmopan Bandits were a cinch to repeat as champions. But the last two weeks of April ended without a score for Deon, and then he exited early due to injury in game 1 of the semifinal series against FC Belize on Sunday, and all of a sudden things don’t look so cozy anymore for the reigning champions.

The elaborate nature of this masquerade is truly impressive. But, you should know, this masquerade has become an editorial crisis for us on Partridge Street. This masquerade has exposed the fact that we are unable to tell it truly as it is, because of the Mephistophelian nature of the compromise we made in late 1977. We made a business deal with polite society in late 1977, and the justification for it, in our minds, was that we would begin to create jobs for our roots. In Biblical terms, we thus gained the world and lost our soul. For the purposes of this essay, we will say, for argument’s sake, that there are two Belizes: one is polite society, and the other is roots, or what we sometimes call the “streets.” Polite society, for us, is comprised of the partnership between the oligarchy and the churches. The direct instruments of polite society are the electoral politicians, who must first satisfy that polite society that they are “safe,” whereupon the politicians are gifted with the control of public funds in order to dispense and distribute same with the approval of polite society. Below the ruling politicians are various functionaries, apparatchiks, bureaucrats, and cronies who make up the rest of the power structure. On the bottom of the heap are the masses, the roots, the streets. At the top of Belize’s polite society/power structure, the gay life features prominently, and it is as if it is legal; it is almost prestigious, and the gays are eminently powerful. But, almost unbeknownst to the roots, a long time ago the sexual activities of the gays were declared criminal and illegal by the very power structure itself, and those gay activities remain criminal and illegal. The streets had always condemned the gay life, as a matter of sexual instinct, but the streets never had the power to make laws: it was polite society which made Belizean laws (such as, no ganja!).

by Compton Fairweather The Editor Amandala May 8th, 2013 Dear Sir, Today, May 8th, marks the 45th anniversary of the day when Dean Lindo, Nadia Cattouse and I addressed Members of Parliament on the Belize–Guatemala dispute at a House of Commons meeting in London. Less than two weeks earlier, both Dean and I were in Washington D.C., on April 26th 1968, when Ambassador Bethuel Webster handed over his Proposals to the British and Belize Governments. Professor Louis M. Bloomfield was also present as an observer on behalf of the Belize Government. “In the hallowed and historic palace of Westminster, home of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the plight of British Honduras was raised tonight for all to hear, when more than a hundred Members of Parliament, peers of the realm, diplomats from the independent Caribbean Commonwealth countries, journalists, British Hondurans and friends of the country sat silent and keenly interested for three hours as the whole question of the Webster Proposals and of the future British Honduras was examined in detail by experts.” Dean Lindo, who was at that time Shadow Minister for Economic Affairs and Finance, was the first speaker (I was the last). He began by telling the audience that the Webster Proposals “were in fact already with the Government Printers. Nevertheless, despite the fact that the country’s economy is in ruins and money is desperately short for major projects of vital importance, the government – who could very well have made the Proposals public without us even leaving Belize City – expended a huge sum of money to pay for an eleven-member delegation to go to Washington. This showed bad faith and reckless extravagance.”

by Steve Heightway Dear Editor, In this week, where we have seen so much time and effort arguing over the “Section 53” case and what consenting adults can do in private (which is not about homosexuality alone, since it prohibits my wife and I from having anal and oral sex), I’m intrigued to see where the uproar is concerning the sentencing of John Baptist. In your report you state that he was found guilty of two counts of aggregated assault of an indecent nature, and that the judge said, “She has been wrecked for life,” the result of which is a fine! A mere fine of $11,000. Is that the price we put on our young children’s lives now? My anger was intensified at the reports later this week that a man is jailed for 7 years for $13 worth of biscuits. How does the judiciary justify these two sentences? Where are the NGOs, churches, etc., now, I wonder, clamoring for justice, social equality and the well-being of our children? The silence is deafening…

Closing arguments for UNIBAM were presented today by Christopher Hamel-Smith. The highly anticipated case between Caleb Orozco and the Attorney General began on Tuesday, May 7, 2013, before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. The days-long trial is a landmark one for the nation, as Orozco is challenging both the laws of the court and the mores of the society. Orozco’s case is an effort to strike down Section 53 of the criminal code which criminalizes sexual intercourse between persons of the same sex. His arguments are that the law degrades and criminalizes what a person does in the privacy of his or her home. It is being argued that the law thus infringes on his constitutional rights – his right to privacy and human dignity. The case involves several interested parties, including the Commonwealth Lawyers Association, Human Dignity Trust, the International Commission of Jurists, and the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), which are all supporters of Orozco’s claim. The other interested parties, which have attached themselves to the Government’s claim, are the Roman Catholic Churches, The Belize Churches of England’s corporate body, and the Belize Evangelical Association of Churches.

Great events in world history have proven that, the copybook maxim – the pen is mightier than the sword, is absolutely true. The sword can dismember or destroy the body but, great ideas flowing from the pen can change the world. Leo Tolstoy wrote his ideas about the irresistible power of non-violent protest in his book, Civil Disobedience and Non-Violence, and Mohandas Gandhi accepted and converted the principles advocated by Tolstoy into action. The force of the Indian nation’s non-violent protest against the injustice of British rule, resulted in the Independence of India and Pakistan in 1947. Gandhi’s mission, which was-self rule for the Indian nation, was helped by the fact that the other political leaders and himself were fervent adherents of the Hindu religion and, that he had come to be revered by the populace as a spiritual icon. The British rulers of India, which was a colony, were masters of public administration, supported by a comparatively small army, but the British soldiers were the finest in the world. India was exploited by laws which favored the mother country and considered oppressive by the natives, who reacted by armed rebellion, which was put down with great efficiency and carnage.

Oceana in Belize Vice President Audrey Matura-Shepherd held a press conference today, Wednesday, to update the media on the status of offshore drilling in Belize. The press conference was to be focused on the recent court ruling on the organization’s case which challenged the granting of offshore drilling permits by Government to energy companies to operate in Belize. But what seems to have taken over the meeting, were the plans of one oil company –Treaty Belize Energy— to resume operations in Belize. Matura stated that the company still plans to drill for oil in the country. Those plans are being made despite the April 16, 2013 Supreme Court ruling that all offshore drilling contracts are null and void — meaning that by law they don’t even exist. Treaty Belize issued a press release on Tuesday, May 7, stating that they have sought legal advice from their attorney, Rodwell Williams of Barrow and Williams, and have decided to proceed. Matura-Shepherd said that Oceana’s response to that decision is to wait and watch, and if any operations do resume, they will seek court action by way of enforcing an injunction.

One was found guilty of attempted murder, and the other of rape. Two men were found guilty by Justice Herbert Lord at the Northern Session of the Supreme Court in the first trial without jury in that session. They were on trial for attempted murder and raping a mentally challenged woman, respectively. Sentencing for the men has been deferred until Thursday, May 23. Kenroy Foreman of Orange Walk Town was found guilty of attempting to murder his girlfriend, Lilian Lorena Hernandez, at a bar in Paraiso, where she is employed. The two became involved in an argument, and police say that Foreman took out a knife and stabbed her in the neck three times. She was rushed to the Orange Walk Hospital, where she was operated on. The incident occurred around midnight on Wednesday, April 8, 2009. Foreman was charged with attempted murder in the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court, then remanded for trial at the Supreme Court.

“A beautiful gift.” Lifetime Belizean educator, author, poet and playwright, Dr. Corinth Morter-Lewis, described by Governor-General Sir Colville Young as “a true Renaissance woman,” on Wednesday morning released some of her most treasured compositions inside two volumes of her latest publication: Moments In Time, Volume 1 and Volume 2. The launch was hosted by the Belize National Library Service and Information System (BNLSIS) at the Leo Bradley Library on Princess Margaret Drive in Belize City. Chair of the BNLSIS Board of Trustees, Brenda Armstrong, thanked Morter-Lewis for the hope she has given to writers who will venture into this field. To those attending the book launch, Armstrong said: “May [Moments in Time] inspire you not only to read, but to write as well.” In the foreword to Volume 1, Amandala publisher Evan X Hyde said: “These writings of Corinth Morter-Lewis reveal her great love for Belize and the Belizean people. This is a love which is unabashed but understated in comparison with the rhetoric of our electoral politicians…”

If found guilty of abduction/kidnapping, he could spend 38 years in Guat prison. Amandala has confirmed through the Belize Embassy in Guatemala City that Joseph Budna, 33, is still being held in prison in Guatemala, where he is facing trial on multiple kidnapping/abduction charges. One source tells us that Budna is being held in maximum security at Zacapa, located south of Belize, near Guatemala’s border with Honduras, and he is due to appear tomorrow in the Supreme Court, where his attorney, Jorge Valladarez, will present Budna’s defense. We understand that Budna’s counter-argument to the charge of kidnapping for which he is on trial is that the complainant, Luis Byron Reyes Onofre, a US citizen, 19, colluded with (him) Budna and three other associates in a scheme to solicit a million quetzals from Reyes’ father, Luis August Reyes Salazar. Budna is reportedly claiming that Reyes pretended to be kidnapped so that they could get the funds from his dad, but Reyes changed his story afterwards to say that he had been abducted and taken over to Honduras, where Reyes claimed he was held on a farm.

Nine students at the University of Belize’s Belmopan campus were terrorized by six armed, masked gunmen who pointed guns at them, tied them up and robbed them in their dormitories on the UB compound in Belmopan. The students, members of the Student Athletic Scholarship Program and international students from the English as a Second Language Program, including some from Mexico and Trinidad, could not alert anyone because the gunmen ordered them to lie flat on the floor and not make any noise. One of the students was beaten with a pistol on the head, and the students were robbed of cash and other items totaling $41,000 in value. The armed robbers stole laptop computers, iPods, cell phones, jewelry, cash, watches, and other valuables, then escaped. The incident occurred about 8:40 on Wednesday night, May 8. The students told police that they were in their dorm rooms when the six masked men, armed with handguns and a shotgun, came into their dorms, pointed guns at them and took them into the hall area, where they were all tied up. The thieves then went into their rooms and rans

Fisheries Administrator Beverly Wade confirmed to Amandala today that Belize has been “blacklisted” by the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee, on allegations that Belize and seven other countries—Cambodia, Fiji, Guinea, Panama, Sri Lanka, the Togolese Republic and the Republic of Vanuatu—have been deemed uncooperative in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Belize has been listed due to its high seas fisheries, operated in international waters by foreign vessels which register here but which operate outside our national jurisdiction. Wade told Amandala that since 2010, Belize has been in a series of discussions and meetings with the European Commission, in relation to its concerns, and the country had been given until this month, May, to provide feedback on the latest correspondence. When we contacted the Fisheries Department early Tuesday to ask about the EC listing of Belize, Wade was surprised, since she had seen no official correspondence warning Belize before or after the European Parliament voted on Wednesday, April 24, 2013. According to a report appearing today on the website of the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), an ACP-EU institution, on 15 November, 2012, the European Commission had adopted a decision indicating that the 8 countries have an insufficient record in tackling IUU fishing, and that they risk being identified as countries it considers non-cooperative in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

A 14-year-old student narrowly escaped being raped by his teacher, who allegedly took off his clothes and attempted to sodomize him. However, a doctor who examined the boy said that he was not penetrated. The incident allegedly occurred at the home of the teacher in Bullet Tree village, on Friday, March 22. The student and his mother went to the San Ignacio police on Wednesday, May 8, and told them that on Friday, March 22, he visited the home of his teacher in Bullet Tree village. The teacher, the boy recounted, gave him some rum-and- coke to drink. The boy said that they both drank, and after consuming about three glasses of rum-and-coke, he felt drunk, but could remember that the teacher took him into his bedroom, put him on his bed and took off his clothes. Police detained the teacher and a medical examination was conducted on the boy, but according to a police report, the doctor concluded that there were “no signs of physical abuse on the minor.” Police continue their investigation.

The Belize Times

True Development! – PUP launches Village Council agenda
The People’s United Party launched a progressive vision today that proposes to give communities and their leaders their rightful place in Belize’s development. This afternoon, leaders of the Party gathered at Independence Hall to present a visionary agenda for Village Councils in a document titled “True Development for our Village Communities”. The vision is that Village Councils will have full autonomy over their affairs while benefitting from meaningful support from the National Government no matter which political party is in power or the political affiliations of the leaders in the community. PUP Chairman Henry Usher explained that the vision incorporates the aspirations of community leaders imparted on PUP Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca during his visit to communities across the length and breadth of the country over the past months. Hon. Fonseca has listened to the many voices of concerns and has set out a vision on their behalf. The vision is laid out in fourteen points in which the PUP declares the steps it will take to emancipate the Village Councils from the bondage and morbid state it has been over the last five years under the Barrow Administration. The steps propose massive reforms for village councils, including providing direct financial support and giving them autonomy over the management of their water systems and collection of funds through liquor and trade licenses.

EU Blacklists Belize for illegal fishing
Belize has been included in a list of countries which have “failed to sufficiently fight illegal fishing” and which could face stiff sanctions in their trade in the EU market. The list which was updated by the European Parliament’s fisheries committee on January 23rd was published, for the first time, a few days ago. It also includes Cambodia, Fiji, Guinea, Panama, Sri Lanka, Togo, and Vanuatu. In addition to prohibitions on trading fishing stock, those countries which do not improve their regulation of fisheries industry could also be barred from engaging in joint fishing operations or chartering agreements with EU vessels. ...

Police contrabanding fuel? – …Police CLAIM they ran out of fuel
The Corozal Department is in the middle of controversy after a video showing one of their officers fuelling a police vehicle with what seemed to be contraband fuel was leaked to the public on Facebook. The video ...

ROGUE Government
The Barrow Administration is defying an April 16th 2013 Supreme Court ruling which declared that oil exploration contracts, whether offshore or onshore, must be preceded by an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) before entering into an agreement with the Government. The ruling also pronounced that six contracts granted to Island Oil Belize Limited, Miles Tropical Energy Limited, Petro Belize Company Limited, Princess Petroleum Limited, Providence Energy Belize Limited and Sol Oil Belize Limited are null and void as they had failed to meet the necessary criteria set out in the Environmental Protection Act and Regulations. Prime Minister Dean Barrow went rogue in his response to the ruling and called the Judge Oswell Legal’s basis for the judgment “rubbish”, and even said that the ruling “makes absolutely no sense” to him. The Prime Minister’ law firm, Barrow and Williams which represents Princess Petroleum, has also given legal advice to Treaty Energy Belize, which shares its Production Sharing Agreement with Princess Petroleum, that it can proceed with their oil exploration at one of three drilling sites despite the court ruling. The Prime Minister’s law partner, Rodwell Williams, acts as Secretary for Princess Petroleum. ...

THE CHURCHES RISE The churches in Belize have been aroused. It is written that out of evil cometh good. The decision by some people, somewhere, to champion the homosexual act of sodomy has sparked a strong reaction from the churches. A young man, Caleb Orozco, who for years has practiced a different sexuality ...

Grips of fear – the Felicia Chen case
By G. Michael Reid Belizeans have become pretty much immune to our daily reports of crime and violence. It hardly fazes us anymore when we hear of someone being gunned down, a home being invaded or even of some small child being violated. It just happens way too often. Last Saturday’s ...

“Mother” is simply the most beautiful word on the lips of mankind, to borrow the language of the Lebanese born poet, Khalil Gibran. As a nation Belize will be completely disarmed come this second Sunday in May. Pews will be uncharacteristically filled, hearts will be particularly softened and some special appreciation ...

Team Guydis wins 2013 SMART/Agric canoe race
Team Guydis: Chris Guydis and the Sanchez twins: Jermaine and Jeremy, clocked 2:19 as they won 1st overall and the male division of the 2013 Smart Agric River Challenge canoe race from Iguana Creek to the ...

Rigo Vellos represents Belize in UK Hercules Olympia
Current Mr. Belize title holder, Rigo Vellos, arrived in London on Wednesday, three days before the much-anticipated 2013 Hercules Olympia takes place. The international bodybuilding competition will be held on Saturday, May 11th at the ...

FC Belize topples Belmopan Bandits
FC Belize toppled the #1 Belmopan Bandits 1-0 when they met at the MCC Grounds in Belize City on Sunday. A 2nd minute goal for FC Belize by national U-19 ...

Reflections: Ms. Molly Fonseca
By the Rt. Hon. Said Musa. I last saw Ms. Molly a few days before she died peacefully in bed at her home at No. 2 Keyhole Alley, Belize City. She was asleep when I arrived. Her husband William (Chi Chi) Fonseca was sitting by her side. Her son Francis our Party Leader stood watch over his beloved mother. Her daughter Dr. Carol was in the living room receiving a neighbor who had come to visit Ms. Molly. As I sat there in the presence of this great woman, my mind wandered back to happier days when Ms. Molly was by my side on the campaign trail visiting the homes and meeting the voters of the Fort George Division. Throughout my political career I have been blessed to have many outstanding women on the PUP Fort George Team. Molly Fonseca stood out as one of the most fiercely combative and energetic. She was a courageous warrior for her party and for her PUP candidate. Her loyalty was unquestionable. Yet she never hesitated to speak her mind and to upbraid me if she felt I was not working hard enough for the good people of Fort George especially the poor and the needy. ...

A Tribute to: Mom: by Francis Fonseca
A pleasant good afternoon to you all. Our Family deeply appreciates your presence here today. We thank you all for joining us to celebrate the life of Ms. Molly. My Mom didn’t like long talks so I will be brief. Molly Fonseca – Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Great grandmother, Sister, Aunt, Cousin, Friend. Each title carried with equal grace, loyalty and dedication. Born in 1933 to Riverboat Captain/Mahogany trader Donald Young and Anne Mcfadzen of Willows Bank, Belize District, Molly Young was the first of six children. At an early age it became clear that my Moms’ life would come to be defined by service to others. First service to her parents; then service to her siblings after her parents passed away; then service to her own family; and throughout service to her God and Community. Mom’s Brand of Service was characterized by strength, loyalty and humility. She was a strong, tough woman who could give as good as she could take. She feared NO MAN. She was deeply loyal, loyal to her family and friends, loyal to her God, loyal to her Party and loyal to her beloved Belize. ...

Dominoes in the Jungle
The Henry Usher Dominoes Tournament continued in the Fort George Division this past Sunday, April 28 2013. The Pickstock Hutment came out to cheer on the players and enjoy the event, including a dance-off. In the end ...

PUP Marshalls mobilize
President of the PUP Marshalls Corps, Stephen Latchman, continues the work of organizing and rebuilding the Marshalls Service Corps, one of the senior arms of the People’s United Party. A series ...

Homosexuality and Gravity
Today in almost every household you can find an item that is extremely valuable to a person. For some it is a car, for others their computer or musical instrument, and for others it is a touch device! My cell phone, for example, cost as much as a mid-end desktop computer or laptop! As much as people love their phones, I have seen some really battered ones and even the most valuable ones I have seen leaning up on one side as a victim of gravity. See, it doesn’t matter what mankind does. We have a law called gravity that pulls things down to earth. We have found many uses for this force, but the main one keeps us on the face of the earth! Can you imagine a world without gravity? There are so many things we would have to change about our lifestyles, so many inventions that we would have to reengineer and some things that we would never be able to change! We are in a season in our country where some gentlemen are fighting against a law set out by nature and the Creator of mankind. The same law that caused these men to even exist, they are fighting against! None of these passionate people came to this earth based on the union of a man and another man or based on the union of a woman and another woman, yet they seek to defy the very nature that created them. You can be upset with gravity because it claimed your dad’s life as he fell off a verandah. You can even take gravity to court and win a case, but there is nothing you can do to change the principle of gravity. Depending on the way you interact with gravity it will either make you or break you. It will either make you productive, or it will destroy you. ...

Poor Patrick Faber!! He really di mek pappy show of himself. He has recently been seen all over Western Paradise trying to rehabilitate and resurrect the reputation of the “do nothing” chairman of Western Paradise and trying to convince people that the UDP really cares for them. With much hoopla a meeting of residents was called in the area the other day. Only about twenty people showed up, and the reception as Patrick and the UDPs have campaigned there has been lukewarm at best. Patrick needs to know that the people of Western Paradise aren’t fools. ...

Assist a Child Who Has a Learning Difference
Everyone is a person of their own, with their own choices, their own minds, their own strengths, and their own weaknesses. All those individual traits do not mean any one of us is better than anyone else. You are a unique individual, a pure handmade of ...

HOME ECONOMICS – Just Another Show
This annual event took place over the past the National Agricultural and Trade Show Grounds at the junction of the Western and Hummingbird Highways. These grounds are conservatively valued at around BZ$15 million. The Ministry of Agriculture owns and is completely responsible for the development of this property. The stewardship ...

WOMAN IN THE HOUSE – Keep the Gales Point Govt. School Open
I learned earlier this year that Minister of Education Hon. Patrick Faber had suggested that the Gales Point Government School should be closed down. While most reasonable people would not be against the idea of more efficiency and the amalgamation of some small schools, it is my view ...

Freak storm causes serious damage…NEMO OW sleeping at the wheels!
A severe thunderstorm which developed in northern Belize on Thursday afternoon and which swept towards the southern region during the night ...

Opposition warns GOB against village council electioneering
PUP deputy leader Hon. Julius Espat has warned the UDP Government that the Opposition will step up its vigilance in the upcoming village council elections in an effort to ensure that the elections of community leaders are held fairly and impartially. The UDP is notoriously known for abusing Government funds and resources to advance their political agendas during elections. Government vehicles are used to transport voters and money bags, and public officers are forced to carry out political duties or lose their jobs. These dastardly acts have found their way to the village council elections as the heavily-financed UDP has turned the important community events into political circuses. ...

Hon. Julius Espat & Hon. Rodwell Ferguson condemn UDP attacks on Auditor General, Senator Mark Lizarraga & Supreme Court Judge
The People’s United Party’s (PUP) members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) are concerned with the recent pattern of intimidation and possible victimization tactics by the United Democratic Party and the present Government to cease public discussion on the potential misuse of public funds. The PUP members ...

We need answers Mr. Mayor!
The People’s United Party Belize Rural South Executive Committee is demanding an inquiry into the granting of a permit to dredge an area west of the San Pedro marina. The permission was granted even though it is against the law to do so without an Environmental Impact Assessment. Such ludicrous act is inappropriate and simply shows the United Democratic Party’s arrogance. They have failed their manifesto’s promise of public consultation and transparency. Furthermore, the sole councilor representing the People’s United Party, Mr. Wally Nunez, was not informed beforehand of the proceedings. The UDP is trying to push all the dirt under the rug and intimidating any whistleblowers. ...


It was a Double D on our morning adventure tour
Double D stands for Damn Dusty and that how it has been the past while on the Island. It has gotten to the point that some people are wearing bandanas as dust masks. I am sure partly why my sore throat has been so hard to shake, it did not stop me from wanting to do another early morning joyride. Late last night as I was finishing up yesterdays blog post, I got texting Dick to set our wake up time for today’s Sunrise drive. We both agreed 4:30 alarm, out the door at 4:45, park at Banana Beach and head to our favorite big dock to photograph the sunrise. Zac decided to join us for the first part of our morning adventure tour. The sunrise was well worth getting up for, lots of cloud interesting action and steaming rays. Next came a good drive around the island taking the beach road up to the bridge then driving down the lagoon side and through San Pedrito. After a short pit stop at Dicks place to refuel we headed south to the Port Authority to make sure everything went on with Georges boat that Dick was having decommissioned. It turned out to be a done deal and our joy ride was coming to an end, after touring Captain Sharks boatyard and a stop for coffee, milk and fresh chicken we headed for home.

Why I’m heading to Belize this summer – again
I just wrote a friend that I’m heading back down to Belize this summer, and she replied surprised. “Why are you going someplace you’ve already been? Why not save your money and do something in the US? Or if you want to go overseas, why not go someplace different?” I e-mailed her my reasons why, and thought I’d share them here, just in case anyone else is looking for summer vacation ideas. First of all, I’ve done the math, and I don’t think I’d save any money by holidaying up here. We did it the year before last, and after the gas, admissions to parks and other attractions, eating out and everything else, we spent a lot more than we’d budgeted for. Last year, we booked an all-inclusive Belize vacation package at Chaa Creek, and after we got home, we were pleasantly surprised at how much (little) we spent. When was the last time that happened to you? We got a pretty good deal on the flights, and since it was only an hour and a half from Houston, you don’t mind economy seating, and it was a painless trip all around. We arrived at the melodically named Philip Goldson International Airport in Belize, and were immediately greeted by our driver, who turned out to be an excellent guide during the air-conditioned and interesting trip to San Ignacio and Chaa Creek. We learned so much on the way that it was like having a local friend of a friend pick you up and introduce you to the place.

“I’m Your Man” in Ambergris Caye, Belize
Up bright and early this morning (well it was dark actually) on the veranda with my mug of coffee and the iPad catching up with what is going on in the world. First off was checking my In Box where I was pleasantly surprised to find an application for a job on our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. It was from our great nephew Cody who, having seen his photo in a previous edition quite likes the idea of coming out here to start his working life. “I’m your man”. Cody tooled up and ready for action! Also in the In Box were some emails from Daniel Camal, our building contractor, with some photographs of the frames for some of the vanity units his team are making based on the designs that Rose supplied a few days ago.

The May - June 2013 issue of The BELIZE AG REPORT is online HERE

This Issue's Stories:

  • The Queen Honeybee: A miracle in the beehive: this is the best way I can describe the Queen Honeybee. Her creation and design can only have come from above. Her life begins as an egg. It looks like any ordinary worker (female) egg in the cell of a honeycomb, white, and about the size of a thin mechanical pencil lead, no more than a 1/16” long. If the worker bees see that their queen is seriously failing in egg laying capacity or health, or they know the colony is about to swarm they will set about to raise a new queen. The worker bees may take an egg and put it into a queen cell which workers have constructed from beeswax or the old queen herself will lay worker eggs in queen cells in preparation for swarming. Worker bees must then care for the larva. These selected larvae must be fed royal jelly for the entire period of larval growth from day 3 to day 10 of the 16 days of the queen’s development into an adult. The queen cell looks like a peanut and can be found on the face of a brood comb or hanging from the bottom bar of a frame that holds a comb. Worker and drone larvae are provided with royal jelly for only three days, then are switched to a diet of a mixture of honey and pollen known as “bee bread” for the balance of their larval feeding. The physiological differences that result from the different diet are a miracle! To think the feeding of royal jelly to a larva will produce this egg laying machine which can lay up to 1800 eggs in a day is incredible.
  • Bt As Organic Spray: Bt(bacterium thuringiensis) is accepted in certified organic applications as a spray. Bt normally exists in the environment and is concentrated for use as a controlling item in the caterpillar stage of a moth. Bt does not naturally penetrate the cellular wall of a plant cell. If a caterpillar consumes the cell, and the Bt is present on the exterior of the cell structure, then the Bt is active in the gut of the caterpillar, thus blocking the absorption of the nutriments of the cell that is consumed. The caterpillar has a very simple digestive tract that has only one purpose: consume and absorb the nutriments for energy to grow. Bt exists in all surroundings as a bacterium. This is the reason a moth lays hundreds to thousands of eggs; population density ensures that the species will survive, even if the environment creates a high population of Bt at that given time. As humans, we digest Bt, and our acids of the early digestive tract destroy the bacterium. This is due to the fact that the exterior of the cellular structure that we are consuming is broken down first in the digestive tract; further in the digestive tract, the cellular wall of the singular cell is broken to allow digestion of the interior components of the cell. The cellular wall of plants and animals are constructed of lipids, which allow the resistance and protective barrier of the cell internals. The RNA inside of the cell determines which items are allowed to penetrate the cellular wall and enter the interior region. Normal Bt as an external application will never penetrate the cellular wall, due to being rejected as a foreign material.
  • International Seed Treaty A Hope to Reduce Global Conflict Over Genetic Resources: On 29 June 2004 the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (popularly known as the International Seed Treaty) came into force. The treaty ensures that plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, which are vital for human survival, are conserved and sustainably used, are kept accessible and in the public domain, and further, that benefits from their use are equitably and fairly distributed. The treaty was negotiated by 164 governments under the auspices of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FOA) and was agreed by consensus by the FAO Conference on 3 November 2001. The Convention on Biological Diversity has welcomed it as it covers the plant genetic resources of an exceptional set of biodiversity - agricultural biodiversity - that need special treatment. Signed or acceded by 85 states including the United States and all 15 states of European Union, the ratifications of this treaty are the most rapid of any international agreement in recent history and are evenly spread between industrialized and developing countries underlining the global urgency on food security.
  • What did we learn durning March's GMO AWARENESS MONTH?:
  • The Money Trees: Aaromas and piquant flavours. The popularity of certain spices can be attributed to the practice of Humoral medicine gleaned from the ancient Greeks who taught that the balance of the major bodily fluids (humors) was the key to human health and emotions. Spices were used to stimulate the senses and it was this belief that fueled the quest for discovery and kept the spice trade booming. During medieval times Muslim traders controlled the maritime routes and, secreting their information, sold their cargoes to the middle men, the merchants of Venice. After the fall of the Byzantine Empire the Ottomans seized and blocked the trade routes, levying huge taxes on all. The Europeans not wanting to be controlled by non-Christians increased their flotillas and set out to discover alternative routes to the spice islands. Initially it was to provide for the wealthy. There was a lot at stake and nutmeg became a more lucrative commodity than gold. During such a voyage the American continent was discovered. Success in finding a way to the spice islands of Banda, Indonesia created fierce competition with nations vying for control of the spice trade. The Dutch gained Banda Island the principal place of nutmeg by death or deportation of its inhabitants. The British controlled the Isle of Run but the Dutch were prepared to go to great lengths to gain the monopoly. After much blood shed the British relinquished their hold of the neighbouring Run in exchange for New Amsterdam, now Manhattan- New York City, renamed by the Brits. The British had already smuggled out nutmeg stock and were able to replant in the Caribbean West Indies beginning with Grenada. The nutmeg tree (MyristicaFragrans) is an attractive evergreen which bears a yellow fruit that opens to reveal a red lacy covering which will make the spice mace and further a hard seed from which nutmeg comes. It is a dioecious tree having both male and female trees and unfortunately it takes about 6 years to find out which is which and 7-10 years to start bearing. It now grows in many places with tropical climates. The yellow skin is tasty but stains clothes and can be used for sweets or jams. Mace colours food a beautiful bright orange and is therefore good in sauces and stews.
  • International Seed: - use, save, sell and exchange seeds, - protect relevant traditional knowledge, - participate equitably in sharing benefits derived from the use of seeds, and - participate in national decision-making related to the conservation and sustainable use of seeds. Most of the locally developed agricultural biodiversity is now under threat and needs urgent actions to halt its privatization, modification and elimination. International and local actions are needed to counter the rapid loss of these varieties. Restrictive patents on these genes could negatively affect the food security of over 1 billion smallholder farmers in the developing world. Much work is to be done by the governing body charged with implementation of the treaty. It remains to be seen whether governments have the will to cooperate to preserve the global commons and the genetic diversity upon which the world has come to depend.
  • The Anatomy of a Weed Killer Or How Glyphosate Kills Plants: More than 30% of all herbicides sprayed anywhere on the globe contain glyphosate—the world’s bestselling weed killer. The herbicide doesn’t destroy plants directly. Glyphosate itself is only slightly toxic to plants. The chemical sets up a set of conditions that accelerates disease-causing organisms in the soil, and at the same time wipes out plant defenses against those diseases. The mechanisms are well-documented but rarely cited: - Glyphosate acts as a chelator of vital nutrients, depriving plants of the nutrients necessary for healthy plant function, - Glyphosate destroys beneficial soil organisms that help plants absorb nutrients and that also suppress disease-causing organisms, - Glyphosate interferes with photosynthesis, reduces water use efficiency, shortens root systems and causes plants to release sugars, which changes the pH of the soil, and - Glyphosate intensifies the multiplication of toxic pathogens in the soil. Glyphosate annihilates beneficial soil organisms such as Pseudomonas and Bacillus bacteria that live around the roots. Since these beneficial bacteria facilitate the uptake of plant nutrients and suppress disease-causing organisms, their untimely deaths mean the plant gets even weaker and the pathogens multiply at accelerated rates. In addition to weakening plants as cited above, glyphosate also changes the makeup of the soil and boosts the number of diseasecausing organisms. The actual plant assassins are severe diseasecausing organisms present in almost all soils not the glyphosate itself. Glyphosate dramatically promotes these severe, diseasecausing organisms which in turn overrun the weakened crops with deadly infections.
  • Energetic Agriculture & Fertilizers: Plants do not live by fertilizers, but rather from the energy they receive from fertilizers. In other words, as long as plants receive energy they will live and grow until their cycle comes to an end and they return back to dust from whence they came. As I wrote in the March/April #20 issue of the Belize Ag Report, there are three different trains of thought about agriculture -- organic, conventional and energetic agriculture. The approach to the use of fertilizers is a good example of the difference in thinking. The standard for all three is to take a soil test – a Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC). The father of this standard test is the late William Albrecht, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of Soils and Chairman of the Department of Soils at the University of Missouri’s College of Agriculture. This test measures the “holding capacity” of soil and determines how much nutrient is theoretically being held by the clay and humus colloids. According to the CEC theory, clay and humus are negatively charged and “hold” positively charged minerals or soil nutrients. The procedure of the test is usually done at soil-labs using chemical solutions to extract nutrients. Dr. Carey Reams along with Frank LaMotte developed the LaMotte test because Dr. Reams felt that the CEC test was better for long-term planning because the CEC test told the farmer what was in the soil, but not what is available to the plant for its growing. The LaMotte procedure uses solutions for nutrient extraction which are more similar to those produced by the plant roots. The best solution is for the farmer to use both tests. The lab CEC test identifies an element and its quantity in the soil; the LaMotte test tells what is available for the plant and the amounts that the plant has for its growth.
  • Enhancing Quality and Relevance of the Curriculum UB Central Farm Campus: The Agriculture Department of the University of Belize (UBCF) in partnership with three western Canadian community colleges, namely Lakeland, Bow Valley, and Parkland, has embarked on a project to further develop its curriculum over the next three years. The outcomes at this level include the development of teaching materials and tools, and the capacity to manage a program which will offer degrees in applied agriculture at the Associate and Baccalaureate levels. The new curriculum would be demand driven and designed to meet occupational standards of local industries and vocational standards of the Caribbean Association of National Training Agencies (CANTA). This initiative is the institutional development component of a wider project in CARICOM funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and entitled CARICOM Education for Employment project (C –EFE). The project which commenced its third year on 1st April, 2013 has a total budget of $(Can) 20M and aims to develop 16 programs in the region over a five year period. The Ministry of Education Youth and Sport (MOEYS) selected agriculture as the program for Belize with UBCF as the lead institute for the development of a model curriculum as part of a seamless system of learning from secondary school to the Baccalaureate degree.
  • Sorghum (Milo) Production Expected to Surge Corn Substitution & Favorable Export Prospects: Sorghum bicolor, locally known as milo, was domesticated in northern Africa where it thrives in their harsh dry climate. Other names for it are durra or msumbija (Africa), jowar (India), Samshu (N. China) and kaoliang (Arabia). World leaders in sorghum production are Nigeria 12%, India 11%, Mexico 11% and the USA 10% (2011). Worldwide production has increased 66% in the last 50 years. People have relied extensively on flour and other food products from milo in Africa, northern China, Korea and India. Haiti consumes a popular sorghum grits-like porridge known as ‘pitim’. North American use is predominantly as a cattle feed. Belize usage has been mainly for livestock and that is quickly expanding into hog and chicken feeds, replacing the more costly corn. Nutritionally milo is very similar to corn. University of Wisconsin reports sorghum at slightly higher protein (avg. 9%) and fat than corn, but with a lower vitamin A content. Per pound, milo ranges from 90% to nearly 100% of corn’s feeding value. Protein in both corn and milo ranges between 7 and 11 %, and both lack lysine and other amino acids. Milo’s proteins and starches are more difficult for animals to digest. However, milo digestibility increases with cracking, rolling or grinding. Research to enhance digestibility is ongoing; some success has been shown with steam-flaking. Some varieties (hybrids) have been developed to discourage birds; these have higher tannins and phenolic compounds but have lower digestibility than other varieties.
  • Photosynthesis: Turning Sun’s Energy Into Corn: Last year I was driving from San Antonio to my sheep ranch in Cayo District when I noticed for the first time that an area near the center of a hillside of plantains had turned yellow. I don’t know why I hadn’t noticed it before. The plants had certainly not turned yellow overnight. People who know these things tell me that the term for yellow plants in these circumstances is chlorosis. The plants in that area of the field did not have enough chlorophyll, the pigment that all farmers know makes plants green. I had seen similar color changes in many different kinds of plants and in different circumstance. The question was why does this happen? Obviously, the plants were not healthy. The growing season was good; plenty of rain and the other plants appeared a nice rich green indicating they had received fertilizer suggesting good care. So what was going on? Chlorophyll is a “magic” molecule existing right in the center of what we are in the living world. By that I mean, we have animals and plants on this earth. Animals cannot live without plants but plants can live without animals. Plants cannot live without chlorophyll, which puts that green pigment in the center of the entire process. It plays a central role because of two things: it helps plants capture the sun’s energy and transforms it into the chemical energy used by the plants to grow and produce everything plants produce. Because of the capture of sun’s energy, it also creates a storage form of energy in products like starch, protein, and fiber we find in corn, wheat, oats, and soybeans as well as in the blades of forage grasses. The second thing it does is use atmospheric CO2 (carbon dioxide) and water to release oxygen; photosynthesis is the major source of oxygen we breathe.
  • SOYBEAN PRODUCTION SET TO TAKE OFF IN BELIZE: In 2011, Belize imported 43.2 million pounds of soybean concentrate (more commonly known as soymeal) and animal feeds valued at BZ $23.6 Million. Two countries, the United States ($12.4 Million) and Mexico ($8.7 Million), supplied 89% of our feed imports and almost all of soymeal imports come from genetically modified (GM) soybean. Approximately 75% of the soymeal imported is used to make poultry feed and most of the remaining balance is used to make pig feed. With increasing population and the growing trend in Belize to eat the lower priced white meat, particularly chickens and turkeys, the demand for soymeal will continue to increase. Belize’s production, or use of soymeal, is only a trickle when compared to the global scene, where the USA, Brazil and Argentina are the three dominant players both in terms of production and export. The processing of soybeans results in the production of 85% soymeal and therefore it is estimated that Belize would need to produce just about 50 million pounds of soybean to satisfy our national demand for soymeal. Using an average yield of 2,000 pounds per acre, a minimum of 25,000 acres is required to produce the amount of soybeans needed by Belize.
  • Agriculture Prices at a Glance- $$$$$: A -B denotes the difference between 1st preference & second preference and sometimes between wholesale & retail a nd bulk or small amounts . Trend (H) means Higher over last 30 to 60 days (L) Lower (S) Steady. Prices intend on being farm gate in Belize dollars - usually price per lb. Dear Ag Readers: The cattle sweep is moving on and the teams have completed approximately 20,000 in the Orange Walk/Corozal Districts. The Blue Creek Cattle committee had already completed approximately 19,00 head for a total of almost 40 % of the Belize herd. They expect to finish tagging , testing for TB and brucella by mid may and then move to the Cayo/BZE. Districts. The best news is that we have not had even one animal that is diseased. We see a nice bump in citrus of almost $2 a bag and the farm price for RK beans is $160 per bag. AGRICULTURE - THE FUTURE OF BELIZE - please Government, be as business and environmentally friendly as possible . Collect revenue from taxes and the sale of government property and try to cut waste where possible. It is evident that Belize is one of God's favourite places. The exciting flora, fauna, beautiful waters, tourist sites and a climate that can grow almost anything - the mercury goes through 80ºF everyday of the year. With God All Things Are Possible - All the Best John Carr
  • Laminitis/Founder: Laminitis is a devastating hoof issue for many horses; once it has become founder, horses will always be foundered. A basic explanation: within the hoof capsules lies the Pedal Bone-Coffin Bone-P3-Distal Phalanx, the final bone of the foot. It is surrounded by laminae. The laminae holds the Pedal Bone in suspension. The laminae is “live” in that it is a blood flowing part of the hoof. The way this blood works is against gravity and any compromise to the flow can cause an ischemic necrosis of the laminae resulting in pain. The more damage done to the laminae, the bigger risk of actual founder, meaning the Pedal Bone has started to shift downward, due to the laminae dying off and not being able to support the bone in its natural position. Laminitis, before rotation has occurred, can be helped and even cured but once a horse has actually foundered, the chance of recovery is much diminished. The horse can be helped and made more comfortable, but will also have the risk of foundering again and again, each time losing more of the valuable healthy laminae and causing more pain. How do horses get laminitis? Many ways and often man made. The most common is carbohydrate overload: too much grain or quick change in feed without slowly mixing the feeds together, or too much grass at one time, not allowing a horse to be on pasture short periods of time to start and increasing availability slowly or even simply having the rain come and the grass grow to quickly, too rich.
  • Belize Equestrian Academy and Light Rein Farm: invite you to come and improve your Equine skills. Marjie Olson, an instructor with 40 years of teaching experience, can help you build your confidence and give you an outdoor physical excursion that will work your mind and your body. Wonderful lesson horses are available and you choose English or Western style. Call 663-4609 or email [email protected] or just stop by and see what we do!
  • Moving Forward to Grasp Livestock Opportunities: Belize Ag Report writers visited with Dr. Muhammad Ibrhahim to discuss the Belizean livestock industry. Dr. Ibrahim was appointed IICA (Instituto Interamericano de Cooperation para la Agricultura) Country Director in November 2012. A Guyanese native, Dr. Ibrahim received his PhD degree at Wageningen Agriculture University in the Netherlands, prior to his 25 years with CATIE (Centro Agronomic de Investigacion y Ensenenza) in Costa Rica, where he headed CATIE’s Livestock and Environmental Program. During his time with CATIE, he participated in programs in all the Meso-American countries, including Belize. This article is a direct reflection of that enlightening visit. With world demand for beef projected to grow 3 to 4 % annually in the foreseeable future, how can production be increased in Belize without damaging our environment? Can responsible sustainable livestock ranches, in fact, capture more carbon than is created during beef production? Can these ranches then become a part of the world’s environment protection solution? These are issues which Dr. Ibrahim ponders. He feels certain that there are many viable options for both large and small Belizean ranchers, which can contribute to solving and avoiding environmental problems and also improve ranchers’ bottom lines. With plentiful arable land, good water and our low population density (15.11 persons/sq. km.), Belize is in prime position for ecological intensification of cattle production to capitalize on growing regional and international markets. Loss of prime agricultural land by conversion to tourism and residential and industrial use is happening in some of the other Central American countries, especially Costa Rica (for example, Guanacaste region). Belize is not at that crossroads currently, but it may become a consideration for us in the future.
  • History of Cattle Production in Central America: From the 1970’s to 2000, demands for cheap U.S. beef resulted in the large scale deforestation and pasture expansion in Central America which was fostered by inappropriate government policies and loans from international donor agencies. Brazil in particular has borne much criticism for its clearing and exploitation of the Amazon. The livestock industries are also heavily blamed for contributing to global warming, especially because of the emissions of methane and nitrous oxide gases produced by livestock, and because of losses in carbon stocks attributed to land use changes. There are new trends for environmentally conscious livestock products, and experts believe that productivity of existing systems can be increased, and the environment can be simultaneously protected, creating a win-win situation for an expanding beef industry. Here are some of the paths which Belizean producers may explore to increase carrying capacity and increase yield and income.
  • The Wonders of Pineapple: The next time you have iced tea try putting a slice of pineapple in it for sweetening. The area closer to the base of the fruit has more sugar content and therefore a sweeter taste and more tender texture. Not only will the pineapple give the tea a delicious flavor, it will aid your digestion because of the bromelain it contains. Bromelain is a complex mixture of substances including a group of protein-digesting enzymes called cysteine proteinases. The bromelain of the fruit is not as rich a source as that found in the core and stem which is usually extracted and made into a dietary supplement. Research studies have shown that bromelain taken as a dietary supplement reduces inflammation, heartburn, upset stomach, excessive coagulation of the blood, and certain types of tumor growth. You don’t have to take bromelain as a dietary supplement to benefit from pineapple. Even fresh pineapple has wonderful health benefits. There are 80 nutrients listed on one health food-related web site for pineapple. It is rich in Vitamin C, the body’s primary water-soluble antioxidant, defending it against free radicals that attack and damage normal cells. Free radicals have been shown to promote the artery plaque build-up of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease, cause the airway spasm that leads to asthma attacks, damage the cells of the colon so they become colon cancer cells, and contribute to the joint pain and disability seen in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Western Dairies – A Pioneering Enterprise: Western Dairies, a co-op known all over Belize for its dairy products, was founded by 16 farmers and business men in 1967 in two wooden buildings, about 30`x 48` in the heart of Spanish Lookout. It was not easy to establish the dairy. There was no electricity and most of the equipment was used, creating many maintenance problems, which were solved by the hard work of the board members themselves. For example ice water is needed to cool pasteurized milk to 38 degrees Fahrenheit. When the ice builder machine malfunctioned someone had to hurry to San Ignacio to buy ice and if a local repair could not be done, it was necessary to call a refrigerator man from Orange Walk. In the ‘60s that was a major trip! A boiler was needed to heat the milk. But obtaining a satisfactory boiler wasn’t easy either (see Pioneer Years in Belize pages 92-94). An old locomotive boiler was finally purchased from the government of Belize but it was on top of an 800-ft. high hill and presented a formidable task to transport it to Spanish Lookout. The boiler is actually a steel water tank with tubes installed horizontally from one end to the other. Water flows all around the tubes and hot air, fired by wood, travels in the tubes from one end to the other and out the chimney. The water in the tank turns into steam and with it the pasteurizer is heated. To get enough dry fire wood and to fire the boiler every morning was quite a job. Later a small kerosene-fired boiler was bought. But leaking pipes were a constant problem and had to be replaced with new ones. A new, modern boiler was bought in the eighties which solved most of the problems. This one served until 2002 when it was replaced with a bigger one.
  • Apples of Belize- Star Apple: Most of the apples in this series ”Apples of Belize” are not botanically classified as apples; however, they are commonly known and considered to be apples in Belize and other tropical countries around the world. The star apple tree, Chrysophyllum cainito, produces a fruit which is commonly known throughout the world as caimito; other names include cainito, star apple, golden leaf tree, abiaba, pomme du lait, milk fruit and aguay. The star apple is considered a minor fruit of the Sapotaceae family. The star apple is native to the West Indies and the lowlands of Central America. It has become naturalized in Haiti and many islands of the Caribbean and as far south as northern Peru and is also cultivated in Africa, Australia and the Philippines where star apples are a common roadside tree. Star apple trees are intolerant of cold temperatures, but thrive in tropical settings. The star apple tree is an erect tree with a short trunk and grows from twenty-five to approximately fifty feet tall. The branches are brown and hairy and exude a gummy white latex substance. The glossy dark green evergreen leaves of the tree are from three to seven inches long and two inches wide. The underside of the leaves shines with a golden color in the sun. The attractive tree is sometimes grown as an ornamental due to the dense foliage with velvety, coppery-golden undersides and the tiny purplish-white, fragrant flowers that are visible prior to the fruiting of the tree.
  • Litchi Cultivation: Propagation: The most widely used method of litchi propagation is air layering, however litchis may also be propagated from seeds, grafting or cuttings. If propagating from seed, the seed must be maintained in moist sphagnum moss; otherwise the seed begins to shrivel within 24 hours and in 5 days is no longer capable of germinating. The seed must be sown horizontally at a depth of 1 to 2.5 cm in a well-drained sowing medium in a partly shaded, well irrigated location. The sowing medium should be either peat, or various mixtures of sand, peat, vermiculite, soil and compost. Germination should occur within 3 days. Thereafter, when the plant has reached a height of 10 to 15 cm. it should be transplanted into a bag. The plant should remain in the bag until a subsequent vegetative flush has occurred. Plants propagated from seeds do not reproduce the characteristics of the parent plant. Also, they are extremely slow to bear fruit. The purpose of propagation by grafting is to introduce one cultivar of litchi (the new cultivar) to a different cultivar (the existing tree). The new cultivar is usually from seed stock which is approximately 9 months old. The grafting may be done by any of the three traditional methods: the splice approach, the tongue approach or the inlay approach.
  • Local and Regional Fuel Prices:
  • Belize is also experiencing somewhat of a farm and ranch land ‘boom’: with a strong surge of prospective and actual buyers, both native Belizeans and foreigners. A new generation of Belizeans is awakening to local farming and agricultural valueadded opportunities. Tillable farmland tops the most sought after list, followed closely by raw land and small farms. Although European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has approved GMO crops, Poland joins 7 other EU countries (Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Greece and Bulgaria) all of which ban the cultivation of GMO crops. Poland’s Agriculture Ministry fears cross pollination with non-GMO crops and also fears the GMO pollen could contaminate honey. They report that “there are no scientific assessments confirming that GMO crops are safe for the environment and people”.
  • Ag Briefs
  • Letters To THE EDITOR

International Sources

Court opened for the fourth day in the Caleb Orozco v. The Attorney General of Belize trial challenging the constitutionality of the Section 53 anti-sodomy penal code trial. The Churches continued their claim that social issues such as public morality and health do not belong before the court. Once again they suggested that the Claimant needs to take his concerns to the legislature and also argued for a strict interpretation of the Belize Constitution, which has no explicit mention of sexual orientation. The Churches went on to say that they do not believe ”one bit” that Section 53 has a “chilling effect” on the gay community as claimed Orozco. The Churches also noted that the stigma and social disapproval associated with homosexuality cannot be affected by the change requested in Section 53 (which change was noted as: ’has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal’). The Churches claim that in the current Universal Periodic Review report of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) there is a recommendation to repeal Belize’s Section 53 via legislative action. Following the Churches, the Claimant’s counsel Hamel-Smith took the floor exclaiming his amazement that a case so carefully prepared and presented by the Churches basically relies on procedural technicalities and not the facts of the case itself. Hamel-Smith stated that it is the duty of of the court to determine the constitutionality of Section 53 and not the legislature as the Attorney General and the Churches suggest.

Activist Working To Overturn Sodomy Ban Receives Death Threats
An activist suing to end Belize’s beyond-outdated ban on same-sex sexual activity has been subjected to an escalating pattern of death threats as his case comes closer to resolution, according to report in The Guardian. Caleb Orozco is an openly gay man in a country that criminalizes his existence. Belizean law says that “every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for 10 years;” the statute defines sex between between consenting same-sex adults as being one such unnatural act. Orozco and his organization (the United Belize Advocacy Movement) succeeding in pushing a legal case against the ban on same-sex activity to the nation’s highest court on Wednesday. As the Central American nation’s most visible campaigner for LGBT equality, Orozco has received death threats before. Last year, Orozco “suffered a violent physical assault which required extensive dental surgery.” But as the legal argument continues, the threats have gotten more vicious: Death threats against Caleb Orozco, the gay rights campaigner attempting to overturn laws that criminalise homosexuality in Belize, have escalated during the four-day courtroom hearing, his lawyer has claimed. The high-profile challenge to the Caribbean state’s colonial-era “anti-buggery” legislation has stirred up resentment of the gay community, according to Lisa Shoman. “There has been a visible increase of threats and violence against Mr Orozco and against all homosexuals in Belize,” she told the local News 5 TV channel in the capital Belize City. “There are threats for killing, burning, shooting; you name it. It has to stop. We are all Belizeans. We can agree to disagree without getting violent about it.”

Belize gay rights campaigner is facing more death threats, says lawyer
Caleb Orozco, fighting to overturn country's anti-gay laws, is said to have faced more threats of violence since start of court case. Death threats against Caleb Orozco, the gay rights campaigner attempting to overturn laws that criminalise homosexuality in Belize, have escalated during the four-day courtroom hearing, his lawyer has claimed. The high-profile challenge to the Caribbean state's colonial-era "anti-buggery" legislation has stirred up resentment of the gay community, according to Lisa Shoman. "There has been a visible increase of threats and violence against Mr Orozco and against all homosexuals in Belize," she told the local News 5 TV channel in the capital Belize City.

Caribbean coral reef collapse can be avoided, researchers say
Coral reefs are in decline, but their collapse can still be avoided with local and global action. That’s according to findings reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on May 9th based on an analysis that combines the latest science on reef dynamics with the latest climate models. “People benefit by reefs having a complex structure – a little like a Manhattan skyline but underwater,” said Peter Mumby of The University of Queensland and University of Exeter. “Coral reefs provide nooks and crannies for thousands of species and provide the habitat needed to sustain productive reef fisheries. They’re also great fun to visit as a snorkeler or diver. If we carry on the way we have been, the ability of reefs to provide benefits to people will seriously decline.” The researchers drew on hundreds of scientific studies to develop computer models of Caribbean reefs. Mumby explains, “Reefs are mostly built by living coral but the limestone structures they build are naturally eroded by other animals and plants, such as sponges. In a healthy ecosystem, reefs grow faster than they erode and the reef is able to provide habitat for thousands of fish and to support fisheries. However, human impacts including pollution, overfishing of parrotfishes, and climate change tip the balance towards erosion, meaning that the reef habitat could erode away leaving a flat, barren habitat in its place”.

A Slice of Heaven at Chaa Creek Eco-Lodge
I swore that I was not a resort girl. I was fighting them tooth and nail. I wanted to prove to myself that, somehow, I was a “true” traveler. I didn’t need the luxury. We’re hardcore right? My world was turned upside down when we were invited to Chaa Creek in San Ignacio, Belize. Situated in the heart of the Belizean rainforest, they brought everything I could imagine to the table. One of the big things that really drew me to Chaa Creek was their social responsibility as a company to keep their resort green and sustainable. How many other places put 10% of their room revenue back into the community – supporting environmental, educational, and community programs? This is something that we care deeply about it and I am proud to be able to support Chaa Creek in this endeavor. We arrived dusty, hot, and sunburned after making our way on a ferry, 2 chicken buses, and a taxi over a period of 10 hours. As we fumbled up to the front desk we were greeted with a hearty hello, a complimentary cup of jamaica juice, and a cold towel that smelled phenomenal. We quickly gulped down the deliciousness and took a moment to bury our scorched faces into the towel. Little did I know that this would set the precedent for the rest of our stay.

VIDEO: Caye Caulker, Half Moon Caye, and the Blue Hole
Awesome trip to Belize, January 2013

Day 3: Defenders of Belize sodomy law
It’s Day 3 of the constitutional challenge against the Belize sodomy law, Section 53, brought by Caleb Orozco, leader of the United Belize Advocacy Movement (Unibam). Asa DeMatteo, a clinical psychologist living with his same-sex spouse in San Francisco, is blogging from the courtroom in Belize. Links to coverage of the first two days are below. Here’s a recap by Unibam supporter Brent Toombs, courtesy of Facebook, following the play-by-play from DeMatteo: Very interesting third day of Caleb Orozco vs. The Attorney General of Belize. The advocate for the AG [Nigel Hawke, senior crown counsel] gave a very perfunctory defense for the claim. He started his defense by suggesting that “Human dignity does not exist under the constitution of Belize.” He then wen on to argue that only rights that Mr. Orozco is claiming to be violated are “mythical rights” that do not exist. The afternoon was for the attorney representing the churches, Eamon Courtenay. Eamon did a much better job defending the AG than his own counsel did, arguing that the claimant has not actually suffered injury personally and therefore has no case to bring before the court. Despite being on the payroll of the churches, Mr. Courtenay hardly mentioned religion. The Bible-beaters in the gallery were left looking somewhat confused at how their own lawyer could spend 2.5 hours presenting their defense without once mentioning Adam & Eve/Steve, Leviticus, Romans 1, Sodom and Gomorrah, or the next big hurricane to smite us all.

IACHR Urges Belize to Guarantee the Rights of Maya Communities
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has issued a statement condemning the State of Belize for violating the rights of Indigenous Peoples in the Toledo district. The Commission has been closely following the illegal extraction and destruction of natural resources conducted by foreign companies with support from the government of Belize since 2004, when they issued a recommendation that the government “delimit, demarcate and title the [Mayan] territory” and until that has happened, abstain from any projects that might affect these lands. US Capital Energy, a Texas-based oil company, has plans to extract oil from the Maya peoples’ ancestral territory despite a disregard for the free, prior and informed consent of the local Mayan communities who will be affected.

Finding a bicycle utopia in Belize
No cars, no buses, no lorries – Caye Caulker, Belize is a utopia for bicycles. A vision of a world where people get around on foot, by bike or electric golf carts. The end result is one of the most charming, laid back destinations in all of the Americas. Couple this with endless sunshine, some of the world’s best diving sites and delicious food – it’s amazing travellers can ever drag themselves any further away than the coral reefs that hug the island. Cycling the entire length takes 15 minutes. At the far end, you can see the island of San Pedro. Despite being just a short boat ride away, the two islands are a world apart. “Don’t go to San Pedro” you’ll commonly hear fellow travellers warn. What is it that can be so different about two islands that, on the surface, seem so similar? On a diving tour, I found out. Where Caye Caulker is peaceful, laid back and inviting. San Pedro is an overwhelming blast to the senses. The charm of the island has faded behind noisy, busy and congested streets. Its slightly larger size has brought about development and along with it, cars and motorbikes.

Belize “The New American Dream”
Oh, it’s so tempting!! Who hasn’t fantasized about crawling into a cave to escape the economic pressures of getting by in today’s world! Who wouldn’t like to “hole up” and avoid the daily barrage of bills which arrive endlessly in the mail – and which cause your blood pressure to escalate – along with your temper. There’s a solution at hand which is taking hold because it offers you a way out of this mess. Now may be the time for you to CREATE YOUR OWN BAILOUT PLAN! It’s not going to come from the U.S. government (sorry) – this is “do it yourself” time, folks. Becoming an expat in Belize just might be the STIMULUS that will return you to home ownership and the middle class lifestyle you once enjoyed before things tanked. Hey – let’s be honest. Your tax dollars bailed out the U.S. economy but you and I know only too well what’s in store for those who remain in the U.S. MORE TAXES FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS – when we are struggling to put food on the table. Congress has already voted many new taxes into your life! Here’s a thought: BRING ON THAT BAILOUT —- TO BELIZE! Ok, what’s in it for you? You may never have heard of the term “EXPAT” before, back when the economy and your life were much more stable. But now, lo and behold —– THE CONCEPT OF BECOMING AN EXPAT (residing outside the U.S.) IS GOING MAINSTREAM AS A VIABLE ALTERNATIVE FOR RESCUING AND RESUSITATING YOUR FINANCIAL SELF!

VIDEO: The Progress of Man/El Progreso del Hombre
Animation created in Flash and After Effects looking at mans relationship with the natural world.

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