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7/21/2013 to 7/31/2013
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July 31, 2013


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

Belize court affirms Maya land rights but strikes out protective orders
In a long-awaited judgement issued yesterday, Belize’s Court of Appeal has affirmed Maya people’s rights to collective land ownership throughout southern Belize. However, in a concerning development, the Court of Appeal struck out court orders requiring that the Government of Belize take specific action to protect those rights. The Maya communities of Toledo, Belize’s southern-most district, rely on the land and its natural resources to preserve their culture and way of life. In 1994, the Government converted an area of nearly 42,000 acres of Maya ancestral land into Government land, the Sarstoon-Temash National Park – without consulting Maya people. The Government then opened Sarstoon-Temash to oil exploration by US Capital Energy Belize Ltd, a wholly owned Belizean subsidiary of American company US Capital Energy Inc, and entered into an agreement with the company for oil exploration. ‘MRG welcomes this further recognition of Maya land rights over their ancestral land in Toledo,’ says Lucy Claridge, Head of Law at Minority Rights Group International (MRG). ‘We remain seriously concerned, however, that the Government has failed to protect these rights – most recently by permitting US Capital Energy to begin exploring for oil on Maya land.’

Delegates of the Costa Maya Pageant busy on the island
Activities relating to the International Costa Maya Festival are fully underway. On Saturday July 27th, Ramon’s Village Resort, the official resort of the delegates Costa Maya Pageant, hosted the annual Noche Tropical on the beach. All eight delegates of the International La Reina de La Costa Maya Pageant were present and entertained the audience. On Monday July 29th, they were back in the spotlight at the SAGA Humane Society benefit function hosted at Fido’s. At the first event, the audience got to see a glimpse of what to expect ahead of the pageant which is schedule for Thursday August 1st. Throughout the course of the night the eight beauty ambassadors took to the stage and gave the audience a taste of their country. The participants got to introduce themselves as well as model in their country’s costume and several attires courtesy of Ramon’s Village and Moondancer boutiques. During the event, entertainment was provided by Maryposa, who also invited the delegates on stage to learn a few moves.

Belize Zoo comments on ocelot incident
To Whom It May Concern: The Belize Zoo would like to address the incident involving a youngster who was bitten by our ocelot, “Ollie”, as this has received much attention. An ocelot is a wild cat, native to Belize, and is considered to be a small-to-medium in size, weighing about 20-25 lbs. To clarify what occurred last Monday at the zoo, please read the points below. Sharon Matola, Founding Director. OCELOT INCIDENT OCCURRING AT THE BELIZE ZOO MONDAY 15 JULY 2013 1. A young boy, approximately ten years old, along with his mother and other family members, visited “Ollie” the ocelot. 2. There were no zookeepers present. The youngster, put his hand inside the ocelot exhibit, seemingly to “pet” the cat. 3. In order to do this, he had to go to the effort of crossing over a wooden barrier, as well as ignoring the small mesh fence, placed there to keep people from putting hands in the exhibit. 4. Having crossed the barrier, and ignoring the other fence precaution, he put his hand in. The ocelot bit his thumb. 5. This was brought to the attention of Animal Management Supervisor, Humberto Wohlers, who applied first aid to the bite immediately.

Ambergris Today

'Bachelorette' Star Jef Holm Celebrates Birthday in Belize
On Tuesday, July 16, 2013, Bachelorette reality star Jef Holm tweeted that he was off to Belize to celebrate his birthday (July 23), by Friday, July 26, he was rubbing elbows with the eight contestants of the Miss Costa Maya Pageant at Elvi’s Kitchen, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Besides celebrating his birthday in San Pedro, he may have also been looking for a wife. Jef had kept a low profile with the media in the United States after he ended his engagement to Emily Maynard. They were engaged a few weeks after the show finished airing, but quickly ended their relationship. Ambergris Today’s cameras caught Jef Holms while he dined at the world famous Elvi’s Kitchen in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye where he took the opportunity to mingle with the eight beauty contestants of the Costa Maya Pageant who were being hosted by the restaurant during their popular Maya Buffet Night.

Rotary Club to Donate Water Filters to San Mateo Residents
Rotary Club representatives will be in the community of San Mateo from August 4-6, to train residents and provide Sawyer water filters to those who need them. A donation of $5 BZ is required for each filter. If you live in San Mateo and your drinking water is contaminated, you will be able to get a filter on Monday or Tuesday of next week, (August 5 or 6). There are only about 40 filters left. If you still need one, please ask Miss Glenda to add your name, and contact info, to the list. (She is the nurse who lives in San Mateo.) People on this list will be the first to receive filters.

Ramon’s Village Hosts Costa Maya Noche Tropical
Ramon’s Village, the official resort of the Miss Costa Maya Pageant, was host to the eight contestants of the upcoming Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant for Noche Tropical, on a special night that gave island residents a glimpse of what to expect on pageant night, Thursday, August 1, 2013, the commencement of the Costa Maya Festival. The evening’s entertainment featured the eight beauty delegates modeling island clothing from the Ramon’s Village boutique and that of Moondancer, both sponsors of the pageant. The resort went all out this year by constructing a runway coming off their pier and setting up a complete catwalk for the audience to enjoy. The contestants also showcased cultural clothing from their respective countries, describing their colorful costumes and educating the audience of their significance to their country’s culture. In between fashion segments, entertainment was provided by bellydancer Maryposa who also had the opportunity to teach the contestants some belly dancing moves at the end of the fashion show.

Visually Impaired Teen Dives Belize Blue Hole
After a few delays due to unfavorable weather conditions, fifteen-year-old and visually impaired Rowan Garel became the first blind person to dive the world famous Great Blue Hole of Belize this past weekend, Friday, July 26, 2013. Rowan, who had become a household name in Belize for now climbing the tallest mountain in Belize and walking across the country, this weekend completed his most ambitions and challenging feat yet. With training and assistance from Sea Sports Belize and PADI certified instructor, John Searle, Rowan and his team, Rowan Garel was able to dive one of the world’s most popular sites all in the name of fundraising for the Belize Council of the Visually Impaired (BCVI). All of his challenges have been to support the organization that provides year-round support to children who are blind in Belize.

Misc Belizean Sources

“The Worst Part Was Leaving”
While I never stayed in the guesthouse, I did spend a lot of time there, which was great. I loved having a place where I could hang with Harri and the other guests that wasn’t a hotel room or a restaurant. I had a lot of fun spending time there. I am a pescatarian (a vegetarian but I eat fish and other seafood) and there was never a meal on the island where I thought that I didn’t get enough to eat. All of the food was amazing (thank you Adrianne and Brittany)! There was nothing better than eating a fish that was caught earlier that day (delicious!!!). One of my favorite parts of this trip was that while I was having a blast diving, I was also helping with the reef conservation. Everyone did a great job teaching us about all of the different parts of conservation and explaining why we were doing it. Of course lionfish spearing was one of my favorite parts because not only were we able to help remove them from the reef, but they were delicious to eat. It was the best of both worlds.

New CRFM project to launch electronic policy on Caribbean fisheries
Fisheries stakeholders in Member States of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) will have the opportunity for stronger dialogue, under a newly initiated, regional project which aims to tangibly fortify their capacity to contribute to the development of policy directed at improving fisheries earnings and raising the standards of living of fisher folk. The CRFM had approached the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Co-operation ACP-EU (CTA) a few months ago, for support to implement the new CRFM Communication Strategy, which seeks to increase the use of information and communication technology to, among other things, boost efficiency and productivity in the fisheries sector. In line with that request, the CTA has awarded a Euro 84,817 (USD112,480) contract to the CRFM. The one-year agreement provides for policy dialogue on fisheries issues in the Caribbean through the use of online knowledge platform. CRFM Executive Director Milton Haughton signed for the Caribbean organisation, while CTA Director Michael Hailu signed on behalf of the donor. In inking the agreement, CRFM and the CTA acknowledged that there is the need for further discussion beyond face-to-face meetings on Blue economic issues – exploring ways to bring abundance to the region out of existing resources.

Benque Marimba Academy and William Harvey
Musical interlude. William Harvey played some with the Benque Marimba Academy at the Benque House of Culture last week, "Mr William Harvey performing along with the Benque Marimba Academy players."

Channel 7

Taxi Man Murdered In Orange Walk
Orange Walk Town taxi driver Hugo Moreno was found dead today. The 42 year old was last seen on Saturday at 12:40 pm when he left home to pick up his daughter at a local cultural event. She got home, but he never did, and his wife, 41 year old Magda Moreno reported him missing on Monday afternoon. The search for him ended this afternoon when his car, a white Dodge was found in a sandpit in at the back of Carmelita Village – just outside Orange Walk Town. His body was found stuffed inside the trunk – and the vehicle was then set on fire. It is a particularly brutal murder, and a rare one for Orange Walk, which had not reported a murder since October of last year.

Vega Dismisses Lands Beef With “Sis’”
Last week we told you about the ugly situation that had flared up at the Lands Department, culminating in the CEO of the Ministry of Housing being shown out of the building by armed security. It got to that point because of a few dozen abandoned properties at the Fresh Pond Housing Community near Burrell Boom. They were supposedly set aside to be distributed among party faithful who were both low income and did not yet own a house or land. But, even though the structures are wrecks, it’s good high land, and it seems, some UDP connected folks, had their eyes on the 50 or so lots, and arranged to get possession of ten of the properties using the names of relatives. One of those is the Deputy PM’s driver Chris Hendricks, whose brother Marlon Miranda got one of the properties. That happened to be a property that the Prime Minister’s sister, Denise “Sister B “Barrow had been looking at for one of her Queen’s Square constituents. That dispute reached the PM’s ears and brought the whole thing to a head. So where does this leave the Deputy PM? After all, his driver crossed the PM’s sister, who is his political officer in Queen’s Square. We caught him at an event today and while he initially did not to give an interview on that subject, in the end, he downplayed the dispute.

It’s Official, Lizarraga Resigns, Next?
Who will lead the BTB now? That’s after the Chairman of the Board, Ian Lizarraga resigned last night in a letter to Tourism Minister Manuel “Juniour” Heredia. Heredia now has to find his fourth chairman in just over five years – which indicates instability, even as overnight tourism continues to post 10% annual growth. CEO in the Ministry of Tourism Tracey Taeger Panton today told us that a new chairman has not been named and the Minister is consulting with the PM to decide on his new chairman. In the interim, Deputy Chair, Einer Gomez is holding over. And while Herredia is now managing another transition at a tourism Board that has seen three directors, three CEO’s and now it’s fourth Chairman, industry insiders are wondering what led to Lizarraga’s departure. The official reason stated in his letter is that with his new restaurant in Cayo he can’t afford the time – but other information suggests discord within the BTB, and even hint at inappropriate behavior by the outgoing chairman.

Government Getting Ready To Sign Norwegian MOU?
And one of the issues behind that discord might be – what we are told is the imminent signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with Norwegian Cruise Line for a cruise facility on Harvest Caye. Multiple sources suggest that it will be signed possibly this week. The MOU that we’ve seen is an initial copy, and some key provisions have since been revised. One provision that remains is that Norwegian would still get 60% of the 7 US dollar head tax. As we understand it, there was some push-back on it from the BTB Board because that body has not been consulted – and the possibility of a cruise facility on southern Belize runs afoul of the National Tourism Master Plan. Government’s key man in the negotiation is Godwin Hulse, who heads a cabinet committee on investment. Despite numerous requests for comment, we’ve been unable to get any word out of him for two weeks. But today we caught him at an event, and here’s what he said:… Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of Labor "We have looked at the project in depth and it was a little unfortunate that there were lots of reports that this is happening and that serves to trump up hysteria. Remember first of all this is called negotiation and when you come into Belize - or being the business man I've been forever - if I can get 50 or 100 years concession I will ask for two then we work down and down until we get it. The whole idea - remember I have said, they had to be some standard by which we analyzed these investments.

Did Drunk Driving Case Near Fatal Accident On Western Hwy?
Well known auctioneer Kevin Castillo is recovering from a broken left arm, a fractured ankle and bruises from an airbag deployment after a pickup truck driven by David Medina Jr ran into him yesterday. It happened between miles 25 and 26 on the Western Highway at around 2:00 in the afternoon. Castillo was driving to Belmopan while Medina Jr was heading to the City. An eyewitness said that Medina overtook her and then barreled into Castillo’s lane. Castillo swerved to avoid a head on collision, but Medina’s vehicle still collided with the driver’s side. Medina was flung from the pickup unto the road, which is how he sustained serious head injury. His wife who was following him, rushed him to the Healthcare Partners hospital. Castillo was knocked unconscious and initially trapped inside his vehicle. He was eventually lifted out, and also taken to Belize Health Care Partners for treatment. Medina’s wife told a first responder that her husband was drunk and that is why she was following him, to try and stop him from going fast on the highway – and somehow prevent an accident, which is just what ended up happening.

And Then There Was One, Two Prisoners Caught
Last night we told you about the three teenaged prisoners who escaped from the Wagner’s youth Facility on Sunday night, 17 year old Roque Teul, 17 year old Hector Garcia and 19 year old Wilmer Guzman. Well, this afternoon at around 2:30 someone called police and reported that they had seen the men walking on the road between miles 27 and 28. According to reports, a motorist on the highway spotted the three prisoners moving together and alerted the authorities. The other two prisoners Roqael Tiul and Wilmer Guzman managed to escape in the nearby bushes. Hattieville police and prison authorities responded immediately and managed to capture one of them, Hector Garcia, while the other two ran off and eluded authorities. Garcia was scheduled to be deported to Guatemala yesterday.

Labour Department Criticizes Kolbe
And while prison authorities expect to find the other two prisoners, we’d also expect there to be some disciplinary measures against the guards who were changing shifts when the trio escaped. But, the prison bosses would be well advised to thread carefully before they fire anyone since the Labour Department just finished a report on firings at Kolbe. It all springs from the Belize Central Prison Coalition which alleged that there were arbitrary mass firings from the prison, and that there were other labour irregularities. So, Labour Minister Godwin Hulse ordered Labour Commissioner Ivan Williams to conduct a thorough investigation. That was handed a week ago and found that during the 6 months ending June 19 2013, staff was reduced by 33 people, 12.3 %. Commissioner Williams found that three staffers were terminated on the instructions of the Director of the Prison, Mrs. Taheera Ahmad based on hearsay, and without due process and fairness. He also found that in some cases there was quote “an abuse of the termination process”, end quote and workers were never told of the real reason for their termination nor were they given an opportunity to respond. In other instances, text messages were used to communicate important work-related matters. The commissioner found that KOLBE quote “failed to live up to its obligation to do all that is necessary for the proper management of the employees” end quote. He was speaking specifically to the lack of clear job description and terms and conditions of employment. That 12 page report is pretty tough on KOLBE, and though he’s had it for a week, today the minister told us, he is still studying it:

The Future Of Your Garbage
For over 3 years, Belize City residents have been plagued by the conditions at the Garbage Dump Site at mile 3 on the Western Highway. It is a topic which made the news very regularly when the situation got out of control, but tonight, the news is that the dump site is now a model of proper waste disposal. Today, it was reopened by the Solid Waste Management Authority after being complete remodeled and 7News was there. Daniel Ortiz has that report. Daniel Ortiz reporting The Belize City Dump site has been a huge problem for years. You may remember that consistently since 2009, the site has been a health hazard because of recurring fires. Gilroy Lewis - Project Director, Solid Waste Management Authority "If you will recall, here where we stand is the great Belize City dump site. A place where fires became an annual event; an event that we seemed unable to control and perceived as inevitable every time the Easter comes around. Every time when it's dry season, we have some tremendous fires out here, the media is here, even in helicopters and so on and so on; that's changed now with the Belize transfer station."

Belize Waste Management Plan, A Regional Leader
And so, while all the garbage from the City only makes a temporary stop at the Transfer Station, its final destination is at the Mile 24 Regional Landfill. It is a new facility, at which work has been ongoing for some time now, and today, it was officially opened. We attended the ceremony, where there were several speakers who explained how the country’s garbage will be handled. One of them, the representative from IDB, told the gathering that this landfill puts Belize ahead of all the other countries in the region when dealing with waste management. Javier Grau Benaiges - Representative, IDB "Prior to this project there were no sustainable landfills in Belize, however, with today's inauguration - approximately 50% of Belize's population will benefit from proper disposal in a modern sustainable landfill. This puts Belize at the head of other countries such as Nicaragua, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago and the Dominican Republic and Belize. This is consistent with the master plan of Belize for 2013 - Belize is now solving one of its main constraints in tourism growth and until now the solid waste management has made an impact in Belize's perception as a country, however, this perception is now going to change."

KHMH: No More Bugging Buckley?
Twice now, Belize City resident, Steven Buckley has come to 7News to complain that the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital has been on his back about medical bills which haven’t been paid. He claims that the former Commissioner of Police had pledged to him that the Police Department would take care of the bill due to the circumstances of his injury. Viewers may remember that he was shot by an on-duty police officer, who was later criminally charged for the wrongful shooting. Today, we spoke to the Chairlady of the KHMH Board, who told us how the hospital is now handling that situation: Chandra Nisbet-Cansino - Chairlady, KHMH Board "We are aware of the situation - we have a credit system that is collecting on our behalf, one of our problems at KHMH is that less than 50% of the hospital bills are paid and as hard as it is to say that we need money to run the hospital - it is part of the reason we are in the situation that we are in today. I believe that the credit masters system, issued a letter to Stephen Buckley as a person on the list of persons that owe and since then, I believe that the Karl Heusner has asked that they hold back on that request until after his situation goes to court - because it's a pending court issue and we understand that. I think there was also an allegation made that Karl Heusner is withholding medical information because he has not paid his bill - that is no so, that is not true. The court has a process that it goes through to request information, I believe that has been done and the information has been given. If there is anything else that they need I am sure that the Karl Heusner will be more than willing to provide the necessary information."

KHMH Looking At PAHO Report
And while we had the opportunity, we asked the Chairlady about the PAHO report which was released last month. It’s been quite a while since the Hospital gave an update on how they will deal with findings of that report, which gave a pretty clear idea on how the neonates died while inside the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. We asked what the Board is doing about it, and the Chairlady told us that, unfortunately, they’ve not reached a final position yet: Chandra Nisbet-Cansino - Chairlady, KHMH Board "We are not working at the pace that probably the public would want us to work, a lot of people that are engaged in the process - I think first and foremost we want the public to know that the hospital is as safe as a hospital can be. We don't want you to fear anything - the board is engaged, we're having some conversations and making some decisions. Unfortunately, we haven't discussed our decision with all the relevant persons so we can't give you more information than that. I can tell you that we will be issuing a release very shortly of what has been done, what will be done and possibly to answer more of the public's questions." Daniel Ortiz "Tell us about how seriously the board is taking the PAHO report?"

The Other Side Of The Snake Story
On Thursday, 7News showed you the 27 boa constrictors which were found in our Channel 7 office, and we also shared the comments by our snake catching neighbor. Well, the experts at the Belize Zoo contacted us to say that he made come erroneous comments, and in fairness to wildlife they would like to set the record straight. The first is that boas are not venomous, and that they are non-aggressive for the most part. And how did they give us this education? Of course, It was only by allowing us to meet resident snake ambassador, Bal Boa, who’s dealt with thousands of humans in her time at the Zoo. Here’s what the Zoo’s environmental educator told us about Bal Boa, and about her species in general- Jamal Andrewin - Environmental Educator, Belize Zoo "Bal Boa would probably have me out of a job if she would be able to speak. She's our resident Boa educator/ambassador for her species - she meets about 13,000 school kids we get here a year at the zoo and her job is to be their meet and greet as they come into the zoo. We give them an introduction to the park then they head there and meet Bal Boa and her job is to educate them - the most misconception for Belizeans is that all snakes are venomous and all of them bite and that they are all dangerous.

Finnegan On Football, Part 2
He may be minister of housing, but Michael Finnegan is also a football authority. Last night he discussed the strengths and weaknesses of Belize’s Gold Cup team – and tonight, he offers some historical perspective on their accomplishment. As you might guess, he thinks the players of his generation would have fared better at the world cup, but, first, we’ll let him explain why he doesn’t buy the argument that playing at altitude and travelling seven thousand miles affected the team. Jules Vasquez "These players were playing in unfamiliar grounds, at altitude, unfamiliar food, they had to fly great distances - like you have to take a five hour flight from Utah and you're playing within 36 hours." Hon. Michael Finnegan - Football Historian "I don't buy that - what we are trying to do, we are trying to excuse our way out of what happened in North America. I don't want to excuse our way of what happened out there. When I was involved in football, when we leave from Belize City - we leave in the back of a truck and from here to Cayo it's 'bang, bang, bang' until you reach because the road was so bad. How long does it take you from here to Cayo now?" Jules Vasquez "One and a half hours, 90 minutes."

Sandhill’s Serious Upgrade
Sandhill has a new community center. The largest village in Belize Rural North got a 300 hundred thousand dollar facility. At the opening yesterday, we found out how it will benefit the community: Nellie Trench - Financial Coordinator, Social Investment Fund "The facility will benefit over four hundred students who prior to the project had to travel all the way to Belize City to do their school research due to the lack of computer and internet resources in the village. The project was implemented by the Social Investment Fund and financed by the Government of Belize at a total cost of $300,246." Hon. Edmund Castro - Area Representative, Belize Rural North "For the first time we have a nice beautiful library for the children, we have an internet spot for them - we are planning to do an internet area whereby even when they are playing football and play basketball, they will have access to wifi."

Channel 5

KHMH Board to make decision about entobacter outbreak
That’s good news for Buckley…. But there is also some news for the grieving parents of newborns who died at the K.H.M.H. as a result of a bacteria outbreak in [...]

Two escapees caught, one Guatemalan still at large
Two of the three escaped prisoners are back behind bars at the Belize Central Prison. Around two-thirty this afternoon near mile twenty-eight on the George Price Highway, all three men [...]

Minister receives report on irregular firings at Kolbe
Following reports of labour infractions including unfair terminations at the privately managed Belize Central Prison, a report was commissioned by Minister of Labour Godwin Hulse. The man chosen to investigate [...]

Solid waste transfer stations open up across country
The ghastly dump site at the eastern entrance of the City has been transformed into a transfer station for waste that is produced in homes, businesses, factories and just about [...]

‘Like a lee breeze’ absolutely no corruption in visa scandal
In early June, Belizean, Carlos Murga, was detained by Cuban authorities after he flew into Jose Marti Airport carrying Chinese passports with Belizean visas. It was suspected at the time [...]

Indian national busted with fake visa
An Indian national who arrived in the country on Monday via Taca at the Philip Goldson International Airport was detained soon after he set foot in the Jewel.  Instead of [...]

Burglar busted in the act in Maxboro
A burglar who was caught in the act of breaking into a home may find his next residence to be the Central Prison if he is found guilty. The owner [...]

Canadian job placement agency opens up shop in Belize
A Canadian company is currently recruiting Belizean students to study in Canada. Actyl first gained attention last November when its representatives came to Belize looking for persons to work in [...]

Goalkeeper, Woodrow West considers options
The Jaguars, Woodrow West and Ian Gaynair, are still in the United States of America spending time with their families. West and Gaynair were honored at the final game of [...]

A camp to keep you healthy if living with Diabetes
Diabetes is one of the deadliest diseases. The prevalence rate among Belizeans is roughly at thirteen percent, which means that at least forty thousand persons are living with the condition.  [...]

Amazing! Exciting! Interesting! Because they are Superstars!
Tickets are all sold out for tonight’s episode of Be the Next Superstar. The show starts with eight hopeful Superstars and will narrow down to six performers after two are [...]


Two of Three Escaped Prisoners Captured
Authorities have recaptured two of the three prison inmates who escaped on Sunday night from the prison facility on the Burrell Boom/Hattieville Road in the Belize District. 17-year-old, Hector Garcia was captured between miles 27 and 28 on the George Price Highway at around two thirty ...

Transfer Station for Waste Opens In Belize City
For years the mile three dumpsite off the George Price has been an eye sore, an inconvenience with combustions resulting in uncontrolled fires, and an overall health hazard for people on the periphery of the site. But that is now a thing of the past because the new Belize City Garbage Trans...

Police Constable Missing in Northern Belize
A police officer stationed in Corozal has been reported missing. Reporter Dalila Ical has more in this report. DALILA ICAL “Corozal Police is asking the public’s assistance in locating Police Constable Martin Bustillos, a 27-year-old officer attached to the Corozal Polic...

Motorcycle Driver Falls Asleep and Crashes on Highway
Two persons were hospitalized following a motorcycle accident on Monday night in Belmopan. Correspondent Fem Cruz has the details. FEM CRUZ “According to 17-year-old, Kevin Alvarado, a student of Cotton Tree Village in the Cayo District on Monday, July 29 around 8:45, he was t...

NGO In Northern Belize Appeals To Locals to Read and Understand Gender Policy
For the past few weeks we have seen hundreds of Belizeans come out in support of the pro-constitution march led by Belize Action and Belize Can. The two organizations led marches in all districts in a show of protest against the gender policy in its present form. Now an organization i...

Invalid Cheque Used to Pay for Six Thousand Dollars of Poultry
Police are investigating a case in which someone made off with over six thousand dollars worth of products from Caribbean Chicken. The cashier at Caribbean Chicken on New Captain Eiley Street in Belize City told Police in early April she received a telephone call from a male person who iden...

Well Known Auctioneer Involved in Traffic Incident
A traffic accident on the George Price Highway on Monday afternoon has left two men hospitalized. Police say they responded to the scene of a traffic accident between miles 25 and 26 on the George Price Highway where they saw a red four door pickup truck with its front portion and windshiel...

Mason Fails to Meet Bail for Burglary Charge
Forty-seven year old Valentine Sanchez, a mason from Sandhill, was charged with burglary and a mischievous act when he appeared in court today. Sanchez pled not guilty to the charges. He was offered a bail of three thousand dollars and his case was adjourned until September 27. Sanchez was unable...

Indian Student Fined and Deported For False Visa
Twenty-two year old Indian student Lovepreet Singh Dhaliwal, who entered Belize with visa permit that was not genuine, was fined two thousand dollars today by Magistrate Leslie Hamilton after he pled guilty to attempting to use a permit not issued by lawful authority. Magistrate Hamilton ordered ...

BREAKING NEWS - Taxi Driver Found Dead
Reports reaching Love News are that 42-year-old, Ernesto Moreno of Orange Walk Town has been found dead earlier today in Carmelita Village. Moreno was reported missing by his wife, 41-year-old, Magda Moreno. The wife told Police that her Ernesto had left home on Saturday to do his taxi ...


Charred Body Of Missing Taxi Driver Found Inside The Trunk Of His Car
He was reported missing by his wife over the weekend and by three this afternoon the charred body of 42 year old Hugo Moreno was found inside the trunk of his white taxi car which was also badly scorched. Details into the death of the taxi driver from Orange Walk Town are sketchy since police are still investigating. But what we can tell you is that Moreno’s car was found less than a mile out of the Village of Carmelita, off the Sand Pit Road in some bushes. The last time his wife spoke to him was on Saturday shortly before midnight. Tonight we can safely say that Orange Walk has recorded its first suspected murder case since October 2012. Irvin Aragon Reports. Irvin Aragon - Reporting Magda Moreno, Wife of Deceased “Llego la policía allí en el negocio del pastel y me dijeron que llegaron a saber que él llevaba unos pescadores e hizo un viaje y eso es la noticia que tengo hasta ahorita y los pescadores iban para rumbo a Corozal solo eso yo sé.” This interview was conducted with Magda Moreno, wife of the now deceased Hugo Moreno, just a few moments before she received the tragic news that the charred body of her husband was found inside the trunk of his taxi car. The burnt vehicle was discovered a little less than a mile from the village of Carmelita near the sand pit road in some bushes.

Missing Police Constable Gets In Contact With Police Department
While there are more questions than answers surrounding the death of 42 year old Hugo Moreno, the family of Police Constable Martin Bustillos is worried sick because he has been missing for eight days. Few were the details we could reveal last night since the police report merely mentioned that Bustillos, who is attached to the Corozal Police Formation, has been missing since July 23rd. Tonight; though, we have more information on his disappearance. Victor Castillo reports. Victor Castillo – Reporting Today marks eight days that 27 year old Police Constable #227 Martin Bustillos has been missing. CTV3 News understands that Bustillos was scheduled to report to work on Tuesday July 23rd, 2013 at the Corozal Police Station, but he was a no show. Superintendent Andrews Ramirez- O.C , Corozal Police Department “The last time he reported on duty was on July 19th however, he went into day off the 20th , 21st , 22nd and he has not reported to work since because last week schedule was from 7am to 4pm so whole of last week he did not appear for duty and there is no communication because he is not in possession of any cell phone, we made contact with mother and father because he is originally from San Estevan and no information was copied from that side and we made checks because he resides with his common-law wife in Santa Clara, likewise we have not receive any information from them.”

BSCFA Falls Into Non-compliance , Corrective Measures Are Taken
If you are a person that follows the Sugar Industry closely, then you already know that Fair Trade and non-compliances don’t mix. Fair Trade is a certification which allows our Belizean sugar to command premium prices in foreign markets. But it’s not a certification handed out at random; in fact, there are a number of rules and regulations that need to be followed. In 2008 the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association joined the Fair Trade movement and just over a year after they were suspended for a litany of non- compliances with the Fairtrade standard including mismanagement and lack of accountability. On January 8th 2010, the suspension was lifted and the BSCFA was re-certified after they managed to rectify the non-conformities. Since then it has been smooth sailing for the BSCFA, that is, until now. The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association was recently audited by members of FLOCERT and the results of the audit were not good as the organization received 11 non-compliances. Alfredo Ortega- Chairman BSCFA, COM “Los non-compliances que nos encontró el auditor es que a nivel de branch no se buscó información o las minutas de que se han estado llevando acabo juntas y no es de que no se están llevando a cabo juntas se han estado llevando acabo juntas pero ahora como ya no tenemos un branch office como estábamos al inicio del programa entonces pues eso ha puesto limitante pues tu sabes los branch chairman no tenemos mucho conocimiento en bookeeping y filing y esas cosas entonces pues ya cuando vino la auditoria el audito a nivel de branch diferente a como se había estado haciendo anterior el vino a ver qué es lo que está haciendo la comitiva y en eso conseguimos un failing grade que nos vino como un non-compliance.

Two Men Placed Behind Bars For Having Sex With A Minor
Two men accused of committing the crime of Carnal Knowledge are tonight behind bars pending charges. The duo was detained after a 15 year old minor from the Village of Concepcion in the Corozal District, visited the police station in the company of her mother and reported that sometime in the month of October 2012, she had sexual intercourse with a 19 year old laborer of San Narciso Village, Corozal. The minor further stated that she also had sexual intercourse with an 18 year old student of Libertad Village, Corozal, on at least 5 different occasions dating back to May 19th of this year. As mentioned, both men have been detained pending charges of unlawful carnal knowledge.

Case Against Matthew Williams Is Adjourned
Today the case against well-known Orange Walk businessman Matthew Williams was once again brought up at the Orange Walk Magistrates Court. But the case was adjourned yet again, this time to October 9th 2013. Back in June of 2012, Williams was charged for two counts of unlawful possession of passports after the Gang Suppression Unit searched his house located on #236 Smithsonian Street and found four Belizean Passports, 1 Panamanian and 1 Spanish passport in his bedroom. One of the Belizean passports, belonging to Audrey Matura Shepherd, had been tampered with as her picture was removed and replaced with that of another woman. Shepherd, will stand as a witness for the Crown Council. Her passport was stolen from her vehicle in 2008 and on June 11th 2012 it turned up at the home of Williams.


Manhunt for three escaped prisoners
Sometime Sunday night, three prisoners escaped from the Belize Central Prison. CEO of the Kolbe Foundation Earl Jones told us more. Earl Jones – CEO Kolbe Foundation: On Sunday the 28th of July, 2013, we had an escape from the prison about 7:10 pm. ...

Taiwan helps establish Disaster Management Information System
Belize and the Republic of China (Taiwan) have long shared close ties of friendship and cooperation, resulting in financial support a wide range of national interests. On Monday, that partnership extended, as Belize became the recipient of a grant funding to establish a Disaster Management Information System. The system...

APAMO says Senator Lisel Alamilla is a threat to protective areas.
Representatives of the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations (APAMO) today spoke to the press about the controversy surrounding the signing of co-management agreements with the Government of Belize. Four of its members, it charges, have been made to sign the agreements under duress of losing important funding and...

14 year old accidentally shot his 10 year old cousin
Lately, police have been cracking down on gun related violence, by taking weapons off the street. But last week, one landed in the hands of a 14 year old, who accidentally shot his 10 year old cousin Deon Samuels Jr. It happened in Ladyville, right behind the Ladyville Police...

Couple threatened in San Pedro
A couple in San Pedro may be able to breathe had a bit lighter tonight after their alleged aggressors were placed behind bars. The couple was asleep on Saturday night, when around 9:30 they were awakened by three men, standing outside their home. The husband then went outside, and...

Near-fatal collision on Philip Goldson Highway
A Belizean man is tonight in Chetumal Mexico undergoing treatment following a road accident over the weekend. The near fatal collision took place a little after 3 on Saturday afternoon on the Philip Goldson Highway. Heading toward the northern border, were driver Tessa Owdker, Judge...

CAPSS holds its 24th biennial conference
The Caribbean Associations of Principals of Secondary Schools (CAPSS) held its 24th biennial conference at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel last week which concluding with a closing ceremony on Friday night and an award banquet in commemoration of exceptional teachers in the Caribbean. Among those awarded was Belizean National...

Family of six remanded to prison
After 3 nights in lock down at the Belize City Queen Street Police Department, a family of 6 including a mother, her common-law husband, and their 4 sons, were all remanded to prison after they were arraign on three criminal offenses....

PlusNews tours the Placencia Penninsula
Last week, we showed you day 1 of PlusNews’ coverage of a media familiarization tour hosted by the Belize Tourism Board. The purpose of the trip says the BTB, was to have the local media experience what the foreign press and travel agents do when they...

Rowan Garel conquered the Blue Hole
Rowan Garel, the visually impaired, but adventurous teenager, conquered the world’s famous Blue Hole. It was months in the making and on Friday, Rowan cheered on by a crowd of supporters, completed his dive for charity at the Blue Hole....

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Summer Splash Bash This Weekend
Palapa Gardens, Aug 3 & 4

NOTICE From the Village Council
No Driving of Golf Carts on beach between EZ-Boy Tours and Palapa Gardens


She said police invaded her North Creek Road home and beat her up, fracturing her arm in three places A woman told Amandala this morning that she is suffering with a dislocated shoulder, torn ligaments and fractured bones in her arm in three places, as well as pain in various parts of her body. She also told us that she was not given the doctor’s report, which was given to the police. Cherry Anderson, 55, told Amandala that at about 6:30 Friday morning, July 26, she was ‘roughed up’ and beaten in her home on North Creek Road by police, then she was handcuffed and arrested. Anderson said that she was taken out of her house naked, but before being taken downstairs, a blouse was thrown over her head, and she was put into the pan of the police mobile unit — allegations that the police have since denied. In the pan of the police vehicle, according to Anderson, clothes were put on her because she was unable to dress herself because of her injuries.

Musa’s deed “was illegal, void and contrary to public policy:” CCJ. Only parliament can regulate and alter taxation, the CCJ stated The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ)—Belize’s final appellate court—has declined a request by BCB Holdings Limited and the Belize Bank to enforce against the Government of Belize, a US$44 million arbitral award—plus 3.38% interest—which the parties had won from the London Court of International Arbitration back in 2009. The legal battle has its genesis in a settlement deed that the Musa administration had signed with the Ashcroft group back in 2005, as a trade-off for the Ashcroft group to withdraw litigation against the Government of Belize in their dispute over Belize Telemedia Limited and the buy-back arrangements. At 2:00 on Friday afternoon, a panel of five judges of the Trinidad-based court dropped the bombshell, announcing that “…the deed was illegal, void and contrary to public policy and Caribbean courts have an obligation to strike down executive action that undermines the authority of the legislature. For these reasons, the Court found that the enforcement of the Award should be refused…” The Court stated that the settlement deed purported to alter and regulate taxation; but under the Belize Constitution and statutes this could only validly be done by Parliament.

Belize Central Prison officials are presently investigating the circumstances surrounding the escape of three inmates from the Wagner’s Youth Facility who seized the opportunity to slip away from the juvenile facility located inside the Kolbe Foundation compound at around 7:00 p.m. on Sunday. Reports are that the prisoners capitalized on the fact that the guards were somewhat distracted since there is usually a shift change at the same time, and made good their escape into the night. They have been identified as Wilmar Guzman, 16, who is from San Juan Village in the Stann Creek Valley area and is serving a 6-year prison sentence for theft; Roque Teul, 17, a Guatemalan, serving a 5-year sentence for an unlicensed firearm; and Hector Garcia ,17, also a Guatemalan, who was incarcerated for illegal entry and was actually scheduled to be deported back to his home country today, Monday.

Even though police found nothing in their house or property, they were charged for drugs, gun and ammo found in neighbouring church roof On Friday, July 26, 2013, members of the Gang Suppression Unit descended on Victoria Street at the Jones’ residence where a thorough search was conducted on the premises and inside the house. And although nothing incriminating was found on the Jones’ premises or inside their house, the attention of the GSU was drawn to an adjoining property, where, tucked away in the roof of the building, police found a .38 revolver, (8) 9mm live rounds and five parcels of suspected cannabis which amounted to 619 grams, or 1.36 pounds. The GSU said that the slugs of the 9mm rounds, which are bigger than the .380 rounds, were all filed and adapted to be fired by the .380 pistol. The find came after 3 hours of an intensive search of the area on Victoria Street. But the story isn’t so much about what was found, but where it was found – in the roof of a church! Today, even though nothing incriminating was found at the Jones’ residence, the Jones’ family nevertheless was brought to court facing charges of firearm possession, ammunition possession and drug trafficking, all stemming from the search that was made on Friday.

Wade allegedly had sexual intercourse with a female minor, 12, in April 2010. Today, Maxwell Wade, 21, a resident of Ladyville, was acquitted of two counts of carnal knowledge after a nine-member jury returned unanimous not guilty verdicts. Wade is alleged to have had sexual intercourse with a female minor, 12, twice between April 1, 2010 and April 30, 2010. According to the minor, now 15, in April of 2010, she went to Wade’s house in Ladyville, and after watching the television for a short time, Wade kissed her. They then went into the bedroom and she asked him to play the keyboard and sing a song for her, which he did. After Wade serenaded her, they both got undressed, Wade put on a condom, and they engaged in sexual intercourse. The minor told the court that after 30 minutes, she asked Wade to stop because it was hurting her. They both took separate baths and returned to the living room, where, after preparing something in the kitchen, Wade again had sexual intercourse with her.

Three (3) games were played in Flowers Bank yesterday in the 2013 Belize Rural Female Softball Tournament. There are 9 teams in the tournament: Lords Bank Sunrise (Lords Bank), Arrows Reloaded (Bermudian Landing), UB Jaguars, Butter Cup Uprising (Butter Cup), Ladyville Rising Star (Ladyville), Mell’s United (Double Head Cabbage), Village Gyal (Rancho Dolores), Easy Does It (Flowers Bank), and St. Paul’s (St. Paul’s Bank). In game 1 yesterday, Easy Does It certainly didn’t take it easy on Village Gyal, beating them by a whopping 25-1 score. Winning pitcher was Margaret Hendy, and the loss went to Angie Smith. In game 2, it was Buttercup over Arrows Reloaded, 15-4, with Tricia Flores picking up the win for Buttercup, while Christine Brackett got the loss. The last match of the day was a thriller, and it was Mel’s United getting the 9-8 nod over UB Jaguars. The winning pitcher was Annette Morey, and the loss was charged to Herlette Clarke.

The Belize District Volleyball Tournament continued with games in the Female (F), Male (M) and Interoffice/Firms (Fr) categories on Thursday and Saturday of last week at the Belize Elementary auditorium. The opener on Thursday, July 25, was the Female Championship Game 2, and saw (F) Moen Stars defeating Lady Jaguars in 5 grueling sets, 25-23, 17-25, 34-32, 22-25, 16-14. That was followed by a Firms match, as (Fr) Scotia Bank edged BEL, 25-23, 25-21. The action started on Saturday with the Female Championship Game 3, and this time it was (F) Lady Jaguars outlasting Moen Stars in 5 sets, 25-22, 23-25, 20-25, 25-18, 15-10. Two Firms games followed. (Fr) Simon Quan dropped Police, 25-20, 25-23; and (Fr) Belize Bank crushed First Caribbean Bank, 25-16, 25-13. The nightcap was a Male encounter, as (M) Rebels defeated Simon Quan Dragons in identical straight sets, 25-22, 25-22, 25-22.

MR. GAPI: Editorial
Powerful indicators, including his outright convention defeat of Patrick Faber earlier this year, followed by rosewood, Noh Mul, and now Fresh Pond, point to the fact that Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar “Gapi” Vega has surged dramatically in clout. Vega came out of the March 2012 general elections as somewhat of a UDP scapegoat, because he lost three out of the four Orange Walk District seats to the PUP’s Johnny Briceño, defending only his own Orange Walk North constituency. As late as 11 p.m. on general election night, it appeared that the incumbent UDP, which had been expecting a big victory over a seemingly confused PUP, was about to lose a shocker to the blue. In the aftermath of the narrow UDP escape, the smart money said the big disappointment had been Gapi’s performance in his home district. One of the big seats which came in late to save the UDP, however, had been that of Belize Rural North’s Edmond Castro, and Castro had been an area representative who had been disgraced by Prime Minister Dean Barrow and sent to the back bench. Not only that, Castro was being challenged by a talkative PUP lawyer who exuded all kinds of confidence – Arthur Saldivar. Castro, nevertheless, won big. He won big because Gapi Vega had his back. The man who was seen as having bested Gapi in the Orange Walk District, Johnny Briceño, had been the PUP Leader from March of 2008 until late 2011. During his PUP leadership, Briceño had had to spend and borrow millions to sustain the PUP Opposition. The two kingpins of the PUP from 1996 to 2008 – Said Musa and Ralph Fonseca, had wanted Francis Fonseca to become PUP Leader, but Briceño defeated him in a leadership convention. The sources of PUP financing which Musa/Fonseca controlled, essentially became closed off to the Briceño leadership, which led finally to Johnny’s resignation as PUP Leader in late October of 2011, just four months or so before general elections.

(The Belize Weekly Newsletter No. 2 of 1965 – up to January 10, 1965: Published by the Government Information Service, Belize City) During September of last year, government concluded negotiations with Shell for prospecting licenses over offshore areas in this country, including the Turneffe, Lighthouse Reef, and Glovers Reef areas. The company is to make preliminary explorations prior to drilling for oil. The announcement from the Ministry of Natural Resources last week said the essential part of this exploration is that of seismic work which consists of firing small explosive charges in the sea and registering their reaction on instruments made for this specific purpose. The lines on which these charges will be set off are about five miles apart so that large areas will remain untouched. The release emphasized that this method of oil exploration has been used all over the world in offshore areas, especially in places like the Gulf of Mexico, the coast of Louisiana, Texas and Mexico. This method was also used by the Phillips Petroleum Company up to two years ago in this country in the offshore areas of the Toledo and Stann Creek Districts. Experience has shown both abroad and in this country that the amount of fish killed by the explosives in this process is negligible, and that there has not been any apparent damage to fishing grounds or reefs wherever this method has been used.

— by William W. Schmidt Dear Sir, In your editorial of July 28 “Recolonialism,” you state Belizeans are living in a world of make believe. Belizeans have lost control of their destiny. The will of the people is disrespected repeatedly. I am submitting an article which demonstrates what you are saying. The Toledo Association of Village Councils upon the request of their members provided a strong letter of support for the tried and proven Toledo Eco Tourism Association (TEA) Village Guesthouse Eco Trail Program, providing why they believe the GOB Min. of T and C and the BTB, the NGO‘s working in Toledo and the private businesses should support the Toledo People‘s Eco Park Plan for the development of profitable community-based eco tourism and other businesses in the villages. The BTIA is the only significant NGO in Toledo who did not sign in support of the poor people‘s plan. The BTIA runs the show in Toledo; the majority of the members are foreign born. The TEA has been given a series of 6 shows on “Developing Toledo” TV show after PG TV news. We have had 4 shows already. This week Thursday night 6:30 on Channel 22 Ms.Leila Vernon, our Queen of Brukdown music, will be raising hell about this unfair discrimination.

Goal of $100,000 for BCVI not yet met... After conquering Victoria Peak and walking across the country from the Benque Viejo border to Belize City, Rowan Garel, 13, the teenage hero who is visually impaired, has performed another feat. This time, he dived in the world-famous Blue Hole, located in the Lighthouse Reef Atoll. Garel conducted the dive on Friday, July 26, accompanied by his supporting staff. He went down to depths of more than 40 feet, but not to the bottom of the Blue Hole, which plunges hundreds of feet below. Garel and his team were trained by Sea Sport Belize to prepare them for the dive. Dive instructor John W. Searle said that information was first given to them in a classroom setting. They were then taken to practice in a pool before they were taken to the open sea, and along the way Garel was confident. Searle told Amandala that Garel’s dive would be successful, since he did well throughout the training, up to his certification. Carla Ayers Musa, BCVI’s communications officer, who also went down on the dive with Garel, told Amandala that they would not have been allowed to dive if they were not trained and equipped properly. However, the regulations, based on Garel’s age, only permitted him to go down to 40 to 60 feet, although recreational divers go down to as deep as 130 feet.

On Thursday, the Court of Appeal delivered a significant ruling in the Maya Land Rights dispute with the Government of Belize. That decision also impacts other cases pending resolution by Belize’s judiciary. Whereas the disputes come under the general umbrella of customary land rights, more specific issues such as oil drilling inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park (STNP) have recently taken the front-burner. Although Thursday’s Court of Appeal decision affirmed Maya ancestral land rights, it set aside certain orders that the Supreme Court had made to give effect to those rights. Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay is the attorney representing the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) in the legal dispute with the Government of Belize over plans by US Capital Energy to drill inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park and surrounding Maya communities. He spoke of the domino effect that decision may have on the pending case. Courtenay told the media that the effect is not fatal, and they will press ahead with the lawsuit: “My clients propose to continue the claim, and the primary point for consideration in the court in that claim is whether or not there can be drilling in the national park. And we believe that the law is very clear, that it is not allowed. And that has nothing to do with the question of whether or not you are an indigenous person. That was an additional limb on which we were going to argue, and in fact we are probably still going to argue. As I said, I haven’t finished analyzing the case [from the Court of Appeal], but certainly, it has affected the case, but it is not fatal at all. We still have very strong arguments to deploy.”

The new co-management agreement is “a bad deal for protected areas…” says APAMO. Chairman of the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations (APAMO), Edilberto Romero, called a press conference today to respond to declarations made by Forestry Minister Lisel Alamilla, who said that the NGO community which co-manages protected areas in Belize is gradually coming on-board with signing new co-management agreements, without any pressure from the Government. Romero went on to present the chairman of the Rancho Dolores Environmental and Development Group – Raymond Reneau – who told the media that they do not agree with the new template for the contracts, and they are particularly concerned about a clause in the document that talks about the entry of third parties on the protected areas under co-management. According to the APAMO Chairman, “The co-management agreement opens all the protected areas to oil exploration and development; and there is still no appropriate zonation and guidelines to safeguard the protected areas and the watersheds. The Government can terminate the agreement if they ascertain that you exceed the scope of the agreement.” He said that this clause may be used to target those who are vocal on issues. Romero said that the new co-management agreement is “a bad deal for protected areas…”

Six people were involved in two separate road traffic accidents, on the George Price and the Philip Goldson Highways. Police said that about 2:30 this afternoon, two vehicles, an SUV and a pickup truck, collided on the George Price Highway between Miles 25 and 26. The driver of the SUV, identified as Kevin Castillo, an auctioneer, was trapped in his vehicle. He was eventually cut out of the vehicle wreck by rescuers of the Fire Department that responded to the road accident as First Responders Castillo was travelling to the city from Belmopan, and the truck was travelling to Belmopan when the collision occurred. Both vehicles were extensively damaged in the frontal collision. Both vehicles were taken to the Hattieville Police Station. Traffic backed up for about half mile in both directions while Castillo was being cut out of his vehicle, and police processed the scene. He reportedly suffered a broken ankle and received treatment at Belize Medical Associates.

Amandala has been reliably informed that at an extraordinary meeting of the Toledo Alcalde Association (TAA) held today, a decision was taken to appeal last Thursday’s Court of Appeal ruling, dismissing an injunction against the Government of Belize, to the Caribbean Court of Justice. Cristina Coc, spokesperson for the Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA), which helped to organize today’s meeting, told Amandala after today’s meeting, which she said was attended by 7 busloads of people, that the decision was unanimous. Coc said that representatives of 39 Maya villages in the south renewed their commitment to press ahead with the cause. As a consequence of last Thursday’s ruling by the Court of Appeal, the MLA and TAA were forced to withdraw their application to the Supreme Court, in which they were asking the court to cite the Government of Belize for contempt, in relation to a push to drill for oil on ancestral lands. That case was due to be called up today, Monday. Coc said that the Maya of Toledo believe it is now best that they go to a higher court on the matter.

Justices Morrison and Alleyne affirm Conteh decision... Last week, our newspaper reported on the decision by the Court of Appeal affirming that the Maya of Southern Belize do have customary rights to the lands they have traditionally occupied. When he read the decision in court last Thursday afternoon, Court of Appeal President Justice Manuel Sosa had indicated that his view was the minority one – differing from the other two justices on the bench. While Justice Sosa shared a snippet from his decision, that snippet was merely to indicate his apology for the length of time the court took to render the decision – not to state his view on the substantive matter raised before the court. Amandala was able to peruse the 198-page document, which contained Sosa’s further comments on the case. In it he says that, “the respondents have not shown, and cannot show, to the required standard, links to and with the original inhabitants of the lands presently occupied by them in the Toledo District for the purpose of establishing continuity to…” Justice Sosa said that he was unable to agree with Dr. Conteh, in his 2010 decision, that “on the evidence, there exist the essential historical and ancestral links between the original inhabitants of what is today the Toledo District and the respondents…”

The July 31st, 2013 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • CCJ Rules against Mr. Litigate: “A Great Victory for Belize and the Rule of Law”:
    In Belize, the name Ashcroft has become almost synonymous with Litigation. The British billionaire, who somehow under the last administration managed to wrap his tentacles around every part of the nation’s economy and financial system, seems to pride himself in his ability through litigation to frustrate and impede a sovereign nation and duly elected government from managing its own affairs in the best interest of its people. This past week, however, the Government of Belize scored a major victory over the Ashcroft Alliance in what has apparently become his favorite arena, the courts. Judgment was handed down on Friday July 26 by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) which upheld the Government of Belize’s position that it cannot be legally bound to honor a tax-write off arrangement entered into by the last administration which involved a Settlement Deed in which the Government of Said Musa agreed to abandon litigation against the Carlisle Group for the recovery of outstanding business taxes in exchange for the Carlisle Group abandoning its pending litigation related to the BTL buy back.
  • West & Gaynair of Belmopan Bandits Rewarded by UNCAF:
    Wilson West who performed spectacularly for Belize at the Gold Cup, and Ian Gaynair who scored our only goal, were invited to watch the Gold Cup Finals as a gesture by CONCACAF for having turned down and exposed offers for match-fixing bribes. They were also invited to President Rafael Tinoco’s Banquet. Here at home they are being honoured by the Belize Olympic Committee with the Gilmore Henkson Fair Play Award to be presented by the Governor General.
  • Fighting the Good Fight ! Battle Camp Closes with Service and Ceremony:
    Fight the good fight of faith!” The famous Bible verse taken from 1 Timothy 6:12 was one of the passages of Scripture that was quoted from the Good Book by the Force Chaplin who led the church service that marked the end of this year’s BDF Volunteer Battle Camp . The Church Service and Closing Ceremonies were held this past Monday, July 22. The event started with a drill competition, followed by the Church Service led by Force Chaplin Canon Jeris Valentine.
  • From the Desk of the Chairman: No Distractions - Stay Focused!:
    When this U D P Government first got elected in 2008, it was on an overwhelming mandate to clean up corruption, restore honesty and sanity to the management of the nation’s affairs, and serve the interest of the masses rather than that of a few. It was a given, of course, that this would be accompanied by, and to some extent result in real and sustainable economic growth. By all accounts, the Government of Prime Minister Dean Barrow has to this point succeeded in attaining these basic goals, having withstood and overcome the turbulence of a global economic recession that saw developed economies going under or struggling to stay afloat. We have certainly succeeded thus far. But success, like failure, is never permanent, and there is a kind of complacency and permissiveness that seems to follow triumph almost as surely as night follows day.
  • United States Wins Gold Cup!:
    The United States men’s national team collected their fifth CONCACAF Gold Cup title at Soldier Field on Sunday, downing Panama 1-0 thanks to a goal from substitute Brek Shea, scored just seconds after he entered the game. It will not be remembered as a classic match –- for long periods it was simply unwatchable -- but it extended the American’s win streak to eleven games and earned them another piece of domestic hardware. Shea’s goal in the 69th minute finally broke open what had been an interminable match. Coming off a cross from the far right flank from Alejandro Bedoya, Landon Donovan attempted to slip the ball to the far post of Jaime Penedo’s net, but missed. Bedoya’s ball kept on running and would have ended up in the net had Shea not even put a boot on it.
  • Garifuna Collective in Canada:
    Garifuna Collective may be the most exotic act at this year’s Interstellar Rodeo. The septet represents the largest-ever tour of musicians from Belize. While they’re justifiably proud to bring their special Central American sound to the rest of the hemisphere, that hasn’t kept them from collaborating beyond their borders or looking to the future. That’s something you catch on to listening to their new album Ayo (on the Cumbancha label). “This is not about preserving something in a glass box in a museum,” explains Ivan Duran, producer and contributing player with the Collective. “This is about showing the world this is a vibrant culture that will survive because it adapts. Our music is based on the traditional roots and primal rhythms but it has evolved a lot over the last decade.”
  • Faith Lift By Zelda Hill: Abortion is Not the Only Choice:
    A wise person said that a more suitable label for “Pro-Choice” (those who support a female’s right to choose to keep or murder her unborn child) would have been “No- Choice”! Indeed, those who profit substantially from propagating the lies that abortion is a human right and can be a normal and safe procedure without any consequences, skillfully weave their schemes to convince their vulnerable victims that they have no other choice. Even in this era where science and medicine continue to make giant strides in reducing and eliminating many medical dilemmas with the intent to preserve life, Pro-abortionists continue to magnify the probability of the risk of death to the pregnant female in support of their position. In Belize, Abortion for a “crisis” is legal under the Medical termination of Pregnancy clause (Criminal Code Chapter 101 of the Laws of Belize Revised Edition 2000, Section 112).
  • Missionaries do Good Works in Belmopan “Let Your Light So Shine Before Men!”:
    Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) That is certainly the principle behind the good works recently being carried out by a church group consisting of local Christians from the Belmopan area and over 30 missionaries from Erie, Pennsylvania, USA. The Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan recently received a much-needed facelift, thanks to the group of foreign and local missionaries led by Pastor Richard Smith of My Refuge Christian Network. In conjunction with the Hospital Management, the group repainted the building, cleaned up the compound removing garbage and debris, and organized and painted the parking lot in front of the Hospital. While the hospital facelift project was going on, members of the same group of missionaries also conducted an eye-clinic mainly in the Salva Pan area of Belmopan.
  • Improving Revenue Collection & Expenditure: City and Town Councils Participate in Revenue Enhancement Program:
    The final report on the Revenue Enhancement Support Program (RESP) for all city and town councils in Belize was presented this past Wednesday July 24, 2003 at the George Price Centre for Peace and Development in Belmopan. The RESP was carried out by Mr Peter Doty and Mr Edmund Zuniga, Financial Consultants, as part of the capacity building component of the Belize Municipal Development Project (BMDP) during a period of 18 months. The main objective of the RESP was to strengthen the capacity of the local city and town councils to become more effective in carrying out their responsibilities with a view to attain financial sustainability through enhanced financial position by increasing revenue collection and improving efficiency in expenditure.
  • BDF Volunteer Battle Camp Closing Ceremony:
    Joan Garbutt Stadium, Esperanza, Monday, July 22, 2013
  • Renewal & Advancement: Sandhill Multi-Purpose Center Inaugurated:
    The Sand Hill multipurpose Centre was officially inaugurated on Sunday July 28 in Sand Hill Village, a community nestled between mile 14 and 22 on the Philip Goldson Highway. The facility will benefit over 400 students, who prior to the project had to travel all the way to Belize City to do their school research due to the lack of computer and internet resources in the village. The project was implemented by the Social Investment Fund and financed by the Government of Belize at a total cost of $300,246.00. Of this amount, $285,246.00 was in the form of a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank while the remaining funds were contributed by the community of Sand Hill.
  • Policy, Strategy, Ways & Means: Remarks by BDF Commander David Jones at Chiquibul Symposium:
    I have had many compliments in regards to what the BDF is doing. I have even had suggestions as to why doesn’t the BDF take over and do everything for the Country. And I had to remind people that this is a democracy, and there is no intention for any military dictatorship in Belize; it will not happen, definitely not under my watch. But it’s good to be here, and I want to reiterate what the Minister said this morning, that the Chiquibul is not the only area that the Belize Defence Force is actually working. There are national priorities; there are many things happening within the Country; there’s crime in Belize City; there is illegal narcotics trafficking; there’s human smuggling; there are a lot of customs issues; there are a lot of immigration issues; there are a lot of forestry issues; and the BDF is engaged in every single one of them, and more. Our soldiers work really hard; they’re doing an excellent job with the little resources they have. Of course we would like to have more resources, but that comes with money; that comes with finance.
  • Belmopan Bombers win Back to Back In Cayo Men’s Softball Competition:
    The undefeated Belmopan Bombers are leading 2-0 in the men’s softball competition organized by the Cayo Softball Association, which continued at the Denbeigh Fuller Stadium in Camalote Village on Saturday, July 20. In Game 1, the Camalote Warriors were leading 17-13 before the Belmopan Bombers recovered to win 26-18. Warriors pitcher Nelson Flowers and relief pitcher Daniel Pollard gave up 8 hits, struck out 7 batters and walked 20 batters. No runs scored in the 1st inning; neither did the Warriors in the top of the 2nd inning, but Belmopan led 3-zip when Francisco Gutierrez, Linsford Reneau and Dennis Myles scored in the bottom of the 2nd. The Warriors led 7-3 when Nelson Flowers, Joseph Trapp, Ryan Arnold, Alexander Card, Kenroy Banner, Ron Waight and Amir Quintanilla crossed the plate in the top of the 3rd. Belmopan tied the score 7-7 when Randy Joseph, Troy Williams, Stephen Williams and Francisco Gutierrez crossed the plate in the bottom of the 3rd.
  • Belmopan’s Triple B takes the Lead In Atlantic Bank Female Football:
    The undefeated Belmopan Triple B’s are No. 1 in the Atlantic Bank national female women’s football competition with 10 pts from 3 wins and a draw; while the Sugar City Girlz picked up their first 3 points of the tournament when they outlasted the 4 time national champs, Esperanza Gentle Touch, 4-3 at the People’s Stadium on Sunday, July 21. Triple B’s schooled the Dangriga Pumas 4-0 at the FFB stadium in Belmopan. Nykemah Kuylen and Cindy Flores had led the Pumas’ offensive with the help of Shayana “Shy” Caliz, Jackline Arzu, Tyra Hernandez and Sheyanne Castillo who gifted the ball to Triple B’s goalie Idania Ramirez on her first try. Sherane Anigi Welch, Patricia Marin, Ireini Lopez and Ilkei Swazo anchored the Pumas’ defence, but Triple B’s Noemi Magana stripped Patty Marin of the ball; her kick sent the ball to Iris Centeno, whose immediate left foot shot embarrassed Pumas’ goalie Shereen Vasquez with the hosts’ 1st goal in the 14th minute.
  • Belmopan Emeralds Victorious In Miley Garcia Cayo Softball:
    The Belmopan Capital City Emeralds and Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy both posted big wins in 2 back matches of Cayo Softball Association women’s competition in Blackman Eddy on Sunday, July 21. In Game 1, both the Emeralds and the Las Flores Shooting Stars did not make the cut for the playoffs, but the game determined their final ranking. Las Flores’ pitcher Guadalupe Chicas struck out 1 batter and walked 1 hitter, but gave up 18 hits. Las Flores also made 11 errors, but the Emeralds still left 8 runners on base. Paulette Flowers and Dominga Tut rounded the bases twice in the 1st inning, while Darlene Clarke, pitcher Dana Mae king, Maud Blancaneaux, Felicia Gillett and Trecia Gillett all scored to lead 9-0 in the 1st inning. Blancaneaux and Gillett crossed the plate again in the 2nd inning to lead 11-0.
  • Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy Defeats Ontario Rebels 15 to 4:
    In Game 2, Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy walloped the Ontario Rebels 15- 4. Roaring Creek led 2-0 when Myralee Ho and Stephanie Francis scored in the top of the 1st inning; but Ontario’s Indira Ireland and Kenreen Gillett scored in the bottom of the 1st. Ontario’s pitcher, Indira Ireland, gave up 13 hits and the Rebels’ made 6 errors. Roaring Creek’s pitcher Leyandra Guy gave up 5 hits, struck out 1 batter and walked 2, allowing no runs in the 2nd inning. Roaring Creek soon led 10-2 when Greta Davis hit a grand slam bringing home Tanya Davis, Myralee Ho and Francis. Shadalee Ho, Karlee Bradley, Joyce Galves and Lisandra Guy also scored in the top of the 2nd.


A funny thing we saw on our way home
Tacoboy and were driving home Sunday from our afternoon pool date and I had to stop and take a few pictures on my camera phone [I was taking weekend off from photography and did not have any of my other cameras with me.] What caught my attention was, a goat on a rope standing there by itself in the middle of the road, it was a pretty unexpected funny site. The goat was friendly and came right beside the cart to posed for a picture. Not long after it’s owner came by and and told me it was ok for to pet the goat, it would not bite. Another cart full of people slowed down to see the action and it’s owner decided he should take the goat to a better place so it would not be in the way of traffic. I would love to stay and write more write more about my weekend adventures but I have to run for my weekly meeting up north.

More than just a search – Google helps Belize’s sea turtles
When you Google “turtle” in Belize these days it’s likely to be a hands-on affair. Volunteers from Google and Belize teamed up with marine scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Hol Chan Marine Reserve and the University of Belize’s Environmental Research Institute to do a bit more than just search for turtles – they also captured, recorded and tagged the at-risk marine creatures before releasing them back into the sea. The annual sea turtle survey has been in place since 2007 to provide important information to help safeguard the survival of these beautiful creatures who occupy such an important niche in the Belize Great Barrier Reef biosphere, the Caribbean Sea and the world. “The data collected during the surveys will help us answer a number of questions on these species, ranging from how many sea turtles might live in this area to how exactly they use their environment,” Robin Coleman, the Wildlife Conservation Society ‘s Belize Assistant Country Director and survey leader said.

Homemade Dulce de Leche
Dulce de Leche is really just sweetened condensed milk boiled until it becomes caramelized. In this video I show you how to cook in the slow cooker. In my first version I show how to cook on the stove top and I give all the precautionary warnings.

July 21, 2013 - July 27, 2013 Fishing Report
Pretty nice weather but not too many anglers here to enjoy it - only a few boats going out most days. Everyone was able to land as many bonefish as they pleased but tarpon and permit were fairly elusive. ---Ed.

We had a couple of days of stormy weather here in Caye Caulker, (unfortunately one of the risks of travelling here during their rainy season!) which has meant a couple of non diving days here in paradise. The days have been starting with a tremendous thunderstorm which seems to roll through at around 4am. Some of the lightning strikes hitting the reef around 500 metres off shore from the island and shaking the ground with a deafening crack as the air explodes around it. Sadly by the time I was up and around on both days, the lightning had mostly stopped and the storm downgraded itself to heavy rain showers so I had missed the opportunity to get some pics of the lightning. Generally by the evening the sun would come out, just in time to set! So I took the opportunity to take a few photo’s above the water for a change.

Chilling in the Breeze in Caye Caulker, Belize
As far as most major cities go in a country, Belize City moves at pretty slow pace but even that seems like a rushed affair in comparison to the laid back mentality adopted on the island of Caye Caulker, Belize's backpacking island mecca. With no cars and only golf buggies and bikes to get around, it's a relaxing place which holds true to it's mantra of 'Go Slow'. With world class diving, fresh catch of the day for dinner and hammocks to swing in the breeze, it's no wonder most people make a beeline for this place when they first come to Belize. Getting to the island is easy, most people don't spend any time in Belize City itself and are dropped off across the road from the water taxi jetty, so all you have to do is walk in, buy your return ticket for $25 (Belizean dollars on this page) and hop on the next boat to Caye Caulker. If you are wanting to go to San Pedro on Ambergis Caye, there are boats from here too. If you come into the city via the main bus terminal, then you can either get a taxi to the jetty or walk 15 minutes, it's not a strenuous walk but it depends on how safe you feel walking there. Personally, I had no problems in the city and even the guys asking for change were friendly.

International Sources

Gay rights around the world: the best and worst countries for equality
Equal marriage laws are being passed in several countries, but in Russia, life grows harsher each month for LGBT people. Which places are best and worst for gay rights? The Human Dignity Trust challenges laws to end the persecution of LGBT people around the world. "Most countries sign up to international human rights treaties. If you take Belize as an example, it has ratified all the key UN human rights treaties and in their constitution they have a right to a private life, to equality, to dignity. And so basically to criminalise homosexuality is a violation. To bring a legal challenge against that takes a very brave individual." It has been supporting Caleb Orozco, the gay rights campaigner who launched a legal challenge to overturn Belize's criminalisation laws. "We're still waiting for the judgment. They said it would be out by the end of July but obviously it's not coming now." Orozco's case has prompted a backlash in Belize against him, and Unibam (the United Belize Advocacy Movement). A report last week from the Southern Poverty Law Center, the US civil rights organisation, highlighted the influence US hardline religious groups had in Belize and other countries. "Many of these American religious-right groups know they have lost the battle against LGBT rights in the US, and they're now aiding and abetting anti-LGBT forces in countries where anti-gay violence is prevalent," said Heidi Beirich, author of the report. "These groups are pouring fuel on an exceedingly volatile fire."

Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski To Script John McAfee Film For Warner Bros
Warner Bros is making a deal with Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski to script the feature on John McAfee, which John Requa and Glenn Ficarra hope to direct and produce with Conde Nast Entertainment, McAfee is the eccentric Silicon Valley entrepreneur who sold multiple estates and his possessions to move to the Belize jungle, arm and fund his own private police force, and who was arrested for suspicion of complicity in the death of a neighbor. That neighbor had complained about McAfee’s barking dogs, which the entrepreneur said subsequently were fed poison and died. The neighbor was found shortly after, killed by an execution-style bullet to the head. The movie is based on John McAfee’s Last Stand, a deliciously detailed article for Wired Magazine written by Joshua Davis which the studio bought previously for Requa and Ficarra, who helmed Crazy, Stupid, Love for Warner Bros. Davis will also be a producer.

To The Manner Born: Essential Technology Etiquette Tips For Our Digital Age
Technology impacts society in many ways — some of which are obvious and others more subtle — and those changes often call for changes in behavior. Etiquette is an important social construct that we tend to forget or ignore, but I would argue that etiquette has never been more important than now. One misstep could permanently damage or fracture your relationship with another. Technology etiquette could easily fall under the topic of “common sense” yet there are many who remain ignorant — and that’s not a judgment against those who don’t know any better. For a long while, I never knew the acceptable rules of etiquette for handling phones, shooting emails, and general Internet behavior. I was being rude without even knowing it, and there’s a chance you could be doing the same. Check out these ten rules of etiquette for today’s technology and see if you are making missteps without even knowing that you are.

Flights into Belize!
Thanks to the Belize Tourist Board, here is a list of airlines along with flight times to Belize from the United States! Delta From Atlanta, GA (ATL) 3 hours, 11 minutes From Los Angeles, CA (LAX) Flight Time: 4 hours, 40 minutes For more information, visit United Airlines From Houston, TX (IAH) Flight Time: 2 hours, 29 minutes For more information, visit American Airlines

July 30, 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

Missing Police Officer
The Police Department has issued a missing person report for a fellow police officer. Police Constable (PC) #227 Martin Bustillos, attached to the Corozal Police Formation has been missing for a week. According to the Police PC Bustillos was last seen on July 23rd and has since been absent and his family is reporting him as missing. The Police Department is now turning to the general public to assist in locating PC Bustillos. If you know any information or have seen Bustillos, you are asked to call the nearest police station or 911.

The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture and the Belize Livestock Producers Association has implemented cattle movement control check points at strategic points in Blue Creek and Carmelita Village in the Orange Walk District. This is in an effort to keep the Corozal, Orange Walk, Belize and Cayo Districts free of bovine tuberculosis and bovine brucellosis, and additionally maintain a cattle traceability system. Other movement control check points will be established in the other parts of the country once the health status of the herds has been determined through testing. Farmers, butchers, transporters and the general public are advised that a movement permit is required to transport cattle from one community to another, likewise, into and out of the tested areas. The movement control of cattle is in accordance with S.I. Number 77 of 2011 on Animal Identification. Movement permits can be acquired at the BAHA offices in Orange Walk Town, Belize City and Central Farm.

Ambergris Today

Belize Jaguars Football Team Members Receive International Award
Belizean football players of the national Jaguars team Woodrow West and Ian Gaynair made international headlines for turning down a match-fixing bribe just before their participation at the Gold Cup Tournament. This past week, both were invited by the UNCAF’s President Rafael Tinoco to witness the final Gold Cup Match in Chicago and to be guests at the President’s Banquet. West and Gaynair gained international recognition from CONCACAF and were awarded by Gold Cup and CONCACAF for their honesty, integrity and patriotism during their participation in the Gold Cup Tournament. They received trophies of honor during the final ceremonies of the tournament.

Belize Authorities Take Defensive Driving Training to Improve Road Safety
The Ministry of Works and Transport, Enforcement Team received two new highway patrol vehicles from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development’s Road Safety Project on June 28, 2013. These highway patrol vehicles are key deliverables under the Project's Enforcement Component, which aims at improving traffic law enforcement along the George Price Highway, Demonstration Corridor. These patrol vehicles will support the improvement of traffic law enforcement along the George Price Highway. The Government of Belize has received BZ$14,495,000 in loan financing from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) towards the cost of the Belize Road Safety Project and is contributing a further BZ$3,191,000. The goal of this program is to improve road user behavior, leading to a 20% reduction in road traffic crashes and injuries. International good practice suggests that any officer driving a “marked police vehicle" should receive a basic Defensive Driving Course. It is vital that the drivers of these vehicles demonstrate good driving behavior by always wearing a seatbelt (and encouraging passengers to do so) and obeying the rules of the road at all times. They should always be good role models.

Pic of the Week: Costa Maya Delegates Go for Full Throttle Adventure in Belize
Cruising around the waters of Ambergris Caye is fun, but have you ever cruised on the other side of the reef? If you haven't you are in for an awesome joy ride. Riding the waves in full throttle mode the Costa Maya Delegates (Miss Belize, Miss Guatemala, Miss Mexico, Miss Nicaragua pictured here) got the chance to experience Belize's natural roller coaster ride. The day's adventures were provided by Seaduced by Belize, sponsor of the Costa Maya Festival.

Flashbacks: A Trip to Belize City on Cargo Boat
First it was by sailing boat in the 1960’s, then it was by the cargo boat which was motorized in the 1970’s. After the Elsa P cargo boat threw away its sails and installed an inboard engine, passengers found it much more comfortable to travel to Belize City for their shopping or medical needs. It was in no way close to a water taxi as the passengers still had to wake up at 3a.m. to catch the ride. They would still have to sit on coke crates or empty gasoline drums for their four-hour ride, but now the Elsa P was equipped with a toilet facility at the stern and a shade for the passengers. The captain was no longer at the stern handling the rudder but in a nice cabin with a steering wheel. And of course the passenger fee climbed from 50 cents to three dollars to help cover the gasoline expense. However, the voyage was not at the mercy of the wind and sea because, with an engine, the duration of the tip was more predictable. Passengers not travelling by airplane could now enjoy a luxury trip when compared to one by fishing boat. This flashback is in honor of Felipe Paz the pioneer in cargo boat transportation and by extension passenger transport as well.

Misc Belizean Sources

Is Belize Becoming the New Honeymoon Hotspot?
The little Caribbean country of Belize is seeing a dramatic increase in romantic couples seeking affordable luxury in an idyllic setting, according to the Lodge at Chaa Creek’s wedding and honeymoon planner. "Honeymoons are such an important life event for couples that they’re willing to go that extra bit more to share something extraordinary, and more and more they’re discovering that Belize offers the same level of quality and service that more established destinations do, but at a lower cost." "The novelty factor of doing something fresh and exciting is also important, but couples don’t want to take chances with something so important, especially when travelling abroad. Now that Belize has matured as a romance destination and has generated so much positive word of mouth, people feel more comfortable about coming here, even though we’re still off the beaten track and much less crowded compared to other places," Ms Duran said. Starting this month, Chaa Creek is offering a complimentary guided picnic horseback ride through the rainforest as part of their all-inclusive Belize Honeymoon Adventure Package.

Actyl to Host Open House in Belize City on July 30
Actyl, a world leader in recruiting for the Canadian labor market, will hold its first open house in Belize City on Tuesday, July 30. The company will host the event at its Belizean headquarters from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., kicking off daily open houses it will hold every weekday from this point forward. The open houses will allow interested parties to explore what working in Canada is all about, including the educational opportunities available in the country. "We are very pleased to hold these daily open houses and welcome individuals who may be interested in the wide range of opportunities available in Canada," said Dr. Linda West, President of Actyl. "Canada-particularly western Canada-is experiencing unprecedented economic growth, and as a result there is a big gap in the skilled labor market. This presents unique opportunities for people in Belize to find gainful employment, while perhaps embarking on a personal adventure all their own." This week, Actyl is recruiting for a number of jobs in Canada, including 100 positions at McDonald's, 15 industrial painters, 15 industrial electricians, eight stockers at Canadian Tire, six journeyman automotive body professionals, two heavy-duty mechanics and two sheet metal technicians. To be eligible for Canadian jobs, candidates must be between the ages of 19 and 35, speak English, have completed high school and be willing and able to travel. Actyl has experienced a great deal of success in recruiting workers from throughout Belize over the past year, with many individuals finding high-paying employment with countless opportunities for personal and professional growth.

VIDEO: Garifuna Cuisine, Dangriga, Belize - Hudut Soup & Fish Fillet
Recently in Dangriga, Belize I met up with Madeline at the Riverside Cafe. I joined her in the kitchen where she taught me some Garifuna recipes. The Garifuna are descendants of African shipwrecked slaves who interbred with the local Carib and Arawak people of St Vincent. When the British took over St Vincent from the French, the Black Garifuna were exiled and ended up settling all along the Belize, Honduras and Guatemalan coastline. Madeline prepares Hudut - a fish soup with a coconut milk base which contains okra and green plantain dumplings. Madeline also prepares the Riverside cafe Specialty dish - Grilled Fish Fillet with Cassava Fries with a unique rum, tomato and soy sauce.

VIDEO: Belize - A great place on earth - Part 1

VIDEO: Belize - A great place on earth - Part 2

In Bloom On Open Your Eyes
Cayo's In Bloom, who play at Lucky 5 and at many special events, were on Open Your Eyes.

HVI's Hummingbird Summer Camp
Hidden Valley Inn finished their Hummingbird Summer Camp. "Hummingbird Summer Camp 2013 was a success THANKS to all your support!"

Galen Eagles Take Second Place
Congratulations to the Galen Eagles for taking second place at the basketball tournament in Ciudad Del Carmen, Mexico, where they were representing Belize. Those trophies look great. Well done!

Luis Mendez Memorial Football Pictures
The pictures from the Luis Mendez Memorial Football Game speak for themselves. R.I.P, Mr. Mendez. Thanks to D Russell Photography for the wonderful pictures. "Verdes FC vs San Pedro at la Cancha Marshalleck"

Teachers undergo professional development training in Cayo
Over two hundred school teachers are currently involved in a three weeks training program in the Cayo district. The training, which began on July 22, will continue through until August 9. It is being hosted at the PathLight spiritual retreat and conference center at Jaguar Creek. According to a press release from PathLight, the fourth annual teachers training conference has as its objective to assist the teachers in learning “valuable skills and innovative techniques they can apply as they enter their classrooms in September.” The training is being facilitated by experienced teachers from North America and the conference workshops are focusing on literacy, positive discipline, match strategies and elective workshops on science and art.

Relocation of The Belize Bureau of Standards
The Belize Bureau of Standards hereby informs the general public that it will be relocating from its current location on the Ministry of Works Compound, Belmopan to the third floor of the Diamonds Building on Constitution Drive, Belmopan. The Bureau will be operating from its new location starting August 5, 2013. The department in the execution of its mandate looks forward to continue serving the Belizean public and at the same time extends its sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Channel 7

Chairman of BTB Board Resigns Suddenly
The Belize Tourism Board may be riding the wave of successive high years of highs in overnight tourism arrivals – but the organization just can’t seem to find stability. 7news has confirmed that Chairman of the Board of Directors, Ian Lizarraga is resigning effective tomorrow. Lizarraga told us that he is quote, “Returning to his private sector responsibilities.” He says he has a restaurant in Cayo that is, quote, “taking more of my time than I thought it would.” End quote. He added that he has discussed it with his Minister Manuel Juniour Herredia, CEO Tracy Panton and his board of directors. He told us that Einer Gomez will be interim chairman until the minister appoints a new chairman. Lizarraga was the third Chairman in just over five years of the Barrow administration, which does not speak well for long term stability, since there have also been three tourism directors, and three Ministry CEO’s in that same period. Lizarraga served as chairman for just over a year.

Three Escapees From Wagner Youth Facility
3 inmates who escaped from the Hattieville Prison on Sunday night remain at large tonight. Just after 7 last night – while security shifts were being changed at the prison, 3 inmates managed to bound over the huge chain link fence and escaped into the night. They were later identified as 17 year old Roqael Tuil, 17 year old Hector Garcia and 19 year old Wilmer Guzman. Both minors, Tuil and Garcia are Guatemalan nationals. Armed prison guards along with police officers spend most of last night searching in the nearby bushes for the men. Today all three men are still missing and the prison is asking for the public’s help in locating the fugitives. 7 news traveled to Hattieville today to see who the blame is pointed on. Earl Jones - CEO, Kolbe Prison "Yesterday we had reports that three inmates had escaped from the central prison - from the Juvenile Facility area of the prison. The three inmates are Roqael Tiul who was serving a five year sentence for unlicensed firearm and ammunition, he's a Guatemalan national. The second person is Hector Garcia, who is a Guatemalan as well, who is here for illegal entry - he's awaiting deportation and the third inmate is Wilmer Guzman who is from the San Juan village in the Stann Creek Valley area - he's serving a six month sentence for theft.

Auctioneer Kevin Castillo Seriously Injured In Accident
There was a serious accident between miles 26 and 27 on the Western Highway today. It was due to a head-on collision between a Ford Ranger pickup and a Nissan Patrol. The accident happened at around 2 p.m., when a pickup driven by David Medina, Junior, went into the lane of a Blue SUV driven by Kevin Castillo, the popular Belize City-based auctioneer. KREM News spoke with Amy Roaches, A BAHA Vet who was first on the scene and saw the accident unfold. Voice of: Amy Roches - Eyewitness "Between mile 25 and 26, a red vehicle just collided into him - it went straight into his lane. After that had happened I jumped out of my vehicle and I went to see what happened to Mr. Castillo - he was unconscious on his steering wheel and I thought he had died so I said that I would go and see if I could have consoled a screaming lady. After I went by the lady, I asked her what the problem was and if she was related to the person on the ground and she said 'yes he's my husband' and so I asked how is it that she didn't have a scratch on her and she told me that she was following behind him.

Judge’s Vehicle In Northern Highway Collision, Man Left Critical
There was an accident on the northern highway this weekend, which has left one person in a critical condition. It happened on Saturday afternoon between miles 88 and 89 on the Northern Highway where Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel’s government assigned grey Toyota 4 Runner with government plates collided with a car. Police say that Tessa Owdker was driving the 4 runner to the northern border with Justice Courtney Abel in the passenger seat and a 13 year old student in the back. A red Honda Car travelling opposite direction allegedly came into her land causing a collision which caused the Honda Car to burst into flames. Driver George Reyes was rushed to the Corozal Community Hospital and then to the CARANZA hospital in Chetumal Mexico in a critical condition. The Judge sustained no injuries while Tessa Owdker and the minor were treated and later released with minor injuries.

Mayan Leaders Who Want Out Of Land Rights Court Action
On Thursday, 7News showed you the long anticipated judgment from the Court of Appeal in relation to the Appeal by the Government of Belize on the Maya Land Rights case. The Maya Communities of the south won in the Supreme Court hear before former Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh, when he ruled that they had customary land rights over their ancestral lands, and he also ordered that the Government of Belize should also take mandatory steps to protect those rights. Well, in the judgment from the Court of Appeal, it was found that while Maya Land Rights can and do exist, GOB had no such obligation to uphold them. The attorney for the Maya Communities, Antoinette Moore filed an application for contempt against the Government in the Supreme Court, in which the complaint was that the Government was not respecting an injunction granted by the Former CJ Conteh stopping them from issuing any permits to conduct any kinds of commercial activity without the explicit consent of the Maya Communities. This application was to be heard today, and when the Chief Justice called it up, Moore informed the court that her clients wished to withdraw the application. That withdrawal was granted and the matter was dismissed.

Six to Court For Stash Found In Church Roof
On Friday we told you about the stash of marijuana, ammunition and a pistol found in the eaves of a church building on Victoria Street. As we reported, six people from an adjoining yard were arrested – because police believed they had stashed it there. Today, after a weekend in detention, they were taken to court an arraigned on multiple charges. Over two dozen family members crowded the court, and, off camera, they told us that it was unfair - Voice of family member "They didn't find it in our yard - they found it across at the neighbour and it was siz of our family members at one time and the way they are doing it - they're not doing it right."

Rowan’s Undersea Adventure
Last week, 7News showed you the end of 15 year-old Rowan Garel’s third major adventure, when he dove the Blue Hole. Rowan, the blind young man who has become the ambassador for sight, and for the BCVI, made a major accomplishment on Friday, and we were there to capture it on tape while Tony Rath captured the action beneath the sea’s surface. Here’s the full report. Daniel Ortiz reporting At around 6:30 a.m., all of Rowan Garel’s supporters gathered at the Radisson Pier to see him off. It was finally the big day after a 2 successive postponements due to weather. But the significance of the event didn’t seem to affect him much, as he socialized with his friends and supporters, just another Friday morning where, he would dive into history. And when the boats arrived, those who would accompany him boarded, and it was then off on a 2 ½ hour ride out to the Blue Hole.

Police Looking For A Missing Cop
Usually, it’s the police reporting on missing persons, but tonight, a police officer is the missing person. He is police constable #227 Martin Bustillos attached to the Corozal formation. Police say he has been missing since July 23rd. That’s six days, and police say that if you know his whereabouts, please call 911 or your nearest police station.

Stirm Strikes Back At SPLC
Last week, the Alabama based organization known as the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is affiliated with UNIBAM and gay rights activist Caleb Orozco, released a 2013 report called "Dangerous Liaisons: The American Religious Right and the Criminalization of Homosexuality in Belize" The report claimed that there were extremist right wing religious groups who were influencing the local Christian organizations in their campaign to resist what has been called the homosexual agenda. The experts from the SPLC claimed that organizations such as Belize Action, a local movement by Pastor Scott Stirm was guilty of the very same thing they accused UNIBAM of doing, working for and being influenced by foreign gay rights organizations who were pushing to throw out Belize’s Sodomy laws as part of a global campaign. Well, today, Stirm fired back with a release of his own, in it he claims that all of the allegations made by the SPLC report are false. According to him, this report was a weak attempt which was timed to try to distract the nation from a month of Constitutional marches across Belize which, quote, “mobilized almost 10,000 Belizeans to stand for Constitutional values and opposed to the 2013 Gender Policy in its present form.”

Words Of Tolerance From Pope, Archbishop Tutu
And in world news that certainly factors into this local gay rights debate, there is a pair of quite noteworthy statements by international religious leaders. First, the pope, in an 82 minute press conference aboard a plane after the youth summit in Brazil told the international media about gay people, quote, "We shouldn't marginalize people for this. They must be integrated into society….If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?" And speaking last week at a Un conference in South Africa about gay rights, noble prize winner, and former Archbishop, the 81 year old Desmond Tutu said, “I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. … I mean I would much rather go to the other place [hell]. I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this."

APAMO, Right Back At Hon. Alamilla
Last week you say Minister of Forestry and Fisheries Lisel Alamilla answer her critics at APAMO. Well today, they fired back at her. Now we don’t usually do, he said, she said, and then he said again, but that’s what it’s turned into in this case – and APAMO did add something new to the mix – they brought out protected area managers who are resisting. Edilberto Romero - Chairman, APAMO "After 2006, oil exploration became the largest threat to protective areas, by her actions and inactions, today; we think Minister Alamilla is the largest threat to protective areas, especially if she goes preventing organizations from doing their work to protect the protected areas." Raymond Reneau - Rancho Dolores, Spanish Creek Wildlife Sactuary "The reason why I didn't sign the co-management agreement is because of the third party, part under licenses, says the that 'after consultation with the co-managers, the government which is the regulatory agency body can give license to a third party' - it didn't say for what purposes. A co-management agreement should be between two bodies agreeing, with what should be done, it shouldn't be, 'you tell me what to do', it's like I'm working for you. If it comes to signing, I will sign but I am letting everyone know that the part I don't like with this signing."

Finnegan Says Bze Football Has No Midfield, Can’t Pass The Ball
This weekend, the Gold Cup ended with the USA edging out Panama one-nil in a close final game. It was the closest finish for the American who had smashed all their competition - Belize included - with dominating performances. Watching the game in Chicago were two very special guests of CONCACAF, Woodrow West and Ian Gaynair. They earned the invite to an all expenses paid evening in Chicago and a trip to the game by displaying outstanding integrity and patriotism when they turned down a bribe from a match fixer who had been following Belize’s team. And that is about the brightest spot coming out of a Gold Cup in which Belize finished with no points and the greatest goal differential. It’s a learning experience so we take it in stride, but the sober discussion about what direction that stride will be in, has to start. And self styled football historian Michael Finnegan is willing to set things off. For months he’s been contributing to the Amandala with compelling narratives of football in the 60’s and 70’s when Finnegan was a team manager. His acumen in the sport is considerable, and last wee we sat down with him for an extended conversation on the national’s team strengths and weaknesses. Here’s what he told us-

Channel 5

Three inmates escape from Central Prison
Three convicts escaped from the Belize Central Prison in Hattieville. On Sunday night at about seven-ten, while the guards were being transferred for their shifts, Hector Garcia, Roquael Tiul, and [...]

Collision on the George Price Highway
On Orange Walk resident is in critical condition at the Universal Healthcare Partners after a road traffic accident on the George Price Highway this afternoon. Eyewitnesses say that a man [...]

APAMO says Minister Alamilla knows co-management deals are bad
Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Lisel Alamilla, last week chided some N.G.O.s including SATIIM and APAMO for not signing on to protected areas co-management agreements. The Minister’s statement [...]

APAMO says N.G.O.s are being pressured to sign co-management agreements
Romero said that while Alamilla, when she was Executive Director at Ya’axche Conservation Trust, would not sign the agreement with the changes made by Cabinet, she is now pushing the [...]

Former Alcaldes want their named removed from Maya court action
On Thursday, the Court of Appeal rendered a split decision, described by Greg Ch’oc of the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management as a bittersweet outcome to a challenge brought [...]

Pope tells gays “Who am I to judge?”
A Supreme Court decision in a pioneering case against the Government of Belize by Caleb Orosco to repeal Section Fifty-three of the Criminal Code was promised to be delivered by [...]

Visual impairment does not hinder Rowan Garel from diving the Blue Hole
Blind since birth, fourteen year old Rowan Garel has taken on another grueling and if not the most daring challenge, that many others who are sightly wouldn’t dare. He has [...]

Jaguars, Gaynair and West, given trophies at Gold Cup final
Woodrow West and Ian Gaynair notified CONCACAF about the match fixer who was offering them thousands of dollars to lose the game at a specified score. CONCACAF recognized the players’ [...]

Mayor vows to pay Waste Control debt
Two weeks ago Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley dodged contempt charges when the Belize City Council and Belize Waste Control managed to reach a compromise. The issue on the legal [...]

When will hardest working mayor finish the streets?
Mayor Bradley also confirmed that no part of negotiations with Belize Waste Control involved an extension or amendment of that company’s contract with the Belize City Council. So with garbage [...]

Family of six locked down for a firearm
After three nights in lock down at the Belize City Queen Street Police station, a family of six including a mother, her common-law husband, and their four sons, were all [...]

Eight time offender throws away his bag of weed
A Belize City businessman is serving three years behind bars after he pleaded guilty to a single count of drug trafficking. Police say that on Friday at around ten in [...]

City Hall’s summer camp for kids
The second annual City Council’s Summer Camps are ongoing in Belize City. Students from ages four to twelve are enjoying arts and craft, computer skills, sporting events and outdoor activities [...]

Amazing sporting highlights on Sports Monday
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday. The decisive game 5 between Telemedia and Fresca Lady Rebels took center stage inside Rogers Stadium Friday evening as the [...]


APAMO Says Forestry Minister is the Largest Threat to Protected Areas
The Association of Protected Areas Management Organization, APAMO, has responded to comments that the Minister of Forestry made over the concerns related to the Government’s new proposal for the co-management of protected parks. At her press conference last week over APAMO’s rel...

Prison Guards Drop The Ball; Three Prisoners Escape
Three prisoners, including two Guatemalan minors are on the run after they escaped from the Belize Central Prison in Hattieville on Sunday. The escape was noted shortly after seven Sunday night, according to Chief Executive Officer of the Kolbe Foundation, Earl Jones. EARL JONES &ld...

Policeman Reported Missing in Northern Belize
Police Constable Martin Bustillos has been reported missing. According to the official police report PC Bustillos who is attached to the Corozal formation has been missing since July 23. If you know the whereabouts of PC Martin Bustillos you are asked to call 911 or the nearest police stati...

Man Sentenced To Jail for Stabbing Father-In-Law
Forty-two year old Enrique Soberanis, who pled guilty last Friday to wounding his father-in-law, 76 year old William Bennett, was sentenced to one year today by Magistrate Leslie Hamilton. The incident occurred on Friday, July 26.Bennett reported to the police Soberanis and his daughter were invo...

Villager Detained For Hit and Run In Western Belize
Belmopan Police have one man detained pending charges following a hit and run accident. Police say they went to the Western Regional Hospital where they saw two male persons suffering from injuries. Reports are sometime around six thirty Saturday evening 15-year-old Ernesto Guardado a...

10K Fine and 3 Years In Prison for Eighth Conviction
Thirty-two year old Andrew Burke, a businessman of Jasmine Street who had seven convictions, two for drug trafficking and five for possession of a controlled drug, got his eight conviction today when he appeared in Court and pled guilty to drug trafficking for 476.3 grams of cannabis. Magistrate ...

Hidden Drugs Sniffed Out By Canines
Twenty-two year old Warren Davis, a resident of Antelope street, was charged with two counts of drug trafficking and one count of possession of a controlled drug when he appeared in court today. He pled not guilty to the charges. Magistrate Dale Cayetano offered him a bail of five thousand dollar...

Summer Camp for Young Diabetics
For the third year, the Belize Diabetes Association is hosting a one week camp for over forty children living with diabetes. The camp commenced this morning at the ITVET compound. Love News paid the camp a visit and Hipolito Novelo reports. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING: HIPOLITO NOVELO I...

Six Remanded to Prison Following Discovery of Hidden Drugs and Firearm in Church
Six persons were charged after police, members of the GSU, searched the attic of a church on Victoria Street and found a point 38 pistol with four rounds of ammunition, four rounds of ammunition and 619 grams of cannabis. Those charged were 47 year old Frank Jones, 41 year old Lydia Estrada, 28 y...

Police In Northern Belize Investigate Traffic Incident Involving Supreme Court Judge
Corozal police are investigating a traffic accident involving a Supreme Court judge. According to authorities, sometime around 3:15 on Saturday July 27th, forty nine year old Tessa Owdker, Belizean domestic of Bella Vista area Belize was headed to the northern border in a grey Toyota four runner....


Fiesta Rama 2013 Deemed A Success
The event everyone was waiting for came and went by very quickly. The People’s Stadium was the venue for the famous Fiesta Rama 2013 and for the second year in...

Young Manatee Rescued By Conservationist
This morning conservationists were called out to the pier in Corozal Town to rescue a baby manatee. The calf, believed to be two to three days old, was spotted by...

Car Collides Into Government Vehicle And Then Bursts Into Flames
Tonight George Reyes is receiving medical treatment at the Carranza Hospital in Chetumal Quintana Roo, Mexico, after he was involved in terrible traffic accident on the Philip Goldson Highway. ...

Burglars On The Prowl
Over the weekend one family had to endure the ordeal of having someone break into their home. The incident played out in the wee hours of Saturday morning at the...

Cop and Cab Driver Go Missing
Tonight the police department is asking for the public’s assistance in locating two missing persons, including one of their own. We start off with Police Constable #227 Martin Bustillos attached...

Controversial Special Meeting Held By The BSCFA
On Sunday, the much anticipated Special Meeting called by the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association was held at the auditorium of “Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico. A number of topics formed...

Three Convicts Escape From Prison
Tonight an intensive manhunt is underway for three convicts, including two minors who escaped from the juvenile facility area of the Kolbe Correctional Facility at around 7:00 last night. The...


My Week on Ambergris Caye: It’s Been Beautiful
It’s been a hot sunny beautiful week. Every year, in about June or July, I’m reminded that there are definitely seasons in Belize. We are now in the breezy hot summer…where hots is in the high 80s during the day, the humidity is HIGH and there is a definite wind coming off the water. Once the storm season picks up a bit (though hopefully it stays way clear of Belize), the winds die down and we just get HOT…steamy hot. Still the temperature rarely goes above the low 90s (cities in the US from NYC to Houston to Chicago go WAY above that in the summer months)… Like I said, it’s been a pretty beautiful week and I’ve spent plenty of time out and about. Let me recap some things I’ve seen. Some of these pictures have been on my facebook page and many have not. It is far and away my favorite fruit season. The trees of the mainland are bursting with mangos and avocados. We’ve been getting heaps here on the island. I love the mangos cut up in bags…oh so convenient for $2bzd.

Eco Kids Learn About Belizean Wildlife
Eco-Campers finally slept in until 6:30 AM this morning, just to fool with their counselors. This was a surprise, as the Eco-Kids have been awake and playing every morning in the past week by 6:00 AM! Needless to say, the counselors appreciated it greatly, which was reflected in an even more energetic than usual morning song routine. As Eco-Camp 2013 comes to a close, the campers put together newspaper bags in order to carry home all the excellent arts and crafts projects they have done since coming to camp. The bags have to be big enough to fit Jungle Journals, Plastic bottle pencil holders, beanbags, bracelets, and pet rocks, and were made out of recycled newpapers and string. The bag also doubles as a stylish accessory, sure to go with any environmentally-themed outfit. The Eco-Kids could also be heard practicing their skits for this evening’s skit competition. The Blue Morphos and Howler Monkeys won the song competition last night with their renditions of “Fly High like a Morpho” and “I’m at Eco Camp”, and will be performing for the parents on Sunday. The winners of the skit competition will also be performing onstage come Sunday afternoon.

“What Can I Do” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize ?
With the completion of our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize drawing ever closer I have been giving thought as to what to do with this blog (this is NOT an invitation to tell me where to stuff it!). Long time readers will probably know that it’s raison d’être was as a relatively easy way for Rose and I to document the build of our new home in Ambergris Caye, Belize and share the experience with our family and friends in the UK without having to send a multitude of emails. It has, as the number of you that follow it will know, morphed in to much, much more than this. I have to admit that although on some days I have found “knocking” an edition out has been a bit of a pain I have overall thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I like the discipline it requires and I like the routine. It’s also extremely rewarding to “feel” the sense of involvement that so ( i come from the world of newspapers so may be guilty of a little exaggeration here) many people have had in our adventure (OK it is only a build but it has been an adventure in to the unknown for us). Uncertain as to whether to keep it going or not I am using this edition to find out what your views are. Obviously with the build finished the subject matter of the blog would need to be different. Do you think I should keep it going? If so, what would interest you? Obviously it must be something that I can do relatively easily AND find interesting. They are the only caveats. So please do not suggest something like geophysics!

WARNING – Prisoners escape from Kolbe
3 prisoners have escaped from the Kolbe Jail/Belize Central Prison; Wagner’s Youth Facility in Belize, all Guatemalans. Such incident has not happened at that facility in years even with all the issues happening at the prison recently. Wilmer Guzman. Roquel Teul Hector Garcia An all points bulletin has been issued for the three escapees and anyone sighting any of the prisoners is asked to call the nearest police station. We have just been reliably informed that it is likely that the weakening of the prison officers at night to go and check Taheera’s resident in Hattiville, may have contributed to these three escapes. If Prison Officers are still involved in the security of the superintendent’s house at night then that is in contravention of the Minister of National Security’s directive. We are aware that the minister had directed that no prison officers should be involved in the security of that residence.

International Sources

Tax-free, relaxed and beautiful - why Brits head to Belize
Belize is moving onto the radar screens of emigrating Brits thanks to its generous retirement programme and relaxed pace of life. The retired persons incentive programme allows expatriates to live in the central American country tax-free, as long as they meet a number of conditions. They include being at least 45 years of age and having a qualifying non-Belizean based income of at least US$2,000 (£1,300) a month. Foreigners already make up almost 60 per cent of the population, attracted by the low cost of living, slow-paced lifestyle, nature and water sports. Belize is home to the world’s second-largest barrier reef. "Brits are among the most popular nationality to retire in Belize. It is easy to purchase property, especially since Belize laws and legal systems are patterned after the British system and business is conducted in English. The visa system is also very simple and straightforward.’’ Under the retirement scheme, foreigners are free from taxes on all income derived from sources outside Belize, whether such income is earned or passive, and whether or not it is remitted to Belize. Although it is not necessary to be retired, those moving to the country must be aged at least 45 and have adequate resources to deposit a monthly income of $2,000 or more a month - which would typically be pension income or annuity.

McAfee: The Movie
Warner Bros. is talking to Ed Wood scribes Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski to write a film about the idiosyncratic Silicon Valley businessman and scourge of online viruses, John McAfee. Deadline reports that Crazy, Stupid, Love directors John Requa and Glenn Ficarra hope to helm and produce the film, which will be based on a Wired Magazine article called "John McAfee’s Last Stand." McAfee is most famous these days for his exploits in Belize, where he was a "person of interest" according to authorities in the murder of his neighbor. He fled the country to avoid questioning by police, wound up in detention in Guatemala, and was eventually deported to the United States.

5 Not To Miss Outdoor Activities In Belize
One of the main draws for travelers visiting Belize is the wealth of outdoor activities the country offers. With a rugged and mountainous mainland and islands lining one of the world’s largest barrier reef systems, Belize is a paradise for adventure seekers. Many travelers split their holiday in Belize up into different parts of the country, creating “jungle and reef” packages to experience the best Belize has to offer. Curious what there is to do in Belize? Here are five of the most popular outdoor activities that you can include in your vacation itinerary. Fishing Whether it’s a morning of low-key reef fishing or prized deep-sea game you are after, Belize’s coastline and cayes are ideal for both casual and professional fishermen. Reef fishing is especially popular in spots like Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker. Fishing villages on the mainland like Hopkins and Placencia offer the best options for deep-sea and large game fishing. Die-hard fishermen will want to check out Whipray Caye Lodge – located eight miles of the coast of Placencia, this small private island is designed with serious fishermen in mind.

Belize’s Persistent Denial of Maya Land Rights
Continuing the roller coaster of decisions made regarding the land rights of the Maya people in Toledo district of southern Belize, the Court of Appeal has recently re-affirmed the Maya people’s rights to collective land ownership throughout southern Belize. This came, however, just days after the Government’s decision to grant US Capital Energy permission to conduct oil drilling inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park. This struggle began in 1994 when without consulting the Maya people the government took an area of nearly 42,000 acres of Maya ancestral land to convert into the Sarstoon Temash National Park. Quickly after this conversion, the government opened up the national park to oil exploration by US Capital Energy Belize Ltd, a wholly owned Belizean subsidiary of American company US Capital Energy Inc. However, in 1997 the Sarstoon Temash National Park Steering Committee, soon to become the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) was created. This was for the purpose of co-managing the national park with the Belizean Forestry Department after the communities around the park came together to stake a claim in the management of the land and natural resources in which the were dependent on for their livelihoods.

July 29, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Doctor Love: Parents, work with teachers to educate your children!
A teacher can educate (teach), but parents need to push their children so that the combined efforts would see an improvement in the level of education in society.

Wolfe’s Woofers: The Genius Athlete
Dennis gets beat by a guy playing pool with a broom handle. So, what exactly does this athlete do?

Misc Belizean Sources

Vine post by Einer Gomez
Say goodbye. #ambergriscaye #Costamayafestival #loop #Belize #sanpedro #sarks #girls #swimming #Sharks


Lionfish are destroying our reef! ReefCI and SafeSpear need your help!
Calling all divers, snorkelers, journalists, underwater photographers and videographers. Come join ReefCI in the FIRST EVER month long lionfish derby !! Stay for 1, 2, 3 or 4 weeks and help us Spear them, dissect them, analyze them, prepare them and eat them! Bring your cameras, bring your videos and help spread awareness about the lionfish invasion! Our aim is to break every record and remove as many lionfish as possible during a 4-week period. We already hold the record for the LARGEST lionfish caught in Belize, come help us break many more…… ReefCI is so passionate about the issue we are offering a 15% discount on our standard rates for all bookings during lionfish September. We cant do it without you!! Included in the trip: • Island transfers. • All island accommodation. • All meals on the island. • All diving. • PADI Open Water and Advanced Open water certifications (a $50US admin fee applies). • Diving equipment. • Spears and bags will be supplied.

On the road with the extraordinary Music of Belize!
Our regular readers know all about our passion for the music of Belize. And given the breadth, depth, amazing diversity and sheer soul of Belize’s unique sounds, that should come as no surprise. But what we do find surprising is that it hasn’t yet taken the world by storm. Sure, anyone serious about world music has some Belizean music in their collection, and it continues to slowly but surely gain more listeners around the planet, but why Belize’s music is not more popular remains one of life’s great mysteries. So it was good news to hear that The Garifuna Collective was on the road in the US and Canada, where they’ve been playing to large sold out venues (Check out Belizean TV coverage at The exposure they’re getting on this tour can’t help but to translate into greater awareness of their own unique sound, and Belize’s music in general. Forgive the evangelical tone, but we’ve also just had a listen to Ayó, the latest recording by the GC and are still in that rather blissful state of hearing something new and wonderful from the Jewel. It may have something to do with the fact that Ayó, which means “goodbye” in Garifuna, is a tribute to the late and in every sense of the word great Andy Palacio, who suddenly passed away in 2008 and left a void many of us still feel today. In addition to being an amazing musician, songwriter and electrifying performer, Andy was a cultural ambassador for Belize and in particular, his people, the Garifuna, so it’s only fitting that that this album should be full of wistful energy, joy and soul.

July 28, 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

Youth Leadership International Camp 2013
The Department of Youth Services under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports is currently conducting its International Youth Leaders Camp under the theme “Leadership in Action”. 150 Youth Leaders from Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama, Bahamas, and St Vincent and the Grenadines are being hosted at George Town Technical High School in the Stann Creek District from July 21 – 31, 2013. The purpose of the training is to enhance the leadership capacity of the youth leaders in attendance while promoting the National Youth Development Policy of Belize 2012 – 2022 and the National Youth Council process.

Belize Assumes the Chair of the OAS Inter-American Council for Integral Development
On Friday July 19th, Ambassador Nestor Mendez, Belize’s Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), assumed the chair of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI). The CIDI is the main body of the hemispheric organizations with decision making power in matters of partnership for integral development. The announcement was made by the OAS via a press release following the short ceremony at the organization’s headquarters in Washington DC, USA. The Chair of CIDI was previously held by the Permanent Representative of Barbados, Ambassador John Beale. He concluded his term as chair of CIDI by emphasizing the role the body plays in the development of the work of the OAS. Speaking at the handing over ceremony, Ambassador Beale highlighted the area of education, stating that through better education, the people of the Hemisphere can achieve a better quality of life and distance themselves from the problems of violence, crime and drugs.

Reina de la Costa Maya candidates having a little fun at Ramon's for Noche Tropica!


First It Was Land Grab Now Its House Grab Among The UDP
Tonight trouble is brewing in the United Democratic Party and it’s among the hierarchy so you know, it means war. Last night Seven News released a bomb when they reported that Housing Director Noel Harvey and CEO, Lawrence Sylvestre were removed by force from the offices of the Ministry of Natural Resources in Belmopan. As reported by Seven News both men visited the department on Monday looking for files that could indicate who were granted the properties located at the Fresh Pond Housing Community in the Burrel Boom Area. The 50 abandoned houses, which were never completed, were built by the PUP Government. Now this is where the story gets interesting. Harvey and Sylvester began digging around after they found out that 10 of the properties, which were up for re-issue, were distributed among party supporters. But wait, there is more, these supporters included close friends and family of Government CEO’s.

Will Vendors Be Allowed To Sell At Fiesta Rama?
As we speak Fiesta Rama 2013 is underway at the Orange Walk People’s Stadium. It is an event that will surely impact the economy of the north in a positive way and we’ll get to the list of the three day activities in a few. But first, we must tell you that vendors are concerned if they will be allowed to sell at Fiesta Rama. Viewers might recall that approximately two weeks ago the Mayor Kevin Bernard was informed by the Public Health Department in Orange Walk that anyone wanting to sell food at the event must be in possession of a food handler’s permit. Now, truth of the fact is that not all persons or organizations who sell at the event have a food handler’s permit. Most vendors take advantage of the three day event to make some extra bucks or raise funds for a special project. At the same time, we must note that even if those interested in selling at Fiesta Rama had applied for a food handlers permit the document would not be out in time for the event. With over thirty vendors set to be affected, today Mayor Bernard pleaded to the Public Health Department to reconsider their decision.

Caribbean Court Of Justice Rules In Favour Of GOB
The Caribbean Court of Justice has struck down an arbitral award against the Government of Belize in the sum of about BZ$44.0 million which had been rendered by the London Court of International Arbitration. The case arose in October 2008 when BCB Holdings Limited (formerly called Carlisle Holdings Limited) and the Belize Bank Limited commenced arbitration proceedings in London on the ground that the Government of Belize had breached the terms of a Settlement Deed dated 22nd March 2005 which had given them a number of tax concessions. The Settlement Deed had been signed by the then Prime Minister, Said Musa, and the then Attorney General, Francis Fonseca. The present Government, on being elected to office in February 2008, refused to honor the Settlement Deed on the ground that it was illegal and unconstitutional and that the previous Government had no authority to grant tax concessions without a law passed by the National Assembly.

Orange Walk Records Its Second Drowning In Less Than A Week
Tonight Orange Walk Police is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a 21 year old mentally challenged male individual from the Village of Carmelita. This morning the badly decomposed body of Sheldon Vasquez was found floating in the New River near the Toll Bridge. Reports indicate that Vasquez went missing on Wednesday morning. His family reported him missing to authorities yet he was nowhere to be found. This morning Vasquez’s body was found by a tour guide and a group of tourist who were in the area viewing spider monkeys. Irvin Aragon reports on the second drowning for the Orange Walk District in less than a week. Irvin Aragon – Reporting The badly decomposed body of 21 year old Sheldon Vasquez, a mentally challenged youth of Carmelita Village, was discovered by a tour guide and a group of tourist around 7:30 this morning.

The Belize Times

The Mother of All Bukuts – 3% to GOB; 97% for VEGA & UDP
Last Friday, July 19, at the Chiquibul Symposium in Belize City Minister Lisel Alamilla, Dean Barrow’s golden girl of conservation and the environment fell into a deep political hole. She confessed to the nation that she cut a deal with the Deputy Prime Minister’s brother’s illicit logging operation for Government to receive a trivial sum of $15,000 per container of 9,000 board feet. Under very dim lighting she came across as shifty, nervous and rushed. Her words came out in jagged little flitches as the media tried to extract the truth. Said the Minister, “I think we have shipped a number of containers or at least given the permits for at least fifteen containers to be shipped or more.” Hold on, you think? Wait a minute, you are not sure if it was fifteen or twenty or possibly what insiders are saying were “more than 40?” The Minister said “or more”.

JAGUARS rewarded for rejecting bribe
At a time when the UDP Government Ministers are facing all kinds of scandals – stealing, wheeling and dealing with corrupt cronies and undermining the trust of the people ...

3rd major UDP financier detained in drug ring – US accuses Rawell Pelayo of trafficking cocaine
Well-known Orange Walk businessman Rawell Pelayo, who was detained by US Drug Enforcement Agency officials on July 7th as he attempted to enter the United States as a senior official ...

Gay Pageant held ‘in the dark’
By Alton F. Humes (Freelance Reporter) A 1st-of-its-kind Gay Belize National Pageant was held out of the closet but still ‘in the dark’ sometime ...

Mayas take Barrow to Court…again!
The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management has launched a major court action against the Barrow Administration, in a string of litigations between the two entities since the United Democratic Party took office in 2008. SATIIM, an ...

Welcome to the PUP, Patrick Andrews!
By G. Michael Reid I was pleased to hear the news that Patrick Andrews had decided to throw his hat into the political ring. I was especially pleased to learn that after considering all options available to him he decided to choose the Blue side of the ring. There are many ...

By Norris Hall The rot and decay of a six month old rosewood scandal that involves the Prime Minister’s Cabinet and which is grabbing more local and international interest, will simply not go away, as the plots of intrigues and corruption continue to thicken. Cornered late last week by the media, the ...

Fresca Lady Rebels scorch Telemedia 5-4 in softball finals
The Belize City women’s softball championship finals have heated up leading to a hot Game 5 this coming Friday, July 26. The Fresca Lady Rebels ratcheted up the drama after tying the best of 5 series 2-2 ...

Rigo Vellos, Edgar Rogers & Ann Lyn Apolonio win Muscle & Bikini Splash in Placencia
The best in muscle and beauty took to the stage when the first ever Summer Muscle and Bikini Splash was held at the ...

Kenny Gladden wins Weekend Warriors race
Team Scotiabank continues to dominate the Weekend Warriors’ races as Barney Brown won the Cotton Tree race last week and now his teammate Kenny Gladden won ...

PUP Mesopotamia Executive Committee elected
On Monday, July 22, 2013 a convention was held at the historic Independence Hall on Queen Street to elect a new and dynamic PUP Mesopotamia Executive Committee. After the voting, supporters of the division elected community leader ...

UDP & Criminal Behavior
In less than five months, four well known UDPs – including two high profile politicians – have faced criminal allegations and Police charges. While most ...

It is easy to feel overwhelmed nowadays. Especially during this back-to-school season. So many things zoom through the mind. Parents must find the finances for school fees and tuition. On top of that, books need to be purchased, uniforms sewn and school supplies collected. This is separate from the regular ...

HOME ECONOMICS – IMF Recommends Gradualism in Tax Overhaul
The following commentary is based on: IMF Executive Board Concludes 2013 Article IV Consultation with Belize IMF NOTE 1. Directors underscored the need to sustain the momentum of fiscal consolidation while protecting spending in such priority areas as infrastructure, internal security, and social programs. They stressed that raising the primary surplus ...

How Micro-Financing Can Assist Low-Income Families
By Dr. Angela Banner Joseph “When we want to help the poor, we usually offer them charity. Most often, we use charity to avoid recognizing the problem and finding the solution for it. Charity becomes a way to shrug off our responsibility. But charity is no solution to poverty. Charity only ...

The day the Bishop Marched
By Dickie Bradley What a powerful image. Bishop Dorick Wright leading his flock through the streets of big, bad Belize City. The historic religion protest was on Tuesday, July 16th, morning. His Lordship wore a black tunic type shirt. This was contrasted ...

More Than Just A Summer Camp
What started out with a field trip for a small group of children 20 years ago, has grown into the highlight of the Rehabilitation and Education Program at the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired (BCVI). For two weeks out of the year, more than 30 blind children who are entering preschool or registered in school are brought to Belize City (with a family member or guardian) to be prepped for the upcoming school year. ...

Dr. Amin Hegar supports Patrick Andrews
In an expression of unity and with a common goal to rescue the City of Belmopan, Dr. Amin Hegar today expressed his full support ...

Cayo South Village Councils undergo training
Community leaders need to become aware that the Village Council Act offers opportunities for them to influence modern developments in their communities. This was the theme of the first in of a series of trainings sessions held ...

By Francis W. Fonseca There are organizations and people in Belize who quietly each day go about making a difference in the lives of others. One such organization is the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired (BCVI). Founded in the year of Belize’s Independence, BCVI’s mission describes it as “a non-profit organization committed ...

Art pioneer, Michelle Perdomo, passes
The BELIZE TIMES and the People’s United Party express condolences to Mr. Carlos Perdomo and his family on the passing of Mrs. Michelle Perdomo, a great teacher, wife, mother and grandmother. Mrs. Perdomo is a pioneer of the art program at ...

Baby Lorena laid to rest – Parents still suspicious of KHMH
Baby Lorena Bol, who lived less than two days before dying under mysterious circumstances at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, was buried ...

Alberto August Land Grab
During the time of the previous PUP administration Hon. Mario Castellanos, PUP Area Representative for Cayo Central, designated a plot of land beside the Santa Elena Pre-School, formerly the Community Centre ...

Better Management of Placencia Beach Needed
Dear Editor, The Placencia Peninsula beach is 17 miles long and is one of our main tourism assets. Majority of it is filthy almost all year round and especially during this time of year. This is unacceptable, and it is slowly eroding our image as the fastest growing tourism destination, and the best ...

Let’s take Sports seriously!
Dear Sir, Madam, It’s always interesting to read commentaries and articles in the print media of how things were in the past and how it has change over the years in Belize. The discussion has become so intense that at one point the question was: have we become a failed State ...

Kenny Jacobs on why we are still poor
Dear Editor, Please allow me space in your newspaper to share my views concerning why the poor in Belize can’t get ahead! Belize is home to hundreds of thousands of people, all of diverse ethnicities. We have many natural resources unmatched to other countries. We have a culture untouched, natural, rich, and ...

Beware, Unions!
Dear Editor, Kindly allow me some space to warn the good people of the Unions about what seems to be a sinister plot. For many years, the Amandala has been heavily critical of the PUP and the Church, in particular the Roman Catholic Church, which represents almost 60% of the Nation. ...

Shame & Disgrace Sports Minister
Dear Editor, I am frustrated, no, I am angry. I’m vexed with the Minister of Sports who displayed arrogance when he wasted tax payer’s dollars for a simple photo up in Oregon, instead of doing the right thing which was to provide adequate funding to the Belize Jaguars national team. When it ...


Eco Kids Learn About Sustainability
Eco-Campers managed to turn the tables on their counselors this morning, as they were the ones to yell out the morning wake-up call about 15 minutes early. All the counselors were still sleeping, but the campers haven’t needed a wakeup call since the first day! Campers were full of energy this morning, playing a game of ‘John Wayne” as the counselors set up their arts and crafts stations. Today’s project involves turning old plastic water bottles into pencil holders. Some of the younger campers had trouble attaching the pieces together, but luckily the counselors were available to give them a hand. Campers also practiced for this evening’s song competition, where all 4 teams will face off to see who gets the honor of singing for the parents on the last day of camp. From what the counselors heard, it sounds like it’s going to be a close race! After perfecting their songs, campers headed over to the Chaa Creek conference room to listen to a presentation on Responsible Tourism by Mr. Larry Waight, which highlighted several of the ways in which Chaa Creek works to ensure that it remains environmentally responsible.

“Beautiful” San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Given that I no longer work for a living Saturdays (and Sundays for that matter) really shouldn’t be different to any other day of the week. It shouldn’t , should it? For me though it is. Don’t know why but it just is. Might be that subconsciously I hold a strong recall of it being that way. Not having to (contractually that is – because I did use to work most Saturdays (and Sundays if you talk to Rose)) work made it different. Different clothes (no suits). No deadlines (apart from those I set for myself). Plenty of sport to go to watch or see on TV. What’s the point of this interior monologue? Nothing much really. A rather long-winded way of explaining (or is it justifying?) the fact that I generally do not do much that could be described as productive or energetic on a Saturday. It’s a lazy day for me and that is exactly what I had yesterday until it was time to go visit our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize..

International Sources

Caribbean Destination: Top Things to Do on Belize’s Ambergris Caye
On the Ambergris Caye in Belize, you can enjoy a full beach and ocean scene complete with snorkeling, diving, fishing, sailing, and tanning. There are many different groups that will organize any and all of the above. The key is finding a group that will give you the best deal and the most convenience. Belize is one of the top destinations for scuba diving, therefore you can find a dive shop (or three) on pretty much any given block. There are countless local dive locations and also famous spots such as the Blue Hole that are a boat ride out. However, if you are not a diver, no fear! Because of the protection of the barrier reef, most of the best dive spots can also be experienced in full by simply snorkeling. Most Belize dive shops organize both dive and snorkel trips and many will pick you up right on the dock of your hotel or rental.

Belize – A Retirement Destination
A secure, comfortable retirement is every hard worker’s dream. But, retirement can be a very costly and nerve racking experience if not planned properly. In many countries, a person may work for 40 years or more and still not be able to retire because they could not set aside money in a retirement fund. The U.S. allows workers to contribute to a 401K or Individual Retirement Account (IRA) which ensures that there are funds set aside for the golden years. However, if there is no plan for the retirement funds after, the funds can last just a short time. Proper planning involves deciding how and where you will live after you reach retirement age. It is about choosing the right type of investment that will ensure your sustainability for the rest of your life. In most cases, it is all about living in your version of paradise. If you’ve started thinking about your perfect retirement destination, well Belize should be your number 1 choice. Belize offers many perks as the ideal retirement destination. Apart from having English as its primary language and being a key location to the rest of the world, it is a piece of paradise or as we often refer to it “mother nature’s best kept secret”. Belize provides a little something for everyone.

Snorkeling in Belize. A Photo Essay!
We intended to get our scuba certifications before going to Belize – but we didn’t. We scheduled a snorkeling tour to Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley before we left San Pedro. Enjoy!

Breathtaking Belize
There is a unique pocket in the world that buzzes with warmth, inner peace and joy. The people are peaceful, with a quiet confidence emanating from their eyes. They smile broadly, and are filled with energetic laughter, friendly gazes and cozy hugs. The land is raw, lush, and bountiful. With wildlife that is abundant, boasting jaguars, crocodiles, black howler monkeys, iguanas and over 500 species of birds, Belize is a nature lovers utopia. Rich in history grounded in the Maya culture, transcendent experiences await you – Belize is truly “unBelizable”. The spectacular turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea reflect the magnificent Maya Mountains. Whatever your flavor, Belize is sure to please your taste buds.

Retirees Head to Luxury Living in Central America
Retirees in North America head south to Central America's hottest real-estate markets, spending big bucks in Panama, Belize and Nicaragua for exotic living experiences unlike any other in the world.

Belize? Why retirees are heading way south of the border
Americans, breaking from the expat packs in Mexico and Costa Rica, are starting to head into Central American countries such as Panama, Belize and Nicaragua for retirement, lured by luxury real estate and eased requirements for residency.

July 27, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Massage by the Reef- An oasis of serenity
Imagine lounging on a sky deck overlooking crystalline waters as the warm Caribbean breeze caresses your glowing, sun kissed body. As you lie there, being swept into the fantasy of the scenery around you, your mind, body and spirit connects, becoming one. At Massage by the Reef, this fantasy manifested itself, and boy was I glad to be living every moment of it! Quite excited for this appointment, I walked the beach, making my way to Amigos del Mar, the dive shop where Massage by the Reef is also located. Strolling up on the dock, I made my way up the stairs to the private sky deck where I would be getting pampered for the next hour and a half. As I waited for my appointed time, I glanced around, completely taken away by the view that surrounded me. The turquoise waters of the marina glistened beneath me, off in the distance I watched as the never ending parade of waves rolled into the arms of the Barrier Reef, and kite surfers danced atop the warm Caribbean waters….what a view this was!

GOB and Norwegian Cruise Line MOU surfaces
Early this year, the Government of Belize (GOB) confirmed that they had set up a special committee to liaise with investors of Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) for a proposed cruise port on Crawl Caye. The latest development is that GOB has endorsed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with NCL regarding the development on Harvest Caye. This change of location came about after stakeholders in the tourism industry in southern Belize, resoundingly rejected any form of development on Crawl Caye. News of the original proposed cruise port at Crawl Caye caused much controversy when environmentalists and tourism stakeholders claimed that Crawl Caye is within the UNESCO World Heritage Site and the port would create serious damage to the sensitive marine ecosystem. Also causing much concern to the public was the serious concessions that GOB was making to accommodate the NCL project. These included exemption from stamp taxes, customs duties and general tax holidays/waivers for a period of 30 years, with two additional 15-year-extensions to be used at the cruise line’s discretion. They would also enjoy an exclusive 30-year concession as a cruise port of entry at multiple locations in the Stann Creek District in southern Belize, again with two additional 15-year-extensions to be used at their discretion. After the negative public response the Crawl Caye proposal received, GOB announced that Cabinet had turned down the NCL proposal, but would continue searching for new sites in southern Belize.

Reina de La Costa Maya® delegates are here!
Ambergris Caye is gearing up for the biggest international festival in Belize, The International Costa Maya Festival®. The events kick off on Thursday, August 1st, and with the festival getting closer, the delegates competing in the International Reina de La Costa Maya® pageant have arrived in the country. The San Pedro Sun met up with the beauties at the Maya Island Air terminal in San Pedro Town and spoke to the delegates as they arrived.

Cessna reps meet with local airline companies to introduce their new Caravan
Last week representatives from Cessna Aircraft Company were on a visit to Belize, and while in the country, representative Colin Ward met with local airline companies to introduce Cessna’s new product, the Grand Caravan EX. The stop to Belize is significant to the representatives of our local airline companies, since Cessna supplies the local companies with their fleet of Caravans used in the local aircraft industry. Cessna manufactures over 10 designs of airplanes, including the Caravans used in Belize. Every four to five years, the company takes their latest aircrafts through a world tour where they visit with their customers and introduce them to the new products. According to Johnny Greif, President of Tropic Air, Cessna’s stop to Belize included a display of their latest aircraft. “Since we are a big Cessna customer, they stopped here to visit with us. We were able to take a look at this latest model of Caravan, which has some improvements over other planes. The Caravan they brought to show us does not have much difference from the planes we currently operate,” explained Greif.

Ambergris Today

Miss World Belize Looking for Potential Contestants
Miss World Belize Ltd. invites all Potential Contestants between the ages of 17-24 years old interested to participate in Miss World Belize 2013-2014 Contest to submit their applications online at by 1st August, 2013. The National Winner will represent the Country of Belize at Miss World (International) Contest to be held on the 28th September 2013 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Miss World 2013 International Pageant will be televised LIVE in more than 150 countries worldwide. Television viewers in Belize can tune into E! Channel (Entertainment Television) to view this spectacular program that is considered to be the largest event of its kind televised annually. Miss World will be celebrating its 63rd Anniversary this year. The winner will receive $100,000 USD in cash and many other prizes including trips to travel around the world promoting “Beauty with a Purpose,” that involves Miss World Organization charity projects within different communities. The objective is to help humanity especially women and children in many nations. To date Miss World has raise over $450 million USD and is known as “Britain’s most successful ever international television show”.

Belize in Top 10 Best Eco Vacation Spots in the World by FlipKey
Belize was named as one of the “Best Eco Vacation Spots” in the world by FlipKey, a TripAdvisor company. The list, developed based on both traveler feedback and industry research, commends Belize for its countless opportunities to experience incredible natural beauty and unique biodiversity. With 36 percent of Belize’s landmass and 13 percent of its waters enjoying protected status, the country has long been a leader in this category. From the majestic Blue Hole to the recently established Turneffe Marine Reserve, Belize delivers an authentic, unspoiled experience for both locals and travelers to enjoy. Many others have recognized Belize for its prominence in this category, including renowned oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle, who says, “Thank you, Belize, for doing what you are on the land and in the sea; for taking care of the natural systems that take care of us. It is priceless.”

Misc Belizean Sources

July Open Mic Nights at Soul Project
The Soul Project has been rocking with their Open Mic nights this Summer. There's been some great live music and poetry slams there. Gerardo, Levi, Haley, Quick, Mike, Walter, and many more show up regularly to jam out. This month, guitarist and song writer Keren Bein played there twice. In related news, Emmanuel Mangar will be playing at Mr. Greedy's tonight for their Live Music Fridays.

Ready to be ‘Empress’ed??!!
It is no doubt a dawn of a new day for us here at Raggamuffin! Our pet project that we have been working hard on (and on a number of occasions ‘playing hard’ on) completed her transformation yesterday and today takes her maiden voyage for her first Caye Caulker to Placencia – 2 night/ 3 day tours! Let me introduce to you Ragga Empress – she is a 38ft catamaran that has spent the last four months in renovation in order to up-grade Raggamuffin’s service!! Empress actually came to work here in Belize some 13 years ago with the luxury catamaran charter company TMM. Brand spanking new at the time and only months after she first starting working, Hurricane Keith hit Belize and forced her and and a handful of TMM’s boats over the reef. Empress was salvaged and taken into the loving care of Will Peoples, a long standing resident of Caye Caulker who took it on board to renovate Empress back to working condition. After many years of his hard labor, Will decided that Empress was just too big for him and his wife Jane and they were sadly forced to put her up for sale.

Channel 7

GOB Gets Major CCJ Victory
A significant judgment was handed down today by the Caribbean Court of Justice today – and it’s a very major win for the Barrow Administration in its ongoing battle with the Ashcroft Alliance. More than that, it could have far-reaching implications for a long string of tax write-offs, offsets, guarantees, and settlement deeds that the former Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Said Musa gave to the Ashcroft Alliance. But, before we explain all that, first to today’s judgment – which was delivered by teleconference from the CCJ Headquarters in Port of Spain, Trinidad to the Supreme Court Building in Belize City. The CCJ declined to enforce an arbitral Award made by The London Court of International Arbitration in favour of the British Caribbean Bank. The Bank had won an arbitral award of $44 Million US dollars plus interest on the strength of a March 2005 settlement deed signed by then Prime Minister Musa and then Attorney General Francis Fonseca. At the time Musa explained that under the Settlement Deed, government agreed to abandon any litigation against the Carlisle Group for the recovery of outstanding business taxes in exchange for the Carlisle Group abandoning its pending litigation related to the BTL buy back.

Ten Year Old Boy Shot By 14 Year Old
Tonight a 10 year old boy who should be enjoying his last days of summer is instead in critical but stable condition at the KHMH after he was shot last night – by a 14 year old. It’s the kind of story that just boggles the mind…after all how do guns end up in the hands of children? But it happened in Ladyville last night and Monica Bodden tried to find out why today. Monica Bodden reporting It was just after 10 last night when the shooting incident happened here on the street side in front of the family yard of the two minors. From what we gathered, 10 year old Deon Samuels Jr was standing in front of this Astro van - when he was shot in the abdomen by his 14 year old cousin. The bullet exited the child and penetrated the van, leaving this visible bullet hole.

21 Year Old Drowned In OW; Family Says Foul Play
21 year old Sheldon Vasquez was found drowned near the Tower Hill toll bridge in the New River today. The mentally challenged young man had been missing since Wednesday and today a tour guide came across his body on an island in the middle of the river. While he appeared to have drowned, his family believe that some sort of foul play was involved. They say he left home with a group of boys and they believe the young men pushed him into the water. They are asking police to question the boys. They say Sheldon didn’t know how to swim and knew to stay away from water. This is the second drowning in Orange Walk Town in a week.

What Would You Do With $456,000
What would you do with 456 thousand dollars? That’s what 27 year old mother of one, Sue-Ellen Usher is figuring out tonight after she won last night’s Fantasy Five draw. The pre-tax winning is 456 thousand dollars – the second largest in Fantasy Five history. The San Ignacio resident came in to the Belize City office of Brad’s to collect today and she told us how she arrived at the winning combination of five numbers. Sue-Ellen Usher - Winner of Fantasy Five $456,000 Jackpot "I was sitting outside with a couple of friends and my mom was inside checking the numbers for me and she told me that I won it and I couldn't believe it and I went to the Chinese and I checked on the phone to see if the numbers were right and everything was right." Jules Vasquez "How did you select those numbers?" Sue-Ellen Usher "My mom and I sat down last night before the Fantasy Five and I picked out all the names of the youngest children in my family so I said my baby is 2, my nephew is 3, my other little nephew is 6, my baby sister is 9 and my other little sister is 15 years old - those are the youngest in the house and their age made me win it."

West and Gaynair Receive Additional Honours
Woodrow West and Ian Gaynair have made international headlines and a trip to the Gold Cup final for turning down a match-fixing bribe, and now the Belize Olympic Committee’s Fair Play Commission have awarded them the Gilmore Henkson Fair Play Trophy for quote, “their outstanding honesty & patriotism during their participation in the Gold Cup Tournament in the U.S.A.” A release adds that, quote, “ Their character exemplifies the aims and objectives of the International Olympic Committee.” Unquote. The Trophy is in memory of Gilmore Henkson a secretary of the Belize Olympic Committee for many years and also a sportsman. The Trophy will be presented to West and Gaynair on the August fifth at the Government House in Belmopan by Governor General Sir Colville Young.

Weed Eena Church Roof!
The GSU descended on a yard at #91 Victoria Street in Belize City this morning for an intensive three-hour search. They made a major find, but the news tonight is where it was made – it wasn’t in the yard, but in an adjoining property, stuffed into the roof of a small church. We went to the area to find out more:… Jules Vasquez reporting It’s a neighborhood church but, turns out, it’s also a stash spot where police found a marijuana, bullets and a firearm tucked into the eaves of the building: Voice of: Suzette Mossiah - Pastor, Merrirh’s Ministry "Well the only way is that they could have tore the eave and stuffed it there because it was open." Jules Vasquez "Now you run a church from this building." Voice of: Suzette Mossiah "Yes, for crying out loud look where they will put their drugs, in a ministry? That's crazy." The pastor wasn’t arrested but persons from the adjoining property were detained. That’s where the eaves overhang and police believe parties inside the yard are responsible for the stash in their neighbor’s ministry building.

Re-thinking The Fight Against Encroachment In Chiquibul
Last week at the Chiquibul symposium, one of the many initiatives to rescue the park was to create sustained public awareness – the same kind that the Belize jaguars, or even the drive to independence got. The Friends For Conservation and Development which co-manages the park believes they also have to change their tactics. Here how they explained their new policies which have international implications. Daniel Ortiz reporting The FCD is reporting that there has been an increase in illegal activity in the Chiquibul for 2013. Rafael Manzanero - Executive Director, FCD "When we observed it 7 years ago we were just learning about the particular threats at that particular time it was Xate extraction - if you look at it now in terms of the environmental and the loss of land - we are seeing that if we do not really take strong, bold and a sustained action in the Chiquibul we will not be able to do it again in the future. This really means that we are reaching to a point where we need to make decisive decisions, it means that we're really reaching to a point where it's optimum in terms of that buffer that we can't really pass or we've passed over that already. So for us observing it on the ground, it's already reaching to a point where we need really to put this thing like now."

Caleb On “Dangerous Liaisons” Report
Last night, we told you about the launching of the Southern Poverty Law Center's 2013 report called "Dangerous Liaisons: The American Religious Right and the Criminalization of Homosexuality in Belize". The report purports to track the influence of extremist right wing religious groups and their influence in Belize for the last 3 years as they provide assistance to local religious groups in resisting the UNIBAM Challenge to the sodomy laws. The 26 page document is extensive, looking at US groups like Extreme Prophetic Ministries of Phoenix, Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), and the Alliance Defending Freedom and tracking their influence on local organisations like Pastor Scott Stirm's Belize Action. Stirm denies the reports findings, but SPLC is internationally recognized as a credible outreach Organization. One thing which is certain is that if the report is accurate, then the leading personalities have been participating in the very same thing that they've accused Activist Caleb Orozco of doing; that is, working with and for organizations with a so called "foreign agenda".

Hope Re-Born At Youth Apprentice-ship Programme Graduation
The youth apprentice-ship programme held its fourth graduation today. As we’ve reported before, the program gives a second chance at a career to young people whose lives would have otherwise hit a dead end. So, every graduation is like a hope re-born – and Monica Bodden found out what made today’s one special. The fourth graduation for the Ministry of Education Youth Apprenticeship Program was held today inside the King's Room at the Princess Hotel. 64 youths completed the 6 month program and were awarded with certificates. Dianne Finnegan- Coordinator, Apprenticeship Programme "It's as if though, I've had to nurture my own kids into maturity because they come with so much challenges and so much sadness. They come with so much expectations and reasons for wanting to move from where they came in from to where they were created to be but all I can do is just say 'welcome'. It is the most rewarding - I don't even want to say it's a job - because the pleasure I get from doing this, is beyond what I can share with you. These young people, if given the opportunity to actually continue to manifest there greatness can become our greatest productive sector within the work force. They truly want to be in that spotlight of showing off that they made it and that is why they make the effort that they work 8-5 and then still go to school in the evening and make sure that they also tap into us for guidance, tutoring, and assistance in making sure that they pass to the next level."

Rowan Made It!
After months of preparation, and a few set backs due to weather, Rowan Garel, the fearless, adventurous and blind 14 year-old has completed his third great adventure: Today, he dove the Blue Hole. It is a feat which is difficult enough for normal divers, but due to his visual impairment, it made preparations for the dive and his training significantly more challenging. But, he took on the challenge with determination, and he made it. We’ll have an extensive look at his accomplishment on Monday’s Newscast, but after he finished the dive this evening, we asked him about the experience. Here’s how he explained it: Rowan Garel - Dove The Blue Hole "I went to the Blue Hole first which is really amazing - I really wanted to do that. We saw turtles there which was cool - one of them passed right by me actually, a Hawksbill Turtle and I got to touch the shell and I meant it's just really amazing to be able to go in the Great Blue Hole. So much water as around me, above me, below and you just feel so insignificant in comparison to all that water and wildlife."

Channel 5

Police allegedly drag and beat naked woman
News Five has covered many stories alleging police abuse over the years. Some of them have been so heinous that it is hard to say today’s complaint is one of [...]

What are the implications of the Maya Land Rights ruling?
On Thursday, the Court of Appeal issued a split decision ruling in the case of Mayan land rights in Southern Belize. On one hand, the Court re-affirmed the rights of [...]

Litigations cost millions and the government’s choice attorneys collect
Litigation, litigation everywhere, and no doubt the attorneys involved in what seems like endless litigation are smiling all the way to the bank. In the case of any litigation against [...]

Jaguars, Woodrow and Gaynair, honored locally
The Belize Jaguars did not advance to the other round of the Gold Cup, but they made a positive impact on the CONCACAF games. Team members, Woodrow West blocked many [...]

Split decision? CCJ says arbitration act legal, but BCB award illegal
The Caribbean Court of Justice via teleconference ruled this afternoon that a forty million dollar arbitration award won by B.C.B. Holdings in 2009 was not enforceable in Belize. Like most [...]

Drug addict taken to prison for crack possession
Forty-two year old Rudolph Lizama was charged for having an undetermined amount of crack cocaine in his possession and today, when he appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano, he pleaded guilty [...]

Court rules no sex in carnal knowledge case
In the Supreme Court, a jury of five women and four men acquitted twenty-one year old Maxwell Wade of two counts of carnal knowledge. Wade was accused of having sex [...]

Six arrested for drugs and firearms found on Victoria Street
Six persons were charged for drug and firearm offences following a search by the Gang Suppression Unit on Victoria Street. When the GSU searched the house at Victoria Street, it [...]

A scam with accompanying articles and videos about Belize
Have you heard of Lord Neil Benjamin Gibson? News Five has never heard of him either until today. But according to his website, he is one of the largest [...]

64 graduate from Youth Apprenticeship Program
The fourth Youth Apprenticeship Program wound up this morning with a ceremony at the Princess Hotel and Casino. Hundreds of young men and women took part in the four month [...]

A Summer Camp for the Arts
A group of very happy youths today concluded a three week camp dedicated to the arts. They danced, acted, painted and played music and will be taking home great memories [...]

Second highest Fantasy 5 Jackpot winner from Cayo
Fantasy Five has a new winner. A housewife and a mother of one child who lives in Cayo has just won the second highest jackpot for the game. It’s so [...]

News 5’s Moody tours with the BTB
News Five’s Duane Moody became a tourist in his own country as a guest of the Belize Tourism Board. The fam trip covered the Placencia area showcasing prime destinations and [...]


Tourism Association for Private Sector Says No to Proposed Development
The BTIA held a meeting on Thursday marking the end of consultations with all of its chapters to ventilate the proposals for large scale development in the Placencia area for cruise tourism. Appearing on Love FM’s Morning Show were the President of the Belize Tourism Industry Associat...

Young Boy Shot and Minor Detained Following Child's Play
A shooting took place on Carpenter Street in Ladyville Village on Thursday night but the victim and the accused are little boys. The one who got shot is ten years old and he had to undergo surgery to remove a portion of his intestine that was ruptured when the bullet ripped through his body...

Youth Organization Ends Fourth Apprenticeship Program
The Youth Apprenticeship Program has been in existence since 2010. Since then the program has had a positive impact on hundreds of young people. Today was another special day for the program as we hear in this story from reporter Hipolito Novelo. HIPOLITO NOVELO “With th...

Youth Empowerment Program Awards Participating Adolescents
The Productive Organization for Women in Action, POWA gave certificates to 48 adolescents for completing the POWA youth empowerment program in Dangriga. Correspondent Ifasina Efunyemi has more in this report. IFASINA EFUNYEMI “During the past five weeks, the participating yout...

Belize Defense Force Holds Recruitment Examination
The Belize Defense Force is looking for men and women to join its ranks. The recruitment exercise will take place tomorrow across the country. Love News spoke with Major Thomas Cal. MAJOR THOMAS CAL “The Belize Defense Force will be having a recruit selection examination...

Connecting Flights on Tropic Air To Mexico Coming Soon
Tropic Air is looking at linking Belize and Chetumal in Mexico through scheduled flights. According to Honorary Consul of Belize in Chetumal, Juan Valencia Gomez, the state Ministry of Tourism – Sedetur – along with the Ministry of Transport and Communications are the entiti...

Body of Mentally Challenged Orphan Found In River
The body of 21-year-old Sheldon Vasquez of Carmelita Village was retrieved from the New River earlier today. Vasquez who was mentally challenged went missing on Wednesday. His body was seen about five hundred yards from the foot of the toll bridge at Tower Hill. Due to the advan...

Convicted Thief Says He Stole Because He Was Drunk with Financial Woes
Twenty-three year old Mauricio Rodriguez, a construction worker of Green Street, was sentenced to three months today by Chief magistrate, Anne Marie Smith after he pled guilty to theft. Rodriguez was charged with the theft of a purse from an employee of St. John’s College, which occurred on...

Senior Citizen Stabbed for Defending Daughter From Abusive Spouse
A man who was charged with wounding his father-in-law, 76 year old William Bennett, was remanded into custody today by Magistrate Leslie Hamilton after he pled guilty to wounding. He is 42 year old Enrique Soberanis, a resident of Daly Street. Magistrate Hamilton told Soberanis that the cha...

Accused then Acquitted of Carnal Knowledge
Twenty-one year old Maxwell Wade, a resident of Ladyville charged with two counts of carnal knowledge of a female child 12 years and 6 months old, was acquitted of both charges today in the court of Justice Adolph Lucas. The jury of five women and four men deliberated for about two hours before i...


Ministry of Health issues advisory on bovine rabies
The Ministry of Health has issued an advisory on bovine rabies (rabies in cow). On the 24 of July, a suspected case of bovine rabies in the New Road Area of the Toledo District was reported to BAHA. BAHA, along with the Ministry of Health have been engaged in...

Teaching defensive driving on the road to safety
Belize is one of the worst places in the world for road traffic accidents, many of them fatal. Too often, however, the problem is not only the road conditions, but the drivers on them. As part of the Belize Road Safety Project funded in conjunction with the Caribbean Development...

Dara’s Ride For Hunger slated for next week.
For the past seven years, well known activist Joel “Dara” Robinson, through the Dara Feeding Program, has been spreading awareness on poverty and providing meals for kids in the Belize City area. It’s a heartbreaking reality, but children can often times be seen around the city asking for a...

Senior citizen of Belize City accused of burglarizing a home
A senior citizen of Belize City is being accused of burglarizing the home of a woman. Police say that 75-year-old Amos Wright, a self-employed resident of the Port Loyola area of Belize City burglarized the home of Geneva Trapp. Allegations are that on Wednesday, July 24, 2013, Amos Wright...

Maxwell Wade acquitted of two sexual offenses
21-year-old Maxwell Wade, has been acquitted of two sexual offenses. Wade was charge with two counts of carnal knowledge with a minor who allege he had sexual intercourse with her twice in April of 2010. The 12-year-old girl in her testimony last week told the court that sometime between ...

Ladies training for upcoming UNCAF tournament
The men have had their fair share of football, but now it is the ladies’ turn. We caught up with coach Gabourel at the FFB stadium while the girls were being trained. He told us more about the upcoming UNCAF tournament that they are preparing for. Kent Gabourel –...

64 graduate from Youth Apprenticeship Program
The Youth Apprenticeship Program has graduated from strength to strength, reaching the most vulnerable members of our population and turning their lives around. For six months they are given a chance to prove themselves, not only to their employers and family, but also to themselves, the apprentices. Today, 64...

Minister in charge Sustainable Development addresses current co-management system
Co-management, as it is known in Belize, is the framework the country has in order to effectively manage most of its 94 protected areas. The history of Belize’s co-management agreement takes us back a couple of years, when the Belize Audobon Society approached government and requested that they become...

SATIIM hits back
On Wednesday Minister Lisel Alamilla was quoted as saying she believed Sarstoon Temash Institute of Indigenous Management (SATIIM) was “playing games” by refusing to sign the co-management agreement over the Sarstoon Temash National Park, the largest co-manager not to do so. This afternoon SATIIM’s director Greg Choc told the...

Anniversary of the birth of Simón Bolivar celebrated by Venezuelan Institute
July 24th 2013, marked the 230th anniversary of the birth of one of South America’s greatest generals,Simón De La Santisma Trinidad Bolivar Y Blanco. Simón Bolivar was born in Caracas, Venezuela in 1783. In his victories over the Spaniards he won the independence of Bolivia, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru...

Two fishermen found guilty of fishing in a Conservation Zone
Two fishermen must shell out some big bucks after they were found guilty of fishing in a Conservation Zone. 28 year old Oved Rivero and 25 year old Byron Cortez, both fishermen of Sarteneja Village, appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court yesterday to...

Stephen Okeke frustrated over labour leader bust
A few months ago we detailed the troubles of sculptor Stephen Okeke who was seeking a home for his bust of legendary labour leader Antonio Soberanis in Belize City. Since then it appeared that he and the City Council had reached agreement, even on a method of payment. But...

BCVI holds open day in Belize City
The Belize Council for the Visually Impaired (BCVI) held its annual general meeting and open day today in Belize City. It was another successful year for the organization which sees to the needs of Belizeans with less than perfect eyesight and those who need help to adjust to blindness....

Court reduces land rights of Maya people
On Thursday afternoon the Court of Appeal delivered a split decision in relation to the second Maya Land Rights case, appealed by the Government against the Maya Leaders’ Alliance (MLA) and Toledo Alcaldes’ Association (TAA), which had won a landmark judgment in 2010 extending rights of communal property previously...

Pool Party at YWCA
It’s summer vacation, and what better way to celebrate than with a pool party? The Young Women’s Christian Association has a good one, and to mark the end of their summer program they will be inviting one and all into the pool on Friday. It’s also for a good...

Youngsters graduate from swimming program in Belmopan
On Wednesday, some twelve youngsters graduated from a swimming program in Belmopan. The classes are part of a summer long initiative hosted by Club La Fontaine. At the program’s first ever graduation, we met up with swimming instructor, Craig Sheldon,...

Promising football star loses life in accident
Luis Eduardo Mendez, a former player of the Belize National Team, passed away Tuesday evening and leaves behind a nation of grieving fans, family and friends-including his Facebook friends, who flooded his wall as they paid their respect to the deceased. The 20...

SATIIM attorney says Maya should be allowed access to park
On Tuesday members of the Maya community spoke out about their frustration with the Government of Belize and U.S. Capital Energy who they say have denied them access to the Sarstoon Temash National Park where there is seismic testing ongoing. Attorney acting on behalf of the Sarstoon Temash Institute...

Rhett Fuller continues fight against extradition
In March of this year, Belizean businessman Rhett Fuller turned around a long history of losses before the courts in his long-running fight to avoid extradition to Miami-Dade County, Florida, for a murder that took place more than two decades ago. The Court of Appeal allowed his appeal of...

Police issue wanted bulletin in murder case
Last night we told you of two lovers’ alleged dispute that took a horrific turn. It was reported that Jose Arnaldo Soto was having frequent quarrels with his girlfriend. The girl’s step-father, Isaac Guiterrez offered some advice in favour of his daughter. Furthermore, girl...

Farmer sentenced to five years in prison for chopping off a man’s fingers
A farmer has been sentenced to five years in prison for chopping off a man’s fingers. 55-year-old Romolo Garcia, a farmer, vegetable vendor who was convicted last week of the offense of use of deadly means of harm with intent to cause grievous harm to Alfredo Herrera, who later...

Draft of legal bill being prepared
In his guise as President of the Bar Association, Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay gave the press an update on the changes to the Legal Profession Act that intends to allow for the creation of separate and multiple legal associations. Eamon Courtenay – Senior Council: I met with Minister Elrington...

Report of Revenue Enhancement Support Program presented to Municipal Authorities.
The engineering body of Belize’s government is found in the local municipalities – that is the city and town councils. Therefore, it is important that these councils be ran with the highest efficiency possible and its revenues managed productively. The Revenue Enhancement Support Program (RESP), part of the Belize...

Dr Peter Allen reports on the Central Medical Laboratory renovations
The Ministry of Health is conducting extensive renovations of key services, and last Friday contracted with Gutierrez & Associates Architects for the renovation of the first floor of the Central Medical Laboratory. Dr. Peter Allen, CEO who signed on behalf of the Ministry, tells us more. Dr Peter Allen...

Renovation taking place at KHMH Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Belmopan Morgue
PlusNews spoke to CEO in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Peter Allen, on several burning issues with the Ministry. We begin with the current status of the KHMH’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, which Dr. Allen says is among several sections of the hospital currently being renovated. Dr. Peter Allen...

FFB Vice-President still detained by US authorities
Information reaching PLUS News is that vice-president of the Football Federation of Belize (FFB), Rawell Pelayo, is still in the U.S., but now in New York where he faces charges of conspiracy to transport narcotics. According to the document, which was filed in the United States District Court Southern...

Two brothers accused of causing serious injuries to one of their relatives
Two brothers, Eric and Prince Lockwood, are being accused of causing serious injuries to one of their own relatives Nelson Lockwood. Today, one of the brothers was before the court to answer to charges while the other brother is on the run. 26 year old Eric Lockwood, a resident...

Rowan Garel to dive Blue Hole
Visually impaired teenager Rowan Garel’s latest adventure was to have taken place two weeks ago when he was scheduled to dive in the world-famous Blue Hole in the Lighthouse Reef Atoll. However, there was inclement weather and the trip was postponed. Now it is on again for Friday morning,...


The body of well-known Belizean footballer, Luis Eduardo Mendez, arrived home in Benque Viejo del Carmen, Cayo, Thursday morning, and relatives are now preparing to lay him to rest after a tragic road accident in Guatemala claimed the life of the 22-year-old. The Guatemalan press reported Tuesday that Luis Eduardo Mendez, 22, a Belizean footballer, had died when a bus that was traveling from Guatemala City to Quetzaltenango fell off into a ravine, injuring 14 passengers. The driver of the bus reportedly lost control after it was hit by another vehicle. Mendez was due to return to Belize the same day the Guatemalan media reported the tragedy. He succumbed after the ADN autobus accident that also seriously injured six others. The incident is said to have occurred on the Inter-American Highway, in the jurisdiction of Nahualá, Sololá. Mendez was the only fatality. The Belize Embassy in Guatemala informed us early Wednesday that Mendez had been kept in a Government morgue in the city of Solola, three hours away from Guatemala City. Family members from Benque traveled to Guatemala to identify the body and bring him back home. His first cousin, Cesar Mendez, informed us that a wake is being held today, Thursday, and the funeral is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. tomorrow, Friday, at Mount Carmel Church, in Benque Viejo del Carmen.

The national park sits on Maya ancestral lands; Greg Ch’oc defiant! On Tuesday, Greg Ch’oc, Executive Director of the Sarstoon Temash Institute of Indigenous Management (SATIIM), came public to say that the Forestry Department has issued the NGO a letter barring it from entering the Sarstoon Temash National Park – a protected area the NGO has co-managed since 1997. But Ch’oc’s message to the Government is that he will not desist – after all, the park sits on Maya ancestral lands to which they have customary rights. That’s not the end of the story, though, because the Forestry Department letter went on to tell Ch’oc that, “…it is to refrain from undertaking any negotiation or related business associated with the park and the usual park management.” That, it seems, includes negotiations for funding. The conservation of the STNP—the second largest in Belize—is the reason SATIIM exists, and Ch’oc’s response to that order from the Government was a resolute “no!” “I want to make clear here the wishes of the communities – that the park is indigenous land. As a people, we have sacrificed, we have been denied access to the very land that we own. We have recognized and we have always recognized the importance of protecting and safeguarding our natural resources. And I want to tell the Forestry Department and the Government of Belize that SATIIM will continue to manage and protect the national park, because it is our interest and the interest of the Belizean people.”

Buckley, shot mistakenly by police, is in danger of being taken to court for not paying hospital bill, even though he cannot work. Steven Buckley, 41, the man who was mistakenly shot in the head on the night of April 28, 2010, by an inspector of police leading a patrol, and as a result is disabled and unable to work, told Amandala that he has still not gotten a cent from the Police Department to cover his $6,561 debt to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for his treatment. Minister of Police John Saldivar had been contacted last Thursday to see what assistance would be given to Buckley by police. Saldivar said that he would consult the Commissioner of Police on his return from Salvador. Upon returning, however, the Commissioner said that no decision had yet been made. Buckley was told on Thursday, July 4, by Credit Master System, the collecting agent for the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, that last Friday, July 19, was the deadline to pay, after which court action would be taken against him.

The Maya won, and lost at the Court of Appeal, but “This is not the end:” Greg Ch’oc. The long-awaited decision by the Court of Appeal in the Maya land rights case was finally handed down today, and while it reaffirmed the October 18, 2007 decision by former Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh that the Maya of Toledo do have customary land rights in Southern Belize, it overturned orders that Conteh had made, binding the Government of Belize to give effect to those rights. Alfonso Cal, chairman of the Toledo Alcalde Association (TAA), one of the main claimants in the land rights case, told Amandala after the decision was read that they have waited three years for it, and he didn’t sleep at all last night, after they received notification around 6 o’clock yesterday that the decision would be read today at 2:00 p.m. “The Maya people were very poor people with money – cash, but with the land we are rich with land and that’s where we live. We make our living. We get everything that is necessary for our family,” Cal told our newspaper. “When the other third parties come to try to tell us that this land is not for us, we are just squatting, we just laughed. They were sent by somebody. We tell them now that this land is ours and they don’t believe it!” Cal added. He said, however, that there have been many violations against their property rights: prominent examples that have riled up the Maya of Toledo are petroleum exploration and rosewood logging. Land disputes in Maya villages such as Golden Stream, in fact, triggered the court case; and the Maya won two landmark rulings before former Chief Justice Conteh.

A man and his wife were held up and robbed at gunpoint in their home in Santa Elena, at about 10:00 last Saturday night, July 20. The thieves got away with over $3,000 in cash and goods and one of them beat the husband in the head with the butt of a gun. Hugh Tillett, of the Hot Point area of the Santa Elena Town, told police that he was in his house with his wife when two armed, masked men gained entry into his house. They made their way to his bedroom and kicked in the bedroom door. One of them had a knife and the other, a gun. The one with the gun pointed it at them and demanded money. Tillett said that he became fearful for his life and gave the robbers about $1,500 in cash and two cell phones together valued at $1,800.

Garcia chopped Herrera on his left forearm and chopped off the fingers of his right hand. Romolo Garcia, 55, a resident of Hattieville, was convicted of use of deadly means of harm with intent to cause grievous harm last week Tuesday after a jury found him guilty in a ratio of 8 to 1. Garcia had attacked Alfredo Herrera with a machete on April 1, 2011, and chopped him twice – once on the left forearm, and a second time on the right hand, with a severe chop that severed all of Herrera’s fingers on that hand. This morning, Garcia was sentenced to 5 years for his crime by Justice Adolph Lucas. On April 1, 2011, according to Herrera’s statement, he had visited Garcia’s house from earlier that day and they had spent the better half of the day drinking Old Master extra strong rum with water. It was at 3:00 that afternoon that Herrera told Garcia that he had known his wife before her relationship with Garcia, and that caused Garcia to get into a rage. Herrera had told police that Garcia then grabbed a machete which was beside him by a coconut tree and chased him with it, and in an attempt to escape harm, Herrera ran into Garcia’s house to try and get a machete which he had seen in the bedroom.

The Belize Diabetes Association office, located on the second floor of the Commercial Center on Albert Street, and a Chinese store in Ladyville were robbed yesterday in separate incidents – the first robbery occurring around 10:00 yesterday morning, and the other at about 7:00 yesterday evening. The thief who robbed the Diabetes Association office escaped with a laptop computer, while a pair of thieves took about $500 from a Chinese store in Ladyville before escaping. No one was hurt in the course of the robberies. Michelle Godoy of the Belize Diabetes Association told Amandala that yesterday morning, she and others were in the office when a man gained entry into the office by prying open the door, and he grabbed a laptop computer that was on the desk near the door. The man then ran out of the office. Police went to the scene, but could not find the thief. According to Godoy, this was the first time their office has been targeted for robbery. Police remind the public that it is an offense to be found in possession of stolen goods, or goods reasonably believed to have been obtained illegally. Anyone who knows the whereabouts of the laptop is urged to contact the nearest police station, or the Belize Diabetes Association at phone numbers 203- 3333, or at their office on the 2nd floor of the City Center on Albert Street.

Isaac Gutierrez, 27, a Guatemalan who is a worker on the Mayan King banana farm in the Stann Creek District, died after being stabbed in the chest while socializing at the farm at about 8:00 last evening Sunday, July 21. Gutierrez apparently got into an altercation with another worker on the farm, and the man stabbed him in the chest and ran. People who saw the stabbing quickly took Gutierrez to the Southern Regional Hospital in Dangriga, but he died while doctors were operating on him. The body awaits a post mortem to certify the cause of death. So far, the man who stabbed Gutierrez is still at large. Police believe that both men were drinking when the quarrel began. The motive for the attack, however, is not yet known.

Smith and Brown crashed a party early Sunday morning, causing a stabbing frenzy. Yesterday, Saysha Moody, 18, was charged with wounding Kendra Smith, 21, a customer care representative, after Smith and her friend, Lyvette Brown, 19, crashed a party that was being held at Moody’s residence on Iguana Street Extension. Today, Smith and Brown were returned to court after spending an extra night at our local “piss house” after being disrespectful while inside the holding cell area at the Magistrate’s Court. Smith and Brown were both charged with wounding Saysha Moody, and grievous harm and use of deadly means of harm on Sharema Moody, 16, Saysha’s sister. According to the police report, a party was being held at Moody’s residence when Smith and Brown showed up, uninvited, and attacked Moody. Guests of the party got involved and that was when it turned into a brawl, and at the end of it all, the Moody sisters, Smith and Brown were all suffering from various degrees of injury.

Just over three weeks ago, on July 1, as Game 1 of the best-of-3 games cricket championship series approached, representatives of defending champions, Excellence of Double Head Cabbage, visited our sports desk to vent their frustration with the managing committee of cricket, which has still not handed the promised trophies to Excellence for last year’s championship. (See story, “Trophy problem solved;…” in the Amandala of Wednesday, July 3, 2013.) Whatever were the problems of the previous cricket executive, there was a new President at the start of the 2013 SMART Harrison Parks National Cricket Competition, and the new sponsors, SMART would provide the finances needed to secure the prizes for this year’s competition. No money is collected from fans at cricket games, because the fields are not fenced, and there was no corporate sponsor for the 2012 season. Last year’s committee, headed by Lewellyn Sutherland after the resignation of Elston Wade, had originally postponed the traditional “Trophy Day” due to then approaching tropical storm Ernesto; but time went by, and the 2013 season began without Excellence receiving their championship trophies for the 2012 season which ended on August 4, 2012.

The regular season of the dynamic Guinness 9-Ball Tournament in Belmopan ended with a bang, as two teams had to battle in a tie-breaker to determine who would reach the big dance, as Barriofino was waiting for a partner to “bailar” at Barriofino in the grand finale. It was one of the best and hottest matches ever, as it was the National Guinness 9-Ball champs from 2012, “Salvapan Shattaz” trying to stay alive against the new team on the block, Las Flores. The match was being played on neutral grounds in this tie-breaker, and in this do-or-die situation. It was all happening at Barriofino Sports Bar, and for sure it was exciting and super thrilling, as Salvapan Shattaz was shattered by Las Flores, 3-2, thus eliminating Shattaz for the first time from the Finals and their chance to defend their title at the national tournament to be held in Dangriga. The individuals scores were as follows: In match number 1, it was Erwin “Big Chino” Paredes of Shattaz hurting Ernest “Puff” Borland of Las Flores by 3-2; then in match number 2, Shattaz went up, as Elder “Small Chino” Paredes damaged David Mejia by 5-2, putting Shattaz up by 2-0.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery from the Kremandala family to brother Serapio “Big Mole” Alvarez who is reportedly in hospital recovering from congestive heart failure in the U.S. According to his wife of over 30 years, Serapio, who has been suffering with high blood pressure for many years, is presently receiving oxygen and physical therapy, and they hope he can return home soon, after ten days in hospital. Serapio was vice-captain of the famous Independence football team of the 1960’s in Belize, and migrated to the States over 40 years ago. The team captain, the legendary Louis “Bembe, the Mugger” Garbutt passed away recently in New York. Today’s semipro footballers may not know that some of the first blows struck for professionalism in Belize football were by the Independence football team, led by “di Mugger” and “Big Mole.” Serapio’s younger brother, Raymond “Lee Mole” Alvarez, who started his career with Independence, went on to also become a famous football star of the 1970’s with Diamond-A, San Joaquin and Berger 404. Lee Mole resides in Belize and is also presently ailing.

It is appearing to us that Belize has slid downwards into a state of affairs we would refer to as “recolonialism.” For sure, the trappings and symbols of independence are in place, and in a couple months’ time we will be watching all the September pomp and ceremony to celebrate 1798 and 1981. On the daily ground, however, we are again a subject people, and our new colonial masters are the international bankers. The Belizean nation owes a ton of money, is involved in dangerously expensive litigations on many fronts, and Belizeans, as a people, have become addicted to living above our means. The generation of 1950 which condemned British colonialism and struck out for the shores of independence, was a brave and visionary generation of Belizeans. Some of that generation were skeptical, believed the concept of self-rule to be chimerical, and they began to migrate to the United States. Many Belizeans, nevertheless, stayed the course, and they were rewarded with self-government in 1964. There was a process which began in 1950s Belize after the first wave of our migrants settled in New York City and New Orleans, then Chicago and afterwards Los Angeles. That process was the process of acquiring American tastes. At home in Belize, we began to judge everything by the standards of the United States, which was undergoing their own American process – the process of becoming the richest and most powerful nation on planet earth. The boxes and barrels our loving relatives were sending us from America infected us with a high-minded virus: all things Belizean slowly lost their ability to satisfy us; everything had to be American.

“The centrality of oil to the modern world is well known. Oil is integrally related to virtually every aspect of our way of life, from transportation, communication and the mass production of goods, to food, heat, light and military power. Access to oil is therefore essential to modern living, as well as being crucial to maintaining military dominance – as was amply demonstrated in both World Wars.” - pg. 2, WAR, BIG OIL, AND THE FIGHT FOR THE PLANET, Linda McQuaig, Anchor Canada, 2005 During the thirty years or so when I would converse seriously with the late Dr. Leroy Taegar from time to time, he impressed upon me the fact of the awesome power of the rulers of the world and the fact that, because of the awesomeness of that power, these were people who routinely thought of things in terms of fifty years, or a hundred years, or even more. In other words, the big people could afford to be patient, whereas we, the oppressed of the earth, because of the tenuous nature of our existence, are in a haste where our quests for survival and improvement are concerned. The realities Taegar impressed upon me were uncomfortable realities, because what they did was weaken my spirit of resistance and my resolve in the struggle. How do you fight people who are in no hurry and do not even have to win a fight with you in order to remain masters of their own destiny, and yours? How do you fight people who can transform themselves into other than what they really are, and worse, can recruit and arm your own to fight against you?

— by Kenny Jacobs Dear Editor, Please allow me space in your newspaper to share my views concerning why poor people in Belize can’t get ahead! Belize is home to hundreds of thousands of people, all of diverse ethnicities. We have many natural resources unmatched to other countries. We have a culture untouched, natural, rich, and splendid which makes us unique. Our people, however, are being born or are being “given” a mentality that they are poor. They are given this mentality by the wealthy people. These wealthy people have the power and they control these poor people by many obstructs: religion, politics, education, and money. Whenever the rich people see the opportunity to make millions off the poor people’s head, they do whatever it takes to get it. They construct a “divide” mentality. They ensure that people are for, and against the issue. And for their proponents, they tell them only about the short advantage of the situation. They don’t tell them about the long-term disadvantage of it. In the essence of all, these wealthy people are making millions off the people’s resources while the people are losing a valuable instance of their community.

— by Charles Leslie, Jr. Dear Editor, The Placencia Peninsula beach is 17 miles long and is one of our main tourism assets. Majority of it is filthy almost all year round and especially during this time of year. This is unacceptable, and it is slowly eroding our image as the fastest growing tourism destination, and the best stretch of beach in Belize. We recently won Destination of the Year. To keep that prestige, we need to focus our energies on our beach. In October 2010 the Gulf of Honduras (GOH) was launched with an objective of: “Environmental Protection and Maritime Transport Pollution Control in the Gulf of Honduras,” with a primary focus on demonstration of new and mixed technologies to address some of the major environmental problems and issues of the Gulf leading to the degradation of marine and coastal ecosystems by human activities. The long-term goal of the project is to reverse the degradation of the coastal and marine ecosystems by enhancing the control and prevention of maritime transport-related pollution in the major ports and navigation lanes, improving navigational safety to avoid groundings and spills, and reducing land-based inputs to the adjacent coastal and marine areas within the Gulf of Honduras. This project has a budget of $58 million USD and a 5-year duration. In Placencia, we cannot afford to wait until this program truly kicks in and hope it will directly benefit us. We need to take matters into our own hands, now. Under the May 2010 draft National Guidelines for Subdivision and Consolidation of Land in Belize which falls under the Lands and Surveys Department, Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, it states, “Under the LUA (Land Utilization Act) general subdivision guidelines to ensure that access to water bodies is maintained include: A 66-foot reserve must be provided for each subdivision of a land parcel next to the sea, lagoon, river, creek and other major water bodies.”

— by Chriss Roggema Dear Editor, A year or so ago in a discussion on Front Street in Caye Caulker I remember the newly elected mayor Wayne Miller stated his intention to run for office saying: “Like I see it guys, we are standing at the crossroads for Caye Caulker. If you and me do not take charge of this failing political situation, we can’t complain afterwards and say how mucked up the situation on the island has become. And it will go on this way with this political infighting and nothing important gets done. It’s up to us. It’s up to you and me!” At that time, it gave me a lot to think about, because after 25 years on the island I had decided to move off the island to the mainland into the rainforest to get some more space around me, since my privacy on the island had become very restricted. When I first lived on the island people did not understand why I moved from Front Street to “back a bush.” But it was good living quietly in the bush in what the island people called “the pretty little house in the back.” Now my Cocoplum sanctuary is tucked away between the old and new village in the island’s nicest neighborhood with big houses in big gardens with lots of trees and flowers. But with only one Belizean neighbor in the whole street who lives there, and the rest foreign tourists who rent from the foreign owners, who only spend a few days or weeks there a year. Not really a neighborhood in my sense. And most of these foreigners are so rude: when you hail them they look at you like you want to rob them.

— by Joseph Alvarez Dear Sir, It’s always interesting to read commentaries and articles in the print media of how things were in the past and how it has changed over the years in Belize. The discussion has become so intense that at one point the question was, have we become a failed state since achieving Independence or should we have remained a colony of Britain. The most intriguing subject for me is in relation to sports and athletes who were dominant in their particular sports discipline in the past. These comments are made by very prominent Belizeans or government officials. They are important stories that must be mentioned and also documented for the future generation. However, what have we done as people who have witnessed and experienced the greatness and glory of these athletes to make life and sports more rewarding for our youths today? The question is more directed to those who have so many fond memories of the past and have now become important and influential personalities in our society. Since 1998 there have been quite a few men who enjoyed the game and some even played sports that have become Ministers of Government. I was so hopeful that there would have been a major shift in the way sports is being handled for the sole benefit of our youth, but it was to no avail. This issue has become very important since our national team made representation at the international football tournament in the Americas Gold Cup. It’s always a good thing to reminisce about how great our athletes were, the success they have attained, and the great pride and joy they brought to the country, but we‘ll never see where we’re going if we’re always looking back.

— by Dr. Elma Whittaker-Augustine, Clinical Psychologist I would like to begin our first monthly article on mental health and mental illness by clarifying the difference between the two. Contrary to common belief in Belize, mental health is not the same as mental illness. Mental health, which is inseparable from physical health, is essential to the healthy functioning of individuals, families and a healthy society. It is important to understand that mental health is not the same as mental illness. Mental Health is interconnected with our physical health and is defined by our: ABILITY TO ENJOY LIFE ABILITY TO BOUNCE BACK FROM STRESS, LOSS, CHANGE ABILITY TO MAINTAIN BALANCE IN OUR LIFE, e.g. balance between work and play, rest and exercise ABILITY TO BE FLEXIBLE in our thinking and emotions ABILITY TO RECOGNIZE OUR GIFTS, STRENGHTS, POTENTIAL ABILITY TO FORM HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS SELF ESTEEM, FEELINGS, THOUGHTS, PERCEPTION OF OURSELF, OTHERS, LIFE On the other hand, Mental Illness is a term used to describe disorders that affect our thoughts, emotions, behaviors and functioning, cause distress and negatively affect our lives and our family. There are many common mental illnesses such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, etc. Mental illness affects adults, children, rich, poor, male, female, all ethnic and racial groups.

(WARNING: Don’t try this unless you have very deep pockets) Many people still don’t believe that you can buy elections in Belize. They reason that the people of Belize have wised up: they take the man’s money and vote how they feel anyhow. That is true to a certain extent and especially for bona fide long term residents of a constituency. But there is a new kind of voter that is increasingly populating voters’ lists all across the country. These are mercenaries – people who have no knowledge nor interest whatsoever in what is happening in the constituency, but who can be relied on to show up on Election Day for the $500.00 they will be paid – that is their ONLY motivation, and, rain or shine – or hurricane, you can count on these mercenaries to show up – and they vote for the politician who is paying. Here’s how it works: First of all, they have to get on the voters’ list. The politician, having foreknowledge of their political allegiance to the Party, entices them to transfer to his constituency during Transfer Period (July and August) or, if it is a new registrant from another division, he/she is enticed to register in the division of the politician who is doing the enticing. Now it is paramount that these persons have no knowledge, interest, nor connection with the division to which they are being enticed because, if they do, the possibility of them taking the money and voting conscience anyhow, becomes a factor – and the politician who is enticing cannot “afford” that. Now, enticement has been mentioned – but enticement here is not friendly persuasion.

My friend Hector Hecker inspired me a few weeks ago to write about the crafty and brilliant Angus Vernon. I had not seen my good friend Hector Hecker for more than 40 years. One night while sitting in the Princess Hotel and Casino I saw a gentleman “flapping” across the floor, and I said to myself only Hecker or Charles Hyde walks like that. Upon verifying the identity of the walker I realized that it was Hector Hecker and I hailed him. He was upset with me because he said to me that he had tried to say hello to me on several occasions and got the impression that I was ignoring him. I apologized to him, because as the Lord in heaven knows I did not recognize that it was my friend of forty-odd years who was saying hello to me. You see, Hecker and I grew up together. He was living not too far away at Conch Shell Bay. We were among a small group of friends, which included G. Michael Reid, who used to hang out at the Rogers Stadium. I say all this to you to illustrate how close we were. Well, the rekindling of this relationship has turned out into something very special. I know Hecker loves me and I love him. May I crave your indulgence before moving on to raise another topic to explain that the central feature of this article is neither about Hecker nor myself. My intent is to focus this installment on Angus Vernon, but allow me space to speak of my friend Hecker and myself as it was the happy circumstance in which we were reunited which inspired me to write about Angus Vernon.

A 13-year-old girl, Maria Esmeralda Rivera, from Trio Village in the Stann Creek District, has been reported missing. She was last seen about 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 20, by her father when she left home with an 18-year-old young man, travelling on a motorcycle headed towards the Southern Highway. Since then, she has not been heard from. Maria’s mother, Angelica Garcia, 32, told police that she left her daughter at home with her father, Alfredo Rivera, and went to church in the village. Garcia said that while she was at church, Rivera came and told her that their daughter had left home on a motorcycle with a man who is 18 years old. They reportedly know the young man, who is from the same village. Garcia further told police that the 18-year-old had been visiting her daughter for the past three months.

Restore Belize has undertaken a program to enhance the lives of disadvantaged Belizean citizens through the imparting of reading and numerical skills. A select group of program participants will be taught to read and write through the use of computer-based instructional programs. The initiative started in April this year, and so far over 500 people have been benefiting from literacy instruction, but plans are underway to expand the program so that countless others can benefit. The initiative is to a great extent possible due to a $320,000 donation from the Embassy of Taiwan, which was used to buy computers and software programs to establish the computer-assisted learning sessions. The program was deployed in ten different local centers dedicated to improving the lives of those in local communities. Yesterday, Wednesday, July 23, Restore Belize took the Taiwan Ambassador His Excellency David Wu on a tour of the centers in which the literacy lessons are being carried out to see the program in action. Three of the ten sites were visited: The UEF Library of African and Indian Studies on the Kremandala compound on Partridge Street, the Water Walkers Boys and Girls center on Albert Street, and the YWCA on St. Thomas Street.

The Reporter

Court of Appeal affirms Maya land rights
The Belize Court of Appeal has upheld the former Chief Justice Dr. Abdulai Conteh’s Supreme Court ruling of October 2007 on the Toledo Maya land rights, on two of the five grounds of appeal that the government had challenged.

There is no Shortcut to achieve Sustainable Development
In our last article, I made the point that 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. Quality is the result of an attitude and culture that promotes excellence, [...]

Beach clean up saves turtles’ lives
By: Anita Nembhard Freelance Writer Gales Point Manatee, a popular turtle nesting area, was treated to a beach clean up effort last weekend.

SATIIM to fight GOB ban on co-managing Sarstoon Temash Park
The Sarstoon Institute of Indigenous Management (SATIIM) will be taking the Forestry Department and Chief Forest Officer Wilber Sabido to court to reverse the department’s ban of SATIIM from co-managing the Sarstoon Temash National Park.

Chiquibul’s $3.4 billion resource needs protection
The Chiquibul Forest, 70 square miles in the Cayo district represents a $3.4 Billion resource, a national conservation priority that Belize needs to protect, forestry conservationist Percival Sho informed participants at the Chiquibul Symposium hosted by the Friends of Conservation and Development at the Radisson Fort George Hotel last Friday [...]

Genesis Arts pioneers yet again
Genesis Agendas, best know for its promotion of all things Belizean, is now making strides on the Mexican market.

SATIIM takes GOB to court over US Capital’s oil drilling concession
The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, SATIIM, through its attorney, Eamon Courtenay, has filed an application before the Supreme Court, objecting to the Government’s permission to U.S. Capital Energy to conduct drilling operations within the Sarstoon Temash National Park in the Toledo district.

R.E.S.P. ups Town Councils’ tax haul
The Revenue Enhancement Support Program (R.E.S.P.) is expected to help the city and town councils improve their tax collection and manage their spending more efficiently, according to the R.E.S.P. final report. presented at the George Price Centre for Peace and Development in Belmopan on Wednesday morning, July 24.

Dangriga police seek missing children
Dangriga Police are looking for Juan Jovel, the 70-year-old Honduran grandfather of Fanny Romero, 9, and her brother Jairo Romero, 8, who went missing from their home in Cow Pen Village, Stann Creek district last Wednesday, July 17

INTERPOL issues arrest warrant for Michael Silva
INTERPOL announced last Friday that it has issued an arrest warrant for Belizean Michael Joseph Silva, 28.

Guatemalan banana worker chopped to death
Police are looking for an employee of the Mayan King banana farm, Jose Soto, said to be armed and dangerous, for the murder of Isaac Gutierrez, 56, a Guatemalan laborer. Gutierrez was killed on Sunday, July 21.

Warring women crash house-party and end up before the court
Three women have been arrested and face criminal charges related to with several stabbing attacks at a house party on Iguana Street Extension Sunday morning. The attacks sent five young women to the Emergency Room for treatment.

William and Kate present baby prince
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have emerged from St Mary’s Hospital in west London with their new baby son. Walking out to cheers from staff and well-wishers, Kate cradled her son and said it was “a special time”.

Illegal pipeline taps cost PEMEX 5 Bn,
The number of illegal taps drilled into Mexican oil and gas pipelines to steal fuel has doubled since President Enrique Pena Nieto took office in December.

Central Lab to get $300,000 upgrade
The Central Medical Laboratory beside the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City has been overdue for renovation.

Breakfast linked to a healthy heart
People should eat breakfast to keep their hearts in good condition, according to researchers in the US. Their study of 27,000 men, in the journal Circulation, showed those skipping breakfast were at a greater risk of heart problems.

Stem cells to reverse blindness: Study shows
The prospect of reversing blindness has made a significant leap, according to scientists in the UK. An animal study in the journal Nature Biotechnology showed the part of the eye which actually detects light can be repaired using stem cells.

Roaring Creek & Belmopan Emeralds win in Cayo softball
Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy and the Capital City Emeralds of Belmopans enjoyed victories when the Miley Garcia Softball Competition continued under the auspices of the Cayo Softball Association in Blackman Eddy Village on Sunday, July 21

Kenny Gladden, Isaiah Willacey & Manuel Esquiliano win Weekend Warriors race
Kenny Gladden of Scotiabank team won the “A” category road championship, while Isaiah Willacey won the “B” category and Manuel Esquiliano of Truckers Posse won the “C” category of the Weekend Warriors’ Race last Sunday, July 14. Gladden out-sprinted Derick Smith of the BWS team in 2:12:40 to win the [...]


Belize’s Multicultural Thanksgiving a Unique Blend
While many people may not associate Thanksgiving with swaying palm trees, ancient Maya temples and vast rainforests, the holiday is widely observed in the tiny Caribbean country of Belize, where it has become the focal point of a unique annual celebration at The Lodge at Chaa Creek, according to the Belizean eco resort’s food and beverage manager Bryony Fleming Bradley. In fact, last year’s month-long feast was such a success that Chaa Creek began taking reservations this week, she added. Thanksgiving has a long tradition in Belize, most likely as a consequence of the country’s proximity to the North America, the presence of a large North American expat community and the “trickle down” effect from the large Belizean diaspora living in the US and Canada, Ms Fleming Bradley said. “People seem surprised to hear that Thanksgiving is so popular in Belize, but it’s a holiday that many of us grew up with here and seems to get bigger each year. And recently there’s been a real increase in the number of people coming down to Belize to celebrate Thanksgiving with their families and friends,” she said. “I suppose that when you consider the effort it takes these days to bring everyone together to celebrate a holiday, people want to make the most of their time together and turn it into something truly special. It’s been a pleasant surprise to see our Thanksgiving holiday package become as popular as it has,” she added.

Doing The Chaa-Chaa-Chaa Through Life's Jungle
Lucy and Mick Fleming own the Lodge at Chaa Creek in Belize, one of the world's first eco lodges. While at Chaa Creek, I was awed by the energy and vibrancy of the jungle--and the Flemings. It is hard to imagine an environment that is more vividly alive than the jungle--lush, teeming, unfurling, changing, challenging, chaotic, diverse, primal, light, dark, and unpredictable. Embracing life's unpredictability led Lucy from her New Jersey girlhood to finding her place in the world on the banks of the Macal River. I've always been fascinated by people who have the courage to "follow their bliss" and my conversation with eco pioneer Lucy did not disappoint. Her journey, like the Belizean jungle, is inspiring and instructive.

Welcome to the neighborhood!
Meet Alvin Loredo, fisherman, contractor, tour guide, and common laborer – a jack of many trades. Earlier this year, Alvin worked with EcoLogic to help install fuel-efficient stoves in two communities in the buffer zone of the Sarstoon-Temash National Park in Belize as part of EcoLogic’s binational work between Guatemala and Belize. I recently had the pleasure of speaking to Alvin on the phone to hear first hand how the work went, and why he is so committed to his community. Alvin explains that he first heard of EcoLogic about 10 years ago when he served as a board member to EcoLogic’s partner in Belize, the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM). He accompanied EcoLogic on a learning exchange to Honduras to see projects we were implementing, including the installation of fuel-efficient stoves, and learn directly from community participants in the area. Alvin said when he first walked into the home of family with an EcoLogic stove he was blown away by how clean the inside of the kitchen was, which he described as “white”. In a region where, dirt floors and open-pit fires are the norm he could not believe his eyes.

Poodle Pirate and Galen University’s Timely China Business Course Offering
A rising red dragon is eying Central America, scouting safe harbor for investment and future development. As the world’s second largest economy, China has gradually spread her great red wings around the world, stirring up new business, energy, and food for her growing population of more than 1.3 billion people. Many countries, businesses, organizations, etc. have been approached by this new energetic, risk-averse force from the East with deals in hand for those ready to profit from this ancient empire’s modern day expansion plans. There are not many who would turn a cold shoulder to such lucrative proposals.

“Staring at the Sun” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up slightly before 05.00 hours yesterday morning and out on the veranda shortly afterwards with my mug of black coffee. The difference though was that I didn’t just sit there going through The Times on-line. I decided that I would respond to Don’s suggestion and include in the blog the occasional photo of something other than our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. So knowing that it wouldn’t be long before the sun rose I went up to the roof of the building of the condo we are renting. I got up there around (cannot be precise because I don’t wear a watch anymore) 05.20 hours – just before sunrise.

International Sources

How to Do Belize on a Budget
Yes, the words “Belize” and “budget” can go together. Here’s how to explore this tropical paradise without breaking the bank. If you’re skeptical about the words “Belize” and “budget” in the same sentence, it’s understandable. Overall, Belize can be a pricier destination than say, its neighbouring backpacker haven, Guatemala. But in reality, it’s entirely possibly to afford a trip to Belize without breaking the bank. There are plenty of areas with affordable lodging, food and entertainment—and beaches, too. It just requires a little more research, flexibility and preparation. Here are my best tips on how to afford your first trip to “The Jewel” of Central America. Travel Overland from Mexico, Stay in Affordable Parts of the Country, Visit in the Summer, Travel by Bus, Book Tours Ahead of Time, Eat and Drink Local

Wildlife Conservation Society And Belizean Volunteers are Joined By Google Staff Volunteers To Survey Belize’s Sea Turtles
Marine scientists and veterinarians from the Wildlife Conservation Society teamed up with volunteers from Belize and Google for this year’s annual sea turtle survey in the coastal waters of Belize. The project, conducted in collaboration with the Belize Fisheries Department, received some key support from staff of Google, Hol Chan Marine Reserve and the Environmental Research Institute (University of Belize) as they assisted in the sighting, capture, tagging, and release of the marine-dwelling reptiles. The four main objectives of the surveys, which have been conducted since 2007, are: to determine an absolute abundance estimate of the three species of turtles on the Glover’s Reef Atoll; to increase knowledge of sea turtle movements and habitat use; to assess genetic stock and growth rates of sea turtles on the Atoll; and to increase the capacity of stakeholders to collect accurate and standardized data.

Christian Group Prays Gays into Prison, Casts Spell on Tornado (and Raises the Dead)
A report by the Southern Poverty Law Center says that several U.S. organizations — including an extremist ministry which claims to raise the dead and pray away the gay — are defending antigay imprisonment and defamation in Belize and other Caribbean nations. The same groups also oppose U.S. calls for respect for human rights. (Source: Washington Blade) The groups include Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly Alliance Defense Fund), the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, Pat Robertson’s American Center for Law and Justice, and Extreme Prophetic Ministries. Other U.S. participants include Family Watch International, United Families International, and the World Congress of Families. Of these groups, Extreme Prophetic Ministries — led by self-proclaimed Christian prophet Patricia King — is lesser known but potentially the most dangerous to human rights.

July 26, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

Proposed Ambergris Caye Wetlands project to include dredging areas
In 2011 an environmental advocacy group was formed called the Ambergris Caye Wetlands Committee (ACWC). ACWS was composed of members of the Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development (ACCSD) Executive Committee, Hol Chan Marine Reserve, San Pedro Tour Guide Association, Belize Tourism Industry Association, San Pedro Business Association and Green Reef. The group developed a proposal for three areas in north Ambergris Caye to become protected areas: Mexico Rock’s Marine Reserve, Bajos Proposed Marine Reserve and Cayo Frances/ Mata Frances Lagoons. The proposal is part of the Ambergris Caye Conservation Initiative of 2011. The proposal outlines the use for all three areas. Mexico Rock’s Marine Reserve would be used exclusively as a recreational area that will include a “NO Take Zone” and a “General Use Zone”. The Bajos Proposed Marine Reserve would be designed as a marine reserve with a zone for catch and release sport fishing. The Bajos area includes nine small islands and five shoals which are vital habitats for the island’s fisheries for schooling tarpon, permit and bonefish. Finally the Cayo Frances/Mata Frances Lagoon was proposed to be a National Park which will include catch and release sport fishing. The proposal would have been managed as a National Park and would be established under the National Park System Act of the laws of Belize. This would mean that nothing would be allowed to be extracted from the area.

Noche de las Estrellas bring laughter and excitement to San Pedro Town
The San Pedro Aids Commission brought a large crowd out on Saturday July 20th for their annual “Noche de Las Estrellas” show featuring Mexican imitators and comedians. The event took place at the Rafael Angel Nuñez Auditorium and had the participation of local band Rompe Raja and DJ Habo. It is the largest of three fundraisers held annually by the commission, and this year saw the most successful turnout since its inception. Felix Ayuso, President of the San Pedro Aids Commission on Ambergris Caye commented that the event was a great success. “We personally feel that it was a good show because the presentation was spectacular and was well attended. It is the best and biggest show we have had so far. Even though we are yet to make a final tally, we feel that it was a successful fundraiser,” explained Ayuso.

Under the Sun: Congratulations international graduates!
The San Pedro Sun joins the San Pedro community in congratulating Ambar Ayala and Emily Verde who both graduated this season from universities in Monaco (Ambar Ayala) and Los Angeles, CA USA (Emily Verde). Emily graduated with ‘Distinction’ (High Honors) from Keller Graduate School of Management of DeVry University. The graduation ceremony took place on June 28, 2013 at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA. She completed her MBA concentrating in International Business and Human Resources. Emily is a graduate of San Pedro High School, St. John’s College Jr. College and the University of Belize (where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Tourism Management).

U.S. Religious-Right Groups Working to Keep Criminal Statutes Barring LGBT Sex in Belize and Other Caribbean Countries
As lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people continue making strides toward equality in the United States, hard-line U.S. religious-right groups that have spent decades demonizing LGBT people are focusing their attention – and propaganda – on a legal battle over the criminalization of LGBT sex in Belize, the outcome of which could affect criminal statutes in as many as a dozen other Caribbean countries, according to a Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) report released today. Dangerous Liaisons: The American Religious Right & the Criminalization of Homosexuality in Belize examines how these groups are working in countries where anti-gay attitudes are strong and violence against the LGBT community is common. Several prominent groups have descended on the tiny Central American country of Belize to prevent Section 53, a statute criminalizing gay sex, from being struck down in court. Their efforts already have intensified anti-LGBT attitudes in the country, where the plaintiff in the case has been threatened and physically assaulted.

Flipkey recognizes Belize among Top 10 Best Eco-Vacation Spots in the World
Belize was named as one of the “Best Eco-Vacation Spots” in the world by FlipKey, a TripAdvisor company. The list, developed based on both traveler feedback and industry research, commends Belize for its countless opportunities to experience incredible natural beauty and unique biodiversity. With 36 percent of Belize’s landmass and 13 percent of its waters enjoying protected status, the country has long been a leader in this category. From the majestic Blue Hole to the recently established Turneffe Marine Reserve, Belize delivers an authentic, unspoiled experience for both locals and travelers to enjoy.

Photos: Reina de La Costa Maya Contestants Arrive
The delegates for the Reina de la Costa Maya pageant arrive on Thursday, July 25th. Who is your pick for the win this year?

Ambergris Today

Turtle Nests Saved from High Surf in Ambergris Caye
The turtle nesting season is well into its third month here on Ambergris Caye, Belize, running from May to November. One conservation group that has been arduously working in monitoring the nesting and protecting the turtle population in the area is the Ambergris Caye Marine Turtle Project. At the start of the nesting season, three nests were found at the Robles and Rocky Point nesting Beaches. This week a few nests had to be relocated to higher grounds due to the high surf; in normal situations these nests would have a lesser rate of survival. Weekly field monitoring by the Turtle Program helps to ensure a higher rate of survival of the fragile hatchlings.

Lifeline Foundation receives $2Million Donation
The Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow is pleased to announce that the Oak Foundation has committed to donating 2 million dollars toward the construction of a new Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. This donation is the result of over a year of discussions and due diligence between the Oak Foundation and the Lifeline Foundation, which was also founded by Mrs. Barrow. One million dollars have been earmarked for construction while the other million will go towards the purchase of equipment. The donation will allow for the works, which recently commenced on the new wing of the KHMH to move forward at a quicker pace while efforts continue to raise the remaining funds that are needed.

Emily Verde Graduates with Honors from Management of DeVry University
Emily Verde graduated with ‘Distinction’ (High Honors) from Keller Graduate School of Management of DeVry University. The graduation ceremony took place on Friday, June 28, 2013 at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA. She completed her MBA concentrating in International Business and Human Resources. Emily is the daughter of Pinita and Ricardo Verde and is a proud graduate of San Pedro High School, St. John’s College Jr. College and the University of Belize, where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Tourism Management.

Why Poor People in Belize can’t get ahead!

Misc Belizean Sources

ReefCI catch the largest Lionfish in Belize!!!
Wow!!! How exciting!! ReefCI are delighted to report that Polly Alford, ReefCI Founder, speared the BIGGEST Lionfish EVER recorded in Belize! This photo shows the beast being measured!! It was a whopping 44cm long and weighed 2.75lbs!!!!! “I looked down the wall and saw a huge Lionfish staring at me at around 100 feet! I thought to myself, I have to spear that giant! I speared it just behind its head and it shrugged itself off the spear!!! I speared it again and this time held it down so it couldn’t jump off! When I tried to put it into the bag, it wouldn’t fit!!! It was so big, the only way to get it in the bag, was to put the bag next to its head on the seafloor and maneuver it in.

10 interesting and quirky facts about Belize
Here are a few things you may not know about Belize: 1. Belize has around 900 Mayan sites. 2. The islands in Belize are called Cayes (pronounced “keys”) and total around 450 including those on the outer atolls. 3. Belize has the only Jaguar reserve in the world, otherwise known as Cockscomb Basin Wildlife sanctuary. 4. Many Belizeans avoid swimming in the ocean or rivers on Good Friday; it is viewed as bad luck. Local Mothers can often be heard telling their kids they “will turn fish!” if they swim on this day!

Looking for nesting turtles!
Awesome photos....

Through Caity's Eyes'
The Corozal House of Culture is pleased to present 'Through Caity's Eyes' - sketches and drawings by Caitlyn Tillett. This twelve year old Corozal artist has been keenly developing her style in anime, and caricature from a very young age. We encourage all to embrace her talent and initiative. Kindly join us for the opening Friday August 2, 2013 at 7 p.m. at the Corozal House of Culture.

Acupressure Workshop
There will be a Acupressure Workshop given by a Chinese MD, Shandong Chinese traditional Medicine University (ABD) It will be at: The Mirador Beach Finca Solana on the Bay Friday, 26th of July 1:00 - 5:00 PM Saturday, 27th July 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

New Coastal Xpress website
Coastal Xpress has a new website up, so if you need information on ferry / water taxi services, their website is

Commentary: Belizeans in the US form new group to address dual citizenship rights
By Wellington C. Ramos When Belize became independent on September 21, 1981, Belizeans who were born in Belize and became citizens of the United States and other countries automatically lost their Belizean citizenship. While people who were not born in Belize that obtained Belizean citizenship through descent, marriage to a Belizean citizen naturalization, etc. retained the citizenship of their natural born country and Belizean citizenship with all the rights, privileges and to run for office, including becoming the prime minister of Belize. In 1984 when the United Democratic Party became the government of Belize for the first time, they introduced a Bill to give back Belizeans who were born in Belize their citizenship and also recognize the citizenship they possess from their second country. However, despite the passing of this Bill, which became law, there were contradictions with the constitution, newly passed legislation, the election and boundaries laws and the People’s Representation Ordinance with qualifications to run for office.

Mango Cobbler
3 mangoes, peeled, pitted and sliced 2 tablespoons lime juice 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 cup flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup brown sugar 3 tablespoons butter, cold 1/2 cup milk -Preheat oven to 375ºF. -Combine mangoes, lime juice, and nutmeg in a mixing bowl. Stir until mango is coated with lime and nutmeg. Spoon fruit into a greased 8 inch square pan. -In another bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar. Mix well.

BNDC 10th Anniversary Closing Celebration
Musical interlude. The Belize National Dance Company uploaded some video from their 10th anniversary tour in Cayo, which was held at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. "BNDC closes its 10th Anniversary Tour in San Ignacio with a boisterous celebration!"

Destinee Arnold at Costa Maya
Cayo's Destinee Arnold is representing Belize at this year's Costa Maya. Looks like Belize will win this year. Best of luck, Destinee! "The International Costa Maya Festival is pleased to announce this year’s Belizean representative vying for the title of Reina de la Costa Maya. Meet Queen of the Jewel Miss Belize 2012, Destinee Dominique Arnold, the 20 year old Belizean beauty who is no stranger to pageantry as she is also Miss Ethnic World 2013." In related news, Miss World Belize is coming up, and they are looking for contestants between the ages of 17-24 years old. Submit applications online at by August 1st.

Galen Eagles in Mexico
The Galen Eagles are in Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico, representing Belize in a basketball tournament. Best of luck! "Galen Eagles Basketball Team has been selected to represent Belize in a Basketball tournament in Ciudad Del Carmen, Mexico. The tournament starts on Wednesday, July 24th, 2013 and ends on Sunday July 27th, 2013. The team will be playing against 4 professional teams that have been selected to be a part of the tournament as well. Let's support the Galen Eagles Basketball Team as they go out and represent out Country. GOOOOOO EAGLES!!!"

Traveller's Visits Cayo for 60th Anniversary
Traveller's Luquors had their number 1 marketing team in Cayo yesterday. You probably saw Jason or Roxana at one of the 8 markets where they set up for free tastings. They have a new Craboo Cream Liquer that they were hyping up. Thanks, and happy 60th! "Jason and Roxana are the best salespersons in Belize, and they were in Cayo today to promote Travellers Liquors for their 60th anniversary, and to show off their Craboo Cream liquer."

Rebecca Stirm Model Casting Call
Rebecca Stirm is having a Model Casting Call. If you are interested, you can contact her at [email protected] "Well ladies, its that time of year again! On August 10 - come over to our model casting and show us that YOU have what it takes to be one of the 15 models that will step foot on our runway this season! Mark it on your calendar!"

Cirque du Soleil Screening in Benque

Channel 7

Government Gluttons Fresh-Pond Feeding Frenzy Causes Inter-Ministerial Friction
Tonight, there is serious friction between the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ministry of Housing after the Housing CEO Lawrence Sylvestre had to be removed from the Natural Resources Ministry by armed guards yesterday. It’s a dispute that all stems from over 50 abandoned, half finished homes at the Fresh Pond Housing Community. The houses were built during the PUP era but were never completed – and have been sitting there abandoned for years. But, they haven’t gone un-noticed because the property in the Burrell Boom area has value. So, with the write off of tens of millions of dollars in housing department mortgages, the properties came up for re-issue. According to our information, the idea was to sell the property at a social rate, between 800 and 1,500 dollars to qualifying, low-income party supporters. But this week, things took a turn when it came to the attention of a few interested observers that the houses – 10 of them at least – were being divvied up among party supporters including friends and family of Government CEO’s and the brother of Gaspar Vega’s Driver, Marlon Miranda.

Long-Pending, Major Maya Judgment Handed Down
For the past two days we’ve been telling you about the lawsuit that SATIIM has taken out against US Capital Energy and the Government of Belize. To a large extent, it is based on the judgments coming out of the Supreme Court in 2007 and 2010, when Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh found that the Mayans in 33 villages of Southern Belize have customary land rights over their ancestral lands. That judgment was vigorously appealed by the Barrow Administration in 2011 at the court of appeal. Two years have passed and no judgment was handed down. But yesterday, quite unexpectedly, just as new matters were about to overtake it, the Court of Appeal announced that it was ready with its judgment. Clocking in at 198 pages, it’s one of the longest we’ve ever come across, and, who wins, who loses? Well, the experts say it’s what might be called “cocks” – in a game of “jacks,” there’s no clear winner and no clear loser. So, the members of the Mayan community who came to court today listened intently after the session to a quick interpretation by their legal team. Afterwards, they exited the court, and we asked their lead attorney to give a brief explanation of decision, accepting the limitation that they couldn’t possibly had digested 198 pages, and 66 thousand words in only a few minutes. Here’s how attorney Antoinette Moore explained it:

Practical Significance Of Judgment?
So, that’s the situation; the Court of Appeal has reaffirmed the rights of the Indigenous Maya communities of the south. But, it has reversed the orders by Former CJ Conteh, effectively removing the obligations of the Government to protect those rights. And interestingly enough, the Court agreed with GOB’s arguments that in line with the Petroleum Act, the Mines and Minerals Act, and the Forest Act, the Government retains ownership and control of any lands where natural resources and minerals are found after exploration has been done. Their grievance was that Former CJ Conteh failed to take proper judicial notice of these laws and their implications. That is significant because US Capital Energy wants to conduct oil exploration within the Sarstoon Temash National Park, and SATIIM is trying to block them with an injunction, which is yet to be scheduled for hearing. In that context, the media asked attorney Antoinette Moore about the implications of the judgment on this and other matters which surround the lands which the Maya Communities are claiming. Here’s how that conversation went: Antoinette Moore - Attorney for the Maya Leaders Alliance "At the time I don't think I can say very much in terms of that. The court of appeal meets every March, June and October - those are the sessions, however they can meet out of session for any reason to deliver a judgment that perhaps wasn't ready in June - they can meet at any time. Obviously there are some interesting issues around the timing because I have filed an application for contempt which is to be heard on Monday with respect to this very judgment, with contempt with the government not obeying the court order. So we shall see what will happen on Monday and I can see why you asked that question, I don't think I have a good answer for you thought."

Hon. Alamilla Vs. Apamo
On Tuesday, the SATIIM flew the media to Punta Gorda where it announced that the Forestry Department had terminated its co-management agreement of the Sarstoon Temash National Park. And then the Chairman of the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations claimed that in fact the Forestry Department was basically trying to push a new co-management agreement down the throats of all the NGO’s that co-manage national parks. Well, today the Minister of Forestry Lisel Alamilla held a press conference to give her side of the story – first on the SATIIM issue – saying they made a commitment and didn’t stick to it. Hon. Lisel Alamilla - Minister of Forestry and Fisheries "I sent a letter to SATIM on June 5th - again highlighting that we need to standardize this, he responded on June 9th and stated on his letter 'SATIM would be committed to signing the co-management agreement on June 28th, 2013' - it says 'SATIM requests your consideration to the date stated above to sign the co-management agreement as it would be impossible to sign before the 28th of June because of the ongoing organizational reform which included re-organizing programmes and strengthening internal financial controls and procedures. We are certain that we will conclude this important exercise on June 26th.' - this is what SATIM wrote to us."

BTIA Says GOB Playing “Crackhead Economics” With Norwegian Port
The resource rich and largely unspoiled southern Belize is also the scene for another battleground – that’s the latest one over whether there will be a cruise terminal close to Placencia AT HARVEST CAYE. We’ve been reporting on the terms outlined in a draft memorandum of understanding – which show the usual menu of concessions, tax breaks and a 7 US Dollar head tax that gives 60% back to the Norwegian Cruise Line so that they can recover their investment as quickly as possible. It’s caused some consternation amongst the overnight tourism interests in the south and today the Belize Tourism Industry Association held a meeting to consolidate their position. They say there’s been zero consultation on a project that – if approved – could have far reaching impacts on their overnight tourism product. Herbert Haylock - President, BTIA "Development in the South needs to be focused as it relates to cruise again in the realm of the master plan, specifically in the area of pocket tourism and not the mega developments that are being proposed at this time." Stewart Krohn - Chairman, Placencia Chapter "What introducing mass tourism to the south does is that it fundamentally changes the entire character of the tourism product. Belize invented eco-tourism - that word didn't exist until Belize brought it to the floor and held the first international eco-conference ever. Now what we're doing with mass tourism is really telling the world is that we're not really an eco destination - we are now a mass destination. You can't be both - you can't be all things to all people."

Southern Poverty Law Center Takes On Stirm
For the past few months, Christian homophobes who have been at the forefront the campaign against what they call the LGBT agenda have been saying that UNIBAM’s constitutional challenge is really a foreign agenda being forced on the Belizean Society. They say that Gay Rights Activist Caleb Orozco is being funded, controlled and or directed by international interests who are simply trying to topple Belize’s sodomy laws as part of a worldwide campaign to mainstream gay lifestyles. Well, today, UNIBAM and one of its supporting agencies fired back when the US NGO known as the Southern Poverty Law Center released a report called “DANGEROUS LIAISONS: The American Religious Right & the Criminalization of Homosexuality in Belize”. In this report, the SPLC is claiming that the local religious groups like Belize Action who’ve taken the forefront are being funded and directed by US religious conservative groups with millions of dollars for an annual budget. Via a telephone a press conference today, the director of SPLC announced to international media about the significance of the report. 7News listened in, and we have an excerpt of that launching. Here’s how that presentation went:

Making Defensive Driving Work For Government
We’ve told you about the launching of the Belize Road Safety Project. It is a CDB funded initiative, which seeks to decrease Belize’s abnormally high traffic fatality rate. The project seeks to improve sections of the Western Highway between Belize City and Belmopan, and to increase enforcement on this part of the road. But, in order to be effective at enforcement, the facilitators of the project believe that the authorities must practice what they preach. To that end, they’ve started a workshop called Defensive Driving, to teach them how to become better drivers, and how to become motorists that the public will respect. 7News stopped in today, and we spoke to the Trainer, who says that defensive driving is really just the exercise of common sense – which we all know is not too common: Dennis Molina - Trainer, Defensive Driving "We don't change attitudes - we cannot change that, you need a psychologist. We are trying to make people be self-disciplined and not be an aggressive driver - be defensive because it's a benefit for all road users. There's nothing much to it, you just have to be disciplined in all you doing - for instance you know that answering a cell phone while you're driving causes destruction. While you're looking and not looking ahead to what is going on is also a distraction and by the time you look round in a split second. Secondly, driving is a full time job - once you are driving a vehicle - you are continuously under full manners. There are a lot of things that you have to watch, like the atmosphere, you have to watch smog, smoke, road condition - when to ease up the speed and you have to know what to do, several little things just use your common sense."

Chiquibul, the Adventure Is Just Getting There
It’s not quite like climbing Victoria Peak, but when you go into the Chiquibul, all the way to the Western Border, half the story is just getting there! Tonight Daniel Ortiz dedicates a whole story to that. As we showed you last night, he and camera-man Codie Norales went there, and it’s important to note because it sort of explains why the place is so abstract, because it’s so darn far! Here’s his story- Daniel Ortiz reporting The environment inside the Chiquibul knows no sense of urgency, it is lost in time, immune to everyday exigencies; in fact, time is just a means of measurement which the guides use to estimate how far they’ve travelled, and how much further they have to go. For us in the media, time is always of the essence, and being sucked into the tangle of green on a deadline day, was, at first disorienting. But, in place of time’s dictates, we had another kind of pressure: an early morning ride through the Chiquibul on this John Deer tractor – or jumping viper – which the FCD rangers use as the main means of transportation. And on every move they make in the forest, they are joined by BDF Soldiers and police officers. Being so close to so many firearms, trigger fingers at the ready in case of any armed threat, is enough to unsettle anyone, but this has become the reality of the men who work inside the national park.

Profile Is About Reconciliation
It happens all the time, too often really, but how do good friends become sworn enemies? Lot’s of times it’s because of what might be called “seh, seh, seh” – people saying this one said this, and that one said that. That’s kind of what happened with Tyeisca Adolphus and Dawn Parchue. They were best of friends until the talking started – and on Christmas eve that exploded into a brawl – thatw as captured onc ell phone camera, and went viral on facebook and youtube…it even made the news. But from that ugly episode…to tonight where these one time friends have reconciled and are appearing together on the I Am Belize profile – hoping their truce can serve as an example for others. Here’s their very incredible story:…

Rowan Is Ready…To Dive!
He’s climbed Victoria Peak and walked from the western border to the city, and for the past 2 months, 14 year old adventurer Rowan Garel has been preparing for his new adventure: diving the Blue Hole. The courageous blind teenager will be the first blind Belizean to dive the blue hole and, of course, he’s doing it for Charity. Rowan is raising awareness and funds for the BCVI summer camp which caters for visually impaired children from all over the country. Today we caught up with Rowan to see how excited he is as his big day draws nearer.

Snakes In An Office?
We’ve heard of “Snakes on a Plane, but, Snakes In An Office? C’mon! We wouldn’t have believed it if we hadn’t seen it for ourselves – or experienced it for ourselves actually, because we found a nest of snakes led by a very protective momma snake right in our Channel 7 office. It started unfolding yesterday evening when one of the office staff went looking for a mop in a storage area. When she came out, she swore she had seen a snake. We called our neighbor and local snake catcher who came through in a jiffy. He found a very aggressive six foot Boa - Snake Catching Neighbor "Well, I took out the box and everything and then it was in a box and I held the neck because it was mad and it can bite and you can never know because it could be a dog bite because the older snakes are not poisonous." Monica Bodden "You told us that it was a female" Snake Catching Neighbor "You can know it by the tail and the colors. The males are darker."

Channel 5

Maya Leaders win Land Rights Case
Maya Leaders from the south travelled by bus to Belize City for a ruling on government’s appeal in respect of a historic Supreme Court decision that goes back to 2010. [...]

Minister discusses Co-management agreement for National Parks
The Court of Appeal this afternoon reaffirmed rights to communal lands by Maya Communities. But this morning, Minister Lisel Alamilla had a press conference to talk about co-management agreement with [...]

Several N.G.O.’s file co-management agreements.
But for SATIIM and APAMO, this is very serious business. They feel that government is trying to bully N.G.O.s into signing co-management agreements by using the carrot and the stick [...]

SATIIM responds to Forestry Minister on co-management
Today Minister Lisel Alamilla also aimed some very pointed comments at SATIIM for its refusal to sign on to the co-management agreement handed down by government. While SATIIM has stated [...]

B.T.I.A. tells G.O.B. no one in their right mind would sign Norwegian’s M.O.U.
Government has given its green light to a massive cruise tourism port project at Harvest Caye and is about to sign a memorandum of understanding with Norwegian Cruise Lines. The [...]

Pocket Tourism only acceptable choice for cruise ship industry
The membership of the Belize Tourism Industry Association is one of the strongest in the country. But despite the strong opposition from the B.T.I.A. and from environmental groups to the [...]

Fishermen busted with catch in conservation zone
Two fishermen from Sarteneja found quick judgment at the hands of Magistrate Leslie Hamilton today, though the first time offender got off easier than the repeat lawbreaker. Twenty-eight year old [...]

American Religious Right & Criminalization of Homosexuality in Belize
A report called “Dangerous Liaisons: The American Religious Right and the Criminalization of Homosexuality in Belize” was released today via teleconference to the local media. According to the report, “religious-right [...]

Group that tracks anti-gay groups, fears for activities in Belize
The Southern Poverty Law Center is a civil rights organization. Founded in 1971, is dedicated to fighting hate groups and extremism and teaching tolerance and trying to identify and track [...]

BAHA reports suspected cases of rabies in cow
A suspected case of bovine rabies, commonly known as rabies in cow, has been reported by the Belize Agricultural Health Authority in the New Road Area of Toledo District.  The [...]

Media tours Belize with the B.T.B.
The Belize Tourism Board treated the media to a familiarization tour of various tourist destinations in the jewel over the weekend. The four-day tour started in Orange Walk with a [...]

A SMART Summer Camp with kids attending Lionel Messi Football Camp
Summer camps and with different themes are taking place all over the country. This afternoon, we caught up with a sports camp that is ongoing at the ITVET Compound. Having [...]

Cure yourself with a dose of Healthy Living
Since the breast is best campaign in the nineties, there has been a gradual shift to exclusive breastfeeding. It led to the certification of the first public hospital as “baby [...]


Road Safety Training Underway in Belize City
At the end of June the Ministry of Works and Transport, Enforcement Team received two new high way patrol vehicles from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development’s Road Safety Project. The government of Belize has received a fourteen million dollar loan financing from the Caribbean D...

Former Assistant Coach for Belize National Team Says He Cannot Be Suspended from FFB
Charlie Slusher; he was the assistant head coach for the Belize National Team who was prevented from joining the Belize Jaguars in their CONCACAF experience. As the assistant head coach, Slusher was quote in quote, “suspended” from his post at the Football Federation of Belize. Slushe...

Court Upholds Two of Five Rulings Handed Down By Former CJ in Maya People vs GOB
In 2010 former Chief Justice of Belize, Sir Abdulai Conteh reaffirmed that the Maya people of Toledo have rights to the land that they occupy and do farming. The Government appealed the decision and today the Court of Appeal, headed by Justice Manuel Sosa, delivered its ruling. The 19...

Minister of Forestry Holds Meeting With Media to Discuss Protected Areas and Co-Management
Two days ago, Greg Cho’c, the Executive Director of the Sarstoon Temash National Park, supported by the Chairman of the Association of Protected Areas Management, Edilberto Romero, complained to reporters of certain aspects of a new proposal by the Government for the co-management of protec...

Aquaponics...Does It Have A Future in Belize?
There is a new industry slowly emerging here in Belize. It’s called aquaponics; a method of farming that uses the excrements of fish. There was a short seminar at the Radisson Hotel whereby aquaponics expert, John Pade and Rebecca Nelson of Nelson and Pade Incorporated advised interested Be...

Home Invasions Reported in Northern Belize
Three men have been charged after allegedly invading two homes on the night of Sunday July 21st. according to reports, the first invasion took place between nine and ten in the night at the home of Juan Carlos Novelo located at the Corner of Riverside Street and Lamanai Alley. Reports indicate th...


Looking For Candidates For Miss World Belize
The Miss World 2013 International Pageant is scheduled to take place on the 28th of September 2013 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The event will be televised live in more than 150...

COLCHA Promotes Culture In Corozal
Human Creativity is defined as a Creative industry that generates economic activity through skills and talents that encompasses a broad range of intellectual outputs, including: music, fashion, crafts, designs, artwork,...

Youths Take Part In Leaders Camp
Over 150 youths representing Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama, Bahamas, and St Vincent and the Grenadines are presently in the Stann Creek District taking part in...

Rotary Club Of Orange Walk Names New President
On August 28th 1971, northenos saw the birth of the Rotary Club of Orange Walk. With over 40 years of existence, the Rotary Club has provided countless service to the...

Minister Alamilla Says SATIIM Is Playing Games
On Monday the Sarstoon Temash National Park, SATIIM, with support of APAMO filed a motion in the Supreme Court of Belize in disagreement with certain aspects of the new proposal...

BAHA Investigates Possible Case Of Bovine Rabies
The Ministry of Health is presently investigating a suspected case of bovine rabies better known as rabies in cow that was reported on the 24th of July 2013 by Belize...

Trio Charged For Double Home Invasion
Yesterday we reported on the two separate home invasions that took place in Orange Walk on Sunday night. Tonight, the good news is that the three men believed to be...

Another Landmark Win For Maya Leaders Alliance
Back in June of 2010 the Maya Leaders Alliance and the Toledo Alcaldes Association won a landmark legal victory in the Supreme Court when Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh, before...

The Guardian

Oak Foundation Commits $2 Million for Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
On Wednesday, July 23rd, Kim Simplis-Barrow, Special Envoy for Women and Children, announced that the Oak Foundation has committed two million dollars towards the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Project. Barrow says that the donation is a result of over a year of discussion and due diligence. One million dollars will go directly to construction of the structure, while one million dollars is earmarked for the purchase of equipment. Mrs. Barrow and partners broke ground on the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital on June 13th, 2011 and construction began in June of this year. The Pediatric ICU will cost over six million dollars. Construction commenced with funds that was raised by the Lifeline Foundation and $500,000 that was provided by the Government of Belize. The donation by Oak Foundation will allow for an increase in activity at the construction site. It is estimated that the project will take 18 months to complete but that timeline is only possible if pledged funds continue to materialize. Alan Gobie of the Gobie Foundation pledged a donation of $1 million, Douglas Jackson of Project C.U.R.E. pledged another million dollars in medical supplies and equipment and other organizations made pledges as well. Mrs. Barrow hopes that the Oak Foundation’s generous donation will urge others to make good on their pledges. The Pediatric ICU will improve the quality of services currently offered to ill children at the KHMH but most importantly, it will also provide services that are not available in the country.

Oceana funneled Money to UNIBAM
After a few minutes of reading what appeared to be a tiresome contribution by Audrey Matura-Shepherd in the Sunday, July 21 edition of the Amandala newspaper, entitled 'The Pen is Mightier than the Sword', there, in the final two paragraphs of the essay was an admission of things going wrong at Oceana, under her watch. The article states the following: "I end this issue on money to remind all LGBT, as can be verified by their leader, Caleb, that the monetary donation UNIBAM received from a certain foundation came through the Oceana account and was written on an Oceana cheque. So the very Oceana they seek to tell the LGBT not to support, was the means via which the said foundation siphoned their money to them. How ironic, that after such favor was done via Oceana, they should still seek to write some of the most vile things on Oceana's Facebook page. Maybe I should publish a copy of the cheque to prove further truth to the matter. Now they should go make queries to determine why their foundation-approved money had to be channeled through another recipient of a grant. Although I now depart, I cannot see Oceana again allowing itself to be used to facilitate such a process again, since the beneficiary of their kindness clearly is not deserving of Oceana's risk to facilitate money for a mission not legally sanctioned under Oceana's statutory and legal mandate... but God does not like ugly! ... "

No Drilling in Sarstoon Temash says SATIIM
The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) filed for an injunction against the Government of Belize to not allow U.S. Capital Energy from doing any work inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park on Monday, July 22nd. The injunction comes on the heels of SATIIM having received a letter in which their co-management agreement was cancelled. The letter, dated July 17th, informed the NGO that the agreement was formally being terminated and that it was no longer authorized to enter the national park. It further advises SATIIM to refrain from conducting negotiations or business associated with the park. On Tuesday, the NGO chartered a plane and flew 10 members of the Belize City-based media to Punta Gorda where it held a press conference to give an update of the situation. During the press conference, SATIIM’s executive director, Greg Choc expressed his concern over the cancellation of the co-management agreement. He then went on to line up speakers to request that they be given greater benefits from the oil explorations that are scheduled. Speaking with Niall Gillett, public relations officer for U.S. Capital Energy, he explained that the injunction is not specific to his company; it also includes a number of Government departments including the Ministry of Forestry, Petroleum and Energy and the Attorney General’s Ministry. It is noteworthy that SATIIM is not proposing to drill in any Maya village and that it has consent from the Government of Belize to explore for oil in the Sarstoon-Temash National Park. He stated that the company is currently well poised to begin explorations but weather conditions are not permitting it to do so. Gillett stated, however, that as soon as it improves the work drilling work will commence.

Touring Our Belize
Belize is now a well-known destination in the international tourism market, so much so that the Belize Tourism Board had to abandon its logo, “Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secret”, in January of this year. Belize is not a secret anymore, at least not to foreigners, because we had well over a million tourists visiting Belize last year alone. However, for those of us who were born and raised here, there is much to be discovered, explored and enjoyed. The Belize Tourism Board is starting a new campaign to encourage domestic tourism in Belize. When the BTB wants to promote Belize as a tourism destination to new markets, it takes a press team from that area on a familiarization trip to tourist destinations across the country. Since the BTB is trying to promote domestic tourism, agents of the local press were taken on a familiarization trip from Thursday, July 18th, to Sunday, July 21st.

Closing Ceremony for Annhual BDF Volunteer Battle Camp 2013
Closing Ceremonies were held Monday, July 22 for the Annual BDF Volunteer Battle Camp 2013.

Government to renovate Central Medical Laboratory
On May 30th, 2006 a small explosion ignited a blaze at the Central Medical Laboratory building in Belize City. Fire fighters responded quickly and managed to save the building but it was severely damaged both by fire and water. The Government of Belize allocated funds to repair the building but it was known that eventually a complete renovation would be necessary. It has been more than seven years since the fire and that is the reason why those who work at the laboratory were ecstatic to learn on Friday, July 19th, that the Ministry of Health had contracted Gutierrez & Associates Architects for the renovation of the middle floor of the Central Medical Laboratory. Dr. Peter Allen, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health, signed the contract with Javier Gutierrez, Managing Director of Gutierrez & Associates Architects.

City and Town Councils improve Revenue Collection and Expenditure
The final report on the Revenue Enhancement Support Program (RESP) for all city and town councils in Belize was presented this morning at the George Price Centre for Peace and Development in Belmopan.

Climate Change affecting Belize
Belize is getting an assistance of seven and a half million Belize Dollars from the European Union (E.U). This was revealed last week Thursday by Cosimo Lamberti Fossati, who comes from the Technical Support Office, European Union (E.U.) Delegation to Belize.

Taiwanese Youth Ambassadors host Summer Camp
Belize has a large Taiwanese population but the majority of Belizeans are unfamiliar with their rich culture. Most of what we think we know about the Taiwanese culture is what we have surmised from observing the actions of our neighbourhood Chinese grocer. Since 2010, the Embassy of the Republic of China-Taiwan has hosted a summer camp in Belize City for youths ages thirteen to seventeen in an effort to share Taiwanese culture with young Belizeans. These camps are facilitated by university students from Taiwan. On Monday, July 22nd, a group of six “International Youth Ambassadors” from Taiwan opened a two week summer camp at the ITVET Conference Room in Belize City.

P. C. Lazaro Catch not guilty of Murder
On Monday, July 22, police officer, Lazaro Catch was acquitted in the Supreme Court. He had been charged in connection with the shooting death of Jamaican national, O’Neil Anthony Jones, who at the time was living in Lord’s Bank. Jones was allegedly shot by a police officer on February 13, 2010. Catch was one of two officers who had been accused of being involved in the shooting death. In court on Monday, he was acquitted in the Belize City Supreme Court before Justice Troadio Gonzalez. During the trial, attorney, Darrell Bradley was successful in getting the 30-year-old police officer off the charge of abetment to manslaughter in Jones’s shooting death.

Charles Bucknor accused of performing Oral Sex on 12-year-old Girl
On Thursday, July 18th, Charles Bucknor, a Belize City carpenter, was denied bail for committing an aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a 12-year-old girl. Allegations are that Tuesday, July 16th, he allegedly performed oral sex on a 12-year-old girl who recently graduated from a North Side Primary School. Bucknor, who was unrepresented, appeared before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer in where he was read a single charge of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a minor. He pleaded not guilty but the court prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that there is a possibility that Bucknor could be additionally charged with other offenses in connection with the same incident. On his behalf, Bucknor told the court that he is a father and that this is the first such allegation being made against and he thinks he deserves to get bail in the matter.

Felicia Chen still not fit for Prison
On Monday, July 22nd, Felicia Chen, the young mother who police claim is responsible for the murder of 3 of her young children, reappeared in Magistrate’s Court. While in court, she only got an adjournment and was ordered more time in a psychiatric facility. In court, the mother who is still represented by attorney, Antoinette Moore, was given a next adjournment date for September 3rd and Chen was further remanded to the same facility where she has been held since her arrest. She appeared before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton in Court #3 where all media persons was asked to leave and the matter was held “in camera.” We understand that inside the courtroom, Magistrate Hamilton heard from her Psychiatric Nurse and a Social Worker. Information revealed to the court was not made public due to the sensitive nature of the triple homicide case.

Five Years for Stealing
On Tuesday, July 23rd, 34-year-old Belize City resident Denfield Lemott was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment when he appeared before Magistrate, Dale Cayetano on a charge of theft. Lemott was charged with stealing a purse belonging to Laverne Staine which contained $1,350 in Belize Currency, US $40, and 350 pesos. Staine told police that on Friday, July 20th, at about 6:40 p.m., Lemott visited her office at the Supreme Court building and removed her purse. He was caught shortly thereafter as he was seen leaving the building by a court security guard. Police caught up with him shortly thereafter. According to police, Lemott told them, “I think ah wah ker yuh weh I throw the purse.” He then took them to Holy Redeemer School where he stuck his hand into a PVC pipe and retrieved $350.00 in pesos. In court, Lemott said he put the pesos in that area after it was given to him by an unknown person. He was not in agreement with the police's version that it was he who took them to recover the purse. He further alleged police brutality. He told Magistrate Dale Cayetano that the police took him on a joy ride and alluded to the magistrate that his injured hand was as a result of that. The magistrate did not buy his stories and found him guilty and imposed a 5-year jail term.

Two children have been reports missing in the village of Cowpen and police believe the grandfather to have abducted them. The children, 8-year-old Jairo and 9-year-old Fanny Romero went missing on Wednesday of last week and police believe that the children were taken by a woman, who is yet to be identified. According to his father Felix Romero, the children were on their way home from a neighbor’s house in Cowpen when the woman took them. The children were reportedly taken to Silk Grass village to their grandfather, Juan Jovel who, on Thursday morning, took Fanny to the Dangriga hospital for medical attention as she was complaining from an ear infection. Thereafter, there is no trace of neither the children nor their grandfather. On Monday, Romero, made an emotional plea on Channel 5 News for the children to return home. Anyone with information on the children’s whereabouts is asked to call the nearest police station.

Party Crashers charged with wounding
On Tuesday, July 23rd four females believed to be party crashers were before the court to answer to criminal charges. The first to be arraigned was Saysha Moody, 18, who appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano to answer to a charge of common assault and wounding upon Kendra Smith. She pleaded not guilty to both charges and was offered bail in the sum of $1,000 plus one surety of the amount, which she met.

7 Years for Francis Ramos
On Monday, July 22nd, deportee, Francis Ramos, 39, began to serve 7 years in prison after he was sentenced by Supreme Court Justice, Troadio Gonzalez. On Thursday, July 3rd, Ramos had appeared before the Supreme Court and had changed his not guilty plea to guilty for the May 14th, 2011, attempted murder of his aunt’s boyfriend, 33-year-old Michael Young. Young, a Belize City Council employee, was attacked and stabbed multiples inside his Banak Street home. In mitigation on Monday, there was little Justice Troadio Gonzalez had to consider since he had called no character witnesses, even after he was given an additional four days to get them. With that, Justice Gonzalez imposed a 7-year sentence on Ramos. In making his decision the Judge considered that Ramos had saved the court time by pleading guilty, he also has no previous convictions for crimes of a similar nature in Belize, and he had asked for leniency since it was his first conviction. On May 14, 2011, 33-year-old Michael Young was inside his Banak Street home in Belize City with Ramos, when Ramos went into the kitchen and grabbed a knife. Ramos then stabbed Young three times: once to the inner left arm, the left forearm and the chest area.

Preparing Beach for Turtle Nesting
This past weekend, a joint enterprise between the Mary Mount College of Maryland; ITVET Tour-guide Course, headed by Luz Hunter, The Gales Point Youth Group, headed by Kevin Andrewin, and other volunteers and concerned Belizean citizens travelled to Gales Point Manatee to make preparations for the upcoming turtle nesting season. Gales Point, a small village is very significant to turtle nesting. The beach of the peninsula is a breathing ground for thousands of little crawlers 7 months of the year. The group embarked on a two-day turtle nesting clean-up campaign where as many as 50 individuals participated in the effort to clean up the beach area. Spearheaded by Luz Hunter, the day began at 7:00 a.m., and by 2:00 p.m., on Sunday, a very important task had been accomplished. 25% of the debris on the beach peninsula had been removed and bagged. Because of the sheer amount of garbage on the beach, only that could have been collected. The participants were motivated by the love they have for turtles and ensuring that their habitat is a safe and friendly one.

Human Rights Commission of Belize holds Annual General Meeting
The Human Rights Commission of Belize (HRCB) held its Annual General Meeting last Saturday at the George Price Center for Peace & Development in Belmopan. The purpose of the meeting was to inform HRCB members on the most recent developments, achievements and plans for the future. Present at this special AGM meeting was one of the founding members of the HRCB movement in Belize, William Heusner. HRCB was founded on December 1987 in response to labor issues that had arisen in the Southern part of Belize. Today, the HRCB deals with a multi- dimension of issues such as being the vanguard of the rights of migrants in the Bella Vista Area and lobbying for human rights to be integrated in the curriculum at tertiary level institutions. But some 26 years later, labor issues continue to be a concern of the HRCB. “During the course of the year [sic] was in Bella Vista, we went to Bella Vista and we saw the maltreatment of workers, who both in their labor environment as well as their communities where they live, there are for example persons who are unable to send their children to school because they don’t have sufficient money, they are not paid sufficiently…there are also concerns with regard to health,” says Leo Bradley Jr., President of HRCB.

Laura Mae Young - August 3, 1948 - July 6, 2013
Laura Mae Young was born on August 3, 1948 in Belize City, Belize, to Walter and Idolly Young. She attended Wesley College and Belize Technical College in Belize City. She graduated from Belize Technical College and after graduation, worked at the insurance company of G. A. Roe & Sons. Laura migrated to the United States in the 1970s, and resided in Chicago, Pittsburgh and eventually Brooklyn, New York where she lived until her passing. She worked at American Home, and later as a civilian with the New York City Force Department. Laura later attended Brooklyn College and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. She retired from the Police Department in February 2013. Laura loved to travel and was able to visit a number of countries over the years. One of her favorite trips was to Brazil, raving about the natives and their love of partying and good food. She looked forward to and always enjoyed her trips back to Belize.

Lloyd Godfrey Alexander Young - September 20th 1930- July 8th 2013
Welcome Home, Brother Lloyd, Welcome Home. Today is a hard and sad day for all of us; we have lost a very special person in our lives. For Alice... a loyal, devoted husband and BEST friend. For Marc and Andrea... a loving and encouraging father. For Lloyd’s family… a kind and genuine brother and uncle. For other family members and Friends...a friend you could count on. Lloyd does not need me to build him up. All of us who knew would agree that he was a good and decent man. A man of lofty principles, a man of character, a faithful man; honest, full of love for his family, for his country and for his fellow man. A bond of friendship formed in our younger years here in Belize and strengthened through the years. As bachelors, we shared an apartment in Chicago. We oftentimes ate at Smitty’s Restaurant in our neighborhood; Smitty would always refer to us as Brother Lloyd and Brother Cliff and as time passed, the term became more meaningful. Let me share a short story with you. Because we were seen together so often, a friend of Lloyd’s (at a party) asked me, “Where is your brother?” I told him that Lloyd was not actually my brother. He wanted to see my license to prove it! I so I did just that.

Football Family mourns the Death of Luis Mendez
Just one week after the Belize National Football Team returned home from the biggest tournament they have ever played, the team and rest of the football family of Belize is now in a state of mourning. 20-year-old Luis Mendez died after a bus he was traveling in flipped over while heading from Guatemala City to his hometown of Benque Viejo del Carmen. Details are still sketchy as to what caused the accident but Mendez was its only fatality. Mendez was a player on the team that participated in the Central American Championships in Costa Rica from which Belize qualified to the Gold Cup Tournament. His death has hit members of the National Football Team hard since the players developed strong bonds in training camp. On his Facebook page, Striker Deon McCaulay said, “REST IN PEACE MY TEAMMATE AND FRIEND LUIS MENDEZ REALLY SAD MOMENT IN TIME CONDOLENCES!!” Others have expressed similar words of condolence to the family. Arrangements are being made to transport Mendez’s body to Belize for his funeral.

Male Softball Competition returns to the Cayo District
The 2013 Cayo Male Softball regular competition commenced on Saturday, July 20, out at the Denbigh Fuller Stadium in Camalote Village with 2 games on the schedule. In the first game played, Belmopan Bombers defeated Team Warriors by the score of 26-18. The winning pitcher was Dion Guzman and the losing pitcher was Tyler Pollard. In the second game, it was the host team Camalote Rising Stars winning over Las Flores by the score of 12-5. The winning pitcher was the veteran, Herman Burke while the losing pitcher was Thomas Serrut. The competition will continue this coming Saturday.

Atlantic Bank Female Football Competition continues
The 2013 Atlantic Bank Female Football Competition continued over the weekend at venues across the country. At the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk Town, Sugar City Girls edged Gentle Touch by the score of 4-3. The goals for Sugar City Girls were scored by Karen Garcia in the 10th and 65th minutes of play, Karen Acosta in the 44th minute of play and Gisel Baeza in the 46th minute of play. Meanwhile, Kimberly Perez scored all three goals for Gentle Touch in the 25th, 31st and 41st minutes of play. At the FFB Stadium in Belmopan, Triple B blanked Dangriga Pumas by the score of 4-0. The goals for Triple B were scored by Iris Centeno in the 14th and 43rd minutes of play, and Kaya Cattouse in the 31st and 73rd minutes of play. The competition will continue on Sunday, July 28 at the Ladyville Football Field at 3:00 pm between Ladyville Jaguars and Sugar City Girls.

Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy wins in Miley Garcia competition
The Cayo Softball Association Miley Garcia Female Competition continued on Sunday, July 21, 2013, at the softball diamond in Ontario Village with 2 games on the schedule. In the first game played, Belmopan Capital City Emeralds, behind the pitching of Dana Mae King, defeated Las Flores Shooting Stars by the score of 20-9. The losing pitcher was the Las Flores Shooting Stars was Guadalupe Chicas. In the second game played, Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy in search of another playoffs defeated the host team Ontario Rebels by the score of 15-4. The winning pitcher was Lesandra Guy and the losing pitcher was Indira Ireland. The champion and sub-champion of the Cayo Softball Association will represent the association at the 23rd National Women’s Softball Championship scheduled for August 29-September 1, 2013, at Rogers Stadium.

Easy Does It wins again in Rural Softball Competition
The Belize Rural Softball Competition continued on Sunday, July 21, 2013, out in Lord’s Bank village. In the first game played, the home team, Lord’s Bank Sunrise won over Arrows Reloaded by the score of 16-1. The winning pitcher was Stacey Smith and the losing pitcher was Christine Brackett. In game two, the current leaders in the competition Flowers Bank’s Easy Does It won via the default route over Ladyville Rising Stars. In game three, Village Gyal also won via the default route over St. Paul’s Bank. And in the final game of the day, UB Jaguars defeated Buttercup by the score of 16-1. The winning pitcher was Herlette Clarke and the losing pitcher was Tricia Flores.

Lady Jaguars lead in Volleyball Championship
The 2013 Belize District Senior Female Volleyball Championship commenced on Saturday, July 20, at the Belize Elementary School auditorium. In the first game of the series, Lady Jaguars defeated the previously undefeated Moen Stars by the score of 23-25, 25-15, 23-25, 25-18 and 15-8. In the continuation of the firms’ competition, Scotia Bank defeated Police in three sets by the score of 25-22, 17-25 and 16-14. In the male competition, Jaguars defeated Scorpions in five sets by the score of 17-25, 25-14, 21-25, 25-19 and 15-12. On Thursday, July 18, in the second and final game of the female semi-final round, Lady Jaguars eliminated Lady Warriors in three sets to advance to the championship series by the score of 26-24, 25-12 and 25-19.

Cattle Movement Control
The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture and the Belize Livestock Producers Association has implemented cattle movement control check points at strategic points in Blue Creek and Carmelita Village in the Orange Walk District. This is in an effort to keep the Corozal, Orange Walk, Belize and Cayo Districts free of bovine tuberculosis and bovine brucellosis, and additionally maintain a cattle traceability system. Other movement control check points will be established in the other parts of the country once the health status of the herds has been determined through testing.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker At The Crossroads
TO PRIME MINISTER MR.DEAN BARROW . CAYE CAULKER AT THE CROSSROADS A year or so ago in a discussion on Front street in Caye Caulker I remember the newly elected mayor Wayne Miller stated his intentions to run for office saying : “Like I see it guys, we are standing at the crossroads for Caye Caulker. If you and me do not take charge of this failing political situation, we can’t complain afterwards and say how mucked up the situation on the island has become. And it will go on continue this way with this political infighting and nothing important gets done. It’s up to us. IT’S UP TO YOU AND ME!” At that time, it gave me a lot to think about, because after 25 years on the island I had decided to move off the island to the mainland into the rainforest to get some more space around me, since my privacy on the island had become very restricted. When I first lived on the island people did not understand why I moved from Front Street to ‘back a bush’ but it was good living quietly in the quite bush in what the island people called ‘the pretty little house in the back’.


CrossFit in Belize? Yes. It’s One of the Fastest Growing Affiliates In The World!
Starting a business can be tough in San Pedro. Beyond tough. There is no buying a beach bar, lounging in the sun and counting your profits. Or easily starting a restaurant or a real estate company or well…anything. A business here, like everywhere else, requires passion, LONG, long hours, expertise and something new and exciting. Now add to that – You need to please locals, expats and tourists (all with potentially different wants and needs) and there is a distinct “slow season” where it can be well REALLY slow. I mean “can’t pay your utilities bills” slow. Drew and his wife Maggie moved to Ambergris Caye from California and opened DJ’s Seaside Restaurant & Bar earlier in the year. They offer the best hamburger in San Pedro. About 3 months ago, in the same building, they also opened the CrossFit gym, their true passion, and in those few months, they have over 100 members. Drew taught classes in Los Angeles (he’s wearing a t-shirt from his previous gym in this pic) and loves this sport and loves getting you to love these workouts too. Walk in almost any time in the morning or late afternoon/evening and you will see this. Crossfit gyms in general do not do air conditioning or fancy machines…they keep it low tech, old fashioned, almost militant.

Eco Kids Learn About Land Conservation
Campers this morning were awoken to a loud *BONK* on the roof of their cabin as a volleyball rolled off. With the morning sun peeking through the trees, everyone was already up and excited for the day’s activities, which would include swimming, and a trip to the nearby Maya Organic Farm to check out some of the delicious organic fruits and vegetables grown there. While preparations for the hike were underway, the campers sat down at the arts and crafts tables to make their very own wallets. Tastes in wallet decoration varied widely, with some campers using stickers, some drawing, some using leaves and sticks, and several using magazine cutouts. One of the best ones included both Wolverine from the X-Men and Micheal Jackson competing for cover space. Campers also got the chance to have their beanbags mended by some of the counselors who were more adept at sewing. Once those wallets were all put away, campers headed up the trail and piled into the back of a truck for the short trip down to the Maya Organic Farm. Once there, they were met by the guides, who proceeded to show them many of the things that kept the farm going. One of the favorites was definitely the compost making, and expressions ranged from “EWWWWW’ to “Oooooh, can I touch it” when naturalist guide David showed off the large worms they used to speed up compost making.

Snorkeling at Shark Ray Alley
Located within the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, just four to five miles south from the shores of Ambergris Caye, Shark Ray Alley is one of the most popular and recognized snorkeling and dive spots in the Caribbean, and it’s also one of the most unique snorkeling experiences you’ll have in Belize. It’s almost always included in a snorkel tour to Hol Chan Marine Reserve, out of either Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker. For years, fishermen cleaned their catch in what is now Zone D of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, attracting hundreds nurse sharks, some up to four feet long, as well as stingrays with wingspans of two to four feet. Not much has changed over the years, except that this area is now a popular dive and snorkeling site and part of a protected reserve. As soon as the boat appears, you´ll see these creatures flocking towards the boat. Your guide might feed them while you take a deep breath and decide whether you can brave jumping in waters with sharks and stingrays surrounding you. But there’s nothing to fear, they are completely harmless. Just do not touch or try to pick them up and keep a normal distance, even if you see your tour guide attempting to hold a stingray (tell him not to!).

Explore the mysteries of the underground.
Caves were used extensively by the ancient Maya and today are great for everyone from the first-time caver to the experienced spelunker. We have thousands of caves in Belize. They range from easy walks to challenging hikes that can often turn into squeezes, crawls, climbs, rappels and swims. Choose your cave accordingly. In most caves, you’ll find extensive stalactite and stalagmite formations and pottery shards, others have ancient intact pottery (Che Chem Ha) and human remains (sometimes intact skeletons, like in Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave) and other natural formation such as underground waterfalls (Blue Creek, Caves Branch). Just about the only thing you won’t find in our caves is boredom.

Belize Through Colors
Rated as one of the most charming & colorful places to visit in Central America & the Caribbean, Belize offers a very distinctive travel experience unlike anywhere else in the world. Lush Maya Mountains, Pristine Rain-Forests, Diverse Cultures, White Sandy Beaches and Caribbean Blues all mix together to give you an exceptional color wheel. In this blog post we highlight the picturesque colors that will captivate you the minute you step on Belizean grounds:

Belizean Spotlight: National Hero of Belize
Born of humble parentage on July 25, 1923, in Belize City, Belize, Philip Goldson started life as a person of modest means and was able within his 78 years to soar above the various diverse circumstances that would govern his illustrious life. His early education was at St. Mary’s Primary School in Belize City, and he went on to study at night to successfully obtain the Cambridge University Overseas Junior Certificate in 1939, and the Senior School Certificate in 1941. Political career: After working briefly as a civil servant for six years, Goldson became enticed by the beginnings of the Nationalist Movement in Belize of the late 1940s and early 1950s. The route into politics at that time was by way of the labor movement, and in 1949 he became the National Organizer of the General Workers Union, and later General Secretary. Together with early activists like John Smith and George Price, he founded the People’s United Party (PUP) in 1950 and served as Assistant Secretary. Convicted of seditious intention in 1951, Goldson was sentenced to one year in prison.

CENPROMYPE dialogue promotes reflection on the institutional strengthening and competitiveness of MSMEs in the region SICA
CENPROMYPE dialogue promotes reflection on the institutional strengthening and competitiveness of MSMEs in the region SICA July 19, 2013 – CENPROMYPE Area: Economic On July 18, CENPROMYPE conducted the regional workshop “Exploring and Strengthening Competitiveness of MSMEs in the region SICA” with the aim of developing a dialogue about the prospects of MSMEs as an engine of economic development social and Central America and Dominican Republic. Also posed reflection on the lessons learned from the first eleven years CENPROMYPE management and its role in promoting the competitiveness of MSMEs in the region, with a long term vision to provide input for the definition of your Plan 2014-2018 Strategic.

Deputy Ministers to promote MSMEs in the region SICA CDMYPE visit in El Salvador
Deputy Ministers to promote MSMEs in the region SICA CDMYPE visit in El Salvador July 22, 2013 – CENPROMYPE Area: Economic San Salvador, July 24, 2013 As part of the El Salvador intraregional cooperation with other member countries of SICA region, the Deputy Ministers and Deputy Ministers to promote MSMEs that make up the Board of CENPROMYPE, visited on 19 July, the CDMYPE of Dr. José Matías Delgado University, with the aim to know the functioning of the Centre and the services offered.

Surveying the Queen Conch!
These photos are courtesy of lovely ReefCI guest Danila Mansfield and document a recent Conch survey!

International Sources

DANGEROUS LIAISONS: The American Religious Right & the Criminalization of Homosexuality in Belize
A Special Report from the Southern Poverty Law Center Montgomery, Alabama

Underwater Secrets of the Maya
“I saw it, I saw it! Yes, it’s true!” the archaeologist shouts: divine light at the bottom of a natural well. Several wonderful photos as a diver explores a cenote near the Maya ruins of Tulum.

Report criticizes U.S. religious groups’ support of Belize sodomy law
A report the Southern Poverty Law Center released on Thursday criticizes U.S. religious groups for supporting the campaign to defend Belize’s anti-sodomy law. The organization specifically singles out the Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom and the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, which has offices in D.C. and New York, for sending lawyers to the Central American country to advice Belize Action, a group opposed to a lawsuit currently before the Supreme Court of the Judicature of Belize that seeks to overturn the statute under which those found guilty of consensual same-sex sexual acts face 10 years in prison. The Southern Poverty Law Center report also notes that Extreme Prophetic Ministries, a Phoenix-based group, has also publicly backed Belize Action. The The report further documents that Scott Strim, who heads Belize Action, was born in Texas. The report further alleges that the aforementioned groups’ support of Belize’s anti-sodomy law has only inflamed existing homophobic attitudes in the country. Caleb Orozco, co-founder of the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM,) the HIV/AIDS group that challenged the statute in the Supreme Court of the Judicature of Belize in 2010, told reporters on Thursday that two masked men broke into his yard and vandalized his car around the same time the justices heard the case in May. He said he has also received hate mail and saw a YouTube clip with a caption that encouraged someone to shoot him in the head.

Retiring Way, Way South of the Border
Americans are starting to head into Central America for retirement, lured by luxury real estate and eased residency requirements. Americans are starting to break from the expat packs in Mexico and Costa Rica for countries such as Panama, Belize and Nicaragua for retirement, lured not by cheap living but by luxury real estate. When Steven and Robin Fine started searching for a place in Latin America to spend their early retirement, they looked at spots in Mexico and Costa Rica, both popular destinations for American retirees. On a trip two years ago, they decided to stop by Panama, too. “We thought we would like Panama the least,” Mr. Fine, 51 years old, a former communications executive said, “but we liked it the best.”

Cat bites boy – thanks a lot ocelot!
There was no 911 to call during a recent vacation when Holly Alteneder's 10 1/2-year-old son, Ronald, was bitten by a big cat – an ocelot, to be exact – at a small zoo in Belize. The quickest option for medical attention was a 40-minute ride to the nearest hospital in the zookeeper's car. After initial treatment, Holly says she and her four sons cut short their plans for a six-week vacation to the Central American countries of Belize, Honduras and Guatemala to fly home to Southern California, where Ronald was admitted to Children's Hospital of Orange County. He was still there three days later, when he and Holly were interviewed by KTLA News. At the time of the interview, Ronald was playing ping pong and wearing pajamas provided by the hospital – ironically covered in cats. Cats are Ronald's obsession, Holly says. With such an obsession, it's easy to see why the family was enjoying an unusual feature at the Belize Zoo and Education Center – the opportunity for the family to be inside a cage within the jaguar habitat. They had just been enjoying the antics of a jaguar around and on top of their cage when she heard her oldest son crying, "Mommy, Mommy, help me." She looked and saw that an ocelot (similar in appearance to a jaguar) had pulled Ronald's arm through the wire fence and wasn't letting go, no matter how much she pounded on the fencing. Another tourist joined the fray, as did the zookeeper.

State budget loses out to secrecy laws in Belize
Seven Ukrainian companies are listed on the airport departure sign that are partially or wholly owned by Belizean companies, based on official data and media reports. A long-standing tourist hotspot, sunny Belize in Central America started to position itself as one of the most attractive tax havens in the world in 1990, when it expanded and amended a series of offshore financial services laws designed to exempt international businesses from paying taxes and filing company reports while offering virtual secrecy to their owners.

Shady Crimean company is lead exporter to Belize
Trade with Belize first took off in October 2012, when Ukraine exported nearly $60 million worth of gasoline to the tiny Caribbean nation. In total, gasoline exports for the last quarter of 2012 reached $209 million, or nearly 93 percent of Ukraine’s exports to Belize for the year, according to the State Statistics Service.

American Groups Encourage Anti-Gay Violence In Belize: Southern Poverty Law Center Report
American anti-gay groups have turned their attention away from politics at home and are now focused on restricting the rights of the LGBT community in smaller countries like Belize, a new report finds. A new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center found that the Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona-based anti-gay religious group, has spent three years advocating to keep a section of the Central American nation's criminal code that "can lead to imprisonment for private sexual acts between consenting adults of the same sex." Section 53, the statute in the criminal code, recommends a sentence of 10 years for Belizians who engage in private homosexual acts. The country also bans lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender immigrants -- along with immigrants with physical or mental disabilities -- and is a cultural nightmare for openly gay people, the report says. The ADF, formerly known as the Alliance Defense Fund, has joined a handful of other far-right groups to maintain those restrictions. Both the SPLC, and Caleb Orozco, an LGBT activist in Belize whose life has been threatened because of his advocacy, say an American-born pastor named Scott Stirm is the impetus of anti-gay sentiment in the country.

Belize - Sugar production reaches 118,339 t in 2012/13
Belize's 2012/13 sugarcane crush came to an end on May 25 after 180 days of operation, and Belize Sugar Industries (BSI) factory manager John Gillett termed the campaign "a very successful one." The 2012/13 crop was the first under American Sugar Refining (ASR) and BSI is reporting significant strides in production and development, he said.

VIDEO: Snorkeling Caye Caulker Belize
It was the manatee dive but there were no manatees to be seen.

Exploring Belize’s Underworld Actun Tunichil Muknal
Trekking through Actun Tunichil Muknal (“ATM”), also known as Xibalba and the Cave of the Stone Sepulcher, is one of the more memorable experiences we have had while traveling. Belize has a wealth of ancient Mayan sites as well as adventure activities. Belize’s ATM cave tour is a combination of both! The caves can only be visited with specially licensed tour companies. We chose Mayawalk Tours, the first company ever to lead tours through the ATM caves. Tour groups are small, consisting of six to eight people. We were picked up at our hotel in San Ignacio in the morning and driven to the Tapir Mountain Reserve. The drive included some off-roading in the small school bus. The adventure started with a long hike through the jungle which included fording the river four times. We then arrived at the cave entrance. There is a deep pool of water at the entrance which we had to swim across to enter the cave.

“Top of the World” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up and out on the veranda yesterday morning around 05.15 hours. And the Internet was fine so I got my daily dose of The Times on-line. No purchases by Arsenal though but we have got rid of Andre “Who ate all the pies” Santos but to do so we had to let him go on a free transfer. Not a bad bit of business – we only paid £6.8m for him two years ago ((sarcasm intended). Oh and it looks like we are about to off-load Gervinho too. At least the wage bill will go down. Sated with my ‘feed’ of news I grabbed the bucket, brush, cloths and chamois and went and spent a fairly energetic hour washing the golf cart. Try as I may though I haven’t found any effective way yet of how to get the seats really clean. Knew we shouldn’t have gone for white! So if any of you out there in the blogosphere have any ideas please let me have them. Normally willing to try (most) things at least once. With the ‘cart in a gleaming condition (aside from the seats that is) I showered, shaved, dressed and had breakfast and then went to the Belize Brewing Company Limited depot to get a five gallon bottle of water. On the way there I passed the new church being built at the corner of Blake Street and Seagrape Drive.

School Starts in September in Belize, and the Back to School Sales are happening NOW in United States. Many stores now have school supplies at rock bottom prices. Many parents in Belize cannot afford the basic school supplies for their children and many children are disadvantaged when they do not have the required materials needed to learn. Education is the most valuable tool we can give our children. I am reaching out to all my readers to help Twocanview and the Belizean Association of Central Florida send 50 needy Belizeans kids back to school with school supplies. Each donated backpack with supplies will bear the donor’s name.

How To Create A Name As a Photographer
We all want to be someone someday. In fact, we have all been asked that question quite often when we were young. Image Credit: spesiellise However, becoming a Photographer back then was not at all ...

July 25, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Children enjoy San Pedro’s first music camp of its kind
Ambergris Caye’s first ever music summer camp commenced on Monday, July 22nd. Over 60 registered children aged 5-18 will have the unique opportunity to learn the vibrant art of music. The program is scheduled to run until August 9th and takes place at the San Pedro High School from Monday to Friday. Training the children is Cuban music teacher Carlos Perrote. Perrote is well educated in the world of music, having played in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba, and even touring Germany, France and Italy. Since 1991, Carlos Perrote has resided in Belize, where he has produced two albums, worked as a music teacher at the National Institute of Creative Arts, and was even musical director for the late Andy Palacio and the Garifuna Collective. Perrote has hosted similar music camps in Orange Walk Town and Belize City.

Hon. John Saldivar visits annual Battle Camp
Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar visited and addressed members of the Volunteer Battalion of the Belize Defense Force who are currently engaged in their Annual Battle Camp. Battle Camp 2013, which is being held at Camp Belizario, located at Central Farm in the Cayo District, focuses mainly on operations conducted in what the BDF calls the Western Tactical Area of Responsibility. This includes internal security; assisting and supporting agencies such as Immigration, Customs, Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA), National Institute for Culture and History (NICH) and the Police; inland and border patrols; and manning observation/conservation posts. Speaking to the troops, Honorable Saldivar congratulated them for their unselfish service to their Country, and he emphasized the increasing role they must play in preserving safety and security both internally and along our national borders.

Belize Lions Zone 59 writes to PM Barrow
The Belize Lions Zone 59 has submitted a letter to Honorable Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize on recommendations from the Lions Club Seminar under the theme “Understanding and Nurturing our Belizean Youth.” The recommendations were gathered as part of the 40th Anniversary of Lionism in Belize. The anniversary was celebrated with an annual convention in San Estevan Village, Orange Walk District, from April 19th to April 21st, 2013. During the seminar important solutions to alleviating problems faced by Belize’s youth was discussed. The panel consisted of members from the Lions Club, teachers, students, village council members, business community members, area representatives, the media, religious leaders, non-government organizations and government departments. The discussion reiterated the fact that the youth are both the future and the present, and that there is an absolute need to invest in them now. The outline addressed to PM Barrow consisted of nine recommendations. The first recommendation was to promote ongoing youth volunteer programs whether they are for the environment, the community or the elderly. The Lions also stated that more skilled training programs for the youth should be carried out, since this would lead to a better rounded education. They also stated that less emphasis should be placed on local and overseas examinations such as PSE and CXC.

Ambergris Today

Bus Accident Kills Belizean Football Player in Guatemala
A bus traveling from Quetzaltenango to the capital city of Guatemala fell in a ravine at kilometer 163 of the Inter-American route, in Nahualá, Solola on Tuesday, July 23, 2013. The accident left one person dead and at least 14 injured, eight of which were transferred to the National Hospital in Solola, and the rest were treated at the scene. The dead man was identified as 22-year-old, Belizean, Luis Eduardo Mendez. Mendez was footballer who played as a defender for the Belize Defense Force Football Club. In 2010 he signed for Belize Premier Football League club Hankook Verdes and started his international career with Belize national football team in 2011.

Area Rep and Town Mayor Hand Out Educational Grants
Hon. Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism and Culture and Area Representative of the Belize Rural South Division along with Mayor Daniel Guerrero presented subsidies for education to 40 students of San Pedro Town on Friday, July 19, 2013. A total of 100 subsidies will be given to both Caye Caulker (21 Students) and San Pedro students (79 students). The subsidies range from $300 to $400 for 1st and 2nd form students, $500 to $600 for 3rd and 4th form students, $800 up to $1,000 for sixth form students and up to maximum of $1500 for university students. Students and parents were on hand to receive their subsidies. A second handing out of grants will take place later on in the month and students from Caye Caulker will also be receiving their financial educational assistance.

Saga's Princesses for Paws
Saga is happy to announce our Princesses for Paws fundraiser Monday, July 29, 2013 at Fido's Restaurant. The Reigning Queen 2012 Karen Jordan and 2013 La Reina de Costa Maya Queen contestants will be hosting a benefit cocktail party. We will have our World Famous Raffle as well as a silent auction. Items range from Seashell frame from Lara Goldman, a gift basket from The Rum and Cigar House, Photo session with Jose Luis Zapata and Chocolate & Wine basket and much more prizes!

Misc Belizean Sources

To Whom It May Concern: The Belize Zoo would like to address the incident involving a youngster who was bitten by our ocelot, “Ollie”, as this has received much attention. An ocelot is a wild cat, native to Belize, and is considered to be a small-to-medium in size, weighing about 20-25 lbs. To clarify what occurred last Monday at the zoo, please read the points below. Sharon Matola, Founding Director

Workshop on Intangible Cultural Heritage

Gay in Belize? You're breaking the law. Still.
As a growing number of US gay couples exercise their new right to legally wed, here homosexuals wait for the day when they're no longer criminalized for being gay. This tiny Central American nation is one of numerous member states of the Commonwealth — former British colonies from Tonga to East Africa — where colonial-era laws banning “buggery” (sodomy) and “gross indecency” remain in effect. Section 53 of Belize’s Criminal Code mandates up to 10 years in jail for anyone convicted of “carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal.” Meanwhile, immigration laws here bar gay foreigners from even entering the country. Although prosecutions are rare, that legal status has kept the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community living in the shadows and may even encourage homophobic violence. But now Section 53 faces an unprecedented court challenge over its constitutionality as an alleged human rights violation of LGBT Belizeans.

VIDEO: Sardine Stampede, Turneffe Atoll
WOW, During PADI Certification, Confined Open Water. It's not everyday you get to perform course skills in a Stampede of Sardines.

Ervin Gordon Tribute
Musical interlude of Ervin Gordon, aka, HIcks, from the World Culture Band. Thanks for the music, Hicks! "Here is the late great Ervin Gordon, playing with the World Culture Band at the lucky 5 bar. San Ignacio Town"

Benque Marimba Academy with William Harvey
The Benque Marimba Academy played with William Harvey at the Benque House of Culture when he was visiting Cayo in an effort to highlight cultural preservation through music. In related news, the Summer Bram: Brukdong and Strings concert is tonight at the Bliss Centre. "William Harvey, Artistic Manager, Afghan Youth Orchestra conductor, and Violin & Viola Teacher spent yesterday's afternoon interacting with Benque Marimba Academy Players."

Belize Individual Country Promotion – 2013 Taipei International Food Show
Belize Individual Country Promotion – 2013 Taipei International Food Show. For Belize’s participation in the 2013 Taipei International Food Show, the Embassy of Belize in the R.O.C (Taiwan) utilized the individual country budget and imported new samples of Belizean products to be exhibit and marketed at the regional Central American Pavilion. The highlighted items for 2013 were: hot sauces, liquors, and coffee. CATO organized one product presentation at the Central American Pavilion for the Belizean hot sauce, Marie Sharp’s. CATO invited its Taiwanese importer, ABCO Co., Ltd., to introduce the hot sauce series, enhanced by preparing the traditional Belizean cuisines seasoned by the said products. Sample tasting of the hot sauces (for the two major brands from Belize, Marie Sharp’s & Hot Mama’s) was also provided at the Center Stage of the Central American Pavilion.

Antonio Beardall: How much can I get for this?
Ancient artifacts, relics of the colonial history of this great land of ours, you can easily see them in our museum and various houses of culture in Belize. Some of them are a few hundred years old, some are thousands. Some were left behind by the English and Spanish who made their presence in Belize, others by the ancient Maya. “But I have one of those” you might say. We have heard it before. Your grandmother had old bottles; while you were digging for your farm you came across a stone tool or ceramic pot. Some red flags may go up, fear creeps in, that the Institute of Archaeology is coming, along with the police, to arrest you for having a bottle and take away your land because you found a pot.

Channel 7

100+ Acres of Chiquibul Forest Destroyed For Milpa Farms
Last week – we told you about the Chiquibul Symposium – a meeting of the minds to figure out how to solve the problem that faces this vast national park. The problem is, simply, that Guatemalan farmers in search of fertile land are pushing over from the Peten to make their farms in the Chiquibul. Last week at the symposium, the BDF Commander called it “alarming.” But to hear it said is one thing, to see it, quote another. So yesterday, Daniel Ortiz and Camera-man Codie Norales left before dawn heading for the edge of Belize to see the milpa farms for themselves. Led by the Friends For Conservation and Development which co-manages Chiquibul, they found over a hundred acres of milpa farms squarely and unapologetically within Belizean territory. Here’s the full story. Daniel Ortiz reporting Looking at it, a uniformed observer might think that this clearing of land is unimportant, and routine, just another developer working on his or her property. But it is not; this actually a part of the Chiquibul Forest - 55 acres to be exact in a protected reserve where farming is prohibited.

FCD: Enforcement Not As Simple As Should Be
And while discovery is one thing, enforcement is quite another. The rangers from Friends for Conservation and Development expend a great amount of time and resources to police the Chiquibul. It is very difficult for them to actually capture the Guatemalans who are engaging in illegal activities, and when they do, it is not always a solid case that they can present against them in court. Well, the FCD is reporting that even before they get to that stage, they encounter resistance from various government agencies. The Executive Director explained how it is not as easy as one would think when trying to protect the national park after they’ve extracted the Guatemalans: Rafael Manzanero - Executive Director, FCD "We are really not well synchronized in terms of all the agencies - if you look at a Milpa like this it means that there was an infraction of illegal entry, it means that they are occupying a protected area which means under the National Parks Systems Act and the deforestation also falls either under the forest act or under the National System Parks Act. So we would assume that the regulatory agencies would be able really to uphold those particular rules and laws but at the end of the day we will need that synchronicity so that everybody would be able to do that particular tasking.

Rhett's Second Chance Begins
Four months ago, we told you how the Court of Appeal gave Rhett Fuller his first major break when the court allowed his appeal of the decision by Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington to surrender him to the US. The main ground by which the Court allowed Fuller’s appeal was that the Minister, within his wide jurisdiction, did not consider whether or not the delayed extradition process was unjust and oppressive to him. In addition, the court provided a list of guidelines to the Minister for a second hearing on this matter, which came up today. The hearing held at the Foreign Affairs office in Belize City was very brief, and when his attorney Eamon Courtney exited, the media asked him to give an update. He told us that this time, the Minister is taking steps to carefully consider how the extradition will affect his family.

The Premise Behind SATIIM's Pending Challenge
Courtenay is also the attorney for SATIIM and four villages – who are suing government and US Capital Energy for various breaches in the Sarstoon Temash National Park. As they explained at yesterday’s Punta Gorda Press Conference, they want the villages to exercise informed consent over the activities of US Capital Energy in the Park. Courtenay – who couldn’t make it to PG yesterday - explained - Eamon Courtenay, S.C. - Attroney for SATIIM "This is in my view a very simple case - does the law of Belize allow commercial drilling in a National Park? That's the question - second question is - does the law of Belize allow the Government of Belize to allow commercial drilling in communal lands of the Maya indigenous people without their consultation, without their informed consent, without their permission? The question of whether we are going to allow a non-Belizean oil company and rape the National Park in the search for dollars and trampling on indigenous rights and environmental protection - is a very stark case and we will see which side the government takes. The law as it stands is as it was pronounced by Chief Justice Conteh and the rights of indigenous people must be respected. The law of Belize says that that land is owned by the indigenous people and they have certain rights in relation to that.

Rawell's Been Facing Narcotics Charges
Last night, we told you about Rawell Pelayo, the Vice President of the FFB, who was caught by US Authorities when he tried to go follow the team to the Gold Cup. Tonight, he’s being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York, and he is now awaiting trial on grand jury charges related to narcotics smuggling into the US. He is expected to stand trial in United States District Court in the Southern District of New York. Pelayo’s situation is becoming more serious, and today we spoke today with the President of the Football Federation of Belize. He told us that he will try to make contact with Pelayo when he goes to the US for the finals of the Gold Cup. Ruperto Vicente - President, FFB "We have not received any information - in fact the only information that I got is the one that I got on the news last night. We have no received further information about Mr. Pelayo, so I will be in contact with the embassy in Washington to see what information they can provide the federation about Mr. Pelayo but so far we have not received anything."

FFB Says Good Bye To Luis Mendez
And while Ruperto Vicente had the opportunity, he extended condolences to the family of former national team player, Luis Mendez. Mendez was killed in a traffic accident yesterday in Guatemala where a bus flipped injuring 6 other passengers. Vicente told us that his administration is saddened by the loss of a promising footballer: Ruperto Vicente - President, FFB "I need to first of all express my condolence to the family of Luis Mendez who was a member of the Football National Team in Costa Rica which caused us to qualify to the Gold Cup in the United States. He suffered an accident yesterday and passed away. So, on behalf of the Football Federation of Belize, the football family, we express our condolences. He was a great support for the National Team, he was not one of the key players in Costa Rica but he came into one match but he was one of the greatest support because he was a defensive player and he also played defensive mid-field and so when he was drafted into the game - that was the role he played. He did an excellent job when he was injected into the game but he never made it to the team that went to the Gold Cup but he was always a part of the National Team Program and he also played on the U-20 team that went back to Costa Rica and so he did well on that team."

The Reward For Turning Bribes
And while there was that tragic news for the football family today, Vicente also confirmed some great news. The executive of CONCACAF are making arrangements for National Team members Ian Gaynair and Woodrow West to return to the US. They’re being rewarded for the honorable way in which they turned down an offer of match fixing bribes, and now they’re being rewarded with a trip back to the US to see the Gold Cup Final. We spoke to both Vicente and Gaynair today about it. Ian Gaynair - Turned Down Bribe "Yesterday I got a call from our President, Mr. Ruperto Vicente, that the president of CONCACAF sent an invitation for Woodrow West and I to attend a dinner with him and the rest of his executives and to attend the final game on Sunday." Ruperto Vicente - President, FFB "This is a time of celebration, I believe we have not herald their achievements enough but with this recognition by CONCACAF and the president inviting them to the championship game in Chicago and as well to the president's banquet this weekend - is a great achievement for our players. It shows that CONCACAF and FIFA reward players when they recognize match-fixing and they refused to be a part of match-fixing which is a danger to football. So FIFA and CONCACAF celebrate this kind of achievements so our players deserve the recognition, the invitation and so they are going to be at the finals at the Gold Cup."

Armed Robbery Caught On Camera
Just before 7 this morning, Ladyville Police responded to reports of an armed robbery only 2 blocks away from the Police Station. The owner of Vin Li Shopping Centre was held up at gun point by 2 armed robbers. But the store’s surveillance camera picked up their faces- because neither was wearing a mask. Today 7news travelled to Ladyville to get the story. Monica Bodden reporting The armed robbery happened just before 7am this morning. The owner of Vin Li Shopping Center in Ladyville had just opened his shutters for business when a young man described as being under 20 entered his establishment and began lurking around the store. Minutes after he yelled out for another man who was standing across the street. The man then entered the store with a handgun. At the time, a customer was inside the store. If you look closely at the surveillance footage, you will see that the 2 men were not wearing any mask.

GSU Gets Guns And Gang Members
Tonight, 27 year-old Michael Young, 26 year-old Kareem Gladden, and 2 minors are on remand after they were arraigned for an unlicensed firearm. On Tuesday night, the Gang Suppression Unit searched Young’s residence on Zericote Street where all 4 men were present. They found a .22 caliber revolver under one of the beds, and charged all 4 men with keeping an unlicensed firearm. They were arraigned and remanded today at the Magistrate’s Court. The GSU states that Young and Gladden are reputed gang members. And, the self-proclaimed Leader of the Ghost Town Crips gang, Roger Anthony is facing additional deportee related charges after the GSU found him associating 5 gang members. The GSU searched a house on Mayflower Street on Tuesday morning, and they found Anthony hanging out with 5 other reputed members of the Ghost Town Crips.

PUP Consolidates Power In The Bmp
Politics can be a tough venture, but, at every turn the road is rising to meet newcomer Jason Patrick Andrews. First, he got a free pass for months sitting in like a PUP Sleeper Cell on PLUS TV’s Rise and Shine Morning Show, and now, his sponsor, PUP Deputy Leader and Cayo South Rep. Julius Espat has gotten Andrews’ most formidable inter-party opponent to endorse him. Espat told us today that he wouldn’t quite put it that way but then conceded that he is quote, “responsible for all (party) decisions made in the west.” Today the PUP sent out a release showing immediate past Standard Bearer Amin Hegar shaking Andrews’ hand and announcing that Andrews has Hegar’s full support. The release says Dr. Hegar is encouraging his committee to support Andrews. The endorsement is important, because Hegar is a seasoned politician and a formidable opponent at the convention level – as he proved in the last PUP Belmopan Convention where he easily beat out gilded candidates who had the endorsement of Party Headquarters.

Okeke Rages Against City Hall
Stepehen Okeke, he’s been fighting an uphill battle longer than Sisysphus; it seems he’s always at the losing end of some public sculpture deal gone sour. He struggled for years to get the Phillip Goldson bust adopted and paid for, and now he’s having the same problem with the recently completed Antonio Soberanis Bust. As we told you, a few months ago, Okeke took on the project when it was announced that Battlefield Park would be completely renovated. Okeke found a rare picture of Soberanis – and set out to make a defining bust of the legendary labour leader – to replace the once that was in the park – which was not faithful to the man’s features. Now, the bust is finished, but it seems another Okeke ordeal has just begun. We got a look at the bust and a listen to Okeke’s rage against City Hall today. Stephen Okeke - Frustrated with City Hall "There is no photograph of Antonio Soberanis - there was none at the archives department and it was difficult to even get family members to provide one. I was over the Facebook and the media asking for just a picture - eventually after years of searching, I was able to find one. Here we are telling a story - so what goes into here is not only a form of the man but his character that is why you have to read about the person because what you are doing here is called 'Public Visual Dialogue'. Once you're looking at the sculpture, you're actually feeling the man, feeling his presence and looking at it tells you who this person could - that makes you ask the question "who is he?" Then the dialogue begins from there."

A Camp For Young Footballers
And, as our closing story tonight, we take you to another one of those football camps. This one primarily sponsored by SMART is hosted at the ITVET compound in Belize City and has over 150 children participating. It is led by football legends and coaches – and we stopped in today where we found the camp organizers in a beautiful struggle pushing the beautiful game:.. Anthony Bernard - Football Coach (FC Belize) "We told ourselves that we want to start from here with the kids, starting here is what we need to bring out in them. Same basic work - kick, pass, position and move with the ball - we have basic skills that we teach ourselves on a daily basis, kick, pass, buck." Dion Cacho - Promising Young Footballer "I play center mid-field and the person that I look up to is my neighbor Avan Crawford."

Channel 5

Rosewood again but for how much?
Forestry Minister Lisel Alamilla has publicly burned rosewood, declared an amnesty which benefitted illegal exporters and then disclosed a deal which saw those illegal exporters getting back their rosewood. That [...]

SATIIM not allowed to co-manage national park
Another hot-button issue involves court action by SATIIM and Maya Alcaldes against U.S. Capital Energy and the Government of Belize. This issue is the oil exploration which is already underway [...]

US Gov’t may go after assets of F.F.B. Vice President
The case of the United States of America versus Rawel Pelayo, also known as Berto, has been growing for at least four years.  Pelayo and others are accused of “intentionally [...]

Rhett Fuller continues to fight extradition to the USA
Belize City businessman Rhett Fuller has spent fifteen years evading the long arms of Uncle Sam. Fuller is wanted by the U.S. for his involvement in the 1990 murder of [...]

Is it better to burn rosewood, or for illegal agents to get the profits?
To start this segment, tonight’s question is: Do you think that it is better to burn rosewood, or for the illegal agents to get the profits? Send your comments and [...]

2 Jaguars returning to USA on special invitation
In a present society that is rife with moral decay the old proverb “honesty is the best policy” has all but lost its meaning.  So, when two members of the [...]

Gaynair and West to attend CONCACAF President’s banquet
F.F.B. President Ruperto Vicente has also commended the boys for their honesty.  An invitation for the pair to fly to Chicago on Friday was the result of an email correspondence [...]

Under 16 football team going to compete in Merida, Mexico
An under-sixteen football team from the west was on a friendly tournament in Merida last week and their performance caught the attention of organizers since they lost only one of [...]

Luis Mendez, a Jaguar at heart, dies in traffic accident
It is a bitter sweet moment for the national team. As it celebrates Woodrow West and Ian Gaynair, it is mourning the death of team member Luis Mendez. Mendez played [...]

Art teacher who influenced a nation of artisans, passes away
Michelle Perdomo taught for about four decades at Saint John’s high school and junior college.  She taught or influenced much of the artists that have produced memorable work in Belize.  [...]

Brothers, iron bar and rocks means jail-time
A dispute over land has left one man critically injured in the K.H.M.H. and another behind bars while Police hunt for his brother. Sand Hill residents Eric and Prince Lockwood [...]

GSU sweeps gun and gang members from the streets
A firearm found on Gill Street by the Gang Suppression Unit back in May was used in the January murder of Marvin Forman, according to ballistic tests. The firearm is [...]

Caribbean shipping more marijuana than cocaine
The Report on the Drug Problem in the Americas, a recent document published by the Organization of American States, presented during its forty-third annual General Assembly in June, is being [...]

Brukdong and Violin music at the Bliss
The Institute of Creative Arts is hosting tonight a one-of-a-kind show at the Bliss Institute. It is a summer bram featuring well-known violinist, William Harvey from Cultures in Harmony. Harvey [...]

Who will be the next Superstar?
Group A rocked the audience and the judges at the Bliss on Tuesday night as another round of competition in Be the Next Superstar took place. The show progressed with [...]


Concacaf and Fifa Honors West and Gaynair for Refusing Bribe During Gold Cup in US
The participation of Belize National A Selection Team, the Jaguars’, in the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament in the U.S. was not short of historic for a small nation like Belize. But after suffering defeats for the three matches, Belize was bumped out of the competition. After Belize’s ru...

Family in Western Belize Mourns Passing of Belizean Footballer
A Belizean died yesterday in Guatemala as a result of a traffic mishap. Reports are that a bus traveling from Quetzaltenango to the capital City fell Tuesday afternoon in a ravine. The accident left 20-year-old footballer Luis Eduardo Mendez one person dead - a 20 year old Belizean Football...

Three Adults and Two Minors Remanded on Firearm Charges
Three adults and two minors, one of them 15 and the other 17, were charged with kept firearm without a gun license when they appeared today before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton. The adults are 26 year old Michael Young, 24 year old Kareem Gladden and 18 year old Gilbert Jackson. They pled not guilty...

Belize City Imprisoned on Firearm Charges
Twenty-seven year old Mark Gentle, who allegedly pointed a firearm at two men, was charged with two counts of aggravated assault when he appeared today before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton. Gentle was also charged with harm. He pled not guilty to the charges. Magistrate Hamilton explained to him tha...

Guatemalan National Still on The Run
Police continue their search for 26-year-old Guatemalan national Jose Arnoldo Soto. As was reported yesterday Soto is wanted for questioning in connection with the ongoing investigation into the murder of Isaac Gutierrez that occurred on Sunday in Mayan King Area in the Stann Creek Dis...

Flood Watch in Southern Belize; Emergency Committees Activated
NEMO Toledo remains activated in connection with flood emergency measures. Here’s Correspondent Paul Mahung with the full story. PAUL MAHUNG “NEMO Toledo Coordinator, Kenton Parham along with other public offices are currently on standby as part of flood emergency operat...

Government Bans Indigenous People From National Park; SATIIM Says No
On Tuesday, Greg Cho’c, the Executive Director of the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, SATIIM, explained how it is seeking legal redress against the Government’s decision to grant US Capital Energy permission to conduct oil drilling inside the Sartstoon Temash Nati...

APAMO Clashes with Government of Belize Over Co-Management of Protected Areas
And while SATIIM is taking issue with the Government on the US Capital Energy Oil Drilling concession along with its own cancellation of their joint-agreement with the Government to co-manage the Sarstoon Temash National Park, APAMO, the umbrella environmental organization, also has a problem wit...

Farmer Becomes Inmate At Prison Following Altercation with Cousin
Twenty-six year old Eric Lockwood, a farmer of Sandhill, who allegedly assaulted his cousin, Nelson Lockwood and caused grievous harm to him, became an inmate of Belize Central Prison today after he appeared before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton and was charged with two counts of aggravat...


Domestic dispute in the south leaves one man dead.
A domestic dispute in the south leaves one man dead and the accused – his daughter’s boyfriend, on the run. But what would cause the 23 year old to want to hurt someone so close to the woman he loves? Our Dangriga correspondent Harry Arzu went searching for answers....

Four women in court following stabbing incident at party
A total of four females, two sisters and two friends who are believed to be party crashers were before the court to answer to criminal charges. The arrest of the women resulted from a stabbing incident which took place on Saturday, July 21, 2013...

Denfield Lemott sentenced to 5 years imprisonment for theft
34-year-old Denfield Lemott was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment late yesterday evening when he appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. Lemott walked into the office of Secretary, Lavern Staine, the former secretary of Justice Oswell Legall of the Supreme Court. He stole the secretary’s purse which contained $1,350 in Belize...

Robbery at Teakettle business
While most people were in their comfy households either getting ready for supper or finishing off supper, 65 year old Julia Cruz was being robbed. At around 7:40 pm last night two men entered her business establishment in Teakettle Village. One of the men pulled out a handgun and...

Lifeline Foundation receives funding for KHMH Paediatric Intensive Care Unit
Tuesday afternoon Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis-Barrow announced a grant commitment of 2 million dollars from the Oak Foundation to her Lifeline Foundation to be put toward the construction of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH)’s new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). Simplis-Barrow shares further details...

Exploring the Mayan Archaeological Site at Lamanai
The Belize Tourism Board invited members of the local press on a four day familiarization tour of the country. The trip took the group to Orange Walk, Placenica, Hopkins and Central Belize. On Thursday, the caravan travelled to Lamanai for a day’s exploration of the Mayan Archaeological Site. Shadel...

Inspiration Center near completion
Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis Barrow has targeted the end of the year for the opening of the Inspiration Center for children with special needs. Back-to-back Inspiration Telethons have raised over $1.5 million for construction and the center, located on the George Price Highway, is very...

Medical Mission serves in Belmopan
Members of the Church of Christ in Oklahoma along with volunteers came to Belize to offer clinical services to Belizeans. They are working in collaboration with the Church of Christ congregation in Belmopan. Gary Lan, one of the American members of the Church of Christ, who was in part...

Marketing Facility opened in Orange Walk
It is predicted to be the premier small business development center in the north, providing business support services, training and technical assistance to micro and small entrepreneurs. On Saturday, the Small Scale Enterprise Development and Training Center (SSEDAT Center) and Marketing Facility was inaugurated at..


Domestic dispute in the south leaves one man dead.
A domestic dispute in the south leaves one man dead and the accused – his daughter’s boyfriend, on the run. But what would cause the 23 year old to want to hurt someone so close to the woman he loves? Our Dangriga correspondent Harry Arzu went searching for answers....

Four women in court following stabbing incident at party
A total of four females, two sisters and two friends who are believed to be party crashers were before the court to answer to criminal charges. The arrest of the women resulted from a stabbing incident which took place on Saturday, July 21, 2013...

Denfield Lemott sentenced to 5 years imprisonment for theft
34-year-old Denfield Lemott was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment late yesterday evening when he appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. Lemott walked into the office of Secretary, Lavern Staine, the former secretary of Justice Oswell Legall of the Supreme Court. He stole the secretary’s purse which contained $1,350 in Belize...

Robbery at Teakettle business
While most people were in their comfy households either getting ready for supper or finishing off supper, 65 year old Julia Cruz was being robbed. At around 7:40 pm last night two men entered her business establishment in Teakettle Village. One of the men pulled out a handgun and...

Lifeline Foundation receives funding for KHMH Paediatric Intensive Care Unit
Tuesday afternoon Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis-Barrow announced a grant commitment of 2 million dollars from the Oak Foundation to her Lifeline Foundation to be put toward the construction of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH)’s new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). Simplis-Barrow shares further details...

Exploring the Mayan Archaeological Site at Lamanai
The Belize Tourism Board invited members of the local press on a four day familiarization tour of the country. The trip took the group to Orange Walk, Placenica, Hopkins and Central Belize. On Thursday, the caravan travelled to Lamanai for a day’s exploration of the Mayan Archaeological Site. Shadel...

Inspiration Center near completion
Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis Barrow has targeted the end of the year for the opening of the Inspiration Center for children with special needs. Back-to-back Inspiration Telethons have raised over $1.5 million for construction and the center, located on the George Price Highway, is very...

Medical Mission serves in Belmopan
Members of the Church of Christ in Oklahoma along with volunteers came to Belize to offer clinical services to Belizeans. They are working in collaboration with the Church of Christ congregation in Belmopan. Gary Lan, one of the American members of the Church of Christ, who was in part...

Marketing Facility opened in Orange Walk
It is predicted to be the premier small business development center in the north, providing business support services, training and technical assistance to micro and small entrepreneurs. On Saturday, the Small Scale Enterprise Development and Training Center (SSEDAT Center) and Marketing Facility was inaugurated at..


It’s Hip to SNIP!
Saga is pleased to announce their Princesses for Paws fundraiser Monday July 29 at Fido’s Restaurant. The Reigning Queen 2012 Karen Jordan and 2013 La Reina de Costa Maya Queen contestants will be hosting a benefit cocktail party. Saga will have their World Famous Raffle as well as a silent auction. Items range from Seashell frame from Lara Goldman, a gift basket from The Rum and Cigar House, Photo session with Jose Luis Zapata and Chocolate & Wine basket. More are being added daily. Please help Saga keep it world famous by spreading the word and sharing Saga’s Princesses for Paws 2013 facebook updates. You can also find out more about Saga Humane Society on their website.

“Money’s Too Tight ( to Mention” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Haven’t a clue what the Internet was like on the rest of Ambergris Caye yesterday morning but for me it was absolutely horrible. No service at all when I got up at 04.30 hours and it stayed that ways for hours even though I tried rebooting numerous times. The lack of service was really irritating and severely delayed the publication of the previous edition of this blog. I don’t impose a strict deadline but I do aim to get it ‘out there’ at a reasonable time. So apologies to those of you who may like to read it before you go to work. The absence of Internet also meant that I didn’t get my early morning “fix” of The Times on-line. Still no need to worry about not picking up on an Arsenal foray in to the transfer market. There wasn’t one! I did eventually get a stable return of service around 11.00 hours and then was able to pick up on emails – that was after publishing yesterday’s edition – and with that out of the way Rose and I turned our attention to discussing fencing for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize.

International Sources

Finding Neverland: A Story of Belize
This year my family took its summer vacation to the Central American nation of Belize. We traveled with another family from Charlotte, who had been there before. Between their stories and the things we discovered through our own research, we were pretty excited about this two-week adventure. After a 3.5 hour flight from Charlotte, and a quick 15 minute flight from Belize City, we arrived on Caye Caulker by early afternoon. As we rode a stretch golf cart from the air strip to thehotel, our driver, who sensed our excitement, smiled and said, “Go slow.” The first thing I noticed was the sky. It was blue. There was no haze in it. The second thing I noticed was the iguanas. We stayed at Sea Dreams hotel on the north end of the small island, near the split where Hurricane Hattie cut the island in half in 1961 permanently separating the developed part of the island from the undeveloped part – where mangroves and iguanas thrive.

Festival preview: Garifuna Collective brings music of Belize to Interstellar
Garifuna Collective may be the most exotic act at this year’s Interstellar Rodeo. The septet represents the largest-ever tour of musicians from Belize. While they’re justifiably proud to bring their special Central American sound to the rest of the hemisphere, that hasn’t kept them from collaborating beyond their borders or looking to the future. That’s something you catch on to listening to their new album Ayo (on the Cumbancha label). “This is not about preserving something in a glass box in a museum,” explains Ivan Duran, producer and contributing player with the Collective. “This is about showing the world this is a vibrant culture that will survive because it adapts. Our music is based on the traditional roots and primal rhythms but it has evolved a lot over the last decade.” The ancestral roots of the Garifuna people go back to a group of West African slaves who were shipwrecked around the island of St. Vincent in 1635, only to settle along the coast of Central America, especially in Belize, where they now number 600,000.

Calypso Rose graces Kelly Strayhorn stage as part of 'East Liberty Live' series
The Kelly Strayhorn Theater was turned into a carnival when the queen of Calypso music Calypso Rose made her debut in Pittsburgh Saturday as part of the theater's fifth annual East Liberty Live series. The evening brought the Caribbean culture to the forefront with music, food and dance. From then on the accolades kept coming. In 1978 Rose was given the Distinguished Achievement Award for the First Triple Crown Calypso Monach of the World by the Tobago Benevolent Society; 1979 she was honored with the Award for Magnanimous Contribution to the Culture by the Caribbean Arts and Culture Council; in 1982 she was made an honorary citizen of Belize in recognition of her work to raise the country's international awareness on the cultural front. In 1987 Belize honored her with the National Belize Music Award 25th Anniversary of Independence Ward by Stag Beer & Vat 19 Rum. A year later the country gave Calypso Rose the Gratutude and Commendation for the Development of Arts and Culture in Belize by the National Arts Council in Belize. In Belize they speak three languages--Spanish, English and a local dialect and the people were not getting along," Rose recalled. "I wrote a Calypso song called ‘Belizeans Unite’ and that brought the country together. I write songs about a lot of different nationalities."

Belize Tourism Stakeholders Prepare for Norwegian Cruise Line Port Development
Tourism stakeholders in Belize are preparing for another proposed port development off Belize’s Placencia peninsula, according to local press reports. Belize’s Channel 7 News website reported late Monday that Norwegian Cruise Line has reached a memorandum of understanding with Belize’s government to explore the construction of a cruise port on Harvest Caye, a small island off Placencia. The site reports that under the agreement, Norwegian will invest $50 million in the port and employ no more than 25 percent foreign staff. In exchange, Belize’s government will provide “the usual giveaways” including a 25-year concession to operate the port, duty exemptions and duty-free status and business tax exemptions. The cruise company will also charge a $7 passenger head tax at the port, retaining $4 of each fee, according to the article. Portions of the tax due to the Belize Tourist Board and government would go to a tourism enhancement fund, as well as to an environmental monitoring initiative. Hotels and overnight tourism stakeholders on Placencia, a small village quickly growing into a sought-after vacation destination among dive enthusiasts, are expected to oppose the cruise port plan, according to the Channel 7 report.

How Climate Change Led to the Rise and Fall of Maya Civilization
A high-resolution climate record spanning 2,000 years shows how Maya political systems developed and fell apart in response to climate change, researchers report. The role of climate change in the development and demise of classic Maya civilization, ranging from AD 300 to 1000, has been controversial for decades because of a lack of well-dated climate and archaeological evidence. In an article published today in Science, the researchers outline how they reconstructed rainfall records from stalagmite samples collected from Yok Balum Cave, located nearly three miles from ancient city of Uxbenka, in the tropical Maya Lowlands in southern Belize. They compared their findings to the rich political histories carved on stone monuments at Maya cities throughout the region.

Monsanto A Documentary on GMO
This documentary shows the power of Monsanto and how they treat farmers, how GMO seeds can destroy our food supply.,not what Monsanto promised from there GMO seed. The world needs to reject the use of GMO food for our own good. If you think we are safe in Australia think again, one farmer W.A has grown Round-up ready Conola seed and has contaminated near by fields.

The Lyme Wars - The Lyme-disease infection rate is growing. So is the battle over how to treat it.
I freaked out and started screaming.” Kaleigh’s mother, Holly Ahern, came running and removed it. “I took the kid and the tick to the doctor,” she said. “I told him, Here is my kid, here is the tick, and there is the place where it was attached to her.”

'Digital dementia' on the rise as young people increasingly rely on technology instead of their brain
South Korean experts have found that increasing numbers of teenagers are exhibiting symptoms more commonly associated with aging or psychiatric illness.

F-Stop, Shutter Speed: A Powerful Combination
When you first take a camera in hand, this black box with a lens on it can seem to be a glaze inducing riot of numbers, symbology, and menu options. 2.8, 4, 5.6, plus or minus 2 EV……..if you’re not numerically inclined, there is, to say the least, potential for confusion. The shutter speed dial has more logic, right?

July 24, 2013


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Costa Maya Festival presents Miss Guatemala
We introduce to you the final contestant for this year’s Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant®: Miss Guatemala. The lovely Andrea Alejandra Morales Teo is 20 years old, 5’ 9” tall, and was Miss Guatemala 2011 when she represented her state of Chimaltenango, Guatemala. Andrea also represented her country proudly at the Miss Continente International Pageant held in Guayaquil, Ecuador a year later, in September 2012. The brown-eyed brunette is eager to represent her country once more at the Reina de la Costa Maya® pageant being held on August 1st. Andrea is the last to join the cast of beauties vying for the title of Reina de la Costa Maya® 2013. She will be on stage with Destinee Arnold (Belize), Andrea Rojas (Costa Rica), Fatima Magandi (El Salvador), Monica Elwing Gough (Honduras), Artemisa Montañés (Mexico), Ariadna Melendez (Nicaragua) and Cleirys Velasquez (Panama) on Thursday August 1st.

San Pedro Lions host BCVI summer campers
The San Pedro Lions Club members worked hard on Saturday July 20th when they hosted the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired (BCVI) summer campers for a beach day. The 96 visitors were on a beach picnic at Boca del Rio Park as part of BCVI’s annual camp for the visually impaired in the country. As part of their outing to San Pedro Town, they enjoyed sodas, lunch, and goodies. The purpose of their visit was to enjoy Ambergris Caye and that is exactly what they did – they swam while others took a ride around town on a golf cart. According to Lisa Zelaya, Belize District’s Regional Field Officer, BCVI has planned various activities over two weeks. “We planned these events for BCVI patients who are accompanied by staff members with support from a few adults. It is very important for them since they get to experience for themselves the atmosphere. They also look forward to outings and they enjoy coming to San Pedro Town. On their first day of camp, the first thing they asked is if they are coming to San Pedro. They look forward to the various events we planned,” explained Zelaya. She said that the San Pedro Lions Club members generously hosted them to lunch with soft drinks and even ensured that tables and chairs were set up for them. “We want to thank the local Lions Club. This is not the first time they have hosted us. They are all so accommodating and welcoming to our patients,” commented Zelaya. A few of the visually impaired stopped at the Central Park were they chatted with local wood carvers and other artisans who generously gave a few of them souvenirs.

Lighthouse Lager’s Rock Paper Scissors Competition hits La Isla Bonita
On Saturday July 20th, Fido’s Courtyard was the arena for the National Lighthouse Lager Rock Paper Scissors Competition. The competition is the first of its kind in Belize, and has been sweeping the country by storm. Competitors from each district destination have been partaking in the competition and on Saturday night, the Lighthouse crew came to San Pedro scouting the island for the best RPS (Rock, Paper, Scissors) “athlete.” Challengers arrived from as early as 7PM, signing up to secure their places in the competition and of course fuel up on the loads of free Lighthouse! Competitors did a pre game interview (see webisodes here: with the lovely host Melissa Coleman and the Lighthouse crew, giving a bit of insight on their game strategies and even strutted a few dance moves (Joe Chung, we saw you) for all the viewers. Tension was high as competitors put their game faces on to see just whose scissor would cut paper, whose paper would cover rock and whose rock would crush scissor! After several knock out rounds of scissor crushing and paper cutting it, was Shirlee Arnold and Grant Lee that would ultimately face off to represent San Pedro in the national Finals. After the three sets of RPS-ing, the winner of the competition,and taking home a free six -pack and case of lighthouse was Grant Lee.

SP Darts Club host tournament
The San Pedro Lions Club was the venue for the San Pedro Darts Tournament on Sunday July 21st. The all day event brought darts players from various parts of the country, and was organized by the San Pedro Darts Club. The tournament is just one of many events in preparation for this year’s national tournament. According to Jose Mora, President of the Belize National Darts Federation and President of the Caribbean Darts Organization, the local tournament is just one of many that have been organized in various parts of the country to scout for the best darts players. “Events like these will help us to identify possible candidates that can be members of the official Belize Darts Team that will travel next year to represent the country in the USA. Belize is preparing for the Caribbean’s Darts Cup and America’s Darts Cup which will be held in Tampa, Florida USA in 2014. We are happy that the San Pedro Darts Club is supportive of the sports and the Lions Club for providing the venue as well as sponsorship to this particular event,” commented Mora.

Ambergris Today

Costa Maya Festival Announces Miss Guatemala Contestant
Lovely Andrea Alejandra Morles Teo has been confirmed to represent her country as Miss Guatemala 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-year-old Andrea Morales has been Miss Guatemala 2011 and Miss Guatemala Continente Americano 2012 and represented her country at the Miss Continente International Pageant in Guayaquil, Ecuador on September 29, 2012. Fatima stands 5’ 9” tall, has brown eyes and black hair, she loves singing and modeling.

Lighthouse Christian Radio Presents “Action Sports Camp”
Lighthouse Christian Radio Ministry & Action 20:24 Football, Volleyball & Softball/Baseball (Basic skills, drills, lots of thrills) When: August 5 - 9, 2013 Where: San Pedro High School Yard Time: 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM Ages: 7 to 13 years old Summer Fun in the Sun Central Park 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Music, Games, Arts & Crafts tons of FUN!!! For more information, Lighthouse Christian Radio FM 101.3 at 226-4673

Misc Belizean Sources

Serious allegations have been made in print and television media in Belize in respect of grant funds provided by the Oak Foundation to UNIBAM. In the Amandala of July 21, 2013, at pages 15 and 30, in a column entitled “Right to the Point”, the columnist states that “that the monetary donation UNIBAM received from a certain foundation came through the Oceana account and was written on an Oceana cheque.” She goes on to state that Oceana was “ the means via which the said foundation siphoned their money to them.” The columnist then goes on to say that “Maybe I should publish a copy of the cheque.” On Monday, July 22, 2013, on the Rise and Shine Show on Plus TV, Louis Wade Jr. referred to these allegations as a “powerful revelation”. He went on to state that according to the Amandala guest columnist, “money for UNIBAM came through Oceana.” He then went on to say that “the money from Oak Foundation did not go directly to UNIBAM, they did not want it to be tracked… the money was laundered, washed, sidetracked through Oceana.” He also says that “the Oak Foundation under the leadership of Imani Fairweather” “channeled the money to Oceana as a legitimate reef issue and then channeled the money to UNIBAM.” In both media pieces, the innuendo is that the process by which grant monies given to UNIBAM by the Oak Foundation via a re-grant from Oceana was done in a clandestine and nefarious manner. Such suggestions are insulting and reprehensible. UNIBAM would not usually respond to such outlandish allegations but values its partnership with both the Oak Foundation and with Oceana and cannot allow these claims to go unchallenged.

IMF's Belize Staff Report for the 2013 Article IV Consultation
[Jul-23-13 - pdf - 67 Pages]. The staff report for the 2013 Article IV Consultation prepared by a staff team of the IMF, following discussions that ended on April 18, 2013, with the officials of Belize on economic developments and policies. Based on information available at the time of these discussions, the staff report was completed on June 5, 2013. The views expressed in the staff report are those of the staff team and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Executive Board of the IMF.

UB and UQROO Finish Exchange Program
The University of Belize and the University of Quintana Roo partnered up to do a student exchange. They went all out at the closing ceremonies. "Closing ceremonies for students from the University of Belize and the University of Quintana Roo, Mexico who participated in a Student Summer Exchange program were held on July 10 & 11 in both countries. The goal of the one-month exchange program is for students from UB to learn Spanish and experience the culture of the country and for students from UQROO to learn English and immerse in Belize’s language and culture. At the closing, students from UB and UQROO spoke in the language they had been practicing, reminisced about their learning experiences, and performed songs, dance, and drama including reading poems. The Student Summer Exchange has served to foster relations between both universities and provide a better learning environment for students. In July, 2012 the agreement was reiterated by the Signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the University of Belize and University of Quintana Roo. At the signing Dr. Cary Fraser, President of the University of Belize said the agreement, 'demonstrates the strategic collaboration between the two universities in fostering and enhancing academic and cultural exchanges among students of the University of Belize and Universidad de Quintana Roo.'"

Panerrifix and William Harvey
Musical interlude. Panerrifix played along with William Harvey, who founded and still directs Cultures in Harmony, a non-profit that has conducted over 20 projects in over a dozen countries to promote cultural understanding through music. He's been traveling around Belize, listening to different groups. In related news, the Institute of Creative Arts is having a Strings and Bruckdong concert Wednesday, July 24th, at 7:00pm at the Bliss.

Iguana Maintenance at the SIRH
You don't hear the term 'iguana maintenance' in too many places, but the Green Iguana Conservation Project is one place where you do. The Institute for Sustainable International Studies along with the Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic make sure that the iguanas stay in tip top shape by having their veterinary students give them a check-up. Thanks, ISIS and BWRC! "Thanks to the ISIS/BWRC students for helping the Green Iguana Project with regular check-ups and shedding help for all iggies this summer. Here pictures of the last session."

Sauteed Shrimp in Tomato Sauce
This is an easy 7 minute meal guaranteed to satisfy any seafood lover. This meal goes well over white rice or with vegetables of your choice.

Channel 7

SATIIM’s National Park Co-Management Agreement Cancelled
The SARSTOON-Temash Institute for Indigenous Management has been managing the park by the same name since 1997. In fact, the organization is largely defined by the work it does in the park and the adjoining communities; simply put, co-managing the park is its reason for existence. But now the forestry Department has formally cancelled that co-management agreement. In a letter dated 17th July, Forestry officially informed SATIIM that it was formally terminating the agreement and advised SATIIM that, quote, “it is no longer authorized to access the national park and that it is to refrain from undertaking any negotiation or related business associated with the park.” There’s a long story behind it, but that’s the bottom line – and today at a press conference in Punta Gorda town, SATIIM Executive Director Greg Ch’oc responded defiantly to the Forestry Department decision. He said he has written a volume of un-answered letters to the Forestry Minister. Gregorio Choc - Executive Director, SATIM "To Miss Lisel Alamilla - I am saddened that none of these letters have been responded to. We refused to be sidelined, after all and more importantly the Sarstoon-Temash National Park is not only a national park, it is also Maya customary land and so we will continue to manage the Sarstoon-Temash National Park on behalf of the indigenous people of the region. I want to tell the Forestry Department and the Government of Belize that SATIM will continue to manage and protect the National Park because it is our interest and the interest of the Belizean people. SATIM is not only protecting the park - but it is ensuring the territorial integrity of this country. The only thing I ask of the Government of Belize is to say 'thank you' to the people who have made that possible for this country; not a letter that says that 'we can no longer go inside the National Park."

Why Mayan Communities Are Taking Oil Company to Court
As we noted Ch’oc spoke at a press conference held in Punta Gorda Town. Last night we told you that press conference would be in Belize City – but plans had to change this morning due to heavy rains in the Toledo Districts that made a few of the roads from the villages impassable. So rather than bringing the villagers to the press conference, Ch’oc had to activate his plan b and bring the press to the people. In a quite munificent stroke, SATIIM chartered a Tropic Air Plane and flew down 10 press people for the event. Here’s how it went. Jules Vasquez reporting About 115 Mayan villagers crowded into the Social Security Building Hall in Punta Gorda Town this afternoon for a press conference explaining why they are taking on the Government of Belize and US Capital Energy. Village Leaders from Crique Carco, Cornejo, Graham Creek and Midway gave presentations in Kekchi explaining their issues with US Capital Energy. Andres Bol, (through Greg Ch’oc, Translator) - Crique Carco "I want to be clear here that we have never said that we do not want development - we want development but we recognize that it will not occur if we do not alter and change how the equation and how the benefit and the resources of our land is going to be distributed. We don't want the company or the company to say 'yes you're going to get a bridge and benefit' - we want agreements and contract between ourselves and the community so that we can hold them accountable. Words are too cheap and easy to say and we have learned from experiences in the past that it doesn't mean anything in the end."

Rawell’s Woes Mounting
Rawell’s Woes Mounting under grand jury indictment for narcotics smuggling. The allegation is that in October 2010 up to May 2011 Pelayo and other parties smuggled drugs into the US. Pelayo has retained an attorney in the US. Notably, he was granted a US Visa to follow the Belize Team in its Gold Cup Quest. After a long wait – he was granted the visa, but we now know that was only to get him back into the US where an indictment – dated back to April for 2012 was waiting. Pelayo was picked up on arrival in Houston on July 8th.

Changes To Draft Norwegian MOU Still Leaves Head Tax Inequal
Today Cabinet was scheduled to discuss the Memorandum Of Understanding put forward by Norwegian Cruise Line. According to our sources Cabinet agreed to the broad terms of the agreement from last week, and then the draft MOU was sent to the Solicitor General for review. But, those sources say the MOU that has been sent to us is not the current draft, but an earlier, initial version. The revised draft, they say, has additional safeguards plus the option to increase fees at periodic reviews; it also specifies carrying capacity; and it limits the development concession to the construction of the project, not its operation. As for the head tax – which sees 60% going to Norwegian, under the revised terms the company will still get four of every seven dollars paid per visitor but under the new deal, NICH and PACT would not have to pay a portion of their pennies into dubious funds But what doesn’t change is clause 21, that the Government is to quote, “process on an expedited basis, the Environmental Impact Assessment Amendment, all permits, licenses, concessions, agreements, exemptions etc, required by Port.” Now, what this says is that no new EIA is to be done, that the Department of the Environment is to satisfy itself with a previous one which had been approved for a resort on the island. And that’s why environment Minister Lisel Alamilla told the media on Friday that her ministry had not done a site visit and has only had minimal technical input.

Kim Barrow Secures Major Money For Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
Today the Lifeline Foundation received a generous donation of 2 million dollars from the Oak Foundation for the construction of a new Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at the KHMH. The donation has been a result of over a year of discussion between the Oak Foundation and the Lifeline Foundation – which is founded by THE PRIME MINISTER’S WIFE, Kim Barrow. She explained that 1 million dollars will go towards the purchase of equipment. Kim Simplis Barrow - Belize’s Special Envoy "Lifeline Foundation was able to secure $2 million dollars for the construction of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit; one million towards the construction and another million towards equipping the center. We are very very pleased - it's something we've been working on for over a year now and we just got the agreement this morning actually. Because I've been working on two different projects and I kind of knew that we had sufficient monies to get the Inspiration Center running but the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit is something I've been working for the past four years. In terms of getting the project proposal, getting the design, working with the doctors and consulting with them to get feedback on the design and what would be easier for the doctors to navigate through everything. It was a whole consulting process that we had to go through. But Lifeline really wanted to - because our focus has been on children - we realized that there was so much need for a Pediatric Intensive Care Unity way before all the major problems started. We are very pleased that the Oak Foundation really took our project proposal and basically accepted it." At this afternoon’s press conference, Mrs Barrow also gave an update on the progress of the Inspiration Centre which is expected to be up and running by the end of the year.

Lady Party Crashers To Court
Last night we told you about a pair of female party crashers whose appearance at a Saturday night party turned into a serious knife fight. Well so far, four females, two sisters and two friends were taken to court on criminal charges. 18 year old Saysha Moody, 18, at whose home the party was held was the first to be arraigned yesterday on two charges of common assault and wounding upon Kendra Smith. She pleaded not guilty to both charges and she was offered bail of $1,000 dollars. Today, 19 year old Lyvette Brown, and 21-year-old Kendra Smith appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. They were read three criminal charges: one count each of wounding, one count each of grievous harm and one count each of use of deadly means of harm with a deadly instrument, namely a knife, upon sisters, Saysha and Sharima Moody.

Basil Back In Jail!
He’s a very familiar face in the courthouse and today 45-year-old Basil Willis was back before the magistrate to answer to a single charge of burglary. Willis is accused of breaking into the wash house of Joyce Clother yesterday in King’s Park area and stealing an assortment of items. Today in court, Willis pleaded not guilty to burglary. But the court prosecutor, Cpl. Dean Augustine objected to bail on the grounds that Willis owed the court and that he has previous convictions for similar charges for dishonestly including handling stolen goods for which he owes the court, $1,500, a wounding in which he owes $1,000 and $500 from 2010. With that, the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith upheld the objection to bail and remanded Willis to the Belize Central Prison until August 27, 2013.

Restore-ing Reading
The "It's Time... Time to read" literacy programme is one of the flagship initiatives of RESTORE Belize and it is now up and running in its first summer camp. Today Monica Bodden visited to find out more: Monica Bodden reporting It’s called "It’s Time... Time to Read" - a public education campaign launched by Restore Belize. Mary Vasquez - Director, Restore Belize "Literacy has been identified as one of the core needs since Resore Belize just began. In all our stakeholder meetings, the school drop outs, the fact that students are graduating from Primary School and not being fully literate and the fact that people are going for job training and they are not literate - so even when we take someone who is a High School dropout and try to put them in a training programme; if they don't have the basic literacy and numeracy - they still won't be equipped to compete in the work place and they still won't be equipped really to manage their own finances and their own lives suitably. Another big thing that comes up is that when they have children they are not able to create a family environment that is conducive to literacy and academic work. Some of our young people have mentioned that when they became interested in literacy it is when they realized that as a father - they would not be able to provide assistance to their children. So we have all of these situations that came to our attention so when we wrote a strategic plan, literacy and success in Primary and Secondary School which is based on literacy competence - those were priority strategic actions for us. So we approached the Embassy of China/Taiwan with a proposal for computers, as well as self taught literacy and numeracy programmes."

The Lovely, the Elegant…
She was crowned the Queen of the Jewel Miss Belize 2012 – after competing against 8 other contestants – and now Destiny Arnold is the Belize delegate for the upcoming Costa Maya International Pageant. The beauty queen arrived at the PGIA this afternoon – and the media was there to greet her and find out what’s her strategy going into this pageant. She explained - Destinee Arnold - Miss Belize "Well I'm here to represent Belize in Miss Costa Maya." Reporter "Tell us about the anticipations for the competition that's coming up in the next two weeks." Destinee Arnold "Well I anticipate a memorable experience of course and I am hoping to bring the crown home and keep it on home ground." Monica Bodden "Tell us about the preparations for this pageant." Destinee Arnold "Well I have been studying Spanish, studying on the Mayan Culture and studying my speech as I was on the plane I was practicing it five times and if I got it wrong the third time and if I said it wrong I would start all over again and recite the speech again. I'm just really trying to make sure I know all my facts about the Maya and be ready for this competition because I do plan to win."

Female Impersonator Crowned Miss Gay Goddess 2013-2014
And while that Queen will be competing amongst some of the most elegant females from the Central American Region, this weekend there was another very different kind of pageant. It’s the Gay Belize National Pageant and according to a press release, female impersonator Adrian Candy Lemar was crowned Miss Gay Goddess 2013-2014. The event – which the release says was held at a private location – was the subject of controversy for weeks leading up to the event. The release adds that "Gay Belize National pageant is in no way link to Unibam but is a private organization owned by Gay Men in Belize, one that, quote, seeks to create a positive and productive space for members of our group to express themselves.” Unquote. And of the queen it says that quote, she is expected to conduct 120 hours of Community service in this country during her one year reign and her next stop will be Panama City where she will participate in the International Centroamericano Gay.

Channel 5

SATIIM and communities file injunction to stop oil exploration
One of the largest environmental groups is taking government to court. The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management known as SATIIM and four Mayan communities in the Temash National Park [...]

What happened to SATIIM’s co-management agreement?
While that action is before the court, there is another matter with SATIIM and the Government of Belize which will need to be resolved sooner rather than later. The co-management [...]

Rawell Pelayo charged with importing and conspiring to import cocaine
Football Federation of Belize Vice President Rawell Pelayo never made it to the Gold Cup 2013 games that the Jaguars played earlier in the month.  On July eighth, Pelayo and [...]

Memorandum of Understanding gives NCL a sweetheart deal
The Norwegian Cruise Line proposed development of a mega port at Crawl Caye was rejected by the ministerial committee headed by Godwin Hulse. The island was part of the Belize [...]

Oak Foundation gives millions to construct pediatric intensive care unit
In December of last year, Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis-Barrow announced the undertaking of a project to construct a new pediatric intensive care unit at the Karl [...]

Construction of the Inspiration Center underway
The Inspiration Center, also the brainchild of Kim Simplis-Barrow, founder of the Lifeline Foundation, is scheduled to open its doors to children with disabilities in January 2014.  Construction, according to [...]

UNIBAM not the only organization to get funding from OAK via Oceana
The United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender advocacy organization has taken its case to the court to have section fifty-three to be amended to legalize [...]

Tomlinson taking Belize and Trinidad to the C.C.J.
Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin is yet to rule on the UNIBAM challenge to amend the Criminal Code, but there is another case that the government will answer to. A gay [...]

Following IDB Education report, Ministry implements corrective measures
Since the release of a comprehensive study conducted in Belize by the Education Division of the Inter-American Development Bank over a five-year period, findings in the report have been presented [...]

Parents should be involved in education
According to Leacock, parents should be equally concerned about and involved in the quality of education their children are receiving by holding the schools responsible for their output.   David [...]

Where are the Romero siblings?
Tonight there is not much new to report on the disappearance of siblings Fanny and Jairo Romero from the village of Cowpen in southern Belize. Last week Wednesday they were [...]

Costa Maya is here, and Miss Belize ready to represent the Jewel
From August first through to the fourth, La Isla Bonita will be ram jam packed for the biggest International Festival.  Aside from big names in entertainment, the La Reina de [...]

Superstar performances on stage at the Bliss
Stay tuned tonight to this station because group A of Be the Next Superstar returns to the stage for another round of elimination. Eight hopefuls in dance, singing and drama [...]


Credit Union Sponsors Creative Writing Competition
The Belize Credit Union League has been in existence since 1956 and represents all but one credit union in Belize. One of the credit unions that form part of the league is the Holy Redeemer Credit Union which is sponsoring a creative writing competition for students between the ages of twelve and...

Restore Belize Gets Funding From Taiwanese Ambassador
In November of last year, RESTORE Belize received a donation amounting to three hundred and twenty thousand Belize dollars from the Embassy of China on Taiwan. The donation was made for RESTORE Belize to purchase computers and software to establish a computer-assisted literacy and numeracy progra...

OAK Foundation Gives Lifeline Foundation Grant for Pediatric Unit
Today the Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow, shared very good news in regards to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. During a quick press briefing this afternoon, the Special Envoy announced a two million dollars donation contributed by the OAK Foundation to the Lifeline Fou...

Police In Western Belize Investigate Village Robbery
Belmopan Police are investigating a robbery in Tea Kettle Village. Correspondent fem Cruz has the story. FEM CRUZ “Forty five year old, Jose Navarro, a naturalized Belizean of Teakettle Village told Love News that on Monday, July 22 at around 7:45pm as he was about to close his aunt...

Young Girl Missing From Southern Belize
A 13-year-old girl has been reported missing. 32-year-old Angelica Garcia of Trio Village in the Toledo District told Police on Saturday night she left for church and left her 13-year-old daughter Maria Esmeralda Rivera along with her father. She said while at church, she was informed...

Indigenous Movement Takes Government of Belize To Court
Today a press conference by the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, SATIIM, planned originally for Belize City was re-scheduled for Punta Gorda Town because flooding in southern Belize prevented busloads of people to come by road. Media representatives were flown to PG for ...

Renovation Contract Signed for Central Medical Laboratory
Last week the Ministry of Health on behalf of the Government of Belize signed a contract with Gutierrez and Associates Architects for the renovation of the first floor of the Central Medical Laboratory. According to the CEO in the Ministry of Health, Doctor Peter Allen, two hundred and ninety-fiv...

Lower Priced Butane Sale in Corozal Free Zone Is Legal
Love News received a complaint from a butane supplier in the Corozal District who stated that two other suppliers are selling their product at the Corozal Commercial Free Zone at a much lower rate, below the standard price control for the entire country. Love News was provided with a receipt of o...

Four Women Face Charges Following Stabbing At House Party
Two women, 21 year old Kendra Smith and 19 year old Linette Brown, who were allegedly involved in a stabbing incident at a party, were charged with three offences when they appeared in Court today. The offences were wounding, grievous harm and use of deadly means of harm. Magistrate Dale Cayetano...

$500 Bail For Driving Off In Another Man's Vehicle
Twenty-nine year old Andrew Suazo, a resident of Gibnut Street, who allegedly took a Mazda car belonging to Israel Gonzalez, was charged with taking a conveyance without authority when he appeared today before the Chief magistrate Anne Marie Smith. Suazo pled not guilty to the charge. Chief...

Remanded to Prison After Recent Release
Forty-five year old Basil Willis, who was released on bail from prison last week, went back to prison today after he was arraigned on a charge of burglary before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. She denied him bail and remanded him into custody until August 27. According to the allegation, yest...

Employee of Utilities Commission Charged Following Domestic Incident
Forty-nine year old Kingsley Smith, an employee of the Public Utilities Commission, was charged with aggravated assault and wounding when he appeared today before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Smith pled not guilty to the charges. He was released on a bail of five hundred dollars and ...


Teaching Life Skills Through Sports
A free two-weeks program, for children ages 8 to 14, funded by several organizations including the Corozal Sports Council is presently underway in Corozal. The New Horizon Summer Camp Program...

BAHA Implements Cattle Movement Control Checkpoints
Back in August of 2012 the Belize Agriculture Health Authority, BAHA, launched a cattle sweep project in the north. The pilot project was expected to be carried out on one...

Corozal Town Council launches Summer Job Program
As a student there are a few things better than that feeling of hearing that bell ring for the final time, or taking that final exam and knowing that summer...

Amidst The LGBT Controversy Gay Pageant Is Held In The City
While Audrey Matura Sheppard lashed out at her former employer for donating funds to UNIBAM, the Miss Gay Goddess Belize 2013 was held at a private venue in the...

UNIBAM Says, Oceana's V.P Knew About Donation
And late this afternoon, the United Belize Advocacy Movement, UNIBAM, issued a press release negating and denouncing all allegations written in the Article. UNIBAM says that on Monday July 22nd...

Audrey Matura Shepherd Reveals Oceana Gave Money To UNIBAM
Audrey Matura-Shepherd is approximately one month shy of officially parting ways with Oceana Belize. The very vocal activist became the face of the organization in Belize and as the Vice...

Autopsy Confirms Ten Year Old Drowned
This morning ten year old Johan Schmitt, from the Mennonite community of shipyard in the Orange Walk District was laid to rest by family members. As mentioned last night,...

Rawell Pelayo Charged For Violating Narcotic Laws Of The U.S
Today makes 16 days that FFB Vice President Rawell Pelayo is detained in the U.S and as time goes by it seems that his release is nowhere close. Latest information...


Children reportedly abducted in the Toledo district
The village of San Marcus, in the Toledo District was rocked in August of 2010, when a brother and sister pair vanished while out selling fruits. Three years have passed and the Rash family is still searching for answers. But tonight, another family plans to leave no stone unturned...

Police Officer acquitted of shooting death
30 year old Police officer Lazaro Catch was acquitted in the Supreme Court today in connection with the controversial murder/shooting death of a Jamaican national living in Belize, identified as O’Neil Anthony Jones, aka “Jew”. Jones was allegedly shot by a police officer on February 13, 2010, more than three years...

Constitutional Rally in Corozal attracts over 300 participants
The series of Constitutional Rallies came to an end this Saturday. Corozal was the final host district, where a crowd of over 300 persons took to the streets requesting that government amend the 2013 Gender Policy to join in accordance with...

Money sent to UNIBAM through OCEANA
Audrey Matura Shepherd has let the cat out of the bag regarding money wiring to UNIBAM. In Sunday’s Amandala, Audrey in her colum “The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword,” disclosed that monetary donation from an unnamed foundation have been sent to the organization through OCEANA, written on an...

Ten year old drowns in Shipyard Village
A family in the Shipyard Village of Orange Walk is tonight grieving over the unexpected death of ten year old Johan Schmitt. Police say that on Sunday, around noon, Schmitt and five friends headed out to Camp 10 Shipyard for an afternoon swim. Few hours later, around 2pm, he...

Felicia Chen in court for murder of three of her children
Felicia Chen, the mother of Mile 8 on the Western Highway who police claim is responsible for the murder of three of her four young children in April of this year was today before the court to get another adjournment. She appeared before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton in where all...

Knife fight at party leaves five injured
Party crashers reportedly started a knife brawl that left five persons injured. About 2:40 on Sunday morning, cops were called out to the KHMH, where the women and a minor were being treated for multiple stabs wounds. Investigation revealed that a party was being held at the residence of...

The Belize Road Safety Project goes nationwide
Last week, 34 participants from the West and South learned the basics of road safety and today it was the turn of traffic and municipal personnel from the North who met in Belize City. The Belize Road Safety Project aims not only to upgrade Belize’s roads to world-class standard,...

Embassy of Mexico in Belize offers 25 scholarships
The Mexican Government is offering different scholarships for Belizeans, 15 for undergraduate degrees and 10 postgraduate degrees in different universities across Mexico in any area of studies. The scholarship is granted for the length of each program and covers registration and tuition fees as well as food and accommodation...

International Youth Leaders Camp in Georgetown Village
An International Youth Leaders Camp was inaugurated in Georgetown Village today. Our Dangriga correspondent Harry Arzu was on hand and filed the following report. Harry Arzu – Dangriga Correspondent: An official ceremony to make the opening of an International Youth Leaders’ Camp was help today at the Georgetown Technical...

Cooking classes for children at YWCA Belmopan
After being in Belize City for 57 years, the YWCA branched out to the City of Belmopan, where it officially opened its doors in March of this year to serve Belmopan and the wider Belize Community. With summer here, the Belmopan Branch decided to create a cooking program for...

Belizean recording label releases album by Bethany Ann
Many kids dream about becoming a musician, getting signed by a music producer and performing concerts all over the world. However, most never make it that far, especially not in Belize. It is a sad truth that our talented Belizean artists find it exceedingly difficult to make a name...


Five women suffered varying degrees of injury early Sunday morning, July 21, at about 2:30, when two women crashed a party at #3799 Iguana Street Extension, and a stabbing “free for all” erupted among them and three women from the party. The women were taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where four were released, but the fifth complained of pain in her chest after she was stabbed in her upper breast. Saysha Moody, 18, a resident of #3799 Iguana Street Estension, was charged today, Monday, after a report was made against her that she caused a wound to Kendra Smith’s left wrist. According to police, on Saturday night, Moody was having a party at her residence when Kendra Smith, 21, and Lyvette Brown, 19, showed up at her party uninvited, and attacked her. Police later recovered two knives from the scene of the fight. The first to have attacked her was Brown, followed by Smith, after which a fight ensued when some of the party-goers attempted to intervene on Saysha’s behalf.

A warrant for the arrest of Belizean Michael Silva, 28, of San Ignacio, for murder has been issued by INTERPOL. The warrant for the arrest was announced on Friday, July 19. Police said that about 10:00 on Thursday night, September 23, 2011, Silva’s girlfriend, Maritza Santos, 19, was found dead in his room in his home in San Ignacio, in the Kontiki area. She had been beaten in the head with a blunt object. Police said that Silva was also at home, and had drunk a herbicide in an attempt to commit suicide. He was rushed to the San Ignacio Hospital, however, and later rushed to the Belize Health Care Partners Hospital in Belize City for further treatment. He later was sent for further medical attention abroad, but since departing Belize, he has disappeared. He has not returned to face charges for the death of his girlfriend. Police said that the warrant issued for his arrest is for the murder of Maritza Janet Santos, 19.

Belize’s virgin forest inside the Chiquibul is fast disappearing; xate nearly decimated. If the Government of Belize does not act to stop the mounting incursions by Guatemalans into the Chiquibul Forest—an asset valued conservatively at $3.4 billion: more than the nation’s GDP—it could vanish within just two decades, according to information presented at a symposium held today in Belize City. Dubbed Alarming Threats to Biodiversity, Peace and National Stability, the event was a standing-room-only showcase which attracted people from all walks of life in Belize: students, public officers, teachers, environmentalists, businesspeople, and politicians. Belize’s Governor-General Sir Colville Young took a front-row seat to hear just what these alarming threats are. Apart from the Caracol Archaeological Reserve, the Chiquibul forest houses Belize’s largest protected area — the Chiquibul National Park (CNP), which according to Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD), covers more than 264,000 acres of tropical broadleaf forests. It is also the area through which passes the Chiquibul River, which meanders into Guatemala and comes back into Belize as the Mopan, Macal River, and Belize Rivers – three major waterways that help sustain Belize’s population; including providing a source for hydropower generation.

Grandfather is believed to have stolen Fanny Romero, 9; brother Jairo, 8, on July 16. Two children, Fanny Romero, 9, and her brother, Jairo Romero, 8, of Cowpen in the Stann Creek District have not yet been found after being reported missing at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 20. The children were last seen in the village in the company of a woman who is unknown to their family, who supposedly took them to their grandfather, The family told Amandala that the children were walking home after watching television at the home of a neighbor when the woman approached and took them, reportedly on Tuesday, July 16. Felix Romero, the father of the children, who neighbors say is a good provider and a loving father to them, told police that he believes that the children were kidnapped by their grandfather, Juan Evangelista Jovel, who lives in El Salvador, but has visited them frequently over the past two years. The children were sighted in the Pomona Valley area in the company of an older man who the father believes is their grandfather, Jovel, who may be trying to take them out of the country to live with him.

Edelmiro Oliver, a resident of Belize City, was remanded to the Belize Central Prison today, Friday, after he was denied bail for a charge of aggravated assault of an indecent nature on a minor. Oliver pleaded not guilty to the charge but the prosecution objected to bail on the grounds that his being incarcerated would ensure the protection, not only of the victim from Oliver, but also of Oliver himself from the victim’s family. Oliver was remanded until his adjournment date on August 30, 2013.

Lemmot took police to where the purse was hidden by Holy Redeemer Primary School. Tonight, Denfield Lemmott is spending the first night of a five-year prison sentence which was handed down to him this afternoon by Magistrate Dale Cayetano. Lemmott was charged with theft and handling stolen goods after police investigated a report made by Lavern Staine, an employee of the Supreme Court. Staine reported that on Friday, Lemmott visited her office at the Supreme Court and stole her brown purse, which contained over $1,350 in different currencies. After investigating the matter, police apprehended Lemmott, who, after being questioned by police, reportedly told them “I think I wah kerr yoh weh I throw di purse.”

Post-mortem results say Jose Umana was beaten in the head with a blunt object. An onsite post-mortem carried out on the decomposed body of missing taxi operator Jose Mario Umana of Belmopan has revealed that he was beaten in the head with a blunt object, which led to his death. The autopsy was carried out on Wednesday, July 18, in an area near the Hector Silva Airstrip by the George Price Boulevard, near the George Price Highway. At the conclusion of the autopsy, Umana, 45, was taken to Valley of Peace Village, where he was buried immediately. Umana had been missing for 5 days when he was found decomposed under a cohune tree in the area by his brother-in-law, Martin Aleman, about 4:30 that Wednesday evening. Police said that the death has been ruled as murder, and that they are following many leads. Lucia Aleman, of Belmopan, Umana’s common-law wife, told police that she last saw Umana alive at about 9:30 Saturday morning, July 13, when he was eating at her stall at the Belmopan Market, while attending to his taxi.

Ramos had changed his plea twice before finally deciding to plead guilty to attempted murder of Michael Young, 33. This morning, Francis Ramos, 38, was sentenced to 7 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to attempting to murder Michael Young, 33, a relative’s boyfriend at the time of the incident. On July 5, after changing his plea twice, Ramos finally decided to plead guilty after he was positively identified by the victim and main witness, Young. Young testified that he was in the living room of the house located on Banak Street, when his stepchildren asked him for money to go to the shop. When he got up to get the money, Ramos allegedly grabbed a knife and stabbed him three times, once in the left side of the chest, before Young managed to kick him and avoid further injury. After Young’s testimony, Ramos changed his plea to guilty and the judge then stopped the trial and adjourned the court to July 18, when Ramos would be sentenced.

Catch was arrested with Cpl. Jorge Lemus after O’Neil “Jew” Jones was shot to death on February 13, 2010. Today, PC Lazaro Catch, 30, was able to walk out of court a free man after his lawyer, who incidentally is Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley, made a no-case submission, which Justice John “Troadio” Gonzalez upheld. In the early morning hours of February 13, 2010, O’Neil Anthony Jones, aka “Jew”, 41, was fatally shot in front of Ruba Bar located in Lords Bank, Ladyville. Jones was allegedly intervening in an argument when one of the persons involved in the argument started arguing with him, and that was when he reportedly left the area. But by that time, police had already arrived in the area and when Jones was told to stop, he refused and allegedly pointed something that resembled a gun at the police. It was later revealed that the object that Jones allegedly pointed at the police was in fact a bicycle ”goose neck” wrapped in a black sock with black electrical tape.

Jedd Burgess, a 21-year-old student of the University of Belize, appeared in Belize City Magistrate’s Court today, Friday, for a murder arraignment. Burgess was charged for the murder of Jamaal Neal, 21, who was shot and killed on July 8, 2013 on Banak Street in Belize City. Burgess, a resident of Tibruce Street in Belize City, appeared unrepresented in court on a single charge of murder. No plea was taken due to the nature of the offense and Burgess was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until September 3, 2013. Reports are that Neal was with a group of friends on Banak Street on the evening of July 8 when two men on a motorcycle rode up to Neal and one of them fired several shots at him. Police have identified Burgess as the triggerman. Neal suffered multiple gunshot wounds. He was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

It was originally planned for today, Monday, and our first thought was, “what a waste of a real opportunity for showtime in sports.” But, thankfully, it seems that wiser heads have prevailed. Yesterday, during the Press Sports Show on Krem Radio, Fresca Lady Rebels owner/manager Leslie Rogers called to inform us that the fifth and deciding game in the best-of-5 games Finals series for the Belize City Female Softball championship takes place this Friday, July 26, at Rogers Stadium, beginning at 6:30 p.m. That is because defending Belize City champions, Fresca Lady Rebels, who trailed national champions Belize Telemedia by 2 games to 1 going into last Friday’s Game 4 encounter, pulled out a narrow victory to tie the series at 2 games apiece and force a deciding Game 5 . For the past few years, Belize City softball has been all about the rivalry between Hall of Famer Raymond Lashley’s team, Belize Telemedia, and the Fresca Lady Rebels team belonging to former football star Leslie Rogers. Telemedia is a star studded squad, featuring a number of All Belize players, while the Lady Rebels depend heavily on the stellar pitching of ace Lanisha Jones and the enthusiasm of a strong fan base. Lashley has been missing from the Telemedia dugout lately, reportedly due to illness. Our best wishes for a speedy recovery to brother Raymond, so he can be at the helm of his team in the critical Game 5 for the championship this Friday.

The Belize District Volleyball Tournament, which got underway on June 1 at the Belize Elementary Auditorium in Belize City, with Female (F), Male (M) and Interoffice/Firms (Fr) categories, has already reached the Finals for the Females. In games played last Thursday, July 18, in a Female Semifinals Game 2, (F) Lady Jaguars defeated Lady Warriors, 26-24, 25-12, 25-19. Next were two Firms encounters. (Fr) BTL def. Belize Bank, 25-13, 20-25, 19-17; and (Fr) Simon Quan def. First Caribbean Bank, 25-15, 25-20. On Saturday, July 20, in the Female Championship Game 1, (F) Lady Jaguars defeated Moen Stars, 23-25, 25-15, 23-25, 25-18, 15-8. Next it was, (Fr) Scotia Bank over Police, 25-22, 17-24, 16-14, and (M) Jaguars over Scorpions, 17-25, 25-14, 21-25, 25-19, 15-12.

There is a mountain range in Guinea which is estimated to be worth U.S. 140 billion dollars because of the raw iron ore it contains. An Israeli billionaire named Beny Steinmetz got ahold of the rights to that iron ore, which is the raw material from which factories manufacture steel, for a few hundred million dollars. He supposedly bribed the fourth, and youngest, wife of a dying Guinean dictator in order to get those rights, which he then sold to a Brazilian-based company for a few billion. An honest ruler has emerged in Guinea who is trying to recover the rights to the iron ore in the Simandou range so that a fair deal can be made which benefits the poverty-stricken people of Guinea, a West African nation-state. The honest ruler, however, is slowly becoming heavy-handed, because greedy and dishonest people are seriously trying to overthrow him. The saga in Guinea, which is the subject of a recent article by Patrick Radden Keefe, is a classic tale of how absolutely difficult it is for poor Third World countries to have the masses of their people benefit from valuable natural resources the territory may contain. Mining iron ore is a complicated technology, and requires huge amounts of capital, neither of which the Guinean people possess. So, First World businessmen and corporations which have access to the technology and investment capital, routinely exploit the situation in poor countries which have potential wealth in the form of natural resources.

Dear Editor, I am a concerned citizen of this nation who only seeks to point out a very upsetting issue that affects us directly and indirectly. For the past week I have been observing the way morning talk show hosts act. I have found it very disappointing to hear their gibberish and have found their show a waste of time. As I tune in every morning I find myself listening to these hosts discussing political issues which foster hate in our citizens. It alarms me to hear these people talk politically about each other in this way. Many hosts talk around the issues instead of dealing with the true issues. Instead of turning every single national issue into a political affair, they should concentrate on informing us, the public, of the issues that directly affect us, be it positive or negative. For decades our nation has been taught to be biased and politically divided. All I hear in these shows is the UDP supporters talking about the PUP representatives and vice versa. Instead of focusing on how a policy makes an impact on us, they make it a political/personal issue. There is always a clash between people of our nation because of political affiliations.

Grieving parents Lawrence Bol, 31, and Elvira Ack, 30, took the body of their firstborn child back home to Toledo today, Friday, for burial. The couple lost their baby girl on July 14, 2013, just two days after Ack gave birth to the premature baby at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). Ack said that she was told her baby was doing well but the child was still taken to the intensive care unit. Despite the fact that she was reassured that the child was well, and although she saw encouraging progress in the baby’s condition, however, she was informed early in the morning on July 12 that the child had died. At first, the couple were not given any explanation as to why their baby died. They were only told that the baby had stopped breathing and they would have to wait until a post-mortem was conducted to confirm the cause of death. Both Bol and Ack made public how they felt about what transpired and said that they wanted some form of justice for their child because they do not understand how their healthy child could have suddenly died.

Two more persons came public last week saying that they had been abruptly terminated by The Kolbe Foundation, which manages the Belize Central Prison. The Belize Central Prison Coalition, an ad hoc group that has been trying to get prison workers unionized, told our newspaper today that they have yet to hear of the final outcome of an investigation which Minister of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development and National Emergency Management and Immigration and Nationality, Godwin Hulse, had commissioned Labor Commissioner Ivan Williams to undertake, in light of the allegations against Kolbe. Today, Williams told Amandala that he has completed his investigation and last week, the final report was turned in to the minister. Minister Hulse confirmed that he received that report late last week, and he will also pass that report over to the National Trade Union Congress of Belize. Hulse told us that he doesn’t yet have any comment on the Labour Commissioner’s report, because although he had seen the draft, he has not yet had a chance to read the final report himself. Williams has also declined comment on the final report. He told our newspaper today that it is for the minister to decide what to do.

A 10-year-old boy of the Mennonite Community of Shipyard in the Orange Walk District drowned in a pond in which he and others were swimming at about 2:00 yesterday afternoon, Sunday. Police said that they went to Shipyard and saw the body of Johan Schmitt, who appeared dead; he was taken to the Orange Walk Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival. Schmitt’s friends told police that they were swimming in the pond when they saw Schmitt go under, and did not resurface. They immediately went for help, and people from the village began a search for him. At about 3:00 yesterday evening, his body was found in the pond, with no signs of violence. Police have declared the matter death by drowning.

They say that they have complained repeatedly to the Barrow administration that they have been denied access to Maya ancestral lands upon which US Capital Energy has been doing petroleum exploration works. The Sarstoon Temash Institute of Indigenous Management (SATIIM) and the buffering communities of the Sarstoon Temash National Park, which include Conejo and Crique Sarco, today filed a lawsuit in the Belize Supreme Court challenging the lawfulness of the Barrow administration’s decision to permit drilling inside the protected area. SATIIM’s Executive Director Greg Ch’oc told Amandala that the filing was done urgently, because US Capital, one of the oil companies which have a contract to explore for petroleum in Southern Belize, is getting ready to drill. Ch’oc told our newspaper that whereas one suit was filed today, a second suit is pending. The claimants have retained Eamon Courtenay, SC, for the suit filed today, but according to Ch’oc, Lisa Shoman, SC, will represent them in a separate lawsuit, which is pending. More details, he said, will be disclosed at a press conference scheduled for tomorrow at the Belize Biltmore Plaza in Belize City.

Belize’s Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), Nestor Mendez, has assumed the chairmanship of the OAS Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI). According to the OAS, the purpose of CIDI is to promote cooperation among its member states for the furtherance of their integral development and, in particular, to help eliminate extreme poverty. Mendez said that integral development is a fundamental element in fighting the ills that afflict our society, such as violence, crime and insecurity. “Those things can best be combated by the creation of access for economic opportunities for our people,” Mendez commented. The Belize Ambassador took over the chairmanship of CIDI from John Beale, Barbados Permanent Representative to the OAS, who held the term for a year. At the conclusion of his term, Beale highlighted education, in particular, and cited as an example of its impact the experience of the Colombian city of Medellin that has achieved “a remarkable turnaround and is now recognized as a major center of entrepreneurship,” said an OAS release.


How I Go Magazine Shopping in Belize
People often take things for granted when they are starstruck and daydreaming about living on a tropical island. Something so simple as getting a magazine can be a difficult chore or a fun adventure depending on how you look at it. I say how could it not be fun when it involve a 15 minute plane ride and a comfortable taxi through Belize City. Ordinarily I would have gone straight to San Pedro Books, but sadly they are no longer, which is a shame as I know I would have found what I wanted there. A few months after seeing copies of 2 year old Parents Magazines for $17.95 bzd at Island Supermarket, I crossed them off my magazine store shopping list until I see otherwise. The only other place I know o that sells magazines in San Pedro is Caye Supplies, they sell Belize News Exchange Magazine, but that is not what I needed this time. Since I had to fly over for to a meeting, I decided to tie that in with a shopping in Belize City and see what I kind of deals I could score in the area of my favorite magazine store.

Eco Kids learn about The Ancient Maya
It looks like the Howler monkeys decided to overnight in the trees over a couple of the cabins, as we were treated to another one of Nature’s alarm clocks at 5:30 am. While a couple of campers rolled over and went back to sleep, several others got up and played a full game of volleyball before 6:30 in the morning! At the morning muster, everyone was quite excited to find out that today’s theme was the Ancient Maya. Some campers even ran to grab their shoes right away when they found out that we would be hiking to the nearby Chaa Creek maya site and getting a in-depth presentation from Mayanist Joe Awe. While waiting for the hike to begin, campers took a stab at sewing their own beanbags. Some of the boys had very nice stitching, and some even got requests from the counselors to sew them one! Our hike today was one of the longest ones that we would have at the camp, up a couple hills through the jungle and onto a flat area dotted with Mayan mounds. At the site, Mr. Awe gave an amazing rendition of the Mayan creation myth, and an overview of the entire site, as well as providing campers with a photo opportunity over the lookout. Some of us even saw the top of Xunantunich peeking over a hill in the distance. Once we arrived back at Chaa Creek, Mr. Awe gave a presentation on the history and culture of the Maya, from their origins as hunter-gatherers crossing the Bering Straits, to the decline of their civilization thousands of years ago. And just to make sure the campers were paying attention, he split boys and girls into two teams and gave a pop quiz at the end. It was a close call, but the girls scored higher by one point!

Eco Kids Summer Camp Day 3 – Medicinal Plants
Surprisingly enough, the howler monkeys did not wake us up at 5:30 am, but most campers were already up and at it by 6:00! I wonder if they all wake up this early at home. Of course, they could just have been super excited about today’s Medicinal Plants theme. I mean, how often do you get a presentation from Mrs. Salome about the uses of medicinal plants, and then get to hike a medicine trail to spot them up close? And then to go horseback riding afterwards? Man, even the counselors were excited about that. Of course, there was maybe a little too much energy for 7:00 in the morning, but a couple morning games of Dodgeball (after a big breakfast of toast and sausages) helped to burn a little of that off. While waiting for Mrs. Salome, campers worked on the pet rocks they had grabbed yesterday from the canoeing trip up the river. Some were quite excited to take the rocks home, especially when counselors mentioned that they never needed to be fed or walked.

“My Kind of Town” (San Pedro is) in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up and out on the veranda with my black coffee and the iPad just after 05.00 hours yesterday morning and straight in to The Times online to find (disappointingly) that Arsenal have still to make a major signing. Getting worried now that Arsene Wenger is not going to bring in any one of real quality before the season starts. I then finished of the ‘change of address’ letters for various institutions in the UK that I have to notify of our imminent move to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. With the letters finished I showered, shaved and dressed and went (yes, regular readers, you’ve guessed it) to Estel’s for breakfast to ‘kill’ the time (any excuse I know) until Gekko Graphics opened and I could get the letters printed (when we move in to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize we will get our own printer (and bang goes one of my reasons (excuses)) for breakfast at Estel’s!) but until then any printing requires a visit to Gekko Graphics (and Estel’s!). By the time I had got home (well the temporary home that the condo we are renting is) I had received an email from Fabro’s Glass Limited providing a quotation for the mirrors we want for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. A quick ‘phone call for a bit of price negotiation and we had a deal and I placed an order. The mirrors should be with us on 2 August.

UPDATE on the TWO Missing Belizean Children
Children are suspected to have been abducted by their grandfather Juan Jovel with the assistance of an unknown and unidentified woman (source Capital Newspost, Belize) Missing: Fanny Romero – girl Missing: Jairo Romero – boy Name of Parent: Felix Romero Missing From Cowpen Area, Stann Creek District, Belize Central America Last Seen: Wednesday July 17, 2013 Reports: Reports of two children of similar Description with older man in Western Belize however Belize is small so they could be in any area of Belize. Please look at these children faces carefully. Many times the kidnapper may attempt to change appearances by cutting hair or changing clothes. Please be on the look out and if you see anything suspicious: call the nearest police station by dialing 911

10 Good Reasons Why You Should Travel To Belize
From since I started blogging about Belize, one of the most frequently asked questions has been: why Belize? Why should someone choose to travel to Belize opposed to another place? For me, the reasons are pretty simple. A Belize vacation is relaxing and soothing. It’s also physically and mentally stimulating. Many visitors love it so much that they later choose to retire in Belize. Let’s see if I can convince you. 10 Good Reasons Why You Should Travel To Belize 1. The key to having good conversations is having interesting stories. How about adding scuba diving with whale sharks to your recent activities? They are gentle and docile creatures but something about having the words whale and shark next to each other makes it sound intimidating. Or maybe that’s just me?

July 14, 2013 - July 20, 2013 Fishing Report
The tagging expedition finished its work here at El Pescador, which was named an official research center this week! Please join Bonefish Tarpon Trust to keep this research going!

Antonio Beardall: How much can I get for this?

Belizean Artist, Sharon Martinez releases her new track for Belize Carnival 2013 in September

International Sources

10 Awesome Beach Bars Around the World
Rojo Beach Bar, Belize Located just steps from the water, the open-air Rojo Beach Bar is kept cool by ocean breezes -- but if you get too hot, a refreshing infinity pool awaits. The icy cocktails and frosty beers will keep you cool as well, of course. Sit at the bar or stake out one of the hammocks, and make friends with the local patrons and dogs that hang around.

Danny Michel brings a taste of Belize to folk fest with Garifuna Collective
Having criss-crossed Canada and beyond for more than 20 years as a singer-songwriter, it’s not as if Danny Michel is a newbie when it comes to dealing with the headaches of touring. But the 42-year-old does sound legitimately frazzled on the phone from Vancouver, where he is taking a break from unravelling the tangled logistics involved in organizing a seven-week jaunt with Belize’s Garifuna Collective. As with many indie songwriters, Michel is used to the lone guitar-slinger approach. So he may be little out of his comfort zone. Today’s dilemma is the dearth of large rental vans available in Calgary for when this unwieldy group of 10 arrive to play the folk festival at Prince’s Island Park. It’s just the latest challenge for the ambitious tour, which has already taken the act to Winnipeg and Vancouver’s folk festivals. In the past few weeks, Michel has had to deal with booking expensive accommodations (“It costs us $1,000 to sleep, every night,” he says), helping secure visas, finding transportation and — perhaps most unexpectedly — addressing the concerns of government officials. The latter was due to some of the percussion instruments the Garifuna musicians were bringing into Canada, specifically rattles made of turtle shells.

VIDEO: Island Life; How to Live in Paradise
Ben Popik and his wife used to live in Brooklyn, now they work remotely from a beautiful island in Belize. Expatriating isn't just for retiring Americans and we talk to young people who've opted out of the U.S. for a more tropical lifestyle.

Belize crude output continues dip
Belize saw first half crude production drop 23.2% to 419,189b from 1H12, BNamericas has learned.Output in the first six months 2011 totaled 725,546b and 776,920b...

Caracol and Xunantunich on Trip Advisor Top 10
Caracol and Xunantunich both made's top 10 list for Central American landmarks. Caracol was ranked 4th place, and Xunantunich was 7th. There were 4 other Mayan sites listed, with Altun Ha in the 8th place and Tikal next door in Guatemala on the list twice.

July 23, 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 July 21st, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

The San Pedro Sun

International Costa Maya Festival®: Unity, Beauty and Entertainment
The first weekend of August brings to life one of the most highly anticipated festivals of the year. For over 20 years, the International Costa Maya Festival® has been bringing to San Pedro artists, dancers, artisans, and musicians to one stage to entertain and thrill an eager crowd. Traditionally held at the old football field, the festival brings together Latin American bands of many genres, soloists, dance groups and performers who inspire crowds to their feet, dancing, singing along and generally enjoying a great show. The carnival-like festival also brings in games for the kids, rides and treats, and the bar provides the icy refreshments that keep everyone cool on the hot island summer nights. The highlight of the festival for many is the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant®. Representatives from Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama will compete onstage for the coveted crown. Thursday night will be a show of exotic costumes, elegant gowns and stunning swimwear, and a panel of judges will deem one of the eight the winner of the crown, and the representative of The Costa Maya®. Throughout the night, the Belize Dance Company will be performing, and after the winner is announced, a great party will follow with local band Rompe Raja. Mexican dance group Ballet de Quintana Roo will also grace the stage with their traditional folkloric ballets, complete with colorful costumes and drama.

SP Town Library ends first week of reading camp with face painting
The San Pedro Town Library concluded their first summer reading camp and are preparing for the second one. The camp for children ages 5 to 7, ended on Friday July 19th with a face painting event where the students were also given small gifts as a token of participation. 20 excited and energetic children took part in the first week of reading camp. According to Iracela Acosta, Senior Assistant Librarian at the San Pedro Town Library, the first camp was a great success. “The theme for this year’s camp is Extinct and Endangered Animals. We emphasized the animals through arts and craft, paintings, storytelling, reading, puzzles, games and even a nature walk. We took the children to the beach and collected shells for our craft session as well. All in all it was a great week,” explained Acosta. At the end of the reading camp, the participants were given a small snack and a gift package which consisted of school supplies.

Students in need receive education subsidies
40 students received financial education subsidies from the Area Representative Hon. Manulel Heredia Jr. and the Mayor of San Pedro Town, Daniel Guerrero. The students are the first of two groups who have been selected as part of the education assistance program given to every constituency as part of the Government of Belize’s commitment to education. A total of 100 students from Belize Rural South will benefit from the assistance; 21 students from Caye Caulker Village and 79 from San Pedro Town. “This financial assistance is given to my area for students at the high school level. The Government of Belize gives each constituent certain amount of assistance and for my area a total of 100 students will benefit. I will also be giving out 150 more assistance to students from my area through the Belize Tourism Board,” explained Heredia Jr. The financial assistance granted ranges from between $300 to $400 for 1st and 2nd form students, $500 to $600 for 3rd and 4th form students, $800 up to $1,000 for six form students and up to maximum of $1500 for university students. 25 more students studying abroad are also receiving assistance in excess of $2500.

Costa Maya Festival® presents El Salvador!
Fatima Yolanda Mauricio Magandi is the latest beauty representative to be announced for the Reina de la Costa Maya® pageant. 21-year-old Fatima represents El Salvador with pride, and she is excited to experience the wonders that Belize has, especially the Barrier Reef. The 4th year communications major at Jose Matias Delgado stands at 5’ 7”, measures 35-26-35. She has dark brown hair and brown eyes. Fatima enjoys painting, swimming and spending time with family. We wish her the best in the competition as she faces Destinee Arnold (Belize), Andrea Rojas (Costa Rica), Monica Elwing Gough (Honduras), Artemisa (Mexico), Ariadna (Nicaragua) and Cleirys Velasquez (Panama) on stage, Thursday August 1st.

Caribbean Community Maps Out Renewable Energy Plan
The Worldwatch Institute is assisting the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in developing a Caribbean Sustainable Energy Roadmap and Strategy (C-SERMS) to provide a more strategic approach to implementing renewable energy and energy efficiency measures in the region. The overall goals are to address the inadequate energy security of most CARICOM member states and to establish them as climate-compatible economies through greater diversification of the energy supply away from heavy dependence on imported petroleum products and toward smarter, more-sustainable energy technologies. On Thursday, CARICOM hosted the C-SERMS Resource Mobilisation Forum, with support from the Inter-American Development Bank and the Government of Germany, in Christ Church, Barbados. The aim of the forum, which included key participation from Worldwatch, was to share information among various energy-sector stakeholders and to garner funding support, technical assistance, and commitments toward further development and implementation of identified initiatives, programs, and projects.

Ambergris Today

Belize Expanding on Tilapia Farming
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 on Wednesday, July 17, 2013. This event is in regards of the Aquaculture Project that is being implemented in the development of the tilapia industry. Present at the event was the Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture, the Hon. Gaspar Vega, H.E David Wu Ambassador of Taiwan to Belize and other invited guess. This Aquaculture Project is estimated to have a cost of two and a half million US dollars (US$2,500,000.00) and duration of five (5) years which initiated from February 2012 and is to culminate on February 2017.

Volunteer Battalion of the Belize Defense Force Engages in Annual Battle Camp
On Friday, July 19, 2013, The Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar visited and addressed members of the Volunteer Battalion of the Belize Defense Force who are currently engaged in their Annual Battle Camp. Battle Camp 2013, which is being held at Camp Belizario, located at Central Farm in the Cayo District, focuses mainly on operations conducted in what the BDF calls the Western Tactical Area of Responsibility. This includes internal security; assisting and supporting agencies such as Immigration, Customs, Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA), National Institute for Culture and History (NICH) and the Police; inland and border patrols; and manning observation/conservation posts.

25 Years Ago: The Incredible Coconut Tree
The culture of San Pedro is such that it calls for a siesta or a short nap time just after midday lunch or by mid afternoon. This goes back to 1898 when the coconut farmers (miler) simply laid down to rest under the shade of a coconut tree. This of course happened after long hours of collecting coconuts and peeling the nuts out of the thick husk. The trend was then followed by the fishermen who easily and conveniently assimilated the San Pedro tradition. Women and children then acquired this custom ‘in their genes’ for everyone in San Pedro automatically takes a well deserved siesta. It became such an inherent custom that the folks of San Pedro tied their hammock between any two poles or posts or even two adjacent coconut trees where the shade and coolness of the day made the siesta even more attractive or even a luxury. Some coconut trees seem to bend or lean forward to make the tying of the hammock an easier process.

Pic of the Week: Underwater Fun with Stingrays in San Pedro, Belize
Have you ever wanted to fly? Well it is pretty easy when you are underwater. Stingrays "FLY" throughout the beautiful aquamarine waters of Belize. Here in Ambergris Caye, stingrays have their very own park which they share with sharks called Shark and Sting Ray Alley located at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Many have gotten the chance to fly, or should i say swim, with these amazing creatures. Tour guide Loidy Gonzalez entertained his customers by swimming and posing for pictures with his stingray friend; earning him a spot on this weeks pick of the week.

Flashbacks: Siesta Time in San Pedro was Gene Inherited
The culture of San Pedro is such that it calls for a siesta or a short nap time just after midday lunch or by mid afternoon. This goes back to 1898 when the coconut farmers (milperos) simply laid down to rest under the shade of a coconut tree. This of course happened after long hours of collecting coconuts and peeling the nuts out of the thick husk. The trend was then followed by the fishermen who easily and conveniently assimilated the San Pedro tradition. Women and children then acquired this custom ‘in their genes’ for everyone in San Pedro automatically takes a well deserved siesta. It became such an inherent custom that the folks of San Pedro tied their hammock between any two poles or posts or even two adjacent coconut trees where the shade and coolness of the day made the siesta even more attractive or even a luxury. Just be careful you don’t stand too long at one particular place just after midday or someone might tie a hammock unto your legs.

Misc Belizean Sources

Strategic Marketing Training
Beltraide is having an all day seminar on Strategic Marketing for export related businesses tomorrow, July 23rd, at the George Price Centre. The facilitator will be Christophe Jecquemin.

YWAM Recycle Camp
The Youth With a Mission Recycle Camp starts today in Belmopan. That's a different kind of Summer camp. "Dance, Visual & Performing Arts camp at YWAM Belmopan July 22nd-25th. Only $10 per student! Register by emailing [email protected] with names, and ages of students interested. Final schedule to be emailed out next week! Don't miss out!"

SHC Summer Upgrades
Sacred Heart College has a lot going on this Summer. Not only is the new bus stop being built along with the refurbishing of Joseph Andrews drive, but they've laid fiberoptics for their computer network, phase 3 of the auditorium is proceeding nicely, and they've got a few new murals too. "A lot is happening at Sacred Heart. They have laid fiberoptics. Phase 3 of the auditorium is looking good. They are also getting some new murals courtesy of Jose Guerra-Awe and his wife."

Experience The Best Of Belize Through Nature And Outdoor Adventures

Channel 7

Norwegian MOU Surfaces, Causes Cruise Consternation
Concern is mounting on the Placencia Peninsula over the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding that’s being tabled by a Cruise Developer called Belize Island Holding Limited, which is the local incarnation of Norwegian Cruise Line. They want to build a cruise port on Harvest Caye, south of the Peninsula Peninsula, after the proposal for Crawl Caye fell through. In the agreement, Norwegian agrees to invest $50Million US dollars and employ no more than 25% foreign staff. In exchange Government will make the usual giveaways, a 25-year concession, duty exemptions and duty free status, even business tax exemptions. But the best part for Norwegian is, under the terms of the MOU, they get to keep more than half of the 7 US dollar head tax they collect. The BTB would get one dollar sixty cents US, PACT one dollar and forty cents US and Norwegian would get the rest, 4 USD per person. But out of PACT and BTB’s minority take, they would have to apportion - in the BTB’s case - 50 cents per person to a tourism development fund, to be used on southern Belize – thus developing product for the Port owners.

Southern Man Chopped To Death In His Sleep
56 year old Guatemalan Banana Worker Isaac Gutierrez died early this morning after he chopped in his own home yesterday evening. Independence Police arrived at his house at 6:30 last night to find Gutierrez lying down in the center of the floor bleeding profusely from a large cut wound to his neck. Police learned that earlier on, one Jose Soto arrived at Gutierrez’s house on a motorcycle, stormed in and started kicking him. Guttirrez was sleeping off a drinking session, and couldn’t wake up. Soto then pulled out a machete from his waist and chopped the sleeping Isaac to his neck. Soto then rode off. Gutierrez was rushed to the Southern Regional Hospital in a critical condition where died at 12:10 am. Soto is being sought by police.

Ten Year Old Drowns After Canoe Capsizes
Tonight, the family of 10 year-old Johan Schmitt, a resident of Shipyard Village in the Orange Walk District, is making preparations for his burial after he drowned yesterday. His friends told our colleagues at CTV3 News that he was at a pond, seen here, where they always go on Sundays. Schmitt always accompanies his friends to this pond, but because he can’t swim, he always watches them while remaining on the pier. According to his friends yesterday, he decided, without their knowledge or consent, to get into a small skiff at the side of the pier and he was paddling out to them, when suddenly they couldn’t see him any longer. He went under and never surfaced, and 4 hours later, his body was found by police officers who responded to the family’s call for help.

Children Abducted, Father Points At Their Grandfather
Tonight, a family from Cow Pen Village in Stann Creek continues to worry about 2 of their children who went missing last week. It hasn’t been reported by the Police Press Office as yet, but 7News understands that 9 year-old Fanny Romero, and her little brother 8 year-old Jairo went missing on Wednesday. Our colleagues from KREM News spoke to the children’s father, Felix Romero, who told them that the children went to watch television at a neighbor’s house while their mother was cooking breakfast for them. They went over to that neighbor’s house, but they never returned home, and all the information reaching the family is that they were possibly abducted and taken to an estranged family member. He’s the children’s grandfather, Juan Jovel, a Honduran Laborer, who was deported from the US, and according to Felix Romero, he fears that Jovel may take the children abroad.

Cop Cleared After 3 Years On Interdiction For Murder
Police Constable Lazaro Cach walked out of Supreme Court a free man today after more than 3 years on interdiction after he was charged abetment to commit manslaughter for the shooting death of Jamaican O’Neil Jones. Viewers may remember that on February 12, 2010, Jones was shot in the back as he exited a bar, and eyewitnesses pointed to the police officers who responded to a report of a fight. As a result, Cach was charged 3 months later in relation to this incident, and while those eyewitnesses were sure, 3 years later the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions could not provide any evidence which linked Cach to the shooting. His attorney, Darrell Bradley, made a no-case submission to Justice Troadio Gonzalez today after the prosecution closed their case.

Female Fight Leaves Five Hospitalized With Stab Wounds
Tonight, police have 5 females detained, who they are waiting to take to the Magistrate’s Court to be arraigned on charges for a multiple stabbing incident. It all started at a party at this property owned by the Moody’s on Iguana Street Extension on Saturday night. According to Police, Kendra Smith and Lyvette Brown crashed the party. This caused a big fight at the party, and the other females got involved to try to part them, but they got injured in the scuffle. Brown allegedly stabbed 18 year old Sasha Moody in the midsection while Kendra sliced her on the thumb. When police went to the hospital, they found 21 year-old Kendra with a cut wound to the left wrist; Sasha Moody with a cut to her right thumb and 2 stab wounds to the left side of the stomach; a 16 year-old with a stab to the left breast, left shoulder the right side of the head, and right side of the leg; 19 year-old Lyvette with a stab wound to the right side of her face; and 30 year-old Darlene Adolphus with a cut wound to left shoulder.

Rising Sea Levels?: Municipal Airstrip Floods In July
For the past five years or so, we’ve gotten used to going out to the Municipal Airstrip in Belize City – where high tides force the temporary closure of the runway, which is right against the sea. But that usually happens in September when the Spring Tides come in. But, call it climate change, rising sea levels, or full moon, but the tides over the weekend were unusually high – and it forced an unprecedented July closure of the airstrip. It had to be closed yesterday, today and the same is expected for tomorrow. We discussed the strange tides with the General Manager of the Belize airport Authority Kenworth Tillett:… "We are having an unusual high tide and of course when we have extra ordinary high tides - the runway gets flooded. So we had to close the runway and we're on the process to try and clean up now and hope that we get the airport open in an hour or so."

Taiwan Send Youth Ambassadors
For the fourth year, The Taiwanese Embassy in Belize has organized to send an “International Youth Ambassador” Delegation from Taiwan to visit Belize. The 7 students are from the National Taipei University of Science and Technology and will be here from July 21 to August 3,. A Ceremony to mark their arrival was held today and we found out more. "The significance of this programme lies in the opportunity of students from Belize and from Taiwan to increase their knowledge, acceptance and understanding of an array of different cultural and artistic perspectives whilst having fun through exponential learning. For the next two weeks our Belizean youth will be partaking in a activities such as martial arts, Taiwanese Opera, aboriginal dancing and other elements of the Taiwanse culture. The youth ambassadors will also get to experience Belize's culture, visit native landmarks, experience Belize's traditions and food among other things."

Mayans File Major Law Suit Against Oil Company
Tomorrow morning at 3:00 am, Mayan Communities in the Toledo District will stir as early as 3:00 am, to get ready to head to Belize city for a major press conference. That’s where the Sarstoon Temash Institute of Indigenous Management (SATIIM) will outline a law suit the Mayan communities are bringing against US Capital Energy and presumably the Government of Belize. The suit was filed today by SATIIM’s Attorney Eamon Courtenay. The details of it will be outlined tomorrow.

Central Lab To Be Renovated
It is forever etched in the history of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital that 12 premature babies died in their neonatal intensive care unit in May of this year. There is still no one who has been held responsible for the deaths, even in the face of a damning report by PAHO who investigated the cause. The incident, however, has sparked some serious changes at the hospital in their effort to upgrade according to the recommendations by PAHO. One of those upgrades, though not directly tied to the hospital, finally started last Friday in Belmopan when the Ministry of Health signed a contract with Gutierrez and Associate Architects for the renovation of the first floor of the Central Medical Laboratory. Viewers may remember that Minister of Health Pablo Marin announced a month ago that his ministry would provide $300,000 for this much needed renovation. Well that money has been contracted, and the company in charge of the works will use it to fix the floor structure, the exterior walls, and interior works, as well as plumbing and electrical work on the Chemistry, Hematology, and Serology Units.

Tourism For The Media
If you’re not in the tourism business then you probably won’t know what the term “fam” trip means. “Fam” is short for familiarization, and it’s a trip where a property owner or, in this case the BTB takes media or travel agent on a visit to tourism destination to familiarize them with it – so that they can promote it or sell it. Foreign media do “fam” trips in Belize all the time – and every five years or so, the BTB remembers little ‘ole us, the local media. A “fam” trip was organized from last week up to yesterday – and here are some highlights. Daniel Ortiz reporting The media travelled to the picturesque, beach front Laru Beya resort in Placencia. Rene Nunez - General Manager, Laru Beya "Laru Beya is a Belizean property - that is very clear to anybody who takes a look at Laru Beya. Our developer is Belizean, our staff is Belizean and we are a part of the community. The thing I hear the most and the feedback I get the most from our guest is that Laru Beya is a peaceful, quiet property."

Channel 5

Second pair of siblings missing in the south
A second pair of siblings is missing from the south. The Rash children went missing in August 2010 and they were never found. Tonight Independence Police are on the lookout [...]

Mayan King Employee chopped to death
And even as they launch a manhunt for the missing siblings, Police are also investigating the murder of a Guatemalan national yesterday evening. Isaac Gutierrez, an employee of Mayan King [...]

Man pleads guilty to Attempted Murder of GF’s nephew
Last week, ten Belizeans were deported from the U.S. after completing their sentences for crimes committed in that country. Another deportee is currently facing time behind bars for crimes in [...]

Cop acquitted of manslaughter
Today, the second policeman alleged to be involved in the shooting death of O’Neil Anthony Jones in February 2010 walked out of the Supreme Court a free man. PC Lazaro [...]

SATIIM files injunction to prevent drilling in forest reserve
The Sarstoon Temash Institute of Indigenous Management (SATIIM) will be hosting a press conference on Tuesday, to discuss a claim filed in the Supreme Court of Belize by SATIIM and [...]

Miss Gay Goddess Belize 2013
On Saturday, protestors in favor of the existing laws of Belize took to the streets of Corozal Town in demonstration against the content of the Revised Gender Policy 2013, as [...]

Uh oh; Boledo machine giving problems
The thirtieth weekly drawing of the Sunday Lottery Draw was an unusual one, as in the middle of the drawing there was a malfunction of the automated lottery and jackpot [...]

Arlington Drive resident lucky to be alive
Thirty-one year old Marlon Usher, a resident of Arlington Drive, Belize City, is lucky to be alive tonight, following a shooting incident over the weekend during which he was injured.  [...]

Five women and knives at Iguana Street Party
A house party being held at a residence on Iguana Street Extension on Saturday night ended in bloodshed when a group of women turned on each other with knives.  Shortly [...]

Mother accused of killing 3 infants receives new psychologist
Twenty-two-year-old Felicia Chen, who police claim is responsible for the murder of three of her four young children on Saturday, April 27, 2013, at Belizean Beach, reappeared in court today. [...]

Visually Impaired boy prepares to dive the Blue Hole
Fourteen-year-old Rowan Garel, the visually impaired teenager who conquered Victoria Peak two years ago, was set to dive the Blue Hole on Tuesday; however, plans to make the descent below [...]

Olympian Kaina Martinez holds a camp for Seine Bight kids
Garel is providing inspiration to many youths to show them that anyone can achieve as long as they make the effort. That is also the same spirit that Belizean Olympian, [...]

UWI and Global Parish’s open mic night for poets
Rowan Garel and Kaina Martinez are two outstanding Belizeans that are motivating youths. The Global Parish Project, sponsored by the Central American Regional Security Initiative, is also honing the skills [...]

Conference of the Caribbean Association of Principals of Secondary Schools
The twenty-fourth biennial conference of the Caribbean Association of Principals of Secondary Schools started today with pomp and circumstance as delegations from across the Caribbean converged at the San Ignacio [...]

What does BAPPS think of IDB report on education in Belize?
Last week, we reported on an independent report commissioned by the Inter-American Development Bank that indicated that Belize’s education system is in a crisis. The report said that Belize is [...]

Weekend sporting highlights with James Adderley
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   If you thought5 the bitter rivalry between Belize Telemedia and Fresca Lady Rebels couldn’t get any hotter, well you’re [...]


Taiwanese Students Visit Belize Through Exchange Program
Belize and Taiwan have renewed cooperation to cover a number of cultural youth initiatives. Love News Reporter, Hipolito Novelo filed this report on a new signing that took place today. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING HIPOLITO NOVELO “For the fourth year in a row, Belize and the...

Credit Union in Northern Belize Marks Another Milestone
The La Inmaculada Credit Union has been around for decades providing service to residents of Orange Walk Town. The institution has seen steady growth on all levels throughout the years and on Saturday it marked another milestone. We get the details in this report from reporter Ava Dia...

Police Accused of Excessive Force in Western Belize
Two residents of the Las Flores area in Belmopan visited Love News today to make an allegation of police abuse of power on residents of their community. Jorge Polanco and Glendis Baches allege that on June first a police patrol approached a group of boys who was in the front of Baches&rsquo...

Territorial Volunteers Plan Overnight Expedition at the Belize/Guatemala Border
The Belize Territorial Volunteers, headed by People’s National Party Leader, Will Maheia, is planning to take another expedition to the border in southern Belize to mark the area. The venture is planned for this coming Saturday and according to Maheia, what’s different about thi...

Police Officer Acquitted of Charges in Fatal Shooting
Thirty year old police constable Lazaro Catch, charged with abetment to commit manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Jamaican national O’Neil Anthony Jones, was acquitted of the charge today in the court of Justice John Gonzalez. The prosecution, represented by Crown Counsel Leroy Banner, c...

Two Children Reported Missing; Did Grandfather Kidnap Grandchildren?
Two children of Cowpen Village in the Stann Creek District went missing on Wednesday and after the matter was reported to police, it was discovered that the children were abducted by their grandfather. Felix Romero says that his son, eight year old Jairo Nehemiah Romero and daughter, nine y...

Young Boy Drowns in Northern Belize
A ten year-old boy reportedly drowned on Sunday in Shipyard Village, Orange Walk. Police say that they were called out to Camp 10 I Shipyard where they saw the body of 10 year old Johan Schmitt, a student of Camp 14. He was lying next to a pond and had no signs of injuries. Poli...

Shot While Socializing in Belize City
A man was reportedly shot in his elbow while socializing on Saturday night in Belize City. It happened shortly after nine on Saturday night while 31 year old Marlon Usher was with friends drinking near an alley by Southside Butane Gas Depot on Central American Boulevard. Police say th...

Five Females Stabbed Following Invasion of Party Crashers
Five females were reportedly stabbed during a party that got out of hand and led to a fight in the wee hours of Sunday morning. Police say that at around 2:40 that morning, they were summoned to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they observed the five females, including a minor, with...


Instilling The Word OF God Through Summer Programs
Summer programs across the country continue in efforts of keeping students busy and off the streets. While we often feature summer programs that take place here in town, tonight the...

LICU Inaugurates Training Centre And Marketing Facility
On April 18th 2012 the Government of Belize through the Ministry of Economic Development Commerce and Industry and Consumer Protection, with funding from the European Union approved the SEDDAT 2...

Pro-Constitution March Reaches Corozal, The Message Is The Same
Since the release of the National Revised Gender Policy 2013 back in the month of May, opposition has been strong. No to the gender policy and no to UNIBAM...

Tragedy Hits the Mennonite Community As Ten Year Old Drowns
Tonight the Mennonite community of Shipyard in the Orange Walk District is mourning the death of one of their own after he drowned. Tragedy hit the small community yesterday afternoon...

Search For Missing Children Continues
Tonight the search continues for siblings’ 9-year-old Fanny Romero and 8-year-old Jairo Romero of Cowpen Village, Stann Creek who were abducted, reportedly by their maternal grandfather. According to their...

The Reporter

Jaguars down; not out!
The Belize Jaguars’ returned Wednesday from the 2013 Gold Cup without a win, but all is not lost, as the experience has inspired major changes for Belizean football, FFB president Ruperto Vicente said Thursday.

Prime Minister intervened to stop Constitutional rights violations
The Belize Police Department’s continued violations of 28-year-old Deon Bruce’s rights only ended because Prime Minister Dean Barrow intervened, Bruce’s attorney Kareem Musa said Tuesday. Police arrested Bruce, who is wanted by the United States government, last Thursday, but had completely prevented his family and lawyers from seeing or [...]

Jamaican gay rights activist challenging Belize immigration law at the CCJ
Maurice Arnold Tomlinson, a Jamaican attorney and gay rights activist is challenging a section of Belize’s Immigration Law, and seeking leave for his claim to be heard at the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

Honing raw talent in Belize
Throughout history sports have been a key component in the building of a nation that is productive, competitive, motivated and healthy. The Greeks, who are credited with being the first to create organized sporting, saw in it not only a way to foster healthy competition between individuals, but they also [...]

Belize tickets Cuba to Gold Cup 2nd round
The Belize Jaguars’ 4-0 loss to the Cuban national team in Hartford Connecticut on Tuesday, July 16, gave Cuba their ticket into the quarterfinals of 2013 Gold Cup, where they will take on Panama. The Belize team was coming off a 1-0 loss to Costa Rica at the Rio Tinto [...]

WIN Belize supports 2013 Gender Policy
The Revised National Gender Policy 2013 has come under fire from several critics ever since the National Women’s Commission launched it on May 16. But the Women’s Issues Network of Belize (WIN-Belize) has come out in full support of it, and said so in in a press release on Wednesday, [...]

Belize will get $5M Tilapia Hatchery Taiwan will help to build it.
The Government of Taiwan is going to help the Department of Agriculture in Belize to build a $5 million tilapia hatchery at Center Farm in the Cayo District.

Biscayne man detained for unlicensed shotgun
Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer remanded Robert Dominguez, 33, to the Belize Central Prison on Monday after he failed produce a valid license for his 16 gauge shotgun.

House of Representatives mace bearer faces criminal charges
Brian “Yellow Man” Audinett, 31, the Mace Bearer for the House of Representatives was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on a string of criminal charges. Audinett was charged along with Allan Dale Kelly, 30, another well known UDP supporter and Ministry of Housing employee, for allegedly assaulting 44-year-old [...]

Egypt turmoil: Interim cabinet sworn in
A new interim Egyptian government has been sworn in, with army chief Gen Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who led the ousting of Mohammed Morsi, becoming deputy PM as well as defence minister. Hazem al-Beblawi is the new PM, under the interim President Adly Mansour.

Fugitive Edward Snowden applies for asylum in Russia
Fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has applied for temporary asylum in Russia, officials say. The Federal Migration Service confirmed he had completed the relevant paperwork at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, where he has been for the past three weeks.

Are you a mosquito magnet?
If you feel as if every mosquito in a 50-mile radius has you locked in its sights, while your friends are rarely bitten, you could be right! Up to 20 percent of us are highly alluring to mosquitoes—and scientists have discovered some surprising reasons.

Late nights sap children’s brain power
Late nights and lax bedtime routines can blunt young children’s minds, research suggests. The findings on sleep patterns and brain power come from a UK study of more than 11,000 seven-year-olds.

Barney Brown, Anwar Barrow & Salvador Alvarado win Weekend Warriors race
Barney Brown won the “A” category, Anwar Barrow won the “B” category and Salvador Alvarado won the “C” category of the Weekend Warriors’ race from Cotton Tree to Belize City on the George Price Highway on Sunday, July 14.

Roaring Creek, Camalote United & Ontario Rebels win in Cayo softball
Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy, undefeated Camalote United and the Ontario Rebels enjoyed victories when the Miley Garcia softball competition continued under the auspices of the Cayo Softball Association in Las Flores on Sunday, July 14.


Lighthouse Lager’s Rock Paper Scissors Tournament Sends Two to the Belize Nationals
Rock Paper Scissors (or Roshambo) is a silly game that nerdy kids play to settle disputes. I mean seriously…Two players tossing out random hand gestures seems like only a game of chance or dumb luck and well…pretty boring. Right? Wrong! Not in Belize when Belikin Beer is running the show. Saturday night Lighthouse Lager hosted ...

New hope from the Global Climate Change Summit held In Belize
Cayo, Belize is more than just the home of The Lodge at Chaa Creek; the once sleepy little town of San Ignacio is now a place where all kinds of things happen. For example… Climate experts from all over the world met there this week (18 July 2013) to discuss one of those environmental issues of burning interest to all of us here – the very real problem of climate change. (Those of you who do not believe in human-created climate change can feel free to stop here and go back to inventing the wheel or decorating your caves. For the rest, read on…) Yes, Belize had the honour of hosting the first ever Intra-African Caribbean Pacific Global Climate Change Alliance Programme. While the name may be almost as challenging as the problem, the goal is straightforward and the objectives are clear. There is no longer any doubt that the time has come for governments, business and NGOs around the world to work towards mitigating the effects of climate change as much as possible while working out long-term solutions.

My top ten weekend pictures and new moving sale pricing
My Sunday Errand was heading south to see the Kumar’s and pick up a phone. While there I could not help but do some shopping. It was like being in a really fine consignment store and everything looked like new, they take beyond good care of their stuff. What got me going was 4 clear Trevis glasses with spades card design. For how new they looked, I could have been shopping at Trevis Tumblers only I felt much luckier. Not only did I not have mall head or feel overwhelmed by choice, when I looked out the open veranda doors, there was no strip mall, gas station or Starbucks. I had a fabulous 3rd story view of the Barrier Reef, what an awesome shopping experience. Being a waterproofing junkie, I could not resist the clear red plastic waterproof tablet case, still new in package from Amazon. I also got a router to look into and see if I can get it going and hopefully knock a few dollars off our btl bill by turning ours in.

“Steamy Windows” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Just got to (actually I haven’t got to, but I do want to – and I can because this is my blog!) start off today’s edition by saying how good the fish cakes were. Could have eaten (at least) another one. Probably two at a stretch (of my stomach that is). When Rose and I were at our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize on Thursday we spent some time re -measuring the widths of the areas for where the vanity units for the five bathrooms will be fitted. Armed with this information I was able on Friday to send an email to Fabro’s Glass Limited (based in Victoria Street, Belize City) detailing what we want. I now await a response advising what the cost will be and how long it will take to produce them. Hopefully they will be able to get them to us in just over a week. With that out of the way I took the golf cart to Captain Shark’s. The reason for this return visit is that since collecting it after its service last week there have been creaking/groaning noises emanating from the front (note my obviously mechanically knowledgable description (sic)) whenever turning the steering wheel. At times it has sounded as if the axel was going to snap. After dropping off the cart I took a leisurely walk along the beach back to the condo we are renting -sure beats taking the car for a service in the UK- and got there shortly after 10.30 hours when I grabbed my book and headed with it to the beach for some ‘quality time’.

10 Good Reasons Why You Should Travel To Belize
From since I started blogging about Belize, one of the most frequently asked questions has been: why Belize? Why should someone choose to travel to Belize opposed to another place? For me, the reasons are pretty simple. A Belize vacation is relaxing and soothing. It’s also physically and mentally stimulating. Many visitors love it so much that they later choose to retire in Belize. Let’s see if I can convince you. 10 Good Reasons Why You Should Travel To Belize 1. The key to having good conversations is having interesting stories. How about adding scuba diving with whale sharks to your recent activities? They are gentle and docile creatures but something about having the words whale and shark next to each other makes it sound intimidating. Or maybe that’s just me?

International Sources

Retirement investment programme attracting expats to Belize
The Caribbean English speaking country of Belize is seeing an increasing expat population as retired people are moving there from Europe to benefit from an incentive programme, it is claimed. Only a few years ago the number of foreign retirees living in Belize amounted to a few dozen but now there is an expanding community of expats attracted by the Retired Persons Incentive Programme. They are also attracted by the location and lifestyle which includes the Belize Barrier Reef, the world’s second largest, nature and water sports. The country is bordered to the north by Mexico, to the west and south by Guatemala and to the east by the Caribbean and the country considers itself to be both Caribbean and Central American. According to Luke Smith, managing director of Crystal Investment and Real Estate, the Retired Persons Incentive Programme permits people to live tax free. To qualify the individual can come from any country, must have a minimum age of 45 and should have a qualifying non-Belizean based income of a minimum US$2,000 US per month.

London nurses welcome visitor from Belize
Last month the first lady of Belize, Kim Simplis Barrow, was given a tour of the Evelina Children’s Hospital during a diplomatic visit to the UK. Ms Barrow was welcomed by staff at the hospital, run by Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, including surgery specialist nurse Jacqui Mitchell, matron Lorraine Arnavout, and head of nursing Polly Hodgson. The visit formed part of Ms Barrow’s efforts to raise money to construct a children’s intensive care facility at the Central American country’s National Referral Hospital. She is hoping to improve support for children and families in the former British colony, which has a population of around 330,000.

July 22, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The July 21st, 2013 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE

The San Pedro Sun

Dr Love: Drinker
Readers, Please send your letters. They can be formal letters or handwritten notes. They are edited solely for grammar and spelling. Also, they are sometimes edited for length Dear Doctor Love, I was married to a man for nine years. Our marriage broke up because of his problems with alcohol. When he got drunk, [...]

Dog-Eating Crocodile Remanded to ACES “Croc Jail” in Ladyville
It is not unusual for residents of Ambergris Caye to have an occasional crocodile encounter. Many enjoy watching the wild reptiles in their natural habitat when they are spotted swimming in the western lagoon side of the caye. From a distance, no harm is done to man or beast when tourists and locals alike marvel at these prehistoric creatures who have evolved and survived the world far longer than mankind. As development on the island continues and crocodile habitat is encroached upon croc encounters have increased, and now there are times when they are anything but welcome. Unfortunately some of these armored lizards with big teeth have become habituated to associating man with food, as in cases when they have been directly feed by locals for entertainment or indirectly feed as a result of improper garbage disposal. Garbage attracts their prey, such as raccoons, rats and yes stray dogs. This is how a crocodile can acquire a taste for a canine meal, and once they do they will not only prey on strays but on pets that are not detained and have wandered near the water.

God Bless You
“What’s up, Wolfe,” Charlie said, as I took a chair at his table. “I’m running a little late today,” I told him. “That line at the bank took me the better part of half an hour.” We were sitting on the deck at the Holiday Hotel. We meet there every Wednesday to get away from [...]

Misc Belizean Sources

Feed the Children Fashion Show Stills
They've released another round of pictures from the Cornerstone Foundation's Feed the Children Fashion Show. In related news, the Cornerstone Foundation had a Summer camp that focused on youth empowerment.

Soul Project's First Blues Night
The Soul Project had their first Blues Night, and it was a great success. Emmanuel Mangar and Eddie Allen played their hearts out. Saturday nights are now Blues Nights at the Soul Project. In related news, Emmanuel Mangar is getting a bus from Yute Expeditions on Tuesday, and for only $20 you can ride to Belize and see him on Be the Next Superstar. Contact him for more information. Good luck, Emmanuel!

Effective Public Speaking Seminar
The Effective Public Speaking seminar series starts today at the George Price Centre. If you want to learn how to be more confident while presenting, this class is for you.

Rotaract's Rave at the Grave
Rotaract is having their Rave at the Grave fundraiser next Saturday, July 27th, at Meluchi's. Proceeds will go towards their Adopt a Child program, where they help send kids to primary school. D!rty Jok3s and Mistah Geeh will be providing the eclectic music through the night, and you'll be amazed when you see D!rty Jok3s perform live. "We are raising funds to assist children in Yalbac Village by paying for their school fees, and providing them with school bags, and school utensils for the new school year. SEND AN ENTIRE VILLAGE TO SCHOOL!"


Eco Kids Learn about Biodiversity and Conservation
The first day at Chaa Creek Eco Kids summer camp began a little earlier than expected for some campers. After all, it's quite difficult to sleep when a howler monkey troop comes roaring through at the crack of dawn! Of course, once everyone was already awake, it would have been a shame to waste all that good daylight. Today's theme was Biodiversity and Conservation, which meant that birdwatching, a trip to the natural history museum, and a up-close encounter with the Chaa Creek Butterfly Farm were on the agenda. After all the tooth-brushing, face-washing, and breakfast eating (Johnny Cakes with Eggs and Beans on the menu), energy levels were high enough to play a couple intense games of Wizards, Trolls and Gnomes before moving over to work on the Jungle Journals. After gathering enough leaves, flowers and natural artifacts to decorate their journals, campers managed to put together some pretty nifty designs before heading off on their hikes. The journals are intended to give everyone a chance to note down details of their stay, but can also double as emergency flyswatters, should the occasion arise.

“Steamy Windows” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Just got to (actually I haven’t got to, but I do want to – and I can because this is my blog!) start off today’s edition by saying how good the fish cakes were. Could have eaten (at least) another one. Probably two at a stretch (of my stomach that is). When Rose and I were at our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize on Thursday we spent some time re -measuring the widths of the areas for where the vanity units for the five bathrooms will be fitted. Armed with this information I was able on Friday to send an email to Fabro’s Glass Limited (based in Victoria Street, Belize City) detailing what we want. I now await a response advising what the cost will be and how long it will take to produce them. Hopefully they will be able to get them to us in just over a week. With that out of the way I took the golf cart to Captain Shark’s. The reason for this return visit is that since collecting it after its service last week there have been creaking/groaning noises emanating from the front (note my obviously mechanically knowledgable description (sic)) whenever turning the steering wheel. At times it has sounded as if the axel was going to snap. After dropping off the cart I took a leisurely walk along the beach back to the condo we are renting -sure beats taking the car for a service in the UK- and got there shortly after 10.30 hours when I grabbed my book and headed with it to the beach for some ‘quality time’.

TWO Missing Belizean Children- please share with everyone.
Missing: Fanny Romero – girl Missing: Jairo Romero – boy Name of Parent: Felix Romero Missing From Cowpen Area, Stann Creek District, Belize Central America Last Seen: Wednesday July 17, 2013 Reports: Reports of two children of similar Description with older man in Western Belize however Belize is small so they could be in any area of Belize. Please look at these children faces carefully. Many times the kidnapper may attempt to change appearances by cutting hair or changing clothes. Please be on the look out and if you see anything suspicious: call the nearest police station by dialing 911 or call ( 011-501)-624-4051.

International Sources

Retirement investment programme attracting expats to Belize
The Caribbean English speaking country of Belize is seeing an increasing expat population as retired people are moving there from Europe to benefit from an incentive programme, it is claimed. Only a few years ago the number of foreign retirees living in Belize amounted to a few dozen but now there is an expanding community of expats attracted by the Retired Persons Incentive Programme. They are also attracted by the location and lifestyle which includes the Belize Barrier Reef, the world’s second largest, nature and water sports. The country is bordered to the north by Mexico, to the west and south by Guatemala and to the east by the Caribbean and the country considers itself to be both Caribbean and Central American. According to Luke Smith, managing director of Crystal Investment and Real Estate, the Retired Persons Incentive Programme permits people to live tax free. To qualify the individual can come from any country, must have a minimum age of 45 and should have a qualifying non-Belizean based income of a minimum US$2,000 US per month.

Cayo is the largest of Belize's six districts and has quietly become the harbinger of this tiny country. From natural to manmade, the region is rich in resources. Cayo has more protected land than any other district; it is the top eco-tourism destination in the country; boasts the largest underground cave system in the western hemisphere; and, of course, its landscape is dominated by rivers and mountains. Belize is generally considered one of the best values in the Caribbean, but expensive by Central American standards. Like anywhere, the cost of living in Belize is highly dependent upon your lifestyle. But the more time you spend here, the less expensive it can be. All too many expats fall into the trap of living overseas as if they are on vacation—living in a lavish resort-type setting and buying imported wine, food, and other products. After the first few months in their new home, they have blown their budget and never get settled in.

The Best Street Photographer You've Never Heard Of
Four years ago, a Chicago real estate agent stumbled upon a box of negatives. Little did he know that he'd discovered Vivian Maier. IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO TAKE measure of Vivian Maier's photos without taking stock of her story. She was by all accounts remarkably private, someone who didn't always enjoy the company of other adults. And yet her photographs feel like a celebration of people—a celebration of what Studs Terkel, the late grand oral historian, liked to call "the etceteras" of the world. (One photography scholar I spoke with suggested Terkel and Maier would have made a formidable pair, like James Agee and Walker Evans.) Her subjects are often caught looking directly at the camera, apparently making eye contact with Maier, but she used a Rolleiflex, a box-shaped camera that requires the photographer to look downwards through the viewfinder. In other words, as it turns out, Maier didn't need to directly engage with her subjects, and many undoubtedly were unaware that she was, in fact, memorializing their images. But I'm getting ahead of her story.

July 21, 2013


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

Robbery in San Pedro Town
On 18th July, 2013 at 1:33pm a 13 year old student of San Pedro Town visited the station along with his father of the same address. He reported that on the same date at about 12:30 pm he was in the company of (3) three friends in front of Patio’s Pier which is located on Beach-front, when they were approached by a Hispanic male person riding a black female bicycle. He further reported that the male person had in his possession an item which resembled a black firearm and cocked the firearm in front of him and demanded their personal items . The male person then reportedly grabbed a white Apple brand I-phone valued at $1,500.00 BZD which was the property of complainant and made good his escape. Police are investigating.

Shooting in San Pedro Town
At 3:00 pm on 13th, July 2013, police visited the San Pedro Poly Clinic where 31 year old Miguel Dominguez, Belizean bartender of Sea Grape Drive was seen with a wound to the left hand near his wrist and to the left side. Initial investigation revealed that 24 year old Daniel Maldonado, manager of San Pedrito area, San Pedro Town, was walking on Angel Coral Street and upon reaching in front of the foot-ball field (Saca Chipas) he was approached by Dominguez who pulled out a knife and attempted to stab him. Fearing for his life he pulled out his license .9mm pistol and fired a single shot at Dominguez causing his injuries. Police are investigating.

Misc Belizean Sources

Airbender on Be the Next Superstar
Cayo's Ashanti Garcia, aka Airbender, was on Be the Next Superstar, and it was a fantastic display of yoga, contortion, and dance. This is worth watching twice. "This is the performance Alex and I did for his performance for the local talent competition, Be The Next Superstar: Season 2. In it you will see a little bit of an artistic yoga performance, break-dancing, hip-hop dancing, and yoga-dancing. The audience enjoyed it very much! It was a great learning experience!"

Blues Nights at Soul Project
Cayo's Soul Project has their Blues Night tonight. Every Saturday they bring in Eddie Allen and Emmanuel Mangar to jam the Blues. The cultural hub of Cayo is known for great music, tasty tacos, and the widest selection of local wines in the country.

Channel 5

Rosewood going cheap! Cheap! Cheap!
The big news tonight is about the Chiquibul Symposium which was held in Belize City today, and we’ll get to that in a few. But first to the issue of rosewood, which burned furiously before settling to a slow simmer. Remember how exporters including the brother of the Deputy Prime Minister were allowed to sell their illegally harvested rosewood? Remember how government said they had struck a deal whereby there would be a fifty- fifty profit sharing agreement after the rosewood was sold? Well there is official verification tonight of just how much government received from the rosewood sale, and you’ll be blown away by that bombshell dropped by Minister of Forest Lisel Alamilla. Mike Rudon has the story. When GOB got flak over its decision to allow exporters to retrieve their illegally harvested rosewood and sell it, they stuck firmly to the story that it was the best option available to them. The deal struck with exporters guaranteed that GOB would be given half of the revenue from sales, or at least that’s what we were told. This afternoon the rosewood conversation with Minister of Forests Lisel Alamilla shed some light on that. Lisel Alamilla, Minister of Forests “A lot of it has been exported already, but remember the amnesty doesn’t require you to export it.


Corozal House Of Culture Hosts 2nd Full Moon Concert
The Corozal House of Culture is well known for organizing activities that promote art and culture in Corozal featuring local artist from across the district. Every year the house of culture hosts four full moon concerts that showcase the talent of those in the music field. This Saturday the 2nd Full Moon Concert will take place and as usual Corozalenos are all invited to take part in the event. Debra Wilkes Gray - Coordinator Corozal House of Culture “We are having our full Moon concert out here in front of the House of culture tomorrow night, starting at 7:30pm and the theme is Reggae Jam so we are very excited and we will have Mr Julian Melody Man Escobar and friends now he is rather well known throughout the country and he has produced Reggae Cd and I think it out maybe a year or so and that is an excellent Reggae CD, so we like to showcase certain artist and Mr Melody Man did live in Corozal for about couple of years and so he is moving around the country and we are inviting him to come back to Corozal.”

Improving The English Subject
A study conducted by the Inter-American Development Bank revealed that the Education system in Belize is facing numerous challenges. It speaks about the high percentage rate of untrained teachers in Belize, compared to the rest of the Caribbean and Latin American Countries. The report also highlights the performance of students in the Primary School Examination which we all know was dismal this year. In the English paper, 47 percent of students scored a grade C or more and 28 percent made grade D. Only four percent made grade A, while 15 percent received B, seeing a decline in the scores for English. But as the Minister of Education Patrick Faber has said, education is everybody’s business and a non-governmental organization in Corozal is taking that statement seriously. Community Restore, opened its doors in March of this year and has taken up the task to assist students who are falling behind in English. The ground is being covered through a summer program that began on Monday.

Banquitas Summer Program Comes To An End
Also coming to an end today was the Banquitas House of Culture 2013 summer program. The activity culminated with participants showcasing what they learnt in the different classes that were offered. From dance, music, and art: the children were able to prove that indeed Orange Walk is filled with talent. Yvette Torres, Coordinator, Banquitas House of Culture “I must say that I am really overwhelmed because we had a very big group coming out today and the parents are in full support and the participation is more than 100% so I am really, really happy that they are here with us today.” Irvin Aragon –Reporter “Now, in terms of the students be recognized or awarded for their hard this entire week?” Yvette Torres, Coordinator, Banquitas House of Culture “Ok, what we are doing this year is that all of them will get a Certificate of Appreciation for participating in this year program apart from that what we are doing this year we are giving a special award to the student who excel in the different disciplines so that is an incentive for them that they would like to continue what they are doing and want to come back next year for the summer program.”

Orange Walk Central Summer Program Huge Success
Today marked the last day for the Orange Walk Central Sports Camp 2013. The camp proved to be another successful venture for its organizers and sponsors with over 80 participants coming together from all areas of Orange Walk Town. As participants received their certificate of participation for their training in the disciplines of football, volleyball and basketball, they told us how proud they were of their accomplishment. Jordelly Carrillo- Participant “Well good because I learn how to goal keep because I wasn’t good at goal keeping and now I know and I like it.” Irvin Aragon –Reporter “So, you enjoy being here at the camp?” Jordelly Carrillo- Participant “Yes!” Irvin Aragon –Reporter “Is this your first time coming to the camp?”

Ambassador Nestor Mendez Named Chair Of OAS, IAC
The Permanent Representative of Belize to the Organization of American States (OAS), Nestor Mendez, took over today as Chair of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI), the main body of the hemispheric Organization with decision making power in matters of partnership for integral development. The Chair of CIDI was held during the past semester by the Permanent Representative of Barbados, John Beale, who concluded his term emphasizing the central role played by development in the work of the OAS. Ambassador Beale highlighted education in particular, and cited as an example of its impact the experience of the Colombian city of Medellin that has achieved "a remarkable turnaround and is now recognized as a major center of entrepreneurship." "All this is due to education," said Ambassador Beale, adding that through better education the people of the Hemisphere can achieve a better quality of life distance themselves from the problems of violence, crime and drugs. For his part, Ambassador Mendez presented a plaque of recognition to Ambassador Beale on behalf of the Council, for his work as CIDI Chair, and said he faces a difficult task to live up to the work of his predecessor.

Robbing In San Pedro
In San Pedro Town a 13 year old student, accompanied by his father visited the station and reported to police that at around 12:30pm yesterday he and three of his friends were hanging out in front of Patio’s Pier located on the Beach-front, when they were approached by a Hispanic male person riding a black female bicycle. The individual was reportedly armed with what appeared to be a black firearm which he used to threaten his victims while demanding that they hand over their personal items. The assailant then allegedly grabbed a white Apple brand I-phone valued at $1,500.from the complainant and made good his escape. Police are investigating.

Former Chairman of San Felipe Exchanges Land For Vehicle
A farmer from the village of San Felipe in the Orange Walk District is up in arms tonight because the land he has been cultivating for the past six years was sold to Mennonite from the community of Blue Creek without him even knowing. While Sifredo Mujica was unable to provide us with any legal document which proves that he is the rightful owner of the 34 acres of land in question, he claims that what is rightfully his is being taken away. Presently, the land is covered with cucumber, pumpkin, and corn, products which Mujica sells to earn an income and sustain his family. But despite Mujica’s investment, the former UDP chairman of San Felipe, David Wicab, allegedly took advantage of his powers and sold the land a few weeks ago without informing Wicab. Sifredo Mujica- Farmer, San Felipe Village “La situación de este terreno es un poco muy larga por el sistema de que el Sénior dio este terreno en el tiempo de que él iba a correr de Chairman después de que el gano vino y me lo, los papeles que metieron hay en la oficina ya no aparecieron, no sé si el los saco de haya entonces el vendió el terreno así bajo del agua a los menonitas de Blue Creek, le dieron un vehículo por él y le enseño a donde no había trabajadero al menona y el vino después a este rumbo y yo gaste aquí como 10 mil a 11 mil dólares en este trabajo, entonces el menona vino y vio y me dijo que iba a ver que iba hacer porque, yo lo que le dije era de que le quite el vehículo al señor Wicab porque no debe de ser así entonces él lo que me contesto que por qué fue el Chairman él se atrevió andar jodiendo a la gente y así es por eso que el andaba vendiendo muchos terrenos entonces yo lo que le dije quítale el vehículo porque este terreno lo vas a perder porque este terreno ya tiene seis años de que yo lo he estado trabajando y así cada ano le meto dos mil dólares poco a poco con el bul porque no tengo el dinero para hacerlo todo de un solo sino poco a poco lo voy haciendo.”

The Belize Times

Bishop vs. Barrow
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has succeeded where even the brutal British Colonial government had failed. His arrogant and egotistic style of governing the country has antagonized every sector in Belize. He has personally and publicly cursed out the Judge of the Supreme Court, President of the Chamber of Commerce, Head of several trade unions, caused the shooting death of a peaceful protesting cañero, and laughed away the scandalous deaths of 13 babies at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Now, finally, the Prime Minister has descended to mock the Church of the land. In secret the Prime Minister and his ministers approved a gender policy, portions of which have sent the churches into public protest from north to south, east to west; congregations by the thousands have marched the streets denouncing the high handed behavior of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister’s behaviour was to throw down the gauntlet on the churches and the citizens of Belize by saying that there is no force on earth that can make him withdraw his gender policy. This Tuesday, Mr. Barrow and his Cabinet were in panic mode in Belmopan. The reason: none other than Right Rev. Bishop Dorrick Wright was leading a parade of thousands through the streets of Belize City against Barrow and his gender policy. As word got out that it was the Bishop himself at the head of the protest, at 9 o’clock Tuesday morning Belizeans were leaving their workplace to make it to the street-side to witness the historic occasion. In offering prayers to the congregation at the rally in memorial park, Bishop Dorrick Wright took on the role of his Pontiff in the Vatican and spoke directly of the Prime Minister’s barefaced defiance of the Church’s concern. He referred in his prayers to Barrow‘s high-handed remarks. His Lordship said as follows: “We ask the Lord to form the minds and hearts of our leaders so they will change their minds, even though it’s been said that nothing on the Earth will change their minds. Lord, we know that you can do it and we ask you to change their minds.”

Faber Exposed! – IDB study reveals growing inequalities in Education Sector
The findings of an Inter-American Development Bank study on Belize’s education sector is damning for the Ministry of Education. The study shows that while millions of dollars is pumped every year into the ...

Another baby dies at KHMH – Pablo Marin MUST RESIGN!
There is another scandal under the disgraceful leadership of Minister of Health Pablo Marin. Another newborn has died at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where 13 babies have already died, reportedly from ...

Macebearer & Wallet Man Go Rogue – UDP thugs charged for wounding Police Officer & Activist
Two known UDP thugs who are no strangers to behaving like hoodlums and ruffians took things to a total ...

Football Lessons
Football was the big craze over the past two weeks as our beloved Jaguars broke ground into the realm of higher competition. As one announcer on Fox Sports put it, “this is our World Cup”. To this point he is right but given the encouraging showing of ...

Two left feet in Education
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) was created in 1959. It is the leading source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean. The Bank is promoted as having a strong commitment to achieving measurable results, increased integrity, transparency and accountability. Surely this is a formula for a crash course with ...

Cui & Sen win table tennis tournament
Carlos Cui and Sen Sen won the 2013 Brodies Strong & Weak table tennis tournament held under the auspices of the Belize Table Tennis Association at “the home of table tennis”, the ...

Weekend Warriors race results
Team Scotiabank’s Barney Brown, Digicel 4G’s Anwar Barrow and Team Zitro’s Salvador Alvarado won the A, B and C division respectively of the Weekend Warriors’ 40-mile race from Cotton Tree to ...

Excellence wins SMART Harrison Parks cricket finals
Double Head Cabbage Excellence became repeat SMART Harrison Parks cricket champs, bowling out the 4x national champs, Crooked Tree Brilliant, in the championship finals on Saturday. Brilliant batted first but Excellence’s bowlers Orson “Big Dawg” Flowers ...

A Belize/Guatemala OIL ALLIANCE??
According to several online news reports, the Governments of Belize and Guatemala are negotiating terms for a sort of oil exploration alliance along the border area. As highly controversial as it sounds, reports published on various online news websites such as and are that Belize, ...

Pablo Marin shows no confidence where it truly matters
Belize’s national health system has been under constant scrutiny for the past months. This has been due to the outcry of people who have felt that the delivery of quality health services within our public hospitals ...

AMAZING GRACE – Keep Bad Company
The misconception that Jesus is a shy, docile man is prevalent today, especially in a world that refuses to acknowledge Christ as Lord on any occasion but Christmas, where He is represented as an impotent baby. In reality, Jesus Christ was adept at breaking rules, making his followers rebels by ...

Hon. Dolores contributes to summer programs
As the summer of 2013 is now in full swing Area Representative for Belize Rural Central ...

Unity and Will-Power
We have seen how Belizeans naturally come together in unity....when we are under threat from external forces....Guatemala, football, hurricane, etc. UNITY IS STRENGTH. UNITY IS POWER. Unity can protect us, defend us....bring out the best in us...and even heal us. However, I will propose that the greatest threat to our national ...

HOME ECONOMICS – Belize’s Fiscal Reform
Here are TAX MEASURES (CURRENT & PROPOSED) and their NET EFFECTS in dollars and sense! GST: 12.5% on 40% of consumption vs. 10% on ALL consumption (No exceptions nor exemptions) = $210 million vs. $525 million: RESULT of +$315 million Taxes on fuel: 26% ...

Gender Equity: A Girl’s Right to Obtain an Education
“Marriage can wait; education cannot”- Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns We must empower girls to pursue higher education. We need to determine what kinds of opportunities we can provide to allow young girls the choice not to marry young and not to have multiple births, which can ...

STORIES OF A SUFFERAH – Political Inequality
By Sufferah I remember in 1987 when my father got laid off from this company called “Crown Agent”. My mother was a stay-at-home mom and my father was the breadwinner. It was seven of us back then and my eldest sister was getting ready to go to high school, while my ...

SCALES OF JUSTICE – The Trayvon Martin of Belize!
On the night of 28th April, 2010, he, his boss and his co-worker were all unsuspecting occupants in a vehicle of events which would unfold. It was some minutes to nine that night when the trio was returning to their families and homes. Exhausted and hungry after a ...

Chiquibul – Opening a Can of Worms
A national symposium on the enormous threats to the Chiquibul National Park which sits in the Western region of Belize on the border with Guatemala gets underway in Belize City this weekend. The Belize government’s incompetence to protect and ...

WOMAN IN THE HOUSE – Another Abomination
The definition of abomination in the Concise Oxford English Dictionary 2002 Edition is “a cause of disgust or hatred”. I thought I would look it up, because many times we throw words around without regard for their true meaning. It was a veritable abomination when the Mayan Site ...

PUP Marshalls organizes in northern districts
As Party Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca met with party official and supporters in the Corozal Bay division on Saturday July 13th, the PUP Marshalls President Steve Latchman was leading members of the Orange ...

Airport Fingerprinting: Invasive and Unlawful
In typical UDP style, the Government of Belize, without any notice to the public, has embarked on a scatterbrained scheme of taking fingerprints of passengers arriving at the Philip Goldson International Airport. American officials were at the opening ceremony giving speeches and naturally, that was all the ...

Sinister S.I. 63 – Former Central Bank Governor says GOB must explain purpose of law
Former Governor of the Central Bank Sydney Campbell has described the recently-passed Statutory Instrument 63 as a suspicious amendment that is wide open to corruption and abuse. S.I. 63 is an amendment to ...

Reflections on the Public Square – Problem Solving, Not Personality Politics
Belize cannot afford to lose another decade; if we do not place our country firmly on the path to economic development and progress now, our legacy to future generations of Belizeans may be a Belize that is a failed state. I do not believe that we are consigned ...

Looming Economic Recession?
Economic analysts are warning that Belize’s economy could be staring at the ugly face of a second economic recession after the first quarter analysis of the economy showed a contraction of 0.5%. The first quarter of 2013, ...

Credit Master Systems sets the record straight
Dear Mr. Editor, We would like to dispel any misinformation the public has about Credit Master Systems (CMS). Credit Master Systems provides bad debt collections, investigation and tracking, settlement negotiations, account receivables collections and bad debt information reporting services to the private sector businesses as well as financial institutions and Government of ...

Paul Rodriguez: Rhetoric vs. Truth
Dear Pastor Wade, So, Ms. Alamilla wants to play hardball, attempting to label us as hatemongers, because one person unfortunately chose to hang a UNIBAM representative in effigy. I accuse them of far greater offence than that! What has mankind from time immemorial called any person who helped a foreign group to ...

Dear Editor, On December 17th 2010, Mohamed Bouazizi reached his human limits with life. Like many young and old Belizeans, he yearned for a better life. He worked as a street vendor in Tunisia, as a committed family man at the tender age of 26 years. As his frustrations over his ...

Restless in Buttonwood Bay
Dear Editor, It's good to see some progress going on with the City's streets, drains and two major parks; but how much of it was really urgent, and at what and whose cost? Wouldn't it have been better to select the streets in more dire need of re-building in planned phases, ...

Belize Defence Force exposes Barrow
Dear Editor, Through this medium, we the Senior Officers of the Belize Defence Force reject being the subjects of “jokes” and the manipulation of our BDF by British agents and Prime Minister Barrow. The handing over of some 17 Bedford 4 tonner (4 ton) trucks from BATSUB to the BDF Commander last ...

Another baby dies at KHMH – Pablo Marin MUST RESIGN!
There is another scandal under the disgraceful leadership of Minister of Health Pablo Marin. Another newborn has died at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where 13 babies have already died, reportedly from ...


Boy question and a where to get a tasty $3 Burrito
Food first of course. We did not want to turn up hungry at our fishing meeting and we instantly agreed that a stop our new favorite burrito place was in order. I wanted to get Leisa some crispy coconut treat too, it is super yummy and I knew she would be instantly hooked on it like we were. Love at first bite for burritos and coconut treats and returned for more of both within 24h As you are driving down front street look for Belizean Melody Art Gallery and not to far past that you will see a fruit stand with a walk up window kitchen behind it.They have a good variety of local food and their prices are great. $7 stewed chicken with rice and beans, $3 chicken burrito, $4 egg burrito and chicken egg combo $5. If you have reached Belize Bank you have gone too far. I am not a super spicy food fan, the burritos do have a small kick to them but I would rate it not bad. The crispy coconut treats are made with raw sugar and have a sweet and almost slightly nutty taste to them, a pack of 2 will go far unless you are a total sweet tooth.

Chaa Creek’s Eco Kids Set for Educational Adventure
Twenty four young Belizeans are set to embark on a unique educational learning adventure as this year’s Chaa Creek Children’s Summer Camp Scholarship Program, better known as the Eco Kids Environmental Summer Camp, kicks off today July 20 2013. According to Chaa Creek founder and general manager Lucy Fleming, the innovative annual event gives Belizean youth an opportunity to learn about their natural world through a mix of adventure, social interaction, fun and hands-on education aimed at instilling a sense of wonder and responsibility for the environment. “We’ve always believed that a commitment towards environmental sustainability and promoting things like responsible travel go hand-in-hand with eco-tourism, and that education should be an important part of what we do,” Ms Fleming said, “We also felt that if we can inspire and encourage today’s young people to become active in environmental issues, that will translate into a better, more secure future for Belize’s environment.

International Sources

A Return to Belize
When I first visited Belize in Central America more than 20 years ago as a writer for a travel company, I met Emory King, who had, as a young man, shipwrecked off of Belize’s coast while attempting to sail around the world. He liked the country so much, he stayed. King, an author, provided me with this advice: “If you come to Belize without patience, you’ll learn it. If you come to Belize with patience, you’ll lose it.” It was his way of telling me and other travelers to slow down, relax and enjoy the unique culture and ecological diversity Belize offers. Belize, located just south of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, is bordered by Guatemala to the west and south and the Caribbean Sea to the east. About the size of Massachusetts, it was formerly known as British Honduras, gained its independence from England in 1981 and is primarily an English-speaking country. Beginning 20 years ago over the course of eight years, I traveled to Belize at least a dozen times, visiting resorts and meeting friendly people in all areas of the country. After a hiatus of 12 years, my husband and I decided to make a return trip. With a six-day window, we based our stay in San Pedro on the 22-mile-long Ambergris Caye. Once a sleepy fishing village, San Pedro is now a bustling little town catering to scuba divers, snorkelers, deep-sea and fly fishermen, and those who just want to unwind, relax and appreciate the spectacular views of the Caribbean Sea and the world’s second-longest barrier reef.

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