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10/1/2013 to 10/10/2013
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October 10, 2013


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

The San Pedro Sun

Tropic Air’s Red Bird Flight Simulator is first of its kind for the region
Tropic Air has been the leading operators of small aircraft aviation for 35 years in Belize. As Tropic Air continues to make the advances necessary to continue providing efficient service, they have progressed to advanced flight simulation training for their pilots. In continuing to make safety a top priority, Tropic Air has recruited Safety Manager Raul Alamilla. As Head of the Safety Management System, Alamilla covers all aspects of ensuring safety throughout the company. Following this initiative, Alamilla saw the benefits that could come about as a result of incorporating the use of flight simulators. The simulator not only allows pilots to enhance their aviation skills but through simulation they learn how to manage various instances and cases of emergencies such as engine fires or structural failures that would otherwise be impossible to practice on real aircrafts. “It is an investment that will not only keep our pilots current, but among all things it allows for safer operation,” stated John Greif III, President of Tropic Air.

Cultural Sunday Beach Bash
The San Pedro Garifuna Council Committee is gearing up for their National Garifuna Settlement Day celebrations on November 19th. In preparation for the big celebration, the Committee will be hosting a series of events, endorsed by the National Garifuna Council and supported at the local level by the Minister of Tourism and Culture Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr. and the San Pedro Town Council. On Wednesday, October 9th there will be a Garifuna Council Committee meeting from 7PM to 10PM at the Heredia Park on San Juan Area. The Committee will also be having a Hudut Sale on Saturday, September 12th at Central Park. The Committee has also announced that for the first time ever they will be hosting a Cultural Sunday Beach Beach every Sunday at the Boca Del Rio Park. The first Culture Sunday Beach Bash is scheduled for Sunday, October 13th. There will be lots of food and drinks on sale, along with games for the entire family. Guest will be treated to live cultural presentations and music by Punta Boyz Band. Featured invited guest artist include DJ Logi, DG Lova, DJ Lotion and DJ KML. The Committee invites all families to come out and have a great time.

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. My name is Kristina Romero, currently the secretary of the NAC Island Committee. I am from Corozal but lived on the island several years as a child and now I call it home. I am presently working at the National Drug Abuse Control Council, Ministry of Health as the District Coordinator for Belize Rural South. I am an educator at heart, I taught English language, Spanish and Literature at the High School level and in 2011 decided to transition into the field of Drug Prevention education.

Ambergris Today

Saga Humane Society Addresses Over Population of Dogs
The Saga Humane Society of San Pedro is working arduously on addressing the over population of dogs on the island. The number of complaints about stray dogs and the all the unsanitary conditions they leave behind is high once again but the Humane Society is looking at stronger methods of addressing the situation. Residents have been complaining to the San Pedro Town Council and to the Saga Humane Society about the problem of dogs defecating in public and in front of businesses. The majority of offenders are pets that have owners who allow them on the streets without a leash or supervision. Saga indicates that their personnel have rounded up some of these dogs in the past, but say that the pet owners pay their fine and pick up the animals, but days later they still keep their pets unsupervised and on the streets. This situation is very problematic and forcing the authorities to take major action which may possibly lead to the euthanizing of the animals immediately. In order to avoid such cruel acts, the Humane Society and the Town Council are working together to enforce laws and fine those who break the laws.

Belize Seeks To Reduce Premature Deaths Due To Non-Communicable Diseases
Minister of Health Hon. Pablo Marin was among health officials that agreed to a plan of action that seeks to reduce premature deaths due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by 25% by the year 2025. The joint plan of action was approved by the 52nd Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) that convened last week in Washington D.C. It calls for policies to promote prevention and control of NCDs and reduce their risk factors. Under the joint plan of action, health officials agreed to specifically promote prevention of NCDs beyond health, expand and provide universal access to health services for NCDs, reduce tobacco intake by 30%, promoting healthy diets to reduce the impact on children, and improve the surveillance of risk factors among others for NCDs.

Teen Talk: Encouraging People to Help Out One Another
So in this week’s Teen Talk I would like to talk about helping others out. Now from when we were very young I believe that most likely our parents told us that we must help others out. However, did they tell us why we must help other people? You could say it is common sense and that would be the moral thing to do, but the truth is you do not have to help other people. It is your choice if you want to help people or turn your head and just mind your own business. No one can force you to help someone; if you want to help them that is fine. Personally, I would help anyone around me who is in need to the best of my ability, but this is my choice and no one tells me to do so or otherwise.

Face to Face with the Jaguar Masks at Lamanai Maya Temple, Belize
Belize has a lot to offer to tourists and locals who are in touch and in love with nature. A great place to visit if you are looking for adventure and site-seeing is the Maya archeological site of Lamanai in the Orange Walk District. If you are in search of an enjoyable, adventurous and educational trip a day’s adventure to one of the largest Maya archaeological sites in the country is a must. Lamanai is located deep within the jungles of the Orange Walk District along the banks of the New river and getting there is what makes it a unique experience compared to visits to other archaeological sites. It might take you a longer time getting to Lamanai than your on site tour time, but the adventure of getting there, the scenic route and the people you meet make for a very interesting tour and is half the fun.

Misc Belizean Sources

FISHING REPORT: Week of September 29th – October 5th , 2013
Permit fishing was off the charts with over 19 fish landed, Josh finished out his stay with that dream 90 pound tarpon… I love to see grown men giggle with excitement!

Eco-Lite: The Belize Zoo
The Belize Zoo got another great write up, and in this article you can see the new cafe and entrance that they've built, which look great. There are some extremely high resolution pictures there too. "The Belize Zoo is easily worth a couple of hours just to see all the gorgeous birds in very attractive aviaries and read the info-plaques on the exhibits. I love how the zoo educates both Belizeans and tourists about how the birds and animals are part of their cultural heritage and should be protected and treasured!"

Stonetree 10th Anniversary Exhibit
Blast from the past. See Andy Palacio, Paul Nabor, and many others in this classic footage that Daniel Velazquez just edited and released. Belize music is some of the best music in the hemisphere, as can be witnessed in the video. In related news, Cayo is in for another treat because Paul Nabor will be playing at the Soul Project on November 2nd. "Featuring Andy Palacio, Ivan Duran, Paul Nabor and the Garifuna collective and me. Here is some historical footage, makes me feel old, its 8 years old, a great night in Belize City at the Image factory 2005, RIP for those who have past on, you live on in your art. tribute!!!"

Pallottine Sisters Centennial Stamps
The Belize Postal Service has released a commemorative series of stamps to celebrate the centennial of the Pallottine Sisters coming to Belize. Cayo is depicted in one of them, as they are landing on the Macal River bank. "On March 17, 1913, four German Pallottine Sisters challenged the boat ride from Belize City to San Ignacio where they landed on the banks of the Macal River. Their journey continued to Benque Viejo by horse and buggy, the only means of transportation in 1913. In Benque Viejo, the Pallottines planted the first seeds of evangelization, education, nursing, gardening, and home skills."

Channel 7

Saldivar Says He's Wanted, But "Hiding in Plain Sight"
And while Hulse remains on the defensive – the man who launched the attack which forced the closure of the Nationality section of the Immigration Department didn't come through today. Arthur Saldivar had promised to produce a green binder – an original document from the Immigration Department – which he says had been slated for destruction. Saldivar says that and many other documents in his possession point to a vast cover-up at the Immigration Department. But today, the story changed. Word went out early via the rumour mill that there was a warrant, first to search Saldivar's home, and then, another to arrest him. Now, the senior ranks of the police department say they have no knowledge of this – but we won't let that spoil Saldivar's ever-evolving narrative. Here's what he told the press this afternoon, about why he didn't have the green binder as promised: Marion Ali - Love News "Now, yesterday, you promised as well that you will be forthcoming the next time you speak which is now, to provide the green binders to the media, at least 1 of them. What happened?"

Hon. "Boots" Says Saldivar Story Shady
And so while the arrest and search warrant story is looking, hmm..., UDP senior member Anthony Boots Martinez says for him the entire Saldivar scenario is suspect. Today Martinez told the media that there are lots of missing pieces in the story as he sees it – but he did let on what we've heard privately from multiple UDP ministers – that the state believes Arthur Saldivar is handling government property. Here's that interview: Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez - Minister of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation "I have my own skepticism about Mr. Saldivar. He talked about rescuing documents which were about to be burnt. Those documents look clean. Also too, I see some of the documents on television where, to me, doesn't have any signature, indeed like he pointed out. I saw a little portion of the interview, where the picture looks like a corpse. This is modern technology; this is cut and paste and all kinds of things. The authentication of those documents need be verified, and also too, apart of from that. If those are property of the Government of Belize, then Arthur Saldivar is handling stolen goods. I don't buy his story. The things don't look legit to me; I am being honest with you. It doesn't look legit to me, and it if is legit, why don't you come forward with your information? He is an attorney, man, but you have to understand Arthur Saldivar. He is a politician; he wants to try to see if he can get to the National Assembly for the first time because automatically, he is a failed politician."

Pratt's Killer To Court
Last week, we told you about the first murder in almost 3 months, where 28 year-old Gary Pratt was gunned down on Antelope Street Extension. Well tonight, 23 year-old Aaron Bailey is at prison after he was taken to court for that murder. As we told you, Pratt was standing in a yard socializing with others when he was ambushed by a man who shot him twice in the back. It is believed to have been a case of mistaken identity. Well, Police investigated and charged Bailey, and he was arraigned today in Magistrate's Court. He has been remanded to prison until November 29, his next court date.

Amendment To Criminal Code: Progressive Or Pro-Gay?
Yesterday in Belmopan the Constitution and Foreign Affairs Committee met to consider the Proposed Amendment Number Two to the Criminal Code. The bill was introduced to the house less than two weeks ago as a progressive piece of legislation to protect children from sexual abuse and increase the penalties for child molestors. But is it progressive, or pro-gay? That's what the Christian lobby is asking. They say that the bill is "tweaking the definition of rape" – and, in so doing, is paving the way for the de-criminalization of sex between men. Tonight we have two stories on the dispute, exploring the political and social dimensions. But before we start the stories we warn you that while the law is to protect children, the language is definitely not suitable for children – so you might want to ask them to sit out the next few minutes. We start first with our story from the National Assembly last night where the Committee meeting went into the late evening and had to be suspended at about 6:20.

Child Rights Advocates Ask For Media Support
And that's where the Ministry of Human Development and the Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children come in. They are hoping to generate public support for a piece of legislation that was first shaped in 2006. Now, it's been overtaken by the culture war over gay rights – and today they invited the media to a breakfast to try and regain control of the narrative for their own piece of legislation. Here's how they explained it: Jules Vasquez Reporting Judith Alpuche - C.E.O., Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation & Poverty Alleviation "These amendments and the need for these amendments predate any UNIBAM, any constitutional challenge. We have been working on this - I have been in this business for 20 years. We have been working on this for at least 6 years now."

Major Crime Still Trending Down
Late September into early October went crazy in the west with a spate of killings in Roaring Creek, Camalote and Teakettle, but the latest crime statistics for 2013 up to the end of September show that major crime continues to trend down considerably. Up to the end of Septmber, the murder count was down from 106 at this time in 2013, to 81 in 2013. That's a decrease of about 25%. Robbery and burglary were also down sharply when compared to 2012, while theft and carnal knowledge were up. Today, Police Minister John Saldivar today presented his Monthly Awards to the southern zone as formation that performed the best in reducing major crimes during September. Senior Superintendent Mariano received a Cheque of $1,000 for the performance by his zone, and a Certificate of Recognition on behalf of Inspector Mark Flowers who heads the Placencia Sub-Formation.

US Provides Air Assistance For Marijuana Eradication
Those statistics also show that seizures of processed cannabis and destruction of plants and seeds is waaayyyy up, as much as 200%. And that's due in no small part to support from the US Army Southcom which has provided helicopter assistance for Belizean law enforcement agencies to launch raids in remote areas. One operation was conducted early in the year, and it was repeated from September 25 to 28, 2013. A release form the US Embassy says that 38 Belizean personnel from the Belize Defence Force Special Assignment Group, the Belize Coast Guard SEALs, and the Belize National Police Anti-Drug Unit worked with the US Military Liason Office and Joint Task Force - Bravo on this operation. It resulted in the destruction of 22 marijuana fields and approximately 37,970 mature marijuana plants, with an estimated value of 12 million Belize dollars. In addition, the team also found and destroyed four pounds of marijuana seeds. The release says, Belizean personnel served as the ground force for the operation while Joint Task Force - Bravo provided aviation support, on-call casualty evacuation, and training on tactical assault insertion and extraction. It adds that "USMLO provided the group with transportation and reconnaissance for the ground mission."

Belizean Man Shot In Chetumal Says He Was Selling Auto Parts
Mexican newspapers have posted the photograph of the man they say shot Belizean Delmar Guerra from San Joaquin. 29-year-old taxi driver Jorge Alfredo Azueta Andrade was detained by police near the scene. He is held for attempted murder of mechanic 41-year-old Guerra. Newspaper reports say Andrade first told police he did not know Delmar and that he had simply provided taxi service and transported him from the parking lot of a superstore to Calderitas. Later, he said he had provided taxi service for Delmar before. For his part, Delmar told the police that on Friday he had received a call from a man who wanted to buy auto-parts. They agreed to meet at the place where he ended up being shot.

Providing Secure Public Spaces
Today the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation signed Contracts with two local contractors for infrastructure works under the Community Action for Public Safety Project. These contracts amount to three million, two hundred and ninety eight thousand, and three hundred and seven dollars. These works comprises the construction of a Youth Center at Gwen Lizarraga High School Compound in Belize City, and the construction of a Dormitory Facility, Resource/Visitor's Center and Rehabilitation of the Sporting Grounds at the Youth Hostel as well as the Rehabilitation of a Carpentry Building at the Youth Cadet at Mile 21 on the George Price Highway. The Project's objective is to contribute to the reduction of youth involvement in major violent crime in Belize City. We found out more today at the signing: The Community Action for Public Safety Project is a ten million dollar four year initiative, financed through a Loan Agreement between the Government of Belize and the Inter-American Development Bank.

Parolee Remanded For Five Pounds Weed
Tonight, 39 year-old Ellis Rudon is at prison after he and his girlfriend, Dorla Faber, were busted yesterday with 4.9 pounds of weed. According to police, they were travelling on the Western Highway on a D & E Bus when it was stopped at by police at a checkpoint. The officers searched the bus and found 2.22 kilos – or 4.9 pounds – of marijuana inside a school bag in Faber's possession. As a result, both of them were charged with drug trafficking. They were arraigned today in Magistrate's Court, where they both pleaded not guilty. Faber was granted bail of $5,000, but Rudon was remanded to Prison, where he must continue to serve out a 3 year sentence for drug trafficking. He was out on parole in relation to that sentence when he was allegedly busted with this weed.

Pallottine Sisters Celebrate Centennial With New Stamps
A new set of stamps was relased today. It commemorates the the 100th anniversary of the Pallottine Sisters in Belize. It was launched with a ceremony at the school today and sister Franco says it was very moving: History says that On March 17, 1913, four German Pallottine Sisters took the arduous boat ride from Belize City to San Ignacio where and form there to Benque Viejo where they planted the first seeds of evangelization, education, nursing, gardening and home skills. At its peak, 102 Belizean girls served in one or more of the 19 schools or hospitals staffed by the Pallottines.

Reason for Unusual Senate Meeting
At the top of the news, we showed you our interview with Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse. We got that opportunity after he was coming out of an unsual senate meeting. That meeting was convened for the sole purpose of fixing an error in the draft amendment to the criminal code where section 172A had a glaring error. The error reads, "A person who imports, exports or transfers ownership of any property or goods, whether such property or good is stolen or not commits an offence of illicit trafficking." The words "or not" should not be there because the section becomes nonsensical, so today, when he exited, 7News asked Hulse about what prompted the meeting. Here's what he told us today's business: Hon. Godwn Hulse - Senator "As you know, the last senate, which was held on Wednesday, I think it was, we had 20 bills, and one of them, the Criminal Code Amendment bill, we kept in the committee, and didn't take it through its third reading because there were some amendments being proposed by senators, and they were reasonable amendment. So, today's meeting was so that senators could reconvene the committee of the whole, work through the proposed amendments that they have, and then, we've read it a third time. That bill now goes back to the House. If the house accepts the amendments that the senate has made, then that goes to the Governor General for signature. And that was what today's meeting was all about."

Channel 5

Warrant issued to search the house of Attorney Arthur Saldivar
Tonight there are very interesting developments to report in the passport scandal which shows absolutely no signs of going away. First, this morning a report went viral that a warrant [...]

Police called in by Director of Immigration to investigate
A press conference will be held on Thursday by the Ministry of Immigration. But it seems that Arthur Saldivar has single-handedly done what sustained public outcry could not. This morning, [...]

Immigration Minister says passport system is watertight
There seems to be very little official scrutiny on former Minister of State Elvin Penner. He is the man who signed the nationality certificate and recommended a passport for South [...]

Will police include Penner in their investigation?
While the Minister Hulse has stated that his watertight system was defeated by the recommender, one of those recommenders is Elvin Penner. His signature is on record. But with all [...]

D.P.P. says it is her duty to assist police in investigating passport scandal
The Police have been called in by the C.E.O. and the Director of Immigration. Minister Hulse has stated that there will be no holds barred. But there is some ambiguity [...]

Saldivar says there are not only passports, but also visas illegally on sale
There are problems on top of problems revealing serious cracks and gaps in an Immigration dam which Minister Hulse claims is watertight. Attorney Arthur Saldivar says it’s much bigger than [...]

Minister Hulse threatens Saldivar on attempting to defame his character
While Saldivar has magnanimously offered to provide information to the Police, he definitely won’t be greeted with warm smiles and welcoming arms. In fact, Minister Godwin Hulse sent an open [...]

The churches question amendments to the criminal code
The Government of Belize has been coming under fire from all quarters, on matters as diverse as the Public Accounts Committee and the passport scandal. And now the churches have [...]

B.N.T.U. brings down the pressure in passport scandal
On Tuesday, the B.N.T.U. sent out a release adding its significant voice to the condemnation of the passport scandal. It’s a significant move because the B.N.T.U. is one of the [...]

NTUCB says it demands independent investigation into passport scandal
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize weighed in this evening on the passport scandal which continues to unravel. The NTUCB says new chapters were written in the “now seemingly, [...]

Human Rights Commission of Belize condemns the fraudulent issuance of the Belizean birthright
The Chamber of Commerce, the BNTU, and others have come out swinging against the passport scandal. The Human Rights Commission of Belize joined the chorus of condemnation of the fraudulent [...]

Orange Walk Resident, Matthew Williams on trial for unlawful possession of a passport
In Orange Walk today, a resident went on trial for the unlawful possession of a passport. After multiple adjournments, Matthew Williams, accused of multiple counts of Unlawful Possession of a [...]

A case of incest reported in Xiabe Village in Corozal
Molestation of minors has become increasingly prevalent, but it never ceases to invoke outrage and horror. Tonight there is a shocking claim of incest of a thirteen year old girl [...]

Presenters and Drafters defend amendment to criminal code
Earlier we told you about the churches concern on the amendment to the criminal code. But the presenters of the amendment defended the bill vigorously this morning. For the office [...]

Contracts for Community Action for Public Safety Project signed
A contract of more than three million dollars was signed today for the construction of facilities at Gwen Lizarraga High School, the Youth Hostel and the Hattieville prison. The project [...]

Nationality office is sealed off amid the new allegations of immigration corruption
At eleven-thirty this morning the nationality section in Belmopan closed its doors to the public. At a meeting, the staff was told only that because of an investigation they would [...]

Minister Hulse says the D.P.P. and police are not locked out from investigating
So what does this development mean for the ongoing investigation? Minister Hulse told us that the two matters – the leaked documents and the passport scandal – are two different [...]

Rhetorical question: will there be a criminal investigation into mess at immigration department?
The Minister accused us of asking rhetorical questions, but we were genuinely confused at that point. The question remains – can the D.P.P. and the Police institute a criminal investigation [...]

Dubai national, who got nationality and passport, is of interest to the U.S.
There is fresh information tonight that the disgraced Elvin Penner signed off on loads of nationality certificates to Middle Eastern and Asian nationals. The documents are being made available by [...]

Is attorney Arthur Saldivar abusing and manipulating nationality documents?
Arthur Saldivar is not disclosing how the more than a hundred and fifty documents found their way into his hands just before they were destroyed. But he says he will [...]

Is the nationality department also involved in the illegal issuance of nationality certificates?
Do you believe that the nationality department is also involved in the illegal issuance of nationality certificates? Yes or No. Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to [...]

Where in the world is Eric Chang?
Belize City Councilor Eric Chang is still missing in action. But his name continues to come up in the passport scandal which saw the fall from grace of Elvin Penner. [...]

Mayor Darrell Bradley says that still no response from Chang on his return
So where is Eric Chang tonight? Well nobody knows for sure, though the best guess is that he is still in Taiwan. He was scheduled to return to Belize on [...]

Vision Inspired by the People wants Godwin Hulse removed
Multiple entities and organizations today came out swinging at the government of Belize. In regards to the Penner passport scandal, the B.N.T.U. took the first vicious swing via press release, [...]


Police News
Belize City police are also investigating an attempted murder. According to reports, on Monday October 7th at about 11:40am police visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they saw 26 year old Kareem Lopez, a resident of West Lake address on the George Price Highway suffering from two apparent stab wounds. Lopez was seen suffering from a stab wound to the left eye and one to the upper back. Lopez was found by his brother in an abandoned house situated on Tigris Street in Belize City before he was taken to the hospital. Police Investigations continue. Belize City Police arrested and charged two persons with drug trafficking. According to police reports, at about 9:45am on yesterday police conducted a search on a bus at the George Price Vehicle Checkpoint where a search was conducted on 39-year-old Ellis Rudon and 51-year-old Dorla Faber. The search led police to discover a red Jan sport schoolbag in Faber’s possession which contained five black plastic bags containing 2,223 grams of cannabis and as a result both persons were charged.

Saldivar Says Ministry of Foreign Affairs Aided in the Immigration Saga
The green binder with additional documentation allegedly destined for destruction at the Ministry of Immigration and Nationality did not make it out for the media’s perusal today as was the plan. That’s because the man in possession of the documents, Attorney Arthur Saldivar, said that today he had become the target of a police pursuit. ARTHUR SALDIVAR “The government has initiated certain actions; well, personally they have sought to search my residence by assuming a search warrant but I don’t believe that they were successful for that because I haven’t been home. Apart from that, I understand that there is an arrest warrant out for me. I think they are trying to arrest me for assisting the country, which is a first; I would want to know what the offence is that I have committed. I don’t know of any report of burglary taking place at the immigration Department, any report of lost files or any stolen files from immigration. In fact the documents that are in my possession were not stolen, they were slated for destruction and in that regard I don’t see why the authorities will be characterizing them as stolen goods.”

Sudden Flood Called For Evacuation in Northern Belize
More than six families in the San Jose/San Pablo Village in the Orange Walk District have been forced to evacuate due to flooding. Love News understands that in a short time frame, the rains that poured down in that section of the country caused the flooding. According to a resident of the village, Sonia Cawich villagers were not prepared. SONIA CAWICH “It happened around 7:30 to 8:30, in only 30 minutes the waters rose and the flooding began. Here in San Pablo and San Jose the culvert and the garbage that people throw away is causing the water to stick and go into to some of the houses. My house is right over the hill and the pictures that they saw is like two houses away from my house. Every time that happens I only see the persons from Ministry of Works come to remove the garbage from the drain. The flood was sudden; it only took about thirty minutes. I think that they should come and see so that they can try and help out. Some persons were helping them to get out of the house however they were unable to get the things out of the house because the flood came so quickly.”

Human Rights Commission Wants Penner To Face Consequences for Any Wrong Doings
The Human Rights Commission of Belize has weighed in on the ongoing passport scandal. The Human Rights Commission of Belize publicly condemns the conduct of former Minister of State Elvin Penner in what the commission says is his efforts to circumvent immigration and criminal laws for his personal financial gain. The commission joins with others in civil society who have called on the appropriate authorities to conduct an immediate and thorough investigation of Penner and anyone else involved in the illegal issuance of Belizean nationality and passport to Korean Wong Hon Kim. In a democratic nation ruled by laws, Penner cannot be above the law. The commission points of that if criminal wrongdoing is uncovered, Penner must be made to face the consequences of his actions, like any other Belizean.

Suspect Charged for Antelope Street Murder
23-year-old Aaron Bailey has been charged with murder in connection with the shooting death of 28-year-old Gary Pratt last Friday night. No plea was taken and Bailey was remanded to Central Prison until November 28 when he is to reappear in court. Pratt, a resident of Punta Gorda was socializing inside a yard on Antelope Street when he was shot twice in the back. Pratt had recently relocated to Belize City and was looking for a permanent job in the city. In May of this year Bailey was acquitted of three firearm and ammunition offenses including kept prohibited firearm, kept firearm without a gun license and kept ammunition without a gun license in a trial that took place before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. He was charged jointly with five other persons.

Minor Found in Father’s Bed Under The Influence and Nude
A disturbing case of incest is coming out of the Corozal District. Love News understands that a 31 year old woman of Ranchito Village in the company of her 13 year old daughter reported that on Monday October 7th at about 5:30pm she went to her husband’s house in Xaibe village to pick up her daughter. There the woman reported to police that she noticed that her daughter was lying in her father’s bedroom without her clothes and appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. She then took her daughter to the Corozal Community Hospital where the doctor certified that she is carnally known. The 13 year old told Police that her father had been sexually abusing her from the age of six. Police have detained the man pending further investigation.

Reduction in Major Crimes in Southern Belize Reported
Crime Statistics released by the Belize Police Department states that from the beginning of the year to the end of last month, major crimes has reduced when compared to last year for the same time period. And as he has every month, Minister of National Security John Saldivar presented his monthly awards for the different zones. For this month the Southern Zone and formation was recognized for performing the best in reducing major crimes during the month of September. Headed by Senior Superintendent of Police Robert Mariano, the Southern Zone, saw the greatest reduction in major crimes for the month of September, the Placencia Sub-formation performing the best in that region. Senior Superintendent Mariano this afternoon received a cheque of one thousand dollars from Saldivar for the performance by his zone, and a Certificate of Recognition on behalf of Inspector Mark Flowers who heads the Placencia Sub-Formation.

Unions Say PM Assured Them They Would Be Consulted on Pension Act
Almost one week after Prime Minister Dean Barrow met with members of the various Unions to discuss their concerns over a Draft Pension Act, the unions have issued a joint press release. Today, a joint press release from the Belize Energy Workers Union (BEWU), Belize Communication Workers Union (BCWU), Belize Water Services Workers Union (BWSWU) and Belize Workers Union (BWU) states that they feel it their duty to inform the public. The unions say that in early September they came across the draft Pension Act by coincidence and that upon preliminary review of them they realized that it could impact their well-guarded private pension funds. They said that from the onset they recognized that the draft legislation has necessary contributions that would regulate private pensions which are managed by corporations.

Police in Western Belize Investigate Car Theft
In the Cayo District, Police are investigation a case of vehicle theft. Police say a businessman and the owner of Cayo Rentals located on Benque Viejo Road in San Ignacio reported that sometime between Monday October 7th and Tuesday October 8th someone stole a four door black 2004 Suzuki valued at twenty thousand Belizean dollars. The vehicle was reportedly stolen from the parking lot of Cayo Rental. The business man told police that the vehicle was properly secured with all doors and windows locked. Police investigations continue.

Stamps Unveiled Celebrating 100 Years of Pallotine Sisters
There was much to celebrate today in the halls of Pallotti High School as the Catholic educational institution is observing its 100th anniversary in Belize. The first four Pallottine nuns arrived in Belize in March of 1913 and etched their mark in western Belize in educating young girls. Today the school marked the occasion with an hour-long ceremony in its auditorium, punctuated by the announcement that the milestone achievement will be documented on collectors’ postage stamps. The focus of the nuns, who first hailed from Germany, has been education, but their presence has evolved over the past century, according to Principal of Pallotti High School, Sr. Mary Clara Teul. Sr. Mary Clara Teul “They were in the primary school, they started in Benque, they were primary school teachers but when the Germans realized that we needed to help the students that could not enter Saint Catherine’s that was where the sisters realized that they needed to help those who couldn’t enter and that’s how we started and they started in the attic of the convent and now we no longer have Germans, Belizeans have taken over. It is a Belizean order but we are still international where we have our Superior General in Rome.”


Concerned citizens assemble at the National Assembly
Bills are ratified by the House of Representatives and subsequently the Senate on a periodic basis, but it’s not too often that a meeting of the Standing Committee over that bill garners so much public scrutiny. Such was the case Tuesday afternoon as the committee met...

Arthur Saldivar exposes more incriminating immigration documents
They say that “when it rains, it pours” and it seems that the rain is not letting up anytime soon in the recent scandal involving formerMinister of State in the Ministry of Immigration, Elvin Penner. Since news broke of his involvement in the issuing of...

PUP leaders discusses immigration issue on Rise and Shine
The PUP leader Hon Francis Fonseca and Hon Julius Espat were guests on Tuesday morning’s Rise and Shine Show. The PUP leaders along with the hosts of the show discussed current pressing national issues. One such issue is the Immigration scandal. PUP leader explains what actions his party has...

PUP Leader explains party’s strategy
One of the issues that was brought up on Tuesday morning’s Rise and Shine show is the somewhat passive state of the PUP delegation. What most would expect to see is a reincarnation of the UDP’s dynamic propaganda in the year before they came into power. Francis Fonseca explains...

BNTU says immigration issue is an international scandal
On Tuesday, the Belize National Teachers’ Union released an official statement to “Register its utter disdain with the current state of affairs; reference the alleged sale of the Belize Passport to the Asian citizen in question.” Calling the issue a national and international scandal, the BNTU declares “Not only...

VIP calls for resignation of Minister of Immigration
While the call for Elvin Penner’s resignation has been heard from various sectors, on Tuesday, Vision Inspired by the People made a rather bold move – calling for the resignation of Minister of Immigration the Hon. Godwin Hulse. Hulse. Now Minister Hulse has not shied away from media interrogation...

Belize Chamber of Commerce expresses “grave concern” over immigration scandal
The Belize Chamber of Commerce also sent out a press in which they expressed their “grave concern” as it pertains to the immigration scandal, “It is disconcerting that a person can obtain Belizean nationality and a Belizean passport while sitting in a jail cell in Asia. This incident has...

Plus News examines Tropic Air’s Flight Stimulator
Have you ever wanted to learn how to fly? Human beings have come close with airplanes and similar types of transport, but those who do it for a living know that one problem can literally send everything crashing down. Tropic Air, one of Belize’s oldest local airlines, made a...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Marijuana Eradication Operation a Success
The U.S. Embassy is pleased to announce that a team of Belizean military and law enforcement personnel, with support by the U.S. Military Liaison Office (USMLO) and Joint Task Force – Bravo conducted a successful marijuana eradication operation in Belize from September 25 to 28, 2013. A team of 38 Belizean personnel from the Belize Defence Force Special Assignment Group, the Belize Coast Guard SEALs, and the Belize National Police Anti-Drug Unit worked with USMLO and Joint Task Force – Bravo on this operation. It resulted in the destruction of 22 marijuana fields and approximately 37,970 mature marijuana plants, with an estimated value of BZD 12 million dollars. In addition, the team also found and destroyed four pounds of marijuana seeds.

The Autumn / Winter 2013 issue of The TOLEDO HOWLER is online HERE

We are pleased to release the new issue of The Toledo Howler. Lee Jones writes about his record breaking day birdwatching in Toledo and Arzu talks about remedies for low libido. We also feature some of BTIS' newer members including ProWorld and The Maroon Creole Drum School in Punta Gorda.

This Issue's Stories:

  • Coastal Water Taxi Planned:
    As Toledo Tourism continues to grow so does the number of registered tour guides in the District and the Toledo Tour Guide Association now has over 50 members. The Association undertakes training and registration of tour guides and conducts workshops to allow for continuous professional development and further specialist training. The Association also seeks and develops new opportunities for their guides and for the expansion of the Toledo Tourism product. One project currently in the pipeline is the introduction of a weekly boat service to Punta Negra and Monkey River village and a second weekly service to Barranco – three villages which are currently more difficult to access. Punta Negra is a small coastal community with beautiful beaches and cool Caribbean breezes, nestled between two protected areas  the Port of Honduras Marine Reserve to the front and Payne's Creek National Park to the rear. It’s a perfect destination to enjoy a day on the beach, combined with a little handfishing and preparing one of the freshest lunches you could hope to taste.
  • Reef CI Celebrating 10 Years of Operation with Recognition:
    As we go to press, we have just learned that Reef CI has been shortlisted for the World Responsible Tourism Awards for the “Best Responsible Wildlife Experiences” category. The Awards were founded in 2004 to recognise the “best of the best in responsible tourism – tourism that creates better places to live in and visit” and they are designed to recognise those ventures around the world that make positive contributions to nature and heritage conservation and to the economies of local communities. The awards are unique in that organisations are initially nominated by their guests and then a rigorous judging process is undertaken by a panel formed by some of the leading experts on responsible tourism and from the tourism industry.
  • Maroon Creole Drum School:
    We welcome the Maroon Creole Drum School as a new member of the Toledo BTIA. Based in Punta Gorda, the school is owned and run by Emmeth Young. Emmeth comes from Gales Point Manatee, a narrow peninsula in the Southern Lagoon between Dangriga and Belize City. Emmeth says this is the only community of Maroon Creole in Belize, a group who trace their origins back to the Ebo tribe in Nigeria. The Maroon Creole started as an isolated group of runaway slaves, ‘marooned’ in various parts of the Caribbean. The Maroon Creole share some drumming rhythms with other Caribbean and African cultures but also have unique sounds and drums designs. The different types of drums have names like junjun, kinkinni, sangba, sambai and djembe. The sambai drum is unique to the Gales Point community. On the other hand, the djembe is one of the most popular styles of hand drum played around the world because of its versatility and powerful sound. Emmeth makes and sells all types of traditional drums, both to interested beginners and professional musicians. He uses a variety of tropical hardwoods for the bases.
  • TIDE Fish Festival - 11th to 13th October 2013:
    Belize is developing a reputation for its range of vibrant festivals and celebrations, and the TIDE Fish Festival was one of the first festivals to be established in Belize. While other districts may have their lobsterfest and fishing competitions, TIDE’s fish fest is a celebration of all things marine, and is the only festival to be staged by a conservation NGO. Events kickoff on Friday 11th October with the Seafood Gala, offering a selection of seafood canapés and finger food, specially themed cocktails, and live music from some of Toledo’s finest talent. TIDE believes investment in education is key to fostering a sense of appreciation and understanding of our natural resources, and their Youth Conservation Competition on Saturday 12th October sees talented students competing for a number of tertiary level scholarships. The Sunday finale is held in the TIDE grounds where the winners of the early morning fishing competition will be announced, and a whole range of funfilled activities will be on offer, from traditional coconut husking and cast net throwing, to volleyball and kayak competitions and cultural entertainment.
  • Reef Conservation International:
    Reef Conservation International was founded by Polly Wood ten years ago when she left her corporate life in Britain to pursue her passion for diving and marine conservation. A diving trip to Roatan in 1999 first sparked Polly’s interest in marine conservation but she quickly found that there were few shortterm opportunities. Most conservation projects and placements were for gapyear students or other longerterm commitments. Realising that there were others who felt as she did and who could help contribute meaningful data to scientists, she started to explore the idea of a marine conservation organisation which could offer opportunities to a much wider group of people. Polly told us, “I wanted to create something unique, where anyone of any age could come and help contribute towards data collection, whether it was for one week or three months and for any level of diving experience, from beginners to experts.” She attended numerous seminars on citizen science and marine conservation, explored various locations, talked to scientists and developed her business plan.
  • ReefCI’s Lionfish programme:
    Lionfish are indigenous in the Indio pacific oceans and the Red sea. In their natural habitat they are not considered a threat, but in the Atlantic Caribbean belt they have no natural predators and can consume huge quantities of fish and crustaceans that are key to our marine environment. One lionfish was observed eating more than twenty fish in half an hour. Lionfish were first seen in southern Belize in 2009 and are potentially the most destructive threat to the Sapodillas. They are now seen on almost every dive at every depth. Lionfish reach sexual maturity at just one year old and females release up to 20,000 eggs every four days and they can live up to fifteen years. On top of that, they have developed strong survival techniques, able to go without food for three months and yet only lose 10% of body mass. ReefCI has observed their ability to camouflage themselves according to their environment. It is easy to see why some describe them as the cockroach of the ocean. Polly is the Belize record holder for spearing the largest lionfish, a whopping 44 cm – only 3 cm short of the largest recorded lionfish speared in Florida.
  • Toledo “Big Day Birding”: Lee Jones:
    Victor Bonilla, Emmanuel Chan, Wilfred Mutrie and I were perched atop an old fire lookout tower deep within the rainforest at BFREE (Belize Foundation for Research and Environmental Education). It was 4:30 a.m. What had brought us to this remote perch a hundred feet above the forest floor at such an ungodly hour was our quest for a record. And money. The record: to tally the largest number of birds recorded by one team of birders in one calendar day. This quest is known as a Big Day. The money: pledged donations to the Belize Raptor Research Institute, or BRRI. A Big Day that is also a fundraising event is called a Birdathon. Here’s how it works. People pledge money, say $1, in this case, to BRRI for each bird we are able to correctly identify by sight or sound during a 24 hour period. Our goal is 205 species, one more than the record set back in 1999 by the late Sam Tillett, Marcus England and myself. It is a fun way to raise money for a worthy cause.
  • Punta Gorda Christmas Bird Count - 4th January 2014:
    Everyone is welcome regardless of experience. The objective of the CBC is to count (by sight or sound) as many birds as possible in one calendar day within an area encompassed by a circle 15 miles in diameter. The results of this and more than 2,000 other CBCs are published annually by the National Audubon Society. The P.G. count circle includes all of Punta Gorda and extends north to Big Falls, east to the Rio Grande, west to Santa Anna and south to the Moho River. Each year anywhere from six to ten groups, depending on the turnout, are assigned specific areas to cover within this circle. Every team is led by at least one expert, so this is a great opportunity for those of you who are a little rusty, or perhaps just getting started in the world of birding, to learn from the experts. We meet every year at 7:00 p.m. the evening before the count at Nature’s Way Guest House to get acquainted, assign teams and figure out the transportation and other logistics.
  • BTIA Toledo and the Toledo Howler:
    What is BTIA? Vision As the leading national private sector tourism association, BTIA represents a unified voice which advocates for issues that benefit its members, influences tourism policy, legislation and marketing for the sustainable development of the industry and improved quality of the visitor experience. Mission To develop a robust and professional membership association which promotes, advocates and represents the interests of its members for the benefit and sustainable development of the tourism Industry. Together we’re stronger! Become a part of BTIA and make a practical contribution to the economic development of Toledo District and benefit from our promotional work. We meet monthly at the Tourism information Centre on Front Street.
  • Barranco – the Dugu Capital:
    There probably has not been as much public attention in Belize on the dugu ceremony as within the past two weeks, thanks to the statement said by a high level manager within the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) about the “dugu dance”. What was said at a joint press conference between the Government of Belize and NCL about the Memorandum of Understanding on the proposed investment at Harvest Caye opened the floodgates for opinions on the dugu ceremony and its potential insertion into large scale cruise tourism. This certainly was not the scenario in southern Belize when the Cayetano twins – Sebastian and Fabian – and their siblings decided to build a dabuyaba, which they called the Marcelo Cayetano Complex a short distance from the cliff in the village of Barranco in 1996. Most of the materials came from the surrounding bush.
  • The Battle of the Drums! 15th and 16th November:
    This drumming competition and show allows groups to compete and display their musical artistry in playing five different categories of Garifuna drumming. The first Battle of the Drums was held in Punta Gorda Town on November 17, 2006 and was well received by spectators from home and abroad. In 2007, there was an even larger audience and greater enthusiasm. In 2008 the event evolved into an international drumming competition and show involving drumming groups from various parts of Belize as well as from neighbouring Guatemala and Honduras. This competition and show has become a major local and international tourist attraction and a catalyst for significant economic activity in the Punta Gorda Area during the period when it is hosted. Food and Fete is the opening night of the Battle of the Drums weekend festivities, held on Friday, November 15, 2013 from 8:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.
  • BTIA Welcomes More New Members:
    The Ixchel Women’s Group in Indian Creek village is one of the longest established women’s groups in Toledo having been in operation for the past fifteen years. Its ten members from the community of Indian Creek make and sell crafts and show guests how they grind and make corn tortillas, extract raw sugar from the cane and other traditions of the Maya. We wrote about the Ixchel group in a previous issue of The Toledo Howler and now welcome them as one of the newest member of BTIA, working together to promote the rich cultural diversity we offer visitors to the south.
  • Maya Bags:
    BTIA welcomes back Maya Bags. They produce high quality products sold in New York department stores and Belize hotel gift shops.
  • Chocolate Festival of Belize Chocolate Cooking Competition:
    The following two recipes were entered into the chocolate cooking competition as part of the Taste of Toledo celebrations on Front Street in Punta Gorda on the Saturday of this year’s Chocolate Festival. We are pleased to reproduce them below for our readers with thanks to Katarina Polonio and Jill Burgess Young. Dark Temptation Cake by Katarina Polonio, Chocolate Chili by Jill Burgess Young
  • ProWorld Belize:
    of ProWorld started to ferment in Richard Webb’s mind, a born Peruvian. He met Nick Bryngelson while working at an NGO in the Sacred Valley, Peru. Both shared the same philosophy and ideas and started making plans to start ProPeru. ProPeru’s goals were to help Peru with capacity building, cocreate projects within the community and help the local economy, by having these interns stay and eat at local establishments. In 2000 ProPeru had their first group of students visit Cusco. In 2003, Nick visited Belize and fell in love with the country. ProPeru was now called ProWorld and Belize was the second country where ProWorld visitors could come and learn about the Belizean people and its different cultures and at the same help with workshops and projects within the community.
  • Word on the Street: The Visitor’s Perspective:
    Kim and her husband Bob are from Missouri and first came to Belize in 1999 when they wanted to visit a country that was “warm, but not too developed or touristy”. Kim recalls that they got hooked on Belize and they’ve made several return visits since then, bringing with them a number of family members and friends on their various trips. We tracked Kim down on her travels around the District to get a visitors’ perspective on Toledo. What attracted you to Toledo? My first visit south was in 2003 when I wanted to get "off the beaten path" and was interested in learning more about the various cultures. It seemed Toledo was the perfect place to do this and I love the cultural diversity that you find here. How does Toledo compare with other places in Belize? Geographically, it's similar to Cayo in terms of waterfalls, rivers and ruins but without the crowds and with the added bonus of the cayes. Toledo's various cultures are much more intact than elsewhere and you often get the feeling of witnessing something for the very first time.
  • Arzu Mountain Spirit: Natural Solutions for Low Libido:
    Many healing traditions interpret a low libido as a sign of declining health and not necessarily a sign of old age. The “loss of passion” condition is not exclusive to men, as it affects both men and women. It is called frigidity in women and impotence in men; both labels refer to the same low libido condition. Frigidity in women is a sexual unresponsiveness and inability to achieve orgasm during intercourse. Impotence in men is where you can perform sexually some of the time…, but not always, even when you have the best of intentions. Impotence is also recognized as a symptom of a medical condition called Erectile Dysfunction, or ED. We hear mostly about the male side because low sexual vitality and loss of libido is more noticeable in men. Men don’t have the benefit of being able to fake sexual performance; and when they can’t perform, they need help. Traditional medicine balances the libido in the same manner regardless of gender. Nature does not discriminate. There are a variety of treatments for impotence available today; both natured and denatured. There are different noninvasive, drug free things people can do to enhance their libido. But few are exercising that option. Most people (mostly men) are using denatured pharmaceuticals such as Viagra, Cialis and Levitra to enhance their libido regardless of the risks involved.
  • Southern Voices: Dr Joseph Palacio:
    Dr Joseph Palacio has a doctorate in anthropology and is a wellknown and respected figure throughout Belize. He was born in Barranco but moved within a year to live and grow up elsewhere. He was educated at the University of Toronto, The University of Manitoba at Winnipeg and the University of California at Berkeley. He was the first Belizean Archaeological Commissioner. He has recently moved home to his birthplace and was elected Chair of the Barranco Village Council in May. Have you always lived in Toledo? I was born here in Barranco but left before I was year old. I lived in San Antonio, Toledo where my brother was a teacher and other places around Belize. I think it was this movement, introducing me to the Maya and Creole cultures and growing up in them, that sparked my interest in anthropology. It was what I might call a “patchwork” growing up that is not at all unusual for the Garifuna. I did not return to Barranco until I came back to conduct my doctoral fieldwork and it was this that really marked my full time entry into the community.
  • Toledo Online:
    There is an increasing number of sites with information about Toledo from web sites for hotels, guest houses and tour operators , nongovernmental organizations and blogs. This issue we feature three. Find out about cacao growing by visiting the home of the Toledo Cacao Growers’ Association that has done great work encouraging the development of cacao organic cacao farming in Toledo and representing the interests of the local cacao farmers who make up the membership of the association. Ya'axché Conservation Trust is a Belizean organization which aims to maintain healthy forests, rivers and reefs for the benefit of all. Through protected area management, advocacy, and working hand in hand with communities Ya'axché strives to develop capacity for the wise use of land and natural resources in and around the Maya Golden Landscape in Toledo. Living Life to my Own Drumbeat is the personal blog of Ruth McDonald the Scottish wife of Ray McDonald a local Garifuna drummer. Her latest post begins “Some visitors to Belize may leave with the illusion that many of its residents are, shall we say, underworked.
  • Restaurant Guide
  • Calendar of Events
  • Toledo District map
  • BTIA member directory
  • Transportation schedules, including new village bus schedule
  • PG Town map


Benefits of Flight Simulator Training at Tropic Air
The main objective of a pilot is to transport Pax [travel industry slang for passenger(s)] and cargo from point A to point B in safe and efficient manner. It is important that they are comfortable and skilled with airplane control necessary to ensure a safe completion of their goal. Tropic Air has committed to this objective through investing in the future safety of their passengers; cargo and pilots in purchasing a state of the art, full motion “Redbird” Cessna Flight Simulator. The innovative Cessna Grand Caravan AATD (208B) Advanced Aircraft Training Device is the first of its kind in the area and will provide pilots with ongoing training beyond compare. The AATD was a $500,000 investment with a high yield, not only will it be invaluable for training, it will be cost effective for Tropic Air and it is great for the environment. The full motion flight simulator was a joint effort between Tropic air pilots, IT department and and Redbird Fight Simulations in Austin Texas. It has full realistic motion with a 220 degrees visual display and is FAA approved .

Isla Mujeres, Mexico Means GOOD Eats: Barlito and Rooster Cafe
I’ll repeat it because it is so true. For such a small island (barely 5 miles in length), Isla Mujeres has some amazingly delicious eats. It CERTAINLY helps that almost everything tasty that can be grown is grown in Mexico. It’s a huge populous country with all sorts of altitudes and abundant sunshine. As I always shout out – VIVA LA MEXICO. It’s one of my favorite countries in the world. And certainly one of the most fun to visit. In my last post, I ate gelato and at the gorgeous Mango Cafe located mid island. Now let’s stay in El Centro, where you, if you are staying in a hotel, are most likely staying. My very first morning there I woke up with a strong coffee craving. The same craving I always wake with. I left my hotel and walked and walked and walked. 6:45am and it was just me and the stray cats. If you are a cat lover (or even liker), you are going to love the cats in Isla. San Pedro has its beach dogs (the ones that follow you home at night to make sure you are safe and ask you to share your BBQ when you eat in the park), Isla Mujeres has a handful (or three) of street cats that lounge around like they own the place. PARTICULARLY in the morning.

Chaa Creek Signals New Growth Signs for Belize
Growth in a range of sectors throughout Belize provide a fitting end to 2013 and a harbinger of progress for 2014, according to the owner of a popular Belizean eco resort. Lucy Fleming, who with her husband Mick owns The Lodge at Chaa Creek, pointed to the expansion of transportation options as one indicator that Belize is preparing to accommodate even more visitors to its shores next year. “We just heard that National and Alamo car rentals brands will soon be available in Belize, which is another sign that major corporations have confidence in the Belizean market,” Ms Fleming said. “Combined with increased domestic and international air service announced this year, and the arrival of new tours and activities being made available, I think it’s safe to say that confidence in the Belize market is at an all-time high for 2014,’ she said.

A “Happy Birthday” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Another rainy start to the day (well the start of my day anyway) when I got up yesterday just before 05.00 hours. The rain wasn’t strong enough to stop me from taking my mug of black coffee and iPad out on to the veranda. Well not initially at least. Time enough to scan read The Times on-line and make a start (a later than I wanted to) on yesterday’s edition of the blog. But then it changed and the rain really came down and the wind drove it in to the covered veranda. Time for a quick retreat in to the condo. Being ever flexible in my approach to how I am going to spend any day I decided that I would shower, shave, etc and head to Estel’s for breakfast and finish off the blog there. I know that a short while ago I said I would try to publish by 06.30 hours but its not set in stone! It was rainy when I set off from the condo we are renting during our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize so the raincoat came out (again) and when I got to Estel’s the tables that provide cover from the rain were all taken so I was ‘forced’ to sit inside. Not the biggest hardship in the world but not as good a view as you get from the ‘deck’ outside. There was a bonus though. With the view not being as good I did focus on the blog and managed to complete the edition, albeit a few hours later than my target time.

Make This at Home: Cochinita (Pork) Pibil Tacos
Traditionally, cochinita pibil was buried in a pit with a fire at the bottom to roast it. Cochinita means “young pig” and the Maya word pibil means “buried.” Luckily, these days we can replicate the same effect (sans the smoky flavor, of course) by using a slow-cooker. The secret is in the marinade – a mixture of spices, achiote for color and sour Seville oranges for that unique flavor. The pork is slow cooked, pulled apart and left to soak in its own savory juices until it tastes like perfection. Today we’re going to show you how to create this incredible Belizean dish at home. Get ready for mouth-watering goodness!

International Sources

5 Mayan Temple Sites to Visit in Belize
Archaeologists affirm that Belize was once the center of the Mayan civilization because of the country's varied flora and fauna and abundance of marine life, which was favorable to the growth of the population. Between 250 AD to 900 AD, over one million Mayan people lived in present day Belize, and today a treasure trove of sacred caves, beautiful palaces and ball courts can be found in ancient Mayan cities throughout Belize. Here are the top must-see Mayan temples in Belize:

New Lead Deepens Mystery of $14.3M Unclaimed Lottery
Iowa has given a Canadian man immunity in exchange for information about a never-collected $14.3 million lottery jackpot that was initially claimed and then inexplicably abandoned, according to state prosecutors. Shaw said he was claiming the prize on behalf of an anonymous trust. He said the trust's proceeds would go to a corporation in Belize, a country that has a reputation as a tax haven. Lottery officials refused to pay the jackpot until Shaw divulged names of everyone who had possessed the ticket, saying they wanted to know that it had been legally possessed. Shaw later withdrew his claim and the $14.3 was forfeited, leaving lottery officials baffled.

CARICOM Nationals Should have Easier Access by June 2014
Jamaicans and other CARICOM nationals should, by June 2014, have easier access to member states, and be able to fully exercise their rights to travel, work and seek out other opportunities as provided for under the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) arrangement. This is being facilitated through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)-funded CARICOM Trade and Competitiveness Project (CTCP), under which a critical electronic database is being established. It will, among other things, provide member countries with aggregated information on the various skill sets available, through a web-based portal being developed by project consultant, A-Z Information Jamaica Limited.

Central America: Strategies against school failure
Central America is seeking new strategies to protect schools from the violence committed by gangs, which has contributed to the academic failure of about 3.6 million children each year. At the primary school level, 32.7% of Central American students drop out or repeat a grade. In high school, the figure rises to 69.2%, according to the report “Finishing School in Central America: The Pending Challenges” by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Of the eight countries analyzed in the report, Belize retains the highest percentage of students in primary school, with 86%, followed by the Dominican Republic (83.7%), Costa Rica (81.9%), Panama (81.2%), El Salvador (64.7%), Guatemala (52.5%) and Nicaragua and Honduras (44.3%).

BTL proposes higher dividend payment
The directors of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) proposed a dividend payment of USD 0.12 per share, slightly higher than last year, although profits declined. It is the highest dividend pay-out since 2009 from the state-controlled operator. During the fiscal year, revenues fell by USD 2.5 million to USD 10.5 million. For the next fiscal year, BTL is considering the launch of an IPTV service and is preparing the liberalisation of VoIP services, reports local portal Amandala.

Make Mayan a cruise: Sailing around Central America in the lap of luxury
The Oceania Riviera is that kind of ship. I've heard about luxury but, come on... For most Brits, Oceania is a word-of-mouth American cruise line. As the Caribbean groans with numerous bulging 2,000-up liners, Oceania has pitched for the grey-haired, white-collar, usually retired market. Decorous and dignified travellers who pay well for quality cruises, food and ambience. On board the Riviera, out of Miami, Oceania's new mid-size vessel for 700 to 1,250 guests on a Mayan Mystique voyage around Central America, the passengers received the benefit of those considerations. Third stop was Belize for a trip down the New river to the Lamanai Mayan site. The high point for me was sailing past the New River Cove Pyramid Of Health, a fashionable and expensive rehabilitation clinic and sanatorium for alcoholics sited next door to a huge Old Masters rum distillery. We drifted past jungle foliage sprouting air plants as big as Christmas trees, and we drank in the silence of the calm waters. In the distance we saw carts and horses belonging to an old orthodox Mennonite community which found sanctuary in Belize. The Mayan ruins? Grandiose ancient pyramids and the faint outlines of those granite-faced Indians just visible on some rocks.

Close Encounters of the Octopus Kind
I love octopuses – or is it octopi? They’re so smart, I can’t bring myself to eat them. I was snorkeling off the coast of San Pedro in Belize in very shallow water, when I spotted some movement – my first octopus sighting! Quick as a whistle, it darted into a reef and changed color, turning white to blend in with the coral. Then, much to my amazement, it latched on to a conch shell and started pulling it over itself, until only two beady eyes remained.

Eco-Lite: The Belize Zoo
The Belize Zoo got another great write up, and in this article you can see the new cafe and entrance that they've built, which look great. There are some extremely high resolution pictures there too. "The Belize Zoo is easily worth a couple of hours just to see all the gorgeous birds in very attractive aviaries and read the info-plaques on the exhibits. I love how the zoo educates both Belizeans and tourists about how the birds and animals are part of their cultural heritage and should be protected and treasured!"

October 9, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

STP projects on Ambergris Caye are moving forward
The San Pedro Sunset Boardwalk and Water Taxi Terminal Projects are expected to be completed by November 2013. Despite major opposition by a sector of the Ambergris Caye residents, ground was broken in June of 2012, 14 months ago. Terry Wright from the Sustainable Tourism Project (STP) Unit said that up to date, the project is going well and it not too far away from completion. He explained that 100% of the lagoon area for the field has been reclaimed, and the top layer of sand fill is currently being spread. In addition, 100% of the water taxi concrete platforms, complete with masonry work, roofing and rendering of terminal building walls, is finished. Wright said that the wooden picket sections of the perimeter fence have been installed, with only the top portion underway.

New Peace Corps Volunteers assigned to La Isla Bonita
The Peace Corps is a volunteer program run by the United States government and Peace Corps Belize aims to assist people in health and education. Christina Chapman is currently residing in San Pedro as the newest Peace Corps Volunteer. Christina is 26 years old and originally from Boise, Idaho, USA. Christina will be serving two years here in Ambergris Caye, focusing on the north side of the island including areas such as San Mateo, Boca del Rio and San Juan. Peace Corps Belize aims to promote healthy living and reduce factors that can lead to diabetes and hypertension by introducing the community to making healthy food choices and incorporating exercise into daily activities.

Annual Boat Licensing Exercise
The Belize Port Authority (BPA) hereby informs the general marine public that the registration and licensing exercise for the year 2014 will commence on October 7th, 2013. During this exercise all vessels involved in coastal and river service shall be registered and licensed, including skiffs, Jet Skis, sailing vessels, launches, tugboats, barges, dredges or any other watercraft used to ply the waters of Belize, including the inland waterways, as required under the Laws of Belize, Chapter 234, Revised Edition- 2000, Harbours and Merchant Shipping Act.

BTB Tourism Statistics January – August 2013
2013 started off with exceptional overnight arrivals. January, February, and March of this year saw 17.2%, 14.3%, and 13.0% increases, respectively, when compared to last year’s overnight arrivals. Arrivals for July and August did not disappoint. There was an estimated increase of 8% for both months. Overall, the period of January – August 2013 saw roughly 17,228 more visitors than 2012. The chart below shows the arrivals of overnight visitors from January through to August of 2012 and 2013. Arrivals this year, thus far, have surpassed 2012 for every month, except April. Overall, overnight visitors have increased by 8.7%. With these numbers, we are well on our way to making the 300,000 overnight visitors mark.

Ambergris Today

Belize Port Authority Notifies Boat Owners of Annual Licensing Exercise
The Belize Port Authority (BPA) hereby informs the general marine public that the registration and licensing exercise for the year 2014 will commence on October 7th, 2013. During this exercise all vessels involved in coastal and river service shall be registered and licensed, including skiffs, Jet Skis, sailing vessels, lanchons, tugboats, barges, dredges or any other watercraft used to ply the waters of Belize, including the inland waterways, as required under the Laws of Belize, Chapter 234, Revised Edition- 2000, Harbors and Merchant Shipping Act.

Tourism Arrivals for Belize Continue Upward Trend
The Belize Tourism Board has just released tourism statistics from January to August 2013 that indicate that the year started off with exceptional overnight arrivals and statistic show an increase in arrivals throughout the year compared to 2012. January, February, and March of this year saw 17.2%, 14.3%, and 13.0% increases, respectively, when compared to last year’s overnight arrivals. Arrivals for July and August did not disappoint. There was an estimated increase of 8% for both months. Overall, the period of January – August 2013 saw roughly 17,228 more visitors than 2012.

Letters to the Editor: Reconstructing the Youths Mentality for National Development
Dear Editor, Please allow me space in your reputable newspaper to address issues relating to the “youth mentality”, which are considerably important to our National Development. Some people might ask, what is “Reconstructing the Youth Mentality for National Development”? Well, in my professional perspective, the majority of our young people in Belize is poor and thus, is OVERLOOKED. The system TOLERATES this. We, at the Teens Belize Organization say that this must change. There is URGENT NEED for reconstructing the youth mentality if our youths are to take Belize to economic prosperity. Currently, the majority who is poor, and are at a disadvantaged, just “go” with the flow. But they have potential, but it’s no use they advance this potential because the system generates a sense that “it’s the survival of the fittest”. How about “the fittest who survive” help those who didn’t survive the system? Have our people “up there” ever thought of that?

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize and Guatemala election officials meet in San Ignacio town
Electoral officials of Belize and Guatemala met on Sunday in San Ignacio town. President of the Election and Boundaries Commission Bernard Q. Pitts headed the Belize delegation while the Guatemala delegation was led by the president of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal Maria Eugenia Villagran de Leon. A statement from the OAS, under whose auspices the meeting was held, says that the purpose of the meeting was to “exchange information, experiences and best practices in electoral management; identify areas for the inter-institutional collaboration; and further learn about the norms and processes in each country to conduct referendums.” The meeting was held on the same day on which Belize and Guatemala were due to hold simultaneous referendums so that the people of the respective countries could determine whether or not the centuries old claim by Guatemala to Belizean territory should be submitted to the International Court of Justice for final resolution.

Don't miss out on this event! We will be having lots of entertainment and cultural presentations.

UB Wins ATLIB Softball
Congratulations to the University of Belize Black Jaguars for winning both the male and female softball tournaments! "UB Black Jaguars Male and Female Softball Teams are the new ATLIB Softball Champions after defeating Ecumenical Junior College (EJC) and Independence Junior College (IJC) on October 5, at the Governor General Field, Belmopan. The females beat EJC by a landslide 16-1 in the final game, and defeated IJC with a score of 8 to 2. Sharine Reyes was named Most Valuable Player. In related news, Males triumphed against IJC scoring 15-7 and edged out EJC 8 to 7 The MVP was no other than Nick Chung. The Recreation and Sports Department thanks all those who supported the females and congratulates the UB Black Jaguars Softball team. Congratulations UB Black Jaguar Softball Teams!"

World Culture Band at Soul Project
More pictures from the World Culture Band's first performance at the Soul Project. They'll be back soon. Thank to both the WCB and the Soul Project for having such a wonderful concert. "The World Culture Band, along with Emmanuel Mangar and Eddie Allen, rocked the Soul Project Saturday night."

New Stamps Issue (5 photos)
“The 100th Anniversary of the Pallotine Sisters in Belize”

Bilateral Meeting of Electoral Authorities of Belize (3 photos)

Channel 7

Nationality Section Closed As Mystery Nationality Documents Keep Popping Up
Tonight, the nationality section of the Immigration Department has been closed down pending investigation into missing documents. No official word has been received but 7news has learned that it will be closed for two weeks as an inventory of all documents is conducted. We could not reach Immigration minister Godwin Hulse for comment, but 7News has learned that after Arthur Saldivar's allegation last night that hundreds of documents had been set aside for destruction - an investigation has to be made to see if indeed files are missing or were secretly set aside for disposal. It's is a very big "if", and virtually an existential one for the Department as they face the very real prospect that a parallel operation was running in the background, secretly issuing nationality documents for files that never came to the surface. Again, we stress that is only a possibility -but one we must speculate on - after Arthur Saldivar produced more documents of dubious and disturbing origin today.

Mayor: Eric Change Had Better Come Home By This Friday, Or Else
And while we expect Hulse's disclosures are having a stultifying effect on the higher-up's at the Immigration Department - the other issue is Deputy Mayor Eric Chang. He has been informally linked to the Citizen Kim scandal - and was expected to answer questions when he came back to Belize from Taiwan on October third. But Chang hasn't returned - and he's about to go a week over his approved leave from council duties. Monica Bodden asked Mayor Darell Bradley about his extended leave and what it means for Chang's role as Deputy Mayor:... Mayor Darrell Bradley "Eric Chang is still in Taiwan. He was slated to return on October 3rd. He didn't return on the 3rd. The council had a meeting last week and we address this issue and the council determines that we are going to send him a communication which I have. I have written him and ask him return as early as possible. Members of the council have been in communication with him but of course of the immigration issue that's a looming pressure and rightly so, members of the public want him to explain himself. The council also wants to get information because we are conducting an internal review in relation to his involvement if any, because we are hearing allegations. There are investigations going on, but we don't have anything concrete as yet. We are still waiting for those investigations to be completed. We also want an opportunity to be able to dialogue with Councilor Chang and to get an explanation from him as it relates to what is going on so that we could answer questions to the public because rightly the public needs to know the full extent of what is going on and so it doesn't take anyone in the City Council - I think we are doing a lot of good work and we need to maintain that reputation for integrity and accountability."

BNTU, Subzero Tolerance For Immigration Antics
Well, the Belizean National Teacher's Union is fed up with all of it. The union issued an angry release today on the Citizen Kim passport saying that it reeks of corruption, and adding that the union has a, quote, "unflinching, subzero tolerance when it comes to our nation's patrimony being compromised." The statement emphatically declares, "the time is now to deal with this situation....nothing less than a national and international scandal...apply the laws, now and leave no stone unturned." The statement urges quote, "all right minded citizens to join in demanding that this declaration be heeded." The statement closes by saying, quote, "the wheels of justice must turn in all quarters and all directions..the BNTU is prepared to oil the wheel and keep it oiled." We could not reach the president to find out the meaning behind that promising, but ultimately oblique metaphor.

13,000 Fake Nikes, 31,000 Fake Converse Found in Belize Headed For Free Zone
Three containers full of bogus Nike, Converse and Chanel merchandise are sitting at the Queen's Bond Warehouse at the Customs Department in Belize City tonight after they were busted by agents of Nike who flagged the container when it left China weeks ago. The containers were destined for a Chinese-owned company in the Corozal Free Zone named Pacific Ocean International Ltd. Nike's trademark is registered in Belize, and so it's local attorney David Morales contacted customs to open the containers and inspect them. That started yesterday with two forty-foot containers. Those were stuffed with 13,000 pairs of fake Nike tennis shoes. Morales tells us that is the biggest seizure of fake Nike tennis shoes this year in Central and South America and the Caribbean - eclipsing a bust of 12,000 made earlier this year in Colombia. The Nike tennis vary in type from Air Max CROSS TRAINERS to KING JAMES basketball shoes to 501 RUNNING SHOES. While that was in container number one, container number two was full of Nike shorts, thirty thousand of them - again all fake. And then today they opened container number three which was stuffed with thirty one thousand pairs of fake Converse all-star tennis shoes - which is like whoa! Morales says that too may be the 2013 high for the region, but they haven't confirmed that yet. Speaking of the NIKE Products, Morales says the fakes are good and even the trained eye can't easily tell if they are bogus. He said they had to send the bar code to Nike Headquarters in Oregon to confirm that they are fakes.

Belizean, “El Diablo” Shot in Calderitas
Tonight, Mexican newspapers are reporting that 41-year-old, Belizean also known as Delmar Javier Guerra was shot in Calderitas, Chetumal in what looks to be a targeted attack. Multiple reports from Mexican newspapers say he is a customs officer, but Customs says he is not and has no affiliation with the department. They say he is known to frequent the northern border. We have found out that he is from San Joaquin where he is known as "El Diablo" - and as the name might imply, he is known for underworld movements. According to the reports, he was shot to the left side of the neck near the restaurant zone in Calderitas and is now fighting for his life at a local hospital. The news outlets say that they treated Guerra, and police arrested a taxi driver who witnesses say, was an accomplice in the shooting. According to the Quintana Roo newspapers, local authorities are yet to reveal if the attack was an attempted execution, as unofficially, it is said that the incident is linked to organized crime.

BDF Took Fire In Chiquibul
Last week Wilfred Elrington told the united nations general assembly about the problems with Guatemalans in the Chiquibul, and tonight, the BDF is reporting tonight that it led a special operation in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve over the past week from October 1st to the 8th. The stated purpose of the operation was to deter unauthorized activities such as logging, hunting, fishing, gold panning, poaching, and pilfering of our archeology sites in our National Reserves. The joint law enforcement team comprising members of the Belize Police Department, FCD, and the BDF, came under hostile fire approximately 12 meters east of the Belize/Guatemalan border. This is an area commonly known as Cebada Camp. Thee Belize law enforcement personnel returned fire and subsequently detained two male persons who they later found out to be Guatemalan nationals 17 year old Carlos Didal Sanntias, from Santa Elena Flores and 27 year old Domingo Cuz Xol, from Santa Maria Alta Verapaz Guatemala. A third person was able to make good his escape. Three weapons and seven live rounds of ammunition as well as expended shells were recovered from the scene. Both men were escorted to the San Ignacio Police Station to face charges.

Man On Parole Gets Bail For Drug Trafficking
32 year old Ryan Tillett and 26 year old Mason Patnett both pleaded not guilty to drug trafficking when they appeared before the Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith this morning. According to police, a check point was set up at La Democracia and at 9:30 Saturday morning, they saw a black Saturn approaching them. The driver of the car was told to pull over to the side of the road, but instead of doing so, he sped away heading to Belize City. The police set chase after the car and as the car arrived at Mile 23, they saw the car stop, one of the occupants got out and threw out a large black plastic bag. The person then got back into vehicle and drove off. Police were able to stop the vehicle and took the two occupants back to Mile 23 where the bag was thrown. When the bag was retrieved and opened in their presence, it was found to contain weed. The men and suspected drugs were taken to the Hattieville Prison where the drugs were weighed and totaled two thousand five hundred and forty five grams, or five and a half pounds.

Social Partners Call UDP PAC, A “Charade”
Just two weeks ago - it looked like the UDP had managed a political coup, the meetings of the Public Accounts Committee seemed to be going so well - with the social partners sitting in, a chartered accountant on board and the senior public officers there to testify. Well, if the UDP government thinks that worked, they'd better come again. The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Council of Churches, the Association of Evangelical Churches and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize issued a joint statement today. It says, quote, "we wish to make it categorically clear that we absolutely cannot support the present Public Accounts Committee's unilateral public hearings." End quote. It adds, "Albeit our respective Senators/representatives have been in attendance at these hearings they are there merely as observers, and not as an endorsement of these hearings. The recent statements advanced in the media, suggesting that the churches and social partners are fully on board with the PAC public hearings initiative, are grossly inaccurate. We cannot, and will not, in any way shape or form; legitimize "the government investigating itself"!" end quote.

Tropic Air’s High-Tech Flight Simulator
Tropic Air has been spreading its wings regionally with flights to Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico. The company boasts about its 11 aircraft and 250 staff in 15 destinations. And while that's all well and good, what passengers care about most is flight safety. And now, Tropic has taken a meaningful step in that direction with the acquisition of a flight simulator. Daniel Ortiz went to San Pedro today to take a spin on this very high tech toy:.. Daniel Ortiz reporting At first glance, it probably looks like an amusement park ride, but this state of the art, full motion "Redbird" Cessna Flight Simulator is anything but that. It represents an investment of approximately half a million dollars, and is fully equipped with all the flight instruments, switches, and levers one would find in the cockpit of the most up to date Cessna aircraft available. And why shouldn't it? After all, every single Tropic Air pilot will get advanced training using this simulator.

“Robbery” Stabbed In Eye
It didn't make it into the police report, but 7news ah confirmed reports that a well known street figure Kareem Lopez known as "Robbery" from the Lake Independence area was stabbed in the eye yesterday. We are told his injury was serious and he was rushed to the hospital. But best information today is that he discharged himself and will not be seeking police action. Reports suggest he may have been stabbed as the result fo a family dispute.

Talking Around A Referendum With The OAS
It's not quite referendum talk, but, On Monday, electoral authorities of Belize and Guatemala met in San Ignacio, Belize under the auspices of the OAS. A release says they exchanged information, experiences and best practices in electoral management; identify areas for inter-institutional collaboration; and further learn about the norms and processes in each country to conduct referendums. Guatemala ?s delegation was headed by the President of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, María Eugenia Villagrán de León, and Mr. Bernard Pitts, President of the Elections and Boundaries Commission, led the Belizean delegation. The meeting took place within the framework of the new confidence-building measures that both countries adopted last May with a view to improving the conditions necessary to establish a new date to hold the simultaneous referenda.

Channel 5

Nationality office is sealed off amid the new allegations of immigration corruption
At eleven-thirty this morning the nationality section in Belmopan closed its doors to the public. At a meeting, the staff was told only that because of an investigation they would [...]

Minister Hulse says the D.P.P. and police are not locked out from investigating
So what does this development mean for the ongoing investigation? Minister Hulse told us that the two matters – the leaked documents and the passport scandal – are two different [...]

Rhetorical question: will there be a criminal investigation into mess at immigration department?
The Minister accused us of asking rhetorical questions, but we were genuinely confused at that point. The question remains – can the D.P.P. and the Police institute a criminal investigation [...]

Dubai national, who got nationality and passport, is of interest to the U.S.
There is fresh information tonight that the disgraced Elvin Penner signed off on loads of nationality certificates to Middle Eastern and Asian nationals. The documents are being made available by [...]

Is attorney Arthur Saldivar abusing and manipulating nationality documents?
Arthur Saldivar is not disclosing how the more than a hundred and fifty documents found their way into his hands just before they were destroyed. But he says he will [...]

Is the nationality department also involved in the illegal issuance of nationality certificates?
Do you believe that the nationality department is also involved in the illegal issuance of nationality certificates? Yes or No. Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to [...]

Where in the world is Eric Chang?
Belize City Councilor Eric Chang is still missing in action. But his name continues to come up in the passport scandal which saw the fall from grace of Elvin Penner. [...]

Mayor Darrell Bradley says that still no response from Chang on his return
So where is Eric Chang tonight? Well nobody knows for sure, though the best guess is that he is still in Taiwan. He was scheduled to return to Belize on [...]

Vision Inspired by the People wants Godwin Hulse removed
Multiple entities and organizations today came out swinging at the government of Belize. In regards to the Penner passport scandal, the B.N.T.U. took the first vicious swing via press release, [...]

Huge bust of fake Nike products at Customs
There was a huge bust of counterfeit fake goods on Monday night worth millions of dollars. Customs officials were keeping an eye out for the fake goods since last week [...]

Attempted execution of Belizean in Calderitas
The Mexican newspaper, Diario de Quintana Roo, is reporting today that Belizean, Delmar Javier Guerra, a resident of San Joaquin up north was shot in Calderitas on Monday. The report [...]

Chamber of Commerce calls for PM, Senate and Commissioner of police to deal with passport issue
As we said earlier, there are now calls for an independent commission of inquiry. The Chamber of Commerce this afternoon called on the Prime Minister, the Senate, and the Commissioner [...]

B.N.T.U. and social partners want an investigation into passport scandal
Not much has been heard from the unions on the on the passport scandal since the story broke on September nineteenth, that is until today, when the militant Belize National [...]

Human remains found in Belmopan
With so much happening on the political scene, the discovery of what seem to be human bones in Belmopan went somewhat under the radar. The bones were discovered by workers [...]

A glaring error in the amendment to the Criminal Code
An amendment to the Criminal Code was discussed up to late this evening in the Senate Committee in Belmopan. It drew the attention of a large representation from the churches [...]

Mark Lizarraga says that there is a critical need for 13th senator
Whatever the reason, the fact is that the government maintains a majority in the Senate. That means that once a bill is presented by government, the extreme likelihood is that [...]


Family In Northern Belize Needs Help In Finding Missing Family Member
A family of Santa Martha Village in the Orange Walk District is looking for their loved one who has been missing for one week. Thirty-nine year old Andres Sosa who resides in Santa Martha Village Orange Walk went missing last Wednesday October second in United Ville, Cayo, where he has been working for the past seven months. His cousin Yasmina Chaneck spoke with Love News. YASMINA CHANECK “He came to work here and now he disappeared andwe see that the police don’t want to do anything because we came from Santa Marta to try and help his family and the police here are not doing anything. We have made a report to the police and we expected to hear it on the news or something, that he is missing but they have not said anything. He was working here Mr. Mike is the chairman here and he was working with the chairman. He was working in construction along with his little brother because they say that his little brother came to bring food for him from Melchor every day. Then he came one day and did not find him.”

More Evidence of Wrong Doings at Immigration?
Yesterday attorney Arthur Saldivar dropped a bombshell when he revealed that he has come in possession of a number of documents that contain irregularities. As promised, Saldivar came forth today with what he referred to as original documentation from the Ministry of Immigration of two more instances where Former Minister of State, Penner was involved. The documents, according to Saldivar, were slated to be destroyed. One allegedly contains Penner’s signature, while the other purports to contain the signature of Ady Pacheco, who works out of the Immigration and Nationality Department. Saldivar spoke first about the two individuals whose documents were allegedly fraudulently processed. And one of the individuals is a person who Saldivar says is of interest internationally. ARTHUR SALDIVAR “The two individuals whose names appear on the documents, one is supposedly an oriental, you would notice that the picture on the document itself appears to be somewhat manufactured or manipulated. The second individual is a Middle Eastern person; from our information, Mr. Ibrahimi is of ill repute and there may be a situation where he is being investigated internationally; so, again what is to be borne in mind is that there are receipts for the applications of these persons but the files don’t show all the required documents.

Three Million Dollars of Imitation Brands to Be Destroyed by Customs
The Customs Department is tonight conducting an investigation involving the importation of roughly three million dollars-worth of fake Nike, Converse and Chanel products. Love News has learned that three containers containing Nike tennis and tights, converse tennis and Chanel handbags, perfumes and clothing, arrived in the country last week Wednesday. It was discovered during the processing of the paperwork while at the Queen’s Bound on the Customs compound that the containers were loaded with generic merchandise. According to Trademark Infringement Investigator, Robert Cadle, anyone can detect upon close inspection, that in the case of the Converse tennis, the items are not genuine because they are made of cheap material and the All Star tags, soles and inner linings are of inferior quality. The All Star tags in particular are stitched only on both sides, while the genuine Converse brand has the tag sewn all around. Cadle says that in the interest of not having the genuine brand names appear to be sporting cheaply made products, they will not be donated to any organization, but will have to be destroyed if the importer does not challenge that decision. The importer has been identified as Pacific Ocean International Limited, a company based in the Corozal Free Zone.

Belizean Man Shot: Did A Drug Deal Go Bad Across Border?
A Belizean was shot yesterday in Calderitas, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Information to LOVE NEWS is that Delmar Javier Guerra, a resident of San Joaquin Village, Corozal District was shot in what is believed to be a drug transaction gone wrong. Details are not quite available but we understand that yesterday afternoon around 3:30 Delmar Javier Guerra was at Walmart in Chetumal and from there hired a taxi to take him to Calderitas, a small coastal village north of Chetumal. There he waited under a tree near El Santuario el Manati Resturant. Shortly after, another taxi approached and a young man exited. The young man approached Guerra and pointed a black gun at him. The proprietor of a nearby restaurant who was outside of his establishment told us what he saw. OWNER “What happened was that taxi came with a man in a green shirt that was looking for someone. He came out of the taxi and began talking on the telephone. The taximan began to talk with someone who he told that the man was there in a green shirt. Shortly after about two or three minutes someone came who shot the guy. When I turned around I saw when they were pointing the gun at him and shooting. It was a dark skin man with a blue shirt and hat. He came pointed and shot him. He was shot to the mouth and the bullet exited by his neck.

Students Encouraged to Read Through New Library at Methodist School
Corozal Town Methodist Primary School has a new library. The new facility was officially opened yesterday afternoon in the presence of the school body and parents. Gwendolyn Monima is the principal and told us it took the school approximately six months to get the facility operating. GWENDOLYN MONIMA “Well as a staff we decided that we need a special place where the children can read and enjoy reading. We noticed that when we had a mini library in the staff room they were always crowding it; so, we had a need for them to have that space of their own. We discussed it and then we had a team from Oklahoma under the patronage of Pastor Maxmus; he came, did the painting, made the shelves and donated two tables. We also had another donor from the United States, she is a past student and she gave us some donations to fix a wall because the wall was not properly done. Some other parents came in and gave us some books; it’s not just the school effort, it’s a community effort by the other stakeholders, so we were able to put this library together. It took us about six months; there is a computer lab here and that will be linked to this library with one or two computers in here so the children can use.”

Drug Bust on Bus Headed East
An early morning drug bust on board a bus led Police to the discovery of over five pounds of marijuana. The bus was headed into Belize City from the Cayo District. Police say just before ten o’clock this morning they were conducting operations for illegal substances and other items on board an A and E bus when they came across 39-year-old Ellis Rudon and 51-year-old Dorla Faber. The two are expected to be charged with drug trafficking.

PC In Southern Belize Faces Firearm Charge
A police constable was detained and charged for a criminal offence in Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details. PAUL MAHUNG “A Police constable was detained and charge for a criminal offence in Punta Gorda. Officer in command Toledo Police Formation Superintendent Simeon Alvarez spoke of the incident.” SUPERINTENDENT SIMEON ALVAREZ “At around 12:30 on Sunday morning, 6thOctober, a police officer attached to the Dangriga formation, David Mejia Jr., stationed at a substation in Silk Grass Village visited Punta Gorda Town and was socializing at the sports bar which is situated on George Price Street. Apparently he had an altercation with a police officer attached to this formation and as a result of that he went outside of the establishment and allegedly fired two shots from his police service revolver in the air. As a result of that, the police responded and they detained him and took away his firearm. Found in his firearm was 2 expended shells, three live rounds of ammunition and one in his pocket.

4 Years Later: Better Crop Returns for Sugar Cane Farmers
The cane price estimate as of September 30, 2013 has been released by the Belize Sugar Industries Limited and what it shows is an increase in the estimated cane price. The last estimation released at the second payment for farmers was at $68.84 and the new estimated price stands at $73.17. Chairman of the Committee of Management at the Belize Sugar Cane Farmer’s Association Alfredo Ortega spoke more about the estimated price. ALFREDO ORTEGA “It reflects very good for us as farmers; this gives a reflection on the quality of cane that was delivered and also in the information that BSI has provided for us, it detailed on how they reached to this estimate at this point in time. All the sugar has been transported to the EU and to the different destinations such as Canada; our main sources are EU and Canada and the rest is for local consumption, also the molasses. There is an agreement that is in the contract between BSI and Tate & Lyle, that for every ton that is being sold, over the 70,000 tons, there will be revenue sharing between Tate & Lyle and BSI based on the price of the sugar that is being sold in the EU. It reflects that they are giving us 100 euros per ton and that reflects on the portion of 70,000 tons; the amount that was sold to the EU is 94,541 tons; so, based on the 24,541 it is where we are getting that 100 lbs. euros per ton and this gave us that opportunity to increase the estimate at this point in time.”


Customs Detain Containers With Imitation Brand Merchandise
The Customs Department is tonight conducting an investigation involving the importation of roughly three million dollars-worth of fake Nike, Converse and Chanel products. Love News has learned that three containers containing Nike tennis and tights, converse tennis and Chanel handbags, perfumes and clothing, arrived in the country last week Wednesday.


Police Commissioner and FIU director comment on Penner investigation
Many have called for a criminal investigation into the deal created by Elvin Penner to benefit a business friend, South Korean Kim Won-Hong, by granting him a Belizean passport. Talk show host Evan “Mose” Hyde and at least one other person have made formal complaints with local police. But...

PUP launch recall challenge in Cayo Northeast
With official confirmation that United Democratic Party (UDP) area representative and former Minister of State for Immigration and Border Protection Elvin Penner would not resign his post, the effort by the People’s United Party (PUP) to force a recall referendum, the first in Belizean history under...

UDP National Party Council meets in Belize City
The United Democratic Party’s National Party Council met at its Belchina headquarters in Belize City on Saturday morning. It is the third highest authority in terms of governance of the ruling party, trailing only the Central Executive Committee and the National Convention in importance. This...

Murder of PG resident in Belize City
Police say they believe - Gary Mancel Pratt, 28, originally from Punta Gorda Town, was mistakenly killed on Friday night. According to Police he was in a yard on Antelope Street Extension when a slim built man approached him and shot at him several times, hitting...

Suspected human remains discovered at Belmopan dump site
According to reports from the City of Belmopan Police Formation. On Saturday at about 2:15p.m., acting upon information received, police visited an area about 100 yards away from the entrance of the Garbage Dump, on the Hummingbird Highway, Cayo District, upon arrival at the location police observed what appeared...

Foreign Minister unfazed by Guatemalan disapproval
With the vote of confidence given him by Prime Minister Dean Barrow on Friday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington could afford to boast just a bit as he gave PLUS News his first interview since returning from the United Nations General Assembly in New York City where he...

Fatal road accident involving taxi cab
Police in Corozal are investigating a fatal road accident involving a taxi cab, that claimed the life of a passenger. The deceased, 22 year old Martin Armstrong, was along with Alfred Massam and Benigno Loria in the cab of driver George Johnson travelling from Corozal Town to Consejo Village...

Taxi driver escapes with minor injuries after confrontation
In this year alone, three taxi drivers went missing during pick up runs and were subsequently found dead days later; these incidents have caused operators across the country to be on high alert when transporting passengers. And fortunately, for one Corozal cab driver, he managed to escape with only...

Judicial officials discuss money laundering and drug trafficking
Crime is the business of the courts – at least, one-half of it – but drug trafficking and money laundering, at least the kind known to be carried out by major operatives, is rarely pursued. Today in Belize City the Central American Integration System (SICA) hosted a one-week conference...

Belize represented at 52nd Directing Council of PAHO
Minister of Health Hon. Pablo Marin represented Belize at the 52nd Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) which was held last week in Washington DC. According to a government press release sent this morning, health officials have devised and agreed upon an action plan which aims...

Plus TV settles out of court
This television station was sued for defamation of character by Minister of National Security John Saldivar, who is also the Belmopan Area representative. John Saldivar claimed that earlier this year statements made about him on our “Rise and Shine” morning program by co-host Patrick Jason Andrews defamed his character....

PACT receives grants for research and conservation
On Monday some $736,000 in grants for research projects and conservation and environmental development were handed out by the Protected Areas Conservation Trust. Keynote speaker Minister for Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development Lisel Alamilla paid tribute to the awardees. Minister Lisel Alamilla We’re here today giving two research...

Athletic Association holds elections during its AGM
The Belize Amateur Athletic Association (BAAA) held elections during its annual general meeting over the weekend in Belize City. The Association was suspended by its parent body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) following internal disputes. The new president is Hugh “Pinas” Staine, who spoke to PLUS News...

Two persons detained after searches in Belize City
On Friday, the Precinct Two Quick Response Team in the old capital, conducted an anticrime operation targeting known criminal elements and crime ridden areas. The team searched some thirteen yards and made two detentions. A searched of an empty bushy lot situated on Lavender Street, led to the discovery...

Money stolen from James Bus
Commuters who use public transportation will know that – you board on a bus with the condition that you pay the required bus fee, but this past Friday, two men decided to play by their own rules and walked off with close to $300 after a short ride on...


Allegations are that pubic officers have been threatened not to sign. The story of disgraced Minister of State Hon. Elvin Penner, with responsibility for passports, is far from over; in fact, some say that it may have just begun. Last Wednesday, October 2, Opposition PUP Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca wrote Hon. Penner, area representative for Cayo North East, to give him an ultimatum: resign from the House, or be recalled under an electoral law that Penner’s party, the UDP, had passed in 2010. Fonseca informed Penner via that correspondence that he had until 5:00 p.m. today, Monday, to do what is in the “best interest of the people of Cayo North East” and “resign or be recalled.” According to Fonseca, Penner “has lost the trust and confidence of those he represents,” and therefore, his resignation would be his final opportunity to “put the interest of the people ahead of the United Democratic Party.”

Today, attorney Arthur Saldivar, who has said that he is “acting alone,” apart from his party, the People’s United Party, has called for the shutting down of the Immigration Department after allegedly rescuing 150 immigration documents belonging to Asians and Middle East citizens, reportedly signed by fired Minister of State Elvin Penner. But Penner’s troubles, and the troubles of his minister, Hon. Godwin Hulse, and Prime Minister Barrow, who has publicly supported him against criminal charges, saying that he already has been “properly punished” by being forced to resign from Cabinet, seem to be just beginning. Apart from the effort by the Opposition PUP to have Penner recalled from his seat, the Cayo North East constituency, and a request to the police by KREM Radio talk show Evan “Mose” Hyde to have Penner investigated criminally, the director of the powerful Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), attorney Marilyn Williams, has revealed that her unit has already begun investigating the passport scandal, and reports that about US$120,000 may have passed hands illegally.

Controversial Gender Neutral Rape Bill says, “Every person who intentionally penetrates with his penis, the vagina, anus or mouth of another person who is under the age of sixteen years, commits an offence and is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for life…” Short sentences for acts of sexual harm against persons, especially minors, and the lack of a sex offenders’ database have been a matter of grave public concern, and so the recent announcement that Cabinet, Government’s chief policy-making arm, has sponsored an amendment to Belize’s Criminal Code to toughen penalties against sex offenders was met with euphoria – that was, until certain factions realized that the bill introduces “gender neutral” language which they contend would bring legitimacy to unnatural sex acts, even while the matter is bound up in a challenge before the Belize Supreme Court. The proposed amendment, which mentions the anus along with the vagina as a sex organ 20 times on 29 pages, adds a term “parent’s partner,” sparking similar concerns as the redefining of “spouse” in a banking act introduced last year—a change which one religious leader told us was leading down “a dangerous road.”

“There is a systematic burning of immigration documents, signed by former Minister of State Elvin Penner …hundreds upon hundreds.” – Arthur Saldivar According to PUP Rural North standard bearer, Arthur Saldivar, who came to the Kremandala compound this evening with the “proof,” the Immigration Department is in the process of destroying incriminating evidence; to wit, files purportedly containing the data of a number of other Asians and others who either have received, or are in the process of, illegally receiving Belizean citizenship. All the documents, said Saldivar, approximately 150 of them, were signed by former Minister of State Elvin Penner, who was kicked out of Cabinet a little over two weeks ago by Prime Minister Dean Barrow. According to Saldivar, he and his “associates” found out that the files were being burned, and managed to rescue some of them. The Immigration Department had announced that an “intense investigation” was being conducted in the department; it now seems that indeed an “intensive investigation” was being done, but not to find out what illegality had occurred. It apparently was to find dangerous files that had to be destroyed.

The 2013 – 2014 conch season was declared open on Tuesday, October 1, and will last until June 30, next year. During this season, over 1 million pounds of Queen conch (also known as strombus gigas) will be allowed to be harvested. According to the Fisheries Department, the conch season had to be closed earlier than the stipulated deadline for the past 3 years because the quotas were met before the official end of season. During last season, about 1 million 58 thousand pounds of conch were harvested; the quota was met before the deadline and the season was closed. Hampton Gamboa said that the Department will issue a quota which will be divided among all the areas in the districts and when the individual quotas are met, the season will be closed and no more products will be accepted. There are Fisheries officers in the area to ensure that the quotas are met and not exceeded. If and when the quotas are met the season will be closed, either on or before June 30.

When the dust had settled after Week 2 games in the Premier League Opening Season on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, one team, Belize Defence Force FC, remained a perfect 2-0, to claim unchallenged 1st place in the standings. Both Verdes FC and defending champion Police United FC are yet to gain a point, having both lost their season opener; but Verdes has a better goal difference (-1) compared to Police (-2), which makes it the second week running that the defending champion maintains cellar dweller status. The early surprise is the re-entry Paradise/Freedom Fighters, who sat out last season, and are now in 2nd place with a win and a draw. On Saturday night, October 5, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium, home standing Belmopan Bandits got 3 goals from Elroy “Bibbs” Kuylen (11’, 29’ & 88’) and 1 from Deon McCaulay (51’) to grab a comfortable 4-1 win over visiting San Ignacio United FC. San Ignacio’s only goal was by Anthony Gonzalez (57’)

Last Thursday, October 3, following the completion of the Thursday Twilight Criterium on Marine Parade, the Belize Cycling Association (BCA) announced that it had made its decision “after completing four test races” as to which riders would make up the National Team to represent Belize at the upcoming Caribbean Cycling Championship in Curacao, scheduled for the weekend of Friday – Sunday, October 18 -20. The National Team consists of male cyclists – Nissan Arana, Byron Pope, Joel Borland, David Henderson and Robert Liam Stewart; and female cyclists – Shalini Zabaneh and Kerah Eiley. (Ed. Note: We have observed that of late, former Krem Classic and Women Cross Country champion Kaya Cattouse has not been participating in cycle races. She recently became a national female football champion with Triple B of Belmopan; and a source indicated that she may be shifting her attention now to body building.)

The little 10-, 11- and 12-year-olds from the Cayo Lions Den gym are raring to go, explained manager/trainer Frank Martinez by phone this evening, and he will have some of them put on a few rounds of exhibition on Saturday; but unfortunately, talks with the gym in Belize City did not result in competition coming forward for the Cayo youth, who will now have to spar amongst themselves. Nevertheless, this Saturday’s event will be a showcase that is geared to excite and inspire the youth who may want to put on the gloves and take up the sport of boxing. Thus, continued Martinez, the event being FREE is determined to accomplish exactly that; not profits at the gate right now, but raising the interest in the sport among the youth and the general public, who will get to see some good fighters from Guatemala matched against our local boxers. Building the base of the sport now is so that it can become economically viable later on.

From 1954 to 1979, the People’s United Party (PUP) won seven consecutive national elections. From 1954 to 1974, however, its percentage of the votes cast shrunk in every election, until the PUP barely got more than half of the votes in the 1974 general election, though they won two-thirds of the seats. With little more than half of the votes, however, the PUP continued to rule with an iron hand after 1974. The key element in PUP dominance of Belize’s public life was the government monopoly radio station – Radio Belize. Parliamentary democracy requires a two-party system, so that the people are presented with a choice when they go to the polls. In the higher form of parliamentary democracy, the total of Opposition seats and the ruling party backbenchers is more than the total of Cabinet Ministers. What this means is that any motion presented in the House of Representatives by the Cabinet executive can be defeated by a legislature coalition between Opposition representatives and ruling party backbenchers. This possibility has never existed in the flawed Belizean version of democracy, however, because both PUP and UDP governments have religiously made sure that almost every one of their ruling party representatives is in the Cabinet. Thus, decisions made in Cabinet are automatically passed by Belize’s House. Belize’s putative parliamentary democracy has always been deliberately sabotaged by the PUDP.

- by Evan X HydeLast week I began a partial holiday early Tuesday afternoon. I did not have anything to do with the preparation of any of our two issues last week, but on Tuesday morning from 5 to 7:30 I had sold the Tuesday Amandala from our old family home near Bolton Bridge and the Haulover Creek. I was taking a holiday because my wife and I were celebrating our wedding anniversary, besides which I felt somewhat “stressed” from a series of public events, including an awards ceremony, a funeral, and a memorial service which had come one after the other in rapid succession. It was the said last week Tuesday morning, however, when a drama began to unfold on Mose’s WUB show on KREM Television and Radio. My oldest son is a grown man, and I do not interfere in his business. Sometimes he consults with me, but that is relatively infrequently. In the Elvin Penner passport matter and Mose’s call for a police investigation, Mose was paddling his own dory on Tuesday morning.

A man swimming and spearfishing in the lagoon at the Mosquito Coast area of San Pedro – which was reportedly filled with debris – is lucky to be alive after he was attacked by a crocodile at about 8:00 Friday morning. The man struggled with the animal, which eventually released him and escaped. The victim was taken to the San Pedro Polyclinic, where he was treated and later released. Chenot Rose, an expert on crocodiles and alligators, of ACES, San Pedro, told reporters that the crocodile bit the swimmer in defense because he was invading his territory. Rose does not believe the animal was hunting for food, because the attack on the swimmer would have been fatal if that had been the case. He said that when crocodiles hunt for food, they have a deadly bite and grip, but when they are threatened, they snap in self-defense and leave the area.

A one-flat timber house and all its furnishings and equipment were completely destroyed by fire at about 11:30 this morning. The house, which was the property of Morris Amos Taylor, 84, of Ring Road in the Lake I area, was one of three timber houses in the yard, but the quick response of the Belize Fire Service confined the fire to Taylor’s house, and the other two houses were not damaged. It is not certain how the fire started, but it began inside the house, in which there was a mentally challenged woman, 32, and the front door of the house was locked. The door was later kicked open by a man in order to rescue the woman from the raging flames. A neighbor said that she was in her house sleeping when smoke aggravated her. She opened her door to see what was happening, and that was when she saw the house on fire. She noted that the door of the house was closed.

A Mennonite boy, 15, crushed to death by a stone crusher in a quarry in Shipyard, Orange Walk, a Mennonite community, last Thursday morning at about 9:00, was buried yesterday, Sunday. Information to us is that Peter Reimer was working at the quarry when he fell into the stone crusher, which was in operation, and it quickly crushed him to pieces. A younger boy who was with him ran for help, but by the time he was able to get help and the machine was shut down, Reimer was already dead. The remainder of Reimer’s body was recovered, and his corpse was taken to the Northern Regional Hospital morgue, where it was declared dead on arrival.

Bones found at the garbage dumpsite outside Belmopan about 2:15 Saturday evening have been identified as human bones. Police said that the bones will be handed over to their forensic department so that a battery of tests employing DNA testing techniques can be carried out to determine the identity of the person to whom the bones belonged. Police said that about 2:15 Saturday, they went to the garbage dump area, where they saw the bones in a hole measuring about 12 feet in length by 8 feet in width, by 3 ½ feet in depth. Beside the suspected human bones police also saw an old white cloth with red and blue stripes.

A corpse that was floating in the Mopan River in Benque Viejo about 9:30 this morning has been retrieved. Due to its state of decomposition, a post-mortem exam was conducted at the scene of the discovery, and the cause of death was certified to be drowning. Foul play was ruled out. The unidentified man, who appeared to be of Creole descent, was buried in Benque later today after the autopsy. About 9:30 this morning, a man who was walking in the area saw the corpse floating on the banks of the river, and called the police. Assistant Superintendent Dinsdale Thompson, Commander of Benque Viejo Police, told reporters that photos of the man were taken (not suited for the media due to the state of the corpse ), and these are available for viewing at the Benque Viejo Police Station, so that the body can be properly identified and given to the deceased man’s family.

Dear Editor Amandala, An associate of mine, Hubert Pipersburgh, recently presented me with an autographed copy of former Minister of government, the Hon. Fred Hunter’s book (The History of the Sovereignty of Belize by Occupation Force of Arms Treaties). First I want to publicly acknowledge and thank Fred Hunter for the work, effort, time and diligence he invested in writing and compiling this latest contribution to Belize’s limited literary collection. The author primarily focuses on a narrative that supports the view that over a sequence of various wars and conflicts spanning several centuries, the early settlers of what would become Belize won sovereignty by occupation, force of arms, and treaties. He cites several battles, among them the ambush at Yalbac in 1794 where it was reported that the settlers ambushed and defeated a Spanish invasion of 500 men led by a Col. Manuel Garcia, and of course the culminating Battle of St. George’s Caye on September 10th, 1798. It is important to note that in the various battles the author cited leading up to the St George’s Caye battle, there were many casualties, property damage, and prisoners of war that were inflicted upon the early settlers by their perennial enemy, the Spanish.

— by Wellington C. Ramos Dear Editor, On behalf of the Belizean American Caribbean Football Association Inc., we wish to extend our deepest sympathies to the families of the following football players who died recently: Louis Antonio “Mugga” Garbutt (New York City), Culebra Neal, “Pilis” Neal, Philip “Buck” Palacio and Serapio “Big Mole” Alvarez. I noticed that some players were inducted into the Avengers Football Team Hall of Fame. I did not see the names of two great players whom I played against that I think should be in this group: Jacinto “Tash” Guiterrez and Mike Martinez, better known as “Lasio.” These were two of the best strikers that ever played for Avengers in their era. All these players are prime candidates to be inducted into the Belize Football Hall of Fame. What are we waiting for?

— by J.C. Arzu Dear Editor, Belize’s 32-year-old version of “taxation without representation” is imposed on Belizeans, residents and visitors by the Belize Constitution: Chapter 4, Part 5, Section 40, Subsection 2. The Executive/Ministers of Government. And, I quote “(2) Appointments to the office of Minister shall be made by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister, from among members of the House of Representatives and of the Senate: Provided that persons holding the office of Speaker of the House of Representatives or President of the Senate may not be appointed to the office of Minister.” This is why it’s taxation without representation. As you already know, area representatives are elected at each Belize general election. However, the above portion of the Constitution dictates that the Prime Minister promote some area reps to the office of Minister of Government. Those promoted area reps, for all intents, purposes, and practice, are no longer able representatives of taxpayers for the remainder of their term in office. Effectively, leaving all taxpayers unrepresented in the third branch (the Legislature) of a democratic three-branch form of government.

— by Paul Rodriguez Editor Sir: I do not recall that when he campaigned in 2012, Prime Minister Dean Barrow sought a mandate to change our Constitution to rid our nation of its Christian values. With the introduction of a Bill to re-define rape, to criminalise assault of the anus and the mouth as equivalent to inserting the penis into a woman’s vagina, he seeks to do the following:- establish the anus and mouth as sexual organs; trivialise sexual intercourse and remove it from the sacred context of transmitting life. It is said that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. It seems that forgetting that he does not have a mandate to change our values has morphed our Prime Minister into absoluteness. It is morally obtuse not to recognise that dealing with the violation of the right of a woman to decide when and if she will participate in the process of creating a new human life is radically different and distinct from any other violation. To force a woman to carry within herself a child that is the seed of an assailant is the worst thing that could happen to her.

WPC Tanner first had her charge thrown out for want of prosecution in court on June 28; the charge was also dismissed by a Police Tribunal on July 24, but Tanner was rearrested and arraigned on the same charge on August 16, 2013 WPC Jennie Tanner was exonerated of an extortion charge this afternoon by Magistrate Clive Lino after her lawyer, Anthony Sylvester, made a submission to the court claiming an abuse of process. WPC Tanner was initially charged with extortion on January 30 this year after a report was made by Christopher Graham, that on December 11, 2012,while in San Pedro, WPC Tanner offered to “look the other way” if he gave her $100 and bought two margaritas for her, after he was stopped for driving a crowded golf cart. According to Graham, after he paid WPC Tanner the money and bought her the drinks, he reported the incident and asked to pursue the matter criminally.

The trio is accused of killing James Norales on November 23, 2012. After months of adjournments and not knowing if they would have to face a trial in the Supreme Court, Orel Leslie, 24, Brandon Baptist, 24, and Tyrone Meighan, 19, had their murder case committed for trial in the January session of the Supreme Court today. The three were arraigned in November of last year for the murder of James Norales, 28, and have been remanded ever since. The Preliminary Inquiry (PI) that the trio had been awaiting for so long almost didn’t happen, because their lawyers, Ellis Arnold and Arthur Saldivar, were pushing for the matter to be thrown out.

A mother and her son have been arrested and charged with burglary and handling stolen goods, for the burglary of a church in Trial Farm Village. They were taken to the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court yesterday, Thursday. Arke Lee, 17, of Trial Farm, was remanded until Monday, November 4, while his mother was granted bail. She was ordered to return to court on the same day with her son. Police said that all the items stolen from the church – which totaled $1,500 in value and included musical equipment – were recovered. The burglary of the church, the “Casa De Oracion” of the Black Water Creek Area of Trial Farm, Orange Walk, occurred sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon. The pastor of the church, Freddy Chuc, reported to police that when he went to the church on Wednesday afternoon, he saw the back window broken and the back door open. He then realized the church had been broken into. He checked and found that some items, including two speakers and their wires, and a power amplifier were among the items stolen.

Baiza is accused of making off with over $55,000 worth of merchandise from JEC, where she worked as the janitor. Dawn Baiza, 49, a resident of #8181 Balan Street, was arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser on one count of theft and 18 counts of handling stolen goods. According to police, Bassem Chakaron, owner of JEC located on Youth for the Future Drive, reported that on October 1, someone visited JEC and attempted to pawn a gold ring. But an inspection of the ring revealed that it was a ring that belonged to that business that had been reported missing. Chakaron decided to have the business audited and that audit revealed that between July 11, 2012, and October 1, 2013, an assortment of jewelry totaling $55,380 in value had gone missing from his business.

Police believe it to be a case of mistaken identity. A resident of Punta Gorda, who was employed at the Belize City Center demolition project, was shot and killed at about 10:15 Friday night near a yard on Antelope Street Extension. Garry Mancel Pratt, 28, of Water Supply Area in Punta Gorda, Toledo, was standing on Antelope Street Extension when a man walked up and shot him twice in the head. Pratt died almost immediately. Police say that they have a person in custody who they believe can assist them in their investigation. Pratt’s landlady, Geraldine Castillo, said that she was at home when she heard multiple gunshots. Shortly after, neighbors came to tell her that Pratt had been killed. Castillo said that she is still in a state of shock and disbelief, because Pratt did not deserve it. He was a hard worker, she said.


The Malachite Butterfly
The Malachite is a neo tropical butterfly that has large wings that are black and brilliant green or yellow green on the upper sides and light brown and olive green on the under sides. Its name is derived from the mineral malachite which is similar in color to the bright green on the butterfly’s wings. The Malachite is a popular species of Butterfly in Belize and can be found throughout Central and South America. According to Chaa Creek Naturalist Guide David Juarez, these butterflies are wonderful strong fliers and the green on their wings gleams and shines when it catches the sun. “You will enjoy every moment spent watching the Malachite Butterfly”, says David.

National Trade Information Network

Christmas Expo 2013
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), is recognized for organizing the largest most distinguished trade show in the nation, “The Expo Belize Market Place”. Over the years the BCCI received various requests from the general public and its members to explore the possibility of another Expo. It is for this reason that last year the BCCI ventured into its first Christmas Expo Extravaganza, which turned out to be a complete success attracting in excess of 4,000 people to the Kings Room of the Princess Hotel. This year the BCCI, its members and a wide assortment of businesses are bringing Christmas to you, so that you are able to make all your holiday shopping in one location. Join us two days, November 30, and December 1, at the Kings Room of the Princess Hotel from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on both days.

“Again” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Must be starting to feel slightly better because yesterday morning I woke just before 02.00 hours. I tried to get back to sleep but failed miserably so I got up, made myself a mug of black coffee, grabbed the iPad and headed to the veranda. I stayed out there long enough to have a ‘scan’ read (including the match report for the West Bromwich versus Arsenal match) of The Times on-line and finish my coffee but then I started to feel tired (which I feel is being caused by the painkillers and anti-bacterial tablets I am taking) so I went back to bed and slept through until 05.15 hours when I got up and went through the routine again. I then set about pulling together yesterday’s edition of the blog and pressed the publish icon around 07.25 hours, nearly one hour later than the publishing target time I set myself a few weeks ago. Not bad though. Not something I am going to berate myself about. I then showered, shaved and got dressed and headed off to Estel’s for breakfast – my first visit since It re-opened last Wednesday after a short ‘slow-season’ closure. Not too many people there so the service was exceptionally quick and the coffee was replenished frequently.

Tips for Backpacking in Belize
Backpacking in Belize can be both enjoyable and budget friendly if you follow a few basic tips. Belize is ideally located in Central America yet it’s more like a Caribbean island. The country is small, safe, easy to explore and locals are friendly and helpful. Luckily, it’s also an English speaking country. Just make sure you choose the right time to visit. Traveling in Belize on a shoestring budget is possible, but compared to other countries in Central America, things are a bit more expensive. Expect to pay $15 USD at inland hostels and $20 or $25 on the islands. A good plate of food will cost you an average of $5 USD per meal if you avoid fancy restaurants. As for drinks, beers are $1.5 USD at the store and $2.5 at bars. Rum is the best way to go because it’s a lot cheaper. Happy hour is a good way to get cheap drinks and most bars do it from 3PM to 6PM. If you like beach bars, here are my top five.

Amish Cook: Recipes star pumpkin, a favert fall ingredient
Since thishere is pumpkin seesen, t'column is devotid ta acoupla reed'r favert recipes involvyun' thishere tastee autumn garde goodie. Mer about t'happenings n' t'Eich'r household nex week! Pumpkin Sheetcake, PUMPKIN PIE

International Sources

Capturing the Aura of the Scottish Highlands With the iPhone 5s
National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson has praised the new camera in the iPhone 5s after using it to shoot more than 4,000 photos on his recent trip to the Scottish highlands. In a blog post on Richardson writes: With intense use (I've made about 4,000 pictures in the last four days) I've discovered that the iPhone 5s is a very capable camera. The color and exposures are amazingly good, the HDR exposure feature does a stunningly good job in [tough] situations, the panorama feature is nothing short of amazing -- seeing a panorama sweeping across the screen in real time is just intoxicating. Best of all it shoots square pictures natively, a real plus for me since I wanted to shoot for Instagram posting. Once I figured out what the camera could do well, I began to forget all the things it couldn't do at all.

Instagram: jimrichardsonng
Jim Richardson I shoot for National Geographic Magazine, and share my favorites here. Some iPhone, some from assignment. Whatever, sharing is the point. See link above.

Belize: Two Of The Most Popular Retirement Spots
Ambergris Caye is Belize's top tourist destination. And it's easy to see why. Turquoise waters, swaying palms... And the longest barrier reef in this hemisphere. The reef system is home to an underwater sinkhole called the Great Blue Hole, and to hundreds of other idyllic islands, snorkel and dive locations. And Ambergris Caye is the jumping off point to it all. If you love water sports, this is the place for you. If you're a fisherman, you can hook a pretty big fish in these waters, but be warned that you may be hooked yourself. A growing number of foreigners are calling this island... and nearby Caye Caulker... home. The larger of these two islands, Ambergris Caye is Belize's center for ocean sports during the day and for partying at night. It's the largest of the 200-plus islands off the country's coast. Most of the island's 12,000 residents (about one-third of which are expats) live in San Pedro, the only town on the island.

Zoo Block Party Fundraiser Planned
The SUNY Cortland community has rallied in the past to support an adopted zoo in a different country. On Saturday, Oct. 19, they will continue their efforts, this time by hosting a block party to support renovations to make the Belize Zoo more accessible to the public. The block party, which is open to the public, will run from 2 to 4 p.m. in the parking area beside the Marketplace Mall in downtown Cortland. The festivities will continue at 7:15 p.m. inside the Blue Frog Café, site of several prior zoo fundraisers. The block party will feature family-friendly carnival games and activities and possibly a few furry guests from the Cortland SPCA and other groups. That evening’s festivities at the Blue Frog will include games of chance, music, magic and refreshments. The presence of Jamal Andrewin-Bohn, an environmental educator at the Belize Zoo, will highlight the day’s party. Andrewin-Bohn, in his second visit to SUNY Cortland, will be on campus to promote the zoo from Oct. 14 to 23.

Bryde's Whale Secrets Revealed by DNA Tests
The poorly understood Bryde's whale presents a conservation conundrum for biologists, but genetic fingerprints could finally help researchers keep tabs on the species and protect vulnerable populations. Bryde's whales (pronounced BREW-dus) are listed as "data deficient" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the world's main authority for the conservation status of wildlife. The 50-foot-long (15 meters) whales seem to be widespread; they can be found in tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. But little is known about the distribution of their populations, their range, and their subspecies, which makes it difficult for scientists to determine whether they might be endangered by ship strikes, Japan's scientific whaling fleets or other environmental threats, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Take a Pragmatic Approach to Securing Your Financial Future
The U.S. government is at war…with itself. All across America, government institutions have shut down, leaving just a skeleton staff to man the country. The doors of national monuments, including the Statue of Liberty, America’s greatest and best-known symbol of freedom and the American Dream, clanked shut last Monday…leaving the workers at those monuments adrift in a sea of uncertainty.

October 8, 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

San Pedro to celebrate Belize’s rich culture on Pan-American Day
The event will include a wide variety of Belizean folk and cultural dances, representative of the various cultural groups in Belize. In addition, visitors and residents will have the one of a kind opportunity to savor the various authentic cultural dishes representative of Belize’s cuisine. “This event is in accordance with our municipality’s commitment to strengthen the cultural fabric of the island. Belize is so small, but we are able to appreciate it various ethnic groups. If there is one thing that can bring Belizeans together, it is our culture. This is a perfect opportunity to display what makes Belize different from other countries in this region. We are a mix pot of various cultures in one single country,” commented Guillermo “Mito” Paz, Deputy Mayor of San Pedro with responsibility of tourism and culture on the island.

2013 World Mental Health Day
The Ministry of Health joins the international community to once again celebrate World Mental Health Day this Thursday, October 10th, 2013. This year, the theme selected is, “Mental Health and Older Adults” which aims to promote healthy and active ageing through the participation of meaningful activities, maintenance of strong personal relationships and good physical health. The theme also advocates for broader interventions to address the growing concern of mental health of persons 60 years and older who many times contend with loss of ability to live independently because of limited physical mobility or mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. Additionally, many older persons worldwide contend with the effects of dementia which generally is unique to this population.

Completion of Police Barracks delayed
Initially Gricel Graniel from Matachica Resort, Mukul Kanabar from Phoenix Resort, Brent Kirkman from Victoria’s House Resort and David Hess from Las Terrazas Resort pledged a total of $20,000 towards the construction of a unit that would comfortably house eight officers. Contractor Gabriel “Gaby” Nuñez estimated the project to be completed in about six weeks and would cost an approximately $60,000 more. With the help of further donations from Tropic Air, Seaside Real Estate, Seaside Real Estate, Mary Beissner, Holiday Hotel, Grand Belizean Estates,Pelican Reef Villas, Sol Spa, Searious Adventures, The Palms, Carts Belize, Xanadu Island Resort, and Scott Richmond, the foundation, framing and roofing of the structure was completed but no further work has been made to the building. The building is still lacking details, interior and exterior walls, not to mention necessary interior details. $70,000 is still required for the project’s completion which includes furnishing costs which was not included in the initial estimate. Anyone interested in making a donation can visit the San Pedro Police Station during normal working hours.

Ambergris Today

Marijuana Eradication Operation in Belize
The U.S. Embassy Military Liaison Office in Belmopan and Joint Task Force-Bravo partnered with Belizean military forces in a successful marijuana eradication operation in Belize from Sept. 25-28, 2013. The operation resulted in the Belizean forces destroying 22 marijuana fields and approximately 37,970 mature marijuana plants with an initial estimated value of $13 million. In addition, the team also found and destroyed four pounds of marijuana seeds. Joint Task Force-Bravo provided aviation support, on-call casualty evacuation and tactical assault on objective insertion and extraction training for 38 Belizean military and law enforcement personnel who participated in the operation. This training involved the use of a caving ladder, which is lowered from the helicopter in order to insert ground forces into an otherwise inaccessible area.

Belize Infrastructure Limited Opens Office
We are pleased to announce the opening of the office of the Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL) in Belmopan City on October 1, 2013. The office will be headed by Christy Mastry who is serving as the interim General Manager. Ms. Mastry is a licensed architect in Belize with over 15 years of project management experience. She is wrapping up as the Project Director of the Sustainable Tourism Project where she managed $30 million of direct infrastructure and construction projects throughout the country. Belize Infrastructure Limited is a private company formed by the Government of Belize to act as a public sector agency of the government to undertake the design, construction and management of capital projects in Belize with particular emphasis on sporting and other multipurpose facilities.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month Activities in San Pedro
1. Breast Exams and Pap Smears Courtesy of the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic and Ministry of Health. (Monday to Fridays After 1pm and ALL DAY Campaign on October 19th, 2013) 2. Food Sale (Tamales 3 for $10)Behind the Primary School Next to Boaz Golf Cart Rentals and Island Adventures (October 19th, 2013 all day) 3. Now taking orders for T-shirts. $20 Each. Deadline is on October 15th, 2013. Design will be made available via Facebook or any of our members. 4. Hair Day (In Collaboration with councillor Carlos Barrientos). Behind the Primary School Next to Boaz Golf Cart Rentals and Island Adventures. On October 19th, 2013. We will be shaving or dying hair with a pink streak for a small fee.

Education in Belize: From Discipline to Engagement
This past week I saw electronic media postings by educators who complained that, and seemed to know why, students today are failures. As is usually the case, whenever anyone (parent or teacher) complains about students, whether today or a hundred years ago, the overwhelming reason always is: “they no longer (are allowed to) teach the way they used to”, in other words, “the best way to learn will always be the way that I learned”. How very egocentric. The postings also triggered many memories in me! That very old school line of thinking had originally inspired me to write my first article (Education in Belize) back in October 2011: Wake Up and Smell the Coffee.

Eldridge and Badillo Nuptials
Congratulations go out to Jason Eldridge and Angella Badillo who tied the knot in Lafayette, Louisiana on Saturday, September 21, 2013. The happy couple exchanged vows and then celebrated their union with their friends and family inside the Juliet Hotel. Congratulations to the beautiful couple!

Old School vs. New School in San Pedro
I think I can say, and with pride, that I am from the old school. This old school built me as I am and I am quite proud of it. Though I can accept the new school, I still do have my preferences as it happened or existed Years Ago in San Pedro. My curfew was the setting sun and the first shadows of the night. I did not have to wait for any siren to be blown to head home in a rush. I played outside on the streets or beach with my friends, not online. The only game that I played on line or rather with a line was the telephone with a line between two tin cans.

Pic of the Week: Yoga In The Park
Watch out these new yogis who are spreading the love for yoga in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Many youngsters gathered for "Yoga In The Park" to learn how to unwind, refresh, and connect, but most importanty have a great time. Kudos to the team at Zen Arcade Belize for organizing such a fun activity every month for everybody to enjoy.

Flashbacks: Manelley's Ice Cream
I bet you don’t know the origin of the name Manelly’s Ice Cream. I am sure I can pause for five minutes and you stop reading momentarily and you still cannot figure out how the name Manelly’s came about. Okay, bet won so here it is. The clue is that the owners of this very popular ice cream place are Manuel Delvalle and Shelly. Take ‘Man’ from Manuel and ‘elly’ from Shelly, put them together and you get Manelly. These two San Pedranos have dedicated almost their entire lives to bring Manelly’s to what it is today- the best ice cream on the Island. Actually they took it over from Shelly’s dad, the late Seferino Paz Sr. who used to sell paletas and ice cream. Pop corn and icy smoothies, sundaes, banana boats, cheese dip and chips and other delicious snacks are only some of the latest ideas of Manuel and Shelly Delvalle. Visitors to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye cannot leave the island without first having visited and enjoyed the goodies at Manelly’s Ice Cream Parlour.

Misc Belizean Sources

SBDCBelize Establishing A Business Workshop
Workshop Date: October 10th, 2013 9am to 12pm So, you have an idea? You want to start a business? GREAT! What next? Most people who are setting up there own business have grandiose ideas about their business, but not much thought is gone into the process of formalizing the business. The session will: Assist you in understanding how to formalize your business. Introduction of your Business Plan Provide you with information on registering/licensing of your business Will prepare you FULLY on making your dreams into REALITY COST: $FREE University of Belize, Faculty of Management and Social Sciences, West Landivar

Cancer Walk T-shirts
It's Breast Cancer Awareness month, and the San Ignacio Branch of the Belize Cancer Society is raising funds by selling t-shirts. The shirts are only $20, and they go to a great cause. You can get them at the BFLA office infront of Sacred Heart Church. They are having a Cancer Walk on October 26th that will start in Esperanza, and end in Cayo. Join the Paint Belize Pink campaign. "$20.00 per T- Shirt. Available for men in white, grey, blue and yellow. Available for women in purple, blue, pink and yellow. All of the colors have the same back and front logos. Order yours now, limited supply."

Boxing at the Cayo Welcome Center
The SISE Town Council is having a boxing tournament Saturday night, October 12th, and the Cayo Welcome Center. There will be boxers from all over Belize, and Guatemala too. As an added bonus, Airbender Ashanti Garcia will perform. Another fun weekend event at the Cayo Welcome Center.

World Culture Band Rocked Soul Project
The World Culture Band rocked the Soul Project Saturday night. Emmanuel Mangar and Eddie Allen rocked out with the WCB, and together. "For first time the World Culture Band did a gig without leader Sam Harris. Sam is on tour with The Garifuna Collective. show went great Sam would be proud, the gig was produced by Venessa Who also played drums."

Sacred Heart Fair and Business Expo
Sacred Heart College is having their annual fair and Business Expo at the end of the month. They'll have the talent show on Friday the 25th, starting at 6:00pm. Saturday the Business Expo and fair start at 10:00am, and they'll have a disco starting at 7:00pm. There will be games for all ages, along with trampolines, a dunk tank, a wide selection of food and drinks, and there will even be a 'Car Smash and Cut' fundraiser, where you can break the windows out, paint, drill holes, and cut up an Isuzu Trooper.

Orquidea Negra UNA Performance
Orquidea Negra performed at the Benque HoC for some lucky visiting Costa Rica students. "The students from Universidad UNA, Region Abrunca from Costa Rica visited the Benque House of Culture and Orquidea Negra Dance Company was honored to perform and showcase the Maya/ Mestizo Culture in the area."

Belize and Guatemala election officials meet in San Ignacio town
Electoral officials of Belize and Guatemala met on Sunday in San Ignacio town. President of the Election and Boundaries Commission Bernard Q. Pitts headed the Belize delegation while the Guatemala delegation was led by the president of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal Maria Eugenia Villagran de Leon. A statement from the OAS, under whose auspices the meeting was held, says that the purpose of the meeting was to “exchange information, experiences and best practices in electoral management; identify areas for the inter-institutional collaboration; and further learn about the norms and processes in each country to conduct referendums.” The meeting was held on the same day on which Belize and Guatemala were due to hold simultaneous referendums so that the people of the respective countries could determine whether or not the centuries old claim by Guatemala to Belizean territory should be submitted to the International Court of Justice for final resolution.

UK government urges Belize and Guatemala to set new referendum date
The government of Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom is urging Belize and Guatemala to work towards a new date for a simultaneous referendum on submitting the Guatemala’s claim to the International Court of Justice for final resolution. The joint referendum was to have been conducted on Sunday, October 6 in Belize and Guatemala. Earlier this year, however, Guatemala pulled out of the agreement to hold the referendum, claiming that Belize’s referendum law requiring 60% participation to be effective was too stringent. In a statement given to Guatemala’s Prensa Libre newspaper, the Charge d’Affaires at the British embassy in Guatemala City David McNaught is quoted as saying that the UK is “disappointed that the referendum in both countries was postponed and did not happen on October 6.”

Channel 7

Saldivar Says He Has 150 Suspect Penner Immigration Files
Tonight, UDP Cayo Northeast Representative Elvin Penner remains under intense scrutiny and public pressure. The effort to subject him to a recall vote is one thing - while the revelations about his conduct as minister of state keep coming. Tonight his accuser is PUP politician Arthur Saldivar. Saldivar claims to have 150 suspect nationality documents which Penner signed. Now, Saldivar, who is known to be a little dramatic says these documents were about to be disposed of a by a third party when he acquired them. Today he came to the media with only one, a nationality certificate for a 37 year old man, born in China, living in the Las Flores area of Belmopan. His name is Bo-Jie Shan his certificate was issued in May of 2013, but the receipt for his application wasn't issued by Immigration Officer Ady Pacheco until July of 2013. Saldivar pounced on that glaring discrepancy in an interview with the media today at the KREMANDALA Compound:..

No Resignation, Let’s Get Ready for a Recall
So while that new revelation is one leg of the story - the other is whether Elvin Penner will resign or face a recall election - the terms put to him in an ultimatum from the Opposition. As the Prime Minister and Party leader Dean Barrow alluded to on Friday, Penner won't resign. Today's 5:00 pm deadline came and went without any word from Penner or the UDP camp. We take that to mean that they're paying no attention to the Leader of the Opposition's ultimatum - which came and went without comment from either political. So, then recall it is - and this weekend in the 7 villages of Cayo northeast the PUP were out gathering signatures to make it to that 30% threshold - which would be about 1800 registered voters. 7news went to Cayo northeast for that story - and here's what Daniel Ortiz found:... Daniel Ortiz reporting The Posters up in The Cayo Northeast Constituency continues to announce Area Representative Elvin Penner as "Humble", "Dedicated", and "Honest". These are remnants of the 2012 General Election, but the PUP hopes that his constituents no longer look to him as the man who best represents to these ideals on their behalf.

FIU Director Says She Has Launched Penner Investigation
So far we've dealt with the political angle of the Penner story - and the other side of that is the investigation. The DPP has said that she feels there is enough to warrant a police investigation. The Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit - which would watch for suspicious movements of money feels the same way. In fact, Director Marilyn Williams told us today that she has already started her investigation:.. Marilyn Williams, Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit "The FIU based on the laws under which they are mandated will in fact actually have already started the process of an investigation. Unfortunately I am not in a position to give any details whatsoever. The type of investigation that we do must be done - I wouldn't say in private but certainly not open for public discussion." Marisol Amaya, KREM Radio "You can't say what say exactly the investigation was launched?" Marilyn Williams, Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit "It was launched a week ago."

First City Murder In Three Months Is a PG Man Working In City
Belize City had not seen a murder since July 9th. up until Friday night, October fourth. It happened on Antelope Street Extension where just after 10 on Friday night 28 year old Gary Pratt was killed inside a yard. Thing is, he wasn't even the target! Pratt had come to Belize recently to start working, plus he was working on a book of poetry. But on Friday night, trouble found him - with a bullet that had someone else's name on it. The Police investigator from Precinct two told us more:... Insp. Calbert Flowers, Investigator Precinct 2 "On Friday 4th October 2013, sometime around 10:15 pm police officers from Precinct 2 visited the KHMH where they observed the apparent lifeless body of a male person later identified to them as Gary Pratt, a 28 year old male Belizean of a Punta Gorda Town address." "He was suffering from 2 apparent gunshots to the back. Initial investigation reveals that Pratt was standing in a yard on Antelope Street Extension with some other people when he was approach from behind by a male person who fired several shots in his direction; two of which hit him in the back causing the fatal injury. He was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, however, he was pronounced dead on arrival."

Norales’ Alleged Killers Remanded
A little over a month ago, 7News told you about the progress of the preliminary inquiry for Tyrone Meighan, Orel Leslie, and Brandon Baptist, who are all jointly charged for the murder of 28 year-old James Norales. All indications from their attorneys, Ellis Arnold and Arthur Saldivar, were that the police did not have evidence to present against these men, and they made no case submissions to the sitting Magistrate. The prosecution was given more than one adjournment to present its full bundle of evidence, and they kept asking for others, telling the court that their file wasn't completed. Well today, the Chief Magistrate after perusing all that was presented to her, gave a ruling that the no case submissions were dismissed. Chief Magistrate Smith told the court that the men do have a case to answer to, and they must stand trial in the Supreme Court for murder.

PLUS TV Apologizes to Hon. Saldivar
In April, it made major news when Belmopan Area Representative John Saldivar initiated a lawsuit against PLUS TV - his hometown TV station. The suit was based on remarks made on PLUS TV's morning show, "Rise and Shine" - where co-host Patrick Jason Andrews suggested that Sadivar had misused public funds. Saldivar initiated a law suit - and there were hard words thrown all around in what became a highly politicized issue - especially when it became known that Andrews wanted to challenge Saldivar in the Belmopan Constituency as a PUP Candidate. But, today the tone and pitch of the dispute calmed down somewhat when the matter went before the Supreme Court. Lawyer for Saldivar Priscilla Banner and Lawyer for PLUS TV tried to agree on a settlement - and after about an hour for discussion in and out for the judge's chambers - PLUS agreed to apologize with no monetary damages paid. We spoke to both sides as they left the courtroom:... Hon. John Saldivar "We came to an agreement in court where the two defendants; Plus TV and Mr. Andrews have agreed to do an apology for the words that were uttered by Mr. Andrews on the Rise and Shine Show and we have agreed to accept that apology."

Tourism Numbers Keep Going Up
The Belize Tourism Board released the tourism figures for the January to August, and they show that overnight visitor arrivals for this year have improved over last year. For January, February and March, the increase was 17.2%, 14.3%, and 13.0% respectively, and 8% for both July and August. For the entire 8 months, 17, 228 more tourists arrived this year as compared to last year, and the BTB is confident that country will reach the three hundred thousand visitor overnight mark. In cruise tourism, as we told you, the numbers lagged behind last year's for May, June, and July, but according to the BTB, August saw a substantial increase of 30.2%, putting the total 8 months for 2013 at an increase of 5.3% when compared to last year.

SICA In Belize to Talk Money Laundering, Drug Trafficking
Money laundering and drug trafficking go hand in hand - and today in Belize, SICA, the Central American Integration System convened a meeting of judges and judicial officers from Belize, Nicaragua, Guatemala, el Salvador, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. They were being educated on the nefarious ways of money laundering and drug trafficking - which are prominent in Central America. Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin presided:... Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin "In the last few decades trafficking in illicit drugs has become a plaque in our societies in Latin America and the Caribbean. Belize has certainly not escaped this pestilence. Although each of our respective countries has deployed individual strategies to combat this state of affairs, there has been (if we wish to be frank) limited success." "Indeed following at heels of drug trafficking have been the crimes often associated with money laundering. The judiciary of Belize has recognize the need for training in these areas of concern."

PACT Gives Out Three-Quarter Mil In Grants
Today PACT, the Protected Area Conservation Trust gave out nearly three quarter million dollars in new project grants! Research Grants as well as Small, Medium-Sized and Large Grants were awarded for projects under the themes of Protected Areas Management and Conservation, Protected Areas Promotion and Development, and Environmental Education and Awareness. We spoke to a few of the recipients:... Vincent Gillett, Chair, PACT Advisory Council "As it celebrates the culmination of many hours of hard diligent work done by applicants for PACT's grant and those dedicated persons who process, review and finally approve proposals for support." Recipient - Roaring Creek Nature Reserve "I work in Roaring Creek Nature Reserve which is very close to the Belize Zoo along the Coastal Road. The title of my project is "The ecology and conservation of tapirs in central Belize." This is the centerpiece of a master's program from Mexico." Jose Perez, APAMO "Through this particular project of approximately three hundred and eighty-four thousand dollars, the strengthening of the organization as an institution continues by focusing on our community base organizations; by strengthening their capacities and in so doing we are also strengthening and building the capacities of the organization."

Survey Says….
In May of this year, 7News told you about that survey of the Caribbean which said that Belize's internet is among the slowest and most expensive in the region. Well, there is a new survey out, which was released last week. This new survey says that Belize's Broadband access, which puts a 2 meg connection as the standard, is still the most expensive. Belize is among the 134 countries which has a national policy to increase availability of internet to its citizens. But Belize is called out as the country at the bottom of the list when trying to make broadband access more affordable. The organization, Broadband Commission for Digital Development, sets the standard of affordability as 5% of the average person's monthly income. The Cayman Islands passed with flying colors costing the average person of around 2% of that income. Of the countries who are still outside that affordability standard, Saint Vincent's is just above Belize with just over 12% of the average person's income. Belize is last once again, doubling St. Vincent with a total of over 30% of the average person's monthly income. Again, the standard set is a connection line of 2 megabits per second.

Channel 5

New allegations surface of illegal passports authorized by Elvin Penner
The passport scandal that started to unravel on September nineteenth is not going to go away anytime soon. Tonight, former Minister of State Elvin Penner is out of the hospital [...]

Evidence shows that passports were issued to Middle Eastern and Asian nationals
According to Saldivar that is only one inconsistency on the documents, all signed by former Minister of State Elvin Penner. Those nationality applications were signed primarily for Middle Eastern and [...]

The Financial Intelligence Unit says it’s investigating passport scandal
There is huge public outcry on the issue of a criminal investigation in the passport scandal to determine what extent of wrongdoing took place when South Korean national, Kim Wonhong [...]

Director of Public Prosecutions says there is enough to warrant a criminal investigation
If there would be a criminal investigation, the Police would then enter the picture, and so would the Director of Public Prosecutions. Both those entities will only act if summoned [...]

Minister of Immigration, Godwin Hulse, gives update on internal investigation
The Financial Intelligence Unit will be looking into the financial aspect of the passport scandal. That’s important, but not as important as the criminal aspect. The public outcry has been [...]

Cayo North East prepares to trigger a recall
Former Minister of State and the disgraced Elvin Penner had until five p.m. today to bid his office adieu. That’s the ultimatum sent his way by P.U.P. leader Francis Fonseca. [...]

John Saldivar and Plus TV reach a settlement
Tonight, there is an out of court settlement agreed to between Minister John Saldivar and Plus TV’s owner Louis Wade and co-host of the Rise and Shine Morning Show, Jason [...]

Punta Gorda man killed in Belize City
After months without a murder in the Old Capital that spell was broken on Friday night. A twenty-eight year old Punta Gorda resident who had just relocated to the City, [...]

Foreign Minister Elrington gave an update on Guatemala’s 9-point letter of protest
Last week, the government of Guatemala wrote to the Secretary General of the O.A.S., to protest the language used by Foreign Minister Ellington at the United Nations in the context [...]

3 Belize City youth to stand trial for 2012 murder of ex-B.D.F. soldier
Three Belize City men who were accused of the 2012 murder of ex-BDF Soldier, James Noralez appeared in court this morning for a preliminary investigation. Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith [...]

6 N.G.O.s split over $700,000 courtesy of PACT
A number of environmental agencies received grants today from the Protected Areas Conservation Trust, PACT. Over seven hundred and thirty six-thousand dollars were disbursed for new projects to small, medium [...]

Football, cycling and basketball featured in Sports Monday
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   Week 2 of the PLB Belikin Cup found San Ignacio United invading the Isidoro Beaton Stadium Saturday night for [...]


Belize and Guatemala Meet: Electoral Authorities Seek to Strengthen Relations
Yesterday the electoral authorities of Belize and Guatemala met to strengthen bilateral cooperation. The meeting was held in San Ignacio under the auspices of the Organization of American States (OAS) to exchange information, experiences and best practices in electoral management. Also discussed in the meeting were areas involving inter-institutional collaboration and further learn about the norms and processes in each country to conduct referendums. The meeting took place within the framework of the new confidence-building measures that both countries adopted last May with a view to improving the conditions necessary to establish a new date to hold the simultaneous referenda, which will determine if the territorial dispute between both countries is submitted to the International Court of Justice for final settlement. The meeting was chaired by the Representative of the Secretary General of the OAS for Belize-Guatemala Affairs, Ambassador Raul Lago, who was accompanied by the Chief of the OAS Peace Fund, Magdalena Talamas and the Director of the OAS Office in the Adjacency Zone, Sergio Benítez. Guatemala´s delegation was headed by the President of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, María Eugenia Villagrán de León, and Mr. Bernard Pitts, President of the Elections and Boundaries Commission, led the Belizean delegation.

Central America Adopts Security Strategy From SICA
Heads of state of the Central American Integration System have adopted its security strategy. The aim is to have a regional instrument, to create a safer environment for the people and goods, promote sustainable human development through investments and activities related to its components, crime reduction, violence prevention and institutional strengthening. Belize is hosting Judiciaries of Central America for a regional training activity. A brief opening ceremony was held at the Radisson Fort George Hotel this morning and Chief Justice of Belize, Kenneth Benjamin, says that that the training activity is both relevant and timely.

Investigation Process Started at the Financial Intelligence Unit
While the Belize Police Department has been patient in launching a criminal investigation in the passport scandal, the Financial Intelligent Unit of Belize, FIU, is already one week into its own investigations. Marilyn Williams is the Director of the FIU. MARILYN WILLIAMS “The FIU based on the laws on which they are mandated already started the process of an investigation. Unfortunately, I am not in a position to give any details; the type of investigation we do must be done, I won’t say in private but it is not open for discussion. The investigation was launched a week ago.”

Taxi Driver Assaulted and Robbed
A taxi driver was held up and robbed on Saturday night in Corozal Town. According to 62 year-old Felix Mai, just before ten on Saturday night, two men hired him to take them to C&B Bar in the Baeza Layout area of Corozal Town. Mai told the police that he drove up the San Andres Village Road and upon reaching the lane that leads to the establishment, one of the men told him that they were going to continue driving on the road, which he complied with. While heading on the dirt road, the man in the back seat reportedly placed his hand around Mai’s neck and began to choke him. Mai said that he quickly shut off the car engine and the man then took out something resembling a knife and with which he tried to stab him. The two struggled, during which Mai suffered scratches to his abdomen and jaw, after which he managed to get out of his vehicle and run for help. The two men reportedly escaped in nearby bushes.

Immigration Minister Says, “I Don’t Take Lightly At All This Aspect that My Credibility Is on the Line.”
This past weekend the People’s United Party began collecting signatures to trigger the recall mechanism. While at the center of the controversy is former Minister of State Elvin Penner, questions still abound about how something of this nature could have occurred given the stringent measures that were put in place under Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse. Today Hulse called Love FM’s morning show to say this situation is not a reflection on him. GODWIN HULSE “When this was discovered that there was some issue concerning a passport and Minister Penner, the first thing that was done, the Prime Minister removed him completely from the executive responsibility and we introduced at the administrative level, which is our responsibility and duty and right, an intensive investigation which led to notice of suspension of some officers “notice of suspension”; you have to be clear, it is the commission that will do the suspension, that is because certain processes in the system, we have found to have broken down.

Plans Discussed to Reduce Premature Deaths Due to Non-Communicable Diseases
Minister of Health Pablo Marin represented Belize at the 52nd directing council of the Pan American health Organization in Washington DC last week. Health officials agreed to a plan of action that seeks to reduce premature deaths due to non-communicable diseases by a quarter by the year 2025. The joint plan of action calls for policies to promote prevention and control of non-communicable diseases and reduce their risk factors. Under the joint plan of action, health officials agreed to specifically promote prevention of NCDs beyond health, expand and provide universal access to health services for NCDs, reduce tobacco intake by 30%, promoting healthy diets to reduce the impact on children, and improve the surveillance of risk factors among others for NCDs. Member countries pledged to give priority to non-communicable diseases in their health development agendas to implement and achieve the plan’s goals. PAHO will provide technical cooperation to countries to help strengthen and monitor the progress to achieve the plan’s goals. Cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and chronic respiratory disease are the leading NCDs and have been found to be related to a common set of risk factors.

Sales Clerks Steal Slippers From Employer
A business in the Corozal Free Zone was robbed on Friday afternoon. Fifty-three year old Ki Hyung Cheong, a Korean businessman of Cuidad Chetumal Quintana Roo, Mexico went to the Corozal Police Station and reported that earlier that day he was at his business establishment, namely Sonadora 2 Company Limited in the Commercial Free Zone when a security guard alerted him that two of his workers were loading merchandise on a Mexican motorcycle. Cheong said that he made checks and found two Mexican individuals with containers loaded with slippers that they had hidden behind a building. He said that when he questioned them, they told him that two of his workers sold them the slippers for 600 dollars, the real value of which was around three thousand dollars. Corozal police have since recovered 360 pairs of the slippers, which are valued around 900 dollars. Police have also arrested and charged 30 year old Rene Giovanni Tuz and a 17 year old, both Sales Clerks of San Jose Village with Theft

Opposition Party Bags Immigration Documents Before Their Destruction; How Many More Nationality Papers Did Penner Sign?
The scandal revolving around former Minister of State, Elvin Penner is showing no signs of fading away. In facts it seems that the scandal is growing and late this evening, attorney Arthur Saldivar, threw more wood into the fire. Saldivar called the media to say he has gotten evidence of one hundred and fifty nationality applications that has been signed by Penner. Arthur says that the inconsistency in these documents is that the Penner allegedly signed the documents months before the person applied for it. Here is how Saldivar explained it. ARTHUR SALDIVAR “What we have is the unearthing of a deliberate attempt to destroy nationality certificates and files from the Ministry of Immigration. As recently as yesterday, associates of mine and myself have been able to acquire over 150 nationality documents produced within 2013 and all signed by Elvin Penner, in his tenure as Minister of State. We know that Elvin Penner is no longer an authority figure at the Ministry of Immigration; so, it cannot be that he is the one orchestrating the destruction of these files but those who are supposedly in control of the investigation would have to be asked how it is that these files have been subject to destruction and why is it that persons who are not associated with the immigration department responsible for their destruction. All this basically screams cover up; it screams the concealment of wrong doing, the concealment of obvious criminality and it begs for the closure of the Nationality and Passport sections in order for the Belizean people to be satisfied that a forensic investigation can be done to restore the prestige and honor that one would expect from the Belizean passport document.

Southern Resident Murdered in Belize City
After several weeks of calm in streets of Belize City, 28 year old Gary Pratt became the latest victim of gun violence on Friday night. It happened not far from where he was staying when visiting with friends. Pratt, who lived in Punta Gorda Town, was in a yard at 187 Antelope Street Extension in the Collet Constituency sometime around ten that night when the dog started to bark and two men entered. His friend, Kenroy Willoughby, was there and he told us how it unfolded. KENROY WILLOUGHBY “All of us were together talking and drinking and then two gunmen approached us and we yelled, ‘gunman’ and he didn’t run because he was talking on his phone and he didn’t pay us any mind and they shot him and he is dead now.” Pratt was struck twice in the back as he spoke to someone on a cellphone. He collapsed in the grass and died before he reached the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital minutes later. Second in Charge of Police Precinct 2, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Calbert Flowers, says that police have not yet established a motive for Belize City’s latest homicide.

Human Remains Uncovered in Shallow Grave
Police have discovered a set of suspected human remains. Police say that shortly after two on Saturday afternoon, they received information and went to an area about 100 yards away from the entrance of the Garbage Dump on the Hummingbird Highway in the Cayo District. There they discovered what appeared to be human bones inside a shallow grave. Beside the find was an old piece of white cloth with red and blue stripes. Police investigations continue.


PM meets with BWS and BTL employees concerning pensions
On Friday Prime Minister Dean Barrow was in Belize City meeting behind closed doors with employees of Belize Water Services Limited at their offices on Central American Boulevard. It was occasioned by reports that amendments to three acts governing pensions in Belize – the Trusts Act, The Pension Act...

Elvin Penner could be facing recall by voters in his division
Embattled Cayo Northeast area representative Elvin Penner could be facing recall by voters in his division as of next week, as according to latest reports he will refuse the offer by Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca to voluntarily resign his post by Monday. The matter is up for...

PM supports Minister Elrington’s statement to the UN
Western neighbors Guatemala have sent a strongly worded reply to the Organization of the American States (OAS) condemning the tone and content of Belize Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington’s address to the United Nations General Assembly on September 30. Listing numerous breaches of Belize’s territory by Guatemala and their refusal...

Marciano Cuz of Camalote reported missing
We’ve had numerous criminal reports coming out of Camalote village lately but he drama seems to have subsided for now. On Thursday however, Edwardo Cuz of Young Bank Area, Camalote Village, Cayo District, reported to police that around 2:20 pm, on Monday September 30, 33 year old Marciano Cuz...

VIP calls on Government to sign UN Convention Against Corruption
The nation has been rocked by back to back scandals in the past few months and while Government may be trying to right the wrongs of those who pollute the system, many are saying that more can and must be done to protect the integrity of our governance. The...

Man dies after falling into stone crusher
The family of Peter Reimer is mourning the ill-timed death of the 14 year old. While working at Camp 9 in Shipyard, Mr Reimer fell into a stone crusher that quickly mangled his body. Peter Reimer has been employed at the site for about a year and due to...

Belize City Center replacement project ongoing
Demolition of the old Belize City Center proceeds on pace but Belizeans have not seen a plan for the $30-million replacement promised by Prime Minister Dean Barrow in his Independence Day address. On Friday at the site we met with member of the board of directors...

Athletes from Belmopan Mystics Volleyball Club recognized for achievements
The Belmopan Mystics Volleyball Club (BMVC) has gained support since it was established almost two years ago. The club is very young, catering to 16 members from the female junior division, that is between the ages of 13-17. Out of these 16 young girls, eight are...

Primary School Students hold Fruit Fair in Belize City
We are often told that fruits and vegetables are good for you – but how many pay attention to the many ways they can be served and eaten? At the end of its annual Wellness Week students of Holy Redeemer Primary’s Standard 6 classes in Belize...

Evangelist Dr. Andrew Willis spreads the Word in Belize
International evangelist Dr. Andrew Willis, founder and Senior Pastor of The River of Life Church Houston, was the guest speaker at an open-air crusade that took place this Wednesday. The Welcome Centre was the venue. Kent Pandy was on hand for the service and spoke with the organizer, head...


Getting to Caye Chapel Golf island by Caye Caulker water taxi
Many of you knew Caye Chapel Golf Island was a fast developing love of mine, this time around I really fell head over heels and sealed the deal. We decided to try a new experience and take the Caye Caulker Water taxi, which is the only one that goes there – $50 BZD round trip. You have to ask them to drop you off as it is not a regularly scheduled stop, since the island is so close to Caye Caulker, they can easily stop. My reason for planning the private island party was to meet my Cousin and Rudy who were in docking in Belize city on a cruise for the day and wanted something to do. Not long after the planning started, Invest 97 came on the radar and right up to the last second we were all saying our prayers for good weather and preparing to get wet. Paul Mary Roland and I said we would go no matter what and Erin and Rudy said same. We ended up with a party of 9 in the end Lara, Cindy and Tinker also joined us. Judyann and Tom owners of Black Orchid Restaurant opted out at the last minute due to potential weather. Thankfully Chaac Maya the rain god decided to rain down upon us in the nicest possible way and we barely got wet at all. Our waterway road trip was very calm and comfortable and we had a fantastic view sheet rain on the Caribbean Sea. Not long after Caye Caulker, the rain grew heavier and magically lightened up when we approached Caye Chapel marina.

Remember when we all hitchhiked everywhere in Belize?
Hitchhiking was by far the most efficient way to get around Belize just a few decades ago, both monetarily and time-wise. Bus breakdowns were much more predictable than the schedules, and hitching was nice. Usually crammed in a pan full of fellow passengers, you’d make all sorts of interesting acquaintances and catch up on the news. If it was a long run, like from Belmopan to Dangriga or Placencia, there’d be stops along the way for more beer or rum or even gibnut burgers if you were lucky. Upon arriving at destination you’d pay the going rate, if you knew it, or politely ask the driver “What I got for you for gas?” The driver usually would look perplexed, as if he was just giving you a lift , anyway, before asking for the usual standard $10 or so. It was all very much, ”Thank you for the ride,” and that you were just helping out with the petrol. Although the transaction was in a way as formal as any pubic trans system, it felt different and nice.

Belize in Florida
THE CONSULATE OF BELIZE IN FLORIDA INAUGURATES NEW OFFICE AND PASSPORT SERVICES. On Tuesday, October 1st, 2013, the Consulate of Belize in Florida inaugurated its new office located in Coral Gables, Florida. The Mayor of Coral Gables, Mr. Jim Cason enthusiastically welcomed the Consulate of Belize to his city. The Honorary Consul General, Mrs. Janine Sylvestre Vega, welcomed the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Attorney General, Hon. Wilfred Elrington, as well as Mrs. Candelaria Saldivar-Morter, CEO in the Ministry of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development and National Emergency Management and Immigration and Nationality, along with other Belizeans and leaders of the community who attended.

“Mirror in the Bathroom” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
I mentioned in yesterday’s edition that Rose and I stayed at Ian’s bungalow in Price Barracks on Thursday night. Influenced by the wine of the previous evening I had a uninterrupted night’s sleep and didn’t get up until around 07.00 hours. Late by my normal standards but understandable. After showering and getting dressed Rose and I had breakfast and headed off to The Dental Center for my appointment with Doctor Hernadez. I don’t remember a great deal about my time there. I remember going in to the surgery at around 11.15 hours and saying hello to Doctor Hernandez and the anaesthetist. I remember the anaesthetist injecting me and then I don’t remember much at all apart from coming around and feeling groggy and going back to sleep again. And then waking up again and then going to sleep again. Eventually I felt with it enough to travel back to Price Barracks and when we got to Ian’s place I tried to eat but after around seven or eight spoonfuls gave it up as a bad job. I was suffering from acute indigestion and swallowing the food proved to be extremely ponderous. I was also feeling somewhat drowsy again so I went to bed and had a sleep for a few hours.

Sweet Dinner Rolls
I love all types of bread, but most Belizean breads are made with coconut milk. This recipe uses whole milk and pineapple juice. I saw this recipe at another cooking show and decided to take a whack at it. These dinner rolls are scrumptious, soft and just downright delicious.

“So much more than just a month in the Sun”
If you’re a diver, you know that there are plenty of places you can go dive on vacation. There are plenty of places you can go for dive training. And there are definitely a few places where you can do and do dive conservation work. But in all my travels and all the internet searching I’ve done for dive locations, I have NEVER found a place like ReefCI. The island is beautiful and remote. The food is amazing (and there’s a lot of it). And the country of Belize is a friendly and vibrant place. I’ve logged more than 70 dives with ReefCI off Tom Owen’s Cay and the surrounding reef, and I can’t wait to log more with them.

International Sources

There is a promise to keep in Belize
Henry David Thoreau asked, "Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant?" That priceless perspective, a view of "the other's world," happened to me last spring when I led a group of Caldwell College students to Belize on a service project. Our mission was to assist three local carpenters in the building of a church in the village of Corazon Creek, a site 32 miles from our lodgings in Punta Gorda, a town of 6,000 in an area nicknamed "the Forgotten District" of Belize. The first morning, we saw that the concrete foundation of the church had been poured and some of the pillars set. Our task was to pour the remaining pillars, frame the structure and construct the roof -- 11 handmade triangular support beams -- before fastening the zinc sheeting to the trusses. Pentecost would be celebrated in this church at the end of the week, and we didn't want to disappoint the eight Catholic families of the village or those who would come from much farther away, by walking or by bus. We were successful, finishing by midafternoon on Friday. What I will always cherish is what profoundly touched each of us on this trip -- not the building but the relationships we built with the villagers and the glimpses they allowed us into their souls. On our first workday, we were invited to have lunch with Christina and Roberto, who lived adjacent to the building site. Their family hut had an earthen floor and a fire pit at one end, over which the village women were boiling rice and chicken and making tortillas. No discernible furniture was in sight. Villagers squatted on the floor to eat while the Caldwell group found sacks of rice and dried ears of corn on which to sit. The meal consisted of stacks of tortillas and a meager portion of rice with a small quantity of chicken that contained either bones, fat or both.

America’s Debt Crisis Isn’t the First: 10 Nations that Have Defaulted on Debt
Belize suffered a more recent default when in 2006 it announced a distressed exchange of its external bonds for new bonds due in 2029. The country defaulted on $242 million worth of debt, but rebounded after a financial restructuring.

From thrill seekers to foodies: Honeymoons for every couple
But if it’s a beach vacation you’re after, consider the island of Ambergris Caye in Belize, which is often passed over by Caribbean-bound tourists for its more popular neighbors. Consequently, the tropical island boasts lower price points.

“ [Mexican] State executives may argue over abortion laws, the pros and cons of DF (Mexico City) statehood, and the legalization of marijuana in their bailiwicks. However, they agree completely on the importance of a generous immigration reform by U.S. decision-makers. At a meeting of Mexico's National Commission of Governors (CONAGO), Eruviel Ávila Villegas, Mexico State's chief executive and the group's foreign affairs spokesman, emphasized the importance of the pending legislation. He stressed that ‘we must directly strengthen our international cooperation with governments and social organizations´ in concert with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE). At the same time, the state leaders agree with Chihuahua's free-spending Governor César Duarte Jáquez that the construction of a new wall between Mexico and the United States would be an ´aberration’, even as his own country gropes for an effective deterrent to Central Americans and other foreigners crossing Mexico through Guatemala and Belize.”

FATCA seminar hears of stiff penalties
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has at least seven ways to catch those trying to avoid its Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act, and a Department of Justice database on 33,000 taxpayers to help. Local officials estimate that as many as 6,000 people in Cayman – more than 10 percent of the population – will have obligations under FATCA, whether paying taxes, filing forms, reporting on bank accounts or just seeking legal advice. “FATCA is coming. The U.S. has delayed implementation by six months, but it’s coming,” said George Town representative Roy McTaggart. Opening Friday’s half-day FATCA seminar in a packed ballroom at the Westin, Mr. McTaggart said the Cayman Islands government hoped to offer “a kind of road map, giving you the best resources available,” helping U.S.-affiliated people navigate the complexities of the law, intended to collect arrears from delinquent taxpayers.

Cuba: People-to-people tours provide legal gateway for American travelers
“¿Qué hora es?” This simple, frequently asked question surprisingly serves as a window into the heart and soul of Cuba’s culture, as seen by Americans who find themselves within its borders. The question, which means ‘what time is it?’ is a common segue used by Cubans when they are interested in learning more about someone who is different from them. Cubans are curious, they are polite and they are genuine – it’s also true that many of them just don’t have watches or cell phones. But asking the question opens the conversation, which is the more interesting prospect to Cubans than simply learning the time. They will hear the accent in your response, then the questions begin. They want to know about you. They want to know where you are from. They just want to chat. In Cuba, this is how they learn about the outside world — especially America. The cushy traveler accustomed to all-inclusive resorts or five-star anything would be quick to dismiss Cuba as the land of uneven footing and stray dogs. But for those who seek culture over comfort, the forbidden-until-recently island is a fascinating destination that promises a thought-provoking experience.

October 7, 2013


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Doctor Love: Progress
After establishing themselves, it seems that current residents are hellbent on preventing the progress and development of newcomers. Why?

Guest Editorial: Belizean Soul for Sale
Before I was even a real Belizean I did what too many Belizeans are expected to do every day; I tolerated corruption out of fear that I would only be making my life harder by doing the right thing. This latest scandal at Immigration has really gotten under my skin. For me it’s personal. Two years ago I was sworn in as a citizen of Belize. It was the culmination of three and a half years of dealing with the Immigration and Nationality Department. Three and a half years of being told that they were still “waiting for my file to come back” or that suddenly there was some new document was never required when my application was first received but now was the reason why the process had come to a halt for me. Meanwhile I would see news reports of fast tracked citizenship for political convenience. One well connected former politician even offered to “hook me up” in time to vote in a convention. I declined. I was determined to become a Belizean legitimately. It was frustrating, sometimes to the point of me seriously considering giving up and just remaining a permanent resident forever. But in my heart I already believed I was a Belizean and damn it I wanted the document to prove that.

Wolfe’s Woofers: Last Night’s Date
A young tourist girl goes on a date with a Belizean man...shenanigans ensue.

Misc Belizean Sources

This past week I saw electronic media postings by educators who complained that, and seemed to know why, students today are failures. As is usually the case, whenever anyone (parent or teacher) complains about students, whether today or a hundred years ago, the overwhelming reason always is: “they no longer (are allowed to) teach the way they used to”, in other words, “the best way to learn will always be the way that I learned”. How very egocentric. The postings also triggered many memories in me! That very old school line of thinking had originally inspired me to write my first article (Education in Belize) back in October 2011: Wake Up and Smell the Coffee. I wrote it in response to the community’s extremely negative response to my previous announcement, as Guidance Counselor, that San Pedro High School was replacing 2 weeks out-of-school suspension (vacation) with 2 weeks in-school suspension or ISS. My articles on Education are now regularly posted online by other media sources, and in my personal Blog. It’s time now for a 2 year anniversary follow-up.

Belize needs to make a stand on the reparations issue for its people
By Wellington C. Ramos. Since the discussion on “reparations” started I have not heard or seen nothing in the news as to what my country’s position is on this issue. In Belize most of our ethnic groups are victims of European slavery and genocide by the British, Spanish and other European crowns. The native Maya Indian people were tortured and their land was taken away by the British and Spanish. The Garifuna people were tortured by the British, land taken away and forcefully removed to Rotan, Honduras. The Creole people were brought from the continent of Africa by the British and were enslaved for many years. The East Indian people were forcefully removed by the British to Belize and other countries to provide labour for them in their new colonies.

Rotaract Art Competiton
The dates are a little off, but if you read the fine print, the Rotaract Club of San Ignacio is having an art competition for high school students in the theme of 'River Clean Up' as part of their upcoming River Clean Up Campaign which will be next Saturday at 8:00am along the Macal River. Great idea, Rotaract! "If you are a High School student, ages 12-18yrs of age in the twin towns of Santa Elena and San Ignacio you can join The River Clean- Up Fix-Up Art Contest. It is free to enter and prizes will be given to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners. This is linked to the Rotaract Club San Ignacio River Clean Up Campaign Project that will be held Saturday the 12th October 2013... NOTE: the deadline is the 10th October 2013. You must hand in your art work to your teacher or principal. Judging will take place the 11th October 2013 at the Welcome Centre at 7pm. Come out and see the display of beautiful art pieces and enjoy live entertainment. "

The People’s United Party (PUP) held a big rally on Sunday afternoon at the Falcon Field in San Ignacio town. Hundreds of supporters from the Cayo Central division attended as did constituents of Cayo Northeast. The rally was held to express dissatisfaction with the involvement of the Honorable the member for Cayo Northeast Mr. Elvin Penner in the current passport scandal. The PUP also used the rally to gather signatures from constituents of Cayo Northeast as the opposition sets to trigger a recall of the two-term area representative.


Golf On a Private Island in Belize: Caye Chapel
GingerScoop is back in action…and going big! Or maybe it’s not that expensive…golf just always seems like something for the rich to me. Here’s a day of golf just minutes from Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker. I love all these posts about things I’ve never done! Caracol, ATM Cave and now golf. Yeehaw. It’s all yours Ginger… A common question we get living here in Belize – where do you golf? Caye Chapel, of course! An island dedicated just to 18 holes of peaceful, quiet fairways and greens? YES PLEASE! (From SanPedroScoop – I took this picture flying over Caye Chapel on Tropic Air last year. So you can get a sense of the whole thing…)

“Red Red Wine” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
So what’s been going on since I last published an edition on Thursday morning ? If you read that edition you will recall that our stuff from England was not being released by EuroCaribe , the company used by our UK shipping agent to move our consignment from Miami to Belize City,until an invoice for the sum of BZ$ 334.51 was settled. Well, at around 11.30 hours last Thursday morning at last all became clear. An email fom Excess International Movers (the UK shipping company that we used) revealed that they had paid for all costs aside from those for Destination Terminal Handling, Customs Examination, Security and X-ray fees in Belize City. Our goods would be released when the sum of BZ$ 328.13 (this had been recalculated) had been paid. Knowing that we were going to Belize City later in the day to meet our friends from BATSUB I contacted EuroCaribe and told them that I would go to their offices later that day and pay the outstanding amount.

International Sources

Utah County rallies to help their own
The organization board decided to pick another project the following year. Some of the volunteers from Kenya mentioned Belize would be a good place to focus their next actions. After hosting a dinner and several events that raised over $46,000, they initiated the Sustain Belize Project. Going Beyond Borders proceeded to raise enough funds to refurbish a school in the city of Chunox, Belize. The organization also collected items for the community such as computers, clothing for women and children, soccer balls and team uniforms. At the beginning of 2013, the organization chose to provide assistance to an organization closer to their founders’ hometown of Provo. A place for Women and Children seeking to escape abuse, rape or domestic violence, the Board was immediately drawn to their cause.

Guatemala Sends Protest Note to OAS after Belizean Statements
Guatemalan Foreign Minister Fernando Carrera protested before the Organization of American States (OAS) over statements made at the U.N. by his counterpart from Belize, Wilfred Elrington, regarding the territorial dispute between both countries. The protest was included in a letter addressed to OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza yesterday, with a copy to Erlington and the Guatemala-Belize Group of Friendly Countries. In the letter, the Foreign Minister rejected suggestions about alleged intentions by Guatemala to forcefully assert its rights over the territory administered by Belize. Insulza has played the role of facilitator in the process followed by both countries to bring the territorial, insular and maritime dispute to the International Court of Justice.

Drug flight down in Colombia, 3 Americans killed
The twin-engine turboprop plane that crashed in northern Colombia on a U.S. counter-drug mission, killing three American contractors and a Panamanian aboard, had been tracking a suspected smuggling vessel over the western Caribbean when it lost radio contact, the U.S. military said. The two other Americans aboard the Dash 8 were seriously injured in Saturday's pre-dawn crash, the U.S. Southern Command said. Under contract with the U.S. Air Force, the plain was a "prospector" aircraft, equipped with surveillance equipment and employed to track speedboats and other vessels that smuggle cocaine north from Colombia, said Jody Draves, spokeswoman for the U.S.-sponsored multinational task force in Key West, Florida, known as JIATF-South that runs interdiction in region. Draves said the plane was operating in coordination with a Colombian surface vessel and had flown out of Panama. It was near that country's border that it crashed, near the city of Capurgana. The two injured Americans were rescued by Colombian soldiers and taken to a hospital in the capital, Bogota, Southcom said in a statement.

October 6, 2013


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Stray dogs continue to be a problem
The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) has expressed much concern over the problems caused by stray dogs on the island. Both residents and tourists have raised complaints about the increase of stray dogs, which in turn are affecting the sanitary conditions of Ambergris Caye. Relevant authorities have employed several methods for decreasing the number of stray dogs in the past, but have had little effect in the alleviation of the problem. In July 2012 the SPTC implemented an eradication of stray dogs via strychnine poisoning. This was quickly replaced with SAGA Humane Society’s “Dog Round Up” program due to the strong backlash from animal lovers who were opposed to this inhumane method of euthanasia. But as the complaints continue to increase, Mayor Daniel Guerrero is once again facing hard decisions on how to handle the problem. Mayor Guerrero expressed to The San Pedro Sun that the health and safety of the public is of great concern and that decisions will be made in order to control the situation. “Some pet owners are being irresponsible, allowing their dogs to wander and cause problems in the street. Many residents have complained to me about the feces on the beach and the garbage in the streets because of the dogs. We want to visit all options available to control the problem, but if little or no change comes to the matter we will be forced to revert to our standard method of eradication,” said Mayor Guerrero.

Saga announces October SNIP-a-thon
During the month of October Saga Humane Society will be hosting two different visiting veterinary groups to hold free spay/neuter clinics for the low income residents of Ambergris Caye. In addition to the free spay/neuters the teams will be doing additional canine distemper virus (CDV) vaccinations, and dog training sessions for public. The goal is to sterilize over 300 island pets during the month. Helping Paws Across Borders will be in San Pedro October 7-10. They will be bringing a team of 15 including veterinarians, vet techs and dog trainers. This group will focus their efforts on the neighborhoods of DFC, San Juan and Downtown. Because of limited space at the Saga clinic, a MASH (Mobile Animals Surgical Hospital) type clinic will be held in DFC at Mrs. Adaly Ayuso’s property. This will allow the medical teams to be closer to the animals and save the time and expense of transportation to the Saga clinic.

Misc Belizean Sources

Can you hear me now? JTF-Bravo tactical communication keeps service members in the field connected
For a forward-deployed unit, one of the most critical keys to mission success is the establishment and maintenance of clear communication with leadership. At Joint Task Force-Bravo, the responsibility of establishing that vital communication while in the field falls on the shoulders communication experts like Staff Sgt. William Lane, U.S. Air Force radio frequency specialist. "We provide the reach-back for the command and control cell for the forward-deployed team and their leadership to be able to communicate with the main joint operations center (JOC)," said Lane. "We set up a tactical operations center with every capability required in order to get the intelligence, oversight and communication needed to run the mission. We set up phone, Internet, and any required radio support. We're basically a one-stop shop for all of it." That one-stop shop capability was tested during a recent disaster response exercise, during which Joint Task Force-Bravo's Central America Survey and Assessment Team (C-SAT) deployed to Belize.

Metal Haven III Coming
Metal Haven III is happening in Benque on November 2nd. Ascenthium will be rocking Cancha Marshelleck. "The Biggest Rock/Metal event is here! Mark your calendars, and get ready for this concert! more updates will come as the days past."


BNTU Orange Walk Elects New Executive, Otilio Munoz Remains As President
The Belize National Teacher’s Union Orange Walk Branch held its first quarterly meeting today with the most important topic on the agenda being the election of a new executive. The purpose of the meeting was twofold: to inform Members on any new developments in the teaching profession and the election of a new executive to run the affairs of the union for the Orange Walk branch. While there were other topics in the agenda, the elections undoubtedly took centre stage and by the time the nominations were closed, the new executive was already in place.

OWTC To Host Miss Orange Walk Pageant
It’s been quite a while since a Miss Orange Walk Pageant is held in Orange Walk. But that’s about to change because on October 19th five talented Orange Walkenas will be vying for the prestigious crown. The pageant, which will be filled with entertainment, is scheduled to take place at the Multi Purpose Complex Building. The Miss Orange Walk Pageant; however, is no ordinary event. It is beauty with a purpose. Rozel Arana- Organizer Miss Orange Walk Pageant “It surrounds the theme Beauty with a Purpose; we are trying to kill two birds with one stone. Beauty, we need Miss Orange Walk to move on to Belize next year in July and normally every year we do it with a purpose and this purpose is whereby we give back to the community, so basically it is like a benefit. So last two years the pageant was basically giving the proceeds to the Cancer Society and then this year we are giving it to Disability, the Patsy Brown Special Aid Center here in Orange Walk Town. We have five beautiful young ladies from Orange Walk District. We have Miss Eleny Aguilar from August Pine Ridge, we also have Miss Kiesha Cummins, and we have Miss Dianna Balam, Miss Kimberly Selgado and Miss Beatrice Garcia.”

Humanitarian Efforts Carried Out In Corozal: Mexico Is In Need
A few days ago severe rains lashed over Mexico's northwest coast prompting evacuations and adding to flash floods that have created chaos across the country and killed several people. Today well known organizations such as the HIV support group, Faith Base Christian Group and the Community Support Group from the Corozal District made a plea to the public to garner as much items as possible to send to our Mexican Brothers and sisters. Heading the initiative is Romero Magana who told us that the assistance received has been overwhelming. Romeo Magana – Organizer “Hemos recibido información que los Mexicanos necesitan nuestra ayuda y como no hemos visto respuesta alguna entonces estos grupos decidieron unificarse para poder recaudar alimentos, ropa y ayuda financiera para poder ayudar a los hermanos Mexicanos que sufrieron este problema de inundación. Estas donaciones serán recogidos en Belice por el Sub Secretario de Quintana Roo así estaremos seguros que las donaciones legaran a los que más lo necesitan."

Should We Go To The ICJ?Students Debate The Issue
Today students of Orange Walk Technical High School made an impressive presentation on the Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute through a debate. During the discussion, the pros and cons of going to the International Court of Justice, to once and for all settle the unfounded claim, were presented. Jahina Dominguez, Against ICJ “History has proven when the treaty was signed Belize was a part of Spain’s domain, a Spanish speaking country and motherland to Guatemala. When Guatemala gained his Independence it rightfully inherited was for Spain in the bases and Great Britain stole what rightfully belong to Guatemala in other words they took it by force.” Gustavo Rodriguez, Against ICJ “My esteemed opponent this is clearly stating that the British as the Creole would say them con yah and they neva own this territory, so they don’t have any right to call it their own.”

Corozalenos Speak On Passport Scandal
The fact that the Immigration Department is investigating its own house into the recent passport scandal in which South Korean National Kim Wong Hong was issued a Belizean Passport while in detention in Taiwan, has caused a public outcry. The issue is being kept very much alive. On a special Sitting of the Senate, Senator Lisa Shoman, representing the Opposition proposed that the senate launch a separate investigation into the matter. Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse; however, disagrees and has stated that there is no need for a senate investigation. In reality the recent passport scandal has left more questions than answers and while several excuses are being given for the matter not to be criminally investigated, the Belizean people believe that all the powers of the law should be utilized to bring those responsible to justice. Today reporter Victor Castillo hit the streets of Corozal Town and found out what are the sentiments of Corozalenos on the matter.

International Hackers Find New Way To Make Big Bucks
Have you received a call from an international number lately, answered it or even called the number back and right after noticed that your credit was eaten out? Well, we must tell you that you were probably scammed. Over the last few days Smart and Digicell customers have complained about receiving strange international calls. This caused both companies to launch an investigation and what was found out is that international hackers have found a new way to make huge bucks. So how exactly does the scam play out? Smart’s Public Relations Officer Ian Courtney explains. Ian Courtney- Smart’s P.R Officer “Our customers have not really been affected by it but we have investigated the reports that we have seen in the media and stuff and what it appears if that there is series of what are called Premium- numbers that these scammers have gotten hold of and they are calling Belizeans and if you answer or if you call back or if you have a miss call then you are being charged a rate and we have seen up to five to six dollars a minute these charges are happening and it decreases your credit quickly.

U.S And Belizean Forces Destroy More Than 13 Million U.S Dollars Of Marijuana
The U.S. Embassy Military Liaison Office in Belmopan and Joint Task Force-Bravo partnered with Belizean military forces in a successful marijuana eradication operation in Belize from September 25th to the 28th 2013. Joint Task Force-Bravo provided aviation support, on-call casualty evacuation and tactical assault on objective insertion and extraction training for 38 Belizean military and law enforcement personnel who participated in the operation. The operation resulted in the Belizean forces destroying 22 marijuana fields across the country and approximately thirty seven thousand nine hundred and seventy mature marijuana plants with an initial estimated value of $13 million U.S dollars. In addition, the team also found and destroyed four pounds of marijuana seeds. The training involved the use of a caving ladder which is lowered from the helicopter in order to insert ground forces into an otherwise inaccessible area. In an interview conducted by the international media, U.S. Army Captain Fernando Martinez, Alpha Company Commander said quote "The Belizean Coast Guard SEALS, Belize Defense Forces, and Belize National Police Anti-Drug Unit all served as the ground force for this operation.” End of quote.

VIP Supports Penner's Recall, PM Says He Will Not Go Down That Easy
Former Minister of State Elvin Penner has until Monday October 7th to resign as Area Representative for Cayo Northeast or face a recall. This is an ultimatum that the Leader of the Opposition, Honorable Francis Fonseca, penned in a letter sent to Penner on October 2nd. The road to a recall though, will not be that easy because the Government of the day will come out in full swing to defend Penner’s seat. Honourable Dean Barrow- Prime Minister of Belize “I am talking to you about the here and now and the fact of this recall mechanism and I am saying that in terms of the recall exercise yes. The party will rally around Elvin Penner. We believe that he deserves a second chance. We believe that we ought to help him persuade his constituents not to recall him. If the constituents decide otherwise, so be it."

BSI Says No To Compensation To Cane Farmers For The Use Of Bagasse
This morning the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association received confirmation from the Belize Sugar Industries Limited that the milling company will not be compensating cane farmers for the use of bagasse, a by-product of the cane which BSI uses to produce energy which is then sold to BEL. During the negotiations of the new Commercial Agreement, representatives of BSCFA requested that BSI pay cane farmers ten dollars per ton of Bagasse. On Thursday September 26th negotiations on the issue fell through when BSI informed BSCFA that they were not willing to share the revenues. Today the company official made their decision known in a letter sent to the Chairman of the BSFCA Committee Of Management, Alfredo Ortega. Alfredo Ortega- Chairman, BSCFA, COM “Recibimos su carta y en eso fuimos otra vez de ello y los puntos que tienen y siguen con su no.” Carmelita Perez – Reporter “Se está dando alguna explicación?”

The Belize Times

Resign or be Recalled – PUP says Penner MUST GO!
Opposition Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca has issued an ultimatum to discredited UDP Area Representative Elvin Penner: Resign or be Recalled. On Wednesday October 2nd Hon. Fonseca wrote to Penner indicating that he had until 5:00pm on Monday October 7th, to do what is in “the best interest of the people of Cayo North East” and resign. Failing that, Hon. Fonseca warned, “the PUP along with the electors of that division will initiate your RECALL”. Hon. Fonseca informed Penner that he has lost the trust and confidence of those he represents and so he has one last opportunity to “put the interest of the people ahead of the United Democratic Party”. Penner is involved in the fraudulent issuance of Belizean nationality and passport to a South Korean national, Kim Won Hong, who was in jail in Taiwan for allegations of being the mastermind of a multi-million dollar embezzlement scam. Penner was fired as the Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration on Thursday September 19th, but there has been no move to investigate or prosecute him for his criminal actions.

Corruption Cover Up! – Da fool di talk, but da noh fool di listen
Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse, the two persons who are presiding over the biggest scandal to date at the Passport and Nationality offices, have done their utmost theatrics to protect the image of the UDP and to not “bring down” or make “matters worst” for former Cabinet colleague, confessed wrongdoer Elvin Penner. Barrow, who has himself admitted that Penner did something so wrong that it warranted his forced resignation from Cabinet, is now pretending that Penner is only guilty of a small offense at the Immigration Department. Now it has become obvious that the only reason Barrow moved swiftly to remove Penner was to attempt to quell the tsunami of public outrage which is approaching nonetheless. Hulse who was boasting that there is “Absolutely no corruption in immigration” just a month ago, has been embarrassed and exposed by the incident yet he refuses to accept the obvious – that his new security system was breached at all sorts of levels with Penner’s involvement.

Hon. Elvin Penner, RESIGN OR BE RECALLED I write on behalf of the people of Belize, and in particular, the people of the Cayo North East Division to DEMAND your immediate resignation as the Member for Cayo North East Division in the House of Representatives of ...

Francis heralds “new chapter of the revolution” at PUP 63rd birthday
There was no standing room left at the historic Independence Hall as leaders and supporters of the People’s United Party (PUP) gathered to celebrate the party’s fulfilment of its 63rd year of service on Saturday September 28th. Over the past six decades, the PUP has had a riveting history which rivals others in the region and the world. It’s Leader Emeritus Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price, who passed away two years ago, was the last of the living Fathers of Independence of the Caribbean region. It is evident, then, that the history of the PUP dovetails, crisscrosses and runs parallel to the extraordinary political advances of Belize’s nationhood. Price and the PUP guided Belize through those important stages.

HOMOSEXUAL LAW IS HERE A Law legalizing homosexuality was introduced by the government at last Friday’s sitting of the House of Representatives. It is a slick and cagey move. It is ingenious and at the same time disingenuous. If the law turns out to be what it appears to be, homosexuals throughout the Caribbean and commonwealth countries as well as homosexuals in Europe and U.S.A. should finance the UDP government. Under the guise of pursing a law to protect children from sexual offenders, a section legalizing homosexuality has been sneaked in as one of dozens of amendments. The proposed law read out in the National assembly on the 27th September, 2013 is: “An Act to amend the Criminal Code Chapter 101… to make promises to reform the law in relation to sexual offences against children, abduction, kidnapping, procurement, incest, the age of criminal liability and witness protection…”

By G. Michael Reid The latest scandal coming out of the Immigration department is big and will probably not be as easy to sweep under the rug as all the others before it have been. This one has international implications and while our Prime Minster has tried to wave it off and applied a mild slap on the wrist of the man most responsible, it will probably take a whole lot more than that. The facts as they present themselves are pretty straight-forward and if ever a man was caught with his hand in the cookie jar, Elvin Penner has been! On September 9th, Elvin Penner, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration, escorted a person of Asian descent to the Passport Office. Mr. Penner stayed until the person was photographed and processed and three hours later, had his driver pick up the passport. This is a process folks, that can take the “normal” person anywhere from several weeks to several years; even with all the proper documentation in place.

The Penner story is far from over. The UDP will try to fight the inevitable death of Penner’s political life. The prize of government is too addictive for them. Barrow has calculated that the skin of teeth that he won by in 2012 has disappeared. In the last television interview, Barrow who pretends to be untouchable and above even himself was bleeding. His head was tight and his options non-existent. It is was so clear that his exit plan is to defend those two seats despite what cost is paid from his already bankrupt moral authority. But there are a few things we need to point out. The first is that Penner’s crash of humiliation and criminality was predictable. The PUP tried to ring that alarm bell, and to be fair, the people of Belize responded to the warnings. The UDP subverted the democratic process and so here we are with a decomposing and disgraced Penner. See, Penner is Dean Barrow’s baby. Just as how Pablo Marin is a Barrow baby. So is the despised Gaspar Vega, Barrow’s baby. They are his creations. They are proof of the kinds of politicians that he chooses. Not too bright and not too full of integrity.

Belize Telemedia wins national women’s softball champs
Belize Telemedia won its 2nd national championship of the national women’s softball championships at the home of softball at the Roger’s Stadium in Belize City on Sunday, September 29. Telemedia won 8-1 by mercy rule against Roaring Creek as winning pitcher Kenisha Sutherland struck out 3 batters. Roaring Creek’s pitcher Leyandra Guy walked 4 batters and gave up 7 hits, while Roaring Creek’s diamond made 14 errors. Cacho came home in the 1st inning, and Rhys and Christine Jacobs came home in the 5th inning. Sutherland gave up 7 hits, the Telemedia diamond made 3 errors, but only Greta Davis scored for Roaring Creek in the 6th inning.

No goals in Belmopan Bandits vs. FC Belize match
In Belize City at the MCC garden, fans came away disappointed from a nil-zip draw between the defending champs of last year’s closing season the Belmopan Bandits and FC Belize. Man of the Match, FC Belize’s goalie Glenford Chimilio stopped 2 penalty tries by the Bandits’ top striker Deon McCauley, and frustrated the best efforts of Elroy Kuylen, Dennis Serano, Jerome “Jaro” James and Deris “Columbia” Benavides, who all got off shots at goal.

Belize Bank Bulldogs advances to basketball quarterfinals
The Belize Bank Bulldogs defeated the Central Health Region staff 65-57 to lead the Belize District firms’ basketball playoffs. Marcel Orosco led the Bulldogs with 19 points and 13 rebounds while Terique Gabb added 17 points, and Chris McGann scored 13 points and 7 rebounds. Central Health’s Wilfred Richards scored 15 points, Steven Wade added 12 pts, and Lonnie Trapp had 10pts. With the win, the Bulldogs joined the Belize City Council in advancing to the quarterfinals. COURTS Belize also advanced by eliminating the Heritage Bank Heatz: 63-59.

UDP’s $3m Corozal Bay convention
A lot of interesting information is being spilled from the recent SIF scandal. We now know what the UDP has been doing with the Social Investment Fund all along. We now know why only UDP cronies have been receiving contracts. And we now know how it ...

For a couple of weeks now I have been looking at the topic of church and state. Should the two be disconnected? Is the bible relevant today or is it outdated? I must ask you to keep in mind first of all that the word church is not necessarily what ...

Asia was trending in the news week as several nations have turned their attention to meeting the demands of that market. With a population of more than 4.1 billion people, it makes up 60% of the world’s current human population. That’s an exceptionally large number of potential ...

Economic Independence
By Richard Harrison The Hon. George C. Price et al set Belize on course to becoming politically independent in the 1950s’. The leaders of the country worked arduously to convince the people that this goal was achievable and worthwhile, and gathered around them the human and material resources that were required. ...

Truth or Consequences
By Dr. Angela Banner Joseph "Listen to me, my children! Be wise and have enough sense to follow the right path" - Proverbs 23: 15 This week's life lesson came from my greatest teacher on earth, my mother. Ms. Banner is a stern woman who raised us on three words: truth or ...

Total Recall
I would have to say that I am grateful to Elvin Penner for exposing his administration in one aspect. But there are more players in this dis-honorable game and Penner is but a “small fish in a big pond”. I think that in all the scandals Penner did the most ...

SCALES OF JUSTICE – Trying to fool the People!
By Anthony Sylvestre You remember Xerxes, the narcissistic king in the movie 300? Who thought that he was an all knowing, all powerful, invincible “god-king”? I think that Dean Barrow fancies himself to be a Xerxes, a god-king. Ah mean, which mortal leader acts the way he does and talks the way ...

The Abuse of Power and the Assault on our Democracy
By Norris Hall “The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy” as a sub-title to a book, is very relevant, and succinctly so, to the rude and crude misconduct along with the dictatorial and arrogant attitude of a Prime Minister of Belize, and a government living too high ...

Shame and Disgrace
By Dolores Balderamos Garcia Belizeans were once again shocked and disappointed to hear of the incident which involved Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica and the Belizean Coast Guard, which took place on the afternoon of Independence Day. We have of course only the official reports to go by, but if these reports ...

REFELECTIONS ON THE PUBLIC SQUARE – PUP: Proud History – Exciting Future
By Francis W. Fonseca On Saturday, September 29, 2013 the great People’s United Party celebrated its 63rd year of existence. Founded in 1950, the first 30 years of the PUP’s history is defined by the work and vision of our great leader, George Price. The peaceful, constructive revolution was focused on the creation ...

CitCo Sweetheart deals
Can the Mayor of Belize City tell us that the Arguelles Company has not been handpicked for yet another CitCo multi-million dollar contract? This time it’s the Commercial Center for a whopping $2.3 million. It appears that under the present Mayor, only the same rich and wealthy people ...

Cayo North East gets ready for Recall – “Penner Got To Go” Rally in San Ignacio on Sunday
The people of the Cayo North East constituency are waiting patiently for the recall process of disgraced UDP Elvin Penner to get underway. The PUP’s Orlando Habet, who lost the 2012 elections to Penner by a mere 17 votes and the returning officer’s refusal to ...

Dear Editor: After listening to the interviews given by the PM and Minister Hulse I am convinced that they are protecting Penner in this whole passport fiasco. The reporter from KREM RADIO is telling the PM that a fraud has been committed and he got arrogant to the fact. How can someone ...

I blame Hulse!
Dear Editor, The last time the Prime Minister checked with Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse about the passport goings on, Minister Hulse’s response was “all in order sir”. But little did the people know that Penner’s hands were at work. What we the people want to know is how with all the ...

Barrow has fallen
Dear Editor, Dean Barrow has fallen. Fallen from grace to grass with no moral authority over his people nor his cabinet. It was clear that when he stood up last Friday to speak, by the tone of his voice he wasn’t too happy. He sounded guilty, knowing the Belizean people have ...

All Young People Deserve an EQUAL Opportunity
Dear Editor, Please allow me space to discuss the concept of equal opportunity for all young people in Belize, as Executive Director of Teens Belize Organization. Young people, as we all know, make up more than half of Belize’s growing population. They are the future of this nation. But the future is ...


A little known very cool Ambergris Caye souvenir shop
Ambergris Caye is not known as a shoppers paradise and most repeat visitors have ‘seen it all’ when it comes to bringing home vacation gifts for friends and family. If you want something unique and handmade in Belize that comes with the added benefit of knowing that you are helping a good cause, Holy Cross Sewing Center is the place for you. This little known but very cool souvenir shop offers a good selection of wonderful bags, really cute dolls and jewelery. The sewing sisters Mirla, Catalina, Elsa, Aurora and Mayra can also do custom orders and alterations as well. The Sewing Center at Holy Cross Anglican School is located in North Ambergris Caye, on the other side of the Boca Del Rio River. You will see the Red Roofed school on the right school as you cross the bridge. Just head towards it and check in at the school office and they will direct to the Sewing Center.

Annual Waterways Volunteer work a Clean sweep to Eco – Success
What percentage of approximately 340,000 is 2,000? We’re terrible at maths, but we do know that it’s a pretty big size of the population when you’re talking about volunteers from a small country such as Belize. But some 2,000 people were estimated to have showed up for the 22nd Annual Coastal National Coastal and River ways Clean-up campaign that was held during the last Saturday in September, with those environmental stalwarts Oceana Belize and the Scout Association of Belize lending their considerable support and reporting a record participation country wide. The 2,000 volunteers worked on cleaning up sections of the sea, various lakes, lagoons, rivers and creeks, removing piles of debris and trash from the beaches and banks of Belize’s precious waterways and generally giving the ecosystem a much needed show of support along with very practical help. Why? Because it’s the Belizean thing to do.

Belize’s Most Beautiful Beaches
A country facing the Caribbean Sea, Belize offers beaches – plenty of them, and most uncrowded. For the most part, all you have to do is head south and get past the regular tourist trail of the Northern Cayes. All along the south coast, from Dangriga to the Placencia Peninsula, there are beaches on shore and offshore idyllic cayes or islands — a little something for everyone. Hopkins is one of my favorite places to relax. Located on the east coast, and a short drive from Dangriga, this five-mile beach is quiet, nicely lined with coconut trees and with plenty of local life around, as well as budget accommodations. Hopkins is also an authentic Garifuna village — so while you spend some days burying your toes in the sand, others can be spent sampling Garifuna dishes, taking drumming lessons or exploring local art in this unique Afro-Amerindian beach village.

What’s the deal with our obsession with sweet corn?
In Belize we grow up on sweet corn and here at Ka’ana we absolutely LOVE it. You can find it as a gelato and in some of our cocktails (Who doesn’t love Ka’ana’s signature Sweet Corn Colada?). Some people even add it to our fish tacos. Corn is grown successfully in Belize, with the Cayo, Toledo and some parts of the Orange Walk District being particularly successful. It’s sweet, it’s crunchy and definitely satisfying. The best part is that you can get it from anywhere – from street vendors or fine restaurants – in a variety of preparations. As kids we grew up eating “sugar-corn” ice-cream and popsicles. You can also get rich and creamy atole – hot or chilled. Here in Belize we love sweet corn smothered in butter or lime and chile – even dipped in cream and sprinkled with cheese! The Mayas adored it, today’s new generations still love it and you too can get your sweet corn fix whenever you visit us!

International Sources

Honeymoon ideas for adrenaline junkies to foodie couples
According to, meanwhile, rates in Hanoi dropped 32 per cent in the first half of 2013 compared to the same period last year, making the Vietnamese capital one of the site’s picks for the top bargain destinations of 2013. But if it’s a beach vacation you’re after, consider the island of Ambergris Caye in Belize, which is often passed over by Caribbean-bound tourists for its more popular neighbours. Consequently, the tropical island boasts lower price points.

The Power of Photography
Photographers use their cameras as tools of exploration, passports to inner sanctums, instruments for change. Their images are proof that photography matters—now more than ever. Thirty-four years before the birth of this magazine, the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard sourly prophesied a banal fate for the newly popularized art of photography. “With the daguerreotype,” he observed, “everyone will be able to have their portrait taken—formerly it was only the prominent—and at the same time everything is being done to make us all look exactly the same, so we shall only need one portrait.” The National Geographic Society did not set out to test Kierkegaard’s thesis, at least not right away. Its mission was exploration, and the gray pages of its official journal did not exactly constitute a visual orgy. Years would go by before National Geographic’s explorers would begin using the camera as a tool to bring back what is now its chief source of fame: photographic stories that can alter perceptions and, at their best, change lives.

October 5, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Island ex-pat attacked by crocodile on Ambergris Caye
A US expat is lucky to be alive after he was bitten by an American Saltwater Crocodile while in the water southeast of Ambergris Caye. The incident occurred shortly around 8AM on Wednesday, October 2nd. Because of the attack, the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES) has issued an advisory alert for the Mosquito Coast area of Ambergris Caye. According to Cherie Chenot-Rose of ACES the victim of the attack, who asked to remain anonymous, was swimming from one dock to another trying to spearfish when he was attacked. “It was about 8AM, the peak time when these types of apex predators feed. He reported that the area had a lot of debris, which is a perfect hiding place. But because of the way the attack happened, we don’t believe it was hunting for food,” explained Chenot-Rose. The local croc expert explained that the man may have “invaded” the animal’s space and in defense it snapped at him. “From the type of wounds on the man, we believe the crocodile just snapped in defense. The crocodile may have feared the person near it. If the croc was hunting for food, the injuries could have been worse or probably fatal.” In most cases, when crocodile attack for food, a single grip is all the animal needs for it to be a deadly success for the croc. However, when they feel threatened, they are known to just snap and leave the area.

1st Marine Expeditionary Force Civil Affairs Team partner with Belizean authorities
A team of four Marines from the United States Marine Corps and one Sailor from the US Navy are in Belize working with the residents, various organizations and law enforcement agencies. The main goal of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force Civil Affairs Team is to reinforce their relationship with Belizean authorities through partnership and friendship. The US Marine team will be working in various areas of the country’s disaster plan and bridging the gap between the Belize Coast Guard and the community. The team comprises of personnel from the US Marine Forces South, which falls under the US Southern Command and a Hospital Corpsman (medic) from the Navy. Head of the team, Captain Sarah Culbertson explained that the exercise is one of partnerships between Belize and US. “We are going into the communities conducting partnered operations with various government agencies to make both parties better prepared to respond to humanitarian relief scenarios. We are working with all the civil components including the police department, the fire department and the schools – basically anyone who can be an important player in case of a disaster.”

Burton Caliz found guilty of manslaughter by negligence in the 2004 death of Leroy Pilgrim
The trial regarding the shooting death of 24 year Leroy Pilgrim is back in Supreme Court following a retrial. Pilgrim, a resident of the San Juan area of San Pedro Town was shot and killed in February of 2004 by Police Constable Burton Caliz following a struggle. Caliz, who remains on interdiction, was initially charged with manslaughter in March of 2004 but his charge was upgraded to murder in 2007, where he was found guilty. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but the conviction was overturned in 2008 during an appeal trial before the Belize Court of Appeal, who then ordered a retrial. That retrial started on September 18th before Justice Troadio Gonzalez, but this time for manslaughter. The prosecutor called eight witnesses to testify including Sanjay Pilgrim, the brother of the deceased. Sanjay told the court that on the day of incident, he was on a boat in the San Juan area of San Pedro Town, when his brother Leroy arrived. He recalled that on the day of the incident, police constables Vidal Cajun and Caliz then arrived in separate golf carts.

A sweet bit of history at Serpon Sugar Mill
I had my own adult version of a field trip a while ago, and one of the items on the itinerary was a visit to the Serpon Sugar Mill. There it was: history! My least favorite subject in the world, Social Studies, was looking me in the face and laughing. Facts and figures and names – things I thought I would never have to face again were on an itinerary that included climbing Maya ruins, fine dining and sleeping in fabulous hotel rooms. When our tour was interrupted by the fact that the guide would be unable to accompany us due to unforeseen circumstances, I thought that perhaps we’d be let off the hook. But, no such luck. However, we would be allowed to roam freely among the giant trees and old abandoned machinery, getting our fill of Serpon Sugar Mill.

Ambergris Today

International Day Of Older Persons Observed in Belize
October 1st is celebrated as the United Nations International Day of Older Persons and in Belize, like so many countries around the world, this date is acknowledged by creating greater awareness of the concerns and needs of Older Persons. It is a day when many organizations in Belize that work with and for Older Persons focus on providing activities as a mark of respect and to make them feel special in their community. This year marks the 22nd Anniversary of the International Day of Older Persons and the UN theme is “The Future we want – what Older Persons are saying”. As the population of older persons is growing in Belize the country needs to focus greater attention to older persons and listen to what they are saying.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Khadija Assales
Today's Belmopan Weekly profile features Belizean jeweler Khadija Assales, designer of KajExpressions and owner of Treasure Box in Placencia Village.

2013 Consejo Road Disaster Task Force
The Consejo Village Council wishes to put forth the idea of organizing a Consejo Community based Task Force who’s mission is to simply do what we can collectively, as a community, to achieve lasting improvements to Consejo Road. Therefore, all interested persons are invited to attend a meeting this coming Sunday at 2:00 PM at the Casa Blanca by thee Sea Hotel in Consejo Village . Given the experience, expertise, various knowledge bases, collective energies and other resources residing within our Community, coming together and organizing ourselves to focus our efforts on Consejo Road has great potential. This is to be a Consejo Community Task Force and not a Consejo Village Council task force. This needs to happen at the level of community. Here are some discussion points to be thinking about for our 2:00 Sunday meeting at the Casa Blanca Hotel . Pros and cons on all these points and more are to be discussed and our meeting.

family out on these dates!!!! FESTIVAL DE LA HISPANIDAD Y MESTIZAJE Event: Lecture on War of Caste (mostly in Spanish) Date: Friday October 11th Time: 7:00 p.m. Place: Corozal House of Culture Event: Optimist Regatta – Corozal Bay Sailing Club Date: Friday October 12th Time: Afternoon Event: Crowning of Ms. Hispanidad and live Steel Band and Corozalsa Date: Saturday October 12th Time: 7:00 p.m. Place: Corozal House of Culture – Open Air concert Event: Cultural Food, Cultural Presentations, Arts and Craft Displays Date: Sunday October 13th Time: All day Event: Optimist Regatta – Corozal Bay Sailing Club *Date: Saturday October 12th Time: Afternoon

Taco Pie
In a bowl combine chicken, lettuce, chili's, and cilantro. Set aside. Place one of the tortillas on a large platter. Spread with half of the avocado dip. Then top with a second tortilla. Spread with half of the refried beans. Cover with a third tortilla. Sprinkle with half of the chicken-lettuce mixture. Add a forth tortilla. Spread with half of the sour cream sprinkle with half of the cheese. Repeat layers, ending with sour cream and cheese. Garnish with tomatoes, olives, and cilantro. To serve, cut into wedges. If desired, serve with salsa. Makes 8 servings

Belize Intangible Cultural Heritage Workshop
Cayo is represented well at the Belize Intangible Cultural Heritage Workshop currently happening at the Banquitas House of Culture in Orange Walk. NICH is celebrating its 10 year anniversary, and at this event they are working with UNESCO during the workshop. "National Workshop on Community-Based inventorying of Belize Intangible Cultural Heritage happening in Northern Belize for 8 days, brings forth the splendor of the rich cultural vibrancy in our Jewel"

Galen Pool Party
Galen University's student government is having a pool party fundraiser today at Cahal Pech. DJ Karizma and other guest DJ's will be there.

VIDEO: Barracuda Cave, San Pedro, Belize
In June 2013 Martin John Leslie shared with me numerous cracks that the local fisherman have used for generations in the seafloor behind the town of San Pedro. We apply named this one Barracuda Cave after the large barracuda that would emerge from the crack/entrance the first few times we visited. Its a small restricted sidemount entrance with much potential for exploration. See my friend Robbie Schmittner and his brother Richie exploring and surveying- Its such a joy to watch Robbie explore

Channel 7

PUP Get In Gear to Trigger Penner Recall; UDP Will Stand With Penner
Tomorrow, the PUP Western Caucus will launch a massive drive in the 7 villages of Cayo Northeast to collect at least 1700 signatures - which is the 30% of the registered voters required to trigger a recall. Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca is expected to present those signatures on Monday when - he'll have to follow through on his "resign or recall" ultimatum because Penner won't resign. The Prime Minister confirmed that today - when we caught him as he was entering BWSL to meet with the union. More on that meeting later, but, first to the Prime Minister on Penner - whose hospitalization he also discussed: Jules Vasquez "You will lead a national party council for your party tomorrow. What message will you send then concerning the situation in Cayo North East?" Prime Minister Dean Barrow "We will have to discuss the fact as well the opposition has indicated that it will seek to recall Hon. Penner and so we will have to talk about how we prepare for that." "I will say straight off that of course we are going to oppose the recall. We believe that Hon. Penner did wrong and has been punished. We certainly don't feel that he ought to be left on his own."

Cayo NE Constituent Says Elvin Should Be Criminally Charged
So, tonight there are three main pieces of news on Penner: the PUP will start collecting signatures to recall him; the UDP will support him in a recall election; and the DPP says from what she's seen there's enough to merit a police investigation. In that, she has the support of Cayo Northeast Resident Marlon Robinson. Robinson has written and delivered a letter to the Commissioner of Police, requesting police intervention. Today, he came to our studio to make a public call that his request be carefully considered. Robinson, who said that he is a law student, told us the public outcry for a criminal case is justified: Marlon Robinson "I am respectfully asking the Commissioner of Police to launch a criminal investigation on this matter. It is obvious to be seen that something of a criminal nature has taken place. I believe there is sufficient circumstantial evidence and tangible evidence, real evidence that you may tender before a court and a judge may accept."

Janitor Cleaned Up with Jewelry
Tonight, 49 year-old Dawn Baiza, who was a janitor at JEC, is out on bail after she was taken to court for allegedly stealing over $55,000 worth of jewelry from her former workplace. According to Police, one the store's managers he was alerted by one the employees that a customer was trying to pawn a ring which went missing from the store since July 11 of last year. They conducted an audit which revealed that $55,000 worth of jewelry was stolen. Police investigated, and allegedly found all the missing jewelry at her house. As a result, she was charged with 1 count of theft, and 18 counts of handling stolen goods. She was arraigned yesterday before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, who granted her bail of $30,000, which she was able to meet. She must return to court on December 4, 2013.

GSU Busted Weed, Lady Friend Offered Gun, No Deal
Tonight, 33 year-old Belama resident Richard Smith out on bail after the GSU busted him with over 28 pounds of marijuana. Yesterday morning at 11, the GSU searched an open lot in Belama Phase 4, where they found Smith and 2 other men. Nothing was found, but the officers got information that a drug transaction was taking place, so they questioned Smith about it. The GSU says that he led them to another abandoned lot nearby, where he claimed that he had drugs hidden. The officers found 2 separate stashes of compressed marijuana to a total of 13.1 kilos - or 28.9 pounds - of marijuana along with a scale. He was arrested and charged with 2 counts of drug trafficking, and he was arraigned today before Magistrate Clive Lino. He pleaded not guilty and was granted bail of $6,000, which he met this evening. He returns to court on December 2, 2013. His female companion Sandra Thompson says the GSU told her to produce a firearm and they would ease off on Richard smith. She says she bought a gun and put it under a car near the police station as she was told to, yet the GSU didn't live up to their side of the deal.

PM Puts Utility Unions At Ease Over Pension Funds
Yesterday Prime Minister Dean Barrow went to BTL to meet with their union and today he did the same at BWSL and BEL. With all the public uproar over Citizen Kim and Elvin Penner, you might think he's trying to put out political fires, but in fact, he's trying to get the unions not to bail on their pension funds. Those utility unions have robust pension funds and they got a scare this week when word went out that two proposed pieces of legislation, the draft Belize Pensions Regulation Bill and the draft Belize Pensions Act would give government the authority to raid those pension funds. And then word went out that these pieces of legislation might be pushed through the house in two weeks' time! That sent everyone reeling - and that's why the PM had to spring into action to say, "Not So". The bills being passed around are only model bills produced by a Canadian consultant; they haven't gone to the Sol Gen, or to Cabinet. And while they provide for the regulation of pension funds, more importantly, they don't seek to regulate existing funds. The PM told us what he told the unions:.. Prime Minister Dean Barrow "I do believe that there is a misunderstanding of the provisions of the draft bill. But it doesn't matter. If it ain't broke, don't fix it; these pre-existing pension schemes run internally here at BWS, BEL and at BTL don't need to be touched as far as I concerned. If it ain't broke, don't fix it." "We will absolutely exempt all pre-existing private pension schemes except there are any entities running such that see the bill and say no. We want what we think are additional layers of protection that the bill contains."

PM Barrow Says Elrington Was On Target In UN Speech
And today, we also got the Prime Minister to comment on Wednesday's angry statement by the Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As we reported last night, the Guatemalans are vexed about the statements made at the United Nations General assembly by Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington. Elrington said, quote, "both our territorial and our maritime border regions have been suffering from depredation and environment degradation in consequence of the wanton and sustained illegal activities of Guatemalan campesino, fishermen and other criminal elements engaged in narco-trafficking, human trafficking, smuggling, illegal panning for gold, the extraction of Xate and other exotic plants and animals, the illegal felling of timber and the pillaging of our ancient Mayan ruins." End quote. Those words, and many others on that subject, incensed the Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Affairs which sent a letter of protest to the OAS. The nine point letter says, quote, "The Government of Guatemala does not accept the derogatory and discriminatory treatment used by the Foreign Minister of Belize regarding Guatemalan farmers, fishermen and villagers, blaming them for numerous illegal acts, which, on the contrary are a source of concern for our government and we are strongly involved in counteracting them. Neither does it accept the unfortunate concepts which ascribe to Guatemala an alleged responsibility for environmental destruction in Belize…the actions of some nationals would never make the State responsible for such acts."

Guat Foreign Minister Carrerra Scolds Department Governors For Meeting With Belizeans
And the angry talk from the Guatemalans continues. Yesterday, Guatemalan media reported that Foreign Minister Fernando Carrera denounced private meetings held by Belize officials with the Governors of the departments of Izabal and Peten. Newspaper reports say Carrera stated that Belizean authorities have proposed agreements as if local Guatemalan authorities represent the State. Carrerra called it a "game" that will not be allowed. He said, quote, "(No) governor who shares a border with Belize, can unilaterally put forward agreements with Belize...the president directs foreign policy" end quote. Both governors Juan Jose Pinto Estrada and Raul Estrada Jerez have agreed to informal cooperation agreements to promote trade Carrera said it appears as if they are agreements between the department of Peten and Belize and quote "that cannot be done and it is legally unacceptable" end quote. He added that it is being done to provoke the idea that the central government has no will to resolve the dispute.

Police Say Arson Was Caused By Mental Patient
Yesterday, 7News told you about the fire which did extensive damages to the home of 84 year-old Morris Taylor. Well, police are treating the investigation into that fire as arson. So far, the investigation is pointing to 33 year-old mental patient Richardine McKay was inside the house at the time the fire started, and the evidence points to her as the one who lit some paper which caused the fire. She suffered burns, and was taken to the KHMH, where she was kept under observation. The estimated cost of the house is $19,000, and it was not insured.

What Comes After City Center?
As we've reported, the City Center is being dismantled - and the Prime Minister says a 30 million dollar facility will go up in its place. But we've been hearing the promises of a new facility for, like, 2 years, which is how long it took to just get the project started to tear down the old Civic Center. So how long will it take for a new facility to be built, and what will it look like? That's what we asked a member of the Belize Infrastructure Limited Board of Directors Paul Thompson today:.. Paul Thompson, Belize Infrastructure Limited "Belize City Center is being dismantled as you said and the plan is to build a multi-purpose facility at this location. A multi-purpose facility that houses basketball, volleyball and whatever else that can happen here." Jules Vasquez "How large will it be? What type of seating will there be? What type of ventilation will there be?" Paul Thompson, Belize Infrastructure Limited "We are in the process of finalizing that presently. There were plans that were done a few years ago to put a multi-purpose facility at the Marion Jones Complex. That didn't worked out and we will see shortly what those plans are to see whether or not that facility can be placed at this location."

Basketball Beat Brazil, But Has No Home
And as the President of the Belize Basketball Federation Paul Thompson knows well how badly Belize needs a proper indoor sports facility. Right now they're trying to field an under 14 team to play regionally, but they have nowhere to practice. And, it's a shame because Belizean basket ballers continue to do well on the world stage. Recently, our under 18 three on three tam had a respectable showing at the world championships in Jakarta Indonesia. Thompson discussed these events, and how they relate to a lack of training facilities:.. Paul Thompson "3X3 U-18 National Team for Belize participated in the U-18 world championship in Jakarta, Indonesia from September 26-29. We played against some very huge country; Germany, Spain, we actually beat Brazil and we beat Venezuela and we lost to Germany and Spain. According to coach Smiling we had a good chance of winning the game against Spain."

What CARICOM Citizenship Means
The words "Caribbean Community" appear on the front of your passport - but what do they really mean? It should mean that you have the right to move around the Caribbean unimpeded, and now a landmark ruling from the Caribbean Court of Justice has enforced that right and scolded the Country of Barbados for violating it. It was handed down today in the case of Jamaican Shanique Myrie, who arrived at Grantley Adams International Airport on May 14, 2011. She claimed that Barbadian officials denied her entry into Barbados, and she was subjected to a traumatizing body cavity search in a deplorable detention center. She was expelled from the country the next day. She brought her claim to the CCJ that Barbados violated her right to free movement within CARICOM, which she claims was done in discrimination against her Jamaican nationality. The State of Jamaica intervened in the case on her behalf.

Students March Against Violence
So far this year, violence has been on a major downswing in Belize City - and while we are all grateful for it, truth is, it's been trending up for 12 years, with the murder rate climbing almost every year since two thousand. An entire generation was raised in such times, and every day, they carry the scars of community violence. That's why for the students of Canaan High - it meant something today to march against violence. Monica Bodden reports:... Monica Bodden reporting This morning the Students of Canaan Seventh Day Adventist College gathered to share one message...which was, Stop The Violence! Garfield McCulloch- Principal "We decide to celebrate it so that the children themselves can become aware of what violence is about; how it is affecting the society, the school and the relationship with each other." "Seeing that we are concern about the increase of violence in the City especially and that we can start with them here that they would understand what we can do to decrease, to stop the violence among them here."

Belizean Musicians Play In Another Regional Orchestra
A month ago, 7News showed you the Youth Orchestra of the Americas who finished their tour in Belize. Belizean violinist Courtney Gillett performed with the prestigious orchestra on that date, and now has another opportunity to do so. Gillett and fellow violinist Cindy Burgos, have been given an opportunity to practice and tour with another youth orchestra. That group of musicians is called the Central American Youth Orchestra (OJCA), and they've been in Panama for just over a week preparing for their upcoming concerts. Our Daniel Ortiz was in Panama earlier this week for an international conference, and he got an opportunity to see the OJCA in action during one of their practices. He also spoke with the Gillett and Burgos about the opportunity they're being given. Here's what they told us: Alejo Campos, President - OJCA "The orchestra is a special program to bring down the violence in young people around the whole Central American Region and here you have the best musicians around the Central America area. Here you have almost 100 young people making good music."

Salima And Friends Continue To Give
Her mother's shown great prowess at fundraising for charitable causes, and just so for 8 year old Salima Barrow. Her "Children Helping Children" organization is launching its second round of fundraising for children living with cancer. On Saturday these 8 year olds will be selling limeades and other goodies and today they are personally asking for your support. Salima Barrow "We are going to have a limeade stand at Brodies parking lot from 12 - 4 and we won't only be having limeade, we'll be having other stuff too." Abigail Thurton "Cookies, brownies, cupcakes and a lot more stuff." Halle Fuller "The purpose is to raise money for the sick children that have cancer." Monica Bodden "You guys have a aim that you want to reach?" Halle Fuller "I am thinking about going up to 200 but this year I am going to go bigger."

Channel 5

Immigration scandal remains uncontained; Barrow says party will support Penner
The raging flames of the immigration scandal remain uncontained tonight and there is the very real possibility that its effect will be felt in the Cayo Northeast constituency in days [...]

A proposed Private Pensions Act creates panic amongst subscribers of utility companies
A number of Bills went before the Senate on Wednesday and were ratified. Aside from an amendment to the Criminal Code that is causing disquiet among the churches, there is [...]

Prime Minister moves to appease BWSL, B.E.L. and B.T.L.
Of note is that the Insurance industry has been for some time one of the most regulated industries and has always had a supervisor of Insurance. Even with all that [...]

The amended Criminal Code…does it further the LGBT agenda?
The other controversial Bill is for the amendment of the Criminal Code which seeks to further protect children from predatory offenses such as rape and carnal knowledge.  But other language [...]

P.M. says language in Criminal Code cannot be changed
The P.M. further stated that while the language used in the drafting of the gender policy can be revisited and discussed, such is not the case with the proposed amendment [...]

Cayo North East gets ready for a recall of Elvin Penner
Elvin Penner is recovering from hypertension for which he was admitted at Medical Associates on Thursday. Since then, he has been visited by the P.M. who says that his condition [...]

Another formal complaint is lodged for a criminal investigation
But even while the P.U.P. is gearing up for a recall, there is still the issue of a criminal investigation. A complaint was made earlier this week by WUB Morning [...]

GSU operation seizes 26 pounds of marijuana
On Thursday, the Gang Suppression unit seized twenty-six pounds of marijuana from a lot on Belama Phase four. The report by the unit states that officers conducted a search on [...]

Girlfriend talks about GSU operation and how she was scammed
While Smith was charged by Police, today his girlfriend Sandra Thompson says the GSU made a deal with her, and then didn’t keep their part of the bargain. According to [...]

Janitor allegedly steals over $55,000 worth of jewelry from J.E.C.
A Belize City janitor, police say stole over fifty-five thousand dollars worth of jewelry, is tonight out on a bail of thirty thousand dollars. Reports are that between July eleventh [...]

14 year old Scott Thompson missing for over a week
Fourteen year old Scott Thompson has been missing since last week Thursday, and tonight his mother, Elvira Thompson, is begging the public to assist her in locating the teen. She [...]

Mother of two is also missing
There is another family who is reporting that their loved one is missing. Twenty-four year old Shana Dominguez left home around five p.m. on Thursday.  According to her common-law-husband David [...]

The modernized sanitary landfill in full operation
A new transfer station replaced the old garbage dump site at mile three and a half on the George Price Highway. The transfer station receives tons of garbage from the [...]

Holy Redeemer celebrates wellness week in style
This morning, standard six students transformed the educational surrounds of the Holy Redeemer upper classrooms into a fruit and vegetable utopia. It was a veritable shrine to healthy eating using [...]

A gospel concert at the Bliss
Fire and Brimstone will be raining down on Belize this weekend, but in a good way. That’s the name of a gospel concert featuring artists and church groups from all [...]


Children Helping Children With Cancer
For the second consecutive year, Salima Barrow, the daughter of Prime Minister Dean Barrow and his wife, Kim Simplis Barrow, will mount a lime aid stand at the Brodies Parking lot on the Philip Goldson Highway on Saturday. The eight year-old standard two student at Hummingbird Elementary Primary School this year teamed up with three of her classmates to raise funds to help children suffering from cancer. It goes by the theme, “Children Helping Children” and from midday to four in the afternoon on Saturday, Salima and her friends will be selling lime aid to the public at the location. Today Love News stopped by Salima’s home and spoke with her and her friends about the endeavor. SALIMA BARROW “First you put in a lime in the water and then you add some sugar. We hope to raise more than a thousand bucks. I am making money to give the cancer society for the people who have cancer. I was inspired by my mom because she had cancer and she was very ill and I felt sorry for her; so, now I want to help the children with cancer.”

Energy and Environment Alliances of Central America Holds Forum
Renewable energy for productive uses in Central America was the focus of the 22nd regional forum of the Alliance of Energy and the environment of Central America held in Panama. The three day event featured presentations from countries like Nicaragua, Guatemala, Panama, Costa Rica and Honduras. Panel discussions looked at strategies to improve the visibility of renewable energy, the promotion of renewable energy in Central America and looking at successful projects using renewable energy in the region. Projects highlighted included bio-energy to improve productivity within the bovine sector, a success story out of Panama; the benefits of solar energy panels in hospitals in El Salvador, and the use of solar panels in small isolated rural communities in Nicaragua. Since the early 2000s AEA has funded at least 17 projects in Belize. Beneficiaries of this funding include Belize Sugar Industries, Toledo Cacao Growers Association, Belize Audubon Society and other rural communities across Belize. Over the last 10 years AEA has funded 281 projects within the region. According to Doctor Ana Maria Majano it is important to better equip journalists to cover stories on renewable energy. She said sustainable development is evolving. She also noted that there is no goals looking at energy in the millennium development goals and it is impossible to reduce poverty without the use of renewable energy. She said governments within the region need to put more importance on renewable energy and look at ways to lessen the dependence on fossil fuels. The workshop had the participation of officials from the Ministry of Energy and the Environment of SICA countries, government departments, non government organizations and journalists from the region.

John Doe Found Floating in Mopan River
The body of a male person was found floating alongside the banks of the Mopan River in Western Belize. Corresponded Elaine Berry spoke with police who say that they don’t suspect foul play. ELAINE BERRY “A male Creole man was found at about ten o’clock this morning floating in the Mopan River in the Benque Viejo area. Love News spoke to the Officer in Charge of the Benque Police Formation, Assistant Superintendent Dinsdale Thompson who will tell us more about the discovery.” ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT DINSDALE THOMPSON “Sometime around ten this morning, we received a call from a resident of Benque Viejo who told us that she saw what appears to be a dead body floating in the river near the Benque border with Guatemala. Upon our visit to the scene, we found that it was indeed a body; we retrieved the body, called in our forensic people along with a doctor from Belize City. A post mortem was carried out and certified that the person had drowned; foul play is not suspected; we do not have a name of the victim therefore we are asking anyone who has reported someone missing from the area to please visit the Benque Police Station as we do have photos of the victim.”

Adventist High School Hold Activities for Violence Awareness and Prevention
Today Canaan Seventh Day Adventist High School on Coney Drive held a parade through Belize City and a ceremony at their school compound to mark the end of a week of activities on violence awareness and prevention. It is the first time that Canaan Seventh day High has held such an event and based on the results, the Principal, Garfield McCulloch, says that the school is encouraged to make it an annual practice. Some of the activities during the week included a song and poetry competition. According to the school’s counselor, Karen Bodden, this initial campaign to end violence is one that took on many aspects. The school currently has an enrolment of just over 360 students.

BWSL Under Attack: Vehicles Set Ablaze…Bomb Threat at Belize City Office
The drama wasn’t done for Belize Water Services Limited yesterday, because other than two of their vehicles been burnt around eight thirty in the morning, they also received a bomb threat around 11:55. Police visited the location once more and met with the call operator for BWS who reported to them that a call had come through the switchboard and someone who a male tone spoke in creole and said quote “there is a bomb in the building and it will go of in twenty minutes” end quote. The caller then reportedly started making threats directed to Senior Employees at the company. The call reportedly lasted about two minutes after which the caller hung up. The area was secured and cordoned off by members of the Belize Defense Force Bomb Squad, who also made checks and declared the building safe at 1:00 in the afternoon. Investigations continue.

Post Mortem Results Revealed For Camalote Murder Victims
On Tuesday we reported that two men in Camalote Village in the Cayo District were shot and it cost both of them their lives. The first victim was twenty seven year old Juan Carlos Olmedo who was with his family when a masked man reportedly entered his home and asked for money, shooting him in the process. A post mortem examination conducted on his body yesterday by Dr. Mario Estradabran, certified the cause of death to be vascular shock due to internal and external bleeding, due to heart and superior vena cava injuries as a result of multiple gunshot wounds. The second victim was Oscar Leonel Benitez who was reportedly riding his bicycle when he came under fire. A post mortem examination conducted on his body yesterday certified the cause of death to be exsanguination due to internal and external bleeding as a result of multiple gunshot wounds.

Draft Legislation Seeks To Modernize Private Pensions
On Thursday evening’s newscast Love News reported that Prime Minister, Dean Barrow was meeting with Belize Telemedia Limited employees over reports the employees had received that the Government had intended to tamper with their fund. The meeting, which had in attendance about a hundred BTL employees, lasted for about an hour and a half at BTL’s Saint Thomas Street court. The employees brought up a number of questions and concerns which the Prime Minister answered. Today, the Ministry of Finance issued a press release, addressed to the public. It states that following the 2008 financial crisis and the liquidation of Caribbean Financial Limited, many Caribbean countries were urged to take steps to improve the regulatory and supervisory framework of their financial systems with particular focus on Private Pensions and other financial products. The release continues that with the approval of the Minister of Finance, the Ministry engaged the services of international financial consulting firm, Morneau Shepelle LLC, to draft a legislative framework for the regulation and supervision of private pensions based on modern international standards and industry best practices as employed elsewhere in other Commonwealth jurisdictions.

New Executive Officers For Orange Walk Teachers’ Union
The Belize National Teachers’ Union is holding election for executive offers across the country. This afternoon some three hundred and fifty teachers took part for the election of officers for the Orange Walk Branch of the BNTU. After casting of votes, two term president Otilio Munoz was re-elected as president. The vice president of Keith Augustine, secretary is Mirel Alamilla, assistant secretary is Sharon Reynolds, treasurer is Rigoberto Medina, and trustees are Alejandro Hernandez, Maria Borrallos, and Raiza Carlos. Auditors are teachers Linda Jones and Emma Gene Arzu. Election for national executives is scheduled for next year.


Elvin Penner Is Hospitalized
Former Minister of State Elvin Penner is in the middle of the passport scandal which has been making headlines in every news media across the country. Tonight word coming out of Belize City indicates that Penner was hospitalized at a private clinic after he suffered from high blood pressure and other ailments. With Belizeans clamoring for someone to be charged for the issuance of a Belizean Passport to South Korean National Kim Wong Hong while he was in detention in Taiwan without the proper procedures being followed, the Government of the day certainly finds itself in a tight knot one that will not be let loose anytime soon. While the Prime Minister of Belize has categorically stated that there is no evidence which indicates the Penner should be criminally charged their others who believe other wise.

CCFZ Records Increase In Amount Of Visitors
A few months ago residents of the small community of Subteniente Lopez, a small Mexican community bordering the Belize/ Mexico Border demonstrated against the usage of the new Chactemal Bridge since most businesses were experiencing a decline in their daily sales. But the same cannot be said about the Commercial Free Zone which has seen an increase in visitors since the opening of the new bridge and the implementation of some new measures by management. Victor Castillo – Reporting David Ackierman - Director of the CFZ “The movement of the new bridge has not affected in a negative side on the contrary it has brought more positiveness to the Corozal Free Zone. Why? Because we don’t have any bottle necks now as one could recall couple months ago prior to the new installations a thousand visitors would take as much as six hours returning back home and now a thousand visitors only takes minutes to return home so the congestion has reduced, the flow has been easier, the number of visitors I would say have increase a little because a lot of frustration was; you come to the Free Zone what time will you leave because of the queues that is not any more so, in a way I think the new bridge has brought, it is more beneficial than causing negative impacts to the Corozal Free Zone.”


BREAKING NEWS: Standing House committee meets Tuesday for “Gender Neutral Rape Bill” public hearings
Yesterday PlusNews reported on the online article from Gay Star News titled “Belize prepares for gay sex law to be axed.” , the article says, “While much more work is needed, Orozco told Gay Star News he was delighted with progress, saying: ‘It seems the stars are aligning for us.’ … The...

Caleb Orosco says “stars are aligning” with Barrow’s Gender Neutral Rape Bill
Are the stars lining up for UNIBAM and Caleb Orosco? Well, that is what Gay Star News has reported as coming from the mouth of Mr Orosco. On the online article titled “Belize prepares for gay sex law to be axed.” , the article says, “While much more work...

Guatemala protests statements made by Belize’s Foreign Minister
Belize and Guatemala; the two countries have been unable to settle border disputes and Guatemala’s claim to Belizean territory and when the simultaneous referendum which was scheduled for this month was scrapped by Guatemala, it undoubtedly pushed a resolution further away. Now there are reports that the government of...

BWS hit by attempted attack and bomb threat
There was concern at the Belize City head office of Belize Water Services Thursday afternoon when the building emptied as a result of a bomb threat called in around 12 noon. Earlier in the morning there was damage to two vehicles in the Central American Boulevard...

Fire destroys house in Lake Independence
There was a fire in the City this afternoon that destroyed a single wooden structure in the Lake Independence area. Fire Department officials responded to the scene in the “Ring Road” sometime after noon but were unable to save anything in the structure. Information to us is that there...

Plus TV investigates land disputes in Cotton Tree Village
Last week a man by the name of Rudolph Tucker, locally known as “Rasta”, reported to the media that he wants justice for the demolishing of his two houses and the removal of his title to a piece of land in the Cotton Tree Village, Cayo...

VIP says they will support Recall of Elvin Penner
Much has been said about the recent passport scandal involving former Minister Elvin Penner. The Prime Minister had acted quickly after receiving information of Mr Penner’s involvement from INTERPOL, and fired Elvin Penner as Junior Minister. But calls for a criminal investigation have intensified from various sectors of society....

Amendment to the Criminal Code tabled at Senate meeting
The Amendment to the Criminal Code, Chapter 101, which was tabled at Wednesday’s Senate meeting, seeks to “Make provision for the extension of the offences of extortion and corruption to the private sector; to create the offenses of piracy, insider trading, hostage taking and illegal restraint, fraud and illicit...

BTL warns customers about scam
Belize Telemedia Limited is putting out a warning to prepaid customers that it has been targeted by scam artists. With more here is general manager for public relations and customer services, Dionne Miranda. Dr Dionne Miranda - BTL Public Relations “We are not exactly sure. We are investigating and...

Residents in Salvapan, Belmopan come together to repair street
Residents of Belmopan have longed complained about the condition of the city’s streets. But last week, a group in the Salvapan area, decided to get up and do something about it. The video you are viewing was provided to us by a resident in the...

Duo found not guilty of attempted murder
Jermaine Belgrave and Jeffery Flowers were accused of attempted murder due to an incident which took place in March of 2012. According to PC Harold Grinage and PC Alexis Banner, on that date, the two officers were in mobile patrol. According to PC Grinage’s testimony,...

Candle-light Vigil in memory of Suzenne Martinez
One year has passed since the senseless killing of 20 year old Suzenne Martinez. Ms Martinez was murdered, as she made her way home from school. Her body was discovered not too far from her home in San Ignacio, a few hours later. Suzenne’s favorite...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Conch season now open!
Conch season officially opened October 1, 2013. These large mollusks are a staple delicacy is many a coastal Belizean kitchen. And the shells are gorgeous. By far the most well known conch delicacy is the Belizean conch (pronounced conk) ceviche, or a lime-marinated salad which features the conch as the main ingredient. But ceviche is not the only way the conch is prepared. Some people make fritters out of it.


Agriculture, petroleum and power generation—three of the major economic sectors in Belize—continued to struggle in the second quarter of 2013, after underperforming during the first three months of 2013. However, weak performance in those sectors was offset by gains in fishing, construction and Government services, according to a report for the second quarter of the year. “Oil production continued its downward spiral, falling by 26 percent and reaching its lowest level for any calendar quarter in the past three years,” said the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB), in a release issued today. As for electricity generation, that fell by a similar margin due to insufficient rainfall at the two hydroelectric plants, the report added. The report indicates that, “After a mere 0.1 percent increase in the first quarter of this year, the economy of Belize edged up 1 percent in the second quarter, putting growth for the first half of the year at 0.5 percent.” SIB said that the 3 most influential contributors to the slight economic upturn in the second quarter were fishing, construction and Government services.

Opposition Senator Lisa Shoman this afternoon issued a call on the Senate to launch an independent investigation into the recently disclosed passport scandal for which former Minister of State in the Immigration Ministry Elvin Penner, the United Democratic Party area representative for Cayo Northeast, was forced to resign two weeks ago, after a revelation that Kim Won-Hong – a South Korean who had been jailed in Taiwan, had been fraudulently given Belizean nationality and a Belize passport. “I think all of us as citizens need to know what happened, how it happened, who caused it to happen, who is responsible and most importantly of all, we need the assurance that it will never occur again,” Senator Shoman said. She invited the ruling United Democratic Party administration to table a motion at the next sitting of the Senate “to convoke the Senate to exercise its powers” and if not, the Opposition is prepared to bring that motion at the next Senate meeting. “We passed a raft of legislation today, Mr. President, in order to satisfy the entire world, that we do not condone nor do we support illegal activity in Belize – nothing less than the integrity of our nationality certificate and our passport is at stake. I join the call that is coming from the media, that is coming from citizens, that is coming from civil society, that is coming from the Opposition for there to be a full and proper accounting of what occurred, not only in relation to this matter, but what are the weaknesses in the system and what assurances we can have that such an incident will never occur again in order for us to have to put the Prime Minister of this country in a position where the resignation of the Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration had to occur – that is utterly, utterly shameful,” Shoman said.

PM Barrow blames Immigration employees for Penner scandal; PUP gives him until Monday to resign. Won Hong Kim’s files, fingerprints disappear from Passport office Evan “Mose” Hyde, of Krem Radio’s WUB morning show wants Penner to be investigated; the Opposition PUP badly want his neck; the media is hot on his smoking trail; and many citizens want to see him hauled before a court. Yes, former Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration, with emphasis on Border Protection and Immigration, Hon. Elvin Penner, whose seat is in the Cayo North East constituency, and who had responsibility for the Department of Immigration, is a wanted man, despite being desperately defended by Prime Minister Dean Barrow. Tonight, credible reports were that, probably because of the enormous stress, Penner has been hospitalized in a Belize City hospital, reportedly the Medical Associates.

A formal complaint has been lodged by Krem Radio’s WUB talk show host, Evan “Mose” Hyde, in order to launch a criminal investigation into the ongoing passport scandal involving Hon. Elvin Penner, the Cayo Northeast area representative who now says that he was duped by an identity thief. The complaint was made after several unsuccessful attempts by Hyde to reach the Police Department via phone on his morning talk show, “The Wake Up Belize Morning Vibes (WUB).” His calls were cut off at least twice, while on air, before he finally got through to the office of the Police Commissioner, but still he had no luck. After numerous calls to various police formations, Hyde was directed to Sergeant Solomon Westby at CIB Precinct 2. After his show, Hyde then went to the Racoon Street police station to make a statement, based on what he termed as “significant irregularities” at the Immigration Department.

The Fisheries Unit, while conducting maritime operations on Northern Two Caye in the Lighthouse Reef Atoll area on Saturday, September 28, in an effort to enforce the closed season for conch, which ended on Monday, September 30, when the season opened, found and confiscated an icebox containing 5400 units of conch, which together weighed about 1,200 pounds. The conch, which were fillet and had already been processed, were stashed in sixteen sacks in an ice box nestled in mangroves. No persons were found in the area, so the products were taken into custody by the Department and labeled as found property. Hampton Gamboa, Fisheries Supervisor of the Conservation Compliance Unit, told Amandala that on Saturday, September 28, they were conducting searches at Northern Two Caye on Lighthouse Reef Atoll when they found the ice box containing the products. He went on to say that a magistrate will order a disposal of the confiscated products. The Fisheries Supervisor said that that if the men who harvested the illegal conch had been captured and taken to court, they could have expected to pay a fine of $167,000, since the court assigned a value of $30 to each unit of conch, of which there were 5,400.

An international scheme is apparently being perpetrated by sophisticated phone hackers, in which an international call is placed to Digicell phone numbers in the region. However, when subscribers return missed calls, all their credit is automatically stolen. Amandala understands that a great many cell phone users have been affected; and these incidents of telecommunications rip-off have received a vast amount of attention on various social media outlets, especially Facebook. Today, Belize Telemedia Limited, the agent for Digicell in Belize, warned its customers via text message about the fraud. The message said “BTL advises that fraudulent international numbers are calling our Digicell numbers. You are advised not to return any calls to avoid being defrauded.” Dr. Dionne Miranda, Public Relations Officer for Belize Telemedia Limited, told KREM News today that they conducted investigations to find out how the ploy worked, and when they checked into their system, they realized that the theft of credits was made possible, not when customers receive calls, but when they attempt to return such calls.

Football was being played yesterday with the opening weekend of the Premier League of Belize tournament, but football history was made earlier in the afternoon at Henry’s Eden Resort a couple miles outside of San Ignacio on the Benque Viejo Road, where some of the district’s greatest football stars of yesteryear gathered along with relatives, friends, football fans and invited guests for the first ever Mighty Avengers Hall of Fame and Cayo Football Awards ceremony. Just a couple weeks ago on September 15 in Belize City, the first “Mugger Day” was held in honor of Belize City football legend Louis “Bembe, the Mugger” Garbutt, who passed away on June 28 in New York. His close friend and legendary teammate on Independence, Serapio “Big Mole” Alvarez, also passed away less than two months after the Mugger; so the day turned out to be a memorial for him also, as well as a forum for fans to reminisce on other great football stars of the past, some deceased and some still with us. Present at the gathering was Mole’s ailing younger brother, Ramon “Lee Mole” Alvarez, himself a gigantic star of the 1970’s. And shortly afterwards we learned that another legend, Angus “Mr. Ball” Vernon is reported to have suffered a stroke. (By the way, does anyone know if Angus has yet received the Meritorious Service award?) The times seem to be directing the football family to look back and give recognition and show appreciation to the past stars who have lighted up our sporting life by their performances on the football field, as well as by their character off the pitch.

The groundwork has been done, and the final touches are being put on preparations for next weekend’s boxing open-door event out west in San Ignacio. There are no Premier League football games scheduled for next weekend in San Ignacio, so the main attraction will likely be the boxing showcase where San Ignacio/Santa Elena residents are welcome to witness the start of a new era in boxing. Boxers seeing action will be from Lions Den Gyms in San Ignacio and Ladyville, as well as from San Pedro and Guatemala. Lions Den Gym managers Clinton Tucker (Ladyville Lions Den) and Frank Martinez (San Ignacio Lions Den), who together organized the event, are determined to see boxing return to prominence on the Belize sporting scene; and they say they are committed to youth development, and not just the commercial side of boxing at this time. That will come in the future; but right now, it’s all about getting the youngsters involved, and getting the community involved.

The general public and all sailboat enthusiasts are invited to attend the annual Corozal Bay Regatta on the weekend of October 12-13. The series of sailboat races will take place on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, featuring up to 5 races with the youth sailboat Optimist. This regatta is being hosted by the Corozal Bay Sailing Club (CBSC), under the auspices of the Belize Sailing Association (BzSA). There are many unsung heroes in Belize that bring Optimist sailing to reality for our youth sailors. This month’s National Ranking Regatta recognizes outgoing CBSC Commodore, Libby Fitzgerald (retired), who led “the fleet” and kept the Youth Sailing Program in focus for CBSC, developing affiliations with the BzSA, not to mention her many hours “in the water” with the sailors. We welcome CBSC’s new Commodore, Gerard Cordts, who has been the “main stay” of the youth sailing program at CBSC from the start.

We can’t say for certain who pulled the Prime Minister’s coat on the case of the illegal Belize passport for South Korean national Won Hong Kim. What we know for sure is that while sitting in a Taiwanese prison, awaiting extradition to face embezzlement charges for hundreds of millions of dollars, Kim was granted Belizean citizenship and later purportedly applied for and got a Belizean passport. We must acknowledge that Prime Minister Barrow acted posthaste in ousting Elvin Penner from his post as Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration. That was within his right and responsibility as the head of Cabinet, and it is a responsibility he arguably could have abdicated. No doubt the Prime Minister must have been exasperated: this is a man whom he appointed to the post of second-in-command at the scandal-ridden Ministry of Immigration even after he was caught on camera days before the last general elections personally organizing scores of immigrants in the Belmopan parking lot of the Immigration offices. Despite public concern at the time, he appointed this same man to this same ministry, a government ministry where even monks would be tempted.

Guatemalan’s Foreign Ministry announced Wednesday that its Foreign Minister, Fernando Carrera, had sent a protest note to the Secretariat of the Organization of American States, copied to Belize’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, as well as the Group of Countries Friends of Belize and Guatemala, taking issue with the statements he made in his official address on Monday, September 30, 2013, at the 68th UN General Assembly held in New York City. In the statement, Guatemala said that it “rejects any insinuation” that it plans to subvert Belize by violence or military action. Carrera told OAS Secretary-General José Miguel Insulza in the note that whereas Elrington indicated in his speech that Guatemala unilaterally backed out of the plans to hold simultaneous referenda on whether the territorial differendum should be settled at the International Court of Justice (ICJ)—that vote having been set for this Sunday, October 6, but aborted after Guatemala pulled out of the agreement—it was Belize, Carrera said, which unilaterally changed “the rules of the game,” when it amended its referendum laws to mandate that 60% of the voter population must participate in the referendum to make it valid. Carrera said that the change introduced unequal conditions which Guatemala found to be unacceptable.

To quote the lyrics from the song, “Ain’t it funny how time slips away”: “Well hello there, my, it’s been a long, long time. How am I doing? Oh well, I guess I am doing fine. It’s been so long now; it seems it was only yesterday, and ain’t it funny how time slips right away”. I can remember a small Belize team getting prepared for the October 12th – October 27th Olympic Games in Mexico City. It seems to me it was just yesterday Colin Thurton, Sonny Meighan and others were at the M.C.C. Grounds training and were in high spirits getting ready to participate in the Games. I can remember in the evenings, especially on the weekends, that there was a very high level of public participation in the training of our athletes. Fans came out in droves in special support for our athletes and so it was that they left the shores of British Honduras for Mexico City. There was controversy over sending a Belizean delegation to the Games. Arguments were that our athletes were not ready, were not prepared, were not suited and were not relevant for these Games. It was said that they were “out of their league” and that it would be a waste of time and money to send athletes to these games. The naysayers argued, let’s get a bunch of youth and train them over the next four years, prepare them well and then participate.

— by Janus Unless we set high standards, our country will never become the great nation it was destined to be. High standards of conduct and performance should be established and maintained in every sphere of our private and public lives but, especially, in our schools, in our public services, in our government and, above all, in our House of Representatives, the highest institution in the land. If we had high standards, the officer in charge of a Coast guard vessel that was to escort the Dominican Prime Minister on a trip to San Pedro, Ambergis Caye, would have been at least fifteen minutes early, instead of hours late. What is more, the Commandant of the Coast Guard would be in touch with him to make sure he could complete his mission and, if he could not, there would be a vessel on standby to take his place. Why all this careful preparation? Because the President of Dominica was the personal guest of the Prime Minister of Belize and, our country’s reputation as a good host was at state. If we had high standards a Maya Monument would not be bulldozed for material to build roads. How remiss is our public education. Why is it that every schoolboy and schoolgirl does not know what a great treasure is our Mayan heritage and that these monuments are priceless?

— by Audrey Matura-Shepherd It is possible that a person’s mind and/or a nation’s psyche could be so saturated with the negatives and scandals that they just become desensitized, sinister, or fatigued that they just cannot “deal with it” anymore. But for a person or nation to reach that point it has to be that internally, their reasoning mechanism just cannot or does not want to process one more thing, because the psyche is now detecting it as the norm, not as a mind-boggling, shocking, jerk-you-out- of- your-senses event. For some reason it seems that this is the very thing that has happened in Belize, especially because we have still not wheeled out of the reality of all that the UDP administration has unearthed and publicized and pontificated about the wheelings and dealings of the past administration managed by representatives of the PUP. When news of the secret deals were made public, it was madness… many were shocked while some got confirmation of what they suspected. That was a moment!

Javier Moody, 19, a resident of Gardenia, died this morning about 9:00 o’clock at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, of massive injuries he suffered after he was involved in a road traffic accident, along with his girlfriend, while travelling on his motorcycle between Miles 16 and 17 on the Philip Goldson Highway (formerly known as the Northern Highway), in the Sandhill area. The injuries he sustained had included damage to his kidneys and liver.

A Salvadoran clothes vendor, known only as “Sergio,” who resided in San Ignacio, died after a vehicle hit him, killing him almost immediately. Sergio was riding his bicycle on the side of the road when the vehicle hit, and then rolled over, him. He was pinned under the vehicle, which dragged him on the road for a short distance before it came to a stop. The incident occurred about 7:30 Monday evening near Chuc’s Gas Station in San Ignacio on the Benque Viejo Road. Rene Guidel, 33, a businessman of Mosquitoville area in San Ignacio, was arrested and charged with causing death by careless conduct, driving without due care and attention, and manslaughter by negligence. He was taken to the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court today, Thursday, to answer to the charges.

A teenager is clinging onto life at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH)’s Intensive Care Unit after he crashed while travelling on a motorcycle in Sandhill. Javier Moody, 19, a resident of Gardenia, suffered massive internal injuries, including damage to his liver and kidneys. His condition has been declared as critical, but stable. The incident occurred about 2:00 Sunday afternoon on a curve in Sandhill, between Miles 16 and 17 on the Philip Goldson Highway. Reports are that Moody and his girlfriend, Valarie Garel, were travelling on a motorcycle to Sandhill from Ladyville when he lost control of the motorcycle, ran off the road and slammed into a tree. Moody and Garel were thrown off the motorcycle. As a result, Garel suffered a broken jaw and a broken leg, while Moody’s hands were broken and he suffered internal injuries, which led to the collapse of his kidney and liver. Garel is recovering in a stable condition in the KHMH, but Moody is fighting for his life at the ICU.

I write on behalf of the people of Belize, and in particular, the people of the Cayo North East Division to DEMAND your immediate resignation as the Member for Cayo North East Division in the House of Representatives of Belize. I am authorized by the National Executive of the People’s United Party to advise you that if you fail to resign as the member for Cayo North East by 5 p.m., Monday, October 7th, 2013, the People’s United Party along with the electors of that division, will initiate your RECALL as the Divisional Representative for the Cayo North East Electoral Division in accordance with the RECALL OF ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES ACT, No. 20 of 2010.

— by George and Candy Gonzalez Dear Editor, On September 30, Monday night, another death occurred on the George Price Highway (Western Highway) on the road coming into San Ignacio, from Benque. Before this most recent death, there have been many accidents, at least two deaths and some serious injuries. Everything, from buses, trucks, motorcycles and cars, seem to think it is a racing area. It seems as if some are going as fast as 60 miles an hour. Children going to Bishop Martin from Trench Town and Kon Tiki usually cross the road at Trench Town. That is where a speed bump needs to be to slow the traffic. Another problem is that the kids going to other schools walk down the road. There is no place on the right side of the road, going toward town, for them to walk because the grass ends at the street. Therefore, they walk in the street unless they cross over to the other side. This situation is an accident waiting to happen.

— by Sally Caretella Dear Editor, When I heard that the Dominican Prime Minister would be visiting Belize, I was delighted. Perhaps closer ties would develop between the two countries and I would at last be able to take my husband to meet my extended family in Dominica. Had history played out differently, Roosevelt Skerrit would have been my prime minister. Whatever happened? I have watched the news channels, I have read the newspapers, I have listened to the chat shows and I am still at a loss. I could not believe that such a terrible insult could happen and be ignored by certain quarters. On Monday, I found The Guardian. Absolutely no comment, as far as I could see. We were told that Prime Minister Skerrit is Prime Minister Barrow’s personal friend. Why would his Party newspaper ignore what happened?

— by Hakeem Bush Dear Editor, I’ve read with much pleasure the From The Publisher column concerning basketball in the 70’s and 80’s at Birds Isle, and the early days at the Civic Centre. I remember growing up as a little boy in the 70’s and 80’s, going to these games with my mom. She was a hard Belikin Wheels fan; those games used to be exciting. I got to see the last of the games being played at St Ignatius. I clearly can remember the Old Parr team and Baygon, with Butty Neal and the late, great Wilton Cumberbatch in action. Being a student at St. Ignatius, we used to be the envy of other primary schools, because most of the basketball games were being played on our turf. The best part of basketball was when Clinton Pulu Lightburn came on the scene with Home Builders at Birds Isle. I remember those heated games with his old team Belikin Wheels, Carnation and Old Parr or Grand Marnier. Pulu took basketball to another level and I think this guy, along with Norman Nunez in football, needs to get the highest award of distinction in sports. In fact, Pulu was so well-respected and liked that when you would go to play on a junior team, everybody wanted to wear No. 11, because that was Pulu’s number. I mentioned to someone the other day that if you left Belize in the early 80’s and went to live in the States and came back today, you would be shocked that basketball is still being played where you left it over 30 years ago.

Despite the repeated warning issued by police to men not to have sexual relations with female minors, incidents of carnal knowledge continue to be reported. A 25-year-old man of Punta Gorda now faces jail time of 8 to 12 years if found guilty of the charge of carnal knowledge after it was reported that he seduced and impregnated a 15-year-old girl. On Friday the girl and her mother, both of Conejo Village in Toledo, went to the police in Punta Gorda and reported that on two occasions, on July 19 and August 19, a man, whom she knew, engaged her in sexual intercourse. The police took the girl to the Punta Gorda Hospital, where the doctor who examined her found that she had been carnally known and that she was pregnant.

Two men, Feliciano Pedro Bol and Julian Esquivel are suffering from machete wounds after they were chopped in two separate incidents, in Toledo and Cayo. Feliciano Pedro Bol, 35, a farmer of San Antonio, Toledo, was chopped on his hand; his thumb was damaged and his right middle finger was amputated as a result. Bol told police that he was walking home from his farm in San Antonio about 9:00 Friday morning, when he met a man whom he knew, who is also a resident of the same village. He said that the man was armed with a machete, and as he approached, the man took out his machete and swung it at him. Bol put up his hand to protect his head, causing his hand to be chopped. The man then ran away. Bol then went to the San Antonio Polyclinic, and afterwards he was taken to the Punta Gorda Police Station, where he made a formal report.

Police in Punta Gorda are conducting an investigation to find the man who held up, robbed and fired shots in a restaurant in the town at about 11:00 Friday night. The gunman also robbed three customers in the restaurant, and got away with $230 and three bottles of rum from the restaurant. Chinese businessman Kun Hang Zhu of George Price Street, Punta Gorda Town, reported that he was standing behind the counter of Sunshine Restaurant when an armed, masked man entered the establishment, carrying a pistol in his hand, which he pointed at him, and demanded money. The businessman said that he became fearful for his life and handed over $230 cash. The bandit, without provocation, fired three shots in the restaurant; there were three customers in the restaurant at the time, Zhu said. The gunman then pointed his gun at them and demanded money and their belongings.

Caliz was initially charged with manslaughter —then the charge was upgraded to murder, then reduced back to manslaughter — and was convicted in 2007 PC Burton Caliz, 30, was found guilty of manslaughter by negligence this evening after the 9-member jury was sent back to deliberate on their decision for a second time. After Justice John “Troadio” Gonzalez concluded his summation of the trial, the jury went into deliberation at 12:33 this afternoon to decide whether PC Caliz was guilty of manslaughter or manslaughter by negligence for killing Leroy Pilgrim back in February of 2004. During the trial, which commenced on September 18 and was presented by attorney Leeroy Banner, witnesses testified about what they observed on February 12, 2004. One of those witnesses, Sanjay Pilgrim, the brother of Leroy Pilgrim, told the court that he was on a boat in the San Juan area, and his brother Leroy had just arrived there. PC Caliz and Cpl. Vidal Cajun then arrived on separate golf carts and approached Leroy to search him, Sanjay said.

Additional sentence has no effect, since Parham’s 5-year-sentence will run concurrently with a 7-year sentence he is already serving This morning, after Magistrate Dale Cayetano heard testimonies from PC Kelvan Benguche and PC Lincoln Alvarez, he found Carl Parham, 33, a resident of Mahogany Heights, guilty of burglary and sentenced him to five years in prison. During the trial, Marie Neal, also a resident of Mahogany Heights, testified that on March 18, 2012, she was at her home with her children asleep when she was awakened by a noise. When she opened her eyes, she saw Parham inside her room.

Three of four men were captured stealing 500 pounds of red kidney beans in Spanish Lookout, from the home of a Spanish Lookout farmer, Norman Dueck, 37, by a neighborhood watch group in the area, who handed the thieves over to the police. The incident occurred about 11:30 Monday morning. The five sacks with which the men were found, contained 100 pounds of beans each, with each sack of beans having a market value of $250. Together the sacks totaled $1,250 in value. After being arrested by police, the three men — identified as Benjamin Hurtado, 49; Hurtado’s 16-year-old son, and Jaime Morales, 22, all of Los Tambos Village, Cayo District – were charged with theft. They were taken to the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court yesterday to answer to the charge. The Hurtados pleaded not guilty to the charge, and were offered bail of $1,000 each, while Jaime Morales pleaded guilty and was given a 6-month jail sentence. Benjamin Hurtado was able to meet bail, and was released from custody and ordered to return to court on November 28, but his teenage son was unable to meet his bail, and remains in custody.

Hernandez was remanded into custody after it was learned that she is a Honduran with a temporary visa valid only until October 19, 2013. Maritza Hernandez, 21, a Honduran domestic of #34 East Canal, is spending her first night on remand at the Belize Central Prison tonight after she was denied bail by Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith. Hernandez was arraigned on charges of theft, handling stolen goods and damage to property after her roommate, Suyapa Barahona, made a report to the police. According to that report, when Hernandez arrived at home at 4:00 Saturday evening, she found that Barahona had packed her belongings and had them waiting for her at the door. Hernandez, who according to Barahona appeared to be under the influence of something, became enraged, went to the kitchen, grabbed a knife and went into the room, where she damaged a Sony brand flat screen television valued at $2,000.

Belmopan police have their hands full this week after a total of four people were murdered in two different incidents over a 72-hour span in a set of events which is believed to have started on Saturday, when the first double murder reportedly occurred. While taking an early afternoon swim in the Roaring Creek River at around 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, a small group of young boys saw an object floating in the nearby waters and decided to take a closer look. To their dismay, they discovered the lifeless body of a 25-year-old Philippines national, later identified as Alry Rose Sardido. A swelling could be seen on the center of Sardido’s forehead, as well as abrasions to the upper right side of her head and temple. Residents of the Roaring Creek area had reportedly seen the woman walking towards the creek, accompanied by a light-skinned male person, about an hour prior to the grisly finding. The two apparently went to the popular swimming area, known as The Falls, to escape the day’s humidity and enjoy the cool ambiance of the river. A search team made up of police and Coast Guard officials was subsequently formed to comb the area in an effort to find Sardido’s male companion ;after a white Toyota Tacoma with Belmopan license plates was also found at the scene.

Flowers and Belgrave were accused of trying to kill cops Harold Grinage and Alexis Banner. This evening, a 9-member jury returned not guilty verdicts for Jeffrey Flowers and Jermaine Belgrave, both 31, who were accused of shooting at police officers Harold Grinage and Alexis Banner. The trial started on September 26 in Justice Adolph Lucas’ court, where the men were each charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault on PC Harold Grinage and PC Alexis Banner – charges which were as a result of a shootout on March 26, 2010. The first witness to take the stand was PC Grinage, who testified that he and PC Banner were on mobile patrol on Baghdad Street when he saw Belgrave and Flowers, both of whom he had known for several years.

Western Belize has certainly turned into a hotspot over the past few days due to a flurry of criminal activity, and now there appears to be another case of suspected homicide in the Arizona area of Teakettle in the Cayo District. A 49-year old farmer and herbalist, Pedro Ruben Andrade Luna, set out from his home last Thursday, September 26, at around 1:00 p.m., to make his usual trip to gather “contribo”, roots and medicinal plants in a vast area, miles behind Arizona Village, known as Roaring River. His family became concerned after he did not return home, and worse, he has not been seen or heard from since. They feared the worst, and were convinced that the father and husband had been executed by illegal immigrants who now inhabit the area. According to Esmeralda Luna, his daughter, it was normal for him to go to the area and come back, and sometimes he would come back the next day, so they thought that he would have returned home on Friday, the following day.


14 Incredible Pictures From Around Belize
14 Amazing pictures of things that will make you want to jump on the next flight and come visit Belize:

ATM (Actun Tunichil Muknal) Cave: Into Xibalba and back again
Hello again- this is Meg, with the second of my guest scoops. You may remember me (or not- I’m not proud!) from my previous scoop about Caracol. This time, I’ll sum up our trip to Actun Tunichil Muknal- the Cave of the Stone Sepulcher. But first, a couple program notes: 1) No photos in this post are my own. A few years ago, someone dropped a camera on one of the skulls in the cave, and as such, cameras are no longer allowed. I’ve pilfered the following images from the internet, presumably taken by visitors before the rule changed. I’ll try to give credit where credit is due, and hope the original photographers don’t mind! 2) I am a scaredy-cat. Of all the things we did on our honeymoon which made me nervous (ziplining, climbing Caana at Caracol, diving, flying in a small plane, snorkeling at Shark-Ray Alley), this was the activity that gave me the most anxiety prior to the trip. In hindsight, I’m so glad we did it- and I was surprised by the things that bothered me vs. the things that really didn’t at all. With that in mind, I’ll mention a little of each, in case you’re a wimp like me. If you’re not a wimp, this trip shouldn’t bother you in the slightest! With that said, I’ll get started. ATM is off the Western Highway near Belmopan, but it doesn’t feel all that near to the capital! We were in a group of six with our guide; the maximum group size is 8. We really appreciated the small group in the cave. We were never too far back to hear the guide’s instructions (in the trickier sections) or his explanations of what we were seeing.

Havana International Fair (FIHAV) 2013
Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), within the framework of the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Regional Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP) will be assisting CARIFORUM firms interested in exporting products to the Cuban market in participating in the premier trade fair in Cuba, the Havana International Fair (FIHAV) 2013. The trade fair is being organized and promoted by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment of the Republic of Cuba, the Cuban Chamber of Commerce, the Convention Palace and EXPOCUBA. FIHAV is a multi-sector commercial fair with the main industry sectors covered being consumer goods, machinery, equipment, information technology, raw materials and services.

Taiwan Film Festival
The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) cordially invites you to a cocktail and screening of the Taiwan Film “Cape No.7 for

The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in partnership with the Deutsche Geselleschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) is pleased to announce that four of the 12 companies being supported to attend ANUGA on 5-9, October 2013, as part of the Caribbean Kitchen have been selected for the prestigious Taste13 awards. ANUGA is the world’s largest and most important trade fair for the food and beverage industry with around 6,700 exhibitors from about 100 countries. This year there were over 1200 products that entered the competition and 53 made the final selection. To have 4 Caribbean brands selected is unprecedented and it is believed by the organizers that all eyes will be on Caribbean Kitchen’s pavilion next week to see how the products stack up against the international competition. “It is just amazing that the independent journalist jury decided to choose four products for the taste13 – selection, that are all part of the Caribbean Kitchen Pavilion at Anuga 2013. It proves that original well-conceived products do convince” stated Christine Hackman, Communications Manager for ANUGA. The four companies that have been selected for the taste13 competition are; Baron Foods Ltd with their ‘Banana Ketchup’ (Saint Lucia); Beverages Caribbean Inc. with ‘Tiger Malt’ (Barbados); 10 Saints beer by 10 Saints Brewery Ltd (Barbados) and Fresh Fruits Flavours one of Marie Sharp’s Habanerno Sauces (Belize).

Canoeing Barton Creek Cave
If you’ve ever wanted to go back in time to see the way people once lived, get ready for the journey of a lifetime at Belize’s Barton Creek Cave! The scenic 60-minute drive to reach the cave is half the adventure: the trip allows you to experience two completely different cultures in one day. Your first cultural experience starts as soon as you enter the Mennonite Community of Upper Barton Creek. A slow moving and ultra traditional group of people, the Mennonites still opt for horse-drawn buggies over motorized vehicles. This hardworking group of people are also credited with providing the local markets with much of its produce, grain and dairy.

International Sources

It's a Whale! It's a Shark! Actually, It's the World's Largest Fish
The Whale Shark is the world's largest fish, and International Wildlife Adventures offers individual traveler trips to a small, remote resort on Glover's Reef in Belize to dive and snorkel with these gentle giants during the full moon in March through June. It's a whale! It's a shark! It's a whale shark - and it's quite literally the biggest fish in the sea, reaching lengths of up to 40 feet and weights averaging 20 tons. Despite the whale shark's size and relationship to the fearsome shark family, these huge creatures are filter feeders like baleen whales, eating mainly plankton and fish eggs. They migrate to the warm waters of Belize annually to feed on the eggs of spawning Culebra snappers. They generally ignore divers and snorkelers, making for an exciting-but-safe underwater encounter. One of the best and most accessible places to dive with whale sharks is near Gladden Spit on the Belize Barrier Reef in Central America. This reef is the second-largest in the world, next to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Whale sharks arrive there with reasonable regularity around the time of the full moon in March through June, when the fish are spawning heavily.

Caribbean ambassadors meet with Washington DC mayor
On September 19, 2013, the CARICOM Caucus of Ambassadors in Washington, paid a courtesy visit on Vincent Gray, mayor of Washington, DC. The caucus engaged in discussions with the mayor on a variety of topics including the Mayor’s Advisory Commission on Caribbean Affairs, increasing trade between businesses in Washington and in the Caribbean, cultural collaboration, higher education and opportunities for technical support and integral development. The Caucus was represented by Dr Neil Parsan (chair, Trinidad and Tobago), Hubert Charles (ambassador, Dominica), John Beale (ambassador, Barbados), Subhas Mungra (ambassador, Suriname), Nestor Mendez (ambassador, Belize), Deborah Mae Lovell (ambassador, Antigua and Barbuda), Niermala Badrising (ambassador, permanent representative of Suriname to the Organization of American States) as well as Marsha Coore-Loban (deputy chief of mission, Jamaica) and William Exantus (deputy chief of mission, Haiti).

The Plus Side of Pissing People Off
Doing anything remotely interesting will bring criticism. Attempting to do anything large-scale and interesting will bring armies of detractors and saboteurs. This is fine—if you are willing to take the heat.

October 4, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Lions to raise funds for Mexico disaster victim
The Mexican Government has declared “disaster areas and a state of emergency” in several states following days of floods that affected a large portion of mid-southern territory. Several communities have been under flood waters, several people died, entire villages have been buried under mud and debris, while thousands more have lost their homes and belongings. As part of the humanitarian relief efforts, The San Pedro Lions Club is joining clubs from across the country to raise funds that will be contributed to the disaster relief efforts to our Mexican neighbors. On Friday October 4th, the local club will conduct an all day fundraiser starting with a radioton on Reef Radio. At the same time, a dollar drive will take place to collect money for the cause. The Lions Club will also contribute all profits from its regular Friday bar-b-que sale and bingo to the cause. Students at the various primary and secondary schools have been asked to each contribute a $1.00 for the event.

San Pedro residents join in global initiative to clean up coastal areas
On Saturday September 28th, local residents and environmental groups countrywide participated in the 2013 International Coastal Cleanup Day. San Pedro Town’s Hol Chan Marine Reserve spearheaded activities to clean the turtle nesting grounds located on northern Ambergris Caye. According to Hol Chan Marine Reserve, they partnered with a few fourth form students from San Pedro High School, San Pedro’s Leo’s Club, Oceana in Belize and the Belize National Coast Guard to carry out the day’s activity. Representatives from Hol Chan Marine Reserve said that since a lot of trash had been drifting to our beaches in the past few days, the global initiative was the perfect opportunity to do a cleanup. Amongst the garbage picked up were plastic spoons, forks, straws, broken Styrofoam and plastic plates, syringes and other medical waste, plastic soda bottle tops, plastic bags, plastic containers with names such as “Pollo Campero” and lots more trash. A total of 13 55-gallon garbage bags of trash were picked up from the turtle nesting grounds.

Over 1.1 million pounds of conch to be harvested during the 2013-2014 season
The Belize Fisheries Department declared October 1st as the opening of the 2013 – 2014 conch season. During this season, which runs until the end of June 2014, over 1 million, 100 thousand pounds of Caribbean Queen Conch (scientifically known as strombusgigas) will be allowed to be harvested. According to Mauro Gongora, Fisheries Officer at the Belize Fisheries Department, for the past three years, the conch season had to be closed earlier because the quotas were met before the official end of season. The Fisheries Regulation provides for the Fisheries Department to close the season before June 30th. “Last year we harvested 1 million 58 thousand pounds of conch. The quota was met before the deadline and so we closed the season early. This year the harvest quota is 1,100,470 pounds,” said Gongora.

Behind the scenes of Belikin’s 2014 Calendar!
It’s here once again! The long anticipated launch for the 2014 Belikin Calendar is scheduled for Saturday, October 26th. To whet the appetites of an eager crowd, Bowen and Bowen Ltd. has released a ‘behind the scenes’ video with teasing glimpse of the 2014 calendar as it was shot over the past months all over Belize. This video shows the glamour, the fun and the beauty of the 2014 calendar without giving away all the secrets to this year’s shots. As the calendar production team would say, “It represents the best of Belize in all of the ways.” So get ready for stunning Belizean women, exotic locations and of course, cold Belikin Beers.

Crocodile Advisory Alert!!!
Please be aware of two crocodiles swimming seaside in south Ambergris Caye. Swimmers or snorkelers should be alert and refrain from water activities at dusk and dawn, when crocodiles are in their most predatory mode. Also, please do not swim blindly under docks. We will be setting live snares and a trap in the area tomorrow. One croc is only 5 ft. The second croc is estimated at 10 ft and should be considered dangerous. Please give us a few days to capture this animal. Please call Vince at 631-6366 anytime if you see the 10 foot crocodile. All sighting reports will aid in its capture. Thank you for you patience.

Ambergris Today

The Consulate of Belize in Florida Inaugurates New Office and Passport Services
On Tuesday, October 1st, 2013, the Consulate of Belize in Florida inaugurated its new office located in Coral Gables, Florida. The Mayor of Coral Gables, Mr. Jim Cason enthusiastically welcomed the Consulate of Belize to his city. The Honorary Consul General, Mrs. Janine Sylvestre Vega, welcomed the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Attorney General, Hon. Wilfred Elrington, as well as Mrs. Candelaria Saldivar-Morter, CEO in the Ministry of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development and National Emergency Management and Immigration and Nationality, along with other Belizeans and leaders of the community who attended. Both Honorable Wilfred Elrington and CEO Saldivar-Morter addressed the guests present. During the ceremony, Mayor Cason handed over the key to the city to Minister Elrington and its seal to the Honorary Consul.

Chukka Adventure Gets You Zipped, Whipped & Dipped in Belize
First up, the ZipLine – A short winding trail through the thick jungle leads you to the first platform (of 9 platforms) 400ft high on the edge of a limestone cliff. That is your launching pad to your zip line adventure. Don’t close your eyes! Hold on tight, lift your legs up and scream with enthusiasm as you traverse through five separate lengths of line; that’s a total of 1,530 feet of ‘flying’ high above the jungle! Like I said before, I can do that all day, every day; it is so much fun and a super natural high for adrenaline junkies. Chukka just recently added three new zip lines with the longest one being 1,100ft long and a whopping 650 feet high! That’s an even bigger adrenaline rush! Second in line, Rappelling – Coming off your last zip you use the adrenaline to help you carry your inflatable tube and hike through another jungle trail on your way to a high cliff side. Along the way your guide teaches you about the different uses of the rainforest, medicinal and survival techniques of Belize’s local trees and plants in the rainforest. You arrive atop of the Crystal Cave and witness a spectacular view of the forest; now you are ready to descend a sheer wall of 150 feet. That’s right! You look down and your heart starts pumping even faster at the mere sight of the height at where you are standing. Safely strapped to the line, clench your teeth and enjoy the controlled drop down to the Cave Branch River at the mouth of the Crystal Cave. Totally exhilarating!

Phone Companies Warn Against Toll Fraud Calls
Have you been receiving phone calls lately from international numbers or numbers that you don’t know? Well be sure not to answer or return any of the calls as both telecommunications companies, Belize Telemedia Limited and Smart Belize are advising customers of an international scam currently targeting Belizean phone users. Both companies are urging customers not to answer or return any calls from strange international or unrecognized numbers. Some reported number prefixes are: 001-224, +882, +818. Investigations revealed that if a missed called is returned, the customer’s credit balance is automatically depleted. Both companies are working diligently in ensuring the security and reliability of their phone service and resolve this matter as quickly as possible. You can contact your phone service provider for more information.

SPTC Announces Clean Up Week
The San Pedro Town Council informs the general public that commencing Monday, October 7, 2013 the Council will be conducting a one week clean up. This clean up includes the collection of all debris and yard garbage including, electrical appliances, lumber etc. We will commence from the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge going south and on the last day north up to Grand Caribe. All residents are asked to take out all of this type of garbage on the side of the road for this week only. All garbage after this date will be picked up at a special fee. The San Pedro Town Council thanks all residents for helping us keep La Isla Bonita clean!

Misc Belizean Sources

Ramons Rebuilding Progress
The rebuilding progress is still in full force at Ramon's Village Resort!! More updates to come!!

Joint Task Force-Bravo supports marijuana eradication operation in Belize
The U.S. Embassy Military Liaison Office in Belmopan and Joint Task Force-Bravo partnered with Belizean military forces in a successful marijuana eradication operation in Belize from Sept. 25-28, 2013. The operation resulted in the Belizean forces destroying 22 marijuana fields and approximately 37,970 mature marijuana plants with an initial estimated value of $13 million. In addition, the team also found and destroyed four pounds of marijuana seeds. Joint Task Force-Bravo provided aviation support, on-call casualty evacuation and tactical assault on objective insertion and extraction training for 38 Belizean military and law enforcement personnel who participated in the operation. This training involved the use of a caving ladder, which is lowered from the helicopter in order to insert ground forces into an otherwise inaccessible area.

Winter Solstice at Caracol
The Institute of Archaeology is having a Winter solstice overnight camping trip at Caracol. The trip will include a traditional Mayan dinner, multiple ceremonies, a guided tour, a presentation, transport, and more. Contact the IA for more information at [email protected]

Purple Movement One Year Anniversary
The Purple Movement had their one year anniversary last night at the Cayo Welcome Center. "This vigil is in remembrance of Suzenne 'Purple' Martinez who was murdered heartlessly one year ago. It is also our intention to make it a solemn evening dedicated in remembrance and honour for other murder victims (special mention Jasmine Lowe) along with all other families who are suffering silently due to criminal injustices."

BTB's Stylistic Logos
Cayo has parrots, national parks, caves, hiking, and jungles, according to the Belize Tourism Board's graphic's legend. They forgot the rivers, waterfalls, Mayan sites, horseback riding, canoeing, and a lot more. It's neat nevertheless. Well done.

Green Iguana Conservation Project Video
The Ambergris Today paid a visit to Cayo to experience some of the best restaurants and attractions in Belize, and they made sure to stop by the Green Iguana Conservation Project at the SIRH, which is ranked as the number one attraction in Cayo on Trip Advisor, and for good reason. The video they did on their visit is spectacular, and really captures the essence of the tour. Iguanas, termites, orchids, grasshoppers, and lots of other flora and wildlife, even Humbero Requena. Definitely worth a watch. "Belize is home to thousands of species of trees, flowers and hundreds of species of animals. An amazing array of creatures makes their homes in our Belize. Get a glimpse of this vast wildlife at two of San Ignacio Resort Hotel tours - the Medicinal Trail and the Belize Iguana Project. "

Channel 7

Shipyard Child Killed In Stone Crusher
There is a horrific story coming out of Camp 9 in Shipyard in the Orange Walk District tonight: A 14 year old boy was killed in a stone crusher. Peter Reimer met a gruesome end when he fell into the crusher - and was ground up by the powerful machine. Reports say that the young Reimer was in charge of ensuring that the machine is always working smoothly. He was jumping across from one end to the next - when he fell unto what is known as the vibrating platform, which feeds the crusher. It is a fast moving platform, and literally within seconds, he had been rolled into the machine's powerful jaws. His coworkers turned off the crusher as quickly as they could, but it was too late; the teenager's body parts were already coming out of the machine. The various pieces of his body had to be gathered into a bag for transport to the morgue. It's worth noting that in April - a 7 year old was killed in Blue Creek when he fell into a rice bin and suffocated. In that case, Jacob Dueck and two other boys were playing.

BSWL Gets A Bomb Scare
Tonight, Precinct 2 police are keeping a close eye on BWSL Headquarters on Central American Boulevard after a makeshift Molotov Cocktail was thrown into the building's parking lot early this morning. Very scary, but the good news is it didn't detonate, and one vehicle received only minor damage. It was a Sprite bottle with an as yet unidentified chemical in it. That happened before work started and news of it, plus the presence of police investigators had staff on edge all morning. And then, things got really tense at around noon when a bomb threat was called in. The caller told the receptionist that the building would blow in ten minutes - and so workers were hurriedly evacuated. It turned out to be a hoax but one with a sinister undertone. Public Relations manager Haydon Brown told us what happened:... Haydon Brown, BWSL Public Relation Officer "This morning when we arrived at work we found two of our company vehicle being with minor damage and the preliminary reports that we received is that there was an object thrown into the yard by an unidentified person at this point in time that created this damage caused to our vehicles."

Eric Chang Still Abroad?
Deputy Mayor Eric Chang was expected to return to the country today - after a four-week trip to his country of birth, Taiwan. But, we checked all the incoming flights from USA and Central America; Deputy Chang wasn't on any of them. His boss, Mayor Darrell Bradley did not return our text messages querying Deputy Chang's status. As we have reported, Chang has been named by credible sources as the arranger of the deal to get south Korean fugitive Wonhong Kim a Belizean Passport. The Prime Minister also conceded that he has heard such reports - but that, in his mind, it added up to little more than rumour because there is no proof. Here's what he told us yesterday: Prime Minister Dean Barrow "I have heard what you have heard, what the media has heard but do you have any evidence at all to say that Eric Chan played any role in this." "I have my suspicions but again we must act on the basis of evidence. It may well be true but it doesn't arise to the level of anything that is in the slightest degree actionable."

Penner’s Peculiar Predicament
And while Chang is away, Cayo Northeast representative Elvin Penner is in the hospital. 7news has confirmed that he is in a private facility in Belize City receiving treatment for high blood pressure and other related ailments. We note that Penner has had quite significant health issues in the past while in office and at one point he even went to Cuba for specialized attention. As we understand it, his present condition is not considered life threatening. But if he is under extreme stress, it's understandable. Yesterday Penner had to face down a throng of media as he was leaving the Prime Minister's office - where he had gone to ask about his pay as an area representative. He didn't give any comment other than the obligatory "I continue to serve my people." Indeed, Penner's world has been turned upside down since he was forced to resign exactly two weeks ago on September 19th. Since then more and more has become known about the man he helped get a passport, Wonhong Kim. And much of what we know pivots on two things: Penner's email that he sent to 7news last Friday, and Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse's interview yesterday in which he outlined a mass breach in procedure. Tonight, Jules Vasquez has put together all the information that we've found out so far about Citizen Kim:.. Jules Vasquez reporting

Arson On Periwinkle St.?
There was a fire in Belize City today on Ring Road in the Lake Independence area. It was a relatively small blaze, quite easily contained. But the story is, first, that one of the residents, a female did get hospitalized for burns, and, second, that the property owner is accusing her of setting the fire. Monica Bodden has the story:.. Monica Bodden reporting The wooden bungalow house went up in flames a little after 12 this afternoon - but was quickly put out by the swift response of the fire department. House owner is 84 year old Morris Taylor- who was at work at the time of the fire. When he arrived at his home this afternoon, everything was destroyed by the flames. Morris Taylor - Fire Victim "They came at my work to tell me that the house is burning down." All investigations are pointing to arson and police are investigating a woman identified as Richardeen McKay who was rescued from inside the house at the time of the fire. Mckay was living with Taylor as his house helper but suffers from a mental condition.

Guatemala Protests Hon. Elrington's Speech To UN General Assembly
On Monday, we showed you the speech that Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington made to the United Nations General Assembly. Elrington described the Belize-Guatemala territorial dispute as an existential threat to Belize and the degradation of Belize's territory by trespassing Guatemalans who engage in multiple illegal activities. Well, the Guatemalans didn't like what Elrington had to say one bit. Yesterday, they fired off a nine point letter to the Secretary General of the OAS protesting Elrington's speech. The letter says, quote, "Guatemala...rejects any suggestion of the intent to enforce their rights to the territory administered by Belize, through violent or military action." End quote. Point four says quote, "While Guatemala's armed forces have not caused a single incident in the adjacency zone or nearby, the Belize Defense Forces have consistently violated the human rights of Guatemalans and so far have caused several deaths of fellow citizens and several injured, in addition to having made several incursions into Guatemalan territory, which have been verified by the Office of the OAS in the Adjacency Zone." End quote. IT adds, heatedly, that it is not acceptable that people should be killed simply for trespassing quote "especially when the (territory) is under dispute and what exists (as) recognized by both states is an adjacency zone." end quote.

Senate Debates NGO Amendment Bill
With all the recent hubbub about the Citizen Kim and his Penner connection - one controversial piece of legislation that went to the house of representatives last week hasn't gotten the media attention it deserves. There is the Non Government Organizations Amendment Bill. Its part of an entire raft of legislation basically forced upon Belize by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force to introduce uniform and quite oppressive legislation to discourage money laundering. But, it introduces onerous fines to the benign NGO Community and yesterday, one senator called it union busting:... Senator Mark Lizarraga "I hope this is not an attempt of NGO busting, I mean, we have to very careful that mistakes - genuine mistakes can happen, but the law it seems at least the way we read is very inflexible in certain areas and can kill a legitimate NGO for a mistake that one of its staff members may have made." Senator Lisa Shoman "This law puts into place not only greatly inflated fines. In other words the court could fine a person up to an amount of $100,000 or an NGO of up to $300,000. And if that were not bad enough, the punitive part of it is that courts hands are tied in that you have to fine a person who is found guilty $50,000 even if it's a mistake that they made."

A New Scam Against BTL Customers
There's a case of phone fraud targeting BTL's cellular customers - and if you fall prey to it, you could lose all your credits! It appears as random international calls to DigiCell numbers - that only ring once and then appear as missed calls. And if you call back the number, then your credit balance is automatically sucked dry. BTL is investigating, but we wanted answers so we spoke to Dr. Dionne Miranda - General Manager of Customer Services:... Dr. Dionne Miranda, General Manager of Customer Services "The reason why we are doing that Monica is that we don't have control over what is happening. Actually the customer has control over their personal devices and the only thing that we can recommend is that they do not respond to these calls and they do not return the calls because that is how it appears the scam is being done." "It doesn't happen when the calls come into our network because it's using our network at that point. It's when you dial back out and you use the external providers' network to get the call is where they are able to pull and confiscate your telephone minutes."

Belgrave And Flowers Get Off
Tonight, Belize City men Jermaine Belgrave and Jeffrey Flowers are free of attempted murder and aggravated assault charges after their trial in the Supreme Court concluded this evening. They were accused of opening fire on 2 police officers and trying to kill them in March of last year. Both men stood trial before Justice Adolph Lucas where Police Constables Harold Grinage and Alexis Banner told the court that on March 26, 2012, they were on mobile patrol on the Southside of Belize City. The men said that when they arrived on Baghdad Street they came under heavy gun fire, and they were shot at multiple times. According to the officers, they identified Belgrave and Flowers as the gunmen who was firing at them, and all they were trying to do was to detain the men who acted suspiciously before the bullets came flying at them.

Motorcycle Accident Turns Fatal
Tonight, the family of 19 year-old Javier Moody continues to mourn his loss, after he passed away from injuries he received in a motorcycle accident, which happened this weekend. Moody and his girlfriend on were travelling on the Northern Highway when he lost control of the motorcycle at mile 16. Moody reportedly tried to overtake, and when he saw a vehicle coming toward them, he slowed down trying to get back in his lane. Instead, Moody lost control, and he and his girlfriend suffered severe bodily injuries from that accident. Moody held on until today, where the injuries unfortunately claimed his life.

OCEANA Cleans Up Waterways
On Saturday, the 22nd Annual Coastal National Coastal and Riverways Cleanup campaign was held, and Oceana Belize and the Scout Association of Belize are reporting that almost 2,000 volunteers participated country wide. They worked on cleaning up sections of the sea, different lakes, lagoons, rivers and creeks by removing debris and trash from the beaches and banks of these waterways. Oceana provided them with equipment and materials. The volunteers also took notes on the cleanup which will be furnished to Ocean Conservancy to provide a snapshot of the problems caused by marine debris. Due to flooding, cleanup efforts in Belmopan and Orange Walk Town had to be postponed until this coming weekend. The Organizations involved thank all those who participated this weekend.

Santiago Guardado, that's the name of the farmer who's being investigated for allegedly shooting a man he says was stealing green peppers from his farm and then burning his body. While that is under investigation, Guardado has been charged with 5 counts of aggravated assault for allegedly shooting at the police. Police said that when they approached his farm in the Roaring River area on Sunday night Guardado opened fire on a team of officers who were looking for the missing man. Guardado remains detained pending advice form the DPP on charges for killing Ruben Andrado.

And Belmopan Police are also waiting for the DPP to advise them on two men, Alvin Cruz and Brian Hyde. They were arraigned yesterday along with Sasha Hyde for an unrelated charge of handling stolen goods, but they are also the prime suspects in the murders of Phillipina Alry Sardido and American David Reichel. The international couple were killed during a robbery near Roaring Creek on Saturday.

Channel 5

A teenager from Shipyard is mangled to his death by a crusher
Tonight there is tragic news to report out of the Shipyard community in the Orange Walk District. A fourteen year old boy was mangled and killed after he fell into [...]

Unions say government is attempting to take control of their pension contributions
Aside from the passport scandal that has grabbed the attention of the nation, there is another matter that is like a time bomb waiting to explode before the government. Information [...]

Deputy Mayor, Eric Chang, does not return to Jewel as scheduled
Turning to the unremitting passport scandal…. Deputy Mayor Eric Chang, who has been away in Taiwan since early September, was expected to return to Belize today. A scheduled meeting was [...]

Who certified Kim Wonhong’s identity? Should Penner be criminally charged?
At a late evening interview between the Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the media on Wednesday, Barrow’s position that an investigation into the matter of the issuance of a falsified [...]

Senator Shoman says criminal investigation is up to D.P.P. and not the P.M.
There is public outcry for a criminal investigation into the issuance of the nationality certificate and Belizean passport obtained by South Korean national Kim Wonhong, while he was in detention. [...]

Minister Hulse says no need for a senatorial probe into passport scandal
At Wednesday’s Special Sitting of the Senate, opposition representative Lisa Shoman also proposed that the Barrow administration call upon the powers of the senate to launch a separate investigation into [...]

Landy Habet; he lost by 17 votes and says he is ready for a bye-election
P.U.P. Leader Francis Fonseca has given disgraced former Minister of State and Cayo Northeast Area Representative Elvin Penner five days to resign. If Penner does not do so, then the [...]

Man who confessed to killing and burning a trespasser charged for shooting at cops
On Wednesday’s newscast, we reported that police had found the body of a Teakettle resident who was shot, killed and buried. A caution statement was given by a resident of [...]

H1N1 (swine flu) reported in Belize
Since the beginning of the year, there has been a number of cases of the influenza A virus reported across the country.  Fortunately there have been no deaths attributed to [...]

Freelance writer, Roy Davis guilty of wounding
Justice was swift this morning for freelance writer, Roy Davis, who is spending the night behind bars. Davis was found guilty this afternoon for the offense of wounding and he [...]

Accident victim, Javier Moody, succumbs to his injuries
Biscayne resident, Javier Moody, died this morning at the K.H.M.H. The nineteen year old was admitted and on life support following a traffic mishap on Sunday afternoon at two p.m. [...]

Guatemala has strong words for Belize
Belize’s Foreign Ministry is preparing to receive the vice-minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala, Carlos Raul Morales Moscoso, who is scheduled to head a delegation to a meeting with his [...]

Another proposed amendment; increased powers to the FIU
One more story about Wednesday’s Senate Meeting. A proposed amendment to increase the powers of the director of the Financial Intelligence Unit, allowing for greater access to fiscal information on [...]

Restore Belize’s Peace in the Parks receives grant from UNESCO
Every two years, countries operating under the UNESCO banner have the opportunity to submit proposals for grant funding, up to fifty-two thousand Belize dollars per project. Only ten projects are [...]

Phone Scam; have you been receiving international calls and losing your credit?
If you’ve received a call from a strange international number in the last day or so, and didn’t answer or call back, good for you. Because if you did answer, [...]

Healthy Living looks at a condition that affects elderly citizens
This week is being celebrated as Seniors Week. October 1st was celebrated as International Day for Older Persons. October tenth is World Mental Health Day. This year’s both themes have [...]


Funds Intact For Dangriga Market Project; Works Will Continue in 2014
Since the recent allegations of corruption at the Social Investment Fund, the implementing agency has come under some heavy scrutiny, particularly by its international partners. Having terminated the services of four of its employees, the entity is now looking to enhance the procedures it follows and hiring new staff whose integrity is unquestionable. Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Finance, Yvonne Hyde, told Love News today that Nelly Trench has been appointed as the Acting Director of SIF while advertisements are being placed for a permanent replacement and for the other vacant posts. She added that the evidence suggest that the corruption date back to 2010, but clarifies that no monies were stolen from SIF. Yvonne Hyde “No money is missing from SIF; staff didn’t take money from SIF. As a matter of fact, when I go on the radio on Tuesday I will make the point that the contract is going to be retendered and we will bring in a new contractor and the work will continue for the Dangriga Market project. We have the funds to continue the project; no money was taken from SIF. There are two things: one is the matter of the Dangriga project, which was the catalyst that brought everything to light and then there was the matter of corruption. When the board received evidence along with the report form the Contractor General and there was evidence of corruption on the part of some staff members, the board acted right away and four members of staff were dismissed and the Executive Director resigned.

Fact or Fiction? Pension Fund for BTL Workers To Be Used by Government
The employees of Belize Telemedia Limited are at this hour in a closed door meeting with Prime Minister, Dean Barrow at the BTL headquarters on Saint Thomas Street. Love News understands that the meeting evolved after reports were raised that the Government allegedly has intentions of using BTL employees’ pension fund, probably as an investment on the premise that the employees don’t yet have an immediate need for it. The employees, from what we have gathered, were taken aback by the report and had initially called a General Membership Meeting to be held at the IT Vet on Freetown Road. However, the plans were changed after it was learned that the PM would be a part of the meeting with the full staff of Telemedia. Earlier this afternoon BTL workers who are members of the Belize Communication Workers Union, BCWU, met with their President, Emily Turner, to discuss what steps they would take if this was indeed the Government’s plan.

Man’s Body Crushed in Freak Accident in Northern Belize
Love News has received reports that fifteen year old Mennonite Farmer, Peter Reimer, died this morning while on the job in Shipyard which is located about ten miles out of Orange Walk Town. The details are not as yet clear but we understand that around 9:00 this morning, Reimer was working at the quarry in Shipyard, when he accidentally fell into a cruncher machine, which is used to crush rocks. Reimer we understand died on the spot as he was crushed to pieces. Police are investigating at this time and we’ll have more details for you in this evening’s news report.

Belize Red Cross Stripped of Assets in Western Belize
The Belize Red Cross Building in San Ignacio Town was burglarized earlier this week. According to police reports, between the hours of 5pm on Monday and 8am on Tuesday, the Belize Red Cross Building was broken into and stolen were household, electronic and First Aid items amounting to a total value of six thousand one hundred and two dollars. Police Investigations continue.

VIP Teams Up With Main Opposition Party on Recall of Minister Penner
Yesterday we reported that Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca issued a letter demanding that Area Representative for Cayo Northeast, Elvin Penner resign or be forced to be recalled. When we spoke to PUP Standard Bearer for Cayo Northeast, Orlando Habet yesterday, he pointed out that a campaign for a petition to recall Penner would be launched, which according to him thirty percent of voters in that constituency had to sign for Penner to be recalled. Today the Vision Inspired by the People, VIP issued a statement in which they pledge their support for the petition. Robert Lopez is the Public Relations Officer for the VIP. ROBERT LOPEZ “The whole recall act is very close to us because in 2008 when we ran in the general election, we actually had recall as one of our reform initiatives and that is documented in our writings for the 2008 elections that we fielded about twelve candidates countrywide and of course, the UDP had it in their manifesto in 2012 and then it was enacted. The point is that it is time for us to hold our elected officers to a higher standard and letting these acts of blatant corruption just pass by has gone too far; those days are over and the VIP, the minute this happened, Landy Habet is a very close friend of mine, even before politics...

Not Guilty For Attempting to Kill Policemen; Duo Set Free
Today, Judge Adolf Lucas summed up the case of Jermaine Belgrave and Jeffery Flowers; two Belize City men accused of attempting to kill two police officers of the Belize City Police Department back in March 2012. After a one week trial, this evening a nine member jury of four women and five men unanimously found both men not guilty of all charges. In court today, the prosecutor in the case, Shanice Lovelle presented evidence against the men coming from the testimonies of her two main witnesses, PC Harold Grinage and PC Alexis Banner, the two police officers who are said to be the victims of the alleged attempted murder. In the trial, only Belgrave was represented by attorney Ellis Arnold, while Flowers who is confined to a wheel chair after being shot up multiple times several years ago on Euphrates Avenue went unrepresented. In his defense, Belgrave told the court that on the night in question he was at the MCC ground at a football game while Flowers explained that on that same night, he was in Biscayne Village. According to both police officers on the night of March 26 of this year at about 9:30 pm they were on patrol in South Side Belize City and upon heading towards Baghdad Street they saw a dark skin man who they identified as Belgrave and consequently came under fire.

Slashed By An Acquaintance For No Reason…Police Investigates
In San Antonio Village in the Toledo District, thirty five year old Feliciano Pedro Bol reported to police that at about 8:30am on September 26, while heading home, he met a man who he knows and is a resident of the village. Bol told police that Paquil was armed with a machete and for no apparent reason swung the machete towards him. Bol reported that when he put up his hand to defend himself he received a cut wound to right thumb while his right middle finger was completely cut off. Police are investigating.

Guatemala’s Foreign Minister Says Elrington’s Statements Do Not Strengthen Trust Between The Two Countries
On Monday you heard the comments made by the Belize Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington at the 68th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York. In his address, Elrington raised a very important and factual point; he stated that a concern for Belize is the 65 Guatemalan villages that line the 141 mile border between Belize and Guatemala as the residents of these communities suffer poverty and thus seek the natural resources on the Belize side of the border. Well news coming out from that side of the border is that Elrington’s Guatemalan counterpart fired back. Foreign Minister for Guatemala, Fernando Carrera protested before the Organization of American States over the statements made by Elrington. The protest was included in a letter addressed to OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza yesterday, with a copy to Erlington and the Guatemala-Belize Group of Friendly Countries. In that letter, Carrera rejected suggestions about alleged intentions by Guatemala to forcefully assert its rights over the territory administered by Belize. In addition, Carrera stated that Erlington said Guatemala had unilaterally suspended the referendum scheduled for October 6, of this year and did not report to the U.N. General Assembly that it was because Belize had changed the Law of Referendum, which requires 60 percent of participation by the electoral register to validate the voting. This circumstance meant that the vote was held in unequal conditions and as a consequence, and that was unacceptable to Guatemala, Carrera stated in his letter. The Guatemalan Government said it regretted the statements made by Elrington, because, Carrera stated, it does not contribute to a strengthening of trust between the two countries.

Natural Hazard Doesn’t Have to Be Disastrous…Belize Looks at Its Resilience
Belize lies in the heart of the hurricane zone and with that reality comes the need to have in place some type of national climate resiliency. Towards that end, the Government of Belize and its multi-lateral investment partners today reviewed Belize’s National Resilience Investment Plan, or NCRIP for short. The plan looks at the Government’s ability towards building climate change, climate variability and adverse weather. It entailed eight months of consultations with the public sector, civil society and non-government organizations to identify the kinds of interventions that could be taken to alleviate potential catastrophic situations when disasters do happen. Marion Cayetano, who is the Government’s National Focal Point, or NCRIP, says the bottom line rests in being proactive as opposed to being reactive. Marion Cayetano “We could have a natural hazard and not have a disaster if our people are able to rebound quickly, if our roads are able to withstand the impacts, our airports are able to manage, our ports continue to do business, our private sector operates and people work. So, the objective here is to see what can be done to help to ensure that these various aspects of the people, the environment and the economy is able to rebound whenever a natural hazard impacts Belize. What has to be done is to take action when there is no disaster to prepare the economy and the people to limit the impacts of these hazards. Recovering after a disaster is more expensive in the short and medium term than building resilience to the hazard and often time when we get a disaster and we are trying to recover, we don’t get back to the same state as before the hazard and so, the idea here is to try to integrate into development planning, actions to enable the economy and the people to withstand hazards. The plan and the discussion have identified four areas under which actions can be taken and a total of about sixteen intervention areas. The four components, if we may call them that, are Data and Knowledge Transfer; Building Resilience in our Physical Assets; Non-Physical Interventions and Regulatory Interventions.”


O/W South Residents Work Towards The Prevention Of Dengue
With the recent severe outbreak of dengue in near by regions such as El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras, the Ministry of Health has been on high alert to contain the disease here at home. Back In July there were 13 reported cases of dengue in Belize, two returned positive from the lab. In order to mitigate the mosquito borne illness, the Ministry of Health advices the public to do their part by keeping their yards clean and free from containers that can hold water. Cleanup efforts also assist in controlling the disease. With this in mind, the Yo Creek Village Council, in conjunction with Orange Walk South Area Representative Jose Abelardo Mai and the Orange Walk Town Council, has organized a cleanup campaign for this Sunday. Jose Abelardo Mai- Orange Walk South Area Representative “Sabemos que tenemos una frontera extensa con México y es importante que los pueblos que tiene Orange Walk Sur que tienen frontera con México sean conscientes de que el dengue se transmita por un mosquito entonces la limpieza del pueblo es extremadamente importante. Estamos empezando en Yo Creek este Sábado, estamos haciendo una limpieza general del pueblo y les estamos pidiendo por este medio a el pueblo de Yo Creek, a los jóvenes, a los ancianos, a los que puedan ayudar que salgan y apoyen, ayuden a limpiar el pueblo es de Yo Creek, quien más que ellos orgullosos pueden salir a limpiar su pueblos verdad. Hasta ahorita contamos con siete weed-eaters de Town Council, hemos negociado el chairman y el vice-chairman nos hemos sentado con el alcalde de Orange Walk y nos ha expresado su apoyo, nos van a dar los siete weed-eaters y vamos a contar con cuatro tractores y bushhogs, vamos a tener el grader también para las calles, no podemos dumpear porque no tenemos los recursos sin embargo el grader nos dona el Town Council, solo nosotros tenemos que poner el combustible y aun los gastos de ese día saldrían de un mil a dos mil dólares en combustible, agua, aciete y los weed-eater, string y lo que sea así que es un costo algo altito y le pedimos algunos que si pueden y que tienen tractores que si pueden.”

Church In Black Water Creek Burglarized
To date, not even the church is safe from the hands of burglars who are willing to defy all odds to make a quick buck even if it means burglarizing the house of the Lord. Sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon a burglar or burglars broke into the temple of “Casa De Oracion” located in the Black Water Creek Area of Trail Farm Village, Orange Walk and walked away with several musical instruments. The items, valued at approximately one thousand five hundred dollars, were discovered missing by pastor Freddy Chuc. Upon arriving at the temple around midday yesterday, Chuc noticed that one of the windows located at the back of the building was broken and the back door was opened. When he entered the building he noticed that two speakers along with its wires and a power amplifier were among the items stolen.

Guatemala's Foreign Minister Chastises Elrington For Comments Made At General Assembly
If the simultaneous Referendum between Belize and Guatemala would have gone through, both Belizeans and Guatemalans would have visited the polls on October 6th to determine whether or not Guatemala’s unfounded claim over Belize should be resolved by the International Court of Justice. But in April of 2013 the Guatemalan Government announced that it was not willing to go through with the Referendum due to several reasons. Of course the news did not sit too well with Belizeans but Guatemala stuck to its guns and the Referendum will not take place on October 6th. At the 68th Annual General Assembly of the United Nations held in New York City, Belize’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Honorable Wilfred Elrington, spoke on the important national issue and also expressed disappointment in Guatemala backing down from the Referendum. For context here is an excerpt of Minister Elrington’s address. Honorable Wilfred Elrington- Minister of Foreign Affairs “The Guatemalan claim is a constant source of anxiety to our citizens as well as investors in our country. Furthermore, both our territorial and our maritime border regions have been suffering from depredation and environmental degradation in consequences of the wanton and sustained illegal activities of Guatemalan campecinos, fishermen and other criminal elements engaged in narco-trafficking, human-trafficking, smuggling, illegal panning for gold, the extraction of xate and other exotic plants and animals, the illegal felling of timber and the pillaging of our ancient Mayan ruins.

Recent Outbreak Of Cholera In Mexcio Buts Belize On High Alert
A recent outbreak of Cholera in the Mexican State of Hidalgo has Belizean authorities on high alert given the close proximity and extensive border line of Belize and Mexico. Forty four cases have been confirmed only in Hidalgo and according to sources there are thirty three cases currently awaiting results of testing. In fact, ten of those persons affected so far have been hospitalized. Such alarming numbers of affected people in neighboring Mexico has the Ministry of Health in full swing ensuring that the spread of the virus is contained even before it enters Belize. Those efforts will be spread all the way to the Corozal Commercial Free Zone with a group of health workers monitoring the situation. Dr. Marvin Manzanero “The report we got this morning, I think 46 confirm cases; two now in Mexico City, one death I think associated to Cholera so just yesterday we met to look at the treatment and we are going to be looking at the algorithm for Belize and socializing that with the health care workers, there is two officers in Corozal today who will also be looking at the Free Zone trying to set up the alert systems as a potential entry point because it is where people are coming into the Free Zone. We have touch base with the central medical lab to see if we have the kits to make the diagnosis in the country and she has confirmed that we have and I just got confirmation that we also have the anti-biotic recommended when an anti-biotic is require for Cholera cases so it seems that we are setting up the alert mechanism to ensure that we don’t have, or when there is any potential case that is treated the way it is supposed to be treated.”

14 Year Old Mennonite Boy Crushed To Death By A Crusher
A 14 year old Mennonite boy from the community of Shipyard in the Orange Walk District suffered a horrific death this morning while working at a quarry located at Camp Nine. The boy was literally squashed to death after he fell into a heavy machine used to break down huge rocks. The incident happened at around 9:30 this morning and our news team was the first on the scene. We must report that some of the footage captured was too gruesome to be aired. Reporter Irvin Aragon has the story. Irvin Aragon – Reporting Death found its way into the Mennonite Community of Shipyard this morning and claimed the life of 14 year old Peter Reimer, whose life was tragically ended by a machine used to crush huge boulders. The horrific incident played out at a quarry located in Camp Nine in Shipyard sometime around nine thirty this morning. When we arrived at the scene the badly mutilated body of Reimer laid in the back of this pickup truck waiting to be carted away to the Northern Regional Hospital.


Man viciously attacked on way to work
We have reported on two separate double murders, and an attempted murder, all in the Cayo district over the past few days. On Wednesday, there is another attempted murder to report on and it happened early in the morning, also in the Cayo district. The victim is 28 year...

Alleged thief shot, burned and buried
A man has been shot and killed in the Cayo district. He is 49 year old Pedro Ruben Luna Andrede. Mr Andrede was shot in Camalote village, Cayo, on a 400 acre private ranch in the roaring River Area, supposedly on Friday September 27. But no one except the...

Two persons detained for double murder in Roaring Creek
The case of the double murder that occurred on Saturday some minutes before noon, still raises a lot of questions. The victims, 25 year old Philippino National Arly Rose Sardido and63 year old American retiree David Lowel Reichel were both found dead floating near the Roaring...

One person sought for double murder in Camalote
On Tuesday we reported on another double murder that took place in Camalote, shattering the relative peace of the village. According to our sources, a masked man visited the house of Juan Olmedo who reportedly sells food for a living. Mr Olmedo was at his house...

Ministry of Immigration launches investigation into passport scandal
The Ministry of Immigration, under the directive of Minister the Hon. Godwin Hulse, has launched an investigation into the passport scandal involving South Korean fugitive Kim Won-Hong. As of late, the public has been crying out for further, independent bodies to look into both the...

PUP asks former Minister Penner to resign or face recall mechanism
On Wednesday, the Leader of the Opposition, the Hon. Francis Fonseca, issued to the media a copy of a letter sent to the now scandalized ex minister Elvin Penner. In that letter, Fonseca calls for the resignation of Elvin Penner from his position as area representative of Cayo North....

Consulate of Belize in Florida has inaugurated its New Office and Passport Services
The Consulate of Belize in Florida has inaugurated its New Office and Passport Services. The new office was inaugurated on Tuesday, October 1st , 2013, in Coral Gables, Florida. The Mayor of Coral Gables, Mr. Jim Cason welcomed the Consulate of Belize to his city. ...

Non-Governmental Organizations Amendment Bill generates debate in Senate
A number of bills were passed in the Senate on Wednesday, some without contention. However, there were several bills that sparked debate, one of which is the Non-Governmental Organizations Amendment Bill, 2013. This piece of legislation seeks to “Make provisions for public access to information held by the Registrar;...

Ministry of Health confirms presence of H1N1 virus in Belize
In 2009, Belize braced for the impact of the strain of influenza known as H1N1 or “swine flu”. While there were cases detected there were no fatalities and now it is being treated as just another seasonal type of flu. The Ministry of Health has...

The Guardian

True Protection
Last week a long awaited (many would say long overdue) bill - CRIMINAL CODE (AMENDMENT) (NO. 2) BILL, 2013 - was introduced into the House of Representatives to amend the Sexual Offences Act to better reflect the realities of our times and offer girls and boys, women and men better protection against sexual predators. The definition of rape in the old Act does not protect boys or men against rape of any kind nor does it protect girls and women against penetration that is non penal and/or non vaginal. The new bill redresses these defects and better defines many other offences including those against persons of unsound mind and the use of substances to remove a person’s ability to decline consent. The bill still needs to go to Committee and additions or clarifications that anyone feels are needed may be considered then. The passage of this bill into law will not be the end of the process since it is only the probability of enforcement that will serve as a deterrent to sexual predation. This will involve a massive education campaign to ensure that all Belizeans understand their rights and responsibilities under the law. Adults must be aware of the ...

O.W. Town Board Bruk!
The Orange Walk Town board is broke. That is the word coming from that municipality after the Belize Bank froze the accounts of the board for failing to service an overdraft facility. The amount owed by the Orange Walk Town council is reportedly 112,000 dollars and no payment was being made to bring it down. The Mayor or Orange Walk, Kevin Bernard, has wrongfully been claiming that Central Government had secured the overdraft. At the meeting of the House of Representatives on Friday, September 27th, Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow, clarified that the Orange Walk Town Council had been given clearance to open the overdraft facility but there was no guarantee given by government to pay it. It would appear now that through sheer incompetence the town council has been unable to service the overdraft. The town board closed its doors to services late last week and has reportedly had to take out a loan from a private individual in order to pay workers last week. Bernard claims to now be in negotiations with the Belize Bank to free up the accounts of the town council.

Saints and Sinners
The adage goes, ‘If you live eenah glass house, don’t throw stones,’ and it is right that many, many moons ago someone came up with the saying to dissuade persons who are involved in wrong doing to not accuse others who are also involved in wrong doings. So it is that one of the hosts of WUB’s morning show began to call the police claiming that there was skullduggery taking place at the Immigration Department and that an investigation must be carried out. For context we note that Hon. Elvin Penner has been fired from Cabinet after he was involved in some level of wrong doing at the department. To this we must applaud the Prime Minister. He took swift and decisive action against Hon. Penner, but more than that he made it public to ensure that the message is made absolutely clear that this kind of behaviour should not be tolerated. After Hon. Penner’s firing, there is now a full fledged investigation into the wrong doing at the department to establish exactly what took place, who is involved and to place charges on persons if necessary. Now to the talk show host- It is quite theatrical and apparently noble for him to be calling the police for an investigation to be carried out into the immigration department. He has all right to be saying this, but the messenger should be beyond reproach and here is where there is a problem. In fact the very television station from where the clarion call comes from needs to realize that it is built with glass. As much as what Hon. Penner did is wrong so too is depriving the government of revenue.

West Gone Wild
Since Thursday, September 26th, there have been four, possibly five, murders in the villages of Roaring Creek, Camalote and Teakettle in the Cayo District. Residents of these relatively small communities that sit next to each other are shocked and extremely concerned over the recent spike in violence that have occurred. The Police Department has detained numerous individuals in their investigation of the murders and has since been more visible in the area. The first murder reported in the area was on Saturday, September 28th. Just before 12:15 p.m. police visited an area known as “The Fall”, situated about 100 yards off a feeder road in the Another World Area of Roaring Creek, where they observed the motionless body of an Asian descent female. According to police report, the body was lying face up on a log. She was dressed in a pink blouse and short blue pants with green flowers on it. Swelling was observed on the center of the forehead, abrasions to the upper right side of the head and right side of temple. Police investigation revealed that at about 11:30 a.m. that day three minors went to swim in the river when they discovered the body floating in the river beside some bushes. They took her out of the water and called the police. The body was identified as 25-year-old Alry Rose Sardido, a Philippine national of Pine Apple Street in Belmopan City.

Sentenced to five years for burglary
Carl Parham, 33, a resident of Mahogany Heights was today convicted of burglary when he was caught inside the Mahogany Heights home of Marie Neal on March 18, 2012. Parham did not manage to steal anything. Police believe that he went there with the intention of raping or causing bodily harm to his victim who was asleep at the time. Parham managed to escape from inside the woman’s home when the victim woke up and found him. By the following day however, police caught up with him and charged him with the offense of burglary. During his trial on Tuesday, October 1st, he did not put up a defense when he appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. In court, the victim testified that she was asleep inside her Mahogany Heights home with her children when she was awaken by a noise. When she opened her eyes, she saw Parham inside her room. She told the court that she then began to chase him out of the house. At first he hesitated to leave but she managed to put him out. For his part Parham chose to say nothing even during mitigation he kept silent. With the evidence presented, Magistrate Dale Cayetano found Parham guilty and sentenced him to 5 years imprisonment. The sentence is to run concurrently with a 7 year sentence he is serving for an attempted burglary conviction.

Ministry works throughout Weekend, yet O.W. Teachers stay Home
Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports Working parents of students attending Catholic schools in the Orange Walk District had to make emergency arrangements to ensure the safety of their children on Monday, September 30th, since teachers chose not to attend classes.

ORINCO Donates $20,000 for KHMH’s Asthma Bay
Since Brenda Card Stuart, Public Relations Coordinator, introduced the Adopt-A-Ward Program at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, several organizations have responded to the national hospital’s request for assistance. The Organization of Insurance Companies (ORINCO) is the latest to write out a cheque to the institution.

Benque House of Culture Celebrates 12th Anniversary
Hundreds of persons from Benque Viejo del Carmen and surrounding areas came out this past Saturday to Celebrate Benque’s House of Culture duo-decennial anniversary at the historic Centennial Park in that most Western Town. It was an opportunity over the weekend for entrepreneurs to showcase their products as well as artisans to show their talents.

Belize Infrastructure Limited Opens Office
We are pleased to announce the opening of the office of the Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL) in Belmopan City on October 1, 2013. The office will be headed by Christy Mastry who is serving as the interim General Manager. Ms. Mastry is a licensed architect in Belize with over 15 years of project management experience. She is wrapping up as the Project Director of the Sustainable Tourism Project where she managed $30 million of direct infrastructure and construction projects throughout the country. Belize Infrastructure Limited is a private company formed by the Government of Belize to act as a public sector agency of the government to undertake the design, construction and management of capital projects in Belize with particular emphasis on sporting and other multipurpose facilities. BIL’s office is located at 1664 Market Square, Belmopan City.

Inauguration of Consulate in Florida
On Tuesday, October 1st, 2013, the Consulate of Belize in Florida inaugurated its new office located in Coral Gables, Florida. The Mayor of Coral Gables, Mr. Jim Cason, enthusiastically welcomed the Consulate of Belize to his city. The Honorary Consul General, Mrs. Janine Sylvestre Vega, welcomed the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Attorney General, Hon. Wilfred Elrington, as well as Mrs. Candelaria Saldivar-Morter, CEO in the Ministry of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development and National Emergency Management and Immigration and Nationality, along with other Belizeans and leaders of the community who attended. Both Honorable Wilfred Elrington and CEO Saldivar-Morter addressed the guests present.

Churches to visit every home in Collet
The churches and pastors of the Collet division along with Area Representative, Hon. Patrick Faber, officially launched the Collet Every Home Crusade. The initiative is one where churches from the constituency will be doing outreach programs in the community to attract more people to the church as well as assist in development. The program will run from October 1st to November 7th and will see church leaders and other active members of the evangelical churches reaching out into the Collet constituency doing house-to-house visits.

The United Democratic Party was ushered into government in 2008 on a mission, and with a mandate, to stomp out corruption. The first term of the UDP government ended on February 7, 2012 with what can be described as relatively minimal scandals. Eighteen months into its second term there has been a sleuth of revelations of scandals involving mostly public officers but most recently involving, for the first time, a minister of government. I say for the first time a Minister, not because no other Minister has not had his/her name called in a scandal, but because this is the first where something apparently provable has been alleged against a Minister in the conduct of his duties.

Newly Established Medical Tourism Association
Dr. Marcelo Coyi has been elected as President of the newly established Belize Medical Tourism Association and the medical community, is getting ready to welcome its first patients in a formal medical tourism system. The Global Spa Summit defines medical tourism as “people who travel to a different place to receive treatment for a disease, ailment, or condition, and who are seeking lower cost of care, higher quality of care, better access to care, or different care than they could receive at home.” Medical tourism stakeholders are hoping that the new industry will eventually end the practice of Belizeans going abroad and significantly increase the number of foreigners coming to Belize for medical care.

Mobile Equipment handed over in Belmopan
In a brief ceremony on Monday of this week a set of mobile tools were handed over at the Institute of Archaeology Grounds on Culvert Road in Belmopan. While the costs for the tools and equipment component that will enhance the Institute of Archaeology to carry out its work, figures just $90,000.00, this is part of a larger project to make tourism benefit communities adjacent to some nine archaeological sites across Belize.

Painting Belize Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Residents of Belize City will notice huge pink bows being prominently displayed on major buildings across the city. The initiative started at the Whitfield Tower which houses the Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children.

American Woman busted Cocaine
An American woman who was on the island of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye over the weekend vacationing with her husband was charged after she was found with cocaine. 29-year-old American national, Ashley Bossenmeyer of New Orleans, Louisiana appeared in court on a single charge of possession of a controlled drug.

Cop found guilty of killing a man
On Monday, September 30th, a jury of 7 women and 2 men found police constable, Burton Caliz, guilty of manslaughter by negligence. They had deliberated on and had found him not guilty of manslaughter however they found him guilty of the alternate charge of manslaughter by negligence. Burton Caliz is out on a reduced bail of $4,000 which was granted to him by Justice Gonzalez. Sentencing is set for Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 9:15 a.m., when mitigation pleas will be heard on his behalf. PC Caliz's trial began on September 18, before Justice Troadio John Gonzalez in the Belize City Supreme Court. Caliz is a police officer who has been on interdiction since Februray 12th, 2004 when he was charged for the killing of Leroy Pilgrim on the island of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. He was initially charged with manslaughter back in March 2004, but on indictment on June 21, 2005, he saw the charge upgraded to murder and his $8,000 bail granted to him by the court was revoked. He was then remanded to prison. He was later tried and found guilty of manslaughter on March 21, 2007 and was sentenced to 10 years. That conviction would later be overturned by the court of appeal and a retrial was ordered.

Accused of stealing from Roommate
A Honduran Domestic who has a temporary permit to remain in Belize until October 19 was arraigned in Magistrate's Court on Tuesday, October 1, after she was accused of stealing items from her room-mate. 21-year-old Maritza Hernandez, a resident of Belize City appeared before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith where she was read three criminal offenses, theft, handing stolen goods and damage to property.

$200 for 0.1 grams of Crack
On Wednesday, October 2nd, 26-year-old Marlon Robinson, a laborer of the Mile 8 Community located on the George Price Highway appeared before Magistrate Clive Lino where he was read a single charge of possession of a controlled drug. He pleaded guilty and was fined $200 plus $5 cost of court which he must pay by November 2nd, 2013 in default he will spend 2 months in jail. OnTuesday, October 1, Robinson was found in possession of .1 grams of crack cocaine and he was arrested and charged for it. Police say they conducted a search on him and discovered the drug in a small pocket above his right front pants pocket.

Sudden Death in Cayo
On Saturday last at about 6:50 p.m., information was received of a dead body on a ‘D and E’ bus which was parked at the Cayo Welcome Center in San Ignacio Town. The body was later identified to be that of Otto Perez, 57 years old, a Belizean driver residing on Far West Street in San Ignacio Town. He was observed to be lying on the floor between the two back seats of the bus. No signs of injury were observed on Otto Perez and he was pronounced dead on arrival at 7:47 p.m. at the San Ignacio Community Hospital. While at the morgue, the body was confirmed to be that of Otto Perez by his cousin Rosalia Awe.

Traffic Accident in Cayo
On September 30th, Rene Guidel, a 33-year-old Belizean businessman of the Mosquito Ville area was travelling to pick up his father-in-law at the corner of Cahal Petch and Buena Vista Street in San Ignacio and at about 7:30 pm when a chain of events turned against him. Guidel reports that after passing Chuc’s Gas Station on the Benque Viejo Road and travelling in the direction from Benque Viejo to San Ignacio he observed that another vehicle was travelling in the opposite direction, with its high beam shining directly in his face. That was when Rene Guidel reports that he was blinded for a few seconds and upon “recovering” he noticed that a male person was directly in front of him, riding a bicycle. Guidel notes that the right side of his vehicle hit the person causing that individual to be pinned under the vehicle and dragged for a short distance. As a result of this recent accident, the body of an unidentified Hispanic man was observed lying with injuries to the top of the head, face and with abrasions to the right elbow and right knee. The injured person was later transported to the San Ignacio Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Gudiel has since been served with a Notice of Intended Prosecution.

Basketball competition enters quarterfinal round
The Belize District Basketball Association Firms Competition will enter its Quarter Final Round of the competition on Thursday, October 3, 2013, with two games on the schedule. In the first game is scheduled for 7:30 pm Customs/MoE will go up against Courts and in the second game, it will be BWSL against Belize City Council. On Friday, October 4, in the first game at 7:30 pm Port of Belize will go up against BTL and this will be followed by Atlantic Bank against Belize Bank Broadway. Meanwhile, on Friday, September 27, the Knockout Round came to an end with three games. In the first game played, BTL eliminated Ready Call by the score of 77 to 51. The top scorers for BTL were Devon Lozano with 33 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals, Otis Clother with 20 points, and 7 rebounds. For Ready Call, the top scorer was Hubert Baptist with 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists.

Belikin Cup Premier League competition opens
The Belikin Cup Opening Season of the Belize Premier League competition opened on Saturday, September 28, 2013. In the game played out at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium between the Belize Defence Force and the defending champions, Police United. The Belize Defence Force edged the Police United by the score of 3-1. The visiting Belize Defence Force was able to get onto the scoreboard first when John King scored the 1st goal of the game to give his team an early 1-0 lead. That lead was further increased when Stephen Martinez scored his team’s 2nd goal of the game in the 44th minute of play for a 2-0 lead. It was not until the second half of the game that the defending champions, Police United, was able to get onto the scoreboard when Clifton West scored his team’s only goal in the 83rd minute of play to cut the deficit to one goal. However, that was short lived when the Belize Defence Force’s Leonard Valdez scored his team’s 3rd and final goal of the game in the 90th minute of play. The competition then continued on Sunday, September 29, with two more games on the schedule. At the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, San Ignacio United FC and Paradise Freedom Fighters played to a 2-2 draw. The visiting Paradise Freedom Fighters was the first to score in the game when Franz Vernon scored his first of 2 goals in the 4th minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. That lead was further extended when Vernon scored his 2nd and final goal of the game in the 55th minute of play to give his team a 2-0 lead. Unfortunately, the Paradise Freedom Fighters defence was not up to the task of defending and gave up two goals in the process. The home team San Ignacio United FC got on the scoreboard when Larry Simon scored his team’s 1st goal of the game in the 66th minute of play to cut the deficit by 1. The equalising goal for the home team was scored by Roy Cano in the 89th minute of play for the 2-2 draw. In the final game of the day played out at the MCC Grounds between the Belmopan Bandits and FC Belize ended in a 0-0 draw.

David Henderson captures Cycling 4th Test Race
The Belize Cycling Association sponsored its 4th Test Race on Sunday, September 29, 2013. The event which was held on the Boom-Hattieville Road saw the riders doing 9 laps on an 8 miles Circuit. The first rider to cross the finish line at the end of 3:12:15 was David Henderson of Benny’s Megabytes Elites. Henderson was then followed by Joel Borland of Telemedia Cycling, and he was followed by Allen Castillo of Benny’s Megabytes Elites in a time of 3:12:22, and then followed by Byron Pope also of Benny’s Megabytes and he was followed by Jairo Campos of Telemedia Cycling. The other top riders to finish the course was Julio Ceasr Dzul of Depredadores in and he was followed by Nissan Arana also of Depredadores, Manuel Ayala also of Depredadores, Roger Troyer of Belikin Western Spirit and Henry Moreria who is unattached, rounded off the top ten riders in the event.

Belize City Primary Schools football competition rolls on at the MCC
The 2013-2014 Belize City Primary Schools Football Competition continued at the MCC grounds with a number of games. The competition continued on Tuesday, October 1, 2013, with three games on the schedule. In the only female game played, St. Luke Methodist School and Holy Redeemer Primary School played to a 0-0 draw. In the first of two male games played, St. Luke Methodist edged Holy Redeemer School by the score of 2-1. The goals for St. Luke Methodist were scored by Chervin Tench while the goal for Holy Redeemer School was scored by Joshua Sulph. In the second and final game of the day, St. Joseph School blanked Wesley Upper School by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Mario Galindo. On Monday, September 30, in the first of two games played in boys’ competition, James Garbutt Seventh Day Adventist School won over Ephesus Seventh Day Adventist School. In the second game of the day, Ebenezer Methodist School blanked Queen Street Baptist School by the score of 7-0. The goals for Ebenezer Methodist were scored by Tyreek Muschamp (4), Dion Cacho and KyJuan King (2).


Our Journey To Caracol: A Bumpy Road Back in Time
Here is a post to prove that Scoop readers are the very coolest, smartest, most talented and best looking in the world. Thanks SO much Meg. I’ve never been to Caracol and NOW I need to go. Take it away… Before we get started, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Meg, and I traveled to Belize for 10 days in September with my new husband Chris on a fantastic honeymoon- 5 nights on the mainland, and 5 on Ambergris Caye. I’ll be doing a few guest scoops for Rebecca as she takes a much-deserved trip back to the States. The photo below isn’t the best, but I’m much more frequently the photographer than the one being photographed! The first half of our trip brought us to Hidden Valley Inn in the Mountain Pine Ridge. Rebecca stayed there last year and loved it, so I’ll let her cover the resort itself (and all the food!). ***From SPS – Check those posts at the bottom of this one!*** A future post from me will take on some parts of the property she didn’t get a chance to visit. For now, let’s focus on our first day-trip, deeper into the MPR to the ancient Mayan city of Caracol! We were a group of 4 (myself, my husband, and two young women from the Netherlands) with our guide from HVI, Freddy. The Inn itself is about an hour down an unpaved road from Georgeville, on the Western Highway. Caracol is about another two hours further down that road- but luckily, there are some interesting stops along the way.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave
The Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave (or the ATM for short) is one of the top adventurous and thrilling experiences Belize has to offer. The cave is found in the beautiful Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve located in the foothills of the Maya Mountains in Western Belize. Here are ten interesting things you might not know about this ancient Maya sitet: 1) The name Actun Tunichil Muknal means, “Cave of the Stone Sepulcher”, and locally known as “Xibalba”, roughly translated to “a place of fear”. 2) The cave was first discovered in 1989 and opened to the public in 1998. Dr. Jamie Awe was the first person to explore the cave, and along with his Western Belize Regional Cave Project they conducted archeological research there from 1993-2000. 3) The cave is a full 5 kilometers deep (roughly 3 miles) but tourist are only brought 3,5 kilometers into the cave.

How to Prepare Your Product for Import/Export
Studying competing products in the country where you wish to do business is a great way to target what works in that market. If you cannot visit the country and scan store shelves yourself, get in touch with folks on the ground there and see if they can apprise you of what products are comparable to yours. Meanwhile, grab a sample of your own import/export-ready product, and let’s run through our checklist: 1. The name of your product. Sure, it sounds fine and intriguing to an American, but what does it mean in the target market? Find out beforehand. If you don’t, you will end up with a fiasco like Chevrolet had on their hands when they introduced their new automobile called the “Nova” in Venezuela — which, in Spanish, means “doesn’t go”!

Tips on Running a Successful Small Business
Competitive Edge Before starting a business, entrepreneurs should focus on preparing a business plan that outlines how they will create a competitive edge in the market and create profitable operations. All businesses need to have a set plan of operations that will achieve profits for the business and income for the business owner. Having a written strategy for achieving these goals, will help owners maintain a strong focus on creating a competitive edge and turning a profit on their business operations. Start Small Companies should start small and then expand as their operations gain market share. Low overhead gives a small business the flexibility to make changes if the industry changes or consumer demand begins to wane.

“I Can’t Help Myself” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Got up yesterday morning feeling like I could tackle anything and succeed . Obviously at my age I can’t but its great to feel that way. Decided though to take a slow build up. Why rush things? So, I did what I do best. Made (Made? Water in kettle, kettle on, coffee in a mug, wait for the water to boil, and then pour in to mug. It’s not rocket science!) my first coffee of the day, grabbed my iPad and headed for the veranda. Time of reaching favoured position ? Around 04.15 hours. I think. I think because in all honesty I didn’t look at a clock. Straight to The Times on-line to read about all that I am missing in England. Not a great deal actually apart from being able to go and watch Arsenal . Oh, and my and Rose’s family. Whoops. And my friends of course. Once I had finished reading the ‘paper’ I turned my attention to assembling yesterday’s edition and this took me around an hour. If you read it I can understand you being puzzled as to why it should have taken that long. But it did. Perhaps I allow my mind to wander too much instead of focusing on the task at hand?

Placencia’s Best Food Spots
Placencia isn’t only known for it’s nice beaches and great bars, it’s one of those places that pairs fine dining and hearty meals surprisingly well. One evening you can be having a luxurious dinner at an upscale restaurant and the next day you can be sitting under a shack on the beach and have the best breakfast you’ve ever had. You pretty much can equally enjoy each food experience and feel like a winner. Below are 5 of my favourite food spots in Placencia.

International Sources

VIDEO: Man invents machine to convert plastic into oil
Here is a great answer for Belize's coastal garbage issue as well the mainland. It's subtitled, so read along.

Guatemala Sends Protest Note to OAS after Belizean Statements
Guatemalan Foreign Minister Fernando Carrera protested before the Organization of American States (OAS) over statements made at the U.N. by his counterpart from Belize, Wilfred Elrington, regarding the territorial dispute between both countries. The protest was included in a letter addressed to OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza yesterday, with a copy to Erlington and the Guatemala-Belize Group of Friendly Countries. In the letter, the Foreign Minister rejected suggestions about alleged intentions by Guatemala to forcefully assert its rights over the territory administered by Belize. Insulza has played the role of facilitator in the process followed by both countries to bring the territorial, insular and maritime dispute to the International Court of Justice. Carrera stated that Foreign Minister Erlington said Guatemala had unilaterally suspended the referendum scheduled for October 6, 2013 and did not report to the U.N. General Assembly that it was because Belize had changed the Law of Referendum, which requires 60 percent of participation by the electoral register to validate the voting.

Belize prepares for gay sex law to be axed
With a court due to rule whether the gay sex ban is unconstitutional, experts say the Belize government is paving the way for consensual anal sex to become legal. Belize is preparing for their law against sodomy to be struck down by the courts. Gay anal sex, considered ‘against the order of nature’, is illegal in Belize and can get you 10 years jail – but a court case is trying to change that. Recent government moves indicate they accept the court may rule the gay sex ban is unconstitutional and has to be altered or scrapped. In the latest development, they are amending other areas of the law so male rape would be criminalized properly if the gay part of the penal code is axed.

Latest travel tips from 1,000 Places To See Before You Die author Patricia Schultz
A publishing phenomenon that gave an aspirational kick to the usual travel guides, 1,000 Places became required reading, and gift giving for far more than those who have already booked a trip. Rather, anyone who hoped to hop on a plane or pack up the minivan this year, next year, or in ten years could delve into its bite-sized profiles of delightful destinations ranging from Cambridge University in England, our own Calgary Stampede, Banff/Jasper/Yoho, and heli-skiing in B.C. to the Lucca and Pisa in Italy, Phinda Private Game Reserve in South Africa and Belize’s Barrier Reef.

The Beast Strikes Again: Central American Migrants Feel Brunt of Failed Immigration Policies
Security is a constant buzzword heard in the latest round of debate on US immigration reform. Democratic and Republican politicians alike are making promises to US citizens that the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013” will focus on prioritizing their security. The promulgation of this word begs the question, security for whom? Is security guaranteed for the tens of thousands of family members who will not gain a path to citizenship if the new reform package is passed? What about security for the migrants who, despite an increasingly militarized border, will still make the journey, clinging to the metal grates of La Bestia (The Beast), the freight train that traverses Mexico, and then trek through the Sonora Desert. Increasingly migrants are forced to travel via the dangerous La Bestia, which earned its name because it has taken the lives of so many of its passengers. Death recently struck again, when La Bestia derailed in Huimanguillo, Tabasco, close to the Guatemalan border. At least six migrants were killed and more than twenty-two were severely injured, many of whom had to be rescued via canoes due to the inaccessibility of the remote area in which the train derailment took place. Milton Alexis Umaya, a Salvadoran migrant who survived the derailment, gave the following testimony, which was featured in Desinformemonos: In my train car we were 40 or 50 people and we were all sleeping at that time. Suddenly the car flipped and threw me to the side but some women broke their hands. I helped several get out from the pile of scrap metal, but there was one woman I couldn't help because a piece of metal had gone through her neck and killed her.

The first place I think we could live!
Placencia, Belize We think we have found it…..a magical “it” place that ticks all the boxes on our wish list. A place we could call home… someday, or at least part of the year. So what boxes are on are list you ask? #1: Beautiful Beach The beach was exactly what we were looking for! Beautiful sandy beachs, that you could walk for miles. The water was not only gorgeous to look at it also was a perfect temperature. We spent 2 days at Chabil Mar, where we laid on the beach all day soaking in the sun and dipping in the sea to cool off every soo often.

Where to Get More for Your Dollar (and What to do if it Devalues…)
You ain’t nothin but a hound dog…cryin’ all the time… Well, you ain’t never caught a rabbit… And you ain’t no friend of mine… Elvis was in the house last night. Young Elvis. Why English-speaking Belize may well be your ideal haven if you’re looking for laid-back beach living or a self-sufficient retreat up in the rolling hills. This little nation on the Caribbean is easy, friendly, and good-value. Take advantage of its program for retirees, and you can get residence in Belize—but you only have to be physically present there a month a year! Glynna Prentice outlined all the details…

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.)

October 3, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

PUP calls on Hon. Elvin Penner to resign
The People’s United Party today, October 2, 2013, took two specific actions in the ongoing UDP immigration corruption scandal to advance the investigation of this matter and to hold Hon. Elvin Penner, Member for Cayo North East, accountable for his role and conduct in this matter. 1. Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Francis Fonseca, has written a RESIGN OR BE RECALLED DEMAND LETTER to Hon. Penner (letter attached) dated October 2, 2013, demanding that Hon. Penner resign no later than 5pm, Monday October 7, 2013 or face Recall. 2. PUP Senator Hon. Lisa Shoman has called on the Senate at its meeting in Belmopan today to institute and conduct a Special Enquiry and Investigation into the UDP Government Immigration Corruption Scandal in accordance with S.61A(2)(d) of the Constitution of Belize.

The Consulate of Belize in Florida Inaugurates New Office and Passport Services
On Tuesday, October 1st, 2013, the Consulate of Belize in Florida inaugurated its new office located in Coral Gables, Florida. The Mayor of Coral Gables, Mr. Jim Cason enthusiastically welcomed the Consulate of Belize to his city. The Honorary Consul General, Mrs. Janine Sylvestre Vega, welcomed the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Attorney General, Hon. Wilfred Elrington, as well as Mrs. Candelaria Saldivar-Morter, CEO in the Ministry of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development and National Emergency Management and Immigration and Nationality, along with other Belizeans and leaders of the community who attended. Both Honorable Wilfred Elrington and CEO Saldivar-Morter addressed the guests present. During the ceremony, Mayor Cason handed over the key to the city to Minister Elrington and its seal to the Honorary Consul.

Belize highlights MDGs and Guatemala’s claim over Belize at UN General Assembly
The Government of Belize was represented at the 68th General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) held from September 24th to October 1st. The theme for this year was “The Post 2015 Development Agenda; Setting the Stage” with the Belize delegation led by the Honorable Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. Elrington addressed the UN on September 30th and in his remarks, which lasted 24 minutes and 2 seconds, he used the opportunity to highlight several issues, including the unfounded Guatemalan claim over portions of Belize. Elrington began his remarks by highlighting the fact that developed nations have not honored their commitments to provide the assistance to poor countries needed to achieve their global anti-poverty targets, known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). He indicated that since being launched in 2000 the MDGs set eight specific goals on poverty alleviation, education, gender equality, child mortality, maternal health, environmental stability, HIV/AIDS reduction and a global partnership for development, however the larger countries have not honored goal eight.

Islanders discuss challenges and response to climate change
If you ask any islander that has lived on Ambergris Caye for the past 50 years, they will tell you that over the past three decades, San Pedro has lost about 30 feet or more of its beaches due to the rise in water level. Today, the island continues to lose its beaches as the waters of the Caribbean Sea slowly erode away the land, claiming the island. The deterioration of the island’s beaches is being directly attributed to the change in climate patterns over a long period; climate change, due to human activities. That was the theme of a discussion at three separate workshops held on Thursday September 26th on the island, spearheaded by the University of West Indies.

Ambergris Today

Belize and Mexico Work Together To Combat Narco-trafficking
Belize and Mexico are discussing a security accord in response to an influx of international criminal organizations increasingly targeting the Central American country as a transshipment point for illicit drug shipments. Top diplomats from the neighboring countries met in late August to discuss an agreement that would beef up security along the 251-kilometer border, which largely snakes along the Hondo River. Mexican Foreign Secretary José Antonio Meade and his Belizean counterpart Wilfred Erlington visited the border and concluded a bi-national agreement on confronting narco-trafficking is a priority. “We both recognized that Belize is the portal, one of the first lines of defense in terms of the southern border” stated Meade in the meeting. “And that is one of the topics we went into in some depth, and the commitment is there for us to work together to ensure that our borders are kept safe and secure.”

San Pedro Junior Sailing Club Cart Wash
SAN PEDRO JUNIOR SAILING CLUB CART WASH THIS SATURDAY!!!! CART WASH for 10.00 per golf cart ~ FREE rum punch with cart wash purchase! BBQ BURGERS and home made pasta salad for 10.00 being served from 11:00 to 3:00 BAKE SALE ~ DELICIOUS HOMEMADE ~ cookies, brownies and breads! ARTS AND CRAFTS! Hand made by the sailors! All of this for sale this Saturday at Caribbean Villas for support of the San Pedro Junior Sailing Club Regatta in Corozal the 11th, 12th and 13th of October! This is a great thing for the kids of San Pedro and Belize as a whole!

Saga’s October Snip-a-thon Dates Announced
Saga HS is pleased to announce an October SNIP-a-thon. During the month of October Saga HS will be hosting two different visiting Veterinary groups to hold free spay/neuter clinics for the low income residents of Ambergris Caye. In addition to the free spay/neuters the teams will be doing additional CDV vaccinations, and dog training sessions for public. The goal is to sterilize over 300 island pets during the month. Helping Paws Across Borders will be in San Pedro Oct. 7-10. They will be bringing a team of 15 including Veterinarians, Vet Techs, and dog trainers. This group will focus their efforts on the neighborhoods of DFC, San Juan and Downtown. Because of limited space at the Saga HS clinic, MASH (Mobile Animals Surgical Hospital)type clinic will be held in DFC at Mrs. Adaly Ayuso. This will allow the medical teams to be closer to the animals and save the time and expense of transportation to the Saga HS clinic.

Misc Belizean Sources

Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Deputy Mayor Guillermo Paz and Councilors Gabriel Nuñez and Carlos Barrientos attend the Official Ceremonial Installment of the Council in Othon P. Blanco, Chetumal, Q. Roo. The Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Councilors were honorable guests at the event. Mayor Danny presented the new Mayor, Mr. Eduardo Elias Espinosa Abuxapqui with a one of a kind sculpture of marlins made out of shark bone on behalf of the people of San Pedro. Present at the event as well was the Governor of Quintana Roo, Lic. Roberto Borge Angulo.

Congratulations to team BTL for winning the National Women's Softball championship in back to back fashion. Kudos also to Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy which placed second and Fresca Lady Rebels for placing third.

Equipment for archaeology project handed over in Belmopan
Construction equipment and tools to be used in an European Union-funded project were handed over to the Institute of Archaeology on Monday of this week in Belmopan. According to a government press release, the tools and equipment will be used in upcoming infrastructure improvement works to be carried out at selected archaeological sites and then be used for ground maintenance at different sites. The project entitled “Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites” is being implemented by the Belize Tourism Board and the National Institute of Culture and History. The Project Execution Unit is housed at the BTB office in Regent Street in Belize City. The objectives of the project, according to an official release, include improving economic opportunities in rural communities, enhancing the tourism experience through improvements on infrastructure at the selected sites and contributing to poverty reduction. The Project targets communities adjacent to nine archaeological sites, including: Xunantunich, Nohoch Che’en (Caves’ Branch), Nim Li Punit, Barton Creek, Altun Ha, Lubaantun, Actun Tunichil Muknal, Lamanai and Blue Creek.

Benque Viejo Town Market
Benque is getting a new, 6000 square foot market. There will be fruit stalls along with art stalls, and small park. The contracts are being signed today. This is part of the Belize Rural Development Project's second phase. Congratulations, Benque!

Anytime is the Right Time to Celebrate
Giselle Rodriguez, SHJC student, and junior tour guide here in Cayo, wrote an article about how rain couldn't stop the Independence celebrations, in fact, she called it right, it was a blessing. The Cayo Tour Guide Association has the full article on their site, entitled 'Anytime is the Right Time to Celebrate.' "All in all the rain was unable to cease the Belizean vibes. Supporters and participants came out to celebrate Belize’s 32 years of Independence, as the theme states “Belize in you, Belize in me, Land of the free.” We are all Belize and therefore we shall come hand in hand and fight for the betterment of Belize. Protect and preserve our children for they are the future of Belize, our elders are the foundation and our community and resources are our home. BELIZE: a country of hope and prosperity."

Channel 7

Penner Goes To Visit Prime Minister
Tonight, there is so much news coming out about UDP Cayo Northeast Representative Elvin Penner and his role in the facilitation of a passport for South Korean Won Hong Kim. We'll have extended coverage of all angles tonight, but first, though, to the news of the day. This afternoon at 2:35, the embattled Elvin showed up at the Prime Minister's Belize City Office at the Whitfield Towers. Penner drove himself in his Government issued Four Runner, and after about of nervousness where he knocked down the parking cones, he walked into the building. After an hour and a half, he emerged from the meeting where the press was waiting. But this time, he didn't have to walk the gauntlet up to his SUV because the Prime Minister's driver brought it up to the door - so he could walk right in. The Press managed to get in one question:.. Reporter "Sir, will you resign as an area representative?" Elvin Penner "As I said before I will continue to serve my people."

Prime Minister Says Penner Came Asking For His Pay
In case you missed it, he said, "I will continue to serve my people." But we're not sure how long that will last because the leader of the opposition - after a long period of inaction today sent a letter to Penner demanding his resignation by Monday October 7th, or face a recall. More on that later, but first to the Prime Minister's meeting with Penner. What was it about? Well the PM told the press, it was housekeeping:... Prime Minister Dean Barrow "Talking about housekeeping matters, he hasn't been paid for the month, and of course while he is no longer Minister of state, he is still a member of the National Assembly." "I had to call the clerk I haven't been able to find my financial secretary who is in Belize City attending meeting, but we dealt particularly with those sorts of housekeeping matters; how he will be paid now i view of his new status and as well since there is, as I understand it, talk by the opposition of trying to trigger the recall mechanism, that absolutely lovely device that the UDP inserted in the constitution. I wanted to find out from him, what his position was and he was quite open in telling me that he continues to serve his people, that, indeed only his constituents can tell him if it is time to go as a member of the house and so that was basically the extent of it."

Immigration Minister Hulse: No Picture, No Fingerprint, No Police Check For Citizen Kim
We'll have a little more from the Prime Minister's Interview very shortly, but to keep things developing thematically, we first have our interview with Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse. We caught up him this afternoon after the Senate Meeting - and got to discuss a hose of issue. Centrally, though, it is the issue of the picture of Won Hong Kim. This is Kim as he arrived in Taiwan late last week. That image is the same person in the picture on the Belizean nationality certificate and the South Korean passport. So, the same-ness of those two images immediately vaporizes Elvin Penner's explanation that he was tricked because the person he helped get a passport, and who he claims to have known was not the person in jail in Taiwan. Indeed it was. What's more, the picture on the Belizean Nationality Certificate and the South Korean passport are the same - which means Won Hong Kim never took a passport picture in Belize, which is illegal.

PM Says Citizen Kim Passport Irregularities Why Penner Was Fired
When we spoke to the Prime Minister today about that same discrepancy in the photographs - he said that is well known - and said that's why Penner was fired. That portion of the interview got a little contentious as he got into an exasperated exchange with our colleague from KREM Radio Marisol Amaya:.. Prime Minister Dean Barrow "What Minister may have said, I didn't hear him, about the recipient of the passport not appearing at the passport office in Belmopan was always the fact. We knew from the start that the person to whom the passport was issue was at the time in jail in Taiwan. How does this advance matters? How does that - Penner signed a passport picture and Penner signed a recommendation form. There is nothing that requires the person to be in front of you when you signed the recommendation form or the passport picture."

PUP Wants Senate To Investigate Immigration
And while the PM is under pressure, the opposition is pushing the issue. As we already told you, the Leader of the Opposition today sent a letter to Penner demanding his resignation. And in the Senate today, PUP Senator Lisa Shoman spoke on the adjournment urging the creation of a special select committee to investigate the going's on at the Immigration Department. The Senator had no motion prepared but she asked for Government support:.. Senator Lisa Shoman "Mr. President, the senators from the Opposition's side are making a call today - a public call an urgent call, for us to utilize our powers under the Senate to conduct an investigation and an inquiry into not only the issues surrounding the nationality certificate and issuance to Won Hong Kim, otherwise known in certain sections of the media as "Citizen Kim." That has to do with not only the passport that was issued but also the nationality certificate, the supporting documents, the file and everything surrounding and leading up to the issuance and delivery of a passport to this particular "Citizen Kim.""

Police Investigate Crazy Killing In Teakettle
As we told you last night, the western corridor got another dose of bad news when a killing was reported in Teakettle, that’s after killings were reported in Roaring Creek and Camalote on Saturday and Monday. The Teakettle situation is not that simple though. A farmer in an area way behind Teakettle says he killed Ruben Andrado because he caught him stealing green peppers in his farm. He says after this Andrado threatened him with a machete – and he shot and killed him. And, after this the farmer did the unthinkable, he allegedly burned Andrado’s remains and buried it! It’s a very crazy story – and to make it worse, the farmer did one more thing: when police went to search his farm, he fired at four of them. Officer commanding Belmopan Sinquest Martinez told us more:..

Police Have Suspects For Roaring Creek Killing
Today three persons were taken to Belmopan Magistrate’s Court. They are Alvin Cruz, Sasha White and Brian Hyde. It’s a relatively minor offence of handling stolen goods in a robbery form a Peace Corp volunteer. But, 7news has learned that these males are also suspects in the murder of Alry Sardido and David Reichel – who were killed on Saturday. That’s why the two males were remanded to prison today. ASP Martinez discussed what appears to be a double homicide with us:..

Why Was There An Execution In Camalote?
And then, there’s the other double murder that happened on Monday afternoon ion Camalote. Police have made no arrests but are looking for a known suspect in the execution of Juan Olmedo and the subsequent killing of innocent bystander and deaf mute Oscar Benitez.

Man Seriously Injured In Buena Vista Bicycle Dispute
And the violence in the western villages continued this afternoon in Buena Vista Village. 28 year old Julian Esquivel was shot in the back over a dispute about a bicycle. He was rushed to the western Regional Hospital and because his condition is serious was ferried to the KHMH,. His wife told PLUS TV what she knew about the incident..

PUP Issues Penner Ultimatum: Resign Or Be Recalled
And while there’s all that crime, the Elvin Penner’s predicament is the news tonight. In the words of Michael Finnegan he’s become a political piñata, and the leader of the opposition – after an inexplicable two week delay – took a might swing at it today.

H1N1 In Belize But Not Such A Big Deal Anymore
H1N1, or Swine Flu – as it was dreadfully called when it first emerged in 2009 – is in Belize and the Caribbean, in fact a report from the Caribbean Public Health Agency says that, quote, “In the Caribbean, the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus is the most commonly identified influenza virus circulating in the Region and this is not an unexpected finding.”

Cholera coming From Mexico?
But what has been detected is cholera in Hidalgo Mexico. That has triggered an immediate response in Belize – particularly in the corozal freee zone – according to Manzanero. He explained:

PM Says He Apologized To Skerrit
7news was first to report on the embarrassing incident with Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit. As we told you he was detained by the Coast Guard on the water of San Pedro on Independence Day. The officer in charge of the Coast Guard detail, has been demoted, but today the Prime Minister said more should have been done. Skerritt came at the personal invitation of the Prime Minister and he told us he was more than a little miffed..

Channel 5

The elusive former Minister of State, Elvin Penner meets with the P.M.
Since he was booted from Cabinet for his involvement in the recent passport scandal in which a South Korean was issued with a Belize passport while in jail on September [...]

Will there be a criminal investigation into passport scandal?
While the Ministry of Immigration is investigating itself, there has been an open call for a criminal inquiry into the issuance of the fraudulent Belizean passport to South Korean businessman [...]

Will a recall be triggered by passport scandal?
Amid the ongoing debacle is the very real possibility that a recall mechanism, enshrined in the constitution, will be triggered by the opposition.  The government of the day maintains control [...]

The P.U.P. says either Penner resigns as area rep or there will be a recall
While the Prime Minister spoke to the media at Whitfield Towers the leader of the opposition also spoke to News Five at Independence Hall. For the opposition, Penner, in fact, [...]

Fonseca says it’s ludicrous for Immigration Department to be investigating itself
P.U.P. Leader Francis Fonseca told us that he has a team ready to go to work collecting signatures, but he decided as a courtesy to give Penner a chance to [...]

Deputy Mayor Eric Chang to face the music on passport scandal on Thursday
Deputy Mayor Eric Chang returns from Taiwan on Thursday to face the blaring music of his alleged involvement in the existing passport scandal.  Chang is accused of being the courier [...]

How did Kim Wonhong obtain Belizean nationality?
And our question for tonight is: How do you think Kim Wonhong obtained Belizean nationality: a. He married a Belizean b. He lived in Belize for five years c. He [...]

Immigration system overridden…how did detained South Korean picture end up in Belizean passport?
The issue of the passport scandal was also placed squarely on the floor of the senate by the opposition and we’ll have that coming up. Following today’s special sitting of [...]

P.U.P. senator asks for support for a passport scandal investigation
The opposition has already said that it will be triggering a recall if Elvin Penner does not resign by October seventh. In the senate today, Lisa Shoman of the P.U.P. [...]

4 days; 5 murders…remains of missing Teakettle man found
Four days; five murders…that’s the new record for Camalote and Roaring Creek communities of the George Price Highway. Tonight, we report on the most recent murder which is also most [...]

City Center demolition ahead of schedule
For years, the City Center stood abandoned and forlorn, awaiting a rehabilitation and renovation which never seemed to materialize. But now it is, and to make way for what is [...]


Burnt Remains Found in Western Belize; Family Mourns Father’s Death
The remains of a man who went missing on Thursday were found today several miles away from his home in Teakettle Village, Cayo. Forty-eight year –old Pedro Ruben Andrade Luna left home last Thursday as he normally did everyday on his bicycle and with his machete to go to his farm some 6 six miles away from home. The herbalist, according to his daughter, Glenda Lopez, was missing for at least a day before a search party started to look for him. Glenda Lopez, Daughter of Deceased “It’s been 13 years since he goes to the bushes to get medicine and he went on Thursday and he never came back. We were all waiting for him because he has never done this; he always comes back. My family thought he didn’t want to make two trips since it is very far where he is going; we thought that he stayed there and so we were waiting for him on Friday but he didn’t show up and then we thought he had other things to do so we waited for him on Saturday but then he never came back and we got worried. We went to the police and reported it and they came and investigated. The police found a house with a lot of Guatemalan immigrants and I think they did everything; they found my father somewhere back in the bushes, in an area called, Agua Vivas; he was shot and burnt up; that is what we got to know from the police. We found, on the way to search for him, we found his machete, his water bottle; he didn’t have any enemies here. Before he died, he said he saw some suspicious people and when he would see them he would hide from them; there are a lot of immigrants back there that come from Guatemala.”

Police Cautions Licensed Firearm Owners
The Belize Police Department also sent out a notice today to holders of firearms, stating that it has noted with concern, several incidents regarding the improper storage of licensed firearms where firearms have fallen into the wrong hands, especially that of children. The Police Department therefore warns that this is not only a dangerous act that can lead to the loss of life but is also an irresponsible practice on behalf of the license holder. As a result, the Belize Police Department appeals to holders of firearms to properly secure them, preferably in a metal safe and when travelling out of the country to deposit it at the nearest police station where a receipt will be issued to them.

Mobile Patrol Leads to Arrest for Controlled Drug
Belize City Police have detained and charged 25 year old Calvin Cattouse of Tribuce Street for possession of controlled drugs. According to police, on Saturday at about 3:30pm, while on mobile patrol on Flamboyant Street, they came across Cattouse whom upon seeing them, threw away a plastic bag on the side of the street. After the suspicious act, police halted Cattouse and escorted him to the area where the object was thrown. The transparent plastic bag was retrieved and inside police observed green leafy substance suspected to be cannabis. Cattouse was then escorted and charged for the crime of controlled drugs which amounted to 3.5 grams.

Belizean Made Habanero Sauce Awarded As Exceptional
The ANUGA food show is the world’s largest and most important food and beverage fair and Belize will form a part of that fair through the participation of Marie Sharp proud products of Belize. The fair will be held in Cologne, Germany, but before even landing in Germany, Marie Sharp won the Taste 13 award for her fresh fruit Habanero Sauce. The award is given for the product of exceptional taste blended with uniqueness. Marie Sharp leaves the country today to present the product to journalists on the 4th, thereafter, the Anuga Food Fair 2013 will commence on the 5th and culminate on the 9th of this month.

Senate Looks at Bills Brought Before the House of Representatives
The Senate met today at the National Assembly in Belmopan to decide on a number of Bills brought from the House of Representatives. First up during the day’s proceedings was Senator for the Business Community, Mark Lizarraga, who spoke on the paper dealing with Fisheries Regulations. Mark Lizarraga “There is a definition for extractive fishing but there is no definition for commercial fishing in section 6-15; we propose that the law should be clear and specific with this important definition because it is a term that is used often in the SI. Part two section four establishes an advisory committee for the purpose of advising on the efficient management of the reserves, there is however, no mention of the committee throughout the bill, instead everything falls into the hands of the Fisheries Administrator; our recommendation is that where the Administrator is to decide, that the sections be amended to say, ‘all sections that authorizes the Fisheries Administrator to permit any activity within the reserve should be done subsequent to or in consultation with the Advisory Committee.

Former Area Representative in Northern Belize Wants Back In But PUP Says No Convention
Elections to elect new area representatives is not scheduled until 2017 but so far we have noticed both major parties making the necessary ground work in finding the most potential candidate to win the seat. Former PUP area representative of Orange Walk South Ismael Cal says he is back in the game but says there is a problem; his party is not holding a convention in Orange Walk South something he views as undemocratic. ISMAEL CAL “It isn’t that I have been denied but I have been told that no convention of that nature would be held and that we just have to endorse the present Area Representative there. We do not agree with this; we totally disagree with this; this is not democracy. We believe that the party should reconsider this and we are looking at gathering signatures to send to the Secretary General for them to reconsider their decision and in the event it is not taken into consideration then we would have to go through other avenues. We would probably have to seek legal advice and we will show that this is unconstitutional in the party and therefore we will seek legal counsel and probably take it to court.”

Complainants A No-Show; Accused Set Free
Thirty-five year old James Copius, a welder of 78 Neal Pen Road who was in prison for over 9 months, became a free man today when Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser struck out charges of robbery and aggravated assault against him for want of prosecution. The trial was set for today and both charges “went through the door” when the complainants, Orvin Myvett and James Garcia, failed to appear. The incident occurred on December 20, 2012. Myvett and Garcia were together when Copius allegedly attacked them with a machete. Garcia reported to the police that Copius stole several items from him which included forty five dollars, a one inch grey and black television and a blue and silver Huffy bicycle. The bicycle and television amounted to one thousand two hundred dollars in value and the bicycle was the property of Myvett. When Copius was arraigned in December of last year he was offered a bail of six thousand dollars, but he was unable to meet bail so he was remanded into custody.

Third Drug Conviction Earns Laborer 10K Fine
Twenty-seven year old Brent Gibson, a laborer of Ladyville, was spared a custodial sentence today when he pled guilty to drug trafficking. Although he had 2 previous convictions for possession of a controlled drug, Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart did not give him a three year sentence. She fined him ten thousand dollars and gave him until November 4 to pay. If he defaults on payment he will serve 3 years. When Magistrate Stuart asked Gibson if he had anything to say before sentence is passed, Gibson said that he is employed, his common-law wife is pregnant and the baby is due on October 13. He asked for leniency. The incident occurred on March 16, 2013 in Ladyville. Gibson was in Blue House Bar when he was escorted outside by a security officer. Police Sergeant Romero then executed a search on Gibson which resulted in the discovery of a plastic bag containing 83.7 grams of cannabis that was in the right back pocket of his jeans pants. As a result, Gibson was taken into custody and charged.

Florida Welcomes Belize Consulate
The Consulate of Belize in Florida, inaugurated its new office in the city of Coral Gables, Florida. A release from the consulate says that the Mayor of Coral Gables, Jim Carson enthusiastically welcomed the Consulate of Belize to his city. The Honorary Consul General, Janine Sylvestre Vega, welcomed the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Attorney General, Wilfred Elrington, as well as Candelaria Saldivar-Morter, CEO in the Ministry of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development and National Emergency Management and Immigration and Nationality, along with other Belizeans and leaders of the community who attended. Both Elrington and Saldivar-Morter addressed the guests during a ceremony in which Mayor Cason handed over the key of the city to Elrington and its seal to the Honorary Consul. The new office will also be extending passport services to Belizeans.


O/W Mayor Meets With Belize Bank To Discuss Overdraft Payment
They inherited an overdraft of $110,000)from the previous municipal administration and last week Thursday that overdraft was classified as a non-performing loan causing the Belize Bank to freeze two of the present Orange Walk Town Council’s accounts including the account of the Transport Department, which is the councils main revenue earner. The council was left cash strapped, so much so, that they were unable to meet payroll for all their 110 employees. In trying to find a solution to the sticky situation, Mayor Kevin Bernard travelled to Belmopan to meet with representatives of the Ministry of Finance and Local Government. But the response he got in no way alleviated the councils problem, in fact, we can safely say, that the Ministry’s response was quite disappointing because at the end of the day no assistance was granted to the council. To add insult to injury the Prime Minister of Belize was in no way willing to lend a helping hand and told the council during the sitting of the House of Representatives held last Friday, to, quote unquote “paddle their own canoe”. Well, that is exactly what the town council is doing as today Mayor Bernard met with representatives of the Belize Bank Limited to further discuss the overdraft payment.

PUP Tells Penner Resign Or Face A Recall
The issue of Elvin Penner, the former Minister of State with responsibility for Immigration and the passport scandal continues to makes headlines tonight and all indications are that it wont go away anytime soon especially since no one, including Penner, who was merely dismissed from cabinet for his involvement, has not been criminally charged. As you may recall, a few days ago news broke out that the Area Representative for Cayo North East was terminated for his involvement in the issuance of a Belizean Passport to South Korean National Kim Wong Hong who is under investigation by Interpol. Truth of the fact is that Wong Hong was detained in early August and the Belizean Passport was issued in early September while he was in detention in Taiwan. Documents from the Immigration and Nationality Department, namely the nationality certificate and the recommender declaration for Kim Wong Hong, of the Republic of Korea, both hold Penner’s signature, and one declares that he is a personal friend of Wong Hong.

New Figures Reveal Belize's Economy Still Shaky
New figures emerging from the Statistical Institute of Belize for the second quarter show that the country’s economy growth is somewhat dismal. In fact, after a mere 0.1 percent growth for the first three months of the year 2013, figures from S.I.B show that the economy was only able to edge up 1 percent in the second quarter, putting growth for the first half of the year at 0.5 percent. The Statistical Institute of Belize reports that the three most influential contributors to the slight upturn of the economy in the second quarter of this year were Fishing, Construction and Government Services. Fishing was based primarily on Shrimp production which rebounded strongly following the reopening of Belize Aquaculture Limited, which had ceased operations for more than two years. A ten percent expansion in construction activity was also experienced. This was positively impacted by a large increase in the importation of construction materials such as building cement and steel rods.

More Chances Of Rain For The North
Dark clouds are in the horizon tonight particularly for the Northern part of the country and coastal areas courtesy of an area of low pressure over the North-western Caribbean Sea according to forecaster, Franck Tench of the National Meteorological Service of Belize. As tropical storm Jerry moves over the central Atlantic Ocean at seven miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of forty miles per hour, here at home, Belizeans must start preparing for showers and thunderstorms in excess of two inches. Forecaster Franch Tench says that while the trough of low pressure has become more organized, there is very little chance that we will be directly affected with winds. But the same cannot be said for torrential rains.


Another double murder in the Cayo district
During our newscast on Tuesday night, PlusNews received information of the shooting death of a Camalote resident. Our camera crew hurried to the scene during the newscast and brought us preliminary information and pictures before the news ended. But by the time our newscast was finished, there was another...

Police release details on Roaring Creek murders
On Monday, we reported on the suspected double murder of Philipine national Arly Sardido and her American friend. Both bodies were found floating in the river near Roaring Creek Village. On Tuesday, police officially released the name of the American victim. He is David Lowel Reichel, an American retiree...

Burton Caliz found guilty of manslaughter
Police Constable, 30 year old Burton Caliz, was charged initially with murder but was found guilty of manslaughter in the shooting death of Leroy Pilgrim on San Pedro. Now on retrial after more than 7 years, Burton Caliz’s trial came to a close on Tuesday. At 12:33 p.m., Tuesday...

Fatal traffic accident in San Ignacio
San Ignacio Police are tonight trying to positively identify the body of a Salvadoran man who was knocked down and killed Monday night. A resident of Mosquito Ville Area, reported to police that just before 8pm, he was driving on the corner of Cahal Pech...

Three men charged for stealing red kidney beans
Three men have been charged for stealing red kidney beans! Two men and 16 year old were first detained by residents of Spanish Lookout and held until police arrived on the scene. According to reports, the thieves made their way on to the property of Norman Dueck on Sunday...

Wilfred Elrington, addresses United Nations General Assembly
32 years after Belize gained independence and joined the United Nations within four days of each other in 1981, the Guatemala territorial dispute continues to bedevil our young country as one of the greatest issues confronting it. Within five days of today, there was to have been a simultaneous...

Belize hosts Caribbean Local Economic Development Project Symposium
The Caribbean Local Economic Development Project (CARILED) has been active in Belize since last year and has produced some tangible work including the renovations to BTL Park. But that is only part of its mandate, as the project also aims to build capacity among elected officials to promote economic...

CSME Consultation Meeting held in Belize
The Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) is a multi-sectoral, supra-national regional integrated development strategy first created in 1989. In two large phases, the latter of which ends in 2015, it intends to move the Caribbean toward a single system of marketing and economy including one...

La Immaculada Credit Union has opened its doors in Belmopan
La Inmaculada Credit Union (LICU) opens a new branch in the Garden City and it is conveniently located in Forest Drive, a commonly used street. After the ceremony we spoke to Yolanda Gomez, LICU’s General Manager who told us about the 2 year planning that went into the establishment...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

SNIP-ATHON At Caye Caulker Humane Society Clinic
Some good news folks, we have been lucky enough to have been offered the services of the Paws Across Borders and SAGA in San Pedro with the support of the Caye Caulker Village Council, a Hip to Snip day here on the island. From 9am, Friday 11 Oct. at the Clinic, please call 226 0205 if you can to let us know what critters you are bringing, so we can plan the meds a little. Male/Female info helps too! Also try to make sure your critter doesn’t eat breakfast! IT IS FREE PEEPS!! Make the most of it!


Request for Proposals – Consultancy for Regional Strategy and Implementation Plan
Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), in collaboration with the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA), invites proposals from qualified contractors to provide consultancy services for the Development of a Regional Strategy and Implementation Plan for the Effective Promotion of Investment Opportunities within CARIFORUM. Contractors are invited to submit a detailed technical proposal that demonstrates their capacity to undertake the assignment and a financial proposal. The proposed consultancy is being undertaken in the context of the 10th European Development Fund Regional Private Sector Development Programme.

SBDCBelize, BELTRAIDE Networking initiative
As BELTRAIDE’s Small Business Development Centre, SBDCBelize is committed to reach out to existing and potential clients through interactive, and personalized contact, with the goal of fostering a long-term and sustained relationship. On September 28-29, 2013, Business Advisers of SBDCBelize conducted an outreach in Toledo District, with existing clients to facilitate and establish a follow up that enabled them to: 1. Conduct a client satisfaction survey 2. Conduct a needs analysis survey 3. Business advising dependent on needs These out district outreach initiative is expected to continue in the upcoming months, with a clear focus to continue the sustainability of our Centre’s Values: Entrepreneurship, Integrity, Innovation and Collaboration.

“I Like It” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
After the previous day’s disappointments I was up bright (well it was dark) and early just before 04.00 hours and after making the ‘must have’ mug of black coffee it was straight to the veranda with it and my iPad. Log on and then upload the current issue of The Times for some pre-match articles on Arsenal’s game against Napoli in the Champions League later in the day. All good reading. The pundits felt that we have a good chance of securing a win and the three points. Views/opinions that I wholeheartedly agreed with. Even had I not I would have, if you know what I mean! With my reading of The Times completed I sent an email to Excess International Movers (the company we have used to ship our stuff from the UK to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize) to enlist its involvement in bringing this long running saga to a satisfactory conclusion ie we get our hands on our stuff!

Coffee Time Cokunut Brownies
Place cokunut n' a skillet ov'r medium heat. Stir constantlee until cokunut is golte brown, watchin closelee as it burns easilee. Remoov ta a plate an' let it cool. Set aside a 1/2 cup fer t'frostyun'. Add 1 teespoon boileeun' wat'r ta instunt coffee granules n' a small cup an' stir ta dissolve. Set aside ta cool. Place brown sugar an' butt'r n' bowl an' beat well. Add aigs one at a time a'beatin tween addityuns. Add coffee an' vanilla an' mix. Add cocoa, flour an' salt, mixyun' jes until blendet. Stir n' 1 cup toastid cokunut. Spred evenlee n' preparet pun. Bake at 400º F fer apperximatelee 25 minnuts er until toothpick insertid into brownies kums out cleen.

Beautiful Sunrise
“There’s a beautiful sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.” - Jo Walton I thought the quote above is very true and very fitting. Raise your hand if you have been missing to many sunrises or sunsets lately. You would think living on a tropical island we would all get enough but I guarantee some of us that live here would be raising their hands, myself included these days. I can also guarantee that a large portion of the internet world wide get their sunrises courtesy Elbert Greer, which is almost as good. He takes a sunrise on the Caribbean Sea picture every morning and they always get well shared. Sometimes we need to slow ourselves down and be in the moment, watching a beautiful sunrise or sunset is a great way to do that. I had vowed to watch sunrise on the beach every morning while staying at Belizean Reef and knew I could count on my internal clock to get me up. Interestingly enough as the days passed I started sleeping a bit later which was part of the goal for my mini vacation on the beach, settling my ADD brain down.

You don’t need to speak Norwegian
You don’t need to speak Norwegian To let Norwegians know what you think about NCL’s plan for Harvest Caye in Southern Belize I couldn’t help but be affected by Lucy Fleming’s open letter posted on the Belize Travel Blog regarding Norwegian Cruise Line’s plans for Harvest Caye in Southern Belize. Like anyone who has spent time in that beautiful part of Belize, I am scared… very scared about this proposal and the haste in which something with such potentially irreparable consequences is being pushed though. This is one of the most pristine, stunningly beautiful places on earth, and I just don’t see how it can absorb what NCL is proposing. Check out this recent report on 7 News Belize: I don’t know about you, but I find the numbers alone to be very, very disturbing. And that’s before we even consider what could happen if something goes wrong. The Costa Concordia ( Link ) disaster is back in the news this week, and got me thinking. If a cruise ship disaster of that magnitude could happen off a populated coast of Italy on a well-travelled cruise ship route in the EU, where restrictions, oversight and regulations are so tight, what about a remote area of Belize? I literally shuddered.

International Sources

Why Belize Is A Great Place To Retire (5 Part Series)
Mayan ruins, spectacular waterfalls, lush rainforests, exotic wildlife, miles of unspoiled coastline, and the Western Hemisphere's longest barrier reef -- a paradise for diving, snorkeling and fishing. Belize is a Caribbean playground that is truly blessed by time, nature and culture. For many people, Belize is only the white sand beaches of the popular island of Ambergris Caye, with its world-class fishing, diving, and snorkeling. But Belize has so much more to offer. Let's start with a little history and geography...

Fisherman Jumps Overboard To Revive 300-Pound Bull Shark (VIDEO)
Florida: Regardless of how you feel about catch-and-release shark fishing, you have to respect this angler's commitment to the latter part of the sport. After reeling in a 300-pound bull shark, fishermen with Gasparilla Big Game, a charter service in Gasparilla, Fla., removed the hook from the shark's mouth and released it back to the ocean. When it failed to swim away immediately, a courageous fisherman jumped into the water to help revive it. Meanwhile, a less-brave soul captured it all on video and uploaded it to YouTube. "He could just turn around and destroy you," cautions an onlooker behind the camera as the man goes about his risky work. After a gentle push forward, however, the shark regains its composure and swims off. Another bystander exclaims, "Now THAT'S catch-and-release!"

National, Alamo expanding to Belize
National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car are expanding to Belize, continuing a push by the world's largest rental car company in Latin America and the Caribbean. Clayton-based Enterprise Holdings operates the two brands in addition to Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Enterprise's international franchisee, Neal & Massy Automotive Ltd., signed the franchise agreement with Belize Estate Co. Ltd. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. National and Alamo will have a presence at the Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport in late 2013 or early 2014, Enterprise said. Belize's robust tourist industry prompted the expansion. "Expanding the National and Alamo brands into Belize means customers can expect the highest level of customer service in this popular Central American destination," Neal & Massey's Group Executive Vice President David O'Brien said in a statement.

Delta to launch weekly flight from Los Angeles to Belize

National Car Rental, Alamo Rent A Car Brands Enter Belize
Enterprise Holdings today announced that it is franchising the use of its National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands to Belize Estate Company Ltd. of Belize. The appointment continues the expansion of the National and Alamo footprints in Latin America and the Caribbean. Neal & Massy Automotive Ltd., an international franchisee of Enterprise Holdings, completed the agreement with Belize Estate Company Ltd. "Belize Estate brings valuable transportation experience and a record of job creation and growth in Belize," said Peter A. Smith, vice president of global franchising for Enterprise Holdings. "We are pleased to add them as our franchisee in this attractive market." Belize has become one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean and Central America for adventure tourists and eco-tourists because of natural attractions such as the Belize Barrier Reef as well as the largest cave system in Central America. According to the Belize Statistical Office, visitors totaled nearly 1 million in 2012. During an average week, some 30 commercial flights arrive at the Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport from major airports in the United States and Central America.

The Lancastrians ruling the waves on HMS Lancaster
The ever-present threat of hurricanes in this part of the world is brought close to home as you walk around the seafront of Belize City. Locals here know the serene Caribbean lapping at the shores can quickly turn into an angry mass and with much of the city lying beneath sea level they keep a wary eye out for warnings. But for a week, there has been another far more welcome addition to the seascape here. HMS Lancaster, a 'Duke' class Type 23 frigate of the Royal Navy, known as "The Queen's Frigate", has been anchored off-shore ending a gap of over six years since the last RN deployment here. It is here as part of the Navy's Atlantic Patrol North, covering a vast area and including visits to British territories to provide training and offer humanitarian aid should nature hit out.

Caribbean ambassadors meet with Washington DC mayor
On September 19, 2013, the CARICOM Caucus of Ambassadors in Washington, paid a courtesy visit on Vincent Gray, mayor of Washington, DC. The caucus engaged in discussions with the mayor on a variety of topics including the Mayor’s Advisory Commission on Caribbean Affairs, increasing trade between businesses in Washington and in the Caribbean, cultural collaboration, higher education and opportunities for technical support and integral development. The Caucus was represented by Dr Neil Parsan (chair, Trinidad and Tobago), Hubert Charles (ambassador, Dominica), John Beale (ambassador, Barbados), Subhas Mungra (ambassador, Suriname), Nestor Mendez (ambassador, Belize), Deborah Mae Lovell (ambassador, Antigua and Barbuda), Niermala Badrising (ambassador, permanent representative of Suriname to the Organization of American States) as well as Marsha Coore-Loban (deputy chief of mission, Jamaica) and William Exantus (deputy chief of mission, Haiti).

Narco-Islands: The Honduras-Belize Tourist Bridge
Islands off the coasts of Honduras and Belize, two of the poorest Central American nations, offer drug traffickers respite and a ready-made labor force to move their product. The 31 bales were hidden among a stack of rickety wood. For three days, they had been harassed by the Honduran navy in La Mosquitia, in the Caribbean, which was looking for the 775 kilos of cocaine that had arrived in Caratasca. The clues pointed to the brothers Kork Anderson and Antonio Oscarealis Wrist Lucas, who come from Roatan, the main enclave of the Bay Islands. They had hidden the 25-foot boat, which had two 200-horsepower motors, in Cayos Vivorillo, a naval zone with many small islands that drug traffickers use. They were carrying eight barrels of fuel; they also left their ID's at home.

October 2, 2013


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Contract signing for market construction- Benque and Independence
Belize-Coat-of-ArmsTwo contracts will be signed on Wednesday 2nd October signaling the start of construction for new Markets in Independence Village and Benque Viejo del Carmen Town. The works, funded by the Government of Belize and a grant from the European Union (EU), as part of the Belize Rural Development Project II (BRDPII), will be executed through contracts with Jebco Construction Limited. Construction is expected to be completed within a 10 month period at a cost of BZE$649,060 for the Benque Viejo Market and BZE$650,787 for the Independence Village Market. The Belize Rural Development Project II aims to promote broad based rural economic growth and reduce the incidence of poverty in rural communities of Belize. The BRDPII, which has funded, and will continue to fund, a variety of projects over a period of eight (8) years since its signature in February of 2014, has a total value of EURO €15,960,000 or approximately BZD $40 Million.

Interoffice Volleyball Tournament in its final leg
Games continued on Saturday, September 28th with the female teams fired up. The first game of the day was between the Lady Rebels and team Butterfingers. The Lady Rebels eagerness for a win paid off, as they defeated the Butterfingers in a 3-1 set game (set one: 25-18 favor of Lady Rebels, set two: 23-25 favor of Butterfingers, set three: 25-20 favor of Lady Rebels and set four: 25-21 favor of Lady Rebels). The second game of the night was between Tuff E Nuff and the San Pedro High School (SPHS) boys. Unfortunately SPHS boy’s outside hitter, Giomar Marin was injured in the first set of the game, but with will and determination SPHS pulled off a close win of 3-2 set game (set one: 23-25 favor of SPHS, set two: 20-24 favor of SPHS, set three: 25-25 favor of Tuff E Nuff, set four: 25-21 favor of Tuff E Nuff and set five:11-15 favor of SPHS).

The Tricks and Treats of Halloween
So it’s almost that time again….Creepy goblins come crawling out of their caves, whimsical fairies dance on the streets, blood lusting vampires, witches and warlocks, super heroes and villains all unite for the great universal cause- Trick or Treating! Yes, I’m speaking of Halloween. For many people around the globe, Halloween is a time of costume and spooky themed fun for the young, the young at heart and the furry! While we may not take the traditional route of the eerie and bizarre, on Halloween there’s never a shortage in the fun supply in San Pedro. The Saga Humane Society hosts an annual Halloween costume competition for our four legged friends, The Holiday Hotel hosts an annual infamous Halloween soiree and for many islanders, this is the place to be. However there are plenty of spook-tacular parties happening simultaneously so there’s no shortage in venues for your monster entourage. While Halloween has been around for centuries, the question is, just how did this Ancient Celtic observance end up in tiny Belize?

Ambergris Today

Resident DJ Recovers from Stab Wounds
Swift reported to the San Pedro Police that on Friday, at about 6:15.p.m while standing in front of an internet café on Barrier Reef Drive, he was approached by a male person known to him as Javier Hamilton where they started an argument which escalated into a fight. As a result Hamilton stabbed Swift several times with a small knife. He was quickly taken to the Otto Rodriguez Poly Clinic but soon after airlifted to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was listed in a critical condition. Swift posted on his Facebook profile that he is now recovering from the said stab wounds and grateful to be alive. Police have arrested Javier Hamilton, also known as Blackhenoh, who is expected to be charged later this week.

Oceana and Hol Chan Marine Reserve Team up for Coastal Cleanup
As part of the International Coastal Cleanup Day, The Hol Chan Marine Reserve and volunteers from the San Pedro High School conducted a beach cleanup at the turtle nesting beach in the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve. The Clean Up took place on Saturday, September 28, 2013 where they collected a total of 13 -55 gallon trash bags. Belize’s participation is part of the largest global volunteer effort to help protect our seas, lakes, lagoons, rivers & creeks. Each year volunteers spend a few hours removing debris and trash from beaches and the banks of waterways, recording the refuse removed. Last year’s efforts in Belize saw close to 1,000 volunteers – many of whom are Oceana Wavemakers—remove 8,696 pounds of rubbish from more than 25 miles of coastline and waterways in over 40 locations across the Jewel.

Letters to the Editor: All Young People Deserves an EQUAL Opportunity - Kenny Jacobs
Please allow me space in your reputable newspaper to discuss the concept of equal opportunity for all young people in Belize, as Executive Director of Teens Belize Organization. Young people, as we all know, make up more than half of Belize’s growing population. They are the future of this nation. But the future is dim, very dim. If we take a closer look at the manner in which our young people are people “nurtured”, it doesn’t look promising for us. The system that is in place gives priority to the “more privileged few”, leaving the majority of youths, which are mostly poor, out there. The system locks them out. It shuts the door. The prize of fairness and equality is not practiced and will not be, until the system that “works” our economy is fixed. The LEADERS of today need to realize that if this is not fixed, BELIZE will become a “troublesome, fearful, and undemocratic “place. Injustice will reign supreme.

Belikin Beer Pong Competition at Fido’
Even during the slow season there is always something going on in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Needless to say the island is the entertainment capital of Belize. On Friday, September 27, 2013, Belikin Beer held a Beer Pong Competition at Fido’s Restaurant & Bar that ran throughout the night with some tough competition. Coming out victorious against seven other teams were teammates Rene Reyes Jr. and Jake Duppstabp who took home some great Belikin souvenirs and a belly full of Belikin!

Misc Belizean Sources

FISHING REPORT: September 21st – September 28th, 2013
We love it when our friends return. Great to see Jenn and Hackney here celebrating their ninth wedding anniversary! Wonderful to see Josh and his mom Ricky here. Captain Sinoe’s whole family showed up to greet them. We welcome back Leo – big changes from 15 years ago, right? And welcome back Wayne – looks like the weather is cooperating for everyone. And while we are on the welcome back home roll…Ed is here as Fishing Director until early November. I’ll be around this time, so I’m looking forward to fishing with you while I’m on my break.

Saga HS October SNIP-a-thon
Saga HS is pleased to announce an October SNIP-a-thon. Can you please help us spread the word throughout our community by posting online. During the month of October Saga HS will be hosting two different visiting Veterinary groups to hold free spay/neuter clinics for the low income residents of Ambergris Caye. In addition to the free spay/neuters the teams will be doing additional CDV vaccinations, and dog training sessions for public. The goal is to sterilize over 300 island pets during the month. Helping Paws Across Borders will be in San Pedro Oct. 7-10. They will be bringing a team of 15 including Veterinarians, Vet Techs, and dog trainers. This group will focus their efforts on the neighborhoods of DFC, San Juan and Downtown. Because of limited space at the Saga HS clinic, MASH (Mobile Animals Surgical Hospital)type clinic will be held in DFC at Mrs. Adaly Ayuso.

Why people Rumour & Gossip in Belize
Let's say you've just heard a REALLY hot juicy rumor or even an obnoxious and sick one about someone you know. It may not be true, but it's too good to keep to yourself. Your first instinct is to hop to a local bar or jump on online and IM it to all your friends. It is not only in Corozal or Belize but we've all had that kind of urge. But why? Men/women whispering to one another is to feel superior about the person who is being rumoured about. When people are feeling bad about themselves, they sometimes think they'll feel better if there were someone worse off than they are. It's like, it's okay being near the bottom, as long as they're not actually at the bottom. The easiest way for them to make sure someone else is at the bottom is to make up a rumor that puts him or her there.

VIDEO: Let's Paint Belize Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month!
Kim Simplis Barrow

San Pedro Town Council supporting Breast Cancer
We have gone PINK! The San Pedro Town Council is joining the "Paint Belize Pink" Campaign. Our office has been decorated pink and we have declared every Friday for the month of October, PINK FRIDAY, where our staff will be wearing pink shirts! Join the cause and let's spread the awareness!

International Senior Citizens Day in Benque
Feelgood news of the day. Today is International Senior Citizens Day, and Helpage Benque is in the spirit. "The World International Senior Citizens Day is celebrated all around the world in a befitting manner. On this day we remember our senior citizens, their contributions to their families and communities, their wisdom and experience which may guide us in conducting our lives, and assess their condition and needs. And of course we thank Benque Helpage Committee for all the efforts and support that each one of them provide for our local senior citizens, especially to you Mrs Bilita for all the good deeds throughout these years! Images courtesy of HelpAge Benque Archives."

SI United Tie Freedom Fighters
The San Ignacio United hosted the PG Freedom Fighters Sunday in the first match of the new PLB season. The game was a tie, with both teams scoring 2 points. "San Ignacio United FC had a dramatic start Sunday after they were down two goal in the second half and playing with only 10 players after a red card, managed to draw the match. Goals by: #06 Leroy Simon 66min and #11 Roy Cano 89min." This year's PLB schedule.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Happy October! It's Breast Cancer Awareness month, and the numerous Cancer Societies around Belize are celebrating with everything from fundraisers to walks. If you can, wear a pink ribbon, and burn a pink candle for those that have survived, and those that will survive. Never, never, never give up! Kim Simplis-Barrow, the Special Envoy for Women and Children, and breast cancer survivor has started the 'Paint Belize Pink' movement, and has a special message on the subject.

Trio busted stealing beans
A case of citizens’ detention has led to charges of theft being brought against three persons, including a 16 year old boy. Their crime: stealing beans. The trio was detained by a group of Mennonites from Spanish Lookout, Cayo District around on Sunday morning, after they were caught at the home of Norman Dueck, allegedly stealing beans. Dueck told police that he left home to go to church around 9 am. Two hours later when he returned home, he noticed that a group of Mennonites were at his residence. They informed Deuck that they had caught three men in his property stealing beans.

Channel 7

Western Corridor Aflame!: Two Murders In Camalote, Now A Killing In Teakettle
It's been a rough three days for the western corridor, namely the adjoining villages of Roaring Creek and Camalote where there have been four murders in 72 hours. First, on Saturday there was 25 year old Phillipina Alry Rose Sardido and 63 year old David Lowel Reichel who were both killed in Roaring Creek. Then, yesterday evening in Camalote, Juan Olmedo was gunned down. And then, shortly after, a man who lived not far behind him 37 year old Oscar Leonel Benitz was also shot and killed, likely by the same shooter. Two brutal murders in a small village, within such a small period of time. It's truly bewildering for residents, and unspeakably tragic for their families who Monica Bodden tracked down today. Here's her story:.. Monica Bodden reporting This pool of blood marks the spot where the lifeless body of Juan Olmedo was seen laying face up. He was brutally murdered in front of his common-law-wife and children inside their home. It happened in Camalote Village at around 4:30 yesterday evening.

Police Say Teens May Be Charged For Roaring Creek Double Murder
There's also some uncertainty of the way ahead in the case of the two foreigners killed in Roaring Creek, 25 year old Phillipina Alry Rose Sardido and 63 year old David Lowel Reichel. Both were found dead near the roaring Creek River - she on Saturday, he on Monday. Police believe a pair of teenagers from the area set out to rob her because they saw her using a cell phone. But that's pretty much all they got in this senseless crime. They apparently struck her on the head and chopped him, and both fell to their death in the river. But a post mortem says she died from asphyxia due to drowning - police believe she fell or was thrown into the river after being hit. That circumstance makes a murder charge a little complicated - since she didn't die directly as a consequence of blunt force trauma. Again, the DPP is being asked for advice. In the case of her companion, Reichel's body was observed with a large cut wound to the center of his back. Three more large cut wounds was observed to the right side of face and head and one in the center of the head. Police believe the teenaged suspects - who are in custody - may have also had their eyes on the Toyota Tacoma which Reichel drove. The motive for the crime was believed to have been robbery, but the thieves likely only got away with Sardido's pink purse.

H1N1 Detected In Belize
H1N1 - three years ago in September of 2009 it created a public panic as the Swine Flu. Since then the hysteria has subsided, but the H1N1 virus lives on. It's been detected in a number of Caribbean Countries in the past month - and Barbados today reported one death from H1N1. Well, it's also been detected in Belize. Now, health authorities say there's no reason to panic - h1n1 was also detected in Belize last year and there were no deaths. Same for this year - there have been no deaths. We discussed it via phone this evening with the man holding over the office of epidemiology at the Ministry of Health Dr. Marvin Manzanero:... Marvin Manzanero "We have had cases of H1N1 last year and we some document already this year. What we haven't had is any mortality or excess morbidity associated to those cases, but we have cases of H1N1 in Belize." Jules Vasquez "How many do we have?" Marvin Manzanero "I don't have the full figure right now because I know that we are doing checks. When samples are taken countrywide they are sent to Central Medical Lab and we do a correlation of the total amount of samples on a weekly basis."

Mose Hyde Wants Police Investigation At Immigration
Elvin Penner says he was tricked by an imposter. As we've been reporting, Penner says he used his offices to expedite a passport for Won Hong Kim, a man known to him, either before he entered politics, or - as he attested to on the application, for the past three years. Penner says the man he knows is the balding 53 year old Wonhong Kim - but the man who got the passport is the 46 year old Hong Kim, who has quite a full head of hair. In his email, Penner says "The person I know as Mr. Kim is the same person that presented his nationality document and his Korean passport." Now, this raises all kinds of questions, but doesn't answer one of the central ones; that is, how is it that Won Hong Kim became a citizen without a swearing in? Penner told Prime Minister Dean Barrow that he signed the Nationality certificate on September 9th , but it is dated April 22nd, 2013. Penner says he did not write that, or any date into the document, and he doesn't know who did. PM Barrow says he has to accept that story because there's no way that it can be proven whether Penner did or didn't write the April date.

Traffic Accident Claims Life Of Salvadorean Clothing Vendor
And while there have been a stunning five killings in the west since Saturday - there is another death to report, this one by traffic accident. At around 7:30 last night, 33 year old Rene Guidel, a businessman of MosquitoVille Area in San Ignacio town, was driving past Chuc's Gas Station on the Benque Viejo Road, when he was momentarily blinded by a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction with its high beams on. As soon as he recovered, he saw a man directly in front of him riding a bicycle. He hit him with the right side of the vehicle causing the victim to be pinned under the vehicle dragging him for a short distance. The man was later identified by friends only as Sergio. We were told by friends today that Sergio is a Salvadorian who has been selling clothes in Belize for 20 years, but has no family living here. Two of his friends were trying to see to his death arrangements:...

Manslaughter Verdict For Cop Who Killed In The Line Of Duty
Police Constable Burton Caliz, who has been awaiting a retrial since March 2008, tonight stands convicted of manslaughter by negligence after a jury of 9 found him guilty late this evening. Viewers may remember that he was charged with manslaughter for the February 2004 shooting death of 23 year-old Leroy Pilgrim, a resident of San Pedro. At the time, it was very high-profile case because the issue was raised that Caliz allegedly used unjustified deadly force against Pilgrim, dragging him to a secluded area and then executing him. He was convicted of manslaughter but he appealed his conviction and won after serving 1 and a half years of his 10-year sentence. The prosecution called 8 witnesses to testify against Caliz, including the brother of the deceased. The witness said that Caliz pushed Pilgrim in the water, pulled a firearm and then shot him from behind, once behind the ear.

Off-Season Conch Caught As Season Starts
Conch season opened today and whenever that happens - there are suspect deliveries made to the Co-ops of dozens of pounds of product, that, fishermen would like authorities to believe were all caught on the day the season opened. As we've learned that's usually not the case; this product is usually caught illegally in the off-season and then brought out on the first day of the season. We saw that with a record Lobster bust of 2,500 tails made just before lobster season opened. And today, the Fisheries Department unveiled a huge bust of off season conch that was made in operations before the start of the season. Here's more:... Hampton Gamboa - Fisheries Supervisor, Conservation Compliance Unit "Officers who were conducting patrols on Lighthouse Reef searching all the mangroves and checking all the vessels over that side found this ice box behind us almost three quarters filled with conch which were being already processed; they were already fillet conch." "It's amazing that there are approximately 16 sacks of conch that we got out of this ice box and they were all large conch."

Man Convicted Of Burglary
Tonight, Prison Inmate Carl Parham remains in prison serving an additional 5 years after he was convicted of burglary today in Magistrate's Court. Parham stood trial before Magistrate Dale Cayetano, where the prosecution called 2 police officers and the woman whose house he broke into. They all testified that the victim was asleep in her Mahogany Heights home on March 18, 2012. The woman heard something, and when she opened her eyes, she found Parham inside her bedroom. She became alarmed, and managed to force him out of her house, after which she called the police who arrested him shortly after. They charged him with burglary even though he didn't manage to steal anything, because police believe that if he had the opportunity, his intention for the break-in was to rape the woman.

SIB: Economy Still Sluggish, Shrimp Production Up, Oil Down
The Statistical Institute of Belize has released its figures for the economy's second quarter. As we've reported growth for the first three months of the year was very sluggish at 0.1 per cent. Well, it inched up in the second three months of the year to 1 per cent, meaning that for the first halgf of the year, the economy grew by one half of one per cent - which is, at best, nominal. The SIB reports that In the second three months Fishing, Construction and Government Services had an upturn. That fishing is based largely on farmed shrimp which "rebounded strongly after the reopening of Belize Aquaculture Limited, which had ceased operations for more than two years." There was also a 10 percent expansion in construction activity, indicated by a spike in the importation of construction materials such as building cement and steel rods.

BIL Opens Office
In March of this year, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced the creation of Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL) during his budget speech. This special purpose vehicle is designed to undertake the design, construction and management of sports facilities. Well, it took six months, but today, the Government of Belize announced that BIL has opened its office in Belmopan, and an interim General Manager has been chosen. That interim GM is Christy Mastry, and if she looks familiar, she should. She is the Project Director of the Sustainable Tourism Project, which has renovated the Memorial Park and the Fort Point Area of Belize City, and built the Placencia Municipal Pier and Plaza. Mastry is wrapping up the STP, where she has managed over 30 million dollars in direct infrastructure projects throughout the country. According to the release, BIL, which will focus on multipurpose facilities, is located at #1664 Market Square in Belmopan. The company has been harshly criticized by the Opposition Party as a "UDP Hustle Vehicle", and as a result, to show that it will have transparency, GOB has invited the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the NTUCB to serve on the Company's Board.

UDP Darrell Defends PUP Bernard
Last week, the Orange Walk Town Council was plunged into a fiscal crisis when the Belize Bank froze the Town Council's operating account. But this week PUP Mayor Kevin Bernard is negotiating with the Belize Bank. He's agreed to have the council pay monthly to the outstanding balance of $111,000 dollars - left behind as an overdraft by the previous UDP council. Bernard says the Bank wants the council to pay $7,000 per month - which is almost a fifth of their monthly subvention. Tomorrow he'll meet with the Bank to ask them to lower that figure. And while central Government has made it clear that the Orange Walk Town Council is on its own, Bernard at least has moral support from his brother UDP Mayor Darrell Bradley. Bradley almost went to jail behind contracted debts that were incurred by a previous PUP council. That's why he told us he's backing Bernard: Mayor Darrell Bradley "I will say that I agree with him. The situation with municipalities is that municipalities are underfunded and we are saddled with significant amounts of debts."

Remembering Ronald Rivers
The name Ronald Rivers has faded from the headlines, but in March of this year, it was big news when he was gunned down in broad daylight at a gas station. His family, led by the very well-known stevedore Raymond Rivers, are determined to make his memory not fade away. So on Saturday, they held a sports day to commemorate his birthday. Rivers was a very well-known basketball players and they staged the event at the Iguana Street court he knew well. His sister Kylie told us why they did it:.. Kyle Rivers, Ronald Rivers' sister "Today we are having the R3 Youth Sports day. That is in memory of my brother Ronald Robert Rivers who passed away in March. He was a basketball star athlete. Wednesday would have been his birthday October 2nd. We are just having an all-day sporting activity in memory of his life." "This morning we had the basketball competition; the skills and free throw competition and this afternoon we are having a small marathon for kids ages 6-12 years old."

FCD + Balan Making Friends of Chiquibul In Washington
The Friends for Conservation and Development got major props in the Prime Minister's Independence Day Address in Belmopan, and now they are making friends in that other capital of note, Washington DC. A release form the FCD says that they conducted a three day visit in Washington D.C from the 25th to 27th of September at the invitation of the US Department of the Interior. The visit was primarily for FCD's counterpart organization, Asociacion Balam, and the National Council on Protected Areas (CONAP) to describe the lessons learnt and success stories reached in their efforts to protect the Maya Biosphere Reserve and the Chiquibul-Maya Mountains Biosphere Reserve. Meetings and presentations were made at the US Department of the Interior, US State Department, US Agency for International Development, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Inter-American Bank.

Channel 5

Two murders within hours in the Wild West; masked man kills Camalote resident
Belmopan Police believe that they have in custody the two persons who murdered American David Reichel and Filipino Alry Rose Sardido on Saturday in Roaring Creek. But even as they [...]

A deaf/mute was also killed by gunman as he fled the scene
Within an hour, Honduran Oscar Leonel Benitez was murdered to protect the identity of the man who killed Juan Carlos Olmedo. In a tragic twist of fate, both killer and [...]

Missing Teakettle man is believed to have been murdered
There is another case that could turn out to be murder as a family from the Arizona area of Teakettle is convinced that their father and husband, Pedro Ruben Andrade [...]

Guatemalan is murdered in Jalacte
While the overnight murders of two Camalote residents are making headlines tonight, the brutal slaying of a Guatemalan national, who was killed in Jalacte Village over the weekend, has gone [...]

Despite his dismissal from cabinet, Elvin Penner is getting his perks
It has been twelve days since we first broke the story on the issuance of a Belize passport to a South Korean national who had never set foot in Belize [...]

Arthur Saldivar says conflict of interest in passport investigation
On Monday, Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse commented on the ongoing investigation into the recent passport scandal involving junior minister Elvin Penner who has since been dismissed from cabinet.  While [...]

Will there be a criminal investigation into the current passport scandal?
But will there be a criminal investigation into the current passport scandal? There should since there is enough to suggest that a crime was committed in the issuance of a [...]

Amendment to Criminal Code; is legal language favorable to gay rights cause?
While the issue of the passport scandal took center stage in the House last Friday, amendments to the Criminal Code as they pertain to sexual offenses against children and persons [...]

Ex-cop found guilty of manslaughter by negligence
After deliberating since midday today, a jury of seven women and two men delivered a verdict to determine the fate of interdicted cop, Burton Caliz.  Caliz was accused of manslaughter [...]

Controversial Belize Infrastructure Limited opens in Belmopan
The government announced today the formal opening of the Belize Infrastructure Limited. The interim general manager of BIL is Christy Maestre.  If the name sounds familiar that is because Maestre [...]

Not all sweet in sugar industry; Cane Farmers Association suspends negotiation
The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and the Belize Sugar Industries, under the American Sugar Refining Limited, have been enjoying a fruitful relationship since ASR successfully purchased seventy-eight point six [...]

A workshop to strengthen efforts to record Belize’s rich cultural diversity
In Orange Walk Town today, a national workshop got underway to strengthen efforts to record Belize’s rich cultural diversity. The workshop is sponsored by UNESCO in partnership with NICH. Its [...]


Cancer Awareness Month – Just Go Pink!!
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and today not only marks the start of Breast Cancer Awareness month, but it also marks the beginning of the calendar of events in connection to Breast Cancer Awareness for the Belize Cancer Society and other organizations that have joined in the cause. On Friday the Office of the Special Envoy for women and children launched its Paint Belize Pink Campaign asking individuals and organizations to hang ribbons or decorate with anything pink outside their homes or businesses in solidarity. Today Love News met with the Clinical Director at the Belize Cancer Society, Ivorine Bulwer who says this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness theme is very significant. IVORINE BULWER “We have a theme for this breast cancer month, the theme is, “Breast Cancer is the Second Leading Cancer in Women; Men Can Have it Too; Early Detection Saves Lives.” It is a very profound theme because if men, women get to know their breasts, check their breasts monthly, they would be able to detect if there are changes and be able to take actions and those actions, for example, if you want to know how to screen your breast we are able to teach you how to do that and we have quite a number of health partners who are able to do so and at the same time, we have services available where you can get yourself screened; we have a doctor or the nurse do a manual breast examination beside you doing your self-breast examination. At the age of forty you can get your mammogram done and your ultrasound.”

PUP Standard Bearer for Belize Rural North Speaks on Recent Government Scandals
Since the passport scandal was unearthed a couple weeks ago, Former Minister of State, Elvin Penner’s name has been mentioned more often than in election time. And today one attorney weighed in, and accused Penner’s Cabinet colleagues of skirting around the issue. Arthur Saldivar feels that the way the matter was handled is shameful and disgraceful. Arthur Saldivar “Every Cabinet Minister who has spoken on the issue has skirted along the true nature of what has been done. Not only as it relates the cheapening of our patrimony in relation to our nationality but in relation to the very blatant act of corruption and criminality that was committed by Minister Penner and those who aided and abetted him in carrying out that transaction. What has occurred is basically, that the Prime Minister and the Minister of Immigration, Mr. Hulse have, in essence, overlooked the very glaring criminal act in that Mr. Penner has falsified an official document, in the general law that would be an offense under the criminal code but specifically it is an offense under the Belize Nationality Act CAP61 of the Laws of Belize which prohibits any person from deliberately providing false information thereby having that be recorded on any document pertaining to nationality or obtaining of a passport; that particular provision carries with it a sentence of not more than twelve months in jail.

Policeman Not Guilty of Manslaughter; Jury Says Guilty of Manslaughter by Negligence
Thirty year old police constable Burton Caliz, charged with manslaughter in connection with the fatal shooting of Leroy Pilgrim, was found not guilty of the charge today by a jury of 7 women and 2 men. The verdict was unanimous. The jury, however, was unable to reach a verdict for the alternative charge of manslaughter by negligence. As a result, Justice John Gonzalez sent the jury into the deliberating room a second time. Pilgrim was shot and killed around 9:45 p.m. on February 12, 2004, in the San Juan area of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. According to the evidence, two police officers, Caliz and corporal Vidal Cajun, responded to a report of a golf cart being stolen and when they arrived at the scene they searched Pilgrim and found nothing incriminating. Three eye witnesses testified that Caliz held Pilgrim by his shirt collar and marched him to the edge of the water. They said that Caliz then took out his service revolver and put it to the back of pilgrim’s head, then they both fell into the water. The witnesses testified that they then heard a muffled sound and Caliz brought Pilgrim out of the water with a gunshot wound to the back of his head. Caliz, who was represented by attorney Dickie Bradley, gave a statement from the dock in which he said that the gun accidentally went off when he and Pilgrim fell into the water.

Belize Cane Farmers Association Gets International Publicity in Rum Production
Members of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association are growers and producers of an award winning rum called “Fair”; that’s according to an online article posted up on The article says that the rum originates from Belize and that the ethical production of the rum enables farmers to cover their production costs. Fair Rum is made from molasses from the sugar cane and then aged for five years in American oak barrels, shipped to Cognac, France where it is distributed. Now the article might give off an impression that other than producing sugar, the BSCFA is producing rum but according to the Chairman of the BSCFA, Alfredo Ortega, the article is flawed. Ortega explained to Love News that the bagasse that is produced during the production of sugar is sold to Alexandre Koiransky, the founder and producer of the rum. On a side note, as we reported last week, BSCFA, has suspended negotiation with ASR after their request to be paid for the bagasse was denied.

Police In Western Belize Uncovers Weapons
Police operations in the Cayo District are proving fruitful as ammunition and drugs have been found. Based on information received at 10:30 am yesterday, the Crime Investigation Branch personnel visited an abandoned lot on Fourth Street San Ignacio, where they found a red plastic bag in the nearby bushes. The bag contained two Aguila point thirty eight hallow rounds, one Winchester point thirty eight round and one W-W point thirty eight live round of ammunition, since now one was in the immediate area at the time, the ammunition was labeled as found property. Around 6:00 p.m also yesterday, police conducted a search in an abandoned lot on George Price Avenue in Santa Elena Town where they discovered a large black plastic bag containing suspected cannabis. The drug was taken to the San Ignacio Station and weighed. It amounted to eleven pounds. It was then labeled as found property.

European Union Funds Market Enhancements in Southern and Western Belize
Two contracts will be signed tomorrow signaling the start of construction for new markets in Independence Village and Benque Viejo del Carmen Town. The works are being funded by the Government of Belize and a grant from the European Union as part of the Belize Rural Development Project II. The contracts were awarded to Jebco Construction Limited and works is expected to be completed within a ten month period at a cost of six hundred and forty nine thousand and sixty dollars for the Benque Viejo Market and six hundred and fifty thousand seven hundred and eighty seven dollars for the Independence Village market. The Belize Rural Development Project II aims to promote broad based rural economic growth and reduce the incidence of poverty in rural communities of Belize. The markets in Independence and Benque will provide farmers, agro processors and agribusiness small enterprises with an enabling environment for commerce, thereby enhancing farmer incomes and provide new sources of employment and income generation for members of these communities.

Chiquibul-Maya Mountain Biosphere Reserve to Be Protected Through Multi-Stakeholder Involvement
Friends for Conservation and Development’s, FCD, counterpart organizations, Asociacion Balam and the National Council on Protected Areas, CONAP, were on a three day visit in Washington D.C. last week. The visit came after an invitation was extended by the US Department of the Interior with the goal for Asociacion Balam and CONAP to describe the lessons learnt and success stories reached in their efforts to protect the Maya Biosphere Reserve and the Chiquibul-Maya Mountains Biosphere Reserve. The US Department of the Interior, the US State Department and the US Agency for International Development have been financing conservation projects for these institutions in northern Peten. FCD was invited due to the fact that Asociacion Balam and CONAP are replicating the implementation of a Round table Multi-Sectoral strategy which includes the government, private and NGO sectors in the planning and decision making process for managing the Chiquibul-Maya Mountain Biosphere Reserve. The meeting aims to put a vibrant governance program in the biosphere reserve through a multi stakeholder involvement process which helps protect biodiversity and promote regional security. FCD’s Executive Director, Rafael Manzanero formed part of the trip from the 25th to 27th of September. Two days prior to Manzanero’s visit, Chiquibul National Park Manager, Derric Chan joined the same team on a trip to Huntsville, Alabama where they visited the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and learnt about the most up to date GIS technology.

A Special Day for Older Persons Worldwide
Today is a very important day for the elderly because it is being recognized as International day of Old Persons. It is being celebrated by members of the United Nations and in Belize, the day is being acknowledged by creating greater awareness of the concerns and needs of older Persons. It is a day when many organizations in Belize that work with and for Older Persons focus on providing activities as a mark of respect and to make them feel special in their community. It’s the 22nd year that the day is being observed and this year the theme is “The Future we want- what Older Persons are saying”. The National Council on Ageing, along with the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation are working together in an advocating capacity to continually create greater awareness of the situation of older persons in Belize and the need of the citizens within the country to focus greater attention to their own ageing process.

Cayo Police Yet To Identify Victim of Road Accident
Police are investigating an accident which occurred on the George Price Highway in the Cayo District on the 20th of September. One of the person’s involved and possibly facing a charge of Manslaughter by negligence, Rene Guidel, a thirty three year old Nationalized Belizean Businessman of Mosquito Ville Area, reported to Police that on the night of the 20th, around 7:30, while he was on his way to pick up his father in law at the corner of Cahal Pech and Buena Vista Street, and after passing Chuc’s Gas Station on the Benque Viejo Road, he saw a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction with its high beam shining directly in his face. This caused him to be blinded for a few seconds and when he regained sight he noticed a man riding a bicycle in front of him. Guidel reported that he tried to avoid hitting the man, but lost control of the vehicle, and hit him with the right side. This caused the cyclist to be pinned under the vehicle and was dragged for a short distance. According to Police, the victim’s body is yet to be identified as they continue their investigation.

Citizens Detain Men Caught Stealing Beans in Spanish Lookout
Four men were caught stealing beans in Spanish Lookout, but three of them were caught after prompt action from the community. Thirty seven year old Norman Dueck, a farmer of B-Lane in Spanish Lookout reported to police that on Sunday he left home around 9:00 am to go to church and upon his return home at 11:00 am, he noticed that a group of Mennonites were at his residence. They informed him that they found four men in his property stealing beans. Dueck further stated to police that they recovered five sacks of red kidney beans from the four suspects but they only managed to catch three of them, the fourth had escaped into the nearby bushes. The three men of Hispanic descent that were caught, were escorted to the San Ignacio Police Station and identified as forty nine year old Benjamin Hurtado, twenty two year old Jaime Morales and a sixteen year old male, all from Los Tambos Village. The sacks contained one hundred pounds of red kidney beans each valued at two hundred and fifty dollars all to a total value of one thousand two hundred and fifty dollars. The three men are now awaiting charges for the crime of theft.


NICH Celebrates Ten Years Of Promoting Culture
For ten years now the National Institute for Culture and History has been tasked with promoting and conserving Belize’s culture and natural heritages. This morning, the institute commemorated its 10th anniversary with the launching of a workshop at the Banquitas House of Culture and our reporter Victor Castillo was on hand and filed the following report. Victor Castillo – Reporting As part of the 10th Anniversary of NICH, officials from the National Institute of Culture and History, UNESCO, Japan’s International Cooperative Agency, and from the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, were all in attendance this morning for a very special ceremony commemorating the opening of a national workshop. The workshop is geared at a community based inventory process of Belize’s intangible cultural heritage and is being funded by the Government of Japan. Himalchuli Gurung, Programme Specialist for Culture for UNESCO, shared the importance of the workshop.

Play Big Foundation Continues To Promote Sports Among Youths
Two high school students, who recently represented Belize in the U-15 CONCACAF tournament in the Cayman Islands held in the month of July of this year, received much needed assistance with the necessary gear for them to take their A-game to the field once again. Randy Serrano, a student of Orange Walk Technical High School and Marlom Garcia of New Hope High School both received a pair of football shoes, socks, and shin guards. The Play Big Foundation has already assisted these students with school supplies, but decided to present both athletes with the sporting gear to assist their preparations for the upcoming UNCAF tournament which will be held right here in Belize. Fernando Sanchez is the Public Relations Manager for the foundation here in Belize and says that while the equipment costs money, for them, it simply has no value as long as it serves our young athletes in reaching their goal and full potential.

The Issue Of The Belize/Guatemala Referendum Resurfaces
Yesterday morning, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize, Hon. Wilfred Sedi Elrington took center stage at the 68th Annual General Assembly of the United Nations held in New York City. With over 190 nations forming part of the UN, Elrington used the platform to address a number of issues affecting Belize. The Millennium Development Goals were among the topics spoken on by Elrington asserting that despite very few countries showing improvement in poverty, the majority of the countries are still far off from alleviating poverty. One of the major points of interest that Elrington spoke of was that of the Belize/Guatemala Territorial Dispute which has basically taken a step to the back burner. Five days from now, October 6, Belize and Guatemala were to have held the simultaneous referendum in efforts of gathering the say of the people of both countries in whether the territorial dispute should be taken to the International Court of Justice, the ICJ.

Have You Seen Carmon Heredia?
An eleven year old boy is still missing tonight after his mother reported him missing on Sunday, September 29th. Twenty-seven year old Belizean domestic Arlene Tillitt of Trial Farm Village reported to police on said date that her eleven year old son, Carmon Heredia ran away from home. Since then, Heredia has not been seen or heard of. Carmon Heredia is described to be of brown complexion, slim built, four feet five inches in height with hazel brown eyes and afro hair.

LICU Extends It's Services To Belmopan
Residents of the Capital City Belmopan and its rural communities can now boast of having a sound and well-established financial institution in the midst of the city. Aiming at providing both financial and technical assistance, the La Inmaculada Credit Union’s goal is to empower the private sector. That initiative has been facilitated by the grand opening of its first branch in Belmopan City. Irvin Aragon was in Belmopan this morning along with cameraman Jesus Melgar, and has the story. Irvin Aragon - Reporting The road to financial and social stability has become a lot easier for the residents of the capital city Belmopan and its surrounding villages as the La Inmaculada Credit Union officially opened its doors during a ceremony this morning in the garden city. The first branch of the renowned credit union is conveniently located in the centre of the city and has the board of directors, the administration, and the staff optimistic of this great accomplishment.


Bodies of Phillipino woman and American man found in river at Roaring Creek Village
The bodies of a woman and a man were found floating in the river at Roaring Creek. On Saturday shortly after 11:00 am, the body of Philipine national Arly Rose Sardido, was reportedly found floating in the river of Roaring Creek in an area known as “The Falls”. However,...

Attempted Murder in Roaring Creek
The Village of Roaring Creek was also where an attempted murder incident was reported to Police later that Saturday night. Shortly after 10pm, police received information of a stabbing incident within the Village. Police made checks at a home where blood stains were seen on the steps leading into...

Shooting death in Camalote
PlusNews has received information of the shooting death of a Camalote resident. It happened Monday evening in the Good Living Ranch area of Camalote. Details are still sketchy at this time, but we understand that a masked man went into the home of the deceased, who was there with...

Man found dead on D&E bus
Police are investigating the circumstances which led to the sudden death of a D&E bus passenger over the weekend. Shortly after 7 on Saturday night, 57 year old Otto Espat was found lying motionless on the floor between the two back seats of the bus. The bus had only...

Teachers across the country react to delay in end of the month payment
Several schools managed by the Catholic Public School System experienced a disruption in class schedule on Monday, after unpaid teachers failed to show up to school. Instead, the teachers convened for an emergency meeting after a salary postponement this past Friday. On Monday morning, teacher Frances Aveya, of the...

Minister Godwin Hulse faces media on Immigration scandal
On Friday even as Prime Minister Dean Barrow was making his first public comment on the nature and extent of the scandal that led to his resignation, former Minister of State in charge of Immigration, Elvin Penner, was breaking his silence on the matter. Mr Penner admits to knowing...

Signature on nationality certificate clarified
Last week, in our coverage of the passport scandal at the Ministry of Immigration, PlusNews showed you a copy of the nationality certificate issued to South Korean Kim Won Hong. Along with the signature of former Minister of State Elvin Penner. We reported that also present was the signature...

New Bill protects vulnerable from sexual preditors
Bills tabled at last week’s sitting of the House of Representatives are slated to be further examined by the members of the Senate, before being approved. But one bill that is being closely watched is the Criminal Code Amendment No. 2 Bill, 2013. The bill seeks to provide a...

Mayor Darrell Bradley is fighting to clear the sanitation debt
It is a problem that has dogged the Belize City Hall for many years – its privatized sanitation contracts with Belize Maintenance Limited (BML) and Belize Waste Control (BWC). The Belize City Council owes substantial debt from court judgments to both companies and in addition is behind again on...

DFC celebrates 50 years
High banners were suspended over the entrance of the DFC grounds this past Friday as they celebrated their 50th anniversary and the rebranding of their logo. DFC has seen itself in some major pitfalls over the past few years as Natalie Goff, DFC’s current General Manager...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Forbidden Fruit
Two weeks ago while I was talking to a visiting friend I was suddenly noticing 3 kids in my yard at my sea grape tree. I asked them to leave and they ran. What I did not notice until afterwards that they had pulled down and broke some plants I had planted to fill the holes in my natural fence. I did get irritated because of that and I went to see the principle next door. Ms.Hilde had seen the whole episode and had already informed Ms.B. principle at CCRC school about their behavior. When I went to see Ms.B. I ended up in the middle of the PTA meeting being held at the school where Ms Ramos the police liaison officer had just finished her talk about kids having to take responsibility of the things they do and that they could be charged if they did anything wrong. Now I had this talk with Ms.Ramos a couple of weeks before when some kids had stolen all my mangoes, most of them not even a third of their possible size. Since it seems that I have the only producing mango tree on the island ,it seems that my mangoes are as much prized and appreciated by others as I do. First I would like my family and me to enjoy the fruit of my labour and I think it is sad that the greed to take each and every fruit from the tree even if it is a month or so too early is not only nasty but also stupid.


2 IN ROARING CREEK, 2 IN CAMALOTE. Reports reaching Amandala late this evening indicate that two bodies were found in separate areas, within hours of each other, with multiple gunshot wounds in the village of Camalote in the Cayo District sometime this afternoon. Police were not able to release any of the details up to press time tonight, except that the individuals died as a result of injuries they sustained. Assistant Superintendent Sinquest Martinez, Officer Commanding Belmopan police, told Amandala that the bodies were identified as males, and that further details, including their names, would be provided as soon as they are available. It is believed that the two incidents might be connected, and unofficial reports from Camalote are that the second victim was a deaf mute who happened to be gathering firewood in the area where the assailants who had committed the first murder had fled.

Michael Buylding, AKA Michael Davis, 52, was charged with four counts of carnal knowledge of minor, 14; he also was charged last year with indecent assault for allegedly touching woman, 18, on her private parts as she slept. Today, Michael Buylding, AKA Michael Davis, 52, was charged with four counts of carnal knowledge when he appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Buylding/Davis, a former deacon of Crooked Tree’s Adventist Church who was stripped of his post nearly a year ago for indecent behavior unbecoming a deacon, is alleged to have had sexual intercourse with a female minor on four different occasions, all of which occurred last year. The first time was on July 2, 2012, when the child was 14 years and 2 months old; it again happened on August 1, 2012, and September 4, 2012, and then for the last time on November 13, 2012, when the minor was 14 years and 6 months old.

A woman of Roaring Creek is fighting for her life at the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan after she was stabbed multiple times, allegedly by her ex-boyfriend, who went into her room and attacked her while she was sleeping. Joanna Longsworth, 25, was stabbed in the right cheek and lower neck, in the back of her neck, and on her throat. Because of her injuries, she cannot speak. The incident occurred in her house in Roaring Creek Village at about 10:00 Saturday night. Police launched a quick investigation and arrested and charged Roaring Creek resident Steven Gentle with attempted murder and grievous harm. They told Amandala that Gentle will be arraigned in court tomorrow, Tuesday. A police report issued today, Monday, September 30, 2013, says that “Police have since detained 31-year-old Steven Gentle of Roaring Creek Village, pending charges of attempted murder.”

The teachers stayed home because they weren’t paid on Friday – thousands of students affected. Catholic school teachers from the districts of Orange Walk and Cayo (including Belmopan)—who were not paid their September salaries on Friday, when they were due—stayed home today, Monday, in protest, resulting in the suspension of classes for thousands of students in those districts. Ministry of Education officials say that the failure to deliver the first salaries for the school year was the result of “a glitch”—not a computer glitch, though, but a breakdown in the communication chain, which included failure by certain managers to supply supporting documentation to justify salary upgrades for some who had returned from study leave and arithmetical errors in certain other cases. The Government of Belize pays 100% of primary school teacher salaries, but managements must submit their payroll so that they can be crosschecked and processed in time for payday.

The Foreign Minister complained about damaging Guatemala incursions into Belizean territory. Belize Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Attorney General Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, today raised the profile of illegal incursions by Guatemalans into Belizean territory in his statement at the General Debate of the United Nations General Assembly, being convened in New York City, USA. Elrington said “the forays” into Belizean territory are “an existential threat” which requires urgent resolution and action on the international front. He said that the unfounded claim is “a constant source of anxiety to our citizens as well as to investors in our country.” “While Belize appreciates that the activities by the Guatemalans in our border regions are as a direct result of poverty and failed development in their own country, we are concerned by the fact that such activities create conditions for conflict. There are some 65 Guatemalan villages along the 141-mile Belize-Guatemala border. These—the villagers – are largely indigent and unemployed. In the absence of employment, and increased security patrols on both sides of our borders, the incursions by the Guatemalans will not, in our view, abate, but will only get worse,” Elrington commented.

The Garifuna Collective continue to make unprecedented strides in the promotion of Belizean cultural music in all corners of the globe. This summer, the group toured the US and Canada in support of their new album, and now, after launching the album locally, they are slated to promote the album overseas again, this time in Europe. During their North American tour, they participated in 38 festivals in over 25 cities in the US and Canada. The group of artists, made up of vocalists, percussionists and drummers, released their second album, entitled Ayo, in July of this year. Ayo, which when translated means “Goodbye”, is a tribute to Belizean legend, Andy Palacio. According to producer Ivan Duran, the album has been getting great reviews, and is currently at number two on the world music charts in Europe.

Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie announced on Wednesday that the files concerning the shooting death of Constable Deon Yearwood have been forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Branker Taitt-Vidal, for her examination and directives. Meanwhile, Constable Wayne Grant, of Precinct 1, who fired the shots that caused Yearwood’s death, ostensibly in an effort to break up a robbery in progress, remains on administrative leave, and continues to receive counseling with the assistance of the Ministry of Health. Police reports are that at about 1:30 Sunday morning, September 8, PC Yearwood, a police detective who was dressed in plain clothes, was walking in front of Public’s Supermarket on Central American Boulevard when he was attacked by a robber.

Police are seeking Freddy Hernan Villada, the hit-and-run driver of a pickup truck that knocked down and killed Belizean artist Erron Galanche. Police reports are that Erron Golanche, 25, and his brother-in-law Fernando Ical were travelling on a motorcycle on the Palmar Road in Orange Walk at about 10:45 on Friday night, September 20, when a pickup truck travelling in the same direction slammed into them and ran them over. In his attempt to flee the scene of the accident, the driver of the pickup drove away with the damaged motorcycle wedged under the pickup. The pickup dragged the motorcycle about 1,000 feet away from the point of impact.

The uncle of a 12-year-old girl has been released on bail of $4,000 and ordered to return to court on November 28 for allegedly committing an act of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon the minor. The uncle, 25, was taken to the Corozal Magistrate’s Court on Friday. Police said that the incident allegedly occurred on Wednesday in Corozal. The girl reported to police that she was at her grandmother’s house visiting, and her uncle was also at the home. Shortly after she arrived, the uncle called her into his room. When she entered, he quickly grabbed her and pushed her onto the bed, then he lifted her skirt and pulled down her tights and underwear.

Toledo police are trying to unravel the sequence of events that led to the death of a Guatemalan man found murdered in the border village of Jalacte. It is believed that the man responsible for his death has escaped to the neighboring country. On Friday evening at about 5:30 p.m., two Guatemalan men went to a home in Jalacte, belonging to Fernando Sacul, 61, a Guatemalan of Jalacte, and about 10:00 Saturday morning, one of the two men was found dead, and the other has disappeared. Sacul told police that he and his wife went out that Friday evening and returned later that night at about 11:00, but on his return, he found only one of his visitors, and when he inquired about the other man, his visitor told him that the man had been taken away by police. However, about 10:00 Saturday morning, the agitated barking of his dogs alerted him that something was wrong, and he went into his yard to see what was happening.

After about three weeks without a murder in the country, two foreigners were murdered in the Roaring Creek Village area and their bodies thrown into the river. They are Arly Rose Sardido, 25, a Filipino, and David Reichel, an American who was a statistical officer in the Ministry of Health. Belmopan police’s quick investigation led them to detain one person who they believe can greatly assist them in the investigation. The man is also of the Roaring Creek area, and at the time when he was detained, he was injured. Police did not elaborate on the matter. According to reports, Sardido and Reichel, of Belmopan, went swimming at about 10:00 Saturday morning in the Roaring Creek River area. The body of Sardido was found about 11:30 that morning, and after an intense search, Reichel was found by a Coast Guard search team on Sunday, also in the Roaring Creek River. Their deaths have been declared a double murder by police.

Dangriga mayor and market vendors, along with COLA and SIF financiers protest against corruption. The controversy that has erupted as a result of the unfinished Dangriga Town Market project is still smoldering. Today, a small group of irate protestors braved the searing heat in the Capital City to convene for a demonstration at the steps of the National Assembly. This was done in an effort to register their disapproval with the Government’s handling of recent issues, including the Dangriga Town Market project that is now in limbo, and a repulsive passport scandal in which a member of parliament was implicated and removed from his post. While the heated debates went on as usual inside the House of Representatives, discontented protestors on the outskirts voiced their concerns loudly, but peacefully, on three crucial points of interest – the recent passport scandal, the SIF (Dangriga Market) bribery scandal, and the pause in the construction of the renovation of the Dangriga Market.

Today, the Orange Walk Town Council finds itself in a bind, after making a public declaration that it will have problems meeting its $14,000 payroll because, it alleges, the Belize Bank froze its account over an old debt the Council inherited. Orange Walk Mayor Kevin Bernard has turned to the Ministry of Finance for relief; however, Finance Minister Dean Barrow said today in the House that Bernard won’t get a penny until a proper accounting of the Orange Walk Town Council’s accounts is turned in. “Unless and until Mr. Bernard comes and is able to demonstrate that he is managing the affairs of the council properly, unless he can account for every single penny he is collecting… he has not a penny to get,” Barrow said. Barrow also criticized the two of the major TV news stations – Channel 5 and 7 News – alleging that they are “guilty either of malice or the greatest possible incompetence” for having reported that the Council’s accounts were frozen because of an overdraft the Council has at the Belize Bank, which is guaranteed by the Government of Belize.

“From a King to a Jack,” and just like that, Week 1 results find defending champion Police United FC at the bottom of the standings, as they were shocked, 3-1, by the Belize Defence Force FC on Saturday night in the new season opener at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan. The other two games on Sunday afternoon were both drawn, so that leaves Police as the only team without a point, aside from Verdes FC, who were idle in Week 1. In the opener on Saturday night, BDF sported a 2-nil first half lead with goals from John King (14’) and Stephen Martinez (44’), while Police lost striker Evan Mariano to a red card and had to play the whole of second half a man down. Clifton West brought Police within striking distance with his diving header at the 83rd minute, but Leonard Valdez closed the curtain for BDF in injury time (90+’) to make it, 3-1, BDF over Police, in game 1 of the new season. After the game coach Gregory “Paisa” Cantun said he was satisfied that their hard work has paid off, and physiotherapist Ben Abba noted that they have not lost in 10 pre-season outings. For his part, new Police coach Hilberto Muschamp says he likes what he is seeing so far with his team, with whom he has only worked the past two weeks. “We held them, and even pressed them with only ten men for most of the game. It’s a long season, and we’re not worried,” he said.

A first ever Cayo Football Awards and Mighty Avengers Football Hall of Fame induction was held yesterday at the Henry’s Eden Resort on the outskirts of San Ignacio on the Benque Viejo Road. In a beautiful ceremony attended by relatives, friends and long time Avengers fans, awards of recognition and appreciation were given to various individuals who have made their mark and contribution to football in the Cayo District. Special recognition was given to surviving veteran members of the famous Western District selections of the 1940’s – ‘60’s, the Verdes Football Club of the 1980’s, as well as lifetime members, fans and supporters of the Mighty Avengers Football Club, which graced the football arenas and thrilled audiences from 1968 until 1979. But the highlight of the evening was the induction of the first group of 7 former stars into the Mighty Avengers Hall of Fame.

With the return of Kephawn Pawn to the tournament, the Belize City Mayor’s Cup now has 12 teams participating, and they all saw action in Week 3 games held over the weekend at the MCC Grounds. In game 1 on Friday night, September 27, Old Road Arsenal dropped Hattieville United, 3-1, with goals from Delwin Jones, Charles Cantun and Sydney Bradley; while Mason Moya scored for Hattieville. Game 2 saw Kephawn Pawn return with a bang, out-slugging Ladyville United by a 5-3 score. Dalton Cayetano had a hat trick (3 goals) for Kephawn, with teammates Kenroy Martin and Albert Thurton netting one goal apiece; for Ladyville, David Ramos and Leon Sedacey each scored a goal.

The recent crises of corruption tainting the government, most notably the latest passport scandal, point to the stark reality that as a people we have not yet found a solution to this problem that citizens have voted overwhelmingly in past elections to try and correct. Both past PUP and UDP governments have been given huge mandates to fix this corruption problem, but the top item on everyone’s mind today is still corruption in our government. Prime Minister Dean Barrow and his landslide UDP government had a golden opportunity in February of 2008 to make a fundamental change in how we do things – a paradigm shift, if you will, in the national political culture, and a change for the better, no doubt. The support for the new government was so strong at the time, and the opportunity so real that early in the term of the new administration, it was possible for any potential political impediments that would result from individual hurt feelings caused by the process of curbing corruption to be comfortably absorbed and compensated over the long term – when the benefits began to become obvious.

BELIZE CITY, Wed. January 28, 1976 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.

Days into the process of dismantling the Belize City Center, which was started by Cisco Construction Company on Monday, September 23, a worker suffered massive body injuries – including a broken nose, broken arms and legs, and rib injuries – after a concrete wall fell on him at about 5:30 p.m. Thursday evening. He is now fighting for his life at the Intensive Care Unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). Egbert Jones, 23, a Belize City resident, was a member of a demolition team that was knocking down a concrete wall on the ground floor of the City Center when the wall collapsed on top of him. He was quickly rushed to the KHMH, where he has now been declared to be in a critical but stable condition. Jones’s co-workers who witnessed the incident said that they were knocking down the wall from the inside manually with a maul, when the wall gave way and fell on Jones, who was on the outer side of the wall.

— by Henry G. Gordon Party: 1) A social gathering, usually of invited guests 2) A body of persons engaged in an activity or traveling together (fishing party; search party) 3) A group of people united in a cause, opinion, etc. especially a political group organized on a national basis 4) A political group organized for gaining political influence and governmental control and for directing government policy The Laws of Belize make provision for the establishment of companies, banks, trade unions and cooperatives, to name a few. This is required in order for any of these “groups of people” to operate in Belize, and so actively participate in its political, social and economic development. The law also provides for: the licensing of lawyers, accountants and doctors to practice in Belize; and for the licensing of commercial stores, grocery stores, liquor stores, market vendors and street side vendors to do business in Belize. A law now exists for the licensing of teachers and schools.

Renaissance Tower—the 8-storey full-service luxury condominium complex which the Belize Bank had taken over from businessman Luke Espat after his financing arrangements with the bank ran into trouble—is billed for sale by public auction this Thursday, October 3. In 2010, the bank assumed control of Espat’s Crocland recreational enterprise, and last year, in 2012, an affiliate of the bank, Private Investment Limited of the Turks and Caicos, took over control of Port of Belize. When Crocland was seized by the bank, indications were that Renaissance – a project initially billed at US$18 million – located at 8 Newtown Barracks area, was not included in the foreclosure. When the Port was seized last year, Espat had then indicated that the simultaneous takeover of the Renaissance was part of the settlement plan with his bankers, and they had agreed on the divestment of what was not earning money, while the bank would get to finish the cruise port, and Port of Belize would continue with the commercial port.

Orange Walk Mayor Kevin Bernard told Amandala today that their council has been able to reach a temporary arrangement with the Belize Bank, under which the Sugar City is now mandated to pay $7,000 monthly for at least the next three months towards an $110,000 overdraft facility that had been maxed out before he came into office last March. According to Bernard, the Belize Bank intends to revisit their arrangement next January. The agreement was made to facilitate the payment of $15,000 in salaries for weekly-paid workers last Friday, and another $22,000 due today, Monday, to administrative, traffic and other personnel who get paid twice monthly. He said that there are about 110 employees total on payroll. Bernard told us that since their monthly subvention of $33,333.33—which barely covers their sanitation bill of about $32,000—goes directly to the Belize Bank, the bank would immediately deduct the $7,000 to pay down the overdraft.

Controversy and conflict erupted at a Miss Independence coronation ceremony in San Jose Succotz on Independence Day, and the event went viral this week, as the crowning of a beauty queen was marred by a peeved Queen Designate, who rejected the proposal to wear a red dress provided by the pageant’s organizers. Yancy Bautista, 17, was actually the duly selected queen for the Independence Day gala which was held in the village; however, the victorious queen reportedly asserted that she was not given any funding to acquire a coronation dress for her crowning, which was to be held on Independence Day evening. Apparently, the queen normally wears a white dress, and, according to Bautista, not only had she been given a red dress, but she reportedly claimed that the dress was second-hand — bought from the market. The queen said that she felt that politics was involved in the process.

Patchakan man found lying on road. Otto Espat, 50, of San Ignacio, was found lying on the floor at the back of a passenger bus, between the last set of seats, at about 3: 00 Saturday evening. The bus was travelling from Belmopan to Benque. Espat’s body was taken to the San Ignacio Hospital morgue, where an autopsy will be conducted to certify the cause of death. Police, however, are not suspecting foul play, and are declaring that the death was due to natural causes. In an unrelated incident, another corpse – that of Enrique Carcamo, 53, of Patchakan, Corozal, was found lying on the roadside by the Qunil Lagoon at about 4: 30 p.m. on Friday and was taken to the Corozal Hospital morgue.

Jeron Harigan, 23, and Jeffery Rogers, 21, pleaded guilty and were fined. This evening, cruise ship passengers Jeron Harigan, 23, and Jeffery Rogers, 21, are lucky to have made it back onto their cruise ship after PC Jamil Scott charged them with drug possession within minutes of each other at the Tourist Village. According to police reports, PC Scott was on patrol at the Tourist Village when a security officer handed him a small plastic bag in the presence of Harigan. When the police officer opened the bag, it contained suspected cannabis, at which point, Harigan uttered, “I found it on the ground”. Harigan was searched for illegal drugs and firearms, but nothing incriminating was found on his person.

— by Raymond G. Lashley Dear Editor, This is a dream I have had and continue to see after visiting my homeland Belize. I had been away for eight years this time, and how time has changed . Now while I am no Dr. King, I don’t think he would mind if I borrowed his theme just for a moment. I really do have a dream. Since returning home to Phoenix after my visit to Belize, I had a chance to reflect and think about the possibilities. It dawned on me that my little Belize has a lot to offer to Belizeans both home and abroad. Belize has a lot to offer to people of many difference races – blacks, whites, brown and yellow. I have a dream that my little Belize will one day grow up from a diamond in the rough to a nice and shinning diamond sparkling in the Caribbean and beyond and taking its seat on the world stage for all the right reasons, yes, I have a dream. I have a dream that my Belizean brothers and sisters will rise above the many obstacles that appear to hold us down and show the world that we as a people working together can accomplish the impossible. We will show the world that we and only we as a people hold in our hands the future of our lives and our kids’ and grandkids’ lives, as well as our very existence.

Dear Editor, The way the interpretation of rights and natural law is proceeding, it would not be surprising if soon the following declaration were issued by the United Nations General Assembly:- BASED ON THE UNQUESTIONABLE DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON WE SOLEMNLY DECLARE THAT ALL THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS ARE ABSOLUTE. THEREFORE WE HEREBY REQUEST THAT ALL STATES GIVE IMMEDIATE, CONCRETE MANIFESTATIONS OF ACCEPTANCE OF THE UNIVERSAL UNDERSTANDING OF RIGHTS. Based on the understanding and acceptance of this decree by the UN, all governments took immediate steps to be in compliance. In Belize Kolbe Foundation went through the files of every inmate who had been jailed for violating one law or the other.

— by Sally and Leonardo Caretella Dear Editor, We are meeting more and more people who are not happy at the disappearance of the Al-Jazeera news channel. When it first disappeared, we phoned the local cable office and we were assured that the guys were working on it and it would be back. Well, some sort of Al-Jazeera is there, but it is not the channel we enjoyed watching. We phoned the local office again and were told that they would see what they could do. Well, several weeks have gone by and we are stuck with something masquerading as Al- Jazeera. It may be an exciting new news experience for people in the US, but it is not what we have grown to expect here in Belize.


3 day technology break in Sdowntown an Pedro
Last week I decided it was time for a break so I made plans to check in at the beach for a 3 day ‘health retreat’. I chose downtown San Pedro as I wanted to be walking distance of everything and I also wanted to remember what it was like when we first came here. Which is why I picked Belizean Reef, it is a great central location and right next door to the apartment we stayed in when we took our first trip to to Belize. These next two are a great illustration of how our view made us fell in love with with Ambergris Caye. While Paul did not stay the whole time with me, he did come and appreciate some tech free down time and a good reminder of why we moved to here. We both appreciated the beach view and how relaxing it was to just sit on our large veranda in front of the Caribbean Sea, watching boats and people pass by is very meditative.

Isla Mujeres, Mexico Means GOOD Eats: Gelato and Mango Cafe
For such a small island (less than 5 miles in length and pretty much a stones throw in width), Isla Mujeres, Mexico has some amazing restaurants, street food and ice cream at really reasonable prices. Your selection is big. With over 1 million tourists coming onto the island each year, a place is going to need a ton of eateries. Though there for just a day and a half, I saw a ton of creativity and I ate lots of delicious food. I arrived on the Cancun to Isla Mujeres ferry at about 5pm Tuesday night and was scheduled to be on a 2pm Thursday afternoon flight out of Cancun airport. Let’s get eating. When I’m travelling, I love to focus on breakfast and lunch. Dinner is generally expensive…and when I do go out for big main meal, I usually just get appetizers and dessert. They are always the two very best parts of the meal anyway. So…for my first dinner I had a giant Ferrero Rocher gelato in a chocolate waffle cone. Divine. The next day I had to work some pistachio into my agenda.

Australian Direct Aid Program
The Direct Aid Program (DAP) is a flexible, small grants scheme for development activities managed by Heads of Australian Missions in approximately 45 countries. The emphasis of the program is on alleviating basic humanitarian hardships. For more information about the program, visit Effective January 1, 2012, Bahamas, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago became ineligible for DAP funding having graduated from the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) list of Official Development Assistance (ODA) on January 1, 2012.

CROSQ Evaluation of New Work Item Proposal: Revision of Caribbean Community Standard for Toilet Tissue in Rolls, Single and Two-Ply (CCS 22: 1992)
The Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS) wishes to notify any relevant stakeholder and the general public that the Caribbean Community Standard for Toilet Tissue in Rolls, Single and Two-Ply (CRS 22: 1992) is being proposed for its revision by the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ). The Evaluation of this New Work Item Proposal is out for evaluation by Belize. Relevant stakeholders are asked to note, on approval of the standard by COTED, the BBS is obliged to adopt the same as a national standard. In this regard, your initial feedback/comments with respect to this proposal, justification for its revision, evaluation of the proposal and/or expressed interests to voluntarily contribute to the standards development process will be greatly appreciated. The deadline for submission of any feedback/comments to the Bureau of Standards is October 14th, 2013. The standard is also available on request from the BBS office. Comments can also be mailed to the BBS Office or email at [email protected] or [email protected]

The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in partnership with the Deutsche Geselleschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) will bring the Caribbean Kitchen Pavilion to this year’s ANUGA 2013 Food Show at the Koelnmesse GmbH exhibition center in Cologne, Germany on the 5th to 9th October, 2013 The Pavilion will showcase 12 Caribbean food suppliers from 7 different countries, displaying a range of beverages, condiments and selected items. This trade fair will provide EU industry professionals the opportunity to sample first-hand the diverse flavours found within the Caribbean region.

“I Like It” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
After the previous day’s disappointments I was up bright (well it was dark) and early just before 04.00 hours and after making the ‘must have’ mug of black coffee it was straight to the veranda with it and my iPad. Log on and then upload the current issue of The Times for some pre-match articles on Arsenal’s game against Napoli in the Champions League later in the day. All good reading. The pundits felt that we have a good chance of securing a win and the three points. Views/opinions that I wholeheartedly agreed with. Even had I not I would have, if you know what I mean! With my reading of The Times completed I sent an email to Excess International Movers (the company we have used to ship our stuff from the UK to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize) to enlist its involvement in bringing this long running saga to a satisfactory conclusion ie we get our hands on our stuff! It was then time to write and publish (not a particularly enjoyable experience) Tuesday’s edition of the blog.

Whip aigs fer 5 minnuts. Add sugar, lemon juice an' pumpkin. Mix well. Add remunyun' ingredyints cept pekuns. Greese jellee roll pun. Place waxet pap'r n' jellee roll pun, makin shure waxet pap'r is extendet beyond bof ends o'pun. Pour batt'r into waxet pap'r linet jellee roll pun. Cov'r batt'r wit pekuns. Bake at 375 degrees fer 15 minnuts. Wen bakd, remoov frum waxet pap'r immediatelee an' roll n' a towl which has bee sprinklet wit confectyuners sugar. Be shure ta roll towl an' cake togeth'r. Wen cool, unroll an' spred wit fillin.

International Sources

Belize: Town council 'has accounts frozen'
The council in Belize's fourth-largest town has had its accounts frozen, it seems. Belize Bank acted after the authorities in Orange Walk failed to service a debt of 111,000 Belizean dollars ($56,000, £34,000) inherited from the previous administration, according to the country's 7 News. Apparently, the bank had converted the overdraft into a non-performing loan and demanded it be paid off in full. Mayor Kevin Bernard told Channel 5 News he'd appealed for help from the government so that he could pay staff and cover operating expenses. But it seems Prime Minister Dean Barrow has no comforting words for the mayor. Channel 5 says he told parliament there was "no point in complaining" about inherited debt and demanding to see the council's accounts "so that we can see whether or not they are managing their resources properly, whether or not they are spending their money wisely". Famed for its reef-diving and fishing, Belize suffered badly when tourism declined as a result of the global economic downturn and its authorities are now burdened with debt. It was forced to restructure a $550m (£340m) "superbond" earlier this year, paying bondholders over a longer period.

IDB signs Mexico, Guatemala, Belize microenterprise agreements
IDB signed four cooperation agreements for projects financed by the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) during IDB's latest Latin America and Caribbean microenterprise forum Foromic, held...

Belize chastises rich nations for abandoning global partnership for development
Developed nations have not honoured their commitments to provide the assistance poor countries need to achieve the global anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the foreign minister of Belize told United Nations member states on Monday, stressing that the future development agenda must not suffer the same fate. Agreed by world leaders at a UN summit in 2000, the MDGs set specific goals on poverty alleviation, education, gender equality, child and maternal health, environmental stability, HIV/AIDS reduction, and a global partnership for development. “It is evident that for some inexplicable reason, the developed countries abandoned goal 8,” Wilfred Elrington told the General Assembly’s high-level debate, referring to the MDG on a global partnership for development. “We note with disappointment, that the rich countries have not even been able to bring themselves to honour their commitment to contribute even the 0.7 percent of their gross domestic product as official domestic assistance to poor countries,” he said.

October 1, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

San Pedro Town resident critical following stabbing incident
Authorities on Ambergris Caye are investigating a stabbing incident which has a man in critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). The victim is 29-year-old Elbert Swift also known as DJ Chabo, a resident of San Marcos Area. The incident occurred shortly after 6PM on Friday September 27th on Barrier Reef Drive in San Pedro Town. According to San Pedro Police, Swift was standing at the corner of Barrier Reef Drive and Black Coral Street in front of an internet café when he was approached by a male person of dark complexion. The person was learnt to be Javiel Hamilton also known as Blackhenoh, a Jamaican artist living on Ambergris Caye. It is alleged that Hamilton approached Swift and an argument ensued ending in a fight.

Lions Roar
Authorities on Ambergris Caye are investigating a stabbing incident which has a man in critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). The victim is 29-year-old Elbert Swift also known as DJ Chabo, a resident of San Marcos Area. The incident occurred shortly after 6PM on Friday September 27th on Barrier Reef Drive in San Pedro Town. According to San Pedro Police, Swift was standing at the corner of Barrier Reef Drive and Black Coral Street in front of an internet café when he was approached by a male person of dark complexion. The person was learnt to be Javiel Hamilton also known as Blackhenoh, a Jamaican artist living on Ambergris Caye. It is alleged that Hamilton approached Swift and an argument ensued ending in a fight. According to police during the fight Hamilton pulled out a sharp object and inflicted a stab wound at Hamilton and fled the scene. He returned a few minutes later and ran towards Swift with a small knife and inflicted two more stab wounds then ran into an alley off Barrier Reef Drive, making good his escape.

Ambergris Today

Paint Belize Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month!
The month of October is observed as Breast Cancer Awareness Month and this year the office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children is embarking on a national awareness campaign called Paint Belize Pink. To bring heightened attention to breast cancer, households and particularly businesses are being asked to put pink light bulbs and/or decorations outside their buildings in a show of solidarity with cancer patients. This campaign is to send a message to cancer survivors, persons battling with the illness and those who have lost loved ones, that they are not alone in their struggle. All Belizeans are encouraged to light a pink candle in honor of those who have lost their lives; light the outside of homes and businesses with pink bulbs in a show of solidarity with those still battling cancer and to wear a pink ribbon in celebration of those who have survived.

Pic of the Week: Island Surfer Boys Enjoying Island Life
Here is another follow up to last week’s picture of the week – Enjoying the Simple Things in Life. Two island surfer boys having a blast enjoying the last day in September. A hot day indeed, but what better way to cool off than jumping into the cool waters of the Caribbean Sea - Island life at its best. – photo by Gerry Badillo

Teen Talk: Working on your Self Esteem
In this week’s Teen Talk I want to talk about self-esteem as low self-esteem is very common in teens. There are some people who view themselves as ugly, fat, etc. It is true that it is more common in girls than in guys but that does not mean there aren’t boys that feel the same way. So what are some causes for low self-esteem? Well, in my personal opinion it would be bullying. There are a lot of people who would tease you with different hurtful things; some examples would be someone calls you fat, ugly or dumb. Also, the bullying is not always from your class mates or from people that go to school with you, a lot of teasing especially about weight come from your own family. They may not even notice that they are actually hurting your feelings; they probably only want to make a quick joke.

Misc Belizean Sources

Benque HoC Duodecennial Anniversary
The Art Fiesta for the Benque HoC's 12th anniversary was this weekend. The Institute for Social and Cultural Research got some good pictures. "Benque House of Culture (NICH) celebrated their Duodecennial Anniversary with an Art Fiesta and Latin Musical Concert this past Saturday. Various artisans showcasde their work and products. Various musical performances included the Benque Viejo Marching, the Benque Marimba Academy, Caracol Group and Rompe Rajas Band. Here are a few shots! Institute of Archaeology (NICH) Belize"

UB Patriotic Day
September is over, so here's one last album from the September Celebrations. The University of Belize had their Patriotic Day celebrations, and they recognized some outstanding patriots, and had poetry, song, and dress competitions. "Two Belizeans were recognised for being outstanding patriots at the University of Belize Annual Patriotic Day held on September 18, at the Jaguar Auditorium, Belmopan. They are Mrs. Arcadia Carillo, who served Belize for 55 years as a teacher. The other recipient of this prestigious award was Rowan Garel for inspiring others through his accomplishments towards making Belize a better country for the visually impaired. Both patriots were presented with plaques by the Deputy Mayor of Belmopan City Council, Mr. Joel Westby."

Candlelight Vigil at Cayo Welcome Center
The Purple Movement will have a candlelight vigil and walk at the Cayo Welcome Center Wednesday evening. Please go out and show your support for their cause. "We ask that everyone who attends bring their own candles and also wear purple and/or purple ribbon in solidarity of the cause. Feel free to bring along banners of your organization or any other memorabilia from other murder victims of criminal injustice. The Candle Walk will be start infront of the Welcome center, down to Hudson street, across the Hawkesworth Bridge, divert infront of the Social Security Building, onto GeorgePrice Avenue, across the small wooden bridge and back to the Welcome Center where a short service along with musical entertainment and presentations will be made."

Supa G at the Cayo Welcome Center
Supa G had his Una Noche Mas album launch at the Cayo Welcome Center Friday night, and it was standing room only. Great turn out and a great time was had by all. "Downtown was jumping last night. The largest crowd ever at the Cayo Welcome Center. Supa G had his Una Noche Mas album launch."

Roots Wraps and Smoothies Opens Today
Roots Wraps and Smoothies is open for business as of today. They'll be delivery only during lunch for the first few weeks, but will be expanding soon after. They'll deliver a healthy lunch right to you around Cayo. Looks like their juices are awesome too. Call 666-2889 to order. "Our juices are ready to go! * Carrot , Orange & Ginger * Clove Spiced Sorrel & Beet * Cucumber, Lime & Mint * Tamarind, Green Tea & Honey * Coconut Watermelon * Each Only $4.00"

Channel 7

Hon. Hulse Says Penner Was “Aggressive” In Pursuing Passports
On Friday night we told you about the blockbuster email that UDP Cayo northeast representative Elvin Penner sent to 7News. He told us that he'd been tricked by an impersonator to fast track a passport for Won Hong Kim. To quote, Penner, he says, quote, "having seen the picture who is said to be Wonhong Kim on the news…it has become clear to me that the person for whom I signed the application for could never have been Mr. Wonhong Kim. I can only assume that he was impersonating Mr. Wonhong Kim." It's one heck of a claim and Penner says he knew the man he helped, quote, "through business trips, even before I entered politics," He entered politics in 2007, but on the application he signed Penner says he knew Won Hong Kim for three years - which would go back to 2010 - so that's a major inconsistency. Penner says, quote, "The picture on the nationality document he presented to me, the Korean passport that he had with him and the passport size pictures that I also signed did not raise any suspicion since they were all of the same person. The person whom I knew as Mr. Kim."

Mayor Discusses Fate Of Deputy Chang
And while Penner's prints are all over the case of Citizen Kim, not so for UDP Deputy Mayor of Belize City Eric Chang. As we've reported, credible information from multiple sources tells us that he is the arranger of the passport for Won Hong Kim. Chang, a Taiwanese by birth is known to have business contact there, and is finishing up a three week trip to that country. He is scheduled to return on Thursday - and when he does, Mayor Darrell Bradley will be waiting for him. Today Bradley said his Deputy will have some tough questions to answer:.. Mayor Darrell Bradley "Let me say this that we have really emphasized the issue of accountability and transparency at City Hall. We will deal with this very severely and we will also deal with it very appropriately." "There is an investigation going on. Counselor Chang who is our Deputy Mayor is not in the country. He is due back in the country on October 3rd. When he comes into the country I will immediately have a conference with him, I will raise the issue with him, and I will get what his response is. I am awaiting a copy of the report that is being done in terms of the investigation from Immigration and based on those two things; speaking with Councilor Chang and the report from the investigation, and then we will take very swift and decisive action depending on the evidence."

Death Threats Made To Min Of Health CEO For Investigation Into Missing Money
And while this immigration scandal is still buzzing - the Ministry of Health is putting the brakes on an investigation into financial irregularities at the Southern Regional Hospital. That's after the CEO in the ministry of health Peter Allen received a death threat at his office today! Allen told us that he got a call this morning from someone identifying himself as "Mike Moss". He told Allen that he should calla press conference tomorrow to say that all the accounts at Southern Regional have been investigated and are in perfect order. Allen said he couldn't do that - and the caller told him that he must not want to live and that if he didn't he would be dead by the end of the week - and that there was a hit out on him. Allen received the call on his cell phone, and the number calling him matched the number of a call made to one of his ministry's financial officers the week before. In that case, the officer was called by a Mike Williams, who said he was from SIF and wanted to come to her home to do a survey. Another senior finance officer also got a call at the ministry last week. So, very quickly what was a routine internal investigation has gotten very dangerous for the Ministry of Health - and Allen says that's enough to make them stop. He says he has called the Financial Secretary to ask him to send in the Accountant General turning it from an internal to an external investigation.

Phillipina Female And American Man Killed In Roaring Creek
Tonight there is a double murder to report on that happened in the Another World Area in the village of Roaring Creek. The murders happened in a specific area known as "The Fall" about 100 yards away from a feeder road behind the Guanacaste Park. It involves a 25 year old female Philippina identified as Alry Rose Sardido and an American male, David Reichel. Sardido's body was discovered at around 11:30 on Saturday morning and pulled out the creek by 3 young men of the village who went for a swim that day. One of those men is currently detained as a suspect by police. Sardido was observed with a swelling on the centre of her forehead, abrasions to the upper right side of the head and the right side of the temple. A police search team was operating in the area looking for a second person after neighbours told police that Sardido was not alone that day. At about midday today, 2 days later, Reichel's body was found. Assistant Superintendent of Police and officer commanding Belmopan Police Station - Sinquest Martinez told us today that police believe the motive of the double murders is robbery. ASP Sinquest Martinez - OC, Belmopan Police "On Saturday around 11:30am Belmopan police responded to a creek in Roaring Creek Village where they saw a female person that was on the bank of the Roaring Creek river apparently dead. She was subsequently transported to the Belmopan Hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival."

Guatemalan Killed In Jalacte
There was also a murder in Jalacte Village this weekend - that's the southern village in the Toledo District that borders Guatemala. It happened on Friday when a Guatemalan man turned up dead at the home of 61 year old Jalacte Villager Fernando Sacul. Sacul - who is himself a Guatemalan - allowed two of his countrymen - whom he barely knew - to pass the night at his home on Friday. SACUL left the home and when he came back only one of the men was there, and he told Sacul police had arrested the other man. But the next morning, Sacul's dogs started making a ruckus and when he checked the body of the next man had been thrown into some bushes. Jalacte is an unregulated border crossing and Belizeans and Guatemala move freely from one country to the other.

Catholic Teachers Skip School Because Ministry Didn’t Pay Them
Today all Roman Catholic School Teachers in the Orange Walk district took a holiday. They're protesting because they didn't get paid as they should have on Friday. Apparently, there's a glitch in the system - caused by incomplete information sent to the ministry form the schools management. That stopped the payment at treasury which could not reconcile information with only a few teachers who had come off study leave and were going to full pay. But those few omissions stopped the pay for all catholic school primary teachers countrywide. A very major glitch - and today Minister Patrick Faber told the media that it's been worked out:... Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education "Apparently what had happed is there are some teachers who were on study leave collecting 80% of their pay and so on and the submission from the management to the ministry for their payroll was to bring up some of these people back to 100% after completing their study leave. That required of course permission from the Teaching Services Commission and that permission was never sought. There was a check by our ministry, but it wasn't caught. It was submitted to the Treasury and the Treasury caught the problem and sent it back." "We had to send it back to the management and tell them that they need to get the permission from the Teaching Services Commission to get them added on."

Woman Cut Up In Domestic Dispute
So far tonight we've already told you about three homicides in Roaring Creek and Camalote. Well, there could have been another coming out of Roaring Creek after a woman was seriously injured in a domestic dispute. She is in the Intensive Care Unit at the Western Regional Hospital after she was viciously stabbed and her throat was cut by her fiance. The incident happened on Saturday night in Roaring Creek village. Joanne Longsworth was sleeping inside her home with her two young children when she was attacked by 31 year old Steven Gentle. According to police it was a domestic dispute. But family members told 7news that Longsworth was to marry Gentle but had cancelled the wedding and the relationship because of his abusive and possessive ways. Today Steven gentle was charged with Attempted Murder in Belmopan. ASP Sinquest Martinez - OC, Belmopan Police "Something likewise happened Saturday night in Roaring Creek village where this female Joanne Longsworth was cut to her throat and had several injuries because of a domestic abuse."

He Burgled Hon. Hulse’s Warehouse
2 weeks ago, 7News told you about Minister Godwin Hulse's warehouse being burglarized. Well the man who has been charged for it is 23 year old Marcus Mejia, a laborer from Boston Village. As we told you, Hulse reported to police that sometime between 11 p.m. on Thursday September 12 and 8:30 a.m. on Friday, September 13, someone broke into his warehouse at his home on the Western Highway and stole 1 welding machine, 6 electric motors and 2 blue phase machines, all to a total of $10,000. Police investigated for 2 weeks, and they eventually arrested and charged Mejia with burglary. Today, he was arraigned before Magistrate Clive Lino, who granted him bail of $1,000. His next court date is set for November 18, 2013.

Tourist From N’awlins Had Coke In Her Bra
Tonight, 29-year-old American national, Ashley Bossenmeyer a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, has returned to her home country with a criminal conviction for drug possession in Belize. That's after she pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine in Magistrate's Court. On Saturday morning, at around 2:15 a.m., she was in the bathroom of Jaguars Nightclub on San Pedro, when a woman police officer decided to conduct a search on her. The officer ended up discovering a transparent plastic bag in the left side of Bossenmeyer's bra. She retrieved it, and inside she found cocaine. The officer escorted both her and the drugs to the San Pedro Police Station where the bag was weighed in her presence, to a total amount of 0.23 grams. As a result, she was arrested and charged with possession of controlled drugs, and she was arraigned today before Magistrate Sherigne Rodriguez. She wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the charge.

CARILED Wants Better Local Gov’t
CARILED, the Caribbean Local Economic Development Project held a Local Governance symposium at the Radisson today. CARILED is a Canadian funded organization dedicated to spurring economic growth in the Caribbean by enabling the environment for small business. Today's event was attended by mayors and municipal government staffers from all over the country and Minister of Local government Godwin Hulse explained what they were there to learn:.. Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Local Government "Many people start businesses, many of them romantic. A lot of them failed because there is no proper structure. We have a good idea, we are excited about it, we run with it and then we crash." "One of the ways we needed to do this was to create an institutional structure to support the small entrepreneur. Today's program is to help to informed elected officials of that role because that way business pay more taxes - the town and city council get more taxes. They are able then to better improve their municipality and so it's a win-win for everybody."

Foreign Minister Addresses UN, Discusses Guatemalan Incursions
Today Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington addressed the 68th general assembly of the United Nations in New York. In his speech he addressed the fact that the Guatemalans backed out of the bi-national referendum - and discussed the pressures that their citizens continue to place on Belize's border. Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs "The Guatemalan claim is a constant source of anxiety to our citizens as well to investors in our country. Furthermore, both our territorial and our maritime border regions have been suffering from depravation and environmental degradation in consequence of the wanton and sustained illegal activities of Guatemalan campesinos, fishermen and other criminal elements engaged in narco-trafficking, human trafficking, smuggling, illegal panning for gold, the extraction of xate and other exotic plants and animals, the illegal felling of timber and the pillaging of ancient Maya ruins. The felling of timber in our rainforests are contributing to the denuding of our mountains which result in violent flooding in the rainy season and the transmission of top soil, sand and silt into the sea; these soils are then ultimately deposited into our pristine barrier reef, choking and destroying the fragile eco systems therein."

Hon Speaker Speaks On Finnegan/Baldermaos Garcia Dispute
It didn't make it into Friday night's news - but at Friday's house meeting, Speaker Mike Peyreffitte made a statement on the ugly back and forth between PUP Member for Belize rural Central Dolores Balderamos Garcia and UDP member for Mesopotamia Michael Finnegan. It happened over 6 weeks ago - but Friday was the first house meeting since. Peyrefitte said they both had done wrong:.. Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, Speaker of the House "The member for Belize Rural Central made essentially 3 comments about the Sergeant at Arms. One of them I found to be a legitimate concern and 2 of them unfortunate. The 3rd comment raised by the member for Belize Rural Central concern the Sergeant at Arms drinking a beer within the precincts of the National Assembly and other behaviors." "This I consider to be a legitimate concern for the member for Belize Rural Central if in deed these behaviors were true. I have spoken to the Sergeant at Arms and told him that while I have never seen him behaving inappropriately and no evidence has been brought to me to show that he has - he must make an extra special effort to not even appear to be behaving inappropriately."

Channel 5

Delay in teachers’ salaries…Ministry says oversight was cause of the hiccup
Primary school teachers across the country, employed under the Catholic Public Schools system, are tonight awaiting the processing of salaries through their respective banks, following a delay in the payment [...]

Teachers in the north stayed at home today; Faber says it was unwarranted
While the hiccup caused a delay in payment, there were teachers from several districts, including Orange Walk, who stayed away from their classrooms today.  Their abstention, says Faber, was unwarranted. [...]

Mayor Darrell Bradley comments on his deputy’s involvement in passport scandal
The current passport scandal involving the fraudulent issuance of an official Belizean travel document to imprisoned South Korean businessman, Kim Wonhong, in Taiwan has seen the dismissal of Cayo Northeast [...]

Update from Minister Hulse on investigation into passport scandal
The media also got an update from the Minister of Immigration himself today on the investigations into the passport scandal. But while Godwin Hulse commended the new and improved systems [...]

Double murder in the west is followed by a late evening killing in Camalote
The relative peace of the capital has been shattered by a double murder which it is believed occurred on Saturday morning. And by four-thirty this afternoon, another murder was reported, [...]

Woman almost killed in a domestic abuse incident in Roaring Creek
Alry Rose Sardido was murdered on Saturday, and later that night another woman from Roaring Creek narrowly escaped the same fate. Just after ten that night Police were called to [...]

Couple injured in traffic mishap on Philip Goldson highway; Javier Moody clings to life
Two persons were injured in a traffic mishap over the weekend in Sand Hill. Nineteen year old Javier Moody and his girlfriend lost control of a motorbike on which they [...]

Marcus Mejia charged for burglarizing Minister’s warehouse
A laborer of Boston Village was today charged for burglarizing the warehouse of Minister Godwin Hulse. Police believe twenty-three year old Marcus Mejia is the man who entered the Minister’s [...]

Foreign Minister Sedi Elrington speak on referenda at UN General Assembly
Belize’s Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington addressed the United Nations General Assembly this morning, where he spoke on the issue of the postponement of the joint referenda which should have been [...]

Belize City Council hosts a local economic development symposium
Today at the Radisson Fort George, municipal leaders gathered for a 2013 Local Governance Symposium being held by the Caribbean Local Economic Development Project. The CARILED Program is designed to [...]

Institute of Archeology receives a donation of equipment
This morning, a very significant donation was made to the Institute of Archaeology…thanks to a project called Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites. One of the objectives of [...]

Highlights of Weekend Sporting Events with James Adderley
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The PLB Belikin Cup opened the 2013 season with 3 matches nationwide in the 7 team semi-pro football competition. [...]


Foreign Minister Reports on Issues with Guatemala at the UN Assembly
The United Nations General Assembly continued on its 68th annual session today in New York. The theme for the session is The Post 2015 Development Agenda: Setting the Stage. Belize’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington addressed the general assembly this morning. HON. WILFRED ELRINGTON “At the end of the 1990s most countries were in dire straits as described by Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General; over sixty percent of the world subsisted on two dollars or less per day; over one billion people were living on less than one dollar per day. Illiteracy was nearly at one billion; eight hundred million were chronically hungry; one in seven people on earth including two hundred million children and one point three million lacked even the most basic health, sanitation and education services. Today, thirteen years later and in the process of implementing the millennium development goals, the score card now reveals that while a minority of countries are showing commendable successes in attaining the millennium development goals, the vast majority of nations are still mired in poverty with scant or no sign of development; in that regard, Mr. President we note the disappointment that the rich countries haven’t even been able to bring themselves to honor their commitment to contribute zero point seven percent of their gross domestic product as official domestic assistance to poor countries and the resources provided by the international and other financial institutions and by private donors fall far short of what is needed by poor countries for the attainment of these laudable and most basic goals.”

Teachers Pay Delayed by Human Elements, Education Minister Says
The Ministry of Education and Catholic Public Schools sent out joint press release on Friday addressing the issue. The release says that although the payroll was submitted on time, there was an unforeseen glitch by the Catholic Public Schools prior to its submission to the Ministry. That glitch was not picked up until the Treasury Department did the final check last week. Whatever the case may be, the teachers did not receive their salary but according to Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, they will do so by tomorrow. Faber says that it was human error but cannot make any promises that it won’t happen again. HON. PATRICK FABER “There are glitches that come at the start of every school year; I think what caused the problem on this occasion was the fact that the management submitted some names that are on study leave receiving only a portion of their salary and now needing to be brought up back to 100% and they did not catch some of these errors fast enough for it to be corrected on time for the payroll for the Roman Catholic Church to be done on time but once these problems were there, I want people to understand that the ministry and the Ministry of Finance through the Treasury worked all weekend in order to try and rectify the problem.

Double Murder Near Waters in Western Belize
What started out as a regular day at the scenic fall area in Roaring Creek Village on Saturday morning for American, David Reichel and Philippino national, Alry-Rose Sardido ended in tragedy when they met their deaths violently. Sardido’s body was the first to be recovered on Saturday. Love News spoke with a village resident who told us off-camera what he saw. RESIDENT “I went to the store and they told me someone had drowned in front of us but we took it as a joke. When my friend and I went down there, we noticed a body on the ground; we went to investigate and I looked at the body and saw that from his neck up to his face was purple; it looked like somebody strangulate the woman; she hadn’t drowned, she was actually choked to death and she had two bumps on her forehead but it look like she got hit on the rail; probably somebody slammed her on the pipe rail.” Meanwhile, the body of the American, David Reichel, was discovered at around eleven this morning a few miles further upstream. Officer Commanding the Belmopan Police Formation, Inspector Sinquest Martinez, told reporters late today what they have gathered so far.

Villager Charged for Burglarizing Government Minister’s Property
Twenty-three year old Marcus Mejia, a laborer of Boston Village who the police believe was one of several persons who broke into the warehouse of Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse, was charged with burglary when he appeared today in the # 6 Magistrate Court. Mejia pled not guilty to the charge. Magistrate Clive Lino offered him a bail of $8,000 and adjourned his case until November 18. According to the allegation, between September 12 and 13, Mejia and others entered the warehouse, located at mile 10 and a half and stole several electrical items amounting to $10,850.

Was Councillor Eric Chang Involved in Recent Passport Scandal?
The investigation into the passport scandal has been completed, sources say. Love News was made aware that on Friday public officers working in the nationality department were questioned and that the investigation has been completed. The findings of that investigation are currently being put together. So far, former Minister of State, Elvin Penner, has resigned and three public officers working in the immigration department were recommended to be suspended. In the midst of the scandal is Deputy Mayor of Belize City, Eric Chang, who purportedly was the one who facilitated Won Hong Kim to get the Belizean passport. Councilor Chang is in Taiwan and is scheduled to return to Belize on Thursday. But if the case maybe that Eric Chang is involved, will he be disassociated from the city council? Mayor Darrell Bradley says that as soon as Chang returns to the country, both of them will have a serious talk. MAYOR DARRELL BRADLEY “We have made requests for materials and we understand that they are producing a report in relation to the investigation. Councilor Chang is coming back into the country on October 3 and I am going to have a very serious conversation with him in relation to what his role is and based on the investigation and the response that he makes, we will take very serious and decisive action in dealing with the situation.

Tourist Busted in Night Club with Suspected Narcotic
Twenty-nine year old American tourist Ashley Rose Bossenmeyer, charged with the possession of point 23 grams of cocaine, pled guilty to possession of a controlled drug when she appeared today in court. She was fined six hundred dollars and was ordered to pay forthwith, in default 2 months imprisonment. Bossenmeyer paid the fine and she was released. The bust occurred around 2:15 a.m. on Saturday, September 28 in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. Police constable Arilee Young reported that when she searched Bossenmeyer, who was inside the female restroom of Jaguar’s Night Club, she found a transparent plastic bag containing a white substance in the left side of her bosom. She suspected that the substance was cocaine so she took Bossenmeyer into custody and charged her.

Catholic School Teachers in Capital City Upset Over Salary Delay
Today teachers of Catholic schools in mostly Belmopan stayed away from the classroom in protest of late salary payments. The decision was made last Friday after the teachers could not access their end of month pay for September. Usually the practice is that the last Friday of every month is given off so that teachers can travel and collect their pay and take care of their personal affairs. This, according to the teachers, is not the first time that it has happened and last Friday, they were not given a reason why they were not paid. So today the teachers, about roughly 100 teachers assembled in a closed-door meeting inside the George Price Centre for Peace and Development to chart a way forward and to discuss alternate ways they want their salaries to be processed. We found out late this evening that the closed-door session resulted in a majority decision to not return to the classroom until they have been paid. But that should be tomorrow because Principal Frances Avella of Saint Jude RC School in Camalote Village told Love News today that the General Manager of Catholic Schools, Sister Barbara Lopez, has promised via the airwaves that the teachers will be paid on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the teachers plan to meet again on Tuesday.

Woman Stabbed In Her Sleep; Man Airlifted and Hospitalised Following Stabbing Incident
Two separate cases of attempted murder have been reported in Roaring Creek Village and San Pedro Town. On Saturday around 10:00 pm police received information of a stabbing incident in Roaring Creek Village in the Cayo District; upon their arrival at the scene they saw what appeared to be blood stains on the front step of a lower flat house. Police later visited the Western Regional Hospital where they saw Joanna Longsworth with cut wounds to the right side of her lower face, lower neck, the back of her neck and her throat. Longsworth who could not speak due to her injuries reportedly wrote on a piece of paper that while she was home sleeping, she was awoken after feeling pain to the back of her neck. When she got up Steven Gentle was stabbing her in the throat. She said she heard two girls screaming out as Steven Gentle said to her quote “you wa dead” end quote. She further stated that the last thing she could remember was when she fell by the front door. Police have since detained thirty one year old Steven Gentle a resident of Roaring Creek pending charges for attempted murder.

Police News: Robbery, Pistol In Park and Stolen Weapon
Mayeli Polanco, a twenty nine year old resident of San Pedro Town reported to police that she along with her husband were robbed in the town on Friday. The incident occurred at about 8:40 pm. Polanco and her husband, Luis Itzab were riding their bicycle on Sea Grape Street when they were reportedly approached by two dark complexioned men one of whom had an object that resembled a rifle, and asked them to hand up all their belongings. Polanco reported that she handed over seventy dollars and they took away Itzab’s Samsung cell phone valued at four hundred and fifty dollars and a black wallet valued at thirty five dollars which contained personal documents. Police continue to investigate.

Police Investigates Case of Pregnant Minor in Southern Belize
Police are investigating a case of carnal knowledge coming out of the Toledo District. On Friday a fifteen year old girl from Conejo Village, along with her mother visited the Punta Gorda Police Station and reported that on the nineteenth of July and on the nineteenth of August of this year, she had sexual intercourse with a man she knows. A medical examination conducted on the minor certified that she had been carnally known and is four weeks pregnant.


House of Representatives convened for the second and third reading of bills
It was quite the busy day in the nation’s capital on Friday; the House of Representatives convened for the second and third reading of bills, while outside the House, protesters gathered to demonstrate against the SIF/Dangriga Market saga. We’ll get back to the outcry on the...

PM responds to immigration scandal
The recent passport scandal at the Ministry of Immigration was highlighted at the Sitting of the House of Representatives. By now viewers are fully aware of what has transpired – that ultimately led to the resignation of now former Minister of State Elvin Penner and the recommended suspension of...

CGA explains payment delay
On Thursday evening, the media received a press release from Citrus Growers Association (CGA) with distressing news. The press release has to do with the annual full payment of Citrus Product Belize Limited (CPBL) to members of CGA and BCM (Belize Citrus Mutual). The press...

Protests in Belmopan as Minister of Economic Development commits to finishing Dangriga Market
The Dangriga Town Market Project lies abandoned while the Social Investment Fund (SIF) is seeking a new contractor. But the people of Dangriga are tired of waiting to enjoy a market that should either have already been completed or be close to completion. On Friday they...

PM discusses future assistance to Orange Walk Town Council
On Thursday we reported that the Belize Bank had frozen a $112,000 overdraft facility used by the Orange Walk Town Council – or more accurately, the Council led by a majority UDP group from 2009-2012, as well as others. Mayor Kevin Bernard told us on Thursday that it severely...

Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez highlights PAHO report on KHMH in House
13 premature babies died at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) over 20 days this past May, eight of whom succumbed to ent-ero-bac-ter cloa-cae, a common bacteria that proved fatal to their fragile systems. Despite the heavy attention given to the cluster of deaths and the protests and calls...


Time at one of my favorite beaches in Belize
When someone asks you to help schlep stuff and it involves a boat ride, that makes it a no brainier. As was the case with Lara last week, she needed extra hands to help move things around to be photographed for Lemon Crush Design Studio, her new wedding design, event rental and tropical chachka store. We all met up in town at Vilma Linda plaza to rifle through her studio and pull out things that would be good to photograph and started schlepping everything to the Seaduced boat that was parked at the dock in town by Ruby’s Hotel. With 6 girls we had the boat loaded and were heading off towards our destination fairly quickly. We headed north, cut through the lagoon side and traveled up the back of the island for about 15 minutes or so to one of our favorite spots. Most people will tell you Belize is not known for it’s beautiful beaches. While they may not be pristine soft white sand that some people prefer, we have some really great Gilligan’s Island spots accessible only by boat. It was one of these that Lara had chosen for her photo shoot. Understandably so as the clear shallow water stretches on forever and the area is peaceful, heavenly and adventurous all at the same time.

Expat in Belize: Moving to Belize and Working Remotely
I receive a bunch of questions each day…some about booking a trip, many about where to eat or what to see, some about moving to Belize but my #1 question? Can I get a job in Belize? Obviously lots of people dream of moving to a tropical location… but the working and making money part is the biggest hurdle. Jason Southwell is an expat who has been living and working in San Pedro for a few years now. You might also remember him from his afternoon of galavanting with 70 odd naked British soldiers. (View at your own risk.) Here he is with the rare clothed one.

A Sail of Two Cities As Portsmouth based HMS Lancaster Joins in Belize City Celebrations
Given the fact that Belize’s European and African settlement began with arrivals by boat (unless, of course, you subscribe to the various theories of visits by spacemen and other extra-terrestrials) it somehow seems fitting Belize’s sovereign shores were visited by the Portsmouth-based frigate HMS Lancaster, which took part in Belize’s 2013 Independence Day celebrations. In 1798 the early Belizeans were repelling a substantial Spanish naval force, and now 215 years later today’s Belizeans were welcoming a modern British naval vessel to help celebrate independence from Great Britain. Now, if that doesn’t show a certain maturity in international relations, we don’t know what does. The Lancaster is a Type 23 frigate currently on a six month deployment to the North Atlantic and Caribbean providing security to the region as well as conducting counter narcotic operations.

The Breaking Bad Belize Belikin Beer Challenge Ends Today!
Yes, all good things must come to an end, and so it is with Breaking Bad and the Chaa Creek Belize Breaking Bad Belikin Beer Challenge. As first mooted in a blog post here earlier, one member of the Chaa Creek Communications Team graciously offered to shout a beer to the first person who arrived at the bar with the exact Belize reference quote from the next episode. For example, if you were quick enough on the draw on episode 512 to run up to the bar shouting “Hey! In last night’s episode Saul Goodman was saying, ‘We’re wondering if maybe this isn’t an Old Yeller type situation … Yeah, Old Yeller was the best, most loyal dog that ever was. I mean everybody loved that mutt. But one day he showed up rabid, and little Timmy, for Old Yeller’s own sake, had to uhh, well I mean you saw the movie…’ That’s what Saul said, right? And then Walter White replied;

“Beer on the Table” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
It was my intention to publish an edition yesterday but it proved to be a case of the best laid plans … Saturday had started so well. Up and out on the veranda with my mug of coffee and the iPad by 04.30 hours. Knowing that the Spurs versus Chelsea game would be on TV at 05.45 hours I dispensed with my normal routine of reading The Times on-line first and instead concentrated on writing Saturday’s edition of the blog. I hadn’t quite finished the edition by kick-off time so moved inside the condo we are renting during our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize to watch Spurs dominate the first half and lead Chelsea by one goal to nil. Half time provided just enough time for me to complete and publish (sounds terribly grand doesn’t it but it is no more than clicking on an icon!) the edition and move back inside to watch Chelsea force their way back in to the game and secure a one all draw. A great result, both teams had dropped two points!

OUTSOURCE 2 LAC Argentina 2013
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is pleased to invite service sector SME’s in Belize to the third annual Latin American and Caribbean Outsourcing and Offshoring Summit – OUTSOURCE2LAC 2013, which will take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, November 20 -21, 2013. The goal of the summit is to create an opportunity for participants to learn about current trends in the global outsourcing industry and to identify business opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean. OUTSOURCE2LAC will create a unique opportunity to meet, network and engage with potential clients and trading partners with more than 500 service companies from around the globe including Latin America, Caribbean, Asian, European and North American. In addition, attendees can participate in business matchmaking services via individualized, pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings with companies.

Expression of Interest Notice Participate in FIHAV 2013
Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), within the framework of the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Regional Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP) will be assisting CARIFORUM firms interested in exporting products to the Cuban market in participating in the premier trade fair in Cuba, the Havana International Fair (FIHAV) 2013. FIHAV began in 1983 and the fair has, through the years, established itself as a significant exhibition with international reach and interest. In this, the 31st edition of the trade fair, FIHAV 2013 will provide more than 20, 000 m2 of exhibition space for approximately 4,500 exhibitors from more than 60 countries. The trade fair is also expected to host about 150,000 visitors.

A Traveler’s Guide to the Belize Healthcare System
Unexpected things can happen when traveling, so it’s a good idea to know a bit about how the local Belize healthcare system works. Belize is definitely not a country that first comes to mind when thinking about medical tourism; many areas are not at the same standards found in first world countries. However, there are some good aspects about the availability of medical care. How it works? Health care in Belize is divided into a very cheap but very basic government controlled public system, and an expensive but more dependable private system. Surgeries and other complicated medical procedures can cost as little as a few hundred dollars at the government-run hospitals, but the overall service is very rudimentary. For example, don’t expect private rooms; patient’s beds are in wards with shared bathrooms, and patients are expected to provide their own toilet paper. The biggest government-run hospital, Karl Heusner, is in Belize City, and has the widest variety of services and specialists available. Other cities and towns have smaller hospitals or polyclinics, which are much more basic facilities often staffed with nurses and an on-call doctor.

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes
Wen I saw differnt versyuns o'pumpkin pie cupcakes poppyun' up un Pinterest…I deecided ta gif' 'um a try. I adaptid my tride an' true pumpkin pie recipe…an' we enjoyet t'results. Thay air like crustless mini-pumpkin pies.

Pineapple Tie Dyed Light Cake
In this video I do a variation of the Belizean Light Cake, but I omitted the milk and used pineapple juice instead. I used four different food coloring to create the tie dyed effect. This is a fun cake for a kids party or for Halloween.

International Sources

Why Belize Is A Great Place To Retire (5 Part Series)
Mayan ruins, spectacular waterfalls, lush rainforests, exotic wildlife, miles of unspoiled coastline, and the Western Hemisphere's longest barrier reef -- a paradise for diving, snorkeling and fishing. Belize is a Caribbean playground that is truly blessed by time, nature and culture. For many people, Belize is only the white sand beaches of the popular island of Ambergris Caye, with its world-class fishing, diving, and snorkeling. But Belize has so much more to offer. Let's start with a little history and geography...

Belize, Mexico work together to combat narco-trafficking
Belize and Mexico are discussing a security accord in response to an influx of international criminal organizations increasingly targeting the Central American country as a transshipment point for illicit drug shipments. Top diplomats from the neighboring countries met in late August to discuss an agreement that would beef up security along the 251-kilometer border, which largely snakes along the Hondo River. Mexican Foreign Secretary José Antonio Meade and his Belizean counterpart Wilfred Erlington visited the border and concluded a bi-national agreement on confronting narco-trafficking is a priority. “We both recognized that Belize is the portal, one of the first lines of defense in terms of the southern border, and … that is one of the topics we went into in some depth, and the commitment is there for us to work together to ensure that our borders are kept safe and secure,” Meade said during the meeting.

At UN, Belize chastises rich nations for abandoning global partnership for development
Developed nations have not honoured their commitments to provide the assistance poor countries need to achieve the global anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Foreign Minister of Belize told United Nations Member States today, stressing that the future development agenda must not suffer the same fate. Agreed by world leaders at a UN summit in 2000, the MDGs set specific goals on poverty alleviation, education, gender equality, child and maternal health, environmental stability, HIV/AIDS reduction, and a global partnership for development. “It is evident that for some inexplicable reason, the developed countries abandoned goal 8,” Wilfred P. Elrington told the General Assembly’s high-level debate, referring to the MDG on a global partnership for development. “We note with disappointment, that the rich countries have not even been able to bring themselves to honour their commitment to contribute even the 0.7 per cent of their gross domestic product as official domestic assistance to poor countries,” he said.

Belize: Police 'trained to handle crocodiles'
Apparently, the American crocodiles on the country's largest island, Ambergris Caye, are losing their natural instinct to stay away from man because people have been feeding them. This leads them into new territory where they're more likely to come into contact with humans and to attack if they feel threatened, reports the San Pedro Sun. It says attacks on humans remain rare but that the presence of raccoons and rats feeding on household rubbish is also drawing the crocs nearer to land, and there have been reports of several attacks on stray and pet dogs. So local officers went to the island's American Crocodile Educational Sanctuary for training in capturing "problematic reptiles", the Sun reports. Despite the increased threat to residents, the paper quotes sanctuary officials as saying the area's crocodile population has declined from a record 5,000 in 2005 to an estimated 1,000. Poachers who want the protected species' meat, teeth, skulls and skin are to blame, it seems.

IDB - Inter-American Development Bank : Presidents of Mexico, IDB open top event on Microentreprise in Latin American and the Caribbean
The Inter-American Forum on Microenterprise (Foromic), the region's top event for supporting and financing the sector in Latin America and the Caribbean, got underway today with the theme "The productivity challenge: financing dynamic entrepreneurship," with 1,800 participants from 50 countries. Opened by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and the President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Luis Alberto Moreno, among other officials, the 16th edition of the forum began with a call for enhancing support for microenterprises and small- and medium-sized companies so as to boost job creation and the economies of the countries of the region. "The theme addressed this year by Foromic, 'The productivity challenge: financing dynamic entrepreneurship, coincides fully with the cross-cutting targets of this government and is part of the National Development Plan," said Peña Nieto. "Today, 15 years after the first Foromic, which coincidentally was also held in Mexico, the microfinancing industry has matured," said the President of the IDB. "At that time there were fewer than 200 microfinancing entities serving around one million clients. Today there are more than one million active institutions that serve nearly 20 million micro-credit customers."

Ethically produced Fair Rum
Fair Rum originates from Belize, located south of Mexico and east of Guatemala. Ethical production of the rum enables farmers to cover their production costs, live from farming, educate their children and build schools. The sugar cane used to create Fair Rum is grown using organic and sustainable farming methods on small farm plots. Each stalk is hand-harvested to maximise the yield and protect the land. The growers are all members of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) and work to fair trade standards. Fair works closely with The Fairtrade Foundation to ensure that it pays the farmers at a fair price by adhering to over 200 rules and guidelines.

Busted in Belize: Shaking Down the Cruise Ship Tourists
Dr. Ross Klein's Cruise Junkie and Local News Station 5 in Belize are reporting on the arrest of two cruise passengers who went ashore in Belize last week. Both young men were caught with small amounts of pot in Belize's "tourism village" and were arrested. As I have mentioned before in a prior article, Reefer Madness: Cruise Passengers Busted in Belize During Cruises, don't think that the police in Belize will look the other way if you are a cruise passenger and want to buy pot ashore in Belize. Even though the drug dealers will try and sell you pot and whatever else you want as soon as you step off of the cruise ship, Belize has a reputation of arresting, fining and/or jailing tourists for possession of small amounts of the evil weed.

Exploring The Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave in Belize
I rolled up into San Ignacio, Belize in a dilapidated old school bus without much of a plan, as I often do. This was the second half of my Belize adventure. The first half was a sun-soaked few days on the islands, but now I was in the jungle, where the real adventure is. I was itching to find something unique and exciting to do, so shortly after checking into my hotel I went on a mission to find what there was to do in this remote little city. As I walked out of my hotel I heard a call “Hey buddy, you looking for a tour? Jungle? River tubing? Mayan ruins?” Well that didn’t take very long, did it? Now normally I can’t stand these guys. I realize that they’re just trying to make an honest buck, but when I pass by every day for a week and they don’t get any less pushy I start to get pretty annoyed very quickly. This time was different though – I was eager for something to do and these guys were throwing opportunities at me. “Ok, so what do you got?” After debating what seemed to be dozens of available options I settled on a tour of Actun Tunichil Muknal, also known as the ATM Cave. It featured a jungle hike, cave exploration and an ancient Mayan sacrificial site, all lead by an experienced guide. Not bad for my first venture into the jungles of Belize.

Americans Living Off Their Retirement Savings Overseas
The average U.S. Social Security check is $1,230 a month for a retired worker. That may not seem like a lot–but when you retire overseas you can cut your cost of living. Below are stories from expats who did just that. Chuck and Jamie Bilbe, ready to retire in Florida, found themselves in a situation where they could not afford health care.  “We were concerned that our retirement savings wouldn’t see us through, so we began looking overseas for a place where our ever-shrinking nest egg might last longer,” says Chuck. Now they live in Corozal, Belize, their cost of living is much lower than it was in the States, but that’s not the greatest appeal. What they say they like most is the Old-World lifestyle. “Like Florida in the 1950’s,” they say. “We’re eating better, sleeping better and enjoying social activity much more now than we did before.”

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