Recent Belize News
6/1/2013 to 6/10/2013
Click here to return to
Today's Belize News

June 10, 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

Woofer: Lady’s Gloves
Jon sends his girlfriend a pair of gloves. Melody sends some underwear. Post Office can tell what happened. But wait, there was a letter too!

Mama Vilma’s Family Home presents May’s fundraising totals
A grand total of $5,771.30 BZ was raised from two major fundraisers held in May for the Mama Vilma Home project: 2 concerts by Karen Waldrup & Ashlee K Thomas and their annual fashion show.

Doctor Love: To Forgive or to forget about it?
Best Friend + Boyfriend = Trouble. Does the Girlfriend forgive? Can she forgive? What to do, oh what to do?!

Misc Belizean Sources

International Leadership Camp
The Department of Youth Services is offering youth leaders an opportunity to attend their International Leadership Camp, which will be from July 21st through the 31st. Here in Cayo, you can contact Jimmy Leslie at 803-3027. "The Department of Youth Services is now accepting applications for its upcoming International Leadership Camp 2013. This is a 10 day residential camp full of fun and activities which caters for 150 youth leaders and will take place in the month of July from the 21st -31st at George Town Technical High School in the Stann Creek District... If you are an executive member in a student council or community based groups...apply today.

Chantae Guy at Caribbean Fashion Week
Joris Hendrik captured Chantae Chanice Guy who is representing Belize in Jamaica, while walking the runway during Caribbean Fashion Week 2013. Looking good! "These photos were taken on my Instagram. Loved seeing Chantae representing Belize. She's in the likes of The international models here at CFW."

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Old Caye Caulker Photographs
“Roots in the Sea” the documentary series featuring some of the old timers on Caye Caulker narrating stories of their youth, has created a Facebook page. We are pleased to post a few of the great historic photos which they are uploading to their site. You can view more HERE: This one is a 1949 or 1950 photo of former principal Miss Ilna Auxillou in front of the OLD school house. Miss Ilna taught kids for over 40 years. To this day, she still teaches, although not formally, but she tutors her grand kids and other kids who ask for her help.

Give Front Bridge back to the people!
For decades Front Bridge as the main bridge now being occupied by the Caye Caulker Water Taxi was known, was the hub of activity for the island. Every evening after school and on weekends, the place would be packed with youngsters jumping off the pier and into the sea, and with young parents taking their kids out for some cool breeze and some sun. It was the ultimate recreation hub. MANY parents of today have fond memories of spending leisurely time on the dock. Then the Village Council gave the Caye Caulker Water Taxi a lease to use the dock, and that was the end of the use of it for the rest of the locals. While the rest of us pay taxes to upkeep it, only the Water Taxi has enjoyment of it.


Slightly cloudy all around
I am pretty sure not the only one who is feeling slightly cloudy after the June birthdays party at Caribbean Villas Hotel and Pedro’s party the night before. Yesterday I shook it off with by doing laundry, hula hooping and a long float in the pool. Today I ended up with the house to myself for bit, I opted to fall back into a nice clean bed and watch minute to win it on tv. It suited my mood perfectly and pretty soon I was almost too laid back to get up and go but the thought of Charles barbecue made me get motivated enough to get ready for a trip to town. After Paul was done visiting Cindy and doing San Pedro Sailing Club errands, he came and got me then we went and met Cindy and Tinker and convoyed to Estel’s for breakfast. We got there at the perfect time, after the big morning rush but not to late that all the barbecue was gone. It was carnivore day at our table Paul did a steak sandwich, Cindy had ribs and I went for a thick cut pork chop with fresh cut fries and potato salad – YUM.

NEOTROPICAL HUMMINGBIRDS 2013; Part 3: "The Keystone '13" in Belize
This year for the first time, Operation RubyThroat: The Hummingbird Project recruited TWO groups of volunteers for what had become an annual nine-day expedition to study Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (RTHU) at Crooked Tree village in Belize. The first team arriving 27 February 2013 included birders, former teachers, and other adults from the U.S. & Switzerland (see last week's photo essay); this group was nicknamed "The Belize Brata." The other team--coming 11 days later--was our second consecutive undergrad student group from Keystone College in La Plume, Pennsylvania. On their annual spring break, they--logically nicknamed "The Keystone '13"--again were recruited and escorted by biology professor and bird bander Dr. Jerry Skinner. As always, our Keystoners would enjoy the hospitality and amenities of Bird's Eye View Lodge, including comfy beds, air conditioned rooms, hot showers, incredible Creole cooking, and an incomparable view of birds on the freshwater lagoon just outside the lodge front door. Our work in Belize is greatly enhanced by the generosity of lodge owners Norma & Denver Gillett who, among other things, anually lend us a 15-passenger van to scout Crooked Tree and transport the group and gear to study sites each morning.

“Little by Little” (Part Two) in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Only a quick browse of TheTimes online for me yesterday-more to see if Arsenal had ventured in to the transfer market (they hadn’t!) than to catch up on world news and then I knuckled down to start reviewing a draft contract that an ex-colleague in the UK has asked me to look at. Now -as most people that I worked with will confirm – I love reading contracts but there is only so much legalise that a person can take in one sitting before clause references become a blur. When that happens, and it did for me yesterday, I find it best to switch to something else. So I did. I resumed my reading of The Covenant by J A Michener. Just switched from one type of fiction to another really! Knowing that we were going to the Catamaran Beach Bar (based at Caribbean Villas) in the evening for the pig roast to ‘honour’ the plethora of birthdays this week of people we know Rose and I set off to visit our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize around 2 pm.

1963: Nora Parham – The only woman hanged in Belize
Nora Parham, aged 36, the East Indian mother of eight sons, was hanged today for the murder of the man with whom she had been living. So ran a minute, page-10 wire story in the London Times* from the British Central American possession soon to become self-governing as the country of Belize. The unfortunate subject of the story was the first, and remains to date the only, woman put to death in Belize. But she’s very much more than a bit of trivia. A domestic violence victim hanged for murdering her batterer — who just happened to be a cop — Parham remains a lively source of controversy down to the present day. Nora’s position as the victim in an abusive marriage, combined with serious doubt about whether she truly killed her husband at all, have given her enduring appeal. There’s a going campaign to issue her a posthumous pardon. In fact, there was a going campaign before she died to issue her a humous pardon, opposed by a governing party paper on the grounds that “sympathy” ought not “change court rulings.” And it’s hard not to feel sympathy for Nora Parham and the years of beatings she’s reported to have endured in her relationship with Ketchell Trapp. One doubts even the harshest magistrate would condemn a person in her situation to hang today. “By refusing to treat the pair as wife and husband, not just cop slayer and cop,” argues this volume on gender politics in colonized Belize, “the government deepened its own highly political silence about domestic and community gender oppression and violence and added a threatening element to its re-call to ‘domestic womanhood.’”

Coast effective: a culinary adventure in Belize
Innie’s Restaurant in Hopkins, a fishing village of stilted clapboard shacks, potholed dirt roads and coconut palms in Belize, isn’t much to look at: a circular, echoing room with simple wooden chairs and tables. But no one comes here for the decor; they come for the hudut. “Garifuna cuisine is a big part of the culinary culture of my country and, to me, hudut is the best Garifuna dish. It tastes like home … wherever that may be,” says Chantel, a passionate young Belizean whose family has lived in this tiny Central American country for generations. “You’ll see what I mean,” she adds with a smile, as two steaming bowls are set down on the plastic tablecloth before us. I do see what she means. There is something comforting about this dish, the softness of the coconut broth lightened with a hint of herbs and spice. The fish, caught that morning by village fishermen, falls apart at the lightest touch. It’s beautifully balanced, unchallenging, nostalgic. We eat in silence. Chantel is Creole – of mixed European and Caribbean blood – and she represents just one of the many ethnic groups who call this country home. Alongside Creoles live Mayans (pre-Columbian natives in Belize and other parts of Central America), Mestizos (a mix of Spanish and Mayan), Mennonite farmers, East Indians, Arabs, Chinese, Britons, Americans and Canadians – and, of course, the Garifuna.

Children under the age of 15 from the Belize Sailing Association Practicing for Competition
Took this photo yesterday as the children all under 15 years of age from the Belize Sailing Association practiced their sailing skills getting ready for competition. If you go to Admiral's Bay Restaurant and Bar you can sit and watch them while staying in the shade and sipping on cold beverages and eating great snacks.

Photo of Iguana in Belize
The color and texture of these great reptiles in Belize are amazing. I can't believe that the iguanas are a descendant of the prehistoric dinosaurs. Can you imagine seeing one of these a hundred times larger. LOL

Sunset in Belize taken from Admiral's Bay Restaurant and Bar
This is a photograph that I took yesterday evening's sunset as we were wrapping up a fashion photoshoot for our Weekly Top Model that's published in the Belize Times Newspaper.The scenery from Admiral's Bay Restaurant and Bar is certainly amazing so I had to share it with you all.

International Sources

How to Spot a Jaguar
The third largest feline in the world (behind the tiger and lion) and the largest in the western hemisphere, the jaguar makes its home in the jungles from Northern Mexico to Northern Argentina. Today this majestic giant, recognized by its pale yellow coat and black spots, is found almost exclusively in the forests of government-protected reserves and is considered a ‘near threatened’ species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Why are Jaguars ‘near threatened’? Hunted heavily for its gorgeous coat in the 1960’s and 1970’s, thousands upon thousands of jaguars were killed annually until the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) brought the fur trade to an almost immediate halt in 1973. Extinct in El Salvador and Uruguay, yet still living in 18 countries in Latin America, the best place to catch a glimpse of these mysterious animals is Belize.

Wolf Worster Associates awarded Wild Orchid Residences; the Pinnacle of Luxury Living in Belize
Wolf Worster Associates Inc. is proud to announce they have been awarded the sales contract for Belize’s most luxurious resort development, Wild Orchid Residences. Located in the exclusive Placencia region of Belize, Wild Orchid brings an unequaled level of sophistication, luxury and comfort to each of its private villas. Carefully selected from the best properties in Belize, Wild Orchid is comprised of 25 acres of marine area, five acres of adjoining Caribbean beachfront and a 12 acre private island located just 12.5 miles east of the mainland. Home buyers will receive signature touches that include custom built homes, infinity swimming pools, rooftop terraces, private gardens and sustainable building practices.

Bugger Off! Keep The Law!
There may be some value in taking a break from the voice of reason. It is easier and much less demanding than having to think! I am suggesting the following for a more peaceful Jamaica: 1. Keep the buggery law! Just ensure that heterosexuals are kept exempt. 2. Keep any law which ensures that molesting boys receives a lesser penalty than the molestation of girls. Serves these boys right in case they think of becoming buggers. The Government should take immediate steps to enlist more crusaders in the fight against buggery. Look at the state of the justice system. Look at the challenges in the economy. Look at the challenges in the education arena. Look at the crime monster. Look at the daily cries for justice. The country needs to unite around one major issue right now!

June 9, 2013


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Police’s Coastal Executive Unit and two officers awarded
The Coastal Executive Unit of the police department received an award for making the most drug interdictions for the month of April within the Eastern Division Section. The Coastal Executive Unit comprises of San Pedro Police and Caye Caulker Police formations. The award was received by the officer commanding the Coastal Executive Unit Superintendent of Police Luis Castellaños on May 17th. Two officers were also awarded for their outstanding work. Since the month of January 2013, the amount of drugs interdiction on the two islands has increased. According to police 1436.18 grams of drugs were removed off the streets in both communities combined in April. Speaking of the award, Superintendent Castellaños said that it is a good feeling to know that the work of his officers is making a positive impact and more importantly that it is not gone unnoticed. “It feels good that we got this award. It serves as a motivation for our officers who are doing their best, despite the challenge they face. Yes it is a form of competition between the different police formations but the most important thing is that it motivates us to improve. It recognizes the good work of our officers,” said Castellaños.

Xcalak residents celebrate 113th anniversary
Xcalak 113 Anniversary-8Ambergris Caye and the community of Xcalak, Mexico have many things in common and the connectivity is rooted deep within family bonds. So much so that when the 1955 Hurricane Janet practically destroyed the community, a few of the survivors (less than 100) migrated to the then fishing community of San Pedro to build and start a new life. Now, those are memories that live with the residents of both Ambergris Caye and Xcalak, and annually both communities find time to come together to celebrate their roots. On the weekend of June 1st and 2nd, the Xcalak community celebrated its 113th anniversary. Residents of San Pedro Town travelled in large numbers to participate in the two-day celebration. The weekend celebration started with a short ceremony commemorating “Dia de La Marina” (Marine’s Day) on June 1st. The event included speeches by different Mexican military and port officials, followed by an inspection of the guard of the Guard of Honor. Part of the day’s activities included a football marathon which had three teams from Mexico and Belize. The football marathon was declared open by the Head of the Xcalak Port and organizer of the events, Laura Susana Rivero.

Misc Belizean Sources

Queen of the West Call
The SISE Town Council is calling for ladies between the ages of 18 and 23 for the Queen of the West pageant that is coming up for the September Celebrations. You can contact them at 804-2035 for more information.


Three Students From The North Top PSE Results
Late this evening the 2013 PSE results were released by the Ministry of Education and CTV3 News is proud to report that among the list of top 26 performers are three students from the North, one from Orange Walk and two from Corozal. They are no other than Astrid Lopez from Louisiana Government in Orange Walk, Kristen Medina from Corozal Methodist and Consuelo Leslie from Mary Hill RC in Corozal. Seven of the other top performers hail from the Cayo District, 14 from the Belize District, 1 from the Stann Creek District and one from the Toledo District. Special recognition goes out to Siyun Ye from Bernice Yorke, Belize who topped the list and Vincent Hulse and Nelson Esteban both from St. Andrews Anglican, Cayo who came in second and third respectively. We will be speak with the North’s top performers on Monday and bring you their reactions in the newscast.

Corozal Police Release Picture Of Wanted Man
Robert Hill is the man who police say entered and robbed Chan Li Game Room at gunpoint on June 5th 2013 at about 11:25pm. Tonight, the individual, who is said to be from San Antonio Village in the Corozal District, is on the run and police are asking for the public’s assistance in order to identify his whereabouts and lead to his arrest. As mentioned, Hill is accused of entering Chang Li Game Room situated on 4th Avenue Corozal and robbing its proprietor at gunpoint while four customers were inside the establishment. Fearing for her life, the proprietor of the game room handed over $300.00 to the robber who made good his escape on a blue beach cruiser bicycle belonging to one of the customers. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Hill is asked to contact the nearest police station.

Men At Work Exhibit Opens At The Corozal House Of Culture
Father's Day is a celebration honoring fatherhood, paternal bonds and the influence of fathers in society. This year in honor of Fathers Day the Corozal House of Culture will be hosting the first ever “Men at Work Art Exhibit”. The exhibit officially opens tonight and will feature the work of ten male artists from Corozal the Corozal District. Coordinator for the Corozal House of Culture, Debra Wilkes Gray, says the exhibit recognizes the hard work men go through on daily basis to provide for their family. Debra Wilkes Gray - Coordinator for the Corozal House of Culture “We are opening men at work art exhibit, it is an annual event that we do here at the house of culture and it concise with the month of June which is fathers’ day and it is an opportunity to recognize the men in our community.” Victor Castillo– Reporter “What would be the main objective and purpose of this exhibition?”

Dumping Of Boiling Caused April's Fish Kill In The New River
In the month of April the Department of the Environment responded to reports of sightings of dead fish floating in the New River, here in Orange Walk Town. As a result, the DOE launched an investigation in which the water quality of the river was tested from approximately 1 mile upstream from the Toll Bridge to around Trial Farm Village. The good news is that the fish kill was not as a result of chemicals dumped in the river as was originally believed but rather the tests revealed that the river, had at a particular area, elevated readings for temperature and low dissolve oxygen which means low oxygen level in water.

Noh Mul Turned To Rubble, No One Has Been Charged
A topic that made headlines in both the national and international media back in May is the destruction of the Archaeological site, Noh Mul. As we have reported before, more than three weeks ago heavy machinery with imprinted stickers of De’ Mars Stone Company, were seen in the area extracting the rich material from the site reportedly to fill roads in the Douglas Village Area which falls in the constituency of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. Immediately after the destruction of the more than 2,000 year old Mayan Edifice, the Institute of Archaeology launched an investigation. Their work was completed more than one week ago and all files, that will support the case, were handed over to the Orange Walk Police Department for further investigation. Those files are presently being reviewed by Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl Lynn Vidal. But while we have received assurances that those found responsible for the destruction of the site will soon be charged, those charges are nowhere in site.

Hill Is Joined By Austin Sutherland Wanted For Burglary
Hill is not the only man who is on the run and is wanted by police. He is joined by Austin Sutherland who police suspect burglarized The breeze Hotel situated on 1st Avenue Corozal Town on June 1st 2013. Police suspect that Sutherland entered the hotel, made his way to the owner’s room, located on the second floor of the building, and stole one Naval Binoculars valued at $300.00, one cell phone valued at $120.00, one cash box valued at $60.00 and containing $160.00 in cash, two jars containing a total of $75.00 in coins and one clock valued at $40.00. That’s more than $755.00 worth in stolen items belonging to the owner of the Sea Breeze Hotel, 63 year old David Gwyn Lawrence.

GMO SoyBeans Discovered By BAHA In The North
The Plant Health Department of Belize and the Belize Agriculture Health Authority, BAHA, discovered suspected genetically modified soybean seeds in Northern Belize on May 24th, 2013. As a result, samples of the suspected soybeans were submitted to BAHA's Plant Health Diagnostics Laboratory in Central Farm for GMO screening. The screening tests were conducted on May 28th and all samples tested positive indicating that the seeds were genetically modified. A further set of samples were then sent to Eurofins Genes Can laboratory in the United States on May 30th for a confirmatory test using Polymerase Chain Reaction or PCR technology. On June 5th, BAHA received results of the confirmatory test, which verified the results of previous tests conducted by BAHA on the soybean seeds.

The Role The Immigration Department Plays In Belize
Today the Department of Immigration hosted information day highlighting the many services the department offers to the Belizean populace. From 1986, the Department of Immigration opened its wings and became an independent branch after being managed under the Police department. Over the years the department has grown tremendously assisting Belizeans and visitors in many areas yet often at times people have the misconception that the department is all about arresting immigrants. But according to Immigration Officer Commanding the Orange Walk Office, Sheldon Hudson, that is not the case. Sheldon Hudson, Immigration Officer Commanding Orange Walk “Immigration day is a very important day in our calendar. It recognizes our main existence; so far today the Immigration department can smiling and bravely can say we are celebrating our 27th birthday. In June of 1986 the Immigration and nationality services were conducted under the police department, thereafter on June 9th, 1986 the government then of the day introduce and created the Immigration Department we service today and we are very pleased to be a civilian staff, over the years we have grown and we have increased in office throughout the country so over the last a few years in recognizing that our department. Basically it displays a significant and it shows all the different services that the Immigration Department provide the general public, it also gives us the opportunity to sensitize to the general public who are interested in Immigration procedures, the role and responsibilities that supposed to be uphold and so forth, well this day is a especial day so we elaborate that our arms are far more open.”

La Dulce Vista Newspaper Hits The Market
The the first issue of the Belize Tourism Industry Association Orange Walk Chapter’s quarterly publication, made it into the Belizean market today. Apart from featuring its new logo and name La Dulce Vista, the publication highlights the business community and features various events the Northern Districts have to offer. According to Information Officer for BTIA Orange Walk Chapter, Jasmine Zetina, the newspaper will be published over a period of nine months with a $16,000 grant from the La Inmaculada Credit Union. Jazmin Zetina, Information Officer BTIA/OW “La Dulce Vista has finally been launched and we receive the newspapers on Wednesday and today we finally distributed the newspapers to all over Orange Walk and also Corozal and like I said it is distributed throughout the country. We went through a series of events before we actually got to where we are, we started off form getting the grant from La Inmaculada Credit Union so that two project, then we launched the name and logo competition where we got the finals, the winner to actually get to participate in contributing towards the initial stages of the newspaper and finally we have the hard copy of the newspaper that finally get distributed today. Basically what we are planning to do with the newspaper is to highlight different activities, event, businesses and mainly from the northern districts Orange Walk and Corozal but of course there is national issues and things that it would impact both Corozal and Orange Walk we will feature them in the newspaper, we are also highlighting different businesses as well, micro, small, medium and large businesses or enterprises. So that local and international tourists get to know much more about what Corozal and Orange Walk has to offer.”

TVET Corozal Offers Building And Training Course
Since its inception, the mission of the Institute for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (ITVET), has been to equip Belizeans with skills, knowledge, work ethics and credentials that will enable them to be gainfully employed. One of the Training courses that the Institute considers to be very important is the Building and Ground Maintenance. It is important to note that this sector accounts for a large percentage of the re-employed labor force since there are a number of support industries that manufacture directly for the Maintenance sector who depend on the building and construction industry for their growth. Realizing that the Building and Ground Maintenance training course is an asset, this morning representatives of ITVET Corozal hit the streets of town promoting the course in hope of persuading students to enroll at the institution. Karina Yah- Teacher ITVET Corozal “Lo que tenemos hoy es una pequeña exhibición en lo cual se hace en Corozal ITVET y lo que tenemos ahorita es el programa de Building and Ground Maintenance, lo cual es el nivel uno, en ello consiste en el mantenimiento de los edificios hasta en lo que vemos en plomería, aire acondicionado, construcción y diseño de jardín.”


Mexico and Belize Trade Growth Shows you can have it both ways
A delegation of companies from Mexico has been in Belize since June 6 to meet with their Belizean counterparts to strengthen trade and general goodwill. Representatives from our own BELTRAIDE, which promotes trade and investment in Belize, have been meeting with members of Mexico’s equivalent, ProMexico, to exchange ideas on developing and promoting various goods and services. Why do we care? It’s interesting as an example of Belize’s continual growth since achieving independence in 1981 (the same year Chaa Creek made the transition from family farm to hosting guests and promoting eco-tourism). It’s difficult to balance the economic development so necessary for a developing country with the environmental sustainability Belize has been committed to, but events like this show that it is working. For example, take this quote from Marco Antonio Lopez, the Economic Affairs representative from the Mexican Embassy: “During the last ten years the commerce between Mexico and Belize has doubled. Ten years ago it was about $60 Million US dollars and the last years it’s almost $140 Million dollars so the commerce/trade between the two countries has been growing within the last ten years.

“Please Mr Postman” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Yesterday at around 8 am there was the unusual sound of knocking on our front door. Unusual because we rarely get anybody knocking on our front door (not even to pay unpaid bills!). And especially at that time of the day. On opening the door there was Daniel Camal, our building contractor, with six pieces of granite that he had got that closely match the photographs of granite we had sent him a few weeks ago. Rose and I now need to determine if they are what we want and, if so, for which countertops. He also imparted the great news that our windows have arrived in Belize City and will arrive on the island next Tuesday. At last. Now the finishing work on our house can begin! After Daniel had departed my first job yesterday morning was a visit to Captain Shark’s to see if they could eradicate the hugely irritating rattling sounds (yes,plural) that we suffer when driving. I left the ‘cart there and then went to the Post Office, armed with what I thought was the necessary paperwork, to rent a P.O. Box. It was there that I very quickly found out, after being referred to the manager, that a bill from Coral Cable for an Internet service does not qualify as a utility bill (required to prove a current address in Belize). It has to be either a water, electricity or telephone (landline) bill.

International Sources

Cleared diplomat’s relief
The former UK High Commissioner to Belize, who lives in Eastbourne and was removed from his post amid claims of sexual misconduct and bullying, has spoken of his “humiliating” fight to clear his name. John Yapp lost his post in 2008 over claims he inappropriately touched women. The allegations were dropped but he then faced claims he bullied staff. The High Court ruled last month 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” saying he had an unblemished diplomatic career for 37 years before a former minister in Belize alleged he had inappropriately touched women. Three days later, on June 13 2008, Mr Yapp was told by the FCO his position in Belize was untenable and he was withdrawn from the post with immediate effect. In August of that year, a disciplinary hearing heard doubts about the reliability of the evidence and the allegation of sexual misconduct was dismissed. “I found it incredible,” he said. “I was the one person who knew from the outset these allegations were completely untrue, but ironically I was the one person who was never asked for his side of the story.

Video: Swimming with whale sharks
Sorry for the nip slip but the rest was too amazing to not post

Our best backpacking food ideas, Easy Backpacking Recipes
Here you will find backpacking food ideas including campfire cooking and other easy backpacking recipes more exciting than dehydrated packages. Welcome to Dirty Gourmet! Our mission is to inspire gourmet outdoor cooking by providing easy camping recipes and ideas. Whether you're a weekend car camper or a serious backpacker, go beyond hot dogs and rehydrated sludge and discover your gourmet potential.

Infographic: Sea Level Rise and Global Warming
Sea level is rising -- and at an accelerating rate -- especially along the U.S. East Coast and Gulf of Mexico.

June 8, 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

Norwegian Cruise Line Port Proposal on Crawl Caye denied

SPTC News: street projects continue, municipal land acquisition in process
The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) announced on Tuesday June 4th that they are acquiring a prime property in the down town area for the municipality. It was the major of several other announcements made by Mayor Daniel Guerrero when he appeared on the local morning show. Also announced was the continuation of the paving of streets in the Eliot Subdivision (also referred to as the Back-a-town area) as well as other main streets used throughout town. “The SPTC has set up a steering committee that will look at acquiring a number of properties. Our town grew without a proper plan and so we have to start acquiring property for the use of the municipality,” explained Guerrero. The first property that the council, along with the Area Representative Manuel Heredia Jr. will work to acquire is that of the late George Parham (Sands Hotel). “We are starting the process to try and acquire the property directly west of the Central Park. We think that it can be used for municipal parking and the building can be used for government offices,” explained Guerrero. That property is on sale for BZ$4 million, and according to Guerrero, they hope to convince the Government of Belize to assist them in acquiring it. “Nothing is final as yet, but we are lacking in town space. We are looking at a few other properties, and with the help of the steering committee in place, we hope to be able to approach donors to assist us in acquiring it,” said Guerrero.

ACES educates SPRCS students on crocodiles
On June 6, 2013, Chris Summers from the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES) visited the San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRC) to educate the upper division students about the conservation of crocodiles and the importance they have in the community. In Belize, there are two different types of crocodiles, the American crocodile and the Morelet crocodile. American crocodiles are found across Ambergris Caye since they are considered salt water crocodiles. Morelet in the other hand are only adapted to survive in fresh water. The American Crocodile is considered a threatened species, with numbers quickly dwindling. In Belize, which was considered the last strong hold for the American crocodiles in the Americas, an estimated less than 1,000 crocodiles remain. The purpose of Summers’ visit was to educate the school children on the importance of protecting and conserving the species. With summer vacation drawing near, it is of upmost importance for students to know to stay away from locations that crocodiles use as their habitat. Children on vacation are usually more prone to mess with the crocodile habitat, hatchlings and eggs. By educating students and showing that such actions are wrong, Summers hopes that the students of the SPRC will set an example to others. Summers stated that one should not be afraid of these animals, because their normal instinct is to run away. However, if you feed them, eventually they will no longer fear humans, and that is where the trouble arises.

Soybean Seeds Test Positive as Genetically Modified Organism (GMO)
On May 24th, 2013, the Plant Health Department of the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) discovered suspected genetically modified soybean seeds in Northern Belize. As a result, samples of the suspected soybeans were submitted to BAHA’s Plant Health Diagnostics Laboratory in Central Farm for GMO screening. The screening tests were conducted on May 28th and all the samples tested positive indicating that the seeds were genetically modified. A further set of samples were then sent to Eurofins Genescan laboratory in the United States on May 30th for a confirmatory test using Polymerase Chain Reaction or PCR technology. On June 5th, BAHA received results of the confirmatory test, which verified the results of previous tests conducted by BAHA on the soybean seeds.

Jennessa Sierra of SPRCS ties for 2nd in PSE countrywide
The Primary School Examination (PSE) results are out and one student from Ambergris Caye is amongst the highest in the country. The overall results were announced late on Friday June 7th by the Ministry of Education. Jennessa Sierra of San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRC) is among the top five students countrywide. A quick look at the results show that from the list of the top 26 performers, 13 were registered in the Belize District. Sierra received a total of 386 points out of a possible 400 points and tied with Nelson Esteban and Vicente Hulse of Saint Andrews Anglican School in the Cayo District, and they all placed second place nationally. “It feels great and I am amazed. I knew that if I put my all I would do good.

Fido’s Restaurant – Delicious Fast Gourmet
It is known as the place to go to for great live music, ambiance and refreshing drinks. It is the party palapa in town; but did you know that it also serves delicious food? Yes, Fido’s is also a place where you can find excellent grub – beyond bar fare, beyond quick wings and tacos (which they also serve, and are super scrumptious). At Fido’s, you get freshly prepared, quality seafood for lunch or dinner. As a treat, we were invited to taste some of the delicious dishes that come out of the kitchen, all prepared under the watchful eye of Chef Julie and manager Tony. It was early afternoon, and the sun had been shining beautifully all day, so as it headed west, it cast a warm glow on the beach, and from where we sat, we could definitely understand the draw to Fido’s. Not only do you get fed and watered properly, but the view is breathtakingly glorious as well. Sailboats meandered on the turquoise sea, moving along with the wind, which refreshed us as we sat and sipped some pineapple juice (we promise there was no alcohol, yet). My partner in crime for the evening was Josh Jones, our lucky, lucky intern whose hardest task was photographing delicious food, then helping me consume it. Interns have it hard. Heh.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Town Council's Need For Land
After the mayor’s announcement, there was some opposition by a few members of the community, but a lot more people seem to support this move by the San Pedro Town Council. For one thing, the Mayor is doing so with a vision to improve living conditions of everybody. “I work for everybody, PUP and UDP,” commented Mayor Danny. Secondly it is to be noted that the Mayor has been working on his group’s election manifesto and more. He is trying to accomplish other projects that were not even in the manifesto. Town councils in every municipality do need properties, especially land, to be able to operate efficiently and effectively. It is worthy of mention that there is a difference in acquiring and purchasing. In an acquisition the property is taken by virtue of the town’s ordinance to be used only for town improvement, and not real estate. It is the court that establishes the price of the property. On the other hand a purchase is made on a price agreed upon by the buyer and the seller. This could run much higher than an acquisition deal. Therefore for all practical and sound financial purposes, an acquisition is preferred because the court sets the price and the council does have the authority to acquire any property for town improvement purposes. With real estate land prices going very rapidly, it is wise for the Town Council to hold on to some land in San Pedro; after all we still have need of some sports fields and courts, youth center, infirmary, home for senior citizens, home for orphans, rehab center, just to name a few. Certainly our good mayor is open to ideas, so contact him with your plans and suggestions instead of simply criticizing. Food for thought!

Tiger Prawn Joins Lion Fish as Invasive Animal in Belize
It was in 2008 when the Belize Fisheries Department confirmed the first sighting of the invasive Lionfish in Belizean waters. The increasing numbers of the lionfish threatening our ecosystem lead to numerous projects and tournaments to get rid of the invasive lionfish. Now there is another species that joins this creature in Belizean waters - the Tiger Prawn. Mr. Severo Guerreo Sr, (a local San Pedro fisherman) caught a black tiger prawn shrimp in Shark Ray's fore-reef. It's an invasive species found in the Gulf of Mexico. This black tiger prawn (Penaeus monodon) in particular weighed 8.6 ounces and had a length of 30 cm in size. According to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve Office, last month, Lyndon Rodney, Fishery Officer had shared an image of this same species at the Punta Gorda fish market. This proves that this species has made it further south into the Caribbean.

Misc Belizean Sources

New Direct LAX Air Service a Boon for Belize
The recent announcement of direct flights from Los Angeles to Belize has been hailed by Belizean resort owners as a boon for the local tourism industry. According to the Lodge at Chaa Creek’s marketing director Larry Waight, the new service, scheduled to begin December 2013, will encourage more west coast travellers to consider the Caribbean as a viable option to destinations like Mexico’s Pacific coast and Hawaii. The direct flights will also make it easier for members of Belize’s large diaspora, many of whom reside in California, to visit family and friends and spend holidays in their country of origin, he added. “It very good news for the entire Belize tourism industry, as it makes a Belize vacation more viable to a larger audience. And for Chaa Creek, it means that our popular Christmas and New Year’s all-inclusive Belize vacation packages are that much more attractive to west coast travellers,” Mr Waight said. Mr Waight said a June 5 2013 Los Angeles News Group blog, “LA Airspace” reported that Delta Airlines is set to begin direct flights from LAX to Belize City beginning December 2013.

Fashion Exchange - Belize Makes Pulse Plans, Strong CFW Expected
Kim Simplis-Barrow, wife of the Prime Minister of Belize, Dean Barrow, is not at Caribbean Fashionweek (CFW) this weekend just for enjoyment. Simplis-Barrow is hoping to learn lessons which she can use to improve the fashion industry in her country. Speaking to The Gleaner during Thursday evening's CFW opening reception at the Spanish Court Hotel, New Kingston, a very bubbly Simplis-Barrow said she is pleased to be in Jamaica for CFW. "It is an exciting time in our fashion and it is such a big thing in the Caribbean. I am excited to meet some of the designers and see how we in Belize can perhaps foster our fashion industry," she said. Simplis-Barrow said Belize Fashion Week was held earlier this year, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. "It is a growing industry and we are just really starting to look at fashion as an industry. We are a little slow when it comes to that in the Caribbean, but we are putting our finger on the button and me being here is a step in the right direction I think," she said. There is a collaboration with Jamaica in the offing, as Simplis-Barrow said "we will be partnering with Pulse. We just spoke with Kingsley Cooper and Romae Gordon in Belize and they had so much fun, so we are looking at partnering with Kingsley for our fashion show in Belize. We will be doing it probably in a year. One of the reasons we are here is to see what Kingsley is doing and to try to emulate what he is doing - and improve on it, of course".

Deep Sea Encouters at Gladden Spit 2013
In addition to Whale Sharks there much more marine life to see at Gladden Spit & Silk Cayes Marine Reserve. Here's look at recent Whale Shark dive after the May moon.

Channel 7

PSE Results Announced, Grades Trending Down
Tonight, the PSE results are in, and, as always, we celebrate the top finishers, while lamenting an overall performance, which is down this year. But, first, to the good news: the students who excelled. The top finisher this year is Siyun Ye, from Bernice Yorke Institute of Learning in Belize City. She topped her peers easily with a overall total of 391 points, six more than the second place finishers. And that’s right, we said, “finishers”; that’s because there’s a three way tie for second between Vincent Hulse and Nelson Esteban from St Andrews Anglican in Cayo along with Jenessa Sierra from San Pedro RC. There’s a four way tie for third with Agatha Petkau, from United Evergreen in Cayo, Iani Adolphus from Hummingbird Elementary in Belize city along with Sherry Tan and Alana Rosado from Belize Elementary in Belize City. Miracle Mgeahburke from Solid Rock Christian in Stann Creek is alone in fourth and Alexandra Gibson from Hummingbird elementary is tied with Marlina Eck from Belize Elementary and Gordon Knowles from St, Joseph in Belize City for fifth. The results came in just two hours ago – and we only got a chance to speak to two of the top finishers who are from the city, first place finisher Siyun Ye, and third place, Iani Adolphus. We spoke to Adolphus an hour ago and Siyun Ye just five minutes ago. We start with Adolphus. Iani Adolphus - Rank 3rd in PSE "I was relieved first of all and kind of surprised, but definitely proud." Monica Bodden "Who first informed you?" Iani Adolphus "My dad called my mom and she told me afterward."

GMO Soybean Found In Belize
Genetically modified soybeans have found in northern Belize. Tonight BAHA is reporting that they were found on May 24th – and tested positive locally four days later – which was confirmed by a US lab on June 5th. Now, sowing of GMO seeds is prohibited in Belize, and so BAHA has placed the seeds under quarantine, and will destroy them by milling. Those milled seeds will be used for the production of animal feed consistent with currently imported animal feeds which contains genetically modified soybeans. The BAHA release which came out after government closing hours does not say how many seeds were found or exactly where and what penalties if any the owner will be made to face.

Foreign Minister Not Hopeful For “Continental Consensus” On Drugs
As we showed you last night on the news, Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington addressed the OAS General Assembly on the issue of the drug problem – saying that it is an issue of demand, not supply. His view was one of 35 coming from the Foreign Ministers or representatives who attended the meeting in Guatemala. All of them had strong opinions, and Elrington told us that he’s not confident that a continental consensus will be arrived at. Hon. Wilfred Elrington - Minster of Foreign Affairs "Small countries like ours have seen us pass very terrible legislation which causes us to be sending so many of our young people to jail. Incarcerated because of the so call drug problem, you find them with a small stick of weed and you lock them up, once they are locked up for a small stick of weed and get convicted they can't get a job, visa and it is creating a lot of hardships. You lock up mothers who have young children when in truth and in fact, Belize is not responsible for the drug trade. The drug trade is impelled by the demand in the developed countries and our system in perpetually under stress and under pressure simply because the drugs pass through our countries - enroot to other countries. No matter what we do we will not be able to stance the trough because the demand is too great. We also have pressure of the demands of the developed countries to do more, they want us to do more and demonstrate that in my mind is a sufficient effort. I don't think we're going to get much out of it."

13 Year Old Alleges Gross Police Brutality
Tonight, a 13 year-old young man from Esperanza Village, continues to suffer from an injury to his left arm which his family and he claims was inflicted by a police officer from the Cayo District. The young man was at home with his family when police conducted a search on their house. We spoke to them this afternoon, and they told us that the police officer, who they can identify, used excessive force against the young man, caused him to suffer a compound fracture. Moreover, they claimed that he was no threat, and that he was around his family’s table doing his homework when the police barged in: Sharema Mendoza - Sister "I don't know what the problem is that they have against us as the Mendozza family but the police men came and my brother was doing an assignment in the house around the center table. My dad was inside eating and I was inside with some other girls watching some clothes. He went at the backdoor and when he went an officer approached him and said to my little brother 'stand right there - don't move' so my brother stood there and didn't move. There after about 6 to 7 seconds, as quick as that, I heard my brother crying - he then yelled at me and said 'Sharema I am going to die' so I told my dad who was sitting and eating to go and check on him."

A Lesson In Ejecting Squatters
Viewers may or may not know Olatunji Balogun. He is a Unitedville resident who has been fighting his case in the Supreme Court to settle the issue of squatters who refused to get off his land. He’s written extensively about his experience while fighting this case since the year 2000, and today, he finally got a positive development in a judgment delivered by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. Because it is an issue that other Belizeans are forced to go through to keep their own land, he asked to share his story with the nation, hoping that it will inspire them not to suffer injustice in silence. Here’s how he explained it: Olatunji Balogun - Concerned Land Owner "Today there was a decision made in a trespassing case I took out. There were some people that were living illegally on my land and I took them to the supreme court and they made a decision today that they are trespassing on my land and they awarded me for $1000 and $5000 in cost. The significance of this is that I have been dealing with this situation almost around the year 2000 when I became aware that these people were on my land.

Belize’s Best Speller Is…
As we showed you at the top of the news, the PSE results are in, and we got a chance to speak to some of the top performers today. And today was also, the finals for the 2013 Coca Cola National Spelling Bee was held in Belmopan – where we got to see some of the top spellers. The first and second place winners from each district converged at the UB Gymnasium where they went up against each other for the finals. After 4 hours of spelling words most of us never heard before, a new winner was declared, when Eriean (pronounced Eri-an) Jang spelt the word "baldachin". Here's how she explained her performance: Eriean Jang - Winner 2013 National Spelling Bee Finals "It was fun, exciting and great but I was a little stressed out because I had to study a lot." Daniel Ortiz "Tell us about qualifying and participating in the finals. How was the first spelling bee for you and having to qualify to get here." Eriean Jang "It was very easy but it was like I was climbing a step and some of the times while I was going up I had some troubles." Daniel Ortiz "How was it today? Give us an idea of some of the difficulties of the word you had to deal with."

Immigration Office Takes Questions From The Public
All across the country today, the different offices of the Immigration Department held open day's where they provided information most vital to the public, along with in an depth explanation of the passport application process. Since the Ministry of Immigration and Nationality changed the process, many members of the public have complained that it is now a great annoyance to get their passports. So 7News dropped by the Immigration Office in Belize City and asked about it. Here's what the officers told us: Camille Ottley - Immigration Clerk 1 "What's happening is that we're celebrating our 27th Anniversary. We've been a department from June 1986 so we're having an information day where we are just giving out snacks and souvenirs and information to anyone who comes in - countrywide." Daniel Ortiz "What sort of information do people from the public come looking for at the Immigration department?" Camille Ottley "Most people come in to find out more about the passport process since we changed it earlier this year."

Building Bandwidth In Belize?
Last night 7News showed you that forum which the Public Utilities Commission organized in collaboration with the international, Non-Profit organization Packet Clearing House. In this forum, the policy makers, along with the international experts, presented a new idea to the internet service providers in Belize to produce internet bandwidth in Belize, instead of purchasing it from abroad. As the facilitators explained it involves setting up a relatively inexpensive bandwidth source in the country called an internet exchange point. But before this forum, majority of Belizeans probably did not know that this was possible at all. So in that context, we asked the facilitators about their expectations, when it comes to the response from the ISP's in Belize. They explained why, on the face of it, the companies may not receive it well, given the telecommunications environment that exists in Belize. Daniel Ortiz "Tell us how you guys plan to convince the Internet Service Providers here in Belize to come on board with this. I think they might see it as a foreign idea."

Prom Economics
It's graduation time and thousands of students are learning a lesson that school never taught them. You can call it Prom Economics - how to find the hundreds of dollars to pay for the biggest party of your young life. It's a lesson many 4th Form students have been learning all too well in the past few weeks and Monica Bodden found two very different sides of the same story today. Here's her story. Monica Bodden reporting Today we found one prom queen who explained what it's like getting ready for the big night. Kadine Gongora - Graduate of Sadie Vernon High "First of all we were all there, about 20 of us and they selected that I was the Prom Queen because of my elegant dress that I had on. It was a lot of things - I had to call my sister from the US so she could have sent down the dress for me and we were here, there and everywhere - preparing hard for Prom because it's one in a life time." 19 year old Kadine Gongora is a recent graduate of Sadie Vernon High. Only two weeks ago, she got the chance to enjoy her fairytale ending after 4 years of hard work. But that ending came with a price tag for Kadine and her family. Kadine Gongora - Graduate of Sadie Vernon High "Yes it was very expensive, my dress cost $350usd and $180usd to ship it down so it was very expensive." Monica Bodden "And how much you guys had to pay to attend the prom?"

Reflections On Antigua
We've been reporting all this week from the 43rd General Assembly in Antigua, Guatemala. The meeting finished last night at midnight with a press conference – and the final outcome is the passage of a number of resolutions and the Declaration of Antigua. And, Belize will have to remain focused on Antigua going into next week – that's because Belize's national football team, the Jaguars are playing an international friendly in that venerable city. Jules Vasquez was there most of this week – and here are his reflections on the city and the meeting it hosted. Jules Vasquez reporting From Belize City to Antigua, Guatemala, really it's just a straight southwesterly line spanning 250 miles. But only birds get to fly that route, for the earthbound, it's 400 miles and a 9-hour drive by road. We opted instead to go by air, first via Tropic Air from Belize to Flores, Peten, a 45 minute flight which took us across the broad expanse of the Lago Peten Itza,. In Flores at the Mundo Maya International Airport we hopped unto a Guatemalan carrier, TAG for another 45 minute flight which flew us via turboprop into Guatemala City where we landed at night in a city that looked to be lit by fireflies. From there we traveled by taxi the 23 miles to Antigua Guatemala. It's one of the oldest cities in Central America, the name Antigua itself is Spanish for 'ancient'. And indeed, every street looks like it's been lifted from some 16th Century European painting.

How to Make Produce Markets Work
Yesterday, leaders from villages, cities and towns across Belize gathered for a presentation at El Rancho Restaurant in Belmopan. It was hosted by the Minister of Local Government, Godwin Hulse, and he called them in to talk about the different produce markets which exist in these municipalities. Government wants to improve how the markets are controlled by the different city, town and village councils and after consultation with an international Expert, the findings were presented yesterday. Minister Hulse explained its importance: Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minster of Local Government "This is the launch of a workshop under the BRDP II so there's a consultant in the country whose function was to help to improve the management of the various market in the municipalities and these are all the market by the Belize City one and Stann Creek is coming on as well at sometime. So he's been here from March and he's visited then and he did a preliminary study and today he's going to present his findings to the group, this is why you see all the Mayors invited etc

Tommy Lee: Follow Me
If you follow Jamaican dancehall music, Tommy Lee is a big name, and tonight he's in Belize for a concert in Orange Walk Town. It is his first time in Belize and when he pulled up at 7news this evening – his street side fans showed him nothing but love. Tommy Lee - Reggae Artist "I'm touring and knowing the place you know, trying to know about the place and the history. Feeling the energy as well." Monnica Bodden "What can people expect from your performance this weekend?" Tommy Lee "Well you know - real badness, niceness. Best of Tommy Lee." Monnica Bodden "Where will you be performing?" Tommy Lee "I'm not really sure about the name of the place. Stadium in Sugar City - real badness. I will sing some tune that they have never heard. I will perform and let people fully enjoy themselves and their monies worth." The concert is tomorrow night at the People's Stadium in Orange Walk Town. Tickets can be purchased at Stone's Music in Belize City and Leonardo's Music or M&A's shoes store in Orange Walk.

Channel 5

P.S.E. results out: scores for Math and English decline
Late this evening, the results of the Primary School Examinations were released by the Ministry of Education.  A total of seven thousand five hundred and thirty-three students sat the exams [...]

Where will Norwegian Cruise Line place $100 million development
With Crawl Caye off the table as a cruise ship destination, Norwegian Cruise Lines is looking for other areas in southern Belize for a cruise ship tourism project. On Tuesday, [...]

Guatemala’s airport has map annexed to Belize
In the past, Guatemala has showcased maps at international forums that annex Belize to that country. There was a concern that Guatemala would carry out similar measures at the forty-third [...]

Churches meet the P.M. to denounce gender policy
Church leaders of the Belmopan area met this morning with Prime Minister Dean Barrow in his Belmopan office. There were seven representatives from the churches and the PM’s team included [...]

Pastor says church protects Constitution of God
While the Council of Churches is yet to meet with P.M. Barrow to express its views on the inclusion of the term sexual orientation in the Revised Gender Policy, the [...]

Baldachin spells winner for Eriean Jang at the Spelling Bee
Baldachin is the winning word in this year’s spelling bee. The spelling of that most difficult word and rarely used word propelled a student from Dangriga as this year’s top [...]

Genetically modified soybeans found in the north
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) has been a debatable topic during the past two years. Some farmers want to use the laboratory synthesized versions of plants because of the higher yield [...]

O.A.S. roadmap to renewal of regional drug policy
This week, a News Five team has been covering the forty-third General Assembly of the Organization of American States that was held in Antigua, Guatemala. The annual event concluded with [...]

Gas attendant pumps way to burglary charge
Nineteen year old Calbert Roberts Junior appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith today, where he was indicted on a charge of burglary.  The young gas attendant is accused of [...]

He slaps ex with hand and he gets slapped with charges
Thirty-one year old Kenroy Vanzie, accused of fondling the breasts and private parts of an eighteen year old woman, pleaded not guilty when he was arraigned in the Belize City [...]

Jaguars; road to Gold Cup
The Road to the Gold Cup: The Belize Jaguars are preparing to take on the United States, Cuba and Costa Rica in three games to be played in three cities [...]

Expert on municipal markets meets mayors
The Church may be a hallmark of communities but no municipality can survive without a market. That is why the mayors from across the country were attending an important meeting [...]

Dancehall Artist, Tommy Lee, in Belize for Orange Walk Concert
From markets to the concerts, dancehall recording artist Tommy Lee is in Belize for a one-night-only performance this weekend.  The controversial singer, whose alias and subject matter has stirred much [...]


Construction of Private Wharf Raises Concerns In Southern Belize
Concerns are being raised over public and private space in Punta Gorda; Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details. PAUL MAHUNG “Growing concerns have been expressed about a newly constructed wharf spanning off coastline at the Northern entrance to Punta Gorda. The newly ...

Political Affiliation Will Not Deter Charges For Destruction of Maya Site
The destruction of Noh Mul an over 2,300 years old Maya Site in Northern Belize caused a local and international media frenzy back in May. The Maya temple had been turned into rubble by D’mar’s Stone Company, owned by Denny Grijalva, whose company used the extracted stone for road fil...

Football Tournament For Youths Scheduled For The Weekend
The Belmopan City Council’s Kids and Youth Football Tournament Competition will conclude this weekend. Correspondent Kenrick Francisco has the sporting details. KENRICK FRANCISCO “Sporting events continue to be an outlet for kids and others to constructively ...

TUBAL Vocational Institute Holds Open Day
Tubal Trade and Vocational Institute opened its door back in 2001 and since then the school has been training youths from Belize City and surrounding communities to master different sorts of trades in order for them to become a productive citizen in their community. Currently fifty students are e...

Winner Declared For Coca Cola Spelling Bee 2013
The nineteenth National Coca Cola Spelling bee came to an end a short while ago. The new champion primary school speller is Eriean Jang from Sacred Heart RC School. Second place went to Britney Rosalez of Caledonia RC School in the Corozal District. Love FM’s Karen Coote h...

Southern Municipality Holds Public Meeting
The Punta Gorda Town Council held a public meeting on Thursday. We join correspondent Paul Mahung for the details. PAUL MAHUNG “The Punta Gorda Town council held an open meeting last night for members of the public. The open meeting was chaired by Mayor Anthony Fuent...


Case File on Destruction of Maya Temple In Belize Forwarded to DPP
The destruction of Noh Mul an over 2,300 years old Maya Site in Northern Belize caused a local and international media frenzy back in May. The Maya temple had been turned into rubble by D’mar’s Stone Company, owned by Denny Grijalva, whose company used the extracted stone for road fill. Since the incident had been plastered on the media, the National Institute of Cultural and History launched an investigation into the matter which was complete last week. According to the Director of Archeology at NICH, the results of the investigations were handed over to the Orange Walk Police Station. Love News understands that the Director of Public Prosecution has received the file and is reviewing it. Awe says that charges are expected to be filed by early next week. JAIME AWE “Early this week we had the Assistant Superintendent of Police from Orange Walk come into archaeology, we finished signing up all the documents, the affidavits, the evidence that will support the case. They also prepared the final police reports which are to be submitted to the DPP office. Now, it is just a matter of any day now that the DPP office will instruct the police to lay the charges. I can see that this will be done very shortly as early as next week. There is no question as to the illegality of the destruction. We have been able to firmly establish that through visual and written evidence.” HIPOLITO NOVELO (Reporter) “This matter has been politically spun by different sectors of the community and many people might think that Mr. Grijalva might not be held responsible because of his political post in the United Democratic Party.”

Capital City Hosts Football Tournament For Youths
The Belmopan City Council’s Kids and Youth Football Tournament Competition will conclude this weekend. Correspondent Kenrick Francisco has the sporting details. KENRICK FRANCISCO “Sporting events continue to be an outlet for kids and others to constructively channel their energy while nurturing skills and fostering social interactions among residents. The kids and youth cup football competition sponsored by the Belmopan City Council which provided such an outlet concludes this weekend with two days of competition at the Isidoro Beaton Football Stadium in Belmopan. On Saturday, June 8 at 2pm, the all-star team of Belmopan will compete against two visiting teams from sugar-city, Orange Walk; then on Sunday at 1pm, two championship games will be held. For the kids’ championship, Barcelona will face off against Real Madrid and for the youth championship, Valencia will clash with Barcelona. Love News spoke with Amilcar Umana whose portfolio includes sports.” AMILCAR UMANA “We have two levels of tournaments for the first year of the cup; one is called the kids’ cup which will be for ages 9 – 12 and to give them continuity, we have included the youth cup for ages 13 -16. We will be distributing medals on trophies on Sunday following the games for most goals, most valuable player, among others. This year we were unable to get any business support therefore the Belmopan City Council is providing the finances for this year’s event.”

Youths Demonstrate Acquired Vocational Skills During Open Day
Tubal Trade and Vocational Institute opened its door back in 2001 and since then the school has been training youths from Belize City and surrounding communities to master different sorts of trades in order for them to become a productive citizen in their community. Currently fifty students are enrolled in the different courses at the school and yesterday their skills were put on display for their 12th annual open day. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTS: Located on the Philip Goldson Highway, Tubal Trade and Vocational Institute has been in existence for twelve years. The institute provides learning courses on several trades to youth who are willing invest in order to be successful. On Thursday, the trade and vocational institute held its annual open day to showcase the skills and talents that the students have developed during their individual courses as explained by Jevon McKoy, the building construction instructor for Tubal. JEVON McKoy “We have 4 basic trades and everyone is displaying their respective discipline from mechanic coming down to construction which is mine; we have the electrical and we have the computer lab and the Catering and Hospitality are doing their display upstairs. To be quite honest everyone here has something specific that they would like to display. From the mechanic they are displaying the vehicle parts that they are working on, we have some photos and so forth that we have been displaying on what we have done. If you take a walk in the class we have some houses we have set up, we have some walls that we have been working on just to display what we have been doing. If you notice in the class we have this electrical crowd that set up a house that is all lighted up and upstairs we have some amazing displays when it comes to the food.”

Dangriga Primary School Student Captures 1st Place in National Spelling Bee
The nineteenth National Coca Cola Spelling bee came to an end a short while ago. The new champion primary school speller is Eriean Jang from Sacred Heart RC School. Second place went to Britney Rosalez of Caledonia RC School in the Corozal District. Love FM’s Karen Coote has the details of today’s competition. KAREN COOTE “The Coca Cola National Spelling Bee 2013 concluded with a grand finale at the UB Gymnasium in the nation’s capital, Belmopan. Twelve champion spellers, two representing each of the six districts took the stage for the grand finale hoping to be crowned the national champion. From the Belize District, Misty Sanchez from Holy Redeemer Primary, Daniel Mohammed-Ali from Burrell Boom Methodist; the Cayo District was represented by Michael Thompson – Belize Christian Academy and Heidi Morcia from Los Tambos Government; the Corozal district was represented by Britney Rosales from Caledonia RC and Enrique Castillo, St. Paul’s Anglican; Margaret Diego from San Estevan RC and Isidro Chan from San Pablo Community represented the Orange Walk District; Eriean Jang of Sacred Heart RC and Sara Ramirez from Valley Baptist were representative from the Stann Creek District and Toledo District was represented by Laurie Williams from Mafredi Methodist and Hilda Saki from St. Benedict RC School. During the opening ceremony of this year’s event the invocation was delivered by Fem Cruz; opening remarks were delivered by District Education Manager, Luis Carballo; President and CEO of Bowen and Bowen, Michael H.M Bowen welcomed everyone to the grand finale. The champion spellers were escorted on stage by members of Belize’s National Football Jaguars Team. Formalities completed, it was time to spell again.


More meetings on Gender Policy for the Prime Minister
Seven Pastors from the Belmopan Area Coalition of Churches met this morning with the Prime Minister and three of his cabinet Ministers regarding the Revised Gender Policy 2013. The meeting started at 9:30 this morning and it wasn’t until three hours after that the group of seven made their...

Soy bean in the north of the country test positive for GMO
On May 24th, 2013, the Plant Health Department of the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) discovered suspected genetically modified soybean seeds in Northern Belize. As a result, samples of the suspected soybeans were submitted to BAHA’s Plant Health Diagnostics Laboratory in Central Farm for GMO screening. The screening tests...

Alleged murderers of Steven Valencia remanded to prison
Earlier this week, Police apprehended 26 year old Jarod Lamb who had been on the run for over a month. Lamb, also known as Steel Bob, was caught hiding in Teakettle Village. Lamb, along with Marvin Neal, are suspects in an aggravated burglary, where...

Stann Creek District student wins National Spelling Bee
Aldamunich – A-l-a-m-u-n-i-c-h, that’s the word that clinched Sacred Heart R.C. student Eriean Jang as the 2013 National Spelling Bee Champ. Jang competed against eleven of her peers of the Standard 4,5&6 divisions, from schools across the country. This year the competition saw its 19th year under the patronage...

EU assists with Market Development Programme
The Department of Local Government and Rural Development, under the Belize Rural Development Project has undertaken a venture to provide a more pleasant and hygienic environment for market vendors. The project reviewed existing markets infrastructure within Belize, with a longer term Market Development Programme planned, which will involve substantial ...

Former Nurses’ Aide seeks to be treated fairly
Her granddaughter died in desperate circumstances in 2006 and she feels she was victimized by its administration. Former Nurses’ Aide Shawn Lemoth attended Thursday’s demonstration organized by Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) as well as the press conferences and is not satisfied with the hospital’s explanation of...

2013 PSE results are in
The 2013 PSE results are in. According to the Ministry of Education, a total of 7533 candidates registered for this year’s PSE, of which 7359 candidates actually sat all or part of the exam this year. PSE numbers for 2013 record a 5.2% increase in the number of test...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Make panades out of Lionfish, not sharks!
An astuste beauty queen recently posted on her facebook timeline: ”Make panades out of lion fish, not sharks!” We couldn’t agree more! The time has come in the development of our little island where sharks are worth more as tourist attractions than panades! Conversely, we have too many invasive non-native lion fish in our waters, and the population needs to be thinned. So, folks, let’s make the panades industry a win-win situation for the island.

Belize International Film Festival Schedule
The schedule for the 8th Belize International Film Festival has been published. We take great pride is publishing it below, not only because we wholeheartedly support the film festival, but especially because for the first time ever, Caye Caulker has submitted an entry. The film director is no other than local Hicaquena, Tina Auxillou. We urge all Hicaquenas to come out and support the film on the Sunday, June 14th at 3:00 p.m. All films will be screened at the Princess Cinema in Belize City. Tickets cost USD $5/ BZD $10.


Robert Bandfield, owner and sole director of IPC, told the court that Middleton stole $17,455 BZ Carmita Middleton, 38, was acquitted of five counts of theft today in the courtroom of Justice Adolph Lucas, Sr. after it was determined that the Crown had not presented enough evidence to prove the points of its case. Middleton had been accused of stealing a total of $17,455 BZ from her employer, Robert Bandfield, while she worked as a receptionist. The alleged incidents of theft are said to have occurred on five different occasions between July 16, 2008 and December 31, 2008 when she appropriated monies from five different companies that had been incorporated by IPC. However, it was not until January 2009 that Bandfield was alerted that something was awry in his company. In the trial, Bandfield testified that his company, IPC, incorporates international companies and manages them. He also explained that he acts as director of these companies, and as director, he decides which stocks to invest in and also which charitable donations or gifts are given away and to whom. The director of the companies is ultimately the one who dictates where money can or cannot go.

His father said that he will travel to Haiti to “seek his justice.” The decomposed corpse of former policeman Maurice Duce, 24, of Police Street, was retrieved from the Belize River in the area of Haulover Bridge at about 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 4. The body was in an advanced state of decomposition, and a part of his left arm was missing — believed to have been bitten off by crocodiles. After the body was taken out of the river, it was taken to a deserted area on the Hattieville-Boom Road, where Doctor Mario Estradabran conducted an onsite autopsy. At its conclusion, Estradabran certified that Duce’s death was caused by drowning. Duce, originally from Haiti, was taken to the Eternal Gardens Cemetery at Mile 13 on the Philip Goldson Highway, where he was buried at about 3:30 p.m. that same day, Tuesday. A man told police that about 8:30 Tuesday morning, he was travelling in his boat on the Belize River in the area of Manatee Lookout when he saw a body floating. Police were called and a search team from the Ladyville police responded and searched for the body in the area near Mile 8 on the Philip Goldson Highway.

3 of 4 suspects charged with murder were supposed to graduate from Belmopan Comprehensive High tonight, Wednesday. Rasheed Crespo, 19; Manuel Hernandez, 18; Rudy Santos, 18; and Edwin Paula, 29, have been charged with murder, attempted murder, dangerous harm, use of deadly means of harm, and two counts of robbery today, Wednesday, in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court. No plea was taken from the men and they have been remanded to the Belize Central Prison until August 22, 2013. All four men are believed to have been involved in a series of crimes that occurred in the Belmopan area, including a robbery and murder incident that occurred at La Choza Bar in Las Flores, a village in the vicinity of Belmopan, on June 2, 2013, in which the owner of the bar was robbed of a cell phone, cash, and a car, and two others —Isabel Ballona, 43, and Manuel Aguino, 50, were shot. While Aguino survived the attack, Ballona died as a result of the injuries he suffered. Ballona had been shot in the head. The other incident for which the four men are believed to be responsible occurred on May 8, 2013, when the accused and two other persons robbed nine students at gunpoint at the University of Belize, Belmopan campus dorms, and escaped with an assortment of valuable items.

“Our ships will be going somewhere else, unless we can figure out a way to make the experience better.” – Colin Murphy, Norwegian’s Vice President, Destination & Strategic Development Minister Hulse says, “…before you chase away a potential investor who intends to put down the upper part of 100 million dollars and just say ‘shush’ …you work with him within the parameters that may be possible.” Minister of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development and National Emergency Management and Immigration and Nationality Godwin Hulse confirmed to us on Tuesday, following a meeting of Cabinet, that Government had decided to reject a proposal from Norwegian Cruise Lines for a $100 million cruise port development at Crawl Caye, because the scale of the project is too large for the location, which is part of a UN World Heritage Site. Whereas the Crawl Caye proposal, Hulse said, is “off the table,” Government would still continue talks with the cruise line, to see if another location in Belize can work. In explaining Cabinet’s decision to take Crawl Caye “off the table,” as the minister puts it, he told us that, “The environmental people, the technical people have concluded that that particular development would unduly disturb the ecology and the environment there, and therefore they do not recommend that location. So the promoters understand that: Crawl Caye is off the table.”

They twisted the child’s arm so violently that he suffered a compound fracture. Police are accused of roughing up a 13-year-old Esperanza boy until his left arm suffered a compound fracture. The incident occurred at about 2:30 p.m. yesterday in the Mendoza family yard in Esperanza, during what police said was a search for drugs in the house. Police said that they did find drugs, however, and the youth and his father, 72, were arrested, charged and then granted police bail. The boy was taken to the San Ignacio Hospital, where his arm was put in a cast. The family is upset about the way the boy was handled and wants the police to pay for the boy’s medical treatment. They have since made an official complaint to the police’s Internal Affairs office in Belmopan, and to the Ombudsman. Sharema Mendoza told Amandala that about 2: 30 p.m. yesterday, Wednesday, the family was at home; she and her mother were washing clothes in the yard; her brother, 13, was doing homework, and her father was eating at the table. Some friends were also in the yard.

Roberts gave the money to his common-law wife after buying “baby things.” On Thursday, May 30, 2013, Calbert Roberts, Jr., 19, a resident of #16 Mangal Street in Orange Walk, was arraigned on burglary and damage to property charges, to which he pled guilty. According to the facts of the case, Racquel Borland, the owner of Biscayne General Shop, reported that between 6:00 p.m. on May 26, 2013 and 12:00 noon May 27, 2013, someone broke into her store and stole $4,100 from the store’s drop box. Police launched an investigation and apprehended Roberts, Jr., who then admitted to breaking into the store, where he had been employed as a gas attendant. After pleading guilty to the charges, Roberts had told the court that he wasn’t thinking properly and that his “ego” was overwhelmed. He further told the court that he had made a genuine mistake, and begged the court to please excuse his common-law wife, because she didn’t know where he had gotten the money.

Mayor’s Cup Committtee says Thanks! The executive committee of the Classic Gold Mayor’s Cup 2013 would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude and appreciation to all those who supported this year’s tournament to be a great success. Our Platinum Sponsor – Traveller’s Rum, Mayor H. Gilbert Swaso and the Dangriga Town Council, Hon. Ivan Ramos, Football Federation of Belize, Stann Creek Sports Council, Stann Creek Football Association, the Police Department, Uncle Harry Paint, Mr. Nolbert Moss – Competition Committee Secretary, Hamaalali Radio Station, Dangriga Cable Vision, Rapidito Loans, Mr. Orin Orio, Mr. David “Davo” Rodriguez, Mr. Santiago Acosta, team managers & players, and, of course, the fans who came out to support their teams and the tournament. Next year, the Mayor’s Cup will be bigger and better! Boys & Girls U-15 football

The Football Federation of Belize regrets to inform the general public and football supporters of the sad reality of our football. The Premier League of Belize Champion for this year, the Belmopan Bandits Football Club, will not be able to participate in the CONCACAF Champions League 2013-2014, since it has been determined by CONCACAF stadium inspectors that, while improvements have been made to some of the stadium’s infrastructure, the stadium still does not meet the minimum standard requirements for CONCACAF Champions League. One of the areas of most importance is the lighting. The minimum requirement is 800 lux throughout the field of play, since all of the Champions League matches are broadcasted in High Definition. At the moment, the lighting fluctuates from 300-1100 lux in some areas of the pitch. Other requirements for participation in CONCACAF Champions League are as follows: Improvements of the field of play; that is that we need to grow more grass on the field. Air conditioned locker rooms for referee and players. A minimum of 12 shower stalls and toilet facilities in each locker room for players.

The Corozal District Primary School Volleyball Competition for males (M) and females (F) continues with games at the Andres Campos Civic Center. Here are the results for games played from last Wednesday, May 29, to yesterday, Wednesday, June 5. On Wednesday, May 29, (M) Guadalupe RC won over Corozal Methodist, 25-23, 25-14; (F) San Victor RC defeated Libertad Methodist in 3 sets, 25-15, 23-25, 15-10; (M) Libertad Methodist dropped San Victor RC, 25-4, 25-15; and (F) Corozal Methodist won over Guadalupe RC in 3 sets, 25-23, 19-25, 15-13. On Friday, May 31, it was (M) Copper Bank RC over St. Francis Xavier, 25-14, 25-11; (M) Corozal Methodist over Church of Christ, 25-16, 25-10; (F) Corozal Methodist over Church of Christ, 25-8, 25-16; and (M) Guadalupe RC over Assemblies of God, 25-8, 25-16. Three more games were played on Monday, June 3: (M) Corozal Methodist won over Libertad Methodist, 25-11, 25-16; (F) Corozal Methodist dropped Libertad Methodist, 25-20, 25-17; and (M) St. Francis Xavier defeated Assemblies of God, 25-23, 26-24. The tournament continued yesterday, Wednesday, June 5, with 5 games: (M) Copper Bank RC clipped San Victor RC, 25-10, 25-11; (F) Church of Christ dropped Libertad Methodist in 3 sets, 16-25, 25-7, 15-10; (M) Libertad Methodist won over Church of Christ, 25-17, 25-19; (M) Guadalupe RC stopped St. Francis Xavier RC, 25-7, 25-10; and (M) Corozal Methodist defeated Assemblies of God, 25-16, 25-11.

In the 1960s the political headquarters of diaspora Belizeans was in New York City, where there was an organization called the British Honduras Freedom Committee. At that time, most of the majority black population which constituted the Belizean diaspora, was concentrated in New York City and, to a lesser extent, Chicago. Today, Los Angeles is probably the political headquarters of diaspora Belizeans, but in the 1960s, L.A. was a distant third to New York and Chicago. Lighter-skinned Belizeans were based in New Orleans, and its surrounding parishes, but New Orleans Belizeans did not, as a group, have a profile in Belizean politics the way the Freedom Committee did. Leroy Taegar once told me that the Freedom Committee, at its peak, controlled a list of 8,000 diaspora Belizeans who contributed US$10 a month to the Freedom Committee. This amounted to US$80,000 a month, and it was big money in the 1960s, especially after you changed it into Belize dollars. When I arrived in Brooklyn in August of 1965 on my way to college in New Hampshire, Compton Fairweather was THE BOY amongst New York’s Belizeans. Through a radio telephone arrangement on Rutland Road, where his father, the Rev. Gerald Fairweather, lived, Compton provided diaspora Belizeans with their only news of Belize. In those days, telephone service in Belize itself was primitive, and, of course, there was no Internet.

I am so sad. I am sad because Maurice Duce died the way he did. He is the ex-policeman whose body was found in the river near the Haulover Bridge. Along with my sadness however, I am comforted that he is at rest. God did not allow him to suffer long. At the time of his death, as far as I know, he was going through a hard time. The last time I saw him he was walking the streets, unkempt and penniless. When I listened to the news I was surprised that no mention was made that he had a mental illness. This probably had something to do with his death. I believe he was not taking his medication and was completely spaced out and was not in control of his actions. I think I would not be speaking unfairly if I would say that it is unfortunate that the mental health system failed him. I will not go on to say who else in Duce’s short life failed him. I know he wanted to be helped, and he sought help. I got to know him when he began visiting my home with a young female friend of the family. He was quiet and mannerly and I was told that he had graduated from ACC in the top group of the class. I did not know much about his personal life, but I did learn that his mother died when he was a child, and he was raised by an older sister. In December of last year when he visited my home I saw that he was experiencing some mental problems. He came to me and told me he was hearing voices and he could not “stand it.” I asked him if he wanted me to take him to the Port Loyola mental health clinic. He readily agreed.

These letters together stand for an alliance of men and women who are unsatisfied with the role that nature has assigned to them. Because of this dissatisfaction, they have chosen roles which are contrary to their very nature. Their natural roles are for them to be either male or female according to the sex they were born with. It is true that a male can have the appendage of his genitals removed and an orifice put in its place, through the wonders of medical science. So. According to statute law he/she is recognized as a member of the female sex and, of that gender as well. The state is making an accommodation which it deems necessary and society accepts it as reasonable. But, in reality the intended sex change operation did not succeed. What it has done is make the man incapable of performing the role of a male without being able to perform the role of a female. To achieve this objective medical science will have to implant a womb and install an ovulatory system. Without it, he is still a man, without genitals. The same difficulties would arise if there were women who wished to perform the role of men but, the fair sex is in a much better position to simulate the role, which I will now discuss.

“…there is no way on earth that Government will withdraw that policy.” “…maybe 10, 15, 20 years from now it may become the norm that when you get an invitation it will no longer be Mister and Misses Hulse but it will be Mister Hulse and guest or Mister Hulse and friend… cause you don’t know who is going to show up,” says Minister Hulse Prime Minister Dean Barrow is due to meet Friday with some representatives of Belize’s faith community to discuss the Revised 2013 Gender Policy, which some contend includes a dramatic shift in policy to treat LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual) persons as a special disadvantaged group through anti-discrimination policies which could eventually become law here in Belize. Whereas Barrow is prepared to meet, he told the media Wednesday that, “…there is no way on earth that Government will withdraw that policy.” Barrow described the Revised 2013 Gender Policy as “a good policy” – and his Cabinet approved it via consensus in March. “I’m prepared to accommodate submissions on particular aspects of the policy,” Barrow said, adding that “…if it can be shown where certain things are subject to misinterpretation” he is prepared—at the most—to clarify the language.

The second Inspiration Telethon was another success as the $500,000 fundraising target was met and surpassed. $514,132.85 in pledges and donations was reported at the end of the event on Saturday. Similar to last year, persons were able to donate by credit card, text, cheques, wire transfers, cash at various booths, buying promo items and by billing to their BTL and Smart post-paid accounts. The donations poured in from all across the country, and number of presentations were made at the Bliss during the live broadcast of the 10-hour event. The largest donations came courtesy of the Belize Social Security Board, which presented the second installment of $50,000 from its pledge of $150,000 to be paid over three years; Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust and the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association each presented $50,000. Just minutes before the 6 o’clock totals were presented, a true angel to Belize’s children with special arrived. In an act of extreme generosity, Mr. Jack Chawla presented a blank cheque to be made out for whatever was needed to meet the target. His donation was $92,015.97! In addition to the corporate donors, there were many touching moments as children, several of whom have disabilities, brought their piggy banks filled with their life savings to contribute to the cause.

Support the petition to stop tarpon spearing in the Gulf Of Mexico
Dear Editor, Tarpon are a migratory fish. They migrate from extreme ranges as far north as Nova Scotia, Canada to as far south as Argentina. From our observations over the years, tarpons begin migrating north in ...

Lisa Carne writes PM
Lisa Carne MSc student: Biodiversity Conservation & Sustainable Development: UB/UWI Placencia/Seine Bight 3 June 2013 Hon. Dean O. Barrow Prime Minister Government of Belize Dear Hon. Barrow, I am writing to you to give my opposition, ...

How? Why?
Dear Editor, I first came to Placencia in 1992, 21 years ago. Though I was enchanted with the village from the beginning, it’s the friends I’ve made there and then their extended families that I love ...

Pallotti High School mistreating students
Dear Editor, Pallotti High School is mistreating its students. Students are being given detention for being late, even if it is only by one minute. The school has not given consideration in excusing its students for ...

“During the 1960’s, the most feared group was the United Black Association for Development, better known as UBAD, under the leadership of Evan X Hyde. The Belize government decided that the only way to get rid of this group was to form the Belize Special Force … They were indicted on several charges brought before the courts and after a period of years were forced to become a political party …” - pg. 16, Wellington C. Ramos in THE GUARDIAN of Sunday, September 5, 2010 The General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) is being held in Antigua, Guatemala this week, and Kremandala is one of the three Belizean media houses which are being represented in Antigua. The other two media houses are Channel 7 and Channel 5, and these are owned by a Belizean multimillionaire and a British billionaire, respectively. In Antigua, Kremandala is being represented by Marisol Amaya, who is the news editor at KREM Radio and also does translations for this newspaper. Marisol is not as famous as Adele Ramos, but she is just as precious. It takes special people to work at Kremandala, especially when these individuals, like Adele and Marisol, are multi-talented and could work at just about any media house in the nation. The Kremandala offices are located in an area of town which can get rough and exciting at times, so this place is not for the faint of heart.

The Organization of American States (OAS), the world’s longest-standing hemispheric organization, opened for signing today, two legally-binding instruments: the Inter-American Convention on Racism, Racial Discrimination and Related Forms of Intolerance; and the Inter American Convention Against All Forms of Discrimination and Intolerance—the latter of which reflects the hotly debated shift from including merely one’s “sex” to including one’s “sexual orientation” under provisions guaranteeing fundamental rights and freedoms. Back in 2004, when United Nations countries debated the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, there was a proposal by Canada to include “sexual orientation” in the preamble; however, the proposal was rejected after debate and the original language was retained in that convention. Since then, though, the language of texts addressing fundamental human rights have changed—in the same way that the language in Belize’s gender policy—a document funded by the UN—has changed to now include sexual orientation of persons and anti-discriminatory provisions.

The Reporter

Belizean attitude towards gays and lesbians has to take a practical common-sense approach. Gays and lesbians are real. They exist. They are as real as handicapped people. And because they exist we cannot ignore them. We recognize that they have to eat and sleep and work– just like the rest [...]

Guat shot inside Chiquibul
A shooting incident two miles inside the Belize border with Guatemala in the Chiquibul Nature Reserve while Belizean and Guatemalan representatives are meeting in Antigua, Guatemala has made the territorial dispute between the two countries all the more sensitive.

Former policeman found dead in river
Maurice Duce, 24, a former Policeman who resigned from the Police Department around a year ago was discovered dead and floating in the Belize River on Tuesday. His body was retrieved near the Haulover Bridge shortly after midday after it was first spotted in the morning around the Manatee Lookout [...]

Marin stays! P.M. says KHMH not Health Minister’s responsibility.
Minister of Health Pablo Marin cannot be held accountable for last month’s neonatal deaths at the Karl Heusner Memorial, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said Thursday.

PM says he will not withdraw revised Gender Policy; meets with BNTU leadership
A meeting took place today at the headquarters of the Belize National Teachers’ Union between Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the Council of Management of the BNTU over the revised National Gender Policy.

GOB scuttles Crawl Caye Cruise port plan! But says other proposals are welcome.
Norwegian Cruise Lines’ US$50 million proposal to establish a major cruise port on Crawl Caye some eight and a half miles off the Placencia peninsula has been turned down by Cabinet, Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow told reporters at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel on Wednesday morning, June 5.

Belize abstains from OAS Gender Policy
The Solicitor General of Belize has advised that Belize should abstain from voting on a Convention tabled at the Organization of American States’ General Assembly currently under way in Antigua, Guatemala, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington informed the Belizean media on Thursday, June 6.

Oceana expert witness struck out
The Supreme Court has refused Oceana’s application to have expert witness Susan Harvey testify in the government’s application for a stay of execution on injunctions ordered by Justice Oswell Legal.

British diplomat fired from Belize gets £320,000 compensation
The former British High Commissioner to Belize, John Yapp, was awarded £320,000 in damages by a British High Court, after it found that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) had wrongfully fired him from his Belize post. The court made the award this week, after it ruled last month that [...]

Three parents of dead infants wait for answers from KHMH
Thirteen newborns died in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital’s Newborn Intensive Care Unit last month, and three parents of those infabtssay they are still waiting for answers.

COLA blasts KHMH and Minister of Health over death of infants
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) says it is not satisfied with the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital’s response to the 13 neonatal deaths that occurred in the hospital’s newborn Intensive Care Unit last month.

Inspiration Telethon exceeds $500,000 quota
The second Inspiration Telethon hosted by the Special Envoy for Women and Children, and Care Belize has exceeded its half million-dollar target. The telethon, which was held last Saturday at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts, totalled $514,132.85 in pledges and donations in just ten hours. The largest donations came [...]

Ten ways to burn fat faster
Read on for some medically proven moves that’ll make it happen – and help you drop some pounds. Stock up on green tea Green tea isn’t known only for its cancer-fighting benefits: It may help boost your metabolism too. People who took green-tea extract three times a day saw their [...]

Undefeated Tuff e’Nuff leads Interoffice Basketball
Tuff e’Nuff leads the 2013 Interoffice Basketball Competition posting sixth and seventh wins at Bird’s Isle last Thursday and Saturday to complete the regular season undefeated and enter the playoffs as the top-ranked seed.

Berlan & Sunrise lead in Harrison Parks Cricket Playoffs
Berlan of Bermudian Landing upset defending champions, Excellence 182-181 in Double Head Cabbage at the first semifinal match of the 2013 SMART Harrison Parks National Cricket Competition in Double Head Cabbage, while Sunrise of Lords Bank eliminated the defending sub-champions, Western Eagles, 229-84 in Rancho Dolores on Saturday, June 1.

El Salvador abortion woman has C-section
A seriously ill woman who was denied an abortion by the Supreme Court in El Salvador has undergone a premature Caesarean section. The 22-year-old woman, who has lupus and kidney problems, sought to end the pregnancy, which doctors said posed a serious risk to her life.

Egypt sentences American NGO workers to jail has has
An Egyptian court has sentenced several dozen workers of a non-governmental organizations, including Americans, to jail Tuesday in a case that has infuriated the U.S. government and democratic activists around the world.

Egypt sentences American NGO workers to jail has has
An Egyptian court has sentenced several dozen workers of a non-governmental organizations, including Americans, to jail Tuesday in a case that has infuriated the U.S. government and democratic activists around the world.

Deputy PM’s nephew gets $8M public contracts
Controversial civil works contractor Imer Hernandez has won two public contracts, a $6 million contract to upgrade the Belize City Municipal Airstrip, and a $2 million contract to renovate the Belmopan market. The European Union is funding the 12-month market project, which the Ministry of Works is supervising. The Evaluation Committee accepted Hernandez’s bid and his company is already in its second month of work on the project. Hernandez’s company also won a $6 million contract for the expansion works at the Belize Municipal Airstrip, which went through a competitive bidding process with the submitted tenders opened last December.

The Belize Times

UDP crony steals $50,000 from KHMH
There is another major scandal at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. This one involves the mishandling and fleecing of the hospital’s money by a UDP crony hired by key UDP players now managing the hospital. The BELIZE TIMES has learnt from reliable sources that $50,000 was stolen from the KHMH. A UDP crony from the Corozal District, hired with the consent of his northern political boss, is responsible for the disappearance of overtime money belonging to the hardworking employees of the hospital. This overtime payment belonged to the pharmacists, the wardens and security officers. The money was stolen when the UDP crony diverted it from the hospital’s account to a separate private account at a local bank.

PUP 7’s historic win in Arenal Village!
There was a significant victory in Arenal Village in the Cayo West constituency this last Sunday, June 2nd, 2013, when the voters, after almost 35 years of having a UDP chairman and Village Council ...

Million dollar contracts for Gaspar Vega’s nephew, Imer Hernandez – $179,000 for San Antonio Road, MILLIONS more from UDP Government
The major controversy over the payment of $179,000 to Imer Hernandez, the nephew of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, for road works that were never done in Orange Walk Town is only the tip of ...

“Pablo Marin Must Go!” – Protesters call for resignations of Health Minister/KHMH authorities
A loud call for the Minister of Health Pablo Marin and for the top administrators of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital to resign was made by a group of protesters who held up placards outside of ...

UDP Politics as Usual…
NO Clue… In terms of this crime thing, can we realistically expect 2011 to be any different from 2010? Can we expect a decrease in murders, in home invasions, in assaults, in robberies and shootings and thefts? The government ...

UDP Politics as Usual…
Belizeans shafted again… Our tourism gurus in authority would have us believe that there has been this dramatic facelift in the Belize Tourism Board; a new vision; a new agenda of development; new purpose and new life. It seemed like a ...

KHMH Madness
The mess at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital is really a microcosm of the entire health system currently. This system has been in distress ever since the UDP took office in 2008 and began spitefully and recklessly changing policies, cancelling programs and victimizing health officials. You can ask retired nurse ...

Berlan upsets Excellence 183-181 in cricket playoffs
Berlan of Bermudian Landing upset the defending champions, Excellence C.C. 182-181 in the first semifinal of the 2013 SMART Harrison Parks national cricket competition in Double Head Cabbage on Saturday, June 1. Excellence batted first and ...

Geovanni Lovell wins weekend cycling race
Team Telemedia’s Giovanni Lovell won the 60-mile race on the Hummingbird Highway on Sunday June 2, 2013. Some 41 riders suited up for the ride from Belmopan to La Democracia Village on the George Price Highway, back ...

Lady Rebels sting Blazers 6-4 in softball
The Mirage Lady Rebels scorched the Belize Bank Blazers 6-4 in the Belize City women’s softball competition at the Roger’s Stadium on Friday, May 31. No runs were scored in the first ...

Who dropped the ball?? – Belize absent from important SICA-CARICOM trade meeting
Belize has always been considered the bridge between Central America and the Caribbean, but last week when an important trade and economy meeting was held with key business leaders of the two regions in Guatemala, that bridge was overlooked when Belize absented itself. The organisers of the ...

Did she really say that?!! – Babies’ families could expect hospital bill, no compensation, says KHMH Board Chair
The families of the thirteen newborns who died at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital continue to live a nightmare as they try to find the answers to their tragedy. The Minster of Health ...

AMAZING GRACE – Get Out and Stay Out
Today, so many people have a problem with self-control. An overweight woman will attend a party and eye the delicious pastries. “I’ll only take one,” she convinces herself. But, she then decides to take a little more. Despite understanding that the fatty food is not healthy for her, she keeps ...

BNTU wants Gender Policy halted
Since the launch of the Revised National Gender Policy 2013 by the National Women’s Commission, the Belize National Teachers’ Union has been following with great concern, the wide range of issues that have emanated from the contents of this gender policy. The Council of Management of the BNTU has ...

More UDP Corruption Exposed
“To oppose corruption in government is the highest obligation of patriotism” - G. Edward Griffin At a press conference on Friday, Prime Minister Barrow tried to brush the worsening San Antonio Road scandal under the table. In doing that the PM said that there was nothing to worry ...

Valuing Your Self-Worth and Loving Yourself
“Only make decisions that support your self-image, self-esteem, and self-worth” - Oprah Winfrey Do you know what it means to have self-worth? How do you determine what you are worth? Is your self-worth defined by someone else? Do you underestimate your value? I ask those questions because ...

What we must do to avoid squandering the temporary relief from debt restructuring
Belize was forced into commercial public-debt restructuring in 2006-7...and five-years after, it found itself in default, with need for another restructuring in 2012-13. In both scenarios....the respective governments claimed that the restructuring resulted in quantitative relief for Belize...saying that the government’s annual requirements for financing the debt was lowered. ...

Valedictorian Speech – Canaan High class of 2013
It is an honor to address you in such a glamorous fashion. I am privileged to be a part of this historic event. Canaan High this year celebrates its Silver Anniversary. Perhaps that is another reason for the mixed emotions. For me it is one of nostalgia ...

Valedictory Address 2013 – Xiaowen Huang – Edward P. Yorke High School
“I have a dream” were the words of the great Martin Luther King Junior. With those words he inspired a movement that changed a segregated America. Today America has a black president in a second term of office. Class of ...

Saint Catherine’s Academy celebrated its Graduation ceremonies for the class of 2013! The school was celebrating its 130th anniversary of existence — founded in 1883 by the Sisters of Mercy. The theme for the school year and graduation is — Excellence is asking more of yourself than others ask of you. 142 students were in the senior class –134 were successful. 43% of the class of 2013 graduated with honors which means maintaining honor roll status for three or all four years. ...

Parents demand answers! – “This was my 2nd child killed at KHMH,” says grieving mother, Marissa Cruz
Four of the thirteen parents, whose newborn babies died under the care and treatment of the medical personnel at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, spoke about their dreadful and tragic experience. Three of the parents spoke at the COLA press conference on Tuesday, while the fourth a mother spoke for the first time at the COLA protest today. The parents, Marissa Cruz, Magali Mai, Steven Panton and Harrison Sutherland say that before being admitted to the hospital, examinations done at various stages of the pregnancy showed a normal gestation. The parents said they had a normal delivery, aside from delivering premature babies, but the days that followed turned into a horrifying experience. ...

The death of a child is always heartwrenching. Children are to be protected, cherished, nurtured and encouraged to fulfill their full potential, and it is trite wisdom that children are the adults of our future, the leaders of the Belize we strive to create. Families, parents, guardians, ...

Belize Best and Brightest – Part III: Belize High School, ACC, Ladyville Tech & Canaan Seventh Day Adventist High
The BELIZE TIMES continues coverage of the 2013 high school graduation season with a look at Belize High School (BHS), Anglican Cathedral College (ACC), Ladyville Technical High School (LTHS) and Canaan Seventh-Day Adventist High School (CSDAHS). While Belize High School (BHS) is only 3 years old, the off-shoot of the Belize Elementary School (BES) has created – chartered even – a special space for the gifted. And 12 of them, having completed their high school education at this well-disciplined proving ground, will now march on to their graduation on Saturday, June 8th, at the BES Gymnasium in Belize City. Leading them will be the Valedictorian Steven Lam, and the Salutatorian Jani Reyes. ...

Who pays the piper…calls the tune!
An interesting thing happened this past weekend. A kind of high level tit for tat. A sizeable donation of $92,000 made by known Belize City businessman, Jack Chitendra Charles, to a telethon fundraiser held under the auspices of the Prime Minister’s current wife came at a most ...

PUP calls for withdrawal of revised National Gender Policy
On Wednesday June 5th, 2013 Party Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca and Deputy Party Leader Julius Espat met, at their invitation, with church leaders of the Cayo District particularly those representing Belmopan and surrounding communities. Following presentations from Pastors Scott Stirm and Louis Wade, the Party Leader addressed the ...

Reflections on the Public Square
For some time now I have wanted to get back to writing a weekly column for The BELIZE TIMES. My first BT column was a Youth Column written during my tenure as President of the Belize Youth Movement, the youth arm of the PUP, some 25 years ago. ...

HRCB condemns Police killings
The Human Rights Commission of Belize (HRCB) is deeply disturbed that members of the Belize Police Department (BPD) have recently killed two men in highly questionable circumstances. Our concern is aggravated by the fact that over the several weeks going into months since these deaths the Police ...

Barrow’s Musical Chairs of DEBT! – Efforts to solve fiscal problems are “uninspiring”, says New York financial expert
Belize and other Caribbean countries have come under debt watch from economic analysts, after Moody’s Investor Service raised red ...

Response to ‘A few thoughts … from buttons to bottom of souls.’
I found the article, ‘A few thoughts … from buttons to bottom of souls’ at page 38 of the May 12, 2013 edition of the Amandala to be so astonishingly inaccurate and misinforming that I am compelled to analyze the flawed assumptions presented therein. In this article, the writer rehashes the ...

Petition: Stop the Spearing of Tarpon in the Gulf of Mexico
Good Day Fellow Sports Fishers, Tarpon are a migratory fish. They migrate from extreme ranges as far north as Nova Scotia, Canada to as far South as Argentina. From our observations over the years, tarpons begin migrating North in March. The migration goes on through to August. They slowdown in September ...


More on why Belize’s Great Blue Hole is so Great
With Belize’s stunning Great Blue Hole in the running to become the new 8th Wonder of the World, as mentioned in our blog post of June 5, we thought it only appropriate to give a bit more of a description of this incredible natural phenomenon. First of all, it’s big. Over 300 metres (984 ft) across and 127 metres (407 ft) deep it can be seen from outer space. Secondly, it’s breathtakingly beautiful. With every shade of blue imaginable ranging from the deepest indigo to aquamarine and turquoise and surrounded with a riot of colour from tropical fish, corals and other marine life, it’s a feast for the senses. Third, it’s part the Belize Great Barrier Reef system, the second largest barrier reef in the world, next to Australia’s, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This means that a visit to the Great Blue Hole gets you to Lighthouse Reef and in close proximity to the largest atolls in the world and other places of immense beauty such as Half Moon Caye and some of Belize’s other natural maritime wonders.

Caving Around Cayo
Cayo has the caves. The article is actually called '5 things to do in Belize besides diving' but the first 2 they mention are what Cayo excels at. Actun Chapat and ATM both get mentioned in the article. How they missed Crystal Paradise, which is known for amazing birding, nobody knows. "While neighbouring Mexico and Guatemala get all the press for Mayan sites, Belize was once the centre of the Mundo Maya. At its peak, the Mayan civilization in Belize is said to have reached over a million people. This means plenty of archaeological sites, some still buried under thick bush and, most fascinating of all, sacrificial caves now open to the public for supervised spelunking. You can hop on the popular Actun Tunichil Muknal tour to view the skeletal remains of a young Maya girl, but there are also others worth exploring. Arrange a visit to Actun Halal and Actun Chapat, in the western village of San Jose Succotz, through Belizean Sun Tours—there, your group will likely have the xibalba or Mayan underworld all to yourselves.

Vet Clinic in Bullet Tree
The Institute for Sustainable International Studies will be having a spay and neuter vet clinic tomorrow in Bullet Tree Falls, starting at 9:00am. Thanks, ISIS! "As part of ISIS's commitment to serving the communities in Belize, our summer students will be sponsoring and participating in spay/neuter vet clinics in these villages: Bullet Tree Falls, June 8, beginning at 9 am San Antonio (Cayo), June 22, beginning at 9 am San Jose Succotz, July 27, beginning at 9 am"

Feed The Children Fashion Show 2013
The Cornerstone Foundation is having their 2013 Feed the Children Fashion Show on July 13th, at 6:00pm. The venue this time is the Octavia Waight auditorium. The fashion show is fundraiser for their feeding program. You can get tickets for the event at their office starting in the middle of next week. Have a fun night while supporting a great cause at the some time. "All proceeds from this show will be going towards our Feeding Program, where we feed 98 primary school children and 12 elderly a daily lunch meal. Tickets Can Be Bought At Cornerstone Office, 43 Church Street, as Of June 12 2013!"

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Peenut Cookies Glute A'loose
I luv peenuts !! Yeers and yeers ago … almos ‘oncet upon a time’ .. I bouite packaged peenut cookies that were mah absolute favert ! I bouite 'um fer sevrul yeers , the , suddenlee thay were gone, nevr t'be see on grossry stere shelves agin! I tride ovr t'yeers t'copycat 'um n' mah kitchin but could nevr quite capture t'flavour that wuz locked into mah memry.

Bismillah The Case of Viola Pook
The case of Viola Pook was brought to national and international attention two months ago when Minister Farrakhan, in a question and answer session after his lecture to the prison population of the Belize Central Prison asked Ms Pook why she felt the need to kill the man she was convicted for killing. Viola Pook in front of the whole world recounted a story of betrayal, violence and eventual rape of a thirteen year old child she and her common-law husband of twenty three years had raised from the time the child was eight months old. When he did that treacherous act the dam broke and she soon after set him on fire which eventually caused his death. Ms Pook’s graphic recollection of her ordeal brought many who were present to tears.

Belize Primary School Examination's Top 26 Students
The 2013 Primary School Examination also known as the PSE has been released to the media for the top 26 students in the country of Belize. The 2013 PSE results reveal of the 26 Top Students, Siyun Ye from Bernice Yorke in Belize City has taken the top spot in this years PSE with an Overall Score of 391. It also reveals that of the 26 top students 14 are from Belize City, 7 from Cayo, 2 from Corozal, 1 from Orange Walk, 1 from Stann Creek, and 1 from Toledo. The results are as follows:

International Sources

Amid utilities' plan, a dam controversy: Fortis, community group spar over Belize record
In the small Central American country of Belize, three dams on a river that winds through a lush tropical forest produce inexpensive electricity and decreased oil purchases from Mexico, according to the Canadian holding company that owns them. But environmental advocates say Fortis Inc.’s hydroelectric venture destroyed dense jungle vegetation that was abundant with wildlife, polluted a river important for tourism and fishing for nearby villagers, and customers have yet to get a break on their electric bills. A few years after the Chalillo Dam was completed, another Fortis subsidiary that distributed power to the majority of Belizeans was taken over by the government due to risks associated with the company’s debt, according to Fortis. As Fortis seeks to buy CH Energy Group of Poughkeepsie, a mid-Hudson Valley group called Citizens for Local Power has made the concerns of the company’s opponents in Belize its own.

Embark on Four New Ocean Adventures with WPBT2’s Changing Seas this June
Changing Seas, an Emmy award-winning WPBT2 original series, premieres four exciting new episodes in primetime this June. This season viewers will explore the deep blue as never before, visiting some of our most exotic locales to date! Season 5 features a research trip to Belize where coral hybrids thrive, divers who search for a sunken slave ship, an encounter with the mysterious creatures that lurk in the deep, and an expedition to French Polynesia to study some of the most remote reefs in the world. EPISODE DESCRIPTIONS: SHOW#501: Coral Hybrids- Broadcast Date: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 – 8:00pm ET While Elkhorn and Staghorn corals have undergone a drastic decline in the Caribbean, their hybrid, “Fused Staghorn,” is increasing in numbers in parts of the region. One scientist is studying the animals in Belize to see if the hybrid might be better equipped to deal with environmental stressors than its parents.

OAS member countries discuss drug policies and other matters
The representatives of the member states of the Organization of American States (OAS) on Thursday finished expressing their points of view on the topic “For a Comprehensive Policy against the World Drug Problem in the Americas” during the third plenary session of the 43rd General Assembly, which took place in Antigua, Guatemala. They agreed, in general, on the need to identify better policies for tackling the drugs problem in the hemisphere, and they noted the importance of the Report on the Problem of Drugs in the Americas, which was presented by the Secretary General José Miguel Insulza to the president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, as a starting point for their discussions. Following the order in which they requested the floor, 18 heads of delegation spoke, in addition to the 14 who addressed the Assembly on Wednesday. In their addresses, the heads of delegation applauded the OAS’s report and described it as an essential contribution for the start of an open and high-level debate.

June 7, 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

NEMO hosts jeopardy competition during NEMO week
As part of the events for the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) Week, students from Ambergris Caye participated in a Disaster Contest, Jeopardy style. The event took place on the evening of Thursday May 30th at the Lions Den. Three teams comprising of two students each were tested for their knowledge in Social Studies, specifically questions related to disaster preparedness and the role of NEMO in Belize. Kenri Rippon and Juliannie Rivero represented La Isla Bonita Elementary School, Janelly Aban and Oscar Aban represented New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) School and Kylie Alamilla and Kylah Castillo represented San Pedro Roman Catholic (RC) School.

World No Tobacco Day observed on Ambergris Caye
The community of San Pedro observed World No Tobacco Day on Friday May 3rd. As part of the day’s event, the National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC) partnered with other organizations to highlight the health effects of smoking. Celebrated under the theme “Ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship,” NDACC spearheaded a small fair at the San Pedro Town Central Park. Kristina Romero, NDACC’s District Coordinator for Belize Rural South explained that the San Pedro Police Department and San Pedro Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute (SPADAI) played an integral role in the partnering for the event. “We partnered with other stakeholders to come up with a booth where we gave out information and flyers about the effects of smoking. We also had several games that attracted the kids. One of the highlights of the day was that we had someone dressed in a cigarette outfit. On the outfit individual notes where written about the adverse effects of smoking and then at the end of the day we burned it to send a loud message against smoking.”

San Pedro’s Hyperbaric Chamber opens its service to all dive guides
Since 1989 Sub-Aquatic Safety Service (SSS) Network has been operating the only recompression chamber for divers in Belize. The recompression chamber that is owned by Sub-aquatic Safety of Belize Limited is essential to the diving industry since it provides all the necessary resources to treat diving accidents. The purpose of the chamber is to allow divers to readjust to normal atmospheric pressure after resurfacing from a dive. When divers surface from great depths too quick their body does not have time to readjust to normal atmospheric pressure and this can cause various pressure-related complications, such as oxygen toxicity and decompression sickness.

Ambergris Today

New Police Barracks for San Pedro Police Department
It can be said that Superintendent Luis Castellanos came to the island of Ambergris Caye as a blessing and brought with him a positive mind and the willingness to work for a safer and better San Pedro. He took up office in January 14, 2013 and in an interview with Ambergris Today the first thing he mentioned was the improvement of the living conditions for his officers. “In the short amount of time being here I want to bring change to both the police station and to the island. I plan on working to improve the living conditions of my officers so that they can give their best to the community,” he commented. “First and foremost we need to improve the barracks which is in a deplorable state. By the time I leave San Pedro, I hope to have a new living quarters for our officers, either at the back of the station where it currently is or above our headquarters.”

Belize Football Team Cannot Participate in CONCACAF 2013-2014
Football Federation of Belize regrets to inform the general public and football supporters of the sad reality of our football. The Premier League of Belize Champion02 for this year, the Belmopan Bandits Football Club, will not be able to participate in the CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE 2013-2014. Since it has been determined by CONCACAF stadium inspectors, that while improvements have been made to some of the stadium’s infrastructure, the stadium still does not meet the minimum standard requirements for CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE. One of the areas of most importance is the lighting. The minimum requirement is 800 lux throughout the field of play. Since all of the CHAMPIONS LEAGUE matches are broadcasted in High Definition. At the moment the lighting fluctuates from 300-1100 lux in some areas of the pitch.

San Ignacio Resort Hotel honored as Hotel of the Year Belize
At the Belize Tourism Board's 12th Annual Tourism Awards ceremony, held on May 18, 2013, at Bannister Caye, the San Ignacio Resort Hotel was honored as the Hotel of the Year 2012. The accolade highlights a licensed hotel where service exceeds excellence and positive attitude and attentiveness of staff are the norm. The recognition is presented to a property that offers exceptional value for money, demonstrates a willingness to adapt to the demands of patrons while remaining true to its core values, is equipped with modern facilities and amenities and embraces green initiatives. And importantly, the Hotel of the Year's ambience gives visitors an authentic Belize "feel".

Belizean Beaches Make CNN’s World's 100 Best Beaches
Tourists come to Belize in search of the fun in the sea and sun. Our beaches and beautiful Caribbean Sea are just picture perfect and for that reason, amongst others, two of Belize’s beaches have made CNN’s World’s Best Beaches List. According to CNN, they scoured the planet, demanded answers from their most well traveled friends, colleagues and cohorts, absorbed passionate pleas from readers, researched, investigated and examined the evidence then finally tipped the sand from their shoes, washed the brine from their eyes and put together a pretty good guide to the best beaches on the planet.

Misc Belizean Sources

Yami's Yogurt
Yami's Greek Yogurt, not sugar, no preservatives, 100% natural, Soothing to your stomach, the right acidity for digestion, and slimming as well. you can place your orders at Kristy's Pastries or call at 6018977. (perfect for ulcers)

VIDEO: The cohune, the gibnut and us
The cohune, the gibnut and us is a short film produced by Ya'axché Conservation Trust in Belize, Central America. The film is explains the concept of biodiversity and what an ecosystem is, and why we humans need to take care not to break the links in the forest ecosystem. The film uses the example of the gibnut (paca), a ground dwelling rodent which disperses the nuts of the cohune palm, which is used for thatching. The paca is also hunted for meat by humans. Read more about Ya'axché at or visit the Facebook page:

2013 Belize International Film Festival
Here is the schedule for Belize International Film Festival. Hope to see you there!!

(Click schedule for a larger version)

Hard work, teamwork and 'horse' work
I was assigned to the 823rd RED HORSE as the First Sergeant approximately six months ago, and I was issued a RED HORSE hat to wear with my ABU’s. My first day in the squadron, I was allowed to wear this symbolic hat and I automatically got credit for the rich legacy previous RED HORSE members built through decades of hard work, perseverance, teamwork and an unparalleled dedication for task completion. I immediately got credit for that legacy; yet, I had done nothing to earn that credit. Furthermore, I had yet to even experience that legacy in action. I am now deployed with the 823rd Expeditionary RED HORSE (ERHS) assigned to Task Force Mahogany participating in an exercise known as New Horizons. I am witnessing firsthand how these Warriors have earned their legendary reputation and continue to expand their legacy. Working with such mighty members I realize teamwork feeds hard work and hard work breeds teamwork.

SHC Auditorium Inauguration
Sacred Heart College had their auditorium inauguration Tuesday night. They had a few short speeches from Dr. Eve Aird and Julio Llinas, the building blessing from Father Leo Palma, a ribbon cutting, and some amazing BBQ from Running W Meats. The high school will be having their graduation ceremony there this Saturday. Congratulations, SHC, for a building well done! "Sacred Heart College had the inauguration of their auditorium this week. There was a brief speech or 2, the cutting of the ribbon, and some light refreshments. A big thanks to Running W, who provided and cooked to perfection, the wonderful BBQ. Congratulations, SHC, on a job well done."

Team Belize Telethon
Belize's National Football Team is going to the CONCACAF Gold Cup, and they are having a telethon on June 15th to raise funds for their journey. They have a promotional video out introducing some of the players. If you want to donate before then, you can call 0-800-JAGUARS. Best of luck!

Cheese in Belize Competition
You can win a cheesy adventure vacation package by entering IACB's picture competition. It's the standard most likes photo competition. It's great to see some delicious cheeses being produced in Belize. Good luck! "ENTER THE CONTEST TO WIN A CHEESE MAKING ADVENTURE PACKAGE FOR 2 at Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge. The package is complete with Accommodations, Meals & Adventures! It's easy as 1,2,3! 1. Take a photo of your favorite cheese. 2. Submit your photo and a sentence about why it is your favorite. 3. Gather the most votes & WIN!! Click the link for more details and the submission form ; - Contest ends on July 31st, 2013"

Belmopan Comprehensive Graduation
Belmopan Comprehensive School had their graduation ceremony. Congratulations, graduates!

Channel 7

COLA Protests; The Little Ones Not Forgotten
On Tuesday, 7News showed you that power press conference that COLA held in which they announced that they will protest outside of the KHMH. Well, today, the organization managed to gather about 70 persons who marched in the sweltering heat. They were determined to show their discontent with how the hospital has handed the mass deaths of the premature babies in their Intensive Care Unit. Daniel Ortiz was out there, and he found out that, as with everything COLA, it was done in dramatic fashion. Here’s his report. Daniel Ortiz reporting At the head of their procession, the supporters of COLA had a coffin, which could neatly fit one of 12 dead neonates who passed away inside Intensive Care Unit at the KHMH. There weren’t any actually bodies inside it, unless you counted them speaking as one body about the loss of confidence which they continuously hefted along. All through the streets, in a circumference around the hospital grounds, they gave a loud lamentation of their dissatisfaction, closely monitored by wary police officers.

PM Barrow Says PAHO Is Investigating
As you saw in the protest, the supporters are calling for the resignation of the Minister of Health, Pablo Marin. 7News got a chance to catch up with Prime Minister Dean Barrow who was at a consultation with the Belize National Teachers Union. We asked about that sentiment, and he told us today that it is misguided. Here’s how he explained why: Reporter "The parents are calling for an independent investigation, they are saying basically that they are not pleased with the way things were handled from administration, actually from the Minister right down." Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "I don't know what the Minister has to do with it, Lord man - this is a statutory body that is ran by a board of directors. The Ministry isn't involved in the administration isn't involved in the Karl Heusner Memorial and as for an independent investigation - we thought that that was what PAHO was doing. You can't get more independent than PAHO. At the last press conference the PAHO expert gave his preliminary indication of how he saw things. That process is not yet finished, there will be a formal report delivered by PAHO. I can understand why people would not be satisfied merely with the inquiry on the part of the KHMH part of the Board of Directors. But surely PAHO of global renowned has to be seen as both independent and professional so I would ask people to please let us await the detailed report that PAHO will issue at the conclusion of PAHO's investigations."

Belize/Guat Confidence Building Measures On Thin Ice
The 43rd OAS General Assembly continued today in Antigua, Guatemala. We’ll have a recap of the day’s events later on, but first we turn to the local news coming out of that meeting. As we first reported two days ago, Belize is holding discussions in the background of the Assembly’s regular business to try and save the Confidence Building Measures and the OAS Adjacency Office. Those are funded by international friends of Belize who are fast losing patience because Guatemala has ducked out on the promised 2013 referendum. It’s critical, because the consensus opinion in both government and opposition is that without those measures, there’s no avenue to solve the territorial dispute, and without dialogue there is bound to be discord. As the General Assembly was winding up, we spoke to Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington about the problems they are facing:.. Hon. Wilfred Elrington - Belize Minister of Foreign Affairs "There are very formal in arriving at decisions to provide assistance and once they decide on a formula for assisting you that is based on specific undertaking. When that situation changes, they automatically freeze their funds. So for example in relation to the funding which they had provided for the education campaign and to assist us in the matter - they had given us two million Euros which came up to about 2.5 million dollars, that was provided to the OAS to help fund the education campaign in Belize and Guatemala. But as soon as it was announced that in fact the referendum was going to be postponed they gave instructions to freeze those funds.

PM Barrow: Imer Hernandez Got Paid For Work Done
Last night, we told you about the second contract that Imer Hernandez Development Company got in relation to the renovation of the Belmopan Market. That’s a 2 million dollar contract, in addition to the 6 million dollar contract for the renovation of the Belize City Municipal Airstrip. But, as we told you, the scandal surrounding that $200,000, which was paid out to Hernandez for works which were not done on the San Antonio Road, is still pending. So today, we asked Prime Minister Dean Barrow for an update on that inquiry, and he says that by all indications so far, the officials at the Ministry of Works are the ones who must answer for this. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "The Ministry of Finance agreed to a change of the contract, a change in the scope of works. Mr. Medina, the person in charge at the Ministry of Works says that he has the record to show that the contract for San Antonio road was cancelled. The monies were then shifted for infrastructure works in the Otro Benque area of Orange Walk town. Why Mr. Hernandez, thereafter, paid out on the basis on the new contract but by way of documentation that made it appear as though the old contract was still in existence was a matter only Mr. Medina can explain and he's been asked to do precisely that. The Financial secretary wrote the official letter, I can furnish you with a copy if you so please, I don't know that the Ministry of Works has yet responded."

More Consultations On Gender Policy
We caught PM Barrow as he was coming out of a consultation with Belize National Teachers Union on the issue of the much talked about Gender Policy. As we showed you last night, the Government of Belize is experiencing resistance from the Churches because they believe that Belize is slowly bending to the LGBT agenda. Barrow told us today that they are the only ones who have rejected the policy and that the BNTU seemed favorable toward it. He gave us an update: Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "The thrust of the Gender Policy is as I described it, it is to empower women, to ensure absolute equality between the sexes meaning the masculine and the feminine sex. I have conceded that if there are particular sections, wordings that could conceivably give rise to misinterpretation, I'd be happy to contemplate on re-wording. But it is completely futile for anyone to ask me to withdraw the gender policy. We'll no doubt hear from the teachers after the counsel of management has reviewed the discussion that we did help but it is my sense walking out of that meeting that the teachers are entirely persuaded that there should be no recall of the gender policy. I've heard them say that now that we've done the review, they can agree that this is absolutely a progressive in the main. Some of them did make clear that they still have some reservations about wording and about meanings and about interpretations but it appeared to me that all agreed that the rationale of the policy and the overarching objective of the policy are both excellent things."

OAS General Assembly Bans Discrimination Against Sexual Orientation
And while there's so much haggling locally about a few words in Belize's revised gender policy, opponents of mainstreaming the gay lifestyle had better be ready for many more battles ahead - including, not least, one with the OAS which has approved a non-discrimination resolution at this week's General Assembly. It's one of the major initiatives coming out of the 43rd General Assembly - one that Caleb Orozco and 30 other Caribbean LBGT activists went to Guatemala to fight for. They fought hard on the Assembly floor to gain passage of the Convention Against Discrimination and All Other Forms of Intolerance. Yesterday evening at his press conference, Guatemalan Foreign Minister Fernando Carrerra said that the Foreign Ministers agree that the dignity of all persons of all sexual orientations should be taken into account. He stressed though, this is not a move to legalize gay marriage.

Belize Will Hold Off On LGBT Convention
But while it was approved by the assembly, there's an important footnote for Belize. Speaking to Jules Vasquez in Antigua Guatemala half an hour ago, Foreign Minister Elrington explained that Belize has not signed: Hon. Wilfred Elrington - Belize's Minister of Foreign Affairs "Yes but Belize has not signed on to it because we don't sign on to any of these things until we go back and report to the Cabinet and get their consent for us to sign on to it. So you don't have to sign on to it today, you can deal with it on a later date. I don't have the authority to act uni-laterally on matters that have not been brought to Cabinet. I'll go back and report to Cabinet then they will instruct us to sign or hold of." Reporter "While I was listening to the actual proceedings, there was a period when there was a pause and the chair came back and said 'ok it is approved'. What is Belize's participation in that....?" Hon. Wildred Elrington "In that process Belize abstained for the time being - we did not vote in favor, we abstained."

Belize Foreign Minister Finally Addresses OAS Assembly
And while those are the hot button items coming out of the General Assembly - the business of the meeting was in full swing today with two legnthy working sessions - or as they are known, plenary sessions. Jules Vasquez is in Antigua and he has this report. Jules Vasquez reporting The third plenary session of the OAS started this morning at ten in the cavernous Plaza Del Atrio Room of the Hotel Santo Domingo. Belize was the last to make its intervention at 1:45pm. Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Belize Minister of Foreign Affairs "Mr. Chairman sometimes I believe we tend to delude ourselves in this part of the world, if we believe that action taken by us will infact create a dent in this pernicious problem. By virtue of our very limited resources we cannot realistically do more than to devise strategies and means to adapt to the changes that drug trade is having on our societies and to take measures to mitigate against those damages. We have no power to deal with the root of the problem which is unquestionably the insatiable demand in the developed world. Frankly Mr. Chairman I do not believe that our failure to find a problem, our solution to this problem - derives from a deficiency in our collective mental and cerebral capacities. Rather, I think it is due in large measure to an absence of political will at this juncture in our history in the major capitals of our world."

Belize and Mexico Strengthen Trade Ties
A delegation of Mexican companies has been in Belize since yesterday. The reason for their visit is to establish contact with Belizean companies where both sides can see what goods and services each has to offer. It’s part of an ongoing trade relationship which Belize shares with Mexico, and today, we got to speak with representatives from ProMexico, the Mexican equivalent to Belize’s BELTRAIDE. Here’s how they explained the ongoing talks between both sides: Jose Manuel Rodriguez Chauvere - Representative, ProMexico "I am representing ProMexico which is a government institution that promotes trade and investment." Daniel Ortiz "So tell us about your visit here in Belize and it's purpose?" Jose Manuel Rodriguez Chauvere "Well we are here in order to increase the trade between the two countries and we are together with fourteen companies from different parts of Mexico. Willing to present their project, their products to societies in Belize and also to distribute products from Belize to Mexico."

How to Produce Internet Bandwidth In House
And while Mexico and Belize foster better trade ties, the PUC wants to create an ICT environment where internet based companies can thrive in Belize. To help with that, they invited 2 specialists who came to Belize to introduce a new way of managing bandwidth, so that the Internet Service Providers can capitalize at home. Those specialists hosted a forum in conjunction with the PUC where they invited all the major stakeholders to participate. We got a chance to speak with the facilitators, and they explained how this new bandwidth management system should work if they embrace it: Bill Woodcock - Research Director, Packet Clearing House "We're a not for profit organization that has existed over the last 20 years to promote the development of the interent globally. Together with the Utilities commission here we're doing a one day workshop on the development of internet exchange points which are the places where interent bandwith comes from. Right now in Belize most internet bandwith comes from Miami or Washington D.C or New York and people in Belize are paying to move that traffic in both directions to and from Miami. What we would rather see is that there would be a place here in Belize where Internet Bandwith is produced so that you can have faster, cheaper bandiwth here in Belize."

Major Headway With Serial Robbers
Last night, 7News told you about that major development in Belmopan where 4 men were charged and arraigned on the robbery and murder which happened at La Choza Bar. Well, there were several points which were understated in our coverage, so with help from our colleagues at Plus TV, Daniel Ortiz revisits them tonight. Here’s that report. Daniel Ortiz reporting On Sunday morning just after 12 a.m., police found 43 year-old Salvadoran Isabel Antonio Ballona dying at La Choza Bar where he was having a drink with his boss, 50 year-old Saldvadoran Manuel Aquino. 4 armed, masked men wearing black clothing robbed the bar owner of his money and of the sales in the cash register. Police say that both men tried to assist the bar owner, and this caused the robbers to respond with deadly force. They shot Aquino in the legs, and fatally wounded Ballona in the chest and stomach, after which, they fled in the bar owner’s vehicle. Solid investigations led police to recover the vehicle the next day. They also caught one of the culprits trying to flee the area.

Belize And Guatemala Get Fight-Ready
Tomorrow night at 7 p.m. is set for the time when a delegation of Guatemalan Boxers will compete against their Belizean counterparts. And one female boxer will participate in the biggest match she’s had so far, so yesterday, 7News caught up with her to talk shop about it. Here’s how that conversation went: Reneau told us how she got to this point within the boxing ranks of Belize Pauline Reneau - Female Boxer "Discipline and making sure that I'm doing all my works - road works, skipping, shadow box, punch the bag, a little bit of glove work in the gym ever so often. Mr. Smart as usual helped me out with everything I need to know, he helps with me with my little mistakes and that's it." James Adderly - Promoter "Do you feel overwhelmed by the fact that you're going up against very high level opposition?" Pauline Reneau "No sir, I'm very excited. I like a little bit of a challenge."

Tonight’s Profile is about Nurse Dinelle McKay…. This once mischievous and academically gifted student was inspired to become a nurse after being bitten in the face by a dog, as well as other important circumstances. She tells the profile tonight about what it is like being the youngest nurse in the country….

Channel 5

Maya, girl who survived hospital bacteria
All eyes are focused on the K.H.M.H. and a deadly bacteria outbreak in the neonatal intensive care unit. K.H.M.H. figures put the infant mortality in the first twenty days of [...]

COLA’s protest against K.H.M.H. in wake of 13 baby deaths
On Tuesday, the Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action held a press conference to demand answers from the K.H.M.H. and the government on the thirteen newborn deaths in the neonatal [...]

Foreign Affairs Minister withholds O.A.S. vote on discrimination convention
The General Assembly of the Organization of American States concludes tonight in Antigua, Guatemala. Aside from the drug problem in the Americas that foreign ministers have been debating, another issue [...]

P.U.P. wants G.O.B. to withdraw gender policy
When the national gender policy was launched in mid-May, it immediately unleashed a firestorm of controversy from very vocal church groups and most recently, the Belize National Teachers Union. The [...]

Internet rates high in Belize than CARICOM
Internet rates have gone down recently and while some people are counting the extra change in their pockets, there really should be quite a few dollars more that internet subscribers [...]

Drug trafficking in the Americas discussed at O.A.S. General Assembly
As we told you earlier, the O.A.S. General Assembly closes tonight at the historic Antigua, Guatemala. For two days delegations have been discussing the need to urgently address the drug [...]

Referendum not discussed at O.A.S., but Chiquibul incident mentioned
As we reported on Wednesday, the issue of Guatemala’s territorial claim over Belize and the joint referenda to elevate the matter to the International Court of Justice was not discussed [...]

Taste of India burns in Hopkins
A popular restaurant in Hopkins Village in the south is no more following an early morning fire that gutted the establishment. Taste of India, a quaint restaurant along the coast [...]

Mexican delegation looks for markets in Belize
Representatives from fourteen Mexican companies are in Belize as part of a trade mission organized by the Trade and Investment Mexican Agency, ProMexico and the Mexican Embassy. The delegation is [...]

Leader of the Opposition believes a National Bank is dangerous
At a press conference in late April, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced the creation of the National Bank of Belize Limited. A Board of Directors, a Managing Director, location and [...]

20 year old man and 13 year old girl spells carnal knowledge
A Belize City man will have to answer to a sexual offense for allegedly having sex with a teenage school girl last year on April twentieth. Twenty year old Ellsworth [...]

Feinstein Stake Bank Project back online
Norwegian Cruise Line will have to find a different island for its cruise ship port. But there is another tourism related project in development that far surpasses Norwegian’s hundred million [...]

Multitalented kids perform at the National Festival of Arts
About one thousand students and other youths will be taking part in the 2013 National Festival of Arts which is underway at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts. The next [...]

Youth inspired by dancehall music
Music is a form of emotional expression. For young people, popular music is the medium through which they often express their mood, aspiration and development of their own cultural identity. [...]


Annual Battle Camp Comes Up For Volunteer-Soldiers
Plans are in place for this year’s Belize Defence Force volunteers’ annual battle camp. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details. PAUL MAHUNG “Plans are in place for this year’s BDF Volunteers Annual Battle Camp. BDF Volunteer Battalion Second in Command, Ma...

Sagicor Visionaries Regional Competition Winners Receive Prizes
Bishop Martin High School in Orange Walk Town has been in the news for winning several competitions. Today the students who won the regional Sagicor Visionaries Competition received their prizes. Reporter Dalila Ical has the story. DALILA ICAL “Bishop Martin High School ...

Open Forum Looks At Making Internet Access Cheaper In Belize
The Public Utilities Commission, along with Packet Clearing House which is a leading Internet Exchange Points, IXP implementer, hosted an open forum for Belizean stakeholders entitled, “The Benefits of an Internet Exchange Point. The forum looks to afford participants with needed info...

Suspected Crack Cocaine Found on Fisherman In Southern Belize
A fisherman of Dangriga has been charged for drug trafficking. Police visited the residence of thirty eight year old Micheal Ramirez on Castillo Alley in Dangriga around 5:25 yesterday evening and conducted a search in the area. The search led to the discovery of forty seven pieces of...

Duo Charged With Drug Trafficking
A man and a woman were charged with drug trafficking for 374 grams of cannabis when they appeared in Court today. They are 48 year old John Fuller and 27 year old Candice Castillo. They pled not guilty to the charge. Fuller was offered a bail of $1,000.00. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith stipul...

Companies Near the New River Contribute to Recent Fish Kill; Investigation Ongoing
At the beginning of April residents of Orange Walk who live near the New River reported a fish kill. Following the reports, the Department of the Environment sent a team to investigate the cause of the dead fishes and other species in the Eco-environment. The investigation is ongo...

Activists, Mourning Parents and COLA Demonstrated At Belize's Referral Hospital
Earlier this week Citizens Organized for Action through Action, COLA planned a demonstration to show their discontent with the authorities’ response following the death of at least thirteen babies. Reporter Marion Ali has the story. MARION ALI “The scorching sun did not ...

Workshop Seeks To Enhance Dialogue Between Market Vendors and Local Authorities
There have been numerous stories on the news about the differences between various councils and market vendors but today a workshop was held in Belmopan to break down that communication barrier. The workshop is on Market Management in Belize and is being conducted by the Department of Local Gover...

Africanized Bees Attack Villagers In Northern Belize
A number of people were attacked by killer bees in the Corozal District. Correspondent Dalila Ical has the details on the incident. DALILA ICAL “On Tuesday around 2:30 in the afternoon a group of people who were campaigning for the People’s United Party in Libertad Villa...

Remanded For Murder; Guilty For Kept Firearm and Ammunition
Twenty-seven year old Cecil Castillo, also known as “sadiki”, who is remanded on a charge of murder, was found guilty of kept prohibited firearm and kept ammunition without a gun license today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. He was sentenced to 6 years for the firearm, a...

Prime Minister Sits Down With Teachers Union To Review Gender Policy
A meeting ended about an hour ago between Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the leadership of the Belize National Teachers’ Union over the recently-revised National Gender Policy. It comes on the heels of a meeting that the People’s United Party had with church leaders of Belmopan ...

Caribbean Growth Forum Launches Belize Chapter
The Caribbean Growth Forum, CGF is an initiative engineered to identify policies and initiatives aimed at inducing growth and creating jobs in the Caribbean region through analytics work, knowledge exchange and inclusive dialogue. It’s a joint initiative by the Compete Caribbean Program, th...

Belize City Mayor Updates Residents on City Streets Upgrade
The chaotic traffic maze that has prevailed in the old capital since the start of the street upgrades has seemingly entered a new phase with traffic bottlenecks stretching for almost half a mile at some spots during peak hours within city limits. But Mayor Darrell Bradley says that City Hal...

Mexican Physicians Visit Belize To Produce Diagnosis on Neonatal Health
In light of the recent events at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where at least twelve neonates lost their lives, a number of Mexican physicians are visiting Belize to collaborate with authorities to produce a diagnosis on neonatal health. According to a press release from the Embassy of...


COLA And Parents Of 13 Dead Newborns Demand Answers From GOB
The death of 13 babies at the hands of the nation’s referral hospital, in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, has outraged many Belizeans particularly the parents of the newborns. As the days go by and no one is held responsible for the untimely death of the infants, the clamor for justice intensifies. And today Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, accompanied by the parents of the victims and other organizations took their cries for justice to the streets of the Old Capital as they held a peaceful demonstration in front of the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital. Although the crowd was small the message carried out was huge. Irvin Aragon has the story. Irvin Aragon – Reporting “Justice” was the word resounding in the streets of the old capital today, particularly in front of the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital, as Belizeans gathered in unison fighting for what they believe in, that someone be held responsible for the untimely death of 13 babies.

Imer Hernandez Awarded Millions Of Dollars In Contracts
Imer Hernandez is back on the news tonight but it’s not because he gave an interview to the media and cleared his name from the San Antonio Road scandal. By now the nephew of the Deputy Prime Minster is no stranger to the Belizean public since he has been making headlines for the past two weeks. Hernandez’s story began when documents, showing that he was paid close to $200,000 for works conducted on San Antonio Road Orange Walk, were released by the media when in reality the work is yet to be executed. The Prime Minster came out in Hernandez’s defense claiming that the contract awarded to Imer Development Company Limited for the refurbishing of San Antonio Road was cancelled and the money was used to pay for works conducted in the Otro Benque Area. But despite the fact that the Prime Minister has not been able to confirm why Hernandez was paid out under the San Antonio Road contract, the DPM’s nephew has been awarded several other contracts by the Government. Reports are that apart from winning a six million dollars contract to upgrade the Belize City Municipal Airstrip, Hernandez was also awarded the contract to refurbish the Belmopan Market.

Keron Tzul Receives Award For Logo Competition
Today the faculty and staff of Bishop Martin High School had much to celebrate as Keron Tzul, the forth form student who won the Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities logo competition, was presented with his winning prizes this morning. On hand for the special ceremonies was CEO for the Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities Dr. Colin Young who was accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega and Representative of Belize Telemedia Ltd, Erwin Aragon. For winning the logo competition Tzul was bestowed $500.00 cash and an Ipod while the Bishop Martin High School received a $1,000 and a video projector courtesy of Belize Telemedia Limited.

Jaime Cardenas Convicted Of Dangerous Harm
A jury of nine members convicted Jaime Cardenas for the offence of dangerous harm in the Orange Walk Supreme Court yesterday. Cardenas was tried before Honorable Justice Herbert Lord for the May 2009 stabbing of Rene Escarraga in his upper abdomen at a bus stop in Orange Walk Town. Escarraga would have lost his life without medical intervention. The Crown was represented by Counsels Shanice Lovell and Sabita Maharaj and the accused was represented by attorney Dickie Bradley. Sentencing has been adjourned to June twenty-seventh.

And The Awards For BMHS Keep Rolling In
In the Month of March Bishop Martin High School was the only High School from the Orange Walk District to enter the National Sagicor Visionaries Challenge. On March 20th, the high school’s Science Group earned a spot at the Regional Competition that took place in Barbados from the 12th to the 13th of April with their Coconut for life project. After facing off high school giants from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica, Barbados and other institutions, Bishop Martin High School was named the champions of the Regional Competition making Belize proud. Today representatives of Sagicor, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities visited the school where they announced the culmination of the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge that started almost a year ago with the presentation of prizes to the regional winners.

Religious Leaders And COLA Oppose Gender Policy
The revised National Gender Policy 2013 launched by the Women’s Commission, continues to make headlines tonight and it’s not in a positive way. While the policy address issues of gender inequality, some of its contents do not sit quite well with the larger community, specifically the religious sector. As previously mentioned, back in March, Cabinet approved the removal of one particular section of the policy which stated “Amend existing legislation to legalize and regulate the sex work industry.” In all fairness the Women’s Commission has stated that the statement was a complete oversight and should have been omitted, meaning that it should not have been introduced in the final draft of the policy. And while that particular section of the policy has been removed, there is one paragraph that continues to raise concern and cause controversy. After reviewing a section of the policy entitled “Respect for Diversity” which partly states “the customary religious and cultural practices must be subject to the right of equality”, religious leaders concluded that the statement pushes an agenda of inclusion for homosexuals. Based on the concerns raised, Cabinet agreed to amend the section by removing the final sentence of the paragraph which reads: “... and customary religious and cultural practices must be subject to the right of equality”. But even with the amendment, churches and other interested party’s continue to be in disapproval of the Gender Policy.

PUP Recommends Complete Withdrawal Of Gender Policy
Jumping ahead of the Prime Minister is P.U.P Party Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca and his Deputy Party Leader Julius Espat who met with church leaders of the Cayo District, particularly those representing Belmopan and surrounding communities, yesterday. Following presentations from Pastors Scott Stirm and Louis Wade, Fonseca addressed the gathering and in sight of the concerns raised by the church leaders, the PUP made several recommendations to the Government of Belize. For one, the PUP recommends a complete withdrawal of the Revised National Gender Policy in its current form in order to preserve support for any Gender Policy moving forward. To allow the Church Community and their representatives to undertake a full and comprehensive review of the Policy in its current form and make recommendations for refining and revising the Policy and only after this has taken place should the policy be re-tabled for Cabinet and National Assembly for approval. The Revised National Gender Policy 2013 has some very good objectives and aspirations which all Belizeans can and should support but our Church Community must be given every opportunity to offer their views on the Policy if it is to have any chance of forming the basis for meaningful and effective change in our society, according to the PUP.

P.M Meets With BNTU, No Agreement Reached On Gender Policy
While the Prime Minster finds nothing wrong with the policy, the Belize National Teachers Union does. In a release issued on June 4th the BNTU expressed great concern for the implications the policy can undertake, questioned if the document was being implemented in order to comply with conditions for foreign aid and most importantly called on Government to put an immediate halt to any further action on the gender policy. This morning the Prime Minister met with the hierarchy of the BNTU in Belize City where several issues in reference to the Gender Policy were laid on the table. This afternoon when we spoke to President of the BNTU Luke Palacio, he told us that the teachers union will not provide any interviews regarding the meeting until further consultations are held.


Accused Murderer Sentenced To Six Years For Firearm Charges
Twenty-seven year old Cecil Castillo, also known as “sadiki”, who is remanded on a charge of murder, was found guilty of kept prohibited firearm and kept ammunition without a gun license today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. He was sentenced to 6 years for the firearm, a shotgun he made from a metal pipe. He was sentenced to 3 years for a 16 gauge cartridge which was in the shotgun. Senior magistrate Fraser stipulated that the sentences are to run concurrently, so Castillo will serve 6 years. Castillo was busted with the firearm shortly after 9 p.m. on May 4, 2010. He was standing on Antelope Street Extension when a police mobile patrol approached him. When he saw the police he threw an object over a fence into a yard. The police retrieved the object and it was a firearm that resembled a shotgun. The firearm had a 16 gauge cartridge in it. At the trial the firearms examiner, Orlando Vera, testified that the firearm could fire. Castillo testified and denied that he threw the firearm over the fence. Last year Castillo was convicted of keeping a prohibited firearm, a shotgun he made while he was in prison, which was found in his cell in the Tango 9 section. He was sentenced to 2 years for that offence.

Consultant Recommends National Association for Market Vendors
There have been numerous stories on the news about the differences between various councils and market vendors but today a workshop was held in Belmopan to break down that communication barrier. The workshop is on Market Management in Belize and is being conducted by the Department of Local Government and Rural Development through the Belize Rural Development Project 2. For the past three months there was a consultant in the country and he is Michael Burchell, a technical support officer for the European Union. Burchell’s role was to review the market system in Belize and present his finding which was done today. According to the Minister of Labor, Local Government and Rural Development, Senator Godwin Hulse, the aim of the workshop is to increase the management and administrative capacities of the regulatory authorities overseeing markets in Belize. HON. GODWIN HULSE “Generally, the whole idea is to ensure that we improve the management of the market; so, when people bring their produce, particularly from the rural areas, there is a place for them to display them, there’s some security, there’s water, it’s hygienic and then you can create the dynamism of a market place where people come and buy and haggle and go and come but this is particularly to enhance the management, the physical management of the infrastructure, accountability for the resources and that sort of thing.”


COLA stages demonstration against KHMH
This morning a contingent of about 175 Belizeans rallied by Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) took off from in front of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), publicly displaying their dissatisfaction with its investigation of the deaths of 13 premature babies. Seven of those deaths are linked...

Ministry of Health inaugurates new training for Epidemiologists
Even while COLA supporters were calling for their heads across town, representatives of the Ministry of Health and partners Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CPHA) were meeting to inaugurate a new cohort of training for epidemiologists to catch bugs like the deadly Enterobacter...

OAS adopts Inter-American Conventions
Yesterday, the General Assembly of the OAS adopted the Inter-American Convention against Racism, Racial Discrimination and Related Forms of Intolerance, as well as the Inter-American Convention against All Forms of Discrimination and Intolerance. Both documents were formerly negotiated and subsequently drafted and are now open for the member states...

Audrey Matura Shepherd says the Constitution already defines descrimination
Meanwhile, the 2013 Revised National Gender Policy continues to be topic of major discussion. The current government is standing its grounds when it comes to the Gender Policy. Despite disagreement over key issues on gender identity and sexual orientation topics named with the manual; Prime Minister, the Hon. Dean...

Denys Barrow presents Government’s case on oil injunction
Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin heard arguments as to why the Government should be granted a stay of an injunction handed down by Justice Oswell Legall in his April judgment declaring the production sharing agreements of certain oil companies unlawful, null and void and stopping the Minister from acting on...

Mike Singh clarifies Belize Representation at Regional Summit
Some have questioned why Belize had no representation at a regional summit between business leaders of CARICOM and Central America in Guatemala and wondered whether we have been left behind as the fabled link between the two. CEO in the Ministry of Trade Mike Singh and the Prime Minister...

Judge denies Michael Coye bail to leave prison pending appeal
At a re-trial conducted in July last year, 66 year old Michael Coye and his daughter Melonie were convicted of money laundering under the Money Laundering and Terrorism Act and jailed for 3 years, as well as fined 25 thousand dollars. They were accused of running a scheme under...

The Guardian

Guatemalan Man shot in Chiquibul
Last week, the Friends of Conservation and Development issued a release highligthing the pressures the that Chiquibul Forest Reserve is under as Guatemalan poachers continue to infringe on the natural resources in the area. Because of these infringements, there has been an increase in patrols in the area and by extension, an increase in contact between the patrols and Guatemalans who make their way into Belizean territory. Another such encounter has left a Guatemalan man injured and receiving treatment at the Western Regional Hospital. Authorities report that at around 2:00 p.m. on Monday, June 3rd, BDF officers were on patrol, in they Chiquibul Forest Reserve some two miles within Belizean territory. During the patrol they officers discovered a plantation and a thatch structure in the Caballo Camp area. While securing the area, a Hispanic man was seen approaching on a brown horse with a firearm. He was ordered to stop; however, the man ran into the nearby bushes. Two warning shots were fired and the man turned around and returned several shots at the patrol. As a result, the patrol returned fire injuring the man. First aid assistance was rendered to the man, who was identified as 27-year-old Edgar Alexander Sacasa, a Guatemalan of Picalito Village. He was escorted out of the area but due to the terrain and weather conditions, they were unable to transport him to a medical institution until Tuesday morning when he was taken to the Western Regional Hospital. He is listed in stable condition and is under Police guard.

Santi recovering
Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Santiago Castillo, is recovering after suffering a nasty spill during a routine ride from Belize City to Hattieville and back. On Tuesday morning, Hon. Castillo was returning into Belize City from Hattieville along with a group of about 20 riders in a sprint when his front wheel inadvertently touched the rear wheel of another cyclist causing him to fall off his bicycle. As a result of the fall he suffered a broken left clavicle, broken fingers on his left hand and rib which had him undergo surgery, which was successful. Castillo, who is the manager of Team Santino, was performing a routine cycling workout with about twenty riders.

Oceana Stopping Progress?
Oceana and the Government of Belize were back in court on Wednesday, June 5th, as GOB tries to have a stay of execution on an injunction which was granted to Oceana on May 16th. The injunction was given by Justice Oswell Legall along with a declaration that contracts signed in 2004 and 2007 were unlawful and void. He also ruled that before entering into agreements or contracts which authorize oil exploration and seismic surveys that environmental impact assessments are required. An injunction was then granted restraining the Minister of Natural Resources from executing the PSA’s. The only companies which will be affected by the ruling are Princess Petroleum Limited and Providence Energy Belize Limited, which have contracts that extend to October 2015. In speaking with Senior Counsel Denys Barrow, who is representing the Government, he explained that at the beginning of the case, Oceana had applied to have evidence of an expert on petroleum admitted into the court proceedings. The Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin ruled against that, however, since there was no need for any expert’s opinion at this juncture since the substantive case had already been heard and a ruling done on it. At the end of that first phase, Oceana was ordered to pay costs of the legal proceedings to the Government.

Mayor Bradley pitches $10 Million Proposal to UNICEF
Mayor Bradley and Christine Norton Visit residents of Port Loyola On Tuesday, June 4th, Mayor Darrel Bradley took Christine Norton, Country Representative for UNICEF, and Mary Vasquez, Executive Director of Restore Belize, on a tour of Southside Belize City. The Mayor intends to apply for funding from UNICEF for a project aimed at improving the infrastructure and quality of life for residents of Southside Belize City, specifically, the Port Loyola Area.

Bail denied to 66-year-old Michael Coye
In late July of 2012, two members of the Coye Family and with two of their employees were convicted of money laundering under the Money Laundering and Terrorism Act and while the employees escaped jail time, Melanie Coye and her father, 66-year-old Michael Coye were convicted and sentenced to jail for 3 years. They were additionally fined $23,000. They have since appealed the case but remain in jail. Since then, Michael Coye has been seeking bail. On Tuesday June 4th, Justice Samuel Awich ruled on his application and denied him bail. The ruling was handed down at a special sitting of the Court of Appeals

Drunk Man shot in San Ignacio
A male was seen with gunshot wounds at about 9:17 pm on Sunday in San Ignacio Town. The male was observed to be suffering from gun shots to both his right and left knee and right upper arm. Investigations revealed that the recipient of the gun shots was Rupert Roland, 24, who had visited Roses Chinese Store and Restaurant in San Ignacio Town on the George Price Highway. The security guard at that establishment had reacted with his licensed 9 mm pistol at the aggressive moves of an inebriated Roland. The security guard had received a complaint that Roland was causing annoyance to customers at the Restaurant. Police visited the scene of the shooting and recovered four expended shells and a 9 mm pistol from the security officer. Roland, who is a tire repairman by trade, was kept at the San Ignacio Hospital for observation. He was discharged from the Hospital on Tuesday.

Father acquitted of Carnal Knowledge of his 12 year-old Daughter
On June 3rd, a 40-year-old man of Punta Gorda walked out of the Supreme Court of Belize a free man after his daughter refused to testify against him in a case of carnal knowledge. The teenaged girl, 14, took the stand, pointed out to the man in the dock as the accused and her father who had been having sexual intercourse with her on several occasions from in February 2010 until April 2011. She, however, refused to give evidence to assist the prosecution's case to prove the charge. While on the stand, prosecutor Sheneiza Smith asked her about the two dates she can remember her father having sex with her. The child said she just did not remember those dates.

Acquitted of Theft
On Tuesday, June 4th, 38-year-old Carmita Middleton, who was employed as a receptionist at International Privacy Cooperation, was found not guilty of 5 counts of theft. The charges stemmed back from 2008 when she was working with Robert Bandfield, the sole owner of IPC. This acquittal came before Justice Adolph Lucas in the Supreme Court.

Pharmacist held up at Gun Point in Cayo
At about 7:00 pm last Friday, a pharmacist was held up at gun point in Santa Elena Town, Cayo. Thankfully the pharmacist was able to survive this incident. Codd’s Pharmacy is located on George Price Highway in Santa Elena Town. A male of Hispanic descent, dressed in dark blue jeans pants and a black sleeveless undershirt entered the drug store through its main door and was clever enough to order Amoxicillin (an antibiotic). It was when the 30-year-old female pharmacist turned around to deliver the medication, that the invader pointed a .38 black in color weapon at her and demanded money. Fearing for her life, the pharmacist handed over $887 in cash. The armed criminal then made good his escape. At this time, police are investigating this incident.

Students turn Robbery into Murder in Belmopan
Belmopan have arrested four male students, two aged 19 and 18 year old and a 15 year old after a robbery and murder in Belmopan. The two eldesrwere arraigned in Belmopan Magistrate court where they were read charges of murder.Police report that they visited La Chosa Bar located in Belmopan City at 12:05 on Sunday morning where they found 43- year-old Isabel Antonio Balona suffering from a gunshot to the left side of his head and 50-year-old Manuel Aguino with a gunshot to the right leg. Investigations revealed that as the proprietor of the bar, Joshua Lopez, was closing down the establishment, four persons armed with firearms and dressed in long sleeved black shirts, black pants, gloves and masks entered the business place demanding money. The owner handed over his wallet ,which contained 600 dollars in cash. The men then proceeded to loot the cash register and took 3,000 dollars in cash. Upon seeing the crime in progress both Ballona and Aguino intervened during which the robbers fired several shots at them killing Ballona and injuring Aguino. The robbers then made their escape in Lopez's white Chevy Prizm car bearing license plates BMP-3475.

Inspiration Telethon raises over $514K
Mrs. Kim Simplis-Barrow, Special Envoy for Women and Children and Global Ambassador to Special Olympics, hosted a telethon to raise funds for a state of the art Inspiration Center that will cater specifically for children with disabilities and special needs on Saturday, June 1st. She set a target of $500,000 and once again Belizean generosity proved to be inspiring.

The Great Blue Hole Nominated for “8th Wonder of The World” Competition - Voting Now Open Through September 30
The Belize Tourism Board announces that it has entered “The Great Blue Hole” into’s quest to crown the ‘8th Wonder of the World.’ “Visible from outer space & more than 1000 ft in diameter & 412 ft deep, the Great Blue Hole is a breathtakingly grandiose sinkhole located 43 miles off the coast of Belize, known as a diver’s mecca.” Public voting is now open at, a leading travel research website and community that is part of the TripAdvisor Media Group. Alyssa Carnegie, BTB’s Marketing Director, commented, “We decided to nominate the Great Blue Hole for the “8th Wonder of the World” competition simply because it is an amazing natural site, unlike any other in the world. We want to share Belize’s phenomenon with the rest of the world. As Belizeans, I know that we are all extremely proud of this natural site and so we want to encourage everyone to vote daily for the Great Blue Hole. We know that it is a “Wonder of the World,” and now we want it to officially hold that title.” With numerous Tourism Boards, Chambers of Commerce and Visitor Bureaus sending in a nomination, the public is asked to vote for Belize out of the more than 200 submissions. Voters can visit to vote for the Great Blue Hole and have until September 30 to do so. The wonder with the most votes will be crowned the winner. The winner will be featured in a national broadcast TV segment on a popular syndicated program, as well as receive a massive media relations campaign push from VirtualTourist.

What’s COLA’s Agenda
Geovanni Brackett’s brain must have been an egg batter as he held his umpteenth press conference on Tuesday, June 4th. He was not burning any OAS flags or was he claiming on anti-Guatemala rhetoric; he did not threaten to light himself on fire or did he pretend to be a legal expert. This time around, he chose to be the clarion against the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in the deaths of 7 Neonates as a result of a bacterial infection.

No Cruise Tourism at Crawl Caye - NCL exploring Other Options
Prime Minister Barrow announced on Wednesday, June 5th, that Cabinet had informed Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) that “In the form in which it was being proposed, Crawl Caye as a site for cruise tourism development will not work”.

Government upholding Respect for Diversity of All Types
On Tuesday, May 28th, Cabinet announced that it would make amendments to the Revised National Gender Policy 2013 in response to concerns raised by church leaders. One of the guiding principles of the document reads:

A New NICU for KHMH following Baby Deaths
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) held a press conference on Thursday, May 30th, to give an update on its investigation into an outbreak in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the medical professionals’ response to that outbreak that caused numerous neonatal fatalities. At this point in the investigation, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the KHMH, Chandra Nisbet-Cansino, believes that no individual could be blamed for the unfortunate incident. She said, “I'm not saying nobody's head will roll but nobody's head is rolling at this time.” Cansino elaborated, “We have had detailed discussions with the head of the Pediatric Unit and their response was really timely, they did what they were suppose to do and, when they were supposed to do it.” Director of Medical Services at the KHMH, Dr. Adrian Coye, explained his team’s response. He said, “Around the tenth of May it was recognized that a baby became unwell and this baby was screened and cultures did not show any positivity for any organism and the baby died as a result of sepsis.” This was alarming because there was no positivity for any organism. No new patients were admitted into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit after that day because, according to Dr. Coye, “It was recognized by the clinical team that babies were becoming septic and becoming unwell very quickly.” After speaking with the head of Infection Control at the hospital, they decided to make changes to the antibiotics being used and close the unit to new patients. Dr. Coye said it would not have made sense to close the unit and move the patients since they were already in a controlled environment. They then restricted visitations and emphasized the wearing of gloves, proper hand washing and other sanitation measures. Despite the continued antibiotic changes, seven babies died as a result of the outbreak.

Montejo out in the Cold
Collet Montejo, who is the PUP’s candidate in Cayo Central, remains shell-shocked as the Area Representative, Hon. Rene Montero keeps on delivering the villages in his constituency. The last village he had to be a witness to as it became UDP for the first time was Selena. Montejo looked on as the counting was taking place and he murmured “I can’t believe this is happening to me”. Well, it did happen. Somehow, Montejo thought that he would simply show up in the village and the people would vote for his PUP slate.

Amidst the Flack
Considering how comparatively small our country is, it is amazing how many burning political topics can surface in a just few weeks! I mean, if one had afforded the time to keep pace with the headlines on all news outlets since the beginning of May, one would have noted that there was ample material for journalists to sample, digest and move on to another appetizing topic without breaking stride. Of course, the delight at Channel Fox could not be masked, and even in instances where there was no drama, they went to great lengths to fashion sensationalism with innuendos; in high pitch too, to boot!

Belize City Primary Schools Volleyball Competition heats up at the Bird’s Isle
The 2012-2013 Belize City Primary Schools Volleyball Competition continues at the Bird’s Isle with a number of games in both the girls and boys competitions daily. The competition continued on Tuesday, June 4th, with four games on the schedule. In the girls’ game, it was Holy Redeemer School winning over Trinity Methodist School by the score of 25-5 and 25-15. In the first of three boys’ games played, Holy Redeemer School defeated Trinity Methodist School by the score of 25-9 and 25-15. In game two, it was Wesley Upper School winning over Queen Square Anglican School by the score of 25-18 and 25-18. In the final game of the day, All Saints’ Anglican School defeated St. John’s Primary School by the score of 25-21 and 25-16. On Monday, June 3rd, in girls’ competition, St. John’s Primary School defeated St. Martin’s De Porres School by the score of 25-11 and 25-19. In the first of two games in the boys’ competition, Trinity Methodist School defeated St. John’s Primary School by the score of 25-22 and 25-13. And in the final game of the day, St. Martin’s De Porres School defeated All Saints’ Anglican School by the score of 26-24 and 25-20.

Tuff “E” Nuff Top Seed in Interoffice Basketball Playoff
The regular season of the Interoffice Basketball League competition came to an end on Saturday, June 1st, 2013, at the Bird’s Isle with two games on the schedule. In the first game played, Tuff “E” Nuff defeated Police by the score of 100-85. The top scorers for Tuff “E” Nuff were Ashton Edwards with 39 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals; Farron Louriano with 18 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal; and Tyrone Edwards with 12 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists and 3 steals. Meanwhile, the top scorers for the Police were Linton Broaster with 30 points, 4 rebounds and 5 steals; Orlando Bowen with 18 points, and 6 rebounds; and Shane Rosales with 12 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals. In game two, it was “No Limit” edged CYDP by the score of 73-72. The top scorers for “No Limit” were Jacob Leslie with 27 points, 1 rebound and 2 assists; and Greg Rudon with 21 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 assists. For CYDP, the top scorers were Bernard Felix with 20 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal; and Lincey Lopez with 13 points, and 3 rebounds.

Cyclists are now entitled to Cross Country prizes
The National Anti-Doping Organisation of Belize has informed the Interim Cycling Committee and the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association that it has now received the results of the five (5) Anti-Doping Samples collected at the conclusion of the 85th Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic. The samples were analysed by the scientists at the UCLA Olympic Lab in Los Angeles, California, USA, a WADA certified lab. The samples were analysed for Erythropoietic Proteins and Proteins by Electrophoresis (EPO), Anabolic agents by mass spectrometry, anti-estrogenic agents and related substances by mass spectrometry, diuretics and masking agents by mass spectrometry, Beta-2 agonists by mass spectrometry, glucocorticosteriods by mass spectrometry, stimulants by mass spectrometry and immunoassay, narcotics by mass spectrometry and immunoassay, hormones and related substances (hCG) by mass spectrometry and immunoassay and drugs abuse by mass spectrometry and immunoassay. The certifying scientists have certified and confirmed that all samples are negative and have reported the results to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) via ADAMS. With the results now in hands the National Anti-Doping Organisation of Belize has given the go-ahead to the Interim Cycling Committee to proceeds with the presentation of awards for the 85th Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic.

UB Jaguar maintain Lead in Rural Softball Competition
The Belize Rural Softball Competition continued on Sunday, June 2nd, 2013, out in Ladyville with four games on the schedule. In the first game played, Lord’s Bank Sunrise defeated Ladyville Rising Star by the score of 12-1. The winning pitcher was Alma Gabourel and the losing pitcher was Sherett Williams. In game two, it was UB Jaguars, who with the 20-3 win over Arrows Reloaded, maintained its undefeated record in 2013 Belize Rural Softball Competition. The winning pitcher for the UB Jaguars was Herlette Clarke and the loss was charged to Christine Bracket. In the third game of the afternoon, Mel’s United won handily over St. Paul’s Bank by the score of 12-5. Annette Morey picked up the win for Mel’s United and Jacqueline Cassasola was charged with the loss. In the final game of the afternoon, it was Easy Does It winning over Village Gyal by the score of 11-1. The veteran, Margaret Hendy was the winning pitcher and the losing pitcher was Angie Tucker. The competition will continue this coming Sunday, June 9th with four more games on the schedule. All games will be played out in Rancho Dolores with the first game scheduled to commence at 9:00 am. In game one, it will be Village Gyal, the home team going up against Mel’s United. In game two, it will be Lord’s Bank Sunrise against UB Jaguars, followed by Arrows Reloaded against Easy Does It of Flowers Bank. In the final game of the day it will be St. Paul’s against Buttercup.

Chilean Olympic Committee makes bid for 18th Pan Am Games
Mr. Neven Llic President of Chilean Olympic Committee and members of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association at the bid presentation The President of the Chilean Olympic Committee Neven Llic along with his team that consisted of Jaime Agliati, Rodrigo Moreno and. Edwardo Valenvuela arrived in Belize on Friday, May 31st, 2013 and left the country on Saturday, June 1st. The sole purpose of their trip was to present their bid to host the 18th Pan American Games scheduled for 2019 to the members of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association. The city that is vying for the bid to host the 2019 Pan American Games is the capital, Santiago. The bid and showcase as displayed by the Chilean Olympic Committee was very impressive. Other countries that are also bidding to host the 18th Pan American Games include the Venezuela, Argentina and Peru. The President of the Chilean Olympic Committee also met with Minister of State with direct responsibilities for youth and sports the Hon. Herman Longsworth.

Ride Across Belize 2013 Reaches another Milestone
Riders arriving in Santa Elena, Cayo last Thursday Participants in the Ride Across Belize 2013 arrived shortly after 11:00 am at the Social Security Branch Office in Santa Elena Town, Cayo last Thursday where they were given a welcoming reception. The staff of Social Security were very helpful in ensuring that the riders were fed and given enough fluid after their strenuous ride from Belize City

Barbara McNab-Grinage
“Beans & Rice & Jesus Christ” by Barbara McNab- Grinage is the cook book that should be on the reading list of all Belizeans with appreciation for local traditions. Barbara McNab- Grinage left Belize for the United States many years ago when she was 15-years-old. However, she never forgot her Belizean heritage and she certainly did not leave her appetite for Belizean food. In her effort to share the food she loves with people from all over the world, this first time author hit the ball out of the park by seasoning her recipes with stories of her childhood in Belize.

New Board and Advisory Council for Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in Belize
A new board and advisory council for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award were formed last Saturday in San Ignacio Town. The event brought participants from as far away as Belize City and Dangriga, who met at dusk at the Library in San Ignacio Town and to form new partnerships in the benefit of young people.

Social Security celebrates 32 Years of Operations
Olivia Dakers, Branch Manager for the Social Security Office in Santa Elena Town, Cayo Social Security celebrated its 32 years of existence last Friday. As part of this year’s observance, the branch Office of Social Security in Santa Elena Town in Cayo held a customer’s appreciation day, where a variety of information was displayed on the benefits under the Social Security Scheme.

The Reporter

Oil discovered in Orange Walk
Maranco Energy Belize Limited has struck oil at its South Canal Bank #1 exploration well in the Orange Walk District. The company made the discovery during routine exploratory drilling in their concession zone on Sunday, March 30. A Ministry of Energy press release describes the find as “encouraging”, but underscored the need for further testing to determine if the oil is in commercial quantities. Chief Executive Officer of the ministry, Dr. Colin Young, explained that Geology and Petroleum Department personnel are on site and are closely monitoring the situation. Young added that there have been previous oil discoveries in the north, but the amounts were below commercial quantities. The Ministry is expected to give a public update on the testing in two weeks. Maranco Energy Belize Limited is owned by Maranco LLC of Carlestown, Nevis, West Indies and has its headquarters at Iguana Creek in Spanish Lookout. It is an affiliate of PR Marriott Drilling Limited, a company established in 1947 by the Marriott family of the UK.

Four men charged for special constable’s murder
Four men accused of shooting and killing 36-year-old Police Special Constable Bertchel Ramirez on Tuesday night, are scheduled to be arraigned in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court tomorrow, Friday, Belmopan police confirmed. Police revealed today that they have apprehended four suspects, who were taken to San Ignacio for an identification parade. Ramirez, a six-year police veteran attached to Belmopan area and described by on of his superiors as a dedicated officer, was ambushed and killed near the home of his girlfriend’s father’s in an area of Roaring Creek Village known as Another World. Ramirez received gunshot wounds to his head, body and legs. Neighbours told reporters that they heard between 12 and 15 shots.

National Stadium partially accessible
Belizean athletes may soon be allowed limited access to certain parts of the Marion Jones Sporting Complex, to be renamed the National Stadium, even though the facility won’t be complete and ready until the end of the year. Minister of State with responsibility for sports, Hon. Herman Longsworth made the announcement at a consultation for a national sports policy at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel on Wednesday, April 3. The entire project will cost $30 million, whenever it is finally completed, and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has chipped in handsomely, contributing $2 million towards its completion. For now, Longsworth said the public may be allowed some access to those parts of the facility which have been completed. These include the football pitch, which was completely redone at a cost of $200,000.

BTV gets OAS support for weekend border trek
The Organization of American States representative will accompany the Belize Territorial Volunteers as they clear the borderline between Dolores village and Gracias Adios this weekend, BTV leader Will Maheia said Thursday. The OAS responded to the BTV on Thursday via email, saying that they have requested Mr. Sergio Benitez, director of the Office of the General Secretary of the OAS in the Adjacency Zone, to be present at the locations where the border clearings will take place. Maheia explained that the BTV has been getting tremendous support from Belizeans in country and abroad, and the OAS’s recognition of their efforts has certainly bolstered the morale of all the volunteers. Maheia added that prior to the OAS giving their support, 100 volunteers had pledged to be a part of the border clearing efforts on Saturday. He said that the number has increased since the announcement.


San Pedro Lobster Festival lovers are coming back for 5th year
The Jansen & Racut family are returning on the 13tb of June to San Pedro, Belize. They have been coming every June to attend Lobster Fest since 2009. This year will be the 5th year they have returned to the Island. Wishing the Belize fishermen a great lobster season. Ready for a good time at the Lobster Fest events all week and to finish the week with a bang at the Lobster Fest Block Party 2013! Jennifer Jansen I am not surprised the Jansen & Racut families are returning for their 5th year of San Pedro lobsterfest fun. As I was downloading the lobsterfest pictures of the annual block party that Jennifer sent, I was taken back in time. It made me all the more excited for Lobsterfest 2013, so many choices of delicious food and drinks, the cute dresses, great live music, the time we had the biggest downpour and hanging out with friends. What could be a better recipe for a great party. Make sure you toss a couple of ziplocks in your purse or pocket if you have any electronic gear, it always rains to some degree at the big block party. Thankfully decoration meltdown was the worst weather related mishap to date. Here is the official San Pedro Lobster Festival 2013 event schedule.

My name is Aadil Nu ‘Man I am 8 years old. I am a standard II student at Grace Primary School. Let me tell you how I am ECO FRIENDLY. Everyday I try to recycle, reuse, and reduce. Early in the morning I wake up, eat my breakfast. Any left over food scraps like orange peels, vegetables, tea bags egg shells and rice I put it in a container. In the evening I take it out in the corner of my back yard and use it to fertilize my plants. When I get new clothes and toys I put one of my toys or clothes that I am not using in a bag. All our family members do this so when we have a lot we have a yard sale. If any is left then we give to the less fortunate neighbors and friends. When we come out of our rooms for a little while I turn of my lights instead of wasting electricity and letting the electricity bill come high.

Belize Looking to Neighbors and PPCR to Build Climate Resilience
Like other countries in the Eastern Caribbean region, Belize is highly vulnerable to natural hazards such as coastal and inland flooding, high winds, fire, and drought, all of which are being exacerbated by climate change. And like its neighbors, Belize is doing something about it. Following the lead of other Caribbean countries involved in the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR), Belize is initiating a comprehensive climate resilience investment plan that spans across sectors to mainstream climate change in its national development planning and action. Drive on any of Belize’s four main highways and you will quickly understand how tough it is to maintain this main network connecting Belmopan and Belize City, the two key economic zones. Frequent floods impede commuting and the transportation of goods and can cut off the population for several days. It’s only going to get worse, as recent studies indicate that Belize will undergo a warming and drying trend and is expected to endure even more frequent and intense rainfalls. Seventy percent of its people live in low-lying areas prone to recurrent flooding, so reducing vulnerability to natural disasters is at the core of Belize’s development challenge.

“Didn’t Work Out, Did It?” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Following the tome that yesterday’s edition turned out to be I decided that today’s edition would be much, much tighter. After all, you – the people that take the time and have the interest to read my ramblings- are likely to have far less time than me. So for those of you for whom time is a precious commodity today’s edition is written with being concise in mind. I spent a little time yesterday reading The Covenant by James A Michener. The reading this time though was from a paperback and not via my Kindle. A really nice change. There’s something about having a book in your hands and turning real pages and not pressing a button. Or is it an age thing? I picked up the book at BC’s Beach Bar, where they have a corner set aside for people to deposit books that they have finished with. I will return the compliment in a few weeks when Rose and I move to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and clear the bookshelves of the condo we are renting.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Greek Mater and Feta Dip
1/4 cup olif' earl 3-4 small maters, chopped (Roma er uther firm maters) 4 gree onyuns, sliced 8 oz. crumbled Feta cheez 2 teespoons Greek seesonin', t' taste* 1 baguette, sliced n' servin size pieces Drizzle olif' earl on a large plattr. Scattr t'chopped maters ovr t'olif' earl.

Why I Had A Great Time At #TBEX
As you may or may not know, I’m pretty strict about not publishing content that isn’t Belize related on this blog, however, I’ve decided to share a bit of the experience I had at Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX) 2013. TBEX took over Toronto this weekend and that meant that there were a whole lot of travel bloggers in town, over 1300 individuals to be more specific. Some came to network and many others were lured in by the incentive of learning how they can get a piece of the travel blogger industry pie.

Belizeans and true friends of Belize, It appears as though the Cabinet has made a pronouncement concerning the proposed Norwegian Cruise Lines development on Crawl Caye. As with all things, especially in dealing with matters deriving from this administration, a word to the wise is that despite what you glean from the press release…”the devil is in the details”. On the surface it looks as though the Cabinet made a wise, sound and appropriate decision, based on the statutes involving environmental protection. Yet, it causes the “enquiring mind” to query why, on one hand they opt to disregard issues pertaining to environmental protection and concern, when it involves seismic testing and oil exploration in our forest reserves, then subsequently show signs of an environmental “conscience” regarding the matter at hand. The bottom line is, that “all that glitters isn’t gold”. Again, given this administration’s propensity for manipulating the “law”, you are asked to pay keen attention to the wording of the release. In particular, kindly note where it reads… “However, in an effort to stimulate employment and open up other economic benefits for Belizeans in the South, Cabinet did support Norwegian Cruise Line’s request to search for an alternate site in Southern Waters…” Translation, people of the South and truly concerned Belizeans everywhere, gear up for round 2, because a development as lucrative as this one will certainly NOT be shelved.

The resurrection of the 7th amendment and Belize survivability in the 21st
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. “

The New Bill Gates Vaccine is Not as Safe as They Say
Yesterday Reuters put out an article that praises MenAfrivac which is a vaccine that fights meningitis in places such as Africa where the disease is more common due to various reasons such as lack of medical treatment. They really went out of their way to point out the good this vaccine has done. Reuters The thing is, they forgot to mention this: This is a French written article in a journal called “La Voix” out of Chad where this incident took place. I will provide a partial translation of what happened, the translation comes from and it has been verified by several people including myself. On December 20, 2012, a vaccination tragedy hit the small village of Gouro, located in northern Chad, Africa. According to the newspaper La Voix, out of five hundred children who received the new meningitis vaccine MenAfriVac, at least 40 of them between the ages of 7 and 18 have become paralyzed. Those children also suffered hallucinations and convulsions.

International Sources

The Grid Earth Project, 1% Club and Waka Waka Light Change Life in Cayo District
In May of 2013 the Grid Earth Project distributed more than 300 Waka Waka solar lamps in the Cayo District of Belize, in a project funded through the 1% Club. This permanently changed the lives of thousands of residents of the area. An amazing thing happened in May of 2013. The Villages of Armenia, St. Mathews and Los Tombos all took a 150 year leap into the future. Until now they have been living with kerosene lamps and candles for household light. According to the World Health Organization, nearly 1000 people die daily from burns caused by kerosene lamps. Another 2.5 million die from respiratory illness caused by breathing toxic fumes. Grid Earth Project distributed over 300 Waka Waka solar lamps to all of the households in these villages. Now the burns and illness associated with living without access to safe light is a thing of the past in these villages and thousands of people will live better lives as a result. The project was made possible by generous contributions made through the 1% Club. The Grid Earth Project distributes solar light in underdeveloped areas that do not have access to electricity.

Family petitions government, hoping for answers in son’s death
A Calgary family is desperate for answers following the death of their son in Belize, and are now petitioning the House of Commons in hopes of getting closure. 35-year-old Jeffrey Furgala was taken into custody in January after being arrested for public intoxication. About nine hours after he was locked up, officials found him unconscious. Furgala died a few days later in hospital. Police in Belize said Furgala fell in his cell, and causing head injuries—but his family says they’re getting contradictory information. His mother requested documents from the coroner, but certain information was left out. “It says in there that he was tested for toxicity,” explains Fern Tiberio. “If you’re gonna go portray my son as being intoxicated, prove it to me. The autopsy report is absent of any report of toxicity.”

Caldwell College Students Help Build Church in Central American Village
A mission trip to the Central American country of Belize in May turned out to be a life-changing event for 11 Caldwell College students. Led by college president Dr. Nancy Blattner, her husband Tim and staff member Meghan Moran, the group spent eight days in Punta Gorda, Belize, serving families and children. When members of the group arrived at their destination May 13, they were greeted by Father Lou McCabe, an American Jesuit, who assigned them to assist local carpenters in building a church in the village of Corazon Creek. The foundation had already been poured and eight pillars had been set. The students' job was to help pour the remaining pillars, frame the structure, and construct the roof. That last task included putting up 11 handmade triangular support beams and applying zinc sheeting — all of which was set on a tight deadline.

Fortis foes allege eco-misdeeds
In pressing the case that the proposed $1.5 billion acquisition of Central Hudson by Canadian holding company Fortis would be bad for ratepayers, Citizens for Local Power (CLP), an Ulster-based grassroots group which has risen to oppose the merger, is pointing to what they say is Fortis’ poor record in dealing with projects in Belize and British Columbia and warning the same could happen here. “We’re seeing a trend in Belize and British Columbia of misinformation and a lack of trust, and we’re seeing this the more research we do,” said CLP attorney Daniel Duthie at a press conference May 23 at the County Office Building in Kingston. At the conference, several — including some from the Central American nation and the western Canadian province brought in via an occasionally balky Skype connection — spoke in opposition to the deal, which could, activists say, be approved as soon as the Public Service Commission’s next public meeting on June 13.

June 6, 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

Little Angel’s Pre-school talent show
At the end of the school year, Little Angels Pre-school presented a talent show to showcase what students have learned. The show is a chance for parents, guardians and family friends to see their children interact and perform with each other while displaying valuable social skills needed for the development of a healthy child. This year’s talent night took place on Sunday, June 2nd at the Lions’ Den shortly after 6PM. Little Angels Pre-School students and teachers presented performances to their proud families. Applause was hearty, and all the students had big smiles as they recited poetry, sang songs, acted out nursery rhymes, and danced. Although some children may have been shy, the show was still a huge success and tons of fun for everyone. Keep up the good job everyone!

Business sector to provide San Pedro police with new barracks
Since early 2001, the San Pedro Police Force has been denouncing the lack of proper living conditions at their barracks. The lack of proper infrastructure, plumbing and wiring has led to officers having to live in less than ideal conditions. Although this is a widely discussed topic that has been brought to the attention of the Ministry by every Chief of Police since, no assistance has been given to improve the living conditions of the officers who serve our community. Now improvements are finally being made as Coastal Executive Officer in charge Luis Castellanos has taken action. On Friday, May 31st, demolition of the dilapidated barracks located behind the police station commenced. Castellanos could not bear to have his officers living in the conditions the barracks offered, and as such had temporarily relocated the officers. “Upon taking over command as the Coastal Executive Officer on the 14th January 2013, and upon checking the living quarters provided for the Police Officers stationed here in San Pedro Town and Caye Caulker Village, immediately my heart fell. However, I was motivated to alleviate, at all costs, the living conditions for these hard working officers,” stated Castellanos.

Five charged in separate drugs operations in San Pedro Town
San Pedro Police arrested and charged five people in two separate drug operations conducted on Wednesday May 29th. According to police,the arrests are as a result of information received and the police’s strategic plan to fight the drug problem on the island. In the first arrest around 3:30PM, police conducted an operation and searched the home of22 year old Lauriano Augustine of Boca del Rio area in San Pedro Town. Present at the time of the search was another male person identified as 21 year old Michael Cambranez of #70 Freetown Road in Belize City. During the search, police found a transparent plastic bag inside the bathroom with what appeared to be a green leafy substance believed to be cannabis. At the station, the suspected substance was confirmed to be cannabis, which weighed a totalled 3.5 grams. Augustine and Cambranez were both formally arrested and charged for the offence of possession of a controlled substance.

Ambergris Today

14 Year Old Blind Boy to Dive Belize's Blue Hole
Rowan Garel will be the first blind person to dive the world famous Great Blue Hole of Belize. After reaching the summit of the tallest mountain in Belize and walking 92 miles across the country, 14-year-old Rowan Garel will dive Belize's Great Blue Hole on July 14, 2013. With training and assistance from Sea Sports Belize and PADI certified instructor, John Searle, Rowan and his team will dive one of the world's most popular sites to raise funds for the Belize Council of the Visually Impaired (BCVI), an organization that provides year-round support to children who are blind. Although some adjustments have to be made in order for Rowan to reach certification, the challenge is well worth it to him. “What I’m interested in is raising funds and awareness for the only program in Belize that deals with blind or visually impaired people and they have a rehab program which is completely free of cost. Take that away and all the blind people, like myself, will just be behind with everything, there would be no one there to help them along and that is what motivates me.”

Inspiration Telethon Surpasses $500,000 Target
The Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow and CARE-Belize once again hosted a nationwide telethon to raise funds to complete and equip the Inspiration Center. The telethon was held on Saturday, June, 1st, 2013, at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts and locations countrywide. The second Inspiration Telethon was another success as the $500,000 fundraising target was met and surpassed. A $514,132.85 in pledges and donations was reported at the end of the event on Saturday. The community of San Pedro also played a very important part of the telethon and through the efforts of many volunteers and donors was able to raise $14,303.39 for the cause.

Dining in a Unique Island Setting at Black Orchid Restaurant
There are quite a few things that set Black Orchid Restaurant apart from other restaurants in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. For one it’s a great new addition to the southern area of the island where there are very few restaurants. It takes a few minutes on golf cart or taxi but the ride is worth the dining experience, as owners Judyann and Tom Horton have brought their own menu items from California and added a Belizean touch. While exploring the southern part of the island you will be delighted to come across this hidden gem. Black Orchid Restaurant sits in a cozy corner and with a high vaulted ceiling, the open-air area brings the outside into the dining room. It is very cool, spacious and the ambience invites you to step inside and take advantage of the island cuisine.

Belize Red Cross Vacancy
POSITION: Communications Officer CONTRACT PERIOD: 2 years Job Summary: * To ensure the implementation of the BRC Communications Strategy at Headquarters and Branch levels * To report progress of ongoing projects. * To produce a monthly BRC newsletter. * To spearhead and review all public awareness initiatives to ensure that they are in line with the BRC Communications Strategy as well as the specific Donor requirements for communication and visibility activities * To liaise with the media for their presence at key BRC events * To be a member of the Fundraising Committee

Misc Belizean Sources

Garifuna Collective is gonna play a free show at Rojo next wed (June 12th) evening
We're super excited to announce that The Garifuna Collective will be playing a free show next wednesday evening, June 12th at Rojo Beach Bar. Come on up for a rare opportunity to see these incredible musicians play outside, on the beach in a casual relaxed setting. Evening show, set time TBD.

Placencia water now managed by BWSL
The Ministry of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development, National Emergency Management and Immigration & Nationality, hereby informs the general public, that as a part of the Integrated Waste and Water program for the Placencia Peninsula, the Placencia and Siene Beight Water System is now being managed by the Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL).

Mexican physicians visit Belize
Mexican physicians visit Belize to collaborate with Belizean authorities to produce a diagnosis on neonatal health in light of recent events that have required immediate cooperation of the international community. The Government of Belize, through the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Health, requested assistance from the Government of Mexico to collaborate through two Mexican specialists in sharing their experience on the development of national policies on health issues. This visit is part of the programs of technical cooperation between Mexico and Belize. Dr. Daniel Ibarra from the Children´s Hospital Federico Gómez, specialist in Neonatology and Dr. Alethse de la Torre from the National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition, Salvador Zubirán, specialist in Infectology worked as part of a research medical team in Belize from June 2nd to 5th.

Belize Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium
The BAAS this year, which will be held at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel, will be from July 2nd through the 5th. The theme will be: 'Ancient Maya: Household and Social Identity in Belize.' "The 11th instalment of the Belize Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium (BAAS) is scheduled for July 2nd - July 5th, 2013 in San Ignacio, Belize. Registration for the conference will begin on March 4th, 2013. Participants are encouraged to pre-register and make travel plans early so that they can be guaranteed a place as well as advantageous rates on travel. Presentations of the symposium proper will be held inside the San Ignacio Resort Hotel Bedran Hall starting on Tuesday July 2nd and continue through to Friday July 5th, 2013."

SHJC 2013 Graduation
Sacred Heart Junior College got some great pictures from their graduation ceremony. "SHJC held its Thirteenth Commencement Exercises on Saturday, June 1st. The Thanksgiving Mass was done by Father Leo Palma. A short intermission followed with Mr. Emmanuel Mangar performing Green Day's "Good Riddance" for our graduates. Our Master and Mistress of Ceremonies - Mr. Stephen Sangster and Ms. Jeanne Link then began the graduation ceremonies. The President, Dr. Eve Aird, spoke about the many exciting programs SHJC has engaged in this past year and the future plans for the JC. Our guest speaker, Ms. Maria Marin, gave an inspirational and motivational speech to our graduates on the theme: 'TODAY: A Time to Reflect, A Time to Change, A Time to Act.' Many students were recognized for their various achievements - both in academic excellence and attitude. The recipient of the Dean's award was Ms. Tracie Nicole Donis. Tracie's mom was also recognized for being an outstanding mother who came to school everyday with Tracie. The welcome address was delivered by Ms. Juani Gamez (Business graduate) and the Thank You speech was given by Mr. Miguel Ekim Bonilla. Congratulations to all graduates on achieving another milestone in life. We wish you nothing but the best in your future endeavours. You will always be a part of the SHJC family."

Gift of Life by Wilson Grinage
Gift of Life, sung and performed expertly by Wilson Grinage, was the official song of the Inspiration Telethon. The Special Envoy of Belize uploaded it for everyone to enjoy. That's a huge grand piano he's playing. Well done! "The 2013 telethon is over; the work on the Inspiration Center will now continue! Thanks to all who supported the telethon! For more information of how to help, you may contact the office of the Special Envoy Belize!" Kim Simplis-Barrow also released a letter of appreciation, letting everyone know how thankful she was for making the telethon surpass it's goal.

Maya Mountain Jungle Lodge
Maya Mountain Jungle Lodge has some beautiful grounds just outside of town, on the Cristo Rey road. Their 8 cabins are nicely done, and provide a natural and rustic feeling, and they have a dormatory for larger groups. They've recently been taken over by the same family that runs Cayo Adventure Tours, so you know the tours they offer will be guided well.

I Love Belize Photo Contest
The Museum of Belize is having their 'I Love Belize' photo contest. Just send them an old photo featuring any kind of transportation used in Belize. Good luck! Send pictures to [email protected] The deadline to submit is June 28th. Good luck!

June Cayo Event Calendar
The Cayo Event Calendar for June is up. Graduation dances, reunions, veterinary clinics, the Festival of Arts, a box kart race, concerts, the Succotz festival, and much more is happening in June. If you know of any events that need to be added, just let us know.

NICH Informational Video
The National Institute for Culture and History has a creative promotional video out explaining what they are all about. NICH is comprised of the Institute for Social and Cultural Research, the various Houses of Culture, the Museums of Belize, the Institute of Archaeology, and the Institute of Creative Arts. You'll see fliers for all of the events happening this month for the Festival of Arts, which started on the 3rd, and runs through the 22nd. It also features Tanya Carter and Melonie Gillett singing 'Low,' so it's definitely worth a watch. In related news, the Belize Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium is July 2nd through the 5th, and it'll be at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. The Belize Film Festival will be from July 11th through the 15th.

Belize to host internet exchange point forum
Internet in Belize is still the most expensive and among the slowest in the entire Caribbean region, according to a 2013 survey of Caribbean internet service providers (ISPs). However, internet strategist Bevil Wooding says Belize's Internet users should not rely on costly international data transit for online communications within the country. Instead, to facilitate growth of the local telecommunications sector, they should establish their own facility for local internet traffic exchange. “The absence of a local IXP compromises a country’s ability to truly harness the potential of the Internet as an engine for economic growth, job creation and social empowerment,” said Wooding, an international internet expert with the US-based research firm Packet Clearing House (PCH). Wooding, along with PCH research director, Bill Woodcock, will speaking on Thursday at a special forum for internet stakeholders in the private and public sector being hosted by the Public Utilities Commission. The discussion will centre on the establishment of a facility known as an internet exchange point or IXP in Belize. The IXP forum is part of a plan by the PUC to bring together international and local stakeholders to find ways of improving the quality and prices of internet services for Belizeans.

3rd Annual Father's Day Boxing Event
Come one, Come all to the 3rd Annual Father's Day Boxing Event hosted by Mayan Warrior Promotions in conjunction with the San Pedro Town Council. Come witness this international event!

Channel 7

GOB Says No To Crawl Caye
For weeks, 7News has been following the story where Cruise Tourism Giant, Norwegian Cruise Line wanted to access Southern Belize. Their plan was to build a port to call on Crawl Caye, in which the company would be able to access Placencia. But as we’ve reported, the local private cruise interests, members of the conservation community, and BTIA are staunchly against it. As we showed you 2 days ago, Forestry Department, the Fisheries Department, and the Department of Environment all made presentations at a secondary meeting as to the viability of the project based on the environmental concerns. There were talks coming out of that meeting that this was the weigh which steered Cabinet against it, and today finally, we got confirmation. So, Crawl Caye is a no-go, for this project; that’s what the Prime Minister and Minister Godwin Hulse, the chair of the subcommittee, told us today. And because of the nature of negotiations, there were many unanswered questions about the proposal which GOB didn’t want to address until after it was fully heard. They also tackled those tough questions.

GOB Says Belize Made It’s Case Time And Again
Yesterday, our news team told you from Antigua, Guatemala that CARICOM may be losing confidence in Belize as the bridge between Central America and the Caribbean. That’s after the OAS in concert with Guatemala’s Minister of Economy hosted a meeting between Caribbean and Central American Business Leaders - and Belize didn’t make any representation. His Excellency, Nestor Mendez, the Belize Permanent Representative to the OAS, put it in context that the Assistant Secretary General sent several reminders to him to relay the importance of the meeting, and unfortunately, Belize didn’t show up. Well, today, we got a chance to ask Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Mike Singh, the CEO in the Ministry of Trade, about that major hiccup. Here’s what how they responded: Reporter "The pre-OAS, the business meeting between CARICOM and CICA - why wasn't Belize represented at that affair?"

Amidst The Controversies, Imer Gets Another Contract
Last night, 7News told you about Imer Hernandez, who won the 6 million dollar contract to upgrade the Belize City Municipal Airstrip. Well, tonight, we can confirm that Hernandez is also the holder of the contract to renovate the Belmopan market. This is a public works project which is funded by the European Union and supervised by the Ministry of Works. His company placed a bid of 2 million dollars, and it was accepted by the Evaluation Committee. So, he’s now in the second of a 12 month project in addition to the works which he must provide for the Belize City Municipal Airstrip. But you may wonder why, and rightly so because that San Antonio Road scandal remains unresolved. Prime Minister Dean Barrow, as the Minister of Finance, has promised that he will continue to look into it, but Hernandez continues to win contracts. Apparently, Prime Minister Dean Barrow isn’t taken any issue with that; in fact, he says that he has confidence in the mechanisms by which he’s being awarded them. Jules Vasquez asked him last week Thursday about that issue in the context of the unresolved San Antonio Road works. Here’s how that conversation went.

Oil PSA Issues Trudge On
Last week, 7News told you about the substantial difference of opinion between Oceana Belize and the Government of Belize which has ended up before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. It’s in relation to a judgment from Justice Legal in which he declared 6 oil contracts null and void, and the injunction he granted against GOB. Oceana says that this injunction also restrains all oil companies who had any contracts Government. GOB counters that the Supreme Court has tied their hands to oversee these oil companies and to make sure that they are being environmentally friendly, so they’ve applied to CJ Benjamin to have the injunction lifted. It’s a continuation from last week’s brief hearing which saw both parties in court for almost the entire day. When they came out of court, 7News was there to ask for an update on the case. Here’s what both sides told us: Denys Barrow, SC- Attorney for GOB "OCEANA is a very contentious, very argumentative set of people and the short point is that they filed a major weighty experts report when there was no need for it, that is the essence of it. They were responding to two paragraphs in an affidavit which exhibited something which the oil companies said, we were not relying on what the oil companies said for the truth of what they said. But rather to simply put before the court that these are the things which were said so there were absolutely no need for OCEANA to go an employ an expert to deal with what the oil company said and this is the point which we made to the court and the court decided that it would be of no benefit to the court and therefore refused the application to allow the expert's evidence to be admitted."

Barrow: Gender Policy Not Going Anywhere
Last week, 7News told you about the Gender Policy which caused a firestorm of controversy because the Churches felt that GOB was being sly by quietly and gradually bending to the agenda of the LGBT population in Belize. Prime Minister Dean Barrow said that the Churches were confusing policy and law, while the Churches responded that policy is the last step before legislation. They’ve had an opportunity to voice their concerns to Government, and today we asked Prime Minister Dean Barrow for an update. Here’s what he had to say: Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "I don't want to get into the internal affairs of the church but this is very important. At that meeting, that call for the gender policy to be withdrawn came from one person supported by two others. The majority of participants there did not make any such call - in fact one prominent church leader went on record as saying that he believes that the gender policy is a good policy.

Delegate Orozco Gives A Preview
So we’re at the OAS General Assembly, and who should we run into? Caleb Orozco. That’s right, Belize’s most well-known LBGT activist is in Antigua Guatemala, and he’s not there as a tourist – he was at the General Assembly as an accredited delegate REPRESENTING. Yesterday, he told us what LBGT groups are pushing for: Caleb Orozco - Representing as an LGBT activist at the OAS "My agenda is really not new for the Belizean public, it's one of rights and my bias remain LGBT citizens but this time what we're doing is working with our traditional partners within the hemisphere. Over thirty activists that looks at transgender issues, that looks at gay issues, lesbian issues and collectively what we've done is we've worked with some sensitization through a declaration. And the second one it looks at discrimination and all other forms of intolerance. The discussion is a little bit more complicated because adapting a convention does not necessarily mean that it's law and so I believe we have a process of domestication like any process you will have a difference of opinion. Extreme Christian right looking to define or in this case make a statement around the family and our correlation all came together to an understand that the narrow definition of family does not reflect the reality of single parent homes, it does not reflect the reality that there are gay and straight couples who take care of children and who are parents and as such there is a strong disagreement over that."

GOB Big Brothers The LPG Sector
A few months ago, 7News broke the story that the LPG companies, better known as the Butane companies, were shorting their customers in a major way. It’s been a long time since that issue made its way back into the news, but tonight it makes a comeback because we’ve been reliably informed that they want to raise their prices. But that’s a problem because we’ve also been informed that there are some of these companies are not bringing in the 60/40 butane/propane mix stipulated by law. So, we asked CEO in the Ministry of Trade, Mike Singh, if they are able to monitor the companies, and about how they go about approving an increase in prices. He gave us some surprising answers: Mike Singh - CEO, Ministry of Trade "So what we did in January is we changed the whole formula and we said we would only allow LPG that comes at a minimum quality of 60/40 mixture.

Caribbean Growth Forum, Belize Chapter
And all our opportunities to speak with these Senior Government officials came from a major gathering between them and members of the private sector and the public sector. That gathering was due to the launch of the Caribbean Growth Forum, the Belizean National Chapter. 7News attend and found out that this workshop was being supported by major organizations in the international community: Kay Menzies - President, BCCI "Welcome to the kick off section of the Growth Forum Belize Chapter. As we know all too well, Belize faces many challenges, such that in total they feel almost insurmountable. Our debt levels, even after the restructuring are higher than we can afford at the current rate of growth especially considering the need to invest in infrastructure development, in development of an enabling environment for business, and in improvement about people's quality of life."

Guat Foreign Minister Talks Maps
The 43rd OAS General Assembly continued today in Antigua Guatemala. Later on Jules Vasquez who is in Antigua, will have a report on the opening plenary session, but first we have an interview with the Guatemalan Foreign Minister who is the lead figure at this event. He held a press conference an hour ago - and after, the Belize media in Guatemala asked him about the offensive map - which we stress has made no appearance at this General Assembly. Here’s what he had to say: Fernando Carrera- Guatemalan Foreign Minister "Well the map to make it very clear has never included Belize on our, or the same color as the rest..." Reporter "It’s been used in presentations in international forums." Fernando Carrera "Yes, but we have criticized those Guatemalans who have done that because that’s not authorized at all. Our official position is that between the territory of Guatemala and Belize there is no border recognized, but we have what we call the 'zona de adjacencia' - the Adjacency Zone. So within that we put something that is a dotted line, a dotted line indicates it is not a border, but it is something that we had both agreed is more or less what we call the adjacency zone that is it. And so the map expresses that in it."

OAS General Assembly Officially Inaugurated
And as you may know by now, The 43rd OAS General Assembly is a major international meeting being held in Antigua Guatemala. As we told you, there are dozens of meetings built around the assembly where representatives from 35 countries throughout the Americas gather. But the real business of the event started last night at an inaugural session followed by a plenary session today. Jules Vasquez is in Antigua Guatemala and he has this report. Jules Vasquez reporting The inaugural session of the 43rd General Assembly of the OAS was held last night at the Finca Philadelphia in Antigua Guatemala. We couldn’t help but notice that when Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina spoke, the Belizean flag and coat of arms seemed strategically placed. But what he spoke about was the centerpiece of the Assembly, the OAS report on drug trafficking: Otto Perez Molina, President of Guatemala "Which becomes a fundamental tool for the process of the debate in our nation." Today those themes were revisited and expanded upon during the plenary session.

Mosquito Population Increasing Exponentially
This week in the Belize District, there's been an explosion in the mosquito population - swarms of mosquitoes are everywhere: outdoors, indoors, even in cars! So what is really happening? Is it normal to see an increase in these blood-eating pests around this time of the year? That’s what we asked Senior Public Health Inspector – Mark Bernard today. Mark Bernard - Senior Public Health Inspector "Well, yes we've had a good dry season and the rainy season is here. I was a bit surprised because we keep getting calls from all over the place because of the high population of mosquitoes. It is not unusual, normally a mosquito eggs can last about two to three yeas in the soil even though it's dry. When that first rain comes, the earth absorbs most of that water but when the rain comes and you start to have water settling then that is when the mosquitoes hatch and you have an explosion.

From a Write-Off To Belize’s Biggest Success Story
In August of last year, Andrew Ortiz was one of two young men from Sadie Vernon High– who left Belize for basketball opportunities in the USA. Ortiz who was a star player on his Sadie Vernon High Basketball team was awarded with a scholarship to finish High School at St Peter Chanel High School in Cleveland Ohio- while given the opportunity to play basketball for St Monica’s Church in the Catholic Youth Organization Regional Finals. Well he has completed his High School education with honors in the Unites States and he’s now back at home to proudly march up with his graduating class of Sadie Vernon High. It is a proud moment for the star athlete who has recently been offered 6 different scholarships at some of the most top Universities in the US. On Monday he made the decision and signed on to South Suburban College in Chicago where he will be playing college basketball. It is a success story for this youngster who was once a product of the Southside. Today in an interview with 7news, he spoke about his challenges, his heartbreaks, but most of all, his accomplishments.

No Champions League For Belize
And while Andrew Ortiz being back to share his success story is good news for Basketball fans who want to see local talent play at an international level, things aren’t looking so good for the Premier League of Belize’s champions. That’s because the FFB announced today that they can’t participate in the CONCACAF Champions League 2013-2014. President of the FFB, Rupert Vicente, was in Belize City today, and so we asked him to explain why: Ruperto Vicente - President, FFB "We regret that we will not be able to participate in the CONCACAF Champion's of Champion's League of 2013-2014 for the mere fact that demands are too high. There are too much demands and we can't meet those demands at this point. CONCACAF is asking all the clubs or all the countries that to participate in the Champion's league, to ensure that the lighting system at the stadium is properly fixed and that it give up at least a minimum of 800 lux. As well that those lights will have to be at a certain height, at present our lighting system, our lights at the stadium is 19 ft high and they are saying that the lights have to be 130 or 140 ft higher so we will not be able to meet that at this point. Secondly they are also asking that clubs that participate in champions league must have the locker room at the stadium air conditioned and installed a minimum of 12 showers for hot and cold water - we do not have that. Thirdly they also asked that we have three five star hotels in the neighborhood of the stadium in order to participate - we do not have that in Belmopan, I'm not even sure if the hotels in Belize City which is one hour away from the stadium are five star hotels. So we cannot meet those conditions so for those reasons Belize will not be able to participate in the Champion's League until we meet those conditions.

Serial Robbers To Court
Last night, 7News told you about the weapons Belmopan police recovered in relation to the robbery at La Choza Bar which claimed the life of Saldvadoran Isabel Antonio Ballona. Well tonight, there are 4 men who are in prison on remand for it. 29 year old Edwin Paula, 19 year old Manuel Hernandez, 18y ear old Rudy Santos and Rasheed Crespo were arraigned in the Belmopan Court on 3 counts of Robbery and 1 count of Murder. 29 year old Edwin Paula was additionally charged with 2 counts of possession for an unlicensed firearm and ammunition. All four persons were additionally charged this morning with 9 counts of aggravated burglary for the UB invasion and armed robbery which took place on the night of Wednesday May 8th at UB's Belmopan Dormitory.

Channel 5

Cabinet did not approve of Norwegian Cruise Line’s Crawl Caye project
As we reported on Tuesday night, the Norwegian Cruise Line’s proposed one hundred million dollar tourism investment project in Belize is currently on hold. A technical team working with Cabinet’s [...]

Other sites open to Norwegian Cruise Line, but where?
But all is not lost for Norwegian Cruise Line as it is now shifting attention to other islands for development in the southern Belize. Prime Minister Dean Barrow said that [...]

PM tells church he won’t change gender policy
The revised Gender Policy is here to stay, even though it has caused a maelstrom of activity since the Women’s Commission had the policy document updated. Strangely, the upset has [...]

Gender Policy resolution highly debated at O.A.S. General Assembly
While the Gender Policy will remain as it stands according to the Prime Minister, in Guatemala, there is a resolution that is also being heavily debated and discussed by member [...]

No referendum discussion tabled for O.A.S. General Assembly
Turning to the referendum…when Guatemala announced it was not holding a referendum this year but in 2014, Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington said that he will be meeting his counterpart in [...]

Guatemalan shot by B.D.F. in Chiquibul Forest
A Guatemalan farmer who was encroaching inside the Chiquibul Forest has been shot by local soldiers. According to reports, on Monday June third, after two p.m., while on a routine [...]

Belmopan Comprehensive School students charged for murder
On June first one man was killed and another injured when they tried to intervene in an armed robbery at the La Choza bar in Belmopan. The robbers opened fire [...]

Carrera speaks on the referendum
The issue of official documents, including Guatemalan passports, being printed with Belize adjoined as part of its territory, has raised the ire of many Belizeans since a date for simultaneous [...]

Football champs won’t participate in CONCACAF Champions League 2013
There is bad news in the football community tonight as the Belmopan Bandits FC, winners of the recent Premier League of Belize Championship, has been declared ineligible to participate in [...]

OCEANA and government attorneys battle offshore contracts in court
This morning, attorneys for OCEANA and G.O.B. as well as COLA and the Belize Coalition to Preserve Our Natural Heritage squared off in front of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin who [...]

Exploratory activities at the root of injunctions in court
Following an adjournment this afternoon, Audrey Matura-Shepherd gave an update to the media.  She told News Five that the root of the injunction being challenged by government is the prohibition [...]

Why didn’t Belize attend SICA/CARICOM meeting in Guatemala?
The Organization of American States and Guatemala’s Minister of Economy hosted a meeting between Caribbean and Central American Business Leaders over the weekend. Belize which is seen as the bridge [...]

Prime Minister says it’s a pity Belize didn’t participate in forum in Guatemala
Prime Minister Dean Barrow also commented on Belize’s absence at the CARICOM/SICA meeting. Barrow said it was a pity that Belize wasn’t there, but he believes that the country is [...]

5 persons charged for illegal entry to Belize
Five persons have been arrested for illegal entry, including a seventy year old man from Honduras, his two daughters, a cousin and a friend.  Immigration officials believe that the group [...]

Orange Walk resident convicted of Dangerous Harm
In the Orange Walk Supreme Court, Jaime Cardenas was today convicted by a nine member jury for the offence of dangerous harm. He was tried before Honourable Justice Herbert Lord [...]

The launch of the Caribbean Growth Forum Belize Chapter
The Caribbean Growth Forum was launched this morning. It is a collaboration of private and public sectors. Three areas for dialogue including: Investment Climate; Logistics and Connectivity; and Skills and [...]

How to determine the price you pay for gas
The cost of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) has been the subject of much speculation. The price varies according to where the gas is imported from. Mexico’s prices have been regularly [...]


Football Showdown Planned In Southern Belize
Residents of Dangriga and surrounding areas are invited to witness a football showdown in town. Correspondent Harry Arzu has the details. HARRY ARZU "< >" ...

Caribbean Growth Forum Launches Belize Chapter
The Caribbean Growth Forum, CGF is an initiative engineered to identify policies and initiatives aimed at inducing growth and creating jobs in the Caribbean region through analytics work, knowledge exchange and inclusive dialogue. It’s a joint initiative by the Compete Caribbean Program, th...

Belize City Mayor Updates Residents on City Streets Upgrade
The chaotic traffic maze that has prevailed in the old capital since the start of the street upgrades has seemingly entered a new phase with traffic bottlenecks stretching for almost half a mile at some spots during peak hours within city limits. But Mayor Darrell Bradley says that City Hal...

can Physicians Visit Belize To Produce Diagnosis on Neonatal Health
In light of the recent events at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where at least twelve neonates lost their lives, a number of Mexican physicians are visiting Belize to collaborate with authorities to produce a diagnosis on neonatal health. According to a press release from the Embassy of...

Father of Two Fined For Drug Trafficking
Twenty-nine year old Gildon Edwards, a father of two charged with drug trafficking, was fined ten thousand dollars today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, after he pled guilty to the charge. Edwards was ordered to pay three thousand dollars forthwith, in default, six months imprisonment....

Belize City Man Accused of Sexual Assault Get Bail
Thirty-one year old Kenroy Vanzie, a laborer who allegedly committed a sexual assault on a woman 18 years old, was charged with aggravated assault when he appeared in court today. Vanzie pled not guilty to the charge. He was offered a bail of one thousand five hundred dollars and his case was adj...

Woman Detained For Stabbing Spouse With Bottle
A man is recovering at the Northern Regional Hospital after he was reportedly stabbed by his common-law wife. Just after midday on Tuesday, an elderly man identified as Herman Olivera was stabbed by his common-law wife in Corozal Town. According to police Olivera was stabbed with a broken bottle....

Wednesday, June 5 ----- PM Says Gender Policy Stays; Crawl Caye Project Is a No and Belize Will Continue Negotiations With SICA
A meeting of business leaders from Central America and the Caribbean recently took place and Belize was not a part of the meeting. This has raised concerns as to whether Belize was being bypassed as the link between the two regions. Reporters put the question to Prime Minister Barrow ...

Charged with Three Counts of Rape; Will Serve 15 Years
34-year-old Alberto Ical who was charged with three counts of rape in 2009 was found guilty on May 21 on the first and third count. For the second count they had a hung jury on June 4. Judge Dennis Hanomansingh sentenced Alberto Ical to 10 years on the first count and 15 years on the ...

Jury of Nine Finds Man Guilty of Dangerous Harm
Jaime Cardenas was today convicted by a nine member jury in the Supreme Court sitting in Orange Walk Town for the offence of dangerous harm. He was tried before Justice Herbert Lord for the May 29, 2009 stabbing of Rene Escarraga. Escarraga was stabbed in his upper abdomen at a bu...

Some Belama Residents Fear Being Trapped If Bridge Is Not Repaired
Over the past weekend the skies opened up and the rains have been causing mobility problems in some areas. The Belama Phase IV area in Belize City is one of those areas and today the residents of that community called our News Centre to help them expose their problem. The people t...

Cola Holds Press Conference on Neonatal Deaths
<> ...

Former British High Commissioner of Belize Charge of Sexual Misconduct Found To Be Baseless
John Yapp- he is the former British Commissioner of Belize who was fired after he was accused of touching the bottom of a senior politician's wife. The incident allegedly occurred in 2008 and Yapp had entered into a legal battle with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, FCO. Last month, the H...

Police Seeks Public Assistance In Identifying Man's Body
Corozal police are asking for assistance in identifying the body of a man that was retrieved in that municipality on Sunday. The police press release states that the corpse, believed to be between 50 and 60 years old, was found on 2nd Street South in Corozal Town. Police sa...

Police News
A man is lucky to have escaped with minor injuries after a shooting in San Pedro Town on Saturday. Twenty eight year old Elton Polonio, a laborer of San Pedrito Area reported that he was socializing in the area when a man he knows went there and started to fire shots in the area and then fl...

NEMO Briefs Media On Its Information Plan During A Hurricane
Last week the National Emergency Management Organization, NEMO, held a press briefing at its headquarters in Belmopan to discuss some key point in hurricane preparedness. NEMO intends to partner with media house across Belize so that in the event of a threat, concise and clear information can be ...

Guatemalan National Shot During Encounter With BDF Soldiers
Love News has confirmed that a Guatemalan was shot during an encounter with members of the Belize Defense Force. The incident happened in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve late on Monday evening and sketchy information that we have is that the victim, said to be a 21 year old man identified only...


Couple's fight Nearly Turns Deadly, One man Clings To Life

Bar Brawl Leaves One Man Without Teeth
Corozal police are also looking for one Tony Gutierrez of Calcutta Village who is wanted for grievous harm. This is after he allegedly attacked 28 year old Rafael Uk, Belizean mason of San Joaquin Village in Corozal, and caused all of his front teeth to fall out. Uk told police that at about 12:00midnight on May 4th 2013, he visited Elito’s Bar, bordering the entrance of San Joaquin Village and Calcutta Village, where he met Tony Gutierrez whom he has known for the past four years, socializing with 4 other male individuals in front of the bar. According to Uk, as he approached the group, Gutierrez threw a pint bottle at him hitting him on the mouth knocking out all is his front teeth. To avoid any further confrontation Uk left the area and headed to the Corozal Community Hospital where his injury was certified as grievous harm.

Chinese Establishment Robbed In Broad Daylight
There was a broad daylight armed robbery in Corozal Town this morning. Chang Li Bar and Game Room located on 4th Avenue was robbed by a lone gunman who entered the establishment with one thing on his mind, to get some quick cash. According to an eye witness, who spoke to us off camera, she and three other customers were inside the business when the robber, described as being of fair complexion, barged into the game room brandishing a 9mm pistol and demanding money from the proprietor. Fearing for her life and for the life of her customers, the owner of the establishment handed over approximately $200.00 in cash to the assailant. Satisfied with the proceeds, the robber made good his escape on one of the customer’s bicycle. CTV3 News understands that police are looking for one person for questioning.

Libertad Residents Attacked By Killer Bees
On April 16th, 2013 a four year old Mennonite boy from the community of Little Belize in the Corozal District lost his life after he was stung by Africanized bees. Enrique Thiessen and his five year old brother Pedro Thiessen were playing on an open lot located behind the family’s back yard when they were attacked by the bees. Both boys were stung multiple times on the face and head and while Pedro recuperated from the bee stings, Enrique did not survive the attack as he succumbed to the vicious stings moments after arriving at the Northern Medical Plaza. Tonight there is another bee attack to report, this time in the Village of Libertad in the Corozal District. Luckily, all of the seven victims stung by the killer bees, including a minor, managed to survive the attack and are presently recuperating at the Corozal Community Hospital. According to one of the victims, 37 year old Melisa Suazo, who spoke to us off camera, she was on her way to her cousin’s house at around 3:00pm yesterday when she was stung all over her body by the bees. Minutes later, Paul Morales Sr. and his son Paul Morales Jr. were attacked a couple feet away. In the process of assisting the victim’s, some residents of the village were also stung several times. We understand that two puppies were killed by the bee stings.

Sea Breeze Hotel Falls Victim To The Hands Of Robbers
The Sea Breeze Hotel located on 1st Avenue Corozal Town was burglarized on June 1st 2013. Owner of the hotel, 63 year old David Gyuan Lawrence reported to police that at about 11:00am on Saturday he returned to his hotel and upon entering the main door of the lobby he noticed a machete and a plastic jar where he use to keep his coins, thrown on the floor. As Lawrence checked the rest of the residence, he noticed that the burglar or burglars got into his room located on the second floor of the building and stole one Naval Binoculars valued at $300.00, one cell phone valued at $120.00, one cash box valued at $60.00 and containing $160.00 in cash, two jars containing a total of $75.00 in coins and one clock valued at $40.00. Total value of stolen items amounted to $755.00. Tonight police are looking for Austin Sutherland of San Andres Village in the Corozal District for questioning.

Jasmine Lowe Program In Need Of Financial Assistance
One year ago, a 13 year old student from the Cayo District went missing after she left her father’s house in Santa Elena town. A search led to the gruesome discovery of the decomposing body, 3 days after she was first reported missing, in the bushes near a farm on the Cristo Rey Road. Jasmine Lowe, a vibrant teenager, was very much involved in scouting activities and was preparing to participate in the Diamond Jubilee celebrations which were held in Belmopan at the time. Twenty-eight year old businessman, Bert Vasquez, who also goes by the name Bert Haylock, was charged with the single charge of murder following a series of allegations from other young girls in the area who claimed that they had been offered money by Vasquez for them to get inside his vehicle. This case drew the public’s attention and prompted many concerned citizens to take action by taking part in a number of peaceful demonstrations as Lowe’s alleged murderer was taken to court.

COLA Says Pablo Marin and His CEO Must Go
The Nation’s referral hospital is under fire tonight as no one has taken responsibility for the deaths of 13 newborns at hospital in the first 20 days of May. Seven of the babies died from the outbreak of a bacterium named “enterobacter cloacae” at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit while the other six died of prematurity and other related conditions. The topic has drawn much attention as little to no disclosure has been offered to parents of the 13 infants. Amidst the investigations that have been carried out, many organizations have weighed in on the issue, but there is one particular group that has been very vocal. Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action “COLA” issued a release on Wednesday May 10th 2013 where it called for the removable of the Minister of Health Pablo Marin and his CEO Peter Allen. And it seems that COLA is not backing down. In a press conference held yesterday, COLA agreed to hold a peaceful demonstration tomorrow in front of the KHMH in Belize City. Joining COLA tomorrow will be a number of other organizations including BelizeCan.

And The First Storm For The Season Is Named Andrea
The first tropical storm of what is predicted to be a busy 2013 Atlantic hurricane season formed over the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday. Tropical Storm Andrea formed in the eastern portion of the Gulf of Mexico and forecasters expect the storm to bring heavy rains to Florida before moving up the East Coast. The National Hurricane Center announced the development this afternoon, as it issued a tropical storm warning for Florida's western coast from Boca Grande to the Ochlockonee River. A tropical storm watch is in effect for the next two days for a broad area between Flagler Beach, Fla., and Surf City, N.C. The last issued report from the the Miami-based National Hurricane Center indicated that Tropical Storm Andrea was swirling over the east-central gulf, about 310 miles (500 km) southwest of Tampa, Florida and packing maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour (64 km), the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said.

Couple's fight Nearly Turns Deadly, One man Clings To Life
Fifty two year old Herman Oliva is tonight clinging to life at the Northern Regional Hospital after he was allegedly stabbed by his common-law-wife. Details into the incident are still sketchy but CTV3 News understands that yesterday at around 2:00pm, Oliva and his common-law-wife, Carmen Zetina, were drinking on 5th Avenue near the Income Tax Department in Corozal when they started arguing. Reports are that Zetina broke a pint bottle and stabbed Oliva on the lower side of the abdomen. The Belizean unemployed of Altamira Corozal, was rushed to the Corozal Community Hospital and later transferred to the NRH where he is presently admitted and being treated for internal bleeding. As for Carmen Zetina, she has been detained by Corozal Police pending investigations.


Several Residents Lean On Media To Urge Authorities on Bridge Repairs
Over the past weekend the skies opened up and the rains have been causing mobility problems in some areas. The Belama Phase IV area in Belize City is one of those areas and today the residents of that community called our News Centre to help them expose their problem. The people there say that the only two means of entering and exiting their area pose risks. The bridge that they built over crocodile infested water started to fall apart on Tuesday and crossing it has now become dangerous. Meanwhile, the street that runs parallel to the bridge is inundated and impassable to small vehicles. The residents are appealing to the relevant authorities to assist them. They say their situation is urgent because their children need to cross the bridge every day to go to school and they feel that bringing their plight to the media will help them see fast results. OLIVE MAE BENNETT Belama Resident “Yesterday the bridge broke down, I nearly fell down and I hurt myself. All the people in Belama are walking in the muddy water and every day I have to walk in water. I don’t know when they will fix the bridge.”

Man Found Guilty After Stabbing Another At A Bus Stop
Jaime Cardenas was today convicted by a nine member jury in the Supreme Court sitting in Orange Walk Town for the offence of dangerous harm. He was tried before Justice Herbert Lord for the May 29, 2009 stabbing of Rene Escarraga. Escarraga was stabbed in his upper abdomen at a bus stop in Orange Walk Town. Sentencing has been adjourned to June 27th. The Crown was represented by Crown Counsel Shanice Lovell and Sabita Maharaj and the accused was represented by attorney Richard Dickie Bradley.

Guatemalan Injured In Chiquibul Forest Reserve
Love News has confirmed that a Guatemalan was shot during an encounter with members of the Belize Defense Force. The incident happened in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve late on Monday evening and sketchy information that we have is that the victim, said to be a 21 year old man identified only as Sacasa at this time, is currently undergoing surgery at the Western Regional Hospital after he was taken there this afternoon. Details of where exactly in the Chiquibul reserve, the particulars of the victim and how the incident transpired are now under investigation.

Belize’s Former BHC Compensated
John Yapp- he is the former British Commissioner of Belize who was fired after he was accused of touching the bottom of a senior politician’s wife. The incident allegedly occurred in 2008 and Yapp had entered into a legal battle with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, FCO. Last month, the High Court ruled that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office was wrong to suspend him from his post as High Commissioner with immediate effect and today the judge approved an agreed order whereby Yapp will receive three hundred and twenty thousand pounds in damages. The FCO will also pay Yapp’s legal cost bills which totals to one hundred and fifty thousand pounds which have yet to be finally assessed and could be much greater than that. The court found that the sexual misconduct allegations to be baseless; however, for Yap, the accusation had destroyed his career.


CURRENT: Sexual Orientation Resolution raised at OAS Assembly in Guatemala
OAS meeting in Guatemala right now. Serious developments with a binding treaty being negotiated right now at the Organization of American States GA in Guatemala. some of the worse parts below. We need to get as many countries as possible to oppose this or to delete the many harmful provisions and references...

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...

PUP favours withdrawal of Gender Policy in current form after Opposition Leader meets with Church Leaders
Leader of the Opposition the Hon. Francis Fonseca and Deputy Party Leader of the PUP Hon. Julius Espat met this morning in the City of Belmopan with leaders of the wider Christian Community from within the Cayo District. The subject at hand; the controversial National Gender Policy of 2013. ...

Norwegian cruise line proposal denied
It’s a “No” to development on the island of Crawl Caye for cruise ship visitation. The Cabinet after meeting on Tuesday and listening to the report of its subcommittee on investment agreed to refuse Norwegian Cruise Lines permission to go ahead with their grand proposal for development on the...

Four charged for Murder and Attempted Robbery
Four persons were charged in Belmopan Magistrates Court this evening for Murder and Attempted Robbery of 43yr old Isabel Ballona. On Sunday June 2nd shortly after 12am, Belmopan Police visited La Choza Bar in West Belmopan where they found two male persons suffering from gunshot wounds. 43yr old ISABEL...

Family of floating dead cop suspect foul play
Last night, we told you about the discovery of a former cop who was found floating in the Belize River on Tuesday morning. 24 year old Maurice Duce, a resident of Belize City, was retrieved from near the Haulover Bridge later that afternoon, after which a post mortem examination...

Guatemalan national shot by Belizean patrol officer in the Chiquibul Forest
Guatemalan national 27 year old Edgar Alexander Sacasa was shot on Monday afternoon by a Belizean patrol officer in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. A team of patrol officers stumbled upon a plantation and a thatch structure in the Caballo camp area and while they were securing the area, Sacasa...

Doctors from Mexico assist KHMH investigation
Belize is getting some help from the international community after the unfortunate deaths of a dozen babies at the KHMH’s NICU. A Mexican physicians group is currently in the country collaborating with local authorities to produce a diagnosis on neonatal health. The Government of Belize, through the ministries of...

Mexico promotes increased trade with Belize
There is another initiative being carried out with Mexican counterparts, as a delegation of Mexican business persons are on a visit to Belize to promote trade and identify potential buyers and suppliers of various products and services. And today, the Mexican Delegation met with local government officials and representatives...

Football stadium not up to standard for CONCACAF games
Tonight, word coming out of the FFB is that the premier league of Belize Champion02, the Belmopan Bandits, will not be participating in the CONCACAF Champion league 2013-2014. This comes after CONCACAF’s stadium inspectors determined that the local stadium still does not meet the minimum standard requirements for the...

The Guardian

Why even Straight Men should welcome the Gender Policy
There are many men who feel threatened by the words “gender policy”. To them it conjures up a world where women will displace them as the top dogs. Instead of competing with only half of humanity, they have to compete with all of humanity. There are also many who feel threatened by any mention of gender equity, seeing it as part of a larger “homosexual agenda”. This irrational fear is partly explained by the well-documented association of homophobia with homosexual arousal in straight men (see article “Is Homophobia Associated With Homosexual Arousal” by Henry E. Adams, Ph.D., Lester Wright, Jr., Ph.D. and Bethany A. Lohr, University of Georgia, in Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Vol. 105, No. 3, pp 440-445.) In summary, studies indicate that all men are aroused to some degree by sexually explicit material of any kind. However, self- reported homophobic straight men show more arousal to homosexual material than self reported non-homophobic straight men. The implication is that the homophobia, described as the fear, anxiety, discomfort and aversion, that some straight men feel towards homosexuals is the result of repressed homosexual urges that the person is either unaware of or denies. In simple terms this means extreme homophobic attacks often stem from a man’s insecurity about his own sexual identity. Other less insecure men might feel a need to oppose homosexuality in order to clarify their own heterosexual identity. Yet, other men and women see homophobia as a means of publicising their attachment to religious and cultural traditions.

$67.9 Million for Cane Farmers - Sweet Sugar Season!
It has indeed been a sweet sugar season for cane farmers as Belize Sugar Industries Limited (BSI) is reporting that sugar production this year was at an all-time high. Cane farmers now stand to receive almost 70 million dollars from the sale of sugar in the international market. Original estimates had it that the price of sugar would have fetched $45 per ton and cane farmers received their first payment based on that estimate. That figure has now been updated and BSI is projecting that sugar will be sold at $63 dollars and potentially more. This translates to a massive windfall for cane farmers, who were expecting second payments, based on the original projection of $45. The payment structure for farmers is done in three payments with the first being 85% of the projected sugar price and is paid at the time of sugar cane delivery. The second payment which is 10% of what is owed to the farmers will come on the 25th of June. The third and final payment is made one month before the start of the crop.

Guatemalan Poachers pressure Wildlife in Chiquibul
The Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) has released its findings from research focusing on the effects of poaching on game species in the Chiquibul Forest. According to FCD, “Guatemalan xateros and poachers have been penetrating deeper and deeper into Belizean wilderness areas and they pose the highest threat to the population of species.” From the month of October 2012 to March 2013, a four-man team from FCD conducted its research along 12 transects, covering a total of 384 km, including the Caracol Archaeological Reserve. The aim of the study was to determine the diversity of terrestrial game species; calculate the relative abundance of each game species recorded and; evaluate the impact of illegal hunting on the relative abundance of targeted species. During the research, a total of 1,022 individuals of 24 different species were recorded where the most abundant species were squirrels, quash, collared peccary, crested guans, and keel-billed toucans. The study revealed that abundance of game species from the western border to the interior of the study area was even, meaning that more than likely, game species are targeted throughout the entire Chiquibul forest, and are impacted by poaching, independent of how far these are from the border. The research also concludes that hunters have been targeting large-bodied species, leading to a severe reduction on abundance of targeted species and have begun to target smaller individuals as well as non-traditional game species such as the keel-billed toucan.

Telethon to complete Inspiration Center - Work Well Underway
Belize’s Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis-Barrow, guided a tour of the Inspiration Center construction site on Tuesday, May 28th. The Inspiration Center is a rehabilitation facility that will provide therapy for children with disabilities from 0-16 years of age. Mrs. Barrow was accompanied on the tour by Evan Cowo, Director of CARE-Belize. CARE-Belize will manage the center upon completion. Services that will be offered at the center include physiotherapy, occupational and speech therapy and psychological care. According to Mrs. Barrow, there will also be recreation, sports, arts and culture, and disability awareness programmes at the center. She said that many of the services that will be offered at the center are not currently available in Belize so, the opening of the center will greatly benefit Belizeans living with special needs. Belize has ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the goal is to reach full inclusion of people with disabilities in our public institutions and activities. Cowo says that the Inspiration Center will be a place of reverse inclusion. Though it is primarily for children with special needs, “normal” children will be welcomed as well. The center will also serve as a community center with after-school programmes for children from surrounding communities. Cowo says that soon people may look at this practice as an effective model of inclusion. The center is located at 1 ½ Mile on the George Price Highway.

Paul Steven Martinez to stand Trial for Murder
On Friday, May 24th, 20-year-old Paul Martinez appeared in Magistrate's Court before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, who committed him to stand trial for the murder of 18- ear-old Raheem Smith who was killed on Thursday, July 19th, 2012. Martinez, who was unrepresented, chose not to challenge any of the police witnesses’ evidence they had against him. Instead, he told the court he wants the matter to be sent up to the Supreme Court for trial. With that, the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith told him that he will have to answer to the charge of murder in the next session of the Supreme Court scheduled for September 16th. Paul Martinez was accused of stabbing Raheem Smith, 18, on Thursday, July 19th, 2012, after they allegedly had an argument about a bicycle. A fight ensued in which Smith ended up punching Martinez to his face. According to witnesses, they saw Martinez leave the area and return with a long knife which he used to stab and kill Smith.

Second Attempt on the Life of Cayo Cop
Some quick moves and a similar proportion of good luck saved the life of a man in the Cayo District. 29-year-old Oswald Young was at his house in Unitedville Village in the Cayo District on Thursday of last week when seven shots were fired in his direction. Three bullets then pierced the mahogany door in front of him, in rapid succession. At the time, Young was in the living room sleeping in a sofa chair, facing the mahogany door on the east side of his house. Young was injured on the chin; he threw himself on the ground to avoid from being shot again. He then heard footsteps running down the stairs. As a result, Young was taken to the hospital where a slug was removed from his chin. Young’s house is a board structure and twelve feet off the ground. Young’s nephew was sleeping on the veranda of the house at the time and was able to recognize two people in the yard and the one person who was shooting at the building.

$500 Fine for breaking Surveillance Camera
On Tuesday, May 28th, Honduran national, Paula Franco was ordered to pay a fine of $500 for damaging a surveillance camera. Franco appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano where she wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the offense of damage to property for a $350.00 surveillance camera which was property of businessman, Carlos Mendoza. Franco was ordered to pay a $500 fine and $5 cost of court by November 31st, 2013. She was additionally ordered to pay compensation of $350 to Mendoza. In default, a distress order will be issued.

Gun bust at Lord Ridge Cemetery
On Tuesday, May 28th, 20-year-old Lindon Hinds, and a 17-year-old minor appeared before Magistrate's Court before Senior Magistrate Sharon to be charged with keeping an unlicensed firearm and ammunition. Before the charges were read however, the charges were dropped against the 17-year-old and Hinds alone was left to face the charge. In court, Hinds pleaded not guilty to both charges but due to the nature of the offences bail was not offered and he was remanded to prison until July 16th. According to police officers, they were on mobile patrol in the Lord Ridge Cemetery area when they saw two men inside the cemetery. When the officers were spotted, one of them men ran off and was seen throwing an object in the area. Police set chase after the fleeing suspect, who was caught and taken back to the area where he was seen throwing the object. A search of the area resulted in police officers finding a .38 Smith and Wesson firearm with no serial number, which was loaded with 6 live rounds.

Jamil Richardson succumbs to Gunshot Injuries
30-year-old Jamil Richardson died on Monday, May 27th, after a two-month long battle for his life. Richardson was one of two men shot by an unknown gunman on March 29th. According to a police report, Richardson was at #99 Vernon Street when a gunman approached them from Partridge Street Extension and opened fire. He was shot in both ankles and the left side of his upper back. He became paralyzed due to the gunshot injuries he received and was frequently visiting the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for treatment. His last visit was on Sunday, May 26th, when he went in complaining of pain. He succumbed to his injuries at 6:42 a.m. on Monday. Police have not made any arrest in the shooting. 25-year-old Dennis Molins was also shot at the time of the incident. He received a gunshot wound to his left leg. Police investigation into the murder of Richardson continues.

Man charged for Year Old Murder
On Friday, May 24th, police arrested and charged, 24-year-old John Lorencio Martinez, with the crime of murder. Martinez, who was unrepresented, appeared before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith where he was read a single charge of murder in the February 22nd, 2013 killing of Ernest Daniel Savery. No plea was taken and he was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until June 24th. On February 22nd, 2013, Ernest Savery was gunned down at around 10:00 in the night just a stone's throw away from his home. He was shot once to the stomach and was rushed to the KHMH where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

64-year pleads guilty to drug Trafficking
64-year-old Egbert August Usher, a resident of George Street, Belize City appeared in Magistrate's Court on Tuesday, May 28th where he was charged with drug trafficking. He was taken before Magistrate Dale Cayetano, where he was arraigned for having in his possession 121 grams of cannabis. He pleaded not guilty to drug trafficking but guilty to possession; however, he was told that the charge before the court was drug trafficking and not possession so his plea was rejected. He then pleaded guilty to drug trafficking.

Huge Turnout for Cancer Walk
Despite a bleak weather forecast, Belizeans turned out in record numbers to support the 2013 Cancer Walk. This year’s event was the biggest since its inception in 1996. The month of May is celebrated as Cancer Awareness Month and this year’s theme is “Cancer: Did You Know? Get The Facts.”

Ministry of Health advises Public on a Voluntary Recall of Supplement
The Ministry of Health announces 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 odour, lack of flavour, bad dissolution and the presence of particles among others. The US-based manufacturing facility of this product has extended the recall to Belize simply as a cautionary action. It is important to note that the company has emphasized to the Ministry of Health that there has been no evidence of any adverse effects or complaints relating to the use of this product.

Groups present Business Plans to Financial Institutions in Cayo
A well-thought out effort to get Belizeans to promote their business plan began Tuesday at the Rumors Resort Hotel at Mile 1 1/2 on the Benque Viejo Road. Brought together by the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) in cooperation with the Center for the Promotion of Micro and Small Enterprises in Central America and the Dominica Republic (CENPROMYPE) several business groups were able to make their business plans know to seek approval for implementation. Several financial institutions such as Atlantic Bank, Scotiabank and The Belize Bank were invited to Rumors to review the business plans set out by several aspiring groups. One such group was the Cayo West Women In Business whose range of jewelry originates from coconut shells and Guanacaste seeds. The Cayo West group is composed of some fifteen members and have come up with unique designs on seeds, marketing particularly to tourists at the entrance of the Western Border. Another group making their business plans known was the San Antonio Women’s Group. This organization produces some two hundred chickens every six weeks but cannot fulfill the demands for chicken from a large consuming market. The San Antonio Women’s Group seeks sustainability in their business model and to do so they would like to acquire poultry processing equipment.

Swearing-in of Members of the Elections and Boundaries Commission
A Swearing-in Ceremony was held this morning at Belize House, Belmopan, for members of the Elections and Boundaries Commission.

Public Complaints change Gender Policy
’s Commission launched the Revised National Gender Policy on Thursday, May 16th. The policy addresses the major challenges that are faced by women, men and children in Belize today. The five areas of focus are health, education and skills training, wealth and employment generation, violence reduction and power and decision making. Since the launch of the document, religious leaders of the country have raised issue with certain declarations in the policy. One of those controversial declarations was made in the section where the policy focuses on wealth and employment generation. Bullet 5 on Page 31 of the document says that Government is committed to “Amend existing legislation to legalize and regulate the sex work industry. Develop and implement alternative economic skills training programmes and other support services for men and women who wish to retire from sex work activities.”

Oceana gives Oil Companies Carte Blanche
On Tuesday, April 16th, Justice Oswell Legall issued an injunction against the Government of Belize that prevents it from carrying out the provisions of the Production Sharing Agreements with Island Oil, Miles Tropical Energy, Petrol Belize Company Limited, Princess Petroleum Belize Limited, Providence Energy Belize Limited and Sol Oil Belize Limited. Government had already terminated contracts with four of those companies; so, the injunction only affects Princess Petroleum Limited and Providence Energy Belize Limited, which have contracts that extend to October 2015. On Tuesday, May 28th, the Government of Belize applied for a stay of execution on the injunction at the Belize Supreme Court.

PUP losing more than ever
The dogs were out this weekend trying to maintain their stongholds in PUP territories but as much as they barked and bit, they were simply unsuccessful at retaining two of those village councils that they had held from time immemorial. The PUPs have been consistently been able to secure village council victories in Hattieville in Belize Rural Central for over 50 years and in San Felipe in Orange Walk South for decades.

First Leg of Ride across Belize complete
The Ride Across Belize had a successful first leg completed on Wednesday, May 29th. The ride took off from Corozal and made its way to Belize City arriving at around 12:15p.m. Over 100 riders participated in the first leg and the goal is to raise 60 thousand dollars for the Red Cross' soup kitchen and the Belize Hospice Care Foundation. On Thursday, the riders will make their way to Cayo, on Friday it goes to Dangriga and the last leg takes place on Saturday heading to Punta Gorda.

Conch Season closed
Minister of Fisheries Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Honorable Lisel Alamilla, declared the Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) season closed on Thursday May 23rd. The season was closed after the four registered and active fishermen cooperatives have filled their quotas for conch meat. The closure comes in accordance with Statutory Instrument 54 of 2012 which allows for the minister to close the conch season after quotas are met by the various cooperatives. While the season closure prohibits anyone from harvesting or capturing any conch, Restaurant operators and the general public are given an 8 day grace period ending on Friday May 31 during which conch in their possession should be consumed or disposed of. Any person found in possession of the Queen Conch after Friday May 31st will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Developments At Help Age Belize
During the last twelve months, Help Age Belize has been involved in a number of activities to improve the services rendered to the aged at its nine branches countrywide. Even with all the improvements, Help Age continues to be in need of assistance from the general community.

Above Normal Atlantic Hurricane Season predicted
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting an above normal Atlantic hurricane season for 2013 with the likelihood that the season could be very active. According to the organization, there is a 70 percent probability that there will be up to 20 named storms. Of those, between 7 to 11 are expected to become hurricanes with 3 to 6 of those being major storms.

Saint Martin’s Credit Union holds Annual General Meeting in Cayo
The Saint Martin’s Credit Union Limited SMCU held its sixty fourth Annual General Meeting on May 24th, 2013 at the Octavia Waight Center Auditorium in San Ignacio Town. Hundreds of SMCU members turned out to hear about the most recent developments at their cooperative and long-standing financial institution.

Louisiana Government School Girls and Faith Nazarene Boys are National Primary Schools Basketball Champions
The 2012-2013 National Primary Schools Basketball championships came to an end on Friday, May 24th, 2013, at the Bird’s Isle in Belize City. In the girls’ championship game, Louisiana Government School from Orange Walk Town representing the Orange Walk District defeated Holy Redeemer School representing the Belize District by the score of 22-13. The top scorer for Louisiana Government School was Yasel Sutherland with 8 points while the top scorer for Holy Redeemer School was Zaria Jenkins with 7 points. At the end of the championship, Yasel Sutherland of Louisiana Government School was named the championship’s Most Valuable Player.

UB Jaguars lead in Belize Rural Softball Competition
The 2013 Belize Rural Softball Competition continued on Sunday, May 26th, out in Butter Cup Village with four games on the schedule. In the first game played, Easy Does It defeated the host village Butter Cup Uprising by the score of 14-3. The winning pitcher was Margaret Hendy and the losing pitcher was Trecia Flores. In game two, Mel’s United edged Lord’s Bank Sunrise by the score of 13-10. The winning pitcher was Annett Morey and the losing pitcher was Alma Gabourel. In the third game of the day, Ladyville Rising Star defeated Arrows Reloaded by the score of 21-4. The winning pitcher was Sherett Williams and Christine Bracket was tagged with the loss. In the final game of the day, UB Jaguars won over Village Gyal by the score of 18-1. Herlette Clarke and the losing pitcher was Angie Smith. The competition will continue on Sunday, June 2nd, 2013 at 9:00 am in Ladyville. In the first game Lord’s Bank Sunrise will go against Ladyville Rising Star. In game two, UB Jaguars goes up against Arrows Reloaded. In game three, Mel’s United will see action against St. Paul’s and in the final game of the day, Easy Does It will go up against Village Gyal.

Camalote United maintains Lead in Miley Garcia Softball Competition
The Miley Garcia Softball Competition continued on Sunday, May 26th at the Las Flores Softball pitch in Belmopan. In the first game played, Camalote United blanked Esperanza Wolverines by the score 7-0. The winning pitcher was Francine Salazar and the losing pitcher was Shareeni Soberanis. In the second and final game, Belmopan Capital City Emeralds won its first game of the 2013 campaign when it defeated Las Flores Shooting Stars by the score of 18-13. Dana Mae King was the winning pitcher and the losing pitcher was Guadalupe Chicas. The Cayo Softball Association will be hosting its All Stars games on Sunday, June 2nd, 2013, out at the Denbeigh Fuller Softball Stadium in Camalote Village. The All Star Games will feature East against West.

Sports Consultants holding Public Discussions
The Caribbean Sport and Development Agency, the Trinidad and Tobago-based organisation that was hired by the National Sports Council to write the National Sports Policy, among other things, will be holding public discussions with sports fans and the public on what the Belizean populace would like for the National Sports Policy to be. The public discussions will continue on Wednesday, May 29th at the Belmopan Convention Hotel at 6:30 pm in the City of Belmopan; on Thursday, May 30th, at 6:30 pm at the Punta Gorda Sports Complex in Punta Gorda Town and then on Friday, May 31st, at 6:30 pm at the UWI Open Campus Auditorium on Princess Margaret Drive in Belize City. The National Sports Council is extending an invitation to the public to participate in the discussion process.

“The Jewel in the Heart of the Caribbean Basin” The Challenge: Let’ s Start Thinking Outside of the Box
Belizeans, if we really want to make our country, as the late Sefe (God bless) used to say on Radio Belize, “The Jewel in the Heart of the Caribbean Basin”, we need to start making some changes to what we do. Sefe used to say that every day and yet we remain a rhinestone in the Caribbean Basin. We urgently need to move from rhetoric to action or we will not become the Jewel we wish to be. There is no doubt that Belize has the natural resources to become a major economic player in the region. We have seen American, English, Canadian, and Caribbean strategic investors advantageously pursue Belize’s potential in all sectors. Until the recent nationalizations, we Belizeans have sat on the bleachers and allowed them to do so, at times assisted them to do so. We have seen the results; either the resources have been exhausted and what remains is of little value or the strategic investor has had his bellyful and moved on. Almost all the time the profits from our resources are siphoned outside of Belize and all we got was a job and the loss or degradation of the natural resource.

Son-in-law Behind Bars After Pulling a Gun at His Mother-in-law
On Monday May 29th, Herbert Charles, 30, appeared in Magistrate's court to answer to charges after he was accused of pulling a gun on his mother-in-law. 42-year-old Durrita Perteau, a resident of the Pickstock Hutment of Belize City, reported to police that on Saturday, May 26, she was assaulted by Charles, who she claimed pulled a gun on her. Charles, was arraigned on a single charge of aggravated assault with a firearm upon Perteau. He pleaded not guilty to the offense and was denied bail and remanded into custody at the Belize Central Prison until July 13.

“2nd Young Belizean Entrepreneur Wins Growing Up CEO Award”
For two consecutive years, Youth Business Trust Belize received a message stating, "Congratulations! One of your entrepreneurs has been selected for the 2009 Growing Up CEO Program!" Ricardo Gongora, a second year student at St. John’s College Junior College, was this year’s lucky recipient. As a winner, Ricardo was invited to a three-day Inner City 100 Summit May 19- 21, 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts. During the Summit, he was exposed to some of the fastest growing companies in America, and had the opportunity to develop relationships with Inner City 100 winners, gain access to world class business education and advice as well as getting to meet national business and civic leaders.

$600,000 donation from Project C.U.R.E. to KHMH
First Lady of Belize Kim Simplis-Barrow handed over 600 thousand dollars worth of medical equipment to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital’s management on Tuesday May 26, 2009. Simplis-Barrow says that the donation came after she approached Project C.U.R.E. with a list of needs from the KHMH. Being a member of the International First Ladies’ Club, last year she attended a luncheon during which she approached Project C.U.R.E. which is the world’s largest donor of medical equipment. The total donation adds up to a handsome two million dollar figure with the first donation of a 40 foot container coming to the KHMH. CEO at the KHMH Dr. Gary Longsworth explains that the bulk of the donation which includes a laparoscopic equipment and supplies which includes camera/video for all scopes. Also included in the donation are central percutaneous lines, casting supplies, stockinettes, web rolls, plaster, fiberglass, cast shoes, neurosurgery packs and supplies, and surgical power drills just to name a few.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Belize Postcards in Print, Digital or Wallpaper
There have been lots of pictures taken throughout the years of our country and the different scenery but can rarely find a good quality photo to use as a wallpaper or for print. Now you can purchase them here Demian Solano is a professional photographer and is the owner of Idea Lab Studios in Belize. Check out the website and keep a part of our beautiful country wherever you go.

“Meet the Candidates” forum set for June 12!
Wed. June 12, Caye Caulker Community Center


Hurricane season is here!!
Yes we are indeed right smack bang at the beginning of this 2013 Hurricane Season!! This title to this period of the year fills most tourists with terror to travel to our parts and therefore every other customers questions relate to weather!! Obviously for those persons who have saved their hard earned cash for the past year on a holiday in the Caribbean, sunshine is a must and we understand that. But this ‘hurricane season’ period often deters customers from traveling to Belize at this time of the year and this, due to many years of experience, I feel is harsh!! When you do your research as to the seasonality of Belize we are actually ‘sub tropical’ climate, tempered by trade winds. Our dry season has been calculated to be from February to May would be for those who require 100% guarantee of sunshine, to be the perfect time to be in Belize – however, dry weather is indicative of high winds which makes snorkeling and scuba diving tricky, never mind that picture perfect hairdo!!! For those of us who live on this tropical island year round, we would have to agree that at anytime of the year we can receive a ‘rainy patch’. These periods are merely a few days – they are generally a respite from the the sunshine, an opportunity to cool off and perhaps even enjoy your ‘skin blanket’ at night!! Rain, even if forecast otherwise, never lasts for more than three days in a row (and these instances are really narrowed down to perhaps two or three times a year - There is probably no scientific fact to prove this, but in our experience it is always the case). Days remain largely sunny, rainfall more often occurs during the night time period than the day and occasionally the morning or evening. PERFECT FOR TOURISM THROUGHOUT THE YEAR!!

CARIBBEAN GROWTH FORUM – Belize National Chapter, Launch Workshop

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Voted Bes Breed Glute a'loose
Accordin t'mah critics thishere is thar favert breed. It wuz a unanimyus vote. Mah oldest granddaughtr commented on hoe good it smelled and I offerd hern a slice t'aste and she sed, “Nanna, thishere is rilly good ! and I’m yer bes critic becawz I DO ett glute!” I’m nairy shure whut t'difference is n' thishere loaf, maybe it is t'cokunut earl as well as ingredient amounts tweeked jes rite. I have bee reedin about cokunut earl and t'wide range uf benefits it offers so I have bee a'trine t'incerporate it more into mah bakin'.

Amish Pickled Beets
Serves: 6 Chillin' Time: 8 hr Cookin Time: 1 hr 10 min Whut Y'all’ll Need: 10 fresh red beets 2 teespoons salt, divided 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup apple cidr vinegar 1 cup watr Whut T' Do: Cut t' leefy tops off t'beet stems, leevin 2 inches uf stem. N' a large saucepun, place beets n' enough watr t'covr. Add 1 teespoon salt and brang t'a bawl ovr medium-high heat. Reduce heat t'medium, covr, and cook 1 hour, er until fork-tendr.

International Sources

5 Things to Do in Belize Besides Diving
It’s no secret that Belize’s primary claim to tourist fame is its barrier reef, the second largest in the world after Australia’s, where abundant marine life attracts top divers and anglers from around the world. But over the past few years, it has become clear that the “Jewel” of Central America offers a whole lot more, particularly for those seeking inland adventure, history and culture. Non-divers shouldn’t dismiss Belize by any means.

1963: Nora Parham, the only woman hanged in Belize
Belize, B. Honduras, June 5. — Nora Parham, aged 36, the East Indian mother of eight sons, was hanged today for the murder of the man with whom she had been living. So ran a minute, page-10 wire story in the London Times* from the British Central American possession soon to become self-governing as the country of Belize. The unfortunate subject of the story was the first, and remains to date the only, woman put to death in Belize. But she’s very much more than a bit of trivia. A domestic violence victim hanged for murdering her batterer — who just happened to be a cop — Parham remains a lively source of controversy down to the present day. Nora’s position as the victim in an abusive marriage, combined with serious doubt about whether she truly killed her husband at all, have given her enduring appeal. There’s a going campaign to issue her a posthumous pardon. In fact, there was a going campaign before she died to issue her a humous pardon, opposed by a governing party paper on the grounds that “sympathy” ought not “change court rulings.”

Seaweed Farming Takes Off in Belize
An environmentally damaging fishing operation has been replaced with seaweed aquaculture in Belize. The move will ensure the health of the environment on which the country relies for its eco-tourism. “Belize is such a small country that everything is interdependent, and we all depend on the health of our pristine environment. So to see this fishing trawler converted from an environmentally destructive to an environmentally sustainable business is great news," Chaa Creek owner Lucy Fleming told Caribbean News Now. “It also seems to be a symbol of the direction Belize is moving in,” she added. Ms Fleming was referring to the recent hand-over of the “Northern II,” a former deep sea bottom trawler, by the international environmental organisation Oceana to the Placencia Producers Cooperative Society, to be used in a new seaweed farming venture.

To Belize and back again
Twenty-five-year-old Jonathan “Jay” Schulz has not set foot on U.S. soil in more than two years. He has given up his car, reliable Internet and air conditioning, and has missed several birthdays and weddings to live in Belize, where he works with special education children in several Methodist schools. Schulz is a member of the Peace Corps and has lived in a small village in Central America since March 2011. It is in the Toledo district of the country, which Schulz said is the southernmost and “poorest.” Between 800 and 1000 people live there. Schulz graduated from Milton High School in 2006 and from Carthage College in 2010, with a degree in special education/elementary education. Life for people in Belize is a mixed bag. Schulz said the population of around 330,000 is a cultural blend of Creole, Maya, East Indian, Mestizo, Garifuna, Mennonites and Asian. Some live in thatched houses without electricity or running water living from paycheck to paycheck. He said others live in “nice” houses with a roof, utilities and a television.

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

Mexico to review migratory flow
Mexican officials are preparing a program to sort the migratory flow along its southern border, which will involve working with the Guatemalan and Belizean governments, Interior Minister Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong said. “We do not know how many migrants from Central, South America and other continents enter our country,” he said. “We don’t know their destinations and don’t know what happens to them, so we cannot ensure their human rights. The government will focus on the border between Belize and the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, where crimes against migrants have become well-documented. Osorio Chong said the initiative, which will use the Navy to patrol the southern border, is “part of national security.” He also stressed it is imperative Mexico and neighboring nations work together. The National Human Rights Commission has documented nearly 20,000 migrant kidnappings in a year and a number of attacks ranging from robbery and extortion to rape and murder at the hands of criminal gangs.

June 5, 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 latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!!
Running – Part II:
A grown woman and three children seeking respite at night in a neighborhood where violence was rampant could have been the detriment of the little family that night. But there was always someone who would grudgingly open a door, letting everyone crash down on the floor, expecting them to be gone by morning’s first light. They walked through the dark, overgrown pathways around the place they had spent the last few weeks. She had almost made it past six months, but as always, there was a need to move on, find somewhere (someone) else.

The San Pedro Sun

BEL responds to concerns from Ambergris Caye customers
Residents on Ambergris Caye have been very vocal about the notable increase in their electrical bills for the month of April as compared to previous months. The increase has taken the residents by surprise since in some instances their bill doubled. According to the only electrical provider in Belize, The Belize Electricity Limited (BEL), they have received numerous complaints and have dispatched additional personnel to try and address the concerns.

Chelsea Muñoz crowned Miss SPHS 2013-2014
The R Angel Nuñez Auditorium was the arena for the vast multitude that came out for the annual Miss San Pedro High School pageant on Saturday, June 1st. At about 7PM, supporters gathered by the dozens carrying bright posters and creative banners, rooting for their choice of one of the eight lovely delegates that vied for a shot at becoming this year’s Miss. Miss SPHS. Opening the event with an introduction of the judges panel were hosts, Miss SPHS 2010 Solani Graniel, alongside Mr. Angel Nuñez. The judges that were tasked with selecting SPHS’s new queen were Marivel Gomez, Eiden Salazar Jr., Tatiana Rivero, Enrique De Leon, Marion Mejia and international guest judge Leslie Bodden. The show commenced with an opening dance whereby contestants Veronica Choc, Isolene Bailey, Amari Duncan, Janelle Tillet, Reyna Chavez, Vivianie Duran, Chelsea Muñoz, and Miriam Palacio, introduced themselves. Following the opening dance, talented duo Arlethe Lima and Ismael Kay presented an equally brilliant number.

Non-stop Saturday services between Los Angeles and Belize via Delta
“We are celebrating 15 years of Delta´s service in Central America, connecting local travelers with a growing number of places in the United States and other international destinations”, said Maria Fernanda Price, Regional Manager for Delta in Central America and the Caribbean. “Our new non-stop flight between Los Angeles and Belize City allows Belize’s travelers access to Delta’s global network, an enhanced travel experience, and demonstrates our commitment with Central America region”.

Antonia Guerrero celebrates 22 years of service at recompression chamber
Employed in 1992 to do the housekeeping for the Sub-Aquatic Safety Service (SSS)recompression/hyperbaric chamber, Antonia Guerrero’s strong will, determination and hard work have elevated her to become a Dive Medical Technician and Manager. 2013 marks her 22nd year at the establishment, a feat worthy of celebrating indeed. Antonia always felt a strong inclination towards the machinery and the daily operations of the chamber. Antonia kept asking questions and receiving answers, and in no time, she was assisting with the documents, answering the telephone and giving out information.Her persevering personality led her to earn her Divers Alert Network (DAN) Oxygen Provider Certificate from Duke University in North Carolina, USA in 1994, qualifying her in oxygen first aid. She also obtained training in Dive Medicine and Hyperbaric Chamber Operation. Antonia was finally in a position to do what she loves; working at the chamber.

Ambergris Today

BEL Investigates Customer Concerns Over Spike in Electricity Bills in San Pedro
In a press release sent out on Monday, June 3, 2013, Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) confirms that it has received a number of customer complaints about high electricity bills over the past month. BEL explains that the company is keen on ensuring it serves customers to high standards in every respect and that it is taking immediate action to carry out related investigations. After residents of Ambergris Caye received their latest electricity bills over the past couple weeks, more than 90% of residents that Ambergris Today has interviewed have expressed concerns of their utility bill increasing more than 50% and even 100% in some cases. BEL confirms that there has not been a rate increase since January of this year and many people are pointing fingers to brownout that have been occurring lately and even human error from recently employed meter readers.

World No Tobacco Day 2013 Commemorated
The National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC) and the Ministry of Health in conjunction with supporting national and international health partners celebrated World No Tobacco Day on Friday, May 31, 2013. This year it was celebrated under the theme, “Ban Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship.” To commemorate the day, the NDACC conducted public education and awareness activities across the country that will highlight the harmful effects of tobacco, second-hand smoking and also share information on smoking intervention program. The NDACC offices across the country - San Pedro Town, Dangriga, Punta Gorda, San Ignacio and Corozal all had informational booths. During this year’s activities, the NDACC will also have an opportunity to survey participants in the areas of smoking and the types of events where smoking is practiced in an effort to build support in the area of policy development and the creation of smoke free spaces.

Delta Announces New Saturday Non-stop Service between Los Angeles and Belize
Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) announced today its new Saturday non-stop flight between Los Angeles and Belize City, starting on December 21,2013. The route will be operating using a 160-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft. “We are celebrating 15 years of Delta´s service in Central America, connecting local travelers with a growing number of places in the United States and other international destinations”, said Maria Fernanda Price, Regional Manager for Delta in Central America and the Caribbean. “Our new non-stop flight between Los Angeles and Belize City allows Belize’s travelers access to Delta’s global network, an enhanced travel experience, and demonstrates our commitment with Central America region”. Customers will enjoy the benefits of the $229 million expansion and enhancement of Terminal 5 at Los Angeles International Airport, the construction project has already begun and is scheduled to take place in several phases with full completion in 2015.

San Pedro High School Class of 2003 Celebrates 10 Year Reunion
It was a night of glamour, great ambience and excellent people at El Divino Restaurant and Lounge. San Pedro High School Class of 2003 gathered to celebrate their ten year reunion. Toasts were exchanged at dinner followed by an unforgettable after party with Bumsquad's DJ DZl burning up the night with some great tunes. Congrats to the Class of 2003 on their Reunion Night!

Misc Belizean Sources

Belizeans should be allowed to vote and be given all the rights of full citizenship
When Belize became an independent country on September 21, 1981, all citizens of Belize who were not living in Belize lost their citizenship under the People's United Party. The late Philip Goldson was angry over it and vowed that, if the United Democratic Party was to become the new government of Belize, he was going to do everything in his power to restore their citizenship as natural born Belizeans. Philip Goldson saw a country that had a majority black population with English-speaking Belizeans, moving to become a majority Mestizo country with Spanish-speaking people from the neighbouring countries of Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico, while the majority of black people, mainly Garifuna, Creoles and East Indians, were migrating to the United States. This was George Price's biggest dream because he felt that, as a Mestizo, the more his people were allowed to come and live in Belize, the longer the People's United Party was going to retain power and control over our country. When the civil war started in El Salvador, George Price offered to accept thousands of Salvadorians into Belize and established a village for them in the Belmopan area called Salvapan under the stewardship of Ducho Thomas.

SPTC to acquire Parham Property Downtown?
The San Pedro Town Council along with Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism and Culture and Central Government are working on acquiring the lot between the Alijua Building and Jaguar's Temple Nite Club currently owned by the Parhams. The San Pedro Town Council hopes to have the community's full support in the acquisition of the lot which will be of great use for San Pedro Town. Another great news is the paving of Manta Ray Street (where the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Poly Clinic is.) The San Pedro Town Council hopes to have the community's full support in the acquisition of the lot which will be of great use for San Pedro Town. San Pedro Town Council

Sir Barry Bowen Bridge will open on Friday...
Rumor has it that the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge will open on Friday... Well...It's not a rumor! The Sir Barry Bowen Bridge will open on Friday, June 7, 2013 at 6:00 AM. San Pedro Town Council

BNE Wins Getenergy Award
Belize Natural Energy Won the Getenergy award for their 'Learning to the Core' video. BNE values education, and puts a lot into education their employees. If Belize really took down the Getenergy website due to all the voting, that's impressive. Congratulations, BNE! "It's official! With your help, BNE has won the GetEnergy Training Award: Learning at the Core... We were told that our support brought down the GetEnergy website! Thank you!"

SHC Auditorium Inauguration
The Sacred Heart College auditorium has its inauguration tonight at 7:00pm, and everyone is invited for this landmark, long awaited event. There will be refreshments. "They worked day and night to finish the Sacred Heart College auditorium in time for the 6th form graduation. It's huge, 200 feet by 100 feet, and will serve many functions for the Cayo community."

Belize's Central Wildlife Corridor
Thousands of people are admiring the beautiful billboard located along the Western Highway which broadcasts the Wildlife Corridor of Central Belize. The stunning photo of the margay cat, a resident of these important lands, was taken by photographer Carol Farneti-Foster. Carol, along with her photo assistant at times, niece Aleacia Jensen, kindly agreed to be a part of this photograph. Both are big fans of the Corridor concept and of course, they love one of the special places found within the Wildlife Corridor, The Belize Zoo!

Channel 7

Chiquibul Shooting Puts Belizean Diplomats In A Precarious Position In Guatemala
At this hour Belize’s Foreign Minister and The Belizean Ambassador to Guatemala are in Antigua Guatemala at the Inaugural Session of the 43rd General Assembly of the OAS. But they’re on what you might call a weak wicket. That’s because they’ve been making the rounds trying to get support for the 2014 Referendum and to maintain the confidence building measures, but today, they had some explaining to do. That’s because Belizean armed Forces shot another Guatemalan in the Chiquibul. It happened yesterday when the armed forced encountered a Guatemalan reportedly two miles within Belize. We don’t know what happened events led to it, but the event – while always controversial, comes at a particularly bad time. Our 7news team is in Antigua Guatemala and today we spoke to the Foreign Minister about the event and the fallout:… Hon. Wilfred Elrington - Minister of Foreign Affairs "I was briefed on it yesterday when I left. The most recent information I have is that the victim has been taken to the hospital in Belmopan, the injury that he sustained was to his abdomen and that he's getting medical treatment. I am told that he had to sleep in the bush last night but the soldiers took him by foot out of the jungle and he was transported to the hospital where he is now receiving treatment." Jules Vasquez "Much has been said in previous meetings that we would change the rules of engagement on the border - apparently it's easy to say it but it's hard to effect it on the real time on the ground and rugged landscape."

Team Santinos Boss Injured In Morning Spill
And Jules Vasquez will have much more from that OAS meeting in Antigua, Guatemala later on, but first….Minister of State and veteran cyclist Santiago “Santino” Castillo had a terrible spill on the road today and it has left him seriously injured. Castillo was performing a routine cycling workout this morning where he was with a peloton of about 20 riders. They were on their way back from Hattieville when Castillo’s front wheel touched a rider ahead of him causing him to lose control. It is part of the ride where the cyclists do a moderate sprint, so he was traveling at a higher than normal pace. He went down and broke his left clavicle, fingers on one his hands, and a rib which reportedly may have punctured his lung. He was rushed to the hospital where he needed surgery due to the rib, and it is expected that he will continue to receive medical treatment for at least the next 3 days.

Former PC Found Dead In The Belize River
Exactly one week after Ellis Dawson was found dead in the Belize Rover near Henderson Bank in Burrell Boom, today another male body was found in the Belize River. And so, tonight, the family of 24 year-old Maurice Duce is finishing up funeral arrangements for him after his body was retrieved this afternoon. A post-mortem has been conducted which rules cause of death as a consequence of drowning, but his family doesn’t believe that this is correct. We’ll have their response, but first, Daniel Ortiz has been on the story since morning, and here’s what he’s been able to find out: Daniel Ortiz reporting The news that a body was in the Belize River went out as early as a few minutes before 9 this morning. Apparently, it was spotted in section of the river where Raul’s Rose Garden overlooks.

Police Recover Guns Used In La Choza Robbery/Murder
Belmopan police have made a major breakthrough in their investigation into the murder of Isabel Antonio Ballona who was shot and killed when 4 men robbed the business, La Choza Bar, on Sunday morning where he was socializing. 7news have confirmed that police have recovered a 38 revolver, and a sawed off shotgun, along with a fake 9 millimeter pistol. With that, they plan to charge one of the persons who were detained – as he is allegedly the mastermind. As we reported, police caught three teenagers after they recovered the vehicle they used to escape from the robbery. Police say that they located it in the Belmopan area, and one of the teens was caught as he tried to flee the area. This individual led to the detention of 2 others and the recovery of majority of the items they stole from the bar.

Cayo’s Most Wanted Caught
In Mid-April, San Ignacio police sent out a notice that Jarod Arthors Lamb known as Steel Bob was wanted. Well, today after six weeks on the run he was caught in Teakettle Village. Police say he is wanted for Aggravated Burglary and Robbery. He and Marvin Neal were accused of a brutal home invasion, assault and armed robbery at Rumours resort earlier this week.

7News Inside 43rd Annual OAS General Assembly
As we told you at the top of the newscast, Belize’s Diplomats are in kind of an uneasy position at the OAS General Assembly in Antigua Guatemala – after Belizean Security forces shot a Guatemalan civilian in the Chiquibul Forest the day before the meeting started, That has created some tension, but really, much of it is lost within the wider picture fo the General Assembly which is a like a tremendous machine with literally dozens of discussions, dialogues, conversations, conferences, side meetings, and bi-lateral meetings. Jules Vasquez is there and he drilled down to find out what’s really at the top of the agenda. Jules Vasquez reporting The historic city of Antigua, Guatemala is the setting for the 43rd General Assembly of the OAS. There are over a thousand delegates from 35 countries here in this ancient city ringed in by mountains, but this morning at dawn it was business as usual in one of the oldest cities in the Americas. The Assembly didn’t make the headlines, but it was plastered on every lamp-post. Most of the business happens here at the Hotel Casa Santo Domingo in the Salon Mayor, a massive room where hundreds gather for various meetings all throughout the day, this one with civil society leaders. The main issue under discussion this year this year is re-thinking the approach to drug trafficking in the hemisphere.

Belize/Guatemala Relations Not On Agenda
And while Belize’s diplomats are in Guatemala at an OAS event, there are no meetings on the agenda to discuss Belize- Guatemala relations and the way forward. As Belize’s ambassador to Guatemala explains, there’s just no time for it in the hectic General Assembly schedule. H.E Fred Martinez - Belize's Ambassador to Guatemala "Within the context of the General Assembly there will not be a bi-lateral between the two ministers. I think the agenda is so crazy that to sit down to dedicate enough time, two - three hours by both foreign ministers is going to be practically impossible. I must mention that there was bi-lateral meeting at the technical level which always occurs, the highly working group met regularly. It met last week to look at the office of the OAS at the border, what Guatemala refers to as the adjacency zone, to look at measures of cooperation and specifically we brought up the issue of the de-forestation problem. The fact that Belize will go to an all out campaign to internationalize the cause and to focus attention of the international community of what is happening along our border line by the population pressures of Peten. It is a serious problem, it isn't a problem of deforestation of people cutting down and doing illegal logging, it is a matter of the whole water shed that deals with the rivers that flow into Peten and into Belize that provides the vital fluid for all of us. So it's from that point of view that we are approaching it and also the tension that it creates between the two countries when we have these incidents."

More Talks On Confidence Building Measures
And extending on that discussion about the still verdant Chiquibul Forest in Belize and the largely denuded Peten region of Guatemala – the bi-national working group is trying to embark on a new round of confidence building measures, the kind that will foster organic relationships between Belize and Guatemala – the kind of relationships that neighbors should have naturally. Ambassador Martinez explained. H.E. Fred Martinez - Belize's Ambassafor to Guatemala "But we also discussed means about going forward with the confidence building measures between the countries, we spoke about visits from parliamentarian from Belize to visit Guatemala and vice versa - visits of the media, exchange of the media from one side of the media of Belize or Guatemala and vice versa. Also how to strengthen the trade agreement that exists between Belize and Guatemala. So far it's been going extremely well, we feel it can do even more and we need to expand it." And even as there are new proposals for confidence building measures, our team in Antigua is picking up information which suggests that the international community – which sponsors those initiatives and the OAS Adjacency Office – may be losing patience with Guatemala – and may be looking at pulling funding for those programmes. We’re following that story and hope to have more on it for you tomorrow.

Belize Burning Bridges With The International Community?
And while those international sponsors may be losing confidence, there was a suggestion today that CARICOM may be losing confidence in Belize as the bridge between Central America and the Caribbean. That’s after the OAS in concert with Guatemala’s Minister of Economy hosted a meeting between Caribbean and Central American Business Leaders - and Belize wasn’t there! This morning, when the information came out, no one was quite sure if this country had been invited, and didn’t show, or, if no invitation was sent. Here’s what Ambassador Martinez told us this morning H.E. Fred Martinez - Belize Ambassdor to Guatemala "We were not advised of any Belizean delegation arriving or not arriving so I don't know but I do know some CARICOM countries - I think Trinidad and Jamaica is sending some of their business men to dialogue with the Central Americans. But it was just a forum outside of the General Assembly not organized by the OAS." Jules Vasquez "Is that an affront to our supposed pride of place as the bridge between Central America and the Caribbean?" H.E. Fred Martinez "No we knew of it when it happened. None of our embassies were informed." Jules Vasquez "Yes but of the fact that you not being informed is an indication that we are being surpassed for what has traditionally been our recognized role?"

COLA To KHMH: Heads Must Roll Or Else…
Last week, 7News showed you the fiery press release in which the watchdog organization, COLA, condemned the lack of answers provided in the second press conference held by the KHMH. According to them, it’s been more than a month, and the Administration has not provided any meaningful answers to the public about the mass deaths of 12 of its patients from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Well, today, they held their own press conference, and Daniel Ortiz attended. He found out that the rhetoric was dialed up high on behalf of those grieving families. Geovanni Brackett - President, COLA "This is a medical disaster and it is being treated it as an incident, in our view. More needs to be done before one dime is given to KHMH for new NICU/PICU. We need to hear extensively from the CEO, what they will do to make sure something like this never occurs again."

Imer Hernandez Awarded Airstrip Contract
Two weeks after the scandal in Orange Walk broke where Imer Hernandez was supposedly paid just under $200,000 for works which he did not do on the San Antonio Road, he is back in the news tonight. That’s after 7News confirmed that he was awarded the 6 million dollar contract to upgrade the Belize City Municipal Airstrip. Viewers may remember that in December 2012, the Ministry of Works opened up bids to the public. Well, after a competitive bidding process, Hernandez was awarded the contract. And if you’re wondering if that scandal has shaken the faith of the authorities in charge of the airstrip, we were too. We contacted, the General Manager of the Belize Airports Authority, Kenworth Tillett, who told us that from his information, Hernandez presented the best deal to the vetting committee.

Former BHC Yapp Wins Compensation
Former British High Commissioner to Belize John Yapp will be paid 320,000 pounds; that’s what a British High Court Judge has ruled that he deserves after he was unfairly suspended from his post in 2008. As we reported, the judge ruled that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office had no grounds to discipline him for reports that he acted inappropriately - specifically that he’d touched a woman’s behind at a cocktail party. The judge heard the case to completion where he tested all the evidence presented against Yapp, and in the end, he found that they were baseless. As a result, the court has ordered that he must be paid 320,000 pounds in compensation.

NEMO: Keeping the Public Most Informed
Brace yourselves, because, once again, the experts say we're going to see an above average number of storms this hurricane season. The season opened over the weekend on June 1st and hurricane researchers in the United States are saying that 2013 could set the stage for stronger storms than were seen in 2012. And while we can expect some major storms to form in the warm water across the Atlantic and Caribbean – the National Emergency Management Organization, NEMO is taking no chances when it comes to being fully prepared. NEMO begins to take an active role in monitoring the development of tropical storms and hurricanes while leading in informing and mobilizing the nation with their disaster preparedness plans. Just last week ago, a press conference was held where NEMO Minister Godwin Hulse gave a presentation outlining the tough policy that his ministry will be operating by for 2013. Today another press briefing was held and this one focused on the important roll the media plays in disseminating accurate information on time during an emergency.

Channel 5

Ex-cop drowns in river
The body of an ex-cop was pulled out of the Belize River before noon today. It was spotted floating hours earlier and was finally retrieved in the area of the [...]

COLA and parents of dead babies want answers
Thirteen newborn infants died in the neonatal intensive care unit of the K.H.M.H. in the first twenty days of May. Officials say seven can be blamed on an organism known [...]

Parent questions why she wasn’t invited to media press conference
Following the deaths of the newborns, K.H.M.H. authorities held only one group meeting with the parents involved. That meeting was held an hour before the press conference on May thirtieth. [...]

Parents say they will insist on court action following deaths of newborns
So what’s next for the parents who lost children to the bacteria at the neonatal intensive care unit? The ones we spoke to are planning to pursue legal action, especially [...]

NCL project on Crawl Caye rejected by Cabinet
It is not officially confirmed, but News Five has learnt that in its meeting today, Cabinet supported the recommendation of the five-member subcommittee on the Norwegian Cruise Line’s one hundred [...]

Should there be an independent investigation on 13 newborn deaths?
And tonight’s question is: Do you believe that an independent investigation other than internal inquiry should be carried into the deaths of thirteen babies at the K.H.M.H? Yes or No? [...]

Minister of State Santino injured in cycling accident
Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s office, Santi Castillo, was involved in a cycling accident on the Western Highway this morning. Throughout the day, a battery of tests was [...]

Guatemalan shot inside Chiquibul
We will have a report on the opening of the O.A.S. General Assembly taking place at this time in Antigua, Guatemala. The Belize delegation is led by Minister of Foreign [...]

Belize absent from CARICOM/SICA meeting in Antigua, Guatemala
The forty-third General Assembly of the Organization of American States takes place this evening in Antigua, Guatemala.  Our team is on the ground and we will have full coverage on [...]

Ambassador says Belize was invited to pre O.A.S. General Assembly meeting
Belize’s Ambassador to the United States and to the O.A.S., Nestor Mendez, spoke to the media in Antigua, Guatemala late this evening. Mendez told the reporters covering the General Assembly [...]

No charges yet for Grijalva for devastation of Noh Mul
It has been almost one month since the Mayan monument Noh Mul in northern Orange Walk was destroyed without any charges levied against the culprits. The trucks and heavy equipment [...]

Legally blind man denied bail for money laundering conviction
In late July of 2012, two members of the Coye Family along with two of their employees were convicted of money laundering under the Money Laundering and Terrorism Act. While [...]

Former British High Commissioner Yapps his way to the bank
A month after a London court found that the Foreign Commonwealth Officer was wrong to suspend  former High Commissioner to Belize, John Yapp, of inappropriate behavior, the sum of money [...]

End of an era; SJC extension closes its doors
St. John’s College Extension Department, after fifty-six years of service to Belize, has closed its doors permanently.  It was announced in February 2011, under the presidency of Frank Garbutt, that [...]

B.N.E. wins the 2013 Getenergy Global Education and Training in Exploration Award
While oil companies across the country continue their quest for black gold, Belize Natural Energy Ltd., the first to strike and mine oil in commercial quantity, has won the 2013 [...]

NEMO briefs media on hurricane dissemination of information plan
The annual hurricane season which commenced on Saturday has seen the National Emergency Management Organization working diligently to tie up loose ends in the event of a natural disaster.  Last [...]

Mixed Martial Arts win for House of Shotokan
The House of Shotokan recently had a eight man fight inside the auditorium at the Belize Elementary School grounds. The karate team has just returned from Chetumal, Quintana Roo where [...]


Senior Citizen's Second Application for Bail Denied
An application for bail by 62 year old Michael Coye, who has appealed his sentence and conviction for money laundering, was dismissed today by Appeal Court judge, Justice Samuel Awich. Justice Awich said that he will give his reasons in writing. The bail application was heard on Thursday, May 30....

Man Begs Pardon From Victim After Assaulting Him With A Machete
A man’s arm was almost amputated this morning after he was attacked with a machete in the village of San Luis in the Orange Walk District. The man, 44-year-old, Juan Luis Pott was attacked by someone he knows around eight o’clock this morning while he hitched a ride to his farm....

Belize Natural Energy Captures International Award
Over the weekend Love News told you that the Belize Natural Energy Limited, BNE, had been shortlisted for the Get Energy Global Education Training in Exploration Awards specifically in the “Learning at the Core” category for their Adult Education program. Tonight there is good news as...

UNIBAM Issues Press Release On Recent Statements By Various Leaders
The United Belize Advocacy Movement, UNIBAM has issued a press release in which it applauds statements of support for diversity recently shared by various leaders. In the release, UNIBAM acknowledges statements made by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition on support for diver...


Dead Body Of Male Person Found In Corozal
Tonight the Corozal Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the dead body of male person known to be between the ages of 50 to 60 years old. The individual was found dead on June 2nd 2013, on 2nd Street South in Corozal Town. The body is presently at the Orange Walk Morgue awaiting a post mortem examination. The only thing known about the deceased is that he was often referred to as Swasey or Alexander and he was not from the Corozal District.

The Race To Become One Of The Eight Wonders Of The World
One of Belize’s wonder’s, the Great Blue Hole, is said to be more than 1000 feet in diameter and 412 feet deep. Located 43 miles off the coast of Belize, the Great Blue Hole has been included among more than 300 destinations from which votes are being casted for it to be labeled the “8th Wonder of the World.” According to the Belize Tourism Board, Belize stands to gain an audience of over 2.6 million viewers. A win that would give the country major publicity by being featured in this international contest being undertaken through Trip Advisor’s partner site, ‘Virtual Tourist’, in collaboration with the American Television Show, Extra. The winner will be featured in a national broadcast TV segment on a popular syndicated program, as well as receive a massive media relations campaign push from Virtual Tourist.

Mayor Bernard Tells Imer Hernandez "Show Me The Proof"
On Friday the Deputy Prime Minister of Belize and Orange Walk North Area Representative Honorable Gaspar Vega, shied away from the media refusing to answer questions posed to him particularly referring to the refurbishing of San Antonio Road and the destruction of Noh Mul. But despite the DPM’s refusal to speak on both issues, the stories are much alive in the media. If we talk about the rehabilitation of San Antonio Road, the Prime Minister has stated that the contract awarded to Imer Hernandez Development Company was cancelled and instead, the close to two hundred thousand dollars paid out to the company, owned by the DPM’s nephew, Imer Hernandez, was for works executed in the Otro Benque Area and not for San Antonio Road as these documents show. While the question as to why payments were made under the San Antonio Road Project when the contract was cancelled may never be answered, Hernandez is not off the hook just yet. He still needs to answer for the $50,000 partial payment he received from the Orange Walk Town Council back in 2012 for works to be conducted on San Antonio Road. As mentioned on Friday, Hernandez admits receiving payment from the council but at the same time has made it clear that he has proof of all the work he did in the area under the contract. Since Hernandez claims to have proof, the council wants him to produce them or else….well, its best to hear it from the Mayor himself.

BNTU Rejects Gender Policy 2013
On May 16th 2013 the Women’s Commission of Belize launched the revised Gender Policy 2013. The policy is a follow up to a situation analysis specifying actions or commitments that address issues of gender inequality. But while the commitment of equality sounds good, the 50 page document also speaks about gender identity. In March, Cabinet, with the blessing of the Women’s Commission, approved the removal of one particular section of the policy which stated “Amend existing legislation to legalize and regulate the sex work industry.” And then on May 28th, members of Cabinet themselves, made another amendment to the policy this time to the paragraph entitled “Respect for Diversity”. The section stated 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.

Praying Pelican Missions, Assisting Those In Need
Praying Pelican Missions is a short- term international mission’s organization serving the needs of indigenous local churches, pastors, and communities around the world. Praying Pelican Missions was established back in 2003 with the vision to literally impact the entire world. Over the course of the years many of the groups have visited Belize offering different types of services, including dentistry, to members of the communities they visit. Here in the North we have had the privilege of hosting several members of Praying Pelican Missions and yesterday a group of 27 missionaries, in conjunction with the New Jerusalem Nazarene Church, visited the Nazarene School in Corozal Town. According to Youth Pastor Donny Butkus, the group visited the school not only to have fun, but to share the word God.

BNE Wins International Award
The Belize Natural Energy Limited, BNE, was shortlisted for the Get Energy Global Education Training in Exploration Awards specifically in the “Learning at the Core” category for their Adult Education program. Tonight the good news is that the company won the category which recognizes the significant and sustainable quality of work in which BNE has been engaged and its benefit to the wider oil and gas energy industry over the past year.

43rd OAS Meeting Get's Under-way In Guatemala
Heads of State and foreign ministers from across the Western Hemisphere arrived in Antigua Guatemala today for the 43rd general assembly of the Organization of American States. The three day regional meeting is expected to sit more than 1000 officials from 36 international delegations and 28 foreign ministers including Belize’s Foreign Minister, Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington. The primary focus of the assembly is to discuss effective solutions to the world drug problem and ways to devise a comprehensive and integral approach to tackle this issue in the Americas. The topic of combating drug trafficking in the region was discussed at the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia which was held last year in which the Secretary General of the OAS was tasked to produce a report with a proposal of alternative strategies to combat drugs and weapons that transit the region. According to Guatemalan Foreign Affairs Minister Fernando Carrera, consensus already exists among member states that the final declaration should include changes to the current anti-drug policy in the hemisphere. "We already have some ideas on how to change drug-fighting policies,” he said. On Monday, dozens of human rights organizations signed a letter asking leaders “to discuss and rethink the existing initiatives with a view to place human rights at the center of the debate." The technical team has been meeting in advance so that when the assembly gathers, the ministers will be making their contributions to the debate.

DEMO Orange Walk Revises Hurricane Preparedness Plan
DEMO Orange Walk Revises Hurricane Preparedness Plan The hurricane season was officially declared opened on Saturday June 1st with 21 named storms of which nine are expected to become hurricanes with 4 being major storms between categories 3 to 5. With this year promising to be an active season, Belizeans across the country are making preparations should any system develop. But even though Belize is constantly saved from the wrath of Mother Nature, flooding is a disaster that affects many people especially those living in the low lying areas. With this in mind the Orange Walk District Emergency Management Organization prepares every year for the hurricane season ensuring that hurricane shelters are available and that there are public officers willing to assist should there be a storm. Zuleima Celiz, O/W District Coordinator NEMO “Well, I can say NEMO Orange Walk is prepared, we have been meeting with the different committees and right now we are waiting for all the chairman’s to take their position after June we will be meeting with them and getting them ready and so far I have been meeting with the ones that have been elected and we are standing off good.”


Elderly Diabetic Prisoner Applies and Denied Bail Again
An application for bail by 62 year old Michael Coye, who has appealed his sentence and conviction for money laundering, was dismissed today by Appeal Court judge, Justice Samuel Awich. Justice Awich said that he will give his reasons in writing. The bail application was heard on Thursday, May 30. Coye was represented by Attorney Bryan Neal. The Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lyn Vidal, represented the respondent. Coye had applied for bail on the ground that he is a diabetic and the condition at Belize Central Prison is not conducive to his health. It was the second time an application by him for bail was dismissed. About 10 months ago, Coye was found guilty of money laundering for over 1.5 million, Belize currency and he was sentenced to three years and fined $25,000.00. His daughter, Melonie Coye, was also found guilty of money laundering. She was sentenced to three years and she was fined $50,000.00.

Hitchhiker Attacked With Machete
A man’s arm was almost amputated this morning after he was attacked with a machete in the village of San Luis in the Orange Walk District. The man, 44-year-old, Juan Luis Pott was attacked by someone he knows around eight o’clock this morning while he hitched a ride to his farm. He was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital suffering from chop wounds and Love News met with his sister who told us what he explained happened. MATILDE MORALEZ, Sister of Chopping Victim (Translated from Spanish to English) (Well he told me he got a ride, in the morning while going to work. He says that when he got in the pickup, he didn’t expect to be chopped with a machete. He said that when he felt the man just got up and threw a blow at him with the machete; he gave him one sharp blow and he felt like his arm fell. He says he was shouting and asking for help to see if the driver would help him; he hung to the pan of the pickup and the man wanted to chop him again to kill him and he was saying why? why? You’re going to kill me! Then he stabbed him with the machete on his ribs and then he remained hanging on and the driver stopped because he was being slammed. Later on when they came to look for me, I got frightened, my brother got frightened because they took my injured brother home. The same man that was giving him the ride took him home because he asked him, please and so when they were coming, the man who attacked him told him “please don’t report me, don’t say anything because I didn’t mean to do it”.)


CURRENT: Sexual Orientation Resolution raised at OAS Assembly in Guatemala
OAS meeting in Guatemala right now. Serious developments with a binding treaty being negotiated right now at the Organization of American States GA in Guatemala. some of the worse parts below. We need to get as many countries as possible to oppose this or to delete the many harmful provisions and references...

More gender issues coming from the OAS 43rd Annual Assembly
Belize’s Foreign Minister, Hon. Wilfred Elrington, is in Antigua, Guatemala attending the 43rd Annual Assembly of the OAS. The main topic of discussion is the existing drug crisis within the Americas and a productive way forward. However, there is another pressing issue up for negotiation, and this includes references...

COLA announce further findings in KHMH baby deaths
Today Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) held a press conference announcing further findings of its review of the response by the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) to the deaths of 13 premature babies in its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The issue has provoked much outrage and...

Parents of dead KHMH babies speak out
Taking center stage this morning were two fathers and one heartbroken mother whose babies are among the dead. Harrison Sutherland, father of baby Imari Sutherland, pleaded for answers. Harrison Sutherland – Father of baby Imari Sutherland: I’m just looking for a deeper investigation in this situation that they had...

Unidentified body recovered from Belize River
Police have confirmed that a dead man was found floating in the Belize River this morning. A preliminary report says the body was found around 8:43 a.m. behind Raul’s Rose Garden at Mile 6, George Price Highway and was a male, approximately in his mid-twenties, but there has been...

Body found in Corozal awaits identification
In Corozal, the body of a man was discovered on 2nd Street. The discovery was made on Sunday, but the body still remains at the Orange Walk Morgue – that is because none of his family members can be located. The man is between the ages of 50 and...

Seine Bight residents threaten protest over vehicle confiscation
The Police Department, based in Placencia, has been accused of taking away the vehicles of several residents of the village of Seine Bight in recent months based on charges of illegal activity. Dangriga resident and Seine Bight native Arthur Roy Williams tells us more. Arthur Roy Williams: The Police...

Two men escape bullets in separate incidents
Two men are tonight fortunate to be alive, after they escaped a spew of bullets in separate shooting incidents. The first happened in San Pedro Town on Saturday night. 28 year old Elton Polonio, was socializing in the Swan Street area, when a man whom he knows, suddenly let...

Fisherman pleads not guilty to possession of lobster during closed season
On Friday we told you about a record bust In Magistrate’s Court on Monday 78 year old fisherman Ishmael Llewellyn Moody of Belize City pleaded not guilty to charges of possession of lobster during closed season. He was represented by attorney Arthur Saldivar and appeared via summons as required...

Two men in custody for Aggravated Burglary after being on the run
26year old Jarod (Steel Bob) Lamb has been on the run from Police for over a month now. This afternoon though; Belmopan Police, acting upon information received visited an area in the Village of Teakettle where they were able to apprehend Lamb. Lamb was wanted along with Marvin Neal...

BNE receives award for contributions to their staff learning and development
Last week, we told you that the Belize Natural Energy Limited (BNE), was up for the “Learning at the Core” Getenergy 2013 Award. The contest was conducted via online polling and we’re glad to announce that BNE took home the award. The Learning at the Core category recognizes the...


A controversial US$50 million proposal by Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL), which said it has been sending ships to Belize since 1998, is on the table, but the Barrow administration is faced with strong winds of opposition from key tourism interests who are calling on the government to promptly reject the project for a new cruise port at Crawl Caye, on the claim that it will devastate part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, without bringing the needed socio-economic benefits to Belize. Colin Murphy, NCL’s Vice President, Destination & Strategic Development, is in Belize this week, and Amandala had an exclusive interview with him to get NCL’s side of the story. In last weekend’s edition of our newspaper, we also reported on Government’s stance: Prime Minister Dean Barrow had said, “Government must have the conversation it is having with Norwegian.” Barrow explained that “you simply don’t turn away the potentially huge investment without making absolutely sure that this cannot happen, in the larger scheme of things.” In elaborating on their impetus for the project, Murphy told Amandala: “…the 30% of the passengers who come off the ship have a great time, but the other 70% don’t have a good time.” He said that the proposal is really an NCL solution for Norwegian passengers. The Economic Contribution of Cruise Tourism to the Destination Economies: A Survey-based Analysis of the Impacts of Passenger, Crew and Cruise Line Spending, Volume II; Destination Reports, prepared by Business Research & Economic Advisors for Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association in September 2012 indicates a customer satisfaction rating of 7.4 out of a possible 10.

The victim and his friend were shot outside the bar; one died, one lived. One man was shot dead and another man was shot in the leg and foot when they attempted to stop a robbery in a Las Flores bar in the Belmopan area that occurred at about 12:05 a.m. on Saturday, June 2. Isabel Antonio Ballona, 43, a Salvadoran, died after he was shot in the left side of his head, while Manuel Aquino, 50, also a Salvadoran, of Las Flores, Belmopan, was shot in the right leg and left foot. He was also beaten in the chest. Police said that the two men were socializing at the La Chazo Bar in Las Flores when four armed, masked men came to the bar and held up the owner, Joshua Lopez, 54, at gunpoint, demanding money. Police say that the four assailants were dressed in long-sleeved black shirts and black pants, and were wearing masks and gloves. The gunmen stole $600 from the owner, along with his vehicle keys and his cell phone. After taking the money that Lopez was carrying, the thieves reportedly went to the cash drawer and stole all the money that was in it, which was about $3,000. As they were trying to make their getaway in Lopez’s vehicle, however, Aquino and Ballona intervened and tried to stop them.

The BNTU, a national organization, opposes GOB’s gender-transforming policy shift. The Council of Management of the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) sat for several hours today mulling over the Revised Gender Policy 2013, and late this evening, they issued a call on the Government to “put an immediate halt to any further action on this policy.” BNTU National President Luke Palacio told Amandala this evening that the union was never consulted on this new policy document, and there are several aspects of the document which concern them. Palacio said the BNTU wants to know if the new gender policy is being implemented in order to comply with conditions for foreign aid. “We need to get to the bottom of it. We don’t know if that is one of the motives,” he told us. The BNTU is concerned about how education is redefined on page 24. Specifically, the policy document sets out as an objective, “to redefine education as a process of lifelong learning and to act as a primary vehicle for transforming gender relations across the life cycle.”

Belize Blue Hole nominated for the 8th Wonder of the World
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) announced today that Belize’s Great Blue Hole—said to be more than 1000 feet in diameter and 412 feet deep, located 43 miles off the coast of Belize—has been included among more than 300 destinations from which votes are being cast for the label of “8th Wonder of the World.” Voting commences today, June 3, and participants can vote once daily until the contest closes on September 30, 2013. The site for voting is: You can vote via Amandala’s website: (See the right hand menu, right below our headline stories.) Kimberly Stirdivant Wason, Head of PR & Marketing at Virtual Tourist, informed that “The winner will be featured in a national broadcast TV segment on a popular syndicated program, as well as receive a massive media relations campaign push from VirtualTourist.” According to the BTB, Belize stands to gain an audience of over 2.6 million viewers—a win that would give the country major publicity—by being featured in this international contest being undertaken through Trip Advisor’s partner site, ‘Virtual Tourist’, in collaboration with the American Television Show, Extra.

Football Federation of Belize (FFB) President Ruperto Vicente told Amandala this afternoon that he has been promised a visit to Belize by CONCACAF President Jeffery Webb sometime soon, to help console heartbroken Belize football fans following the recent announcement that Belize’s football champion club will again not be able to participate in this year’s Champions League tournament. For a number of years under the previous FFB administration, the Belize champion clubs have been denied the opportunity to represent our nation in the CONCACAF Champions League tournament, and it was the general feeling that it was a case of either negligence, incompetence or spite, or a combination of the above, that had caused the repeated disappointment to our football players and fans. With the change of administration last year, hopes were high that at last things will be done right, and an earnest effort would be made to ensure we are once again participants in the highest level of club competition in CONCACAF, formerly the Champions and sub-Champions tournament, but which since 2008 was changed to the Champions League.

The much-anticipated schedule for the inaugural Caribbean Premier League (CPL) tournament has been announced by CPL organizers, and as expected, matches will be played in six franchise countries – Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia and Trinidad & Tobago – in the months of July and August. Kicking off in Barbados on Tuesday, July 30, with an opening ceremony followed by a Barbados vs St. Lucia match, games will be played on various days throughout the four-week period. There will be a three-day break before the two semifinals, the final match and the closing ceremony which will take place in Trinidad & Tobago on Saturday, August 24. Sundays through the tournament will feature a doubleheader, with matches taking place at 3:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. CPL organizers emphasized that in putting together the schedule, the goal was to make it as fair as possible for the franchise countries, but also ensure that there would be many exciting games between neighbouring and rival countries. In addition, the fixtures had to work logistically, in terms of elements such as travel for the teams and CPL staff and the transfer of TV equipment and crew from venue to venue. The result is a schedule that is workable and one where all teams will play three home games, three away games and one game in a neutral franchise country, for example Antigua vs Jamaica in Guyana.

Population wise, the colony of British Honduras was constructed in such a way as to incorporate and reflect divisions. As a people, we Belizeans speak about “our country.” It is necessary to remember and accept that this was never our country. In the settlement of Belize and in the colony of British Honduras, “white was the color of the big boss man.” Back in the colonial days, there were no black people in Great Britain – the so-called motherland. Colonial Belize was, at it subject base, a mixture of different ethnicities. This was as the “big boss man” had designed it. By the time of Belize’s nationalist revolution in 1950, a buffer class existed in Belize, a buffer class which consisted of natives (mostly light-skinned) who considered themselves British, and closer to the colonial master than they were to the masses of the people. The nationalist revolution of 1950 consisted of a fight involving the oppressed masses of the people, led by the People’s United Party (PUP), against the British along with their loyal buffer class. Essentially, the PUP won that fight when they led Belize to political independence in 1981, but by that time an elite group had emerged in the PUP itself. This elite group was not British. Neither was the bulk of the PUP elite group, strictly speaking, from the traditional buffer class of natives, but they took over the same power and authority which had been exercised by the British and their buffer class.

Last year’s general elections were unique in my lifetime for at least two reasons. The first was the manifest difference between Belize City/District voters, who mostly went UDP, and voters in the other five Districts, who mostly went PUP. The second reason the generals were unique last year was because the PUP had not clarified their leadership until four months before the elections, and yet they came way close to winning. The last time something like this occurred was in 1969, when there was a split in the Opposition NIP in mid-year. When Mr. Price announced elections for December, the breakaway PDM hurriedly negotiated a coalition with the parent NIP. But, the NIPDM coalition won only one of the eighteen seats in the December 1969 general elections. Why did voters outside the Belize City/District area see things differently? Well, Orange Walk Town’s Johnny Briceño was the PUP Leader from March of 2008 until October 2011, and he had been more comfortable, and presumably more effective, working outside of Belize City. I think this is where we have been looking for an answer – in the nature of the Briceño leadership. I would say, nevertheless, that the single lay individual who hurt the incumbent UDP the most in the last elections was Audrey Matura-Shepherd. Apart from being a highly educated, highly intelligent, and fearless individual who was comfortable in the public domain, Audrey was a “fish fram riva batam.” Audrey Matura-Shepherd had been a hard-core UDP – appointed a UDP Senator at one point, and she had also been editor-in-chief of the UDP newspaper. In fact, she had faced jail because of material she published in the UDP newspaper, and she had not blinked or retreated an inch. When Matura-Shepherd began to blast the Barrow administration from her desk at Oceana, that was bad enough. But, there was more.

by Sally Caretella. Dear Editor, Can BECOL never get it right for most of us? So, last Thursday, May 30, they tested their warning system. At least they did, according to Channel 2 on Cable TV. Trouble is, I only saw their advert this afternoon (Saturday, June 1) as I searched for something to watch on a wet afternoon. I phoned a couple of friends to see if they knew anything about the test. NO. Last time it (BECOL) was having a meeting that was advertised after the event, but at least it was in the local paper. This was among the ads for South Side Meats and Pray for Belize. I hope that those people who pray for Belize also pray that the dams do not break. Sincerely, Sally Caretella Esperanza

by Judy Roberts. I am writing to you regarding my concerns to opening up Southern Belize to mega cruise ships. I come to Belize because it is quiet and peaceful. I have found the cayes to be environmentally friendly. The manatees are safe as well as the coral reefs. I hope you do not let these mega ships come in. I do not believe they will help your local people. I think you will find that cruise ships of that size will dump waste, and disturb the diverse marine areas. Many times the cruise ships break down and have to be towed. They have been known to make disastrous navigational errors, spill oil and bring in tourists who have no interest in maintaining pristine beaches and a delicate environment. Please consider this matter very carefully! When I visit Belize, I support the local businesses. I have property in Belize and hope to build soon. I love your country and do not want to see it changed by large corporations that only care about the dollars they can take from Belize. Thank you for listening to my comments and I hope you will take them to heart. Sincerely, Your biggest fan, Judy Roberts

Ishmael Llewellyn Moody, 78, a fisherman of #6389 corner Tibruce and Heart Streets, was arraigned before Magistrate Hettie-Mae Stewart for being in possession of over 2,000 lobsters in the off season. The closed season for lobster is from February 14 to June 14 each year. According to police, on Friday, May 31, 2013, personnel from the Fisheries Department were in the area of Moody’s house when a member of the Fisheries team, Eric Arzu, reportedly spotted Moody with a large black plastic bag in his hand that looked suspicious. Arzu decided to conduct a search on Moody and the bag, and that was when he found the bag contained out-of-season lobsters. A further search of Moody’s premises led to the discovery of a whopping 2,051 pieces of lobster, totaling over a thousand pounds in weight. Moody appeared in court today based on a summons, since it was a Fisheries offense he had committed. He appeared with his lawyer, Arthur Saldivar, and pleaded not guilty to the charge. He is scheduled to reappear in court on July 3, 2013. This is Moody’s first alleged offense, and if found guilty of the charge, he could be fined as much as $30 per lobster, which would amount to $61,530. According to reports, 19 garbage bags containing about 145 lobster tails each were confiscated by the Fisheries Department. It is estimated that the commercial value of the illegally harvested lobsters is around $20,000.

NEMO Minister warns, “…when we say it is time to move, get moving. We will not go back two or three times to assist you if you say, ‘Cho man, me noh gwine no way.’ We will not return!” Hurricane safety rules: 1. Stay tuned to radio and television stations for regular bulletins. 2. Rely only on official bulletins; do not check these over the telephone. 3. As long as your house is inland and well built-with strong foundations and a good roof, stay at home. 4. Use storm shutters or board windows securely; protect outward door. 5. Stock up on food which has a long shelf life. 6. Check that oil and butane stoves are in working order; replenish stock of kerosene, charcoal and butane. 7. Sterilize baths; all containers and cooking utensils to store water. If in doubt, drink boiled or treated water only. 8. Keep flashlights, candles and storm lanterns handy along with batteries and matches.

Garnett and Vernon were charged with attempting to suppress evidence after allegedly unsuccessfully trying to bribe, then threatening, a crucial witness in a murder case On December 27, 2012, charges were levied against Pamela Garnett, 42, and her son Mark Vernon, 24, after police claimed that they allegedly tried to bribe a crucial witness in a murder case in which Garnett’s husband, Jermaine “Horse” Garnett, 30, and another of her sons, Cassian Bennett, were implicated. The murder was that of Raheem Requeña, 19, which occurred on December 19, 2012. Requeña was shot as many as eight times as he was riding his bicycle on Kut Avenue that night. After investigating the matter, police arrested and charged Jermaine Garnett, along with Pamela Garnett’s son, Cassian Bennett, aka Cassian Gentle, and Kenneth Barrow. The charge against Pamela Garnett and her other son, Mark Vernon, arose after Marie Alvarez, the crucial witness for the Crown, made a report to the police. In that report, she told police that on December 23, 2012, Pamela Garnett called her on her phone and offered to pay her $5,000 to retract her statement. But after the witness refused the offer, Garnett allegedly gave the phone to her son, Mark, who then threatened her.

The June 5th, 2013 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • PM Donates 50,000! Discusses Gold Cup with FFB Officials:
    Last week the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) announced it’s decision to hold an Official Telethon on Saturday, June 15 to raise funds to send the Belize National Football Selection to the Gold Cup in the United States, a prestigious CONCACAF Regional Tournament which begins on July 7, 2013. The FFB said it needs to raise a total of $500,000 (Half a Million Dollars) to send our proud footballers to the Gold Cup to Represent the Jewel. The Federation is asking every Belizean to donate at least One Dollar ($1.00) towards supporting our National Selection, and is calling on businesses to adopt a player; which is to donate funds for the cost of sending one player to the Gold Cup (BZ $5,000.00). Well, this past week, the FFB’s fundraising efforts got an excellent jump start as Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow, on behalf of the Government of Belize, handed over a cheque of $50,000 towards the cause.
  • They Finally Did It! Police Win PLB Championship:
    It was the third time consecutively that they had gone to the Finals of the Premier League of Belize (PLB) National Football Competition. The previous two years they fell short of winning the championship, earning them the derisive nickname in sports circles of ‘bridesmaid’. This time, the Police United Football Club finally did it; they earned the ultimate distinction of being the 2013 PLB Football Champions. The decisive match was played last Saturday, May 25 inside the FFB Stadium in the Capital City of Belmopan, starting around 8 PM. The Police United Team went into that second and final match of the Finals holding a narrow lead of 1 goal to zero, earned in the first game of the two-game home and away series.
  • Kim Raises $500,000+:
    Last Year was the first time she did it, and it was very successful - the Nationwide Telethon spearheaded by First Lady of Belize and Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, to raise funds for Children with Disabilities in Belize. This weekend, Saturday June 1, 2013, the second such telethon was held, in conjunction with Care Belize; and it once again exceeded its target of $500,000. The event featured an extensive line-up of Belizean artists and was broadcast live on all major TV and Radio Stations.
  • Troubling Days for Democracy:
    Ha v i n g recently ent e r e d the second year of its second term in office, the current administration is admittedly beginning to show visible cracks and fissures here and there, confirming the fact that no human creation or endeavor is ever perfect. Notwithstanding, the popularity of the Government headed by Prime Minister Dean Barrow is, by all accounts, on the resurgence. The results of the ongoing Village Council Elections being conducted countrywide clearly indicate that the Party in Government is solidifying the trust and confidence placed in it by the Belizean People as it consolidates the gains made in its first term of office.
  • Sweet Celebration! Sugar Production Exceeds Expectations:
    The big economic news of the past week is that the Sugar Industry has performed exceptionally well over the crop year just ended. In fact, the performance went well beyond expectations, triggering a big celebration at what has been dubbed the Dia de Los Caneros (Cane Farmers Day) observed this past Friday, May 31, 2013. In true democratic fashion, the Cane Farmers invited leaders from both major political parties to speak at the event in Orange Walk, the incumbent party (UDP) represented by Deputy Prime Minister and Orange Walk Area Representative Hon. Gaspar Vega, the PUP by Leader of the Opposition Hon. Francis Fonseca. Be that as it may, it is certainly the current UDP Administration and the farmers themselves who deserve a great deal of the credit for what will certainly go down in history as one of the most remarkable turnarounds for the better.
  • Early Rains – Quick Response: Culverts Replaced on Burrell Boom-Hattieville:
    As noted in our report on the Press Conference held by the Ministry of National Emergency Management and Belize’s National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), the Minister in charge, Hon Godwin Hulse, commented that there had already been two named storms for the year 2013 even before the official opening of the Hurricane Season. Truth is those storms, named Alvin and Barbara, had actually developed in the Eastern Pacific, where the Official Hurricane Sea son starts as early as May 15. In Belize where the storms affecting us generally form in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, the Official Hurricane Season would not commence until June 1, but we have already been visited by a relatively early rainy season with some heavy torrential showers for several days over the past two weeks. And, although in most areas the ground was pretty dry prior to that, the early rains were perhaps more than needed, and certainly more than could be readily absorbed in such a short period.
  • Belmopan Cycling Race:
    On Sunday, June 2, Belmopan City presented a cycling race to La Democracia, Caves Branch Bridge on Hummingbird Highway, and back to Belmopan, covering 60 Miles. The race was won by Junior Cyclist Giovanni Lovell of BTL. Jose Choto came 2nd, Allen Castillo 3rd, Angel Tzil 4th, and Erwin Middleton 5th.
  • Ready or Not: Here Comes Hurricane Season 2013!:
    It’s one of those seasons most Belizeans don’t await with eager expectation, but whether we like it or not, the Hurricane season is here, having coming Saturday, June 1. Are we ready for it? We had better be, says the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), which falls under the Ministry of National Emergency Management headed by Hon. Godwin Hulse, who at a press conference this past Thursday reminded us that Hurricanes and the response to it are not just the business of his Ministry and NEMO, but that of every individual who can be affected: “The state is prepared to assist all the individuals of this country to be safe in the event of a disaster, prepared to assist you to be as safe as possible.” Honorable Godwin Hulse said. “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 unu the do?”
  • “The Woman You Gave Me!”:
    It has often been said that whatever men can do, women can do it even better. While this statement is an endorsement to the diverse abilities possessed by women to excel in unfamiliar domains, it can also mean that women have the potential to surpass the evils done by Ted Bundy, Jim Jones or Adolf Hitler. It is no surprise then that the effort that was started in the Western World as the Feminist Movement, which was once strongly rooted in the traditional Judeo- Christian concepts of truth, morality and justice, has now evolved into an influential movement far removed from the ideals and goals of the original feminists. Neo Feminism (the New Feminism) is now commanding enormous social shifts globally as trailblazers in the global campaign that seeks to redefine the terms “gender” and “family” and to entice organizations and governments for laws to support rights and freedoms to engage in activities that are totally contrary to God’s design and purpose.
  • The Case of the Crawl Caye Project: A Lesson in Transparency, Thoughtfulness and Thoroughness:
    An on-going n e w s - s t o r y in the local B e l i z e a n media has to do with the possibility, feasibility or desirability of a Tourismrelated project in Southern Belize which Norwegian Cruise Lines has expressed interest in pursuing. For context, let’s go back to a portion of Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s most recent Quarterly Press Conference on April 29, 2013: “Norwegian Cruise-Lines has written to the Government of Belize and has been in discussion. We’ve appointed a Cabinet Sub-Committee to carry this along. They want to do a cruise facility in the South. We’re looking very carefully at the area to ensure that there are no difficulties from an environmental or conservation, protection point of view.” Following up on the Prime Minister’s comments, Jules Vasquez of Channel Seven News asked: “Sir, are you able to say, you spoke earlier in a superficial way about Crawl Caye, the option of Crawl Caye. Are you taking into consideration the fact that it annexes a World Heritage Site and, secondly, that the National Tourism Master Plan also says that only pocketcruising should be reserved for the South of Belize?”
  • Challenges, Changes, Excellence: Public Service Showcased at Information Day 2013:
    Because they represent and work for the Government, the roles they play and the duties they perform on a day to day basis are too often taken for granted; pretty much like the forces of Nature: Sunshine, Rain, Wind, the Tides, etc. But the effectiveness of Public Officers in executing their functions to the community they serve is not as automatic as we often seem to think. A lot goes into it, not the least of which is the personal motivation and drive to do their best. Of course, a little understanding from the public also goes a long way in helping them to perform and serve more effectively and more meaningfully. The self-motivation and public-appreciation that combine for a more effective government workforce is perhaps also the underlying objective of what has now become an annual event known as Public Service Information Day. In Belmopan, it was held two Thursdays ago, and by all accounts, it was a great success.
  • Short Term and Long Term Solution: PM Barrow Fixes Infant-Mortality Problem at KHMH:
    In the news for the past two weeks or so has been the issue of the death of 12 premature babies within one month at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, all established to have been caused by a bacteria that had somehow found its way into the hospital. It’s one of those stories that still has many wondering how the situation could have reached such crisis levels without the Management and Board of the Hospital being fully apprised of the situation and taking measures to address it as promptly as possible. It’s a story that will no doubt continue to be discussed, with the media and the public understandably continuing to ask the hard, basic questions. For now, what’s particularly essential is that measures are taken to ensure that such deaths do not continue to occur. It is with this objective in mind that Prime Minister Barrow on Thursday, May 30 made the following announcement at a Press Conference called by the Ministry of Health and the KHMH Management:
  • UDP Dominant in Village Council Elections Countrywide:
    After FOUR weeks of Village Council Elections Countrywide, with only two weeks to go, the United Democratic Party has a commanding lead, scoring significant victories even in villages and constituencies which it lost by significant margins in the last Elections. This is an encouraging sign for the party which almost lost the 2012 General Elections because of low voter support in the rural areas. The chart on the left shows results of the most recent round of village council elections this past weekend; the one below, the overall tally.
  • Miami Blows out Indiana in Game 7:
    Their season, their legacy, their reign atop the NBA was all at stake, and the Miami Heat responded to all of that in a manner befitting champions. With a blowout. It’s onto the NBA Finals for the Heat after they put away the Indiana Pacers, who saw their hopes of a storybook upset simply fall apart in a hurry. LeBron James scored 32 points and grabbed eight rebounds, ailing Dwyane Wade matched his post-season high with 21 points, and the Heat ran away from the Pacers 99-76 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals on Monday night. The Heat advanced to play the San Antonio Spurs in a series that starts Thursday night in Miami.
  • New Members of Elections and Boundaries Commission:
    A Swearing-in Ceremony was held on May 23, 2013, 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 members of the Elections and Boundaries Commission for a period of five years with effect from 1st May, 2013.
  • Belmopan Kids and Youth Cup 2013:
    Playoff Schedule for Weekend - June 1 & 2


Entrepreneurs Training Workshop – The Comprehensive Development of Entrepreneurs in Belize
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) in collaboration with the Regional Center for Promotion of Micro and Small Enterprises (CENPROMYPE), with the financial support of the Government of Taiwan and technical assistance from Colombia, will be having a three day workshop for Entrepreneurs. It will commence on Monday, June 3, 2013 to June 5 at the Belize Institute of Management’s Conference Room in Belize City, from 8:30a.m.-4:30 p.m.

“It’s My Lazy Day” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
In readiness for the eventual move to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize Rose has been putting her ‘green fingers’ to work. Having already nurtured one coconut plant (Marley) so that we were able to repatriate it (him) to our land, Rose is now bringing on some cuttings and seeds for the front and back gardens for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Like a mini nursery! Didn’t really do a great deal yesterday morning aside from ‘phoning Richard at Benny’s to make sure that I had the right catalogue numbers for the LED conversion socket we need for the recessed lights for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. It’s my lazy day this week! When you are doing nothing it is sometimes difficult to know where the time goes, but it just does and it was 3.45 pm when Rose and I set off to visit our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Sheree’s Dream – Lets Adopt a Classroom or School!
Early this year Sheree Arnold approached me with a novel idea- Lets Adopt a Classroom. I really loved this idea. Many Schools in the US are getting rid of the Valedictorian System and implementing a Cum Laude System instead. It is a system that rewards many children instead of just one child. This Adopt a Classroom or School is something like that, it benefits many kids instead of just one. I have personally sponsored a child in Belize thru Restore Belize and while it is fulfilling to be able to help a child see a child progress, I actually like Sheree’s proposal better. Instead of benefitting one child, let’s enhance all their learning experiences.

Chuck Norris battles genetically modified foods
On Memorial Day weekend, 2 million people marched in protests against seed giant Monsanto for the purpose of bringing awareness to hazards from genetically modified food, which it and other companies manufacture. Organizer Tami Canal said protests were held in 436 cities in 52 countries. Genetically modified plants are grown from genetically modified, or engineered, seeds, which are created to resist insecticides and herbicides so that crops can be grown to withstand a weed-killing pesticide or integrate a bacterial toxin that can ward off pests. The Chicago Tribune reported that because genetically modified organisms are not listed on food or ingredient labels, few Americans realize they’re eating GMO foods every day. Genetically modified crops constitute 93 percent of soy, 86 percent of corn and 93 percent of canola seeds planted in the U.S. and are used in about 70 percent of American processed food. The Tribune reported that the Food and Drug Administration has permitted the sale and planting of genetically modified foods for 15 years and that the Obama administration has approved an “unprecedented number of genetically modified crops,” such as ethanol corn, alfalfa and sugar beets. The Alliance for Natural Health USA added that the U.S. Department of Agriculture now wants to eliminate any regulatory controls from genetically altered corn and cotton.

How a Bill becomes a Law in Belize
There are several stages a Bill goes through before becoming law. The stages ensure that a Bill is subject to public debate and scrutiny and also subject to changes or to be amended. The stages a Bill goes through include the following: Introduction and First Reading of Bills Standing Committee Second Reading of Bills Committee of the Whole House Third Reading of Bills Consideration of Bill by the Senate Governor General’s Assent

International Sources

Cleared diplomat John Yapp awarded £320000 in damages
A diplomat stripped of his post as UK High Commissioner to Belize after being falsely accused of sexual misconduct has been awarded £320,000 in damages. 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 last month that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) had breached his contract and its duty of care to him. The FCO said it was "disappointed with the finding", and believed it had "acted reasonably, and in accordance with procedures". Following the damages award, Mr Yapp's solicitor, John Kings, said his client was pleased that "justice has prevailed after what have been five long and hard - and very costly - years".

June 4, 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

Placencia fishermen diversifying from fishing to seaweed farming
Placencia village is known as a tourism destination but back in the 50’s and up to the early 90’s, it was known as a thriving fishing community. In fact, fishing became the main revenue for the area so much so that in 1962 fishermen from the area formed the Placencia Producers Cooperative Society Limited (PPCSL). In the mid 80’s the PPCSL grew to over 100 members. Also growing at the time was the local and international demand for fishery products and by the mid 80’s fishing yielded 50,000 pounds of whole fish, 75,000 pounds of conch and 40,000 pounds of lobster tail per year. With unregulated extraction of fishery products, along with the demands of a growing tourism community, production began to decline. In an effort to diversify, in 2005 the community fishermen began exploring the possibility of seaweed (Euchuma isoforme and Gracelaria spp) production. But how exactly does the seaweed farming operate? According to PPCSL Chairman Sydney Lopez Jr., the seaweed farming project is a module adopted from another Caribbean country that is doing a similar project with seaweed taken from the wild in Belize. “Some people from Saint Lucia came to Belize in the mid-2000’s and took live seaweed from Belize to work on a pilot project and now they have a market and industry from it. They came back to Belize in 2005 and showed us how they were doing it and we thought it would be a good idea to diversify. We saw a constant decline in the [supply of] traditional marine products [despite an increased demand] and so we saw the seaweed project as an opportunity to diversify.” After submitting a proposal in 2010 to the Community Management of Protected Areas Conservation Programme (COMPACT), the PPCSL was awarded an 18 month grant in the amount of $90,000 to start off the project.

The Island Academy graduates 5
Five young girls walked the aisle on Friday, May 31st to the tune of Pomp and Circumstance at The Island Academy school grounds. They have completed their primary school education, and look forward to their new experience in high school. Ilynn Camal, Danni Hannah, Stephanie Keating, Kaylee Kumul and Leeanne Vega were the honorees at the 2013 graduation ceremonies. As per usual, precluding the graduation speeches was an awards ceremony for all the students from beginners to standard five.Each teacher awarded their top students in the various categories, including academics and citizenship and most improved. Proud parents looked on as their children were awarded certificates and encouraged to keep up the good work.

Ambergris Today

Chelsea Muñoz is New Miss San Pedro High School
Eight lovely and intelligent contestants, a jam packed auditorium, an ecstatic cheering audience, and a lively spirit of friendly pageantry completion, San Pedro High put on its greatest spectacle ever on Saturday, June 1, 2013. Ambergris Today was invited to be there and brings to you the highlights of the spectacular event. An impressive opening dance by the eight lovely contestants set the mood for a grand show as all eight very fluent contestant introduced themselves. Competing for the title of Miss San Pedro High were Veronica Choc, Miriam Palacio, Isolene Bailey, Amari Duncan, Janelle Tillet, Reyna Chavez, Vivianie Duran and Chelsea Muñoz.

Belize’s Great Blue Hole Nominated for "8th Wonder of the World" Vote Now
The Belize Tourism Board is elated to announce the submission of Belize's Great Blue Hole, as the "8th Wonder of the World", a title which can only be achieved with your help! Visible from outer space and more than 1,000ft in diameter & 412ft deep, the Great Blue Hole is a breathtakingly grandiose sinkhole located 43 miles off the coast of Belize, known as a diver's mecca. Belize has long been an escape for the free-spirited traveler seeking phenomenal wonders in an alluring and authentic setting. Through Trip Advisor's partner site, "Virtual Tourist", and in collaboration with the esteemed American Television Show "EXTRA", Belize stands to gain an audience of over 2.6 million viewers; a win that gives us major publicity for our beautiful country.

Pic of the Week: Frigate Bird Feeding at The Office Bar & Grill
It does not take place every day, but on your lucky day you can get to see this spectacular feeding of the Frigate Birds at The Office Bar and Grill. When Maribel Avilez, cook at The Office, has saved up enough chicken skin and scraps, she heads to the end of the dock and calls the Frigate birds. They come out of nowhere; there is not even one bird in sight, but they manage to smell the food and spot Maribel throwing it into the surrounding sea. What happens next is pretty amazing. Maribel is flocked by hundreds of birds that swoop down to feed, almost eating out of her hand. You can watch from afar, because some bird droppings can surprise you as you watch the spectacle.

Misc Belizean Sources

Natural tourism in one of Belize's poorest villages Arenal
Well, first of all we’re citizens of the village of Arenal in Belize, Central America. Arenal is one of the poorest villages in the country and it has a special appearance within this area: We’re on the Guatemalan border – half of the village is Belizean and the other half is Guatemalan. The football court in the middle is the border – there is no immigration, no border facility, just a hanging bridge across the river (already on the Guatemalan side) and it’s one of 2 connections to civilization. Due to this special status it always seems a little bit as if both governments have forgotten us a long time ago. Politicians then are interested in us some days before elections and get very busy to make us believe they would now start to do something but the day after elections they all disappear and promises are gone. The good news of our special location is that we’re very natural, original, basic but not primitive, very traditional and we’re bi-lingual.

The Mayan Mound Maulers
by Mr. Compton Fairweather. The archaeological history of Belize over the last 200 years illustrates that “Mayan mound maulers” – a phrase coined by Dr. Norman Hammond of Boston University who worked in the ruins of Noh Mul and Santa Rita in the mid 1970’s – were in this country along with those who raped and pillaged our forest of its natural resources even before slavery was introduced to our shores. The most notorious of those who destroyed Mayan mounds was Dr. Thomas Gaan (1867-1938), an Irish medical doctor in Belize whose hobby was archaeology. His method was to use dynamite to open up mounds (he opened about 60 of them) in search of artifacts. He was not interested in documenting the history of the civilization that occupied them. Dr. Gaan loved to sketch the artifacts he found posing with some of them for photographs, many of these artifacts are at the Museum of Mankind at Burlington Gardens in London. He did extensive work at Santa Rita in the Corozal District, the ancient Mayan capital of which is now Quitana Roo during the classic period.

3rd Annual 2013 Corkers Golf World Cup
The 2013 Corkers World Cup Golf Tournament took place on June 1st at a re-hydrated Roaring River Golf Course, with the fairways and putting surfaces glowing a succulent shade of green after the recent rains. All bodes well for the RF&G Belize Amateur Open on June 22nd/23rd. Don't forget to sign up before the tournament. We will not be accepting entries on the day of the competition. Deadline to sign up Thursday 20th June. See flyer below. Back to the Corkers World Cup. Thks to all the sponsors, especially Geoff and Sam from Corkers Restaurant and Bar. Thks to all the other sponsors who made this event possible. Quality Poultry, Tropigas, Premium Wines and Spirits and Hot Mamas.

BCVI at the Agricultural Show
Every year, in April or May, Belize’s Ministry of Agriculture holds the National Agriculture and Trade Show in the capital Belmopan. What started out decades ago as a small, simple show about farm...

Discovering Young Leaders Programme
If you are between the years of 15 and 25, you can apply for the Discovering Young Leaders Programme from the CARICOM Youth Ambassador Program. The DYLP starts on the 5th of August, and goes for 7 weeks. The application deadline is the 30th of June. The Commonwealth Youth Programme is celebrating 40 years of youth development this year. Email [email protected] for more information, or go to the following link:

St. Michael's Gets New Building
Feelgood news of the day. St. Michael's Primary School got a new standard 6 building. Thanks, BIWG, and all the other volunteers! "This is a beautiful story that shows what we can do when we work together! The need for a new classroom brought together the women of the BIWG, Enrique (Kiko) Escalante of Vision Builders, Joe Mena of Wood Stop, the teachers and the parents of the Standard Six students of St. Michael's Primary School in Las Flores, Belmopan. Cash donations to purchase the lumber, free labour to construct the classroom that has a beautiful finish, parents, students and teachers working together on the weekends and mothers who prepared food for the working crew - a great formula for success! And so today, BIWG formally handed over this new classroom to the boys and girls of Std. VI and to Principal Mrs. Sanchez and Teacher Carl Cardinez. These students were very happy to be out of cramped quarters and especially happy that they were the first class to occupy this room!"

Observation Tower at Maya First
They have an observation tower at the Maya First Organization on the road to San Antonio. They just released a panoramic video from the top, which is 100 feet up. Awesome views! "WHO WANTS TO GO UP TO 100 FT. I'm willing are you?"

St. Ignatius Night Class Graduation
St. Ignatius had a graduation this weekend too. Their night class had their graduation ceremony at the Octavia Waight Centre. Congratulations, graduates! "Exclusive Sound Ent. provided the PA system for this remarkable event! Go Light Your World . . . hots off to these grads!"

Channel 7

Police: Serial Robbers Escalated To Murder
Belmopan police continue to detain 3 men, one of whom is only 15 years-old, for a robbery which led to the death of a Salvadoran man residing on the outskirts of the capital city. The deceased and his boss tried to rescue the owner of the bar they were socializing at. Daniel Ortiz tried to find out what caused the men to want to come to the aid of the owner, which is just a stone’s throw away from their workplace. Here’s that story. Daniel Ortiz reporting La Choza Bar looked deserted today when we visited the scene where the Salvadorans, 43 year-old Isabel Antonio Ballona and 55 year-old Manuel Aquino, were shot by robbers who executed a coordinated attack against the bar owner. Early Sunday morning, both men were at the establishment enjoying their time together as employer and employee who were off the clock when 4 armed men attacked the business place. ASP Sinquest Martinez - OC, Belmopan Police "Police responded to a call at around 12:10am Sunday. They visited a business establish on west side Belmopan where they found two male hispanic persons on the ground who were then taken to the Western Regional Hospital. Initial investigation reveal that the manager of the business establishment reported to the police that while he was there along with his waitresses and customers they were acosted by four male persons who ordered the manager of the establishment to go on the ground and proceeded to rob him and his business establishment. While the robbery was taking place - the now deceased and the other victim who are a patron of the establishment went to aid the manager when the robbers fired a couple shots and caught both of them.

2 Of The Baptist Men Critically Shot; Cling To Life
Tonight, 44 year-old Melvin Baptist, and his nephew, 24 year-old Arthur Baptist continue to receive treatment at the KHMH after they were shot on Saturday night just before 7:30. The family has declined an interview, but they told us that both men were inside Melvin Baptist’s barber shop on Neal’s Pen Road along with 2 women and another relative. They were all watching the Miami Heat’s basketball game when 2 men on bicycles rode up, fired indiscriminately at everyone, and fled. Both Baptist men were struck in the head, and the family rushed them to the KHMH. According to the family, Arthur Baptist's injury was the more serious. The bullet struck him in the left side of the head, and it splintered inside his brain. According to them, the latest report from the doctor is that the brain is swelling, and he is being given medication to try to reverse this. Arthur Baptist's chances of survival improved from 10 to 50% over the weekend, but he remains in critical condition along with his uncle who is suffering from an entry and exit wound. Police say that they are seeking 2 men for this shooting.

GOB Continue Talks On NCL Proposal
Last week, 7News showed you the position from Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Cabinet Committee Chair Minister Godwin Hulse on the continued discussion to possibly develop cruise tourism in Southern Belize. Norwegian Cruise Line has tabled a proposal before Government in which they want to build a cruise port on Crawl Caye to access Placencia. As has widely been reported, local private cruise interests, the BTIA, and organizations within the environmental community in Belize are staunchly against it, and they’ve gone as far as to condemn it. GOB says that given that this investment could be no less than 100 million dollars, they have an obligation at least discuss this with NCL. Today, the Cabinet Committee tasked to hear the proposal met at the BTB office in Belize to discuss its environmental aspects. 7News waited outside the office to speak with them, and when they came out, they chose not to disclose much until the Cabinet is aware of their findings. Jose Sanchez - Channel 5 News "We've been hearing that Crawl Caye is a bust. What's the story Norwegian Cruise after this meeting today?"

OAS Member States Assemble In Guatemala
The Organization of American States, the OAS, is having it’s 43rd General Assembly in Antigua. The meeting starts tomorrow with more than 1,000 officials from 36 international delegations and 28 Foreign Ministers. It’s a major regional meeting and topping the agenda is the debate on drug policy. That discussion was blown open at the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia last year, and that’s what the Secretary General of the OAS was tasked to produce a report to propose alternative strategies to combat drug trafficking. He has tabled that 35 page report for the meeting, and he discussed it at a press conference this afternoon in Antigua. Miguel Insulza - OAS Secretary (Translated into Enlgish) "They asked me first of all to provide an objective report on the situation on the issue of drugs in the Americas. Secondly they asked me to do a research of the possible scenarios that could happen if certain decisions were taken and what would happen. What they asked me not to do was to suggest a policy because they were going to decide that because that starts now. What we expect to get from here? We expect to obtain - as they said we can continue to dialogue as long as that is a framework to search for ideas for we should re-orient the drug policy but above a framework for dialogue. A dialogue that will win the frame work of the Interamerican system to rethink the drug strategy in our continent."

Mayor Bradley Signs Sister City Agreement With Merida
And while a Belize Delegation left for Antigua Guatemala today, between Last week Wednesday and Friday, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley was in Merida Yucatan, Mexico. The Belize Honorary Consul in Chetumal, Mayor Bradley, and a delegation from the Belize City Council, met with their counterparts in Merida. They finally formalized a strategic partnership between the two municipalities. Speaking in the forum, Mayor Bradley reminded that Belize and Merida share a long relationship in regards to trade and medical tourism. Mayor Bradley along with the Mayor of Merida, Renan Barrera Concha, signed a letter of intent to establish a Sister City Relationship in the near future. Bradley also met with the Secretary of State of Economic Development, David Alpizar Carrillo, and the Chamber of Commerce to discuss different types of products they would like to export to Belize.

Salvadoran Killed In A Hit And Run
At the top of Newscast, 7News told you about the Robbery turned murder in Belmopan. Well, around the same time, officers from Belmopan also had to respond to a fatal traffic accident which claimed the life of 32 year old Saldvadoran Mario Ortega Dominguez. The Assistant Superintendent Sinquest Martinez told the media all the information that police had about this hit and run. ASP Sinquest Martinez - OC, Belmopan Police "We had a fatal hit and run, traffic accident basically around the same time the incident happened at the establishment. The person has been identified as Mario Ortega, he's a Salvadoranian and lives in Young Bank in the Camalote Village. Earlier he was with his family and friends at an establishment where they were playing some football and he was on his way to Belmopan City when unfortunately he was hit by a vehicle heading towards Belmopan and he died on the spot. I am just asking the public for information pertaining to the accident to kindly assist us." Reporter "No leads so far?" ASP Sinquest Martinez - OC, Belmopan Police "No leads at the present moment but I have my officers, likewise, hunting the vehicle." Anyone with information is asked to contact the nearest police station.

Festival Of Arts, Back Again
Once again, it's time for the National Festival of Arts- a fun way to encourage creativity and incorporate the arts into the school curriculum. This year's opening ceremony was held at the Bliss Center for the performing arts and it was followed by a big art jamboree. 7news was there to capture the moment. Kim Vasquez - Porgram Officer "We have participation of six booths and groups, including some schools from across the country. For example we have a school from Nuevo Palmar in Orange Walk here visiting with us, we also have Gulisi Primary School from Dangriga and we The Center of Learning from Punta Gorda and they are joined by the Creole Council, Garfiuna Council. As well some other groups that will be doing some demonstrations and some fun activities within the expressive arts. It's open and free to all students, children and they are welcome to stop by anytime today we are here until 3pm. Also to support the entire calendar of events that we have in the National Festival of Arts. Our showcase for Primary school begins this Wednesday and throughout Friday at 10am everyday at the Bliss, those are the Primary Schools and on Thursday we have the Youth and Amateur showcase at 6pm and on Friday we have a concert called Chords and Voices and you can get your tickets here at the Bliss."

Second Inspiration Telethon Meets Quota
The Special Envoy for Women and Children once again teamed up with Care Belize On Saturday to host the second nationwide telethon to raise funds to complete and equip the Inspiration Center. Telephone lines were buzzing off the hooks all day long as Belizeans made pledges to support the initiative. Also donation booths were place in strategic locations countrywide in hopes of reaching their main goal which was five hundred thousand dollars. By six o’clock on Saturday evening when the phone lines were coming to a close they were still about 90 thousand dollars short of reaching the 500 thousand dollar goal. But one lucky millionaire came out to the event with his checkbook in hand and generously wrote a cheque for ninety two thousand dollars. Here’s how that last minute contribution went. Kim Simplis Barrow - Special Envoy for Women/Children "It started out a little slow and so by midday we had raised like a $100,000 but throughout the afternoon it started picking up more and more and of course the excitement came all the way to the end when we were down about a $100,000 when Mr. Jack Charles came and made that surprise donation so that really helped us to reach the goal of the $500,000. Those moments are always moments that touch you the most because those are children that are doing things for other children who can do absolutely nothing for them. Those are the moments when we really get emotional because they come and bags with one cents and five cents that they've been saving.

Belize Female U-17 Team Trampled By Guatemala
On Sunday, the National Female U-17 Selection played their return match of the World Cup Qualifier against Guatemala. Well, the girls played bravely against the technically superior team, but in the end they lost with a final score of 7 to nil. The fans looked on in disappointment, as one by one the Guatemala loaded the goals up on Belize, ending it 1 goal less than the game in Guatemala. We spoke to the National Team coach about what caused such a performance: Mr. Kent Gabourel - Head Coach "Well our weakness, watching both games - we only had 15 days to train together as a team so there was a lot of weakness, conditions and techniques, the field - especially when it comes to the goalkeepers we invited the players to come for the tryout, nobody came out as goalkeeper so we tried to work with what we had. I should say that I am satisfied with what they have done because I know that we could have done better but if we had the amount of time. We made a lot of attack where we could have scored three or four goals. We had clear opportunity but I would say experience wise caught them up and they started to get tired. After they got tired they started to loose their position and the girls from Guatemala had more conditions, more ball work, techniques and passing and we have to be chasing and they got over us with that. The tournament was too short and the Federation decided to sign up but I think we should be preparing longer and have playing practice matches. We didn't have any opportunity to play any practice match and that really took a lot from us and I think we should have more practice match internationally, right over to Chetumal to get the girls them used to it."

Can Belizean Boxers Measure Up Internationally?
And while the disappointing outcome in that game was – to some extent – expected, Belize can redeem its national pride on Friday. That’s when a contingent of Guatemalan Boxers will be visiting to take on the best Boxers Belize has to offer. We went to Leopold Smart Gym yesterday to find out more. Leopold Smart, Trainer, Leopold Smart Boxing Gym "But I know the level that he set up, any amateur you can bring for Smart Gym" Reporter "They know that four Central American champions are coming" Leopold Smart " Yes but we aren't afraid want to be the Champion and because we need to get better we don't need to only go to Chetumal. We want good fighters." Reporter "There are four Central American champions coming and obviously you will have to face them, are you ready for this level?"

Channel 5

No Crawl Caye for Norwegian Cruise Line
A Cabinet subcommittee met today at the Belize Tourism Board to discuss the Norwegian Cruise Line’s tourism project for Crawl Caye which is within a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The [...]

Robbery and murder in Las Flores, Belmopan
A robbery at a bar in Las Flores, Belmopan turned deadly for one of two patrons. The incident happened just past midnight on Saturday. There were at least four persons [...]

Uncle and nephew shot in barbershop
Two relatives were shot over the weekend and one of them is clinging to life and the other is in critical condition. On Saturday night at around seven-twenty p.m., twenty-four [...]

Salvadoran national knocked down and killed in Belmopan
Just minutes after forty-three year old Isabel Antonio Ballona was being killed by armed robbers at the La Choza del Cabrito Bar, another Salvadoran national also lost his life when [...]

The 43rd Annual Assembly of the O.A.S. to be held in Antigua, Guatemala
The Organization of American States will be meeting in Antigua, Guatemala beginning this Tuesday. Among the twenty-eight of thirty-four foreign ministers who will be in Antigua is Belize’s Foreign Minister, [...]

Gapi and Imer Hernandez long and winding road to San Antonio
Imer Hernandez – he’s the man at the center of the San Antonio Road controversy in Orange Walk Town. The nephew of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, Hernandez drew media [...]

Gapi’s Imer Hernandez gets contract for Belmopan Market
While that’s very likely the last we’ll hear about the San Antonio Road, it’s certainly not the last we’ll hear of the elusive Imer Hernandez. In fact, his name came [...]

Old man and the illegal sea lobster
An elderly fisherman of Southside Belize City who Fisheries Authorities claim was found in possession of over two thousand pounds of lobster tails was arraigned in court this morning.  Seventy-eight [...]

High school student says he was beaten by the cops
The family of seventeen-year-old Brian Lopez Jr., a student of Ladyville Technical High School, is livid, following claims of physical and verbal abuse at the hands of a Ladyville police [...]

Homeowner cuffs burglar over the head
A burglary gone wrong has left one man with a headache and time behind bars at the Belize Central Prison.  Convicted burglar Nelson David White appeared in the court of [...]

Daughter forgets details of incest in court
A forty-year old man from the Punta Gorda area was freed of a charge of carnal knowledge after his daughter, now fourteen years old, took the stand but failed to [...]

Leader of Opposition supports Audrey Matura-Shepherd
The resignation of OCEANA Belize Vice President Audrey Matura-Shepherd is still very much big news, especially after a press conference in which Matura-Shepherd claims that resignation was precipitated by attacks [...]

Inspiration telethon rakes in half a million dollars for needed center
Construction of the Inspiration Center, a facility that is being built to assist children with disabilities, is quickly becoming a reality.  Last Tuesday, members of the media and donors to [...]

Belize City and Merida Sister Cities
Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley and Mayor Renan Barrera Cocha of Merida, Yucatan have signed a letter of intent to establish a sister city relationship in the near future. That [...]

Football, volleyball, table tennis and cycling in weekend sports
Good evening I’m James Adderly and this is sports. Since it’s mandated that Belize must present a U-17 football team in UNCAF’s 2013 female competition, Belize has been paired with [...]


Village Council Elections Continue In Northern Belize
Village council elections continued yesterday. Reporter Dalila Ical looks at results in the northern districts. DALILA ICAL “The village council elections continued on Sunday, June 2 in the north; six new councils were elected in the Corozal District and four in the...

Cayo Police Investigate Armed Robbery
Police are investigating an armed robbery at a pharmacy in the Cayo District. Correspondent Elaine Berry tells us more. ELAINE BERRY “A robbery took place on Friday, May 31 at Codd’s Pharmacy situated on George Price Avenue in Santa Elena. Accordin...

Northern Belize Prepared For Hurricane Season
The National Emergency Management Organization has been working on hurricane preparedness plans and there is no exception for the North of the Country. We join Correspondent Arturo Cantun to hear more about what NEMO is doing in Orange Walk and Corozal. ARTURO CANTUN &ldq...

Belize's Blue Hole Nominated To Be A Wonder of The World
The Great Blue Hole is one of the most attractive natural sites in Belize and news today is that it has been nominated to be the 8th Wonder of the World. The Belize Tourism Board announced that the Great Blue Hole was entered into’s quest to crown the ‘8t...

Ruling Political Party Dominates Village Council Elections In Southern Belize
We now join Correspondent Harry Arzu for a look at the Village Council Election results in the South. HARRY ARZU “Village council elections were held in Sarawee village as well as in Hope Creek village on Sunday June 2. After the voting and counting were all over, r...

Teenage Girl Reported Missing In Benque Viejo del Carmen
A young girl has been reported missing in the Cayo District. Thirty five year old Carlos Sanchez of St. Joseph Street in Benque Viejo Town, reported to police that around 6:00pm on Saturday, he sent his thirteen year old daughter, Quianna Guzman to collect some money from a perso...

Weekend Shooting Leaves Two Critical
Two men are in a critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after they were both shot to the head on Saturday night. The incident occurred around 7:20 on Saturday night. Forty four year old Melvin Baptist and twenty four year old Arthur Baptist were at Melvin&...

Charged With Handling Stolen Goods After Being Caught With Policeman's Bike
Twenty-three year old Malcolm Wagner, of Flamboyant Street, was charged with handling stolen goods for a bicycle that was stolen from a police constable when he appeared in court today. Wagner pled not guilty to the charge. He said that he borrowed the bicycle from a friend and while h...

Thousand Dollar Bail For Shoplifting Coffee
Fifty-nine year old David Rodriguez, a plumber of Vernon Street, who allegedly shop-lifted a bottle of Nescafe coffee from Save-U Supermarket, was charged with theft when he appeared in court today. Rodriguez pled not guilty to the charge. He was offered a bail of one thousand dollars ...

Magistrate Grants Bail To Burglar Following Guilty Plea
Fifty-four year old Nelson White, who allegedly burglarized the home of Stanley Lizama, was charged with burglary when he appeared in court today. White pled not guilty to the charge. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser offered him a bail of four thousand dollars and adjourned his case unt...

National Gender Policy Receives More Criticisms
The revised national gender policy has come under criticism from a number of quarters. Today the Council of Management of the Belize National Teachers Union met to hear a presentation with reference to the implications of the policy. BNTU says it views with grave concerns t...

One Year Old Alert System For Missing Children Needs Funding and Support
A new alert system to help with location of missing children, the Jasmine Alert was created last year after a tragedy that garnered concerns from the entire Nation. After one year of the initiative, Correspondent Arturo Cantun met with one of the founders to find out where the program now l...

Inspiration Telethon Meets 500K Target
KIM SIMPLIS BARROW “You set targets and you want to reach those targets because you know what the need is presently, for the centre to be completed.” The target was set at half a million dollars which needed to be raised in ten hours. The 2013 Inspiration Telethon was...


Burglar Granted Bail After Pleading Guilty
Fifty-four year old Nelson White, who allegedly burglarized the home of Stanley Lizama, was charged with burglary when he appeared in court today. White pled not guilty to the charge. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser offered him a bail of four thousand dollars and adjourned his case until July 24. The incident occurred on May 31. Lizama reported to the police that his house was burglarized and a number of items were stolen. The items included one metal rake, one metal shovel, one black tool kit with assorted tools, one electric Skil Saw and one China tea set. The items amounted to five hundred and eighty dollars in value. White said he was chased by seven persons and he was beaten with a machete and his ribs are broken.

More Concerns Surface on National Gender Policy
The revised national gender policy has come under criticism from a number of quarters. Today the Council of Management of the Belize National Teachers Union met to hear a presentation with reference to the implications of the policy. BNTU says it views with grave concerns the implication. It says it intends to undertake a thorough review of the document with a view towards determining the impact the gender policy will have on all. The BNTU says it will be sensitizing its general membership on the implications of the policy and to ensure that the general citizenry suffers no constitutional infringement as a consequence of having the policy enforced. It calls on Government to put an immediate halt to any further action on the policy. The BNTU ends its release by stating that they have placed the national gender policy under the microscope and stand ready to act as their review unravels the real truth.

Jasmine Alert – One Year Later…..
A new alert system to help with location of missing children, the Jasmine Alert was created last year after a tragedy that garnered concerns from the entire Nation. After one year of the initiative, Correspondent Arturo Cantun met with one of the founders to find out where the program now lies. ARTURO CANTUN “On June 4, 2012, 13-year-old, Jasmine Lowe of San Ignacio went missing. Her father, Christopher Lowe reported she went missing after she left his house and was heading to her mother’s place also in San Ignacio. Two days later the decomposing body of Jasmine was found in some bushes on Cristo Rey Road; the news sent shock waves across the country. Following this horrible incident, community activist, Patrick Menzies introduced the Jasmine Alert Program, the first of its kind in Belize. Menzies says that one year later the program has proved to be successful.” PATRICK MENZES

Half Million Dollar Target Met For Inspiration Centre
“You set targets and you want to reach those targets because you know what the need is presently, for the centre to be completed.” The target was set at half a million dollars which needed to be raised in ten hours. The 2013 Inspiration Telethon was broadcast on all major television and radio stations across Belize. It started at 8 o’clock in the morning and by 6 o’clock in the evening the target was not only met but was surpassed. The event was held at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts and saw the participation of a slew of local television personalities and artists. Donations and pledges were made by phone or handed over personally to the Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow. In addition, over fourteen booths were set up across the country because every cent counts.


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...

Murder in the capital city
An armed robbery turned fatal for two customers who were socializing at La Choza Del Cabrito Bar over the weekend. Shortly after 12am on Sunday morning, Belmopan Police visited La Choza Bar in West Belmopan where they observed two male persons suffering from gunshot wounds. 43yr old ISABEL ANTONIO...

PM meets with Church leaders after complaints of no consultation on Gender Policy
The 2013 Revised National Gender Policy has been met with much opposition from church leaders and vocal members of the Christian community. Many Christian leaders are asking which church representatives were consulted on the gender policy by the women’s commission. That gender policy speaks to a “ new world...

Abundant Life Assembly of God Church disappointed with Gender Policy process
In a press release issued from the Abundant Life Assembly of God Church. It says, we the Church “…..categorically state our disappointment in the manner and process in which the Revised Gender Policy 2013 was developed, approved and presented.” It also says, “….Some of the content goes against the...

BNTU raises concerns about Gender Policy
While the churches have been most vocal about their concerns about the gender policy, late this evening, the Belize National Teacher’s Union added its voice to raise concerns of its own. The release says “The Council of Management of the BNTU has met and had the opportunity to have ...

Hit and run incident leaves one man dead
There was an apparent hit and run over the weekend in the nation’s capital. A little after noon yesterday, the body of 32 year old Mario Ortega was found lying on the road, in front of the Agriculture and Trade Show Grounds, his mountain bike some 75feet away with...

Uncle and nephew critical following Saturday shooting
Police say they seek two suspects in relation to a Saturday night shooting in Belize City. Around 7:20 p.m. Saturday 44 year old Melvin Baptist and his nephew 24 year old Arthur Baptist were watching an NBA playoff basketball game inside the older man’s barbershop on Neal’s Pen Road....

Many vehicles damaged in Benque Viejo Del Carmen
Residents of Benque Viejo were awoken by the blast of glass breaking and shattering to the ground, as a group of women drove around the Church Street area, vandalizing whatever vehicle was in sight. Now this is one of those you had to be there to believe kind of...

Former KHMH CEO unsatisfied with results of investigation and press conference
On Friday PLUS News spoke for the first time since the discovery of the deaths of thirteen babies at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital to its former CEO, Dr. Alvaro Rosado. Dr. Rosado served for almost eight years, from November 2000 to March of 2008 before being succeeded by...

Former KHMH CEO comments on Incinerator and X-Ray Machine
We asked former CEO of KHMH, Dr. Alavro Rosado, about the hospital incinerator which had been shutdown in his tenure but since re-opened and which area residents complain has been causing air pollution. He told us that while he has no idea why the hospital recommenced using the incinerator,...

This year’s Inspiration Telethon hits half a million mark
Last year, in ten hours, Belizeans raised $1,093,368.66 for the construction of a special center for children and youth currently under construction at Mile 1 1/2 George Price Highway. A quarter million of that was a donation from Minister of Human Development Anthony “Boots” Martinez taken from the OPEC...

Flowers Bank honors heroes with community park
This weekend PLUS News was on hand in the tiny village of Flowers Bank in the Belize District on an important day in the annals of Belizean history. 216 years ago Saturday, June 1, 1797, 14 men from the area went to what was then Belize Town and cast...

Gas prices increase
Prices for regular and premium gasoline increased as of last night. PLUS News has confirmed that premium gasoline is now $12.34, up 22 cents from $12.12, while regular gasoline increased to $11.82 from 11.71, an increase of eleven cents. However, customers using diesel saw a short fall in prices...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker film accepted in the 2013 Belize Film Festival
A Caye Caulker film is an official selection in the Belize International Film Festival. I will keep you informed on the details when I get them! Congratulations to everyone who has helped in this production. We urge all Hicaquenos to attend the screening at the Princess Cinema on the evening of the showing if they can.

Ocean Academy Fly Fishing Class
Belizean high school students are learning the art of fly fishing and guiding in their P.E. elective at Ocean Academy Non-Profit High School on the island of Caye Caulker. Going beyond paper and pencil to fly rod and line, I share my passion with students who had never touched a fly rod before. Like us on Facebook and watch the evolution. We are always in need of equipment and scholarships.

Slates & Independents in upcoming Village Council elections..
On June 16, 2013, Caye Caulker will elect a new Village Council. There are two slates and several independent candidates running for office. We would like to thank Raul Young, councillor aspirant, for letting us use this graphic. Vote wisely on June 16th, folks!

2 Caye Caulker Girls in Belize’s National U17 Foot
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. You make Caye Caulker proud!

Miss Chiquitita 2013 is Miss Kirsten Badillo
At the end of the Miss Chiquitita 2013 pageant held on Friday, May 30th, it was Kirsten Badillo who emerged victorious. The little beauty, Kirsten Badillo, is pictured here with per proud mother, Ms. Gina Badillo. Congrats to the Badillo family on Kirsten’s win. Six contestants vyed for the title. They are Miss Rihanna Badillo, Miss Gennesis Tzul, Miss Klerysa Heredia, Miss Arissa Rosado, Miss Kirsten Badillo, and Miss Acuzely Castaneda. Here at the Caye Caulker Chronicles, we are happy not to have had to judge this contest, as all the contestants are all so adorable. Would have been a tough one having to choose. Congratulations to all the contestants, you are all beautiful and well deserving of our community pride.


Early morning quiet time and the latest bridge pictures
The bridge is going to be finished any day now, and what an improvement. On the weekend, I asked Sue Blair owner of Coco Loco’s Beach Bar if she would not mind snapping a few pictures in case I did not make it back before they got finished. Since tacoboy was letting us timeshare the cart from Pedro’s Hotel and we a couple of hours, I convinced Dick to go for an early morning ride. We hit the crock pond by Consolidated Water to enjoy the stillness and reflections, then we went to the bridge to check out the progress. Afterwards we did pit stops at Harmouche Hardware, Lino’s meats, got the cart gassed up and back 1/2h early. Here is a link to the progress picture posted from last Friday on message board with some funny comments and a link to a past bridge thread from 8 years back. Hope you enjoy our Monday morning drive as much as we did.

It’s Official – Belize is Happy!
The Travel Channel has just officially acknowledged something that we’ve always known – Belize is one of the Top Ten Happiest countries in the world. A new Travel Channel article,” World’s Top 10 Happiest Countries”, uses the 2013 global Happy Planet Index to compile this year’s list of the top cheerful destinations, and we’re not surprised that Belize made the grade. With the world’s second largest barrier reef (some say the world’s longest living barrier reef), huge tracts of unspoiled rainforests surrounding ancient Maya cities and temples, pristine rivers, waterfalls, hundreds of lovely little islands and a stunning Caribbean coast, what’s not to be happy about? Oh yes, then there’s the people. Nowhere on the planet will you find a more multicultural mix of happy souls who have long ago worked out how to live in harmony. Just about everyone who comes to Belize remarks on the natural, easy going friendliness and warmth of Belizeans. And it’s infectious – after a few days even the most harried travellers notice a spring in the step and a propensity towards smiling. It just grows on you…

PhotoS of the month – May
Once again we re-fresh our Facebook profiles with a photo from one of our customers – this month we have been sent a collection of photos from the amazing Rene Schoneberg from Germany. All of his album has been so good (not to mention a truly fantastic video that he created) that it has been difficult to select just two of the many that he took on our fabulous overnight adventure. The above photos are the ones selected, and these has been selected for its suitability for the small profile icon but there are a number that are worthy of a larger stage and here are just a few for you!!

A partnership between the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service and the various public utilities, to provide direct support to small business owners and new startups, has resulted in the launch of what is being called a Micro-Enterprise Utility Start-up Package.

“Little by Little” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up and out on the veranda with my mug of coffee and iPad by 4.15 am yesterday morning. There was a very light rain shower so it was nice and cool. First job was to organise an online payment to Daniel Camal, our building contractor for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize, via FC Exchange (the company in the UK that I have been using to convert sterling to USD). With that done I trawled the Internet, looking at nothing in particular, and read The Times on-line before I headed off to Estel’s for breakfast and then went to pay the cable, Internet and water bills. Whilst in town I also popped in to the Post Office to enquire about a P.O. Box (something that we will need for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize) and was pleasantly surprised that they still have some available. For BZ$ 65 we can have the small box for the first year and thereafter it drops to BZ$ 40 (the first year fee includes the cost of BZ$ 25 for two keys). A lot cheaper than I had expected. Once back at the condo we are renting I set about contacting Customs Brokers to establish what their fees would be for ‘managing’ entry in to Belize for the two shipments we have (one from the UK and one from Miami).

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Pina Colada Muffins
I bake a slew uf muffins and thishere one is a keepr. A purrfeck muffin t'add t'yer brunch menu er t'enjoy inny time! Mah sistr served these deliciyus muffins at a Bibull study n' hern trayler minny a yeers ago and shared t'recipe with me.

Something to think about as a community
In all reality guys, we as a people need to do our part in spite of whichever govt is in power. If we learn to live within our means, become self-sufficient, stop wanting everything we see on tv so we can have something better than the other person, start eating locally produced products rather than demanding imported stuff. I remember back in the day when Food of the gods was manufacturing chocolate bars in Belmopan, their product was far superior and more natural than the imported stuff; but because the people had to have the imported stuff because we think that if it’s not Snickers or Hershey that it’s not good enough and the Govt at the time did not allow for them to grow into a fully functioning and profitable company that could have been providing quality jobs, they sadly had to close down. We have local meat markets that produce sausages, hams and other meat products that are way superior and contain less chemicals that the imported stuff, we need to start supporting our local producers people. When we do that, our money stays in Belize and feeds the economy. When you buy imported stuff you feed the economy of another country and deplete ours.

Common Misconceptions of Education
By Gustavo A. Ramirez. Previously, we discussed the issue of parents and guardians who seem neglectful and show very little, if any, interest in their children’s day-to-day work, or lack of work, at school. However, I made it clear that there’s nothing to be gained when educators or PTA parents point fingers at students’ parents who do not regularly participate in school activities, or communicate regularly with teachers, or attend school and PTA meetings. We do not help students to learn by judging their parents or by comparing one parent to another. How, then, do we constructively help parents and guardians to replace any misconceptions they may have of the schools where they send their sons or daughters everyday, i.e. viewing schools as daytime babysitters? How do we motivate parents to become involved and be a part of their children’s day-to-day education, and not feel like “outsiders” in the Education process? How do we help parents to see and feel that they are an integral part of how their children learn everyday as they grow in body, mind and soul?

International Sources

Golf Courses Damage Coral Reefs, According to Before-and-After Bahamas Study
Acclaimed coral scientist Tom Goreau spoke about coral reef decline at Baker's Bay Club as a result of excessive fertilizer run-off. The speech, presented at the Bahamas National Natural History Conference in Nassau, was well received by the audience and is the first public presentation of data from the Baker's Bay coral reef controversy. The speech, billed as "Golf Course Fertilizer Runoff Causes Nutrient Enrichment Leading to Harmful Algae Blooms on a Bahamian Coral Reef", was co-written by Tom Goreau of the Global Coral Reef Alliance, James Cervino of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Troy Albury, President of Save Guana Cay Reef. Goreau presented data, photographs and maps on changes in coastal algae, algae nutrient contents, and health of adjacent coral reefs, before and after construction of Bakers Bay Golf Course on Guana Cay, Abaco. After construction, new algae blooms appeared along shores nearest to golf course greens, smothering corals in adjacent reefs, along with sharply increased coral diseases. Bakers Bay claimed there was no link between algae blooms and fertilizer use, that blooms were natural, caused by hurricanes, or due to septic tank leakage from remote areas.

Mexican Trade Mission will visit Belize
The Trade and Investment Mexican Agency (ProMéxico) in collaboration with the Embassy of Mexico is organizing a trade mission to Belize on June 5th and 6th. A delegation of Mexican business persons will visit Belize in order to promote trade and to identify potential buyers and suppliers of various products and services. Companies include: Servidora Química PG del Sureste; NGN Telecom Holding; Toldesa; Comercializadora Mayorista del Golfo, Fábrica de Postes Yucatán; Botanas y Frituras del Sureste La Lupita; Alfonso Arcila y Compañía; Lonas Tendal; Herramientas Servicios y Consumibles, Grupo Tecnovidrio; Comercializadora Naremo; Red Interamericana de Comercio and Alcica Construcciones. Products include agave distilled spirits, snacks, canned products (veggies and fruits, beans and pepper sauce), wheat flour for the baking industry, chemicals for food conservation, agricultural products and cleaning products, tents, screens, geomembranes, plastic covers, upholstery, ecofriendly portable bathrooms, glass architectural designed products (windows) and reinforced concrete poles.

A city cannot be hid... but can be lost
RECENTLY an entire Mayan Pyramid was bulldozed in Belize to make way for a road. I was horrified to hear this. Like the authorities in Belize, I wondered if the developer was unaware of the fact that this structure was centuries old, and of great historic value. Then I thought of historic Spanish Town, with its decaying, collapsing, centuries-old structures. Spanish Town as a centre of the Jamaican civilisation predates the Spanish establishment of Villa De La Vega (Town on the Plain) in 1534, as the Taino inhabited the area on the west bank of the Rio Cobre long before the European arrivals. The oldest iron bridge in the Western World, the oldest train station outside of the UK and USA, the oldest site of both Spanish and British (Anglican) cathedrals, oldest Georgian square outside of Britain, are just a few of the list of dizzying historical notes to be found on a survey of the town's heritage.

Belize to Host Internet Exchange Point Forum
Internet in Belize is still the most expensive and among the slowest in the entire Caribbean region, according to a 2013 survey of Caribbean Internet Service Providers (ISPs). However, Trinidad-born Internet strategist Bevil Wooding says Belize's Internet users should not rely on costly international data transit for online communications within the country. Instead, to facilitate growth of the local telecommunications sector, they should establish their own facility for local Internet traffic exchange. “The absence of a local IXP compromises a country’s ability to truly harness the potential of the Internet as an engine for economic growth, job creation and social empowerment,” said Wooding, an international Internet expert and, Internet strategist with the US-based research firm Packet Clearing House (PCH).

Bond restructurings fail to ignite Caribbean growth - Moody's
A major international credit rating agency says three bond restructurings in the Caribbean this year, totaling about US$9.7 billion, have still failed to ignite economic growth and may not help the region avoid more defaults. Moody’s Investors Service said the bond swaps this year did not go far enough to fixing the Caribbean’s “unsustainable” mix of debt and deficits. It said, among Caribbean island economies, only The Bahamas is expected to grow more than 1.5 per cent this year, compared with four per cent for Latin America. The Wall Street-based rating agency said the average debt for a Caribbean nation compared with the size of its economy stands at 70 per cent, with Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda and Grenada above the 93 per cent ratio that forced Cyprus to seek a European Union-brokered March bailout.

Mexican trade mission to visit Belize
The Trade and Investment Mexican Agency (ProMéxico) in collaboration with the embassy of Mexico is organizing a trade mission to Belize on June 5 and 6. A delegation of Mexican business persons will visit Belize in order to promote trade and to identify potential...

If This GIF of 10,000 Years of Sea Level Rise Doesn't Freak You Out, Nothing Will
Fossilized sediment from New Jersey's salt marshes contains evidence of a migrating coast line. For some 2,000 years, up until the dawn of our modern warming era around 1900, the sea level off of what's now New Jersey was rising by about one to two millimeters a year, with the coast itself imperceptibly creeping inland. Today, the sea level is rising by three to five millimeters a year. Perhaps that still doesn't sound like much. But this is the point of taking a very long view of history.

June 3, 2013


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Doctor Love: Send Money
Sending money to a television preacher to continue the work of God is a good thing right? A reader wants to know if the money will be put to good use.

Letter to the Editor: Perfectly Perplexed
In the editorial of May 23, Mayor Danny exclaims, “Everything is perfect here.” Perfect? Where? I live in San Pedro, an under-paved, crime-troubled, litter-covered, animal-torturing, service-impaired, broken-bridged community on Ambergris Caye. This island supports San Pedro and Belize with thousands of tax dollars, yet sees slow improvements for those who live here and pay. Our taxi drivers replace costly shock absorbers when the roads are like an obstacle course. Our neighbors also pay to repair golf carts which take the bumps hard, not to mention feeling back pain. Our friends replace bicycles and cell phones as thieves help themselves. We wonder who our police officers are as they sit behind windshields after we/I begged at a Town Meeting that they walk among us to develop relationships in the business and neighborhood communities. When I walk and ride around I see bottles, Styrofoam, and cardboard every few feet, on sand, dirt or pavement. As I approach the largest business, I plunge into more ruts and puddles while encountering more trash around the beverage plant. Our animals, from dogs to crocodiles, suffer at the hands of ignorant torturers who aren’t traceable or accountable.

Wolfe’s Woofers: Wine and Sophistication
Drinking a bit of wine makes the ladies sophisticated, right? Riiiight.

Misc Belizean Sources

Capital City Cycling Race
The Belize Cycling Association had a race yesterday. Congratulations to all the winners! "The Capital City Cycling Race held on Sunday June 2, 2013 featured 41 riders riding from Belmopan to La Democracia Village to Caves Branch Bridge on the Hummingbird Highway and back to Belmopan for a total of 60 miles. The race was won by Junior Rider Giovanni Lovell of the BTL Team who escaped from a breakaway group in the Hummingbird Hills. 2nd Jose Choto of Belikin, 3rd Allen Castillo of Bennys Megabytes 4th Angel Tzib of Bennys Megabytes 5th Erwin Middleton of Team C4 First Female was Shalini Zabaneh of Sagitun 2nd Junior was Zahir Figueroa of BECOL Uprising and 3rd Junior was Phillip Mencias of Capital Jewel Cycling Team A big thank you to the sports supporters and sponsors which included Hon John Saldivar, Grace Kennedy Ltd, A-Z Preschool, Mr. Miley Garcia, El Rancho and Capital Sales Bike Shop."

Bullet Tree Falls Corn Fest
The Bullet Tree Falls Corn Fest was Friday and Saturday. They had football as the main event Saturday, and the Queen of the Corn pageant on Friday night. Corn wine? "Bullet Tree had their Corn Fest this weekend. They had fun, games, food, football, and much more."

Express Oh! Cafe's Grand Oh-pening
The Express Oh! Cafe had its grand opening yesterday, and it was a roaring success. "There's a new coffee shop in Cayo, Santa Elena to be exact, and you can't miss it; seriously, you can't. They have great frappuccinos, coffee, pastries, and even have daily food specials. It's the most artsy coffee shop ever, and they are open on Sundays. Good food and coffee, and there should be entertainment coming soon. See you there!"

SHJC's 2013 Graduation Ceremony
Sacred Heart Junior College held their graduation ceremony for the class of 2013 yesterday. It was in their, literally just finished, new auditorium, which was decorated beautifully for the occasion. Maria Marin, the guest speaker, had a phenomenal speech for the graduates about goals, dreams, and ambition. The students' speeches were also witty and imaginative. Congratulations, SHJC graduates, and like Dr. Eve Aird said, 'it's not really goodbye, it's see you later.' "SHJC had their graduation at their new auditorium. It was the perfect venue, and the graduation ceremony went well. The guest speaker, Ms. Maria Marin had an outstanding speech that will surely motivate the students as they go into the world to make a difference."

The Belize Times

Audrey quits Oceana Vice President
The news that Audrey Matura-Shepherd has quit as Vice-President of Oceana stunned Belize. At a press conference held on Thursday afternoon, Matura-Shepherd’s admitted that the resignation had to do with a clash between her and supporters of Caleb Orozco’s UNIBAM, after she expressed concerns about possible consequences of UNIBAM’s constitutional challenge. Matura-Shepherd’s comments were posted on her personal Facebook page, and in it, she asked whether since section 53 of the criminal act (section being challenged by UNIBAM) deals with sodomy as well as acts considered “unnatural” such as bestiality, she wondered whether another group such as one supporting bestiality may also seek to affirm their status in society. It is believed that pro-UNIBAM individuals took offense at the comments and launched a campaign against Matura-Shepherd. One individual, only known by name as Kenrick Raymark Theus Diaz, took the matter as far as Oceana’s Washington office, in a letter in which he sought “corrective measures”. We understand that Matura-Shepherd, who is a columnist in the Amandala newspaper, was told by her Oceana superiors that if she wanted to keep her job, she could continue writing on issues other than the UNIBAM matter. Matura-Shepherd did not take the restriction lightly. In a statement to the media, issued prior to the conference, Matura-Shepherd said she will now pursue her “legal career… while balancing family obligations”.

Do the honorable thing!
As a small child, I remember Arlette and Dave knew each other from high school. They graduated together but went their separate ways. A few years later, their paths would cross again and this time as fate would have it, they fell in love. They dated for a few months and eventually decided that they wanted to get married and build a life together. They both wanted children and did not want to wait. Unfortunately, several years went by and Arlette did not conceive. They tried everything, different positions, different herb mixtures and she even spent hours holding her legs up because she was told that that would help. They prayed a lot, read books and spent countless hours on google. They learned about ovulation cycle, follicular phase and some big words like hypothalamus. They tried to catch the estrogen levels when they were at their highest point. They knew all about the pituitary gland and that it sent out the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) that sent out the follicles to develop into mature eggs. They found out that ovulation occur when a mature egg is released from the ovary, pushed down the fallopian tube, and become available for fertilization. They became almost experts but still, no luck! They were told to avoid stress, illnesses and tried not to disrupt normal routines. At times it was almost comical as they did some almost impossible things to make it happen. Every month, Dave longed desperately to hear the words that so many other men normally dread; honey I’m late! But every month, Arlette’s period arrived on time. There were times when one or the other would cast a suspicious glance the other’s way, but they loved each other too much to lay accusations. Still, the possibility existed that either Arlette was barren or that Dave was impotent. They decided that either way, they could not live without each other and in desperation even discussed the possibility of adopting. But Dave wanted his own for child.

Poaching threatens Chiquibul Forest
From the month of October to March 2013 FCD’s research team was actively involved in studying the effects of poaching on game species in the Chiquibul Forest. The four man team conducted its research along 12 transects in areas including the Caracol Archaeological Reserve, covering a total of 384 km. This study was aimed at determining the diversity of terrestrial games species; calculating the relative abundance by species for each game species recorded and to evaluate the impact of illegal hunting on the relative abundance of target species. A total of 1,022 individuals of 24 different species were recorded where the most abundant species were squirrels, quash, collared peccary, crested guans, and keel billed toucans. The study reveals that abundance of game species from the western border to the interior of the study area was even, meaning that more than likely game species are targeted throughout the entire Chiquibul forest, and are impacted by poaching independent of how far these are from the border. It is also safe to conclude that hunters have been targeting large bodied species, leading to a severe reduction on abundance of targeted species and have begun to target smaller individuals as well as non-traditional game species such as the keel billed toucan. The team did not record any sightings of white-lipped peccary, confirming the assumption that the species has become locally extinct from the Chiquibul Forest, since it is a species favored by hunters. Guatemalan xateros and poachers have been penetrating deeper and deeper into Belizean wilderness areas and they pose the highest threat to the population of species. Poaching is fast becoming a lucrative activity not only for subsistence but for commercial purposes. This is confirmed through records made of Guatemalan nationals being detained with up to 15 game birds. ...

Faber assaults Police Officer
Former UDP chairman Patrick Faber has become more bitter and erratic since losing his bid for Deputy Leader to Dean Barrow’s choice, Gaspar Vega. This past Sunday, Faber took his rancorous behavior to Hattieville where the village council elections were being held. During the elections, the UDP’s Education Minister Faber couldn’t help himself but get in rabid exchanges with the women of the village who found him to be an obnoxious little politician. During an exchange with one of the women, Faber even hit her with a flag stick which he carried on his shoulder. When other rabid UDPs arrived, Faber’s sour attitude worsened. He turned his venom on the Police who struggled to maintain order. In one instance, Faber’s temperature shot up the roof when he saw a group of voters entering the gate to join the voter’s line. Faber approached the Police Officer, who was manning the gate, menacingly, and began lecturing the officer. The officer was shaken, and in a moment had to hold back himself, when he was pushed by the UDP politician. ...

BTIA rejects Crawl Caye proposal
The Belize Tourism Industry Association, which represents tourism stakeholders countrywide, has declared their opposition to a proposed cruise port project in Southern Belize, and urged Cabinet to follow their direction. High ranking UDPs who have been awarded influential posts in the Barrow Administration are using their connections to push through a project with Norwegian Cruise Lines to build a cruise port on Crawl Caye. The proposal is not a popular one. Tourism stakeholders say the project is a threat to the environment and Belize’s tourism product. Crawl Caye is located inside the Southwater Caye Marine Reserve which is a World Heritage site. The Caye is also near the Barrier Reef, a heritage which is constantly under threat from the Barrow Administration. To build a cruise port for large ships would require clearing and dredging which would seriously damage the mangrove environment. ...

Does inequality really need to be tackled? The twin forces of globalization and technical innovation have actually narrowed inequality globally, as poorer countries catch up with richer ones. But within many countries especially in the poor developing world, including Belize, income gaps have widened. In Belize, poverty and inequality have reached such an alarming level that the society as a whole is in crisis. The majority of Belizeans are living in survival mode. More and more families have become marginalized, vulnerable and dependent on the hand-outs of the ruling UDP politicos who have turned vote-buying into a norm in the “democratic” process of electioneering. Large sums of money get siphoned from the Barrow/state-owned enterprises: Social Security and B.T.L. to well-connected insiders who are awarded fat inflated contracts ostensibly to carry out infrastructural projects. The crumbs from the national budget is doled out to the poor supporters just enough to keep them quiet. The teeming masses are threatened with the hammer of victimization and transparent intimidation if they dare step out of line; if they dare to raise their voices in protest. If they do, no more food pantry for them; no chance of getting a plot of land on which to build a little house or start a little farm. Just talk to the many Belizeans not only in Harmonyville but right across the country from Corozal to Toledo. ...

Louisiana School girls are national basketball champs
The Louisiana Government School girls from Orange Walk Town won the national primary schools basketball championships held in Belize City on Friday, May 24. The Sugar City girls ran over the Holy Redeemer girls 22-13. MVP Yasel Sutherland had 8 points. Siriann Chi and Aaliya Leiva each added 4 points, while Zelita Catzim and Jannil Dominguez each tossed in a bucket for the 22-13 win. Holy Redeemer’s Zaria Jenkins had 7 points, while Diana Elijio and Felicia Arzu each added a bucket. 3rd place went to the Hopkins girls who blew away the Libertad girls 25-3. Sharette Requena scored 11 points; Shameika Peters added 10 points and Rushelle Ramos and Odajah Casimiro each tossed in a bucket. Libertad’s Tamira Nunez hit a single trey. ...

San Ignacio FC wins Mexico’s “2013 Copa Tulum”
San Ignacio United FC travelled to Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico on 25 May 2013 to participate in the 2013 Copa Tulum. Five teams from Mexico participated including; Cancun state selection, Campeche state selection, Tulum state selection and the Chetumal University. San Ignacio United FC won the Championship after defeating Cancun in the finals with a 2-0 victory. Both goals were scored by Leonard “Macho” Valdez. ...

U-17 female footballers face Guatemala on Sunday
The National U-17 Women’s Football Team will play the Guatemala national team on Sunday, June 2 at the FFB Goal Project Stadium at 4pm. On Saturday, May 18th, our national team played against Guatemala in Antigua, Guatemala, but lost 8-0. The home-field and home crowd advantage may boost our girls’ spirits, therefore, Belizeans are asked to come out and support this historic game. ...

Gaspar Vega Again! – Vega’s Nephew collected $179,000 for paving of OW road, but no work done
Orange Walk Town residents, specifically those living on San Antonio road are demanding to know where is the $179,957 paid to Imer Hernandez, the nephew of Deputy Prime Minister, for the paving of San Antonio Road. The payments were done to “Imer Hernandez Development Company” by the Ministry of Works for among other things, the scarification of the existing pavement on San Antonio, supply and compact mat on the road and double surface dressing. This is at a total payment of $179,957. The payment invoice for the Ministry of Works confirms that the work was “executed”, but for the residents of San Antonio Road, there is another reality. No such thing happened! The residents have been enduring the hellish environment contaminated by dust that causes sickness and infection. Documents show that payments were made to Hernandez’ company since February 24 2012, but today, a whole year later, no construction has started. ...

by Katie Usher There is a new art and social initiative being presented from Belize City. Several young artists and poets have joined forces to portray Belize through their lens and viewpoints. Arrrt Team and Youth Voices have collaborated efforts to showcase an art exhibit and poetry performance Imagine Nation at the Image Factory Art Gallery. The exhibit is supported by REACH, a newly established NGO that focuses on “Research, Education and Advocacy for Social Change”. It is backed by a group of concerned Belizeans with expertise in social research and development. The mission of REACH is to foster community self-evaluation, social change and more informed policy and decision-making through high quality social research. I got a sneak peak of some of the works exhibited at the Image Factory Art Gallery. I will admit, unabashedly, that these young artists have inspired me to reconsider and fortify my conceptual and graphic discourse. Confronted with the crime climate that has washed the Belizean shores and continued inland, destroying and compromising every peaceful corner, like a tsunami, I have been hardly inspired to make art, consume art or even discuss art. ...

Land of the Free Part 2
Land of the free! What does it mean to be free? Nothing is for free. If it didn’t cost you, it’s costing someone else! When you steal something, someone else has to pay. In our beautiful country, the national anthem boasts of our freedom. What are we free from? Do we behave as if we are free or do we behave as an animal on a leash that has no idea he is free and therefore restricts himself from a better life, living in one constant circle day after day? Belize is a young country, but sadly, a naïve young country that only goes as far as boasting of her wealth but nothing more. We function as if the wealth flows from a never ending spring and carelessly manage it. Come, we say to one and all, come enjoy the land of the free….. But free for what I say? Free to call our borders artificial? Free to run ships onto the reef? Free to ship drugs through? Free to cut our xate leaves? Free to cut our rosewood? Free to mine our gold? Free to take our oil? Free to shave down our Maya ruins? Free to take as much land as you need? Free to borrow millions and not repay? Free to jack the businessmen after you hangout on the streets whole day? Free to sell drugs? Free to kill for hire or revenge? Free to change our laws to suit your personal agenda? Nothing is free. Everything costs something and values something. ...

UDP raids land in Caye Caulker
A petition letter from Caye Caulker residents has been gathering huge support for a call on authorities to rein in the politically-appointed lots committee. The lots committee, which is appointed by the Area Representative to undermine the duly elected village council, is set up to distribute land. In the case of Caye Caulker, the residents say the lots committee is giving away land to undeserving persons including non-villagers and political cronies. The residents say that recently land was used as a political gimmick to advance the UDP’s agenda in the upcoming village council elections in mid-June. Some 150 lots were issued out to persons who don’t deserve a piece of the island. The villagers are concerned that their children and future generations of original residents will not be able to inherit any part of the island, because of the UDP’s land giveaway. In the petition, they write, “We the undersigned villagers call on the Prime Minister, our area representative and the Minister of lands and the Caye Caulker village council to rectify this wrongful move ASAP and give back what is rightfully the Heritage of our Caye Caulker villagers”. ...

It’s hard to raise a child when you’re still a child
By Dr. Angela Banner Joseph “It’s about time we make the well-being of our young people more important than ideology and politics. As a country, we benefit from investing in their future by investing in pregnancy prevention” – Jane Fonda Globally, the discussion of teen pregnancy is increasing and the debate is rampant on whether to provide free condoms in schools, whether to teach abstinence-only sex education, or whether to ask parents about teaching sex education in school. What all of these things have in common is that children should not be having children. Teen pregnancy is a family’s greatest nightmare and can lead to a national public health crisis of young mothers. What we have learned is that teen-age pregnancy is associated with increases in single parenthood, poverty, unhealthy babies, juvenile delinquency, developmental delays in children, increased school dropouts, reductions in attaining a college degree, increased incarceration, and a dismal future. Society has shown that children of teen-age mothers are more likely to become teen parents themselves. Teen pregnancy is both a cause and a consequence of a host of social ills. People often believe that teenage pregnancy occurred because of irresponsible behavior, misinformation, or “I didn’t believe getting pregnant would happen to me.” What many teenagers don’t understand is that being a parent is a full-time job; 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. You cannot turn a switch on and off, of when to be a parent, and you cannot send your child back when you want to go partying with your friends. Once you give birth, that baby is here to stay: A permanent fixture in your life and always at your side. ...

by anthony sylvestre On 21st November, 2012, sixteen days after being re-elected to serve the 2nd District of Illinois for a 9th consecutive term, Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned from the U.S. Congress. (US Congressmen have elections every two years). In his resignation letter to the Speaker of the House, he said this: “I have made my fair share of mistakes. I am aware of the ongoing federal investigation into my activities and am doing my best to address the situation responsibly, cooperate with the investigators, and accept responsibility for my mistakes, for they are my mistakes and mine alone. None of us is immune from our share of shortcomings or human frailties and I pray that I will be remembered for what I did right. It has been a profound honor to serve the constituents of Illinois’s Second Congressional District and I thank them for their patience, their words of support and prayers during what has been, and what will continue to be a very trying time for me and my family.” This, from a man who had an otherwise exemplary record representing the 2nd District of Illinois for 17 straight years and who polled on average 83.5 % of the votes casted in the 10 elections he contested for that congressional seat. Indeed, as he also recorded in his resignation letter to the Speaker of the House, he had worked to have built for his congressional district: new train stations, water towers, emergency rooms, affordable housing, community centers and healthcare clinics, nearly a billion dollars of infrastructure and community improvement on the South Side of Chicago and thousands of new jobs created. ...

NEMO fails small test – “We noh hear from dem yet” – storm victim
Persons affected by a severe thunderstorm that damaged their homes three weeks ago have said they have had to struggle to recover without the help of the Government disaster-response officials at the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO). On Thursday May 2nd, a heavy storm that caused small tornados and hail storm, passed through Belize and left behind a wreckage in several communities. In Shipyard, in the Orange Walk District, homes were turned over and farm animals were killed to a total loss of $300,000. In Lord’s Bank, Ladyville and Belize City, several homes were damaged by the heavy rains and hurricane-like winds. The day after the storm, NEMO coordinator Councillor Phillip Willoughby pretended to be savior as he went to the affected homes promising that NEMO would write a report and forward it to Ministers Anthony “Boots” Martinez, Mark “Gangman Style” King and Godwin Hulse for assistance within “a reasonable time”. Well, it seems Willoughby is still writing up his report as the bureaucracy hasn’t worked. Storm victims say they haven’t seen Willoughby or heard from NEMO since then. “We noh hear from dem yet,” said a storm victim when she called into the KREM WUB show on Monday. She explained that she can remember when Willoughby stood in her yard and told the media that he is doing a “damage assessment”. The BELIZE TIMES contacted another storm victim whose house suffered major water damage after his entire roof blew off. He said that when he attempted to contact NEMO, he was told that his case is not “a national disaster” therefore NEMO is not concerned and won’t assist. It appears NEMO is awaiting for towns and cities to be levelled or lives to be lost before they act on an emergency. Their refusal to provide assistance demonstrates their utter failure in such a small test that the severe thunderstorm turned out to be. Now imagine when the big test comes about, Belizeans better brace for the worst. ...

First Henderson…now Jeffries comes out of closet – Former Police Top Brass expose loyalty to UDP
There is something disturbing taking place in Belize. Individuals who swore to uphold the law and protect and serve all Belizeans without any form of bias, and who reached the top of the hierarchical ladder in the Police Department, are coming out of the closet declaring their loyalty to the UDP. In our Sunday, May 19th newspaper issue, the BELIZE TIMES showed the former Commissioner of Police David Henderson campaigning for the UDP in Unitedville. Henderson, who led the Police Force up to three months ago, was photographed while parading in a UDP T-shirt, pledging loyalty to the ruling party. This week, another former ComPol was caught meddling knee-deep in politics. Crispin Jeffries, who preceded Henderson, was a UDP candidate in the village council elections in Hattieville. If your head is shaking, we understand. The bullish, bull-headed, it’s-my-way-or-the- highway Jeffries, a political candidate? That’s right, and we have the photo to prove it. ...

First Annual Bayman Triathlon in Corozal
The First Annual Bayman Triathlon organised by “Team Papas” and the Belize National Triathlon Association was held in Corozal Town on Sunday, May 26th, 2013. The event was a three-course challenge that included a 350 meter swim, 10 kilometre bicycle ride and a 3 kilometre run. There were 26 participants who all competed valiantly for the top place. The results are as follows: Female 1st – Shalini Zabaneh $500 + trophy 2nd – Kerah Eiley $400 + trophy Junior (18 and younger) 1st – Eric Donis $500 + trophy 2nd – Michael Grajalez $400 + trophy 3rd – Daniel Cocom Male Elite 1st – Kenroy Gladden $500 + trophy 2nd – Kent Gabourel $400 + trophy 3rd – Luigi Urbina. $300 + trophy ...

PUP’s winning ways continue!
The People’s United Party continued to win this past Sunday when the third set of village council elections were held. Tremendous victories were gained in San Andres in the Corozal North constituency, Sarteneja in the Corozal South East constituency, and Fireburn in the Orange Walk District. Other victories came in the Stann Creek District in the villages of Valley Community, Alta Vista and a good showing was had at the Steadfast elections. In the Toledo district, the PUP won San Pedro Columbia, Medina Bank, Indian Creek, San Miguel, Silver Creek and Golden Stream councils. ...

High School’s best and brightest – Part II: SJC, Wesley College and Gwen Lizarraga High
The office of St. John’s College High School provided the statistics via phone to us last week Friday. There will be huge graduations across the High School, Sixth Form/Junior College and the Extension Division. Extension which will see 64 students graduate across a range of programs and the Junior College will pass out 250 students across several Associate Degree Programs. But since it is only the high school that we are dealing with, we’ll start there. Of 117 student-candidates across four 4th Forms, 104 will graduate on Sunday, June 9th, 2013 at the SJC Gymnasium on Princess Margaret Drive. [The High School ceremony will be at 3:00 p.m. while the Junior College ceremony is in the morning at 9:00 a.m.] The Valedictorian is Justyn Craig, and the Salutatorian is Luis Aleman. ...

PUP Leader’s address to Cane Farmers on Cane Farmer’s Day
Today, I am here to honor you and to pay my respects to each and every one of you for your contribution to Belize’s development thru this very important industry. Allow me to congratulate all of you on another successful Sugar Cane Crop. Your hard work, perseverance and dedication have once again been rewarded. My report as of May 25th, which was Crop Day 175, indicates that cane farmers have delivered One Million Sixty Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty Six Tons of Sugar Cane, which represents a 47,000 ton increase over the same period last year. Similarly, Sugar Production has already surpassed last year’s one hundred and fourteen thousand five hundred and thirty six tons (114,536). And while these increases in delivery and production are notable, what the Industry will perhaps be most proud of is the consistent and meaningful improvements in Crop Quality. Once again the TC/TS Ratio has improved moving from 9.29 last year to 9.14 this year. This improving Crop Quality, above all else, represents our greatest hope for the future of our industry. This we know could not have been possible without a collective sense of unity and direction among those present here today. It is that spirit and sense of purpose that has allowed Belize to survive the many serious challenges facing the Sugar Industry. ...

UDP out of order!
Every week, the UDP has been abusing their power to intimidate voters in the village council elections. This past Sunday, UDP big wigs flocked to Hattieville to bully voters. Patrick Faber, Sedi Elrington and Edmond Castro were joined by UDP lackeys Kenworth Tillett, defeated Deputy Chairman candidate Roosevelt Blades, defeated candidate Lee Mark Chang, Education employee Vernon, rabid mascot Brian “Yellowman” Audinette, and UDP Councillors Eric Chang and Dean Samuels all turned out to pressure voters. UDP abusing Government resources and intimidating voters at village council elections As expected, the UDP has politicized the village council elections, injecting their political agenda into the community process. The elections are no longer about ensuring better leadership in their communities, but about giving the UDP more power and control. That’s all that matters to them. ...

GOB stay application fails – Court adjourns hearing for next week
The injunction issued April 16th, 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 Productions 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 Kenneth Benjamin adjourned the hearing until next Tuesday, June 4th, 2013 at 10:30am to allow more time to review the submissions made by 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. ...

Kudos to PUP on progressive vision
A viable economy is the bedrock of development, growth, stability and well being of all nations including Belize. So in addition to its True Development agenda, the PUPs must adopt an agenda to allow the implementation of 20 more new commercial banks, ten more competitive sugar factories, 20 food/agricultural businesses, 30 more oil prospecting companies, as many citrus producers as normal profits will sustain, 50 cheese making factories, expansion of cattle market, get Belizeans to return to the retail merchandizing business and the daily boledo business, and to encourage development of gold, lead, and other natural resources to include fishing production and tourism activities. Belizeans must be the owners of these income producing assets or just die in face of our paternal attitude towards foreigners. We must also change, add to our laws to administer these new industries and we don’t need foreign time-servers to inject into our legal system. The economy is the most important vehicle in our fragile existence. So mote it be! ...

On Noh Mul destruction
It is an international scandal. Belize is once again being treated like a private property by certain party members of the UDP. Enough is enough, Belize has spent years build an international reputation for its unique cultural heritage and its protection of natural resources. Both of these are key to our economic well being over the long term. This is not the first time members of the UDP organization have run over the basic ethics and standards of stewardship expected of any member of society and certainly the leadership of Belize. It is sad day for Belize and a sad day for our future. A small country such as Belize is, cannot afford such disregard for the health and protection of the very attractions that bring tourist dollars to our shores and make the jewel shine. ...

KHMH hazard!
Dear residents of the Caribbean Shores and Freetown areas as well as businesses and schools in the immediate vicinity of the KHMH. For several months I have been monitoring with great concern several unexplained illnesses that are caused by viruses which affect students from the Belize Elementary School, Belize High School, Nazarene High, Pallotti High School, All Saints and St. Joseph Primary School. I have noticed that since November of 2012 the KHMH has been using the incinerator to burn highly infectious and hazardous waste on their compound. It’s in my view that the incinerator emits virus and bacteria that could leave traces in the building and can even be transmitted from person to person. This must be of great concern to since several restaurants operate in the vicinity of the hospital. I have taken the responsibility of contacting members of the KHMH board, the media and public health but so far to no avail. It’s an opportune time to closer examine the situation especially since the matter of the unexplained bacteria at the intensive care unit of the hospital has claimed the lives of 12 infants in 20 days. ...


Treats around town and a perfumed chocolate meltdown/a>
Been on a major junk food binge the past couple of days and since we were on foot Marina’s and Super Buy south were the places Dick and I ended up shopping at. Marina’s was my pick as I needed to get meat and scored butt bacon, chips an Oh Henry bar and flour tortillas. Super Buy was Dicks choice for junk food, as a result we both ended up buying Cracker Jack and are in agreement the prizes were much better when we were kids Below are pictures a couple of places I recommend stopping at if you are snack or gift shopping in town. You can circle the block and hit all 3 easily starting with Belize Chocolate Company at the bottom of front street. Look for Greenhouse right by Reef Radio and TV on middle street and further down on the same side of the street Rum Cigar store.

“You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Had a lay-in yesterday morning (after our anniversary celebration the previous night) and did not get up until 6.45 am. It felt really unusual. It was light outside! After showering, dressing and eating breakfast I popped down to Captain Shark’s to pick up the license plates for our new golf cart and also to see if they could fix the annoying noise coming from the rear flip-flop seat. Getting the license plates was easy but fixing the seat is another matter. It appears that one of the small pads that ‘cushion’ the back of the rear seat had broken off during transit. A temporary fix was applied until a more permanent one can be fitted when I take the ‘cart in for it’s first service in around four weeks. Cannot really recall how the rest of the morning ‘disappeared’ but it did and before Rose and I knew it was time to head to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and we got there (thanks to a lift from Rafael (aka The Frog)) in Daniel Camal’s,our building contractor, truck when he picked us up not long after we had walked over the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge. As a consequence we got there around 1.30 pm.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Fancy Egg Scrambull
1 cup diced ham 1/4 cup chopped gree onion (scalleeuns) 3 Tablespoons buttr 12 aigs beete 1 6oz. a'ken diced Gree Chiles Cheez Sauce: 2 tablespoons buttr 2 tablespoons flour 1/2 teespoon salt 1/8 teespoon peppr 2 cups milk 1 cup grated cheddar cheez Method: Melt buttr n' heevy large skillet. Saute ham and gree onyuns n' buttr. Add beete aigs and diced gree chiles.

May 26, 2013 - June 1, 2013 Fishing Report
It’s great to welcome back Nick from Australia! He and Captain Tomas have a plan to do some damage with an arsenal of fly rods and fly boxes that are exploding with flies. The Cammer Family came back and this is a family that fishes together! Jim and Dee brought their group from Cutthroat Anglers – and the whole group has been a delight. We have been double hauling into the wind during casting clinics in the afternoon, and believe me, these anglers are leaving here with fishing memories and a double haul that will be the envy of all their angling friends back home. Mark brought out the vice and started tying up some beauty’s for bones – his spontaneity had other anglers joining him around the vice for some creative patterns and new tricks. Ken and Megan ripped it up with Captain Jr. on spin and they are already looking forward to returning next year. A couple of highlights for me – Matt, age 8, figured out right away he needed to catch a bonefish so he could receive a bonefish pin before they go back home. He showed up an hour after arriving with his spin rod in hand – grabbed some shrimp from me and made it happen. I have no idea how many species he has landed this trip. My dear friends, Janet and Don were here and they learned how to fly fish! They love to fish, so this is a whole new chapter for them. It was their first international trip and they had a blast. Thank you to our El Pescador Family for a great week and helping our anglers meet their dreams.

International Sources

Planning a couples’ trip abroad with another couple; Who gets the master bedroom?
A few years ago I went on a couple’s trip to Ambergris Belize with my husband and one of our favorite couples. When planning the trip everyone contributed to their creative ideas, wants, and needs which seemed fairly simple & realistic; however the topic at hand that was never discussed was who gets the master bedroom? It seems like a pretty fair question but how can you be fair across the board without stepping on anyone’s toes when there is only one master bedroom. We’ve never had this problem before with our favorite couple as we have vacationed other resorts together. However, I have since learned when you’re traveling abroad or to any destination that houses one master bedroom some type of discussion should be orchestrated when talking about the resorts, dates, activities, in our case nothing was discussed and we were in for a rude awakening.

Take a Family Sabbatical and Take Back Your Life
Even if you have only ever taken one-week vacations, you know the kind of freedom that comes from breaking out of your everyday. Time away can recharge you, inspire you, and clear your thinking. If you’re in the right frame of mind, a vacation can do wonders for your soul. What if you could go away for longer than one week? Wouldn’t it follow you’d be even more inspired…more refreshed? My husband and I have four kids, and we are now at the tail end of a six-month family sabbatical in Belize. It IS possible. And it’s wonderful. We’ve felt the deepening of our children’s knowledge about culture, courage, and camaraderie has more than made up for any lack in mathematics or cursive writing. (And we are supplementing at home so they don’t backslide too far in any given subject.)

June 2, 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

WUHS conducts Blood Drive in San Pedro Town
On Saturday May 25th the Washington University of Health and Science Medical School (WUHS) sponsored a blood drive which was held in collaboration with the Belize Blood Bank; also present was Dr. Giovanni Solorzano. The drive took place at the WUHS campus on Seagrape Drive from 8AM-3PM. No appointments were needed and all were welcomed to come out and support the cause. Students of WUHS did a phenomenal job in organizing the event and making all that came out to donate feel quite comfortable through the entire process. Over sixty people came out to support the drive. At the end of the day WUHS was able to donate over 31 units of blood to the Belize Blood Bank. One of the largest amounts collected through drives on the island in quite a while. Supporters were greeted with warm smiles and the most enthusiastic spirit by both the staff and students of WUHS.The University also provided refreshments and light snacks for all those who were present.

Wealthy Italian Antonio Velardo calls Belize “extremely corrupt”
On Sunday April 28th, 35-year old Italian Antonio Velardo and 47-year-old Swedish boat captain, Levente Arangos were escorted out of Belize via their vessel La Aventura. This was after the Belize Immigration Department executed a notice forbidding the captain and the lone passenger permission to land after they were temporarily arrested and Velardo was charged for failure to declare funds. The two arrived in Belize and docked at a local marina in San Pedro Town on April 24th. After being in the country for 24 hours, authorities found a total of US$22,000 inside La Aventura which both men had failed to declare upon entry into Belize. A month after he was booted out of Belize for “failure to make a declaration”, (failure to declare money) which he pleaded guilty to, Velardo spoke to The San Pedro Sun and said that there is more to the story than was told. According to Velardo, who is an investor, the treatment he got in Belize was unnecessary and reflects badly on his reputation. “Some people already knew that I was coming. When I arrived in Belize I was met by about 25 people, some heavily armed that came onboard my boat. It was scary because I didn’t know what they were looking for. I was quite shocked by the treatment,” said the businessman.

Misc Belizean Sources

San Pedro Cancer Society 3rd Anniversary Banquet
The San Pedro Cancer Society requests the pleasure of your company at our first banquet celebrating three years of serving the comunity of San Pedro. Here's The Menu!

Some Video History of Belize
Ran across this website.....I remember these events like yesterday..... The video of Hurricane Hattie is awesome...many of us will remember the devastation she brought to Belize City..... (a technical error by calling it "Honduras" instead of "British Honduras")

VIDEO: In Search of The Reclusive Whale Shark, Gladden Split
Gladden Split Marine Reserve, Belize, no lucky. Maybe next time we have better luck hunting for Wabbits. Special Thanks to Michelle Foster for making her 4th trip all the way from Texas and still no Whale Shark sighting on a dive and Gaylynn Kapri for participating in the production of this film at Gladden Split.

Inspiration Station in Spanish Lookout
There was an Inspiration Station in Spanish Lookout. Pictures from the one in Cayo will be up soon.

FCDEYG Camping Trip
The Friends of Conservation and Development Environmental Youth Group had their camping trip, and they had a fun time on their night out in the wilderness. If you'd like to join their group, and have fun excursions like this one, now is the time. "Hello Everyone!! We want to extend an invitation to any one who wants to Join or become a part of the Environmental Youth Group. Anyone is welcome to Join. You can Inbox us for any information you need."

Belize 4th Happiest Country in the World
Belize was again ranked one of the world's happiest countries, this time by the Travel Channel. Belize ranked 4th on their top 10 happiest countries. Picture is the Five Sisters Falls, taken at Gaia Riverlodge. "With the second biggest barrier reef in the world, a laidback Caribbean lifestyle and a favorable climate, there’s a lot to be happy about in Belize. But its cultural diversity is what is truly believed to make this country so content and welcoming: European, Creole, Hispanic and Mayan are some of the prevalent groups that form one harmonious culture here. "

Graduation Night in Cayo
Sacred Heart Junior College had their graduation ceremony today, and tonight students will be living it up. Meluchi's is having their Beer Vibez party, and Hallow's Night Club has their Pasame la Tequila rave party. There will be live music at Lucky 5 from the World Culture Band. Congratulations graduates!

Win a Facial at the Dollhouse
The Dollhouse is having a raffle for a free facial. Just like their page, and their picture, and leave who you'd like to win, yourself if you'd like, and you will be entered. "OK Folks - The Dollhouse is having its very first online raffle! -Win a SPA FACIAL- To participate in the raffle, all you have to do is: 1) Like The Dollhouse page 2) Like the flyer 3) Then nominate a friend or yourself (male or female) under this flyer and you're in! Anyone can be nominated. For more details refer to flyer."


Prime Minister Defends DPM For Destruction of Noh Mul, But Francis Fonseca Chastises Him
It has been twenty two days since we first broke the news of the deliberate destruction of the more than 3000 year old Mayan temple, Noh Mul, by well-known UDP political aspirant Denny Grijalva, and his company De’Mars. The topic, which drew both local and international attention, has been under investigation by the Institute of Archaeology but until today, no one has been charged. So, will charges be levied anytime soon? That is what reporter Irvin Aragon tried to find out. Irvin Aragon- Reporting The deliberate mauling of the archaeological site, Noh Mul, caused mix emotions countrywide and has left international partners appalled but until today, no one has been held accountable. The last we heard about the matter is that an investigation was being carried out by the archaeology department but it was not until today that some light was shed on the issue. According to the Director of the Institute of Archaeology, Dr. Jaime Awe, investigations on their behalf has concluded and all the evidence gathered was submitted to the Orange Walk Police Department on Wednesday May 29th 2013. During our conversation via phone today, Doctor Awe stated that the officer leading the investigation, Inspector Fuentes, was to meet with the Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl Lyn Vidal for advice on what charges would be levied against those found responsible for the destruction of the Mayan edifice which lies in the middle of a cane field in the Village of Nuevo San Juan in the Orange Walk District.

Celebrating An Excellent Crop, With El Dia Del Canero
For the third year in a row, the BSCFA hosted el “Dia del Canero” here in Orange Walk Town, this time at the Barracks. The event was in commemoration of the hard work cane farmers do to provide us with the sweetest sugar in the region. Sweeter than the sugar though, was the evaluation of this year’s crop season which proved to be spectacular for both BSI and Caneros. This year the event was organized in conjunction with several businesses that had their products on display and for sale at discounted prices. The day started off with a thanksgiving mass celebrated by Father Benjamin Galvez. After the mass, it was time for the official ceremonies to take place. This saw the participation of the Leader of the Opposition Honourable Francis Fonseca and Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega who both congratulated cane farmers and the Belize Sugar Industry Limited on an excellent crop.

Live Flames Could Have Been Cause Of Disaster
In last nights newscast we told you about the 15 by 15 wooden structure that burnt down around 7:00 on Wednesday night and left a family from the Black Water Area in the Village of Trail Farm in the Orange Walk District devastated after they lost everything. Luckily no one was injured since the occupants of the house, the Castellanos family, were out in the yard when they saw flames coming from the back of the residence and within minutes the entire structure was swallowed by the blaze. Despite attempts the family was unable to save the house and its contents valued at more than five thousand dollars. As we told you last night the house had no electricity and no candles or fish coils were lit at the time of the incident. The family; however, did depend on a car battery for power but it seems that did not cause the blaze.

Leader Of The Opposition Says Pablo Marin Must Go
The death of 13 infants at the KHMH’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the fact that no one has been held responsible is raising concern across the country. Yesterday, during a press conference held at the nation’s referral hospital, it was revealed that instead of 12, as was initially reported, 13 babies died at the hospital in the first 20 days of May. Seven of the infants died as a result of the “enterobacter cloacae” bacteria inside the NICU on May 10th while six died of prematurity and other related conditions. But the lengthy explanation given by those at the head table, including the Director of Medical Services at the KHMH, Doctor Adrian Coye and the Prime Minister of Belize, about what occurred at the KHMH, proved to be of little consultation to those who lost their loved one since no one was held responsible for the deaths of the infants. Today when the Leader of the Opposition, Honourable Francis Fonseca, was asked to give his input on the press conference he stated that it lacked substance and all Belizeans were given was a long technical explanation and no answers. In fact, Fonseca went as far as to say that heads must role starting with the Minister of Health Pablo Marin who was present at yesterday’s press conference and kept mum on such an important issue.

P.M's Explanation On San Antonio Road Is One Hard Pill To Swallow
With all the noise made about documents showing that back in 2012 Imer Hernandez Development Company was paid close to two hundred thousand dollars for the rehabilitation of San Antonio Road Orange Walk, by the Ministry of Works and the facelift is yet to be executed, one would have taught that by now the pot would have been stirred well enough for works to commence in the area. But apparently that is wishful thinking and residents of San Antonio Road who have been suffering from the dust produced by the dilapidated conditions of the street will not be relief anytime soon. Yesterday when questioned by the media about the issue, the Prime Minister revealed that the contract awarded to Imer Hernandez to fix San Antonio Road was cancelled and the funds were diverted to pay for works conducted in the Otro Benque Area that fall’s under the constituency of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega who is the uncle of Imer Hernandez. For context here is the Prime Ministers explanation. Honourable 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.

NEMO Corozal Prepares For 2013 Hurricane Season
With the hurricane season opening on Saturday June 1st, the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) is once again preparing the Belizean community in case of an emergency. This year, NEMO Week, which runs from the 26th of May to the first of June, is observed under the theme, “Reducing the threat from Climate Change, Disaster preparedness begins with you”. Today DEMO Corozal conducted an outreach to the community in preparing for this year hurricane season. The purpose of NEMO week is to bring awareness to the public and to stress the importance of disaster preparation. Today, DEMO Corozal Coordinator, Willard Levy, and his team hit the streets of Corozal with brochure’s and flyers in hand reminding residents that the hurricane season opens tomorrow. Willard Levy - NEMO Corozal Coordinator “Basically we are doing community outreach; we have radio talk shows in the community and advising the people to start to prepare for the hurricane season, we should be expecting a more than average hurricane season and as a result we are asking the people to start to prepare way ahead of time and purchase their items, long shelf items, make sure that they get a lot of water that is the most basic thing and if they are going to evacuate to know way ahead of time where they will be evacuating to and do not wait until the eleventh hour to do all these things, they need to make a family plan and every member of the family is a part of the plan and everybody should take a little responsibility on doing the necessary plans at this point we are doing outreach to the community giving them family plan, check lists, hurricane shelter list, and other few tips that they should take into, one of the things that we ask to the people is to listen to the radio and the TV stations do not depend on what your neighbour is telling you sometimes you get mislead in information and that creates a little problem for you.

Belize Celebrates World Tobacco Day
Each year around the world on May 31st is recognized as World Tobacco Day with the aim of encouraging a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption across the globe. The day is further intended to draw global attention to the widespread prevalence of tobacco use and to negative health effects, which currently leads to 5.4 million deaths worldwide annually. The month of May is annually dedicated to activities designed specifically for the promotion of No Tobacco Awareness. According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) it estimates that worldwide, 78% of young people aged 13-15 years report regular exposure to some form of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. Today The National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC) and the Ministry of Health in conjunction with supporting national and international health partners, is celebrating World No Tobacco Day ,which is being celebrated under the theme, “Ban Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship.”

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Who will win Miss Lobster Fest 2013?
Every year as part of the Annual Lobster Fest festivities, there is a pageant to select a Miss Lobster Fest. Young ladies from the community vye for the title. The winner gets an educational scholarship. The pageant, held on the Friday of the weekend of the Fest, usually kicks off the festivities. This year the pageant will be held on Friday, June 28 at the Palapa Gardens. Five amazing young ladies are vying for the title. We present them to you here in all their awesomeness for your enjoyment! For more information about the pageant and Lobster Fest, you can visit the pageant’s official facebook page HERE.


It takes a village to raise a child
With heartfelt pride and solidarity, we highlight the social initiatives and large strides Belizean NGO, Special Envoy has implemented and continues to implement with its mission of “advancing the welfare and well-being of Belizean Children.” Today the Belizean community joins together in raising funds towards the Inspiration Center, a facility benefitting disadvantaged and differently abled children in need of physical, speech, occupational, or mental therapy, rehabilitation, as well as education. With children comprising nearly 50% of the Belizean population, it becomes imperative to ensure that children have access and mobility towards a quality of life. Special Envoy encourages all sectors of society to pitch in and indeed, it takes a village to raise a child. Today, the second annual telethon will take place with donation booths set up in different communities throughout the country. Here on Caye Caulker, the donation booth will be located at Jan’s Place on Front Street. Last year, the telethon raised $500,000 USD which went to constructing the building. This year, the telethon hopes to target another $500,000 USD to cover costs of the facility’s equipment. We are inspired by the action and effort that carries the hope of our children in need, and we are blessed to experience the community spirit that embodies the Belizean community.

“Get Behind the Wheel” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
First job for Rose and I yesterday morning (well after we had wished each other happy anniversary) was to go to the Tropic Air Cargo office to collect the insurance policy that Willard Young of R F & G Insurance had sent over on the 4.30 pm flight the previous day. With the policy in our possession( at last) we went straight to Captain Shark’s to give it to Enrique so he could get the permit (and license plate) from the San Pedro Town Council Transport Department. To ‘allow’ Enrique time to do this I went to Estel’s for breakfast (well,why wouldn’t I) and Rose went shopping. Fair division of labour I would say! After her shopping spree (sic) Rose collected me from Estel’s and we went to Atlantic International Bank‘s branch in Pescador Drive so that I could make another withdrawal (ouch). Unlucky with our timing because it seemed that most (OK so a bit of an exaggeration) of the businesses in town were making deposits (deposits always take so much longer).

International Sources

Caribbean debt and deficits Moody’s: Aggressive fiscal measures needed
International ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service says three bond restructurings totaling about $9.7 billion in the Caribbean this year didn’t go far enough to fixing the region’s “unsustainable” mix of debt and deficits. The agency said the measures failed to ignite economic growth and may not help the region avoid more defaults. This year, Jamaica and Belize, restructured about $9.5 billion in local and global bonds but Moody’s in a recently published report, said there a “high probability” that they will default again. In the region, only the Bahamas is expected to grow more than 1.5 per cent this year compared with four per cent for Latin America and economists have warned that without faster growth, repeat defaults may become common as Caribbean governments find it easier to cut bond payments rather than spending.

5 research field stations where you can stay
LA MILPA FIELD STATION, BELIZE Combination research facility and ecolodge operated by the nonprofit Programme for Belize. Activities include touring archeological sites, jungle trekking, and birding.

World's 100 best beaches: Top 25
Placencia is listed among the world's 100 best beaches

June 1, 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

Street Treats: Late night Park food
San Pedro may be known for many wondrous assets such as the reef and white sand beaches, but for the younger generations that reside here it’s all about the late night activities. Clubbing, like many of my fellow counter parts is one of my favorite naughty habits. After a long night of dancing and sharing a couple cocktails with friends you may become a victim of the “late night munchies”. You may ask yourself “where can food be gotten in the wee hours of the morning?”

Lionfish Tournament highlights the problematic fish invasion
Wahoo’s Lounge held a Lionfish Tournament that coincided with Hol Chan’s Reef Week activities. The tournament saw 3 groups join in the fight to stop the rampant lionfish invasion. The lionfish were believed to have been introduced into the Atlantic Ocean in the 1980’s via the US aquarium trade. With a lifespan of over 15 years and growing up to approximately 20 inches, the lionfish is a voracious carnivore that consumes over 56 species of fish and many invertebrate species up to half its body size. The Lionfish possess venomous spines capable of deterring predators (and inflicting serious stings and reactions in humans). Capable of inhabiting all marine habitat types and depths, a single female lionfish can spawn over 2 million eggs a year, reproducing gelatinous masses of eggs that can disperse over a large body of water, every four days.

Government of Belize Pledges Fifty Thousand Dollars to Belize National Football Team
In the afternoon of Thursday May 30th, the Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean Barrow met with members of the executive of the Football Federation of Belize (FFB). During their meeting, the Prime Minister pledged a donation of Fifty Thousand Belize Dollars (BZ$50,000), on behalf of the Government of Belize, to assist the Belize National Football Team as they make their historic journey to the Gold Cup Tournament in the United States in July. Present for the meeting were Senior Vice President, Mr. Sergio Chuc; Vice President, Mr. Rawell Pelayo and Executive Member, Mr. Marlon Kuylen.

13 gold presentations at the San Pedro Primary School Festival of Arts 2013
Primary school students from Ambergris Caye filled the Rafael Angel Nuñez Auditorium on the evening of Wednesday May 29th for the annual Primary School Festival of Arts 2013. The event is held under the auspices of the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. There were 24 presentations by five of the six primary schools on the island. This year, the event was held under the theme “Celebrate our Artist – Promote our Identity.” Speaking at the short ceremony, Jorge Aldana, the Vice Chairman of The San Pedro Town Council Cultural Committee, said that Festival of Arts is the right platform to foster young minds in developing their talent in the areas of music, dance and drama. “NICH and the Ministry of Education are committed to the promotion of contemporary performing arts and it is for this reason that we want to showcase the talents of the youth of this community at this Festival of Arts.

Ambergris Today

Almita Pinelo Graduates From US Coast Guard Academy
Alma Marcela Pinelo received a scholarship through the Belize Defence Force in June 2009 and had the opportunity to study at a prestigious military institution, The United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. On Wednesday, May 22, 2013, Almita graduated from the US Coast Guard where she studied Marine Environmental Sciences. While at the US Coast Guard Academy, not only did Almita receive military training, she also studied Marine and Environmental Sciences for four years and will now become a part of the Belize Coast Guard for six years where she will be the Coast Guard Adjutant and work along with Command Master Chief Jones.

Government of Belize Pledges $50,000 to Belize National Football Team
On Thursday, May 30, 2013, the Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean Barrow met with members of the executive of the Football Federation of Belize (FFB). During their meeting, the Prime Minister pledged a donation of Fifty Thousand Belize Dollars (BZ$50,000), on behalf of the Government of Belize, to assist the Belize National Football Team as they make their historic journey to the Gold Cup Tournament in the United States in July. Present for the meeting were Senior Vice President, Mr. Sergio Chuc; Vice President, Mr. Rawell Pelayo and Executive Member, Mr. Marlon Kuylen.

Sweet Smell of Success at Belize Chocolate Festival
Hundreds of visitors flocked to the Toledo District over the Commonwealth Day Holiday weekend for the District’s annual celebration of chocolate, cacao and culture. The opening Wine, Chocolate & Belikin evening was a sell-out success, with guests enjoying chocolate from Belize’s four chocolatiers, wine from Premium Wines, farm-fresh food from Belcampo Lodge, and specially-brewed Belikin Chocolate Stout, the event sponsors. Saturday’s Taste of Toledo street fair (sponsored by Belize Telemedia) showcased the best of Toledo culture, arts and crafts, and food. The District’s quality cacao has inspired a number of local cooks and restaurants to create unique dishes using cacao and chocolate, and the Festival cookery competition produced a number of extremely high quality entries, ranging from FruitFul’s “fru-shi” dried fruit creations to Cotton Tree’s home-produced bacon with chocolate, IxCacao’s chocolate ginger chicken, and Warasa Garifuna Drum School’s double-chocolate stout cake. The judges, who included Festival founder Darla Mallory, awarded first-prize to Driftwood Café for their vegan tamales with chocolate chili, and the dessert category first-prize went to Boneville Café for their double-chocolate cupcake with cacao-nib frosting.

Belize Tourism Industry Association Objects Southern Cruise Port Development
Indications are that Norwegian Cruise Line is underway in purchasing Crawl Caye, located in the South Water Caye Marine Reserve (a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site), for a large tourism project which includes two cruise ports of entry in the Stann Creek District. This week the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) joins Placencia residents against the giant cruise port development, citing several environmental impacts to the area and economic impacts to the country. Belizean Minister Godwin Hulse is said to be heading a sub-committee for the project, while there are a couple cabinet minister that are against it. The project involves a 30-year concession which would include exemptions on import duties, income tax, general sales tax among other incentives, the use of foreign labor, fast tracking of permits, including environmental, construction, dredging and filling permits and operation of passenger tenders.

Misc Belizean Sources

Dia del la Marina Xcalak MX
The Municipal Delegation and the Port of Xcalak, MX make an attentive and cordial invitation to all the people of Corozal to attend “El Dia de La Marina” to be held on 1 and 2 June where we will be celebrating the 113th anniversary of our beloved Xcalak and the commemoration of Dia de La Marina (Navy Day) and, hopefully with your support we can enhance this event. Bring the entire family. Please ensure that you call for accommodation ahead of time if you will be spending the night, otherwise yoou may be spending the night in Mahajual.

VIDEO: PM Speaks on Gender Policy
Gender Policy seeks to harmonize but highlights divisions about sex, prostitution and politics. "Government policy is going to be informed and should be informed by a respect for diversity of all types including diversity of sexual orientations.” says PM. Church was not consulted on the policy.

Benque HoC Heritage Tour Sign
The Benque House of Culture got their Heritage Tour sign installed. They are stop number 4 on Benque's new Heritage Tour. Did you know it used to be the police station? If you want to see the brochure for the tour, along with the map, it's here: "This structure served as the Police Station from the early 1950s until 2000. It was officially opened as the House of Culture on 6 September 2001 under the auspices of the Community of Artists for Cultural and Historical Endeavors(CACHE) and the National Institute for Culture and History(NICH). The permanent exhibit includes a historical timeline of Benque Viejo, archival materials such as documents and artifacts donated by Benqueños. Among the objects stored in the HOC is a marimba, the autochthonous musical instrument. The House of Culture organizes temporary exhibitions by local and foreign artists and promotes a range of activities and workshops in music, visual arts and crafts."

Inspiration Telethon Today
The Inspiration Telethon is today, from 8:00am through 6:00pm, and most every channel will be showing it. There will be scores of Belizean artists performing throughout the day, live from the Bliss Centre. In Cayo, you can donate in front of Atlantic Bank. There will be a place in Spanish Lookout too, and in Benque, and Belmopan. Help make the Inspiration Center a reality.

Bullet Tree Corn Fest Weekend
The Bullet Tree Corn Fest is this weekend. The Queen of the Corn beauty pageant is tonight, along with a dance afterwards with DJ Diamond. Tomorrow, it's an all day festival, that starts with a canoe race, and ends with a dance. "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... You are all welcome with open arms to the scenic village of Bullet Tree Falls."

Vote for BNE in Getenergy Awards
Belize Natural Energy is one of 2 companies that made the short list for Getenergy's 'Learning at the Core' award, an award that recognizes a company's work towards educating their staff. You can easily vote for BNE by visiting the site, choosing them, and clicking submit. The contest is only open until June 4th at 3:00pm. Good luck, BNE! "We are delighted to announce the shortlist for the Getenergy 2013 Awards – celebrating excellence in education and training for the oil and gas industry... This award recognises the oil/gas company which has made the most significant contribution to their staff learning and development in the past 12 months."

Channel 7

DPM Vega Dodges the Media, Leader Of Opp. Blasts Him
Last week, we started following the story of the funds paid out for the San Antonio Road, and after running into serial stonewalling and dead-ends, yesterday we finally got the facts from Prime Minister Dean Barrow. As we reported, Imer Hernandez Development Company, owned by Deputy PM Gaspar Vega’s nephew, was paid just under $200,000 for upgrading works on that road which joins Orange Walk Central and Orange Walk East. The problem is that nothing was ever done on the road, even though receipts we have showed that payments were made. Well, Barrow told the media yesterday that from what he’s found out, the contracts signed for work on the San Antonio Road were canceled, but the money was used anyway to do work in the Otro Benque area, which is in Deputy Prime Minister Vega’s constituency. Barrow described it as a sort of diverting of funds which was - to use his word - “unsatisfactory” that the payment was issued saying that works were done on the San Antonio road when in fact no work took place. He said that these were only the preliminary facts, and that he wanted to complete his investigation into the matter. Today, DPM Vega made a public appearance at the 2013 Cane Farmers Day in Orange Walk, and after the ceremonies, the media tried unsuccessfully to speak with him. We wanted to ask whether the diverted funds were used to pave Clarke Street, where he and his brother live.

A Record Lobster Bust – Right Before Season Opens!
Lobster season opens on July 15th – and that’s when the co-op’s start receiving the premium priced crustacean. But, there are a few rogue fishermen who use the open season as a sort of amnesty period for lobster that was fished in the off-season. It’s breaking the rules, but doing it in a way that’s hard to detect – since the lobster doesn’t appear until the season opens. But, today the fisheries department came down hard on one such violator – by making a record bust of full-sized, off-season lobster. Here’s the story. Jules Vasquez reporting These 19 large garbage bags of out of season lobster are hauled up out of a large receptacle gushing water. There are about 145 tails in each bag that works out to over 2,500 lobster tails - that’s over a thousand pounds of regulation sized lobster, it's the largest bust of out of season lobster in memory valued at about twenty thousand dollars at the co-op. Hampton Gamboa - Fisheries Supervisor, Conservation Compliance Unit "We have here approximately a large quantity of lobster that was found in a freezer in a residential establishment as well as two freezers in an establishment, a residence." Jules Vasquez "Is this the largest bust that you can recall in recent memory?" Hampton Gamboa

“Ms. Pam” And Son Get Off Tampering Charge
Viewers may remember 42 year-old Pamela Garnett, the wife of Jermaine “Horse” Garnett, and her son, 24 year-old Mark Vernon, who were charged for witness tampering. Well tonight, they are free of all charges after the witness who they were allegedly tampering with didn’t show up to testify against them. As we reported, 23 year-old Cassian Bennett and his stepfather, 30 year-old Jermaine “Horse” Garnett 35 year-old Kenneth Barrow were all charged with the murder of 19 year-old Raheem Requena, which occurred on December 19, 2012. There was a witness who told police that these men were the shooters, and several days later, she told police that Garnett and her son Vernon tried to pay her $5,000 to withdraw her statement. When that didn’t work, she said that these 2 sent a message saying that they had placed a $20,000 price on her head, and that when the witness was killed, the men would walk free. As a result, police arrested and charged both of them attempting to suppress evidence. Vernon was additionally charged with using violence against a witness, and they were remanded to prison.

COLA, Leader Of Opp. Condemn KHMH Press Conference
The KHMH held its big press conference yesterday –where it was explained that a tragic mix of a virulent bacteria and, to a lesser extent, a breakdown in communication protocols were to blame for the deaths of seven newborns. Watchdog group COLA today issued a release saying it “is not satisfied with the answers provided by the head table.” COLA says “the hospital has…failed to establish who, if anyone is responsible for the presence of the bacteria and the subsequent deaths.” And so, COLA is having an emergency meeting this weekend, and will host a press conference early next week. The statement says, quote, “We remain committed to finding…a sense of justice for the families robbed of their loved ones in this tragedy.”

Leader Of the Opposition Gives A Grateful Nod To Audrey
Audrey Matura Shepherd – did she willingly resign, or was she forced to do so because of anti-gay comments she made in her Amandala column? She denies that she was pushed out, but concedes that OCEANA introduced a new policy that would effectively prohibit her from continuing to speak openly against a move to legalize sodomy in Belize. Today, the Leader of the Opposition, who has benefited substantially from OCEANA’s work, said he stands in solidarity with her:… Hon. Francis Fonseca - Leader of the Opposition "Audrey enjoys my full and unqualified support. I have great respect for her as she has always been a strong advocate for many different issues but of recent she has been a strong advocate for our environment, in particular our oceans. I have enjoyed a very good working relationship with her in that regard. I have always been proud to associate with her in terms of her work as the Vice President of OCEANA in Belize. I regret greatly that this discussion that is taking place in Belize today has led to this and divided our society and has led to this situation. As Audrey said it was her decision to resign because she did not want to place her organization in a compromising position where they were the source of attacks that were really aimed at her personally; so I regret that this is the case."

New Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Get A Break On Utilities
Beltraide has been pushing hard for the development of micro, small and medium enterprises – and another leap forward was announced today. It is in the form of a partnership with utility companies, BTL, BEL and BWSL. The idea is to give start-up companies an ease in their utility connections – not in the costs, but in the first time connections. Here’s how it works:… Dr. Dionne Miranda - G.M. Customer Services, BTL "What we found out from all young entrepreneurs or small businesses starting is that the initial cost start up is the hardest so they tent to operate within the grey or the black market because they prefer to use a cell phone that has no listing because that is the best way but when someone wants to find them you can't find that little fudge company that Melanie brought up earlier. Basically you can't find them, they don't have a phone, they don't have a fixed location, water, light nor all of the things such as food handlers certificates and those things if you don't do it the proper way. At the end of the day their business is not successful because they didn't start it properly in the first place. What BELTRAIDE is doing is finding out every start up barrier that you have ever had in starting up your business and going to everybody and negotiating to see how they can get you to start your business the right way to guarantee success. Because when you do things half way you can't achieve full success - that is BELTRAIDE's purpose here today."

Tobacco Awareness In Belize
World No Tobacco Day was observed in Belize today under the theme, “Ban Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship.” The National Drug Abuse Control Council held public education and awareness activities country-wide to focus on the ills of tobacco. We visited the Public Information Event at NDACC in Belize City. Susan Gilharry - District Coordinator, NDACC "Across the world right now they are celebrating World No Tobacco day which is held on May 31st whereby it just focuses on the consumption of tobacco whether you smoke it or chew it and the health effects that it causes. You know in Belize right now tobacco consumption is very high especially with the smoking so therefore we're just informing the public about the health effects that can happen while consumption of tobacco is occurring. For our council in each district they are having something an information day to inform the public but in Belize District we invited the BFLA, the police department, dental health just because those are all related to the Tobacco use. Today as observed as well as No Tobacco day but we can make everyday a World No Tobacco Day." NDACC is also conducting a smoking survey.

Masked Police Cover The Courthouse
Today, masked, heavily armed police guarded the Belize City courthourse as 22 Year-old Mexican Zurisaday Villasenor Mendez was brought for trial. He’s the one who was busted with a large weapons cache at the Las Vegas Hotel in the Corozal Free Zone. Police say that they found 7 guns, including AK-47’s; 12 magazines; 144 bullets; several small quantities of marijuana; cocaine; and communication equipment. Well, the matter has been before the Magistrate’s Court for several months now, but can’t move forward because Mendez’s attorney, Arthur Saldivar has made a constitutional challenge against the sitting magistrate saying that she has deprived him of a fair trial due to her security of tenure. According to Saldivar, she is a contract officer, which causes her to be incapable of being independent and impartial. Well, that constitutional challenge has brought the case to a grinding halt, but despite that, Mendez had to be brought back before the court today but not the court on Corozal, because it has been moved to Belize City. The masked police officers created an air of tension but they didn’t do much else, because Mendez had a brief hearing. The case can’t move forward until the constitutional challenge is heard.

Cane Farmers Celebrate
As we told you early this week – it was a very good year for Belize’s Sugar Cane Industry. Deliveries were up, quality was higher than ever and sugar production was up, which should also mean greater earnings for farmers when the final payment comes due in November. It’s a remarkable turnaround for an industry that only five years ago was in a shambles. That rebound was celebrated today in Orange Walk at the Dia De Los Cañeros – where national leaders paid tribute to the Cañero. Hon. Francis Fonseca - Leader of the Opposition "Our most important acknowledgment and recognition today is reserved for our farmers, our Cañeros and Cañeras. Those who work the land each and every day to make it possible for us to have a sugar industry. Today I am here to honor you and to pay my respects to each and every one of you for your contribution to Belize's development." Hon. Gaspar Vega - Minister of Agriculture "Only ten years ago the international donor communities were strongly advising you to exit sugar production. Sugar, citrus and bananas were termed the 'Sunset Industries'. The reality is that over the last ten year these three industries have earned Belize over $2 Billion in foreign exchange earnings."

Belizean American Rises From Recession With YouTube Cooking Show
Every Belizean family has recipes for its favorite foods from fried jacks to Johnny cakes to rice and beans. But now one Belizean American woman who resides in California has gone international with hers. Barbara Mcnab Grinage has self published her own cook book. Now, it’s surely not the first cookbook with Belizean recipes – far from it. But what makes this effort notable is the counterpart to the book – which is an online cooking show, where making dukunu with canned corn never looked so easy! We found out more about Barbara Grinage’s unusual rise to internet fame. Monica Bodden reporting From fry jack to conch soup to trifle to Creole bun to that old staple, rice and beans, Barbara Mcnab Grinage can cook it and the Belizean American has put it all on YouTube: Barbara Mcnab Grinage - 'Beans, Rice and Jesus Christ' "So I decided to launch a YouTube show because it allows you to broadcast yourself for free and as a matter of fact once you get it going and they see that you're consistent - they will start paying you to keep the show on the air. That show is phenomenal, I have over 2200 subscribers in a short space of time - like a year or so. They are all types of people, Thailand, Phillipines, Australia, Japan and all the different parts of the world."

Profile Of A Survivor
This week’s “I Am Belize” profile is about Sharon Baird and it is a fitting end to cancer month. And that’s because Baird is a survivor, and thought every day is a struggle, she explains to the profile what makes her determined to carry on.

New Mexico Police Donate
The Belmopan Police Department is the recipient of a generous donation of equipment and training from the New Mexico Police Department in the United States. The partnership came about as part of a programme called The Word At Work – and today at the Police Training academy n Belmopan, the representative of the New Mexico Police Department told our colleagues at PLUS TV about the training:… Donor of Gears for Police "The training here started on Tuesday morning. What we're looking is to training the officers how to search, detain and handcuff a subject safely so no bones are broken and no one is hurt. Sometimes they go to the hospital, it happens but that isn't our intent. I heard there was a great need for some holsters and some gear in Belize so I got with some friends back home and with some other officers and I was able to get some good donations. Duty belts, Holsters, Handcuffs and Pouches - just stuff that we use on a normal day to day basis back home but they don't have the luxury down here to have them on full time basis." Police in Belmopan "My officers know when they are on duty and foot, motorcycle or mobile patrol that they will professional - their gun will be properly secured in their holsters, handcuff cases, duty belt, vests that you're going to see them around in Belmopan." Over 75 officers from the entire Cayo district received training between Tuesday and today….

Darnell Is Clean
And before we close tonight there is late word from reliable sources syaing that it has been announced that the winner of the 2013 Cross Country Darnell Barrow has been confirmed as champion after his test came back negative for any doping substances. Normally, this type of stuff wouldn’t even be news except that it had been aggressively rumored for weeks that he had tested positive. Well, that’s not the case. That rumor possibly stemmed from the report that one of the drug samples taken from one of the riders came back inconclusive and had to be sent back. But we have learned that one was not Darnell Barrow’s sample. So his historic victory has been confirmed and prizes will now be distributed.

Channel 5

Francis Fonseca calls for head of Minister of Health and independent investigation into neonatal deaths at K.H.M.H.
On Thursday, the K.H.M.H. Board of Governors, Management and the Prime Minister Dean Barrow sat at the head table of a press conference. It was to provide an update on [...]

Show me the money! Leader of Opposition says irregularities in monies paid to Vega’s nephew
And just as there were no answers as to who will be held accountable for the neonatal deaths, there are also none available to the question – why did Imer [...]

Fonseca says Vega has many questions to answer
The destruction of the northern Mayan Archaeological Site of Noh Mul is still very much front and center, even after three weeks without charges being levied. Again, Deputy Prime Minister [...]

FECTAB comes out blazing against $100 million tourism project on Crawl Caye
There is also an update on the one hundred million dollar tourism project for Crawl Caye which is within the World Heritage Site. The Prime Minister on Thursday said that [...]

Pamela Garnett and son, Mark Vernon acquitted of witness-tampering
Forty-two year old Pamela Garnett and her son, Mark Vernon, were acquitted of charges of Attempting to Suppress Evidence and Using Violence against a Witness when they appeared in magistrates’ [...]

Leader of Opposition weighs in on voided oil contracts
There is increased scrutiny on the onshore drilling case between OCEANA and Government in the wake of the resignation of Vice President of OCEANA Belize Audrey Matura-Shepherd. Government is appealing [...]

Cane Farmers Day
If you’re from Belize City, or anywhere else but the north of the country, odds are that you may not have known that today was El Dia de Los Caneros, [...]

Cane farmer celebrate successful crop year 2012
And if the mood today seemed jubilant, there was good reason. Last year’s crop season was considered an exception one, with unprecedented production and quality of cane. And this year’s [...]

Commercial poaching in Chiquibul
With assistance from PACT, the Friends for Conservation conducted research from October to March on the effects of poaching of game species within the Chiquibil. The finding of the report [...]

Barrow on Gender Policy 2013
May 2013 has probably generated more interest and controversy in the Government’s gender policy than in all the years combined since its first issue. Mired with controversy over definitions of [...]

REACHing out to youths through the creative arts
A new N.G.O. introduced itself publicly on Thursday; it is called Research, Education and Advocacy for Social Change.  As the name suggests, REACH will be actively promoting social change. In [...]

The launch of Micro-Enterprise Utility Start-up Package
A partnership between the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service and the various public utilities, to provide direct support to small business owners and new startups, has resulted in the [...]

The Hector Hoare Resource Center at Stella Maris
A lab at the Stella Maris Primary School in Belize City was transformed and today officially opened earlier today. It is the proud accomplishment of resourceful teachers and staff of [...]

Dorothy Menzies Child Care Center received donation from Hospital auxiliary
The Dorothy Menzies Child Care Center is home to some sixty underprivileged youths at its King’s Park location. Well today, the youths had reason to celebrate as much needed supplies [...]


Illegal Lobster Tails Confiscated; Reports of Illegal Hunting of Hicatees Turtle Reported
This year lobster season was officially closed more than three months ago on February 15th and is expected to re-open on June 14th but some fishermen seem to be impatient as a freezer of lobster tails amounting to nine plastic bags at an approximated amount of two thousand and six hundred lobster...

CRFM Ministerial Council Meets In Barbados
The Seventh Meeting of the Ministerial Council of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) is underway today in Barbados. Policy makers are aiming to boost the standards of living of fishermen, particularly in small scale fisheries. Participating countries include the Bahamas, Barbados, ...

Pallotti Burglarized; Prom and Graduation Monies Gone
Schools seem to be the favourite targets for burglars and Pallotti High at the northern entrance to Belize City is no different. The fourth form graduates find themselves engaging along with the school to raise funds that were already collected but stolen in a recent break-in. A s...

Today Is World No Tobacco Day; Belize Imports Millions of Dollars Worth of Cigarettes
The National Drug Abuse Control Council, NDACC, and the Ministry of Health in conjunction with supporting national and international health partners is celebrating World No Tobacco Day today. To commemorate the day, the NDACC is conducting public education and awareness activities across the coun...

Leader of the Opposition Weighs In On Various Issues
Leader of the opposition Francis Fonseca was in Orange Walk today and he gave his views on a number of issues. He gave his reflections on the findings presented of the ongoing investigation regarding the 12 neo-natal deaths earlier this month at the KHMH. Fonseca spoke lengthy but gen...

COLA Issues Statement Regarding Press Conference on Neonatal Deaths
Citizens Organized for Liberty Through Action, COLA, has issued a statement regarding yesterday’s press conference in which Prime Minister Dean Barrow addressed the issue of the twelve neonatal deaths at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. In their statement COLA explains their dissat...

Police Parts Scuffle Among Prisoners on Remand
Today a couple of prisoners were involved in a scuffle at Magistrate’s Court today. A group of prisoners were being escorted to the Queen Street Police Station from the Magistrate’s Court after their case was further adjourned. Reports are that as the men were being pushed...

Case of Witness Intimidation Falls Apart In Courtroom
The case of two people who were charged with threatening a witness fell apart. The charges against Pamela Garnett and Mark Vernon were dismissed today. Garnett and Vernon were charged with Attempting to Suppress Evidence and Vernon additionally charged with Using Violence against a Witness....

Another Failed Murder Case; Belize's DPP Says Witness Tampering and Intimidation Has Led To A Perceived Failed Justice System
Another murder case has fallen through the cracks and the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, has laid the blame squarely at a loophole in the system. Today the DPP sent the details of the arrests and subsequent cases that were overturned by the court. To it she attach...

Beltraide Launches Package for Start Up Businesses
This morning the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) introduced the “Micro Enterprise Utility Start-up Package Initiative this morning. The initiative is being carried out in partnership with Belize Telemedia Limited, Belize Water Services Limited, and Belize Electri...

PM of Belize Says Government Is Doing Due Diligence on Crawl Caye Project; PM Explains Payment Voucher For Road Works In Northern Belize
Since tourism investors and environmentalists have raised concerns over a proposal put forth by Norwegian Cruise Line to construct a cruise tourism port on Crawl Caye, the discussion on the issue has remained current. On Thursday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said that while there may be an e...

Belize Ranks As One Of Ten Happiest Countries In The World
Belize has been featured in Travel Channel’s World’s Top Ten Happiest Countries in the World. The online article suggests that according to the Happy Planet Index which is the leading global happiness measurement, the happiest countries are mostly Latin American. Belize is...


A Duo Accused of Threatening Witness In Murder Trial Walks Free
The case of two people who were charged with threatening a witness fell apart. The charges against Pamela Garnett and Mark Vernon were dismissed today. Garnett and Vernon were charged with Attempting to Suppress Evidence and Vernon additionally charged with Using Violence against a Witness. This follows the December 19th, 2012 murder of Raheem Requena who was shot on Kut Avenue in Belize City. Cassian Bennett and Jermaine Garnett Alvarez were charged for the murder. The aunt of the victim reported to Police that Garnett, who is Bennett’s mother and Garnett’s wife, had called her and offered her five thousand dollars to retract her statement. When she refused, she alleged that Mark Vernon, another Pamela Garnett’s sons threatened her. Following that, she said that she received another message that a hit was placed on her. The two were charged. Pamela Garnett was offered bail and shortly thereafter, the witness, absconded to the US in fear of losing her life. The case was adjourned for today and the Prosecution was compelled to proceed because another adjournment was not allowed. However, the DPP points out that the police, when they recorded the witnesses’ statement, did not do so in the presence of a Justice of the Peace or a Magistrate, which is a prerequisite for the admission of a statement in the absence of a witness or where a witness is too afraid the testify, under the Evidence Act. The statement hence, could not be tendered as evidence and the case was dismissed against both defendants.

Newly Established Entrepreneurs May Benefit From Waivers From Utility Companies
This morning the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) introduced the “Micro Enterprise Utility Start-up Package Initiative this morning. The initiative is being carried out in partnership with Belize Telemedia Limited, Belize Water Services Limited, and Belize Electricity Limited with added support from the Government of Belize through its Public-Private Dialogue. The initiative is geared to promote, strengthen and support entrepreneurship development in Belize with an ease on cost of establishment. That ease will come from the utilities companies, BTL, BWSL, and BEL through an affordable utility package. According to Lejia Melani Gideon, the Deputy Executive of BELTRAIDE, the mission is to create economic prosperity through entrepreneurial development and approval for the Micro Enterprises status will be given to qualified businesses. LEJIA MELANIE GIDEON “Over the last few months the public and private sector dialogue office has been working with the three utility companies to devise packages where a micro enterprise can be able to establish their business with minimal cost. The package is designed to waive the connection fee and the deposit fee for micro enterprises so monies can be used for other business activities than for the actual start up.

Government Explores Possibility for Crawl Caye Project; PM Explains Payment Voucher in Question
Since tourism investors and environmentalists have raised concerns over a proposal put forth by Norwegian Cruise Line to construct a cruise tourism port on Crawl Caye, the discussion on the issue has remained current. On Thursday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said that while there may be an existing Memorandum of Understanding with Norwegian, that doesn’t mean that it will translate into overnight development. Rt. Hon. DEAN BARROW “I’ve had a letter from the Placencia Tour Guides Association and I think, they appended to that letter, a petition with a number of signatures. The thrust of that letter is that they fully support the Crawl Caye project and that the village in a large majority supports the Crawl Caye Project. In formal conversations with one of the officials from that organization, there’s a feeling that the big hoteliers have their all-inclusive resorts; they do their own touring, they do their own dive work and they are set and it’s wonderful and we all certainly rejoice over the fact that overnight tourism is surging but they think that there is a lot they can get out of cruise tourism. Norwegian is talking about an investment of possible a hundred million dollars, at least, in my view, given the need for employment in that area, given the need for opportunities, government must have the conversation that it is having with Norwegian.

Travel Channel Says Belize Is A Happy Place To Be
Belize has been featured in Travel Channel’s World’s Top Ten Happiest Countries in the World. The online article suggests that according to the Happy Planet Index which is the leading global happiness measurement, the happiest countries are mostly Latin American. Belize is ranked as number seven and the subtitles under a picture of blue Caribbean waters and two tourists on a Kayak reads, quote, “With the second biggest barrier reef in the world, a laidback Caribbean lifestyle and a favorable climate, there’s a lot to be happy about in Belize. But its cultural diversity is what is truly believed to make this country so content and welcoming: European, Creole, Hispanic and Mayan are some of the prevalent groups that form one harmonious culture here” end quote. The Happiest Countries appear in the following order: Guatemala, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Panama, Jamaica, El Salvador, Belize, Columbia, Vietnam and Costa Rica. To check it out you can visit


Unanswered questions at KHMH Press Conference
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) promised answers with regard to its investigation into the deaths of seven premature infant babies who died as a result of contracting the bacterium Enterobacter cloacae. A total of 13 babies died in 15 days at the hospital but the remaining six are...

Prime Minister Barrow admits Churches were not consulted on Gender Policy
The backlash concerning the National Women’s Commission’s Revised Gender Policy 2013 continues to grow and on Thursday the press asked Prime Minister Dean Barrow how the Government views the document. First, PLUS News asked whether the churches were consulted in its writing. The Prime Minister says no. Prime Minister...

DPP complains of intimidation of witnesses
Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl-Lynn Vidal reported this afternoon that a case brought against 42 year old Pamela Bennett Garnett and her son, 24 year old Mark Vernon for attempting to suppress evidence, and against Vernon separately for using violence against a witness was dismissed after the Magistrate’s Court...

Residents near KHMH incinerator express concern for their health
PLUS News has been following the progress of a petition forwarded to the KHMH Board of Governors and Public Health Bureau concerning usage of the - hospital’s incinerator to burn medical waste. Residents of the surrounding Caribbean Shores and Freetown residential area complain that the smoke from the incinerator...

KHMH needs an X-Ray Machine
Another important piece of equipment the KHMH needs is an X-Ray machine. It currently has one working portable machine and Chair of the Authority Chandra Nisbet Cansino told us they are working hard to get another. Chandra Nisbet Cansino – Chair of the Authority: I believe there are two...

Fisheries Department confiscate illegal lobster
The Fisheries Department today made a sizable bust of illegal lobster as part of a series of operations conducted during the currently closed lobster season from February 15 – June 14. Here is supervisor Hampton Gamboa with details. Hampton Gamboa – Supervisor: We have in our estimation roughly over...

PM says ther’s a conspiracy against the Deputy PM
Orange Walk North area representative and Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Gaspar Vega has been implicated in two alleged scandals – the destruction of the ancient Noh Mul Maya mound for road-fill to be used in his constituency, and a nephew’s being granted a contract to pave the important San...

Police Officers attend Weapons Training Workshop
Officers attached to the Belmopan, Benque Viejo and San Ignacio and Santa Elena sub formations of the Belize Police Department have been partaking in a weapons training workshop since Tuesday of this week. The training is being carried out by Kevin Weekley, who has been in law enforcement for...

PM comments on Crawl Caye development
Belize’s Cabinet, to use a classic phrase, is caught between the Devil and the deep blue sea on the issue of a proposed development at Crawl Caye involving Norwegian Cruise Lines. Division has been sharp with environmentalists and environmentalist-minded tourism advocates already coming out against a proposed project. But...

Friends for Conservation and Development study poaching in the Chiquibul Forest
From the month of October to March 2013 Friends for Conservation and Development research team was actively involved in studying the effects of poaching on game species in the Chiquibul Forest. During the study it was discovered that the abundance of game species from the western border to the...

Autopsy reveals Christopher Cus died from drowning
On Tuesday, we told you that an autopsy was scheduled on the body of 35 year old Christopher Cus, who was found with his head submerged inside a bucket in the male restroom at the Punta Gorda Hospital. Well the result of that autopsy has been made public and...

Youth express their talents at ImagineNation
A new initiative seeks social change through the arts. REACH, short for Research, Education and Advocacy for Social Change, is backed by a group of concerned Belizeans with expertise in social research and development and has as its mission to foster community self-evaluation, social change and more informed policy...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker Lobster Fest Gala 2013


“Do not ever forget that there are 30,000 LGBT persons living in this country … We have the power to swing a vote where we want.” — LGBT supporter Oceana Vice President in Belize, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, confirmed at a press conference this afternoon that she has resigned from her post and will return to private practice after the organization introduced a new policy that would, in effect, bar her from continuing to speak openly against a move to legalize sodomy in Belize. Matura-Shepherd said that she resigned last Thursday after mulling over the matter for three days. Oceana accepted her resignation the following day. She said that she and the head of the organization had opted not to say anything public until today, when they issued a joint press release. “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,” said Matura-Shepherd. Andrew Sharpless, Chief Executive Officer of Oceana, based in Washington, DC, USA, said: “Last week, I accepted Audrey Matura-Shepherd’s resignation… We look forward to working with Audrey to effect a smooth transition to new local leadership.”

From logging to poaching, Chiquibul under pressure. Illegal foresting in the Chiquibul Forest has led to increased poaching of game species. That is what has been confirmed by research conducted through the efforts of the Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD). The FCD issued in a press release today, Wednesday, the findings of a PACT-financed research conducted to address the effects of poaching on game species in the Chiquibul Forest area. According to the research, which was done over a six-month period from October 2012 to March 2013, a recorded total of 1,022 creatures of 24 different species (14 species of mammals and 10 species of birds) were poached during the duration of the research. The studies also show that the poaching is being done from the western border to the interior of the country. The hunters have been targeting larger game animals, but those species have been depleting in numbers; and smaller animals, including non-traditional game species such as the keel-billed toucan and parrots, are now being targeted. The white-lipped peccary is known to be a favorite of the hunters for food but the research did not record any sightings of this popular game species, indicating that it has possibly become extinct in the Chiquibul Forest area.

Sandhill resident’s decomposed body found floating in Belize River. The battered corpse of Ellis Dawson, 37, of Sandhill, was retrieved from the Belize River in the Henderson Bank area of Burrell Boom Village at about 9: 00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 28. Dawson had been stabbed as many as 20 times, and his body thrown into the river. When police pulled the body out of the water, it was missing an arm and a leg. The badly decomposed body was taken to a deserted area on the Hattieville-Boom Road, where Doctor Mario Estradabran conducted an onsite autopsy. At its conclusion, Estradabran certified that Dawson’s death was caused by exsanguinations due to multiple stab wounds to the body from a sharp instrument. Dawson was buried immediately after the post-mortem at the site of the autopsy. A man told police that about 7:40 on Tuesday morning, he was travelling in his boat on the Belize River in Burrell Boom when he saw the body floating. Police retrieved the body from an area two miles north of Burrell Boom Village, tied it to a boat, and brought it to the riverbank. From there, the body was carried to an area where the autopsy was carried out.

Cabinet insists on keeping “sexual orientations” in Gender Policy 2013. Belize’s revised Gender Policy 2013 continued to be the subject of debate this week, with the National Women’s Commission (NWC), the government agency responsible for publishing the document earlier this month, making a formal retraction for mistakenly including in the document a clause supporting the legalization of prostitution. Cabinet also issued a statement this week, in response to concerns that the document refers to “respect for diversity” for a range of people, despite “sexual orientations”—which some factions have seen as an indication that the Barrow administration is now opening the door for mainstreaming the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual) agenda. Minister of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, Anthony “Boots” Martinez, under whose portfolio the Commission falls, told Amandala, though, that “nothing in the [policy] document favors them [the LGBT group], more than saying, ‘You are human and we respect you.’” However, Belize Action and other faith-based groups, as well as ordinary citizens, have vocalized concerns that the inclusion of “sexual orientations”—a clause absent from the earlier policy of 2002—means far more. Pastor Scott Stirm, spokesperson of Belize Action, told Amandala that as soon as Government included the phrase “sexual orientations,” the government began including homosexual definitions of gender, automatically giving the green light to same-sex acts, despite the fact that Belize’s Criminal Code outlaws sodomy.

Lindon Hinds, 20, of Belize City, was charged today, Tuesday, for the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition. Hinds pleaded not guilty to a charge of kept firearm without a gun license and kept ammunition without a license. He was denied bail and is on remand until July 16, 2013, when he is to reappear in Magistrate’s Court. On May 25, 2013 police reported that they saw two males in the Lord Ridge Cemetery. One of the men was seen throwing an object as the police were approaching them. That person was identified as Hinds. The other person accompanying Hinds was a 17-year-old minor. The officers later discovered that Hinds had in his possession a black and silver .38 revolver with an unknown serial number and six .38 live rounds of ammunition.

Martinez is accused of fatally stabbing Raheem Smith, 18. Paul Martinez, 20, had his murder case committed to the Supreme Court today after he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith. Martinez is accused of fatally stabbing Raheem Smith, 18, last year after the two allegedly got into an altercation over a bicycle. According to police, just before 2:00 p.m. on July 19, 2012, Smith and Martinez were in a yard with other teens when the two got into an argument over a borrowed bicycle. The argument intensified, and led to Smith punching Martinez in his face. Martinez then left the area, only to return with a long-bladed knife with which he allegedly inflicted the stab wound to Smith. Since being arrested on July 23, 2012, Martinez has been on remand at the Belize Central Prison.

— The National Female U-17 Selection will play their World Cup qualifier return match against Guatemala on Sunday, June 2, at the FFB Stadium, starting at 4:00 p.m. Entrance fee is only $5.00, and everyone is invited to come out and support our youths. — Our National ‘A’ Team will be playing in Melchor today at 3:00 p.m. against Guatemalan 1st division Club Heredia. — Our National ‘A’ Team will also be playing a friendly against Guatemala’s National ‘A’ Team on Tuesday, June 11, in Antigua, Guatemala. — The Federation will be conducting open tryouts for U-15 males, born in the year 1998 onwards, on Saturday, June 8, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the FFB Stadium. Belize will be participating in CONCACAF U-15 Boys Championship Tournament which will be staged in the Cayman Islands from August 10 – 25. This is for the countries in the CONCACAF region. — The President, Mr. Ruperto Vicente; General Secretary, Mr. Michael Blease; and Executive Member, Mr. Cruz Gamez went to the 63rd FIFA Congress, which will be held on May 30 and 31 in Maritius.

In their third consecutive trip to the Premier League of Belize (PLB) finals, the Police United FC team has finally broken the “bridesmaid jinx” that has dogged them for the past two seasons. In their first championship final about a year ago, Police lost to Placencia Assassins in the 2011-2012 Closing Season. Then in the 2012-2013 Opening Season, which ended earlier this year, it was Belmopan Bandits taking the crown, and leaving the other finalist Police United FC to again settle for 2nd place. In the previous two competitions, Police united had finished the regular season at the top of their group, but in this latest Closing Season, things looked very questionable for the Police team as they suffered a 4-game losing streak mid-way in the competition, and were in doubt about making the playoffs. But the lawmen rebounded with a 3-game winning streak, coupled with a successful protest that overturned their 3-0 loss to Placencia Assasins, and thus the Police entered this season’s semifinal playoffs as the 3rd seed. The fortunes for the Police Team took a positive turn in the playoff semifinals, as they twice defeated the 2nd seed BDF team who had beaten them twice in regular season. Their opponent in the finals would be 4th seed FC Belize who had shocked defending champion #1 seed Belmopan Bandits, beating them 1-nil at the MCC, and holding them scoreless at the Isidoro Beaton for the 1-nil aggregate victory and a spot in the championship finals.

We have watched the Mayor initiate a lot of street repair and other projects which appeared haphazard in conception. One of the reasons we have cut him slack is because he is new and enthusiastic. The Mayor’s decision, however, and, in real terms, he waited for the rains to begin before doing this, to dig up the northern approach to the Belcan Bridge without any warning on Tuesday afternoon, demands critical comment. Belcan is a terrible traffic bottleneck during rush hours and whenever there is the slightest accident or other disruption, because a new bridge should have been built over the Haulover Creek from Southside to Northside fifteen years ago. But, the people on the Northside don’t want the bridge, and their area representatives have fought against it. So, Belcan is just a traffic jam waiting to happen for fifteen years and more. The new Mayor, in effect, touched something that was waiting to explode. The Belcan approach repair was not any kind of emergency. It was cosmetic. First, he waited for the rains. Then, he has not treated this situation with the absolute priority it deserves. This is one job, if you insisted on doing it now, which cried out for 24 hour a day work urgency.

An American writer named Tom Wolfe is supposed to have said, “You can never go home again.” On the other hand, over the years on more than one occasion, we have quoted the American poet Robert Frost’s definition of home. “Home is where, when you have to go there they have to let you in.” In the days when Belize City was still Belize, that is in the mid-1960s, a very well known senior public officer sold his home on Euphrates Avenue to a Chinese businessman and left for Brooklyn with his wife and all his children. The family did quite well in New York City, so much so the story goes, on a trip back home the former head of department tried to buy back his Belize City home from the Asian businessman. The Chinese supposedly said something like this: “Chiniman buy house; Chiniman no sell house.” If this newspaper’s thesis is correct, that a decision was made at high British and American levels to change the composition of Belize’s population, then Belizeans who try to return home from the United States will understand why is it so difficult to do so, at every step of the process, and why it is so difficult to remain in Belize once you have actually returned. It appears to us, for instance, that there is usually a problem for Belizeans with collecting their American Social Security checks on a regular and uninterrupted basis in Belize, and more often than not they have to return to the United States to get things bureaucratic sorted out.

The Raiders basketball organization was keenly interested in supporting the Princess Royal Youth Hostel Under–17 basketball tournament. One reason was that the core of our team, which entered semi-pro at its inauguration in 1992, had cut their basketball teeth in that said Under-17 tournament in the late 1980s. Another reason we supported the tournament was because it was an opportunity for high school teenagers and street teenagers to interact and compete with each other in an atmosphere of strict discipline. It must have been in 1994, 1995, that an Under-17 team came out of the Yarborough area under the management of a guy known as Winks. This was a very good team, dominant in fact, and I think they won at least one of the tournaments. Winks was a tall, quiet, black man. He was humble, and he was poor. The relationship between him and his players was unique. It was incredible that he would “own” a championship team, but I never bothered to figure that out, because I had my own problems with Raiders at the time. The late Wilton Cumberbatch, who was the head referee and disciplinarian for U-17, lived in Yarborough, and so he and Winks were quite familiar with each other. I don’t know the details of what happened to Under-17. I know that the Raiders, under heavy pressure, disbanded in 1995, came back and then disbanded again in 1996, then semi-pro died in 1998. I believe the death of the Raiders contributed to the death of Under-17. But, there was also the relocation of the Hostel to Mile 21 on the Western Highway.

— by TOM GREENWOOD Hon. Manuel Heredia Minister of Tourism Belmopan Sir, FECTAB adds its strongest objections to those many already stating their objections to the proposal by Norwegian Cruise Lines to purchase an island in the south of Belize for use as a cruise tourism destination, and in general, use of the South of Belize by cruise lines. This would be a total ecological and tourism disaster for the pristine South of the country, as well as a disaster for the several thousands allready involved and deeply financially tied to the cruise operations in the Belize District. The records show that exclusivity granted to cruise lines in purchasing islands in other areas of the Caribbean, ended up cutting out the local populations of those countries, as the cruise lines enjoyed total income levels on all activities. The now well underway Tourism Zone Project in Belize City will be the first to suffer loss, along with the Belize City Council revenues gained from cruise activity. Again, loss of income to operators and suppliers at every level would be catastrophic.

— by Steve Johnson Franklin, Minnesota Editor Amandala Sir, My wife and I have traveled to Belize the last 3 years, and are coming back for 13 days in Feb and Mar of 2014. Our two previous vacations were in Mexico and I was not impressed with the extreme commercialism. When we came to Placencia and did sight seeing, snorkeling, and fishing, we fell in love with Belize, its people and its terrific scenery, beauty and cleanliness. We have enjoyed the laid-back atmosphere when we have stayed in Placencia. We also experienced the laid-back atmosphere when traveling to other towns in Belize. I feel that the allowance of cruise ships to Belize will hurt the country as a whole. It is definitely going to affect your eco system. I hope you are not considering dredging Crawl Caye and destroying the coral. It is going to cause problems with cleanliness in your towns, and you will probably find that you will have more legal problems. I am a concerned visitor of Belize as are some of my friends and we encourage you to disapprove the proposal from NCL. Steve Johnson Franklin, Minnesota

— by Fidel Castro Ruz Dear Rafael: I congratulate you on your courageous speech today and the great moral and political authority with which you are once again assuming the Presidency of Ecuador. I noted the firmness in your voice when, irrefutably, you condemned the economic blockade of Cuba. However long the hazardous history of our species lasts, nobody will ever be able to demonstrate that crude material interests are capable of creating more virtuous and honest citizens. The young girl who presented the presidential insignia demonstrates the contrary. “A just idea, from the depths of a cave, can do more than an army,” stated José Martí, our independence hero. I also congratulate you on your just and heartfelt tribute to Hugo Chávez, who so much loved Ecuador. A strong embrace Fidel Castro Ruz May 24, 2013 8:32 p.m.

— by Melanie McField, PhD May 28, 2013 Dear Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Barrow, I write to formally express our strong concern over the proposed NCL cruise terminal on Crawl Caye and our hope that Cabinet will conclude the entertaining of this idea with a firm rejection. Our fundamental question to the government is: How could this development possibly be worth it? We acknowledge that cruise passengers would have an improved experience and NCL would make massive additional profits by exercising complete control over their island base, but at what cost to Belize and Belizeans? The costs are substantial, unavoidable, and irreversible; and include: 1) Environmental costs: Crawl Caye is a fragile mangrove island surrounded by fringing coral reefs. These inshore coral reefs have recently been shown to harbor more robust and resilient corals than the outer barrier reef, and could help our reef system adapt to the changing global climate if they remain free from localized stress and injury. Construction of the cruise terminal would involve massive mangrove clearing and marine dredging, which would severely damage or destroy the fringing reef, seagrass beds, and mangrove forest – all critical marine ecosystems supporting fisheries, tourism and biodiversity. In addition to the unavoidable direct impacts of construction are the chronic impacts from having thousands of people daily visiting this and nearby fragile areas. Finally, there is the additional risk of having a ship grounding, possibly including an oil spill, as these massive ships would be traversing the entire southern lagoon and out by Sapodilla Cayes. Given our lack of a functional oil spill response plan, it would be irresponsible to allow this additional risk into the heart of our marine ecosystem.

— by Rolando Cocom Dear Editor, In a recent article from the publisher, Evan X Hyde renders a motivational epilogue to young people which I enjoyed reading (see May 24, 2013). Indeed, the editor also recently made similar remarks on the role of the youth for a more democratic Belize (see May 17, 2013). I center these comments on the phrase “Consciousness of being versus being conscious.” – A phrase which still puzzles me ever since I first heard it during a session with a brilliant historian at UB. It speaks of a difference between two levels of thought life. It is between lower levels versus higher levels of thinking. One refers to a level of thought which accepts circumstances at face value. This is being conscious, being alive. On the other hand, consciousness of being refers to a level of thought which examines why we are faced with such circumstances in the first place. The higher level seeks to deconstruct and problematize the assumptions we take for granted. Regrettably, it is this higher level which our current education lacks. Karl Marx asserted that when the working class realize that they are exploited they would become their own liberators, and thus the liberators of humanity. The extent to which this is possible is very arguable, and indeed futile. Am I advocating for a communist Belize? Undoubtedly, the idea of communism excites me, but cannot satisfy me.

— by Thomas Handfield I am aware that a proposal exists for NCL to establish a port in Southern Belize. I would like to let you now that I have travelled to Belize for 3 winters in a row now and I dive and hike and stay in Southern Belize. The reason I love Belize is because of the nature and wildlife, the magnificent coral reef where I go diving and the fantastic, friendly people many who are now my close friends. I have also introduced many friends to Belize who are planning return trips to your remarkable country. It is my opnion that the proposal by NCL would be severely detrimental to the people of Belize and the ecosystems which they nurture and are enjoyed by people like myself from around the world. I have been on a cruise and I will never go again. The tourists are isolated from the local populations and are misled by the cruise lines about the truths of what their company does to the ecoystems and countries where they operate. Please reject the NCL proposal and let the world know Belize is for nature lovers, and for people who appreciate each other and the places they visit. Thank You, Thomas Handfield Fort McMurray, AB Canada

— by Daniela Mühlleitner Dear Sir/Madam, My name is Daniela Mühlleitner from Austria and I have got notice about the Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) has asked the Government of Belize for approval of a cruise port at Crawl Caye, an island six miles east of the Placencia Peninsula and located in the Southwater Marine Reserve, part of the Belize Barrier Reef World Heritage Site – and surrounded by live corals. I will be there again July and August this year, wanting to spend all my money in your beautiful country, specially in the South of Belize, that I deeply love, because of NOT having mass cruise tourism. SO PLEASE DO EVERYTHING THAT THE GOVERNMENT WON’T GIVE THIS APPROVAL!!!! Belize is on the best way to become more famous than it is till now all over the world with its eco-tourism and should create the positive difference in the Tropic World!!!! Yours sincerely, Daniela Mühlleitner

“All indications are that this year’s hurricane season will be above average.” 14 – 20 named storms predicted. Chief Meteorologist Dennis Gonguez told Amandala today that with light showers scattered across the country today, there are signs that the dry season is coming to an end and that the rainy season—which also coincides with the Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season—is nearing. In fact, the Atlantic Hurricane Season opens this weekend, Saturday, June 1, and Gonguez said that tropical waves are already coming across the Caribbean, as an influx of moisture has been observed coming into the region. Normally, an El Niño phenomenon in the Pacific means suppression of cyclone activity in the Atlantic; but this year, said Gonguez, there is no El Niño to inhibit cyclones, and the forecasts indicate an above normal hurricane season for 2013. The season, which spans June to November, can see anywhere from 14 to 20 named storms, according to varied forecasts, and Gonguez said that these estimates are well above the annual average of 12 named storms. “All indications are that this year’s hurricane season will be above average,” said Gonguez. This dry season was also drier than usual, with some parts of Belize experiencing “moderate drought conditions,” he told us. However, the weather was not as harsh as some years, since only a few days with temperatures above 100 degrees were experienced this time around, Gonguez indicated. The Chief Met Officer said that whereas rains may commence in the south before extending to the rest of the country, last year saw rains commencing over the entire country simultaneously.

Seine Bight villagers say FIU seizing their property, and no one can help. Several Seine Bight villagers are complaining that police have taken away their personal property which they worked hard to acquire, and more than two months after the seizures, their property has still not been returned to them. One of the most vocal is village councilor Lavern Arzu, who won one of seven seats in the village council elections held in Seine Bight on Sunday, May 19, 2013. Arzu said that she ran for the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP), and they should have “had [her] back”, like she has had theirs. “They are depriving me… They want me to die,” said Arzu, whose red 1997 Ford pickup, which she said is valued at $7,000, was confiscated on March 1, 2013, with a full tank of gas. Arzu also said that she had $500 cash in her vehicle to pay for her registration and licensing. She told us that she has complained to Police Internal Affairs, which has been renamed the Professional Standards Branch. However, head of the branch, Noel Leal, told Amandala he has not been apprised of the case, although he did see Arzu’s story aired on television. Arzu, who said that she complained personally to the Minister of National Security John Saldivar but has still not gotten her truck back, hired Philip “Fawda” Henry, who has the Do The Right Thing Pedestrian Crossing program, to document the Seine Bight story with video recordings and channel them to the media—still in the hope that she will get her truck back.

“Misconception or outright mischief,” says Oceana’s Audrey Matura-Shepherd. “If the Government continues to be bound by the injunction, the Government can’t tell them [Princess/Treaty] what to do; so they will be left to run their exploration without any supervision by the Government. That is the whole point of our application:” Denys Barrow, SC The Government of Belize has applied to the Supreme Court for a stay of execution, to put on pause an injunction granted by Supreme Court Justice Oswell Legall in April, restraining the Government, as well as its servants and agents, from carrying out the provisions of the petroleum contracts it had granted to six companies: Island Oil, Miles Tropical Energy Ltd., Petro Belize Company Ltd., Princess Petroleum Ltd., Providence Energy Belize Ltd., and SOL Oil Belize Ltd., on 25 May 2004 and 17 October 2007. Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin was due to hear that application for the stay on the injunction this morning; however, he said in court that apart from the bundle presented to the court by Government counsel, Denys Barrow, SC, all other documents arrived on his desk at 9:00 this morning – the time that had been set for trial.

13 infant deaths at KHMH, but investigation only blames “several factors.” The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) management held its second press conference today, Thursday, to update the public on the investigation into the multiple neonatal deaths caused by an organism outbreak in the neonatal intensive care unit during the first 22 days of this month. The key messages of the meeting were that no one is to be blamed for being the source of the bacteria outbreak and that the investigation is ongoing. Within the first 22 days of May, 13 babies died at the KHMH. The initially reported number of deaths was 12, but one more baby died on May 22, increasing the toll to 13. We were told that that baby was admitted into the hospital already ill and was tested negative for the organism. The first organism outbreak-related death occurred on May 10. The NICU was not allowed to admit any more babies into the unit after that date. Dr. Adrian Coye, Director of Medical Services at KHMH, said they are still trying to put together a list of factors related to the outbreak. But some of those factors are obvious and include overcrowding of the unit and the lack of specially trained nurses to work in the unit.

A report appearing in the Guatemalan news outlet, Siglo21, claims that Belizean immigration authorities have been harassing Guatemalans traveling into Belize, especially those from Petén, who come with passports which have on their cover a map with Belize and Guatemala separated by a dotted line. Interestingly, that news report claims that 600,000 of the “dotted line” passports for which their citizens are allegedly being harassed began arriving in their country this April, contrary to official reports from Foreign Affairs staff in Belize that those passports had, based on reports from their Guatemalan counterparts, been in use for years. Belize Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse told Amandala today that he has not received reports of any such harassment of Guatemalan nationals, and the Guatemalan Ambassador resident in Belize has made no such complaints to him. According to Minister Hulse, his ministry has implemented no changes in relation to Guatemalan passports; neither have any instructions been issued to impose more stringent measures on them.

The Reporter

Parents have a right to protect their children and to shield them from harmful influences. This is an over-riding right which is greater than the right of an individual with a deviant lifestyle who simply wants to be accepted by the community and by the law. We are all aware [...]

Thirteen babies dead, KHMH says ‘we did the best we could’
Thirteen newborn babies died in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit during the month May. However, the hospital authority says that it did the best it could in the situation. The KHMH Authority held a press conference on Thursday to update the public on the status of [...]

GOB helps Team Belize to CONCACAF Gold Cup
The Football Federation of Belize has announced it needs to raise $500,000 to finance Belize’s national ‘A’ Team’s participation in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States of America next month, and the government of Belize has tossed a contribution of $50,000 into the kitty.

Oceana Vice President resigns says gay community tried to get her fired
“I do feel that some quarters of the LGBT movement sought to do everything to silence me. I think their tactics were low, and I would not allow them to hold Oceana to ransom, so I resigned,” Vice President of Oceana Audrey Matura-Shepard announced Thursday. Matura-Shepard made the remarks in [...]

BTIA and BELPO say NO to cruise port on Crawl Caye
The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) and the Belize Institute of Environmental Law & Policy (BELPO) have both called on Minister of Tourism Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. and the other ministers of Cabinet to utterly reject the US$50 million proposal from Norwegian Cruise Line to establish a major cruise port [...]

Gender policy – a needed change
Belizean women face a litany of problems on a daily basis as a result of gender discrimination, a situation the National Women’s Commission seeks to address with its Revised Gender Policy 2013, which it launched at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel on Thursday, May 16. The new Policy especially targets husbands [...]

Cancer Walk 2013 bigger than ever
Cancer is a killer! But the good news is that public support for cancer awareness is spreading rapidly! A record number, more than 5,000 Belizeans, joined the annual cancer walk organized by the Belize Cancer Society, from Ladyville to Belize City on Saturday morning, May 25. This was more than [...]

Austerity is killing us now the world must invest to recover
By Sharan Burrow, Special to CNN (CNN) — Unemployment, fear and despair are unravelling people’s lives and would normally drive leaders to urgent action. As the riots in Sweden underscore, even wealthy nations suffer rips in their social fabric wrought by the greed of profit and inequality.

Placencia Producers Cooperative Seaweed Project gets trawler from Oceana for $1.00
The Placencia Producers Cooperative Society Limited sealed a $1.00 sales agreement with Oceana Belize for a fishing trawler, the Northern 11, at its headquarters on Saturday, May 25. The Co-op is planning to use the trawler, originally designed for deep sea fishing, to boost its burgeoning sea weed project, its [...]

Victim shot in March dies in May at KHMH
After showing positive signs of recovery, Jamil “Cash” Richardson, who suffered multiple gunshot wounds on Holy Thursday and was left paralyzed, passed away at the KHMH on Sunday. Belize City Police have not made any arrest for the shooting. Richardson’s death means that police have another unsolved murder investigation to [...]

13-year-old girl missing, mother asks for public’s help
Jenevieve Zelaya, the mother of Aloveen Mariano, 13, is livid with the Department of Human Services because her daughter, who was kept at a safe house under that unit’s care and authority, has gone missing for the second time in three weeks.

“Brutal” talks on the US-Caribbean relationship
Sir Ronald Sanders BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thursday May 30, 2013 – Much media coverage was given to the signing on May 28 in Trinidad of a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) by US Vice President, Joseph Biden, and current Chairman of the 15-nation Caribbean Community, Haiti’s President Michael Martelly. [...]

Build a Better Smoothie
You don’t need to hire a personal chef, or resign yourself to starvation to get bikini-ready. All you need is a blender. “Blending is one of the quickest, easiest ways to prep healthy foods, especially fresh fruits and veggies,” says FITNESS advisory board member Harley Pasternak, trainer, nutrition expert, and [...]

People under stress stick to habits, good or bad
It seems old habits really do die hard – whether they are good or bad. The study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, contradicts the idea that being under pressure leads to bad habits like over-eating or shopping sprees. Instead, people are just as likely to maintain gym [...]

Louisiana Gov’t School girls win national basketball championship
The girls of Louisiana Government School in Orange Walk Town have won the National Primary Schools Basketball Championships organized by the National Sports Council at Bird’s Isle in Belize City on Friday, May 24.

Faith Nazarene boys win national basketball championship
The boys of Faith Nazarene School of San Ignacio Town won the National Primary Schools Basketball Championships organized by the National Sports Council at the YWCA Court in Belize City on Friday, May 24. Faith Nazarene boys cruised past the Belize district champions, the boys of St. Martin de Porres [...]


A day at Seascape Villas, progress on the bridge and detour a done deal
Cheryl offered to give Winnie Surendra and I a ride back to the bridge after class. Surendra would drop Winnie at the airport and I could catch a cab south from there. As we walked across, I snapped a few pictures of the bridge progress. It’s going to look really nice when it is done. Hopefully it will be easier to maintain now and not need to be closed down. By the time we got to Maya Air the gear was already waiting there, Coastal Express water taxi had beat us back to town

Should the Belizean Diaspora participate in elections and elected office?
The Belizean Diaspora contributes an estimated 200 million USD to families and organizations in Belize. Amendment 7 is a legislation which clarifies the rights of Belizeans who hold dual citizenship. This is a very important legislation for the future of Belize’s survival. Nuri Akbar delves deeper into this legislation and its implications for Belize. Please read, share and discuss. 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. “

Norwegian Cruise Lines, the GOB and Belize’s Barrier Reef
Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL)…you won’t destroy our Great Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage site, our Great Blue Hole and its surrounding eco-systems, to build a casino and more! Not on our watch and not in our backyard! Belizeans, and True Friends of Belize, please help us raise awareness by sharing and making this go viral. As early as next week, the Belize government is taking this issue to Cabinet for a vote: whether or not to grant NCL permission to proceed with their proposed development within this fragile UNESCO World Heritage Site. Less than two weeks ago, the world was appalled to hear about the destruction of Nohmul pyramid, an ancient Mayan site that existed for 2,300 years until it was destroyed in one fell swoop by a local contractor armed with a bulldozer. Now, Nohmul is no more! Please raise awareness by sharing this with your friends while time is still on our side.

Wake Up Call 2013
A few clips put together to help you open your eyes. We still have time people, it’s not too late but if you don’t act now your time will run out and you will become a statistic.

Payments for No Work
We got these pictures showing large sums of money being paid by GOB (Government of Belize) for services not rendered by Imer Hernandez nephew of the Deputy PM of Belize Gaspar Vega. This is really normal practice with what is called the “Friends and Family Circle” with Belizean politics. There are numerous scandals rocking the nation lately ranging from Illegal Rosewood logging and dealings by the Deputy PMs brother, Land Grabs, the Noh Mul demolishing which still has not been dealt with.

International Sources

Merida and Belize “Sister Cities”
Merida and Belize City formalized their intention to become “Sister Cities” during a visit by a delegation from the Caribbean country to the Merida Mayor, Renan Barrera Concha. “This is more than a visit to Merida, it means a great opportunity to formalize something that naturally the two cities have had for many years. A permanent and frequent communication with Belize City” said the Mayor Renan Barrera. During the meeting in the Hall of Councils of City Hall, Barrera Concha said that Merida and Belize have many ties including friendship and cultural. The letter signed aims to consolidate economic trade, business and investment. The Mayor of Belize City, Darrell Bradley, thanked the hospitality of the meridian authorities and reaffirmed the interest in mutual collaboration. In his English message, the Belizian official recalled that since his childhood he has on numerous occasions been in Merida accompanied by his parents, in which he has very fond memories of this city, and also a special interest in strengthening relations in these areas.

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.

Click here to return to
Today's Belize News

Commons Island Community History Visitor Center Goods & Services
Search Messages CIG Info

Copyright by Casado Internet Group, Belize