Recent Belize News
7/1/2013 to 7/20/2013
Click here to return to
Today's Belize News

July 20, 2013


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

SAGA July Cook-Off a big success
It was a full house with standing room only at Wet Willy’s on Wednesday July 17th, for the monthly SAGA Humane Society cook-off. This month’s theme featured summer salads and there were tasty entrees that combined watermelon and cheese, to veggie, chicken, pasta and even bacon. A total of eight different salads were entered in this month’s cook-off. The demand for tickets to accommodate the huge turnout sold well over 65 servings. In a span of about 15 minutes all tickets were sold out as everyone hoped to feed their taste buds on a variety of summer salads. Each person that purchased a ticket also had the opportunity to vote for their choice of best entree for the evening. After all the votes were in and counted, Alexis Gonzalez captured first place with his orange chicken pasta salad. Second place was awarded to Lone Star Grill with their entrée of watermelon, feta cheese and mint salad. Third place went to the host of the evening, Wet Willy’s with their bacon, lettuce and tomato salad.

Targeted residents upset after police launch anti-loitering operation on La Isla Bonita
At least four male residents of Ambergris Caye are speaking up against The San Pedro Police Department, claiming that their constitutional rights have been violated. According to the men, they are just four of many more that have become a target by police. They are claiming that the police have detained them several times in less than a week,then released without charges,in an attempt to “frustrate” them until they leave the island.The police however,are standing their grounds stating that the operation is as a result of mounting complaints that tourists are being accosted (by the individuals) and that the beach is being used for peddling drugs.

Ambergris Today

Costa Maya Festival Announces Miss El Salvador Contestant
Lovely Fatima Yolanda Mauricio Mangandi has been confirmed to represent her country as Miss El Salvador Costa Maya at the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant that will be taking place at the International Costa Maya Festival in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Twenty-one year old Fatima Mangandi has been Miss Teenager 2007 and 2010 and Miss Tourism International 2011 and represented her country at the Miss Tourism Queen International Pageant in Xi’am China in 2011. Fatima stands 5’ 7” tall, is a communications student at La Universidad Jose Matias Delgado and has dark brown eyes and black hair. She enjoys enjoys swimming and is fluent in both English and spanish. Miss El Salvador now joins Destinee Arnold - Belize, Andrea Rojas - Costa Rica, Monica Elwing Gough – Honduras, Cleirys Velásquez - Panama, Ariadna Melendez - Nicaragua and Artemisa Martinez – Mexico. All other Mundo Maya countries and Central American region have confirmed their participation at the pageant and the two remaining contestants will be announced shortly.

San Pedro Police Commits to Decrease Burglary on the Island
Assistant Superintendent of Police at the San Pedro Police Department, ASP Luis Castellanos admits that burglary is the most pressing issue in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, having the highest recorded incidents compared to all other major crimes on the island. This week ASP Castellanos presented June statistics from his department that show an increase in burglary on the island in the past couple of months, even compared to June 2012. There were 14 burglaries reported in the month of June 2013, 58 over all since the beginning of the year. There were 38 reported burglaries from January to June in 2012. All other major crimes reported to the department have gone down or stayed the same, including murder, rape, robbery, theft, and carnal knowledge.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize vs. Cuba Pictures
The Belize Jaguars did their best at the CONCACAF Gold Cup. They got some great pictures from Tuesday's match against Cuba. Great job, Jaguars! Get ready for next year.

CNWA Distributes Cameras
The Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association met Wednesday, and they distributed cameras and flashlights to all the neighborhood watches that were present. They usually meet on the middle Wednesday of each month. If you'd like to join your local neighborhood watch, they'd love to have you help keep Cayo crime free. "All registered Neighborhood Watch Committees present at our monthly meetting received a few flashlights and a camera purchased form the Grant received from the US Embassy"

The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) in collaboration with Caribbean Export, participated in an interactive Brand Development and Packaging Workshop/Webinar on July 17th and 18th, 2013. During this event, participants of Agro-processing and Light manufacturing sectors were invited with the main purpose of establishing, developing, and strengthening their company’s understanding of Branding. This workshop/webinar will cover a broad range of topics including but not limited to:

Expression of Interest EXPO-CIBAO 2013
EXPO-CIBAO 2013, Santiago, Dominican Republic, September 10-15th, 2013 Background EXPO-CIBAO is a general trade show event with a special focus on agroindustry. This event is organized by the Santiago Chamber of Commerce and Production in the Dominican Republic, and this year it is celebrating its 26th consecutive edition. The theme for this year is “For the Integration and development of the Region”, and on this basis a week full of activities, including business conferences, seminars, exhibitions, trade in goods, cultural and educational activities has been planned. The show will take place in Santiago, Dominican Republic from September 10-15th, 2013.

Channel 7

Talk Of Rosewood Tiring Hon. Alamilla
The Rosewood amnesty was back in April – and it caused the Barrow Administration to take a major political hit because of the central involvement of the Deputy Prime Minister’s brother, German Vega. Time has passed, the uproar has subsided and the ship, both figuratively and literally, has sailed. We say literally because today we found out form the Ministry of Forestry that the Rosewood transactions have been completed and the half of the proceeds that Government was to get has already been calculated and paid. The news is that it’s only 15 thousand dollars per container of nine thousand board feet. Exasperated, the Minister explained:… The Rosewood amnesty was back in April – and it caused the Barrow Administration to take a major political hit because of the central involvement of the Deputy Prime Minister’s brother, German Vega. Time has passed, the uproar has subsided and the ship, both figuratively and literally, has sailed. We say literally because today we found out form the Ministry of Forestry that the Rosewood transactions have been completed and the half of the proceeds that Government was to get has already been calculated and paid. The news is that it’s only 15 thousand dollars per container of nine thousand board feet. Exasperated, the Minister explained.

Sewell Case Almost Gets Dashed
Since February 2007, Mark Sewell, has been on remand fighting his extradition to the US, where he is wanted for narcotics trafficking dating back to December 1994 to August 1997. The Former Chief Magistrate Margaret-Gabb McKenzie, after an in-depth look at the documents presented by the US Government, ruled on September 30, 2011 that a prima facie case was well-established against Sewell. She ordered that he be extradited to the US, but Sewell’s lead attorney, the late Elston Kaseke, filed an application for Habeas Corpus in the Supreme Court, which was the proper means to appeal the Chief Magistrate’s extradition order. The problem is that after Kaseke’s death, his cases were left unattended, one of them being Mark Sewell’s application to the Supreme Court. That was done October 2011, and almost 2 years have passed without a hearing. The matter was called up once again by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin for a final adjournment because since then, none of Sewell’s 3 attorneys: Arthur Saldivar, Dickey Bradley, or Bryan Neal, seemed able to move forward with it.

“Dipped” and Then Detained
Tonight, there are 10 deportees from the US who are in the custody of the Gang Suppression Unit. They arrived at the PGIA this evening on a charter Flight which came and brought them back to Belize after making a stop in El Salvador to drop off deportees for that country. The GSU reports that 10 of these men will be charged with felony offences, and one of the men will be charged with failure to report and failure to notify police of a change of address because this is his second deportation. One of the 10 is Owen Parham, who will be charged with non-appearance at court for charges of handling stolen goods. And if the name sounds familiar it should. That’s because police issued a warrant for his arrest in Corozal and Orange Walk for burglary since December of last year. He’s been wanted ever since police lifted finger prints which matched to his in their AFIS System at the crime scenes in both of those districts. The GSU were expecting 2 more deportees this evening, but there was a last-minute change of plans, so only 10 arrived.

Alleged Banak Killer Caught
Tonight, 21 year-old University Student Jedden Burgess, a resident of Tibruce Street is at prison after he was taken to court for the murder of 21 year-old Jamal Anthony Neal. Viewers may remember that on last week Monday, Neal was out on an errand for his mother. He was returning back to his house on Banak Street just before news time when he was ambushed by 2 men on a motorcycle. One of them pulled out a gun and fired several shots at Neal, injuring him in the chest. He was rushed to the KHMH, but he died while undergoing treatment. Police since have investigating, and today, they charged Burgess with murder. He was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer who remanded him into custody. He will be brought back to court on September 13, his next court date.

Can Belize’s Highways Be Safer?
According to the Ministry of Health, Belize recorded a fatality rate of 19 traffic deaths per 100 thousand inhabitants last year. That was the highest fatality rate of all the member countries of the Caribbean Development Bank, and as a result the CDB is trying the help the Government of Belize to lower that number. It is a big task, and they’ve come up with an intervention strategy called the Belize Road Safety Project. It is a multi-departmental approach which has ambitious goals for the next 3 years, and for the past 2 days, the facilitators have been meeting with the different representatives for a training workshop. To examine the importance of this project, our Daniel Ortiz took a look at its context in this report. Daniel Ortiz reporting In March of this year, the Government of Belize, by way of the Minister with responsibility for Economic Development, announced the launch of the Belize Road Safety Project. It is being funded by the Caribbean Development Bank, with a loan to GOB of 14.5 million dollars. [File: March 14, 2013] Hon. Santino Castillo - Minister of State with Responsibility for Economic Development "I recognize the importance of that stretch of highway, the Western Highway which is the one most utilized by cyclist. I know how important it is to improve the highway, having been brushed many times by vehicles. The high death rate on our highway is a serious health concern, given the resulting lost in productivity, and increase venerability to poverty has significant social and economic repercussions. The launching of the road safety project is therefore with very good timing. The project represents the first phase of what is expected to be a long-term initiative, of the Government of Belize to improve road safety in Belize. Its overall objective is to reduce deaths and serious injuries associated with road traffic accidents."

Hon. Alamilla Fears Anti-Gay Hate Protests Could Escalate Into Violence
Last week, Forestry Minister Lisel Alamilla started a Facebook uproar when she made a strong comment against an image which came out of the Punta Gorda Constitutional March, It was an effigy of a UNIBAM figure, clearly suggesting violence. Today she explained why she had to speak out. Hon. Lisel Alamilla "We live in a democracy and people have a right to protest and to hold marches. But I think everyone has a responsibility to ensure that these marches or protests don't lead into violence. I posted something on my personal page on Facebook because I saw an effigy that was being carried in the Punta Gorda march and that was very concerning to me because it brings to question whether in fact this will result in hate crimes against the Lesbian Gay Bi-sexual Transgender community."

Chiquibul, What’s the Way Forward?
Chiquibul Forest – it’s almost half a million acres, four times the size of Barbados and it’s been on the news many times. That’s because the vast area is under sustained population pressure from Guatemala, where there are over 63 communities and over 52,700 people are bordering Chiquibul. That leads to all kinds of pressures on the protected area, and today that galaxy of problems was all brought into focus at the first Chiquibul Symposium. 7news was at the standing room only event:.. Jules Vasquez reporting It was a very full room at the Radisson today and it wasn’t just folks from the conservation community. The room was full of business people, influencers, an just regular folks with an interest in Chiquibul and it’s obviously a lot of people, it was standing room only and the amazing part is - they kept standing for more than four hours. And that’s because after years of news stories and public education - Chiquibul is in the national spotlight and now it’s time to harness that awareness into action and the galvanizing calls is as simple as water like this one that runs through the Chiquibul cave system: Hon. Lisel Alamilla - Ministry of Forestry "In fact for the people in Belize City - your water originates from the Chiquibul and it makes and meanders all the way down into Belize City. If we don't protect the Chiquibul - Belize City you are going to be in problems and maybe you'll want to move to Punta Gorda."

Brig Gen Visits BDF Camp
And while Brigadier General David Jones was at the Rosewood Symposium today, he also made time to visit the Volunteer Battalion of the Belize Defense Force who are currently holding their Annual Battle Camp. This event is being held at the Camp Belizario at Central Farm in Cayo, and it focuses on operations conducted in the BDF’s Western Tactics Area of Responsibility. These officers are receiving training on issues of internal security such as assisting the Customs Department, the Immigration Department, BAHA, NICH, and police. They are also learning how to conduct inland and border patrols, and manning the observation and conservation posts. The Guest Speaker was Minister of National Security John Saldivar

A Football Camp to Learn “Left Foot”
The National Sports Council summer camps continue around the city. Today we stopped in at the Berger Field to check out 30 football campers learning some new skills. Camp Coordinator Joel Wade spoke to us about the importance of developing the skills necessary for these up and coming athletes. Joel Wade - Camp Coordinator "We have had up to as many as 27 kids - it's open and this is our third week. One of the problems we have encountered is the weather so we'd have like four days that we had to send the kids back home because of the rain. We're trying to develop some of the basic basketball skills with the kids. Some of them are green and some of them have the skills already so we're trying to green one the skills and develop the skills of the others. One of the main focus that we're working on is what we call the weaker foot. Most football players use basically one foot - for most people it's the right foot and then they don't have the confidence to use the left foot so that is one of the main things we're trying to work on with this camp. It's the foundation - you cannot wait until an athlete is grown to try and teach him some of the basic things and skills - it's something that you need to grow into, so with this we hope to achieve that."

Started From the Bottom
And while they’re starting from the bottom, no doubt those young ballers look up to the Jaguars, Belize’s national football selection who recently returned home from the Gold Cup. They didn’t return in glory, but it’s still history. They went further than any Belize team ever has from Portland to Salt Lake City, to Hartford Connecticut, and back home – over seven thousand miles in pursuit of football excellence. That they didn’t achieve it isn’t the story – that they made it there is. Tonight, we take one last look at their historic fun trip where this national team got to see and experience what no other had before as they were treated like football royalty.

Channel 5

The Chiquibul symposium speaks of wonders and threats
And from rosewood to the symposium on the Chiquibul National Park held in Belize City by the Friends for Conservation and Development…it signifies the launch of an intensive campaign to [...]

Deportees fly home to Belize
A team of ten men returning from the United States was received at the Phillip Goldson International Airport this afternoon.  The group was not the remaining members of the Belize [...]

Parents take body home for burial
Thirty year old Elvira Ack and her husband thirty year old Lawrence Bol are both mourning the loss of their first child. Forty-eight hours after giving birth on Friday, July [...]

Why is Seawell wanted by the USA?
The habeas corpus application hearing of drug suspect Mark Seawell was adjourned for the umpteenth time this morning in the courtroom of the Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. In his previous [...]

UB student taken to court for murder
The last murder in the city occurred eleven days ago when twenty-one year old Jamal Anthony Neal was gunned down on July eighth.  Today, a University of Belize student, Jedd [...]

Man charged for inappropriately touching 8 year old
Another man is on remand for an alleged indecent assault upon a minor. Edilmiro Oliver appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court to answer to a single charge of aggravated [...]

Prison officers fired for breaking the rules, not for whistleblowing
The recent termination of a pair of prison officers from the Kolbe Foundation has once again brought into sharp focus security concerns at the Belize Central Prison.  While the unofficial [...]

Unsanitary environment at Kolbe
The issue of public health at the Belize Central Prison is also raising serious concerns tonight, following a recent visit by officials from the Office of the Ombudsman.  In the [...]

Minister gives opinion on gender policy
The pro-constitution anti-gender policy crusaders who have gone on countrywide tour have stated publicly that they hate the sin and not the sinner where homosexuality is concerned. But during the [...]

IMF warns about paying compensation for nationalized companies
The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article four consultation with Belize and the results were released earlier this week. The IMF says the restructuring of [...]

Will there be MOU’s for mega tourism development projects?
Government has been tight lipped lately about the cruise tourism megaprojects which have gone before Cabinet for consideration. Included in that multimillion dollar package are the Stake Bank project, the [...]

E.U. donates 7 million to climate change efforts in Belize.
The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre is stationed in Belize, and the 5C’s hosted a technical meeting of the Intra-African Caribbean Pacific Global Climate Change Alliance Programme. Experts from all [...]

Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage’s Summer Camp
The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage recently unveiled its new logo. The umbrella organization and its fight to preserve the natural wonders of Belize has taken on a [...]

“Some days” A new music video on the scene
If you don’t have the feet for nature as the coalition hopes, then perhaps you have the ears for music. A young artist hopes that you will be inspired by [...]


Symposium Brings Awareness on the Chiquibul Forest Reserve in Belize
The Chiquibul National Park has been in the news countless times because its resources have come under undeterred plundering by our neighbors from across the border. Reporter Hipolito Novelo brings you this in depth report on another effort to create awareness on the illegal activity within...

Young Man Charged For Recent Murder in Belize City
21-year-old University student Jedd Burgess has been charged with murder in connection with the shooting death of 21-year-old Jamal Anthony Neal. Neal was shot and killed on July 8 on Banak Street in Belize City. Burgess appeared unrepresented before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. No plea...

Minister of Forestry Updates Media on Rosewood Harvesting
The last we told you about Rosewood was back in May when the Ministry of Forestry released its figures for the total of rosewood accumulated during the nineteen day amnesty period which ended on April twenty sixth. Since then, the topic of rosewood has been out of the headlines, that is, until to...

Robbery, Drugs and Theft
**Belize City police have detained four persons and recovered a number of stolen items. A 56-year-old woman reported to Police that she went to the US on June 1st and upon her return she discovered that her jewelries were missing, a total value of nine thousand two hundred and ninety dollar...

Belize Jaguars Continues to Receive Recognition for Playing The Gold Cup
The Jaguars football team returned home earlier this week and the recognition for what the team managed to accomplish is still being acknowledged. The Vision Inspired by the People issued a release yesterday congratulating the team for its performance at the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The VIP...

Seven Years for His 8th Conviction
Forty-five year old Winfield Mortis, who had five convictions for dishonesty, got three more today when his trial concluded and he was found guilty of burglary, damage to property and assault. Senior magistrate Sharon Fraser sentenced him to seven years for burglary, one year for damage to ...

Summer Camp Teaches Children About Oil Exploration and Water Conservation
With no shortage of summer camps, the Belize Coalition to save our Natural Heritage has teamed up with the Belize Institute for Environmental Law and Policy to hold a three-day oil and water summer camp. Education Outreach Officer at the Belize Coalition to save our Natural Heritage, Judy W...


Home invasion in Santa Elena
We call them home invasions but the legal terminology is “Aggravated burglary”. Whatever the name, it is a frightening experience for those families that have had to endure one; and a Santa Elena family just had the horrific experience last night, Thursday July 18. According to police reports, the...

UB student arrested for Belize City’s last known murder
The last murder in Belize City occurred 11 days ago when 21-year-old Jamal Anthony Neal was gunned down in the late evening of Monday, July 8, 2013. Today, almost two weeks later, police say their trigger man has been identified as 21-year-old A UB student, Jedd Burgess. Mr...

Post mortem examination result for Jose Mario Umana has been released
The post mortem examination result for Belmopan taxi man 45 year old Jose Mario Umana has been released. The examiner certified the cause of death to be Traumatic shock, due to Head Trauma with a Blunt instrument. Whoever hit Umana in the head and killed him also dumped his...

Man on remand for alleged indecent assault upon a minor
Another man is on remand for another alleged indecent assault upon a minor. He is Edelmiro Oliver, a Belize City man who appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court to answer to a single charge of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon an 8-year-old girl. The incident...

American boy attacked by wild cat at Belize Zoo
This Morning a US news article spoke of a ten year old American boy who was attacked by a wild cat while on vacation in Belize. According to the article, the young boy, along with his parents, visited the Belize Zoo, which is where...

Counterfeit Belizean currency in Belize City
Counterfeit Belizean currency has turned up at a local grocery store. Police say they are looking for a Belize City man who went to a grocery store on Jane Usher Blvd on Wednesday night. The man paid the cashier with two fifty dollar bills bearing the same serial number...

Armed robbery in San Pedro
An armed robbery was reported on the island of Ambergris Caye. On Thursday afternoon, a 13year old student of San Pedro Town along with three of his friends, were in front of Patio’s Pier which is located on Beach-front, when they were approached by a Hispanic male person riding...

Belizean Michael Silva on INTERPOL’s wanted list
Belizean Michael Silva is on INTERPOL’s wanted list. The International Criminal Police Organization, INTERPOL, is an intergovernmental organization facilitating international police cooperation. In 2011, Silva’s girlfriend was found murdered in his home in San Ignacio, having died from a massive blow to the head. According to police, Silva was...

Constitutional March in Corozal
Tomorrow the 6th in a series of Constitutional marches will be held in Corozal town. Every other district in the country has held one where Christians and non Christians alike who are opposed to the Gender Policy 2013, have taken to marches and Rallies. Hundreds and in some districts,...


It recommends “protecting spending” on infrastructure, internal security, and social programs. Amid calls from the trade unions for wage adjustments for public officers, the International Monetary Fund has issued a statement following the conclusion of its annual Article IV Consultation with Belize on June 21, 2013, in which it calls on the Government of Belize to moderate wage increases and broaden the general sales tax base. Furthermore, it recommends “protecting spending in such priority areas as infrastructure, internal security, and social programs.” “[IMF Directors] stressed that raising the primary surplus to levels consistent with debt sustainability would require strong adjustment efforts, including moderating wage increases and broadening the base for the general sales tax. Over the medium term, it will be important to strengthen public financial management and implement a tax reform that promotes growth and fairness,” the report said. The IMF executive directors, said the report, congratulated Belize authorities on the strong economic performance last year, as well as the successful completion of the external debt exchange.

Amandala has received reliable information that Belize Public Health Authorities have filed a damning report declaring that the female holding cell facilities, as well as the kitchen facilities at the Belize Central Prison, run by Kolbe Foundation, are largely unsanitary for inmates. Health authorities have called on the management of the prison to undertake swift corrective action, and we understand that they have given their commitment to make improvements. Health authorities found that the kitchen and recreational facilities at the prison are grossly infested with houseflies; and even worse, flies were allowed to “pitch” on food, such as freshly baked bread, which were not properly covered at the time of the inspection that was carried out in June. Health inspectors note that houseflies can be carriers of infectious diseases such as typhoid, cholera, salmonella, tuberculosis and anthrax. It calls on prison authorities to immediately take measures such as screening, proper garbage disposal, and sealing sewage cracks in order to improve sanitation.

Allegations are that they were fired for revealing information about the attempted rape of a female officer by a senior officer. Amandala’s calls to Kolbe Chief Executive Officer Earl Jones, to ask him about two more staff terminations this week, have gone unanswered; however, we were able to confirm that the Office of the Ombudsman has been informed of the two additional firings, which come on the heels of a series of terminations reported by the Belize Central Prison Coalition. Labour Minister Godwin Hulse had commissioned Labour Commissioner Ivan Williams to investigate allegations of arbitrary and unusually high numbers of terminations at the prison; however, our newspaper has not been informed of the outcome of those investigations. Two cases were reported to our newspaper this week – and whereas terminations, generally speaking, are not illegal, the circumstances under which the July 16 terminations reportedly occurred are being questioned by the Coalition. Gaspar Camara, who was a basic grade officer employed at Kolbe since 2008, and who had worked in the records section for the past two years, told us that by letter dated July 16, 2013, and signed by CEO Earl Jones, he was terminated with immediate effect.

“I wish the Prime Minister wouldn’t be so hardheaded …” “… homosexual, gay – I am opposed to it.” “… if the people are telling him this thing is not right … I think he should look at it.” – Roman Catholic Bishop Dorick Wright. Patrick Menzies of Belize Can to Obama: “…keep your trash in the White House!”. New US Ambassador supports LGBT agenda. Belize Census released in 2010 said that Roman Catholicism remained the single largest religion with 40% of the total population saying that they belong to that Christian denomination. “Why go into the school to teach the children that the anus is a sexual organ? Why is UNICEF financing UB $100,000 to put up a gender department?” – Lascelle Arnold This morning, the fifth in the series of demonstrations being led nationwide by Christians, but which have also garnered support from non-Christian Belizeans who are likewise opposed to the Gender Policy 2013, took to the streets of Belize City. What was most significant about this episode of the demonstrations, dubbed Constitutional Marches, is that the head of the Roman Catholic Diocese in Belize, Bishop Dorick Wright, was at the frontline of the parade, sending a message to the Barrow administration that he does not support the policy which Cabinet had approved back in March. In an exclusive interview with Amandala after the parade and rally at Memorial Park, Belize City, Bishop Wright, who heads the most populous religious denomination in Belize, told us categorically that he cannot support the new gender policy. “Anything that is homosexual, anything that is gay – I am opposed to it. Not for myself, but for the future. I am closer to the cemetery than I am to this life, and I am concerned about our children. I don’t want this sort of thing to be imposed on our children, so I cannot support this in any way,” Wright said, who, we understand, made the sacrifice to demonstrate despite battling health issues.

After being mistakenly shot in the head by police, Buckley cannot work. After being mistakenly shot in the head by police, Buckley cannot work Steven Buckley, a former construction worker who had to be hospitalized after he was shot in the head by police, told Amandala today that police have not yet given him any compensation to help pay off a $6,561 bill he told us he has received for expenses incurred while he was hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). In fact, the “final notice” Buckley received this month from Credit Masters Systems says the bill is due tomorrow, Friday, July 19. It goes on to say that failure to pay will result in a public notice and court action. Buckley said that he has gotten his second letter demanding payment. Minister of National Security John Saldivar told journalists this morning when asked what police will do to help Mr. Buckley that he will look into the matter. “The Commissioner [of Police] is currently out of the country, but as soon as he returns, I will have a sit-down with him and see how we can work out something amicable. I do believe that, if it was the case that he was mistakenly shot, that something needs to be done to work out a solution. I will sit with the Commissioner and work something out. I don’t believe that this needs to drag out much longer,” the Minister said.

Miguel Dominguez, 31, a bartender of Sea Grape Drive of San Pedro, was shot in the arm and the side of his torso and is presently receiving medical treatment at the San Pedro Polyclinic. The incident occurred about 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 13, in front of the football field in San Pedro. According to the man responsible for shooting Dominguez, the shooting was an act of self-defense. He said that at about 3:00 on Saturday evening he was approached by Dominguez in front of the football field as he was walking on Angel Coral Street in San Pedro. He said that Dominguez pulled out a knife and attempted to stab him, and, fearing for his life, he responded by pulling out his licensed .9mm pistol and firing a single shot at Dominguez. Police have said that charges will not be brought against Dominguez’s shooter , but as soon as Dominguez is well, he will be arrested and charged with aggravated assault..

Justice Hanomansingh ruled that excessive force was used to get oral confession. Salazar and three other men were just recently acquitted of the double murders of James Swan and Edward Gutierrez. Gabriel Salazar, 23, walked away from the Dangriga Supreme Court a free man on Monday after he was acquitted of killing Francis Johnson. The murder occurred during a robbery on September 9, 2009, in Johnson’s Store in Big Falls, Toledo, in which the store’s owner, Johnson, was shot and killed in the process. Three other persons were alleged to have committed the crime with Salazar, but all four men had fled the country in an attempt to reach Honduras. It was while there that the men allegedly attempted to commit another robbery and Salazar was shot by Honduran police who had responded to a report of the ongoing crime, while it is believed that the other three were shot and killed by Honduran police. Salazar was returned to Belize, where the charges had been brought against him. Last week, the trial began before Justice Denis Hanomansingh in Dangriga, with attorney Simeon Sampson representing Salazar.

Garcia’s defense to the court was that Herrera chopped himself while in a drunken state. Romolo Garcia, 55, a cane farmer of Hattieville, was today convicted of use of deadly means with intent to cause grievous harm after a jury returned with an eight-to-one ratio of guilty. In April of 2011, Garcia was entertaining his friend, Alberto Herrera, 64, at his home when an argument ensued, which quickly turned violent and ended with Herrera suffering chop wounds to his left forearm near his elbow, and to his right hand. The chop to his right hand severed all five of his fingers on that hand. In the trial, testimonies of two of the witnesses — Herrera and the police officer who recorded his statement, Cpl. Victor Lima, had to be read to the court after it was proven that they both were dead. Herrera died as a result of septic shock after his fingers had been severed and he was diagnosed with diabetes. The stumps which had remained after his fingers had been severed had become infected. Cpl. Lima was shot in his chest while responding to a burglary in progress in Hattieville, and died several days later.

Vultures were feeding on the body. A taxi driver of Belmopan, Jose Martin Umana, 45, who was missing since Saturday, July 13, was found by his brother-in-law, Marin Aleman, on the ground in a state of decomposition behind a cohune tree in an area between George Price Boulevard and the Western Highway at about 4:30 yesterday evening. A postmortem exam was conducted onsite to certify the cause of his death, but the autopsy was inconclusive due to the advanced state of decomposition of the body. Umana was buried immediately after the autopsy. Aleman told reporters that yesterday evening he was driving his car on the George Price Boulevard searching for Umana when some John Crows (vultures) attracted his attention. He stopped, got out of the car and went to see what was attracting the birds, and behind a cohune tree, he found his brother-in-law lying on the ground face down. He was in shorts, and had no shoes. Aleman said that on Saturday when he was told that Umana was missing, he began to search for him immediately. He was in Ontario searching for him when police found his taxi car, with its stereo missing, but Umana was nowhere to be found.

GOB must get serious about Sports/Youth Development. The Nation Builders national youth movement commends the Belize Jaguars National Football Team for their participation in the 2013 Gold Cup. The journey, although short-lived, proved that despite the struggles and tremendous challenges facing our country, we are a resilient people and have the capacity to compete with sports giants on the world stage. We commend every member of the national team – from player to staffer – for their efforts to uplift our country. We consider the Belize Jaguars Team, which was one of only five national teams that advanced from the UNCAF tournament in March, as heroes, and recommend that each member be properly recognized and respected, principally by the Government of Belize. We also call on the Government to get serious about sports development as a key area of youth development. The current policy on sports development is an oppressive, lazy and poorly thought-out strategy that needs immediate revision. We recommend meaningful investment in Sports, including adequate neighborhood parks and proper sporting facilities, assisting with the creation of community sports clubs, sponsorship of community sports events, the implementation of strategic sports programmes in primary school and high school that encourage academic and sports development instead of the current isolated tournaments that have low-impact, and the adequate sponsorship of our national sports teams.

Hoop Dreams Belize’s performance was outstanding in the U16 Copa Cancun Basketball Tournament. The team traveled to Cancun, Mexico on July 10 and returned on July 15. The U16 male category comprised of 13 teams divided into 3 divisions – A, B and C. Hoop Dreams Belize dominated the A division, winning all four games, imposing their defensive and offensive excellence throughout the entire tournament. The fans packed the stadium, appreciating the high energy and classy display of unselfish basketball performed by our young basketball ambassadors. Game 1 – Manatees 37, Hoop Dreams Belize 64 Game 2 – Hoop Dreams Belize 71, Club Roscos 21 Game 3 – Hoop Dreams Belize 74, Mapaches 38 Game 4 – Hoop Dreams Belize 62, YBOA 23 Advancing to the semi-finals and eventually to the finals was a great accomplishment, being that the teams we faced were bigger, representing structured clubs supported by huge fan bases from as far away as Mexico City and cities near the US border. 109 teams participated in the tournament.

Our Belize National “A” Team, the Jaguars, returned to Belize this morning to a warm but modest reception from fans and family members at the Philip Goldson International Airport, after losing their third Group Stage game yesterday at the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2013 in the USA. It was Belize’s first time participating in the prestigious Gold Cup, which features the 12 best national teams in the North Central American and Caribbean Football Association, the regional football body known by its acronym, CONCACAF. There were many hurdles facing the team before even boarding the flight out of Belize on Friday, July 5, and the sheer demands of their travelling and playing schedule, the much higher level of opponents than they are accustomed to, the strain of the high altitude encounter in game 2 against Costa Rica, along with their eagerness to accommodate the throngs of excited Belizean fans in the U.S., all took their toll on the Jaguars, who appeared lethargic in game 3 yesterday against Cuba, falling 4-0, the last goal coming in injury time. It was a devastating loss, but one from which the team must learn many lessons for the future about playing at this level of competition. Gold Cup 2013 is history for the Belize Jaguars, who will now have the luxury of looking at the rest of the competition at home on T.V., and start planning in earnest to qualify for the next Gold Cup in 2015.

At the macro level, the leaders of Belize’s two major political parties are cynical people. That is to say, they do not really care what you think or what you have to say unless you have a lot of money or unless you can put people in the streets. The leaders of the two political parties usually represent constituencies which are considered “safe” for their respective parties. At the micro level, or the level of the individual area representatives and standard bearers, there is usually more skittishness. The area reps and standard bearers keep a very close eye on their constituencies, and they are immediately interested once any organized movement of people, no matter how small the group, begins stirring around in their divisions. After all, over the years several constituency elections in Belize have been decided by fewer than twenty votes, so any movement of people, no matter how small, can decide an individual Belizean politician’s electoral fate. If you start any kind of group in any political constituency in Belize, whether it is a sewing group or a sailing group or a sports group, you can end up deciding an individual politician’s electoral fate. The individual politician has to find out, as quickly as he can, in what political direction your group is likely to head. If you are likely to head in his opponent’s direction, the politician will seek to sabotage and intimidate your group, no matter how small, in any way he can. If you are likely to be favorable to him, then the politician will nurture you and your group. If you insist on being independent, both parties will become suspicious of you. You will then be attacked from both sides of the political spectrum.

A May 2013 paper produced by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) essentially says that the Government of Belize has been investing more money in the education system over the last ten years and getting out less where positive results are concerned. This is a research paper put together by three impressive scholars, and the work is scientifically done. The most important thing to note is that the research period basically covers five PUP years and five UDP years, so you have to throw the party politics out and look at the financial inefficiencies of Belize’s education system. For many Belizeans, especially older ones, it’s quite difficult to throw out the party politics, a big reason being because spokesmen for the two political parties are the loudest voices we hear every day, and they are not only loud: they are aggressive and they are abusive. This IDB paper is so scientific that at one point there is a mathematical formula introduced which must really be like something at the level of the complicated banking derivatives. This is big time academic stuff, and it is corroborating what domestic observers like Assad Shoman and the late Leroy Taegar have been saying for many years. Personally, I have seen the same things Shoman and Taegar were seeing, but I do not consider myself in the intellectual category of these two gentlemen. I came home to Belize in 1968 after a first degree, and what I have done over the years is try to translate some of the graduate ideas into a language which the masses of the Belizean people can understand. In the first few years of that process, I felt isolated because of the intellectual programs through which my mind had been run: in other words, it took a while to come off the university high. As all these 45 years have passed, however, I have fallen quite a bit behind where pure academics are concerned, and the result is that I am not so sure of myself in the intellectual sense.

by Thomas Charlesworth Dear Editor, After a drive through downtown Belize City I was astonished to see that our Mayor has gone ahead with his plan to block the street between the bank and Mule Park. This last Wednesday I listened in to him praising his work and his Council saying that the “Master Plan” was made public three years ago and is on the City Council web site. Well, let me say, since the streets start getting cemented was the first time that I had heard of it; second thing, how many Belizeans have a computer, let alone have Internet? On the WUB 2 cents Cam, a participant made a comment about the Master Plan: he said he doesn’t know and he doesn’t think the Mayor knows, and I tend to agree with him. The Mayor also said that all indications to him were that the temporary blockage of the street there at the Mule Park and the bank was working; apparently, his advisers don’t know squat, because that blockage has caused more of a traffic jam than ever.

by review by Alan Slusher Barbara Bulmer-Thomas and Victor Bulmer-Thomas Cubola Productions, Benque Viejo del Carmen, Belize, 2012 Paperback; 214pp; US$24.00 ISBN 978-976-8161-39-0 Barbara and Victor Bulmer-Thomas have done us an enormous service in producing a very readable, concise text that traces the modern macro-economic history of Belize from the days of the earliest settlement by the British adventurers in the 17th century through to present times, and that analyses the factors that influenced that history. It is written in a way that makes what it says easy to understand and fully accessible to practically everyone in Belize. I stress “macro-economic history” because it is not a general history, and it is not detailed; it covers political and social developments only insofar as these are directly linked, through cause or effect, to economic developments, and it covers only the broad trends and strands of Belize’s economic history. It is worth noting that a detailed history, even if limited to the economics-related aspects of Belize’s evolution, would not be easily accessible to the general reader. Perhaps in compensation, the authors have included an extensive bibliography that will facilitate exploration of all aspects of the country’s history by the interested reader. The book is published by Cubola Productions, of Benque Viejo del Carmen in Cayo. Cubola’s director, Montse Casademunt, has maintained her strong ongoing effort to bring to Belizeans the works of authors and editors (Joseph Palacio, Nigel Bolland, Jaime Awe, and Karla Heusner among them) critical to an understanding of who we are and where we have come from.

UNIBAM is listed among its 14 active members. The Women’s Issues Network of Belize (WIN-Belize)—an alliance of nationally prominent NGOs—has issued a press release saying that it has contacted its member organizations and they have “reached consensus on the full acceptance of the Revised National Gender Policy 2013,” which some opponents say is in line with a foreign agenda to eventually legalize same-sex marriages in Belize and to furthermore set up a legislative framework for special and protective rights to LGBT persons. The WIN-Belize network is made up of a range of organizations, including private sector, environmental and activist organizations. The United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), which has highly praised the new gender policy, is listed among its 14 active members. At least one of those organizations—the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA)—has told us, though, that while YWCA officials had agreed to support the WIN-Belize position on the Gender Policy, the board of the organization has yet to say where it really stands in regard to the new policy. Sonia Linares, YWCA’s Executive Secretary, told our newspaper today that she had indicated to WIN-Belize that they would like more information and clarity on the policy in question.

by Arthur Belisle My two grandfathers were both boat builders – James Osling and Joseph Belisle. James Osling had his own dockyard. These yards used a large structure called the “ways,” and a smaller structure called the “cradle,” to haul up the boats, along with a block-and-tackle and a winch. There was a Public Works Department (PWD) boatyard at the Barracks which took care of the ferry at Haulover. In the old days there was a ferry where the Haulover Bridge is presently. We also had two dredges, one operating in the Haulover Creek and one at sea. Other dockyards along the Haulover Creek were owned and operated by Dickie Jones, Philip Rowland, John Arnold, Bill Sebastian, and Clifford Betson. Where the bus station is on West Collet Canal not far from the Pound Yard Bridge is where the slaughterhouse used to be. They used to bring cows from Honduras. There was a portion of land they used to call “grassy piece” where they kept the cows from Honduras. There was a boatyard at Fisher Waterside. There were two kinds of boats: one kind for shallow water and another kind to operate at sea. My grandfather, James Osling, and Clifford Betson were said to be the best when it came to building tunnel boats.

Is there such a thing? Yes, if you can make words mean what you want. All you have to do is listen to the Master, according to the Humpty Dumpty principle. No, if what you refer to is an absurdity. What it refers to is that gender is determinable by group sexual preference. Let’s examine the relationships of human sexual relationships. The reality is, first of all, that sex and gender are synonymous. If your sex is male, you are of the male gender and, if your sex is female, you are of the female gender. There are only three different kinds of sexual relationships, which is called copulation. The three relationships are between a male and a female, two females or two males. When a man and a woman copulate, they remain male and female of different sex and gender. When two women copulate, they remain female of the same sex and gender and, when two men copulate, they remain male of the same sex and gender. What is this Gender Diversity all about? As far as I know there are two genders, male and female, the same as sexes in the animal kingdom. Inanimate objects are said to be neuter, which means having no gender. It has been so from the beginning. The idea of Gender Diversity, which means more than two genders, seems to be an absurdity. Do we have to accept it? Yes, if according to the Humpty Dumpty principle, all that is needed is for the Master to say a thing and it becomes a reality. In this case, the Masters of the World have decided that there shall be Gender Diversity. Which world? The world under their control. But, that can’t include Belize, a sovereign, democratic country, in which the will of the people forms the basis of government. We are a democratic country but, the power of the people is in the hands of the Executive. The Rulers of the World have the power to “persuade” a government, during its term of office, to carry out policies which the people, if consulted, would reject.

The Columbia River Cooperative has announced the launch of fundraising efforts to open a Rainforest Academy in 2014 in San Pedro Columbia, Toledo – a village with an estimated population of 2,000. Lisa Kile, a Belizean-American who has lived in the village for decades, and who teaches at the Toledo Community College in Punta Gorda, told Amandala that she donated land for the new school on her premises (for a token consideration of $1.00) so that the project can be implemented. Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Education David Leacock confirmed to our newspaper that the group has submitted its application. Leacock said that the normal procedure is for the District Council to conduct an inspection and make a recommendation to the Chief Education Officer, Chris Aird. Leacock said that he could not yet provide any details on the status of this particular application. Gilroy Usher and Lisa White Kile, who share a son, told us more about the project: Usher, a former employee of the National 4H Club in Belmopan, said that he and Kile had an idea to set up an academy with an agricultural emphasis.

Few people in this world tried harder to make life’s road easier for me to walk, so this corner cannot allow Mr. Norris Edgar Wade (N. E. Wade, Mr. Wade, My/The Boss, Norris) to go into the hereafter without a public salutation. He was a hero in Belize Agriculture when Central Farm was under the stewardship of the first wave of university-trained local scientists – pioneers named Norris E. Wade, John E. Link, Elias Juan, Godsman Ellis, and Balmore Silva. Ah, it was the age of the Green Revolution and they were the first ones charged to lead Belizean farmers into the brand new world. Oh! what an exciting age. That story, their stories, and the stories of those who followed shortly after, are the stuff of legends. N. E. Wade was my boss on my first real job. I was about twenty or so when I went to work at Hummingbird Hershey Ltd. (HHL), an experimental cacao farm owned by Hershey’s (Hershey Foods Corporation of Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA) at about Mile 35 on the Hummingbird Highway. It was envisioned by Hershey’s that HHL would become the single largest cacao farm in the world. I was not the only young fellow hired to work in second tier management on the farm. There were colleagues of mine from the Belize School of Agriculture – Anthony Castillo, Charles Garbutt, and Gaspar Martinez – and Simon Willacey, a young junior college graduate, working there too. Norris E. Wade, the farm manager at HHL, and my uncle, James V. Hyde, were very close friends. They were both university-trained. In a country where many did not have such opportunities, I guess that gave them a special camaraderie. From the day I met Norris, he was in my corner.

SMART customers have been complaining that since last week, they have been receiving text messages which they cannot read, because they are being transmitted with junk characters, instead of legible characters; and likewise, people they have been texting have been receiving their messages in illegible form. SMART’s PR Manager Ian Courtenay told Amandala today that the problem—which was triggered by an upgrade in their SMART Message Service Center—should be cleared up by this weekend. According to Courtenay, when the system was upgraded, the problem was reported by customers using particular types of phone devices, and the problem, he said, is handset-specific. SMART has had to communicate the information to Tango, its overseas service provider. Courtenay told us that, “those [bad texts] should be cleared up by this weekend.”

Olvin Lopez, 24, and Marcelino Juarez, 18, appeared in Belize City Magistrate’s Court today, Tuesday, where they were both found guilty of illegal entry into Belize and deemed to be prohibited immigrants. Juarez, a Guatemalan, was a construction worker residing at a Mahogany Street address in Belize City. He pleaded guilty to the charge read against him and agreed to the facts of the charge read in court. A removal order was issued for his deportation to Guatemala at a time to be determined by the Director of Immigration. Juarez was handed over to immigration officers today from the Queen Street Police Station. The immigration officers escorted him to the Immigration office for questioning. The officers requested from Juarez his passport or any other form of travel documents, which he was unable to produce. He was therefore deemed to be a prohibited immigrant. Juarez has been in Belize since December 2010, when he entered Belize via the banks of the Mopan River in Benque Viejo del Carmen. Lopez is a Honduran who was also working in construction and resided at a Belize City address. He pleaded guilty to his charge and agreed with the facts read to him in court. Lopez was fined $1,000, plus $5 cost of court, which were to be paid forthwith, or he would serve six months in prison. A removal order was issued for him to be deported to Honduras and would take effect after he pays the fine or serves the six-month sentence.


A great Belize resource
One of the places I recommend most to people is the Ambergris Caye Belize message board. Lately it has been to people for it’s classified section, you can always score good deals there. Recently I posted classifieds because I wanted to get a land-line telephone. Within 24h I had a phone call from Guest Supply House, and my number was not even listed in post, within 48h I had an email from the Kumars who have a spare cordless phone. Now that is what I call fast action A few other classifieds that are always worth checking are San Pedro Sun, Ambergris Today, and San Pedro Daily. I have been recommending all 3 lately to people who are apartment hunting from afar. Recently Dick placed a few ads in San Pedro Sun newspaper one apartment for rent and one marine gas tank for sale for sale. He got calls right away in regards to the 2 bedroom apartment he is renting. Today the two of us are heading north, I decided to bring Dick to my fishing meeting so he can meet Rudy. I figured it is time my 2 wing-men meet in person since they both love boats and fishing.

Belize International Film Festival a Cinematic and Cultural Success
The lights have gone up on the 8th annual Belize International Film Festival, bringing to a close four days of independent film industry networking and the showing of films from around the world, further cementing Belize’s reputation as something more than just a pretty face – the little country is maturing into a cultural and artistic powerhouse in the region and the world. This year’s festival kicked off on July 12 and had close to 50 entries from all over the globe, with winners spanning the globe from Canada and Holland to Australia, which took best Feature Length Narrative with Ivan Sen’s “Toomelah”. “Maroons: Africans on the Move,” won the Most Notable Belizean Film category and CEBU, from Cuba, won Best Short Film. All, in all, it’s safe to say that the BIFF was truly an international affair, and congratulations must go out to the organisers for putting together such a successful cultural coup.

Why I want to become an Eco-kid
I would like to become an Eco – kid because I have become aware that the flora and fauna are very valuable for the survival of our planet and the human race. I notice in the international news that the world resources are under constant stress. In our country, there is illegal fishing, hunting, cutting down of pristine forest. Our resources are being invaded by our neighbour, our own people are engaging in illegal activities to harm our environment and that is very sad. Since I like hiking, I think a good way to contribute in the preservation of our forest, birds and marine life is to become a Park Ranger. Being a Park Ranger will give me the opportunity to help avoid activities like what happened at Nohmul and help to stop the distraction of endangered species of birds and other animals. I will help save the green parrot, the scarlet macaw, the toucan, rose wood, mahogany tree and many more.

“At Last” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
In recent weeks I have displayed a sloppiness in some editions when describing the time at which I have done something. A pm used when it should have been am. So from today abelizehomeforus will be using the twenty-four hour clock. Not much of note as far as yesterday’s day-to-day stuff is concerned to inform (bore) you of (with). I did go to FC Aluminium (managing to get caught in the heavy downpour of rain in the process) to get a new holder for the fold-down windscreen (windshield for non UK readers) of our golf cart fitted. One of the two holders for the upper section of the windscreen (windshield) had either fallen off (unlikely in my opinion) or had been ‘helped’ off. They didn’t sell them in ‘singles’ so I had to buy a pair and then had it and the remaining one riveted to the roof/body frame. While they were at it I also got them to put a rivet in to the plate that holds the lower section of the windscreen (windshield) to the frame. They are not going to ‘fall off’ now! When I got home (well to the condo that Rose and I have been renting during our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize) it was time for lunch and then after that I helped (there may be a contrary view to this) Rose prepare our dinner of salmon fish cakes.

International Sources

Gay Marriage and Other Wins for LGBT People Here Are Making Life Worse for Gays and Lesbians in Developing Countries
The last six months have seen a run of victories for LGBT people in Europe and America. This week, the British government voted to approve same-sex marriage, only just pipped to the post by the French, who celebrated their first same-sex weddings in May. The hated Defence of Marriage Act was struck down in the US by the Supreme Court last month and California's Prop 8, a similar piece of anti-gay legislation, has been dealt a deathblow. But the successes achieved in Europe and America are adding to the challenges facing LGBT people in the global South. The achievement of equal marriage, parenting and adoption rights and full legal protection can actually impede the struggles in other parts of the world where the battles for LGBT people are about the most fundamental of human rights. 76 countries continue to criminalise 'homosexual conduct', punishable with prison sentences and hard labour. In five countries the death penalty still applies Because they are losing ground in the West, our opponents are increasingly moving their resources (and their rhetoric and their hate) to more fertile grounds in developing countries. American Evangelical Churches are abandoning the fight against equality at home, in favour of supporting homophobic laws abroad. Why fight a losing battle against social liberalism in America or Europe, where you are increasingly ignored and ridiculed, when in Uganda, Belize or Nigeria you are welcomed with open arms. In this perverse way the successes of the LGBT movement in the North, and in particular in the United States, have acted to worsen conditions in the South.

Downers Grove resident treats patients in Belize
On his recent trip to volunteer in Belize, Mark Sleeper visited one hut across a swing bridge and surrounded by a trench to keep the endless rain at bay. Inside was a 15-year-old girl who had never left the hut because of cerebral palsy. “The only way I can express it is tragic,” said Sleeper, a Downers Grove resident and physical therapist. “The family either couldn’t get her out of the hut [because of the bridge], or they were embarrassed. The father believed that she was possessed by an evil spirit. He was waiting until the evil spirit left her and she could walk again.”

O.C. Boy Attacked by Ocelot on Vacation in Belize
A young boy was recovering at a local hospital on Friday after he was attacked by an Ocelot while on vacation in Central America. Ronald Altender, 10, was on vacation with his family in Belize when they stopped to visit a zoo. Ronald reached out to pet the wild cat behind a fence, and that’s when his mother said she heard screaming. “I just lightly touched the fur that was over the fence and it bit my thumb and pulled on it,” Ronald said. “I heard, ‘Mommy! Mommy! Help me!’” Holly Altender said. “The cat just pulled the arm through the fence and got ahold of his finger, and it would not release,” she said. Ronald was rushed to a hospital, and is now receiving additional treatment at Children’s Hospital Orange County. Despite the incident, he said he is not afraid of cats, and he even wants to raise money to make the zoo safer for other kids. Anyone who wants to donate to the animal sanctuary can visit:

The '4 Cs' Of Choosing Your Overseas Retirement Destination
If you've been thinking about retiring overseas, but haven't quite decided where you want to live, you're in luck. It's a big world and you have many wonderful options, from laidback beaches to pristine mountain environments and from bustling culture-rich cities to small, peaceful villages. Of course, there are pros and cons to all these... so let's see if we can help you narrow down your choices. We use a formula we call the "4 Cs" when we're analyzing a destination. They are: Comfort, Convenience, Cost and Culture. We want to make sure the destination ticks all those boxes. Just briefly, here's what we consider: 1. Comfort: This includes climate, terrain and safety. For us, that means no snow, a flat walk able urban area, and of course, we want it to be safe. We'd never consider any location that we don't feel is generally safe -- although no society is completely crime-free. Just as at home, you'll find rough neighborhoods in every big city. And while you'll probably never find your way to any of them, it's important to be selective about where you choose to live. 2. Convenience: For us, this means being close to an international airport, a good hospital, shopping and the entertainment amenities important to us. 3. Cost: We want the place we live to be affordable. Just makes sense. 4. Culture: You'll be moving to a foreign community so make sure you enjoy the local culture. And be sure that there are plenty of opportunities to keep yourself engaged... whether it's water sports or outdoor activities or music and theater and so on. Be sure your interests will be satisfied. And then we add a fifth "C" -- calling. This is more intuitive than anything, but does the place call to us, and is it a place we want to live? Now that we've laid the groundwork, which countries (and places within) should top your list and why? If you've rarely traveled before, you don't speak a foreign language, and you'd like to stick close to home, we'd suggest Belize or Mexico.

Feds to Spend $500K for Job Creation – in Belize
The State Department through the U.S. Mission to Belize is planning to spend $500,000 to create jobs for youth in Belize. “Marginalized youth are empowered when given a voice and opportunities. Equipping marginalized youth and their communities with economic opportunities and/or business training can help them reach their true potential as entrepreneurs and improve citizen security,” the grant announcement said. The grant proposal seeks to “confront the root causes of violence and crime” in Belize “in a creative and effective way” and “to create positive cultural and social conditions, which are the foundations of a peaceful and orderly society.” “Root causes in Belize include, but are not limited to, the lack of economic development, the lack of skills and/or tradecraft, the lack of conflict resolution skills, and/or the lack of opportunity for youth,” the grant said.

The Forbidden Island
Ever heard of North Sentinel Island? Probably not …even thought's one of the most unusual places on Earth. What makes it so odd? The people -they've been there a long time, completely cut off from the rest of the world. MAROONED Late on the night of August 2, 1981, a Hong Kong freighter navigating the choppy waters of the Bay of Bengal ran aground on a submerged coral reef. The ship, called the Primrose, was hopelessly stuck. But there was no danger of it sinking, so after radioing for assistance, the captain and crew settled in for a few days' wait until help arrived. The following morning, as it became light, the sailors saw an island a few hundred yards beyond the reef. It was uninhabited, as far as anyone could tell: There were no buildings, roads, or other signs of civilization there -just a pristine, sandy beach and behind it, dense jungle. The beach must have seemed like an ideal spot to wait for a rescue, but the captain ordered the crew to remain aboard the Primrose. It was monsoon season, and he may have concerned about lowering the men into the rough sea in tiny lifeboats. Or perhaps he'd figured out just which tiny island lay beyond the reef: It was North Sentinel -the deadliest of the 200 islands in the Andaman Island chain.

8 Tips You Should Know Before Buying Your Next Digital Camera
Regardless of what you have been told, there is no such thing as a “do-it-all” camera. If there was a “do-it-all” camera, competition in the industry would suffer, seedy patents would be made, one company would monopolize everything, prices would skyrocket, their profits would fail, and eventually, we would no longer have cameras at all. At least that’s how I see it. It would suck. With that said, this is precisely why different cameras exist, so from now on, I would recommend thinking of cameras as different tools. While all screwdrivers are tools, not all tools are screwdrivers. Make sense? We at MakeUseOf know that purchasing a camera is a big deal, so we want to help. Below are just a few things to take into consideration before dropping loads of cash on something you will be using for quite a while.

July 19, 2013


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Caribbean sports leaders visit Canberra
Caribbean government ministers and senior officials with responsibility for sport were welcomed to Canberra, the national capital of Australia, on 5 July. The group enjoyed meeting with the Australian Capital Territory’s (ACT) minister for sport, players from the University of Canberra Brumbies Super Rugby team and visiting the Australian Institute of Sport. The 19 officials in the delegation were visiting as recipients of an Australia Awards Fellowship, funded by Australian Government agency AusAID, for a 21-day Australian study tour. They were hosted on the tour by University of Canberra sport studies staff member Chris Nunn, of Chris Nunn Consulting. Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, Nevis, St. Christopher and Nevis, St. Vincent and Grenadines, Suriname and St. Lucia were all represented on the group. During the trip to Canberra, the group had the chance to hear from University of Canberra Brumbies Chief Executive Officer Andrew Fagan, meet with some Brumbies players and ACT Minister for Sport the Hon. Andrew Barr MLA, who shared some insights into his role. St. Christopher and Nevis Senior Sports Officer from the Department of Sports, Vernon Springer, said the visit to Canberra was “great”.

Tanya Carter set for the International Costa Maya Festival®
The International Costa Maya Festival® is less than two weeks away and plans are in full gear. Another exciting young artist is set to bring entertainment to the stage. Belizean singer Tanya Carter will be performing on Saturday, July 3rd. Tanya has been singing since the early age of four. At 18 she recorded and released her first song “I Wanna Get to Know You Better”, which soon became a hit. The three-time Belizean Female Vocalist of the Year brings with her a Dancehall/Reggae fusion that is sure to have the crowd dancing and enjoying the vibes. With songs like “Low” and “Ex-Boyfriend”, Tanya’s performance is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

IDB Technical note paints the harsh reality of Belize’s Education system
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has issued a Technical note on the Belize Education system after examining the years of 1999 through 2011, which were broken down into individual time periods within 10-year segments. The report is alarming and paints the reality of the country’s education in a 43-page document. Essentially the report details that over the past decade Belize is paying far too much for education but getting little from it. The report goes on to point out that despite high levels of public spending on education, glaring inequalities in access and quality persist at all levels. “Many of those enrolled in the schools will repeat or drop out before graduating. Many children are still not achieving satisfactory levels of performance on exams. There is a serious shortage of trained and qualified teachers at all levels of the system, and there is limited enforcement of accountability. Spending in the sector is inefficient.”

Ambergris Today

Tanya Carter to Perform at International Costa Maya Festival
The International Costa Maya Festival is proud to announce that Belize’s Tanya Carter will be performing at this year’s festival. The lovely talented Tanya is set to perform on Saturday, August 3, 2013. Tanya Carter will be the opening act for international super stars Los Yonics. Be sure to get your tickets and make it this year’s International Costa Maya Festival. About Tanya Carter: Coming from a musical family, where her great-grandmother, grand-mother, mother and father were involved with music in some way, Tanya’s love for music came almost naturally. At the tender age of four, Tanya joined the Grace Primary School Choir as the youngest choir member. The songstress went on to the Edward P. High School where she joined the choir and was introduced to classic and operatic singing. Despite, these influences Tanya was determined that she would become a Reggae singer.

Costa Maya Festival Announces Miss Mexico Contestant
Nuestra Belleza Zacatecas 2012, Thalia Artemisa Rivera Martiñez has been confirmed to represent her country as Miss Mexico Costa Maya at the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant that will be taking place at the International Costa Maya Festival in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Artemisa stands 5’ 7” tall, has brown eyes and brown hair. Miss Mexico now joins Destinee Arnold - Belize, Andrea Rojas - Costa Rica, Monica Elwing Gough – Honduras, Cleirys Velásquez – Panama and Ariadna Melendez - Nicaragua. All other Mundo Maya countries and Central American region have confirmed their participation at the pageant and the two remaining contestants will be announced shortly.

Misc Belizean Sources

Maya Flats Airstrip Reopens
Maya Flats has been paved, and Tropic Air has commenced using it again. They'll be adding all the new flights starting on November 15th. "San Ignacio Airstrip Reopens Today After Resurfacing. After a series of weather related delays, Tropic Air is pleased to announce that the upgrade to an all weather surface (pavement) of the runway at the San Ignacio (Maya Flats) airstrip is complete, and that flight operations have resumed from that location. We thank the people and resorts of the Cayo District for their support and patience while we completed this important improvement. We can now look forward to providing the people of San Ignacio and Benque Viejo improved air service and a growing list of destinations. Thank you!"

Bad Rabbit at Benque Fiesta
If you missed the Metal Haven concert at the Benque Fiesta, here's Bad Rabbit performing the Eurythmics' hit Sweet Dreams. Daniel Velazquez shot the video. Rick Galvez performs regularly at the Soul Project, and Bad Rabbit will be performing there soon. "Music video made from live performance from Metal Haven gig, artistic video, direct cinema style/Dogme, experimental film. Original song by Eurythmics"

Aguada Adventure
The Aguada just had a great web article written about it. It describes the Aguada perfectly, and explains why they continually stay there. Spoiler alert: It's because the Butcher's are doing it right. "As the sun set and the aguada (watering hole) we had been watching disappeared into darkness outside lights were turned on, illuminating the courtyard and the swimming pool adjacent to the palapa. Tall nameless trees strangely visible in the darkness of night stretched far upwards. A slight breeze riffled through the palm trees, their large leaves fanning the night air. And then came the exhilaration that travellers feel when they resume the adventure they had been forced by mundane circumstances to abandon. Then we stumbled and tumbled into bed, sleeping the sleep of the dead till song birds and crazy cackling grackles awoke us in the morning."

Strawberry Snow Cone Syrup

“Never Gonna Give You Up” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Wanting to make sure that we get the tiles how we want them in our bathrooms I sent an email yesterday to Daniel Camal, our building contractor, asking if it was possible to meet him at our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. It wasn’t too long before he replied and we had the meeting set up for 11.30 am at our house (no better place to describe what we want). With the meeting organised I headed off for breakfast, yes long time readers, at Estel’s. With breakfast completed I then went to Atlantic International Bank‘s branch in Pescador Drive to withdraw some money (don’t you just hate having to do this) and then headed home to prepare for our meeting. With a stop off at Gekko Graphics to get a print out showing which tiles we had chosen for which room we got to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize shortly after 11.30 am where Daniel was waiting for us and we proceeded to “tour” the house specifying in what room we want which tile. And the direction we want the tiles to ‘run’ in.

Kolbe Officer abuse coverup
Two prison guards have been terminated from Kolbe Institute, a prison centre in Belize because they tried to help a female co-worker after she experienced a sexual advancement and possible harassment by a superior. The female officer was approached by Kolbe’s Head of Security during an employee event in a public bathroom on Sunday. The female co-worker immediately fought off the advances and left the bathroom, she then proceeded to inform fellow guards at the event. Two (Gaspar Camara and Mr. Camara’s supervisor, Filipe Gongora) of which advised her to report the incident to her superiors and to the police which she did. When both Camara and Gongora reported to work on Monday, their personal cell phones were confiscated and searched by prison management. On Camara’s phone was a text message timed approximately 45 minutes prior to his shift start time, encouraging the his co-worker to pursue charges of her superior. Camara also noted that Kolbe also illegally taps employees phones. Both personal phones remain confiscated.

Channel 7

Slain Taxi Man May Have Been Robbed of 5k
Tonight, the family, friends and associates of 45 year-old taxi driver Jose Marin Umana Aguilar continue to grieve his loss after he was found dead in an area between the George Price Boulevard and the Western Highway yesterday. His death comes as a shock to his family because according to them, he was very hard-working and quiet family man. More than that, his wife says he strictly avoids alcohol, drugs and bad company. She explained to us today how she realized that something was wrong when he didn’t answer his phone. Lucia Aleman - Wife of Deceased "I called him and he didn't answer the phone but it was ringing then I insisted an entire hour calling him and I didn't know why he didn't answer the phone. That night he went missing I was looking for him like crazy because he's a person that never turns off his phone on me, it doesn't matter if he's mad he still answers the phone. Seven years we're married and he has never stayed out at night and that night he did and I couldn't believe it."

Police Minister Says Buckley Situation Should Be Resolved
For the past few weeks, we’ve been reporting on the plight of Stephen Buckley. He was wrongfully shot in the head by police in 2010; and after a five week investigation, Inspector Dennis Lopez was charged for his attempted murder. But now the KHMH is running Buckley down for six thousand dollars that they say he owes for his long hospitalization when they recoved 12 shotgun pellets form his head. The hospital is just trying to get paid – but the outrage is that the police department has completely lapsed in its obligation to a man who was shot for no reason – actually Buckley was returning from work when he was shot, a sad irony since he can’t even work anymore due to the after effects of the gun shot. Today, we asked police Minister John Saldivar for comment. Hon. John Saldivar - Minister of National Security "I have promised to look into the matter, the commissioner is currently out of the country but as soon as he returns - I will have a sit down with him and see how we can work something amicable. I do believe - if it is the case that he was mistakenly shot, then something needs to be done to work out a solution."

Police and DPP Back and Forth With Rasheed Eligio File While Family Waits For Justice
We also got Saldivar to comment on the case with Rasheed Eligio. Eligio is the 18 year old who was shot and killed by Punta Gorda police in mid-May of this year. Since then, none of the pursuing officers have disclosed who fired the fatal shot, and an in depth investigation has been conducted backed up by ballistics testing to see which gun the bullet came from. But charges have still not been brought – and we’ve learned this week that the case file has been sent from police to the DPP, and now its back at the police, directed to the Commissioner. The problem is that while investigators know which gun killed Eligio, they don’t know who was handling the gun; in fact, there is conflicting evidence as to which pursuing police officer was in possession of the firearm when the fatal shot was fired. The DPP has concerns over the way the investigation is being handled and concerns over the account given by the police officers so she has sent the file back to the Commissioner. While this back and forth goes on, Eligio’s family wants long delayed justice. We asked Minister Saldivar about it today. Hon. John Saldivar - Minister of National Security "I imagine that all that needs to be done now is for the police to complete the investigation - so whatever it is that the DPP has said is deficient in the files, the investigators will have to return to do that work."

Belize Brings Global Experts To Discuss Climate Change
Last week Monday, 7news showed you the international consultation that the Ministry of Energy was participating in which discussed ways to make the country more energy efficient. The country’s Energy Director explained that Belize is one of the most wasteful countries in terms of energy when compared one the per-capita basis – which basically means the country’s carbon footprint exceeds its needs. And, talk of carbon emissions leads inevitably to climate change and that’s what was discussed today at summit of climate experts held in Cayo. It was planned by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center and we attended the first day of that meeting: Daniel Ortiz reporting Today, climate experts from all over the world were in Cayo for Belize’s hosting of the first ever Intra-African Caribbean Pacific Global Climate Change Alliance Programme. If the lengthy name seems daunting, it shouldn’t because the climate change issue has been around for years now, and the effects of it are clear as day to see with erratic weather patterns, the rise in sea level and the increase in average global temperature. It is a matter which these experts are taking very seriously, but today the EU Delegation Representative used a little humor to break the ice, and open up the discussion:

Man Accused Of Molesting Pre-Teen Girl
50 year-old Charles Bucknor, a carpenter from Vernon Street is in jail tonight after he was arraigned for inappropriately touching a 12 year-old girl. According to police, the minor, in the presence her parent reported that on Tuesday, Bucknor performed oral sex on her on Tuesday, and as a result, police arrested and charged him with aggravated assault of an indecent nature. He was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer who remanded him to prison on the strength of the objections from the prosecutor. He will be brought back to court on August 29, his next court date.

IMF Congratulates Belize, Says Large Financing May Be Needed For Compensation Settlement
On Tuesday, the IMF issued a press release on its Article IV consultation in Belize. This is after concluding its article four consultation with Belize on June 21st. The Fund’s Executive Directors congratulated the authorities on the strong economic performance last year and the successful launching of Superbond 2.0. It warns that “the government may face large financing needs over the medium term largely associated with compensation to the former shareholders of nationalized companies,” pending legal rulings. They urge government to moderate wage increases and broadening the base for the general sales tax – meaning fewer zero rated and exempt items. For context, we note that the Barrow Administration has a consistent record of paying little attention to IMF recommendations.

Expanding Awareness Of Chiquibul
The Chiquibul Forest – is the largest protected area in Belize and being along the western border, it’s under constant pressure from populations on the Guatemalan side. The residents on that side are looking for green land where they can farm, or virgin forests from which they can extract huge logs, or Xate – and that’s because their forests have been stripped and they’ve run out of arable land….Which leads them to the Chiquibul’s vast expanse of protected areas. That un-relenting pressure is the subject of a high level Symposium that’s being held tomorrow. It’s called “Alarming Threats To Peace Conservation National Stability.” That’s pretty dramatic and Valerie Woods who is a Member of the Friends For Conservation and Development which co-manages Chiquibul, explains the urgency and the need for a national reaction:

Man Alleges Police Brutality
We get complaints about police brutality on a regular basis – and while some cases are being dealt with, many go unheard. But tonight one man says enough is enough and he is speaking out for the rights of all victims. Andy Cruz had an encounter with 3 police officers on Tuesday night – after he was chased and then pulled over. According to Cruz, he was chasing down a Benque Bus for a friend to board but did not notice that he was being pursued by a police mobile. Police allegedly fired a shot police towards Cruz’s vehicle that caused him to pull over. With his head bandaged and his newborn in hand, he told us about the madness that then unfolded. Andy Cruz - Claims Police Brutality "I stopped my vehicle and when I stopped the police told me to step out of the vehicle backwards." Monica Bodden "You didn't have any idea that the police were behind your vehicle while traveling? You didn't know they were chasing you?" Andy Cruz "No because I was rushing - when I stepped out of the vehicle they actually handcuffed me backwards and when this happened the two officers just continuously kept hitting me in my head with their gun that they had in their hands. As you notice this hit on the side of my face right now - the only part of my nose that I can feel is over here - everything else is numb. My eyes are really irritating me right now, I can't even take the pain in my head and this that is happening and the way the shooting happened - if you had any problem with me then you could have handcuffed me and take me to the police precinct. But the way the shooting happened, now if you shot inside my door and my vehicle was straight and you happened to have caught my baby..."

Man Remanded After He Was Found Handling
29 year-old John Burke, a fisherman from Sarstoon Street is behind bars tonight. According to police, Reginald Welch’s house on Jones Street was robbed on May 28, 2013, and $11,590 worth of personal items was stolen. Police investigated and they arrested and charged Burke with burglary and handling stolen goods because some of the items were allegedly discovered in his possession. He was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Frazer who remanded him because he was deemed a flight risk. He will be brought back to court on August 30, his next court date.

Inmate Sentenced For Weed Possession
20 year-old prison inmate Trevor Jones will spend 6 years in prison after he was busted with 8 ounces of weed in jail. A prison officer searched his tennis shoes this morning and found a total of 8.25 ounces of marijuana in 2 separate parcels. As a result he was charged with 2 counts of drug trafficking, which he pleaded guilty to when he was arraigned before Senior Magistrate Frazer. She sentenced him to pay fines to a total of 6 years in prison, and he must pay $20,000 by October 31, or he will serve an additional 6 years which will run concurrently.

Jamaica Enacts Smoking Ban
Jamaica has enacted a smoking ban which prohibits smoking in enclosed, public, and work places – even bars! With that Jamaica becomes the fourth country in the Caribbean community to become 100% smoke-free. It has implications for Belize where a convention has been signed and draft legislation is in the works. Our colleague at CEEN News, Kalilah Enriquez took an in depth look at the smoking ban in that country. In Belize, the Frame work Convention on tobacco Control was launched in 2010 and Cabinet approved Article Eight (Protection from Exposure to tobacco smoke) with the following measures. • the prohibition of smoking within Government Buildings • the prohibition of smoking in private business where the public accesses services, for example: Lobbies of Banks, hotels. Restaurants must indicate ‘Smoking’ and ‘No Smoking’ areas

Belize Won Basketball
Last night, we told you about the Hoops Dreams Basketball club which competed in the Copa Cancun Basketball Tournament. We told how the team dominated the tournament and advanced to the finals. We reported that they were defeated, but that was an error; the team actually won the finals, and they are the champions of the Copa Cancun Tournament.

Channel 5

Mexican fighter jets given permission to fly over Belize
Earlier this month, News Five reported on the presence of Mexican military planes in Belizean airspace. At the time there were persistent reports that on June thirtieth at least three [...]

Interpol looks for Michael Silva, murder suspect
A Belizean, who has been missing following the murder of his girlfriend, is currently on INTERPOL’s wanted list. The International Criminal Police Organization, INTERPOL, is an intergovernmental organization facilitating international [...]

F.F.B. Vice President taken to New York to Face Narcotics Conspiracy
During the Jaguars time in the Gold Cup Games played in three U.S. cities, the Football Federation of Belize suffered a slight embarrassment when one of its players was denied [...]

Families of men shot by police officers want justice
Aggrieved families believe that there is a pattern of excessive use of force by the Police. There is the well-known case of Stephen Buckley, who survived two shots to the [...]

Minister of National Security says proper investigations will be done
The third case occurred on May tenth when Punta Gorda resident, Rasheed Elijio was shot and killed by Police as he allegedly attempted to escape custody. That officer-involved shooting and [...]

Cab Driver was murdered
The police department has confirmed that a cab driver who went missing on the job has been murdered. Forty Five year old Jose Maria Aguilar Umana disappeared on July seventeenth. [...]

55 year old incarcerated for sexual crime upon a girl
Fifty-year-old Charles Bucknor, a carpenter of a Belize City address, remains tonight on lockdown at the Belize Central Prison after being denied bail for committing the crime of aggravated assault [...]

What’s that smell? Marijuana in inmate’s tennis, of course
Twenty-year-old Trevor Jones, an inmate at the Belize Central Prison, will have to spend a longer prison term and pay a hefty fine. Jones has been sentenced to an additional [...]

Palmar Villager charged with carnal knowledge in dump site
A thirty-one-year-old resident of Palmar Village in the Orange Walk District is tonight in police custody following a report made by a minor that the two engaged in sexual intercourse [...]

Challenges and opportunities in education sector
This week, we have been focusing on a recent report commissioned by the Inter-American Development Bank which shows that despite the high level of spending from the public purse, the [...]

Belizean students offered Mexican scholarships
Belizean students interested in pursuing tertiary level studies in Mexico are being given an opportunity to apply for all-expense-paid scholarships in a number of graduate and post-graduate programs.  A total [...]

The Chiquibul Symposium represents a fight for nationhood
There will be an important symposium in Belize City on Friday, and it’s all about the Chiquibul National Park. Friends of Conservation and Development, the N.G.O. charged with the monitoring [...]

GCCA’s Intra- African, Caribbean and Pacific countries climate change conference
A major climate change meeting opened today in San Ignacio. Experts participating are from African, Caribbean and Pacific countries considered to be the most vulnerable to climate change. The highly [...]

Climate change is a serious issue for Belize
The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre popularly known by insiders as the Five C’s is housed in Belmopan.  Belize has a National Climate Change Coordinating Committee that was established by [...]

Can Belize host an international 3X3 basketball event?
Sport Development Manager for FIBA Americas, Nestor Rodriguez, recently concluded a successful visit to Belize. The purpose of the visit was to assess whether Belize is a viable location to [...]

The next Superstar is here!
By all accounts Group B in Be the Next Superstar brought their A act to the Bliss stage on Wednesday night. The spotlight was on eight performers; three who battled [...]

Healthy Living drinks to prevent urinary tract infection
There is a very common infection that affects men, women and children who don’t drink enough water. Persons who use the bathroom frequently are also at risk. The infection, Urinary [...]


Family in Southern Belize Mourns Drowning of Loved One
A drowning incident has been reported in the Toledo District. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports. PAUL MAHUNG “Police reports here confirm that a fisherman of Barranco Village, 24-year-old, Jose Antonio Medina left home at about 4am on Wednesday, July 17 in his dory to ha...

International Bank Assesses Education in Belize; MOE Says Their on Top of Their Game
A little over two months ago, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) released a report on the, ‘challenges and opportunities in the education sector in Belize.’ In that report, several factors were listed as an issue in Belize’s education system. Love News spoke w...

Accused Burglar Gets Remanded
Twenty-eight year old John Burke, an unemployed who allegedly broke into the house of Reginald Welch and stole household items amounting to $11,590.00 was charged with burglary and handling stolen goods when he appeared in court today. Burke pled not guilty to the charges. The prosecutor ob...

Six Years for Attempting to Smuggle Cannabis In Prison
Twenty year old Trevor Jones, an inmate at Belize Central Prison, was sentenced to 12 years today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser after he pled guilty to two counts of drug trafficking. Jones was sentenced to three years and was fined $10,000 for each count. He was given until October 31 to pa...

Youth Movement Calls on Government to Invest in Sports in Belize
The Nation Builders national youth arm has commended the Belize Jaguars National Football Team on their participation in the 2013 Gold Cup. In a press release, the group states that although the journey was short-lived, it proves that we are a resilient people and have the capacity to compe...

Global Climate Change Summit In Belize
Belize is hosting a Global Climate Change Summit. The event is taking place in San Ignacio. Reporter Hipolito Novelo has the story. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING “The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, the CCCCC is hosting the first ever ACP Global Climate Change All...

Post Mortem Conducted on Taxi Driver From Belmopan
A post mortem conducted on the body of 45-year-old taxi driver Jose Maria Umana Aguilar certified the cause of death as traumatic shock due to head trauma as a consequence of a blunt instrument. As we reported Umana had been reported missing by his common law wife after she could not get in...

IMF Says Belize Economic Performance Is Strong But Advises on Further Strengthening
The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded its 2013 Article 4 Consultation with Belize and released its findings on Tuesday, July 16. In the report, the IMF’s Executive Board congratulated the authorities on Belize’s strong economic performance last y...

Ground Breaks for Tilapia Hatchery in Western Belize
On Wednesday ground was broken for the building of a Tilapia Hatchery Center in Central Farm. Correspondent Elaine Berry was there and has the story. ELAINE BERRY “A ground breaking ceremony for the construction of a modern Tilapia Hatchery Centre Aquaculture Project was held ...

Man Remanded For His Own Safety After Allegedly Assaulting Minor
Fifty year old Charles Bucknor, a carpenter of Vernon Street who allegedly committed a sexual assault on a 12 year old girl, was denied bail when he was charged with aggravated assault today. Bucknor pled not guilty to the charge. The prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that additional...


BSI Contract Workers Vote In Favour Of Forming Part of BWU
In its peak years, the Belize Worker’s Union, formerly known as the General Workers Union, had approximately 400 members but over the years the numbers have shrunk. That is because, according to the President of the BWU, Ramiro Gongora, the Belize Sugar Industries Limited as the employer has either fired or changed the terms of employment of some workers who were part of the union. In efforts of...

Thirty One Year Old Accused of Having Sex With Minor At Dump Site
A 31 year old Orange Walk man is in trouble with the police after a teenage girl accused him of having sexual intercourse with her. The 15 year old student reported to police that on January 31 of this year, she and her boyfriend went to a dump site located on the San Lorenzo Road in Orange Walk where they engaged in sexual intercourse. A medical examination has certified that the 15 year old is carnally known. The man, who is a resident of Palmar village is in police custody pending a charge of Unlawful Carnal Knowledge.

Jaguars Dissatisfied With Coach Mork's Performance
While team Belize was in the U.S taking part in the Gold Cup, playing their hearts out, Belizeans here at home and abroad cheered them on. Everything seemed to be fine and dandy, but that was far from the truth because, behind the scenes there was trouble as not all of the players were satisfied with the way Coach Ian Mork led the team during the three games played in the Gold Cup. Yesterday, as we brought to you some of the player’s reactions toward Coach Mork and his style of leading the football team, it was obvious that there were mix emotions, emotions which some of the Jaguars did not care to conceal. Tonight we bring to you the sentiments of some of the team’s best players including Harrison Roches and Lennox Castillo who were benched by Coach Mork for two and three of the games respectively. Harrison Roches "I don't really feel contented with the coaching staff because I believe it was a big abstract that they did on my part. I don't know what kind of personal thing he had with me, to not even include 'Criminal' because he's my family and he took that part with me and not get a chance to play just because he was around me - I don't know what kind of personal thing that was; that's the part I feel frustrated with."


Police report progress after missing taxi driver’s body is found
The body of taxi man Jose Marin Umana was found late yesterday evening on a dirt road just off the George Price Blvd near to the Belmopan municipal airstrip. The family had been searching for the 43 year old taxi man who had gone missing since Saturday July 13th. ...

Minister updates on Mediterranean Fruit Flies
On Monday we told you about a 24-hour quarantine checkpoint which was placed on the southern highway after Mediterranean fruit flies were detected at various points in the Toledo District, Mango Creek and along the Placencia Peninsula. The Mediterranean Fruit Fly, also known as Ceratitis Capitata, is considered as...

Inmate gets six years for drug trafficking in prison
A Prison inmate was today sentenced to six years imprisonment and slapped with two huge $10,000 fines after he pleaded guilty to two counts of drug trafficking inside the Belize Kolbe Foundation. He is 20-year-old Trevor Jones, an inmate at Kolbe Foundation. This evening, Jones appeared before the Senior...

Tilapia Hatchery Center to be built in Central Farm
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture in collaboration with the Taiwan Technical Mission hosted a ground breaking ceremony for the building of a Tilapia Hatchery Center in Central Farm yesterday. It is a part of the Aquaculture Project that is being implemented in the development of the tilapia...

Citco and BWC reach initial debt settlement agreement
The Belize City Council and Belize Waste Control have reached initial agreement of a settlement of a debt exceeding 2.3 million dollars which was the subject of a court judgment last April. Attorney for Belize Waste Control Fred Lumor gives details. Fred Lumor – Attorney for Belize Waste Control:...

Alleged gang members appear in court
26 year-old Kareem “Robbery” Lopez, a reputed member of the George Street Gang, was deported from the US for illegal entry. Once in Belize, Lopez needed to report to police as a deportee. On Tuesday, the GSU detained Lopez after he repeatedly failed to report...

Under 13 football team seek financial assistance for tour
Youth With A Mission’s Under 16 football team recently returned from games in Merida, Mexico. The team is coached by Pastor Santi Valencia who, along with his Under Fifteen National Football team returned from Santo Domingo last November with the countries first gold medal in...

The Guardian

Another Gay Challenge
The Government of Belize is once again preparing itself to defend a local law which is being challenged by a homosexual man. On Wednesday, July 17th, the Caribbean Court of Justice was empanelled to do case management following a legal action by a homosexual man and lawyer from Jamaica, Maurice Arnold Tomlinson, who is seeking Special Leave to invoke the original jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice. The case management has set November 12th as the date for the application to be heard. Tomlinson is seeking to invoke the original jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice which in essence is to interpret the Treaty of Chaguaramas*. Under the Treaty of Chaguaramas, however, only member countries can invoke the original jurisdiction, hence, Tomlinson's request for Special Leave. There must be a differentiation made between the original jurisdiction of the CCJ since a revision to the Treaty of Chaguaramas has given the court the authority to act as an appellate court replacing the Privy Council as the final appellate court for Belize, Barbados and Guayana. If Tomlinson, who is also an LGBT activist, is successful in his leave application, he will be seeking that the court rule against Section 5 of the Immigration Act of Belize. That section reads: “Subject to section 2(3) the following persons are prohibited immigrants-

IMF impressed with Belize’s Economic Performance
Belize continues to receive praises for its debt restructuring exercise and impressive economic performance in 2012. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says the completion of the exchange of the Super Bond for new United States denominated bonds has brought “substantial cash-flow relief” to Belize, according to the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian. The IMF says that the new bond has resulted in a cash flow relief of US$130 million over the next five years. In 2011, Belize’s economy was severely injured by weather related damages in commodity exports but 2012 saw a strong rebound as the output growth for Belize was estimated at 5.3 per cent in 2012. The IMF is optimistic about the health of the economy because the “international reserve coverage is estimated at 3.4 months of imports up from three months in 2011, thanks in part to strong foreign direct investment inflows in the sugar sector”. Another reason for optimism is the public debt is expected to decline to about 75 per cent of GDP at end-2013 which is due to the net face value haircut of three per cent from the recent debt restructure exercise.

Medfly Alarm down South
The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) has implemented a quarantine for the southern part of the country south of Silk Grass Village. According to Hernan Zetina, Medfly coordinator with BAHA, the quarantine for fruits and vegetables became necessary after an unusually high number of Medflies were detected in Mango Creek, Placencia and Punta Gorda. On a yearly basis, Zetina says that every year between 5 and 12 Medflies are detected in the country but these are quickly placed under control. The Mediterranean Fruitfly (Medfly) is and economically devastating agricultural pest that attacks over 300 tropical fruits. This year, BAHA's surveillance program detected 51 flies which is an unusual amount. The most recent detection was on Monday, July 15th on the Placencia Peninsula. Last week alone 18 flies were detected. According to Zetina, since the flies were detected, preventative measures have been put in place to ensure that the fly does not propagate. These measures include the spraying of fruit trees as well as stripping them and destroying the fruits. The Medfly is a plague that is well established in neighboring Guatemala and Honduras and Zetina says the introduction of the fly into Belize most likely came as a result of persons bringing in fresh fruits and vegetables from these neighboring countries.

Several years ago the women of Iceland, fed up with being taken for granted and having their hopes and fears trivialised, decided to illustrate their importance to their families and communities by going on a one-day strike. On October 24, 1975, 90% of Icelandic women refused to cook, clean, look after children, go to work and have sex. (They made their point but even now, thirty years later, Icelandic women’s pay still stands at only 65% that of men, so the work is not completed.) What if the LGBT community in Belize and Worldwide, reacting against the hate speech currently filling the media and the churches, just decided to disappear? Obviously, that will not happen since many of the LGBT community do not make their identity public because of fear of stigma and discrimination and still others are so conflicted and in denial that they are amongst the most vicious of the haters. However, the effects of such an event can be imagined. But first, a true story. An elderly woman, Rose, answers the door to Julie, her friend of 60 years. Rose helps Julie, who is in tears and too distraught to speak, into the house and, after offering a glass of water anxiously asks what is wrong. Julie wails that it is her grandson, Paul. “Oh no!,” exclaims Rose, assuming that he must be ill or injured. “How bad is it?” Julie takes a sip of water and declares, “It’s terrible. I can’t believe it. Paul has admitted that he is gay.” She looks to her friend for sympathy and comfort but instead Rose is exasperated and scolds Julie for being so melodramatic. She reminds Julie that Paul is the most caring and loving of all her grandchildren and that being gay is an integral part of who he is. Whether because of these stern words from her friend or just upon more sober reflection Julie comes to terms with Paul’s announcement. Two years later Paul was at her bedside when she passed away and he delivered the eulogy at her funeral.

What's Hot What's Not - BAN ITTT?!!!!!!! NO MORE DAGGERING!!
?When the lover come down on yuh?…? get ready for the daggering?… ?bend over, bend over back way ?..?make yuh body jump jump? Yes, in my neighborhood instead of being cheered by children singing “building up the temple” or singing the famous Barney “I love you ” song, I instead hear the voices of the three to five-year-olds singing to the top of their lungs dirty, vulgar songs on a Tuesday night after the news. “Cute? Look how they look dancing! Bubbling, doing 6:30, jiggle it, kotch gyal , pum pum tun up, daggering, wuk a gyal.” Ask them to spell their names! Or ask them to say their multiplication tables. They then become shy, then and only then has the cat gotten their tongues. OPEN YOUR EYES !!!!!! MUSIC LYRICS HAVE CHANGED! I think we have forgotten what music is now and how much power it has in making or breaking us. Most people listen to music to relax, as a form recreational activity to get out of there reality. To many, music describes the emotional state they are in. Music in all is not bad. Christian music and good lyrical music does exist. Do not get me wrong.

Before a Fall
Before I say anything, let me state for the record that I hold deep respect for every individual’s constitutional right to belong to any organization they please, including any political party. I also believe that the Opposition has an inherent responsibility to be very effective in presenting the best candidates and for being the check and balance of the Government in office. I hold this view since the party I sympathize with has been the opposing party in the past and will do so again sometime in the future. I do not wish for that to happen, but it’s really not only up to me now, is it? That said, let us talk politics by introducing the latest development. The announcement by Andrews from Rise and Shine that he is going to offer himself as a PUP candidate in the upcoming PUP convention for Belmopan came as no surprise to me. Probably, there is a plus for his decision since on the said talk show, Andrews was becoming more and more emotional and disrespectful with each passing day, and he would have ended up facing many more lawsuits because of his bravado. So he will, in the end, save some money and time since he will have less court appearances.

US upgrades Belize’s Capacity to Track Migration
Belize launched its Personal Identification and Registration System during a ceremony at the Phillip Goldson International Airport on Friday, July 12th. Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Immigration, immigration officials and representatives of the United States Government were present to witness Belize’s move towards 21st Century border management. Hon. Godwin Hulse said, “When I walked in to see the hardware that we have established - lovely booths, etc. - I felt like I was entering Miami.”

A Small Idea with Huge Potential
Summer is here and school is out. This is a time when schools carry out beautification exercises as kids are out of the way so to speak. Some schools can do more than others depending on their resources and this is why UDP Fort George Caretaker, Roger Espejo tries to match small employment opportunities for at risk youth in the area.

Baby Bol died from Congenital Heart Defect
Lawrence Bol and Elvira Ack were due to have their first child on August 18th of this year. Unfortunately, the couple from San Antonio, Toledo had to rush to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where on Friday, July 12th, Ack gave birth to a baby girl. The baby was born five weeks premature but the couple was happy because she was born alive. However, on Sunday the couple received the devastating news that their baby had passed away. They were traumatized by the news and struggled to make sense of it. A very emotional Bol said, “My baby was healthy; she was good. I come home and when I gone back on Sunday I find she dead.” A post-mortem examination was conducted by Pathologist, Dr. Hugh Sanchez, on Tuesday, July 16th, which revealed that the premature infant had a “latent congenital abnormality of the heart which was incompatible with sustaining life”. The family is asking for support from the public to cover funeral and hospital expenses. Bol’s number is 626-0806.

Intra-ACP Climate Change Talks in Belize
The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) will host the first ever Intra-ACP Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) Programme (1) Regional Technical Meeting (RTM) and the Second Programme Steering Committee meeting this week (July 18 to 19) at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel, San Ignacio, Cayo District in Belize. The objective is to raise interest in this global programme; establish thematic working groups in order to enhance networking and communication and facilitate exchange of information and expertise within the GCCA Intra-ACP Programme. The outcomes of the RTM will benefit the discussions in the Second Programme Steering Committee meeting on 18 – 19 July 2013. The Second Programme Steering Committee meeting will focus on programme implementation in the ACP regions among other issues.

Central American Summit on Free Software held in Cayo
A Central American Summit on Free Software, the fifth of its kind in Central America, ended on July 14, 2013 at Sacred Heart Junior College in San Ignacio Town. The summit started last Friday and for three days there were discussions on a variety of computer software topics, centered mostly on how to get and use free software and yet remain competitive and productive.

Santa Elena Public Library refurbished
A Summer Camp at the Santa Elena Public Library in the Cayo District ended last Friday with a sports day for participants. The Santa Elena Library in the Cayo District opened its Summer Camp last Monday with a PowerPoint on endangered animals.

New Tilapia Hatchery Center in Central Farm
Hon. Gaspar Vega and H. E. David Wu at ground breaking ceremony On Wednesday, July 17th, His Excellency David Wu, Ambassador of Taiwan to Belize, joined Hon. Gaspar Vega, Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture, in Central Farm to break ground on a project for the construction of a Tilapia Hatchery Center. The center is part of a US$2.5 million Aquaculture Project that is being financed by the Taiwan Technical Mission in an effort develop the tilapia industry of Belize.

WIN supports the National Gender Policy
The National Gender Policy is founded on principles outlined in the Belize Constitution and in International Conventions and Agreements signed and ratified by the Government of Belize. This National Gender Policy is a progressive development policy promoting human rights, gender equality and gender equity.

Extradition cases
On Friday, July 12th, Mark Sewell, a Belizean national of the Ladyville area appeared in the Supreme Court before Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin to have an extradition hearing against him commence. The matter had to be adjourned; however, as Sewell's attorney, Arthur Saldivar was a no show in court. Present in court, was attorney Magali Perdomo, representing the Attorney General's Ministry. According to Saldivar's letter to the court, he had a medical emergency that hindered him from being present. In his absence though, the Chief Justice had this to say, “If no attorney comes to court next week on behalf of Sewell, the case will be struck out.” The CJ also noted that the case is a matter of habeas corpus and should take precedence. He noted that he was not seeing urgency regarding the case coming from Sewell's attorneys, especially since Saldivar's client has been on remand for more than two years since an order for his extradition. The case was then adjourned for August 1, 2013.

Illegally trying to obtain Birth Papers
On Monday, July 15th, Guatemalan national, Bianca Yesenia Villatoro-Magana, 22, was arraigned in Magistrate’s Court in Belize City where she was read a single charge of using a document she is not entitled to. She pleaded guilty to the charge when she appeared before Magistrate Clive Lino and was imposed a $1,000 fine, of which she was to pay $500 forthwith and the balance by September 15th. In default, she is to spend one year in prison. Magana was detained after Social Security authorities became suspicious of a birth certificate she was using in an attempt to get a Social Security card. It turns out that she was never issued one by the Vital Statistics Unit since she is not a Belizean. According to Immigration personnel, on Friday, July 12, 2013 at approximately 2:00 p.m., Immigration officer, Carlos Amaya acting upon information received, visited the Social Security Board office in Belize City where he was handed over a Hispanic woman identified as Bianca Yesenia Magana-Villatoro, a Guatemala national who was detained by Social Security officials on suspicions of a false birth certificate.

Failed to report to Police
On Wednesday, July 17th, 26-year-old Kareem Lopez, appeared in Magistrate's Court to answer to charges of failure to report to police as a deportee and changing his residence without prior notification to the Commissioner of Police. Lopez, who was deported from the United States of America in early January, appeared before Magistrate Clive Lino where he was read the two charges. Allegations are that between the periods of January 7, 2013 and July 12, 2013, Lopez having been deported from California, USA on January 7, 2013, was issued with a compliance letter which requires that he shall not change residence without prior notification to the Commissioner of Police and he failed to do so when he changed his address to the West Lake area. In court, Lopez who was unrepresented pleaded not guilty to both charges. Magistrate Lino offered him bail in the sum of $3,000 plus one surety of the same amount. He is to reappear in court on August 15th.

Guilty of chopping Man’s Fingers off
On Tuesday, July 16th, a jury of six men and three women found 55-year-old Hattieville Farmer, Romonio Garcia guilty of the use of deadly means of harm with intent to cause grievous harm for chopping off another man’s fingers. Back in 2011, Garcia had been originally charged with maim upon Alfredo Herrera but was later indicted for use of deadly means of harm. The chopping incident occurred on April 1, 2011 between Miles 12 and 13 on the George Price Highway. During the trial prosecutor, Kaysha Grant told the court on April 1, 2011, Herrera had gone to visit Garcia at his home. The two began to drink and at around 3:30p.m., Herrera made a comment about Garcia’s wife. As a result of this, Garcia grabbed a machete and attacked Herrera, chopping him and severing four of his fingers on his left hand and partially severing the fifth.

Acquitted of Murder
26-year-old Gabriel Salazar, a San Pedro resident, is a free man since Monday July 15th after he was acquitted of murder by Justice Denis S. Hanomansingh in the Dangriga Supreme Court. Salazar had been accused of the September 12th, 2009 murder of Francis Johnson at Johnson’s Store in Big Falls, Toledo District. Johnson was killed after being shot multiple times during an allege robbery that turned into murder. Three men were believed to have committed the robbery/murder but they were also believed to have fled the Belize Jurisdiction and ended up in Honduras. They were later allegedly involved in an armed robbery in Honduras and two of the three men were fatally shot and killed. Surviving incident was Salazar who would later return to Belize where he was charged for murder.

Judge to decide on Attempted Murder Case
Shawn Edwards will learn his fate on August 9th when Justice Troadio Gonzalez will rule on his case of attempted murder. In October of 2010, a bar in Belize City was held up in an attempted robbery and the bar owner was shot and injured. Also shot was one of two robbers, Shawn Edwards, who was later arrested by police. Edwards’ trial, which was conducted without a jury, began last week in the Supreme Court before Justice Troadio Gonzalez. At the beginning of the trial, Edwards indicated that he wanted to plead guilty to the charge of attempted murder but after the facts of the case were read to him, he disagreed with them and opted to proceed with the full trial. That case has now concluded and Justice Troadio Gonzalez has deferred his ruling on the case until August 9th when he will give his decision.

Threatened a Bowen & Bowen Employee
On Tuesday, July 16th Bangladesh businessman, Helal Miah, appeared in Magistate’s Court before Clive Lino where he was formally charged for common assault and use of threatening words upon a Bowen & Bowen employee. Miah, the owner of a dollar store in Belize City, does not speak English very well and was provided with a translator. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was offered bail in the sum of $1,500.00 plus one surety of the same amount but his surety needed to be a Belizean. He met bail and was ordered to reappear in court at a later date. Allegations are that on July 4, 2013, he committed a common assault upon Kevin Garbutt. He was additionally charge with one count of using threatening words when he allegedly uttered obscenties to Garbutt. According to Miah, the salesman was over charging him and that led to an altercation when he spoke up for his rights.

Dara’s Fundraisers continue
Joel Dara Robinson will once again hold his annual Ride for Hunger on Saturday August 3rd and the Tribute to Lucky Dube on Sunday, August 4th. Dara visited our offices to explain that the ride, which is in its second year, is one of his main fundraising activities, which he conducts to be able to feed underprivileged children in primary schools. The ride will take off from Mile 2 1/2 on the Phillip Goldson Highway in front of the Smart building and will make its way to the Burrell Boom Road. From there, it will head to Hattieville village and return back to Belize City and end where it took off from. Dara says the ride is aimed at fundraising as well as raising awareness to the fact that there are children in primary school, who go hungry because their parents cannot afford to feed them. He is inviting everybody to attend the ride especially business houses and emphasizes that it is a ride and not a race and anyone can participate. This year, he says he will add music to accompany the ride to motivate riders to complete the course. Registration starts at 5 on Saturday, August 3rd and the ride gets off at 6:30 a.m. registration is $5.00

Summer Camp opens in Cayo
Police Officer Jason Jones explaining the ground rules at the Cayo Youth Empowerment Summer Camp 2013 The Annual Cayo Youth Empowerment Summer Camp 2013 began on Monday of this week and is ongoing at Sacred Heart College in San Ignacio Town. This camp will continue to July 26, 2013 and comes as a result of a unity of many social partners. These partners coming to the fore in assisting with the Cayo Summer Camp are the Police Department and the Ministries of Human Development, Education and Youth. Also assisting in this year’s events are the Belize Family Life Association, National Drug Abuse & Control Council, Pro-World Belize, Cornerstone Foundation and Help International. As is traditional for the Summer Camps, speakers will be coming in from the different agencies to discuss issues of importance to children. Snacks are being provided in the morning and afternoon as well as lunch at midday.

Gulisi Community Primary School holds summer camp
On July 12th, Gulisi Community Primary School, which is located in Dangriga, concluded a four-day summer workshop which was done in collaboration with JICA - the Japan International Cooperation Agency. JICA has provided NGC, which manages the school, with a volunteer for two years to assist with the teaching of math and science. At least 75 youths from Std. 1-6 came from all over Dangriga, Belize and the Diaspora to attend in the workshop. Over the four-day period, the youths participated in various activities in the areas of music, sports, science, drumming, Japanese dance and they also tie-died the T-shirts that they are wearing in these pictures! The General Manager of Gulisi Community Primary School, Mrs. Phyllis Cayetano, says that the collaboration with JICA worked beautifully since the school's curriculum follows an Intercultural Bilingual Education model. Hence, an appreciation for Garifuna and Japanese culture was prevalent during the entire four days of the workshop. NGC and Gulisi Primary School Management, staff and students want to express their deep appreciation to JICA for their collaboration and look forward to more activities like this in the future.

Belize failed to make it to the next round of Gold Cup play
The final day of the group C play in the on-going Gold Cup 2013 tournament took place on Tuesday, July 16, out at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut, USA, where both Belize and Cuba needed a 4 goals win margin to move onto the next round of play. Unfortunately for Team Belize, at the end of the game, it was not able to muster the much needed win against Cuba to advance to the next round of play. The Cuban team was hungry for the win and in the end it scored 4 goals against Belize to move onto the next round of play. Cuba’s Ariel Martinez completed a hat trick against Team Belize when he scored three of Cuba’s four goals to give them the win and the eighth and final place into the quarter final round of Gold Cup 2013.

Athletic Association to hold General Meeting
The Interim Committee of the Belize Athletic Association informs all of its members and prospective members that the General Assembly of the Association is scheduled for Wednesday, July 31, 2013, at the Edward P. Yorke High School commencing at 5:30 pm. Registration forms can be received from any of the National Sports Council offices throughout the country. The payment for registration must be done with the Sports Council in the respective district towns and in Belize City. In order to participate in the General Meeting and to vote for officers of the association, members must be 18 years an older and must have paid their membership dues in full.

Belize District Basketball Association Firms Competition to open
The Belize District Basketball Association 2013 Firms Competition is scheduled to commence on Friday, July 19 at the Bird’s Isle in Belize City. This year’s competition will attract some 13 teams in the regular season. The teams are divided into two divisions. The teams that will participate in this year’s competition are Ready Call Centre, Belize Bank Ltd/Broadway, Port of Belize Ltd., Bowen & Bowen Ltd., Belize Water Service Ltd., Heritage Bank/Ministry of Transport, Public Utilities Commission/Central Building Authority/Belize Fisheries Dept., BTL., Belize City Council/Belize Post Office, Courts, Central Health Region and Customs & Excise Department. There are three games on the schedule for this Friday night at Bird’s Isle. In the first game at 7:00 pm, Ready Call Centre will go up against Belize Bank Ltd, followed by Port of Belize against Bowen & Bowen and in the final game of the evening, Belize Water Services will do battle with Atlantic Bank. The competition will then continue on Friday, July 26 with three more games on the schedule.

Tyson Gay admits to Positive Test
American 100-meter record holder Tyson Gay, who had promoted himself as a clean athlete, tested positive for a banned substance and said he will pull out of the world championships next month in Moscow. Gay wouldn’t reveal the substance in a phone conversation from Amsterdam on Sunday, but he said he was notified by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency late last week that a sample came back positive from a May 16 out-of-competition test. He said he will have his “B” sample tested soon, possibly as early as this week. “I don’t have a sabotage story. I don’t have any lies. I don’t have anything to say to make this seem like it was a mistake or it was on USADA’s hands, someone playing games,” said Gay, who fought back sobs as he spoke. “I don’t have any of those stories. I basically put my trust in someone and I was let down.” Asked who that person was, Gay replied: “I can’t really say it. Sometimes a human being naturally, generally trusts somebody. That’s what people do.”

Asafa Powell among Jamaicans tested Positive
Reports stated that former world record holder Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson are among the five athletes, who returned the adverse findings following tests conducted at the Jamaica National Track and Field Championships. The Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) has confirmed that five Jamaican athletes have tested positive for banned substances. JADCO’s Chairman, Dr. Herb Elliott said that he has received reports of adverse analytical findings from “A” samples for the athletes but declined to disclose further information. “The process of the result management has commenced in accordance with the JADCO Anti-doping rules” Dr. Elliott told RJR Sports. “We cannot disclose any further information until the athletes have responded to notification of the ‘A’ sample”, he added.

Vega’s Cup Tournament opens July 28
The organisers of the Vega’s Cup Tournament is pleased to inform the public that the 2013 competition is scheduled to commence on Sunday, July 28 with its marathon at the Trial Farm Football field. According to the organisers, all interested teams must register by Friday, July 26, 2013 as only teams that are registered will be allowed to play in the marathon and the tournament. The 2013 Vega’s Cup Tournament champions will receive $3,000.00 in cash, team trophy and individual awards. The tournament is sponsored by the Deputy Prime Minister of Belize Hon. Gaspar Vega.

Moen Stars lead in Belize City volleyball Competition
The Belize City Volleyball Competition continued at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium on Saturday, July 13 and on Sunday July 14 with a number of games on the schedule. On Sunday, July 14, 2013, in the first of two female games played, Moen Stars defeated Lady Jaguars by the score of 25-21, 21-25, 25-21 and 25-18. In the second game it was Lady Warriors winning over U16 Females in three sets by the score of 25-16, 25-23 and 25-13. On Saturday, July 13, in the first female game played, Lady Jaguars defeated Lady Warriors by the score of 25-15, 25-9 and 25-20. In game two, Moen Stars won handily over U16 Females by the score of 25-16, 25-2 and 25-16. In the firms competition game, Belize Bank defeated Scotia Bank in three sets by the score of 25-11, 22-25 and 15-11.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Summer Karate Program
Kids ages 3 and up. Mon - Tues - Wed 3:00-4:00, Community Center, 6021772. Female Self Defense Class, Mon - Tues- Wed , 5:00-6:00, 6:00-7:00, Community Center


Bittersweet BIG moving sale
Some people start off in Mexico and end up moving to Belize, I know others that have started in Belize and move to Mexico which is what the Kumar’s are doing and why they are having a Bittersweet Big moving sale. The title of Carolyn’s email was Bittersweet and I totally agree with that, Surendra, Carolyn and Nina will be missed by many on the island. On a positive note, we can now pop over to Tulum and visit the Kumars on our way to visiting all friends in Paya Del Carmen. If you have it on your mind to move to Belize and you are not a second hand shopper, you might want to reconsider. Moving and yard sales are 2 great ways to shop, we have scored some good stuff over the years that other people were letting go of for what ever reason. Since their new condo is completely furnished,they are selling off what they acquired while here, all the new condition furniture, appliances, drapes, housewares, and the Polaris. I have been to their house and not only to thet have great taste, they take very good care of their things. If you are interested in anything on the list below, contact Surendra or Carolyn by phone is 631-2272 or by email fabkumars[at]

Tickets Sell Out in Record Time at July’s SAGA Summer Salad “Cook” Off!
There was a fantastic turnout last night for the SAGA Humane Society’s monthly fundraising cook-off. All 65 $10bzd tickets for the tastings sold out in under 15 minutes but those a bit late were more than happy to donate in others ways. Cute t-shirts were for sale (all proceeds goes to the Humane Society)… It’s HIP TO SNIP! (Ellie and her husband…a pretty handsome couple…) A raffle of donated prizes was well underway…(did you know that just one ticket will buy a cat or dog food for the day?) Here are Faith and Julie selling tickets. Hard to say no… (Thanks SO much to the generous sponsor restaurants who donated gift cards: MELT, Waraguma and El Divino.) …and the our generous host, Wet Willy’s Smokehouse, was jumping.

Why I want to be an Eco-Kid
I want to be an eco-kid because I want to save the environment and our earth. The earth is dying, people are dying and animals are dying. One day there is not going to be no gibnuts, toucans and tapirs if we don’t help. Wouldn’t you want your sons and daughters to one day see the national animal of Belize? The earth is being destroyed and you know who destroys it, man. We destroy all things, we are responsible for global warming, for poaching and for many others because man is selfish. I will quote a passage from a famous Sioux Indian poem, “how can you buy or sell the sky, every part of this land is sacred to my people every shining pine needle is sacred every sandy shore every mist in the dark woods every clearing and humming insect is holy to me…” Chief Seattle. This is trying to say God gives the earth to us; it should be treasured and protected. Just imagine a world, a barren wasteland imagine a place where a forest used to be, gone forever all you see is desolation. Man with pesticides is destroying the soil the water and the wonderful forest God gave us.

Three Thoughts on Project Belize
1. The people of PwC really are helping the people of Belize. I know that should be obvious, but it’s not always the case with opportunities like this (service trips, mission trips, NGO partnerships, etc). Irma Vernon, a Belizean teacher, and my co-facilitator during the week, was inspired with the curriculum noting “with these materials we can develop ourselves as individuals, and our country as a nation." I was skeptical heading down to Belize. Are we going to ‘save’ people with financial literacy? Will we be artificially injecting time and money into the country, messing up the established order? Keep in mind — we take over Belize City’s largest hotel for two weeks, employ private security, rent private buses to transport us all over, and order several hundred lunches each day to be delivered all over the city. One can only imagine ‘winning’ the PwC contract is like realizing you’re the only person in town with a working generator when the electricity is shut off. But I found a firm that was very aware of its surroundings. Mindful of its own presence. And perhaps most importantly — understanding of Belizean people and culture. The teachers and principals that I interacted with this week crave the lessons in budgeting, savings, and paying it forward that we offer. Implementation was always in their own lives first, then their families, then their students, and finally with friends, neighbors, and in the greater community. The community stands to benefit greatly from the financial literacy curriculum and PwC’s presence in Belize City. The private security, transportation, and food provided to us each day was all local. I would guess there is a safer, faster, and healthier way to protect, move, and feed hundreds of people every day, using US based companies and staff. I don’t know all the ins and outs of our sourcing process, but it’s clear we shopped local. And I believe we as a firm are more authentic and on mission because of it. I’m saying this not just as a proud PwC employee but also through the toxic stench of Gen Y manufactured distrust towards giant entities like PwC. Full disclosure: I’m Gen Y.

International Sources

Remember Melissa Bolona? The Beach Bunny Swimwear model search winner? Well, here she is, getting to work on the beaches of Sanctuary Belize. You will notice as you watch that not only is Melissa Bolona a really good selection for the Beach Bunny Swimwear model search, but also that she is Belize with a couple of other Beach Bunny models. Namely, Nina Agdal and Irina Shayk (that’s them together below). Now I knew that Xenia Deli, Valerie van der Graaf, and Chrissy Teigen were Beach Bunny models, but I was not aware that Nina Agdal was as well. See? This video is not only sexy, it’s informative!!

Nicaragua, Honduras and Belize confirm participation at ILTM Americas
New resorts, ecotourism projects and historical properties from the Latin Riviera are significant new names on the guest list for this year’s ILTM Americas in Riviera Maya, Mayakoba, Mexico, September 30 – October 3, 2013 [ ]. Trailblazing properties from Nicaragua, Honduras and Belize are among those who have confirmed their participation in their first ILTM event; to meet with buyers from across the Americas and be part of next year’s travel plans for their high-net worth clients. Simon Mayle, ILTM Head of Marketing added: “Never before have such incredible new products from the latest hot destination of the Latin Riviera elected to gather in one place to show the world of luxury travel their defining offering. Their very ‘sense of place’ will enthrall those invited to attend ILTM Americas: diverse cultures, captivating indigenous markets, spectacular wildlife, smoking volcanoes, serene lakes, steamy jungles, and idyllic white sand beaches. Standing alongside the many global brands also taking part, ILTM Americas is proving to be un-missable for discerning new luxury travel buyers from the Americas to be able to plan their client’s itineraries for 2014 and beyond.”

RSO CATHALAC develops forest cover map of Belize
UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office CATHALAC (Water Center for the Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean) has just developed the first version of a 2012 forest cover map of Belize. This research was carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries, and Sustainable Development of the Government of Belize, Lancaster University of the UK and the Environmental Research Institute of the University of Belize.

July 18, 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

Costa Maya Festival® presents Miss Mexico!
Representing Mexico is Artemisa Rivera Montañés. Artemisa is a stunning 22-year-old who stands at 5’7”, and she hails from Zacatecas. She was the NuestraBelleza Zacatecas representative in 2012 who is gunning for the title of Reina de La Costa Maya®. Artemisa will be joining Destinee Arnold (Belize), Andrea Rojas (Costa Rica), Monica Elwing Gough (Honduras), AriadnaMelendez (Nicaragua)and Cleirys Velasquez (Panama)on stage, Thursday August 1st. Who will be 2013’s Reina de la Costa Maya? Be sure to get your tickets and be there in person to find out! Three-day Season Passes are available at $60 for children and $140 for adults.

Belize succumbs to Cuba and ends her Gold Cup debut
Belize faced off with Cuba in her final game of Division C at the CONCACAF Gold Cup. A 4-0 win for either team would result in advancing to the next level, the “knock out stage”. The game took place at 3:30PM local time (Belize) in the Rentschler Field in Hartford, Connecticut, USA on Tuesday, July 16th. The game ended in a 4-0 score with Cuba advancing to the next stage of the Gold Cup. Belize started the game off strongly, and held its ground with a strong defense from goal keeper Woodrow West. Belize received three free kicks in the first half but none managed to lead to a goal. Belize had a golden opportunity to score while Cuba’s goalkeeper was down and no defense was around but the attempt fell short. Cuba’s Ariel Martinez delivered the first goal in the 38th minute of the game putting them in a 1-0 lead. Cuba continued to play on the offensive for the rest of the first half but failed at all goal attempts.

Ole Miss M-Powered Magazine receives award for article on Belize
The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) M-Powered Magazine received a RFK Journalism Award for their spring 2012 issue detailing the students’ service experience in Belize. The university’s entry was amongst 11 winners:eight professional and three student categories submitted from all over the United States of America. The award winners were announced on July 15th by The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights as part of its annual RFK Book and Journalism Awards. M-Powered’s Spring 2012 issue featured the Ole Miss students learning through service in Belize. It details the university’s work as well as the students’ contribution to the improvement made in the San Mateo Area of San Pedro Town. The articles in the magazine document the San Mateo Empowerment Project, a brain child of former Ole Miss professor Kim Shackelford. While there are several stories, the main article is entitled “The Road to Belize” and Cain Madden, the writer of the main story, explains that by empowering a community to rise out of poverty through a Study Abroad Project, it transforms students’ lives. It also detailed the reality and level of poverty in Belize’s main tourism destination, Ambergris Caye.

Not guilty verdict for five locals caught in Hol Chan Marine Reserve
Five residents of San Pedro Town were found not guilty on Thursday July 11th before Magistrate Sherigne Rodriguez after they were charged on the suspicion that they were fishing within the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. The charges arose from an incident on the 28th of July, 2012 when the Michael Kuhn – boat captain, Roan Gonzalez – licensed tour guide, Guillermo Valdez – licensed tour guide, Melvin Montesino – fishermen and a 13 year old minor, all of San Pedro Town, were caught sometime around 11PM inside the reserve on a boat named ‘Natural Mystic.’ At the time, The Belize Fisheries Department on behalf of the Government of Belize charged the five for illegally fishing within a marine reserve (which went against the Belize Marine Reserve and Protected Areas Act of the Laws of Belize.) Around the time of the incident, Hol Chan Marine Reserve Ranger had set up a sting operation after receiving information of illegal activities within the reserve. That night, the rangers sighted lights in the reserve and found the vessel with the five males within the park.

Ambergris Today

Belmopan Youth Summer Camp Kicks Off
A Youth Summer Camp for a total of over 350 students was officially opened this morning in Belmopan. The Summer Camp is co-sponsored by Minister of National Security and Belmopan Area Representative Hon. John Saldivar; Mayor Simeon Lopez and the Belmopan City Council; and the Belmopan Sports Council. Official ceremonies to open the summer camp were held this morning at the Hilltop Basketball and Tennis Court in Belmopan. Speakers included Hon. John Saldivar, Mayor Simeon Lopez and Belmopan Sports Coordinator Angelica Reyes. Master of Ceremonies was Deputy Mayor Joel Westby and the Vote of Thanks was delivered by City Councilor with responsibility for events Victor Perdomo. The Summer Camp involves sports in six disciplines: Tennis, Football and Softball are running for the first two weeks, from July 15 to July 26; Basketball, Volleyball and Chess will run for the next two weeks, from July 29 to August 9.

Caye Caulker Student Wins International and National Scholarships
Yvon Noralez, graduate of Caye Caulker Ocean Academy, wins National and International Scholarships recognizing Creativity and Youth Leadership - Yvon Noralez is one of 25 students from 13 countries to be awarded an Adobe Creativity Scholarship administered by the Institute of International Education. The Creativity Scholarship program provides financial support to students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, a strong creative portfolio and commitment to pursuing a career in a creative field. Yvon is interested in developing his talents in photography and graphic design. Funded by the Creativity Scholarship, he will start sixth-form Fine Arts studies in the fall at St. John’s Junior College. Yvon was eligible for this full scholarship opportunity because of his participation in the Adobe Youth Voices Program (AYV) classes at Caye Caulker Ocean Academy. AYV follows a creativity curriculum and provides the digital tools, training and professional mentorship students need to develop essential skills such as self-expression, collaboration, flexibility and persistence. All AYV students produce original projects in video, photography, animation and other digital media categories spotlighting issues important to them.

Accountability and Alignment in Education
Following last month’s release of very low proficiency scores for primary school students who took the 2013 PSE examinations, “Education” suddenly became a heated topic in Belize. Prior to the release of the PSE outcomes, the topic of Education was discussed mostly by educators and perhaps a few concerned parents. Now, it continues to make news, and draws gut-wrenching reactions and strongly-voiced negative opinions (“that’s not how it’s done”) from parents, businessmen, politicians, and almost everyone in Belize. However, what seems ironic (even hypocritical) is that a large portion of our community now suddenly knows what’s wrong with our Education systems. In my May 30, 2013 Blog, only days before the PSE scores bombshell exploded in Belize, I specifically reminded readers that the only way to make sure that our children get an Education that includes genuine “learning” is to eradicate from our vocabulary the phrase “their job” (schools and teachers) and replace it with “our job” (everyone who now is screaming). Common Misconceptions of Education Nonetheless, as all things political go, we will eventually exhaust our energies in this ongoing crossfire of how best to educate young students. However, after we have pointed fingers, accused, politicized and belittled people whom we choose to blame (other than ourselves) for the PSE low scores, then what do we do?

Ambar Ayala Graduates From International University of Monaco
Ambar Ayala graduated with a Bachelor's Degree majoring in Business Administration and International Business from the International University of Monaco on Friday, July 5, 2013. Ambar, a graduate of San Pedro High School and of Corozal Junior College will continue to reside in Monaco while pursuing a Master's of Science Degree in International Marketing.

Misc Belizean Sources

Education in Belize: New Models of Success
The policymakers of Education in Belize consist of Government and Church leaders; and they are responsible for schooling/educating all students in Primary and Secondary schools. Yet, despite the fact that Belize is now an Independent nation in the 21st Century, our Education policymakers continue to confuse students even more than they already may be confused, by insisting that students focus on old Colonial versions of success, rather than on the students’ 21st Century visions of success. Examples: Upon completing high school students must pass Colonial Era based O’ level exams. Originally, these exams were British GCE or General Certificate of Education that were used from back in the early 1950’s (long before Belize was Independent); but now the O’ level exams are administered by CXC, or Caribbean Examination Council. Students who earn high school diplomas without passing O’ level CXC passes are not admitted into institutions of higher learning (university), nor do they qualify for good-paying jobs. In examinations, students try to think and write exactly how they were taught in class, for fear of failing tests/exams. In other words, students are encouraged to memorize answers, instead of using critical thinking skills that are very much required today.

Full Moon Concert Saturday July 20th
The Corozal House of Culture is pleased to be presenting another Full Moon Concert Saturday July 20th, beginning at 7:30 pm in front of the House of Culture. Please join us for a night of reggae sounds, showcasing original and popular reggae music by Melodyman Escobar and friends.

Vacancies at San Pedro High
Vacancies exist for the following posts at San Pedro High School for the present school year 2013=2014

Chiquibul Symposium 2013
The Chiquibul Symposium will be taking place this Friday, July 19. The agenda for the event has been posted. "Join us at the first national symposium on the amazing but threatened Chiquibul Forest where Valerie Woods will gather some of the brightest minds from conservation, business, government and national security agencies to share critical information about this biodiversity hotspot and discuss strategies to reduce threats to it."

WIN-Belize supports Revised National Gender Policy
The Women’s Issues Network (WIN-Belize) says it has contacted its member organizations and reached consensus on fully accepting the Revised National Gender Policy, 2013. A statement put out by WIN-Belize says that the Revised National Gender Policy “is founded on principles outlined in the Belize Constitution and in International Conventions and Agreements signed and ratified by the Government of Belize.” Calling it a “progressive development policy promoting human rights, gender equality and gender equity,” WIN-Belize claims that its members work with the government “to ensure that persons are able to access the services provided and receive relevant information” in the areas of health, education & skills training, wealth and employment generation, violence producing conditions, and power and decision making.

Facilitating Entrepreneurship in Belize
In Belize entrepreneurial ventures are the key to keeping our economy afloat. Small businesses account for well over 50% of all employment, thus it becomes vital to facilitate and nurture an entrepreneurial culture throughout our country. Entrepreneurs tend to be innovative, proactive, risk-takers who reach for change, respond to it and exploit opportunities, and in turn convert a source into a resource. Keeping in-line with this, the Small Business Development Centre Belize, BELTRAIDE, with its mandate to provide advisory and training services to entrepreneurs and groups has been working tirelessly to strengthen Belize’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Sector.

July 7, 2013 - July 13, 2013 Fishing Report
Off and on weather throughout the week put a damper on several days this week. Bonefish were very cooperative; permit had a holiday from our anglers since the lodge was dominated by tarpon folks. The tagging expedition has included seminars about tarpon like leader design, fighting techniques and included some fascinating tagging results from Florida presented by Bruce Unger of the University of Miami, Tarpon are amazing creatures with a secret life that we are just starting to see. Please join Bonefish tarpon Trust to keep this research going!

What It’s Really Like To Dive The Great Blue Hole
Thousands of Scuba Divers flock to Belize annually, and most of them only have the Great Blue Hole to check off their list. It is perhaps the most famous dive site in Belize, definitely one of the most advertised by domestic tourism investors, yet it disappoints many divers. Imagine, after weeks or months of anticipation and after all the hyped up articles and Ads with cliché captions, you complete a dive and realize you would be just fine if you never did it again? This is the reaction I have mostly seen over the hundreds of trips I have supervised at the Blue Hole, and I feel obligated to mention, before I go any further, that this dive site is a tad over rated, and could be very disappointing if you are the type of diver who enjoys colorful coral reef diving. It saddens me to say that the Blue Hole of Belize has become known only as a “bucket list dive”, because for most, it’s the type you absolutely must get off your list but really don’t care if you ever visit again. There’s hope however, for I think false assumptions and expectations are one of the main causes of disappointment. This dive site is different, it is the sort of novelty dive that, given the right conditions, can be enjoyed if approached with the right mind-set and expectations.

Channel 7

A Tainted Return For Gold Cup Team
Less then 24 hours after finishing last in the Gold Cup, Belize’s National Football Selection returned home today with a good many hard lessons learned and a fair amount of division about the way forward under American coach Ian Mork. 7news was at the airport and we got many perspectives on what went wrong and what worked for us at the Gold Cup. Jules Vasquez reports:… Jules Vasquez reporting The team returned today not to a motorcade or a hero’s welcome but a warm and grateful welcome, autographs were still being sought and there were plenty hugs and heartfelt handshakes to go around. There was also enough blame to go around for yesterday’s epic loss - much of it directed at Coach Ian Mork. Travis 'Burger' Lennan - Frustrated With Coaching Decisions "I think the coach held me down too much - he held a lot of us down, the seniors were put on the bench and I think we could helped them in those situations but he had his own reasons why he did that."

Belmopan Taxi-Man Found Dead, Police Say Homicide
Tonight, Belmopan police are working on a homicide case after a missing taxi-man’s body was found this afternoon on the outskirts of the capital. 45 year old Jose Marin Umana was last seen by his wife on Saturday morning when he left her store on Nicaragua Street in Belmopan. He left with a man in his car, but never came back home. She reported him missing on Saturday the 15th July and this afternoon at 4:30 police found his body in an area between George Price Boulevard and the Western Highway. The body was found in his taxi and was in an advanced state of decomposition. A post mortem will have to be conduced on site, but so far police believe he may have suffered an injury to the head. We’ll have more on this tomorrow.

KHMH Says Baby Elbira Had A Heart Defect
On Monday, 7News showed you the family from San Antonio Toledo who lost their premature baby at the KHMH. Lawrence Bol told us that his baby girl, Lorena, was in great health when he left her and a few hours later, when he and his wife returned their child was dead. He told us that he was shocked by it, and found the explanation from the doctor inadequate. Well, a post-mortem was conducted by Dr. Hugh Sanchez on Lorena – who they have listed as Elbira Ack. Dr. Sanchez certified that she died as a result of a latent congenital abnormality of the heart – which basically means that she was born with a bad heart. According to the KHMH, this abnormality was too severe, and it claimed her life. Their position is that they couldn’t do anything further for her.

Mayor Dodges Contempt Proceedings, Again
7News has been closely following a case filed by the Belize Waste Control, where they were pressing for Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley for contempt in relation to an unpaid arbitration award of 2.3 million dollars. As we’ve reported, this is a debt owed for several years, and Waste Control became tired of the City Council not making any attempt to pay the money, so they initiated proceedings before Justice Michelle Arana for Bradley to be cited for contempt to force his hand. The mayor was risking, seizure of his or City Hall’s assets, a fine, or being sent to jail. At every adjournment of the case, Waste Control’s attorney, Fred Lumor, exited telling the media that all the proposals by City Hall to pay the debt was unacceptable, and that they were forcing him closer and closer to start the contempt proceedings, which he was very reluctant to do. Today was the very last chance that he was giving the Mayor to come with a decent proposal, and apparently Bradley delivered. For the first time since this matter came before the court, Lumor exited and told the media that BWC and City Council came to an amicable resolution. Here’s how he explained it: Fred Lumor - Attorney for Belize Waste Control "We just signed points of agreement before the judge so we have resolved the matter so there is no need to proceed any further. The only outstanding issue is that we are going to sign a formal agreement containing the points of agreement. Once that is done we will return to court sometime in the year and withdraw the application that we have filed to site the Mayor for contempt. The settlement involves Belize Waste Control taking a reduced payment than the $2.3 million dollars awarded as the damages and in return the City Council is going to put in place some enforcement measures to stop the illegal garbage collection in the city, especially commercial collection and then address some other aspects of their contratual obligations - so in a nutshell that is what we have done."

GSU Arrests Major Gang Names
Tonight, 26 year-old Kareem “Robbery” Lopez is out on bail after he was taken to Magistrate’s Court for failure to report to police as a deportee. According to the Gang Suppression Unit, they detained him yesterday morning after he repeatedly failed to report to police after being deported from the US for illegal entry. As a result, he was charged with failure to report to police, and failing to notify the Commissioner of Police of a change of residence. He was arraigned today before Magistrate Clive Lino, who granted him bail of $3,000. He was able to meet it, and he must return to court on August 15. According to the GSU, Lopez is a reputed member of the George Street Gang. Another deportee who the GSU arrested yesterday was 27 year-old Brandon “BT” Tillett. They detained him at an apartment complex at #100 George Street.

Jamaican Gay Man Takes Belize, Trinidad to Court Over Discriminatory Immig Laws
The country is waiting patiently for Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin to rule on the UNIBAM challenge to Belize’s Sodomy Laws. Well, before that decision is handed down, another of Belize's sexually discriminatory laws is being challenged at the highest court in the land, the Caribbean Court of Justice. Viewers may remember, Maurice Tomlinson, the Jamaican Gay Activist who turned down UNIBAM’s invitation to conduct sensitization sessions. He did that because he discovered that under Section 5 of Belize’s Immigration Act, he would be breaking the laws to enter the country to conduct this workshop. This section states that prohibited immigrants include, quote "Any prostitute or homosexual who may have been living off or receiving proceeds of prostitution or homosexual behavior," end quote. Tomlinson, who is married to a Canadian man, says that this law violates his right to freedom of movement within the Caribbean Community. Trinidad and Tobago is the only other member of CARICOM which shares immigration laws similar to this one, and as a result, he has taken a challenge to the CCJ – in Trinidad - forcing both countries to respond.

Men Fired From Prison Claim Wrongful Dismissal
7News has been closely following the termination of employees of the Kolbe Foundation Prison. It has sparked a libel suit in the Supreme Court between the Administration and a group of employees calling themselves the Belize Central Prison Employees Correlation. Well, tonight, we note that there are 2 more employees who say that they were wrongfully terminated, because of what they call frivolous reasons. We can’t actually get into a discussion of the why they say they were terminated because it involves allegation of criminal behavior, but no police report has been made. However, these two former employees spoke to us this evening, to explain the circumstances: Felipe Gongora - Former Prison Officer "Sometime around 2:00 I was called at the Human Resources office by the Deputy Chief officer Cocom and I was informed that my services were no longer required at the prison. There was no indication - the letter does not clear why but we have an idea more or less. Basically we are upset by the way we were treated by the management by the Colby Foundation and therefore we just want the public our dissatisfaction with the foundation itself because of the way we were treated. I'm a veteran prison officer for 19 years now, I served as the Chairperson for the officers welfare committee or Employees Welfare Committee and I had been vocal with management when it came to injustices of our officers so I had expected that at some time they would get me - but not like this. They have no reason whatsoever to terminate me just like that so I was unjustly treated."

Kids Learn About Cash Creation and Management
And so, while these employees must figure out how they will budget their termination earnings until they find work, primary school children around the city have been practicing financial prudence. It’s part of a dedicated and longstanding program by Price Waterhouse Coopers, Peacework, and the Ministry of Education, to teach the next generation about how to be entrepreneurs. Today, after 2 weeks of training the children, they held a business fair to see how well the students could translate the concepts of financial literacy into actual realistic businesses. 7News dropped by the displays to see how well they’ve learned spend money responsibly: Tanisha Myers - Teacher, St. John's Anglican School "It's geared at teaching about financial literacy - we know that in today's day and age and in Belizean families on a whole - they don't know a lot about budgeting. When we think about budgeting, we think about having our pay check last from this month to the next without anything saved in between. So this camp is geared at making our children be more business savvy and to be more conscious and aware of how to budget their monies."

Problem Croc Gets Moved From San Pedro
Today, a crocodile came to Belize City in A chicken boat! Sounds like a strange story, but really, it’s quite straightforward. The eight foot American Crocodile, known as Mr. Chet was removed from San Pedro after it killed two dogs in the last three months; one of the dogs weighed almost 60 pounds! Removing it from the island was the last option; first it was relocated 30 miles north after it killed one dog – but the croc returned to the same area and killed another. It was brought to the city this afternoon AT 3:00 and handed over to Vince Rose from the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary who will take it to their facility in Ladyville where it will be kept for educational displays only.

Learning B-Ball From The Eagles
This morning the Bird’s Isle Basketball Court was buzzing as the Ministry of Sports continued their second week of summer camps. The camp we visited caters for 40 children per day focusing mainly on basketball techniques for youngsters. And who better to help strengthen those techniques than the Galen Eagles Basketball Squad? It’s all a part of the players performing their community service for their education while assisting these youths. We found out more. Bernie Tarr - Technical Officer, Basketball "This is a basketball camp put together by Minister Longsworth with the National's Sports Council - what we've done was taken the Galen Basketball team to come here a few days during the week and assist with the camp. Basically it really teaches the players, as their role models, not just basketball players and it gives them a chance to interact with the kids. They are having a good time, enjoying it and developing some relationships with some of the younger guys, learning some fundamentals of basketball."

Belize U-16 Team Wins
And while those students learn to play Basketball from Galen University, a team of talented young men have performed excellently at a tournament in Mexico. The Hoop Dreams Basketball Club participated in the U16 Copa Cancun Basketball Tournament this weekend along with 12 teams. Hoop Dreams defeated 4 of these teams in division A with a margin as large as 50 points, and none of their opponents got closer than 27-points to them. They advanced to the semi-finals, and then to the finals, where they were finally defeated. They didn’t leave empty handed because Glincy “Cope” Lopez was named MVP of the tournament, and the team’s coach, Brads Neal, was named Coach of the Tournament.

Channel 5

The Jaguars return home
After a heartbreaking loss to Cuba on Tuesday afternoon, which crushed their hopes in the first round of the Gold Cup, the players of Team Belize returned home early this [...]

Goalie, Woodrow West yelled stick to the plan
Coach Ian Mork did not make it back…it is not because he is leaving the team, but because he stayed in the U.S. to deal with personal matters relating to [...]

Post-Cuba game wrap up with Shane Orio
There are reliable reports coming out of Hartford, Connecticut that things got a little heated in the locker room after Cuba defeated Belize four zero because emotions were running high. [...]

Post-Cuba game wrap up with players
While the focus has been on the team captain, the coach and the goalkeepers, the other players on the team also had their post-game comments.   Deon McCaulley, Belize National [...]

FFB Exec talks about restructure
With zero points on three losses and no wins during round one, the Belize Jaguars earned the dubious distinction of being the team with the worst stats in the Gold [...]

Should athletes representing the country be on government’s payroll?
Should athletes that represent the country professionally be on government payroll? Yes No

Body of missing Belmopan resident found on road
A taxi driver from the Belmopan area disappeared over the past weekend. The father of a four year old daughter went missing after a fare hired him on Saturday morning [...]

KHMH says newborn died of heart failure
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital today issued a very brief release on the cause of death of baby Lorena Bol who was born last Friday and died two days later [...]

Belize Waste Control will get funds owed by City Hall
Earlier this year, Belize City Mayor, Darrell Bradley appeared in court—not as a legal practitioner, but for contempt in respect of a garbage debt owed to Belize Waste Control to [...]

US Grant aided WinBelize supports Gender Policy
The Revised Gender Policy 2013 has come under attack from various sectors, but today, the Women’s Issues Network better known as Win Belize came out in support of the policy. [...]

Second murder acquittal for Gabriel Salazar
A San Pedro resident has been acquitted of a murder charge by Justice Denis S. Hanomansingh in the Dangriga Supreme Court. The murder occurred on September 12, 2009 at Johnson’s [...]

Another deportee gets charged locally
Three alleged gang members who were deported from the US have been arrested and charged. Roger Anthony, who has said that he is the leader of the Ghost Town Crips, [...]

Team returns but FFB Executive still detained in USA
The Jaguars are back in Belize, but F.F.B. Vice President, Rawell Pelayo, is not. Pelayo was nabbed reportedly by the Drug Enforcement Agency as he passed through Houston on his [...]

USAID gives cash stimulus to BDARRT, a disaster management group
A U.S. thirty thousand dollar agreement was signed today in Belmopan to provide support training to the Belize Disaster and Rescue Response, BDARRT. A team of volunteers will benefit from [...]

Wow! Awesome and amazing Superstar performances
Group B in Be the Next Superstar returns to the Bliss stage tonight bringing with them the hype and energy that characterized the group when they made their debut.  Tonight, [...]


Missing Taxi Driver Found Dead
Earlier this week we reported that a Belmopan taxi driver had been reported missing. We join Correspondent Fem Cruz for an update. FEM CRUZ “The search for 45-year-old, Jose Umana, a resident of Nicaragua Street Extension in the Salvapan, Belmopan came to a sad end around 4 o&...

Belize Jaguars Team Returns Home
The Jaguars Football team touched down this morning at the Philip Goldson International Airport. The team has returned after competing in the CONCACAF Gold Cup that is taking place in the United States. The team failed to qualify to the second round of competition after losing all thr...

Galen University Holds Fundraiser for National Team
Before heading to the United States to be part of the CONCACAF Gold Cup Tournament, the Belize Jaguars Football Team needed funds. The Football Federation Of Belize held a telethon and several other organizations and institutions chipped in to assist. While the Jaguars were in the US, Galen Unive...

Garifuna Film Screens In Southern Belize
The film Garifuna in Peril will be shown tonight in Punta Gorda at the Parish Hall. Love News spoke to co-producers Ali Aliyeh and Michael Reyes to find out more. ALI ALIYEH / MICHAEL REYES “Garifuna In Peril is the first film in the Garifuna language and it’s the first ...

Belizean Youth Heads To Brazil For Catholic World Youth Day
The Catholic World Youth Day 2013 will be held in Rio de Janerio, Brazil. This is a biennial event where close to a million young people from around the world gather to focus on religious faith and youth. This year the event will be held from the 23 to the 28th of July. A delega...

Disaster and Rescue Response Team Gets Grant for US Government
The Belize Disaster and Rescue Response Team, B-DARRT, today received the first half of a 60 thousand-dollar grant from the United States government for just that – disaster, rescue and response. It is funded by the US Agency for International Development’s office for Foreign Di...

Crocodile Captured After Terrorizing Residents in San Pedro
Late this evening a male crocodile arrived on the mainland from San Pedro after it was captured for terrorizing residents of the island. The crocodile, fondly name, Mr. Chet is being blamed for eating two dogs more than six weeks ago. The residents have had enough of the stubborn croc and today i...

Majority of Carnival Groups Demand Capital for Carnival 2013
Belize’s yearly September celebrations are soon upon us and with those celebrations comes the traditional carnival excitement. But reliable reports to Love News are that contentions are building up between various carnival groups and the National Institute of Culture and History. Reports ar...

Belizean Living In US Gets Prison Sentenced Reduced
A Belizean man who has been living in the United States for the past 25 years will be deported back to Belize after he serves thirty two years in prison in Hammond, Illinois, USA. 34-year-old Tyrone 'Zero' Reynolds was initially sentenced to life in prison in 2011 but was recently g...


Team Jaguars Is Back In Belize, This Time There Is No Fanfare
For the first time in Belize’s history a national selection headed out to the U.S to participate in the Gold Cup, with high hopes. But after enduring a horrible defeat...

Music, Art And Dance At The BHOC
By now summer programs are well under way in several municipalities across the jewel and here at home, is no different. Many organizations, including the Banquitas House of Culture, have...

No Legal Action Taken Against BSCFA, As Yet
As we told you at the top of the newscast, the first round of negotiations for the new Sugar Purchasing Agreement between the Belize Cane Farmers Association and the Belize...

Belize Has One Of The Highest Percentage Of Untrained Teachers
For the past two days we have been reporting on the challenges faced by the Education Sector in Belize, with the guidance of a recent study published by the Inter-American...

BWU Wants To Reel In BSI Contract Workers
Contract of Employment and contract for employment may sound the same to you but the phrases have two different meanings. This is according to the president of the Belize Worker’s...

BSCFA And BSI Meet To Negotiate Sugar Purchasing Agreement
Representatives of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and the Belize Sugar Industries Limited, met today for the second day of negotiations of the new BSFCA/BSI Sugar Purchasing Agreement. The...

IMF Pleased With Belize's Economic Performance
The International Monetary Fund, IMF is giving the Government of Belize good marks on its report card for the country’s recent economic recovery. In a release issued late...


Crocodile Placed in Jail for Misbehaving
Late this evening a male crocodile arrived on the mainland from San Pedro after it was captured for terrorizing residents of the island. The crocodile, fondly name, Mr. Chet is being blamed for eating two dogs more than six weeks ago. The residents have had enough of the stubborn croc and today it was taken in captivity in Ladyville. According to Vincent Rose, the founder of the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary, under the authority of the Belize Forest Department, ACES will keep the crocodile at its main facility located at Caribbean Shrimp Farm, Ladyville, for educational display only.


Jaguars return to Belize
After taking on the giant of USA and good professional teams Costa Rica and Cuba, our humble little Belize Jaguars returned home with their heads held high as they were received with a resounding applause by their family, friends and fans waiting outside the P.G.I.A. Belize...

Many in Belize City Constitution March were not affiliated with Church Organisations
Yesterday, the nationwide series of Constitutional March continued in Belize City, the turnout was impressive, with more than a thousand persons, but what caught the attention of many was the diversity of those taking a stand for the Constitution of Belize and demonstrating their grievances...

Maurice Tomlinson challenges the immigration laws of Belize
A hearing for special leave under the original jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) will be heard in November as Jamaican homosexual advocate Maurice Tomlinson challenges the immigration laws of Belize and Trinidad and Tobago, which he says legally bar him from entering either country because he...

Queen signs Same-Sex Marriage Bill
It was a great day for homosexuals in Britain. This morning Queen Elizabeth II gave her approving stamp on a bill, which was first proposed by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron, to legalize same sex unions in England and Wales. This law will allow homosexuals...

Religious Leaders in Dominican Republic protest US President’s nomination for Ambassador
While first world countries are embracing the homosexual agenda, Caribbean countries are being targeted by those first world countries to also welcome that lifestyle. The pressure on Caribbean nations has come in the form of threat of financial restrictions for non compliance, lawsuits, policies, and international conventions. Caribbean Countries...

New initiative to build Belize’s capacity for disaster risk management
A new initiative to build Belize’s capacity for disaster risk management and response was signed today. The United States Agency for International Development is providing thirty grand to the Belize Disaster and Rescue Response Team. The money will go toward the training of the District Emergency Rescue Response Unit...

Two persons arrested and charged with drug trafficking
A George Town resident was busted with over two hundred grams of cannabis. The home of 40 year old Wilfred Hamilton, was searched by Police yesterday, where they discovered the weed. Also present at the time of the search was 43 year old Flora Valentine, who also resides at...

KHMH say Baby Lorena died of Heart Failure
Lawrence Bol’s grieving continues. Early Sunday Morning Bol’s recently born child passed away under the care of the KHMH. He had approached the media desperately seeking answers to this misfortune as he believes his baby was healthy. He was shocked by the turn of events. Here’s what he told...

Adventist Youths March for Godly Principles in Belmopan
The series of Constitutional marches have been drawing massive supporters throughout the country. With its success, some people have been asking, will there be a march on the Capital City and if so, when? While we do not have that information available at this time, we want to remind...

The July 14th, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • The Anti - LGBT March Comes To Town:
    As they continue the protest against the Lesbian, Gay, Bi- Sexual and Transvestite (LGBT) agenda, the movement arrived in San Ignacio on Tuesday, July 9 for a protest march through principal streets in San Ignacio and Santa Elena. The march comprising mostly pastors and followers from evangelical churches between Belmopan and Benque Viejo, as well as from communities in between, was attended by several hundreds of protesters. It began at around 10:00 am at the Macal River Park in San Ignacio where it also ended at around 1:00 pm in a heavy downpour of rain. While the protest is clearly against the Lesbians Gays Bi-Sexuals And Transvestites ( LGBT) agenda, as borne out by the placards carried by participants, organizers have confusingly say that the movement hasno room
  • Two Weeks - Two Bodies Fished From The Macal River:
    The body of another male person was fished out of the Macal River. Exactly fifteen days after the discovery of the decomposed body of Cyril Margarito Cal, 28, Belizean, of a Hillview address in Santa Elena Town, police are again reporting another body found floating in the Macal River this time more downstream near the wooden bridge. San Ignacio police reports the receipt of a call on the emergency line at around 9:15 am on Monday, July 8, 2013, of a body floating on the Macal River about 100 yards downstream from the wooden bridge linking the twin municipalities of San Ignacio and Santa Elena.
  • Marijuana Bust On The Bus:
    manning the Anti-Lesbian, Gay, Bi- Sexual and Transvestite protest rally in San Ignacio, a young man from neighboring Guatemala is alleged to have attempted to move weed through the town. Acting upon information received, the police mounted an emergency check point on Joseph Andrews Drive at the intersection with 5th Street in San Ignacio. They conducted a search on a green passenger bus from the Belize Bus Owners Cooperative, where they came upon a young fellow sitting inside the bus with the trademark knapsack on his lap. The black bag was searched and was found to contain two parcels tightly wrapped in brown transparent tape. When opened the parcels were found to contain suspected marijuana. A further search under his seat led to the discovery of another knapsack, this time a green one, and when opened was found to contain another two parcels of suspected marijuana.
  • Belize Gets Unique Support From Back Home:
    Soon after the elation over clinching a first berth in the CONCACAF Gold Cup had subsided, the work began for Belize. And it was not just on the training grounds. The Jaguars turned to fundraisers, doing a little bit of everything to get the necessary money to not only prepare for the tournament, but also head to the United States two days early to get acclimated to a different enviroment and the artificial turf at Portland’s JELD-WEN Field, foreign to the tiny Central American country. “Man, we did all kinds of things to reach where we’re at right now,” defender Ian Gaynair said following the team’s training session Thursday morning. “Thanks to our country for supporting us. We did barbeques, telethons, all kinds of things. The country is actually supporting us little by little now and I’m so thankful for that.”
  • Your Words Carry Power!:
    Daily Grace Inspirations From Joseph Prince Ministries Ecclesiastes 8:4 Where the word of a king is, there is power… In Bible times, a king’s word carried tremendous power. What he decreed would come to pass. It would be done. For example, if he said, “Raise the taxes,” the taxes would be raised. Do you know that we are kings? The Bible tells us that Jesus has washed us from our sins with His blood and made us kings. (Revelation 1:5–6) And as kings in Christ, our words carry power too. When we place our hands on a sick person and say, “Be healed,” the person is healed. When we lay hands on our children and say, “Be blessed,” our children are blessed. There is power in our words because they are the words of kings!
  • US Allies Mexico, Chile And Brazil Seek Spying Answers:
    US allies Mexico, Brazil, Colombia and Chile have joined other Latin American nations in demanding answers from Washington over spying allegations. Brazilian media reported earlier this week that the US had seized web traffic and phone calls across the region. Spying targets included oil and energy firms, Venezuela's military purchases and information on Mexico's drug wars. The reports, based on leaks by fugitive Edward Snowden, said the US ran a "data-collection base" in Brasilia. The O Globo newspaper said the US facility in the Brazilian capital was part of a network of 16 such bases maintained by the National Security Agency (NSA) around the world to intercept transmissions from foreign satellites.
  • Congratulations Are In Order:
    Congratulations are definitely in order for Jonathan Cariddi and the entire staff at Mr. Greedy’s Pizzeria located in the heart of downtown San Ignacio town for receiving the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award. “The accolade, which honours hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Only the top-performing 10 per cent of businesses world wide listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award.
  • Are The Churches Promoting Hate Crimes?:
    Are The Churches Promoting Hate Crimes? The Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Senator Lisel Alamilla has gone on record expressing grave concerns about what she perceives could be the promotion of hate crimes against gay men and women in Belize. A statement below, posted on Facebook, by the Minister has sparked critisism from all walks of life; “I do not oppose persons having different views or religious beliefs but it concerns me immensely when those are being communicated by misinformation, manipulation and fear which could result in hate crime. Belize is not a melting pot, the Belize that I know is a country where persons of different cultures, ethnic groups, religious beliefs, languages and history come together under one banner and respect diversity. We are a reef people, we are a forest people, we are Belizeans.
  • British Army Hands Over Trucks To BDF:
    The Belize Defense Force today received a total of Seventeen (17) Four-Ton Trucks from the British Army Training Support Unit Belize (BATSUB). The Handover took place at a short ceremony this afternoon in which the main speakers were British High Commissioner in Belize His Excellency Mr. Pat Ashworth and CEO in Belize’s Ministry of National Security Colonel (Ret.) George Lovell. Mr. Ashworth said his Government is pleased to be able to make the donation to the Belize Defense Force; and CEO Lovell said the Belize Government is very grateful for the assistance which will go a long way in enabling the BDF to transport its troops.
    HAPPIER LIFE I think everyone would agree happiness is an important part of life. What is happiness though? It is interesting that Merriam- Webster’s first definition of happiness is that of good fortune or prosperity. Although this can cause people to be happy, I do not think of happiness as good fortune. I believe the second definition is more fitting. Happiness is a state of well-being and contentment otherwise known as joy. Today I am going to share with you 10 EASY things you can do to bring more happiness or joy into your life. Envision what you want. Spend time each day thinking how you want your day to be. What do you want to accomplish? How do you want to feel?
  • STAR Humor
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices


“Communication” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
No lengthy preamble today from me as was the case in yesterday’s edition. Got up, spent a little time on the veranda with my iPad, showered, dressed and had breakfast. Then spent a little time exchanging emails with Excess International Movers (the company we are using to ship our “stuff” from the UK) to see if they have worked out how much it will add to the cost to ship one item (a table) which they couldn’t fit in to the planned number of crates. Hopefully today I will find out. Knowing that Belize’s final group game versus Cuba in the CONCACAF Gold Cup was kicking off at 3.30 pm (our time) we set off to visit our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize around 1.45 pm and got there just after 2 pm. On arrival we saw that Martin was working on finishing off the steps to the Ground Floor self-contained apartment.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Watarmelon Cake
Since summ'r is watarmelon seesen, I wantid to share thishere watarmelon cake at my sist'r, Grace, made fer air Dad’s 90th birthdee! Nairy onlee duz it look stunnyun' but it is a lite, heelthy alternatif' deessert fer a summ'r bbq er celebrashun. Accerdyun' to my sist'r here air t'simple instructyuns. 1. Cut a watarmelon n' half, the cut each half into servin sizet slices. Cut away t'rind.

International Sources

Divers Guide To Marine Life: Sharks
Divers love to see sharks, but we forget that part of what makes sharks so amazing is often in the details, not just in the toothy swim-by. Some interesting specifics of their life histories, feeding and behaviors from all over the world are good to know, too. There are still a lot of mysteries and unanswered questions about sharks but that is part of what makes them fascinating to us. Below is a list of the sharks that divers seek and see the most often and some key facts you’ll want to know about them. SPECIES GUIDE INCLUDES: Conservation status About the name/other names Physical description/size Range/habitat Maturity and reproduction What they eat Important or Fun Fact Diver interaction SPECIES: Blacktip Reef Shark Blue Shark Broadnose Sevengill Shark Bull Shark Caribbean Reef Shark Great Hammerhead Shark Great White Shark Grey Reef Shark Lemon Shark Nurse Shark Oceanic Whitetip Shark Tiger Shark Whale Shark

A Window Into The Past
This is part of the magnificent ruins protected in Tikal National Park, Guatemala. The site is located in an area of Guatemala known as the Peten, and Tikal is approximately 2 hours west of the Guatemala-Belize border. The structures in Tikal were built by the ancestors of the present-day Mayans who still live in parts of Honduras, Mexico, Belize and Guatemala. These early Mayans left other sites that are now world-famous tourist destinations, including Copan in Honduras and Chichen Itza in Mexico. Much like the case of places in the U.S.’s Southwest such as Mesa Verde and Chaco, these Mayan places were abandoned sometime in the 900s AD, probably due to several factors, including increasing pressures from enemies, exhaustion of resources, and the inability of the sites to feed their growing populations.

Maurice Tomlinson, the Jamaican attorney and HIV activist who recently sued three Jamaican TV channels for refusing to broadcast gay positive public service announcements, will be in court again Wednesday. This time for the first hearing of his challenge to the immigration entry bans of both Belize and the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago. The case has been brought in the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) which is the highest court in the region. The two countries are the only ones in the Caribbean, in fact the sole countries in the Western Hemisphere, with laws banning entry of homosexuals. Section 5(1) of the Immigration Act of Belize reads: “… [T]he following persons are prohibited immigrants – … (e) any prostitute or homosexual or any person who may be living on or receiving or may have been living on or receiving the proceeds of prostitution or homosexual behaviour….”

Local family wants justice for man killed in Belize
A bizarre murder mystery across the ocean has one Florida family pulling out all the stops to get answers. Authorities say Gregory Faull, 52, was killed in his home in Belize last November. But no arrests have been made. Action News spoke with Gregory Faull's father. He lives in St. Johns County. He says he thinks the only named person of interest in the case, famous antivirus software founder John McAfee, is responsible but will never pay the price. The family fears the case has gone cold, a dead end in a death being investigated hundreds of miles away. Gregory Faull was found dead in his home in Belize last November from a single gunshot to the head. Antivirus software founder and next-door-neighbor John McAfee fled the county after being named the sole person of interest. "The family contacted me. It's an American citizen that was murdered in another county and they want justice," said Florida Senator Bill Nelson. Not knowing where to turn, Faull's family enlisted the help of Senator Nelson. Action News obtained a copy of the letter the Senator has since sent to authorities in Belize. "Today we are calling the Belize Ambassador to United States. I will be taking to him in the next couple days and I will ask for his personal intervention to get the justice apparatus wheels cranking so they can find out what happened and get to the bottom of who murdered this Floridian in Belize," the Senator told Action News.

San Carlos students return home from archeological trip
Three San Carlos students returned home Sunday, June 14 from the 2013 Programme for Belize Archaeology Project. The students were part of the program that took them to the country of Belize in Central America. Ansony King of the Bylas District, Amyrose Key of the Seven Mile District, and Tori Taylor of the Peridot District successfully completed their training in Central America.

Caribbean sports officials visit Australia
Caribbean government ministers and senior officials with responsibility for sport were welcomed to Canberra, the national capital of Australia, on 5 July. The group met with the Australian Capital Territory’s (ACT) minister for sport, players from the University of Canberra Brumbies Super Rugby team and visiting the Australian Institute of Sport. The 19 officials in the delegation were visiting as recipients of an Australia Awards Fellowship, funded by Australian government agency AusAID, for a 21-day Australian study tour. They were hosted on the tour by University of Canberra sport studies staff and Chris Nunn, of Chris Nunn Consulting. Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and St Lucia were all represented on the group. During the trip to Canberra, the group had the chance to hear from University of Canberra Brumbies chief executive officer Andrew Fagan, meet with some Brumbies players and ACT minister for sport Andrew Barr, who shared some insights into his role.

IMF concludes 2013 consultation with Belize
On June 21, 2013, the executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article IV consultation with Belize. The Belize government’s completion of the exchange of its “super-bond” for new US dollar denominated bonds due to expire in 2038 brought substantial cash-flow relief (about US$130 million over the next 5 years). The debt restructuring took place against prolonged legal disputes over the nationalization of two utility companies, Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) and Belize Electricity Limited (BEL). No agreement has been reached yet over compensation payments; and the legal dispute may take a few years in court.

July 17, 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

Hon. Saldivar and Mayor Lopez open Belmopan Youth Sumner Camp
A Youth Summer Camp for a total of over 350 students was officially opened this morning in Belmopan. The Summer Camp is co-sponsored by Minister of National Security and Belmopan Area Representative Hon. John Saldivar; Mayor Simeon Lopez and the Belmopan City Council; and the Belmopan Sports Council. Official ceremonies to open the summer camp were held this morning at the Hilltop Basketball and Tennis Court in Belmopan. Speakers included Hon. John Saldivar, Mayor Simeon Lopez and Belmopan Sports Coordinator Angelica Reyes. Master of Ceremonies was Deputy Mayor Joel Westby and the Vote of Thanks was delivered by City Councilor with responsibility for events Victor Perdomo.

Caye Caulker student wins international and national scholarships
Belize’s Yvon Noralez is one of 25 students from 13 countries to be awarded an Adobe Creativity Scholarship administered by the Institute of International Education. The Creativity Scholarship program provides financial support to students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, a strong creative portfolio and commitment to pursuing a career in a creative field. Yvon is interested in developing his talents in photography and graphic design. Funded by the Creativity Scholarship, he will start sixth-form Fine Arts studies in the fall at St. John’s Junior College. Yvon was eligible for this full scholarship opportunity because of his participation in the Adobe Youth Voices Program (AYV) classes at Caye Caulker Ocean Academy. AYV follows a creativity curriculum and provides the digital tools, training and professional mentorship students need to develop essential skills such as self-expression, collaboration, flexibility and persistence. All AYV students produce original projects in video, photography, animation and other digital media categories spotlighting issues important to them.

Michael de Feo “plants” smiles with omnipresent flower images on Ambergris Caye
A few months ago, residents on Ambergris Caye began wondering of the origin of the painted flowers that popped throughout the island. Rebecca Coutant of San Pedro Scoop took on the case, digging online in an effort to discover the elusive creator of this great mystery. Her investigative skills creamed the amateur sleuths who had tried to find out about the flowers, and The San Pedro Sun is happy to report that the flower images are the work of US artist Michael De Feo. The graffiti – with a positive message – is painted throughout international cities worldwide and has been De Feo’s work for over 20 years. In an interview with The San Pedro Sun, De Feo explained the purpose of the flowers that has garnered him international attention. “They’re part of a worldwide street art project that I started over twenty years ago in New York. It’s the only image I repeat, the other street pieces and projects I’ve done are all different. The flower image has come to be what I’m most recognized for. It’s about sharing and spreading smiles. It’s also about discovery; since people begin to notice them throughout the city they’re in or throughout their travels. I was already using the streets for my work in the early 1990’s when I came up with the flower image. I stumbled upon it, really. I was warming up for a painting session by illustrating images of butterflies, kittens and flowers. I had filled a wall with these images and this one single flower was situated in the middle of it all. It just seemed to leap off the surface with its presence. I made a silk screen out of it and soon had printed hundreds in all colors of the rainbow. The next logical thing to me was to paste them all over town and share them with others.”

The search at sea continues for a missing San Andres fisherman
Edwardo Dominguez, a fisherman from San Andres Village is missing after the vessel he and a companion was travelling in capsized at sea. The accident happened shortly around 10AM on Sunday July 14th as the two fishermen were heading to an area near Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve located on northern Ambergris Caye. According to Lieutenant Gregory Soberanis, Belize National Coast Guard Operation Officer, after the incident was reported on Sunday they immediately launched a search and rescue operation. “We got a report from the Police at Sarteneja village of a capsized vessel east of village. One Ryan Barahona reported to police that he, along with one Edwardo Dominguez, were on a white 23-foot sail boat named Elena, heading to Bacalar Chico when they capsized,” explained Soberanis. He said that Barahona reported that he managed to swim to shore safely, but unfortunately Dominguez remains unaccounted for. “The Belize National Coast Guard, assisted by local fishermen in the area, is currently conducting search efforts in the entire area to locate Dominguez. Barahona is attributing the accident to bad weather. As you know, on Sunday there was a tropical wave that moved over the country so the weather was not suitable for small craft,” said Soberanis.

Ambergris Today

Security Guard Seminar held for North Ambergris Caye
On Tuesday, July 9 the North neighborhood watch held a security guard seminar for all guards on the north side. The seminar was conducted by ASP Lewis Castellanos with the assistance of community police officer Juan Choc. The seminar began with a Power Point presentation by Mr. Castellanos and consisted of three parts: definition of a security guard, duties of the security guard and what security guards can and cannot do under the law. The power point was followed by interactive role-playing exercises on various identification techniques. This was the first time that the police department gave this presentation, and it was extremely well received by the 27 security guards in attendance. The guards agreed that by getting to know each other and working together, as well as having more information on what to watch out for, will make the north side safer for all. The next step is to implement a radio system to connect every security guard to the other guards on the north side as well as to the police department. Stephen Spiro El Pescador

San Pedro Celebrates Along with Belize International Film Festival
The Belize International Film Festival ran its eighth annual edition from July 11 to 15, 2013, and giving recognition to the top films screened at the end. Opening the festival in Belize City was the critically acclaimed feature film, Home Again, which had reached number one in the Canadian film box offices for three consecutive weeks and making box office history in Trinidad and Tobago. Over 50 other submissions, including music videos and Belizean films were screened at the Princess Hotel and Casino where a panel of judges watched, critiqued and chose the winners for each category. Sitting alongside Cuban Director, Rigoberto Lopez, the Vice President of Creative & Visual Content for Warner Brothers, Denise Williams Watts and Founder and Chair of Film London, Sandy Lieberson was American Actress, Erika Alexander.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Where have our sharks gone?
Winner of the "Best Environmental Film" award at the 6th Belize International Film Festival, "Where have our sharks gone?" examines the plight of sharks and their important role in marine ecosystems, internationally and in Belize. Current research techniques and interviews with fisherman and tourists are presented along with suggested conservation measures. With stunning cinematography and a compelling narrative, 'Where have our sharks gone?' is a captivating tribute to this magnificent creature.

25 Years Ago: Tough Times and Good Times in San Pedro as a Village (Part 2)
Everyplace you might live in has its tough times and its good times. Every generation has its tough times and its good times. Our old San Pedro since it was founded by the Mestizos in 1848 also has had its memorable times- good or bad GOOD TIMES- KITES: Absolutely every aspect of the kite flying process was a lot of fun, so much that you will be surprised at the crazy things we did in order to have fun. It was fun just building a kite- the flat rectangle, the three dimensional box, star, circle, bird, airplane, the fife-foot tiny kite, the giant six-foot kite, to name just a few. It was fun competing for who could fly the steadiest kite, one that would go to sleep and barely move from right to left. Then there was the competition on who could raise the highest kite. What about the singing kite! We also sent tiny pieces of paper with a message up to the kite by letting it slide up the string. We got to say kudos to the guys who would tie a razor blade onto the tip of the tail and succeeded in cutting the lines of several other kites. Then we used to tie a small light object like a piece of coconut husk and release it in the sea to let the kite drag the little “boat” to the shoreline.

Flashbacks: Constructing the First Concrete Buildings and Hotels in San Pedro
We must say kudos to these men and operators of the famous lighters or flat-bottomed sailing boats used for cargo. In the late 1970’s when San Pedro Village was transitioning from wood buildings to concrete, these lighters brought all the river sand, pine ridge sand, gravel or sand and gravel from the mainland to San Pedro. They used to sail up the river and with hand shovels load up the lighter with gravel or river sand. Then they set sail for San Pedro and immediately upon arriving at the main pier, day or night, and proceeded to unload the gravel or sand as seen in this Flashback pic. This was certainly a time consuming, tedious and arduous job but it earned them one hundred dollars per lighter load of some 5 to six cubic yards of material, and on a good week they probably managed up to four trips.

Sports Commentary: Belize's national team has a long way to go
Since the Belize national team played at the Alliance Stadium in Houston Texas years ago, which I witnessed firsthand, and they lost to Mexico 2-0, I have been following up all the games they played so far. I must say that, back in my days in the 1970s, when I played football with Police Invaders, Trial Farm, Caribbean Eleven, Astros, Riverside All Orange Walk Selection, Chito’s Eleven and Ubafu in New York City, there were a lot better football players and teams in Belize. Why? Because back then the players were playing because they loved the sport, were dedicated and played to win by giving it their all. They also came from neighbourhoods in their cities and towns where there was always this youth rivalry and primary school competitions that were intense. I played with and against outstanding players such as Poppy Smith, Theo Lennon, Timmy Bedran, Speedy Henry, Arturo Azuetta, Negro Hall, Contreras, Bucko Torres, West, Marcello, Gene Guild, Mandingo Barnett, Fabian Rivero, Ricky Gongora, Enrique Carballo, Studd Hendricks, Garincha Adderly, Buck Palacio, Orin Orio, Nolbert Moss, Arthur Patur Roches, Raboo Garcia, Patrick Martinez Kalde, William Pine Sampson,


Channel 7

Cuba Crushes Belize, Jaguars Fail To Qualify
Hopes were high when the Belize Jaguars took the field in Hartford, Connecticut today – that’s because there was a mathematical possibility that – even after losing its first two games – Belize had a chance to advance to the quarterfinals – that is if we could somehow win by four goals over Cuba. Now that’s a mighty big “if”, but when it’s eleven versus eleven on the field, hope is all you have. Like thousands of Belizeans, we were watching closely – and here’s how the first half went. Jules Vasquez reporting Belize was represented big time at today's game draping the bleachers in the Belize flag. The mass of them stood behind the Belize bench making the National Anthem audible in the vast 40,000 seat stadium and certainly producing mass cold seed during the Land of the Free. But the game would be played on the field - not on the stands which is why goalkeeper Woodrow West was probably praying for a major miracle - Belize would have to win by four goals to advance.

Coach Mork Says Belize Playing Style Needs To Diversify
It is a disappointing end after so much promise going into the tournament. And after the crushing defeat, Belize head coach Coach Ian Mork was defensive in the press conference – mostly about the changes in the lineup, where he introduced three un-tested players which caused breakdowns in the middle of the field. Here’s what he had to say in the post game press conference 50 minutes ago – we have this courtesy KREM Radio and LOVE FM. Voice of Ian Mork- Head Coach, Belize Team "I'm really disappointed that but I need to explain, it caught up with us a little bit." Reporter "You had changes just like the second game, the changes you made today, were they to give the other guys a break, what happened with the guys like Lennon and 'Cafu' that did not start?" Voice of Ian Mork "We had some changes because the way they were playing was against a lot of those players outside and so we needed to bring in some fresh legs, this is a new experience for some of them, it will make them stronger in the future so we are trying to change the game. I think there were moments that we could have scored some opportunities at a different game but that's football. As a group I feel that this game could have been either way. It wasn't that we played bad throughout the entire match, we had moments when we could have scored goals that changes the entire match but at the end of the game it's obviously changed things and we couldn't get ourselves back in the game.

Christians Take To The City Streets
Today, the constitutional marches led by Belize’s Christian lobby came to Belize City. It is named after the constitution but really speaks about the gender policy. 7news was there today to gauge the crowd and the mood in the country’s biggest population center; Daniel Ortiz has this report:… Daniel Ortiz reporting This morning at 9, the Christian activists gathered near Berger Field on Vernon Street, to prepare themselves for quite a long trek through the city on a hot Tuesday morning. A head count we did put their numbers at around 350 participants who showed up, a decent turnout given that it was a Tuesday. 15 minutes later they moved off traveling through Vernon Street, Central American Boulevard, around the Belcan Roundabout, then unto Freetown Road. The group then moved unto Mapp Street, then North Front Street, over the Bel China Bridge, back unto Vernon Street, then into Johnson Street. From there, they moved all along Cemetery Road, Orange Street, Albert Street, Regent Street, over the Swing Bridge, back on North Front Street, where they finally ended at Memorial Park. The Council of Churches has distanced itself from the Constitutional Marches, but at the rally in the park today, Catholic Bishop Dorick Wright, who is also a member of the Council, blessed the proceedings.

Bringing Ill Repute to The House Of Rep’s? Mace Bearer Charged
Last week, 7News told you about Phillip “Fawda” Henry, who claimed that he was beaten up by Political thugs early Friday morning. Well today, police arrested and charged Brian “Yellowman” Audinett and Allan Kelly with 1 count each of harm, wounding, using threatening words against Henry and assaulting a police officer on PC#1366, Wilbert Chi. They were arraigned in Magistrate’s Court this afternoon, and they were granted bail of $3,000, which they were able to meet. As Henry told us, he was assaulted while buying food at the bus terminal on West Collet Canal. Audinett, better known as Yellowman, is the mace bearer in the House of Representatives and a senior party operator.

Post Mortem Has No Answers For Mystery Body
Police have no answers about the body found yesterday afternoon at the end of Jane Usher Boulevard. It is an unidentified male which was found at 3:35 pm face down in a swamp. Police say that due to the advanced state of decomposition, it was beyond recognition. A post mortem had to be conducted on scene, but no cause of death could be established. So, police are treating it as a sudden death – which does not imply foul play – while they continue to investigate.

Convicted By A Dead Man’s Testimony
55 year-old Guatemalan National Romonio Garcia was today found guilty in the court room of Justice Adolph Lucas of the charge of using deadly means of harm with intent to cause grievous harm. He was accused of chopping off all 5 fingers from Alfredo Herrera’s left hand in April of 2011. Crown Counsel Kayshia Grant could not call the victim to testify because he passed away due to natural causes, so she relied on his written statement that he provided to police. Herrera told police that on that particular day, he went to visit Garcia at his house between miles 12 and 13 on the Western Highway. He said that they began to drink, and he made a comment about Herrera’s common-law wife which made Herrera furious. According to Herrera, Garcia grabbed a machete and chopped him on the arm. He made a second attempt, and when Herrera try to defend himself, the machete sliced off all 5 fingers.

Belize Has Fruit Flies, How To Get Rid Of It?
Belize is under a fruit-fly quarantine after the agricultural pest was detected in southern Belize. BAHA has confirmed that fruit flies were found at various points in the Toledo District, Mango Creek, and along the Placencia Peninsula. The quarantine was implemented on Saturday July 13th and a round the clock checkpoint was set up on the Southern Highway near Silk Grass. It’s imperative that Belize suppress the fruitfly because it could meaningfully threaten exports of papayas and citrus. Today CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture Jose Alpuche explained the threat: Jose Alpuche - CEO, Ministry of Agriculture "Yes, we've detected the Mediterranean fruit fly in Southern Belize, so BAHA had to implement a quarantine from Silk Grass down South to the entire Southern part of the country." Daniel Ortiz "Can you explain to us what takes place when this fruit fly becomes a problem?"

Why Eggs Went Scarce
You may have noticed a shortage in eggs over the last 2 weeks at your local grocery store. And if you were lucky enough to find eggs, either the price was too high or you were only allowed to buy a certain amount. Well there were several reasons behind this egg shortage – President of the Belize Poultry Association, Orlando Habet, explained and told us that things are almost back to normal when it comes to the egg supply. Via Telephone: Orlando Habet - Manager, Belize Poultry Association "Currently there is a shortage, there was a significant shortage and right now the production is going up so that the supply is almost as much as it is used to be before the shortage commenced. Principally the shortage has come down - we had a few problems running where we lost some rare birds in April so the production was slightly low in the month of June and now in July. Secondly, the supply that we have, we have found that there is some from Belize because Guatemala has a shortage and so buyers come from across the border and go store to store to deplete the market and purchase them out.

Fisherman’s Body Found
This morning authorities recovered the dead body of Edwardo Dominguez – a Fisherman who had gone missing in the Bay of Sarteneja. His boat capsized on Sundya morning East of Sarteneja Village. Dominguez held unto an icebox while his partner Ryan Barahona managed to swim to shore for help. The icebox was found yesterday and his body the day after.

The “Win, Lose, Or Draw” Party
As we showed you at the top of the newscast, Belize’s hopes of advancing to the Gold Cup quarterfinals have been dashed with a 4 to nil loss to Cuba today. But, as the faithful fans’ mantra goes, “Belize: Win, Lose Or Draw!” And so, we’d guess that tonight the four or five busloads of Belizean fans who went to the game from New York, will be thronging to the Crowne Plaza Cromwell in Hartford, Connecticut for an after-party – even though their team came in last in the Gold Cup. And that’s the nature of the Belize fans, because everyone know this team had to struggle mightily to get to the Gold Cup – so, just getting there is an accomplishment – and, hopefully, the start of a journey to international excellence and renown in soccer. Hopefully. That’s the kind of spirit that went into the after-party in Salt Lake City, Utah. Jules Vasquez was there and he has this report. Right after the game, this was the scene outside the team hotel in downtown Salt Lake. Following the flag, about three dozen fans, family and well wishers crowded the hotel lobby to mug for photos, get autographs on their team paraphernalia and let their boys know, that win, lose or draw they were with them. "I still feel good because Costa Rica didn't beat us and when I go to the hotel where they are I could tell them 'you know you guys didn't win the game' because you told us you were going to give us 5 and you didn't give us none."

From Brooklyn to L.A. to Belize
And at that after-party we met another one of those Belizean Americans whose story we took an interest in. He is John Mariano Jr and though he’s lived in the States all his life, he’s proudly Belizean and terribly passionate about Belizean football. We found out why. John Mariano Jr "I drove about 8 hours, five hours with the top up and then about three hours with the tope down because I drive a convertible. I was born in Brooklyn, New York and I moved to California but really and truly i claim Belize as my home. I never say I'm a New Yorker or that I'm from the states. I always claim Belize - one love, big up Belize all the time. I was watching the game last week and I was very disappointed because I didn't really know that was a Mariano on the team and they showed the starting line up and I saw a Mariano and all the Mariano in Belize are related, just to let you know. So, I linked up with him, I came down today, I was like 'family, family, family' and he ran over and he was like 'are you a Mariano' and I said 'yes' and he said 'oh, we're family' so right away we started connecting. I go to Belize every Christmas, I try because as a Garifuna I love jonkunu so I go home and dance - wanaragua - one love. " The next step in our coverage is waiting for the team’s return, defeated, but their heads unbowed

Vendors Angry At Altun Ha
Yesterday NICH and the BTB launched the “Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites” Project on March 20, 2013. The project seeks to achieve the integration of rural communities into the tourism sector through improved infrastructure, improved health and safety standards at the archaeological sites. But as Monica found out, At Altun Ha they are saying “while di grass di grow di horse di starve”:… Monica Bodden reporting Altun Ha is one of the most popular day tours for Tourists who are just passing through Belize City - with hundreds of tourist visiting the site per week, it’s a quick income for these art vendors who are mostly villagers from the surrounding area. But for the past 2 weeks, the 18 vendors who rent these display booths on the compound are all agreeing that business has drastically decreased after the National Institute of Culture and History implemented a list of new regulations. Ann Marie Arana- Vendor

Jaguars At War
And in our last bit about the national football selection tonight – we note that there is some genuine bitterness within the team’s ranks – which, to some extent is inevitable after any crushing defeat, much less three in a row on the biggest stage Belize football has ever been on. Travis “Burger” Lennan, a perennial starter who was benched until late in the second half of the last two games told KREM and LOVE fm when he was leaving the stadium that he’s not happy with the changes. Trevor Lennon "I think I should have played from earlier, I was sitting down for too long." Reporter "why was that?" Trevor Lennon "I don't know why he didn't call me." Reporter "You were physically ready?"

Channel 5

Belize 0 and Cuba advances with 4 goals
It was as though everything came to a standstill this afternoon around the country, when the Belize Jaguars took on Cuba, to watch Belize’s last opportunity to advance to the [...]

Post game conference; Coach talks about shortfalls with Belize Jaguars
Immediately after the disappointing loss to Cuba, which dashed Team Belize’s hopes of qualifying to Round Two of the Gold Cup, Coach Ian Mork faced the media in the standard [...]

Heart failure cause of death of newborn
The postmortem examination has been completed on the newborn that died early Sunday morning at the K.H.M.H.  The infant was due on August eighteenth but the expectant mother, Elvira Ack, [...]

No to Gender Policy road show reaches Belize City
The pro-constitution anti-gender policy movement touched down in the city today, proclaiming the bold message NO TO UNIBAM…YES TO GOD. While the underlying theme has been the condemnation of homosexuality [...]

More challenges revealed by IDB report on Belize’s education system
As we reported on Monday, the results of a recent study published by the Inter-American Development Bank on challenges being faced within the education sector indicate that Belize is underperforming [...]

Roaden Junior believes father was murdered
Seventy-four year old Glen Roaden Senior was reported missing last Tuesday.  He was seen leaving his home earlier that day. But the family was clueless as to his whereabouts…that is [...]

No Justice for Stephen Buckley
Three years ago, Stephen Buckley was shot by the police paralyzing the left side of his body and unable to work. Buckley was promised assistance by the department, but that [...]

Body of fisherman retrieved
On Monday night, we told you about the search being conducted for Edwardo Dominguez, a fisherman from the village of San Andres in the Corozal District. Dominguez was missing since [...]

Though victim died, man found guilty of chopping fingers
A jury of six men and three women deliberated for hours to decide the fate of a fifty-five year old man accused of attacking another man. Romonio Garica was initially [...]

Yellow Man charged for beating up ‘Faada’ Henry
A pair of well-known U.D.P. members, thirty-one year old Brian Edward Audinett, better known as “Yellow man”, along with thirty year old Zone Inspector for the Ministry of Housing, Allan Dale [...]

Placencia Tour Guide Association says emphatic no to Norwegian Cruise Line
The ministerial sub-committee that rejected Norwegian Cruise Line’s request to develop Crawl Caye inside the Belize Barrier Reef was tasked to inspect another proposal by the cruise line company. Harvest [...]

Restore Belize restores student confidence in English and Math
Summer is here and kids are out of school, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t learn. In fact, there are organizations which utilize summer months primarily to catch youths [...]

St. Joseph Student impresses in Mexico art competition
A twelve year old Belize City student has been given the opportunity to tour parts of Mexico because of his participation in an international art exhibit. Ammon Segura, a student [...]

Fox Sports goes deep on location in Belize with the Jaguars
Belize’s journey to Gold Cup 2013 has been described as fairy tale, one in which the Jaguars, a la Cinderella, make their first public appearance to the big dance.  The [...]


Belize Jaguars Speak Out On Their Performance at the Gold Cup 2013
Belizeans at home and abroad are counting down to the kickoff of Belize versus Cuba. That is the final game for the Jaguars in round one of the CONCACAF gold cup taking place in the United States. Sportscaster Ruben Morales Iglesias will be calling the game this afternoon. RUBEN M...

Constitutional March Held Against Gender Policy
A little over three hundred people marched through the streets of Belize City in what is called the Constitutional March. This is part of a series of marches that is being held across the country. At the core of the move is the 2013 Revised Gender Policy issued t by the Women’s Commis...

Coast Guard Finds Body of Missing Fisherman
A Sarteneja fisherman was reported missing at sea and today the family got the sad news. Reporter Arturo Cantun has the story. ARTURO CANTUN “The lifeless body of Sarteneja resident, 27-year-old, Edwardo Dominguez who went missing on Sunday was found this morning. Doming...

Study Done on Issues Experienced in Milpa Rice Production
A fact finding meeting to develop a base line study on issues affecting milpa rice production was held recently in Toledo. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports. PAUL MAHUNG “Toledo District Agriculture Officer, Flint Wagner spoke of the initiative.” FLINT WAGNER “Pr...

Officials Meet to Discuss Terms of Purchasing Agreement with BSI and Cane Farmers
Cane farmers representatives and factory officials are meeting to discuss a new sugar cane purchasing agreement. Arturo Cantun has the story. ARTURO CANTUN Representatives from the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and Belize Sugar Industries are met today to start negotiating a...

Women's Network Endorses Revised Gender Policy 2013
The Women’s Issues Network of Belize has weighed in on the National Gender Policy. In a press release issued today, Win Belize says that it has contacted its member organizations and has reached consensus on the full acceptance of the Revised Gender Policy 2013. It continues by ...

Small Business Entrepreneurs Up in Arms at Maya Site
Marion Ali, Reporting For the past two weeks, the vendors who rent stall from the National Institute of Culture and History at the Altun Ha Mayan Temple, have been disallowed from hanging their arts and crafts on the walls of their stalls and they say that it has affected them where it matter...

Stabbing and a Hit and Run Reported in Belize's Culture Capital
Let’s now join Correspondent Harry Arzu for police news from Dangriga. HARRY ARZU “Police here say that they do not have sufficient information to make an arrest in connection with a stabbing incident that left an individual hospitalized at the Western Regional Hospital. ...

Judge to Render Decision on Charges of Attempted Murder and Attempted Robbery
In a trial without a jury, the trial Justice John Gonzalez today reserved his decision for August 9 for Shawn Edwards, charged with two counts of attempted murder and attempted robbery. According to the case for the prosecution, Edwards and another man entered a bar on Mosul Street around 9:50 p....

Parliamentary Official and Friend Arraigned For Wounding and Harm
Since his services were terminated by the Belize City Council a few years ago, Philip “Fawda” Henry has remained in the news. This week his name comes up again and this time it follows an assault that he faced, allegedly at the hands of two persons, one of whom is a UDP operativ...


U.S Doctors Offer Free Clinics To Residents Of Rural Communities
In today’s day and age, getting the necessary medical attention in any field, is costly. That is why when word spreads that a team of medical doctors from abroad is...

Archbishop Dorrick Wright Leads March Against Gender Policy
The pro-constitution march began here in Orange Walk Town with a little over 200 God-fearing individuals who stood out to defend the Constitution of Belize and say no to the...

Fox Sports Recognizes The Work Of The Jaguars
By now the entire nation is aware of the fact that Team Jaguars will not take part in the second round of the Gold Cup after they lost against Cuba...

More Startling Revelations Coming Out Of IDB's Education Report On Belize
Yesterday we brought to you the first part of our coverage on the Inter-American Development Bank’s report on the Education Sector in Belize. The 43 page independent report brings to...

Trouble Erupts In San Joaquin Over Land Dispute
Early in the month of April there were serious allegations of political victimization coming out of the Corozal District mainly in rural communities represented by the Hon. Florencio Marin Jr....

Team Jaguars Packs Their Bags and Head Back Home
Hopes were high for Belizeans both home and abroad as the game between Belize and Cuba was played today. Everything came at a standstill at 3:30pm, when the game was...

Fisherman's Dead Body Recovered From The Sea
Tonight the family of a 29 year old fisherman from the Village of San Andres in the Corozal District, is mourning his death after his body was recovered from the...

Archbishop Dorrick Wright Leads March Against Gender Policy
The pro-constitution march began here in Orange Walk Town with a little over 200 God-fearing individuals who stood out to defend the Constitution of Belize and say no to the Gender Policy. The March then made its way down south to Punta Gorda in the Toledo District where a remarkable display of the people’s utmost rejection of the Gender Policy was seen. More than 4,000 persons from different denominations joined...


Over 1,250 attend Constitutional Rally in Belize City
It was the Old Capital’s turn today to welcome Christians and concerned citizens who came out in opposition to the Revised National Gender Policy 2013 which was approved by Cabinet in March. More than 1,250 Belizeans assembled at the Berger Field at nine this morning, many carrying signs and...

Belize exits Gold Cup with defeat
The task was always uphill and Belize entered today’s game in East Hartford, Connecticut, with a slim mathematical chance of making Sunday’s quarterfinals with a heavy defeat of Cuba – four goals or more would overhaul Martinique for the final slot. The Leones del Caribe had not won a...

Body of lost fisherman fished from the sea
The community of San Andres Village is tonight mourning the loss of a fisherman after his boat capsized at sea. Eduardo Dominguez and Ryan Barahona were out on a fishing trip on Sunday, when a storm struck. Barahona was at the helm of the 23 foot skiff when he...

Body discovered in canal in Belize City
Another body was taken out of a body of water today. This time, the body was discovered in the canal in Belize City. Sometime around 3:30 this afternoon, the body was seen near the Jane Usher Boulevard Extension in an area approximately 120 feet off the end of the...

Search for missing Belmopan taxi driver continues
Authorities are still looking for a Belmopan taxi man who disappeared this past week. While the search for 45 year old Jose Marin Umana Aguilar stretched into its fourth day, his family is grasping for any lead that could aid in his discovery. His common law-wife, Lucia Aleman says...

Romonio Garcia guilty of use of deadly means of harm
55 year old Romonio Garcia was found guilty of use of deadly means of harm with intent to cause grievous harm. This is after he chopped off five of a man’s fingers after disputing over a woman while drinking together. According to reports. Alfredo Herrera went to visit Garcia...

DPP says there is conflicting evidence in shooting death of Rasheed Elijio
Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Cheryl-Lynn Vidal has told PLUS News that while a ballistic report provided by the Police Department indicates what weapon fired the shot that killed 18 year old Rasheed Elijio in May, there is “conflicting evidence as to who may have been in possession of...

Two men charged for assault on Philip Henry
Last week we showed a battered Philip Henry who says he was attacked on a trip to the old capital. Just before 6 o’clock on Friday morning, Henry says he was buying food in front of the bus terminal, when a grey pickup parked behind him. Allan Kelly and...

COLA coming out in defense of Steven Buckley
Citizens Organized for Liberty Through Action (COLA) is coming out in defense of Steven Buckley, a father of four who was shot at by police officers three years ago. Buckley and two other men were leaving their construction site when police stopped them on Kraal Road. As the driver...

Fifth annual Summer Camp program in Belmopan
The Belmopan City Council, The Belmopan Area Representative and the Belmopan Sports Council, in collaboration with the various sporting associations in Belmopan are hosting the fifth annual Summer Camp program for kids between the ages of 7-16. Over 350 students will be participating and though most are primary school...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker Health Committee
The Caye Caulker Health Committee would like to invite the Caye Caulker Residents to attend a Public Peace Corps collaboration meeting on Thursday, July 18th 2013 at 7 p.m. at the Community Center. This is being organized by the Caye Caulker Health Committee along with the Ministry of Health and the Peace Corps.

Present Committees at the Village Council
Anyone wanting to join any of the newly formed committees at the village council can contact the following persons. Events and Culture Committee – Tracy Young – 602-1772 Sports Committee – Ralph Humes – 620-1433 or Julian ‘Neno’ Rosado – 610-3151 Health Committee – Raul Young – 607-1806 Environmental Committee (FAMRACC, Humane Society etc) – Ilda Marin – 607-5466


Couple loses firstborn; hospital has no answers for the death. It seems that even after thirteen infants died during the first 20 days of May in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), with seven of their deaths being caused by an outbreak of an enterobacter cloacae infection in the neonatal unit, tragedy and controversy continue to stalk the nation’s premier public health institution. A grieving couple from the Toledo District, Lawrence Bol, 31, and Elvira Ak, 30, are confused as to what could have caused the death of their newborn baby girl over the weekend at the hospital. Ak said that she went to the KHMH on Friday, July 12, to have her baby. Her water bag had broken only 33 weeks into her pregnancy. Her due date was some time near the end of August. She had her baby through cesarean birth around 8:00 p.m. on Friday. Ak said that her baby weighed four pounds, three ounces at birth, but she was told by the nurses that her baby was healthy. She said that the newborn was checked and they were told that everything was functioning properly. The couple said that the baby was breastfeeding and responding to their touch. Nothing seemed wrong with the baby while they had her in their arms, so they were surprised when they were told by the nurses that the baby had to be taken to the intensive care unit to be breastfed.

Infestation caused by smuggled fruits and vegetables; quarantine ordered. Southern Belize—and specifically the area from Silk Grass to the Sarstoon—is this year reporting an infestation of Mediterranean fruit flies (medfly for short), and the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) has announced a quarantine of part of the Stann Creek District and the entire Toledo District – where, historically, the medfly infestations have occurred, presumably due to the smuggling of fruits and vegetables. The quarantine, which came into effect on Saturday July 13, 2013, will run for at least 6 weeks and possibly up to 12 weeks, depending on the results of our surveillance program, Hernan Zetina, who is the Coordinator of the Medfly Programme in Belize, told Amandala. Zetina said that, “We’ve been having a series of detections since the last week of April.” What the quarantine means is that the fruits and vegetables on a list of prohibited items are not allowed to be transported. If they are found upon searches conducted at designated checkpoints, BAHA officials will confiscate them. A 24-hour quarantine checkpoint has been placed on the Southern Highway at the village of Silk Grass, BAHA has notified. BAHA has confiscated mostly mangoes and citrus since Saturday. Common fruits and vegetables on the quarantine list are apple, apricot, avocado, bell pepper, carambola, ripe coffee berry, dates, figs, grapes, grapefruit, guava, loquat, lychee, mango, nectarine, orange, tangerine, papaya, peach, pear, plum, pomegranate, pummel, sapote, sapodilla, tangerine, tomato, craboo, almond, coco plum, sea grape, chico sapote, malay apple, and caimito.

Massive march against GOB’s Gender Policy 2013. This morning, a militant group of Christian activists are leading a march on the old capital, Belize City – the fourth in a series of “Constitutional Marches” being held during the month of July, which Belize Can, one of the collaborating entities, has designated as Constitution Awareness Month. The Belize City Constitution March departs at 9:00 a.m. from the Constitution Park in the area of Pound Yard Bridge, and moves through the City to Memorial Park, where a rally will be held. According to Pastor Scott Stirm of Belize Action, there will be several speakers addressing the audience in both English and Spanish. Among them will be Pastor Eugene Crawford and Ms. Maria Zabaneh. “Belizeans are stirred by the UNIBAM challenge to our laws, and now the Gender Policy 2013’s inclusion of ‘sexual orientation’ and the clear inclusion of the homosexual agenda. Policy is the last step before becoming law! And the Gender Policy calls for these laws! For these things to become legitimized in law, OUR CONSTITUTION WOULD HAVE TO CHANGE!” organizers said in a statement. They assert that the marches are “a demonstration of NUMBERS and RESOLVE that we will not let our nation go this direction!! We will not allow our elected leaders to TAKE OUR NATION THIS DIRECTION!”

Police on anti-drug operations on Monday, July 1, confiscated over 1,800 grams of weed found in a prayer house latrine in Columbia Village, Toledo. The confiscated drugs were labeled as found property. Police said that they went to the latrine of the prayer house, located on the compound of a church in the village, and found two black plastic bags, which, when opened, were found to contain ganja. The drugs were taken to the Punta Gorda Police Station, where it was determined, after the drugs were weighed, that the ganja retrieved from the latrine totaled 1,814 grams in weight. No one was arrested. The drugs were labeled as found property and will be handed over for destruction by the Toledo police.

The body of an elderly man was found today, Monday, near his residence on Jane Usher Boulevard in Belize City. The body was in an advanced state of decomposition. The man, whose name is being withheld at this time, was said to have been living alone. The body was found in the bushes not too far away from his home by residents of the area, who contacted the police. We will have more details on this incident in our weekend issue.

Immigration officer could not prove that the minor had entered the country illegally. On March 21, Francisca Flores, 50, a resident of Belama Phase 2, was arraigned in court for harboring an illegal immigrant; but today, she walked out of court a free woman, as the charges against her were dismissed after the Immigration Office’s case fell to pieces. On March 20, Irma Hilda Alaz Azmitia was suspected of human trafficking after she was caught with four minors who had fake Guatemalan passports stamped with fake US visas. When the children were interviewed, one of them allegedly told officials that he had been housed at a home in Belama Phase 2, which led them to arrest Flores. At her arraignment, Flores had initially pleaded guilty, but told the court that she didn’t know that the child had entered the country illegally. She was advised, on the basis of the explanation she offered, to change her plea, which she did. She was offered and met bail that same day and today her trial started before Magistrate Clive Lino.

Two women, 16 and 20, of Orange Walk have been released on separate bail in the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court today, on charges of grievous harm and threatening words. The girl, a minor, 16, was released on a bail of $3,000 and ordered to return to court on September 23 on the charge of grievous harm, and Corina Panagua, 20, was offered a bail of $1,500 on charges of threatening words and abusive language, and also ordered to return to court on Monday, September 23. Aresteo Cowo, 60, of Orange Walk Town, told police that about 6:45 on Saturday evening, he was at home when the two women, who were intoxicated, came to his house and started an altercation with him. When he tried to stop them, one of the women pulled out a knife and stabbed him in the upper chest, and then began to verbally abuse and threaten him.

Our sports desk joins with the football family in sharing the grief and extending our sincere condolences to our football brothers – “Leechi,” “Cheety” and “Danny,” and all of the Jimenez family as well as the Police United football family, on the passing of our beloved mother, friend and football spirit, Mrs. Teresita Jimenez. The game is love, and may her love for the game spread far and wide across the length and breadth of the Jewel, nurturing other young men to become great football warriors like her sons, Leechi, Cheety and Danny. R.I.P., Ms. Teresita.

It rained so much in Belize City on Saturday morning, all indications were, and conveniently so, that the cricket game in the Belize River valley would be rained out. (We also wanted to see Belize vs Costa Rica in the Gold Cup on Saturday afternoon.) But, surprise, surprise! Just like when we drove from bright sunshine in Belize City a few weeks ago to find the cricket game rained out in Bermudian Landing; so it was on Saturday, that while the city was soaking wet, it was sunny and dry in Double Head Cabbage for Game 2 of the best-of-3 cricket finals to be played. Defending champion, Excellence of Double Head Cabbage had taken Game 1 the previous week in Crooked Tree; so, as our story in last weekend’s Amandala said, “It could end this Saturday in Double Head;” and it did. There has been a tradition in cricket, and a couple weeks ago we were assured by cricket officials that there would be a separate “Trophy Day” on a later date, once a champion had been declared. But there was a change of plans on Saturday, and Excellence team members are likely satisfied with the departure from tradition, as they had waited all year long for their championship trophies for the 2012 season. We missed a really good game, as well as the trophy ceremony. From the reports, Brilliant made an outstanding effort, and pushed Excellence to the limit, forcing them to live up to their name. Our regrets and sincere apologies to all the players in the Finals, and congrats to the repeat champions, Excellence!

Two things have occurred recently which are troubling for hard-core Belizean nationalists. One was the recent visit to Great Britain by Prime Minister Dean Barrow and his family. That visit was too colonial, both in its substance and in its appearance. The second troubling development has been the mobilization of thousands in the South and the West by church elements which are more concerned with religion and morality than they are with sociology and economics. The thousands of marching Belizeans did not seem to have an issue with the Prime Minister’s sudden, strange trip to Buckingham Palace and his meetings with the Lord of Chichester. The issue the marching Belizeans had was with a government document called a “gender policy.” Some church leaders consider the document to be satanic in aspects, and it appears that they have linked the gender policy with the UNIBAM lawsuit which is seeking to have homosexuality declared legal in Belize. Except for the incredibly heroic efforts of our national football selection at the Gold Cup tournament in the United States, we Belizeans would now be in psychological shambles. The Queen and the churches have said to us, for those who wish to hear, that Belize belongs to forces which are neither indigenous or authentic. A couple weeks ago, COLA marched in Belize City against criminal negligence at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. COLA’s support was minimal. A few months ago, BGYEA marched in Belmopan for roots land rights. Their support was minimal. But thousands and thousands of Belizeans have come out for “pro-constitution” demonstrations which are targeting the gender policy.

It is possible to look back now and believe that the Americans decided that Belize should become independent because the territory had become an area of political disturbance. In late 1980, an American official by the name of Bushnell came to Belize to tell the PUP government of then Premier George Price that Washington had decided to support Belize’s independence. Belize had become a self-governing British colony in 1964, and the only thing standing in the way of independence was the Guatemalan dispute with Great Britain over the territory. The Guatemalans were the Americans’ most important allies in this region, but Guatemala itself had become a country which was violently divided politically. At the beginning of 1959, the workers and peasants in Cuba had overthrown the business and big landowner sectors and declared a communist revolution. This was a troubling, traumatic development for both Washington and Guatemala City. The relationship between the two political capitals immediately became even closer. And this became a time when Belizeans felt most threatened by the Guatemala claim, because the then Guatemalan president, Miguel Ydígoras Fuentes, was a real fire-breather. One has to believe that he was a real fire-breather on the Belize question because he knew just how much Washington “had his back.”

Stann Creek fishers say communities will be excluded from “traditional use of the very assets they depend on.” Today, July 15, marks the end of a 60-day period for public comment on a proposed coastal zone management plan for Belize—a plan which some fishermen, particularly those in the Stann Creek area—contend would put them at a disadvantage, and could possibly strip them of prized access to parts of coastal Belize. In their submission to the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI), they said that Belize faces many challenges: “Foremost among them is the issue of who can use what, when and where. The submitted plan by CZMAI attempts to address this highly contentious issue, using computer- generated modeling (InVest) scenarios to justify sweeping recommendations that promise significant intrusions & restrictions upon Stann Creek fisherfolk. This, in turn, will exclude the communities from traditional use of the very assets they depend on.” The Dangriga group—which includes Police Superintendent Robert Mariano as president of the National Garifuna Council of Belize; Rosella Zabaneh of BTIA Dangriga; Captain Norlan Lamb; and Mark Thompson, pilot/station manager of Maya Air—has put its concerns in writing, and it is hoping that the authorities take their concerns onboard before the plan comes into full effect. More details can be obtained from the Belize Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan (2013), published by the CZMAI, in collaboration with the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries, and Sustainable Development. (It can be downloaded from Go to “quick links”.)

The bulk of Belize’s renewable energy comes from hydropower, but the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities (MESTPU), along with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), will soon be inviting proposals from the private sector, calling on them to submit proposals for innovative renewable energy projects for Belize. Speaking with journalists at a private sector forum the ministry held in Corozal Town on Thursday, Minister Joy Grant, under whose portfolio energy falls, said that, “By the end of this month, or very shortly thereafter, the PUC – the Public Utilities Commission – with the ministry and BEL [the Belize Electricity Limited] will be asking for proposals, 50 megawatts of what we call reliable energy and then some 17-20 for renewables.” Grant said that this is a great opportunity for the private sector, with whom they were having their third such meeting, to participate. “If for nothing else, everybody wants their light bill to go down, and we are saying if we go to a larger percentage of our energy needs [being met] from renewables, we could guarantee that the rate will go down,” she said.

This morning, Belize Immigration authorities unveiled a newly computerized border management system, implemented with funding from the United States government. The launch took place at 8:00 at the Philip Goldson International Airport, where Minister of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development, NEMO, and Immigration & Nationality Services, Godwin Hulse—allowing himself to be fingerprinted on the new system—demonstrated to the media how the new system works. Hulse likened the system to that used by the US at ports like Miami. Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Belize, Margaret Hawthorne, noted that Belize is a prime tourist destination and over 900,000 tourists visit from the US yearly. “With more people passing through Belize, however, security concerns inevitably arise. Minister Hulse, his ministry and many other agencies work extremely hard every day to ensure that the country remains safe. The US Embassy recognizes that if Belize remains safe, so too does the United States,” she said.

The Belize Audio Visual Industry (BAVIA) held its annual audio-visual industry symposium today, Friday, at the House of Culture. The symposium ran in conjunction with the 8th Belize International Film Festival which started on July 11. Brent Toombs, president of BAVIA, said the idea of the event was to bring together local stakeholders and producers, visiting filmmakers and other people who are interested in film production to discuss ways to improve the film production industry in Belize. This is the third annual symposium to be held in Belize. Toombs said that the symposium is helpful to filmmakers as it brings together a lot of people who are interested in production and develops a certain energy that motivates them and helps them to realise what they need to know or do in order to improve. Two aspects of finance for filmmaking were discussed at the symposium. One was the possibility of offering a set of incentives to attract foreign filmmakers to bring projects to Belize and the other was the prospect of Government making it easier for filmmakers to have access to filming equipment.

Bruce is wanted in the US for murder, attempted murder and other offenses. Belizean national Deon Bruce, 28, was escorted to court where he appeared for extradition proceedings to the United States. Bruce is wanted by the US for crimes including murder, attempted murder, aggravated battery and firearm possession, stemming from an incident which occurred in 2000. Today, Magali Perdomo appeared on behalf of the Attorney General’s Office, and presented the court with a warrant issued by the US for Bruce’s extradition, which was issued on March 30, 2000. The order, dated July 2, 2013, was sent for a warrant to be issued, and it was granted on that same day by the Chief Magistrate, and Bruce was eventually apprehended yesterday, Thursday. Bruce was represented by attorney Bryan Neal, who argued that although Bruce was born on July 20, 1984, the warrant that was issued was for a Deon Bruce, born July 20, 1984, but in the Cayman Islands, while his client was born in Belize.

A search and rescue operation is presently being conducted by the Coast Guard and fishermen from Sarteneja Village to find a fisherman, Edwardo Dominguez, from Sarteneja, who is missing at sea after a 23-foot sailboat he and his friend were travelling in capsized at about 10:00 yesterday morning while the men were heading from Sarteneja to Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve, located on northern Ambergris Caye. Barajona (Christian name not given), Dominguez’s companion, told police that when the boat capsized, he swam to the nearby shore for safety, but he did not see Dominguez, who had begun to swim with him but went under the water. Barajona told police that the boat capsized due to the bad weather. The Belize National Coast Guard responded to a missing at sea call after they received a message from the Sarteneja policemen that one of the local fishermen was missing. Lieutenant Commander Gregory Soberanis of the Belize Coast Guard said that so far they have located the capsized boat, but there was no sign of Dominguez. He said that the Coast Guard are looking at the tide and current patterns since Sunday when they began the search.


A Walk Around Caye Caulker – Jam Session at the Sport Bar: The End
This post is getting somewhat ridiculous. Not only is it now four long parts (the last was A Walk Around Caye Caulker: Part 3 dated April 11…APRIL 11!) but I was there many months ago. But rest assured. I was just in Caye Caulker a few days ago… and not much has changed. Just one of the reasons to love this little island. The last thing to wrap up is the very cool Friday afternoon Jam session at the Barrier Reef Sports Bar located beachside (if you are asking around, everyone just calls it the sports bar). Look for this gorgeous chalk sign. It starts at 3pm…ish.

Why I Love the Garifuna Collective
There are many things to love about Belize, and one of them is the music. Brukdown, Punta rock, Paranda, Maya marimba, Garifuna and Creole drumming; those uniquely Belizean styles are as diverse and wonderful as Belize’s stunning landscapes. So it was interesting to hear that the Garifuna Collective has been touring Canada with Ontario singer-songwriter Danny Michel, proving that you don’t need swaying palm trees and sand under your feet to enjoy those majestic sounds. Michel and the eleven member Garifuna Collective have been touring on the back of “Black Birds Are Dancing Over Me”, a 2012 collaboration between Michel and the Garifuna Collective and appeared at the Winnipeg Folk Festival July 12, 13 and 14. Released in Canada, the U.S. and Belize, “Black Birds Are Dancing Over Me” went on to earn a 2013 Juno nomination. Apparently, Mr Michel was vacationing in Belize some 15 years ago when he first heard Garifuna music and fell in love with it, as you do.

Belize's Ultimate Bartender
Traveller's Liquor is having its 60th anniversary this year, and they are looking for Belize's best bartender. They'll be choosing the 2 best from Cayo at Midas Resort on August 13th. For more info, email [email protected] If you're up to the challenge, enter their National Bartender Competition. "Bartenders are being given the chance to showcase their skills at the 60th anniversary for Traveller’s Liquor Ltd. Competition, with talent from 6 districts competing for the title of Belize Best Bartender."

Education is the Only Way Forward
The University of Belize has a special issue of their Bulletin for their graduates, highlighting their accomplishments. It's a short, feelgood issue, with plenty of great pictures in it. Congratulations to German Lopez and Leo Koop for receiving EU scholarships. "'Education is the only way forward for Belize,' declared Senator the Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development and National Emergency Management in his Keynote Address to graduates of the University of Belize at the Seventeen Commencement Exercises on June 15 and 23 respectively in Belmopan and Toledo. This graduation special focuses on the graduates and their accomplishment. Enjoy."

No Churn Chocolate Oreo Cookie Ice Cream
No ice cream tub needed. Simple and easy to make. No ice, no salt and no churning necessary.

Village Expo 2013
BTB's 2nd Annual Village Arts & Crafts Expo

Second training of entrepreneurs and P3Ventures
The second entrepreneurship training was held July 9th – 11th and had participation from 48 Business owners and eight consultants from BELTRAIDE, Sacred Heart Junior College and ITVET Toledo. The work-shop had a total of 70 participants and was the result of three weeks of intensive work by the entrepreneurs to conduct problem observations, problem interviews and solution interviews after which they had to developed a Video Pitch and PPT that reflected the results of their interviews and their immediate next steps. The persons at the work-shop were successful in their presentation. The consultants provided guidance and mentorship to the entrepreneurs leading up to the workshop and provided technical assistance throughout the work-shop. The entrepreneurs will now be required to conduct another series of interviews and observations and develop a work-plan and accompanying budget for their business over a six-month span. The businesses that are successful in this second Video Pitch will receive seed capital.

“Get Down on It” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Problems with the Internet persisted yesterday. On Ambergris Caye it’s always slow when compared to what we took for granted in the UK but this wasn’t just slow. It wasn’t even pedestrian at times. It was crawl speed. Made me think of the idiom “you don’t know what you’ve got until its gone”. You just don’t realise how much you use (and depend upon) the Internet until it is not readily available. Well, it was available but just so (frustratingly) ponderously slow. Becoming ever more frustrated with the speed (or, to be precise, the lack of it) yesterday morning I headed to Estel’s for breakfast. If I had to wait for a search to be completed at least I had something to do- eat! The speed did improve shortly after 11 am but still not as good as before the problem showed itself so I was glad when noon came and it was time for us to get ready and head off to Pedro’s Hotel for lunch which was generously ‘donated’ by Ian Ritchie of Captain Shark’s.

International Sources

VIDEO: Fox Sports' excellent piece on the Belize's football team

In pictures: Stunning images from The Masters of Nature Photography

100 Most influential photographers of all time
From Professional Photographer magazine we find this intriguing post, there is no doubt a list like this will generate some debate but I doubt any of your favourites will be missing Richard Avedon ...

60 Best Photoshop Tutorial Sites
Photoshop is a graphics editing program developed and published by Adobe Systems. As we all know that at presently, it is the current market leader for photo manipulation software. It is an excelle...

9 Tips From The World’s Most Influential iPhoneographers
A couple of weeks ago I set out to do the impossible. I wanted to create a blog post compiling the best tips and advice from some of the world's most

Late goal lifts Cuba into Gold Cup quarterfinals
Ariel Martinez ended Cuba's long Gold Cup drought with three goals Tuesday, and Jeniel Molina's last-second score lifted the Cubans into the quarterfinals with a 4-0 rout of overmatched Belize. It was Cuba's first victory in 14 Gold Cup games, including 12 losses. The Cubans finished the opening round 1-2 after losses to the United States and Costa Rica, but the four-goal victory allowed them to advance over Martinique as one of the top third-place teams. "For me, it was like winning the World Cup," Martinez said. "It is a great achievement for us and it made me very happy." Belize (0-3), which finished with 10 men, was eliminated. After Martinez completed his hat trick, the Cubans pressed for the fourth goal that would keep them in the tournament. They came close a handful of times, then Molina put in a short right-footed shot and his teammates stormed off the bench into the corner of the pitch to mob him. Cuba advanced one other time, in 2003.

IMF pleased with economic performance of Belize
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says the completion of the exchange of the “super bond” for new United States denominated bonds has brought “substantial cash-flow relief” to Belize. The IMF, which recently concluded a review of the country’s economy, said that the new bonds, which will expire in 2038, has resulted in a cash flow of US$130 million over the next five years. Last December, the Dean Barrow government said it had reached an agreement with its creditors on restructuring the country's US$544 million foreign debt, also known as the super bond. Prime Minister Barrow described the agreement as “comprehensive” adding “it is sustainable, and it will provide well in excess of US$150 million in relief to Belize”. Last year, bondholders had rejected an offer from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country on restructuring the debt and said they had hired lawyers after the expiry of a reprieve on legal action. Belize, which said it could not afford to meet rising interest payments on the bond, shocked investors with an earlier suggestion that they take a haircut of up to 45 per cent.

IMF - International Monetary Fund : Press Release: IMF Executive Board Concludes 2013 Article IV Consultation with Belize
On June 21, 2013, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article IV consultation with Belize. The Belize government's completion of the exchange of its "super-bond" for new U.S. dollar denominated bonds due to expire in 2038 brought substantial cash-flow relief (about US$130 million over the next 5 years). The debt restructuring took place against prolonged legal disputes over the nationalization of two utility companies, Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) and Belize Electricity Limited (BEL). No agreement has been reached yet over compensation payments; and the legal dispute may take a few years in court. Output growth is estimated at 5.3 percent in 2012, led by a recovery from the 2011 effects of weather-related damages in commodity exports. Inflation averaged 1.4 percent, as commodity price pressures abated. The external current account deficit widened to about 1.7 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) due to a steep drop in oil exports and higher imports of fuel and electricity. Notwithstanding this deterioration, international reserve coverage is estimated at 3.4 months of imports up from 3 months in 2011, thanks in part to strong foreign direct investment inflows in the sugar sector. Unemployment remains high at 16 percent.

Belize man gets 32 years for kidnapping Gary drug dealer
A Belize man has been sentenced to 32 years in prison for a 2006 kidnapping and armed robbery of a Gary drug dealer. A jury found Tyrone Reynolds guilty in 2011 of kidnapping Glenford Russell for ransom, conspiring to distribute marijuana and using a firearm to commit a crime of violence. In October 2006, Reynolds and seven others ransacked Russell's home looking for marijuana and money. According to court records, Reynolds duct-taped Russell to a chair, beat him and kept him bound for at least 11 hours. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated Reynolds' sentence in May, saying he did not deserve life in prison because there was no proof he demanded a ransom to a third party.

Are You the Nurse?
The day marked my fourth month in Belize. We had spent weeks and shed buckets of sweat turning a dirty, dilapidated corner of a building into a medical clinic. Since then, day after day, for long hours I attended to patients while geckos climbed the walls and termites built fresh trails on the ceiling over my exam table. Though I was a nurse, my duties had expanded beyond providing basic health care. I also disposed of the occasional dead rat on the path to the clinic, swept mounds of dead bugs from the floor and waged daily war against mosquitoes big enough to ride. Once I even armed myself with a machete and battled an opossum that wanted to make my clinic his home. But on this particular day, I was taking a much-needed break from work. I had arranged to spend the day with a young woman, Terese, who I met when I bought a small jippa jappa basket. After chatting with her for a short time, I explained that I would love to watch her weave baskets, as well as anything else she typically did as she went about her daily work. I told her I want to record a day in the life of a woman in her village.

From Belize to the Florida Keys
Kevin Spatz, a senior biology major from Conway, Ark. is spending his summer as an intern with the Mote Marine Laboratory's Marine Microbiology Program in the Florida Keys. Spatz began his internship assisting in field work and spends most of his day performing lab work with bacteria cultures. Currently, he is researching the microbial communities in the mucus of mustard hill coral (Porites astreoides) and sea anemones (Anemonia viridis) to see if the microbe community composition in mustard hill coral changes during spawning. “For the sea anemones, we're looking to see if the microbial communities are different in sea anemones that are close to a volcanic vent versus other anemones that are further away,” he said. “The volcanic vent actually serves as a nice model for climate change and ocean acidification.”

July 16, 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

The New River: A trip to an ancient world
New River Lamanai Story-7Belize has many rivers and each is important to the growth and development of its region. In the northern region of Belize, snaking through the Orange Walk and Corozal Districts is the New River. The New River is essential to both districts and the entire country in a whole; it has carved its way through the Maya era and the colonial times, and shaped the north for a bountiful future. The New River was a major trading route for the ancient Maya and before, when Belize was still known as the British Honduras. At that time the country depended heavily on the logging industry and the New River was a vital piece to the thriving economy. Loggers from the north utilized the New River as a means of transporting logwood out to the Caribbean Sea where the British ships would be waiting to carry back the lumber to Europe. Massive logs were set adrift starting from the exotic forests of Orange Walk up to their destination at the Corozal Bay. This industry flourished for several years, but soon there was a new use for the New River, and the north became the land of sugar and molasses.

Saga is offering 75 FREE spay/neuter through Operation SNIP
Saga Humane Society aims to help reduce the problems associated with community and street animals on Ambergris Caye by introducing a pet population management program, Operation SNIP (Spay Neuter Initiative Project). To reduce the breeding populations and reduce the number of street animals, 75-90% of all dogs and cats on the island will need to be sterilized in a 3-5 year time frame to be effective. Saga HS has pledged to raise money or bring visiting Veterinary teams to offer low cost or free spay/neuter, with a goal of 1,000 animals per year during this project. The primary objective of comprehensive animal management program should be to keep the population of dogs and cats on Ambergris Caye down to a level where there is no need to destroy healthy and friendly animals, but without accumulating them in the Saga HS shelter. To help us reach our goal of 1,000 animals for 2013 Saga HS is pleased to make available 75 free spay/neuters for the month of July. Dr. Baptist will be performing surgeries the second week of July. Dr. Don Tummons of Duck Hollow Animal Hospital in Uniontown, PA will return to San Pedro July 15-26. Dr. Dr. Don helped Saga HS kick off Operation SNIP on his last visit in March 2013 in which he spay/neutered 50 animals. He and his assistant Mary Maykuth are superstars to Saga HS, they use their own vacation time to come and help the animals of Ambergris Caye.

Mediterranean Fruit Flies Detected in Southern Belize
The Belize Agricultural Health Authority informs the general public, especially in southern Belize, that Mediterranean fruit flies have been detected at various points in the Toledo District, Mango Creek, and along the Placencia Peninsula. As a result of these detections, BAHA will quarantine part of the Stann Creek district and the entire Toledo District with effect from Saturday July 13th, 2013. A 24-hour quarantine checkpoint has been placed on the southern highway at the village of Silk Grass. This action is necessary to maintain Belize’s Medfly free status which is essential to maintain our export markets for papayas and citrus. BAHA is therefore requesting the cooperation of the public to cease illegal importation of fresh fruits and vegetables from infested areas such as Guatemala and Honduras, and also to stop movement of fresh fruits and vegetables from the designated quarantine area. The public is advised that violations will lead to immediate confiscation and destruction of produce regardless of quantity.

Costa Maya Festival® presents Miss Nicaragua!
Ariadna Judith Orellana Melendez is the latest contestant announced for the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant®. Ariadna proudly represents Nicaragua, and seeks to win the title currently being held by Panama’s Karen Jordan. She is a 23-year-old working in Marketing and Public Relations. Ariadna is 5’ 5”, brunette with brown eyes, and measures 34-25-38. She enjoys cooking and traveling. Ariadna will be joining Destinee Arnold (Belize), Andrea Rojas (Costa Rica), Monica Elwing Gough (Honduras), and Cleirys Velasquez (Panama) on stage, Thursday August 1st. Who will be 2013’s Reina de la Costa Maya? Be sure to get your tickets and be there in person to find out! 3-day Season Passes are available at $60 for children and $140 for adults.

San Pedro celebrates 8th Edition of the Belize International Film Festival
It was a night of stars indeed, as the 8th Edition of the Belize International Film Festival (BIFF) came to San Pedro Town on Saturday July 13th for the screening of Cuban musical, Hopelessly Together. Since its inception in 2005, the BIFF has been growing in size and popularity and is a well-attended event throughout the country. The carpet was rolled out at Paradise Theater as many islanders and visitors alike made their way to enjoy the heart felt film directed by Jorge Sánchez. It was an exquisite take on love, racism, and double standards. The crowd enjoyed the film to the end, laughing at the comedic styles and enjoying the great musical numbers. “Irremediablemente Juntos – “Hopelessly Together,” is no doubt a film you wouldn’t afford to miss,” said Horacio Guerrero, Festival Coordinator. “It was an entertaining film that bluntly sheds light to universal taboo issues that are faced by many societies today and even more so in small countries like ours.” BIFF strives to bring together filmmakers and writers from throughout the world, not only to present the Belizean audience with fresh and new films and features but also to help promote and expose Belizean films and aspiring filmmakers here in the country to a wider audience. BIFF ended on Monday, July 15th with the award and closing ceremony at the Belize House of Culture.

The search at sea continues for a missing Sarteneja fisherman
Edwardo Dominguez, a fisherman from Sarteneja is missing after the vessel he and a companion was travelling in capsized at sea. The accident happened shortly around 10AM on Sunday July 14th as the two fishermen were heading to an area near Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve located on northern Ambergris Caye. According to Lieutenant Gregory Soberanis, Belize National Coast Guard Operation Officer, after the incident was reported on Sunday they immediately launched a search and rescue operation. “We got a report from the Police at Sarteneja village of a capsized vessel east of village. One Barajona reported to police that he, along with one Edwardo Dominguez, were on a white 23-foot sail boat named Elena, heading to Bacalar Chico when they capsized,” explained Soberanis. He said that Barajona reported that he managed to swim to shore safely, but unfortunately Dominguez remains unaccounted for. “The Belize National Coast Guard, assisted by local fishermen in the area, is currently conducting search efforts in the entire area to locate Dominguez. Barajona is attributing the accident to bad weather. As you know, on Sunday there was a tropical wave that moved over the country so the weather was not suitable for small craft,” said Soberanis.

Ambergris Today

Costa Maya Festival Announces Miss Nicaragua Contestant
Lovely Ariadna Judith Orellana Melendez has been confirmed to represent her country as Miss Nicaragua Costa Maya at the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant that will be taking place at the International Costa Maya Festival in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Ariadna stands 5’ 5” tall, works on Marketing and Public Relations, and has brown eyes and light brown hair. She enjoys cooking and travelling. Miss Nicaragua now joins Destinee Arnold - Belize, Andrea Rojas - Costa Rica, Monica Elwing Gough – Honduras and Cleirys Velásquez - Panama. All other Mundo Maya countries and Central American region have confirmed their participation at the pageant and the three remaining contestants will be announced shortly.

San Pedro, Belize Has New Coral Reef Experts
Our children are the future of our island and teaching them about the importance of conservation of our beautiful Barrier Reef and fragile ecosystem is essential. What better way of doing that than engaging them in a hands-on experience summer camp. The Smith College Coral Reef Ed-Ventures Summer Camp was in its 14th year of fun and educational summer youth camp here in, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. The program seeks to inspire conservation and sustainable use of coastal resources by providing children an opportunity to learn how healthy reefs function, how various organisms interact with the reef, what threats to the reef ecosystem exist, and how to protect it. Smith College’s Environmental Science & Policy Program and Center for Community Collaboration sponsored this project along with the Hol Chan Marine Reserve.

Pic of the Week: Quaint Produce Shops Around San Pedro, Belize
There is one at almost every corner of downtown San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. You can find them inside large air conditioned shops, small hole in the walls, in small quaint stalls, make-shift tables on the side of the road and even along the roads outside of town. There are plenty of produce stores or fruit shops on the island providing fresh and mostly organic produce; some even supply much imported products not readily available or common to the region. But one thing is for sure, each shop has its own charm and quaintness about it, much like this one that sits on corner on Pescador Drive (middle street). Alicy Dely provides delicious homemade local dishes but also doubles as a fruit shop. A quaint and colorful piece of paradise that screams Tropical Caribbean Cool; don't you think?

Misc Belizean Sources

Minister deplores attacks on gays in Belize
A senior government minister has written a public essay expressing grave concerns about what she perceives could be the promotion of hate crimes against gay men and women in Belize. Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development Minister Lisel Alamilla posted the short essay on her Facebook page, prefacing her missive by stating that "I do not oppose persons having different views or religious beliefs, but it concerns me immensely when those are being communicated by misinformation, manipulation and fear which could result in hate crime”. Alamilla used a couple of photographs taken during the pro-Constitution demonstration in Toledo, southern Belize last week, depicting what could be described as the hanging in effigy of the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM).

Garifuna Collective's Gudemei
The Garifuna Collective have released their Gudemei video, and it is fantastic! Isn't it time for another Grammy win for the best band in Belize? It was shot at the Soul Project, and Daniel Velazquez captured all the magic that was going on. You can tell they had a great time doing it. It's worth the 4 minutes.

Young, Gifted, and Restless
Musical interlude with art. Rick Galvez, who plays at Soul project all the time, had an exhibit a the Bliss Centre. Check out this documentary from Daniel Velazquez, which has him playing, mixed with video of his exhibit. "A documentation of Bliss exhibit, YOUNG GIFTED AND RESTLESS, music by Rick Galvez"

Rotaract's Rave at the Grave
D!rty Jok3s is coming back to Meluchi's for the Rotaract Club of San Ignacio's Rave at the Grave fundraiser. Saturday, July 27th is the date. If you missed D!rty Jok3s dub step performance last year, now's your chance to be amazed. Mistah Geeh will also be mixing the night away. The proceeds from the event will go towards sending kids to school, so have a great time and make a difference too. Thanks to Will Moreno for the great shot! "Official fundraiser for our First Annual ADOPT A CHILD PROGRAM! DJ's will be MISTAH GEEH and DIRTY JOKES! We are raising funds to assist primary school students from Yalbac by paying for their school fees, and providing them with school bags and supplies for the new school year.

Basketball for Football Fundraiser
The Galen Eagles basketball team played the All Star Selection as a fundraiser for the National Football Team. Thanks, Eagles! "Basketball for Football Fundraiser: Galen Eagles Basketball Team vs. All Star Selection"

Channel 7

Can Team Belize Qualify?
Tonight, the Belize National Football team, the Jaguars is preparing for its final game of group play – when they face Cuba, which also lost its first two games. Both teams are looking at the slim possibility of advancing to the quarterfinals. That’s because the top two teams from each group advances as do the two bets third place teams. Belize is vying to be just that. Here’s how Belize can do it: If Trinidad and Salvador lose or draw tonight, then – if Belize can beat Cuba, it’s possible. But because of the goal differential, we’d have to be them handily. Like we said the possibility is slim, but it is there. And it is with that knowledge that the team had its first practice at Rentschler field in East Hartford, Connecticut about two hours ago. They are preparing to play the first game tomorrow at 3:30 Belize time. But before we go there, we first take a look back to Saturday for an in-depth breakdown of the game and an analysis by the former assistant coach Charlie Slusher. Daniel Ortiz studied the game in –depth:.. Daniel Ortiz reporting The Belize team established itself very early on the game, making better passes, and maintaining possession more than it did in the game against the US. Even the announcers on Fox News recognized that the Jaguars were playing with better focused strategies: But small cracks in the defence would start to show up under Costa Rican pressure, and at times goal keeper Woodrow West would have to get the situation under control.

Team Belize Reacts
And now we have the reaction to Saturday’s loss in Salt Lake City where the heartbreak at such a narrow defeat was palpable but so was the sense of redemption. Jules Vasquez got reaction from all sides. Ian Mork - Belize Head Coach "Glad that we were able to prove to ourselves most importantly and to everyone what type of football we can play so it was good to see the team show up today. Things didn't go our way completely but I'm proud of the players." Ian Gaynair - Defender, Belize "It's unfortunate that we had to get beat 6-1 for us to show the world that we can play football but at the end of the day I feel good about my team and my country." Everal Trapp - Defender. Belize "We played damn great - better than the first game after we took 6-1 we came out and we showed the world that we could play football." Elroy Smith - Defender, Team Captain Belize "These kinds of loss really hurt worse when it's 0ne-nil. Like I said the man didn't intentionally do that but these are things that happen."

Man Missing, Feared Drowned
Tonight the search continues for Edwardo Dominguez – a Fisherman who is missing in the Bay of Sarteneja. According to our information, Dominguez along with another fisherman left Sarteneja around 10am on Sunday morning and was heading to Bacalar Chico when their boat capsized about 2-4 miles East of Sarteneja Village. Dominguez kept afloat on an icebox while his partner managed to swim to shore for help. When he arrived at the police station in the village, it was already 3 o’clock in the evening and by the time police and coast guard arrived in the area, Dominguez was nowhere to be found and all the search team saw was the icebox and the vessel. At this time the Belize Coast Guard has a search unit active in the area along with joint efforts by police and a civilian search party. Lt. Greg Soberanis- Ops Officer, Belize Coast Guard "Sarteneja, he said that when he capsized it was approximately three to four miles east of Sarteneja in that general area, so that is the area we are currently searching." Reporter "And it happened when?" Lt. Greg Soberanis "He said, based on the time of the day, it was probably about ten yesterday morning, he estimated that they capsized. Reporter "So they had been on sea for how long?" Lt. Greg Soberanis "He said after they capsized at about ten yesterday morning, he did not reach police station until about three yesterday afternoon."

Belizeans “Represented” At Rio Tinto
At the top of the news we told you about the much applauded effort from team Belize in Utah at the Rio Tinto stadium. For that, it was rewarded with major love from its fans. You might have thought that with Utah being so remote and so far removed from the population centers where the Belizean Diaspora gather that only a few fans would show….but they were there plentifully. In fact, a lot of the folks we saw in Portland, also turned up in Salt Lake. Jules Vasquez spoke to them:… Jules Vasquez reporting In Salt Lake City, Belize was -as they say 'in the house', with flags, signs and an abundance of team spirit. "We're here supporting our Belizeans, win,loose or draw - we are all here for them to support them 100% - 'this da fu we Belize!' "We have to support our team and big them up, we have to follow them."

KHMH Wants Bucks From Buckley
3 weeks ago, 7News told you about the bill that Steven Buckley owes to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he spent months in the hospital after he recovered from injures that he suffered from a police inspector. Buckley wasn’t doing anything illegal or questionable, and he didn’t get a chance to identify himself before the inspector shot him in the head. He survived that ordeal, but he had to rely on the KHMH for treatment. Now that he has recovered, the KHMH wants him to pay the hospital bill, which he says is impossible because he can’t work due to his physical condition. Today, he called us back to say that the hospital is pressing him to pay now, but he was promised by the former Commissioner of Police that they would cover the expenses. Nothing has been paid, and he is asking publicly for a meeting with the new Commissioner. Steven Buckley - Seeking Police Help With Medical Bill "Well I think that I should not pay for that, I didn't get hurt, it was the police that hurt me, so I don't think that I should pay for it, the government police should pay for it"? Daniel Oritz "Have they ever promised in the past that they would assist you?" Steven Buckley "Mr. Jeffery had said that they would clear off the bill, so I don't know what happened, but I am being harassed with a letter, so I will take the letter to the commissioner and ask them to deal with it; I want the commissioner of Police to talk to me and tell me what is happening because I cannot pay for the bill that is here for me."

Man Blames KHMH For Deaths
And while the KHMH wants its money, a family from Toledo wants them to properly explain why their baby died. The Bol family from the San Antonio Village delivered their baby at the KHMH on Friday morning, and according them, even though she was premature, she was healthy. According them, the KHMH had them scheduled to be discharge yesterday, where they could take the baby home. The father, who was still grieving, came today to tell us that they showed up, and were told that the child passed away unexpectedly. He says that no explanation was given, especially because the child was doing excellently when they left. Lawrence Bol - Father of Deceased Neonate "My baby was premature and she was in the hospital; nothing was wrong with my baby. We went to breast feed her on Saturday night and all of a sudden, I went back on Sunday morning and they told me that my baby had passed away and that really hurt me because they can't find out what happened to my baby; how my baby died, they can't give me the results, and that really shocked me. She was healthy, she was supposed to be discharged yesterday, but when I arrived she had passed away. She was healthy, my wife can explain how this happened because she was with my baby last Saturday night and that really shocked both of us and we want justice for my baby. I think they are the ones, Sir, because they are supposed to take care of my baby properly, and that really shocked me when I heard my baby had passed away because nothing was wrong with my baby, nothing was wrong with her, she was healthy, very strong Sir. I want them to give me an answer as to what really happened with my baby because I am poor man, I can't support right now, really, I am poor, I don't have no money to support this that is why I am here to make this report to have someone stand and help me because I want justice. That shocked me Sir. I want justice for my baby, please, someone to stand and help me."

Body Found Floating, No Answers Yet
A decomposed body was found this evening floating in a swamp in the Jane Usher Boulevard area. So far it has not been identified by police but we were informed by our sources that it is the body of a male person. Police were called to the area around 3:30 this afternoon when they were informed by some area residents. We were told that a group of young boys came across the decomposed body while swimming in the area. Because of the state of decomposition, a post mortem was conducted on the scene. At this time the cause of death has not been determined.

Rawell’s Ongoing Woes
Last week, 7News told you about the problems that Rawell Pelayo faced while being in the US on official visit as a part of the football delegation representing Belize. Pelayo, who serves as the Vice President of the Football Federation of Belize, and as the Chairman of the National Team Committee, was arrested in Houston. His intention was to take the connecting flight to Portland, but after he was processed by Immigration in Houston, he was picked up by DEA officers. There is no official reason presented as to why he continues to be held at the Federal Detention Center in Houston, but 7News has confirmed that they intend to move him to a facility in New York. We contacted Belize’s Ambassador to the US Nestor Mendez, and he told us that the last information he has is that the DEA plans to move him very soon to that new state. Ambassador Mendez told us this evening that the US authorities haven’t shared much information with them, and they’re only authorized to share it with the family. He told us that he cannot get into any details with the press on this issue because while Pelayo is a part of the Football delegation, he is still a private citizen.

Film Festival’s Winners
The 8th Annual Belize International Film Festival closed today with a press conference by the Institute of Creative Arts to announce the winners. There weren’t many Belizeans honored this year, and the majority of the awards went to international filmmakers. 7News attended, and was spoke to 2 of the 3 of the winners from Belize who were recognized for producing content respected by the international community. Here’s how they explained their work, as well as the Festival’s explanation why Belizeans weren’t the forefront of this Festival. Daniel Ortiz "Was it difficult in trying to produce a film with budgeting and all that stuff?" Michael Flores - Most Notable Belizean Film "The thing of money, you have to sort of have a passion for what you do so that you save every little penny that you have to invest it in your work, like I am a person, I don't necessarily drink and go to parties and stuff like that and whatever money I have that would say leisure, I would take that to shoot a scene, to do a few leg work, some research. I pay people to do different things that have to be done in order to make a film complete but it's a 'knock and go' kind of a thing because here in Belize we don't necessarily have that money but we do have time, we are able to sacrifice and we have good people who support us."

Belizeans Still Bashed
And on Saturday night in Salt Lake City, Utah, the members of Belize’s national football are the ones that looked like they were acting in a movie! Despite the narrow loss, those die-hard “win, lose, or draw fans” went to their hotel in downtown Salt Lake for a well wishing and autograph signing session. 7 news was in the middle of it and we’ll have that story tomorrow….but first, tomorrow is the big game – the final one against Cuba which starts at 3:30 right here on Channel 7. Remember, if Belize can win, and with some help from tonight’s game by Trinidad and Salvador, we could squeak into the quarterfinal. It’s a slim possibility, but a mathematical possibility nonetheless.

Channel 5

Another newborn dies in K.H.M.H.
Thirteen babies died at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in the first three weeks of May. An independent investigation by PAHO found that the babies were injected with the enterobacter [...]

How can the Jaguars advance to the next round?
Belizeans here and abroad were tuned in this past Saturday as the Belize Jaguars took on Costa Rica in their second outing in the 2013 Gold Cup. And after losing [...]

Belize loses to auto-goal
In Sports Monday, James Adderley looks at Saturday’s game against Costa Rica blow by blow. And by now you may know that Costa Rica’s only goal was scored by Co-captain [...]

Coach Mork talks about possible advancement in football
Following Saturday’s heartbreaking defeat to Costa Rica, coaches and players of the Belize National Football Selection, discussed the painful one to nothing loss.  The winning auto-goal was a mistake that [...]

Goalkeeper Woodrow West says we need to win
Cuba is the last country that Belize will on the soccer pitch. With a loss of six to one in game one against the USA, and a one-nil loss against [...]

Jaguars give condolences to Daniel Jimenez on passing of mother
A funeral service was held this afternoon in San Ignacio for Theresita Jimenez, the mother of star forward Daniel Jimenez, who had to return from the United States on Friday [...]

Cuba Team coach says they are ready for the Jaguars
The Jaguars are ready and the Cuban team is also ready for the showdown on Tuesday at the Rentschler field in Connecticut. The Cuban Coach was confident because one of [...]

Decomposing body found along Jane Usher Boulevard
Late this afternoon, Police were called to a location at the end of Jane Usher Boulevard in Belize City after children found a body lying in the creek. Unconfirmed reports [...]

Belize at the bottom of academic ladder in Latin America and Caribbean
A new and independent report commissioned by the Inter-American Development Bank indicates that there is a crisis in the education system. In fact, Belize is at the bottom of the [...]

No to Gender Policy Road Show takes on Dangriga
There have been pro-constitution, anti-gender and homosexuality marches as well as protests in Orange Walk, Toledo and Cayo. They’ve been organized by local evangelical churches in those areas with help [...]

Why box up “Faada”?
Philip “Faada” Henry is an outspoken community activist was assaulted on Friday morning as he dropped off a female friend at the bus terminal on East Collet Canal. According to [...]

Sarteneja Fisherman missing after boat capsizes
Tonight a massive search effort is underway in the waters off Ambergris Caye after a fisherman went missing when his boat capsized. At around ten a.m. Sunday morning, Sarteneja fisherman [...]

Mediterranean Fruit Fly in the south
For the first time, the presence of the Mediterranean Fruit Fly has been detected in Belize. The Belize Agricultural Health Authority is reporting multiple sightings of the fly in south [...]

Winners announced at close of Film Festival
An award ceremony this morning brought to a close the eighth Film Festival. Close to fifty films were presented. The winner of the Best Feature Length Documentary was the Abominable [...]

James Adderly with sports and Jaguars highlights
Good evening I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   We go immediately to the Rio Tinto Stadium inside Sandy Utah as Belize came out to face Costa Rica [...]


Drowning in Southern Belize
A drowning incident was reported yesterday afternoon in Big Falls Village in the Toledo District. PAUL MAHUNG “Officer in Command, Toledo Police Formation, Superintendent, Simeon Alvarez spoke of the Sunday afternoon incident.” SIMEON ALVAREZ “Sunday, July 14 at a...

Police Investigates Shooting on San Pedro
Police are investigating a shooting incident in San Pedro. Police say on Saturday afternoon they visited the San Pedro Poly Clinic where they saw 31-year-old Miguel Dominguez with a wound to the left hand near his wrist and his left side. Initial investigations reveal that 24 -year-ol...

Belmopan Taxi Driver Gone Missing
45-year-old taxi driver Jose Umana and resident of Nicaragua Street extension Salvapan Belmopan has been reported missing since Saturday July 13 According to Lucia Aleman the last time she saw her common law husband was on Saturday morning sometime around 11 o’clock when he came to her stal...

Police Finds Decomposing Body in Belize City
The decomposing body of a man was discovered this afternoon in the Dyke area of Port Loyola, behind the Jane Usher Boulevard. The discovery was made by a group of youths who had gone to bathe in a small creek that runs several hundred yards behind the Belize Port Authority. But their aftern...

Fisherman Missing After Boat Capsizes
A fisherman of Sarteneja Village, Corozal, is missing and feared dead after a boating mishap sometime around ten on Sunday morning in the Bay of Sarteneja. The fisherman, Edwardo Dominguez, was traveling towards the Bacalar Chico Nature Reserve along with another fisherman identified only a...

Monday, Quarantine Issued on Fruits and Vegetables in Southern Belize
It’s the heart of the mango season and some fruit vendors import mangoes and other fruits into Belize for sale. But after the Belize Agricultural Health Authority detected the presence and rapid spread of the Mediterranean fruit fly, it has decided to quarantine the southern Districts...

Village Resident Remanded for Shotgun Possession
Thirty-three year old Richard Dominguez, a laborer of Biscayne Village, became an inmate of Belize Central prison today when he was charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license. Dominguez pled not guilty to the charges. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser explained to him that she c...

Guatemalan National Caught Using Belizean Passport
Twenty-two year old Guatemalan national Bianca Magana, charged with using a document not entitled to use, a Belizean passport, was fined $1,500.00 today by Magistrate Clive Lino after she pled guilty to the charge. Magistrate Lino ordered her to pay five hundred dollars forthwith and the balance ...

British High Commissioner to Belize Wraps Up Term In-Country
Scheduled to depart Belize in early August is British High Commissioner to Belize, Pat Ashworth, whose term of office has come to an end. High Commissioner Ashworth told Love News that the highlights of his visit came towards the end of his tour of duty. Pat Ashworth, British High Commi...

8th Belize International Film Festival: Top Films Awarded In Five Categories
The Eight Annual Belize International Film Festival officially closed this morning with an award ceremony recognizing the top films screened during a span of three days. Winner were chosen for the five categories including best feature documentary, best music video and best short documentary. The...


Summer Is Here And So Is The OWC Summer Camp
During this time of the year primary school students are out for their summer vacations and usually have a lot of free time, hopefully to invest in positive activities. By...

LICU Invests In The Future Leaders Of Belize For nine years, the La Inmaculada Credit Union Limited has been offering much needed assistance to students leaving primary school and going into high school. This year was no different...

Millions Pumped Into The Education Sector Yet Students of Low Income Families Do Not Enjoy Benefits
A release issued by the Inter-American Development Bank is giving a black eye to Belize when it comes to the education sector. The 43 page document, which outlines the challenges...

16 Year Old Minor Charged For Stabbing 60 Year Old Man
There was a serious stabbing incident in Orange Walk Town over the weekend, one, which left an entire family in shock and the victim clamoring for justice. The nearly fatal...

Team Jaguars Loses Game Against Costa Rica
After recovering from a terrible defeat of 6 goals to one against U.S.A, Belize’s Jaguars were back in the field for the second round of the Gold Cup where they...

One Man Lost At Sea, His Family Expects The Worst
Tonight there is a high possibility that a fishing trip turned deadly over the weekend as a search party and personnel of the Coast Guard continue their search for a...


Belize loses to Costa Rica at the CONCACAF Gold Cup
They were written off as over-matched after a 6-1 crushing by the United States on Tuesday, and were reeling from a series of crises that would break lesser men – the travails of a mentor locked up in jail; a teammate facing a devastating loss at home; and the...

Family seeks answers in dissapearance of Belmopan taxi driver
Tonight, the family of a local cab driver is desperately searching for answers after their loved one went missing over the weekend. 45 year old Jose Marin Umana Aguilar, a Honduran of Salvapan, Belmopan, was last seen by his wife on Saturday morning. She says he visited her vendor’s...

Father seeks answers in baby daughter’s death
Fresh from the scandal of thirteen babies dead in a span of three weeks, seven attributed to a bacterium that invaded the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), another premature baby from Toledo District has died there and her father wants answers. We...

Police await DPP’s directive on shooting of 18 year old
Earlier this month we told you that Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Cheryl-Lynn Vidal contacted Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie concerning three cases in which she alleged there was improper conduct of police officers to the detriment of the investigations or prosecution....

BAHA quarantines portion of the south over Meditaranen Fruit Fly
A 24-hour quarantine checkpoint has been placed on the southern highway after Mediterranean fruit flies were detected at various points in the Toledo District, Mango Creek and along the Placencia Peninsula. The Mediterranean Fruit Fly, also known as Ceratitis Capitata, is considered as one of the world’s most destructive...

Costa Rica to hold referendum on same-sex marriage
The attack of the Homosexual Agenda on countries boasting a Christian majority continues. As we have reported, on Thursday, July 4th, Costa Rica’s President, Laura Chinchilla signed a bill that legalized gay civil unions. Law makers asked President Chinchilla to veto the law as it had been added “accidentally”...

GSU were not involved in arrest of Dean Bruce
On Friday we reported that the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) had picked up Deon Bruce ahead of his appearance in court for an extradition hearing to Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. on charges of murder. Assistant Superintendent Marco Vidal, who is head of Police Special Branch which has authority over the...

Steven Buckley claims Police should pay medical bills
Police Commissioner Whylie faces a call from a citizen his men allegedly shot and injured in April of 2010 to take care of his hospital bill. We told you of the travails of Steven Buckley, who at the time of the incident was a construction worker returning home from...

San Pedro police investigate shooting
A man was shot in San Pedro on Saturday afternoon. 31 year old Miguel Dominguez, a Belizean bartender, was shot to his wrist and to the left side. According to police reports, 24 year old Daniel Maldonado, manager of San Pedrito area, San Pedro Town, was walking on Angel...

Two persons detained following stabbing of elderly man in Orange Walk
An elderly man was stabbed by a drunk woman in Orange Walk. On Saturday, 13 July 60 year old Aristeo Cowo Sr., a Belizean Laborer of Orange Walk Town, was stabbed to the upper left side of his chest. Police say that at 6:45 p.m. that day, Aristeo was...

Police investigate stabbing in Dangriga
There was another stabbing over the weekend. This time in Dangriga. On Sunday 14 July, at about 10:15pm, Dangriga Police were on mobile patrol when they visited a club located on Commerce St., Dangriga. Police say they saw 34 year old Kizzy Neal laying down on a bench inside...

Awaken Belize held in Mango Creek
Awaken Belize was held in Mango Creek last week. It is the fourth annual Awaken Belize to be held in that community and organizers pulled off a four day event the young people of that area will not soon forget. The purpose of the event...

The Reporter

Is new amendment recipee for corruption?
Public Accounts Committee members say recent changes to the law that enables the Government of Belize to engage in foreign exchange dealings without the Central Bank’s approval is a recipe for corruption, but Prime Minister Dean Barrow says that’s not the case.

Detained Pending Extradition?
The family of Dion Bruce, and his Attorney, Michael Peyrefitte, Senior Counsel, have alleged that the Gang Suppression Unit, GSU, is holding Bruce with the intention of extraditing him to the United States. They make the claim on grounds that since Bruce was picked up this afternoon, he has not [...]

Double jeopardy lands Guat xateros behind bars
Two Guatemalans caught in the Chiquibul on June 14, and charged with firearms offences and drug trafficking were freed of the charges in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court, but were sentenced to prison in the Belmopan Magistrate’s court.

Why Quality, starting at the Tertiary Sector, is the most important component in Education for Sustainable Development
Spending on our education system without special attention to Quality is a formula for waste and frustration, leading to diminished expectations and an exacerbation of our problems in Belize. At the heart of this matter is the need to recognize what comprises quality in education, with special focus on the [...]

Indigenous peoples take GOB to court
The Maya Leaders Association and the Toledo Alcaldes Association have filed legal action against the Government of Belize for contempt of court. The case was filed on Tuesday because the indigenous groups feel that the Government is not respecting their land rights, which were affirmed by Supreme Court judgments in [...]

Upgrade of BTL Park moves into final phase
On Monday, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley, along with representatives from Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) and the Caribbean Local Economic Development Program (CARILED) broke ground for the final two phase of the BTL Park upgrade.

UB passes the torch of learning to Orange Walk
Hundreds of students in northern Belize will receive an improved quality of education, with the launch of the University of Belize’s Northern Outreach Programme. The programme, which was officially launched last Friday at the Louisiana Government School, took in its first cohort of 58 teachers pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in [...]

Valerie Woods, symposium coordinator, explains the importance of the Chiquibul
The Easter holidays are the times when Belizeans do the most traveling in and around the country. This past Easter, Valarie Woods and her family made a special journeyed to explore the natural wonders of the Chiquibul forest nestled deep inside the Mountain Pine Ridge range, in the Cayo District.

Accused rapist walks free! Victim, 61, unable to attend court.
A Freetown Sibun man, who has been accused of rape and aggravated burglary walked free from the Supreme Court on Tuesday, after the key prosecution witness failed to show up at thes tart of trial.

Former cyclist Conrad Vincent Smith, 56, remanded on firearm and ammunition charges
Conrad Vincent Smith, 56, a former cross country cyclist and maintenance worker of St Martin’s DePorres, was remanded to prison on firearm and ammunition charges on Tuesday, after being was arraigned in the Magistrate’s Court.

UN questions Vatican over child abuse cases
A major UN child rights protection body has asked the Vatican to disclose details of thousands of paedophilia cases involving Catholic clergy. The Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) made the request ahead of its hearing with Holy See officials, scheduled for January.

Why fruit isn’t making you fat
Sugar has been making headlines as of late, with celebrities and trainers alike singling it out as one of the key culprit in America’s obesity crisis. Trouble is, fruit–because it contains natural sugar–sometimes gets lumped in with foods like baked goods, candy, and sugary drinks. As a result, it gets [...]

Interpol investigates attempted match fixing of Belize-USA game
Interpol is investigating a reported attempt to fix the Belize – USA game in the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Football Associations (CONCACAF) Gold Cup played at the Jeld-Wen Stadium in Portland, Oregon, on Tuesday, July 9. CONCACAF passed the investigation over to Interpol after Belize’s head coach, [...]

Excellence wins 1st SMART Harrison Parks cricket final
Defending champions, Excellence of Double Head Cabbage, upset Brilliant Cricket Club of Crooked Tree 84-79 in the first match of the 2013 SMART Harrison Parks National Cricket Finals in Crooked Tree on Saturday, July 6. The Crooked Tree eleven batted first, with Arturo Wade opening with four runs before he [...]

Ladyville Jaguars upset Gentle Touch 3-2 in Atlantic Bank football
The Ladyville Jaguars scored a surprise 3-2 upset over four-time national women’s champions, Gentle Touch of Esperanza Village, when the Atlantic Bank National Women’s Football Competition continued at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio last Saturday, July 6.


Shooting in the dark with GoPro HD Hero2
It’s no exaggeration to say that the GoPro has changed the world of adventure video making and created a niche market in sports photography. GoPro’s cameras are designed to be strapped on to helmets, bikes, boats, and it is about capturing action from the adventurer’s perspective. For those who want a high-quality fun tech toy to capture life’s adventurous moments, the GoPro HD Hero2 is the way to go. Don’t be fooled by it’s size and toy like looks. GoPro offers durability and a sealed housing that can submerge to a depth of 60m. It has a super wide lens, which is great for action shots by allowing you to record a large field of view with the fish-eye lens. Small size, variety of mounts and waterproof case make it ideal for capturing zip-lining, windsurfing, and underwater adventures. I jumped at the opportunity to sign one out from work and give it a test drive. I decided to do so without reading the manual and see what I came up with.

It’s a mystery and 2 great #Travel Tuesday tips
Ever have computer programs suddenly change on you and the change back a while later just as mysteriously as they have changed in the first place? Lately it has been happening to me a fair bit, one day my iTunes switched to a new format after I downloaded the latest update. I got used to the new way of navigating the new look when out of the blue the other day I was adding a few songs and it some how had reverted to the original screen view. Same tech issue also happened with one of my picture viewers minus the uploading latest version which makes it even weirder. A similar tech issue also happens with facebook where sometimes it will allow me to upload a new timeline pic to my page and other times it will not let me do it unless I select use facebook as tacogirl option and it keeps going back and forth.

Chaa Creek’s Rainforest Pharmacy Attracts Record Visitors
People visit the little Caribbean nation of Belize for many reasons; from the excellent scuba diving to exploring Maya temples. But a new breed of traveler is looking to find better health and therapeutic remedies in the many medicinal plants of Belize, according to a naturalist guide at Chaa Creek. Miguel Choco, one of Chaa Creek’s senior licensed naturalist guides, said that the while eco resort’s Rainforest Medicine Trail attracts more visitors each year, there had been a definite surge in guests seeking natural remedies recently. “We’ve been surprised by the number of people who are specifically asking about the medicinal plant trail,” Mr Choco said, “Usually, when people come here and learn about it they become curious and want to check it out. But this year we’re getting more people asking about the medicinal plant trail as soon as they arrive. It’s keeping our guides busy,” he added. Mr Choco said that Belizeans have been using natural remedies sourced from the forest pharmacopeia for thousands of years, and that the practice continues today.

“Don’t Worry Baby” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
It was a very grey day on Ambergris Caye On Saturday. An overcast sky. Sounds of thunder. Occasional flashes of lightning. Then the rain. And did it rain and just as I was on my way back from town too! I had the windscreen (windshield for non UK readers) up. I was wearing a rainproof jacket. But when the rain came down just as I approached Denny’s Donuts & Truck Stop in Coconut Drive I got drenched. And I mean DRENCHED. By the time I got home I felt and looked like a drowned rat (“friends”(or anyone else for that matter) in the UK please do not see this as an invitation to comment!). After I had changed my clothes Rose and I had lunch and waited for the weather to hopefully clear so that we could go visit our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize but by 2.45 pm it had shown no sign of abating so we decided to set off anyway. Rainwear on we stopped off first at Pedro’s Hotel to collect Dave, our friend who is a serving member BATSUB) who had come to Ambergris Caye for the weekend, so that he could see what progress had been made since his last visit.

International Sources

Ecotourism in Belize, Preserve, Conserve, and Educate
With its lush tropical sites, impressive mountains and caves, and intriguing ancient Mayan ruins, Belize is a haven for ecotourism and exploration. Belize is so well suited to ecotourism, that it has become the country’s largest industry. Unfortunately, the ecotourists have also brought with them, albeit unintentionally, environmental degradation of many of Belize’s most popular ecotourism sites. Since neither the government nor local tourism managers have the funds or the capacity to repair the damage, there has been a call for ecotourists to increase their awareness and act more sustainably as they travel. The government, local tourism managers, and the private sector, however, are dedicated to preservation of their fragile environment, and there are many options for ecotourists to ensure they are treading sustainably.

Next: Danny Michel And The Garifuna Collective
Canadian Danny Michel is a veteran songwriter with a lengthy career: The folk-rock musician, whose voice recalls that of Paul Simon, already has nine albums to his name. But his latest record, Blackbirds Are Dancing Over Me, is a little bit different. In 2012, Michel relocated to Belize in order to work with The Garifuna Collective, a group of musicians who carry on soulful traditions surrounding the history of their West African ancestors. Hear two new songs from Blackbirds Are Dancing Over Me, a collaboration which brings out some of Michel's best songwriting yet.

Climate change official defends region
The Deputy Director of the Belize-based Caribbean Community Climate Change Center, Dr Ulric Trotz, has defended regional countries from criticism for seeking financial assistance. According to Caribbean Media Corporation, Trotz said the region needed the finances to deal with issues like strengthening costal defenses, making airports and seaports less vulnerable to climate risks. Trotz said that the Caribbean has always felt there is a moral argument for the developed countries to provide financing to help deal with the impacts of climate change, a phenomena that is of a result of our developmental patterns.

The Insurance Industry in Belize, Key Trends and Opportunities to 2017
The economy of Belize is small and largely dependent on agriculture and tourism, with GDP estimated at BZD3.2 billion (US$1.6 billion) in 2012. After negative growth due to the financial crisis of 2009, GDP grew along with improvement in agriculture production (such as sugar and citrus) and increase in overnight tourist arrivals, especially from the US. The insurance industry expanded at a CAGR of 6.3% during the review period (2008-2012). The industry is regulated by the Supervisor of Insurance. The insurance industry is competitive, with twelve companies serving a population of 332,700 at the end of 2011. As with elsewhere in the Central American region, the non-life segment accounts for the largest proportion of gross written premium with 44.2% of the total in 2012. Synopsis The report provides in depth market analysis, information and insights into the insurance industry in Belize, including: - The Belizean insurance industry's growth prospects by insurance segments and categories - The competitive landscape in the Belizean insurance industry - The current trends and drivers of the Belizean insurance industry - The challenges facing the Belizean insurance industry - The regulatory framework of the Belizean insurance industry Key Topics Covered: 1 Executive Summary 2 Introduction 3 Belizean Insurance Industry Overview

Danny Michel with the Garifuna Collective
With Andy Palacio's groundbreaking Wátina, the BBC 2007 world music album of the year, the singer-songwriter-guitarist-bandleader-UNESCO Artist for Peace seemed poised to put the Garifuna Collective and Central America's Caribbean coast on the world music map. His triumphant tour of the Western Hemisphere and Western Europe culminated with the Collective's knockout appearance at WOMEX 2007 in Sevilla, where they and the Cumbancha label collected their BBC awards. Palacio's tragic January 2008 death at 47 was a body blow to his native Belize and the 300,000 Garifuna people of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and urban North America. Anyone who witnessed all that, or the massive popular outpouring at Palacio's mobbed state funeral in Belize, could be excused for thinking the best days might have passed. But they would be mistaken. Producer Ivan Duran and the Collective resolved to continue in tribute to Palacio and the music and culture he championed. This summer they are touring Canada and the U.S. before moving on to Europe in the fall, behind Ayó and their Juno-nominated collaboration with Canadian singer-songwriter Danny Michel, Black Birds Are Dancing Over Me.

The Passport Party Project
First things first: Judging the Passport to Belize contest was hard. The judges and I wanted everyone who entered to win. We're travelers, so we love the idea of giving the gift of travel to everyone. For us, it is like giving a part of ourselves. If we could put the world in a box and give it to all of the girls, we would. And yet, it wouldn't be a contest if there weren't people who won and people who lost, right? It's one of those disappointing life lessons, but definitely not the end of the world. So April, Shelley, Ana, Expedia and I would like to say a special Thank You to all of the girls that put their hearts into entering The Passport Party Project's Passport to Belize contest. We believe that your shiny new little blue travel booklet is merely the beginning of your journey to global citizenship.

Running Diary: How to Ditch a Vehicle in Belize, Part 2
To recap, my last day in Guatemala, at least on this particular tourist visa has been a disaster. While the trip itself to the Guatemala-Belize border went fine, all things considered, things had definitely taken a turn for the worse. Customs officials in Guatemala had just informed me that I’d be unable to bring the vehicle back into Guatemala for at least 90 days. Needing time to ponder my options, I headed towards Belize’s immigration building to at least check myself into the country. On with the diary: 7:05p.m.: I drive through the “fumigation” machine at the Belize border. For the honor of letting my car be sprayed with what I suspect is just water, I pay $10BZD. I park the Jeep to the side and walk towards the Customs/Immigration building, paperwork on hand. I’m always baffled as to why Belizean immigration seems so intent in keeping tourists outside the country. In my experience, they always seem to want to limit visas to the minimum requested number of days and not one more hour. I suspect it’s a way to get more money from tourists, should they want to extend their visa. At this point, I don’t want to make a scene and just want to move on to the next checkpoint.

I think I killed a chicken on a chicken bus
I loaded my pack on the back of the brightly painted bus, hopped on to the bumper, and in. I put my bag in the only spot left it would fit, on top of a few boxes and a giant tire, same as I had done all week. At this point this was our 5th or 6th bus while in Belize, it was becoming routine. We never seem to time it right to catch the express bus, so passengers are constantly loading and unloading. Mid way through the trip the bus driver helps unload another passenger that had some luggage in the back. He pulls our packs off the cardboard boxes I stacked them on.

Why the secret world of Belize business alarmed US drug agents
US documents obtained by the Guardian reveal for the first time why the drug enforcement agency and other US authorities were so concerned about millionaire Tory treasurer Michael Ashcroft’s offshore world in the 1990s. The original discovery that references to the Florida-based Tory donor existed in DEA files led to controversy two years ago. Mr Ashcroft issued a libel writ against the Times, which published a correction, and he declared there was nothing to support “allegations that I am a drug runner and money launderer.” Mr Ashcroft was correct. No evidence exists to implicate him in committing crimes. Nor was he investigated on suspicion of doing so. What worried the Americans was that the Ashcroft-inspired tax haven in Belize in central America was, as a side-effect, encouraging fraud, money laundering, drugs and bribery in a small, poverty-stricken jungle state with corruptible officials.

July 15, 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: Happiness
How is it that a humble home with hardly any material items can be so full of happiness, while a house with everything in it has so much discord?

Legends FC is the 11-A-Side Football Champs!
The organizers of the Local 11-A-Side Football Tournament is pleased to congratulate the winners of the competition and thank the sponsors of this year’s tournament. The competition concluded on June 16th with the final game played between Legends FC of San Pedro Town and Caye Caulker Tsunami. Following the second game in the finals, Legend FC won by an aggregate goal score of 5 to 4 over the Caye Caulker team. The result of the tournament (San Pedro Town) is as follows: 1st – Legend’s FC – $3000, Group trophy and individual player trophies 2nd – Caye Caulker Tsunami – $1500, Group trophy and individual player medals 3rd – Lebanese (San Pedro Town) – $500 – Group trophy Other awards given out include: Most Valuable Player and Best Defense – Asaiel Requena Best Midfield – Hector Hernadez Best Coach – Abner Rivera Best Goalkeeper – Darrell Novelo

Wolfe’s Woofers: Weird People
Watching a tourist sip his drink then kiss a dog's butt is just plain weird...oh, yes, and disgusting. Why on earth....?

Misc Belizean Sources

Banana Bank Horse Camp
Banana Bank Lodge had their Summer horse camp recently. Now that's a cool idea for a camp. Are those 2 kids standing on one leg while riding their horses? In related news, Belmopan has 4 summer camps starting today, Monday the 15th. They are for tennis, football, softball, and dance. They'll be having fun and staying in shape this Summer.

Feed the Children Fashion Show
The Cornerstone Foundation had their Feed the Children Fashion Show last night at the Octavia Waight Centre's auditorium. Looks like it was a great success, as proved by D Russell Photography's great shots. Emmanuel Mangar is in, and he got by with a little help from his friends.

Friday Night in Downtown Cayo
Cayo's downtown is jumping on weekends. The Burns avenue pedestrian walkway has a little bit of everything. Food, and arts galore, and even a massage chair set up. Emmanuel Mangar tops the list at Mr. Greedy's Live Music Fridays. The new Fuego Bar and Grill is regularly packed with people enjoying their great appetizers, strong drinks, and unique entrees. "Who says it's slow season? On the 12th of July, downtown Cayo was packed, and Burns avenue was happening. Arts, crafts, massages, drumming, live music from Emmanuel Mangar. Awesome!" In related news, the San Pedro Scoop, no relation, did an article on Cayo this week, and got some decent pictures of downtown.

Team Jaguars prepares to face Cuba on Tuesday
The Jaguars of Belize will play their third game of the opening round of the Gold Cup on Tuesday in Hartford, Connecticut, USA. Their opponent will be Cuba. The Belize National Football Team has been enjoying lots of support from fans at home and abroad. Go Jaguars.

Revised Gender Policy takes center stage at Dangriga cultural event
A community event was staged at the Princess Royal Park in Dangriga town on Saturday afternoon, where the Revised National Gender Policy was the main focus of a public presentation by guest speaker, Attorney at Law Mrs. Audrey Matura Shepherd. A planned march from the Drums of My Father’s roundabout into the town park did not materialize, and there are indications that area churches were not involved as the Churches had already committed to march with the Garifuna Christian diaspora in a separate simultaneous event. Reports from Dangriga say that Mrs. Matura Shepherd gave a fiery … and well received presentation on the Revised National Gender Policy. The reports from the culture capital say that Mrs. Matura Shepherd gave a well received comparison of the 2002 National Gender Policy and the recently launched 2013 edition of the Policy.


The Final Word on the Belize Jaguars rejecting the Gold Cup Bribe
The subject has been raging online for the last week and at the risk of adding to “topic fatigue” we felt we should put our two cents in. To the Belize Jaguar players who rejected and then reported the bribe they were offered to throw the game and widen the point spread – you guys just climbed another few notches up on our already high estimation of you as players and as people. And we’re not alone. Commentators around the globe have praised the lads for their exemplary conduct in walking away from the money, and their courage in reporting the bribe. Check out this report from no less an authority than Sports Illustrated: “SALT LAKE CITY — Imagine for a second that you’re Belize soccer player Ian Gaynair. You don’t make much money in your tiny Central American country, and now a man is in front of you offering you cash to lose a game by maybe a little more than you’re already expected to. Who would notice? You’re Belize. You’re supposed to get blown out by the United States. Who cares if it’s by four goals or by six?

Starting A Business In Belize
Whether it’s large or small, starting a business in Belize is a great idea. The type and size of your business all depends on your target market. If you’re catering to local Belizeans, bear in mind that the country has a small population of around 330,000. However, the country is a major tourist destination, thus if that’s your primary interest, your target market is much larger. Belize is close to the USA, which means it’s easy to travel to, having direct flights from, New York, California, Georgia, Florida, and Texas. The main language in Belize is English/ Kriol however, most locals speak English and/or Spanish, two of the most common languages in the world. The country has links to both Central America and the Caribbean, which allows us to benefit from trade agreements within both regions. Belize has many opportunities for tapping into new industries as it’s still fairly young and is considered a developing nation. Real Estate Property is relatively inexpensive for rental or purchase. Minimum wage, although one of the highest in the region, is still low when compared to rates in developed nations.

International Sources

My trip to the Hole in the Bottom of the Sea
When I signed up to take Tropical Ecology as an undergraduate at Loyola University New Orleans, I had no idea that the final exam would be a two-week trip to Belize. Imagine my surprise on the first day of class as my professor, Dr. Bob, explained that we’d be spending time at a jaguar sanctuary, in a modern Mayan village and on an uninhabited island in the Caribbean to learn first-hand about the flora and fauna of the tropics. I packed up my dad’s old yellow hiking backpack with sunscreen and bathing suits and got ready to explore Belize. After 10 days of exploring the Cockscombe Basin Wildlife Sanctuary and living among the modern Maya in a remote village, we traded our hiking boots for flip-flops, boarded a boat in Belize City called Captain Hoho and headed out to Half Moon Caye.

Flag of Belize Samsung Galaxy S4 Cover
The Case-Mate Barely There Samsung Galaxy S4 Case is an impact resistant plastic case that protects the back and sides of your S4 without adding bulk. Printed to the edge with your custom photos, art, and text, this glossy finish case features easy access to all ports, sensors, cameras, and controls.

Belize's Character Proves They Belong on CONCACAF's Biggest Stage
Belize lost to the USA 6-1 in their first ever Gold Cup match. But they've already won in a much bigger game on the world stage, and this game isn't played on the soccer field. This has nothing to do with how Belize performed against the United States, in the country's first ever CONCACAF Gold Cup game, a 6-1 loss on Tuesday night. This has nothing to do with Belize keeper Shane Orio's solid individual effort in front of goal, despite allowing six on the evening. This has nothing to do with Ian Gaynair's unmarked header in the box in the 40th minute, Belize's first ever goal in a major competition. But this has everything to do with the actions of Gaynair and his teammates Woodrow West and Andres Makin Jr., who were approached by a gentleman offering money in exchange for fixing Belize's first group game against the United States. In an age where match-fixing scandals are rampant in the world - Italy, Nigeria and Asia just to name a few - three Belizean players on a team with only two full professionals on the roster did the only thing that came to their mind.

"Challenges and Opportunities in the Belize Education Sector
The Inter American Development Bank (IDB) has issued a released a 'technical note" on the "Challenges and Opportunities in the Belize Education Sector." A cursory look at the 43-page report shows that Belize's education system is not getting maximum returns for the millions of dollars being pumped into the sector. The report, penned by Emma Näslund-Hadley, Haydée Alonzo and Dougal Martin and dated May, 2013, points out that despite a high level of inputs to the education system in Belize, the outcomes are poor. On page 7 of the report, the authors note that Mayan children are being left behind at all levels of the education system, compared to other ethnic groups.

July 14, 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

Montreal-based students conduct Summer Camp on Ambergris Caye, Belize
A group of four students from Montreal, Canada are on Ambergris Caye hosting a summer camp for local children of San Pedro Town. The summer camp was facilitated by Matachica Resort and Spa located on northern Ambergris Caye and was the vision of 17 year old Nicholas Lighter. The summer camp, which is in its second week, will run for a total of four weeks (through the end of July). According to Lighter, he sought help from three of his friends: Eric Drymer, Max Rabin-Oveitch, and Jonathan Garfinkle, all from Montreal. The four students had one thing in common – all wanted to do something positive during the summer – and so they decided that a Children’s camp in Belize would be good. “I was thinking about what to do this summer. In Montreal there are a lot of opportunities to work at different summer camps as well as in the United States and other parts of Canada. I wanted to do something different and I spoke to my father. He owns Matachica Resort on Ambergris Caye and so I was discussing it with him. He told me that he has seen, over his years here during the summer, kids walking around not making any use of their time. We thought that a camp would be very useful for the kids. This will allow them to have something to do over summer. My dad thought I would be a perfect candidate to make the camp happen because I have friends who were also looking for something to do. With help of my friends and the assistance of the staff at Matachica Resort, we arranged the camp.” In addition to his Canadian friends, Ismael Figueroa of San Pedro Town is also assisting him.

San Pedro Traffic Department fully equipped with radios
As of Thursday July 11th, the San Pedro Traffic Department is now fully equipped with six handheld radios. The donation was made by the Area Representative and Minister of Tourism and Culture Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. through the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC). Heredia explained to The San Pedro Sun that he was approached by the SPTC with the request. “It is a contribution made to the San Pedro Town Council through my ministry so that they can enhance the services provided by the traffic department. I was informed that they wanted to improve their communication access, not only within the traffic department but also with the police. I will also be making a similar donation to the San Pedro Police Formation and this will enable a more efficient way of communicating between the two entities,” said Heredia. The radios are standard Motorola handheld rechargeable battery communication radios. Present during the short handing over ceremony was Chris Nuñez, Senior Traffic Supervisor for Ambergris Caye. Nuñez said that the traffic department is grateful for the donation. “We had only four hand radios and some of our traffic wardens were without a radio while on duty. With this donation, all of our traffic wardens will be fully equipped with handheld communication radios. In addition, through a special radio channel, we will be able to improve our communication with the police. These will help us share information not only within our department but with our local police,” said Nunez.

Misc Belizean Sources

Free Software Summit at SHJC
Sacred Heart Junior College is hosting this year's Central American Free Software Summit. It started yesterday, and finishes tomorrow evening. They are covering a wide spectrum of applications that are free. SHJC is getting great use from the new auditorium. Pictures of the progress of phase 3 are coming soon. "Free Software Summit hosted at Sacred Heart Junior College"

Innovation Center's First Class
Feel good news of the day. The Innovation Center started their first class, an Intro to Computers class, last week. Well done! In related news, their Intro to Excel classes start Monday, the 15th, and they also go for 4 weeks. "What we do is a short demonstration of things that can be done with each program, then let them discover, experiment, find out how things work. The 'undo' button is the magical tool enabling them to try things and go back if it does not look right. We don't interfere or tell them what is right and wrong, just answer their questions and point them in the right direction. They help each other too, one discovers and they share."

Midas Hosts BIFF
Midas Resort will the hosting the Cayo edition of the Belize International Film Festival last night. They'll be showing The Candidate and Her. After the movie, they'll have an all white pool party. You can see the complete list of films they'll be showing this weekend at The BIFF has a really smooth video out for this year's festivities.

Flor de la Feria 2013 Pageant Pictures
Here is the definitive album for the Seniorita Flor de la Feria pageant. Congratulations again to all contestants for doing their best, and having such a well orchestrated event. Orquidea Negra and Pablo Collado were there too. D Russell Photography captured it all, and the pictures are crisp and clear. It's as if he was on the stage too. Danielli Gutierrez is the new Flor de la Feria 2013.


Team Jaguars Will Play In Honour Of Danny And His Family
But as they say, the game must go on, and while Jimenez prepares for the worst, Belize’s national team who is just hours away from confronting Costa Rica in the...

Educating Cane Farmers For A better Sugar Industry
Have you heard the slogan, education is the key to success? Many educational facilities can relate to it since it directly impacts the attitude, practices, and motivation of those who...

Corozal Police Increase Routine Patrol
Crime statistics released in early July show that for the first half of 2013 the District of Corozal recorded 27 burglaries and a spate of robberies, that’s, not including those...

Tacos Vendors Robbed Early Friday Morning
Early this morning two tacos vendors from Orange Walk Town were robbed by a ruthless criminal. At around 6:00pm, Neri Madera and her aunt opened their tacos stand located on...

Woodrow West Will Play Against Costa Rica
After they suffered a great lost against team USA in the first round of the Gold Cup on Tuesday in Portland, players of team Jaguars are ready to get on...

But BSCFA Says "We Will Not Fall Under Pressure"
Apparently, the problem between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and the group headed by Teck, won’t go away anytime soon. Today when we spoke to BSCFA’s Chairman of the...

Renegotiation Of BSCFA/BSI Sugar Purchasing Agreement In Jeopardy
The Committee of Management of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association is presently at odds with some of its directors and branch chairmen. The relationship between both parties has taken...

Team Jaguar's Danny Jimenez Returns Home To Be With His Ailing Mother
At 3:20 this afternoon one of Team Jaguars six forwards, Danny Jimenez, landed at the Philip Goldson International Airport on a United Airlines Flight from Salt Lake City Utah. Jimenez...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Summer Splash Bash – New Village Council On The Roll
The Caye Caulker Village Council has begun their work and activities are now on the way of happening! Their first planned activity is scheduled for August 3rd and 4th with the Summer Splash Bash which is being organized by the Events and Culture Committee. The Council members have become organized by forming committees and each member to be head of their respective department and to be responsible to obtain members from the community to work hand in hand on all activities being planned. The members are urging the community to become involved and offer your time and support because only with the support of the community can they move forward and become the council you want them to be. If you would like to join any of the committees, here are the persons you should contact: Events and Culture – Tracie Young Health Committee – Raul Young Sports Committee – Ralph Humes and Julian ‘Neno’ Rosado Environmental and Traffic – Ilda Marin Education and Social Issues – Enelda ‘Miss Neldy’ Rosado


Giant Jam Fundraiser for Drummer Dan’s Family last night at Legends Burger house
Legends has always been well known for it’s Jam night, fun atmosphere and and tasty burgers. Last night Legends Burger House was hosting a Drummer Dan fundraiser to help Dan’s family. If anyone knows what it means for a family in need to have a strong support system it’s charity minded owner Kevin Dahl. In addition to our fantastic island Island musicians, Kevin recruited couple of musicians from the East coast have wanted to come down and check out the music scene. They were glad to come down and lend a helping hand for a very worthy cause. Here are pics of Sunday Jam Drummer Dan memorial, Crazy Canucks, Exotic Caye Resort

Catamaran Sailing to Caye Caulker: My Number One Trip from Ambergris Caye
I have been on so so many catamaran sails from Ambergris Caye to Caye Caulker. I absolute love them and it’s my most recommended trip. All my favorite things are combined: lounging in the sun, eating and drinking of a beautiful catamaran, two snorkel stops to San Pedro’s top sites (Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley) and two hours on the very welcoming and very photogenic island of Caye Caulker. You will definitely see turtles, tons of fish, coral and sharks. You might see giant turtles or a giant turtle sea rescue. You could see dolphins or a manatee. You might end up fishing outside the reef and having your catch eaten by a hammerhead shark. Every one of my 25+ trips has been different.

Belize joins the fight against Fish Laundering
Fish laundering? Just when you think you’ve heard it all… But it turns out that fish laundering not only exists, but is major global problem with massive environmental and economic consequences. And – here’s the good news – Belize has been commended for taking measures against the practice. According to “The Fish Site” a fishing industry website, the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) “strongly supports” a recent decision by the Belize Fisheries Department to put a moratorium on unmonitored transhipments of fish at sea for Belize-flagged vessels, effective immediately. It’s a complicated issue, but briefly, there is a huge black market in Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) or ‘pirate’ fishing, which is not only damaging to the environment, but the global economy as well.

“One Piece at a Time” in Ambergris Caye, Belize
Had a bit of a lie-in yesterday and didn’t get up until just before 6 am. This late get-up for me was caused in no small part by Jason Stalham and Jet Li. Why them you may well ask. Well, because I inexplicably sat up until nearly 2 am watching a film that they appeared in called War. Crap storyline but I am an absolute glutton (some may say a cretin) for films with violence in and especially martial arts ( I just love the choreography). Even though I had got up so ‘late’ I still went through my usual routine. Coffee on the veranda with my iPad and The Times on-line for in depth reporting on the current Ashes match (for non UK readers this is a historical cricket test match series played between Australia and England which started in 1882). After showering, dressing and having breakfast I still wasn’t inclined to do a great deal (one of the pluses of being retired) so I took my book (even though it is an enjoyable read I am determined to finish the damn thing now) to the beach in front of the condo we are renting whilst our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize is taking place and enjoyed some leisure time.

International Sources

Follow the Frog
Follow the Frog was nominated for a People's Voice Webby! You don't have to go to the ends of the Earth to save the rainforest. Just Follow the Frog! What's behind the green frog seal? Only farms that meet rigorous sustainability criteria earn the right to use the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal. These criteria address all of the three pillars of sustainability -- environmental protection, social equity and economic viability -- and farms are evaluated by independent, third-party auditors.

Costa Rica beats Belize 1-0 in Gold Cup
Costa Rica advanced to the CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinals, beating Belize 1-0 Saturday on an own goal by Dalton Eiley in the 49th minute. Costa Rica extended its shutout streak to 704 minutes with the win, which assured the Ticos of playing their quarterfinal in Baltimore on July 21. Costa Rica (2-0) plays the United States (2-0) on Tuesday at East Hartford, Conn., in a match that will determine the Group C winner. The Ticos have one loss in their last 17 matches, a 1-0 defeat to the U.S. in a World Cup qualifier played during a Colorado snowstorm in March. Belize (0-2) lost its opener 6-1 to the U.S. on Tuesday, and its players reported to soccer officials that they had been approached by a match-fixer before that game.

Gold Cup: Own goal dooms Belize against Costa Rica
The crowd wasn’t what Alvaro Saborio is used to, but the outcome had to feel familiar. Real Salt Lake’s all-time leading scorer captained his Costa Rican national team to a 1-0 win over Belize in front of an ever-dwindling crowd at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday afternoon. "It was not an easy game for us," said Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto. "It’s not like people were saying that Belize doesn’t know how to play. They’re a very good team. They gave us a lot of hard time." Costa Rica struggled to break down a Belize side that gave up six goals to the United States last week. Instead, it was Belize that inflicted the most damage on itself. In the 50th minute, defender Dalton Eiley attempted to clear a cross headed for Saborio in front of the goal. Instead, Eiley directed the ball past goalkeeper Woodrow West before falling to the ground in disbelief.

July 13, 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

Coral Reef Ed-venture holds its 14th graduation ceremony
The Coral Reef Ed-Ventures summer camp is a children’s educational program held in collaboration with Smith College from Massachusetts, USA and the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. The camp has been taking place for over 14 years in the island. On Thursday, July 11th, they held their annual end of camp open house at the Lion’s Den for the participating children. The program teaches children about reef ecology and conservation and preservation of marine habitats. The camp it has grown since its inception, and this year over 63 students participated in the two week program. The summer program is divided into two parts: The youth camp, for kids ages 9 – 12 and the advanced camp for students 12 through 17. The venue for the camp was the San Pedro RC School.

British Army hands over Trucks to BDF
The Belize Defense Force today received a total of Seventeen (17) Four-Ton Trucks from the British Army Training Support Unit Belize (BATSUB). The Handover took place at a short ceremony this afternoon in which the main speakers were British High Commissioner in Belize His Excellency Mr. Pat Ashworth and CEO in Belize’s Ministry of National Security Colonel (Ret.) George Lovell. Mr. Ashworth said his Government is pleased to be able to make the donation to the Belize Defense Force; and CEO Lovell said the Belize Government is very grateful for the assistance which will go a long way in enabling the BDF to transport its troops.

Coral Reef Ed-Ventures Says “Thank You”!
Notes from the children....

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Transport Department receives Radios from Minister Heredia
Minister Manuel Heredia presented the San Pedro Transport Department with six Motorola hand-held radios at the San Pedro Town Council on Thursday, July 11, 2013. The Minister of Tourism and Culture stated that the purpose of the donation was for the Transport Department to have a more productive and easier management system when it comes to communicating with both the Transport and Police Department. On hand for the donation were Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Councilor Kenrick Brackett, Chris Nuñez and Claudio Azueta of the San Pedro Transport Department. The Belize Tourism Board had previously donated six hand-held radios to the San Pedro Police Department in November 2012 and will be handing over six additional radios later this year.

British Army Hands over Trucks to Belize Defense Force
The Belize Defense Force today received a total of Seventeen (17) Four-Ton Trucks from the British Army Training Support Unit Belize (BATSUB). The Handover took place at a short ceremony this afternoon in which the main speakers were British High Commissioner in Belize His Excellency Mr. Pat Ashworth and CEO in Belize’s Ministry of National Security Colonel (Ret.) George Lovell. Mr. Ashworth said his Government is pleased to be able to make the donation to the Belize Defense Force; and CEO Lovell said the Belize Government is very grateful for the assistance which will go a long way in enabling the BDF to transport its troops.

Misc Belizean Sources

Rowan Dives the Great Blue Hole
The Owners, management, and staff of Amber Sunset Jungle Resort fully supports Rowan Garel’s initiative to raise funds for the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired’s (BCVI) rehabilitation program. Rowan will be diving The Great Blue Hole on Sunday July 14, 2013. Amber Sunset General Manager, Giovanni Pelayo, recalls visiting the Cockscomb basin back in 2011 to welcome back Rowan and his dad, Joe, on his return from climbing the summit of Victoria Peak which was his first initiative to help the BCVI raise funds. “It was a very proud moment in our family. He continues to amaze us. We have known Rowan from the time he was born; my father is actually Rowan’s God father and a childhood friend of his father, Joe. We watched him grow up to be an amazing young man; not letting his visual impairment hold him back from anything. It was truly inspiring to witness such an accomplishment. Now he is about to do something no one else has ever done. My family and I are very excited for him,” Mr. Pelayo said.

Grow Your Own a Growing Restaurant Trend in Belize
The growing trend of diners becoming more health conscious and environmentally aware in their restaurant choices is spreading throughout the hospitality business, even in remote locations such as Belize, according to the restaurant manager of the Lodge at Chaa Creek. Bryony Fleming Bradley, Chaa Creek’s food and beverage manager, said she and her staff have been surprised by the number of guests enquiring about not only the ingredients of their meals, but how those ingredients are sourced. She said such enquiries are welcome and shows that “people are becoming more involved in the entire dining experience.” “Years ago people were happy to just get a nice meal in this part of the world, to find a little variety from rice and beans. Now, more and more, diners are asking things like how pesticide free the ingredients are and how big the ecological footprints of the meals we serve are. It’s a very healthy trend, and one we welcome,” she said. Ms Fleming Bradley said because Chaa Creek maintains a Maya organic farm to supply the eco-resort and as an example of Maya agriculture techniques, their restaurant’s meals tick many of the boxes when it comes to satisfying diners’ concerns. And growing your own food is becoming a model other restaurants are beginning to emulate, she said.

Leave the gays alone!
A senior Government minister has written a public essay expressing grave concerns about what she perceives could be the promotion of hate crimes against gay men and women in Belize. Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development Minister Lisel Alamilla posted the short essay on her Facebook page, prefacing her missive by stating that "I do not oppose persons having different views or religious beliefs, but it concerns me immensely when those are being communicated by misinformation, manipulation and fear with could result in hate crime". Alamilla used a couple of photographs taken during the pro-Constitution demonstration in Toledo, southern Belize last week, depicting what could be described as the hanging in effigy of the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM). "The photo is extremely concerning and even frightening," she wrote, questioning whether a line was crossed by those who are opposed to UNIBAM and the revised National Gender Policy. "Will they soon be hanging women who dare to be leaders? Would they have hanged my son who was disabled? Would they hang me because I am Mestizo who married a black man? You may say absolutely not; but tell me then why is it okay for them to have the cardboard cut out of a person, with a noose around its neck and the word UNIBAM written across its back? Is this not promoting hate, will this not lead to hate crimes?"

LGBT rights issues have been boiling over for a while in Belize. Caleb Orozco of the The United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) pursued a constitutional challenge of the country’s Section 53 anti-sodomy law, which we covered here on OBLOGDEE in May (see links below). Shortly after that court case, the National Women’s Commission released their revised Gender Policy that had been approved by the country’s cabinet in March. Anti-gay fundamentalist Christian forces, rebelling against both, have now whipped their followers into such a frenzy that they are hanging cardboard cutouts of UNIBAM in effigy and proudly posting the calls to lynching online. The revised gender policy covers equality with men and progress in the areas of health, education, income and wealth generation, violence-prevention controls and political development for women. But because a section called ‘Respect for Diversity’ makes reference to respect for sexual orientation the churches are claiming it promotes homosexuality and advocating for repeal. Pro-constitution rallies and anti-gender policy protests called by evangelical associations and other affiliated organizations are being held across the country. Belize Action, made up of the Council of Churches and the Belize Evangelical Association of Churches, is once again leading the charge.

Belize gets unique support from back home
Soon after the elation over clinching a first berth in the CONCACAF Gold Cup had subsided, the work began for Belize.

10 reasons to dive the Southern Barrier Reef of Belize
The 2nd biggest barrier reef in the world and the biggest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere. The majority of tourists visit the Northern cayes. Visit Southern Belize and you can dive some of the best dive sites in the world and there are NO other divers!

Rock, Paper, Scissors in Cayo
Some silliness for the morning. They finally showed the Rock, Paper, Scissors episode that was filmed in Cayo at the Cahal Pech Resort. Could've done without the commentators, who appropriately had the letters 'B' and 'S' showing whenever they were on camera. No need to waste time watching: Shamira won it, Deon came in second, and Aurora placed third. Was that Amini Gilharry doing the cards in the background? "Episode 2 of Rock Paper Scissors brought to you by Lighthouse Lager. Join us as we battle for the champion from Cahal Pech Bar in San Ignacio. Top three move on to the finals to be held on August 3rd."

SIPL's SMART Program
Feelgood news of the day. The San Ignacio Public Library had their SMART Summer camp, where they helped kids with math and reading. "One week of 'Summer Math and Reading Tutorial' was held at the library. During this week children had fun with activities such as face painting and arts. Thank you all for making this year's SMART program at San Ignacio Public Library a success. Thank you volunteers and participants."

Belize Jaguars vs. Costa Rica
The Belize Jaguars are playing Costa Rica tonight, and Meluchi's is projecting it on their big screen. They'll have panty rippers and screw drivers for just $4 during the game. After the game, they are having their Xtreme Glow dance with Mistah Geeh, Riddim One, and DJ Trav. They'll be giving away glow gifts, drinks, and a phone. In related news, they are having their Summer Freaky dance tonight with Mistah Geeh and Richie Galvez.

Calypso Rose at Soul Project
Calypso Rose stopped by the Soul Project to play a few songs. It's a short, fun video. In related news, it's Open Mic night at the Soul Project. "Calypso Rose chilling and preforming at Belize Soul Project, in San Ignacio, classic moment with this beautiful legendary humble artist."

In Bloom at Benque Fiesta
In Bloom will be at the Benque Fiesta concert Saturday night. There will be 4 bands total, with a wide range of rock music. It'll be at the Metal Haven booth, and will start at 6:00pm. "In Bloom Will Be Playing Live At The Metal Haven Bash Booth At The Benque Fiesta This Saturday 13th of July Alongside Bad Rabbits, Emendo, and Death Suppressor "

Seniorita Flor de la Feria Pictures
Congratulations, Danielli Gutierrez, for being crowned Seniorita Flor de la Feria 2013! They've got 100's af great pictures from the event on their page. Miss Photogenic 2013: Ileani Sansores, Srta. Arcoiris. The evening gown segment, question and answer segment and final look was won by Srta. Agua. The beach wear segment was tied in points with Srta. Fuego and Flora. The cultural segment costume was won by Srta. Fuego!

Feed The Children Fashion Show
The Cornerstone Foundation's Feed the Children Fashion Show will be tonight at the Octavia Waight auditorium. It starts at 6:00pm. Emannuel Mangar will play during the show.

Photographer Damon Russel captured these pictures during the selection of the 2013 Senorita Flor de la Feria in Benque Viejo del Carmen on Wednesday, July 11th.

New Señorita Flor de La Feria chosen
The people of Benque Viejo del Carmen have chosen 17 year old Danielli Gutierrez as the 2013-2014 Señorita Flor De La Feria. Gutierrez was chosen during a pageant held earlier this week. Her selection coincides with the annual Benque Fair which runs this weekend in Belize’s westernmost town.

Soca Rhythms from Calypso Rose and Lord Rhaburn to fill the air on Saturday Night, July 13th, 2013
This Saturday night in Belize will bring back memories for many Belizeans as Calypso Rose and Lord Rhaburn take the stage at the House of Culture. Rose and Rhaburn has been very instrumental in keeping Belizeans moving to the rhythms of Calypso for many September Celebrations in Belize. This weekend is history in the making as they take the stage and entertain Belizeans once again.

Crystal Cave Tubing in Belize | Sophie's World Travel Inspiration
In Belize, I ziplined once again. Love it! This time we were also going crystal cave tubing. I had no idea what that was, but it sounded exciting.

Channel 7

One Jaguar Returns Home
Last night, 7News showed you the decision by National Football Team member Danny Jimenez to return home because of the failing health of his mother, Theresita Jimenez. It’s a tough decision that he had to make because he prioritizes his family at the highest level, but he also is walking away from the biggest opportunity that Team Belize has earned so far. This evening, he arrived at the PGIA at 3:20, and when he came out, he spoke to media about the urgency of his mother’s situation. Danny Jimenez - Member, Belize National Team "I got up 3 o'clock this morning to get the 5am flight from Utah to Houston and then I waited three hours in Houston to get the flight to Belize. Before I left Belize, everyone knew the problem with my situation with my mom and unfortunately the situation turn out drastically and I had to come back. I put family first and I would want to the team out there still and hopefully if everything work to plan, then Monday morning I will fly back to Connecticut." Reporter "It's a hard question to ask but tell me a little about your emotions coming back to Belize, for the reasons you're back."

Nat’l Team Got a Consolation Prize: Respect
And while his mother’s health remains on his mind, he told us that he had difficulty focusing on that match on Tuesday which Belize played against the US. He also explained what he thought happened on the field when the veteran players went up against those big football names on the US National Team. Here’s how that conversation went: Danny Jimenez - Member, Belize National Team "Basically I think it was a lost of concentration for Belize because we were down 2 Nil then we brought to game to 2 - 1 and I think when we scored that goal, the entire team lost focus and I think some of the main players that were to play big for us, didn't play big - for some reason they were nervous and that is what caused them to put that amount of goal against us. All I want to say to the Belizean public is that the team - eventhough we lost 6 to 1 we went out there with our mind to do our best and I know most of us did our all. I just want them to continue follow the team because the team is out there going through a lot of situations. My situation, Kuylen sitaution and a lot of things happened before we left the country and we still went through all of those things and I just want the Belizean public continue to support the team."

Woodrow West Will Start In Costa Rican Match
The Belize Jaguars arrived at the Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy Utah this afternoon at 4:15 pm - almost exactly 24 hours before their game two against Costa Rica in the 2013 Gold Cup . It's the home stadium of the Real ("Re-Al") Salt Lake MLS Soccer Team, a natural grass field in a stadium which seats twenty thousand. We caught the team on arrival and they were upbeat. Ashley Torres - Defender "Yes we're ready, we're all here trying to prepare ourselves for tomorrow's game." Ian Gaynair - Defender "This entire stadium reminds me Costa Rica because it looks similar to Costa Rica one so I think we could even beat Costa Rica here." Jules Vasquez "How do you feel about the natural turf?" Ian Gaynair "Well that's what I'm used to so I think it's like an advantage for us because we're not used to artificial turf so I think we'll have a much better match playing on natural turf." The biggest change for tomorrow's game is that Coach Ian Mork has rotated his goalkeepers. Shane Orio started last game, but this time, the starter will be Woodrow West, who faced the same Costa Rican team in the Copa Ceontroamericana two months ago. This evening at a press conference at the stadium, West and the Coach discussed his starting role:

Captain Eiley Will Play
One other change for tomorrow is that Dalton Eiley is expected to take the field. He's still listed as day to day but last night he visited a Doctor in Salt Lake where a number of tests were performed to find out what’s causing him pain in the lung area. Here's what the team doctor told us this afternoon about the Doctor's visit. Dr. Elfryn Reyes, Team Doctor "We went with Dalton to the Salt Lake Medical Center, basically to get a reiteration and to let the player get the confidence to play on the match on Saturday. He did a chest X-ray on Dalton and the diagnosis was basically what I had initially said - the problem with the acute gastritis and additionally well the Doctors over there thought that he had Pleurisy. Pleurisy is just an inflammation of the pleura a membrane that covers the lung and so when he breathes with exertion or with intense exercise, then he will feel the pain,. So in his condition, we recommended that he stays on anti inflammatory on what I had him on initially, and to control his breathing, so basically this evening we will test him one more time and I think that he will be able to play in the match." Jules Vasquez "A lot of times, seeing the doctor has a psychosomatic effect and especially if the tests were done in hospitals here in the states." Dr. Elfryn Reyes "Exactly, that's what I wanted and I think that's what we got" Jules Vasquez "What are you telling the coach?"

Bze. Immigration Upgrades To PIRS
Since, the Honorable Senator Godwin Hulse took over as the Minister of Immigration; it has seen a major overhaul. One aspect of that overhaul is to introduce stricter requirements to obtain a Belizean Passport, in order to improve the confidence of the international community that such holders deserve to have this very important document, and to try to decrease criminal activities which can embarrass the nation. Well, there’s another to report tonight, which involved the launching of the Personal Identification and Registration System. It was done with a little bit of ceremony, this morning and 7News attended. Daniel Ortiz has that report: Daniel Ortiz reporting This morning, the arrival section of the Phillip Goldson International Airport was buzzing with activity. But, it wasn’t the usual activity where lines of visiting and returning passengers waited to be processed by the Belize Immigration Department. Everywhere we looked around the immigration hall, there were reminders that the cameras, and by extension the media, was not really allowed to be here. But this was no ordinary day.

Deon Bruce Wanted By US
And so, while the Immigration Department enjoyed a great day, courtesy in part by the US Embassy, one Belizean family has had a very poor time since morning. That’s after 28 year-old Deon Bruce was detained by police in relation to the extradition order presented to Belizean authorities, by the US Government. According to the US, he’s wanted for a slew of charges which includes murder. The extradition order was presented to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on last week Tuesday, and yesterday, Bruce was finally picked up. This caused his family to go into a wave of panic because he was picked up and denied the ability to speak to family, and to his attorney. Our colleagues at Love TV were out there at the police station where Bruce was being held, and they spoke to attorney Michael Peyrefitte who explained the difficulties he had been having with the officers: Michael Peyrefitte - Attorney "The person has a right to make a phone call, the person has a right to consult immediately without delay with an attorney at law. Come to the police station on Queen's street, the duty officer has made it very clear to me that I am not - even as an attorney - not allowed to see Mr. Bruce who is a person who is detained. Mr. Bruce in my opinion is being illegally detained and his constitutional rights are seriously being violated. No police seem to have an answer. Clearly some of the police officers there would for me to see him seeing that that is the proper process. But the direction from Mr. Vidal that absolutely nobody is to see Mr. Bruce - no food allowed, no communication, no attorney and that is something that I feel the need to speak about, that is absolutely wrong. The standard process is that when decent police have people detained - you come here, you ask to see the person, you talk to the person and the police will give you an indication 'Mr. Peyrifitte this person is in here for murder or whatever and is pending investigation and that is fine. You at least know what the person is detained for, you at least get a chance to speak to the person so that the person can give you instructions necessary . But all I got from the corporal is just a bland - 'Mr. Peyrefitte you can't see your client."

Fawda Claims Harrassment By “Political Thugs”
And another man crying foul is the well-known controversial Phillip “Fawda” Henry. That is – according to him – after 2 men, who he says are political thugs jumped him last night and gave him a savage beating. This morning, he told us about the ordeal, where he received a surprise attack from men he was sure was drunk: Phillip "Fawda" Henry - Claims he was harassed "Approximately 5:52, I came down to the city to drop someone off to the bus and also to buy some food for my family. At that time I heard the screech of a vehicle behind me and when the vehicle pulled up I noticed that it was a vehicle from Sports Council . Everyone knows who drives the vehicle from Sports Council and the two individuals are very big supporter of the United Democratic Part and they started to chant out 'see the effin PUP there, we will deal him and kill him' - now I know that nobody can kill me just like that because I will defend myself. So I turned back and didn't pay them attention because I saw that they were drunk in the vehicle. There were four guys and a female at the front with the driver - so I turned around to pay the lady for the food, at the time I turned around, the short guy hits me straight into my cheek bone, dislocated my jawbone and now I have a huge cut in my mouth.

Marilyn Burgess’ House Fell
We’ve showed you the issues that homeowner Marilyn Burgess has been having since February of this year. She lives in her house at Faber’s Road with 9 other people, which has been in desperate need of repair. She’s been desperately seeking help from her area representative, Minister Anthony “Boots” Martinez, who has told us that she must wait on a list like every other citizen who is need of government assistance. Well, while she’s been patient, apparently, the structural integrity of her house isn’t and finally after months in disrepair, it fell. Yesterday, her family called us out to the location where they explained the few moments before the house gave in: We contacted the family a few moments ago, who told us that their area representative has given them a minor relief, and has promised to help them as soon as he can.

Costa Rican Coach Watching Belize Closely
As we showed you in the last segment, Belize is preparing to compete against Costa Rica in their second match for the first round of the Gold Cup. The Coach of the Costa Rican team is Colombian Jorge Luis Pinto - who has been head coach of that team off and on since 2004. His current coaching stint started in 2011, so, he has the advantage of greater familiarity with his players. He team also has the advantage of having beat Cuba 3 - nil in their first game - with all three goals scored in the second half. With that, Costa Rica seems poised as a possible finalist in the Gold Cup. But 90 minutes ago at a Press Conference at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, the coach wasn't looking ahead to that, he said he considers Belize a tough matchup. Costa Rica beat Belize one nil in the recent Copa Centroamericana with a goal in the 55th minute.

Incentives To Produce Films In Belize
Last night, the 8th Belize International Film Festival opened yesterday, and 7News attempted to provide you the viewers with a preview of those films which have been submitted. We contacted the personnel in charge at Institute of Creative Arts, those who are responsible for the festival, but they were apparently unavailable. We did get a call back today, and invited to a workshop being facilitated by one the filmmakers. He told us that Belize may be able to present independent filmmakers with incentives to shoot movies in the country. Here’s how he explained why: The film festival’s highlights take place on next week Monday, July 15th, 2013 at the House of Culture.

Two Summer Camps Bring Neighborhoods Together
Former football player Deon Flowers has been organizing his Third World summer camp for 13 years now for the neighborhood kids living around the Third World Field. It started 2 weeks ago, and he’s been just bearly able to keep the program running. At the same time, Edon “Yellow” Rowley has also been holding his own Football summer camp, which ended today at the ITVET. Well, both camp directors decided to organize a neighborhood bonding sporting tournament, and 7News stopped by today. Here’s what each organizer told us: The Third World Camp continues for the next 2 weeks, and he’s asking members of the public to assist him. He can be found every day at the Third World Field behind the Saint Martin De Porres Primary School.

Belizean American, A Big Jaguars’ Fan
Last night we showed you two Belizeans living in the Northwestern United States for whom the visit of the Belizean National Football Team means the world - and that's whether they win or lose. That's because the team coming to their area gives them a brief sense of belonging in a far flung are of the United States where there aren’t many Belizeans. We met one such fan who was so determined to find the team that he parked in front of the stadium in Utah the day before waiting to see somebody associated with the delegation. And he found them when the LOVE FM Crew stopped by to get their media passes. He stuck with them and found the team at the NIKE Store - which happens to be on the very compound where he works! We took a drive with him to find out what life is like for a Belizean in Portland:

Laugh And Dance For Heart Advocacy
If you don’t have any plans for tomorrow night, The Estelle Cardiac Foundation is offering to tickle your funny bone with international comedian, Michael Blackson. In addition, the foundation has brought in the well-known dancehall artist, General Degree, who will be sure to entertain you with some of his well-known hits. Today, the organizer of the show told us that it is for a worthy cause: Ticket prices are $40 dollars in advance or $50 at the door. There is also VIP seating available for $60 dollars.

Channel 5

Jaguar, Danny Jimenez returns to be with dying mother
On Saturday afternoon, the Belize Jaguars will meet Costa Rica in the pitch at the Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake, Utah. Internationally, the national team is considered the underdogs [...]

Jimenez expresses confidence in the National Team
And while nobody can dispute or disagree with Jimenez’s reasons for coming home, the fact is that his offensive runs in the game between Belize and the U.S.A. provided some [...]

Woodrow West will be the goal keeper in Costa Rica game
Team Belize Coach Ian Mork has announced that he will start Woodrow West in goal against Costa Rica, but his decision to play Shane Orio in goal in the first [...]

Dalton Eiley will play in Belize Vs Costa Rica game
The Jaguars will go up against a very strong Costa Rica on Saturday, and the good news is that both team captain Dalton Eiley and striker Dion McCauley have been [...]

Costa Rican Coach gives Belize Jaguars respect
So Team Belize is ready to roll, and at a press conference about an hour ago in Salt Lake, Utah, Costa Rica Coach, Jorge Luis Pinto was nothing, but respectful [...]

Will Deon Bruce be extradited without a hearing?
On Thursday afternoon, sometime around three o’clock, twenty-eight-year-old Deon Bruce was arrested by personnel from the Anti-Drug Unit before being escorted to the Queen Street Police Station, where he was [...]

Mark Seawell’s extradition still pending in court
In another extradition attempt, the case against Mark Seawell, wanted in the United States on drug-related charges, has been adjourned yet again, following a medical emergency which impeded attorney Arthur [...]

Employee steals the family jewels
Thirty-nine year old Chrysanthus Cal, a handyman employed by the Simon Quan family was today convicted of two counts of handling stolen goods. The goods in question are a diamond [...]

Border management gets PIRS: Personal Identification Registration System
After three years in the planning and pre-implementation stages, today the Ministry of Immigration and Nationality in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy officially launched a new border management system for [...]

Youth Business Trust a bust?
The Youth Business Trust of Belize, a non-profit organization established to assist budding entrepreneurs, has suspended its operations indefinitely.  Y.B.T.B. closed its doors today after citing, among other reasons, difficulties [...]

Throw a line in the workshop for fishermen
The Belize Fishermen Cooperative Association today held a training workshop in Belize City geared towards fishermen and focusing on fisheries laws and regulations, good fisheries practices and product quality. It [...]

Film Symposium discusses movie making and industry
The Film Festival opened on Thursday night with a red carpet event. The stars and stakeholders in the industry posed for photos at the opening at the Bliss Center for [...]

BAVIA says policy changes will grow film industry
The presenters at the BAVIA symposium discussed policies that worked in other parts of the region. BAVIA’s president and the Film Commissioner for the British Virgin Islands but discussed how [...]

Mexican artist drew details of Pat the Great Cat
The Mexican and U.S. Embassies and Pat the Great Cat Literacy Project hosted a presentation by the artist and illustrator for the educational children’s book. The event held at the [...]

PricewaterhouseCoopers helping students and teachers
For the past four years the US firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has teamed up with the international development organization Peacework and the Ministry of Education team for the Belize Financial Literacy Project. [...]


Belize Audio Visual Industry Holds Third Symposium
The Belize Audio Visual Industry Association today held its third annual Audio Visual Industry Symposium in conjunction with the Belize International Film Festival. The President of the Association, Brent Toombs told Love News what the symposium is geared at doing. BRENT TOOMBS, Preside...

Members of Belize National Football Team Getting International Positive Press
Meanwhile two of Jimenez’ teammates have been getting a lot of positive press. Earlier this week members of the Jaguars football team, Woodrow West and Ian Gaynair made public the fact that they had been approached to throw their game against the United States of America in the Gold Cup whi...

Midfielder for Belize National Football Team Returns Home for Family Emergency
Danny Jimenez, the National Football Team’s midfielder is back in Belize. Jimenez traveled reluctantly with the team last Friday, reluctantly because it was the same day that his mother, Theresita Jimenez, fell ill with a massive stroke that has confined her to a hospital bed, and Dan...

Young Belizean Detained Pending Extradition to the US
Last night Love News told you about Deon Bruce, who was taken into police custody after a warrant had been issued on July 2 for his arrest. But Bruce’s detention is not a matter for the local courts but rather for the courts in the U.S.A. Belizeans authorities were reportedly planning to ex...

Educational Sessions for Fishermen Ends Today
Today the last rounds of meeting held by the Belize Fishermen Cooperative Association to educate fishermen ended here in Belize City. The project is entitled “Improvement of Marine Biodiversity through Empowerment of Fishers” and its main purpose is to empower fishermen by training an...

Works of Children's Book Illustrator Showcased in Belize City
Mexican American artist Francisco Mora was today hosted at the Institute of Mexico through the conjunctive efforts of the Mexican Embassy, the U.S. Embassy and the Pat the Great Cat Literacy Project. Mora is the illustrator the children book, Pat the Great Cat: A Jaguar’s Journey. Mora&rsqu...

Firearm Offense Leads Construction Worker in Prison
Twenty-one year old Gregory Goodfellow, a construction worker of Perez Road in Ladyville, was remanded to Belize Central Prison today by Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith after he was charged with aggravated assault with a firearm on a 17 year old boy. Goodfellow pled not guilty to the char...

Long Time Employee Sentenced To Prison After Pawning Employer's Jewelry
Thirty-eight year old Chrisantus Cal, a former employee of Simon Quan Store charged with two counts of handling stolen goods for a diamond ring and a pair of gold earrings, was sentenced to one year for each today by Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith after she found him guilty of the charges. Ch...

Belize International Film Festival Kicks Off
There will be lots of fun and excitement as the Belize International Film Festival kicks off. And while many of the movies which will be screened are from abroad, there are some movies that are closer to Belize and its culture. One of these is Garifuna in Peril, a film set in Honduras. ...

New Purchasing Agreement to be Signed Between BSI and Cane Farmers Association
The Belize Sugar Cane Famers Association and Belize Sugar Industries are to meet next week to negotiate a new sugarcane purchasing agreement. The current agreement dates back to 2003. BSCFA Managing Committee Chairman is Alfredo Ortega. ALFREDO ORTEGA “This is an issue t...


Stakeholders Discuss The Benefits Of Renewable Energy
The final Private Sector Forum of three that the Ministry of Energy, Science , Technology and Public Utilities had set up for this year came to a conclusion in Corozal...

Prime Minister Dean Barrow Signs Controversial Statutory Instrument
On June 20th the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Honorable Dean Barrow signed into law Statutory Instrument NO. 63 of 2013 removing all supervisory and/or administrative authority of the...

No Food Handlers Permit, No Fiesta Rama
Fiesta Rama 2013 is right around the corner; to be exact we are just 15 days. The event is organized by the Orange Walk Town Council in order to generate...

Well Known Law Breakers Charged For Robbery Of Corozal Taxi Driver
They did the crime and now they will do time at the Kolbe Correction Facility for robbing a taxi driver from the Corozal District at gunpoint. On July 9th, 36...

Team Jaguars Exposes Attempt Bribery To The International Media
The results of the football match between Belize and USA may have caused certain controversies but one particular circumstance that was not overlooked was that of a match fixer who...

FFB Vice President Rawell Pelayo Detained By The DEA In Houston
The Vice President of the Football Federation of Belize, Rawell Pelayo, is no stranger when it comes to the sport of football in Belize. He was the founder and owner...

Danny Jimenez Of Team Jaguars To Return Home
As Team Jaguars prepare for their second match in the Gold Cup this time against Costa Rica, on Saturday, the team is facing another stumbling block as one of the...

Prime Minister Dean Barrow Signs Controversial Statutory Instrument
On June 20th the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Honorable Dean Barrow signed into law Statutory Instrument NO. 63 of 2013 removing all supervisory and/or administrative authority of the...


Immigration Department unveils new Border Management System
Belize is looking to improve its poor reputation as a haven for shipping of illicit goods and illegal activities, often conducted through our major ports of entry. Minister in charge of the Department of Immigration and Nationality Services, Senator Hon. Godwin Hulse, today helped unveil a Personal Identification and...

Final date set for habeas corpus hearing of Mark Seawell
Today Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin set a final date for the habeas corpus application hearing of drug trafficking suspect Mark Seawell. On Friday next, July 19, if attorneys Arthur Saldivar and Bryan Neal do not appear in court to discuss the progress of the case...

Deon Bruce in court for extradition hearing
Another matter regarding extradition to U.S. courts began today in the No. 1 Magistrate’s Court. Deon Bruce, 28, appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith with one of three counsel, Bryan Neal, where he was formally told that the Cook County Circuit Court based in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. wants him...

Outdoor vaccinations as clinic in Belmopan was closed
Yesterday, a vaccination session was hosted in Belmopan, but it was the condition under which the clinic was housed that stirred ire with the public. We were contacted and when we got there, we noticed that the Red Cross Building, where we understand the clinic should have been held...

Philip “Fawda” Henry claims he was viciously attacked
Social Activist, Philip “Fawda” Henry says he was viciously attacked. He has identified his attackers as known supporters of the UDP. Henry, no stranger to media cameras, today told us of the attack. Philip “Fawda” Henry: Approximately 5:52, I came down to the city to drop someone off to...

Constitutional March in Dangriga on Saturday
The series of Constitutional Marches continues this weekend. After drawing massive crowds in the last three districts, the Stann Creek District will host the event on Saturday. Here is community activist Douzie Ifan-yeh-chineke with details. Douzie Ifan-yeh-chineke: this Saturday at 3 o’clock, by the Drums of...

Belmopan Summer Interns at work in the city
Teaching young people the value of work – that’s what the Belmopan City Council has been doing for the past couple years through its summer internship program. This year’s program was launched on Monday, where students in and around the Belmopan area, for six weeks weeks, will carry out...

Belize national selection gaining global respect for rejecting match fixing offers
The Belize men’s National Football Team is tonight gearing up for a face-off against their Costa Rican counterparts, slated for Saturday evening. The Costa Rica team comes off a 3-0 win against Cuba and Belize a 1-6 loss against the US. Following the game, the Jaguars were in low...

Daniel Jimenez returns to be with his mother
National Team Footballer Daniel Jimenez is tonight with his ailing mother Teresita, after having to come home following news of a turn for the worse in her condition. She had suffered a stroke last week but she told her son she wanted him to play in the U.S. He...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Yvon Noralez, graduate of Caye Caulker Ocean Academy, wins National and International Scholarships recognizing Creativity and Youth Leadership
Belize’s Yvon Noralez is one of 25 students from 13 countries to be awarded an Adobe Creativity Scholarship administered by the Institute of International Education. The Creativity Scholarship program provides financial support to students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, a strong creative portfolio and commitment to pursuing a career in a creative field. Yvon is interested in developing his talents in photography and graphic design. Funded by the Creativity Scholarship, he will start sixth-form Fine Arts studies in the fall at St. John’s Junior College. Yvon was eligible for this full scholarship opportunity because of his participation in the Adobe Youth Voices Program (AYV) classes at Caye Caulker Ocean Academy. AYV follows a creativity curriculum and provides the digital tools, training and professional mentorship students need to develop essential skills such as self-expression, collaboration, flexibility and persistence. All AYV students produce original projects in video, photography, animation and other digital media categories spotlighting issues important to them.


One chopped in the head during argument while drinking; the other stabbed to death by irate car driver. Two men were killed in separate altercations – one in Silk Grass Village and the other in Bella Vista. Blas Alvarado, 39, of Silk Grass, was chopped in his head while drinking in front of a store in the village at about 5:30 p.m. on Friday, and Marlon Anthony Martinez, 32, of Bella Vista, was stabbed in his heart during an altercation at about 12:30 a.m. on Sunday while walking home after a party in Bella Vista. Police said that Fidio Mendez, 45, a Honduran residing in Silk Grass, was arraigned for the murder of Alvarado in the Dangriga Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, July 9. He was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until October 22, when he will be taken to face charges in the Supreme Court, to which his case will be traversed. In the case of the death of Marlon Martinez, Jose Montes, 31, was arrested and charged with murder and attempted murder, said Independence police. He was taken to the Independence Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, July 9, and was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until October 22, when he will be returned to face charges in the Supreme Court, to which his case was also traversed.

Wright was honored for being a singer, songwriter, artist, poet, community worker, activist and radio personality. The award-winning musician and entertainer, Tony Wright of KREM Radio, has again been awarded for his continued musical contribution and promotion of Belizean music. This time he was acknowledged as a songwriter, singer, artist, poet, community worker, activist, and radio personality at the Los Angeles Caye Fest 2013, at the Hollywood Park Casino. The Certificate of Acknowledgement was presented by the Consulate General of Belize to California, honorable Roland Yorke. The presentation was made on Sunday, July 7, on the Caye Fest stage in front of hundreds of people who went to the fest to enjoy the various performances. Wright had travelled to Los Angeles to co-host the Caye Fest and to entertain the audience. The award acknowledged Wright’s prolific work in the field of music, which started in 1966 in Belize. His first recording was made in California in 1971. It became a hit, and his popularity rose. Wright later recorded other hit songs like “Independence Now” in 1981, which was performed by many bands and singers on Independence Day.

There are some who believe that he was the man responsible for Belize losing its national team head coach Leroy Sherrier Lewis, not long after Sherrier led us to our best performance ever in UNCAF, and to secure our first ever berth to CONCACAF’s Gold Cup. Tonight, that man, FFB vice president Rawell Pelayo, is sitting in a Federal Detention Center in Houston, Texas, after he was denied entry to the US by US Immigration officials and reportedly hauled away by DEA agents. Pelayo was accompanying FFB president Ruperto Vicente to see our Belize national team play its first match in the Gold Cup against the mighty USA, in Portland, Oregon. Vicente said Pelayo was right behind him in the immigration line at Houston, but while the clean-cut Vicente easily passed muster with US immigration officials, not so for Pelayo. Vicente said it was like seeing an alligator swallow up someone next to him, and not being able to do anything about it. Vicente would go on to see Belize lose to the US national team, 6 to 1. Pelayo, who reports first said was denied entry to the US because of visa issues akin to those of national team player Elroy Kuylen, was led into a room and later taken to the federal detention center.

March on Dangriga planned for the weekend. Belize Can founder Patrick Menzies, one of several Belizeans who have stepped to the frontline in opposition to Belize’s Revised Gender Policy 2013, told us that more than 2,000 Belizeans who paid their own expenses attended Cayo’s Constitutional March as a sign of public support for Belize’s Constitution, but also as a signal that they do not support the recently approved policy. Menzies said that those Cayo protestors, as well as the over 4,000 who were estimated to have participated in last Friday’s march in Toledo, were “not a rent-a-crowd,” but people who paid their way to go out on a work day to participate. The people, he said, came out to send a message that they will stand for the Belize Constitution, which acknowledges the supremacy of The Creator. Notably, though, an official of the Council of Churches, one of two prominent Christian alliances (the other being the Evangelical Association of Belize) has indicated to the media that it has not yet taken a formal position; although they are concerned that the policy might pave the way for the legalization of homosexuality in Belize.

Two to be deported and the other gets $1,000 fine. Three immigrants appeared in Belize City Magistrate’s Court today, Tuesday, to answer to separate immigration offenses. Esvely Castro, a 26-year-old Honduran national, was fined $1,000 plus $5.00 cost of court after she pleaded guilty to the offense of failure to comply with a visitor’s permit. Castro legally entered Belize on December 17, 2013 and was granted stay in the country until April 14, 2013, but she never left the country. She was ordered to pay $50 to the Immigration Department for each of the three months during which she overstayed in Belize. The $1,000 fine and the cost of court were to be paid forthwith. Castro was able to make her payments before midday today and was released into the custody of the Immigration Department, where she will remain until she pays her fees for her overstay.

On February 15 of this year, Nicholi Rhys, 22, was acquitted of killing gang boss Andre Trapp, but today, he was back before the court on a charge of harm. According to police, they investigated a report made by Shantel Waight, a resident of George Street, which occurred yesterday. Although we don’t know what type of injury she sustained, it was classified as harm by the doctor who examined her at the hospital. Their investigation led to Rhys’s arrest and he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith unrepresented and pleaded not guilty to the charge. There were objections, but he was offered bail of $500 and one surety of the same amount, with the conditions that he stay away from Waight’s house and workplace, and he must report to the Queen Street Police Station every Monday between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. As mentioned above, Rhys was acquitted earlier this year of killing Andre Trapp, the reputed boss of the South Side Gang, on June 10, 2010. It was a sensational show of bravado, as Trapp was shot and killed on the steps in front of the Magistrate’s Court while the courts in the building had been in session.

Today, Wilmar Vicen, 24, Marlon Marroquin, 18, and Geovany Gaberette, 29, were taken before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart and read a total of five charges. Vicen, a salesman, Marroquin, a bakery assistant, and Gaberette, a laborer, all of whom are residents of Spanish Town, Ladyville, were all charged with wounding Henry Samayoa. According to police, Samayoa, 27, at 11:00 Saturday night, was heading home with his stepfather when the three men attacked him. The first man hit him with a piece of 2 x 4 lumber on the right side of his head, and he fell to the ground. While on the ground, Samayoa was hit by the second man with a metal pipe several times on his body, resulting in him suffering a fractured right hand. After assaulting him, that man then allegedly told him, “I will kill you.”

Police said that about 2:50 p.m. on Friday, July 5, they were informed of a robbery of a store at the corner of Hopkins and 1st Streets in Kings Park. According to the storeowner, around 1:55 p.m., three men of dark complexion, one of them armed with a shotgun, entered the store and stole cash, as well as an assortment of jewelry and phones, which together totaled around $2,875 in value. The three men then ran toward the direction of Baymen Avenue. Police investigations continue. As at press time, no one has been arrested, nor any of the stolen items recovered. There had been another incident of robbery earlier that Friday, July 5. According to a 46-year-old man who visited the Queen Street Police Station to report that he had been robbed around 6:14 a.m., he was jogging on St. Joseph Street when two men approached him and took away his chain, watch and cell phone. The chain is valued at $1,500, the cell phone at $1,200 and the watch at $350. Police launched an investigation, but up to press time, no one has been arrested and the items have not been recovered.

Two robbers on the run from Corozal police after stealing a taxi driver’s car and brutalizing him with the butt of a gun were captured in Orange Walk at about 6:30 yesterday morning, Tuesday. The men were travelling in the car, which had been stolen in Corozal, when police apprehended them. Police say that the two robbers are Edwin Bardarez, 26, a construction worker of Belize City, and Robert Hill, 36, a mechanic from Alta Mira, Corozal. When police approached the men to arrest them, Edwin Bardarez allegedly pointed a gun at them, but did not fire it. When police searched the two men, they found with them a Belize passport in the name of Gregorio Monteroso, and a black Motorola cell phone with calling number 607-1962. Police charged Bardarez with aggravated assault for pointing a gun at police, and he was jointly charged with handling stolen goods along with Hill. Hill was additionally charged for handling stolen goods in connection with the discovery of the passport. The men were taken to the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court today and they were remanded at the Belize Central Prison until August 28, when they will be returned to court.

Cabinet commissions more fact-finding before possibly approving Norwegian cruise port at Harvest Caye, Puerto Azul resort at Northern II Caye and Stake Bank cruise development Cabinet held yet another meeting Tuesday to discuss a proposed US$50 million cruise port at Harvest Caye, and while a signal of government’s inclination was expected to proceed at that Cabinet meeting, all that we could glean from that session is that Government is prepared to give a provisional “yes” – which means that unless the investment can solidly meet five parameters Government said is now being applied to all investment proposals, they won’t get Cabinet support. The talks have not only been about Harvest Caye, though. Minister of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development, NEMO, and Immigration & Nationality Services, Godwin Hulse, has been appointed to head Cabinet’s Investment Subcommittee, and according to Hulse, they have been tasked to review two other projects: the Stake Bank proposal and the Puerto Azul proposal. The other committee members are Minister of Trade, Investment, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection – Erwin Contreras; Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development – Santiago Castillo; Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development – Lisel Alamilla; Minister of Tourism and Culture – Manuel Heredia, Jr., and the Minister of State in Hulse’s ministry – Elvin Penner.

Third World Youth and Sports Summer Camp coordinator Dion Flowers complained to our sports desk yesterday that contributions are slow in coming in to assist the Sports Camp, which has registered over a hundred children from age 3 to 15 years, male and female. Flowers said he was particularly disappointed when, after much turnaround, he was asked to sign a note for a donation of only $50.00 from the Belize City Council. The camp continues, nevertheless, and this morning we stopped by the Third World field around 9:00 o’clock where we witnessed a group of about thirty children lined up and dutifully reciting a morning prayer, after which, they all sang the national anthem. The kids are being supervised in various games during the day, but, according to Flowers, food and refreshment are needed to help make the camp an enjoyable experience for the children.

Twenty young sailors from Belize City, Placencia and San Pedro skippered Optimist dinghies for 2 days in ideal waters and conditions off Banyan Bay Resort during last weekend’s thrilling Lobsterfest Regatta on June 22-23. For some of the skippers, this was their very first regatta, ever… The sailors were divided into two evenly matched fleets of 10. Each fleet raced four times. The day’s races placed 10 skippers – the top 5 from each fleet – in the finals; however, the other 10 were far from done. On Sunday, they raced against each other in a 2-race, runner-up series. The top three were Tyler Garbutt of Placencia, Davin Puc of San Pedro, and Carlos Villatoro of Placencia. Then the top 10 from Saturday took to the boats for their 2-race final. The first of these two 2-lap races was the most dramatic race of the regatta. Faith Noel of San Pedro, who had sizzled to the top of Saturday’s leader board with one 1st and three 2nd place finishes, looked to be continuing her dominance; however, Jerdon Anderson of San Pedro and the Sea Scouts’ Trent Hardwick would not let her break free of their pursuit. Both Jerdon and Trent had taken a first away from Faith on Saturday, and in this race, the lead changed among these leaders several times. Faith rounded the final mark ahead of Jerdon and Trent. Riding white-capped swells on the run to the finish, Jerdon, not Trent, appeared to be the threat. Then, somehow, Trent, from behind and to the right of the 2 leaders maneuvered between them, but still behind. Suddenly, and barely 15 yards from the finish line, the crest of a wave caught Trent’s boat. He surfed that crest, cutting between his two surprised rivals to a stunning victory. The wave deposited him across the line, barely a second ahead of Faith and maybe a half second more ahead of Jerdon. Attached photos tell the story.

Last night on Krem’s Press Cadogan Sports Show, host Gilroy “Press” Cadogan called for the firing of coach Ian Mork of the Belize national team. And on this morning’s Krem WUB, Belizean educator/activist and patriot Ms. Sandra Coye also called for the immediate dismissal of Belize Jaguars coach, Ian Mork; and, understandably, it is a sentiment shared by not a few disappointed Belizean fans, after Tuesday’s 6-1 Gold Cup disaster against the USA. Last night, Channel 7 News aired the comments of suspended assistant national team coach Charlie Slusher; and, despite his reported previous transgressions, Charlie’s comments are worth noting, as “fish from river bottom.” Perhaps that is because it is pretty much the same thing we had gleaned a few weeks ago from at least 3 players on the national team, and two were defenders. Our players, like soldiers, are trained to follow the coach’s instructions; and, especially now that they are being paid, and have signed a contract as well, it is to be expected that a rebellion is not likely to occur. But some things take time to learn, especially when our football system has not developed our players with the textbook/blackboard approach. Understanding what is on the blackboard, and being able to translate that into action on the field of play is something that takes time to develop. And when you try to change in a couple months, what was learned over a period of years, there can be problems. Perhaps the players feel that speaking up will be viewed as insubordination, and result in being “benched.”

There were two different aspects, at least, to Belize’s Gold Cup game Tuesday night against the superpower United States of America. The first aspect was clearly a sports aspect, and the result was devastating to Belize on that level. We Belizeans had been spoiled, you see. In the 1950s, we watched Ludwig Lightburn, a youth from Lightburn Alley off Hyde’s Lane in old Belize, walk into Madison Square Garden in New York City and beat the best lightweight fighters in the world. In the 1970s, we celebrated the Golden Girls and we celebrated a slim teenaged Belizean girl, Glenda Ellis, as she hit a two-run double to defeat the mighty United States of America in ladies softball, while a humble young lady from Gales Point Manatee, Margaret Usher, held the American bats at bay with her mystifying deliveries. And we Belizeans had cheered two decades ago when a young man from across the street from this newspaper, a young man who had been innocently expelled from Gwen Liz High School, Kirk “Shabba” Smith, fought through all the adversity to lead Utah’s Weber State into the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA basketball tournament. We expected more than we should have reasonably expected on Tuesday night. We Belizeans had been spoiled, you see. Now we understand and appreciate, even more, the greatness of Ludwig, of Glenda and Margaret, and of Shabba. The other aspect of Tuesday night’s game was socio-political, and on that level, Tuesday night, the days leading up to Tuesday night, and the popular Belizean reaction following Tuesday night, have been sweet and spectacular successes. We Belizeans, at home and abroad, have come together in an unprecedented fashion.

At 4-1 in the second half, it was clear that the United States had Belize by the throat on Tuesday night. Wednesday morning is always a tough time for me where this job is concerned, so I really wanted to turn off the television and radio, hopefully then reduce my adrenaline levels and get some sleep. On a night like Tuesday when your national football selection is being bombed, sleep is difficult and troubled, but any sleep is better than no sleep at all. They say when you don’t have anything good to say, then you don’t say anything at all. So, when I got up on Wednesday morning, which is when I usually write this column, I was in no mood to do my column. The game had absorbed most Belizeans for days, so there was no other subject to discuss: the only subject was we against the world. At 4-1 in the second half on Tuesday night, I felt I owed it to our national selection to stay with them until the very end. At 4-1 in the second half, we were about to be “blown out,” as we say in sports. This is a time when your opponent has complete control and you are being attacked by feelings of panic. At times like these on the battlefield, men drop their arms and run. Belize could have been beaten worse on Tuesday night, but our young men did their best under the circumstances: they held up their heads when everything was falling apart. As a Belizean, I owed it to them to suffer through those 20, 25 minutes of hell.

At an official ceremony at Price Barracks, Ladyville, today, Wednesday, the British Army Training and Support Unit Belize (BATSUB) handed over 17 four-tonners to the Belize Defence Force (BDF). Brigadier General David Jones said that the donation resulted from an initial meeting with a member of the Ministry of Defense for the British Government. “I told him that one of the critical lack of capacities that the BDF has is lack of troop-lifting vehicles,” Jones said. “And I noted that BATSUB had a number of these vehicles; they have scaled down and are not being used. We are in desperate need of these,” he added. The initial plan was for the BDF to receive six of the vehicles, but that number was increased to 17 – almost triple the originally planned amount. Each of the four-tonners costs about BZ$300,000. General Jones said that the donation could not have come at a more opportune time, as the BDF has been deploying soldiers in greater numbers along the borders recently and they didn’t have the vehicle capacity for the troops. “With these vehicles we could deploy up to an entire battalion strong,” he said. “In the past we haven’t been able to deploy up to a company with the trucks that we have. Now we can deploy more than a company, up to an entire battalion, probably up to 300 guys we can deploy with this new addition we have.”

Poll says, Ashcroft financed and arranged the whole thing. Do you believe that the Prime Minister’s London trip was facilitated and financed by Lord Michael Ashcroft? Responses: (a) Yes, Ashcroft financed and arranged the whole thing (41.24%, 120 Votes) (b) Partially, I think Ashcroft arranged but taxpayers will pay the bill (26.12%, 76 Votes) (c) I don’t believe that (32.65%, 95 Votes) Total Votes: 291 Our new poll: Should the Government allow the sowing of Genetically Modified crops such as corn and soy in Belize?

It might have begun with this encounter between a member of the homosexual fraternity and a being from another world. He was a brilliant PR man, who had been given the task to find a word to describe homosexuals, hereafter to be referred to as “HMXS.” A word that would make the fraternity think better of themselves and, that would appeal to the people HMXS refer to as “straight.” This was important because, the majority of straight people tend to be kind-hearted and generous, thinking that all homosexuals suffer from an affliction. The PR man was at a desk in his study, where he had been for many hours trying to find the right word. Around him were rolled up note papers strewn all over the floor, containing his discarded efforts. He was getting tired and sleepy. Five long hours without a break. Oh, yes, some of these HMXS are committed, as well as, talented. He was about to get up and retire to wherever HMXS go to retire, when he felt that there was something in his left ear and, a small mouth whispered, “Wait, I have the word you have been looking for.” He didn’t know it but, there was a tiny little demon curled up in his ear, lying on his back, with his hands behind his head, as if he were in a hammock. At another time, the PR man would have jumped up and run out of the house, thinking he was being pursued by a ghost, but now he was desperate and, would listen to the devil himself. “What is the word?” asked the PR man. “You’ll be surprised,” said the Imp. “No, I will not be surprised. Very little surprises me. What is the word?”

2nd annual Ride for Hunger and 6th annual Lucky Dube Tribute to be held in August. Dara Robinson invites the public to be a part of the second annual Ride for Hunger to be held on Saturday, August 3, 2012. The ride is another initiative spearheaded by Dara in support of his feeding program. Registration will begin at 5:00 a.m. on the day of the event. Participants will be charged a $5.00 registration fee. The ride will commence at 6:00 p.m. sharp. Dara said that the objective of the ride is to increase awareness of the hunger which affects many in the community and to fundraise for his feeding program for the upcoming school year. The ride will start and end in front of the Smart office building on the Philip Goldson Highway. There will be a raffle after the ride is completed. The ride will proceed along the Philip Goldson Highway, turning onto the Burrell Boom road, proceeding in the direction of Hattieville Village, then moving onto the George Price Highway heading back into Belize City. Riders will go through the City via Central American Boulevard and Princess Margaret Drive and back onto Philip Goldson Highway and will end in front of the Smart office building. There will be a brief break at the CDS Gas Station on the Boom Road. CDS, incidentally, is donating two 100-pound gas tanks towards the feeding program.

At the Philip Goldson International Airport at 8:00 this morning, Immigration authorities implemented the newly computerized border management system, which Minister of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development, NEMO, and Immigration & Nationality Services, Godwin Hulse, has said is intended to improve data capturing and security at all Belize’s border entry and exit points, particularly in cases in which visitors receive visas upon arrival in Belize. Currently, a pen and logbook system is in place, but the implementation of the new system will mean that everything will be computerized. This should ensure that there is better tracking of migrants. “What we are saying is that right now, as you know, when you come in, you go through Immigration but when you go out, you really don’t, and so [we] don’t have any proper data as to who leaves the country. This is what this new system is going to do. So tomorrow, we are launching it at the PGIA, it’s countrywide, at all the border points, so that we will be able to track,” Minister Hulse said.

Another dummy bomb was found in the Carmelita Village area. It has been taken to the Orange Walk Police Station, and will later be taken elsewhere by the officers to be destroyed. The dummy bomb is a military training aid, and poses no threat. The device was brought to the Orange Walk Police Station by a few villagers who discovered it. Police believe that the training device was left behind by the British Forces on the training ground behind the village, near the area of the Sand Pit. In February this year a similar training device was bought by Alvaro Tzul, a recycler for scrap iron from San Andres in the Corozal District. The villagers who saw the device became alarmed and called police, who called the Belize Defence Force bomb experts, who put their fears to rest and assured them that it was a training device and was not designed to explode. The dummy bomb is currently in the possession of the Orange Walk police.

Elrington reports to CARICOM on BZ-Guat relations. Belize was the only member not represented by Head of Government The 34th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community, held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago from July 3-6, 2013, concluded over the weekend and a communiqué issued at the close of the meeting highlights the major outcomes. Information provided in the communiqué shows that Belize was the only one of 15 CARICOM countries not represented by its Head of Government. According to the release, Belize was represented by Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington. At the meeting, Elrington updated the gathering on ongoing efforts by Belize to find a final and definitive resolution to the unfounded claim by Guatemala over Belize’s territory. “They expressed concern that Guatemala has reneged on the agreement to hold a referendum on 6th October 2013, in accordance with the Special Agreement between Belize and Guatemala to submit Guatemala’s Territorial, Insular and Maritime claims to the International Court of Justice of 2008, and emphasized the importance of preserving the Special Agreement which commits both parties to resorting to the International Court of Justice for a final determination of the Guatemalan claim,” said the communiqué issued by the Heads of Government.

Information reaching Amandala today is that Belizean Joseph Budna, incarcerated in Guatemala following a 25-year conviction for kidnapping and extortion—a sentence he is appealing—appeared in court in Petén on Monday, where he was read an additional charge of attempted murder against a team of the Guatemala special police squad. Budna was furthermore charged with the possession of a .40 handgun, which police allege he had used to engage in a shootout with them last September, when they moved to apprehend him on claims that he was a ringleader in a cross-border extortion/kidnapping band. Budna—who has been transferred back to Zacapa jail, located south of Belize, near Guatemala’s border with Honduras—is to return to court on July 22, 2013.

The Belize Times

“Retrograde & Abusive” – New Law removes Central Bank oversight of GOB
The Opposition People’s United Party has described a new legislation which was passed under stealth by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow on June 20, 2013 as “retrograde & abusive”. Statutory Instrument 63 introduced an amendment to the Exchange Control Regulations Act (Chapter 52) which removes all supervisory and/or administrative authority of the Central Bank of Belize over any and all transactions with Foreign Bank Accounts operated by the Government of Belize. The S.I. declares that the exemption includes “any transactions in relation to any securities or otherwise, or for any other dealings in foreign currency” of all Government Ministries and departments. This is a very unusual law, with an ambiguous and possibly dangerous purpose. The PUP, which is wide awake and always on guard on behalf of the people of Belize, is very concerned. The PUP members of the Public Accounts Committee, led by Chairman Hon. Julius Espat, have launched an investigation into the recently passed S.I.

Face of Brass! – Sports Minister denies funds to National Team, but shows up for game in Portland
The real stunner in Tuesday night’s game between Belize and the United States wasn’t so much the loss at the end of the 92 minutes of play, but that the Minister of Sports Herman Longsworth had ...

Barrow living in a bubble! – PM “sensed” economy was “humming along”, why doesn’t he ask Belizeans
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is living a totally different reality from most Belizeans who are struggling to cope in today’s depressed economy. While the PM flies first class all over the world, Belizeans have been eating ...

Police torture in Belmopan?
29 year old Edwin Paula is in remand at the Kolbe Correctional Facility even though he is bruised and battered and endures severe ear and ...

ANOTHER TRIAL FAILS It was not to be. What unfolded in front of their eyes was evidence that the Belize Police had resorted to torture and coercion to obtain a confession from a minor. No professional investigation. No compliance with the constitution of Belize to afford a person in detention ...

Editorial: The Secret Behind Patrick Andrews
There is seismic political activity in Belize. The right wing Judeo Christian talk show host, Jason Patrick Andrews, has declared his membership in the People’s United Party and his campaign to become the Standard Bearer in the Belmopan constituency. Without prematurely marking the final settlement of his launch, we will all agree ...

Ladyville Jaguars claw Esperanza’s Gentle Touch 3-2
The Ladyville Jaguars enjoyed a big win at the Norman Broaster Stadium when they toppled the 4-time national champs, Esperanza’s Gentle Touch Girls, 3-2 on Saturday, July 6. Shameika Franklin created the Ladyville girls 1st opening when ...

Tuff e’Nuff are 2013 Interoffice Champs
The undefeated defending champs Tuff e’Nuff won their 4th interoffice basketball championship in 7 years as they ran over Oceana No Limits: 91-80 in Game 3 of ...

DHC Excellence wins cricket finals game 1
Defending national champs Double Head Cabbage bowled out Crooked Tree’s Brilliant 84-79 with 6 wickets to spare in Game 1 of the 2013 SMART Harrison Parks national cricket ...

The Masters’ Plan doesn’t include Castle Street
There’s been a lot of talk lately about a “Master Plan” for Belize City. Mayor Darrel Bradley claims that in the chaos of building cement streets haphazardly and poorly, and causing major traffic hazard, he is actually following a “blueprint” that is laid out in a Master ...

New US Ambassador is no fan of UDP’s Denny Grijalva
On Tuesday, July 9th, 2013 US President Barack Obama nominated retired California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno as the ...

AMAZING GRACE – Kingdom and Belize Football
The whole country was glued to their television set last night as our national football team played their hearts out in a match against the United States. One of our players scored an amazing goal that caused me to stand to my feet to do a victory dance! We did ...

Dara plans fundraisers for feeding program
Ending child hunger in Belize will take an enormous effort from all relevant stakeholders, especially the Government of Belize, but until they wake up and recognize the worsening crisis before us, one man is remaining consistent with his goal of building awareness on the issue. For the ...

HOME ECONOMICS – Belize, entrepreneurship, revolution & youth
By Richard Harrison Revolution is the epitome of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is the taking of action based on having identified where that action can yield potential gains, over and above the potential risks. There have been calls in certain quarters in Belize, for revolutionary change. This call is mostly from those romantic academic thinkers ...

The 2012 Human Rights Report on Child Sexual Violations
By Dr. Angela Banner Joseph The Belize 2012 Human Rights Report became available for the world to review a few weeks ago. Outlined below is a summary of its findings pertaining to human rights violations that impacted our country's children. It is amazing to note that the issues that I have ...

Concrete Monuments, Cinderella Mayor
The question for Mayor Darrell Bradley is whether he believes he can make a mistake. We bet that he thinks he cannot because he is the protégé of no other than his leader Dean Barrow. Men like Dean Oliver, including ...

Reflections of the Public Square – Football “Unity”
By Francis W. Fonseca National Unity is empty rhetoric in Belize. There are but a few moments in our history that we can point to some semblance of Unity. The death of George Price is perhaps the most recent and clear example of Belizean Unity. We were, for the most part, united in ...

Patrick Andrews announces PUP candidacy
The People’s United Party, as the only viable alternative to the failed UDP Government, continues to attract new blood and energy. The PUP is a revolutionary political movement committed to social justice and people’s development. This ...

Belize Action’s Cayo march draws crowd
It wasn’t anything compared to the massive turnout in Punta Gorda Town, Toledo District on Friday July 5th, but the crowd that turned out to support the Belize Action’s “Constitution March” in San Ignacio, Cayo District, ...

Thank the lord it wasn’t Mark Espat
Dear Editor, We must be proud of our national football players. Not only did they show great courage in the game against the US powerhouse team, but they proved that they are in the Gold Cup for their country and not themselves. Three of the players, I believe Woodrow West, Ian Gaynair ...

How wrong were the pup spokesmen, Jack?
Dear Editor, An article penned by Amandala newspaper Asst. Editor, Adele Ramos last weekend entitled “BATSUB to boost presence in Belize” was very misleading as to the unofficial/official visit/vacation to the United Kingdom by Dean Barrow and his entire family paid for, according to Barrow, by the poor people of this ...

GOB hiding Guatemalan pilot school?
Dear Editor, Unconfirmed but reliable report is that there is a Guatemala Flying Pilot school operating in Belize at the Philip Goldson International Airport. The reported cost of this school is something like $60,000.00 US currency. Report is that a Minister’s two children are enrolled in this pilot school. The question many ...

Frustrated Lands employee writes
Dear Editor, Kindly allow me to vent my frustrations about what is happening at the Ministry of Natural Resources & Agriculture (Lands Department) in Belmopan. Not only are the hundreds of customers who visit the place on a daily and weekly basis extremely frustrated with the service and the run around they ...

Failed Government
Dear Editor, I'm fighting hard not to comment and to just observe how far our government will insist that they should not pick up the tab for our national football team in their quest to be the best at the gold cup tournament in the United States at this eleventh hour. The ...

Black out days are back?
Dear Editor, I woke up upset, mad and outraged on Sunday morning. First I thought I forgot to pay my light bill and that BEL had cut us out, but on a Sunday? I checked the neighbor and they were out too. They were also mad. Then we found out it was ...


A Quick Look Around San Ignacio, Belize – Mr. Greedy’s, The New Visitors Center and More
San Ignacio is the second largest city in the county of Belize…which really just means that its population hovers around 20,000. Belize is a small country. Very small. Population about 325,000, land mass the size of the state of Massachusetts. Look at the scale on the map! But…even though it’s just a few hours from Ambergris Caye (or even less than an hour if you take Tropic Airs relatively new flight), it’s very different. Surrounded by greenery, a gorgeous river and lots to do, a stop in and around San Ignacio along with visiting the Cayes is a great way to see both the jungle and the beach when visiting Belize. And the bonus? It’s a very cool town and a great place to spend a few days. San Ignacio has change quite a bit since I was last there…good changes. They have closed down a main road to all car traffic…pedestrians only. Would LOVE to see a boulevard like that in San Pedro. Tough though with the small size.

Why I want to reduce Global Warming
My name is Briannie Rash and I am 12 years old. I live in San Pedro Columbia Village but I attend big Falls Roman Catholic School. I would like to be an eco-kid because I would like to reduce global warming which causes holes in the atmosphere. All this is due to air pollution which is a result of burning things such as bottles, cans, and other plastic things. This is not healthy for the environment especially for plants which give us oxygen. An eco-kid conserves. Water is essential to life so we should not waste it. We could teach others as well how important it is for our daily lives. Without it we may die of thirst. Water is also important for marine life. The garbage we throw in the water kills the fishes.

Will Carlos Moreno be confirmed as the new US Ambassador to Belize?
President Obama yesterday nominated retired California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno as the next U.S. ambassador to Belize. If confirmed by the Senate, he would be America’s ninth ambassador to the former British Honduras, which became an independent nation in 1981. He would succeed Vinai K. Thummalapally, a scientist and entrepreneur who was an Occidental College classmate of Obama and became the first Indian American to hold an ambassadorship.

“Superstition” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
First job of the day yesterday (well after catching up with the news via my The Times on-line subscription) was to take our golf cart to Captain Shark’s for its first service. I dropped the cart off just after 8 am and then walked the short distance to Estel’s for a hearty breakfast and a bit of ‘quality’ time on the iPad. With breakfast finished I went straight to Atlantic International Bank to pay the electricity bill and then straight on to The Greenhouse to get some of the ingredients for the chicken curry that Rose is making for dinner. I do love Rose’s curries ( that compliment ( a sincere one at that) will hopefully guarantee that she cooks another one very soon). Having done the shopping I took a leisurely walk along the beach back to the condo we are renting during our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. After peeling the onions (my one culinary duty in the preparation for dinner) I read for a while (still haven’t finished the book yet) whilst Rose made the curry and after she had finished we took the road route and collected the ‘cart from Captain Shark’s and set off immediately to see what progress had been made on our home and got there around 2 pm.

International Sources

Churches and associates using sewing talents for others
With needles and thread, Lubbock residents are touching the world with comfort, charity and a Christian message. Volunteers from Calvary Baptist Church have completed 20,000 pillows in 10 years for medical facilities in Lubbock, troops in Afghanistan, and women in prison in Mexico. Westminster Presbyterian Church has a group called Piece Makers who not only sew clothing for aid to the people of Belize, but they have volunteers who travel to that country as sewing teachers to equip women to make a living. The Piece Makers also attract Catholic, Baptist and Nazarene volunteers, according to Paulette English of Westminster. Vicki Tracy of Bernina Sewing Studio assists in the work in Belize by providing some sewing machines to Westminster, and by serving as a kind of clearing house for donations of fabric and thread. “They have purchased some machines from us, and we have given them some,” Tracy said. “But I am amazed — they have stayed with this program for 14 years.”

Danny Michel performing with Garifuna Collective at folk fest
New album recorded in Belize with producer Ivan Duran... Danny Michel with the Garifuna Collective, Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Main Stage performance, Saturday, July 20 at 5 p.m. For complete schedule visit FOR his latest album Toronto rocker Danny Michel decided to do something completely different from anything he’d done before. His new eight-song disc, Black Birds are Dancing Over Me, recorded last winter in Belize, features Michel performing with musicians from the Garifuna Collective. The recording sessions took place over several months but the actual concept for the album started percolating in Michel’s subconscious many years before. “I first went to Belize over 10 years ago on a trip, loved it, and I’ve gone back every year since,” he says. I got more and more involved in the community and started working with a school there and always kept thinking it would be great to make a record there. The music and the vibe has been slowly sneaking into my music over the last few records and this time I thought ‘let’s do it right’ and do the whole album there.” Hanging out on Caye Caulker, a small island off the north coast of Belize, Michel listened to a lot of local Garifuna punta music including records by Andy Palacio and the Garifuna Collective produced at Ivan Duran’s Stonetree Studios.

Women are the backbone of Garifuna music
Even though it’s been mostly men who have traditionally performed Garifuna music in public producer Ivan Duran says it is the women who are the cultural anchors. “Yes we are,” agrees Desiree Diego, a member of Umalali, The Garifuna Women’s Project ensemble set to perform Sunday at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival. “Women are the writers and composers of most of the songs sung by men. The men take the songs to the stage but women are the backbone.” Duran, one of the people responsible for the emergence of Garifuna music on the international scene, started researching the women’s contribution to music more than a decade ago. In tandem with the late Andy Palacio he set up The Garifuna Collective, a multi-generational group of musicians from Belize and Honduras, to investigate all things Garifuna. A few women, including Diego, were used as backup singers on the sessions but considering how important they were to music creation it must have been surprising to Duran how few women were available to perform it. They were busy doing other things. Even before he had any idea of what he would do with the material Duran began recording women singing in natural settings — kitchens, living rooms, in the streets or in the Garifuna temples, usually documenting voices that had never been recorded before. Like Alan Lomax did in the American South, Duran was documenting an unknown sonic world.

Garifuna carry on deep culture work
Interview with Andy Palacio from 2007... Three Garifuna girls pose for the camera as an unseen adult yells at them to get back inside. As his demands grow louder their smiles get wider. Black Carib skin offsets pearly white teeth and precocious manners. They’ve done this before these Garifuna girls — ignoring an elder to get a closer look at strangers from elsewhere. The isolated Garifuna, cut off from the rest of the world on the coasts of Belize, Guatemala and Honduras, have been able to maintain their traditional culture well into the 21st century. Despite the constant bombardment of TV and the Internet chipping away at their unique identity they continue to find common ground as a community. And thanks to cultural ambassadors, such as the late Andy Palacio, the Garifuna appear to be in good hands for the future.

Belize players say they refused bribe to fix match against U.S.
Two Belize soccer players say they rejected a large bribe to fix Tuesday's match against the U.S., which the Jaguars lost 6-1 anyway. The Associated Press reports international soccer officials are investigating the allegations by Ian Gaynair and Woodrow West. When an official showed them a photo of a man suspected of match fixing in other countries, the Belize players confirmed it was the same man who approached them Sunday, according to the AP. Belize coach Ian Mork told the AP that the targeted players, who do not play professionally, were approached at their Portland, Ore., hotel by a man who had also been at their hotel in Guatemala City in June when Belize played Guatemala. "He was wanting to become friends and come visit Belize," Mork said, via the AP. "Then all of sudden he also showed up in Portland. It was through this kind of friendship of wanting to support the Belize team. It was obviously part of a plan to target our players."

Belize players praised for refusing to throw match
Belize, the tiny nation bordering Mexico and Guatemala, was already a fan favorite at the Gold Cup given its massive underdog tag. But the national team likely gained even more supporters after players turned down a "large amount of money" to throw a match against the U.S. at the tournament. Two of the players, Woodrow West and Ian Gaynair, told CONCACAF officials about the incident and after an investigation was launched, it led to "positive identification of the individual attempting the bribery," the governing body said in a statement. "We want to thank Woodrow West and Ian Gaynair and recognize them for their bravery and commitment to preserving the integrity of our game," CONCACAF said.

Belizean players demonstrate integrity in rejecting match-fixing
Imagine for a second that you're Belize soccer player Ian Gaynair. You don't make much money in your tiny Central American country, and now a man is in front of you offering you cash to lose a game by maybe a little more than you're already expected to. Who would notice? You're Belize. You're supposed to get blown out by the United States. Who cares if it's by four goals or by six? That was the temptation facing Gaynair and teammates Woodrow West and Andres Makin last Sunday, two days before their Gold Cup opener against the U.S. in Portland. But instead of taking the money, Gaynair refused and reported the incident to his coach, Ian Mork, who reported it to CONCACAF. "I told him, 'We can't take that money,' because at the end of the day our entire country is behind us," Gaynair told 7 News Belize. "We can't just sell out our country for a little bit of money ... We might not be making a lot of money in Belize, but still we have to look at our career and our future." The Belizeans may well be the worst team at the Gold Cup, and they may have lost 6-1 to the U.S., but Gaynair, West and Makin are so far the stars of the tournament in my book. By refusing to become part of global soccer's rampant match-fixing problem, Gaynair, a defender, even scored Belize's lone goal against the U.S., briefly narrowing the score to 2-1 in the first half. How common is match-fixing in soccer? Earlier this year, Europol announced the results of a two-year investigation, saying that nearly 700 matches around the world were under suspicion. In 2011, former FIFA director of security Chris Eaton told me he had information that suggested games in that year's Gold Cup had been manipulated. And in 1997, U.S. players John Harkes and Roy Wegerle refused an approach to throw a World Cup qualifier against El Salvador that was meaningless to the American team.

Belize Government Ignores Maya Land Rights, Grants Oil Permits to US Company
The Belize government has issued permits to US Capital Energy and is allowing the company to proceed with oil development activities on Maya land, despite the fact that the United Nations Human Rights Committee, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and even Belize’s own Supreme Court have given support to the legal and political claims of Maya communities to inhabit 500,000 acres of their traditional rainforest territory. In 2007 the Belize Supreme Court ruled that the Maya villages of Conejo and Santa Cruz have customary title to the lands they traditionally use and occupy, in accordance with their ancestral land tenure system. A similar court ruling in 2010 expanded this right to all Maya villages in southern Belize. Despite the fact that these rulings were never appealed and therefore remain in full effect, the Belize government has issued permits for oil development on these lands, and in doing so is “denying the Maya peoples’ rights to our lands, and is disregarding the authority of the courts and the fundamental tenants of democracy such as security of property and the rule of law.” According to Cultural Survival, US Capital Energy, a Texas-based company, has already cut over 200 miles of seismic trail for oil exploration in the Sarstoon Temash National Park and traditional Maya territories, resulting in forest fires that have destroyed 400 acres of forest to date. It has also been alleged that Capital Energy has attempted to bribe Maya alcaldes, traditional leaders similar to mayors, to support the project.

Belize's Character Proves They Belong on CONCACAF's Biggest Stage
Belize lost to the USA 6-1 in their first ever Gold Cup match. But they've already won in a much bigger game on the world stage, and this game isn't played on the soccer field. This has nothing to do with how Belize performed against the United States, in the country's first ever CONCACAF Gold Cup game, a 6-1 loss on Tuesday night. This has nothing to do with Belize keeper Shane Orio's solid individual effort in front of goal, despite allowing six on the evening. This has nothing to do with Ian Gaynair's unmarked header in the box in the 40th minute, Belize's first ever goal in a major competition. But this has everything to do with the actions of Gaynair and his teammates Woodrow West and Andres Makin Jr., who were approached by a gentleman offering money in exchange for fixing Belize's first group game against the United States. In an age where match-fixing scandals are rampant in the world - Italy, Nigeria and Asia just to name a few - three Belizean players on a team with only two full professionals on the roster did the only thing that came to their mind. They said no. And they reported the incident to the Belize federation and CONCACAF.

The Black Carib Wars: Freedom, Survival, and the Making of the Garifuna
In The Black Carib Wars: Freedom, Survival, and the Making of the Garifuna (University Press of Mississippi), author Christopher Taylor offers the fullest, most thoroughly researched history of the Garifuna people of St Vincent, and their uneasy conflicts and alliances with Great Britain and France. The book presents documentation of one of the oldest native heritages of the Caribbean, and is the closest thing to a direct link to the region’s history before colonialism. The Garifuna — whose descendants were native Carib Indians, Arawaks and West African slaves brought to the Caribbean — were free citizens of St Vincent. Beginning in the mid-1700s, they clashed with a number of colonial powers who claimed ownership of the island and its people. Upon the Garifuna’s eventual defeat by the British in 1796, the people were dispersed to Central America. Today, roughly 600,000 descendants of the Garifuna live in Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, Nicaragua, the United States, and Canada. The Garifuna — called “Black Caribs” by the British to distinguish them from other groups of un-integrated Caribs — speak a language and live a culture that directly descends from natives of the Caribbean at the time of Columbus. Thus, the Garifuna heritage is one of the oldest and strongest links historians have to the region before European colonialism.

Louisiana Air Guardsmen help build schools in Belize - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2
BELLE CHASSE, La. (KALB News Channel 5) National Guard provides learning facilities for 500 students in Belize, receives valuable training. (Louisiana Air Guardsmen help build schools in Belize: BELLE CHASSE, La.

Go Diving in Belize (Video)
Diving in Belize is unprecedented. It is one of the top activities in Belize, which is known as a top scuba diving and snorkeling destination in Central America, and for good reason.

July 12, 2013

This news synopsis will be a bit more condensed than usual for the next couple days due to time constraints.


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

Increase Commerce in Belize through the Grid Earth Project Distribution of Safe Solar Lamps to Those Without Access to Electricity
Eliminating the cost of kerosene or candles for light creates instant savings for rural families – money that is invested in the Belizean economy. It is our goal to eliminate dangerous fuels in every home in Belize this year. Much work has been done, but there is much left to do. Please visit our website to read about some of our projects in Belize.opportunity through the free distribution of solar lights in the villages of Belize that currently have no access to electricity. This eliminates their need for costly kerosene or candles. The result is instant savings and more disposable income for every family we reach; money that is spent in Belize for other goods and services. We ask you to consider supporting this effort by donating to the Grid Earth Project. Although donations in any amount are greatly appreciated, Corporate Sponsorships exceeding $500 BZ receive their logo displayed on our sponsor page, which links back to your website. Sponsors exceeding $2000 BZ donation receive most prominent logos. All sponsors are represented on the rotating sponsorship banner located on every Grid Earth webpage. Sponsor logos also appear on all Grid Earth Project newsletters and other published materials.

Team Island Boys win Northern Volleyball Tournament
The San Pedro Volleyball team, Island Boys, have been travelling every two weeks since the month of March to compete in the Hugo Patt Northern Volleyball Tournament held at the Corozal Civic Center. The team, composed of Armando Escalon, Jian Arcurio, Guillermo Rivero, Enrique Marin, Gaby Nuñez, Gustavo Morataya, Jody Leslie, Ricky Luna, Baydr Sajia, Rogi Chi, Jason Cabral and Team Captain Josean Kay, won the championship match on Saturday, July 6th against Team San Narciso. The championship match was a challenge for the Island Boys indeed. It was a best out of five games and Island Boys were quickly losing hope when the first two sets ended in defeat. The grueling match continues, and the Island Boys rallied, winning the final three sets of the match. It was a hard earned victory for the Island, champions of the Hugo Patt Northern Volleyball Tournament.

SP Clinic opens new daily X-ray lab
For several months, the members of Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) Ambergris Caye chapter have been raising funds to finance the construction of an x-ray room. The room was necessary for the installation of the x-ray machine for the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Poly-Clinic II. After the Ministry of Health indicated that they were unable to undertake such an initiative, the BTIA local chapter decided to step in and assist. The BTIA action propelled the Ministry of Health to improve the level of health care being provided by the clinic over a 12-month period. After several meetings, the Ministry of Health agreed to provide the x-ray machine, if the BTIA could foot the bill of the construction of the room. On Monday July8th, the x-ray machine was officially installed and is ready to be used. Chairman of the Ambergris Caye BTIA Chapter Mukul Kanabar of The Phoenix Resort, together with other board members managed to fundraise about $27,000 BZ that was used to complete the project.

Ambergris Today

Saga HS is offering 75 FREE spay/neuter through Operation SNIP
Saga Humane Society aims to help reduce the problems associated with community and street animals on Ambergris Caye by introducing a pet population management program, Operation SNIP (Spay Neuter Initiative Project). To reduce the breeding populations and reduce the number of street animals, 75-90% of all dogs and cats on the island will need to be sterilized in a 3-5 year time frame to be effective. Saga HS has pledged to raise money or bring visiting Veterinary teams to offer low cost or free spay/neuter, with a goal of 1,000 animals per year during this project. The primary objective of comprehensive animal management program should be to keep the population of dogs and cats on Ambergris Caye down to a level where there is no need to destroy healthy and friendly animals, but without accumulating them in the Saga HS shelter.

The Grid Earth Project Increasing Commerce in Belize through Solar Light
The Grid Earth Project, is dedicated to economic growth and opportunity through the free distribution of solar lights in the villages of Belize that currently have no access to electricity. This eliminates their need for costly kerosene or candles. The result is instant savings and more disposable income for every family we reach; money that is spent in Belize for other goods and services. Eliminating dangerous lighting sources saves lives by decreasing fire related deaths and prevents thousands of injuries and illnesses. This leap forward to safe renewable solar light also promotes education. Lamps from the Grid Earth Project provide hours of bright, safe, non-toxic light. Students are studying easier and longer. The result will be a more skilled and educated work force for Belize. It is our goal to eliminate dangerous fuels in every home in Belize this year. Much work has been done, but there is much left to do. Please visit our website to read about some of our projects in Belize.

25 Years Ago: A Visit from your Beloved Deceased
To keep the children out of the bush our parents warned us of the invasion of the Tata Balan. To keep the men at home after they were out drinking they were all cautioned of the possibility of a confrontation with the Xtabai. Now to keep the children from killing small birds, our parents also had a fine story to tell us about that. “Whenever you see a small yellow bird enter your house, do not kill it,” father would say. “It is actually the soul of some beloved family member who had died that is visiting you.” Therefore whenever a little bird accidentally entered our house, we would never attacked the little creature. In fact we closed the windows and doors to allow the visiting spirit to remain as long as possible. It was an honor to welcome the spirit of granny, grandpa, or some beloved aunt or uncle who had passed away and was visiting. We did not want any harm to come their way. And not only that, but whenever we saw these little yellow birds in the wild, we also respected them.

Misc Belizean Sources

LGBT rights issues have been boiling over for a while in Belize. Caleb Orozco of the The United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) pursued a constitutional challenge of the country’s Section 53 anti-sodomy law, which we covered here on OBLOGDEE in May (see links below). Shortly after that court case, the National Women’s Commission released their revised Gender Policy that had been approved by the country’s cabinet in March. Anti-gay fundamentalist Christian forces, rebelling against both, have now whipped their followers into such a frenzy that they are hanging cardboard cutouts of UNIBAM in effigy and proudly posting the calls to lynching online. The revised gender policy covers equality with men and progress in the areas of health, education, income and wealth generation, violence-prevention controls and political development for women. But because a section called ‘Respect for Diversity’ makes reference to respect for sexual orientation the churches are claiming it promotes homosexuality and advocating for repeal. Pro-constitution rallies and anti-gender policy protests called by evangelical associations and other affiliated organizations are being held across the country. Belize Action, made up of the Council of Churches and the Belize Evangelical Association of Churches, is once again leading the charge.

SHJC Hosts Free Software Summit
Sacred Heart Junior College is hosting the ECSL 2013 Free Software Summit. It goes from Friday, July 12th, through Sunday July 14th. "The Central American Free Software Summit (ECSL) is a three-day activity that takes place annually in any country in the region that has been chosen by the Central American Free Software Community (SLCA). It is a space of articulation, coordination and exchange of ideas between Free Open source Software (FLOSS) communities that make up the SLCA agreements and strengthening ways of working together to facilitate and promote the use of Free Software development in the region. This year, the fifth version of the ECSL will be held in the Sacred Heart Junior College San Ignacio, Cayo, Belize 12 to 14 July 2013"

Chiquibul Symposium 2013
The Chiquibul Symposium is on Friday the 19th. For some odd reason, it's in Belize City instead of Cayo, but at least it's in the Caracol room at the Radison. There are some great shots from Southern Cayo in the video. It sounds like they'll be doing some great brainstorming on how to preserve it. "Join us at the first national symposium on the amazing but threatened Chiquibul Forest where Valerie Woods will gather some of the brightest minds from conservation, business, government and national security agencies to share critical information about this biodiversity hotspot and discuss strategies to reduce threats to it."

Jungle Moguls Teaser
Could Cayo be getting a reality TV show? Jungle Moguls might get picked up. Make-Belize Films, which did Kurse a di Xtabai, has a teaser trailer out for the show. It worth watching for the laughs. "Huge news today: our Cayo-based reality series 'Jungle Moguls' is one of 25 semi-finalists (from more than 500 concepts) for a new show on a MAJOR USA Network!! At least one will get a production deal. Finalists and winner(s) will be announced by the network in the coming weeks. Fingers crossed!"

Channel 7

Danny Jimenez Must Return Home From Gold Cup
Last night, we had a very in depth look at game where Belize’s Jaguars played against the USA. That was a very tough debut for the team where Belize lost with a score of 6 goals to 1. The team is in Utah tonight trying to prepare for the next match in the first round, and amidst the distractions, and that confidence shaking loss against the football titan, they must deal with another. National Team member, Danny Jimenez is returning home to Belize before the first round of the Gold Cup is finished. For a team which has worked so hard to keep it together, Danny leaving will be tough, but it is because his mother, Theresita Jimenez, is ill, and her health has taken a turn for the worse. As a result, he will return home tomorrow, and this evening, FFB Executive Member Marlon Kuylen described how the decision came about. Marlon Kuylen - FFB Executive Member "We seemed to be plagued everyday by something negative. Yes, Danny did not want to make this trip but his mom told him that he must leave and that is why he came. We got the bad news today that she turned for the worst and she is now on life support so unfortunately Danny has to leave the team."

Danny: My Mom Gave Her Blessing
So, that’s the situation. It’s a very sad outcome, for Jimenez and his family, and for the nation of Belize because he has been one of the players who is able to help on the Jaguars’ offense to assist Deon McCauley and Harrison “Cafu” Roaches to move the ball up the field. But while his mother’s health has become a major factor in his ability to continue to participate in the Gold Cup, he made indications in Belize on the day of his departure to Portland last week Friday. He told the media that his mother had an episode the final night that he was in Belmopan, and he had to leave on emergency to see how she was doing. According to him, she gave him the blessing to go, and that was additional motivation for him: Danny Jimenez - Member, Belize National Team "It's hard you know but like she said she was going to be happy if she knew I was out there, so I am doing it for her. First, I was going to go there and give my all but now I'm going there to give everything I have - even I have to put my last energy on that field then I will bring everything and I hope the players too. Before we leave I will talk to them and tell them what my mom told me and that was basically her last words before she fell asleep just now before I left the hospital. She told me to tell the team that she prayed before everything and she dreamed that we will do good."

FFB: We Can’t Replace Jimenez Easily
This unfortunate incident has caused the team to be short a player once again, and today we asked the President of the Football Federation of Belize how they will fix the problem. He told us today that it is not as simple as sending another member as was the case with Elroy Kuylen, who was replaced by Christobal Gilharry. Ruperto Vicente said that the team must qualify to the next round before they can add another member to the delegation. Here’s how he explained it: Ruperto Vicente - President, FFB "It's sad, we are saddened by it as well. You know that before Danny left Belize, he was taken to the hospital to speak with his Mother and his Mother asked him to proceed on the trip and because she will be much happier if he goes on the trip. It's an opportunity for him and his Mother spoke to him kindly and that's the reason Danny went on the trip. But his Mothers' condition has gotten worst and so he is required to come back, to see what's going to happen with his Mother. Replacing Danny at this time is going to be difficult. The tournament has started, had he stayed, then we would have been able to replace him - the same way we replaced Kuylen. But at this point since the tournament has started it's going to be difficult, unless we qualify to the second round of the competition then he can be replaced or we send him back to join the team if he so chooses to."

Captain Eiley Still Not At 100%
And while the national football selection has to deal with Danny Jimenez's departure, the man he started on place of in the US game is sitll not 100%. Dalton Eiley is listed as day to day as medical tests are ongoing to determine what's wrong. Today, at the team workout in Salt Lake City, the team doctor put him through some special drills to try and isolate the problem. 7news was on the pitch and Jules Vasquez spoke to both Eiley and the doctor. Dalton Eiley - Team Captain "Right now I am feeling normal, I am breathing normal. The pain isn't there, but when I did the test, I could feel that when I was running much faster and my breathing got quicker - I could feel a slight pain the chest but when I calmed my breathing down - it just went away. I'm going to take a test and going to the hospital and take an X-ray and see if there is anything major wrong with me. It's not my heart, so don't get it wrong, it's not my heart; it's just a pain, I'm not sure where it came from. I had some gas in the last workout session before the US match, and it could be from that, but he's not really sure as yet."

Jaguars Acclimatizes In Utah
And all those issues, the Eiley injury, Jimenez's departure are all just more distractions for a team that has been plagued by a long list of them. This evening in Salt Lake City, they are trying to put that behind them as they are having their second practice session for the day. The first was held this morning and 7news was there where we found a team trying to adapt to the altitude and the dry weather. Jules Vasquez reports. Jules Vasquez reporting from Salt Lake City, Utah The National team got its first chance to see Utah in the daytime when they got on the bus today to go to a team practice. On the horizon, the towering Wasatch mountain range which encircles Salt Lake City is a good indicator of the elevation they will have to play at. Utah is over four thousand feet above sea level, making the air crisp and dry. Their workout facility on this day was Highland, a high school on the suburban outskirts of Salta Lake City - natural grass to match the Rio Tinto stadium 15 miles south in Sandy Utah, where they will face Costa Rica on Saturday.

FFB: Coaching Changes Were Expected
So while the team readies itself to play against Costa Rica in a game scheduled for Saturday, they also have to plan how they will approach the game. But one of the main criticisms coming from the fans of national team is that their defensive formation was changed. Under the former Coach, Le Roy Sherrier Lewis, the team position themselves in the 3 5 2 formation, which saw quite a bit of success. International coaches praised Belize’s grasp of this setup which earned them the respect of the international community as a defensive heavyweight. Now, under Coach Ian Mork, the team arranges itself using the 4 4 2 formation, and football experts have said that they did not grasp it well enough to perform at their peak in the US game. Today, we asked FFB President Ruperto Vicente about that criticism, and he said that this change, while significant, could not be avoided since each coach has their own tactics. Ruperto Vicente - President, FFB "This is the risk we run when we change coaches and that's the reason I had chosen to continue with Coach Lewis when we returned from Costa Rica but he decided not to stay and had we stayed with that coach it would have been a lot better for us at this time. Getting a new coach, I understand they will not all have the same strategy and this is the risk you run when you change coaches. Any coach we would have gotten would have changed the formation of the team and that is what happened here. Obviously our players may not have adapted but that's where we're at and there's nothing we can do about that now but moving forward we will be working closer with our National Team players and making sure that we maintain that coach for a long period of time."

2 Tuesday Shootings; Police Make Arrest For 1
With all the football madness, it was bypassed, but on Tuesday before news time, 18 year-old Barry Johnson was shot to the left knee in a deadly attack. According to police, at about 5:10 Johnson was on the Port Loyola basketball court at the corner of Fabers Road and Central American Boulevard. He was with other friends when a man ambushed the crowd and fired several shots at the group, causing the injury to Johnson. He was rushed to the KHMH where he was treated for his injury. Police have since detained 1 man, and they are seeking another for this incident. And about 3 and a half hours later, 18 year-old Everal Cardinez was riding his bicycle beside a companion when 3 men ambushed him. One of the men pulled a firearm and fired several shots at them. Cardinez suffered injuries to the left arm, and the left side of his body, and he was rushed to the KHMH where he received treatment. Police detained 5 men, and yesterday, they charged 21 year-old Deondre McKoy with attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm, and dangerous harm in relation to the attack on Cardinez and his companion.

Nicholi Rhys; Back Before The Courts
And another man who went to court today, and is making the news is 22 year-old Nicholi Rhys. If the name or the face seems familiar, it should. That’s because in February of this year, he was acquitted before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin in a trial without jury of the most brazen execution of a reputed gang leader – we’re talking about the slaying of Andre Trapp, which occurred in June of 2010. He’s been out since then, and after several months now, he’s back before the courts. According to police, Shantel Waight reported to police that while she was on George Street yesterday when Rhys allegedly hit her. She requested court action against him, and as a result, he was charged with harm. He was arraigned today before Chief Magistrate Smith, who granted him bail of $500. He must return to court on August 15.

Nat’l Team Chairman At FDC Houston
And another man who continues to make the news for being caught up with US authorities is Rawell Pelayo. As we told you, he’s being held at detention center, and this has been the case since he arrived in the US. Well, today an anonymous source provided the media with actual confirmation of where he’s being held. That confirmation came to the Belizean press by way of a webpage link to the USA’s Federal Bureau of Prisons Database. A search of the inmate database reveals that he is listed as being housed at the Federal Detention Center (FDC) in Houston, Texas. Quoting directly from the FBOP’s website, it says, “The Federal Detention Center (FDC)… is an administrative facility housing male and female pretrial and holdover inmates.” End Quote. This development has come as a shock to many in the football community who know Pelayo very well as the avid football fan, and the owner of the formerly active football club, Juventus. He has been a major influence on football in the north, and when the Bertie Chimilio administration was finally toppled from office within the Football Federation of Belize, he was elected as Vice President, the third most senior in of the executive, outranked only by Senior Vice President Sergio Chuc, and President Ruperto Vicente.

FFB: US Authorities Aren’t Saying Much
So, today, while we had the opportunity, we asked FFB President Vicente to share with the nation what information he and his executive had on what caused Pelayo’s detention. He told us that the US authorities have indicated that they cannot share that information with them at this time. Ruperto Vicente - President, FFB "We're not privy to information from the US authorities, they explained that to us when Mr. Pelayo was held that they cannot share any information with us but the third hand information that I have received is that Mr. Pelayo may be sent back to Belize and we're praying that he's sent back." Daniel Ortiz "Sir, how long has he been detained? I understand that when he was processed after passing through immigration and nationality in the US." Ruperto Vicente "Yes, he was right behind me so after I was processed then he was held. I'm very saddened by that situation. It's a situation like watching someone being taken by an alligator and there's nothing you can do about it - I was helpless and that's what saddens me." Daniel Ortiz "We also understand that Mr. Pelayo understood that this situation could have happened but he felt that it is required that his presence be with the team."

PUP Condemns Finance Instrument Amendment
Tonight, the People United Party announces that they seek an explanation for amendment to finance instrument. PUP Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives, Julius Espat, and his colleague Rodwell Ferguson have issued a public condemnation of the an amendment, known as S.I. 63 of 2013. This change was made about three weeks ago to the Exchange Control Regulations by Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who is also Minister of Finance. The amendment, according the interpretation of the PUP, removes from Central Bank oversight in relation to any and all bank accounts controlled by the Government of Belize. This, according to them, allows any Ministry or Department to open such an account for Government-related business without the authority of the Central Bank of Belize. Today, the PAC Chairman spoke to our colleagues from Plus TV, where he explained the issue that they have. Hon. Julius Espat - PUP, Public Accounts Committee Chairman "[The Statutory Instrument #63 of 2013 - regulations made by the Minister responsible for Exchange Control in exercise of the power of control appointed by section 3 of the Exchange Control Regulations Act Chapter 53] is a document that is four pages long but it deals with the regulations of how you deal with money and the transactions of money and in this specific case the Government had signed an SI where we are taking out the supervisory and administrative role of the Central Bank as it pertains to foreign currency accounts used by government. That is where we have a concern, it is taking away oversight - the same thing that the public committee has is the same thing that's happening here.

BHC Pat Ashworth Leaving Office
Yesterday, 7News showed you the handing over of those 17 vehicles by the British Forces to the BDF. Well, one thing we didn’t get a chance to air was the fact that British High Commissioner, His Excellency Pat Ashworth’s announcement that he will no longer hold the post. He addressed the gathering on the hand over, while lightly announcing to the nation what will take place in a few months. H.E. Pat Ashworth - British High Commissioner "First of all, I want to thank you very much for arranging this impressive display of English weather for me. I'll be leaving Belize, unfortunately, at the beginning of August and I'll be having quite a lot more of this only a temperature of about twenty degrees Celsius less, then this is good training for me anyway. Often you start these talks with, 'It gives me great pleasure too'; well actually, today, it does give me great pleasure."

BATSUB: To Be Continued
And in that same breath, BHC Ashworth confirmed the British Forces’ intent to resume their operations at the level they used to before they downsized. Here’s how he described the timeline. H.E. Pat Ashworth, British High Commissioner "I had the great pleasure of accompanying the Prime Minister back in the UK about two weeks ago now, and one of the calls he made was on the Minister of the arm forces in UK. It was very positive about the future of BATSUB and how we hope to build it up again in about eighteen months time when we draw down our forces from Afghanistan. So, it's very probable that we may ask to borrow some of your sometime in the future general but I anticipate that BATSUB in eighteen months to two years will be flying once more again or perhaps I shouldn't say flying, because maybe it makes people think about twenty five flight in the helicopters. So, I really am pleased to do this; we've had an excellent relationship with the BDF, we've done a lot of training; I know that the BATSUB being here in numbers. We have something to look forward to in the future but right here now it really just gives us great pleasure to do this, demonstrating once again, that BATSUB, the British government, the British High Commission does indeed stand shoulder to shoulder with the BDF."

Ghost Town Men Detained By GSU; They Claim Harassment
21 year old Jamal Neal was murdered on Banak Street late Monday evening by two men on motorcycles. Since then the neighbourhood is under heavy police surveillance. That is because police strongly believe Neal’s murder was gang related and may cause retaliation. But today residents of the Ghost Town area told us that no one wants to retaliate but still they are constantly being harassed by police during their time of mourning. Eight Ghost Town affiliates– who are all listed on Jamal Neal’s funeral program as pallbearers were detained by the GSU this morning. The funeral is set for tomorrow and residents and family members are worried that the men will not be released from police custody to take part in the funeral. Voice of resident of Ghost Town "Every minute the GSU came and harassed the young men and they are they were the same people that they had as pall bearers. When they came I said I was going to ask them for us to have a peaceful funeral but none of them came so I didn't have to mention it but then they just came and took the boys and roughed them up and put their hands over their head. Come on man, we need peace - I don’t' see them doing this to anyone else. They came and rubbed down the young men and they had them standing outside about half hour and they took them. We just want to have peace and as the young men as the pall bearers - we just want them to release the guys for them to pay their respect -that's all we want. We want to respect the GSU but they have to come and respect us the same way. If they the create the monsters on the streets, how can they expect that they will stop retaliation? This has nothing to do with retaliation because right now the guys are calm and cool. They are just focusing on the funeral."

FFB: We’re Taking Notes
If there is one great lesson that Belize learned from the Gold Cup match against the US, Hail Mary performances against Football Giants may not be what the future of football should be about. And it seems that FFB President, Ruperto Vicente is taking that lesson very well, because after observing the team, he intends to adopt their style of preparation. He explained it in detail to us today. Ruperto Vicente - President, FFB "If you were to watch the United States team that we played against, that's a team that has been together for the past 6 years - so they are not together just now; we had just put together a National Team which we did about 8 months ago. So moving forward from here, this new federation intends to keep a standing National Team - we are not going to dismantle our National Team but moving forward we're going to maintain a U-20 National Team and put among those U-20 players - some of the National Team players that we have now. This is so as to bring in a new set of players but who are going to be together for a long period of time. So we sustain that team, maintain the team and then have them play together longer than this team has been playing together. That is important because the FFB - it's mandate is to train new players and we're starting with grassroots players - those are young people from the ages of 6 through 12; we are going to be investing in those type of players. What the FFB has done is that we have taken all it's resources that was meant for grassroots players and U-15 players and we have put that money towards the National Team. So right now all our programs are parked and we are not running any programs because all our resources we have used for the National Team. But moving forward now we are going to invest in younger players and we're going to invest in a younger National Team so that's where we're going and that's what we intend to do."

Nat’l Team Embraced By Diaspora
And, One of the most interesting things about the national football team's journey to the Gold Cup is the joy and devotion it has inspired in Belize's living abroad. Their numbers are few, but of all the nations in the world cup, they are always the most colorful and wildly costumed with heir Belizean flags. We've been particularly impressed by Belizeans living in Portland and Salt Lake City Utah. Those are far removed form the popular migration centers of Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, but there are Belizeans there. One man we spoke to after Tuesday night's defeat in Portland says he longs to be home. Rigo Gonzalez - Portland resident (16 years) from Yo Creek "I don't consider it a loss, I met all my fellow Belizeans. I met some friends that I haven't seen from 20 years so the loss wasn't a loss - we have heart. Belizeans have heart, we had a sign there - 'win or loose we still love Belize'. I don't think any Belizean calls this a loss." Jules Vasquez "Why do you like it here?" Rigo Gonzalez "Well I came here for 6 months on a Visa and somehow I got a very good job and a good opportunity and I took advantage of it and 16 years later I'm here. I miss my country, I love it here because of the opportunities and if I had the same opportunity in my country I would be there."

Restore Belize’s Reading Program
For the past few months, 7News features the profile series where Restore Belize provides an interesting look into the lives of ordinary Belizeans as they tell us about their struggles to do the right thing. Well, for the past few weeks it’s been missing, and today, Restore Belize explained that its because they’ve been work on another outreach program which has been shelved for months. Today, the Public Outreach Officer told us about how the finally launched something they’ve been delaying since the inception of the organization called Restore Belize: Marie Munoz – Public Outreach Officer, Restore Belize "One of the first meetings we had was with the Primary School principals and they expressed to us that they had a serious concern on the reading standards of children moving through the Primary School system. So one of the first points that we ended up putting in our strategic plan was the intention to try to locate a literacy software that will be able to assist students in learning to read. We found a state of the art facility - it's a computer assisted solution and very expensive, a little bit pricey and we partnered with implementing agencies in the community - people who are already on the ground in different communities working who were teaching children to read. Maybe they hired teachers and we said we can assist to kind of insolate the school system because we know that teachers are already have burdened - so we wanted to do something to assist that process and the end goal is to keep children in school. The campaign is called 'Time to Read' and it means two things, investing the time to learn to read, you're guaranteed with the software that if you spend 40 hours that you will be able to move up a grade level and so if that investment is made then you will be able to learn to read. It doesn't matter if you're an adult, child, in school, out of school - now is the chance and it is all over the city so that you can find a location near you. All we ask that the people who participate in this program - to get the maximum benefit you have to come at least four times a week."

Constitutional March Going To “Griga”
If you’ve been keeping up with the news, you will probably know that members of the church have been organizing marches around the country to raise awareness about the Gender Policy. They’ve gone to several corners of the country, and this weekend they will move to Dangriga. Today, the organizer of the Dangriga Chapter of the march stopped by 7News to tell us why residents surrounding the culture capital should participate. Dozie “Chicky” Ifeanyichineke – Organizer "I am here this morning to inform that this Saturday coming, on July 13th, 2103 - there'll be the constitutional rally but long before this came up, I was already on the idea of and I was going around informing, doing educational forms and I was thinking about a rally that I had dubbed, 'Awareness Rally' and I just happened to hear about what was going on and so, same term but the idea is still the same. It's about educating people so I am here just to inform the residence of Dangriga and surrounding villages from the Valley right down to Independence coming up this weekend to inform you about the rally and we will start tentatively from 3:30 and the Drums of Our Fathers Monument. We will go through Havanah Street, St. Vincent Street, Commerce Street, Court House Road into BTL Princess Royal Park where we will arrive, where the official ceremonies for the event will start. The guest speaker is, no other than, Attorney and Community Activist, Ms. Audrey Matura Shepherd. The unique thing about this rally folks, is that, it is two things; informative and educational, so what Ms. Audrey will do is that she will look at the legal and the constitutional aspect of the Gender Policy 2013 - so she will explain all that to us - then she will take the 2002 Agenda Policy and the 2013, the current one and compare the two.

Channel 5

Second Jaguar to return home as mother is dying
Two more members of the delegation that went with the national football selection may be coming home sooner than expected. As the Belize Jaguars prepare for their second match in [...]

F.F.B. Executive, Rawell Pelayo detained by D.E.A.
As we mentioned earlier, two more members of the delegation may be coming home. The Football Federation of Belize had suffered a slight embarrassment when one of its players, Elroy [...]

Jaguars touchdown in Sand City, Salt Lake, Utah
The Jaguars continue to press forward despite the setbacks. The team is in Sandy City, Salt Lake County, Utah preparing for Saturday’s game against Costa Rica. Our team is with [...]

F.F.B. President says Jaguars are ready
There are many external issues that could affect the confidence of the team. Once inside the soccer pitch, the Jaguars will have to leave all those issues behind. The F.F.B. [...]

Former Jaguars Coach Sherrier gives the lowdown
But a former Jaguars Head Coach disagrees with the president’s beliefs about future performance. Leroy Sherrier Lewis was responsible for taking the Jaguars through the Copa Centro Americana games in [...]

Will statutory instrument allow ministries to bypass Central Bank?
The Prime Minister signed a Statutory Instrument (S.I.) on June twentieth that has caused some backlash from the Opposition. A section of regulations thirty three in the Exchange Control (Amendment) [...]

Minister Alamilla appalled by hanging of UNIBAM effigy in P.G.
The lynching of an effigy depicting one or, symbolically, all members of the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), during a pro-constitution march held in Toledo last Friday, has raised grave [...]

Renewable energy symposium in Corozal
The Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities hosted a renewable energy symposium in Corozal this morning. The purpose of the session, which included participation from the public [...]

The Maranco oil show, a no show?
Soccer is not the only topic in tonight’s news, but there is another national issue that has held the collective breaths of a great portion of our working population, the [...]

Will Belize ever have internet rates as low as the region?
The search for oil depends on modern technology, and that includes software, equipment, and in some cases, dependence upon the internet. A 2013 survey of Caribbean Internet Service Providers carried [...]

Family believes the police want to extradite to US without a hearing
Twenty-eight year old Deon Bruce remains tonight in police custody, after being detained this afternoon by personnel from the Gang Suppression Unit.  According to Bruce’s family, they were unofficially informed [...]

McKoy detained for ride-by attempted murder
On Tuesday night, eighteen-year-old Everal Cardinez was shot while riding a bicycle along Jones Street.  The Hattieville resident was in the company of a friend when they were accosted by [...]

Businessman busted with out-of-season conch
The Belize Fisheries Department was on routine checks at restaurants in the Ladyville area when they busted a restaurant owner in possession of conch.  Shubin Yu, the owner of Benny’s [...]

B.D.F. Summer Camp has numerous programs for kids
One of the most anticipated summer programs is organized by the Belize Defense Force. Children from all over the country between ages ten to sixteen converge at Price Barracks for [...]

Galen University Basketball fundraiser for FFB and Jaguars
This Friday, Galen University is staging a basketball game at the Bird’s Isle in Belize City. The event is to raise funds to further assist the Belize Jaguars and by [...]

Superstar’s knockout round, a hit
Be the Next Superstar is Channel Five’s groundbreaking entertainment and talent show. The family event brings out droves of people to cheer and meet locals as they take the stage [...]

Healthy Living instructs you to control your body
It is never too late to start an exercise routine. But before you do, the best approach is to do some research and start gradually. There are also changes to [...]


Police Arrests Belizean for Extradition; Detained without Right to Food, Visitors or Attorney
Tonight a man is in police custody at the Queen Street Police Station, but the reason for his detention is not believed to be a matter for the local courts. The family of Dion Bruce claims that he is the subject of a special operation by the Gang Suppression Unit, and that they strongly bel...

Minister and other NGO's Condemn Placard Displayed During Recent March
Three organizations that have joined efforts to stage protests in various parts of the country have distanced themselves from images that were posted by Minister of Forestry and Fisheries, Lisel Alamilla, on her Facebook page. BelizeCan, Belize Action, and Rise and Shine Belize issued a pre...

Guatemalan National: Arrested in Belize for Drugs; Investigated for Carnal Knowledge
A Guatemalan National is on remand after police discovered over nine hundred grams of marijuana in his back yard in the Toledo District. Correspondent Harry Arzu has the details. HARRY ARZU “An antidrug operation conducted by Independence police on Tuesday, July 9, 2013 resulted in ...

Chinese Man Caught With Illegal Conch Ready to Serve in Restaurant
Thirty-one year old Chinese businessman Shubin Yu, the owner of Benny Restaurant in Ladyville who had 30 pieces of conch in his restaurant ready to serve, was fined one thousand one hundred dollars today by Magistrate Leslie Hamilton after he pled guilty to possession of conch during closed seaso...

Unemployed Resident Remanded for Allegedly Killing Teenager
Twenty-one year old Deondray Mckoy, an unemployed of Set Site who allegedly shot 18 year old Everal Cardinez, was charged with attempted murder when he appeared in court today. Mckoy was also charged with dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. No plea was taken because the of...

Honduran National Charged With Murder
Forty five year old Fidio Mendez Martinez, a Honduran Laborer of Silk Grass, was arrested and charged for murder in connection with an incident that occurred last weekend. The victim was thirty nine year old Blas Alvarado, also a Honduran laborer of Silk Grass. When police visited the...

Ministry of Science Looks at Renewable Energy
With the world’s oil resources depleting day by day, the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology and Public Utilities is preparing for the future and the way forwards is renewable energy. Today the Ministry held a final of three forums that were held across the county. The forums involve th...

Phase Two of Municipal Development Project Gets Underway
There is much development happening in several areas of the country and many of them are thanks to the Belize Municipal Development Project. Correspondent Arturo Cantun found out more about developments under the project. ARTURO CANTUN “In 2010 the Government of Belize signed ...

Development Continues Countrywide Under Municipal Project Funded by World Bank
There is much development happening in several areas of the country and many of them are thanks to the Belize Municipal Development Project. Correspondent Arturo Cantun found out more about developments under the project. ARTURO CANTUN “In 2010 the Government of Belize signed ...

Opposition Party Says Signed SI Allows Government to Have Bank Accounts Abroad Without Central Bank Approval
The People’s United Party and their representatives of the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives have issued a statement calling out on the Prime Minister of Belize to explain to the public the signing into law of the Statutory Instrument number fifty six of twenty thirt...

Dance Group From Southern Belize Performs in USA
A dance group from Dangriga has travelled to the United States to showcase the Garifuna culture. Correspondent Harry Arzu reports. HARRY ARZU “A cultural Belizean group form Dangriga traveled to Brooklyn, USA yesterday where they will be participating in a cultural exchange pr...

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

The Guardian

BTL Park Upgrades continue
On Monday, July 8th, the Belize City Council along with Belize Telemedia Limited and the Caribbean Local Economic Development Program (CARILED) broke ground at the BTL Park on Newtown Barracks to usher in Phases 2 and 3 of the park renovation project. Mayor Darrell Bradley stated that the project is entering into the next two phases after the completion of the first one which saw the reclamation of the park and the construction of a sea wall expanding the park by 40 percent. That portion of the project was carried out by RJB construction at a cost of almost $800,000. The second and third phase will be for some $1.2 million and will be implemented by International Environments (I.E). Those two projects will include the construction of business kiosks, the construction of basic infrastructure in the park by raising it by six inches, and constructing walking spaces in and around the park. Additionally, there will be a fountain for use by children as well as the construction of a multipurpose amphitheater and two beach volleyball courts complete with beach sand. There will also be the construction of a 100-foot pier that will extend into the sea.

Disrespecting the Flag
On Tuesday, July 9th church organizations once again gathered to protest the Gender Policy but it seems that the great disrespect, which was done to the nation must have slipped observers as they must have been more preoccupied with who was participating in the so-called “Constitutional March.” Participant after participant lined up and were issued with the Belizean flag. Then, they must have been instructed to turn the Belize flag upside down. Imagine, a national symbol being taken and disrespected in this manner. The question must be, this: to what end is this being done and who was it that hatched up this affront to our national pride? It must be understood that the flag is a country's standard and must at all times be respected. Making matters worse is that children are being used as instruments to carry this most defiling of tasks. Instead of children being taught to respect the flag as one of our national symbols, they are being taught that it is all right, to in a public manner, disrespect it. And then they say they are marching for the Constitution.

The Meaning of Gender
There seems to be some confusion in the public mind about the meaning of gender, much of it caused by misinformation disseminated by those with their own agenda. For clarity, let us examine from a gender perspective the lives of two twins, Jane and John Doe. Notations that shed light on the role of gender will be posted throughout the narrative to be examined once their stories are told. Jane is female by sex and John is male. Jane does exceptionally well in school even though she often misses classes because she has to stay home to look after her younger siblings. Sometimes she has to pretend not to know the answers because her mother has warned her that it is unfeminine to be too clever and that no man will want to marry her if he thinks she is smarter than him. Still, she dreams of being a teacher herself but when she finishes Standard Six, her father tells her that it would be a waste to send her to High School because she will get married and have children and her husband will look after her. He thinks it would be better to let John further his education since he will need to be the breadwinner in his family. John, although bright, had begun to lose interest in school as he neared his teenage years. He found that being the class clown allowed him to show off in front of the boys and impress the girls and his grades began to decline.

Supreme Court seeks Mediators to decongest Judicial System
The Supreme Court of Belize is opening the door for a new profession in Belize: dispute mediators. In his address at the 2012 Opening of the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin spoke about the overwhelming volume of cases that reach before the Court on an annual basis and said that a mediation system may need to be introduced in order to address the problem. There has since been consultations with representatives from various institutions, including the Belize Police Department, Council of Churches, Bar Association, Supreme Court Bench, University of the West Indies and the Belize Family Court in order to establish rules on mediation procedures. Justice Courtney Abel of the Belize Supreme Court says that the Chief Justice is now looking for qualified mediators to conduct Court ordered sessions at $100 an hour. The Supreme Court will only recognize mediators that have been trained by the University of the West Indies. Jane Bennett, Head of UWI Belize Open Campus, says that the university will be conducting the Court based mediation training from August 5th to 9th of this year. It is a 40-hour course and will be held at 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Friday. To qualify for the program, an applicant must have a high school diploma and be at least 21 years old. They must have a clean criminal record and have previous mediation training. Julianne Ellis-Bradley will be the facilitator of the course. She says that if someone is interested but do not have previous mediation training, they can sign up for the Intro to Mediation sessions which will be held during the week of July 29th. The cost of the Intro to Mediation sessions is $375 and the cost of the Court-based class is $1,000.

The Veil is lifted, Preacher-man to politician!
From the manner in which Patrick Andrews has been attacking the Government of Belize when he appears on Plus TV’s “Rise and Shine”, it was only a matter of time before he would openly declare that he is a PUP with aspirations of political office. That declaration came on Wednesday, July 10th when he openly declared that he was a PUP and that he would be seeking political office in the Belmopan constituency.

The Gender Policy is NOT UNIBAM
It would appear that some church organizations have been successfully able to merge the UNIBAM issue with Government's Gender Policy document. This has been so because from time immemorial, people have believed that those who lead congregations do no wrong and tell no lies. Cursory looks at the placards that demonstrators have been carrying would suggest that church pastors, who lead these demonstrators, are telling their congregations that the Gender Policy and UNIBAM are synonymous with one another. The truth is that the two are completely different. The UNIBAM issue is one where Caleb Orozco who represents the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), took the Government of Belize to court over the constitutionality of Section 53 of the Belize Criminal Code. Since the start of the matter, UNIBAM was struck off by the court as an interested party, leaving Orozco alone to make the challenge. In the case, Orozco is specifically challenging the portion of the law where it states that "every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years." He says that the law violates his right to privacy, dignity and equality as a gay man.

What’s Hot, What’s Not - You “nuh watch no face”? neither does Cervical Cancer
You hear the survival stories. You watch the news. You even quickly skip the channel after you hear the word, thinking it’s just well, CANCER. Almost as if though it is something that can never happen to you. Boy oh boy! It’s time for you to get up and smell the coffee; it is closer to home than you think. Cervical Cancer like any other disease “nuh watch no face”. It does not discriminate, have favoritism or take into consideration how young you are, how much you are loved, much less how much you have accomplished. It simply creeps up on you like a wild cat in want of its long awaited prey. WHY SHOULD I CARE ABOUT CERVICAL CANCER? I AM A MAN... WARNING TO ALL WOMEN! Yes, my warning goes out to all women, but for you men that feel that since you don’t have a cervix you can wipe this disease clean from your forehead, REWIND! This is also as important to you as it is to the lady.

What are Millennium Development Goals?
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are a set of quantifiable, time-bound goals that aim to achieve the social, economic and environmental advances that are required for sustainable gains in human development. The Millennium Development Goals and targets come from the Millennium Declaration, signed by 189 countries, including 147 heads of State and Government, in September 2000. Belize is a signatory to the Millennium Development Goals. The MDGs are designed to act positively on the living conditions of human beings across the globe, and to improve their standard of living. The statistics below highlight the gravity of the serious problems facing some of the world's population in the 21st century. • About 900 million people were estimated to live in slum-like conditions • Nearly one billion people still did not have access to safe drinking water • By the end of 2001, an estimated 13 million children under 15 had lost one or both parents to AIDS in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean • Eleven million children below age five still died every year from preventable causes – about 30,000 a day (UNDP, 2011)

BATSUB donates to BDF
The British High Commisioner to Belize, H. E. Pat Ashworth, handed over 17 4-ton vehicles to the Belize Defence Force on Wednesday, July 10th. The donation came after Brigadier General David Jones made the request from the British Army Training Support Unit Belize (BATSUB) in March of this year. H.E. Ashworth explained that it was a great pleasure for him to hand over the vehicles to assist in the mobility of the BDF. He added that was despite the fact that the original plan was for the vehicles to be sold to purchase 6-ton vehicles. And while they have been handed over to the BDF, he stated that it is likely that BATSUB will call for their use in the near future when that training unit’s numbers are increased within 18 months to two years as British Forces are withdrawn from Afghanistan.

Not For Sale!!! National Team Players refuse Bribe
Ian Gaynair of the Belize National Football Team has made Belize proud. Gaynair smoked a headshot past the goalkeeper of the United States to give Belize its first goal in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Tournament but it was his actions before the game that makes us here in the jewel most proud. Gaynair and teammate Woodrow West say they were offered a substantial amount of money by a foreigner to intentionally throw the game against the United States. To that offer, Gaynair said, “I put my country before all of that. All the struggle me goh through, all them years di play football, I can’t just take wah lee bit of money and just throw my country behind my back.”

Citco Assembles Emergency Management Stakeholders
Belize City is as prepared to respond to a natural disaster as it has ever been after a two day symposium on disaster management on Thursday and Friday, July 4th and 5th. Belize City Mayor, Darrell Bradley, invited all the major players in disaster management to the Biltmore Plaza for a symposium themed “Comprehensive Disaster Management for Municipalities”.

Training for Local Town and City Councils’ PR Personnel
The first in a series of training workshops on communications aimed at improving the skills of public relations personnel in all nine City and Town Councils across Belize began on Monday, July 8th at the House of Culture in Belize City.

March held in San Ignacio Town
A demonstration was held on Tuesday of this week through the main streets of San Ignacio and Santa Elena. About two thousand participants, coming from such places as Benque Viejo del Carmen, Belmopan and Corozal congregated at the Macal River Park in San Ignacio Town.

Genetically Modified Organisms or No GMO
Farmer Juan Canto, 51 years, who continues to use Non-GMOs at his 40 acre farm bordering the Elijio National Park in the Cayo District. The recent discovery of genetically modified soy bean in the North of Belize has placed a dent in the discussion on whether to accept or reject genetically modified organisms. As part of the new reality of GMO, a Biosafety Committee has been established to examine such matters for which the Ministry of Agriculture currently has a prominent role in working with other entities.

Minister of Health and Ambassador of Cuba to Belize Sign Cooperation Agreement
In a brief gathering on Friday July, 9th, at the Ministry of Health Conference Room, a Cooperation Agreement was signed between the Ministry of Health of Belize and the Ministry of Public Health of the Republic of Cuba.

Justices of the Peace meet In Cayo
The Cayo Chapter of the Justices of the Peace met at the San Ignacio Police Station this past Sunday evening. Much was achieved at this Justices of the Peace meeting, including an initiative to reach out to other members.

Two Men and a Woman charged for Immigration Offences
On Tuesday, July 9th, 3 illegal immigrants: two Hondurans, and a Salvadoran appeared before the court to answer to separate offenses. Esvely Ramos Castro, 26, a Honduran national appeared in court after she overstayed her visitor’s permit. She entered the country on December 17, 2012 and was granted stay until April 14, 2013, however, she overstayed her welcome. In court, Castro wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the offense. In mitigation she asked to be fined since she is a first time offender. With that Magistrate Leslie Hamilton fined her $1,000 plus $5.00 cost of court. The fine was to be paid immediately, which she did, avoiding the alternate which was 6 months in prison. While she paid, she was not freed as she owes the Immigration Department $150 for 3 months worth of back fees for overstaying her time. After Castro pays her fines her stay in Belize will be legalized.

Missing Youth Found Dead
On Wednesday, July 3rd, Diana Bainton reported to police that her 20-year-old son, Alvin Pascasio, had been missing since Monday, July 1st. Her worst fear was realized on Thursday morning, July 4th, when police called her out to Javier Berbier Garcia Boulevard to identify the lifeless body of her son. Bainton said she received a call from an individual on Tuesday, July 2nd, and the person asked if she had heard what happened to her son. She said no and that was when she was told that he had been killed. Bainton went to his girlfriend’s house who told her that she too heard that “Vinny” was killed. Bainton said she knows her son was close to members of the “Pregnant Alley” gang and said that he told her a week ago that some guys wanted to kill him. Bainton said she has no idea who killed her son but “Who killed him and why they killed him will have to answer to God”. She says that she is comforted by the fact that at least they found his body. Alvin Pascasio had three gunshot wounds to the back of the head and his throat was slit. Police detained one man for questioning but have not announced any charges thus far. There were speculations that 20-year-old Jareth Bainton of the Ladyville area was also killed since he went missing around the same time as Pascasio. However, he returned home safely on Sunday, July 7th.

Nolle Prosequi in Rape Charge
Back in October 2009, the home of an elderly couple, aged 61 and 81 of the Freetown Sibun area was invaded, burglarized and the wife was raped in the presence of her husband as the culprits cleaned out their house. On Tuesday, July 9th, one of the accused men, the only person charged in connection with the home invasion walked free from charges of rape and aggravated burglary. Freetown Sibun resident, 24-year-old Cannon Augustine Obispo, appeared in the Supreme Court before Justice Troadio Gonzalez. In court, his trial ended in a nolle prosequi when Prosecutor Leroy Banner informed the court that his main witness, a 61-year-old woman could not make it to the trial. Banner told us that it was not because the elderly rape victim could not be located or that she did not want to testify but that she could not make it to Belize in time for the trial due to a short notice of the trial commencement. Banner told us that the victim expressed to her that at this time she cannot just leave her home in Canada to come to Belize in such short notice but that she can do so at a later date.

Body Found in Macal River near San Ignacio
A body was discovered on Monday July 1, by the Macal River near the Hawkesworth Bridge in San Ignacio. The body has since been identified to be that of twenty eight year old Mark Robateau. Mark Robateau had recently been released from prison and was not unknown to the Law. Police are investigating to determine if foul play was involved in Robateau's death. This is the second time within a short period that a body has been retrieved from the Macal River near the Hawkesworth Bridge.

Team USA bested Belize in Gold Cup game
The 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup Tournament in Group C play commenced on Tuesday July 9, 2013, at the JEN-WELD Stadium in Portland, Oregon, USA. Team Belize making its first appearance at a true international tournament was pitted against Team USA had won the Gold Cup Tournament on four different occasions. Team Belize looked very good and impressive for the first 10+ minutes of the first half of the game when it held Team USA scoreless. However, in the 12th minute of play Chris Wondolowski scored the 1st goal of the game to give Team USA an early lead. The lead was extended when Wondolowski scored Team USA’s 2nd goal in the 37th minute of play for a 2-0 lead. However, Team Belize got unto the scoreboard when Ian Gaynair scored Belize’s only goal of the game in the 40th minute of play to cut the deficit in half. But that did not lasttoo long as Chris Wondolowski scored his 3rd goal of the game in the 41st minute of play to give Team USA a 3-1 lead going into half time. In the second half of the game, Team USA continued with its onslaught of the Belize Team when it tallied three more goals. The first goal in the second half was scored by Stuart Holden and that was followed by Orozco and then the final goal was scored by Landon Donovan via penalty kick that was questionable. At the sound of the long whistle, it was indeed a 6-1 victory for Team USA over Team Belize. (Photo - Getty )

Tuff “E” Nuff Interoffice Basketball League champs again
The Belize City Interoffice Basketball League championship came to an end on Friday, July 7, 2013, at Bird’s Isle with Tuff “E” Nuff retaining its championship when it won handily over Oceana No Limit by the score of 91-80. Tuff “E”Nuff captured the best of five series in three games and it proved to be the best team in the competition. The top scorers for the Tuff “E” Nuff were Farron Louriano with 25 points, 4 rebounds and an assist; Tyrone Edwards with 20 points, 6 rebounds, and 8 assists; Ashton Edwards with 13 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists; and Winston Pratt and Raul Roches with 10 points each. Pratt also grabbed 10 rebounds, dished out 2 assists and had a steal. For Oceana No Limit, the top scorers were Brandon Rogers with 21 points, 11 rebounds and an assist; Kurt Burgess with 20 points, 12 rebounds and an assist; and Jacob Leslie with 19 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. We say congratulations to the Tuff “E”Nuff Team for winning the championship.

Interim Cycling Committee to proceed with National Elections
The Injunction that was brought against the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association and the Interim Cycling Committee by Emil Moreno was thrown out of the courts. As a result, the Interim Cycling Committee and the Electoral Committee of the Belize Olympic Association can now proceed to hold national elections for the Executive Officers of the Belize Cycling Association. Just before Emil Moreno had filed his Injunction, the Interim Cycling Committee and the Electoral Committee of the Belize Olympic Association had conducted the completed the election process at the Regional level of the Association. It will be for the first time in cycling history in Belize that a national election will involve the regional associates.

Michael Arthurs: Cycling Commissaire
Michael Arthurs of the Belize Cycling Association has successfully completed the UCI National Elite Commissaire Course that was held in Panama City, in the Republic of Panama from June 18-21, 2013. The UCI National Elite Commissaire Course was conducted by Martin Swinkels in English and by Josep Bochaca in Spanish. Michael Arthurs is now certified by UCI as a cycling Commissaire.

Camalote United maintains lead in Miley Garcia Tournament
The Miley Garcia Cayo Softball Competition continued on Sunday, July 7, 2013, out at the Mae Gordon Sports field in Belmopan with two games on the schedule. In the first game played, the undefeated defending champions Camalote United continued on its winning path when it defeated the Ontario Rebels by the score of 10-3. The winning pitcher was Francine Hoare and the losing pitcher was Indira Ireland. In the second game, it was Esperanza Wolverines winning over Belmopan Capital City Emeralds by the score of 23-10. During the game Wolverines’ Melinda Blancaneaux drilled a Dana Mae King pitch for a solo home run. The winning pitcher was Shareeni Soberanis and the losing pitcher was Dana Mae King. The competition will continue on Sunday, July 14, out at the Las Flores Football Field in Belmopan with three games on the schedule. In the first game at 11:00 am, Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy will go up against Esperanza Wolverines. In game two, it will be Belmopan Capital City Emeralds against Camalote United and in the final game of the day, it will be Las Flores Shooting Stars against the Ontario Rebels.

Easy Does It of Flowers Bank wins again in Rural Softball
In the first game of the day, Rancho Dolores defeated Bermudian Landing by the score of 15-14. The winning pitcher was Angie Smith and the losing pitcher was Christine Brackett. In game two, the league’s leading Easy Does It of Flowers Bank won again over Double Head Cabbage by the score of 9-2. The veteran Margaret Hendy bested Annie McFadzean. In the third game of the day, Lord’s Bank Sunrise won handily over Butter Cup by the score of 12-5. The winning pitcher was Stacy Smith and the losing pitcher was Sherlee Smith. And in the final game of the day, Ladyville won over St. Paul’s Bank via the default route. The competition will continue this coming Sunday.

Belize City Volleyball Competition continues at Belize Elementary
The Belize Volleyball Association 2013 campaign continues at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium here in Belize City. On Sunday, July 7, there were a total of three games on the schedule. In the first game of the day in the female competition, Moen Stars defeated U-16 Females in three sets by the score of 25-7, 25-10 and 25-10. In the Firms competition, Belize Bank won over Simon Quan in two sets by the score of 25-15, and 25-20. And in the final game of the afternoon in the male competition, Rebels defeated SQ Dragons in four sets by the score of 25-22, 25-21,20-25 and 33-31. The competition then continued on Saturday, July 6, with four more games on the schedule. In the female competition, Moen Stars defeated Lady Warriors by the score of 25-8, 25-23 and 25-22. In the first of two Firms competition, Scotia Bank won over Simon Quan by the score of 25-23, 15-25 and 15-8. In the second game, BEL defeated First Caribbean Bank in two sets by the score of 25-16 and 25-21. In the male game played, it was the Scorpions winning over SQ Dragons by the score of 23-25, 25-17, 25-19 and 29-27.

British High Commissioner bids Farewell
After a 5-year posting in the country, British High Commissioner to Belize, H.E. Pat Ashworth will be leaving the country on August 2nd. The Guardian caught up with the outgoing diplomat who shared his impressions of Belize. Ashworth told us that his stint in Belize has been probably the longest any High Commissioner has done here and explained that it has been a lot of work. He added that he is glad to have been here when Belize has been rising up in the agenda in the U.K. and is satisfied that Belize is on the minds of ministers in the U.K., "not least because they support the principle of self determination in the Falklands and being the only country in the region to say so." This, he said, means a lot to the British Government and people of the Falklands. H.E. Ashworth stated that he has been in Belize at bad times when BATSUB downsized its numbers from 60 to 6 but is glad to be leaving at a time when the numbers are expected to be ramped up. "I think the relations between the U.K. and Belize are on the up and up," he stated. Asked what the highlights of his tenure were, he pointed out that being able to contribute to the Belize Defence Force equipment like the most recent one where 17 4-ton trucks were handed over as well as going on training exercises with the BDF and BATSUB which at times ended with him being covered with fleas and ticks. All in all he stated that he enjoyed his tour in Belize. H.E. Ashworth will be replaced by Peter Hughes, who has last been posted in North Korea and who Ashworth says could not have been a better choice.


Belize is proud of the Jaguar’s noble Gold Cup effort
Victory may have eluded the Belize Jaguars, the first team in Belize’s history to play in the CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer tournament, but the lads are returning home with heads held high amid warm greetings from their many fans. And they should be proud. When you consider that this plucky team from a little developing country of fewer than 350,000 inhabitants had the skill and courage to take on the highly trained and richly resourced team from the United States, with a population of well over 300 million, you get an idea of what determination means. Under Coach Andrew Mork the boys trained hard in the lead up to the match and played their hearts out, and in doing so made the entire country proud. It’s no mean feat qualifying to take on the best in the world in front of a live crowd of some 18,724 soccer fans and many more viewers. It was a noteworthy day in Belize sports history indeed.

Belizean Icing
I have the left overs in the fridge and it is still holding up well. When my mom's friend makes a cake for me with this icing it stays hard for over a week. I still have the 3 cupcakes I iced and the icing in still hard on the top. I made this video 4 days ago.

Groups distance themselves from UNIBAM effigy
Three of the participants in the pro-Constitution March, BelizeCan, Belize Action and Rise and Shine, have issued a statement regarding photographs purporting to show the hanging in effigy of UNIBAM, the United Belize Advocacy Movement. The statement titled: “Distasteful Image in Toledo Constitution March” says that while they – BelizeCan, Belize Action and Rise and Shine – did not see the effigy themelves, they heard about it and instructed its removal. “We strongly condemn and discourage the use of such placards or images which can be perceived as sending the wrong message. We encourage Belizeans to exercise their right to rally in a respectful, responsible, and God-fearing manner,” said the statement. Louis Wade, the owner of Plus TV and host of the Rise and Shine morning talk show, this evening told West Vision that “in 3 marches we have had a total over 7000 people with thousands of plackards. We refuse to let one plackard which we asked to be taken down, to define our peaceful people movement.”

Minister Lisel Alamilla expresses grave concerns
The Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Senator Lisel Alamilla has written a public essay expressing grave concerns about what she perceives could be the promotion of hate crimes against gay men and women in Belize. Minister Alamilla posted the short essay on her Facebook page, prefacing her missive by stating that “I do not oppose persons having different views or religious beliefs, but it concerns me immensely when those are being communicated by misinformation, manipulation and fear with could result in hate crime.” Senator Alamilla used a couple of photographs taken during the pro-Constitution demonstration in Toledo (southern Belize) last week, depicting the hanging in effigy of the United Belize Advocacy Movement, UNIBAM.

Urgent Disease Warning!!!!
News has reached of a dangerous and highly contagious disease afflicting Belizeans. The disease is said to cause delusions, fear of fire and confusion. Reports keep pouring in of numerous victims who have lost their abilities to think, reason and read independently; many victims are reportedly showing signs of anger, self hate, guilt, loss of compassion. Many are said to promote hate and violence. Some victims are said to become fixated on issues like sex and the personal lives of others while ignoring their own lives. Some are said to become domineering and scary. Lying, distortion and twisting of information are not far-fetched and have been identified in many victims. Some are said to act like robots and keep quoting selective biblical lines…

International Sources

CONCACAF acts swiftly as Belize players report bribery attempt
Football's global match-fixing scourge, regarded as the biggest threat to the integrity of the sport, has now struck at the heart of CONCACAF with the confederation confirming that two Belize players were offered bribes to throw their opening match of the Gold Cup, the region's blue riband event, against the United States. The host nation comfortably won Tuesday's encounter 6-1 after which reports emerged that Belize players Woodrow West and Ian Gaynair had been approached prior to the fixture in Portland, Oregon. Both turned down the bribe and notified officials ahead of the match. CONCACAF say they have already discovered the identity of the individual responsible, in association with FIFA.

Belize collective brings diverse musical mix to Canada
While the entire Western Hemisphere can be described as diverse, Belize boasts an ethnocultural mix unlike any on the planet. The Central American nation may be the only country where a black minority -- the Kriol, who make up about one-fifth of the population -- serves as the dominant political group. The Mestizo, who speak Spanish, make up slightly more than half the population. Maya make up another 10 per cent, the Asian community makes up five and German-speaking Mennonites -- many of whom left Manitoba in the 1950s -- comprise another four per cent of the population. And as if that wasn't unusual enough, Belize is also home to about 15,000 Garifuna, an Afro-Amerindian group of mixed Carib, Arawak and West African heritage, once dubbed the Black Carib by their former British colonial masters. Within Belize, the Garifuna are renowned for their music, which is tied as much to Africa and the Caribbean as it is to Central America. Fifteen years ago, this sound caught the ear of Ontario singer-songwriter Danny Michel, who was vacationing in Belize and afterwards spent more and more time in the Central American nation.

A Lunch Break at Tropical Paradise Restarurant in Caye Caulker
After a long morning of snorkeling the reef we made our way to Caye Caulker to relax and enjoy a lunch break on the beach. The Tropical Paradise Restaurant fit the bill perfectly! Located on the beach near the water taxi dock, the Tropical Paradise Restaurant is part of the islands first original beach resort. We wasted no time finding a table in the open air seating with a fantastic view of Front Street and the Caribbean Sea. The menu was large with a variety of dishes including traditional Belizean dishes and a variety of hamburgers. Being that I travel to experience culture, I ordered a traditional dish and some Belize beer! I will say, the food was amazing. It was fresh and cooked to order. All meals were served with fresh salsa that was bursting with the flavor of hand diced tomatoes, onions and cilantro. Not to mention the guacamole- perfectly spiced and generously served. The perfect accompaniment was a bucket of Belikin beer, ‘The Beer of Belize’.

July 11, 2013

This news synopsis will be a bit more condensed than usual for a couple weeks due to time constraints.


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

Professional sailing instructor, Emiliano Bolgeri trains Junior Sailing Club
Professionally known sailing instructor, Emiliano Bolgeri is leading a 15 day training camp for the San Pedro Junior Sailing Club on techniques and tactics of sailing dinghies. Bolgeri is an Argentinian native currently working with the Guatemalan Junior Sailing Club. The intense summer program started on Monday, July 1st, with kids getting a chance to learn from one of the best trainers in the industry. The 17 young sailors participating in the summer program are learning disciplinary skills as well as other valuable lessons needed for professional sailing. According to Bolgeri, patience, coordination, discipline, balance and logical thinking is necessary for any sailor. “It is important for the children to start practicing at a very young age; the best age would be about seven years old. These children here today can achieve the skills needed to participate in international races with practice and discipline in the skill of sailing,” said Bolgeri. Sailing takes a lot of skills and energy, but according to Bolgeri it is not all about physical strength, “This is a sport where you have to be in good physical shape but at the same time you need coordination and concentration. Sailing teaches logical thinking, each decision brings about different possibilities. Sailors have to often make many on-the-spot decisions during a race.”

New Board of Directors installed for San Pedro Lions
A formal ceremony was held on Saturday, July 6th at the Lion’s Den to install the San Pedro Lions Club’s new Board of Directors for the year 2013-2014. Presiding over the event was Lion Alberto Mahler. The evening commenced with formalities as Claudio Azueta led the invocation. Giving the welcome address was Fatima Graniel, who invited outgoing president Mel Spain to deliver her final remarks as 2012-2013 Lion’s president. Marina Kay moved on with the installation of the San Pedro Leo’s Club 2013-2014 Board of Directors. The Leo’s stand for leadership, experience and opportunity among the youths of San Pedro, and the new Board of Directors are: Cesar Cordova as President, Zeli Lisbey as Vice President, Alyssa Munoz as Treasurer, Vivel Rodriquez as Secretary, Christopher Melgar as Membership Director, Solani Graniel as first year Director, Odali Duran as second year Director, Amir Marin as third year Director and Afri Black as Tail Twister.

Robbery in San Juan Area
A grocery store in the San Juan Area of San Pedro Town was robbed over the weekend. According to a report from the San Pedro Police, on Saturday July 6th at around 7:30PM, the police were alerted of a robbery at “Denni’s Store”. Owners Ezekiel Chi and Nori Chi reported that two masked Hispanic male persons entered the store, pointed a firearm at them and demanded money. The assailants searched the store and took off with all the money in the cash register, a number of cellphone credit cards and two necklaces and bracelets that were being worn by the Chis. Police quickly responded but were unable to make an arrest. Eyewitnesses stated that the robbers made a clean getaway on a boat that was docked in the nearby area. After further investigation it was noted that the culprits got away with $3,000BZ worth of cellphone credit cards, $2,500 cash, a one of a kind 14K gold bracelet encrusted with diamonds worth $16,000BZ, and two 14K gold necklaces of a total value of $3,000BZ.

Tuff E Nuff- Back to Back IBL Champions
Coach Rico Black promised it, and on Friday July 5th his team Tuff E Nuff became the 2013 IBL Champs! On Friday July 5th the Tuff E Nuff boys once again headed to Bird’s Isle in Belize City to face off Oceana, intent on playing the last game of the National Interoffice Basketball League finals. From game one, the 2013 series seemed to be a smooth ride for team Tuff E Nuff. They were eager to defend their 2012 championship title, and ready for back to back wins. Tuff E Nuff team coach Rico Black, mentioned he did warn the team of the challenge they would face this season, as he did recruit a much younger team who would be facing league veterans. However the veterans seemed to pose no threat to the youngsters who took the season by storm. Tuff E Nuff played a total of 13 games, winning all 6 regular games, 4 playoffs and the final 3 that led to victory.

Ambergris Today

Team Happy Cow Takes 1st Place at Lagoon Reef Eco Challenge
It was an impressive start of the Lagoon Reef Eco Challenge 2013 as 20 teams entered this year’s race, now in its ninth year. The kick off was a little after 7a.m. on Saturday, July 6, 2013, and the final leg of the race ended at Central Park the next day Sunday, July 7, 2013. It was a senior, junior and female race this year and taking the top prize was Team Happy Cow for the senior division. A large crowd gathered at Central Park to cheer for all the paddlers who took part in the grueling two-day challenge of kayaking around the northern part of the island and back to town the following day. All teams started at a very fast pace and showed much strength and endurance.

San Pedro Junior College Class of 2013 on High Honors
Mayor Daniel Guerrero of San Pedro returned to his Alma Mater as Distinguished Patron for the graduating Class of 2013 of San Pedro Jr. College. This high honor for SPJC was also accentuated by 13 of the 18 graduates being in honor roll, the best record in its 12 years of graduations. This prestigious event took place on Saturday, July 6, at the R. Angel Nuñez Auditorium. “After graduating ten years ago in Corozal Town, I have finally made another one of my dreams come true,” remarked Miss. Heidy Maribel Monterroso, who offered the vote of thanks. She was referring to the fact that thanks to San Pedro Jr. College that offers this evening course, she was able to attend sixth form and earn an Associate’s Degree.

Dorian's Angels Spread Gold Cup Cheer in San Pedro
A MASSIVE crowd of Belizeans, Belizean Friends, Belizean Relatives, Belizean Americans and Belizean Everything showed at Central Park in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye to the special viewing of Belize’s National Football Team (Belize Jaguars) first match at the Gold Cup Tournament against the United States of America on Tuesday, July 9, 2013. With assistance from the Belize Tourism Board, who supplied Dorian’s Angels with special ‘Belize’ noise-making vuvuselas, Sofie and Perlita were able to scour the island in search of happy and enthusiastic Belizean fans who came out to show their full support for the Belize Jaguars Team and hand them the party favors so that they could make MORE noise for Belize.

Misc Belizean Sources

New Border Management System
The Ministry of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development, National Emergency Management and Immigration & Nationality Services, hereby informs the general public of the new Border Management System - Personal Identification and Registration System (BMS-PIRS), which is designed to encompass major migration control services. The system is a comprehensive software for capturing arrival and departure entries of travellers in the country of Belize. The Personal Identification and Registration System have been installed at all ports of entry and Immigration Offices countrywide. Throughout today and the remainder of this week all border entry points and Immigration Offices Countrywide will be testing the Personal Identification and Registration System, which will be officially launched and implemented on Friday, 12thJuly 2013.

Belize: A Nation at Risk
My favorite and most often used Chinese proverb reminds us simply that a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Thirty years ago the Education Department of the United States of America published a report, “A Nation at Risk”, to urge an overhaul of how/what their young people were taught in schools. Why? Data gathered over many years showed that young students in that country were “behind” where they should be in Education. The Report was a “wake-up call” for the country. As of today, educators in that country are still working to keep the spark alive of that school reform movement. It has been more than 30 years since Belize achieved its Independence. What has Belize (Education Department) done to make its schools its own – instead of keeping the exact system of Education used under Colonial Masters before 1981? Recently published scores of 2013 PSE proficiency examinations for Belize Primary school students show that more than 50% of the students are lagging way behind (failing) in English/ Reading and Math. Moreover, at this point in time Belize has such a high rate of unemployment, and so many of our people are poor, it’s a given that a large part of our young people are NOT adept at using 21st Century technology. That is because only the wealthy (at least the working class) could possibly afford to purchase computers, and pay for expensive internet hook-ups! So, what are we Belizeans going to do after this dire warning (that literary wise our young people are so far behind where they should be) that has just exploded in our faces? Most Primary and Secondary school students in Belize are now on summer vacation. This is a good time for Belizean Education policymakers (government and church), school administrators, teachers and parents throughout the entire country, to join together and take those first few steps on the long, difficult, and “necessary” journey to reinvent, reform, and strengthen schools in Belize.

Feed The Children Fashion Show Promo Shoot
The Feed the Children Fashion Show is Saturday night at the Octavia Waight auditorium. They've released more pictures from the promo shoot, courtesy of JCariddi Photography. "All proceeds from this show will go towards a feeding program, catering to 98 primary school children and 12 seniors. Tickets can be bought at the cornerstone office on 43 Church Street Or At Hyde's Meat Shop In the San Ignacio Market Square! $20 VIP, $10 general. The fashion show will be held on July 13, 2013 at the Octavia Waight Auditorium (Center) in San Ignacio, Cayo. Call 824 -2373 or 627-6467 for more information! Feel free to like and share the link!"

BIFF Starts Today
The Belize International Film Festival starts today. On Saturday, July 13th, they'll be showing The Candidate and Her at Midas Resort as part of the BIFF. They'll have an all white party afterwards. "It's here! It's here! BIFF 2013 - FILM SCHEDULE!! Email [email protected] to reserve your tickets!!"

Ian Gaynair's Header Score
Here's the video of Ian Gaynair scoring via a header from Elroy Smith's free kick. Great hit, Ian! The Jaguars will play Costa Rica next Tuesday. "Belize scores against the USA in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup."

Seniorita Flor de la Feria Final Show
You can still vote for Seniorita Flor de la Feria. There are 1000's of pictures on their page and D Russell Photography's page. The crowning is tonight at the Benque Fiesta. "Our last post before we GO BUSY and make our final preparations to select our new queen. remember that tonight at mid night is the night we select our new miss photogenic winner! also, you the audience, will vote for MISS POPULARITY once you enter our gates at the pageant tomorrow, VOTINGS FOR THIS TITLE WILL CLOSE AT 9PM. we have everything almost ready for a great night and a great show! we are really excited! may the best win, and i clarify, 11 judges will select our new queen, so dont think that the committee has made prior selections!

Benque Fiesta Starts Today
The Benque Fiesta starts today! After the inauguration and some celebratory fireworks, the Seniorita Flor de la Feria will be crowned. On Friday, they'll have a dance. Saturday and Sunday, they'll have the Super Feria band playing after the daily festivities. Sunday is their Band Fest. Have fun!

Inside the Jeld Wen Stadium with the Belize Jaguars
These are snapshots taken inside the Jeld Wen Stadium in Portland, Oregon as the Jaguars of Belize took on the USA national team. It marked Belize’s debut in the Gold Cup.

Belize’s healthcare policy is it adequately meeting and addressing the needs of the under serve?
by Hubert Pipersburgh Access to effective medical technologies, such as vaccines and HIV treatment, has dramatically lowered child mortality across the globe and afforded millions the opportunity to lead productive lives. Yet, the recent deaths of a dozen or more newborn babies in the neonatal intensive care unit in the first 21 days of the month of May at Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) appears to be a tipping point in Belize’s public consciousness. Belizeans have been asking themselves some tough questions: why does this happen so often and so much more in Belize than in other countries? Additionally, the national attention over these babies’ deaths are shedding more light on how unsafe infants and the general public actually are in KHMH. It is apparent that the country of Belize has a broken healthcare system, with little to no public surveillance and limited accountability. Perhaps more damning, is that most of all, this type of neglect happens simply because it is allowed to happen. There is a culture of impunity. It is also a focusing event and indicator that KHMH handling of its patients is a problem and not just a condition. As such it is now front and center and a legitimate public policy issue that demands a comprehensive rational approach.

Old Sea Hunt shows
Alright, any divers that have ever hunted lionfish, you have to watch this!!! Its a lot like watching a cartoon:)) Ok, so how as a child was I expected to watch this show and not dream about one day becoming a diver....? Love the fight scenes with the tanks still on and the major overacting:) Gotta love SEAHUNT!!

Laguna Seca Ferry Closing
The Ministry of Works has announced that the Laguna Seca Ferry (that's the second one as you travel from Corozal Town to Sarteneja) will be closed for about two weeks beginning at 7am on Monday, 15 July, 2013. The purpose of the closing is to repair the deck, which is clearly in need. The larger Pueblo Nuevo Ferry (between Corozal Town and Progresso) will need the same kind of work, but those repairs are at least two months away, according to Mr. Maurice Rogers, District Technical Supervisor, Ministry of Works.

Channel 7

Jaguars Explain The Tough Debut In the Gold Cup
Last night, every Belizean eye was glued to the television watching the game and tonight, Belizean hearts are on the mend after our national football selection was crushed by the US team, 6-1. Looking at the circumstances objectively, it was an outcome that should have been expected, but, when it's 11 versus 11 on the field, and Belize was on the biggest stage ever, all the nation could have done was wish for a world-shocking miracle. It didn't happen and tonight, the Belize Jaguars are in flight - headed for Salt Lake City Utah where they will play Costa Rica on Saturday. Jules Vasquez is in Portland and he spoke to the head coach before they left the Marriott Hotel in downtown Portland. Ian Mork - Belize Team Head Coach "It's a little bit hard to read at this moment, I think the team will come back and we'll play better in the next match but you know I also thought that we were more mentally prepared for the game but as it turned out - quite a few players weren't themselves and they weren't sharp with the ball, they weren't sharp defensively and it really made a difference in the game. I think it really comes down to their mental preparation and their confidence on the field. Right now we just have to regroup - the team is still together and I think we have to have a different game against Costa Rica."

Belize’s Jaguars: Then And Now
Tonight, Belize’s Jaguars and football fans around the country are trying to recover from that very serious beating the team took last night from the US. Belize took 6 goals, and for a team which is praised internationally for its world-class defense, many fans have criticized that they didn’t see it in action against those football superstars. But, while reviewing the game, our Daniel Ortiz picked up on a few key differences in defending which the team exhibited last night, which was in stark contrast to the very same team which played in Costa Rica in January. He pieced together this report with the help of our archives department, and here’s what he discovered: Daniel Ortiz reporting Before we took a closer look at last night’s performance, we went back into our archives to find a snapshot of how the team looked in the game against Nicaragua in the Copa-Centroamericana. Everyone moved in unison, and the defenders were always a few steps ahead of the strikers from that team. But in the game last night against USA, the defenders were not as fluid in transition, and they gave up a goal in the first 12 minutes of the game.

Former Assistant Coach: Nat’l Team Had Strategy Changes
So, which such a big difference in performance, it leaves quite a few important questions unanswered. What happened to this world-class football team? Was it all nerves? Was it because the US is a football heavy weight, or were there other factors? Today, we got a chance to speak with former Assistant Coach Charlie Slusher, who was instrumental in the team’s preparation for these games. He has a very unique insight into what happened because firstly, he has been working with the team from since the beginning of this year, and secondly, because he is a former football player who has been on the national team. Recognizing that he may have a vested interest due to the nature of his departure from the team, he told that he saw coaching decisions at work which affected the players’ ability to perform. Charlie Slusher - Former Assistant Coach, Belize National Team "It really pained my heart to see what the team had become to where we were. I don't want to use the word 'it was expected' in a sense that whenever you had something that was working for you and you dismantled it totally and you have one month to try to put it together. I'm talking about playing a new system of defence, trying to get the guys to adapt to something new and you only had one month. Those are some of the things that I tried to highlight to the coach - I tried to let him know that this was working for us. Like a simple example was that we played five games in Costa Rica and not even a head boss scored on us. So even that like when it comes to the corner kick, the way we defend there, he changed that. As much as I tried to explain to him - come on if one thing we had was an organized defensive tactics that all the coaches that are presently in the gold cup praise. One thing they praise about the Belize team is the way we defended as a group and as a unit and obviously people that was very missing last night. Everybody was just running around without any sense of purpose or direction. For me that pain my heart the most, for all these years we finally reached a stage where we are playing organized football at least at the defensive stand point and you dismantle it. So you know it really is hurtful to see what happened to the team and there's no way I can blame the players because I know in camp they were confused with the new system; they were never comfortable. It's like they were put in a position to fail even before the game."

Contracts Signed Hours Before The Game
And one of the distractions that Slusher fought hard to have the team avoid was the worry about their contracts. This was a thorny issue because the team was promised certain monies earlier on in the year, which the Football Federation of Belize said that they couldn’t deliver. The team was working hard to negotiate with the FFB, but the President said that he couldn’t sign any contract with the team because he didn’t want to promise them anything he couldn’t deliver on. As a result, the finalized contracts were not handed out until Sunday afternoon, and they weren’t signed until a few hours before the game yesterday, by Sergio Chuc, the head of delegation and the FFB Senior Vice-President. Jules spoke with the FFB Executive Member Marlon Kuylen, who told him that this issue was resolved comfortably for both sides. Marlon Kuylen - FFB Executive Member "The contract was given to them two days ago - we called up the team captain to the room where we were drafting the contract, we made him go through the whole thing and he was satisfied that it was what we promised them. The following morning, which was Sunday morning we gave the contracts to all the players and we told them to take it to their rooms and to go over it, sign it and bring it back to us. But they just brought it to us today to sign."

Hon. Longsworth Hopeful For The Jaguars
And one Belizean who made sure to travel to Portland for the game was Minister of State with responsibility for Sports Herman Longsworth. He attended as a private civilian, but as with all ministers, he is no ordinary citizen. He told us about his reaction after seeing Belize’s performance against the US. Here’s how he described it. Hon. Herman Longsworth - Minister of State/Sports "I think we did as well as could have been expected; I believe that we still have a long way to go in football in Belize, but we've made the first step and I was very happy with the outcome of the game and I expect to see a better game on Saturday, I really expect to see a better game on Saturday." Daniel Ortiz "As well I am very sure that as a Belizean you felt a little bit down when you saw them loading us up like that!" Hon. Herman Longsworth "You bet I was, because you got emotional and you got into the game but when you sat down after the game and you thought about it, you couldn't have expected anything better, really. I believe that the team felt very strongly that they were representing Belize as Belize was behind them. I certainly told them, you know, on certain terms that whatever the outcome was for that game - that we were extremely excited that they had already gotten to that stage and that, that alone for us was a win. I believe the guys are upbeat, they lost the game; I saw them after the game last night and they are already looking towards the next game; I am looking forward to an excellent game on Saturday from Belize."

Nat’l Team Chairman Still Detained
And one member of the delegation who is still in the US, but not for the reason he went there, is National Team Chairman Rawel Pelayo. Our newsroom has confirmed with reliable sources that Pelayo was detained in Houston after he was processed by immigration. According to our sources, the US authorities have him held at a detention center after he was escorted by officers of the USA’s Drug Enforcement Agency. Sources tell us that he will remain in that detention center until tomorrow, where his family hopes that he will be release and sent back to Belize. We’ve also been informed that when he applied for his visa, the US Embassy held on to his passport for a longer than normal period, and he had to sign a waiver in which he agreed that even though he got an authentic US VISA, it didn’t ensure that he would be allowed to enter freely. We’ll keep following the story as it develops.

BATSUB Donates More Vehicles
Since the BATSUB operation of the British Forces in Belize downsized, the Belize Defence Force has had difficulty to mobilize troops to the border. They’ve received numerous donations of vehicles to assist with the vital helicopter support they lost, but BDF still has issues mobilizing. Well the British Forces have come through once again, and they’ve donated 17 vehicles to assist. They held small ceremony to note its importance, and 7News attended. Here’s what the BDF Commander told us about this major assistance. Brig General David Jones - Commander, BDF "This donation came about from an initial meeting I had with the British government, there was a member for the Ministry of Defense who came to visit Belize and after I took over in February, I had a meeting with him shortly after and I told him that one of the critical lack of capacity that the BDF has is lack of troop lifting vehicles. I noted that BATSUB had a number of these four ton trucks here; they have scaled down, and they're not being used and we are in desperate need of these and apart from this - I've added for other critical things but this was one of the main things I needed.

Patrick Andrews; Now a PUP Standard Bearer
Jason Patrick Andrews, he’s known well, as the co-host on Plus TV’s Rise and Shine, but tonight, the nation gets to know him as the new standard bearer for the People’s United Party for the Belmopan. He announced his candidacy today, and he got the blessing of the party as well. He sent out a release saying, quote, “As a member of the Peoples United Party and a resident of the City of Belmopan, I, Patrick Jason Andrews, hereby officially announce my candidacy for Standard Bearer, Peoples United Party (PUP)…” End quote. It is important to note that Andrews is currently facing a libel suit as a party along with his co-host, and co-owner of Plus TV, Louis Wade. And interestingly, the man who’s pressing this lawsuit is his opponent from the UDP, the current Belmopan Area Representative, and the Minister of National Security, John Saldivar.

Ariel Rosado Foundation Provides More Scholarships
Viewers may know very well about the Ariel Rosado Memorial Education Foundation. It was launched in memory of Ariel Rosado, the talented young cyclist whose life was tragically ended by a traffic accident in March 2011. Well, the Foundation launched their new scholarship program last year, which assists students from primary school, all the way up to the University Level. Today, they held a ceremony to note the second batch of scholarship awardees, and we got a chance to meet them. Here’s what Rosado’s father, who is also the president of the board of directors at the foundation told us about these new awardees: Dr. Alvaro Rosado - President, Board of Dir., Ariel Rosado Foundation "The foundation was found eighteen months ago, a year and a half ago and the first year we gave out nine high school scholarships, one university scholarship, and five scholarships for sailors fom primary schools. This year, the second award ceremony, we have increased the awards to twenty six. We are giving ten primary school sailors. We are extending St. Lukes and we are adding St. Johns Primary School to learn to sail with the Belize Sailing Association. We have renewed all the nine high school scholarships that we gave last year and we've added four more; we are renewing one university scholarship that we gave last year and we are adding two new ones. One of the new features is that one of the scholarships, university, is an athletic scholarship and this is to try to encourage people to follow in Ariel's footsteps. The awardee for this year is very apt because he is Quiroz, he is the is the last cross country champion and now the national junior cycling road champion for Belize so he has been awarded a scholarship based on his cycling abilities and the fact that he has been accepted into the university."

Galen University Contracts It’s Basketball Athletes
Another group of students who received scholarships are the basketball athletes currently on the Galen Eagles Basketball team. The Galen University held a public contract signing for those new scholarships, and invited the media to the event. With footage provided by our colleagues at Plus TV, we’ll show you what the coach of the told us today about the importance of the event: Steven Williams - Coach, Galen Eagles Basketball Team "Yesterday we actually completed our program - when I started a year and a half ago we had 6 or 7 guys on scholarship. Yesterday we completed that process by giving scholarships to 15 set of young men and 6 players returning and we had 7 signed contracts yesterday. Sometimes if you know when it's not to follow order in a certain way sometimes you have little loose ends - with a contract it's easier for them to abide by rules and regulations coming into the University." Daniel Ortiz "Tell us about these contracts - what are the stipulations? Give us an idea of what the obligations of the student/athletes are and what obligation of the university are?"

Jaguars Get Major Sponsorship Perks
We've been embedded with the national football team all this week in Portland Oregon. It was smooth sailing until last night's tough loss to the USA. One of the highlites for the team members was a trip to the Nike Campus. Nike, the sports apparel company is based on Portland Oregon and the team is sponsored by Nike as well. So they got a special hook-up to go to a very special store, the only one of its kinds in the USA probably, the Nike employees Store. Jules Vasquez tagged along - and here's how it went. Jules Vasquez reporting from Portland A trip to the Nike store meant a walk from the team’s downtown hotel to the MAX Rail train stop - which is just two blocks away. The team took over the sidewalk and seemed to enjoy the group outing. And when they had to wait a few minutes for the train, they used the opportunity at the picturesque Pioneer Square South for some photo taking, profiling, and interviews with foreign media.

BDF’s Summer Camp Reactivated
Here’s what the BDF Commander told us about the activities that the participants enjoy: Brig. General David Jones - Commander, BDF "We're hosting a summer camp - it's done annually, unfortunately we didn't do it last year but this we're doing it. We have programs such as small boat handling, arts and craft, we've added bird watching this time, and we have a football camp and introduction to computer. It's all for kids between the ages of 10 to 16. It started Monday and it's going to run for two weeks, we'll have a break in between and then it will start in late in July and end in August. So it's two separate two week program for kids age 10-16."

Channel 5

Rise and Shine, birth of new politician to take on Belmopan
As the co-host of the popular and often controversial Rise & Shine morning show on Plus TV, Patrick Jason Andrews has gotten his fair share of public attention. Today, via [...]

UK donates 17 Bedford Four-Tonners to the BDF
The United Kingdom via the British High Commission donated seventeen Bedford Four-Tonner trucks to the Belize Defense Force. It’s a welcomed gift since ten of the twenty trucks currently used [...]

British High Commisioner retiring but BATSUB reemerging
Patrick Ashworth, better known as Pat, has been a public officer in the United Kingdom from 1971 when he started as the F.C.O. in the Finance Department. And after a [...]

Minors burglarize Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day
In broad daylight on Monday, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints located on Cemetery Road was burglarized.  The culprits have been identified as two minors and twenty-two [...]

Guatemalan national and 17 pounds of weed in San Ignacio
A Guatemalan national is in big trouble with local authorities after he was busted in the west on Tuesday with over seventeen pounds of weed. Just after ten a.m., San [...]

Openly gay and says he’s here to stay
There is some confusion right now surrounding the pro-constitution rallies and anti-gender policy protests being held across the country. The evangelical associations and other affiliated organizations are moving ahead full [...]

Ariel Rosado Memorial Foundation issues more scholarships
The recently established Ariel Rosado Foundation stepped up to the plate in a big way this morning. The foundation has managed to provide fifteen new scholarships to deserving students while [...]

Superstar performances at the Bliss!
For the past two weeks, Belize’s biggest and brightest stars have sang, danced and performed their way into the hearts of Belizeans everywhere. Tonight, the best from Group A return [...]


Grace Primary School Student Donates to the Zoo
Back in March the United States Embassy launched a competition for primary schools across Belize. Students were to find the best suitable name for one of Pat the Cat’s jaguar cub. Pat the Cat was a problem jaguar that was taken to the Milwaukee Country Zoo to breath. One of his cubs w...

Belize Completes First of Three Games In Gold Cup 2013
The most anticipated football game by Belizeans, that of the Jaguars Versus the United States of America is now over and done. And although hopes and optimism were high Belize was not victorious, however there are two more matches to go, and supporters continue to show pride in the players....

Two Youths Injured In Separate Shooting Incidents
Two men were injured in separate shooting incidents in Belize City on Tuesday. Police say just after five o’clock yesterday evening they went to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they saw 18-year-old Barry Johnson suffering from a gunshot wound to the left knee. Initial investi...

Burglars Target Church in Belize City
Police have charged three persons, including two minors for a burglary at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on Cemetery Road in Belize City. On Monday morning the President of the Church reported that the church had been burglarized. Thieves had pried open the burglar ba...

Duo Found in Stolen Vehicle
Police have recovered a vehicle that was reported stolen. Police say the vehicle which was stolen in Corozal was recovered in Orange Walk Town. Police say the vehicle was in the possession of 26-year-old Edwin Caliz Bardalez of Belize City and 36-year-old Robert Hill of Corozal who wa...

Galen Puts on Basketball Entertainment for Football Support
While Galen University has played an integral role in sponsoring scholarships for the Ariel Rosado Memorial Education Foundation, the tertiary-level institution has not confined its humanitarian energies to academics. On Friday the university’s basketball team will conduct a fundraisi...

Valley of Peace Family Gets New Home
The total value of the donations amounts to three hundred thousand Belize dollars. A family of the Cayo District is happy to have received a home today. Correspondent Fem Cruz travelled to Valley of Peace where the house was handed over. He tells us more. FEM CRUZ “T...

Local Morning Show Enters Political Arena
Co-host of the Plus TV’s Rise and Shine Morning Show, Patrick Andrews, announced today that he is now a member of the Peoples United Party. Andrews who is a resident of Belmopan, says that he is now a candidate to become the PUP’s Standard Bearer in the Belmopan Constituency.&nb...

Ariel Rosado Foundation Awards Scholarships to the Needy
Marion Ali, Reporting 26 students from across the country today received scholarships from the Ariel Rosado Memorial Education Foundation. The two year-old Foundation has expanded over the course of its existence from offering 15 scholarships in 2012 and has included a number of new cat...


My first time trial and cheap eating around town
Food first of course Who doesn’t love cheap pork tacos and fresh fruit for dessert? That was our super tasty budget friendly meal twice this week. The first time we got tacos on our errand run and decided to head down the road for for apple bananas. The girl told us her shipment was due the next day and we chose mango on a stick instead. I opted to wait till we got in closer range of a kitchen sink to eat mine. Dick chose to dive right in and settle with the old water bottle hand wash trick. Another good place for cheap grab and go food is The Baker south of town, they make good sandwiches on white or whole wheat in the $5 – $8 range. My ham sandwich was good I also got a coconut granola square but I have not tried it yet.

GingerScoop Reports: Sunset Cruising to A Bird Sanctuary
Ambergris Caye, the largest of Belize’s cayes, is surrounded by many MANY more islands. In fact, there are hundreds of them…most uninhabited. I’m starting to sound like a guide book so let’s get to it. I’ve been sitting on Krista’s (aka GingerScoop aka the co-owners of Crazy Canuck’s Bar just south of San Pedro town) post for a few months now…the whole time that I was in Rhode Island. Here is her super cool trip with Imagine Tours to a bird sanctuary not far from San Pedro. Sunset cruises are fantastic in San Pedro. Sailing….booze…..good people….beautiful scenery.

World Famous Artist, Michael De Feo, Leaves His Mark on San Pedro, Belize
I’ve only been back on the island for about a week but one of the first things that struck me while walking around San Pedro is this flower. It seems to be painted, stuck or printed all over town. Here it is on the cemetery wall… Sign from aliens? Definitely not the usual San Pedro graffiti. I mentioned it to a few people and heard the same story. Some new church had posted and painted this around church. Church? That does graffiti? Hmmm… I put a picture on my SanPedroScoop facebook page…along with the uber-creepy dolls that some kids (or possibly an evil demon) had drawn beneath it and found another answer. This artwork is famous…I mean super famous. It appears all over the world. In London…

I am, Eco Kid
I want to be an eco-kid because I care for my environment and caring for the present means protecting our future. As an eco-kid, I will protect my environment so that a change in the way we live may start to take place. Belize is full of nature; it is like a little paradise in the heart of Central America. At nights when I go outside my house, I enjoy feeling the cool breeze given by the many trees as they dance and wave under the moonlight. It is a wonderful experience living in a natural, peaceful environment. It causes me great disappointment when I see that people are cutting down trees and destroying our animal’s habitats. As a result of this, many species are becoming extinct. Moreover, people fail to realize that trees help to reduce the greenhouse effect because they capture carbon dioxide that causes damage to the atmosphere. Trees are also important since they provide oxygen that is needed for life. Last but not least, many plants are used as medicine to cure illnesses.

Entrepreneurs Training Workshop 2
pictures of the workshop

“Innocent Man” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
When Rose and I were at our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize the day the guys installed the first of the sliding windows (doors) I was quite taken by the motto on the back of the ‘T’ shirt that young Appolito was wearing. A few words that encapsulate the opinion that we have formed about the guys that Daniel Camal, our building contractor, has had working on our house. If you can’t see the motto clearly it is ” Excellence is not a skill, it’s an attitude” Well the guys that we have had working on our build undoubtedly have attitude. And the right attitude at that. Didn’t really do too much at all yesterday morning/early afternoon because it was a grey day with intermittent rainy periods. Just one of those days that you accept that you will get during the rainy season. We need the rain anyway to fill the 45,000 gallon water tank that we have under the house that we are building (or, to be more precise, having built).

The Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl – The Diurnal Hunter
Today’s Belize Photo of the day is the Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl which is scientifically known as the Glaucidium Brasilianum.

International Sources

Scott D. LONGEVIN M.D. passes away
Dr Scott Longevin from Cincinnati Ohio a doctor that used to visit Belize to do charity work, has passed away. Here is a link to read what really happened. He has done blessed work with my mother in law;s son in Corozal, who he was one of theirs. A great man that has done works in Belize is gone. An Angel has visited Belize with all due respect and we need more people like him. Thanks and please please from my wife's family I ask of thee for this request the "NOVELO'S FAMILY". That doctor has saved a kid's arm.

Vintage Photos: Exploring the Yucatán
A series of old photos of the Yucatan....

CCJ rules in favour of BCB in USD22.5m loan dispute
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has ruled that the British Caribbean Bank (BCB), formerly the Belize Bank of the Turks and Caicos Islands, can commence foreign arbitration proceedings against the government of Belize in its dispute over USD22.5 million loan owed to BCB by Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL), even though the matter is still under litigation in Belizean courts, local news vendor Amandala reports. According to the article, the foreign arbitration proceedings are reportedly to be held in the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA). According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in December 2009 BCB was seeking to close down BTL on the basis that it neglected to pay back the debt of USD22.5 million plus charges it had inherited via the state takeover. BTL responded by saying that it considers the loan taken out in 2007 by the previous board of directors under private ownership (of companies associated with British businessman and politician Lord Michael Ashcroft) to be unlawful and void, claiming that the loan was ‘illegally’ used to buy up BTL shares and redistribute them to companies controlled by Ashcroft.

Gold Cup marred by match-fixing attempt: report
Belizian players claim fixer tried to pay them to throw match. Match-fixing has reared its ugly head once again at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, according to a report. Players on the Belizian national soccer team have come forward and told a television outlet that they had been approached to fix Tuesday's match against the United States at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland, Ore. Andres Makin Jr., Ian Gaynair and Woodrow West said they were approached by an unidentified man, who offered them large sums of money in exchange for losing to the heavily favoured Americans. Despite losing 6-1, the four national team selections claimed to rebuff the attempt to manipulate the outcome.

An American Dream
We return to America in five days after two weeks in a country where you can’t flush toilet paper, and no one is rich, but everyone smiles and the trees sing songs to you and drop food at your feet. I don’t know if things will ever be the same.

Calgary to Belize | $491 roundtrip after taxes | August to mid December
United Airlines is currently undergoing an unadvertised fare drop on their flights from Calgary to Belize City (BZE). Prices look to have dropped in the months of August, September, October, November, and up to mid-December. Often, the problem with getting to Belize from Calgary is finding flights with a decent connection each way. The fastest way to get there and back is typically on United, with a 1-2 hour layover in Houston each way. To find these flights with decent connections each way, it looks like you will want to focus on flights departing Calgary on Tuesdays, and returning on a Thursday.

Louisiana Air Guardsmen help build schools in Belize - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2
BELLE CHASSE, La. (KALB News Channel 5) National Guard provides learning facilities for 500 students in Belize, receives valuable training. (Louisiana Air Guardsmen help build schools in Belize: BELLE CHASSE, La.

Spreading the word - getting young people out sailing in Belize
I have recently returned from a holiday in Belize where I became a full member of the Belize Sailing Association (BzSA).

The World’s 21 Best Cities for Retirement - Ambergris Caye and Cayo in Belize included
Check out these affordable, welcoming and safe retirement options.

July 10, 2013

This news synopsis will be a bit more condensed than usual for a couple weeks due to time constraints.


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 July 7th, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

The San Pedro Sun

A Historic Mural – San Pedro’s History through Art
A huge mural measuring eight feet high by fifteen feet wide took three days to complete. The painting is a first of its kind in Belize between artists from the region. They brainstormed how best history could be portrayed with the use of brushes and colorful paints on canvas. They decided to incorporate the Maya civilization and their continuous occupation of the region until the arrival of the Spaniards. Artists also included trade activities that formed a part of the regional trade, the importance of the environment and it linkages to the region and the people who once influenced the area.

Costa Maya Festival® presents Miss Panama!
The Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant® welcomes its newest contestant Cleirys Velasquez of Panama. The Marketing student represented Panama at the 2012 Miss Tourism International in Malaysia, placing in the top 10. She is a top model at Physical modeling agency, and set to proudly represent her country. The beautiful Cleirys will be on stage alongside Destinee Arnold (Belize), Andrea Rojas (Costa Rica) and Monica Elwing Gough (Honduras) during the International Costa Maya Festival® being held August 1 – 4, 2013. Contestants will be competing for the coveted title of Reina de la Costa Maya® 2013-14, currently being held by Panama’s Karen Jordan.

8th Edition of the Belize International Film Festival
The 8th edition of the Belize International Film Festival (BIFF) is finally here. BIFF will take place from Thursday, July 11th to Monday, June 15th with screenings across the country and main events in San Pedro Town, San Ignacio Town and Belize City. The five days will be filled with film screenings, workshops and seminars for persons in the filming industry, and of course glamorous parties and food galore. The primary goal of the BIFF is to provide a space for the exhibition of films from Belize and the neighboring regions of the Caribbean, Central America and Southern Mexico, so that these audiences can see their images onscreen and be motivated to create more.

DJ Zog set for the International Costa Maya Festival®
Another exciting headliner set to bring the entertainment on stage at the International Costa Maya Festival® is DJ Zog. He is no stranger to the island, having brought the best of his beats to La Isla Bonita just this past Easter at the Holiday Hotel. Fans were so enamored of his musical styling that he will be back to bring the party to the island! DJ Zog has been on air on Miami’s Party Station, the legendary Power 96, since you were a baby. His distinct style of blending Hip Hop, House, Old School, Reggae and Rock has revolutionized the music trend in South Florida with his mixes weekdays at 5pm. He is quickly becoming one of the most sought after DJ’s with his high energy style, charismatic personality, and witty interaction with the crowd. He currently holds residencies at Club 50 in Miami, Blue Martini in West Palm Beach, The W Hotel in New York, Passion Nightclub, and Bongos at the Hard Rock Hotel in Hollwood, Fl. When DJ Zog is in the mix, you know it’s a party! He will be onstage on Friday August 2nd.

Team Happy Cow wins the 9th annual Lagoon Reef Eco Challenge
The 9th Annual Lagoon-Reef Eco Challenge came to an end shortly after midday on Sunday July 7th before a large crowd gathered on the beach off the San Pedro Town Central Park. 20 teams had signed up for the challenge and all made their entrance to the finishing line despite one team that had difficulties complete a portion of the competition. Zipping through the finishing line first was the Happy Cow Team from Cayo closely followed by the Sparta Boys. The two days of competition tested the 20 teams’ ability both mentally and physically as they had the task to kayak 46 miles in two days. The challenge started shortly after 7AM on Saturday June 6th from the Central Park and made its way through the Boca Del Rio Channel. They eventually emerged into the San Pedro Lagoon before kayaking into the various water passages. By 9:15AM on day one, the first team had emerged into the Laguna de Cayo Frances. It took a little over 30 minutes for the first group of three teams to paddle out of the lagoon and into the leeward side of the island. By midday most teams were in the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve and some were along the Belize-Mexico Border. The three top teams that kept ahead in the challenge by the time they emerged into Laguna de Cantena were the Sparta Boys (Jesus Linarez and Sergio Lopez), Happy Cow (Alfred Lopez and Byron Cruz) and Las Tortugas (Edwin Casasola and Cesar Salazar). Once out of Laguna de Cantena, the teams had to drag their kayak through the 500-yard waist-height hot swampy mud. They then ran with their kayaks, to the east coast of the island, eventually paddling to Robles Point to end day one of the challenge. Sparta Boys finished day one ahead of Happy Cow by only 49 seconds. 19 of the 20 teams finished the first day of the challenge, and despite not completing the first leg of the challenge, female Team Stars (Kiara Gomez and Sarah Alper) did well as first timers in the competition.

Belize and USA face off in Gold Cup 2013
Belize is preparing to face off against the mighty USA in their first ever appearance at the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The game is set for 9:30 PM Belize time and will be played at the JELD-WEN Field, in Portland Oregon, USA. It is the first of three games that Belize will be playing in the Gold Cup 2013. Belize is considered the underdog in the competition because of many factors. But what the Belize Jaguars might lack in terms of professional experience, one of the national Goalkeeper Shane Orio said they make up for in heart, in determination, in unity. Orio told the press on Monday July 8th that the Belize Jaguars have played with each other for years. “We have to be united and work as a group,” commented a very positive Orio. He added that “No man stands alone. It’s 11 vs. 11 on the field. We believe and we have the faith we will do a good job. Each and every player will give 110 percent… We won’t hold back. If we need to run for 102 minutes, we will do that because at the end of the day we’re representing our people, our nation and our country.”

Ambergris Today

Costa Maya Festival Announces Miss Panama Contestant
Miss Turismo International Panama 2012, Cleirys Velasquez, has been confirmed to represent her country as Miss Panama Costa Maya at the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant that will be taking place at the International Costa Maya Festival in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Nineteen-year-old Cleirys Elizabeth Velásquez Ríos represented Panama at the 2012 Miss Tourism International in Malaysia, placing in the top 10. She was Miss Teen Panama in 2009 and will proudly represent her country at this year’s Costa Maya Festival. Cleirys stands 5’ 7” tall, is a marketing student, has brown eyes and brown hair. She enjoys reading, volleyball and going to the beach. Miss Panama now joins Destinee Arnold - Belize, Andrea Rojas - Costa Rica and Monica Elwing Gough - Honduras. All other Mundo Maya countries and Central American region have confirmed their participation at the pageant and the four remaining contestants will be announced shortly.

X-ray Facility Now Operational at San Pedro Poly Clinic
Mr. Owen Vellos, Administrator at the San Pedro Dr. Otto Rodriquez Poly Clinic, told Ambergris Today that the X-ray machine is fully functioning and that the new facility is providing services on a daily basis to test out the demand for the medical machine. For more information you can contact the Poly Clinic at 226-2536.

Rigoberto Kumul Sworn in as New President San Pedro Lions Club
The San Pedro Lions Club and the San Pedro Leo’s Club held their Installation Ceremonies for their new 2013-2014 Board of Directors on Saturday, July 6, 2013. Rigoberto Kumul took the reigns as Lions Club President and Cesar Cordova as the Leo’s President. Lion Fatima Graniel delivered the welcome address and acknowledgements. Master of Ceremony, Lion Alberto Mahler then welcomed outgoing president, Lion Mel Spain, to the podium to deliver her speech in which she gave short account on the accomplishments of the Club during her term of presidency.

Misc Belizean Sources

Commentary: Support Belizeans with dual citizenships and level the playing field
By Wellington C. Ramos If the People's United Party make a big mistake and do not support the rights of Belizeans who possess dual citizenships with the United States and elsewhere, it will cost them severely in future elections. They have already lost two consecutive general elections in 2008 and 2012. Plus, the results of the recently held village council elections did not provide them with any good news either. Municipal elections will not be held again in Belize until 2015 and general elections in 2017, which is more than enough time to organize themselves to win the next two elections. Since Belize became independent on September 21, 1981, more Belizeans are moving away from PUP and UDP party affiliation. Why? When I asked the people in Belize this question, many of them said that they do not see too many differences between the two major political parties. In fact one man told me in Belize City, "I tired ah replace monkey fuh black dog." This is a powerful statement. They see the two political parties serving the interest of a few businesses, families, friends, cronies and puppets.

Jaguars' Message from Portland
The Jaguars are in Portland, getting ready to defeat the USA team. They were interviewed yesterday evening, and they have a message. The game will be shown most everywhere in Cayo tonight. Meluchi's, The Stork Club, Lucky 5, and many others are having specials for the game. The Cayo Welcome Center will be showing the game too, turning downtown into a party zone. "A word for the people of Belize from the National Team in Portland"

SHJC Offers 4 New Programs
Sacred Heart Junior College is offering 4 new programs for the coming school year. It's not just an affordable choice, it's the scholarly choice. They are offering a degree now in Eco-tourism as well as Tourism. They also are offering an English Literature degree. Theology is also a degree choice now. They are also adding a certificate in School Leadership along with their Primary Education degree. SHJC is accepting applications for Fall classes. Call 824-2758 or email [email protected] for more information.

Entrepreneurs Training Workshop at GPC
The George Price Centre is the stage this week for the Entrepreneurship Training Workshop. For more information on this and future seminars, check out their website.

Joseph Andrews Upgrade
Joseph Andrews is getting a major upgrade, and Sacred Heart College has the beginnings of their new bus stop. There is new drainage the whole way now. Great work!

The Cohune, the Gibnut and Us
The Ya'axché Conservation Trust has a cool short out about biodiversity when it comes to cohunes and gibnut. Some of the film is in Mayan, with English subtitles. Definitely worth a watch. "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:"

Summer Computer Classes
The Innovation Center will be having some basic computer classes this Summer. Intro to Computers starts tomorrow, Tuesday, July 9th, and is twice a week. Intro to Excel starts next Monday. They have a free session tonight at 7:00pm. Call 610-2854 for more information. "Special promotional offer; Saturday 6th July will be free computer class for the (first ten) 8 - 14 year old children who come to visit the Innovation Center, start time will be 9.30am and will run until 11.00am. Those not in the first ten will be assigned another time. Any beginner adults will be able to get a free introduction lesson on Monday night from 7.00pm to 8.30pm but they must register in advance before 5.00pm Monday. Those of you reading this already know about computers, please pass the message on to adults who never use a computer due to never having had the opportunity or they may be a little 'scared' of computers!"

Benque Fiesta Week
Benque is celebrating the Fiesta de la Virgen del Carmen this week. They kicked it off at 3:00 this morning, and are having fun a the Benque House of Culture now. They set up for a greasy pole today. Any takers? The big festivities start on Thursday night, when they'll have the Seniorita Flor de la Feria pageant. "Its been a early morning for all of us in Benque, la fiesta de la Virgen de el Carmen is on from 3:30 a.m. and we continue the celebrations with our traditional folklore games, great company and wonderful audience from all over Belize.."

Cayo's Waterfall Cave
Cayo has the caves! Waterfall cave, located off the Hummingbird Highway, has a series of cascades in it that you can climb up. It's guaranteed to be an incredible day of exploring fun. "Along the Hummingbird Highway, near the Blue Hole, is the Waterfall Cave. After a 20 minute hike to the entrance of the cave, you hike 3 kilometers into the cave, climbing up 7 waterfalls and cascades. You then backtrack, jumping into the pools, and enjoying an amazing lunch along the way. Contact Ian Anderson's Caves Branch for more information."

Cayo Flight Schedule Released
Tropic Air has released their future flight schedule for Cayo. The newly renovated Maya Flats airstrip will have 6 arriving and 6 departing flights daily. The flights will start in the middle of November, just in time for the next busy season. Placencia, San Pedro, and BC will be just a quick flight away. Thanks, Tropic! "Lots of requests for what our overall schedule to/from San Ignacio will look like this November. So here it is. Don't forget in addition to extra flights to San Pedro and Belize International Airport, we will also have non-stop flights to Placencia."

Dr Sylvia Earle, Diving BELIZE, "A Treasure"
Where's the best place to go diving in the world? Oceanographer, Living Legend, Dr. Sylvia Earle replies, Belize, is the only place to dive like it was 50 years ago. Treasure it, protect it, preserve it!

Prime Minister Barrow and the always classy First Lady Kim Simplis meet the Queen

Channel 7

Teams Belize And USA Size Each Other Up
Tonight, the Belize Jaguars are just a few hours away from playing in the biggest game of their lives – the biggest game in the nation’s history – the Gold Cup. At this hour it’s 5:40 in Portland, Oregon so the team won’t be arriving at the Jeld Wen field in the next 20 minutes or so for their game at 9:00 pm Belize time. Our Jules Vasquez is in Portland with the team so we have all the angles from Portland, including the most up to the minute information – but we start with last night’s practice session and press conference. Here’s that story. Jules Vasquez reporting from Portland Yesterday both teams had practice sessions at Jeld Wen Field with the Americans taking the field first – and the Belizeans second. Belize prefers the later practice times so that it mimics real time conditions for tonight’s game at 8:00 pm local time - that's 9pm in Belize. In pre-practice press conferences, the coaches spoke glowingly of their opponents. Jurgen Klinsmann - US Team Head Coach "We respect them a lot, they had decent results - they tied Guatemala a couple weeks ago nil-nil and they took Honduras a kind of game to break their to kind of break them down."

FFB President: Jaguars Were Warned About Bribes
But as we showed you last night, someone from the international community tried to bribe Woodrow West and Ian Gaynair. These men dealt with the situation admirably. The offer, however, was only made because the person thought that it would have been enticing enough they would have accepted. The President of the Football Federation of Belize arrived in Portland, where our Jules Vasquez is, and he got a chance to speak with him on that topic. He said that the members were warned that this could happened, and he also announced to the nation that the Government of Belize also donated an additional $50,000 dollars towards the team. Here’s how that conversation went. Ruperto Vicente - President, Belize Team "Things are improving and I must thank the Prime Minister of Belize, the Hon. Dean Barrow, for giving us further financial assistance with our national team - thanks to the Prime Minister for the extra $50,000 that was given to me for the expenses that we're going to be having here with our national team players in Portland." Reporter "So now you've crossed the $300,000 margin?" Ruperto Vicente "We have crossed that $300,000 margin."

Young Man Killed While Out On Errand
We’ll have more from the team in Portland, but first to the murder, which happened on Banak Street late yesterday evening. The victim is identified as 21 year old Jamal Neal who resides not too far from where he was gun down. According to area residents, as many as 8 gunshots were fired by 2 men on a motorcycle. Neal was walking on Banak Street at the time he was murdered. Today 7news went into the neighbourhood to get the story. Monica Bodden reporting 21 year old Jamal Neal was murdered on Banak Street just a few houses away from where he lived. It happened yesterday at around 6:10 in the evening. When 7news arrived on the scene he was already transported to the KHMH in the pan of a police pick-up truck. He succumbed to his injuries only minutes later while undergoing treatment. According to police, Neal was walking alone on Banak Street when two men on motor cycles rode up to him and one of them opened fire on him. Eight 9mm expended shells were recovered from the scene while a red motor cycle - which is believed to have been the get-a-way ride, was found abandon at the corner of Croton Lane and Jasmine Street. Today Jamal's mother told us that her son was on his way to run an errand for her.

Jaguars Say They Are Ready For the U.S
At the top of our newscast, 7News showed you the Jaguar’s team in Portland, and how they looked tactically. But as in any sport, their mental preparedness is also just important, and just before News time this evening, Jules got a chance to speak with them, as they headed back to their room to get ready for the game. Here’s how that conversation went: Dalton Eiley - Captain "Yes, we are veterans I should say, been playing for a long time. We look forward to moments like this and I have not seen anyone nervous so far but when you hit that stadium and you hit that noise, nervousness steps in when you step on that pitch everyone calm and ready to play" Everal Trapp - Midfielder "Like what the coach told us, we just have to stay focus and not worry about what the fans and the noise so we just have to go there with a mentality that we ex out everything and just stay focused and play the game" Ian Gaynair - Defender "I feel focused, well rested. I am well prepared for the game because like you said I am a veteran in this. This is not my first time approaching the stage, which, it is the first time at the stage where we are but with the level of the ball not the first time for me."

Constitution March Brings Hundreds To Cayo
Last week, 7News reported on the march held by members of the Church in Punta Gorda who decided to speak up on the LGBT issue, and the revised Gender Policy. The main personalities Pastor Scott Stirm, TV Host Louis Wade, and activist Patrick Menzies reported that over 4,000 members of the Maya communities in the south participated in the march. We weren’t able to confirm that number because we couldn’t attend, but that figure is supported by our colleagues from PGTV, who covered it. Well today, they held another march in San Ignacio, and our news team was out there to see what the response would be this time. It wasn’t quite as large as the claims in the south, but we found out that hundreds still participated. Daniel Ortiz has the story. Daniel Ortiz reporting Vehicles and buses lined the road in front of the Macal Park this morning. The Pro Constitution March was scheduled to start at 9 a.m., but up to an hour after, it was still not under way.

LGBT Members: Belize We Exist; Get Over It
And while we were out there, we discovered a group of 5 members of the LGBT population, better known as the gay community, and they seemed interested enough to see the crowd for themselves. We approached them today, and for the first time – at least in recent memory – they agreed to an interview, in which they discussed the issues being put in the national consciousness. More than that, we found one member who was unafraid to announce on national television that this is his lifestyle, and that he won’t apologize for it. Here’s how our conversation went with him. Aaron Mai - Openly Gay Cayo Resident "My name is Aaron Mai and I live in Santa Elena and I'm a productive open gay homosexual in Belize." Daniel Ortiz "Tell us about your impression about this march - they call it a pro-constitution march." Aaron Mai "My impression is that it's a demonstration and the reason why I am frustrated it is because not only have I heard, I have seen the internal issues that plague the church - if the constitution of Belize was built on the principles of the Bible then why is divorce, fornication and adultery against the law? If we're going to be fair, let's be fair and if the church is going to heaven, then I rather go to hell. We do not have an agenda - we want to live freely and if I am gay then I should be openly gay without discrimination from community, family, friends, jobsite and health. If I should want to get married - that is nobody's business but my own - I believe. Cayo is very open and I believe that there is a lot of gay people in this nation but the problem is that majority of them is what we call 'in the closet' because of jobs, family and friends that they cannot be openly out. I believe that we need to take a stand for the next generation of gay people that are coming out that they can live free because like I said people are calling me 'faggot' for 33 years of my life and I have never committed a crime. If I want to sleep with a man over 18 that is my business - I do not see that as a criminal offence and so what the church needs to realize is that there's a generation young gay people that are coming out that needs to live freely."

Council Of Churches Distances Itself From Constitution Marches
But, while Pastor Scott Stirm, Louis Wade and Patrick Menzies were making final preparations for the march in San Ignacio, members of the Council of Churches were on LOVE FM’s morning show. The topic of the march came up and they were asked by the hosts about the message being sent by this one, the previous ones and those still to come. When asked directly about it, the members made a clear indication that they haven’t weighed in on this issue as yet. Rev. Roosevelt Papouloute - President, Methodist Conference: Belize and Honduras "Since end of May the revised policy has been part of the discussion throughout the nation - we as a council we have not been as public as some people expected us to be." Ernesto Vasquez "You need to clear that up for us though. I think what the people are seeing is the church, I mean they are having a rally today in San Ignacio, they had one in PG a few days ago and Orange Walk. So this is all church related and we would see that as you all have the same message. "

Pastor Stirm: We Still Speak With One Voice
So, today, while we had the opportunity, we asked Pastor Stirm those comments from the Council of Churches. For context, we must note that he has always told the media that he speaks with some authority from all the churches in Belize because he meets with these other leaders regularly. He said, that whether or not this is the position, he believes the churches are united on the Gender Policy. Here’s how he explained it. Pastor Scott Stirm - Belize Action/Jubilee Ministries "God loves the sinner, he hates the sin but he loves the sinner. That's Ernesto Vasquez twist on our message and so, I've been in all these rallies, I don't hear anything hateful. What we are saying, we stand on our constitution; there's three things that we want in this nation as the church; we want goodness, we want morality and we want family values."

Jaguars’ Captain’s Impression of Jeld Wen
At the top of the news, we showed you the comments from both the US and the Belize Teams, as they wait patiently to compete against each other. Well, the hour of that showdown is getting every nearer, and anticipation is building to see how Belize will perform. Will the Jaguars shock the world with an upset, or will the US team outplay them, and by how much? Well, that depends on the training, but it also depends on the conditions they are playing under. One of those conditions is the synthetic football pitch at the Jeld Wen field, and as we showed you, both teams got a chance to test it out. Belize got another chance last night, and today, Jules Vasquez asked them about how it will affect their playing. Dalton Eiley - Team Captain, Belize Jaguars "It went well, a little tactical thing attacking, defending and I think it went well; everyone seems ready for the game tomorrow" Reporter "The artificial turf, how is it coming along?" Dalton Eiley - Team Captain, Belize Jaguars "It feels better than it looks. I've played on artificial turf before but not like that one and that one is really professional. It's very soft and the ball rolls a lot faster so that is one thing we have to get use to. It seems that they are going to wet the field so we got to get ready for that ball, when it hits the ground it slides . From my experience, I don't think I want to slide and the coach wants you to stay in your feed as much as possible; you slide you miss the ball, you got to get up and chase down so it's easier to stay in your feet most of the time; if you have to make a slide, you have to make a slide."

Belize’s Well-Known Striker Knows The Field Well
But none of the team’s members know the synthetic field as best as Deon McCauley. That’s because earlier this year, he was in Portland trying out for the Premier League Team Portland Timbers. Unfortunately, he didn’t get drafted, but it has given him experience on what to expect, and today, he told us how that will help his playing. Deon McCauley - Striker - Belize "Yes, well of course I was here in March trying out with them and I played on the turf already and it's a nice field, a nice stadium and a nice atmosphere." Reporter "Jurgen Klinsmann - the coach of the American team was saying earlier today that you cannot underestimate any team because if you're here it is because you deserve to be here." Deon McCauley "Well of course we worked hard to get here and it's not just because it's the first time that we are here it means that we are not meant to be here." Jules Vasquez "The team has had a wonderful opportunity to be in camp since April, has that helped and will that help you out on the field tomorrow?"

Belizean Caught Up In Fraud In Canada
26 year-old Nahyelie Maria Burn, a Belizean who is staying in Canada on a student visa, has pleaded guilty to criminal charges in relation to credit card fraud. She was facing deportation, but fortunately, the courts in that country has decided to grant her leniency. Burn, who is working in St. John’s, was a student at the Memorial University, Grenfell Campus, and between fall 2011 and autumn she stole credit cards from her roommates, former co-workers, and from a student who she was assigned to as an advisor. She then used the cards to buy merchandise from Forever 21 and to make payments to Virgin Mobile, to a total of approximately $9,000. She was also charged with 24 counts in relation to crimes of dishonesty, including 1 count of shoplifting for stealing clothes from the Wal-Mart branch in Corner Brook. Burn pleaded guilty to all 24 counts, and the Crown attorney recommended to the sitting judge that Burn be sentenced to serve 9 to 12 months under house arrest. In addition, due to Canadian Immigration law, a foreign national – who Burn is recognized as – could face deportation if he or she was charged with a crime which carries a penalty of 10 years, and was actually sentenced to 6 months or more with 2 offences not connected to the same incident.

Woman Convicted Of Trafficking Weed
31 year-old Tanice Smith, a resident of Ladyville, is at prison tonight after she was convicted of drug trafficking because the Gang Suppression Unit busted her with over 4 pounds of marijuana. She stood trial before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, where 2 officers testified that they were on patrol on Mahogany Street when they met Smith who was making her way. Because she kept glancing behind her, the officers thought that her behavior was suspicious, and as a result, the officers searched her. Inside a yellow back she had in her possession, the officers discovered 1.98 kilograms or 4.36 pounds of marijuana, and as result she was arrested and charged with drug trafficking. Chief Magistrate Smith, in coming to her decision, informed her that the 2 officers provided compelling testimony against her, and she didn’t provide an adequate defence, and as a result, she found Smith guilty.

Harvest for Kids Is Back
Last year, 7News provided you with extensive coverage of an innovative program launched by the Belize Camping Experience. It’s called Harvest for Kids, and its purpose is to provide outreach to at risk Belize City Children to by giving them an opportunity to get out of their crime-ridden communities and visit farms around Belize. The objective of the intervention is such that they get to see how the farming communities live, and how peaceful live outside of the city can be like. Well, the Director of BCE dropped by yesterday, and he told us that the program is active once again: Alexander Perez - Director, Belize Camping Experience "The harvest from last year - with those funds we were able to do together with the whole country, we are now putting into practice. Summer camp started last week, we have over 9 camps in Belize and we're looking to reach over 1,500 kids this summer. One of the things that is very unique is that through the funds that we were able to raise through The Harvest for Kids - we have now improved the program, we have our own Belizean curriculum where we have a Belizean story of a young man who went through adversity and now he's very successful. It's something very relevant that our kids can relate to so we can have them more into making the right decisions.

Woodrow West Won’t Start In Belize/US Game
We’re winding down to that game where the Jaguars will take on the US for the first time in the Gold Cup. It’s the biggest stage for Belize, and many theorists are looking at the team to see which members will be solid, and who on the Jaguars may be a possible liability. But, the star rookie keeper who brought Belize to the Gold Cup, by his near perfect performance in the Copa Centroamericana will NOT be starting in tonight’s game. If it came as a shock to you, it did to many of West’s fan who believe that he is perfectly capable of holding his own against the top US athletes. Today, Jules asked the coach and the man who is replacing him about the decision. Here’s how they explained it. Jules Vasquez "Has there been any wrinkle in the chemistry of the team because of this?" Ian Mork, Belize Team Head Coach "No, not that I've noticed, I don't think so. I mean, you know, we have to look at it also at a professional level and you have some players that have professional experience over years time and you have some that are getting there and they are getting started. It's not to take away from the ability of one or the other, it's just to say right now at this moment with a game like this and with the pressures at hand and also when you talk about experience we feel that right now Shane is the right person to fit in for this game."

B’zean Americans Converge on Portland For The Jaguars
And so while, everyone digests that decision, those following the match have many different opinions on how the team will perform. While waiting on the team, Jules got a chance to sample public opinion in Portland, and here’s what they told him of their expectations: Reporter "From when have you been planning this trip?" Dorian Arnold - Albuquerque New Mexico "From the moment that they qualified for the tournament we started planning for the trip, I contacted my friends and said we got to go to Portland, we got to support the team and we got to get some jersies. We are trying very hard to get some jersies to show our Belizean pride but from day one we knew we were going to be here to support the team and the country" Reporter "And how you expect the game to turn out tomorrow night?" Ellis Arzu - San Diego "Well, you know, I believe the strategy given, Belize first time here will be a defensive one and hopefully we could counter attack. I am hoping for a 1 nil Belize or atleast a draw at minimum, that's my goal."

Streets: Belize Will Play Well
So, that gave us the idea to sample opinion here in Belize; our colleague Geovanni Brackett hit the streets this evening. He spoke to a few the city residents, and they told him, that they expect that the Jaguars will perform admirably: Giovanni Brackett "So how do you think the football team will do tonight against the US?" Belize City resident "Well to me they will win" Giovanni Brackett "Are you going to be watching the game? Belize City resident "Yes man, that is our team, Belizean" Giovanni Brackett "So you are not worried about the fact that we are seen as amateur compared to these guys, you are hoping that we are going to be winning" Belize City resident "Yes, we are going to win"

CITCO Will Show The Game Live
But, the game is about an hour away, and establishments around the country are planning to make quite an event of it by providing their customers with big screen showings. The Belize City Council is one of those, and this evening, the PR officer for the Council stopped by to tell the city residents that they will be showing it on a big screen. Here’s how he explained why you should come out: Kenny Morgan, Belize City Council "Across the country people are getting ready to view the Jaguars going up against the United States national team and we want to do our part in Belize City so we will be having a big screen out at the Memorial Park and we are inviting supporters of our national team, come on out to the Memorial Park and let's ride with our team like only Belizeans can do it. Let them feel like and hear us all the way from Portland, Oregon, all in the way in the jewel. We need you all to come out and let's support the team. It's on the big screen at the Memorial Park, 8:30 tonight and I've just been informed that there'll be food and drinks on sale so you can come on and out and let's make it a total Belize national team, the Jaguars having a party at the Memorial Park tonight starting at 8:30."

Channel 5

Final pre-game Report from Portland on Gold Cup 2013
In the next two hours, the Belize Jaguars will enter the Jeld-Wen Field in Portland for their highly anticipated game against the United States. Belizeans all over will be tuning [...]

The possibilities after the game against the USA
While we are seeking a favorable outcome against the leviathan, a loss this early in the competition would not necessarily spell doom for team captain, Shane Orio, and the National [...]

Match-fixer identified and has been in Belize before
But leading up to tonight’s world’s stage, there were some trials and tests for our boys. Over the weekend, Midfielder, Ian Gaynair, and Goalkeeper, Woodrow West, were offered thousands of [...]

Affiliated with gang but murder not gang related
As we reported in Monday’s newscast, twenty-one year old Jamal Neal was executed in one of the City’s most dangerous neighborhoods. Just after six o’clock on Monday evening, shots rang [...]

Gender Policy Protest hits Cayo in thousands
The pro-constitution movement has been making its rounds of Belize. It touched down in the twin towns of Santa Elena and San Ignacio this morning and there is every indication [...]

Council of Churches not part of gender policy protests
While the protest was taking place in San Ignacio, this morning we spoke to Bishop Phillip Wright of the Council of Churches to find out if the church was part [...]

Churches official statement on gender Policy
Several meetings have been held by the Council of Churches to discuss the Gender Policy 2013. Following a meeting on Monday, the Council is taking a position on the controversial [...]

Following end of UNIBAM ruling, Church expects more discussions
But, the true testament will be revealed in the ruling of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin in the case of Caleb Orosco versus the Attorney General. This landmark case, which is [...]

Rape and burglary suspect free, but may face charge in future
While the church is looking to its next day in court, a man accused of a heinous crime may see himself standing before a judge and jury once again.  In [...]

Three persons taken to court for being illegally in Belize
Time is also the mind of one of three foreign nationals. This morning, the three illegal immigrants were charged for separate offenses.  They have been identified as Honduran nationals twenty [...]

US ambassador designate has strong legal background
The White House is nominating ex-judge Carlos Moreno as its new ambassador to Belize. Moreno sat on California’s State Supreme court and has also been a Federal District Judge. His [...]

The spiritual side to a summer camp
At the Queen Street Baptist School on Queen Street, about a hundred students were back in the classrooms. The curriculum, however, is different and other than regular classes, the children [...]

US and Belize Coaches give Gold CUp press conference
Channel Five’s live coverage of the Gold Cup begins at eight-thirty.  A team has been embedded to follow the Jaguars’ experience in the United States. Rick Romero and William Neal [...]

From the streets come words of inspiration for Jaguars
Here in Belize, we caught up with fans of the Belize Jaguars. They expressed overwhelming support for the national team to beat the United States against all odds.   Joseph [...]


Belize Jaguars Receives Support At Home and Abroad for Tonight's Game
Belizeans at home and abroad will tune in live at nine tonight as our National Football Team, the Jaguars squares off against the US National Team. Many have already made their predictions, and going by our boys’ last round in Costa Rica, a lot of Belizeans have already concluded that...

Athletes Sign Scholarship Agreement with Galen University
Athletes from Galen University today signed a scholarship agreement in the capital city. Correspondent Fem Cruz has the highlights on the event. FEM CRUZ “Galen University held an athletic scholarship signing ceremony for the Student Athletic Basketball Agreement. This s...

Young Man Killed Hours After Coming Out of Protective Custody
A 20 year-old man was gunned down just a few hundred feet from where he hung out with close friends. Love News’ Marion Ali has the details in this report. MARION ALI “The Belize Police Department has installed a mobile police unit at the Banak Street/Central American Bou...

Motorcycle Accident Proves Fatal in Belmopan
A man lost his life in a motor cycle accident on Monday night in the San Martin Area of Belmopan. Here’s Correspondent Fem Cruz with the details. FEM CRUZ “On Monday night July 8 sometime around 9:35 acting upon information received of a motorcycle accident in the San Ma...

Cab Driver Robbed and Assaulted in Northern Belize
A taxi driver was reportedly assaulted and robbed in Corozal Town on Monday night. According to police reports, at about 8:00 on Monday night, 51 year old Gregorio Monteroso, a Guatemalan Taxi driver of Paraiso Village Corozal, was parked on 7th avenue in his pink Geo Prizm taxi, when two me...

Bus Search Leads to Arrest of Guatemalan National and Drug Discovery
A Guatemalan National was charged with Drug Trafficking in the Cayo District. Around ten o’clock this morning, police intercepted a BBOC bus at the corner of 5th Street and Joseph Andrews Drive in San Ignacio Town and conducted a search on a passenger. The man was seated in the ...

Former Cross Country Cyclist Remanded to Prison
Fifty-six year old Conrad Vincent Smith, former cross country cyclist, became an inmate of Belize Central Prison today when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie smith and was arraigned on charges of two counts of kept firearm without a gun license and two counts of kept ammunition witho...

Church of Councils Want Clarifications on Gender Policy
Since the Belize Women Commission released the Revised Gender Policy 2013 back in March, it has been the subject of ongoing debate and contentions. The latest reaction that the policy has attracted is the organized march taking place in every district. Certain church leaders and pastors believe t...

Belize Camping Experience Aims for 1500 Children
Belize Camping Experience is hoping to cater to one thousand five hundred students in their summer camp program which was launched last week. The Director of Belize Camping Experience, Alexander Perez told Love News that their camp is unique. ALEXANDER PEREZ, Director, Belize Camping Experien...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Miss Chiquitita is Shark Ambassador
Miss Chiquitita 2013 – 2014, Kiersten Badillo, became an ambassador for the Belize Shark Project ( spearheaded by the Wildlife Conservation Society. The Belize Shark Project (BSP) promotes the management and conservation of sharks and rays in Belize through research, capacity-building, outreach and policy-support. In the photo below, Belize Shark Project Outreach Coordinator, Cecilia Guerrero, is handing over a great hammerhead shark stuffed animal to Kierstin “as appreciation for educating the community about the importance of sharks in our reef.” Kiersten also mentioned during her talent that sharks are worth more alive and that instead of eating shark panades we should eat more lionfish! Kierstin was also out during the Caye Caulker Lobster Fest with staff and volunteers spreading the word about sharks and rays.

Notice From The New Caye Caulker Village Council
The New and Official Village Council has been sworn in today July 8th at 10:00am. They hope to work with every member of the community to do the best they can for Caye Caulker. They would like the public to know that previous council signed over statements ending June 31st with $4314.37 to us. The official balance in the account as of today is $545.00. This is their starting point and urge all the residents to visit the office and pay or make arrangements to get their taxes up to date.

CC BTIA attends 28 Bi-Annual General Meeting
The Caye Caulker chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association was well represented at the 28th Bi-Annual General Meeting of the BTIA held on July 3rd at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza hotel. In attendance were the Caye Caulker Plaza Hotel as well as Stacey Badillo, CC BTIA President. The theme of the workshop was “Opportunities for the Majority.” While there, CC BTIA President, Stacey Badillo, had the chance to network with Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Manuel Heredia, to discuss tourism issues affecting Caye Caulker.


Rock it out
Our neighbor across the canal has not rocked it out in a while now and I find it pretty fitting that he chose the hour before Drummer Dan’s send off at Crazy Canucks to start again. As I sit here and listen to Led Zeppelin I am thinking that if it were not for Drummer Dan being missing, it will end up being one of the best Sunday Jam’s ever. Dulce Wolfe is still collecting money and trying to raise $5000 – $7000 if you wish to help get the medical and funeral expenses covered. Just email me and I can put you in touch with her. Here are some pics from the 2013 Eco Challenge Kayak Race. Due to the site beautification project taking place at the original starting area on the lagoon side, the race started at 6:00am at Central Park. From there the kayakers , speed boats, jet ski’s and land spectators heaed north to the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge to watch the boats cross under the bridge and make their way through the mangrove channels to the back side of the island.

I’m Back in Belize! And Here are A Few Things I Missed
Here is my view of Ambergris Caye and the reef from my Tropic Air flight. and then the usual Belize weather came back with a beautiful breeze. Ahhhh…

A New US Ambassador for Belize?
We’ve just received word that US President Barrack Obama has nominated a new ambassador to Belize, and by all indications Justice Carlos Moreno sounds like a very good choice. According to a July 8 USA Today Report, Obama has tapped Carlos Roberto Moreno, a former federal district judge who also served on California’s state Supreme Court to be the next ambassador to Belize, subject to senate confirmation. In the same announcement, Obama nominated Mark Childress as U.S. envoy to Tanzania, and had this to say about both men; “These dedicated and accomplished individuals will be valued additions to my administration as we tackle the important challenges facing America. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.” It says something about the importance President Obama places on Belize that he chose a man of Mr Moreno’s talents and stature to represent the United States here.

Inspiring Belize's future environmental stewards
Help us to inspire the next generation to protect the incredible diversity of life found in our small corner of Central America

“It’s Getting Better All the Time” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up ridiculously early yesterday morning at 3.40 am. Must have dozed too much the previous day! After reading the pages and pages of coverage for Andy Murray’s triumph at Wimbledon in The Times (online version) I checked my In Box for emails and was disappointed, but not overly surprised, to find that the banks I use in the UK and Jersey will not act upon the change of address (for security reasons) detail I sent them last week. So I now have to write letters to both. Oh well, it will give me something to do! Feeling a little in need of sustenance I showered, shaved, dressed and grabbed the iPad and headed off to Estel’s for a well deserved breakfast ( I don’t set particularly hard targets for myself so they are easy to achieve!). For example just waking up in the morning is my first target of the day. See what I mean. Anyway, breakfast was good- as it always is – and I got time to do a little Googling to see what colour stains are available for cement for our build in Ambergris Cate, Belize. I think I may have mentioned previously that although we are having the entrance stairs and the First Floor veranda tiled, the Ground Floor ‘open’ area and the Second Floor veranda and roof terrace will have a cement finish. I came up with a few colours but the question now is whether they are readily available in Belize. My next task (with the invaluable help of Daniel Camal, our building contractor, of course) is to find if they are.

Belize was to get an Education Network but?
Back in 2011 there was some movement apparently made to get a Network setup that would improve the Education sector in Belize. Partnered with CKLN, the UB was to hold meetings and plan a road to get us “up to speed” in the technology area that is much-needed in Belize. That was early 2011, and we are now already at mid 2013. As of today, no one has heard anything about this planned Network setup. We have made several inquiries, all over and no one seems to know anything about it. What a shame that today, after Belize has incurred Millions, if not Billions of dollars in Debt due to mismanagement and ignorant spending and abuses of the GOB, both past and present (especially the supposed nationalization of BTL) we are still in the same under-developed place where we’ve always been. Members of GOB are quite wealthy, and live comfortably, while most schools have no computer labs or technology IT classes whatsoever. The few schools that do have computers get them through private donations. As far as computer connections are concerned, they’re worth less than salt. Students who must use the slow speeds that are offered in Belize could never complete research in a timely manner – internet connections crawl at a turtle’s pace in Belize. Computers have revolutionized the world today. We need to take advantage of the power and introduce and utilize it in our schools in Belize. Children easily learn how to work with computers at an early age; and despite the disadvantages that computers may provide, the positive advantages they provide far outweigh any negatives. Let us teach our children in Belize how to use computers properly.

June 30, 2013 - July 6, 2013 Fishing Report
The “Good Sport Award,” goes out to all of our anglers this week! They went out in torrential rain looking for fins and nervous water. They waited patiently watching sheets of rain cover any hope of sunny skies for three days. In all of this, great things happened. Joe and Charlene became engaged for starters! Joe got after the down time by passing an army of mosquitoes to get to the lagoon. He hit the beach, and between all of his hunting around, managed to propose to his lovely wife to be. Looks like he has that part of the hunting figured out! Thank you Tony and Wendy, John, Jeff, Rick, Steve and Ed and the Love family for returning to El Pescador. It makes us feel great that you come back to see us and fish your waters. Until the next time. Meanwhile, keep your cast practiced for those special moments that soon become life changing.

International Sources

USA vs Belize 6-1 Gold Cup Highlights and Analysis
The USA vs Belize Gold Cup match ended in a 6-1 victory for the home team, a win that everyone had expected the USMNT to accomplish without much trouble. The US was simply dominant, and crushed a weak Belize squad making its first ever appearance in the Gold Cup. The semi-professional roster of the Central American nation was simply overwhelmed, although they did manage to score a historic goal in the 6-1 loss. Wondolowski had a fantastic match, scoring the first three goals for the US in the 12th, 37th, and 41st minutes.The San Jose striker entered the match with the intention of letting Klinsmann know he could be a viable option for the US roster in its upcoming Hexagonal matches. Although scoring a hat-trick is always an achievement, Wondolowski’s performance will need to be measured against the stiffer opposition that Costa Rica and Cuba are sure to provide. Belize’s loan goal came in the 40th minute via Ian Gaynair, who scored off a cross from a free kick. Nonetheless, the rest of the match would be dominated by the USMNT, with goals from Holden (58'), Orozo (72') and Donovan (76'), completing the 6-1 rout.

July 5, 2013

This news synopsis will be a bit more condensed than usual for a couple weeks due to time constraints.


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

The sun will shine again!
We won’t lie, we are missing the sunshine these past couple of days. As the rain pours down hard on La Isla Bonita, it’s hard to believe that just a few days ago this was the view from the beach. Let’s all go to our happy place, shall we? Jessie Sosa, is interning at our office for a few weeks during her school vacation, and she was promptly set up with a camera and sent out for photos of what she saw.

Under the Stars: Golden Couple Samuel and Maria Gonzalez
Golden couple Samuel and Maria Gonzalez celebrated 50 happy years of married life together on Saturday, June 22nd. The golden wedding anniversary was celebrated in an intimate traditional ceremony and followed by a grand reception complete with mariachi music, surrounded by family and friends in Merida, Yucatán, Mexico. Samuel and Maria Gonzalez were married in 1963 and are a well-known native family of San Pedro. Samuel and Maria have four children: Samuel Gonzalez Jr., Marco Gonzalez, Jocelle Gonzalez and Ilda Cabrera Gonzalez.

Sherylee Dawson is Caye Caulker’s Miss Lobster Fest 2013-2014
Miss Caye Caulker Lobsterfest-4The 2013 Lobster Festivities culminated with the Caye Caulker and Placencia Lobster Fest this past weekend. In Caye Caulker, the activities started off with the 2013 Miss Lobster Fest Pageant on Friday, June 28th. The much anticipated event gathered a large crowd from near and far. Five lovely contestants graced the stage as they competed for the coveted title of Miss Lobster Fest 2013-2014. The contestants were Sherylee Dawson, Jacqueline Riveroll, Sasha Jimenez, Annaelli Marin and Mercedes Requena. The audience was treated to a dance presentation by the contestants, talent competition, traditional Maya costume and of course the ever important evening wear and question and answer segment.

Coral Reef Ed-ventures summer program is back
The Hol Chan Marine Reserve Coral Reef Ed-ventures is back and providing children with an educational summer camp on the marine ecosystem of Ambergris Caye. The camp works in collaboration with students from Smith College in Massachusetts, USA. This year, six students have travelled to San Pedro to be counsellors for the two-week summer program. The Coral Reef Ed-ventures program started 14 years ago as a result of Smith college professors working along with Hol Chan on conducting studies of the Belize coral reef. The camp started on Monday, July 1st with 63 registered children between the ages of 7-12. The Coral Reef Ed-ventures counsellors will be teaching the children about the conservation and development of four major ecosystems: the mangrove, coral reef, shallow sea and deep sea ecosystems. According to Alyssa Stanek, a three time program volunteer, the camp is also filled of fun games for the children to enjoy. “The most significant thing is that the children are the future and it is important to educate them from a young age about the conservation and preservation of the ecosystems of their home,” said Stanek.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Town Library Receives Book Donations
Being literate, having an education is one of the best things in the world. Books hold lots of information and knowledge that we can put to great use in our lives. For this reason we should encourage our children to pick up a good book and indulge in the greatness of words that books hold. The San Pedro Town Library received a wonderful donation of books for the entire community to enjoy. Sharon and Rudy Lewis residents of Grand Caribe, along with their son and daughter-in-law Darryl and Wendi Lewis, presented to Head Librarian Iracela Acosta 15 boxes with over 800 books for the San Pedro Town Library, on Wednesday, July 3, 2013.

Misc Belizean Sources

Works on the paving of Trigger Street have begun and well under way!
The next very important link or connection is the connection of downtown main road to San Pablo. from Caminantes Store to Mr. Nunez home. This is a very busy link and a problem in rainy season. Could be nexxt best slab project.

Orquidea Negra at BAAS
Orquidea Negra is everywhere right now! They were at the Belize Archaeology and Antrhopology Symposium for their opening night. They'll be at Cancha Marshalleck tomorrow night for the Benque Noche Cultural. Great talent, excellent props, innovative dress, and cool dances.

Feed the Children Fashion Show Promo
The Cornerstone Foundation is having their 2013 Feed the Children Fashion Show on July 13th, at 6:00pm. They have been posting up pictures of the models that will be there on their page. 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. Another shout out to D Russell Photography for the promo shoot.

Seniorita Flor de la Feria Pictures
The Seniorita Flor de la Feria pageant will be on the 11th of July, but if you want to see some pictures of the contestants, and some behind the scenes pictures, they have been posting hundreds of them today. D Russell Photography really got some great shots over the last few weeks. They will be having their second presentation at Benque's Noche Cultural tomorrow night at the Cancha Marshalleck.

Benque's Noche Cultural
Benque will be having their Noche Cultural tonight. Orquidea Negra will be performing, and the Seniorita Flor de la Feria contestants will also be there. The event will be at the Cancha Marshalleck, and will start at 7:00pm. In related news, the Benque Fiesta is next week, and Thursday night will be the Seniorita Flor de la Feria pageant. "Book it on your Calendar and Don't miss out on Orquidea Negra's Special Performance in Benque Viejo (our hometown) on JULY 5 2013!"

Channel 7

Jaguars Assistant Coach: Charlie Slusher Suddenly Sent Home!
Tonight, the Belize Jaguars National Football Team members and coaches are making final preparations to go to the USA where Belize will make its historic first appearance in the Gold Cup. And, there’s a big pep rally being planned for tomorrow at the airport to give the team a fitting send-off. But even as excitement is at a fever pitch, all is not well in the Jaguars camp, and on the cusp of departure, the team faces a major distraction. That’s because the FFB Executive decided last night that Assistant Coach Charlie Slusher will not accompany the team to the Gold Cup. What effect – if any - this decision will have on the team is yet to be seen, but Slusher has been a major part of the coaching staff since the Copa Centroamericana. For a while, he was even interim head coach. But now, he’s in the rearview mirror, and today, FFB president Ruperto Vicente explained the rationale behind the decision.

Slusher Gives His Side Of The Story
It’s a sharp change of direction because up until yesterday, the team – and the entire country for that matter – was expecting that Slusher would be part of the coaching staff leading the team in the US. And, you heard in the interview where Vicente left the opportunity open for Slusher to return to the team after the Gold Cup. Well, we had a chance to speak with him this evening, where he told us that he has turned down that offer. Here’s how he explained it: Charlie Slusher - Assistant Head Coach "I spoke to the president a while ago and he said the same thing that I'm not going to the Gold Cup but he will want to work with me in the future and thanked him for the offer but as far as I am concerned - this is it for me when it comes to working with this federation and this executive. I told him that I don't have any more intentions of doing it because as a head coach, it's not just about me, if the players are not treated the right way and you as a coach have to fight for your players. How could I want you to go on the field and perform to your best and I'm watching them taking advantage of you?" Daniel Ortiz "How do you think that the refusal to allow you to go on the trip will affect the players? I know that when coach Sherrier departed, you took a very big leadership role becoming the interim coach."

FFD Pres Denies The Team Threatened To Call Off Portland
And while that issue is now in the foreground, shadowing it in the back is what we reported last night: that the team refused to play the final international friendly against a selection from Melchor until certain matters were settled – eventually taking the field over three hours late. And reports are that they only agreed to play after an agreement was reached between them and the FFB executive. Additionally, we got credible reports saying that that the team threw out the suggestion that they were prepared to go as far as not getting onto the plane tomorrow. We still don’t know how strong that threat was, but today, FFB President Ruperto Vicente was asked about our report. He categorically denied it, saying that the players never intended to endanger this very major opportunity. Here’s what he said: Ruperto Vicente - President, Football Federation of Belize "We had a meeting with them yesterday because they were concerned about their finances and so we have assured them that they are going to be getting their monies and they have asked for a little bit more, they were going to get $50usd per day and now they will be getting a stypen of 75US dollars per day and at game time we have gone up from 200USdollars per game to 250US dollars per game. Then if we move on to the second round of tournament there's additional monies that is going to come to the federation as a result of qualifying to the second round, we have agreed with the players that we will give them 50% of that extra monies, once we qualify to the second round.

Slusher Lifts The Curtain On Hardball Negotiations
That same topic came up today in our interview where Slusher confirmed our report; and he should know what he’s talking about because he was in the meeting between the players at the executive. He explained to us that he sided with the players during the discussion, and he now feels that’s why he’s being penalized with such suddenness: Charlie Slusher - Assistant Head Coach "So all the information he got was second hand information from Sergio Chuc but I believe the real reason why they let me go because there was a meeting yesterday because the team had said that they would not go to the practice game if nothing was solved - they even went further to say that they would not board the plane if a decision or an agreement had not been made with them and the FFB, it went to that extent. We as the coaching staff do not want that - what we wanted was that this matter should be settled so that when we go abroad, it's just about focusing on the game and that's what we did in UNCAF. When we went there, we didn't have issues about money - the guys were focused, the agreement was made long before so everybody didn't even have issues about money and the guys were happy and contended -and that is what makes a player perform when you don't have to worry about that. All the disastrous trips that the National Team has had in the past was because of the issue of money when it was trying to be solved abroad during that process.

“Vinny” Found Dead In Vista
Two days ago, rumours started circulating in Belize City and Ladyville that 20 year old Alvin “Vinny” Pascascio had been killed. His family held out hope against hope, even when he didn’t come home for 48 hours. But all hope was dashed this morning when his mother got the call that she feared the most: it was the police telling her to go out to a crime scene in Vista Del Mar. 7news was there and here’s the story. Jules Vasquez reporting This morning, Alvin Pascascio’s mother, Deseree Flores stooped down in a semi circle of relatives, inconsolable as her son’s body was found in the bushes right behind her. Supt Christopher Noble - O/C Ladyville, Regional Executive Officer "We found the body of a male person in decomposed state, at present we are looking at what may have caused his death and who may be responsible. Our investigation into this matter has been for a couple of days now so it is only ongoing."

Another Ladyville Man Missing
And while that case is being treated as a homicide, there’s another missing person in Ladyville. He is 20 year old Jared Bainton and he too was reported missing earlier this week. Today the officer commanding says he is the one holding out hope in this case. Jules Vasquez "We know that there is another missing person's report as well for another 20 year old, I believe." Supt. Christopher Noble - O/C Ladyville, Regional Executive Officer "Yes that other missing person - we're looking in the possibility of his whereabouts and as it relates to him - we're hoping for the best not to have it conclude in this manner." Jared Bainton had no known connection to Vinny Pascascio and the two disappearances, though happening around the same time in the same area are not believed to be related.

To Live And Die In L.A.
Last night, we showed you the tragic killing of 27 year-old Belizean American Yolanda Smith Major, who was shot to death in front of her 2 year-old daughter in LA on Tuesday. Detectives from the Sherriff’s Department in LA are still not completely sure what the motive was, and why the assailants targeted her group. Well, while that investigation continues, her family is starting to make preparations for her burial, and today 7News caught up with her father in Belize. According to him, he intends to be in the US for her burial: Joseph Smith - Father of Deceased "My daugher is in California - she called me a little while ago so they are trying to arrange the flight for me to go." Daniel Ortiz "So you plan to be there when she's being buried." Joseph Smith "Yes, I'm planning to be there."

City Talks Disaster Management With Stakeholders
The Belize City Council hosted a major disaster preparedness conference today at the Biltmore Best Western. It’s called “Comprehensive Disaster Management For Municipalities” and it assembles representatives from all relevant stakeholders to put them all on the same page to talk about what to do in the event of a disaster. In his opening address Mayor Darrell Bradley explained the importance of the big picture. Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City "In times of emergency there are people who risk their lives to ensure that others are safe and that needs to be recognized. The importance, functions and roles needs to be appreciated and their needs to be more synergies developed so that we are supporting the structure and that we are able to ensure that in times of emergency that there is coordination. But it is to ensure that we are very efficient and we all well coordinated and that in times of a disaster - every single entitiy knows what they are supposed to do; every single person knows what he or she is supposed to do so that we are able to save lives. If there is not activities like this symposium then within that response structure, persons will not know what to do and we will have a situation where further lives are lost and further property is put at peril."

City Struggling To Keep Up with Sanitation Costs
And while the City is pioneering with the disaster preparedness conference, they’ve also got ongoing issues with the Sanitation Companies contracted to keep the city clean. Belize Waste Control is grumbling that the city has once again fallen behind in its current payments – and then there’s the 2 plus million dollars that City Hall owes the company form years ago, which is presently before the Supreme Court. Today Mayor Bradley said that – as much as it lays waste to the Council’s revenue base – they’re trying to keep up:.. Reporter "The council is 6 weeks or multiple weeks behind payment to Belize Waste Control" Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City "No, every single year the City Council falls behind in realtion the payments. I have always said and I maintain that the contracts are major - they're substantial. Both sanitation contracts operate as a 45% drain on the city - it costs us 45% of our revenues that we spend on these two contracts; that's an unsustainable thing. Any period at any year - this has been done before me and it will likely be done after me if something cannot be done - that certain periods of the year that we deem as our slow season, we fall behind in the contracts. We have not fallen behind - we usually are a week or two behind, I don't know the exact accounting in where we are but we catch up in January and February. We have to go back to court - the court gave us an opportunity to present a payment plan to them - we are going to present a payment plan, I have already maintained that the city is doing well. We are building streets, we are right on target in terms of our commitment, we are meeting our commitment with relations to the municipal bond and that is even though we have not put in place the residential garbage fee yet. So even though we have not brought on stream that additional tax revenue, we're still meeting our obligations and we're doing well but this is a $2.4 million dollar judgment and I don't have any account that that money is in. If I had the money I would pay them - so what we're going to do when we go back to court is that we are going to put forward a payment plan and if they don't accept the payment plan then we will see what else we will have to do."

Accused As Teenagers, Two Men Get Off Double Murder Charge For Killing American Couple
20 year-old Jodean Vidal, and 22 year-old Michael Lamb have been acquitted of the double murder of Americans Michael and Donna Hill which occurred in Cayo five years ago. Viewers may recall that the couple’s bodies were found in the bushes behind their home in Cristo Rey Village in the Cayo District. They died from shotgun injuries to the head, which police believed were inflicted at close range. One of their vehicles, their laptop computers, some of their personal items, and money were stolen. Police investigated and they eventually detained both men, who were only 15 and 17 years-old respectively. While he was being interviewed by police in the presence of his mother, Vidal reportedly confessed to the crimes, and he took the officers to the area where the stolen items were located.

Finnegan Makes It Back To Clinic, Hobbled
The Wednesday political clinics aren’t what they used to be in the George Price days, and it’s a practice that the UDP has never seemed quite at home with. But one UDP who’s stayed with it is also the party’s most successful – in terms of his margins of victory in successive elections. That’s Michael Finnegan – but for the past two months or so – he hasn’t been holding his clinic on Amara Avenue. And that’s because Finnegan went to Houston for spinal surgery. He has a degenerative condition that wears out his spinal disks – making it difficult for him to get around. And so, today, still recovering from that surgery, the five term representative hobbled to his office for his first political clinic in weeks; he had to be helped up the stairs. Finnegan, who boasted only 18 months ago that he saw 764 constituents at one clinic, told us he saw 150 people today and wrapped up the clinic in the early afternoon. He says most of the requests were for school assistance, and he will hobble back to the office next week.

FFB Gets Another Donation, But It’s Not Enough
As we showed you at the top of the news, the Football Federation of Belize will not allow Assistant Head Coach Charlie Slusher to leave with the team for the Gold Cup. That decision and the attendant controversy has overshadowed the positive development of the day in relation to the team. And that was the donation of $3,000 that the Belize Water Services Limited made to the FFB. There was a small handing over ceremony and 7News was there. We found out that the company is proud to make the donation because of Michael Salazar, footballer extraordinaire and son of Mellissa Salazar, a Supervisor at BWSL. The company executives explained today that the pride they feel for Michael is as if one of their own sons or nephews got selected to represent Belize: Alvan Haynes - CEO, BWSL "Football and BWS have been closely inter linked. We are suffering from financial constraints due to expansion, cost increases and so on and Mr. Brown, our PR Manager put in a special request to the board for approval to give some additional funds. When we heard that national football team and the federation were having problems trying to meet the targets in order to make this thing happen. From our point of view Belize is our country, Belize is part of the name of our company and we are committed to doing whatever we can to help the national team and so we are glad to be here to give this relatively small donation hoping that it will be one of several that will help to make things happen for the FFB and the national team."

Can Belize Be Resilient To Climate Change?
In our last segment we told you about the City Council’s “Comprehensive Disaster Management Workshop.” A lot of the talk at that event was about effective structural and infrastructural planning to mitigate disaster risks. That’s the same thing they were talking about in Burrell Boom at the Black Orchid Hotel and Resort. It was a public consultation workshop for a National Climate Resilient Investment Plan – a World Bank Initiative to come up with a comprehensive set of projects that will be largely resilient to climate change and the increasingly frequent extreme weather events that we face. Dr. Kenrick Leslie from the Caribbean Climate Change Center explained how it’s really about effective planning. Dr. Kenrick Leslie - Executive Director Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre "What we want to put in place in the region and in particular Belize is to ensure that in our plans we factor in anything that can impact us. For instance we have all lived here for a long time and we know between Haulover and Belize City - they build a road and after five years, it's gone. It means that we have not taken into account the factors that will cause a road that was supposed to be designed for 15 years to be destroyed in 5. So those are some of the things when we talk about Climate Resilience is that you factor in those things that can impact us. We know - this is not a question of guessing - that the sea level is rising at about 3 millimeters per year. You might ask - what is three millimeters - but in ten years three millimeters is 30 millimeters and 30 millimeters is over an inch. Now we are already at sea level so if the water comes up permanently another inch then that flow of water between the north side to the Western road will increase which means that the design engineers must factor that into their program.

Ministry of Health Says Dengue Not That Bad
Yesterday CTV3 News in Orange Walk and LOVE FM reported that there had been an outbreak of dengue in the Orange Walk district with the appearance of 16 confirmed cases. They got that information from Felipe Magana the Malaria evaluator for the Orange Walk Department of Public Health. But by the end of the day the Ministry of Health had stepped in to rebut that claim. Today we spoke with Kim Bautista, the Vector Control Chief of Operation in the Ministry of Health who claims that the numbers this year are actually down. Kim Bautista - Vector Control Chief of Operation "If you look at the number of clinical cases which he spoke of coming out of that region in the entire year - it cannot be considered an outbreak. This year if you look at the entire country - it's way below the normal, even if you look in terms of the testing that is being done by the lab - the testing has increased tremendously and what we are seeing is less than 5% of the cases that are being tested within our health facilities as positive. So compare to the regional situation that are seeing, I believe that we're in good stance right now. What we have done, I believe it was 2011, because the Vector Control Staff is so small - countrywide we only have 40 field staff - what we do is we hire seasonal spray men and they join forces with us and they go out to treat even drains where we see mosquitoes breeding in now. We do premises inspection, we increase the fogging and so what we try to do at this time of the year is increase our work force and target certain hot spots throughout the country. As it is right now we have these persons employed in the Cayo district and we also have a team employed here in Belize City as well. What we are doing is our usual ULV spraying countrywide and so far it has been more to give the public some relief in terms of nuisance mosquitoes."

Channel 5

No Gold Cup for Assistant Coach Charlie Slusher
A rally is being planned at the Phillip Goldson International Airport to send off the Belize Jaguars this Friday morning, but retired football star and assistant coach of the Belize [...]

Slusher parts ways with F.F.B. after suspension
Late this evening, News Five spoke to Charlie Slusher who told us that he has been pulled from the trip because of the meetings held on Wednesday between the players, [...]

Calls for help as Placencia resident flown out of country for burn injuries
A Placencia electrician is tonight fighting for his life at the Belize Medical Associates. Dwayne Flowers, who is unquestionably a well liked resident in the peninsula, was seriously injured in [...]

Vinnie Murdered….family confirms relations to gangs
While Flowers clings to life, the body of twenty-eight year old Alvin “Vinnie” Pascasio was found this morning. Pascasio was last seen by his family last Monday and this morning, [...]

K.H.M.H. Board meets on neonates deaths…C.E.O. not invited to meeting
The Board of Governors of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital held a meeting today in the Capital. The meeting ended at about three p.m.  Of note is that the hospital’s [...]

F.F.B. president says players’ concerns over money resolved
Earlier in the newscast, we reported on the suspension of Team Belize’s assistant coach on the eve of the Gold Cup. But there are bigger problems facing the team. Despite [...]

BWS donates to Team Belize
F.F.B. President Ruperto Vicente has confirmed that he will likely not be going to the Gold Cup with the Jaguars because the team has not been able to raise the [...]

Haitian man walks free of sex charges on technicality
A Haitian national accused of having sex with an under-aged girl on three separate occasions is tonight a free man. Thirty-two year old Patrick Laurent’s trial began on Monday and [...]

In spite of detailed confessions, murder suspects found not guilty
On the morning of July sixth, 2008, the bodies of Michael and Donna Hill were found in bushes close to their home in Cristo Rey Village, Cayo District. They were [...]

Testimonials from Malta about student who died in Belize
International students attached to the Archaeology Department were heading to the Philip Goldson International Airport on July third, when their cab collided with a passenger bus. The cab driver, Eliseo [...]

13 cases of suspected dengue in Belize
There have been thirteen reported clinical cases of dengue fever across the country since the start of the rainy season a few weeks ago.  We say clinical because that number [...]

Road to the Gold Cup features Deon McCauley
A strong defensive wall that cannot be penetrated—a statement that many would correlate with the national football team, the Belize Jaguars, who will represent Belize next Tuesday in a historic [...]

Healthy Living is ready for chronic stress management
Everyone has to deal with stress. If you are good at managing your stress levels then most times you’re okay with a bit of added pressure; in these cases some [...]


Residents Near Graveyard Witness Remnants of Tombs Discarded In Bushes
Marion Ali, Reporting The obsolete Lord Ridge Cemetery has once again surfaced in the news. This time, it is former City council employee, Philip Henry, who has brought concerns to the fore of the re-opening last week of a tomb for new burial. Henry provided video and pictures of ...

Burnt Victim Appeals For Assistance
There was a tragic accident in Placencia yesterday when a gas tank exploded in front of a man injuring him. Twenty eight years old, Dwayne Flowers was at his home in Placencia trying to repair a gas tank that was leaking. In a matter of seconds, what was intended to be a quick solution turned out...

Delta Flight Experiences Turbulence, Injuring Passengers
There was a scare on board a Delta Airlines flight today. One of its planes, which landed at the Phillip Goldson International Airport, experienced turbulence which resulted in several of its passengers being injured. A press release issued by Delta Airlines explains that the plane, Delta flight ...

Following Several Death Threats, Decomposed Body Found
20 year-old Alvin Pascascio, whose family reported him missing on Monday, was found murdered this morning on the access road to Vista del Mar, a residential community some eight and a half miles from Belize City off the Philip Goldson Highway. Pascascio’s mother, Deseree Flores told r...

Belize Water Services Donates To The National Team
The Belize National Football Team, the Jaguars, will leave to the United States tomorrow where they are scheduled to play against the United States team in Portland Oregon on the 9th of July. But although the team is ready for lift off, the fundraising continues because there is much more t...

Stakeholders Gather To Develop Framework on Disaster Management
Emergencies don’t only manifest itself in the form of hurricanes and the City Emergency Management Organization, CEMO, has to be prepared for any sort of emergency that may put the lives of Belizeans at risk. In an effort for better preparation, CEMO along with various stakeholders is hosti...

Primary School Students Awarded Education Grants From Scotiabank
Scotiabank yesterday presented over seventy seven grants to primary school students as part of their Scotiabank Education Fund which was established in 2006. The grant was for three hundred dollars to each student. The funds will assist students with purchasing books and also wi...

Environmental Agency Holds Junior Football Tournament In Southern Belize
This year’s TIDE junior freshwater cup environmental and football tournament recently concluded in the Toledo District. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports. PAUL MAHUNG “The TIDE Junior Freshwater Cup closed off it 2013 season with its championship games and award ceremony...

Minor Says She Was Sexually Active with Haitian National; Man Escapes Charges
Thirty-two year old Haitian national Patrick Laurent, charged with one count of carnal knowledge of a child under the age of 14 and two counts of carnal knowledge of a girl over the age of 14 but under the age of 16, was acquitted of all three charges yesterday in the court of Justice Adolph Luca...

Unrepresented Defendant Pleads Guilty to Attempted Murder
Thirty-eight year old Francis Ramos, charged with attempted murder, pled guilty to the charge yesterday in a trial that was held without a jury. The trial judge, Justice John Gonzalez has deferred sentencing until July 17 in order to give Ramos time to prepare pleas for mitigation. Ramos, who...

Acting Coach Will Not Travel With Belize Jaguars for Gold Cup 2013
The news broke this morning that Charlie Slusher will not be a part of the Belize delegation travelling to the Gold Cup. Earlier this year Slusher was named acting coach after the resignation of Coach Leroy Sherrier Lewis and then Acting Coach under Coach Ian Mork. Ruperto Vicente President...


The management and staff of the Lodge at Chaa Creek join many people in Belize in wishing our neighbours to the north (and the many Americans living in Belize) a most happy Independence Day 2013. The US has come a long way since that heady day in July 1776 when the American colonialists formally declared themselves independent of England, with Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Ben Franklin and the other rebels signing the famous Declaration of Independence that began America’s remarkable journey towards becoming the world’s foremost superpower.

Homemade Coconut Ice Cream
Nothing like homemade ice cream to cool off the 4th of July. This recipe uses real coconut milk and no preservatives. I love my new Sunbeam Ice Cream maker because is was simple as this recipe.

“Rub It In” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
A sad start to today’s edition. On Tuesday evening Rose and I heard the sad news that “Drummer Dan” (Dan Van Patten) had sadly passed away earlier in the day. Those readers of this blog that either live on Ambergris Caye or visit it will have undoubtedly come across “Drummer Dan” during his many years (he relocated here in 1997) on this island playing music in most, if not all, the bars. Rose and I do not profess to have known Dan that well, more like nodding acquaintances, but we always found him to be a quiet and somewhat reserved man. A gentle man. For those of you not aware, Dan was a founding member of the group Berlin. Rest in peace Dan. Belize is currently in the midst of a tropical depression ( no this is not something that is caused when I have just finished washing the golf cart and the rain pours down) and on my way (gave up trying to write this edition on the veranda because I was getting soaked) to Estel’s for breakfast (the only one there as I write this) the drainage was struggling to cope with the heavy rain and puddles (!!) were heading to over six inches deep (even in front of the Tropic Air terminal).

International Sources

Gold Cup: USMNT's Jurgen Klinsmann expects "tricky" test from Guatemala friendly
Guatemala did not qualify for this year's tournament, due in large part to a 0-0 draw with Belize in the group stage of the 2013 Copa Centroamericana, which doubles as Gold Cup qualifying. That disappointment could prove motivational against the US. “They have a new group of players as well, that are getting introduced to the senior group," he said. "They have a change in leadership there, and they have basically nothing to lose coming here. They will give it everything they have, and therefore for us it’s a challenge.” The coach also stressed that the Americans’ first opponent at the Gold Cup, Belize, are no pushovers, despite their lack of familiarity on an international stage. “If you look at Belize, you know that Belize is not the big name that you want to hear, you would rather hear Brazil or Argentina,” Klinsmann explained. “But Belize, the way they played in qualification, we watched all their games, will give us a lot of issues as well.

UW-EC student helps dig for Mayan artifacts in Belize
Emily Albrent was determined to make her summer anything but ordinary. Uncertain about her summer plans and seeking an adventure, Albrent, a 21-year-old UW-Eau Claire senior, turned to the Internet at 3 a.m. one morning for an answer. She decided to take part in an archaeological dig in Belize, a country along the northeastern coast of Central America, from May 27 to June 9. “I spent an hour or two learning about the program, and in a matter of two days I did this crazy thing,” Albrent said of the dig in the Mennonite community of Blue Creek, Belize. The dig was organized by the Maya Research Program, a U.S. nonprofit corporation that sponsors archaeological and human cultural studies in Central America. The program offers two-week courses for students, professionals and retirees in exchange for a tax-deductible donation, program executive director Tom Guderjan said.

July 4, 2013

This news synopsis will be a bit more condensed than usual for a couple weeks due to time constraints.


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 July 7th, 2013 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE

The San Pedro Sun

Bowen and Bowen addresses customers’ concerns
Bowen and Bowen Limited is the only Belizean beer bottling company in the country. Its operation is important in many aspects of the Belizean economy, and for that reason customers are expressing concerns over recent occurrences. Most visitors who vacation in Belize consume the local Belikin beer; it is a beer that also remains the number one beer of choice for Belizeans. In the last month many establishments have been complaining about the service,or lack thereof –Belize’s Bowen and Bowen Limited. The complaints expressed by many consumers and customers range from the untimely distribution of products ordered far ahead of time, to the lack of one or more products bottled by the company. More recently, there has been a shortage of Lighthouse Lager on Ambergris Caye and some businesses are forced to turn down patrons. These concerns not only affect consumers, but are also crippling businesses. Businesses that depend on Bowen and Bowen for stock don’t have the supplies necessary to run their business efficiently. According to those businesses, if they don’t have the product, they can’t sell it but still end up with the expenses of running their establishments; it is simply costing them money.

Holy Cross Anglican School honored at annual PSE award ceremony
In this year’s Primary School Examination (PSE) award ceremony not only were the top student performers presented awards but schools were also recognized for their outstanding performance.On Friday, June 26th the Ministry of Education (MOE) presented two awards to Holy Cross Anglican School(HCAS). The awards were for outstanding performance at the national level in the 2013 PSE and for most improved school performance at the national level in the PSE from 2009 to 2013. The awards were issued to schools across the country according to their performance in the 2013 PSE. Holy Cross Anglican School (HCAS) was founded in 2006 to cater and provide primary education to the children of the impoverished area of San Mateo. Today HCAS is one of the most populated schools on the island. Not only is HCAS a growing school but the quality of education has been improving throughout the years. The awards that HCAS received have recorded significant improvement in the PSE results over the past seven years of existence.Figures show that in overall PSE performance HCAS has excelled by leaps and bounds.

Dia de San Pedro Celebration
The Dia de San Pedro activities ended on Sunday June 30th, with a beach family day at the Central Park beach. The 10 days of events were held under the theme “Learning from the past, appreciating our traditions and progressing into the future – a celebration of our Patron Saint Peter.” Throughout the course of the celebration, the theme brought to light the history, culture and traditions of the island, one that has been neglected as the demographics of the island has changed. The highlight of the week long celebration was the Friday June 28th opening ceremony: La Alborada, the eve of the Dia de San Pedro. It was filled with music and cultural dances and included the participation of the Ambergris Caye Elementary School, Alma Beliceña from Soccotz, Sarteneja Dance Group and Ballet Folklorico de Chetumal Quintana Roo. In his welcome remarks during the official ceremony, Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero explained the importance of highlighting the historical background of the island. He said that he was happy that celebration took into account the true motives of the traditions of the island – one that has been “lost with the time.” Meanwhile Diane Haylock, President of the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), in her opening remarks, spoke of the richness of the traditions. “San Pedro Town has a rich and colorful history. The organizers must be commended for incorporating all the elements of this particular celebration. San Pedro Town and by extension the island, has a very rich culture and celebrations such as these allow us as visitors, to get a glimpse of it,” said Haylock.

2013 Lagoon-Reef Eco-Challenge
The 9th annual Lagoon-Reef Eco-Challenge is well under way for Saturday, July 6th and Sunday, July 7th. The community is invited to come on out and support the teams who will be paddling for two days through the lagoons and channels of Western Ambergris Caye. Kick-off is Saturday at 6AM at the Central Park and the race will finish at Central Park on Sunday. The San Pedro Sun wishes all kayakers the best of luck; have a fun, safe race.

Ambergris Today

Bowen & Bowen Dismisses Outrageous Rumors on Product Shortage in Belize
Back in May of this year, it was reported that Bowen and Bowen was lagging in production and couldn’t keep up with the Belize’s demands. There were complaints about shortages with Bowen and Bowen products, from soft-drinks in the plastic bottles, to soft drinks in the glass bottles, and even acute shortage of Crystal water products. In an interview with Belize City media Bowen and Bowen Senior Executive Hilly Martinez confirmed that, in regards water products, the company was behind in production and just could keep up with market’s demand during the hot months of April and May. As for the glass bottled soft drinks, Martinez mentioned they had a major breakdown with a machine called the crowner, which puts the aluminum stopper on the bottles and had to order the replacement part from Germany which also caused delays. There were also reports that franchise inspectors from Costa Rica had recently given a bad review of the bottling operations; to that rumor Martinez said, “That’s not so”. Martinez affirmed that the company passed the quality control audit – and their problem was just capacity production.

Kim Simplis Barrow London Fundraiser for KHMH
A fundraising gala held on Thursday, June 27, 2013, in London has raised over £65,000 (approximately $200,00 Belize dollars) to go towards the construction of a new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). The gala was organized through a partnership of the Belize Children’s Trust, which was recently formed by Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow and the Belize High Commission in London. The gala featured several local entertainers, including Pen Cayetano and family and was well attended by members of the Belizean Diaspora and friends of Belize.

Misc Belizean Sources

Miss San Pedro 2013 Pageant!
The San Pedro Town Council invites young ladies from the ages of 16 to 22 to sign up for the Miss San Pedro 2013 Pageant! LIKE THE Miss San Pedro PAGE TO STAY UPDATED! Sign up! Sign up! and be part of this great experience!

Cayo Summer Art Wave
The SISE House of Culture is having their Summer Arts programs next week. They'll have classes in guitar, photography, and mural design. They all start on Monday. The Benque House of Culture is also having their Summer Arts programs in dance, basket weaving, and marimba.

Mayan Ocarinas at BAAS
The attendees of the Belize Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium got a unique show when some ancient Mayan ocarinas were played. They'd been found in Cayo, at the Pacbitun site. The BAAS goes through Friday, and is at the Bedran Hall in the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. "Dr. Terry Powis, Dr. Paul Healy Mr. Adje Both, Mr. Kong Cheong playing ancient maya ocarinas found at the site of Pacbitun that have not been played in over a 1000 years."

Cayo Movie Night
There will be some live music and a movie at the Cayo Welcome Center tonight, Thursday, July 4th. Who's playing? You'll have to go and find out. The movie will be the Emperor's New Groove. Movie night is fun for the whole family, and it starts at 7:00pm.

Flavors of Belize Celebrates 1 Year
The Flavors of Belize cookbook is one year old today. They released a video chronicling the last year's activities. They are also offering a discount in July if you want to purchase it. Congratulations, Flavors of Belize!!buy-flavors-of-belize/ccac "Flavors of Belize has taken us on many adventures and given us many opportunities. Today I would like to share a little bit of where we've been and what we've done in the past year!"

Channel 7

Discontent In Jaguar Camp, Brinkmanship On The Pitch: National Football Selection Makes Guat Opponents Wait, FFB Exec’s Worry
Today, the Belize Jaguars were scheduled to be at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio for their final international friendly against a Melchor selection. The game was scheduled for 1 p.m – but that’s when we found out that it had been postponed, the threat of cancellation looming. We were then informed that the game was re-scheduled for 2 p.m. to be played that the FFB Stadium in Belmopan. We arrived there only to discover that the game had once again been postponed. Seemed to be bad form so close to the Gold Cup, and we were reliably informed, that the delays were the result of a stand that the players took today because they were in negotiations with the National Team Committee and the FFB, and they felt that they were being disrespected.

Dr. Jaime Awe Remembers Archaeology Students Who Died In Quadruple Traffic Fatality
Tonight there is more information about yesterday’s quadruple traffic fatality on the Western Highway. As we reported, three students from a university in Greece were killed along with their taxi driver who crashed into a Westline bus at mile 60 near the Busman Arnold Bridge. The students are 24 year old American Molly Hude, 24 year old Angela Bugeja who is from the European island of Malta, and 25 year old Ioanna Thomopoulou, who is from Greece. Police say that the cab driver 64 year old Eliseo Chan – who was taking them to the airport - lost control of the vehicle, and collided into the bus. Chen, Bugeja and Thomopaulou all died on impact, and police responded shortly after, where they extracted Hude and transported her to Western Regional Hospital. Her injuries were too severe, and she died about an hour later while undergoing treatment. The young women had been in Belize working at Cahal Pech with the Institute of Archaeology since June fourth. Hude, who had been to Belize twice before asked Director of the Institute of Archeology Dr. Jaime Awe if she could bring along two friends from her school in Greece.

PM Had Talks With Ashcroft Alliance In UK
The Prime Minister returned from the United Kingdom today after a 10-day semi-official visit. He met with Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, state and municipal officials as well as executives from Tate and Lyle who import sugar from BSI. But what the official itinerary didn’t say is that he also met with the Ashcroft Alliance. In fact, there were reports in the opposition press that Ashcroft bankrolled the whole trip. The PM laughed at that one, but conceded that there were meetings held:… Jules Vasquez "That perhaps the invisible hand, the moving hand of the Ashcroft alliance had been somehow involved in your goings on in the UK, is that true?" Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "Absolutely not, had nothing to do with the trip" Jules Vasquez "Did you have any meeting with Aschroft or any of it's functionaries?" Hon. Dean Barrow "Well I may have taken the opportunity to discuss where things are with the various court cases and the various bits of litigation but, no man, this was a trip paid for by the Government and people of Belize and some aspects of the hospitality was paid for by the British Government, absolutely nothing to do with Michael Ashcroft in terms of any kind of bank rolling of any part of the visit."

PM Talks To British Gov’t About Re-Instating BATSUB
And while those heavy deliberations lie ahead for Government – the Prime Minister was cheery about his UK visit. He discussed some of the highlights:… Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "Well I think the meeting with Prince Charles went well, he's talking about a kind of blue bond, something that would end up giving countries that are vulnerable to climate change - money in return for marine conservation. The discussion contemplated Belize being used as some kind of a pilot program. It's all extremely preliminary but it was good to know that somebody at that level is focused on Belize in that way. The meeting with the UK Minister of the arm forces saw a discussion about the possibility of the BATSUB, presence being scaled back up after the British exit from Afghanistan is complete and the minister was extremely optimistic about that happening in the next 18 months or so."

Bowen and Bowen Chief Exec Explains Product Shortages
For months, Bowen and Bowen has been experiencing supply shortages – first it was Crystal water that you couldn’t find to buy, then Belikin beer, then, recently, even their flagship product, Coca Cola was scarce. All those shortages and supply breakdowns fuelled a storm of speculation – culminating in the recent rumour that Belize’s Biggest Bottler, a virtual monopoly was on the verge of collapse. Well, those rumors have reached the head office, and Bowen and Bowen today issued an exceptionally rare press release-slash-personal statement, which takes a very defensive tone. It comes from CEO and President Michael Bowen, who succeeded his father Barry at the helm of the company. The statement opens by saying, quote, “In…recent weeks there have been many rumours about Bowen & Bowen’s status. These rumours range from speculative to outrageous, and we unequivocally state that these rumours are unfounded.” But the fact is that there has been a shortage of product and Bowen says this is due to “upgrading…computer systems and production lines.”

Belizean Woman Slain In L.A.
Tonight, detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department continue to investigate the shooting death of 27 year-old Belizean American Yolanda Smith Major, a resident of Hawthorne, Southwestern California. Smith-Major was born in Chicago but grew up in Belize and attended Queen’s Square Anglican and ACC before returning to the States ten years ago. She is the child of Mae Brown and is Education Minister Patrick Faber’s first cousin. According to investigators, last night at around 11 p.m., she drove to 10900 Block of South Hobarb Boulevard in Hawthorne – which is about 15 miles south of Los Angeles - where she was supposed to meet a man. She was in the company of her 2 year-old daughter, a female friend and this man when an unknown vehicle drove up and opened fire on them. Major was killed in front of her daughter, and the man she was meeting got injured in the attack. He had to be rushed to the hospital.

Major Crime Continues Downward Trend
Though there’s been a recent spike in killings, crime figures for 2013 continue to be down. There were eight murders in June compared to 15 in that same period last year. And, through the first six months of the year there’s been a 21% reduction in the number of murders – that’s 16 fewer murder between January and June of 2013 compared to 2012. Today at the monthly review and reward session, Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie went reviewed the figures from his first six months on office. Allen Whylie - Commissioner of Police "Here where we are again we see that we have been very successful in terms of areas in major crimes. We have up to the end of June recorded as 59 murders compared to 75 in this same period in 2012 and I believe that's 21% reduction. Also in terms of rape we've had 12 recorded up to the end of June instead of 18 - that's a 33% reduction. In terms of robbery we've had 135 recorded up the end of June compared to 242 for the same period in 2012 - that's 107 cases less and 44% reduction. In terms of burglary we've had 468 cases recorded compared to 547 cases - that's a 14% reduction. In terms of theft we've had 473 cases recorded compared to 469 cases that's an increase 0.85%. In terms of carnal knowledge we've had 41 cases recorded in comparison to 22 and that's an increase of 86% so I think over all it is showing that the strategies that we have put in place and the implementation that have been done by the regional commander and the formation commander and the work that has been executed by our subordinates - the streets are having the desired effects. I am confident for the other six months we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that this trend continues. "

Police Puzzle Over Paralytic Found Dead In San Pedro
But the figures in the Belize District may go up – as San Pedro police are not quite sure what to make of a paralytic who was found hanging from a 12 foot beam in his bedroom this evening. Edbin Caballeros – who was left paralyzed after a construction accident years ago – was found dead in his room in the Boca Del Rio about an hour ago. Caballeros was locked in his room and police had to break in through a back door where they found him suspended from 2 beams. Because he is paralyzed police aren’t quite sure how he got up there.

Sanchez Gets Ten For Kidnapping
34 year-old Derrick Sanchez will spend 10 years in prison for kidnapping, that’s what Justice Adolph Lucas ruled yesterday at his sentencing hearing. Sanchez chose to remain silent during the mitigation section of the hearing, but he called his 2 sisters to speak on his behalf. They asked for leniency, and after considering their comments, and the fact that he has 7 convictions for crimes of dishonesty, Justice Lucas handed down his ruling. He is currently, serving a 5 year sentence for burglary, so Justice Lucas ordered that he will serve an additional 10 years for the kidnapping, which will run consecutively. As a result, he will serve a total of 15 years in jail.

Immigration Officer Cleared Of Rape Charge
39 year-old Winston Arzu, a senior Immigration officer, walked out of court a free man yesterday after the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions withdrew 5 counts of rape yesterday before Justice Troadio Gonzalez. Crown Counsel Leroy Banner told the court that because the complainant, a Guatemalan woman, could not be located, they were forced to enter into a nolle pros. This caused Arzu’s trial to end abruptly. The woman, who was 20 year-old reported to police that between January 29, 2010, and March 7, 2010 she was working as a waitress at a bar in San Pedro, the town where Arzu was stationed as the immigration officer in charge.

PM Surprised At Economic Downturn
Last night we told you that the Belizean economy had contracted slightly in the first three months of 2013 – registering point-5 per cent (.5%) negative growth. That’s quite surprising after 2012 showed very strong growth of 6.5%. But no one was more surprised than the Prime Minister – who was away and hadn’t heard the news and was caught off guard by it when we asked him about it today at the airport:…. Jules Vasquez "The Statistical Institute of Belize released the first quarter figures yesterday and it shows that there is in fact negative growth in the GDP. That the economy had negative growth of 0.5% - it's very marginal negative growth but you had projected 2 - 2.5%. Are you aware of this?" Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "No I wasn't - I would have to examine that closely, that doesn't sound as if it's anything that we would have been expecting. My sense that the economy is humming along so I really would need to see the details of that analysis."

PM Says He Is Willing To Debate
And the rate of economic growth is the kind of thing that would come up in an informed national debate. As we told you yesterday, the Jamaica Debates Commission visited Belize this week to try and lay the groundwork for just such an effort. Today we asked the prime minister – very well in advance – if he would commit to such an effort:.. Jules Vasquez "Would you in principle agree to have a national debate for the 2017 general elections with the leader of the opposition?" Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "My God - this is 2013 and we're talking about 2017! (laughs) But first of all let me make the point that there have been debate certainly in terms at the City Council and there was a debate one time between Manuel Esquivel and Said Musa, so it's not as though it hasn't happened. Thereafter, I don't think that anyone was in principle against the notion of a debate but it was the question of the terms that would govern the debate and I believe that there was a failure to come to any mutual agreement. So in principle, absolutely - but it will be in the details."

The Coalition, Re-Branded
The Coalition to Save Our National Heritage was created three years ago with the sole purpose of blocking oil drilling in protected areas. They’ve made national headlines many times since then, and even made history when they had their own home grown referendum and when they got to Supreme Court to declare PSA’s null and void. Now, the Coalition is re-branding with a new logo. We found out more at the launch today:… Tanya Williams - Thompson - Director - Belize Coalition To Save Our Natural Heritage "Over three years ago at this very place - many pebbles came together to form the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage and to change the course of how we would do oil in this country. Last year we became a non-governmental organization, something unexpected because as you know the coalition started from a very loose group of organizations but we have eventually grown and we see that there is so much to be done.

Seven Years And He Didn’t Even Steal A Fry
It’s the most famous fry chicken shop in the city – and yesterday a man broke into Li Chee. Even though he didn’t even steal a French fry, today, his justice was served up faster than a three dollars breast with steak sauce on the side! 45 year-old John Hoy, a laborer of mile 12 and a half miles on the Western Highway, is spending the first night of a 7 year sentence after he was convicted of burglary before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. The owner of Li Chee Restaurant on Freetown reported that at around 1:50 yesterday afternoon, he heard a loud noise. He checked and found Hoy inside. He stopped Hoy from stealing anything, and police arrested and charged him with Burglary.

Archaeological Symposium Studies Mayan Social Identity
As we showed you at the top of the newscast, 3 international archaeology students died yesterday in a major traffic accident at mile 60 on the Western Highway. Well today, the archaeological community remembered them at day 2 of the 11th annual Belize Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium. This year, the theme is Ancient Maya household and social identity in Belize. Today, we went to the San Ignacio Resort Hotel, where the Directors of the Institute of Archaeology were excited about the number of scientists who made the effort to participate this year: Dr. John Morris - Associate Director for Research and Education, Belize Institute of Archaeology "This is our annual Archaeology and Anthropologist symposium - every year for the last eleven years we have been conducting a symposium where we get all the researches and who do work in archaeology and anthropology to present their findings to the Belizean public and of course to other researchers who come from Mexico, Guatemala and the US and other countries to this symposium. One of the more fascinating papers is when it's going to be done on Friday - which deals with the St. George's Caye which was our first capital of Belize. We've been doing a lot of excavations out there and those findings are going to be presented on this Friday."

Why Noh Mul Case Took So Long
And while we had an opportunity, we asked the senior staff of the Institute of Archaeology to comment on the Noh Mul case file, which finally saw charges laid last week Thursday. As we’ve shown you, this case has picked up interest both nationally and internationally, and the authorities have received their fair share of criticism about the slow progress of the case. They’ve also been accused of deliberate foot-dragging since Denny Grijalva, the Managing Director of De-Mar’s Stone Company, is a UDP political aspirant. We asked the Associate Director of Research and Education to explain why it took so long in the first place: Dr. John Morris - Associate Director for Research and Education, Belize Institute of Archaeology "We have done all of our preliminary investigations of the destruction of the mound - as you are well aware the police finally lay charges on several individuals of that company and now we are in the process of preparing the rest of the documents and evidence, the rest of the materials that are going to be needed. The actual case goes to court and we're happy that the charges were finally laid and it just goes to show that in Belize it may take some time to get things done but eventually we will."

Channel 5

Traffic accident kills driver and three foreign students
A recently released international report says that the number of road traffic deaths went down in Belize between 2001 and 2010; in 2010 only forty-one casualties were recorded. But earlier [...]

Belizean American woman gunned down in L.A.
A Belizean-American woman was executed on Tuesday night in South Los Angeles. Twenty-seven year old Yolanda Smith-Major was killed in front of her two year old daughter as she stood [...]

Archeology Commissioner speaks on 3 students killed in accident
We reported on Tuesday, the death of three international students and a taxi driver. Eliseo Chan was transporting the trio to the Philip Goldson International Airport to catch a flight [...]

B.T.I.A. expresses support for pocket tourism
At its annual general meeting this morning, the Belize Tourism Industry Association expressed support for a policy of pocket tourism in line with the National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan which [...]

Do you think that the Mayor is doing a good job on Belize City streets?
And our question for tonight is: Do you think that the Mayor is doing a good job in respects of Belize City streets? Yes or no? Send your comments and [...]

Contracting economy; Statistical Institutes 2013 figures
On Tuesday night, we gave you the numbers that showed most industries were increasing in production up to 2012. Tonight the figures released from the Statistical Institute of Belize show [...]

Tourism Director comments on concerns about cruise tourism
The tourism industry is the largest shareholder in the services sector which accounts for a significant portion of the economy. The five point three percent growth is in large part [...]

B.T.B. vehicle totaled by security guard on joyride
The Belize Tourism Board is without one of its top rides this week. An Isuzu D-Max was used by a staff member who attended the Placencia Lobster Fest over the [...]

Major crime down for first 6 months of year
At the end of May, the Police Department released statistics which showed a trend of significant reduction in major crimes including murder, rape and robbery. That trend continued through to [...]

Found: American, Canadian and Hondurans rescued
On Tuesday, we reported on a massive search effort that was underway near the Bay Islands of Honduras, following the disappearance of eight students who went missing on Saturday.  Their [...]

Christine Perriott Vs B.T.L.—judgment reserved by Appeals Court
The name Christine Perriott might not be as familiar to you now as it was just a few years ago, and that would be because the former Secretary-General of the [...]

Victim fails to show in court and immigration officer freed of rape
Tonight, a Senior Immigration Officer, who was accused of abusing his authority by raping and threatening a Guatemalan waitress with deportation, is a free man. Thirty-nine year old Winston Arzu [...]

Landlady charged after altercation with hard-pay tenant
A clash over unpaid rent between a landlord and tenant has left the Belizean-American landlord in trouble with the law.  Sixty-two year old Rachel Middleton appeared before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton [...]

Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage unveils new logo
The umbrella organization for environmental NGOs launched a new logo this morning. The attractive design is simple put captures the mission of the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage [...]

Bowen & Bowen’s strong release on shortage of product
In response to complaints over the past month that services provided by Bowen & Bowen have not been exactly up to standard, the company today sent out a strong, but [...]

Garifuna Collective launches second album, Ayo
Six years ago, the Garifuna Collective and Andy Palacio ruled the world stage with the album Watina, which was hailed as one of the greatest world music albums of all [...]

Superstar performances from Group B!
Group B of Be the Next Superstar captivated the crowd at the Bliss Institute on Tuesday night. The show started with an opening number by the ever popular Ascenthium Band, [...]

Religious denominations protest Gender Policy in Orange Walk
The Christian anti-gay movement has gone on tour of the country to promote the message that persons who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender should not enjoy the same rights [...]

Statistical Institute releases growth figures for 2012
On the economic front, the Statistical Institute of Belize (S.I.B.) is reporting that Belize’s economy grew by two point four percent in the third quarter of 2012 when compared to [...]

The Road to San Antonio pocked with Town Council Lawsuit against contractor
The Orange Walk Town Council is preparing to take contractor Imer Hernandez to court. Hernandez is the nephew of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, who was paid by the government [...]

How to get politicians to agree to a national debate
Wouldn’t the 2008 elections have been a very dynamic time if the candidates did not give handouts and wear their colors and found a meaningful way to encourage citizens to [...]

FFB holds concert for Jaguars as they leave for Gold Cup
The Belize Jaguars, the national football selection, is leaving the country on Friday to the United States. The team will participate in the Gold Cup and its first game will [...]

Cops fish gun out of sea, but can’t prove it belongs to fisherman
A Belize City fisherman is free tonight after he was acquitted of charges of Kept Firearm and Kept Ammunition. Twenty-five year old Victor Foreman Junior of Belize City was allegedly [...]

Ten years for kidnapping cab driver
But while one man is free, another is heading to jail. A week ago, thirty-four year old Derrick Sanchez, a resident of the Ladyville area was found guilty of kidnapping [...]

Men who have sex with men at risk for HIV/AIDS
A recent report published by the Ministry of Health on tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections indicates that HIV has become a concentrated epidemic among men who have sex [...]


Another Report of Police Brutality In Western Belize
There is another allegation of police brutality rearing its head tonight. According to Marta Aleman, a resident of San Martin in Belmopan, a group of policemen came to her house a month ago accusing her son, Edwin Paula, of robbery. But instead of taking Paula and charging him, they a...

Brazil Has New Ambassador To Belize
The new Ambassador of Brazil to Belize today presented his credentials to Governor General Sir Colville Young in Belmopan. His Excellency Lucio Pires de Amorim spoke of the two countries’ lack of knowledge of each other, explaining the need to bridge the gap since the nations share si...

Belize Tourism Industry Association Holds AGM
Today the Belize Tourism Industry Association, BTIA, held its 28th Bi-Annual General Meeting at the Biltmore Plaza. According to the President of the BTIA Herbert Haylock, the meeting is to update members about the current status of the association. HERBERT HAYLOCK “The biannu...

Tourism Vehicle Damaged; Security Guard Charged After Joyride
22-year-old security guard Kirk Reneau has been charged with taking a vehicle without authority. As we reported on Monday, sometime after three o’clock that morning an Isuzu D-Max assigned to the Belize Tourism Board crashed into a bus shed on Wood Street, totally destroying the struc...

Dengue Cases Confirmed In Northern Belize
An outbreak of the Dengue has been reported up north. Reporter Dalila Ical has the story. DALILA ICAL The Orange Walk Vector Control Unit is growing increasingly concerned in the number of dengue cases detected in the district and is working full force to bring the situation under control...

Damage Assessments Continue in Rural Toledo Following Recent Tropical Depression
NEMO Toledo continues its recovery operations in connection with recent flooding affecting a number of rural Toledo communities. Correspondent Paul Mahung has an update. PAUL MAHUNG “Regional Coordinator of NEMO South with direct support of Toledo District Emergency Committee is spe...

Li Chee Burglar Earns Seven Years In Jail
Forty-five year old John Hoy, a laborer of mile 12 and a half on the George Price Highway, charged with the burglary of Li Chee Restaurant, located on Freetown Road was sentenced to seven years today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser after he pled guilty to the charge. Hoy had convictions for dr...

Northern Zone and Orange Walk Police Formation Recognized For Decrease in Major Crimes
The Northern Zone and the Orange Walk Police Formation has again been recognized by the Belize Police Department for having registered the greatest reduction in major crimes for the month of June 2013. Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, handed over a cheque valued at one thousand dolla...

Belize Coalition Boasts New Logo
Back in 2010, the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage was formed by 7 members and after three years of activism, the Coalition has grown to some 40 organizations country wide. Back in May the Coalition Launch a logo competition and today the winning logo was unveiled. Executive director...

Visually Impaired Teen Continues Quest on Raising Awareness
Rowan Garel; he is the fifteen year old teenager who has walked across the country in five days and made his way to the very top of Victoria Peak. Next weekend, Garel will be going on another adventure but for the same purpose. In his quest of generating awareness for the visually impaired, Garel...

Update on Fatal Road Accident
On Tuesday we reported on a fatal traffic accident at mile 69 on the George Price Highway that left four people dead. The victims were taxi driver 64-year-old Eliseo Chan, 24 year old Angela Bugeja from Malta, 25 year old Ioanna Thomopoulou from Greece and 23 year old Molly Hude from the Un...


I Want to Learn about Nature and Animals
I want to be an eco kid because I think it would be fun and I like to watch animals. I have five dogs and seven puppies. My favourite animals are cats, dogs, horses, bunnies, foxes and wolves. I also like butterflies and birds. I have seen morfo and monarch butterflies. I have also seen some birds, I have seen the Yucatan blue jays, peacocks, owls, the national bird toucans, doves, pigeons, hummingbirds and woodpeckers. I love horses and ponies, and I would love to come and ride them. My favourite horse is the Mustang. I have only ridden one horse before, and it was not tamed well. My five dogs love me. Their names are Sugar, Nella, Sushi, Peanut and Butter. My five dogs are only three girls and two boys. I have never been to camp before. I think I will have a lot of fun. I want to go bird watching and look at different animals. I love to be outside and I like to look at nature. I watch survival shows so I think it will be fun. My sister went to Eco kid camp before, and she said it was awesome.

“Move It On Over” to Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up around 4 am yesterday morning and after reading The Times online and taking care of a few emails I decided that I would go wash the ‘Cart and started the task just after 6 am (nice and cool at that time of day). Around 7.20 am I had just finished wiping it down and applying the chamois when – yes you’ve guessed it – there was the sound of thunder and the rain came down. It was still clean but… At least when our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize is finished I will be able to wash the ‘cart undercover and it will remain clean and shiny for a while! At 9 am I received an email from Excess International Movers (the company that is handling shipping for us) advising that, as scheduled, the goods we have had in storage in the UK since we moved to Ambergris Caye, Belize, had been collected from the storage unit on the Isle of Dogs in East London. It’s now time to move it on over and hopefully some time next week they will be put on a boat and then around six to seven weeks after that they should be with us. I am sure it will be a bit like Christmas with loads of parcels to open.

International Sources

Gold Cup Group C preview: Belize, Costa Rica, Cuba, USMNT
Without question, the Jaguars are this year's Gold Cup Cinderellas. Belize have never before qualified for the tournament and the program has been a CONCACAF member for less than three decades. In fact, the nation of Belize itself (population: 334,297) is not much older than US national team captain DaMarcus Beasley, having only attained independence from Great Britain in 1981.

A recent interview with Drummer Dan....

July 3, 2013

This news synopsis will be a bit more condensed than usual for a couple weeks due to time constraints.


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

Caye Caulker Crustacean Celebration
In Belize we have many celebrations, and the last time I checked there were 13 public and bank holidays observed each year. That said I would like to suggest we add one more and declare opening day of lobster season the fourteenth holiday of the year! The way we carry on about our devotion to this denizen of the sea, from the financial rewards of fishing, to its cultural significance and the delectable meals we celebrate you would think the country would shut down for the day and party like a lobSTAR, gosh knows we are always looking for an excuse! Perhaps the alternative we have is better though, dragging out the crustacean celebration over several days and three different festivals countrywide. I have attended all of these lobster fests at one time or another, from San Pedro to Placencia and Caye Caulker, and each one has its own personality and flavor, no pun intended! Although they are all grand celebrations I have to admit my heart belongs to Caye Caulker when it comes to singing praises to the lobster. With the charm of a fishing village still prevalent, and the presence of locals genuinely indulging in lobster love, you quickly become one with Caye Caulker lobster land.

Costa Maya Festival® presents Miss Costa Rica!
The Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant® takes place during the International Costa Maya Festival® being held August 1 – 4, 2013, and readers eagerly anticipate the announcement of the young ladies who will be representing their respective countries. We present to you Costa Rica’s beauty ambassador for 2013.

Placencia Lionfish tournament- A success
“Lionfish are a voracious predator of juvenile fish and thus a threat to our fisheries. So, Oceana in Belize had no problem teaming up with the Placencia Producers Cooperative Society and the Southern Environmental Association (SEA) for the Lionfish Tournament,” states Oceana Vice President for Belize Mrs. Audrey Matura-Shepherd. Audrey was speaking of last Friday’s Lionfish Tournament which was a prelude to the annual Placencia Lobsterfest held over the weekend. Three teams took park in the Lionfish Tournament, landing 599 of the invasive predator totaling 321 pounds. First prize of $1,500 for the most lionfish (250) went to Turtle Inn. Splash Dive Shop landed the biggest lionfish weighting 744 grams (1.64 pounds) to win the $800 2nd prize as well as the smallest one weighing just 10g (0.35 oz) to win the $500 3rd prize. The Placencia Coop fielded the third team and had to settle for consolations prizes of Blue Venture T-shirts.

The Ambassadors to the Past Program, 2013
The Ambassadors to the Past Program is a collaborative educational endeavour between the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW), USA and Galen University, Belize. It began in 2012 after Dr. Scott Simmons, Department of Anthropology at UNCW, was awarded a grant from UNCW’s Office of International Programs, Office of Institutional Research and the UNCW Graduate School. The grant extends to the end of summer 2014, and is aimed at helping Belizean students of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye make connections to their country’s ancient Maya heritage. The program entails Belizean archaeology students from Galen University working with students in San Pedro’s classrooms to understand and appreciate the achievements of the ancient Maya and develop a sense of pride about this part of their cultural heritage. These students range in age from approximately nine years old (Standard 3) to their early 20s (junior college).

Woman fights off attacker
San Pedro Town Police have arrested and charged a man following a report made by a woman that she was attacked. The man is 20 year old Shawn Hyde, a resident of the San Mateo Area of San Pedro Town. Joan Zuniga, a resident of San Mateo Area told police that Hyde attacked her and was in the process of dragging her to the beach as she was heading home from a social function. Zuniga explained that sometime around 2AM on Wednesday June 26th, while walking on Laguna Drive in the Boca del Rio Area, she was attacked from behind by a male. She claimed that the man gripped her by the neck and began dragging her towards the beach area and attempted to touch her private parts. At that point the woman said that she decided to put up a fight with the Hispanic male. Zuniga explained that when the man finally stopped, she fought back in self defence. She told police that the man ran away but a few moments later was caught with the help of her sister-in-law and a male relative who came to the rescue. According to Zuniga, they managed to restrain Hyde to the ground and executed a beating on him before being turned over to police.

Ambergris Today

Costa Maya Festival Announces Miss Costa Rica Contestant
Miss Costa Rica International 2013, Andrea Rojas, has been confirmed to represent her country as Miss Costa Rica Costa Maya at the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant that will be taking place at the International Costa Maya Festival in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Andrea Rojas is 21-years-old and is the reigning Miss Costa Rica International 2013 and will be representing her country at the Miss International Pageant in October of this year. Andrea stands 5’5” tall, is an Industrial Engineer Student, has hazel eyes and light brown hair. She enjoys reading and playing sports and spending time with friends and family.

Caye Caulker Comes Alive for Lobster Festival
After a week of Lobster Fest in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize, it was time for the neighboring sister island of Caye Caulker to come alive with their Lobster Festival. It was another three days of celebration that had the “Go Slow” island in super fast mode with thousands of visitors from around the country and abroad invading the quiet island. The Lobster Fest celebrations kicked off with the selection of Miss Caye Caulker Lobster Fest on Friday, June 28, 2013. Miss Sherylee Dawson was crowned Miss Lobster Fest 2013-2014 after a very hotly contested pageant with four other contestants including Jacqueline Riveroll, Miss Sasha Jimenez, Miss Annaelli Marin, and Miss Mercedes Requeña. The judges of the pageant were Ms. Andrea Polanco, Mrs. Betty Longsworth and Dr. Dionne Chamberlain and the following titles/prizes were awarded to the contestants, awarded the contestants:

Dia de San Pedro Festivities Celebrate Island’s Rich History and Culture
The San Pedro Town Council and the San Pedro House of Culture organized a weeklong celebratory event that lead to the celebration of Dia de San Pedro (San Pedro Day) on Saturday, June 29, 2013. The activities paid homage to our patron saint and highlighted the rich history and culture of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. The events kicked off with a lecture by Director of the Institute of Archeology, Professor Dr. Jaime Awe, on Monday, June 24, about the Caste War and its cultural influence in Ambergris Caye. Attendants learned a rich cultural part of history about the island and how it was an integral part of the Maya history and the shaping of traditions on island residents.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize Goes the “Extra Mile”
What’s wrong with working and playing in paradise? That’s what Beverly Burke of Beltraide asks investors to think about.

Drummer Dan passes away
Tell me it ain't so... we have lost Drummer Dan..... He was drummer for "Berlin" plus also producer for their #1 hit. A regular contributor to this board, his positive energy will be missed by many.... from John Robillo: "A sad day on the island and for many visitors to the island. He will be missed."

Seniorita Flor de la Feria Online Poll
The Seniorita Flor de la Feria pageant is having their online poll for Miss Photogenic. You can vote for your favorite of the seven contestants. The final pageant will be on July 11th, which is the opening night of the Benque Fiesta. "Flor de la Feria Pageant, one of the most historic and traditional pageants in the town of Benque Viejo. The pageant is part of the events of the annual Benque Fiesta, a fair made in honor of the town's patron saint: Our Lady of Mount Carmel!"

Mountain Pine Ridge Art Camp Video
The Duke of Edinburgh's Award Program of Belize released a great video about their Summer Art Camp, which is for youth between the ages of 14 and 17. It starts next Monday, June 8th, and MPR is the base for the camp, so the youths will experience nature in one of Belize's nicest reserves. There are a few spots left. Rio On Pools is the star of the video that Help International put together. "This camp is for youth ages 14 to 17 who want to tap into their inner artist and creative learning process. All week long youth will be in the jungle, learning how to enhance their skills in painting, writing, cooking, and music. At night there will be campfires and games to build friendships and make memories that will last forever. This is an incredible experience all for $200. That includes your transportation there and back, your three meals for the day, accommodation, and supplies for classes. If you are interested in joining us please let Nehanda Higinio know by cell phone at 624-9112 or email at [email protected] and she will get you registered and signed up!"

Rotaract's Go Green Campaign
The Rotaractors of the San Ignacio club recently did a trash clean up along scenic Bullet Tree Falls road as part of their Go Green Campaign. This is just one of the many things they do around Cayo to make it a better community. Thanks, Rotaract! "Clean up campaign on the Bullet Tree Road"

Channel 7

Christian Activists March Against Gays & Gender Policy
Today, Christian Activists against gay rights ramped up their public campaign with their first so-called “Constitution March”. It’s a new public pressure campaign that’s planned for the Belize and Cayo districts where they are planning marches to emphasize connection between the constitution of Belize and the Word Of God. And behind all that, is still the gender policy – the issue that just won’t go away. Today all those messages came together in a weekday march that didn’t quite bring out the multitudes, but it did turn up the volume. 7news was in Orange Walk and here’s the story: Jules Vasquez reporting Just before 8:30 this morning, Christian Activists the Orange Walk district assembled in front of the office of the town council. Little by little they arrived, and at 9 sharp, they moved off, numbering around 250 at the height of their protest. And they made sure utilize imagery to help send their message, Placards and posters with striking phrases, and A vehicle bearing a coffin, while was covered with posters against the gender policy. Even children participated in the march with their parents.

Shots Fired On Valley Of Peace Road
Police are just reporting a disturbing incident which happened last week Friday near Belmopan. Just before midnight, 57 year old US Missionary Dan Weaver and his wife were in a Toyota Tacoma on the Valley of Peace Road near the Banana Bank Bridge when two men tried to flag him down. Seeing the time of night Weaver accelerated and one of the men opened fire on the pickup hitting the windshield. Weaver lost control and careened into a nearby creek. His wife Vicki knocked her head and was left unconscious. Police say she was transported to KHMH in an unconscious state. The KHMH confirms that her family discharged her from the hospital that same day.

Quadruple Fatality Western Hwy Leaves Three Int’l Students Dead
There was a quadruple fatality on the Western Highway today; it killed three international students and their taxi driver. The collision between a taxi and a bus happened near the Busman Arnold Bridge at mile 60. With the assistance of the Cayo Star Newspaper we have images taken shortly after the accident – and then Daniel Ortiz put together the rest of the story. Daniel Ortiz reporting A traffic accident at mile 60 on the Western Highway claimed the lives of 4 people, a San Ignacio taxi driver and his 3 female passengers. As these images show, the West Line Bus which was heading to the direction of San Ignacio had a head on collision with the white taxi car. We found the car off the highway. The front was completely smashed in. The Benque sign and the yellow grill belonged to the bus, yet they were on top of the car's wreckage. From every angle you looked at it, its extensive damages told clearly that the occupants of the car couldn't possibly survive the impact.

Anatomy Of A Car Jacking
Last night, we told you about a carjacking on the city’s north side. It ended in a wreck at mile 44 on the Western Highway a few hours later. Monica Bodden went out to that scene last night, and she put the pieces together with surveillance video. Monica Bodden reporting It happened at approximately 3:20 yesterday afternoon. The white 2011 4-runner SUV is parked on Mercy Lane next to the Belize Elementary Auditorium. If you look closely, you’ll see its owner, a sales woman of Belize City along with her 6 year old daughter walking towards their parked vehicle. Just as they were getting into the vehicle before even closing the door, a man ran up from behind and darted towards the parked SUV, while another walked a little slower towards them. The owner was already inside the vehicle but had no time to close the door and drive off. One of the men was armed with a handgun and ordered her to get out the vehicle and hand over the keys.

GDP Growth Down In First Quarter 2013 Due To Citrus Woes
In 2012, Belize’s robust economic growth was praised throughout the region as GDP grew by 6%. Projections for 2013 were more conservative, at an expected 2 to 2.5% - but there was still hope that the 2012 momentum would carry over. Well it hasn’t – and the only growth to report from the first quarter is negative growth! Figures released today by the Statistical Institute of Belize show that the economy contracted by point-five per cent (.5%) in the first quarter of 2013. That’s sharply down from the first three months of 2012 when growth clocked in at 6.1 percent. So, what went wrong? Well, there were sharp downturns in citrus, crude petroleum and electricity production and a modest contraction in bananas. Citrus was the hardest hit with fruit and juice production declining by about 35 percent and 40 percent, respectively, the lowest in 18 years! According to the Statistical Institute some of this is owing to heavy rains in the southern districts. And while citrus had its lowest first quarter out-turn in two decades, Sugar had its best year since the early 90’s, growing by 4%. And while rains affected the south, Electricity generation, declined considerably because of low rainfall at the Chalillo and Mollejon hydroelectric plants.

J’cans In Bze To Foster Culture of Political Debates
We all know that Presidential Debates are an important part of the political culture in the United States. But what you might not have known is that it has also taken root in Jamaica where major political debates have been taking place since 2002. It’s a major undertaking in that country where a Debate Commission has been institutionalized to steer the process. And now two Resource persons from that Commission are in Belize to try and get debates brought into Belize’s political culture. They have received a grant from the National Democratic Institute and told us what it means in Belize.

Why Christine & Paul Came Home
As you saw earlier in the news, former firebrand labour activist Christine Perriot is back in Belize. She’s only visiting though – partly to for the appeal of her wrongful dismissal case from BTL. That happened way back in 2005 and the Supreme Court found in her favour – and ordered hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages, exemplary and otherwise. Still, Perriot wasn’t satisfied with the quantum and that’s why the case is still in court. She told us what she’s been up to since leaving:… Christine Perriot - Visiting From Oklahoma "After the incident happen it was very difficult in finding a job in what I was doing so my only alternative was to get re-educated so I went away to study and that's what I'm doing right now - I'm in Oklahoma pursuing education." Paul Perriot - Visiting from Oklahoma "Just there supporting the family, supporting Christine in the new path she's taking with education so I'm just doing my part."

Cervical Cancer Campaign Needs Your Imprint
An estimated 31 thousand women in Latin America and the Caribbean die from Cervical Cancer every year – a very high number considering that the cancer is mostly preventable with screening. The issue in many cases, though, is cost – and now the Belize Cancer Society is asking you to lend your voice, or your electronic imprint to a petition which pushes to lower that cost. Today we found out how you can sign on for change. Joan Burke - Board Member, Cancer Society "The world health organization’s report shows that 72% of cancer deaths occur in low and middle income countries and I'm certain that there are some people that may say that Belize is a low income well our statistics are saying that we are middle income. Regardless of where we fit in - Belize has the challenge of cervical cancer. In Belize more than 10% of deaths annually are attributable to cancer and we have our number one pathologist in the room with us who can confirm those data. For the period 2007 - 2011 we had 857 deaths occurring in Belize related to cancer - of those total 421 females and 436 males died of cancer related conditions. Sad to say that 418 of those deaths occurred in persons 65 years of age or younger and in today's technology we say that you're in the prime of your life. Significant percent of the deaths which occurred are primarily due and could be prevented by primary and secondary interventions. Of the 421 deaths which occurred among females 95 were as a result of the cancer of the cervix and 51 as a result of cancer of the breast. Available data from the Caribbean region shows Belize having some of the highest incidence rates of survival cancer."

Channel 5

Traffic accident kills driver and three foreign students
A recently released international report says that the number of road traffic deaths went down in Belize between 2001 and 2010; in 2010 only forty-one casualties were recorded. But earlier [...]

Religious denominations protest Gender Policy in Orange Walk
The Christian anti-gay movement has gone on tour of the country to promote the message that persons who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender should not enjoy the same rights [...]

Statistical Institute releases growth figures for 2012
On the economic front, the Statistical Institute of Belize (S.I.B.) is reporting that Belize’s economy grew by two point four percent in the third quarter of 2012 when compared to [...]

The Road to San Antonio pocked with Town Council Lawsuit against contractor
The Orange Walk Town Council is preparing to take contractor Imer Hernandez to court. Hernandez is the nephew of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, who was paid by the government [...]

How to get politicians to agree to a national debate
Wouldn’t the 2008 elections have been a very dynamic time if the candidates did not give handouts and wear their colors and found a meaningful way to encourage citizens to [...]

FFB holds concert for Jaguars as they leave for Gold Cup
The Belize Jaguars, the national football selection, is leaving the country on Friday to the United States. The team will participate in the Gold Cup and its first game will [...]

Cops fish gun out of sea, but can’t prove it belongs to fisherman
A Belize City fisherman is free tonight after he was acquitted of charges of Kept Firearm and Kept Ammunition. Twenty-five year old Victor Foreman Junior of Belize City was allegedly [...]

Ten years for kidnapping cab driver
But while one man is free, another is heading to jail. A week ago, thirty-four year old Derrick Sanchez, a resident of the Ladyville area was found guilty of kidnapping [...]

Men who have sex with men are dying from HIV/AIDS
A recent report published by the Ministry of Health on tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections indicates that HIV has become a concentrated epidemic among men who have sex [...]

The cancer that can be prevented
There are silent killers that affect our region: HIV/AIDS, diabetes and cancer are among the top causes. But there is a particular cancer that is affecting young women that are [...]


A Decade for Kidnapping
Thirty-four year old Derrick Sanchez, who was convicted of kidnapping last week, was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment today by Justice Adolph Lucas. Before he decided on the sentence, Justice Lucas heard pleas for mitigation from two character witnesses. Sanchez was not represented by an attorn...

Warehouse Keeper Accused of Engaging In Sex With Minor Freed of Charges
Thirty-five year old Everal Tablada, a warehouse keeper charged with carnal knowledge of a girl 13 years old, was acquitted of the charge today in the court of Justice John Gonzalez. The jury of five women and four men deliberated for almost three hours before it arrived at its verdict, which was...

Immigration Officer Acquitted of Rape After Three Years
Thirty-nine year old senior immigration officer Winston Arzu, charged with five counts of rape, was freed of the charges when a nolle prosequi, indicating that the prosecution cannot proceed, was entered today in the court of Justice John Gonzalez. Crown Counsel Leroy Banner entered the nolle pro...

Belizean Found Dead in Guatemala
He was being sought for the 2012 murder of thirty one year old Eduardo David Martinez but tonight news coming out from Guatemala is that twenty five year old Belizean Samuel Cervantes known in Belize as Samuel Aleman was murdered in that country. According to Guatemala’s Prensa Libre, the l...

Fatal Road Incident On George Price Highway
Four people are dead as a result of a traffic accident. The incident happened sometime after 10 o’clock at mile 60 on the George Price Highway. It involved a white Toyota Corolla taxi and a West Line Bus. 64-year-old Eliseo Chan was driving the taxi from San Ignacio to Bel...

Belize's Democratic Process Aided By Jamaica Debate Commission
A delegation from the Jamaica Debate Commission is in Belize as part of its mission to assist Belize in strengthening and growing the democratic process by encouraging and supporting the dissemination and discussion of political views in an open and unbiased manner in the form of a debate. Repres...

Man Accused of Killing His Uncle
20-year-old Sydney Bucknor Junior has been charged with murder. This is in connection with the shooting death of his uncle, 61-year-old Michael Bucknor which occurred last Thursday night on Faber’s Road Extension in Belize City. Bucknor was shot and killed as he was talking to a...

City Shooting Leaves Man Injured
Police are investigating a shooting incident which took place early yesterday morning. Police visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital around 5:20 yesterday morning and were informed that a twenty four year old man of Neal’s Pen Road Extension was suffering from an apparent gunshot ...

Armed Hold Up In Northside Belize City
A Belize City woman was robbed of her vehicle yesterday afternoon. The woman reported to police that around 3:35 yesterday afternoon, she and her daughter got into her White 2011 four Runner which was parked on Mercy Lane. She was then approached by a Hispanic man who came by the driv...

More Counterfeit Dollars Surface in Southern Belize
A number of counterfeit Belize currency notes have been in circulation in Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the story. PAUL MAHUNG “The police in Punta Gorda are now in possession of a number of the counterfeit twenty dollar Belize notes as explained on Monday evening...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Matthew Sandoval, top Caye Caulker scorer on the PSE, is awarded
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. and Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero presented checks to the Top PSE scorers of San Pedro and Caye Caulker as recognition for their excellent results on the examination. In a short, yet meaningful, ceremony Minister Heredia congratulated the students for their hard work and dedication. He stated that the money given to them was a form of acknowledgment for their excellent work in the Primary School Examination. “Congratulations students, this is really something to be proud off,” stated Mayor Guerrero. “I encourage you to continue your hard work and further your studies as education is the best gift a parent can give you.” Chelsea Zetina of San Pedro RC School was presented with a plaque by the Mayor for achieving a perfect score in Mathematics in the PSE. She also received $350 from the Belize Tourism Board. Jenessa Sierra of San Pedro RC School achieved the highest score for the school and the second highest countrywide. Matthew Sandoval of Caye Caulker RC School obtained the highest PSE score for his school; both Jenessa and Matthew received $500.


One way I practice recycling in Belize
Today I crossed a major chore off my list doing the recycling. That meant putting some order to the big box of coffee jars I have been saving and finally getting them out of the house and getting them one step someone who can use them. A few months back, I was shopping with Dennis at The Greenhouse and I noticed that someone was packaging their product in Nescafe Dolca Jars. Right away I asked the owner Evelia Flores if she could put me in touch with the woman so I could start getting her our jars. I figured may as well try and keep them out of the ground a bit longer. Evelia did not have her number but told me if I brought them to the store, she would help them get to the right place. When Dick and I turned up today was a big box full she was surprised that tacoboy and I drank so much coffee between the two of us and happy that she was able to help my recycling. For those of you who want more info on The Greenhouse store, it is a great place to shop on middle street. They carry a wide range of local and imported specialty items, fresh herbs, lots of spices, freezer and fridge options. They also offer and a large selection of fruits and vegetables, you are almost always guaranteed to find good lettuce here. Fresh stock arrives weekly on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

How Important Is Being Eco-Friendly to You?
I am a smart, handsome and respectable young boy. I love travelling and meeting new people. Being Eco friendly is a good idea because it allows us to protect and preserve what valuable assets we have in our surroundings. We can practice being Eco- friendly by turning off lights when it is not necessary, turning off water sources when there is no need to use water and recycling asset that can do so. When we turn off lights when there is no need to use it, we are saving energy. That is how we should be thinking. We have no need to allow electricity to be burning because it will only create an additional expense for our families. Secondly, water is life. It is a valuable resource. If there is no water; then, there is no life. We have no need to waste water we need to use it wisely. While you are brushing your teeth turn off the water until you are ready to rinse your mouth and so forth.

Liver and Onions
Beef Liver is definitely an acquired taste, however, some people instantly like this dish. It only takes about 20 minutes to cook and can be eaten with anything.

International Sources

Maltese archaeology student dies in Belize traffic fatality
A 23-year-old Maltese national, Angie Bugeja, of Pietà, was reported to have lost her life in a traffic accident while on holiday in Belize. reported the quadruple fatality on the Western Highway on Tuesday, 2 July, which killed three international students and their taxi driver. 24-year-old Molly Hude was a US University student who worked as the Supervisor for the Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance Project. 25-year-old Ioanna Thomompaulou, and 23-year-old Angela Bugeja were working in Athens.

9 foreign countries where you can use U.S. dollars
There are many great pleasures of the globe-trotting life, but dealing with pesky Travelex lines is not one of them. Sick of exchange rates, transaction fees, and coming home with pockets filled with useless coins? Here are foreign destinations where you can pay with U.S. dollars, from the sunny and subtropical to the still-undiscovered. Belize is a nation that defies simple definition. Technically part of Central America, yet outwardly Caribbean with its laid-back culture and spotless white sands, Belize is a former British settlement that currently holds USD-backed currency. Indeed, the nation has never attached its currency to the pound sterling; rather, its legal tender (the Belizean dollar) has always been pegged to the U.S. dollar at a 1:2 ratio. This makes beachy Belize one of the priciest Central American nations but, curiously, one of the cheapest destinations on the Caribbean Sea. Note: Though many businesses accept U.S. bills, prices in Belize may be quoted in the official currency or in USD. It's wise to ask your tour operator or shopkeeper about their pricing method before you whip out your wallet—especially since the two dollars share the same symbol, $.

“David and Goliath” Gold Cup Match a Boon for Belize
Win, lose or draw, the upcoming first ever clash between Belize and the USA for the international soccer world’s Gold Cup to be held in Portland, Oregon 9 July 2013 holds a number of benefits for the little Caribbean country, according to the Lodge at Chaa Creek’s marketing director. Calling the match a “David and Goliath” contest, Chaa Creek’s Larry Waight said today that Belize’s participation in the Gold Cup series will result in exposure to a new audience that will further enhance Belize’s reputation as an up-and-coming travel destination. “Belize is known for many things, such as a world class diving Mecca, the heartland of the ancient Maya civilisation, and for the vast tracts of protected rainforests and geological features."

The Garífuna: Tradition Continues in Coast Guard
In celebrating June as Caribbean-American Heritage Month, the Coast Guard spotlighted the Garífuna, a unique Afro-Caribbean indigenous group whose seafaring descendants trace their early heritage from the Caribbean islands of Belize and Saint Vincent and have settled in fishing villages off the coast of Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Belize. Out of more than 300,000 Garífuna in North America, their numbers serving in the military remain unknown as the Coast Guard and many major organizations include them as African-Americans in tracking its diversity workforce. In the Coast Guard, Master Chief Petty Officer George D. Lopez, Petty Officer 1st Class Cornelio M. Herrera and Petty Officer 1st Class Georgette Lopez count themselves as the handful of Garífuna who proudly serve supporting homeland security missions and national defense.

New World Oil & Gas’s ever-bullish boss says share price presents ‘tremendous opportunity’
New World Oil & Gas (LON:NEW) is working diligently to farm-out of its Danish assets in hopes of re-igniting interest in the AIM quoted explorer. The group’s maiden exploration programme, in Belize, discovered hydrocarbons, but they were declared non-commercial; however, for many of the institutional investors that have backed New World from the start, Denmark has always been the main attraction. A farm-out process is now underway with several interested parties and a deal possible in a matter of months. This comes as New World’s shares linger near all-time lows (since listing on AIM in May 2011). Disappointing results from Belize wiped off much of the group’s market value earlier this year and with the explorer almost trading ‘at cash’, practically no value is being attributed to the group’s promising but as yet unproven assets. New World’s ever-bullish chief executive Bill Kelleher remains upbeat, particularly as the Danish project comes into focus. “After we drilled the non-commercial wells in Belize some investors pulled out in a hurry, in what we think was a rather emotional response,” he said.

July 2, 2013

This news synopsis will be a bit more condensed than usual for a couple weeks due to time constraints.


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 June 30th, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

The San Pedro Sun

Tuff E Nuff wins game 2 in IBL finals
On Friday June 28th, Oceana’s No Limit faced off with Rico Black’s Tuff E Nuff at the Bird’s Isle in Belize City. As the competition enters the finals Tuff E Nuff is eager to claim a second consecutive championship title. The two teams battled out on the court, both eager to claim game 2. The teams played aggressively laying up baskets after baskets, but is was Tuff E Nuff who managed to maintain a substantial lead throughout the night, with some impressive numbers being added to the score board by jersey #8, Ashton Edwards.

The National Aids Committee holds seminar on team building and communication
The National Aids Committee (NAC) hosted a seminar on team building and communication for the local groups from the various districts. Headed by Doctor Martin Cuellar, Executive Director for the NAC Secretariat, the seminar took place on Friday June 28th and Saturday June 29th. Members of Corozal District, Orange Walk District and The Cayes committees were presented at the seminar. According to Dr. Cuellar, 2012 HIV/AIDS statistic revealed a 10% growth in infected persons from 2011. It is very important that the public is properly informed about HIV/AIDS in order to prevent more people from getting infected. The purpose of the district committees is to educate, inform and assist people on HIV/AIDS. Therefore it is important that they know how to interact with the public to reduce the impact of the virus.

Ambergris Today

Costa Maya Festival Announces Miss Honduras Contestant
Miss Honduras World 2013, Monica Alexis Elwing Gough, has been confirmed of representing her country as Miss Honduras Costa Maya at the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant that will be taking place at the International Costa Maya Festival in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Nineteen year old Monica Alexis is the reigning Miss Honduras World 2013 and will represent Honduras at the Miss World 2013 in September, immediately after her participation in San Pedro at the pageant that will take place on August 3, 2013.

Top PSE Scorers of San Pedro and Caye Caulker Awarded
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. and Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero presented checks to the Top PSE scorers of San Pedro and Caye Caulker as recognition for their excellent results on the examination. In a short, yet meaningful, ceremony Minister Heredia congratulated the students for their hard work and dedication. He stated that the money given to them was a form of acknowledgment for their excellent work in the Primary School Examination. “Congratulations students, this is really something to be proud off,” stated Mayor Guerrero. “I encourage you to continue your hard work and further your studies as education is the best gift a parent can give you.”

Pic of the Week : Hanging Out with Manatees in Belize
Whether you are cruising on the El Gato catamaran or snorkeling in the beautiful aquamarine waters of Belize, you are bound to bump into the most amazing underwater creatures. Manatees are some of the most peaceful and rare animals to bump into, but when you do, take out your camera out to capture and cherish the moment. On your next vacation make sure to keep an eye out for that unbelizeable moment.

Misc Belizean Sources

PM interviewed in England
Prime Minister Dean Barrow addresses a variety of issues during sitdown interview with Sky News in England

BAS Summer Camp Adventures
The Belize Audubon Society had a fun excursion to St. Herman's Cave this weekend. They got to hike, birdwatch, explore the cave, and even tube in the cave. The second Summer activity is a nature photography camp for kids from 9 to 17. Thanks, BAS! "Nature Photography Camp for Children Date: Thursday July 4th – Friday July 5th 2013 Time: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Cost: $50 (covers transportation for field trip and lunch for July 4th 2013) Age: 9 -17 Location: BAS Headquarters, Belize City Spacing Limit: 25 persons"

BAAS Starts Today
The Belize Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium starts tomorrow. It'll be at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel from Tuesday, July 2nd, through Friday, July 5th. The Institute of Archaeology has the schedule posted on their page, along with updates and pictures from the event setup. Looks like a lot of knowledge will be imparted this week. Dr. Jaime Awe and Dr. Anabel Ford will be presenting, along with a nice line up of other well published experts in the archaeological field.

Xunantunich and Cahal Pech in Pictures
Here's a travel article about Xunantunich and Cahal Pech, with lots of great pictures. The author correctly calls them DIY sites, and gives the overview of how to get there on one's own. "El Castillo is the second tallest structure in Belize after Caracol. This is a really impressive site and well worth the effort to get there. When you get off the ferry at the end you can walk up the river a 100yds to some rapids and take a dip to cool down. You may see local ladies washing their clothes there too."

Summer Camps around Cayo
Happy July! Summer is here, and so are the Summer camps. The San Ignacio Public Library is starting their Endangered Species of Belize camp today, while the Belize Zoo is starting their 20th annual Conservation Camp, and the George Price Centre is starting their Dance camp and Artistic Designs camp. More camps will be coming soon too. The Cayo Event Calendar for July has these, and more. If you know of any July events, just let us know.

The BBC at Carrie Bow Caye, Belize
here we are at Carrie Bow Caye (CBC) with the BBC, deep into filming these amazing hermit crab behaviors. When we arrived on-island, my jaw dropped at the sheer amount of film gear they had transported. These hermit crabs were truly going to be movie stars!

Interesting Discussion on Flights to Belize
Your guide to Belize. Visit exotic mainland cities, towns, interior, meet friendly people! See ancient historic sights, Maya cities, cayes, sea, beaches, coral reefs!

Channel 7

Pair Of Cayo Robbers Killed
On Saturday night in Santa Elena town, a security guard shot and killed two armed robbers. This comes 3 months after police shot and killed two robbers in Santa Elena, and six weeks after robbers killed a security Guard in San Ignacio. With those precedents, guns were on the ready – and this time, it resulted in two dead robbers, cousins, part of a trio who allegedly tried to disarm the security guard so they could rob the place. Our News team has been following the story since Saturday night, and Daniel Ortiz has this report. Daniel Ortiz reporting Our camera arrived 5 minutes after police finished their crime scene processing, and 2 hours after 2 men were shot to death on the premises of Anna’s Supermarket on Saturday Night. By that time, the Chinese owners of the store were already cleaning up the blood left on their pavement, where the men were gunned down. They labored to remove visible traces of the crime which almost committed against them. When they were satisfied that they could do no more, they pulled their shutters down, as if they were anxiously trying to segregate themselves the terror of what happened and almost happened. And it looked almost as if it never occurred, but the scarlet light thrown on the puddle served only to remind that the blood of 2 alleged robbers were spilled right on the doorsteps of the business place.

Marked Man Executed In City
Those shooting deaths occurred on Saturday night; this weekend started with the murder of a Belize City man. Ashley Zuniga, who is also known as Ashley Garnett, was killed at the corner of Neal’s Penn Road Extension and Baldwin Avenue. 7News was out on the scene shortly after, and we’ve been following the story of his murder, to find out if his past may have played a factor in it. Daniel Ortiz reporting The body of 23 year-old Ashley Garnett, who police know well as Ashley Zuniga laid out on the street, the last statement made as to where he was actually was when his assailants shot him to death. After police gathered all the evidence they could find on the scene on Friday night, they allowed his family and friends to come close and view his body. Angry at the tragic situation, his family member stepped away and threw down 2 personal items in frustration.

61 Year Old Was Killed By Nephew
But while police are seeking out a suspect for this murder, they say that they’ve solved the case of the shooting death of 61 year-old Michael Bucknor, the senior citizen and businessman who was killed last week Thursday. As we reported, at 8:18 p.m., he was on Faber’s Road Extension speaking to a woman when he was approached by a man who shot him in the head and rode off on bicycle. He died on the spot, and since then, police have been investigating. You heard Bucknor’s nephew, Patrick Thompson, who said that he was waiting patiently for police to confirm that it was not one of the members within the family who killed Bucknor. Well, the worse news to add to that very bad situation is that police have arrested and charged 20 year-old Sydney Bucknor with murder for allegedly killing his uncle.

Woman Car Jacked On City’s Northside
7news has confirmed that there was a car jacking on the northside of Belize City this evening. Reports say that it happened about two hours ago on Mercy Lane – behind the Belize Elementary School Compound. Reports say that a Belize City woman had gone to drop her child at a dentist’s office and when she came down a man put a gun to her head and then drove off with her vehicle – which was only a few days old. Late reports say the vehicle has turned up at mile 44 on the Western Highway where it flipped over. This is the vehicle which was car jacked earlier this evening on the northside of Belize City. It is a Toyota SUV – that was stolen from a Belize City women on Mercy Lane as she dropped her child at the dentist. A man put a gun to her head in the presence of her 3 year old daughter and drive off in the vehicle. He didn’t harm them, but he did flip the vehicle at mile 44 on the Western Highway – which is where this picture as taken a short while ago. There are no additional details at this time, but we’ll have more tomorrow.

Security Steals BTB’s Vehicle?
And our next story is not about a car jacking, but in office parlance – what would be called “taking a conveyance without authorization” – which is what a joyriding security guard at the BTB allegedly did on Sunday night. The Director of Tourism Laura Esquivel Frampton today told us that on Sunday night a staffer who returned late from the Placencia Lobster fest – handed the key for an Isuzu D-Max to the security guards – for them to pass it along to staffers in the morning. Well, the security guard seems to have gone on an ill-fated joyride – and Esquivel told us she doesn’t know what happened next but the D-Max was wrecked. It is now in the parking lot beside another BTB vehicle a Prado that caught in an accident some weeks ago when staffers had a blowout on the highway. She confirmed that Mark King’s Company, Brints Security guards the BTB building at nights and on weekends. She says the Board will have to decide what action it will pursue with Brints Security after this incident. The D-Max was comprehensively insured.

What’s the Story With Strange Plane?
The Civil Aviation Department at the Phillip Goldson International Airport has confirmed that it is investigating the report that an unidentified foreign Military plane flew into Belizean airspace without authorization over the weekend. Reports to 7news say that on Saturday, the plane – which has been described to us as either Mexican or Guatemalan – flew right over the PGIA without getting any clearance form Air Traffic Control. Multiple reports also say that they flew right above commercial jet liners like United and US Air which were landing at the PGIA – which is an air-safety “no-no”. Now, these are reports from veterans in the airline industry, but and Civil Aviation say those same reports have reached them – and so far they can confirm that indeed, planes without any known authorization were indeed in Belizean airspace. At this point, Civil Aviation cannot say what country the planes came from. We note, though, that al such flights are recorded on radar – a review of which will form part of the investigation. The Mexican Embassy could not comment and denied any knowledge of any such event. As to the reports that the planes may have been the new Guatemalan Super Tucano Airplanes, the light attack planes that will be used to patrol the border, reports from Guatemala say that those jest have not yet been delivered to the Guatemalan military.

Kim Barrow Raises 200K BZD For PICU in UK
Kim Barrow’s London fundraising Gala is being described as a major success after it raised approximately $200,000 Belize dollars for the construction of a new Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at the KHMH. The gala is the highlite of Mrs. Barrow and the Prime Minister’s recent semi official visit to the UK. It was featured Pen Cayetano and was well attended by Belizeans living in the UK and what are described in a press release as “friends of Belize.” Does that include Lord Michael Ashcroft? Well we don’t know if he made the invitation list, but speaking to Sky News In London, the Prime Minister said Ashcroft is welcome in Belize.

The Human Rights Review
The Universal Periodic Review – may sound like an oddity, but is a process where All 193 United Nations Member States are assessed periodically of their human rights records. For the review, each country must show the actions that they have taken to improve human rights situations in their countries, and the challenges they face to do so. Well, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is tasked to prepare second Belize’s UPR, and for the last few months, they’ve been in consultation. Today, the Foreign Affairs Ministry hosted a Validation meeting in Belmopan where all the members of the public who are concerned can have an opportunity to provide input on this document, which is in its final draft stage.

Getting Football Friendly
The Belize National Football Team leaves for Portland, Oregon on Friday, where they have the unenviable task of playing their first game against the United States team in its opening match before a home crowd at Jeld Wen Field. Even for the decided underdogs, the stakes are high, as Belize makes its Gold Cup debut. The team has been working hard to prepare, and on Saturday night, they played a friendly match against an all-star cast of footballers from the Premier League of Belize. 7News was there, and we asked the Team’s assistant coach about how the preparations have been going. Here’s how he explained the dedication of the team, which sees the support of the public: Charlie Slusher - Assistant Coach, Belize National Football Team "It has been very intense - the guys have been working very hard because when you watch how the U.S team plays and the Costa Rica team, those guys are actually in the run to qualify for the World Cup which means that they are at their peak. There's no doubt about it that they are at the best level that they can be because they are looking to qualify for the World Cup which means that we have to raise our level in terms of conditions and technical skills - especially condition if we're not in shape we will be blown out by these teams. It's a sense of relief for some of the guys and it's really tough when you talk about working for two months and a half - intense morning training sometimes three times for the day and being confined to Belmopan and this field and the building over that side. It's very difficult and these guys really work hard but the good thing about it is that we're happy that they are all cooperating and they are willing to prepare themselves for that journey. We have to be thankful for that."

WAVE Raises Funds For FFB
One group showing support is the staff at WAVE RADIO who, as we showed you, planned a major barbeque sale to raise funds for the public. Their intention was to meet a target of $10,000 to give to the team, and today, they called us out when they presented it to the FFB representative. Here’s how they organizers explained the success they had: Hyacinth Latchman - Organizer, Wave Radio Barbeque "It went wonderful - I just need to make mention before I go further that my boss Juliette Thimbrel came in last week Monday with the idea that if we sell 1000 plates of Barbeque for the football team then they'll get $10,000 so she called in her senior managers and we immediately went in to play. Everybody started with the logistics, who will we do what - how many plates we will need, beans, corn, chicken and we went from there. We have to say that Belizeans came out from far and some people came all the way out from Chicago to be with us just this Saturday to help FFB in their process for their event because we want our football team to win. It was hard work, a lot of dedication and serious commitment from the entire Wave Staff - everybody put in their cents and it was all in success for FFB."

Rowan Rising
And another organization who is preparing for a big first is the Belize Center for the Visually Impaired (BCVI). As we told you, Rowan Garel is planning his next great adventure where he will be diving the Blue Hole. An international facilitator, who is helping to organize the dive, was out on Caye Caulker for the 2013 Lobster Fest. He chose to sell sunglasses, at a relatively cheap price to raise funds in order to help the Garel and his planning team. He explained why the effort was going very well: David Gibson - Representative, BCVI "Today we are collecting funds on behalf of BCVI and inspired by Rowan who is doing a dive of the Blue Hole. He is currently doing his training - last year he walked across Belize and raised $100,000 and that is our aim through this initiative. BCVI provides the only backstop and the only safety net for blind children in this country - provide them with brail, with education to help them develop an independent way of life - to develop their talents so that they can live independently in Belize."

Lionfish: The Predator Becomes The Prey
A few months ago, we showed you the detrimental effects which the spiny lionfish has on the coastline and the barrier reef. This is a very aggressive undersea creature which feeds on the juvenile grazer species that usually help to keep the barrier reef healthy. Well, the Placencia Producers Cooperative Society, the Southern Environmental Association and OCEANA Belize have organized an effort to try to immediately decrease the lionfish population as best as possible. It involves encouraging fishermen to fish as much of the lionfish species as possible, and creating a market outlet, which will see immediate profit and a decrease in the fish. To launch this initiative, these organizations held a lionfish competition on Friday and Saturday, and with the help of freelance Journalist Aaron Humes, we provide you with a look into the competition.

Original Lobster Fest
Nowadays, it seems like every major tourist destination has a lobster fest but for the original, you’ve got to go to Caye Caulker. It is a major festival, and a boost in revenue for the island and 7News went out to see how the event looked. We also got a chance to ask the participants if they were enjoying their lobster dishes. Juan Garoy - Representative, Madisco "Today's special we're having the Caribbean Rum Coolers and we have them in three different flavors - Rum Mango, Rum Punch and Coco Pina." Reporter "Why do you think people must stop here and sample some of these products?" Juan Garoy "Well it's for the climate right now and you need a cooler then you need to try a Caribbean Cooler."

Channel 5

Security guard kills cousins and stops robbery
It was a violent weekend in the Cayo and Belize districts. We start with this story of two cousins from Santa Elena in the Cayo District who were shot and [...]

Another murdered on Belize City Streets
In Belize City, just before nine o’clock on Friday night, a Belize City man was shot and killed on Neal’s Penn Road, not far from where Michael Bucknor was killed [...]

Victim gets in trouble with cops following murder
But while police are still looking for one person known to them in connection with the murder of Garnet, another has been charged for the murder of sixty-one year old [...]

Missionary comatose after crashing to avoid shooters
There is other crime news from the Cayo district. A U.S Missionary is in coma tonight at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after a armed attack on Saturday night. Vicky [...]

Foreign plane in Belizean airspace
Tonight, there are persistent, but unofficial reports that planes believed to be Mexican military aircrafts were in Belizean airspace on Sunday. News Five has been told that the planes were [...]

Prime Minister gives interview to London’s Sky News
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is winding down what he has dubbed his quasi-official visit to London, which included an audience with the Queen and Prince Charles and meetings with high [...]

Media houses raise over $15,000 for football team
The Belize Jaguars is in its final preparations for football matches to be played against the national teams for the United States, Cuba and Costa Rica.  The three games will [...]

But F.F.B. believes G.O.B. can do more for National Team
Many believe that the government should do more to fund the country’s first national team to play in the Gold Cup. But last week, Minister of Sports, Herman Longsworth, indicated [...]

How low can you go? Stealing step daughter’s purse
A man who pleaded guilty to stealing his stepdaughter’s purse got a lucky break today when he was fined and ordered to perform community service rather that jail time. Fifty-one [...]

Diamond International spends day feeding homeless
The number of homeless persons is on the increase. Around the city, the underprivileged have made their home on the sidewalks or under buildings and even in the parks.  The [...]

How to catch and eat a Lionfish
The Lionfish is a threat to local fishery and up until recently, the predator fish got a bad rap. But all that is about to change because the Lionfish is [...]

Blind youth prepares to dive Belize Blue Hole
Young Rowan Garel is preparing to take on another monumental challenge to raise funds for the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired.  The young blind boy, who has scaled Victoria [...]

On the Road to the Gold Cup with Trevor Lennon
It is the countdown to the Gold Cup 2013. The national football selection heads to the United States in the next few days for their historic play against powerhouses from [...]

Major sporting highlights with James Adderley
Good evening I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday. With Belize Telemedia waiting in the wings; Fresca Lady Rebels had to roll past the Belize Bank Friday evening inside [...]

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Pic Of The Day
Today’s picture is taken by Mathew Sandoval. He just turned 13 and has gained a passion for photography. His concentration is based on landscaping and wildlife as well as sunset shots. You can check out more of his photos on his facebook page Pic Daily

Family KARATE Summer Program
Karate Lessons in Caye Caulker for kids and adults, certified instructor from Belize Martial Arts Academy. At the Community Center every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday! 3:00pm to 4:00pm. Call 602-1772 for payment and Sign up! For kids a great experience while having fun and learning discipline and a good self defense class for the ladies. Don’t miss out on this summer program !


Taste of Playa 2013 Vip Passes
Starting on the 15th of July, 2013 VIP Passes will be available for sale online for the 5th annual international culinary event ‘Taste of Playa 2013' Taste of Playa’s 5th anniversary culinary event is open to the public and will take place on November 24, 2013 at Parque Fundadores in Playa del Carmen. Forty area restaurants, bars and caterers will participate in the day long festival, which celebrates the creativity and cultural influences of chefs throughout the Riviera Maya whom have helped make this destination one of the top travel spots in the world. In 2012, VIP Passes sold out far in advance and with Taste of Playa celebrating it’s 5th anniversary, we anticipate that VIP Passes will again be in high demand and sell out quickly.

Let’s hear it for the Belize Home Team!
In a David and Goliath match of suitably epic proportions, and for the first time in history, Belize will be going mano a mano against the USA for the 2013 soccer Gold Cup. The match, to be held July 9 at the historic Jeld-Wen field in Portland, Oregon, is expected to attract capacity crowds and millions of viewers across the Americas and Canada. The Belize Jaguars qualified to contest the Gold Cup and face off against Team USA after achieving the best result at the regional finals during the 2013 Copa Centroamericana competition. According to Soccer America Daily, “The Jaguars took advantage of Guatemala’s failure to win any of its three group games and finished second in its group to clinch a berth in the Gold Cup.” That’s some achievement when you consider that Belize only played its first international match in 1995 and did not play in a World Cup qualifier until 1996.

“A Whiter Shade of Pale” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Spent a bit of time yesterday morning trawling the Internet in the hope of finding that Arsène Wenger , the Arsenal manger, has started making some marquee signings for next season. No such luck. Plenty of speculation ( and much of it, I am sure, created by journalists just to fill space) but no actual announcements. Looks like this could be another pre-season when our transfer activity will be a conducted ‘at the last minute’. Feeling a little disappointed , and quite frustrated, I then turned my attention to thinking about what key performance indicators (KPIs) should/could reside within the contract I have been reviewing for an ex-colleague in the UK. With a brain that wasn’t functioning as well as I would like (opportunity here for my friends and ex-colleagues in the UK to post some ‘humorous’ comments) I ‘took’ myself off to Estel’s for a breakfast that I hoped would get the creative juices flowing. And it did. Just now need to draft the wording for the KPIs.

International Sources

Gig Alert: The Garifuna Collective
The Garifuna Collective, hailing from Belize, keeps alive the music of Central America’s Afro-Amerindian community. After a much loved debut release six years ago, the group unexpectedly lost its founder and bandleader. So their new album, Ayó, is both a tribute -- and a new chapter in the long tradition of music from Garifuna.

July 1, 2013

This news synopsis will be a bit more condensed than usual for a couple weeks due to time constraints.


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

Thank you from The San Pedro Lobster Festival Committee!
The San Pedro Lobster Festival takes the opportunity to express our sincere appreciation and heartfelt THANKS to everyone who made the festival a huge success. The event welcomes the opening of the lobster season and brings businesses together to promote our tourism industry. We would like to thank the Belize Tourism Board and the Honorable Minister Manuel Heredia for their generous support towards the San Pedro Lobster festival 2013. We would also like to thank the San Pedro Town Council for all their logistical support. Very special thanks to Mayor Danny Guerrero and town council foreman, Freddie Gonzalez Jr., who went beyond the call of duty in our time of need!

Wolfe’s Woofers: Mousetrap
How do you catch a mouse in a mousetrap with no cheese?

Misc Belizean Sources

Quality Education: English, Math, and Science!
The recent 2013 PSE low proficiency scores bombshell has provided the local media in Belize with some hot news items for the country to follow for a few newscasts; it has also provided a few juicy and eye-catching headlines for online and hard copy local newspapers. Teachers are using this attention-grabbing bombshell to try to win the public to their side, and at the same time publicize their unfair working conditions, including salaries. Even the public finally seems interested in demanding a good Education for our children! Still, no one seems to know what a good education really is. Until we know what it is, and want it, we will not be able to offer, nor receive a good education. Still, we refuse to accept/embrace any change(s) in our Education systems. Perhaps, I should name each article that I post to this Blog, including the Blog itself, Misconceptions of Education in Belize. Other than the constant and heated crossfire of accusations and embarrassments between the public (media) and local politicians consequent to the PSE bombshell, there are no signs whatsoever of any change in Belizeans’ concept, attitude, or concern for high-quality education for our upcoming generation. Most Belizeans continue to think of Education as a “their job” (schools and teachers) issue. In stubbornly refusing to change this misconception of Education, Belize also refuses to be “global”.

Rotaract Induction Ceremony
The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio inducted 3 new Rotaractors this week. They've been active in Rotaract's community projects around Cayo, and have proven they deserve the honor. Congratulations to Christian, Jorge, and Marlayna! Keep up the great work. "From Prospects to Rotaractors! Induction of three new Rotaractors: Marlayna Lee Larson Hecker, Christian Martinez & Jorge Ruiz! We are PROUD to have you! WELCOME TO THE ROTARACT FAMILY! Photos courtesy of Frankie J. Montero."

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Coolest Harlem Shake Vid Ever!
Scuba Divers doing the Harlem Shake underwater. "Oooookkeeeyyy, we couldn't resist. Here's the Harlem shake of our Sunday fun dive!"

First ever cave diving flash mob video!
16 divers came together for the first ever cave diving flash mob with the goal to show the size and the beauty of the cave like never before. So this video is not about equipment, equipment configuration, cave politics or other purposes. It is to show what is at the end the most important rule in diving: Having fun with friends!

Rasta Pasta restaurant set to reopen!
Marilyn Gill, owner of the former Rasta Pasta restaurant which existed for several years at the location where the Barrier Reef Sports Bar now stands, has returned to the island. According to Maralyn, Rasta Pasta is set to reopen on July 6th. It will be located on the property of the former Sandbox Restaurant, also a landmark on Caye Caulker for several decades. We wish the restaurant much success.

Lobster Fest 2013 Gallery
Lots of photos from the 2013 Caye Caulker Lobster Fest


Bumpy and Buggy in San Pedro
If there was ever a time to consider pimping your ride with a lockable glove box, it would be now so your bug spray can be kept safely on your cart at all times. The skeeters are mini monsters right now and out in full force, day and evening, this is the worst I remember seeing them in a long time. It would make a good addition to our tropical horror film ideas along with night Dennis Paul and I outran the malathion truck twice on the back road near home. Along with the bugs the back roads are crazy bumpy right now. Girls wear your sports bras if you are driving off the beaten path right now I will leave you with some pictures I took today when we went to Amal Hardware store to get some screws. Dick building a new garage in his back yard. Off to go get ready for a hot date with tacoboy, he asked me to meet him for dinner at Banana Beach.

Belizean Stew Chicken – A mouth-watering dish from the Jewel
The natural partner to rice and beans is, of course, that other Belizean staple, stew chicken. Elegant in its own humble way, like a philosopher in simple workman’s clothes, this is rustic-luxe Belize cuisine at its finest. If you are lucky enough to have recado, that achiote based paste common in Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula, it’s a wonderful addition. If not, don’t sweat – I make it all the time without and have survived. Mix a bit of paprika with cayenne as a substitute if you like. So get out the pots and pans, crank up some Andy Palacio, Garifuna All Stars, Paul Nabor, Aurelio Martinez or any Belizean music, imagine the sounds of toucans, gentle surf or children playing in the background, and get ready to go. Ingredients:

“Just a Lil Bit” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
No long preamble or ramblings before I get in to bringing readers up to date with our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize.. Just to ‘say’ that I had a very lazy morning/early afternoon on Saturday watching the Huddersfield Giants v Catalans Dragons Rugby League game followed by a ‘visit’ to Australia to watch Queensland play New South Wales in the State of Origin game. And a brutal game it was too. As was the weather. Very hot and hardly any breeze. Don’t want you to think that I am complaining though. Just take it as a layman’s weather report.

International Sources

New World Oil and Gas poised to seek farm-in partner in Belize
New World Oil and Gas (LON:NEW) now owns 100% working interest at its Blue Creek project in Belize. It means the oil group is now ideally positioned to find a farm-in partner to continue its exploration programme in the central American country, it told investors. The relevant government authority approved the final 25% working interest to the firm's subsidiary following the drilling of the well on the West Gallon Jug Crest prospect. The firm's chief executive, William Kelleher, said earning into the whole project marked the end of the required work programme as agreed in its farm-out agreement with Blue Creek Exploration, which exceeded the requirements of the Belize government under the terms of the production sharing agreement.

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