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9/21/2013 to 9/30/2013
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September 30, 2013


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Wolfe’s Woofers: First Confession
“Hey, Dennis. I’ll be ready in a few minutes.” “Take your time Steve,” I said. “I’ll gladly wait.” My friend Steve had offered me a ride in his car from Belmopan to Belize City. I hate riding the bus so I was looking forward to the trip. “We have to make one stop,” Steve said. [...]

Doctor Love: Best Friends
Readers, please send your letters. They can be emails, formal letters or handwritten notes. They are edited solely for grammar and spelling. Also, they are sometimes edited for length. Dear Doctor Love, My best friend has a terrible habit of going off on a subject until it drives me crazy to have to listen to [...]

Misc Belizean Sources

Benque Viejo Art Fiesta
Pictures from the Benque Art Fiesta celebrating the duocennial anniversary of the Benque House of Culture.

SI United Start Season
The SI United hosted the Freedom Fighters yesterday at Broaster Stadium, at 3:30pm. They had some live music for halftime. The Premier League of Belize has posted this season's schedule on their page. Go, United! "San Ignacio United host their first match of the 2013/14 season at home this Sunday VS 'P.G. Paradise/Freedom Fighter'!!"


Belize Charge d' Affaires Now Ambassador To Taiwan
The China Post, a Taiwanese English language daily has recently reported that Cherie Minette Nisbet, Belize’s former charge d’affaires at the Embassy of Belize in Taiwan, has been promoted to the post of ambassador to Taiwan. The post reported that Nisbet presented a certified copy of a letter of credence to Foreign Minister David Lin on Sept. 16. The announcement was made by Florencia Hsieh, deputy director-general of MOFA's Department of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs. Hsieh also said that Ms. Nisbet will soon present the official letter of credence to President Ma Ying-jeou to officially assume the post of ambassador to the R.O.C.

International Sources

Los Cumbancheros come to town
Cumbancha (Afro-Cuban slang for “an impromptu gathering or party,” which sounds very close to the Trini lime) launched with Watina, an album which has since been voted “the Best World Music album of all time.” Watina brought together the Belizean Garifuna spokesman, cultural activist and former Punta Rock star Andy Palacio and the multi-generational Garifuna Collective on an album originally produced by the Belizean arranger/musician/Stonetree Records founder Ivan Duran. The project was close to Edgar’s heart—reviving Caribbean folkloric and roots music by using modern arrangements, traditional as well as electric instrumentation to take the music “in new creative directions.” Edgar had been captivated by the music of the Garifuna (Black Caribs exiled from St Vincent by the British in 1797, who subsequently settled on the coast of Honduras, Belize and Ecuador) when researching in Costa Rica. He licensed songs from Andy Palacio for Putumayo after hearing him on tour in Canada. He laughingly admits to playing conch shell on Watina, which he exclusively licensed from Stonetree, to give it the benefit of the marketing and distribution his Putumayo/Cumbancha networks offered.

New Report Explores Seven of the World’s Best Islands for Good-Value Living
“If you want to ‘get away from it all,’ tropical-island style, there may be no place better in Belize to do it than Caye Caulker, says editor Glynna Prentice. This five-mile-long island—only half of which is really inhabited—sits in dream-worthy, turquoise Caribbean waters.” The ocean is visible from almost every place on the island, the sun glinting off the waves. With its laid-back style, Caye Caulker gets its share of young, active tourists. But it appeals to older expats, too. They come for its simple lifestyle, stunning views, and for still-affordable seaside real estate. (A small one-bedroom, one-bath condo with a rooftop terrace and sunset views is for sale now for $150,000.)

Caribbean buoyed by UK sales resurgence
New resorts, extra flight capacity and interest in lesser-known islands is fuelling a resurgence in sales to the Caribbean. Carol Hay, the Caribbean Tourism Organisation’s marketing director for the UK and Europe, said 2013 was already looking more positive than last year, when sales declined due to rising APD and the weak UK economy. Seven new resorts are due to open across the Caribbean, and Hay said demand was growing for off-the-beaten-track destinations such as Montserrat, Curacao, Belize and Puerto Rico. “This reveals the Caribbean has a wide potential customer base that includes not only families and honeymooners, but ‘wanderlusters’ and adventure seekers too,” she added.

September 29, 2013


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Police Report
On Saturday, September 21st at 1:47AM San Pedro Police responded to a distress call of gun shots being fired in the Bayside area of San Pedro Town. On arriving at the scene police encountered a Creole male fleeing from the area carrying a black object resembling a 9mm pistol on his right hand. The area was searched, and Luis Rubio Peterson was detained as he hid under a house. Police retrieved a black 9mm pistol, four 9mm live rounds and three 9mm expelled shells on further inspection of the area. Peterson has been charged for Carrying an Unlicensed Firearm in public.

Residents Help ACES Capture Problematic Croc
On the morning of September 22nd the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES) team finally caught the 11-foot problematic crocodile in San Juan, Ambergris Caye. Calls came to ACES about the problem crocodile from people south of the area who were missing pets and from a member of the San Pedro Town Council who saw the crocodile come out dangerously close to children at play. Due to the lack of holding pens on the island, the captured crocodile spent the evening in a cool apartment under the bed. The next afternoon, September 23rd members of the Boca Del Rio community helped ACES load the animal aboard the Quality Poultry Products shipping vessel. Donating the cost of transporting this amazing animal to Belize City is greatly appreciated and ACES commends Quality Poultry, their personal and their generosity in helping to save Belize’s wildlife. The American crocodile, named Price by the residents of San Juan (because he was caught the morning after Independence Day celebrations), will go into a secure habitat at the ACES Sanctuary at the Caribbean Shrimp Farm in Ladyville.

Misc Belizean Sources

Climate change warning for Caribbean
The Belize-based Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) says the recently released Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group I assessment report should serve as a “further wakeup” for the region that it cannot continue to do business as usual. It said the report titled: Climate Change 2013: the Physical Science Basis”, confirms the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)” longstanding call to limit global temperature rise to 1.50 degrees centigrade.

Howler Monkey at SIRH
The San Ignacio Resort Hotel has a howler monkey on their property. A guest first spotted it, and it was confirmed this week. Add this to all the species of birds they have, and the Green Iguana Conservation Project, and the term 'in town jungle' really hits the nail on the head. "A few weeks ago, a guest at our Hotel mentioned one evening that he heard a Howler Monkey just right outside his room. Well, since we have never encountered Howler Monkeys at our Hotel, we believed he had just gotten confused with another animal more commonly found on our Hotel grounds. So we thought... On Thursday the 19th, our Chief Engineer mentioned that he heard Howler Monkeys down by the river somewhere amongst our 17 acre private estate. I found this testimony interesting since this was the second mention of Howler Monkeys over the past few weeks. Later that afternoon at about 2:00pm, we finally got a glimpse of the infamous creature that has been the talk of the Hotel over the past weeks."

Fashion Take Over at The Belize Zoo
Monica Gallardo has released some incredible pictures from her photoshoot at the Belize Zoo. Miss Belize, Destinee Arnold is in some of them, as are some newlyweds. You get a good behind the scenes look of the photoshoot, and get to see some of the animals at the zoo, including Lucky Boy. Joris Hendrik designed the dress that Destinee wore. Great shots, Monica! "When She explained the shoot it all sounded very fun and exciting but never did I expect her to tell me a wedding editorial shoot at the ZOO!"

SOFTBALL NATIONALS 2013 (6 photos)
The 23rd National Women's Softball Championship is being held this weekend at the Rogers Stadium in Belize City. The game is being played with a pink ball and the tournament is dedicated to breast cancer survivors and awareness.

10 reasons why you should visit Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker is the second most inhabited island in the country of Belize. It is a fishing village of about 2,000 or so inhabitants which is slowly finding its way towards tourism as a staple of the economy. For its rather small size, the island is very cosmopolitan. People from at least a dozen or more countries call the island home. So what draws people here? The easy-going pace of life here is an attraction, but it's not the only attraction. Here are 10 reasons why you should visit Caye Caulker.


Minor Accuses Her Uncle Of Sexually Abusing Her
There is a disturbing report coming out of Corozal tonight involving sexual allegations by a twelve year old minor. Information is still a bit sketchy, but we understand that the twelve year old minor visited the Corozal Police station along with her minor to make the report. The minor reported to the officers that on Wednesday, August 28th of this year, she was at her grandmother’s house visiting and present at the time was her uncle. The minor alleges that she was called by her uncle into his room and upon entering he quickly grabbed her and pulled her towards him causing her to fall backwards on the bed.

Two Detained For Orchestrating Their Robbery
In last night’s newscast, we broke to you a story involving a robbery at the Corozal Free Zone. Reports reaching our newsroom this morning indicate that Orange Walk Police have recovered the vehicle used in this robbery and abandoned in the village of San Jose. The police report indicates that the robbery occurred sometime around 1:30 in the afternoon of the 26th of September by Kunal Store. Thirty-six year old Devender Tewani reported to police that while at the Free Zone, he received a call from one Doris Noble in which she asked to change some Belize dollars into Pesos. Tewani proceeded to meet with Noble who was parked in her vehicle by Nittin Sai Imports and upon arrival, he entered Noble’s vehicle which is a four door Jeep Patriot, to the right front passenger seat.

Opposition Questions Why No One Has Been Charged For Passport Scandal
One of the scandals that were protested outside of the House was that of former Junior Minister Elvin Penner for his involvement in the sale of a Belizean Passport to a South Korean who is detained in a Taiwanese jail. The news was broken late last week when word came out from Belmopan that he was fired from Cabinet when Prime Minister Barrow became aware of the incident. Inside of the House this morning, Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca questioned why nobody else has been reprimanded for this incident. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition “Mr. Speaker, we and the Belizean people have to hold the prime minister responsible because he is the one who appointed the member for Cayo Northeast to this position of Minister of State with responsibility for immigration knowing fully well, he knew, he knew that he was creating a very, very dangerous situation by doing that. He knew, it was well documented before the elections, during the elections and after the elections, they knew it was well documented that this particular member for Cayo Northeast had abused the rules and regulations governing that department, he knew it.

Dangriga Residents Take On Belmopan They Tell GOB "We want Our Market"
Today’s sitting of the House went through the third readings of several Bills quite quickly, as has become the norm under the UDP Administration. And while those inside of the House passed legislation and spoke on the issues of the day, a crowd of disgruntled Belizeans protested the long list of corruption that has been headlining newscasts throughout Belize in the recent weeks. Irvin Aragon and Jesus Melgar have that story. Irvin Aragon- Reporter Though the numbers can be considered somewhat minimal the message is clear they are tired of the promises and are now demanding action. The people of Belize but in particular the people of Dangriga Town were out in full force displaying their utmost displeasure at the wanton corruption of the Government of the day.


Isla Mujeres, Mexico: A Continued Look Around and Three Interesting Facts about Cancun, Israel & The Island’s First MicroBrewed Beer
In my first post about Isla Mujeres, Mexico, I documented my first morning (well until 10am) on the island. I started on the north side in El Centro where most tourists (including me) stay. I took a taxi to the middle of the island (where many residents live) and then continued south to see the beach, the turtles and some other interesting stuff. The graves are packed so close together that you need to step on and over to move around. I feel bad just typing that but it’s true. Interesting fact to me #1: The first hotel in Cancun was built in 1972. So just over 40 years ago, Cancun was just a bunch of mosquitoes and mangroves and Isla Mujeres, primarily a fishing village, was actually hosting intrepid tourists – mostly divers. Behind the cemetary is the gorgeous beach. The sand is white powdery always cool perfection and the water is calm and no more than waste deep for at least one hundred feet.

International Sources

The truth about travelling alone as a woman
TRAVEL writer Shannon O’Donnell, 29, left her home in Florida five years ago to explore the world. Much of that time has been spent alone: she has visited more than 40 countries, and about 25 of those solo. Shannon, author of the book The Volunteer Traveler’s Handbook and travel website reveals the ups and downs of solo travel as a woman, along with her safety tips. “Concerns about my safety on the road plagued those who love and care about me when I first announced my plan to travel solo around the world. Most of my friends had never heard of someone taking a round-the-world trip, and add the media portrayals of non-Western countries and you might think most places are fraught with peril at every corner. When I was in Belize I had a decision to make and I erred on the side of caution because it made me intensely uncomfortable to do something that some other travellers easily think is okay. I was at the Blue Hole, a very popular dive site off the coast of Belize, and I had planned, dreamt, of diving there for years. Once I arrived though, I didn’t like the attitudes of the dive companies — many take down very novice divers even though it’s a difficult dive. The thought of diving that deep made me nervous, and I just didn’t think seeing the caves 43 metres below the water was worth the risk — I realised I didn’t care enough about the experience to put myself on what I perceive was a risky dive. So I didn’t. I wouldn’t have stayed calm, and that could prove fatal in diving that deep, when there is no margin for error.

Rainforest Eyes Big Lobster Markets In US
Rainforest Seafoods is banking on revenue improvement through exports to the United States in 2014. It involves a new push by the company into the lobster market. "Honduras and The Bahamas have always been the primary Caribbean lobster-tail suppliers to the United States," says Rainforest Manager Max Jardim. "Jamaica's reputation re quality has always been subpar. We plan to change that," he said. Earlier this year, Rainforest Seafoods completed construction of a 30,000-square foot plant in Kingston. The US$10 million investment is meant to fuel its product and market expansions, and is now the largest seafood-oriented plant in the Caribbean, its owners say. The company, founded by Max's father, Brian Jardim, is based in Montego Bay. Rainforest also has offices in Guyana, Belize, and Honduras, with its own processing plants and fishing vessels in those locations. Founded in 1997, the company employs 350 persons and distributes more than 400 types of fish and shellfish.

The 5 Types Of Traveler You Don't Want To Be... Or Be With
Ever traveled with someone who could use a vacation personality overhaul? Do you (gasp!) need a vacation personality overhaul? Use this handy symptom checker to diagnose travel ailments, and learn to deal before they taint your next trip. The Timekeeper, The Scardey Cat, The Underpacker, The Hippie, The Texter.

September 28, 2013


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Meet your National AIDS Commission Island Committee members
The National AIDS Commission Island Committee was established to carry out the local aspect of the National Response to HIV following the guidelines of the National AIDS Commission. The entity is commissioned by the Government of Belize to carry out this function. The committee is made up of a multi-sectoral body. The San Pedro Sun takes this opportunity to present the members of the executive body to you – the community that they serve. This week, we take the opportunity to Nurse Robertha Herrera. Robertha serves as treasurer of the NAC Island Committee as well as Rural Health Nurse, phlebotomist and counselor. Being at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez PolyClinic II for just over two years, Robertha is no stranger to residents of San Pedro.

San Pedro Police receive coffee maker
The San Pedro Police Department (SPPD) is determined to keep the residents of San Pedro safe from harm and maintain order in the community. In doing so, they work countless hours. With this in mind, Councilor Gabriel “Gaby” Nunez has made a kind donation of a brand new coffee maker to the SPPD to give them a boost during their late night and early morning shifts. Receiving the gift was Commanding Officer, Luis Castellanos whom is grateful for the people’s support of the SPPD. Castellanos and the entire police force would also like to thank Councilor Gabriel “Gaby” Nunez, Samuel Gomez, and Karim Maroun of BOAZ Golf Cart Rental, for loaning vehicles during the September Celebrations weekend. They also thank the general public for exercising control and good behavior during the festivities, since crime was at a minimum.

Potential inconvenience from Saca Chispas construction traffic
The public is hereby informed that over the weekend of Friday 27th September and Sunday 29th September 2013 two tun dump trucks will be utilizing the roadways between Port and the Southern end of San Pedro Town and the site of the new Sunset Board walk and water taxi terminal at the Saca Chispas Football Field. The trucks will transport large loads of fill material and some temporary public inconvenience through traffic congestion, noise and dust is expected. Please be sure that every effort will be made to minimize disruption to normal traffic flow and any inconvenience caused. We thank you for your patience and support in our ongoing partnership to uplift and revitalize this area of San Pedro Town.

Visiting Ecuadoran Ambassador meets with Mayor of San Pedro Town
On September 18th, ten visiting ambassadors presented their credentials to the Governor General of Belize His Excellency Sir Colville Young. Amongst the ten dignitaries was His Excellency Segundo Rafael Andrango-Bonilla of Ecuador. While in Belize, Andrango-Bonilla took time out to visit Ambergris Caye, where he paid a courtesy call to the Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero and met with members of the Town Council. The ambassador expressed his willingness in strengthen the ties between municipalities in Ecuador and San Pedro Town. They also discussed mutual areas of concern and where they can exchange technical and cultural support, especially in the area of music. After the courtesy call, Mayor Guerrero hosted the Ambassador to a lunch, which was followed by a tour of La Isla Bonita.

Ambergris Today

Tour Western Dairies, King of Dairy Products
The staff at WD works arduously to make sure that operations run smoothly during production days. The milk received at WD is tested for impurities and water; once it is approved, the milk goes through pasteurization, homogenization and production of the best ice cream in the country. Walking though the facility we can see how clean and well kept all the machinery and environment really is. The company takes pride in keeping up their standards and quality. Other fine products from Western Dairies include Milk (Fresh Milk, Skim Milk, Low Fat Milk and Flavored Milk – Strawberry & Chocolate, Chocolate Chillers and Strawberry Banana & Chocolate Energy Drink), Butter, Yogurt (Peach, Raspberry, Strawberry, Black Cherry, Plain, Mango, Mango/Pineapple, Guava and Piña Colada), Sour Cream, Cheese (Cheddar, Mozzarella, Chef Master Mozzarella, Queso Fresco and Cottage Cheese). Apart from producing dairy products WD also bottles and distributes Purified Water and Fruit Flavored Drinks (500ml – flavors include Peach, Apple, Pineapple, Tangerine, Cola, Lime, Strawberry, Grape, Orange and Fruit Punch.) They are all great products and very delicious.

Mystery Garbage Appears Along Coastlines of San Pedro and Caye Caulker
Since the past weekend residents of San Pedro started to notice some garbage washing ashore at various locations on the island. It was a mixture of old plastic containers and seaweed. But it was until late Wednesday evening that residents of Caye Caulker were shocked to notice miles of garbage drifting just offshore and eventually making it onto their shoreline. One resident of Caye Caulker recorded seeing a seven mile stretch of garbage off that island. Puzzled by the large quantity of garbage littering the waters and beaches, residents of both islands have been questioning if the garbage is coming from the cruise ships that make port in Belize City. But it is easy to disregard this assumption as just looking at the content of the garbage one can tell that it is not coming from the cruise ships. The composition of the garbage is that mainly of old broken plastic containers, gallons, Styrofoam, plastic wrappers, syringes and even shoes that have clearly been disposed of for a long time.

The Placencia Village Council Supports Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has received public, positive support from The Placencia Village Council for the line’s planned new eco-friendly cruise destination on Harvest Caye in Belize. The Placencia Village council made a public decision to support Norwegian’s eco-friendly destination on Harvest Caye. In addition, the Placencia Village council expressed their trust in the Government of Belize (GOB) and Norwegian to remain committed to protecting Belize’s local eco-system including manatee areas, surrounding mangroves, local swimming and local fishing areas during the destination’s development and operation.

Education in Belize: Breaking Free (Part II)
This past week I received very many emails and Facebook messages with readers’ comments regarding my thoughts on Belize’s September celebrations of Independence, and on its “Breaking Free”. Since this topic resonated with many readers, especially Belizeans who shared their many thoughts on the subject with me, this week I offer more ideas along these lines. To break oneself free of a habit or custom, whether it’s positive or negative, is by far much easier said than done. Adapting to change is never easy for anyone, especially when he/she is set in his/her ways. (To both my young adult sons, I humbly and publicly offer my “mea culpa”.) Painful examples of peoples and countries throughout history that chose to break free of domineering rulers show that they went to great lengths, including fighting (civil) wars that incurred many deaths and great suffering, before being able to freely choose their very own path(s). Moreover, people throughout the world who were once enslaved also had to fight and suffer greatly for long periods of time, both physically and emotionally, before finally gaining their emancipation and freedom.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Prime Minister Barrow's Independence Day Address

International Coastal Cleanup!
International Coastal Cleanup is today. Oceana, Hol Chan Marine Reserve, students from San Pedro High School and the San Pedro Leo’s Club are leading the charge to clean up beach areas on Ambergris Caye. On Ambergris Caye, there will be two groups – one that will be going to clean the beach at the turtle nesting grounds and the other group cleaning the beach downtown. The group going up north is completed and they meet at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve Office. The second group that will clean the downtown beaches meet at the Boca del Rio Park. Gloves, garbage bags and water will be provided. Everyone can join in the cleanup effort. We meet between 8:30 AM. Let’s all come out and clean our beaches and other coastal areas. For more information, call Jorge Aldana at 634-1171, 662-0143.

Take the pictorial tour of Wild Orchid’s marina villas in Belize
A couple of weeks back we gave you the lowdown on Wild Orchid’s incredible location in Placencia, Belize. Today, we’d like to bring you some of the highlights of the project’s marina villas. It all starts with Wild Orchid’s modern architecture, featuring wooden trellises, Egyptian white shell stone, floating stairs, water featured entryways and oversized entrance doors. Inside, floor-to-ceiling sliding doors and large windows allow residents to take in the impressive views that the coastal country offers.

Cave Systems of Belize
One of Belize’s premier tourism magazines promotes the country of Belize as having the best of two worlds, and surely so, as the marine and the terrestrial environments have so much to offer. Each of these natural environments are springboards to diverse exotic natural environments that are unparalleled to anything in this world. In the marine environment, a trip to Blue Hole, a coral island or the reef is enough to mesmerize you for days. A similar trip inland to any of the towns experiencing its culture and tradition, and tasting the food would have you marveling until you come back to Belize again. In Belize, however there exists another world seen and sometimes unseen, that is subterranean in nature called the underworld or better known to scientists as the Cave Systems of Belize.

Benque Art Fiesta
The Benque House of Culture is having an Art Fiesta for their duodecennial anniversary today. The Rompe Rajas Band will be there, and of course, the Benque Marimba Academy will be playing. They'll have plenty of art and informational booths too, along with the Benque Marching Band. The festivities start at 2:00pm in Centennial park. The Mopan Polyclinic will be administering free tetanus shots. Happy anniversary to the Benque House of Culture. Life in Benque pictures.

Rotary Wine and Cheese Fundraiser
The Rotary Club of Belmopan is having their annual Wine and Cheese party fundraiser tonight at the George Price Centre. They'll have their famous silent auction, and raffles and plenty of suprises. This will help fund their Belize Children's Project, which helps get treatment for children with osteopathic diseases, greatly improving their quality of life. Thanks, Rotary! "To support The Belize Children's Project, an ongoing program helping over 350 children suffering from skeletal and muscular abnormalities."

Channel 7

Penner Speaks, Says Citizen Kim Is A Case Of Identity Fraud
The House of Representatives met today and though Elvin Penner wasn't there, he was much discussed - and we'll have that shortly. But first, to a strange and compelling email we got a few hours ago. The e-mail purports to come from Elvin Penner - who has made no significant comment since he was forced to resign from cabinet eight days ago. We tried to verify its authenticity by texting him but got no response. But we are treating it as real based on the fact that it comes from Penner's known email address - the same one listed as his reference on the Passport Application for Won Hong Kim. In the email, Penner says that there's been a major mix up. He says, quote, "The events that have been unfolding at the Immigration Department came as a surprise to me as much as they did to you and certainly the Public at large." He continues, quote, "What I do know is that (an) Asian person whom I have known through business trips ,even before I entered politics, came to me for a signature so he could get his passport. He also mention that he needed it urgently since he was about to go on a trip and was more than willing to pay the regular one day service fee."

PM Says Penner Didn’t Denies Backdating Nationality Certificate
Now, that's something... Again, it's an email and we could not verify with absolute certainty that it was sent by Penner, but it does come from his known email address. And while the explanation offered in the mail sets things in a different light - that it was a case of identity fraud - not a fraudulent passport - there are still other issues. Most prominent among them is the backdated nationality document - which is dated April 22, 2013, for a passport issue don September 9th, 2013. Today, at the House of Representatives, the Prime Minister told the public what Penner said about this. But first, the leader of the opposition spoke, basically telling the PM that he had put a rat to mind the cheese:... Hon. Francis Fonseca "But ultimately Mr. Speaker, we and the Belizean people have to hold the Prime Minister responsible because he is the one who appointed the member for Cayo North East to this position of Minister of State with responsibility for Immigration knowing fully well - he knew that he was creating a very dangerous situation by doing that."

Dangriga Mayor, Cola, Contractors Protest SIF
And while that's what was happening in the house - outside there was a protest. It was a mixed affair with three different interests coming together to voice their condemnation of government actions. And, they voiced it very loudly - not quite loud enough to be heard in the chamber, but as Jules Vasquez found out, it was not for want of trying:.. Jules Vasquez reporting Today's crowd was by no means overwhelming - probably less than a hundred - but what they lacked in numbers - the made up for in volume. Geovanni Brackett, President - COLA "Our people have been put aside, have been made to shame but today is the day that the revolution has started. So we say "charge Penner now." [Crowd chanting: charge Penner now]." It was a mixed bag of issues - COLA wanted to charge Elvin Penner, The investors in Kennard Smart's project want their hundreds of thousands back while the PUP Mayor from Dangriga brought his drums - he wanted them to finish his market:

25 Year Old Charged For Killing High Schooler In OW
Last night, 7News told you about 25 Keith Gaynair, the man charged for the stabbing death of 18 year-old Darrell Wade Jr., well tonight, we have confirmed that he has been arraigned in the Orange Walk Magistrate's Court. Police say that they have recorded a number of witness statements, and along with the quick detention of Gaynair, plus the recovery of what is believed to be the murder weapon, police charged him yesterday with murder. He has been remanded to prison, and he will be brought back to court on November 14, his next court date. According to Darrell Wade's mother, the students who were with Wade at the time, said that he gave his life to save a friend.

Medina Escapes Drunk Driving Charge
2 months ago, we told you about the serious accident on the Western Highway, which left well-known Belize City Auctioneer, Kevin Castillo hospitalized. Well today, 35 year-old David Medina Jr., the man who police say was driving the vehicle which slammed into Castillo's, was taken to court for criminal charges in relation to the accident. As we told you, the accident happened on July 29, between miles 25 and 26 on the Western Highway. Castillo was driving to Belmopan while Medina Jr. was heading to Belize City. Eyewitnesses told us that Medina overtook her, and ended up in Castillo's lane, which caused the accident because Castillo couldn't react in time. Both men ended up with serious bodily injuries, and today, after receiving treatment at the hospital, police marched Medina Jr., who still had difficulty walking, to appear in front of the Magistrate's Court along with his attorney Arthur Saldivar. He was read charges of driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention and negligent grievous harm.

Reports: Succotz Queen Suspended
On Monday, 7News told you about 18 year-old Yancy Bautista, the Miss Independence 2013, who caused quite a commotion in Succotz Village on Independence Day. As we told you, she was chosen as the winner of the Miss Independence Pageant, but she refused to accept the crown. And so, at the coronation of the runner up, she snatched the crown off her head, ran away and broke it. She told us that it was her stance against what she called political games being played with the pageant because she wasn't given what she was promised as the winner. While she made her point crystal clear, she did commit a criminal offence. So, on Tuesday, she made nice with the pageant organizers agreeing to apologize to everyone, and in return, they wouldn't press charges. And while those worries are behind her, she has others. 7News has been reliably informed that her school, Mopan Technical High School, is considering suspending Yancy for 2 weeks. We've been trying to contact the school all day, but our calls have gone unanswered. We do know however, that if the suspension is to take effect, the school intends to enforce it starting next week Monday.

OW Town Council Made Payroll, GOB Says It Won’t Help
When we left you last night, it was with the news that the Orange Walk Town Board was facing a financial crisis; its Belize Bank account had been frozen - and they faced the prospect that they wouldn't be able to pay their workers. The blame according to the PUP Mayor Kevin Bernard was that the UDP Government had not paid off an 11 thousand dollar overdraft which the council's UDP predecessors had left behind. Well today it came up as a matter of public interest which the prime minister discussed at the opening of the House Meeting. First off, he scolded the media:.. Prime Minister Dean Barrow "I must first of all point out that the 2 stations; Channel 5 and Channel 7, whose reports I saw are guilty either of malice or the greatest possible incompetence. They both said that the freezing of the accounts of the Orange Walk Town Council by the Belize Bank occurred in consequence of an overdraft that the Council has at the Belize Bank which overdraft was guaranteed by the Government of Belize. That is absolutely not the case." "I would have hope that by now our media would have tried to develop the kind of sense of responsibility that would have obliged them to either do their homework or to make a simple call to the Ministry of Finance."

Man Accused Of Multiple Sexual Assaults
Tonight, 52 year-old Michael Davis is at prison tonight after he was taken to court for allegations of repeated sexual abuse against a 14 year-old girl. According to police, the minor reported that on four separate occasions in last year, Davis had intercourse with her in their village. As a result of her report, police arrested and charged Davis with 4 counts of carnal knowledge, and he was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. He was remanded to prison due to the nature of the offences, and he will be brought back to court on October 28. And on that date, Davis must also answer to a separate offence of indecent assault, which he allegedly committed against an 18 year-old girl. According to the report of that female, she was sleeping in her home on November 13, 2012, when she woke up Davis was fondling her. He was charged with aggravated assault of an indecent nature. Davis claims that he is a religious leader in his community.

BTL, Lower Profits Higher Dividend
Four years have passed since government took over BTL in 2009. Since then, the company has faced myriad legal entanglements with the Ashcroft Alliance, but operationally it's been smooth going. And that's because after going through Ashcroft, Prosser, back to Ashcroft and then to Government, BTL's staff have learned how to manage change like pro's. That has keep the company profitable - and to keep shareholders interested, the government controlled company put back in the provision in its articles which ensures that a dividend of no less than 45% of profits is paid annually. That's why there's always a nice crowd at the Annual General Meetings, and it was no different last night as Jules Vasquez found out:... Jules Vasquez reporting BTL's 7th Annual General meeting drew a good sized crowd of regular small shareholders for the country's largest publicly held company. And while the crowd was good, the news wasn't great. The Board of Directors reported that the company's profits were down by 5.5 million, its gross earnings down by 1.5 million and its earnings per share down from 53 cents to 42 cents.

Stake Bank Makes It Official
As we first reported you last week, The Feinstein Group's development for Stake Bank and North Drown Caye has gotten full environmental clearance. As we told you the National Environmental Appraisal Committee met 2 weeks ago to review the projects, and they found 2 issues which they looked at more closely: those being the fuel lighters which was proposed to use to refuel cruise ships, and the impact on the Swallow Caye Wildlife Sanctuary which the building of a mega-causeway. Stake Bank Island, located 4 nautical miles south east of Belize City, is proposed as a cruise ship port and an entertainment centre for cruise ship passengers and crew members.

David Gegg Defends Discovery Expeditions
And while Feinstein is on the rise, as we told you yesterday, another tourism giant, David Gegg, is having major financial troubles. His company, Discovery Expeditions Belize Limited, has been placed in receivership as of Monday. As we showed you last year, he was having problems meeting arrears with the General Sales Tax Department, owing as much as three hundred thousand dollars, he says that his financial troubles have nothing to do with the performance of the business. According to Gegg, in 2007 the company secured the confidence of Atlantic Bank, after securing administrative clearances for 2 projects, one in Belize City and the other in San Pedro. He says that these projects were supposed to generate new sources of revenue which would have dealt with his company's obligation to the bank. Gegg says that in both cases, political interference blocked the projects from materializing, and as a result, his Discovery Expeditions had to absorb all the financial obligations which he made with the bank.

Celebrating Cancer Awareness
October is celebrated as breast cancer awareness month and in solidarity, this morning Cancer survivor Kim Simplis Barrow launched a campaign called "Paint Belize Pink". A ribbon was installed on the Whitfield Tower, and we found out why. Kim Simplis Barrow "The "Paint Belize Pink" campaign is really to encourage people to wear their pink ribbons, to wear their pink shirts, to wear anything pink. To light a candle for those who have lost the battle. To change their bulb to pink. To keep the hope alive and really to encourage people to do their self-breast examinations that is so very important. To go and get tested." "We encourage women and men because as you know men too can get breast cancer and so we want to keep the fire burning for all our victims and we want to make sure they are remembered in a very special way." Reporter "How long will this campaign lasts?" Kim Simplis Barrow "The entire month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and I know that the Cancer Society countrywide will be doing different activities."

DFC Is 50?
Today, the Development Finance Corporation celebrated 50 years of service to the Belizean people, and on the anniversary, all offices countrywide began an effort to rebrand the company's logo and reputation. The lending institution wants to increase its reach with the Belizean people as lending institution, and as a result, they conducted a survey to find out how the public views the organization. After that survey, they came up with the new image that they want associated with their brand, and today, they held an unveiling. Our colleagues at CAN Network attended that event, and they spoke with the DFC General Manager. She told them about what this new logo represents given the fact that DFC has serious challenges all the way up to 2009: DFC General Manager "The transition has been tremendous. When we resume lending in 2009 the corporation as you all know had suspended lending since 2005 and absolutely no monies went into loans from the corporation."

Penner Confirms
And, before we close tonight, we note that during the news we received text message confirmation form Elvin Penner that it is he who sent us that compelling email which we headlined with. As we explained, Penner states that he is a victim of identity fraud because the person who he signed for is known to him - but it's not the same person appearing in the pictures shown in the media. We note that Won Hong Kim, the prisoner in Tawian has been extradited to South Korea according to most recent reports from South Korea. They say he was extradited at 8:20 on Thursday night and he is described as being the main culprit behind the massive embezzlement scheme

Channel 5

Prime Minister responds to concerns about the investigation into passport scandal
The House of Representatives met today in Belmopan where a number of laws, including the High Seas Fishing and Medical Practice bills, were tabled.  The introduction of the former legislation [...]

Nationality section exempted from inquiry; P.M. explains
According to the prime minister, the inquiry cannot focus on the nationality section of the department since it is the minister’s signature that was affixed to the document.   Prime [...]

Fonseca says PM is responsible for issue at Immigration and Nationality Department
Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca, in raising the matter, says that responsibility for what has transpired falls squarely at the feet of Prime Minister Barrow since he appointed Penner [...]

Angry protestors take on Belmopan for anti-corruption march
The last demonstration on Independence Hill in Belmopan was held in February, so it’s safe to say that in light of the recent controversies one was overdue. There have been [...]

P.M. versus Orange Walk mayor; Barrow says ministry not responsible for frozen accounts
On Thursday, the Belize Bank froze the accounts of the Orange Walk Town Council, bringing its daily operations to a screeching halt. The issue is an overdraft facility acquired and [...]

Mayor Bernard says PM’s personal attack on him unwarranted
The Prime Minister also punctuated his tongue-lashing of the Orange Walk Town Council with a personal jab at Mayor Kevin Bernard. In questioning the managing of the town’s finances by [...]

Castro gets a touch of woman fum fum
While former Minister of State Elvin Penner was nowhere to be seen today, his colleague Edmund Castro took his usual seat in the House. Castro has thus far escaped official [...]

Repeat sex offender back before the courts
Fifty-two-year-old Michael Davis, a deacon of Crooked Tree Village, is back in prison after being accused of committing a sexual offense against a minor.  According to the teenager, in July [...]

Employing a pair of immigrants without valid permits can land you before the court
Chinese national, twenty-three year-old Jing Mao Tan, proprietor of Lucky King Noodles Factory, was arraigned in the magistrates’ court this morning after being busted for employing a pair of immigrants [...]

A bill to update criminal code for sexual offences against children
As we reported earlier, the House meeting today saw both sides of the floor trading barbs over the passport scandal, which has seen the Minister of State, Elvin Penner fired [...]

Paint Belize Pink for Cancer
Paint Belize Pink….it’s the name of a new campaign by the Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children. With the month of October observed as Breast Cancer Awareness [...]

DFC celebrates 50th anniversary
The Development Finance Corporation is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary. Established in 1963, the DFC is a lending organization that provides loans for agriculture, housing, education and tourism. And today, at [...]

Mega Bingo is back…
The Mega Bingo Game Show is back… After almost a year of being on indefinite hiatus, following the broad daylight murder of its owner, Alfred Schakron, on Coney Drive in [...]


Sexual Offences Focused on In Criminal Code Amendment Bill
At the sitting of the House of Representatives today, the Criminal Code Amendment Bill addressing sexual offences was introduced. This is a bill addressing sexual offences against children and persons with mental disabilities and today, Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis-Barrow says her office has been working over five years to get the code updated. KIM SIMPLIS BARROW “It was a long process because we were consulting with judges and the different sectors to ensure that we have our entire basis covered. This is not an easy task and we don’t take it lightly and I think it is urgent, it is needed; there are many legislations that we really need to look at but talking about this one, I think that one of the important things is to make it gender neutral, we talk about girls being abused but what about our boys? Boys being abused by boys or boys being abused by women; those are the things that we are addressing; we’re addressing increased penalties for child abuse, child molestation and making it clear, it’s an introduction today, it’s a first start; I guess the entire Belize will get an opportunity to look at it and make recommendations and that is why it is the first introduction. I am not sure who all were involved but I know I did my part in terms of Special Envoy for Women and Children and I know I met with the judges along with the Ministry of Human Development and also the Solicitor General Office. We had a process where we were getting feedback.”

Chinese Employs Without Proper Documents
Twenty-three year old Jing Mao Tan, a naturalized Belizean originally from China who is the owner of Lucky king Noodles, located on West Collet Canal Street, was fined $2,000 today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser after he pled guilty to two counts employing a person not in possession of a temporary employment permit. Tan has until October 15 to pay the fine. If he defaults on payment he will serve six months for each count. Tan was charged on September 25 when immigration officers making routine checks visited his business place and found two Honduran nationals, Francisco Verde and Jose Guiterrez, working there. When interviewed by the immigration officers, Verde and Guiterrez said that they did not have any employment permits. As a result, Tan was taken into custody and charged.

Police Makes Arrest for Student’s Murder in Northern Belize
25 year old Keith Anthony Gaynair has been charged for the cold blooded murder of 18 year old student of New Hope High School Darrel Wade Jr. Gaynair appeared in the Orange Walk magistrate court yesterday after being under police custody since his detention minutes after the stabbing incident on Stadium Street in Orange Walk Town. He was charged for one count of murder and remanded to the central prison and to reappear in court on Nov. 14, 2013. The incident happened on Tuesday evening a little before 4 o’clock. It is allege that Gaynair approached Wade who was along with 3 students after classes and the stopped at a food stall. He allegedly had an exchange of words with Wade and immediately after that pulled out a knife and stabbed Wade 3 times: 1 once in the back, and twice in the chest. Wade was rushed to the Northern Regional Hospital. He died while undergoing treatment. Orange Walk police recovered a butcher knife, which they believe was used to inflict the injuries. Information to LOVE NEWS is that Gaynair was apprehended along with his younger brother and girlfriend. The three were detained but only Keith was charged for the murder of Wade.

Penner Says He Was Duped
Former Minister of State with responsibility for Immigration Elvin Penner issued a statement today in which he alleges he was duped. According to Penner when he signed the documents for the person he knows as Mr. Kim who met through business trips, he was unaware that he was not who he said he was. According to Penner, he was approached by the “Asian person” for a signature to get his passport which he needed urgently. Penner said the picture on the nationality document, the Korean passport and the passport pictures he was asked to sign were all of the same person that he knew as Mr Kim. Penner admitted going with him to the passport office to ensure that he could get his passport on the same day. Penner said it came as a surprise to him to see the photo of Won Hong Kim that has been circulating in the media since it was not the same person for whom he had signed the documents. Penner admits he might have made a major oversight which led to his resignation however he said he cannot understand why the public officers are being suspended for doing their job. He once again pointed out that he was elected by the people of Cayo Northeast and therefore it is only his constituents that can remove him as their representative.

Resident Says Minister Took His Land and Destroyed His Home
Rudolph Tucker, resident of Cotton Tree Village in the Cayo District, visited Love News today to tell us that he is very concerned because he has now become a homeless person. That is because he alleges that his two houses were broken down this week by someone who now calls himself the owner of the land. Tucker says he wants justice to be served because he has nowhere else to go and furthermore he is alleging that the man that now claims is the owner is participating in a scam. RUDOLPH TUCKER “I came here because I had a piece of land in Cotton Tree Village and they swindled me out of my land and my house.” NATALIE NOVELO “How long have you owned that land for?” RUDOLPH TUCKER “From 1995 I’ve owned the land and I built a house on it. I had a cement house and a wooden structure house.”

October Should Be Pink
The month of October is observed as Breast Cancer Awareness Month and as a result, the office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children will embark on a campaign entitled “Paint Belize Pink” Love News today attended the launch of the campaign and the unveiling of a big pink ribbon at the top of the Whitfield Tower on Coney Drive where the office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow is located. She told us more about what the initiative is aiming to do. KIM SIMPLIS BARROW “The paint Belize pink campaign really is to encourage people to wear their pink ribbons, to wear their pink shirts, to wear anything pink, to light a candle for those who have lost the battle to cancer, to change their bulb pink, to keep the hope alive and really to encourage people to do their self-breast examination, to go and get tested. We encourage women and men to get tested because as you know men too can get breast cancer so we want to keep the fire burning for all our victims and we want to make sure that they are remembered in a very special way.”

Trans-formative Initiatives Taken for Public Service
There have been many times in which the general populace complains about how they are treated by Public Servants or that they don’t seem to have the proper skills to approach people. That might change now, because the Ministry of the Public Service has embarked on a number of transformation initiatives. One of the most important of these initiatives is the development of a quality assurance customer service policy for the Government of Belize. In connection to this a series of workshops were held this week to above all train Public Servants in the area of Customer Service. Freya August is the Supervisor of quality Assurance in the Ministry of the Public Service and she explained more on the initiative.


Head of Nationality Section Signed Hong’s Nationality Certificate
The scandal at the Immigration Department has dominated the airwaves since news broke last week that South Korean fugitive Kim Won Hong obtained a counterfeit passport with the assistance of now former Minister of State Elvin Penner. The Immigration Department has been under heavy scrutiny, as there is an...

Belize Bank freezes the Orange Walk Town Council’s bank account
The Orange Walk Town Council and residents of Orange Walk Town are in very deep water. What we could be looking at is the temporary shutdown of the town’s functions, and this is why: Plus TV has received confirmation that the Orange Walk Town Council’s bank account has been...

New house for Ladyville resident
Lyndon Bailey has been much in the news this week as one-half of the contracting duo behind the abandoned Dangriga Town market project. But he is also proprietor of the Tubal Trade School and on Thursday we met him doing a good deed...

Placencia Village Council supports the NCL Project
The NCL’s project on Harvest Caye has sparked much controversy over the past couple of months. Ever since the representatives of NCL discussed the project at a press a briefing in mid August, the project has been strongly opposed by the community at large. One...

Four people charged after drug bust
Four people were arrested and charged for one drug bust. On Wednesday at around 8:30 am on Garza Avenue, Belmopan City, Police conducted a search for illicit possessions. This then lead to the discovery of a black plastic bag that contained 67 grams of weed. Present at the time...

Man in paralyzed condition after altercation
This is why alcohol should not be abused. On Sunday morning, at around 2:00 am, police visited a bus stop in Silk Grass Village. There, according to police reports, they saw 40 year old George Morgan lying motionless on the ground, apparently drunk. Further investigation revealed that on Saturday,...

Territorial Volunteers unveil new logo and plans
The Belize Territorial Volunteer Force have taken onto themselves the task of defending and securing Belize’s border with Guatemala from incursion by peasants and others. Yesterday they unveiled a new logo and discussed fundraising efforts. With more here is founder Wil Maheia. Wil Maheia – Founder, BTV “As we...

Premier League of Belize enters its latest season
The Premier League of Belize enters its latest season with a new partner. Bowen and Bowen Limited have partnered with the League to promote the season under the title “Belikin Cup”. Commissioner Jaime “Maito” Perdomo Jr. announces the teams taking part. Jaime “Maito” Perdomo Jr. “They...

Climate change experts assess important local assets
Climate change is no longer a buzzword. High heat, heavy rain and other wild weather patterns are an indication that what is happening in the skies above us have a great impact on what takes place on the ground. The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development has received...

First Graduation of the Sea, Air and Land Team
They are expected to be the best of the best – the men our nation turn to when there’s quite simply is no one else to defend us. For twelve weeks, they were put through the worst of the worst – literally broken. From nineteen they...


A horrible lapse of judgment by the Belize Coast Guard officer. Petty Officer Richard Ogaldez, of the Coast Guard, has been stripped of his rank and demoted to the rank of “seaman” after exhibiting a horrible lapse of judgment that embarrassed the Government and people of Belize when he detained the boat carrying the Prime Minister of Dominica, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, who was in the country as a guest of Prime Minister Dean Barrow for Belize’s September 21 Independence celebrations. Unfortunately, PM Barrow’s Guest of Honor left the country with a bitter taste in his mouth after he and his entourage were “roughed up” by Belize Coast Guard officials while on a trip to one of Belize’s premier tourist destinations. Amandala understands that a formal apology is to be written by the Ministry of National Security to PM Skerrit. Today, when we contacted the Public Relations Officer in the Ministry, Delroy Cutkelvin, he told us that the formal apology is in the works, and that they are just going through the necessary diplomatic channels to get it completed.

Although the Belize Coast Guard might currently be suffering from a major ‘black-eye’ due to the recent case of gross maltreatment of the Dominican Prime Minister (chronicled elsewhere in this newspaper), a brief graduation ceremony was conducted at their headquarters, located at Mile 4 on the George Price Highway, this morning to introduce a team of eight, rigorously trained Sea, Air and Land (SEAL) officers after 12 weeks of intense training. The graduating class was initially comprised of 19 hopefuls, but dwindled to 8 triumphant officers who were subjected to arduous training conditions, which tested their physical and mental endurance. During the commencement ceremony, Colonel Post, Lieutenant Commander, Special Operations, US Command South, acknowledged Coast Guard Commander John Borland as the visionary for the elite team of officers. Post said that he teamed up with Borland to help develop the capabilities of the SEAL team, and that it was three months of training and working with the prospective SEALs, along with a cohesive process that was driven by a leader’s vision, that led to the ultimate result – the graduation of eight well-prepared SEALs.

Three immigration officers are currently skating “on thin ice” pending the submission of findings of the Public Service Commission (PSC). The commission’s enquiry is a response to the latest passport scandal involving former Minister of State in the Immigration Ministry, Hon. Elvin Penner, the area representative for Cayo Northeast. Penner, who served as Minister of State for Immigration and Border Protection in the current UDP administration, was requested to tender his resignation from Cabinet by Prime Minister Dean Barrow following some very grim accusations that arose sometime last week. The Office of the Prime Minister sent out a preliminary press release last week Thursday, stating that Penner “did not discharge his responsibilities with either the due judgment and balance, or the scrupulous regard for appearances, which the Prime Minister demands of all his Ministers.” As vague as this explanation for Penner’s removal from the cabinet might have been, the Government pledged to provide further information about the questionable activity that had taken place within the Immigration Department.

The interior of a warship is something that civilians usually do not get the opportunity to see. Today, however, members of the media and special invited guests were taken on a complete familiarization tour of a 432-foot modern British frigate warship, equipped with all the contemporary gadgetry and fittings, including a helicopter. The medium-sized naval vessel is making rounds in the Caribbean as part of a regional anti-drug operation launched by the Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATF), a US-based multiservice task force, which coordinates regional initiatives to suppress the flow of sea-bound illicit trafficking operations. A little after midday today, the group was taken on a fifteen-minute trip from the jetty in front of EuroCaribe on Fort Street to the present location of the vessel, which is approximately 5.7 nautical miles off the coast of Belize City. The H.M.S. Lancaster, which is also known as The Queen’s Frigate, sits like a towering giant in the waters off Belize’s coast, weighs 4,900 tonnes and houses a 190-member crew. The tour commenced with a visit to the Control Room, where a 5-man crew is stationed to monitor the status of the ship’s equipment around the clock. The crew oversees the operations in the ship’s interior and also conducts reconnaissance in the nearby waters using highly advanced technological apparatus.

At a meeting of the House of Representatives, scheduled to begin at 10:00 this morning, over $100 million worth of old debt owed to the Government of Belize will be tabled for write-off. An official source told Amandala that a $113.4 million “Write-Off of Old Loans Motion”—$17.2 million in principal and $96.2 million in accumulated interest—will be tabled for loans outstanding since the era after Hurricane Hattie. We were told that the move is in line with recommendations previously made by the Office of the Auditor General. Also, a debt relief and write-off motion will be tabled for the Development Finance Corporation (DFC). In his Independence Day remarks last Saturday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that 361 persons would have their DFC loans written off. “Government is arranging to forgive some 6.22 million dollars’ worth of DFC loans,” Barrow said. He added that the loans are principally mortgage loans, but also include education and productive sector loans. “For the most part, the loans have already been foreclosed on by the DFC and the borrowers’ collateral seized, but the sale of the collateral was not sufficient to liquidate the debt, and the borrowers were still on the hook for the balance,” he explained.

Darrel Wade, Jr., 18, of Biscayne, a 3rd form student of New Hope High School, died at about 3:45 yesterday afternoon, Tuesday, in the hospital after he was stabbed three times in his chest and back. Wade was rushed to the Northern Regional Hospital (formerly known as the Orange Walk Hospital), but he died while doctors were operating on him. Police have arrested Wade’s 25-year-old assailant, who handed over the knife with which he stabbed Wade. The incident occurred shortly after classes concluded at New Hope High School. A police report of today, Wednesday, states that Wade was coming from school and had stopped at a street vendor stall in front of the back gate of the People’s Stadium to buy boiled corn when he was approached by one Keith Gaynair, who rode up on a bicycle and pointed at him, saying, “Da you ah want …you di fight with me lee bredda.” According to police, a witness told them that Gaynair quickly attacked Wade, stabbing him multiple times. The witness said that the attacker then rode away. Wade had run into a store, named “D-Store,” after being stabbed, but when he came out of the store, he was bleeding profusely, and collapsed on the sidewalk.

San Pedro police have issued a warrant for the arrest of McClain August, 23, a resident of San Pedro. The warrant states that August is wanted for three counts of attempted murder with a firearm. Police said that the shooting incident in connection with which August is wanted, occurred on Wednesday, September 18, and that a man and an 11-year-old boy were shot and another man was grazed in the incident. August is considered to be armed and dangerous. If you see McClain August or have information that could lead to his arrest, you are asked to call the San Pedro Police Station at 206-2022 or the police hotline number 911.

A supervisor and his sideman were held up and robbed of an undisclosed amount of cash, personal documents and jewelry by two thieves on George Street at about 6:00 yesterday evening. Angel Manzanilla , 41, a supervisor of Philip Neal Butane Gas Company, and a fellow worker of the company were making a delivery on George Street when two thieves, one of whom was armed with a pistol, approach the men, pointed a gun at them and demanded money. While the gunman held them at gunpoint, the other thief stole Manzanilla’s jewelry, his wallet containing an undisclosed amount of cash, and some personal items. The thieves then robbed Manzanilla’s workmate of his cell phone and an undisclosed amount of cash, after which they escaped.

This morning, Kent Peters, 52, a self-employed resident of #34 Iguana Street, was charged with forgery, uttering upon a false document, being in possession of a false document and committing a mischievous act. According to police, on Monday, September 23, Peters went to the Bowen and Bowen Limited office to cash a refund voucher, #49088, dated for the same day. But when he handed the voucher to the cashier, Melissa Garnett, she noticed that the voucher had been altered; instead of the stated dollar amount being $6.00, a “3” and a “0” had been added to the amount, and it read $306.00. Garnett alerted the police, and when they arrived and queried Peters’ name, he gave it as Kent Smith. It was not revealed in court how the police figured out that he had given them the wrong name.

On Tuesday, September 24, at about 7:00 p.m., officers of the Fisheries Department’s Conservation Compliance Unit, Punta Gorda branch, were on a night patrol within the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve (SCMR) when they came across a vessel named Julie half a mile west of Seals Caye. Whilst approaching the grey, black and red vessel, powered by a two-stroke 75HP outboard engine, the officer saw the occupants throwing what appeared to be marine products overboard. The officers identified themselves as fisheries officers and made known their intent to conduct a general search. The officers found 4 conch in their shells, 14 sea cucumbers and 4 pieces of fish fillet without the required 2-inch by 1-inch skin patch. The products were shown to the occupants of the vessel, who were subsequently informed of the offences committed and arrested.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) held two public meetings this week—on Monday, September 23 and Wednesday, September 25, 2013—when they reviewed an old audit done under the administration of the Opposition People’s United Party, and one audit done under the ruling United Democratic Party. Pro-tem chair John Saldivar said that they are not engaged in a witch-hunt, but they are trying to see what systematic flaws exist within government’s financial system which should be corrected. A total of five witnesses were called: the current Auditor General (who is also a former Accountant General) Dorothy Bradley; her predecessor – Edmund Zuniga; former Accountant General, Carmen Barrow; former Accountant General Anita Eck; and Income Tax Commissioner Kent Clare. The Opposition People’s United Party—which has dubbed the proceedings illegal—boycotted the meeting. Neither PAC chairman Julius Espat nor PUP member Rodwell Ferguson was present. Espat had previously indicated to us that he would not participate, because the PAC should only look at the last audit (2010-2011) – the only one filed under his tenure. He said that what the PAC is doing—in conducting “forensic audits”—ought to be done by a Special Select Committee.

We received these pictures along with an email a few weeks ago from former Belize basketball star of the 1970’s Evondale “Coby” Coburn. Sports records are hard to come by in Belize, so we are very grateful to Coby for sharing these treasured items with our readers. Coby’s email follows: Aug. 8, 2013 “I put together the MVP Gallery from 1970-1979. Also attached is the 1972 Old Parr Championship picture. “Some stats on the Old Parr Dynasty – Four Championships in five years; …Back to back Junior champs 1970 & 1971; .. 1972 & 1974 Senior champs; …Three-peat champs 1970, ‘71 & ’72 …the only Junior team to win the senior championship in their rookie year. “I have some more pictures and clippings on my website: visit the site @” (Ed. Note: An achievement of similar moment and rarity was first accomplished in the Belize City football competition by Dunlop in 1957-58 and 1958-59, when they moved up from Junior football champs to take the Senior football title the following year. Their picture graces the cover of Evan X Hyde’s book, “Sin, Sports and Subversion.”)

The BDF football club will still play their home games on Saturday nights in Dangriga. They won’t change it any more to Sunday evening (as recently suggested in some quarters). It’s still Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. at the Carl Ramos Stadium for all home games. SCFA 1st Division Week 2 results The Stann Creek Football Association (SCFA) 1st Division Tournament 2013 continued with Week 2 games on Friday and Sunday, September 20 & 22, at the Carl Ramos Stadium. In game 1 on Friday, Southside FC dropped Wagiya U-17, 4-1, with goals from Lennox Mejia (41’ & 71’), Harold Nunez (52’) and Edwin Nasario (76’). Wagiya’s only goal was by Melvin Valerio (23’). Game 2 saw Hopkins FC and Silk Grass FC playing to a 3-3 stalemate. Nol Arnold (20’), Tony Avila (44’) and Wayne Casimiro (90’) shook the net for Hopkins; while Luis Reyes (23’ & 30’) and Francis Russell (83’) hit the target for Silk Grass.

Belikin manager Hilly Martinez, who is also the president of the National Olympic Committee, was guest of honor this morning at the Premier League of Belize (PLB) press conference at the Majestic Room of the Princess Hotel & Casino; that is because his firm, Belikin, according to Hilly, had only yesterday agreed to be the corporate sponsor of the upcoming PLB tournament. After welcoming the press and listing the clubs participating in the 2013-2014 PLB Opening Season, President (formerly called Commissioner) Myito Perdomo announced that the PLB had secured its first ever corporate sponsor of its tournament, which will now be called the “Belikin Cup.” The Belikin sponsorship entails $50,000.00 for prizes (including a 1st prize of $30,000.00 and 2nd prize of $15,000.00) as well as a donation of Belikin products to each club for every home game of the season (10 cases per game). In return for the sponsorship, Belikin will enjoy exclusive status at all PLB games this season, meaning that only Belikin products will be sold at the games. There will be 7 clubs participating in the new season, although 9 member clubs make up the Premier League, explained the Commissioner. 8 clubs took part in the last Closing tournament, with only Paradise/Freedom Fighters opting to look on. In the upcoming Opening Season, the Freedom Fighters will be in the mix, but two other clubs have decided to sit out this one, namely Placencia Assassins and San Felipe Barcelona.

INFAMIA Editorial
From our standpoint, this was a very, very, very serious incident on Independence Day afternoon in the waters off San Pedro Ambergris Caye when the Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, was insulted by elements of the Belize Coast Guard. There are two things you will note about the incident, or its aftermath. The first is that Prime Minister Skerrit, apart from cancelling the remainder of his official schedule for the day, Saturday, September 21, has not made as big a deal of it as he could have, neither in Belize or on his return to Dominica, which is an Eastern Caribbean island. The second thing is that Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow has not reacted in a characteristic manner: he has been completely silent on the diplomatic disaster which occurred five days ago, as we write. Let us examine Saturday’s incident more closely. San Pedro Ambergris Caye is the most Americanized piece of real estate in Belize. There is an almost racist atmosphere out there: by that we mean, and we say it bluntly for the first time, they don’t like black people out there. Roosevelt Skerrit is a decidedly black man in appearance. He was insulted in the waters off Ambergris territory.

Fr. Urban Kramer, pastor of St. Ignatius Parish, which owns the only adequate basketball court in Belize City, tonight imposed some strict conditions on the Belize Amateur Basketball Association, which intends to start its annual season on March 7. This was in a meeting held at Riverside Hall. Kramer has demanded 60 percent of profits after each night of basketball and has banned Friday night basketball. Friday night used to be the big money maker for the Association. Kramer, the heavy-handed former dictator of Lynam College, has also insisted that the season be finished by April 25th, a stipulation which will pressure the Association into uncomfortable haste with its schedule. We suggest that central government speed up its proposed civic auditorium at the Belcan Bridge in order to facilitate sports such as basketball, which is now being pressured by a private enterprise church monopoly. Arenas for sports must be in the hands of the people or we will be swallowed up by the JAWS of Pharisees.

The House In last week’s essay on this subject, I left out that when members address the House, they should direct their remarks to Mr. Speaker. During their speech, they may make references to individuals, inside or outside the House, but when they refer to other members, they must always use the term “Honorable” before the electoral division he represents, or his official title e.g. Prime Minister or Leader of the Opposition. Members of your own side may be referred to as “My Honorable Friend” and, of the Opposition, as the “Honorable Gentleman.” Therefore, there is no room in Parliament for the use of the personal pronoun “you” in a speech in the House because, a member should never be addressed directly. Parliament is an institution that the people should revere. So. It has been the practice for the Speaker to set standards by declaring what he considers to be unparliamentary language. I would like to suggest that the use of “they” or “them,” when referring to the government or Opposition should be discontinued.

A problem…in search of solution… We are of the consensual opinion that one of the most distressing problems besetting our young nation of Belize is what to do with our children, our boy-men children, particularly those of the gangs. Everyone seems to have a solution; the government, the churches, the NGO’s all have their say with legislation, church groups, field trips. In all this, however, nobody seems to ask the youths what they want, what is their problem and what would be their solution. It is an opinion that the present day young man has grown up in a void caused by Hurricane Hattie and the post-Hattie era. After this hurricane their parents abandoned them to the care of their granmas, to aunts and uncles, to friends and neighbors, to strangers, to go to the U.S.A. at the most critical time of their lives, a time when love, discipline, education, the bond of family was crucial for their psychological development. Granma was too old to care for them, friends and neighbors made them feel inferior to their own children, and strangers couldn’t care less after they received their sporadic cheques.

— by Beatrice Arnold-Geban, Principal, St. Mary’s Primary School There is a very popular Shakespeare quote that people say in regards to those in leadership position and, if memory serves me right, it goes like this: Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. This quote in essence captures the workload of an administrator. According to the Statutory Instrument No. 87 of 2012 Education Rules 2012, 37 (1) A Principal and Vice Principal shall have such responsibilities related to the administration of the school as specified in their respective job descriptions and shall include:- a. Overseeing admissions, placement, promotions and graduation of students; b. Enforcing school rules and maintaining a safe and proper school environment and culture conducive to schooling; c. Assigning, directing and assessing staff;

The company plans to introduce IPTV – Internet Protocol Television. The Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) held its 7th Annual General Meeting at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel tonight. Directors proposed a dividend of 25 cents a share, a slight increase from 24 cents last year. BTL executive chairman Net Vasquez said that although profits have fallen, the company is now paying a bigger share in dividends. According to Vasquez, this is the highest dividend paid since they were appointed directors by the Government of Belize in 2009. Last year, he said, BTL had to use what the articles allowed them to use – a minimum of 45% of profits. This year, they are paying back shareholders nearly 59% of the profits. BTL director Anwar Barrow, representative of the Social Security Board (SSB), said that this represents a 5% return on share price—a somewhat better cash return than last year, despite reduced profits, Barrow commented.

— by Audrey Matura-Shepherd I do not know how many Belizeans know that Belize is a Christian democracy, and that it is so deemed because it is a church-state system. This means that the Church is an actual partner in governance and more importantly the role of the Church in forming the social conscience of our nation cannot be understated. The truth is that too often the bare eyes and untrained heart see the church as these institutions or buildings and not as the true body of Christ – that is, those people who believe the word of God and truly seek to live by it. Do note there is a difference between “religion” or “church,” and a true relationship with your Creator, Lord God. The Constitution’s preamble states: “WHEREAS the people of Belize-(a) affirm that the Nation of Belize shall be founded upon principles which acknowledge the supremacy of God …”

A report coming out of Mexico this week indicated that a lobby for the decriminalization of marijuana is being supported by a broad cross-section of people, including ex-ministers and businessmen, on the claim that such a move would curb violence and corruption. Here in Belize, the Government is still looking at options for decriminalization, although no final decision has been taken. Last year, Belize began proposing the decriminalization of up to 10 grams of marijuana. Chairman of the Marijuana Decriminalization Committee, Doug Singh, told Amandala today that he hopes to have the final report submitted to Cabinet by the end of the year; and he will recommend to the Government that the report should simultaneously be made public. Singh has previously emphasized that “…the proposal is not to legalize the offence, thereby purging it of all its penalties; it is merely to reduce and regulate.” Today, he said that the report will also look at the various definitions that could be used for the reform, including the suggestion that it should be called a de-penalization.

Five people suffered varying degrees of injury after they were hit by a vehicle during a three-vehicle collision on Sunday evening at about 8:00 p.m. at Mile 6 on the Burrell Boom Road. They have all been treated and released from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Michael Waight, one of the victims, suffered a torn ear, a cut wound to the head and a broken leg, among other injuries. Police have reported that they went to an area near the garbage dump on the Hattieville-Boom Road, and on their arrival they saw a red Isuzu Rodeo which was being driven at the time by Godfrey Garcia, 28, of Santa Elena, Cayo District, that had collided with the back of a green pickup truck.

— by Kenny Jacobs Dear Editor, We all know that in an ever-changing world, Belize needs to adapt quickly, or the country and its people will lose its grasp. Our Government understands this, for sure. But they need to reinforce dynamics into its young people. The young people today are fast adapting to technology, the internet and cable TV, for instance. However, they need to learn to apply it usefully and properly to accommodate education, entrepreneurship, and community service. These are areas which must be “worked into” the mentality of the young people in Belize to ensure that the future is not only promising, but feasible for growth, and development of the economy. Let’s take a firm look at education. Without a proper education, you can’t be properly employed. Getting an education that encompasses both academics and technical “hands-on” experience is a necessity. That is solid education. The majority of young Belizeans today are accustomed to going to school because they “have to” – because their parents send them.

— by Reyes Chun Dear Editor, The marvelous idea of setting up the Toledo Ecotourism Association and its Guesthouse and Eco-trail Program in the rural communities of Toledo in 1990, was a good one and still is today in 2013. Unfortunately, the BTB and the BTIA have continued to neglect to support our poor people’s efforts for economic development. TEA’s Maya/Garifuna members continue to suffer from racial and economic discrimination. The BTB and BTIA (TEA was a member) refused to market and promote our award-winning Guesthouse program. Our members believe this deliberate omission has caused a great loss of potential visitors and much needed income. Instead of promoting the Guesthouse program the Government promoted the competing “Homestay” program. Several surveys have shown that our people do not like this program and have rejected it because it benefits only one family at a time. The villagers complain that it creates jealousy and envy among community households who don’t have the opportunity to benefit. Tourists report that in the small two-room homes they feel they are being intrusive.

— by Joseph Alvarez Dear Editor, It was welcome news to learn that the Belize Tourism Board has decided to give an apology on their decision to use the music of Aurelio Martinez, a Honduran national, as the sound of their recently released video to showcase Belize. It’s a welcome gesture, but I thought it did not go far enough. A few days later it was reported that they also had removed the music as well – which would be the right thing to do. It was shocking to all Belizeans that this very prestigious and important organization, which is tasked with the responsibility of promoting and marketing Belize, could have made such an incredible decision. Why is it that the people who are expected to make the best decisions for the betterment of all the people of this country continue to disrespect and insult us? This latest fiasco reminds me of the plight of our national football team, the Belize Jaguars, in July. One would have thought that of all the government ministries, the Tourism Ministry, along with the Belize Tourism Board, would have taken up the mantle and sponsored the national team. This exposure and the marketing capability for the country would have automatically accompanied such endeavor. It’s deja vu all over again, and this time it’s our music.

30 CENTS Letters
— by Charles Leslie Jr. Dear Editor, If you take a quick glance at the budgetary allocation for Stann Creek West, it is approximately $6,000 to the duly elected Area Representative to be spread among, approximately 20,000 people, which gives 30 cents for assistance, per month, per person! What can you do with 30 cents? Buy a small pack of soda biscuits? This is why we must lobby for township status for Placencia Peninsula and potentially combine with Independence Village. Three of the main benefits of township status will be 1). The collection of property taxes, 2). The collection of trade license fees and 3). The submission of estimates of revenue and expenditure to the Minister of Finance. It is not complex to understand why our villages are barely functional when it comes to self-governance, organic socioeconomic growth and social assistance for villagers – it is directly linked to the easy access or lack thereof, of financial resources. The Village Council Act gives very limited power to village councils. This makes our communities technically unincorporated, and only guarantees returns of the Liquor License monies that are collected, which have proven insufficient to run villages of such size. Fundraiser events such as Lobsterfest and Seine Bight Day should be done for residual income and not a main source of income.

— by Anthony Chanona J.P. Dear Editor, The occasion of Belize’s 32nd Official Independence Day ceremonies was the venue chosen by the Mayor of the City of Belmopan to complain about the deteriorating state of Belmopan’s municipal infrastructure and to lay much blame for that fact on RECONDEV. While the evidence indicates that RECONDEV coffers, where BMPCITCO is concerned, has indeed siphoned off, this historic three-term UDP “management” of City Hall (2006-2015) and its pursuit of petty partisan policies of governance, has finally taken its toll, resulting in a failed municipal management, poor work ethic and a bankruptcy of ideas. RECONDEV cannot be wholly blamed for the institutional inertia resident at City Hall, but there can be little doubt that the designed cordial and professional working relationship which once existed between these two statutory bodies has deteriorated and malfunctioned. RECONDEV, at Belmopan’s inception, became the registered owner of all lands within the municipality. Any area of green and open spaces not surveyed and assigned a parcel number is the property of RECONDEV. As such, this Statutory Body under law Chapter 93 of the Laws of Belize is a strategic entity and one that is required to have a functioning relationship with City Hall.

— by Wellington C. Ramos Dear Editor, The scandal at the Dangriga Town market opens up the debate for us to discuss the subventions of the City, Town and Village Councils and the autonomy of these Local Governments in Belize. Firstly, the subventions that are allocated for these municipal bodies are lacking and inadequate because their budget expenditures are a lot more than the funds allocated by our Central Government for years now. Secondly, the Central Government in Belmopan is making too many important decisions that are not in the best interest of the cities, towns and villages through the Ministry of Local Government and other governmental agencies. I now call on the representatives of the City, Town and Village Councils to demand that the Ministry of Local Government submit proposals in the Belize House of Representatives to grant more autonomy to them to develop their communities.

— by Brenda Sutherland Dear Editor, Street talk of persons who are being asked to contest the PUP Standard Bearer convention for Port Loyola, has already passed the half dozen mark. Those persons include Sherol Saldivar, Wendy Castillo, Englebert Perrera, Jerry Martinez, Ashston Longsworth, and attorneys Richard “Dickie” Bradley, Kevin Arthurs, and Anthony Sylvestre, Jr. Due to their profession, any of the attorneys would have a huge war chest for the division. Bradley and Sylvestre have both been defeated twice in the Queen’s Square Division by Dean Barrow, the current Prime Minister. If Arthurs takes the plunge, however, it would be his baptism, his first entry into electoral politics. Saldivar is currently employed by the Blue machine; prior to that she was employed with the Belize City Council for a considerable length of time. Her bid to be the PUP Mayoral candidate for the 2012 Belize City Council election was unsuccessful. Wendy Castillo is the President of the PUP Women’s Group; she is also a partner in her husband’s video company. Jerry Martinez is self-employed and a former police officer. Perrera was last employed with Belize Health Care Partners as an accountant. Before taking up that post he was employed in a similar capacity with the Belize City Council. Longsworth is employed as a driver with Godfrey Smith’s law firm. When Smith was a Minister of Government, Longsworth was also employed as his driver.

The Reporter

National Sports Policy and Plan soon ready
The Government of Belize needs to invest more in sports development, and give the National Sports Council a bigger budget, more authority and more autonomy, recommends the Caribbean Sports & Development Agency (CSDA) in a draft National Sports Policy, prepared by CSDA during a six month consultancy for GOB.

Belizean sugar future sweeter than ever
The Belizean sugar industry is growing by leaps and bounds as both American Sugar Refining/Belize Sugar Industries in the Orange Walk district and Green Tropic in the Cayo district area making substantial investments to increase production.

Minister Castro accused of unwanted sexual advances in Tiawan
Reports out of Taiwan suggest that Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport Edmund “Clear the land” Castro made unwanted sexual advances on a female staffer from Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who was attached to him as his chaperon while he was on an official visit last week.

Leader of the Opposition addresses Independence Day ceremonies
The Leader of the People’s United Party (PUP) and of the parliamentary opposition, Francis Fonseca, marked his address to the nation on Independence Day, September 21, with a call to “real, meaningful reform” in key sectors of the economy and society.

Prime Minister touts “overflow of good things” in Independence Day address
The unemployment figures for the first half of 2013, and as compared to the same period last year, are down, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced last Saturday in his Independence Day address.

Recycling Belize City Center
The government will completely finance the building of a new $30 million multi purpose complex on the site of the Belize City Center, Prime Minster Hon. Dean Barrow announced in his Independence Day address to the nation

Hit & Run in Orange Walk claims life of young professional proprofessional
Erron Golanche, 25, a well-known member of the group “Acafellas”, a graphic designer, a performer on Channel 5’s “Be the Next Super Star” program, and also a feature on SMART’s Prepaid Roaming advertisement in Mexico, was knocked down and killed almost in front of his girlfriend’s house on the San [...]

Penner should face criminal charges, says PSU president
The former minister of state with responsibility for the Immigration and Nationality Department Hon. Elvin Penner should face criminal charges, the Public Service Union (PSU) president Marvin Blades said Thursday.

PM’s Independence Day gift to Belize: more write offs!
Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow announced in his address to the nation on Independence Day that government will write-off more DFC loans. Barrow said that GOB, as a part of debt relief to Belizeans, has arranged to forgive some $6.2 million worth of Development Finance Corporation (DFC) loans, the majority [...]

Coast Guard demotes officer for Dominica PM snafu
The Coast Guard officer who detained and essentially humiliated Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit last Saturday has been demoted. Following disciplinary hearing at the Belize National Coast Guard headquarters on Tuesday petty officer Ogaldez was demoted to the rank of seaman.

Public Accounts Committee reveals administrative breakdowns
By Shadel Young A break down within the public sector system was the hot topic at Wednesday’s Public Accounts Committee Meeting.

The Belize Times

Passport Penner!!…must face criminal charges
UDP Cayo North East Area Representative Elvin Penner committed several serious criminal actions when he used his special position to obtain illegal documents which gave Belizean citizenship and passport to an alleged international criminal. The nationality and passport documents which were used to process the illegal citizenship and a false passport for a South Korean national who is in jail in Taiwan were signed and authorized by the fired UDP Minister. Penner’s signatures appear in numerous documents which have surfaced. These documents are an April 22, 2013 citizenship document signed and approved by Penner for one Kim Wong Hong, and a Form C passport application dated September 3rd 2013 in which Penner confirmed to have known Wong Hong as a “friend” for “three years”.

GOB’s Protocol humiliates PM Roosevelt Skerrit
The Protocol Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ inability to properly coordinate a special excursion for Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, who was a special guest ...

$100,000 Missing at Southern Regional Hospital
The Barrow Administration is on a spiral downwards. Another scandal under the UDP Government is about to blow up. The BELIZE TIMES has received reliable information of an investigation into thousands of dollars that have gone missing from the Southern Regional Hospital’s National Health Insurance funds for ...

Castro’s Sex Scandal
Reliable sources inside the UDP indicate that Edmond “Clear the Land” Castro is next on the chopping block as a member of the Cabinet in the Barrow Administration. The disheveled Minister of State in the Ministry of ...

AWESOME Carnival this year was awesome. The dancers, the costumes, the concepts and the level of energy was befitting the nation’s birthday. In one of Bob Marley’s songs he sings “...forget your troubles and dance, forget your sorrows and dance, forget your weakness and dance… cost of living get so high, ...

Divided We Stand
By G. Michael Reid The long drawn out September Celebrations are behind us and we move now, onto the next big event on our calendar. On November 19th, we celebrate the arrival of the Garinagu to our shores. Before we immerse ourselves in the sweet rhythm of our southern culture however, ...

Aside from the love nest currently inhabited by Dean Barrow and Evan X Hyde, the UDP honeymoon is officially over. After just one year of a fresh mandate, the UDP gang of thieves, hustlers, drug users and sexual predators are now showing their true colors. This week represented a summary of ...

Duckrun III wins PUP Cayo Northeast Football marathon
Duckrun Three Football Team won the PUP Cayo Northeast Football marathon held on Sunday, September 22, 2013 in Billy White Village. Mr. Orlando Habet congratulate the winners and delivered the 1st place cash prize to the ...

Camalote Blazers win softball champs
The defending Cayo district champs, Camalote Blazers, won the Women’s Softball championship against Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy in the finals held at the Denbeigh Fuller Stadium in ...

Barney Brown wins 2nd Cycling Test Race
Scotiabank’s Barney Brown won the 2nd Test Race held on Sunday to choose a selection of riders to represent the Jewel in the upcoming Caribbean cycling championships in Curacao from October ...

Dean Barrow Can’t Be Trusted
As we listened to the Prime Minister’s speech on Independence Day, the issue for Belize was that Dean Barrow cannot be trusted with anything he said. While Barrow was talking about an economy at work, our people were at home eating ramen noodles and worried that their ...

PUP considers Recall Mechanism
Legal advisors for the People’s United Party have studied the Penner case very closely and have advised that the Party can pursue the recall of disgraced UDP Area Representative Elvin Penner. On Wednesday, the PUP Western Caucus stated in a release that it “stands ...

Did You Know?
Younger Belizeans may not be aware that when the UDP first came into office, 1984-1989, it was Dean Barrow who as attorney general amended the constitution to allow UDP cronies to sell passports. Barrow later engineered for passport and immigration matters to fall under Hon. Phillip Goldson’s Ministry where the ...

AMAZING GRACE – Church and State
This past weekend I was in an embassy (church) listening to a head ambassador (pastor) discuss the contents of the kingdom constitution (Bible). He began comparing the country of Belize with other nations! He was amazed that every Saturday we have BBQ sales, and how we only use our vehicle ...

Dominica reacts to disrespect of PM Skerrit
The news of Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit being ruffled by Belize Coast Guard officers during his special trip to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve hit a nerve among the citizens of Dominica, most who viewed the act as “disrespectful”. The BELIZE TIMES followed a comments thread ...

Faber fails Hattieville
Minister of Education Patrick Faber has become persona non grata to residents in Hattieville. Some months ago, Faber promised that he would assist Hattieville Government School with brand new computers, but left the school hanging. See, Faber is the kind of politician who loves to make promises. Just ...

PUP Corozal Bay – Serving the People
By Roberto Pasos September 19, 2013 is observed as “National Service Day”. This is the date our great leader, rhe Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price passed away. In order to remember what our National Hero represented, Belizeans are asked to carry ...

The Battlefield Park Another cement celebration The “new” Battlefield Park in the heart of downtown Belize City, which was inaugurated on September 18, is one more cement celebration. The Master Mayor spent over $360,000 to flatten and cement the park. The UDP croney construction firm of the Arguelles Brothers got the ...

PUP exhibit at Independence Hall
In recognition of the Party’s birthday and unrivalled history of service, commitment, struggle and achievement, the PUP Secretariat unveiled an Exhibition at the ...

Image of a True Patriot – Dedicated to the Memory of Our Father of the Nation, George C. Price
By Omar Silva As we celebrate the 32nd anniversary of our Independence on the 21st September, it is worthwhile to reflect on what it means to love Belize, and what the image of a true patriot is. While for some it ...

Successful Students Never Give Up
By Dr. Angela Banner Joseph No student ever attains very eminent success by simply doing what is required of him: it is the amount and excellence of what is over and above the required that determines the greatness of ultimate distinction. – Charles Kendall Adams You will have moments during your tenure ...

Did you know?
Did you know that Belize’s Independence in 1981 was objected to by the United Democratic Party? In his book: “George Price-Man of the People” Rudolph Castillo recorded how the people of Belize celebrated the announcement of Independence made by then Premier Hon. George Price at a July ...

Pickstock Executive Committee Sworn In
On Saturday August 31st, members of the new Pickstock Executive Committee were sworn in by PUP Chairman Henry C. Usher at ...

GOB’s Protocol humiliates PM Roosevelt Skerrit
The Protocol Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ inability to properly coordinate a special excursion for Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, who was a special guest ...

The Black Owl
by Yasser Musa He was one of the best minds of his generation. The Native American Indians have a name for people like him - Jair. It means about to soar. Erron Golanche known as Nokturnal and the Black Owl was a ...

Sprucing Up Hattieville
Last Thursday September 19th marked two years since the sad passing of Father of the Nation Rt. Hon. George Price, and in ...

Dangriga Town Council demands Market Project Completion
The Dangriga Town Council on behalf of the People of Dangriga is extremely concerned about the recent abrupt termination of the Project ...

WOMAN IN THE HOUSE – Reflecting on Belize’s 32nd
By Dolores Balderamos Garcia Belizeans have celebrated our thirty-second anniversary of Independence this past week. I remember clearly the night of September 20, 1981. I had just returned home after completing my Master's Degree at Marquette University. My sister Jo-Jo had recently finished her degree course in Medicine at UWI, and ...

Chamber opposes increase in Trade License fees
The Belize Chamber of Commerce has called on the Minister of Local Government Godwin Hulse to put a stop to any devious plans which the Belize City Council may have to increase Trade License fees in its upcoming assessment period. The Chamber, which represents the ...

Cabinet ignored allegations of corruption at SIF
Members of the UDP Cabinet knew about the serious allegations of corruption at the Social Investment Fund from as far back as July, but chose to do nothing about it. Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Santino Castillo, has admitted in media interviews ...

Independence Day Address by Opposition Leader Hon. Francis W. Fonseca
My Fellow Belizeans Today we celebrate our 32nd anniversary of Independence. Thirty-Two years ago, after a hard, skillfully fought international campaign for recognition of our right to Independence, the people of Belize began charting a new course as ...

When the House meets on Friday the 27th September 2013, 32 years after Belize achieved political independence, the Barrow regime will ram through the Parliament seven bills orchestrated and directed by Washington. All 7 laws are designed by our new imperial bosses to put Belize ...

Why did BTB disrespect our own artists?
Dear Editor, It was welcoming news to learn that the Belize Tourism Board decided to apologize for their decision to use the music of Aurelio Martinez, a Honduran national, as the sound of their recently released video to showcase Belize. It’s a welcome gesture but, I thought it did not go ...

What Legal Gymnastics?
Dear Editor: What legal gymnastics will the Prime Minister perform to satisfy the Homosexual Agenda demanding “rights” that will most certainly nullify the three most important real rights to Christians? Christianity cannot surrender freedom of conscience, freedom of speech and freedom of religion. For Christians to do so is to ignore and ...

Smart Confessions
Dear Editor, Big up the Area Representative Hon. Ivan Ramos and Mayor of Dangriga Major Gilbert Swazo (Ret’d) and Councillor who stood up for the people of Dangriga against the corrupt SIF officers who wanted to place a tin box for a market at a whopping cost of $1.2 million. First, SIF ...

Progress or Problems?
Dear Editor, While the nation is saying that the Mayor has broken history and no other mayor has done as much as he did, I wonder how long the streets will last considering he doesn’t like to speak publicly about his lady engineer. The old capital is sinking like never before. ...

No basis for checks and balance
Editor Sir: The discussion about checks and balances will continue until Doomsday, because in our parliamentary system there is no basis for it. The parliamentary system in Britain has been working so far because it has been based on the assumption that the most important instrument of governance is men and women ...

30 Cents for Stann Creek West
Dear Editor If you take a quick glance at the budgetary allocation for Stann Creek West, it is approximately $6,000 to the duly elected Area Representative to be spread among, approximately 20,000 people, which gives 30 cents for assistance, per month, per person! What can you do with 30 cents? Buy a small ...

Penner must go to jail
Dear Editor, No other than the Prime Minister of Belize is saying to the nation that he has found Penner guilty of an offense so grave that he is forced to remove him from his Cabinet. But why stop there? Penner is not above the law and should be treated with ...


Hurricane Season in Belize
The hurricane season in Belize is well underway and Belizeans remain on watch for storms that may rip through the country like a knife through cloth. Over the last few years, we have been blessed to have all the major hurricanes glide pass us. One would assume that would reassure us, but instead it seems to make many people even more edgy with uncertainty when the hurricane season comes around. Thus each year, we wait to see what will be the outcome of the Belize Hurricane Season. In Belize, the hurricane season is from June 1st to November 30th. Despite not having any major storms hit us directly in these months for many years, visitors are urged to keep a keen eye out on the Caribbean as it is often the birthplace for hurricanes destined for our region.

Instancias del SICA reconocen aporte del Embajador de la República de China (Taiwán) en El Salvador
El pasado 26 de septiembre, la Secretaría General del Sistema de la Integración Centroamericana (SICA) otorgó un reconocimiento especial al señor Jaime H.T. Chen, Embajador de la República de China (Taiwán), por su gran aporte durante su gestión como encargado de los asuntos de cooperación regional de los países del Sistema. El evento se llevó a cabo en la Casa de Centroamérica, sede del SICA, San Salvador. Durante el acto, la Secretaría General del SICA, por medio de sus secretarías de Integración Turística (SITCA), de la Integración Social (SISCA), del Consejo de Ministras de la Mujer (COMMCA), el Centro para la Promoción de la Micro y Pequeña Empresa (CENPROMYPE), junto a la Unidad Regional de Pesca y Acuicultura (SICA/OSPESCA), expresaron su agradecimiento por el respaldo que siempre brindó el Embajador Chen, así como el pueblo y Gobierno de Taiwán.

“Pump It Up” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
It was all going so well yesterday morning and then… Out on the veranda shortly after 04.15 hours with my mug of black coffee and the iPad. A lovely warm breeze. The only light coming from the monitor. I read The Times on-line and got up-to-date with Facebook and Linkedin until shortly after 05.30 hours when I decided that I would start to pull together yesterday’s edition of the blog. With this start time I should have been able to achieve my new intended publication time of 06.30 hours Once I had made a selection of the photos I would use the copy flowed fairly easily . This will come as no great surprise to regular readers of this blog I am sure – its much of the same stuff anyway. Selecting a song title for the headline tested me the most but with this chosen and ‘worked’ in to the narrative I was on the home straight. Just had to proof read it and click the icon to publish. I was going to ‘hit’ the publishing deadline with around 10 minutes to spare. Or so I thought.

Why Belize is the Hottest New Caribbean Destination
While vacations in Belize are not a new idea, our awareness of them is. Belize is everywhere you look these days, thanks in part to their recent advertising campaigns. And for good reason, Belize is tropical and lush, distinctive yet wild, and not to be missed. Whether you consider it part of Central America due to its location or a Caribbean paradise thanks to the warm Caribbean Sea, Belize will not disappoint in the variety and uniqueness of offerings. If you’re worried that Belize will become another overcrowded tourist destination, we got the inside scoop on private tours, private suites and even whole private islands to discover what makes Belize the hottest new Caribbean Destination. Why Visit Belize Located just south of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and east of Guatemala, Belize borders the Caribbean Sea and offers the warm sea breezes, cerulean Caribbean waters and average temperatures in the 80’s year round.

Why South Korea, Taiwan and Belize can’t let this Big Man blow over like wah lee breeze
Perhaps September is the month that will allow some people to recognize the value of nationality, of being Belizean. That value allows over 350,000 people to belong to a land, to have a kindred spirit to all the square miles that our borders allow. That value is inhaled in the air we breathe, felt in the fertility of the soil, consumed by the food on the land and it consumes us when we return to the earth. Belize belongs to us much as we belong to Belize. But intrinsic value is oft replaced by monetary value, and that is where we lose meaning, lose faith, lose belief and Belize.

International Sources

10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Belize
Wedged between Mexico and Guatemala, the tiny and eclectic country of Belize has become one of the most popular eco tourism destinations in Central America for the intrepid traveler. Lush tropical rain forests, pristine beaches, ancient Maya cities, diverse flora and fauna, and the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere are just a few of the many natural attractions that allure the adventure traveler to visit. Here are 10 reasons why you should travel to Belize now: 1.) Belize is the only English Speaking Country in Central America Belize is a diverse society with many cultures and languages (Creole and Spanish are widely spoken) however English is the official language, making it easy for travelers to get around. 2.) Belizean food is tasty and succulent The food in Belize is as diverse as its population and consists of a vast array of elements from the different ethnic groups like the Garifuna, Maya, Mestizo, East Indian and Creole. Some of the top must eats are: Rice and Beans, Fry Jacks, Johnny Cakes, Stew Chicken, Gibnut, Escabeche, Tamales, Hudut, and Fish Sere.

Belize Fights Back Against an Uninvited Guest
On Tuesday July 2 at 11am, a very special box left Belize on its way to the U.S. Its contents? Eleven and a half pounds of filleted lionfish (Pterois volitans), a species that poses one of the greatest threats to the sustainability of coral reefs and fisheries throughout the Caribbean. Lionfish, an insatiable predator native to the Indian and Pacific oceans, was accidentally introduced to the western Atlantic near Florida in the 1980s. This voracious fish has been devouring its way through much of the region’s marine biodiversity ever since, wreaking ecological havoc across Caribbean reefs from Panama to Puerto Rico. With each lionfish capable of gulping down fish half its size, the unsuspecting Caribbean prey have never encountered a fish that hunts quite like it, and stand little chance in the face of their new predator’s impressive bulk and menacing venomous spines. The diverse Caribbean menu on offer has enabled the lionfish to develop a varied palate in its adopted home, gorging itself on invertebrates and reef fish alike.

September 27, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Tons of garbage washes up on Caye Caulker beaches

Feliz wins Saga’s Central American Cook-Off
Saga HS would like to give a sincere Thank You to El Fogon and every person involved in making Cook-Off Central America on September 19th a festive and successful night. On the newly paved Trigger Street, country flags made for a celebratory atmosphere for a block party all provided by gracious hosts El Fogon. Money raised will be used for the October SNIP-a-thon when Saga will be hosting visiting vets to provide over 300 FREE spay/neuter for low income island residents. All eight countries of Central America were represented with impressive entries into this month’s contest. After all the votes were counted Feliz Bar’s was the 1st prize winner for Pollo Encebollado – (Nicaragua). 2nd prize winner went to El Fogon for Tamales – (Belizean). 3rd prize Croquetas de Res con Queso – (Costa Rica) to Carolina Caldweld. The other delicious dishes were Pupusas (Salvador) from Pupuseria Tipico Salvadoreño Restaurant, Chicken Quesadillas (Mexico) – Faride Lima, Stuffed Plantains w/cream (Honduras) – Letty Hernandes, Patacones – (Panama) Carolina Caldweld, Bollos (Guatemalan tamales) – Patricia Rosalez.

Elvin Penner involved in fraudulent Passport
On Thursday, September 19th a press release issued from the Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s Office demanded the resignation of Minister of State, Elvin Penner. The demand for his resignation came following a passport scandal which surfaced after information was revealed that Penner had facilitated a passport for wanted South Korean National, Kim Won Hong, who has been in a prison in Taipei, Taiwan since July 13, 2013 awaiting extradition. The issue surrounding the passport is that Won Hong did not meet the standards to legally obtain a Belizean passport. Won Hon is not a Belizean national nor has he ever visited Belize. Additionally the fraudulent passport was issued on September 9, 2013, while Won Hong remains in prison in Taiwan. Won Hong’s passport picture and application were both signed by Penner. This obviously raised suspicion at the Taiwanese Government level, who then alerted the Government of Belize. The passport was immediately seized by the Taiwanese Government and is currently held under their watch as part of their investigation.

Kent “Bob” Gabourel wins National Beach Cruiser Cycling Race
On Saturday September 21st renowned island athlete Kent “Bob” Gabourel, travelled to Punta Gorda Town along with fellow island cyclists Charles Garay, Michael Rowland, Perry Staine and Keith Noralezto compete in the Annual National Beach Cruiser Cycling Race. The race comprised of 13 laps in total, each lap stretching a bit over two miles for an average of 34 miles in total. According to Gabourel, this was the first beach cruiser race he’s competed in off the island, and while the mountainous and hilly terrain did impose a bit of difficulty he managed to complete the allocated laps in record time. By the end of the 34 mile stride Gabourel managed to secure 1st place along with a trophy, while fellow islanders Charles Garay placed 3rd, Michael Rowland placed 5th, Perry Staine placed 6th and Keith Noralez placed 7th.

Ambergris Today

Sneak Peak at 2014 Belikin Calendar
The 2014 Belikin Calendar is complete, according to Belikin, as this week the company released this video of behind the scenes of the making of the calendar. It’s a sneak peak of the highly anticipated Belikin 2014 Calendar filled with great imagery of beautiful Belizean women shot in picturesque locations throughout the country. “Take a quick look at what it takes to put together the most anticipated calendar of Belize,” says Belikin. The launch of the calendar is scheduled for October 26, 2013.

The Making of the 2014 Belikin Calendar
Behind the scenes of the 2014 Belikin Calendar. Take a quick look at what it takes to put together the most anticipated calendar of Belize. Photographer: Leonardo Meléndez Photographer Assistants: Efrain Gomez, Nefi Gomez Makeup: Vanessa Awe Makeup: Carole Goudreau Jewelry Provided by: Kaj Expressions Design: Javize McGann Editor: Shelley Stonesifer Project Director: Juan-Carlos Cuéllar Project Coordinator: Anellie Paredes Creative Assistant: Gilvano Swasey Video: Island Films Video Assistant: Raul Chamorro

Potential Inconvenience from Construction Traffic Expected over Weekend
Press Release, Sustainable Tourism Project (STP), September 26, 2013 - The public is hereby informed that over the weekend of Friday, September 27 and Sunday, September 29, 2013, two ton dump trucks will be utilizing the roadways between port and the southern end of San Pedro Town, and the site of the new Sunset Boardwalk and Water Taxi Terminal at the Saca Chispas Football Field. The trucks will transport large loads of fill material and some temporary public inconvenience through traffic congestion, noise and dust is expected. Please be assured that every effort will be made to minimize disruption to normal traffic flow and any inconvenience caused. We thank you for your patience and support in our ongoing partnership to uplift and revitalize this area of San Pedro Town. Questions or concerns may be addressed to the STP office, 168 Newtown Barracks, Belize City (Tel 223-2654) the San Pedro Town Council, or the site office, at the Saca Chispas football field.

Patriotic Celebrations Continue in San Pedro at Isla Bonita Elementary
The Isla Bonita Elementary School (IBES), in an effort to increase awareness in our history and patriotism, continued with projects this week to do just that. At a general assembly on Wednesday, September 26, students of Standard V and VI were dressed as various patriotic national heroes of Belize and talked about these individuals to the assembly. Later that day both Standards V and VI had presentations with the entire class in which they showed the events leading up to September 21, 1981 and subsequently re-enacted the ceremony of the flags and George Price’s first address the free, sovereign, independent nation of Belize. This presentation was judged by retired principal, Mr. Angel Nunez, and Standard V won over standard VI with scores of 59/60 to 58/60 points respectively.

25 Years Ago: Belize Independence Day Parade in San Pedro
While Belize City had the biggest parade ever on September 21, 1981, San Pedro Village also celebrated with its few hundreds. The Midnight ceremony on Sept. 22 at Central Park was a huge event and by nine in the morning of September 21 the revelers were ready to show their happiness and their true colors. The reigning queen, Dalinda “Daly” Guerrero, Miss San Pedro 1981 who was crowned on September 10 of that year did all the honors. And then there were musicians on foot and a make shift musical group. The small stage at the town square was beautifully decorated with green palms of coconut trees. No flags, no backdrops, no glitter- only a stage to reflect a colorful event. Master of ceremonies Angel Nunez introduced the village chairman, to deliver the first Independence address. Then the hundreds took to the streets. The revelers were there in the hundreds, including men, women and school children. There was no float for the queen; she headed the parade greeting the people at their homes. There were no floats nor golf carts to line up the streets, only people dancing their soles with the rhythm of a make shift band of guitars, accordion and drums. There was no rum, no DJ’s, and no give-aways, not even promotional T-shirts- only happy men women, and children singing and dancing and repeating in unison: “Que Viva La Independencia!”, “Que Viva George Cadle Price!”, Que Viva San Pedro!” Of course the main chant was that of “Que Viva San Pedro”

Misc Belizean Sources

3 bedroom home for rent in San Pedro
Fully furnished, excellent location, Parking included, call 6100000

Corozal Residents Complain of illegal Dump Site
Residents of the Dominguez Layout housing site on the outskirts of Corozal Town and the community of San Antonio today complained to the Corozal Daily of an illegal dump site in their area that is severely affecting the health of their communities. The Corozal Daily immediately visited the area and one of the things we noticed that a family of eight including small children live just 100 yards from this noxious dump site. According to Marcelina Chulin and her husband who own the house we visited, that they have tried tirelessly to stop the dump truck belonging to the Corozal Town Council from continuing the practice of dumping in the area. Because there are two routes to the dump site, Chulin stated that another sanitation company from Ranchito has been seen dumping their garbage as well and it is out of control.

Belize Territorial Volunteers ( BTV ) Intro Vid
The Belize Territorial Volunteers hosted a press conference on September 25, 2013 to introduce their new logo and to share their strategic plan for future expeditions to the Belize/Guatemala border.


The enemy within
By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez Let’s start from the beginning The cancer is spreading, people hungry and begging But because of their conditioning no one is moving and no one is helping Dog eat dog this is what’s happening With the bay men’s logwood cutting then squatting Isabela and Ferdinand’s enriching We being too inviting then the Christian indoctrinating Blacks against blacks segregating Children of the British ruling The unions championing Credit union started down south then closing Now look what Jayne Us-Shaft is doing There is an enemy within Religious brain washing they call that educating With fathers sodomizing and sister aborting whilst indocutriniting The political exiling, dollar beer drinking, marijuana flooding...

Teens Belize and 24 Cents
Feelgood news of the day. Donate a shilling if you can. "Kenny Jacobs will be 24 years old on November 4th, 2013. It is in this respect that he is conducting a fundraising drive for the Teens Belize Organization. He is asking for the public’s support by donating .24 cents towards the Organization’s General Fund. Teens Belize Organization has been in existence since July 30, 2006 and along with its corporate partners, has invested over $30,000 in the positive development of young people across the nation. Teens Belize currently has 4 major programs: the Miss Top Celebrity Pageant, the Personality of the Month Award, THE LOOK model feature, and Graduation Recognition, among many other activities. You can deposit your donation of .24 cents to Scotia Bank Account # 4000822. For those in Toledo, you can drop off your donation at Coleman’s Café, or you can give to Kenny Jacobs directly. Charlyn Flowers, Miss Top Celebrity 2013 will be collecting in Belize City. Other Collection Agents coming soon."

Garifuna Collective Prepares for European Tour
Musical Interlude. The Garifuna Collective has rested up after their North American tour, and are leaving tomorrow to start their European tour. They received amazing reviews up north, and no doubt they'll do very well in Europe, and have a great time doing it. Here they are on Open Your Eyes. "Garifuna Collective performing Ubóu live in studios. they leave on their 2 week European tour today."

SISE Public Library Poetry Night
Another successful poetry night at the San Ignacio Public Library. This should be a monthly event. "The San Ignacio and Santa Elena Public Libraries held their second poetry night last night at the San Ignacio Public Library. Featured poets included Ms. Melba Marin, Ms. Natalie Williams, Ms. Nanette Taylor and Mr. Jim Arnold amongst others. An Open Mic at the end wrapped up the evening."

Flavors of Belize Magazine
Flavors of Belize's 2013 edition, which you might have seen around at some of the Belize Tourism Board displays at various events around Belize, is online. Tanya McNab always does a great job from the articles to the photography. Cayo starts on page 44. Check it out. "In 2009, McNab Publishing Ltd., launched Flavors of Belize - The Magazine, Belize's first comprehensive culinary periodical."

First Belize Medical Tourism Forum
BELTRAIDE, in collaboration with Compete Caribbean, will be developing and implementing a “Belize Medical Tourism Association”. This implementation requires the assistance of the private and public institutions/departments for the successful execution of the Belize Medical Tourism Sector Strategy, which was completed by Mr. Massimo Manzi, who is presently the Executive Director of PROMED in Costa Rica. Mr. Manzi has conducted his first mission to Belize in August 2013 to assist in the development of the association. During that time several meetings with relevant members of the banks, credit unions, airline companies, and insurance companies were conducted to sensitize them about the consultancy, discovering ways to support the association, and acquiring special rates or packages for the medical tourism developers and clientele.

The 5th Management Consulting Symposium
The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), in collaboration with, Trinidad & Tobago Coalition of Service Industries (TTCSI) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH commenced the 5th Management Consulting Symposium at the Hyatt Regency, Trinidad on September 10, 2013. The meeting of over 75 CARIFORUM Management consultants and consulting firms from Europe, South America and Africa will conclude on September 12th 2013.

Italian Astronaut Tweets Aerial Photo of Belize’s Coral Reef
Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency just tweeted a stunning and beautiful aerial photo of Belize’s coral reef. According to his website, he is currently orbiting Earth and it is his first spaceflight and the fifth long duration mission for an ESA astronaut. The flight opportunity has been provided by the Italian Space Agency (ASI) in agreement with NASA.

VIDEO: Belize City Center Demolition Job

Channel 7

"Citizen Kim": A Penner Production
Tonight Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley is in Jamaica attending a CARILED Conference, and BQ Pitts Jr is the acting mayor. That's because Deputy Mayor Eric Chang remains in Taiwan. But while there's been lots of rumors that Chang is detained in Taiwan - to the best of our knowledge - and we have checked with multiple sources - he is not. In fact, 7news has confirmed that from when Chang left in early September, he told the Council he would be back on October the third. But what we do know is that Chang is in hot water, because according to multiple, highly placed and reliable sources, he brokered the deal for Won Hong Kim to get a Belizean passport. We have also heard reliably that Chang has suggested that he could face some threat because the passport has now been revoked. We note, however, that other friends tell us he remains calm and relaxed with his family in Taiwan and plans to return to the country as scheduled next week. And while Chang has been indirectly implicated in the passport scandal for "Citizen Kim", unlike Elvin Penner, his name isn't on any signed document. As we showed you last night, on September 2nd, 2013, Penner signed the application for Won Hong Kim and he vouched that he had known him for three years as a friend. And another of Penner's friends, former UDP San Ignacio Mayor Alfonso "Ponchis" Cruz co-signed the application as Justice of the Peace, while Penner's employee, his driver picked up the passport.

OW Town Council Money Frozen; Unable To Meet Payroll
Will the Orange Walk Town Council be able to pay its workers tomorrow. That is a matter of some doubt tonight because the Belize Bank has frozen the council's bank account. The source of the problem is a one hundred and eleven thousand dollar overdraft which the PUP town council says it inherited from its UDP predecessors. Earlier this year, the Belize Bank converted the figure to a non performing loan - and notified the government which was the guarantor. Government appears not to have addressed the issue and today the Town Council was informed that all its accounts have been blocked. Now, this comes after extensive unanswered requests to the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Local Government and the Prime Minister. Via telephone, Orange Walk Mayor Kevin Bernard told us that the council is facing an immediate crisis. Kevin Bernard, PUP Mayor - Orange Walk Town "We are at the stage where our account has been blocked. We have funds in our account but we cannot operate because we cannot do anything." "As of today we were able to operate but what will we do tomorrow? How do we pay our workers? How do we provide the services to our people after tomorrow because we need to pay our payroll? Tomorrow payroll reach our operation staff. That is nothing less than $14,000.00. We need to make those payments."

David Gegg's Discovery Expeditions Now In Receivership
He's one of the power players in the cruise tourism industry but David Gegg's Discovery Expeditions has gone bankrupt. 7news has confirmed that Bob Garcia was appointed as receiver on September 20th. Today, Garcia would not comment when we asked him whether he had taken on new staff. David Gegg blazed into the public spotlight in December of 2012, when the Department of Sales Tax issued a committal warrant for him because he had tax arrears of over three hundred thousand dollars. He paid fifty thousand dollars and managed to avoid being committed to jail. But his accountant Sheffield Eck told the court that he had advised Gegg to file for bankruptcy to clear up his debts because the profits from his two companies are less than what is reported due to unbudgeted and unforeseen expenses. That other company is Cruise Solutions Limited - which, we understand remains in operation. Through Cruise Solutions, Gegg has contracts with at least one major cruise line and it is felt that with the rise of Norwegian in Harvest Caye, he enjoyed an inside track.

Arrest For OW Student's Stabbing Death
Yesterday, 7News told you about the murder of 18 year-old Darrell Wade Jr., the student of New Hope High School who was stabbed to death on Tuesday evening just before 4 o'clock. Well, the man who police believe was his assailant, Keith Gaynair, and who a resident of Palmar Road, has been arrested and charged with murder. As we told you, Wade was walking on Stadium Street along with 3 students after classes, and the stopped at a food stall. He was approached by 2 men, one of whom he allegedly had an exchange of words with. Immediately after that, this assailant pulled out a knife and stabbed him 3 times: 1 once in the back, and twice in the chest.

Rio Hondo Flood Halting
Yesterday, 7News took you to 3 of the 4 villages in the Orange Walk District which are in the vicinity of the Albion Islands, which is very flood prone. We showed you the rising water level due to the floods caused by the Rio Hondo. NEMO continues to watch these 4 villages of Santa Cruz, San Antonio, Douglas and San Roman, and today, the Regional Director of NEMO in the north told us that as of this afternoon, they found that the water level has stopped rising. Via telephone, he explained that they will remain active to help the commuters of these villages, until the roadways are cleared: Elodio Aragon Sr. - Regional Director, NEMO Orange Walk & Corozal "This morning I spoke to the chairpersons of each village and all of them are agreeing that the river - it hasn't completely stop, but since yesterday it went up one inch. They believe that by tomorrow it supposed to stop rising. Once it stops rising then we have to continue to maintain the operations we have out there which are the boats and everything because the other phase will be for the river to go down."

PLB Now Has A Belikin Cup
The Premier League of Belize Belikin Cup was launched today. It's a little short notice because the season starts on Saturday. And, for the top league, it's two months later then the FIFA stipulated timeline. But, that's because it's hard to organize a season without money and the league has had been busy looking for a sponsor. They locked in Belikin and launched today. The sponsorship is worth eighty thousand dollars in cash and in kind, and today league organizers were jubilant at the partnership with the beer giant:... Sergio Chuc - Senior Vice President, FFB "We have a product here that is highly sought of - that the people of Belize are supporting it. We saw the country of Belize in the last couple months come together, everybody following the National A Team when we represented Belize at the Gold Cup. I think that for FFB to be strong we need a professional top league and that is why I am here asking to support for the top league of Belize." "I see this as a wonderful marriage between Belikin and PLB and I could see it bearing a lot of fruits for both parties."

Island Of Garbage Washes Onto Caye Caulker
This morning residents of Caye Caulker and San Pedro woke up to find mountains of shredded garbage washed up on their shorelines. Residents of Caye Caulker say it came from the east of the island, but it piled up on the shore in ugly disarray. It's an eyesore for sure, but our experience suggests that this is the same kind of refuse that has been known to wash up on the coasts of Placencia and Punta Gorda in the past. In those cases, the garbage, piles of it came from Honduras, which seems to be the same case here. Typically, such islands of garbage can be seen floating on the sea, and a change in the winds could bring them on shore.

Man Paralyzed After Falling On His Neck
Tonight, 48 year-old Karen Ogaldez, a housewife of Silk Grass Village is facing a serious criminal charge after police say that she pushed a drunk man down, and he fell and broke his neck and ended up paralysed! According to police late last Saturday night, 40 year-old George Morgan was at a bus stop, reportedly under the influence of alcohol, when he was pushed by Ogaldez. He fell and broke his neck, and he was rushed to the Southern Regional Hospital. The doctors managed provide him with treatment, but he was admitted in a paralyzed state. As a result of police investigations, they charged Ogaldez with Grievious harm.

Gaynair Gives Back To A Fan
Ian Gaynair has emerged as a celebrated international football celebrity - and, now, as he prepares for the opening match of the Premier League of Belize, he's showing that he still has his feet on the ground. Today he made a surprise appearance at Grace Primary School where he had a birthday gift for one of his young fans. He told us why he made the visit:.. Ian Gaynair "I am here because I got a call at my work from this young lady telling me that she has her son and that today is his birthday and that he always wanted to meet me. She let me talk to him on the phone." "I sat down and think about it and I thought that I could blow his mind - do something that I would want someone do for me. I told him on the phone that I would buy a gift for him, but I was going to give him on Sunday because his mom was going to take him to watch me play at MCC since my season opened back. I thought about it and today was his special day - buy a gift and bring it for him so he could feel good."

Supa G's Una Noche Mas
A year ago, well-known Punta Rock artist, Supa G, stopped by 7News to promote his 14th album. Well, the General is back again, tonight, and he's announcing to the public that he's releasing #15. What's different about this one is that it is his first full Spanish cross-over CD, complete with 11 songs, aimed at capturing the Latin American music lovers at home and from the neighboring countries. Here's how he explained "Una Noche Mas", and why you will enjoy it even if you don't understand a word of Spanish: Supa G, Punta Rock artist "I am releasing a brand new album "Una Noche Mas." It's my first Spanish Punta album because all the countries in Central America around us speak Spanish. I thought that was one of the best ways to get to these Latin people that may not really listen to the English or Creole Punta album that I have done. This is one of the best ways to do it in their language."

This morning the organization of insurance companies made a donation to the KHMH under the hospital's Adopt-A-Ward Program. The 20 thousand dollar donation is to assist in refurbishment and expansion of the Asthma Bay in the Accident & Emergency Room. The expansion which totals seventy thousand dollars will be completed in three phases. We found out more:.. Sandra McKay, President - ORINCO "Organization of Insurance Companies have been looking at the needs that exists here at the Karl Heusner Memorial and we have really been walking the property to see where the pressing needs are and in observing what happens in the asthma bay currently which is really a corridor. It's not a room. You would observe children getting treatment as the same time as adults; its near to the accident and emergency area where trauma cases could be coming in and it affects the persons who are accessing treatment." "We decided that's where we want to contribute because we were told that one of the projects at Karl Heusner has on paper is to do a specific room, renovated and catering only to asthma patients."

SIF Scandal Going To The Capital
Tomorrow all the attention will turn to Belmopan where there's going to be a House Meeting. And those who are discontented with the failed SIF project at the Dangriga Market are also going to be looking at the capital. In fact, they will be on the ground protesting. The mayor of Dangriga along with jilted investor Lyndon Bailey are going to protest against SIF - but in front of the House of Representatives. Yesterday in Dangriga they explained their frustration:.. Lyndon Bailey "This sign is saying that "SIF we caught you red-handed, so it is the time for you to pay us." You were the one that got us into this mess. If you were forthcoming with the truth, the market would have been finish and we would have been out of here and the people of Dangriga would have enjoyed their new market." "If you can see that so many of these people were removed from SIF - so there was a problem starting from SIF and then along with the contractor."

Channel 5

Documents from the Immigration and Nationality Department confirm Elvin Penner’s involvement in passport scandal
Documents proving that former Minister of State Elvin Penner participated in every step of the current passport scandal have surfaced. Those documents are the nationality certificate and the recommender declaration [...]

Did Penner commit an act of deception; forging a document for monetary gain?
Tonight, former Minister of State Elvin Penner has removed himself from scrutiny even as calls for his head continue to saturate the public arena. Government bureaucrats at the highest level [...]

To recall or not to recall…political will to determine a stay in office
To recall or not to recall…that is the question. Or at least it’s the political issue. That option remains open to the Opposition which hasn’t said much at all on [...]

Near fatal accident at the Belize City Center as wall section collapses on worker
The dismantlement of the Belize City Center commenced earlier this week with a workforce of almost a hundred able men tearing down what was once the premier venue for sports [...]

Should Elvin Penner be allowed to continue as representative for Cayo Northeast?
In light of his dismissal from Cabinet over the passport scandal, should Elvin Penner be allowed to continue as representative for Cayo Northeast? Send your comments and responses using your [...]

Orange Walk Town Council’s Belize Bank account frozen
The Orange Walk Town Council is in a serious quandary. Early this morning, its accounts at the Belize Bank were frozen…as in the Council cannot access even a dollar. Here’s [...]

Discovery Expedition goes into receivership
There are unconfirmed reports reaching our newsroom tonight that Discovery Expeditions, a local tour company belonging to Belize City businessman David Gegg, has gone into receivership.  The insolvency of the [...]

NCL says it’s picking up support from residents of Stann Creek and Toledo
Despite strong objection from the Belize Tourism Industry Association, particularly from six of its past presidents, regarding the introduction of cruise tourism to southern Belize, Norwegian Cruise Line has been [...]

Kevin Burgess behind bars following domestic dispute
A Ladyville resident is tonight behind bars following a domestic dispute with his common-law-wife. Thirty-three year old Kevin Burgess is accused of stealing three hundred dollars from the mother of [...]

While his brother-in-law is charged for aggravated assault with a knife
While Kevin Burgess was before the court for a domestic dispute regarding his common-law wife, on the flipside of the coin, his brother-in-law was also before the court to answer [...]

Gone too soon…Erron Golanche, dead at twenty-five
A funeral service for twenty-five year old Erron Golanche was held today at the Ephesus Seventh Day Adventist Church in Belize City. Golanche was killed in a traffic accident last [...]

The Garifuna Collective tours Europe
Keeping the Garifuna culture and music alive…that is the mission of the Garifuna Collective who for the past couple of years have been performing various styles of Garifuna music locally [...]

Healthy Living looks at importance of discipline for toddlers
Tonight on Healthy Living, we have teamed up once again with the National Committee for Families and children and the Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children to [...]


Minister of Local Government Has No Immediate Solution for OW Town Council
While we had Minister Hulse to talk Immigration and Nationality, we also got him to respond to Mayor Kevin Bernard’s comments. He said that Orange Walk, like any other municipality, has been receiving its subventions. Senator Godwin Hulse, Minister of Local Government “The way it works is that the town council presents its own budget, under the law, they present it to the ministry for the further to the Ministry of Finance and the National Assembly. Of course, annually, there is a subvention allocated to each town council and that allocation they have had; as a matter of fact, not only have they had that but many times the councils have had an advanced allocation and that is as far as it goes; any extra monies they need, they need to make a request to the Ministry of Finance. WE have been talking to the Orange Walk Town Council to see how they can sort this matter out.” MARION ALI “Can you say how much subvention they get each month?” SENATOR GODWIN HULSE “Well, I would have to look it up and I hate to hazard numbers, I am getting too old for that and people hold you to numbers but each council gets their subvention including the Belize and Belmopan City Councils.”

Bank Freezes Accounts for Orange Walk Town Council
The Belize Bank accounts of the Orange Walk Town Council have been frozen and that’s because the town council is in debt of over one hundred thousand dollars. The present town council did not racked up that hefty debt but it was the doing of the previous town council under the mayoral term of Phillip Del la Fuente. The root of it is an overdraft facility that was passed on to the present council immediately after winning the March 2012 municipal elections. But that’s not all, after maxing out the overdraft facility, Mayor Kevin Bernard says that the previous town council neglected to pay monies to Social Security on behalf of its workers which totals to a sum over about fifty thousand dollars. But there is more, Bernard says that the previous administration neglected to pay Income Tax for sixteen months since 2010. With all those other debts, the Orange Walk Town Council has been unable to make good on what it owes to Belize Bank. But the bank wants no excuses and after several letters sent back and forth, today Belize Bank froze the council’s account leaving it cash-strapped. Mayor Bernard met with interested parties in Belmopan this afternoon but before entering the meeting, Mayor Bernard offered a lengthy explanation to Love News.

Cabinet’s Green Light Pending to Start Stake Bank Project
The Environmental Compliance Plan (ECP) for “A Cruise Tourism Development Project on Stake Bank Caye and a Residential Development on North Drowned Caye” was signed last Thursday, September 19, and developer, Mike Feinstein, of the Feinstein Group of Companies, now awaits the final green light from Cabinet to commence operation of these mega-tourist projects which promises to revolutionize tourism in Belize. Two weeks ago the National Environmental Appraisal Committee (NEAC) met to review the projects and consider two main environmental concerns standing in the way of the ECP, one, the fuel lighters which will be used to refuel cruise ships, and the other, the impact of a proposed causeway which passes through the Swallow Caye Wildlife Sanctuary, a habitat for manatees. NEAC is mandated to examine proposed projects and offer its advice to the Department of the Environment (DOE) on the compliance of the project. The purpose of an ECP is to ensure that best practice measures are instituted in a project that would prevent, control and mitigate the environmental degradation that may arise from the project.

Police News
Forty year old Karne Ogaldez from Silk Grass has been charged with Grievous Harm on a man identified as forty year old George Morgan. According to reports, Morgan was socializing at a bus stop in Silk Grass Village around 2:00 O’clock on Sunday morning, when he was reportedly pushed by Ogaldez. Morgan reportedly fell on his neck. When Police arrived at the scene not long after, they saw Morgan lying motionless on the ground apparently under the influence of alcohol. He was transported to the Southern Regional Hospital and later to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was admitted in a paralyzed state. Police have formally arrested and charged Ogaldez. Last night, police conducted a search on a public transport vehicle that was travelling from Benque Viejo Town to the City of Belmopan, and it proved fruitful. In there they discovered a black plastic bag containing fifty five grams of suspected cannabis and a box containing three hundred and eighty eight grams of suspected cannabis under a seat. Since no one claimed the items they were deposited as found property.

Immigration Minister Says Nationality Section Being Investigated
While the news has spread like wildfire of the resignation of Elvin Penner as Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration and Nationality, and the suspensions of three Immigration Officers in the passport section, very little has been reported if any employee of the Nationality section will or has been sent home for the issuance of passport to South Korean national, Kim Won Hong, today the Minister in Charge, Senator Godwin Hulse spared us an interview. Minister Hulse explained that the person at the top of the Nationality Ministry, Elvin Penner has been forced to resign and investigations into more involvement by others continue. SENATOR GODWIN HULSE “The highest person in the nationality section already got not only suspended but fully removed from the job and that is Minister Penner, the minister who actually signs nationality certificates.

One Man Down After Few Days Into Demolition of City Centre
The demolition of the Belize City Centre is only two weeks along but already there is a serious injury to report. Reports are that sometime around four this afternoon the work crew was taking down one of the many slabs of siding that made one of the walls of the structure when it fell on top of one of the labourers. Egbert Jones was crushed and suffered injuries to his arms, stomach and legs. He was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he remains tonight.

BSI Says No Payment for Bagasse?
Negotiations between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and the Belize Sugar Industries resumed today in Orange Walk but were then immediately suspended. The negotiations are in relation to a new commercial agreement between BSI and BSCFA and in relation to a payment to cane farmers for the use of bagasse by BSI and Belize Cogeneration Energy Limited, BELCOGEN. According to the association, to date provisional agreement has been reached in relation to some areas of the new commercial agreement. But in the case of the payment of bagasse, the association says that BSI’s negotiating team is firm in not making any payments and so the association has requested in writing that BSI’s negotiating team submit BSCFA’s proposal for payment of bagasse to BSI’s principals with the hope that BSI’s negotiating team be instructed to negotiate some payment for the bagasse. When both parties met today, BSI still did not respond in writing to BSCFA’s request. As a result, BSCFA requested a suspension of these negotiations, and also requested that BSI submit a response to BSCFA’s request by this Friday to determine if and when negotiations would resume.

Discovery Expeditions in Receivership
There is news tonight that Discovery Expeditions Belize has gone into receivership. The company which its logo suggests has been operating since 1972 and is spearheaded by its President and CEO, David Gegg, has fallen in the hands of Receiver for Atlantic Bank, General Robert Garcia. Although there are allegations that Atlantic Bank is owed in the millions, we haven’t been able to confirm. Garcia was also the receiver of the Novelo’s Bus Line and the Nova Shrimp farm which were closed off after some time. The company’s faith in the hands of a receiver is said to be causing discomfort with employees who are worried about their fate. Love News has come across a letter written by the Receiver, General Garcia and addressed to the Tourism Industry Partners. It reads quote “Please be informed that Discovery Expeditions Belize Limited was placed in Receivership by the bank on September 20, 2013” end quote. If further states quote “Discovery Expedition values your custom and will continue to provide all its services, whilst working also to enhance its product. In the Interim, the bookings, payments for services etc, remain the same, except that cheques are to be made out to Discovery Expeditions Belize Limited (In Receivership)” end quote. The letter closes by explaining that partners will be notified in due course if any other changes take place as the company seeks to improve itself. We will continue to follow up on this story and have more for you in tomorrow’s news report.


LICU Promotes Tourism In O/W By Training Future Tour Guides
Twenty-two persons sat through the first ever Tour Guide training program facilitated by La Inmaculada Credit Union and the Ministry of Economic Development over the past three months. After all...

DEMO CZL Addresses Dump-site Problem
Another cause for concern is the dump site on the Consejo road used primarily by residents of Consejo Village. The incessant rains experienced during the past few days have not...

Finally, Works Underway On Consejo Road CZL
A sigh of relief is what residents of Consejo Village are breathing as their plea was heard by the people in government. The nine mile stretch of road, regularly used...

O/W Police Confiscate Drugs, One Man Arrested
Tonight, a resident of Trial Farm Village is sitting in a square cell wondering what the faith of his future will be. Yesterday, September 25th, Orange Walk police were on...

Undisclosed Amount of Cash Robbed From Store At CZFZ
Information reaching our newsroom this evening indicates that a robbery occurred inside of the Free Zone today sometime around 1:30. Unconfirmed reports allege that the incident occurred at the Delamo...


SIF and Financiers return to Dangriga Town Market
The saga of the Dangriga Town market project continues as SIF representative Ernest Raymond met with Mayor of Dangriga Gilbert Swazo to discuss a possible handing over of the project. You may recall that SIF removed previous contractor Kennard Smart of K&G Construction for being unable to move ahead...

Public Accounts Committee meets in the Capital
The Public Accounts Committee continued its public assessment of the Annual Auditor General reports on Wednesday. Again, the representatives from the Opposition – that is the Chair the Hon. Julius Espat and the Hon. Rodwell Ferguson were absent and so the Hon. John Saldivar was presided over the meeting...

Hon. Julius Espat comments on PAC Meeting
PlusNews has confirmed that Julius Espat is out of the country but we managed to make contact with him on Wednesday and asked him about his take on the PAC meeting aired live on television earlier. He said that “at the end of the day the people of Belize...

Minister accused of unwanted sexual advances in Taiwan
Belize has had to face a few international embarrassments of late. We can think of the SIF scandal which resulted in representatives of the IDB coming to Belize for an investigation into the Dangriga Market Rehabilitation Project. We can also think of the firing of Elvin Penner as Minister...

Coast Guard Officer reprimanded over incident involving visiting Prime Minister
Belize seems to be reeling from one embarrassment to another. The Dominican media houses are having a field day with Belize over the detention of that country’s Prime Minister by the Belize Coast Guard. Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit gave a pleasant address at Belize’s Independence Day official Ceremonies on...

Man detained for murder of Darrrell Wade
Police have issued details on the murder of an 18 year old of Orange Walk Town who was killed on Wednesday afternoon. According to police reports, on Tuesday September 24th at 3:45pm, 18 year old Darrell Wade was walking on Stadium Street, Orange Walk Town along with three students...

Two detained following aggressive robbery in PG
66 year old Fabian Martinez of Punta Gorda Town entered the Punta Gorda Town Police Station early Wednesday morning, at around 2 a.m. the elderly man had duct tape on his neck, both hands and legs. Martinez told police that at 11:30pm on Tuesday September 24, he was at...

More works are planned for Belize Infrastructure Limited
The private company of BIL (Belize Infrastructure Limited) sparked much controversy earlier in the year, especial when the opposition leader, Hon. Francis Fonseca described it as “a vehicle for the Government of the day to hustle“. Nevertheless, the private company is moving forward full throttle. Works have already begun...

Government to forgive some DFC loans
The Prime Minister, in his Independence Day address, claims he has an Independence gift for indebted borrowers of DFC. Hon. Dean Oliver Barrow- Prime Minister of Belize “Perhaps then, this is the time to announce what I hope will be an annual feature: an Independence Day gift! As part...

Minister of Immigration comments on passport scandal
On Wednesday the Minister in charge of Immigration, the Hon. Godwin Hulse broke his silence on the recent Passport scandal. Minister Hulse called into Krem TV’s Wake Up Belize Wednesday morning to speak on the investigation. Hon. Godwin Hulse- Minister of Immigration “This matter, as you know, is under...

Political Parties Celebrate Anniversaries
Later this week, Belize’s two main political parties are marking the anniversaries of their respective foundations. The United Democratic Party was formed on September 27, 1973 from a merger of three parties, the National Independence Party (NIP), the People’s Development Movement (PDM) and the Liberal Party,...

The Guardian

Thousands of Jobs with Millions in Infrastructure Development
Fresh off the success of the Southside Poverty Alleviation Project, which employed thousands of Belize City residents and resulted in crime falling to its lowest point in a decade, the Government of Belize is being even more aggressive in its effort to keep Belizeans employed and continue growing the economy. In his Independence Day address, Prime Minister Barrow announced investments of more than $100 million in infrastructural development across the country. Prime Minister Barrow said, “As a driver of economic development [investment in infrastructure] has now become the principal implement in this Administration’s toolbox.” Projects Prime Minister Barrow announced include the construction of Lake Independence Boulevard, a new Civic Center in Belize City and new sporting facilities in every district town countrywide.

More Write Offs and $80 Million more for DFC
In his Independence Day address to the nation, Prime Minister Barrow announced that the Government of Belize will write off another $6.22 million in loans from the Development Finance Corporation as “an Independence Day gift”. Public gifts have become a regular feature announced in Prime Minister Barrow’s Independence Day, Christmas and New Year’s addresses. Previous gifts include loan write offs, tax exemptions, lowering of utility rates and new social assistance programs. In this latest gift, government will forgive the debts of 361 Belizeans. According to Prime Minister Barrow, most of the loans are from the mortgage program with a few from the education and productive sectors. He says most of the loans have already been foreclosed upon and the DFC has seized and sold the borrowers’ collateral. However, the sale of the collateral was not sufficient to cover the debt; therefore, the borrowers are still on the hook for the balance and are being “hounded by lawyers and bill collectors”. Individuals benefiting from this new debt relief initiative should be receiving notification letters soon.

Julius come to Work!
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) began its work in earnest on Monday, September 23rd. After all the back and forth and the jumping up and down that Julius Espat was doing, the UDP members of the committee proved that the committee can actually do legitimate work. The first two days of meetings proved this. With the guidance of Hon. John Saldivar who was selected as the Pro-tem Chairman of the committee, on Monday the Auditor General’s report for financial years 2003/2004 and 2004/2005 were discussed. Then on Wednesday the Auditor General’s report for year 1st April 2008 to 31st March 2009 were looked at. Based on the information that was presented by those interviewed there were quite a number of issues that have become evident. In the two days of discussions, it is clear that there are deficiencies in the system which need to be addressed. Among these deficiencies is the fact that proper inventories of government assets are not properly kept. Also, it appears that the Auditor General’s office is understaffed and is not properly prepared to handle the audits in the prescribed time frame that is given for these to be done. Another issue that came out is that at time the Auditor General does not have all the information which is required to conduct a proper audit of some government departments.

Editorial: Institutions Vs individuals
We should not be surprised when individuals behave badly (although we may be saddened) because as human beings we are all subject to a variety of influences and temptations. Individuals who are found guilty of bad behaviour face a variety of sanctions depending on the severity of the wrong. However, we should not judge an institution on the basis of wrongdoing by individuals but reserve judgement according to the response by the institution and those in authority. It is therefore hardly surprising when revelations surface indicating that individuals in government, either as employees in the public service or as politicians, behave badly. Indeed, these individuals, because of their occupation, are especially vulnerable to temptation. They are often in a position to make decisions that can fundamentally affect the lives of others and to benefit personally from these decisions. Naturally, those whose lives may be affected will try to gain the best possible outcome for themselves and this frequently involves offering some inducement to decision makers. The inducement may be something simple such as reminding decision makers about ties of kinship or friendship or it may be a more direct invitation to accept monitory or other rewards, including trips, gifts and sexual favours. It is obvious to outsiders that such actions are corrupt but those involved will often try to excuse their actions as being within the norm. The judgement issue for the public is not however about the individuals, who should be dealt with as the law dictates, but rather how the institution handles these revelations. This is not something peculiar to Belize as shown by the following examples:

Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s Independence Day Address
Your Excellency, the Governor-General, Sir Colville Young, and Lady Young; Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica and our Independence Day Guest of Honour; My Lord Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin; and other Justices of the Supreme Court; Hon. Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca, and Mrs. Fonseca; Hon. Ministers of Government and Members of the National Assembly; Your Worship the Mayor of Belmopan, Mr. Simeon Lopez, and Mrs. Lopez; My Lords the Bishops of the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches of Belize; Superintendent of the Methodist Belize/Honduras District; President of the Evangelical Association of Churches; Other members of the Clergy; Excellencies of the Diplomatic Corps; Members of the Consular Corps; Special guests; Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen; Fellow Belizeans.

United Democratic Party at 40
The birth of the United Democratic Party on the 27th September, 1973 was the result of a merger of three parties involved back then in the gargantuan task of opposing the seemingly unbeatable and powerful People’s United Party – ruling party of the day. For 23 years before that, the PUP had dominated Belize’s political scene virtually unopposed.

Civic Center Demolished
The sound of mauls thumping on concrete and pry bars ripping zinc has become the mainstay of the area surrounding the Belize City Center. The building is being demolished after it was deemed unfit to carry on the function it was built to do. According to project manager at the site, Reina Gonzalez, the main columns rising from the foundation are rotten at the very end. Because of this, the structure is unsound and needed to be demolished. Now 90 men and women from Belize City and about 50 percent of them from the Back-A-Town area are putting their manpower and sweat into tearing it down.

El Salvador Military Symphonic Orchestra performs in San Ignacio Town
Members of El Salvador Military Symphonic Orchestra Having performed in Belmopan and other parts of Belize, the El Salvador Military Symphonic Orchestra played a number of classical and marching tunes on Tuesday night of this week at the Cayo Welcome Center. Present for the musical night was the Mayor of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, John August, as well as the Ambassador of El Savador to Belize, Rolando Roberto Vizuela Ramos.

Zero Tolerance! Investigation Continues into Passport Scandal
The Ministry of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development, NEMO and Immigration is investigating the issuance of a Belize Passport to South Korean, Kim Won Hong. Won Hong is detained in Taiwan and wanted in South Korea for embezzling millions of dollars. It was brought to Prime Minister Barrow’s attention on Tuesday, September 17th, that a Belize Passport was issued to Won Hong on September 9th. However, he was in a Taiwan Prison at the time and had been there since August. There is also no information to prove that Wong Hong had ever been to Belize.

National Bank attracts over 400 Applicants in first 5 days
Chairman of the National Bank, Hon. Joy Grant told the Guardian that within the first 5 days of the opening of the bank, it saw over 400 persons come in to get application forms. "We know there is a lot of interest and enthusiasm is still very high, stated Hon. Grant. She explained that as persons come in to the bank, because it is a development bank, the focus is on education. That education involves explaining to applicants and advising them about the size of a loan that they are able to take on and working on tailoring their needs based on their incomes. "It is not a 'yes' or a 'no' but rather we explain how big a house they can build," stated Grant.

PUP Venom on Young Minds
The capacity of the People's United Party to spew venom and lies has reached an all time low. The Guardian Newspaper has received numerous complaints by irate parents who say their children were taken advantage of by the PUP. Apparently the PUP secretariat induced some schools to send their Standard 6 classes to their headquarters under the guise that they would do a presentation on "the road to independence." Instead of the children being truly taught about what the road to independence was like, they were bombarded with all manner of lies.

Woman in charge of a Big project
Seeing Reina Gonzalez at the project site as the Belize City Center is being taken down, you would think that she is out of place. In Belize we don't generally associate women with being involved in these types of heavy work. But not only is Gonzalez at the right place, she is actually in charge of the project.

School Bus Run Situation Toledo
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS) wishes to clarify the situation with respect to some School Bus Operators in Toledo who have expressed dissatisfaction with payment or non-payment for runs conducted during the first few weeks of school.

Dwight Flowers Sentenced to three years for Sexual Assault on Minor
Dwight Flowers, 53, a construction worker of Belize City, was convicted on one count of aggravated assault of an indecent nature on Monday, September 23rd. Flowers appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith to answer to accusations by a 15 year old girl. On March 24th of this year the girl reported to police that Flowers fondled her breast. The girl said that Flowers did it before but she did not report the incident. After he touched her breast the second time the girl was extremely annoyed and told her older brother. He then took her to the police station where they made a formal report. Flowers was then arrested and charged.

Man Attacked and Killed in San Ignacio Town
On Monday, September 23rd, at about 1:30a.m., Jorge Tzib, 28, was walking from a North to West direction in San Ignacio Town when he was attacked and killed. At the time of his death Tzib had on a red and blue in color knapsack on his back. Jorge Tzib, who is a laborer from Shawville in San Ignacio Town, fell to his death somewhere between the Red Cross Building and the Office ‘Gurus’ Building on Joseph Andrews Drive. At the time of the attack, Tzib was also dressed in a short black pants and a grey in color sleeveless shirt. His body was found lying on its left side on Joseph Andrews Drive and he was barefeet. On closer inspection, Jorge Tzib was found to have stab wounds on the left side of his ear as well as under his right ear and a slit throat. Police are investigating the apparent murder.

High Speed Chase Leads to Bust of 2.5 Kilos of Marijuana
Mason Patnett, 26, of Vista Del Mar and 32-year-old parolee Ryan Tillett of Ladyville Village appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Monday, September 23rd,to answer to a charge of drug trafficking. According to police report, on Saturday, September 21st, officers were conducting a vehicle checkpoint at the entrance to La Democracia at Mile 31 on the George Price Highway when a vehicle with two men inside drove through the checkpoint without stopping. A mobile unit assigned to the checkpoint set chase after them. Officers report that one person exited the vehicle near mile 23 and threw a black plastic bag into the bushes. The individual then got back into the vehicle and the driver drove off. Police were able to catch up with the vehicle at Mile 15 on the George Price Highway. The two men were arrested and taken to Mile 23 where the object was thrown. There police found a black plastic bag which contained green leafy like substance suspected to be marijuana. The men were taken to the police station where the marijuana was weighed and amounted to 2,545 grams. The men were identified as 26-year Mason Patnett and 32-year-old Ryan Tillett. Both were charged with the offense of drug trafficking.

Ghost Town Boss Charged for Association with Criminal Gang
The alleged leader of the Ghost Town Crips, Roger Samuel Anthony, was deported to Belize from Pennsylvania, USA on June 27th of this year and on Independence Day he was arrested and charged with the offense of associating with a criminal gang. Anthony left Belize with at least one case before the court. On February 15th he was arrested and charged with associating with a criminal gang. He pled not guilty to the charge and was granted bail. He fled the country sometime after but was later captured and deported to Belize. Upon his arrival, he was issued a compliance letter ordering him not to associate with any criminal gangs. However, on Saturday, September 21st, he was found associating with members of the Ghost Town Crips on Lakeview Street in Belize City and was arrested and charged for that offense. Anthony appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Monday, September 23rd. He was represented by attorney Kareem Musa and pled not guilty to a single charge of associating with a criminal gang. There was no objection to bail and Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer offered it in the sum of $600 plus one surety of the same amount.

Basketball Firms’ Competition enters Knockout round
The Belize District Basketball Association Firms’ competition will enter its knockout round on Thursday, September 26th, 2013, at Bird’s Isle. In the first game on the schedule at 7:30 pm will feature Belize City Council against PUC/CBA/Fisheries. In game two, BTL will see action against Ready Call Centre. On Friday, September 27th, 2013 in the first game at 7:30 p.m. Heritage Bank will go up against Courts and this will be followed by Belize Bank against Central Health. The competition will then enter the Quarterfinal round on Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 with two more games on the schedule.

Barney Brown captures cycling test race
The Belize Cycling Association held its second test race on Sunday, September 22nd, 2013 on the Boom-Hattieville Circuit. The event saw the participation of some 30 riders with 23 of them completing the course. At the end of 1:59:23 Barney Brown of Scotiabank was the first rider to cross the finish line. He was then followed by Joel Borland of Telemedia Cycling Team, Robert Liam Stewart of Benny’s Megabytes was the third rider to cross the finish line and he was followed by Julio Cesar Ozuil of Depredadores and then he was followed by Henry Moreria who is unattached to round of the top five finishers. The other riders to finish in the next five positions include Angel Tzib who is also unattached, and he was followed by Roger Troyer of Belikin Western Spirit Cycling Team, Giovanni Lovell of Telemedia Cycling, Byron Pope of Benny’s Megabytes and then Nissan Arana of Depredadores.

Primary schools football competition opens countrywide
The 2013-2014 National Primary Schools Sports Programme calendar has commenced countrywide with the annual Football Competition. Here in Belize City, a total of six (6) girls team and seventeen (17) boys’ teams are participating in the Football Competition. The schools in the girls’ competition are St. Luke Methodist, Queen Square Anglican, Belize Elementary, Holy Redeemer, Ephesus SDA, and James Garbutt SDA. In the male competition the schools are St. Luke Methodist, James Garbutt, Belize Elementary, Holy Redeemer, Ephesus SDA, Unity Presbyterian, St. Martin De Porres, St. Ignatius, Salvation Army, Queen Street Baptist, Ebenezer Methodist, Wesley Upper, Queen Square Anglican, St. Joseph, St. John Vianney, St. Mary’s and Trinity Methodist. The regular season in Belize City commenced on Wednesday, September 25, 2013, with three games on the schedule. In the only girls’ game on the schedule, St. Luke Methodist went up against Belize Elementary School. In the first of two male games, St. Luke Methodist saw action against Belize Elementary and in the second game Unity Presbyterian went up against St. Martin De Porres.

XXIII National Women’s Softball Championship this weekend
The Belize Softball Federation will play host to the XXIII Edition of the National Women’s Softball Championship which is scheduled for Friday, September 27 – September 29, 2013, at Rogers Stadium the home of softball in Belize. As the premier female sports in the country, the Belize Softball Federation has dedicated this year’s National Women’s Softball Championship to the survivors of cancer especially breast cancer. The Baden’s balls that will be used in the championship are pink in colour and carry the logo of the Cancer Awareness Foundation. The ceremonial first pitch will be a dual pitch the first time that this will be done in the country and this honours will be given to Mrs. Philippa Griffith-Bailey, ISF Hall of Fame Member, immediate past Treasurer of the Belize Softball Federation, the only Women in Sports Commissioner in the country and she will be joined by a representative of the Cancer Society.

Rio Hondo Floods Orange Walk Communities
Residents of Santa Cruz, San Roman, San Antonio and Douglas Village in the Orange Walk District have had to adjust their daily routine to cope with an extremely wet September. The country has not seen an extended period of dry days since the month started and all communities along the banks of the major rivers are on flood alert. The communities of Santa Cruz, San Roman, San Antonio and Douglas have been dealing with flash floods for several days and the water from the Rio Hondo River has covered the road leading to the villages and cut them off from the rest of the country. Residents of those communities are very familiar with flooding and have not allowed the inconvenience of nature to keep them from continuing their daily routine. The residents start their day about an hour earlier. The National Emergency Management Organization has been in the area since Thursday, September 19th. Units of the Belize Defense Force River Patrol and Belize National Coast Guard are operating in the area. They have combined their resources along with civilian assistance to move residents across the water in boats and unto waiting buses. Elodio Aragon Sr., NEMO Coordinator for the North, explained that students are transported first and a free bus has been provided for them. After the students cross the water, the boats are available for individuals heading to their place of employment. After those priority groups are transported, other residents are assisted. Residents of communities along river banks must remain alert as the National Meteorological Service is forecasting more rain in the upcoming days. The forecast for Thursday and Friday is for “isolated showers and isolated thunderstorms” and for Saturday the forecast is “a few showers and isolated thunderstorms inland and North”. Meaning, more rain is likely to pour down on the Rio Hondo River.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Legends of Belize Book Release
GrisDismation is an independent studio established by Artists GrissyG and Dismas to produce unique Art and Animations that entertain, inspire and fascinate. Their creative magic includes producing Fine Art in a variety of mediums from watercolors, acrylics, wire, sculpey and original Artistic Animations exclusively for exhibitions,presentations, licensing, merchandising and sales of fine Art prints. Original Artistic Animated shows produced by GrisDismation include Ongher, Time Box, and MasBot, which appeal to a wide audience from children to adults. Ongher is a light-hearted comedy about a modern day clown who lives life much like the rest of us but with a comedic twist just for a good laugh. Time Box is an adventure of epic proportions as friends Zelfo, Melvasi and Buggd travel the time dimensional universe to find Buggd’s home. MasBot, Man Android System Bot is a Science Fiction adventure that explores the technological unknown.

Eradication Of Dogs
The eradication of dogs began on the early morning of September 25th and unfortunately a few house dogs were poisoned as well. The owners are upset and are holding the Village Council responsible claiming that no date was given on the eradication of dogs and what they have done is wrong. The Health Department conducted the eradication with the assistance of the Village Council and Police Officers. The eradication is done if and when the Health Department gets too many complaints on stray dogs. Even if dogs have collars they are still considered a stray. In many countries around the world ‘Dog Laws’ exist and consequences are given if they are broken or requirements are not met. We in Belize do have a DOGS ACT which can be found in Chapter 153, Revised Edition 2000 Here are a few laws taken from the above revised edition.

Garbage patch finds its way to Caye Caulker
A patch of garbage stretching for several ugly yards found its way in the seas near Caye Caulker. A boater in the area took these photos. Where did this garbage come from? According to sources, a lot of garbage has been finding its way on to the East side of the island this week. The garbage included syringes and yards of plastic waste. Update: There are SEVERAL patches of garbage floating in the sea all over the front of the island, not just one.

The Reporter

Facing shortages, Venezuela takes over toilet paper plant over toilet paper factory
When you’re running low on toilet paper and getting desperate, what do you do? If you’re the Venezuelan government, you take over a toilet paper factory.

Brazil’s president Rousseff attacks US over spy claims President Dilma Rousseff: “The argument that illegal interception…is intended to protect nations against terrorism is untenable”Continue reading the main story Related Stories Brazil president calls off US trip Brazil and Mexico probe NSA claims US agency ‘surveillance leviathan’
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has criticised the US over allegations it carried out electronic espionage.

Charting a way forward for Belize sports: Belmopan Active Youths win US$100,000 grant
The Belmopan Active Youths (BAY), a youth organization established in April 2012 has received US$100,000 in grant money from the United States Embassy in Belmopan. The money is to be used to establish a project for drug prevention among young people of Belmopan and surrounding communities over the next 10 [...]

In acquitting Menjivar, Judge found GSU acted as trespassers
The Central District of the Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling on Monday, when Justice Denis Hanomansingh dismissed a nine count indictment of attempted murder against Miguel Angel Menjivar.

Man gets three years for fondling his daughter’s breast
A 56-year-old man, who inappropriately touched his daughter, was found guilty of aggravated assault of an indecent nature on Monday and sentenced to three years in prison.

Afternoon nap aids children’s learnings
Getting young children to take an hour-long nap after lunch could help them with their learning by boosting brain power, a small study suggests.

Dramatic’ drop in global HIV infections
The number of HIV infections and Aids-related deaths has fallen dramatically, according to a UN report. Death rates fell from 2.3 million during its peak in 2005 to 1.6 million last year, says UNAIDS.

Barney Brown wins Burrell Boom bypass race
Barney Brown of the Scotiabank team, won the second test race organized by the Belize Cycling Association on Sunday, September 22.

Camalote Blazers win Miley Garcia softball championship
Camalote Blazers won the 2013 Miley Garcia women’s softball championship, by a 5-0 victory over Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy in the third game of the finals organized by the Cayo Softball Association at the Denbeigh Fuller Stadium in Camalote last Sunday, September 22.

The Belize Times


Isla Mujeres, Mexico: An Alien Albino Turtle, An Island Made Only of Plastic Bottles and A Look Around
When guide books refer to both San Pedro, Belize AND Isla Mujeres, Mexico, they often start with a phrase like “Once a sleepy fishing village…”. But I don’t think that is all these two islands have in common. GRANTED, I’ve lived in San Pedro for almost 7 years and I’ve been on Isla Mujeres for about 24 hours but I went all over the place today and got a decent feel for it. This island has an excellent vibe, gorgeous beaches and some killer food and one MAJOR difference to San Pedro: they get about 1 MILLION visitors a year. ONE MILLION! Here’s my look around. I’m saving the eating for another post since it is SO good, it deserves to stand alone. Here’s a map that I took inside a golf cart rental shop (similarity #1) to give you the general layout. The island is less than 5 miles long and about 1/2 mile at it’s thickest. Most of the population (listed at about 13,000 though it seems like SO MUCH more) lives on the left side of the map or the north part of the island called El Centro. Here is a map to show the isla in relation to it’s HUGE sister, Cancun.

International Sources

Mexican fishermen push for sustainable lobster harvest
Mexico's government took steps this month to protect fisheries in the Caribbean region in response to requests from fishermen who are pushing for more sustainable lobster harvests. Four marine sanctuaries covering 133 sq. kilometers (51 sq. miles) were created under an agreement betweeen the federal government and fishermen who belong to four cooperatives. The Agriculture, Ranching, Rural Development, Fishing and Food Secretariat published the agreement creating the sanctuaries in southeastern Mexico in the Official Daily of the Federation on Sept. 12. The Andres Quintana Roo, Banco Chinchorro, Jose Maria Azcorra and Langosteros del Caribe fishing cooperatives requested the creation of the sanctuaries in Quintana Roo state. Area fishermen agreed to stop working the waters in the protected areas to give marine life time to recover as part of an effort to maintain long-term production. "My son is 11. He did not see the number of lobsters I was able to see," Gerardo Velazquez, a member of the Vigia Chico cooperative in Punta Allen, told Efe. Fishermen have agreed not to take lobsters that are less than 13.5 centimeters (5.3 inches) long or females carrying eggs.

Ship’s crew march for independence day
SAILORS from Portsmouth-based HMS Lancaster took part in an independence day parade in Belize. Dressed in tropical No 1 uniforms the sailors marched around Belmopan, the capital, along with servicemen from the Belize Defence Force. Cheered on by local schoolchildren the 20 sailors marched four miles through the city. HMS Lancaster was anchored off Belize City for four days. The Type 23 frigate is on a six-month deployment to the North Atlantic and Caribbean. Her task is providing security to the region, along with conducting counter-narcotic operations. The sailors were welcomed to Belize with a reception by the Governor General, which concluded with a midnight flag lowering ceremony. Midnight marks the time the Union Jack was lowered for the last time in the country in 1981. Commander Steve Moorhouse is the commanding officer of HMS Lancaster.

Belize charge d'affaires now ambassador to Taiwan: gov't
Cherie Nisbet, former charge d'affaires at the Embassy of Belize in Taiwan, was recently promoted to the Central American ally's ambassador to Taiwan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced yesterday. Nisbet presented a certified copy of a letter of credence to Foreign Minister David Lin on Sept. 16, announced Florencia Hsieh, deputy director-general of MOFA's Department of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs, yesterday. She will soon present the official letter of credence to President Ma Ying-jeou to officially assume the post of ambassador to the R.O.C., Hsieh said. Nisbet took up the Belizean Embassy's charge d'affaires post in August 2011.

Not All Is Good With Norwegian Cruise Lines Future Belize Port
"Our ships will be going somewhere else, unless we can figure out a way to make the experience better." Colin Murphy, Norwegians Vice President, Destination & Strategic Development, following the rejection of their proposed purchase of Crawl Caye in southern Belize for development as a cruise port. TROUBLE IN PARADISE: Dirty tricks and bully boy tactics in the Tropics? Norwegian Cruise Lines announced the purchase last week of the 75 acre Harvest Caye off the coast of southern Belize, and their intention to create a cruise port and eco-friendly private island two miles south of the tiny fishing village of Placencia, along with a mainland hub for land-based tours. The project is apparently set to generate local jobs, so you could be forgiven for wondering why there is local, and very vocal, opposition.

September 26, 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

2014 Public and Bank Holidays
The Government of Belize Press Office has sent out a press release informing about the Public and Bank holidays for 2014. It is notified for general information that public and bank holidays specified in the First and the Second Schedules to the Holidays Act, Chapter 289 of the Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2003, will be observed on the following days during the year 2014 in accordance with section 3 of the said Act:-

Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit disrespected by Coast Guard personnel

Lions Quest influencing better behavior in students on Caye Caulker
The Belize Lion Zone 59 handed out Lions Quest textbooks to the Caye Caulker Roman Catholic School students on Thursday September 19th. The donation is the organization’s continued support to the Lion’s Quest Program that has been adopted by the school since its inception in Belize. Generally, the programs are comprehensive, positive youth development and prevention curricula that unite the home, school and community to cultivate capable and healthy young people of strong character. On hand to deliver the textbooks was the Chairperson of Belize Lion Zone 59 Melanie Paz and the Lions Quest Director Robert “Bobby” Lopez. Speaking to the kids, Paz took the opportunity to share with the students, the Lion’s commitment to the program as well as the importance of Lions Quest in molding good, productive citizens.

ACES and BFD collaborate to train police officers
Following Garcia’s presentation Cherie Chenot- Rose of ACES gave an oversight of the decreasing crocodile population on Ambergris Caye, and just how the different aspects of human interaction have contributed to this decline. According to Rose, the population of American crocodiles on Ambergris Caye has declined from a record 5,000 in 2005 to a current estimated 1,000. Rose shared the activities imposing threats upon the declining population, the most major being poaching and feeding crocodiles. The American crocodile is a protected species but is illegally poached for meat , teeth, skulls, skin and for torture. Feeding crocodiles has also desensitized the species from its natural instinct to stay away from man. However crocodiles are very territorial and feeding them gives them grounds over a new territory in which they won’t hesitate to attack and defend if they associate humans with food. Later that evening, the officers led by Officer in Command Luis Castellanos, accompanied by the BFD officers had a chance to get some hands-on experience in handling crocs with the ACES team. The crews of police and forest officers were escorted to the ACES crocodile holding facility in San Mateo. At the facility ACES croc wrangler and animal behaviorist Vince Rose along with the ACES team demonstrated essential techniques in handling these aggressive reptiles. The officers got a chance to practice those techniques and were later carried on an eye-shine expedition via boat on the lagoon to learn how to spot crocodiles in their natural environment.

Ambergris Today

Video Pick: Beach Bunny Swimwear Loves Belize
She is a Russian model known for her 2007 through 2013 appearances in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and cover model for the 2011 issue. She is Irina Shayk who has has been featured in a batch of just-released, sizzling hot Beach Bunny Swimwear that were shot, where else, but in BELIZE! Check out sexy Sports Illustrated beauty Irina as she flaunts her perfect figure in a variety of bikinis while frolicking in the tropical waters of Belize, Sanctuary Island, Turneffe Atolls to be exact. Beach Bunny’s favorite Russian beauty stuns again with the release of her very own collection, Irina Shayk for Beach Bunny.

Dorian’s Angels ‘In Love’ with the New Frozen Treats in Town
Belizean ‘Pops’ – it’s a Belizean frozen treat similar to a popsicle, ‘ideal’ or push pop. What makes the Pops such a great frozen treat is that it's usually made with condensed milk and is very sweet, packed with flavor. Well let me tell you more about the delicious POPS and how the Angels have gotten addicted to them. Zinnia Gomez has found the golden mixture of ingredients and producing some delicious POPS. Of course she has the regular fruit flavors that everybody loves, but because she is inventive and creative, Zinnia's POPS have become very popular. Besides the regular flavors like Chocolate, Strawberry, Coconut, Orange, Sugar Corn she is making Soursop, Rasberry, Mango, Peanut Butter, Oreo Cookie, Pina Colada, Strawberry Daiquiri, Lemon Iced Tea, Tamarind, Jamaica and Horchata Frappe! So the Angels are inviting you to visit Zinnia at Mash Company Ltd. located on Pescador Drive because her Belizean POPS are a must have treat. Once you find your favorite flavor, trust us, you will be going back for more and even making special orders. Her POPS go for a reasonable $1 ($1.25 for the Rum POPS) but are available in pints for $6 and quarts for $12. You can call 226-2089 for orders or special flavor requests. We are sure Zinnia is capable of pleasing your cravings for Belizean POPS! - By Perlita Zapata

Misc Belizean Sources

Bathrooms, Books, Blackboards & Basic Supplies: Help us provide them to students in Punta Negra, Belize.
After years of work the Punta Negra Village Council has won the support of the Government of Belize to replace the old condemned school building in our village. Construction on the new building started in August 2013 and will be completed in October 2013. We are truly grateful for this investment in our children but it has been left to the community to supply everything beyond the shell of a one room wooden school house measuring 24 x 30 feet. The children here are used to doing without but we are hoping to augment the structure with basics like a bathroom, electricity (we are an off-grid community), a rainwater collection system, a basic library, blackboards, desks, school supplies, etc. The children of Punta Negra have a true love of life and remain as yet untainted by consumerism. We do not want to change this but hope to be able to equip them with the skills to contribute in the future. Your contribuition WILL make a huge difference in the lives of not only the current students but those to come in future generations. Thank you for reading about our campaign and please help us reach our goal.

Belizean Nationalist Philip Goldson-The Ardent Revolutionary To The Expanionist Guatemalan Claim
A documentary on one of the most celebrated Belizean nationalist, the late Philip Wilboforce Goldson, and the struggle he waged against the expansionist Guatemalan Claim since 1948. Goldson was also the architect of the National Independence Party (NIP), the opposition party that opposed the policies of the Peoples United Party (PUP) led by the popular Belizean leader and Prime Minister George Cadle Price. Minister Goldson, as he is referred to in Belizean political circles, was also one of the founding members of the PUP before leaving the party in the 1950's. To date, he remains the most ardent revolutionary to the insidious Guatemalan Claim that remains unsettled up to today. The body of political work in which he has laid down for future generations of Belizeans in resistance to the Guatemalan government aggression to Belizean sovereignty and territorial integrity has today become a revolutionary force that Belizean activist and nationalist continue to use to resist. In tribute to his great political brilliance and resistance for some 46 years, he remains the ardent Belizean nationalist for Belize's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Today, Belizeans at home and abroad continue to resist the present Compromis signed between Belize and Guatemala on December 2008 that the Organization of American States has orchestrated to get both countries to settle the dispute at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The historical presentation in the documentary was aired in 1991 on the popular Dickie Bradley Show on the revolutionary KREM radio.

Belize Guatemalan Dispute
The podcast highlights the escalating crisis about the Belize Guatemalan Dispute and how a 2008 signed Compromis between the Belize and Guatemalan government in Washington sparked tension between the Belizean people and the Belizean government. The Belizean Foreign Minister, Wilfred Elrignton, who referred to Belize's border with Guatemala as artificial has been criticized by Belizeans at home and abroad for misrepresenting the Belizean people in negotiations with the Guatemalan government. As the crisis escalates, the diaspora based organization BREDAA aired a radio program on the issue, and its spokesman, Nuri Akbar Estrada articulated a resistance position against taking the dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

A Tribute To The Late Belizean Mayan Activist Julian Cho
In 1996, Belizean Mayan activist Julian Cho visited Washington in the United States to draw attention to the plight of the Belizean Mayans and to stop 17 logging concessions that that the Belize government under the Esquivel Administration had granted to international logging companies, one in particular, the Malaysian logging giant Atlantic Industries, to log on Mayan ancestral lands. A law suit was filed against the Belizean government to stop the logging but Cho who died mysteriously afterwards did not live to see the fruits of his struggle as the Belizean Mayas won an unprecedented victory against government in the Belize supreme court a few years later. Today illegal logging continues to plague Belize's Ministry of Natural Resources and its forestry department under the Barrow administration. The documentary celebrates the struggle of this Belizean revolutionary.

Breaking Free! (Part II)
This past week I received very many emails and Facebook messages with readers’ comments regarding my thoughts on Belize’s September celebrations of Independence, and on its “Breaking Free”. Since this topic resonated with many readers, especially Belizeans who shared their many thoughts on the subject with me, this week I offer more ideas along these lines. To break oneself free of a habit or custom, whether it’s positive or negative, is by far much easier said than done. Adapting to change is never easy for anyone, especially when he/she is set in his/her ways. (To both my young adult sons, I humbly and publicly offer my “mea culpa”.) Painful examples of peoples and countries throughout history that chose to break free of domineering rulers show that they went to great lengths, including fighting (civil) wars that incurred many deaths and great suffering, before being able to freely choose their very own path(s). Moreover, people throughout the world who were once enslaved also had to fight and suffer greatly for long periods of time, both physically and emotionally, before finally gaining their emancipation and freedom.

Delicious Sweets of Belize
Belize has some unique, yet very delicious sweets that you “must try” when visiting. These sticky, sweet, bite sized delicious sweets are locally handmade and perfected through generations of sweet makers. These delicious, heavenly sweets can be found on food carts, markets and street stalls throughout the country. Here are our favorites..

Starting A Business In Belize
Whether it’s large or small, starting a business in Belize is a great idea. The type and size of your business all depends on your target market. If you’re catering to local Belizeans, bear in mind that the country has a small population of around 330,000. However, the country is a major tourist destination, thus if that’s your primary interest, your target market is much larger. Belize is close to the USA, which means it’s easy to travel to, having direct flights from, New York, California, Georgia, Florida, and Texas. The main language in Belize is English/ Kriol however, most locals speak English and/or Spanish, two of the most common languages in the world. The country has links to both Central America and the Caribbean, which allows us to benefit from trade agreements within both regions.

Rompe Rajas at Cayo Welcome Center
Video from the Rompe Rajas Band playing last week at the Cayo Welcome Center for Music in the Park. They'll be playing at Benque's Art Fiesta, which starts at 2:00pm this Saturday. This will be the Rompe Rajas Band's first time playing at Centennial Park in Benque. In related news, the Arthur Guinness concert in Jamaica will be televised tomorrow at the Cayo Welcome Center.

Lonely Planet Features Make-Belize Films
Kurse a di Xtabai is mentioned in the Lonely Planet guide for Belize, with the heading, 'Creating Hollywood in Cayo.' They interviewed Matthiew Klinck, and asked, 'why Cayo?' The answer mentions the 'pristine jungle' and how they needed caves and a river, and that they were all found in Elijio Panti National Park. San Antonio and Actun Tunichil Muknal are mentioned too.

ISCR Independence Day Pictures
The Institute for Social and Cultural Research got some cool Independence Day Parade pictures.

Channel 7

Nationality Certificate, Application Signed By Hon. Penner Revealed
Tonight there are still more questions coming out of the Immigration Department about the fraudulent issuance of a passport to a South Korean fugitive named Kim Won Hong. So far, Minister of State for immigration Elvin Penner has been forced to resign from Cabinet. And now three Immigration Officers who work in the passport section have been recommended for suspension. They are Data Entry Clerks, Omar Phillips and Erwin Robinson and the head of that section Mrs. Sharon Neal-Flowers. They remain on duty pending a hearing. But, as we've noted no one from the nationality section has been suspended. And that's very strange, because those with a knowledge of how the process works tell us that the file for Kim Won Hong had to originate in the Nationality section. That section also produced this, the nationality certificate obtained by 7news which establishes Kim Won Hong as a citizen of Belize. When a new Belizean applies for a passport, this document is handed over to the passport section which then makes out a passport according to the specifications on the certificate. The document with the seal was signed by Elvin Penner and is dated April 22, 2013 –for a passport issued on September 9th, 2013.

What Led To Teenager Killing In Orange Walk?
As we told you last night, a teenaged high school student was stabbed to death in Orange Walk Town yesterday. Biscayne Village resident Darrell Wade was on his way home from New Hope High School when a man stabbed him in the chest. Daniel Ortiz found out more from his family today in Orange Walk: Daniel Ortz Reporting Today, the New Hope High School mourned the loss of 18 year-old Darrell Wade Jr., one of their own who was taken from them in an attack executed yesterday just after classes. They held a memorial service in his honor, and their sorrows were in chorus with his family. Sarah Wade - Mother of Deceased "Right now, I am presently at Darrell's school where they are presently doing the ceremony, and Darrell is a loving person. Whoever knew Darrell, or had anything with Darrell, know the type of persons who Darrell was. Whenever you saw Darrell, he is always smiling."

Coast Guard Officer Demoted For Hon. Skerrit Sea Stop
Last night we told you about the humiliating experience that Dominican Prime Minster Roosevelt Skerrit was subjected to when he was detained by the Coast Guard on the waters near his San Pedro hotel on Saturday. Skerrit was the special guest for Independence Festivities and the Coast Guard was to escort him and his delegation out to the Shark Ray Alley and the Hol Chan Reserve. But the Coast Guard missed the time for the escort and instead intercepted Skerrit and his delegation on the way back. The Coast Guard officers tied the Skerritt boat to their own and boarded it. According to eyewitness accounts, one Ogaldez from the Coast Guard rudely questioned members of the delegation on Skerrit's boat and roughly asked who is the Prime Minister? When Skerrit said "I am", Ogladez just ignored him. It's a major embarrassment for the government and the coast guard and today Rear Admiral John Borland, Commandant of the Belize Coast Guard told explained what disciplinary action was taken against his officer.

The Rio Hondo's Mighty Rise
Flooding in northern Belize continues tonight – particularly in northeastern Orange Walk. That is a chronically flood prone area on the banks of the Rio Hondo. Our team just returned form those flood affected villages a short time ago – and while they are working on that story, we have the full view from yesterday when we visited Douglas – which lies just outside the land mass known as the Albion Islands and San Roman Village. Here's what they found: Daniel Ortiz Reporting 4 villages in the Orange Walk District are experiencing serious flooding as a result of the rapid rise of the Rio Hondo. The NEMO Branches in the Corozal and Orange Walk Districts have had to be activated.

The Other Way Of Peace-Making: 200+ Men Working On Lake I Blvd
Last night we told you all about the project to dismantle the City Center in Belize City. It will take months to complete, because it is not a demolition, and almost everything has to be re-used somewhere. But while the long delayed removal of this eyesore is news, the social dimension of the story was the real interesting part: contractor CISCO construction has designed the project to be manual labour intensive and they're hiring males form gang affiliated areas to do it. And while that is providing employment for a few dozen men from the Back-A-Town area, we were blown away to find over 200 men form all different areas working on the Lake I Boulevard! That's the Boulevard that will connect the Western Highway to a new Bridge that will span the river across to Chetumal Boulevard in the Belama Area. Phase one of the project is all about landfill: 12 thousand loads of clay will be spread across the area over five months. That's a lot of loads, and to provide employment; they're doing it all by hand! And many of the hands are those idle ones that used to be "you-know-who's workshop" – but now those hands are holding shovels and pick axes. We found out more:

Public Accounts Questions Integrity Of Government Reporting Processes
The Public Accounts Committee UDP-style met again today in Belmopan. We say UDP style because the opposition Chairman Julius Espat and member Rodwell Ferguson have refused to join their agenda. But right now the opposition is the "odd-man-out" because the Chamber, the Churches and labour representatives have been attending the meetings. Heck, the UDP even enlisted a chartered accountant to monitor the proceedings. Day one focused on the 2003 – 2004 audit of the Musa Administration's second term. Day two fast forwarded to year one of the Barrow administration, 2008 – 2009. That's a report the auditor general refused to sign off on because of missing data and numbers that did not reconcile. Today's exchanges with the former auditor General focussed on a system where reporting and record keeping was apparently a very low priority:

Belize's Coast Guard Navy Seals Ready For The World
In August we showed you the slightly bizarre training regime for Belize's first Coast Guard Navy Seals. They had to bathe in mud, crawl on all fours under a midday sun, and then jump into a pool of ice cold water to sing the national anthem. Well after months of training like this, the highly specialized unit graduated today, as the pride of a Coast Guard that is quickly finding its way as a key part of Belize's security apparatus:

Territorial Volunteers Ready For Other Missions
Activist Will Maheia's Belize Territorial Volunteers have made a certain kind of history this year with their bold border expeditions. While they remain committed to that, the group wants to extend its activities with more direct interventions. To that end, they today launched their new logo along with a fundraising drive. We attended the open yard press conference at the KREMANDALA compound: For a shirt you can call Will MAheia at 610-0978.

Taking Paranda Further Than It’s Ever Gone: Garifuna Collective Off to Eastern, Western Europe
September is the month of patriotism, celebration, revelry and music, but somehow, in all this, Belize's premier cultural Ambassadors, the Garifuna Collective didn't play a single show anywhere in Belize all through September. While we're trying to wrap our heads around that one, the Collective isn't hanging up. Tomorrow they head out on an ambitious European Tour which will take them to six cities, including Prague and Warsaw Poland. It's the first time any Belizean band has played those faraway places and they told us why they're ready for what's next: The band plays London England, Warsaw Poland, Prague Czech Republic, Brussells Belgium, Utrech Netherlands and Bern Switzerland. They leave tomorrow...

Deeper Into The Floodlands
In our last segment, we showed you what the situation in Douglas and San Roman Villages in the Orange Walk District. These are 2 of 4 villages currently on alert because the Rio Hondo is flooded, and has spilled waters into these villages. Today, our News team went back to the Orange Walk District, where they discovered that it is quite a task to get into – and out of – San Antonio. Here's what they found: Daniel Ortiz Reporting The San Antonio Village, one of the Albion Islands, has been cut off from normal means of transportation for 23 days now. Isela Wade - Chairlady, San Antonio Village "We noticed that one September 3, we had some water crossing on both sides of the road. Eventually, it started to pass. After that, small vehicles like Toyota's it became difficult for them, cars, the drivers didn't want to take the risk of crossing. Since then, it's been rising every day."

Channel 5

PSU calls for passport investigation to include nationality certificate
There has been very loud silence from the Ministry of Immigration in the wake of the recent passport scandal. The only slight murmur came when a press release offered that [...]

Minister Hulse says there will be no attempt to whitewash crime under his watch
And while the PSU draws attention to the nationality process, Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse today asked for patience. He offered no new information, only proclaiming that there will be [...]

Coastguard Officer demoted for detaining PM Roosevelt Skerrit
The Coastguard this morning confirmed what has turned out to be quite an embarrassing incident on Independence Day. It involves Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, a guest of honor during this [...]

Social Investment Fund officially take over the Dangriga Market project
There is another scandal that has remained in the headlines since it first broke. We are referring to the million dollar Dangriga Municipal Market Project which was being rehabilitated through [...]

3 persons detained for the fatal stabbing of student, Darrel Wade
Orange Walk Police believe that they have solved the vicious murder of a high school student that happened in broad daylight on Tuesday. Eighteen year old Darrel Wade, originally from [...]

2 weeks after cop was slain criminal file is forwarded to D.P.P.
Detective Constable Dean Yearwood was shot and killed by a fellow officer in the early hours of September eighth while pursuing a pair of robbers who attacked him, as he [...]

Major flooding in the north; San Antonio Village cut off from Orange Walk Town
The waters of the Rio Hondo continue to rise, creating serious problems for communities along its banks. In the rural community of San Antonio, located just twenty minutes from Orange [...]

Meet the new SEALS of the Belize National Coast Guard
While the coastguard is under scrutiny for the shameful incident involving the detention of a boat carrying the Dominican Prime Minister, a team of eight operators attached to the Coastguard [...]

Dangriga resident says he was robbed of $6,000 after he was brutalized by the police
On the heels of one allegation of police brutality in Belmopan, there is another claim of excessive use of force by the police. This time around, a Dangriga resident says [...]

2 cruise ship passengers fined for possession of controlled drug
Two cruise ship passengers, who came into Belize City on Tuesday, got themselves in big trouble with the law when they were found in possession of marijuana. They are American [...]

Man charged for attempting to use forged Bowen & Bowen voucher
A Belize City man who attempted to swindle Bowen and Bowen Limited out of three hundred dollars and lied about his identity was arraigned today in the Belize City Magistrate’s [...]

3 environmental N.G.O.s awarded grants from Belize Nature Conservation Foundation
The sixth grant award ceremony of the Belize Nature Conservation Foundation, formerly known as the PACT Foundation, was held today at the Coastal Zone Management Training Room on Princess Margaret [...]

The P.U.P. celebrate 63rd birthday of party with exhibition
This Sunday, September twenty-ninth will mark some sixty-three years since the establishment of the People’s United Party. It’s a big moment for members and supporters of the P.U.P. as they [...]

Chamber of Commerce calls on House members to exercise respect at house meetings
The House of Representatives meets this Friday in Belmopan. As we understand, a number of bills will come back for second and third readings and passage, including the Trusts (Amendment) [...]


Second Round of Hearings for Public Accounts Committee
Today the Public Accounts Committee held its second round of public hearings for revision of the auditor general reports. Once again, Chairman of the committee, Julius Espat, along with opposition member, Rodwell Robinson was a no-show. So, John Saldivar was elected as pro-tem chairman once again and the revision of the annual report of the Auditor General for April 1st 2008 to March 31st 2009. That report was not handed in until September 23rd, 2009, six months after the period ended. The first witness in the form of former auditor general for that period, Edmund Zuniga, was called and the questions began. Committee member, Patrick Faber, pointed out what can be considered a flaw in the process; several of Zuniga’s answers were simply that he could not recall and that key information was not passed unto him by the accountant general. EDMUND ZUNIGA “During the course of the audits there is regular communication with the Accountant General office via memoranda; in this case we would have sent memoranda to the Accountant General outlining those differences that we observe during the audit.”

Immigration Minister Backs Out of Scheduled Meeting With Reporter; Many Questions Remain
A number of questions remain as to how South Korean national, Kim Won Hong ended up with a Belizean passport. Three employees from the Immigration Department have been recommended for suspension in connection with the incident. Love News made attempts to get answers from Minister Godwin Hulse however despite agreeing to an early afternoon interview, Minister Hulse proved to be unavailable to answer our questions. Love News obtained a copy of the nationality document signed by former Minister of State Elvin Penner dated April 22, 2013. On the document the address listed as permanent address for the South Korean is Piccini area Belmopan even though all indications are that he never entered Belize and given the rigorous process of obtaining nationality, could not have qualified.

Petty Officer to Seaman; Harsh Lesson for Officer
A member of the Belize Coast Guard has been demoted following an incident offshore Belize in which he reportedly disrespected and humiliated Dominica’s Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, who was in Belize on the occasion of our Independence. The incident happened on Independence Day, when Skerrit, was taken to San Pedro for a stay at Victoria House. Dominica News Online is reporting that on Saturday afternoon Skerrit was taken by boat to see the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley, escorted by a representative of the Tourism Board, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a police escort from Special Branch and Skerrit’s own security. The article goes that the Coast Guard was supposed to have trailed the vessel, which is standard for VIP’s – but the coast Guard vessel showed up late. When the Coast Guard vessel eventually showed up with four officers on board Skerrit and the delegation were heading back to Victoria House and were near their destination when the Coast Guard reportedly stopped the boat and detain it by tying it to their vessel. Local escorts informed the Coast Guard that the prime minister of Dominica was on board the boat, to which the officer in question, Petty Officer, Richard Ogaldez, gave no acknowledgement and only asked, “Who is the prime minister?” When Skerrit responded that he was, Ogaldez reportedly ignored him. It took the Minister of Tourism’s Secretary who finally got Ogaldez to stand down and let Skerrit and his entourage through. Today Rear Admiral John Borland explained to reporters that the incident that unfolded was the result of a lack of communication and that the Coast Guard received the request to accompany the VIP vessel very late. He added that Ogaldez has already been penalized following a meeting.

House Meeting Comes Up; Chamber of Commerce Pleads For Better Conduct
A meeting of the House of Representatives has been called for this Friday, September 27. About a month ago there were some concerns being raised about the behavior of the members of the House by members of the community and various organizations as well. This time the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry is calling on the Members of the House to conduct themselves with dignity. According to the BCCI this call is in light of the impending meeting. The release says that the BCCI has quote “noted with concern the continued and unchecked practice of members of the House of Representatives of displaying behavior during meetings of Parliament that is shameful, disrespectful and unbecoming of leaders of our thirty two year old democracy. The release further states that the members of the house are expected by the nation, to conduct themselves with decorum and maturity implicit in the title Honorable. The BCCI closes with calling on the speaker of the house to quote “maintain order in the House so that the real business of the day can indeed be carried out in exemplary fashion and to ensure that the lewd behavior displayed at the last House Meeting is never again repeated” end quote.

Lands System Restored; Information Not Compromised
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture yesterday issued a press release in which it informed the public that due to damage to their servers caused by lightning storms over the weekend, the Land Information System at the Lands and Survey Department went offline deterring them from offering complete services to the public services. Today however, Commissioner of Lands Wilbert Vallejos says there’s no reason to worry for the system has been restored. WILBERT VALLEJOS “We were unable to offer complete service to the general public. The service that got damaged has to do with the Land Folio, the new system that we have recently adapted and obviously because it is interconnected with Belmopan and the districts then we were able to offer the main services. What has happened since then is that we have managed to retrieve the information from the back up and so we are really glad that the backup we have in place is actually working and so now, we are able to provide the services. We have gotten the information from the back up and we have loaded it on a new server; we took advantage of the situation in terms of the old server because the server that got affected was an old server because the server that got affected was an old server that we had and now the information is back up on a new server. This new server is an improved version of what we had before and it’s offering the system with rapid speed and the interconnectivity within and among our offices; it’s even faster as we speak.”

Ammunition In Lumber Yard in Western Belize
A resident of Unitedville in the Cayo District, twenty two year old Jhaymen Bladdymir Martinez has been charged for the offence of kept unlicensed ammunition without a gun license. According to reports, acting upon information received they executed a search warrant for firearm and ammunition at the residence of Martinez in Unitedville and it led them to the discovery of a transparent plastic bag under some old lumber in the yard. The bag contained ten Aquila brand nine millimeter live rounds of ammunition. Martinez was then formally arrested and charged for the offence.

Coast Guard Certifies First Set of Seals
Despite having to explain the behavior and actions of Petty Officer Richard Ogaldez to reporters regarding the visit of the Dominican Prime Minister, Rear Admiral John Borland is also feeling a sense of pride today because the law enforcement agency that he heads today graduated its first set of SEALS, trained by the US SouthCom in Florida. The new team started training a year ago to prepare for dangerous encounters on the high seas. Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of National Security, George Lovell, said its all a part of a commitment to enhance the service. George Lovell, CEO, Ministry of National Security “We are making every effort to maintain our operational effectiveness abreast of the ever changing environments and situations that confront us. The forming of the Seals is another effort to maintain our operational readiness and that is for us to deal with the change in the environment. The Coast Guard Seals was formed as a result of the increase hostile encounters with our armed groups or joint enforcement groups because we now operate in a joint environment and we note that they were not afraid; these hostile encounters or elements were not afraid to engage our patrols in fire fights. These groups were equally as armed and equipped as the patrols carry similar weapon systems, ammunition and tactical gears. The regular Coast Guard units were not prepared for this type of engagement and thus the requirement of the Special Navy Force or Seals as they are today known.”

Trio Bounds and Robs Southern Resident
Sixty six year old Fabian Martinez, a resident of Punta Gorda reported to Police that he was robbed this morning. Martinez visited the station around 2:20 this morning with duct tape on his neck, both hands and legs. He reported to them on Tuesday sometime around 11:30pm, while at work at Johnson Distributors located at the corner of Main and North Streets in Punta Gorda, he was approached by three men, one who pointed a firearm which appeared to be a thirty eight revolver, at him. He said that they proceeded to duct tape him around his mouth, taped both his hands behind him and also taped his legs. They then carried him downstairs where they searched him and took his Samsung cell phone and placed him on the veranda where they left him and went to the back of the building. Martinez later heard a vehicle speed off and later managed to release himself. Two persons of interest have been detained pending the investigation.

Opposition Party Celebrates 63 Years
Last week the nation observed the second anniversary of the passing of the late George Price and today, the party that he helped to establish celebrated its 63rd year of existence. Secretary General of the People’s United Party, Myrtle Palacio, said that even though their Leader Emeritus has now passed on, the level of interaction that students have shown about him is indicative that his memory will live right along with the party. MYRTLE PALACIO “You can hear the discussion about George Price; I think maybe it’s done in the homes and also in the schools in Social Studies. Today, the kinds of questions that are being asked by the students, there are certainly a lot of interest and the legacy of George Price among these standard six students.” MARION ALI “How has the party evolved since 1950 onwards?” MYRTLE PALACIO “From my own opinion, you can see that the party is still very much vibrant and strong; that the party is still very much one of serving the people, social justice; you will hear now because of social media and people are allowed to express themselves in whatever way they want to and these are sometimes members of the party who want to do so. The party has evolved into changing leaders and I think it has now moved to one of personality to a party where there is a leadership that is listened to and it’s not a personality party.”


It appears that of recent, Belize just can’t seem to get any positive press as it has been embarrass...
Another Scandal For Belize As PM Skerrit Is Stopped In His Tracks By Belize Coast Guard

Three Persons Detained Pending Investigations Into Murder Of High School Student
The family, friends, fellow classmates, and teachers of a vibrant and intelligent young man ar...

Corozal Resident Drowns During Fishing Trip
Tonight, a man lies in the Corozal Hospital morgue after he passed away during a fishing trip betwee...

DFC Celebrates 50th Birthday By Giving Back To The Community
Approximately fifty students will be benefitting from a generous donation made by the Development Fi...


Names of suspended Immigration Officers revealed
On Monday night, we told you that the Ministry of Immigration has suspended three Immigration Officers following the passport scandal involving South Korean national Kim Won-Hong – a scandal that led to the resignation of now former Minister of State Elvin Penner. Well now the identity of those persons...

SIF project financiers call for independent investigation into Dangriga market project
Last week the Social Investment Fund effectively took over the Dangriga Market Project after Kennard Smart, contractor with K&G Construction, left it up in the air following reports of lack of financing and inability to continue the project. The responsibility has fallen on Emy Gilharry Ramirez...

Rosewood still being extracted in the south
It’s been a while since we’ve heard about Rosewood transactions in Belize, but on Monday evening, persons were busted in the south harvesting the dangerously close to extinct species. The bust took place in the deep river area of the Toledo District and was a...

17 year old alleges Police brutality
Every so often, we come across allegations of police brutality. On Tuesday, a mother told us she is seeking justice for her teenage son who she says was beat by Belmopan police. Journalist Emanuel Pech has the story. Emanuel Pech: The distressed mother of a 17 year old minor...

Police Commissioner’s wife stops a crime in progress
On Tuesday morning, in the vicinity of the Pound Yard Bridge, the wife of Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie and his daughter were reportedly involved in stopping a crime in progress. Details are sketchy at this time, but PlusNews understands that the Commissioner’s wife reportedly witnessed someone taking away...

National Bank of Belize is already attracting interest
Earlier this month the National Bank of Belize Limited located in Belmopan opened to much acclaim. First-time borrowers can access loans of as much as $100,000 with just 5.5% interest rate – a steal that has already caused the competing commercial banks to reduce their mortgage rates. The Hon....

HMS Lancaster on duty in Belizean waters
A former British colony and crown colony, Belize maintains strong ties to the United Kingdom particularly in military matters. Ladyville is still home to a downsized British Army Training Support Unit (BATSUB) and British fighting men have used Belize as their base for jungle training....

PM updates on Belize City Civic Centre, national economy, and oil
The Government of Belize, through the Belize Infrastructure Works Limited have resumed a complete overhaul of the Belize City Civic Centre. During his Independence Day address, Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow updated the nation on the 30 million dollar project. Prime Minister Dean Barrow: “Those of you...

The Sixth Meeting of Caribbean Network Operators Group convenes in Belize City
The Sixth Meeting of Caribbean Network Operators Group (CARIBNOG) convened in Belize City on Monday morning. Over the next four days technology and security professionals from around the Caribbean will be discussing the latest advances in fighting attacks on computer networks and strategies for improving computer safety in business,...

Female special constable charged with aggravated assault
A female special constable was before the court Tuesday morning to answer to a charge of aggravated assault with a knife upon a minor, 31-year-old Natalie Hamilton, is accused of stabbing a 16 year old girl at the corner of Prince and George Street on Independence Day. In a...

High School Students in Belize City receive supplies
The nation’s schools reopened a few weeks ago and while learning is taking place, some students have difficulty acquiring even the basic school supplies they need. Moses Sulph’s Hands of Mercy charity foundation is seeking to close the gap and has received a donation from the New York Belizean-American...

Reports of Mayawalk incident were exaggerated says owner
On Monday we got word of a most unsettling incident that took place in the Teakettle Village on Sunday evening. Rumours had it that 10 tourists, under the care of Mayawalk Tours, got trapped in the Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Caves as a result of...

Donation made for KHMH Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital continues to move toward the construction of a new pediatric intensive care unit. On Monday the office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis Barrow which is spearheading the project announced that a further one million dollars is to be donated,...

Belmopan Active Youth accepts a generous donation
The Belmopan Active Youth Group accepted a generous donation. The donation – a sum of $100,000 was donated by the US Embassy for the establishment of a grant project for youth drug prevention for Belmopan and Surrounding Communities. The grant funds for youth drug prevention program will be utilized...

Formation of the Belize Medical Tourism Association well on its way
On Tuesday stakeholders from the medical and tourism sectors met in Belize City to hash out the final details of the formation of the Belize Medical Tourism Association. It is the culmination of the promotional efforts of BELTRAIDE, the Trade and Investment Service to firmly ground medical tourism as...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Miss Isela Wins “Raise Your Flag” Competition
The winner of the Raise Your Flag Competition is Mrs. Isela Marin. The Raise Your Flag competition is a competition held during the September celebrations. The public is asked to decorate their homes, vehicles, boats and businesses. The winner of the competition is the best decorated establishment or boat. It is selected by a panel authorized by the Village Council.

Garbage: The Most Mentioned Negative Aspect Of Caye Caulker and Belize By The Foreign Tourists
I am sorry I don’t do Facebook but I have a friend who informs me if there is anything being discussed in Caye Caulker which would be relevant to anything I am working on or writing about. So I am very happy that CCVC’s Foreman Wayne Miller beat me to my next planned article which was going to be about garbage. I started about garbage in my first article about the location of the only secondary school in Caye Caulker. There I wrote that I do not understand Central Governments refusal to listen to the island Elders proposal to move the present school Ocean Academy out of the swamp to a better Public Health spot next to the airport at the Social Security owned Resort.


Dinner and a movie at El Divino
As always you never know who will show at an event, we ended up with a lively table of 11 people and enjoyed a nice dinner together last Wednesday night and some very funny and all over the map conversations. We talked about everything from Boa Constrictors reptiles and giant bugs to what brought people to Belize and how they made their move. When it came time to set up the movie AV girl Mary had brought her dvd player and we found out that the plug would not work. We thought it was European but later found out it is just a strange plug that goes directly into a matching tv. My quick plan b was call Tacoboy to see if he could bring ours down. He paused sports got up off the couch, delivered our dvd player within in 15 minutes and earned some brownie points The final movie decision thanks to Cindy and Andy’s recommend was he movie Hysteria. A mischievously inspired romantic comedy set at the end of the 19th century, the film depicting the invention of the vibrator. We all gave it two thumbs up and lots of laughs, it was the perfect movie choice.

One Day Trip: San Pedro, Belize to Cancun & Then Isla Mujeres, Mexico and The New Belize/Mexico Border
I’ve been on this trip many times before…traveling by boat or plane to the bus up the Yucatan peninsula either for vacation or to take an interenational flight. And each time it strikes me how many amazing places are SO close to Belize. We are pretty lucky. Now I need to get from Corozal, Belize across the border to Chetumal, Mexico (less than 10 miles). And then take the ADO bus. There is a 10:30am, 12:30pm and 1:30pm (check the schedule for more times). I planned to take the bus from Corozal bus station to Chetumal. It costs ONLY $3BZD and I had plenty of time. But I ran into my buddy from Belize Transfers and decided to splurge and do it the very easy, comfy way. He practically delivers you on a velvet pillow to your destination – the Chetumal Bus station.

Retiring in Belize can start with a holiday that maybe never ends
Some years back we wrote about retiring in Belize. It seemed a no brainer. Here was an English speaking country at the doorstep of the US and Canada, meaning you, your kids and grand kids were a few hours away from visits, yet a million miles away from the hassles, hustle, and costs of spending your golden years in a warm, sunny friendly country. And, with the Government of Belize’s generous retirement visas, it seemed like you couldn’t afford not to retire to the Jewel. No reason to leave your favourite cars (some of us wouldn’t think of abandoning our 1967 Mercedes SL, not for one moment) furniture, life sized garden gnomes and containers worth of other personal possessions behind. And with various retirement communities springing up like those proverbial mushroom after a rain, you can chose to live among neighbours or build your own remote hacienda in the endless acres this underpopulated little country has. We’ve met so many people who have become amateur birders, Maya archaeologists, Spanish speakers, canoers, sailors, woodworkers and all sorts of keen hobbyists since moving here that the list seems endless.

Belize Medical Tourism Forums
BELTRAIDE invites key stakeholders in the medical and tourism sectors to the 1st Belize Medical Tourism Forum which will be held at the ITVET on Thursday, September 26, 2013 from 8:30am – 1:00pm. At this forum, international speakers will share their experience about (1) Fiscal Incentives for Medical Tourism Projects, (2) Quality and International Accreditation, (3) Insurance and Medical Tourism: Challenge and Opportunities and (4) Tourism and Health: the Importance of Emergency Response. Your presence will be greatly appreciated. Come and be a part of this forum.

“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” in San Pedro, Ambergris Cate, Belize.
Up and out on the veranda with my mug of black coffee and the iPad (of course) yesterday morning before 04.30 hours and straight in to my In Box to see if there was any word from Excess International Movers (the company we used to ship the stuff we had in storage in the UK to Belize) as to the whereabouts of our consignment. There was! The ship that our stuff was loaded on to in Miami had arrived in Belize City on 11 September. Only three days later than we had initially been informed that it would arrive by. But a time lag of fourteen days before we were told of its arrival. Crazy! And infuriating. Shipping arrangements from Miami through to Belize City were via Eurocaribe Shipping Services Limited which is a company that I have now struck off the list of potential shipping agents for the stuff we are going to purchase and ship from Miami. We now wait to be told when our stuff will be inspected by Customs and barged over to Ambergris Caye. We know that it is very close now though. But, as far as I am concerned, I still haven’t found what I’m looking for until I can get my hands on it!

International Sources

New Blockbuster IPCC Climate Report: Comprehensive, Authoritative, Conservative
Those words summarize the world's most rigorous and important scientific report in history: the 2013 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate assessment, due to be released at 4am EDT Friday in Stockholm, Sweden. The Nobel Prize-winning IPCC has put together an amazingly authoritative and comprehensive report on a subject crucial to the future of civilization, a report that will guide policymakers worldwide as they struggle to cope with the growing chaos generated by the Great Climate Disruption that is already upon us. The first 31 pages of the report, called the "Summary For Policymakers", is what will be released Friday, and this summary will lay out a powerful scientific case that significant climate change with severe impacts is already occurring, humans are mostly responsible, the pace of climate change is expected to accelerate, and we can make choices to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases to limit the damage.

Product Launch UK/US: Fair Spirits' Fair Rum
Fair Spirits has launched what it claims is the first fair-trade rum into the the US and UK. Fair Rum follows the company's fair-trade quinoa-based vodka, which was launched in France, the US and UK in 2010. At a launch event yesterday, Fair Spirits' UK head Matthieu Boulas told just-drinks the company hopes the premium rum can match the success of the vodka, which sells around 1,000 bottles a month. The five-year-old Fair Rum is made from sugarcane from northern Belize and aged and bottled in France. Fair Spirits says the rum is “fair-trade certified from top to bottom”, which benefits farmers in Belize and is an important selling point for consumers. “According to research we have done, about 74% of people are ready to pay a bit more for fair-trade alcohol,” Boulas said. “People are ready to give a bit more for charity.”

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.

September 25, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Salvadoran military band performs free concert for Ambergris Caye residents
Residents of Ambergris Caye as well as visitors enjoyed a spectacular musical night on the 21st of September. The concert was a gift from the Government of El Salvador and comprised of 64 musicians from “La Banda Sinfónica de la Fuerza Armada de El Salvador.” Their performance in San Pedro Town was part of a countrywide tour in honor of Belize’s patriotic celebrations. A short ceremony started with a beautiful rendition of the national anthems of both countries. Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero as well as the Area Representative Manuel Heredia Jr. were present at the event, and when speaking to the residents and addressing the members of the band, they both spoke of the long standing relationship between Belize and El Salvador.

Land Information System temporarily down
The Public is advised that due to damage to our servers caused by lightning storms over the weekend, the Land Information System at the Lands and Survey Department went offline. The IT technicians at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture have isolated the problem and the system has been repaired. The Land Information System is currently being restored from our daily backup servers. The Lands and Survey Department has resumed partial services to the general public today. Our technicians are working with the international IT partners to bring the Land Information System to full operations as quickly as possible. The Ministry expects the system to be fully operational by midday tomorrow, 25th September 2013 when all services will be available to the public. The Ministry thanks the public for its patience and understanding on this matter and reassures the public that all land information is completely secured.

San Pedro residents join in Independence Day Celebrations
Activities to commemorate the 32nd anniversary of Belize’s Independence Day celebration spanned two days on Ambergris Caye. It started with the official Independence Eve Ceremony, followed by the Midnight Flag Raising Ceremony and concluded with an international concert at the old Saca Chispas Football Field. For the first time, the Independence Day speeches by the various leaders were delivered on the eve of the occasion. The ceremony kicked off with much pomp and circumstance as the arrival of the various dignitaries was announced. Once all the invited guests were seated, the island’s Queen Miss Solani Graniel, escorted by Deputy Mayor Guillermo “Mito” Paz, and was led by the San Pedro High School Marching Band. First to speak was the Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero who highlighted the many accomplishments under his administration. He stressed that the council has invested in improving the municipality’s infrastructure through the street rehabilitation project, the increase of scholarships for students amongst other programs. He ended by inviting all Belizeans to unit and join in the celebration to mark the country’s independence.

Ambergris Caye observes National Service Day with different activities
On Thursday September 19th, the country observed National Service Day. Organizations, schools and various entities conducted several activities in their respective communities. The celebration was set aside to commemorate Belize’s National Hero and Father of the Nation, Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price. On Ambergris Caye there was no shortage of events as many students and residents joined in the different activities. As part of the activities for National Service Day, the San Pedro Town Council visited all the pre-schools on the island where they spent time with the students. Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero, his councilors and support staff joined in as they distributed coloring books along with refreshments to the students. The students smiled as they graciously accepted the gesture made by the council.

SPTC still faced with traffic issues as they work on traffic SI for the island
And while the increase of private motor vehicles is one issue, so are the taxis on the island. Not only have residents expressed displeasure at the attitude of most taxi drivers who stop wherever they want, drive above the speed limit and even take up most of the parking space in the down town area, but the issue of an increase in the number of taxi vehicles has also been questioned. “I agree that there is congestion when it comes to the parking and the area in which the taxis park. The congestion within the downtown area is caused by the same taxi drivers that exist right now because they are based within town. When we finish with our SI, things will change. All of them (taxi drivers) will not be allowed to park where they are currently parking. In addition, we cannot just stop the issuing of taxi permits because the town was not properly planned. We must work together in fixing the problem, identify parking areas, look at the size of vehicle that will be allowed to park on the streets within the town core, regulate the size of taxi and the number of taxis that will be allowed to be at their base at any given time – all of that will be address in the SI,” explained the Mayor. The traffic issues drastically escalated during the past administration, and the council is working on an SI that will address some of the traffic problems. Mayor Guerrero would not say when the SI would be completed, but he did say that works in finalizing it is ongoing.

Marco Gonzalez Archaeological Site Remains Closed
As of September 19th, the Marco Gonzalez Archaeological is temporarily closed due to all the high water from a recent tropical depression and unusually high tides helped along by a full moon cycle. Jan Brown, President of the MGMSAC, Ltd., walked or rather waded into the site on Thursday only to find the boardwalk over 50% flooded. "As a safety precaution, I've put a sign at the first of the walkway asking people to not enter the boardwalk," says Brown. "I found the water had floated several boards as well as caused several pallet sections to become loose from the base. And the biggest concern I have is that one of our resident crocs will have found a place to rest on the flooded boards. That's an adventure I surely don't want a visitor to have!" A walk about the site revealed the water was still encroached on some of the pathway on the west and south sides. "There is a certain area on the NW side where I didn't even have to visit as that is low and prone to normal tidal activity." But, Brown noticed that some brave soul had wandered in as evidenced by footprints in the wet pathway. Who came first - the human or the resident raccoon? And how about the fact that the footprints only went one way?

Independence Day Parade in San Pedro 2013 (98 photos)
San Pedro celebrated the 32nd Independence Day of Belize in grand style on September 21st! Were you there? If not you sure missed a good mark your calendar for 2014 and join us in the festivities! — at San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Parades in All Colors Celebrating Belize's Independence Day
Residents of San Pedro took to the streets of Ambergris Caye to celebrate, jump up and parade in observance of Belize’s 32nd Independence Anniversary this past Saturday, September 21, 2013. Parading revelers celebrated in costumes and floats of all colors that brought out this year’s theme: ‘Belize in You, Belize in Belize, Land of the Free’. Needless to say the parade was full of color, energy and life as residents showed what Belizean’s do best – have fun and show patriotic pride! Enjoy our picture and video highlights of this year’s Independence Day Parade in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye.

Anonymous Generous Donation to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Project
The Special Envoy for Women and Children and Founder of the Lifeline Foundation, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow is pleased to announce a generous donation of BZD$500,000 for the new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit now under construction at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The donor prefers to remain anonymous. It is the first half of a $1,000,000 pledge. It is comforting to know that people recognize the significance of this project and the great need for a properly equipped and staffed facility for our children. This donation will be a huge help in our efforts to ensure that Belize gets its first dedicated Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to give newborns and critically ill children the best possible healthcare right here at home.

Flashbacks: The First Belize Independence Parade
The year 1981, thirty two years ago, on September 21, Belize witnessed the first Independence Day parade ever and it took place in the commercial capital, Belize City. By Belize standards this was the biggest parade in memory. Take a look at the parade in Belize City. It was one solid mass of people from the foot of the Belize Swing Bridge all the way down Albert Street as far as the eyes could see. In a city of some 40,000 this parade must have had 50% of the entire inhabitants of the city. No trucks, no golf carts, no floats- only men, women, and children rejoicing on the freedom of Belize. It was a freedom sought from our Colonial masters since 1798 and intensifying in 1950 when heroes like George Price and Phillip Goldson and Nicolas Pollard among others founded the People’s Committee which was later to become the People’s United Party. This parade was a true image of patriotism.

VIDEO: San Pedro Parades for Belize 32nd Independence Anniversary
Residents of San Pedro took to the streets of Ambergris Caye to celebrate, jump up and parade in observance of Belize's 32nd Independence Anniversary this past Saturday, September 21, 2013. Parading revelers celebrated in costumes and floats of all colors that brought out this year's theme: 'Belize in You, Belize in Belize, Land of the Free

Misc Belizean Sources

San Pedro CHILDREN'S TALENT SHOW 2013 (46 photos)


Mayor Daniel Guerrero was a guest speaker at the Patriotic Children's Rally that was held at the auditorium at San Pedro High School. Inspirational and Motivational Speaker, 11 Year Old, Anthony Gill shared with the kids about bullying. The Mayor also handed out certificated of participation to various teachers and students who showed their patriotism in their school.

VIDEO: Belize Carnival Day
Belize Carnival signifies the celebration of Life. Take a look at the amazing costumes, colors and the people that came out on this day to celebrate.

Legends of Belize Creature Book
In Belize, Central America, there are terrifying stories about strange mythical creatures that roam the jungles and waters. Stories so terrifying, they are past down from generation to generation as folklore and legends. Discover fascinating but terrifying creatures; such as Tata Duende, Xtabai, Llorona, Sisimito, and many more that are believed to haunt Belize. The ancient legends are captured, documented, and preserved by Belizean Artists and Animators, GrissyG and Dismas. in a series of fine Art, logo Art, and brief descriptions about the cryptozoological, paranormal, supernatural, and unexplained. Be fascinated, be terrified, Belize.

Belmopan Active Youth Receives Grant
The Belmopan Active Youth group received $100,000 from the US Embassy for drug prevention around Belmopan. 45 youth leaders will be trained with the funds. Sports competitions, aimed at giving kids better things to do, will also be funded with the money. They'll also refurb and classify 6 city parks as drug free zones. Great work, BAY!

El Salvador Symphonic Orchestra Pictures
The El Salvador Military Symphony Orchestra played their free show Monday night at the Cayo Welcome Center. We're averaging around 5 cultural events at the Cayo Welcome Center every week this month. "Their grand performance included popular renditions from ABBA, Carlos Santana, the Beatles and even theme songs from movies such as Rocky III and Star Wars to name a few."

Harriot Topsey Fruit Park Revitaliztion
The Institute of Archaeology along with the Institute for Social and Cultural Research spent National Service Day revitalizing Harriot Topsey Park in Belmopan. Thanks, everyone, it looks great! "The staff of the Institute for Social & Cultural Research & the Institute of Archaeology teamed up together to give the Harriot Topsey Park a fresh paint job!" More pics...

UB Business Proposal Writing Seminar
The University of Belize will host a free Business Proposal writing seminar tomorrow morning at 9:00am. If you want to learn how to write a winning business proposal, then this is the seminar for you. They are teaming up with the DFC to celebrate 50 years of investing in the Belizean economy. "Special event for aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners... come and take advantage of a FREE BUSINESS PROPOSAL WRITING SEMINAR!! (Wednesday Sept 25, 2013 9a.m - 11:00 a.m. at the University of Belize Belmopan Campus)"

Residents of what's known as the Albion Islands in the north are enduring flooded communities. NEMO Orange Walk and NEMO Corozal are on alert and stand ready to assist. Here is a look at the situation in Douglas village, Orange Walk.

Recent rains in the north caused inconveniences for families in Concepcion village. One family had to bail out their house and set up sand bags to try and keep the water out.

Channel 7

Teenaged Student Killed In Broad Daylight in Orange Walk
An 18 year old high school student from Biscayne Village was killed in Orange Walk Town this afternoon. Around 4:15, Darrell Wade was stabbed by an adult male. It happened not far from his school - when a man who was walking in front of him took out a knife and stabbed the teenager in his chest. Information suggests that the two may have had a misunderstanding before this - based on the fact that the suspect believed Wade may have had some role in beating up his little brother two weeks ago. Whatever the case, Wade, still in his school uniform and carrying a school bag, was stabbed in front of the People's Stadium and collapsed to the street in a pool of blood. A nearby female vendor picked him up and rushed him to the hospital in her vehicle. But it was too late, he died shortly after. It happened in broad daylight and Police have a known suspect who they are looking for tonight. Wade was a student at New Hope High School.

Hon. Skerrit Detained, Humiliated By Belize Coast Guard
As we told you last week, the Prime Minister of Dominica Roosevelt Skerrit came to Belize for the Independence Festivities as a guest of honour. He told us he got a personal invite of Prime Minister Dean Barrow. On Saturday, after speaking graciously at the Independence Day Official Ceremonies, Skerrit was taken to San Pedro for a stay at Victoria House. In the afternoon, he was taken by boat to see the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley, escorted by a representative of the Tourism Board, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a police escort from Special Branch and his own security. The group was supposed to have been trailed by the Coast Guard for security purposes, which is standard for VIP's - but the coast Guard vessel didn't show up on time - so the trip went ahead without them. As it turned out, the Coast Guard vessel with four officers on board showed up when Skerrit and the delegation was heading back. They were almost back at Victoria House but the Coast Guard stopped the boat, and proceeded to detain and question them - detained by tying the Skerritt boat unto the Coast Guard Vessel so it couldn't move. The coast guard personnel was explicitly told by Skerrit's Belizean escorts that the Prime Minister of Dominica was on board. According to what we've heard, the Coast Guard Officer, one Ogaldez gave no acknowledgement of this - brusquely asking, "Who is the Prime Minister?" and when Skerritt answered, "I am", Ogaldez ignored him.

Suspect Suspensions At Dept Of Immigration
The three immigration officers who are facing suspension are all from the Passport section of the Immigration Department - including two data entry clerks and the head of that section, Sharon-Neal Flowers. That's news because no one from the Nationality Section has been suspended, and those with knowledge of the process say that the file for Kim Won Hong had to originate in the Nationality Section. But that file has disappeared - and all that's known at this time is that the application signed by Minister of State Elvin Penner is still on record at the passport section. As we reported Penner signed the photograph and application for Kim Won Hong who is in jail in Taiwan awaiting extradition to South Korea. He is accused of embezzling a vast sum of money - and the man accusing him is a former high ranking executive who's already in jail in south Korea. Won Hong allegedly got the Belizean passport dated September 9th, 2013, to try and avoid extradition. Best information says he has never entered Belize and never qualified for nationality.

Police Looking For Hit and Run Driver
Police say they are looking for this man Freddy Hernan Villada; he is believed to have been the one driving the Chevy pickup truck that knocked Erron Golanche off his motorbike and killed him. It happened on Friday 20th September at 10:45 pm on Palmar Road in Orange Walk Town where a pickup swerved into Golanche's path and knocked him and his passenger, 24 year old Fernando Ical off the motorbike. The pickup kept going, dragging the motorbike along for a great distance. After it could go no more, the driver got out and ran. Golanche died on the spot, while Ical was hospitalized in a stable condition. The vehicle remains impounded while police are looking for Freddy VILLEDA.

Police Make Peace With Contrary Queen
Last night you saw the quite incredible independence day stunt that Yancy Bautista pulled in Succotz village. She snatched the crown from the young lady who was being crowned Independence Queen. The reason? Yancy was the queen but because she felt she had been jilted her out of the package promised to her as winner, and because they wanted her to wear what she calls a second hand dress, she refused to accept the crown - and apparently didn't want anyone else to have it either! It's one heck of a stunt, but it's also a criminal offence, two actually: assault of the runner up and destruction of property - namely the crown. So yesterday, the officer in charge of Benque Viejo ASP Disndale Thompson had a meeting with all parties, Yancy, who he calls, Queen A, the runner-up, who he calls Queen B, and the village chairman of Succtoz.

Civic To Be Dismantled, Not Demolished
The Prime Minister's Independence day address doesn't usually discuss the location of cranes but he had to make a point of it on Saturday because everyone's been waiting so long for the disused and long condemned city center to be demolished. Well, work started on Monday and we went to find out more today. But, to our surprise the dismantling of sport's biggest eyesore was not the news - the story was the kind of labour being employed to do it! Jules Vasquez reports:.. Jules Vasquez reporting Finally work has started on the dismantling of the decrepit City center. The building was condemned years ago - but still the City Center endured mostly as a testament to government's inability to tear it down. Francis Woods, CISCO Construction "We have several operations happening; we have the cleaning out of the under floor, we have the taking off of the wall - that's the most skilled one and that one has to be done carefully because of safety reasons. We don't want those zinc dropping. We don't want those guys falling off the baskets. That one has to be very carefully done."

Rosewood Keeps Popping Up
Rosewood may be on a strict moratorium but the precious hardwood is still being extracted from forests in the south! A joint operation led by the Forestry Department on Friday took them into the Deep River Forest Reserve to an area which can only be accessed by waterways. They found over a thousand feet had been cut - which they started to extract by boat. Today, Chief Forest Officer Wilbur Sabido told KRem Raido News about it:.. Wilbur Sabido, Chief Forest Officer "We on Friday found over 50 pieces of Rosewood totaling approximately 1500 board feet." KREM reporter "What will be done with the Rosewood once it is all retrieve from the area?"

British Naval Vessel In Belizean Waters
The Navy Seamen from the HMS Lancaster participated in the Independence Ceremony in Belmopan. Many were wondering if they came just for that event - but as Monica Bodden found out yesterday, their ship had been docked off the coast of Belize for some time. She went to find out why they are here in Belize. Monica Bodden reporting HMS Lancaster - a Royal Navy Warship has docked in Belize Waters - About 15 minutes away from Belize City, we were invited out to sea to check out the Duke class Type 23 frigate, known as the Queen's Frigate. The ship left the UK in May and will be in Belize Waters until the end of the Hurricane Season. It is here for 3 primary purposes - defence of overseas territories, counter narcotics and Humanitarian Disaster Relief. Lt. Cdr Adrian Gubby - Weapon Officer Engineer "We left the UK in May and we will be out here for the end of November, the end of the hurricane season. We are here for 3 primary purposes: defence of overseas territories, counter narcotics and also humanitarian and disaster relief, in the unfortunate a hurricane come to the Caribbean and damages any of the islands out there."

Albion Islands In Northern Belize Flood Out
Tonight, the NEMO Branches of Orange Walk and Corozal remain on alert to assist the villages in the Orange Walk District called the Albion Islands. It is a well-known flood-prone area which has been experiencing flash floods for several days now due to the rise in the Rio Hondo. Today, 7News went to Orange Walk where we spoke with the Regional Director who told us about the efforts they've been making to assist the villages of Douglas, Santa Cruz, San Roman, and San Antonio. Here's how he explained NEMO's intervention: Elodio Aragon Sr. - Regional Director, NEMO Orange Walk and Corozal "We have managed to assist them to be able to come to town. There are a lot of problems that are post, for example, we know that students have to come to school very early, so we have given them priority - they come first in the boats and then the workers and then others."

Investors In Dangriga Project Pack Up their Stuff
The SIF scandal may have faded from the headlines briefly but investors Emy Ramirez and Lyndon Bailey still have what the money people call, "skin in the game", or to put it more simply, money in the project. And so as SIF gets ready to send the project out for tender again, Ramirez and Lyndon Bailey are trying to get their hands on what they can to best protect their investment. Ramirez says she wants SIF to audit her material on site or to address the fact that Kennard Smart and K&G Construction is not going to hand over any site, so in a release, she says, quote "they must deal with me the actual contractor on the ground." But SIF maintains the position that they have no contract signed with Emy Ramirez, so they will continue to try and contact the contractor to have him hand over the project.

Police Beat Up Boy “For Nothing”
Kadeesh Bernard was picked up by Belmopan Police on Independence night, thrown into a cell and beaten up. His mother went to find out what was the matter and she was then roughed up by the police. They came to our studio yesterday to tell us of what they say is an abuse of power by police - who could not say why the young man had been detained. Kadeesh, who lost two teeth in the ordeal has difficulty speaking because of the injuries to his mouth, but he told us what happened - or at least the part he can remember:.. Kadeesh Bernard "Sir, all I remember is that 3 policemen came into the cell, two of them hold me down and the other police choked me. I couldn't do anything. I was trying to cry out for my mother but I couldn't." "All I remember was that I was getting up from off the ground and blood was in my mouth and I couldn't speak."

Channel 5

Meet the 3 immigration officers suspended in passport scandal
Cabinet met today, but up to news time there is no new official information surfacing on the passport scandal involving Elvin Penner and other public officers in the Immigration Department. [...]

Taiwanese protocol officer complains negligent behaviour by Edmund “Clear the Land” Castro
Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport, Edmund “Clear the Land” Castro, has been accused of negligent behavior of a sexual nature. The news came out of Taiwan late [...]

Another major rosewood bust in the south
Rosewood might not be exactly on the center stage right now, but if you’re thinking that means that loggers and exporters have given up on the precious wood, you would [...]

SIF refuses to audit construction material at Dangriga market site
The scandal at the Social Investment Fund can potentially give Belize a bad rap among international lending agencies such as the World Bank and Caribbean Development Bank that provide funding [...]

Should Elvin Penner be criminally charged for the illegal issuance of passport to South Korean national?
And tonight’s question is: Should Cayo Rep Elvin Penner be criminally charged for the illegal issuance of a Belize passport to a South Korean national? Yes or No. Send your [...]

New Hope High School student stabbed to death days after his birthday
There was a stabbing in Orange Walk this afternoon which claimed the life of an eighteen year old student of New Hope High School. Police are still conducting a preliminary [...]

The first meeting of the PAC, sans Opposition participation
The Public Accounts Committee, sans Opposition participation, held a meeting in Belmopan on Monday. Because of the volume of news on Monday, we held back that story for today.  As [...]

Flooding up north: water levels continue to rise in San Antonio
Last week, News Five was in rural Orange Walk where communities on the banks of the Rio Hondo were experiencing signs of imminent flooding. In San Antonio, just twenty minutes [...]

Female Special Constable charged for allegedly assaulting a minor with a knife
Thirty-one year old Natalie Hamilton, a special constable of a Periwinkle Street address, appeared in magistrate’s court this morning, after being charged with aggravated assault upon a minor.  Hamilton, who [...]

Police Constable once again free on bail…this time for damage to property
It’s the second time that he has been criminally charged since he was placed on interdiction and tonight Police Constable, Edward Castillo is once again free on bail. Castillo, a [...]

Belmopan student alleges police brutality
Complaints of the excessive use of force by officers of the Belize Police Department are regularly aired in our newscasts. Tonight, there is another allegation to add to the growing [...]

Raising awareness on endangered manatees species during manatee month
The manatee, locally known as the sea cow,  is listed as an endangered species in Belize; it is estimated that the population is between seven hundred and nine hundred.  Over [...]

British warship docks off the coast of the Old Capital
Given its geographic location, Belize has long been determined as a transit point for drugs coming from Colombia, Peru and Ecuador. It is estimated that the amount of cocaine passing [...]


Traffic Mishaps on Philip Goldson Highway
There was a traffic accident today that could have ended in a mass casualty situation, but luckily it didn’t. It happened at a few minutes before one this afternoon in front of Smart Phone Company near mile 3 on the George Price Highway. The incident involved three vehicles traveling in the same direction: two Ford Focus SUV’s and a Toyota Camry. No one was injured in the incident, although the Camry, which was traveling behind the two SUV’s, received the worst damage. (VO ends) Meanwhile, earlier in the day before nine this morning, a red pick-up truck collided into the back of a Haylock’s Passenger Bus in front of BEL headquarters on the same highway.

Biscayne Student Murdered After Class
A student of New Hope High School high school was stabbed and killed shortly after classes let out today. 18 year old Darrel wade, a third form student of New Hope High School, was walking on Stadium street along with his close friend, another 3rd form student sometime around 4 o’clock when they made their usual stop to purchase boiled corn from a street side vendor when they were approached by a man on a bicycle. An eye witness told Love News who asked us not to record her voice, told us that a dark complexion man seemingly in his 20’s approached the student and said quote “ you di fight with me lee bredda” and inflicted the wound. The witness says the boy ran across the street into a shop to get away, when he came back out he was bleeding profusely and collapsed across the street. That bloody spot where he collapsed is now covered with stand. Love News understands that the incident unfolded in front of a number of other students from both New Hope High School and Orange Walk Technical High school. Wade was quickly rushed to the northern regional hospital where we understand, the medical team worked for almost an hour to save him. Wade was pronounced dead by Doctor Coleman. He had received a single stab wound straight to the heart.

Troubles Continue with Dangriga Market Project, Investors and SIF
Troubles continue in relation to the Social Investment Fund as Investors and Contractors, Emy Gilharry Ramirez and Lyndon Bailey have not heard from the company in terms of the losses they have incurred from the Dangriga Market Project. In an official press release today from Ramirez, they point out that her work crew continues working on site but has repeatedly requested a meeting with SIF to address their work on site, to certify the extent of works done and do an audit of the material still on site, but there’s been nothing forthcoming from the company. Ramirez is quoted as saying quote, “SIF is refusing to be responsible and their unprofessional conduct has cost me even more money and while I have tried to reach out to SIF, they are now refusing to address my concerns” end quote. The release further says that as a result of assurance by SIF’s Senior Officials, especially Ernest Raymond continued to expend money on the projects explaining that quote “ the negligent conduct of SIF is very telling of their management of the entire project and now as one individual so adversely affected by the recent revelations of corruption and bribery, I demand an independent investigation into all aspects of this project since someone needs to account for the money I have invested in this project and SIF is only now refusing to pay” end quote.

Police News: Robbery, Drugs and Post Mortem
Angel Manzanilla a forty one year old Supervisor and deliveryman of Phillip Neal Butane Gas Station in Belize City reported to police that he was robbed. The incident occurred around 6:00 yesterday evening. Manzanilla says he was making a delivery on George Street along with his sideman, when two dark complexioned men, approached them. One of the men, was reportedly armed with a handgun, pointed it to him and relieved him of his jewelry and wallet which contained an undisclosed amount of cash and personal items. The sideman was reportedly robbed of his cell phone and an undisclosed amount of cash. Both thieves made good their escape and police are now investigating. A minor has been detained for drug offences in San Pedro Town. According to police, they were on mobile patrol in front of the San Pedro High School when their attention was drawn to two male persons who rode off when they saw them. Police pursued them and caught them on the beach front within a hundred yards from the high school. They were both searched and they found a black plastic bag which contained suspected cannabis amounting to 31.3 grams on the minor. He has since been detained.

Passport Scandal Trickles Down From Minister to Clerks
Yesterday we reported that in the ongoing investigation into the passport scandal in which a South Korean national obtained a Belize passport while in prison, the Public Service Commission has recommended the immediate suspension of the three officers pending the findings. This afternoon we understand the three officers were handed their suspension letters. They are data entry clerks Omar Phillips and Orwin Robinson and Sharon Neal Flowers who is the Port Commander in Belmopan. Neal Flowers is at times tasked to hold over the department in the absence of the director. In its release the Ministry of Labour, Local Government, Immigration and Nationality said it is satisfied that there has been a serious breach of the regulations and rules governing the issuance of this passport and that the officers did, whether through negligence or knowledge allow a fraud to occur on the system. The Ministry says it has also installed additional safeguards to discourage further attempts to compromise the system.

Lightning Storm Affects Belize’s Land Information System
Over the weekend lightning storms caused unforeseen damage to the servers at the Land Information System causing it go to offline at the Lands and Survey Department. IT technicians at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture have isolated the problem and the system has been repaired. The Land Information System is currently being restored from the daily backup servers. The Lands and Survey Department has resumed partial services to the general public today and according to a release issued out by the Ministry, technicians are working with the international IT partners to bring the Land Information System to full operations as quickly as possible. The Ministry expects the system to be fully operational by midday tomorrow when all services will be available to the public.

Tourist Village Drug Bust Lands Tourists in Court
Two men, 21 year old American national, Jeffrey Rodgers and 23 year old St. Martin national Jeron Harrigan, who were both tourists form a cruise ship, were charged with possession of a controlled drug when they appeared today in the court of Magistrate Clive Lino. The both pled guilty to the charges. Rodgers, who was busted with eight grams of cannabis, was fined 800 dollars and he was ordered to pay forthwith, in default eight months imprisonment. Rodgers paid the fine and he was released. Harrigan, who was busted with four point seven grams of cannabis, was fined 400 dollars and he was ordered to pay forthwith, in default four months imprisonment. He paid the fine and he was released. Both men were busted at the Tourist Village.

Demolition Works Begin on Belize City’s Civic Centre
In his Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Barrow, announced that thirty million dollars has been allotted for the dismantling and re-building of the civic center into a multipurpose building. It was anticipated that the Government of Mexico would have funded the project, but Barrow stated in his address that the money will be solely provided by the Government of Belize through the Belize Infrastructure Limited, BIL. Dismantling of the civic center began yesterday and today Love News visited the site and found out when it will be completed. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING “Back in 2010 engineers declared that the Belize Civic Center was unsafe to be utilized and today under the supervision of engineers; the massive structure began to be slowly dismantled. The one point three million dollar contract for the dismantling was awarded to CISCO Construction and according to the C.E.O., Francisco Woods; it should take about five months for the entire structured to be completely dismantled. “

BELTRAIDE Leads The Way in Making Belize A Medical Tourism Destination
Twenty-one year old Andres Bailey, charged with two counts of unnatural crime and one count of aggravated assault, was acquitted of the charges of unnatural crime and was found guilty of aggravated assault by a jury of nine yesterday in the court of Justice Adolph Lucas. The jury deliberated for a little over three hours before it arrived at its verdict. Justice Lucas has deferred sentencing until Wednesday, September 25 in order to give Bailey time to prepare a plea for mitigation. The complainant, a minor, testified that Bailey sexually assaulted him on April 24, 2009, in Ladyville. He also testified that Bailey first sodomized him between April 25, 2009 and June 24, 2010. The second incident of unnatural crime occurred, he said, on June 25, 2010. Bailey, who was not represented by any attorney, took the witness stand and testified that he did not commit any of the offences. The trial began on Tuesday, September 17.


Jorge Tzib Murdered in San Ignacio
Residents of the town of San Ignacio woke up Monday morning to the news that a gruesome murder had taken place in the early hours . The victim was 28 year old Jorge Tzib of Shawville Area, San Ignacio Town. Police say that at about...

Hit and run accident leaves Erron Golanche dead
Erron Golanche, a graphic designer, artist and sometime musician, tragically lost his life in a road traffic accident in Orange Walk Town over the weekend. Mother Jerrilyn Flowers spoke to PLUS News on Monday and told us what she knows of the tragedy. Jerrilyn Flowers – Mother of Erron...

First Public Hearing of the PAC held in Belmopan
The first public hearing of the Public Accounts Committee was held on Monday in the Chambers of the National Assembly. The meeting was conducted in two parts, a morning and afternoon session and saw the absence of a few members, as well as the present of some new faces....

More revealed on passport irregularities
PLUS News continues to follow developments in the scandal surrounding now-former Minister of State in the Immigration Ministry Elvin Penner who was made to resign last Wednesday by Prime Minister Dean Barrow. More information has been revealed about the individual in whose name a passport was issued. He is...

Traffic accident in Ladyville could have been worse
Three persons are lucky to be alive following a nearly tragic set of circumstances in Ladyville over the weekend. According to Inspector Christopher Noble of the Ladyville Police substation, Good Samaritans seeking to respond to a previous accident on the highway were themselves hit by an...

PM addresses Homosexuality in Independance Day Speech
The part of Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s Independence Day address that perhaps raised the most eyebrows was his peroration on the matter of the culture wars being fought in Belize particularly over homosexuality. With no news of a decision by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin on the claim by Caleb...

Belmopan Mayor says infrastructure needs urgent upgrade
In his speech on Independence Day, the Mayor of Belmopan Simeon Lopez had some news for the residents of Belmopan. Simeon Lopez – Mayor of Belmopan: This Council is very much aware of the condition in which our infrastructure has deteriorated. Therefore, this address will deal mainly with this...

Belmopan businessman Mike Menjivar cleared of charges stemming from GSU raid
On Monday morning at the Supreme Court of Belize, Justice Denis Hanomansingh finally gave his verdict on one of the most high profile prosecutions of 2011. This is the case of well known businessman Miguel Angel Menjivar who owns and runs the famous La Cabaña restaurant and bar in...

Police promote Cadet Corps Program
The Police Department has been actively promoting its Police Cadet Corps program and on Monday Inspector Christopher Noble provided an update on activities in the Burrell Boom area. Inspector Christopher Noble: For the first time the Police Cadets, which was recently formed in Burrell Boom, did a flag raising...

Beauty Queen of San Jose Succotz felt she was jilted out of her crown
It is said that “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”… And we use that term to describe, not a love triangle, but a September celebrations beauty queen of San Jose Succotz, that felt that she was jilted out of her crown. Eighteen year...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Health Committee plans clean up of the island
The Caye Caulker Health Committee is planning to have 2 days cleaning campaign on the island on Sept 28th and 29th (Saturday and Sunday). We will be starting from the Split going down to the south of the island, at 7am until... your help will be very much appreciated if you can meet us and help to keep our island clean. Please bring along some gloves and plastic garbage bags, please let me know if you are willing to help keep our island clean. LESS POLLUTION IS THE BEST SOLUTION! DON'T LITTER, IT MAKES THE ISLAND BETTER!


A Caye Caulker fisherman, 55, survived a 19-hour ordeal at sea after strong currents and wind washed him out to sea. Onocisero Hernandez and his three friends were diving and fishing at about 8:00 Thursday morning in the open sea in the Caye Caulker area when he went down and did not resurface. His companions, Donicio Edwards, Valentin Verde, and Jimmy Andrews, became frantic and tried to find him, and after their efforts failed, the three friends went to the Caye Caulker Police Station and reported Hernandez missing. An immediate search to find him was mounted, which included the Caye Caulker police and the Fisheries unit, along with fishermen and friends.

A well-known young artist who was originally from Belize City and who had a very promising future because of his natural, raw talent, lost his life at the hands of a drunken driver in Orange Walk Town on Independence Day eve. His untimely death was as a result of a hit-and-run accident in which he and another man were violently flung from a scooter that he was driving. According to eyewitness accounts, Erron Golanche, 25, popularly known as “The Human Beat Box,” was reportedly returning to his Orange Walk Town residence after making a trip to a convenience store sometime before 11:00 p.m. on Friday, September 20, 2013, when he and his companion, Fernando Ical, were suddenly hit by a Dodge Ram pickup truck. Ical is the brother of Golanche’s common-law wife, Love FM reporter Dalila Ical. After hitting the scooter, the pickup’s driver, who was reportedly highly intoxicated, continued on his destructive journey in a daze, dragging portions of the extensively damaged scooter under his vehicle for almost a quarter mile, or about 400 feet, after which he was forced to come to a halt. This was because a piece of the wrecked scooter obstructed the Dodge Ram from continuing on its path.

Shawville, San Ignacio man had been stabbed multiple times, and his throat was cut. Jorge Tzib, 27, of the Shawville area, San Ignacio Town, was found dead on the road on Joseph Andrews Drive between the Red Cross Building and the Gurus Building in San Ignacio, about 1:55 this morning, Monday. There were multiple stab wounds on his body and his throat had been cut. Tzib’s body was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital to undergo a post-mortem to certify the cause of his death. Police say that they found Tzib lying face-down on Joseph Andrews Drive with a knapsack on his back. Their initial investigation revealed that Tzib was walking in the area when he was attacked and stabbed, and his throat slashed. Someone driving in the area saw the body on the road and called police.

Williams and Leslie are charged with carnal knowledge and indecent assault of minor, 14. Today, John Williams, 30, a resident of #5 Myrtle Wade Crescent in Ladyville, and Stacey Leslie, 27, who resides at the same address, were charged with carnal knowledge and aggravated assault of an indecent nature respectively, when they appeared before the Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith. According to police, a 14-year-old Ladyville student reported that at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 17, she met Williams as she was walking in the Hollywood area of Ladyville, and he invited her into his car. When she got into the car, she was introduced to Leslie, and they all travelled to Cayo. They returned to Ladyville and went to Williams’ house, and that was when she was given some “weed” to smoke. She was then sexually assaulted by Leslie, after which Williams had sexual intercourse with her.

Veteran footballer/musician Vincent “Winty J” Johnson stopped by the sports desk this morning to express his and the Roo’s appreciation for all those who turned out for the Mugger Day last Sunday, September 15, at the Third World field. “It was a beautiful day and everyone had a good time together,” noted Winty J. “The Mugger’s wife, Sylvia, was especially touched by the turn out. And would you know” he continued, “that the day which the nation just marked as National Service Day in memory of the passing of Father of the Nation, George Price, September 19 was also the Mugger’s birthday?” Looking ahead, Winty J said that he thinks it is about time that citizens of Dangriga pay tribute to one of their greatest football legends, Daniel Lino, popularly known as “Down the Line,” “D-Line” or “Don D” to his many fans. “That man was a bundle of talent and a personality that was much bigger than sports,” remarked Winty J. “Don D” was a good basketballer, a top footballer, one of Belize’s best, and also a top boxer in Belize; but he was also a real culture man, who played the drums and sang, and was always active in Settlement Day celebrations.” Winty said that he will be travelling down to Griga soon, and suggest to the brothers down there that maybe something could be done around this year’s 19th celebrations to honor the memory of the great D-Line.

Here in Belize on another of his regular visits to the land of his birth is former Belize all-star basketball player Evondale “Coby” Coburn, CEO and founder of Coby Foundation; and, as has been his habit on trips to the Jewel, Coby brought a bunch of football equipment for youths, which he handed over this morning to Yabra Sporting Club coordinator Jerome “Peeloff” Maheia. “This is my passion,” said Coby, “and I try to kill two birds with one stone whenever I come home. I always try to bring something, school supplies or sporting equipment for the youths, usually for basketball, which was my main sport, but also for football, etc.” Coby arrived in Belize on Saturday, Independence Day, and is scheduled to return to Georgia, USA, on Wednesday of this week. This morning, on the Kremandala compound, he handed over a bag of brand new youth football gear to Peeloff, including 2 footballs, 11 pairs of football boots, at least 9 plastic training cones, and two “Soccer Trainers.” The “soccer trainer” is a special ball-control training device that attaches a football in a nylon net with an adjustable cord to a similar adjustable waist ban, so that a player can practice juggling the ball without using the hands to hold the cord.

THE UDP’S 40TH - Editorial
When the United Democratic Party was formally established on September 27 of 1973, it was comprised of three political parties: the National Independence Party (NIP), the People’s Development Movement (PDM), and the Liberal Party. There was a fourth political party involved in the founding of the UDP, but it has never been acknowledged. That was the UBAD Party, and its presence in the original UDP has never been acknowledged, one reason being that the UBAD had actually divided in two earlier in 1973 precisely because of the UDP issue. In addition, the ideas and opinions of the UBAD Party were not considered appropriate or acceptable to the power brokers of the new UDP. And, there was the issue of Hon. Philip Goldson, and his relationship with the UBAD Party. The founding of the UDP represented the successful completion of a plot to oust the Hon. Philip Goldson as Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. When the UDP was formed in September 1973, it did not name a Leader, the reason being that while members and supporters of the new party knew that attorney Dean Russell Lindo was their de facto Leader, the Hon. Philip Goldson, the Leader of the NIP, was the most popular and powerful politician the new UDP had on the ground.

In 2013 Belize, the Americans are doing a pretty good job of controlling their profile, though not nearly as smooth a job as the British did in Belize between self-government in 1964 and independence in 1981. I remark on this because I’ve always wondered if there were areas where the British were enjoying the discomfiture which UBAD caused the ruling PUP, most dramatically in 1972. I think the intelligence information which the British would have enjoyed at any specific time during self-government would have in many cases been superior to that of Belize government intelligence, as has been the case with American intelligence here after independence, that is, its often being superior to Belize government intelligence. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, my feeling is that it was the Americans who tipped off the recently elected Esquivel government in July of 1993 that PUP operatives were trying to buy off San Ignacio’s Salvador Fernandez and Dangriga’s Chiste Garcia. In 1993, no law existed to prevent a UDP area representative from crossing over to the PUP side of the House, and in 1993 if Salva and Chiste had walked, the seat numbers would have changed from 16-13 UDP to 15-14 PUP!

This past Saturday, September 21, marked the 32nd anniversary of Belize’s independence from Great Britain in 1981. The official Independence Day ceremony was held in the City of Belmopan on Saturday morning at the foot of the National Assembly Building. The ceremony began at 10:00 a.m., and included the traditional speeches given by Belize’s foremost parliamentarians and dignitaries, as spectators and invited guests looked on. As is usually the case, the leaders of the two major political parties gave two contrasting versions of the state of Belize’s economy. For the Prime Minister, these are very promising times; while for the Leader of the Opposition, it is a time of great despair. In Leader of the Opposition Hon. Francis Fonseca’s speech, he stated, “As we celebrate, therefore, we recognize that serious challenges confront us as a nation. Government continues to be characterized by chronic combativeness; we need less confrontation and more dialogue, less arrogance and more humility, less personality politics, and more problem solving. “The government’s response to the PAC proposal for reform in the public accounts, supported by the NTUCB and the Chamber of Commerce, regrettably takes us further away from these objectives; the will of the people can be delayed, but it shall not be denied. The politics of change and participation is here to stay. There is also need for focused and urgent action in job creation.

At the end of my last article I promised to reintroduce to you Raymond Granville Lashley, but I will be unable to live up to my commitment because I need to do some further research to be able to write about as great a figure as Raymond Granville Lashley. I beg your pardon and indulgence to move on until I am able to complete the commitment I made to you, my readers. In the meantime, I will discuss with you football in the District of Orange Walk. My article “Was Queen’s Park Rangers the Greatest?” drew a lot of attention and my article “One In A Million You” created havoc among avid football players and their fans. Scores of readers complimented me on the article, “One in a Million You”. All recognized the talent and ability of the Avengers football team. I was of the opinion that I was the only man in Belize that was latched on to Pappy Smith. Hell no! The feedback I received on the article convinced me that I did not stand alone. My corner was heavy laden with both footballers and fans.

Witnesses give different versions of what occurred. This afternoon, Yhony Rosado walked out of court a free man after he was found not guilty of aggravated assault with a firearm upon Vitalino Reyes, Jr. In December of last year, Yhony Rosado, owner of, was arrested and charged after Vitalino Reyes, Jr., who works for, had made a report to police that Rosado had pulled his 9mm gun and threatened him with it in an incident which had occurred in August. Rosado was granted bail after spending one night in jail, and the repercussions of that report were long-lasting and costly. But, as mentioned, he was acquitted of that charge after his lawyer, Kareem Musa, made a no-case submission in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court, which was upheld by Magistrate Aretha Ford.

Salvador Vela, 40, a taxi driver of Cayo, is worried, because his brother, Oscar Mejia, 36, has been missing since Friday, September, 13. Vela told police that his brother, a naturalized Belizean of 2nd Street, San Ignacio Town, left his home en route to his work spot in the Hill View area, Santa Elena, and at press time today, Monday, he has not been seen or heard from. Reports to Vela, however, are that his brother was last seen going to Melchor, Guatemala. According to these reports, he had tried to contact Vela, but the efforts were futile. Mejia was last seen wearing a black T- shirt and blue short Dickies pants. He is about 5 feet 10 inches tall, and weighs about 190 pounds. He is of Hispanic descent, with short black hair and a round face. Mejia, who has a tattoo on both sides of his chest, was reportedly wearing yellow boots.

Dear Editor, Heavy rains are causing serious flooding in Consejo Community located in the Corozal Distinct of northern Belize. As in years past, flooding has left hundreds of residents in this community unable to travel to town unless they have four-wheel drive vehicles. Since this is the only road to nearby Corozal Town, it poses very serious concerns about food, medical needs, drinking water, and other necessary supplies. Noxious spillage from the local government garbage dump is bringing biohazard materials onto the road and is posing very serious health and environmental issues. The biohazards spilling onto the road are known to contain mercury, heavy metals, various poisons, blood borne infectious materials, human waste, dead animal carcasses, and more into the waters covering the road and surrounding areas. Last week, school children were stranded on stuck school busses for long periods of time near the bio hazardous dump. Workers trying to get to their jobs in Consejo have been seen walking and riding bicycles through these dangerously infected waters.

— by Wellington C. Ramos Dear Editor, If all the allegations that I have read about Hon. Alvin Penner and the passport scandal have some merit, the Prime Minister should refer the case to the Director of Public Prosecutions Office and have him or her investigate this matter fully. Belizeans who possess dual citizenships who are natural-born Belizean citizens and live in the United States are currently waiting as long as three months to get their passports back from Belize, while we have an elected Minister of Government allegedly involved in helping to illegally facilitate the process to assist a foreign-born individual who is not qualified as a citizen of our country to get one of our passports from our country. I am upset to my stomach to hear these things happening in my beloved country of Belize on our Independence Day.

— by YaYa Greetings, Brother Prime Minister, Do you recall this interview (at the end of this email) that you gave Adele Ramos in July, 2011? What message is the GoB sending when 2 years, 2 months, and 12 days later, Belize still does not have an active Integrity Commission? In the interview you said you did not have time to think about new appointments. To the best of my knowledge, the duties of the members of the last Integrity Commission ended in 2010. Is that an indication of this administration’s lack of political will to minimize corruption in Belize? Has Belize become a signatory to the United Nations Anti-Corruption Convention? If Belize is not a signatory, why is that Belize’s position?

— by Phillip de la Fuente Editor Sir, Upon the formation of the new Government of Belize, we should ask the oil companies to stop investing in our country. The trickle down economics is not working. The people of Belize are not feeling the many benefits of having oil in our country. The monies stop with the Ministers or maybe only with the oil company. Contracts should be terminated or better negotiated so as to see and feel the benefits of the industry for our country. Phillip de la Fuente Orange Walk Town

He told the court that his daughter fabricated the story because he and one of her brothers got into a misunderstanding. This morning, a father, 56, was convicted of touching his daughter’s breast when she was 15, and was sentenced to three years for it. In the trial which started on Thursday, the minor, now 16, testified that on March 24 of this year, her father touched her breast and she told her brother about it. She was then accompanied to the police station, where she made an official report. She also testified that the March 24 incident was the second time her father had touched her breast, but that she did not make a report the first time it happened.

There was a holdup and robbery at a store in Altamira, Corozal Town, and three armed bandits got away with over $2,000 and two cell phones. The incident occurred about 9:15 Friday night, September, 20, at the RJB Store. The storeowner told police that he was in his store when three armed, masked men entered the establishment. Two of the men were armed with knives and the third robber was armed with a .38 revolver. The men demanded money, and fearing for his life, the businessman handed over his cash and the cell phones, valued at about $150 each. The three thieves then ran out of the store and escaped.

Carol Vernon, 48, of West Street, is presently receiving medical treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) for gunshot injuries she sustained after a masked man fired at her, hitting her in the leg, while she was socializing along with two others on George Street about 12:20 Friday afternoon, September 20. Vernon told police that she and two other men were under an open garage shed on George Street when an armed, masked man came out of the bushes and fired shots at them. The masked man escaped out of the area, the alarm was raised, and she was rushed to the KHMH, where she was admitted to ward in a stable condition.

This morning, Ryan Tillett, 32, a security guard of Vista Del Mar, and Mason Patnett, 26, a construction worker of #2086 Falcon Street, were charged with drug trafficking when they appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith. According to police, at 9:30 Independence Day morning (Saturday, September 21), a police checkpoint was set up at La Democracia on the George Price Highway, where police observed a black car approaching. The driver of the car was told to pull over to the side of the road, but instead of complying with the officer’s request, the driver sped off down the road toward Hattieville. This led to a high-speed chase down the highway and as the car approached Mile 23, police saw the car stop and one of its occupants got out and threw away a large black plastic bag, got back into the car and sped away again.

Danisha Valerio, 26, the girlfriend of Jeremy Baptist, 25, of Boca Del Rio, San Pedro, and Baptist’s family, are in anguish and are hoping that his body is soon recovered so that they can have closure and move on. The grieving girlfriend said that Baptist went missing in the early morning hours of May 20 and tomorrow, September 20, will complete four months since he left home and has not yet returned. Police believe that Baptist was shot and killed during an altercation with some men at a party about 1:30 a.m. Sunday, May 19, in the San Juan area of San Pedro, and that his body was taken out to the lagoon in a boat and dumped overboard. Police say that the boat which they believe was used to carry the body to the lagoon was found, with blood in it. The blood was sent for analysis at the department’s forensic lab.

As always you never know who will show at an event, we ended up with a lively table of 11 people and enjoyed a nice dinner together last Wednesday night and some very funny and all over the map conversations. We talked about everything from Boa Constrictors reptiles and giant bugs to what brought people to Belize and how they made their move. When it came time to set up the movie AV girl Mary had brought her dvd player and we found out that the plug would not work. We thought it was European but later found out it is just a strange plug that goes directly into a matching tv. My quick plan b was call Tacoboy to see if he could bring ours down. He paused sports got up off the couch, delivered our dvd player within in 15 minutes and earned some brownie points The final movie decision thanks to Cindy and Andy’s recommend was he movie Hysteria. A mischievously inspired romantic comedy set at the end of the 19th century, the film depicting the invention of the vibrator. We all gave it two thumbs up and lots of laughs, it was the perfect movie choice.

VIDEO: Charity Event for the Children of Belize
Charity Event for the Children of Belize

Japan-LAC Business Forum
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is pleased to invite eligible small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to submit applications for Japan-LAC Business Forum 2013, which will take place in Tokyo, Japan, on November 7-8, 2013. The Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region is notable for its achievements in agriculture, renewable energies, and innovative social policies. In light of these achievements, Japan is seeking to strengthen its ties with the LAC region in an effort to support its high growth in the next decades. Both regions are currently on complementary stages of their economic and demographic cycles, which will lead to various opportunities and synergies.

2 cups peelet an' choppet apples 1 cup choppet walnuts 1 cup flour 1 cup sugar 1 teespoon bakyun' sody 1/2 teespoon salt 1 egg, beete 3 tablespoons butt'r, meltid 1 teespoon vanilla Direckshuns: Combine apples an' nuts n' a bowl. Sift flour, sugar bakyun' sody an' salt togeth'r an' blend wit furst mixture. Combine egg, butt'r an' vanilla an' mix well. The add ta t'res an' still till moistenet. Bake at 350 degrees until set.

FISHING REPORT - September 14th – September 21st, 2013
The weather brought in big tides and mixed conditions. It’s summertime and our rainy season in the tropics. Things are a bit hotter when the breeze stops. The big full moon was bright as the skies cleared later in the week. Some nights we had mosquitos - some evenings fire flies. Our group was small this week, so we had time to note all the nuances that we believe play a story in fishing conditions. Big tides bring food. Current lines can look like a string of M&M’s to permit as all the shrimp and crabs move with the water. Where do the tarpon go? Are they feeding at night and finding a nice sleeping spot in the deep during the day? Our fishing conditions are reflected in so many variables. It’s fun to continue to use our power of observation and notice the patterns of Mother Nature. It really is soul food. Thanks everyone for an enjoyable week!

International Sources

Fitch Affirms Belize Sovereign Investments III (Cayman) Limited at 'A+'
Fitch Ratings has affirmed the rating on the following notes issued by Belize Sovereign Investments III (Cayman) Limited (BSI): --$85.7 million notes at 'A+'; Outlook Stable. The notes are backed by two restructured government of Belize (GOB) sovereign obligations (underlying notes) from the country's debt restructuring in 2007. In addition, the notes benefit from two insurance policies underwritten by Steadfast Insurance Company (Steadfast) covering non-payment by the GOB. The rating of the notes addresses timely payment of interest and principal on a semi-annual basis. In August 2012, the GOB announced that it was unable to make payment on its U.S. dollar Step-Up Bonds due 2029, which include the underlying notes. After making partial payment in September 2012, the GOB entered into restructuring negotiations and came to an agreement with bondholders in March 2013.

Why Belize is the Hottest New Caribbean Destination
While vacations in Belize are not a new idea, our awareness of them is. Belize is everywhere you look these days, thanks in part to their recent advertising campaigns. And for good reason, Belize is tropical and lush, distinctive yet wild, and not to be missed. Whether you consider it part of Central America due to its location or a Caribbean paradise thanks to the warm Caribbean Sea, Belize will not disappoint in the variety and uniqueness of offerings. If you’re worried that Belize will become another overcrowded tourist destination, we got the inside scoop on private tours, private suites and even whole private islands to discover what makes Belize the hottest new Caribbean Destination. Why Visit Belize Located just south of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and east of Guatemala, Belize borders the Caribbean Sea and offers the warm sea breezes, cerulean Caribbean waters and average temperatures in the 80’s year round.

Taking a Plunge in Belize
Strapped in and dangling from a cable, I cautiously peer over the tree stand. My heart is in my throat. Somehow, the lush dense green of the rainforest almost lessens the severity of a 140-feet drop. Before I know it, I’m gliding effortlessly over the treetops and marveling at the beauty of this island gem (in between giddy girl screams, of course). Belize has completely won me over. Zip lining thorough a tropical rain forest is just one of many jaw dropping experience visitors can add to their bucket list. Sacred caves and ancient Maya temples, world-class diving and snorkeling, and memorable dining options are just a few to consider. Situated between Mexico and Guatemala, Belize encompasses the best of both worlds. On one side, you’ll find Central American jungles, on the other side – the Caribbean Sea. With that map, it’s no wonder Belize a primary port of call for many cruise lines. That was the case with us – just an excursion day. After one visit, though, I decided just one day here would never be enough. Our zip-lining adventure took place in Caves Branch Archeological Reserve, southwest of Belize City. Many local tour guides are available, and packages can often include zip lining and cave tubing (which we also did).

F.A.A. Nears New Rules on Devices
The rules on when to turn off electronic devices on airplanes have long been a sour, and sometimes contentious, point for travelers. But faced with a surge of electronics on airplanes and under pressure from a growing number of tech-savvy — and increasingly tech-dependent — passengers, the Federal Aviation Administration recognized that change was inevitable. This week, an F.A.A. advisory panel will meet to complete its recommendations to relax most of the restrictions. The guidelines are expected to allow reading e-books or other publications, listening to podcasts, and watching videos, according to several of the panel’s members who requested anonymity because they could not comment on the recommendations. The ban on sending and receiving e-mails and text messages or using Wi-Fi during takeoff or landing is expected to remain in place, as is the prohibition on making phone calls throughout the flight, the panel members said.

September 24, 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

Kudos to the Flota girls!
Birthdays are extra special for young children, as it more than likely means a party, complete with cake and goodies, and of course, presents! But that’s not how everyone does it, as The San Pedro Sun has found out about three wonderful girls who preferred to raise funds for a worthy cause instead of getting presents on their birthdays. Alejandra (10), Arianna (8) and Addison (4) Flota asked their wonderful birthday party guests to kindly make contributions to their cause, rather than bring presents. Those generous guests in turn helped the girls be able to hand over $730 to Saga Humane Society on September 17, 2013!

San Pedro celebrates Belize’s 32nd independence
While Belize is still a relatively young nation, her people take pride in celebrating their independence from British rule. Excitement and cheer are displayed in a parade of colors and Belizean pride every 21st of September. After the formalities of the Independence Eve, the jump up is a joyous celebration of patriotism. In San Pedro Town, elaborate costumes adorned the streets as the jump-up crowd made their way through the town streets. The 32nd Independence Day parade route was set to start from the beach in front of San Pedro High School and make its way into town central and ending up at Central Park. Residents of all ages crowded the street sides of the parade route from early, to ensure they got a good viewing spot. The parade kicked off shortly after 1PM, islanders ready to party in the streets adorned with an array of feathers, beads and lots of glitter. Leading the parade was Miss San Pedro 2013-2014 Solani Graniel in a beautifully decorated float depicting the best Ambergris Caye has to offer: sand, sun and sea.

Ambergris Today

Ramon’s Village Resort Open For Business
Rebuilding underway following fire, staff eager to welcome guests - Ramon’s Village Resort is pleased to announce that the iconic beach resort located on the island of Ambergris Caye, Belize is now open for business following a fire at the resort on Tuesday, August 27th. While a portion of the resort sustained fire damage with rebuilding already underway, 30 authentic thatched roof cabanas on the north side of the property are open for occupancy as well as ten quaint cottages at the Belizean Princess located just across the street from Ramon’s. The warm sand, azure blue waters of the western Caribbean and delightful cabanas at Ramon’s Village and stylish cottages at the Belizean Princess, all nestled among native flora and fauna, await our beloved guests.

San Pedro Commemorates Belize's 32nd Independence Anniversary
Bringing in the 32nd Anniversary of Belize’s Independence, the San Pedro Town Council held the official flag raising ceremony and fireworks display on Friday, September 20, 2013. The festivities kicked off with the annual block party held at Central Park. The official ceremony had speeches of goodwill by Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism, dance presentations by the San Pedro Dance Academy and a song by Elina Palma. The crowds parted and gave way to the arrival of Miss San Pedro 2013 Solani Graniel into Central Park. She was accompanied by Deputy Mayor Mito Paz and led by the San Pedro High School Marching Band and the Torch Bearers made up by members of the San Pedro Leos Club. This year the Belize Coast Guard assembly was lead by Sanpedrana Almita Pinelo Coast Guard Adjutant, who just recently became a member of the Belize Coast Guard after completing her training in the United States of America. Almita had the honor of leading the Belize Coast Guard assembly into Central Park, inviting Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Hon. Manuel Heredia for the inspection of the members and firing off the 21 gun salute at the stroke of midnight.

Town Council Continues Patriotic Celebrations with Concert
The patriotic celebrations continued on September 21 at Central Park with a musical concert under the auspices of the Ambassador and people of El Salvador. “I am having a dejavu, a flashback into San Pedro’s past when in the 1930’s San Pedro boasted La Banda de San Pedro with thirty odd musicians,” commented Emcee Angel Nunez, as he introduced the 64-member military symphony of El Salvador. The two-hour extravaganza included a grand repertoire of themes of several movies and compositions of renowned composers like Agustin Lara, Ray Conniff, and selections from Abba, The Beatles and Rocky. The delighted audience was just one step from getting up and dance and applauded over generously to the visiting musicians. A packed Central park enjoyed this show for two hours, a gift from Belize Ambassador to El Salvador, Her Excellency Celi Paz.

Pic of the Wee: Enjoying the Simple Things in Life, Island Living
A picture is worth a thousand words and more; this great capture by Jose Luis Zapata shows us how much fun this girls is having just by swinging away on her hammok, enjoying a beautiful day at the beach. Island Life in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Doesn't get better than this. Photo by Jose Luis Zapata Photography

Saga Thanks for a Successful Central American Cook Off
Saga HS would like to give a sincere Thank You to El Fogon and every person involved in making Cook Off- Central America September 19 a festive and successful night. Newly paved Trigger Street, country flags made for a celebratory atmosphere for a block party all provided by gracious hosts El Fogon for the evening. Money raised will be used for the October SNIP-a-thon. Saga HS will be hosting visiting vets to provide over 300 FREE spay/neuter for low income island residents. All eight countries of Central America were represented with impressive entries into this month’s contest. After all the votes were counted Feliz Bar’s was the 1st prize winner for Pollo Encebollado - (Nicaragua). 2nd prize winner went to El Fogon for Tamales - (Belize). 3rd prize Croquetas de res con queso - (Costa Rica) to Carolina Caldweld. The other delicious dishes were Pupusas (Salvador) from Pupuseria tipico Salvadoranio Restaurant , Chicken Quesadillas (Mexico) - Faride Lima , Stuffed Plantains w/ cream - (Honduras) Letty Hernandes, Patacones - (Panama) Carolina Caldweld, Boyos (Guatemalan tamales) – Patricia Rosalez. We are very grateful to have the support of all those who entered. Thank you to dish sponsors Rene Steinmetz, Pampered Paws, Sew What, and Wolfgang Wind.

Misc Belizean Sources

September 10th Ceremonies 2013
55 minute video

MET Partners with Astrum Helicopters to Offer New Maya Mountain River Decent Expeditions in Belize
Mountain Equestrian Trails (MET), a family-owned and operated Eco-resort in Western Belize, announce the upcoming dates for their Maya Mountain River Decent Expeditions for the 2013-2014 season. MET has partnered with Astrum Helicopters Belize in order to offer helicopter drops into the jungles of Belize as a starting point for these new expeditions. This excursion offers something for those athletic thrill-seekers who want to experience the most seldom traveled parts of Belize. MET's specially-trained guides will take visitors on the ride of their life. The expedition begins when you arrive at the remote jungle lodge at MET. This is the base of operations where you will spend the first and final nights of the trip. The next morning, the adventure begins with as scenic drive through to the helicopter departure point in the mountains. The helicopter flight takes you over rugged jungle terrain of the Maya Mountains and into the upper reaches of the pristine Rio de Dos Quebrados. Using inflatable kayaks, spend five days descending this pristine waterway, an unforgettable journey that MET pioneered first in 1994.

Ambassador of Ecuador to Belize, His Excellency Segundo Andrango visited San Pedro on September 18 along side a colleague Mr. Luis Alberto Morales.

Banda Sinfónica Militar de El Salvador - September 21, 2013 (19 photos)
The "Banda Sinfónica Militar" from El Salvador played hits like ABBA's ever popular "Dancing Queen", "Mamma Mia" and "Fernando" , the Star Wars Theme Song and even our very own National Anthem! It was quite impressive and definitely a great show!

Independence Day 2013 Parade Winners BEST FLOAT: 1st Place - Wil Alamilla - "Shaping up a colorful future" 2nd Place - Wings ADULT GROUP: 1st Place - San Pedro AIDS Commission 2nd Place - Sajia's Construction 3rd Place - Just Friends SCHOOL CATEGORY: Wil Alamilla "Shaping up a colorful future" KIDS CATEGORY: Little Dynamic Stars All winners can pass by at the San Pedro Town Council to collect their prize. Thanks everyone for participating and thank you to all our judges.

INDEPENDENCE EVE 2013 (54 photos)

VIDEO: Belize Independence Day Parade 2013
Celebrating 32 years of independence.

UB Library Summer Reading Program
Feelgood news of the day. The University of Belize Library had a Summer reading program. Is that a jaguar that came to talk with the kids?

Mountain Equestrian Trails in International Lifestyle Magazine
Mountain Equestrian Trails is highlighted in the latest issue of International Lifestyle Magazine. There are 4 pages of information about MET and Cayo, and it's all great. They highlight the horseback riding and birding tours that MET is known for. It's in the middle, around page 64 "There are some beautiful locations on this planet where you can take time out to enjoy the beauty of nature and the jungle of western Belize is one of them. Here you can wake to the sounds of a jungle, the croaking toucans, or calling parrots. There are the sounds that are just deafening and yet, at the same time, are just so beautiful because they are all sounds natural to the habitat, it is freedom."

Cayo Tops World's Best Budget Locations
Cayo was listed number 1 in a Huffington Post article about the best budget locations in the world. The author has a lot of great things to say about Cayo and its residents. "Warm and welcoming, independent and private. Those four perhaps seemingly contradictory adjectives best describe both Belizeans and their country. Belize is also one of the safest countries in the world, despite what you may read about it... However, I favor the interior Cayo region with its Mayan ruins, caves, rivers, waterfalls, and rain forest, a frontier where self-sufficient communities are emerging and attracting like-minded folks interested in being 'independent together,' as a friend living in this part of the world describes it.

Emmeth Young and the Talla Walla Vibrations
Independence Day was the perfect night to see some of the best Belizean music, and the venue was the Soul Project, Cayo's cultural hub. What an amazing show Emmeth Young and his band put on. Hopefully they'll be back soon. "Emmeth Young and the Talla Walla Vibrations rocked the Soul Project Saturday night. It was an incredible show with some of Belize's best talent. They drummed through the night. What an amazing experience!"

Recent rains in the north caused inconveniences for families in Concepcion village. One family had to bail out their house and set up sand bags to try and keep the water out.

Captive parrots rehabilitated, returned to the wild
The Belize Bird Rescue is celebrating the successful rehabilitation and return of wild parrots to the forest. According to BBR, after two years of rehabilitation, two former captive parrots were set free. During their rehabilitation, Belize Bird Rescue officials say the birds were able to grow back their clipped winds, develop muscle tone and flight ability as well as learning to feed themselves in the wild. The parrots were released in July of last year in one of the national parks, and last month, this photograph of the former captive birds was captured. Despite their early life of captivity, these birds have flourished and reproduced in the wild. They were identified by metal bands placed on the adults’ legs before they were released. The baby parrot does not have that metal band.

Belize Immigration Smuggling and Corruption
Belize Consultant has been following this latest Visa scandal at the Immigration Department. Our inside governmental sources that leaks confidential information have given us all the details on the matter , and we here at (BC) will put the information at hand to all social partners and media so that the facts are presented and those involved in the visa corruption be exposed. And the inside story goes like This: The reason why the previous Immigration Director Ruth Meighan was transferred abruptly: At the immigration department under the UDP government there is specific Ministers that are involved with Human Trafficking (visas) and the sale of Nationality, they are Hon. Elvin Penner, Hon. John Saldivar, Hon. Erwin Contreras. These three Ministers have a structure in place that allows them to profit huge amounts of money through the Immigration Department. It is established that the proceeds of these monies goes to fuel their political ambition and also personal gain. The previous Director Meighan served under the then Minister of Immigration John Saldivar , where she learned how the sale of Visas and Nationality is done through an international smuggling ring, established by these three politicians.

Anonymous donor gives half a million dollars for PICU project
An anonymous donor has gifted half a million dollars for the new pediatric intensive care unit under construction at the KHMH. The announcement of the “generous donation” was made this morning via a press release by the Special Envoy for Women and Children Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow. The official statement says that the half a million dollars is the first half of a pledge of one million dollars. The statement from Mrs. Barrow says: “it is comforting to know that people recognize the significance of this project and the great need for a properly equipped and staffed facility for our children. This donation will be a huge help in our efforts to ensure that Belize gets its first dedicated Paediatric Intensive Care Unit and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to give newborns and critically ill children the best possible healthcare right here at home.”

Channel 7

Penner Passport Was For S. Korean Fugitive
Tonight, the latest in the Elvin Penner Immigration Scandal is that three immigration officers have been recommended for suspension. A release issued one hour ago from the ministry of immigration says that, quote, "there has been a serious breach of the regulations and rules governing the issuance of this passport and that officers did, whether through negligence or acquiescence, allow a fraud to be perpetrated on the system," end quote. The release doesn't say much else - and coming four days after the Prime Minister made the first announcement, it has to be viewed as a disappointment. The release still does not disclose who the passport was issued to or under what circumstances. Neither does it say who signed the passport, and under what circumstances, or how the case came to light. But 7news has learned that the new Belizean is Kim Won Hong - who is wanted in South Korea for embezzling millions of dollars from a huge South Korean Firm called SK Shipping Company. An SK executive Chey Tae-won is serving time for the embezzlement - and his case is coming up for appeal. He says Won-hong was the mastermind behind the embezzlement scheme - and that Won-hong swindled him out of half a billion dollars - and that's billion with a "B".

Questions Over Castro
And tonight there are reports of more scandal coming out of Taiwan involving a Belizean politician. Credible reports to this newsroom say that Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport Edmund Castro, who left for Taiwan last week, was sent home after a Taiwanese female Ministry of Foreign Affairs staffer complained that he had made unwelcome sexual advances upon her. Our reports say, the act of indiscretion created quite a stir in Taipei's official circles. As a result, very senior officials in Taiwan reportedly complained directly to Belize's Prime Minister Dean Barrow on Thursday. He reportedly called Castro and ordered him to return home immediately. Again, that's what we have pieced together from credible sources. But Castro, who returned to Belize City on Saturday, denies it all. He says no such thing happened, and the first he heard of what he calls "all kinds of foolishness" was when he returned to Belize. He said he was not sent home, that his trip was from the 14th to the 21st and that's exactly the itinerary that was kept to.

Talented Young Media Multi-Tasker Killed In Hit And Run
You may not know the name Erron Golanche, but you may have seen him in the TV ad about SMART Prepaid Roaming in Mexico, or you may have seen his work on countless advertisements. The 25 year old Golanche was a media multi-tasker, he could shoot, edit and do graphic design. But late on Friday night, he was killed in a hit and run accident. It happened in Orange Walk when he was riding on his motorcycle. His mother explained the circumstances: Jerrilyn Flowers, Mother of Erron Golanche "Eyewitnesses state that they saw the white pickup coming and swerving across the street. The ladies that were in the minivan in front of the driver pull to the side of the street to let him passed, but instead of him passing he swerve from his lane directly into Erron's lane hitting Erron. Erron died on the spot. The driver continue driving"

Two Years After His House Was Shot Up By GSU, Menjivar Gets Off
In May of 2011, it made the headlines all over when the Gang Suppression Unit raided Belmopan businessman Mike Menjivar's home. It was hugely controversial because the GSU let off with over 100 bullets on the home; they said that Menjivar fired at them first. Menjivar, his pregnant wife, their 3 children, and their maid were sleeping inside their home, and said that they thought it was an armed assault conducted by bandits dressed in police uniforms. So, after all that gunfire, and over 13 hours of searching, nothing incriminating was found, and Menjivar was charged with 9 counts of attempted murder, and he was jailed until his attorney could secure bail. That was over 2 year ago, and today, Justice Denis Hanomansingh handed down his decision after hearing the trial without Jury. Daniel Ortiz was there when that ruling was given:

Daughter’s Testimony of Abuse Sends Father To Jail
This morning, a 56 year old father was convicted aggravated assault of an indecent nature, and sentenced to three years in prison by Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith. We can't give you names or show you his face, but during the in camera trial, the victim, his now 16 year old daughter, testified that on March 24, her father fondled her breast and that that was not the first time, but the second. The child told the court that after the incident, she told her brother, who then took her to the police to report the matter. But in court, the father told the court that he was innocent of the crime and the only reason the child made up that story about him was because he and one of her brothers had a misunderstanding earlier. The trial started last Thursday and this morning, when the father was returned to court, he was convicted of the crime and sentenced to three years.

Traffic Accident On Boom road Was Serious, Could’ve Been Deadly
Earlier we told you about the traffic accident that claimed the life of 25 year old Erron Golanche, well the number of weekend fatalities could have increased last night when there was a serious collision on the Boom-Hattieville Road. It happened at about 8:00 when Godfrey Garcia ran off the road and into a ditch. Paul Waight who was driving a van from Hattieville to Boom accompanied by Joseph Seguro and his common law Daisy Alamilla stopped to render aid and so did Paul's brother who was passing in a green pick up truck. It all happened on a dangerous corner and Seguro saw a Red Rodeo approaching which he tried to slow down. But the Rodeo knocked him, his common law and crashed into the green pickup injuring Michael Wade. Police explained further:... ASP Chris Noble - Rural Executive Officer "There was an incident that happened prior and persons had stop to assist and persons on the highway may have not notice the vehicles on the road and they knocked down and eventually drove into one of the persons assisting."

PM Barrow Uses Independence Day Platform To Support Equal Treatment For All, Gays Included
Independence Day in Belmopan was all about the speeches by the two political leaders, Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca. Fonseca spoke to 21 minutes and Barrow spoke for 27 - but, overall the post of Prime Minister - usually has the advantage; he speaks last and can speak about a whole host of government programmes, while the opposition leader can only speak about the general state of things, and he has to do so without getting too political. So, most of the news coming out of the speech is from the Prime Minister who outlined a major government funded infrastructural push funded by Petrocaribe money:... Prime Minister Dean Barrow "My Fellow Belizeans, as we start this thirty third year of our Independence our material prospects are exciting to behold. We are embarked on nothing less than the creation of a post-Independence golden age that there will be will be a dramatic second half growth, and that it will surpass the 2% that the National Budget forecasts." "In a word, it is infrastructure."

San Ignacio Man Killed By Stabbing
San Ignacio Police have one man detained tonight, and they continue to question him in relation to the stabbing death of 29 year-old San Ignacio Resident Jorge Tzib. Police found him killed on Joseph Andrews Drive; he was stabbed multiple times, and his throat was slit. Today, 7News went to San Ignacio town to find out about caused the young man to be brutally killed in the street. We spoke with police. Insp. Reymundo Reyes "What we have is this morning sometime after 1:55 am San Ignacio receive information of a male person lying in the middle of the street on Joseph Andrews Drive in front of the Red Cross building. As a result they proceeded to the area and on arrival they saw this male person lying on his left side of his body with what appears to be multiple stab wounds on the knee area and a slit on the throat."

PAC, UDP Style Meets in Belmopan
Earlier this month, 7News told you about the plan which Government majority members of the Public Accounts Committee intended to implement: they decided to look into public spending done by the two political parties' government administrations from the financial periods of 2003/2004 forward for the PUP and 2008/2009 forward for the UDP. The Opposition has made it clear that they refuse to support this agenda as the way forward, and they've called these meetings illegal since the Chair of the committee did not set the agenda. Current Chairman Julius Espat and his fellow opposition member, Rodwell Ferguson, who makes up the PAC, did not attend today's meeting, the first in the series, which was significant for 2 reasons. Firstly, it was the first meeting in years which actually conducted the business of the committee, and it was also done in the public, where the media was allowed in, which is not the norm of this or any committee. Once again, the Government majority elected John Saldivar as protem chair of today's meeting, and in his opening statement, Saldivar made a public request of Julius Espat, which he described as a compromise. Here's how he explained why Espat should sit as chair on the Wednesday meetings:

Massive Problem Croc Caught On San Pedro
A 700 pound 11 foot American Crocodile was brought in from San Pedro Town today. It's what is known as a "problem croc" because it has lost the fear of humans and is feeding on their pets and their food. More than that, the massive reptile has been seen slithering through backyards at the back of the San Juan area of San Pedro. With all that, the folks from ACES, the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary have been trying to trap the problem croc and they finally snared it today. With the assistance of Quality Poultry Products which provided a boat, they brought the croc to the city for further transfer to their facility in Ladyville. We were at Quality Poultry when the very big boy was brought in:.. Vince Rose, ACES "This croc has been patrolling the backwaters of San Pedro, all the back houses eating their dogs basically for the last couple of years. We had caught him a long time ago and hasn't seem him since. We finally caught him in San Juan area of San Pedro and the Quality Poultry Chicken had donated their services to bring the croc from San Pedro to here."

Were Russians Really Stranded On Way To ATM Cave
The social media lit up yesterday when rumors went out that 10 tourists got trapped in the ATM Caves IN Teakettle due to a flash food. Well, it appears that those rumors were greatly exaggerated. That's what the tour guide from Mayawalk Tours, who led the tourists into the caves told us today, when we spoke to him. Here's how he described the events: Aaron Juan, Owner/Operator Mayawalk Tours "No one was trapped in the cave. We never went in the cave. It was a normal day at the ATM (Actun Tunichil Muknal). In the rainy season the river goes up and down and we are always a little bit careful about that and I had explain that to them already." "They are all river rafting guides actually and one of them owns an adventure company in the states. One owns an adventure "White Water Rafting" in Russia. Our little river to them was not a big deal. They decide to try it and if we can do the cave then we do it but if we can't then we just return. I had explain all that already to them."

Oh No She Didn’t!
In our last segment, 7News showed you excerpts from the Belmopan Independence Day ceremony. That was but one of several held around the country, and this year, the Village of Succotz experienced quite an exciting Independence Day celebration. It happened when the queen of the Ms Independence Day pageant pulled quite a stunt. She refused to accept the crown because the organizers allegedly jilted her out of her package she was to receive as winner. Yancy Bautista, the 2013 Ms Independence attended the crowning ceremony, and chose not to participate. That's until she snatched the crown from the runner up just as they placed it on her head, and she ran off, breaking it. It's the kind of thing which draws attention, and it has already gone viral on Facebook. Today, 7News spoke with Bautista, where we asked her why she did it, and if she now has any regrets. Here's what the third former said: Yancy Bautista, Miss Independence 2013 "I won the Miss Independence 2013-2014. The reason why this happen is because they involve politics in what they shouldn't. My dress should not supposed to be red. It is supposed to be white."

Channel 5

3 immigration officers suspended for issuance of passport to South Korean national, Kim Won-Hong
Tonight, there is much more information coming out of the immigration scandal which resulted in the immediate firing of Minister of State Elvin Penner last Thursday. The catalyst for the [...]

Independence Day Speeches: P.M. lauds his government
At midnight on the twentieth September, a flag raising ceremony was held at Belize’s City’s Memorial Park to usher in Independence Day. Thereafter the formal Independence Day festivities moved to [...]

…And also highlights landmark case of Caleb Orosco vs G.O.B.
A highlight in the Prime Minister’s Independence Speech relates to a landmark case in the Supreme Court for which a decision is pending.  It is the case of Caleb Orosco [...]

While Leader of the Opposition says government is reeling with scandals
For the Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca, the government is reeling from one scandal to the other. Fonseca also called for less confrontation and more dialogue, less arrogance and [...]

Highlights of Independence Day Parade in Belize City
In Belmopan, the official ceremonies concluded around midday; the government and the leader of the opposition had different versions on the state of the nation.  In Belize City, the formal [...]

San Ignacio resident is murdered on a main thoroughfare
In the wee hours of this morning a San Ignacio resident was brutally murdered on one of the municipality’s main thorough fare. Jorge Luis Tzib was brutally stabbed and his [...]

Investor scouting group from Russia trapped at ATM cave
There was another incident in the west which fortunately ended without casualties. Nancy Marin of NM Productions, a location management company out of San Ignacio, booked a river tour at [...]

Erron Golanche of Acafellas killed in hit and run in Orange Walk
Popular beat boxing talent Erron Golanche, a member of the musical group Acafellas, lost his life on Friday night during a tragic hit and run in Orange Walk Town.  Details [...]

5 persons injured in near fatal accident on Boom/Hattieville Road
There was a near tragedy on the Boom/Hattieville road just after eight on Sunday night. It involved four separate vehicles and resulted in five persons being seriously injured. It didn’t [...]

Mike Menjivar has his day in court…he’s home free
In May 2011, popular Belmopan businessman Mike Menjivar was at home with his family when the GSU raided his home, supposedly looking for drugs and guns. In the melee which [...]

3 year behind bars for Belize City man who sexually assaulted 15 year old
A Belize City Construction Worker was convicted this morning in the Belize City Magistrate for committing an indecent assault upon a fifteen year old girl. Dwight Flowers, who is thirty-seven [...]

Pageant Controversy: duly elected Miss Independence Succotz snatches crown
In the west, the Independence Day activities were not without its own share of controversy. In San Jose Succotz, the installation of Miss Independence is a big affair. But this [...]

Sports Monday: football fields, cycling tracks and softball pitch were busy over the Independence Weekend
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   30 riders congregated for the start of the BCA’s test race that ran 2 laps on the Boom-Hattieville Road [...]


Water Store Burglarized; Neighbor Accused
Twenty-one year old Samuel Halliday, a laborer of Mahogany Street was denied bail and remanded into custody when he appeared in court today and was charged with burglary. Halliday pled not guilty to the charge. The prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that the defendant lives next door to the complainant, that the stolen items have not been recovered, that the offence has become prevalent and the severity of the penalty if convicted. Chief Magistrate Smith upheld the objection and remanded Halliday into custody until November 8. The incident occurred on September 16. The complainant, Vanessa Williams, the owner of Aqua Light Purified Water, located on Mahogany Street, reported to the police that her business place was burglarized and four thousand four hundred and forty dollars was stolen.

Duo Flees Police Checkpoint; Police Pursues and Uncovers Drug
Two men, 26 year old Mason Patnett and 33 year old Ryan Tillett, who were allegedly busted with 2,545 grams of cannabis, were charged with drug trafficking when they appeared in court today. They pled not guilty to the charge. The prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that the offence carries a sentence of three years and a fine of $10,000 and a convicted person can be fined and confined. The prosecutor also objected to bail on the ground that Patnett has another charge before the court for drug trafficking. Chief magistrate Anne Marie Smith upheld the objection for Patnett and remanded him into custody until November 14. She offered Tillett a bail of one thousand dollars. The incident occurred around 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 21. According to Police reports, the defendants were In a black Saturn car that was coming from the direction of Belmopan and was stopped at a police check point at La Democracia. The police reported that the driver of the car sped off and they pursued the suspects in a high speed chase. The police said that when the car reached mile 23 on George Price Highway , one of the occupants got out and threw a black bag out of the car. The police continued their pursuit and apprehended the suspects at mile 15. They took the suspects back to mile 23 and they retrieved the bag and when they searched it they found that it contained cannabis. As a result, Patnett and Tillett were taken into custody and charged.

Journalist Loses Partner in Hit and Run Incident in Northern Belize
Police in Orange Walk are looking for one Freddy Herman Villada in connection with a hit and run incident that claimed the life of a young man and left another recovering from the incident. Witness reports tell LOVE NEWS that sometime around 10:45 a white dodge ram truck was speeding out of San Jose Palmar and upon arriving at the junction of Palmar Road and Boundary Road, in front of the Rotaract building the white truck collided with a scooter that was coming from the opposite direction. Senaida Jimenez was right in front of the white pickup truck before it collided with the scooter and was the first respondent. SENAIDA JIMENEZ “This vehicle was coming at full speed from Palmar Football Field and my friend was telling me that this man was drunk and I told him that no he wasn’t drunk that it’s just because Palmar has a lot of holes in the street and she kept telling me that yes, the man is drinking because he is coming at full speed. Passing the Palmar Bridge, I realized that this man is coming at full speed and my friend told me that I have to move if not the driver will take me; so, I moved to my right and the driver over took me on the left hand side and on the opposite side there was a cycle coming and we just heard a bang and the driver drove away with the cycle about five hundred yards. My friend and I came down from the vehicle and we saw a body lying on the ground, we moved a bit more and we saw another body. We asked the people around to please take the other body to the hospital and someone did accept because in reality there was no police there as yet and I felt bad leaving the body there knowing that it was still moving and nobody was going to render help and so, a parent gave help and took the young man to the hospital. I called a doctor to please tend to the patient and then the doctor called and said that the patient only had broken leg; the two of them were bleeding and we were mainly taking care of the one that was moving his hand, the one lying down.”

Immigration Officers Face Possible Suspension Following Recent Scandal Involving Minister

He Fondled The Minor’s Breast Then Threatened Her If She Leaves Him; Magistrate Rules Guilty Verdict
Fifty-three year old Dwight Flowers, a laborer charged with aggravated assault on a 15 year old girl and using threatening words, was found guilty of both charges today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. He was sentenced to three years for aggravated assault and six months for using threatening words. Chief Magistrate Smith stipulated that the sentences are to run concurrently, so he will serve three years. The incident occurred on March 24, 2013. The girl, who testified in camera, said that Flowers fondled her breasts and told her that if she left him he will kill her. Flowers testified and denied that he committed the offence. Flowers was not represented by any attorney.

GSU Finds Drug Hidden In Man’s Shoe; Magistrate Renders Custodial Sentence
Twenty-seven year old Jerdean Jergenson, a stevedore of Reggae Street, was sentenced to three months imprisonment today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith when he pled guilty to possession of a controlled drug for three point two grams of cannabis. Chief magistrate Smith imposed the custodial sentence because Jergenson has a previous conviction for possession of a controlled drug. The bust occurred on Saturday, September 21. The police, members of the GSU, went to Bismark Club, located on Queen Charlotte Street, to search for a person who was wanted. Upon their arrival they saw a man dressed in black who was acting suspicious. They approached the man and informed him that a search wound be conducted on him. When they searched him they found the cannabis hidden inside the inner sole of his tennis shoe. As a result, Jergenson was taken into custody and charged.

Independence Day: PM Speaks on Agriculture, National Security and Homosexuality
There was a lot said during the Prime Minister’s official Independence Day Address to the nation. We’ve been reporting on what he shared regarding infrastructural developments for the country, but there was also talk about market growth and according to the PM, the grass is greener on the Agriculture side. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW American Sugar Refiners is expanding the capacity at the BSI mill to grind ten thousand tons of cane per day as early as the next crop year which starts in two months. Farmers are busy planting additional acreage to take advantage of this historical increase and these are indeed times of plenty and prosperity for the north of our country. Meanwhile the new Green Tropics Sugar Mill is beginning to be assembled and Brazilians want to do ethanol at Libertad. Generally, agriculture is making a great leap forward. Four thousand additional acres of rice are being planted for export by the Mennonites in the area behind Roaring Creek; we are sending corn to Mexico as well as Guatemala and Jamaica and the second cattle sweep is being completed which will allow us to sell our livestock anywhere in the world.” Prime Minister Barrow also spoke of the rise in tourism arrivals for the country and commended security forces for the decrease in crime, especially the gang related activities in Belize City. There are also a number of improvements scheduled to take place in relation to keeping our territorial integrity as outlined by the Prime Minister

Police News
Police are investigating a case of attempted murder reported in Belize City. According to reports, police visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital around 12:30 p.m on Friday and saw a woman who identified herself as Carol Vernon, a forty eight year old resident of West Street. Vernon was suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Police investigations revealed that on the same day around 12:20 p.m, while she was socializing with two other persons at a garage on number sixty one George Street, a fair complexioned man came out from an overgrown yard, approached them and fired two shots in their direction injuring Vernon. The man was described as being of slim built and fair complexion, with a low haircut and he used a green rag to cover the bottom part of his face.


Sugar City Is Invaded By Belizeans Celebrating 32 Years of Sovereignty
The thirty-second anniversary of Belize’s Independence has come and gone, and with it, thousands of Belizeans travelled from close and far to be a part of the celebrations held in...

OWTHS Gets New School Building
This year Orange Walk Technical High School, whose motto is “The School that cares”, is celebrating its 30th anniversary serving the northern part of the Country as one of the...

Residents Of Consejo Corozal Invaded by Water and Garbage
But, those villages here in Orange Walk are not the only ones affected by the heavy rains over the past few days. The villagers of Consejo have been affected as...

20th Night Proves Deadly In O/W As Traffic Accident Claims The Life Of One Man
Tonight, police are on the hunt for one man who fled the scene of a horrific traffic accident. As residents of Orange Walk Town and surrounding villages were preparing to...


The International Development Bank launches investigation into SIF
The Social Investment Fund has been under public scrutiny since the alleged corruption in the construction of the Dangriga Market has been made known. After investigations into the allegations made by contractor Kennard Smart and the complaints of financiers Herman Bailey and Emmy Ramirez, four persons were fired and...

Daniel Cano, continues to deny any personal involvement in illegal practices
Former executive director of the Social Investment Fund (SIF), Daniel Cano, continues to deny any personal involvement in illegal practices leading up to his resignation earlier this week. But he did admit that he allowed a culture of laxity to take over at the organization that allowed contractor Kennard...

Firearm charge against FECTAB member is thrown out
Yhony Rosado, owner of and FECTAB member was a rising national figure when in December of 2012, a firearm charge sent his reputation and his business into distress. Rosado was accused of pulling a gun on the owner of another cave tubing company Vitalino Reyes Jr. – the...

PNP Leader comments on Minister Penner’s resignation
Before the Belizean public could fully digest the SIF blowout, we learned that Elvin Penner, who served as Minister of Public Utilities, Information and Broadcasting and Minister of State for Immigration and Border Protection tendered his resignation following some very grim accusations. The area representative for Cayo Northeast, we...

Woman police say put a hit on her husband is out on bail
A Belize City woman who is married to an American man and who has been accused of putting a hit on her husband is tonight out on Supreme Court bail. She is 39-year-old San Ignacio, Cayo resident, Frances Ayala Wilson. Frances Wilson was arraigned in the Belize City...

Teenage girl allegedly sexually assaulted by Ladyville couple
A teenage girl was allegedly sexually assaulted by a young Ladyville couple. The couple allegedly took the 14 year old on a trip to Cayo some three days ago and then took her to their home in Lord’s Bank. That is where they allegedly gave her marijuana to smoke....

A Belmopan School Bursts Excitement Over New Library
The children at Garden City Primary School are overjoyed, and for good reason too. After a full year of planning, coordinating and executing, yesterday, September 19th, the Garden City Primary School Library officially opened its doors to eager students. the construction of the building from start...

Ramon’s Village Resort will be fully renovated in time for Christmas Season
More than three weeks ago Ramon’s Village Resort went up in a flaming frenzy that consumed almost two thirds of the famous resort. An investigation was conducted to determine the origin of the fire and on Friday, the investigation is complete. The San Pedro Sun newspaper had the report,...

DIVAZ Next Door TV Show Goes the Hype Way Again
Divaz Next Door presents: Divaz Adventure! Hosts of PlusTV’s daytime show, in collaboration with Bucawina Adventures and Eco Tours are offering viewers the opportunity to spend an activity filled day touring the Mayflower Bucawina National Park. Ana Guy-“DIVAZ Next Door” Host “DIVAZ is of course is...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Celebrating Our Independence
This past weekend every one geared up for our 32 years of Independence. This year’s theme was “Belize In You, Belie In Me, Land Of The Free”. To begin the hype for the celebrations the Caye Caulker Village Council began announcing competitions such as the most patriotic house, vehicle and or person; decoration of bicycles, dance groups and floats. The Village Council began their 3 day festivities with fireworks display and dance at the Central Park with musical entertainment from Local Belizean Artists Mr. Program, Barrington and The Islanders from San Pedro, Facebook Song Competition Winner Ronny B, Bobo Youth, Laban and his drummers, Students from the Caye Caulker Roman Catholic School and Ocean Academy, Be The Next Superstar winner Shannelly, Be The Next Superstar competitors Bryan and Donnovan along side Dj Chico, and Good Life Sounds: Dj Exclusive and Dj Kenrick. Certificate of Appreciation awards were given to the following people for their time dedicated to the community:

Kayaking With A Purpose – Allie Johnstone
This will be the 5th year that a handful of students from Ocean Academy have joined me for the Kayak P.E. Class. It has been a pleasure to teach the youth paddling skills such as self-rescue, proper stroke break down, water safety, weather watching and even knot tying. Previous years I’ve had up to 5 students but this year we have 8, 3 returnees, I’m proud to say! The difference this year is we are adding another element to the class and that is Marine Biology. The paddlers are asked to choose a creature, fish, or plant to study during the semester. Students have now chose their subjects and we are ready to begin mapping habitats this Thursday. The students will then think of a question about their subject and try to learn the answer through study by the end of the year. Personally I find this addition exciting because we also as a group will be monitoring the Long snout Seahorse ( hippocampus reide) populations on the north west side of Caye Caulker. Perhaps we can discourage harvesting in Belize and teach that these creatures are worth more as a tourist attraction than dead, dried and being sent to the Asian market.


Celebrating 32 years – San Pedro Belize Independence Day Parade
Every year on September 21st individuals, groups, and businesses decorate themselves and their golf carts and parade through town. This year we were celebrating 32 years in the annual San Pedro Belize Independence Day Parade. As always the parade kicked off with a loud siren and the Police and fire department leading the way. The paraders were very lively with brightly colored costumes and great music. They drove or danced along waving flags, throwing candy to the kids. There were less people this year and I have heard some mixed reviews, not everyone cared for it. I liked the parade, you could tell everyone put a lot of effort into their costumes. The music was just right and I loved peoples song choices the first pass. A little shorter was ok but hopefully it does not become too short. Due to the number of pics I ended up with I decided to post a few large size ones, a small photo gallery and the rest of my parade pictures you can find on facebook page photo album.

2013 Independence Day Parade on Ambergris Caye, Part Two: VISIT BELIZE IN SEPTEMBER!
So…Saturday was the big Independence Day parade in San Pedro and it was a beautiful breezy and HOT day. But then…it is always hot. I already showed you the pictures of the beginning of the parade in Part One. Here are the rest… Could this group look any better? All parades should featured DJs with dancing groups behind them. It should be international law. Do you see how fun it makes things? These people have been waiting, dancing, roasting for 3 hours at this point. You’d never know it.

Chaa Creek Thanksgivings are a New Belize Tradition
Belize’s The Lodge at Chaa Creek is reporting another rise this year in families enquiring about the latest trend in destination holidays – tropical Thanksgivings. Turning the traditional family feast into a shared adventure is becoming increasingly popular, according to the eco resort’s food and beverage manager. Bryony Fleming Bradley said that since Chaa Creek began offering all-inclusive Belize Thanksgiving packages, there has been a steady rise in interest; an increase she attributes to positive word of mouth, the proximity of Belize to North America, and the desire to do something different that the entire family can enjoy. She also attributes the rise in the popularity of Chaa Creek’s Thanksgiving holidays to the increased cost of hosting large family gatherings at home as compared to the price of the all-inclusive Belize vacation packages now on offer.

Belize – A cultural melting pot
Belize a refuge, a home of diverse multi-ethnic cultures, people with different skin tones, different languages and belonging to various ‘pots’ all adding to our colorful Belizean culture. Lying amidst the horizons of Central America and the vast Caribbean sea; a nation with the most diverse population among its neighboring countries, rich with a blend of different cultural practices. Wondering how it came to be? These interesting multi-ethnic and rich cultural heritages all make this melting pot unique and so unlike any other. Most Belizean descendants are from multi-racial heritages varying from a combination of Mayans, Africans and Europeans. The melting pot is traced back when the descendants of these tribes fled for refuge to the country of Belize. Garinagu a new born tribe, descended from the Native Carib and Arawak tribes who escaped from enslavement in the midst of gaining freedom. The Mayas, naturally considered to be the first inhabitants of Belize, inhabited the country for over hundreds of years. Although their civilization may have quite disappeared, presently some still live amongst the rural areas of the country. Mixtures of Mayan and Spanish culture gave birth to a new group; the Mestizos.

“Do You Remember” it in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize?
I got up around 04.30 hours on Sunday with the belief that Arsenal’s home game against Stoke City had a (local time) kick-off at 05.15 hours. With so much time to spare I made my mug of black coffee and retired to the veranda with it and my iPad to read the Sunday Times on-line. Straight in to the sports’ section where I found that I had made a monumental error. The kick-off was 06.30 hours! No worries though (or so I thought), more time to enjoy the Sunday Times. At 06.25 hours I moved inside, switched on the TV, chose channel 103 and sat down to enjoy the game. But no. Catastrophe! NBC in its wisdom (sic) had chosen to televise the Singapore Formula 1 Grand Prix! How could they? Don’t they know that I couldn’t give a fig (I have other words to use but …) about Formula 1! I very quickly (and smoothly) moved to Plan B – TheTelegraph website. Nowhere near as good as watching the game on TV but I was able to keep ‘in touch’ with developments as the game unfolded. A game which Arsenal won by three goals to one.

International Sources

Women in CSR: Shannon Schuyler, PwC
SS: Our CR commitment is a perfect combination of engaging with and providing value to our stakeholders and communities. The days I recently spent in Belize teaching children about financial responsibility and leadership, as part of PwC’s Earn Your Future program, were perfect. The children’s enthusiasm reinforced my conviction that our CR efforts really do make a difference. If speaking personally, my perfect day starts and ends with my family. A simple stroll through the park with my husband, son and two dogs is really all I need to be completely content.

Marines continue fight against drug cartels across Americas
Marine Corps leaders remain committed to training militaries across the Western Hemisphere that are fighting on the front lines of the drug war and forging new partnerships to deal with humanitarian and disaster relief efforts and other types of crises in the region. In missions to Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia and other nations, Marines have deployed to help combat a violent drug trade that has devastating effects across the Americas. It’s a fight that requires coordination with countries across a vast geographic area. But as the Pentagon considers ways to cut costs, there is talk of combining the two combatant commands that are leading the fight — U.S. Northern Command and U.S. Southern Command — into a single “Americas command.” Although critics worry that the merger could signal to Latin American partners that they don’t matter, Marine officials insist that is not the case. In fact, the Corps wants to engage more nations in Central and South America for the same reason it is expanding in the Pacific: to build familiarity with allies so that when crises emerge, there are existing relationships on which to build, said Maj. Gen. Frederick Padilla, director of operations at Marine Corps headquarters.

See Coral Reefs Like Never Before Thanks To Gorgeous New Panoramas
Today the Catlin Seaview Survey—which recently brought us some amazing views of the Galápagos coastline—launches the first-of-its-kind database of our underwater world. Catlin Seaview Survey began with a comprehensive study of the Great Barrier Reef in September 2012. The imagery documented the composition and health of the reef across its full range depth. That survey involved more than 100,000 360-degree panoramic images along the length of the reef—about 2,300 km. Since then, the team has traveled to more beautiful coastlines, including Belize, Mexico, and Aruba. To take such detailed (and scientifically useful) imagery, the survey team uses a specially built panoramic underwater camera. For this new online database, dubbed the Reef Record, the survey team is pairing the panoramic imagery with datasets from collaborators like NOAA, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, World Resources Institute and the Global Change Institute. The hope is that scientists, educators, and the general public can use the record as a resource to understand and track how the changing climate and pollution are affecting coral and the marine environment.

Fortis Inc. Announces Fourth Quarter Dividends-2013
The Board of Directors of Fortis Inc. ("Fortis" or the "Corporation") (TSX:FTS) has declared the following dividends: Fortis is the largest investor-owned gas and electric distribution utility in Canada, with total assets exceeding $17 billion and fiscal 2012 revenue totalling approximately $3.7 billion. Its regulated utilities account for 90% of total assets and serve more than 2.4 million customers across Canada and in New York State and the Caribbean. Fortis owns non-regulated hydroelectric generation assets in Canada, Belize and Upstate New York. The Corporation's non-utility investments are comprised of hotels and commercial real estate in Canada and petroleum supply operations in the Mid-Atlantic Region of the United States.

Bitcoin Securities Exchange BTC-TC Shutters $12M Operations, Cites Regulatory Environment
The legality of BTC Trading Co. and LTC-Global, registered in Belize and operated from Oregon, has been questionable since the site opened originally. The company’s FAQs state repeatedly that assets on the site are not to be considered real and openly acknowledges Burnside’s lack of necessary funding to support significant legal oversight. Regulations in the digital currency space have seen a number of developments so far this year, but recent actions from the SEC specifically are likely the impetus for the closure. This summer, the Securities and Exchange Commissions charged Trendan Shavers of the Bitcoin Savings and Trust with violation of security registration laws, among other charges. During the hearing of that case, the presiding judge wrote that “Bitcoin is a currency or form of money, and investors wishing to invest in BTCST provided an investment of money.”

Making Local People Stewards of the Earth
“People trying to protect their traditional lands are still being killed or forcibly removed. But we may be at a tipping point favouring community land rights,” White told IPS. Peru, Belize and other countries are recognising those rights. Land disputes in India, Cambodia and elsewhere are driving political change. Some parts of the corporate sector are supporting land rights. Last July in Ireland, governments in the G8 group of wealthy nations made “unprecedented commitments” to secure land rights and improve land governance, he said. “The conditions are right for a historic step and overcome a major obstacle to improving the well being of people and the planet,” White said.

How Travel Writing Can Help Fund Your Trip
Did you ever want to go abroad but weren’t able to fund it? That doesn’t mean that your trip is doomed to never happen. Imagine instead getting paid to travel the world. It is possible to fund your trip and even make a profit by writing about your adventures. Travel writing can become a full-time passion or merely something you do on the side. It can be a way to justify a vacation and pay for some of the costs, maybe write off your trip on your taxes. With this career, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to get out and see the world…in a way you never could as an ordinary tourist. Terri Marshall has never been the type of person to settle for “ordinary”. One of the ways she left ordinary behind was to start her career as a travel writer. “I spent many years working as a tax accountant—I knew there had to be a better way to spend my time. I wanted something extraordinary. So…I decided that I could live this life less ordinary as a travel writer.”

September 23, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Doctor Love: Useless Relationships
Dear Doctor Love, It hurts me so much to see my daughter throwing her life away on some useless piece of garbage. She has a boyfriend that does not work and she spends her days at a low end job just to support him. When she finishes work she goes to another job while he [...]

Wolfe’s Woofers: Lawsuits
“And what do you do back in Texas?” “I’m a lawyer,” the tourist told me, as he pulled up a chair. We had struck up a conversation as I was having my morning coffee on the deck of the Holiday Hotel. “What kind of law do you practice?” I asked. “Mostly tort law, which is [...]

Justin Banner arrested and charged for drug trafficking
Police on Ambergris Caye arrested and charged a man for the crime of drug trafficking. He is 27-year-old Justin Banner, a Belizean laborer and resident of a DFC area of San Pedro Town. According to San Pedro Police, sometime around 11AM on Friday September 13th, they visited an apartment in the San Mateo area of [...]

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Jump Up San Pedro
Many of the paraders were jumping up just as hard at the end of the second pass down front street as they were at the start.

VIDEO: San Pedro Independence Day Parade 2013
If you love parties and parades, September 21st is definitely a must do for your Belize Travel calendar. This video is the whole 2013 independence day parade through San Pedro Town.

Citizen Science in Belize – Update – If You Can’t Beat’em, Wear’em
In earlier posts about my volunteer experience in Belize with ReefCI, I talked about the lionfish invasion that is threatening coral reef and other marine ecosystems throughout the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and Southern Atlantic Seaboard of the United States, and noted that, at least for the foreseeable future, human intervention, particularly the establishment of a commercial fishery for the species, appears to be the only solution to keep the invasion under control. I mentioned the idea of lionfish jewelry as a possible way of increasing the economic return to fisherfolk who may otherwise be reluctant to go after lionfish given the difficulty of catching them (the fish must be harvested by spearing or hand netting rather than through traditional methods such as lines or nets). I’ve been pleased to learn that at least one artisan in Belize has picked up on the idea, using some of the lionfish spines that I collected while I was there. She has already crafted some beautiful earrings (see photo above) and is working on other jewelry items as well as decorative mirrors. Elsewhere, jewelry crafted from lionfish tails and fins is being sold online, and through a retail outlet in Curaçao.

SIRH Refurbs Flamingo Park
The San Ignacio Resort Hotel went back to Flamingo Park, which they adopted last year for National Service Day, and they fixed it up again. Thanks, SIRH! "A few staff from SIRH got together for National Service Day to clean up a local park. The San Ignacio Resort Hotel adopted this park last year as an ongoing effort to support. You can read more about this here.

MCHS Celebrates Independence
Mount Carmel High School celebrated "Belize in You, Belize in Me, Land of the Free."

Cayo Independence Day Parade
Pictures from Cayo's Independence Day parade through town yesterday. Here's to another great year! "It was a little wet, but that can't stop Cayo from celebrating with a grand parade. Thanks to junior photographer Chloe Cocchi for some great pictures." On FB.

Belmopan Independence Day Parade
Belmopan had a great showing for their Independence Day parade. They had the Belize Cowboy and Cowgirl Association there to show off some riding skills. Belmopan City Online was there to get pictures. Happy 32nd birthday, Belize! Banana Bank was also there to get some pictures, mostly of the horse contingent. Video of the horse contingent.

Independence Eve in Cayo
From - September 22, 11:09 AM D Russell captured some great pictures in Cayo on Independence Eve. The fireworks were great. "Fireworks, passing of the torch, festivities in Cayo, 2013" Benque had fireworks too.

“Earth Wind and Fire,” Belize, and the 21st of September
You would think you were at a wedding reception dancing the night away to an Earth, Wind and Fire cover band every time you hear their top-of-the-charts tune about the 21st of September. Released in 1978, the track builds up and unleashes a thrilling happiness that comes from pure freedom. ~The groove is right and night is alllllright~ It was the month of September when composer and lyricist banded together. One had influenced the other, but both had been on a roll with spiritual inspiration when they produced the song that would remain a legacy. And while few theories circulate about the significance of the 21st of September, the truth is, it just sounded phonetically right. “Do you remember the 21st night of September? Love was changing the minds of pretenders, while chasing the clouds away. Our hearts were singing, in the key that our souls were singing…as we danced in the night away.” This song is undoubtedly the ultimate feel-good song.

Alberto Contreras Receives Meritorious Service Award
Congratulations to Alberto Contreras for being awarded the Meritorious Service Award! Once again, it's well deserved. "Alberto Rafael Contreras was born in Benque Viejo Del Carmen on January 16, 1939. He attended St. Joseph School, now Mount Carmel Primary School. Always passionate about the development of his home town, Alberto entered politics under the United Democratic Party in 1978 and served as a member of the Benque Viejo Town Board and served as mayor of Benque Viejo from 1984 to 1986. But his mark on Belizean history goes beyond politics. He coached the Mount Carmel School football team from 1970 to 1995 and led them to many victories. The Verdes Football Club was born in 1980 and Rafael would be known to play a significant role in its success. Verdes represented Belize at the CONCACAF stage several times."

Belize Literacy Project Concludes
The Rotary Club of San Ignacio has finished up their 5 year Belize Literary Project, and they had a small handing over ceremony to the Ministry of Education. Thanks, Rotary! "This country-wide project for Belize Literacy sponsored by our Canadian partners in Rotary District 5370 came to an end after 5 years and lots of work from many dedicated folks. The handing over ceremony was a venue to hand over the last of the equipment to each of the district offices and to the staff of Ministry of Education."

Tourists trapped near ATM rescued
A search and rescue operation is underway in the Cayo district for a group, believed to be tourists, who are reportedly trapped near the ATM cave in Teakettle village. Preliminary reports are that the group, including about 10 tourists and a couple of tour guides ran into trouble as a result of a flash flood due to heavy rains in the the area. ...later last evening.... SUCCESS!!! The rescue mission was successfully completed just before midnight. All the tourists and guides who were trapped by flash flood near the ATM cave in Teakettle village have been accounted for. They are now on their way to San Ignacio town.


Intercepted by facebook the Commodore and Blue Water Grill
I was just getting ready to start my Jump Up San Pedro video when Commodore Andy popped me on facebook and got me instantly focused from one direction to a completely different one. After all it is Sunday and I have been working since 7:00am so lunch at Blue Water Grill is definitely a good reason to allow myself to get intercepted. Andy – Fancy lunch at BWG at 12:00pm? Me – Fancy lunch for anything special? Paul doing football at Lola’s or Pedro’s I might be interested if I can get enough work in before then Andy – It’s Sunday and I’m hungry. Jackie and Adam are coming along with Forrest. Bring some more Me – Any chance you guys can come grab me? Andy – I’m sure we can. Invite some folks Me – ok will ask Mary Andy – The more the merrier Big Shout Out to all the parade dancers who were jumping up just as hard at the end of the second pass down front street as they were at the start.

2013 Independence Day Parade on Ambergris Caye, Part One: VISIT BELIZE IN SEPTEMBER!
I love the month of September in Belize. LOVE IT. September 21st in San Pedro is the culmination of the good times…the big JUMP UP parade. This year’s was as fun as ever. I can’t get enough…lucky for me? The parade circled around twice where I was stationed. Let’s just get right into all of the pictures. This year I mixed things up and was quite pleased with the results. Mostly because the parade lines up on the beach…on one of our most gorgeous stretches of beach in the Boca Del Rio Area. Gorgeous gorgeous perfection. Look at these cuties waiting for the rest of their dance troupe. I mean SERIOUSLY? Too much.

Belizean Music is Belizean Music is Belizean Music
It’s no secret we’re major fans of the unique, dynamic, vibrant and at times controversial Belizean arts scene, and for some of us, our focus is on Belizean music. From Brukdown to Punta Rock and everything in between, Belize provides an aural smorgasbord that’s a feast for the senses. No matter the mood, from Friday-night-I-just-got-paid jump up to why’d s/he have to leave me, from the exuberant to the reflective, there’s something in the vast Belizean catalogue to suit everyone and any moment. Just like the Blues greats such as Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf and Buddy Guy, Paranda musicians stir something deep inside. Paul Nabor’s Naguya Ne (I am Moving On) just seems to get more poignant and soulful with each listen, and the younger Aurelio Martinez is carrying on that soulful tradition. He’s an artist that stays true to the form yet is instantly recognisable for his own distinctive style. So it was a pleasure to hear that the Belize Tourism Board, aka the BTB, selected one of his songs, “Santo Negro”, as the backing track for its promotional video. Great decision I thought, as I sat back, closed my eyes and savoured it again. Yes, this evokes Belize to someone who knows and loves it, and is a wonderful introduction to the country for others.

September 22, 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

Meet your National AIDS Commission Island Committee members
The National AIDS Commission Island Committee was established to carry out the local aspect of the National Response to HIV following the guidelines of the National AIDS Commission. The entity is commissioned by the Government of Belize to carry out this function. The committee is made up of a multi-sectoral body. The San Pedro Sun takes this opportunity to present the members of the executive body to you – the community that they serve. This week we introduce Lezel Cayetano: Serving the community in which I live is one of the greatest pleasures I derive from in my job. My name is Lezel Lori Cayetano. I am originally from the land where sweetness abounds, Punta Gorda. I spent much of my life in Belize City where I attended both primary and secondary schools. Following this, my passion for service to my fellow beings made my decision to pursue a career in nursing quite easy. I attended the Bliss School of Nursing, which later amalgamated into the University of Belize where I attained my Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health Nursing.

Editorial: Patriotic Ponderings
My first travels to Belize were before the country had gained independence from the Queen, and I wish I still had those Belikin beer glasses that commemorated that historic day on Sept 21, 1981! Little did I know then that those souvenirs would someday represent the independence of my new homeland. As a recently naturalized Belizean this year’s Independence Day holds a special place in my heart…for the land of the free by the Carib Sea is now the country I am proud to call home. And even though tyrants and despots still linger in our young country, Belizeans maintain the hope that our country can be a tranquil haven for democracy. The words of our National Anthem still ring true; nature has blessed us with wealth untold, from our mountains and valleys where prairies roll, to our coral isles over blue lagoon – we should never forget that we are fortunate to call this beautiful country our home.

Dengue outbreak numbers decline
The number of confirmed dengue fever cases have gone down in San Pedro since the outbreak was first reported a few weeks ago. On Friday, August 23rd the Ministry of Health (MoH) launched the dengue prevention campaign, “Keep San Pedro Dengue Free” due to 19 confirmed cases of dengue fever on Ambergris Caye. A team of ten public health officers were sent to Ambergris Caye to investigate and assist in tackling the dengue outbreak. The team inspected areas that were likely to be a breeding spots for the virus-transmitting mosquito Aedes Aegypti, a striped black and white mosquito. These areas included San Mateo, San Pablo, San Marcos, DFC and Boca del Rio areas. According to San Pedro Health Inspector, Lisa Tillet the numbers of infected individuals has dropped, as only two confirmed infected cases of dengue have been reported since the initial report. “We will not say that the fear of contracting dengue fever is over, but it is being controlled. Fewer people are reporting dengue fever and that is good,” said Tillet.

SACNW hosts annual September Potluck event
The South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch group (SACNW) held its annual September potluck event on Sunday the 15th at the Caribe Island Resort. The gathering is a fun way for neighbors to get together in a social atmosphere and enjoy the beach, the company and some wonderful food. This year the food was plentiful and varied – and all gone by 2pm! Bob Utsman was kind enough to hold a Chinese auction and this event raised $325 in a short 15 minutes of laughter and daring. The happy winner was our very own Jan Brown from the Marco Gonzalez Archeological Reserve. The prizes were generously donated by Wine De Vine, the Black Orchid Restaurant and the Belize Chocolate Company. Guests included a handful of police officers that are always glad to assist SACNW in its endeavors. SACNW takes this opportunity to thank the Caribe Island Resort for graciously hosting this event.

Diving into Adventure-The Great Blue Hole
It can be described as a diver’s paradise and a snorkeler’s dream. What is it I’m speaking of you may ask? The Great Blue Hole of course! The Blue Hole is worshipped by many for its splendid aura and breathtaking sights. The 410 ft deep submarine sinkhole rests peacefully in the midst of Lighthouse Atoll, its body of deep blue waters perfectly encircled by layers and layers of striking corals, stalactites and stalagmites. The site boasts diversity as it not only attracts underwater (dive) enthusiasts but also embraces those seeking an exciting adventure an equally exciting via snorkelling. Geared up and ready to take the plunge, I was once again on another adventure with the boys from Amigos del Mar, whose dock we had left at 6AM sharp. Our group consisted of about thirty of divers and snorkellers, who were ready to experience one of the greatest wonders of the world. It was a full day tour package divided into three adventures.

Misc Belizean Sources

Did you loose this dog?
If this is your dog, or if you know who the dog belongs to, kindly contact Jose Castillo, caretaker at Solaria Villas (located between Las Terazzas and Rendezvous, 3.5 miles north of San Pedro). Jose's phone number is 604-1978. The dog followed him home Friday night and is being cared for at Solaria now.

Electric Bill Craziness
Umm we just received a bill for $1100...our neighbor last month had a crazy bill too..So for one month we have used more electricity then the other 9 months? Has anyone else had this experience? Our bill is totally random right now. It's huge and makes no sense. Very annoying. There has been no rhyme or reason for us either....The media has gotten involved, BEL states they have a special customer service group for these unexplained increases....We have hired electricians and monitored our meter....still cannot figure it out....Last month $591 this month $791....If you discover something let us know.....

San Pedro Independence Day 2013 Parade Winners
BEST FLOAT: 1st Place - Wil Alamilla - "Shaping up a colorful future" 2nd Place - Wings ADULT GROUP: 1st Place - San Pedro AIDS Commission 2nd Place - Sajia's Construction 3rd Place - Just Friends SCHOOL CATEGORY: Wil Alamilla "Shaping up a colorful future" KIDS CATEGORY: Little Dynamic Stars All winners can pass by at the San Pedro Town Council to collect their prize. Thanks everyone for participating and thank you to all our judges.

Your Excellency, the Governor-General, Sir Colville Young, and Lady Young Hon Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica and our Independence Day Guest of Honour My Lord Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin, and other Justices of the Supreme Court Hon Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca, and Mrs Fonseca Hon Ministers of government and Members of the National Assembly Your Worship the Mayor of Belmopan, Mr Simeon Lopez, and Mrs Lopez My Lords the Bishops of the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches of Belize Superintendent of the Methodist Belize/Honduras District President of the Evangelical Association of Churches Other members of the Clergy Excellencies of the Diplomatic Corps Members of the Consular Corps Special guests, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, Fellow Belizeans.

PHS needs a donor for a sick puppy on the penninsula. Any healthy dog can give blood. Please call Doran, Chairman Placencia Humane Society at 670-4130. No matter where you are at, arrangements can be worked out. Thank you in advance.

VIDEO: Getting the party started with the San Pedro Dance Company
One of the highlights of my Friday night September Celebrations fun was walking out of Fido's sometime after 10:00pm with Beth and Tacoboy and getting paraded by the San Pedro Dance Company.

PHOTOS: Jouvert, Placencia 2013
Not technically my best work but I did enjoy shooting it. Feel free to drag them off and use them however you like as long as you don't remove the watermark in the lower right corner of the image. Tag them if you know them.

PHOTOS: Independence Day Parade - Placencia 2013
Okay some free photos for you to use. I didn't really do much post processing at all. So if you're in the parade and saw me pointing the lens at you, it should be in here. Feel free to use them as you wish as long as you leave the watermark. If you know someone feel free to tag them. If you want the full size image just contact me and I'll try dig them up for you.

Belize da fu We
Great song for a great Independence Day. Courtesy of Pandy. "Super Furia Band from Orange Walk Town,Belize, singing about dem no weh get wa square Centimeter a de sweet BELIZE LAND"

Succotz Independence Day Parade
Independence Day found many villages around Cayo having parades and festivities. Rain didn't stop them either. Thanks to D Russell Photography, many great pictures were captured. More photos here!

Cayo Celebrates Independence Eve
Happy Independence Day! Last night in Cayo was supreme! Live Music Fridays at Mr. Greedy's always draws a crowd, and the Cayo Welcome Center had Grupo Jade play through the night. The fireworks were amazingly well done. "Downtown Cayo was packed with happy party goers, who all came out for some great music, happy hour priced drinks(Mr. Greedy's), and fireworks. Mr. Greedy's Pizzeria had Emmanuel Mangar for their Live Music Friday, and Fuego Bar & Grill Belize brought in Grupo Jade for their Music in the Park at the Cayo Welcome Center. There's a new restaurant there called D Catch, and they have great drinks and ceviche."

D Catch Grand Opening
D Catch had their grand opening last night, and they had Emmanuel Mangar for your listening pleasure. D Catch has amazing ceviches and some nice drinks. They are conveniently located in the Cayo Welcome Center. It's already looking like they'll be Cayo's number one seafood restaurant. What a great day to have a grand opening. Happy Independence Day! "The Owner & staff at D catch are honored to have Cayo’s Best performing Live!! Emmanuel Manger is a young and talented artist. We fully support our local artist here at D Catch! GRAND OPENING : SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 21ST 11am - Midnight! Emmanuel’s performance is at 7:00pm! Don’t be late"

The Independence Day parade in Corozal town was spectacular. These pictures are courtesy my colleague Lyndon Gillett.

Despite a heavy downpour, complete with thunder and lightening, thousands of Belizeans turned out for the Independence Day parade in San Ignacio/Santa Elena.

Independence, which this year we celebrate under the theme "Belize in you, Belize in me -Land of the free", is the cardinal fact of a nation's existence. It is political and geopolitical. It is cultural and ethnic and spiritual and material. It is the very fount of a country's being, the source of things practical and philosophical, of things quotidian and things transformational. In reflecting on our Independence, then, we must of course be preoccupied with the here and now, with our current well being and state of affairs. But we must also be forward looking, concerned with the future, with where we want to go and how we get there.


Students In Corozal Take Part In Children's Rally
Our Corozal reporter Victor Castillo also was on hand for the school’s parade in Corozal Town. Here’s that story. Victor Castillo- Reporter It’s one of the staples for September—The Primary...

Annual School Rally Lights Up The Streets Of O/W
Orange Walk Town came alive this morning as the students and teachers of the various learning institutions paraded through the principle streets. The parade was filled with festive colours;...

Honorable George Cadle Price Gone But Not Forgotten
On September 19, 2011, Father of the Nation Rt. Hon. George Price passed away a little before seven in the morning, leaving Belizeans around the world to mourn his death. ...

The History Behind The Belizean Flag
September is a time for jubilation, and patriotic pride is exhibited by Belizeans all around the world with the proud waving and display of our flag. But how many...

The Belize Times

Friends With Benefits – UDP corrupts Social Investment Fund
The Social Investment Fund (SIF), which was once recognized throughout the region as a model development-funding agency, has now been permanently tarnished by corruption at the hands of operatives of the UDP Government. The agency has been turned into a sort of “Friends With Benefits” organization where friends of UDP Ministers are allowed to disregard due process and exploit its resources. In return the UDP Ministers get kickbacks for their political campaigns and UDP friends collect special monetary gifts, while the project languishes and its proposed beneficiaries are shafted. On Tuesday the Executive Director of SIF, Daniel Cano, resigned amidst a huge scandal involving allegations of extortion made by a contractor, Kenard Smart, who is a known UDP. Four other executive employees: Public Relations Officer, Mike Hernandez; Project Engineer, Lionel Jimenez; Financial officer Enrique Romero and Fausto Pineda were fired following evidence that they received payments from Smart’s company, K&G Construction.

Penner forced to resign!!
The Barrow Administration has confirmed what the BELIZE TIMES has been reporting for several months – that massive corruption exists in the Ministry of Immigration involving the unscrupulous issuance of visas and passports by high officials. The Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration Elvin Penner was forced to resign on Wednesday evening and the public informed of that resignation on Thursday morning via a vague press release from the Office of the Prime Minister. The release did not give a clear reason for the firing, aside from saying that Penner “did not discharge his responsibilities with either the due judgment and balance, or the scrupulous regard for appearances” in a “situation” that was brought to the attention of the Prime Minister.

Tribute to George Price – PUP observes 2nd Annual National Service Day
One of the everlasting memories of the Father of the Nation Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price is his selfless commitment to service to the nation. To mark the legacy of the Father of the Nation, last year the PUP committed to holding a day of national service annually. This year, the PUP is holding steadfast to its commitment with a series of activities to commemorate the important day. The day began with the PUP Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca, members of the Price family and other leaders of the Party laying a wreath at Premier Price’s grave site at Lord Ridge Cemetery. Following this various constituencies and the arms of the Party spread across the country to carry out its community service. The PUP Freetown carried out a visit to the elderly where they also handed over a food basket with basic food items. The Committee also donated paint to Trinity Methodist School.

HAPPPY BIRTHDAY We Belizeans have much to be thankful for as we celebrate 32 years of becoming an independent nation. We are still a God bearing nation. We have excellent relationship among our diverse ethnic groups. We have a reasonable working form of democracy although it is currently crippled and mocked by a handful of politicians in office. We are a poor people but need to remember the words of our national Anthem that nature has blest us with wealth untold and that with good leadership and proper government we all can and will enjoy the benefits of that blessing. Despite the shocking revelations in the recent report by the Inter American Development Bank, a large number of our young people are still able to get into school across the nation thanks to the efforts of their parents. There are still decent numbers of our people who get up each day and have some form of work to go to. Our hearts bleed for the large number who can find no work. It is unsatisfactory that workers like the Police, BDF, teacher, nurses and Public Officers have been slaving in the trenches and their wages are unable to keep up with the rising cost of living.

Requiem for September 10th holiday
By G. Michael Reid. So the UDP portion of the celebrations is over and done with and now we can move on the day when all Belizeans can join in the celebration. The Tenth of September has come and gone but from most accounts, it did not amount to much. I watched the parade (if you can call it that) on the only media house that actually covered the event in real time. No surprise, that station was Wave radio and television, the UDP party organs. All that I saw was a bunch of red shirts and a few UDP flags being waved. It was a sad requiem to an occasion that was once festive, inclusive and expressive of loyalty to country. The parade, like the holiday, seems to have now been reduced to simply a display of loyalty to a political party. On the eve of the parade was another traditional parade, this one The Fire Engine Parade. So named because it is where all the fire engines in town would join with any other vehicle that used a siren to circle the town and add to the excitement of the occasion. It is something that used to be looked forward to, in particular by young children. A part of the tradition, and this traditionally an equally exciting part, was the large number of bicycles that would follow the parade.

Thirty two years after our glorious independence, Dean Barrow as the current Prime Minister has succeeded in dragging our young nation to the ground. Barrow himself has been in party politics for thirty years and has succeeded in bringing nothing to the table. There is no legislation, no policy initiative, no plank or raft of reform to which he points to or claims credit to which he can say with some measure of pride: this is my legacy to my country. The stinking, rotten carcass of corruption which represents only the last in a long line of scandalous revelations under the Dean Barrow Administration burst out of Dangriga two weeks ago. Hundreds and thousands of dollars has been stolen and disappeared like so many other scandalous hustles under Dean Barrow. He never has any apologies, so do not expect any from the wholesale thieving that went on in Dangriga. This latest one is $700,000 of money that should have assisted the poor people of Dangriga. The Social Investment Fund (SIF) has become a sieve under Barrow. That is where all the money is being funnelled to cronies and Party hacks. They are hustling to high heavens.

Pope, Choto, Eiley & Quiros win September Criterium
Benny’s Megabytes’ Byron Pope won the elite category of the Belize Cycling Association’s annual September criterium sponsored by Bowen & Bowen Ltd on Albert and Regent Streets in downtown Belize City on Sunday, September 15. Jose Choto won the Masters category, while Kerah Eiley won the Female category and Oscar Quiros won the junior category. Pope was 1st in the 30-lap race to win 5 cases of Belikin beer and stout from Bowen & Bowen Ltd and the 1st place trophy as well as 3 lap prizes of $25 each at the 9th, 24th and 27th laps.

Easy Does It & UB Jaguars win softball games
Easy Does It of Flowers Bank and the UB Jaguars both won Game 1 of the Belize Rural women’s softball semifinals in Lord’s Bank on Sunday. Winning pitcher Amber Wade led Easy Does It to an 18-17 win over Lord’s Bank Sunrise, whose pitcher Stacey Smith was credited with the loss. Winning pitcher Herlette Clarke led the UB Jaguars to a 16-6 win by mercy rule over Double Head Cabbage Mel’s United, whose pitcher Annett Morey was credited with the loss. Easy Does It will take on Lord’s Bank Sunrise and the UB Jaguars face off with Mel’s United in Game 2 of their series in Lord’s Bank at 9 AM Sunday, September 22.

Belize’s Eric Stamp wins Gold in Central American table tennis championships
Belizean Eric Stamp won Gold in the 65 and over age category; while Hector Lopez and Davis Huang won bronze medals in the 60-64 years category; when Belize Table Tennis Association hosted the XV Central American table tennis masters singles championships at the Belize Elementary School auditorium over the weekend. 68 players signed up in the Round Robin competition followed by Knock Out finals for 2 players from each group who advances to the Knock Out Final round. Costa Rica’s Carlos Velazquez won the 30-39 category. Mexico’s Sergio Blanco won the 40-49 category. El Salvador’s Jose Ramos won the 50-59 category. Gerardo Villagra of Costa Rica won the 60-64 category in 1st place while Belize’s Hector Lopez and Davis Huang were 3rd place.

AMAZING GRACE – Has Belize come to her senses?
Belize is a country which can boast natural treasures, such as our blue hole, our barrier reef (which is the longest living barrier reef), pristine jungles, and so much more. Our land is also a treasure chest of history with our Maya sites and preservations. We are masters of diversity; the descendants of the indigenous Maya, the Garifuna, the Creole, the Mestizo, and even modern Europeans call this place home. It has been more than three decades since independence was gained on that fateful night in 1981. Now, as our thirty-second birthday approaches, I wonder: Belize, have you come to your senses? Jesus tells a story about a young man who came to his senses when he hit absolute rock bottom. This particular young man had everything: a nice home, a loving father, food on the table. Still, he was restless. He needed to get out and see the world, so he demanded his inheritance from his father. After pocketing his father’s money, he turned on his heels and went about his own way. Drunk on his new wealth, the son decided to take a walk on the wild side. He frequented the latest dance clubs and partied away. He bought rounds of booze for his friends and kept the company of prostitutes. Sounds like a lot of fun right?

Stake Bank – Striking the Right Balance
There is a lot of heated debate taking place right now over two mega-developments being proposed for the future of tourism in Belize. On the one hand, there is the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) project that seems to have gotten off on the wrong foot, with a reckless “diss” to the sacred dügu ceremony and an MOU that looks more like an IOU. It is clear that with the NCL deal, certain handpicked UDPs “di come up” with no real or long-term benefits trickling down to our southern brothers and sisters. Sure, there may be a few jobs created, 25% to be exact, but cleaning up the excrement and trash left behind by party-going revelers could hardly be described as “dignified” employment. After five long years of complete neglect, the south is hungry for investment, any investment, and the UDPs are now capitalizing on our people’s starvation. On the other hand, the Stake Bank project seems to have taken off almost turbulent-free. For starters, the project is the brainchild of the Feinstein Group headed by Mike Feinstein, a Belizean developer who is tried, tested and proven.

Stories of a Sufferah – Fallen Soldiers
It’s a common practice for everyone connected to a fallen soldier to pay their respect at the soldier’s departure from this world. I have been to several funerals where “fallen soldiers” are given the fullest respect, not by the top brass but by the foot soldiers. I went to the late Michelle Williams funeral, in attendance was a host of teachers, students, ordinary citizens and fellow soldiers from various neighborhoods. I also attended the late great Pearlene Smith’s funeral whose attendants were mostly relatives and neighborhood sympathizers. At both funerals I observed a serious sense of disrespect as none of the political bosses for any of them showed up to pay their respects. I would have to say that the highest level of disrespect towards a fallen soldier was at the late PC Dean Yearwood’s funeral, whose very own superiors challenged the events that led to his death.

Thirty two years ago, after a hard won campaign for recognition of our right to Independence, the people of Belize began charting a new course as a sovereign, independent nation, inspired by the message and vision of George Price. There is reason for us therefore to be proud and even to celebrate. As we celebrate, we recognize that serious challenges confront us as a nation. Governance continues to be characterized by chronic combativeness. We need less confrontation and more dialogue. We need less arrogance and more humility. Less personality politics and more problem solving. The UDP Government’s response to the PUP proposal for Reform of the Public Accounts Committee, supported by the NTUCB and the Chamber of Commerce, regrettably, takes us further away from these objectives. The will of the people can be delayed. It shall not be denied. The politics of change and participation is here to stay.

We need more support for Young People!
We all know that in an ever changing world, BELIZE needs to adapt quickly, or the country and its people will lose their grasp. The younger generations are fast adapting to technology, internet and cable TV, for instance. However, they need to learn to apply it properly to accommodate Education, Entrepreneurship, and Community Service. These areas must be “worked into” the mentality of the young people in BELIZE to ensure that the future is not only promising, but feasible to growth and development. Without a proper education, you can’t be adequately employed. Getting an education that encompasses both academics and technical “hands on” experience is a necessity. That is solid education. A majority of young Belizeans are accustomed to going to school because they “have to” – because their parents send them. That MUST change. Parents are sending their children to school to LEARN, and make the best of themselves.

Pay up GOB!
Dear Editor, I write expressing my displeasure and my anger at how our Government continues to shamelessly disregard the welfare of its citizens. Two years ago, I brought a suit against a customer who owed me some thousand dollars. I had won the case and I was to get this money from the Treasury and every time I visit the Treasury I am given the turn around. I am told to go and get it in Belmopan. I have been to Belmopan four times and every time I am told to pick it up from the Treasury in my town. Over this two year period, I have made every effort to get my money and I am still here, not paid one penny. How does our Government treat citizens this way? How does it expect me to give it another chance at governance? What is worse, Editor is that Government charges 12% GST on this sum of money.


Getting paraded by the San Pedro Dance Company
All across Belize people were enjoying September Celebrations parties. San Pedro Town was no exception and it was packed with people who came out to enjoy the start of the Independence Day Parade festivities We started at Wine de Vine, I had not been there in a while and it was nice to visit with the Island Wine drinkers. We followed that Pedro’s Inn for some live music, to see the The Cover-ups – great rock and roll band that plays there every Friday. After that we hit the block party in the park for a while and then decided to walk down the road to Fido’s Restaurant & Bar. One of the highlights of my Friday night September Celebrations fun was walking out of Fido’s sometime after 10:00pm with Beth and Tacoboy and getting paraded by the San Pedro Dance Company. Tip for living in Belize – The party month of September is a good time to make sure you are taking your vitamins. Same applies for June and the week long celebration of San Pedro Lobster Festival.

HAPPY Independence Day Belize! Today The Country JUMPS UP!
Okay…so none of you are actually awake yet. In fact, in Belize, September 20th is one of the biggest party nights of the year. And in San Pedro? That’s saying a lot. We’ve got some BIG party nights. Like Halloween and New Year’s Eve…and Easter weekend, the whole weekend…and August’s Costa Maya festival…the list goes on. Now first open Belize’s Ernestine Caballo’s song and PLAY: Carnival Is Here. Last night kicked off (KICKED OFF) at 10pm with the Central Park block party, the 11pm Coast Guard 21 gun salute (which immediately has me humming the Green Day song) and the midnight HUGE fireworks display. What was I doing? Sleeping. The fireworks did wake me for about 10 seconds. Lame. Yes I know. No need to say it. I did stop by earlier in the day to take some pictures of the set-up…and then again in the early evening around 8pm. Here are my pictures. After about a week of grey skies and rain, yesterday was gorgeous.

Belize At 32 - Happy Birthday
The land of my birth, Belize, celebrates its independence today. I can still feel the pride and remember the celebrations on that day, September 21, 1981 when Belize went from self-government under British rule to independence. Traditional Independence Day celebrations will be held all over the country and will include open-air concerts, dancing in the streets and family time cookouts in parks and backyards in honor of the holiday. I also wish to extend my sincere good wishes to the prime minister, Hon. Dean Barrow, on this special day. May we have continued prosperity and a peaceful future and a new tomorrow. Belizeans abroad, let's celebrate with pride!

During the period 11-13 September 2013, Caribbean Export Development Agency, assisted 20 Caribbean firms, the majority of whom were from Jamaica (14 firms), in their effort to explore trade opportunities with the Dominican Republic (DR). Other participating firms included those from St. Lucia, Grenada, Guadeloupe and Haiti. The initiative was executed within the framework of the EU funded 10th European Development Fund Regional Private Sector Development Programme and was geared towards the promotion of stronger trade and investment relations between CARICOM and the Dominican Republic.

“Independence Day” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
No lengthy narrative from me for this edition. I got up. Spent some time on the veranda. Watched a couple of Premiership games (none of them particularly scintillating). Had breakfast. And then Rose and I went to the town center to watch the Independence Day parade. And what follows is a load of photos to let you see what we saw. On the way to the start point at Boca del Rio. And another one. Rose and I then went to Angel Coral Street (Back Street) to watch the parade and catch the participants when they were at their freshest (it was also not as hot and crowds for us as it was in Barrier Reef Drive (Front Street). Some things you learn with age!

International Sources

US Increases Elite Troops in Latin American and Caribbean
The U.S. has deployed additional Special Operations Forces (SOF) in Latin America on training and intelligence gathering missions, says a study caried out by several academic centers in this capital city. These units are part of an assistance program in the region and most have been formed under the pretext of anti-narcotic operations, despite Caribbean and Latin American leaders growing calls for a change to this policy. The new assessment on security in the Western Hemisphere was developed by the Latin American Working Group Education Fund (Lawgef), the Center for International Policy (CIP) and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). These institutions point out that even though U.S. assistance has dropped to nearly the lowest level in more than a decade, there is a focus on other less transparent military activities, out of the public eye. The report titled "Time to Listen: Trends in U.S. Security Assistance to Latin American and the Caribbean," highlights that significant financial resources have not been devoted to these activities, yet everything is kept under a veil of mystery.

Guy Lamothe new Ambassador of Haiti to Belize
Wednesday, Guy Lamothe, the new Ambassador of Haiti to Belize, presented in Belmopan [Capital of Belize] his credentials to the Governor General Colville Young. Mr. Lamothe, already Ambassador of Haiti in Mexico will keep its office in that country. Guy Lamothe succeeds to Guy Alexandre, to this function officially vacant since the resignation of the latter in 2003. This is the second time since the independence of Belize, that Haiti is represented by an ambassador. Ambassador Lamothe, at the invitation of the Government of Belize, will participate today, Saturday to the festivities commemorating the 31st anniversary of the Independence of the country.

US Sends Best Wishes to Belize on 32nd Anniversary
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I send best wishes to the Belizean people as you mark the 32nd anniversary of your nation’s independence on September 21. Our relationship is strong and rooted in the shared values of democracy and cultural diversity. We work as partners to promote citizen security, expand trade and economic growth, and build opportunities for all people. The successful friendship between our two countries sets a powerful example for the entire region.

Belize’s Kanantik Reef & Jungle Resort Is a Breathtaking Eco-Hideaway
A breathtaking eco-hideaway on 300 jungle acres between Dangriga and Placencia in Belize is the Kanantik Reef & Jungle Resort in Dangriga. Founded in 2002 by an Italian businessman, Kanantik, which means “to take care” in Mayan Mopan. The resort is eco in every way, located four miles from the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, which is nothing short of a jaguar preserve and a short boat ride from the world’s second-largest barrier reef. Imagine Mayan thatched-roof cabanas with wraparound decks, canopied beds, and wood floors. Kanantik’s 25 luxurious private cabanas, salt-water pool and world-class restaurant are found on 1,300 acres of untouched jungle, home to a menagerie of wildlife and flora. With the jungle and mountains behind, Kanantik is a rare resort in that it also looks out over the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea. No other resort in Belize offers this magical blend of jungle refuge and tropical beach. The stretch of beach will take you away into a world of tropical haven….a place you can lounge, swim, relax, read a book or order an exotic cocktail.

September 21, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Carnival, Jump Up and Jo’uvert- Celebrations of Independence!
While many of us are familiar with Carnival there is one aspect of it that is almost, if not as equally fun …Jo’uvert (pronounced: Jou-vay)! The word Jo’uvert itself is derived from French patios and literally can be translated as “daybreak” or morning. This is only fitting being that Jo’uvert starts in the evening and lasts until daybreak. For many, thinking of jo’uvert brings one thing to mind “Loads.” Loads of music, drinks, mud, paint, oil or chocolate smeared all over loads of people, who partake in this street party until the break of dawn, all for the sake of good and maybe “not-so” clean fun. In Trinidad, the covering of oneself and others in mud/oil/chocolate is done in remembrance of a civil disturbance that took place in Port of Spain, whereby the people painted themselves with oil or mud in order to avoid recognition.

TripAdvisor® awards certificate of excellence to The Belize Zoo
All those who visit it can surely say that The Belize Zoo (TBZ) is the best little zoo in the world. It is thanks to these visitors who recognize this tiny jewel of wildlife conservation and education that TripAdvisor® has recognized TBZ by awarding them with a Certificate of Excellence for the year 2013. TBZ received a four and a half star rating, making it among the top 10% of attractions rated by TripAdvisor® worldwide.

Electrical failure is the cause of Ramon’s Village Resort fire
On August 27th a large portion of the world renowned Ramon’s Village Resort on Ambergris Caye was destroyed by a horrific fire. Nearly four weeks later, the Belize Fire Department is reporting that their investigation concludes that the fire was caused by an electrical malfunction. According to Orin Smith, Station Officer and lead fire investigator, the fire started in cabaña number 14 and not in number 15 as was initially reported. “Our investigation has concluded and has determined that the fire originated in cabaña 14. What transpired is that the two structures were very close to each other, and from the view of many, who saw the fire, it was thought that it started in structure 15. While investigating we found that the fire started on the roof of cabaña 14. The cause of the fire was classified as electrical due to evidence of “beading through arcing” (evidence of a melted conductor that was exposed to a certain temperature during the fire sufficient to cause melting) that was discovered on a wire that provided electricity to a ceiling fan in the cabaña. None of the other wires had evidence of arcing or beading,” said Smith. The total estimated cost of the damages has not been revealed, but according to Smith, because the fire was not “arson,” no one can be held responsible and it is classified as an accident.

Ramon’s Village Resort open for business
Rebuilding underway following fire, staff eager to welcome guests. Ramon’s Village Resort is pleased to announce that the iconic beach resort located on the island of Ambergris Caye, Belize is now open for business following a fire at the resort on Tuesday, August 27th. While a portion of the resort sustained fire damage with rebuilding already underway, thirty authentic thatched roof cabanas on the north side of the property are open for occupancy as well as ten quaint cottages at the Belizean Princess located just across the street from Ramon’s. The warm sand, azure blue waters of the western Caribbean and delightful cabanas at Ramon’s Village and stylish cottages at the Belizean Princess, all nestled among native flora and fauna, await our beloved guests.

Record Attendance at 17th annual Expo Belize Market Place
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) hosted their 17th annual Expo Belize Market Place on the weekend of September 14th and 15th. The two-day event attracted over 19,000 people at the Institute of Technical Vocational Education Training (ITVET) facility on Freetown Road in Belize City. The Expo Belize Market Place is held to coincide with the September Celebrations and provides the business sector with the opportunity to showcase goods and services at one of the biggest trade shows in Belize. “An impressive 19, 000 plus visitors swarmed in from various parts of the country to experience the largest trade show in Belize. The various attractions this year included the participation of the Cooperatives of Belize, the Department of the Environment, other governmental and nongovernmental organizations, Embassies, popular local artists and artisans, the fuel and oil companies, children’s entertainment corners. In addition to displays from the numerous commerce, manufacturing and services sectors, this year’s EXPO also had the participation from a Guyanese company Edward B. Beharry & Company Ltd,” report the BCCI.

BBQ lunch at the Lion's Den today
On 21st Belize Independence Day, the Lions Club will be serving BBQ lamb ,rice and beans, stew chicken and potato salad starting at 11AM. Come and get your lunch, the bar will be open, come out and watch the parade!

Ambergris Today

Minister of State Elvin Penner Required to Resign
The Office of the Prime Minister announced that, with immediate effect, the Hon. Elvin Penner is no longer a Minister of State in the current Administration. The Prime Minister formed the view that, with respect to a situation brought to his attention on Tuesday, Hon. Penner, as Minister of State in the Immigration Ministry, did not discharge his responsibilities with either the due judgment and balance, or the scrupulous regard for appearances, which the Prime Minister demands of all his Ministers. As a consequence the Prime Minister me with Hon. Penner on the evening of Wednesday, September 18, 2013, and required him to resign. After discussion Hon. Penner agreed with the position of the Prime Minister. He therefore tendered and had accepted his immediate resignation.

Mayor Danny Visits Schools on National Service Day
On September 19, 2013, the entire country of Belize conducted various activities in observance of National Service Day in remembrance of the father of the nation RH. Hon. George Cadle Price. It is a day set for Belizeans to carry out community service projects in order to make a positive change through hard work and service. In Ambergris Caye the San Pedro Town Council set out to all the different schools (ABC Pre-School, Brighter Tomorrow, Little Angles and San Pedro Pre-School) to give out coloring books and goodies. The children were happy to receive a visit by Mayor Daniel Guerrero and his councilors.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Giant Cave Entrance
A GoPro view of the entrance into Giant Cave, Caye Caulker. Initial frames show me making sure GoPro is running, and some of the equipment I am carrying. Next frames show Caye Caulker in relation to the cave entrance, very close to shore. Then I start into the hole following Marty in. You can see the entrance is vertical from the bubbles coming up at me as I make my way through the crack. The thin line you see is the only thing that keeps us from getting lost. Remember I am wearing double 80's on my back and another 80cf stage tank on my side. Marty is at the bottom of the shaft and is beginning to enter the horizontal constriction at the bottom. At 2:27, I get stuck and have to back out, running into another diver behind me. I have to back her up so I can get through. it is very constricted at the entrance and is at about 60-foot of depth. You can also see how easy the visibility goes to 0. In the horizontal shaft you have to crawl on your belly to get through, pulling with your hands.

The Contrast of Field Work
In the field, I sometimes have those special days, full of contrasts. During a recent outing with the crew from the Environmental Research Institute at the University of Belize Field Station on Calabash Caye, I had such a day - low visibility water vs crystal clear closeup photography; rough boat ride going out vs smooth as silk on return; cold, windy morning vs warm sunny afternoon; icy, big drop rain storms with lightening all around vs beautiful sunset; shivering hungry divers hoping to head home vs stuffed, dry scientists ready to do a night dive. This short video on the GoPro shot at 60 fps and replayed at 30 fps shows us in the middle of a rainstorm, where the drops sting and the cold water and wind forces us to look for shelter where there is none (note the one diver grabbing a fin to protect her face) vs the ride back home at sunset ... smooth, warm, tired but feeling alive ... — with Victor J Alamina, Celso Cawich, Chris Encalada and Ruth Gutierrez.

Coronation of Miss San Pedro 2013-2014, Miss Solani Graniel and Uniform Parade of school in commemoration of the Battle of St. George's Caye.

On Monday, September 9, The San Pedro House of Culture along with the San Pedro Town Council hosted a Tribute to the Baymen at Central Park. There was a presentation by the Marching Band from San Pedro High School, Dances by the San Pedro Dance Academy, National Anthem and Song Presentation by Tricia Stokes and to close the show a presentation by the Varandah Taylz Theatre Company from Belize City. There was also musical entertainment by Man at Work throughout the Night as well as the Punta Boyz.

On Thursday, September 19 we celebrated National Service Day in commemoration of the father of the nation, Hon. George Cadle Price. Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Councilors visited the pre-schools to hand deliver some treats and coloring books to the children. It was a great joy seeing their reactions and how excited they were for their treats! ORDER OF VISIT: 1. ABC Pre-School 2. Brighter Tomorrow Pre-School 3. Little Angels Pre-School 4. San Pedro Pre-School 5. ABC Pre-School (afternoon class)

Independence Celebrations in Benque
Benque Viejo celebrated Independence Eve with a school rally this morning, and yesterday they celebrated National Service Day and National Colors Day in style. "Benque Viejo observed its beautiful Independence School Rally earlier this morning ad a symbol of patriotism and love for Belize."

Pictures from National Service Day and National Colors Day

Independence Day Eve in Cayo
Cayo will be hapening tonight. In fact, on Burns avenue, the party has already started. Emmanuel Mangar is playing at Mr. Greedy's, which is having happy hour all day today and tomorrow. The Soul Project is having their Open Mic night tonight, and tomorrow night will have Emmeth Young and the Talla Walla Vibrations play. At the Cayo Welcome Center tonight, the Jade Band will be playing for this week's Music in the Park. Fireworks start at midnight. Have a safe and fun Independence Day weekend!

4 The World Duck Run Medical Clinic
Feelgood news of the day. Duck Run was another village that 4 The World paid a visit to on their medical mission around Cayo. This week they did clinics in Calla Creek, La Gracia, and Santa Familia. Thanks again, 4 The World! "We can't say enough good things about the OUHSC Team as they have done an amazing job helping so many people all over the Cayo District of Belize. Today's medical clinic was planned and set-up by two special 4 The World volunteers who several years ago were the first recipients of 4 The World scholarships to go to high school. Rigzy and Edlin did a fantastic job planning & setting up the clinic for their village!"

September Celebrations Music in the Park
Happy Independence Eve! There's a lot going on in Cayo this weekend. Parades, music, dinner specials, motorcades, and fireworks. The special September Celebration edition of Music in the Park was spectacular. A big thanks to the BTB and Fuego Bar and Grill for making this happen! Have a great holiday weekend! In related news, Fuego is having their Music in the Park tonight, and the Jade Band will be playing. "There was a lot happening at the Cayo Welcome Center Saturday. The Belize Tourism Board set up a great little display, and they gave out prizes and some food during the day. The World Culture Band teamed up with Emmanuel Mangar again at night. Rompe Rajas also played a few sets."

Primary School children attending schools in San Antonio, Cayo took part in an Independence parade in the village this morning. Guest of honor at the event was Cooperatives Officer and village resident Leonardo Solomon Tzib.

The final touches are being added to the float from Georgeville that will be entered in the Independence Day parade on Saturday. The Williams family has been working on the artistic creation since August 1st. Here is a first look at the float.

Bridgetown, Barbados, September 16, 2013. During the period 11-13 September 2013, Caribbean Export Development Agency, assisted 20 Caribbean firms, the majority of whom were from Jamaica (14 firms), in their effort to explore trade opportunities with the Dominican Republic (DR). Other participating firms included those from St. Lucia, Grenada, Guadeloupe and Haiti. The initiative was executed within the framework of the EU funded 10th European Development Fund Regional Private Sector Development Programme and was geared towards the promotion of stronger trade and investment relations between CARICOM and the Dominican Republic.

Channel 7

Penner’s Passport Scandal Unravels Further
Tonight, the scandal involving Cayo Northeast Representative Elvin Penner deepens as more information is surfacing about the Belizean passport that was fraudulently issued to a South Korean National. 7news has learned that the South Korean man is in jail in Taiwan and is pending extradition to another Asian country. He's reportedly very wealthy but has been in a Taiwan jail since August. Yet, quite suddenly, he now possesses a Belizean passport dated September 9th, 2013, which he could not have applied for - because he was in jail! Apparently, it was thought that the Belziean passport could have saved him from extradition. The problem for former Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration Penner is that he signed the South Korean's passport picture and application - which is required by law under the new passport regulations. The justice of the Peace counter-signing it is - we are told - a former UDP elected representative at the municipal level who is close to Penner.

Court: Yhony Assaulted No One
Many times on this newscast you've seen tour operator Yhony Rosado speaking out on matters affecting the cruise tourism sector. But 10 months ago, Rosado went from the accuser to the accused when a rival tour operator accused him of pulling his licensed 9mm pistol and making threats with it. And while he did get remanded for one night, Rosado has been on bail, quietly and dutifully attending court to fight his case. Today, after numerous hearings and adjournments, the Belmopan Magistrate heard the matter in full. 7News was there in Belmopan and here's the story: Daniel Ortiz reporting Yhony Rosado, the owner of, arrived this morning for what he hoped would be the last adjournment for his case at the Belmopan Magistrate's Court, where he's been facing trial for aggravated assault with a firearm. His friends, supporters, and employees gathered to provide him with moral support, and he was very confident that we would be exonerated:

Mahogany Heights And La Democracia Experienced Flooding
Yesterday, 7News showed you the flooding on the Western Highway which broke a culvert at mile 27, stopping our news team from getting to La Democracia and Mahogany Heights Villages where flash floods had swept in. Well today, we went back to both villages where residents told us what happened when the water started rising early Thursday morning. Everyone we spoke to said that they'd never seen flooding like this in their village before: Shaniki Brown - Resident, Mahogany Heights "We had about 5 to 6 inches of water inside the house. When we woke up almost everything was floating in the house." Daniel Ortiz "Tell us about how you guys actually got the water out? How long did it took for the water to recede?" Shaniki Brown - Resident, Mahogany Heights "We had to wait for almost half an hour before the water from the yard start to go down, then the water from the house started to come out too."

Couple Charged For Intercourse With Minor
30 year-old John Williams, a resident of Lords Bank is at prison tonight after he and his girlfriend, 27 year-old Stacey Leslie were taken to court for allegedly performing sexual acts on a 14 year-old female minor. The girl reported to police, at around midday on Tuesday, she was walking in the Hollywood area of Lord's Bank when Williams, who she knew very well, drove up and invited her into the car. She was introduced to Leslie, who was in the passenger seat, and all 3 went to Cayo, where Williams bought them food. They then went back to Williams' house, and, that's where, according the minor, the couple gave her marijuana to smoke. Afterwards, Leslie allegedly performed oral sex on the minor, and later Williams joined by having intercourse with the girl.

Cano Took All Questions
Yesterday embattled former Executive Director of the Social Investment Fund Daniel Cano grabbed the national spotlight, when he hosted an hour-long press conference - where he took all questions from the media. He held the event to clear his name, which had been tarnished by the allegation that he took an eleven thousand dollar cash bribe from contractor Kennard Smart. And, from the feedback we've gotten, Cano did what he had set out to do: those we've spoken were convinced by the quite appealing logic that someone who took a bribe would not have an hour long - no holds barred press conference. Tonight we look deeper into his disclosures, which he made freely, because as he said, he has nothing to hide:.. Daniel Cano, Former Executive Director - SIF "I am here because I have nothing to hide. I have performed my duties at SIF to the best of my professional abilities and with always the best intentions." Jules Vasquez reporting But in the battlefield called SIF the best intentions weren't good enough - and Cano admits that he fell short of maintaining the highest standards:

SSB Cuts Senior Citizen’s Pension
This morning a 79 year old elderly man found his way to our news room after being disturbed with a letter he received today from the Social Security Board. Rupert Saunders was designated as one of 4,000 elderly men and women eligible to receive a monthly noncontributory pension under the poverty alleviation program. But this morning he received a letter from SSB informing him that he had been cut from the program. The letter stated that the pension has been revoked based on information which showed that Saunders immediate family has adequate means of income in order to support him. It also mentioned that the pension will cease with effect from October 1st. Now Saunders only used to get one hundred dollars a month, but he says that money goes a long way. Rupert Saunders "This morning I was home and they gave me this letter." Monica Bodden "A letter from Social Security?" Rupert Saunders "I was wondering who is this letter from, but when I open it and read it I found out that they took away my hundred dollars that I get every month. This is not right. I have a lot of family, but no one wants to take care of me."

Ivan Duran: Aurelio’s Work Is Belizean
Aurelio Martinez got a major putdown this week when the Belize Tourism Board apologized for choosing his song as the backing music for its own promotional video. Well yesterday, the record producer Belizean Ivan Duran sounded off on facebook about the decision. He says , quote, "I'm really saddened to see some Belizeans treat Aurelio as a foreigner, Aurelio has done a lot to promote Belize and Garifuna culture throughout the world and he has been a key player, along with Andy Palacio and Paul Nabor in internationalizing the new 'sound of Belize.'" Duran adds, "Aurelio, is in great part responsible for "saving" Paranda music in Belize...Aurelio has always been treated as a distinguished honorary citizen of this country and he has always represented us proudly." And, Duran concludes, "The song is question was recorded and produced in Belize, with Belizean musicians, sound engineers and music producers, furthermore, the copyright of this recording is owned by a Belizean record company. This recording is 100% Belizean, not only because of who owns the rights, but also because it represents an authentic Belizean sound which was conceived and created in Belize." Duran closes with a question,

KHMH Turns 18
Earlier this week, the KHMH invited the media to celebrate its 18thanniversary. In terms of media participation, it was a disaster: only Channel 7 and the Guardian newspaper showed up. But it was a newsworthy event nonetheless as the Hospital bosses spoke candidly about the institution'ssuccesses and its challenges - including this year's epic loss - the death of eight babies due to a runaway infection in the Pediatric Intensive care Unit. Here's what they said about tough times in the past and a possibly bright future: Daniel Ortiz reporting Yesterday, the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital celebrated its 18th anniversary of service to the Belizean public. The KHMH is the national referral hospital, and as such, it has come a long way in its ability to provide tertiary level care to patients. However, the hospital has inherited the legacy of a public health institution. That legacy is one which the administration accepts has been challenging, given the cultural mindset to dismiss the good work which happens there.

West And Gaynair Head To Los Angeles
National Football team players Woodrow West and Ian Gaynair have been celebrated nationally and internationally for turning down a cash offer from a match fixer. And now, the Belizean American Community in Los Angeles wants to host them as guests of honour at Independence Day activities in the City of angels where there is a huge Belizean population. It's one more honor for the pair who have become international jet setters. We met them at the airport today: Ian Gaynair, Being Honoured At Independence Celebrations in LA "She said that she wanted us to be a special guest at the Hollywood Park that they usually have every year on the 21st of September. West and I was okay with that. Now everybody feels so happy that we are going out there. It is an honor to represent our country." Woodrow West, Being Honoured At Independence Celebrations in LA "It's a good feeling, it's not nervousness. I guess this time it will more easy because we are giving back to our fans. Mostly a lot of Belizeans will be there and we feel proud of our self that they appreciate us here and abroad."

Pan Yaad Was Epic
Since 2009 the Pan Yaad Concert at the House of Culture in Belize City has emerged as one of the true highlights of the September Celebrations Calendar. It is full of colour, movement, and that thing which always makes September special: Music! Last night was no different, as the steel bands, shimmered, swayed and grooved to music that floated on the night air like a sweet contagion. Here are some highlites of the three and a half hour concert:.. The entire concert which aired live on Channel 7 will repeat over the weekend.

And before we close tonight, a programming note: tune in at nine tonight on Channel 7 for the Cultural Extravaganza and Flag Raising live from the memorial park. And tomorrow morning join us at 9:00 for the Independence Day Official Ceremonies live from Belmopan. We leave you, as we always do on Independence Eve, with Frankie Reneau's rousing, magisterial rendition of the Belizean national anthem. Happy Independence Day Belize, have a safe and festive celebration!

Channel 5

Name of South Korean national in Penner scandal revealed
On Thursday, Minister of State with Responsibility for Immigration, Elvin Penner, was fired for his alleged involvement in a scandal at that department. News Five has confirmed that the termination [...]

SIF scandal; contract between SIF and Kenard Smart allows for appointment of adjudicator
The former Executive Director of the Social Investment Fund, Daniel Cano, came forward on Thursday to speak about a one week old scandal of corruption that has rocked the SIF. [...]

Kenard Smart’s relationship with the SIF prior to allegations of financial misconduct
Kenard Smart’s relationship with the Social Investment Fund, prior to allegations of financial misconduct, has been a rather shaky affair.  In January 2011, there was controversy surrounding a contract awarded [...]

Cano admits that offerings should not have been accepted by SIF employees
Of the four employees that were terminated from SIF on Tuesday, public relations officer Mike Hernandez says that the check he received from Kenard Smart, in the sum of five [...]

Ladyville couple is accused of tag-teaming and sexually abusing a minor
Almost every week night there is at least one instance of sexual deviants preying on minors to report. Each of those crimes is heinous in its own right, but tonight [...]

Stadium caretaker is found in dead in Independence
The partially nude body of twenty-four-year-old Ferris Torres was discovered inside the sports council’s office in Independence Village on Thursday morning.  Shortly before nine a.m., police visited the Michael Ashcroft [...]

Yhony Rosado has his day in court and is acquitted of firearm offence
A year ago, the very vocal Yhony Rosado was charged with a firearm offense. He spent one night in jail, but maintained all along that he was innocent of the [...]

Woman who allegedly put a hit on her husband gets bail from Supreme Court
A woman, who is married to a British citizen and who has been accused of putting a hit on him by allegedly hiring the services of a Woman Special Constable, [...]

Man wanted for chopping and shooting in San Pedro
San Pedro Police today issued an all-points bulletin for McLean August, a man wanted in connection with a chopping and a shooting which resulted in injuries to three persons – [...]

P.U.P. Party Leader says PAC meeting is illegal
When News Five caught up with the Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca on Thursday at National Service Day activities, we also got an update from him in respect of [...]

Ramon’s reopens for business
The iconic Ramon’s Village Resort in San Pedro was destroyed by a massive fire on the night of August twenty-seventh.  The inferno gutted a total of thirty-two rooms, leaving in [...]

Flooding up north affecting the sugar cane industry
While the rains are wreaking havoc in rural communities, they are also having dire effect on the industry which is the lifeblood of the north. For the past two years [...]

Deplorable road condition at Consejo Shores, Corozal
Residents of Consejo Shores in the Corozal District are tonight complaining about the deplorable road condition and sanitation problems they are presently facing, as a result of heavy rains in [...]

Cayo students jumpstart Independence Day festivities with a parade
Today, students of schools in every district got a jumpstart on Independence Day festivities, with displays of patriotism and pride in full effect. The students’ parade and rallies to bring [...]

Flash back: 32 years ago, Belize obtained its independence
It is the eve of Belize’s independence. At midnight tonight the symbolic raising of the Belizean flag countrywide will usher in the thirty-second birthday of our young nation. There will [...]


Territorial Volunteers Maintain ‘NO to ICJ’
As Belize gets ready to celebrate its 32nd year of independence, Love News met up with Will Maheia of the People’s National Party who says that they continue to focus on their NO to the ICJ campaign. Maheia who is also a member of the Belize Territorial Volunteers says they are firm in their position that that is not the right way to go despite what the government might be doing to convince the people otherwise. WIL MAHEIA “We noticed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had started a campaign to convince Belizeans that it is the right thing to do; we are firm in our decision that we should not go to the ICJ; we are firm in our decision that we should continue to support the territorial volunteers of which I am a part of that, to man our borders and I know from listening to the radio it is clearly to be seen that the government is trying to convince Belizeans, I don’t know how much Mr. Shoman got to do the book but that money should be spent to man our borders. We have communities in the Toledo District where every community along the border is willing to be a volunteer force to man its border. So, the government needs to get its act together and begin to put boots on the ground in the Chiquibul, in Colombia and also along the southern border where there continues to be incursions on a daily basis.”

Belize City Gears Up For 20th Night – Independence Eve
It’s the eve of Independence and tomorrow, Belize will be celebrating thirty two years of independence. But before we get to tomorrow’s festivities, we’ll tell you how the September Celebration Commission plans to celebrate independence eve. The official ceremonies will be held here in Belize City at Memorial Park and according to the Communications Officer for the National Institute of Cultural and history, Shari Williams, the event is set to be spectacular. SHARI WILLIAMS “As you know, tomorrow is our Independence Day celebrations and so we have started the preparations out here at Memorial Park for tonight. Tonight is 20th night which means we will be bringing in Independence Day with a bang and hence the workers in the background trying to get Memorial Park ready. Tonight’s event starts off at 8:30 and we are inviting people to come out early and bring the children.

Couple Accused of Sexually Assaulting Minor
A common-law couple, who it is alleged committed sexual offences on a 14 year old girl, was formally charged when they appeared in court today. They are 30 year old John Williams, a construction worker of Myrtle Waight Crescent, Ladyville and 27 year old Stacey Leslie, a domestic worker. Williams was charged with unlawful carnal knowledge and Leslie was charged with aggravated assault of an indecent nature. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith explained to Williams that the court cannot offer him any bail. She remanded him into custody until October 29. Leslie pled not guilty to the charge.

A Look at The Belize City’s Fort Point Area
The Fort Point area of Belize City is home to an assortment of colonial structures, the Baron Bliss monument and the Radisson Forte George Hotel. But little do many people know that this part of Belize was once an island detached from mainland Belize City. The record books at the Belize Archives Department describe the Fort Point in the early 1900’s as a swampy island at the mouth of the Belize River. It got its name in 1803 when a small fort was erected on the little island on the left tip of the Belize estuary, caused probably by silt from the river. Fort Point was used as a defense to the settlement and soldiers did duty from there beside cannon balls and guns. Its boundary with the mainland was where the present-day Belize Marketing and Development Corporation is now located, where a strait of water once flowed. After two small houses were constructed at Fort George in 1920, the then Government planned to modernize the area and contracted the US-based Jefferson Construction Company to do the job. The work to make Fort Point one with the mainland took two years to complete – from 1922 to 1924. Lots were apportioned out and the Memorial Park was built in remembrance of fallen British Hondurans of World Wars I and II. The modern Memorial Park, recently remodeled, has been the resting place of three fallen soldiers of the First World War.

Arson Ruled Out in Fire Investigation for Ramon’s Village
Last month, we showed you the scene left after Ramon’s Village Resort was gutted by fire. The multi-million dollar resort which was insured both internationally and locally for a hefty amount of money burnt to the grown on August 27th. An investigation into the cause of the blaze was launch and it has now been completed. According to reports, the cause of the blaze has been ascertained to be an electrical malfunction. As was reported, the fire started in Cabana 14 and spread quickly to the other pimenta style cabanas. The resort was established back in 1987 and is expected to be completely re-built by the end of the year.

Fire and Brimstone Planned for Belize City
On October 5, the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts will be hosting a Fire and Brimstone Concert, and don’t worry, it’s not really something dangerous, it’s just another fundraising concert coordinated by Gospel Artist, Reality Youth. According to him, the concert hopes to bring all Belizeans together to praise God and be enlightened in this time in which there are many challenges to face in the world. REALITY YOUTH, Gospel Artist “Just bring your family and let us have a good time worshiping God in spirit and in truth. I am not God; I am just a child of God doing his work in Belize city and I want everyone to come out. I am not going to be the only one performing at the concert; we have a selection of artists, we have a selection of different denominations, we have African church from here in Belize City, we have Spanish church from Mahogany Heights, we have Garifuna church from Belize City and we also have a community Christian Church from Pomona. We just want everyone to understand that God is just bringing his people together to worship, to glorify and lift up his name. Our artists include Messenger, who is a young man that is very gifted by God and is out of Corozal; we have Spiritual Chef from Belize City. These artists are bringing their original lyrics; some of them are using tracks but majority of the artists will be performing with live bands.”

School Parade Starts Independence Day Celebrations in Northern Belize
The Independence celebrations kicked off this morning in the Orange Walk District with the annual school Parade through the principal streets in Orange Walk Town. Dalila Ical has more on the event. DALILA ICAL REPORTING “The September 21 celebration kicked off this morning with carnival music, loud cheers, big smiles and tons of enthusiasm in Orange Walk Town. The primary and high school students paraded through queen Victoria Avenue, Baker’s Street, Main Street, Hospital Crescent and back on Queen Victoria Avenue in high spirits as they celebrated the 32nd anniversary of Belize’s Independence. Carla Alvarez Manager at the District Education Center in Orange Walk says the event began with a short opening ceremony at the Central Park. CARLA ALVAREZ “The purpose of this parade is for the kids to get an opportunity to express themselves and showing their patriotism and the commencement of the Independence Day celebrations.” DALILA ICAL The pre- Independence march is held annually and sees the participation of primary and secondary schools in town, however this year the San Jose Palmar School asked to join in.


Muffles College Hosts Annual Symposium
Over five hundred high school students were offered advice by one of Belize’s most inspirational and motivational speakers during Muffles College’s Symposium which is held every year in line with...

ITVET Honours Service Day
Here in Orange Walk, one learning institution that commemorated Patriotic Service Day was ITVET. We visited the school this morning as their assembly was underway and found out that due...

Students In Corozal Commemorate National Service Day
Organizations and community activists throughout Belize today held special ceremonies and events in commemoration of Service Day. September 19th has always been celebrated as a day where schools and different...

BHOC Celebrates 11 Years Of Serving The O/W Community
Eleven years may not seem like a long time to you but for the Banquitas House of Culture, it reminds them of all the trials and tribulations they have been...

UDP's Elvin Penner Gets The Chopping Block
Today was commemorated by thousands of Belizeans as Patriotic and Service Day and this morning, it appears that the Prime Minister of Belize was also commemorating this day. In a...


Minister of State Elvin Penner forced to resign from Cabinet
Former Minister of Public Utilities, Information and Broadcasting and Minister of State for Immigration and Border Protection Elvin Penner has tendered his resignation to Prime Minister Dean Barrow in a sudden and shocking overnight development. A terse press release issued today from the P.M.’s office states that the Mennonite...

Man found dead at Michael Ashcroft Stadium
The body of 24 year old Ferris Torres, an employee of the Independence Village Council was found Thursday morning inside the Michael Ashcroft Stadium. Police are treating the case as a homicide and are now trying to piece together just what happened in the final hours of Torres’ life....

Opposition Leader comments on SIF scandal
The Social Investment fund has been a hot topic of discussion on the media since allegations of corruption broke out some weeks ago. On Thursday, PUP leader and Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca, added his thoughts to the public discussion when he was asked to comment on the ...

Former Executive Director of SIF addresses media on his resignation
On Thursday afternoon former Executive Director of the Social Investment Fund Daniel Cano came forward to address the press about his resignation and the contention surrounding the organization’s dealings with contractor Kennard Smart especially concerning the Dangriga Town Market Project. Daniel Cano was with the organization since 1999 and...

Court date set for SATIIM and Government of Belize
On Thursday parties to the case between the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM)and the Government of Belize learned their date for trial in the case, which is October 22 and 23 to be held before Justice Michelle Arana. Both SATIIM executive director Greg...

Country remembers Rt. Hon. George Price on National Service Day
Members of the Lions club raised 20 flags on Thursday, September 19, at the Flag Monument in Belize City in spirit of National Service Day. Thursday also marked the official remembrance for Belize’s first Prime Minister the Right Honorable George Cadle Price. The former seminarian and...

Belize’s First Prime Minister remembered
September 19th , Thursday, marked the second anniversary of the death of Belize’s First Prime Minister, George Cadle Price. Shadel Dyer –Young prepared the following story paying tribute to the deceased National Hero. Shadel Dyer –Young reports: Born George Cadle Price on January 15th 1919,...

Heavy rainfall causes flash flooding
Heavy rain fall has caused flash flooding in various areas of the country. Affected were portions of the La Democracia community, which caused the Sibun River to break its bank. Several homes on the Coastal road were under water due to...

Decrease in major crimes
There continues to be a decrease in major crimes throughout the country. The newly released Crime Statistics compares the months January to August of this year to that of last year. The largest decline is in robbery, with 192 cases reported this year, compared to 339 of last year....

“How You Can End the Guatemalan Claim”
Earlier this week, the prolific writer and former ambassador for Belize Assad Shoman was at the University of Belize’s Belmopan Campus to talk to students about the Guatemalan Claim and the way forward. On Thursday he was in Belize City with his new book – a sort of guide...

KHMH celebrates 18th Anniversary
On Wednesday members of the press met with representatives of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) on the occasion of their 18th anniversary. The hospital has recorded great strides in certain branches of medicine but continues to suffer the black eye of recent deaths in the pediatric intensive care...

Mayor Bradley responds to PUP allegations
Earlier this week the People’s United Party accused the Belize City Council of embarking on a smear campaign against its supporters by publishing notices in both the UDP and independent organs that they owe property taxes. The PUP charge that these so-called false publications can be viewed as defamatory...

“A Call To Worship” in Belize City
On the eve of Independence Day, churches will be gathering for a corporate time of praise and worship in Belize City. The spiritual jamboree is being held under the banner “A Call To Worship.” It is a time when believers from various denominations unite with one purpose – to...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker Fisherman Missing At Sea
According to a missing persons report filed with local police, a Caye Caulker fisherman who set out this morning with several other companions went missing. When he did not return to the boat and his companions could not locate him in the waters where they were fishing, they reported it to police. A search and rescue effort has been activated.


BELIZE’S MARCH TO INDEPENDENCE: SEPTEMBER10TH. 1798-SEPTEMBER 21, 2013 Features — 20 September 2013 — by Ismail Omar Shabazz Belize’s first step towards independence began on September 10, 1798 at the Battle of St. George’s Caye. This victory for Belize allowed Belizeans to claim 8,866 square miles of land, sea and rivers from the Rio Hondo to the Sarstoon River. In 1898, 100 years later, a brave black man named Simon Lamb took up the struggle for independence. In May 1914, Simon Lamb passed away. In the year 1950, the march for Belize independence continued under the leadership of the Honorable George Cadle Price, the Honorable Philip Goldson, the Honorable Leigh Richardson, and others.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow has fired Minister of State in the Immigration Ministry, Hon. Elvin Penner, but has refused to tell the nation exactly why he has taken this unprecedented step, except to say, in a press release issued today, Thursday, that Penner “did not discharge his responsibilities with either the due judgment and balance, or the scrupulous regard for appearances which the Prime Minister demands of all his Ministers.” We say “fired,” but the Prime Minister preferred to say that he “required him [Penner] to resign,” and offered the crumb that the Immigration Ministry, under the portfolio of Hon. Godwin Hulse, and the Ministry of the Public Service “has launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the issue of a Belize passport to a South Korean national.” So, what has the Hon. Elvin Penner, representative for Cayo Northeast, really done? The Prime Minister would not answer this question put to him by the media. In his release, he would only say that the Immigration Ministry “would make a statement in the next day or so as to the results of that investigation,” even though Penner has been fired “with immediate effect.”

The two are charged with breaking into Jennifer Meighan’s house, tying her up, beating her, then stealing some items. This afternoon, sisters Latoria, 26, a hair and nail technician of #168 East Collet Canal, and Tiffany Anderson, 23, a babysitter of the same address, were charged with burglary and harm after Jennifer Meighan, 19, reported to police that the women forced their way into her apartment, beat her up and then stole her property. In that report, Meighan told police that at 1:30 Monday morning, she was at her apartment on Seagull Street when she heard a knock on her door. When she queried who it was, a voice answered “Yoh sista”, but when she opened the door just enough to see who was there, she realized that it was Latoria and her sister Tiffany, with whom she had had several run-ins previously.

Felicia Chen, the woman who is accused of killing three of her four children and attempting to kill the fourth on April 27, 2013, was returned to court this morning, and as always, she was under the heavy shield and protection of CIB officers. Ever since she was first taken to court on April 29, her court proceedings have been held en camera and today was no exception. Although media personnel were present when she was brought into court, before the matter started the prosecutor, Alford Humes, asked that the court be cleared. The Chief Magistrate, Ann Marie Smith, then cleared the court, allowing only for the psychiatrists and the female officer to remain in court.

Their boss, Daniel Cano, however, was allowed to resign. According to a press release issued by the Social Investment Fund (SIF) dated September 17, 2013, four members of staff have been terminated by SIF’s Board of Directors based on findings documented in a Contractor General report. This followed an emergency meeting that was held by the Board of Directors late Monday evening. The meeting was convened following allegations of rampant corruption that have recently surfaced, including accusations of extortion within the Social Investment Fund connected to a botched $1.3M renovation project that was to be carried out at the Dangriga Town Market as part of the Municipal Development Project. The release implies that the firings took precedence after “the board determined that four members of staff were complicit in activities which merited termination.”

It was a first effort, the idea of football legend himself, Nelson “the Roo” Robinson, and the street facing the Third World field was temporarily blocked off yesterday afternoon by a congregation of relatives, friends and football fans and veterans who came to share in the festive occasion to honor the memory of perhaps Belize’s greatest football legend, Louis “Bembe, the Mugger” Garbutt, who passed away in New York on June 28 of this year. In a brief ceremony to mark the occasion at the residence of Ms. Linda Faber, ex-wife of the Roo, master of ceremony Earl Grinage first invited Mugger’s wife, Mrs. Sylvia Garbutt, who received Belize’s Meritorious Award in his honor at the Bliss on Thursday last, to say a few words about her late husband and thank the organizers and everyone present for sharing in the occasion. Others then shared their thoughts, including Norman Fairweather, a close friend of the Mugger in New York, Hilbert “Areas” Craig, Bert Cattouse, Vincent “Winty J” Johnson, and the Roo, who then exhorted everyone present to enjoy the rest of the evening – music, food and drinks were provided under a tent in the yard.

CPBL 6-A-Side Tournament In the CPBL 6-A-Side Tournament over the weekend, Wagierale won by default over Pomona United, who went to play in the 1st Division tournament in Griga. In the other game, Real Juventud won, 6-4, over Burial Ground Warriors. Reports are that the playoff games for this weekend will be postponed until next week in support of the celebration festivities and other activities by the Village Council. Wamule U-23 Playoffs & Finals results The Wamule U-23 “King of the Court” Champion of Champion was held on Sunday at the Ecumenical basketball auditorium, where Foreshore was crowned the over-all Champion of Champion by defeating Ghans.

in memory of basketball athlete Ronald Robert Rivers. Plans are under way for a Youth Sports Day in memory of basketball athlete Ronald Robert Rivers, who was a robbery/gunshot victim earlier this year. According to organizers, it will be an all-day sporting event and Basketball Marathon for children ages 6 to 12 years, and will be held at the Iguana Street basketball court from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 28. There will be prizes and medals for winners, including sportsmanship and team awards; and they will be catering for 75 – 100 children, serving breakfast, snacks and lunch. Registration is FREE. There is still a need for assistance, so interested donors can contact Ms. Kylie Rivers at 633-2973.

There is new energy on the Belize boxing scene right now, and it bodes well for a sport that has apparently been on life support for some time now. The sporadic commercial promotions at Biltmore and Bird’s Isle are okay, but they are far too few and far between. A lot of questions have been raised about the activity level of those in charge of the sport’s top administrating body, the Belize Boxing Federation, whose president, community activist Moses Sulph, has not had a discernible impact on the plight of the sport that once enjoyed such great popularity in Belize. But there are others who refuse to give up, and their initiative has resulted in the formation of a new vehicle to try and get the boxing engine rolling. Over the past couple days, our sports desk has enjoyed visits from a few dedicated gentlemen who are putting their heads and hearts to the plough, and have already registered a new non-governmental and non-profit organization, the Belize Boxing Development Council. Henry Gill, Houston Carr, Frank Martinez and Clinton Tucker are all involved with the new organization, which is committed to “promote and obtain efficiency and harmony in the sport of boxing” in Belize.

After a meeting last night at the MCC Grounds with 11 of 12 participating teams in the Belize City Mayor’s Cup competition, tournament coordinator Ken Vasquez has informed us that the games will resume this weekend, after last weekend’s Week 2 games had been postponed “due to past conditions of the field and issues with security due to the celebrations.” One more development coming out of last night’s meeting is that Kephawn’s Pawn Shop FC, one of the Yabra based teams, “has chosen to withdraw from the tournament.. due to difference of views.” Also, Ladyville United has replaced Port Loyola FC which had not fielded a team so far in the tournament. The tournament is scheduled to continue with the 11 teams now remaining, which means that one team will have to be idle each weekend.

Independence Day, September 21, falls in between Belize’s three basically ethnic holidays – September 10 (Creole), October 12 (Mestizo), and November 19 (Garifuna). Independence Day should be the great unifier, the great national and nationalistic statement, and Belizeans have been working towards that goal for 32 years. We still have some ways to go. There are at least two striking things about how Belize moved to Independence on September 21, 1981. One is that the British refused to give Belize the defence guarantee which would have eased the tension amongst Belizeans and healed some of the Heads of Agreement wounds which had been opened in March and April of that year. If you think strictly and technically, the British were right. Belize was asking for the political status of independence, which would have been, in a sense, compromised by a defence guarantee from our longstanding colonial masters. But, the Belizean situation was an exceptional one. The British could have made an exception. British Honduras had been claimed by Guatemala since the latter part of the nineteenth century, and the Guatemalans, 40 times more numerous than the Belizeans, were making threatening noises about an independence to which Belizeans felt entitled.

by Evan X This Saturday we mark the 32nd anniversary of our political independence. Belize has changed a lot since independence in 1981, and there are some Belizeans who believe our country has changed for the worse. There seems to be a lot more wealth in Belize than 32 years ago, when you look at the fancy homes and huge office buildings, the late model SUVs and expensive powerboats, and so on and so forth. But, Belizean society has deteriorated before our very eyes. Today we have to watch far too many of our people strung out on drugs, afflicted by HIV/AIDS, suffering with mental illnesses, literally starving, and caged in the Kolbe prison at Hattieville. Where material things are concerned, we appear better off in Belize, but where our roots human resources are concerned, we Belizeans are in bad shape. Personally, I welcomed the coming of television in 1982. I had watched television in America between 1965 and 1968, and in late 1970 Galento X Neal and I had watched Muhammad Ali fight Oscar Bonavena on a television set in a sidewalk café in Chetumal.

At the end of my last article I promised to reintroduce to you Raymond Granville Lashley, but I will be unable to live up to my commitment because I need to do some further research to be able to write about as great a figure as Raymond Granville Lashley. I beg your pardon and indulgence to move on until I am able to complete the commitment I made to you, my readers. In the meantime, I will discuss with you football in the District of Orange Walk. My article “Was Queen’s Park Rangers the Greatest?” drew a lot of attention and my article “One In A Million You” created havoc among avid football players and their fans. Scores of readers complimented me on the article, “One in a Million You”. All recognized the talent and ability of the Avengers football team. I was of the opinion that I was the only man in Belize that was latched on to Pappy Smith. Hell no! The feedback I received on the article convinced me that I did not stand alone. My corner was heavy laden with both footballers and fans.

When Belize became independent in 1981, the world was undergoing one of the worst economic crises in its history. Virtually all countries of the world and especially small developing countries were strongly affected by the sharpest economic decline since World War II. World GDP growth that averaged around 4 percent in the 1970s fell to just over 2 percent in 1980 and further dropped to 1.2 percent in 1981. Oil prices sharply increased as world trade fell from an average of 7 percent in the period 1976-79 to 1.5 percent in 1980 and near 0 percent in 1981. The crisis plunged hundreds of millions of people and entire regions into to greater poverty. This adverse situation also placed Belize on the brink of economic collapse. Prices of its major exports fell drastically on the world market. For example, sugar, which comprised over 60 percent of Belize’s exports and which showed US 30 cents per pound in the spot market in 1980, fell to US 7 cents per pound in 1984. According to Central Bank statistics, Belize’s real GDP growth rate also fell from 2.2 percent in 1981 to minus 0.8% in 1982 and minus 1.6 percent in 1983. Unable to meet its obligations to its people, the government was forced arrange a stand-by agreement with the IMF.

When GOB resumed control of Port of Dangriga, the Barrow administration set itself apart and different from all previous administrations and predecessors by embracing a policy that promises national development and economic opportunities. Heretofore, the only declared policy and practice has been to reward friends and punish enemies, which indeed is, and in fact, filling high offices with political lackeys, friends and family members facilitating looting of public resources and corruption in government. The Prime Minister’s reopening Port of Dangriga, most obviously, not only deserves applause and support, but it further announces Belize’s directing its natural, social and human resources at the pursuit of economic opportunities; and lately, adding yet another logistical dimension in the opening of the National Bank of Belize. The re-opening of Port of Dangriga is not merely the opening of just another port. The port, with its more than 45-foot deep open waters, less than 1,000 feet away, will open up huge possibilities and opportunities and will change our current import and export trade pattern by enabling Belize to move into the world-wide trans-oceanic maritime trade, import, export and commercial traffic.

Kaleidoscope…thoughts are things; there is nary a thing extant that was not ever a thought…in this day of electronic wizardry, fax, etc. why should banks hold their checks for 6-7 weeks when interbank movement runs at 2% interest per hour… please…the refugees will work us out of our country…calling refugees “aliens” has an ominous connotation…they are not beings from outer space…use of words to induce hate, fear and anger…while we poke fun at them they learn our language; we can’t or won’t learn theirs… Seychelles is a good example for Belize to examine on the effects of the Oriental immigrants on the country…send a mission to observe…in 30 years the president of Belize will be of Chinese/Mayan/Indian ancestry…the vice-president will be the descendant of Creole/Indian/Mestizo…Belize is the only country that sells land at fireman rates to foreigners who then sell to their compatriots at profitable margins…this is a mystery of which one stands in awe…the white man is willing to die to gain knowledge; the black man is afraid to leave his neighborhood…Belizeans adopt the images of America but not the work involved to create them…now that Britain has retrenched the Gurkhas after long and faithful service to Empire, Belize should absorb them into the BDF, payment being land and citizenship after 12 years service…more rewarding to them than thank you and a long service medal

— by Dr. Elma Whittaker-Augustine, Clinical Psychologist Belize’s “10th September” is also the date that the world is asked to pause and focus on preventing suicide worldwide. The theme for this year is “Stigma: A Major Barrier for Suicide Prevention”. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. The data on the suicide rate in Belize is relatively low (13 in 2012) in comparison to other countries. However, one suicide is one too many. The more we increase our knowledge of suicide, stigma, a major barrier to suicide prevention, will hopefully gradually disappear. Our article for this month will focus on some of the causes of suicide, its impact, ways to respond and interventions. Why do some individuals choose suicide? It is not possible to accurately answer this question. However, some factors that contribute to this decision are feeling intense emotional pain, which is reported to be more painful than physical pain, feeling hopeless, feeling life is not worth living, feeling trapped, feeling isolated, feeling our problems are insurmountable and we have tried all options and have had enough and think that the only relief is suicide, feeling that our family and friends would be better off without us. All these feelings are also symptoms of Clinical Depression.

— by Audrey Matura-Shepherd I want to remain optimistic that there are enough Belizeans of right thinking mind who want to see a Belize that will progress for the greater good of as many people as possible. I want to think that amongst my fellow Belizeans there are people who do not only want to see themselves live a decent quality of life, but want to see others experience the same, and thus will help to make that possible. I want to think that in our midst we have our own Marcus Garvey, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., Ghandi, Mandela, people who are agents of change and who stand up for principles and others. Yes, the adversity they will face in Belize will not be as severe as what the above leaders faced, thus one would think that all the more reason it should be easier to rise up and be part of a revolution of change to uplift this country.

A newly remodeled Battlefield Park was officially opened to the public today by the Belize City Council. The historic park has sat at the center of Belize City for centuries, in fact as far back as the 1600s. The park is prominently known as a meeting place for inhabitants of Belize City since 1638. It is referred to as the birthplace of the Labor Movement in Belize, which was headed by popular Belizean activist, Antonio Soberanis, as well as the People’s Committee, which later became known as the People’s United Party. The downtown park was a hub for public meetings and even concerts in the past, but recently it had been reduced to a place of refuge for some of the vagrants who roam the city. Some members of the public were disgruntled at the thought of renovating the relic because of the historical significance attached to it. Nevertheless, it fell under the Belize City Council’s “Master Plan” to remodel the downtown area of Belize City and thus, contractor International Environments Ltd., was given the job to do a complete facelift of the age-old park. Works commenced in May of this year; not just to upgrade the park, but to reclaim the area as a bona fide plot of public space.

Major crime down by 43%, but carnal knowledge up 51%. The Belize Police Department has issued a press release indicating the crime statistics for the month of August 2013. According to the statistics, there has been an overall reduction of 11% in major crimes across the country. There were only 3 murders recorded countrywide for August 2013, compared to 9 murders which were committed last year in the month of August – a difference of 33%. From January to August of 2013, there were a total of 70 murders, compared to a total of 97 for the same period of 2012. This so far amounts to a 27.8% reduction in murders, while shooting incidents are also down by 29.4%. The biggest decrease in major crimes, however, is the 43% decline in the number of recorded robberies. While rape is down by 30%, there has been a considerable, and disturbing, increase in the number of reported incidents of carnal knowledge. That particular crime is steadily on the rise – up by a whopping 51%. Theft also continues to spike; it has gone up by 7%.

Heavy rainfall associated with a slow-moving area of low pressure over Belize over the last few days has caused flash flooding in La Democracia near Mile 31on the George Price Highway. NEMO has been monitoring the area since Monday. Earlier this morning a flash flood from fast-rising waters due to heavy rainfall which fell last night caused the Sibun River to break its bank. NEMO reported that several homes on the Coastal Road were under water due to the flash flood. NEMO Belize District Coordinator and the Police were deployed to the area to establish what occurred and render assistance. Even though the water is receding rapidly the Belize Disaster and Rescue Response Team (BDARRT) will continue to check the area and remain on standby to provide any search and rescue assistance that might be required. At Mile 27 on the George Price Highway the road is compromised due to damage to a culvert, causing traffic delays. Drivers are asked to exercise extreme caution when passing that area and whilst travelling on the highways as rains have affected most of the major and secondary roads and streets throughout the country.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, Houston Mayor Annise Parker and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti have issued proclamations to establish September 17 as Thomas Vincent Ramos Day in their states and cities. They are paying tribute to the founder of Garifuna Settlement Day in Belize — a celebration whose significance has spilled over the country’s borders. This recognition and honor of a Garifuna icon in the US is the third such among US governors, state legislators and mayors. In 2009, former Houston Mayor Bill White proclaimed December 2nd as Andy Palacio Day; in March 2013, a petition in the Texas Legislature was introduced by Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis and was passed to declare March 14 as Chief Joseph Chatoyer Day in Texas and in September, the state of Illinois has followed. “This is very good,” said Josalee Velasquez on the Garifuna Times Facebook page, “a milestone in proclaiming our stand… So proud to be Garifuna in Chicago.”

— by Charles Leslie, Jr. Dear Editor, A resource that we get plenty of, annually, and could be harvested and exported – RAIN WATER. Rainwater harvesting is a technique used for collecting, storing, and using rainwater for human consumption, landscape irrigation, farm irrigation and other uses. The rainwater is collected from various hard surfaces such as roof tops and/or other types of manmade above ground hard surfaces. This ancient practice is currently growing in popularity throughout the world due to interest in reducing the consumption of potable water and the inherent qualities of rainwater. Rainwater harvesting advantages: • Makes use of a natural resource and reduces flooding, storm water runoff, erosion, and contamination of surface water with pesticides, sediment, metals, and fertilizers. • Reduces the need for imported water. In our case, we have plenty that we can export to those countries that are importing water. • Excellent source of water for landscape irrigation, with no chemicals such as fluoride and chlorine, and no dissolved salts and minerals from the soil.

A resident of Consejo Shores, located about 7 – 8 miles from Corozal Town, called us this afternoon to inform us that the Consejo Shores road is under 1 – 2 feet of water, and that every year for the last three or so years, the road has been flooded, leaving residents in a terrible situation. Consejo Shores is a retirement community mainly inhabited by foreigners, some of whom have been here for years, who pay a large sum of money to live in the area, we are told. We are told that many residents can’t get out of the community to buy the necessary foodstuffs, fuel and other necessities, and furthermore, garbage from the dump is floating for miles on the road and children can’t get to school. When the rains finally quit, the water takes 4 – 5 days to recede to the point where the road is usable again. The resident, who has been in Belize since 2003, said that the road should have been fixed about eight years ago, but the money has always disappeared, used for other things, and the residents have been left to punish with the yearly floods and the terrible inconvenience of being stranded if they don’t have a very high vehicle to try to traverse the road.

This time a settlement is reached. After being delayed for several months, the case between Banks Holdings Limited of Barbados and the Belize Citrus Growers Association Investment Company Limited and Citrus Products of Belize Limited reached trial before Justice Rita Joseph Olivetti in the Belize Supreme Court yesterday, Monday, September 16. Although the litigation is now set for trial, any arguments by both sides have been put on hold. Yesterday afternoon, after half a day’s adjournment, Senior Counsel Andrew Marshalleck, who represented Banks Holdings Ltd., informed the court that both sides have agreed on a settlement to quash the dispute between them. The dispute arose over three points of contention: (1) the appointment of a chairman to the CPBL Board of Directors; (2) the method by which decisions of the board are taken; and last but certainly not least, (3) the questionable management of the company, under the leadership of CEO Dr. Henry Canton, who has reportedly been repeatedly accused of bad faith and poor management, yet citrus growers have been unable to remove him from his seat.

The Reporter

Five Women pound would-be robber
A young man who tried to rob Isolene Baños, 69, producer of Golden Corn Tortillas , was beaten and subdued by Banos and four other women members of her family last Friday, until the police came and took him away.

Barrow fires Elvin Penner over immigration scandal
The Belize Immigration and Nationality Department continues to be plagued by scandals that are potentially damaging to Belize’s national security, and now its latest scandal has cost the Minister of State with responsibility for immigration his cabinet post. On Thursday, the Office of the Prime Minister issued a press release, [...]

Smart’s creditors may sue SIF
Emy Gilharry Ramirez of Gush & Emy, from Corozal, may sue the Social Investment Fund to recover the $500,000 in material and labor, which she claims she invested to help Kenard Smart of K&G Construction execute the $1,377,839 Dangriga market project. Ramirez retained the services of attorney Audrey Matura when [...]

Battlefield Park restored
“This park was never really a park; it was a gathering place to bring our people together. And so when you look at the design of the park, it is to pay respect to that history,” said Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley.


Cashing in karma points and full moon pictures
Sometimes you cash in your karma points on something completely unrelated to how you got them and sometimes there is a direct connection between doing a person a favor and being able to do one back for them very soon after. For us this time, it was the latter. Paul got a phone call last night from Jason, they were stalled by Ritchie’s and needed a tow. It was a toss up, stay home and watch the end of project runway or be the go with girl. I figured even though I was not really needed, he asked for company and it could earn me a few karma points to go for the ride. Especially since I was away overnight with Mary the night before for dinner and a movie. More details coming on that by tomorrow morning.

The Signs of Boca Del Rio, San Pedro
I love signs and I love taking pictures of signs. Especially hand painted ones. Here are some pics that I took in the Boca Del Rio area (between town and the bridge). And that’s all I’ve got to say about that. There are about 5 different spellings of motorcycle at this shop. I’ve only been in Compadres once but there were certainly no blonde bikini-ed ladies playing pool. Lots of little delis to get food. In NYC, a deli makes sandwiches, in Belize, it makes local food. I guess that makes sense. My favorite San Pedro tranny.

Little Belize’s Independence Day the Biggest Yet
As a young nation celebrating its 32nd birthday, Belize is understandably enthusiastic about Independence Day, and this year’s September 21 celebration is shaping up to be one of the biggest yet, according to the owners of Belize’s first eco-resort, The Lodge at Chaa Creek. Lucy Fleming, who with her husband Mick opened Chaa Creek’s doors on the same date that Belize achieved independence from Great Britain, said she’s not surprised that Belizean nationalism shows no signs of waning. “I imagine that independence day celebrations were wildly enthusiastic in the young United States of America around 1808 while Americans were still basking in their new found liberty and sense of national identity. “We’re undergoing the same thing in Belize right now. There’s a lot of pride, excitement, and energy in watching your new nation grow and take its place in the world. There’s a real feeling of having arrived mixed with excitement about the future. “We’ve come a long way in 32 years and we’re still just recognising the amount of opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. I can’t think of any place I’d rather be,” Ms Fleming said.

“Sound and Vision” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
On waking up yesterday morning I felt as if I had taken a mild beating around the left side of my face, and especially my nose. I know that I am a relatively heavy sleeper but surely Rose couldn’t have ‘got her own back’ for something I had said and it didn’t wake me. A visit to the bathroom and a look in the mirror (no photos I am pleased to report) and I saw that the left side of my nose was slightly swollen and the area around my left eye had some dark discolouration. And then it hit me (no, not Rose) I was suffering from sinusitis. Now knowing that it wasn’t a consequence of upsetting Rose I made my mug of coffee, grabbed hold of the iPad and went to my place of choice in the early morning, the veranda. Once out there I didn’t really do a great deal. Yes I read the news online (enjoying the write-up on Arsenal’s game the previous day), publishing yesterday’s edition and sending a couple of emails to try to find out if the company handling the shipping of our stuff from the UK have managed to establish exactly where our consignment is.

International Sources

Belize’s Independence Day
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I send best wishes to the Belizean people as you mark the 32nd anniversary of your nation’s independence on September 21. Our relationship is strong and rooted in the shared values of democracy and cultural diversity. We work as partners to promote citizen security, expand trade and economic growth, and build opportunities for all people. The successful friendship between our two countries sets a powerful example for the entire region. As you celebrate from northernmost Corozal to southernmost Toledo, I wish the people of Belize a safe and joyous Independence Day.

New World Oil & Gas boss eager to begin new phase
New World Oil & Gas (LON:NEW) boss Bill Kelleher says he is eager for the company to begin a new phase of it development, following the new cornerstone investment from Niels Petroleum. The transformational funding deal, which provides up to US$50mln and was signed-off by shareholders last week, will help the firm create value. Among other initiatives allows the group to now look at taking on additional opportunities. In this morning’s interim results statement the company run the rule over a busy period – which included a drill programme that found evidence of a hydrocarbon system within its acreage in Belize but fell short of making a discovery. Elsewhere it has completed a seismic exploration programmes on its acreage in Denmark. “As the first half of 2013 has shown, there is no straight line route to building a multi-project exploration and production company,” said Kelleher, New World chairman and chief executive. “While key milestones were met over the last six months, this has been a mixed period for New World. “On the one hand, we fulfilled earn-in commitments at all three of our exploration projects so that New World has been assigned a 100% working interest in the Blue Creek project in Belize and a 25% interest in each of Danica Jutland and Danica Resources in Denmark.

McAfee Anti-Virus Founder John McAfee Speaks with CNBC's Jane Wells Today
Following are excerpts from the unofficial transcript of a CNBC EXCLUSIVE interview with former McAfee Anti-Virus Founder John McAfee. Portions of the interview will run throughout CNBC's Business Day Programming. All references must be sourced to CNBC. MCAFEE ON MURDER, DRUGS AND WHO SHOULD PLAY HIM IN A MOVIE JANE WELLS: Who killed him? JOHN MCAFEE: I have no clue. WELLS: No clue at all? MCAFEE: You know Belize is the murder capital of the world. If you look at the statistics more people are murdered in Belize than anywhere. Tourists, disappear all the time. It's not publicized because tourism is 70% of the gross national product of the country. And so it's kept very quiet but it's a very violent, very dangerous place.

John McAfee talks tech, drugs and breaking bad
John McAfee is back in the technology game. Should he be trusted? McAfee is living in Portland, Ore., nearly a year after fleeing Belize to avoid questioning about the murder of a neighbor. He still insists he had nothing to do with the gunshot killing. "Belize is the murder capital of the world," he said this week. "It's a very violent, very dangerous place." Since returning stateside, McAfee has surfaced rarely. Three months ago, he posted a racy video on YouTube mocking his former anti-virus software company. Last week he had to respond to a false report that he had died of an overdose in Las Vegas. McAfee said the hoax was not a publicity stunt on his part, and that he spent a lot of time frantically contacting friends who believed he was dead.

Kuwait Amir congratulates Armenia, Belize, Malta on Nat''l Day
HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah congratulated each of Armenia, Belize and Malta on their respective National Day on Saturday. The warm sentiments were conveyed in separate congratulatory cables to Armenia's President Serzh Sargsyan, the Belize Governor-General Sir Colville Young and Malta's President George Abela, according to an Amiri Diwan statement. HH the Amir wished the leaders the best of health and their nations development and prosperity.

SADR present at Independence Day Celebrations in Belize
Saharawi Ambassador in Nicaragua Mr. Suleimàn Tieb Henàn has represented the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) in the ceremonies commemorating the 32th anniversary of the independence of Belize on 21 September 1981, according to a statement of SADR embassy in Nicaragua. Saharawi Ambassador held bilateral meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize H.E. Mr. Wilfred Elrington. SADR envoy to theses ceremonies took this opportunity to convey to the Governor General of Belize H.E. Mr. Colville Norbert Young, also representative of Queen Elizabeth of England, the congratulations of Saharawi President Mr. Mohamed Abdelaziz on this important event.

There are many spectacular dive sites in the Caribbean, but few of them can beat the coral reefs and beautiful underwater coral gardens found beneath the warm, crystal clear tropical waters from Mexico and Belize. Belize in particular is quite rightly considered to be one of the top scuba diving destinations in the world. Marine life is fairly similar wherever you travel around in the Caribbean, but the combination of thriving marine life and superb coastal resorts makes the coastal area between Mexico and Belize a perfect dive destination. When you’ve had enough of the resort live, leave it behind and head down beneath the waves where you will find colorful corals gardens, dramatic deep drop offs and a varied selection of reef fish such as angel fish, groupers, barracuda and if you are lucky you will encounter the biggest fish in the sea, the Whale Shark.

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