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8/1/2013 to 8/10/2013
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August 10, 2013


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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

Archaeologists study soil at Marco Gonzalez
The Marco Gonzalez Maya Site located on the south end of Ambergris Caye can safely be called one of the island’s hidden treasures. The 2,000 year old site is a relatively virgin site in comparison to the excavation work that has been done on other sites throughout Belize. However since 1984 Dr. Elizabeth Graham has been leading archaeological studies to the site and has been making great progress in unveiling bits and pieces of the marvels of Marco Gonzalez. Dr. Graham is once again on Ambergris Caye, this time accompanied by a team of three archaeologists from University College London (UCL), studying the soil at Marco Gonzalez. Observations done over the years have led to recognition of the notably fertile land on the grounds.

San Pedro youth participate in Steel Band Concert
Children from across San Pedro displayed their musical abilities in a steel band concert held on Friday, July 9th at the Angel Nunez Auditorium. The concert was held to show parents and friends what the children had learned in the three week music summer camp held by Maestro Carlos Perrote. The unique summer camp taught children, from ages 5-18, to play percussion instruments, Garifuna drums and the steel pan. From July 22nd to August 8th, children learned basic elements of music, writing music, music notes and much more. The camp was a huge success, as noted when the children played the in instruments in rhythm and harmony at the concert. Even a couple of parents and grandparents joined in playing with the advanced group. Of course the children were more than happy playing the various instruments. When asked how she enjoyed the camp, six year old Jenellie Eiley said, “This camp was fun, I want to do it again. I got to learn to play the drums and now I want to continue taking classes and get better at it.”

SP Fire Department gets new Station Officer
The San Pedro Fire Department has a new Sub Station Officer who takes the position of Officer in Charge. Veteran Fire Fighter Phillip Mencias officially took over the helm of the sub-office on Monday August 5th, replacing Jerome Garcia, who was transferred to Punta Gorda Town. Speaking to The San Pedro Sun, Mencias said that he brings along 21 years of experience, having joined the Fire Department in 1982. “I grew up on San Antonio Road next to the Orange Walk Fire Station and I always wanted to be a fire fighter,” explained the born Orangwalkeño. One of the immediate observations made by Mencias is the challenges that may present itself with the narrow streets of San Pedro Town. “If any help should be needed, it will take a little longer than it would take on the mainland,” he commented. Before taking up duties on Ambergris Caye, Mencias held a similar position at the Belmopan City Fire Department.

Amigos Jungle Tours: Rappelling, Cave Tubing and Zip Lining!
Those of you that thought Amigos del Mar were merely masters of the sea, prepare yourselves for their latest addition: Jungle Tours. They can take you on just about every tour the Jewel has to offer. Among them are Cave Tubing, Zip Lining, Xunantunich Tour, The Belize Zoo, Lamanai Tour, Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Caves, Crystal Cave Tubing, and ATV Tours; they even offer a Tikal Temple Tour in neighboring Guatemala. We were lucky enough to be invited to a Caves Branch Branch Jungle tour recently and with thoughts of Zip Lining, Cliff rappelling and Cave Tubing, I was more than ecstatic to take up that offer. Like most Amigo’s tours the Jungle Adventures start pretty early. In fact, my trip was scheduled to leave at 6:30AM from the Amigos Dock. We would be making our way from San Pedro Town to Belize City via the vessel “Another Princess.” Once we arrived in Belize City, we maneuvered our way from the Caribbean Sea into the murky depths of the Belize River. Edgar Munguia, our very knowledgeable tour guide drove us along the river, briefing us on the rich mangrove ecosystem and the exotic wildlife that find a home in and along the river’s bank. Our first stop was at Manatee Watch, a tiny but conveniently located pit stop along the river’s bank where our shuttle awaited. After everyone was on board, we were ready to hit the Western highway to our destination: Caves Branch Jaguar Paw.

Ambergris Today

HGTV House Hunters International Filming in San Pedro, Belize
Needless to say AJ’s was packed with a huge crowd. The highly popular cook off fundraisers are always a huge success and with people wanting to get a chance to be on TV, it was an even more successful event. Heather took the opportunity during the regular filming of the show to highlight her work with Saga, which she has been a very instrumental volunteer, advocate and supporter of. It was definitely an great event that had people buzzing with excitement and with House Hunters International filming on the island, it will be great to catch the episode once it airs on HGTV.

Belizeans Lack Vitamin Intake says Belize National Survey
The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) concluded and presented the results of the Belize National Survey on Micronutrients Biomarkers to Ministry officials and stakeholders. The major findings indicate that Belize has a very low prevalence of the lack of Vitamin A intake, while the recommended level of Folic Acid and Vitamin B12 intake is not satisfactory posing as a public health concern. The survey conducted during 2011-2012 was a national representative sample of 1,979 adults and children from across the country The objective of the survey was to assess the prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies specifically Anemia (Iron deficiency), Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Vitamin A and Vitamin B12 among women of reproductive age 15-49 years old and children 6-59 months in Belize.

Chef Jennie Staines Raises the Bar at Elvi’s Kitchen
With her expert cooking skills and knowledge of those authentic cooking traditions that she calls ‘Eclectic Maya”, Jennie has become sort of a genius in preparing local Maya/Mestizo/Latin American food. She cooks with traditional local spices and ventures away from conventional meats to include lots of seafood such as lobster, shrimp and conch in her dishes. She cooks with what life has granted her in her home island of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, and she does it well, very well. If you take a closer look while dining at Elvi’s Kitchen, you will see that there is a second menu of option. These are Chef Jennie’s newest creations, special recipes that she has taken time to perfect and share with her customers. These range from fantastic appetizers (empanadas, fritters, ceviche, bruschetta) tacos, pasta and guacamole.

Misc Belizean Sources

QRP Retirement Program in Belize
After working for 30 or 40 years of your life, it is normal to want the opportunity to be able to retire. If you are lucky, you may even be able to retire young. Either way, most people look forward to retirement, as it is often a time for relaxation. A time when all your hard work has paid off and you can enjoy the fruits of your labor in the country of your dreams. Since many folks have chosen Belize as their ideal retirement destination, the Belize Tourism Board has decided to create a retirement program that facilitates retirees. It is called the Qualified Retired Person (QRP) Program. The Qualified Retired Person Program was introduced by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) in 1999. It is a retirement program that was established especially for individuals who have an expected income from a pension, an annuity or an investment and are looking to live in a warm, tropical climate such as Belize. The Qualified Retired Person Retirement Program (QRP) has many benefits. Those benefits are as follows: 1. Import your personal household effects free of duty and taxes. 2. Duty Free and Tax Exemptions when importing your Motor Vehicle, light aircraft or boat every 5 years 3. Exemption from all taxes on income and receipts 4. Spouse and Children under the age of 18 are included in the program 5. Permission to conduct business from within Belize if business activities are conducted outside the country. 6. Allows the applicant to maintain their non-residency status for purposes of banking with an international bank in Belize.

VIDEO: Rock, Paper, Scissors - Ep. 5 (San Pedro) - The Hidden Talents Episode
Oscar and Eric take you to La Isla Bonita for Episode 5 (San Pedro) of Rock, Paper, Scissors brought to you by Lighthouse Lager

VIDEO: San Pedro Youth Scuba - Shark Week Edition
Local youth experience Nurse Sharks on PADI Certification dives.

UB Orientation Pictures
The University of Belize had their orientation for the Fall 2013 semester, and they had a huge turnout.

Galen Eagles Band at Cayo Welcome Center
The Galen Eagles Band played a free concert at the Cayo Welcome Center last night. They did a fantastic set of Garifuna and Creole music. Wish them the best as they head to Suriname. "The Galen Eagles Band had a concert at the Cayo Welcome Center last night to celebrate their traveling to Suriname next week to represent Belize at the Caribbean Fiesta. It was a great show!"

NTHU Visits Buena Vista
Feelgood news of the day. The NTHU student group spent the week at Buena Vista primary school, along with some volunteers from Sacred Heart Junior College, to teach the kids about computers. They have a great slide show, with some movie clips in it.

Queen of the West Pageant
The Queen of the West pageant is on Saturday, August 31st, at the Octavia Waight Centre auditorium. They'll be presenting the contestants next Saturday, the 17th at the Princess Casino, and on the 24th at the Cayo Welcome Center.

Channel 7

Buckley Disappointed By Non-payment All Week From GOB
Tonight, finally after 3 years, there is some semblance of resolution for Steven Buckley, the man who was shot by an on-duty police officer in 2010. But, while that is the happy ending tonight, just after midday today, Buckley was experiencing hardship trying to collect on that partial payment he was promised earlier this week. 7News caught up with him at his home at midday, when he intended to go check to see if any money was in his account, and Daniel Ortiz has that story: Daniel Ortiz Reporting Steven Buckley and his attorneys trusted the words of the representatives from Government in that Meeting on Monday at the Raccoon Street Police Headquarters. FILE: August 5, 2013 Dickie Bradley - Attorney for Steven Buckley "The arrangement is that an undertaken has been given to us from lawyer to lawyer - the solicitor general has said that before this week is over - he was hoping to be able to have brought a check from the Ministry of Finance - but you know there's a procedure to get out very large sums of money out of the Ministry of Finance. Before this week is over he will make contact and there will be a substantial part payment towards the final amount that is owed to Mr. Buckley." Figuring that these difficulties his attorney described would get in the way, Buckley waited until today to check if he received that partial payment. After all, they did promise that by Friday, it would be there, and after all he and his family have been through, it is expected that he deserves a swing in luck.

Hours Later, Buckley Gets $50k; Says That’s Half Of What he Was Promised
So, Buckley contacted his attorney, who reached out to the Deputy Solicitor General, Nigel Hawke, to find out why the money had still not been delivered. He wasn't expecting to hear any good news about money coming in, but a couple hours later, his attorney Dickey Bradley, contacted him saying that 2 freshly cut checks were waiting for him. 7news was there when Buckley finally got some of that money in hand, and here's that report: Daniel Ortiz Reporting 2 hours after Buckley was disappointed with that check at his credit union account, we found him outside of the Central Bank of Belize with 2 government cheques in hand. One of the checks was for $35,000, and the other was for $15,000, both made out to his attorney, Richard "Dickey" Bradley. That's a total of $50,000, a substantial increase, given that he had no money hours ago. Bradley made arrangements to have the money transferred to Buckley's account, and then they dashed off to Saint John's Credit Union, after all, this was a Friday evening, and time was winding down.

2 Guats Detained In Chiquibul; No One Wants Reponsibility
Two weeks ago, we told you all about the Milpa situation on the Belize Guatemala border – where Guatemalans farmers are pushing into Belizeans territory with large milpas, some bigger than 60 acres. It's an alarming encroachment and Belizean authorities are doing what they can to drive back the Guatemalan campesinos and reclaim the Belizean territory. But, a new case shows how difficult it can be to actually bring anyone to justice against a wall of institutional indifference. The Friends for Conservation and Development, FCD which co-manages Chiquibul reports that yesterday morning a joint patrol of FCD Rangers, Police and BDF were in the area known as Valentin in the Caracol Archaeological Reserve, and spotted eight persons harvesting pumpkin in an open field of approximately 20 acres at a location approximately 1 kilometer inside Belize. Now, it's difficult to arrest all of them due to transport logistics in that remote area, so the patrol agreed to take in the leaders of the group, two men 48 year old Melecio Recinos, and 21 year old Jaime Antonio Diaz both of El Nuevo Paraiso, Peten along with their 4 horses which were seized by the police.

Police Officer Caught With Marijuana In Santa Elena
Police Constable Darrell Swazo is assigned to the DPP's office at the Case Care Unit – where his job is basically to find witnesses. But tonight, he finds himself behind bars facing drug trafficking charges. It's a most unexpected turn after he left the DPP's office this morning on bicycle with another police officer to go looking for a witness – only to be caught five hours later in a car in Cayo with two kilos of marijuana. He and another man were in a Mitsubishi Eclipse this afternoon at 2:45 when they were stopped at a police checkpoint in Santa Elena. Police searched the car and found the four and a half pounds in the back of the car. Officer in Chareg of the Cayo District, Superintendent Ralph Moody could not provide much details except to say that Swazo has been arrested and charged for drug trafficking. DPP Cheryl Lynn Vidal told us that her office is surprised and shocked at the report because the last communication she got was that he was in Belize City looking for a witness for a Crown Counsel so it came as a huge surprise to everyone in the office that he was caught in Cayo in that situation. The DPP says she ahs spoken to the head of the prosecution branch to make sure that no one form her office is involved in the prosecution of the case.

Infant Killed After Being Crushed By A Bus Tire
Tonight, the body of an 11-month-old baby is at the KHMH morgue after the infant was crushed by a falling bus tire. Here's what happened: yesterday afternoon at around 5:30 the child was with his mother under a tree in the Buttercup area – just outside Burrell Boom. The baby boy crawled away into the yard. His father is a bus driver, so he came upon an old bus tire, started playing with it and it fell on him. Police say the mother had to be alerted by a small child who came screaming for help to get the tire off. The child was rushed to the Burrell Boom clinic and then to the KHMH. He was taken into surgery and died at2:30 this morning. While the family prepares to bury their child, police are sending the file to the DPP to see if any charges will be brought against the mother for negligence.

Mark Seawell’s Hearing Further Delayed
A month ago, 7News told you about the Mark Seawell Habeas Corpus hearing which almost got struck out at the last Supreme Court hearing. Seawell got a break from Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin who believed that it was not in his best interest to throw the matter out, given that it was not his fault that it had been meandering around the court system for months. So, today was set down for the hearing to happen, but, the Chief Justice was unable to hear the matter because there was one more problem getting in the way: The court could not find the original extradition documents which were tendered before the Chief Magistrate. CJ Benjamin was therefore forced to adjourn the matter, and 7News spoke to Seawell's attorney outside about the further delay, and the effects: Arthur Saldivar - Attorney for Mark Seawell "Basically what happened is that a bundle from the AJ's Ministry that details the documents being relied upon by the United States to substantiate the request for extradition, could not be found within the precincts of the court so the Chief Justice indicated that he would have to have the bundle reconstructed and as a result - time was given for that to occur. In terms of the habeas corpus, this is one of my second appearance for this particular matter. My client has now been remanded for 7 years - he has never been convicted of any offence, either in Belize or in the United States. He is a citizen who has been accused of committing an offence and like any other citizen in such situations, is presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, that presumption of innocence which obtains in our jurisdiction allows him the protection of our constitution, even though the process of extradition has commenced for an offence alleged in another jurisdiction. So that's basically what we're here to do - to ensure that his constitutional right is of Belize and he is given every opportunity to operate on his behalf."

Farmer Caught Growing Weed
In the last segment we told you about the police officer who has been charged with drug trafficking. While that police officer waits to be arraigned, 43 year-old farmer Owen Baptist is spending the first night of a 3 year sentence after he pleaded guilty to marijuana cultivation and drug trafficking. According to Police, acting on intelligence, they visited his farm in Isabella Bank on Wednesday, where they discovered 37 marijuana plants, and a large bag of dry marijuana. The bag weighed in at 2.7 kilos – or almost 6 pounds – and as a result, he was charged with marijuana cultivation and drug trafficking. He was arraigned today before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton, where he pleaded guilty to both charges. Magistrate Hamilton sentenced him to 3 years in prison, and a $10,000 fine for each count. If he defaults on those payments he will spend an additional 3 years in prison. The 2 prison sentences will run concurrently, so he will only spend 3 years if he is able to pay those fines.

Former NBA Star Inspires Belizean Youths
Last night we showed you former NBA and NCAA champion Derek Anderson on the first day of his visit to Belize. Anderson is the guest of the US Embassy and he's here to give motivational speeches based on his life story, captured in his book "Stamina." His target audience is youths – and particularly the ones who've had the hardest time in the toughest social conditions – because that's his story too. He found a receptive audience at the National Youth Cadet Corp in Rockville this morning. 7news was there: Jules Vasquez Reporting Today the young men at the Belize Youth Cadet Corp sat in rapt attention for 45 minutes as retired 10 year NBA veteran Derek Anderson gave them his hard won life lessons. You could hear a pin drop as he spoke which is not the standard reaction: Derek Anderson - NCAA, NBA Champion "I'm glad you guys understand what I'm saying and I see that I got your attention. You understand this, life is about choices, ever decision I made - I made based on me and there were barely anybody in any situation that I was in." William Swan - Manager - Belize Youth Cadet Core "When they were talking to them they had all the interest and to have different young men to come together like this and really focus without any mischievous act or playing while he was giving his speech - I can see that he was getting into their minds."

Bio Diversity Strategy Makes A Come-Back
In 1998, Belize got its first National biodiversity strategy and action plan, but it languished on the executives book shelves without executive sanction. Now the process is starting up again, as Belize tries to meet the requirements of the United Nations Convention on biodiversity. It's one of many conventions Belize has signed to, but it's one that we are within sight of as the chief forest officer explained today: Wilbur Sabido - Chief Forestry Officer "The strategy and action plan is really the document that will guide us in meeting our obligations to the United Nations convention to the convention on biological diversity, at the national level. As a backdrop and really why we are doing this - is because at the international level, Belize has many commitments and I think that for the convention on Biological diversity it is one of the few convention where the government and its many stakeholders have actually done quite a good job." Hon. Lisel Alamilla - Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development "The project plays on Belize's current status and achievements with respect with biodiversity planning, management and reporting and aims to integrate Belize's obligations under the CDB and it's existing national development and mulch-sectoral planning framework."

Teaching Teachers To Be Basketball Coaches
On Monday, teachers who are doing professional development workshiop – can learn something different: how to coach basketball. Matthew Smiling explained: Matthew Smiling - Basketball Coach "From all the research that I've done and all the seminars I have learned that the international rule of the child is that each child in sports should have a certified coach, coaching him or her at whatever level. Most of the programs in other countries - they start from very young, some actually have from 0-6 as their active start and they recommend that all ages have qualified coaches, which we don't have much of in Belize. The BBF is trying to change all this by trying to give these coaching seminars and clinics so that people could be aware of coaching." The sessions is sanctioned by the ministry of education and teachers will get full credit.

Channel 5

Shot by Cop, victim gets first payment
Three years and four months ago construction worker Steven Buckley was shot twice in the face by an Inspector Dennis Lopez on April twenty-eighth 2010. Buckley, his employer and another [...]

Buckley gets cheque for 50k
That disappointing trip to the St. John’s Credit Union was taken at a little after midday. But just after two this afternoon Buckley got the news from his attorney Dickie [...]

Ex-servicemen league sale?
There is an ongoing dispute tonight within the executive council of the Belize Ex-Services League, despite a recent Supreme Court ruling in favor of the organization’s membership.  The problem is [...]

Seawell’s extradition court files are missing
Mark Seawell has been fighting an extradition request from the United States since 2007. The US claims that Seawell and his brothers Gary and Dwayne were responsible for cocaine being [...]

Cheaper Mexican flour or Belize ADM flour?
The Customs and Excise Duties Amendment Bill was one of the thirteen bills tabled at the House of Representatives on Wednesday. The bill essentially increases the import duty on flour [...]

Free Zone businessman says he’s innocent of narco-trafficking accusations
Samer Akil Rada’s name has surfaced in an ongoing investigation that goes back to a July nineteenth cocaine bust in El Salvador.  It involves two containers, one in which eight [...]

Former NBA Player now a motivational speaker
Former NBA player Derek Anderson is currently on a working visit to Belize during which he is sharing his life story, both as a professional athlete, as well as an [...]

Cop attached to D.P.P. Office busted with 4 pounds of weed
A Belize City police officer attached to the Director of Public Prosecution’s office was busted today with four point five pounds of weed. P.C. Suazo was headed back from Arenal [...]

Busted marijuana planter says he runs a psychiatric clinic
An Isabella self-professed psychiatric clinic caregiver was busted with over five pounds of weed scattered under his home and thirty cannabis plants at his farm in the Belize River Valley [...]

Almost didn’t go to jail, but he had a previous fine
A man who pleaded guilty to theft and possession of a pipe was spared jail time for those offences, but tonight he is still behind bars because of an old [...]

UB gives scholarships to scores of students
The University of Belize-Office of Student Affairs today presented the recipients of this year’s Student Athlete, Barton and UB Alumni scholarships. The students were selected based on academic and athletic [...]

National Women Softball Team heads to Pan Am Games
Belize has seen the departure and return of the U-sixteen football team from the Copa Nacional Gladiadores Merida and the Jaguars from the Gold Cup. Another set of athletes hopes [...]

Carnival Road Marchers will party in spite of date clash
On Thursday, you heard the private sector express concerns about the upcoming Belize Expo Marketplace which is scheduled to be held on the same day that the equally popular Carnival [...]

National Song Competition will be live on 5
The national song competition takes place this Saturday night at the Memorial Park and you can catch it live on this station. The lineup includes a return of defending champions [...]


Youths Learn To Build A Better Belize
Set on an alpine terrain and nestled between the balsam Mountain Range and the El Boquerón Volcano, the City of San Salvador welcomed some 650 youths ages 15 to 30, from Belize, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua over the past weekend. The youths took part in one of 114 similar Regional Conferences being held from July through October around the globe on all continents and many island groups. Twenty six Belizean youths, including six from the District of Corozal, attended the conference with the aim of empowering their skills so as to create a better society. Today we caught up with Sky Sawers one of the youths who attended the conference. He told us what the experience was like.

Teachers Receive Training To Become better Educators
Teachers are receiving much needed assistance in Mathematics, Language Arts, and Assessment strategies to aid them in imparting knowledge to their students through creative strategies. The program, known as the Continuous Professional Development “C. P. D” takes place annually in order for teachers to receive credits. However, this year the approach differed since teachers were given the opportunity to table the areas they would like to receive assistance in. Over one hundred and fifty teachers sat in the classrooms of San Francisco Roman Catholic School to learn new ways in which they can assist their students to excel academically. Zoila Sutherland, Facilitator, Assessment for Learning “It has been great very fruitful the teachers have been exposed to more strategies on how to access student learning in all the areas of teaching. They have been learning how to use what they already know and to implement new strategies for assessment.

Working, While Learning Civic Pride
One hundred students will be receiving much needed financial assistance here in Orange Walk Town. After a successful Fiestarama 2013, ten thousand dollars from the proceeds of the event was set aside by the Orange Walk Town Council for a student summer work program. While the amount may not be a lot, it will definitely come a long way. Students are being paid $100.00 for one week of work, but for the council, it’s not about the money, it’s about teaching students civic pride. Kevin Bernard, Mayor, OWTC “Yes some of the proceeds of Fiesta Rama we normally budget about ten thousand dollars for us to be able to assist one hundred students on a two week of program and how we do is that we have fifty students coming in the first week and then another fifty students coming in the second week. All of this is just to simply to assist the young people to have a small stipend to help them to cover some of their school expense, sometimes they may need a few school books and you know so this helps alleviate some of the cost the parents have to be finding to spend for this school expenses. You will see if you look around town right now because the students are all in different areas working in San Lorenzo Housing site, were putting up street signs, we have some that are working at the Union Town Park, some working at the Sandy Field Park, some working at the Nature Park as well we try to involve the issue if civic pride so that they too become and take ownership of their town, when we get young people involved into these types of activities it gives them a sense of ownership and so that is the reason why we said that immediately after the Fiesta Rama we are going to assist these students and give them that opportunity.”

Building Of Fence Causes Uproar In O/W East
A fence built in the middle of what was thought to be a street has prompted angry confrontations, calls to the Lands and Survey Department, the Orange Walk Town Council, and a stop order. Many believe that the area you are currently viewing on your television screen is a street, but truly its not, it’s a ten foot alley joining Ciricote and May Flower Street. A barbed wire fence now demarcates the alley from a piece of land belonging to Miguel Gongora. The same land that was once thought formed part of the alley giving access to vehicles passing through the area. With the building of the fence there is limited space for vehicles to travel through the area, at least when it comes to ten wheeler trucks. This is apparently causing trouble in the neighborhood, so much so that even the Orange Walk Town Council has had to intervene. Kevin Bernard, Mayor, OWTC “We have this gentle man who approached the council, one Mr. Gongora who had a request for us to look at his scenario or his case where his property lies, what we would call a street right now, people would assume that he is wanting to build in the middle of the street, however, he had conducted his own personal survey and he had also requested that a survey be done.

Divers Search For Body Of Missing Orange Walkeno In The New River
The news that a body was in the New River near the San Estevan Bridge here in Orange Walk, spread like wild fire yesterday. When we visited the scene no one was in area. However, this morning our news room received a call informing us that the family of 32 year old Elias Ku was combing the river in search of his body. Ku left home on the 3rd of August wearing a red and black shirt, jeans pants and red tennis shoes. It was not unusual for him to stay away from home for days. But yesterday, Ku’s family became worried when they were informed that his black and red shirt and red tennis shoes was found around the riverside by Independence Park. It is believed that Ku was drinking in the area on Tuesday morning along with some friends when he fell into the river. His family was not informed about his disappearance until Tuesday night when a search for his body was immediately launched but to no avail. And the same can be said for yesterday and today.


Bus full of tourists slams into Park Ranger
There was an accident Wednesday morning which has resulted in life threatening injuries for a 21 year old man. The incident happened this morning at around 9:30 am when a tour bus arrived at the Nohoch Chen Park. That is located in the Cayo District behind Caves Branch. A...

Norwegian Cruise Line proposals discussed in the House
The House of Representatives convened Wednesday where bills were introduced and read for the first time. Those are the Customs and Excise Duties (Amendment) Bill, 2013, the International Financial Services Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2013, Trusts (Amendment) Bill, 2013; Financial Intelligence Unit (Amendment) Bill, 2013; Customs Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2013; International...

KHMH baby deaths debated; call for Minister of Health to resign
An issue debated in the House of Representatives was that of the unfortunate deaths of some dozen newborns at the KHMH. The Pan-American Organization Health Organization launched an investigation into the matter and concluded that eight of those deaths were linked to a fairly common bacterium known as Entero-bactea...

Stephen Slusher sentenced to 5 years in prison for stealing gas tank
A 53 year old man was sentenced to five years in prison for stealing a woman’s gas tank. Stephen Slusher was accused of entering the home of Maria Manzanero without permission and stealing her $115 gas tank. The burglary occurred yesterday, Wednesday, August 7. On Thursday morning, Slusher...

Jason Young convicted for drug possession
Magistrate Clive Lino was lenient with an offender who stood before him on Thursday. 19 year old Jason Young was arraigned on a charge of weed possession. The arrest of Young came Wednesday, August 7, 2013, on Castle Street. Police on mobile patrol and stopped and searched Young after...

UB apologizes for registration errors
On Wednesday, on Facebook, someone posted the image of the invoice of a UB student which showed that the total amount charged did not match the calculated amount of the quantity multiplied by the unit price. Apparently the same held true for many other students. This raised an uproar...

Former NBA player in Belize conducting motivational talks
American Dereck Anderson, a former NBA player, is in Belize conducting motivational talks on entrepreneurship. Anderson has recently written a book called “Stamina” in which he shares some of his personal struggles and his triumphs over those hurdles in life. He focuses on the need for hard work and...

Belize Bird Rescue rehabilitates fledgling black hawk
Belize Bird Rescue was established in 2004. The purpose was for the protecting of parrots and taking in those that were held captive illegally or were abandoned and hurt. It has since expanded its protection of even more birds, and one lucky winged animal to benefit from the care...

Belizean public respond to Behaviour in the House of Representatives
It has been mentioned time and time again that the behavior of Honorable members of the Belizean National Assembly at times of House meetings are perceived by some as bordering scandalous. The verbal sparring across the aisle can sometimes contain quite colorful language, packed with insults and accusations that...

National Patriotic and Carnival Song Competition set for this weekend
The National Patriotic and Carnival Song Competition returns to the stage this weekend at Memorial Park. 18 junior and senior participants will strut their stuff for big prizes and a place in national history. Organizer and Creative Arts Development Officer for the Institute of Creative Arts, Joseph Stamp Romero,...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Official Traffic Wardens
The Caye Caulker Traffic Control Committee is pleased to present their newly appointed Traffic Wardens. They are Solomon Nicholas, Mark Jones, Angelita Marin and Ramir Villanueva. The Traffic Wardens underwent 2 weeks of training with Claudio Azueta who is the Senior Traffic Warden in San Pedro. They will begin their duties effective Monday, August 12th 2013. The Traffic Wardens will be strictly enforcing all traffic violations. The Caye Caulker Traffic Control Committee is urging all vehicle owners to update their driver’s license and vehicle licensed/permits. The Caye Caulker Traffic Control Committee’s opening hours is 8 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. if you have any questions or concerns.

Village Council’s Schedule of Event for September


Belizeans and others who travel to Mexico for business, shopping, medical or recreational purposes, by sea or air, must now pay a federal tax of US$25. For those traveling by air, the tax is to be added to the cost of their plane ticket. Those traveling into that country by land and who stay for 7 days or more must also pay this mandatory tax, which is known as the DNI (Derecho de No Immigrantes). Marcelino Miranda, Public Relations Officer for the Mexican Embassy in Belize, told Amandala that the federal law is not new, and has been in existence for some time but is only now being enforced. The charge caught many people and frequent travelers to Chetumal by surprise. Miranda told Amandala that the USD $25 is a fee that is charged at all points of entry and departure in Mexico. Intransit travellers travelling to a third country, regardless of the time needed for their transit through Mexico, will also pay the fee. This includes those who enter Subteniente Lopez, Chetumal, by road and are travelling to Cancun to board a flight to travel to another country, as well as those arriving at Cancun and travelling to Belize. Miranda said that Belizeans and others who go into Chetumal for short periods are not charged. The DNI fee can be paid to any bank or airport in Mexico and at the points of entry between Belize and Mexico such as the Subteniente Lopez Border. Proof of payment should be issued by the receiving office.

Ch’oc wants the Sept. 19 hearing moved to an earlier date. “If we do not stop them, then the rights affirmed by the Supreme Court will have been for nothing.” The Sarstoon Temash Institute of Indigenous Management (SATIIM), along with alcaldes from communities in what is known as the “buffer zone” in Belize’s south, recently sought a court injunction against US Capital Energy, an oil company operating in the vicinity of the Sarstoon Temash National Park, the second largest national park in Belize. The injunction that was filed is aimed at blocking US Capital Energy from conducting oil exploration activities within the park. Those activities, which have already begun, are taking place on lands which the alcaldes consider to be their ancestral and communal lands, hence the reason for the injunction. Furthermore, SATIIM’s Executive Director Greg Ch’oc claims that the company has increased its activities within the park, which has caused them to seek an urgent hearing on the matter. Today, he spoke with the media after appearing on the KREM WUB morning show to provide the date for the hearing and to explain the urgency of the case, among other things. He said that they had received a notice from their attorney notifying them that the date is set for September 19.

“You are not just a domestic and a local pariah – you are an international outlaw!” “Your entire career has been a tissue… of lies.” – Barrow to Musa The National Assembly was the battleground today for a war of words waged between the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) and the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), which exchanged verbal jabs over a recent ruling by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) – one which Prime Minister Dean Barrow said, found Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca and former Prime Minister Said Musa to be “international outlaws.” Barrow tabled a peculiar resolution at a Special Sitting of the House of Representatives Wednesday—the first meeting of Parliament in five months. That motion was aimed at shining the national—and perhaps the international—spotlight on a CCJ recent ruling which deplored actions taken by Musa and Fonseca in signing a settlement deed with BCB Holdings and the Belize Bank, two entities within the so-called “Ashcroft Alliance,” which gave these two entities extraordinary tax concessions without parliamentary approval.

Espat’s motion to amend the PAC fails in the House amidst a shouting match A motion presented to the House of Representatives Wednesday by Julius Espat, the People’s United Party’s Cayo South representative, to reform the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), through an amendment to the rules which would see the private sector, unions, churches and civil society getting majority seats on the committee, “fell on the floor”, after a debate which, at times, deteriorated into a shouting match. According to the National Assembly, “the Public Accounts Committee has the duty of examining, considering and reporting on the accounts showing the appropriation of the sums granted by the National Assembly to meet the public expenditure of the country; such other accounts as may be referred to the Committee by the House or under any Law; and the report of the Auditor General on any such accounts.” Espat (Member of the People’s United Party — PUP) chairs the Public Accounts Committee. Its other members are Erwin Contreras (Member of the United Democratic Party – UDP), John Saldivar (UDP), Patrick Faber (UDP), Hon. Michael Finnegan (UDP), and Rodwell Ferguson (PUP).

The National Bank of Belize was established this April and today, the House of Representatives approved a motion for the Minister of Finance to execute the necessary documents to channel $20 million into the new financial institution, which Government asserts is intended to provide concessionary credit to public officers, teachers and other needy Belizeans. The $20 million will purchase for the Government of Belize 200,000 shares in the National Bank of Belize. A statement sheet provided to the media at a press conference held by Prime Minister Dean Barrow, Minister of Finance, earlier this year, indicated that the start-up capital for the bank would come from funds on-lent from the Petro-Caribe funds. These are funds which the Government earmarks for special use, as a credit provided by Venezuela. Whenever Belize receives shipments of fuel and fuel products from that country, the monies due to Venezuela are set aside in a fund for special programs here; and the Government can repay Venezuela under a long-term payment scheme at a minimal rate of interest.

A woman has been released from police custody and will not face any charges for the attempted murder of her lesbian lover, whom she attempted to drown by holding her head down under water. The incident occurred at about 4:30 Saturday evening while the lovers were swimming in the sea in front of San Pedro Town. The victim was rescued by a man who saw what was happening and rushed into the sea to save her from certain death. She was rushed to the San Pedro Polyclinic, where she was resuscitated, treated and later released. Police said that the women were swimming in the sea in front of Cholos Resort in San Pedro Ambergris Caye when they became involved in an argument which escalated into a physical fight, during which one of the lovers held down the head of the other under the water and sat on her back to drown her. A witness who saw what was happening became concerned because the victim was being held under the water for a prolonged period. He told police that he rushed into the water and pulled the victim out the water. He then took her to the shore, where CPR was performed.

The victim said she thought Eusey was sent to pick her up from the bus stop. Sean Eusey, 26, a computer technician of #9 New Road, was charged today with aggravated assault of an indecent nature and theft. According to a police press release, a woman, 31, from Sandhill, reported that at 3:30 Friday morning, she was standing at the Pallotti roundabout waiting for a friend to pass by and pick her up. She said that she saw a white van coming toward her and heading in the direction of the Philip Goldson International Airport. When the van stopped in front of her, she got into it without a second thought, thinking it was a church van. After getting into the van, she noticed the driver to be a man in his mid-20’s and they were the only ones in the van. The van headed north and while travelling, the driver asked if it would be alright for him to stop off in Belama to drop off some money for his cousin. The woman indicated that it would not be a problem and the driver turned into Belama. After driving around in Belama for some time, the man turned into an open lot on Spt. George Arthurs Street, and exited the vehicle.

What is believed to be the charred remains of Hugo Moreno, 42, a missing taxi driver of Sittee Street, Orange Walk Town, was buried today at the Orange Walk Town Cemetery. Although police could not positively identify the body, the Moreno family is confident that the remains, which were severely burnt beyond recognition, were those of their loved one. The funeral began at about 10:00 this morning at the La Immaculada Catholic Church. A moderate-sized crowd attended, along with about 25 taxi cabs which drove in the procession that escorted the remains from the church to the cemetery. The Moreno family said that they last saw Hugo at about 11:30 Saturday night, July 27, when he left home to go to the People’s Stadium where the Fiesta Rama was taking place, to run his taxi cab. The last communication from him was at about 1:30 Sunday morning, July 28, after which he was not heard from, despite their best efforts to contact him.

Four men were busted with ganja in two separate incidents and have been charged with drug trafficking. Three were busted in Corozal, and one in Punta Gorda. In Corozal police seized 245 grams of marijuana in one incident, and 2 ½ pounds in another, while in Punta Gorda, police seized 117 grams. In Corozal, James Albert Quan, 25, of Ranchito Village, was taken to the Corozal Magistrate’s Court on Friday, August 2, released on a bail of $2,000 and ordered to return to court on Wednesday, October 3. The other two men, connected to the other incident in Corozal – Orvin Breck and Paul Morgan, both of Ladyville – were taken to the Corozal Magistrate’s Court on Friday, August 2, where they pleaded not guilty to the charges, were granted bail of $4,000 each and were ordered to return to court, also on Wednesday, October 3. Breck was unable to meet bail, and was remanded. Police said that at about 2:30 on Friday, they were patrolling on the Philip Goldson Highway in Corozal when they saw a white Toyota Camry with Belize City license plates, in which two men were travelling.

Slusher told the court “I didn’t burglarize the building; the door was wide open, so I went in.” Today, Stephen Slusher, 53, a construction worker of #9896 Jane Usher Boulevard, was sentenced to five years in prison after he pleaded guilty to burglary before Magistrate Clive Lino. According to police, Maria Manzanero reported that sometime between 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, August 6, and 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, August 7, her home at #3191 Central American Boulevard was burglarized and a 25-pound gas cylinder valued at $115 was stolen. After the matter was reported, police launched an investigation which resulted in the recovery of the gas cylinder in Slusher’s possession later that night, and it was later identified by Manzanero as her gas cylinder. Slusher agreed with the facts of the case, but told the court that “I didn’t burglarize the building; the door was wide open, so I went in”.

On Thursday at about 8:45 a woman was beaten and robbed in her home in Noralez Extension, Independence Village by two thieves, who got away with approximately $270 in goods and cash. Yaeanera Rodriguez, 38, was taken to the Independence Village Polyclinic, where doctors who attended to her classified the injuries she sustained as wounding. Rodriguez told police that the two men first gained entry into her house, then attacked her. She struggled with them, but one of the men beat her in the head with an object until she became unconscious. The men then ransacked her house, stealing 2 cell phones valued at $75 each; a purple watch valued at $45; a school bag worth $55 and her purse, which contained $20. When Rodriguez regained consciousness, she called police, who took her to the clinic, where she was treated and later released.

Ebony Bailey, 29, of Belize City, has been released from Corozal police custody on a bail of $3,000 by the Corozal Magistrate’s Court and ordered to return to court on Thursday, October 10, after she was found with 1,587 grams of cannabis by police in the Libertad area while she was travelling on a passenger bus heading from Corozal to Belize City at about 4:30 yesterday evening. She was taken to the Corozal Police Station, where she was charged with drug trafficking. Bailey was taken to court this afternoon, Tuesday, in Corozal, where the charge was read to her. The 1,587 grams of weed have since been deposited as “evidence” at the Corozal Police Station, to be used in the case against her. Police say that they were on an anti-drug patrol when they stopped the passenger bus and carried out a random search of Bailey, who was seated in the bus at the time. They searched a black kit bag that she was carrying and found four parcels of cannabis.

Former football star of 1970’s Belize City champions Berger 404 and Chito’s Rangers, Harrison “Ile Man” Flowers visited our sports desk this morning to send a message of hope to brothers in the street who are struggling with addiction to crack cocaine and want to get their lives back on track. Ile Man says he is doing well and feeling good since attending the Remar rehab center in Bullet Tree Village in the Cayo District. He is presently on a two-week break, to be with his mother who recently had an operation. We remarked that he looked sturdy and strong, and Ile Man said his life has definitely turned around since spending the past three months at Remar in Bullet Tree. He said there are presently at least thirty others at the Remar center. “I know I’m cured,” said Ile Man. “It’s very good for the guys that are out in the streets. “ We talked to Ile Man about some other brothers who have been battling crack addiction, and feel like there is no hope of breaking the habit. Amandala (A): “Some brothers say, ‘A di try, man; a di try; but a just kyan mek no head way.’ What would you say to them?”

Basketball Finals Friday – Jane Usher Ballerz vs Complex Unruly Ballerz. There are a whole lot of games being played in a short time in the Conscious Youth Development Program (CYDP) U-18 Football and Basketball Summer Tournaments, and we have had some confusion with the scores, thus our reluctance to report on the games so far. Here is our best effort to record the accomplishments of the youths in these tournaments. The basketball Finals take place tomorrow, Friday, while the football Finals are scheduled for next week Friday. U-18 FOOTBALL The CYDP U-18 Summer Football Tournament 2013 kicked off on Monday, July 29, at the Hostel Field behind the Racoon Street Police Station, with Joshua Bombers clipping Survivors United, 1-nil, on a goal by Jahron Myvett. There are 7 teams in the competition: Joshua Bombers, Survivors United, Lake-I Strikers, Jane Usher FC, Hattieville United, Victoria Strikers and Heights FC. On Tuesday, Lake Independence Strikers dropped Jane Usher FC, 3-2. Calvin Reneau netted 2 for Lake-I, who also benefitted from an auto goal by Jane Usher. Both Jane Usher goals were scored by Kareem Williams.

The first leg of the home-and-away semifinals in the Atlantic Bank Female Football Tournament took place on Sunday, August 4, in Belmopan and in Ladyville, and the critical second leg will be played this weekend in Dangriga and San Ignacio, to determine which two teams will go on to the championship round. At the Ladyville football field on Sunday, visiting Dangiga Pumas came from behind twice to pull out a 2-2 draw against home standing Ladyville Jaguars. In first half, Sara Arzu (20’) gave Ladyville the 1-0 lead, but Jacklaine Arzu (26’) equalized for Griga. And in second half, Claudia Martinez (58’) put Ladyville in front again, 2-1; but once more Griga got the equalizer, this time from Shamaya Quniah Caliz (89’), for the 2-2 final score. In the other semifinal out west at the Belmopan Stadium, home-standing Triple B got some early help from visiting Gentle Touch, whose 2nd minute auto goal set the stage for an eventual 3-1 victory for Triple B. Triple B goals were by Kiana Martinez (22’) and Kaya Cattouse (31’), along with the auto goal by Gentle Touch’s Elthene Gentle (2’). The only goal for Gentle Touch came from Cynthia Salazar (44’).

— by Fidelio Montes, Jr. – Secretary, Cayo Billiards Assn. Well, folks, the annual Guinness 9-Ball Tournament continued over the weekend in Cayo with a couple of very intense matches. As it now is that time that we refer to as “crunch time,” the teams with the aspirations to represent their home turf get their game faces on and their ammunition loaded for what would be one of the biggest battles yet. Playing on Sunday, August 4, were the two top teams, namely team Dibos of Benque Viejo del Carmen and the guys that claim to have team Wicked Intentions, playing for Mom’s Backyard out of San Ignacio… Here is a walk through the very intense and nerve racking games. First up for Dibos was David Fernandez against Johnny Betancourt for a commanding victory of 5 to 1 in favor of Dibos. And folks, it seems that Dibos came out with serious fire power, as Rogelio Boteo asserts their lead with a 5 to 2 victory over Wallace “Tai San” Chu. As Elmer Cruz of Dibos tries to give his team another victory, Jimmy “Singerman” Rudon just barely edges him out for a 5 to 4 win. Now, team Wicked Intentions send out the very hopeful Juan “Maestro” Villanueva on the offense, and so he does by defeating Sholamer with a marginal 5 to 4 win. So, now the game is all tied up at 2-2. But Lionel Pinelo, Dibos’ sharpshooter, disappoints his team, as he was unable to make it in time for the match, thus giving Wicked Intentions the big W overall for a 3 to 2 series.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT – ’69 TO ‘98 Editorial
“On Wednesday the second of February I therefore decided to try to bring the negotiations to a successful conclusion, and appointed Minister Assad Shoman and the Financial Secretary Doctor Carla Barnett, to take a response to the ultimatum sent by the Unions the day before. That ultimatum stated that unless government replied favorably by the following day to two specific demands of the Unions, they would cause a total shutdown of the country on Thursday and Friday of this week and hold a countrywide demonstration on Friday. The two demands were that the government roll back the new taxes and agree to implement as of April 1, 2005 the full salary increases of 5% and 8% due to the public officers and teachers.” - from Address to the Nation by Prime Minister Hon. Said Musa, February 4, 2005 The late Odinga Lumumba always insisted that the Belizean people needed to raise their level of political education. Too much of Belizean politics involves personality and popularity, whereas this young nation is faced with some decision-making which requires careful, informed study of the issues in both their short-term and long-term aspects and implications. We listened to the Rt. Hon. Said Musa being “savaged” by Prime Minister Dean Barrow in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, and it was a little sad for us. In truth, the Rt. Hon. Musa, who was PUP Prime Minister of Belize from 1998 to 2008, did not seem to be affected that much, if at all. What Mr. Musa did in response was to point out the Hon. Barrow’s political sins, and that seemed to comfort him, Musa, during this House session when the merciless condemnation of himself and the Hon. Francis Fonseca, present Opposition PUP Leader, by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) was being featured.

When you read the material produced by the Government Information Service (GIS) here in 1965 and 1966, you can see that the PUP Government of Belize was headed in a decidedly pro-American direction. It was during this time that the Michigan Partners for the Alliance deal was formalized; Peace Corps volunteers were pouring into Belize; American oil companies were doing seismic exploration in offshore areas of Belize; and on a whole, Belize was viewed in American political and business circles as a small, “Christian democratic” country which was making a smooth transition from British colonialism to becoming a regional base for United States’ investment, influence and recreation. The classy American Jesuit, Fr. Leo Weber, was almost like a Belize Cabinet Minister, so prized was his counsel and so prominent were his Government-sanctioned initiatives, primarily in education. Weber’s relationship with Premier George Price was viewed with great skepticism, and some outright venom, by the Anglican and Methodist-laden Opposition NIP. This is how things were in 1965 and 1966. When I came home from school in June of 1968, the British-trained attorneys, Assad Shoman and Said Musa, were already traveling magistrates in Belize, and I think they had been so from 1967. 1967 was also the year when the Belize Chamber of Commerce financed the establishment of the Chamber Reporter, the precursor to today’s Reporter. The first editor of the Chamber Reporter was also British-trained, a journalist named Zelma Tucker who later became Belize’s most successful novelist – Zee Edgell. But, whereas Shoman and Musa were acquiring local reputations as left-wing, socialist thinkers, the Chamber Reporter and its editor were clearly right-wing, free market advocates.

I can recall occasions when sometime around 1 p.m. I would hear a car’s horn blowing where I resided. That car’s horn was that of the young attorney-at-law, Mr. Dean Barrow, who today is the Prime Minister of Belize. We would journey to the M.C.C. Grounds to see Queen’s Park Rangers of the Stann Creek District play against the Avengers of Cayo and San Joaquin out of the Corozal District. When you considered the standard of football that was being played at that time you would pray that this level would never end, but I was realistic in thought and accepted that all good things had to come to an end. These teams at the time played football as if they were playing music. The footballers’ movements and pattern of play seemed so well synchronized. Have you ever heard a good orchestra play? This is the kind of football I am talking about. When the Queen’s Park Rangers came to Belize City to play a match they were so exciting and so good that when I left the M.C.C. Grounds there was nothing else that could attract me other than a good sleep. I wished for no food nor drink nor romantic liaison because the Queen’s Park Rangers satisfied all my heart’s desires with their brilliance and competence. I would wake up on the following morning, a Monday, and climb out of my bed still under the influence of the ecstasy from the Queen’s Park Rangers’ performance. One can never understand what I am writing about if you were not placed in the same situation. I have always asked Prime Minister Barrow whether he thought Queen’s Park Rangers were the greatest.

(This column was first published in the Friday, January 20, 1995 issue of Amandala.) Derivatives … of wealth From the land … “By the might of truth and the grace of God, no longer shall we be hewers of wood …” 1. Institute under the aegis of U.C.B. a sister relationship with one of the universities of the Northwest U.S.A., say the University of Oregon, to bring their forestry students and staff to a campus in the Toledo District. This will be mutually beneficial, as on the one hand it will help the development of U.C.B., Toledo, and Belize, and on the other hand it will help the University of Oregon to maintain their department of Forestry, until their forests are restored having been destroyed by the Mount St. Helens volcanic eruption. 2. Again in Toledo establish manufacturing facility to utilize the woods of the forest to produce finished products, such as radio/TV consoles, furniture, etc., for the export market. Let’s not import our wood as toothpicks. 3. Lobby to relocate at Central Farm and its surrounds the College of Agriculture of U.W.I. from St. Augustine, Trinidad, absorbing the College of Agriculture of Belize. As a founding member of both U.W.I. and CARICOM, and with four times the land mass of Trinidad, and only one sixth of its population, it is time for Belize to get a substantial return for its participation in the Caribbean Community.

Siri Briggs Brown, Ph.D., Director of African American Studies and chair of Social Science and Ethnic Studies at Merritt College in Oakland, California, arrived in Belize this week with a group of her students to learn more about Belize and Black Nationalist movements here. The group of 12 was particularly interested in learning more about the United Black Association for Development (UBAB), which was founded in 1969, the year UBAD also founded Amandala. Belizean Egbert Higinio, who organized the trip to Belize City and Dangriga from overseas, said that this year the class’ field work includes the study of the history of Black people in the diaspora. The students attended a presentation by Amandala titled, “History of UBAD/Black Power movement in Belize”, at the UWI School of Continuing Studies today. Professor Siri and her students were also keenly interested in current affairs and the present plight of their brothers and sisters in Belize.

Police Constable Martin Bustillos, 28, of the Corozal Police Formation, who was reported missing on Tuesday, July 23, when he failed to report for duties at the Corozal Police Station, reported for duty on Sunday, August 4, after being absent for 12 days. Bustillos was arrested and charged with 15 counts of absence from duties, and has been remanded for trial by a police court called a tribunal. The date for the trial has not yet been announced. In making the missing person report, the Corozal Police Commander, Assistant Superintendent Andrew Ramirez, had said that they did not take the unexplained absence of a police officer lightly, because in the past a policeman was reported missing, and nothing was done, and there was no alarm, and the policeman was later found dead. ASP Ramirez said that Bustillos worked normal duties on Friday, July 19, and was given days off on the weekend of July 20 to 22 — Saturday, Sunday and Monday. He was to have reported to work on Tuesday, July 23, but did not do so. The Commander said that he became concerned, because not even Bustillos’ family members had any idea where he was.

She left home without saying where she was going. A girl, 16, has been reported missing from Santa Elena Town, Cayo. Wendy Isales was last seen at home with her brothers and sisters at about 7:30 p.m. on Friday, August 2, before she left the house without saying where she was going, and since then her whereabouts have been unknown. Aura Alicia Isalez, 32, of Santa Elena, told police that about 7:00 p.m. that Friday evening, she left home for work, leaving her daughter at home with her two brothers and two sisters, ages 18, 13, 8, and 4 years. When she returned home, she was told by her children that Wendy had left the house without telling them where she was going. Wendy Isalez is described as slim built and about 5 feet tall, and she is of fair complexion. She has long, straight black hair, with round brown eyes, and has a mole on the left side of her chin.

Hard work and months of training paid off for the YWAM Under-16 football team from Belize, as they returned to Belize from Mexico with the 3rd place trophy for the Copa Nacional Gladiadores Merida 2013 tournament. The team was initially invited to take part in the regional tournament as a result of their performance in another friendly tournament that was held late last month in Merida, Mexico. They only lost one match in five days of games in that tournament and, in so doing, captured the attention of the organizers, who invited them back for the Copa Nacional Gladiadores Merida 2013. In order to make the trip, the talented footballers, led by their coach/trainer Santi Valencia, who is also the Director of Youth with a Mission (YWAM) in Belize, which is an international, denominational, non-profit Christian organization, sought the help of the media to garner financial sponsorship to travel back to Merida for the competition. Fortunately, they got the support and ended up doing exceptionally well once again, claiming an impressive third place after playing three games. Upon their return, Coach Valencia and the team re-visited the media to express their gratitude for the sponsorship and said that he must applaud [the] “Belize business people”, namely the team’s sponsors, because “they came aboard, they got behind the team and gave us the financial support to go, [therefore] we had a good trip and we were able to cover much of our expenses.”

The Ambassador of China (Taiwan), His Excellency David Wu, this morning presented a grant to the National September Celebrations Committee to aid in the celebration of the 32nd anniversary of Belize’s Independence and the 215th anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye. The handing over ceremonies took place at the House of Culture, formerly the Government House, in Belize City. Diane Haylock, President of NICH, received the cheque of US$20,000 on behalf of the September Celebrations Committee. She spoke to Amandala shortly after the ceremony, and noted that for quite a number of years, and particularly since she’s been co-chair of the National September Celebrations Committee, they have received a grant from the Embassy of Taiwan in Belize to facilitate the various activities that are carried out during the month of celebration. “The embassy, in particular the ambassador, has always wanted to ensure that the resources that they share with us are used to promote cultural development and I think they understand the importance of our national September celebrations and therefore have been generous in making this contribution towards our efforts,” she said.

The gunman used a shotgun to fire at the boy, his friend and his cousin. A 13-year-old boy of Carmelita is lucky to be alive after he was shot by a man whom he knew while at the sports center in Carmelita Village, Orange Walk. The boy was taken by police to the Orange Walk Hospital, where he was treated and later released. The incident occurred about 9:00 Saturday evening. The boy told police that he was standing with his friend and a cousin at the sports complex when a man they knew approached and asked them why they were looking at him, then went on to say that he did not like them, and that he would show them who he was. The boy said that the man left the complex, but returned shortly after armed with a shotgun, and fired a blast at them, and they started to run. The boy, however, felt a burning sensation in his leg. He told police that the man then fired at them again, and that was when they ran into a yard and hid among some bushes.

— by Nathaniel Wander 6 August 2013 Dear Editor, In a recent “From the Publisher,” Evan X Hyde raised an interesting comparison between ethnic Jews and ethnic Belize Creoles. His analysis, however, without being entirely false, did not go nearly far enough. “Jews,” according to Mr. Hyde, “understood money; they used money as a tool of liberation and upliftment.” On the other hand, “the Creole people … appear to dislike money … always chasing money instead of having money work for us.” As an anthropologist and historian, and a Jew, I believe this is an oversimplification that lacks at least two vital ingredients: history and culture. First, history. It is not unfair to say that over the past thousand years or so, the Jews as a communal group (but probably not most individual Jews most of the time) have become comfortable with and knowledgeable about, not so much money as finance. This is hardly surprising as, in both medieval Moslem and medieval Christian societies, which forbade their own members from lending for profit and closed most other economic avenues (professions, land-ownership) to Jews, Jews learned to become financial agents. Moreover, as a community with a great deal of internal coherence on account of both internal structure and external persecution, ethnic Jews often used individual resources to support community survival.


DJ’s Seaside Bar & Restaurant Hosts Viewing Party for Lighthouse Lager’s Big Premiere
A few weeks ago, I attended the Lighthouse Lager Rock Paper Scissor San Pedro tournament at Fido’s. I had no idea before I arrived that it was going to be filmed and I DEFINITELY did not know that a seriously SERIOUSLY professional TV show was to be produced. Read about the experience in my previous blog post. Belikin has released good…no, GREAT stuff before. The commercial that they put out last year can bring me to tears each time I see it. I have no idea why the Belize Tourism Board has not grabbed ahold of this and promoted the crap out of it. Somehow they captured Belize perfectly. From the domino playing by Belize City’s Swing Bridge to the punta dancing at Fido’s…beer or no beer, IT IS STUNNING. If you haven’t seen it, watch here. And if you’ve been to Belize before or if you live here, grab a hankie. Last night many of the competitors re-assembled at DJ’s Seaside Restaurant to watch the final product. Check out Episode 5 of Rock Paper Scissors. It is hilarious. And crazy professionally done by Island Films. And I now have a huge crush on one of the presenters, Eric Tillett, and want to buy ALL of his books. Here’s a picture of all competitors at Fido’s in July.

Tubing on the Caves Branch River
One of the must-do outdoor adventures in Belize, for children as well as adults — besides spelunking, climbing Mayan temples, kayaking, diving off the Belize Barrier Reef, rappelling into rainforests or hiking mountains — is river or cave tubing. The most popular and ideal river for tubing, with some of the most beautiful surrounding landscape, is the Caves Branch River, in the western district of Cayo. It’s a tour you can sign up for from any of the major tourist areas in Belize such as San Pedro or Cayo. My first experience cave tubing was unlike any I’ve ever had in adventure travel. It felt like we had one giant natural amusement park all to ourselves. The trip began with a bumpy, fun ride to the mouth of the jungle, followed by a short hike to get to the river, all while carrying a rubber inner tube over the shoulder.

Best Day Ever: Turtle Inn, Belize
Wake up at Turtle Inn, the Francis Ford Coppola resort in Placencia, a sleepy Creole fishing village in the Stann Creek District of Belize, at the southernmost tip of a narrow, 26-mile peninsula. You're nowhere, and you have a busy day in the sunshine ahead of you. Sunrise: Mornings here are quiet and peaceful. Request a wake-up call just so you can use the shell phone, then walk out your seafront Balinese-style cottage (Villa One) a few steps into the Caribbean for a morning swim. Rinse off in the outdoor shower in your private garden before stopping by The Mare restaurant for warm coffee, fresh fruits, and beignets. Grab snorkeling gear and suntan lotion at the dive shop and jump aboard the resort's 46-foot boat, Miss Ellie. Coast along the smooth waters. The warm breeze is intoxicating; the sun above, a welcome orange ball. It's crystal clear for miles. Twenty one miles out, anchor at the utterly private Silk Cayes, two deserted islands on the protected Belize Barrier Reef.

Not Just a Call Center Agent…
According to Suite101 in Vancouver, Canada, call centers remain central to the success of businesses since they are the nerve of customer care “maintaining existing customers while attracting new ones.” Many do not see the importance of sitting at a desk making calls all day following scripts and fulfilling customer requests; however, maybe you should look at it in the perspective of the global industry as well as the skills you develop along the way. Essentially, call centers in Belize are examples of business process outsourcing (BPO) initiatives, where companies in other countries seek to outsource and offshore their non-core functions to gain agility, efficiency, access to new talent and markets to ultimately save on costs. This global BPO industry grew by 10% amidst the global financial crisis in 2008. Offshoring estimates totaled USD 41 billion in 2011 and are expected to grow at a 7% cumulative annual growth rate until 2013 reaching a total opportunity of USD 52 billion. (Avasant, 2013) See graph.

“Better Things to Do” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
As I mentioned in the previous edition, yesterday, after I had put Thursday’s edition of the blog to bed, I headed off to Estel’s for breakfast. Just me and my good friend the iPad! While I was waiting for breakfast (and after I had finished it too) I took care of my morning ‘tasks’. I had better things to do than just browse the Internet! First off was an email to Jesus Cervantes at TheTile and Stone Center in Belize City to find out what is the ideal grout for the Milan Super Crema tiles that we have throughout most of the First Floor and our bedroom on the Second Floor of our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Next up was an email to my three friends in the UK who are heading off to Ostend for a three day stag party to celebrate and say ‘goodbye’ to the end of Jon’s bachelor state (although given that he lives with his soon to be wife he is not strictly a bachelor) to wish them a great time. They are all middle aged but won’t act like it at all. It will be a messy three days. And had I still been living in the UK I would have been getting messy with them!

Off The Beaten Path Destinations In Belize
Many visitors to Belize stick to the usual tourist destinations because they are easier to get to, but there is a lot more to explore besides popular spots such as Lamanai, ATM Cave and the Blue Hole. With the following three off the beaten path Belize destinations, getting there really is half the adventure. If you consider yourself an intrepid traveler and can endure long, bumpy dirt road trips and a ride into the open sea, these places are well worth the effort.

International Sources

Chocolate may help keep brain healthy
Older chocoholics may have a new excuse to indulge their cravings: The dark stuff not only soothes the soul, but might also sharpen the mind. In a study published Wednesday in the journal Neurology, researchers reported that chocolate may help improve brain health and thinking skills in the elderly. The Boston-based team found that older people who initially performed poorly on a memory and reasoning test and also had reduced blood flow to their brains showed improvement after drinking two cups of cocoa every day for a month. The researchers had set out to test whether chocolate could increase blood flow to the brain during problem solving, boosting performance, after finding in earlier studies that consuming chocolate high in the antioxidant flavanol was associated with better brain and blood vessel functioning. They recruited 60 elderly subjects for the new study. Since they suspected that flavanol would improve the subjects’ thinking skills and blood flow, they randomly assigned subjects to drink either flavanol-rich or flavanol-poor hot chocolate.

Art Camp Gift From Affton Family, Kuhnert family continues Belize missionary work from home
Even though they have been back from their mission trip for a little over a year, members of the Kuhnert family of Affton continue to serve our neighbors to the south. In 2011, Andy and Julie Kuhnert took their five children to Belize for a year-long missionary trip where "a hand up, not a hand out" was their motto. "We are still working to advocate for people in Belize," Julie Kuhnert said. "We want to do work that is sustainable and we want to empower them." While in Belize, Julie Kuhnert focused on creating a week-long art camp that would allow children to express themselves. Eldest daughter Emily reads to the students at a school in a remote village in southern Belize. (click for larger version) The art camp in Belize was considered a success and this year she planned a second one from home. For this year's art camp, she enlisted the help of two local teachers in Belize and planned projects that the children could do. She had to decide which supplies could be purchased in Belize and which supplies would need to be sent down.

Regional countries to benefit from IDB cultural project
Seven Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries are to this year benefit from Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) financed Cultural Development Programme (CDP). An IDB statement said that its cultural centre has selected 45 partner institutions to finance and provide technical assistance to cultural development projects in 25 countries. The Bahamas, Belize, Jamaica, Haiti, Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago will benefit from the CDP which aims to promote cultural development in Latin America and the Caribbean by co-financing projects and working hand-in-hand as project partner. The IDB grants were awarded to innovative projects for technical training, art, music and theatre instruction for educators, artists and musicians. “Taking into consideration the diversity of the cultural disciplines, the projects were evaluated for their viability, educational scope, effective use of resources, the application the teaching of the teachers TOT model, the ability to mobilise additional sources of financing, and long-term impact on the community,” the IDB said.

August 9, 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

Persons traveling to Chetumal by boat question $25US fee
Belize and Mexico has for so long maintained an exceptional relationship whereby Belizeans and Mexicans can easily travel from one country to the other for business, shopping, medical or recreational purposes. Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico is the closest city to Belize and has long been a preferred destination for Belizeans. To facilitate that connection between Ambergris Caye/Caye Caulker and Chetumal City, two water taxis provide daily runs to Chetumal via boat. The service allows for easier access to Chetumal,eliminating the usual longer route. However, of recent residents of Ambergris Caye as well as visitors are claiming that a US$25 fee is being charged upon disembarkation at the Martine port of entry in Chetumal City. They also claim that a US$5 fee is being charged per bag upon exiting Chetumal.

Ambergris Today

Belize Tourism Industry Association Stands Firmly Against Major Cruise Port In Southern Belize
The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) remains firmly against establishing a major cruise port in southern Belize and the proposed memorandum of understanding between NCL and the Government of Belize. The BTIA had previously made a public statement in relation to this development at Crawl Caye and over the past couple weeks, has taken note of another option for development at Harvest Caye. The BTIA opposes this proposed development in the south of Belize for the following reasons: BTIA has publicly supported the National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan and continues to do so as it defines the long-term plan for sustainable tourism in Belize. This plan was recently supported by government and clearly states that "pocket cruise tourism is the only acceptable form of cruise tourism on the south eastern coast of Belize." The study was emphatic that southern Belize should remain an eco-friendly low impact destination. The BTIA supports this plan and the continued growth of the overnight tourism in this area.

Oceana sponsors Goff’s Caye Trip to City Campers
“This is the best day ever!” “I don’t want to leave!” These are some of the exclamations from participants in last Friday excursion to Goff’s Caye provided by Oceana in Belize. This latest caye trip under Oceana’s I Love My Reef Campaign happened on the last day of the Belize City Council’s 2013 Summer Camp. The 78 young City residents, the vast majority of whom have never visited any caye or been on a boat before, were joined by 8 chaperones, 3 Licensed Tour Guides, a Ranger from the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI) and the Captain & Crew of the Splash Wave Tour vessel chartered for the day outing.

Misc Belizean Sources

A section of Coconut Drive (in front of the TMM office and the parking lot of Ramon's Village Resort) was recently assessed by the Mayor, Councilors and an Engineer of Medina's Construction. Repairs of this section will begin as early as next week resulting in the street to be temporarily closed during construction; however, vehicles will be allowed to pass through the lot where Carlo & Ernie's Runway Bar is located. We appreciate your cooperation and apologize for any inconveniences caused.

Intangible Cultural Heritage Workshop
The Institute for Social & Cultural Research has started their Intangible Cultural Heritage workshops around Belize. They'll be in Cayo, at CET, on the 15th and 16th of August. They are free, and there are still spaces available. Email Phylicia Pelayo at [email protected] for more informaion. They've uploaded some pictures from the workshops they've already had. "Please see the information below for dates and venues for the Workshop on Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) that will be offered at all the districts. The workshop is open to those who work in the area of culture, educators, students etc."

BAS Free Fridays
The Belize Audubon Society is having their Free Fridays for the month of August for most of their managed protected areas. Three are in Cayo: Guanacaste National Park, St. Herman's Cave, and the Blue Hole. Have fun! "Hi FB Fans!!! Summer 2013 is soon gone; but hold on, in order to give you a tiny boost to visit protected areas in Belize, All Fridays in the month of August is FREE Entrance FEES for ALL BELIZEANS. Explore! Enjoy! Conserve! Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, Guanacaste National Park, St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park, Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, Half Moon Caye Natural Monument, and Blue Hole Natural Monument. Share...Like....Comment!"

Maya Flats Airstrip Paving
The Maya Flats airstrip is up and running again. Here are some pictures from the paving. Tropic Air will start having 6 inbound and 6 outbound flights a day starting on November 15th.

Channel 7

Accident Caves Branch
Tonight, a Park Ranger from the Nohoch Che'en National Park, better known as Caves Branch Outpost, is at the Belmopan Hospital recovering from injuries he received this morning when a tour bus ran over him at the park's entrance. Police have not released the official details, but 7News has been informed that at around 9:30 this morning the ranger went to manage the entrance of the park, which had a checkpoint for all vehicles to stop. The ranger was caught off-guard when the bus didn't stop, hit him, and then dragged him a few yards under the bus. One of the eyewitnesses was Lincoln Gordon, who is owner of Caves Branch River Restaurant and Bar, located inside the national park. He told us how the entire situation unfolded, and how he rushed into to help the injured ranger: Lincoln Gordon - Eyewitness "We saw the bus coming down but when the busses come down they normally stop over there because the ranger has to go on the bus to check how many people are on the bus so they can mark it down. I notice that as the bus was coming down, the ranger was passing in front of the bus - I probably thought that he thought that the bus would have stopped but the bus just ran right through, it hit him, hit the barrier and then the bus dragged him for five yards under the bus. When we saw it we ran over here and the bus came to a complete stop and we had to drag the guy from under the bus.

Baker Complains
Yesterday at the House of Representatives, there were 13 bills tabled – and none of them made the news. That's because the majority were legislative housekeeping matters, and one of them looked like a non-descript revenue measure, but one baker says, it could force up the price of your pack bread! It's called the Customs and Excise Duties Amendment Bill – and it imposes a hundred percent duty tariff on imported flour – up from 25%. The background to the bill is that in February all restrictions on imported flour were lifted – and merchants started bringing in flour from Mexico. So bakers started buying that flour at 69 dollars a sack, twelve dollars cheaper per sack than it is sold locally. That was good for them, but it drove down ADM's sales, and so yesterday, the House Passed a revenue measure to impose a heavy tariff on imported flour – which will make it much more expensive than the locally produced flour. As the Prime Minister explained when he tabled it for a second reading, the bill is to protect ADM Belize Mills, which produces Belize's Flour: Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "We've taken imported flour off the restricted list and so there's no longer a need for permit to import for but we are taking up the duty, in order to protect the local flour industry. Now, there are some who might say - perhaps the local flour industry ought not to be protected any longer, then we're looking at the questions of jobs, investment- vis-à-vis the fact that if you do decide you're not going to worry about the local flour manufacturing you can then bring in the imported flour more cheaper. There's always a question of the consumer versus the employment and the company, as of this juncture we feel that it is better to preserve the local flour manufacturing - so this is by way of giving them the sort of protection that would mean that the imported flour would not drive them out of business."

On Monday we told you about a customs officer Rondale Bailey, who'd been caught in a van with two other men and a major stash of contraband vodka. Well, unofficial reports to 7news this evening say that the liquor he was found with was part of the same amount that was confiscated from Vin Hong store in April of this year. Reports to our newsroom say that someone apparently broke into the storage room at the customs department and stole an as yet undetermined quantity of the liquor. Details are hard to come by, but we know that as many as 800 cases of imported liquor were confiscated from Vin Hong. The liquor was confiscated from Vin Hong because they were believed to have contraband "Belize Market" stickers. On Saturday, Police caught 25 year-old Rondale Bailey – who is actually a customs security guard – along with two other men in a van with 15 cases of Absolut Vodka, and 1 case of Grey Goose Vodka, valued at $15,862. Information says he had been trying to sell the liquor on the local market.

Former NBA Star, Derek Anderson, is one of 13 players who've won an NBA Championship - he did that in 2006 with the Miami Heat, and an NCAA Championship – he did that in 1996 with the Kentucky Wildcats – and along the line, he also won a high school championship And he's in Belize tonight – not to talk basketball – but to inspire. You see, Anderson's story is familiar: he grew up poor, with parents who left him to the streets, and he had to create all the opportunities he received by showing that he is a capable, hard worker. He's written a book about his story, called "Stamina", and it is the focus of his motivational speaking career. At the invitation of the US Embassy, he's in Belize to speak to the public about how to emulate his success, despite life's challenges. He was at the University of Belize today, where he gave the students he gave a 2 and a half hour talk, and afterwards, he gave us an interview on his policy of personal accountability: Derek Anderson - Motivational Speaker "It stems from surviving through anything, I've come from homelessness to not having parents in my life for 30 years and I still wound up being a millionaire and having good jobs and giving back to people. It's all about your character and your attitude, so it's basically about surviving anything and to be better."

Barrow New Chetumal
Earlier we told you about a controversial bill passed by the house yesterday – controversial because it seeks to protect the flour mill, and one baker says government is doing so at the cost of your pack bread. But one piece of legislation that caused no controversy is the motion for the youth and community transformation project 0 which is a 5.2 million dollar loan from the CDB to build a youth facility on Chetumal Street- south. PM Barrow said it will include a long-promised basketball facility: Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "This is in fact the Chetumal Street project - remember we had done so well in basketball in Cancun - I had promised them on the steps of the Civic Center that there would be a new basketball facility that the government would construct. I went to CDB and had an agreement with the then president, Compton Bourne, to finance the facility. After he left there was some difficulties with the new administration and ultimately we had subdue the basketball facility within the terms of this larger project - the Chetumal Street project - but while this w'll see a dropping center, in fact on the grounds of the facility, there will be a basketball stadium constructed. Government's counterparts obligation will include, of course, bringing the road from the George Price highway straight through to where the facility is to be constructed up to all other standards. Government will also construct a bridge to connect the Lake Independence side of the river with the Freetown side of the river where the current Chetumal Boulevard has just been so wonderfully done by the Mayor."

Last night we told you about the health survey in what are known as Micronutrients Biomarkers – those include Vitamin A, Folic Acid and Vitamin B12 intake. Well, the expert form the CDC spoke about the regional context of the findings, but the local significance is troubling. The results show that nutrient programmes and interventions for females of reproductive age 15-49 years old have not been working as expected. Nutritionist Robyn Daly said why the survey results were a surprise: Robyn Daly - Nutritionist, Ministry of Health "The results of the survey was quite surprising, it's almost like a wake up call for us to really start to taylor and fine tune what we've been doing in terms of Nutrition Intervention. We have always had vitamins and supplements available but now looking at the results we are seeing that it's not enough so we will keep the supplements, we will still keep reaching our population of our children in schools and our pregnant women when they come to clinics and our children at risk. But now we have to look at on how can we get our nation healthy - what can we do as a nation - looking at all groups."

Convicted of Burglary
53 year-old Stephen Slusher stole a tank of gas, and now he will spend 5 years in prison for it. That's after he pleaded guilty in the courtroom of Magistrate Clive Lino today. The complainant, Maria Manzanero, told police sometime between Tuesdayand yesterday, someone broke into her house on Central American Boulevard and stole her 25 pound gas tank, valued at $115.00. Police detained Slusher, and they recovered the gas tank which was positively identified by Manzanero. As a result, he was arrested and charged with burglary and handling stolen goods. He was arraigned today before Magistrate Lino, where he pleaded guilty the burglary charge. The handling charge was withdrawn, but Magistrate Lino was not lenient with him. Slusher told the court that he didn't break in; the door was open, and he just decided to go in. Magistrate Lino commented on Slusher's lack of appreciation for people's property through hard work, and he sentenced Slusher to spend 5 years in prison.

Song Competition
The September Celebrations schedule has been all but finalized – except for that major scheduling conflict we told you about on September 14th – when the Chamber Expo and the Carnival Road March are competing events. But, before we get all the way there, the celebration season starts out on Saturday night with the national song competition. That's become known as a hype event, with high production values, and Monica Bodden found out what's planned for this year: Monica Bodden reporting September Celebrations are right around the corner and what better way to kick off the festivities than with the annual National Song Competition. Joseph Stamp Romero - Creative Arts Development Officer, ICA "We are about two days from one of the biggest events, part of our Celebrations Calendar - the National Song Competition - that takes place on August 10th at the memorial park. You will see 18 contestants really throw it down, Belizean style, and they will walk away with titles. One in junior category for Belize song, one senior category for Belize song, the other one will be the Carnival song which of course will be one of those songs you hear playing a lot through the carnival road march and probably on that."

Tonight's profile is about Raymond Flowers – he's an accounts clerk at CBC Cable, but his story isn't about who owes for cable, not at all. Flowers is crippled, but not disabled. He got through high school, and is now living independently – despite his impairment. Here's his story:

Ivan Duran on Tour
The Garifuna Collective's 25 city North American Tour – which started in June is winding down with a run through the West Coast of the United States. The Collective played a free concert in Los Angeles' McArthrur Park this afternoon – where, surely, a large contingent of Belizeans came out. Tour organizer Ivan Duran told us how much it means to see that flag in the audience: Ivan Duran - Producer, "AYO", Garifuna Collective "A lot of Belizeans went to the show last night in San Francisco - the place was almost packed and also today in LA we're expecting a huge crowd, it's a free concert at the Mcarter Park, we're expecting a lot of Belizeans coming to the show. The special performances and the tour have a special effect on the musicians on stage. Every time there's a Belizean on stage, the crowd and the Belizean flag - it just, something happens to the musicians on stage that makes it a much more special evening. The people that have seen the band have been discovering this new sound that the band is bringing and it's a new departure for Belizean music and Garifuna music. This is what Andy left; the band is carrying the torch and taking Belizean music to a whole new level. It's definitely the most ambitious tour ever and I think the band is holding up really well, they understand the challenges and they understand that it's more than just a band - it's representing a whole country."

And to prepare for that album launch next week, tonight we have the local premier of the second video from the Ayo album. It's called Ubou, and we leave you with that… Thanks for joining us with your news I am Indira Craig. Join Peta Gaye Levy here tomorrow night...

Channel 5

Financial Intelligence Unit to investigate Free Zone business affiliated with drugs
Samer Akil Rada, the Venezuelan-Lebanese businessman whose name is associated with the seizure of eight hundred and eighty pounds of cocaine destined for the Corozal Free Zone, is back in [...]

Finnegan gets nasty with Dolores in the House
There were thirteen motions raised in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, two of any significance. One was passed, and the other fell on the floor. But those procedural House [...]

MOU not binding, but tour guides want a piece of NCL pie
The Sitting was mostly a stone-throwing exercise, but amidst the taunts, heckling and jeering there was a brief moment of agreement between members on different sides of the House. It [...]

A Park Ranger is crushed on the George Price Highway
A Chukka Tours bus ran over a Park Ranger this morning at the Nohoch Che’en National Park, located at the Caves Branch Outpost off the George Price Highway. Eyewitnesses told [...]

Free to import flour, but duty gone way up
There were over a dozen bills passed in the House of Representatives on Wednesday. You wouldn’t realize that since most of the day was spent discussing a Caribbean Court of [...]

Business Expo and Carnival on the same day?
As it stands tonight, both the popular Expo Belize Marketplace and the Carnival Road March have been scheduled for the fourteenth of September. Now both events attract huge crowds and [...]

Who is responsible for mess at old San Ignacio Hospital?
Western Regional Health Manager Pearl Ellis has assured News Five that the situation at the old site of the San Ignacio Hospital has been cleared up. The shocking images of [...]

Drill Baby Drill! Former Politician supports oil in the south
Former politician, Alejandro Vernon, in his capacity as chairman of the Toledo Alliance for Progress, has come out as a proponent for oil exploration in the south.  TAP, as it [...]

US Capital Energy says it’s obeying regulations and laws
U.S. Capital Energy has been awarded a contract to explore for oil in the Sarstoon Temash National Park. For several years, the co-manager of the park, The Sarstoon Temash Institute [...]

Reef Survey shows good news for Belize
The Catlin Seaview Survey is organized by the University of Queensland and promoted by the Catlin Insurance Company. It is a global campaign and a race against time to study [...]

He’s not a burglar because the door was wide open!
Fifty-three year old Stephen Slusher is tonight serving his first night of a five-year jail term after pleading guilty to burglary.  The resident of Jane Usher Boulevard was accused of [...]

Government borrowing over ten million dollars from the Caribbean Development Bank
The members of the House did manage to get some of work at Wednesday’s House meeting.  The government is borrowing over ten million dollars from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). [...]

Call me Daddy. Prime Minister makes a son of Said Musa
In a last snippet of Wednesday’s House meeting, the remarks by minister Finnegan against Dolores Balderamos Garcia was not the only startling occurrence in the House. During his attack on [...]

CIBC First Caribbean Bank wants you to Adopt-a-Cause
You probably already know of the annual Unsung Heroes Program which recognizes persons who selflessly serve their communities. That is a well known community programs initiated by CIBC First Caribbean [...]

Folic Acid, Vitamin B12, What do you know about micronutrients?
The results of a recent survey of close to two thousand women and children show that women of reproductive age are deficient in Folic Acid and there is a low [...]


Cruise Tourism in Southern Belize Discussed in House of Representatives
During Wednesday’s sitting of the House of Representatives Area Representative for Toledo East Mike Espat raised the concerns of villagers as it relates to proposed cruise tourism in the south. HON. MIKE ESPAT “There are over a hundred and ninety tour guides, there are about n...

Former NBA Player Delivers Motivational Speech in Belize
The Cayo and Belize Districts are ready to be moved by a motivational speaker. He’s none other than former NBA player Derek Anderson. Anderson is the author of “Stamina”, he’s also an entrepreneur, producer, philanthropist and inventor. He’s visiting the ...

Teenager Hides Drugs In Mouth From Police
A 19 year old man who tried to hide two point six grams of cannabis from the police by putting it in his mouth, was not successful. He is Jason Young, a laborer of Hunter’s Lane. Around 12:15 p.m. yesterday, Young was on Castle Street when a police mobile patrol saw him acting suspiciously....

5-Year Sentence for Stealing Butane Gas Tank
Fifty-three year old Stephen Slusher, a construction worker of Jane Usher Boulevard, was sentenced to five years today by Magistrate Clive Lino when he pled guilty to burglary. Slusher was also charged with handling stolen goods but that charge was withdrawn after his guilty plea was accept...


Youths Learn To Build A Better Belize
Set on an alpine terrain and nestled between the balsam Mountain Range and the El Boquerón Volcano, the City of San Salvador welcomed some 650 youths ages 15 to 30, from Belize, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua over the past weekend. The youths took part in one of 114 similar Regional Conferences being held from July through October around the globe on all continents and many island groups. Twenty six Belizean youths, including six from the District of Corozal, attended the conference with the aim of empowering their skills so as to create a better society. Today we caught up with Sky Sawers one of the youths who attended the conference. He told us what the experience was like.

Teachers Receive Training To Become better Educators
Teachers are receiving much needed assistance in Mathematics, Language Arts, and Assessment strategies to aid them in imparting knowledge to their students through creative strategies. The program, known as the Continuous Professional Development “C. P. D” takes place annually in order for teachers to receive credits. However, this year the approach differed since teachers were given the opportunity to table the areas they would like to receive assistance in. Over one hundred and fifty teachers sat in the classrooms of San Francisco Roman Catholic School to learn new ways in which they can assist their students to excel academically. Zoila Sutherland, Facilitator, Assessment for Learning “It has been great very fruitful the teachers have been exposed to more strategies on how to access student learning in all the areas of teaching. They have been learning how to use what they already know and to implement new strategies for assessment. In our section because it is assessment for learning many of us have been used to the traditional form of assessment where we do test quizzes you know just typical BJAT, PSE style multiple choice questions and in this particular session we are learning about other strategies on how to help students especially the ones who have a little problem in getting along you know these good grades that all students want to have.

Working, While Learning Civic Pride
One hundred students will be receiving much needed financial assistance here in Orange Walk Town. After a successful Fiestarama 2013, ten thousand dollars from the proceeds of the event was set aside by the Orange Walk Town Council for a student summer work program. While the amount may not be a lot, it will definitely come a long way. Students are being paid $100.00 for one week of work, but for the council, it’s not about the money, it’s about teaching students civic pride. Kevin Bernard, Mayor, OWTC “Yes some of the proceeds of Fiesta Rama we normally budget about ten thousand dollars for us to be able to assist one hundred students on a two week of program and how we do is that we have fifty students coming in the first week and then another fifty students coming in the second week. All of this is just to simply to assist the young people to have a small stipend to help them to cover some of their school expense, sometimes they may need a few school books and you know so this helps alleviate some of the cost the parents have to be finding to spend for this school expenses. You will see if you look around town right now because the students are all in different areas working in San Lorenzo Housing site, were putting up street signs, we have some that are working at the Union Town Park, some working at the Sandy Field Park, some working at the Nature Park as well we try to involve the issue if civic pride so that they too become and take ownership of their town, when we get young people involved into these types of activities it gives them a sense of ownership and so that is the reason why we said that immediately after the Fiesta Rama we are going to assist these students and give them that opportunity.”

Building Of Fence Causes Uproar In O/W East
A fence built in the middle of what was thought to be a street has prompted angry confrontations, calls to the Lands and Survey Department, the Orange Walk Town Council, and a stop order. Many believe that the area you are currently viewing on your television screen is a street, but truly its not, it’s a ten foot alley joining Ciricote and May Flower Street. A barbed wire fence now demarcates the alley from a piece of land belonging to Miguel Gongora. The same land that was once thought formed part of the alley giving access to vehicles passing through the area. With the building of the fence there is limited space for vehicles to travel through the area, at least when it comes to ten wheeler trucks. This is apparently causing trouble in the neighborhood, so much so that even the Orange Walk Town Council has had to intervene. Kevin Bernard, Mayor, OWTC “We have this gentle man who approached the council, one Mr. Gongora who had a request for us to look at his scenario or his case where his property lies, what we would call a street right now, people would assume that he is wanting to build in the middle of the street, however, he had conducted his own personal survey and he had also requested that a survey be done. We have done our research in Belmopan and we have gotten the maps and we have actually saw and it is evidence that this gentleman property the street was somehow placed in the middle of this man property or part of his property, what we are doing right now is that we have gathered all the evidence and I want to say yes it is the man’s property but I have instructed the council through our valuation department to put a hold on the construction that is taking place while the gentleman has all the right to build in his property we believe because of the fact that it was a road that was there and initially it should have been a ten feet alley way, I understand from many years ago this issue had come up, I was going back to some people that worked at the council and so they were providing me with some of the information on that matter. I understand that one of the residents did gave I think five feet of his property to the council to use as the or for part of the road but that was for his convenience as well because of some big trucks travels through the area now this other individual Mr. Gongora has said that he wants to build and he wants to use his property and he has paid for his property, his title.”

Divers Search For Body Of Missing Orange Walkeno In The New River
The news that a body was in the New River near the San Estevan Bridge here in Orange Walk, spread like wild fire yesterday. When we visited the scene no one was in area. However, this morning our news room received a call informing us that the family of 32 year old Elias Ku was combing the river in search of his body. Ku left home on the 3rd of August wearing a red and black shirt, jeans pants and red tennis shoes. It was not unusual for him to stay away from home for days. But yesterday, Ku’s family became worried when they were informed that his black and red shirt and red tennis shoes was found around the riverside by Independence Park. It is believed that Ku was drinking in the area on Tuesday morning along with some friends when he fell into the river. His family was not informed about his disappearance until Tuesday night when a search for his body was immediately launched but to no avail. And the same can be said for yesterday and today.


13 Bills introduced in the House of Representatives, PAC Special Motion Rejected
After five months of no meetings, the House of Representatives met in the Capital City at the National Assembly building today. Thirteen bills were introduced. Among those was the Customs and Excise duties amendment bill. That bill addressed the increase in import duties for flour since there are now...

PM shares his sentiments on the CCJ ruling
The recent ruling handed down by the CCJ on a settlement deed made back in March of 2005, resolved ongoing litigation on the settlement deed drafted by the former PUP administration with BCB Holdings and Belize Bank Limited. As a part of the agreement, the Aschroft group would withdraw...

Results of the Belize National Survey on Micronutrients Biomarkers have been released
The results of the Belize National Survey on Micronutrients Biomarkers have been released. The major findings indicate that Belize has a very low prevalence of the lack of Vitamin A intake, while the recommended level of Folic Acid and Vitamin B12 intake is not satisfactory. The survey conducted during...

Medical records and hospital biohazards discovered abandoned hospital
On Tuesday, a story broke about personal medical records and hospital biohazards which were discovered in an old abandoned hospital in San Ignacio According to Nancy Marin, upon scouting for tentative ghost locations for video shooting in San Ignacio, she came upon an old abandoned building in the centre...

Caribbean Development Bank Youth and Community Transformation Project Loan Motion introduced in the House
The Caribbean Development Bank Youth and Community Transformation Project Loan Motion was also introduced at Wednesday’s sitting of the House. This is a 5 million 200 thousand dollar loan which is to be used in the fight to reduce vulnerability of children and youth to crime and gang especially...

Labour Commissioner’s report on firings at the Kolbe Foundation to be presented to PM
Tonight, we take a close look at the Labour Commissioner’s report on recent firings at the Kolbe Foundation. Between December 30, 2012 and June 19, 2013… six months… a total of thirty Three employees were no longer employed with Kolbe Foundation at the Belize Central Prison. That high turnover...

PUP presents candidates for next election
The next election of any kind is more than a year away. But in Belize, electioneering never truly takes a break. Having come close in last year’s general election, the People’s United Party (PUP) has been heavily...

US Missionaries plan to return despite injuries after attempted robbery
“We’re going back to Belize. There’s no doubt in my mind about that,” – these are the words of the US missionary who he and his wife narrowly escaped death a couple weeks ago. What was supposed to be an ordinary trip to their home in Valley of Peace...

Taiwan donates to National Celebrations Commission
It may not seem like it, but the September Celebrations are literally weeks away. Belizeans will soon fill the parks and line the streets to mark the 32nd anniversary of national independence and the 215th anniversary of the event that occasioned the birth of the nation, the Battle of...

Children learn about water conservation
The Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage and Belize Environmental Law and Policy Office (BELPO) are teaming up for community education on natural resources. Following on from visits to schools during the school year, the organizations today began a three-day summer camp in Belize City to teach the...

The Guardian

$20 Million for National Bank
On Wednesday the House of Representatives approved an injection of $20 million into the state owned National Bank of Belize Limited. The Government of Belize established the National Bank in April of this year. It will operate under the motto “Of the People for the People” and will provide loans at concessionary rates to public officers and low income Belizean families. According to Prime Minister Barrow, “The mission of the bank is principally to make residential mortgage and other consumer loans available to lower and middle income Belizeans and in particular public servants and teachers at cheaper rates than are being offered in the market.” The bank is estimated to start lending at an average of 6.5% on the reducing balance of loans. The $20 million approved by the House is only startup capital as the authorized share capital of the institution is $100 million. The Bank will eventually be divided into 1 million shares at $100 per share. The immediate goal of the institution is to expand the home-owning community by focusing primarily on mortgage loans. The Bank will also accept deposits and eventually expand its loan portfolio to finance small businesses and other developmental causes. Government’s $20 million is a subscription to 200,000 shares in the company.

Land for Lake I
Over one hundred residents of the Lake Independence constituency anxiously waited at the constituency office for Area Representative, Hon. Mark King, at the corner of Periwinkle and Mahogany Streets. They sat and patiently awaited the arrival of Hon. King and despite it being a more than usual waiting period, it was all worthwhile. Immediately on his arrival, the reason for the patients was made clear. Hon. King arrived in the company of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture, Hon. Gapar Vega. The two ministers then made it to the head of the gathering and after a few greetings it was on to the business of the day. One hundred and sixteen brown manila envelopes waited on the table and after speeches by Hon. Mark King and Hon. Gaspar Vega 116 names were called. People in the division were either getting their land titles or purchase price for their piece of land.

Nobody wants Luke
He has surfaced as perhaps the biggest and most monumental failure as a businessman in the country and now Luke Espat is seeking to be a full time politician. It is a wonder why it is that this man having failure after failure under his belt now wants to run for electoral politics. When the announcement was made last week it seemed almost like a joke, but now he is pressing forward and is going on the media circuit to officially make the announcement and to show his face to all and sundry. What Luke fails to realize is that his arrogant ways and his ‘steppish’ behavior is frowned upon not only by those who look on, but by those who know him very well. People like his party leader, Francis Fonseca, treat him like a leper. There is great reason for this attitude to be taken against Espat. Just about every single venture that he has been involved with has been an utter failure. His failures began as far back as the early ‘90’s when he was involved in the construction of houses near mile 4 on the George Price Highway. But no sooner had those buildings being erected than they began to sink, yes, slowly and surely the building are making their way into the ground. Leaning houses are all that remain of that development, so much so that people refer to that area as ‘Leanaville’. Still there are persons who paid for those houses and had to abandon them shortly after taking up residence, being left with nothing but a bill.

You are not Excused!
Listening to the House Meeting on Wednesday and Said Musa’s reaction to the Caribbean Court of Justice, with him saying “I accept full responsibility,” simply won’t cut it. But then again, this is Said Musa, and not very much could have been expected of him. For him to simply say that it was his fault and then to try to justify that he had broken the law is simply inexcusable. Most would have expected him to say, “I resign, because I did the country wrong.” Instead he went into a drawn out explanation as to why he put the country in the predicament where it almost cost tax payers 88 million dollars.

Julius needs to attend Parliamentary School
It has been 17 months since the last general elections; shortly after the elections Julius Espat was appointed as the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee. Since that time there has been absolutely nothing that has been accomplished by the committee because Julius Espat has been acting like a spoilt brat from the beginning of his tenure. He first unilaterally decided that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) should hold public hearings which he simply did not have the authority to do. After a back and forth with the other members, it was agreed that the public could be invited to listen to the hearings. After that wrench was removed Espat, again, unilaterally came up with an agenda for the committee when it is not his role to do so. Again that caused concern within the committee since it is the committee as a group that is responsible for coming up with the agenda. With that the work of the committee was put on hold. Then when it got off again, Julius again tried to limit the scope of work that the committee should do and again the members objected, asking that the work should be thorough and all encompassing to include the 10 years that the PUP was in office. We are sure that Espat is shirking away from that because his name is sure to come up if ever the committee is to begin the work.

New Basketball Arena for Belize
Funds have finally been approved for the construction of a new national basketball facility for Belize. The House of Representatives granted Government permission to enter into a loan agreement with the Caribbean Development Bank for US$5.2 million. Prime Minister Barrow said, “the purpose of the loan is to improve citizen and community security in Belize City,” and the objective of the project is to “reduce vulnerability of children and youth to crime and gang membership in the Collet, Lake I, Pickstock and Port Loyola Divisions of Belize City”.

Corozal DAVCO elected
Also holding DAVCO elections on Sunday August 4th, were the newly elected Village Councils of the Corozal District. They held their Annual General Meeting, at the Libertad Community Center where elections were held for the new board of the Corozal branch of DAVCO.

Orange Walk DAVCO elected
On Saturday, August 3rd, the newly elected Village Councils of the Orange Walk District held their annual general meeting, at the Banquitas House of Culture. The highlight of the AGM was the election of the new board of the District Association of Village Councils (DAVCO), Orange Walk Branch. The Board consists of 12 members.

Rolling out M.O.R.E from Pilot School
A two day workshop under the Belize Teacher Leadership Project BTLP ended on Tuesday of this week at the George Price Center for Peace and Development in Belmopan. The workshop was facilitated by curriculum designer Doctor Jennifer Morrrow. In attendance for both Monday and Tuesday were Principals of Schools and other leaders from the Educational Sector.

Sneak a Peek Dolores
Does Dolores Balderamos Garcia go about her day looking to see people as they are urinating? It certainly does appear that way as she described having seen the Mace Bearer for the National Assembly whom she says she saw urinating on the street. And as she went about being petty and small minded about the episode there was quick interjection by members of government who pointed out to her that matters that she should have been addressing ought to have been of national importance. If she believed that what the Mace Bearer did was inappropriate, she should have brought it to the attention of the Speaker of the House who would have handled it as a staff matter.

Belize Police Officers Meet in El Salvador
Three high ranking members of the Belize Police Department have just returned to the Country after a week of training in El Salvador. Deputy Commander of the San Ignacio Police Formation Reymundo Reyes, Christopher Noble, Officer in Charge of Ladyville and Corporal W Mclaughlin from the Corozal Police Formation, were out of the country for almost two weeks learning how to improve in-Country Community Policing oriented programs. The three police officers left the country on July 15th and returned on July 28th 2013.

Block Party in Belmopan
It is not election season, but that does not mean that Hon. John Saldivar is not active in his constituency. Over the past few weeks he’s been holding community meetings in various areas throughout his constituency. He says that the goal is to have interaction with his people in order to get a feel for and to help them in whichever way it is possible. At this point in time, as he goes around, he says that the major concern is parents preparing for their children to go back to school. He added that as much as possible he tries to help as many of his constituents as he possibly can.

Belmopan Area Representative Donates $3,000 for Computers to El Shaddai Seventh Day Adventist Primary School
Minister of National Security and Area Representative for Belmopan, Hon. John Saldivar, in conjunction with the Reconstruction Development Corporation (RECONDEV), has donated $3,000 to El Shaddai Seventh Day Adventist Primary School in Belmopan to assist in purchasing computers for the school.

Touring Our Belize Pt. 3
Last week I wrote about a few of the marvelous attractions that make Placencia Belize’s Destination of the Year. This week you will read of a destination that is even more relaxing but just as beautiful and fun, Hopkins Village. Most of the members of the press team had never been to the cultural haven and based on their reviews most will make a return trip very soon.

Darrington Williams Jr. Meets Ex with New Man and Loses His Cool
47-year-old Darrington Williams Jr. pleaded guilty to harm for beating up his ex-common-law-wife on Saturday, August 3rd. According to Shawna Armstrong, Williams arrived at her home on Consuelo Street and an argument started between them. She said Williams grabbed her by the hair and hit her all over the body. She said her face was swollen after the incident and her lip was burst. She visited the hospital and a doctor classified her injuries as harm. In court Williams admitted that he harmed Armstrong. He said that he was upset because he met her with another man and that provoked his actions. He pleaded guilty to the charge of harm and begged Magistrate Dale Cayetano for leniency. Cayetano imposed a non-custodial sentence since it was Williams’ first offense. He was fined $1,000 plus $5 cost of court which he must pay by November 30th of this year or serve one year in prison.

Sandhill Woman Assaulted after Hitching Ride with Stranger
A 31-year-old woman from Sandhill Village became victim of a sexual attack when she hitched a ride with a stranger sometime after 3:30 a.m. Friday, August 2nd. The woman alleges that she was waiting near the Pallotti bus stop for a friend who was to pick her up but decided to take a ride from a man who was driving what she believed to be a church van. According to the woman, she got in and a few minutes later the driver asked if she had any problem with him stopping in Belama to drop off money for a cousin. She said, “No Problem.” The driver then turned into Thomas Vincent Ramos Street into Albert Hoy Street, stopped at George Arthurs Street and drove into an open lot. He then exited the vehicle, walked over to the passenger’s side where the woman was sitting and opened her door. He then attempted to touch her breast but the woman refused and a struggle ensued. She started to shout out for help and someone in the area heard and called the police. The man got into the van and drove off but not before taking away her cellular phone and gold chain. The police arrived at the area soon after the incident and the woman was escorted to the Belama Police Station where she made a report. The driver of the van was identified as 26-year-old computer technician. He was arrested and charged with one count of aggravated assault and one count of theft. In the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, August 6th, Eusey appeared unrepresented before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton and pleaded not guilty to the charges. Bail was granted in the sum of $1,000 plus one surety of the same amount but he was first ordered to pay an outstanding fine before the court for traffic offenses and drug possession. Eusey is due to appear back in court on September 6th.

Shawn Locke Gets 18 Years for Manslaughter
On Thursday, August 1st, 20-year-old Shawn Locke pleaded guilty to killing Edgar Monteagudo in April of 2010. According to reports, on April 17, 2010, Locke was approached by the Monteagudo and his nephew. The two men started an argument with Locke and a fight broke out. The men were beating up Locke and that was when he pulled out a knife and stabbed Monteagudo and his cousin. Monteagudo was stabbed several times and later succumbed to his injuries. Locke was originally charged with murder but after being on remand for more than three years he decided to accept guilt for a lesser charge of manslaughter. Justice Herbert Lord listened to mitigation plea on Locke’s behalf on Friday, August 2nd. Locke seemed very remorseful about his action during mitigation plea. He said, “If the situation was to repeat itself, I would act differently. Back then, I acted rashly, impulsively without giving it a thought.” He further told the judge that after three years on remand he has had time to think. He also stated that he has been heavily involved in programs behind the prison. Judge Lord took all those factors into consideration before handing down his sentence. A man convicted of manslaughter can be sentenced to a maximum of life and a minimum of 18 years. Justice Lord sentenced Locke to the minimum sentence of 18 years in prison and granted remission for the three years already spent on remand. With good behavior, Locke could possibly be released after serving half of the remaining 15 years of his sentence.

Khalid El Turk Free to Go
Khalid El Turk appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court for his extradition hearing on Monday, August 5th, and was relieved when Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith ruled that “the United States and [Government of Belize] have not made out a prima facie case for the extradition of EL Turk to the United States of America and he must therefore be discharged and is free to go”. El Turk is accused by the United States of being “part of a group that illegally shipped pseudoephedrine from Bangladesh to Belize, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico for use in the manufacture of Methamphetamine.” He is wanted in the U.S. for charges of conspiracy in the importation of pseudoephedrine and importation of pseudoephedrine. El Turk was detained on October 18, 2012 on the strength of a provisional warrant and an extradition request was presented to the Belize Embassy in Washington D.C. on November 30, 2012. In court El Turk’s attorneys, Edwin Flowers and Anthony Sylvester, challenged the extradition based on the requirement that the offence being committed must be against the laws of both countries. Flowers submitted that the two offences El Turk is charged with do not exist in the Laws of Belize. Chief Magistrate Smith agreed with the defense and ruled that “the offences do not amount to extraditable offences in Belize”. She also pointed out that the bundle of documents presented by United States was not signed and certified by Belize’s principal diplomatic officer residing in that country which is required by the extradition treaty. Smith said, “I would advise The United States to comply with the strict requirements of Article 7 of the Extradition Treaty.”

Stephanie Vargas Claims Self Defense for Stabbing Man with Scissors
36-year-old Stephanie Vargas was granted bail after she appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court for aggravated assault and wounding upon Dixon Gamboa. Vargas, a cook residing at the corner of Victoria Street and New Road, is being accused of stabbing Gamboa with a scissors on Saturday, August 3rd. She appeared without legal representation in front of Magistrate Dale Cayetano on Tuesday, August 6th, and pleaded not guilty to the charges. Prosecutor in the case, Cpl. Noel Muschamp, did not object to bail of $1,000 plus one surety of the same amount. Vargas is to return to court on September 25th of this year. She claims that Gamboa and another man were inside her house and their advances forced her to defend herself. Magistrate Cayetano told her to save the explanation for when the matter goes to trial.

Taxi Driver dies in traffic accident in Cayo
Forty eight year old Belizean taxi driver Adolfo Ventura from the Cayo District has died as a result of a traffic accident he was involved in on July 31, 2013. Ventura was driving alone in his taxi from Bullet Tree Falls to San Ignacio when his taxi overturned near a metal bridge in the periphery of Bullet Tree Falls. Villager Jorje Landero reported that he had heard a loud noise coming from the metal bridge. Landero went to the area and observed an overturned blue in color Toyota Corolla in a ditch on the left hand side of the metal bridge. Several persons came to render assistance to Adolfo Ventura as he was temporarily trapped behind the steering wheel of an extensively damaged vehicle. Villagers eventually managed to take Ventura out of the vehicle, and he was transported to the San Ignacio Town Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. A post mortem examination conducted by Doctor Mario Estradabran last Thursday has since revealed that the cause of death was due to head injuries sustained as a result of the road traffic accident.

Jorge Vidal Acquitted of 2005 Murder
Contreras was killed on Benque Centro America Street on December 23rd, 2005. Reports are that the deceased left a party at Erwin Contreras’s home at around 2:00 a.m. Witnesses’ statements revealed that prior to the murder an argument was heard between Vidal and the deceased outside the house. Contreras was beaten to death and Vidal was arrested and charged for his murder. Vidal was acquitted based on a technicality. Justice Hanomansingh ruled that the committal for Vidal to stand trial in the Supreme Court was improper in law because it was not signed by Magistrate Richard Swift. The evidence shows that Magistrate Swift, who is deceased, signed the recognizance of all the witnesses but the certificate of committal to trial was signed by Magistrate Earl Jones for Richard Swift. Note that Jones took over the case in 2008. Hanomansingh ruled that one cannot sign for a dead man; therefore, the committal was unlawful and Vidal is acquitted of the charge. The prosecutor in this case was Senior Crown Counsel Cecil Ramirez. Ramirez had 11 witnesses to be called in the case including Minister Erwin Contreras, cousin of the deceased, who identified the body of his relative and provided a statement to police. Vidal was represented by Michael Peyreffitte.

Belize to VIII Pan American Women’s Softball Championship
The Belize Softball Federation will participate in the VIII Pan American Women’s Softball Championship scheduled for Guaynabo, Puerto Rico from August 9-19, 2013. The VIII Pan American Women’s Softball Championship will serve as the qualifying tournament for the XXII Central American and Caribbean Games scheduled for November 2014 in Vera Cruz, Mexico, and the XVII Pan American Games scheduled for Toronto, Canada in 2015. The following countries Argentina, Aruba, Belize, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Island, United States of America and Venezuela will compete in the VIII Pan American Women’s Softball Championship. The Pan American Championship will qualify five countries excluding the host country Mexico to the XXII Central American and Caribbean Games and five countries excluding the host country Canada to the XVII Pan American Games. Belize will be represented at the games by Francine Hoare, Lanisha Jones, Kenreen Gillett, Patricia Spain, Patricia Thimbrel, Molly Coye, Greta Davis, Elaine Humes, Shadalee Ho, Sharette Vernon, Naricia Frazer, Lisa Jones, Lydia Cacho, Barbara Cadle, Marsha Will, Joline Davis and Chanica Anderson. The coaches are Gregory Moguel, Nelberth Flowers and Keith Madrill. Mr. Jude Lizama the 1st Vice President of the Belize Softball Federation is the leader of the delegation to the games.

Atlantic Bank and Belize Bank lead in Firms Basketball competition
The Belize District Basketball Association Firms Competition for 2013 continued on Saturday August 3, at the Bird’s Isle here in Belize City. In the first game played, Customs edged BTL by the score of 74-72 in double overtime. The top scorers for Customs were Winston Pratt with 29 points, 12 rebounds and a steal, Kevin Lorenzo with 16 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist and 3 steals, and Oliver Solis with 8 points, 3 rebounds and 3 steals. For BTL, their top scorers were Devon Lozano with 23 points, 2 rebounds and a steal, Jordan Santos with 13 points, and Edward Thompson also with 13 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal. In the second game played, Central Health won handily over Sprite by the score of 63-46. The top scorers for Central Health were Steven Wade with 23 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist and 5 steals, Neil Nicholson with 14 points, 3 rebounds and 6 steals, and Lonnie Trapp with 13 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist and 3 steals. Meanwhile, the top scorers for Sprite were Darren Neal with 16 points, and 9 rebounds, and Troy Williams with 14 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal. And in the final game of the day, Ready Call defeated PUC by the score of 52-41. The top scorers for Ready Call were Aaron Baptist with 10 points, and 3 rebounds, and Ensworth Ztul with 9 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals. For PUC, the top scorers were Andrew Robateau with 13 points, 7 rebounds and a steal, and Ian Haylock Jr. with 9 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists.

Belize Cycling Association National Elections set
The Interim Committee of the Belize Cycling Association is pleased to inform the general populace that the Election Commission of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association has confirmed that the elections for the Belize Cycling Association’s National Executive has been scheduled for Saturday August 31, 2013 at the UWI Open Campus on Princess Margaret Drive commencing at 2:00 pm. The Interim Committee takes this opportunity to remind those zones that have not yet submitted their list of delegates to do some no later than

PE workshop under way for primary school teachers
The National Sports Council in partnership with the Teacher Education Development Services TEDS) of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, and in collaboration with Caribbean Sport and Development Agency is currently conducting a Physical Education workshop entitled “ Effective planning and teaching of Physical Education at the primary school level” for teachers in the Belize District. The Physical Education workshop is being conducted by Kavelle Deonanan, Marlon Ali and Andre Collins of the Caribbean Sport and Development Agency based in Trinidad & Tobago. The Physical Education workshop commenced on Monday August 5, and will conclude on Friday August 9, 2013. The morning sessions at held at the Maud Williams High School and the afternoon sessions are conducted at the Rogers Stadium. The workshop includes both theory and practical sessions. The teachers are being exposed to current best practices in Physical Education and also to the CARICOM Standards as mandated by that regional organisation.

Mangy Dog? or Dead Dog? That is the Question
The most loyal, the most loving pets in the world, dogs are also now one of the biggest pests of our country. There is no denying that as puppies they are the most adorable animals alive. But as they begin to lose their soft fur, their baby fat and start getting big, most Belizeans tend to lose interest and as the interest is lost, so is the dog. No one worries if the pet lives, dies or if it eats or not. The dog then roams the city, bursting people’s garbage bags to get food or walk around town looking all stink, dirty and thin. Everywhere you turn in the city it seems that you see homeless dogs. You may be asking why this topic was chosen for discussion today but unlike people, animals cannot defend themselves. Their natural behavior is to procreate. They on their own cannot reason and decide to have fewer children. I thus believe that we should encourage the eradication of stray dogs and neuter or spay the ones that belong to the civilians in order to control the suffering dog population. It has been theorized that the dog population in a country is a sign of its economic wealth. The more control of the animal strays the wealthier a nation is. It has even been concluded that tourists prefer visiting nations were there are little to no strays. Hence the reason why nations that conduct the Olympic Games usually eradicate dogs and cats weeks before the games are hosted. Belize, in general, needs to adopt this method of control. The fewer dogs we have the more we are able to take care of them and appreciate them.

Loco Motion
As usual I enjoyed the meeting of the House of Representatives held on Wednesday 7 August, which was spirited, informative and exciting. And again, as usual, the Espat from Cayo was brassy and boisterous with his trademark habit of grandstanding in an attempt to score political points, not by dazzling us with his brilliance, but by confusing us with his clatter. I was also pleased to hear the Speaker getting engaged in the debate regarding the Espat motion to change the Public Accounts Committee composition; I think he was reasoned in his clarification of the Standing Orders regarding the motion, and even managed to convince Mr. Musa to agree with him that Espat was out of order. That was indeed interesting to me, especially when Espat was asked whom he thought he was, to always declare that he spoke on behalf of the people of Belize! In that last regard, I say this loud and clear to the man who got the government property on Regent Street for a pittance from the PUP Government and then promptly resold it for millions---you, sir, do not speak for me and will never do so once you represent a political Party that is rotted to the core.

Rotaract Club of San Ignacio Plans for Community Projects
The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio met at Meluchi’s Pub and Restaurant in San Ignacio Town on August 2nd to plan for several community development projects in the Cayo Area; this comes just one week after a successful dance ‘Rave at the Grave’ also held at Meluchi’s. A main goal of the dance was to raise funds to finance a community project in rural Cayo. A primary focus at this time for the Rotaract Club is to carry out, during the last weekend of this month, a project to send ‘an entire village to school’. The Village of choice for this project is Yalbac; for the great educational needs now existing in that village. The idea to support the children in Yalbac Village first came from Secretary of the Rotary Club of San Ignacio, Susie Patrick; after which it was widely accepted by the Rotaract members. The Rotaract Club in San Ignacio is also considering to assist other communities in the Cayo area. In Cristo Rey Village, the Rotaract Club has an ongoing program to lend books to High School students after which the books are returned and re-lent to other High School Students. The Rotaract Club also plans to join forces with the Cornerstone Foundation in San Ignacio to paint benches and tables at the Mount Carmel Primary School in Benque Viejo del Carmen. Also, the Rotaract Club intends to have a clean-up campaign to beautify the Macal River Bank by the Wooden Bridge in San Ignacio.

Eulogy - Dorla Eugenia Stuart - September 22nd 1941 - July 26th, 2013
Dorla Stuart Our mother, Dorla Eugenia was born on September 22,1941, the fourth child of her mother, lva Quallo and her father Paul Reneau. Her elder siblings were Avis, Marion and Dalton. Marion died at a relatively early age, and then her father when she was nine years of age. She shared that after that occurrence, my grandmother married the kitchen, made every conceivable food from flour to provoide for her, my uncle and herself. Her sister Avis, the eldest, was working at the Printing Press, which was then located at Church Street and Duck Lane, currently the site of BTL Offices. On com-pletion of her primary education at Wesley School at the age of fourteen, she became a pupil teacher. Teaching was her vocation that continued for forty-two years until her retirement in 1996. Many of her pupils, teaching colleagues, relatives, friends and neighbours continued to address or inquire of her as Teacher Dorla.

The Reporter

A true Democracy needed
This week the PM took the bold step of pretty much red lighting the Norwegian Cruise Project. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding will open the gates for the initiation of this project at a time when the country is facing massive unemployment and an economy that is in [...]

Foreign mediation fails to resolve Egypt’s crisis
International efforts to resolve the political crisis which followed the ousting of Mohammed Morsi have failed, Egypt’s interim presidency says.

Obama cancels talks with Putin ahead of G-20 summit
President Barack Obama formally canceled a much-discussed visit to Moscow next month for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, citing a lack of progress in bilateral relations since Putin regained the presidency a year ago.

Does cracking knuckles cause arthritis?
Cracking of joints, also referred to as “popping”, is a form of joint manipulation that produces a popping or cracking sound, as may occur during knuckle-cracking, a deliberate action.

Belize Bank, Atlantic Bank & Central Health win in Firms basketball
The Belize Bank Bulldogs, Atlantic Bank, Belize City Council, Customs Department Central Health Region and Ready Call all enjoyed victories when the Belize District firms’ basketball competition continued at Bird’s Isle in Belize City on Friday and Saturday nights, August 2-3.

Jose Choto & Giovanni Lovell win Belmopan Criterium
Jose Choto of the Belikin Western Spirits team won the elite category while Giovanni Lovell of the Telemedia team won the junior category of the Belmopan Cycling Criterium organized by the Belmopan City Council as part of Belmopan Day activities on Saturday, August 3.


Stormy Skies, Belizean Chocolate and Our New Ghetto Air Conditioner
The weather all week has been incredibly warm and humid. It’s surprising the difference a few degrees makes. For the past few days, we have been flirting with the 90 degree mark and even the locals are complaining about the heat. This morning the first rain clouds have rolled over the island. Relief! The rain hit on my way home from CrossFit which made it necessary to duck into the Belize Chocolate Factory for a while. I’m pretty sure that Drew, my CrossFit coach, said something about eating chocolate after a work out… I can’t remember the exact words he used. Was it these? I have gone on and on about how I love Kakaw Chocolate and this shop. But my friend Jamie loves it that much more. She wants to go every day. The chocolate smell…the air conditioner…the new chocolate tea we just discovered that tastes like hot cocoa with a bit of milk and sugar…the delicious buttery buttery chocolate chip cookies..the cutest souvenirs…”the best chocolate shake I’ve ever had”, we can spend some serious time at the chocolate factory. Here are some pictures…

Old School Belizean Fresco
Fresco is the same thing as snow cones. In Belize we top it off with sweetened condensed milk. These four flavored syrups are homemade.

“Have You Forgotten” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Yesterday started as most days do for me (do not interpret this as a complaint – just saying). Up early and on the veranda with my mug of coffee and the iPad. A quick read of The Times and then I turned my attention to ‘knocking out’ the edition of the blog. After showering, shaving and getting dressed (decisions, decisions what shorts do I wear) I decided to treat myself with a breakfast at Estel’s so I got in to our relatively clean golf cart and drove to Estel’s only to find that they had the temerity to shut for the day. But this was Wednesday and Estel’s only closes on a Tuesday. Was the world ending ( OK, so I sound a bit like a drama queen but … I was really looking forward to my breakfast). Disappointed I returned home (well to the condo we are renting during our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize) and made breakfast which I ate on the veranda. Not Estel’s but it could have been a lot worse! I then caught up on emails and was pleased to find that Atlantic International Bank had accepted the documentation I had provided to prove the ‘source of funds’ and the money I had transferred from the UK had been credited to my account. Hooray. We now have money to spend!

International Sources

Cassidy and Spencer work to build school library in Belize
Returning from their trip to Belize, Spencer Fauver and Cassidy Labrum have much to report. Last February, some may remember that they were raising money to help build a school in the small community of Corozal, Belize. The experience of helping the people there was a life-changing one. Although the weather was hot usually around 100 degrees with 95 percent humidity, and the work was challenging, they dug footers, poured cement foundation and built cinderblock walls for the Calcutta Government School to add a small library and computer lab. They had many exciting experiences where they participated in jungle zip-lining, cave tubing, and visiting ancient Mayan ruins. The most rewarding experience for both Spencer and Cassidy was when the school children held an assembly to thank all the volunteers by presenting each of them with a coffee mug stamped with Belize.

Collective carries the beat of Belize
Although the pioneer of the soulful Garifuna musical genre has passed on, his collaborators will evoke his legacy in performance at MacArthur Park. In his native Belize, Andy Palacio is frequently compared to another lion of Afro-Caribbean music, Bob Marley. Like Marley, Palacio was an artistic pioneer and prophet of a musical genre shaped by the cross-currents of colonialism and slavery, yet characterized by the music's spirit of alternately joyous and plaintive resiliency. And, like Marley, Palacio was cut down in his prime, at 47, in 2008, after suffering a series of small strokes. His passing was a harsh blow for Garifuna music, a soulful blend of African percussion and elegant guitar-driven melodies. Built around frank but poetic ruminations about daily life's challenges, the music expresses the endangered cultural traditions of the Garifuna, or Garinagu, people, descendants of shipwrecked African slaves and Carib Indians who began migrating to Honduras, Nicaragua, Belize and the American South in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Single Gals Guide to Belizean Bliss
No matter how many years it has been since your passport saw a new stamp, this is the time of year when people dream of shaking off the spring break hangover and crave getting out of dodge; preferably somewhere with palm trees, warm sun and warm water. There's nothing more soothing than a daydream set on an exotic island, but taking a real vacation solo can sometimes feel overwhelming and scary. I set out to prove the myths wrong. As a single girl, desperate to escape the city, I planned my own Eat. Pray. Love adventure - my destination? Belize! Belize is an adventure lover’s paradise and a romantic couple rendezvous hot spot, but this single gal set out to peel back the layers of this tropical wonderland. Can I, a single girl make it in this rugged, raw, romantic country? After a 2.5-hour flight directly from Houston I touch down in Belize City. I step off of the plane and the warm sticky air clings to my skin. Although it is hot, it feels like a warm hug from grandma, welcoming and safe. I leave Belize City and head southwest, deep into the country. Bite-sized villages are sprinkled along the roadside. The country is lush and green, with palm groves, bananas and citrus trees. We pass avid cyclist, children playing in the fields, and fruit stands overflowing with mangoes.

Impoverished Village Rich in Authentic Community
I met a lot of friendly people in the little village of Gales Point in Belize, not the least of whom was Jay. Each morning we would cross Southern Lagoon in a boat and disembark in Jay's back yard, and he would usually be there to greet us with a big smile. He would pose for pictures with his two pet coatimundi (a relative of the raccoon), answer questions and talk to us for as long as we wanted, which unfortunately wasn't very long as we had to move on to our work site. I wish I had had more time to learn his story, and in subsequent trips I will make sure to do so, but what I know has caused me to do a lot of thinking – and re-thinking. Jay is an American, and, as far as I could see, the only Caucasian in the entire village. He met his wife, Myrtle, who is a native of Gales Point, in the U.S., and they married in the late '90s and have a young son.

Manatee tracking monitor for Belize
Keeping track of rehabilitated and released manatees in Belize

Breaking the Waves: Catlin Seaview Survey Digitizes the Endangered Oceans
Oceans cover more than two-thirds of the planet—and for most of us, that’s where the story ends. Our knowledge goes only as deep as the shimmering surface, even though the oceans in their full volume provide 90% of the habitable space on the planet. More than 95% of the underwater world remains unseen by human beings. It’s as if you tried to explore the entire land mass of Earth and only made it as far as Australia. It’s a great continent, but there’s a whole lot more out there. Still, there’s a reason why we know more about our local solar system than we do about the waters beneath us. Underwater ocean exploration is expensive, difficult and sometimes dangerous. The glimpses scientists do get of the undersea world are all too brief ones, just slices of time and space that offer only a glimpse of an ocean system that has enormous impact on the planet in everything from the food we eat to the way the climate is changing. Last year the director James Cameron made news by becoming the first person in decades to dive to the bottom of the Marianas Trench, the deepest spot on the planet, in a sub of his own design. Our understanding and management of the oceans is “very data poor,” as David Kline of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography puts it.

While on honeymoon in Belize woman discovers recipe for making chicken and now has won for Portland's Top 10 new food carts for 2013
If there's a new challenger as queen of Portland chicken carts, it's Tiffany Love, the enthusiastic owner (and cover girl) at Love Belizean. Love takes bone-in chicken, braises it in a mix of spices including garlic and achiote, then roasts the meat until its skin develops a sticky savoriness. Each piece comes in a box with dirty rice, an onion-rich Caribbean salsa, arugula salad, fresh lime and your pick from the rainbow of Marie Sharp's Belizean hot sauces. Love, who developed a passion for this dish while on her honeymoon in Belize, doesn't get too specific about how you garnish your chicken. I prefer to use the citrusy hot sauce as a dressing for the salad and rice, then use the salsa for the chicken, but you can mix and match however you like. And if you arrive in time, there's often tri tip with roasted red pepper -- it's often sold out by midday -- and you can finish off your meal with a rich pineapple upside-down cake.

Sanjay Gupta Makes Dramatic Apology About Weed
CNN's chief medical expert Sanjay Gupta announced Wednesday night that he has reversed his blanket opposition to marijuana use.

7 Useful Post Ideas for Your Own Photography Blog
Once most photographers become serious about their craft — whether they are amateur, professional, or something in between — they usually start thinking about starting a blog.

August 8, 2013


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Six contestants vie for the title of Miss San Pedro
The Miss San Pedro pageant is set for the 31st of August and anticipation is high following the announcement of the names of the six contestants vying for the prestigious title. The six contestants were presented to the media at a small gathering at the official sashing ceremony. The event was organized by the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) on Monday August 5th at El Divino Restaurant and the six contestants were accompanied by their parents and their main sponsors. The contestants are Miss Yanira Lara sponsored by Fido’s Restaurant and Bar, Miss Gabriela Varelasponsored by Jaguar’s Temple Nite Club, Jordana Segura sponsored by Ramon’s Village Resort, Venancia Choc sponsored by Captain Shark’s, Shantell Pascasio sponsored by Southwind Properties and Solani Graniel sponsored by Castillo’s Hardware. Speaking at the official sashing, Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero applauded the braveness of the six contestants and congratulated the sponsors for their support. “It is important for us at the SPTC to elect a queen every year. Let me say that all the contestants are queens, however only one can be Miss San Pedro. We want the contestants to have fun and enjoy the events leading up to the pageant. The SPTC has been working hard so that every year it becomes bigger and better. I just want to wish each of the contestants all the best,” said the Mayor.

Island Invasion- Summa Fling Pt ll -“Two Thumbs Up!!”
Fido’s Courtyard was the place to be on Friday, August 2nd and Saturday, August 3rd as King of the Island Promotions’ “Island Invasion- Summa Fling Ptll” brought out a line up of some of Belize’s best DJ’s to rock the crowd. DJ Zane, Air Invasion Sounds, Sovereign Sounds, DJ Julian (Blue Wave Sounds), DJ Kris and DJ Jago (Tagg International Sounds) all took the stage to deliver a night filled of musical madness to a crowd that would go on to party into the wee hours of the morning. With a general admission of $10.00BZ event doors were open to the influx of a massive crowd from 11AM-4PM, who all came out in good spirits to enjoy a night of good clean fun- island style.Drinks in hands and music booming, party goers danced the night away to everything from dancehall to pop, reggae to hip hop and R&B and everything in between. Even with so many events happening simultaneously across San Pedro Town, Summa Fling Ptll certainly managed to draw a very large crowd. By the end of the night (which in all technicality was morning) a sold out bar and jam packed dance floor were the signs of a very fun night indeed.

Saga moves to counter-attack Canine Distemper Virus on Ambergris Caye
The virus can be passed from one dog to another through fluids, by touching each other or by coming in contact with virus living on the ground,particularly in shady areas. According to Saga, distemper affects the dog’s brain and nervous system and can be fatal. It is also totally preventable. “Distemper virus is highly contagious in dog populations but is 100% preventable by having your pets vaccinated. The dogs that Saga is treating are pets that have never been vaccinated. For that reason we are encouraging pet owners that have dogs missing vaccinations to bring them in, since those are pets that are more vulnerable. The virus can be transmitted from dog to dog but not to humans. Once a dog is affected, we can provide them with antibiotics. However, in more chronic cases there is not much we can do and we will have to put down the dogs,” said Heather Beck, one of the Directors of the Saga Board of Directors. “Signs of infection include cold like symptoms, fever like symptoms, droopy eyes, and runny nose and in more extreme cases the pet gets violent seizure attacks. We begin to see symptoms seven to 10 days after the dog has had the virus.” added Beck. In most extreme cases, the dog wobbles from side to side when walking and eventually have continuous violent seizures until they eventually die.

Ambergris Today

Financial and Investment Consultancy Firm Opens in San Pedro
Flowers, Salazar and Associates (FSA) was just a dream 18 months ago, but became a reality with the vision of a few entrepreneurs who have come together to create a new professional firm in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, that will provide an essential service. On Wednesday, July 31, 2013, Flowers, Salazar and Associates celebrated its official inauguration and business blessing. FSA’s primary operation is to assist international clients who are interested in investing in Belize. Services rendered by FSA include facilitating the establishments of offshore and international bank accounts, permanent residency, incorporation of IBC’s and Trusts, purchase of land and any other services (financial or otherwise) that they may require. On the local scope of the business, services include land purchase agreements and transfers and in the future facilitate notarization of documents and offer legal advice as it relates to Belize.

Miss San Pedro Pageant Scheduled for August 31
"The pageant, which has become one of the biggest and most prestigious in the country, promises to be a great presentation of our newest queen," commented Mayor Daniel Guerrero. The contestants, along with their sponsors and family members were treated by the San Pedro Town Council and the pageant organizing committee with an evening of light hors d'oeuvres and refreshments. Activities leading up to pageant night, scheduled for Saturday, August 31, have already commenced and the six contestants have started their preparations.

Swim Splash Camp
Lighthouse Christian Radio Ministry with Casey Bartman - US National Team Triathlete bring to you Swim Splash Camp. * Water Safety for New Swimmers * Swim Techniques * All Strokes * Triathlon When: August 12, 13, 14, 2013 Where: Central Park Time: 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM Ages: 7 to 17 years old For more information, Lighthouse Christian Radio FM 101.3 at 226-4673

San Pedro AIDS Commission Thank You Letter
by Felix Ayuso. On behalf of the San Pedro AIDS Commission it gives me great pleasure to extend a heartfelt thank you to all those who in one way or another helped make El Show de Las Estrellas 3 a successful fundraising event. I applaud the members who worked hard to ensure the success of this affair and salute the “friends” of the AIDS Commission who lent a helping hand. Great job guys! You know who you are!

Misc Belizean Sources

Stamina Motivational Speech
Derek Anderson will lead a motivational presentation entitled 'Stamina' tomorrow at the UB auditorium starting at 1:00pm on Aug. 9th.

Galen Eagles Band at CWC
The Galen Eagles Band will be performing at the Cayo Welcome Center tonight at 7:00pm. They'll be heading over to Suriname soon to represent Belize in the Caribbean Festival of Arts. Go show your support, and hear some great music at the same time.

Belize National Song Competition
The National Song Competition will be this weekend. The joint effort by the The National Celebrations Commission,The Institute of Creative Arts and the Belize Tourism Board to get this year's national song are coming to the end. They'll be having the artists sing their songs this weekend, and will judge them live. Go to their website to hear the entries. You can vote for your favorite song.

Cayo BTIA Meeting at SIRH
The Cayo chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association is having a meeting today, and everyone is encouraged to attend. One of the main topics to be discussed is NCL's proposed cruise port in the south, which is causing a lot of concern for the future of eco-tourism in Belize. Larry Waight is the new chairman of the Cayo BTIA, and it looks like he'll get it active again. The meeting starts at 2:00pm in the Caracol room at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. Go show your support.

The National Chess Olympiad in Belize
Chess Olympiad includes 28 players from each district who had to compete in a district tournament to qualify for the National Olympiad. They are all winners

Channel 7

Musa And Fonseca In Crosshairs At Special House Sitting
The House of Representatives met today for the first time since March. There were 13 bills presented, so there was a lot of business to take care of – but what took up 75% of the day’s activity was debate over an unusual motion, a motion to, quote, “deplore and deprecate the actions of the member for Fort George and the Member for Freetown, while in government for…granting tax concessions entirely contrary to the laws of Belize.” End quote. That, of course, is all about the recent judgment from the Caribbean Court of Justice which ruled that a settlement deed they signed with the British Caribbean Bank was unlawful. The Government used a clever political maneuver to get it introduced into the House as a motion so that Musa and Fonseca who signed the document could be hammered, on the record and at close range in the House of Representatives. But, it wasn’t as easy as that; Musa and Fonseca launched their own counteroffensive which made for a feisty back and forth that lasted house. We’ve compressed some of the highlights into a 15 minute parliamentary punch-up:….

Hon. Julius’ Special Motion Rejected By Hon. Barrow
And he came back to support freshman parliamentarian Julius Espat who was trying to introduce a highly unusual motion to change the membership of the public accounts committee – so that it includes civil society representative. The prime minister told us he would fight it – and sure enough he did, but Espat fought back – and, in the end, many voices were raised, even the House Speaker’s! Here’s how that heated back and forth went:… Hon. Julius Espat - PUP Cayo South "It is something new for Belize, what we are trying to do here with this motion Mr. Speaker, is to propose a joint public accounts committee. Why are we asking for a proposed public accounts joint committee - it is because the public accounts committee has not functioned since 1981. Mr. Speaker this is a serious issue because all we hear and I am speaking on behalf of the Belizean people - is the bickering that we do here, back and forth but at the end of the day there is nothing concrete that we are proposing to be able to change the system so that we can stop what we're doing here. We need to start working for and on behalf the people of Belize, this is a serious motion we're doing and I am humbly requesting that 'daddy Barrow', the leader of the opposition and the honorable member from....(interrupted by UDP's) - we are not in the UK gentlemen, we are in Belize so he is 'Daddy Barrow' now. Daddy Barrow, who is Queen's Square area rep, I am humbly requesting from him that we seriously look at this issue to change the problems and the things that he has said about and we are asking to be changed so that we can stop speaking about them. The people of Belize need to be given the power to analyze it on their own."

Hon. Julius Vows To Fight On “Until He Dies”
After that quite resounding defeat, Espat stomped out of the House – and we thought he was calling it a day. But we found him just outside the chamber, he said he was just taking a break – but he isn’t taking any break on his campaign to bring transparency to public accounts:…. Jules Vasquez "The motion has been left on the floor- you're leaving the House meeting early?" Hon. Julius Espat - PUP Cayo South "No no, I'm taking a break." Jules Vasquez "You have to be extremely disappointed." Hon. Julius Espat "No, it was expected - it is the rule of the majority over the people of Belize that was shown in there and that is the problem." Jules Vasquez "If I infer properly into the words of the Leader of the Opposition - your leader - he seemed to have thrown you under the bus, he seemed to have conceded that there were considerable structural flaws and he would like us to find a work around."

SATIIM Staying In The Fight
We’ve reported very extensively on the recent judgment from the Court of Appeal on the Maya Land Rights case, and on the Government’s refusal to renew the co-management contract for the Sarstoon-Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) to manage the national park. While these 2 issues are completely different, there is some overlap because some of the same personalities from SATIIM are the spokespersons for the Indigenous Maya communities. Another important overlap is that part of the park occupies lands which these communities live on – and over which, the court says, they exercise communal land rights. So, they have a strong sense of protection for the park, which SATIIM has been the guardians of for years, and they’ve been trying to block US Capitol Energy from conducting oil exploration inside the park. Well, today the Executive Director of SATIIM, Greg Ch’oc, and 3 Alcaldes from the south were in Belize City to make media rounds. So, we caught up with them after their appearance on KREM’s WUB morning show, and we asked Ch’oc about an update on their injunction filed against US Capitol. He told us that there is a particular urgency for this matter to be dealt with in the Supreme Court:

Paralyzed By Gunshot, Flowers Begs For Help
2 years ago, the well-known street personality, Jeffrey Flowers, become the victim of a ruthless execution attempt, when an unknown gunman shot him multiple times when he was walking on Amara Avenue. That was the last time that he walked on his own, and since then he’s been forced to remain in a wheelchair and to depend on his family and friends to take care of his needs for him. He called us today to beg the public to assist him to seek medical treatment outside of the country, to get physical therapy to hopefully regain the use of his legs. Here’s how he explained why he’s hoping you’ll assist, despite his past street life: Jeffrey Flowers - Asking for Donations "I was bed ridden in the first place - I can't even move and help myself, it's like a nightmare on me that I cannot sustain, therefore, I'm looking into therapeutic projects where I can exercise and get back. It's more difficult and I've received an x-ray that somewhere shows a piece of my spine is broken ro rather, the bullet is lodged there. It's really difficult for me in that situation." Daniel Ortiz "So the bullet paralyzed you?" Jeffrey Flowers "Well, if I do not get the orthotic brace to assist me in Quintana Roo, Mexico it will be more difficult for me, I will be like this for a lifetime. So now I'm really crying out for help to the society that they could try help me in whatever way and to assist me.

Luke Espat, The Iguana Creek Bridge And the Prospects For His Candidacy
We’ve already had a lot of politics in the news tonight – but we’ve got to go there again – in the second part of our interview with prospective candidate for Cayo Central Luke Espat. He’s a polarizing political figure, and always a great interview – and that’s because he’s consistently outspoken, sometimes even outrageous. He’s also been politically tainted in the past for being the consummate PUP insider who benefited from the famous bloated contracts between 1989 – and 1993 – the most famous of which is for the Iguana Creek Bridge – which collapsed, the remnants of the structure serving now only as a billboard. It’s relevant because the bridge is at the boundary of Cayo Central - where Espat wants to be Area Representative. And So we asked him about it, and Espat, who usually takes all questions with panache wasn’t too happy about that one:… Jules Vasquez "One of the monuments to your incompetence as a Civil Engineer or as a contractor is right at the cross section of three divisions, the Iguana Creek bridge; your bridge that fell into the river." Luke Espat "My bridge or the bridge that the Ministry of Works built that we told them would have had a disaster. Let's not go back there Jules. Let's not go back, we dealt with that years ago. I am not going to continue to encourage you in that line of questioning because have told you."

Hon. Julius Tells Cousin Luke, “Stand Down, Primo”
But will he really? The fact is that there are many who are urging Espat to stand down – and one of them is his own first cousin, PUP Deputy Leader Julius Espat. He told us he loves his cousin, but putting his name on a ballot is not what’s best for the PUP going forward:… Jules Vasquez "Mr. Espat - we've heard a lot from Luke Espat, do you support his candidacy for Cayo Central?" Hon. Julius Espat - PUP Cayo South "I am not in my authority - I cannot support any candidacy. I am the Deputy party leader of the Western Caucus. My responsibility is to make sure that people go to conventions and they follow the procedures, I can only advise. My opinion is that we need new faces, we need talented people, we need new blood because if we show the same faces, coming up General Election - we will get blown out like 2008, that is my personal opinion backed up by the Party Leader's opinion. We are serious about reform and change, Mr. Luke Espat, he's an honorable man -he's my first cousin and I love him dearly, he has talents more than most of us. But in my opinion, that can be used in other ways to benefit the party and the country - it's a personal opinion, him and I - we could agree to disagree. That doesn't change the fact the he's my family or that I love him, but I believe what I believe and it is backed up by what the party leader says. At the end of the day I am a humble servant of the People's United Party and I follow orders."

Are You Missing Micronutrients? Survey Shows Many Belizeans Are
Do you ever think of your vitamin B12 intake? Well, you should, a national survey was conducted by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and it found that Belizeans have low levels of Folic Acid and Vitamin B12 – so much so that it is classified as a public health concern. The survey was conducted during 2011-2012 and sampled of 1,979 adults and children from across the country The objective of the survey was to find out the prevalence of deficiencies of Folic Acid,Vitamin A and Vitamin B12 among women of reproductive age 15-49 years old and children 6-59 months in Belize. The findings show widespread folic acid deficiencies among women of reproductive age directly relating to the high prevalence of neural tube defects in children. An epidemiologist form the CDC explained: Dr. Jorge Rosenthal - Epidemiologist, CDC "It's a regional problem, the problems of anemia. However, it varies in Costa Rica because of good fortification - they have 45 different staples - they have reached the highest proportion of the population and they have decreased in not only in the problems of anemia , the problem of micronutrients but as well we have immortality, prematurity and so on."

Ballers For Life
For the next 2 weeks, youths between the ages of 8 to 17 years across the country will be able to participate in a major, national basketball training camp. The camp is organized by the Belize Basketball Federation called “Ballers for Life” where aspiring players can get a 2-week course on the fundamentals and finer points of the game. Today, 7News stopped by the first day of the Belize’s City camp at the Bird’s Isle, and we spoke with a few young ballers who signed up. David Lacey - Secretary, Belize District Basketball Association "The basket ball federation and its president Paula Thompson were anxious to have some kind of summer event for the younger players so with the assistance from the Minster of Sports and from Smart, they got funding for a nationwide set of camps, one in each district. So they contacted the Belize District basketball association to organize the Belize District camp here in Belize City, so we put out a notice for children from age eight through seventeen to show up, so today we are trying to register them and organize them into their respective age groups so we can get going in a more organize way tomorrow. We have some people helping us to develop some of their basic skills so we have a better set of players when we move on to other tournaments and so forth."

Channel 5

PM takes hits on Musa and Fonseca for Accommodation Agreement
The House of Representatives had not met for five months, but it did this morning in Belmopan. Several motions were introduced but the primary business had to do with a [...]

Julius Espat pushes motion to restructure Public Accounts Committee
Another hotly debated motion was presented by Cayo Central Representative, Julius Espat. It dealt with the changes to the composition of the Public Accounts Committee. Prime Minister Dean Barrow last [...]

Though motion is rejected, Julius Espat promises to bring back the PAC
Earlier in the newscast, the motion presented by Julius Espat for changes to the PAC was denied. News Five spoke to the Espat after the speaker rejected the motion. Espat [...]

Michael Finnegan feels sorry for P.U.P. considering taking back Cordel Hyde
Cordel Hyde and Mark Espat held two of the strong P.U.P. seats in Belize City. Espat and Hyde bowed out at the eleventh hour of the 2012 General Elections and [...]

Luke Espat and Collet Montejo for Cayo Central
Luke Espat has announced his political candidacy in Cayo Central in loud fashion. The reaction to that announcement both inside and outside the People’s United Party has been mixed, but [...]

SATIIM’s injunction against U.S. Capital Energy to be heard in court
In the south, SATIIM and Alcaldes of communities in the buffer zone of the Sarstoon Temash National Park have filed for an injunction against US Capital Energy. That injunction seeks [...]

SATIIM continues to manage park without co-management agreement
As far as co-management of the Sarstoon-Temash National Park is concerned, there has been no progress to report. The Forest Department’s stance is that SATIIM is persona non grata, and [...]

Why were all the files and vials abandoned at old hospital site
On Tuesday newscast, we brought you an exclusive view from the inside of the old San Ignacio Hospital. There was evidence everywhere of gross neglect and from the Ministry of [...]

Taiwan gives a substantial donation to September Celebrations
The September celebrations are just around the corner and the calendar of activities will surely include two major celebrations: the Battle of St George’s Caye and Independence Day. To ease [...]

Amazing performances were held on Superstar!
They rocked the Bliss on Tuesday night with phenomenal performances…the aspiring Superstars in Season Two brought their finest act to the stage as the competition tightens in who will walk [...]


Taiwanese Ambassador Gives Grant for September Celebrations; Carnival Bands Denied Start Up Funds
For the fourth year in a row, the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) made a handsome donation to the National Celebrations Commission to the sum of forty thousand Belize dollars. A brief handing over ceremony was held this morning at the House of Culture in Belize City, where Taiwan&rsq...

Family in Northern Belize Seeks Missing Brother
32 year old Elias Ku also known as “Dunga”, a resident of Orange Walk Town has been reported as missing but from the information that the family has received, they fear the worst. According to Elias’ sister, Karina Ku, he was last seen on Sunday by their mother. Yesterday the fa...

Prime Minister Says Motion for Public Accounts Committee is Misconceived
For months the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee Julius Espat has been lamenting the fact that the Committee has been unable to get any work done. According to Espat, the biggest obstacle is the composition of the Committee since majority of the members are from the governing party....

Prime Minister of Belize Says Former Leader and Former Attorney General Were Described As Malignant Tumors on Belize Democracy
13 bills were introduced in the House of Representatives at today’s sitting, one of which went through all three readings. But the main focus was on two of the four motions that were presented. The first was the implications of the Caribbean Court of Justice on the public policy of Be...

Belize Bird Rescue Begins Release of Injured Hawk
In 2004, the Belize Bird Rescue was formed for injured parrots in need of assistance. After eight years, the initiative has grown and to date it assists several other species of birds. The latest bird that the organization is assisting is a female Common Black Hawk which was rescued and treated.&...

Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage and BELPO Host Summer Program for Children
Today twenty one boys and girls began participating in a five day Oil and Water Summer Program organized by the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage and the Belize Institute for Environmental Law and Policy, BELPO. Today’s session dealt with the importance of water. Administr...

Youth Conference Ends in El Salvador; Young Belizeans Return Home
Over the past weekend twenty six young Belizeans attended a conference in El Salvador to learn how to contribute to their community. The youths who are from six communities in Belize travelled to El Salvador to take part in the Bahá’í Youth Conference. The group returned to Be...

Oceana Exposes Children to Belize's Marine Patrimony
Last Friday August 2, Oceana Belize hosted seventy eight Belize City children on an excursion to Goff’s Caye. The trip was hosted under Oceana’s “I Love My Reef” campaign and it happened on the last day of the Belize City Council’s 2013 Summer Camp. Most ...

Shopkeeper Breaks Down in Court
Forty-eight year old Idolly Summerville, a shopkeeper of Hattieville, broke down in tears today after Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart found her guilty of using threatening words and fined her one hundred dollars. On February 25, 2013, Summerville, armed with a machete, went to the yard of her ...

Construction Worker Remanded for Robbery
Twenty-one year old Kyle Chaplin, a construction worker of Mayflower Street, became an inmate of Belize Central Prison today when he appeared in the Magistrate’s Court and was charged with robbery, aggravated assault and harm. Chaplin pled not guilty to the charges. Magistrate C...


Barrow To Musa, Resign Now
But the former Prime Minister’s apology was not enough for Prime Minister Dean Barrow. In fact, it did not appease the situation at all. Right there and then, the House of Representatives practically turned into boxing ring as Barrow challenged Musa to resign. Honorable Dean Barrow Prime Minister of Belize “You talk about lawyers making money and you talk about what you did was because you were trying to get the Government out of all these entanglements that you yourself created, you talk about Jeffery Processor and his role in all of this, why did you not tell us that even where that was concerned as was with the settlement deed, as with the UHS Agreement, as with the Accommodation Agreement why did you not say when you got up earlier that the role of Jeffrey Processor cannot be rehearsed by you, cannot be recollected by you without you saying that even where that was concerned you lied, you came to this house and you told us that Jeffrey Processor has already paid the purchase price for Telemedia and then when it was found out that he hadn’t you came back and said well he did not pay but he gave a promissory note. Sir your entire careers has been a tissue and a parcel of lies you do it over and over again and then you expect to get a free pass by coming here this morning and say well I respect the judgment of the court, no man do what you are supposed to do, do what follows logically don’t just respect the judgment of the court, resign that is the only decent course of action open to you resign sir for God sake stand not upon the order of your good but go at once.”

Major Opposition For Barrows Motion On CCJ's Ruling
Weaning arrogance, deplorable and deprecating are only some of the words that were used this morning as the House of Representatives was called to order after five months of recess. Those words were used by the Prime Minister, giving indication that it would be a contentious day decorated with a war of words across the floor. And indeed it was as the Prime Minister of Belize called on the country’s former Prime Minister, Said Musa, to resign. We’ll get to that story later. But first, 13 bills were introduced today at parliament including a motion on the Caribbean Court of Justice's ruling regarding the BCB Holdings Settlement Deed challenge. The motion, brought forward by the Barrow Administration, strongly condemns the 2005 settlement deed which former Prime Minister Said Musa and Former Attorney General Francis Fonseca entered into with the Ashcroft-Allied Company, British Caribbean Bank. Honorable Dean Barrow Prime Minister of Belize “Mr. Speaker, the CCJ said that the actions of the current leader of the opposition and the current member for Fort George were repugnant. These two and their actions were described as malignant tumours on our democracy which no court could allow to grow.

PUP Wants To Restructure P-A-C Barrow Says No Way
With so much talk about the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives, by now you already know that the committee is in charge of scrutinizing the spending of the government. The 6 person committee, currently chaired by PUP Cayo South Area Representative Julius Espat, is presently comprised of 4 Government members and 2 from the Opposition. But Espat, as the P-A-C Chairman, seeks to change the formation of the committee. Espat wants the committee to be comprised of 7 members: 2 from the ruling party, 2 from the opposition and 3 from the senate: the church, the business community, and unions. This will allow P-A-C to function at a higher level when it comes to looking into expenditure of public funds since both political parties will have less influence. With this in mind, today the chairman of the committee introduced the motion in the House of Representatives to restructure the Public Accounts Committee. Honorable Julius Espat- Chairman P-A-C “A joint Public Accounts Committee, why are we asking for a proposed Public Accounts Joint Committee is because the Public Accounts Joint Committee has not functioned since 1981. We have been hearing form the Belizean people that things happen when both parties are in power and they are not aware of it, we have been presented budgets in the past and we have not the ability to analysed them, we have had auditors generals’ report in the past and we have not had the ability to ventilate it, Mr speaker this is an serious issue because all we hear and I am speaking on behalf of the Belizean people is the bickering that we do here back and forth but at the end of the day there is nothing concrete that we are proposing that we are able to change the system so that we can stop what we are doing here, we need to start working for and on behalf of the people of Belize this is a serious motion we are doing Mr Speaker, and I am humbly requesting that the Barrow, the leader of the opposition, the honourable member, we are not in UK gentlemen we are in Belize so he is daddy Barrow now, daddy Barrow who is Queen Square’s areas Rep., I am humbly requesting from him that we seriously look at this issue to change the problems and the issues that he had said about us and we are asking to be changed so that we can stop speaking about them, the people of Belize need to be given the power to analyse it on their own.”

CDF Offers Free Consultation For Sexually Abused Victims
One in every five children living in Belize is a victim of child exploitation, abuse or neglect with poverty being the main cause as 48% of persons living in Belize are under the age of 18 and 33.5 % of the population lives below the poverty line. This is according to statistics provided by the Children Development Foundation, a Christian organization which focuses on child protection services. Children and adults, who are victims of exploitation or sexual abuse, primarily stray away from seeking assistance simply because it might be too embarrassing or costly to get legal advice from an attorney. With this in mind, CDF will be hosting a free consultation workshop over the weekend for persons that are facing this dilemma. Arturo Cantun- Member of CDF “CDF is the Child Development Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Belmopan and what they do is that they try to promote parent to know more about when their children is being sexually molested or sexually taken advantage of. What they try to do is to bridge that gap with information to parents and also adolescence.

The Battle Against Dengue Continues
The Department of Public Health and Vector Control Unit are on the spotlight once again. But it’s not what you are thinking. No!, there hasn’t been a serious case of dengue reported in the north. The Department of Public Health and Vector Control Unit; though, are making sure it remains that way. While the mosquitoes cannot be terminated completely, the Public Health Department and the Vector Control Unit are working diligently to reduce the transmission of the disease. Over the past weeks, they have been working with the Orange Walk Town Council carrying out cleaning up campaigns in specific areas within town. Today Karel Heredia from the Public Health Department shared what are some of the measures taken to prevent the outbreak of dengue particularly in the rural areas. Karel Heredia - Public health Inspector “Prevent Dengue especially in the rural areas likewise in Orange Walk Town. What we do is that whenever a person comes in whether it is a suspected case or laboratory confirm we still do another confirmation so as to be sure that this person has Dengue, based on that information then the guys from vector control proceed to do fagging on a focal area, the area where the person lives and around it. We don’t have a target, yes we are doing acting surveillance whereby last month we had vehicles from Belize City coming and doing ULV spraying, which is the truck back spraying and apart from that as I mention before a positive case we get from a certain area then the guys move from that area to spray the focal point, the surrounding area where that person lives.”


Pro-Gender Policy march attracts few participants
After almost eight thousand persons from across the country marched in pro constitution parades; asking government to bring the Gender Policy 2013 in line with the Constitution of Belize, those from the LGBT community and their supporters, also held a march in Orange Walk this...

Julius Espat to present to the House restructuring proposal for the PAC
A sitting of the House of Representatives is scheduled for Wednesday, August 7th, and we know at least one of the heated subject matters that will be addressed there. That is the Public Accounts Committee. Chairman of the PAC, PUP’s Deputy Leader the Hon. Julius Espat has filed a...

BTIA questions benefit of NCL project at Harvest Caye
On Friday we reached President of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), Herbert Haylock, who professed not to be impressed with the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and Ministry of Tourism’s response to their appearance in the press to speak out against the proposed Norwegian Cruise Line project at Harvest...

BAHA testing cattle in the South for Bovine Tuberculosis and Brucellosis
The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture, engaged in a campaign to keep the country free of bovine tuberculosis and brucellosis, diseases which affect cattle. BAHA has taken precautionary steps and has issued an advisory to the public and especially...

Akil Samer Rada claims he is innocent of drug trafficking
Two weeks ago, authorities in El Salvador discovered a container that was carrying close to 1,000 pounds of cocaine hidden in buckets of frozen pineapple juice and was headed for Belize. New information tells us the container that was found was linked to a company in the Corozal Commercial...

Woman charged after cannabis discovered in bus
A woman is facing a drug tracking charge after she was allegedly busted with weed inside a bus. Yesterday evening, acting upon a tip, Police intercepted a bus at the junction of Libertad Village that was heading to Belize City. 29 year old Ebony Bailey, who was on the...

UB hosts conference for school counselors
The University of Belize and Ministry of Education’s Department of Teacher Education Services (TEDS) as well as its Counseling and Caring Unit began a two-day conference with the country’s school counselors. These professionals are on the frontline daily in schools giving advice to young people and trying to prevent...

Hon John Saldivar informs Belmopan residents in Salvapan on area renovations
The Hon. John Saldivar hosted a neighborhood meeting with residents in Salvapan on Friday night. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss current plans for renovations in that area as well as other areas in Belmopan City. The Minister, in his presentation, detailed those projects under the Municipal...


The Lodge at Chaa Creek: My Personal Paradise Found…Part One
The way the crow flies, The Lodge at Chaa Creek in the Cayo District of Belize is less than 100 miles away from the beaches of Ambergris Caye. Less than 100 miles! From the turquoise Carribbean and coral reef to the lush green jungle and impressive Mayan ruins, this district is a totally different world from the island I call home. Night and day. This past weekend, I think I’ve found my favorite spot (that’s our cottage above) to experience it: The GORGEOUS Eco-Lodge at Chaa Creek. I miss you guys already… Chaa Creek has the most beautiful grounds (365 acres of them) on the Macal River, amazing wildlife, a beautiful pool and lodges… super comfortable rooms, 5 star food, a philosophy that should set an example for the rest of Belize (I’ll tell you about that later), a spa (and a massage that almost brought me to tears)…everything I could imagine and many things I could not in your perfect “jungle chic” experience.

Birding in Belize with the bare throated Tiger-Heron
The tiny Central American country of Belize rests on one of the world’s most vibrant biological corridors stretching between the Neoartic and Neotropical regions. The varied topography and vegetation of mother nature’s best kept secret makes Belize abundantly rich in a variety of ecosystems that provide sustainable habitats for an enormous number of local and migratory bird species. Choosing the proper guide who knows the terrain is the key to a successful bird watching in Belize, according to Chaa Creek birding expert. Naturalist guide Miguel Choco said with such a wealth of avian wildlife in Belize, finding bird is easy. But finding the birds you want is where experience and expertise comes in. “Belize is definitely birding heaven, with over 308 species recorded in the Chaa Creek nature reserve alone,” Mr Choco said. “Even people not generally interested in birding soon become fans just by walking along the miles of trails and spotting the toucans, parrots, falcons and other birds that make their homes here.

A Climb Back in Time: The Mayan Ruins of Caracol
Did you know Belize has the highest concentration of Mayan sites in the world? Whether you’re a history buff, a lover of jungle treks or just want to see beautiful architecture from this incredible culture, the Mayan sites of Belize have got you covered! One of our absolute favorite adventures is a visit to the infamous Mayan ruins known as Caracol. Caracol is the largest Mayan site in Belize, and one of the largest in the world. It covers 65 square miles (bigger than modern day Belize City!) and at the height of its political power boasted a population of over 120,000 people.

Entrepreneurship Program Technical Committee Work-shop
The for the development of the National Entrepreneurship Strategy for Belize had their first meeting on August 6th, 2013. The committee has representatives from the private as well as public sectors and their over-all objective is to assist with the development of the National Entrepreneurship Strategy for Belize. The objective of the first work-shop was to define the roles and responsibilities of the technical committee; review the regional strategy that was developed; familiarize them-selves with the terms and definitions of entrepreneurship used in the region and identify the priority axes for Belize.

Design workshop under the Inclusive Linkage Project
Under the Inclusive Linkage Project, a Design workshop was help in San Antonio Village on August 6th 2013. The objectives of this project are to implement plans to improve and promote sustainability of the production linkage. Under this component, technical assistance is being provided to groups in the border zone to strengthen the business support to women and youth involved in the Value chain of Tourism in the border zone. Five groups benefited with the development of their business plan and capacity building in management skills. As a continuity of this component, four groups will receive technical assistance and consulting service for the design and development of new products. The purpose of the is to expand their current craft productions, through product diversification, according to its technical and productive capacity as well as in agreement to the trends and demands of the domestic and international market, without losing their culture iconography.

“Reflections” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Think the drugs (before you start thinking wrong thoughts about me they were painkillers) must have got to me on Monday evening because by 21.45 hours I was in bed and within minutes asleep. There was a price though. I woke around 02.30 hours yesterday morning and, although I tried to go back to sleep, was up fifteen minutes later. Out on the veranda (yes with my coffee and iPad) I tried to access the Internet but it was down once again. My luck was in though because the new edition of The Times had already downloaded. Still no purchase by Arsenal though. Internet appeared and then disappeared just as quickly so I decided to go wash the golf cart (at 05.45 hours its nice and cool) and try out the degreaser (thanks to a link that Wes provided) on the seats. The degreaser worked very well but try as I may I just could not shift some really stubborn spots where dirt, or some other substance, has become ingrained. Next time I will try diluted bleach and Cif. Back in the condo we are renting during the course of our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize by 07.30 hours (its only a little ‘cart but I gave it a really thorough clean) I had breakfast and then – given that the Internet was functioning- set about making arrangements for the appliances (ovens, refrigerators, microwaves, washer and dryer) that are being held in store at Benny’s to be barged over to us on Friday 16 August (they will arrive on the island the following day).

International Sources

Ridgefield Teen Alexandra DiGiacomo Returns from Ocean Conservation Adventure in Belize
Do you know any shark enthusiasts? If you don't, then meet Alexandra DiGiacomo, a rising sophomore at RHS. In early July, she left Ridgefield to spend twelve days on the coast of Belize with National Geographic Student Expeditions. The high school students who traveled to central America along with Alexandra all had something in common: they wanted to learn about marine conservation and become "ambassadors of the ocean". Activities on the trip included snorkeling the famous Blue Hole in the Gulf of Mexico, and helping collect data for a shark conservationist. Throughout her travels to different reefs and coastal communities, Alexandra saw large amounts of trash, debris, and plastic mixed with seaweed and littering beautiful beaches. "In a stretch of about 400 feet on one beach, we collected enough plastic to make a life sized person", she said, "It opened my eyes to the how the ocean is being mindlessly destroyed." How is she taking action? By making small choices to reduce waste such as using a reusable coffee cup and straw or even getting ice cream in a cone instead of a cup.

Altoona natives recover from ambush in Belize
Gunmen cause missionaries' truck to crash in creek ravine. When two men tried to stop Dan and Vicki Weaver in their truck after dark, the missionary couple followed the same rule that’s helped them survive 11 years in Belize. “Whatever you see on that jungle road, you don’t stop,” Dan Weaver said, repeating the phrase he tells every visitor who travels the treacherous 10-mile stretch to his home in Valley of Peace. But on June 28, that rule was no deterrent to two armed men standing near a roadside bridge, Dan told The Altoona Herald last week via telephone from a hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. That Friday night, a man fired two bullets through the windshield of the Weaver’s Toyota Tacoma truck, narrowly missing Dan’s head, as the couple returned from a routine trip to the city of Belmopan. Dan, 57, cranked the steering wheel to the right, sending the truck over rocks and down a ravine. It came to a violent stop in the creek below.

7 Useful Post Ideas for Your Own Photography Blog
Once most photographers become serious about their craft — whether they are amateur, professional, or something in between — they usually start thinking about starting a blog.

Has your passion + creativity gone downhill? 3 steps to bring back the spark
Have you ever tried loosing your passion for photography? Have you ever tried feeling uninspired and in a creative rut? And do you sometimes feel blah about your work?

August 7, 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

Las Terrazas Resort Wins Prestigious 2013 World Travel Award
Las Terrazas Resort is pleased to announce that, for the third year in a row, they have been named Belize’s Leading Resort at the 2013 World Travel Awards. More than 5,000 companies, destinations and organizations are nominated for these prestigious annual awards, voted on by more than 220,000 industry professionals worldwide. “We are deeply proud to earn this prestigious award from our peers” says Carolyn Stone, Director of Sales of Las Terrazas Resort. “We are honored that our elite colleagues have again recognized us for our hard work and effort in making Las Terrazas Belize’s top resort destination” The World Travel Awards, known as “the Oscar’s of the Travel Industry”, celebrates its 20th Anniversary this year and is acknowledged across the globe as the ultimate travel accolade, celebrating those brands which are pushing the boundaries of industry excellence in product and service. The awards and judging are strictly controlled to ensure total fairness.

Hon. John Saldivar makes generous donation to El Shaddai Primary
Minister of National Security and Area Representative for Belmopan, Hon. John Saldivar, in conjunction with the Reconstruction Development Corporation (RECONDEV), has donated $3,000 to El Shaddai Seventh Day Adventist Primary School in Belmopan to assist in purchasing computers for the school. Hon. Saldivar presented the cheque of $3,000 this afternoon to Vice Principal Valentine Diego at the School’s campus on Macal Street in Belmopan City. Accompanying the Minister was Chairman of RECONDEV Rodney Neal and the Corporation’s General Manager Hector Sabido.

Growing the Future Program conducts summer camp on Ambergris Caye
Over 100 children of Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker Village completed a five-week summer program. It was conducted under the auspices of “Growing the Future Program” based in Belize City. The organization, which has over 10 years in existence, is expanding from the City and is now offering summer programs in Orange Walk and the cayes. Its aim is to keep children busy during the summer and at the same time help improve their educational skills. Peter Lacey, Director of the Growing the Future Program explained that the program, which started on July 3rd and concluded on August 2nd, assisted the students in various educational areas. “The program assisted the students in phonics, reading, creative writing and math. The goal of the program is to transition the students from the end of the school year, preparing them for the beginning of the next school year. What happens is that teachers have a lot of difficulties at the beginning of the school year and have to backtrack and revise. Instead of moving on with the curriculum for that particular year, they always find themselves going back and doing revision with their students. This program tries to bridge that gap throughout our five-week summer camp,” said Lacey.

Ambergris Today

Canine Distemper Virus outbreak in San Mateo
Saga Humane Society would like to alert the community of a Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) outbreak in San Mateo. Twenty two cases of distemper have already been seen at the Saga HS clinic. To prevent the spread of this highly contagious disease Saga HS will be doing a Mobile Clinic today, Tuesday, August 6, 2013 to the affected neighborhood and will be vaccinating the area dogs. Vaccines will be at no charge to low income residents or $10 for those who can afford to pay. Saga HS seeks to raise $1000 to buy the vaccinations. This will buy enough vaccinations for 100 animals.

Costa Maya Festival 2013 on Instagram
We asked our Ambergris Today’s Instagrammers to share their Costa Maya weekend in San Pedro on Instagram by hash tagging their images with #costamayafestival so that we can show how much fun everybody was having during all the activities in and around the festival. Here are a few that caught our attention and that show how much fun everybody had during Costa Maya Festival weekend.

Costa Maya Festival Rocks San Pedro Weekend
The San Pedro International Costa Maya Festival did it once again for San Pedro, Ambergris Caye and Belize; it managed to jam-pack the island with visitors from around the nation and around the world. Its popularity has become synonymous with a party weekend at the island for many Belizeans and a full line up of fantastic performances at the festival grounds. The San Pedro International Costa Maya Festival kicked off of August 1, 2013, with the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant in which Miss Belize Destinee Arnold brought the crown back home after six years. The pageant always brings much hype and attention to the festival with the participation of eight gorgeous beauty contestants from around the Latin American region.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Flying from Municipal Airport to San Pedro
Flying from Municipal Airport to San Pedro with aerial footage of Caye Chapel & Caye Caulker, landing and my airport pick up.

VIDEO: 15 minute Belize City taxi ride
15 minute Belize City taxi ride, includes the swing bridge and the well known road to Municipal Airport. I will say there are some really nice buildings in Belize City, however I was on a mission that day. Between my meeting and shopping for fishing Magazines at Brodies and I not catch many on film. I will have to go back one day and to a taxi tour with Jeff to capture all the pretty ones like the Museum and some of the nicer buildings on the water.

BAHA announces guidelines for cattle slaughtering
Strict guidelines for the slaughtering of cattle have been announced by the Belize Agricultural Health Authority. A statement issued by BAHA today advises owners of slaughtering facilities and the general public that only cattle with Belize’s official ear tags are allowed to be slaughtered in the Corozal, Orange Walk, Belize and Cayo district. The official statement says that the reason for the restriction to only properly tagged cattle for slaughter is “in an effort to maintain the country free of bovine tuberculosis, brucellosis and maintain the integrity of a traceability system.” The BAHA advisory asks owners of slaughtering facilities to return the ear tags of animals they slaughter to the Belize Livestock Producers Association or to BAHA offices in the respective districts which fall under the advisory. The official release ends by saying that the same restriction for the slaughtering of cattle will be implemented in the southern districts as soon as the testing and sampling of cattle is carried out by the Belize National Sanitary Cattle Plan Project.

VIDEO: Pupuseria Salvadoreno San Pedro, BELIZE
Authentic, Family Owned, A San Pedro Favorite. Large Groups Welcomed. Visit us on Trip Advior and Facebook. My family looks forward to serving you--Ms. Sara Rodas

VIDEO: Hol Chan Marine Reserve, with Manatee
Local Dive and Snorkel Combo. Amazing marine life and on this dive we were fortunate to encounter a family of manatee.

Teacher Training Workshop at GPC
It's all about engagement. They are having a teacher training course at the George Price Centre starting tomorrow, and going through Friday. Cooperative Learning stresses positive interpersonal peer relationships, equality, self-esteem, and achievement. Awesome! In related news, the George Price Centre had a successful Summer camp, and on August 24th, they will have Bethany Ann's album release party for her upcoming album, No Hands.

Glamp Like a Champ at Macal River Camp
The Macal River Camp at Chaa Creek was listed in's top 5 list for places at which to glamp. Glamping, glamorous camping, might sound silly, but it's just another niche for travelers who want a rustic experience without having to rough it too much. Cayo is the place for camping...and now glamping. "This collection of canvas-roofed tents is located on the grounds of the luxurious Lodge at Chaa Creek, and guests at the camp are welcome to use the lodge facilities, such as the swimming pool. But the tents allow guests to truly feel alone in the jungle. There is no electricity, and after dark, the tents are lit by the glow of flickering gas lamps. At night, guests can fall asleep listening to the cicadas and the chorus of howler monkeys. Bathrooms and showers are shared, excellent meals are served in the thatched-roof dining area, and campfires are lit on chilly evenings."

BWRC Outreach Road Trip
Feelgood news of the day. The Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic traveled to Tobacco Caye to do some feline population control. The Summer interns got to spay and neuter, and hit the beach for some relaxation time. Thanks, BWRC, for all you do in Cayo, and Belize! "As said earlier, we were lucky to combine some much needed spay and neutres for a growing (and inbreeding) population of 10 cats on a 5 acre island, with visiting one of our countries gems of nature. Another weekend on the job, but for once it was not all work..."

LYM's Taken: Price Paid Conference
Legacy Youth Ministries had their Taken: Price Paid youth conference over the weekend. Looks like they had a huge turnout for all the teambuilding, fun, and worship, giving them a Summer they'll never forget. "Legacy's Summer Conference 2013 [August 1 - 4] - Photos by Deidra Deandra, Jovaun Middleton, Telesha Natasha Mckay Peters, Verlie Lamb, Aaron Dailey, David Smith & Lacy Mannin"

Channel 7

Luke’s “Impeccable Reputation” Challenged
News of Luke Espat’s candidacy for the PUP in Cayo Central went out this weekend – after he held a meeting with committee members including the divisional chairman. But, in an interview yesterday, Party Leader Francis Fonseca seemed decidedly lukewarm about the prospect of letting this stalwart of the old guard unto the political frontline for the PUP. And, Deputy Leader Julius Espat, Luke’s first cousin has also been less than supportive in his public comments. And that’s the rub about Luke Espat, his PUP pedigree can’t be questioned, but, the feeling among many is that he brings a lot of baggage – not least of which is the epic collapse of his business empire. Today, the always game Espat was eager to defend himself against such accusations, and Jules Vasquez was equally eager to confront him with those claims. It made for an interview full of fireworks:…. Jules Vasquez "Why electorial politics?" Luke Espat - Wants to Run PUP Cayo Central "I'll say why not? I think that's the answer." Jules Vasquez "Well, I can name any number or reasons but I will say that as Julius Espat said on Plus TV this morning - there are different roles for people and not anyone can withstand the scrutiny of having their name on a ballot paper. You don't have a stellar or immaculate reputation in your business life."

Free Zone Business Owner Disclaims Any Knowledge of Cocaine Shipment
Samer Akil Rada has told a Mexican newspaper that he has nothing to do with the major cocaine shipment of over a thousand pounds that was intercepted in Salvador, but destined for his Free Zone company. He told Informativo Quintana Roo that the business of which he is a partner, called Cargoyo has 138 clients and provides logistic support and transportation services for packaged products from different parts of the world. He tells the newspaper that he did not know that the container of buckets of pineapple juice was actually filled with cocaine. He says that his company was only hired to transport the container within Belizean territory from Benque Viejo del Carmen to the Free Zone. He further explained that there were actually two containers being shipped. One of them had the drugs which were intercepted but the other made it to the Corozal Free Zone. By that time, however, the frozen pineapple juice had spoilt because of all the checks.

Jumps In A Van With A Man At 3:30 AM, Thought It Was A Church Van
26 year-old Sean Eusey is facing an indecent assault charge tonight. That’s after he was taken to court for allegedly trying to fondle a 31 year-old woman from Sandhill Village on Friday. According to the woman, at around 3:30 that morning, she was waiting for a friend to come pick her up at the Pallotti roundabout when she saw a van which was being driven by a man in his mid 20’s which she didn't know. Well, that should have been a warning sign, but the man asked her if she wanted a ride, which she accepted because it resembled a church van. According to the woman, driver took her round and round, making excuses, until he finally took her to an open lot in the city. That’s when, according to her, he jumped out and came to the passenger’s side, and he attempted to fondle her chest. She struggled with him, and shouted for help, and during that time, she claims the man stole her cellular phone and her gold chain. One of the residents of the neighborhood called the police, who arrived shortly after, and took her to safety.

Stevedores Angry With Port + Their Own Union
It’s been a while since the stevedores made the news over their on-going negotiations with the receivers/managers of the Port of Belize. They’ve been allowing the slow grinding process to run its course, but today after all that discontent building up, they lashed out at their union for not forcefully negotiating their position. They called us today to the office of the Public Service Union, after a meeting with their president and their general secretary to update the membership on the negotiations. Their president spoke to us first, where he described how the meeting went: Antonio Gonzalez - President, CWU "The stevedores have some serious dissatisfaction with the way how the negotiations are going on. They have voiced their opinion as to that we need to be more forceful - we need to be more aggressive in our discussion with the management of Port of Belize Limited. So our dissatisfaction and the ongoing negotiations - we totally agree with it because it has been going on for too long now so we go along with the feelings of the stevedores on this matter. We intend to pursue and to more faster on a more aggressive nature towards the negotiations. What we have seen is that and we have we experienced is that they have three areas of contentions right now - in fact, 5. We have the area of retirement, the gang situation, and the hours of work, the disciplinary procedure and the grievance procedure. These are main factors in the collective agreement and as such the concerns of the stevedores and in particular to the gang and the hours of work and as such we intend to pursue those issues on a more aggressive manner."

The Much Sought After September 14th Sees Scheduling Conflict
The nation is readying itself for the September Celebrations, three weeks of bashment, ceremony and good times overall. And this year, it is so full that the two biggest events, the Belize Expo Marketplace and the Carnival Road March, are sharing the same date, September 14. Usually, the carnival is held on the first Saturday in September – but this year, it’s being held on the second Saturday, which is the date set for the Expo since last year October. Now, it’s a major schedule clash because the carnival draws thousands into the street to watch, and the Expo draws tens of thousands of visitors annually. So why was such a scheduling decision made? We asked the Communications Officer from NICH to explain it. According to her, it’s because this year’s September only has 2 free weekends before the 21st: Shari Williams - Communications Officer, NICH "This year 2013, we have exactly two weekends in September before our Independence Day celebrations and so whenever this phenomena happens when we only have two weekends to schedule everything - there's a problem because we have about four or five big events that people look forward to during the celebrations. So this year we had to really sit down and try to see how best to schedule everything in a comprehensive manner where everybody will be happy and what is of utmost importance in the National Celebrations Commission is the safety of our citizens.

Pro Gender Crowd Was Thin
We’ve seen the anti-gender policy marches all across the country, but on Saturday gay rights activists gathered in Orange Walk in support of the gender policy. On Saturday, they gathered at the Orange Walk New Town Barracks behind the Fort Kearn’s Market Square to show solidarity and support for the Belize Gender Policy 2013. They had their rainbow flag, and their signs, but not much else; the crowd numbered about 15. They are launching a grassroots campaign called: “Take TIME; Take a Stand: Read the Belize Gender Policy. “

The Education In Getting Physical
Since yesterday the National Sport Council has been facilitating physical education classes for primary school teachers in Belize City. Now PE is an important, but often neglected part of the curriculum. So, today, we stopped in at the afternoon sessions to see the teachers getting physical: Daniel Ortiz reporting These workshop participants look like they are in 6th form - just playing a few games of basketball and volleyball, but actually they are Belize City primary school teachers participating in a workshop to improve their physical education classes. Being one of the subjects most neglected by the education system, the facilitators are trying to change the negative mentality around P.E. Andre Collins - Director, Caribbean Sports and Development Agency "Today is the second day of a five day workshop for teachers coming from the Belize City and its environments and this program was designed to help teachers in the elementary school to help them develop a few techniques and strategies to help them implement some physical education activities in the elementary school system. It is a truth that physical education continues to struggle as a recognized and accepted subject on the curriculum and it is basically because of the attitude that the region pays to sport and education while most of the develop countries take sports and physical education as a very serious part of the education program."

Tanya Carter Ready For Another Regional Hit
Her dancehall single “Ex Boyfriend” became an instant hit when it first debuted in Jamaica. Since then, the song has been blasting on radio station across Belize and the Caribbean. It is a definite breakthrough for Tanya Carter who got a chance to work along with some of the biggest producers in the Jamaican dancehall industry. And now, she may be riding the wave of another breakout hit on a hot rhythm track. The stylish new video for her new single “ DJ Boy” launched last week, and today she told us about it:.. Tanya Carter - Dancehall Reggae Artist "I had so much fun doing this video - I just put out a status on Facebook and said that I needed pretty girls and that I didn't care what they looked like - they just had to look Belizean and I had a whole lot of messages in my inbox and we carefully picked out the females that were going for rehearsals, models, dancers, we had the area that we wanted. We wanted a nice fresh look - not so clubby, that's why we went to Six Lounge to get this high top view and we just basically did a video with willing people that came out for the ride. The song is called Dj Boy and me and my partners wrote this song - I had more help with this song, it was co-written by Version - he's an artist in Jamaica and we compiled this song for the love of DJ’s. We wanted to have a song that specifically shouts out my own Belizean DJ’s so in the video I had to get DJ’s so I sent out a status on Facebook trying to get DJ's to come give a little cameo in the video and most DJ’s came.

The Night Buckley Got Shot
We all know about Stephen Buckley – the man who was wrongfully shot by police – and three years later started getting medical bills for his treatment. Now, finally, the government has called him to the table to negotiate a settlement. But while that’s what’s happening right now, tonight, we want to go back to the night of Wednesday April 28 of 2010. That’s the night Buckley was shot – and the story then, is the story now – how inexplicable it all is:… Jules Vasquez Reporting This was the scene last night at 9:00 at the corner of Kraal Road and Guerrero Street near the Wilt Cumberbatch Field. This black Dodge truck is the property of Marlon Meyers – a home builder for the Ministry Of Housing. He was with his workman Steven “Cripple” Buckley coming from around the corner on Guerrero street where he picked up his tools. They were stopped by police and the windshield bears the imprint to what happened next. Marlon Meyers I attempted to open and by the time I opened the door, two shots fired. I heard two shots. Bow, bow! The man said, 'Marlon, … I got shot, … Marlon, I got shot, Marlon' Just like that.”

Channel 5

San Ignacio Hospital private patient files scattered at old site
The Ministry of Health is still reeling from the effects of the death of thirteen newborns, seven of whom died from a bacterial outbreak at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital [...]

Luke Espat trains political eye on Cayo
Businessman Luke Espat, largely recognized for his controversial roles in an unsuccessful projects such as the failed cruise tourism project at the port, has announced his intention to run on [...]

Bankrupt political aspirant? Luke says gutsy investor
And as for his business woes, which include failed ventures, multiple receiverships such as the Renaissance, Crocland and even bankruptcy…Espat says that business is separate from politics. He says that [...]

Who killed Pedro Antonio Vasquez?
On Sunday morning, fifty-one-year-old Pedro Antonio Vasquez, a Guatemalan national, was brutally murdered in Benque Viejo del Carmen after a night of socializing on the town.  While his son initially [...]

Venezuelan Lebanese national says no involvement in Salvador cocaine bust
There are fresh details on Samer Akil Rada, the Venezuelan Lebanese businessman, whose name has been linked to eight hundred and eighty pounds of cocaine that was consigned to the [...]

San Pedro town councilor involved in catfight
San Pedro town councilor Carlos Barrientos was reportedly detained by police on the island, following a brawl at the Reef Village Resort over the weekend.  Barrientos was purportedly at the [...]

Chamber supports PACMAN’s motion for new public account committee
Earlier this year, the Auditor General came under siege by the Guardian Newspaper, the political arm of the United Democratic Party Government. Dorothy Bradley’s reports for 2010-2011 spoke of many [...]

Chamber president says recent Auditor General report needs examining
But Espat is going to have a very hard time tabling the motion to reorganize the PAC since Prime Minister Dean Barrow has said that he will bring his proverbial [...]

Eight Belizeans get scholarships to Mexican University
The Mexican Embassy has announced that eight Belizeans have received scholarships to attend three and four year programs in Mexico. The opportunity comes under the Belize-Mexico Bi-lateral Agreement.  Students will [...]

Leader of Opposition respects ruling of CCJ
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has lashed out at the previous P.U.P. administration following a ruling by the Caribbean Court of Justice. The CCJ struck down a settlement agreement signed by [...]

PM chides Francis Fonseca for signing Accommodation Agreement
Prime Minister Barrow has also stated that he has little doubt that the CCJ ruling will have a negative impact on Fonseca’s quest to become Prime Minister of Belize. To [...]

Accused of sexual assault but paying fines keeps accused out of jail
Twenty-six year old Shawn Eusey was today spared from remand at the Central Prison following charges of theft and the aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a thirty-one year [...]

U-16 football team earns respect at competition
The Belize jaguars did not bring home the medal, but an up and coming team of young footballers in an international competition in Merida have made the jewel proud. The [...]

Corozal House of Culture launches exhibit of talented 12 year old
A twelve year old student from Corozal Town who has just enrolled to start high school, is flying solo at the Corozal House of Culture.  Caitlyn Tillett is perhaps the [...]

National Song Competition set for this Saturday
The bramming and jamming of the September celebrations are less than a month away, but this weekend the National Institute of Culture and History will be putting off what is [...]

Superstar performances at the Bliss
Superstar hopefuls return to the Bliss stage tonight… There will be no more Group A or Group B. In a short while the two groups merge into one to perform [...]


Belize Hosts Meeting on Healthy Reefs
Last year Mexico hosted the annual Healthy Reefs Initiative Partners Meeting and this year Belize got the opportunity to host it. Forty representatives from the four countries that form part of the Mesoamerican Reef, namely Belize, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico, gathered at the Biltmore Hotel wh...

Belize Health Authority Explains Procedure to Combat Bovine Diseases
The Belize Agricultural Health Authority is advising the public and especially owners of slaughtering facilities, that only cattle with official ear tags are allowed to be slaughtered in the Northern Districts of Corozal and Orange Walk, and in the Belize and Cayo Districts as well. Love Ne...

Tuesday, August 6 ----------- Police News
A Belize City woman has been arrested and charged for Drug Trafficking. According to police, they received information and around 4:20 yesterday afternoon, they intercepted a bus which was heading to Belize City, at the junction of Libertad Village. They conducted a search on twenty-n...

Lover Attempts to Drown Woman in Sea
There are reports of an attempted murder stemming out of San Pedro on Saturday August 3rd. Love News understands that two women from Belize City, both twenty one years old and alleged to be lovers, were celebrating one year of their partnership in San Pedro for the weekend, when they were i...

Found Guilty of Sexual Assault; Remanded for Outstanding Court Fines
A man who sexually assaulted a 31 year old woman and stole from her, was charged with aggravated assault and theft when he appeared today before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton. He is 26 year old Sean Eusey, a computer technician of New Hope Road. Eusey pled not guilty to the charges. Because he...

Adapt-A-Cause 2013 Launched
CIBC First Caribbean International Bank has launched its 2013 Adopt-A-Cause Programme. According to a press release from the bank, they have chosen five different community service projects from around the country to participate in the programme. One of the selected projects is &ldquo...

Belize Government and Non Government Agencies Meet in Training Workshop
Members of APAMO, representatives of the relevant Government Departments and interested stakeholders are participating in a two day workshop. The workshop is geared upon bridging communications between the non-governmental organizations and state regularities agencies. According to the Executive ...


Belizean Talent To Be Exposed In The U.S
Summer Camps were held in almost every district and town in Belize for children that wished to take part in productive activities over their school break. Camps ranged from sports,...

O/W Town Council Purchases Plate Compacter To Maintain Streets
As we mentioned at the top of the newscast, the Orange Walk town council is working tirelessly to keep up with its mandate of street maintenance and beatification of the...

No Ear Tag, No Slaughtering Says BAHA
“Where’s the beef?” was a slogan coined back in the 80’s by consumers complaining about undersized meat cuts and burger patties which were being sold in the US. Well, recently...

Belize City Woman Charged For Trafficking Weed
It appears that Belizean law enforcement agencies have been increasing their efforts to remove as much drugs from the street as possible. Last week, Belize police officers found a black...

Akil Rada Says He has No Links With Drugs Confiscated In El Salvador
In last night’s newscast we brought to you the image of the Lebanese business man of the Corozal Free Zone accused of allegedly having involvement with the container seized in...


Over 300 Cyclists join Dara for “Ride for Hunger”
It turned out to be a beautiful weekend for the Dara Feeding Program as over 300 people participated in the Ride for Hunger on Saturday. This event was planned and coordinated by Joel “Dara” Robinson who started the Dara Feeding Program seven years ago. Dara had noticed that many...

Guatemalan man found murdered in Benque Viejo
Police in Benque have launched an investigation into the death of 51 year old Pedro Antonio Vasques. The Guatemalan laborer was found lying motionless early Saturday morning, on the side of the road in the area of Churchill Street. Police say his body has large cut wounds one to...

Khalid El Turk will not be extradited
After a strenuous battle in Belize’s courts, Khalid El Turk is free from being extradited to the United States. Since October of 2012, authorities in the US have been requesting the expulsion of El Turk, a Belizean resident, but today the Magistrate’s Court ruled in his favor. It’s an...

Belize Chamber of Commerce supports the restructuring of the PAC
In Friday’s newscast, we told you that the Prime Minister of Belize said he would oppose Hon. Julius Espat’s motion expected this Wednesday at the House of Representatives. That motion would be for the revising of the structure of the Public Accounts Committee, which is presently chaired by Hon....

PM details MOU with Norwegian Cruise Lines
Last week, when we caught up with Prime Minister the Hon. Dean Barrow, he divulged on a number of issues. Tonight, we continue our coverage of that extended interview. The PM shared quite candidly on the joint venture between the Government of Belize and the Norwegian Cruise Line for...

PM says CCJ ruling on Telemedia is a huge victory
Last week, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruled on a settlement deed made by the Said Musa administration in March of 2005 with BCB Holdings and Belize Bank Limited to resolve ongoing litigation by means of creating a separate tax regime was contrary to public policy, and the...

PM defends Deputy’s decisions on issuing properties
As has been reported, quite the ruckus unfolded at the Lands Department last week. The incident made news after CEO of the Ministry of Housing, Lawrence Sylvester had to be escorted out of the building by armed security. The confrontation came about because of a few abandoned properties at...

Customs officer charged for allegedly smuggling contraband
Three men, one of them a customs officer, were slapped with large fines, after they were allegedly caught with contraband goodsThey are 29 year old Carlton Humes, customs officer 25 year old Rondale Bailey and 21 year old student Devon Bailey. The bust...

Man in critical condition following road traffic collision
A man is left fighting for his life after he was injured in a road accident in the wee hours of Saturday morning. 21 year old Jorge Ramos, a resident of Camalote Village was riding a motorcycle, when near Mile 56 on the Hummingbird Highway; it collided with a...

Man shot in Camalote
Police in the nation’s capital are investigating a shooting incident which took place early Saturday morning. 23 year old William Gordon of Camalote was shot on his way to his ex-common law wife’s home. Reports are that as he was walking past the hydro plan, situated near the West...

Shooting Victim to get compensation
It appears that Prime Minister Dean Barrow moved rather quickly to settle the matter of awarding compensation to injured construction worker Steven Buckley. The 40-year-old father of five has been a staple of the evening news in recent weeks as he stared possible jail time for being unable to...

Police hold closing ceremony for National Youth Cadet Corps Camp
Late on Friday the Police Department held a closing ceremony for the 16th annual National Youth Cadet Corps Camp, which this year was hosted by the Central Region in Belize City at Edward P. Yorke High School. Boys and girls between 8 and 17, a total...

Minister Herman Longsworth commends National Football Team members
Minister of State with responsibility for Sports, Herman Longsworth, has been criticized for suggesting that the Government would limit its funding of national teams because of inability to distribute resources, even after appearing at the CONCACAF Gold Cup to support the national football team. Now, some wonder if the...

Sports Minister outlines development plans for sports venues
The Ministry of Sports has been rapped recently with regard to the length of time needed to complete several major upgrades to stadia and venues in Belize City that are used for multiple purposes. Among these are the Marion Jones Sporting Complex, the Belize City Centre, the proposed stadium...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Dates for 5th Annual Tres Pescados Fishing Tournament set
Tres Pescados Slam Tournament hosted by San Pedro, Ambergris Caye yearly will take place this year from 2013 -August 15-17. Entry fee is $325US. Purse TBD.

Miss Belize, Destinee Dominique Arnold, 20, is Miss Costa Maya 2013
Destinee Dominique Arnold, 20, a Belizean whose studies at California State University are helping to prepare her for a career in family law, has captured the title of La Reina de La Costa Maya 2013 – the first Belizean to win the title in six years. Maria Jeffrey was the last Belizean to capture the title in 2007 – four years after Leila Pandy, in 2003. Mexico, which has dominated for the past two years, did not end up in the top three this year, and neither did Guatemala, which won the title in 2010 and 2008. The first runner-up was the delegate from Nicaragua, the country which took home the title in 2009.

Three-star shrimp from Belize Aquaculture
Belize Aquaculture Ltd. has become the first shrimp company in Belize and the second in Central America approved to offer three-star BAP shrimp. Belize Aquaculture’s shrimp hatchery, farm and processing plant located in Stann Creek District, in southeastern Belize, all earned BAP certification on 26 July. Founded in 1996, Belize Aquaculture produced 4.5 million pounds of Pacific white shrimp in 2012 and is on target to produce 10 millions pounds in 2014 across 68 four-acre ponds. The company also operates a British Retail Consortium (BRC)- and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP)-certified processing plant.


El Turk was arrested and remanded to the Belize Central Prison on October 16, 2012, on the strength of a provisional warrant for importing pseudoephedrine into the United States Khaled El Turk, 36, a Belizean originally from Lebanon, was detained and remanded to the Belize Central Prison on October 18, 2012, after police received information from the United States that El Turk was wanted by the US authorities. El Turk remained in prison for over one month before the Belize Embassy in Washington D.C. sent a request to Belize stating that they wished to extradite him. The documents were presented to the court on December 19, 2012, citing that extradition for El Turk was related to two indictments, namely (1) that El Turk conspired to import pseudoephedrine into the US; and (2) that El Turk imported pseudoephedrine into the US, with both counts, once he was found guilty of them, requiring a sentence of imprisonment for not more than ten years. The US, through the Office of the Solicitor General, namely Magali Perdomo, assisted by Iliani Swift, contended that El Turk had committed extraditable offenses under the laws of both the requesting State (US) and the requested country (Belize).

Doreen McKoy has no fear of her work, thinks “positive,” and refuses to be “underestimated” Doreen McKoy, 33, a sanitation worker for over 8 years, is normally seen diligently cleaning up refuse on the street side here on Partridge Street each morning, many a times in the broiling sun. Today, Amandala decided to speak with this hardworking woman to see what it’s like for her on a daily basis. We were impressed to hear what she had to say. She believes that as a woman, she is able to do any type of work that a man can do, and maybe even more, as she refuses to be underestimated. She mentioned that she does have her good days and bad days on the job, like everybody else, but she always tries to “work around” the bad days by thinking positive, because she knows that she has her children to take care of. Doreen told us that she does her best to maintain her five children and to keep them in school, which is essential to their future development, as it might be one of the few chances that they have to get a sensible job so that they don’t end up doing the same kind of work that she presently does, although she is by no means ashamed to be a sanitation worker.

Maria Jeffrey was the last Belizean to capture the title in 2007. Destinee Dominique Arnold, 20, a Belizean whose studies at California State University are helping to prepare her for a career in family law, has captured the title of La Reina de La Costa Maya 2013 – the first Belizean to win the title in six years. Maria Jeffrey was the last Belizean to capture the title in 2007 – four years after Leila Pandy, in 2003. Mexico, which has dominated for the past two years, did not end up in the top three this year, and neither did Guatemala, which won the title in 2010 and 2008. The first runner-up was the delegate from Nicaragua, the country which took home the title in 2009. The Costa Maya winners were announced on the night of Thursday, August 1, when it was reported that Destinee had won the 22nd edition of the annual pageant, which forms a part of the annual entertainment festival hosted on San Pedro from Thursday, August 1 to Sunday, August 4, 2013. The 1st runner-up is Ariadna Orellana (Nicaragua), and the 2nd runner-up is Cleirys Velasquez (Panama), who also won Best National Costume. Destinee Arnold, the third Belizean to win the pageant, is no stranger to pageantry. She won the title of Queen of the Jewel 2012-2013 for Roaring Creek, Cayo, last July. Destinee was also crowned Miss Belize California 2011-2012, in Los Angeles, California; and she is the winner of Miss Ethnic World 2013 (California). She also represented Belize in the Miss International Pageant in Okinawa, Japan, last year.

At about 10:30 this morning on the verandah of the Racoon Street Police Station, Richard “Dickie” Bradley, attorney for Steven Buckley, briefed the media on the proposed settlement by the Government of Belize for injuries sustained to Buckley, who was wrongly shot in the head by police at about 6:30 p.m. on April 29, 2010, while going home after a day of house-construction work. Bradley had just come out of a meeting with the Acting Solicitor General, Nigel Hawke, attorney for the Government of Belize, and the Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie, and he told the media that Buckley is seeking $2 million compensation. As a result of the injuries he suffered from the police’s pump action 12-gauge shotgun on Kraal Road that night, Buckley, 45, of West Street, is incapacitated. Because Government has been excruciatingly slow to address his plight, he has been reduced to seeking assistance from the public and kindhearted individuals so that he and his family can survive.

Popper swindled money and a cell phone from two persons. Con artist Robert Popper, 40, a diver/fisherman of San Pedro, pleaded guilty to two counts of obtaining property by deception before Magistrate Dale Cayetano today. According to police, on July 25, Popper visited Lashawn Waite and asked her to lend him some money in order for him to pay for a money transaction at his bank. Waite reported that Popper promised to repay her as soon as he got his money, and she therefore instructed her mother to get the money and give it to Popper. Then, on August 2, Dayborne Alvarez was somehow convinced to hand over his Samsung Galaxy S3 cell phone, valued at $1,500, and $200 cash to Popper. Alvarez reported that matter to police and Popper was detained, and it was during that time that Waite learned of his detention and visited the police station to make her report. Popper, who has been before the court as many as 24 times for crimes of dishonesty, pleaded guilty to the offenses today. He told the court that “I just find myself di do it more than once. I want you to give me a time to rehabilitate. I need to get help. It’s been more than this, but this is only what people have reported. I need to go to jail.”

Justice Hanomansingh acquitted Vidal on a technicality even before a jury was empanelled. On December 23, 2005, Hortencio Contreras was beaten to death in Belmopan and police arrested and charged Jorge Vidal for the murder. Vidal has been on remand since then, awaiting his trial which was set to start on Monday, July 29. But even before a jury could have been empanelled for the trial, Vidal was allowed to walk out of court a free man. That’s because Justice Denis Hanomansingh acquitted Vidal based on a technicality after he reviewed the case bundle. Magistrate Richard Swift was the magistrate who signed the case over to the Supreme Court, but in 2007, Swift along with six others disappeared at sea. His body was the only one later found. The technicality on the basis of which Vidal was freed arose from a report from the Superintendent in Benque, Louise Willis, to the DPP, which stated that Sgt. A. Pook marshaled the evidence, while Magistrate Swift committed the accused to stand trial in the Supreme Court.

A soldier of the Belize Defence Force was robbed at gunpoint by a thief who got away with $300 in cash and valuables at about 3:30 yesterday morning at the corner of McKay Boulevard and Mahogany Street. The soldier told police that at about 3:30 yesterday morning, he was walking on Mahogany Street towards the Charles Bartlett Hyde Complex Building, from the direction of Central American Boulevard, when on his arrival at the corner of McKay Boulevard and Mahogany Street, a man riding a bicycle rode up to him and told him that this was a holdup, and attempted to pull out an object from the waist of his pants. The soldier said that he ran into McKay Boulevard, but as he approached the junction of McKay Boulevard and Electric Avenue, the thief, who was riding a bicycle, caught up with him, pointed a gun at him and demanded money and all his valuables. The soldier said that he became fearful that he would be shot, and handed over his cell phone, valued at $288, a white headphone valued at $15, a cigarette lighter valued at $2 and $3 cash. The robber then rode away into McKay Boulevard and disappeared into the area.

On April 17, 2010, Locke stabbed Edgar Monteagudo to death after an altercation. Yesterday, in the Corozal Supreme Court, Shawn Locke, 20, pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter after he was accused of stabbing Edgar Monteagudo to death. On April 17, 2010, in the village of San Jose, San Pablo, Locke was approached by Monteagudo and his nephew, who got into an argument with Locke that quickly turned physical. The two men got the upper hand on Locke, but Locke pulled out a knife and allegedly stabbed Monteagudo, then stabbed his nephew. Monteagudo later died, but his nephew survived his injuries and was able to report the matter to police. Initially, Locke was charged with murder, but that charge was later reduced to manslaughter and yesterday when the trial was set to start, Locke pleaded guilty to that charge. In his mitigation hearing, Locke spoke to the court and expressed his remorse saying that “If the position was to repeat itself, I would act differently. Back then, I acted rashly, impulsively without giving it a thought.”

A Guatemalan man residing in Benque Viejo Del Carmen died after being beaten, stabbed in the nose and chopped in the head. Pedro Vasquez, 51, was found bleeding from his injuries at about 4:45 yesterday morning, Sunday, near the old Esso Gas Station in Benque. According to police, he was lying on the right side of the road in a pool of blood. Police rushed him to the San Ignacio Hospital, after which he was rushed to the Belmopan Hospital, but he died on the way. Reports are that he was seen alive earlier, about 1:00 that Sunday morning in the area. Police said that they are not yet clear what led to the stabbing, or who stabbed him. The case has been declared a murder. One person has been detained so far. Vasquez’s family told Amandala that they had no comments to make.

Amandala has been informed that 42 evangelical pastors—6 from each district plus Belmopan—met on Friday morning, August 2, at the George Price Center with Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow. The meeting was coordinated by Richard Smith of My Refuge Christian Radio, who told the press: “We’re the conscience of this nation…” Prime Minister Barrow told journalists, after the meeting, that “… it was altogether, as I said, a very, very satisfying experience.” Asked whether the Revised Gender Policy 2013, which has faced strong opposition from the church, was a subject of their talks, Barrow said, no – the meeting was not about the gender policy. He indicated that Pastor Scott Stirm had signaled to him, though, that they are fairly close to finished with the submissions on the Gender Policy, which are to be sent to him, Barrow.

“ Short staffed Griga Pumas gain a draw against Ladyville Jaguars in first leg of national women football semifinals. Despite the rains in Belize City on Sunday, the field was in good shape in Ladyville, where visiting Dangriga Pumas were hosted by Ladyville Jaguars in the first leg of the home-and-away semifinals of the FFB’s Atlantic Bank Women Football Tournament 2013. The Dangriga team fielded exactly 11 players – no substitutes on the bench; while the home team, Ladyville Jaguars, had ample replacements on hand, and a host of excited fans lining the northern portion of the field. Reinforced with about 5 former Millennium stars, the Ladyville Jaguars team appeared confident and dominated play in the early going. Shanell Gentle is normally a striker, and Sarah Arzu, their other best player, usually controls the defense; but yesterday they switched roles in first half – Sarah striking and Shanell sweeping in defense. Sarah struck early for the Jaguars, who were up 1-nil at the 16th minute, and seemed to be having things their way. But 10 minutes later, a corner from the right side, kicking into the northern goal, resulted in a scramble in front of the Jaguars goal, and tall forward Jacklaine Arzu tapped in the equalizer for Griga.

The Belize District Basketball Association (BDBA) Firms Tournament 2013 is well under way, with Week 2 games played over the weekend, 3 on Friday and 3 more on Saturday night at Birds Isle. In the opener on Friday night, Belize City Council won, 62-59, over Courts. Leading City Council were Kenroy Usher 17 pts 7 rebs, Cordel Gonzalez, Jr. 11 pts, Ian Ferrera 9 pts, Leon Williams 8 pts 12 rebs, and Greg Mahler 5 pts 5 rebs 3 assts; while for Courts, Keith Pollard had 14 pts, Tyrone Anthony 13 pts, Delroy Caliz 10 pts, and Leroy Gentle 9 pts 8 rebs. Next it was Atlantic Bank over Heritage Bank, 65-51. Atlantic Bank was led by Ervin Orosco 30 pts 10 rebs 3 assts 5 stls, and Ian Rene 16 pts 10 rebs 8 stls; while for Heritage Bank, Kurt Burgess had 16 pts 16 rebs, Felix Martinez 16 pts, and Devon Defour 9 pts. And in the nightcap, Belize Bank clipped BWSL, 52-48, behind Terique Gabb 16 pts 4 rebs 3 assts, Marcel Orosco 15 pts 11 rebs, and Chris McGann 6 pts 4 rebs 3 assts. For BWSL, Lindbergh Graham had 14 pts 6 rebs, Kariem Thompson 11 pts 6 rebs 3 stls, and Akeem Trapp 7 pts 5 rebs 5 stls.

The Toledo Guinness 9-Ball Tournament regular season came to the end over the weekend. Bejerano’s Challengers, claiming first spot with 54 points, was already in the playoff and was just waiting to see who their opponent would be. With this we had 3 teams fighting for the #2, #3 and #4 spot, namely Embassy Knights – 38 pts, Anaconda Celebrities – 30 pts, and Seaside Heights – 34 pts. The weekend started with Anaconda Celebrities hosting Embassy Knights on Saturday night with attendance of 41 persons. At the end of the game, Anaconda Celebrities won, 3-2. Winners for Anaconda Celebrities were: Travis Jacobs over Davin Foreman, 5-3; Randolph Tulcey over Densford Mangar, 5-3, in a very unsportsmanlike game from Mr. Mangar; and Elias Coleman over Kenrick Galvez, 5-3. Winners for Embassy Knights were: Evans Mangar over Roland Tillett, 5-1; and Lyndon Parham over Eugene Jacobs, 5-3. Then on Sunday, August 4, Seaside Heights hosted Anaconda Celebrities. Seaside Heights won, 5-Zip. Winners for Seaside Heights were: Ewart Duncan over Travis Jacobs, 5-Zip; Reylando Castro over Elias Coleman, 5-1; Allan Chen over Eugene Jacobs, 5-1; Errol Myvette over Randolph Tulcey, 5-1; and Leroy Vernon over Andy Edwards, 5-2. Attendance at this game was 34.

The Francis Fonseca-led Opposition PUP claims that this newspaper is biased in favor of the ruling UDP because the Barrow government is giving us so many advertisements. What the PUP is really doing is protecting a ritual waste of government funds which they, the PUP, introduced way back in 1957 with The Belize Times. Many millions of taxpayers’ moneys were wasted with the Price Government of Belize sending advertisements to subsidize The Times from 1957 to 1984. All that happened when the UDP finally won office in 1984 was that the wasted advertisement moneys were now sent to the UDP newspaper, People’s Pulse or something like that, then when the PUP returned to office in 1989, it was the Belize Times’ turn to eat until 1993, when the UDP won again, and so on and so forth. Bottom line is, readers do not buy government-run newspapers. These things have to be given away. The fact of the matter is that government-owned newspapers are political propaganda, and they are treated as trash by the Belizean reading public. Nobody buys that stuff. But, as an example, last weekend’s 40 page UDP Guardian contained 21 pages of Government and Government-related advertisements. The PUP does not attack this foolishness, because they themselves introduced it, and they expect to feed off it when they return to office. You know the old piti-pat business: fu you, fu me …

Of the four Prime Ministers Belize has had, two were St. John’s College graduates, and two are St. Michael’s College graduates. As the Christian missionaries transfer their book knowledge to young natives, they carefully assess the young natives to make sure they are not educating people who will become problems for their religions and their metropolitan societies. The dominant churches in Belizean education come from Rome and Canterbury. It’s all very simple once you know where the keys are to open the doors. When I was a child, the Roman missionaries saw that I had certain gifts which could assist them in their religious work amongst the natives. But when I was 15 and they proposed the priesthood thing to me, that was definitely not on my agenda. So, I was removed from the good books of the Roman missionaries. I was fortunate enough to get a second chance in life. The American government representatives in Belize decided, when I was 17, to gamble on me and further my education. To be truthful, I was more than just fortunate: I was very fortunate. I went to school in America, however, during a turbulent time. This was between 1965 and 1968. Two serious developments took place during those three years. One was the black power phenomenon, introduced in Mississippi in 1966 by the Trinidad-born Stokely Carmichael (later Kwame Toure), and the other was the crazy escalation in the Vietnam War which alienated and frightened young generations of white Americans.

The Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG) has announced that Belize will host its sixth regional meeting, dubbed CaribNOG 6 Belize. The event is slated to take place from September 23 to 27, 2013. The venue and meeting details, as well as partners and sponsors, are yet to be announced. The organization said that they will work to build on the success and momentum achieved at CaribNOG 5, which was held in April in Barbados. CaribNOG describes itself as “a rich community of network operators dedicated to exchanging technical information and experiences related to the management of IP networks in the Caribbean region.” It is a non-profit, engineering, educational, and operational forum for coordination of network operations in the Caribbean region. Over 120 participants from across the region and the world convened at CaribNOG 5 for two and a half days of training, experience sharing and collaboration which focused heavily on network security, internet exchange points and IPv6 Adoption, the organization said.

Both Norwegian Cruise Lines and the Government of Belize have confirmed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) setting a framework for a new cruise port at Harvest Caye in Southern Belize, a few miles from Placencia, a premier tourist destination. Stakeholders in the overnight tourism sector are still not content with the decision by the Barrow administration to give the green light to the investors to push ahead with the US$50 million venture, which they say gives too many perks to the investor – and which, they say, is contrary to the tourism master plan to exclude the south from mass tourism. That plan, they say, calls for a smaller-scale, pocket tourism, which should have less negative impact. Some have even suggested private gain as a motivation for the Norwegian agreement. “What I resent is, people who suggest that this is some sort of giveaway or sellout. Man, it is always a balancing act,” said Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who holds the portfolios for finance and economic development.

The financial news agency, Platts, a division of McGraw Hill Financial, USA, has reported that the interest rate charged by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on the financing of oil purchases under the PetroCaribe deal is set to be increased by the Venezuelan government from a 1 to 2 percent annual rate to a 2.4 percent annual rate – up to a 100% increase in payments – effective October 2013. The report is being widely circulated in countries which have signed onto the PetroCaribe deal; however, official sources in the region indicate no knowledge of a plan for the interest rate to be increased. One concern is how this change, if applied, could impact pump prices in Belize and the region. In a release issued last September (2012), announcing the resumption of fuel shipments to Belize, PetroCaribe said Belize is expected to receive 80,000 to 90,000 barrels of products per month, through two shipments of diesel, jet fuel, regular and premium gasoline. PetroCaribe, an energy cooperation agreement dating back to 2005 and masterminded by the late Hugo Chavez, lists its members as Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Suriname and Venezuela—a total of 18 parties.

— by John Oliver Dear Editor, In his article in today’s Amandala, Janus describes the sailing activity as it must have been a few years before I arrived in Belize. Even at that time there were active sailors in the Seagull and Traditional Dories classes. I joined the Seagull sailors as an active competitor in the Baron Bliss, and other regattas. Even then, the owners were elderly, and some were ailing and have now become inactive. They failed to introduce other potential enthusiasts to the sport, and worse, failed to train youngsters in the craft of building wooden sailboats, and the skills of sailing them. A notable exception was Sir George Brown, who trained youth, primarily from Gales Point. A group of enthusiasts formed the Belize Sailing Association just a few years ago, with the intention of reversing this decline, re-introducing the sport, at first with the children, using 8-foot Optimist dinghies, later in larger crafts, both for recreation, and eventually to encourage Belizean sailors into regional, international, even Olympic competition.

— by Elsie Velasquez Dear Editor, Kindly allow me some space in your newspaper to talk about breastfeeding, since World Breastfeeding Week will be celebrated this year from the 5th of August through the 7th August. This issue is important for all pregnant women, especially for young teenage moms, to choose correctly the right step in providing their infant with the best feeding options that are necessary for optimal growth and development for their babies. Breastfeeding a baby? It may look simple and easy to do if you know how to do it and what to expect, but it takes a lot of knowledge, encouragement and support to nurse a baby. Why breastfeeding is important? It contains all the nutrients and keeps changing to meet an infant needs. It is the most natural and healthy nourishment as well as the best possible infant food a baby can receive. It benefits the mother, the child and the family on a whole.

— by Russell Czarnecki Dear Editor, About 8 months ago, after living in Belize for a bit more than 6 years, I moved permanently to Mexico. My frustrations over the sad state of ALL Belizean institutions coupled with the relentless avarice of GOB—which gets worse all the time—made me realize how unhappy I was in this land of so much natural beauty. Amandala carries the torch as best it can—I never miss an on-line issue—but the general population, I think, has become so dispirited and hopeless over the chance of meaningful change in the system and in their lives that they view criticisms like mine with little interest, or even less kindly, as another example of a Gringo (American, in this case) telling a local how to do things.

— by Patricia Celenza Dear Government of Belize, I would appreciate some answers to my questions: How can the Government of Belize approve/sanction/allow mass cruise ships in southern Belize when in 2010, in response to public outcry, and the government-funded Wilson Report opposing cruise ships in the south, Government assured us that there would NOT be cruise ships? Why does the Government of Belize not only lie to its people, but then turn around and covertly sign a deal with Norwegian Cruise Lines with absolutely no public consultations or any environmental studies? For an administration whose political buzz word was “transparency,” exactly where is that transparency? Did you read this week’s editorial in the Amandala?

Amendments involve changes to Belize’s Criminal Code, Firearms Act, the Interception of Communications Act, as well as legislation governing NGOs and trusts. A suite of anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism bills are due to be tabled when Parliament meets on Wednesday – triggered by a push from the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) for Belize to take steps to address what the regional organization of 29 Caribbean Basin jurisdictions calls deficiencies which pose a risk to the international financial system. Amandala has been reliably informed that the amendments involve changes to Belize’s Criminal Code, Firearms Act, the Interception of Communications Act, as well as legislation governing NGOs and trusts. Belize is listed on top of the list of three Caribbean countries which have been given a November 13, 2013, deadline to effect legislative reforms. Next in line are Guyana and Dominica. A public statement of the CFATF issued May 30, 2013 says the member countries have agreed to implement the international standards for Anti-money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) – Financial Action Task Force Recommendations (FATF Recommendations).

The August 4th, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Fatal Traffic Accident In Bullet Tree Village:
    Another fatal traffic accident. Another western taxi driver dies. It was shortly before 8:00 pm on Wednesday, July 31, when San Ignacio police were summoned to the emergency ward at the Community Hospital in San Ignacio where they were shown the officially pronounced dead body of a male hispanic person. The police investigation revealed that about half an hour earlier, a male witness reported hearing a crashing noise in the area of the bridge at the entrance to the Bullet Tree Falls Village. The witness informed that upon checking into the source of the crashing noise, he came upon an extensively damaged, overturned blue four door Toyota Corolla car with its four wheels in the air near the bridge and with a male Hispanic person trapped behind the steering wheel.
  • Contreras Accused Of Attempt Burglary:
    Quick response from San Ignacio police has resulted in the arrest of a San Ignacio man who attempted to burglarize a house in San Ignacio. Erik Santos reported to police that at around 7:45 pm on Juy 28, he secured his house located on Awe Street in San Ignacio and left to visit a relative in the nearby Santiago Juan Layout Area. Upon returning home he first noticed that his porch light was turned off subsequently noting that the lock on the main door was damaged. Further checks revealed that nothing was missing from inside the house. Notwithstanding however, the police investigation led to the arrest of Richard Contreras, 31, Belizean laborer, of a 17th Street, San Ignacio town address. The accused appeared in the San Ignacio courtroom of Magistrate Narda Morgan on July 29, where pled not guilty to the attempt robbery charge.
  • A Lovely Ceremony It Was:
    Relatives and friends gathered today at 10:00 am at the Sacred Heart Church in San Ignacio Town to participate in the wedding ceremony of Peter Perez and Toni Lisbey. The weather was perfect for the intimate ceremony, which was celebrated by father Moises of Sacred Heart Church. The lovely bride was dressed in a highlow dress decorated with Toni’s favorite pink floral sarong, while the groom displayed an elegant black suit and the brides maids were dressed in lovely pink dresses. A reception to celebrate the newly weds took place at the Codd’s residence on Requena Street in Santa Elena Town, where congratulations and best wishes were imparted upon the newly wedded couple.
  • Press Release By Belize Action – Monday July 29th, 2013 Re: SPLC Report:
    Last week’s report from Southern Poverty Law Center in the U.S. purported the involvement of certain U.S. based groups alleged to be promoting hatred & violence in Belize by assisting efforts to protect Section 53 of the Criminal Code, the Belize Sodomy/Unnatural Act law. Although it was named “Intelligence Report,” it was full of “unintelligent” falsehoods & slanderous untruths in an attempt to vilify and paint as “hate groups” the Belizean efforts & leaders who have taken a strong stand for Family Values in Belize. The timing of the SPLC report was a weak attempt to distract from a month of Constitutional Marches across Belize that mobilized almost 10,000 Belizeans to stand for Constitutional values and opposed to the 2013 Gender Policy in it’s present form.
  • REMAR Resident Remanded:
    A patient from the drug rehabilitation center, REMAR, in Bullet Tree Falls village has been remanded to the Hattieville prison on a theft charge. The charge stems from a report made by Miguel Angel Osorio, businessman of Benque Viejo Town, Cayo. Osorio alleges that sometime during the night of Monday, July 8, 2013 his business place in the San Ignacio market was robbed of over two thousand dollars worth of merchandise listed as 15 music boxes, valued at $520, 28 male and female watches, valued at $1050 and other items valued at $1,220 all for a total of $2,790. According to Osorio, his business place was left in tack the night before the incident and upon returning to open the following day he encountered his business in a ransacked state thus indicating that it was burglarized.
  • UB Celebrates 13 Years Of Contributing To National Development Of Belize:
    The University of Belize today celebrates its 13th Anniversary as the national tertiary institution for Belize and is proud to continue to serve Belize as a vehicle for training more students to develop a wide range of opportunities for Belizeans. On August 1, 2000, the University of Belize (UB) was born from a merger of five institutions: the University College of Belize (UCB), the Belize Technical College (BTC), the Belize Teachers’ Training College (BTTC), the Belize School of Nursing (BSN), and the Belize College of Agriculture (BCA). UCB, BTC and BTTC were under the supervision of the Ministry of Education (MOE); BSN was under the supervision of the Ministry of Health (MOH); and BCA was under the supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA).
  • Amado Castillo Sr.:
    Amado Castillo Sr. a retired Forest Officer fighting various medical complications was laid to rest on July 31st, 2013 at the Benque Viejo Cemetery. Born and raised in San Estevan, Orange Walk he lived most of his elder years in Santa Elena, Cayo. He was predeceased by his parents Isabel and Amado Castillo and his first wife Eucebia Castillo. He is survived by his 8 daughters: Rosario, Dalila, Elicia, Nelita, Carmelita, Xiomara, Krystal and Sarita. 7 sons: Rudy, Hilberto, Amado Jr., Angel, Luke, Mark and Madiel. Siblings: Pablo, Cesar, Joe, Petrona, Benedicta and Serafina. A host of nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great grandchildren. The Castillo Family would like to send a sincere thank you to everyone who assisted in any way possible throughout this time of bereavement.
  • Oak Foundation donates $2 Million for Pediatric Care Unit:
    The Ministry of Health was pleased to be a part of the announcement by Ms. Kim Simplis Barrow, Special Envoy for Women and Children on the generous donation of two million dollars from the Oak foundation towards the construction of the new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The Lifeline Foundation, founded by Mrs. Barrow was instrumental in the discussions that eventually led to the commitment of the funds. One million dollars will go towards the construction works while one million will go towards the purchase of equipment for the unit.
  • Technical Mission on Non-Communicable Diseases and Cancer:
    The Ministry of Health has been selected as one of the participants in a global project with the goal of “ St r e n g t h e n i n g policy frameworks to reduce premature death toll from Non- Communicable Diseases.” As part of the project, a technical mission led by regional consultant, Silvana Luciani, Pan American Health Organization’s Washington Office was in country from the 15th to 10th, July to advance work in the area of national plans for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including cancer.
  • Vector Control gets pickup trucks to increase ULV Spraying of Mosquitoes:
    The Government of Belize recently purchased two 2013 Great Wall - Wingle 4 x 4 pickup trucks for the vector control program to assist with Ultra Low Volume (ULV) spraying in the Corozal and Toledo districts. The total cost of both vehicles was BZ $78,800.00. One of the trucks was handed over to the Northern Region and the second pick-up was sent down south to do work in the Toledo District. The Ministry of Health has stepped up its surveillance and interventions to prevent dengue - from health education, mass larviciding, to ULV spraying.
  • Suspected Bovine Rabies Case Notified:
    The Ministry of Health is hereby notifying the public that a suspected case of bovine rabies (rabies in cow) was reported on the 24th of July 2013 by Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) in the New Road Area of the Toledo District. While there is no confirmed case as yet, the public is reminded that periodic cases are seen in the country alluding to active circulation of the rabies virus. Officials of the Ministry of Health and BAHA will contiue to monitor the situation and we encourage you to report any suspected case.
  • Mental Health Annual Workshop:
    The eleventh Annual Mental Health Workshop was held from July 18th -20th in Placencia Village under the theme, “Integrating Quality into Mental Health Care. In a short opening ceremony to welcome the participants, Dr. Phillip Castillo encouraged the nurses to elevate the conversation to improve what exist in Mental Health while, Matron Augustina Elijio ask the nurses to adhere to principles, ethics, scope of practice and standards at all times when carrying out the duty of nursing. Mental Health Program Nursing Administrator Eleanor Bennett welcomed and introduced Dr. Wesley Quimbo, Psychiatrist for Ministry of Health; he takes over from Dr. Claudina Cayetano who moved on to PAHO earlier this year.
  • Call for probe into death of Jamaica 'cross-dresser':
    Human Rights Watch has called for Jamaican police to conduct a "thorough, impartial and effective investigation" into the killing of a 17-year-old boy reportedly wearing women's clothing. Dwayne Jones was attacked by a group at a party after they discovered he was male, according to local media. Police said he was stabbed multiple times and shot once. Activists say Jamaicans who do not conform to gender expectations face mental and physical abuse.
  • Healthy Living Tips:
    It sounds bizarre, but beetroot could be a secret weapon against high blood pressure. The condition is a major cause of heart disease and stroke, but many people aren't aware they have it as it has no symptoms. Now, researchers from Barts and the London School of Medicine say drinking 500ml of beetroot juice could dramatically reduce blood pressure after just one hour. So drink up the pink stuff.
  • A Questionable Future For The Garifuna People In The South Of Belize:
    In studying Belize’s history when most Belizeans heard of the south the first thing that came to their minds were the Garifuna people. Why? Because when the British granted permission to the Garifuna people to reside in Dangriga Town in 1801 they were told not to go anywhere else but to remain in the south. At that time the Creoles were still slaves to the British and the Maya Indians were trying to survive the colonial policies of the British and the Spanish who were taking away their lands from them. The Maya Indians who lived in Belize, Guatemala and Mexico fought viciously against the Spanish and the British but did not have the military tools to overcome these two great giants that were competing for territories in the region.
  • Tourism Public Sector Responds to BTIA on the Proposed Cruise Tourism Development Project in Southern Belize:
    The Ministry of Tourism & Culture and the Belize Tourism Board wishes to respond to the ill-informed, irresponsible campaign launched by the Belize Tourism Industry Association on today’s Love FM Morning Show against the proposed Cruise Tourism Investment Project in Southern Belize. The Ministry of Tourism & Culture and the Belize Tourism Board would like to state the following facts: · The National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan calls for the development of six tourism products, with cruise tourism being one of the six. · That the National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan calls for the decentralization of cruise tourism in Belize in an effort to reduce overcrowding, provide better management of our tourism sites, enhance safety and security conditions for cruise visitors and increase local participation within this sub-sector.
    For: Benque Viejo Police Sub-Formation community policing unit community policing efforts at its best in Benque Viejo! On Friday 26th July concluded the youth summer camp offered by Zone 4 Neighborhood Watch Group in Benque Viejo, hosted annually by the zone captain Samuel Bruce in the spacious multipurpose community park located on his property. Zone 4 NHWG under the leadership of Mr. Bruce since 2008, has continued to be the community policing unit’s model of success, bringing numerous community activities for the youth, and residents of zone 4 in Benque, promoting positive activities, educating the residents about helping to keep the crime level low in Benque. This year’s summer camp focused on arts & crafts projects conducted inside the stone constructed community center, directed by; the veteran teacher, and zone quadrant leader Mrs. Isela Tesecum, with assistance from; Marcia Rosas (teacher)...
  • Anger in Chile over ruling on 2010 mine collapse:
    An investigation into the 2010 accident in Chile that left 33 miners trapped underground for more than two months has failed to find anyone responsible. The case was closed after a prosecutor said there was not enough evidence to press charges against either the owners of the mine or regulators. One of the miners said it was a "disgrace for justice" while a former minister called it "unbelievable". The miners' rescue in a special capsule was followed live around the world. "This is a disgrace to Chile's justice system,'' one of the survivors, Mario Sepulveda, told Associated Press news agency,
  • US in worldwide travel alert on al-Qaeda threat:
    The US state department has said it is issuing a global travel alert because of an unspecified al-Qaeda threat. In a statement, the department said the potential for an attack is particularly strong in the Middle East and North Africa. The move comes shortly after the US announced the closure of embassies in the region on Sunday. The alert expires on 31 August 2013, the department said. It recommended US citizens travelling abroad be vigilant. "Current information suggests that al-Qa'ida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August," the statement said.
  • UN narcotics body warns Uruguay over marijuana bill:
    The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) says it is concerned by the approval by Uruguayan MPs of a bill which would legalise marijuana. The INCB says the law would "be in complete contravention to the provisions of the international drug treaties to which Uruguay is party". Under the new law, the state would assume control of growing and selling cannabis to registered users. The bill still needs to be passed by Uruguay's senate before becoming law.
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Where to shop when you land in San Pedro and a 15 minute Belize City taxi video
Often people want to pick up a few things when they hit town so that when they get to their resort they can relax and enjoy a drink and a snack. Within a stones throw Tropic Air and Maya Island Air, you can hit a reasonably priced grocery store to pick up all the basics, and find 2 fruit stands that sell fresh cut fruit and limited vegetables. Nuts and peanut butter are 2 things I recommend on Belize forums when people ask what to bring food wise, both items are costly here. Looking down the side road by Tropic Air baggage claim, Save On Groceries is second on left Coming from Maya Save On Groceries is at the end of the road

A Date with Destinee
We couldn’t resist… To be honest, we’re not big on the whole beauty pageant thing, but we do like reporting on all things Belizean, and for many people early this month, the selection of Belize’s very own Destinee Arnold taking the crown at the International La Reina de La Costa Maya Pageant was a source of excitement and joy. The International La Reina de La Costa Maya Pageant, or Queen of the Maya Coast Pageant for our non-Spanish speakers, has women from Mexico and seven Latin American countries vying for the crown of this international competition, now in its 22nd year. And Belize’s Ms Arnold is no stranger to pageant success, having already taken the crowns of the 2012 “Queen of the Jewel Miss Belize” and Miss International Pageant” in Okinawa, Japan, and won the title of Miss Ethnic World in 2013 at Long beach California.

Bubblegum Snow Cone Syrup
My favorite flavor of snow cone or fresco syrup is bubblegum. I finally found the bubblegum extract online and was able to make the perfect bubblegum flavored syrup.

“Summer in the City” (Belize City) when away from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
As I mentioned in the previous edition, I had an appointment at 08.00 hours at the Dental Center yesterday morning and had to catch the Caye Caulker Water Taxi 06.00 service to get to Belize City for this. I (as long time readers will know) am always up early so getting ready for this early departure was not a problem. Catching the boat was made even easier because Rose got up to run me there in the golf cart (big cheer for Rose now!). I was at the terminal by 05.50 hours and when they called for boarding I managed to belie my age by very adroitly (and swiftly) getting to near the front of the queue (my very English habit of queuing orderly has disappeared since moving to Belize. why? Hardly anybody respects a queue. And if you do you get left behind) and secured a seat near the boat ‘doorway’. On a dry day when the sea is calm this is a great spot for ‘catching’ the breeze. Not a great spot though if it is raining or the water is rough. Then you can get drenched.The trip over though was dry and calm. My seat selection worked! Unless you really need to be in Belize City early in the morning though I would recommend that you avoid the first boat of the day. It gets packed and at times the person sitting next to you is so close it feels like it might be your Siamese twin. Or that’s how it felt for me at times. At least it was a female though.

Fluoride the Silent Killer
HARMFUL EFFECTS OF FLUORIDE Fluoride is used as an insecticide and a roach killer. Even at the level they use to fluoridate your public water supply, usually at the rate of about 1 part fluoride for every million parts of water (1 ppm) by weight, it causes severe problems. As little as one-tenth of an ounce of fluoride will cause death. It is more poisonous than lead and just slightly less poisonous than arsenic. No one will die from drinking one glass of fluoridated water, but it is the long term chronic effects of drinking fluoridated water that affects health. Dental fluorosis is one of the earlier signs of fluoride poisoning, appearing in mild cases as a chalky area on the tooth, and in more advanced cases, teeth become yellow brown or black and the tips break off. Fluoride in the drinking water leads to fluoride levels in tissues and organs which damage enzymes. This results in a wide range of chronic diseases. Fluoride weakens the immune system and may cause allergic type reactions including dermatitis, eczema and hives. It causes birth defects and genetic damage. Fluoride is likely to aggravate kidney disease, diabetes and hypothyroidism. The amount consumed in drinking water has been shown to lower thyroid activity in humans. It also causes the breakdown of collagen which results in wrinkling of the skin and the weakening of ligaments, tendons and muscles. There are a number of ways that fluoride can be administered. The most insidious way is through the drinking water. Some of you have it in your mouthwashes, or in your toothpaste, or you may take a fluoride supplement which is dispensed in pills or drops.

4 Weeks- 4 groups
New Friends Pics By Katarina & Mitja Brujs

International Sources

American Patricia King Raises The Dead To Retain Belize’s Ban On Gay Sex
Meet Patricia King, pictured here sporting a tiger print blouse, QVC jewelry, and lesbian haircut. She’s a self-published author, self-proclaimed Christian prophet, and the leader of Extreme Prophetic Ministries. In 2009, two of the organization’s members released a home video in which they claimed to have “rebuked a tornado” from blowing their house away by commanding it to “go in the name of Jesus.” (And thereby blow away somebody else’s house!) Also in 2009, the organization promoted Uganda’s “kill the gays” legislation. In 2011, King herself released a video preaching something about raising the dead. (She also began peddling a how-to-raise-the-dead video series called “The Glory School,” available for the low, low price of $215.) Now, according to a report by the Southern Poverty Law Center, King and company are back. This time they’re joining forces with the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a global organization based in Arizona dedicated to “spreading the gospel” and “transforming legal systems” the whole world over, in supporting a campaign to defend Belize’s anti-sodomy law. Because — well — what better way to spend their time and resources than meddling in another country’s business?

Discover the Secrets of Beautiful Belize
Belize, a country of approximately 311,000 people, rests on the eastern coast of Central America. Northeast of Guatemala and south of Mexico, only 185 miles long and 75 miles wide, and formerly known as British Honduras, Belize gained its independence from Britain in 1981, making it the only English-speaking country in all of Central America. Offering a subtropical climate with brisk, prevailing trade winds from the Caribbean and an average temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit, Belize has two seasons: the dry season from December to May and the green or rainy season from June to November. The capital, Belmopan, is in the Cayo District, just one of seven districts in the country. I landed in Belize City, the former capital, and took a taxi to the water taxi port and a boat to San Pedro, a town on Ambergris Caye, pronounced “key.” This 25-square-mile island is the largest island in Belize and features dining, shopping, nightlife, and accommodations including budget-friendly and luxury resorts. I had the pleasure of staying at Xanadu Island Resort, which offers eco-friendly accommodations containing monolithic domes (made of fireproof, soundproof, hurricane proof, and steel-reinforced concrete) combined with thatched roofs. The grounds are gorgeous, overlooking a private pool and beachfront. The nature reserve on the property features an elevated walking path that affords visitors up-close views of native birds and wildlife.

August 6, 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

Los Yonics brings out a large crowd to Costa Maya Festival
The island was packed on Saturday August 3rd as the International Costa Maya Festival continued. The highlight of course was the international concert by Mexican artists Jose Manuel Zamacona Y Los Yonics. Sharing the stage for the night was Belize’s Tanya Carter and Grupo Crash from El Salvador. Visitors began invading the festival grounds early and they enjoyed the entertainment before the main performance. Tanya Carter’s smooth vocals and fun performance was well recieved and Grupo Crash brought street dance alive on stage. The much anticipated concert attracted a large crowd from all over the country who wanted to see Los Yonics perform live for the first time in Belize. The band members were greeted on the festival grounds by the Minister of Tourism and Culture Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. and Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero. Following a short chat with the Mayor Guerrero and Minister Heredia, the group took their spot on stage entertaining their audience with some of their best music.

Ambergris Today

Costa Maya Festival Rocks San Pedro Weekend
The San Pedro International Costa Maya Festival did it once again for San Pedro, Ambergris Caye and Belize; it managed to jam-pack the island with visitors from around the nation and around the world. Its popularity has become synonymous with a party weekend at the island for many Belizeans and a full line up of fantastic performances at the festival grounds. The San Pedro International Costa Maya Festival kicked off of August 1, 2013, with the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant in which Miss Belize Destinee Arnold brought the crown back home after six years. The pageant always brings much hype and attention to the festival with the participation of eight gorgeous beauty contestants from around the Latin American region. The second night of the festivities saw the participation of international performers that included the Ballet Folklorico de Quintan Roo. that conducted the traditional flag dance, the always energetic dance presentations by Grupo Crash with their mix of cultural and modern dances and comedic show of Juan Manuel, both from our neighboring El Salvador.

Puma Donates To Belize National Football Team
On July 2, 2013 Puma Belize embarked on a fundraising venture to assist the National Football Team “Belize Jaguars” who were on their way to the 2013 CONCACAF GOLD CUP. Puma’s ten branded service stations countrywide participated in this initiative by donating $0.05 from every gallon of fuel sold during the period of 2nd -16th July, 2013. A total of BZD$12,000.00 was raised from this initiative. Puma Belize Corporate Office also donated $5,000 to the Belize Jaguars. On July 30 Mr. Freddy Flores, Deputy General Manager for Puma Energy Belize, presented a check for a total of $17,000 to President of the Football Federation of Belize Mr. Ruperto Vicente and Senor Vice President Mr. Sergio Chuc.

Flashbacks: Simplicity San Pedro Style
When Al Felly took this shot in 1971, he was impressed by the simplicity of Island life in San Pedro. All of the fishermen and tour guides carried small locally built mahogany skiffs powered by small outboard engines. So simple that they could leave their skiffs moored at the hotel pier and nobody would bother them except for children who begged for leftover sardines for their own fish bait. Life was so simple and safe that you could leave your day’s catch on the pier and go take a shower and return to clean your fish. So simple that five gallons of gasoline could take you to your fishing grounds and back and everything you caught was prepared for your evening supper at Holiday Hotel. And look at the native Island boys paddling their canoe for a joy ride, a refreshing swim, or to go fishing right in front of the village. This dory ride was quite likely without mom’s permission, but who cared? After all they were in San Pedro in all its grandeur yet simplicity. This is the life of San Pedro that has won the hearts of our visitors over the years.

25 Years Ago: Strange Belize Home Remedies for Portuguese Man of War, Warts and Hiccups
AGUAMALA (Portuguese man of war) If there is one thing San Pedro children and fishermen and tourist guides also are almost sure to encounter once in their lives it is an encounter with a jellyfish (pica pica) or a Portuguese man of war (aguamala). Years Ago when there were no swimming pools, man of war attacks occurred even more frequently because children swam in the sea a lot. So what do you do when you get stung by a man of war? Doctors today recommend flushing the area where the venom was injected with alcohol, vinegar or even meat tenderizer. But who in the world goes swimming and take these things along with him? What to do? It is hurting! Well pee on it. That is what we did 25 years ago in San Pedro. It helped of course and now we learn that the urea in urine contains some form of ammonia and that is another recommended remedy for a hurting sting of a jellyfish or a Portuguese man of war.

Pic of the Week: Lemonde Anyone?
The weather has been really heating up on Ambergris Caye lately and everybody is looking for ways to keep cool. On this week's Pic of the Week you can see these island kids coming together during their summer break to make a little cash by selling some delicous cold lemonade. We see some young entrepreneurs in the near future.

Belize: A Nation at Risk
My favorite and most often used Chinese proverb reminds us simply that a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Thirty years ago the Education Department of the United States of America published a report, “A Nation at Risk”, to urge an overhaul of how/what their young people were taught in schools. Why? Data gathered over many years showed that young students in that country were “behind” where they should be in Education. The Report was a “wake-up call” for the country. As of today, educators in that country are still working to keep the spark alive of that school reform movement. It has been more than 30 years since Belize achieved its Independence. What has Belize (Education Department) done to make its schools its own – instead of keeping the exact system of Education used under Colonial Masters before 1981?

Misc Belizean Sources

NTHU Visits Xunantunich
The Taiwanese student group from NTHU took a day off from visiting local primary schools to visit the Xunantunich archaeological site. They had a great time exploring the site, which should be seeing the opening of its new visitor's center soon.

Belmopan Day Chess Tournament
Belmopan celebrated it's 43 anniversary this weekend with their Belmopan Day. The East Cayo Chess Association had a chess tournament there. "Yesterday there was a chess tournament in Belmopan that included young children all the way up to adults. This was the first tournament held exclusive by the East Cayo Chess Association and it went very well - big congrats to the 20+ participants and, in particular, all those that volunteered to make it happen."

Channel 7

Khaled El Turk Escapes Extradition, Court Rules
After almost 10 months on detention and facing extradition to the United States, 36 year-old Lebanese Belizean Khaled El Turk is a free man tonight. Viewers may remember that he was detained on October 18 last year on a warrant from the United States for the pseudoephedrine importation into the US. He’s been strongly resisting the extradition request in the Magistrate’s Court, and today, he got the best news. After being brought in court in shackles for the past 10 months, the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith handed down her final decision that El Turk should be freed because the Government of Belize failed to establish a prima facie case for his extradition. It is a most unexpected turnaround, and today 7News spoke to his attorney, Anthony Sylvester, who explained the Chief Magistrate’s written judgment after months of tedious litigation. Anthony Sylvester - Attornet for Khaled El Turk "The decision of the Magistrate is that Mr. El Turk is discharged and he is free to go. The decision was made after consideration of the arguments put forward by both the attorneys for the Government of the United States and Mr. Flores (Senior Counsel) and on behalf of Mr. El Turk.

GOB Engages Buckley To Talk Compensation, He Wants 2 Mil
Steven Buckley has been much in the news recently – after the KHMH sent him a bill for services he received after police wrongfully shot him in the head. The story has great poignancy because here’s a man who was so badly injured that he lost his ability to work; police gave him no compensation and now he has to pay his own medical bills!? It’s an outrage which seems to speak to everything wrong at so many levels of officialdom – but with mounting public pressure – something is finally being done about it – more than three years after he was shot in the head. After the media put that to Prime Minister Dean Barrow last week Friday, he agreed that Buckley should be compensated, and he promised to intervene to expedite the process. Well today, the next available weekday, representatives of the Government of Belize met with Buckley, his wife, and his attorney Dickey Bradley at the Racoon Street Police Headquarters. The media was out there in full force, and after the meeting, Dickey Bradley told us that GOB has decided that they will settle this matter outside of a civil court, and Buckley will be compensated. According to Bradley, Buckley and his family will get a large sum, as part of a partial payment before the end of the week.

Samer Akil, The Salvadorean Bust And The Corozal Free Zone
Tonight, there is more information about the major drug bust made in El Salvador and its connection to Belize. As we reported on Friday, the drugs were destined for a company called Grupo Sol, registered in the Corozal Free zone. Well, local authorities did not want to release the name of the registered owner of those companies, but it is all over the Mexican news. He is Samer Akil Ralda, and, it turns out, he’s a big name in the Corozal Free Zone – so much so that up until May of this year, he was on the Zone’s Board of Directors. In fact, he’s still pictured on the Zone’s website as a Director – mugging for a photo along with leading public officials such as the Comptroller of Customs and the Commissioner of Labour. He was recently voted off the board, but now Mexican Media reports that he hasn’t been seen in the zone for two weeks sicne the bust was made. Our local information say that he is the owner of two companies in the Zone, Grupo Sol and Excel, while Mexican media reports that his stories are named Sol Fashion and Cargoyo. Both the stores and their warehouse were searched last week – when a shipment of frozen pineapple came from Costa Rica.

Benque’s First Murder In Two Years Is Vicious
There was a murder in Benque Viejo this weekend – where a 51 year old was apparently beaten to death. It is the first murder in the quiet western town in two years – and it’s an especially vicious one. But as Monica Bodden found out when she went west today, the victim Pedro Antonio Vasques had a history of violence against him- Monica Bodden reporting The body of 51 year old Guatemalan National Pedro Vasquez was found lying on this side of the road with 2 large cut wounds, one on the left and one on the right side of his forehead. Also a deep punctured wound on the left side of his nose. Still breathing but barely holding on to life, his body was discovered around 4am on Sunday morning on the side of Churchill Street. He was rushed to the San Ignacio Community Hospital but died shortly after. Assistant Superintendent, Denzel Thompson - Officer In charge, Benque "What it appears so far is that yes he was inflicted with some blunt object, however, at this present moment - the body is in Belize City, a post mortem is being carried out and it should be concluded sometime today. That should be able to determine what has caused the death and at that time it could give us areas to continue to follow in the investigation. We have questioned a couple of people who we believed could have assisted us in the investigation but nothing has been coming in so far other than the ones questioned. He was a Guatemalan, 51 year old and he was living in Benque Viejo at the time of his death."

Customs Officer Caught On A Contraband Move
Police have an operation called “U-Turn” – they won’t say what it’s about, but we do know that it turned up a nice stash of contraband – and a customs officer in the mix! On Saturday morning at 11:00, police stopped a Plymouth Grand Voyager minivan with three men inside. Police found it stacked with boxes of contraband vodka, namely: 15 cases of Absolut Vodka and 1 case of Grey Goose Vodka – all liter bottles. Each case of Absolut contained 12 bottles and the case of Grey Goose Vodka contained 6 bottles – so that’s a total of 186 bottles of top shelf vodka. The three men were detained pending investigations – and they remain held tonight. 29 year-old Carlton Humes, a resident of Iguana Street; 25 year-old Rondale Bailey, a Customs Officer from Hattieville, and 21 year-old Davon Bailey, a student of Raccoon Street, are awaiting an arraignment at the Magistrate’s Court on contraband charges, specifically, acquiring possession of unaccustomed goods, and reckless concern in carrying unaccustomed goods. The cargo is valued at $15,862, and as a result, the men were charged with 3 times that value, a total of $47,586.

“Lucas Magnus” For Cayo Central?
He’s not what you would call a top draft pick – but Luke Espat is a die-hard PUP, and now the long time behind the scenes orchestrator is getting into the forefront of electoral politics – and he’s going to do it in Cayo Central. Espat told a gathering of the Cayo PUP committee leaders on Saturday that he’s officially offering himself as a candidate. Today he told us that he did his homework and of the 17 available seats in the PUP, he decided to go, quote, “where the most work was needed.” As for Senator Collet Montejo, who is the current divisional caretaker and came within 44 votes of beating UDP incumbent Rene Montero, Espat says he consulted with everyone – and they told him to, quote “do his thing.” We aren’t quite sure what that “thing” is – since, politically, Espat is untested, and he has a less than stellar public image – after various legal and business entanglements, most recently with the Belize Bank. He promised us an interview tomorrow….

Chamber Supports Hon. Julius’ PAC Plan
Last week, 7News told you about the motion which the PUP’s Julius Espat wants to table at the next House Meeting, scheduled for Wednesday. As we’ve told you, he wants to remove majority control of the committee from the ruling party in Government, which hold 4 seats, while the Opposition holds 2. He wants to restructure it so that Government gets 2 seats, Opposition gets 2 and 3 come from the Senate. Prime Minister Dean Barrow has told us that he will make procedural objections if Espat attempts to bring it to the House Meeting, but the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry is hoping that the PM will change his mind. In release today, the Chamber agrees with Julius Espat in principle saying quote, “The current structure of the PAC undermines its purpose as control of the PAC ultimately rests in the hands of the majority of the House of Representatives – the very body responsible for approving the country’s budget.” The BCCI continues, “In effect, the Government’s spending of public funds is therefore being scrutinized by a Government-controlled PAC. This is particularly disconcerting since Ministers who are in the Cabinet are bound by the principle of collective responsibility and so cannot go against any decision of Cabinet.”

Channel 5

Luke Espat eyes Cayo Central
Businessman, Luke Espat, is no stranger to political or financial circles in Belize. He’s generally stayed in the background of politics in the People’s United Party even as he is [...]

Cordel Hyde coming home to P.U.P.?
And even as Francis Fonseca’s response to Luke Espat’s political intentions seemed lukewarm at best, he appears ready to roll out the fatted calf for a prodigal son who might [...]

Guatemalan and resident of Benque is murdered
Turning to crime news, there was a vicious murder over the weekend in Benque Viejo del Carmen. A Guatemalan national who made the border town his home for at least [...]

Khalid El Turk happy not to be extradited to the U.S.A.
Several persons including Mark Sewell, Rhett Fuller and more recently, Dion Bruce, are currently behind bars at the Central Prison, as they are fighting extradition to the United States. Well, [...]

Government will pay settlement to Stephen Buckley
Stephen Buckley was shot in April 2010 by an on duty police officer, Inspector Denis Lopez, in the Port Loyola during a police operation. Buckley was not armed, but was [...]

Cop shot Buckley and victim happy not to beg anymore
Buckley was thirty-seven years old when the shotgun blast penetrated his skull and the shrapnel embedded in places that surgery would not help. Doctor Joel Cervantes, the neurosurgeon in his [...]

Cop still faces serious charges in court for shooting Buckley
Much of the media attention over the past few years have focused on Buckley’s recovery and mounting medical bills, but little has been heard of Inspector Dennis Lopez. Lopez is [...]

P.U.P. withholds support from Norwegian Cruise Line
Earlier in the newscast, we told you about the Luke Espat bid and Cordel Hyde’s possible return into the P.U.P.  The Party Leader, Francis Fonseca, also spoke about other pressing [...]

P.U.P. Leader supports PACMAN’s move for reshuffling accounts committee
Last week, the P.U.P. submitted a motion to be included on the order papers for this Wednesday’s sitting of the House. The motion proposed a change in the structure of [...]

Customs Officer busted with unaccustomed goods
A van loaded with uncustomed goods was busted over the weekend. According to the police, the bust took place on Saturday morning when Operation U-Turn, along with a police mobile [...]

Construction worker spared jail time for harming ex-wife
A forty-seven year old construction worker was spared jail time today for harming his ex common-law-wife. Darrington Williams was arraigned in court this morning for injuring Shawn Armstrong on Saturday [...]

Barrow’s important meeting with the evangelical churches
On Friday, News Five aired comments by Prime Minister Dean Barrow on a variety of pertinent front-line issues. We’ll have some more from the PM tonight, but first to the [...]

Association of evangelical churches will soon have their input to the controversial gender policy
While the gender policy wasn’t at on the agenda for that meeting, it certainly hasn’t gone quietly into that goodnight. That fiery ball has been lobbed by government onto the [...]

Sports Guru James Adderly awesome weekend highlights
Good evening I’m James Adderly and this is Sports Monday. The FFB’s female interdistrict football competition saw two arch rivals take to the arena as DFC Gentle Touch took aim [...]


Shot in Head Three Years Ago by Police; Government Will Settle Out of Court
Last week Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke to the media about the case of Steven Buckley who was shot in the head by a police man on duty. He commented to reporters that he believes Buckley should be compensated quote “for the wanton destruction almost to his life” end quote.&nb...

Home Invasion in Southern Belize
A woman was injured during a home invasion in the Stann Creek District. Correspondent Harry Arzu has the story. HARRY ARZU “38-year-old, Yeanora Rodriguez, a resident of Noralez Extension area in Independence Village, Stann Creek District reported to police that on July 26 at ...

Belize Chamber of Commerce Says Yes to the Public Accounts Committee Restructure
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry issued out a release supporting the revision of the structure of the Public Accounts Committee. In its release, BCCI reiterated the responsibilities of the Public Accounts Committee which is to oversee the deposition of the country’s finances. The...

Police in Southern Belize Investigate Armed Robberies
A delivery truck was held up and the driver robbed of an undisclosed amount of money. Once again we join correspondent Harry Arzu. HARRY ARZU “Dangriga police are investigating an armed robbery that involved a delivery truck that belongs to Bowen & Bowen Distributors, Stan...

Belize's Transport Facilities May Be Upgraded Shortly
If you are a person that uses public transportation to commute on a daily basis, you’ll know that Belize’s transportation system needs a major tune up. Well, that major upgrade is being prepared following a meeting between a South Korean delegation and the Ministry of Energy, Science,...

Officer Faces Disciplinary Measures After Going Missing
Last week it was reported that Police Constable Martin Bustillos who had been reported missing had made contact with his family and colleagues. Today the Police Department said Bustillos reported for work on Sunday and has been dealt with disciplinarily for his absence. ...

Island Resident Gets Ninth Conviction in Court
Forty year old Robert Popper, an unemployed of San Pedro who had seven convictions for dishonesty and was released from prison in April, got two more convictions today when he appeared in Court and pled guilty to two counts of obtaining property by deception. Magistrate Dale Cayetano sentenced hi...

Teenager Caught with Drugs Hidden in His Back End
A 19 year old man who had three point two grams of cannabis tucked between the cheeks of his buttocks, pled guilty to possession of a controlled drug when he appeared in court today. He is Darrel Mayen Jr, an unemployed of Faber’s Road. He was fined five hundred dollars by Magistrate Dale C...

Belize Courts Denies Extradition of Lebanese National
An extradition request by the US Government for 35 year old Kalid El Turk, a naturalized Belizean originally from Lebanon, was denied today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Turk, who was detained by police on October 16, 2012, was set free. Turk was wanted by the US Government for the a...

Customs Officer and Two Others Charged for Uncustomed Goods
Three persons including a Customs Officer have been charged with acquiring possession of uncustomed goods and recklessly concern in carrying uncustomed goods. This follows the discovery of a number of what is believed to be contraband liquor. Police say on Saturday they conducted a search o...


BEC Assists At Risk Children In Belize
Children are always referred to as the future leaders of tomorrow and indeed they are yet there is no doubt that for them to reach that stage they need much...

DAVCO Orange Walk Elects New Executive Members
Twenty four villages in the Orange Walk District will be receiving much needed assistance to further develop their community. That assistance comes through the guidance of a new board executive...

Harvest For Kids Is Back
Approximately one thousand five hundred children from across Belize City are today enjoying the benefits of the Harvest for Kids Project carried out last year by the Belize Camping Experience....

NGO Says Gender Policy Is Good For Belize
Are you for or against the Gender Policy? We are sure that you have asked yourself that question. But before you come to a decision, there is an organization that...

Police Constable Faces Tribunal For Missing Work
He was declared missing after he failed to report to work and did not get in contact with his family for eight days. Tonight Police Constable Martin Bustillos, attached to...

Businesses In The Free Zone Linked TO Drug Bust In El Salvador
Samer Akil Rada, that’s the name of the man identified as the owner of Grupo Sol and OXCEL in the Corozal Commercial Free Zone. The same company that is being...

The Reporter

If the Government of Belize allows the festering Maya protest in the south to go to the Caribbean Court of Justice, there is a good probability that GOB will lose again!

Tourist Board defends $50 million Norwegian Cruise port at Harvest Caye CaCaye
Cabinet approval has been granted, and signing is imminent for the Memorandum of Understanding between the government of Belize and Norwegian Cruise Lines for a US$50 million cruise ship port on Harvest Caye just offshore south of Placencia, but the conditions of the MOU do not sit well with many [...]

PAC Chairman: Accounts Committee needs upgrade
Public Accounts Committee Chairman Hon. Julius Espat will propose changes at next Wednesday’s Sitting of the House of Representatives that could improve his committee’s ability to function.

Dengue outbreak in Honduras could impact health in Belize
The death toll from dengue fever stands at 16 in Honduras and 10 more in the rest of Central America with nearly 40,000 persons infected, so Belize’s Ministry of Health has issued an public advisory even as it executes its Dengue Prevention Plan.

Solid Waste Transfer Station opened
The once unpleasant-looking, pungent-smelling dump site at mile three off the George Price Highway that bordered the Caribbean Sea and the Port Loyola community, and that once posed a serious health hazard and fire threat to residents in the Collet, Port Loyola and Lake Independence divisions has now been transformed [...]

Belize Action not U.S. funded– Pastor Stirm
By William G. Ysaguirre Belize Action, the local movement that organized several nationwide “Pro-Constitution” marches, is not funded by religious-right groups in the United States, BA’s Pastor Scott Stirm affirmed Monday.

Taiwan students teach Cayo kids computer skills
A delegation of 11 students of the Belize Educational Service Group from the National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan, including two Belizeans, are teaching schoolchildren in the Cayo district an introduction to computers.

Three prisoners escape, two apprehended
BELIZE CITY, Aug. 1st, 2013 Two of the three juvenile prisoners that escaped from the Wagner’s Youth Facility last Sunday have been recaptured. Guatemalan Roqael Teul, 17, who was serving a five-year sentence for illegal firearm possession, is the only one of three teens that is still at large. [...]

Family arrested for drugs and amo stashed in Church roof
Six members of the Jones family were remanded to prison, after they were arraigned before Magistrate Dale Cayetano on Monday.

Taiwan gives $213,000 for Belize to manage natural disasters
The Government of the Republic of China on Taiwan has donated to Belize $213,188 to use the latest information communications technology to set up a system to manage natural disasters. Belize’s subtropical climate makes it especially vulnerable to tropical cyclones, a susceptibility exacerbated by climate change and rising sea levels.

Prevent foot odour this summer
Your feet beg to be let loose during the steamy summer season, and with beautiful sandals and nail polishes on the market, who are you to argue?

Full moon distrupts sleep quality?
A full Moon can disturb a good night’s sleep, scientists believe. Researchers found evidence of a “lunar influence” in a study of 33 volunteers sleeping in tightly controlled laboratory conditions.

Pakistani TV show gives babies away as prizes
Plumbing new depths in the battle for television ratings, abandoned babies are being given out as prizes on a controversial prime-time game show in Pakistan.

Pope Francis on gays: `Who am I to judge?’
Pope Francis said Monday that he will not “judge” gays and lesbians – including gay priests – signaling a shift from his predecessor and offering another sign that the new pope is committed to changing the church’s approach to historically marginalized groups.

Easy Does it, Buttercup & Mel’s United win in Belize Rural Softball
Easy Does It of Flowers Bank, Buttercup Uprising and Mel’s United of Double Head Cabbage all posted big wins when the Belize Rural Softball Competition continued in Flowers Bank on Sunday, July 28.

Camalote Blazers & Roaring Creek win in Cayo Softball Semifinals
Undefeated Camalote Blazers and Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy enjoyed victories in the semifinals as the Miley Garcia Softball Competition organized by the Cayo Softball Association began at the Denbigh Fuller Stadium in Camalote on Sunday, July 28.


Weekend forecast was laid back and relaxing with scattered weekend pictures
I made up my mind this weekend was going to be laid back and relaxing. I spent Saturday morning doing a Project Runway Marathon and decided the afternoon was perfect weather for a joy ride to town – Hot and Sunny. I texted Dick to see if he had any errands to run. I had a date with tacoboy lined up for Sunday and I wanted to find a few outfit for the occasion. The plan was to go north for lunch to Aji Tapas bar but we both agreed if we were tired that spending time together at home would be just as nice. We headed out and while I went to a few of my favorite stores, he went hardware or grocery shopping. I scored a two tops and two dresses and he scored olive oil, meat and mangoes. All in all a successful shopping trip, so was my date. Tacoboy appreciated my new outfit and we had an ultimate lazy fun date day. We started out going junk food shopping at Super Buy South, got chicken fingers and fries at Sunny’s and headed back home to continue the Project Runway Marathon in bed. The following pictures on our Saturday afternoon drive.

Saturday is Market Day in San Ignacio, Belize
San Ignacio is a very pretty town located on the Macal River in Central Belize. The coral reef and sandy beaches seem thousands of miles away (rather than just about a hundred)…the area is lush, green and peaceful. Every Saturday is market day and people from all over Cayo come to town to sell and to shop. We arrived by canoe… at about 1pm, when things were winding down but there were still tons of fruits and vegetables (about 1/2 the San Pedro price), lots of souvenirs, clothes, food and all sorts of things on display. Here’s what I saw at the San Ignacio market. I should have immediately emptied my suitcase and filled it with pineapples. SO CHEAP!

Eco Kids Summer Camp 2013 Pictures
Chaa Creek's Eco Kids Summer Camp is over, and they have tons of great pictures on their page. Looks like the Eco Kids had the time of their lives, and learned a lot about nature, culture, and the world at the same time. "Twenty four young Belizeans embarked Saturday 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, kicked off on Saturday July 20th 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."

Who We Are & What We Do
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) is a statutory body of the Government of Belize mandated to perform functions and duties related to: 1) Trade Development and Promotion 2) Investment Generation and Promotion 3) Enterprise Development and Facilitation BELTRAIDE operates within the portfolio of the Ministry of Trade, Investment Promotion, Private Sector Development, and Consumer Protection. Our Mission Enhancing Belize’s prosperity by fostering investor confidence, entrepreneurship, business growth, and innovation. Our Vision Enabling a dynamic and competitive business environment for Belize’s Socio-Economic Development.

2013 BTB Village Expo

“So You Win Again” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Slowly getting back to normal but have started writing this edition Sunday lunchtime. The reason for the early start on it is that I have an appointment on Monday at the Dental Center in Belize City at 08.00 hours. The appointment , which is with Doctor Hernandez who visits the Dental Center once a month,will result (hopefully) in a solution being diagnosed for the implant that didn’t ‘take’ (I’ll let you know in a future edition if one was found or not). Having made a start on this edition I took time out to watch Arsenal play against Galatasaray in the Emirates Cup (before my ‘friends’ in the UK rush to post a comment, yes I do know that we (Arsenal) have to run our own cup competition to try and win something). We didn’t play particularly well and it was no great surprise that we lost to two Didier Drogba goals (he always scores against Arsenal). Whenever he plays it is a case of shouting ‘so you win again’. If only he had played for Arsenal! Time now to step back a day and let you know what Rose and I saw when we went to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize at around 15.15 hours on Saturday.

International Sources

Belize Needs You To Speargun Poisonous Lionfish In The Face
The good people at Hatchet Caye Resort in Belize are fed up with the Lionfish -- the population is exploding, it's not even indigenous to their waters, they're eating up all the much prettier fish, and they're basically ruining EVERYTHING. So they're asking for your help to keep the species under control. Your mission: Jump on a plane down, grab a speargun and guide, scuba over to where those aquatic assholes are lurking, and pump a blade into their faces.

Lesser known travel destinations
Islands at Belize: The Caribbean nation of Belize has more than 200 islands or “cayes.” While many visitors are content to spend all of their time in the more heavily trafficked northern cayes, such as Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, venturing to more distant, southern islands, such as Tobacco Caye, gets you closer to the eternal deserted-island fantasy. Getting to most of the country’s more “remote” cayes requires no more than a three-hour journey from Belize City. From the unsurpassed beaches of South Water Caye to the pulsating nightlife of San Pedro (on Ambergris Caye), these offer the best in Belizean island hopping. Don’t forget to check out the sunrise over the Caribbean sea.

Five Private Islands You Can Rent for Under $500
Situated in a plum spot behind the Belize Barrier Reef, French Louie Caye is about a two-hour plane ride from most East Coast American cities. The two acre island gives you a coral sand beach, mangrove ecology and a place to call home. A 4 day/3 night package is $1,300 for two people and includes a cabana or tent, all meals catered to taste (alcohol not included), transportation from Placencia Village, snorkel gear, and kayaks. And yes, you can stay additional nights at a per diem.

10 Bogus Excuses People Use When They Steal Photos from the Web
So you think you have a good reason or excuse to use a photo you found on the Internet without asking the photographer who took it? Let’s see if it can stand the test. 1. There was no “copyright” logo or any other watermark on the photo Copyrights exist by default. As soon as an amateur or professional photographer (or anyone else, for that matter) hits the shutter button, all the power of the copyright law is now associated with the photo. Therefore, a photographer does not have to specify on the photo or on his/her website that the photo is protected by copyright. Unless specified otherwise, consider a photo to be copyrighted.

August 5, 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

Wolfe’s Woofers: Father’s Advice
A father's advice is often considered quite sage - a sharing of experiences and life lessons learned. This father, though?...

Editorial: We are part of the bigger picture
As the community newspaper we often fill the shoes of ‘island ambassador’. Called upon by all types of people and professions from around the globe, we are asked for specific information about Ambergris Caye that a local paper is sure to know. We are always happy to help, and we can get pretty involved and creative in assisting these entities and individuals in fulfilling their quest. It’s a two-way benefit, we provide them with the info and direction they need and we get to know some very interesting (and inspiring) people along the way. Often what their mission is evolves into news for the community of San Pedro and we eagerly share their story with our readers. We make friends with many of them and watch as they prosper in whatever project they pursue. Time and time again we are lauded with appreciation by those we help, often gushing, “We couldn’t have done it without the help of The San Pedro Sun”… and although we are flattered by the gratitude we also feel a great sense of appreciation in return. How fortunate we have been to be a part of something bigger, a cog in the wheel of progress for someone who tackled a mission that depended on the contribution of others (and us) to make it a reality. Isn’t that what it is all about, being there to help others to be successful?

Doctor Love: Cheap? Penny Pinching? Smart?
A friend always conveniently cannot pay bills when out socially. But she's rich. Does that make her cheap or smart?

Misc Belizean Sources

Is Belize Becoming the New Celebrity Vacation Destination?
Bradley Cooper’s visit to Belize is just one of many recent celebrity sojourns that underscore the little Caribbean country’s coming of age as a tourism destination of choice, according to the Lodge at Chaa Creek’s guest relations coordinator. Elsie Pacheco, one of the popular eco resort’s front desk managers, said that she and her staff have been seeing a rise in the number of celebrities and VIPs visiting Belize this year. Noting that Chaa Creek’s policy is to protect their guest’s privacy and as a rule does not publicise individual visits, Ms Pacheco said that it is no secret that Belize has hosted a variety of VIPs in recent weeks, including Mr Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, the Bachelorette’s Jef Holm, and others. Leonardo DiCaprio, who owns a small island near the Belize Great Barrier Reef on which he is rumoured to have plans to build an upscale eco resort, was also said to be seen in Belize last month.

Belize Aquaculture First to be Approved as Three-Star Shrimp
Belize Aquaculture Ltd has become the first shrimp company in Belize and the second in Central America to be approved to offer Best Aquaculture Practices certified three-star shrimp. Belize Aquaculture’s shrimp hatchery, farm and processing plant located in Stann Creek District, in southeastern Belize, all earned BAP certification on July 26. Founded in 1996, Belize Aquaculture produced 4.5 million pounds of Pacific white shrimp in 2012 and is on target to produce 10 millions pounds in 2014 across 68 four-acre ponds. The company also operates a British Retail Consortium (BRC)- and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP)-certified processing plant. Belize Aquaculture sells a variety of fresh, frozen and cooked shrimp products to retail and foodservice customers in Asia, Europe, the United States and Central America. “The three-star certification is a recognition of our company’s consistent efforts to innovate and improve the quality of our products and the sustainability of our practices,” said David Fleming, director of Belize Aquaculture. “As a company, we are confident that our buyers and customers will acknowledge the value of this certificate and our commitment toward quality, environment and social development.”

A questionable future for the Garifuna people in the south of Belize
By Wellington C. Ramos In studying Belize’s history, when most Belizeans hear of the south the first thing that comes to their minds are the Garifuna people. Why? Because when the British granted permission to the Garifuna people to reside in Dangriga Town in 1801, they were told not to go anywhere else but to remain in the south. At that time the Creoles were still slaves to the British and the Maya Indians were trying to survive the colonial policies of the British and the Spanish, who were taking away their lands from them. The Maya Indians who lived in Belize, Guatemala and Mexico fought viciously against the Spanish and the British but did not have the military tools to overcome these two great giants that were competing for territories in the region. The British did not want the Garifuna and the Creole people to intermingle with each other because it would not be to their interest to have free black people with enslaved black people. This would have caused an alliance between the two groups to have slave resistance in the south and other parts of Belize.

Sharon Matola Receives Paul Harris Fellow Award
Another well deserved honour for TBZ's fearless leader, Sharon Matola. Sharon was recognized as Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Club of Belize, being awarded for "providing a zoo which has brought the magic of Belizean wildlife to the people of our nation." As the invitation clearly stated that she was welcome to bring along a guest, Sharon took them up on the offer, and made her "plus one" none other than Rose the baby crocodile! In the spirit of the very efforts she was being honoured for, Sharon made it possible for guests to have a brief "meet and greet" session with this wonderful reptilian ambassador. A big Paws Up to Sharon and Rose, and to the Rotary Club of Belize! Thanks to Jim Scott for such a wonderful photo.

Special Open Mic at Soul Project
The Soul Project had a fantastic Friday Open Mic Night this last Friday. The talent seen was amazing, and there was even a future contestant on Be the Next Superstar. They had some regulars show up to play and sing, but there were many visitors that took the stage to play, sing, and read poetry too. Truly an amazing night at the Soul Project. In related news, Dania Arana, who lives in Cayo, will be performing on Be the Next Superstar this Tuesday. If she sings like she did at the Soul Project, she'll be winning. Great voice, Dania!

Benque Summer Art Murals
The Summer Art program did some fantastic murals in Benque. Well done! "Beautiful Work of Art and an inspiration that will empower the community of Benque Viejo Del Carmen, Artistic and joint efforts spearheaded by Artists José V. Guerra Awe, along with other Artists of our Community. Transforming society through Art..Daniel Young Thank you and kudos Guy's! Miriam Antoinette, thank you for documenting this wonderful moments in our History. Summer Art 2013 in Benque!"

PCB Logo Competition
The Pesticides Control Board is having a logo competition. They will be celebrating 25 years this November, and are calling all artists to come up with a great logo to commemorate the event. The winner will be awarded $500 along with some products. For more information email them at [email protected] or call them at 824-2640. Good luck!


Canine Distemper Virus outbreak in San Mateo
Saga Humane Society would like to alert the community of a Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) outbreak in San Mateo. 22 cases of distemper have already been seen at the Saga HS clinic. To prevent the spread of this highly contagious disease Saga HS will be doing a Mobile Clinic Tuesday August 6 to the affected neighborhood and will be vaccinating the area dogs. Vaccines will be at no charge to low income residents or $10 for those who can afford to pay. Saga HS seeks to raise $1000 to buy the vaccinations. This will buy enough vaccinations for 100 animals.

Getting to San Ignacio, Cayo from San Pedro & Some New Restaurants in Town
My friend is here in Belize for 3 weeks and I’ve been DYING to get out to the Cayo District, to the San Ignacio area of the country and mostly to Chaa Creek…the well-known, amazing jungle lodge in this area. What a perfect time to do it. Since I am firmly in the budget traveller bracket, best to head out west as cheaply as possible. I’m not great at it but I think that is how budgeting works. And the most economical way to do the 155 mile trip, aside from hitch hiking or the becoming a stowaway, is: 1. Take the water taxi from San Pedro to Belize City (via Caye Caulker). In total, the trip is about 1 hour and 15 minutes and cost $44bzd round-trip. This ride is pretty easy. Here are some pictures as you cruise into Belize City…the cruise ship village actually. 2. Take the taxi from Belize City (the guys will approach you at the water taxi stop) to the bus station – $7bzd

My first days in Belize as a Danish Intern!
I have been told to write something about my first experience with Belize, so here we go a short story about my trip from the cold northern Europe to the warm and sunny Caribbean. I left my home in Denmark at four am and after a very long and exhausting trip, including an overnight stay in Atlanta and a suitcase stranded in Amsterdam, I was finally reaching my destination and what would become my home for the next four months – the beautiful country Belize. As I was waiting in line at the airport security, I was thinking that this was going to be wonderful and exciting to experience a country and culture so different from what I am used to, but when I ten minutes later was standing outside the airport, I had my first encounter with the locals and it was far from pleasant, but I soon found out that this was not a true representation of the Belizean people.

It Means We’re Sailing
I woke up because a sound was missing. Our 30-foot sailboat, The Ragged Gal, tossed powerless on waves half as tall as she was wide. The sound of the engine was gone. Our Belizean guides, First-mate Kevin and Captain Jake leaned over the motor like kids surrounding a turtle. The Captain pulled the engine’s cord, but the sound was wrong and without the smallest hint of sputtering alive. Finally, he let Kevin give it a go. With a mechanics frown frozen on his face, he began violently urging the lifeless engine. I was sleeping below, underneath a bench, a tarp for a blanket and my waterproof pack for a pillow. My brother shifted uncomfortably above me, less accustomed and less accepting of sleeping in cramped quarters. Kayla, a high school friend, whimpered awake at the sound of my brother asking if everything was okay. Both had joined me for weeklong sailing trip to Belize. The last three days the ship had been crammed with a dozen other passengers. Nights were spent in tents on tiny islands surrounding a fire that cooked our catches of the day. Now it was just us five, stranded somewhere between Palencia and Belize City.

“So You Win Again” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Slowly getting back to normal but have started writing this edition Sunday lunchtime. The reason for the early start on it is that I have an appointment on Monday at the Dental Center in Belize City at 08.00 hours. The appointment , which is with Doctor Hernandez who visits the Dental Center once a month,will result (hopefully) in a solution being diagnosed for the implant that didn’t ‘take’ (I’ll let you know in a future edition if one was found or not). Having made a start on this edition I took time out to watch Arsenal play against Galatasaray in the Emirates Cup (before my ‘friends’ in the UK rush to post a comment, yes I do know that we (Arsenal) have to run our own cup competition to try and win something). We didn’t play particularly well and it was no great surprise that we lost to two Didier Drogba goals (he always scores against Arsenal). Whenever he plays it is a case of shouting ‘so you win again’. If only he had played for Arsenal! Time now to step back a day and let you know what Rose and I saw when we went to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize at around 15.15 hours on Saturday.

International Sources

Survey could confirm 80% coral reef decline in Caribbean
A dedicated survey of marine ecosystems is set to show the extent of coral reef loss in the Caribbean – fuelled by pollution, human activity and climate variations. According to scientists from the Caitlin Seaview survey, who are investigating the extent of reefs loss in the Caribbean and Bermuda, “Coral reefs can be thought of as ‘the canary in the coal mine’; we know that a coral reef that is showing signs of stress can be an indicator of a much larger problem in our seas.” The team has completed the survey in Belize and will now move to analyse waters in Bermuda, Anguilla, St Vincent, Guadeloupe, Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas. The World Resources Institute reported that up to 80% of coral coverage in the Caribbean had been lost over the past 50 years, due to overfishing, pollution and extreme weather like hurricanes, which have damaged the fragile ecosystems. However, the first exploration in Belize showed signs of recovery compared to 2009, when 75% of corals had declined. Marine biologist Manuel Gonzales Rivero, who dived in Glover’s Reef in Belize, said, “I expected to see the reef in a further state of decline. However, the health of the reef appears to have plateaued and the coral, which was almost lost in this area, has made a surprising re-emergence.”

Garifuna Collective keeps Belizean music alive
Seven years after the death of its leader, the Garifuna Collective from Belize remains on track, with new recordings and a concert tour that brings the group to San Francisco this week. Singer-songwriter Andy Palacio, Belize's cultural ambassador to the world, worked tirelessly to teach others about his people, the Garifuna. Collaborating with producer Ivan Duran and recruiting Garifuna musicians from throughout Central America, in 2006 they released "Watina," a powerful album of Afro-Caribbean folk and rock that topped world music charts and had the Garifuna Collective poised for international recognition. Two years later, Palacio, at 47, died suddenly from a series of strokes, and Belize was stunned. His band didn't have the luxury to pause. "We were obviously shocked, but we had an entire tour that had already been booked," says Duran, who runs Belize's only recording studio. "When he died, we knew that we had to honor those commitments. So we made it a tribute tour."

The Mysterious Belize Great Blue Hole is a large underwater hole off the coast of Belize. It lies near the center of Lighthouse Reef, a small atoll 100 kilometres (62 mi) from the mainland and Belize City. The hole is perfectly circular in shape, over 300 metres (1000 ft) across, 3140 feet circumference and 125 metres (410 ft) deep. It was formed as a limestone cave system during the last glacial period when the sea level was 400 to 500 feet below present time and was dryland. Last glacial period began about 120,000 years ago and end about 15,000 years ago. Reaching the maximum extension 26,500 years ago. At the end the ocean began to rise, the caves flooded, and the roof collapsed. Believed to be the world’s largest feature of its kind, the Great Blue Hole is part of the larger Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, a World Heritage site of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

August 4, 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

NAC Stigma and Discrimination Training
National AIDS Commission Island Committee – July 30, 2013 – From 27 July 2013 to 28 July 2013 the National AIDS Commission (NAC) Island Committee participated in a workshop/training aimed at learning how to identify stigma and discrimination and how to battle it. Members of the NAC Island Committee participated alongside members of the newly formed Caye Caulker Health Committee- now inducted into the Island Committee. Through the facilitation of Nurse Lourdes Heredia from Corozal Community Hospital and the NAC Corozal Committee the training was made possible with the support of USAID Central America Capacity Project and IntraHealth International. The training/workshop was held at the Sunbreeze Hotel conference room. The workshop/training certified that participants in attendance have the education, training and resources necessary to tackle stigma and discrimination specifically aimed towards individuals living with HIV/AIDS and their friends and families

New Business in Town: Flowers, Salazar and Associates
On Wednesday July 31st, Pescador Drive had yet another addition to its robust chain of businesses as Flowers, Salazar and Associates celebrated its official business inauguration/ business blessing. The new firm, which is located at the Reef Radio Building, will be offering a line of services geared towards facilitating international investors. Services such as aid in legal documentations, citizenship, land transfers and financial advising, plus a host of other services will be available to both local and international people looking to invest in Belize. The partners of the business are Joy Flowers, Marisa Salazar, Frank Panton and ½ partner Winston Panton. Flowers Salazar and Associates is open for business from 8AM-5PM Mon-Fri.

DJ Zog rocks the second night of the Costa Maya International Festival
The long anticipated Costa Maya International Festival commenced on Thursday, August 1st with the Miss Costa Maya Pageant. Belize’s Destinee Arnold brought the crown back home, and set the pace for the second night, in which DJ Zog brought the party to Costa Maya! Once the formalities were over, the party truly started. The island party night began with the traditional flag dance. After the traditional flag dance by the Ballet Folklorico de Quintana Roo, the dancers presented typical cultural dances for all the Central American countries. Each dance was unique to its region such as the Cumbia is to Panama and Punta is to Belize. The dances came alive as the dancers gracefully moved around the stage in elaborate and colorful costumes. The comedic show of Yan Somosa from El Salvador continued. Yan had the entire crowd laughing with his hilarious imitation and his funny antics. Yan’s presentation of PSY’s Gangnam Style” had the crowd laughing hysterically. Up next came the energetic and upbeat Grupo Crash from El Salvador. Their mix of cultural and modern dances had the crowd tapping its toes; they were certainly a show stopper. Each dance presentation contained risky acrobatic tricks that the dancers delivered flawlessly. The crowd’s applause for the dance group was long and loud. Following their act was the Guatemalan Paradise Reggae Band. Their cool melodious vibes had the crowd moving to the Caribbean rhythm, and under the starry night sky, it was a great day to be on a Caribbean island enjoying groovy music.

Los Yonics gets a warm welcome from islanders of Ambergris Caye
The Tropic Air Terminal in San Pedro Town was packed by islanders who came out to welcome the well-known Mexican band, Los Yonics. The band, which has over 37 years of musical success in Mexico and Latin American countries will be for the first time in Belize performing at the International Costa Maya Festival. The group arrived shortly after midday on board a Tropic Air flight from Corozal Town. “Beinvenidos a la Isla de San Pedro (Welcome to the island of San Pedro),” shouted their many fans, who had come out to welcome the musical group. Speaking at a press conference shortly after touching down on Ambergris Caye soil, the band members shared their enthusiasm for being in Belize. “First of all I want to say thank for the very warm welcome. I am extremely happy to be on Belizean soil for the first time in my musical career. The entire group is happy to be in this beautiful place. We come with all the energy in the world, to be able to perform as much songs as possible,” said lead vocalist Jose Manuel Zamacona.

Misc Belizean Sources

Canine Distemper Virus outbreak in San Mateo
Saga Humane Society would like help in alerting the community of a Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) outbreak in San Mateo. 22 cases of distemper have already been seen at the Saga HS clinic. To prevent the spread of this highly contagious disease Saga HS will be doing a Mobile Clinic Tuesday August 6 to the affected neighborhood and will be vaccinating the area dogs. Vaccines will be at no charge to low income residents or $10 for those who can afford to pay. Saga HS seeks to raise $1000 to buy the vaccinations. This will buy enough vaccinations for 100 animals. Saga HS will keep the public updated on this situation. Please help us spread the word about the outbreak and Mobile Clinic.

Belize: Embracing Change in Education
Recently, I referred to the United States of America’s report, “A Nation at Risk”, published over 30 years ago by that country’s Education Department to urge an overhaul of how and what their young people were being taught in schools. In June of this year, Belize’s Education Department released a Report of the 2013 PSE Results of Proficiency Examinations for Primary School students. The Results showed Primary school students in Belize lagging far behind where they should be in Education, especially in areas of Reading (English) and Math. Both Reports were “wake-up calls” for each country. In my previous Blog for July of this year I further encourage Education policymakers in Belize to examine non-British and non-Caribbean models of 21st Century successful schools and successful students, for example, Finland.

SPLASH Whale Shark Promo Video 8 minutes

How to Cross the Guatemala – Belize Border. Plus, Meeting the Keystone Cops
That time every digital nomad at first loves, because it feels exciting and new… until later it becomes one more inconvenience in a long list of gripes. It was… Tourist visa renewal time! In Guatemala, you can renew your visa at the 90-day mark without leaving the country. After your visa is renewed, you can take your passport to SAT’s Custom’s office and extend your vehicle’s permit as well. At six months, or 180-days, one HAS TO leave the country. Rule also applies to whatever foreign vehicle you’ve brought with you, because its Temporary Import stamp has to match your passport. My options for renewal were a) Costa Rica, b) Mexico, and c) Belize. Option a, Mexico, was a no-go because that meant importing my car again. This requires a hefty credit card deposit (refundable), and purchase of insurance. Plus I’d already been to Mexico. Option b, Costa Rica, requires crossing at least 2 countries, Honduras and Nicaragua. Add El Salvador to the list if you feel you haven’t filed enough government paperwork in your life. The reasons you have to cross all these countries to get to Costa Rica are because:

VIDEO: Gladden Spit Marine Reserve
The Whale Shark Zone, Gladden Spit is rich with marine life in addition to Whale Shark sighting it makes for a great dive experience.

VIDEO: Exploring Turneffe's Marine Biodiversity with Dr. Sylvia Earle
Turneffe is Truly a Treasure of Belize --Dr. Sylvia Earle. On a recent trip to Tunreffe Atoll, The Oceanic Society Advior Dr. Sylvia Earle exploring the most biodiverse system of it kind the western hemisphere.

VIDEO: Understanding Sharks Body Language, Lighthouse Reef
If you're a diver or snorkeling, it's good to understand a sharks body language and if it's comfortable with your presence or not. Here's a look at the sharks at Half Moon Wall.

Mikayla Wins Queen of the Bay Belmopan
Congratulations, Mikayla Banner, for winning the Queen of the Bay Belmopan pageant. She'll go on to the Queen of the Bay pageant later this Summer.

Belmopan Day
Happy Belmopan Day! They'll be having events all day to celebrate the birthday of Belmopan. Public servants began moving into their new homes and offices 43 years ago. There was an early morning bike race, there's a chess tournament, and there will be fun an games all day, along with some informational booths.

Channel 7

Exposed: The Corozal Free Zone Connection To The Salvador Drug Bust
Last night we told you about the thousand pound cocaine bust that was made in El Salvador – the 48 buckets full of drugs in a refrigerated cargo truck were declared as frozen pineapple and were destined for the Corozal Free Zone in Belize. Well, 7news has confirmed that two companies in the free zone called OXCEL and Grupo Sol have been receiving those shipments for some time. In this case it was a twin shipment, one of the trucks got intercepted in Salvador and the other one arrived in Belize at the Benque Viejo border 11 days ago, on the 21ST July. It's declared cargo was frozen pineapple valued at $65,399 dollars. But it appears the second truck – which was checked and cleared in Salvador – did have only frozen pineapple, and that's currently now sitting in a container at the Free Zone. The container has been searched by customs and the police K-9 unit and has been found to be clean. The only problem now is that it has been left un-refrigerated for 48 hours and all the once frozen pineapple inside is rotten and has to be discarded. This evening, customs was in the process of seeking authority to dump the contents. BAHA has asked that the company, Grupo Sol dig a hole to bury it.

PM On "Universal" Significance Of CCJ Judgment
Last night, 7News showed you the scathing rebuke by the Caribbean Court of Justice in their judgment a week ago on the 44 million-dollar arbitration award from the London Court of Arbitration. The court refused to enforce the arbitration award in relation to a 2005 settlement deed which former Prime Minister Said Musa and Former Attorney General Francis Fonseca entered into with the Ashcroft-Allied Company, British Caribbean Bank. They used strong language when describing their interpretation of the deed to mean that former Ministers Musa and Fonseca attempted to assume powers of the legislature which they could not hold as part of the executive. It is particularly significant to the Prime Minister Dean Barrow who has been on a campaign to resist all the agreements between the 2005 Musa Administration and the Ashcroft Alliance. Today, we caught up with him at an event in Belmopan, where he explained that this landmark judgment has implications for all the other Caribbean Countries who have the CCJ as their highest court:

PM Not Vexed With Vega For Freshpond Fuss
And while we can foresee that Fonseca will surely be the subject of many political ads using words from the judgment, another ranking politician who's sure to be caricatured in many ads is UDP Deputy Leader Gaspar Vega. The latest issue he's been at the center of is the Freshpond Fuss, where his driver went head to head with the prime minister's political officer in Queen's Square, his sister, Denise "Sister B" Barrow. As we've reported, the abandoned homes in the community had been set aside as properties earmarked for low income first time homeowners. "Sister B" had set on one for a constituent only to find that the brother of Vega's driver, Marlon Miranda had already gotten it. That set off a firestorm of discontent and recriminations, culminating in the CEO from the Ministry of Housing being escorted out of the Lands Department by an armed security guard. Because his political officer was involved, the Prime Minister looked into it himself. Today, he told us what he'd found out and why he believes that the Deputy Prime Minister did nothing wrong:

PM Says Norwegian Deal "A Balancing Act"
But, first, we turn to the done-deal between his government and Norwegian Cruise Line to build a port to call on Harvest Caye, just south of Placencia. This decision opens up the South to Cruise Tourism, which as we have shown you, is meeting quite a bit of resistance from overnight tourism interests on the Peninsula. We'll have more from them shortly, but while we had the opportunity we asked Prime Minister Dean Barrow to explain what the final MOU looked like. Here's how he described it: Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "We took out the 20-year - the exemption from business taxes. That's been taken out. There is an insistence that after a certain number of years, the head tax will be increased. There is a great insistence on ensuring that the jobs will be had by Belizeans, even as we try to protect our sites against overcrowding. In other words, one provision says, 'You must take 25% or whatever the percentage is, of your passengers to our sites, whether marine or terrestrial, and all those tours must be for Belizeans. But, that percentage requirement has to give way to the fact that you have to check with the managers of those sites, and if they say that they could only take 100 visitors a day, or whatever amount, then you can't take more than 100 or 200.

BTIA: Harvest Caye Will Wreak Whirlwind Of Wreckage
On the other side of the Norwegian dispute is the Belize Tourism Industry Association, the BTIA. They've opposed the Norwegian deal for months and the Placencia Chapter headed by Real Estate Developer Stuart Krohn has been particularly vocal. As the MOU came closer to signing, they stepped it up this week with a bawdy "nuh bend down" campaign and a no-holds-barred appearance on the LOVE FM morning show. That prompted a detailed, 15-point response from the BTB – notable because for months the organization leading Belize's tourism industry had been mute on the pivotal, hot-button issue. The release talks about the 800 to one thousand jobs that will be created, the 50 million dollar investment and the expected low numbers of cruise visitors – thus minimizing the impact on the Placencia peninsula. We asked both Tourism Director Laura Esquivel Frampton and CEO Tracey Taegar Panton to amplify their comments today; both said they would call us back, but at news time we were still waiting for those call backs. Who we did get to speak to were the heads at the BTIA, Herbert Haylock and Stuart Krohn who discussed the claims of job creation and foreign direct investment:

Destinee Had A Date With Destiny At Reina De La Costa Maya
Last night in San Pedro the 2012 International La Reina De La Costa Maya Pageant was held in front of a packed audience. And in the end, after hours of anticipation, the Reina de la Costa Maya was announced as Belize's very own, Destinee Arnold. Miss Belize Destinee Arnold was crowned first place winner in the twenty second edition of the annual international pageant. And after several years, the crown is finally back at home. Here's a glimpse at the Queen's crowing moment. 20 year old Destinee won the title of Queen of the Jewel Miss Belize in July 2012 and represented Belize in the Miss International Pageant in Okinawa, Japan in 2012. She also took part in the Miss Ethnic World pageant in Long Beach California where she won the title of Miss Ethnic World 2013. We'll have much more from Destinee, including an interview with the new Queen later, courtesy REEF TV. This year, seven countries from the Central American region including Mexico, took part in the pageant.

Inside The Training Of "The Belize Seals"
Two and a half months ago, the Coast Guard quite unexpectedly announced that it was training it's first SEAL Team. Now, we all know about the US Navy SEALS, the highly specialized unit that gained iconic status when they took out Osama Bin Laden. But, a Belize SEAL team? It sounded too outlandish to be true. But it is – and we know because we have footage them training today. And with the training we saw them enduring, it must be something special! Jules Vasquez reports: Jules Vasquez Reporting They're bathing in mud, doing pushups in the midday heat, creeping around on all fours, huddling in the sun for extended periods - you may think these coast guard officers have gotten sun stroke! These 8 coast Guard officers have lived through hell, almost literally. This odd exercise you see them doing, crawling on all fours may look strange or even demeaning, but this is the culmination of what is known as "hell week".

PM Flummoxed At Rosewood Rip Off
Exactly 2 weeks ago, Forestry Minister Lisel Alamilla announced to the nation that for every container of illegally harvest rosewood which was sold during the amnesty period, the Government – and by extension the public – only got $15,000 Belize dollars. That was the deal which the Forestry Minister ultimately accepted and it came on the heels of the political hit which the UDP took because they allowed a rosewood amnesty in the first place. A major hit at that, because of the central involvement of the Deputy Prime Minister's brother, German Vega who is the leading exporter of Rosewood. This revelation was met with strong criticism that the rosewood exporters had been allowed to short-change the government in a major way. That's because that $15,000 was supposed to represent a 50% revenue split, but a container of the prized rosewood on the global market is worth far more than what that split represented. Today, we asked Prime Minister Dean Barrow about that deal which the Forestry Department took, and he wasn't familiar with the details...

PM: Buckley Should Be Compensated
Moving right along, the media also asked PM Barrow about the situation with Steven Buckley. As has been widely reported, Buckley was wrongfully shot in the head in 2010 by a police officer on duty, and since then, he's not been able to work to provide for his family. He received 2 letters from the KHMH demanding that he pay his medical bills, which according to him, the former Commissioner of Police pledged would be paid by the department. Well, that hasn't happened as yet, and after his public outcries, the KHMH agreed to back off until the criminal matter of his shooting has been dealt with. But going further than just paying his bills, there are some members of the public who believe that Buckley should be financially compensated by the Government of Belize. After 3 years of dealing with the consequences of his injuries, the media asked Barrow about Buckley's plight. He told us that if all the facts are as they have been reported, he doesn't just deserve to have his bills cleared, he also deserves due compensation: Mike Rudon - Channel 5 News

PM Meets With Evangelicals
What did the bible say about the first being last and the last being first? Well it's applicable tonight for this suite of interviews with the PM because the reason we were at the George Price Center to interview him in the first place was because he had a meeting with over 40 pastors from across country. From all indications, the PM and the Evangelical Association of Churches were at a stand-off over the gender policy. Today, he got an opportunity to meet and speak with these representatives, and after that discussion, we asked him about how it went. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "This arose out of the first meeting I'd had with the Belmopan pastors, which as you know, was about the Gender Policy. So, that was, if not a contentious meeting, certainly a meeting that saw issues discussed where there were clear differences of opinion. As a consequence of that though, Pastor Richard Smith from My Refuge Radio suggested that in order to avoid misunderstandings in the future, it might be a good thing for me to meet with a country-wide sampling of pastors, and he offered to put that together. We fixed today as the date, and this is the result. It went extremely well; I was very pleased. I considered it a privilege to be able to talk to so many of them."

Hon. King Ready For All Comers
And apart from having to deal with all that which you just saw, the PM also has to deal with sometimes difficult personalities like Mark King. He's been reinstated as Minister of State and he's back in his political clinic. But some say, Party Leader Barrow might want to replace him. Yesterday, King told us he's ready for all challengers UDP and PUP: Hon. Mark King - Area Representative, Lake Independence "It is unfortunate that I had that little incident that had mentioned about, and we're now back in the division as per the normal course. Now that I am back, we are very strong, and as you can see there is a lot of people out there to see me." Jules Vasquez "The old saying is, and the UDP was to some extent elected on this, 'take their money, and then vote them out.' How do you make sure that these people will support you on Election Day?" Hon. Mark King "Well, there are 2 things to that Jules. First of all, I am the Area Representative, and to a large extent, it doesn't matter if people are fooling you or not, you have to represent the people who voted for you, who supported you. The elections are over, so now, they are a part of this community."

Youth Orchestra Of The Americas Tour Comes To Belize
The highly acclaimed Youth Orchestra of The America's is performing in Belize on Sunday night, the last stop on a Central American Tour which took them to Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala And Belize. The Orchestra features a Belizean for the first time ever – and that is Courtney Gillett on the violin. Today Alex Evans who plays bass in the Belize Youht Orchestra explained the significance of the concert. Again, the concert is free on Sunday night at 7:00 at the Memorial Park – and if you can't make it out there, Channel 7 will be showing it live.

Destinee's Story
As we showed you earlier in the news, Belizean Destinee Arnold was crowned Reina De La Costa Maya last night in San Pedro. It's a major win for Belize in the regional beauty pageant. Today she sat down with our colleague Kainie Manuel for an interview to explain her joy at winning on home turf:

An Automotive Race-track For Belize?
And while Belize has its own Reina for the next year, we might also be having our own race-track. It may sound far fetched, but the Belize Automobile Club has linked up with FIA, the international federation of automobiles. That's the governing body for motorsports worldwide, in charge of such prestigious association as Formula One and NASCAR. FIA's Technical and Sporting manager for the America's, Fernando Gutierrez-benjumea is in Belize laying the ground for a visit by Jean Todt FIA's President who is coming next week. Rhon Leckey of the Belize Automobile Club told us how things are shaping up... They met with the Minister of State with responsibility for sports today...

A Camp For Hundreds
Over the past 4 weeks, that same Ministry of Sports held 3 summer camps around the city. A hundred children got the opportunity to take part in Basketball, Football or Vollyball camps. It was a fun experience for most of the children who we visited during the weeks at camp. But every good thing must come to an end and today that end came with some goodies for the campers. 7news was at the closing ceremony this morning.


New Horizons Summer Program Comes To An End
With only a few weeks more before the end of the summer holiday for students of both the primary and secondary level today the New Horizons summer program carried out in Corozal came to an end with the distribution of certificates to participants. The program, which catered for more than 125 students, was organized by New Horizons in conjunction with the Corozal Sports Council and other members of the community with the aim of teaching participants life skills such as teamwork and self-control, through sports. Miriam Villamil– Coordinator “Great turn out lots of kids came out and the community supported us so it was a great two weeks for the kids summer camp.” Victor Castillo- reporter “How many kids at the end of today did you have registered?” Miriam Villamil– Coordinator “One hundred twenty five kids” Victor Castillo- reporter “So this week, what can you say the kids learnt?” Miriam Villamil– Coordinator “Um basically um teach them the basic fundamentals of football, basketball and softball so they have more or less an idea of how to play the sport now the rules and regulations are coming next week.”

Ten Thousand Dollars of Fiesta Rama Funds Earmarked For Student Program
Out of the money raised from Fiesta Rama 2013, ten thousand dollars has been earmarked for a special project catering to the youths of Orange Walk. The town council’s Student Self Aid Educational Program, which will assist one hundred students from across Orange Walk Town, Is set to commence on Monday August 5th. Kevin Bernard- Mayor Orange Walk “As a committee we have budgeted $10,000.00 out of this profit to go directly to the summer program where we will be assisting a hundred students. The first fifty students will commence this Monday, starting this Monday, we will contacting today, in fact I am right now looking over the list of students and we want to also say that there were over 170 students who applied for the summer program and it is a pity we cannot assist everybody, so we are going to call on the first fifty students today so that they could come in on Monday and then the following Monday then the other fifty students. What we are doing here basically we did not want just to hire fifty students and have them on a two week program, we try to spread it out so that we could get a hundred people to at least gain a hundred dollars towards their school expenses and so it maybe small but it is something that we believe that we are reaching out to as much as we can and so we expect that within the two week we should see a lot of young people in the street doing some work, doing community work, as part of the beautification that we have, some of them will be putting street signs that we have done and also we are going to be doing some white washing of trees so we are getting them involve in things that they would want to take ownership of what they do as young individuals.”

Orange Walk Mayor Releases Financial Report For Fiesta Rama
Fiesta Rama 2013 has come and gone and the good news tonight is that it was a huge success as the Orange Walk Town Council was able to double its profits compared to last year. Keeping in line with the council’s pledge of accountability and transparency, today Mayor of Orange Walk Town Kevin Bernard sat down with CTV3 News and gave us a financial rundown of Fiesta Rama 2013. Kevin Bernard- Mayor Orange Walk “I must say that we are happy to report to the public, the Orange Walkenos, that we had a very, very successful Fiesta Rama. Last year’s Fiesta Rama we manage to get a profit of ten thousand nine hundred and odd dollar, this year we double that profit we are at a profit a little over twenty one thousand dollars in profit after this year Fiesta Rama. In terms of total revenue we collect a little over eighty odd thousand throughout that weekend and that includes sales from the gate, sales from bar, sales from booth, rentals, sales from different mechanical rides and as well in terms of expenses, we spent after my figures here and we have a slight little more, that is why I am giving you a figure, we’ll make the final official report by Monday but this is where I believe it is a little over twenty one thousand, we spend a little over sixty one thousand two hundred and twenty two dollars around that in terms of expenses and that included all the different entertainment and so that we had to incur from the council perspective, including electrical work, ground, salary for workers, payment to kubuli beers and Bowen and Bowen. We are happy that we were able to meet our target and we had expected, we wanted to double last year’s profit and we did so.”

Representatives of BSCFA Educated On Fair Trade Standards
Today marked the culmination of an important workshop organized by the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association for its 18 branch chairmen and other representatives. The seminar was carried out in order for those taking part to have a better understanding of Fair Trade Standards. As we reported before, the BSCFA received 8 non-conformities when they were audited by FLOCERT back in June. The workshop formed part of the corrective measures implemented by the organization in hope that cane farmers will now adhere to the rules and regulations of Fair Trade. Alfredo Ortega- Chairman, BSCFA, Committee of Management “Uno de ellos y lo más importante de ello es de que los branch chairman, la diferentes comitivas y el staff tuvieron una oportunidad de conocer más afondo que son los standards de Fair Trade, de entender mejor que son los criterios y cómo podemos aplicarlo y también unos hints de cómo podemos mejorar en las juntas que llevamos a cabo con los branches. Al no entender una cosa uno no sabe cómo tratarlo de una manera correcta y ya teniendo un a buen conocimiento de ello y ya teniendo claridad sobre de que es que uno tiene que cumplir ya eso facilita par una o sea ya va a un branch o ya sea que va a dar una explicación, ya puede dar una explicación de que es lo que quiere decir los diferentes puntos de un standard que hay que cumplir.

Miss Belize Crowned Miss Costa Maya 2013
The much anticipated one of a kind event of the year, Costa Maya 2013, began yesterday, August 1st. The show has garnered much attention in general but one main aspect of the full weekend activities is crowning La Reina De La Costa Maya. This year, seven countries from the Central American region including Mexico, participated in the much anticipated pageant. The participants included, Miss Belize “Destinee Arnold”, Miss Costa Rica “Andrea Rojas”, Miss El Salvador “Fatima Yolanda Mauricio Magandi”, Miss Mexico “Artemisa Rivera Montañes”, Miss Nicaragua “Ariadna Judith Orellana”, Miss Panama “Cleirys Velasquez”, Miss Honduras “Monica Alexis Elwing Gough”. Guatemala’s Alejandra Moralez was not able participate in the pageant. However, the seven delegates brought their beauty, elegance and glamour to the stage at the start of the 2013 Costa Maya pageant. Tonight we are proud to note that Belize’s representative, Destinee Arnold won the crown. The event started with the presentation of the cultural costumes, each representing their own country. Miss Belize displayed a costume depicting the hard working Maya women. It included a blue outfit with jewellery and a headpiece adorned with pottery, symbolizing the contribution women made to the artifacts found in ruins across the Mundo Maya Region.

NGO Comes Out In Favor of Gender Policy
The National Revised Gender Policy 2013 has garnered rigid criticism, especially from the religious sector who believes that the document promotes homosexuality. In light of their utmost discontent with the Gender Policy, the churches held peaceful demonstrations throughout the country, starting here in Orange Walk and then moving on to other districts. The largest outcome was recorded in the Toledo District with over four thousand person’s saying no to the policy. But one specific NGO here in Orange Walk is in support of the Gender Policy. Eliza Castellanos is the Director of Tikkun Olam Belize, an NGO working towards women empowerment; she says that the Gender Policy does exactly that. Castellanos believes that before coming to any conclusion, Belizeans should take the time out to read the document. Eliza Castellanos, Director, Tikkun Olam Belize “I am encouraging everybody man, woman, child, teenager, whoever can read to read the gender policy if you have any questions and you don’t understand the language in the policy please feel free to contact somebody you could contact the nationals women commission you can contact us at Tikkun Olam Belize you can find me on Facebook. At Eliza Castellanos and my number is 623-9500 in case you want further information send me a text, give me a call if you need a copy of the gender policy please feel free to let us know in any way that you can and we will help you with that information where not asking people by this standing to like people from a different way of life or not to like women or not to be pro women what we’re asking is that you read the gender policy understand it and then you will know what exactly chaos has been about.

Minor Injured During Shootout In Carmelita
As residents of Carmelita Village prepared to go to bed last night, the peace and quite of the community was disrupted as shots rang. The shots heard were aimed at a group of boys who were hanging out by the Carmelita Sports Centre. Fortunately, there was no lost of life recorded, but one minor got injured. Today we caught with the victim, who was apparently, one of the three intended targets. He spoke to us with the permission of his mother. Shooting Victim, Carmelita Village “Yesterday night I, my brother and my cousin were by the center of Carmelita. A man from this place, we were never talking to him or nothing and then he come out and tell us that how, why are we watching at him, he no like see man and then he said will show we who he and then he went home and look like he get a 16 gauge gun and after that he sneak up from behind us and started to fire shots and me and my brother and my cousin started to run and whilst running I feel a shot through my foot but I continues run with them and then we jumped into a yard and then we hide and after that they were look for us and fired shots and after that we wait a little while and jumped over the fence back and we come home.”

Drugs Destined For Belize Was Headed To The Corozal Freezone
Last night we told you about the big drug bust that was made by a joint task force of the National Civil Police and the Armed Forces of El Salvador. Close to 500 kilos of cocaine, translating close to one thousand pounds, were found hidden in 48 buckets of frozen pineapple pulp. Each bucket contained four to six kilos of cocaine. According to La Prensa Grafica from El Salvador, the cargo was destined for Belize, specifically, the Corozal Free Zone. But it seems that it’s not the first time that frozen pineapple pulp is shipped to the jewel. We have been informed that Belizean authorities have been tracking these types of containers usually headed to the Free Zone under the names of companies such as OXCEL and Grupo Sol who have been receiving these types of shipments for quite some time. Reports are that a few months ago, checks were made and samples of the pineapple were sent to CPBL for testing; they came back negative. This time, two shipments were bound for Belize. As we all know, one of the trucks got intercepted in Salvador, but the second arrived in Belize at the Benque Viejo border on the 21ST July.

The Belize Times

PUP leads reform agenda – Opposition proposes less politics with new Joint Public Accounts Committee
Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee Hon. Julius Espat says that the work of the important financial check and balance body has been considerably stymied because of political influence. In November 2012, when the Committee attempted to examine the Auditor General’s inconclusive 2010/2011 audit report which found serious financial irregularities in certain Ministries, including the payment of one million dollars to Barrow & Company and Lois Young Barrow & Co, which are owned by the Prime Minister’s brother and ex-wife, it was botched when the four Government members Hon. Patrick Faber, Hon. Michael Finnegan, Hon. John Saldivar and Hon. Erwin Contreras, who hold the majority, refused to agree to have the report examined or the Auditor General Dorothy Bradley and Financial Secretary Joseph Waight questioned by the Committee.

Vega calls UDP Hustling & Corruption “Petty”
Corruption has become so widespread in the Barrow Administration that UDP politicians have become indifferent to the mass hustling that is taking place. Deputy Prime Minister, Gaspar Vega, who week after week finds ...

UDP Makes Tourism Whoreism
THE Dictatorship of Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s administration to have this week signed a wrong-headed agreement with Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), headquartered in Miami-Dade County, Florida, to build a $100 million cruise ship terminal on ...

#1 Threat to Protected Areas: Lisel Alamilla!
The Barrow Administration’s poster girl for environmental protection, Minister of Forestry Lisel Alamilla, is the number one threat to Belize’s protected areas, according to the Association of Protected Areas Management Organisation (APAMO), the largest environmental organisation. APAMO ...

Pigs at the trough
By G. Michael Reid The nauseating stench of corruption has once again manifested itself as we hear of yet another scandal from within this Dean Barrow government. One cannot help but question the Prime Minister’s sense of smell, after all, he did promise to jump into action at the “slightest whiff ...

Named after the godfather of the UDP Gaspar Vega, who recently disclosed that he is not a normal person in Belize, VEGAnomics is now a deep-rooted economic and political system used by the Barrow Administration. It is an exploitation system that rewards family, friends and political cronies, encourages incompetence and ...

Belize Telemedia wins 2013 softball championship
The Belize Telemedia women’s softball team are the Belize City women’s softball champions for 2013, after shutting out Fresca Lady Rebels 6-0 in Game 5 of the finals at the Roger’s Stadium last Friday night. Telemedia’s Kenisha ...

Lady Jaguars win volleyball champions
It was standing room only at the Belize Elementary School auditorium last Saturday night when the Lady Jaguars won their 2nd Volleyball championship, taking Game 3 of the finals in 5 sets. The Jaguars’ Tichelle Solis, Shantel ...

Ladyville Jaguars & Sugar City Girlz draw 1-1
The Ladyville Jaguars salvaged a 1-1 draw out of the jaws of defeat when they hosted Sugar City Girlz for a back match of the ongoing Atlantic Bank national female football ...

Finnegan Fingers Sports Minister
We normally don’t give attention to the mindless gibberish that comes out of the mouth of failed Housing ...

Mark attacks Cordel
UDP area representative Mark King must be the most desperate UDP politician right now. His reputation, the little he had left actually, was left tattered following his assault of a Belize City Police Officer at the northern border earlier this year. King walked from the Court a ...

AMAZING GRACE – Fishy Transportation
During the weekend, while attending a local church’s Sunday school, a young man asked for my assistance with an oral quiz that he was participating in. The children were instructed to name a character from the Bible who was obedient to God. The young man looked expectantly at me for ...

Hon. Jose Mai donates equipment to village councils
The Hon Jose Mai donated lawn mowers to the Yo Creek and San Carlos Village Councils. Chairmen for both villages received the lawn mowers on behalf of the community. The lawn mowers will be used to upkeep ...

Fundraising for 5 yr. old Cancer Warrior, Juan Carlos Chavez
Juan Carlos Chavez is a five year old boy who has been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Juan Carlos is son of Carlos Chavez, primary school teacher at Sacred Heart Primary School, and Marceli Chavez who all ...

OW Town Council donates to BTIA OW
The Orange Walk Town Council led by Mayor Kevin Bernard continues to support our stakeholders in the Tourism Industry. A donation of a computer was made today to the Belize Tourism Industry Association Orange Walk Chapter to ...

Instability at BTB
There seems to be a serious crisis of leadership at the Belize Tourism Board. Ian Lizarraga who was appointed BTB Chairman on April 4, 2012, walked away from the job ...

Another Independent Voice Joins the PUP
The People’s United Party is pleased to welcome Nancy Marin back home to our Party. Over the past few years Nancy has proved to a strong, independent voice on many important national issues particularly those affecting Belize’s national sovereignty ...

HOME ECONOMICS – The Poor Bourgeoisie
By Richard Harrison There are people in Belize who really believe they are rich. Rolex, Hummer, Jaguars, BMW, Million-dollar mansions, vacation condos, fancy yachts, golf clubs, first-class frequent-flier, you name it ...they have it all. Get into an accident on one of our highways... and bam ...they’re poor just like the rest of ...

GIRL POWER!!! – WIN-Belize holds Empowerment Camp 2013
The Women’s Issues Network of Belize (WIN-Belize), through their volunteer arm, the Winners’ Women’s Group (WWG) is hosting their first Annual ...

Engaging Students in Social Justice Activism
By Dr. Angela Banner Joseph “If you tremble with indignation at every injustice, then you are a comrade of mine.” - Ernesto Guevara How do we encourage our students to engage in social justice activities? Such activities include access to fairness, democracy, and equality, and opportunities for all people regardless of gender, ...

Chaos City: No Planner
Mayor Darrell Bradley is hard headed. He is cement headed and has concrete ears with no drains like the half-done streets they are building, impeding the peoples’ concerns from coming in. Darrel Bradley has been ramming things down the throats of city residents with a resignation that ...

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

Parochialism and Political Expediency in the Ministry of Health
The International Development Bank (IDB) and other co-financing institutions (Caribbean Development Bank and the European Union Commission) in 2000 approved a loan of US $18.126m to finance Belize’s Health Sector Reform Project (HSRP). The ...

It Was My Destiny to Love and Say Goodbye – Reflection on the artistic and teaching life of Michele Perdomo
by Yasser Musa. Today we gather in the house of the Lord St. Martin’s De Porres to celebrate the life of our dear friend Michele Perdomo. I am honored ...

The Gordon Regatta
By Yasser Musa Two young ladies dressed in polo tourism village work shirts held on to the chain link fence and stared at the mural. The evening sun illuminated the 110-foot long work of art for them. One writer posted on ...

TIMES ‘young’ MAN OF THE YEAR – 2013
No Shoes. No Shirt. No Sight. No Problem. by Kareem Musa As we approach the bend on the last quarter of 2013, a few may argue that we have jumped the gun in announcing our selection ...

Education Summer Camp in 10th Year!
By Alton F. Humes (Freelance Reporter) Educator, political and social activist and forward-thinker – that’s the best description of Mr. Peter Lacey. For a decade strong, he and his wife, ...

WOMAN IN THE HOUSE – Let’s pave the Manatee Road!!!
By Dolores Balderamos Garcia In an earlier Woman in the House article I called on the powers that be to keep the Gales Point Manatee Government Primary School open, and made the case that the community of Gales Point Manatee is a special needs village that should be given special attention. In ...

Hush Amandala, Hush
Traditionally, media houses in Belize like Kremandala go the extra mile in trying to portray themselves as existing independently of any of the dominant political parties. In their view, it is what gives them credibility. Sometimes though, that eagerness to appear independent cannot compete with the hunger ...

Reflections on the Public Square – A Smart National Economic Polic
By Francis W. Fonseca Restoring confidence in the Belizean economy starts with a Smart National Economic Policy. Belize has 8,867 square miles or 5,674,880 acres of land, 12 miles of territorial sea, 200 miles of exclusive economic zone, untold millions of barrels of petroleum and other valuable minerals and the skill and ...

Lee Mark Chang – Freetown’s Mr. Quitar?
The BELIZE TIMES has been investigating a disturbing report of UDP land grabbing in the Freetown Division, involving Lee Mark Chang, the politician who was rejected at the polls. The land in ...

Teach Children OUR Culture Not Pop Culture!
Dear Editor, Please allow me space in your newspaper to share my views on how our children are losing their cultural values. The education system in Belize is set up in a way which barely accommodates the teaching of the rich cultures and ways of life in Belize. I am appalled to ...

Great Grandfather wants to help Great Grandson start stamp/coin/postcard collection
Letter to the Editor: My name is George Phillips and I am an 84 year-old resident of Manitoba, Canada. As a young boy I had the privilege of collecting stamps/coins/postcards from around the world. There was no Internet or mass media back then and this was one of the ways that one discovered ...

Why so quiet, Mr. X?
Dear Editor, For the last five years, our country has been on the brink of falling into an abyss caused by the naked corruption and incompetence of Dean Barrow and his worthless UDP government. Belizeans have not seen new industries, no new jobs; no new classrooms. Nothing is working under Barrow. ...

Crying SHAME for Steven Buckley!
Dear Editor, It’s a downright shame and disgrace what this UDP Administration is doing to Steven Buckley. How come his area representative, the big mouth Boots Martinez, the rags to riches man with a handful of yellow mansions all over the city, can’t or refuses to step in and settle the ...

Step Aside Finnegan!
Dear Editor, I felt sorry for Finnegan when I saw him in the news, first a couple weeks ago when he was barely able to walk up the steps of his office and this week looking feeble and frail. He is clearly in deteriorating health conditions and unfit to carry out ...

Burnt to death?
Orange Walk Police officials have turned to forensic specialists to help them confirm if a body found inside the trunk of a car set on fire is that ...

The July 28th, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Alleged Home Invader Freed On Bail:
    It has been quite a while since we reported on a home invasion in the community. The latest such reported incident is alleged to have occurred at around 8:30 pm on Thursday, July 18, 2013 on the George Price Highway in Santa Elena. San Ignacio police received the report home invasion in the area known as Hotpoint on the George Price Highway in Santa Elena Town. A team of policemen rushed to the area where they met Hugh Tillet, 49, Belizean laborer originally from Crooked Tree Village in the Belize District. Tillet reported that sometime around 8:25 pm he and his wife were inside the bedroom of their house when two armed, masked male persons invaded the house and kicked down the bedroom door.
  • Rest In Peace Luis Mendez:
    The family of a promising football star is today preparing to lay their loved one to rest in the wake of a tragic accident that occurred in Guatemala on the evening of Tuesday, July 23, 2013. A Guatemalan news agency informed that it was shortly after 3:00 pm on Tuesday, July 23, when the bus in which Luis Mendez, 22, of a Benque Viejo Town address in the Cayo District, was travelling from Guatemala on the return journey to Belize along with his wife when the passenger bus reportedly crashed into a trailer causing it to slide off the road, down a gully and overturned. Several passengers were injured in the accident but Mendez was the only one who died.
  • Editorial: Confused, Confused, Confused:
    As the effort continues to connect the dots, several incidents making the news in the past days and weeks are yielding more questions than answers: 1.While it is no secret that we at the STAR Newspaper hold Audrey Matura Shepard in high regard; unless she comes forward and informs otherwise, we are of the view that her hasty disconnection from OCEANA is the product of an anti-homosexual article she wrote in the Amandala newspaper yet, as OCEANA’s Representative in Belize she would allow herself to be used in the handing over of a four thousand dollar check to UNIBAM the lead group overtly promoting the homosexual agenda in Belize. 2. To the best of our knowledge UNIBAM could care less about anything having to do with on or off shore exploration for oil and even less about anything having to do with ocean protection. UNIBAM’s singular focus is the promotion of gay rights and the homosexual agenda in Belize.
  • Letter to the Editor:
    I was saddened to see the report in the STAR listed as “anti-LGBT” “anti-UNIBAM” march, when it was specifically listed as a Constitution March, standing upon the Constitutional words invoking the Supremacy of God, the position of the family, inalienable rights endowed to us by our CREATOR, and that “men & institutions remain free ONLY in respect for moral & spiritual values and the rule of law.” The word “Constitution” didn’t appear once in your article. Then to follow up with the feedback from Asa Dematteo, who is a homosexual, married to a man, from San Francisco, the epitome of debauchery & homosexual license (if you’re brave enough, look up “Folsom St. Fair” and you’ll get a good picture of San Francisco and what excites Mr. Dematteo and the world HE wants to live in.) Sorry Mr. Dematteo, we absolutely support TRUE HUMAN RIGHTS and the qualification is being a HUMAN. We do not support homosexual rights, above everyone else’s rights. Homosexual sodomy is NOT a fundamental human right. And it’s unconstitutional in Belize.
  • Guatemalans Suspected In The Stealing Of Motorcycles:
    News is today surfacing of an alleged ring of motorcycle thieves with suspected cross border origins. In the latest incident, Floyd Thiessen, 22, Belizean farmer residing in Spanish Lookout reported that at around 11:00 am on Wednesday, July 24, 2013, he was at Belize Tire Depot located on Center Road in Spanish Lookout when a relative called allegedly informing him that someone had ridden off on his 2009, 450 cc Honda Motorcycle valued at ten thousand dollars which was parked inside his garage at home. An immediate fruitless search of the Spanish Lookout area was conducted. Based on the description of the individuals and the sequence of similar incidents, police investigators are of the opinion that the motorcycle thieves are from across the border in Guatemala.
  • Lifeline Foundation receives a BZ$2 Million from the Oak Foundation for the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit:
    A press release from Life Line Foundation and the office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children today informed that the founder of Life Line Foundation and 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 and equipping of a new Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The release additionally informed that the donation is the result of over a year of discussions and due diligence between the Oak Foundation and the Lifeline Foundation. Half of the donation is earmarked for the construction of the new facility while the other one million dollars will go towards the procurement 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 needed funds.
  • Belize Recognized Among the 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.”
  • Sand Hill Village Gets Multi Purpose Center:
    A spanking new multipurpose centre is slated to be inaugurated this Sunday, July 28, in Sand Hill Village in the Belize Rural North Constituency of the Hon. Edmund "Clear The Land" Castro. A release from the Social Investment Fund informs that the facility will benefit over 400 students, who prior to the project had to either travel all the way to Belize City on weekends or stay back after school to do research due to the lack of computer and internet resources in the village. The project, implemented by the Social Investment Fund, was financed by the Government of Belize at a total cost of over three hundred thousand dollars of which over two hundred and eighty five thousand dollars came in the form of a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank while the remaining fifteen thousand dollars was contributed by the people of Sand Hill. The project entailed the rehabilitation of the old community centre including the addition of a one room extension to serve as a kitchen. A temporary partition to facilitate mobile health clinics was also installed.
  • Suspected Bovine Rabies Reported In Toledo:
    The Ministry of Health (MOH) is hereby notifying the public that a suspected case of bovine rabies (rabies in cow) was reported on July 24, 2013 by Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) in the New Road Area of the Toledo District. The MOH and BAHA have been engaged in the investigation and treatment of eight exposed persons as part of a proactive response pending confirmation of laboratory result on the sample. While there is no confirmed case as yet, the public is reminded that periodic cases are seen in the country alluding to active circulation of the rabies virus between the wild, livestock and domestic animals. Officials with the Ministry of Health and BAHA will continue to monitor the situation and are encouraging residents to report any animals that are showing sign of rabies which includes tiredness, fever, vomiting and anorexia, weakness, paralysis, seizures, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, excessive salivation, abnormal behavior, aggression, and/ or self-mutilation.
  • Belizeans In The United States Form A New Group To Address Dual Citizenship Rights:
    When Belize became independent on September the 21st 1981, Belizeans who were born in Belize and became citizens of the United States and other countries automatically lost their Belizean citizenships. While, people who were not born in Belize that obtained Belizean citizenship through; descent, marriage to a Belizean citizen naturalization etc. retained the citizenships 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.
  • BURNS:
    A young man sprinkling his lawn and bushes with pesticides wanted to check the contents of the barrel to see how much pesticide remained in it. He raised the cover and lit his lighter; the vapors ignited and engulfed him. He jumped from his truck, screaming. His neighbor came out of her house with a dozen eggs and a bowl yelling: "bring me some more eggs!" She broke them, separating the whites from the yolks. The neighbor woman helped her to apply the whites onto the young man's face. When the ambulance arrived and the EMTs saw the young man, they asked who had done this. Everyone pointed to the lady in charge. They congratulated her and said: "You have saved his face."
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Little Belize Continues to Attract Big Culture
Some preparations to Belize City’s Memorial Park had to be made to accommodate a large symphony orchestra and an audience of over 1,000 music lovers, but hey, it was kind of a big deal… When it was announced that the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, also known as the YOA, would be putting on a two hour show in Belize on August 4, those in charge of such things jumped to accommodate the larger than usual number of performers and listeners. And rightly so. The YOA is a huge multicultural symphonic orchestra made up of musicians hailing from twenty different countries across the western hemisphere, giving it every right to be called world class. In addition to fostering great music, the YOA is also on an important mission, which they state is: “To bring together energetic, talented musicians to pursue excellence and celebrate cultural diversity as a catalyst for social change. The statement goes on to note that; “In ten years, YOA has become an international brand by bringing renowned artists— from Yo-Yo Ma to Paquito D’Rivera, from Plácido Domingo to Philip Glass— into the lives of young musicians and diverse audiences.”

“Magical Mystery Tour” (Part 2) from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
In the previous edition I ‘said’ that I would publish a second part for the magical mystery tour that Rose and I were lucky enough to make to the BATSUB base at Ladyville near Belize City and in this edition I do just that. Before doing this though I will bring you up-to-date on our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize by letting you know and see what was going on/had been done when we visited around 16.00 hours on Thursday. As we approached the house we could see that Rene was laying floor tiles (photos in the next edition) for the kitchen/living room of the self-contained apartment on the Ground Floor but didn’t wish to disturb him so we went straight up to the First Floor where we found that Christopher had been busy.

T' Frugal Mennonite: T' Frugal Kitchin: Beef an' Noodles
Yesterdee I wantid to serve sumthin at I knew my fussy eat'r daught'r would like. So, I deecided to go fer at old favert, beef an' noodles. It is a sup'r easy recipe, but duz take a long an' loe cook time. BEEF AND NOODLES beef stew meat 1 a'ken beef consomme 1 a'ken beef an' onion soup pepp'r to taste 1 pkg. wide egg noodles flour wat'r olif' earl Heat a cuple o'tablespoons o'olif' earl n' a heevy pot. Add yer beef (cut into one inch chunks) an' one tablespoon o'flour. Brown well, the add t'consomme an' soup. Brang to a bawl, the down to a simm'r an' cov'r. Simm'r fer acoupla hours addyun' pepp'r midway through cookin. Mix three tablespoons flour wit wat'r to make a slurry. Add slurry to pun, stirryun' well, the cov'r wile y'all air cookin yer noodles. Taste t'beef an' add salt if'n neetet. Serve ov'r noodles. Sprinkle wit t'herb o'yer choice.

International Sources

The proxy wars of gay rights
"I do not pretend to understand the moral universe," wrote abolitionist minister Theodore Parker in 1853. "The arc is a long one. My eye reaches but little ways. I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by experience of sight. I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends toward justice." More than a century later, Martin Luther King Jr. paraphrased and popularized that idea. It is often quoted now for its inspirational power and the first part of Parker's metaphor gets forgotten: the reminder that while freedom might be winning the war, it will not win every battle. And sometimes - to throw one more metaphor in the mix - the march of freedom is not only arrested, but pushed back for a time. Victories for freedom in one part of the world might trigger backlashes in other parts, by forcing bigots to concentrate their efforts where they think they can win. This has happened with feminism, particularly when it comes to sexuality and reproductive freedom, and it is happening with gay rights.

Lord Ashcroft in dispute with Belize over control of offshore register
Belizean government has seized control of registers of offshore companies and ships, suggesting schism with Tory peer. Lord Ashcroft, the billionaire Tory party donor, has been drawn into a bitter row with the government of Belize over the control of its offshore register, which has been responsible for the formation of more than 100,000 companies in the tax haven. In a move that suggests a schism between the Tory peer and his adopted country, the Belize government has seized control of the International Business Companies Registry (IBCR) of offshore companies and the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (Immarbe), its register of ships. The IBCR is operated by Belize International Services Limited (BISL) which is co-owned by a Panamanian law firm and Waterloo Investment Holdings Limited (WIHL), a British Virgin Islands company in which Ashcroft has a 77% stake. Waterloo says its lawyers have agreements to operate the offshore registry dating back to 1993. A deal to extend the agreement to 2020 was signed with a previous government. But Ashcroft, the former deputy chairman of the Tory party, who came under fire before the last election when it emerged he had been a "non-dom", is now at loggerheads with the government over the arrangement. complex legal case.

VIDEO of Chicken Drop

First Watch: The Garifuna Collective, 'Ubou'
It's been six years since Andy Palacio and the Garifuna Collective brought the beautifully rich music of the Garifuna people to international consciousness. Their 2007 album Watina became an instant classic, and probably did more than anything else to bring this culture and language to an international audience. But less than a year after Watina's release, Palacio, a vocalist and guitarist, was suddenly gone: dead of a heart attack and stroke at age 47. The Garifuna Collective has finally returned with a new album that bids farewell to Palacio and continues his legacy: Ayó, which means "goodbye" in the Garifuna language. While the latest video for their song "Ubou" from Ayó boasts both the saturated, tropical colors and the lovely, lilting rhythms that have endeared the Garifuna Collective's music to audiences all over the world, the lyrics are of a different shade altogether.

Should We Seek Reparations from Europe?
At a lecture entitled “Britain’s Black Debt: Reparations Owed to the Caribbean for Slavery and Indigenous Genocide”, Sir Hilary Beckles, Principal of the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies, urged CARICOM countries to seek reparation from Europe for the atrocities of slavery. Sir Hilary went on to say that seeking reparations is not about seeking handouts, but about “repairing historical damage and finding a way forward”. The Jamaica Observer has more here. According to reports from a number of news sources, CARICOM has taken up the cause, and has enlisted the assistance of British law firm Leigh Day. The firm won a battle for compensation for hundreds of Kenyans who were tortured by the British during the Mau Mau rebellien of the 1950s and 1960s. David Fitton, British High Commissioner to Jamaica has responded to the issue by saying “[Britain] doesn’t think the issue of reparations is the right way to address the issue…[or] to address an historical problem.” Since independence, the region has been on the receiving end of billions of dollars in foreign aid and support from Europe. In 2009, the European Commission agreed to provide €165 million (US$ 245.2 million) to CARICOM as part of its support for the region’s integration process. Between 1975 and 1995, Europe paid top dollar for agricultural goods originating in CARICOM countries as part of an export-led development model championed by economists of the time. While the Lomé Convention has ended, Europe continues to be the region’s primary trade partner in agricultural exports, and European tourists comprise the majority of extra-regional visitors to CARICOM countries.

To Save a Coral Reef Enabler
There’s a lion on the loose, and it’s hunting endangered prey. I’m on my way to Belize to see what I can do about it. Belize is home to a portion of the largest barrier reef in the Caribbean, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. Hundreds of species of fish inhabit this diverse coral reef system, many of them unique to the region. This week I will conduct field work there, joining forces with a team from the Smithsonian Institution led by fish curator Carole Baldwin.

August 3, 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

Belize IS beautiful! Rekindling the love for my country
When one lives on a tropical island like Ambergris Caye, the general belief is that heaven has been found. There is no need for anything else; just stay put, sway under the coconut trees, dip toes in the water, sleep to the soothing sounds of the waves crashing on the reef. What an idyllic pipe dream, isn’t it? I grew up at the foot of a gorgeous green mountain, nestled in a valley that was fertile with lush vegetation and crisp air, but something about Ambergris Caye pulled so strongly during my countless visits here that I inevitably put roots down here and bought a home. While part of me yearns for the crisp mountain air and the sight of the mist burning off as the morning sun creeps across the sky, I also find myself zoning out when I hit the salty waters of the Caribbean. There, under the water, I forget the deadlines, and the reality of actually working on an island paradise. For those brief moments when I am solely focused on staying afloat and enjoying the underwater world, I am an island girl. Two worlds – collided into one. That is the unique touch of Belize. We are not just one place; one location does not define us.

Persons living with Diabetes to benefit from Regional Study-based Project
Belize is among a list of six Caribbean countries that will benefit from a project that is geared towards improving self management of persons with diabetes.The BRIDGES Project – Bringing Research in Diabetes to Global Environment and Systems is a study based project that will provide community-based diabetes education through peer educators and health aides. The overall objective of the project is to improve the quality of life for adults with Diabetes Mellitus (Type 2 Diabetes) through the implementation of a diabetes education program. Seven Community health aides from Central Health Region and the Belize Diabetes Association will participate in a four-day workshop that commenced on July 29th,2013 at the Central Health Conference Room in Belize City. The workshop will cover various aspects of diabetes self management which will be communicated to persons living with Diabetes through support group meetings in selected communities.

Street rehabilitation project in full swing
Street restoration and rehabilitation has been a major priority for the San Pedro Town Council. In the past few months the streets adjacent of Tropic Air and Maya Island Air and Trigger Fish Street were paved, replacing the dirt roads with paved cement blocks similar to that of Angel Coral Street and Laguna Drive. Work has now commenced on Swan Street from the corner of Lions Street to the lagoon. The workers from Medina’s Construction have been working night and day to ensure that the street is completed in a timely manner.

Ambergris Today

Destinee Arnold Honors Belize with Win at Costa Maya Pageant
“We did it!” commented Miss Belize Destinee Arnold, expressing the happiness of the entire county of Belize as she was crowned the new Miss Costa Maya Queen on Thursday, August 1, 2013. She brought the coveted crown back home after six years, giving Belize its third title as Miss Costa Maya. The Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant proved to be a powerhouse pageant, once again capturing the attention of an entire nation who watched on national television and online via live stream courtesy of Channel 5. Attendants at the festival grounds enjoyed all the energy, grace and beauty that the seven contestants brought to the stage to represent their country. The Miss Costa Maya Pageant contestants included Miss Belize Destinee Arnold, Miss Costa Rica Andrea Rojas, Miss El Salvador Fatima Yolanda Mauricio Magandi, Miss Mexico Artemisa Rivera Montañes, Miss Nicaragua Ariadna Judith Orellana, Miss Panama Cleirys Velasquez, Miss Honduras Monica Alexis Elwing Gough. Miss Guatemala Alejandra Morales Teo, unfortunately could not participate in the pageant as she had to be flown back home due to a medical emergency and has reported that she is recovering.

Persons living with Diabetes to benefit from Regional Study-based Project
Belize is among a list of six Caribbean countries that will benefit from a project that is geared towards improving self management of persons with diabetes. The BRIDGES Project – Bringing Research in Diabetes to Global Environment and Systems is a study-based project that will provide community-based diabetes education through peer educators and health aides. The overall objective of the project is to improve the quality of life for adults with Diabetes Mellitus (Type 2 Diabetes) through the implementation of a diabetes education program. Seven Community health aides from Central Health Region and the Belize Diabetes Association will participate in a four-day workshop that commenced on July 29th, 2013 at the Central Health Conference Room in Belize City. The workshop will cover various aspects of diabetes self-management which will be communicated to persons living with Diabetes through support group meetings in selected communities.

Stigma and Discrimination Training by National AIDS Commision
From 27 July 2013 to 28 July 2013 the National AIDS Commission (NAC) Island Committee participated in a workshop/training aimed at learning how to identify stigma and discrimination and how to battle it. Members of the NAC Island Committee participated alongside members of the newly formed Caye Caulker Health Committee- now inducted into the Island Committee. Through the facilitation of Nurse Lourdes Heredia from Corozal Community Hospital and the NAC Corozal Committee the training was made possible with the support of USAID Central America Capacity Project and IntraHealth International. The training/workshop was held at the Sunbreeze Hotel conference room. The workshop/training certified that participants in attendance have the education, training and resources necessary to tackle stigma and discrimination specifically aimed towards individuals living with HIV/AIDS and their friends and families. Prior to identifying what stigma and discrimination is the participants refreshed their knowledge of HIV/AIDS (Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) including the explanation of what the virus is, means of transmission and ways to prevent the spread of the virus.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize issues dengue alert
Belize has issued a dengue alert following outbreaks of the virus in neighbouring countries like Costa Rica, Nicaraqua, El Salvador and Honduras. The Ministry of Health says a state of emergency had been declared in Honduras where 16 people have died from dengue. Chief Executive Officer of the Vector Control Unit, Kim Bautista says while the virus has not yet hit Belize, she has taken note that it has been very prevalent throughout the region. The Belize health ministry has said it will be spraying areas in order to eradicate mosquitoes breeding sites.

Belize to host sixth CaribNOG Regional Meeting
The Caribbean Network Operators Group, (CaribNOG) will stage its sixth regional meeting in Belize in September. CaribNOG is a not-for-profit, independent, technical community that provides a regional forum for building technical capacity and promoting relevant solutions for advancing network engineering in the Caribbean. CaribNOG coordinator Bevil Wooding described the group as a unique forum for regional technology professionals to share experiences and build practical skills. He said CaribNOG events draw industry experts from across the region and international technical community, thus allowing regional participants to benefit from the expertise of some of the top minds in the global industry. “One of the main goals of the volunteer-based group is to build a vibrant regional community of technical experts committed to designing, building and supporting the technology infrastructure needed to take the region into the future,” Wooding stated.

No matter how rich a country is, how small or big it is, no nation is self-sufficient. It will never be totally independent from the rest and have everything it needs. Every country, no matter how powerful it is, needs raw materials from other countries to produce products that it needs or that is needed by other countries. In short, every country is involved in import export transactions. Whether you are getting ready to export or expanding export sales, BELTRAIDE provides a range of resources for our exporters of goods and service. This includes providing information on national policies and strategies, export best practices and providing references to tools and agencies that contribute to export development.

Opening a Small Business
Why Opening a Small Business Might be a Great Idea For You Opening a small business can give you a more flexible lifestyle, especially if you are starting a home business. Millions of people have already found the greater freedom you are looking for. You can find it too! Nearly half of the world’s richest people are entrepreneurs, making opening a small business the number one way to get rich, and sometimes very rich. Need to satisfy that creative drive in you? There are more than enough opportunities for you in creating a successful business. Opening a small business has never been easier or less expensive! There are profitable small businesses that you can start today for under $2,000. For example, you can start a website business with hardly more than a laptop computer.

Channel 5

Prime Minister Signs MOU with Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line’s mega-million dollar destination in southern Belize is one step closer to a done deal with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between G.O.B. and N.C.L.  The [...]

B.T.I.A. blasts back at B.T.B./Tourism Ministry for unanswered questions
The Norwegian Cruise Line’s memorandum of understanding has been signed. Industry stakeholders, including the well established hotel sector, have not been consulted regarding the long term effects on the environment. [...]

Needs of a 5 year government vs. long term need of Tourism Industry
Krohn was not the only one who threw a few punches at the architects of the M.O.U. and the press release. President of B.T.I.A., Herbert Haylock, spoke of a political [...]

PM promises to give Forestry Minister a call about cheap Rosewood sale
Two weeks ago, Forestry Minister Lisel Alamilla revealed on national television that G.O.B. sold containers of rosewood to exporters for fifteen thousand dollars. That’s a giveaway, especially since a container [...]

PM stand by his Deputy Prime Minister on House and lots fiasco
And while P.M. Barrow says he didn’t know about the rosewood cheap sale, the PM admits to knowing about the Fresh Pond lots giveaway by his deputy and Minister of [...]

Prime Minister defends Vega and Vega’s brother
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has gone out of his way to express his fullest confidence in Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. Vega’s name keeps coming up whenever there is controversy, [...]

Police search free zone business of Colombian/Lebanese for drugs
There is more information tonight in respect of a huge drug bust in San Salvador two weeks ago, but has just come to light. Anti drug agents used drug-sniffing dogs [...]

PM says Public Accounts Committee attempt to reshuffle is idiotic
On Wednesday, the People’s United Party submitted a motion for inclusion on the order papers for a House Sitting scheduled for next Wednesday. The motion is for a restructuring of [...]

Prime Minister says compensation will reach victim shot by cop
Steven Buckley was shot in the head by a Police Inspector on April twenty-eight, 2010, more than three years ago. The shooting was unjustified and Buckley was in the hospital [...]

Barrow wants to settle UHS debt
And wrapping up his interview which lasted just over an hour, Prime Minister Barrow also spoke at length about litigation in which government is currently involved. The PM commented on [...]

Murder case of Jorge Vidal falls apart
The murder case of Jorge Vidal, accused of the December twenty-third, 2005 murder of Hortencio Contreras concluded earlier this week in front of Judge Denis Hanomansingh in the Belmopan Supreme [...]

Accused of murder at 16, Shawn Locke now faces 18 years in prison
While Jorge Vidal is a freeman, in the Northern Session of the Supreme Court, before Justice Herbert Lord, a teenager who was accused at the age of sixteen of a [...]

Why the Jaguars didn’t get a hero’s welcome
The National Football Selection fought extremely hard to be part of the CONCACAF games in the United States. Carrying the Belize brand of Jaguars, the team that had players with [...]

Reina de la Costa Maya… And the Winner is Miss Belize!
One of the highlights of the annual International Costa Maya Festival in la Isla Bonita is the pageant which seeks to promote the Maya culture. Central American and Mexican delegates [...]

The cops hold their own summer camp
The sixteen annual national Belize Police Youth Cadet Camp is being held at the Edward P. Yorke Compound on Princess Margaret Drive. Since the twenty-seventh of July, some two hundred [...]

Jamaican transvestite beaten, chopped and killed
In Belize, the battle with the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, is taking place at the Supreme Court. UNIBAM’s Executive Director, Caleb Orozco is leading the charge to [...]


Costa Maya Crown Stays in Belize
As we reported yesterday, the International Costa Maya Festival kicked off last night with the La Reina De La Costa Maya Pageant. The event featured beauties from all over Central America vying for the prestigious title, but the good news today is that the crown stayed home. Destinee ...

YOA - Orchestra of the Americas Scheduled to Perform in Belize
The memorial park has been prepared to fit over one thousand people this coming Sunday. The YOA Orchestra of the Americas is scheduled to put on a two hour performance filled with classical music. Communications Officer for the National Institute of Culture and History, Shari Williams tells us mo...

Summer Camp Ends for Albert Division in Belize City
Today the National Sports Council along with the Albert Division Committee culminated its sports camp. The sports camp incorporated basketball, volleyball and football which all saw the participation of more than eighty children in total. This morning, Minister of Sports, Herman Longsworth presen...

16th Summer Program for Police Cadets Ends
This year the 16th National Youth Cadet Core Summer Program kicked off on August 27th and it comes to an end this afternoon with a parade. According to the Commander of Community Policing, Senior Superintendent of Police, Louise Willis, two hundred and seventy five cadets from across the country ...

Belize Prime Minister and Church Leaders Meet in Capital City
Church leaders from all over the nation converged in Belmopan today to sit with the Prime Minister and have peaceful discussions on various issues. Correspondent Fem Cruz spoke with Prime Minister Dean Barrow following the meeting this morning. FEM CRUZ “Today, forty two repre...

Carnival Bands Lack Support
In just about a month’s time the main Carnival Road March will take place in Belize City. But there will be at least one group that will not take part in the event. The South Side Masqueraders, which was spearheaded by Marsha Smith for over a decade, will take a break this year....

Magistrate Dismisses Drug Charge Despite Guilty Plea
A charge of possession of a controlled drug, against 26-year-old Andrew Smith, was dismissed today by Magistrate Dale Cayetano because the police was unable to determine the amount. Smith wanted to plead guilty to the charge but changed his plea after Magistrate Cayetano informed him that h...


IDGES Project Assist Belize With Diabetes
In Belize, diabetes remains as the number one leading cause of deaths. But a new project conducted through the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Belize Diabetes Association and the Pan American Health Organization, plans to curb that scenario. The BRIDGES Project – Bringing Research in Diabetes to Global Environment and Systems is a study- based project that will provide community-based diabetes education through peer educators and health aides. The overall objective of the project is to improve the quality of life for adults with Diabetes Mellitus (Type 2 Diabetes) through the implementation of a diabetes education program. Belize is among the six Caribbean countries that are benefit from a project. Seven Community health aides from Central Health Region and the Belize Diabetes Association are participating in a four-day workshop that commenced on July 29th, 2013, at the Central Health Conference Room in Belize City. The workshop is covering various aspects of diabetes self-management which will be communicated to persons living with Diabetes through support group meetings in selected communities.

Meet Rosie The Scarlet Macaw
From the Kingdom of Aves, in the order of Psittacidae (Parrots), is a species known as Guacamaya Roja, or in English, the Scarlet Macaw, one of the rarest birds in Belize. The bright beauty of the Scarlet Macaw is unmatched in the parrot world and unfortunately that is what makes it an endangered species. History shows that as recent as 1989, the reported Belizean population of Scarlet Macaws was a total of 24 birds. But in 1996, a new population of over 100 birds was discovered south of the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. But as previously mentioned over most of its range, the Scarlet Macaw is endangered as it faces pouching and further habitat loss. Until recently the threat of the Scarlet Macaw’s demise has been from capture by locals who sell them for export. But this is not the case for a three year old Macaw living in Corozal. Meet Rosie, the new member of the Corozal Community. Rosie, who is originally from Texas, is three years old. With her beauty she has captured the attention of Corozalenos and has become the pride and joy of her owner Nigel Markey.

Three Men Charged For Drug Trafficking
A fisherman from the village of Ranchito has been charged for the offence of drug trafficking. At about 9:20 yesterday morning, Corozal Police was on mobile patrol on the San Andres Road, Corozal Town when they observed a red Nissan Sentra car traveling in the opposite direction. Police indicated to the driver to pull over to the side of the road, but instead the car sped off. Police pursued the vehicle all the way into 8th Avenue where the driver, who was later identified as 25 year old James Albert Quan Jr., was seen throwing several objects out the front right passenger door. The car was intercepted by police a few minutes after but when Quan was searched, nothing incriminating was found on him. So, police took him back to the area where the objects were thrown. There, police found three plastic bags containing 245 grams of green leafy substance suspected to be cannabis. As a result Quan was escorted to the Corozal Police Station where he was charged for drug trafficking. This morning Quan appeared before the Corozal Magistrates Court where he pled not guilty to drug trafficking. He was offered bail of $2,000 plus one surety which he met. Quan will appear back in court on October 3rd. Five hours after the arrest of Quan, Corozal Police made another drug bust only that this time two men from the Village of Hattiville in the Belize District were detained. Police were patrolling the Philip Goldson Highway when they spotted a white Toyota Camry with Belize City license plates occupied by two men of Creole decent. Upon sighting the police, the men are said to have increased velocity setting off a high speed chase on the highway.


Taxi Man loses his life in Road Accident
There was a fatal traffic accident Wednesday night in the Cayo District. At about 7:30 pm, Wednesday July 31st, 48 year old Guatemalan Taxi driver Adolfo Ventura lost his life on the Bullet Tree road in Cayo. According to police, Ventura was driving his four door Toyota Corolla Car...

Cocaine destined for Belize seized by El Salvador law enforcement
Cocaine reportedly destined for Belize was seized by El Salvador law enforcement. According to an Associated Press report, the drugs were found hidden in more than 160 containers of frozen pineapple juice. An estimated four hundred kilos were found in the juice containers and the street value is estimated...

Public advised to remain vigilant of Dengue outbreaks in the region
The Ministry of Health is asking the public to remain vigilant of Dengue outbreaks in the region. Neighboring Central American countries including Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and El Salvador have all issued advisories on the eruption of the disease. Since the outbreak in neighboring countries, it has so far...

Missing brother and sister located
Two weeks ago a brother and a sister, 8 year old Fanny Romero and 7 year old Jairo Romero, reportedly went missing. Dread overcame the family and nightmares of the fate that may have befallen the two children were ever present in their thoughts. However, the relentless efforts of...

Maya Leaders Alliance and Toledo Alcaldes Association vote to appeal court’s judgment
On Thursday spokesperson for the Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA) and Toledo Alcaldes Association (TAA), Cristina Coc, told PLUS News that the organizations plan to appeal last Thursday’s divided ruling of the Court of Appeal. That ruling was on the question of their ownership and rights to the land covered...

Former Alcalde of Santa Ana wants names to be removed from court case
The former Alcalde of Santa Ana, Ligorio Coy, who at one time headed both the TAA and MLA, is now clamoring for his and three other names to be removed from the case, citing that he did not give his initial personal consent to be added. Mr Coc told...

Julius Espat proposes different composition of the PAC
The Public Accounts Committee is an agency set up in the House of Representatives, designed to be an oversight over Government expenditure. Presently the Committee is made up of six members, four members from the Government and two members from the Opposition. The law states that the Chairman of...

Shooting Victim still waiting for compensation
On Wednesday we caught up with Steven Buckley, the shooting victim whose story has become a cause célèbre locally after Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital through Credit Master Systems slapped him with a bill for $6,561. But earlier this week he met with hospital officials who gave him something that is just...

Police looking for Adalberto Castellanos for obtaining property by deception and impersonating a Police Officer
A Belizean mechanic of Corozal Town reported that on the 4th July of this year, he met a Hispanic male person who identified himself as a police officer and gave his name as Adalberto Castellanos. Castellanos offered to facilitate the mechanic in getting a gun license and so the...

Resistance to Harvest Caye investment by Norwegian Cruise Lines
The primary organizations responsible for promoting Belizean tourism are at odds with each other over the value of cruise tourism in the South. Representatives of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) appeared on LOVE FM this morning to voice their opposition to the proposed Harvest Caye investment by Norwegian...

UB celebrates 13 years
Thursday marked the 13th anniversary of the inauguration of the University of Belize. It was born on August 1, of the year 2000 and has since been training students and developing a wide range of opportunities for them. UB proudly represents Belize as its national tertiary institution. We spoke...

Christian Organisation partners with Ministry of Education to assist teachers
Pathlight International is an organization based on Belize that tackled the issue of poverty by reaching out to children in school to offer a lot more than just financial support. They provide students with mentoring, leadership opportunities, counselling, tutoring and spiritual discipleships. Adrienne Parcher, one of the representatives of...

Family of five year old Juan Carlos Chavez raising funds for Cancer Treatment
The family of five year old Juan Carlos Chavez, who is battling cancer is raising funds for his treatment and asking you for assistance. Juan Carlos was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia- a cancer of the blood and bone marrow —where blood cells are made. It is the most...

The Guardian

Facey People
It seems these days that things are finally turning around for Belize as it relates to the bundles of lawsuits lodged against the Government and people of this country. I know that we all appreciate that any legal defense presented by GOB, or any award granted against them, has to be borne from our country’s scanty coffers. We also note that associated costs stemming from these many lawsuits negatively affect the ability of the public sector to provide the necessary level of social services for its citizens. In light of this, as a nation ,we can breathe a little easier than we did a while ago because of the two major court rulings last week in favor of the Government.

Sweet. Delicious. Tasty.
Addiction is defined “as a condition that results when a person ingests a substance (alcohol, cocaine, nicotine) or engages in an activity (gambling) that can be pleasurable but the continued use of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities, such as work or relationships, or health. Users may not be aware that their behavior is out of control and causing problems for themselves and others.” While this was not really a topic covered in medical school, there is a recently introduced activity that has about 45 million people participating in it a day, with another 200 million recreational users. I must confess, that while I am not an addict, I am a recreational user. I do occasionally find myself wanting to partake in this activity, but never had a strong desire to do it which has resulted in my forgoing my daily responsibilities. The activity is often referred to as “Crushing”, playing the game Candy Crush Saga. If you are not one of the millions that Crush, you might just know someone who is addicted (in my case, my mother and sister-in-law can be found Crushing daily). Here are some signs that you may be a Candy Crush addict: 1. You get annoyed when people talk to you while you are crushing. This also includes phone calls and text messages. Worse is when you are Crushing on your phone and a call comes in, which you automatically decline to answer so as to continue Crushing. 2. You connected your Candy Crush to Facebook to enjoy the benefits.

Faccebook or fassbook “about two minutes ago there was a crash on the highway and the cars were left unrecognizable” my friend read aloud, “Gyal you know Juan gyal pregnant fu her best friend man”, she continues on, “and Elaine deh da Starbucks the brag bout she gwen shopping here and there when we all know she gwen drop baby.” Where can you go to get all the information on a person? Who will give quality almost real information? Who will give you the latest on deaths, births, marriages, breakups, cheating, sports, latest gossip and other affairs and even show you pictures to prove. Who else but FACEBOOK. It is commonly known as FASSBOOK for a few and trust me, there is almost no one that you can’t find on it.

Belize District Firms’ Basketball Competition opens
The Belize District Basketball Association Firms’ competition for 2013 officially opened on Friday, July 26, at Bird’s Isle with three games on the schedule. In the first game played, Belize Bank defeated Ready Call by the score of 49-31. The top scorers for the Belize Bank were Chris McGann with 16 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal; Terrique Gabb with 11 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist and 5 steals; and Troy Gabb with 10 points. Meanwhile, the top scorer for Ready Call was Josiah Brown with 10 points, 2 rebounds and 2 steals. In the second game, Port of Belize defeated Sprite by the score of 76-34. The top scorers for the Port of Belize were Earl Johnson with 16 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals; Ian Augustine with 14 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals, and Vince Estrada with 11 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. For Sprite, the top scorer was Deon Syms with 15 points, 1 assist and 1 steal. And in the third and final game of the day, the defending champion BWS fell to the Atlantic Bank squad by the score of 49-36. The top scorers for Atlantic Bank were Ervin Orosco with 16 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 steals; and Dave Apolonio with 14 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. For the defending champions BWS, the top scorers were Karim Thompson with 11 points,7 rebounds, and 1 assist and Jamir Enriquez with 9 points, and 2 rebounds.

IAAF Officials in Belize for Athletics Special General Meeting
The Belize Athletics Association Interim Committee informed all members of the association that a Special General Meeting of the association will be held on Wednesday, July 31, 2013, at the University of the West Indies Open Campus on Princess Margaret Drive in Belize City. The only item on the agenda will be that of adopting and ratifying the new constitution of the association that was approved by the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) and North America Central American and the Caribbean Confederation of Athletics (NACAC). Arriving in the country on Tuesday, July 30 were George Peryer and Lincoln Eatmon of the International Amateur Athletics Federation and NACAC. The gentlemen are in the country to oversee the special General Meeting. Elections for a new executive will be held on August 31, 2013 at 10:30 am and that will be held under the new constitution.

Belmopan Day Criterium is this Saturday
The Belmopan City Council and Capital City Cycling Club present Belmopan Day Criterium on Saturday, August 3, 2014. The event will start and finish on Libertad Avenue and will commence at 3:00 pm. The entire course which will start at Libertad Avenue (along the Ring Road) turn left onto Constitution Drive (Hospital Junction) turn left onto Melhado Drive (Belize Bank Junction) turn right back onto the ring Road back to Libertad Avenue for 1 lap. A total distance of 40 miles will be covered in 20 laps. The registration fee for participation in this event is $10.00 per rider. The first rider to cross the finish line in the Elite category will received $325.00 plus a trophy: 2nd place will receive $225.00 plus a medal. 3rd place will receive $150.00 plus a medal; fourth place will receive $100.00 plus a medal; and fifth place will receive $50.00 plus medal. In the junior category, 1st place will receive $150.00 plus a trophy; 2nd place will receive $100.00 plus a medal; and third place will receive $50.00 plus a medal. In the Masters Category, the 1st place winner will receive a $150.00 plus a trophy. Interested riders can contact Daniel Cano at 610-0609, Anna Hanson at 620-9295 or Delvit Castillo at 622-5739. The event is being sponsored by the Hon. John Saldivar (Area Representative and the Minister of National Security), Egoli Estate, Imer Hernandez Development Co. Ltd, Belmopan City Council, the British High Commission and Special Effects.

Talent Identification goes to Stann Creek District
The Belize Softball Federation, in partnership with the National Sports Council, will continue its Talent Identification programme for softballers between the ages of 10-19 years old (both boys and girls) on Saturday, August 3, 2013, at the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga Town. The programme will commence at 10:00 am and will be conducted by members of the National Training Team of the Belize Softball Federation. An invitation is extended to all in the district to participate in the Talent Identification Programme.

Camalote Rising Stars lead in Cayo Male Softball Competition
The Cayo Softball Association Male competition continued on Saturday, July 26, 2013, at the Denbeigh Fuller Stadium in Camalote. In the first game played, Team Warriors defeated Las Flores by the score of 21 to 5. The Team Warriors’ offense was keyed by Damion Pollard solo home run in the 3rd inning. The winning pitcher was Ryan Arnold and the losing pitcher was David Gongora. In game two, Camalote Rising Stars continued on its winning path when it doubled up on the Esperanza Royal Devils by the score of 16-8. Camalote Rising Stars’ Shawn Lopez drilled a Patrick Jones pitch out of the established playing area for a grand slam in the 5th inning. The winning pitcher was Herman Burke and the losing pitcher was Patrick Jones. The competition will continue this coming weekend.

Lady Jaguars Belize District volleyball champions
The Belize District Senior Female Volleyball Competition came to an end on Saturday July 27, 2013 at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium. The best-of-three championship series went the full distance with all three games going to five set. With the series tied at a game apiece, the third and final game was also a battle right down to the wire between both teams but in the end, Lady Jaguars defeated Moen Stars by the score of 25-22, 23-25, 20-25, 25-18 and 15-10 to capture the Belize District crown. In the first of two firms competition games played, Simon Quan defeated Police by the score of 25-20 and 25-23. In the second game, it was Belize Bank winning over First Caribbean Bank by the score of 25-16 and 25-13. And in the male game, Rebles defeated Simon Quan Dragons by the score of 25-22, 25-22 and 25-22. On Thursday, July 25, in game two of the senior female championship series, Moen Stars defeated Lady Jaguars by the score of 25-23, 17-25, 34-32, 25-22 and 16-14 to forced a game three. In the only game played in the firms competition, Scotia Bank defeated BEL by the score of 25-23 and 25-21.

Ashcroft denied $88 Million dollars
The Caribbean Court of Justice made a significant ruling against the Ashcroft Alliance on Friday, July 27th denying British Caribbean Holdings (BCB) and the Belize Bank Limited the ability to enforce an Arbitration Award which would have seen the Government pay $44 Million U.S. dollars to the companies. The London Court of Arbitration had awarded $44 million U.S. with interest at a rate of 3.38% compounded annually to BCB and the Belize Bank.

Mayor Bradley takes Gifts to Kids at CITCO Summer camp
The Belize City Council is once again hosting two summer camps in an effort to engage Belize City youths in positive activities during the summer vacation. Councilor Bernard Pitts is the coordinator of a camp that caters to teenagers and features mostly sporting activities while Councilor Alain Gonzalez is coordinating a camp for younger children that is based on more indoor activities. On Monday, July 29th, Mayor Darrell Bradley visited Councilor Gonzalez’s camp at the Skills Training Center on Magazine Road.

Saving the Chiquibul Rainforest
In Belize City, most do not care about the Chiquibul Forest. City residents don’t understand what all the fuss is about and why the need to protect and preserve that rainforest. Those who do understand the importance of the Chiquibul assembled in Belize City for a symposium on Friday, July 19th. Hon. Lisel Alamilla, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, did not mince words when she told residents of the city why they should be concerned about the sustainability of the Chiquibul. She said, “For the people in Belize City, your water originates from the Chiquibul and it makes and meanders all the way down into Belize City. If we don’t protect the Chiquibul - Belize City you are going to be in problems.” Water is the source of life and there can be no value placed on the life sustaining substance but there is an estimate on the other natural resources available in the Chiquibul. Percival Cho, Ecologist in the Forest Department, explained, “Material, gold, xate and timber is worth about BZ$2.1 Billion. Every year, because of annual interest through growth, we increase that value by $3 million dollars.” Cho went on to say that as a source of water and other natural wealth the Chiquibul is valued much more than $3.4 billion. There are some who believe he is falling short of a few billion dollars when considering the value of land but everyone concurs that the Chiquibul has significant monetary value. The Chiquibul continues to be exploited by Guatemalans, who illegally cross into Belizean territory and plunder our resources. The main purpose of the symposium was to get all the major agencies responsible for the preservation of the forest under one roof in an effort to chart a way forward. Representatives of different agencies came forward with a similar message; in the words of Brigadier General David Jones, Commander of the Belize Defense Force, “no single organization can do it alone”. No formal document has been released by organizers of the Chiquibul Symposium as yet; however, based on the presentations made throughout the day, it is clear that the way forward depends heavily on better collaboration. Wilbur Sabido, Chief Forestry Officer, spoke about better collaboration between agencies directly responsible for protecting the forest. He said, “I think that once we are able to clearly define which entity is responsible for what actions, there has to be some concerted level of effort to carry out these actions.” Others spoke of collaboration between nations. Roan Balas from the Wildlife Conservation Society of Guatemala said, “One thing that is readily evident is that this is a problem that Belize has to tackle immediately but it cannot do so by itself. We need positive engagement on both sides of the border.” Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director of Friends for Conservation and Development, said he was pleasantly surprised that Guatemalan officials want to play a role in addressing the problems at the border. Audrey Wallace, Chief Executive Officer in the Office of the Prime Minister, spoke of internationalizing the solution. She said, “We must let the world know that we’re doing everything we can to protect these natural assets but that in the face of sustained and increasing threats - we cannot do it alone. We must raise international awareness.” She says that Government has held discussions with Great Britain, Guatemala and the Organization of American States and expects that an international conference to raise global awareness will be held in London later this year.

Earth warms up; Funding available to counter the Effect
There is now sufficient evidence to conclude that the Blue Planet is warming up. This was the conclusion at the recent meeting of experts from the African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries (ACP) held at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. Dr. Kenrick Leslie, Executive Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center (CCCCC) based in Belmopan was non-hesitant to share with the convened experts the most recent data from international institutions.

Ministry of Health cautions the Public on Dengue Outbreaks in the Region
The Ministry of Health hereby informs the public of several dengue advisories issued by neighboring countries in Central America. The region has experienced severe outbreaks and several deaths this year. Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and El Salvador have all issued formal alerts and travelers to these countries are being asked to exercise caution.

Eulogy - Michele Adair Perdomo March 5, 1947 – July 21, 2013
Michele Adair Larronde was born on March 5, 1948 in the small town of Bishop, California to Felix Larronde and Sylvia Mohling Larronde and was the eldest of three children. When she was only three-years-old Michele contracted the common childhood disease of measles but unfortunately the infection caused complications that led to her developing Type A Diabetes Mellitus and becoming insulin dependent at this tender age. It was a burden she bore stoically and without complaint throughout her life and that eventually took her from us too soon.

State of the Art Garbage Disposal
On Tuesday, July 30th, the Solid Waste Management Authority officially launched the Solid Waste Management Project that will see the environmentally sound disposal of garbage in the Western corridor of Belize. That corridor encompasses San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Belize City and San Ignacio and Santa Elena. The project loan agreement was signed in April 2009 between the lending agencies, the Inter American Development Bank, the OPEC Fund for International Development, and the Government of Belize. It is being implemented by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Solid Waste Management Authority.

Squits in Maya Land Rights Case
On Thursday, July 25th the Court of Appeal handed down a 198-page judgment after the Government of Belize had appealed a 2007 decision by the Chief Justice, Abdulah Conteh giving 23 villages in the Toledo district customary land rights.

Labour Commissioner Says No “Due Process and Fairness” in Kolbe Terminations
Former employees at the Belize Central Prison are measuring the prospect of success in taking the Kolbe Foundation to arbitration tribunals for what they believe were wrongful terminations. The Labour Department recently concluded an investigation into complaints filed by Herman Blease, former Deputy Chief of Security; Abdul Nunez, former Director of the Wagner’s Rehabilitation Facility; Carla Elizabeth Budna, former Principal Officer; Julius Andrew Elijio, former Security Guard; Michael Gutierrez, former Deputy Chief Training Officer and Yuri Sauren Castillo, former Records Clerk. In the report, Ivan Williams, Labour Commissioner of Belize, wrote, “With the exception of Mr. Elijio, they were terminated not only on hearsay but arbitrary, without due process and fairness on the instructions of Mrs. Taheera Ahmad, the Director of the Belize Central Prison.”

Marketing Training for Export-Ready Companies in Belize
Some twenty-two export-ready Companies from around Belize benefited on Tuesday of last week from a workshop on how to refine their marketing skills. The event was held at the George Price Center for Peace and Development in Belmopan. It was made possible thanks to the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service BELTRAIDE in cooperation with the Inter-American Investment Corporation IIC, under the FINPYME ExportPlus Program.

New Multipurpose Centre for Sandhill
Residents from all villages of Belize Rural North travelled to Sandhill Village on Sunday, July 28th, to celebrate the inauguration of the Sandhill Multipurpose Centre. Hon. Edmund Castro, Area Representative for Belize Rural North, said, “We finally have a nice beautiful library for the children.” He added, “We will soon install an Internet port so that everyone using the facility can benefit from wifi access.”

From the Streets to Success; 20 Lives Changed by Youth Success Project
Twenty young men from the Southside of Belize City completed the Southside Youth Success Project’s (SYSP) apprenticeship program and the coordinators held a recognition ceremony on Friday, July 26th, to celebrate their achievement.

Touring Our Belize - Pt. 2
Last week, I wrote of an adventure that led members of the local press corps on top of the 108 feet tall High Temple at the Lamanai Archaeological Reserve and ended with the best view available of the Sleeping Giant in the Maya Mountains. On day two of our familiarization trip, we got to enjoy the best of Placencia.

Support Young Cancer Warrior, Juan Carlos Chavez
Juan Carlos Chavez is a five-year-old boy who has been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Juan Carlos is son of Carlos Chavez, primary school teacher at Sacred Heart Primary School, and Marceli Chavez who all reside in San Ignacio Town. Juan Carlos was diagnosed with ALL after a month of doing hematology tests almost daily and other analysis for perthes, lupus, and arthritis and all the results were negative. His chemotherapy was delayed since he had inflammation in his heart. He is now receiving treatment at the National Pediatric Oncology Unit in Guatemala. Each bag of blood costs 1,400 quetzales (approximately BZ $385) and for the chemotherapy alone he has already used four. The family is raising funds for his treatment and is pleading to the Belizean community for assistance. A radiothon and Barbecue sale will be held on Saturday, August 3, 2013, in Orange Walk Town. If anyone wishes to order Barbecue in support of Juan Carlos please feel free to call 621-5678 or 669-8761 to place orders. If anyone is interested in financially assisting this young warrior battle cancer, a deposit can be made at Atlantic Bank account number: 211364192. Thanks very much for any contribution you are able to make.

$10 Million in Unpaid Medical Bills at KHMH
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital was once again the target of public outrage when news surfaced that a letter was issued to Stephen Buckley threatening court action for unpaid medical bills at the institution. Chandra Nisbet-Cansino, Chair of the KHMH Board of Directors, explained to the media on Tuesday, July 30th, that the institution is using the Credit Masters Systems to collect outstanding medical bills. She says the company issued a letter to Stephen Buckley because he is one of many individuals on the list of people that owes the hospital. However, the institution has already instructed the collection agency not to proceed further until Buckley settles his claims against the state.

Norwegian $100 Million Dollar Investment gets Green Light
Prime Minister, Dean Barrow, confirmed to The Guardian that the Government of Belize and Norwegian Cruise Line are in the process of signing a Memorandum of Understanding within the next few days. The Memorandum will be signed by representatives of the cruise line and the Minister of Foreign Investment, Hon. Erwin Contreras. According to the PM, he will not be signing. He did explain that the MOU has the support of Government and is significantly modified from the original proposal by the cruise line. He added that the MOU is not legally binding. As it relates to cruise tourism being introduced in the southern part of the country, the Prime Minister stated that it is a U.S. $50 Million investment, which will bring employment and economic benefits to that part of the country. But even as that takes place, he stated that it is not an exclusive venture and the Cabinet is satisfied that it is the right thing to do. He categorically stated that the entire idea behind the project is to have Belizeans involved in every aspect of the venture. He explained that this means that tours will be conducted by Belizeans, in the construction phase Belizeans will be employed and there are also proposals being put forward to ensure that Belizean businesses are set up at the location of the development, which is Harvest Caye. PM Barrow concluded by explaining that there will always be critics when major projects are being implemented but the entire negotiations are being done in an open, fair and transparent process.

Malignant Tumors - CCJ Describes Musa and Fonseca
The Caribbean Court of Justice brought down the hammer on Said Musa and Francis Fonseca in its most recent judgment when it ruled on the legality of a settlement deed signed by these two individuals while they were the Prime Minister of Belize and the Attorney General respectively, in 2005. The judgment, while it did not name the duo specifically, it did make mention of their actions. At paragraph 35, the judgment explains that aside from having given BCB and the Belize Bank a special taxation structure ,Said Musa asserted his office's influence on the terms of that tax structure. It states that, "The Award discloses that the Deed was buttressed by other assurances made to the Companies. The Deed was accompanied by a letter dated 21st June 2006 addressed to the Chairman of the Companies in which the Minister of Finance “irrevocably confirmed” that all business and income tax obligations of the Companies would be governed by the terms of the Deed. The Minister also confirmed that the Deed had “irrevocably fixed” the rate of income tax payable by the Companies for as long as BCB Holdings remained a Public Investment Company notwithstanding anything contained in the Income and Business Tax Act to the contrary”

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. On February 13, 2010, Jones was riding his bicycle when police were called into the area after a misunderstanding at Ruby’s Bar in the Lord’s Bank area. When they responded, they approached Jones who police claimed had in his possession what appeared to be a gun. It later turned out to be a tool. A witness for the prosecution, identified as Lavern Stevens, who claimed that she was standing near the pan of the police vehicle, told the court that she heard a police officer tell another police to “shot that.” As a result Jones was shot once to the back.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Stockpiled seagrass
CCVC is clearing all the stockpiled seagrass off the beach, anyone who needs some please visit the village council office. Note that we are not selling seagrass only giving it away!!!


Norwegian’s Harvest Caye gets BTB support. The proposal by Norwegian Cruise Lines to set up a US$50 million cruise port at Harvest Caye, very close to the onshore tourist destination of Placencia, has continued to attract ardent opposition from the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), and particularly the Placencia arm of that association. When the controversy first erupted over the proposed investment—originally proposed for Crawl Caye but rejected because of environmental concerns—the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) declined comment to our newspaper, saying that it would rather wait until Cabinet takes a position before coming public. Cabinet has taken a position; and today, the BTB, a statutory body within the Ministry of Tourism, issued a bold rebuttal to the BTIA’s comments, aired today on the Love Morning Show, charging that the association has launched an “ill-informed, irresponsible campaign” and it went on to ask the association to “refrain from any further exploitative and derogatory paraphernalia and campaign messages…” One such message is a graphic which depicts a cruise ship attempting to jab a man, who is bending over, in his rear. In a fifteen-bullet statement, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture first rebuts the declaration by the BTIA that the Norwegian project flies in the face of the recommendation made in the National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan – which calls for only pocket tourism in southern Belize, meaning ships with 250 passengers or less. Norwegian’s ships carry thousands.

The charred remains of a man who was burnt beyond recognition was found in the trunk of a car that had been destroyed by fire. The worst fears of the family of Hugo Ernesto Moreno, 42, a taxi driver of Sittee Street, Orange Walk, who was reported missing by his worried family on Sunday, July 28, became reality, when they conceded that the practically unidentifiable, badly burnt corpse could be that of their loved one, Hugo Moreno. The gruesome discovery was made about 2:20 yesterday afternoon, Tuesday, about one mile outside Carmelita Village in the Orange Walk District. People in the area saw the burnt car, which matched the description of Hugo Moreno’s car which, along with its owner, had been reported missing. Moreno’s death comes thirteen days after the body of another taxi operator, Jose Martin Umana, 45, was found in a state of decomposition behind a cohune tree in an area between George Price Boulevard and the George Price Highway (formerly Western Highway) at about 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 17, 2013. Police reports are that at about 2:20 p.m. yesterday, Tuesday, July 30, they went to an area about two miles from Carmelita Village in the sand pit area, where they saw a 4-door Neon car completely destroyed by fire. They determined that the vehicle was the missing car owned by missing taxi driver Hugo Moreno.

An 11-year-old student, a resident of Sunset Park at Mile 8 on the George Price Highway, narrowly escaped an act of sodomy on Tuesday, July 9, within the Sunset Park area. The minor, along with his mother, went to the Hattieville police station and reported that sometime between 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. that day, he was on his way to a nearby shop when he met a young man whom he knew. The young man invited him to go to a friend’s house in the immediate vicinity. The 11-year-old told police that after arriving at the house, they both were invited inside. However, the friend that he had accompanied suddenly turned on him and he found himself being assaulted by his so-called friend, and another young man. The so-called friend he came with then abandoned him, while the other young man held him against a bed in an attempt to sodomize him.

Fermin was convicted of having sex with the child from before she was 14. Nicannor Fermin, 41, was today found guilty by a 9-member jury of six counts of carnal knowledge. Fermin had been accused of having sexual intercourse with a female child who had been in his care from 2004 to January 9, 2010, when the minor decided that she had had enough of being taken advantage of and reported the matter to someone in authority at the school she attended. Although the minor testified that Fermin had had sex with her over two hundred times, only six counts were brought against him, basically one count per year. The counts are for time periods that included sometime in 2004; January to December 2006; January to December 2007; January to December 2008; June 30 to December 31, 2009; and, finally, January 9, 2010. And two of those counts occurred while the child was still younger than 14 years — convictions which carry a more serious sentence. The minor testified in court about a night when she was sleeping and Fermin came into her room and started to take off her clothes. She said she told him that he must not do it, and Fermin told her to lie down and relax. She said that Fermin then started to kiss her all over her body and performed oral sex on her, after which he had sexual intercourse with her. She said she told him that it hurt, but Fermin told her that it would only hurt for the first time.

The Kremandala compound here on Partridge Street came alive this past Tuesday, July 30, as an entourage of basketball legends, fans and enthusiasts came out in full force to celebrate the anniversary of the first championship of the most successful team in Belize’s semi-pro basketball history – the Kremandala Raiders. The Kremandala Raiders were the sub-champions in the inaugural semi-pro basketball season back in 1992. Thereafter, the Raiders set an unprecedented record by winning the championship in 7 of the next 8 semi-pro seasons beginning in 1993. Interestingly, the team was made up of mostly young men who worked at the Amandala newspaper and had a passion for basketball. Those young men developed their skills by playing together in the now defunct U-17 Hostel Basketball tournaments before they split up to form two junior teams – AMANDALA Cream and Falcons. Those two teams later amalgamated into the Kremandala Raiders that single-handedly dominated semi-pro basketball in the 1990s. The Raiders remain in a class of their own as arguably the most successful and exciting basketball team in the history of sports in the country.

Two young men, 18 and 19, of Corozal, have been remanded to the Belize Central Prison on charges of carnal knowledge until September 27, by the Corozal Magistrate Court today, Wednesday, after a girl, 14, of Concepcion Village, Corozal, accused them of engaging her in sexual intercourse on different occasions. The girl and her mother went to the Corozal Police Station on Tuesday, and told police that the two men had sex with her on many occasions The girl reported to police that the man, 19, of San Narciso, Corozal, had sex with her twice, on July 28 and July 29, while the other man, 18, had sex with her three times, on May 19, June 30 and July 20 this year. The girl was taken to the Corozal Hospital, and after an examination, a doctor confirmed that the girl had been carnally known. Police immediately went to the homes of the two men and arrested them. Amandala was informed that although a girl under 16, which is the age of consent, might agree to engage in sexual intercourse, it is not consent, because she is not of the age to do so.

A ten-year-old was accidentally shot in the abdomen on July 25, 2013, while standing in front of his family yard on Carpenter Street in Ladyville in the Belize District. The accused shooter, who happens to be the victim’s 14-year-old cousin, was allegedly playing with a firearm when it went off, hitting the young man in the lower portion of his abdomen, rupturing his intestines. The two minors, who live in the same yard, were both standing near a van parked outside their yard at about 11:00 that night. The victim’s mother said that they were inside when they heard the gunshot, and do not have a clue as to where the gun could have come from. Assistant Superintendent of Police Chris Noble, who is the head of the Ladyville Police Sub-Formation, reported that police heard a loud bang and went to investigate, because the street where the shooting took place is located directly behind the police station in Ladyville.

They invaded the homes of two men, and beat and robbed them. Three men who impersonated police officers to gain entry into the homes of two men whom they beat and robbed in separate incidents in Orange Walk Town, have been remanded by the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court on Friday, July, 26, to the Belize Central Prison until Friday, August 23, on charges of aggravated burglary and maim. The men are Elvis McCoy and Densmore Bowman, both of Belmopan; and Justin Young of Belize City. The violent home invasions occurred on Sunday night, July 21, in Orange Walk, and the men were arrested and detained on Wednesday, July 24. Orange Walk police said that about 9:30 that Sunday night, three men who posed as policemen went into the homes of Juan Carlos Novelo and Julio Valerio, both residents of Orange Walk. Novelo told police that he was at home when three men posing as policemen knocked on his door and gained entry to his house when he opened his door. He reported that one of the men hit him twice in the back of the head and in his back.

A man arrested by San Pedro police has been released without being charged after the victim went to the San Pedro Magistrate’s Court yesterday and told the magistrate that he did not want any court action against the accused. The court then ordered his release and the man walked out of court. A couple living in San Pedro reported to police that they were in their house at about 9:30 Saturday evening, July 27, when someone knocked on their door. The man said he opened the door and saw two men outside his house, one of whom pointed a gun at him, while the other man asked him if he “had his money.” The assailant told the husband that he wanted his $700, and that if he did not get it, he (the husband) would be killed in three days, said police. The assailants then left the yard. The husband said that they became fearful and went to the police, who investigated the matter and detained one of the men on Monday.

Walter Logan, 53, a farmer of Santana Village, was today taken before Magistrate Dale Cayetano and read charges of being in possession of a prohibited firearm and two counts of keeping unlicensed ammunition. According to police, at 4:00 Saturday evening, police, acting on information they received, visited Logan’s residence, where a search was conducted. That search led to the discovery of what appeared to be a homemade firearm constructed of galvanized pipe, which had a 12 gauge cartridge in its chamber. A further search resulted in the police finding (3) 16 gauge cartridges in Logan’s possession as well. Logan was unrepresented in court when he pleaded not guilty to all the charges, but due to the nature of the offenses, he was not offered any bail, but, instead, was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until his case’s adjournment, set for September 11, 2013.

Today, Amandala spoke with Marie Lewis, a Justice of the Peace and longtime resident of Fabers Road, who reported to us that her relatives at #40 Fabers Road have been unduly harassed and/or roughed up by the police, specifically the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU), on several occasions. The latest incident took place last Thursday evening, July 25, when GSU officers reportedly stormed into the family yard where members of the family were socializing and proceeded to carry out a search on everyone present at the time. While conducting their search, the officers allegedly threatened and abused some of the young men in in the presence of the rest of their family, who helplessly witnessed the ordeal. Lewis told us that she is outraged at the behavior of the GSU because the harassment has now become much too frequent, and in her opinion, it does not make sense for the police to act in that manner. Readers may recall that her grandson, 8-year-old Marquis Mahler, was senselessly killed in July of 2010 and then her son, Mark Lewis, 38 at the time, was ruthlessly executed in February of 2012.

Back-to-back national cricket champions of Belize, the Excellence Cricket Club of Double Head Cabbage Village in the Belize District, have received an invitation from the Cal-Bel Cricket Club of Los Angeles, California, USA, to play two cricket matches on September 1 and 2 at the Woodley Park Cricket Complex as part of the celebrations for the Independence of Belize and Labor Day in the United States. The Cal-Bel Cricket Club was founded in 1980 by Belizeans who formerly played cricket in Belize and is a member of the Southern California Cricket Association. Last year, they hosted the Belize National Cricket Team over the Labor Day weekend when they played three games. This year, they are inviting the recently crowned back-to-back national champions, Excellence. Captain Kene Broaster along with team members Ian Broaster and Sylbert Martinez visited our sports desk yesterday to inform us of their fund raising efforts to cover the cost of airplane tickets for team members. They plan to fly out on August 29. This Saturday, August 3, they will hold a BBQ and fund raising game (40 overs each) in Double Head Cabbage featuring Excellence vs Sunrise of Lords Bank. The game starts at 11:00 a.m. and there will be music as well as food and drinks on sale at the game, and a donations box for fans who wish to contribute directly to team’s fund raising efforts.

After 4 keenly contested games in the best-of-5 Finals series for the Belize City Female Softball Championship, softball fans were prepared for another nail biter in the decisive Game 5 on Friday, July 26, as star studded National Champs Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) squared off against defending Belize City Champs Fresca Lady Rebels. But on Friday night, the Rebels were shut out, 6-0, with BTL scoring 2 runs each in the 1st, 2nd and 4th innings, on their way to the Game 5 victory and the Belize City Softball Championship. Kenisha Sutherland went all the way for BTL, recording the only shutout of the Finals series, while Lanisha Jones also went the distance in the loss for the Rebels. It was a surprisingly quiet night for the Rebels hitters, who had scored no less than 5 runs in each of the 4 previous games in the Finals series against BTL. BTL had taken game 1, 6-5, with Mary Flowers registering the victory. The Lady Rebels rebounded to take Game 2 by an identical 6-5 score behind their ace Lanisha Jones; while Kenisha Sutherland, who had taken over pitching duties for BTL, suffered the loss. Game 3 was a 14-7 victory for BTL, with Kenisha getting the win and Lanisha the loss. Down 2 games to 1, Game 4 on Friday, July 19, was a do-or-die game for the Rebels, who responded to the challenge and pulled out a tough 5-4 win over BTL to level the series at 2 games apiece. Lanisha was on the mound again for the Lady Rebels and Kenisha for BTL.

Basketball is back at Birds Isle. This past weekend, the Belize District Basketball Association (BDBA) tipped off its BDBA Firms Tournament 2013 with 3 games each on Friday and Saturday, starting at 7:00 each night. In the opener on Friday, July 26, it was Belize Bank, 49-31, over Ready Call. For Belize Bank, Chris McGann had 16 pts 9 rebs, Terrique Gabb 11 pts 3 rebs 5 stls, Troy Gabb 10 pts, and Dominique Guzman 6 rebs; while for Ready Call, Josiah Brown had 10 pts, Hubert Baptist 6 pts 7 rebs, Kareem Myvette 4 pts 8 rebs, and Ensworth Tzul 4 pts 4 rebs. Game 2 saw Port of Belize crushing Sprite, 76-34. Leading Port were Earl Johnson 16 pts 7 rebs, Ian Augustine 14 pts 6 rebs 3 stls, Vince Estrada 11 pts 3 rebs, Lennox Bowman 10 pts 3 rebs 3 assts, Kent Franklin 6 pts 5 rebs, and Angus Cherrington 5 pts 7 rebs 3 stls; while Sprite was led by Deon Symms 15 pts, Michael Staine 5 pts 8 rebs, Darren Neal 5 pts 6 rebs, and Troy Williams 5 pts 3 rebs. The nightcap was more competitive, as Atlantic Bank won, 49-36, over BWS. For Atlantic Bank, Ervin Orosco had 16 pts 7 rebs 3 assts 5 stls, Dave Apolonio 14 pts 3 rebs 3 assts, Keith James 6 pts 7 rebs, and Keith Sutherland 6 pts; and BWS was led by Karim Thompson 11 pts 7 rebs, Jamir Enriquez 9 pts, Deon Andrews 6 pts 3 rebs, Lawrence Young 5 pts 4 rebs, and Godwin Bowen 4 pts 4 rebs.

In Belize it is well nigh impossible to criticize prominent people in public office without that criticism being taken personally. That said, let us proceed. Damn the torpedoes. The Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Dean Barrow has tied himself into a bunch of knots over the course of this year, and we want to focus in this editorial on two specific areas – the Placencia Peninsula and the Sarstoon/Temash. As we look back over Belize’s modern history and consider our four Prime Ministers, we at this newspaper are more interested in their philosophies than in their personalities. As politicians, these four men have probably resorted to pragmatism on many, many occasions, and one cannot properly analyze their administrations from a philosophical standpoint in a brief essay like this one. But, we have to make an attempt of sorts. Belize’s first Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. George Price, was Prime Minister for seven years – from 1981 to 1984, and then from 1989 to 1993. These were not the important years of his leadership, philosophically speaking. Mr. Price had been First Minister and then Premier from 1961 to 1981, and these are the years when he was most himself, so to speak. Mr. Price understood Belize for what it was – a small country with a small and diverse population. He saw how vulnerable Belizeans were as a people, and he was very protective of Belize. His opponents argued that he did not want to develop Belize, bring it into the region’s modern era, because his first priority was maintaining his hold on the unsophisticated people of Belize. Be that as it may, bottom line was that Mr. Price’s approach to development was careful, cautious, and almost suspicious.

When we were growing up here, it seemed clear to us that October 12 and November 19 were ethnic holidays. It did not really appear that September 10 was an ethnic holiday, but after the public debate began in the late 1950s about the authenticity and nature of the Battle of St. George’s Caye, celebrated since 1898 on September 10, then we had to begin examining September 10 more closely. For years now, we have featured an Amandala columnist who regularly mauls the “sons of the Baymen’s clan.” Sometimes Clinton Uh Luna’s barbs make us Creoles wince, but we have to suffer the pain if we want to understand the people of Belize in their totality. I have explained to you before that I think Uh Luna is a most important columnist, one reason being that this newspaper has never before had a writer from the Northern Districts who pens his thoughts so regularly, so openly, and so disdainfully. We can see now that there is a difference among the Belizeans of the North, those we called “Spanish” in the old days: there are those who are Mestizo and those who consider themselves Maya. Uh Luna proclaims himself a Maya. Most Mestizos practice the Roman Catholic religion, while the Maya, as I understand it from Clinton Uh, have ancestral religious practices. The Maya are a minority in the North. In that respect, then, Uh Luna’s is a minority voice. In addition, Uh Luna is a left-wing, socialist thinker, and socialism is probably a minority way of thinking in the Northern Districts. In any case, my point is that we make no claim that Uh Luna speaks for the majority of the people of Corozal and Orange Walk: we believe, however, that a lot of Norteños share his thinking, but do not broadcast it.

(This column was originally published in the Friday, January 13, 1995 issue of Amandala.) Mule Park…disappearance (?) Does anyone remember Mule Park? Has anyone observed its “devolution”? Its devolution parallels that of the British Forces doesn’t it? Once a park for drays (mules and carts), then a “soapbox” for preachers and politicians, a resting place for the old and weary, it was the Belize Club, the Pickwick, the Newtown, and the C.B.A. of the working man, the stevedore, the “ketch and kill” hustler, and the unemployed. It was the tongue of Market and the lips of Battlefield, from whence rumors and gossip spread to cover the town. It gave the City a smell, a flavor, a character. It was the coat of arms, “sub umbra floreo” in living colour. It was at the same time an embarrassment to the colonial elite, a shame to the “Royal Creole”, (where but for the rape of the wood-pile there go I) and a disgrace to the “wannabes”, who tried their best to deny their “nativeness”. In the march of progress, of modernity, of social etiquette, Mule Park has disappeared – a memory. Its tongue has been cut; its lips zippered shut. Its children now sleep on the pavement of Courthouse, gossip on the verandah of the Bliss, and share their companionship and rum on the street called Church Street, or wander aimlessly through the streets, waiting to die. The clock of Coca-Cola, an $80 billion conglomerate, stands like a rotating cross at the north end, and the booth of BTL at the south end. The two are linked by a floral arrangement planted on the grave of once-upon-a-time Mule Park, with seats at both ends for its mourners. The whole is overlooked by the new god of privatization. One marvels at the subtlety, the cleverness, and the painlessness in time as to this devolution.

Since 2009, Belize City residents have been regularly plagued by putrid odors due to recurring combustions leading to uncontrollable fires at the Mile 3 dumpsite which posed major health hazards to the people in the general vicinity. Today the same facility has transformed into a transfer station where the garbage produced in the city’s homes, factories, business places, etc. will be collected and sorted before being transported to the central dumpsite located at Mile 24 on the George Price Highway. The new waste management system was formally opened on Tuesday as a part of the national Solid Waste Management Project to promote public health and sound environmental practices. Dion Leslie, the Belize City councilor responsible for sanitation, told LOVE FM’s Marion Ali about the key role of the Belize transfer station: “It just usually would come and just be dumped over at a location and remain there in the open and now all of that will change; when the waste arrives here, it will come into the transfer station, it will be dumped on the tipping floor and will be sorted out and managed and then be moved into one of the trailers to be moved to its final place at Mile 24 on the George Price Highway. So, we won’t have that eye sore of just an open land fill with vultures and people going through the remains; now, everything will be managed and organized and kept within one facility. This is something that we have been speaking about for some time now when it comes to the municipal bond but we’re still in negotiations with the Solid Waste Management Authority and all interested stakeholders on how we would take that fee and how it would be translated into the maintenance and upkeep of the day to day running of the facility. It’s something that we are looking at; it will become a reality but we’re still in the stages of working out the kinks and see what would be the percentage that the Council would keep and what would be the percentage that would be given to this authority for the running of the facility.”

Sea Fever I must go down to the sea again To the lonely sea and the sky And all I ask is a tall ship And a star to steer her by And the wheel’s kick And the wind’s song And the white sails shaking And a gray mist on the sea’s face And a gray dawn breaking (from Sea Fever: by John Masefield) Learn to sail while you are still young, preferably in your teens, or earlier, before you fall in love with the speed of traveling in a fast motor boat. Oh! That’s exciting and exhilarating but, it is not natural. Motor boats are for carrying passengers and freight, not for the sheer joy of motion in a brisk wind on a lively sea, and you at the helm of a sailboat, with sea-kindly lines built by one of the Youngs or Alaminas or Bladens. I first went to sea in a 31 ft. motor boat named LHM. It had a 18 HP Standard Engine which turned a huge propeller with three blades, eighteen inches in diameter. My dad took care of the boat and ran it on trips to Spanish Caye taking the Mayo family on their holidays. I usually went with him as crew. My dad said that LHM’s engine was geared down to take a large propeller because it was also used as a tug boat. Mr. Ned Mayo was a canny old Scotsman. Have to digress to tell you this story. LHM was built by a shipwright named Pinks. It had a needle sharp prow and the landlubbers predicted that the bow of the vessel would go down in the first big wave when it entered the Belize City Harbour and not come back up till it reached Davy Jones’ locker. They were wrong, but what can you expect of landlubbers? LHM was seaworthy and fast. We made the trip to Spanish Caye, which is 10½ miles, in a hour and ten minutes, with the engine running not much more than half speed. My dad used to say, “Speed da wata bun hole da pocket.”

“We want to get to work demarcating and registering our lands” The Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA)—constituted by organizations such as the Toledo Maya Cultural Council (TMCC), the Kekchi’ Council of Belize (KCB), and the Toledo Alcaldes Association (TAA)—issued a formal statement today, appealing to the Government to work with them to resolve their differences over ancestral land rights through dialogue, so that there would be no need for further litigation. On Monday, July 29, over 300 Maya leaders of Toledo converged at the Julian Cho Technical High School to digest the Court of Appeal’s decision issued last week. “We are pleased that the court has reaffirmed our peoples’ right to own the land that we use every day and depend on to survive, and that the property system that we inherited from our Maya forefathers is every bit as valid as the property system Belize inherited from the British,” the MLA said in their statement today. However, the court also set aside a series of orders Conteh had made which were intended to give effect to those rights.

Via a statutory instrument published in the Belize Gazette dated July 27, 2013, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow and Director-General of the International Financial Services Commission, Gian Ghandi, have confirmed the promotion of Annette Garel to the rank of Senior Deputy Registrar of Merchant Shipping, effective Thursday, August 1, 2013. Garel will assume responsibility for the operations of the Head Office of the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (IMMARBE) in Belize, Ghandi confirmed today. Meanwhile, Santiago Gonzalez, a Belizean who has a long-standing tenure with the IBC (International Business Corporation) Registry, will assume leadership of operations for the IBC registry, Ghandi said. Garel was previously the deputy registrar, and head of the registration department of IMMARBE. She assumes control of IMMARBE from Deputy Financial Secretary Marion Palacio, who was assigned to head the registry after the Government of Belize assumed control in June. Palacio’s predecessor was a Panamanian. According to her profile posted on IMMARBE’s website, Garel has been with IMMARBE since 1994. She rose to the rank of Deputy Registrar in 2000.

The Ministry of Health has issued a press release to inform the general public of recent dengue outbreaks in some of the neighboring Central American countries. Several dengue advisories have been issued in Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and El Salvador following severe outbreaks infecting as many as 40,000 people and causing 26 deaths across Central America this year. A state of emergency had to be called in Honduras after a dengue outbreak killed 16 people, and over 12,000 more have been diagnosed with the illness in that country. Travelers to these countries are asked to exercise caution. Dengue fever, also called breakbone fever, is an infectious tropical disease caused by the dengue virus and is passed from person to person by mosquitoes. The virus is difficult to treat and unlike malaria, there are no drugs to prevent it. Efforts to develop a vaccine have also been unsuccessful and the World Health Organization estimates that there are about 50-100 million infections every year, although other estimates suggest nearly 390 million.

He crashed into a railing on George Price Highway. A motorcycle accident on Monday night in Belmopan resulted in the hospitalization of two persons after the driver, incredibly, fell asleep while travelling on the George Price Highway. According to reliable sources, an uncle and his nephew were on their way from Belmopan en route to Arizona Village via motorcycle at around 8:45 p.m. on Monday, July 29, when the incident occurred. Oscar Alvarado Rodriguez, a 30-year old farmer, lost control of his motorcycle and collided into the railing of the Guanacaste National Park between Miles 47 and 48 near the Belmopan junction. Along with him was his nephew, Kevin Alvarado, 17, a student of Cotton Tree Village in the Cayo District, who said that his uncle lost control of the motorbike because he suddenly fell asleep, after which they collided head-on into the railing. Uncle and nephew were rushed to the Western Regional Hospital shortly after, where Alvarado was treated and later released for injuries to his left shoulder, chest and hip.

Constable Martin Bustillos of the Corozal Police has been reported missing from the Corozal Police Formation since Tuesday, July 23, and up to press time tonight, his whereabouts are yet unknown. Assistant Superintendent Andrew Ramirez, the Commanding Officer of the Corozal Police Formation, told reporters that the last time Bustillos reported for duty was on Friday, July 19. After he concluded duties, he was given his scheduled three days off, which were the ensuing Saturday, Sunday, and Monday — July 20 to 22. After his days off, Bustillo should have reported to work on Tuesday, July 23, at 7 a.m., but he has not been seen since. His parents and his common-law wife were contacted, and they also were at a loss as to his whereabouts. Bustillo’s parents live in San Estevan Village, and Bustillo lives in Santa Clara. Ramirez said that they are concerned, and want him found as quickly as possible. He said that on Sunday, July 28, Bustillos contacted a fellow police officer and said that he was depressed, after he withdrew cash from a Belize Bank ATM machine in Belize City on Friday, July 26.

A taxi driver lost his life when his vehicle hurtled off a bridge and fell into the water below –landing with its four wheels in the air. The accident occurred on the Bullet Tree Road Bridge when Adolpho Ventura, 48, a taxi driver of Bullet Tree Village, was travelling to San Ignacio at about 7:30 yesterday evening. Jorge Landero, a Belizean painter of Bullet Tree Village, Cayo District, told police that he was at home when he heard a loud bang outside. He went out to see what caused the noise and when he went by the metal bridge in the village, he saw a blue 4-door Toyota Corolla car in the water on the left side of the bridge, with its four wheels in the air. The front portion of the vehicle was extensively damaged and the driver, Adolfo Ventura, was trapped behind the steering wheel. Ventura appeared to be suffering from head injuries. He was later removed from the vehicle and taken to the San Ignacio Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

The following is a strong condemnation of the act of the former Prime Minister, Said Musa, by the CCJ. It is taken from paragraph 53 of the Judgement. “Prime Ministerial governance, a paucity of checks and balances to restrain an overweening Executive, these are malignant tumours that eat away at democracy. No court can afford to encourage the spread of such cancer. “In our judgment, implementation of the provisions of the Deed, without legislative approval and without the intention on the part of its makers to seek such approval, is indeed repugnant to the established legal order of Belize.”

Different species of turtles nest on the beach between April and November. There are at least three different types of turtles in our country — the loggerhead, the leather back, and the green turtle. The nesting season for these turtles is between the months of April and November, and they are very cautious and selective about where they lay their eggs. Naturally, therefore, they’ve typically chosen to nest on the pristine beaches of the south, in particular the shore of Gales Point. As of late, however, debris of varying types and sizes have been washing up on the beach of Gales Point, and this has been a disruption to the nesting practices of the turtles. But a group spearheaded by Luz Hunter, the lecturer for the Tourism course at the ITVET, working alongside a group from Mary Mount College in Maryland, as well as the Gales Point Youth Group, headed by Kevin Andrewin, and a group of very motivated and concerned turtle lovers, have come together for a common purpose — to clean up the beaches of Gales Point, to ensure the turtles have a next to perfect environment to lay their eggs. On July 20, the group set out to clean up the beach in Gales Point, and although they only managed to remove about 25% of the debris that was on the beach, that in itself was a major accomplishment for the group.

Dhaliwal tried to enter Belize using a visa that was glued onto a page in his passport. This morning, Lovepreet Singh Dhaliwal, 22, an Indian national, was taken before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton, where he was read a charge of attempting to use a visa not issued by lawful authority, a charge to which he pleaded guilty. According to the report, yesterday morning at 11:00, immigration officers were called out to the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA), where the airport commander of the immigration office at the PGIA met them and handed over an Indian national, later learned to be Dhaliwal. A passport, #K0948783, with a visa bearing #D00079085, issued on June 21, 2013, was also handed over to immigration officials. Dhaliwal was taken to the Belize City office, where calls were made to the Belmopan Immigration office to ascertain whether there was any visa issued bearing the number that was imprinted on Dhaliwal’s visa. Those checks revealed that there was never any visa issued with that number, so Dhaliwal was charged.

The two children – Fanny Romero, 9, and her brother, Jairo Romero, 8, of Cowpen in the Stann Creek District – who were reported missing since Wednesday, July 17, have now been found. Their father, Felix Romero, travelled to Copan, Honduras, yesterday, Wednesday, to the home of their grandfather, where he found the children. They are now with him, and they are safe. Romero said that he is returning to Belize with them, and they are expected to be back home in Cowpen on Saturday, August 3. A relative of the children who lives in Copan, saw the children in the home of their grandfather in Copan, called Romero and informed him of their whereabouts. The grandfather told Romero that the children followed him, and he had no choice but to take them along with him to Honduras, because he loved them, and did not want to leave them behind. However this differs sharply from another account of what reportedly transpired in Cowpen on Wednesday, July 17.

An effective manhunt by authorities from the Belize Central Prison has resulted in the successful apprehension of two of the three inmates who eluded the confines of the Wagner’s Youth Facility located inside the prison compound early Sunday night. After less than 48 hours on the run, around 2:30 p.m on Tuesday, Hector Garcia, 17, was reportedly caught between Miles 27 and 28 on the George Price Highway. This was after the group of three was spotted moving together by an alert motorist who informed the authorities. The officers, however, were only able to capture Garcia at the time. Garcia, who is of Guatemalan nationality, was remanded on immigration charges. Incidentally, he was to be deported this past Monday. According to reliable reports, another of the three escaped prisoners —Wilmer Guzman, 19, a Belizean, was captured approximately four hours later that same evening, also on the George Price Highway around Mile 30. Guzman was serving a 6-month sentence for theft. Although these two have been swiftly detained, authorities have not yet recaptured Guatemalan national Roque Teul, 17, who remains on the lam. Teul was serving time for a firearm offence.

Dear Editor, Through the columns of your esteemed newspaper I would like to bring to the notice of all Belizeans, the total disregard shown towards climate change. The Belizean public is addicted to carbon products for its energy needs and despite overwhelming evidence that man-made carbon dioxide (CO2) is a credible threat to everyone, we lack the will to act. Like many other low-lying coastal nations, Belize is vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Its geographical location leaves the country exposed to the threat of rising sea levels and increasing incidence and intensity of tropical storms. Belize’s economic dependence on natural resources heightens its vulnerability to rising temperatures and the resulting impacts on agricultural productivity, fisheries ecosystems, and other economic sectors. The CO2 emissions (metric tons per capita) in Belize were reported at 1.32 in 2008, according to the World Bank. Carbon dioxide emissions are those stemming from the burning of fossil fuels and the manufacture of cement. They include carbon dioxide produced during consumption of solid, liquid, and gas fuels and gas flaring. We are quick to place blame for this quagmire, but perhaps it is time to look in the mirror. There is finger pointing enough for everyone, from conflicting media reports, paralysis of our political system and corporate greed from the carbon industry. But is it really about them or is it about us, immobilized by a simple lack of effort to check out the facts? It is true that some of our media just don’t understand the worldwide carbon industry, the eventual cost of its products both environmentally and to our bank accounts, and admittedly this lack of knowledge can create a listless public.

Dear Editor, Continuing to read the Amandala (online edition) from where I live in Mexico—after residing in Belize for six years—I’m bewildered over how Belize can’t seem to ever put a foot right, in matters both great and small. Everything the GOB does is a joke (the kind where no one is laughing, unless it’s to keep from crying); GOB isn’t interested in seeing the populace properly educated; who knows what questions of accountability might be asked of them if people knew how to think. The Church and its vaunted educational system; another joke, this one, as it comes with all the life stultifying superstitions organized religion is known for — the opposite of thinking for yourself. GOB loves to hear the populace blaming the British for all their woes—if not the British, then who? As my Belizean friends started to mention more frequently,as they (rightfully, perhaps) tired of my complaints —”Russell,if you don’t like it here, then leave.” I’m glad I listened to their advice.

Dear Editor, Hi, my name is Nayeli Parra from Mexico. I am writing you guys because my mother and I are in a family ancestry research. We want to locate our family in Belize, and maybe you can help us. The name of my grandfather was John Hassock, my granduncle is Simeon Agapito Hassock, and there is also Greta Ruby Hassock. We´re looking for addresses or cemetery records, etc. I appreciate any information that I can get. Nayeli Parra [email protected] (Ed. NOTE: Simeon Agapito Hassock was an attorney who became a magistrate before entering private practice. He was a Senator appointed by the Opposition NIP in 1965, and perhaps again in 1969. He was a Deputy Leader of the NIP at the time the party entered an alliance with the PDM and the Liberal Party to form the UDP in September of 1973.)

The Reporter

The Belize Times


Wood shopping in Belize and Legends Burger House fundraiser in honor of Drummer Dan
I emptied my Cannon g7 camera and below are pictures from our wood shopping adventure and a few other random images I took on Monday and Tuesday. In addition to those pics, I finally took the ones off my Sony Cybershot camera from the Giant Jam Fundraiser for Drummer Dan’s Family at Legends Burger house. Day – 1 our travels included going north to a meeting with Rudy at Grand Caribe Resort. I had told Cowboy Doug that Dick and I would stop by their condo for an iced coffee before meeting Rudy so we decided to bring breakfast burritos, they were delicious as always. Our meeting went well, it was a quick one though as Rudy had a fishing charter to get ready for. It was on our to do list to go wood shopping on the way home. At the first wood store they had one warped plank in the size I needed so we topped up with gas and called it a day. Day 2 – Started with a breakfast meeting upstairs at El Divino and more wood shopping in a different part of town. The guy in DFC was able to do what Dick needed, we were not satisfied with the quality router work and he did not have what I needed. Thankfully we ran into King Richard our preferred wood guy outside of Castillo’s Hardwate yesterday and found out where his new shop is. He is going to set us both up, Dick needs more parts cut to build a prototype we have been working on with Rudy and I need a 6 foot tall by 2 foot wide bookshelf built. I will be glad to have better access to my media library. So far he said it will be $175 BZD for the cedar wood and if I want him to do he build it will cost an extra $125. I forgot to ask if his build will include rostering out the shelves, if not Dick said he will slap it together for me in his workshop.

International Sources

Belize Aquaculture Approved To Offer Three-Star Shrimp
The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) in early August applauded Belize Aquaculture Ltd. for becoming the first shrimp company in Belize and the second in Central America approved to offer three-star shrimp. Belize Aquaculture’s shrimp hatchery, farm and processing plant located in Stann Creek District, in southeastern Belize, all earned BAP certification on July 26. Founded in 1996, Belize Aquaculture produced 4.5 million pounds of Pacific white shrimp in 2012 and is on target to produce 10 millions pounds in 2014 across 68 four-acre ponds. The company also operates a British Retail Consortium (BRC)- and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP)-certified processing plant.

Shrimp company achieves GAA three-star certification
The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) applauds Belize Aquaculture Ltd. for becoming the first shrimp company in Belize and the second in Central America approved to offer three-star shrimp. Belize Aquaculture’s shrimp hatchery, farm and processing plant located in Stann Creek District, in southeastern Belize, all earned BAP certification on 26 July. Founded in 1996, Belize Aquaculture produced 4.5 million pounds of Pacific white shrimp in 2012 and is on target to produce 10 millions pounds in 2014 across 68 four-acre ponds. The company also operates a British Retail Consortium (BRC)- and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP)-certified processing plant. Belize Aquaculture sells a variety of fresh, frozen and cooked shrimp products to retail and foodservice customers in Asia, Europe, the United States and Central America.

Diving in Belize with Whale Sharks
Whale sharks are intelligent, gentle giants that migrate into the Caribbean waters of Belize from April to June. Snappers (dog snapper, mutton snapper, cubera snapper, etc) spawn in great numbers off Belize during these months, usually during the full moon periods, attracting the hungry whale sharks that feed at night. It is often a hit-and-miss when guessing their arrival. Even the experienced dive instructors cannot predict which moon and which location the whale sharks will be from year to year. Whale sharks are filter feeders, feeding on the snapper's suspended fish spawn. They migrate from great distances to mate. Amazingly, it is safe for scuba divers and snorkelers to swim and play around with these huge and curious creatures. When you spot them in the water, they are huge and intimidating but surprisingly graceful and non-threatening. Some catch a ride on the larger whale sharks and reportedly, some of the younger whale sharks are so curious that they will actively engage with human swimmers. It is a real privilege to be able to swim with the largest fish in the world. Whale sharks are the largest living fish species on the planet and also the largest living non-mammal in the world. Whale sharks are not whales at all; they are the largest shark, and one of three filter feeding sharks including the basking shark and megamouth shark. The whale shark's genus and species is, Rhincodon typus, which is the sole species within the family Rhincodontidae, originating some 60 million years ago. Whale sharks feed on fish spawn, algae, plankton, krill, and crab larvae among other organisms they can filter. It is beautiful to swim with the giants and watch them flow through the water and take in the food that sustains their huge bodies.

Last year we were suitably shocked by news that Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef had lost over half of its coral in the past 27 years. The loss is attributed to tropical cyclones (48%) coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish (43%) and coral bleaching (10%). A recent survey on Caribbean coral reefs provides even worse results: an 80% loss in recent years. The Catlin Survey measured reefs in waters off Belize, Mexico, Bermuda, Anguilla, St. Vincent, Guadeloupe, Turks & Caicos and the Bahamas. From the Guardian: The Caribbean was chosen to launch the global mission because it is at the frontline of risk. Over the last 50 years 80% of the corals have been lost due mainly coastal development and pollution. They now are also threatened by invasive species, global warming and the early effects of ocean acidification — it’s the perfect storm –Richard Vevers, director, Catlin Survey

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.

August 2, 2013


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Reina de la Costa Maya® 2013 is Destinee Arnold
Miss Belize is the 2013 International La Riena de La Costa Maya!! Destinee Arnold took the crown in the 22nd edition of the International Costa Maya Festival®. With her grace, poise and beauty, Destinee managed to capture the heart of the audience as well as that of the panel of judges.. Miss Belize displayed a costume depicting the hard working Maya women. It included a blue outfit with jewelry and a headpiece adorned with pottery, symbolizing the contribution women made to the artifacts found in ruins across the Mundo Maya Region. Miss Costa Rica selected the queen of the indigenous people of Naorin. Her gold and orange outfit symbolized protection. Miss El Salvador was dressed as the Princess of the Sun and showcased a bright orange outfit with beautiful feathers symbolizing woman power. Miss Mexico was dressed as a Maya Princess who fell in love with a Spanish warrior, giving birth to the first Mestizo.

The Costa Maya International Festival is here!
The long awaited event is finally here! The Costa Maya International Festival starts today and the grounds are ready. The Saca Chispas Field has been transformed to host the biggest festival in Belize. Be sure to get your tickets. See you there!

SPTC hands over radios to Police
The San Pedro Town Council handed over a set of new radios to the San Pedro Police Department on Friday July 26th. The radio equipment was secured through the assistance of the Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism and Culture. It was handed to the department in a short ceremony that took place at the San Pedro Town Council and is the second of two donations. Radio Donation to Police-2Hon. Heredia Jr. handed over the radios, stating that the he hopes the radio makes the work of the police a little better. At hand to receive the donation was the Deputy Officer in Charge of the San Pedro Police Department, Inspector Reynaldo Pook. Inspector Pook took the opportunity to thank the SPTC and Minister Heredia for his constant support to the San Pedro Police Department.

SPTGA trains 37 participants in scuba diving and fly fishing in annual camp
The San Pedro Tourist Guide Association (SPTGA) is holding their second annual Summer Training Camp. The event will run for two weeks and the 37 participants will receive training in scuba diving and fly fishing. The camp started on July 29th at the San Pedro High School with an enrollment exercise and briefing. Phillip “Billy” Leslie, President of the SPTGA, explained that the participants were offered the opportunity to be a part of the camp as an incentive. “Every year we go to the various island schools and we ask the administrators to select four kids for the summer program. What we did on the first day is enroll them and introduce them to the other students that started the fly fishing training two weeks ago.” The participants range from 11 to 15 years and are both male and female students.

Ambergris Today

Belize Issues Alert on Regional Dengue Outbreaks
The Ministry of Health hereby informs the general public of several dengue advisories issued by neighboring countries in Central America. The region has experienced severe outbreaks and several deaths this year. Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and El Salvador have all issued formal alerts and travelers to these countries are being asked to exercise caution.The Government of Honduras has declared a state of emergency after a dengue fever outbreak has left 16 people dead. The disease is present throughout Central America and has caused 26 deaths and infected nearly 40,000 persons.

A-List Celebrity Bradley Cooper Vacationing In Belize, Plus Others
Last week San Pedro saw the presence of reality television celebrity Jef Holm from ‘The Bachelorette’, but now there is an even more popular celebrity vacationing in San Pedro/Belize, quite possibly two of them. This picture of Bradley Cooper has been circulating on Facebook for a day now. It shows “The Hangover” star pictured alongside a Belize Tourism Board employee Zinnia Magaña at Belize’s Phillip Goldson International Airport as he arrived in the country. It is rumored that he is in San Pedro enjoying the island along with Jennifer Lawrence who is not a first time visitor to the island. But get this; Bradley is not the only A-List celebrity on the island. We can 99% confirm that “Titanic” superstar Leonardo DiCaprio is also vacationing on the island, although we know this is not his first time here. Leonardo also owns his own island just west of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye named Blackadore Caye, which he is reportedly going to construct a first class eco-friendly resort on it. And how about Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis? Yup they were in the country just last week, sources tell us!

Young Sanpedrano to Represent Belize in CONCACAF Games
The Football Federation of Belize held try-outs to scout the best football players to participate at this year’s CONCACAF games in the Cayman Islands scheduled for August 14, 2013. Fourteen-year-old Sanpedrano Alexander Cadle was one of the lucky Belizeans to make it in the Under-15 team and represent Belize along with his teammates from around the country. Participating teams in the inaugural Under-15 event will be going from across the Caribbean and Central America and include Aruba, the Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Martin, St. Maarten, St. Vincent, Trinidad & Tobago, and the US Virgin Islands.

Chaa Creek Spa One of the World’s Top Ten Spa Values
I recently came across an article noting that the Lodge at Chaa Creek’s Hilltop Spa was selected as one of the world’s top ten spa values by the internationally respected Gayot’s Guide and I was taken back to when I got a full body massage during my first visit to the famous eco lodge in Belize. It was definitely a unique and relaxing experience as I lost myself into the relaxing sounds of the rainforest of the Maya Mountains of Belize accentuated by the therapeutic hands of my masseuse. The spa at the Lodge at Chaa Creek sits on a hilltop overlooking the 365 acres of private nature reserve that prides itself on being a true eco lodge, totally devoted to green, sustainable tourism. After a day of outdoor adventure in the jungle you can unwind with a world-class signature body treatment at the Hilltop Spa. This is exactly what I did on my last day at the resort; I booked a 6a.m appointment for a full body massage following a day of hiking and exploring in the rainforest.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize's Las Terrazas Resort Wins Prestigious 2013 World Travel Award and is Named "Belize's Leading Resort" for the Third Year in a Row
Las Terrazas Resort is pleased to announce that, for the third year in a row, they have been named Belize's Leading Resort at the 2013 World Travel Awards. More than 5,000 companies, destinations and organizations are nominated for these prestigious annual awards, voted on by more than 220,000 industry professionals worldwide. "We are deeply proud to earn this prestigious award from our peers" says Carolyn Stone, Director of Sales of Las Terrazas Resort. "We are honored that our elite colleagues have again recognized us for our hard work and effort in making Las Terrazas Belize's top resort destination" The World Travel Awards, known as “the Oscar’s of the Travel Industry,” celebrates its 20th Anniversary this year and is acknowledged across the globe as the ultimate travel accolade, celebrating those brands which are pushing the boundaries of industry excellence in product and service. The awards and judging are strictly controlled to ensure total fairness.

NTHU Volunteer Group at SHJC
NTHU has their volunteer group in Cayo, and they are going to different schools to distribute supplies and teach about computers. They stopped by Sacred Heart Junior College, which works with the group every year. Thanks, NTHU! "The National Tsing Hua University student group from Taiwan is in Cayo for a month to visit many of the primary schools. They will be helping to teach computers and will be distributing school supplies to students. This is the 3rd year that the Taiwanese Belize Educational Service Group has come to Cayo for this."

Legacy Summer Conference
Legacy Youth Ministries is having their Summer Conference starting today. They have a great mission. Here's to a highly successful conference. "We at Legacy are passionate about grooming the next generation of leaders to take their rightful place of leadership in all spheres of society. Thank you for the role you have played in the lives our Belizean youths. We wish to come alongside you by inviting YOU and YOUR YOUTHS to our 2013 Summer Conference. Legacy’s Youth Conference will be held at the YWAM Banana Bank Campus AUGUST 1 – 4, 2013."

Queen of the Bay Belmopan
The Queen of the Bay Belmopan pageant is tomorrow night, Friday, August 2nd, at the UB gymnasium at 6:00pm. The winner will go on to the Queen of the Bay pageant in a few months. The after party is at E and L Sports Bar. Best of luck to all contestants.

Channel 7

The King Speaks About “That Night” At Princess
Six months ago, on February third, Minister of State Mark King had a major incident in the Princess Casino in Corozal. Reports say he threw a wild tantrum after security tried to put out his friends – and then repeated it when police came. King was criminally charged for aggravated assault, disorderly conduct and threatening words, but maintained his silence – even after he was acquitted in mid-June. Today though, after months of requests for an interview, he invited us to his political clinic in the heart of Lake Independence on Mahogany Street. He told us he’d take all questions and indeed, he didn’t dodge. The first thing we wanted to know was what happened that night at the Casino. Jules Vasquez “What happened on February 4th in the Princess Casino in Corozal? We’ve heard so many reports – what is your account?” Hon. Mark King “My account Jules is that I wear two cap – I wear a cap as a Minister of State and I wear a cap as a Justice of the Peace. When I got into the incident it was to actually maintain the peace, however, I was dragged into the incident on a bad note and that was what caused me to end up into the incident. I am sorry I got dragged into the incident but according to you, I did nothing wrong. I say that because if you read the Justice of the Peace – it tells you exactly what you can advise a police man to do. So if anyone would have knowledge of that – even going to court, I felt completely and utterly honest to myself that I did nothing wrong.

Salva Cops Bust One Thousand Pounds Plus Of Cocaine Heading From Panama To Belize
A major, thousand pound cocaine bust has been made in El Salvador – and authorities there say the cocaine was headed for the Corozal Free Zone. Prensa Grafica from El Salvador reports that on Wednesday a joint task force stopped a cargo truck with Costa Rican plates, loaded with cocaine bound for Belize. Authorities there had advance intelligence and were expecting the van – which press reports say, was heading from Panama to Belize. The van was declared as carrying 48 buckets of frozen pineapple pulp in a “Thermo-King” cooler. But when police checked the buckets they found four to six kilos of cocaine in each. The counting continues, and so far the weight is at 468 kilos, which is over a thousand pounds. It is the second largest cocaine seizure in Salvador so far this year. The cocaine is valued at 15 million US Dollars.

Norwegian MOU Gets Ready For Inking, But Resistance Mounting
Today, Prime Minister Dean Barrow confirmed to 7News that a final Memorandum of Understanding will be signed with Norwegian Cruise Line in relation to a Cruise terminal to be built on Harvest Caye, just south of Placencia. Barrow told us that after all the relevant discussions; the Minister of Trade now has the blessing of the Cabinet to sign this agreement with NCL because all the terms in the final draft of the MOU are agreeable – those terms differ somewhat from those we saw in the draft copy. We note that the PM will not be signing the document, as was called for in the original draft. The PM told the Guardian that the MOU is not legally binding. So, it’s now only a matter of when the actual signatures make it onto the document to make it official, meaning that, despite vocal opposition, NCL will get the opportunity to develop Cruise Tourism in Southern Belize. But with peninsula activists coming up with a slightly off color but visually potent campaign – embodied in this “noh bend down” t-shirt design, we doubt the opposition has been quelled.

Scathing Rebuke From CCJ To Musa/Fonseca
Last week Friday we told you about the landmark judgment from the Caribbean Court of Justice in Trinidad. The highest court in the land found that the settlement deed former Primer Minister and former Attorney General Francis Fonseca had signed with the Ashcroft-Allied British Caribbean Bank in 2005 was quote, , “illegal, void and contrary to public policy.” But that’s not all the court said. We’ve gotten a copy of the 36 page judgment which is especially severe on Misters Musa and Fonseca. It says, in paragraph 44, that the promises made in the deed and a subsequent letter, quote “could entitle the Minister to implement the promises recorded in the Deed without the cover of parliamentary sanction is to disregard the Constitution and attempt to set back, over 300 years, the system of governance Belize has inherited and adopted." In paragraph 53, the judgment adds a scathing rebuke; it says “Prime Ministerial governance, a paucity of checks and balances to restrain an overweening Executive, these are malignant tumours that eat away at democracy. No court can afford to encourage the spread of such cancer.31” It goes unto say, “implementation of the provisions of the Deed, without legislative approval and without the intention on the part of its makers to seek such approval, is indeed repugnant to the established legal order of Belize.”

Still No Re-instatement for Teachers From Escuela Mexico
If you’re not from the north, most of you may or not remember the unrest which took place Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico in San Roman Village in early 2008. It was the year when rookie Minister of Education Patrick Faber took up the education portfolio. It was one of his first trials as Minister, and if Juanita Lucas and Celia Carillo, the Principal and Vice Principal of the school, could, they would give him a failing grade. That’s because according to them, when the teachers refused to cooperate with them, and parents of the students started to resist them, he took disciplinary action against them, which he did not have the authority to do. So, they took him and his ministry to court before Justice Minnet Hafiz¬Bertram claiming that Faber violated their rights when he suspended them after he put together an investigating team which, according to them, rail-roaded their careers with an unlawful, illegal and irrational report. They won their case before Justice Hafiz Bertram who made all the remedies against the investigating team and their report. But, Lucas and Celia Carillio believe their position was not fully vindicated, so they took the matter to the Court of Appeal which was heard in 2010.

Hon. Julius Proposes; PM Disposes
Yesterday, 7News told you about the motion which PUP’s Julius Espat wants to get tabled at next House meeting in relation to the Public Accounts Committee. Espat, as the P-A-C Chairman, wants to change the configuration of the committee which currently has 4 members of Government and 2 members from the Opposition. He wants to see a new configuration where Government gets 2 members, the Opposition gets 2 members, and 3 members should come from the Senate, one from the church, the business community, and the Unions. According to him, this new configuration of 7 will see the P-A-C function better at looking into expenditure of public funds because both political parties will enjoy lessened influence. He claimed that he has followed all the necessary steps to get the members motion tabled in the house, but when we spoke to Prime Minister Dean Barrow today, he told us that Espat is very wrong. According to Barrow, he has seen several procedural errors which Espat made in relation to the Standing Orders, and he intends to make strong objections when the opportunity presents itself.

Facebook Fraud Perpetrated On Cellular World
FACEBOOK: Like it or loathe it, it’s here to stay. And while it’s a great way to communicate with friends and family and for many to market their business, there’s also room for identity theft, and many scam artists lurking and looking for a chance to make some facebook fraud. One business that was recently targeted by a scammer is Cellular World. Under the facebook name Eric Therr, someone created a page promoting Cellular World’s latest flyers, phones and other gadgets. It doesn’t end there. This person has been communicating with customers who are interesting is purchasing items and has even given them an account number to deposit money while sending them to pick up their purchase at the different Cellular World Location. So far the matter is under investigation, but the store say they would like to inform the public about the fake facebook page – and tell them not to go there: Karan Sabnani – Co-owner Cellular World “We were alerted today that there are customers that have been depositing money into an account that is coordinated with a Facebook page under Cellular World who is offering products at unbeatable prices and people are falling into it and calling and sending money to the account. They are coming to our stores, Belmopan, San Pedro and here in the City to come and claim their product that they have deposited for. It came to our attention that we haven’t gotten any of these deposits.

St. John’s Credit Union Slice Mortgage Rates
It is a well-known fact in Belize’s financial sector that the different lending institutions have excess liquidity, but there is not enough investors making loans to meet the demands. So, the institutions have to come up with ways to attract customers to borrow from them, and that is difficult because none wants to actually make bold reduction in their interest rates. Well, St. John’s Credit Union is making such a move by reducing their residential mortgage rate from 12% to 8%, providing its customers with unheard-off savings since the start of the different credit union institutions in Belize. Today, 7News stopped by to ask the General Manager why they are giving such back to their customers, and she told us that it’s something they’ve been requesting for some time now: Daisy Dawson – General Manager, SJCU “When we look at what is happening in the market in respect to residential mortgage, you can see that rates are going down. Our members have been asking us for quite some time now, if our credit union will look at those rates and if we would be reducing ours as well. And so the management and board decided that we needed to explore and see what it is that we can do to address that concern and so we went through an exercise and here we are today. We have come up with an interest rate of 8% on the reducing balance – for the life of the loan and for a maximum of 25 year.

Tonight’s profile is about Mark Pascascio – the police officer stationed in Mahogany Heights. But his profile story isn’t about his life as a cop – really, it’s about his role as a father, an adoptive father, who rescued a child who was heading down the wrong path. Here’s his story of how to save a life:….

Dara Doing It For The Needy, Again
Grassroots philanthropist Dara Robinson is no stranger to the Belizean public. For the past 7 years, he has been running a low income feeding program from the confines of his home to less fortunate school students who just cannot afford breakfast or an afternoon meal. And like a good Samaritan he has been into poverty stricken neighborhoods many of times delivering boxes of grocery items on his motorcycle to families in need. But it has been a sacrifice for this poor man who has spent years fundraising to keep his passion alive. One of those events is his annual “Ride for Hunger”. It’s the second year and his friend Kwame Scott has teamed up with him to make it bigger and better. Kwame Scott - Organizer of Ride "Let me say that - one day last year, Dara called and said he had to speak to me urgently and he said he had had this vision and that there's a Diabetes ride that he knows about, and a Cancer Walk and a Social Security ride that benefits different purposes and causes. His passion is 'hunger' and he wants to do a ride to create hunger awareness and try to raise a few small skibblings for his feeding program. Being that I'm intimately involved with cycling and Dara is my very close breddrin and I'm intimately involved with the feeding program also - I had no problem executing what was his vision. Last year we started out 120 riders and at some point we had over 200 riders along the way. This year August 3rd, this Saturday - we are having the second annual "Ride for Hunger'. We've changed a couple of small things - instead of starting at 8:00, like we did last year - we will start 6:30am.

Channel 5

Full 3:31 video of Costa Maya 2013 Pageant

Belizean wife plots a ‘hit’ on British Husband
Police are preparing to arrest a San Ignacio resident for a serious crime of conspiracy to commit murder.  While the charge is not unusual, the case is rare in Belize, [...]

Before busted in El Salvador, cocaine was headed to Belize
It is well known that Belize is a major transhipment point for drugs heading to the United States from Colombia. And tonight, there is a report of a huge bust [...]

B.T.B. and Tourism Ministry calls B.T.I.A. ‘irresponsible and ill-informed’
The government newspaper reports today that Prime Minister Dean Barrow has confirmed that Minister Erwin Contreras will be signing a memorandum of understanding with Norwegian Cruise Lines on behalf of [...]

B.T.B. and Tourism Ministry fully support Norwegian Cruise Line’s Development
The Harvest Caye project has come under heavy opposition by environmental groups because it is believed that NCL is getting the better of the deal. There is no word as [...]

Cab driver crashes in creek and dies
Orange Walk taxi driver Hugo Moreno was laid to rest today in his hometown. In the west, the family of another taxi driver is also preparing his funeral service. Adolfo [...]

Suspended since 2008 Principal and Vice Principal’s Appeal fails
In February 2008, two administrators, the Principal and Vice Principal of Escuela Secundaria Technico de Mexico, Juanita Lucas and Celia Carillo, were suspended. The teachers of the school had staged [...]

Handyman steals a hundred dollars
A handyman from the Ladyville area who claims he relocated from Dangriga to the City in search of a job is in trouble with the law for allegedly stealing from [...]

Sorry he beat him up, court says pay $1000
A Belize City man got off with a light fine today for beating another man on Coney Drive on Tuesday. Twenty-three year old Julian Cowling appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano [...]

Slain Orange Walk Taxi man laid to rest
Today the remains of what is believed to be the body of Orange Walk taxi-man Hugo Moreno were laid to rest by his grieving family and friends. The forty-two year [...]

Pro-gay protest to be held in the north
There’s a peaceful demonstration planned for Orange Walk this weekend and it’s all about the gender policy. If you first reaction is – pro-constitution march AGAIN you would be wrong. [...]

A seminar to stamp out fraud
Forty-eight persons from the public and private sector attended the third part in a business fraud seminar at the Biltmore Hotel today. The organizers say that accountability and honesty in [...]

YOA Orchestra of the Americas coming to Belize
If you’re an aficionado of classical music or even just like it a lot, you’ve probably heard of the YOA Orchestra of the Americas. The world class two hundred member [...]

Getting pregnant with Healthy Living
Are you planning on having a baby in the near future? Did you know that the choices you make even before getting pregnant can affect your pregnancy? Taking care of [...]


Traffic Accident Claims Taxi Driver's Life
A man is dead following a traffic accident n the Cayo District last night.. Correspondent Elaine Berry reports. ELAINE BERRY “A man is dead after he was involved in a traffic accident on Wednesday, July 31 at around 7:30pm. San Ignacio Police was called out to the San Ig...

BTIA's Opposition to Cruise Project in Southern Belize May Have Been Premature
The proposal for the Cruise Tourism Development Project in southern Belize has gotten the attention of the Belize Tourism Industry Association and its Placencia branch and today when their representatives appeared on the Love Morning Show, they got the attention of the Belize Tourism Board. ...

Miss Costa Maya International Wears Crown Tonight
One of the most anticipated and tourism attracting events in the country, the International Costa Maya Festival, opens today in San Pedro Ambergris Caye, with the La Reina De la Costa Maya competition now in its twentieth year. One of the Organizers of the event, Milo Paz spoke to Love News...

Thirteen Years Since the Amalgamation of Tertiary Institutions in Belize
In August 1st of 2000 the University of Belize was formed through an amalgamation of five educational institutions in Belize. Those are the University College of Belize, the Belize Technical College, the Belize Teachers’ Training College, the Belize School of Nursing and the Belize Co...

Love FM Prepares for Kayak Challenge 2013
Back in 2011 the first ever LOVE FM’s Islands Kayak Challenge was held and after taking a one year hiatus, the one of a kind competition is back. This year twelve teams entered the competition with the same goal and that is to be the champions of the challenge and take home the grand prize ...

Sessions on Detection and Prevention of Business Fraud Conducted
Business fraud is something that often times end up in the news when it leads to an arrest of someone. But today a number of businesses and government agencies signed up for a series of sessions on detecting and preventing business fraud. Moore Stephens Magana is a firm that conducts ...

Six Hundred for One Hundred Dollars
A man who stole a hundred dollars from a woman, who hired him to do some work at her house, was ordered to pay six times that amount by Magistrate Dale Cayetano. He is 30 year old handyman Dalton Longsworth. Longsworth was fined six hundred dollars when he appeared today before Magistrate Cayetan...


Close To 500 Kilos Of Cocaine Destined For Belize Confiscated
Belize is considered a main transit point for drugs that make their way to the United States by land, sea and air and it seems that the jewel will never lose that status. On Wednesday July 17th, a joint task force of the National Civil Police and the Armed Forces of El Salvador stopped a van carrying Costa Rican license plates, loaded with cocaine and allegedly bound for Belize. Inside the van was 468 kilos of cocaine. Reports are that the Anti Drugs Unit of El Salvador received information that the cargo would enter the country hidden among licit goods. The value of the cache is said to be around $15 million. The drugs were found hidden inside 48 buckets of froze pineapple pulp transported in a thermo king container. Reports are that stuffed inside each bucket were four to six kilos of cocaine. According to La Prensa Grafica from El Salvador, the head of the Anti-Narcotics Unit of the Attorney Generals Office, Jorge Cortez, has stated that the van was merely passing through by El Salvador. Its final destination was the Corozal Free Zone.

Hugo Moreno Laid To Rest, Taxi Drivers Take Stand Against Crime
In the wake of what has become the first recorded murder for the Orange Walk District since October of 2012, today the remains of what is believed to be those of 42 year old taxi driver, Hugo Ernesto Moreno, was laid to rest. We say believed, because the post mortem conducted on the charred remains found inside the truck of a white taxi car belonging to Moreno, was unable to prove the identity of the individual much less the cause of death. However, Moreno’s family had no other choice but to lay to rest the charred body that was handed to them by police. But amidst the pain and grief, taxi drivers from Orange Walk Town have expressed concerned for their safety and took a stand against crime. Irvin Aragon - Reporting In the month of February of 2012, Police made a gruesome discovery that shocked the entire Orange Walk District; the body of well known Orange Walk taxi driver, Fernando Antonio Cowo, was found brutally stabbed to death inside his taxi car in Corozal Town. On Tuesday, another case presented itself with similar circumstances this time though, what is believed to be the body of 42 year old Hugo Moreno, a taxi driver who went missing on Saturday, was found burnt beyond recognition and locked inside the trunk of his car.

Two Missing Children From The South Reunited With Their Father
While there are still no leads into the death of Hugo Moreno, tonight we are happy to report that the two children went missing from the south 11 days ago are now in the custody of their father. CTV3 News understands that eight year old Nehemiah Romero and his sister, nine year old Fanny Romero, were located in Copan, Honduras and were reunited with their father yesterday morning. The children, who hail for the Village of Cowpen in the south, were last seen in the company of their maternal grandfather Juan Jovel, who was initially accused of kidnapping the children. Jovel apparently took the children to Honduras on the same day that they were reported missing to police. All indications are that the children followed their grandfather to the entrance of San Juan Village where he was scheduled to catch the bus. They refused to return home so he allowed them to travel with him. While there are still many questions that remain unanswered, the children’s father, Feliz Romero, says the family is considering if whether or not to lay charges of kidnapping against Jovel. Romero and his two children are scheduled to travel back to Belize sometime this week.

Police Look For Man Impersonating A Police Officer
Adalberto Castellanos, that’s the name of the man police, are looking for tonight after he impersonated a police officer and scammed more than a $100.00 from a resident of Corozal. On the 4th of July 2013, 43 year old Jose Escamilla, Belizean mechanic of Finca Solana Area Corozal, was approached by a Hispanic man who identified himself as a police officer Adalberto Castellanos. Castellanos allegedly offered to assist Escamilla in obtaining a gun license. After a while of discussion, Escamilla gave Castellanos $150.00 in different denominations. Castellanos promised to be back in a couple of days with the proof of payment. On the 6th of July 2013, Castellanos visited Escamilla at his residence in the Finca Solana Area, gave him an envelope and told him to take it to Belmopan and hand it over to the ‘BOSS’ and he will receive his gun license. Couple days after the transaction, Escamilla opened the envelope only to find out that there was a receipt inside with no signature and a payment voucher.

Garbage Everywhere Harbours Aedes Aegipti Mosquitoes
Yesterday the Government of Belize, through the Ministry of Health, issued an advisory informing Belizeans of a severe outbreak of dengue that has caused several deaths in neighboring countries such as Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. In Honduras, the government has declared a state of emergency after a dengue outbreak has left 16 people dead. Across the Central American Region, a total of 26 deaths have been recorded and approximately 40,000 persons have been infected with the virus. While the number of confirmed dengue cases remained minimal here in Belize, the Dengue Prevention Plan continues in operation. There is no doubt that one of the biggest concerns for Belizeans, when it comes to dengue, is the dumping of garbage in locations that prove to be health hazardous as they serve as a breeding site for the Aedes Aegipti mosquito, known to be a carrier of the dengue virus. One particular community that has expressed concern for the situation is the Village of San Pablo.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker Health Committee’s First Workshop
On July 27th and 28th the Caye Caulker Health Committee attended it’s first workshop in learning how to identify Stigma and Discrimination and how to battle it. The workshop was held at Sun Breeze Hotel’s Conference room and in attendance were the National AIDS Commission Island Committee and the 4 members of the Caye Caulker Health Committee; Mr. Raul Young, Mrs. Chila Trejo, Ms. Juana Cowo and Ms. Laura Che. The training was made possible with the support of the USAID Central America Capacity Project, Intra Health International and Nurse Lourdes Heredia from Corozal community Hospital and the NAC Corozal Committee. The training certified that participants in attendance have the education, training and resources necessary to tackle Stigma and Discrimination specifically aimed towards individuals living with HIV/AIDS and their friends and families. Special thanks goes out to the following who contributed to the success of the workshop: Pedro’s Hotel in San Pedro for providing accommodations, San Pedro Belize Express for providing transportation , USAID Capacity Project, Nurse Lourdes Heredia and all those who were present.


Captain Pudlin in action and a Glass bottom boat review
The glass bottom boat was good for seeing the fish and turtles at the edge of the reef. It did stop and feed the sharks. Also stopped to get into the water. My problem was that it is a very old and really slow ride. The motor is not much and the boat needs work. As a little family business though, I guess they try when you see the big guys diving and flying around. You definitely could fall asleep on the ride back and forth. Hard part was finding someone to tell us where it was located. They work out of a garage out of the back of their house. John Thanks for your review John, I had heard the boat was on the slow side, Dick said pack accordingly if you ever take that trip. For me that would mean lots of water, small cooler full of snacks and an extra camera battery

My Week Out & About on Ambergris Caye: Gimme Tree Dolla Pork Taco
Last Sunday I posted a bunch of pictures from the previous week of the GORGEOUS weather and the gorgeous food I’ve been eating. I’ve got more… some changes in town, a bit more food, some pictures that I’ve posted on my facebook page and some that I haven’t. The great weather continues… let’s hope it hangs on for the weekend. Not only is it the HUGE Costa Maya Festival in San Pedro but I am headed out to Chaa Creek. Yes, the resort near San Ignacio where PRINCE HARRY stayed when he visited Belize last year. THE PRINCE HARRY. Here is my post about my trip to meet with Harry. And by “meet” with I mean stand within 10 feet of him on a hot hot night in Cayo. Perhaps Chaa Creek will let me touch the bed where he slept. Does that sound weird? I am definitely not leaving to miss Costa Maya. In fact, every time I’ve attended I’ve had a ton of fun. It looks like it will be huge this year… the island should be packed. Even the hotel, Banana Beach, is setting up a Heineken tent in their parking lot to extend the party.

Three Amazing Places in Belize You May Not know About
The “Other Blue Hole” – St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park Not to be confused with the Great Blue Hole off Belize’s Caribbean coast, this is a great rest and swimming stop just some 12 miles southeast of Belmopan on the Hummingbird Highway. Years ago there was just a little scraggly path leading down to this wonderful shady place to swim and cool off on the way to the coast. Now managed by the Belize Audubon Society It’s been upgraded with rest areas, benches, a visitor centre and guard house, but still has that off the beaten path charm and is one more reason why the Hummingbird Highway is one of the best drives in the universe. It’s also evolved from a convenient rest stop to a great daytrip destination in its own right. Actun Che Chem Ha The fascinating network of Maya ceremonial caves has only recently gained attention as a tourism asset, with tubing through the Barton Creek Caves system and hiking into the amazing Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM), known as the cave of the stone sepulchre or cave of the crystal maiden, attracting an increasing amount of visitors each year. But the little family managed Che Chem Hah cave gives visitors a more Indiana Jones experience and harkens back to the early, pre tourism industry days of Belize. It was only discovered a couple of decades back when one of the family’s hunting dogs chased game into a hole. The son, William, climbed in with a flashlight and discovered over 300 stone, jade and ceramic artefacts, a plethora of pottery and an altar where ancient Mayas conducted sacred rituals. Vaca Lake reservoir The remote Vaca Lake reservoir in the Upper Macal River Valley offers a rare glimpse into a vibrant bit of Belize’s diverse eco system and is home to exotic wildlife such as tapirs, howler and spider monkeys, toucans, parrots and even the occasional jaguar and ocelot. This is one of the more recent adventure offerings added to Belize’s already rich menu of things to do. The Vaca Lake is a reservoir set in the upper Macal River Valley a few miles upstream from the Belize Botanic gardens and Chaa Creek on the Macal River, and as a manmade body of water one may wonder how it fits in with eco-tourism, but in fact the remote lake has opened up a fascinating part of the jungle world with a rare opportunity to get close to the flora and fauna of the area while relaxing in the shade.

Rasta Rambo – King of The Belize Jungle
I decide to venture off-property and take this thrill seeking tour with Percy Gordon, famously known as Rambo, the King of the Howlers. The Monkey River tour is one of the best ways to see the true face of Belize – Belize with its uncut, raw, overgrown bush, abundant with crocodiles, fat lizards, turtles, birds, dolphins and manatees! This tour is a true Belizean safari. Our guide Rambo is rich with knowledge, confidence, and a deep thirst for adventure. I introduce myself to him, and as he ruggedly shakes my hand, he says, “My name is Percy, but I am known by many as Rambo or King of the Howlers, I am a deep sea diver and that is my way of life.” I decide to call him Rasta Rambo, because he adds “Mon” after every sentence. “Look over there mon, crocodiles!”, “Look here mon, you see the monkeys.”, “No worries mon, in Belize you don’t have to worry about anything mon!”

VIDEO: Rasta Rambo Monkey River Tour Belize
Watch video of Howler Monkeys Here

Costa Maya Festival in San Pedro,Ambergris Caye, Belize 2013 – ” You’re Ready Now”.
Normal service (well if you consider what I normally include in my blog as normal) will be resumed with the next edition but I thought -given the questions I raised in an edition a few days ago I would take a mini break from writing about our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and publish a Special Edition to let you see some of the preparations for the 2013 Costa Maya Festival being held in San Pedro. Given that Don Squier expressed an interest in knowing more about the Sunset Boardwalk project I took a walk around the old Saca Chispas Football Field earlier today to see the work that was taking place to make it ready for the Island Party Night and International Night that will be held there on the 2nd and 3rd August respectively.

International Sources

Belize Selects FAMCare Human Services Software to Help Track Information and Improve Outcomes for Vulnerable Citizens
The Belize Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, (MHDSTPA) has partnered with Global Vision Technologies, Inc. (GVT) to implement FAMCare human services software for their case management needs. MHDSTPA is the lead entity of the Government of Belize in the development of people, enabling them to realize their full potential and play a meaningful role in their communities. FAMCare, Rapid Case Management Software - is GVT's flagship software platform designed to streamline human services data management. FAMCare will enhance all of the data collection, information management, and reporting tools needed to deliver the best care to the vulnerable population living in Belize. "What we are about to accomplish in the next few months is a feat that I know many of our sister Caribbean states have been trying to accomplish. We are definitely blazing trails here and it seems we could not have asked for a better partner in GVT," said Judith Alpuche, CEO MHDSTPA. In collaboration with all relevant partners, the mission of MHDSTPA is to facilitate policy development and to implement programs that promote social justice and equity, enabling people to be self-sufficient, responsible and productive citizens.

Kate Heartfield: War over gay rights being fought by proxy
Victories for freedom in one part of the world can trigger backlashes in other parts. Bigots are forced to concentrate their efforts where they think they can win. This has happened with feminism, particularly when it comes to sexuality and reproductive freedom, and it is happening with gay rights. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which is based in Montgomery, Ala., and began its life by bringing cases against the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups, published a report in July about this phenomenon. Called Dangerous Liaisons: The American Religious Right and the Criminalization of Homosexuality in Belize, it connects recent victories for tolerance in the U.S., such as the gradual shift toward legal same-sex marriage, with setbacks elsewhere. In some cases, the report suggests, these setbacks are not happening despite the victories in the U.S. but, in part, because of them. Anti-gay groups in the U.S. are spending their considerable resources to support their comrades in places where a critical mass of politicians supports their goals.

Mayor of Belize meets with Evanston Mayor
Mayors Darrell Bradley (Belize City) and Elizabeth Tisdahl (Evanston) met today in Evanston to discuss the Sisters Cities program. Pictured left to right: Councillor Kevin Singh, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley, Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, Belize City Director of Administrations Sharlene Rudon and Councillor Dion Leslie.

Meteor shower brightens Cayman sky
The Cayman skies were lit up by a fairly large meteorite that traveled from the direction of Belize towards Jamaica this past Monday night. According to President of the Cayman Islands Astronomical Society, Chris Cook, it was quite a big meteor that was crossing the Caribbean. Mr Cooke said that it was not seen in Belize, but it was sighted in Cayman and also in Jamaica. “By the time the meteor got to the middle of the island, it had broken up into a number of segments and obviously it was too high for any of the parts to come to land, and may have gone past Jamaica as well,” he observed. Almost certainly pieces of it fell into the sea; meteors collide with the atmosphere all the time and land in the sea,” he explained. Mr Cook said that astronomers have been having more interest in the passage of meteors, especially after the crash of the meteor in Russia.

Best festivals in Chicago this weekend
Belize Day in the Park Can't point out Belize on a map? (It's in Central America, Magellan.) Get a crash course of the joys of its food, crafts and music at this one-day fest. Hawthorne Race Course. August 4, noon–10pm. $5, kids ages 6 to 12 $2, kids under 6 free.

15-year-old Rowan Garel becomes first blind person to dive Belize's Blue Hole
15-year-old Rowan Garel made history last week by becoming the first blind person to dive the renowned Blue Hole in Belize. According to a press release issued yesterday, Rowan successfully completed the 100+ foot dive on July 26, after the original dive had to be rescheduled due to inclement weather earlier in the month. Chabil Mar Resort in Placencia, Belize, sponsored Rowan's Blue Hole dive after learning about his journey earlier this year. Larry France from Chabil Mar talked with media about Rowan's extraordinary adventures over the past couple of years. "In 2011, Belize was first introduced to the young Rowan Garel when he made a bold decision to conquer Victoria Peak," shared France. "A year later, he took on the ninety-two mile Walk Across Belize and completed the lengthy journey." France decided to help raise funds for Rowan's quest and the only program in Belize that deals with blind or visually impaired people, the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired (BCVI).

Shifting Baselines: Why the Environment Is Even Worse Off Than You Think
I had a chance to tag along this past weekend in Belize with a team from the Catlin Seaview Survey as they began their underwater assessment of the endangered coral reefs of the Caribbean. You can read about the project—which is using panoramic underwater cameras and machine vision to digitize the oceans—over here. It’s very cool stuff, done in conjunction with Google Earth. As part of my reporting, I dove with the team in the waters above Glover’s Reef, which is part of Belize’s protected Hol Chan marine reserve. (I know, environmental reporters have a tough life.) The water was warm and blue, and the varied coral to my eye looked abundant and healthy, with intricate, boulder-size brain coral, jagged fire coral and majestic elkhorn coral.

Belize Panedia Virtual tour by Caitlin Seaview
Don't Miss this!!! A game-changing scientific study to record & reveal the world`s coral reefs. There are some amazing shots of Lighthouse Reef and the Great Blue Hole. Dive right in!

Rising sea levels are slated to submerge substantial parts of 1,700 US cities
This item has been corrected. Sea levels, as we know, are incredibly sensitive to rises in global temperatures. A study released earlier this month revealed that the increase of a mere degree celsius could lead global sea levels to rise by as much...

20 Photos Of Manatees Doing Manatee Things And Being Very Cute
Manatees are the cutest.

10 Reasons to Relocate to Belize
While the decision to relocate to a lush, tropical country may have been an easy choice to make, the process of actually picking the country may be an entirely different story.

August 1, 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

Rowan dives the Blue Hole
Rowan Garel conquers yet another achievement for the visually impaired by diving the Great Blue Hole. The dive was originally scheduled for July 14th, but due to weather conditions, the dive was postponed. On Friday, July 26th, Rowan, accompanied by a crew of supportive family and friends set off to dive one of Belize’s greatest marvel. The group departed from the Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina at around 7AM, equipped and determined to brave the Caribbean Sea under the guidance of Sea Sport Belize. Diving the Blue Hole is the third major feat for 15 year old visually impaired Rowan. Rowan was born blind, but he has never let that get in his way of experiencing life. In 2011 Rowan climbed the second highest summit in Belize, the Victoria Peak over the course of two days. In 2012 he journeyed across the country, walking 92 miles. These milestones conquered by Rowan were done to raise funds for the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired (BCVI), which is the only organization in Belize that caters to the blind or visually impaired.

Turtle nesting season “looking positive”
The month of August is the peak period for turtle nesting season in Belize. The full season runs from May to November. Reports from the Ambergris Caye Marine Turtle Program is that as the peak of the season approaches, 2013 is looking positive, with over 50 nests found so far on Ambergris Caye. Kirah Forman, Marine Biologist at Hol Chan Marine Reserve spearheads the turtle program on Ambergris Caye and sheexplained that the nesting season is looking good. “So far we have had 56 nests. These nests were mostly found in the Robles Point and Rocky Point areas. We had a few in the Basil Jones area and one near Capricorn,” said Forman. “The nest we found near Capricorn was that of a Loggerhead turtle and the staff alerted us and we visited the area. That nest has hatched and from the 109 eggs, 80 hatched, which is a very good hatching success. It proves the theory that all of Ambergris Caye was a turtle nesting site at one point.”

Two Belizean football players honored at Gold Cup Finals
The Belize National Football Team – Belize Jaguars – made its first and historic performance at the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2013, but after losing all three games, they returned home. However, Woodrow West and Ian Gaynair of the national team were present at the final game of the tournament. They attended the game at the invitation of UNCAF President Rafael Tinoco, where they received an award before a packed stadium. Just before Belize’s first game, the two men were each offered a few thousands Euros in exchange of fixing game 1 of the group play in the Gold Cup. The international recognition was given to them for taking a stance, thus refusing a bribe to have the football match between Belize and USA fixed. CONCACAF applauded their honesty and their position to reject “game fixing,” something FIFA and all its affiliate organizations highly condemn. The position taken by West and Gaynair gained international attention from the press, with CONCACAF issuing a congratulatory release a few days after the incident, applauding the braveness of the two Belizean players.

URGENT: Ministry of Health cautions the Public on Dengue Outbreaks in the Region
The Ministry of Health hereby informs the general public of several dengue advisories issued by neighboring countries in Central America. The region has experienced severe outbreaks and several deaths this year. Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and El Salvador have all issued formal alerts and travelers to these countries are being asked to exercise caution. The Government of Honduras has declared a state of emergency after a dengue fever outbreak has left 16 people dead. The disease is present throughout Central America and has caused 26 deaths and infected nearly 40,000 persons. Although the number of confirmed dengue cases has remained low in Belize during this first part of the year, the Ministry of Health continues to execute its Dengue Prevention Plan countrywide. We are appealing to parents and their children during the summer holidays to clean up their yards and properly dispose of old tires and eliminate water holding containers that may become breeding sites for the Aedes mosquito.

Daniel Nuñez – San Pedro’s pioneer of Lamanai Tours
When visitors to San Pedro ask me what mainland tour they should take I never hesitate to recommend Lamanai. In one day guests have the opportunity to explore the many personalities of our country, from traveling by boat to the mainland, exploring the New River, traveling by land to Orange Walk, then a final river expedition to the majestic Lamanai Ruins, each step of the way is a deeper look into the colorful persona of Belize. There are several reputable tour companies on the island who offer this day-tour but there is one that I recommend with complete confidence for this trip, and that is Tanisha Eco-Tours. Owner and professional tour guide Daniel Nuñez pioneered the journey from San Pedro to Lamanai 23 years ago and is still the sole guide for his business. Most companies only allow for a 45-minute tour of the site while Daniel dedicates a full two hours to the experience. He is a Tanisha Eco-Tours constant, and you know exactly who is going to take you on a journey you will not soon forget. From spotting dolphins on the way in, to manatees on the way home, and lots of wildlife and flora along the way, Daniel knows this tour like the back of his hand.

Ambergris Today

The Passport Party Project Arrives in Belize
One might think that almost everyone in the world owns a passport, but it’s not so! Come to think of it, it’s pretty much a privilege to own one. This is the story of six girls from the United States of America who have never owned a passport, never traveled to an exotic place in the world, but thanks to the Passport Party Project they have obtained their first passport and have gotten their first travel stamp from our beautiful Belize. The Passport Party Project is grassroots initiative providing online global awareness training and first passports to underserved American girls between the ages 11-15 in an effort to help create responsive and responsible global citizens. Phase 1 of The Passport Party Project™ was fully funded by the world's largest online travel company - Expedia® - and was able to successfully gift 100 underserved girls with their very first passports during a nationwide traveling campaign that began September 2011.

Costa Maya Delegates Celebrate Belize
A trip to Ambergris Caye is not a successful one without visiting the marine life that has made it the number one island in the world. This is why the Costa Maya Committee delights in arranging for the eight beauty ambassadors who compete for the prestigious Miss Costa Maya International crown to enjoy some fun in the sun, sea and sand. On Friday, July 26, the Costa Maya Pageant delegates were treated to some underwater adventure courtesy of Discovery Expeditions that took them on the Sea Trek adventure which had them walking at the bottom of the sea and exploring the coral reefs at the Mexico Rocks Reserve.

Thank You From Saga Humane Society
Saga Humane Society would like to give our heartfelt Thank You and gratitude to everyone involved who came and supported our fundraising event Princesses for Paws. The Reigning Queen 2012 Karen Jordan and 2013 La Reina de Costa Maya Queen contestants hosted a benefit cocktail party and silent auction on Monday, July 29, 2013, at Fido’s Restaurant and Bar. The charisma of these generous ladies charmed guests as they drew raffle tickets and posed for photographs to help raise money towards assisting the pets of Ambergris Caye. We are grateful of the extraordinary support of Marisa Salazar, Gach Guerrero, Will Alamilla and the entire International Costa Maya Committee.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize appoints new deputy registrar
The Belize government, which has taken back control of its national flag the International Merchant Marine of Belize (IMMARBE), has appointed Annette Garel, as senior deputy registrar. “The trust and confidence placed on me by the Prime Minister of Belize makes me proud and more committed to stay the course in ensuring that the Belize Ship Registry continues in its quest to attain excellence in ship registration,” said IMMARBE Senior Deputy Registrar Annette Garel. Garel was upfront about the challenges the registry faced. “The Belize Registry will face several challenges this year, but the most pressing is the Voluntary IMO Audit which is scheduled for the first week in October. Arrangements are underway to have this completed and with the Government of Belize’s full backing, we are prepared and committed to conclude a successful audit,” she said.

Video: Rowan Garel Dives the Blue Hole in Belize
I would like to big up Channel 7 News for the great story they did on Rowan's Blue Hole dive. Here is the the story in full from website. Would also like to thank Channel 7 for acknowledging the underwater camera work, not once, but 4 times. I think Channel 7 understands the importance of giving credit where credit is due. The other station? Not a peep .... any way great job to 7 News and BCVI and of course Rowand Garel.

Channel 7

Taxi-Man Burned Too Badly To Identify
42 year old Orange Walk taximan Hugo Moreno – last night we told you that he had been found dead outside Carmelita in his taxi – which had been burned with him stuffed in the trunk. And indeed, his family who reported him missing on Monday went to a post mortem today – but late information to 7news is that the body was so badly burnt that police cannot say definitively that it was him in the car – in fact, they cannot say who was in the car. And, also, they cannot say what was the cause of death – because that was also inconclusive due to the burning. Monica Bodden went to Orange Walk today to find out more from the police and from his wife, and her story is coming up a little later on in the news.

Regional Dengue Outbreak, Belize Spared So Far
But first, the Ministry of Health says you’ve got to be on the lookout for Dengue because there’s a severe outbreak in Central America where it has caused 26 deaths and infected nearly 40,000 persons this year. Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and El Salvador have all issued formal alerts and travelers to these countries are being asked to exercise caution. In Honduras, it’s gotten so bad that the government has declared a state of emergency after an outbreak killed 16 people while twelve thousand people have been diagnosed with the illness. In Belize, the Ministry of Health reports that the number of confirmed dengue cases has remained low for the first part of the year, there are Dengue Prevention Plans activated countrywide. Of course, mosquitoes are what cause the spread of dengue and you’re advised to clean up your yards, making sure to throw away old tires and containers that can act as breeding sites

Julius “Tries A Thing” In House of Reps
Next Wednesday, there will be a sitting of the House of Representatives. The business of this meeting has not been released as yet, but if the Opposition gets an opportunity they would like to table a motion on the Public Accounts Committee. The motion is the brainchild of People’s United Party member Julius Espat, the P-A-C’s chairman. Viewers may know very well that this is the only committee chaired by an Opposition member, and, for years, it has not been effective at its duty of looking into the expenditure of public funds. And to fix that, Chairman Espat wants to change the configuration of the committee which currently has 4 members of Government and 2 members from the Opposition. He wants to see it changed to 2 members of the Government, 2 members of the Opposition, and 3 members from the Senate, one from the church, the business community, and the Unions. This new configuration of 7, according to Espat, will allow the PAC to do its job more effectively because according to him, the ruling administration of the day has too much influence over it.

Remanded For A Home-Made Shotgun
53 year-old Walter Logan is spending his second night in prison because he was allegedly caught with a prohibited firearm. According to police, on Saturday evening at around 4, they received information, and went to Santa Ana Village on the Old Northern Highway. They found Logan, searched the area and discovered a homemade shotgun loaded with a 12 gauge cartridge. The officers also found 3 separate 16-gauge cartridges near the gun. He was arrested and charged for 1 count of keeping a prohibited firearm, and 2 counts of keeping unlicensed ammunition. He was arraigned yesterday before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton who couldn’t grant him bail because it’s a prohibited firearm. He was remanded to prison until September 11.

Wife Of Slain Taxi-Man Says He Was Robbed
As we told you at the top of the newscast, a post mortem on what is believed to be the body of Orange Walk tax-man Hugo Moreno proved inconclusive as to identity and cause of death. That was established this evening, but this morning in Orange Walk, Monica Bodden spoke to police about the case – and in the afternoon, the media tracked down his devastated wife in the city. Here’s the story: Monica Bodden reporting 42 year old taxi Hugo Moreno was found dead in the trunk of his burnt up taxi cab just after 2 yesterday afternoon - His white Dodge was located in a sandpit at the back of Carmelita Village. Inspector Julius Cantun - Acting Deputy Commander, Orange Walk Police "In regards to the missing person's report, concerning Mr. Hugo Estrada Moreno - yesterday at around 11:45am, Orange Walk police received information concerning information about a vehicle seeing burnt in an area about a mile and a half on the outskirts of Carmelita Village. As a result of that information - Orange Walk police visited the area and about 2pm - they came across the said vehicle which was subsequently identified as that belonging to the missing person, Mr. Hugo Moreno. In the vehicle what appeared to be the charred remains of a human body that was stuck inside the trunk of the said car, as a result the scenes of crimes technicians visited the scene whereby they processed that scene and the suspected human body was retreived and transported to the Orange Walk town hospital and the vehicle was removed and brought to the Orange Walk police station pending investigation.

Guilty! Of Molesting 9 Year Old Over 5 Year Span
41 year-old Nicannor Fermin is on remand tonight, awaiting sentence after he was convicted today of 6 counts of carnal knowledge of a 9 year girl. Fermin stood trial before Justice Troadio Gonzalez where the minor told the court that between 2004 to January 2010 he sexually abused her 6 different times while she was entrusted in his custody. That’s a pattern of abuse for a 5-year span when Fermin forced himself on the child and had intercourse with her, with the threat of withholding her school fees if she resisted. The child told the court she often told him that he was hurting her, but he would not listen. When the prosecution closed their case, Fermin denied all allegations against him, and he called 2 witnesses to testify on his behalf who told the court that he was never alone with the child.

How Belize Got To Lead Region In Waste Management
Belize is leading the region in solid waste management. That’s what we heard yesterday from an IDB Representative – and it denoted quite a change, since, not too long ago, here in the city we were choking on the putrid scent of our own garbage – burning out of control day and night. Now, there’s a transfer where that fetid dump once sat. Now, it will all be “transferred” to mile 24 on the Western Highway – which is quite a high tech location unto itself. We were there for the opening yesterday and here’s what we found:.. Daniel Ortiz reporting The newly opened Mile 24 Regional Landfill is like the Belize City Transfer Station, a vastly improved effort at dealing with waste. This facility has a total land space of 350 acres, and it is designed with the highest standards of garbage management. The clearing the facility measures about 5 acres of already cleared space, which will be used to dump the initial loads of garbage coming in. The other 345 acres will be cleared on a need-to basis to ensure that majority of the facility retains an untouched element of it to have very little impact on the environment which surrounds it. This Project, funded by the IDB and the Government of Belize, is designed with world-class standards in mind, and it will be able to accommodate waste coming from all parts of the country when fully activated.

Nancy Marin (Re)Joins PUP, Under Leader’s Watch
Nancy Marin rose to public prominence as an independent activist – for her Belize People’s Front – which surged to the frontline of many public causes. But, before that, she was a PUP convention candidate, who offered herself as the candidate for Cayo Northeast, only to lose to Landy Habet in a convention. Well, now she’s back with the PUP. With party Leader Francis Fonseca watching the dotted line, Marin today applied for membership in the PUP. According to a press release, she has quote, “pledged her full support to People’s United Party and its Leader Francis Fonseca.” The release does not say if she will challenge Habet again, but simply states that, quote, “Nancy is fully committed to standing with and fighting for our Party in the west,”

Mayan Leaders Lament Appeals Court Decision
The Court of Appeals handed down its split decision on the Mayan Land rights case a week ago, and on Monday The Toledo Alcaldes Association gathered community members and leaders to review it. According to a press release, over 300 leaders from all the Maya villages in Toledo converged at the Julian Cho Technical High School near Punta Gorda to digest the decision. And today, have come out with their collective position. A release from the group says, they are pleased that the court has reaffirmed their right to own their lands. It adds, quote, “With this fourth favourable ruling in nine years, we are confident going forward that our land rights are clearly and firmly established.” But, the statement also says they are quote, “disappointed that the court failed to understand the discrimination and harm the government has subjected us to by denying the validity of our customary rights for decades,” end quote. It adds that the Leaders were also deeply apprehensive about the section of the decision that absolves government from protecting those rights and titling Maya lands. A unanimous endorsement was given to appeal that aspect of the decision to the Caribbean Court of Justice.

A Cuddly Croc?
Yesterday, we showed you Bal Boa, the Boa Constrictor, who helped to give an education on her fellow snake species and about the misconceptions and deep-rooted fears in the public mind. Well, while there, we also got an education on crocodiles, and that is important because there have been more than a few times when these reptiles ended up deep in the ‘hood, only to be abused, butchered and sold as meat. Well, tonight, we show you Rose, the baby croc, who is non-threatening, and is receiving a lot of love from her human handlers: Daniel Ortiz reporting Rose is a newly hatched, domesticated, American crocodile living at the Belize Zoo. She weighs about 1 pound, and she is about a foot and 3 inches in length. She allows her handlers to cradle her like an infant, and she seems to enjoy human contact. Her story is interesting because crocs are usually appreciated and respected from a safe distance, because while they are beautiful, they have strong predatory instincts. Those instincts often become adversarial when humans come in contact with those of her species, so that’s what’s so unique about Rose.

FFB, Still Paying Bills, Still Accepting Donations For Gold Cup Push
The 2013 Gold Cup is over, but all the bills haven’t been paid and the Football Federation of Belize continues to receive donations on Behalf of Team Belize. The latest comes from PUMA Energy Belize, which started a fundraising venture to assist the Belize National team give weeks ago. Here’s how it worked: each of their 10 stations around the country donated 5 cents for every gallon of fuel that they sold over a period of 2 weeks. They managed to raise $12,000, and with an additional $5,000 donation the Deputy Country Manager of the company handed over a check for $17,000 to Senior Vice President Sergio Chuc yesterday.

Hon. Finnegan: National Selection Has Good Nucleus, Needed Rice & Beans And Salad
And while the massive multi-national PUMA is donating cash, Housing Minister Michael Finnegan is donating his wisdom. For the past few nights, you’ve heard the senior football authority hold sway mostly on the national team’s weaknesses – especially when compared to the footballers of his era in the 60’s and 70’s. But, he also told us that the Gold Cup team has a talented nucleus of players which he rates highly – and he told us about his top six:.. Hon. Michael Finnegan - Football Historian "This team from my vantage point is not a bad team. Eiley, Gaynair, Lennon, Mariano and the two goal keepers - you could build around them. Something is wrong with the team - the team is not all that bad. You will never hear me try to depredated the team or to run to it's lowest. I would never do that because I would be unfair - there is something that is wrong with the team. The composition and chemistry of the team and we just have to find what is wrong. Maybe when they left here they left under a situation quarrelling for money - maybe that is a mental thing - maybe that could be part of it. Maybe when they got over there - they didn't take someone to be with them so that when they eat their Rice and Beans and chicken and salad that they are used to and went to eat the 'white man's' dinner. Maybe that is a part of it governor - when those teams travel they even take their kitchen, you can't go there and eat lettuce and steak all of a sudden and think that will make you strong - lettuce and steak is a long process. You have to stay with rice and beans and what you know about."

Channel 5

Taxi-man Burned in Car; Cause of Death Undetermined
Hugo Moreno’s remains were so charred that the cause of death could not be determined. The body of the taxi driver was found in the trunk of his dodge car [...]

MLA Meets With Leaders from Mayan Communities
The Maya Leaders Alliance has issued its first statement on the customary land rights case, since the Court of Appeal handed down a split decision in the matter last Thursday.  [...]

MLA’s Cristina Coc Speaks on Mayan Dissenters
While the membership of the Maya Leaders Alliance was not represented in court on Monday, former chairman Ligorio Coy led a contingent of past Alcaldes from Dolores, Otoxha, Santa Ana [...]

Belize on High Alert after Regional Dengue Outbreaks
The Ministry of Health has issued an urgent statement cautioning the public on dengue. The release is a result of severe outbreaks in the region including Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El [...]

Should G.O.B. strike a deal with NCL even though only pocket tourism is recommended for southern Belize?
And our question for tonight is: Should G.O.B. strike a deal with NCL even though only pocket tourism is recommended for southern Belize? Send your comments and responses using your [...]

Missing Siblings Found in Honduras
There are reports reaching our newsroom tonight that missing siblings Fanny and Jairo Romero have been located in Copan, Honduras and will soon be reunited with their family. The children, [...]

Multi-Million Dollar Sanitary Landfill Inaugurated
On Tuesday’s newscast, News Five showed you the brand spanking new transfer facility which makes the old garbage dump look like…well, garbage. These transfer stations have been constructed in San [...]

P.U.P. calls for Change in Public Accounts Committee
The Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives is the body tasked with examining and reporting on the monies spent by government. That’s a big job and an important [...]

Cable Technician Guilty of Carnal Knowledge
The trial of a Belize City cable technician who is accused of sexually abusing a young woman since the age of nine concluded today.  At eleven thirty this morning, the [...]

Minor Narrowly Escapes Sodomy Attempt
While there is a conviction against Niccanor Fermin for carnal knowledge, there is another disturbing report from an eleven year old student of Sunset Park area, located at mile eight [...]

Santana Resident Remanded for Homemade Shotgun
Fifty-three year old Walter Logan, a resident of Santana Village, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after being caught with a homemade shotgun on Saturday.  Shortly after four [...]

Dara’s Concert and Ride for Hunger This Weekend…
There are two events in the City this weekend to support a noble cause. A concert and a ride for hunger are being organized to assist Dara Robinson’s feeding program. [...]

Parking Woes in Belize City
Progress brings problems is as clichéd as it is true, and Belize City residents have been pushed up close to that truth with the ongoing works on streets. But while [...]

Superstar performances at the Bliss
The Bliss was overflowing last night with fans and supporters of Be the Next Superstar. The show started with eight hopefuls, but wound down to six following a tight elimination [...]


Regional Study Underway in Belize on Diabetes
A regional study on type two Diabetes is currently taking place in Belize with a view to helping patients better manage their illness through diet, timeliness of self-medicating, and general behavioral practices. It is part of a regional study in the Caribbean and Project Manager, Doctor Cl...

Kolbe Foundation Responds to Labour Commissioner's Report
On Monday we reported that Labour Commissioner, Ivan Williams, had released his findings on a series of allegations that had come under investigations by his office following complaints made by six former members of the Kolbe Foundation. The investigations looked at a number of alleged infr...

Past Standard Bearer Candidate for Opposition Party Wants Back in Party
The People’s United Party announced today that community activist Nancy Marin has applied for membership in the Party and has pledged her full support to the party and party leader Francis Fonseca. The PUP release goes on to say over the past few years Nancy has proved to a strong, independ...

Former BDF Soldier Found Guilty of Engaging Sexually with 9-Year-Old
Forty-one year old ex-BDF soldier Niccanor Fermin, charged with six counts of carnal knowledge of a female child, was found guilty of all counts today in the court of Justice John Gonzalez. The jury of five men and four women deliberated for less than three hours before it arrived at its verdict,...

Residents of Belize Placed on Alert for Dengue Outbreaks in Neighboring Countries
The Ministry of Health has issued an alert following several dengue advisories issued by neighboring countries in Central America. The region has experienced severe outbreaks and several deaths this year. Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and El Salvador have all issued formal alerts and travelers ...

Police Investigate Murder of Taxi Driver in Northern Belize
Police have confirmed that the body found yesterday was that of a missing taxi driver. Reporter Arturo Cantun has the details. ARTURO CANTUN “The charred remains of a human being found yesterday on the outskirts of Carmelita Village in the Orange Walk District have been identi...

Wednesday, July 31 -------- Missing Siblings Found in Honduras
A father’s determination to locate his children resulted in success this morning. The two children from southern Belize who were reported missing more than ten days ago have now been reunited with their father. Eight year old Nehemiah Romero and his big sister Nine year old Fanny Romero...

Police Officer Makes Contact Following Missing Report
Police Corporal Martin Bustillos has responded to the call and made contact with his family and his workplace. The twenty seven year old officer attached to the Corozal Police Formation had reportedly left his parents’ house in San Estevan Village in the Orange Walk District on July 22nd an...

International Registries Have New Senior Deputy Registrar
Last month the Government of Belize assumed control of the International Business Companies (IBC) Registry and the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (IMMARBE). News today is that Annette Garel was appointed as senior deputy registrar for IMMARBE. An online article quotes Garel as s...


Corozal House Of Culture Teaches Charcoal Drawing
Drawing pencils are often considered sturdy, reliable and precise. Charcoal, on the other hand, is a wild counterpart: it’s bold, daring and dramatic. It’s much darker than any pencil and has...

Sugar City Summer Program Comes To An End
The Sugar City Summer Program 2013 started a few weeks ago at the closing of the school year here in Orange Walk Town. The program was held at the St....

APAMO Says Co-managers Pressured Into Signing Agreement
At the top of the newscast we told you about the protected areas co-management agreements which are causing quite a stir among GOB and NGO’s including SATIIM and APAMO, who...

Dengue Outbreak In The Region Puts Belize On High Alert
The Government of Honduras has declared a state of emergency after an outbreak of dengue fever which has killed 16 people so far this year. More than 12,000 people have...

BSCFA Holds Workshop For Branch Chairmen
After being audited by representatives of FLOCERT a few months ago, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association was found to be in breach of 11 Fair Trade Standards, in other...

APAMO Refuses To Sign Co-management Agreement
With so many litigations going around, one would think that the issue of co-management agreements between the Government of Belize and non governmental organizations would go away. But that is...

Hugo Moreno Becomes O/W First Murdered Victim
In the Orange Walk District, not a single murder case had been recorded since October 2012. But the statistic changed when the charred body of 42 year old taxi...


Missing Orange Walk Taxi Driver found dead
Tuesday July 30: In Orange Walk, the family of a cab driver is searching for their loved one. 42 year old Ernesto Moreno left his home on Saturday to do taxi runs. His wife says they spoke on Sunday, but has not heard from him since. Moreno was last...

Corozal Policeman missing since last week Tuesday
Tonight, authorities are asking for your help in locating one of their own. Police Constable Martin Bustillos, attached to the Corozal formation, has been missing since last week Tuesday. His parents say the last time they saw their son was the day he went missing. The 27 year old...

Indian tourist to be deported after he was caught with a fake visa
An Indian national is getting a free ride out of Belize after he was caught attempting to use a fake visa permit in the country. He is 22-year-old Lovepreet Singh Dhaliwal, a Indian national student and tourist of Bilaspur District, Rampur, India. Yesterday, Immigration personnel caught the Indian national...

Man in court after being caught burglarizing house
A man who was caught red handed burglarizing a Maxboro’s house was today before the court to answer to two criminal offenses. He is 47-year-old Valentine Sanchez, a Mason of the Sand Hill area. But this is in no way a simple case, as it has its share of...

Belmopan City Council hosts Sports Camp
Since the summer vacation kicked off, the Belmopan City Council, in collaboration with the Ministry of Sports and the area rep. the Hon. John Saldivar has been hosting quite a number of initiatives to keep children and young people constructively occupied, the latest being a...

Belmopan youth find Chess interesting and fun
While the first segment of the Belmopan summer camp program has culminated, the second part is just beginning. The sport activities in this segment include of volleyball, basketball and chess, which many people consider a sport. Chess is a game of strategic skills which is played on a checkered...

Football players rewarded for their integrity
When players Woodrow West and Ian Gaynair rejected a match fixing offer of some $10,000 in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, they gained widespread recognition from not only CONCACAF, but also from the international media. This weekend, they were rewarded once more...

Belmopan children get basketball training from a professional
We now bring you coverage of the basketball summer camp. As we mentioned, this second cycle of the program got off the ground on Monday. This morning we stopped by their training facility at the UB gymnasium to check out what the young ballers have been...

Five hopefuls compete for Queen of the Bay, Belmopan
It’s pageant season in Belize and one of the longest-standing and most esteemed pageants is The Queen of the Bay. That is slated for September and so municipalities across the country are in the process of selecting their delegates. This coming Friday, five hopefuls from the Belmopan area will...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Director, Tina Auxillou, on the BIFF red carpet
Director of the Belize International Film Festival short documentary submission about our beloved Chocolate, Tina Auxillou, walks the red carpet at the Festival Gala. Congratulations on breaking yet another record for Caye Caulker. The film’s submission is a first for the island. RED CARPET WITH THE FAMOUS: Actor/Author Robert Townsend (Hollywood Schuffle; A Soldiers Story etc.) Calypso Rose (Calypso/SOCA Queen of the World);Shawn Waight (Belizean Queen); Tina Auxillou, Michael Desabrais (Producer “Roots In The Sea”);Barbara Desabrais (Producer’s Wife Extraordinaire); Tyler Loeper (my son) PHOTO: Courtesy NICH

An American Family Finds Neverland on Caye Caulker
In a blog entry at, an American family slows down on Caye Caulker and Belize, and discovers the mythical paradise called called Neverland of the Peter Pan book.


The 2013 Costa Maya Beauties Pose for Pets at Fido’s Courtyard
It’s Costa Maya Festival time again in San Pedro. This huge yearly event was started in the early 90s and attracts visitors from around Central America and Belize to the island. My favorite part is always the build up…the week before the all weekend party. The international beauty pageant contestants…the delegates, the beauty ambassadors…one representing each of the Central American countries and Mexico, circulate around the island doing restaurant visits, bar promotions, beach photo shoots, fashion shows, radio and tv interviews and just schmoozing with their fans. Always in 6 inch heels and full make-up. I love a retro tuxedo t-shirt…especially with no sleeves. If I’ve seen it once, I’ve seen it a thousand times. Sun’s out…guns out. The night was a success! And all money raised by the photos, the auction, the raffle and donated by Fido’s will go to spaying and neutering animals in town. Remember that it is HIP TO SNIP and that only $50bzd can fix an animal and help control the pet population on Ambergris Caye. Super important.

An Off-the-Beaten Path Perfect Picnic in Belize
While there are so many spectacular things to do in Belize, it’s often the easy day trips that really make a lasting impression. Even the humble picnic can take on a whole new aspect – if you know where to go. For example, there’s the: Rio On Pools – Mountain Pine Ridge This has always been one of my favourite picnics spots in all of Belize. Even on the warmest days Mountain Pine Ridge is always refreshing and is one of those places that may seem like a bit of a drive, but once there you think, “That wasn’t far. Why don’t we come here more often?” About fifteen miles from San Ignacio, it’s on the sort of road you take your time driving on, but the views are so pretty you don’t mind. And it’s truly a “something for everyone” sort of place. For the elderly, those with mobility issues or just feeling lazy that day, you can simply drive up to the picnic area, park, secure a spot at one of the tables or spread a blanket and just take in the view. And what a view it is. Surrounded by 300 square miles of forest reserve featuring those beautiful pines that give the Mountain Pine Ridge its name are a series of ponds formed by cascading waterfalls. With so many different sizes, depth and levels of accessibility, you can take an entire day just getting to know the pools and deciding which are your favourite. Bigger ones with laughing and splashing people for when you feel sociable, and more remote, intimate ones for when you want a bit more seclusion.

No Churn Dulce de Leche Ice Cream
In this video, I use the Dulce de Leche I made last video to make "no churn" ice cream. This flavor has long been my favorite ice cream so I absolutely loved this recipe. I used the whole can of boiled milk, but the ice cream would have been just as great with only half the can.

International Sources

The gay-rights proxy wars in Russia, Uganda and Belize
“I do not pretend to understand the moral universe,” wrote abolitionist minister Theodore Parker in 1853. “The arc is a long one. My eye reaches but little ways. I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by experience of sight. I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends toward justice.” More than a century later, Martin Luther King Jr. paraphrased and popularized that idea. It is often quoted now for its inspirational power and the first part of Parker’s metaphor gets forgotten: the reminder that while freedom might be winning the war, it will not win every battle. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which is based in Montgomery, Alabama and began its life by bringing cases against the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups, published a report in July about this phenomenon. Called Dangerous Liaisons: The American Religious Right and the Criminalization of Homosexuality in Belize, it connects recent victories for tolerance in the U.S., such as the gradual shift toward legal same-sex marriage, with setbacks elsewhere. In some cases, the report suggests, these setbacks are not happening despite the victories in the U.S. but, in part, because of them. Anti-gay groups in the U.S. are spending their considerable resources to support their comrades in places where a critical mass of politicians supports their goals.

Belize Selects FAMCare Human Services Software to Help Track Information and Improve Outcomes for Vulnerable Citizens
The Belize Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, (MHDSTPA) has partnered with Global Vision Technologies, Inc. (GVT) to implement FAMCare human services software for their case management needs. MHDSTPA is the lead entity of the Government of Belize in the development of people, enabling them to realize their full potential and play a meaningful role in their communities. FAMCare, Rapid Case Management Software - is GVT's flagship software platform designed to streamline human services data management. FAMCare will enhance all of the data collection, information management, and reporting tools needed to deliver the best care to the vulnerable population living in Belize. "What we are about to accomplish in the next few months is a feat that I know many of our sister Caribbean states have been trying to accomplish. We are definitely blazing trails here and it seems we could not have asked for a better partner in GVT," said Judith Alpuche, CEO MHDSTPA.

Berks students study ethnobotany in Belize
Students enrolled in the Rainforest Ethnobotany Experiential Learning Adventure to Belize at Penn State Berks traveled to Belize from May 5 to 15 with Aisha Jaffri, instructor in biology, to learn how plants from the rainforest can be used to treat a variety of illnesses. Six seniors participated in the trip, including Kristine Feick, Rebecca James, Abdullah Naeem, Andrew Salamak, Dewilka Simons and Nathaniel Tschudy. "The standard classroom lecture format is not an ideal environment for teaching medicinal plant application,” explained Jaffri. “The students gained firsthand knowledge of the medicinal properties of plants in the rainforests and biodiversity regions of Belize. This demonstrated a tremendous value to our students as they explored the history, culture and geography of the areas visited.” The class teamed up with pharmacy, medical and naturopathic students through the Student Rainforest Fund, a nonprofit, educational organization that raises funds to help underwrite expeditions to the world’s rainforests for college students who are studying the health professions. The students learn about medicinal plants, herbs and botanicals in the world’s greatest pharmacy -- the rainforest. They also work closely with indigenous healers in the field, learn about the ecology of the country and the need for fostering environmental stewardship, and get a more holistic approach to healing and medicine that could never be taught in the classroom.

New expedition to investigate Caribbean endangered coral reef ecosystems
The Catlin Seaview Survey, sponsored by international insurer Catlin Group Limited, has announced a massive expansion of its study of coral reefs with a new campaign in the Caribbean and Bermuda. The program – which will significantly widen opportunities for ocean, coral and climate scientists to understand the changes that are occurring within the region – starts in Belize and moves on to Mexico, Bermuda, Anguilla, St Vincent, Guadeloupe, Turks and Caicos and The Bahamas. Coral reefs in the Caribbean, like elsewhere, are under growing environmental stress. Being highly sensitive to environmental change, corals are considered the “canary in the coal mine” when it comes to impacts of climate change and ocean acidification. Exploitation, pollution, warming waters and increased storms linked with climate change has caused the massive loss of corals across the Caribbean Sea over the last 50 years. Losing coral reefs in this fashion has long-term implications for Caribbean economies given their dependence on coral reefs and other marine ecosystems for goods, services and economic welfare. According to the World Resources Institute, the value of shoreline protection services provided by Caribbean reefs is between $700 million and $2.2 billion per year. Within the next 50 years, continuing coral degradation and death could lead to losses totaling $140 million to $420 million annually.

The Simple Life: Exploring the Best of Belize, From Chocolate to Caves
A tiny country with an even tinier population, Belize is one of the few places on earth where you will find undisturbed jungle, long stretches of placid beach, plenty of organic farms and a healthy handful of people who go without modern conveniences such as electricity and plumbing, yet live contently and peacefully off the fertile land. It is also a place known for one of its more touristy islands, Ambergris Caye, which still, in many ways, is laid back (golf carts are the preferred method of transportation here) and brimming with great local restaurants, chocolate shops, cafes and bakeries. Unfortunately, many people never truly experience the many places in Belize that make the country so alluring. There is much we can learn from a country that values sustainable tourism, its fascinating Mayan history and the health of its natural environment. It is a destination that offers the greatest of simple pleasures rooted in a culture that values community and Mother Nature’s fruitful gifts.

Swimming with Whale Sharks
I’m in Placencia, a sleepy little town at the end of a 20 mile long peninsula in Belize’s Caribbean waters. I awake early in the morning and begin preparing for the day’s adventure. My tiny cabana on the beach has no A/C and I’m already dripping with sweat from the hot, humid air. Knowing that today’s journey to swim with whale sharks came with not-so-great odds of success, I tried not to get too excited about what was to come. Little did I know just how exhilarating the day was destined to be. Whale sharks are the biggest fish on the planet, however they pose little danger to people as they are slow and docile. Swimming with them is an experience sought after by people all over the world and today was going to be my chance. There are few places in the world you can get in the water with whale sharks; and Placencia is one of them. For a few months each year during the cycle of the full moon, they come to feed in Gladden Spit, an area 20+ miles off the coast.

10 Reasons to Relocate to Belize
Consider Belize Sharing a border with Mexico, Guatemala and the Caribbean Sea, the tiny country of Belize has been receiving a lot of attention from expats in recent years. So what does Belize have to offer that has so many people coming back for more? 1. Scenic beauty Only a fraction, around 20% of Belize’s land is used for human purposes (agriculture and settlements) leaving the rest, natural and unspoiled. Filled with majestic landscapes, waterfalls, archaeological sites and thousands of species of plants and animals, there is always something new to experience in Belize. And because Belize has 174 miles of Caribbean coast line, you can enjoy the beach life and the exotic rainforests all in one day. Conservation efforts are an important aspect of government policy in Belize and because of this, much of the land and animal life remains protected. Belize is even home to the only jaguar reserve in the world. 2. 2nd largest barrier reef in the world Belize is known for its marine life, especially the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is actually the longest living barrier reef in the western hemisphere and the second largest in the world, after Australia. Belize’s top tourist attraction, people come from around the world each year to swim, snorkel, and scuba dive in this breathtaking, natural wonderland. 3. Slow pace of life Nicknamed “Belize time”, the pace of life in Belize is significantly slower, and for many expats, it can be a dream come true. Unlike in North America, and many other places in the world, the people in Belize don’t seem to be in such a hurry. Instead, they have a more leisurely attitude towards life and work that is embraced by many expats and a bit of an adjustment for others. And for an even bigger taste of the Belize laid-back lifestyle, visit Caye Caulker, a 5 mile island off the coast of Belize. One mile west of the barrier reef, you can take a water taxi to the tiny island and spend your time swimming, snorkelling, fishing, or simply relaxing on the beach.

The Garifuna Collective on the Road
The Garifuna Collective is on their 2 month North American tour right now, and they have started an indiegogo campaign to help raise funds for their journey. They have uploaded a video on the page from their rehearsal at the Soul Project here in Cayo. They'll spend 55 days on the road, travel 18,450 miles, and will have had 275 Hotel rooms when it's all finished.

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