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5/21/2013 to 5/31/2013
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May 31, 2013


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

NEMO Week 2013: preparing for hurricane season 2013
With the hurricane season opening on Saturday, June 1st, the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) has once again set out to prepare the Belizean community in case of an emergency. This year, NEMO Week is observed under the theme, “Reducing the threat from Climate Change, Disaster preparedness begins with you” and took place during the week of May 26th to June 1st. The purpose of NEMO week is to bring awareness to the public and stress the importance of disaster preparation. The week included a Morning Talk Show, school visits to handout materials on disaster preparedness, a game competition and a cleanup campaign. The week commenced with a day of prayers on Monday, May 26th. Members of all denominations from across town were invited to offer a special service for protection throughout the hurricane season. On Tuesday, May 28th Dennis Gonguez, Meteorology officer for the Belize Meteorology Center visited the San Pedro High School students to discuss climate changes and basic preparation methods in case of tropical storms and hurricanes. Gonguez explained to the students how pollution affects climate drastically and leads to the formation of larger storms. He also explained how global warming is affecting the intensity of hurricanes. The power of a hurricane depends on how rapidly water can evaporate from the ocean, transferring heat to the atmosphere, which converts the transfer of heat into wind energy. As the temperature of the water rises it becomes easier for hurricanes to be created and to be fueled, therefore create catastrophically large storms. The students also learned how the community can help reduce factors that lead to climate change. From simply not burning garbage to reducing the use of aerosols, we all play part in reducing the threats of climate change.

Oceana’s Northern II trawler sold for $1 to Placencia fishermen for sustainable use
Oceana in Belize finalized the sale of the last of two trawlers they had acquired when trawling was banned in Belize in December of 2010. Since purchasing the Northern II in April of 2011 from the Belize Northern Fisheries Cooperative, Oceana in Belize has been accepting proposals for the creative use of the vessel that was once one of only two trawlers in Belize. One of those proposals came from the Placencia Producers Cooperative Society Limited (PPCSL) and on Saturday May 25th, Oceana Vice President in Belize Audrey Matura-Shepherd finalized the sale and handed over the vessel for $1. In 2011, Oceana acquired the Northern II at a cost of $650,000 and gave an additional $150,000 towards a loan and grant agreement as compensation for giving up the trawling industry. Since the acquisition of Northern II, Oceana accepted creative proposals for the use of the trawlers, the only condition being that it couldn’t be used for trawling anywhere in the world.

Reef Week Triathlon results
As part of the 2013 Reef Week celebration, Hol Chan Marine Reserve held two triathlon competitions on the morning of Saturday, May 25th. The purpose of Reef Week was to raise awareness about the reef and marine life conservation. The groups of competitors were divided into Under 14 and Over 14. The race began shortly after 10am, and a crowd gathered at Central Park to cheer on the young athletes. The competitors first took to the sea, swimming laps around markers that had been set out. Not even a little rain could interfere with the ongoing race. Once the swimmer completed his laps the next phase of the race took part with cycling and then running laps through Barrier Reef and Pescador Drive. At the end of the race, first place for the Under 14 division went to Luis Carcamo. For his efforts, he took home a beach cruiser bicycle and a gift bag. Second place went to EsromAldana. He received a snorkel set and a gift bag. Third place went to Andy Rivero who won a trip to Hol Chan Marine Reserve and one gift bag.

Coconut Drive by Yacht Club opens
The section of Coconut Drive (by the Belize Yacht Club) that was on repairs will be opened tomorrow at 7:30 AM to all vehicular traffic.

Ambergris Today

Second Telethon Seeks to Raise $500,000 for Inspiration Center
The Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow and CARE-Belize are once again hosting a nationwide telethon to raise funds to complete and equip the Inspiration Center. The telethon will held on Saturday, June, 1st, 2013 at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts and once again, donation booths will be placed in strategic locations countrywide. Construction of The Inspiration Center at 1.5 mile on the George Price Highway is well underway and the funds raised this year will be primarily used for the purchase of specialized equipment to provide physical and occupational therapy, medical care, recreational activities and other services catered to the needs of children with disabilities. The center will also serve as a community center with after-school classes for disadvantaged children from the surrounding communities.

How to Be a Good Dog Owner and a Great Neighbor
SAGA Humane Society and the San Pedro Town Board are working together to help dog owners be better neighbors and members of the community. This article will help you to understand what you can do, as a dog owner, to make San Pedro a more beautiful, happier and healthier place for residents and tourists alike. Don’t forget that when you choose to get a dog, your neighbors have no say in that choice. *Neuter or spay your dog. This will prevent them from spreading disease and from adding to the dog overpopulation problem we have in San Pedro. It will also make them healthier and more loyal. *Keep your dog under control and in your yard at all times. No one deserves to be frightened or hurt by your dog.

Misc Belizean Sources

NEMO "Hurricane Season 2013" documents
“Reducing the threats from Climate Change, Disaster Preparedness begins with YOU”. National Emergency Management Organization Melhado Parade, Belmopan Click Here for NEMO's Emergy Response Information Are YOU prepared in case of a Hurricane ?

Photos: Streets affected by the rain on May 28
Mayor Danny and Councilor Severo visit various streets from Ramon's Village up to the D.F.C. Area and the Escalante Subdivision making an assessment on future repairs of the streets that suffer tremendously from the heavy rains, especially since rainy season is upon us.

MCHS Promo Video
Mount Carmel High School has a lenghty advertisement video out. That's a cool mural they have by their auditorium.

Elvis Avila Wins NICH Award
Congratulations to Benque's, Elvis Avila, for being NICH's National Arts and Culture award recipient. Viva la Lens of Culture! "Awesome news!!!!!!!! Benque House of Culture salutes, Elvis Avila on a major accomplishment as the National Arts & Culture recipient by the Institute of Creative Arts (NICH) 2013, join us in wishing him well in development of the Arts & Culture in the community & Belize! Felicidades Elvis!"

Public Service Information Day
More Public Service Information Day pictures. "BARS, NICH, BMA, BTB and the main office came together to represent and inform the public of the work done by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture."

In Bloom Plays Lucky 5
Tonight In Bloom will be playing at Lucky 5. If you missed them open at the Ascenthium concert or didn't see them at the Full Moon Concert, then tomorrow is your chance. They just released a video of them doing Seize the Day from Avenged Sevenfold on Youtube:

Emmanuel Mangar Jams the Blues
Cayo's Emmanuel Mangar released a great jam session of slow blues. He'll be playing at Mr. Greedy's tomorrow night, where he plays most Friday nights. Some day, he'll be playing this in front of thousands of people.

Rotaract Living Healthy BBQ Fundraiser
Rotaract had a highly successful BBQ to raise funds for their school projects. It was delicious! A big thanks to the sponsors, and to the Rotaractors, for being the change they wish to see in the world. "On Saturday, May 25th, Rotaract San Ignacio Went out to San Ignacio's Market to do a BBQ sale. The Club was fundraising for our upcoming event: Living Healthy Campaing. It was a total success; we were even sold out! Thank you for everyone who supported and thank you once again to those who never hesitate to sponsor us. We all did it! Sponsors: Codd's Drug Store, Atlantic Bank Ltd., The Belize Bank Limited , Rumors Resort Hotel, Astrid Salazar Silva, Matus Dental Clinic, Emil & Sharon Figueroa, Rotary Club of San Ignacio, and Rotarian: Franklin Syrowatka.

Support the Inspiration Telethon
Just 2 more days until the Inspiration Telethon. In Cayo, you can donate at the booth that will be set up in front of Atlantic Bank. They will also have t-shirts and hats that you can buy to support the Inspiration Center. You can also call 0-800-INSPIRE.

Sun Is Up Pre-Summer Party
Meluchi's is having their Sun Is Up Pre-Summer party tonight. Cloud 9 will be there, along with Tagg International and DJ Richie. The first 25 ladies get a glow stick and a rocket balloon. There will be a Kotch competition. Summer is here! "Thing called SUN IS UP: Pre- Summer bash inside MELUCHI'S GRAVEYARD LOUNGE on Friday May 31st!! Musical niceness by big bad Cloud 9 Sound, Dj Richie Galvez, and last but not least, Dj Justin Jago Williams of Tagg International! Summer is here!!! Stress free!!!!"

Channel 7

KHMH: Who’s Responsible?
Who’s to blame for the death of a dozen newborns at the KHMH Pediatric Intensive Care Unit? That’s what most everyone wanted to know from a press conference held this afternoon by the KHMH, Board and Management along with the Prime Minster. But, as we found out in the hour and a half long press conference in the Hospital Conference Room, things aren’t always that straightforward. Here’s what the Chairman of the Board had to say. Jules Vasquez "What you said at the Press Conference was that it was really a failure of management protocols, a failure of reporting protocols so am I to determine then that no one is to blame? No human is to blame? No one is accountable?" Chandra Nisbet Cansino - Chairman, KHMH "If you are asking specifically about the deaths of the newborns - at this time we cannot hold any one person accountable. We have had detailed discussions with the head of the Pediatric Unit and there response was really timely, they did what they were suppose to do and when they were supposed to do it. I think as Dr. Coye explained, he was aware of what was going on - unfortunately the CEO was not. We would have liked that the CEO knew about these events as they were unfolding and so we as a board plan to have a conversation with him probably to strengthen that area because as a board as well if there is a crisis in the hospital, we also feel that we should know. We definitely will have that conversation but our first concern was to ensure that the situation was handled correctly and that there was no negligence on the part of the medical professionals."

It’s Official, Audrey Resigns From OCEANA
Last night we told you about the unconfirmed reports that Audrey Matura-Shepherd would be abruptly announcing her resignation from Oceana. Well, the former Oceana Vice President confirmed those reports in a press release she sent out this morning. The release states, and we quote, “I have submitted my resignation as Vice President of Oceana for Belize effective as of August 22, 2013. It is time for me to move on to new opportunities and fully pursue my legal career which remains my passion”, end of quote. And while that seems simple enough…was it really? Did Matura-Shepherd freely resign, or was she forced to after she made anti-homosexual remarks? Today Matura-Shepherd held a Press Conference and explained what caused her sudden and unexpected move. She also spoke about her columns in the Amandala about the comparison she made of homosexuality to bestiality and how she was out rightly attacked for having an opinion.

Cabinet’s Position On Crawl Caye
Last night, 7New told you about the mass concerns coming from the BTIA, environmentalists and private tourism interests in relation to the proposal from Norwegian Cruise Line to build a cruise port on Crawl Caye in Southern Belize. As we reported, rumors spread that the Government committee reviewing the proposal intended to decide on a Memorandum of Understanding with NCL as early as next week. This caused the concerned stakeholders to start a letter campaign to torpedo the project. Well, today, 7News got an opportunity to speak to Minister Godwin Hulse, the chairman of the committee looking at the proposal, and he discussed Government’s position on the proposal at this current moment. He also discussed the public concerns which have been ventilated via the media. Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of Labour "Here's the position - NCL has made a proposal. There's a committee of the cabinet which I chair made up of other ministers, Heredia (Tourism), Castillo (Economic Development), Alamilla (Environment) and of course Minister Contreras (Trade) and myself basically as Minister of Labour - those are the areas which government has concerns with any investment. Initially we met with NCL and out of that meeting came a requirement that the NCL technical people meet with our technical people to determine the technical parameters of doing a facility on the proposed island.

Shooting A Short Distance From Police Substation
Tonight, 26 year-old Jason Joseph, a resident #101 West Street, is recovering from a gunshot wound after an assailant ambushed him at his home. At around 7:40 last night, he was standing in front of his house when a gunman wearing a black mask ambushed him, fired several shots and ran off. One of those bullets struck him in the left upper arm, and he was rushed to the KHMH for treatment. The brazenness of the attack must be noted because Joseph’s house is just a stone’s throw away from the Mesopotamia Police Sub-Station, so the assailant risked quick police response to execute the attack.

Cruise Terminal On Crawl Caye, to Be Or Not To Be?
Before the commercial break you heard Minister Godwin Hulse speak about Norwegian Cruise Line and its interest in putting a Cruise Port on Crawl Caye. Hulse is the Chairman of an investment subcommittee assigned by cabinet to look at the matter – but the Prime Minister – in a sense is the “decider.” Today he told us government is obligated to look at Norwegian’s Officer, but they are in no rush. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minster of Belize "Norwegian is talking about an investment of possibly a hundred million dollars, at least in my view, given the need for employment especially in the need for opportunities, government must have the conversation that it is having with Norwegian. Given the location of Crawl Caye, cabinet insisted that the relevant ministries do the proper assessment to ensure that we could even do a project there and that if we could in what ways the project would have to be limited. I see the BTIA saying, 'oh this is going to be a kind of free for all' Norwegian brings hundreds and hundreds of cruise passengers. There is no way we are going to move in any precipitous fashion on this thing, I don't know whether we will move at all but the conversation must occur because you simply don't turn away this potentially huge investment without making absolutely sure that this cannot happen in the larger scheme of things in the larger national."

Shady San Antonio Road Transactions At A “Frenzied” Time
We also pressed the Prime Minister to speak about the San Antonio Road. You’ll recall that’s the one we told you about on Friday night, where a contractor was paid to pave the San Antonio Road, but the Road was left unpaved. The PM told the press today that yes, there are standing discrepancies with that contract and the entire conduct of the business. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "After I saw the news reports" Jules Vasquez "You watch the news Sir?" Hon. Dean Barrow "No,No, I was sent the internet version, I wouldn't have said it, I don't want people to feel that I am discriminating against you, but no, I don't watch your news, since you bring it up. But after I saw the internet version I caused the financial secretary to go meet with the CEO in the Ministry of Works.

PM Says Deputy Had No Role In Noh Mul
The Prime Minister was also asked to comment on the destruction of the main temple at the Noh Mul Mayan site. De-Mar’s Stone Company, owned by UDP Candidate in Orange Walk Central Denny Grijalva used the two thousand year old structure as a quarry. He did it to fulfill public contracts to fill roads in Orange Walk North. That’s the Deputy Prime Minister’s division and the PM bristled when we tried to make connection. Jules Vasquez "Are you satisfied that in fact the deputy prime minister and the representative from Orange Walk North had no involvement in the paving of roads in the Orange Walk North rural roads with fill from Noh Mul?" Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minster of Belize "Sorry, could you repeat that" Jules Vasquez "The deputy prime minister has sent out as statement saying he had no involvement in the malling of Noh Mul" Hon. Dean Barrow "That I certainly accept"

Man Charged For Manslaughter, Family Wants Murder
Tonight, 40 year-old Eduardo Rudolpho Torres is out on bail on the charge of Manslaughter by Negligence for the death of 32 year-old John Paul Fernandez, which happened on May 4 on the compound of the Palm Island Bar. Police were initially treating it as a murder because at around 3:41 a.m. that night, Torres was fatally shot to the right side of his head. Initially, they didn’t have any witnesses who could say that Torres, who was the main suspect, shot him, but after 4 weeks of investigation, they finally charged him. Fernandez’s family is furious that Torres was charged with manslaughter and not murder, especially given the fact of how Fernandez was killed.

Man To Jail For Sex With 15 Year Old
Tonight, 19 year-old Rudolph McKoy is at prison tonight after he was taken to court for allegedly having sex with a 15 year-old female. According to police, on Tuesday at around midday, McKoy met his fellow female student at Dolphin Park where they had intercourse. Police caught them in the act, and detained them both. As a result of this and a medical examination McKoy was charged with unlawful carnal knowledge and aggravated assault of an indecent nature.

NEMO Gets Ready For Hurricane Season
The 2013 hurricane season opens on Saturday, June 1 – and that’s when NEMO will begin to take an active role in monitoring the development of tropical storms and hurricanes. While doing that, NEMO will take the lead in informing and mobilizing the nation with their disaster preparedness plans. And to note the seriousness that they take that responsibility, the NEMO directors today held a press conference to update the nation. NEMO Minister Godwin Hulse gave a presentation outlining the tough policy that his ministry will be operating by for 2013. Here’s what he had to say: Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of NEMO "The state is prepared to assist all the individuals of this country to be safe in the event of a disaster, prepared to assist to be as safe as possible. The state cannot and will not save your life - that is for God and we take no such credit. I open with that, because too many times there is the misconception that 'well there is a hurricane coming, weh unno the do?' and I want the public who sees this tonight to understand it is what you will do for yourself, because it is your responsibility to preserve, as best as possible, your own life and to help to prevent accidents to yourself and to look after your property.

Cervical Cancer, Eluding Early Detection In Belize
It’s Cancer Awareness Month – and in line with the theme, “CANCER: “Did you know? Get the facts!” – the Belize Cancer Society today held a forum on cervical cancer. The opening address was given by Dianne Finnegan whose husband Michael Finnegan beat prostate cancer, and whose sister-in-law lost her battle with cervical cancer. Finnegan told the crowded room at the Radisson about the lessons she’s leaned. Dianne Finnegan - Sister in Law of Cervical Cancer victim "In discussion with my sister in law when she was alive she said if she had only gone to the doctor earlier they would have been able to diagnose the cancer in its early stage and be treated." Delone Pascascio, RN, MN - Belize Cancer Treatment Center "We continue to see more new referrals, in the last two days we were at the cancer center and we saw a total of perhaps 25 patients - half of which were new referrals. This is really heartbreaking because some of these patients are really young. What we're battling now in terms of the referral are the increasing numbers of Cervical Cancer that are diagnosed in their late stage. The disturbing trend we're seeing is the number of late cases, late stages of young women, one of the cases she was 31 years old, is exceptionally unusual because usually we see those in their early stages and there's able to intervene. What we're seeing right now is a hesitancy to go and check out what may be changing and therefore you wait and think that things will right themselves but in fact they continue to progress and by the time you get to a physician you get this really terrible diagnoses that you are devastated and have to figure out what you're going to do with it."

PM Says Gender Policy Not Law
And in one last bit of political news for tonight – the PM was grilled on the flap over the Revised National Gender Policy. As we’ve reported that document has come under intense scrutiny from the Christian for seeming to suggest that homosexual rights should be mainstreamed into cultural and religious practices. The mere suggestion has started an angry crusade against the document and, by extension, the government. A lot of it centers around the fact that the churches were not consulted while UNIBAM apparently was. The PM answered this criticism: Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "Churches were not consulted specifically, they are on various sort of satellite bodies, the Aids Commission, the National Committee for Families and Children, but in terms of the writing up of the policy by the consultant and it's finalization, it is my understanding that the churches were not directly involved. But as I've said to Bishop Phillip Wright, the policy is not a platform for legislative action, the policy is to some extent, aspirational, and it can do no more than inform governments' attitude. If we ever wanted to legislate, and the question of whether there ought to be legislation in certain areas to make the word flesh with respect to protection of peoples' rights, If we ever wanted to legislate there would have to be wide spread consultation and an effort at some sort of a consensus, so when people see the policy as the thinning of the wedge - when they get from there to the suggestion that this opening the door to some kind of legislation that would sanction same sex marriages, my God, that's entirely bizarre, its completely out of the question and not a factor in the equation at all.

A Recap of Belize Football Game In Melchor
Last night, 7News told you about the friendly match between the Belize National “A” Team and the Guatemala Professional league team, Heredia Jaguares de Peten, which is currently the second place team in that country. Our news team arrived back from Melchor late yesterday evening – which only gave us time for a brief snippet. But tonight, we have the full recap of a game which Belize easily dominated. Daniel Ortiz reporting The Friendly match began promptly at 3 at a three quarter full 'Estadio Olimpico De Melchor De Menchos' where we saw a handful of Belizeans mixed in with the mostly Guatemalan crowd. But, the Belizean players should have felt right at home on a surface that seemed much like the rough and tumble pitch at the MCC. Both teams battled for possession, but slowly as the game progressed, the Belize National Team started to apply pressure to the Heredia defence. Quite a few times, the Belize team had good looks, but they became near misses.

REACH Launches With Buff Art Show
We feature art shows in this segment of the news all the time – but tonight’s art show is different: it’s from a youth-oriented NGO, which is advancing art as an antidote to violence. Their mission is to encourage community self-evaluation, social change and more informed policy and decision-making through high quality social research. We found out more at the launch of REACH today. Jules Vasquez reporting As this promotional launching video shows the newly formed NGO called REACH is about the artistic expression of young men- in their first show called IMAGINE-NATION. Sure, the acronym may stand for Research, Education and Advocacy for Social Change – but really it’s about diverse artistic expression including poetry. And while that may seem like idle humour, in a society where, research shows, many young men are like ticking time bombs without an outlet for expression, the importance of words can't be over emphasized.

A Plea From the Medical Chief Of Staff
At the top of the newscast, we told you all about the ongoing investigation at the KHMH to find who or what is accountable for the 13 baby deaths in 20 days. But today the Medical Chief of Staff made a heartfelt plea on behalf of his institution when he said that Belizeans must go beyond the blame-gaming to find a staff that genuinely cares:… Dr. Adrian Coye - Medical Chief of Staff, KHMH "It is easy to see the wrong, it is easy to say, well 'they don't have this, they don't have that' and I am challenging you as a country to see the other side. If they don't have this, where can I fit in? How can I fix that? We see that this is a small unit; we're asked to do so much, four hundred and fifty, five hundred babies a year with a capacity that should be for ten babies, but we do twenty sometimes and I see and have seen miracles, I've seen excellent work and when all those successes are happening, no one says anything. But I just want to say, in defense, of all those I see work without praise, that I am proud to be working in such a great group."

Chetumal Street Gets “Major Surgery”
And we hope the city council is not footing the bill for a growing mess on Chetumal Boulevard. The road was opened six weeks ago with much fanfare and a cost of almost three quarter million dollars. But, two weeks later, we showed you cracks in the pavement, and now, a whole significant section of it has been dug up and is being re-cast. In addition to that, with the first rain, a part of the median that should be a flowerbed, has turned into a small lake. Due to time constraints at our end, we could not get a comment from the City Council today. We will try to do so tomorrow.

Channel 5

Whose fault is it that 13 newborns died?
The number of infant deaths in early May at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (K.H.M.H.) has now increased to thirteen. Seven of them died from the outbreak of a bacteria [...]

Chair of K.H.M.H. board says C.E.O. should have known
The Director of Medical Services says the investigation is ongoing…but it is still not known where the hospital-acquired bacteria, enterobacter cloacae came from. The first case of an infant infected [...]

P.M. announces new ward for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
The investigation still leaves unresolved questions. The Prime Minister, who sat at the head table, possibly broke his personal record for his shortest speech. In three minutes, the P.M. expressed [...]

Audrey Matura-Shepherd resigns from OCEANA
Audrey Matura-Shepherd confirmed today via statement and press conference that she leaves the post as Vice President of OCEANA Belize on August twenty-second. The more pressing question is – was [...]

Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage says adieu to Shepherd
Audrey Matura-Shepherd is leaving OCEANA Belize in August. Since that news broke, the social media has been lighting up with well wishes for Matura whose advocacy on environmental issues, particularly [...]

Healthy Reefs joins B.T.I.A. and FECTAB against Norwegian Cruise Line
The cruise tourism project proposed by giant Norwegian Cruise Lines for Crawl Caye in the south of Belize is going before Cabinet for their approval, and one organization committed to [...]

P.M. says Placencia tour guides want Norwegian Cruise Line in peninsula
Earlier in the newscast, you heard Healthy Reef opposing the Norwegian Cruise Line’s interest in Crawl Caye. That mega tourism project also elicited a response from the Prime Minister at [...]

Wires crossed for statements made in gender bender policy
Since the media had access to the Prime Minister at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, after the conference all hot button issues were raised with him. First on the agenda [...]

The road to San Antonio is not wrought with Vega and Hernandez
Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega may not have any control over family relations, but did he have any knowledge about the contract given to his nephew Imer Hernandez? Records show [...]

Was Noh Mul destroyed to fill roads in Vega’s area?
The world watched with shock when Noh Mul, the Mayan mound was destroyed by Denny Grijalva’s De Mar’s Construction. In early May, the Orange Walk contractor’s company pulled down sections [...]

National Football Team beats Club Heredia in Melchor de Mencos
Belize’s National Team Jaguars is training hard for its upcoming matches at the Gold Cup scheduled for July seventh in the US. It’s been a long, hard road for Team [...]

NEMO ready for Hurricane Season 2013
The start of the 2013 hurricane season is less than two days away and while experts predict that weather activity will be above average this year, the National Emergency Management [...]

NEMO says increased storms for 2013
Chief Met Officer Dennis Gonguez broke down the numbers of storms expected, as well as their respective strengths per category.   Dennis Gonguez, Chief Meteorological Officer “This Saturday marks the [...]

Health is skin deep on Healthy Living
Check your skin! It may not be a regular habit for many but it is very practical advice for everyone: young and old. The skin is the largest organ in [...]


Evacuation Routes and Shelters Have Been Identified In Belize City For Upcoming Hurricane Season
June spells the opening of the hurricane season and the Belize City Council is in the process of assessing the shelters that will be opened throughout the old capital in the event a hurricane threatens. Liaison Officer with the City Emergency Management Organization, Wayne Usher, says that ...

Prime Minister and Investigative Team Speak On Neonatal Deaths at KHMH
The investigation into the neonatal deaths for this month, whose number has now risen to 13, has revealed a number of things. Seven of those cases were caused by the infection Enterobacter Cloake, a highly opportunistic bacterium. At its second press conference following the spike in ...

Belize National Team Prepares For Gold Cup In July
Belize’s national football team will travel to the United States in July to participate in the upcoming gold cup. The team got a major boost today when Prime Minister Dean Barrow pledged fifty thousand dollars on behalf of the Government of Belize to assist the team to make this histo...

Family Loses Home In Northern Belize
A family in Orange Walk is asking for assistance since a fire completely destroyed their home. Dalila Ical has more on the incident. DALILA ICAL “A family of 3 lost their house and all belongings in a fire last night. Jose Castellanos, his wife and their 10 month old baby boy ...

Unemployed Pleads Guilty On Drug Charge
Thirty-two year old Stanley Bernardez, an unemployed of Antelope Street charged with drug trafficking for 84.2 grams of cannabis, pled guilty to the charge when he was arraigned today. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith fined him ten thousand dollars and ordered him to pay five thousand dollars fo...

VP For Oceana Belize Announces Resignation Saying The Fight Has Just Begun
Rumors had been circulating that Vice President of OCEANA in Belize, Audrey Matura Shepherd had stepped down from her post. Well today, the smoke was cleared and Matura-Shepherd confirmed that she has indeed resigned. Following a statement from her and the Chief Executive Officer in B...


Funds For Rehabilitation Of San Antonio Road Diverted To The Otro Benque Area
Right after today’s press conference the Prime Minister fielded a number of questions from the media including the controversial payments made out to Imer Hernandez back in 2012, close to the General Elections, for the rehabilitation of San Antonio Road. Documents show that the DPM’s nephew was paid almost two hundred thousand dollars for works to be conducted on the road which hasn’t been executed. And that is because, according to the P.M, the funds for San Antonio Road were diverted for works to be carried out in the Otro Benque Area which lies in the constituency of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. Honorable Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize “There is a preliminary report that has been prepared for me, let me tell you where things are and what I am doing to as it were forward this matter. There is no doubt that some contracts were signed for work on the San Antonio road those contracts were cancelled, the financial secretary confirms that the money that had been allocated, his permission was sought for shifting of the funds instead to do work in the Otro Benque Area which you in no doubt delighted to learn is in the constituency of Deputy Prime Minister, I don’t know that the financial secretary knew which works were to replace the San Antonio works that had been contracted for but he gave permission for the re-allocation of the funds.

Celebrating A Successful Crop With El Dia Del Canero
After many months of arduous work and sleepless nights, the men and women who make the north proud by producing the sweetest sugar cane and play a vital role in the Sugar Industry, will be celebrating their day. The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association in collaboration with the business community will be hosting “El Dia del Canero” tomorrow, May 31st, at the Barracks here in Orange Walk Town. This year, the event promises a whole day of entertainment and huge deals as several businesses will have their products on display at special discounted prizes. Zune Canche, Event Organizer “Well, the Dia Del Canero is promising to bring us a lot of entertainment and so far we have mariachis coming in, we have different booths from the different branches bringing in typical food as well as commercial booths that we generally work with for example, we have San Isidro, we have Prosser, we have Sancas, we have Grace so we want to be able to provide different promotional items to the cane farmers and in that manner they can get something back from the business community which gets a lot from the cane farmers all through the crop season and the entire year.”

Family Left Homeless, Their House Goes Up In Flames
A fire has left a family of the Black Water Creek Area in the Village of Trail Farm in Orange Walk Town without clothing, food, and shelter. Last night at around 7:30, Jose Castellanos, his wife, his two month old baby and other siblings were hanging outside their residence when the 15 by 15 wooden structure caught fire. All indications are that the blaze started from the back of the residence and almost instantly the entire structure was swallowed by the flames. While residents of the area did their best to assist the family in extinguishing the flames, all efforts proved futile and by the time the fire department arrived at the scene there was little they could do as nothing was salvaged. Jose Castellanos, Victim of Fire “Lo único que sabemos es que agarro fuego y se aprendió todo y no pudimos salvar nada y se quemó parejo.”

Audrey Matura Shepherd Part Ways With Oceana In Belize
Tonight Ocean in Belize’s Vice President Audrey Matura Shepherd is in the spotlight but it’s not because she is fighting against another environmental injustice. Today, rumors were laid to rest when Matura Shepherd officially announced that she was resigning from her post as President of Oceana in Belize. While speculations were that Shepherd was asked to resign from the post in the wake of an article she wrote in the Amandala Newspaper titled "Cowered into Silence", where she spoke strongly against homosexuality and after the issue was discussed on Facebook, between her and UNIBAM’S Attorney Lisa Shoman, the release makes no mention of the allegation. In her release Matura Shepherd states and we quote “I have submitted my resignation as Vice President of Oceana for Belize effective as of August 22, 2013. It is time for me to move on to new opportunities and to fully pursue my legal career which remains my passion while balancing it with my family obligations.” End of quote. Matura Shepherd also makes mention that she has stayed as Vice President of Oceana much longer than she had committed to upon accepting the challenge because the marine issues Oceana works on are so important for Belize. In the release, the environmental activist pledges to support whoever is hired to take the reigns of Oceana in Belize.

New Horizons Belize, Planning For 2014
To date approximately 17,000 persons living in Belize have benefited from the services provided by New Horizons Belize which offers U.S. and Belizean military personnel and opportunity to train while working on construction projects and medical missions throughout the country. Since they landed in Belize in the month of March, the U.S Military has conducted numerous large-scale humanitarian exercises that have proven successful. This includes dental readiness training; corrective ear drum surgery and even the construction of four classroom buildings each in Ladyville, Cooked Tree and Orange Walk Town.

Opportunity Available To Work In The Tourism Sector
The Belize Tourism Board has reported record breaking success for the first quarter of this year 2013 in terms of overnight tourist arrivals which includes the airport and all other ports of entry. In January, a seventeen point one eight percent increase was recorded while in February there was an eleven point five nine percent increase and March saw a hike of eleven point zero three percent. Cumulatively, the first quarter of the year recorded an increase of thirteen point zero percent in tourists arrivals for the overnight sector. In the area of cruise ship arrivals, a nineteen point four percent increase was recorded in January while February saw an eleven point three nine percent augment. While these figures are impressive, the demand for tour guides is very high especially with the rapid growing numbers in tourist arrivals. In efforts of alleviating this deficiency, the Northern Tour Guide Association, with the financial assistance of the European Union, will launch a programme that will see the training of 25 young Belizeans who would like to take up tour guiding as their career. Antonio Novelo, VP of Northern Tour Guide Association “We just got Word that a training program that we were planning last year it will materialized quick, very quick so within these two weeks this program will get started and we are hoping that at least 25 persons who are very interested in the field because this is an ever growing industry and today the tourism industry is the number one foreign exchange earner for Belize so we are hoping that more people take advantage of this opportunity to take this course and we are targeting people specially who have recently graduated from fourth forms from schools and so on.

Will There Be A 2014 Simultaneous Referendum?
Guatemala’s Parliament is presently discussing the possibility of holding the Belize/Guatemala Referendum to take Guatemala’s claim to the International Court of Justice, in 2014. But for that to happen there is one major factor that must be taken into consideration. Guatemala is asking that both the Government and the opposition issue a statement stating their position on the ICJ thus giving them an indication of how unified Belize is when it comes to the issue. But that is easier said than done because while the Government of Belize has made it clear that they are for the ICJ, the opposition the People’s United Party is yet to announce if they are for or against. When we spoke to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, a few days ago, he told us that if the PUP does not release its official position in the coming weeks, it could lead Guatemala to claim that Belize does not have a unified resolution to go to the ICJ, triggering the country to back out of the referendum once more. So, we went ahead and contacted the Chairman of the opposition Henry Usher to obtain the party’s insight in regards to Guatemala’s request and his response was that quote “We do not take instructions from Guatemala.......our position remains the same as in the beginning, we support the referendum process”. End of quote. With that said, it seems that there is not much hope for a simultaneous referendum to take place in 2014 and yesterday the Leader of the Opposition made that clear when he spoke to our colleagues in Belize City.


Fire Leaves Orange Walk Family Homeless
A family in Orange Walk is asking for assistance since a fire completely destroyed their home. Dalila Ical has more on the incident. DALILA ICAL “A family of 3 lost their house and all belongings in a fire last night. Jose Castellanos, his wife and their 10 month old baby boy were along with 6 visiting family members at their home in the Black Water Creek area in Trial Farm Village in the Orange Walk District. It was between 7 and 8pm that the family began getting ready to go to bed and noticed the fire. Castellanos said he had left to run an errand and was called back shortly after. The fire spread quickly in the 16 x 18 feet wooden house leaving the family no time to salvage anything. Castellanos said that by the time the fire department responded the house was fully engulfed in flames; no one was hurt. Castellanos said he is unaware of what might have started the fire especially since the family had no electricity. The family uses candle but according to Castellanos they had blown all candles out and were heading to bed. The children, he said were outside playing in the yard under a tree. Castellanos and his wife had been living at the house for at least 4 years; it was not insured. The family is in need of assistance and anyone wishing to make a contribution can contact Castellanos at 667-4366 or 662-0053.”

Audrey Matura Shepherd Confirms Resignation and Speaks Out on Threats She Received
Rumors had been circulating that Vice President of OCEANA in Belize, Audrey Matura Shepherd had stepped down from her post. Well today, the smoke was cleared and Matura-Shepherd confirmed that she has indeed resigned. Following a statement from her and the Chief Executive Officer in Belize, Andy Sharpless, this morning, Matura Shepherd called a press conference this afternoon to relay the details into her resignation. There she informed the media that she submitted her resignation last week Thursday and got a response accepting it on Friday, but she and her boss had opted to not make it public until today. AUDREY MATURA SHEPHERD “I think I need to clarify that I was never asked to resign from Oceana. Oceana values my work deeply and I value the norms and the campaigns that they do but there comes a point in everyone’s life when you make a personal choice and it was my personal choice to resign. For some time I knew that I would not always be at Oceana; I shared that with you all now and then, I know I won’t always be there. When I was hired to start Oceana it wasn’t even in my plan to be doing that kind of work but you go where God leads you. So, that’s where I ended up and I always said I would only do three years. Last year, May 1 made three years and I was ready to leave and Oceana begged me to stay on and renegotiated with me and I think at that point I knew I was lying to myself because time had passed and things had to happen the way it did for me to get the message that it’s time to move on.” Matura-Shepherd pointed out that she had felt from earlier in the year that she had a bigger calling, but tried to restrain from being vocal person but she says it’s clearly her calling. She had more to say on her resignation.

Pediatric and Cervical Cancers Discussed In Two Day Symposium
Oncologists, radiologists, clinicians and nurses who deal with cancer patients are engaged in a two-day symposium at the Radisson Fort George Hotel. The discussions this year are dealing with pediatric cancer and cervical cancer. Board Member with the Belize Cancer Society, Wayne Usher, told Love News that there’s been constant upgrading of the clinical treatment and the awareness aspect has been successful in reaching the masses. WAYNE USHER “We have constantly been upgrading our facilities and improving on our means and capacity to deal with it, for example, our public awareness has taken off and that is very true to see from the Cancer Walk that we had on Saturday. Every year it doubles, this year we were up to about 5,000 people. So, the awareness, the advocacy part of it is working and what we want to do by that is to inform people that they can also help in the preventative side by their lifestyle: what they eat (dieting), exercise (nutritional intake) and things like that. So, that part of it is going well. We are seeing more and more people accessing the service and maybe that is why we see the stats going up; because more people are coming in and declaring and registering and seeking assistance.” MARION ALI (Reporter) “The number of deaths of patients in Belize from cancer has risen; even the youths, I think between January and May we had two children who died of cancer – are we making any breakthroughs at all and how accessible is the treatment and therapy?”


KHMH updates public on baby death investigation
The long-awaited update promised by the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) into the outbreak of a deadly bacterium that killed seven premature infants in its neonatal intensive care unit came this afternoon – but it was not much of an update. Despite obtaining the assistance of two experts provided...

Audrey Matura-Shepherd Resigns as Vice-President of OCEANA
As the Vice President for Oceana in Belize, she led the charge which resulted in the banning of bottom trawling in Belizean waters and the recent court victory in quashing production sharing agreements granted to companies operating offshore Belize. And that’s just merely scratching the surface of the works...

Arrest made for murder of John Paul Fernandez
Earlier this month, the body of 32 year old John Paul Fernandez was found dead inside the compound of the Palm Island bar, located on the Philip Goldson Highway. He had a gunshot wound to the right side of his head, but at the time, that was the only...

Masked gunman shoots Jason Joseph in Belize City
PLUS News was called to the scene of a shooting incident reported on West Street, Belize City, last night just before 8:00 p.m. Police say Jason Joseph was standing in front of his house, when a masked man came from the direction of King Street and fired several shots...

Chief Meteorologist analyses predictions for Hurricane Season
This Saturday June 1st marks the start of the Hurricane Season and today the relevant Ministry for Disaster Preparedness and National Emergency; NEMO hosted a press briefing in the City of Belmopan. This afternoon’s briefing dealt with the upcoming hurricane season. Seated at the head table was Senator the...

NEMO encourages Disaster Preparedness
This year the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) works under the theme, ”Reducing the Threat from Climate Change, Disaster Preparedness begins with you”. Senator the Hon. Godwin Hulse in his briefing today was very clear on the “begins with you” part. Godwin Hulse – Senator: The state is prepared...

Churches call for removal of Revised Gender Policy 2013
The gender policy 2013 has caused a backlash of opposition because of its apparent redefinition of gender and its push for the inclusion of sexual orientation as a part of education policies. The Coalition of Churches, a group of 40 plus churches, issued a press release today saying, and...

GOB gives financial assistance to National Football Team
The National Football Team which is headed to the CONCACAF GoldCup in July, received the pledge of a big pay day from the Government of Belize. This afternoon, the Prime Minister met with members of the executive of the FFB, where he pledged to donate $50,000 on behalf of...

Apartment broken into in Belmopan
A Cuban diplomat of Belmopan, reported a break-in at the apartment of his brother in-law of the Venezuelan Embassy to Belize. Thieves saw their chance sometime between Saturday and Wednesday, while the owner and his wife were out of the country. Stolen were an assortment of electronic items and...

Ride Across Belize begins in Corozal
The tenth annual Ride Across Belize initiative of the Social Security Board (SSB) kicked off in Corozal Wednesday morning. It is a charity effort organized by the Board to promote worthy initiatives. CEO Richard Flowers told about the effort; while Chandra Cansino, Organizer of Social Security’s Ride Across Belize...

Healthy Reef Initiative has strong concerns about proposed cruise ship terminal
On Wednesday, we told you about opposition that has come up against the proposed cruise terminal at Crawl Caye. GOB has gone on record saying that they have been in talks with the Norwegian Cruise Line about the port, but that it is still for the most part, in...

BNE initiates Getenergy 2013 Awards competition
Online voting has become a customary part of our modern world. It is a way to lend your support to an organization or cause with just the click of a mouse. So all you cyberspace enthusiasts, the Belize Natural Energy Limited (BNE) is asking for your vote in the...


Heavy Rain on San Pedro all clear on Caye Chapel
The rain hit fast and heavy Monday morning so I pulled out my dry bag and repacked everything. Since I was bringing my office with me, I did not want downpour mishaps with my tech gear. Thankfully I did not get too wet walking from my house to Banyan Bay to catch a cab. When I got to the main road Cal was driving by and so I hitched a ride right to Maya Air with him. The 4 golfers were already there checked in for the short flight, and ready to hit the green. It was my second trip back to Caye Chapel Island and the thought of it was just as exciting as the first. Even though I knew I was not going to get as much pool time due to work, I was still glad to get away on the holiday Monday and be able to set up my office in such a great place. In honor of Columbus day, and the spirit of the island, I decided to hit the beach before work I took a lice long walk and enjoyed the quietness of it all. When I got back the golfers were already lunching upstairs in the club house at the big long table.

In Belize, sometimes the Zoo comes to you
In Belize you don’t need to go hunting for wildlife – sooner or later it will come to you. Case in point is earlier this month, May 23 to be exact, when we had both a crocodile and jaguar go roaming – all in one day. In Belize City, a crocodile was causing mischief when it left a storm drain to visit the neighbourhood. The same day, a jaguar decided to take a walk – much to the concern of the authorities. The croc was quickly captured by some brave city residents who appeared unfazed by the creature, which was lucky enough to be carted away to a crocodile sanctuary rather than to a local kitchen – which has happened in the past. According to local resident Derek “Mighty” McKoy, “It came out the drain, it came from the left side across the street and it went into the smaller ditch but he couldn’t under the bridge so that is where he got stuck. We pulled him back way and threw a rope around it and pulled it up.”

“Slow Hand” for Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Oh, meant to mention in the previous edition that Daniel Camal, our building contractor, has located where the windows for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize are. Miami! So, a little while yet before we get to see them. Just hope that this does not delay the finish. Yesterday. as soon as the office was open (8.30 am), I made contact with Willard Young of R F & G Insurance to try to arrange insurance for our golf cart. He was extremely helpful and told me that once he had the necessary documentation from me via email (information/photo page from my Passport, copy of my “QRP” ID card and a copy of my Belize Drivers License) he would get to work producing the paperwork and send it to me via Tropic Air. I already had photos of all that he wanted so it only took a few minutes to email him what he needed. Thought the processing for the insurance would be relatively straightforward and quick but this wasn’t the case! Willard ‘phoned me three or four times during the course of the day and as the hours went by I had serious doubts that the policy would arrive so that we could get our golf cart. As the hours passed by my misgivings became stronger and at 3.30 pm Rose and I concluded that we had waited enough and decided to go look at what was going on at our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. I hadn’t been driving very long when my ‘phone rang. It was Willard, the policy would be on the 4.30 pm Tropic Air flight to San Pedro. Too late for us to get the permit for our golf cart but… Either Willard had a lot of paperwork to complete for our policy or he has a slow hand when it comes to filling in forms!

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich
6 aigs, hard boiled and diced 1/4 cup salad dressin er mayonaze 3 tablespoons pesto salt and peppr t'aste 1 ripe avocado, peeled and chopped youngn spinach leeves mater slices 4 sandwich rolls (ciabatta, kaisr, er submarine rolls)

International Sources

New strategic direction on agenda of Caribbean fisheries ministers
The seventh meeting of the Ministerial Council of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) opens this Friday in Christ Church, Barbados. Participation will be drawn from The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Turks and Caicos Islands, which are all member states of the CRFM. At the upcoming Ministerial Council meeting, fisheries ministers from CRFM member states and their advisors will receive an update on the progress of work activities being undertaken by the CRFM Secretariat, member states and network partners, and provide them with policy guidance on programmes and plans for the development and management of fisheries and aquaculture. They will also approve a number of regional policy and strategic documents aimed at strengthening governance arrangements, conservation and sustainable development of the fisheries and aquaculture sector in the region.

May 30, 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

Black Orchid Restaurant Showcases New Wine & Entrées
Last month Black Orchid Restaurant, located south of San Pedro Town hosted a special off-menu four course wine flight evening. Each course was carefully selected to pair with a featured wine, and what a perfect complement it was! According to head chef and co-owner Judyann Horton, the restaurant partnered with Karl H. Menzies for the event in order to showcase a variety of new wine selections and ultimately add new labels to their wine list, based on customer feedback. Fewer things are more fun than being a wine “guinea pig” and of course we were happy to cooperate in the grueling task of sampling these nectars of the vine. The evening began with an anti-pasta plate paired with a Premio Chardonnay of Italy. It was the first time I had sampled an anti-pasta plate severed with a white wine, and I was pleasantly surprised how the light and smoky flavors of the sliced turkey, Swiss cheese and creamy mushroom soup perfectly complemented the dry Italian white wine.

SAGA: How to Be a Good Dog Owner and a Great Neighbour
SAGA Humane Society and the San Pedro Town Board are working together to help dog owners be better neighbours and members of the community. This article will help you to understand what you can do, as a dog owner, to make San Pedro a more beautiful, happier and healthier place for residents and tourists alike. Don’t forget that when you choose to get a dog, your neighbours have no say in that choice. • Neuter or spay your dog. This will prevent them from spreading disease and from adding to the dog overpopulation problem we have in San Pedro. It will also make them healthier and more loyal. • Keep your dog under control and in your yard at all times. No one deserves to be frightened or hurt by your dog. • When in public or on the street keep your dog on a leash. Do not let them roam free while you are at work, a bar or community festival. • Pick up after your dog in public if it poops. Scoop it, bag it, trash it.

NAC Island Committee members Trained in Pre and Post Test Counselling
San Pedro now counts on the newly acquired skills of nine trained pre and post-test counsellors; of the National AIDS Commission’s Island Committee. The nine members became certified after a two-day training, May 18 and 19, held at the El Divino conference room. The training was funded by the USAID Capacity Project and facilitated by Nurse Lourdes Heredia of the Corozal Country Coordinating Mechanism Committee. The training gave participants an in depth overview of HIV AIDS as well as a chance to dissect the various myths about HIV AIDS while becoming equipped with skills necessary to effectively counsel individuals wishing to undergo the Free HIV Test. We were educated of the various attitudes and values that every counsellor must possess. Other areas of training included: Behaviour Change Communication with an emphasis on HIV Transmission; Risk Assessment and Pre Test Evaluation; legal and ethical issues surrounding HIV/AIDS as well as establishing an effective referral network for individuals who become infected with the virus.

Ambergris Today

Meet the Miss Caye Caulker Lobster Fest 2013 Contestants
The Caye Caulker Lobster Fest Pageant Committee is pleased to present the delegates for this year’s Miss Lobster Fest 2013-2014 pageant. Five lovely young ladies have taken up the challenge and have commenced with preparation to give a great show for the general public to enjoy. The five beautiful contestants are Jacqueline Riveroll, Miss Sasha Jimenez, Miss Sherylee Dawson, Miss Annaelli Marin, and Miss Mercedes Requena.

Reef Week 2013 Celebrated in San Pedro
The reef is a very important ecosystem for our beautiful island and country. In order to create awareness and help preserve it, every year Reef Week is celebrated in honor of our natural heritage. This year it was celebrated under the theme “Snorkel and dive; keep the reef healthy and alive!” from May 21 – 26, 2013. Hol Chan Marine Reserve planned an entire week of activities which kicked off on Tuesday, May 21, 2013, with the 8th Annual Reef Week Trivia Competition which took place at the Lion’s Den, where students’ knowledge on the reef and environment was put to test. After a few hotly contested questions and deliberation from the judges the winners were announced: Joshua Marin of Ambergris Caye Elementary School took 1st Place followed by Kaiya Cabral of Isla Bonita Elementary School, Ronaldo Ardon of San Pedro RC School and Velveth Molina of Caye Caulker RC School winning second, third and fourth place respectively.

Misc Belizean Sources

Barbara Wilkinson passed away
Barbara Jean Wilkinson, 68 passed away Tuesday May 28, 2013 at her home. She was lived in Belize for the past twenty-six years. Visitation will be held at Abundant Life Church, 206 Edgewood Dr., Denham Springs, next to Walmart on Saturday June 1, 2013 beginning at 10:00 am. Memorial services will be held at 11:00 am. She is survived by her husband Bill Wilkinson of 49 years of marriage, her two sons, Timothy Wilkinson and his wife Vivian, and Richard Wilkinson, seven grandchildren Mathew, Tiffany, Sean, Zack, Josh, Katie and Sara, bothers, Robert "Bob" White, William "Earl", Jim White, Wayne White, and sister Mary Witham. She was preceded in death by her parents John and Lorena White, grandson, Christopher, sister Virginia Agnew, bother John White and daughter-in-law, Kathryn Wilkinson.

Belize Gold Cup Schedule
They will be playing in the USA several games, including in Portland take a peek at the schedule. And send the team a few bucks to help pay the bills!

Belize annual report details financial stability measures
The Central Bank of Belize published its annual report for 2012 yesterday, revealing details of the financial stability unit it established after assuming "explicit responsibility for stability of the financial system as a whole" last year. The unit is tasked with formulating a framework for macro-prudential surveillance "with a view to identifying financial-sector vulnerabilities and recommending strategies for risk mitigation", according to the central bank's annual report for 2012. Moreover, the central bank enacted new loss-provisioning standards to tackle the level of commercial bank non-performing loans (NPLs). Banks are now required to set aside up to 70% of the value of loans that are collateralised by mortgages. The standards have resulted in the cumulative NPL ratio across banks falling from 14.5% to 11%, the report said.

Cayo to Billy Barquedier Time Lapse Video
Time lapse video of 1 second intervals

Massage School in Cayo
The Vision Exhange will be doing another massage school this Summer, starting on June 17th. This is the basic massage class, and you'll learn anatomy, body mechanics, and have practical, hands-on sessions too. You'll also learn how to take care of yourself, and not wear yourself out by learning yoga and some basic meditation techniques. For more information contact Jude at 652-8595 or email [email protected]

'Learning at the Core' at BNE
You're got to hand it to Belize Natural Energy. They've got over 200 employees, most all of whom are Belizeans, and they help them get a formal eduction. This video explains that successful educational program. Great way to give back to the employees, which, when you think about it, are what really makes a company. "When Belize Natural Energy (BNE) struck oil in June, 2005 it became the first company to discover oil in commercial quantities in Belize. Since the oil industry was effectively non-existent in the country, all requisite infrastructure and expertise had to be imported; by January 2006, the company made the first ever shipment of locally produced crude oil. There have been many firsts at BNE, a company that has operated with the guidance of its mission to positively impact the Belizean people. BNE's Training and Development Programme is one such manifestation of its commitment to the country and its people."

Meluchi's Miami Glow Party
Meluchi's had their Miami Glow Party Saturday night, and Danny Chung was there to capture the crowd at its best. The Champion Squad from Florida were there mixing the night away. DJ Jago and Evolution Sounds opened. Looks like Meluchi's had another wild night with loads of fun and lots of dancing. Download the Champion Squad mix from that night here:

Pandy Show 21st Anniversary
The Pandy Show celebrated it's 21st anniversary Monday night at the Cayo Welcome Center. It was a fun time, with entertainment, prizes, and even some ice cream. Thanks, Pandy! Here's to another 21 years.

Local artists KP and DC were there too:

Sharks – friend or foe?
Sunlight feeds the plankton. Plankton feed sardines. It’s a classic notion of nature of which we’re all aware: the big fish eats the small fish; and as it happens, sharks sit atop the complex food chain. Thanks to the 1975 Spielberg film, Jaws, we fully understand that sharks are mean, predatory and fatal to innocent fish and mammals, especially humans. But what doesn’t always come into popular consciousness is this: scientists have found sharks to be efficient eaters, choosing prey that is sick, old, or slower among its population. Scientists recognize this as an overall benefit as it helps eliminate the spread of disease among fish populations and in essence maintains a healthy gene pool. By eating certain prey, sharks also help protect smaller fish down the food chain from being completely wiped out by their predators. In another case, sharks help protect certain habitats. When certain marine animals overstay their welcome in ocean grass beds, they damage the local habitat by preventing other animals from accessing vital nutrition from the grass. When sharks are present, however, those overstaying animals flee. It’s a complex interwoven, underwater ecosystem that we as community members, business owners, local fishermen, tourists and adventure seekers should strive to appreciate and respect. Despite its predatory role, sharks provide balance to ocean life. Without sharks, the ecosystem would collapse.

BBS Newsletter Vol 5 Issue 1 (April 2013)
The Belize Bureau of Standards presents its latest issue of the Consumer Watch Newsletter

Channel 7

Is Audrey Leaving OCEANA Because of Homosexuality/Bestiality Comment?
Audrey Matura-Shepherd – since May of 2009, she’s become known as the face of OCEANA in Belize. As the Vice President of OCEANA in Belize and not one to shy from the cameras or any sensitive issue, she’s made the Environmental group a household name in Belize. But, tonight, there are unconfirmed but credible reports that Matura-Shepherd will be announcing her resignation - as early as tomorrow. What’s the cause of the sudden and unexpected move? Well, it could be a facebook fight over gay rights. The first clue came in her weekly column in the Amandala on Friday, which was titled “"Cowered into Silence." In it Matura-Shepherd describes an attempt by what she describes as a segment of the homosexual lobby to silence her. That’s after, in a previous edition of the newspaper, she speculated that the UNIBAM claim could have a domino effect and see other groups, for instance those that practice bestiality, push for their rights. It’s an extreme comparison and it caught the eye of UNIBAM Attorney and social media doyen Lisa Shoman who queried on Facebook if Matura-Shepherd's views are those of Oceana's principals in Washington.

Opp. Leader Fonseca Doesn’t Expect Guats To Hold Referendum in 2014
Next week the OAS holds its 43rd General Assembly in Guatemala and both the Belize Government and the Opposition are expected to send representatives. That show of bi-partisanship is to demonstrate Belize’s continued commitment to the OAS and the process of peace-making with Guatemala. Today, the Leader of the Opposition told the media that even though he doesn’t have much hope for a simultaneous Belize-Guatemala referendum in 2014, Belize has to faithfully go through the motions. Hon. Francis Fonseca - Opposition Leader "We do not support the holding of any uni-lateral referendum in Belize. We are prepared to allow the process to work - we have participated fully in the last few meetings that have been held with the OAS and Guatemala. The PUP has been represented so we are at the table and we're prepared to support a process to moving forward but we're not going to support any uni-lateral referendum in Belize whether its 2013 or 2014. We certainly do not support the changing of our national laws to accommodate Guatemala. We're prepared to listen to them, I certainly do not believe it is just my view that they are serious about holding a referendum in 2014 if they are unable to do it in 2013, I think it will be more difficult to do it in 2014. I don't view these latest development as apeasement, I think it's a part of the process, it's a part of the discussion going forward and I think Belize has to maintain that position. I think we've always maintained that position of high ground regardless of the party in government. We have to maintain the comprimi, we think that's in the interest of Belize - we need to ensure that we maintain the relationship with OAS so that they put some structure in place to monitor what is happening at the border. We believe that is in the best interest of Belize."

The Chiquibul Under Pressure From Poachers
If you watch the news with any regularity, you’ll know all about The Friends for Conservation and Development – the co-managers of the Chiquibul National Park. Well, they recently concluded a five month study examining the effects of poaching on game species in the Chiquibul Forest, mainly a 384 kilometer swath in the Caracol Archaeological Reserve. They wanted to find out how many game species were in the area and how plentiful they were, and – most importantly - to gauge the impact that illegal hunting was having on those species. They came across 1,022 animals of 24 different species, including squirrels, quash, collared peccary, crested guans, and keel billed toucans. They found that game species were being targeted throughout the Chiquibul forest, in areas both near to and far from the border.

Belize’s Jaguars Defeat Guatamala’s “Jaguares” In Melchor
About an hour before the start of the news, the Belize National Football Team, THE JAGUARS, defeated Guatemala's Heredia Jaguares de Peten, the current second place holder in that country's Professional League. The match was played in Melchor Del Menchos and it started at 3 p.m. This provided the new head coach, American Ian Mork, an opportunity to field the team he intends to play in at Gold Cup in the US. A more cohesive Belizean Team squared off against the Guatemalan Professional team and managed to score two goals against them. The first goal came from defensive middle Trevor "Burger" Lennon in the first half. That strong showing allowed Mork to field an almost entirely different set of 11 for the second half. The Belize team controlled the majority of the possessions which led to the second gold to be scored by forward David Trapp.

Crawl Caye, The Gathering Storm
In April we told you about meetings to discuss the interest Norwegian Cruise Lines has in building a Cruise Port on Crawl Caye in Southern Belize. At the time, the Ministerial Chair of a Cabinet Investment Committee Godwin Hulse told us talks were very preliminary and while a Memorandum of Understanding existed it was not on the table. That was a six weeks ago, but in the past few days, the buzz and the blowback over the project has ramped up exponentially, fuelled by reports that Cabinet will decide on the Memorandum of Understanding as early as next week! That sense of urgency has unleashed an aggressive anti-port information campaign, and a letter writing initiative, all designed to torpedo the project.

Sugar Cane: It Was A Very Good Year
The 2012/2013 Cane Season closed on Saturday May 25th, and BSI is reporting that it was a very good year. In 180 days, which is considered a short season, BSI milled just a over a million tonnes of cane producing 118,339 tons of sugar, 34,507 tons of molasses. That points to a high rate of efficiency high rate of 312 tons of cane per hour – an all time high which produced 8 thousand tons more of sugar with more or less the same amount of cane delivered as last year. All this is expected to result in an enhanced final payment to cane farmer – but that figure won’t be decided until November. And in this industry where there has long been discord between the factory and the FARMERS, both sides are complimenting each other. The Factory says the quality of the cane has increased sharply and the FARMERS are saying that the factory worked right through without breakdowns.

Benefiber Recall
Do you use a nutritional supplement called Benefiber? Well, if you do, the Ministry of Health today announced a voluntary recall of the powder. As the word “voluntary” suggests there’s no urgent health risk but the recall is triggered by complaints by consumers about a lack of odour, lack of flavour, bad dissolution and the presence of particles. A release says “the US-based manufacturing facility of this product has extended the recall to Belize simply as a cautionary action.” Belizean consumers who want to get rid of their products are asked to either destroy or return the unused portion to the local store where they bought it. The recall only covers specific product batches and you can find those at the Ministry of Health website.

Actyl, Still Hiring Opens Office In Belize City
For months we’ve been reporting periodically on ACTYL – the Canadian employment agency that’s recruiting Belizeans to work at fast food chains in Canada. Well, they claim to like the Belize labour pool so much that they’ve opening up an office in the city. The office opened today on Freetown Road and it is the firm’s first international recruiting office in Central America. So far only 9 Belizeans have migrated to Canada to work, but 200 have been accepted into the programme, but are awaiting visa approval, which – inclusive of medical tests - can cost a thousand dollars. Today, the local representative told us that of the 9 who’ve gone across, two have written back. Indira Williams - Branch Manager, ACTYL Belize Recruiting and Immigration Office "Well we received two letters - one from Stacey Ramos and one from Feliz Cucul. The response that we got from them is very positive. The work is that you need to do it fast rather than here in Belize we don't need to move fast but here you need to move fast because there's a lot of customers and a lot of people go to McDonald's and the Subway."

Fired Tropic Air Security Guard’s Emphatic Denial Of Fuel Theft
Last night we told you about the 10 security guards fried form Tropic Air in Belize City. Well it turns out that the number was 9 guards, all 9 who previously handled the company’s security. Those jobs will now be contracted out to a private security firm. This transition comes after the company discovered that 1800 gallons or 30 drums of aviation fuel went missing in April. Well, one terminated guard came to our studio today to say he’s not made about being fired, he’s angry that the circumstances suggest that those guards had anything to do with the missing fuel. As he explained it to us, that’s impossible because the guards don’t handle fuel. Kevin Todd - Former Tropic Air Security "But while looking at the news last night I finally realized realized what my termination was for and it was for theft of gas." Jules Vasquez "But at the same time no one told you that you were terminated for theft and no one is saying that you were terminated for theft. You happened to be terminated at a time when they were investigating the theft."

Bridge Closes For CITCO Surgery
Over the last 24 hours, city residents have seen an increase in traffic on the north side of the city. That is because construction has begun from the approach of the Belcan Bridge near the round-a-bout all the way to the top of the bridge. It’s a major inconvenience to close of one of the congested city’s 3 bridges, but just a continuation of the City Council’s infrastructure development project which the Council’s Public Relations officer told us will be done in two phases. Kenny Morgan – Public Relations Officer, Belize City Council "Well it's just a continuation of the City Council's infrastructure development project and we're moving on with the works of upgrading the streets in Belize. In keeping with our policy - you know we already have the Overpass, lights all installed and ready to be energized so we've decided to move along with that section of the works. So now we're doing the approach to the Belcan bridge to the round about and all the way to the top of the bridge and on both sides but we decided to do it in two phases so as not to have a total interruption of the flow of traffic.

Riding For A Reason
The first leg of the 10th annual Social Security Board’s Ride Across Belize kicked off early this morning. At 6am the riders began their journey from Corozal to Belize City - and just after midday they rode across the finish line in front of the SSB Belize City office in front of a crowd of spectators. It is a ride for charity and the proceeds this year will be donated to the Belize Hospice Palliative Care Foundation and the Belize Red Cross Social Assistance Program. We found out about the reason behind the ride: Richard Flowers - Chief Executive Officer, SSB "Today is the 10th Anniversary of the Ride Accross Belize program, basically it's an SSB initiative. Our goal is to try to raise funds and fight different causes, a worthy cause that can benefit from the funds and this year we have two - The Belize Hospice Palliative Care Foundation and the Red Cross Assistance program.

Belize’s New National Coach Speaks
As we told you earlier on in the news, this afternoon, the Belize National Football Team defeated Guatemala's Heredia Jaguares de Peten, a team that’s currently second in that country's Professional League. Belize’s side dominated them easily – even in the hostile territory of Melchor De Menchos. New head coach, American Ian Mork explained to us that he used the game as an opportunity to field the team he intends to play in at Gold Cup in the US in July:.. Ian Mork - Headcoach, Belize National Team "Well when I first joined the National Team as their Head Coach was in 2008 to coach in the world cup qualifying games in Mexico. I've just now come back in April on a part-time basis at first and now I'll be here all the way through the Gold Cup so I just got here last week but I had already been here two times previously. They've asked me to come in here for the Gold Cup, I actually asked for a long term contract but that's hard for them to commit to right now so I'm willing to help as much as I can and pass on what I've learned throughout the years. I know this group very well, some of the guys that I've coached when they were U-17 and a lot of this group is U-21. We beat El Salvador 2-0 in Dangriga in those Central American games so I'm very familiar with the players and I'd like to spend even more time with them.

The “Pikni” Of the Pickstock Pageant
Carnival is in September, but the fundraising has already started for the Pickstock Carnival Band. That group is having its 8th annual Miss Popularity Pickstock Pageant where 6 contestants will be vying for the neighborhood’s prestigious title. The girls will be bringing the carnival spirit to the stage this Saturday night – showcasing costumes, energy and some brand new dance moves. Today 7news caught up with a few of the contestants and here’s a peek. Gareth Gill - Pickstock Carnival Band Leader "On Saturday we're having the Miss Popularity Pickstock 2013 at the Parish Hall and it starts at 7:30pm sharp, tickets for children is $5 and $7 for adults. We do Miss Popularity Pickstock every year, this is our 8th annual Miss Popularity Pickstock and we're just doing it in order to generate funds for our Carnival Day. We are gearing up to go out there for Carnival day - this year I didn't want to come out and people wanted Pickstock so that is why we decided to sit down as members and let us bring back our Carnival group back in Pickstock and that's the reason why I'm doing this Miss Popularity Pickstock 2013. "

In police news, there’s an odd story coming out of Southern Belize tonight. Reliable reports tell us that PC 1350 E. AUGUSTINE stationed at the Intermediate Southern Formation had an unusual traffic mishap on Saturday night. Around 8:30, he and common law wife were driving to Mango Creek, but at San Roman, he crashed into a cow that was on the road and killed it. The vehicle was extensively damaged and his wife received injury. She was treated at the Independence Polyclinic and the cow was left for dead. We don’t expect a charge of “cow-slaughter” by negligence.

Channel 5

Infant mortality investigation: weakness in communication with K.H.M.H. management
A press conference is scheduled for this Thursday in Belize City; Prime Minister Dean Barrow will be providing an update on an investigation into a nosocomial outbreak inside the neonatal [...]

B.T.I.A. joins Placencia residents against mega cruise port development
There is another issue that is moving to the front burner. Crawl Caye which is located in the South Water Caye Marine Reserve is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage [...]

…And serious socio-economic implications for Belize City and Placencia
By all accounts the memorandum of understanding includes the ability for the company to open casinos and become an authorized foreign exchange dealer.  The Sustainable Tourism Project, which was financed [...]

OCEANA Belize VP resigns because of squabble with UNIBAM advocate?
News Five has been unable to confirm reports that the very vocal Vice President of Oceana Belize, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, is stepping down from that position. But tonight there is speculation [...]

Sand Hill resident murdered in Burrell Boom
The body of a Sand Hill resident was fished out of the river in Burrell Boom on Tuesday morning. It had multiple stab wounds; in fact, as many as twenty. [...]

Will there be justice after destruction of Noh Mul?
At news time tonight, News Five has been unable to confirm if any charges have in fact been levied against anyone in connection with the destruction of the Noh Mul [...]

Woman who destroyed building’s security cam pleads guilty
Honduran national, Paula Franco must pay the court five hundred dollars for damaging a three hundred dollar surveillance camera or go to jail. The court has also ordered Franco to [...]

‘Nose’ charged with discharging his firearm in public
There was a shooting in the Neal’s Pen Road area between Haynes Street and Neal’s Pen Road that left no one injured and it gave the community a scare. Darren [...]

Belize National Football team wins game against Melchor team
The Belize National Football Selection headed to Melchor De Mencos on Tuesday for its first friendly game…And tonight, the road to success in Gold Cup 2013 looks promising for Team [...]

Guatemala also gets trafficking of Indian immigrants
Belize has a steady stream of illegal immigrants who are being trafficked all the way to the United States. Those who are poor and unable to afford to get illegitimate [...]

Guatemala newspaper alleges Belize immigration disrespects their passport
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize and Guatemala are scheduled to meet in Antigua, Guatemala next week in the margins of the O.A.S. General Assembly. And tonight, there is [...]

The 10th Annual Ride Across Belize
Ride Across Belize covered close to eighty miles today. The peloton of riders took off from Corozal Town and by midday, they rode into Belize City. Among the mix were [...]

Chief Met Officer says more active 2013 Hurricane Season
The rains have started and the hurricane season is just about to begin. The Chief Met Officer, Dennis Gonguez says that this year’s hurricane season will be more active than [...]


New Look For Belize Bureau of Standards Newsletter
For the past four years the Belize Bureau of Standards has been releasing a quarterly news letter entitled, “Consumer Watch.” The first issue for this year has been released and according to the Director of the Belize Bureau of Standards, Jose Trejo, the newsletter is produced so that...

Belize Telemedia Sets Up The Country's First Mono-Palm
Something at the Agriculture Show grounds in Belmopan is drawing the curiosity of the community. Their eyes are being drawn to a palm tree…or maybe not, well it looks like a palm tree but we found out that in reality it is called a monopole and it is a telecommunication tower placed ...

Taxi Driver Assaulted and Robbed In His Home
A terrifying aggravated burglary has left one man injured and caused him to temporary relocate from his home. The man, a 37-year-old taxi driver of Young Gial Road in Teakettle Village in the Cayo District reported to police that on Monday about 9:30pm while he was at home, two male persons broke...

Store Cashes Cheque From A Non Existent Bank Account
A store manager is out some cash after he took a Belize Bank Cheque for which the bank account does not exist. According to Police reports, the manager of Reimer’s Feed Mill located at 4 ½ miles Phillip Goldson Highway attended to one man identified as Mario Velasquez on Friday May 1...

Truck Taken On Joyride and Crashed As Owner Went Fishing
A Belize City man left his $45,000 2006 Toyota Tacoma truck in the care of one of his friends and now he regrets it. That’s because the man reported to police on that May 26th he and his family left the city en-route for an overnight fishing trip at Turneffe Island. The man left the vehicle...

National Gender Policy 2013 For Belize Causes Concerns In Several Sectors
The Revised National Gender Policy 2013 was launched recently by the Women’s Commission of Belize and it has received varying degree of feedback. That’s because on page 31 bullet 5 of the policy under the title “Government Will:” it states that GOB will quote, “amend...

Wednesday, May 29 ---- Belize Foreign Minister To Meet With Guatemalan Counterpart To Talk Referendum
A Belize delegation is scheduled to attend the 43rd annual Organization of American States General Assembly in Guatemala from June 4th to the 6th. While in Guatemala, it is possible that Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington will meet with his Guatemalan counterpart Fernando Carrera...

Belize City Man Arraigned Following His Recapture and Recovery of Stolen Jewelry and Controlled Drug
Fifty-four year old Anthony Mortis, who escaped from the cell block at the magistrate court on May 23, was charged with escape from lawful custody when he was brought to court today. Mortis indicated that he wanted to plead guilty to the charge and get the matter over and done with but Magistrate...

Teenager Missing From Protective Custody
Marion Ali, Reporting GENEVIEVE ZELAYA “I was already upset because of how they dealt with the situation from the get go. My child is a key witness in a case that is ongoing up to now; her life is at stake because threats were made on her.” MARION ALI “Is that th...

Ministry of Health Announces Supplement Recall By US Company
A supplement in the market has been voluntarily recalled by its manufacturing company in the United States. The Ministry of Health issued a press release informing of the recall of the nutritional supplement, Benefiber Powders. According to the release, the recall is for specific batc...

Teenager Pleads Guilty of Stealing From Employer
Nineteen year old Calbert Robert, charged with burglary in a case in which $4,100.00 was stolen from his work place, pled guilty to the charge when he was arraigned today by Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Robert also pled guilty to damage to property for cutting a screen sieve at the back do...


Late Evening Traffic Accident Leaves On Person Injured
A traffic accident occurred late this evening at about 6:30 at the Orange Walk By-pass located along the Philip Goldson Highway. A red tow head truck travelling in the direction to Orange Walk Town didn’t meet its destination as a Green F150 pickup which was towing a Ford explorer got in its way and the tow head inevitably collided into the explorer and dragged it some feet away. Reportedly the F150 pickup was trying to make a turn heading to Corozal Town but took a shortcut as what many drivers usually do, when it met this unfortunate incident. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured and within minutes police were on the scene and so were several witnesses. Witness “Pues como cuarto para la seis ya acababa mi turno y yo estaba que cierren el puesto cuando de repente nos fijamos que ese green pickup venia jalando ese Rav y en ves que el agarre ese lado para salir el agarro este short cut que siempre agarran aquí cuando ese truck vino asomándose como por acá y dijo de poner el jet brakes él ya lo tenía enfrente se lo llevo y nosotros solo miramos el big smoke y el bang pero lo bueno que él no llevaba ningún pasajero a nadie solo aquí el driver se le hizo pap aquí enfrente per si quedo destrozado ese camión.”

Dissecting The Cane Quality System
On Saturday the 2012/2013 crop season came to an end with excellent reviews since the factory was able to mill one million seventy eight tons of cane producing 118,339 tons of sugar and 34,507 tons of molasses at a very high rate of 312 tons cane per hour and a TCTS of 9.11. If we take a look at the 9.11 TCTS, this is indication that the cane delivered to the factory was of high quality. But while praises were at hand for both the Belize Sugar Industry Limited and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association this year, the reality is that we are living in a competitive world. Fully aware of this factor, yesterday representatives of the BSCFA and the Sugar Cane Production Committee gathered at the BSI Staff Club to evaluate the Cane Quality System that was utilized during the crop season in order to identify its weaknesses. Alfredo Ortega- Chairman BSCFA, COM “Estamos evaluando lo que fue el sistema de calidad en esta zafra estamos viendo a ver que fueron las debilidades que fueron los puntos altos para que a si de aquí podamos tomar información para el próximo año que viene en que es los que necesitamos añadir o que es lo que necesitamos poner una mejor vigilancia en lo que refiere el sistema de calidad. Bueno uno de las debilidades que tenemos es transportación, asegún la mayoría de los que han estado hablando es la transportación de los oficiales en el campo el otro es la medida que hay ahorita para rechazar cana que está en 81 y entonces eso tiene un efecto negativo cuando la caña eta en óptima calidad en los meses de Marzo hasta Abril cuando la caña esta alto en sacarosa entonces hay can hasta de ocho días que no les llueve y esas canas siempre tiene arriba de 81% y esas canas se aceptan y entonces afecta y necesitamos rectificar para que así tenga una relación basado por mes o por semana como está entrando la caña para que así pues descontinúe de traer cana más de tres días de cosecha.”

Louisiana Female Football Team Wins National Competition
Tonight the Louisiana Government School Female Basketball Team is in the spotlight after they were crowned winners of the National Female Football Competition. With the win Orange Walk became the fourth district to ever win the National Female Competition following the Stann Creek District and Cayo District. All the other competitions have been won by the Belize District. Today when we spoke to the coach of the team teacher Alginold Bennet, he told that his team has long awaited this opportunity to shine. Alginold Bennet, Coach Louisiana Government School Female Basketball team “Well, it being eight years that we have been shooting for it and we have had five second places at the national level and we always believe that we could have done it, I adjusted the way we worked out last year, fitness was a part of the problem but I made sure that it would not be the problem this year and we have taken our training to another level so in other words our basketball team was on a different level from the other schools.” Irvin Aragon – Reporter “We also know that this was first team actually of the north to win for the national competition, what is your view of that?” Alginold Bennet, Coach Louisiana Government School Female Basketball team “Well, I am still enjoying that experience, I have achieved something that I’ve been trying to do for quite some time, I know the girls have passed it because we had many great players from Louisiana Government School who have been trying to do just that. These girls will have something to cherish for the rest of their lives because when they are grandparent they would be able to tell their grandchildren of what they accomplished and sometimes you use to tell children that I was an athlete and they look at you as doubting but they have their medals they have their photographs, they have done something that Orange Walk can be proud of because when we are playing at the national level we are representing Orange Walk.”

Belize Workers Union Signs MOU With U.K Union
The Belize Workers Union has been in operation since 1981 with its inception being anchored on the Sugar Industry in Northern Belize. For quite some years, the BWU has been advocating for the welfare of its members, ensuring that they receive their duly benefits from the employer, in this case the Belize Sugar Industry Limited. That in itself has been a long journey and more so today that BSI has seen a change in ownership with American Sugar Refineries, ASR purchasing the majority of shares of the company. Over the years BWU has seen a drastic reduction in its membership and with that in mind; a memorandum of Understandings was signed between General Municipal Boilmakers of the UK and the Belize Workers Union in the spirit of international solidarity and recognizing the common interest of the two unions in the sugar industry. Ramiro R. Gongora, President of BWU “We had an correspondence with the IU, which is the International Union of Food, it international coordinator is in Toronto Canada, where his office is, he told me that he would like to see an ASR union network that would represent workers in all of ASR factories or in their countries so that is where we really started this dialogue in April of 2013.” Irvin Aragon – Reporter “How will this new MOU positively affect BWU?” Ramiro R. Gongora, President of BWU “it would affect it in a way that they, the GMB is made up of 620,000 members so as you cans see BWU just has 150 so in that respect they would mandate in relation to ASR in England stating that something has happened to Orange Walk branch and something has to be resolved in realtion to the help that they can give BWU in that respect.”

Tropical Storm Barbara Hits The East Pacific
In two days, the Atlantic will see the official beginning of the Hurricane Season 2013 and this year, meteorologists are already predicting a highly active season. 21 named storms have been predicted for this year namely Andrea, Barry, Chantal, Dorian, Erin, Fernand, Gabrielle, Humberto, Ingrid, Jerry, Karen, Lorenzo, Melissa, Nestor, Olga, Pablo, Rebekah, Sebastien, Tanya, Van and Wendy of which nine are expected to become hurricanes with 4 being major storms between categories 3 to 5. A hurricane is considered a major storm when it has sustained winds of more than 110 mph to 156 mph. Although two more days are left before the hurricane season kicks off in the Atlantic, in the East Pacific, the hurricane season started on May the 15th, and yesterday saw the birth of one tropical storm named, Barbara. The storm is expected to make landfall sometime this afternoon as it was moving north-northeast towards land at about 10 mph (17 kph), toward a sparsely populated stretch of coast.

BTIA Against Major Development At Crawl Caye
The major tourism development project spearheaded by Norwegian Cruise Line has been in discussion for quite sometime and to date it is the cause of controversy. Strong objections have come on behalf of environmentalist and residents of Placencia for the development which reportedly will also see the construction of a world class resort and casino. That however, is only the tip of the iceberg; the real deal is that the location, identified is Crawl Caye, a small coral-rimmed mangrove island located within the South Water Caye Marine Reserve, is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2011 a report surfaced on behalf of BTB indicating that such endeavor to introduce mass cruise tourism should not be undertaken in the area. Consequently, public and private consultations were held with tourism stakeholders on the Peninsula and even executives of the Norwegian Cruise Line accompanied by their attorney Emil Arguelles met with B.T.B officials to discuss and finalize the development master plan. That however, was not quite swallowed by stakeholders in the tourism, including environmentalist, since the environmental impact of the project would be enormous on the protected area; including the transformation of the island from a rich marine ecosystem into a sandy beach. Of equal concern is that a green light from B.T.B. would mean that the organization is contradicting its position on cruise tourism in the south.

Benefiber Powders Recalled From Shelves
If you are a regular user of the nutritional Benefiber Powders then you should that the Novartis Consumer Health, Inc. is recalling all lots of the of nutritional supplement Benefiber powders in the United States and that the U.S based manufacturing facility of the product has extended the recall to Belize simply as a cautionary action. The recall is for specific batches and is related to a relatively high number of complaints by consumers. These include a lack of odor, lack of flavor, bad dissolution and the presence of particles among others. It is important to note that the company has emphasized to the Ministry of Health here in Belize that there has been no evidence of any adverse effects or complaints relating to the use of this product. Belizean consumers, who wish to take action on this voluntary recall warning, are asked to either destroy or return the unused portion of the product to the local store from which it was bought. Some of the Benefiber Powders recalled are Benefiber Powder Canister 80GM, 155GM, 245GM, 350GM and 477GM.

Riding Across Belize For A Worthy Cause
The “Belize Hospice Palliative Care Foundation” is a volunteer driven organization that offers services to persons with terminal illnesses such as cancer. The organization offers assistance to one hundred and twenty two persons by making their daily living more comfortable with services such as day to day attention as well as providing adult diapers and milk for persons suffering from terminal diseases. On the other hand the Red Cross Soup Kitchen has been catering for seventy five to one hundred and twenty five persons in need providing them with a meal every Wednesday. In addition, RCSK also provides groceries, clothing, and even offers education on preventable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension to persons in need. Both organizations have a key role to play in our society when it comes to assisting the less fortunate. But often at times BHPCF and RCSK find themselves cash strapped. In efforts of assisting charitable organizations in Belize, the Social Security Board initiated a programme that revolutionized into a fund raiser to keep organizations such as the Red Cross Soup Kitchen and the Belize Hospice Palliative Care Foundation in operation. The 10th annual “Ride across Belize” as it is prestigiously known, kicked off today in Corozal Town at around 6:00am and by 8:00am this years participants rode into Orange Walk Town.


EUROPEAN UNION *Europe’s top human rights court ruled that equality laws and safety concerns trumped religious freedom in three cases where British Christians were sacked or sanctioned for expressing their beliefs at work. (January 2013). *European Parliament published the brochure, which recommended not to use the words ‘Missus’ and...

Click to download and read THE NEW GENDER POLICY

Opposition Leader comments on Gender Policy 2013
The backlash against the 2013 revised national gender policy of the National Women’s Commission has been swift from the Christian community, angered by apparently amended definitions of gender to appease the LGBT community and whispers of a plan to legalize prostitution. The Commission and Cabinet, which approved the policy...

Police release identity of body recovered in Burrell Boom
On Tuesday we told you that a dead man was found in the Burrell Boom area behind Henderson Bank. He has since been identified as 37 year old Ellis Dawson of Sandhill, who was to have celebrated his 38th birthday this week. The post mortem showed that he had...

Teakettle resident hit and tied during home invasion
Some of you may remember a time when you could leave your doors unlocked when you go to sleep or even if you went away for the entire weekend. Today, unfortunately, we can’t do that anymore and it is becoming increasingly clear that added security measures ought to be...

Opposition Leader says Government have allowed politics to over-ride national interest
When we caught up with Leader of the Opposition Hon. Francis Fonseca earlier today, we asked him about his views on the recent destruction of the Noh Mul mound in Orange Walk. The PUP leader slammed Government for allowing politics to get in the way of the national interest....

PUP Leader says Guatemala cannot be trusted on Referendum
If the referendum on taking the Guatemalan dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague, Netherlands is not dead, then it is clearly on life support following recent news that Belize and Guatemala want to proceed together in 2014 and not 2013 as originally agreed. Leader...

Joyride ends with crash in Belize City
A Belize City man has been charged after he reportedly took his friend’s car for a joyride and ended up crashing it. The owner of the vehicle told Police that on Sunday, he and his family left the city to go on an overnight fishing trip. He left his...

Ministry of Health announced recall of Benefiber Powders
The Ministry of Health today announced the voluntary recall of the nutritional supplement Benefiber Powders. The recall is for specific batches and is related to a relatively high number of complaints by consumers; these include a lack of odor, lack of flavor, bad dissolution and the presence of particles...

Pandy Show celebrated its 21st Anniversary
The Pandy Show celebrated its 21st Anniversary on Monday. For years, The Pandy Show has been bringing entertainment, education and laughter into your living room, making it the longest running local educational television program in the country. And in typical Pandy fashion, he threw an extravagant party at the...

The Guardian

Caye Caulker Chronicles

2nd Inspiration Telethon for “The Inspiration Center” on June 1st 2013
This Saturday, June 1st, Caye Caulker will be participating in the second annual telethon for The Inspiration Center. The Inspiration Center is already underway and it is located at 1.5 mile on the George Price Highway. Last year’s telethon raised US$500,000 towards the construction and to equip The Inspiration Center. This year’s telethon will be primarily used for the purchase of specialized equipment to provide physical and occupational therapy, medical care, recreational activities and other services catered to the need of children with disabilities. The center will also serve as a community center with after-school classes for disadvantage children from the surrounding communities. The telethon will run from 8am to 6pm and will be simulcast on local TV and radio as well as streamed on the internet. Belizeans both at home and abroad will have various means through which they can donate to this important cause including by cash, depositing to the center’s bank account, through texting, billing pledges to their BTL accounts, credit card or even buying Inspiration Center T-shirts and hats. On June 1st, both SMART and BTL customers will be able to access the telethon’s hotline 0-800-INSPIRE (467-7473), while international audiences can dial 011-501-227-WISH (9474).

Femi’s Homemade Pepper Sauce
Get youself a bottle of homemade habanero pepper sauce today. Euphemi ‘Femi’ Blanco makes a delicious pepper sauce from fresh habaneros perfect to enhance the taste of any meal. “Be careful, just try a little first” she says, cause its super hot. Here we have Femi Blending up some fresh Habaneros


The Reporter

The Belize Times


“Feeling Good” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Picked up the tile sample that Jesus Cervantes of The Tile & Stone Center had sent to us via Tropic Air on Tuesday evening and with just one look at it Rose and I knew that we had the replacement for the unavailable Real Stone Gris that had been our first choice. So, with the decision made, I fired off an email to Jesus yesterday morning to ascertain if he had sufficient stock of the tile to meet our requirements. Within minutes I had a response advising that he has 13,000 square feet in stock. We only need just over a tenth of this so what could have been a problem for us has been resolved. And, very quickly. Then spent a bit of time exchanging emails with FC Exchange to make sure that payment to Captain Shark’s ( the balance for the golf cart we are buying) was being processed. It was, so ‘all systems go’! At around 11.30 I got an email from Enrique at Captain Shark’s advising that the final payment had been received (FC Exchange is exceptionally quick at processing transactions) and that our golf cart is ready for collection today. We just needed to pop down to the store to choose our wheel rims. So off Rose and I went.

A River of Waste: The Hazardous Truth About Factory Farms
A heart-stopping new documentary, A RIVER OF WASTE exposes a huge health and environmental scandal in our modern industrial system of meat and poultry production. Some scientists have gone so far as to call the condemned current factory farm practices as “mini Chernobyls.” In the U.S. and elsewhere, the meat and poultry industry is dominated by dangerous uses of arsenic, antibiotics, growth hormones and by the dumping of massive amounts of sewage in fragile waterways and environments. The film documents the vast catastrophic impact on the environment and public health as well as focuses on the individual lives damaged and destroyed.

How Not to Go Phishing
What is phishing? Phishing is the act of trying to secure information from someone by impersonating someone else in an electronic communication, such as email. It is common for attackers to send out emails with links or attachments that attempt to secure information from you or even take control of your computer. Why should I care about phishing? By email, attackers use phishing to get access to your sensitive and confidential information. It is common practice for the attackers to impersonate a trusted person or company in an attempt to collect enough information to steal your identity or confidential information from your employer. These emails can also include attachments that can contain malware that can affect your computer when clicked on. Attackers are very sophisticated these days and can easily set up bogus websites that steal your information without you even realizing it or you realize it too late. For example, an attacker can send you a link to a very real looking but “fake” website, prompting you for information (ie. name, address, telephone, bank account information, credit card information, social security number) that they can use for personal gain.

Making a Killing: The Untold Story of Psychotropic Drugging
Psychotropic drugs. It’s the story of big money-drugs that fuel a $330 billion psychiatric industry, without a single cure. The cost in human terms is even greater-these drugs now kill an estimated 42,000 people every year. And the death count keeps rising. Containing more than 175 interviews with lawyers, mental health experts, the families of victims and the survivors themselves, this riveting documentary rips the mask off psychotropic drugging and exposes a brutal but well-entrenched money-making machine. Before these drugs were introduced in the market, people who had these conditions would not have been given any drugs at all. So it is the branding of a disease and it is the branding of a drug for a treatment of a disease that did not exist before the industry made the disease. This video provides the facts about psychotropic drugs and the huge profits they create for the pharmaceutical industry. These drugs are not safe and have not been on the market long enough to provide sufficient long term studies regarding their effects. These drugs do cause addiction, however most “doctors” would call this dependence because you do not have to take an increasing dose over time. They are completely fine with you being addicted to the same amount of any given drug on a daily basis. Over half of the people that commit suicide in the United States are prescribed to psychotropic drugs. (Ex: Paxil (Paroxetine), Zoloft (Sertraline), Prozac, Wellbutrin (Bupropion), Effexor, Seroquil, Ultram (Tramadol), etc.)

Cara Blanca 2013 short film
Film of the season: See Marty O'Farrell's (Living Reef Belize) 7 minute video of the 2013 underwater explorations of Cara Blanca Pool 1. Thanks Marty for all your fab work!! A short film showing the challenges of diving and exploring one of the 23 sacred Mayan pools found in the deep jungles of western Belize.

International Sources

10 reasons to retire in Belize
From cheap real estate to low taxes — not to mention the gorgeous beaches and surf — the English-speaking country of Belize is ideal for Americans ready to retire. Five years ago, Macarena Rose decided to relocate from Florida to Belize. “I said enough to the uncertainty and the worries of life in the United States and opted for a new life, in a new country,” she says. “The American Dream of a comfortable middle-class lifestyle in retirement may be harder and harder to realize in the United States, but it is alive and well in this beautiful little English-speaking country. And your retirement income, whatever it is, can stretch much, much further here.” Here are 10 reasons Belize is such an appealing retirement spot: 1. The economy of Belize is stable. This country has one of the lowest inflation rates in the world. 2. English is the official language. Belize is the only country in Latin America where this is true. 3. Belize is close by. You can get to it in two hours or less from Houston and many points on the east coast. You can easily visit your family and friends (and grandkids) often and vice versa. Living in Belize, you'll be surprised how many visitors you'll have from back home.

May 29, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!!
Running Part I:
The urgent whispered argument woke her up. It had to be the middle of the night. Her eyes grew adjusted to the darkness; only the faint glow of a low-hanging moon valiantly penetrating the room she was in. The fight continued, the voices growing louder as tempers flared, no longer caring about those sleeping around them.

The San Pedro Sun

Oceana: Injunction stay hearing adjourned for a week
The injunction issued April 16, 2013 by Supreme Court Justice Oswell Legall remains in effect as the application to lift the injunction was not heard today. Oceana in Belize, along with Co-Claimants Citizen Organized for Liberty & Action (COLA) & the Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage, won a historic legal victory when Justice Legal delivered his judgment in Claim #810 of 2011.The judgment declared all six offshore Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs) “unlawful, null and void.” Judge Legall furthermore granted “an injunction restraining the defendant, servants and agent from carrying out the provisions of the PSAs. Shortly after its loss in court, the Government stated its intention of appeal the decision. At the behest of Princess Petroleum Belize Limited and Providence Energy Belize Limited government applied for a stay of execution of the injunction. The hearing of that application started before the Chief Justice today. However, Chief Justice Benjamin adjourned the hearing until next Tuesday, June 4 Government’s lawyers Denys Barrow, SC and his daughter Naima Barrow as well as the counter submissions made by Oceana and its Co-Claimants, arguing that the injunction remains in force until the appeal is heard by the Belize Court of Appeal.

Two people stabbed over “turf” fight in San Pedro Town
Police in San Pedro Town arrested and charged one person for a double stabbing that occurred on Thursday May 23rd. The victims are 25 year old Cozet Maximo originally of a Belize City address and 25 year old Kenneth Jones of a Boca del Rio area of San Pedro Town. The two were stabbed shortly around 2:30AM while walking in the down town area on Barrier Reef Drive. As a result of the stabbing, police arrested and charged one Bridgett Guzman, also known as “Busy Bee.” “I was walking on my way home and two girls just attacked me and stabbed me with an ice-pick about ten times. I was stabbed coming out of an alley on front street [Barrier Reef Drive],” explained Maximo. She also said that she also positively recognized her attacker. As a result of the incident, Maximo received stab wounds to her right and left arm, on her back and on her right breast.

Jesse Smith-Guerrero drafted to play football in one of the larger English Premier Leagues
Jesse Smith-Guerrero, affectionately known as “Pinchi”, is in London, United Kingdom, pursuing his dream of becoming a professional football player. Earlier this year, Smith-Guerrero was invited to a display football event in Mexico and was eventually drafted to play for one of the larger English Premier Leagues. Two weeks ago, he left Belize and was called to training in preparation for next football season. Speaking from London to The San Pedro Sun, Guerrero explained that he is very happy to be in the UK and that he will start full training next week. “It’s a dream come true,” said Guerrero adding “All the legal paper work with the football club will be fully completed next week, at which point I will begin training.” Smith-Guerrero is the first islander in recent years to leave the country to play for a football club outside of Belize.

Tis’ the Season for Parrot Poaching
Illegal trafficking of native parrots for house pets has been an escalating problem over the past several years. These birds are captured at a very young age to be sold as pets in the illegal pet trade market. The process results not only in the destruction of trees and life-long nests, but usually the death of the majority of the hatchlings that are taken for the pet trade. One nonprofit organization has made parrot poaching its mission to solve. The Belize Bird Rescue (BBR), located in the Cayo District, was founded by Jerry Larder and Nikki Buxton. Since 2004, they have been rescuing birds from the illegal pet trade. Larder and Buxton work closely along with the Belize Forest Department to encourage the enforcement and implementation of the Wildlife Protection Act, Chapter 220. They also rehabilitate and release rescued captive parrots. BBR aims to initiate the mandatory banding of the licensing program of all captive indigenous avian species.

Hashishi Pampi
“Them wiggle inna ashes pam de fire hearth and lef out them head. They eat roast thing.” The fire hearth has always played a central role in rural life, and for a couple from Double Head Cabbage, part of an established evening routine was to check that all sparks on the hearth had been put out and all leftover food was properly covered. The hearth’s base, which was a wooden structure very much like a table was covered with a thick layer of clay or limestone. An iron bar on a tripod of stones was used to support pots. Any ashes from the firewood would remain in the hearth. One evening the couple was in the kitchen looking directly at the hearth, when they saw what looked like little men frolicking mischievously. The creatures were tiny, and their skin almost exactly matched the colour of the ashes in which they were playing.

Oceana: Injunction stay hearing adjourned for a week
The injunction issued April 16, 2013 by Supreme Court Justice Oswell Legall remains in effect as the application to lift the injunction was not heard today. Oceana in Belize, along with Co-Claimants Citizen Organized for Liberty & Action (COLA) & the Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage, won a historic legal victory when Justice Legal delivered his judgment in Claim #810 of 2011.The judgment declared all six offshore Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs) “unlawful, null and void.” Judge Legall furthermore granted “an injunction restraining the defendant, servants and agent from carrying out the provisions of the PSAs. Shortly after its loss in court, the Government stated its intention of appeal the decision. At the behest of Princess Petroleum Belize Limited and Providence Energy Belize Limited government applied for a stay of execution of the injunction. The hearing of that application started before the Chief Justice today. However, Chief Justice Benjamin adjourned the hearing until next Tuesday, June 4 Government’s lawyers Denys Barrow, SC and his daughter Naima Barrow as well as the counter submissions made by Oceana and its Co-Claimants, arguing that the injunction remains in force until the appeal is heard by the Belize Court of Appeal.

Ambergris Today

National AIDS Commission Island Committee Undergoes Counseling Training
San Pedro now counts on the newly acquired skills of nine trained pre and post-test counselors; of the National AIDS Commission’s Island Committee. The nine members became certified after a two-day training, May 18 and 19, held at the El Divino conference room. The training was funded by the USAID Capacity Project and facilitated by Nurse Lourdes Heredia of the Corozal Country Coordinating Mechanism Committee. The training gave participants an in depth overview of HIV AIDS as well as a chance to dissect the various myths about HIV AIDS while becoming equipped with skills necessary to effectively counsel individuals wishing to undergo the Free HIV Test. We were educated of the various attitudes and values that every counselor must possess.

Sign Up for Coral Reef Ed-Ventures 2013
The Smith College Coral Reef Ed-Ventures team is preparing to come down to Ambergris Caye for the program's 14th year. All interested students are asked to sign up (Camp is free). Permission slips to participate will be available at Hol Chan Marine Reserve as well as the San Pedro Public Library. Before camp begins, two FREE movie nights will be hosted. Camp Dates: Advanced Camp: June 17-21 Youth Camp: July 1-11 Graduation: Evening of July 11

Police Department to Strengthen with Over a Hundred New Recruits
The National Police Training Academy in Belmopan announces preparations for a new intake of recruits, Recruit Intake 89, to join the ranks of the Belize Police Department. Examinations for the new recruit intake will be held on Saturday, June 22, 2013 at specific venues around the Country to be announced later. Applicants must be Belizean, male or female, between the ages of 18 and 35; at least 5 feet, 4 inches in height; and must possess, at the minimum, a High School Diploma. An Associates or Bachelors Degree will be an asset. Applicants must also have a clean Police Record.

Alexis Roca Celebrates 15 Años
Alexis Roca celebrated her coming-of-age 15th Birthday with a traditional Quinceaños party that included a Mass of Thanksgiving at the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church and a festive reception at the R. Angel Nuñez Auditorioum. Here she is pictured with her chaperone just before mass on Saturday, May 25, 2013. Alexis is the daughter of Elver and Ruby Ancona; Happy Birthday Alexis!

San Pedro Village in the 1950's
This is half of the tiny fishing village of San Pedro on Ambergris Caye in the 1950’s. It is a historic photo as it is the only one of its kind. You are looking at San Pedro when there was no 24-hour electricity but only a few poles on the middle street with electric lamps that were lit from 6 to 9 p.m. You can absolutely say that there was no tourism, no speed boats, no refrigeration, no ice, no passenger boats, no airplanes, no customs nor immigration, no supermarket, no boutiques nor gift shops, no post office, and NO VEHICLES.

Pic of the Week: Catch of the Day in San Pedro!
For many years rushing to any dock to see the catch of the day has been the biggest attraction on the island. Today the attraction continues as many fishermen gather a crowd in a heart beat with buyers, photographers and more. Above is Eric Henkis and his sideman from Uprising Tours with their massive sailfish catch. On your next vacation make sure to book your fishing tour with uprising tours and get a big catch.

Misc Belizean Sources

Crawl Caye cruise development straight to cabinet- no village input
Mike Singh was on Open Your Eyes this A.M. and saying this Crawl Caye cruise development is going to cabinet - no consult with village, just straight to cabinet. That's right - next Tuesday. They're going to make this look like a completely ex-pat thing - and say that all the tour guides, tour operators, and Belizeans in Placencia are in favor. They're also going to try to isolate Placencia Village and treat us as an anomaly.

The Toledo Cacao Festival was born in 2007 and has been celebrated each year on the same Commonwealth Day weekend towards the end of May. It attracts hundreds of visitors from around Belize as well as overseas. This year the festival was celebrated this past weekend on the 24-26 May. This lively festival has helped Toledo shed its worn out image as “the forgotten district” and established it as one of Belize’s vibrant and international attention by re-branding the event as the Chocolate Festival of Belize. The festival had many devoted followers who returned this year again to sample the chocolate delights available and to find out what was new in the world of chocolate attention by re-branding the event as the Chocolate Festival of Belize. The festival had many devoted followers who returned this year again to sample the chocolate delights available and to find out what was new in the world of chocolate making.

VIDEO: Glover's Reef 2013 Amazing Marine Life
Sharks, Dolphins, Turtles, amazing marine life, Join us as we explore Glover's Reef with 2013 Belize Tour Operator of The Year, Splash Dive Center, Placencia.

Dream Valley Jungle Lodge
Dream Valley is a newer jungle lodge in Cayo with luxurious cabins, from which you can see the Belize river. They've been open a little more than a year, and you might have seen their sign around Teakettle Village. They have a spa on site, and are preparing to build a yoga wellness center. If you want to get away for a weekend, and pamper yourself, Dream Valley is the place to go.

Bullet Tree Falls Corn Fest
The Bullet Tree Falls Corn Fest flier is out. This Friday and Saturday, come to Bullet Tree for fun, games, and dancing too. Friday evening is the Queen of the Corn pageant, followed by Orquidea Negra Dance Company, and then a disco with DJ Diamond. Saturday starts with the canoe race, then has a football quadrangular, and those are followed by a drinking contest, a pepper eating contest, marching bands, themed dances, a volleyball competition, and it also ends with a disco.

UB's April/May Newsletter
The University of Belize has released their April/May newsletter. It's full of good articles, including one about their wonderful Earth Day festivities. "Earth Day: A Success!; Belize Benefits from Agricultural Project; Water security, climate change, and social development; Qualified primary school teachers; Empowering Education, for Children in Today’s Society; Celebrating the International Day of Spanish Language; International Cultures Exhibition; Tobacco Free: Healthier Lifestyle; Managing Central Belize Corridor; Bridging Civil Engineering and Mathematics; Media and the Portrayal of Violence…Effects on Children and the Wider Community; Researching and Presenting to Classmates; Historic Student Government Elections; Future Scientists: Chemical Research; IT Professionals @ Work; Students Caring by Innovating; Promoting Nursing Ethics; Enhancing Math Learning with Technology; Donation to Beautification Project; Futsal Tournament; Sports Update: UB and Mexican University; ATLIB Football Champions; Orientation 2013 Schedule"

St. Andrew's Primary Gets Upgrade
Feelgood news of the day. Help International, a volunteer group that comes to Belize quite often, constructed basketball and volleyball courts, and painted some of St. Andrew's primary school. Thanks, Help International!

In Bloom Jammed at Full Moon Concert
In Bloom played at the SISE House of Culture's Full Moon Concert Saturday night. Here are some pictures of them rocking the Cayo Welcome Center. Can't wait until next time.

Inspiration Telethon Coming
The Inspiration Telethon will take place Saturday, June 1st, from 8am until 6pm. Kim Simplis-Barrow, the Special Envoy for Women and Children, has a press release about the event, and the Inspiration Center that the telethon is raising money for. You can call 0-800-INSPIRE if you'd like to donate. "The Inspiration Telethon is being sponsored by Belize Telemedia Limited, NICH, SMART, McNab Designs, Love FM, Love TV, Channel 5, Government Press Office. It is supported by Demor’s Décor, PKF Belize, Channel 7, Wave Radio, Wave TV, Plus TV, CTV-3, Reef TV, Krem TV, Krem Radio and Belize Broadcasting Network - BBN."

San Ignacio FC Wins Copa Tulum
The San Ignacio FC traveled to Mexico, and won the Copa Tulum football tournament. They've released a video highlighting the games and penalty shots. Congratulations, San Ignacio FC! "San Ignacio FC 2013 Copa Tulum Champions Highlights and Penalties Shootouts Video."

What’s great about owning a Small Business?
Imagine doing any one of these, and being paid for it. Imagine getting full credit, both monetarily and in client satisfaction, for your great business idea. The wonderful thing about small business is that enterprise-ready ideas are all around you. Consider these activities as business opportunities: cleaning mowing lawns washing cars walking dogs or washing pets looking after younger children umpiring sports matches teaching people to swim organising discos, dances or school excursions finding information on the Internet designing and producing greeting cards printing brochures for local churches or associations baking biscuits translating for people who don’t speak much English reading for blind or elderly people lending books, toys or bikes.

Channel 7

Bze Rural Man Found Dead In River, Stabbed 20+ Times
Tonight, a family in Sandhill is grieving after their loved one was found dead, and police believe he was murdered. The first report came this morning at around 9:00, when police were called out to the Henderson Bank area in Burrell Boom to retrieve a dead body from the river. 7news spoke to eyewitnesses from the area. Abel Guttierrez - Working In Area Where Body Found "Two police officers came so I came to investigate what they came down here to do so he told me that they found a dead body up the river and the boat passed and went to get it so a little while after the boat came down towing the body in the river" Jules Vasquez "And how did it appear Sir?' Abel Guttierrez "The body was properly decomposed, one of his hands was missing and one of his feet. In his face, you could not recognize the person, whoever he was"

Man Dies 3 Months After Being Shot
And another Belize district family is in the throes of grief tonight – after their loved one passed away on Sunday. Jamil Richardson was shot in Belize City on Thursday March 28th, the night before Good Friday. He was left paralysed from the waist down by a gunshot to the neck. Since that time, his family had been fundraising to have him visit a physiotherapist, but on Saturday, his worsening condition took a sharp downturn and he had to be hospitalized. 24 hours later, he was dead. His sister told us today that the family is wracked by grief for this needless loss of life. Tanisha Chavez - Sister of Jamile 'Cash' Richardson "Sunday morning he was still talking good, he was arguing that the doctors wanted to scrape his bed so he didn't want them to touch it. An hour after that he just stopped talking, only his hands were moving and that the doctors said that they gave him up. That's very devastating because about 4:00 she called for me to go over there at the hospital again and when I went there he was fighting, he's a strong person. He wanted to fight it but he was tired and he needed to rest."

GOB and OCEANA Back In Court
A month ago, Oceana Belize won a major case against the Government of Belize when Justice Legall declared 6 offshore oil-drilling contracts null and void. And then, 2 weeks ago, Treaty Energy Belize, the company operating under the umbrella of Princess Petroleum, resumed their oil drilling explorations even after Justice Legall issued an injunction against its agreement with the Government of Belize. Oceana Belize says that Government should act responsibly and enforce the order of the Supreme Court. They believe that GOB has the authority and is refusing to do so because they don’t like the judgment. Well, GOB says that the court created a power vacuum by restraining them from acting as the oversight mechanism. They claim that this gives Providence Energy Belize Limited, Princess Petroleum Limited – and by extension Treaty Energy – free reign to do as they please under the PSA’s. So, this quite substantial difference of opinion has made it before Chief Justice Benjamin, and today he was supposed to hear a case brought by GOB to lift the injunction. We spoke to both sides when they came out of a very brief hearing. Here’s what they told us.

Government Backpedals, Appeases Churches On Gender Policy
12 days ago, we told you about the National Gender Policy and at that time, our report alluded to the wording of one heading, Respect For Diversity. It says, and we quote, “the population is comprised of persons of all ages who come from diverse races, cultures, ethnicities, faiths, sexual orientations, socio-economic situations and behavioral lifestyles. All policies and programmes must therefore reflect this reality of diversity among the Belizean populace and customary, religious and cultural practices must be subject to the right of equality,” end quote. Well that’s set off a firestorm of controversy among the Christian right – who say that those “diverse sexual orientations” and their “right of equality” in “religious and cultural practices” seems to be pushing an agenda of homosexual inclusion in schools and churches. It’s a hot button issue, so much so that it even urged a release from Cabinet today – and we haven’t gotten one of those in over a year. And the release finds the conservative Cabinet backpedalling on a document it had already approved. It says, quote, “Cabinet…considered the concern raised by various religious leaders…(and) decided that it was necessary to maintain its policy to respect the reality of Belize’s wide range of diversity. Nevertheless, Cabinet did feel that it would do no harm to that policy by omitting the last few words in the final sentence of the paragraph which reads: “’... and customary religious and cultural practices must be subject to the right of equality’”.

Tropic Air Loses Aviation Fuel
Over ten security workers at Tropic Air’s Municipal Base were let go today as part of an investigation into missing aviation fuel. Tropic Air’s Public Relations Director Dennis Sunderman confirmed that the company was moving to a private security provider after the fuel fiasco – which he told us happened back in April. Sunderman confirmed that 1,800 gallons, or 30 Drums of fuel went missing from the Municipal operation and it cannot be accounted for. Aviation fuel is in high demand on the black market particularly during the dry season for the re-fuelling of drug planes passing through Belize. The retail value of this batch of fuel is about twelve thousand dollars. But on the black market, delivered to a clandestine airstrip it can fetch more than ten times that value.

GSU On Drug Raids
Tonight, 64 year-old Ebert Usher, a taxi driver of #133 George Street, is facing a ten thousand dollar fine after he pleaded guilty to drug trafficking in Magistrate’s Court. The GSU searched his apartment on Saturday at around 7:30 a.m. They found 121 grams – or 4.27 ounces – ounces of marijuana in 2 lotion bottles, a deodorant bottle and a gel can. As a result, he was charged with drug trafficking, and he was arraigned in Magistrate’s Court, where he pleaded guilty to the charge. He was fined $10,000 which he must pay by November 30, 2013, or he will spend 3 years in prison if he defaults. The GSU believes that the senior citizen is reputed drug peddler and an affiliate of the George Street Gang.

The Alternative To Traditional Fisheries
Several months ago, 7News presented you story with the pilot program in Placencia where the local fishermen were exploring alternative forms of livelihood. They chose seaweed farming and brought the industry to Belize where they searched out a local market and found that it is a viable option to the slowly depleting fisheries. This weekend, we got a chance to see their seaweed farming facilities, the finished products, and we spoke to them about how the project has been progressing. Daniel Ortiz reporting Sidney Lopez Jr. - Chairman, PPCSL "We went over to Glover's Reef - that's where we got the natural stock to start our pilot project beacuse it's over there in abundance with this group around 15 of us. We got the seed stock from Glover's and we took over ropes and planted the seed stocks on the rope. Then we brought them over to the main barrier reef over at Little Water Caye and Hatchette Caye where the two farms are located. This is how the process is - we plant it on the rope then we push it through and we break off a piece of seaweed and we put a little piece into the rope. We then have the nets that we sew to put over the rope - that is to protect it from when the weather gets rough."

City Student Stabbed, Fights Back
Tonight a Belize City student is lucky to be alive and to tell his story after he was attacked with a knife by a robber on Saturday evening. It happened around 5:30 in the Kings Park area. The student was attacked just up the street from where he lived while on his way home from a Youth Voices Meeting. He did fight back the robber and managed to punch him but in the process a cut wound was inflicted to his chest. He told us his story. Voice Of: Belize City Student "I was up the block from my home, I was walking home from a youth voices meeting. This guy on a bike came in front of me, gave me this story about how he was lost and he wanted to find a friend so I gave my back to him and he jumped off his bike with a knife and told me to give him everything I have in my pocket. When I saw that, I just reacted and punched him in the face and when I punched him I took two steps back, well that was the end of it. I got stabbed in the chest, however, it was minor injuries but other than that it kinda shocked me but I had to protect myself. He actually was riding in front of me, I guess he realized I was being very cautious because I saw him take steps in the back of him. I just realized that and I became very anxious but he calmed me down with the story."

The Follow Up On The Road That Was Paid, Not Paved
On Friday, we told you about allegations of what is best described as fleecing in the Orange Walk District. It involves documents, which show a series of contracts numbered from 475 to 484, which were allegedly entered into between Imer Hernandez Development Company and the Ministry of Works to pave the San Antonio Road. The receipts we have show that on February 24, 2012 payment was requested on behalf of the company, and some official at the Ministry of Works authorized payment the very same day. Except the road was never paved. As we told you, the Ministry of Works District Supervisor Graziano Medina refused to comment to us, and he pointed us in the direction of the CEO in the Ministry of Works on Friday. When we contacted The Ministry of Works in Belmopan, we were told by the CEO’s secretary that he was in office, but he had handed off the responsibility to another public officer. Well, we finally in contacted him today, he told us that he has no knowledge those contracts, and that they didn’t fall under his unit at the Ministry of Works. He also said that he had no knowledge that he was supposedly assigned to this matter, and he also apologized that no one else was addressing the issue directly.

US VP Biden In Trinidad
US Vice President Joe Biden is leaving Trinidad tonight where he met with regional leaders including Belize’s Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. Talks covered regional security, trade, energy and human and social development, and a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement between Caricom and the United States. Vega is accompanied by Nestor Mendez, Ambassador of Belize in Washington, D.C.

Premier League Championship
Whenever members of the Police Department are featured in the news, it is always in their official capacity, or when there are allegations of wrongdoing. Well tonight, the story about Police has nothing to do with business as usual! It’s about the Police United Football Club played against FC Belize in the 2013 finals of the Premier League of Belize on Saturday night. Daniel Ortiz saw them in action as ordinary civilians supporting their football club in their third trip to the finals. Here’s that story: Daniel Ortiz reporting The final match exploded into excitement within 15 minutes when FC Belize scored the first goal for the night. It came after a beautiful pass from Mark 'Kelo' Leslie who beat his defender and put the ball in the air, setting up Michael Hernandez for a surprise header. That first goal allowed FC Belize to establish themselves very early on in the game, putting intense pressure on Police United. After that, Police United picked up the pace, determined to try to win back that goal.

Man Dies In Hospital Bathroom
Tonight, authorities at the Punta Gorda Hospital continue to investigate what caused the death of 35 year-old Christoper Cus, a resident of San Miguel Village. According to police, his body was found inside the male bathroom of the hospital on Sunday at around 3:40 p.m. Their investigation so far has revealed that the nurses conducted their routine checks, Cus was not found in his hospital bed. The nurses found him inside the bathroom kneeling inside a tub with his head inside the bucket. Cus was removed and CPR was conducted but he was dead. The Ministry of Health is sending a team down to PG tomorrow to investigate.

Inspiration Information
The inspiration center is one of the most successful fundraising initiatives in Belize’s history – and now it is going for a round two. Monica Bodden found out more today. Monica Bodden reporting Construction of The Inspiration Center at mile 1 and a half on the Western Highway is well underway and today the media was invited out to the building site. A short tour of the unfinished project was conducted by the Prime Minister’s wife, Kim Barrow –who walked us through the building explaining the different rooms and their purposes. Kim Simplis Barrow - Belize’s Special Envoy "It's a rainy morning but for me and a lot of us - the sun is shining brightly. We are very happy and pleased to have you all here to basically give a tour what was once just a dream and now hopefully by September. October it will be a reality. Last year as you know we held our first telethon where we raised $1,000,000 in that one day and we started construction in September of last year. So we're doing pretty well with time in terms of the construction and the building and moving the inspiration center forward. We really wanted you all here to show you where we're at and what has happened. I think it's important for all Belizeans to see what we have been doing because this is the people's inspiration center because we as Belizeans rallied for the telethon and we were able to raise that amount of money to make this project a reality."

Channel 5

OCEANA Petroleum case adjourned
Attorneys for OCEANA and the Government of Belize squared off in the Supreme Court today on separate applications relating to the issue of oil contracts. G.O.B. is applying for an [...]

“Cash” dies from wounds received on Holy Thursday
There was no reported gun violence over the holiday weekend in the City, but police are tonight resuming an investigation into the shooting of thirty year old Jamile Richardson, who [...]

Missing since Friday; body found in lagoon
The badly decomposed body of a male person was pulled from the river in the village of Burrell Boom this morning. According to reports, just after nine Police were called [...]

Dying man drowns himself
It is not unusual for people do die in the hospital, but the police had to be called to the Punta Gorda Hospital after a patient was found dead. After [...]

Should the families of newborns that died from infection at K.H.M.H. receive compensation?
Our previous poll asked viewers on who they thought is to be held accountable for the death of twelve newborns at the K.H.M.H. Our viewers thought by and large that [...]

A trawler’s story: OCEANA gives new life to vessel and Coop.
OCEANA acquired two fishing trawlers when Belize passed legislation to effectively ban bottom trawling back in 2011. The first trawler, Northern One, is safely with the Coastal Zone Management Authority [...]

Maranco Petroleum show to be revealed
According to the newspaper El Financiero, embassies of Belize and Guatemala have allegedly reported that U.S. experts have been exploring for oil in regions bordering Mexico since 2012.  The report [...]

Inspiration Center becoming a reality
Last year, CARE-Belize joined the Special Envoy for Women and Children on an ambitious initiative for the construction of an Inspiration Center. The facility is now a few months away [...]

Weed in lotion, weed everywhere
A senior citizen was today fined ten thousand dollars after he pleaded guilty to drug trafficking. Sixty-four year old Egbert August Usher claimed he was using the stem of marijuana [...]

Throwing gun on ground still gets you jail time
An illegal firearm and six rounds of ammunition have landed one man behind bars at the Belize Central Prison. Police claim that they were on mobile patrol on Saturday near [...]

Gender Policy wanted to legalize prostitution and then some
The Revised Gender Policy 2013 was released on May sixteenth. The policy was the product of the Women’s Commission of Belize and considered progressive because it surpassed the Caribbean’s response [...]

Successful walk for Cancer Awareness
Thousands came out at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning for the 2013 cancer walk from Ladyville to Belize City. Their common purpose was to raise awareness about the [...]

Musician wants his cash from Telemedia’s Digicell
Digicell’s tenth anniversary celebration came and went in December of last year and along with it was controversy and outrage over the use of the MCC Grounds, the only F.F.B.-approved [...]

Sports Monday highlights with veteran sportscaster
Good Evening I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday. Game two of the PBL’s home and away series for the 2013 football title brought out its due pomp and [...]


Oil Drilling Operations Continue Despite Court Ruling
OCEANA Belize along with its partners, the Citizens Organized for Liberty and Action (COLA) and the Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage were back in court today to deal with a matter which many thought had already been resolved by way of a court ruling. On April 16th, an injunction issued out ...

Belize's Deputy PM Meets With US Vice President
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture, Gaspar Vega is in Trinidad and Tobago. The Deputy Prime Minister was a member of CARICOM leaders who met with US Vice President Joe Biden. During the meeting, the CARICOM leaders discussed a number of issues crit...

Special Envoy for Women and Children Prepares For Inspiration Telethon
The Inspiration Center is targeted to be a rehabilitation center to provide therapy to children with special needs and it was inspired by an idea from the Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow. Last year, a telethon garnered one million dollars to start building the cente...

Former Ombudsman of Belize Asks For Investigation Into GSU Behaviour During Weekend Operation
MARION ALI REPORTING The Gang Suppression Unit is at the heart of another controversy tonight after its members allegedly used excessive force upon a man and caused damage to his house. The incident reportedly occurred during a search at #52 West Street on Monday morning. Former O...

Toledo Resident Succumbs To Injuries Sustained In Road Accident
A man has died from injuries he sustained in a traffic accident one month ago in the Toledo District. 28 year-old Frederick Williams of Mafredi Village, Toledo, passed away a week ago from injuries he suffered on April 27th on the Jalacte Road. Williams was traveling along with Lewis ...

Minor Says The Man Fondled Her Private Parts
Fifty-eight year old Michael Williams, a.k.a. “Pantalon”, who allegedly committed a sexual assault on a female minor, was charged with aggravated assault when he appeared in court today. Williams pled not guilty to the charge. He was not offered bail because he owes the court for two ...

Police Finds Man In Cemetery With Unlicensed Firearm
Twenty year old Lindon Hinds, an employee of Boots Housing Project, was charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a license when he appeared in court today. Hinds pled not guilty to the charges. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser explained to him that she cannot offer him bail because of the ...

Eight Months In Prison For Pipe
Fifty-one year old Richard Turton, one of three persons charged with possession of a pipe, was sentenced to eight months imprisonment today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser after he pled guilty to the charge. Senior Magistrate Fraser did not give him a fine because he has previous convictions f...

Taxi Driver Fined 10K For Having Cannabis In His Home
Sixty-four year old taxi driver Egbert August Usher, charged with drug trafficking for 121 grams of cannabis, was fined $10,000.00 today by Magistrate Dale Cayetano after he pled guilty to the charge. Usher was given until November 30 to pay. If he defaults on payment he will serve a term of thre...

MOU Signed Between Union and UK Company
Over the weekend, the Belize Workers’ Union signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the General Municipal Boilermakers, GMB, of the United Kingdom. A release from the Belize Workers’ Union says the signing “will herald a new era of cooperation and mutual solidarity betwe...

Basket Weaving Competition Wraps Up In Southern Belize
Last week we reported on a Jippi Jappa, basket weaving competition which took place in the Toledo District. The event featured prizes for the best weaving and product making in different categories and displayed the creative work of women in the south. On Friday, the Socio-Economic Ou...

Oceana Belize Supports Seaweed Farming
Back in 2010, Belize became one of three countries in the world to put a ban on deep sea bottom trawling. Two trawlers were bought by Oceana and one of them had been docked at the port for more than a year and on Saturday, the vessel, Northern II was handed over to the Placencia Producers Coopera...

Sailing Competition Held on Placencia Peninsula
The Belize Sailing Association has scheduled eight national ranking regattas this year and the fourth sailing competition was held in Placencia this past Saturday. According to the Secretary of the association, Alan Usher, thirty sailors under the age of sixteen from sailing clubs throughout the ...


Chinese Store Robbed In Broad DaylightTonight Police are seeking two persons for questioning after the proprietor of Family Store located on Saint Peters Street in Oragne Walk Town was robbed at gunpoint. According to the proprietor of the store, on May 25th, at around ten in the morning, two masked men entered the business establishment and held him at gun point and demanded money. Fearing for his life, he handed over about $150.00 in different denominations. According to the store’s owner, his mother came from behind the shop and started to throw items at the thieves causing both men to a make good their escape on bicycles. Police are investigating.

2012/2013 Crop Season Comes To An End, It was Sweeter Than Sugar
The 2012/2013 crop season officially opened back in November of 2012 and at around 7:30 Saturday evening the gates of the factory at the Belize Sugar Industry Limited were closed marking the end of this years crop season. We here at CTV3 News have been following the crop’s progress closely through our weekly crop review. Since the onset, figures released by the factory gave indication that the crop season was on the right track. And it kept following the same trajectory till the end because today both the miller and the producer can boast of an excellent crop season which saw no major hiccups unlike other years. John Gillett- BSI Factory Manager “I must say we have had an excellent crop and it spent over one hundred an eighty days and it has been one of our shortest crops. In that period we milled one million seventy eight tons of cane producing 118,339 tons of sugar, 34,507 tons of molasses and this was milled at a very, very high rate of 312 tons cane per hour previous best of that was last year at 294 tons and the tons cane per sugar ratio was 9.11 tons of cane that it took to make one ton of sugar. It was much better than last year, last year was 9.34 so even though the cane was similar that last year we mill one million seventy and last year we only produced 114 thousand tons of sugar because of the better cane quality we milled with 8 thousand tons more we produced 118, 339 tons sugar.”

Third Round Of 2013 Village Council Elections Gets Heated
Round 3 of the 2013 Village Council Elections was held this past Sunday as 34 village’s country wide exercised their constitutional rights to vote. Here in the north, nine villages held elections: five in the Corozal District and four in the Orange Walk District. Reporter Victor Castillo has the story. Victor Castillo- Reporting This week nine rural communities in the north held village council elections. Our first stop was in the village of San Antonio in the Corozal District where independent candidate Clifton Gibson decided to enter the race for the post of chairman at the last minute. Clifton Gibson- Independent Candidate. “Well I’ll be truthful, I did no campaign this circumstances that I just put myself to be the chairman this morning because every day sometimes I wake up and people have been asking me to go and run up to be the chairman and then I told them I wasn’t going to do it until this morning I just jumped out of my house and the first thing is that the people greeted me again, you going to run up to be the chairman so I had two person to be in the chairman’s position right now and if I make it I make just as good as my position right now.” While Gibson was confident of his win, so was the candidate of the United Democratic Party Luisa Jacobs.

First Ever Triathlon Takes Place In Corozal
Triathlon In 2000 the first triathlon was held in Belize City. After being successful for over 13 years, the Belize National Triathlon Association joined hands with Team Papas from the Corozal District to give life to the event here in the north which took place on Sunday at Miami Beach in Corozal. Our news team comprised of Victor Castillo and Kenric Simpson was in Corozal for the event and filed the following report. Victor Castillo- Reporter At 8:30 in the morning, more than 26 participants lined up to take part in the first ever triathlon to be held in Corozal Town. There were 4 categories: juniors, masters, female and the elite male. But participating in a triathlon competition is not as easy as it might sound. It takes stamina to endure the 350km swim, followed by a 10k cycle ride and finally a 3k running race. Giovanni Alamilla –President of the Belize National Triathlon Association. “It’s the first ever triathlon we having up here and we’ve partnered with Papa’s, with Smart, Bowen and Bowen Crystal and Belize Bank to have a triathlon here for the different categories. For this event they did a three hundred and fifty meters swim followed by a 10k ride which is a little over six miles and then did a 3k run and it is right after the next so there is no break in between as you finish the swim you run out to get your bicycle and you put on your helmet and ride and as you finish the bike you hook it up and you put on your running shoes and you run so no break in between. We have three teams of three, and we have two masters forty and over, we have five juniors eighteen and under, we have eighteen elite men and two females. Its good a good turnout, good turnout we have it is not as big as the biggest race that we have in September but it is a good turnout for the first race. Definitely, definitely a success and the main thing with me is that everyone finished the race and no accidents, we had the traffic department with a number of vehicles and motorcycles that took care of all the traffic so no incidence of the road.”

PPCSL Purchases Trawler For One Dollar
On Saturday May 25th, Oceana incorporated through Oceana in Belize, sold a much needed trawler to the Placencia Producers Cooperative Society Limited. Fish trawling in Belize is illegal; hence why the vessel will not be used for fishing, instead it will be used for a new, innovative, and sustainable project: “sea weed farming”. The Placencia Producers Cooperative Society Limited has been in operations since 1962 and has counted with over 100 members and 24 employees, many of them women. The peak year of the Cooperative’s productivity was in 1986 when they produced an impressive two hundred and fifty thousand pounds of whole fish, seventy five thousand pounds of conch, and forty thousand pounds of lobster tail. Over the years however, productivity has taken a nose dive primarily due to scarcity of commercial product. Based on that factor the cooperative has found the need to reduce its membership and employees to a total of 30 members and only two 2 employees. In order to change the future of the cooperative its membership is seeking to diversify to other marine products including sea weed farming which was carried out as a pilot project. And now with the trawler in hand the project is in for a bright future.

Misappropriation Of Funds At Ministry Of Works
The fact that documents from Governments Smart Stream System show that back in 2012, apart from receiving a partial payment of $50,000 from the Orange Walk Town Council, Imer Hernandez Development Company, owned by the nephew of the Honorable Gaspar Vega, received a whopping $179,951.55 for the rehabilitation of San Antonio Road, is causing quite an uproar since no work has been conducted on the road despite the cries of residents. As mentioned on Friday, documents prove that Imer Hernandez was paid by the Ministry of Works for the rehabilitation of the road. According to the documents, the work on San Antonio Road was certified by Graciano Medina, the Ministry of Works Regional Engineer for the Northern Zone. When we spoke to Medina last Thursday, when we first broke the story, he told us that there was a high possibility that the funds was diverted to another area but paid out under the contract for the rehabilitation of San Antonio Road. When we spoke to a source from the Ministry of Works on Friday, we were informed that the funds allocated for the upgrading of San Antonio Road was used to pay for the paving of Clarke Street in Orange Walk Town. Putting Northern 2 To Good Use
As mentioned at the top of the newscast the trawling vessel which was sold to the Placencia Producers Cooperative Society Limited for One Belize dollar, will be used to facilitate the sustainable project of sea weed farming. PPCSL plans not only to extract sea weed from the wild but also to grow and harvest the product for both the local and international market. Currently the co-op is producing minimal amounts of sea weed that can only suffice the local market, eventually, with much hard work and donations; they plan to reach out to the international market particularly the U.S by increasing production. The idea of planting sea weed in ropes was brought to Belize in 2005 by a team of researchers from St. Lucia who educated fishermen in the Placencia Peninsula about this project. The cooperative currently has twenty farms with a little over ten thousand feet of sea weed growing on ropes and produces approximately two hundred pounds of dry sea weed per month. According to Vessel Engineer, Anthony Fred Cabral, the trawler, bought from Ocean in Belize, will form a key role in reaching the goal of supplying both markets and will cut expenses.


EUROPEAN UNION *Europe’s top human rights court ruled that equality laws and safety concerns trumped religious freedom in three cases where British Christians were sacked or sanctioned for expressing their beliefs at work. (January 2013). *European Parliament published the brochure, which recommended not to use the words ‘Missus’ and...

Gender Policy under fire and the backtracking has begun
Earlier this month, the National Women’s Commission launched the Revised National Gender Policy 2013. Since its release, the manuscript has caused quite a stir with the Belizean populace, first with the inclusion of a policy against the discrimination of gender orientation or sexual identity. But we’ll get back to...

Dead body found in Burrell Boom
This morning police visited an area known as Henderson Bank, behind Burrell Boom. PLUS News was there too and though we were kept away we noted a postmortem examination being conducted by Dr. Mario Estradabran on the remains of what appeared to be a male body found by a...

Shooting Victim Jamil Richardson now deceased
Last month we told you about plans by the family of shooting victim Jamil Richardson to raise funds for his treatment. The 30 year old and a friend were shot at in the Vernon Street area on Holy Thursday night and one of the bullets lodged in and shattered...

Man dies a month after motorbike accident
A man lost his life after nearly a month’s battle. 28 year old Fredrick Williams was involved in an accident on the Jalacte Road in April, when he lost control of his motorbike and rammed into a stone wall. Along with him was another person, but it was Williams...

Missing man found submerged in a bucket at one of the country’s regional hospitals
The body of a 35 year old man was discovered inside a bathroom at the Punta Gorda Hospital. On Sunday afternoon, nurses were making routine checks, when they couldn’t find one of the facility’s patients, Christopher Cus. Cus, a carpenter of San Miguel Village was soon found lying on...

Former Ombudsman says GSU actions were wrong
The Commonwealth Monday holiday was disrupted for residents of the George and West Street area around 9 in the morning when officers allegedly of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) stormed the home of Kariq Tzul. Tzul spoke to us off-camera and said he was at home with his wife...

OCEANA case postponed
There was no activity in court, but plenty of it outside as the next stage of the OCEANA vs. GOB case on offshore drilling began today at the Supreme Court. The Government is seeking a stay of the injunction granted to OCEANA and its NGO partners COLA and the...

Western Union robbed in Belize City
Police are looking for a man who robbed the Western Union Branch in Belize City. It happened early Saturday morning at around 7:55. The supervisor said he had just reported for duty at the establishment, where he met with the security officer. A man then reportedly entered and pulled...

Cancer Walk 2013 draws biggest crowd ever
The annual Cancer Walk from Celina’s Bar in Ladyville to the Cancer Society office in Belize City took place on Saturday morning, May 25, and by its organizers’ estimates, it was the biggest ever. Heather Reneau is the administrative assistant at the Belize Cancer Society. Heather Reneau – Belize...

Police detain on person following shooting incident in Belize City
Police mobiles were on the scene of another shooting incident late Monday evening. Reports to PLUS News are that between 5:15 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday, a gunman rode up to an individual near a park at the intersection of Neal Pen Road, Haynes Street and Kut Avenue and...

OCEANA delivers one-dollar trawler to Placencia fishermen
The Belize dollar doesn’t buy much these days. But that’s all the Placencia Producers Cooperative Society paid on Saturday to own what to them is an important piece of equipment. Two fishing trawlers were bought for a total of $800,000 by OCEANA in Belize’s parent company, Oceana International, through...


On June 19th 2009, the Prime Minister of Belize, the Hon. Dean Barrow, while addressing the proposed 7th amendment to the Belize constitution in the National Assembly uttered the following words: “Because our laws recognize dual citizenship how then will you turn around, recognizing dual citizenship, providing for dual citizenship but impose a limitation on a dual citizen. It makes no sense at all and if a little bit of history and background are necessary, we didn’t always recognize dual citizenship. The recognition of dual citizenship came about as a consequence of the advance in legislation that was promoted by national hero Phillip Goldson. But we turn around and we leave intact in the constitution for all these years this impairment on the rights of the Belizean who have acquired a second nationality. I say therefore, Mr. Speaker, that it is utterly and completely contradictory. I also say it is inconsistent, and let me tell you why it is inconsistent, if you are a Belizean who has acquired second nationality you are disqualified from sitting in the National Assembly, but the Governor General, whose office is from a protocol point of view the highest office in the land, there is no such disqualification. The Governor General can be a Belizean who has acquired a second nationality. He is not barred from being Governor General and that is the highest office in the land. “


Congratulations Dr. Rosita Arvigo!!!
The Lodge at Chaa Creek wants to congratulate our friend Rosita Arvigo for her recent recognition as a notable Chicagoan Our long time neighbour Rosita Arvigo, who is well-known for her apprenticeship with the late Don Elijio Panti, Belize’s most revered Maya healer, was recently the subject of an article in the Chicago Reader We’re happy to reproduce selections from that article. As told to Anne Ford. “I went to Belize in 1982. It was for medical freedom, and a year-round growing season, and wanderlust. Those are always my reasons.

Why Branding is Important for Belize Small Businesses & Entrepreneurs
In Belize brand building seems to be strange term or not a priority to some entrepreneurs or small business owners. So I would like to share a bit about what branding is and why as an entrepreneur and small business owner it is very important to establish. For those of you following the Belize Apprentice show you will notice how much one of teams focused on branding for one of their challenge in Episode 2. I found it quite fascinating since I had just finished writing this post about the importance of branding. Now you don’t have to be a big bank or business like the Belize Bank to be focusing on branding, now is the perfect time to start building your brand. I recently shared this post and it’s quite informative so feel free to check it out after you’re done reading this post. Why Entrepreneurs Need to Brand Themselves First.

High Stakes Set The Day For Crooked Tree Village Election
On Sunday, May 26, 2013, village electorates of Crooked Tree Village went to the polls to elect seven new village council members. A total of 1400 residents live in the village, including the councillors who also cast their votes. The qualifications for chairperson and members per the Elections and Boundries Commission are as follows; you must be a Belizean, you have ordinarily resided in the village for at least one year immediately preceding the elections, and once you are at least 18 years old you can qualify. To be able to vote in the election you must be on the official voters list, Belizean by birth or naturalization, be at least 18 years of age and be a resident of the village for a continuous period of not less than two months prior to the elections. If you are a permanent resident the same qualifications apply, but you must show proof that you are a permanent resident of Belize.

“Move It On Over” to Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Woke around 3 am yesterday morning (didn’t get up until around 4.10 am though) to the sound of pouring rain. Exactly the same sound I had gone to sleep listening to the night before. It continued right the way through until around 6.20 am and then returned intermittently for most of the morning. Got an email from Daniel Camal, our building contractor, on Monday (in response to one from me) advising that it is OK for us to ‘press the button’ on getting the stuff we have in storage in the UK shipped to us. So yesterday morning I ‘fired off’ an email to Excess International Movers asking them to move it on over. In his email Daniel also advised that he was going to Belize City to ‘chase up’ on our consignment of windows and sliding doors from the States, place an order for the tiles at The Tile & Stone Center and place an order for light fittings at Benny’s. All of these items being, of course, for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize.

May 19, 2013 - May 26, 2013 Fishing Report
It was wonderful to see our return guests this week. Thank you Brian and Chris for hosting your Mad River Outfitter group here. Seeing Bill and Judy and being able to celebrate their anniversary was a bonus! Also great to see our friends Liz and Tommy back here at EP. We love it when our friends return and make themselves at home. We had tough fishing this week and everyone was a great sport. Guides and anglers set out each day working together to make dreams come true. We practiced our casting into the wind and we witnessed double hauls relax and leaders turn over. Cheers to a fun week and reaching beyond our horizons to keep leaning.

May 28, 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

Three charged for brawl in SP Immigration Office
Three women including a minor and two female Immigration Officers assigned to San Pedro Town have reported varying degrees of injuries as a result of a fight inside the immigration office. The physical exchange took place shortly before 3PM on Monday May 20th, and as a result of the fight, three females including a minor were arrested and charged by San Pedro Town Police. 24 year old Telma Basquez and her sisters, 23 year old Maribel Basquez and a 17 year old minor visited The San Pedro Sun and explained that not only were they beaten by immigration officials, but they were detained and charged by police. The trio alleges that they visited the Immigration Office on Coconut Drive to get special permits for two of the females to leave the country on a family emergency. At that point, they were told that other Belizean documentations were required. According to Telma, she provided birth certificates for both of her sisters however this was not enough for the immigration officer. She said that she became frustrated after an Immigration Officer insisted that they provide further documentation, since two of the sisters were unable to communicate in English. “She said we were ‘Catrachas’ (Honduran) and that we were not Belizeans,” said Telma in an interview with The San Pedro Sun.

Repairs on the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge have begun
The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) announced that on Sunday, May 19th the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge would be closed in order to perform much needed repairs on its deck. Since its inauguration in February 2006, the bridge has never seen a major repair. In April of 2012 Belize City based Civil Engineer Doug Walkner assessed the stability of the bridge. His report indicated that the major problem was corrosion of the grills due to the exposure to salt water. The new deck for the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge would be expected to take about six months to complete construction. Some much needed repairs finally commenced on Monday, May 20th when the old bolts that held the grills together were removed. On Tuesday, May 21st workers began to remove the grill. However the structure is still intact and stable, so the repairs would be mostly superficial. The grills will be replaced by galvanized beams, which are being imported from England, and three and a half inch hard wood planks. The pedestrian walk will be replaced with fiber reinforced material.

SPHS students celebrate Cultural Day en Español
Third form students at the San Pedro High School (SPHS) hosted cultural day on the morning of Wednesday May 22nd at the Rafael Angel Nuñez Auditorium. The event was part of a presentation for their Spanish class. All the cultural presentation, visuals as well as oral information disseminated were done in the Spanish language. According to Alex Nuñez, Spanish teacher at SPHS, a panel of three judges awarded the students points in four areas including presentation, knowledge on the cultural group, clarity in speaking the Spanish language and how well they were prepared. The students presented on local cultural groups found in Belize as well as foreign groups from Mexico, Colombia and Brazil amongst others. Nuñez said that the students, all from third form, planned their cultural presentation as part as their Spanish class. The purpose was to have the students put into practice the knowledge of the Spanish language they gained throughout the years.

Misc Belizean Sources

Queen of the Corn Contestants
The Bullet Tree Falls Queen of the Corn Festival is coming up this weekend. The Queen of the Corn pageant will be on Friday, May 31st, and on Saturday, the festival will continue throughout the day. Food, fun, games, and good times for the whole family, and the proceeds will be used to build a new classroom for the Immaculate Conception primary school. "Once again the beautiful village of Bullet Tree Falls comes alive. This time better than ever. It's Corn Fest Day. Come and enjoy yourselves on Friday 31st May and Saturday 1st of June. On Friday come and witness the selection of Mrs. Bullet Tree Corn Fest. Four beautiful, gorgeous ladies are vying for this prestigious title. It all starts at 6:00p.m. After the pageant you can dance with D.J Diamond. On Saturday 1st of May, the day starts at 9:00a.m with a canoe race from Benque Viejo Del Carmen to the Salvador Fernandez Bridge in Bullet Tree Falls followed by a whole day Football Quadrangular."

Benque's Heritage Tour Map
Benque has a really smooth looking, high resolution map on their new website. The Benque Viejo Tourism Committee has a good mission: develop Benque Viejo del Carmen as a unique and attractive destination ensuring sustainable development through responsible tourism that will allow visitors and the local community to benefit from the experience of the local culture and heritage while retaining the small town charm as well as allowing for convenient access to the surrounding attractions. Now they just need more hotels and restaurants that people can go to after visiting Xunantunich, Actun Chapat, Poustinia Art Part, and Lake Benque. In related news, Benque has gotten over 2 million dollars from the Belize Municipal Development Project, which they are planning to use to upgrade the sidewalks around Centennial Park and for the paving of some streets which are part of the Heritage Tour.

NMSU Film Course Reflections
Daniel Velazquez created a short video documenting the New Mexico State University film students and their interaction with people and nature around Cayo and Belize during their documentary film course. They shot a lot, and learned a lot. It's a well done, feelgood video, and you'll see some faces you know from around Cayo. "NMSU film student are the first international students to take course, design by Emmy award winning natural history film makers Carol and Richard Foster, in Collaboration with local artist film maker Daniel Velazquez and award winning film maker Illana Lapid, film professor at New Mexico State University"

BWRC Appreciation Party
The Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic had their appreciation party at the Soul Project this weekend. It's great to see how far the BWRC has come in the short time it's been working with Belizean wildlife. Thanks, BWRC, for all you've done! "We would like to say THANK YOU to our countless helpers, supporters, donors, sponsors, volunteers and staff! If you are around, today at The Soul Project - space for the creative arts, 3-6 pm join us for 'Volunteer Appreciation Tacos'! Unfortunately our FB event got a bit lost on this page, some people did not get their invitation, many people are not in Belize or currently away, and it finally is raining!...(which is wonderful but tends to 'ground' people home) But we hope to see some of you there!!!"

Mamey Ice Cream
MAMEY SAPOTE, Very popular fruit in Florida, the Caribbean islands, and Central America where the fruit is highly esteemed. The mamey sapote was cultivated by the native peoples of Central America for hundred of years. It is this fruit that kept Cortes and his army alive on their famous march from Mexico City to Honduras. Fruit is large, up to 25cm long with orange flesh tasting somewhat like a flavorful pumpkin. Almost always eaten fresh out of hand or used in desserts like this delectable ice cream and drinks. Underneath the Mamey's leathery coarse brown skin is a brilliantly coloured, sweet and creamy flesh. The salmon-pink flesh has an exotic flavour similar to sweet pumpkin pie with spice. Unripe fruits can be cooked as a vegetable.


Temple of the Masks, Lamanai, Belize
A few of the temples at Lamanai sported large masks on their facades, the first time we’ve seen this on Mayan ruins. Here, the mask had been walled over by subsequent generations of Mayans, and archeologists discovered this, and another like it on the other side of the stairs, when they began to restore the site. There are other masks behind other walls that have not been uncovered, but have been discovered by electronic means. To preserve these masks from the encroaching jungle and weather, they have been covered by fiberglass in the exact shape and color of what’s underneath, which is probably not a terrible idea.

High Stakes Set The Day For Crooked Tree Village Election
On Sunday, May 26, 2013, village electorates of Crooked Tree Village went to the polls to elect seven new village council members. A total of 1400 residents live in the village, including the councillors who also cast their votes. The qualifications for chairperson and members per the Elections and Boundries Commission are as follows; you must be a Belizean, you have ordinarily resided in the village for at least one year immediately preceding the elections, and once you are at least 18 years old you can qualify. To be able to vote in the election you must be on the official voters list, Belizean by birth or naturalization, be at least 18 years of age and be a resident of the village for a continuous period of not less than two months prior to the elections. If you are a permanent resident the same qualifications apply, but you must show proof that you are a permanent resident of Belize.

“The Winner Takes It All” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Rose and I have enjoyed a really lazy weekend so far. I ‘say’ so far because it’s a public holiday today so the weekend is an extended one. We did go to visit our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize on Saturday though and progress continues to be made although until the windows and sliding doors arrive from America progress appears so much slower than it has previously been. We had been ‘warned’ that this would be the case but nonetheless we still have expectations (unrealistic we know) that we will see material changes from one day to the next. So to those of you that are going to embark on having your home built in Belize (and I suppose anywhere else for that matter) be prepared for the length of time that the final stages will take.

International Sources

Interjet Airway flights from US locations to Chetumal
Just wanted to share this reasonably priced airline (Interjet Airline) travel from some parts of the US such as New York, Las Vegas, Miami, Los Angeles etc to Chetumal....almost into our very own backyard Belize. They also offer two free bags for international travel etc. If by the time you do your math its the best choice then enjoy. If you've heard of it and or may have used it then by all means no insult meant and kindly accept my humble apologies. Enjoy and share with our Belizean community members who are seeking low cost travel especially at this time of the year.

Help coming for Belize hospital where 12 babies died
Prime Minister Dean Barrow says the government will assist in sending neonatal cases to private hospitals following the death of 12 babies at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) that had been linked to the outbreak of enterobacter cloacae – an organism that is said to be responsible for major outbreaks in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) all over the world. In a statement after he was briefed on the situation at the KHMH, Prime Minister Barrow has “agreed to assist with any interim arrangements needed to outsource urgent neonatal cases to private hospitals while the KHMH unit is being made completely safe by re-modelling”.

Actyl Announces Grand Opening of Belize City Foreign Recruiting Office
Actyl Group, a leading Canadian recruiting and human resources organization will open its new foreign recruiting office in Belize City, Belize on Wednesday, May 29. The office, which replaces Actyl's temporary location in Belmopan, will help the company meet the growing demand in Canada for skilled workers across many different sectors. This will be the firm's first international recruiting office in Central America. In Canada, Actyl has offices in Edmonton, Regina and Winnipeg. "We are very pleased to open this recruiting office in the heart of Belize City, as it will give us access to thousands of terrific candidates to fill much-needed roles throughout Canada," said Dr. Linda West, president of Actyl. "Our company is committed to finding the most talented and driven individuals to help meet Canada's current labor shortage. In our experience, Belize has been a great place to find candidates, and we are excited about what the future will bring."

Worse-Than-Cyprus Debt Load Means Caribbean Defaults to Moody’s
Three bond restructurings totaling about $9.7 billion in the Caribbean this year are failing to ignite economic growth and may not help the region avoid more defaults, according to Moody’s Investors Service. The bond swaps this year didn’t go far enough to fixing the Caribbean’s “unsustainable” mix of debt and deficits, Warren Smith, the president of the Caribbean Development Bank, said May 22. Jamaica and Belize, which restructured about $9.5 billion in local and global bonds this year for the second time since 2006, face a “high probability” that they will default again, Moody’s said in a May 20 report. Among Caribbean island economies, only the Bahamas is expected to grow more than 1.5 percent this year compared with 4 percent for Latin America, Moody’s said in an earlier report. Without faster growth, repeat defaults may become common as Caribbean governments find it easier to cut bond payments than spending, said Arturo Porzecanski, a professor of international finance at American University in Washington.

Rojo Poison Cocktail at Rojo Lounge, Ambergris Caye, Belize
It’s Friday and that means a couple things — a new edition of #FriFotos on Twitter and the weekend is here so time to enjoy some adult beverages! This week’s edition is conveniently — cocktails! It’s the perfect excuse to feature the newest cocktail I tried — Rojo Poison. It’s a signature drink at Rojo Lounge (now called Rojo Beach Bar) on the island of Ambergris Caye in Belize. This amazing creation features Chinese chilies, fresh ginger, a trio of rums, some local ginger wine, fresh juice and probably a few other secret ingredients. The Rojo Poison has several noticeable layers of spice from the fresh ginger and the Chinese chili peppers. It gets sweetness from the fresh juice and a nice kick from the trio of rums.

May 27, 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

Doctor Love: Long-distance relationships
A relationship that started up with a part-time resident has a smitten lover confused and a little jealous.

Editorial: San Pedro Snubbed at BTB Awards
On Saturday, May 18th, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) held their 12th Annual National Tourism Awards. At the night of the awards guests were informed that once the deadline for nominations passed, judges whittled down the finalists and chose the winners in each category. Of the nine category awards given, including Small Hotel of the Year, Restaurant of the Year, Frontline Person of the Year, Tour Guide of the Year, Tour Operator of the Year, Major Festivals & Events, Hospitality Award, Hotel of the Year and Destination of the Year. Placencia took all but one of the nine awards, San Pedro won nothing. In mid-January 2013 the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) issued a press release revealing the results of the TripAdvisor’s 2013 Traveler’s Choice Awards, boasting that Belize had received multiple awards and acknowledgements. According to the release, Belize dominated in the categories, with many of the recipients being Ambergris Caye based establishments. The recognized San Pedro businesses were included in the “Top 25 Small Hotels in Central America,” “Top 25 Hotels for Service in Central America”, “Top 25 Hotels in Central America” and “Top 25 Luxury Hotels in the World”.

Wolfe’s Woofers: Taking No Chances
When Roger's mother-in-law dies in the Holy Land, he must decide whether to have her buried there or transported back home. Apparently money is not an issue

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize Territorial Volunteers discover palm oil, cornfields encroaching on border
On a recent morning, approximately 60 people boarded buses and vehicles in Punta Gorda for the rough road journey to the village of Dolores on the Southern Belize-Guatemala border with a group of the Belize Territorial Volunteers. After almost three hours of travel to the border, the BTV group began a strenuous hike to the borderline. Just before reaching the border, the group was met by Organization of American States (OAS) representatives, who informed the group that they had reached the borderline and warned them not to proceed further west. A local Mayan resident in the group of BTV volunteers advised that the group had in fact not yet reached the border, so the group proceeded to push forward to the cement survey marker despite the comment from the OAS representative.

Eastbourne diplomat wins five-year battle to clear his name
A diplomat who was wrongly accused of sexual misconduct is to get compensation after winning a five-year battle to clear his name. Despite his 37 years of service, John Yapp, 61, of Eastbourne, was withdrawn from his post in June 2008 after Belizean politician Eamon Courtenay accused him of touching his wife’s bottom. The claims were found to be untrue and Mr Yapp has now successfully sued the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) over its handling of the incident. Mr Yapp was subjected to a lengthy FCO disciplinary process and became ill with depression.

The Belize National Triathlon Association partnered with Hol Chan Marine Reserve for their 8th Annual Reef Week.
Congrats to the top finishers in the under 14 Category. They completed that following course 100 meter swim, 1 mile ride, 800 meter run; 1st Luis Carcamo 2nd Esrom Aldana 3rd Andy Rivero In the 14 and older category they completed the following course; 200 meter swim, 2 mile ride, 1 mile run 1st Eric Donis 2nd Brandon Santos 3rd Jason Estrada Thank you to Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Kerah Forman, Banyan Bay, Belize Bank International, Belize Bank Ltd, Bowen & Bowen. Also a big thank you to Kent Gabourel for taking care of all the logistics prior to the race.

Multicultural Festivity in Belmopan
The Cultural Regional Institute of Belize is having a 'multicultural festivity' today, starting at 10:00am, at the UB gymnasium. The event will be fun for the entire family, like the small cultural events CRIB has done at the Belmopan market. Tickets include entertainment and food, and all the proceeds go towards contributing to the diverse range of artisans that will be coming to the event from all over the country. For more information, call 621-2703. Picture album is from previous events.

Pandy Show Anniversary
The Pandy Show is celebrating 21 years of programming tomorrow, which also falls on Commonwealth Day. There will be fun and games at the Cayo Welcome Center tomorrow evening, starting at 6:00pm. Congratulations, Pandy, and here's to many more! "Celebrating its 21st Anniversary, Lots games and surprises everyone invited"

SIRH Responds to Hotel Award
The San Ignacio Resort Hotel won the Hotel of the Year award from the Belize Tourism Board, and they put out a great response, commending their employees for making it happen. They explained it nicely and humbly. Congratulations once again! "Accepting the award on behalf of the San Ignacio Resort Hotel were Operations Manager Paulita Bedran Figueroa and Managing Director Mariam Bedran Roberson. Both sisters say their employees put the San Ignacio Resort Hotel on top: 'Collectively, they are the most incredible asset any hotel management team could ask for. This award reflects the years of hard work that the San Ignacio Resort Hotel family has invested into making the hotel one of the best experiences guests can enjoy in Belize.'"

BNE Fire Unit Extinguishes Never Delay Fire
The Belize Natural Energy Fire Unit has been doing some fire drills lately, but they had a real fire to extinguish at Never Delay. They were able to take some pictures at the scene. Great work. Thanks, BNE! In related news, fire season seems to be over. The rain is here cooling things off, and extinguishing fires around Cayo.

SISE HoC Full Moon Concert
The SISE House of Culture really put on an amazing Full Moon Party at the Cayo Welcome Center Friday night. All the best musicians from Cayo were there. Emmanuel Mangar jammed, with Catherine Garnett assisting with vocals. In Bloom rocked the house. The World Culture Band finished the night, and they had some special guests come up on stage too. The music was played so well, they sky even cried! Thanks for all the great music!

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Local Garifuna Cuisine
Hudut for Sale!!! Hudut is a Garifuna dish consisting of plantin and fish. Here we have some Locals showing how it is made. Get your plate now right at the Palapa Gardens. Here we have Elis cooking up the fish and stew that go over the plantin


Village Council Elections In Crooked Tree Village
Today is Village Council Elections in Crooked Tree Village. Please come out and vote. This is the best chance we have to move Crooked Tree Village forward. We have a lot of serious issues in the village and I believe that with this team we can get a new police station and cemetery. Forget about the plate of beans and rice people, we are worthy of much more!! Support the Crooked Tree Slate....Dr. Jane Crawford and team!!!

When Life Gives You Pea Soup, Make Seree ...
Visibility was so bad at Lighthouse Reef during a recent exploratory trip, that I left my camera in the tender 50% of the time. Though the underwater topography was spectacular - caves, tunnels, pillars and vertical cliffs - the chances of capturing a worthy image was near null.

International Sources

Caribbean Should Trade Venezuelan Oil for Homegrown Sun
Still recovering from last year’s Hurricane Sandy and the 2008 financial crisis, many Caribbean countries now face another threat: the possible curtailment of Petrocaribe, a Venezuelan program that has kept their economies afloat with deals on discounted oil. The good news is that Jamaica and its neighbors can reduce their dependence on Venezuelan heavy crude. More affordable technology can unlock the energy contained in the sun, wind and sea -- resources that Caribbean countries possess in abundance. True, many of Petrocaribe’s 13 Caribbean members would have suffered without the cheap oil that began flowing to them in 2005 -- especially after the 2008 crisis body-slammed the most tourism-dependent economies. These countries have benefited not just from the 1 percent interest rate but also from two- to three-year grace periods, 17- to 25-year repayment plans and flexible agreements that have let them channel money to development. This sweet deal, however, also enabled governments to postpone tough fiscal choices in favor of racking up debt.

Letter: United Garifuna Association welcomes reparations initiative
In reference to the press release issued by your office dated May 21, 2013, on behalf of your government and people of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, formerly known by we living in the diaspora countries as “Yurumei”, our association applauds this bold initiative on your part to seek reparation for the injustices committed against our Garinagu people on the island of Saint Vincent (Yurumei), our homeland. However, our executive body examined the press release in detail and we have some reservations with some proposed provisions of the current proposal, which are the following: 1. We believe that any reparation case brought on our behalf should be separate from the case to be brought for the descendants of slavery. 2. That the case to be filed should not only be on behalf of the people and government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines but also the Garinagu people who reside in the diaspora countries such as Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Belize, the United States of America and wherever else they may reside today.

May 26, 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

CG Esthetics presents new toning body wrap: “It Works”
CG Esthetics is now offering the newest botanically- based body contouring treatment that has become quite the rave in Canada. “It Works” is a full line of products that includes body wraps/strips, weight loss supplements and gels that help tone and reduce the appearance of cellulite and skin slackening. The body wraps help detoxify, tighten, tone and firm the skin in as little as 45 minutes. Each wrap costs $65. If you want to have it professionally applied by esthetician Carole Goudreau the cost is $85. The strips can be used on your legs, thighs, belly, arms, chin and neck and even on the face to get firmer, smoother and more youthful looking skin.

Letter to the Editor: Since When Has Discrimination Become Policy?
Belize Institute of Environmental Law and Policy (BELPO) has tried working with the Department of Environment (DOE) and its Chief Environmental Officer, since our mission is “protecting the environment through law”. We have attempted to amicably deal with differences and to collaborate and cooperate with DOE without antagonism. We have had our requests for information ignored. We have been disrespected by members of DOE who have been less than forthcoming with the truth. Now, it appears, the Department is going a step further in trying to ignore our existence. Over the weekend [of May 18th], we heard, from a secondary source, about a training workshop on Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) being held May 22-24; there was to have been participation from Governmental Ministries and Departments and Non-Governmental Organizations. The notice stated those interested should contact the Chief Environmental Officer, Department of Environment, for more information.

F & S Golf Cart Rentals and Dealership officially inaugurated
After over 20 years of living on the island of Ambergris Caye, San Pedro Town resident Manuel Flores has embarked on yet another business venture. The owner of Dalia’s Store has expanded his enterprise to a Golf Cart Rental and Dealership. Already known for his fair prices and excellent service in the golf cart sales network, Flores now has his own storefront on Marina Drive at the entrance of the DFC Area. Customers can rent or buy a golf cart from F & S (Flores & Sons – Dan and Manuel Jr.). Since opening Dalia’s Store in 1995, Flores has seen his small business grow into a successful model of hard work and dedication, a practice that will continue with his latest venture. Officially inaugurating the new business was Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero. On Friday, May 17th, a group of friends and business acquaintances gathered for the official ribbon cutting. We wish Mr. Flores great success, and acknowledge his enthusiasm in investing further in the town he has chosen to make his home.

Belize dentists embrace Orbit sugar free gum
Government dentists in Belize and other dental workers have welcomed Wrigley’s Orbit sugar free gum as a healthy chewing gum alternative. This initiative came after a presentation made by Orbit and its Belize affiliate Santiago Castillo Group of Company during the Annual Dentist workshop hosted in San Pedro Town. The endorsement came from Doctor Rafael Samos, Senior Dental Surgeon in the Dental Department of the Ministry of Health. Orbit’s mother company Wrigley, with its headquarters in the USA, has been in the chewing gum market since 1982 and over the years have evolved to producing more sugar free chewing gums. Thus Orbit’s re-surfacing in the market in 2001 and is now replacing a Belizean favorite: PK. In fact, Belize, Aruba and Africa were three of the best markets for Wrigley’s PK. However, it is now being replaced in Belize by Orbit, a more healthy sugar free gum.

University of North Georgia students on Study Abroad program on Ambergris Caye
A group of 13 students from the University of North Georgia, USA were on the island as part of a one week visit to Belize. After conducting some work in Belize City, the students visited Ambergris Caye where they collaborated with teachers and students on the island as part of the university’s Study Abroad program. It is the eighth year that Carlise Womack Wynne, who is the Associate Director at the Center for Global Engagement at the University of North Georgia, has been bringing students to Belize. According to Wynne 12 of the student are pursuing a degree in teacher’s education while one is a journalism student pursuing a university degree at the newly merged North George University. “We were working with teacher training, teacher support working one-on-one with students in classrooms in the area of reading, literature, mathematics and also assisted with sports day,” said Wynne about some of the things the education students were engaged in. “Our journalism student worked with a local newspaper in the area of photojournalism. He got to document, through photographs part of the culture of Ambergris Caye. He also got to document the work the education students were doing in the classroom,” added Wynne. In Belize City the teacher’s education major students worked at Unity Presbyterian Primary School while on Ambergris Caye they worked mostly with teachers and students at Holy Cross Anglican Primary School.

ACES’ Joshua Marin wins 8th Annual Reef Week Trivia Contest
Students from the various schools in San Pedro Town and Caye Caulker Village participated in the 8th Annual Trivia Contest as part of the celebrations for Reef Week. The contest started at 9AM on Tuesday, May 21st at the San Pedro Lion’s Den. Competing was a total of ten students from six different schools, including Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES), Caye Caulker Roman Catholic School (CCRC), Isla Bonita Elementary School, New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist School, San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRC) and The Island Academy. The purpose of the competition is to promote the reef and marine life conservation through education.

Ambergris Today

New Belize-Mexico Bi-national Border Bridge ‘Chactemal’ Opens
The much anticipated Bi-national Border Bridge between Mexico and Belize opened on Wednesday, May 15, 2013. The Mexican Government had dispatched personnel from the Mexican Army to Belize to assist the Belizean government in the construction of a stretch of approximately 500 meters of highway that is located on the Belizean side of the northern border in the Santa Elena area of the Corozal District, connecting the new bridge.

Missing Body Murder Case on The Island
Police Report, San Pedro, Town, Belize - A 26-year-old woman of Boca Del Rio, San Pedro Town reported that sometime around 6:45pm on Sunday, May 19, 2013, she spoke with JEREMY BAPTIST, 25-year-old, Belizean unemployed of Boca Del Rio, San Pedro Town. She stated that at around 7:45pm he left to attend a party at the Campos residence located in the San Juan Area, San Pedro Town. She stated that she and Jeremy Baptist went to a party and returned home at 10:30pm and that was the last time she had heard or seen Jeremy Baptist.

Misc Belizean Sources

New Horizons participates in health care information exchange
Members of New Horizons partnered with Project HOPE and the American Academy of Family Physicians to establish an Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics exchange with health care providers in Dangriga, Belize May 21 and 22. The ALSO program is designed to help physicians, midwives, labor and delivery nurses, and other health care providers develop and maintain the knowledge and skills needed to manage potential emergencies during the perinatal period. “So anytime a mommy is having an emergency in birth, there is a lot of things that can happen,” said Air Force Major (Dr.) Patrick Keller, preventative medicine physician from Lackland Air Force Base. “Understanding how to spot these problems, and understanding how to respond to them appropriately in multiple settings, is what [the program] is all about.

VIDEO: Blue Hole
Hello Divers! If you have ever wondered what it was like to go and see the Great Blue Hole of Belize. Take a look at this quick video. We run out there three times a week and love it! We would like to thank Slightly Stoopid for allowing us to use their track, "Ska Diddy", videographers Marty O'Farrell and Tony Rath, Astrum Helicopter tours of Belize, and most of all our all divers who make showing up to work a joy!

Ka'ana Interactive Map
They have a really well done, interactive map on their site. Ka'ana did a great job.

Showtime at Meluchi's
DJ Crispy's Birthday at Meluchi's was a wild night, and a packed palapa.

SHC Teachers' Day Trip
The Sacred Heart College teachers celebrated Teachers' Day with some zip lining and cave tubing at Nohoch Che'en. It was well deserved, and looks like they had some fun.

Channel 7

Escaped Jaguar Still Prowling, Expert Urges Caution
Tonight, the captive jaguar that escaped in south-western Belize is still on the loose – and 7news has learned that traps have not been deployed yet. The cat is a two to three year old female and the Chief Forest Officer could not tell us exactly when it escaped. But our information says it could be as many as six days ago. This afternoon, Belize’s foremost Jaguar expert Omar Figueroa went to the area in Ringtail Village at mile 40 on the Hummingbird Highway in the Cayo District. Before leaving he discussed the case with us very generally, because at this point, he is just being brought into the picture.

Another Outrage In Vega-ville? DPM’s Nephew Got Paid But Never Paved
Tonight there is another allegation of what has all appearances of fleecing of the public purse, coming out of Orange Walk. This time it involves a relative of the Deputy Prime Minister – who’s also a road builder. The allegation is that Imer Hernandez got paid almost two hundred thousand dollars for a road, which hasn’t been paved. Daniel Ortiz went looking for answers today:.. Daniel Ortiz reporting The San Antonio Road, which ties Orange Walk town with the villages in the western Sections of the Orange Walk District is a very important roadway. Hon. John Briceno - Area Rep., Orange Walk Central "The San Antonio Road borders both constituencies, the Orange Walk Central and the Orange Walk east but it is important to note that the San Antionio Road is a the responsibility of Central Government and the Ministry of Works."

On Thursday KHMH Will Assess Blame
By the middle of next week, the KHMH Board of Governors is expected to pinpoint who – if anyone - is accountable for the dozen baby deaths in the pediatric intensive care unit. It was announced today that a press conference will be held next Thursday to give those answers to the public. That’s what came out of a meeting this morning convened by the Prime Minister, who returned to Belize yesterday. PM Barrow met with the Chairman, Chandra Nisbet Cansino and some members of the Board including the CEO in the Ministry of Health, Peter Allen. An official release says that The Prime Minister was updated on the progress of the investigation. The statement adds that “The PM has committed to assist with any interim arrangements to outsource urgent neonatal cases to private hospitals while the KHMH Unit is being made completely safe by remodeling, expansion and replacement of equipment.”

American Retiree Victim of Sandhill Home Invasion
A 78 year old American retiree was the victim of a home invasion in Sandhill on Wednesday night. Around 7:00, 45 year old Brian Emmanuel was visiting Albert David Reich at his mile 20 home in Sandhill. When Emmanuel left, three Hispanic men held him up – one of them had a gun, and the other two had knives. They took him back to the house where they clubbed him across the head and told him to shout for Reich. Today, Reich told us what happened when he opened the door:… Voice of: Aggravated Burglary Victim "I was just about to go home when I saw a person was hailing the man so I turned back to hail him but when I heard the person calling the man by his name. As he opened the door I was stepping up to his verandah at that same time and at that same time a man came from the back and slapped me on the side of my head with a gun and pushed me inside of the man's house with him." Daniel Ortiz "What did they do and what did they want?" Voice of: Aggravated Burglary Victim "The man asked where the money was and where the chest was."

Charged for Murder Three Months Later
Viewers may remember 38 year-old Ernest Savery, the prison officer who was murdered on February 22, 2013. Well tonight, 24 year-old John Lorencio Martinez, a resident of Corozal, is at prison after he was taken to court on the charge of murder. As we reported, Savery was gunned down at around 10:00 p.m., in the night just a stone’s throw from his home in Ladyville. He was walking out of his gate when his girlfriend tried to warn him that a gunman was attacking. Savery reportedly saw two young men walked up to him and one pulled out a firearm. He rushed towards the man pulling out the gun. They struggled for the gun, but he was fatally shot once in the stomach. Police investigated for 3 months, and they eventually charged Martinez with his murder. He was arraigned this afternoon before the Chief Magistrate who remanded him to prison until June 24.

“GSU Knocked Out My Teeth!”
A young man named Brandon Tillett is missing a front tooth tonight – after he claims the GSU knocked it out yesterday. Tillett works on South Creek doing road works but yesterday he was courting a female in the area. Her boyfriend allegedly claimed that Tillett threatened the young lady – and that’s when the police came in. Without the benefit of his front tooth, Tillett told us what happened next. Brandon Tillett - Teeth knocked out by GSU "I saw a young lady and I was courting her and couple minutes after I saw the GSU rode passed us and they were looking for someone but I didn't think it was me. Then I saw they stopped by where I was and all my workmen were with me because I control my worksite then they took me and told me I was wanted for a robbery. I asked them how I will be wanted for a robbery and I haven't done anything then the man handcuffed me then the other man told him 'don't do him anything here, wait until we reach at our site at Queen St.’ As I reached at Queen St. the man just grabbed my head and stoned my head against the cement wall and kicked me on the ground and the other three of them grabbed me and stoned me on the ground and stamped my face. I noticed my tooth was broken and after that I saw this and I felt unconscious because I felt knocked out. They were teasing me and taking my picture and trying to destroy evidence. They took advantage of me. They tore out the medical form and they told me that they would have let me go but I shouldn't tell anyone anything about what happened. The men in the office were laughing at me and taking picture of my tooth."

Seine Byte Village Councilor Alleges Police Mistreatment
Tonight, a village councilor from Seine Byte Village is alleging that police have taken charge of her property without explanation. Police have their own story, and we’ll get to that, but first to Laverne Arzu. She was just elected to the village council on a UDP slate, but has a grievance going back some months – when she alleges that police took her pickup without authority. She came all the way to Belize City to get her grievance heard in the media today. Laverne Arzu - Villager Councilor, Seine Byte "They didn't come to ask me for who the vehicle belong to, they just came and roughed up my son and beat my son and took away my vehicle - they jumped into my vehicle because it was on March 1st they took it away and I had some documents in there with $500 in there to license, insure and transfer it the same day." Jules Vasquez "But on what grounds did they take your vehicle? What explanation did they give you?" Laverne Arzu "They didn't give me any explanations all that they did was they told my brother that the vehicle was for him, that is mine - personal because my name is on it and I bought it."

UB Responds To Charges
Eight days ago, The University of Belize came under fire from one of its own professors and some of its students. They held a press conference to say that the University was gouging its bachelor’s degree students, first, by not accepting transfer credits, and, second, by charging bachelor’s students more for the same courses, which associates degree students take for less. Today the University released a considered response, and it offers no apologies. The statement says the transfer of credits is based on a “review of course outlines by…course content experts to ensure a minimum of 80%...alignment with the UB syllabus. In cases a course outline does not meet the 80% benchmark, then it is not accepted. The University has committed to digitizing credit transfer process and “if individuals can cite specific cases of inconsistencies in credit transfers, the matter will be investigated on an individual basis.” And about the different grades in charges for courses, the university says that has been the police and it hasn’t changed in many years.

Budding Belizean Biologists
Over the years, we’ve told you about the reef audits, comprehensive reviews of the condition of the reef. But we’ve only seen the finished product, today we found out how it’s done by field biologists. Today we spoke to a group of them before they headed out to Sergeant’s Caye for coral reef monitoring under the umbrella of the healthy reefs initiative: Dr. Melanie McField - Marine Biologist "The point for us is that we do the report card of the health of the reef every other year and we use the data collected by our partner organizations including NGO's and Fisheries Department and the University of Belize. So those are the groups that are here that are doing the training."

GSU Catches Two Hot Weapons
Earlier this week, you saw Roy Bennett complain about GSU harassment. Well, today the GSU sent out a release saying they searched an empty lot adjacent to his home on Gill Street where they found a very hot black Taurus 9mm pistol loaded with a magazine containing 10 live rounds. A black plastic bag was also found next to the pistol containing fifteen live 9mm rounds. No one was in the area and it was labeled as “Found Property”. According to police, the firearm found is believed to have been placed at the area by one of the key members of the Gill Street Gang. An investigation was conducted where it was discovered that the firearm is a service firearm and is part of the Belize Police Department, Belize City inventory. Additional information indicates that the firearm was recently used in a murder incident that occurred in the area. Investigations continue.

FFB Needs Cash For Gold Cup
The 2013 Gold Cup is drawing ever nearer, and the Belize National Team will make football history when it participates and plays against powerhouses such as the US, Costa Rica and Cuba in some of the finest football stadiums in North America. And while that is the end goal, getting there is another thing completely. The problem is that the Football Federation of Belize is in need of hundreds of thousands of dollars to meet all the expenses for the trip to the US. And so they’re taking a page out of the book from the Special Envoy for Women and Children: they’ve planned a football telethon. Today, the President of the FFB told us why you should support the team: Ruperto Vicente - President, FFB "We apologize for not having it earlier because of the logistics and we're also including international partners in this telethon so it's not only here in Belize that this is going to happen. It's going to happen at the same time in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York as well."

Groundbreaking In Time For Village Council ElectionsVillage council elections are in full swing and that has a lot to do with why you’re seeing a hubbub of political activity in various villages. Today it was Crooked Tree – where they’ve been without a police station for years. But village council elections are on Sunday, so what better time for a groundbreaking for a new station? And while it is electioneering, it’s also for the public good, which is one thing the aspiring and outgoing Chairmen could agree on. George Guest - Outgoing Crooked Tree Village Chairman "It's to build a new police station which Crooked Tree has been waiting for for the last six years, I've been rigorously liaising with the police." Reporter "As a resident, a villager of this - how happy are you?"

Channel 5

Prime Minister speaks on neonatal deaths at K.H.M.H. and offers support
One of the biggest and outrageous incidents coming out of the public health system was revealed on Monday. Since then COLA, the Special Envoy for Women and Children and many others including many more grieving parents have come forth expressing their ire on the situation calling for heads to roll. Today, Prime Minister Dean Barrow, [...]

87 year old America national robbed in his house at gunpoint
And while no alert occurred in time to save some of newborns, the neighbor of an elderly American Citizen was prevented from alerting him of the impending danger at his doorstep. No life was lost but a home invasion at gunpoint is one of the most harrowing experiences that can occur to a person.  U.S. [...]

Housekeeper destroys security camera in apartment building; was she planning to commit a heinous crime?
If you fail the first time, then try again. Well the second attempt by a housekeeper had not only been successful but it also cost her a trip to the police department and her job. The building near the stoplight on Vernon Street houses several businesses and apartments. The security cam on Tuesday recorded forty [...]

Deputy Prime Minister refuses interview with reporter
Gaspar Vega – he is the very powerful Deputy Prime Minister and a high-level financier of the United Democratic Party. He is also the man whose name has come up time and time again in scandals, controversies and allegations of corruption. And he has also gained notoriety for an interview given to the media in [...]

Misappropriation of funds in Orange Walk; San Antonio Road funds diverted
 There are more allegations being levied against Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. This time it’s not about Rosewood or lucrative land scams, but about the alleged misappropriation of funds allocated for road works in Orange Walk. Vega’s nephew, Imer Hernandez, was paid a significant amount of work to pave San Antonio Road in Early 2012, [...]

…Monies used instead to pave Deputy Prime Minister’s street
But all that still hasn’t answered the question – where is the money which was allocated for work on the San Antonio Road? We did some more digging today and that led us to the Ministry of Works in Belmopan.  For payment to be made, the work has to be certified by an engineer from [...]

One man arraigned for murder of former prison officer…
And while the allegation appears to be criminal, it seems that only hard crime gets a suspect arrested. In court today, twenty-four year old John Martinez, accused of killing former prison officer Ernest Savery on February twenty-second, was been charged for murder.  Martinez, who appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith unrepresented, was read a [...]

…While another is committed to stand trial for murder in Supreme Court
Also in court, a Belize City youth was committed today to stand trial for murder in the September session of the Supreme Court. Eighteen year old Paul Martinez is accused of the stabbing murder of Raheem Smith in 2012. And late Thursday evening, when the teenager appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, his case [...]

Seine Bight Village Councilor tells cops she wants back her pickup truck
And though the troubles of one Seine Bight resident do not involve capital punishment, she’s still screaming bloody murder. Recently, Lavern Arzu was elected to be  part of the Seine Bight Village Council, but the hard working woman says she’s been offended and wronged by the police department in her municipality. Arzu alleges the cops [...]

UB responds to serious concerns of course credit transfer by students
Students of the University of Belize also share the sentiments of the Seine Bight resident, but they want cash from their institution. The UB students have raised some serious concerns with the institution, with the focus on what they call chaos regarding the course credit transfer system and they were also very critical about the [...]

OCEANA sells $800,000 trawler to Placencia Coop for $1
The United Nations Secretary General reported in 2006 that ninety five percent of damage to seamount ecosystems worldwide is caused by deep sea bottom trawling.  And that is why five years later, Oceana Belize bought two trawlers at a cost of eight hundred thousand dollars. The non-governmental organization ushered in the age of a ban [...]

Sugar barge drifts to beach
And while the trawlers move from dragging along the coastline to non-destructive productivity for the Placencia Coop., the same can’t be said for the sugar barge that is often seen slowly drudging along the Belize City Harbor. The rope from the rusty sugar barge broke from the barge that was tugging it earlier today. And [...]

Monitoring the barrier reef; training held for environmentalists
And about a hundred yards away as the barge was making its way from the shoreline, a group of over a dozen environmentalists were returning from an intensive training that would help them to monitor the Barrier reef and fragile offshore ecosystems. It was the collaboration of the Fisheries Department, CZMAI, The Toledo Institute for [...]

2013 conch season closes 1 month earlier
The 2013 conch season, which usually expires at the end of June has been closed a month earlier.  The harvest for this year, approximately a million pounds of crustacean meat, has been realized across all five fishing cooperatives.  A notice has since been made public for fisher-folks who are still at sea, as well as [...]

Former Guatemalan President extradited to the US to face money laundering charges
Former Guatemalan president Alfonso Portillo was flown out of the country en route to the United States today, less than a week after his predecessor, dictator Efrain Rios Montt’s conviction for genocide was thrown out.  Portillo’s extradition is a result of charges he laundered seventy million dollars from U.S. banks during his term in office.  [...]

Halo in the sky
While the fortunes of two of Guatemala’s former presidents have plunged into darkness, life has been brighter for us here in neighboring Belize. If you are someone who had your head in the clouds or were looking into the skies around midday today, you would have noticed what appeared to be a ring around the [...]

2nd Annual National Inspiration Telethon to be held on June 1st
If you didn’t find artistry or mental stimulation by the halo, perhaps you will find inspiration in the second annual national Inspiration Telethon.   Under the auspices of the Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow and CARE-Belize, the telethon will be held at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts on June first. [...]


Office of PM, Ministries of Works and Local Government Are Silent On Monies Paid Out For Job Undone
Yesterday we told you about rehabilitation of two roads in Orange Walk that should have been completed by now but haven’t. While Director of Projects in the Ministry of Works, Deon Pascascio explained that it was a matter of modification in the contracts that held back the project, it...

Love FM's CEO Selected as District Governor for Rotary
A new District Governor has been selected for the Rotary year 2015-2016 for Belize, Honduras and Guatemala. Past President, Rene Villanueva Senior was unanimously among all the countries to run the Rotary’s administrative role for that year. Today, Chairman of the Belize Rotary ...

Belizeans Witness Halo In The Sky
If you had a chance to look up at the skies this morning, you will notice what appears to be a rainbow around the sun. The phenomenon is drawing the attention of the public and even the social media is overwhelmed with pictures and comments. And while many may be wondering what it is ...

Prime Minister of Belize Returns Home and Updated on Situation In Neonatal Unit
Three days ago, the KHMH sent out a press release that shocked the country: twelve neonatal deaths were recorded in its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit from an outbreak of a bacterium called Enderobacter Cloacae. An investigation has been launched by the Quality Assurance Unit and it is expected the...

Guyanese Minister Ends Working Visit in Belize
The Minister of Agriculture from Guyana is in Belize on a working visit. We hear more in this report from Arturo Cantun. ARTURO CANTUN “Guyanese Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Leslie Ramsammey is in the country as at Wednesday. Ramsey spoke briefly to Love News this mornin...

Annual Cancer Walk for Belize District Set For The Next Sunrise
This month is being observed as Cancer Month and one of the signatures activities of the cancer society is the annual cancer walk that is held in every district. The Belize District will hold its cancer walk tomorrow early in the morning. Public Relations Officer of the Belize Cancer Society, Dae...

ET Arraigned on Charges of Robbery Among Others
Forty-five year old Basil Willis, a.k.a. “ET”, was arraigned on charges of robbery, wounding and handling stolen goods when he appeared in court today. Willis pled not guilty to robbery and wounding but guilty to handling stolen goods. Although he has a long rap sheet, Magistrate Dale...

Wood Carver of Northern Belize Faces Murder Charge
Twenty-four year old John Martinez, a wood carver of Corozal Town, has been charged with the murder of Ernest “Seedy” Savery. Martinez was arraigned today. He was remanded until June 24. Savery, who resided in Ladyville, was shot and killed on February 22, 2013. He had just exit...

Public Service Information Day Celebrated in Northern Belize
Public Officers in Orange Walk are observing public service information day as we hear in this report from Dalila Ical. DALILA ICAL “Throughout the country government departments have been holding Public Service Information Day in May. The event leads to International Public Service...

Canada and St. Lucia Facilitate Workshop With Environmentalists in Belize
For the next three days environmentalists are meeting for a national workshop at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel to review the existing Environmental Conventions that Belize has signed onto. The focus of that review is to see how best they can merge portions of those existing Conventions to...


Funds For San Antonio Road Diverted To Clarke Street Where The DPM Lives
Tonight residents of San Antonio Road in Orange Walk are demanding answers from Government particularly the Ministry of Works. They want to know why is it that their road has not been fixed when a large sum of funds has been paid out for the upgrading of the road. CTV3 News received documents of what appear to be irregularities in the ministry itself. The documents show that back in 2012 the Ministry of Works paid out $179,951.55 to Imer Hernandez Development Company Limited. Now, if the name rings a bell, that is because Imer Hernandez is the nephew of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. He is the same individual that the previous town council, under the helms of Philip De La Fuente, paid $50,000 to as a partial payment for the rehabilitation of San Antonio Road. At a total cost of $351,000, Hernandez’s company was to pave 0.70 miles of San Antonio Road which stretches from the Orange Walk Fire Station to the outskirts of Orange Walk Town before entering Yo Creek Road. The $50,000 payment was made on January 31st 2012. The documents we received show, that less than one month after the $50,000 partial payment was made by the town council, the Ministry of Works paid out a whopping $179,951.55 to Imer Hernandez Development Company Limited for the rehabilitation of San Antonio Road which to date the facelift is pending. When the news broke out last night residents were taken by surprise and today when we revisited the area, they laid out their demands.

Brother And Sister Detained For Assaulting A Police Officer
A man is under arrest along with his sister after he reportedly punched a police officer when he was being detained. On May 22nd a police officer attached to Orange Walk Police formation was heading to work when his attention was drawn to one Lorenzo Martinez, Belizean laborer of Chula Vista Area Corozal Town, who was walking along with his sister, Gloria Martinez, Belizean domestic also of Chula Vista Corozal Town. The Police officer approached Martinez and informed him that he is wanted for the crime of theft and that he was being placed under arrest. Martinez then reportedly punched the officer and a struggle ensued. Gloria Martinez then held on to the police officer as she reportedly stated that the police will not arrest her brother. The officer called for backup and as a result both persons were arrested and escorted to the Orange Walk Police Station pending charges.

Illegal Weapons Found By Orange Walk Police
Tonight, Police are seeking assistance from the community to find out who is the owner or owners of illegal magazines, ballistic armour, and blank firing attachments for M-16 rifle that were found today. A team of police officers were on patrol and visited Juventus Street in the Pasadita Area of Orange Walk Town. A search was conducted on the area which led to the discovery of six (6) empty magazines for 5.56mm rounds, one (1) ballistic armour and (1) blank firing attachment for M-16 rifle. No one was found in the area and the items were labeled as found property.

Guatemala Wants The Opposition To Take A Stance On The ICJ
During the his quarterly press conference held a few weeks ago, the Prime Minister of Belize revealed that there will be no Belize Guatemala Referendum on October 6th 2013 to take Guatemala’s unfounded claim to the International Court of Justice. During a meeting held at the headquarters of the Organization of American States in Washington D.C, Guatemala officially informed the OAS and Belize of its decision to withdraw from the initial agreement to hold the simultaneous referendum on October sixth. A few weeks later, Guatemala’s Foreign Minister Fernando Carrera expressed to the Secretary General of the OAS Miguel Insulsa, that his country does want to take its claim to the ICJ and that they intend to keep the Special Agreement signed in 2008 intact. All indications are that there is a one time window of opportunity for the simultaneous referendum to take place in 2014. If both countries can’t agree on the proposed new date, the referendum may be delayed for an indefinite period, according to Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Wilfred Elrington.

Public Service Information Day Hosted In Orange Walk
Public Service week will be observed in June, with several activities to mark the occasion celebrated under the theme “As Agents of Change – Public Officers Build, Transform, Create, and Deliver Quality Service”. But before that, government departments today hosted students and the general public at the Barracks here in Orange Walk for Public Service Information Day. The aim of the event which is celebrated countrywide is to educate visitors on the services that are provided by the different government departments. Despite this mornings inclement weather Orange Walkenos came out in numbers eager to learn more about the Public Services and the important role it plays in the development of the country. And just as eager to disseminate the information were members of the Immigration Department, Post Office, Human Rights, Ministry of Education, the Forest Department and even the Minister of Public Service and Elections and Boundaries, Hon. Charles Gibson.

Nahil Mayab And Panecia Restaurants Recognised By TripAdvisor
Tonight we are exultant to announce that two establishments from Orange Walk Town, namely Nahil Mayab and Panecia were bestowed an award by TripAdvisor in its 2013 Tripadvisor certificate of excellence. The Certificate of Excellence award is given to outstanding hospitality businesses that have received praise and recognition in reviews by TripAdvisor Travellers. Winners of the award range from one-room bed and breakfasts to 6,000-room hotels, from bakeries to Michelin star restaurants and hidden attractions to world-renowned parks and museums. TripAdvisor is the world's largest travel site, enabling travelers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 200 million unique monthly visitors.

Is UB Offering Affordable Education To Students?
Tertiary level education is seemingly high here in Belize and often at times, students do not have the resources to even contemplate pursuing further education. As the leading tertiary level institution, the University of Belize is also facing problems of its own. The issue of credit transfers has been for so long discussed by the ATLIB members and the University in which an agreement has been made. In reference to the agreement, it states that if 80 % of the course offered at a junior college level matches that of the university’s course, then UB should accept the credits. That however, has not been happening and in several instances, students have been obliged to take the same course over at UB if they would like to pursue a bachelor’s degree at the institution. In addition, students are charged the price of a bachelor’s course but yet they take an associate’s level course. Professor Patrick Menzies is an instructor in the Information Systems Department at the University of Belize. He is confident that if students and parents unite there could be a change at the institution. In a case study conducted by students of Menzies classes, alarming if not astounding irregularities in the university’s financial records were uncovered and today, he brought them out to light.


EUROPEAN UNION *Europe’s top human rights court ruled that equality laws and safety concerns trumped religious freedom in three cases where British Christians were sacked or sanctioned for expressing their beliefs at work. (January 2013). *European Parliament published the brochure, which recommended not to use the words ‘Missus’ and...

Investigations continue into KHMH baby deaths
This morning, on his return to the country, Prime Minister Barrow met with the Chairman, members of the KHMH and the CEO in the Ministry of Health, where he was briefed on the recent deaths of a dozen newborns at the hospital’s NICU. He was also updated on the...

Brandon Tillett alleges Police brutality
Competing for the interest of the fairer sex has been the downfall of many a man, but Brandon Tillett’s mistake was to go after a young woman who had an ear in to the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU). We spoke to him to today. Brandon Tillett – Alleged Victim...

Article by Audrey Matura Shepherd lands her in UNIBAM Lawyer’s crosshairs
All over the world, Christians and those who support traditional marriage are being harassed, intimidated, fired, sued, fined, and even imprisoned for their personal beliefs. With the legalization of homosexuality come anti-discriminatory laws which equate biblical teaching on homosexuality as ‘hate speech”. Belize is just at the beginning of...

Telethon to raise funds for National Football team to attend Gold Cup
They have made history, now the Belize National A Football Team wants to keep it going all the way to gold – the CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States in July. After being twice postponed, a national telethon is scheduled for midway in June, as FFB President Ruperto...

UB responds to accusations of botched up credit transfers
Last week, adjunct professor of the University of Belize Patrick Menzies, along with students of his Management Information course, released the findings of a study they conducted on the transfer of credits and tuition assessment administered by the university. The claim that the school has been overseeing misinformation and...

Woman returns home after going missing in Belmopan
A woman went missing from the Western Regional Hospital on Tuesday. The woman’s husband, who resides in St. Margaret Village, told Police that on Tuesday, he took his wife to the hospital. She reportedly went to the emergency ward of the hospital and a short while after, her husband...

Police report numerous hold-ups in Belize District
There have been numerous reports of hold-ups, particularly in the Belize district for this past week. Thankfully, the victims have all escaped unhurt; nonetheless, they have lost valuable and costly possessions. The previous victims were mostly women, but on Wednesday, two men were held up at gunpoint in the...

NTUCB calls for defense of this land and its resources
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize is the most recent body to come out swinging against the managing of the country’s resources. The NTUCB, in a press release issued this week says that it is “Scandalous but also tremendously and utterly outrageous that we have witnessed; first the...

Rowan Garel to dive Blue Hole for charity
His exploits have attracted much attention in recent years – from scaling the Victoria Peak to walking across Belize in five days, all in an effort to raise funds for the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired (BCVI)’s programs for student rehabilitation. Now, 14 year old Belize High School...

Matron Roberts Polyclinic hosts health and wellness fair
Under the theme “Your Health, Your Life, Act Now!” various health partners including HECOPAB and the Central Health Region joined with the Matron Roberts Polyclinic on Magazine Road to host today a health and wellness fair. Participants include the Kidney, Diabetes and Mental Health Associations, as well as Crimestoppers...

Meteorologist explains halo around Sun
This morning PLUS News observed a ring around the morning sun. We were curious as to what it was and decided to call the Meteorological Office in Ladyville to find out. Forecaster Frank Tench confirmed that what we saw was a naturally-occurring halo, a result of the sun passing...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Slates & Independents running in the Village Council election on June 16th

Presenting the Miss Lobster Fest contestants…

Little Stars Preschool Open Day
Little Stars Preschool held their Open Day today 24th May 2013, showcasing what the Children learn throughout the school year. There were different sections displaying different subjects and learning techniques. Principal Ms. Vanina Sosa and teacher Mr. Edir Sosa along with the help of parents did an excellent job with the setting up and displaying of all the learning areas. The kids had a blast doing art, playing music, reading, counting learning about plants, animals and much more.


Belize Action says the move is a dangerous shift by Barrow administration. The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court says: “…it is understood that the term ‘gender’ refers to the two sexes, male and female, within the context of society. The term ‘gender’ does not indicate any meaning different from the above.” Cabinet Secretary Carlos Perdomo confirmed to Amandala today that Cabinet, the central policy-making arm of government, has “endorsed 100%” the new gender policy, 2013, which revises and updates the first policy published by the Government of Belize in 2002, and which now states, under its “guiding principles” that the “respect for diversity” extends to “persons of all ages who come from diverse races, cultures, ethnicities, faiths, sexual orientations, socio-economic situations and behavioral lifestyles… [Emphasis ours]”

A crocodile was captured in the drain on Castle Street about 20 yards from Victoria Street. It was about 8 ½ feet long, spanned about two and a half feet in width, and weighed about 250 pounds. The animal was taken out of the drain about 6:30 this morning by two men, who placed it in a nearby yard until police arrived. The police came shortly after and took it away. No one was hurt in the process of capturing the crocodile, and the crocodile itself was not harmed. Cornelio Day, a resident of the area, reported to Amandala that two men who were walking on Castle Street saw the animal in the drain. They quickly jumped onto it, tied its mouth, pulled it out of the drain and tugged it into a yard, where they held it until the police came.

Hospital CEO said he learned of the 12 infant deaths “through the media;” 7 deaths due to bacteria and 5 due to “premature-related issues”. When one mother loses her infant child in a hospital unnecessarily, it is a tragedy; when twelve mothers lose their babies, it is a catastrophe of mammoth proportions. The collective pain and heartbreak is beyond measure. Within the first 20 days of this month, there have been 12 neonatal deaths at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Belize City, and the hospital’s Chief Executive Officer Dr. Francis Gary Longsworth, said in a press conference yesterday, Wednesday, that he only became aware of the situation after parents of one of the deceased babies went to the media with their concerns. At the press conference, Longsworth, Chairlady of the Board of Governors Chandra Nisbet Cansino, and Chief of Medical Staff Dr. Adrian Coye addressed the situation – 7 deaths by bacterial infection, and 5 from prematurity-related issues. We were told that internal investigations into the matter started immediately after the deaths in the NICU began.

Jose Cruz, 53, was fined a total of $8,735 for illegal possession of conch and lobster on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court. Fisheries officials on patrol on Tuesday, May 14, conducted a search for illegal marine products on Cruz’s boat, Giana, in the Belize City harbor. Cruz had in his possession 85 lobster tails and 240 conchs. They found, in the bow of the boat, a kit bag containing a black plastic bag with what appeared to be lobster tails. Also found in the bow was a knapsack containing two plastic bags with suspected undersized conchs amidst some clothing. A T-shirt in the bag was wrapped around plastic bags containing more conchs. In the stern of the boat were two aluminum pots with a plastic bag containing both lobster and suspected undersized conchs. Both lobsters and conchs were found inside a small bucket in the stern. In the mid-area of the boat, lobsters were found wrapped in two jeans pants.

Game 2 in the Belmopan City Council Kids and Youth Cups 2013 semifinal home-and-away series were held over the past weekend, with the Kids Cup semifinals on Saturday, May 18, and the Youth Cup semifinals on Sunday, May 19, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium. Kids Cup semifinals results In the first Kids Cup semifinal game on Saturday, May 18, Real Madrid – Mountain View crushed Manchester City – Armenia, 4-0, with 1 goal from Kendale Nunez (37’) and a hat trick (3) from Tahj Reid (42’, 49’ & 51’). (Real Madrid had also won the previous week’s encounter by a 2-1 score, so they are through to the finals.) In the nightcap, it was Barcelona – Site 7 also registering a 4-0 victory over Manchester United – San Martin, with goals from Devin Nunez (12’), Tyzae Carr (15’ & 50’) and Jahlin Pelayo (55’). (In their previous meeting, Barcelona – Site 7 had won, 1-nil, so they are also going to the finals.)

The Football Federation of Belize (FFB) U-17 Women’s Team will be travelling to Guatemala on Thursday, May 23. The females will be participating in the Qualifying Round for the UNCAF U-17 games against Guatemala on Sunday, May 26, in Antigua, Guatemala at 3:00 p.m. The return match will be held on Sunday, June 2, in Belize at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan at 4:00 p.m. The young ladies participating are: Sabrina Eiley (Independence High School), Brithney Drysdale (Independence High School), Torrie Vernon (Indepedence High School), Naomi Gamboa (Delille Academy), Abigail Ramos (Our Lady of Guadelupe High School), Leinny Jones (Sacred Heart College), Luannie Castillo (Sacred Heart College), Erica Mulligan (Wesley College), Jayelle Young (Saint Catherine Academy), Julia Arzu (Saint Catherine Academy), Shandy Vernon (Nazerene High School), Sophia Diego (Saint Catherine Academy), Jacqueline Riveroll (Ocean Academy), Marissa Cervantes (Muffles College), Gisel Baeza (Orange Walk Technical High School), Lucreshia Underwood (Bishop Martin High School), Ana Mendoza (Corozal Community College), and Kiliah McNeil (Saint Catherine Academy).

The areas which experts examine in a society to assess that society’s level of progress or development, are housing, health, education, infrastructure, and so on. Health is always an area of primary concern, and it is an area where the serious inequality among citizens in certain societies can be exposed in dramatic and traumatic ways. One of the key measuring sticks of a nation’s health system is its infant mortality rate. The fact that the Cuban Revolution has reduced Cuba’s infant mortality rate to one of the absolute lowest in the world, is an undeniable badge of honor for that Revolution. There are people like the American government and the Cuban exiles who condemn the Cuban government as a communist dictatorship. But those Cuban parents who benefit from Cuba’s free, yet world-class, health care system no doubt have a different perspective. Recent negative developments where Belize’s infant mortality rate are concerned, expose the fact that our democratic, free market system of politics and economics is failing where health care for the masses of the Belizean people is concerned. For several months the nation had been hearing of infant mortality problems in Orange Walk Town’s Northern Regional Hospital, but the cases were individual, and Orange Walk Town is not a media and population center. When news broke this week of multiple infant mortalities, a veritable cluster in fact, at the largest public hospital in the nation, Belize City’s Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, public reaction has been near panic.

Younger generations of Belizeans know, I assume, that they have potential political power in their hands, but they are not sure how to convert potential power into real power. Worse, they are not even sure they really want to acquire that political power, because they have been programmed to consider electoral politics to be dirty and dishonest, and to stay away from it if they want to remain pure and principled. Some younger Belizeans, moreover, are intimidated by the street and media power of the ruling UDP and the Opposition PUP, and they do not want to be publicly humiliated and scandalized. Those younger Belizeans who have participated in the various third party and activist initiatives we have seen in Belize over the last decade or so, have seen for themselves how important money and other material resources are once you enter the public arena. The experiences they have had may have tended to sober them more than inspire them. The bottom line is, nevertheless, that Belize is a participatory democracy. There are free and fair elections, so that if you seriously believe that something needs to be changed, and if you believe that the PUDP are jointly opposed to that change, then you do not have to make violent revolution. You can organize peacefully to acquire a mandate from the Belizean people to make that change. No one’s going to torture or murder you in Belize as they do in military dictatorships.

Dear Editor, I read with great concern the article “The Tort of Misfeasance and the State’s Right to Sue Public Officials,” reproduced on pg. 39 of the Sunday, May 19 edition of the Amandala. I say concern because if one were to follow this case from its inception in 2009 to its conclusion in February 2013, one would get a better understanding of the abuse of state power and how to address it. Both CJ Conteh and the two senior judges of the CCJ adjudged that the tort of misfeasance is a legal tool for aggrieved citizens to use against the abuse of state power and not for the Attorney General to use against citizens. They both cautioned against the abuse of the tort by the Attorney General, particularly in jurisdictions where the Attorney General is also a politician. Nevertheless, the Attorney General was given the go ahead to prove his claim in the court of the Hon. Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin.

Dear Editor, I am Jacklin Marroquin, originally from a village known as Valley of Peace in the Cayo District. Early May 2012, I learned that I was pregnant, and while the baby was never planned, the thought of having a child both frightened me, and thrilled me. It frightened me because at that time I was unemployed, and with little savings which I had accumulated over a two-year period, particularly for that, “the baby’s fund.” However, the idea of having a child also comforted me, as my greatest wish had always been to have a child. Nonetheless, in my mind I had always wanted to have everything perfect and ready for the time a child came, thus the reason why I kept putting a child off. Now I realize that if I had kept waiting until everything was in place, then I might have never really been ready for a child; something would have always been missing.

Dear Editor, BELPO has tried working with the Department of Environment (DOE) and its Chief Environmental Officer, since our mission is “protecting the environment through law.” We have attempted to amicably deal with differences and to collaborate and cooperate with DOE without antagonism. We have had our requests for information ignored. We have been disrespected by members of DOE who have been less than forthcoming with the truth. Now, it appears, the Department is going a step further in trying to ignore our existence. Over the weekend, we heard, from a secondary source, about a training workshop on Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) to be held May 22-24; there is to be participation from Governmental Ministries and Departments and Non-Governmental Organizations. The notice stated those interested should contact the Chief Environmental Officer, Department of Environment, for more information.

by Major Lloyd Jones (Ret’d) Dear Editor, The Commissioner of Police (ComPol) occupies an extremely important post in our fledgling democracy, as he and he alone drives our internal security apparatus. It is through the ComPol that the State exercises its monopoly on the use of force and the right to deprive citizens of their liberty on the grounds of national security. Plainly put, the ComPol wields extraordinary powers! History has taught us, however, that if a democracy is to survive, one imbued with such powers must exercise it judiciously and independently. Earlier this month the immediate former ComPol, David Henderson, was seen campaigning for the UDP in Unitedville for the village council elections – a mere four months after leaving the office of ComPol. In the circumstances it is not unreasonable to draw the conclusion that Henderson was a UDP Commissioner. If one draws such a conclusion, two obvious questions emerge (1) was David Henderson judicious and independent in the exercise of his office as ComPol? And (2) can David Henderson exercise the functions of the office of Director of the National Forensic Service with the professionalism and independence that such office demands?

There was an abrupt cancellation of summer classes at St. John’s College Junior College on Tuesday, May 21, 2013. The reason for cancelling classes was that enough students did not pay for their courses. We were told by a few students that only 50 out of about 400 students had paid for the summer sessions. We spoke to a few students who were registered for the summer session. One of them told us they were informed that classes would be cancelled while classes were in session on Tuesday, which was to be the first day of the summer session. A first-year student told us that a teacher walked into the classroom and made the announcement, but the lecturer carried on with the lesson because it was thought that the announcement meant classes would be cancelled for that day only. The student said that the teacher returned and repeated her announcement, emphasizing that it meant classes were cancelled for the entire summer semester.

Official information provided to the press by the Forest Department indicates that from April 11 to 26, 2013, a total of $185,111.40 was paid in royalties to the Government of Belize by several vendors from places like Columbia Village, Trio Village, Deep River, Mafredi, Boom Creek Village, Benque Viejo, Midway Village, Jacintoville, and Eldridge Ville for rosewood harvested during the period of amnesty. At the time of the report, royalty payment of about $25,000 to the government was pending for 47,000 board feet from the villages of Santa Teresa and Boom Creek. The tallied payments were for roughly 125,000 board feet of rosewood which were declared to the Forest Department back in April. The inventory awaiting exportation also includes 150,000 board-feet which the Department reports were obtained from Millroom Lumber Yard Ltd., but because the volume was assessed before the moratorium, they are listed for shipment purposes only. Chief Forest Officer Wilber Sabido said that royalty has already been received for this batch of rosewood.

Two vehicles, with a combined value of $96,000, were stolen in two days –both from women. The Mazda Tribute of the executive director of the Women Department, Ann-Marie Williams – a vehicle valued at about $16,000, was stolen at about 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, and two days later, a Toyota Hilux 2012, valued at $80,000 was stolen at about 7:30 p.m. yesterday from the Director of Hofius Limited, Jacklyn Roe. Williams’ vehicle was stolen on Durgeon Drive, in the Buttonwood Bay area. She told police that about 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, she drove up to her home and entered her yard, which is unfenced, and as she was getting out of her vehicle to go into her house, two men came out of the shadows, one of whom was armed with a club. They approached her and demanded her vehicle keys. She told police that both of them had hoods over their heads, which prevented her from getting a look at their faces. The one with the club in his hand held it in an upward position, as if to hit her if she did not comply.

MOU signed in February now in effect. Back in February, Minister of Tourism and Culture Manuel Heredia, Jr., signed a memorandum of understanding with US Ambassador to Belize, HE Vinai K. Thummalapally, for the protection of Belizean archaeological and ethnological objects, by ensuring that objects that are taken to the US would be confiscated and returned to Belizean authorities. Archaeological Commissioner Dr. Jaime Awe has indicated to Amandala that items are already being returned to Belize, under the terms of the MOU. One Maya vessel has been returned, and two other artifacts are being returned through the work of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). At the time the MOU was signed, Awe told Amandala that Belizean artifacts were also being sold on e-bay. We did a search and came across one item which was marked “sold”; and another, a Maya jar, being sold for US$100, supposedly from a seller in New Mexico, USA. Awe said that the eBay sale was illegal, because ownership is vested in state. Dr. Awe told us that his institute is working with authorities in the US to try to reclaim that object from the New Mexico seller.

The Reporter

he destruction of Noh Mul, the northernmost Mayan city of old in the Orange Walk District, is not only a cultural disaster. It is a sacrilege! The mushroom remnant of the main pyramid is not only an ugly scar upon the landscape. It is also a scar on the social [...]

Twelve newborns die at KHMH in one week, Hospital says bacteria is to blame for more than half
Twelve newborn babies died at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital within a one-week period, and the hospital’s higher ups say a bacteria is to blame. At a late Wednesday evening press conference and while tests and investigations continued to be processed, KHMH’s Director of Medical Services, Dr. Adrian Coye, revealed [...]

Past CEO: something ‘amiss’ at KHMH
The authorities at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital said Wednesday that half of the recent neonatal deaths was due to an infection, but former KHMH CEO, Dr. Alvaro Rosado, blames an apparent breakdown in communication at the hospital.

Retiring Deputy Director of Health Services grinds GOB
In her speech at the National Nursing Conference, Dr. Marjorie Parks, retiring deputy director of health services and Chief Nursing Officer, chided the government for interfering with the nursing profession.

A.G. vs Bar President in court
Though neither man was there in his professional capacity, it was Attorney General of Belize Wilfred Elrington squaring off with President of the Bar Association Eamon Courtenay in the Supreme Court on Tuesday. The matter is personal and private.

Guatemalan Constitutional court voids Rios Montt genocide conviction
On Monday, Guatemala’s Constitutional Court overturned the “genocide and crimes against humanity” conviction of former military dictator Efrain Rios Montt, 86. Montt was convicted on May 10, and sentenced to 80 years in prison.

Stabbed BDF officer recovering
Warrant Officer Andre Gabb, 45, of the Belize Defence Force, is still weak but on the road to recovery at the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados, after an angry microbus driver stabbed him in the heart in the Black Rock area two miles north of Bridgetown, the capital of [...]

Belizean Joseph Budna sentenced to 25 years in Guatemala court
Belizean freelance reporter, Joseph Budna, 33, has been found guilty on a charge of kidnapping by a Guatemala court and sentenced to 25 years in prison on Friday, May 10. It is not known at this time if Budna, who is facing additional charges, including extortion, will appeal the sentence.

Executive Director National Women’s Commission car-jacked
Ann-Marie Williams, Executive Director of the National Women’s Commission and front-runner for the Women in Politics initiative, was car jacked last Saturday night. Williams was held up in the driveway of her home on Durgeon Drive, in West Landivar as she was parking her grey 2003 Mazda Tribute. She reported [...]

Hofius manager, Jackie Roe 2012 Toyota Hilux jacked
Two men car jacked the manager of Hofius Belize Limited, Jacqueline Roe, Monday night, as she was leaving the Great House parking lot on Cork Street, Belize City. Reports say that the men, who were dressed in dark clothes, suddenly walked up to her and held her at knife point.

Brazilian judicial council orders notaries to recognize same-sex marriage
The Brazilian National Council of Justice, which oversees the nation’s judiciary, passed a resolution Tuesday that denies notaries the right to refuse to perform same-sex marriages. In Brazil, notaries officiate marriages and civil unions.

Cameron condemns hacking death. Says Britain stands firm
A gruesome cleaver attack on a British soldier left London reeling Thursday, as Britain grappled with questions over who was responsible and whether Islamist extremism was to blame. The scene revealed through cell phone camera footage and witness accounts Wednesday was bloody, and for many hard to believe.

Bras make breasts sag, says 15 year study
Wearing a bra does more harm than good – it does nothing to reduce back pain and weakens the muscles that hold up the breasts, resulting in greater breast sagging, Jean-Denis Rouillon, a sports science expert from the University of Besançon, France, reported after a 15-year study.

Police wins first Premier League final
Three times bridesmaids, the Police United set themselves on the good footing to win their first national championship when they triumphed 1-0 over FC Belize in the first game of the championship finals of 2013 Premier League of Belize football tournament at the MCC grounds on Sunday, May 19.

Belize Telemedia whops Lady Rebels 10-1 in Belize City softball
The Belize Telemedia softball women walloped the Mirage Lady Rebels 10-1 to win by mercy rule in five innings when the Belize City women’s softball competition continued at the Roger’s Station. Telemedia scored 10 runs on 11 hits and they led 2-0 when catcher Erlene Belisle and pitcher Mary Flowers [...]

The Belize Times

OUTRAGE! – 12 babies die at KHMH
Twelve innocent babies are dead. It is the latest outrage in an ongoing list of major scandals unfolding under the UDP government. As the scandal broke this week, Prime Minister Barrow hopped on a plane and left the country. He left his Deputy Gaspar Vega in charge! All twelve babies died at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital KHMH over a period of twenty days this month. These deaths did not happen from a single fire or a collapsed building. The babies died one after the other from negligence of the worse kind. The official explanation is a virus or bacteria. More likely unsanitary conditions and inadequate medication appear to be the cause of the deaths.

Troubled Cop?
A disturbing photograph of a Police Officer pointing a gun to his own head has prompted the Police Department to launch a serious investigation into the circumstances that led to such a dramatic act. The photo revealed ...

Barrow’s “National Bank” can “acquire”/“take over” property of “any other bank”
The UDP’s latest political gimmick called a National Bank is bound to raise concerns in the private and banking sector. This bank is already being stuffed with known UDP cronies. The bank, registered as a private/public ...

Did a bug kill Baby Jade in December 2012? – Premature child died 12 days after birth from a mysterious infection at KHMH
The shocking news of 12 babies dying at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital from a mysterious infection in a span of 20 days in May has caused more cases of strange baby deaths at the public ...

Running Roughshod over Belize
By G. Michael Reid As a small child, I remember spending a couple of school vacations way back in the jungle area of Mountain Pine Ridge. There was a family of white people who lived directly in front of where we lived in Belize City. The patriarch was a tall, burly ...

Killing Us Prematurely
Belize is a reactionary society, blame the recessive colonial gene that has crippled us, but as a society we do not live a culture of prevention. Consequently, as a country, the socio-political status of Belize is still within the premature neonatal stage and extremely vulnerable. Some apologists will say that preventative ...

Shalini Zabaneh regains Cross Country Cycling title
Team Sagitun’s Shalini Zabaneh won the 2013 Women’s Cross Country Cycling Classic organized by the Belize Cycling Association, from San Ignacio to the finish line in front of Leslie’s Imports on the George Price Highway on ...

Daniel, Fabio & Bjourne win national junior ranking tournament
Three champs rose to the occasion when the Belize Table Tennis Association held the 2013 SMART bi-annual national ranking tournament at the Belize Elementary School auditorium over the weekend. Daniel Sanchez Jr. won as new national ...

Police arrests FC Belize in Finals Game 1
The Police United FC gained the advantage to possibly win their first national football championship by winning Game 1 of 2013 Premier League of Belize football championship finals ...

UDP blames “archaeology people” for Noh Mul desecration
Did anyone notice? Just about everyone had an official reaction to the Noh Mul destruction. Press releases were sent out by COLA, PUP, UB Archaeology Students and even NICH. Just ...

Bus operators iron out issues in Chetumal
Belizean bus operators have restored access to the parking facility at the Mercado Lazaro Cardenaz, known to Belizeans as the “Mercado Nuevo” or “New Market”. For several weeks, the bus operators have been parking on streets near the market, contrary to regulations, after they were forced out ...

AMAZING GRACE – What’s Your Motivation?
Humans are complex creatures. The average person constantly twists his words to suit the occasion. Let’s be honest. Many times, condolences handed out at funerals are never genuinely meant. We tell visitors to comeback any time, when we really don’t ever want to see them again. We smile to the ...

Minister’s daughter faces possible prosecution for accident
Belmopan Police have issued a Notice of Intended Prosecution to Giselly Gibson the daughter of UDP Senator/Minister of Public Service Charles Gibson after she was reportedly involved in a traffic accident over the weekend. At the time of the accident, the Minister’s Government-assigned Toyota Hilux with license ...

Gilroy Usher, Sr. assists with Housing in Port Loyola
In the first week of May Gilroy Usher, Sr. assisted Mr. and Mrs. Steve Ferrell of #7174 ...

Chief Nursing Officer’s Address on Nurses Week
When I asked the President of NAB, Ms.Georgia Franklin, what was I expected to say to the Nurses at this conference, she said anything that I wanted. Since I know that ...

Agric Show Grounds – Where is the vision?
By Richard Harrison I have mentioned before that the Agricultural Show Grounds is a valuable property estimated to value around BZ$15 million. It is my opinion....that a property of this value should warrant a comprehensive integral development and business plan....with a blue print for the entire property.... and financially prudent business forecasts. ...

University of Arkansas professors & students visit Dangriga
Mayor H. Gilbert Swaso, Deputy Mayor Gilroy Howard Flores and Managers and fellow Staff of the Dangriga Town Council gave a warm and heartfelt welcome to the Professors and Students of the University of Arkansas who ...

Overwhelmed + Anxiety = STRESS
By Dr. Angela Banner Joseph “Stress is the trash of modern life - we all generate it, but if you don’t dispose of it properly, it will pile up and overtake your life”- Danzae Pace How do you handle stress? What happens to your body when you are stressed? What tools do ...

WOMAN IN THE HOUSE – Big up Margaret Nicholas!!
By Dolores Balderamos Garcia Just this past week I learned that Margaret Nicholas is leaving the bench as Director of the Family Court at the end of the month. ‘Miss Nick’ as she is affectionately called, has had a long career at the Family Court, a vital part of our court system and ...

by anthony sylvestre In the most powerful country on earth, there is a city called Philadelphia. It is in the state of Pennsylvania, one of the original thirteen states of the United States. Philadelphia is a city renowned for the statute of Ben Franklin, the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall (not the ...

Minister of Health Pablo Marin must go, demands PUP
In light of the report that twelve premature babies died in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) within the first twenty days of the month of May, the People’s United Party calls for the immediate resignation of the Minister of Health and of the Board of Directors ...

Sandhill Vipers win Edilberto Villa memorial trophy
On Saturday night the Sand Hill Vipers triumphantly raised the Edilberto Villa Jr. memorial trophy when they defeated Crooked Tree in the ...

1.2m Belizean entries into Chetumal in 2012 – Belizeans spent over $60m across the northern border
Statistics released by officials in Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico have revealed an enormous emigration of Belize’s economy to the neighbouring city of Chetumal. According to the data, reported by Estereo Amor, there were some 1,300,000 Belizean entries ...

Major Victories for PUP! – Roaring Creek and Camalote in Cayo South go blue
The PUP has been performing well in the ongoing village council elections, and the past weekend’s victories in Camalote and Roaring Creek in the Cayo South division are proof of it. Both communities, especially Roaring Creek, were considered to be UDP strongholds. But the leadership of Cayo South Area Representative Julius Espat has shown residents that community development is possible despite political affiliations. This style has given Cayo new life and new hope. ...

Noh Mul destruction underscores need for respect of village leaders
The demolished remains of Noh Mul, the ancient Mayan ruin in the Orange Walk North constituency, will be a lasting memory of the bad leadership in our country. There is a lesson to learn in Noh ...

High School’s best and brightest – Part1: Nazarene High, E.P. Yorke and Sadie Vernon High School
In today’s Belize, there’s not always much to look forward to, but when it comes to education and ...

Gaspar Vega attacks protected area
In his lame response to the Noh Mul destruction last week, the Deputy Prime Minister Gapi Vega whose brother got the exclusive license to exploit Rosewood, told a bald face lie. Vega claimed that he is “deeply committed to protecting and preserving our national heritage and patrimony ...

Moody’s predicts Belize debt default
It’s only been three months since the restructuring of the Superbond was completed. It was a sigh of relief for all who had gasped in apprehension when Belize defaulted on its scheduled payment in 2012. While there was thunderous chest beating by the Barrow Administration about ...

Bachelor’s Degree Student lashes out at UB
Dear Editor I am a transferred student from St. John’s Junior College, where I got my Associate’s Degree in Business Administration with Accounting. I applied to the University of Belize to enroll in the Bachelor’s Accounting program. After my two years at John’s the University of Belize did not accept or ...

PUP candidates challenge Red Bank village elections
Jonathan Cho Chairman Candidate PUP Red Bank Village, Stann Creek District Mr. B. Q. Pitts Chairman, Elections and Boundaries Commission Belize City Dear Chairman, We the candidate and villagers of Red Bank in the Stann Creek District are outraged at the way the Village Council Election was conducted on May 12, 2013, and by this letter we ...

The Politicians and the Police
Dear Editor, The Commissioner of Police (ComPol) occupies an extremely important post in our fledgling democracy as he and he alone drives our internal security apparatus. It is through the ComPol that the State exercises its monopoly on the use of force and the right to deprive citizens of their liberty ...

“SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS” – Still no charges for Denny Grijalva
UDP Orange Walk Central caretaker, Denny Grijalva, is yet to face any penalties for the damages which his construction company caused on the once majestic Noh Mul Mayan site which sits among ...


Caye Caulker day sail and poker party tonight
Hol Chan which is about 4 miles southeast of San Pedro town. Did you know Hol Chan is Mayan for ‘little channel?” Actually it is not so little, the reserve centers on a channel or cut through the reef measuring just over than 25 yards / 23 meters wide and 30 feet – 9 meters deep With the spectacular array of colorful sea life at Hol Chan, you will enjoy a wonderful real life nat geo moment. The popular marine reserve is home to 200 species of fish, nearly 40 species of corals, 3 different kinds sea turtles and so much more. The second stop on the Seaduced tour is was Shark Ray Alley, just a stones throw a way. Once the catamaran docks, you will see lots of nurse sharks, one eyed jacks, blue tang, a few rays and sometimes a turtle or two. The nurse sharks are harmless however if they are in a feeding frenzy you need pay attention and keep your distance.

I heard it through the grapevine…
According to LOVE FM, our local radio station, the Belize Tourism Board was busy launching a new visitor satisfaction survey at the Maya archaeological site of Altun Ha this last week (23rd of May). The Director of Tourism, Laura Esquivel Hampton, said that this is the first part of a project aimed at maximising the experience of visitors to all of Belize’s Maya sites while making sure that nearby communities benefit from tourism, so it sounds like good news all around. We love (pun intended) hearing about these sorts of projects that show a commitment to looking after our guests and the communities they visit, and we encourage people to provide feedback about their Belizean experience. Belize is small enough, and everyone involved in the tourism industry is concerned enough, that your voice can be heard and actually make a difference.

“Walking the Dog” in Ambergris Caye,Belize.
Have spent (more of it yesterday) what seems like an interminable amount of time (the +7 hour time difference doesn’t help!) communicating with the relocation company we are using in the UK (Excess International Movers) to ship some of our old household items and personal possessions to us in Ambergris Caye (as opposed to Belize City) for inspection by Customs. Haven’t got a ‘yes’ yet, but then again I haven’t got a ‘no’. So it remains a challenge on my ‘to do’ list. I then turned my attention to trying to obtain further indicative costings for shipping any online purchases (TVs , dinnerware, pots and pans, etc) we might make in the States for our build in Ambergris Caye,Belize. Having already obtained information from Hyde Shipping I sent emails to M A Pariente, Manray Express and Eurocaribe and now await replies so that Rose and I can decide whether to proceed with this approach or not. We did visit our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize yesterday afternoon but I got lazy when we got home and didn’t publish an edition of this blog. Deciding instead to publish a ‘double issue’ today!

International Sources

NOAA, TSR, UKMET, PSU, WSI, and WU Community Predict Active Atlantic Hurricane Season
NOAA forecasts an above-normal and possibly very active Atlantic hurricane season in 2013, in their May 23 outlook. They give a 70% chance of an above-normal season, a 25% chance of an near-normal season, and 5% chance of a below-normal season. They predict a 70% chance that there will be 13 - 20 named storms, 7 - 11 hurricanes, and 3 - 6 major hurricanes, with an Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) 120% - 205% of the median. If we take the midpoint of these numbers, NOAA is calling for 16.5 named storms, 9 hurricanes, 4.5 major hurricanes, and an ACE index 162% of normal. This is well above the 1981 - 2010 average of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes. Hurricane seasons during the active hurricane period 1995 - 2012 have averaged 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes, with an ACE index 151% of the median. Only five seasons since the active hurricane period that began in 1995 have not been above normal--including four El Niño years (1997, 2002, 2006, and 2009), and the neutral 2007 season.

Cruising the Yucatan Peninsula
THERE was a little obvious history immediately apparent to the casual visitor to Belize City, the principal port of the minuscule Central American country of Belize (formerly British Honduras), which was the capital before it was almost totally flattened by a hurricane in 1961 and certainly not to most of my fellow passengers on what was then the biggest cruise ship in the world. Travel with Dusty Miller I certainly don’t belittle the major historical importance of architecturally-gifted, rebellious Mayans, an ancient people, whose breathtakingly-built pyramids — many thought to be still; hidden in dense overgrown jungle — dot Belize and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula: and the country’s colonial history was fascinating to someone living in post-colonial Africa. There are many references to a Baron Bliss, the unusual name of the country’s major benefactor. Baron Bliss Day is among Belize’s public holidays, there’s a Baron Bliss Memorial Lighthouse and Park, a Bliss Institute Museum and Library and many Bliss health centres around the country. Yet Baron Bliss never actually set foot in the country…alive! (He is buried there.) A keen fisherman and sailor, he left his wife and estates in England to roam the maritime world. Taken seriously ill with food poisoning on Trinidad, Bliss sailed his luxury yacht, Sea King to British Honduras, anchoring on the barrier reef tying to recover in the soft sea air.

This week's Chicagoan: Rosita Arvigo, master herbalist
I left Chicago during the Vietnam War and went to Mexico for seven years. The boyfriend I had at the time was a draft resister. We were way back in the bush, about 14 hours' walk from a village that was a 20-hour bus ride from the highway. It was a self-sufficient homestead we started. We could do everything except weave cloth and make paper. We had a fruit orchard, and we cared for that, and it was just the two of us and our two children. "That relationship broke up, and it was time to move on. My parents were adamant that I should get a degree. I went to Chicago and en

Caribbean Room With a View: A Rainforest Getaway in Belize
IT WAS FOLLOWING a trip to Belize that legendary film director Francis Ford Coppola decided to purchase the then-abandoned Blancaneaux Lodge in the rainforest of Belize. Nearly 20 years after opening the resort, the 20-room boutique property remains one of the region’s great escapes. It’s one of a pair of lodges Coppola has developed in Belize, along with the Turtle Inn. It’s located in the northwestern corner of Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, a 107,000-acre reserve in the Cayo district of Belize. And at the top of the property’s offerings are the Honeymoon Cabañas, offering terrific views of the waterfalls that dot the property. The Honeymoon Cabañas are all about romance, perched over a Privassion Creek waterfall.

May 24, 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

Lucio Salazar charged for alleged murder of Jeremy Baptist
Police on Ambergris Caye charged one man for murder on May 23, 2013. He is 23 year old Lucio Salazar, a fisherman of a San Juan Area address in San Pedro Town. The charges arose from an investigation that was launched following several reports gathered by police that 25 year old Jeremy Baptist was shot and his body disposed of. It’s a strange case and one of the few such case seen in Belize in which police has brought murder charges against someone without having a body. According to Superintendent of Police Luis Castellaños, sometime on Monday May 20th, they received a missing person report and following an investigation, they received several reports that Baptist was in fact murdered and not missing. Castallaños explained that investigation so far suggest that Baptist was at a function at the residence of 49 year old Peter Moses Campos in the San Juan area of San Pedro Town when he was apparently shot, killed and his body transported in a boat. Police say the body has not been found.

May 23, 2013 is World Turtle Day!
On May 23, 2000 the American Tortoise Rescue launched an annual celebration of all turtles – sea turtles, land turtles and rivers turtles. 2013 marks a very important milestone for Belize since the hawksbill sea turtle has been protected since 1993 or 20 years! In fact 2012 marked the 10th anniversary that all sea turtles have been protected in Belize. These two milestones are great accomplishments by the government and people of Belize and everyone is asked to respect and celebrate these historic events. Sea Turtle Release (7)Turtles have been extremely important in the history of Belize. In the 1700s when Belize was first being settled sea turtles were kept in turtle corrals on St. George’s Caye. Look on the back of the $5 dollar bill and you will see a map that identifies turtle corrals around the island. Turtles were an important source of protein to the early settlers, and likely became Belize’s first fishery export. Turtles can remain alive on their backs for weeks, so on the long journey across the Atlantic Ocean to England there was available a fresh source of meat for the sailors transporting logwood and mahogany. You all probably heard about the important of these two industries in early Belize but may not have realized the important roll sea turtles played at this time.

Police Department Receives Two New Vehicles for Northern Region
Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar, this morning handed over two (2) new Mahindra Pickup Trucks to the Police Department. Receiving the vehicles on behalf of the Police Department was Deputy Commissioner Elodio Aragon, who then handed them over to the Officer Commanding the Northern Region, Senior Superintendent Joseph Myvette. He was accompanied by the newly appointed Officer Commanding the Orange Walk Formation, Superintendent Dennis Arnold; and the Officer Commanding the Corozal Formation, Superintendent Andrew Ramirez. As Deputy Commissioner Elodio Aragon noted, one of the vehicles is being assigned to Orange Walk, the other to Corozal. “These vehicles are really needed in the North because of the wide amount of ground they have to cover, the Police Officers. And as we begin to improve upon our services to reach out to our communities, these vehicles will come in handy for officers to be able to get out there and to look into reports that arise from out of these rural areas. So these vehicles will play a key role to assist and improve upon the efficiency of the Police Department,” he commented.

Queen Conch Fishing Season Closed from May 23 – October 1
The Belize Fisheries Department hereby informs all fishers and the General Public that in accordance with Statutory Instrument No. 54 of 2012 Senator, the Honorable Lisel Alamilla – Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development has declared the Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) fishery closed to fishing, harvesting or capture of the species on Thursday 23rd May, 2013. The fishing community is especially advised that all conch fishing activities shall legally cease as of this date until the opening of the next fishing season on 1st October, 2013.

12 infants die as a result of infection outbreak at KHMH
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) authority is reporting that 12 infants have died at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for the month of May. It is an alarming statistic and according to both the KHMH and the Ministry of Health, an investigation has been initiated. While the investigation is ongoing, the NICU will remain closed until hospital authorities have determined that it is safe. “[The 12 neonatal deaths] constitute an unusually high incidence and investigations are underway by the hospital’s quality assurance team to determine whether this is an outbreak of hospital-based (nosocomial) infection and if so, what is the source. All of the neonates affected were premature births, and therefore more susceptible to infection and complications of prematurity. All twelve were delivered at the KHMH and referred to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for further management. One died within 2 days of birth, while the other 11 died within 7-27 days of birth,” stated a KHMH press release.

Ambergris Today

Kim Simplis Addresses Infection Outbreak at the KHMH
The Special Envoy for Women and Children would like to express condolences to all the parents and families of the new-borns who passed away as a result of an infection outbreak at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The news of 12 neonatal deaths recorded at the Neonatal lntensive Care Unit (NICU) during the month of May alone is both tragic and alarming.

Making MEGA Cinnamon Rolls at Sail Away Cafe!
Dorian’s Angels were invited to Sailaway Café to try out one of their newest items on their breakfast menu, Mega Cinnamon Rolls! Although we are not expert bakers, we were very excited to lend a helping hand and make delicious cinnamon rolls. YUM! First step was to roll a sheet of yeast-leavened dough, after which melted butter was evenly spread on top. Perlita was quick to add more ingredients; she sprinkled on sugar and cinnamon powder and then rolled up the dough. The large roll was then cut into huge individual portions, placed in a baking sheet and put to bake.

US Air Force 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 Thursday, May 2, 2013, 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.

Belize Conch Season Closed Until October
The Belize Fisheries Department hereby informs all fishers and the General Public that in accordance with Statutory Instrument No. 54 of 2012 Senator, the Honorable Lisel Alamilla - Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development has declared the Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) fishery closed to fishing, harvesting or capture of the species on Thursday, May 23, 2013. The fishing community is especially advised that all conch fishing activities shall legally cease as of this date until the opening of the next fishing season on October 1, 2013.

Misc Belizean Sources

FACTA and You - Know the Facts
Know the Facts: Good read. Click for pdf from Corozal Daily

Ka'ana Belize Launches New Online Interactive Map Experience
Ka’ana Resort, a boutique, eco-luxury resort on the Western border of Belize, is pleased to announce the introduction of their brand new online interactive map experience. Continuing the property’s commitment to offering once-in-a-lifetime traveler experiences, the new interactive map combines vivid imagery with advanced technology to capture the attention of online users considering a trip to Belize and a stay at the resort; giving them the chance to virtually experience their vacation before actually taking it. The interactive map experience, accessed from the resort’s website, takes visitors to the site on a journey that mimics what their actual travel experience would be like. The site is a single-page with three different maps: World, Region, and Resort. In the World section, flight paths and times are displayed based on which city the user clicks, including flight path animations. The Region and Resort sections both allow the user to check out different areas by clicking points on the map that pop up sliding image galleries with brief descriptions of each location.

SHC Teachers' Day Trip
The Sacred Heart College teachers celebrated Teachers' Day with some zip lining and cave tubing at Nohoch Che'en. It was well deserved, and looks like they had some fun.

SHJC and UNG Hike Lamanai
Some Sacred Heart Junior College students met up with some students from the University of North Georgia who were studying abroad in Belize, and visited Lamanai. "The following day, on Sunday May 12th, the university students traveled to the Lamanai Maya Site in the Orange Walk District, one of the main sites in the country and the largest in northern Belize. There, the North Georgia students were met by students of Sacred Heart Junior College (SHJC) from the Cayo District. Speaking to The San Pedro Sun, Vicky Novelo, Director of Student Services at SHJC, explained the purpose of the interaction between the two groups of students. 'Our students usually partner with other students from the US while here in Belize on different projects, mainly in the Cayo area. The trip to Lamanai was more recreational and mainly to allow interaction and an exchange. The interaction gives our students some exposure as to what other students from the US come to do in Belize. It exposes them to doing more than just the academics and so it gets them involved in extracurricular activities that hopefully they can develop later on when they graduate,' explained Novelo."

Public Service Information Day
Yesterday in Belmopan, they had Public Service Information Day, where many different booths from Belizean agencies were set up. "Institute Of Archaeology is represented by Mr. Antonio Beardall and Ms. Sylvia Batty, at the Public Service Information Day 2013 under the Belize Tourism Tent."

Culinary Arts at the Soul Project
The Soul Project might have a small menu, but the food they have is amazing. The tostadas are good, and the tacos are fantastic. Cayo really has a great line up of places to eat and play at.

BBG Professional Gardener Program
The Belize Botanic Gardens are gearing up for another Professional Gardener's Training Program. It will start on July 1st, and they are taking applications until June 12th. If you are interested, you can email them at [email protected] or give them a call at 834-4800.

Belize Zoo Fan Video
This is a great fan video about the Belize Zoo. "The Best Little Zoo in the World,The Belize zoo is a great adventure. If you can only do one thing while you are in Belize then go to the Belize zoo. The animals in the Belize zoo are rescued or hurt not captured for display. The Belize zoo needs our help to continue its work saving and rehabilitating animals and birds. Make sure you check out this cool little place, if you have kids and you want an adventure for them then bring them here and let the jaguar lick their forehead.. it is really cool. When we go back to Belize next year we will return the the Belize zoo again it's so worth while."

Channel 7

A Captive Jaguar Escapes In Southern Belize
There’s a jaguar on the loose in South-western Belize tonight – and the Forestry Department is hoping it can trap the cat before the night is over. The jaguar is domesticated and was kept as a pet by the Pollack family in the Ringtail area of the Cayo district. Ringtail is a village at mile 40 on the Hummingbird Highway near the Blue Hole. The Polacks were authorized by the Forestry Department to keep the animal as a pet – but it escaped “several days ago.” According to Chief Forest Officer Wilbur Rosado, it has been spotted foraging in the area where it had been held. Sabido says that because it is domesticated, the jaguar cannot hunt and won’t wander far; they expect it to come back to its home area looking for food. Multiple traps have been set, and the Forestry Department has called on the same persons who helped re-capture Max the Jaguar to catch this one. Viewers will recall that Max escaped from the Fosters in the Belize district near Democracia in October of 2010, and was caught and put down – only after he killed a neighbor.

Man charged For Jeremy Baptist Murder – Body Still Not Found
Last night we told you about the worrying disappearance of Jeremy Baptist. Well, tonight, he is presumed dead and police have charged a man for his murder – even though his body hasn’t been found. We’ll tell you about that shortly, but first with the assistance of the San Pedro Sun, Daniel Ortiz has the story from San Pedro. Daniel Ortiz reporting Tonight, Police continue to look for clues which could lead them to find the body of 25 year-old Jeremy Baptist, the San Pedro resident who went missing on Sunday. But for San Pedro Police, this they are not optimistic that they will find him alive. Baptist was last seen at a party in the San Juan area with his common-law wife and baby. He dropped them home at around 10:30 p.m., went back to the party , and later that night, police had to respond to a shooting report. Voice of Supt. Luis Castellanos - OC, San Pedro Police "Police responded but they didn't find anything at the time and there after information started to come in that someone had been shot and as a result we started to investigate. We have not recovered the body of Baptist but the information is more suggesting that there is a possible murder." With the fact of the missing person’s report from Baptist’s common-law wife, and strong eyewitness reports, police believe that he was killed in that shooting, and then taken away by his assailants to be disposed of.

Despite Alibi Claims, Man Charged For Castillo Shooting
Last night, Kareem Gillett’s family came on the news to protest the fact that he was about to be charged for the attempted murder of 33 year-old Peter Castillo. They had alibi’s and claimed that he had been beaten by police. But none of that mattered to investigators who marched him to court today. Gillett was taken before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith who read him the charges of attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm with a firearm upon 33-year-old Ministry of Works employee, Peter Phillip Castillo. No plea was taken from Gillett, and due to the nature of the offenses, he was denied bail and remanded to the Belize Central Prison until June 21, 2013. Castillo reported to police that, on Saturday Morning, he left his house on Jane Usher Boulevard, and while walking on Faber’s Road, he was approached by two men, one he knew as “Fifty Cents”, the other as “Patchen”.

Former KHMH CEO Criticizes Successor
Last night, you heard the CEO of the KHMH say that he found out about the rash of newborn deaths in the Pediatric Intensive care Unit from watching the news. And that’s why an internal investigation is underway to find out what went wrong that could have caused so many successive deaths without a decisive response. But, according to the former CEO, his successor’s explanation just won’t cut it. Dr. Alvaro Rosado says that the shutdown of the unit came way too late, and to find out what went wrong, the hospital needs much more than just an internal investigation. Dr. Alvaro Rosado - Former CEO, KHMH "Well first of all I must state that the media had approached me before asking me for comments and I had refused because I said it was unfair to the administration for me to comment before they did their investigation. Now that the investigation has started although with all fairness to the Chairlady she said that it would continue. I get the impression that this is the beginning of the end and that this is almost the begin of the end of the investigation and it bothers me because I don't think that the answers and the information that was given was really information that is pertinent. I think the first thing that needs to be answered is - How did the bug get into that Neonatal unit? NICU is supposed to be most secure, sterile area of the hospital.

Man Left Critical, Nurse/Sister Alleges Medical Malpractice
Tonight there are bold allegations being made against a Southern Regional Hospital physician. The family of 62 year old Joseph Kuylen is accusing the surgeon of negligence – after Kuylen underwent a surgery which they claim was not properly completed. Joseph Kuylen was hospitalized on the 8th of May after experiencing an intestinal rupture. A colostomy was performed and his family says it was left unfinished, which caused a massive infection. Since then Kuylen’s health has deteriorated and he was transferred to the Karl Huesner Memorial hospital – where he is presently on a respiratory machine after undergoing 3 other surgeries. Two of his sisters spoke to us – one of them is a licensed intensive care nurse and they told us of the many cautions that were ignored. Voice of Alva Rosado - Sister of Joseph Kuylen "He was taken in to Dangriga Hospital by his wife around 9:30 on May 8th and they did an X-ray and found out that he had ruptured something in him and they took him to surgery after 11 and he stayed in surgery till about 2:00. Unfortunately I was not in Dangriga and when I got back in the night around 7 i stopped at the hospital and I stayed there until visiting hours was over with his wife.

Crocodile Craziness On Castle Street
From time to time on the news we’ve reported on crocodiles turning up in the outlying areas of Belize City, such as Collet or Belama, places that used to be swamp 20 years ago and where all the swampland critters still haven’t moved out. And that’s why we were surprised early this morning in Belize City when we got a call at around 6:00 am, saying that a crocodile had turned up on Castel Street. That’s just off Douglas Jones, where the memory of any swamp was erased almost a hundred years ago. So what’s the croc doing in that neighborhood? That’s probably the same thing he was asking after an unforgettable morning of croc craziness on Castle Street. 7news was there. Monica Bodden reporting This croc had every reason to be angry he was tied up inside a backyard on Castle Street. That’s after he squirmed through this drain – you can still see the disturbed area where the broad bellied reptile struggled to get through. Derek 'Mighty' McKoy - First stumbled upon Croc "It came out the drain, it came from the left side across the street and it went into the smaller ditch but he couldn't under the bridge so that is where he got stuck. We pulled him back way and threw a rope around it and pulled it up."

Man Shot In House In Unitedville
Early this morning –just after 2:00, a house in Unitedville Village came under fire and Oswald Young was shot to the chin. Young was in the living room sleeping in a chair facing the door, when three shots ripped through the door. And though he was injured in the chin, Young’s injuries were not serious; he was treated and released and his injuries were classified as wounding. Police have detained two Belize City men pending investigation.

Conch Season Closes
Conch season was declared closed today and all conch fishing activities are to legally cease until it re-opens on 1st October, 2013. The advisory for Restaurant owners and the General Public is that they have a grace period of 8 days to consume and dispose of all Queen Conch in their possession. So that’s until Friday 31st May, to consume or sell all the conch ceviche, soup and fritters that you presently have. Anyone found with Conch after next week Friday will be criminally charged. If you know anyone violating this, you are urged to call the Fisheries Department at: 224-4552 or 223-2623.

New Members OF E & B
The new, and old members of the Elections and Boundaries commission were sworn in today by the Governor General in Belmopan. They are returning member and Prime Ministerial appointee, Phillipa Griffith Bailey, new member and Prime Ministerial appointee, Naima Barrow, returning member and opposition representative Derek Courtenay, and another returning member and opposition representative Mr. Orlando Espat. They have been appointed as members for a period of five years with effect from 1st May, 2013. Their appointments were approved by the Senate on the 7th May. The Chairman of the Commission is B.Q Pitts Sr, who was appointed in May 2012 for five years.

Belizean Chairs Commonwealth Book Prize; Laments Decline In Caribbean Writing
In a society where reading is a fast-fading past-time, and there are less than a handful of bookstores, news of the Commonwealth Book Prize probably doesn’t tank very high. Except that this year, a Belizean has been chosen to chair the selection committee. He is Godfrey Smith, who’s written only one book, the well-received George Prize Biography – which won a regional prize. That caught the attention of Commonwealth Foundation and they gave him the nod to hold the prestigious chair. His work started in January and ended in April where he read through over 20 novels that had been shortlisted. Bearing in mind that the prize is only for first time novel writers, he said it was an eye opening experience:.. Smith travels to the Hay Festival in Wales next week where the overall winner will be announced. Regional Winners have already been selected. Books eligible for the prize are from commonwealth countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Canada, the Caribbean and the Pacific. As for young, hopeful Belizean writers, the Commonwealth foundation is working with the Caribbean literary festival to organize training for the Caribbean.

PROFILE:Tajohn Gillett
Tonight’s profile features a valedictorian, Tajohn Gillett of Nazarene High School. He grew up in Pink’s Alley, which can be a tough neighborhood. He explains how he resisted the urge to become a dropout to become an example for his siblings

Grace Primary Celebrates Roots In Open Day
This morning, a portion of Amara Avenue in Belize City was locked down because Grace Primary was having an open day fair. Students were encouraged to explore the cultures of their parents and grandparents, while displaying their abilities in entrepreneurship. 7News stopped by and took in some projects that the students came up with, which are authentic and artistic in nature: Mirna Shepherd - Principal, Grace Primary School "Well we're having an open day and we decided to do a street fest fashion. When we did the entrepreaneaurship in early part of the school year we did the street fest and it came off as successful so we thought that we would like to do our open day in this fashion too. We're focusing on the past and the present, we entitled it a 'blast from the past'. We're looing at the whole aspect of entrepreanearuship right from infants all the way up to standard 6. We look at how things used to be done in the past to how it is done presently and we look at all different aspect, the business, the home setting, social environment - everything we try to cover. We put a lot of effort into it, first it seemed as something that was not connecting but now that it is out there on the street it seems to have connected."

Channel 5

Murder on island but body is missing
Twenty-five year old Jeremy Baptist went missing on Sunday night. He had been socializing at a party and never returned to this family. Something went awfully wrong on that night and this afternoon another resident was charged for his murder; but Baptist’s body has not been located. Police, have however, recovered a vessel which they [...]

Are all sepsis deaths at hospital related to killer bacteria?
Twelve deaths occurred inside the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital’s Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in one week. It has been confirmed that the enterobacter cloacae bacteria killed seven of the twelve newborns. The NICU remains closed and the services offered from that unit have been moved to another part of the hospital. But there [...]

COLA blasts K.H.M.H. and ministry for infant deaths
There is indignation over the deaths of the babies in the neonatal intensive care unit, and the public is calling for an independent investigation.  One local non-governmental organization today did not vacillate in its outrage.    Citizens Organized for Liberty Through Action’s president Geovanni Brackett sent out a fiery press release saying, “Minister, Doctors, Director, C.E.O. [...]

Businesswoman gets prison time for unpaid Income Tax
A well-known Belize City businesswoman will spend the next six weeks behind bars at the Belize Central Prison. When the Income Tax Department ran its ad campaign warning that non-payment would result in jail time, it wasn’t kidding, and now Loretta Palacio of Total Business Solutions has found that out the hard way. Palacio was [...]

Fifty Cents tried to kill Animal
Belize City may lack paint, but its citizens that wind up before the courts normally have creative nicknames. Inside the courtroom of Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, Fifty Cent, not the well known rapper, was charged for trying to murder Animal. Specifically, twenty-six year old Kareem “Fifty Cent” Gillett was charged for the attempted murder [...]

N.T.U.C.B. turns a green eye; unions against destruction of resources
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize has issued one of its angriest statements. It relates primarily to the malpractices to the use and management of our natural resources and says it is outraged on the scandalous but also tremendously and utterly outrageous continued raping of the Rosewood stock down south, the bulldozing of the [...]

Visually impaired youth to swim the blue hole
In March 2011, Rowan Garel became the first visually impaired person to make it to the summit of Victoria Peak.  It was an exhausting two-day climb that challenged the twelve year old’s physical endurance.  Rowan’s body was pushed to its capacity and despite the extreme trial he overcame that challenge.  A year later, he took [...]

Public Service Day travels to Belmopan
The public service of Belize is in the news tonight, and it has nothing to do with salary adjustments or protests. It’s actually that time of the year when the largest employer in Belize takes time out to showcase services offered and accomplishments made. So to celebrate the annual Public Service Information Day, government employees [...]

Doctor hopes K.H.M.H. does the right thing
The ongoing crisis at the national referral hospital due to the unusually high number of baby deaths in the first two weeks of the month of May has sparked the ire of the entire country because the first case of the hospital-based bacteria was initially detected back in February. Other deaths were also recorded in [...]

Expanding Coney Drive, the new business district
There is a massive project underway at the junction of Coney Drive and Princess Margaret Drive and chances are that if you ask passersby exactly what the plan is, like we did, four out of five wouldn’t have a clue. One person we asked today told us he thinks a roundabout will be built there. [...]

Mayor Bradley is back from East Africa
Mayor Darrell Bradley is just back from a ten day trip to Uganda, Africa where he participated in a local government conference hosted by the Commonwealth Local Government Forum. That body works to promote and strengthen effective democratic local government throughout the Commonwealth and to facilitate the exchange of good practice in local government structures [...]


Public Service Awareness Day In Belize
Public officers in Belmopan are observing public service awareness day. Correspondent Fem Cruz has the details. FEM CRUZ “Today is being celebrated as Public Service Information Day. Public Service Information Day is a day set aside where ministries and departments showcase th...

BTIA Wraps Up Logo Competition
The Belize Tourism Industry Association Orange Walk Chapter launched a “Name & Logo Competition” in last month as part of the initial stages of development for the project entitled “Creating Market Linkages for the Tourism, Hospitality, Agriculture and Business Sectors of th...

PACT Gives 50K To Belize Fishermen Association
The Belize Fishermen Cooperative Association (BFCA) has received a grant of fifty thousand dollars from the Protected Areas Conservation Trust, PACT. With the money, BFCA will now be able to carry out their project entitled “Improvement of Marine Biodiversity through Empowerment of Fishers&...

Conch Season Officially Closed
The conch season officially closes today. The Fisheries Department says although the fishing, harvesting, and capturing of the queen conch is officially there is a grace period of eight days for restaurant and the general public. Any person found in possession of the Queen Conch after the eight d...

Belize Tourism Board Seeks To Improve Visitors' Experience
The Belize Tourism Board today launched a project to improve the experience visitors have when they visit the Altun Ha Maya site. Reporter Natalie Novelo is there and has the story. NATALIE NOVELO “Love News is at the Altun Ha Maya site where a visitor satisfaction survey program fo...

Villager Shot While Sleeping In His Living Room
There was a shooting incident this morning in Uniteville in the Cayo District. According to information received, one Oswald Young was shot once on the chin after a barrage of bullets was shot at the house he was in at the time. Love News understands that a group of three men from the village sho...

Afternoon Armed Hold Up Investigated In Northern Belize
An afternoon arm hold up in the center of Orange Walk town had left a female store proprietor traumatized. LOVE NEWS understands that around four this afternoon a loan Hispanic man entered España Clothing store on Park St. Armed with a black gun and held up the proprietor....

Police In Search of Escaped Detainee
Tonight Orange Walk Police are looking for twenty four year old Nimrod Tillett, a detainee who is now an escapee. Tillett escaped from police custody two days ago while he was being treated at the Northern Regional Hospital. Why Tillett’s escape was not reported before was because police tr...

Elections and Boundaries Commission Sworn In
A swearing-in Ceremony was held this morning at Belize House in Belmopan City, for members of the Elections and Boundaries Commission. His Excellency the Governor General, Sir Colville Young, swore in Phillipa Griffith Bailey, Naima Barrow, Derek Courtenay, and Orlando Espat, who have been appoin...

Eight Foot Croc Encountered In Residential Area
The last two reported encounters between wildlife and humans did not end well for the animals. First it was a monkey that was savagely beaten and tortured by a group of students in Orange Walk. Next it was a crocodile cruelly tormented and then killed in San Pedro by another set of youths.&...

Former Hospital CEO Comments on Babies Deaths In Neonatal Unit
On Wednesday the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital’s Administration informed that of the 12 neonatal deaths inside its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit was caused by the bacteria called Enderobacter Cloacae. The hospital’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Francis Longsworth, along with its ...

Fisherman Arraigned on Charge of Attempted Murder
Twenty-five year old Kareem Gillett, a.k.a. “Fifty Cents”, a fisherman of Vernon Street was charged with attempted murder when he appeared in court today. Gillett was also charged with dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. No plea was taken from him and neither could the...


DPM's Nephew Receives Payment For Rehabilitation Of San Antonio Road
When Mayor Kevin Bernard and his team took over town hall back in March of 2012, it was discovered that on January 31st 2012, Imer Hernandez, the nephew of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, was paid $50,000 for the upgrading of San Antonio Road by the previous administration. The voucher paid out to Hernandez showed that he was paid $50,000 for work to be commenced for the rehabilitation of San Antonio Road. The total value of the work to be done stood at $351,000. If you live in Orange Walk you definitely know of which road we are talking about and that work was never carried out in the area by Hernandez’s company despite him receiving partial payment of $50,000. Now, here is where the story gets interesting because documents recently obtained by CTV3 News show that back in 2011, the Social Investment Fund awarded a contract valued at $539,507.13 to Imer Hernandez Development Company Limited, for the Ministry of Works and Solid Waste Management. Out of that amount, $179,951.55 was paid out to the company in 2012 for the rehabilitation of San Antonio Road which is yet to commence. Carmelita Perez reports. Carmelita Perez – Reporting Ermelinda Novelo is just one of the many residents that have had to deal with the dust created by the deplorable conditions of San Antonio Road. Regardless of the request made by several residents living in the area, work on the road, which falls under the jurisdiction of National Government, is yet to commence.

Doctor Parks Talks Hard To Pablo Marin And His CEO
Amidst the recent scandal of the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital where it has been reveled that seven of 12 babies died as a result of Enterobacter cloacae infections, the Deputy Director of Health Services and Chief Nursing Officer, Dr. Marjorie Parks retired yesterday but before she left office she sent out a strong message to her Ministry’s top brass in a speech delivered last week at the National Nursing Conference held in Corozal. In presence of the Minister Of Health Hon. Pablo Marin Parks spoke out against the political interference in the nursing profession. She stated and we quote “The position of Principal Nursing Officer, the highest in the Nursing hierarchy in the Government Service has traditionally; been prestigious…The PNO provides policy direction and guidance to the nursing profession. This situation was changed in 2008 when almost all decisions for nursing and nurses were taken over by the political directorate at the Ministry of Health. Even the Nurses and Midwives Council of Belize, a statutory body, which since 1923, has been effectively regulating the practice of nurses was not immune to political intervention. Under a system of micromanagement and unwarranted victimization many nurses have been deprived of their benefits for any real or imagined infraction against the powers that be.”

Residents Of San Felipe Head Out To The Polls
Round three of the 2013 Village Council Elections will take place this Sunday. Here in the north particularly the Orange Walk District four villages will see the election of a new Village Council including San Felipe. The affairs of the community are presently overseen by a UDP Village Council. But the team running under the umbrella of the People’s United Party is hopeful that this coming Sunday residents of San Felipe will make a change. Martin Ramos - P.U.P Coordinador San Felipe “Primeramente quisiera mencionar algunos de los proyectos que tenemos en cuenta que este UDP que ya estado en tres años no hicieron absolutamente nada. El centro comunal es un desastre allí entran hasta los caballos no hay puertas, no hay ventanas es un desastre lo que es el centro comunal, necesitamos renovar el centro comunal, el parquecito de San Felipe que está allí yo creo que como uno o dos sillas le quedan todas las sillas están quebrados, no hay limpieza en la aldea, nosotros nos vamos a encargar en trabajar en estos puntos, otro punto importante que vamos a trabajar inmediatamente ganado porque estamos hablando que estos muchachos que vamos a trabajar

BTB Orange Walk Chapter Selects New Logo
A few weeks ago we told about the “name and logo competition” launched by BTIA Orange Walk Chapter for talented Belizeans who wished to form part of the designing of the logo and a name for the quarterly tourism publication the BTIA Orange Walk Chapter will be launching in June. The tourism organization was one of the 15 proud recipients of the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Grant awarded by La Inmaculada Credit Union under the institution’s SSEDDAT Two Program in which it received more than $16,000 in funding. The funds will be used particularly for the quarterly tourism publication over a period of nine months for both the Orange Walk and Corozal Districts. Today the names of the winners were officially announced and we caught up with Jasmine Zetina who told us more on the results of the competition. Jasmine Zetina, Information Officer BTIA “The deadline for submission for the entries was last week Monday the 13th of May, and this Monday we selected the winners and we got eleven Belizean submitted their entry and they were very interested and out of the eleven we selected three entries, first prize was won by Dianna Ovando from Branch Mouth, Cayo, second prize by Dorcas de Paz Orange Walk Town and third prize won by jasmine Gongora from Yo Creek Village here in Orange Walk. First prize Dianna Ovando won three hundred dollars, second prize winner Dorcas De Paz won two hundred dollars and third prize was fifty dollars won by Jasmine Gongora.”

Former PUP Chairman Seeks Re-election
He served as Chairman of August Pine Ridge for 17 years, from 1967 to 1984 and now after 29 years Santiago Manuel Solis is seeking re-election. Solis is running for the post of chairman under the P.U.P team. Today he told us why he is seeking a comeback after so many years. Santiago Manuel Solis - Candidate for Chairman A.P. Ridge. “Mis Planes es hacer yo pienso, todo lo que yo pueda a mi alcance con la ayuda de mi gente tratar de regresar August Pine Ridge adonde yo lo deje hace 40 a 50 años.” Irvin Aragon – Reporter “Cuando dices regresar a August Pine Ridge cuando era, nos estas tratando de entender cuando eras el Chairman anteriormente?” Santiago Manuel Solis - Candidate for Chairman A.P. Ridge. “Yo fui Chairman en el año 1967 al 1984 cuando me retire de Chairman y yo deje mis hechos en la aldea de August Pine Ridge tales como el parque, el centro comunal, y una parte construí abajo mi mandato como chairman de la clínica de hoy día siempre existe.” Irvin Aragon – Reporter “Dejaste hace 40 años que te ha motivado para hacerte chairman una vez más después de 40 años?”

Dealing With The Intense Heat And Bushfires
The intense heat that Belizeans have been experiencing over the past months has been unbearable and right about now you might be clamoring for rain. But apart from the heat Belizeans countrywide including Orange Walkenos, have had to deal with the constant eruption of bushfires which poses a health risk. Last year the Orange Walk Fire Department battled approximately 225 forest and bush fires. This year that number increased by a large margin namely because of overgrown lots. Kenneth Mortis - Officer Commanding the Orange Walk Fire Department. “This year we have set a record we have been responding to four or five fire call per day and it is not only in the day time hours we been responding well after sunset sometimes two or three in the morning. How it starts it is a mystery some of them is mother nature and some of them we learned that during the clearing of the land people want to cut and burn, some of them it is just the idle process by who pretty much want to burn copper to try to make a living, any way you look at it the heat is on and as far as the fire department is concerned we will continue to do what we are paid to do and that is to out fires and response to all calls possibly that we can respond to.”

No More Conch Until October 1st 2013
Conch Fritters, Conch Soup and Conch Ceviche, these are just some of the delicious plates we Belizeans love when it’s conch season. It is one of the most popular fisheries products other than the lobster which together contribute over 90% of the total value of exported seafood products in Belize. Today the Belize Fisheries Department issued a press release informing all fishermen and the general public that in accordance with Statutory Instrument No. 54 of 2012 Senator, the Honorable Lisel Alamilla - Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development declared the Queen Conch fishery closed today. The fishing community is especially advised that all conch fishing activities shall legally cease as of this date until the opening of the next fishing season on 1st October, 2013. The Belize Fisheries Department further advises restaurateurs and the General Public that a grace period of 8 days, which ends on Friday 31st May, 2013, is being given to allow persons to consume and dispose of all Queen Conch in their possession. Any person found in possession of the Queen Conch after Friday May 31st 2013 will be charged and prosecuted in a Court of Law in accordance to the Fisheries Regulations.

Getting To Know More About The Public Service
Today public officers from all sectors of the governmental departments held an open day at the Corozal Central Park to educate children as well as the wider public on the work of the Public Service. Members of the Police Department, Customs and Excise Department, and the General Sales Tax department were among the many public officers that took part in today’s open day which kicked off with an official ceremony highlighting the importance of the Public Service. Irvin Aragon – Reporting Public Service Information Day, as it is referred to, was organised in efforts of educating students and the wider public on the key functionalities of the public services in Belize. Different sectors, ranging from the Police Department to the Education department, took part in today’s open day organized by the Ministry of Public Service and Elections and Boundaries by putting up a booth which presented viewers with information of the department. Our first stop was here at the Custom and Excise Department.

Members of the Elections and Boundaries Commission Were Sworn
Members of the Elections and Boundaries Commission were sworn in this morning during a ceremony at the Belize House in Belmopan. His Excellency the Governor General, Sir Colville Young, swore in Mrs. Phillipa Griffith Bailey, Ms. Naima Barrow, Mr. Derek Courtenay, S.C., and Mr. Orlando Espat, who have been appointed as members of the Elections and Boundaries Commission for a period of five years with effect from 1st May, 2013. These appointments were approved by the Senate on May 7th, 2013 as required by section 61A of the Constitution. Ms. Naima Barrow, Attorney-at-law, of the law firm of Barrow and Company, is a new member of the Commission. The other three members have been reappointed for a second term. The Chairman of the Elections and Boundaries Commission is Mr. Bernard Pitts, who was appointed in May 2012 for a period of five years. The Elections and Boundaries Commission consists of a Chairman and four other members, two of whom are nominated by the Leader of the Opposition.


Missing man believed to be murder victim
Police in San Pedro Town are reporting that one Jeremy Baptist, 25, of Boca del Rio area, left home around 7:45 p.m. on May 19 to attend a party in the San Juan area and has not been seen since. The woman who reported him missing said she spoke...

Manhunt for escaped prisoner
A man hunt is on for an escaped prisoner. 24 year old Nimrod Tillet of Corozal Town, who has been on remand for robbery, was yesterday taken to the Northern Regional Hospital in Orange Walk after he started to complain of pain. At around 11:15 that morning, he was...

KHMH Neonatal Intensive Care Unit closed as officials explain baby deaths
Administrators and senior staff of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) are meeting around the clock in an effort to rectify an apparent oversight in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) that has resulted in the deaths of twelve babies born prematurely in just 20 days. As we reported...

8-foot croc wakes up Castle Street neighborhood
A consequence of humans living close to the natural habitat of animals is that sometimes there are close encounters with these animals. Residents of Belama on the Northern Highway and Jane Usher Boulevard and St. Martin de Porres, Lake Independence, have for instance come face to face with wild...

Police seek two minors who attacked a bus driver
Police are looking for two minors who are believed to have attacked a bus driver. It happened around 3:15 on Tuesday afternoon, while the driver was parked in the Savannah area of San Ignacio, awaiting students. The boys, who are only thirteen and fifteen years old, reportedly ran inside...

Oswald Young shot in Unitedville
Imagine the horror of waking up the sensation of a bullet piercing through your body. That’s what happened to a man in Unitedville Village this morning. Just after 2am, Oswald Young was in his living room, sleeping on a sofa chair that faced the door, when he heard a...

Sixteen year old is charged with rape
On Tuesday, Plusnews told you about a woman who was reportedly attacked and raped in Ladyville. Well the person believed to have committed the heinous act – a minor – has been charged. The 16 year old, a resident of Ladyville, has been charged with the crime of rape....

Woman says Traffic Warden sexually assaulted her
Another woman is reported to have been sexually assaulted, this time allegedly by a traffic warden. It happened last week Friday, in the afternoon in San Ignacio Town, where the 25 year old woman says she was passing on a street, when she saw the warden, whom she knows,...

Police Officer assaulted in Orange Walk Town
An arrest took an unexpected turn when the accused and his sister allegedly assaulted a cop. According to the officer, yesterday morning, just before 8, he was on his way to work when his attention was drawn to a 20 year old man and his 23 year old sister,...

Public Service Information Day observed in Belmopan
The Ministry of the Public Service and Elections and Boundaries today celebrated Public Service Information Day with over 22 different Ministries and Departments. Information and display booths were set up on the George Brown Field and a portion of the Ring Road. Plus news spoke with Ms. Nysha Matute,...

Students at Grace Primary School celebrate Bel History
Grace Primary School invited students and city residents to its annual open day. Themed “Blast from the Past,” it was a street-side festival celebrating Belize in olden days. We hear more from principal of the school Myrna Sheppard. Myrna Sheppard – Grace Primary School Principal: We are having an...

Elections and Boundaries Commission Sworn In
A Swearing-in Ceremony was held this morning at Belize House, Belmopan, for members of the Elections and Boundaries Commission. His Excellency the Governor General, Sir Colville Young, swore in Mrs. Phillipa Griffith Bailey, Ms. Naima Barrow, Mr. Derek Courtenay, S.C., and Mr. Orlando Espat, who have been appointed as...

Queen Conch Season Closed Today
We remind the fishing community that the season for the fishing, harvesting or capture of the Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) is closed. The season closed today. However, the Belize Fisheries Department is granting an 8 day grace period to restaurateurs and the general public to allow persons to consume ...

The Guardian

Foreign Influence
One of the oldest strategies in any campaign is to accuse your competitor of indulging in the dirty tricks that your own campaign relies on. Thus, it was not surprising that the consortium of Church interests that organised itself to be entered as an interested party to oppose Caleb Orosco’s Constitutional Challenge should charge Caleb with being the pawn of foreign interests seeking to wield post colonial power over Belize. An article in the May 4th, 2013 edition of The Economist, an international magazine of some repute, catalogues the worldwide activities of a crusading squad of American conservative Christians campaigning against the sins (as they see it) of abortion, adultery and especially homosexuality. Several such groups dream of ushering in a global theocracy, where civil law is based on their particular interpretation of the Bible. In America, holders of these extreme views are liable to be dismissed as crackpots and bigots but on their travels abroad, they often receive a respectful hearing from mainstream leaders. Though in their sermons and writings, they excoriate other Christian denominations and non-Christian religions, they are happy to co-operate with Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christians and hard line Islamists when it appears expedient.

Bacteria responsible for 12 Baby Deaths at KHMH
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital’s Board Chairperson, Chandra Cansino; Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Gary Longsworth and Chief of Medical Staff, Dr. Adrian Coye held a press conference on Wednesday, May 22nd to address the death of 12 babies at the KHMH’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). According to a release from the hospital, the 12 babies were delivered at the KHMH and referred to the NICU. One of the children died within two days of birth will the 11 others within 7-27 days of birth. During the press conference, CEO Longsworth pointed out that the management of the hospital only became aware of the abnormal deaths after the father of one of the children approached the media to complain about the death of his child and at least five others. Since the report, the KHMH launched an investigation into the deaths on Monday, May 20th by a team comprised of the Ministry of Health, Quality Assurance and the Medical Directorate of the hospital.

$200,000 in Royalties from Amnestied Rosewood
580 tons or 400,000 board feet of rosewood will be exported from the country as a result of the three-week amnesty program. The Chief Forest Officer of Belize, Wilber Sabido, said that the Forestry Department is currently monitoring the loading of rosewood for export. From April 8th to April 26th, individuals were allowed to export rosewood that was harvested during the moratorium period ordered by the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Hon. Lisel Alamilla. On the March 14th, 2013, at the sixteenth session of the Conference of the Parties on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), a decision was taken to regulate the international trade of rosewood and now the harvest and exportation of rosewood from Belize will fall under the CITES regulations. In order to regulate the trade of rosewood, the Ministry needed to account for the entire pre-convention volume of harvested rosewood available in the country and an amnesty was seen as the best way to complete that exercise.

Second Tranche of Municipal Development Bond launched
The Belize City Council announced on Wednesday that the second tranche for the Belize City Municipal Development Bond has been launched. The second tranche is for 5 million dollars and will see the continuation of street paving and other infrastructural work in Belize City. The bond was structured in three tranches. The first had three portions for 2 million dollars at an interest rate of 3.5% for two years. Another portion was for $3 million dollars bearing interest at 5.5% and a maturity of 5 years, and a third portion for $5 million with an interest rate of 8% for 10 years. The second tranche, which was launched on Wednesday, also has three portions. The first is for 1 million dollars at an interest rate of 3.5% per annum for two years. The second is for 2 million dollars at an interest rate of 5.5% per annum for 5 years, and the third is for 2 million dollars at an interest rate of 8% for 10 years. The third tranche has two portions, the first being for 2 million dollars and carrying interest rate of 5.5% for 5 years, and the second portion is for 3 million dollars and carries an interest rate of 8% for 10 years.

Camalote United remains undefeated in the Miley Garcia Softball Competition
The 2013 Miley Garcia Cayo Softball Association Competition continued on Sunday, May 19th, at the Mae Gordon Softball Field in Belmopan with three games on the schedule. In the first game played, Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy defeated Las Flores Shooting Stars by the score of 15-0. The winning pitcher was Leandra Guy and the losing pitcher was Guadalupe Chicas. The Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy’s offence was keyed by Kayla Henry’s home run in the 1st inning and Greta Davis’ home run in the 3rd inning. In the second game of the day, Camalote United remained undefeated when it won over Ontario Rebels by the score of 5-1. The winning pitcher was Francine Salazar and the losing pitcher was Kenreen Gillett.

BDF Soldier stabbed in Barbados
Belize Defence Force warrant officer, Andre Gabb, 45, was stabbed in Barbadoes on Friday, May 17th. Reports from the island suggest that Gabb was socializing with two other persons in an area, Carlton, Black Rock, about two miles north of Bridgetown when his companions got invovled in an altercation. He intervened and was stabbed in the chest. He is now hospitalized at the general hospital, the Queen Elizabeth. Barbados police have since arrested one individual in connection with the stabbing. Gabb’s wife travelled on Barbados on Tuesday, May 21st to be at the bedside of her husband, who had been on a life support machine from Friday . He has since been taken off the ventilator and is breathing on his own and is conscious though he still remains in a critical condition.

Felicia Chen says she is ready to go to jail
Felicia Chen, 22, the mother who was charged with three counts of murder for the killing of her children appeared in Magistrate's court for a third time on Wednesday, May 22nd. She appeared in court where she spoke for the first time stating that she was ready to go to prison. Before speaking, however, her doctor told the court that Chen in her view is still not ready to be house at the Kolbe Foundation. Her doctor further told the court that Chen needs more time at the facility she is presently being housed. Chen’s doctor is also of the view that she will need more time at the facility which may exceed a 6-month period. It is for this reason that she was further remanded at the facility for an entire month before her next court appearance.

Jarod Lamb Authurs being sought
Police in San Ignacio are investigating the loss of a gun last week. They want to question one man for it, in addition to some two serious incidents that occurred in the Cayo District earlier this year. The house on a ranch, the Red Creek Ranch in the Cayo District was burglarized sometime between Tuesday and Friday of last week. Found in the Pilgrim Valley Area of Santa Elena, the house was discovered to be ransacked. A 20-gauge shot gun had been stolen from the double store house at the ranch. Police are now seeking Jarod Lamb Authurs A.K.A ‘Steel Bob’ for questioning in relations to this incident as he was observed wandering on the property on two occasions.

Minor charged with firearm after Shooting on Flamboyant Street
On Monday, May 20th police escorted a 16-year-old boy to the Belize City Family Court where he was charged with a count of keeping a firearm without a gun license. The teenager, who was unrepresented, pleaded not guilty to the charge and due to the nature of the offense, was remanded into custody at the the Wagner’s Facility in Hattieville until his next court date set for June 28th, 2013. The minor was escorted to court by CIB personnel after he was released from the KHMH where he was being treated for a gunshot wound to the left wrist area.

Teacher arrested for molesting Teenage Boy
Police have arrested and charged a primary school teacher from Bullett Tree, Eddie Pinelo, with aggravated assault of an indecent nature. The charges come after a teenage boy told police that he went to visit his teacher, Eddie Pinelo, at his home in Bullet Tree Falls on Friday, March 22nd. The boy told police that while at Pinelo’s house Pinelo and he drank Caribbean Rum with Coke. It was after the third cup of drinking the mixture that the boy felt intoxicated. Thereafter, the teenager told police he felt that he was carried to a bed and placed to lie down on his stomach, where Pinelo removed all his clothing. The boy then felt Pinelo climb on top of him from behind, causing pain in the ensuing process. A doctor has since examined the boy and classified that there was no physical signs of abuse.

Placencia steals the Show at 2013 Tourism Awards
The 12th Annual Tourism Awards was held at the newest hotspot for domestic tourism, Bannister Caye, on Saturday, May 18th. Over two hundred and thirty industry stakeholders honoured the all-white dress code and attended the event hosted by the Belize Tourism Board. There were two special awards presented to individuals, who have made significant contribution to the tourism industry and nine awards given in recognition of exceptional products and services.

Benque Viejo del Carmen being developed as a Destination
Some members of the team that worked on the Benque Viejo del Carmen Tourism Plan L-R Valdemar Andrade, Kevin Gonzalez, Nicholas Ruiz, Vinai Thummalapaly, Miguel Velasquez, Minister Jose Manuel Heredia, Jaime Awe, Subrata Basu The normally quiet town of Benque Viejo del Carmen became a buzz of activity on May 16th, 2013 with the launching of a Tourism Plan initiative. With the plan in effect and after over a year and a half of work, Benque Viejo del Carmen will now hopefully become a major destination for tourists.

Linking Environmental Agreements to National Development
Officials of the Department of the Environment are participating in a workshop in attempt to establish the linkages between international environmental agreements and Belize’s national development agenda. The four agreements that are being focused on are the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife in the Wider Caribbean (SPAW), the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar Convention).

Balanced Gender Policy
The National Women’s Commission launched the Revised National Gender Policy on Thursday, May 16th. Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Human Development, Judith Alpuche referred to the launching as both a ribbon cutting and groundbreaking ceremony: ribbon cutting because it is the result of almost four years worth of analysis and report and groundbreaking because the policy is merely a guideline for work that is yet to be done.

Students graduate from GREAT at School in Cayo
Principal and students of the Santa Elena Primary Roman Catholic School and Senior Superintendent of Police Louise Willis, at centre, delivering a batch of certificates to a representative teacher Ceremonies were held Wednesday evening at the Santa Elena Primary Roman Catholic School in the Cayo District for students who participated in a Gang Resistance Education and Training Program (GREAT). Both standard three and standard six primary school students from the Cayo School are the most recent beneficiaries from GREAT.

New Logo for Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities
The Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities (MESTPU) is pleased to announce the winner of its logo competition. The Ministry received twelve entries from seven different high schools across the country. A panel of five judges with related background in art and designing was selected to review the submissions within the dimension of a prescribed rubric. The criteria as established by the rubric included: • Format/Use of Design Principles • Originality and Simplicity • Ministry’s Image • Time Management • Overall Impression Scores ranging from 10 points for excellent, 8 to 9 points for good, 6 to 7 points for fair, and 0 to 5 points for poor were used in each category. Keron Tzul of Bishop Martin High School garnered the maximum mark for his presentation, thus winning the $500 cash prize and an iPad while; his school will receive $1,000 cash prize and a video projector, courtesy of the Belize Telemedia Limited.

Citco and Hon. Mark King developing Lake-I
The Belize City Council has been paving streets in the city at an impressive speed. Thanks to the efforts of Mayor Darrell Bradley and the Council, there are now over 70 streets that have been paved. And as the Council presses on with paving streets, one constituency that is getting quite a bit of attention is the Lake Independence area. It comes as no surprise however as the Area Rep. Hon. Mark King is constantly behind the Chairman of BWSL to have water upgrades in his area. Under an agreement between the Council and BWSL, those streets that are worked on by the water company are those that get paved since BWSL offers part financing for the works to be done. Capitalizing on this agreement is Hon. King who is always at BWSL Chairman's ear to do upgrades in his constituency. Most recently, he lobbied for work to be done on Police Street, Ordonez Street and Sunflower Street. According to King, work has already commenced to pave these streets. He says he is eternally grateful at the support he has received so far from the Belize City Council and Mayor Darrell Bradley, who is always responsive to his requests. He added that similarly, without the assistance of BWSL's Chairman, Alberto August, he would not have been able to accomplish as much as he already has.

Police Appreciation Banquet
When he became Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar knew that one of his most important tasks would be to restore morale within the Belize Police Department. If he would have any hope of weeding out corruption then bringing back pride to the uniform was of outmost importance. In an effort to boost morale, Minister Saldivar introduced national and divisional awards for officers and formations that have performed well.

Graduation Ceremonies for Adjudicators and Presenters Course
Graduation Ceremonies were held Friday afternoon, May 17th, 2013, for twenty One (21) officers of the Belize Police Department who attended a one-week follow-up training course for Adjudicators and Presenters, mainly officers involved in tribunals within the Belize Police Department.

Police Department receives Two New Vehicles for Northern Region
Deputy Compol Elodio Aragon receives vehicles from Hon. Saldivar - accompanied by Finance Officer Lisa Mclaughlin Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar, on Wednesday handed over two (2) new Mahindra Pickup Trucks to the Police Department.

Another UDP Victory!
The United Democratic Party (UDP) records yet another victory in the second week of Village Council Elections 2013. Of the 43 villages that went into elections this weekend, UDP won majority in 24 villages capturing 189 of the 301 seats up for elections while 19 went to Independent candidates. While the Party did very well countrywide with 18 full slates this week, exceptional results were recorded in the Corozal District where the party won full slates in four of five villages and in the Stann Creek district where the Party captured majority in five of the seven villages, four of which were full slate victories.

10th Annual Ride Across Belize Fundraiser
Staff members of the Social Security Board will be holding its 10th annual Ride Across Belize fundraising event starting on Wednesday,May 29th in Corozal. The ride will go to Belize City; from there it goes to Cayo on Thursday. On Friday, it goes to Dangriga and on Saturday it moves to Punta Gorda.

Zone Ten Neighborhood Watch Committee in Cayo holds Event
The Zone Ten Neighborhood Watch Committee, a sub part of the Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association, held a successful fundraising drive this past Sunday at the newly renovated basketball court in Santa Elena Town, Cayo. It was an opportunity for mothers to be entertained and network with other mothers in the area.

Mennonite Killed by Falling Tree
Forty-six-year old John Penner was killed on Sunday, May 19th by a falling tree at a farm in Yalbac Village near the Spanish Lookout Area. The accident victim was along with his friend Henry Dueck, working to cut a tree down. The tree hit John Penner on his left shoulder and as a result he fell to the ground lying motionless. The body of Penner was transported to the San Ignacio Morgue where the attending doctor declared him dead on arrival. A post mortem conducted on John Penner at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital on Monday has since revealed that he died as a result of traumatic shock due to severe body injury.

Shalini Zabaneh is Female Cross Country Champion again
The 24th Annual Female Cross Country Cycling Classic was held on Sunday, May 19th, 2013. The race which started at the Columbus Park in San Ignacio Town, Cayo, concluded at the Leslie’s Imports at Mile 2 on the George Price Highway in Belize City. This year’s event attracted only 4 female riders. At the end of 3:55:21, it was Shalini Zabaneh of Team Sagitun that captured first place to regain the coveted title. Zabaneh rode from mile 62 on the George Price Highway all by herself to the finish line. The former champion Kaya Cattouse of SMART/ C-Ray Cycling Club captured the second place position in a time of 4:17:23 some full 22 minutes behind the new champion. Kirah Eiley of BECOL Cycling Team finished third in a time of 4:17:23 while Marinette Flowers also of C-Ray Cycling finished fourth in a time of 4:39:47. The Hon. Herman Longsworth the Minister of State with direct responsibilities for youth and sports donated $2000.00 towards the 24th Annual Female Cross Country Cycling Classic.

Tuff “E” Nuff remains unbeaten in Interoffice Basketball Competition
On Sunday, May 19th, in the first game played, No Limits won handily over Digicell by the score of 49-62. The top scorers for No Limits were Greg Rudon with 22 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists; and Jacob Leslie with 13 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. Meanwhile, the top scorers for the Digicell squad were Karim Thompson with 27 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist and 3 steals; and Raheem Staine with 11 points, 3 rebounds and 5 steals. In the second game of the day, it was Police winning over Youth Services by the score of 70-68. The top scorers for the Police were Orlando Bowen with 23 points and 11 rebounds; Linton Broaster with 15 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals; and Kennard Clark with 8 points, and 2 rebounds. For Youth Services, the top scorers were Lennox Bowman with 18 points, 8 rebounds and 2 steals; and Brian White with 12 points, and 10 rebounds. On Saturday, May 18th, in the first game played, Police edged CYDP by the score of 65-63. The top scorers for the Police were Shane Rosales with 16 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 5 steals; and Sheldon Williams with 15 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. For the CYDP squad, the top scorers were Bernard Felix with 17 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 5 steals; and Leroy Louriano with 14 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 steals.

Football Federation conducting “C” Certification training
The Football Federation of Belize on Friday, May 17th launched its second training for the “C” License Certification for the Belize District. The 48-hour certification course is conducted over a period of three weekends and covers all the elements of the FFB National “C” License with the aim of educating the applicants in the technical, tactical, physical and mental requirements of modern football. It is also geared to educating the coaches so that they may devise, organize, conduct and evaluate coaching sessions in the development of youths. The objective of the course is also to prepare coaches by expanding their knowledge and understanding of the technical and tactical demands of the game and the developmental process necessary for youth players. Coaches will have a better understanding of the practical coaching methodology and the framework necessary to prepare youth players and a team for competition while at the same time providing a good foundation for any coach wishing to pursue higher levels within the Football Federation of Belize Coaching Education Program.

Belize City Primary Schools Volleyball Competition opens
Belize Elementary boys volleying against Wesley Upper The 2012-2013 Belize City Primary Schools Volleyball Competition opened on Monday, May 20th, 2013, at the Bird’s Isle in Belize City. There are 15 schools participating in the girls’ competition and 14 schools in the boys’ competition. The schools in the girls’ competition are Trinity Methodist, All Saints’ Anglican, Holy Redeemer, Hummingbird Elementary, St. Luke Methodist, Ephesus Seventh Day Adventist, St. Mary’s Primary, Muslim Community, Belize Elementary, Wesley Upper, Queen Square Anglican, St. John Vianney, St. Martin De Porres, St. John’s Primary and St. Ignatius School. Meanwhile, the schools in the boys’ competition are Holy Redeemer, All Saints Anglican, Trinity Methodist, St. John’s Primary, St. Martin De Porres, St. Luke Methodist, Ephesus Seventh Day Adventist, Unity Presbyterian, Queen Square Anglican, St. John Vianney, St. Ignatius, Belize Elementary, Queen Street Baptist and Wesley Upper School. On Monday, May 20th, in the girls’ game played, Hummingbird Elementary School defeated Ephesus Seventh Day Adventist School by the score of 25-5 and 25-4. In the boys’ game, Holy Redeemer School defeated St. John’s Primary School by the score of 25-12, 18-25 and 15-6.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Official Closing of the Conch Season
The Belize Fisheries Department hereby informs all fishermen and the General Public tht in accordance with Statutory Instrument No.54 of 2012 Sentor, the Honorable Lisel Alamilla-Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development has declared the Queen Conch (Strombus Gigas) fishery closed to fishing, harvesting or capture of the species on Thursday, 23rd May 2013. The fishing community is especially advised that all conch fishing activites shall legally cease as of this date until the opening of the next fishing season on October 1st 2013.

2 Caye Caulker Girls in Belize’s National U17 Football Team
Two members of the Island Stars Female football team, Sophia Diego and Jacqueline Riveroll, are on the Belize National U17 Football team. They are headed to Guatemala City today for a game on Sunday. The team is leaving by bus today and will be staying in Guatemala City for two days to acclimatize due to the change in elevation. Their game is on Sunday. On June 2 there will be another game against Guatemala in Belmopan. It is a first for any young Caye Caulker youth to be in such a selection. Congrats to both girls and make Caye Caulker proud!

The May 26thth, 2013 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • World, Here We Come! Belize Prepares for CONCACAF Gold Cup:
    Whatever our differences, if there is one thing that unites Belizeans it is our National Selection playing abroad in an international sports tournament. In this case the sport is Football or Soccer, and the tournament is the CONCACAF Gold Cup to be played in the United States, starting July 7, 2013. Belize secured its place in the tournament a few months ago when it took fourth place in the UNCAF Copa Centro-America in Costa Rica back in January. The Belize Selection performed remarkably well in that tournament, making history and making all Belizeans proud. It goes without saying that all Belizeans will be rooting again for our National Team as they head to the Gold Cup in the USA. But before we take to the international stage, there are some important house-keeping issues to address. The cost of sending the team to the tournament is roughly Half a Million Belize Dollars, and the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) simply does not have the money.
  • Belmopan Market Rehabilitation Project Begins: Market Day Temporarily Moved to Agric Show-Grounds:
    Block by block, the face of Belmopan is being transformed, thanks to the vision and determination of the Belmopan City Council, in concert with the Central Government, aided by grants from friendly governments and concessionary funding from multi-lateral international agencies. On Monday, May 20, 2013, a new project got started, which will see the entire area adjacent to the original Belmopan Market rehabilitated and transformed. The project, at a total cost of around 2 Million Dollars, is being funded by the European Union (EU) under its Belize Rural Development Program (BRDP), a designation which this particular project fits by virtue of the fact that it will facilitate mainly rural framers and vendors who come to the Capital City to market their produce and goods.
  • Strained Comparison - Flawed Conclusion:
    Delroy Cuthkelvin Chairman, Editorial Board . Last week, our respected friend at the Amandala, in his editorial titled “a flawed political system”, drew some comparisons and conclusions regarding the Dean Barrow Administration and the Musa Government which we feel compelled to dissect and rebut. Seizing upon a few controversial and troubling developments and incidents which, admittedly, present for Prime Minister Barrow and his Government some of the greatest challenges since taking office in 2008, the Editorial somehow draws the conclusion that this Administration in 2013, as did the Musa Administration one year after being re-elected in 2003, has “lost its moral authority”. A flawed conclusion, we respectfully submit; and if we must, we’ll explain why in a little.
  • New Police Vehicles for the North:
    On Wednesday, May 22, 2013 Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar, handed over two (2) new Mahindra Pickup Trucks to the Police Department. Receiving the vehicles on behalf of the Police Department was Deputy Commissioner Elodio Aragon, who then handed them over to the Officer Commanding the Northern Region, Senior Superintendent Joseph Myvette. He was accompanied by the newly appointed Officer Commanding the Orange Walk Formation, Superintendent Dennis Arnold; and the Officer Commanding the Corozal Formation, Superintendent Andrew Ramirez.
  • Exposure to Bush Fires:
    the General Public that due to recent bush-fires around the country, particularly around the Cayo District, there is a risk for vulnerable individuals of overexposure to smoke. The smoke associated with these bush-fires has the potential to irritate eyes, trigger prolonged coughing spells and cause respiratory distress or breathing problems. Individuals with chronic lung conditions, especially asthma, are advised to avoid areas with intense smoke if possible. In the event that you cannot avoid the smoke, the use of masks or wet rags may alleviate the worst effects. Also, visit the nearest health facility for respiratory support if needed. In addition to smoke exposure, intense heat may be experienced. The public is reminded of the following preventative measures for heat stroke: drink sufficient water, dress adequately and keep in the shade as much as possible.
  • Appreciation and Award Ceremony for Police Department - Belize City Precincts:
    The Belize Police Department held an evening of appreciation and award ceremony on Friday May 17, 2013 at the Princess Hotel and Casino in Belize City, where 41 persons from Eastern Division Headquarters, the 4 Precincts and community members were awarded. The event is the second in the series, and was hosted by Police Press Officer Raphael Martinez. Speakers for the occasion included the CEO in the Ministry of National Security Lt. Col (Ret.) George Lovell, Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie, and the Officer Commanding Eastern Division Assistant Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura, and his two deputies, Senior Superintendents of Police Dezerie Phillips and Marlon Allen who delivered the Vote of Thanks.
  • Will Belize Conform or Be Transformed? By Zelda Hill:
    After 31 years as an independent nation, Belize has another opportunity to prove her independence, choose her own direction and show the world that an economically struggling thirdworld country can be a leader and not a follower. The court challenge to Section 53 of Belize’s Criminal Code has also exposed the strong influence of foreign organizations and nations who are pressuring us to conform to their standards of morality and to drastically alter our way of life. These ambassadors of debauchery reason that the “whole world” is choosing that path so Belize must follow. The pressure to conform to foreign ideologies and practices is not new to our young nation; but never before has the Church in Belize risen to the occasion to intercede and take such a formidable and united stance. The world awaits Belize’s decision: will we choose to conform to this world’s pattern or will we choose to be transformed by godly values?
  • Elections and Boundaries Department Results of Village Council Elections May 19, 2013:
  • Highway Cleaned Up for Earth Day, City Council and Citizens Combine with Civic Pride:
    “It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it.” Well, in this case, the people doing it did not have to do it, but chose to do it. It wasn’t their occupational obligation, but their civic duty that they were discharging. It was the annual cleanup campaign, organized this year by the Belmopan City Council who was filling in for the Audubon Society, which normally spearheaded in this years’ cleanup campaign included: OLOG High School; MP BAPTIST HIGH; BMP Comprehensive High- School; Garden City Primary; OLOG Primary School; Klic Pre-School; Police Cadets; Belmopan Scouts; Department of the Environment/ Forestry; Panariffix the undertaking, but had to focus its efforts this year on the Belize City area.
  • Crime Level Goes South in the North, Minister of Police Presents Awards for April - 2013:
    On Wednesday, May 15, 2013, Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar presented a Certificate of Award and a Cheque of $1,000 to Senior Superintendent of Police Joseph Myvette, who heads the Northern Zone and has also been the Officer Commanding the Orange Walk Formation, which forms part of the Northern Zone. The Cheque of $1,000 is for the best performance by the Northern Zone in reducing Major Crimes during the month of April; and the Certificate of Award is for the best performance by the Orange Formation for the same period. The Minister made the presentation at the start of his monthly meeting with zone, formation and branch commanders held at the National Police Training Academy in Belmopan this afternoon.
  • LeBron Wins Game One:
    As we go to press Wednesday evening, LeBron James has just propelled the Miami Heat to victory over the Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals. King James did it in overtime with an aggressive drive into the paint with 2.2 seconds remaining on the Game Clock.
  • 29 Graduate from Special Warfare Operations Course:
    Graduation Ceremonies were held last Wednesday, May 15, 2013, for Twenty Four (24) members of the Belize National Coastguard and Five (5) members of the Anti-Drug Unit (ADU) of the Belize National Police Force, who all completed a five-week intensive Special Warfare Operations Course.
  • Belize Gets 10 Million More from Taiwan:
    His Excellency Mr. David C. K. Wu, Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) last week presented a cheque in the sum of US Dollars Five Million to the Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Belize. The cheque represents a Grant to Belize for the year 2013 under the Bilateral Cooperation Program between Belize and the Republic of China (Taiwan) for the period 2013 to 2016. The proceeds of the Grant are for the general benefit and well being of the people of Belize.
  • Three Simultaneous Courses for Police:
    Course for Adjudicators and Presenters, mainly officers involved in tribunals within the Belize Police Department. Lecturers for this course included attorneys, magistrates and other legal experts, including Assistant Commissioner of Police Keith Lino, who holds an LLB Degree.
  • Major Infrastructure Project in San Ignacio/Santa Elena:
    One of the most painful things about the onerous Superbond left behind by the Said Musa Administration—although, thankfully, made substantially easier by the current Dean Barrow Government’s bold and successful renegotiations— is the fact that the People and Nation of Belize have virtually nothing to show for it. Imagine, had those monies been truly spent on the People and Country, how many roads could have been rehabilitated and upgraded; how many new bridges built and old ones replaced; how many schools established and expanded; how many water systems constructed and rebuilt; how many villages and communities electrified; how many hospitals, health centers and sporting facilities built and refurbished; how many hurricane shelters erected and retrofitted.
  • Belmopan Kids and Youth Cup 2013:


Taking a Day Off
It’s funny how with all the planning we do in life we sometimes forget to plan a day off. This is surprisingly and often true here in Belize as life has many of us very busy. I planned my day off to maximize my fun starting with a sunrise drive with Dick,we had fun rocking out to the Lobstermainia pool party 2013 song list – link is to fb invite 32 yes and 20 maybe, it is going to be a fun party. Toucan jam the band we hired are going to be great. Next comes a boat ride what could be more fun than that. Meeting Ange at her place at 8:15 to get flippers as my strap broke, then we head to the boat dock for 8:45am . Once on board we will sail to Hol Chan Marine Reserve, followed by Shark Ray Alley and hit Caye Caulker for lunch and a stroll. Seaduced by Belize catamaran Caye Caulker day sail includes: Belikin beer, sodas, Seaduced signature rum punch and their famous homemade chips and salsa. $75 US per person

Why I like to protect the Environment
Hi my name is Bianca Narvaez I am ten years old and I am going to tell you why I like to protect the environment! I like to protect the environment because it is really special to me, we live in the environment and we need to make sure we keep it clean and safe. One of the things we can do to protect the environment is to reuse and recycle paper we can also recycle bottles and use them as water bottles or even better make arts and crafts with them. You can also be creative while being eco friendly by just going outside look for: a leaf on the ground that you really like best and write or draw something on it. I mostly like to protect the environment because of the animals. We actually get a lot of food from them.

In this historical moment -- the completion of the 13th b'aktun of the Maya Long Count calendar -- I can't think help but praise the Mundo Maya. One of my favorite corners of Mesoamerica is Belize, an under-populated country the size of Massachusetts which feels like a tropical island crashed up against Latin America. These are my favorite spots and activities in Belize's Mundo Maya, enjoy.

Shark Tagging in Belize
Being tasked with documenting Rachel Graham's shark tagging project at Lighthouse Atoll, Belize for the second year, I wanted to capture a closeup of how the tags look on the shark. Now remember, these sharks are first hooked, then restrained, measured and tagged, all the while struggling and thrashing to be free of lines and hands.

A guidebook author’s top 10 for Belize
Listen to the expert. 1. Best beaches Tough question; Belize has some lovely beaches and offshore islands. My top two favorites are South Water Caye (on the Pelican Beach Resort side), and Hopkins Village’s beach. 2. Best food and drink Best drink is a cold Belikin beer. Best food: Another tough one. Fry jacks for breakfast, conch ceviche, and stew chicken with rice and beans. 3. Best place for an all-night party San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, followed by Caye Caulker and San Ignacio in the Cayo District (on the weekends). 4. Best place to catch a sunset On the Northern Cayes; Caye Caulker first, then Ambergris Caye. And if you want off the beaten path, then in Sarteneja — a beautiful fishing village in northern Belize.

What it takes to be a travel guidebook author: Conversation with Lily Girma
LEBAWIT LILY GIRMA is a freelance travel writer and photographer — and MatadorU alum — who just returned from a seven-month stint in Belize, where she completed her first travel guidebook assignment and the 10th edition of Moon Belize for Moon Handbooks. Not only did she write the guidebook, but she also provided all the photos and even landed the prized cover shot over other candidates. Learn the skills you need to get published in the travel writing program at MatadorU. Born in Ethiopia and raised in Cote d’ Ivoire, Lily is a self-proclaimed “culture-holic” who speaks four languages and has lived in Africa, Europe, and the Americas. In 2008, Lily left her career as a lawyer to follow her passion: travel writing and photography. With published work in various outlets such as BBC Travel, CNN Travel, Matador Network, American Way Magazine, and the Guardian, Lily continues to engage and inspire us to travel the world with an open mind and spirit. I had the pleasure of meeting Lily through her sister Mimi, a talented designer I worked with in the fashion industry — a true testament to how small the world is. I spoke with Lily about her guidebook writing experience.

Perfect Rice Cooker Rice & Beans
Rice and Beans is the number 1 native dish of Belize, but a lot of people have trouble cooking it. I've consistently tried to find ways to make preparing this meal easier and more simple. When using a simple rice cooker, preparing this meal is simple as 1, 2 3 .

Belize Wind Energy
Belize Wind Energy Ltd goal is to build multiple large scale wind farms in strategic locations in Belize and thereby guaranteeing the people of Belize price stabilization and supply security, supporting Belize in becoming energy independent and creating an economically viable industry by producing energy and exporting it to the entire Americas. Belize Wind Energy Ltd is investing hundreds of millions of dollars in the Belize economy over a very short period of time by financing and building large-scale wind farms. The initial feasibility study is ongoing and we project construction to commence in 2014. Clean, reliable and renewable wind energy will be available in Belize in 2014.

International Sources

'Evolving standards' of international law should overturn anti-sodomy law: Belize lawsuit
Ten years ago, the late, great American jurist Robert Bork wrote a short book entitled Coercing Virtue: The Worldwide Rule of Judges. He described how the “American disease” of judicial legislating—activists using constitutional courts “to outflank majorities and nullify their votes” on controversial social issues—was becoming a global phenomenon. Among other examples, Bork noted a conference held in London in 1999 “to consider ways of making homosexual conduct a constitutional right in various nations.” As happened with abortion—a phenomenon documented in Susan Yoshihara’s and Douglas Sylva’s Rights by Stealth—a coterie of “experts” in the field of “human rights” tasked themselves with refashioning norms in the area of “sexual orientation and gender identity” and exporting such novel norms to countries that adhered to old-fashioned principles such as rule of law and constitutional separation of powers. On May 7-10 at the Supreme Court of Belize, in the case Orozco v. Attorney General, a fascinating legal clash occurred when the proponents of the “new rights” brought their traveling roadshow to this small, English-speaking Central American nation.

Fortis foes slam CH Energy dea
A coalition of anti-Fortis groups said Thursday that the Canadian company's poor business practices abroad and a raw proposed deal here justify their opposition to Fortis' planned acquisition of CH Energy Group, the parent of Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. More than 20 people affiliated with Citizens for Local Power highlighted alleged shortcomings of both Fortis and the offer during a news conference Thursday. "It's time for (Fortis) to go back to Newfoundland and try to pick on some other utility," said lawyer Dan Duthie, who monitors utilities. Two administrative law judges helping the New York Public Service Commission make a decision on the Fortis acquisition, said earlier this month that the detriments of the deal outweigh the benefits, citing extensive public opposition. But one of the deal's biggest opponents, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 320, came around Monday after Fortis agreed to provide more benefits for workers. Thursday's speakers, though, said the deal is still bad for everybody else.

Cleared diplomat John Yapp criticises Foreign Office
The former UK High Commissioner to Belize, who was removed from his post amid claims of sexual misconduct and bullying, has spoken of his "humiliating" fight to clear his name. John Yapp, of Eastbourne, East Sussex, lost his post in 2008 over claims he inappropriately touched women. The allegations were dropped but he then faced claims he had bullied staff. The High Court ruled the Foreign and Commonwealth Office broke his contract and failed in its duty of care to him. Mr Yapp said it had all been "profoundly humiliating". He said he had an unblemished diplomatic career for 37 years before a former foreign minister in Belize alleged he had inappropriately touched women.

May 23, 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

Miss and Mr. ACES Pageant 2013
Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES) held its fourth annual Miss ACES and Miss Popularity Pageant on Saturday, May 18th, at the Lion’s Den.The four lovely young ladies vying for the Miss Aces and Miss Popularity title were Audrey Pott, Hailey Haylock, Danielle Rodriguez and Sueny Vasquez. For the first time, there was also a Mr. ACES and Mr. Popularity. Braving the competition were Alexander Blanco and Mark McLaughlyn. The title of Miss ACES and Mr. ACES was based on talent, while the Miss and Mr. Popularity contest is based on the most funds collected by the participants. Having the task to judge the pageant was Miss San Pedro 2000 AdalyAyuso, Miss San Pedro 1956 Lenny Alamilla, and Mister Pacifico y el Caribe 2013/2014 Jhoshi Alexander Valencia. Hosting the event was former Miss Lions Shantell Pascascio and Jorge Aldana.

Belize Female Volleyball brings home Bronze again
In August 2012, the Belize Volleyball Senior Female team played in the first round of the Women’s World Championship Qualifier, Group G, in Panama City, Panama. They placed third and brought home the first medal in the history of Belize female volleyball, allowing them to qualify for round two of the Women’s Volleyball World Championship to be held in 2014 in Italy. The Fédération Internacionale de Volleyball (FIVB) World Championships is the oldest and most important international indoor volleyball competition organized by the FIVB. On May 8, 2013, the national team traveled once more, this time 29 hours to the south of the Caribbean to Willemstad, Curaçao, as a part of Group J to compete against the islands of Antigua, Curaçao and St. Lucia. They once again placed third, bringing home another bronze medal and an additional accomplishment for Belize Volleyball. Team members were Maurissa Williams, Precelia Hoare, Analisa Habet, Alina Scott, Esther Middleton, Zaire Garbutt, Sherylee Thurton-Young, Marika Zuniga, Tichele Solis, Tanesha Encalada, Tisha Solis and Shantell Arnold. In round one, the then Libero, Jasmine Anderson brought back Best Libero and Best Defense in individual awards and now Belize’s defensive specialist, Esther Middleton returned with the title of Best Libero. Best Setter was awarded to Tanesha Encalada and Best Server to Shantell Arnold. Belize tied with Curaçao in individual awards taking three titles each.

Sagebrush Community Church-Family Weekend
Sagebrush Community Church introduced itself to San Pedro Town with a grand opening on the weekend of Friday, May 17th and Saturday, May 18th. On Friday at 7pm the new church hosted a free movie night for both kids and adults. The movie viewing offered a chance to socialize and get familiar with new members in a relaxed environment. All present agreed that Sagebrush certainly out did them selves on Saturday afternoon when the congregation hosted a fun day of activities on the grounds of the Paradise Theatre to which the general public was invited. Everyone enjoyed a day of fun in the sun with face painting, balloon hats and bungee jumps for the kids. Those that wanted to cool off for a bit enjoyed a ride on the banana boat that took kids and adults alike on quite the fun ride out to sea. Sagebrush services are held Sundays at 10:30am at the Paradise Movie Theatre. All are welcome to attend.

Ambergris Today

Ministry of Health Assists Investigation of Newborn Deaths at City Hospital
After hearing the news on Monday, May 20, 2013, about the neonatal deaths at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), the Ministry of Health immediately contacted the Board of Directors of the KHMH to offer to place the full resources of the Ministry of Health at their disposal to rapidly resolve this tragic situation. On Tuesday, May 21, 2013, the Director of Maternal and Child Health, the National Epidemiologist and an Infection Control Expert of the Ministry of Health met with key personnel of KHMH to implement specific measures to control this dangerous infection. Additionally, the Pan American Health Organization has been contacted and has offered technical support. It is recognized that neonates are of very high risk due to their gestational age which may range from as low as twenty five weeks. We continue to monitor the situation and will work closely with KHMH to keep the public fully informed.

New Ferry Service at Boca del Rio While Bridge is Closed
Necessity is the Mother of Invention – Now check this out! The Sir Barry Bowen Bridge will be closed for the next two weeks as repairs are being conducted on the corroded walkways and road sections. But the bridge has become a much needed infrastructure for the residents of North Ambergris Caye that two weeks could mean much loss of revenue for some businesses. Come the ingenious temporary ferry – Since the bridge completely made the ferry service obsolete, here comes a group of entrepreneurs that is bringing back the service while the bridge is temporarily out of service.

Teen Talk: Spending Quality Time with Family
- by Ryan Ancona, Teen Talk Reporter - Mother’s Day celebrations just recently took place and it got me thinking, “What about the rest of your family?” It is well known that most teens don’t really spend much time with their family. This is mostly because most teens like to be with their friends ALL of the time and the ones who do not go out with friends still spend a limited time with their family; they like to be alone. I am not saying that counts for everyone. There are also a lot of teens that spend a lot of time with their family. So for the ones that do not spend much time with their family, you probably would think to yourself, “When should I spend time with my family?” Well! The time to spend with your family doesn’t have to be every minute of every day. When are the best times to spend some quality time with the FAM? How about during meal times or taking time to do something on Sunday mornings - either having a picnic or just going to the beach. Also, another way to spend time with your family on Sundays is by going to church, if you are religious.

Misc Belizean Sources

Rotary Questival Fair
25th, May, 2013 10:00 AM to about 10:00 PM Henry Menzies – Travel & Tours (South End, Across from Corozal Bay) Details: Admission: Adults - $2, children under 16 free This year, our Rotary club will host a one-day fair as our annual fund raiser. This fair will take the place of our traditional multi-day Questival of previous years. We plan to expand activities, entertainment, and prizes to make this fair even more exciting and worthy of community support. There will be artisans, vendors, food and drink (including beer and sodas), popcorn, Rotary BBQ sauce, music, entertainment (dancing, singing, and arts and crafts demonstrations), games, draws and lotteries for prizes, and more. Vendor and artisan spots are available (1 table and 2 chairs) for $15 or for $25 with electrical hookup. Call Janette McKean, 631-7181 to register. Here is a chance to market your wares or services to hundreds of people.

Wake Up And Smell The Coffee -- Again!
This week’s article focuses on an issue that I have been asked many times before to address. Since 1978 I have worked as a professional educator, both as teacher and guidance counselor, in high schools and classrooms throughout Belize and in the United States. Working alongside students, fellow educators, and many concerned and hard-working parents in Parent Teacher Associations, I have tried repeatedly to address this situation that continues to baffle many teachers. The issue I refer to affects both students and educators every single day, and is a frustrating classroom management issue that can also limit students’ entire futures. I am referring to those parents and guardians who show no interest whatsoever in their children’s work, or lack of work, at school. It simply does not seem to matter to these parents whether their sons or daughters are progressing at school, are on top of the class, or are failing one or more subjects in their class. School, to these parents and guardians, is merely a place where we send our children everyday; once our children are in school everyday, educators/teachers will take care of them and deal with whatever issue(s) the children/students may have because that’s just what educators/teachers are supposed to do. How, then, do we educators, other concerned parents of students, and the community at large motivate these indifferent parents or guardians to actively participate in (care about) their children’s education? A lifetime career as an educator, while also being a parent, has shown me that when our children fail in school, we too fail as parents (or guardians) and the entire country loses; however, when our children shine at school, we parents also shine and the entire country wins!

End of Year Yard Sale
Dear Island Academy Community, In lieu of a beach BBQ or Pirate Party, this year we are going to combine our spring fun(d)-raiser with spring cleaning! We will hold a giant cheap sale on campus on Saturday, May 25. We need donations from every family - please look around your home and contribute clean, sale-able items: kitchen items, clothing, furniture, appliances (operational), books, toys (gently used), boating goods, tools, etc! We appreciate ANYTHING you can give. Zulema's mom Cindy is collecting the items at The Spa (across from Ramon's Village). The sooner you can deliver items there, she can sort and price them. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

Belize Tourism Board Celebrates Their Tourism Industry Partners - The 12th Annual Belize Tourism Awards - Placencia Partners Honored with 7 Awards
"The lovely Bannister Island was the location of the awards ceremony this year, which was held on Saturday, May 18. Representatives of villages, resorts, restaurants and tour operations from throughout the country gathered for the evening to enjoy the music, food and festivities of this 2013 event. There were awards given in many different categories of businesses that support the Belize tourism industry, including Hotel of the Year, Small Hotel of the Year, Tour Operator of the Year, Hospitality Award, Major Festivals, Restaurants, Destinations, Events Award and the Minister’s Award." "This is a beautiful time for my country and its rapidly growing tourism industry and, as a member of the Placencia tourism industry myself, I was particularly proud. As the evening progressed the names of many of the peninsula's businesses were announced as winners. We were thrilled that the Placencia community had been awarded 7 times."

Mr. Giovanni Pinelo is Teacher of the Year
Congratulations Mr. Giovanni Pinelo for winning the National Secondary School Teacher award. Kudos to Our Lady of Mount Carmel High School too. Well done!

Channel 5

Enterobacter cloacae killed 7 of 12 infants at K.H.M.H.
The biggest scandal to hit the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital is unraveling. Words cannot describe how the collective conscience of parents, particularly mothers, received the news that twelve newborns died in less than one week at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Alarm bells were sounded last Friday by grieving parent who spoke to News Five [...]

Neonatal Unit closed for a month while upgrades being installed
Doctor Coye said that the bug could have come from another section of the hospital or from an incoming patient. There were questions regarding whether or not air condition problems in clinics one through four were a part of the problem, but he said it was not. Inside the special care nursery, terminal cleanings were [...]

K.H.M.H. Board wants answers as to why alarm not sounded quickly
Today, the Board of Governors held an emergency session to find out what happened. And the initial results were shared with the media. But there is still the question of safety and when the NICU will be reopened. According to K.H.M.H. C.E.O., Francis Gary Longsworth that may take some weeks while improvements are being made. [...]

Mother wants answers about December death of infants
The death of the babies has prompted other families to come forward with their own experiences even prior to the deaths reported in the first twenty days of May. Today, a grieving mother, Jacklin Marroquin provided a detailed account of how her premature baby, Jade Isana Scarlette Marroquin, died at the K.H.M.H. on December ninth, [...]

Woman who killed three children speaks in court
Felicia Chen, the mother who is facing murder charges for her three children: four year old Triana, three year old Thomas the third and one-year-old Trinaya…appeared for the third time in court today. Chen has been in a Belmopan facility and not in prison since the murder of her children because of her mental state. [...]

Chaw Hiix devastated and Institute of Archaeology strapped for cash
On Tuesday, News Five reported that thousands of rotted bags full of Mayan artifacts which were left in a cement structure behind the site of Chau Hiix in the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary. We discovered that those artifacts, excavated between 1989 and 2007, were left there after the anthropologist on site, Dr. Anne Pyburn, completed [...]

…And department stretched paper-thin
Attention is focused squarely on the Institute of Archaeology for the destruction of numerous Mayan sites. First it was Noh Mul in Orange Walk, which was pillaged to provide material for road-fill. And two weeks later, it was Chau Hiix, as land within the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary and in the middle of that Mayan [...]

Chau Hiix in Crooked Tree caught up in Noh Mul situation
Even as the Institute of Archaeology tries to juggle priorities to deal with the issues facing them at the Mayan Archaeological site of ChauHiix in Crooked Tree, it is caught up in the Noh Mul situation. Noh Mul, one of the larger sites in northern Belize, was almost completely destroyed by a private contractor who [...]

Grave concerns between David Coye and City Hall
In January, the Belize City Council made the very unpopular decision to take over the provision of all cemetery services, including the construction of graves, vaults and tombstones. That’s traditionally a job done by private undertakers, but the Council argued its case by claiming that they were forced to step in after complaints about the [...]

Mayor cements relationship with Caribbean Shores residents
Mayor Darrell Bradley is going to run against incumbent U.D.P. Area Representative, Santiago ‘Santino’ Castillo, in Caribbean Shores. As far as political news goes, it’s no secret that that is his intention, but as he told us today his move in that area has gone a lot further than just intent. In fact, today Bradley [...]

Orange Walk resident busted twice with stolen passports and immigrants
In 2008, a passport, as well as other personal items belonging to OCEANA V.P., Audrey Matura-Shepherd, was reported stolen when someone broke into her parked vehicle on Regent Street.  The disappearance of the travel document would go unsolved for several years until it was recovered from the home of Orange Walk resident Matthew Williams.  Matura-Shepherd [...]

Fisherman loses case of undersized lobster and conch
A Roaring Creek Fisherman was slapped with a fine of almost ten thousand dollars for being in possession of undersized conchs and lobster found onboard his fishing vessel, Giana. The fisherman was busted by a team of Fisheries officials on May fourteenth in the Belize City harbor.  This morning Jose Cruz was arraigned before Magistrate [...]

Well known chef and family busted with weed
A family of eight, including a well-known Belize City chef, appeared before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart this morning, where they were arraigned for possession of a controlled drug.  Fifty-two year old Leila Marie Williams, her son, twenty-eight year old Mickalee Williams and her daughter, thirty-three year old Karen Adolphus, along with several others, were charged [...]

Doctor speaks about infection at K.H.M.H.
As parents grieve the painful deaths of their loved ones, the public is outraged that the growing number of deaths could have gone unnoticed at the national referral hospital. This afternoon, COLA issued a very strong statement on the neonatal deaths, while the office of the Special Envoy, Kim Simplis Barrow said that it will [...]

Police receive two Mahindras to battle northern crime
The police department has received two additional vehicles to increase their patrol capability. Deputy Commissioner of Police Elodio Aragon junior handed them over to the Officer Commanding the Northern Zone Joseph Myvette and Officer Commanding Orange Walk, Dennis Arnold. The handing over video of the Mahindra vehicles was provided courtesy of the Press Office.   [...]


Trade Union Congress In Belize Speaks of Scandalous Malpractices on the Country's Natural Resources
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize has issued a statement for what they call “scandalous” and tremendously and utterly outrageous malpractices in relation to the management of natural resources in Belize. Today Love News spoke with the President of the NTUCB,...

National Security Minister Hands Over Vehicles to Police Department
Minister of National Security John Saldivar handed over two new Mahindra pickup trucks. Deputy Commissioner Elodio Aragon received the vehicles on behalf f the department. ELODIO ARAGON "These vehicles are presently slated for the Northern districts: Orange Walk and ...

Ministry of Health Advises On Bushfires and Exposure To Smoke
The Ministry of Health is advising the public on the exposure to smoke from bushfires. The Ministry says that recent bushfires around the country, particularly around the Cayo District pose a risk to vulnerable individuals of overexposure to smoke. The smoke associated with...

Special Envoy for Women and Children Determines To Construct Suitable Pediatric and Neonatal Wing In Belize City
The office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children has issued a press release concerning the infectious outbreak at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. In it the Special Envoy for women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow expresses condolences to the families of the dead babies ...

Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Explains The Deaths of A Dozen Babies
Today the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital’s administration came public and answered some of the questions that have arisen out of the deaths of a dozen premature babies this month. While the investigations are ongoing, and the hospital looks to see if there was communication...

Mother Continues To Receive Mental Care Following Deaths of Her Children
22-year-old Felicia Chen, charged with three counts of murder back in late April was back in court today. Her doctor informed the court the young mother needs more time at the psychiatric facility. Felicia Chen was further remanded until June 21. On Tuesday, April 30 Chen was charged w...

Conch Season Closes in Belize
The conch season will officially come to a close tomorrow. The Fisheries Department says although the fishing, harvesting, and capturing of the queen conch will officially be closed tomorrow there is a grace period of eight days for restaurant and the general public. Any person found w...

Development In Belize's Municipalities Continues
The work continues for the Belize municipal development project which is being funded by the World Bank through the Social Investment Fund. The SIF in collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture through the Lands and Surveys Department is conducting the physica...

Twelve Babies Dead Under The Care of Belize Referral Hospital; Health Officials Seek Answers
The board of directors of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital is meeting today to discuss the circumstances surrounding the news of the death of at least twelve newborn babies at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the Hospital in the month of May. The Neonatal Intensiv...


7 of 12 Newborns That Died At The KHMH Was As A Result of Enterobacter Cloacae Infection
It is a topic that has drawn the public’s attention country wide; the death of twelve premature babies at the hands of the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital, specifically in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in less than three weeks. Many NGO’s and other interested parties, have weighed in on this sensational issue and today Citizens Organized For Liberty Through Action, (COLA), issued a strong worded release in which it condemns the Minister of Health Pablo Marin and the hospital for the unfortunate incident. COLA is categorizing this incident as imminent failure on behalf of the Minister, the doctors, and staff of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The release states and we quote “We remind Minister of Health Pablo Marin that on his watch there was alleged corruption at the Hospital which was never satisfactorily resolved. We remind Director of Health Services Dr. Michael Pitts, of Cenaida Raymundo and Andy Jones of Toledo, of the babies of Orange Walk, that also did not get a chance to live. We remind CEO Dr. Peter Allen and CEO Dr. Gary Longsworth of their first oaths to their profession: to do no harm”.

Matthew Williams Is Back In Court
Today the trail against well known Orange Walk businessman Mathew Williams, who was charged for two counts of unlawful possession of passports back in June of 2012, was set to commence at the Orange Walk Magistrates Court. The case; however, was adjourned to July 30th since Williams’ attorney was unable to make it to court today. While Williams was in court this morning, so was well-known attorney Audrey Matura Shepherd. But she was not there as an attorney, she was a witness for the Crown. Back in June of 2012 when the Gang Suppression Unit searched Williams’ house located on #236 Smithsonian Street, four Belizean Passports, 1 Panamanian and 1 Spanish passport were found in his bedroom. One of the Belizean passports had been tampered with and that passport belonged to Audrey Matura Shepherd. We understand that while other details remained the same, Shepherd’s picture had been removed and replaced with that of another woman. Reports are that Matura-Shepherd had her passport stolen when someone broke into her vehicle some 5 years ago and on June 11th 2012 it turned up at the home of Williams.

Orange Walk Progresso Road Project Nowhere In Sight
In the month of July 2011, a multi-million dollars contract was signed by two well-known contractor companies and the Ministry of Works for the rehabilitation of the Orange Walk Progresso Road Project. The funds were said to have been allocated under the European Union’s AMS 2008 Sugar Belt Road Rehabilitation Project-Phase 2, which would have seen the pavement of 16 miles of road from the Orange Walk San Estevan Bridge to the village of Progresso in the Corozal District. The road is considered a key role in the development and growth of the Tourism Industry but most important for cane farmers who use this stretch of the road especially during the crop season. Furthermore, the benefit would have also been extended to all those who form part of the agriculture sector and lastly, residents of both San Estevan and Progresso. But tonight those who were to benefit from the project are wondering if they were sold a pipe dream. That’s because, despite the signing of the contracts and the allocation of the funds, the project, which should have been completed by now, is yet to commence. A sign put up on the foot of the San Estevan Bridge indicates that works on the road were to commence on 21st of November 2011 and completed on May 21st 2013 which was yesterday.

Nimrod Tillett Escapes From Police Custody
The story that a convict escaped from Orange Walk Police custody yesterday morning never made the news last night because it was kept from the media. It was not until late yesterday that we were able to confirm that Nimrod Tillett escaped from police custody around nine yesterday morning while waiting to receive treatment at the Northern Regional Hospital. If the name rings a bell, that’s because back in February of 2009, Tillett was arrested and charged for the murder of 44 year old Enrique Castillo. But after three years on remand, Tillett became a free man in October of 2012 after he was acquitted of the charge. Tillett’s confession statement was found not to be admissible in Court after he took the stand and testified that he was forced to confess to the killing of Castillo by police officers who brutalized him. Justice Herbert Lord concluded that prosecutor Christophe Rodriguez could not prove that the statement was given voluntarily and as such he ordered the jurors to return a not guilty verdict.

Felicia Chen Remanded To Mental Facility For Further Treatment
Felicia Chen, the mother who murdered three of her four children by what doctors described to be “immersion syndrome”, was once again brought before the courts. However, she was further remanded by senior magistrate Sharon Fraser, until the 21st of June 2013 at the same mental facility in Belmopan for further treatment. The day did not end before the Director of Public Prosecution, Cheryl Lynn Vidal, was questioned about the “preferential treatment” that is being offered to Chen. More so, it was compared to the case of Jared Ranguy, who if you will recall, murdered his mother, step-father, and sister at their home in Ladyville back in November 2012. The DPP explained that the case of Chen is totally different than that of Ranguy, given the fact that at the time when Ranguy committed this heinous act, the facility where Chen is currently housed was not operable.

Arson Ruled Out In The Burning Of The McAfee Estate
Two of the main structures and one palapa forming part of the estate of John McAfee located near the Tower Hill Bridge in Orange Walk Town were gutted by fire on May 16th. On the day of the incident the manager of the estate Noel Codd was informed that an open lot adjacent to McAfee’s property was on fire. By the time personnel from the fire department arrived at the scene there was little they could do since the fire had all already spread to McAfee’s property swallowing both wooden structures and the paplapa valued at more than half a million dollars. Four days after the incident McAfee came out swing at the Government of Belize as he blamed them for his latest misfortune. McAfee told the Mail Online, that a private investigator he hired could prove that Orlando Landy Burns was behind the burning of his estate. But Burns refuted the accusation yesterday. Upon speaking to Channel Seven news via phone, he stated that the accusation is totally ludicrous and that he would take the matter to the highest court. For context here is a portion of the interview.

Visiting The Dentist Free Of Cost
Did you know that a child’s first visit to the dentist should happen before his or her fist birthday? The general rule is six months after the eruption of the first tooth. Taking your child to the dentist at a young age is the best way to prevent problems such as tooth decay. After all, decay can occur as soon as teeth appear. In order for Belizeans to learn more about the importance of visiting the dentist a group of 4 dentist and 9 volunteers including dental hygienist are offering their services free of cost to children living in the village of San Jose in the Orange Walk District and surrounding areas. Victor Castillo – Reporting A group of Dynamic Dentist including dental hygienist from different parts of the US landed in Belize on Saturday May 18th under the project of the International Health Outreach, scheduled to end on March 24th 2013. International Health Outreach is dedicated to help and provide children from Central and South America in having access to the latest in preventative dentistry. The IHO is working along with Doctor J Tim Rainey and the Texas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies. Today the group offered their services free of cost to children living in the villages of San Jose/San Pablo, San Luis and even a few from Orange Walk Town.

O/W And Corozal Police Assigned New Vehicles
Last week, the Northern Zone and the Orange Walk Police formation received the “Minister’s Award” for the month of April. The Orange Walk Police formation received an additional BZ $1,000 dollars as recognition for their efforts in reducing major crimes in Orange Walk Town which forms part of the northern zone. Tonight, we have more good news to report as this morning the Minister in the Ministry of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar, handed over two (2) new Mahindra Pickup Trucks to the Belize Police Department. Receiving the vehicles on behalf of the department was Deputy Commissioner, Elodio Aragon. While one vehicle was assigned to the Orange Walk Police Formation the second will be utilized by the officers of the Corozal Police Department. On hand to receive the vehicles was Officer Commanding the Northern Region, Senior Superintendent Joseph Myvette and Officer Commanding the Corozal Police Formation Andrew Ramirez. Of note is that Senior Superintendent Joseph Myvette was accompanied by the newly appointed Officer Commanding the Orange Walk Formation, Dennis Arnold.

Another Great Accomplishment For BMHS
Last night we told you about the forth Form student from Bishop Martin High School in Orange Walk Town who was named winner of the Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities logo competition. Today we caught up with Keron Tzul who told us how proud he is of his latest accomplishment and where the idea for the design came from. Keron Tzul – Student “I feel much honored to win because it was seven high schools that participated and I was the winner of the logo competition. I use simplicity because every government should be simple on what they show on their logos because if you show a lot of designs and other things people wouldn’t understand what it is about so I made the logo very simple in other words somewhat plain but also formal.” Victor Castillo– Reporter “The colors that I see on the logo that probably everyone can see where did you get it from, how did the idea come from?” Keron Tzul – Student “So I got the colors from the Belizean flag and then I blend it into a circle which I made a circle design around it meaning that it is like a cycle because the government works in a cycle with the public utilities, electricity, technology and science so I made it with a circle with the arrows so that it mean like a cycle that goes around together as one.”

Channel 7

KHMH Isolates Bacteria Bug That Caused Baby's Deaths
The KHMH Board of governors met in an emergency session this morning at the hospitals to get some answers on the death of a dozen babies at the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in just three weeks. The bulk of the information they got was form a rapid response team sent to investigate what went wrong and isolate the bacteria that killed the newborns. Tonight the news is that they know the name of the bacterial bug. That was announced at a meeting held two hours ago when the meeting finished. We’ll have that shortly, but first, it was news to us that the CEO of the Hospital found out about the deaths in his own facility, on the news!:… Dr. F. Gary Longsworth - CEO, KHMH "Over a very short period of time beginning last week we had a cluster of deaths in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and it went out to the media. One of the parents went to the media, I believe, that actually prompted the investigation because up to that point we were not aware that the situation was developing." Dr. Adrian Coye - Medical Chief Of Staff, KHMH "We have seen an outbreak of a particular organism it's called enterobacter cloacae and this organism is not only selecting our Belizean babies but it's an organism that is responsible for major outbreaks in ICU's all over the world. Now we issued a release that there were 12 deaths this month which was unusual because the month is not yet done and 12 deaths that happened where the majority were happening precipitously in the last week and so this form of outbreak does raise alarm bells, adjustments are being made clinically and within the unit, some procedural changes. In despite of that we had the high number of tragic loss. However of the twelve deaths only seven has been shown in our analysis to be positive for this organism. The other deaths happened as a result of prematurity related issues and not related to this infection. This is not a super bug - the profile of the resistance pattern within the organism that we have found is sensitive to antibiotics that we do have in the hospital and made available through the Ministry of Health so it is not a super bug.

Mother Accused Of Infanticide Remains On Remand At Mental Facility
22 year-old Felicia Chen, the mother who is accused of killing her 3 babies, was back in Magistrate’s Court today. The outcome of today’s hearing is that based on the advice of her psychologist, she will continue to be remanded at a mental health facility in Belmopan until June 21st. So, this makes her 4th trip to Magistrate’s Court, and the 3rd time that it is decided that she must continue to receive mental help. And while 7News been closely monitoring the case, we can’t help but notice that members of the police department have been doing an exceptional job at shielding her from our cameras, and by extension, the public. There are 2 unusual features of the case. The first is that, neither the media nor the public is allowed inside the courtroom whenever Chen must be given a hearing before a sitting magistrate. That sort of treatment is mostly reserved for cases which involve minors and victims of sexual abuse when they testify. It is also odd that Chen is being cradled in the bosom of the female officer every time she makes a trip to and from the court.

Baptist Family Fears Loved One Was Murdered
The Belize City family of San Pedro Resident Jerome Baptist is fearing for the worst tonight – they believe he was killed on the island on Sunday night. Since Monday, San Pedro police have been looking for his body on northern Ambergris Caye but they haven’t come up with anything. Gunshots were heard on Sunday night in the San Juan area of the island and there are reports that some men were seen dragging a body into a boat. Baptist has not been seen since then – but police and his family are following up on various leads. A number of persons have been detained, questioned and released.

Forestry's Final Figures From The Rosewood Roundup
The Rosewood Amnesty finished two months ago and today the Forest Department released the final figures listing how much rosewood was collected during the 19 day period and from which purchasers. The Chief Forest Officer discussed it today:… Wilbur Sabido - Chief Forestry Officer "We're talking about a total of 400,000 port feet that has been declared to the forest department. Actually in total royalty we are talking close to $200,000 paid in royalty. In terms of tonnage we're talking close to about 580 tons to that 400,000 port feet that I mentioned before. All of the Rosewood that has been declared has actually been measured in the Toledo District. Currently we are in the process of supervising the loading of the Rosewood to the containers by various exporters. As it is right now especially in the South we have presently containers being loaded - what is done is basically, our officers keep a tally what is being loaded versus what is declared. So in essence when the time for exportation comes we need to have clear evidence in terms of the receipts being presented to us and is paid the royalty on the Rosewood that has been declared." Jules Vasquez "Have you all encountered any Rosewood that had been cut post amnesty - that had been cut between April 8th - 25th, 2013? You all said you would know because because it is distinctive and you can tell from the physical quality."

Belize Bandwidth Still Slowest, Most Expensive In Region
BTL may have doubled internet speeds and cut rates in NOVEMBER of 2012 – but according to a 2013 survey of Caribbean Internet Service Providers, internet in Belize is still the most expensive and among the slowest in the entire Caribbean region. The study was done to update the May 2012 survey, which made so much news in Belize. The researchers found that Belize is the only place in the Caribbean where you can still find 128k sold as a minimum speed. In most countries, the minimum speed offered is one meg and it is at 256k in a few countries. As for the maximum, Belize falls behind there as well. The maximum speed you can buy in Belize is 8 megs – and that is for $346 US dollars per month which is the most you’ll pay for any amount of bandwidth in any country in the region. But in Jamaica, you can buy 100 megs for 129 US dollars per month; in Trinidad, 100 megs costs 124 US dollar per month. In countries like Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Cayman and Dominica, the maximum speed availableis also 8 megs, but it sells for between 130 and 150 US dollars per month. Belize is also the most expensive place to find a 2 meg connection, at 118 US dollars, compared to 27 US dollars in Jamaica. But it’s not all bad for Belize, the report notes that quote, “over the last 2 years Belize has been improving the speeds and pricing of their Internet broadband service offerings. Since 2012, the incumbent provider, Belize Telemedia Limited, reduced monthly prices by over 50%.” And this table shows that only Barbados brought down prices more than Belize. The survey is based on BTL’s prices, and they told us they will comment later this week…..NED.S.. BTL may have doubled internet speeds and cut rates in NOVEMBER of 2012 – but according to a 2013 survey of Caribbean Internet Service Providers, internet in Belize is still the most expensive and among the slowest in the entire Caribbean region.

Belize Technocrats Get Refresher On Multilateral Environment Agreements
Do you know what RAMSAR, CITES, CBD and SPAW are? They sound kind of like that bacterial bug at the KHMH but actually, these are environmental agreements that the Government of Belize and other Caribbean countries have signed unto. But due to a lack of funding and political will these agreements are never really brought into force in domestic law, or what the policy wonks, call mainstreaming. That’s the subject of a three-day training workshop on what are called Multilateral Environmental Agreements. We found out more from the Chief Environmental Officer. Martin Allegria - Cheif Environmental Officer "The objective here today is to build capacity in these institutions to become more conscious and aware of these Multi-lateral agreements or conventions and how to incorporate these into the developmental plans of Belize." Dr. Therese Yarde - CARICOM Secretariat "And the value of mainstreaming especially to this small country is that Belize and many other countries in the Caribbean Community has signed on to a lot of agreements and the more you sign on to it the harder it is for you to implement. So what mainstreaming does is tighten it up together." Martin Allegria

A Hulking Wreck Stuck On Lighthouse Reef
Today, we also got a chance to ask the Chief Environmental Officer about an environmental eyesore. It’s the M/V Transfer Cargo Ship which has been stuck on the on the barrier reef shoals off Lighthouse Reef for almost a decade. The ship ran aground in 2005, and on a trip south this weekend, we saw it was still there. We asked Allegria about it. Jules Vasquez "And the Hulking wreck is still there stuck on the reef. What is the status of that? What are the environmental consequences of this and would it ever be moved or will it just stay there to rot?" Martin Allegria - Cheif Environmental Officer "Well MV transfer was the critical point in our journey in Environmental Management in Belize especially the Marine Environment. Yes when that incident occurred we didn't have the legislation for example that we have now. We didn't have the capacity for damage assessment etc. so unfortunately that vessel has been there as you rightly said for years now notwithstanding. Recently there has been interest because of the scrap metal market so that's a possibility that we have to look into. However, it has to be done in an environmentally and safe manner so that at the end of the day the damage that it has already done that it is doing with hurricanes and with swaying - damaging the corals. If we can look at that and try to avoid it in the near future by completely removing it environmentally conscious wise and making some funds out of it rather than it just being there. Not only as an environmental hazard but also an eye sore for tourism and other stuff."

NTUCB Cites GOB Abuses, Says "Be Ready To Act!"
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize also has natural resource issues on its mind. It sent out an angry statement today noting what it calls “malpractices of varying sorts, as it relates to the use and management of our natural resources.” The release says it is quote, “scandalous but also tremendously and utterly outrageous that we have witnessed; first the continued raping of the Rosewood stock down south, then the bulldozing of the very obvious Mayan archaeological mound, Noh Mul and most vexatious of all GOB’s inaction regarding the court ruling - reference, on-shore drilling,” end quote. The statement concludes that all this, quote, “’NAHW GOH WURK!!!’” The release concludes that there is a perception that, quote, “certain sectors of the society are above the law or even that the law is silenced to allow abuse of our patrimony…The National Trade Union Congress of Belize…calls on all parties…to cautiously gauge this developing situation…(and) requests of all to be prepared to come to the defense of this land and its resources. We attentively listen, keep watch and stay on the ready to act!” End quote.

Family of Alleged Shooter Claims Abuse and False Imprisonment
On Monday, 7News told you about 33 year-old Peter Castillo, the man who survived being shot in the calf, shoulder and jaw on Saturday. Well, police have been investigating the report, and they believe that they have the man who was the shooter. The problem is that his family is saying that they have it all wrong because Kareem the accused, Gillett was at home with his girlfriend at the time of that shooting. Moreover, they say, police abused him when they detained him for a separate incident on Monday: Yvette Tillett - Claim Brutality/Wrongful Imprisonment Against Her Son "Well Monday when I was at my house I saw my son across the street talking to two BDF and when I saw how they were behaving I said 'hey' and I ran across the street and they told me that my son was being upstart to them. I called the police to deal with him they had already taken him and put him in the vehicle and asked him if it was a ride he wanted then they told him 'let's go'. When I went to Raccoon Station they sent me to Euphrates because I was going there to find out what happened with my son when I saw my daughter in law was going through the door and then I saw my son and he was wet. I asked him what is it that they did to him and he told me that they beat him up and 'chance' him. They released him on Monday night. They held him like an hour and ten minutes then we went home. This morning they came and they told me that they came for Kareem and they told me that they are going to charge my son for attempted murder. I told them my son didn't do anything he was with his girlfriend."

The Long, Strange Journey Of Audrey's Passport
Audrey Matura-Shepherd is the well-known, outspoken Vice President of Oceana in Belize, but that didn’t stop a perpetrator from forging her stolen passport, and trying to pass it off as belonging to someone else. That forged passport showed up 5 years later in a case in Orange Walk after police conducted a sting operation on the home of Matthew Williams in June 2011. You may remember him as the man who owned the vehicle police impounded because it was transporting 15 persons who were suspected to be cargo as part of a human trafficking move. Williams was charged for the Matura passport and several others believed to be forged documents, and since then he’s been making regular appearances in the Magistrate’s Court for his adjournments. His matter was called up today where it was set down for the final date, and Matura was supposed to be crown witness against him. That hearing couldn’t take place because Williams’ attorney did not show up for court. The matter is adjourned until July 30. It is expected that on that date, Williams will get his day in court, and Matura-Shepherd will testify against him.

Dr. Parks Schools Her Minister & CEO In Scathing Sendoff Speech
Dr. Marjorie Parks, the Deputy Director of Health Services and Chief Nursing Officer retired today, and she did so in style, after sending off a “boom-shot” to her Ministry’s top brass just before she left. Dr. Parks gave one of the main addresses at the National Nursing Conference held in Corozal last week Friday. In the presence of her Minister and CEO, she spoke out against political interference in the nursing profession. We’ve gotten a text copy of her speech and it says, quote, “The position of Principal Nursing Officer, the highest in the Nursing hierarchy in the Government Service has traditionally, been prestigious…The PNO provides policy direction and guidance to the nursing profession. This situation was changed in 2008 when almost all decisions for nursing and nurses were taken over by the political directorate at the Ministry of Health.” It continues, quote, “Even the Nurses and Midwives Council of Belize, a statutory body, which since 1923, has been effectively regulating the practice of nurses was not immune to political intervention. Under a system of micromanagement and unwarranted victimization many nurses have been deprived of their benefits for any real or imagined infraction against the powers that be.” She adds that, quote, “For example, the nurse who is has been acting as the Registrar of the Nursing Council for over seven years has not been appointed to the post, neither has the RN who is carrying out the responsibility for Infection control at the Corozal Hospital been promoted to the post. In both instances the posts are vacant, the nurses qualified and recommendation has been made by their supervisors but these have not been forwarded to the Ministry of the Public Service for processing. Even the current succession plan for filling of the Deputy Director of Health Services and Chief Nursing Officer post, which is in line with the Revised Criteria for Appointment and Advancement in the Nursing Profession is being thwarted.”

New Police Rides For The North
This morning the Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, handed over two new Mahindra Pickup Trucks to the Police Department. Receiving the vehicles on behalf of the Police Department was Deputy Commissioner Elodio Aragon, who then handed them over to the Officer Commanding the Northern Region, Senior Superintendent Joseph Myvette. ARAGON discussed how the trucks will be used: Elodio Aragon Jr. - Deputy Commissioner of Police "These vehicles are slated for the Northern Districts - Orange Walk and Corozal. These vehicles are really needed in the north because of the wide amount of ground they have to cover. As we begin to improve on our services and we reach out to our communities - these vehicles will come in handy for officers to be able to get out there and to look into reports that arises in these rural areas so these vehicles will play a key role to assist upon the efficiency of the Police Department." The took place this morning at the Ministry of National Security Headquarters in Belmopan.

Rowan's Next Great Adventure
You’ve heard about Rowan Garel – the courageous blind 14 year old who’s climbed the Victoria Peak and walked from Cayo to Belize City in 5 days. And now on July 14th, he will be trying something new – and this time out at sea. The first former will dive the Blue Hole and will be the first blind Belizean to ever do so. Rowan’s efforts are a part of a campaign to raise awareness and funds for the Belize Center for the Visually Impaired summer camp that caters for children who are blind from all corners of the country. We caught up with the teen today who told us what preparations are taking place for his latest big adventure. Rowan Garel - Will Dive Blue Hole "So I'm going to be scuba diving - I’m going to dive the blue hole not down to the bottom but just to the surface before it slopes down. We try to figure out stuff that are going to 1. raise awareness and 2. be challenging in a way. We were just speaking - the family, my dad and I thought about this idea why don't I scuba dive. It is something he's always wanted me to do and I would want to do it as well. I have to do a course online and it just consists of several chapters of a book that you have to read and they have some knowledge reviews and quizzes and a final exam that will be from all the chapters from the begin to the end. Once I'm finished that I'll do a series of open water dives - just dives - to let me practice my skills that I've learnt and that is what I have to do. It will be a challenge but in a different way. The others were challenging physically, it was very grueling, very strenuous but this is a challenge to try to figure out what I will do such as how will we communicate, how will I meet the standards for instance I have to monitor my ear gage and that's how it's going to be a challenge. Our goal is to raise awareness as well as funds and that's really what this is about."


Investigation into death of 12 babies continues
This afternoon the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Authority called a press conference to provide latest updates into its investigation into the deaths of 12 premature newborn infants in its special intensive care unit in the month of May. Medical Chief of Staff Dr. Adrian Coye confirmed that five of...

Chief nursing officer chides Ministry of health for unwarranted victimization
While the country’s health care system is under serious scrutiny, today, PlusNews got hold of the copy of a speech, delivered by the Deputy Director of Health Services and Chief Nursing Officer, Majorie E. Parks. Parks has served in a number of capacities within the health sector of Belize...

COLA says “Heads must roll” over baby deaths
This evening, Citizens Organized for Liberty Through Action (COLA), is in the strongest term, slamming the casualty of the dozen newborns, declaring that “Heads Must Roll.” COLA is pointing finger at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; the Board of Directors of the Hospital Authority and the Ministry of Health....

Kim Simplis Barrow sends condolences to the families of 12 dead babies
The Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, also issued a press release expressing condolences to the families of the twelve dead babies. It said that infections are a constant threat in the NICU, which is small and often overcrowded and the unit is clearly in...

Felicia Chen remanded to psychiatric mental facility
This morning 22 year old Felicia Chen returned to court where after further reports on her mental status, the court ordered remand to the same psychiatric mental facility she was housed at in Belmopan until June 21. As with prior proceedings, the matter...

Chief Forest Officer gives statistics on Rosewood logging
During the April 8 – 25 amnesty on rosewood introduced to the chagrin of many Belizeans by the Forest Department to bring order to the rampant chaos of the trade, some 400,000 board feet of rosewood was collected, all from the Toledo District. The total profit is expected to...

Health Officials warn about overexposure to smoke
Recent bush fires around the country, predominantly in the Cayo District, have prompted health officials to warn people of the risks for vulnerable individuals of overexposure to smoke. A release issued by the Ministry of Health today stresses that bushfires have the potential to irritate the eyes, trigger prolonged...

Audubon Society monitors Blue Hole Marine Protected Area
400 feet deep and dived by the likes of Jean-Jacques Cousteau, home to dead bodies (one, to our knowledge) and dead civilizations, the Blue Hole is first and foremost a symbol of Belize. Its waters are dived nearly every day by visitors to our shores and they rave about...

Chief Environmental Officer considers wreck removals
In 2005, the 225-foot commercial cargo vessel M/V Transfer slammed into Lighthouse Reef after its autopilot stopped working as it exited Belize for Alabama, U.S.A. south of Sand Bore island. 7 years later, its hulk sits atop the reef.. Reports to PLUS News are that operators are scrapping the...

Help International assists Saint Andrews Anglican School
Help International is in Belize conducting outreach work. The visiting team consists of a group of students from Toronto District High School, who raised funds in their city for the beautification of selected areas in the country. One of those areas is the St. Andrews Anglican School in Cayo....

New police vehicles for Northern Region
Today, the Northern Region of the Police Department was the recipient of two new vehicles. The Mahindra Pickup Trucks will be shared between Orange Walk and Corozal. Deputy Commissioner Elodio Aragon handed over the vehicles to the officers commanding the northern region. Elodio Aragon – Deputy Commissioner: These vehicles...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Roots In The Sea chosen to be a part of this year’s Belize International Film Festival
The short documentary on Lionel ‘Chocolate’ Heredia has been chosen to be a part of this year’s Belize International Film Festival in the Short Documentary Category which is listed on the Film Festival’s website. The festival will be held on Thursday, July 11th to Monday, July 15th 2013. The documentary crew of Roots In The Sea are Monika Raniti, Tina Auxillou, Carmen Myrtis Garcia, Michael Desabrais, Brieann Peixoto, Joni Miller Valencia. Congratulations to you all!!!!

The May 19th, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • No Arrest In Security Guard’s Murder:
    An arrest is yet to be made in the most recent murder of an on-duty security guard even after the recovery of the guard’s stolen license firearm and the detention of two suspects. San Ignacio police reports that at about 7:45 pm on Friday, May 10, 2013, information was received via the emergency 911 line of a shooting incident at Kenny’s Store located on Flamingo Avenue in San Ignacio Town. A team of officers were quickly dispatched to the scene where they were told that the injured guard was rushed to the San Ignacio On arrival at the hospital, the guard identified as Randy Casey, 23, of Camalote Village, Cayo District was pronounced dead with two gunshot wounds to the left side of the chest and a third on the lower left side of the abdomen.
  • Something Does Not Seem Right In The Pinelo Arrest:
    Primary school teacher Eddie Pinelo has been in jail for a week on allegations that he sodomized a 14 year old student. Pinelo has since been remanded to prison while his family has enlisted the services of an attorney to secure his release by way of a Supreme Court bail. In a statement to the police the boy alleges that sometime in April of this year, the teacher invited him to his house in Bullet Tree village where it is alleged that he was offered and consumed alcoholic beverages to the extent of getting drunk. The boy said that all he recalled was being lifted by the accused and taken off to a bedroom where he was allegedly sodomized by the teacher. They boy accompanied by the legally required medical examination. The medical doctor who performed the examination reportedly came to the conclusion that there was no evidence that the child was carnally known. And that should have been the end of the story.
  • New Developments In Overnight And Cruise Sectors:
    There is fantastic news to report in the Tourism travel industry. 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. In addition, American Airlines will be increasing its Dallas to Belize flights from three weekly flights to seven flights per week (one flight daily), providing a total of six hundred additional seats in the month of October. BTB’s Director of Marketing and Industry Relations, Alyssa Carnegie, commented, “This is fantastic news. 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.”
  • Guatemalan Sent To Jail For Five Years:
    A Guatemalan, apprehended in the Chiquibul National Park, has been sentenced to spend the next five years behind bars after pleading guilty to keeping firearm and ammunition without a gun license. It was shortly after 6:00 pm on Tuesday, May 14, 2013, when a joint forces team of law enforcement personnel on patrol in the Chiquibul National Park came upon two Hispanic male persons walking suspiciously in the area. The police ordered them to halt but they instead ran off. The police caught up with one of them who had a gun slung over the left shoulder. On inspection the gun was found to be a point 22 rifle without serial number and brand. Police also found seven live point 22 bullets in the front left pocket of the pants the Guatemalan was wearing.
  • The Belize Cancer Society – San Ignacio Branch:
    takes this opportunity to extend a sincere THANK YOU to all the donors who assisted in making its educational Open Day on Saturday, May 11, 2013 a success. These include: · Belize Electric Co. Ltd. (BECOL) · Bowen & Bowen · Central Cable Vision · Flame’s Auto Shop · Oye FM · STAR Newspaper A very special thanks also goes out to our healthcare professionals – Dr. Ramon Figueroa, Nurse Rosita Figueroa of the San Ignacio Community Hospital and Nurse Dolly Witz of the Belize Family Life Association who gave of their time and services throughout the Open Day. To the families within our community who donated cupcakes and juices for our booth visitors we also extend a sincere thank you.
  • The City Prepares For 2013 Hurricane Season While Cayo Slumbers:
    The 2013 Hurricane Season is almost upon us. The Belize City Council is busy preparing the city’s emergency evacuation route; there will be 70 evacuation route signs installed along the emergency route as well as hosting Disaster Preparedness Training for the City's Operation Management and Shelter Management Team. We commend the City for these actions and it points out the obvious lack of concern for those of us living downstream of BECOL’s dams. Does BECOL and the other relevant bodies responsible for the safety of people downstream of the dams have any plans in place? Has there been any meetings, simulations, communications with the villagers, townspeople and all those along the Macal, Mopan and Belize Rivers? We recently spoke to villagers in the area and they said the last time there had been any information about disaster preparedness was two or more years ago – about the last time BELPO took the Department of Environment, NEMO and BECOL to court. Maybe they are waiting for a disaster to happen before action is taken. If so, it may be too late for too many.
  • Call to Artists for the ‘National Song Competition 2013’:
    National Celebrations Commission in association with Atlantic International Bank invites musicians, performing artists and songwriters from every level to submit songs in each of the two categories, which include the BELIZE SONG COMPETITION and the Carnival Song Competition (juniors and seniors). The BELIZE SONG must be a dedication to Belize as a country, our way of life, our culture. The Belize Song should evoke a call to build community spirit and national pride, be one that inspires national unity and must be memorable with popular and emotional appeal. The Belize Song must seek to replicate a Belizean flavor in any musical genre that is Rhythm and Blues (R&B), Jazz, Alternative, Soca, Reggae, Dancehall or any other genre selected by the artist. The Carnival Song must be of Belizean flavor and evoke our unbridled celebratory spirit at our time of National Celebrations, promote a free revelry, filled with the essence of Belizean culture and overall merriment of Carnival and our celebrations. Entries will be judged on: Audience Appeal; Musical Arrangement; Vocal Quality; Lyrical Content and Stage Presence.
  • Benque Viejo Community Policing Unit:
    The RC school in Succotz Village, has seen its share of criminal activity this week, (1) a victim of a burglary & theft, (2) finding drugs on campus. Because of these recent events the principle Mr. Viviany Teul, and teachers decided to invite the community policing unit of the Benque Viejo Sub-Formation to school for a basic education on community policing, neighborhood watch, youth cadets, Special Constables, Great program, and other relevant topics of the day. The community policing officer PC Mckoy, had planned to give the presentation, however a previous commitment for special training by the US Embassy prevented him, so Special Constable Mr. Samuel Bruce was called in to assist on Thursday 9-5-13. The students met in the classroom of one the schools most experienced teachers, and a vital member of the Zone 4 Neighborhood Watch Program in Benque Viejo, class teacher Mrs. Isela Tesucum.
  • Pope Francis hits out at global 'cult of money':
    Pope Francis has called on world leaders to end the "cult of money" and to do more for the poor, in his first major speech on the financial crisis. Free market economics had created a tyranny, in which people were valued only by their ability to consume, the pontiff told diplomats in the Vatican. "Money has to serve, not to rule," he said, urging ethical financial reforms. Meanwhile, the Vatican's own bank announced it would publish its annual report for the first time. The Institute for Works of Religion, which has been at the centre of various financial scandals in recent years, is to hire an external accountancy firm to ensure it meets international standards against money laundering.
  • Ten Reasons Why Buggery Should Not Be Decriminalised:
    The Caribbean Centre for Family and Human Rights (CARIFAM) recognizes the fundamental and intrinsic dignity of all people whatever their orientation. We recognize that for reasons not yet fully explained by science, persons may experience attraction to members of their own sex. Overcoming these attractions can be a very painful challenge requiring the support, understanding and compassion of others. For this reason we distinguish between those who have a homosexual tendency and those who promote homosexuality. Our opposition to legalizing buggery (homosexual acts) is not an opposition to gay people but a recognition that marriage as between one man and one woman is for the common good – in the best interests of society. Our reasoning is as follows:- 1. Decriminalising buggery means legalizing homosexuality. This opens the door for the legalization of, every conceivable form of sexual perversion as a “sexual orientation” or “alternative lifestyle”.
  • Costa Rica's president in scandal over 'drugs' jet:
    Revelations that Costa Rica's president used the jet of a Colombian with alleged links to drugs trafficking have led to three high-profile resignations. The head of intelligence and security, Mauricio Boraschi, and presidential aide Irene Pacheco stepped down on Thursday. Communications Minister Francisco Chacon resigned on Wednesday. President Laura Chinchilla travelled twice on Gabriel Morales Fallon's jet. She said "a few key people" had failed in their duties to protect her. President Chinchilla is said to have used the jet in March to fly to Venezuela for the funeral of the former leader Hugo Chavez. She then used the plane again last weekend for a private trip to Peru. But it has since emerged that both the jet, and its owner Gabriel Morales Fallon, were under investigation by Costa Rican intelligence officials for possible ties to drug trafficking.
  • Official Results Of The 12 May 2013 Village Council Elections:
  • Mexico official fired for daughter's 'abuse of power':
    Nieto has fired a senior official over an incident caused by his daughter at an exclusive restaurant last month. Humberto Benitez Trevino's daughter caused outrage by using his influence to try to close down the bistro after it did not give her a table she wanted. The episode sparked a discussion about abuse of power in the country. The sacking suggests that Mexico has grown more sensitive to the issue, correspondents say. The episode became a trending topic on Twitter under the hashtag #ladyprofeco, after her father's agency. Mt Benitez, the attorney-general for consumer protection, and his daughter both apologised, but this did little to appease public anger.
  • Argentina ex-military leader Jorge Rafael Videla dies:
    Jorge Rafael Videla has died aged 87 while serving a life sentence for crimes against humanity. He is reported to have died from natural causes in prison. The general was jailed in 2010 for the deaths of 31 dissidents during the 1976-83 military dictatorship, of which he was overall leader until 1981. Up to 30,000 people were tortured and killed during this period, in a campaign known as the "Dirty War". Gen Videla had been sentenced to life in prison for torture, murder and other crimes in 1985, but was pardoned in 1990 under an amnesty given by the president at the time, Carlos Menem. In April 2010, the Supreme Court upheld a 2007 federal court move to overturn his pardon.
  • Trafficking Gang 'Smuggled Bangladeshis Into Brazil':
    Brazilian police say they have identified a gang specialising in trafficking Bangladeshi nationals into the country. About 80 workers have been lured by their own countrymen with promises of earning up to $1,500 (£985) a month. But they ended up as slave labour in order to pay their smugglers nearly $10,000, police say. South America's biggest economy has recently seen a steep rise in cases of illegal immigration. The smugglers explored routes across the borders of Peru, Bolivia and Guyana to enter Brazil, investigators said.
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Why I want to be an Eco Kid!
I have almost always wanted to grow something. It did not matter what when I was younger I would plant a lot of seeds that I found. I also would like going around and asking my mom if she could spare a carrot top or a potato’s eye or a sweet peppers seed. I would plant everything that I got and I would check them every morning, I would water the small plants but most all of my attempts failed. I still want to grow plants. Another thing is trees I mean if you look at a tree closely there are so many different ants and bugs on it and almost every single one has a home in that same tree. One other cool thing about trees is that trees can be cut in half and the tree can grow right back. Another thing I love is birds although some black birds can be annoying. Sometimes I look for them but I mainly find parrots. Another thing that I have been finding is toucans, the point is I like to watch birds. I also love dogs, cats and even sometimes bugs, I also like the earth I mean if trees can grow back limbs and stuff then why can’t the earth have a few secrets? It would only be fair if it did.

Chocolate Festival of Belize
Cacao is native to the Americas, and the Toledo District of southern Belize is recognized for its superior cacao. These cacao beans are a significant export crop and, within country, are transformed into distinctive and high quality chocolate grown by farmer members of the Toledo Cacao Growers Association.

Rest in Peace (RIP) Scarlet Macaws
I was only back two days from my Belize/Guatemala/Mexico scarlet macaw journey when I got the news that poachers have struck in Belize, despite the tremendous efforts of those working there.

Strong ties between fly fishers lead to MSU, Belize collaboration
Strong connections between fly fishers in southwest Montana and Central America have led to new research at Montana State University. The project is focused on conch that live in the Caribbean Sea.

CARILED hosts Local Government Training
The Caribbean Local Economic Development Project (CARILED) officially opened its third training workshop on Local Economic Development (LED) in the Caribbean. The one week workshop, held from May 20 – 24, 2013, will train National CARILED Coordinators, Local Economic Development Officers and selected local government officials from 7 demonstration countries that will host projects on local economic development.

“Daddy Cool” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up yesterday just before 4 am and managed to publish an edition of this blog before the Internet started playing up. Really strange. I could open and send emails but couldn’t access the web. Denied The Times online there was only one course of action I could take. Estel’s for breakfast! When I returned to the condo we are renting I ‘phoned Coral Cable (the company we get our Internet and TV services from) to be told that the problem with the Internet was island wide and that they were ‘working on it’. There was a connection but it was intermittent and getting frustrated with having a connection and then not, I retreated to the beach with my Kindle. And very relaxing it was too. Thoroughly ‘chilled out’ after around 90 minutes on the beach I returned to the condo and Rose and I had a light lunch and then set off for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and got there just after 2.30 pm. On arrival it was difficult not to notice that Portfelio was working on the entrance stairway applying the final coat of cement in preparation for when the tiles are laid.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Mini Lemon Meringue Tarts
A shertbreed crust makes easy wurk uf these purty lil tarts. Simplee roll t'dough into balls t'press into mini muffin cups — no finicky pastry t'roll and cut. Plus, t'buttery crust pairs wonderfullee with t'citrusy zin' uf t'fillin.

International Sources

Expats Boost Belize Property Value
Belize’s real estate market saw significant improvement in 2012, after slow sales in 2010 and 2011 as a continued reaction to the financial situation in the US. Despite problems selling their homes in the US, Americans found ways of purchasing property in Belize. This trend will continue through 2013, believes John Acott, Association of Real Estate Brokers of Belize (AREBB)’s director of the board and RE/MAX Property Center’s real estate agent. He expects prices to rise at least in line with inflation. Belize has one of the highest-priced real estate markets in Central America, according to the 2012 Central America House Price Snapshot prepared by, in coordination with Global Property Guide, which covers Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. But by international standards prices are low. The most expensive “typical house” – three-bedroom single family homes – are in Placencia Peninsula, priced at around US$ 575,000. A typical house in Ambergris Caye might cost US$ 295,000, while one in San Ignacio would cost US$ 255,000. It is difficult to say how much house prices have changed in Belize recently, as there are no official house price figures. They declined by as much as 25% to 30% after the global economic crisis in 2008, according to M.H. Chebat & Company’s Michel Chebat. Older resale condos comprised most of the sales in 2009 and 2010, with condos priced below BZ$ 200,000 being more popular. In 2010, buyers began to consider properties with an upper limit of BZ$ 300,000. However in 2011, realtors were able to sell a number of condos and homes in the price range from BZ$ 400,000 to BZ$ 600,000.

Grayslake Woman Chosen for Ecology Study in Belize
Katherine Hart of Grayslake will travel to Belize this summer to participate in a global graduate studies program in the Central American country of Belize. Beginning in late July, Katherine Hart, of Grayslake, will study conservation and marine ecology in the Central American country of Belize.

Belize bulldozer mentality pervades region, says author
It is only a matter of time before the next bulldozer razes another timeless heritage element in the region, according to literary and cultural heritage educator and consultant Dr Kris Rampersad, calling on the region to reexamine its overall approaches to sustainable development planning, budgeting and education and consciousness raising programmes. In her blog, Demokrissy (, Rampersad questioned, “Who in the region can say it wouldn’t happen to us?” She stated: “Bulldozing of the near 2,300 year-old-Mayan Nohmul temple in Orange Walk, Belize, is only symptomatic of the level of unchecked danger and threats to significant heritage elements of the region and the degree of short sightedness in our approach to sustainable development.” She cited sites under developmental pressure in Trinidad, Jamaica’s Blue Mountains, St Lucia’s Pitons and elsewhere in the region. “The bulldozer mentality is symptomatic of pervading misperceptions that sustainability, bio-cultural heritage conservation and development are polar opposites. This promotes confrontational approaches at the expense of exploration of very real modes by which the two can successfully and peacefully co-exist to the benefit of populations. Our budget and economic, social and environmental planning directorate and bureaucracies should take note,” Rampersad said.

May 22, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!!
Defiant – Part V:
Now that they were together, it was hard to envision how much tug and pull of emotions were spent over the years. They had their share of issues, worked long hard hours and hardly had time for each other sometimes, but they got along. At the end of a long day, they lay together in the silence of the dark night and felt that connection that had frayed, barely hung on, been stretched to the point of almost breaking. It was still there, being nurtured and growing stronger every day. They knew it would never be like new again, but they would live the rest of their lives making sure they worked on keeping it together, strengthening and working on that which had taken such hard work…

The San Pedro Sun

BWSL addresses water pressure problem in Boca Del Rio
Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL) is extending the main water line to neighborhoods in the Boca Del Rio area. Work on the streets commenced about a week ago and residents have been experiencing inconsistent water availability. According to Aaron Locke, BWSL district manager, the new pipe lines that are being installed are necessary to improve water service in the area. Residents of the Boca Del Rio area have often complained of low water pressure. The replacement of the pipe line will aid this problem and provide much needed water pressure to residential homes.

Miss SPHS “Night of Stars” Gala
The Miss San Pedro High School (SPHS) pageant committee held the first ever “Night of Stars” Gala on Friday, May 17th at Caprice Bar and Grill. The evening was designed to officially present the seven contestants for the 2013 Miss SPHS Pageant that will take place on Saturday, June 1st. Present at the event was current Miss SPHS Arlethe Lima, Miss San Pedro Naiely Puc and Miss Chiquitita Zillah Flota. Vying for the honor to represent SPHS were contestants Veronica Choc, Isolene Bailey, Amari Duncan, Janelle Tillet, Reyna Chavez, Vivianie Duran and Chelsea Muñoz. The event was a first for SPHS. Pageant organizer, Renison Crawford, said that the reason for this gala was to give an opportunity to the contestants to introduce themselves to the community. “I wanted to make the pageant more prestigious, and give the girls the confidence to appear in public. This is the first time that we are having such an event and we are looking forward to improving it and make it an annual event.”

BTB announces New Developments In Overnight And Cruise Sectors
There is fantastic news to report in the Tourism travel industry. 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. In addition, American Airlines will be increasing its Dallas to Belize flights from three weekly flights to seven flights per week (one flight daily), providing a total of six hundred additional seats in the month of October. BTB’s Director of Marketing and Industry Relations, Alyssa Carnegie, commented, “This is fantastic news. 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 travelling by air. It shows amazing growth and more opportunities for the industry and Belize.”

Ambergris Today

Mexican Tourism Delegation “I Discovered Yucatán” Visits Belize
Hotel representatives and travel agents of the Mexican state of Yucatan, visited Belize on Thursday, May 9, 2013, promoting Yucatan as part of the Tourism Delegation called “I discovered Yucatán” organized by The Yucatan Tourism Board. With this event, prepared for Belizean tour operators, travel agents, media, and tourism stakeholders, the Yucatan Tourism Board in coordination with hotels, travel agents and tour operators from Yucatán, strengthened the promotional strategies of the Yucatan tourism service providers and at the same time promoted Yucatan and the city of Merida as an ideal and affordable destination for Belizean travelers. The Mexican delegation held a meeting with six travel agents, two regional operators, the Belize Ministry of Tourism, a Belizean airline and representatives from different Belize media houses, as well as the Ambassador of Mexico, Mario Velazquez. With these actions, the Yucatan Government, through the Yucatan Tourism Board continues its efforts to promote that Mexican state and to consolidate its commercial partnerships to bring more visitors to the state.

San Pedro Cancer Society Anniversary Banquet
The San San Pedro Cancer Society requests the pleasure of your company at our first banquet celebrating three years of serving the community of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Saturday, June 8, 2013 Elvi’s Kitchen Reception: 6:30pm Dinner: 7:30pm Formal Attire Please RSVP by May 29, 2013 Limited Seating $60 contribution

Washington University to Conduct Blood Drive in San Pedro
San Pedro Blood Drive Sponsored by: Washington University of Health and Science Medical School Belize Blood Bank Dr. Giovanni Solarzano Time: 8am – 3pm Date: Saturday May 25, 2013 Place: Washington University of Health & Science Medical School (Across from SAGA Humane Society and in front of Pedro’s Inn) Refreshments will be provided For questions call WUHS office at: 226-2682 or Sarah Thompson at 601-0345 *No appointment necessary

San Pedro Old Houses Still Standing Strong
The reason why very few people are building wood houses nowadays is that the lifespan of wood is cut very short by the devastating woodlice. Carpenters argue that the trees are cut when they are too young and immature and are therefore non-resistant to the lice. Another factor that makes this lumber durable is that it is all mahogany which was abundant and cheap at the time. Not so Years Ago in San Pedro. It would seem that only when trees had reached their full size that they were cut and processed into lumber. This lumber was cut into siding, flooring, 2 by 4, 2 by 6, 2 by 8, 2by 10 and even 2 by 12 for steps. As you take a walk around San Pedro you can appreciate some of these homes that were built in the 1930’s or 40’s and are seventy five plus years.

Placencia Tops Belize National Tourism Awards 2013
Taking home seven awards out of the eleven that were handed out at the 12th Annual Belize National Tourism Awards 2013 on Saturday, May 18, was the village of Placencia, Stann Creek, Belize, including the top Destination of the Year Award. The Belize Tourism Board and the Minister of Tourism, Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr., stepped out of the ordinary this year and invited over 230 guests, including industry stakeholders and government officials, to semi-formal, all-white, beach party at Bannister Caye located nine miles east south east of Belize City. The caye is only a 2.8 private island that boasts 600 feet of white coral sand beach and surrounded by crystal clear turquoise blue water. Special invited guests and award nominees were whisked away to Bannister Caye on board party boats where everybody enjoyed cocktails while enjoying DJ music and a fantastic sunset behind Belize City. Upon arrival to the private islands, guests were greeted by the soothing music of the Pantempters Steen Pan. Hosting the evening’s award ceremony were Indira Craig and William Neal with musical performances by Aurelio Martinez and Tanya Carter; gourmet hors d’ oeuvres and signature cocktails were created by Belizean chef Sean Kuylen.

Repairs Commence on Sir Barry Bowen Bridge, San Pedro
The east pedestrian walk way of the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge had been closed for over a year now and after inspection of the bridge that took place in April of 2012, work has finally commenced today Tuesday, May 21, 2013, on the much needed repairs. Upon inspection of the bridge a year ago, it was deemed that the entire support structure is in good condition and not in the brink of collapsing. Immediate repairs are needed on the pedestrian walkways and main vehicle lanes which have corroded due to the climate conditions on the island. Contractor and engineer of Medina’s Construction stated that simple and routine maintenance is key in extending the life span of the bridge. The bridge was closed to traffic this past Sunday, May 19, and is open to pedestrians only, during the entire period of renovations. San Pedro Mayor Daniel Guerrero estimates a time frame of two weeks for the complete overhaul and asks the public for patience and cooperation.

Misc Belizean Sources

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 servicemembers an opportunity to train jointly in an exercise setting to prepare for future challenges.

Preservation of the Garifuna intangible cultural heritage
The Garifuna communities, spread over Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, have kept alive their common language, oral traditions, music and dances. Although still practiced on various occasions, these are changing considerably, as the Garifuna language is less often spoken. On May 18, 2001, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) proclaimed the Garifuna language, music and dance as a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity. The safeguarding project focuses mainly in the preservation of the Garifuna language through language revitalization, lexical expansion programs and the promotion of teaching, learning and practicing. It will also develop an inventory of Garifuna art forms (such as songs, music, dances and related customs, etc.) and promote regional Garifuna festivals with a view to confronting the erosion of the Garifuna culture in the heart of modern day communities.

The repairs at Sir Barry Bowen Bridge repairs have begun!

Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Councilor Severo Guerrero over look the compound of the new cemetery located in the southern region of Ambergris Caye.

VIDEO: Belize on the Balancing Act
Belize is featured on the Balancing Act again as the BTB's Laura Esquivel-Frampton answers the hyperactive host's questions. Dr. Jaime Awe is on there too, and they show Caracol and other Cayo sites.

Belize Documentary Field Film Course
The NMSU students had a great time in Cayo. They've uploaded some great shots. Can't wait for the documentaries to come out. "NMSU film student are the first international students to take course, design by Emmy award winning natural history film makers Carol and Richard Foster, in Collaboration with local artist film maker Daniel Velazquez and award winning film maker Illana Lapid, film professor at New Mexico State University"

Mother's Month Celebrations
The SISE Town Council had their big Mother's Month celebration at the Cayo Welcome Center Sunday. Mothers got food and great entertainment. There was even a dancing contest.

IA's Great Antiquity Campaign
If anything good comes out of the discussion of the destruction of Noh Mul by the greedy, it'll be that the Institue of Archaeology's Anti-Looting campaign gets more attention. They've been going around the country, and were at the Benque HoC's International Museum Day celebrations last week, educating the youth on antiquities There's a lot of key information in their latest article. "Along with looting comes the destruction of ancient monuments. A monument is any old building, erections or other non-portable objects left behind by ancient civilizations such as the Maya or other historic people such as the colonizers of Belize. Legally, any building over one hundred years is considered a monument. Both monuments and antiquities are legally protected by law under the National Institute of Culture and History Act, Chapter 331 of the Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2000."

National Song Competition 2013
The National Celebrations Commission, in conjunction with Atlantic Bank, is getting ready for the September Celebrations and is having a call to artists for this year's National Song Competition. There are 2 categories you can enter: The Belize Song and the Carnival Song. They should promote culture and the Belizean way of life. You can enter as a solo, duet, or group. Good luck to all!

Toaster Oven Bread Pudding
This dish was requested by my viewer Shelley Olsen. No matter what your disability is, I want you to be able to create these awesome menus. This bread pudding is the 1/2 recipe to the Belizean Bread Pudding. It is decadent and rich and gelatinous.

Belize Travel and Trade Show 2013
Belize comes to southern Florida Saturday June 29, 2013. 10am - 6pm. Fort Lauderdale Convention Center

The Ministry of Industry and Commercial launches first Business Development Center in Honduras May 17, 2013 – CENPROMYPE Area: Economic
On May 16, the Presidential Appointee, holders of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (SIC) and the Ministry of Planning and External Cooperation (SEPLAN) of Honduras, authorities of the Regional Centre for the Promotion of MSMEs (CENPROMYPE ), the HED of USAID and the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) launched the first Enterprise Development Centre for MSMEs (CDEMIPYME) in Choluteca, which will serve the Gulf of Fonseca. During the event, Ms. Ingrid Figueroa, Executive Director of CENPROMYPE appreciated the efforts and commitment of the Honduran Government to join this regional initiative that aims to bring a model of care that is based MSME sector in public- private-academia. He said that at present, the region has 16 SICA and Care Centres MSME under the SBDC model and expected, later this year, have at least 25 operating centers.

Bi-national Border Bridge Opens
The much anticipated Bi-national Border Bridge between Mexico and Belize opens unceremoniously late last week. The Mexican Government had dispatched personnel from the Mexican Army to Belize to assist the Belizean government in the construction of a stretch of approximately 500 meters of highway that is located on the Belizean side of the northern border in the Santa Elena area of the Corozal District connecting the new bridge. Belize and Mexico signed an agreement for the construction of the bridge back in June of 2005 when the then-President of Mexico, Vicente Fox, visited Belize. The Mexican government agreed to finance the construction of the bridge, 500 meters of road from the bridge into the Belizean territory, and the access road from the bridge to the Subteniente Lopez community in Santa Elena located in the state of Quintana Roo. Those projects were completed since 2008.

VIDEO: Chocolate making in Toledo
Our team took yet another trip to the Toledo District to learn about chocolate and this time, they visited Cotton Tree Chocolates. Take a look at our Chocolate feature to see what they learnt. P.S. Pay keeeeen attention!

Channel 7

KHMH: A Dozen Dead Babies, Families Wrestle with Grief, Rage
A dozen dead babies in less than 3 weeks – that’s what the KHMH, Belize’s National Referral Hospital, is contending with tonight, and the public uproar is enormous – as it should be, because the loss of life is, honestly, unimaginable. As we reported last night, the culprit is believed to have been a bacterial infection, that descended on the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit like a plague. The babies in that unit are typically the sickest, most vulnerable patients in the hospital, most of them are premature – and all of them were seriously ill, meaning they can hardly breathe on their own, much less fight an infection. And that’s what created the conditions for a devastating and rapid loss of a dozen newborns. And while the KHMH investigates what went wrong, the families are getting ready for funerals or trying to recover from them. We spoke to two grieving parents today. Jules Vasquez reporting Harrison Sutherland - Father of 8 day old baby died at KHMH "I'm just sad for my baby, really sad because so much babies have died just like that, it's sad." Harrison Sutherland and Kelcey Young are an 18 year old couple. Their baby Imari was born premature at 7 months on Mother’s day but died 8 days later.

Another City Carjacking
Another well-known Belize City woman was carjacked last night. Less than an hour after Ann-Marie Williams’s car-jacking made the news – Jackie Roe, the manager of Hofius was car-jacked. It happened at around 7:15, as Roe was leaving the parking lot of the Great House on Cork Street. Reports are that she was with family and about to get out of her 2012 Toyota Hilux when two men dressed in dark clothing strode up. One of them put a knife to her side and demanded her keys and phone. She handed them over, and they both jumped into her vehicle and sped off. The crime is notable for its brazen-ness, but also for the area where it happened; it’s in the shadow of the Radisson complex and there are a number of security guards around at all times between the Radisson and the Great House. Today, Roe declined comment and the vehicle has not turned up.

Man Escapes Remand By Producing Gun License
38 year-old Chinese Businessman Chao Gui Cao, a resident of Hattieville, dodged jail time today after police took him to court on firearm offences for his licensed weapon. According to police, they stopped him at the checkpoint at mile 4 on the Western Highway on Saturday evening. When they searched on his vehicle, they officers discovered his 9 millimeter pistol. The officers believed that the weapon was unlicensed, and they refused to accept his explanation that he did have a license. As a result, they charged him with keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition. He was arraigned today before Magistrate Cayetano, and his attorney, Anthony Sylvester, was able to provide an authentic document from Belmopan Police which proved that he was not breaking any law.

Cain Caught With Gun
But one man who police believe does deserve to be jailed for firearm offences is 25 year-old Daniel Cane, a resident of Sandhill Village. Police say that on Sunday at around 10 p.m., Cain was riding his bicycle on Iguana Street, and when he allegedly saw their mobile patrol vehicle approaching, he threw an object on the ground and tried to ride away. The officers detained him, and took him to the area, where they discovered that it was a 9 mm pistol, which was loaded with 11 live rounds of ammunition. He was charged with keeping and unlicensed firearm and keeping unlicensed ammunition, and he was arraigned yesterday before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. He pleaded not guilty to the charges, but because it’s a gun offence, he was automatically remanded to prison until July 11, 2013.

Attorney General Vs. President Of The Bar In Supreme Court
Today in the chambers of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, it was decided that a lawsuit filed by Wilfred Elrington, the Attorney General and Minster of Foreign Affairs, will have its day in court against Eamon Courtenay, the President of the Bar Association. The lawsuit originates from a previous case in which Elrington was sued by 2 Americans who had majority shareholdings in a company along with him. In that case, the Americans sued Elrington for a breach his duties to the company because he also acted as its lawyer. They were represented by attorneys Eamon Courtenay and Priscilla Banner, and after the case was decided before Justice Legall, Elrington felt that he was entitled to costs because he was forced to defend against the lawsuit, even though he was reluctant to do so. His premise was that Courtenay and Banner did not have to authority to represent the company to sue him because he also was a director. According to him, there were certain procedures which needed to be followed for a unanimous board decision such as that could be reached.

Rios Montt Genocide Conviction Thrown Out
Last week we told you how former Guatemalan President Efrain Rios Montt had been sentenced to 80 years in jail by a Human Rights Court for genocide of his own people. Well, now, Guatemala’s highest court, the Constitutional Court has thrown out the conviction and ordered that Rios Montt’s trial should restart from the point where it stood on 19th April. That’s when Rios Montt’s lawyer was kicked out of the courtroom – leaving Rios Montt temporarily without a legal defence. So, now, all the testimonies and witness statements heard from that point onwards will have to be delivered again along with the closing statements from both sides. We should note that in Guatemala it is not unusual for such matters to be endlessly tied up in court.

Summer School Classes Suddenly Cancelled At SJCJC, Students Left In Limbo
This morning the students of St Johns College Junior College were told to go home after their summer classes were abruptly cancelled. It caused quite an uproar between students and administration. That is because if there are no summer classes, these students will have to make up those courses during the normal school year, which means additional time at school and for some, even a setback for their graduation date. In a press release sent out by the Junior College today it stated that the shortfall in class numbers but more significantly the shortfall in the student payments and school collections are prescribed polices on cancellation of classes. But for the students who have paid for their summer classes or have started a payment plan with the institution, this morning’s sudden news came as a shock and also a disappointment. We spoke to one of them:

Increased Airlift To Belize
Last night, we told you about the 12th Annual Tourism Award Ceremony, which was held at Bannister Caye on Saturday. But one thing that didn’t make it into the story is when Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia Jr, in his opening address at the ceremony, took the opportunity to announce that they expect an increase in overnight tourism arrivals due to an increase in flights by Delta Airlines. Here’s are the details: Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. - Minister of Tourism "I would like to take the opportunity to announce a rather new exciting addition to our existing airlift. As of December 21st, 2013, Delta Airlines will commence its year round non-stop service from Los Angeles to Belize City round trip. This service will be bookable as of May 25th and will make available 693 new seats to Belize each month. In the first instance this flight will be weekly on Saturdays but will give us the long sought after non-stop West Coast service. What is more it will allow for one stop same day service to Asia and Australia. This announcement serves as a testament of the commitment of my government and the work of the BTB and it's aviation development committee to open up new and meaningful opportunities for Belize."

Does He Need Counselling?
The Police Senior Command says it is looking into a situation where a police constable posted a picture of himself on Facebook in uniform, apparently in a police station pointing a gun at his own head. We’re blurring his face because as a police spokesperson told us, they are not sure if the case calls out for counseling or disciplinary action. The spokesperson said the senior command is not taking the case lightly but wants to hear from the officer first, to find out if the constable has a genuine problem –requiring therapy, or if he just got caught up in a Facebook failure. Police are said to be coming up with a policy on media in general, including social media.

Searching For Sharks Out At Halfmoon
Rachel Graham of the Wildlife Conservation Society is doing a transect of a portion of Belize; Southern waters. She’s trying to find out what species use the waters and what for. It’s a major research project and an ongoing one. We caught up with her west of long caye in southern Belize this weekend where she said she is looking for the big fish, and even found some dolphins willing to go along for the ride. Rachel Graham - Wildlife Conservation Society "This is our second day of our annual monitoring effort for Marine Mega Fauna, we include sharks, rays, turtles and any other large fish that we may come across. We have several people going along and swimming for about a kilometer and counting everything that they see and also taking down their sizes and the sex of the animals. We're also doing Fishries Independent Longline Survey whereby we actually bait for catch, tag and then release sharks that we catch.

Landy Burns Rejects McAfee Claim
As we told you last week, John McAfee’s estate at the Tower Hill Bridge in Orange Walk burned down – reportedly when a forest fire got out of control. The houses were up for sale. But in the weird and wacky world of Mcaffee – there are no accidents – and this event has given him another international platform to air his conspiracy theories. The Mail Online, a British newspaper states that, quote, “McAfee said that he has a private investigator working on the case who could prove that Landy Burns, the political representative for the town of Orange Walk East, was behind the fire.” Now Burns is only a divisional care-taker for the UDP, not a representative, and today he called us to say that the suggestion is ludicrous. Jules Vasquez "I've read in a number of international newspapers that John McAfee says that he has hired an international investigator and he expects that this person will investigate his house. He's saying that he believes that the arson investigation done by his Private Investigator will turn it to your name because he says you're behind what he thinks is an arson of his home in Tower Hill bridge."

Channel 5

How many babies died at the K.H.M.H.?
The most contemptible act of gross negligence is coming out of the nation’s referral hospital. Since last Friday, News Five has been reporting on a number of babies that have died at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital due to infections. After persistent queries, just before Monday’s newscast, the K.H.M.H. made the shocking admission in a [...]

P.U.P. demands resignation of Minister of Health
The People’s United Party, in the wake of the ongoing K.H.M.H. fiasco, has issued a release demanding the resignation of Pablo Marin as Minister of Health.  The opposition is also calling for the immediate dissolution of the Board of Governors of the hospital.  The deaths of twelve newborns at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, since [...]

Thousands of Mayan artifacts deserted at Chaw Hiix
Noh Mul might be for all intents and purposes no more, but the public outrage both locally and internationally has lingered. And that is why the Mayan site of Chau Hiix (pronounced hish), located within the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, has been thrust into the news after reports of bulldozing and private development on top [...]

Hofius Manager, Jacqueline Roe, robbed of Hilux
Over the weekend, the executive director of the women’s commission, Ann-Marie Williams, was robbed of her vehicle on Saturday night and tonight, another well-known businesswoman reports that her vehicle was also stolen. The manager of Hofius Belize Limited was robbed at gunpoint on Monday night at about seven. Jacqueline Roe had just parked her 2012 [...]

Who should be held accountable for baby deaths at K.H.M.H.?
And tonight’s question is: Who should be held accountable for the recent deaths of twelve babies at the K.H.M.H.? Doctors or Management. Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on our e-poll at You can also send an email with your comments to [email protected]

Bulldozing Mayan mounts in Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary
Earlier we told you about the thousands of artifacts that were found discarded in plastic bags in Crooked Tree. News Five tried to reach Dr. John Morris, or in his absence any director of the Institute of Archaeology this afternoon, on this deplorable situation but we were told that no one was available. While we [...]

More Indian nationals caught being trafficked through Belize
A third group of illegal Indian nationals has been captured in the west as cases of human trafficking continue to increase. The seven nationals are part of a larger group that has been coming illegally across the western border in the past two weeks. On Monday, the group was intercepted in Esperanza and police moved [...]

Man who helped youth report assault is now threatened
A sports instructor, employed at Nazarene Primary School, is tonight abstaining from work, following an incident during which he reportedly came to the aid of a student, who had allegedly been sodomized by a teacher.  According to San Ignacio police, thirty-six year old Eddie Pinelo, who has since been remanded to prison, was arrested and [...]

Lost in translation; businessman busted for his own weapon
Thirty-eight year old Chao Gui Cao, a prominent businessman of the Hattieville area, was arraigned today in court for the possession of a nine millimeter firearm and live ammunition which were found on him at the four miles checkpoint on the George Price Highway on Saturday night. In the presence of his attorney, Anthony Sylvester, [...]

After attacking security guard, culprit threatens to kill and drink blood
A Sand Hill man is accused of attacking a KBH security guard who was on duty at the Belize Flour Mill last Saturday. Thirty-seven year old Ralph Middleton was arraigned today for one count of Harm upon KBH Security Guard, Jesus Angel Cruz, and one count of using threatening words, being “Ah wah kill yuh [...]

Mother and wife of injured B.D.F. rushes to Barbados to be at his side
On Monday’s newscast we told you the tale of a Belize Defense Force Soldier attached to the Caribbean Defense Pact’s Regional Security System in Barbados. Warrant Officer Andre Gabb was stabbed to the heart by the conductor of a taxi service who was upset that foreigners come to his country and do what they like. [...]

Attorney says Gender Policy is mischievous on sexual orientation
The Revised Gender Policy 2013, a product of the National Women’s Commission was updated to identify and examine inequities experienced by men and women while suggesting ways to correct gender disparities.   The implementation of the policy has caused alarm in several sectors of society. One of the presenters at the launch of the document, Adele [...]

Moody’s update on Belize quite moody; country may renege on debts
Three weeks ago, the Moody’s Investors Service reported that the government’s bond rating of C-A-A was likely to remain the same for the next four or five years because of the two debt defaults in the past seven years coupled with the country’s low debt tolerance and weak ability to service external debt. Moody’s put [...]

Kangaroo Court? Ex-Guatemalan dictator’s 80 year sentence overturned
Eighty years in prison, was the sentence handed down last week to Guatemala’s ex-military dictator, Rios Montt, for ordering the deaths of one thousand seven hundred and seventy-one Ixil Mayas between 1982 to 1983. But Guatemala’s constitutional court has thrown out the conviction for genocide and crimes against humanity.  The court ruled that the trial [...]


Police Recovers Stolen Service Revolver in Southern Belize
Punta Gorda Police has retrieved a stolen nine millimeter pistol. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details. PAUL MAHUNG “The 9mm was spotted with a male fourth form student of the Toledo Community College on a school bus on Monday, May 13 by an adult who as a concerned c...

More Indians Caught Illegally Entering Belize
It seems like illegal entry of Indian Nationals is becoming a trend in the Cayo District as yesterday a vehicle with illegal Indian Nationals was intercepted in the Cayo area. Correspondent Elaine Berry reports. ELAINE BERRY “On Monday, May 20 at about 4:05pm, Polic...

80 Year Old Sex Offender Deported To The US
There are reports that an eighty year old sex offender who is wanted in the United States was arrested yesterday in the City of Belmopan. Love News understands that the man identified as Lyle Sutton, an American National visited the US Embassy in Belmopan yesterday to check on so...

Robbery, Carnal Knowledge and Attempted Murder Reported in Dangriga, Cayo and Ladyville
The crime wave continued in Ladyville where a seventeen year boy of the village reported that at around 9:00 pm while he and his friend were riding pass the basketball court, his brother-in-law stopped in his black car and told him to put the bike and his trunk and that he would give t...

Woman Says She Was Raped In Ladyville
Police are investigating a reported rape in Ladyville. A thirty eight year old Belizean domestic reported that on the sixteenth of May at 5:30 pm, she went to an area in Ladyville off Plunkett Road when she saw a man dressed in a white undershirt, brown shirt and long jeans pans ...

Sudden Death of Newborn Investigated In Belize District
A one month old baby died yesterday and his passing has been classified as a sudden death. According to police reports, the visited the home of twenty one year old Leondra Sutherland in Ladyville village yesterday around 2:25 am and she reported that earlier in the morning, her o...

Business Manager Robbed of SUV and Cell Phone
The Manager of Hofius Belize Ltd reported that she was robbed in Belize City. Jacqueline Roe a resident of Ladyville told police that around 7:10 pm last night she inside her eighty thousand dollar Gold 2012 Toyota Hilux at the Smokey Mermaid Restaurant Parking Lot loc...

Belize Tourism Board Seeks To Make Benque Viejo Town, A Tourism Destination
Last week the Belize Tourism Board officially launched the Benque Viejo del Carmen tourism plan, website, travel guide and heritage tour. BTB says that Benque Viejo is the second largest entry point to Belize unfortunately it does not benefit from the inflow of visitors. BTB is now loo...

Secondary School Student In Northern Belize Wins Logo Competition
Bishop Martin High School in Orange Walk Town is back in the news and once again it is good news. One of its students won a logo competition held by the Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities. A total of twelve entries were submitted from seven different high...

Salvadoran National Charged For Displaying An MS13 Gang Tattoo
Twenty-eight year old Salvadoran national Pedro Elizar Caliz, a member of MS 13 gang, was fined $300.00 today by Senior magistrate Sharon Fraser after he pled guilty to a charge of displaying gang membership. Caliz must pay the fine by June 30. If he defaults on payment he will serve t...

Chinese Businessman Freed After Being Locked Up For Licensed Firearm and Ammunition
Thirty-eight year old Chinese businessman Chao Gui Cao, who was arraigned today on charges of kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license, was freed of the charges when they were dismissed by magistrate Dale Cayetano. Magistrate Cayetano dismissed the charges after Cao’s at...

Premature Babies Dying in the Belize City Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the KHMH
Marion Ali, Reporting The deaths of at least a dozen premature babies over the past few weeks at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, supposedly because of cryptic infectious bacteria, have prompted a series of investigations into the circumstanc...


PUP Calls For Resignation Of Minister of Health and Hospitals Board Of Directors
And at the heels of the KHMH report, comes a release from the People’s United Part calling for the immediate resignation of the Minister of Health and of the Board of Directors of the referral hospital. In the release, the PUP states and we quote “It is horrendous and deplorable that this situation could have developed without the authorities taking proper and adequate measures of prevention and response before so many deaths occurred. We have learned that the capacity of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is for only 8 patients, but that there were in excess of twenty newborns in the facility. The fact that any bacterial or other infection could have been allowed to take so many lives before any response was made, demonstrates that there must have been gross negligence by the hospital authorities.” End of quote. The PUP questions the fact that if there were frequent overcrowded conditions increasing the vulnerability of the babies to infection, then why was there no response sooner? That’s a question that may never be answered.

Environmental Laws Violated In Consejo Village
Tonight a resident of Consejo Village in the Corozal District is making serious allegations on who is now the former chairman of the community. Luciano Velasquez claims that Carlos Arana, the former UDP chairman of Consejo infringed his rights as the rightful owner of a plot of land in front of the sea. Amidst the entire ordeal, what is of most importance is that the former UDP Chairman not only violated the rights of the senior citizen but he allegedly caused an adverse effect on the mangroves along the shoreline. Reporter Irvin Aragon has the story. Irvin Aragon – Reporting Consejo Shores, located approximately some six and a half miles north of Corozal Town has a population of approximately one hundred and fifty people and is well known for its diverse ecosystem primarily in the marine life. Mangroves protect shorelines from damaging storm and hurricane winds, waves, and floods. Mangroves also help prevent erosion stabilizing sediments with their tangled root systems. They maintain water quality and clarity, filtering pollutants and trapping sediments originating from land. Despite the significant importance that mangroves have on the environment, they are currently experiencing a major threat: clearance. This trend is increasingly apparent in Belize including Consejo Shores where it seems that the former Chairman of the Village Carlos Arana placed no importance on the environment when he allegedly cleared a large portion of Mangroves along the shoreline of a private property for the development of a park.

Student Of BMHS Wins Logo Competition
A forth form student from Bishop Martin High School in Orange Walk Town was named today the winner of the Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities logo competition. Scores ranging from 10 points for excellent, 8 to 9 points for good, 6 to 7 points for fair, and 0 to 5 points for poor were used in each category. Tonight we are proud to note that garnered the maximum mark for his presentation, thus winning the $500 cash prize and one IPAD, while; his school will receive $1000 cash prize and a video projector, courtesy of the Belize Telemedia Limited. The submission now becomes the property of the Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities. The Ministry received twelve entries from seven different high schools across the country. A panel of five judges with related background in art and designing was selected to review the submissions and select the winner.

Have You Seen Jaylen Escobar?
Tonight the family of a 15 year old female minor from the Village of Copper Bank in the Corozal District is asking for the public’s assistance to locate her. Jaylen Ercilia Escobar left home at around 6:30am on Thursday May 16th en-route to Corozal Town and has not been seen or heard from since. Escobar is described as being of brown complexion, has black hair, brown eyes and is approximately four feet five inches in height. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Jaylen Ercilia Escobar is asked to contact the nearest Police Station or the family at 651-3955 or 653-7677.

12 Newborns Die At KHMH
The alarming report that 12 newborns died at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the KHMH in the first 20 days of May, 2013 has left the nation in shock and asking many questions. The disturbing statistic was revealed late yesterday evening by the Management of the KHMM through a press release. What exactly caused the death of the babies has not been determined but it is highly believed that they died as a result of a hospital-based nosocomial infection outbreak. Presently the hospital’s Quality Assurance Team is investigating the situation to find the source. As mentioned the report has left the nation stunned. But in realty it is not the first time that Belizeans are hearing about the possible infection of the hospital’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. During his Budget Presentation back in March, Orange Walk East Area Representative Honorable Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez was the first to speak on the issue. But apparently no one listened, not even the Minister of Health Pablo Marin much less the Prime Minister. Honourable Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez – Orange Walk East Area Representative “With those super bugs that were created in the hospital there was the Ministry of Health was not buying the medication as to treat this patient or those patients that have caught that infection and it was being left for the patient to buy them and that is stating that to cure that infection by the hospital it depended on how deep the pocket of the person or the relatives have that they could buy the appropriate medication and not by our flag ship hospital which is the KHMH, of course this information I got it from colleagues who were having difficult times to cure patients because of the low quality medications that they were having within that hospital.

2012/2013 Crop Season Ends On Saturday
At the beginning of the 2012/2013 Crop Season back in November of last year stakeholders of the Industry estimated that a total of one million fifty thousand tons of cane would be delivered to the factory producing one hundred and ten thousand tons of cane. Today, the good news is that the estimated target was surpassed way beyond the closure of crop set for this coming Saturday. The date was agreed upon during a meeting held between the producer and the miller yesterday. Alfredo Ortega- Chairman BSCFA “Ayer entre BSI y nosotros quedamos de acuerdo de que especulando una cantidad de cana que está sobrando todavía, entre todos los branch chairman andamos alrededor de 14 mil toneladas de caña más, entonces sumándolo a unos 5 mil toneladas por días que se entregue calculamos tres días sin embargo pues dimos dos días más por si alguna cosa hay problemas pues fue asi que quedamos de acuerdo de que finalice la Zafra el sábado. Cuando empezó la Zafra estaban especulando por medios de los problemas del Frog Hopper y otros problemas de que estábamos enfrentando de que algunos decían de que no íbamos a llegar ni siquiera al millón de toneladas de caña de entrega, sin embargo llego un acuerdo de una cantidad de que se esperaba de un millón cincuenta mil toneladas de caña, y al transcurso de la entrega yo siempre decía de que podíamos llegar a algo similar a la entrega de la Zafra anterior y así fuimos otra vez de a zafra y hasta ayer ya habíamos entregado un millón sesenta mil toneladas de caña que ya ha producido arriba de los 115 mil toneladas de azúcar que eso es muy bueno para nosotros porque también lo que se esperaba en la azúcar era 110 mil toneladas de azúcar y ya hemos pasado esa cantidad por cinco mil más y todavía nos queda este resto de semana de entrega y pues eso nos puede dar aun todavía oportunidad para a los que les hace falta poco que entreguen y así llegar en lo máximo en la azúcar de esta Zafra.”

Impressive Figures For LICU Fiscal Report
Last night we reported on the huge success the La Inmaculada Credit Union experienced for its fiscal year from April 2012 to March 2013 thanks to its members owners who remained committed in investing and repaying loans. This year, La Inmaculada Credit Union reported the approval of a total of 5, 783 new loans which equals a total of 18 million seven hundred and twenty thousand nine hundred ninety four dollars and forty four cents. These figures show that a total of 554 new barrowers were welcomed for this fiscal year. As part of the huge success of the credit union, reports show that an increase in savings of 3.46 million dollars or 12% was recorded. Assets impressively increased at a total of 4.29 million dollars or 14% and lastly, the loan portfolio increased by 4.92 million dollars or 18%.

Fifth Cane Price Estimate Sweeter Than Sugar
Sugar production at the Belize Sugar Industry’s Tower Hill Factory has increased considerably when compared to last year’s crop. The current yield is exceptional, resulting in a greater output of sugar during this season and an increase in the fifth cane price estimate which was recently released and stands at $63.54. The fifth cane price estimate is based on several components including the milling of one million seventy thousand tons of cane, expected to produce one hundred and sixteen thousand tons of sugar and thirty three thousand tons of molasses. Out of this amount, fourteen thousand tons of sugar and eight thousand four hundred tons of molasses will be for local consumption. The current price estimate is also based on a TCTS of 9.22 which is above the actual level achieved last crop of 9.14. The recent estimate translates to good news for cane farmers, despite the fact that not all of them will receive the same payment. Alfredo Ortega- Chairman, BSCFA Committee of Management “Ahorita esta quinta estimación que salió estamos en $63.54 muy bueno pero lo único que quisiera poner en claro no todos en estos momentos si el precio fuera igual no todos lo estuviéramos consiguiendo porque aquellos test group que están de abajo de uno no están en ese promedio pero los que están arriba pues están en ello, esto es para que nos demos cuenta de nuestras actividades que hacemos en el tiempo de cosecha nos puede dar esa oportunidad de incrementar el precio de nuestra cana como también bajar el precio por eso es muy importante en el tiempo de cosecha porque allí es adonde garantizamos cuánto dinero estamos haciendo por nuestra cana.”


Another archaeological site bulldozed
Plus news has learned that Belize’s Mayan History and Heritage continues to be destroyed. Information reaching our news room is that sometime last week, a bulldozer was clearing land in the Blackburn area of Crooked Tree Village when the incident occurred. Plus news spoke with Village Chairman George Guest...

KHMH confirms 12 babies died so far this month
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) confirmed yesterday that 12 babies had died so far for the month of May in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit – none lasting more than a month. It is staggering and frightening and hospital authorities say an investigation is underway to determine how...

Sudden death of new born baby in Ladyville
There was another case of sudden death of a new born baby on Monday. It’s a mother’s most terrifying nightmare – finding your baby unresponsive and not breathing. This was the dreadful reality of a 21 year old housewife of Ladyville. In the wee hours of Monday morning, the...

PUP calls for resignation of Minister of Health
The People’s United Party is now calling for the immediate resignation of the Minister of Health and of the Board of Directors of the hospital. In a press release today, the PUP says that it is horrendous and deplorable that this situation could have developed without the authorities taking...

Belize Gay rights IN Cabinet gender policy; Trinidad Gay rights OUT
The moral direction of the country of Belize is now resting on the shoulders of one man. While the country awaits the Chief Justice’s decision in July on Belize’s sodomy laws, the Revised Gender policy 2013 has apparently jumped the gun. The spokesperson for the Women’s Commission, says the...

Mark Seawell
There were no hearings in court, but the next phase of the extradition fight by 44 year old Mark Seawell will not be long in coming. On June 4, attorneys for both sides will convene with Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin to determine the next steps in the case following...

High school student found with 9mm pistol
News coming out of Punta Gorda is that a high school student was found in the possession of a 9mm pistol on a school bus. But if you think the gun was immediately confiscated and that was the end of it, well not so. As the student was defiant...

Thieves target woman in Belize City restaurant parking lot
Brazen thieves targeted a woman in a restaurant parking lot last night. A little after 7 o’clock, Jacqueline Roe, the manager of Hofius Belize Ltd exited her Toyota Hilux in the parking area of Smokey Mermaid Restaurant when two dark skinned men approached her. One of them placed a...

Woman attacked and raped in Ladyville
A woman was reportedly attacked and raped by a man in Ladyville. The victim, who is thirty eight years old, told police that last week Thursday, around 5:30 in the evening, she was in an area off Plunkett Road when she saw a man in front of her. He...

14 year old pregnant by brother-in-law
In the west, a 14 year old has reportedly admitted to having sex with her 23 year old brother-in-law, which resulted in her becoming pregnant. The mother of the minor said that earlier this month, she was at home when she heard someone vomiting outside and upon checking, she...

British High Commission donates to Youth Cadets and Football Team
This afternoon The British High Commission in Belmopan handed over shirts, shorts, socks, boots and footballs to Manager of the National Youth Cadet Service Corp; Mr. William Swan and Kennedy Gentle, Manager of the Gentle Touch Female Football Team. Plus news was present at the small ceremony and spoke...

Global Day of Prayer observed in Belize
Global Day of Prayer was observed this past Sunday. The international day of repentance and prayer started in 2000 in Capetown, South Africa and has since migrated to all the corners of the earth. It is recognized on the Day of Pentecost, which in the book of Acts, is...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Village Council Elections 2013
Around the entire Country of Belize, village council elections are being held. We hear both political parties debating over which slate got in. In Caye Caulker the candidates running have decided that they will refuse to be labelled as PUP or UDP. Although there are full slates of one Chairperson and six councilors they consist of supporters from both parties. There are also many individuals running as independent candidates willing to work together with the people of the island to make the island a peaceful and supporting island. This is the way all Village Councils should be regardless of political preference. Listening to campaigners, this, hands down has been the same on each candidates agenda. Work with the Government for the people and Community with no preferences. Let’s hope that this will happen when the newly elected council members are in and prove that they are willing to work for the island. There is still a possibility that both parties show up with full slates on election day since nominations will be held the morning of the election. This year shows a record number of candidates who have stepped up to the plate and decided to taking their stand.


Someone called his name; he went to the window and was shot in the face. Three boys – 9, 7, and 3 years old – will now grow up without their father after he was killed by an unknown gunman at about 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 16, in their home in Salvapan, Belmopan. Richard Russell, 32, was at home when someone called out for him. When he went to the window to answer the call, the unknown person shot him in the face. The gunman then escaped. Russell struggled for his life, but died shortly after in his home. Diane Lamb, Russell’s common-law wife who was at home with him at the time, told reporters that he had just arrived home, and was getting some food when someone outside shouted his name. He told her to go and see who it was. He then told the person to go by the window, and as he opened the window to see what the individual wanted, the person shot him.

He was stabbed in the heart, but is expected to recover. Warrant Officer in the Belize Defence Force (BDF) Andre Gabb, 45, is in critical condition after being stabbed in the chest on Friday, May 17, 2013 in Barbados. According to the Jamaica Observer, the incident occurred sometime in the evening at a marketplace in Carlton, Black Rock, about two miles north of the country’s capital, Bridgetown. Gabb reportedly got involved in an altercation that ensued between persons who were in his company. His brother, Dwight Gabb, told us that they are still not sure exactly what transpired, but sometime during the altercation, Andre was stabbed in the chest with a knife, which punctured his heart. He underwent surgery at Queen Elizabeth Hospital and has been listed in critical condition. We were told that he has been sedated but is responding by lip and finger twitches to the doctors. All indications are that he will recover.

Maya mounds at Chau Hiix already cleared for agriculture; the site has a central pyramid that rises almost 75 feet above the flat lagoon landscape in Crooked Tree. Whereas the destruction of the Noh Mul Archaeological Site has been making international waves, activities at a well-known Maya site in the Belize River Valley area have authorities at the Institute of Archaeology (IA), and their partners at the Belize Audubon Society (BAS) on alert, due to allegations that a businessman from northern Belize, who has not been named, had been eyeing the Chau Hiix site in Crooked Tree Village also, as a source of materials for road works. BAS had received a report last week, alleging that there had also been some mining for road works at Chaa Hiix, but because the matter is outside their jurisdiction, it was referred to the Institute of Archaeology. Amandala understands that the institute had made an initial assessment on Friday, May 3. Archaeological Commissioner Dr. Jaime Awe told Amandala that when they visited the site, they observed major land clearings, which were likely done with heavy machinery, for agricultural purposes. Bush had also been burned on the mounds, but the mounds themselves were “structurally intact,” said Awe. Awe said that the government has never stopped people from farming on Maya mounds. That would be impossible, he said, given the prevalence of mounds across Belize, including the Belize River Valley area.

School coach under “death threat” for helping minor, 14, report sex attack by teacher. A basketball/football coach of a Nazarene primary school in San Ignacio is not attending school due to fears for his safety, after receiving death threats because he assisted a boy, 14, to report to police that he had been sodomized by a teacher of the same school. The coach, whose identity has to remain anonymous because he fears for his life, told Amandala this morning that the threats are numerous. On Wednesday, May 15, at about 10:00 a.m., he said, a man rode up on a motorcycle in San Ignacio, stopped beside him and told him, “Informers fi dead!” Amandala also was told that on Thursday, May 9, around 12:30 a.m. a car stopped in front of his house in San Ignacio. Two men got out of the car, but the dogs began to bark. The men then reportedly got back into the car and drove away. The harassment did not stop there. On Tuesday, May 14, at about 2:00 a.m., someone threw missiles at the coach’s house while he was sleeping. When he awoke, he saw a car driving away. He reported the matter to police, and they are investigating.

Executive Director of the National Women’s Commission, board member of the YWCA and former news editor Ann-Marie Williams confirmed to Amandala today that two young men robbed her on Saturday night of her SUV and her cell phone as soon as she returned home from the Miss Y pageant. Police Press Officer Raphael Martinez reported that Williams’ vehicle, a dark grey 2003 Mazda Tribute SUV with license plate number C-41867 valued at BZ$16,000, was found in Hattieville just after midday today, Monday, May 20. We understand that the vehicle was found in an unaltered condition, but the ignition key was missing. According to police, Williams reported that at about 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, she arrived at her house in the Coral Grove area and two males, who had just exited another vehicle, approached her demanding that she turn over her keys. “Get out of the vehicle. Gimme the keys,” the robbers, who were wearing hooded shirts to hide their faces, reportedly told Williams.

The Belize Ambassador to Guatemala, Fred Martinez, told the press here last week that Guatemala was very “polarized” because of the Rios Montt conviction and jail sentence week before last. What he did not say, perhaps because he did not know, was that that polarization is built into the very socio-economic fabric of Guatemala, and that that polarization has been the order of the Guatemalan day for as long as anyone can remember. Guatemalan structural polarization has experienced a flare-up because of the Rios Montt genocide trial, but that structural polarization has always been there. The forces which demanded and pursued the Rios Montt trial are those Guatemalans who are trying to heal the wounds of the Conquest and the subsequent socio-economic polarization. Theirs is an awesome task, but these are brave and sincere Guatemalans. There are powerful business, political, and military Americans who have supported Guatemalans like Rios Montt for centuries. These are Americans who do not care about the masses of the Guatemalan people. They only care about Guatemala’s resources and desire a continuation of Guatemala’s neoliberal economic policies. These same Americans care even less about the Belizean people. They are interested in Belize’s natural resources. These are the Americans who decided fifty years ago that Belize should become a state which was a satellite state of Guatemala’s.

One of my friends accused me of suspending this column week before last, because I had not written a new column for either of the issues that week. There were two columns last week, however. One column discussed the Rios Montt conviction in Guatemala City, and the other considered the Noh Mul violation outside of Orange Walk Town. For some years now, with all my children grown, I have thought of becoming creative again in my writing. This would mean I would seek to communicate with you through mechanisms like stage plays and prose fiction, for example, which were much of what I was doing between 1969 and 1976. But, writing in this newspaper and some editing/proofreading are how I make my daily bread, and my wife and I have to eat. I am grateful for the job I have, which I mostly enjoy, so why should I be thinking of doing the same creative things which were not paying the bills back then? Writers are happy when people want to read what they write, and this is the situation in which I find myself. So, mine is a happy situation. But, there are things you can’t say in a straightforward column. In this field, we writers believe that the highest form of writing is creative, not journalistic.

by Mrs. Cassandra Munnings-Sabal Dear Editor, I am a teacher at Pallotti High School who was asked to write a letter addressing her Fourth Formers. I thought it was a good idea from our principal because teachers don’t usually write letters to students sharing their thoughts, appreciation and memories of their journey. I took the liberty to write one and I thought it would be a good idea for it to be read publicly. I do believe other fourth formers who read it may be encouraged as well. In the spirit of Teachers’ Week/Month, it would be an honor if this letter finds a space in your newspaper. Thanks very much for your time and consideration. May 18th, 2013 Dear 4TH Formers, ISAIAH 26:3 says, “People with their minds set on God are kept completely whole and steady on their feet because they keep at it and don’t quit.” Therefore I write this letter in hopes that it meets you in complete peace of mind, of body, of soul and in complete balance with God. I am quite aware that you are slowly coming to the end of your time here at Pallotti and even though you might feel inclined to say “FINALLY!!” or “THANK GOODNESS!!!”, allow me to applaud you for your determination to persevere: for having remained focused and steady on your feet in order to have completed your four years of high school education.

by Lita Hunter Krohn Dear Editor: Am reading in Spanish: Violencia y Genocidio en Guatemala by Victoria Sanford. This little book of 120 pages gives valuable information and background to Guatemala from the 1950s to the 1990s. It is essential information for all Belizeans providing clean and clear data as to what happened there, who was responsible and who we are dealing with. Sincerely, Lita Hunter Krohn

I have read the editorial in this week’s Amandala and must wholeheartedly agree with the editor concerning the amount of nonsense happening under this Barrow administration. The editor mentioned that even the UDP loyalists have to admit there is a crisis concerning the Deputy PM. Scandal after scandal is coming out concerning him and the PM still hasn’t come out and disciplined this individual. Why is he protecting this guy? In the past Musa administration, Mr. Musa said a famous statement that Belizeans took politically and made fun of him: “Nobody will get between the love I have for Ralph Fonseca.” It seems today it’s déjà vu. I wonder if Barrow will profess this same statement the love he has for Gapi Vega, that’s why he’s mute about all these scandals. Hakeem Bush

KREM’s community reporter turned community activist, Perry Smith, also known as “Sticks,” was among 41 persons who were honored at an appreciation and award ceremony held by the Belize Police Department at the Princess Hotel in Belize City on Friday, May 17, 2013. Smith, who received the award on behalf of the St. Martin De Porres Concerned Citizens Group, told our newspaper that awards were given to three civilian community groups, including his, as well as police officers who had been doing “exceptional work.” On April 13, 2013, Smith’s group, which also includes Anthony Codd and Olga Gordon, held a day of healing and a candlelight vigil at the St. Martin De Porres Football Field. Their next event is slated for June 16, 2013. A report from the Police Department said that at Friday’s appreciation and awards ceremony, the four precincts from the Eastern Division Headquarters and community members were awarded.

Oceana Belize announced today (Friday) that they have been able to confirm that Treaty Energy Limited, joint venture partner of Princess Petroleum, has resumed drilling in southern Belize – a move which the organization says violates a recent ruling by the Supreme Court. “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,” Oceana said. In a statement issued on May 6, 2013, Treaty had said that, “Due to the Supreme Court ruling, Treaty Belize Energy temporarily suspended its drilling efforts on the San Juan #3. Treaty wanted to consult with its legal counsel in Belize and wait for the Government of Belize to issue a statement. On May 5, 2013, Prime Minister Barrow made statements to local media regarding the Supreme Court ruling. Based on the legal opinion Treaty Energy received from Princess Petroleum’s legal counsel and the statement made by Prime Minister Barrow, Treaty has made the decision to recommence drilling of the San Juan #3 well.

26 hours after one of the supervisors of Hon. Anthony “Boots” Martinez’s Southside Poverty Alleviation Project was killed, another of Minister Martinez’s employees was shot. Peter Castillo, 33, of the Jane Usher Boulevard area, is fighting for his life at the Emergency Ward at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he was shot in the jaw, leg and shoulder at about 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 18, at the junction of Fabers Road and Gill Street. According to police reports, Castillo was riding his bicycle on Fabers Road towards Queen Charlotte Street, but when he reached the junction of Gill Street and Fabers Road, a gunman who was standing at the junction took out a gun and shot him. Castillo fell to the ground, and the gunman escaped.


#traveltuesday our Belize City Shopping trip and a tacogirl reader review of Mahogany Hall
Last Friday Commodore Andy and I were on official San Pedro Sailing Club business in Belize City – hunting down deals for Sunday Charity beach barbecue. On the way over we got to land in Caye Chapel, both of us were ready to get off the plane and say hi to Evan and enjoy one of our new favorite islands. Good thing we were both in the mood to shop otherwise it would have been all to easy to abandon our mission. Our Belize City Taxi driver Jeff 630-5746 was waiting for us at when we arrived Municipal Airport. We headed off to Food and Beverage first, Jeff had to try a few routs as we ran into a roadwork detour. Andy was going to get party size mayonnaise and barbecue sauce but we both quickly became excited by a 1 liter bottle of Balsamic Vinegar for $8 bzd. After we headed a stones throw down the road to Smiling Meats where Matthew took good care of us. Andy bought 30 thick cut pork chops for Sundays charity barbecue and the price was $2 a chop cheaper than in San Pedro. Of course as soon as Pedro found out we were in Smiling’s shop, Andy got a call straight away to pick him up a Ham Fully Loaded Jeff drove us headed back to Maya Air and caught the 12:30 flight home.

Chaa Creek’s Guides Offer Some Responsible Water Tips for Travellers
Travellers concerned about the environment and wish to be part of the growing trend towards ethical travel have been asked to consider how they use one of life’s essentials while abroad – water. According to Miguel Choco, an experienced naturalist guide at Belize’s the Lodge at Chaa Creek, the use of disposable plastic water bottles is becoming a major environmental hazard. Mr Choco recently said, “One of the issues guides constantly face is water. Visitors need constant supplies of fresh drinking water, but at the same time, plastic water bottles are becoming an environmental nightmare all around the world. “If you’ve ever canoed down a pristine river or visited a beautiful Maya temple in the rainforest, and saw empty plastic bottles lying around, you know what we mean. It’s a growing problem worldwide, but one that can be mitigated with a little foresight.” Mr Choco said that Chaa Creek has been addressing the problem for some time now, and is offering water tips for travellers. “Here at Chaa Creek we produce our own drinking water using state-of-the-art filtration systems. We then give our guests souvenir aluminium water bottles that they can fill at no cost at the various filling stations around the resort. “This way they’re ensured a supply of clean, safe drinking water when they’re here or out on tours and don’t need to purchase the plastic bottles. We do sell the plastic bottles for those guests who feel better using them, but we find that most people prefer to take the eco-route and use ours,” he said.

International Sources

Authorities probe the deaths of 12 babies at Belize hospital
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) says 12 babies have died during the month so far and it has launched an investigation to determine whether the deaths were due to an infection outbreak. In a statement, the hospital said that the investigation is to “determine whether this is an outbreak of hospital-based (nosocomial) infection and if so, what is its source”.The babies were all confined to the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) after being born at the health institution. The KHMH said “all the neonates affected were premature births, and therefore more susceptible to infection and complications of prematurity”.

A Parasitic Worm Infects An Ant
In the jungles of Belize last January, entomologist Alex Wild noticed something odd about the trap-jaw ants passing through his outdoor insect photography class: They all had shrunken heads and swollen abdomens. A day after making the observation, Wild and his students came upon an ant with a worm bursting out of its side. Parasites were at work. Nematode worms enter the ants as larvae and grow inside the ants’ body cavity, siphoning off nutrients and distorting their hosts’ natural anatomy. When the eight-inch-long nematodes are ready to mate a few weeks later, they push their way out of their half-inch-long hosts, killing them.

May 21, 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 Street Treats: Kenep
It’s kenep season once again! They can be found at almost every little fruit stand across town that has fresh produce for sale. The local vendors sell them by the bag for a low cost of $2. Many people call it by different names (kenep, kinep, waya, guinep, mamones, Mexican lime), one fact remains unchanged: the sweet yet tart flavor makes it a great snack, any time of the day. The fruit typically ripens during the summer and grows in bunches on trees up to 30 meters high. You can find a kenep tree virtually in any district of mainland Belize. The outer skin of the fruit is green and thick, I personally compare it to a soft nut shell. To get to the yummy insides you use your teeth to break the casing open. The pulp is an orange or peach color, depending on the type and the stage of ripening. It is sweet and juicy, yet sour at the same time, and the texture is so smooth and silky it sends your taste buds on an unexpected ride. Pop the fruit in your mouth, and suck or chew the flesh away. When only the seed remains, you spit it out.

Placencia dominates 12th Annual BTB Tourism Awards
BTB Tourism Awards-7Bannister Caye was the location for the 12th annual Belize Tourism Board (BTB) tourism awards ceremony held on Saturday, May 18, 2013. This year, the party was an all-white affair, and guests were whisked away from Old Belize via two large boats to Bannister Caye, about 45 minutes away from the coast of Belize City. The location was tropical, gorgeous and fabulous, and the welcoming sounds of Pantempers Steel Band filled the air. BTB Tourism Awards-7Bannister Caye was the location for the 12th annual Belize Tourism Board (BTB) tourism awards ceremony held on Saturday, May 18, 2013. This year, the party was an all-white affair, and guests were whisked away from Old Belize via two large boats to Bannister Caye, about 45 minutes away from the coast of Belize City. The location was tropical, gorgeous and fabulous, and the welcoming sounds of Pantempers Steel Band filled the air.

Dental health professionals attend annual workshop in San Pedro Town
Government dentists and other dental health professionals were on Ambergris Caye for two days as part of their annual dental workshop. The event took place on May 16th and 17th at Banana Beach Resort in San Pedro Town and had the participation of about 20 government dental workers. During the two days the participants got to discuss issues relating to dentistry in the government run public health facilities in ten different outposts. Heading the government dental workers is Doctor Rafael Samos, Senior Dental Surgeon in the Dental Department of the Ministry of Health. According to Dr. Samos, the annual conference is held in different venues annually and for the first time, San Pedro Town was the host. “We gather all the dental staff in the Ministry of Health from the dental assistant to the auxiliary dental officer to dentist from all our clinics. In all, we have ten dentists working with the government and ten dental assistants and two auxiliary dental officers. We take into consideration all the activities and statistics we do throughout the year and we build up on that. We also take time out to discuss the action plans, we discuss challenges and try to come up with solutions and we also look at the way forward for the next year,” explained Samos.

University of North Georgia students interact with Belizean students
A group of students from the University of North Georgia, USAwere in Belize conducting several activities. It is a part of the university’s Students Study Abroad program and while in the country, were working in two municipalities. The students were scheduled to work in schools in Belize City and in San Pedro Town where they had the opportunity to do some hands-on work. On the night of Saturday May 11th, the students had the unique opportunity to meet other students from the University of West Indies (UWI), Belize Campus. During a meet and greet, the US students enjoyed the Garifuna Culture through drumming and various dances. The foreign students were introduced to the dances and all were excited to try it. They also interacted and participated in various games and even sang during the karaoke sessions. The following day, on Sunday May 12th, the university students traveled to the Lamanai Maya Site in the Orange Walk District, one of the main sites in the country and the largest in northern Belize. There, the North Georgia students were met by students of Sacred Heart Junior College (SHJC) from the Cayo District. Speaking to The San Pedro Sun, Vicky Novelo, Director of Student Services at SHJC, explained the purpose of the interaction between the two groups of students.

Ambergris Today

Video Pick: Bridal Party Harlem Shakes at Tranquility Bay Resort, Ambergris Caye
Local wedding photographer Jose Luis Zapata took this small video while he was documenting a beach wedding at Tranquility Bay Resort in northern Ambergris Caye, Belize. When the Harlem Shake song came along, a spontaneous dance erupted and he was able to capture the dance that has gone viral the world around. Congratulations to Jason and Morgan Hawks!

Flashbacks: La Beluga Submarine in San Pedro
Submarines are said to have been sighted outside the reef along the north coast of Ambergris Caye during World War II. Could this have been one of them captured and landed in San Pedro. That would have been cool, but no, only wishful thinking. This is actually one of those life boats used in those big container ships. In times of emergency, several men could lock themselves in it and it could roll in open seas. The boat once appeared in San Pedro in the early 1980’s and it belonged to Mr. Kevin Gonzalez. He parked it in front of Mr. Dan Dawson’s yard for him to do some repairs on it. Mr. Dawson, of course, was San Pedro’s most renowned mechanic and handy man who could repair anything. The boat was called the submarine by everyone in San Pedro and it was named Beluga. When in the sea, children would enter and play in the beluga pretending to be soldiers or a submarine crew. A short anecdote: Once a group of children were playing in the Beluga and locked one of their friends inside the Beluga. When it suddenly rolled over, they became scared and ran off leaving their frightened friend all alone in distress. It was not until a friend asked them to go and release the prisoner that they did so. We are sure some other persons might have hilarious stories to tell about the Submarine, La Beluga.

Pic of the Week: Traditional Uniform Signing at San Pedro High School
Today was graduation announcements at San Pedro High School and with that came the signing of the uniforms. It's an annual and year-old tradition where students and friends write congratulatory messages on the senior's uniforms once they know that they are graduation from San Pedro High. Here are a few pictures from today's happy announcements. Congratulations to all the graduating seniors at San Pedro High School.

Misc Belizean Sources

Accounting Part 1: Introduction to Accounting
LEARN ABOUT The basic understanding of accounting: how accounting numbers are generated, the meaning of income, and how to track expenses, profit and loss.. also learn how to use accounting reports to make better small business decisions.

Intent to toll - Northern Highway - into Belize City
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 an end (at least for the time being) to the Mayor’s plan. The residents of northern Belize should remain alert none-the-less, because CitCo may still be plotting on how to get its hands on their money. The Mayor, in attempting to justify his taxation on the residents of northern Belize, declared that non-residents of Belize City pour into his city, use its services and pay nothing for it. Wow! It appears that the Mayor has forgotten that his council receives an annual subvention from GOB. Where does he think that money comes from?

For those of you who have been following the Lucky Boy story you will love how he is looking these days!!!! Kudos to all who helped save the beautiful animal! Wouldn't we all like our own personal pool to lounge beside on a hot, smokey day like today? Lucky Boy continues to stay super cool despite the weather, with the occasional dip in his pond. When the light hits him just right, you can see those gorgeous rosettes hidden under his shiny black coat. Genetics lesson of the day: black jaguars are the SAME species as regular spotted jaguars. They just were lucky enough to be born with more pigments in their coats!

Baby tapir rescued from smoke
While we are thrilled to save this little fellow, we would prefer that he were still with his mother... What has turned into a chronic fire situation in western Belize, has resulted in "Fuego" needing much wildlife has suffered due to careless bush fires? Turtles, snakes, birds, grey foxes. Not to mention us 2 legged species breathing in that noxious smoke day after day.....The burning must stop! Little Fuego here is a testament to that.

8 pieces of chicken, skinned (or you can use boneless chicken breasts) Juice of one lemon 4 tablespoons mango chutney 2 teaspoons curry powder 2 tablespoons mustard 4 tablespoons butter, softened 1 tablespoon white wine 1 teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon thyme ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Scholarship Club Sees Belize
Feelgood news of the day. Restore Belize and the BNE Charitable Trust teamed up last year to create 60 scholarships for Belizeans from around the country. They've been showing the kids the natural wonders of Belize, and this short video captures their trips in 2013. Thanks, BNECT and Restore Belize! "Greetings. Here's a short update on some recent trips made by the Scholarship Club."

International Museum Day in Cayo
The SISE Hoc had their celebration for International Museum Day, and they got some good pictures of the event. Everyone loved hearing, and playing, the marimba. Thanks, NICH!

Belize Coalition Logo Contest
The Belize Coalition to Save Our National Heritage is having a logo competition. If you have an idea for their logo, you have until May 24th to submit it. The winner will get $300. Good luck!

Belize Bank Scholarship Program
Scholarships for the next school year are being offered from Belize Bank. They have the requirements up on their website, and this year, they are offering scholarships for high school and 6th form. You can pick up application forms at the local branch. "We are seeking some bright Belizean students to become a part of our Scholarship Program! Visit our website at for the requirements and application forms. Deadline for submission is June 28, 2013."

Cayo's Old West Feel
Cayo got a great write up in International Living. Yes, Everyone should visit Cayo, even though the only things we have here are Mayan archaeological sites, rivers, waterfalls, caves, hiking trails, butterfly farms, medicinal trails, ziplines, cenotes, canoe adventures, botanical gardens, granite pools, Lake Benque, ATM, award winning hotels... Photo is from the Black Hole Drop adventure at Caves Branch Lodge. "If you love lazy rivers, vast rolling hills, and fertile farmland and rainforests where you can test your gardening skills, Cayo is for you. The heart of this area are the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, which both enjoy an Old West feel…but in a tropical frontiersman kind of way that you’ll find only in Belize. Bargains can be found here, too—not only on real estate but on the huge amount of produce and fresh cheeses grown and produced here by local Mennonites."

SIRH Wins Hotel of the Year
The San Ignacio Resort Hotel won the Belize Tourism Board's 'Hotel of the Year' award at their annual tourism awards Saturday. Of course they did! The top notch quality and elegance they provide really sets them above the others. Congratulations to the San Ignacio Resort Hotel! In related news, the airlines are increasing their flights to Belize. Must be to come to Cayo. "Just got the news, We won 2012 Hotel of the Year at the BTB Tourism Awards. More to come Monday :)"

Scarlet Six Biomonitoring Team
Tony Rath uploaded some more great pictures from the trip the Scarlet Six Biomonitoring team took through the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. "This final Album from the Chiquibul documents the process these dedicated researchers go through to safe guard and learn about the scarlet macaws nesting in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, Belize."

Channel 7

12 Newborns Die In May At The KHMH Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
12 newborns have died at the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit of the KHMH in the first 20 days of May, 2013. It is a frightening statistic that was confirmed by the KHMH in a press release sent an hour ago. So, what’s causing the deaths? The KHMH Quality Assurance Team is investigating but they say it might be an outbreak of, hospital based infection, which means it was likely carried by careless hospital staff. The newborns in the pediatric intensive unit are especially vulnerable because all of them were either born premature or with some other serious complication and they do not have the resistance to fight such an infection. The statement says the unit often operates above 100% capacity – and given the frequently overcrowded conditions, hospital based infections are a constant threat. So, right now the Unit has been shut down. An Air Quality Assessment will be done by an independent contractor, followed by removal and disinfection of all equipment and terminal cleaning of the entire unit. The statement adds that all staff will be swabbed to identify possible carriers. The unit will remain closed until the hospital has determined that it is safe to resume operations.

Ann-Marie Got Carjacked!
Ann Marie Williams is one of the best known names and faces in Belizeans – she’s been on the frontline of media, activism and politics for over two decades. But tonight, she’s in the headlines after she was car jacked this weekend. On Saturday night at around 11:00, Ann Marie was returning from the Miss Y Pageant and pulled into her driveway on Durgeon Drive. But when she parked her Mazda Tribute, she saw a car abruptly pull up at the speedbump near her house. She then saw two men striding into her unfenced yard. She says she shouted at them, but they just kept on coming at her. One of them held a club over her while the other demanded the car key. She handed it over and one of them drove off, while the other ran back into the vehicle they had come in and sped off. They also took her cell phone. Police recovered the vehicle in Hattieivlle around noon today. It was undamaged, but had to be towed into the city because the ignition key could not be found. Today Ann Marie declined comment explaining that she was traumatized. Police have no suspects at this time.

City Man Survives Shot Through Head
A Belize City man survived a shot to the head on Saturday morning. At 6:00 am, 33 year old Peter Castillo – who is employed at the City Council - was riding his bicycle on Gill Street going to visit a friend at the corner with Faber’s Road. But when he got to the corner a gunman who was standing nearby fired multiple shots at him. Castillo who is from nearby Jane Usher Boulevard was shot in the calf, shoulder and jaw. We are told that the bullet which hit his shoulder actually traveled up through his head and damaged his eye. But, almost miraculously, he did not receive major brain damage and can speak. He is listed in stable condition. Police have not made any arrests.

Police Make Minor Gill Street Bust, Roy Bennett Has A Major Problem with It
And also on Gill Street on Saturday, police made an arrest at the Felix Yard, which has been a target of both law enforcement and criminals. This time it was the police who found 24 grams of marijuana. That’s less than an ounce, but it was enough for them to detain brothers Ryan Cash Felix and Roy Bennett for the entire weekend. They were released this morning after appearing in court and Roy Bennett told us he is tired of police harassment. Voice of Roy Bennett - Complains of Police Harassment "I was at home watching TV and I'm tired of being disturbed by the Gang Suppression. I want them to know and I'm sending them a message because they treat us like we are the biggest criminal when they are the biggest criminal and they know what is going on in the streets. Saturday they came into my yard and nearly shot my dog and took me to the station concerning a shooting that I didn't know about. Now they charged me for weed and instead of them bringing my charge sheet so that I can get bail and go home instead they left me at the station and when people were bringing food for me they didn't give it to me. They still have my phone and they are texting from my phone and I don't know what they are doing. I just want them to know that they know what they are dealing with. I am tired of them harassing me. I wasn't resisting arrest, I was sitting down in my house. Instead of them investigating what they should they are coming around here for information and no information is around here. I am tired of the harassment and I want them to stop it ."

Shooting Victim’s Family Says Police Making their Loved One Suffer
Last week, we told you about the shooting at the corner of Oleander and Tulip Streets on Thursday at around 5 p.m. A 16 year-old minor was allegedly shot by police after he turned his gun on them. According to police, this minor was allegedly in a shootout with 25 year-old Ryan Myles, who he allegedly targeted at the corner of Oleander and Tulip Streets. The minor shot Myles miles 3 times in the left thigh, left knee and left ankle. Police searched an abandoned lot and found a black 380 Ruger brand pistol with 3 live rounds of ammunition. Police believe that this was the weapon that Myles used it to defend himself against the minor, and that he threw it away when he realized that they were coming. Myles was rushed to the KHMH which could not provide him with much medical treatment because his leg was too swollen. And so the KHMH was supposed to release him from the hospital today until the swelling went down. But that didn’t happen because CIB police detained him for questioning, much to the chagrin of his family. They told 7News today that Myles should not be detained right now, he should be in bed, off his leg which is in awful condition.

Placencia Sweeps Tourism Awards, San Pedro Shut Out
San Pedro may be Belize’s premier tourism destination, but Placencia was the one that virtually swept the 12th annual tourism awards on Saturday night at Bannister Caye. Daniel Ortiz and Cameraman Codie Norales attended to meet with those who pretty much carry this important industry on their backs. Here is their report. Daniel Ortiz reporting This year’s Tourism Awards were almost swept by tour operators and businesses out of Placencia, which was recognized as the Tourist Destination of the Year. Because Belize’s economy depends so heavily on this industry, it is easy to recognize the fancy hotels, and beautiful exotic destinations. People often forget however, that there are real individuals who work very hard behind the scenes to drive it forward. One of them is Natalie Ranguy, who makes a first impression on her guests, and you know what they say about first impressions. She makes sure that each individual she comes in contact with remembers her, and by extension, Belize. Natalie Ranguy - Front Desk, Chabil Mar Villas - 'Frontline Person Of The Year' "From the time your guest steps on your property you know that that person is a value to your property and to Belize. So you have to make sure that they're contented and they're happy because they travel all the way just to come and see our country and when they get here we have to make sure that they have a good time and want to come back and bring friends."

Belizean Soldier Stabbed In Barbadoes; Very Critical
A BDF soldier has been stabbed in Barbados. According to the Jamaica Observer Newspaper 45 year old Warrant Officer Andre Gabb, who is in Barbados as part of the Regional Security System was in the company of two other people when he was stabbed. It happened late Friday night in an area known as Black Rock, two miles north of the Capital Bridgetown. The Observer reports that Gabb underwent emergency surgery and was listed in a critical condition at the Queen Elizabeth hospital. From local sources, we found out that he was out socializing, and a friend caught in a fight, Gabb went to help and he was stabbed. He lost 13 pints of blood and was extremely critical – so much so that he had to be put on life support. We are told that he is now conscious and off life support – but still critical. Arrangements are being made for his wife to be flown to Barbados. The regional security system or RSS we learned from the Observer is the quote, “defence alliance of several mainly eastern Caribbean Nations” tasked to provide assistance in police and army operations. He is the only soldier from the BDF who was assigned to that group in Barbados and he had been there for a year.

Whistleblower To Alleged Abuse Says He’s Being Threatened
We report tonight on the controversy coming out of San Ignacio Town which involves a primary school teacher who is accused of inappropriately contact with a male student. Eddie Pinelo is in jail tonight after he was arraigned last week Friday on the charge of aggravated assault of an indecent nature. It’s due to a report by a 14 year-old male student who reported to police that on March 22, he visited Pinelo’s home in Bullet Tree. The minor alleges that while at the teacher’s house, they both drank Caribbean rum with coke. He said that after about three cups, he felt drunk, but he could remember that he was taken to a bed. He alleges that the teacher removed all his clothing and had intercourse with him. A doctor examined him and certified that there were no signs of abuse, so the police could not bring an unnatural crime charge against him. Well, before the minor reported the incident, he allegedly confided in a coach, who advised him to go to police. That coach is now reportedly coming under fire from supporters of Pinelo, who are allegedly issuing death threats against him. He spoke to 7News today, and asked for us to shield his identity, and he told us what the minor confided in him: Voice of: Concerned Teacher "During the Easter vacation I was at the Falcon Field in San Iglancio where I met this student and this student told me that he was with a teacher drinking at the river then the teacher took him to his house not far away from the river and put him on the bed in front of a porn and a laptop and sodomized him. He took off his clothes and had sex with him for about half an hour."

Shalini Has Impressive Cross Country Win
Last week 7News told you about the issues which almost caused the Women’s Cross Country not to take place. Well, the Cycling Association, with the advice of their attorneys, decided that they would move forward with it, and only 4 riders participated. 2 of them were the elite riders, Shalini Zabaneh and defending Cross Country Champion Kaya Catouse. Zabaneh was looking to provide payback to Cattouse who defeated her at a sprint last year. And she delivered in a major way; we’re talking about a 22 minutes gap between Zabaneh and Cattouse. News was out there, and we spoke to both of them about the race, and massive blowout. Here’s what they told us. Shalini Zabaneh - Winner, 2013 Women’s Cross Country Classic "It feels good to be the champion again. It definitely worked in improving in the hills and that's where the plan was to execute so I as praying for a head-win today so I knew once I had the gap I would have been able to maintain and be able not catch me." Daniel Ortiz "What differently did you do this time than in the last race where miss Cattouse won that sprint." Shalini Zabaneh "I improved on my climbing - that's my strength. I worked on it and focused on it hard and trained hard so that was the difference."

The Other Side of Aurelio
Song and Dance Man Aurelio Martinez has achieved legendary status in the pantheon of Garifuna Music among the ranks of Paul Nabor and Andy Palacio. He’s made his name here for his soulful Paranda performances captured on the albums Garifuna Soul and Laru Beya. But the Aurelio Martinez we know in Belize is really only half the story – those Stonetree albums capture his international side; in his home country of Honduras he’s known as a straight up Punta Rocker. And that’s the direction he’s going on his latest track which is called “Me Enamore.” It’s a latin tune recorded in New York with a Belizean American artist named Jahsa (Hasa) – and he told us about the video today – and discussed the wider concept of cultural music versus music for the hometown clubs:… Aurelio Martinez - Performer "He invited me to do something with him and I decided it to be my single for my new Punta Rock album. Aurelio Martinez is a multi faceted singer so before I did any professional way - Paranda and Punta Rock music, I played in a latin band in Honduras. My first band I sang Rancheras and sang Salsa, Merengue, every kind of music so I know to do that. When Jahsa invited me to do the song with him - he's a fan of Aurelio Martinez and so I said I don't really like to do collaborations with other artist but this Jahsa touched my heart and he called me to help him and I said 'yes'. Jahsa met some people in New York and he found people to be the models for a special video on a special boat in beautiful places in New York."

Budna Speaks From Guatemala, Says He Will Cleared On Appeal
As we told you on Friday, Joseph Budna has been sentenced to 25 years in jail – and is already serving his sentence in the maximum security jail called Jocotes (HOCOTES) in Zacapa Guatemala, about 7 hours from Melchor. And today he went back to a Guatemalan court in connection with another kidnapping. When he went to court today, he spoke to us and told us he is confident he will be exonerated on appeal. Joseph Budna - Serving Jail time in Guatemala "I could tell you that these Guatemalans, all of them they were three of them on different occasions have planned to pretend that they were kidnapped as to obtain money from their parents. I was in my car, I facilitated the car and at the end of the day they changed the story and said it was a kidnap because the money was not shared the way it was suppose to be shared. If I was involved I would not deny that because that is not a criminal offence over this side. At the end of the day Wednesday I will be going to court again and that is when my attorney and myself will decide on an appeal. We will appeal this because we will have an ID parade and they will see there statements were contradicting." We’ll keep following his case…

Channel 5

B.D.F. soldier almost killed in Barbados
A Belize Defense Force Soldier was critically injured in Barbados on Friday night and his family is preparing to travel to the island. Forty-five year old Warrant Officer Andre Gabb is currently attached to the Caribbean Defense Pact’s Regional Security System also referred to as R.S.S.  Gabb was along with two friends when he was [...]

Bajan bus conductor attacked because he didn’t like foreigners
Just before news time, we spoke via phone to Rene Montero, Gabb’s cousin, who was with him at the time of the incident on Friday. Montero says that a group of Belizeans was about to go to his house for dinner, and half of the group got into a zedar, which is the Bajan version [...]

Is a bacteria in the hospital related to infant death?
There is alarming news about the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital which says that at least ten babies have died as the result of suspicious circumstances surrounding a bacteria in the last two weeks. Last Friday, we aired the plight of an Orange Walk couple whose newborn baby died at the hospital after he was allegedly [...]

Treaty Energy resumes drilling despite the potential dangers to communities
As we reported on Friday, Treaty Belize Energy’s drilling operations are in full throttle in San Juan Three in the south. The company shares a joint venture with Princess Petroleum and that license was among a list of six that were declared null and void by the Supreme Court. The government is appealing that decision [...]

Placencia sweeps Tourism Awards
The biggest event in the tourism calendar is the National Tourism Awards. This year it did not disappoint; the event was moved to Bannister Caye where the guests, dressed in white, arrived by catamaran from the Old Belize pier. The highlight was the announcement of the nine winners in the industry… and move over San [...]

NCL mega tourism project goes against sustainable tourism policy
As we said, the Placencia Peninsula was the biggest winner at Saturday night’s tourism award. It was a major win for the industry in the south which has remained environmentally conscious over the years, retaining its natural beauty and cultural uniqueness.  But, all that can change overnight since Norwegian Cruise Lines is proposing a mega [...]

Forest fires smoke out Cayo residents
Belize is nearing the end of its dry season…in fact, we should already have been experiencing some pretty significant rainfall, but it is nowhere in existence and for some residents it can’t come soon enough. That’s because while there is no hint of rain, there is plenty of smoke. In fact, the entire west of [...]

More fired in Cayo…this time at St. Hilda’s
Residents of the twin towns of Santa Elena and San Ignacio, and even as far as Belmopan, have been complaining for weeks now about the smoke which seems to permeate everything. But for one school in Georgeville in the Cayo District, the situation is a lot more serious. The school is built on a hill [...]

Tree falls and kills woodcutter
A logwood cutter from Spanish Lookout is dead after a tree fell on top of him in the Yalbac area behind that community. Reports reaching News Five are that on Sunday at around four p.m., forty-six year old John Penner, an employee of the Yalbac Sawmill, was fighting a fire along with Henry Dueck. Dueck [...]

Multiple road traffic accidents in the country
The weekend may have been murder free, but it had its share of traffic accidents. We start with the early hours of Sunday morning in the south. At about three thirty Police were called to the junction of the Southern Highway and San Antonio Road where they found two men lying on the highway with [...]

Women’s Commission’s Ann-Marie Williams robbed
A brazen robbery late Saturday night has left the Executive Director for the National Women’s Commission, Ann-Marie Williams traumatized. According to Williams, she was returning to her house on Durgeon Drive in Coral Grove Area in Belize City around eleven p.m. following the Miss Y Pageant that was held at the Bliss Center for the [...]

Not a target, but Peter ‘Animal’ Castillo gets shot
A Belize City man remains admitted at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in a stable condition following a shooting incident around six a.m. on Saturday. Thirty-three year old Peter Castillo, better known as “Animal” had just gone to a house on Gill Street to visit a friend when several shots, some say up to five, [...]

Minister of Tourism saddened by destruction of Noh Mul
Much has been said over the past week about the wanton destruction of the Noh Mul Archaeological Site by De Mar’s Construction, a company owned and operated by U.D.P. supporter and onetime candidate Denny Grijalva.  In the wake of the incident, there was an immense public outcry condemning the actions of those involved.  While the [...]

Border talks inside the adjacency zone with the O.A.S.
The offices of the Organization of American States have been established in Belize for over a decade. Aside from a Belize City office, there is another that houses the General Secretariat of the organization and is snuggled at the official border crossing between Belize and Guatemala which is committed to keeping peace in the adjacency [...]

Raw talent unleashed on Sports Monday
Good evening folks, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The Premier League of Belize football sporting event continued over the weekend. In this Police Press Devon Mckay fires at goal – the ball is headed out by Jorge Estrada to Lemmot Castillo who can’t do anything with it. Fortunately in the second [...]


Ancient Mayan Canoe Uncovered in Southern Belize
A historical and ancient Mayan Canoe was discovered in the Toledo District. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the story. PAUL MAHUNG “The magnificent, historical and ancient discovery in Paynes Creek National Park was made by a team of archaeologists led by Doctor Heath...

Orange Walk Police Seek Weekend Shooters
Police in Orange Walk Town are investigating a shooting incident. Reporter Dalila Ical has the details. DALILA ICAL “An entire neighbourhood was awakened by the sound of gunshots in the area in the wee hours of Sunday morning in Orange Walk Town. According to neighb...

Case of Mistaken Identity Leaves Man Critical in Hospital
Tonight a man lies critically wounded with a bullet wound to his face and other parts of his body as the police seek out his attacker. Sometime around six on Sunday morning, are following a lead into the incident. Thirty-three year old Peter Castillo, also known as “A...

Placencia Peninsula Stars In Tourism Awards in Belize
Over the weekend the 12th Annual National Tourism Awards was held on Bannister Island. It’s the award show hosted every year by the Belize Tourism Board that seeks to recognize establishments and other stakeholders for the work they do in the industry. Eleven awards were handed o...

No Light and No Water In Harmonyville; Residents Plead for Water
Residents of Harmonyville located on the George Price Highway and a short distance away from Belmopan, are concerned about water in their developing community. Love News spoke to one of the residents who informed us that they have been to Belize Water Services several times, but ...

Village Council Elections Continue in Belize
43 villages held Village Council elections yesterday. We join Correspondent Harry Arzu for a look at the results in the Stann Creek District. HARRY ARZU Village council elections were held in six villages in the Stann Creek District on Sunday, May 19. In Seine Bight, Eloi...

Executive Director for Women's Commission In Belize Robbed In Her Drive Way
Police have recovered a vehicle that was stolen on Saturday night. Executive Director of the National Women’s Commission, Anne Marie Williams was robbed of her vehicle on Saturday night. According to reports, Williams arrived at her home around 11:00 pm on Saturday and as s...

Freak Accident Proves Fatal for Mennonite
A freak accident has claimed the life of a man in Cayo. According to reports, police visited a farm in Yalback Village, which is located behind the Spanish Lookout area sometime around 7:30 last night and upon arrival saw the body of a Mennonite man dressed in long blue jeans pan...

Punta Gorda Resident Beaten and Threatened Over the Weekend
A Punta Gorda man says he was attacked and threatened by another man yesterday. The twenty seven year old Dive Master of Jose Maria Nunez Street reported that around 9:00 am yesterday while riding his bicycle on Far West Street, he was approached by a black Montero SUV driven by ...

Police In Southern Belize Investigate Robberies Netting Over 25K
Two burglaries have been reported in the Stann Creek District. In the first, a Real Estate Property Manager of Middlesex Village reported that sometime around the 17th of May, several items were stolen from his twenty two acre citrus farm situated in the same village. The t...

Belize Police Officers Graduate From Adjudicators and Presenters Course
Over twenty police officers graduated on Friday afternoon from an Adjudicators and Presenters course. Twenty one officers mainly involved in tribunals within the police department attended a one week follow-up training. The graduation featured the former Director of Training for ...

Boat Passengers Rescued At Sea
Four persons were rescued after their boat capsized at sea. According to reports, Corozal police responded to a report of a boat capsizing about a mile out at sea in the Finca Solana Area in Corozal. Upon arriving at the area they saw four persons floating out at sea. Quick...

Corozal Laborer Lands In Jail Then Hospital Following Self Inflicted Injuries
Also on Sunday a theft was reported in Corozal. Twenty year old Jose Alberto Escamilla of Finca Solana in Corozal Town, reported that on Sunday at around 3:00 am while on the Consejo Road, a man known to him as Samir Vivas approached him to borrow his phone. Escamilla was about to lend him ...

Police In Northern Belize Uncovers Unlicensed Firearm and Ammunition
Police have charged a twenty seven year old man for keeping firearm and ammunition without a license. On Sunday around 5:00am, they were on mobile patrol by Olga Marin Drive in Corozal Town, behind Doctor Gregorio Garcia’s clinic in the Santa Rita area, when they observed three m...

Police In Corozal Investigate Fatal Road Accident
Corozal police are investigating a fatal road traffic accident that occurred on Saturday night in the Corozal District. According to authorities, the incident took place around seven on Saturday night between miles 88 and 89 on the Phillip Goldson Highway. According to preliminary inve...

Belizean Soldier Critically Injured In Barbados Says Jamaican Newspaper
The Jamaican Observer is reporting that a Belizean Regional Security Soldier is in a critical condition in Barbados following a stabbing incident. The article says that forty five year old, Andre Gabb, a soldier attached to the Caribbean defence pact Headquartered in Barbados rem...

Monday, May 20 ------------ Sugar Cane Crop Season Closes Shortly In Belize
Sugar Cane farmers in the North agree on closing date for the cane crop season. Correspondent Arturo Cantun has the story. ARTURO CANTUN “It has been confirmed that 2012/2013 sugar cane crop season is scheduled to close on Saturday, May 25 at 6pm. Representati...

Deputy Takes Over In Prime Minister's Absence
Prime Minister Dean Barrow will be out of the country for five days. A press release from his office informs that he left the country on Saturday and is expected back on Thursday May 23rd. Prime Minister Barrow will be attending a graduation ceremony and will then proceed t...


PUP Takes Three Villages In The North, UDP Takes Six
The second part of the 2013 Village Council Elections was held yesterday in nine villages here in the north, five in the Corozal District and four in the Orange Walk District. Countrywide 34 villages held elections, most of them won by the United Democratic Party. Here is how the elections played out in the Northern part of the country. Irvin Aragon – Reporting Yesterday a number of villages across the country of Belize came alive once again as the second round of the 2013 Village Council Elections was carried out. Here in the North, nine villages held elections: four in the Orange Walk District and five in the Corozal District. This week our coverage began in the Corozal District where the electorate of Consejo, Chan Chen, Louisville, Santa Clara, and San Roman exercised their right to vote. Our first stop was in the Village of Chan Chen where candidates and representatives of both political parties, including Corozal North Area Representative Hugo Patt, were busy garnering last minute votes and refused to comment on the elections. With that we headed out to the Village of Consejo, located some 6.5 miles north of Corozal with approximately 80 registered voters. Here the people were all fired up waiting anxiously to cast their vote. While incumbent UDP Chairman Carlos Arrana refused to give us an interview, the opposition’s candidate Edilberto Escalante told us why he and his team were the best persons to run the affairs of the community.

Another Maya Mound Destroyed
Since the news broke out that more than 70 percent of one of the North’s largest Maya Mound had been destroyed for landfill, it has been discovered that the Noh Mul Archeological Site is that not the only Maya Site that has been ravaged for its rich material here in the north. A visit to the Posito Archeological Site erected in the outskirts of Carmelita Village, proved that the destruction of Maya Mounds for the extraction of land fill is at a rampage. One of the sites medium size edifices, constructed around 300 BC, has been completely destroyed by man made machines. For the Archeological Department it is sad to see that what took the Mayas thousands of years to construct, are being destroyed without remorse. Carmelita Perez– Reporting Hundreds of pieces of broken pottery found all over the archeological site is testimony to the ravishing of Posito located in the outskirts of Carmelita Village in the Orange Walk District. Approximately six Maya Mounds believed to have been constructed around 300 B.C form part of what was once a Maya settlement. Buried beneath the mounds is undiscovered Maya history, history, that is slowing being turned to rubble by manmade machines. Similar to Noh Mul, one of the medium size structures of Posito has been completely destroyed for its material. According to Doctor John Morris from the Archeological Department it is obvious that the mound was recently destroyed.

Anti Virus Guru Says GOB Sent To Burn Is Home
Tonight John McAfee is on the news again and this time he is blaming the Belizean Government of burning two of his wooden structures in his 5 million dollars estate located in Carmelita Village in Orange Walk. On May 16th, the two wooden structures and a palapa valued at approximately half a million dollars belonging to McAfee were gutted by fire. The inferno reportedly started in an empty lot and crossed over to MacAfee’s property. Speaking from his home in Portland, Oregon, McAfee told MailOnline today that he believed the Belizean government paid a low-level individual to commit arson. McAfee said that he has a private investigator working on the case that could prove that UDP stalwart Orlando Landy Burns was behind the act committed. According to McAfee a woman has been charged with reckless endangerment over the fire but no corroborating reports were found. But as far as we are concerned no one has been charged.

Traffic Accident Claims Life Of U.S National
A traffic accident on the Philip Goldson Highway on Saturday night claimed the life of a US National who resided in the Village of Copper Bank in the Corozal District. Reports are that at around 6:30pm, 61 year old Earl Erwin Schmidt was driving his black Honda motorcycle towards Corozal when upon reaching between miles 88 and 89 of the Philip Goldson Highway he collided into a Tilletts bus which was parked on the right hand side of the highway facing a northerly direction. As a result of the collision, Schmidt sustained sever head injuries and died on the spot. We understand that at around 9:30am, the bus experienced mechanical problems and its driver Elvis Castillo from San Estevan Village in the Orange Walk District decided to leave it parked on the highway. A Notice of Intended Prosecution was served on Castillo and investigations continue.

Residents Of Pasadita Area Awaken By Gunshots
The sound of gun shots early Sunday morning left residents of Burns and Juventus Streets in the Pasadita Area of Orange Walk Town shaken. When we arrived in the area this morning, residents told us off camera that more than seven shots were fired at around 12:41 in the morning. Three of those shots left their markings on the residence of Zacarias Copo, who along with three of his siblings, including his wife, was sleeping inside the house when the shots were fired. While two bullets went right through one of the front windows, one targeted the front door. Luckily no one was injured. CTV3 News understands that two men armed with heavy artillery were seen leaving the area minutes after the shots rang out in an unmarked vehicle. By the time police arrived the men had made good their escape. Who exactly was the intended target or if the shooting was just an act of two persons playing cowboy and Indians, is yet unknown since police are still investigating. Residents in the area believe; however, that it all has to do with underworld activities. As for the Copo family they believe they were not the intended target.

Firearm Removed Off The Streets
And while an investigation into the fatal traffic accident continues, one man is tonight behind bars after Corozal police detained him for firearm offences. On Sunday May 19th, at about 5:00am, Corozal Police was on mobile patrol in the Santa Rita Area when they observed three male persons hanging out in a yard. As police approached the 3 individuals, one of the men, later identified as Ronny Hernandez, was observed hiding an object under a pile of dirt later discovered to be a 9mm Smith and Wesson pistol with a single magazine containing 4 live rounds of ammunition. Immediately Hernandez accepted blame for the offence and as a result was arrested and charged for kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license.

PM Accompanies Wife To Houston
Tonight the Prime Minister of Belize Dean Oliver Barrow is in Houston where his wife Kim Simplis Barrow is continuing her medical treatment for cancer. The Prime Minister left the country on Saturday and is expected back into the country on Thursday May 23rd. During the Prime Minister’s absence the honorable Gaspar Vega will act as Prime Minister.

Honouring Our Educators
On Thursday night Teacher Minerva Castillo from La Inmaculada R.C School was among the many educators that were honored for their outstanding work with children. Out of six nominees Castillo was bestowed the Outstanding Pre-Primary Level Award. Castillo has dedicated 27 years of her life to the teaching profession, 22 years at the infant level and five years at the pre-school level. Today we caught up with Castillo while she was in class doing what she loves best; educating the future leaders of the country. Minerva Castillo – Teacher at La Inmaculada School “It’s an honor and a pleasure to have won that prize, it is a hard work that I have gone through and it is not an easy job to teach the children of small age.” With a total of 26 students, 16 in the morning session and 10 in the afternoon, Castillo shared that the long hours of work, dedication and most of all her passion for the profession, played a key role in her accomplishment. Minerva Castillo – Teacher at La Inmaculada School “This accomplishment has a long way to go and the sleepiness nights that you have and a lot of planning and apparatus making and my dedication and passion to what I have in school that I have with the children especially with small children I love working with small children so that has brought me up to where I am 27 years of teaching profession.” Teacher Minerva Castillo now joins Tr. Rinelva Valladarez in making La Inmaculada R. C School proud. Valladarez received the Pre- Primary Level Award back in 2011.

LICU Holds 64th AGM
For over 60 years, La Inmaculada Credit Union has been offering financial support to its members owners in many different capacities. This past Saturday, the banking institution held its 64th Annual General Meeting at the Orange Walk People’s Stadium where its membership was presented with the 2012 financial report and other reports on the different sectors that make up the institution. Yolanda Gomez, General Manager LICU “They have a right to know what is happening with their investment and their money, the shares, the savings and we are only there working and operating and so we have a right to report back to them.” Irvin Aragon – Reporter “What are some of the highlights for this meeting?” Yolanda Gomez, General Manager LICU “The many activities we are engaged in, in addition to only accepting deposits and giving loans at the most affordable rate which is on an average 7% per annum, we are engaged in quite a number of activities, in outreached programs that include people who are ordinarily would not be or have access to any financial institution, we are currently forming a networking and having allies with BNE trust for educational loans, we have the European Union for the small scale and enterprise development in agriculture and tourism and we just engaged a new one with the International Development Bank for a social entrepreneurship program, we are driving the productive sector we are encouraging small business and that is really breathing success for us.”


Man dies when his motorbike hits parked bus
A man is dead after he collided into the back of a parked bus. Yesterday morning, bus driver Elvis Castillo, a resident of San Estevan, was traveling on the Phillip Goldson Highway, when the bus began to experience mechanical problems and so he parked the bus on the right...

Minister’s Daughter allegedly hit motorcyclist with Government vehicle
There was a traffic accident over the weekend involving a Government vehicle, allegedly being driven at the time by a Minister’s daughter. After 1 o’clock on Saturday afternoon, Melvin Escobar was driving his motorcycle in the Las Flores area of Belmopan and as he was crossing an intersection, a...

Man killed by falling tree
A man lost his life after a tree accidentally fell on top of him. Last night around 7:30pm, 46 year old John Penner, a Belizean Mennonite Logwood Cutter, along with another man, were cutting down trees at a farm in Yalback, located behind Spanish lookout. That is when a...

Four persons saved after boat sinks
Tonight, a group of four is lucky to be alive, after the boat they were travelling in capsized. 21 year old Gregorio Rosado, 22 year old Jeffrey Gongora, a 15 year old and a 13 year, were all aboard the vessel about a mile out at sea from the...

16 year-old arraigned in Family Court after shooting incident
The 16-year-old boy who was shot by police during last week’s shooting incident on Flamboyant Street was arraigned in the Belize Family Court this evening. It was believed that two rivalry gang members were at war and they were shooting at each other when police intervened and shot one...

Cross Country Classic for Women held on Sunday
On Friday we told you that the Cross Country Classic for women had been indefinitely postponed as stated through a release from the Cycling Association. Subsequent to that story we learned from the Association that the race was back on again. They said that after further consultation with legal...

Two Shooting incidents over the weekend
There were two shooting incidents over the weekend. The first happened shortly after 6am in Belize City. 33 year old Peter Castillo was riding his bicycle and as he reached the junction of Gill Street, a man standing at the junction fired several shots at him. Castillo was hit...

Roy Bennett fined for drug offences
25 year old Roy Bennett, his girlfriend, his brother, 27 year old Ryan Felix, and Kimberly Ciego were charged jointly with possession of 25.4 grams of cannabis. After the shooting of Peter Castillo on Saturday, Police executed a search warrant at the home of Roy Bennett. At the home,...

Second Round of Village Council Elections held
This weekend was the second round of Village Council Elections. The elections are held every three years, where one Chairperson and six members are voted in. In this second round, forty three villages participated and of that, the Toledo District hosted the majority with 14 elections. A full review...

BDF soldier stabbed in Barbados
A Belizean BDF is tonight recovering in a Barbados hospital after he was stabbed in the chest and left critically wounded. According to a report in the Jamaican Observer, 41 year old Andre Gabb, who is attached to the Caribbean Defense Pact in Barbados and assigned to the Regional...

NWC Executive Director robbed
The Executive Director fr the National Women’s Commission, Ann-Marie Williams, was apparently lay waited and robbed when she arrived at her house on Saturday. Williams had just exited her vehicle around 11 o’clock that night and was heading toward her house, when two dark complexion men, wearing hoods over...

PlusNews visit Blue Hole with Marine Protected Areas Manager
Our news crew was on a tour of the Blue Hole Natural Monument and surrounding seas this weekend. They came across an instance of the Belize Audubon Society (BAS) acting in its co-management role on the issue of fisheries. A team of fishermen were in the area between the...

GREAT Graduation in San Ignacio
Another series of the GREAT Program has wrapped up in San Ignacio. GREAT which means Gang Resistance Education and Training is a project by the Police Department aimed at deterring primary school students from gang related activities and educating them on conflict resolution. PC Ciriaco Medina, one of the...

Decision on extradition of Khalid Jamil El-Turk to the US set for June 28
On June 28, Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith will make her determination as to whether Khalid Jamil El-Turk will be extradited to the United States to face criminal charges. El-Turk is wanted for conspiring to import pseudo-ephedrine, a compound used to make the illegal drug methampetamine, into the United States....

Multicultural festivity this weekend in Belmopan
The Cultural Regional Institute of Belize (CRIB) has been busy promoting cultural events locally. The organization is a group of persons who through the promotion of cultural events and exposure to the different cultures of Belize believes that they can contribute to the sustainable development of the country. Directors...

Bi-national Border Bridge now open
The Bi-national Border Bridge that joins Belize and Mexico was opened last week. The new route, which promises to trim down traffic jams, is sketched with directional signs to aid motorists with smooth travels across the border. The new international bridge, as well as an access road was made...

Deputy PM fills in during PM’s US visit.
Deputy Prime Minsiter Hon. Gaspar Vega is holding over for the PM, while he is out of the country. The PM attended a graduation ceremony over the weekend and for the remainder of his trip will travel to Houston to accompany his wife for medical treatment. Hon. Barrow left...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker Lobster Fest 2013

The Reporter

US shale oil supply may shift global power balance
A steeper-than-expected rise in US shale oil reserves is about to change the global balance of power between new and existing producers, a report says. Over the next five years, the US will account for a third of new oil supplies, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The US will change from the world’s leading importer of oil to a net exporter. Demand for oil from Middle-East oil producers is set to slow as a result. “North America has set off a supply shock that is sending ripples throughout the world,” said IEA executive director Maria van der Hoeven. The surge in US production will reshape the whole industry, according to the IEA, which made the prediction in its closely-watched bi-annual report examining trends in oil supply and demand over the next five years. The IEA said it expected the US to overtake Russia as the world’s biggest gas producer by 2015 and to become “all but self-sufficient” in its energy needs by about 2035.

The Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) of Toledo, operating under the leadership of Mr. Will Maheia do not have the authority or the resources to define the Belize Western border with Guatemala. But this is not what the volunteers have set out to do. The Belize-Guatemala border was defined in the Treaty of 1859, and there is no need for us to go over that ground again. But it has become necessary to remind Guatemala that this land is ours, and we intend to defend it. The Western Border demarcates the limit of Guatemalan sovereignty and jurisdiction. We must also remind ourselves that Guatemala has made her claim to Belize a constitutional issue by inscribing Belize as part of her territory in her constitution. More recently, there were reports of plans to incorporate Belize on the Guatemalan map inscribed on her new passports. The decision to incorporate Belize in her constitution makes it illegal (unconstitutional) for any person or party in Guatemala not to support her claim. Even our Belizean diplomats are constrained in their discussions (with Guatemala) to refer to the western border as “adjacency zone” in deference to Guatemala, whose constitution would make believe that there is no such border.. Moreover, Guatemala does not exercise any restraining authority over her citizens in Petén, who make frequent incursions into Belize for the purpose of plunder, illegal mining or seasonal (milpa style) agriculture. Belize has been obliged to maintain an active border patrol which is costing our country millions of dollars, and we have been reduced to a state of near-futile resistance in the face of the menacing population bulge pushing into southwestern Belize.

Facilitating Entrepreneurship in Belize
In Belize entrepreneurial ventures are the key to keeping our economy afloat. Small businesses account for well over 50% of all employment, thus it becomes vital to facilitate and nurture an entrepreneurial culture throughout our country. Entrepreneurs tend to be innovative, proactive, risk-takers who reach for change. They respond to it and exploit opportunities, and in turn convert a source into a resource. Keeping in-line with this, BELTRAIDE’s Small Business Development Centre Belize, with its mandate to provide advisory and training services to entrepreneurs and groups, has been working tirelessly to strengthen Belize’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Sector. Since opening its doors a mere six months ago, the centre has seen its client intake swell to almost 200 clients from various parts of the country seeking assistance in sourcing of financing, business plan development, marketing and sales, product development, sourcing of raw materials, just to name a few.


” It Works”
CG Esthetic has a new products and service , called ” IT WORKS” made with Natural herbs. It helps you lose inches by tightening, toning and firming your skin. You can use It works wraps on any part of your body. Carole will be doing a will have a demonstration on Monday at 6 at her shop located in Fairdale Plaza on Coconut Drive. For more information on the product go to CG Esthetic facebook page, CG Esthetic website and It Works website.

VIDEO: Silk Cayes Marine Reserve, Splash Belize, 2013 Tour Operator of The Year
Join the Splash Dive Crew on a day trip to Silk Cayes, Two Tank Dive, Snorkel and Beach BBQ. Visit us Online and Thanks for Sharing us on Facebook- Splash Dive Shop by Patty Rameriz

BTB Honors Tourism Industry Partners at the Twelfth Annual Tourism Awards Ceremony
On Saturday, May 18th, over two hundred and thirty guests, including industry stakeholders and government officials, gathered at Bannister Caye to honor the recipients of the 12th Annual National Tourism Awards. Over twelve years ago, the BTB had a vision to recognize organizations and industry partners for their dedicated and outstanding service to Belize's tourism industry. The BTB is proud to say that the awards have certainly evolved from being just a statement of excellence, into a way to promote creativity and to help establish a benchmark for best practices in the industry. Director of Tourism, Laura Esquivel-Frampton said, "A heartfelt congratulations to all the nominees and winners. Your work is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire tourism industry in Belize." The Belize Tourism Board is pleased to congratulate the winners in the following categories:

Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Flavors 2013
We are very pleased to invite qualifying SMEs to participate in LAC Flavors 2013: a Buyers-Sellers Meeting, to be held in Granada, Nicaragua, July 25-26, 2013. The event is organized by the Official investment and Export Promotion Agency of Nicaragua (PRONicaragua), Superior Council of the Private Enterprise (COSEP) and the Trade and Investment Unit (TIU) of the Integration and Trade Sector (INT) of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

“Need You Now” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Started the day yesterday – obviously with a mug of coffee on the veranda – researching the prices of the remaining items (TVs, dinnerware, mattresses, etc,) we need to purchase for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize On checking my In Box I found that I had received an email (in response to my enquiry) from Hyde Shipping which provided detail for the charges for transportation from their warehouse in Medley, Florida to Belize City. Just need now to get prices for moving the stuff from Belize City to Ambergris Caye and I can get the calculator out to make the cost comparisons versus buying the stuff in Belize. Knowing that the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge (which connects the southern and northern ends of Ambergris Caye) is closed for repairs (they closed it at midnight on Saturday) Rose and I set off to visit our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize slightly earlier than usual. Parking the golf cart at a friend’s house who lives just south of the ‘Bridge, Rose and I made the half a mile walk to our house. This will be our routine for the next week or two. Enforced exercise! As we drew closer to the build the sound of birds chirping (amazing how much more you hear (and see for that matter) when you are not in a golf cart) was joined by the sound of a cement mixer. Obviously they had managed to effect the necessary repairs.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Nanner Split Deessert
Crust: 1/2 cup buttr er margarine, melted 1 1/2 cups graham wafr crumbs 2 Tablespoons brown sugar Fillin: 12 oz. / 375 g creem cheez, softened 1 cup icin' sugar 1 1/2 cups whippin' creem 3 tablespoons granulated sugar 1 1/2 teespoons vanilla 19-20 oz. a'ken crushed pineepple, well draind* 4 bananas, sliced 1 box instunt vanilla puddin', 4 servin size 1 1/2 cups milk Hershey’s chocolate sauce chopped peenuts strawberries

Cashew Festival in Crooked Tree is a Sweet Time in Belize
Cashews, Cashews and more Cashews is the reason for this two day festival held annually in Crooked Tree around the end of May which is held during the season for this awkward fruit. Awkward in the sense that its a fruit unlike many other fruits that has it seed growing on the outside and not on the inside. Crooked Tree is well known around the world for being a Bird Sanctuary but its a place also known for its Sweet Cashews and Cashew byproducts...

Kayla - 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 Central American travel destination of Belize. Models...

International Sources

Moody's warns of debt default relapse for Jamaica, Belize
Ratings agency Moody's Investor Service said Monday that there is a high probability that Jamaica and Belize will relapse into default. "At the moment, we see a high probability that Belize and Jamaica will relapse into default," Moody's said in a statement as it singled out Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname as two of the few Caribbean countries that had stable economies. Moody's sees the default of Belize, Jamaica and Grenada over the past year as part of a broader debt crisis in the Caribbean. The report predicts that debt default in the region may persist as countries continue facing a combination of solvency and liquidity pressures. "The lack of options has left debt restructuring as an attractive tool to reduce public sector debt," said Edward Al-Hussainy, Moody's senior analyst and author of the report.

Moody's Warns Of More Caribbean Debt Restructurings
A major international credit rating agency is warning of more Caribbean sovereign debt restructurings ahead of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) annual meetings in St Lucia this week. The Wall Street-based Moody's Investor Service said on Monday that it expects sovereign credit quality to continue deteriorating in the region. "We see the defaults of Belize (Caa2 stable), Jamaica (Caa3 stable), and Grenada (unrated) over the past year as being part of a broader debt crisis in the Caribbean," it said in a report. "Moreover, we expect the risk of sovereign default in the region to persist as countries continue facing a combination of solvency and liquidity pressures and are increasingly unable and unwilling to service debt," the report said.

VIDEO: Last Call with Carson Daly: The Exquisite Corpse Project
Way to go island boy Ben Popik! You make us proud!

Guatemala annuls Rios Montt's genocide conviction
Guatemala's top court has thrown out the conviction for genocide and crimes against humanity of former military leader Efrain Rios Montt. The constitutional court ruled that the trial should restart from the point where it stood on 19 April. On 10 May, Gen Rios Montt was convicted of ordering the deaths of 1,771 people of the Ixil Maya ethnic group during his time in office in 1982-83. 'Illegal proceedings' Monday's ruling throws into disarray the historic trial of Gen Rios Montt, the first former head of state to face genocide charges in a court within his own country.

10 underwater heavens for scuba diving - Belize Blue Hole is listed among the 10
Here is a list of places you could visit. The Blue Hole is a large underwater sinkhole off the coast of Belize. This site was made famous by Jacques Cousteau who declared it one of...

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