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11/1/2013 to 11/10/2013
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November 10, 2013


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The San Pedro Sun

Youth Week 2013- “Our voice- Our impact”
Through the Ministry of Education and the Department of Youth Services, Youth Week 2013 is being observed nationwide from November 3rd to Saturday November 9th under the theme, “Our voice, our impact.” The week- long activities commenced on Ambergris Caye on Monday November 4th, with a youth rally that was held at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium. Students of San Pedro High School (SPHS) sat through a program that was solely based on uplifting and encouraging youth. The agenda included a dance by SPHS students Erica Lopez, Diana Cal, Marissa Gonzalez, Tory Lopez, and Jackelyn Caliz, and a song rendition by Elina Palma and Marthalicia Vasquez. Guest Speaker Noel Garwen of Ladyville Technical High School lead a presentation and Lincoln Flowers gave an over view of activities that will be taking place throughout the week. The list of activities to take place include an Ecumenical service, cycling competition, cultural and expressive arts training, Belize Youth Awards, launch of Climate Change Campaign, Reproductive Health Workshop, vehicle and pet wash, and sports exchange.

Dr Paul Beer visits San Pedro Lions Club with gifts from Northeastern Association of the Blind
The San Pedro Lions Club received a donation from the Northeastern Association of the Blind at Albany (NABA), New York, USA on Friday November 1st. Handing over the donation was Dr Paul Beer, a well known visitor to Ambergris Caye and a friend of the San Pedro Lions Club. The two suitcases of items included sunglasses and other reading devices. Dr Beer is no stranger to the island, since he has been an ambassador for the local club, always finding ways to bring donations that will help the efforts of the Lions in Belize. According to Dr Beer, the items donated can be utilized by people who have vision problems. “All of the donated items come from Northeastern Association of the Blind at Albany. They consist of dark sunglasses, most of it being used by people who have had cataract surgery or who have other eye problems and cannot tolerate the bright light. The other suitcase has low vision aids which includes a variety of magnified glasses which is used by people who have decreased vision. These people can use them to read, look at the television or things from a distance.”

Frequent visitors to island show appreciation to the crew at Ramon’s Village Resort
A group of frequent Ambergris Caye visitors teamed up with the staff at Carlo and Ernie’s Runway Bar and Grill in San Pedro Town to give a special treat to the working crew at Ramon’s Village Resort on Thursday October 31st. Joe and Debbie McCord, and Dale and Patti Bastin have been coming for the island for many years, and have been guests at Ramon’s Village, and after the devastating fire that destroyed a part of the resort, they wanted to bring some smiles and good cheer to the work crew. According to Joe, who has been coming to San Pedro Town for at least 12 years, he pitched the idea to some colleagues and with the support of Carlo and Ernie, who they have known for years, hosted both the staff as well as the workmen who are reconstructing their favorite resort. “We got our newspaper back home (Indiana, USA), and we saw it on Facebook and on the website and people called us to tell us Ramon’s Village burnt down. We were coming down and so we decided it would be nice to give a special treat to the people at Ramon’s and show them some love. We always say that it is the people who build this island and make it the nice place it is. We know insurance is taking care of the resort but we just wanted to show the people how much we love and appreciate them by way of this small little gesture.”

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: On The Mountain Pine Ridge Road
Join me in a short drive on the Mountain Pine Ridge Road. This is only a part of what motorists have to endure every day. A short drive from Taylor Hill into Georgeville on the Mountain Pine Ride Road. This recording was taken on Thursday, November 7, 2013.

Iguana Creek bridge
The Iguana Creek bridge across the Belize River in Blackman Eddy village is flooded.

The New Chechem Ha Falls
The Falls at Chechem Ha got a makeover with all the rains. Still extremely beautiful, of course, and the foliage will grow back in no time. "During the heavy rainfall of late October, the original waterfall at Chechem Ha collapsed creating a new one and with it massive destruction of the rainforest below."

Buy and Sell Classifieds 11-Nov
The latest issue of Cayo's Buy and Sell Classifieds is online. Lots of great info can be found in there.

Pacz Tours New Office
Pacz tours, one of the original Cayo tour operators, has moved their office, literally right next door to their old office. Bigger, better office, same great service. Burns avenue is really looking good. "Pacz Tours, one of the best tour operators in Belize, has moved 5 feet over to a bigger office."

Belize Barrier Reef by helicopter
On luxury travel, I like to go all out to show you just what can be achieved when you truly want to create ‘A Trip Of A Lifetime.’ Belize was this in every way, but in a completely contrasting way to neighbouring Guatemala. More than half of it is covered in rainforests sheltering indigenous, unique and endangered species. The other half boasts some of the best beaches in the world fringed by the world’s 2nd largest barrier reef (190 Miles). Snorkelling and diving here are world-renowned. The Caribbean way of life completes the alluring set. I had the chance to fly by private helicopter from Belize City to Ambergris Caye with Astrum Helicopters . Best experience of my life to date – that is all I can say. I’ve never seen such dazzling aquamarines and turquoises over offshore Cayes and Atolls. Enjoy the pics!

Invest In Belize
Beltraide has created a new video tha will be airing on airlines as passengers travel across the globe about investing in Belize.

"On the road Again"
The Corozal Daily was out early this beautiful morning, at the junction of Tony's Hotel to witness the annual "RIDE OUT DIABETES 2013" cycle ride sponsored by the Belize Cycling Association. There were both female/male participants. The race started from Corozal at 6:30 A.M. this morning and will finish in Belize City. Riders from Orange Walk will also join in...all in the name of bringing awareness to diabetes and its impact on human life!!!

Channel 7

Hon. Hulse Can’t Comprehend Visa Hustle
Last night on the news, you heard Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse speak in his role as a Senator - about the Wednesday's controversial vote in the Upper House. Tonight you'll hear him talk about Immigration matters. Those remain at the forefront of the public discourse - and tonight we'll start our questions at the most basic, to address something that has been overlooked from the entire controversy erupted. How does a Chinese person qualify for a Belizean VISA - and how does hustling enter the picture. Hulse outlined the official process for us: Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Immigration "Our position and policy at the ministry is that every single person coming from the People's Republic of China, not Taiwan need a visa. There are two ways you get a visa; you apply at one of our embassies and we have none in China, so you have to go through a complicated route or you apply here." "To get the visa, you have to send your passport. There is no other way to get it because the visa has to the stuck in the passport, so the passport has to come. Now how you get it here? This same way how we want for example to get a Mexican visa, you can send it with a friend, by courier or however you get in there and somebody has to bring it back, so I never concern myself with how the passports gets here because it have to get here."

Martiza’s Mom Worries That Money Matters In The Justice System
At approximately 11:15 yesterday morning, Michael Silva accompanied by his father turned himself into police after 2 years of receiving treatment in another country. He was taken to court and was arraigned for murder- then sent to the Hattieville Prison, where he is now remanded. But while all that was happening, his victim's mother, Maura Larios was unaware and only informed by police afterwards. Maura Larios, Mother of Decease ""I feel bad because they did not inform me yesterday that he came, ahead of time. And I think they should have informed me ahead of time so I could have been at court to hear what it was they were going to say." "Well the detectives came Around 3:30 to tell me that he already returned and that he had court and he was charged for the crime but that he will have court because he has his attorney s to defend himself. Well, I feel bad because they did not inform me."

Felicia Chen Goes To Supreme Court In April To Answer For Killing Her 3 Children
22 year-old Felicia Chen, the woman who is accused of killing her 3 children, will stand trial next year in the April Session of the Supreme Court. That was the result of a preliminary inquiry done today before the Chief Magistrate. The prosecutor presented all the evidence against Chen including witness statements from her only living daughter who is six, and other authorities involved in the case. Presented also were copies of the birth and death certificates of the children along with pictures, and a protection order. When the defence attorney, Antoinette Moore, was asked if they had any alibi witnesses to present to the court, Moore replied that they didn't have any. As we've reported, in April of this year, Chen allegedly took her 3 babies, Triana, Thomas, and Trinaya Teul to the Belizean beach where she drowned them. Her 6 year-old daughter reportedly saw the whole incident unfold.

Men In Coma, Security Guard Remanded
Tonight, 38 year-old Kevin Jex is at prison tonight after he was accused of clubbing a security guard in the back of his head sending the man into a coma. According to police, on Tuesday evening, Desmond Villa was standing in front of the City Council building on North Front Street when a man he knew only as "Pizza" ambushed him and hit him in the back of the head with a piece of wood, causing a huge gash. He fell to the ground in an unconscious state, and had to be rushed to the KHMH. Police investigated, and yesterday, they charged Jex with attempted murder, dangerous harm, and use of deadly means of harm. He was arraigned today before the Chief Magistrate who remanded him to prison until January 7, 2014, his next court date.

Social Partners Half-Accept Saldivar’s PAC Compromise
For weeks, we've been reporting on UDP Minister John Saldivar's efforts to get the social partners back on board with the UDP version of PAC. This is after they publicly called it a charade. Saldivar and his UDP Colleagues held meetings with the Council of Churches, the Trade Union Congress and the Churches to try and broach a compromise. Well, today, the Chamber and the NTUCB responded - and in so doing, also briefly touched on the terms of the Saldivar compromise - which up to now, had been a closely guarded secret. It seems his compromise suggested more inclusive membership. But, the Chamber and the NTUCB say they don't agree: instead, they propose a nine member group with 4 from Government, two from the Opposition and all three Social Partners. They agree with Saldivar's proposals that quorum for the meetings be changed to five, and that all Reports of the PAC taken back to the House should include a minority opinion. Overall, they quote, "congratulate the Government of Belize on its efforts to restructure the composition of the PAC." So what's next? Well, we expect a Saldivar counter-proposal which should come next week.

FECTAB Warns Of Mass Discontent On Fort Street Tourism Area
Earlier this week we told you about the taxi operator at the Fort Street Tourism Village who had been detained by police after he allegedly took out a bullhorn and started making his pitch to cruise visitors. His lawyer says he did it out of desperation because the Tourism Board, with a new zoning system had pushed the Taxi Drivers too far away from the area where they can catch customers. Well, apparently, it's not only the taxi drivers who are upset. Today FECTAB held a press conference to say the entire system needs to be re-worked, and urgently before the cruise tourism season starts in earnest after Thanksgiving. Tom Greenwood told the media today that the new system appeared encouraging at first, but soon enough, the gates were locked on the OVER 200 tour guides, taxi drivers, hair braiders and other service providers who gather at the gates:... Tom Greenwood - President, FECTAB "All of a sudden terminal opened again; this is the one with the cover - glory alleluia. This is what we wanted, people started coming out both there and at terminal 2 because it takes time to change back."

Braiders Says They Are Losing Big!
The hair braiders say they are the ones feeling the brunt of it. They say they have been pushed the furthest back and today they told the media that they are making major losses: Vanessa Zuniga, hair braider "We can't even go inside where we were at terminal 2 to get our job, that's where we would get our jobs and all that. Now we have to stay outside." Kizzy Petillo, hair braider "We don't want to be at the park, what will we do at the park? We have to be one and one with the guests - we talk to them. Mr. Longsworth try pleasing us a little bit by having us talking to the guests but with the quick space of time, none of us make any money. There are 16 braiders and he told us that we cannot separate, we are still together in a bombarded way - it's really bad, you guys need to be out there to see the situation." Vanessa Zuniga, hair braider "In two weeks I only make US$3, only that and I have kids going to high school and primary school. What can US$3 do for me?"

Regulating Power and Phone and In Borderless Societies
We regularly feature regional meetings being held in Belize, but this week, once being chaired by the Public Utilities Commission, went unmentioned. It's the 11th. annual conference of the The Organization of Caribbean Utilities Regulators known as OOCUR. This year, over fifty delegates from the Caribbean, U.S., United Kingdom, and Africa are discussingthe "Challenges to Regulatory Power in Borderless Societies." New Chairman John Avery told us more:.. John Avery, PUC Chairman "We try to focus in on this conference are those issues that need to be grapple in a collaborative cooperative manner. Issues that impact the entire region and for which we may not be prepared for. We have been slow to react to and so, basically we are looking at the internet. The internet doesn't respect borders, telecommunications is a global thing right now and more and more we are getting integration of electricity systems. In fact we know Central America is integrated right now. We are looking into the possibility of being a part of that."

Does Sunshine Owe Social Security Mega Bucks?
Approximately 15.1 million dollars of your social security money, plus interest remains in limbo, and it may stay that way until Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin makes a decision next month. The total sum is a result of a case brought by the Social Security Board against Sunshine Holdings Limited, one of the Ashcroft Allied companies. Back in 2005, the company was given a loan of 10 million dollars from SSB to purchase 22.39% shares in Belize Telemedia Limited. The former directors of Sunshine, Dean Boyce and Keith Arnold, say that the company does not owe the money. You may be aware that these men are the very same trustees of the BTL Employees Trust, which has been the local agents of the Ashcroft Alliance in the seemingly endless stream of litigation over the acquisition of the telephone company. When the UDP Administration nationalized BTL, they acquired all the shares held by Sunshine Holdings, so the company didn't make any payments toward the loan to SSB.

Hansel’s Mom Is Worried Sick
17 year-old Hansel Garcia, a resident of Dangriga Town has been missing for 3 weeks now, and his family is worried sick about him. His mother, Indira Martinez, has made an official police report, and she continues to search frantically for him. Today, she came all the way from Dangriga to speak to us about her son who has never gone more than a few days without contacting her. She told us that she is hoping for the best, but expecting the worse because Hansel had a quarrel with someone from the Town, which allegedly escalated to death threats before he went missing. Here's her story: Indira Martinez, mother "At this moment I don't Hansel is hiding and I don't think he is playing a game because he knows that I am a person who worries about them. That is why he always try you come and see me or he let his dad know that he is okay." "What I want to know is that what they have done with him. I want them to at least give me his body so I can make a closure within myself and my heart because I know something is wrong with my son."

Rape Bill Still Making Changes
Whatever happened to the so-called rape bill, properly known as Amendment 2 to the Criminal code? The last we told you about it, the final committee consultation had been held, and it would have gone to the House of Representatives for last Friday's House Meeting. But it never went, because the final changes could not have been made in time. Today, Chair of the House Committee on Constitution and Foreign Affairs Patrick Faber told us that all submissions have been considered and several changes were made that people might have been suspicious about. He says the changes were too numerous to be returned to the house before last Friday's house meeting - which was based on the advice of the Deputy Solictor General who told CEO Judith Alpulche and Faber that she was not comfortable that it would be accurate and proper for submission to the House. We reported that Deputy Solicitor General Michelle Daly left the country last week Thursday after the last consultation and would not be back because her contract with the Commonwealth Secretariat was not renewed. Well, that wasn't quite right. Her contract actually ends in January 2014, but she takes terminal leave as of November 11th; those six weeks are accrued under the terms of her contract. As for her contract renewal, she says the Government had verbally indicated a desire to extend it, but only recently wrote to the Commonwealth Secretariat requesting that extension and by then she had made other arrangements.

Ring the Bells for Charity!
Every year, whenever the Salvation Army's Red Kettle bells start ringing, it signals the beginning of the Christmas season. And so it is for this second Friday in November, where the charitable organization launched its fundraising drive today. It is their biggest fund raiser, and at the launch, the regional commander explained to us that they hope that the public supports them, so that they can continue running their outreach programs all over the country: Major Joliker Leandre - Regional Commander "Today is a wonderful day for us although it is raining. We have our Christmas Kettle launch right here. Although it is the official launching, persons have already began to give their donation to the Salvation Army. This is a way for us to publicly invite the public to give the donations so that we can continue with our work here, not only for the Christmas but throughout the year."

Under 16 Footballers Have Promise Of Glory In Them
2 months ago, the Under 15 National Football Team which performed well in the Cayman Islands becoming the first team from Belize to win 3 games in a CONCACAF tournament. Well, the same players are back once again, and they are preparing to participate in the 2013 UNCAF U-16 Tournament, which the Football Federation of Belize gets the honour of hosting. The 6-day tournament is set to start on Monday, November 18, and the FFB is looking for the support of the public attending the games and cheering on the Junior Jaguars. Today, the official line-up of the team was announced, and 7News was there. We got a chance to meet a few of the footballers poised to be the next big names in the country. Here's what they told us: While in camp, the young men still have to keep up-to-date with their homework, so the FFB has hired a tutor. On each night, there will be 3 games played, and because Belize is hosting, the Junior Jaguars will get the opportunity to play the last game of the night. Football fans will get a chance to watch all the games at a cost of $10 for the entrance fee.

FFB Enacting High Standards
Today, the President of the FFB also announced a major change in the way football is developed in Belize. All coaches must now get a license, and they must be trained by representatives from UNCAF and CONCACAF. If they don't, they won't be allowed to coach at any level. The President says that the end result will be better football athletes developed from an early stage, which allows the country to compete at a higher level. Here's how he explained it: Ruperto Vicente, President, FFB "Come 2015 no coach who have not been trained by the Football Federation of Belize or even license by the Football Federation of Belize will not be able to coach in this country. Those days are behind us. Every coach that coaches our football players must be trained and license by the Football Federation of Belize and extension by UNCAF, CONCACAF and FIFA. We have more training coming for our coaches in March. FIFA is providing us with coaches who are trained."

Belize’s Best Young Volleyballers
At this hour, the 2013 Volleyball National Championships is underway at the SJC Gymnasium. The best male and female high school teams from the 4 regions of the country are competing against each other for first place and bragging rights. It's usually an intense competition and this evening, 7News stopped by to see the opening matches. The N Triple S A representative explained to us how the competition is to run, and which high school teams made it to the nationals. Here's what he told us about the level of play when compared to the rest of Central America:

PM Recovering After Back Surgery
And, as we close tonight, an update on Prime Minister Dean Barrow. He underwent back surgery on Wednesday at the DISC Sports & Spine Center in Newport Beach California. The surgery went well, and we've learned that Neurological Spine Surgeon Robert Bray removed a build-up of scar tissue from a previous surgery which PM Barrow had done in Belize 11 years ago. The Press office reports that the surgery took two and a half hours and shortly after he was alert and able to walk. He remains under observation and it won't be known for a few days whether the surgery succeeded in alleviating his chronic, acute back pain. As has been reported, PM Barrow has three herniated disks.

The Belize Times

Belmopan Goes Blue!
More bad news for the Dean Barrow and the UDP. This time coming from the voters of Belmopan, the capital of Belize. Despite inclement weather, they came out by the thousands, the strongest signal yet that John Saldivar’s days are numbered and as our Party leader has said, it is the beginning of the end for Barrow and the UDP. Four impressive PUP candidates Dr. Amin Hegar, Oscar Mira, and Patrick Andrews, entered the contest for Belmopan Standard Bearer ready to do their part to bring down Belize’s worst Prime Minister, the dishonorable Dean Barrow. Newcomer Ruth Logan and Oscar Mira brought added energy and enthusiasm to the PUP supporters in Belmopan. Experienced warrior Dr. Hegar galvanized his supporters. They all pledged their full support to the winner Patrick Jason Andrews to ensure a victory in the general elections.

Illegal CENTRAL BANK Governor!
It is clear that the present UDP government is hell bent on breaking the Laws of Belize in every aspect. Recent reports coming out of the Ministry of Finance is that the Prime Minister is resisting pressures being brought on him to renew the contract for ...

Will cane farmers boycott Nov 25th crop start date? – Farmers demand benefits from bagasse, ASR stonewalls
November 25th has been set as the opening date of the 2013-2014 sugar cane crop season, but if relations between the Yankee owners of the sugar factory and cane farmers continue deteriorating that will not be the case. Led by the fiery Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA), cañeros have intensified their lobbying for a new agreement with the privately-owned Belize Sugar Industries (BSI), in which farmers would be paid not only for the sugar produced from the cane, but also for the waste product known as bagasse. This waste product is used by BSI to produce electricity, through its cogeneration plant, which is sold to Belize Electricity Limited. Cane farmers want in.

UDP Blocks Senate Investigation into Immigration Scandal – Senator Lisa Shoman says Senate President’s vote was unconstitutional!
The greatest travesty to Belize’s democracy occurred yesterday, Wednesday November 6th, when a Senate motion introduced by Lead Opposition Senator, Lisa Shoman, to investigate the biggest scandal to rock the Ministry of Immigration was blocked by the UDP-appointed Senators. The UDP displayed monumental arrogance and abuse of power in their planned attempt to obstruct a proper and much needed investigation into the criminal actions of several Ministers at the Immigration Departments where nationality certificates, passports and visas have been sold off for personal gain. ...

Think About It
A DAY OF SHAME Well, there it is people. The government had it all planned. The six government-appointed Senators were to vote against a motion for a Senate Inquiry and if the three social sector Senator voted along with the three opposition Senators, the UDP President of the Senate ...

For God’s Sake, Stop It!!
By G. Michael Reid As predicted, last Friday’s sitting of the House of Representatives followed the script to a tee. Instead of addressing the issues on everybody’s minds, the Prime Minister went digging for dirt on the People’s United Party. After spending the entire day attacking Max Samuels (who has not ...

Six is Not Half-dozen
Barrow and the UDP are taking Belizeans for fools. They think we are stupid. It is undeniable that a crime has been committed by Elvin Penner. It is also clear that the UDP are playing political games, pretending to punish him. There was a big song and dance for Penner to resign. ...

SCA & SJC set new records in volleyball
Belize City, October 30, 2013 19-time defending national champ St. Catherine’s Academy and the 3-time defending champ St. John’s College will represent the Central Region at the high school volleyball championship hosted by St. John’s College at the SJC Gym on ...

Bandits rise to No.1 in PLB football Bandits rise to No.1 in PLB football
Belmopan, November 2, 2013 The Belmopan Bandits lead the Premier League of Belize after they came from behind to win 2-1 against the up-to-then undefeated Belize Defence Force at the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga on Saturday night. Vallan Symns’ perfectly executed ...

Rigo Vellos retains Mr. Belize title Cricel Castillo wins Ms. Body Fitness
Belize City, November 1, 2013 Rigo Vellos won the Mr. Belize bodybuilding championship organized by the Belize Body Building Federation at the Bliss Institute held last Friday night. Ben Mckoy, the seven-time Mr. Belize champ, presented the trophies and prizes. Meanwhile, Cricel ...

AMAZING GRACE – Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?
I was ambling along on the internet one day when I stumbled upon a quote from Mark Twain. It was so breathtaking that I didn’t understand it (yes, the quote was the problem, not me). Mark Twain commented, “I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. ...

Corruption vs. Tax Reform & Systems
By Richard Harrison Belize is like a ship with most of the weight on one side, out of balance, floating in turbulent seas, with big leaks. The ship is out of balance because the owners of the ship have systematically implemented rules and systems that go against the basics of sailing and ...

Let’s Bring Awareness to Teenage Depression
By Dr. Angela Banner Joseph In life, we all sometimes have bouts of the blues. Sometimes you may get one of many symptoms: despair, feelings of tiredness, apathy, lack of interest, angry outbursts, or destructive behavior, which can happen at unexpected moments for an extended period in your life. These moments ...

Like a sears catalogue of scandals
The Prime Minister of Belize and his Administration have lost all moral ground to govern this country. Almost every member of his Cabinet has been daubed by the brush of corruption, perceived or real. Corruption plagues the Police who seem to be nothing more than ...

A New Vision….for a New Revolution
By C. Trench-Sandiford - Deputy Party Leader “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18 The book of Proverbs in the Holy Bible is described as the ‘book of the wise’. 63 years ago, the Rt. Hon. George Price and a group of men and women had a vision for ...

By Francis W. Fonseca MY FELLOW BELIZEANS: Forty-five days after the UDP Representative for Cayo North East was asked to resign from Cabinet for fraudulently and corruptly signing a Nationality Certificate and facilitating the issuance of a Belizean Passport to an international criminal sitting in a Taiwanese prison cell, the Belizean people ...

BYM calls on Ministers of Youth to address delayed National Youth Development Policy
Hon. Patrick Faber Minister of Youth, Education & Sports City of Belmopan Hon. Herman Longsworth Minister of State Ministry of Youth City of Belmopan Dear Sirs, October 27, 2013 marked EIGHT MONTHS since the very spirited and timely unveiling of the National Youth Development Policy was held at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts in ...

Northern public transportation needs fixing!
Dear Editor, I write as a student and as a regular commuter to bring attention to a serious issue regarding the public transportation that needs to be addressed. For the past four years I have been travelling from Belize City to Orange Walk Town and vice-versa. From my experience, I can ...


Maya Air gets a Life Pak 500 from Bandage International
Bandage international takes their role of first aid training very seriously. It is clear they believe in their work, have a passion for what they do and set high quality training standards. They also have a strong understanding of Ambergris Caye and our safety needs. After the two day first aid class, Bandage International announced they are donating a Lifepak 500 Defibrillator to Maya Island Air not only because of their central location but their ongoing transportation support to Bandage International. Maya Air will be joining the first aid program and working with the San Pedro Belize Red Cross to receive ongoing first aid training and defibrillator training. Torrential rain put the kibosh on us yesterday, we did not want the camera crew taking all their big expensive gear to Maya Air in the rain, plus we were pretty sure the airline had enough on it’s plate with soggy people and minor weather related flight delays. After waiting for the weather to clear and a bit of back and forth we came to the consensus that 9:00am today was a better option. At 5:00am this morning I was hopeful as the sky grew light, unfortunately that hope got soggy fast. It just started pouring again and I immediately started my prayers to Maya rain God Chac – ‘Please let the sky clear enough for Bandage International and the documentary camera crew at 8:30 am to get their equipment to Maya Air dry.’

Placencia, Belize: Candy Colored Cuteness, Coffee And Desserts
I’ve only been to Placencia in Southern Belize two times but based on the number of pictures that I’ve taken? It feels like much more. The town is so cute and the food is so good, I just love it. My last post from this trip featured The Seaspray Hotel, the duelling (in my mind) bars, Barefoot and Tipsy Tuna and a look down the sidewalk… Here are some more pictures around town. Signs on the sidewalk. A very pretty breadfruit tree with some small fruit. These things grow to be HUGE.

International Sources

Remarkable Colorized Photos Will Let You Relive History
One thing we really need to thank the internet for: colorized historical photographs. Of course, the phenomenon comes to us courtesy of Photoshop and the talented editors who transformed black and white images into digital works of art. We're just happy we get to feast our eyes upon them. Thanks to a Reddit user named Brinkman87, we have a plethora of polychromatic snapshots that bring history back to life. Behold, some of the best colorized photos on the web:

How to Plan the Perfect Belize Getaway
You’re planning a trip to Belize, chances are you’ve already pulled up images of tucans perched in the jungle, the laid-back shores of Ambergris Caye, or maybe the view from top resorts like Francis Ford Coppola’s Turtle Inn and the luxury El Secreto, so named for its sense of deep seclusion and privacy. But what is it about this Central American tropical retreat, equipped with 240 miles of rugged coastline, that places it one step ahead of the pack from neighboring countries like Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras? A new tourism video released this week attempts to answer that question with a series of vivid snapshots (local villagers erupting into laughter, palm trees rustling in the breeze, white sailboats bobbing atop translucent blue-green waters) all edited into a two-and-a-half-minute sizzle reel. The campaign, captioned “Collect Memories Not Things,” is enough to make you want to book a flight and go. As in, tomorrow.

Belize: An Insider’s Guide to Ambergris Caye
Just an hour’s water taxi ride from Belize City, Ambergris Caye serves as the gateway to snorkeling at the world’s second largest barrier reef and diving at the infamous Blue Hole. While on the island, enjoy delicious seafood in the fishing village of San Pedro, incredible wildlife, and more. Here’s a guide to where to eat, what to do, and where to stay on “La Isla Bonita.” Where to Eat: It’s impossible to mention all the great restaurants on Ambergris Caye. Let’s start with Waraguma, though, because I can’t stop thinking about their lobster burrito – stuffed with rice and lobster meat, drenched in a rich broth and topped with more lobster. The small restaurant does seafood right and at some of the most reasonable prices you’ll find in Belize. Elvi’s Kitchen is a San Pedro institution. The restaurant serves a mix of seafood, Belizean standards like stew chicken with rice and beans, and American favorites, including cheeseburgers and buffalo wings. If you’re in San Pedro on Friday night, don’t miss the Mayan feast, featuring traditional Mayan dishes such as pibil (pork), mole, and handmade corn tortillas. For a unique experience, make the effort to find El Fogon, tucked along a side street near the airport. You’ll sit at picnic tables under a thatched roof as local fare and fresh seafood are prepared in the open air. Opt for the three-course dinner in the evening, which includes an appetizer (try the fish balls), entrée, and key lime pie for dessert.

The Best of Belize on a Budget
Belize has its share of trendy resorts and exclusive retreats, but you don’t have to spend a small fortune to enjoy its lush jungles, Mayan ruins, and Caribbean coastline. With a little planning, you can afford to snorkel, dive, and explore this exotic locale on any budget. What to Do: Belize is for the active vacationer, there’s no doubt about that. Snorkel off the world’s second largest barrier reef, dive into the depths of the Blue Hole, and deep-sea fish. Inland, climb to the top of Mayan temples, hike through the jungle to waterfalls, and explore caves filled with broken pottery and artifacts. To make the most of your vacation dollars, take advantage of the complimentary bicycles, kayaks, catamarans, and golf carts available at your hotel or resort, as well as any free activities offered. (For example, Ian Anderson’s Caves Branch Adventure Company & Jungle Lodge offers free cheese tastings while Hickatee Cottages in southern Belize hosts weekly Garifuna drumming lessons.) Also, don’t miss out on Belize’s national parks, like Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary (entrance is about $5), and archaeological sites, such as Altun Ha (entrance is about $5).

Inspired Travel: The Great Blue Hole
If you’re an avid scuba diver or adventure junkie, you’ve probably heard of, or maybe even experienced the Great Blue Hole in the Belize Barrier Reef (an UNESCO World Heritage Site). Around 10,000 years ago, the hole’s roof collapsed to reveal the previously concealed cave below. Measuring at around 1,000 feet in diameter (and around 412 feet deep), the cave sits in the Lighthouse Reef and it is close to a perfect circle. At low tide, some of the reef (the white part in photos) actually protrudes from the water. The warm water and incredible visibility around the hole make the area great for beginner divers. If you’re looking to dive the cave, go with a professional company to be safe (there are plenty of options).

Belize’s Ambergris Caye: Four Great Places to Stay
If you’re thinking of visiting Belize for a reef-meets-rainforest romantic getaway or honeymoon, there are still a few months left to make it happen before the rainy season ups the humidity (from July through October). One of Belize’s top destinations, especially for divers and snorkelers who want to explore Hol Chan Marine Reserve (I have never seen more varieties of fish in one spot!) and the Blue Hole (a very cool landmark that’s a 400-foot-deep sinkhole in the reef), is Ambergris Caye. A long, slender barrier island, Ambergris is home to a wide array of beach resorts and the whimsically ramshackle town of San Pedro, where there seem to be more golf carts zipping by than on a public course on a busy holiday weekend. On a recent visit, I discovered that each of the island’s resorts has a distinctly different personality (that’s the sexy and eclectic ambiance of Matachica Resort & Spa shown at left), so read on for details on four top properties to see which is right for you:

Learning more about the CCJ
British Caribbean Bank Ltd vs Attorney General of Belize By By Kiady Brown Norman Manley Law School Story Created: Nov 9, 2013 at 7:58 PM ECT Story Updated: Nov 9, 2013 at 7:58 PM ECT The case of British Caribbean Bank Ltd vs Attorney General of Belize arose out of a decision to nationalise the telecommunications industry in Belize. In 2009 the Government took over Belize Telemedia Ltd (“Telemedia”) and in 2011 it passed legislation to acquire the loan and mortgage owed by Telemedia to a Turks and Caicos company - British Caribbean Bank Ltd (“BCB”). In response, BCB challenged the acquisition legislation in the Belizean courts, arguing that it violated the Constitution. BCB also started foreign arbitration proceedings, relying on an investment treaty between the governments of Belize and the United Kingdom. The treaty provided for the use of foreign arbitration to settle disputes between the Government of Belize and English companies. The government obtained from a Belize judge an injunction to stop the arbitration on the basis that it was unfair for BCB to pursue both arbitration and Belizean court proceedings.

Leaders in self-denial as Caribbean economic crisis worsens
ST LUCIA'S Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony says that there is a grave economic crisis gnawing away at Caribbean countries and "governments are busy looking inward — each busy with their own agenda rather than pursuing a Caribbean solution to the economic crisis". Not for the first time Dr Anthony has dared to tread where many other Caribbean leaders have shied away. Describing it as a "tragedy of the times", he charged that governments are "engaged in one form or another of self-denial" while the Caribbean is "in the throes of a major crisis like it has never ever experienced before". Dr Anthony did not say something not previously said by regional commentators, foreign aid agencies and multilateral institutions. But now it has come from a prime minister who was previously legal counsel to the Secretariat of the 15-nation Caribbean Community and Common Market (Caricom) and, earlier, a lecturer at the University of the West Indies deeply immersed in the many challenges and limited prospects of small states.

November 9, 2013


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The San Pedro Sun

Caye Kids Have Close Encounters of the Shark Kind!
Students from three different schools on Ambergris Caye were fortunate to be selected to be a part of the Kids Meet Shark Program. Spearheaded by Dr. Rachel Graham, Director of the Caribbean and Gulf Rays and Shark Program of the Wild Life Conservation Society, the program aims to build awareness and appreciation for sharks and rays as well as the important role the sea creatures play in the marine ecosystem. Approximately 75 students from Ambergris Caye Elementary School, La Isla Bonita Elementary School and The Island Academy participated in the expedition over the course of two days. The participants all had a wonderful experience and for some, their view on sharks and rays has taken a new perspective. Two such students are Kemre Rippon and Tahryneh Pott, both from The Island Academy.

Francis Fonseca tells PM Barrow to “deal with the rot” in his administration
Belize’s Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca called on Prime Minister Dean Barrow to “deal with the rot” within his administration during a special sitting of the House of Representative on Friday November 1st in Belmopan City. The meeting was geared to present three significant pieces of legislation; the Immigration Amendment Bill, the Belize Nationality Amendment Bill and the Passport Amendment Bill. The House meeting also saw Belizeans, mobilized by the People’s United Party (PUP) protesting against the scandals that have been plaguing the current administration. Combined, the three bills seek to tighten up on nationality requirements, establish documentation integrity, increase independent oversight by involving a securitizing committee and impose stiff penalties for those who violate the law – including ministers. In presenting the bills for first reading, Prime Minister Barrow indicated that a key part of the oversight body is the social partners, including the Belize Council of Churches, the Trade Unions and the Belize Chamber of Commerce. “The role of the social partners will be to assist in the vetting process and ultimately if the Minister proceeds to granting of nationalities in circumstances where the committee has said ‘we don’t think things are in order’ then the social partners act as whistleblowers. They alert the public to the fact that something is awry, but they cannot take over the role of the minister,” explained Barrow.

Gabourel & Santos to represent Belize in 2014 Commonwealth Games
Local triathlon star athletes, Kent “Bob” Gabourel and Jordan Santos will be travelling to Glasgow, Scotland to represent Belize in the upcoming 2014 Commonwealth Games. The Games will be held from July 23rd to August 3rd, 2014, with over 70 countries participating. In an interview with The San Pedro Sun, Gabourel expressed his thoughts and excitement on the games. “This is an honor for me. I have always wanted to represent my country at an international level, but I never thought that it would be in this discipline, triathlon. I intend to dedicate much of my time to prepare for the Commonwealth Games in order to do the best I can for my country. In order to prepare for this event we need the full support for the community and the country on a whole,” said Gabourel.“I aim to be a positive role model for all youth interested in athletics in whatever discipline it may be. I encourage all those interested in sports to pursue their dreams, because dreams do come true,” said Gabourel. Santos is the youngest athlete to represent Belize at an international level, and he is even working on qualifying for the Youth Olympics Games.

Ambergris Today

FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca Cola Comes To Belize
For the 2014 FIFA World Cup™, Coca­-Cola is creating the world’s most inclusive, participatory experiential event ever. The FIFA World Cup™ Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola will give more than one million people across the world the chance to experience the FIFA World Trophy™ in their own communities. And this year Belize is included. The FIFA World Cup™ Trophy arrived in Belize City on, Thursday, November 7, 2013. Local Coca-Cola bottler Bowen & Bowen Limited planned an unforgettable day for Belizean football fans inclusive of the rare opportunity of an up close view of the one-of-a-kind, solid gold trophy, specially produced paraphernalia and photo opportunities. This is the largest and longest global tour of the FIFA World Cup™ Trophy. Visiting more countries than ever during its nine month journey, the FIFA World Cup™ Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola will be the first ever pan-Latin America tour, with events scheduled in 39 countries across the region.

Miss Earth Belize 2013 Off To The Philippines
On August 24th, 2013, 21 year old Miss Amber Reneé Rivero was crowned with the official title of Miss Earth Belize; and, on this coming Saturday, November 9th, Amber will depart the country for the first leg of her journey as the formal Environmental Ambassador of Belize. En route to Manila, Philippines, Miss Rivero leaves Belize and heads to Miami, Florida, for a few days where she will undergo final training for the pageant. The journey continues on the 14th of November when she leaves Miami for Manila. Upon arriving in the Philippines, Miss Rivero will participate in a number of preliminary competitions before the date of the actual pageant, which includes a swimsuit and a costume competition. In lieu of the actual Miss Earth International theme “International Year of Water Cooperation”, Miss Rivero will model a costume depicting one of the greatest features of the Earth, The Belize Blue Hole. Furthermore, for the first time, this year Belize will take part in the Miss Earth International Talent Competition. Amber intends to wow the judges with a rendition of a piece on the violin called ‘Romanza’, which was composed by our very own Governor General of Belize, Sir Colville Young.

Madisco holds Annual Food Show in San Pedro
The showroom was filled with all lines of products and guests could once again sample from cheese, salsas, pastas, coffee, guacamole, seafood and meat products from Reinland Steaks and Premium Meats, Orange Walk, Belize and wines from the Beverage Division of Karl H. Menzies and much more. There were plenty of wine and product basket give-aways during the evening and everybody present seemed to be impressed with the products that were showcased. Anyone wishing to purchase any of these products for his store or restaurant can do so by contacting any MADISCO branch. MADISCO’s office in San Pedro Branch is located on Coconut Drive in the Island Galleria building across the R.C. School; email: [email protected]

Misc Belizean Sources

Last month Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow admitted to members of the Belizean Diaspora in Los Angeles and we quote. “I believe that the Lands Department unfortunately is another hotbed of corruption. The administration has tried to do something about the officers (who facilitate these deals) through dishonesty, rather than incompetence…perhaps in some instances, it is a combination of both”. In Part II of this story, while the Prime Minister announced to the Belizean Diaspora in Los Angeles last month, that Lands is another “hotbed” of corruption, an elaborate and organized scheme to constitutionally deprive owners of their private lands has been ongoing since 2011. The Corozal Daily has been following this story since and has unearthed an elaborate scheme involving dealers and facilitators in and out of the Lands Department. The scheme can affect any landowner in Belize but more so, it seems to be targeting landowners of prime land who mostly reside outside of Belize. Should the scheme affect your land, you will need to spend tens of thousands of dollars in attorney fees to claim your property back with absolutely NO restitution from the Government of Belize. To paraphrase the Prime Minister whether willfully or just incompetent, these public officers causing these land problems, cannot be taken to court by the Government nor can they be fired just “like that” as they are protected under our Belize laws. One way of ensuring your land is not affected is to make regular physical checks on your land and call the lands department if you find anything suspicious and if you don’t live in Belize and you own land here just have someone you trust to make these frequent checks for you. So, exercise caution…and as we say in the business “caveat emptor”. Every land owner in Belize must read Part II of this article.

Ya'axche Conservation Trust 2012 Biodiversity Synthesis Report
Ya'axche has been monitoring Toledo actively since 2006. This is their annual biodiversity report, just released November 6, 2013.

Joint Letter from BCCI & NTUCB to Clerk of National Assembly
Here is a copy of a Joint letter from BCCI and NTUCB sent to the Clerk of National Assembly congratulating the Government of Belize on its efforts to restructure the composition of the PAC. Responses to the proposals dated 29th October and relayed to the Clerk of the House are also presented in this letter.

Kay Menzies's Speech at 1st Belize City Council Business Mixer
Ms. Kay Menzies was the keynote speaker at the first ever Belize City Council Business Mixer under the theme: Creating Connections…Building the City…Together! Here is a a copy of her speech.

Flash Flood in Barton Creek (Ella Baron) (6 photos)
This is from today- this is the second flash flood in this area within the last 2 weeks- everybody here is safe though- all moved to higher areas. Water rose 5-6 feet and so within 2 hours. It is is waist high caused by the steady rain.

Hawksworth Bridge goes both ways
The historic Hawksworth Bridge spanning the Macal River in San Ignacio/Santa Elena was pressed into a two-way bridge on Friday after rising water levels on the Macal inundated the low-lying wooden bridge.

Iguana Creek Bridge Flooding
The situation at 12:30 pm on Friday, November 8, 2013. Water has started to come over the deck of the Iguana Creek Bridge in the Cayo district. More.

The 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. Proposals are now being considered for the 2013-14 financial year. Interested persons can submit an official DAP Application form along with a detailed budget to Steffan Bryce, DAP Coordinator, via e-mail at [email protected]

Noche de Cuenta Cuentos
The Benque House of Culture had their Noche de Cuenta Cuentos. "Many of our community members shared their frightening experiences when they encountered many creatures, 'La Ixtabai', 'EL Duende'... Thank you all for making our Finados 2013 a very excited and educational and most for keeping it alive."

Mary Open Doors Toy Drive
Mary Open Doors is having another Toy Drive. Please drop off your toys by December 20th so they can be distributed on the 21st. There are drop boxes all over Cayo. Thanks, MOD, for helping out the kids that need it most. "Drop off boxes are on Bismilah's store, Galen University Central farm, St Ignatius High School, Telemedia San Ignacio, Hodes Place, San Ignacio Town Board"

Exodus Toys for Tots Raffle
Exodus Travel is raffling off a round trip ticket to any destination in the United States on United Airlines for their Toys for Tots campaign. You get a chance when you buy a round trip ticket during November. They are also selling chances for $1.00. Thanks, Exodus, for supporting such a great cause. "United Airlines 'Toys for Tots' Grand Raffle. One round trip(valid for 1 yr.) to any US destination. For any round trip purchased within the Month of November at Exodus International you get an entry ticket."

Rotary Fundraising Dinner
The Rotary Club of San Ignacio is having their 'Educate our Youth' dinner and live auction tonight to raise money for the 25 scholarships they provide to the needy children of Cayo. There will be a live auction along with some great food, including tortilla soup, coconut shrimp, lobster and beef kabobs, and chimichangas, which will be served by the SHJC Food and Beverage students. Thanks, Rotary, for making great things happen in Cayo.

Add!ction Grand Opening
Add!ction will have its grand opening today. Gabriela Barrera's new clothing store is ready, and you can find it at 24 West street, next to The Pharmacy. With Gabriela's creative mind, you'll definitely find something you love there.

Profitable Developments, Inc. (PRDL), a Property Development Company, announced that it has signed a letter of intent to acquire a quantity of land parcels in Belize on land that is adjacent to the Caribbean sea. Located just a minute from the Caribbean Sea, The Palms at Corozal is a development site in the fast growing Corozal district of Belize. The community currently caters for life style buyers looking for a great home as well as ‘early day’ investors looking for excellent returns. Belize is tipped to be the next big ticket in the Caribbean and, with prices starting to make the move upwards, Profitable Developments believes itself to be in at just the right time. The Palms offers real estate in a prime Caribbean location. The development site is well progressed with road-access and power already in place as the development Company seeks to turn this area into another highly desirable location in the Caribbean. Demand for land parcels in this area has been very high, as the area is already extremely popular with Americans.

FIFA World Cup Trophy at
Governor General of Belize, Sir Colville Young holding the FIFA World Cup Trophy at last night's FIFA Gala

A message from Lilly, Iain and Joana:
"My beloved French mother 'Micheline Nayard' who was 74 years of age came to Belize in 2006 to live with us when she was diagnosed with cancer. We did all we could for this previously very independent lady; modifying our lives to adapt to this terrible illness. With the help of holistic medicines provided by Mr. Peter Singfield, commonly known as the 'snake man' from Corozal, and later a mastectomy (surgical removal of the breast) performed by Dr. Byron Simons in Orange Walk in 2007, her cancer was successfully in remission. Since that time she has lived peacefully and happily in Belize, Corozal - a country that she loved - among her local neighbours who she appreciated and befriended. This came to a head when a third stroke occurred on the 15th October in Ranchito. We so deeply miss her joie-de-vivre, strength and her belief in the good."

Channel 5

Michael Silva charged with the murder of Maritza Santos
On his return to Belize on Thursday, Michael Joseph Silva was charged for the murder of Maritza Janet Santos, which occurred two years ago in San Ignacio. Police were called [...]

Mother accused of killing three of her four children appears in court
The woman accused of killing her three children on April twenty-seventh, 2013, appeared in Belize City Magistrate’s Court today for a preliminary inquiry into the matter. Twenty-two year old Felicia [...]

FECTAB calls fiery press conference
The Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize, FECTAB, called a press conference this morning; the association lived up to its reputation bringing down brimstone and fire. Led by president [...]

Greenwood warns FSTV of total shutdown
In light of the recent decision taken by the management of the Fort Street Tourism Village, president of the federation Tom Greenwood issued a stern warning that should there be [...]

Greenwood finally brings his sons abuse by TPU to light
During the hour-long event an allegation was also made against an officer attached to the Tourism Police Unit, who reportedly manhandled Greenwood’s son a year ago. The matter is just [...]

Introducing the Baby Jaguars!
The Football Federation of Belize showed off its new team that will be competing in the upcoming regional Central American under sixteen tournament, this morning at the Biltmore Plaza. The [...]

Social partners satisfied after majority of their recommendations were accepted
The social partners are tonight expressing satisfaction that the majority of their recommendations were accepted to restructure the Public Accounts Committee, including a change to the working group.  Those suggestions [...]

Channing Garoy remanded after pulling a gun at a party
A Belize City man is behind bars tonight after he was accused of pulling a gun while at a party. Twenty-five year old Channing Garoy, a resident and Construction Worker [...]

Kevin Jex remanded to prison
Tonight, Kevin Anthony Jex is on remand after he was arraigned on charges of attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. According to reports, on November [...]

Father and two sons released on bail
Also in the courts a father and his two sons, remanded to prison on a charge of kept ammunition without a gun license, were released on bail of eight thousand [...]

Police loses one of their own
The police are mourning one of their own.  Shortly after two this morning corporal Timothy Card, began complaining of excruciating chest pain. Card was on duty at the prime minister’s [...]

Mother fears the worst for her teenage son
A family in Dangriga is desperately searching for seventeen year old Hansel Garcia, who disappeared without a trace three weeks ago. The young man left his residence in the company [...]

Kettle Appeal marks the beginning of the Christmas season
In Belize, Christmas time is always defined at its start by an annual invitation to those who have a little more to give generously to those with a little less. [...]


Two Students of Bishop Martin High School Bestowed National Youth Award
Several exemplary students from across Belize were recognized yesterdayby the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth at the Annual National Youth Awards held at the Bliss Institute for the Performing Arts in Belize City. The awards were to acknowledge those students who take on an active role in social development among their peers and community. Today we spoke to two of those outstanding student’s from the Orange Walk District who were among those awarded last night. They are no other than Luis Aguilar and Giovanni Wiltshire from Bishop Martin High School. Luis Aguilar- National Youth Award Winner “I win this award for second place for youth in media because to help promote things in music and in the media too.”

Howler Monkey Relocated To Safer Area
On March 5th 2013, students from the Belize High School of Agriculture in San Lazaro Village were accused of capturing and brutally beating a defenseless Black Howler Monkey allegedly after receiving orders from one of their teachers to commit the senseless act. While that incident outraged conservationist and Orange Walk resident’s, news tonight is that another monkey was sighted perched on a tree in a residential area in the Village of Yo Creek. While doing work the in the village yesterday, our Internet line men were called to the area where a full grown Howler Monkey was seen atop this coconut tree. These are the images that they captured. We contacted the Forest Department in Orange Walk and we are happy to report that a team has been dispatched to the area to capture and relocate the animal to a more secure location.

Micheal Silva Hands Himself Over to Police, He Is Charged For Murder
Micheal Silva, accused of the murder of his girlfriend Maritza Santos handed himself over to San Ignacio Police this morning in the company of his father, former PUP Minister Dan Silva. The now 30 year old was arrested and charged with the Murder of Santos and arraigned at the San Ignacio Magistrate Court. His case was adjourned until the 23rd January, 2014. On Friday 23rd September 2011, about 7:10pm, San Ignacio Police visited the residence of Silva where they found the motionless body of Santos lying in a face up position on a bed in one of the bedrooms covered with a sheet and a pillow over her face. At the time police observed that she had a large cut wound to the right side of her head. Inside the said house in the kitchen area police found a quart of paraquat 20SC herbicide along with several cups containing green liquid suspected to be herbicide.

Coveted World Cup Trophy Arrives In Belize
Over 200 countries compete for the most wanted trophy in the world and today that trophy made a historic stop for the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca Cola which was officially launched in September of this year, in our beautiful country for an entire day. Belize is one of the countries that were selected with 89 other countries to host the grand FIFA World Cup trophy. Reporter Victor Castillo and Jesus Melgar were among other media houses at the PGIA waiting for the arrival of the much anticipated trophy. world_cupVictor Castillo - Reporting Today, Belize was one of 52 countries which hosted the FIFA World Cup trophy, in a tour to popularize the next World Cup slated for Brazil in 2014. Shortly after 10 this morning the excitement grew as the private Coca Cola airplane landed at the Philip Goldson International Airport that contained the iconic 18 k gold cup; football’s most coveted prize. As officials and the prestigious trophy made its way into the VIP Lounge for a short Press Conference all cameras were focused on the trophy that remained unrevealed at the beginning of the conference.

Abbas Khan Is Caught In Mexico
Thirty year old Abbas Khan, the naturalized Belizean businessman of number #18 3rd Street Corozal Town, who absconded from Orange Walk Police around 2:15 on Monday March 4th 2013, is tonight behind bars once again. CTV3 News has been able to confirm that late yesterday evening Mexican authorities handed Khan over to Corozal Police. The 38 year old appeared before the Corozal Magistrate Court this afternoon where he was charged for escape and withholding of passports. Khan was remanded to the Kolbe Correctional Facility and is scheduled to reappear in court on January 9th 2013. Viewers might recall that on Sunday March 3rd 2013, Belmopan Police picked up Abbas Khan from the Orange Walk Police Station where he was being held for a commitment warrant issued for money he owned. He was scheduled to appear before the Belize City Supreme Court for the commitment warrant on Monday March 4th.

Murder Charge Against Eric Gonzales Reduced To Manslaughter
The case against Eric Gonzales ended yesterday at the Northern Session of the Supreme Court after a jury of 12 found him not guilty of the Murder of Daniel Soto. Instead, the jury convicted Gonzalez of a lesser charge of manslaughter after they were unable to unanimously agree on the murder charge despite hours of deliberation. With the verdict handed down Justice Herbert Lord set sentencing for November 21st 2013. While the Crown was represented by Councils SabitaMaharaj and Linsbert Willis, Gonzales was represented by Senior Counsel Simeon Sampson. As previously mentioned on the 26thof February 2009, Eric Gonzales and Daniel Soto were hanging out on Mangal Street in the Louisiana Area when an argument ensued between them.


Changes for Belizeans Crossing Into Mexican Territory
Belizeans who like to frequent neighboring Chetumal Quintana Roo will see some changes this weekend. Reporter Arturo Cantun has the story. ARTURO CANTUN “Belizeans visiting Chetumal and other nearby Mexican city or town are being asked to process a new Mexican border crossing card. Some years ago, the Mexican Immigration Ministry requested frequent Belizeans and Guatemalans visitors to Mexico to acquire a FMVL card. This card, which allowed travelling within the Border States, is being replaced since November 2012 by the new card, Tarjeta de Visitante Regional. The problem is that no announcement was made by the Mexican Immigration Authority when the old cards started to be replaced, until recently. That is because effective November 9, 2013, that is this coming Saturday, the old card, FMVL, will no longer be valid and Belizeans will only be able to cross the border using either the new card or a passport. Interestingly, Belizeans who have managed to replace their old card with a new one say that they were charged $295 pesos, roughly $50 Belize dollars. Our investigation shows that according to article 8 of the Mexican Regional Visitors law, $295 pesos should only be charged to someone who is receiving a Mexican border crossing card for the first time and not someone who already owns a FMVL and seeks to replace it with the new card. The same law says that from November 9 2012 to November 8 2013 all FMVL holders should have changed their card for a new one without charge. According to frequent Belizean visitors to Mexico the problem is that no notice was given until a month ago. This has resulted in a high number of applications for the new card.

Police News: Arson & Missing Person
Belmopan Police are looking for two men for question in relation to a reported arson. According to police, a 59 year old farmer of Lamanai Street, Belmopan City reported that sometime after 6:00am on November 7th he received a phone call from his foreman who informed him that his house located at miles 39 on the Hummingbird Highway was on fire. The wooden house valued at twenty thousand seven hundred dollars was completely destroyed by fire. Police are looking for two men for questioning. Dangriga police has issued a missing person report for 17 year old Hansel Garcia According to Dangriga Police, Indira Martinez of Wagierale Area, Dangriga reported that she has not seen her son since September 30th of this year. Martinez says that her 17 year old was last seen wearing blue short dickies pants. Garcia is of dark complexion about 5 foot 6 inches in height, brown eyes, short hairt, slim built and is about 138 lbs. Garcia also has a tattoo marked “MOM” on his inner arm. If anyone knows the whereabouts of 17 year old Hansel Garcia are asked to contact the nearest police station of call 911.

Belize and Kazakhstan Develop Diplomatic Relations
The Governments of Belize and the Republic of Kazakhstan have established diplomatic relations at the Ambassadorial level. Yesterday the signing ceremony took place in Washington D.C and signing on behalf of the Government of Belize was Ambassador of Belize to the USA, Nestor Mendez. The Republic of Kazakhstan was represented by its Ambassador to the United States of America, Kairat Umarov. Ambassador Mendez says this new establishment of diplomatic relations with the Republic of Kazakhstan is consistent with the Government of Belize’s foreign policy objective of expanding its diplomatic reach and forging ties with non-traditional partners and emerging nations. Both Ambassador Mendez and Umarov reiterated their commitment to strengthening the ties between their two nations by identifying potential areas of cooperation.

FIFA Trophy Leaves Belize For Israel
Yesterday Belize formed part of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour. The solid gold cup arrived at the Phillip Goldson International Airport in the morning and in the afternoon it was on display for two hours at the Radisson Hotel where football fans got the rare opportunity to pose for a picture alongside the trophy. And in the night, a gala was held at the Radisson where the Governor General of Belize Sir Colville Young, as the Head of State, was allowed to hold the trophy. Guest speakers at last night’s gala were CEO and President, Bowen and Bowen Ltd, Michael Bowen, Acting Ambassador of Brazil to Belize, Acting Ambassador of Brazil to Belize, FIFA Representative, Pekka Odriozola, the Operations Director for Coca Cola in the Caribbean, Hector Mantilini along with Master of Ceremonies, Ruben Morales Iglesias. RUBEN MORALES IGLESIAS “Those of you who are here notice how very careful these guys are, tight security as well, touching it only with gloves and the only person that’s normally allowed as far as I understand it, in every country to touch the FIFA world cup trophy is the head of state. So tonight we invite the Governor General for the unveiling of the World Cup trophy.”

Jex Goes From Public Drinking to Attempted Murder
Yesterday 38 year old Kevin “Pizzza” Jex, a salesman of Gabourel Lane, appeared in court a pled guilty to a charge of public drinking for which he was fined twenty five dollars. Jex returned to court today but this time it was for a serious matter. Jex was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on charges of attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. No plea was taken because the offences are indictable. Neither could the court offer him bail because of the nature of the offences. He was remanded into custody until January 7, 2014. The charges against Jex arose from an incident on Tuesday night, November 5 in which Desmond Villa, a security guard, was struck on his head with a piece of stick and rendered unconscious. Villa is reported to be in a coma at Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The incident occurred near to City Hall on North Front Street.

New Commanding Officer for Orange Walk Police Has Plans To Make Community Safer
Since the end of June the Command of the Orange Walk Police Formation has been undertaken by Superintendent of Police Dennis Arnold. We caught up with Arnold while at the scene of a burglary in Orange Walk Town who told us how he plans to make the district safer. SUPERINTENDENT DENNIS ARNOLD “Mr. Myvette had done a fantastic job in Orange Walk and I believe that the cooperation that the people were giving Mr. Myvette, I will be able to have the same cooperation from members of the public. We have people in San Jose, Palmar, very excellent neighbor watch group; they conduct their own patrol and sometimes we have police officers go out there and patrol with them at night. I would like to see that transfer to other areas in Orange Walk, to have neighborhood watch groups in the entire Orange Walk Town and the rest of the villages. The most prevalent crime is theft and burglary; we have already started our burglary patrol, the officers patrol the entire night and it has slowed the burglary down a bit.” At the end of last month, John Saldivar, acting as a member of the Public Accounts Committee met with social partners after the UDP style structure of the committee was highly criticized and described as a charade. During that meeting, Saldivar presented a proposal to the social partners, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize. While the details of that proposal were not made public, the BCCI and the NTUCB today sent out a release in which it says that cannot agree fully with the changed composition and propose instead a nine-member PAC, comprised of four Government Members, two Opposition Members and all three Social Partner Members. In this proposed composition, the government still retains the majority amongst the individual groupings while the Opposition retains Chairmanship. Both the BCCI and the NTUCB feel that merely adding the three Social Partner Senators will save a certain degree of expense. The BCCI and NTUCB proposes that Government and Opposition representatives be permitted to have an alternate who can sit on the PAC in the event a member must recuse himself due to conflict of interest pertaining to matters discussed. The NTUCB and BCCI explains that the appropriate composition of PAC is of paramount importance that both the Control of Public Expenditure and the Standing Orders relevant to the PAC be redrafted to include whatever changes are ultimately agreed.

Social Partners Propose New Composition of Public Accounts Committee
At the end of last month, John Saldivar, acting as a member of the Public Accounts Committee met with social partners after the UDP style structure of the committee was highly criticized and described as a charade. During that meeting, Saldivar presented a proposal to the social partners, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize. While the details of that proposal were not made public, the BCCI and the NTUCB today sent out a release in which it says that cannot agree fully with the changed composition and propose instead a nine-member PAC, comprised of four Government Members, two Opposition Members and all three Social Partner Members. In this proposed composition, the government still retains the majority amongst the individual groupings while the Opposition retains Chairmanship. Both the BCCI and the NTUCB feel that merely adding the three Social Partner Senators will save a certain degree of expense. The BCCI and NTUCB proposes that Government and Opposition representatives be permitted to have an alternate who can sit on the PAC in the event a member must recuse himself due to conflict of interest pertaining to matters discussed. The NTUCB and BCCI explains that the appropriate composition of PAC is of paramount importance that both the Control of Public Expenditure and the Standing Orders relevant to the PAC be redrafted to include whatever changes are ultimately agreed.

Chinese Businessman Goes to Court For Stolen Onions
Chinese businessman Fui Tang, charged with handling stolen goods for five sacks of onion, was fined three hundred dollars today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, after he pled guilty to the charge. Tang was ordered to pay the fine forthwith, in default two months imprisonment. Tang paid the fine and he was released. Fruit and vegetable vendor Enrique Herrera reported to the police that at about 6 p.m. on November 5, he locked his stall and when he returned he noticed that five sacks of onion and some other items were missing. The police investigated and on Thursday, November 7, they visited Tang’s residence on Freetown Road and Tang handed over to them five sacks of onion which he said he bought from a man. As a result, Tang was arrested and charged with handling stolen goods.


Controversy over validity of Senate vote
Late Wednesday evening, the Senate voted on a motion to appoint a Special Select Committee to conduct an inquiry into the issuance of nationality, visas and passports at the Ministry of Immigration. The Opposition representatives: Senators Lisa Shoman, Karen Bodden, and Collet Montejo voted in favor of a senate-led...

Minister Godwin Hulse maintains there’s no attempt to cover-up wrongdoing within the Ministry of Immigration
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past month, you ought to be quite familiar with the Passport/Nationality outrage involving former Minister of State, Elvin Penner. But should you have missed just the slightest detail in the unraveling of this scandal, we’ll give you a play-by-play recap....

Politician’s son charged for murder of girlfriend
On September 23, 2011, over two years ago, a 19 year old was found murdered in her boyfriend’s home. The 19 year old Maritza Santos was found with a large cut wound to the right side of her forehead and a pillow was found covering her face, usually considered...

Land fraud allegations on Ambergris Caye
There are allegations of land fraud that coming from Ambergris Caye. Louis Wade reports: In September of 2011, San Pedro Sun broke the story of a land scandal within the San Pedro Town Council. The matter surrounded a beach front property situated in the Mata Grande area. Allegations were...

World Cup Trophy is in Belize
World soft drink giants Coca-Cola are currently marking the run-up to next year’s FIFA World Cup football final in Brazil by taking the trophy the 32 teams will be playing for around the world. On Thursday it stopped in Belize and it got quite a welcoming committee. FIFA representative...

Union representatives discuss Nationality Scrutinizing Committee on Rise and Shine
Last week Friday, Prime Minister, the Hon. Dean Barrow revealed Government’s intention to set up a Nationality Scrutinizing Committee to oversee the issuance of nationality certificates. The Committee will be tasked with the responsibility of vetting all applications for citizenship by registration and advising the Minister on qualification and...

Citco teaches BTL Park vendors important facets of business
With exactly one month remaining to the opening of the renovated BTL Park on the Newtown Barracks, the race is on to facilitate training for the vendors who will occupy the space. On Thursday the Belize City Council hosted a five-day exercise designed to teach important facets of business...

PM thanks those who prayed for him
On Wednesday, we told you that the PM successfully underwent back surgery to alleviate chronic back pain as a result of three herniated disks on his spine. On Thursday, the Government Press Office released an official statement, noting that the PM’s surgery took two and a half hours and...


Michael Silva, 28, son of Daniel “Dan” Silva, a businessman and former PUP area rep and minister of government, calmly walked into the San Ignacio Police Station and gave himself up yesterday, after being wanted for the murder of his girlfriend since September 2011. Silva, of Kontiki, San Ignacio, was accompanied by his father, who served as Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Cooperatives from 1998 to 2003. Police arrested and charged Michael Silva with one count of murder for the death of Maritza Santos, 19. He was taken to the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court today, Thursday, where he was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until January 23 next year. Police said that at about 10:00 on Thursday night, September 23, 2011, Silva’s girlfriend, Maritza Santos, 19, was found dead in his home in the Kontiki area of San Ignacio. She had been beaten in the head with a blunt object.

On August 24, 2013, 21-year-old Miss Amber Reneé Rivero was crowned Miss Earth Belize, and this coming Saturday, November 9, Amber will depart the country for the first leg of her journey as the formal Environmental Ambassador of Belize. En route to Manila, Philippines, Amber leaves Belize and heads to Miami, Florida, for a few days, where she will undergo final training for the pageant. The journey continues on Thursday, November 14, when she leaves Miami for Manila. Upon arriving in the Philippines, Miss Rivero will participate in a number of preliminary competitions before the date of the actual pageant, which includes a swimsuit and a costume competition. In light of the actual Miss Earth International theme “International Year of Water Cooperation”, Miss Rivero will model a costume depicting one of the greatest features of the Earth, The Belize Blue Hole.

Opposition Senator Lisa Shoman told Amandala today that the People’s United Party (PUP) would go to court if Parliament records Wednesday evening’s vote on the PUP motion for a Special Select Committee investigation into the passport and visa scandal as a 7-6 vote, with the President of the Senate voting to defeat the motion. Shoman contends that under the Belize Constitution, the president of the Senate does not have a casting vote where there is a tie on a matter such as the one raised via the motion. In that motion, the PUP called for the appointment of a 5-member select committee, made up of a member from the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP), a member from the Opposition PUP, and three other members from among the social partners – one each from the private sector, unions and churches. The motion called on the senate “to investigate and inquire into all policies, procedures and the issuance of nationality certificates, passports and visas in the Ministry of Immigration and Nationality and to investigate any and all irregularities and improprieties, as well as any and all mismanagement or corruption in the issuance of nationality certificates, passports and visas.”

LUCAS MAGNUS OWES $29,000,000!
Belizean businessman and long time PUP crony, Luke Espat, is faced with a monumental $29 million judgment handed down recently by Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel, who ruled in favor of the Belize Bank Limited, a Lord Michael Ashcroft affiliate, in a claim to collect what the bank claims is outstanding debt from Espat. These were loans he had received for various commercial enterprises, among them the popular Crocland, Reptiles Breeders Limited, Indeco, and Ready Mix Concrete. Espat’s attorney, Said Musa, told Amandala today that he is in the process of preparing an appeal for his client. Espat’s defense was that the Belize Bank had made material misrepresentations when they induced him to sign a personal guarantee for the companies. According to his attorney, Espat had been assured that the Belize Bank needed the document as a formality to satisfy the Central Bank that they were doing everything possible to collect on the debt.

Michael Coye, Sr., 66, of Johnson Street in Belize City, who along with his daughter Melonie was sentenced to three years in prison after being convicted of money laundering, was granted bail on Thursday last week after spending 15 months of a 36-month prison sentence in jail. Within five days of his release, however, Coye, a diabetic, died of a massive heart attack at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) at about 10:30 Tuesday night, while surrounded by his family. Michael Coye, Jr., Coye’s son, told Amandala that his father had begun to complain of not being able to breath properly sometime about 8:30 Tuesday night. He was then taken to the KHMH, where his discomforts were eased. Coye then called his wife and told her to hug him, and after hugging her, told her to pray for him, and that he was in good hands, related his son, Michael. He then died. Doctors rushed to try to resuscitate him, but the huge efforts to bring him back were fruitless.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), an agency of the United Nations, along with the European Union (EU), today launched a joint initiative in Belize which they say seeks to end all forms of violence against children. The campaign raised the controversial issue of corporal punishment in the home, school and wider community, and UNICEF takes the view that corporal punishment is an unacceptable practice – an act of violence, they say, which violates children’s rights. Belize has already banned corporal punishment in schools, but Amandala understands that the Government of Belize has so far pushed back any notion of promulgating a blanket law which will do away with all forms of corporal punishment. Today, though, UNICEF launched a new lobby at the Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry Conference Room, through which it is urging all citizens, lawmakers and governments to take necessary actions to end violence against children.

KREM’S 24TH Editorial
Different thing Whole lotta people say it’s the singer, not the song, but I say no, it’s the song, not the singer. There are universal truths, timeless truths of which the song is an echo. The singer is but a changing victim of God’s eternal urge to create, by means of love. It’s the love, not the lover, can you dig it, dig it, it’s the truth. It’s the people, not the person, do you know what I’m saying is different, it’s the song and not the singer.

“No wonder the wisest men of Western Civilization have always proposed modesty of dress, especially for women.” - Paul Rodriguez on pg. 14 of Amandala of Wednesday, October 30, 2013 “No, Mr. Rodriguez, it is the most UNCIVILIZED men of the world who propose ‘modesty of dress’ for women. Civilized men are in full control of their faculties and urges and feel no need to overpower, control, or exert power over anyone, including women.” - Wendy Auxillou on pg. 14 of Amandala of Wednesday, November 6, 2013 I have read that most female rape victims are acquainted with their attackers. From a distance we tend to think that most rapes involve a vile male who is a total stranger using force to violate a vulnerable lady in the darkness. But my readings say that the rapist and his victim have usually had some kind of social contact.

In the courtroom of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin this morning, Senior Counsel Michael Young said that the Belize Social Security Board (SSB) should be paid ASAP the $15,141,739 which the court had ordered Sunshine Holdings to pay the SSB back in 2011, to compensate for its default on a $10 million loan which it had acquired from the Social Security Board to purchase BTL shares. Dean Boyce, the lead director/trustee for Sunshine Holdings Limited – whose shares the Barrow administration acquired with the nationalization of Belize Telemedia Limited in 2009 – has asked the court for a stay on the court’s order for the payment of the debt. Sunshine/Boyce is being represented in court by Lord Peter Goldsmith. Sunshine has indicated that the settlement of the debt should be stayed pending an imminent judgment by the Court of Appeal on the BTL nationalization, as well as hearings anticipated at the Caribbean Court of Justice.

To Each His Own Every nation has its own character, its own culture and its own traditions. They are what distinguish them from other nations. They also have their own instruments which express their ideals, aspirations, structures and institutions which determine how the nation will be governed and the rights and freedoms of citizens and their duties and obligations. This is called the Constitution. You could say that the heart and soul of a nation is contained in its Constitution. This very heart and soul became subject to question last week when its highest public servant in the Department of Human Development, Ms. Judith Alpuche, appeared before the Universal Periodic Review, held in Geneva, Switzerland, to update the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights on the Belize question of decriminalizing same-sex intercourse.

Harrison Meheia Joseph, A.K.A. “Plum Jaw,” was based on the North Side of Belize in the neighborhood bordered by North Front, Queen and Victoria Streets. It was at a time when the North Side of Belize City had a rough reputation. During his youth Plum Jaw and his street smart acquaintances such as Ebo, Scully, Cupi-D, Tapered, Burly, and Beris, A.K.A. “Hustler,” all from the North Side, frequented the vicinity around the Riverside Hall at the intersection of Victoria and North Front Streets. I got to know these fellows after the devastation wrought by the 1961 Hurricane Hattie through our mutual devotion to the sport of football. As youth we regularly encountered each other at practice sessions and matches staged at the Old Barracks, the present location of the Princess Hotel and Casino, or at the M.C.C. Grounds. These young men were all characterized as street operators and you know what street operators are… They do anything to secure their livelihood.

“…the problem with our governance process is the overwhelming importance given to party interest over what is right and just.” - Godwin Hulse It is amazing how our leaders fail to realize that in every way they must be accountable to us the people and that includes facing the media and giving answers. However, it seems we have Houdini’s in the Government, not Ministers of Government, since the two most recent incidents prove that not only passports are disappearing, but even our government officials are doing the disappearing act. So let’s put a microscope on the situation and trace what is going on. And let’s determine if the actions of our Honorable Prime Minister and his Minister of State were right to avoid the media and, by extension, us the people. Tarmac disappearing act So only a few have ever been able to drive on the tarmac and much less to greet an incoming flight, but then again few have so much to hide and avoid. Belize’s Prime Minister, Dean Barrow, had been in the US for more than a week and during that time, as we say in Creole, “hell bruk loose” as more became known about the Penner passport scandal and then the bomb was dropped … a courier of passports named her alleged source and Edmund Castro’s name became recorded as the person she fingered.

… OF TWIGS OF TREE … They say that the child is the father of the man, that is, as the twig is bent so is the tree inclined. At any moment of our life we are composited of all that we have experienced. We are the product of our parental and family training, of educational discipline, of religious indoctrination, and of political and other societal influences. If we were to examine these separates of our whole, we would come to understand our reactions to the various processes that surround us. Such knowledge will help us cope with the present-day mindbenders. Take a tribe of people from the Ivory Coast; mix them with another tribe from Guinea; sprinkle among them a third tribe from Ghana. Shackle them together and transport them 5000 miles in animal conditions to a new environment. Imagine the babble, the terror, and the rage that occur among them. Unable to communicate and sharing no social or other intercourse, the only common focus is the presence of the slavemaster; through his language they must learn to talk with each other.

“With the reality of globalization, which renders our societies borderless, we must harmonize our policies and regulations for the benefit of the Caribbean.” - Senator Audrey Joy Grant – Minister of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities Utility regulators from across the Caribbean are meeting in Belize this week, as a part of a conference to discuss the way forward for the utility sectors in the region. One salient point which emerged from the start of the event is the move for countries to “create one economic space through CARICOM and other Regional blocs,” as Senator Audrey Joy Grant – Minister of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities, noted in her feature address on the occasion of the 11th Annual Conference of The Organisation of Caribbean Utility Regulators (OOCUR), being held inside the Caracol Room of the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City. OOCUR is a non-profit organization established by an agreement dated July 26, 2002 in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Belize’s Public Utilities Commission, which is a member of OOCUR, is hosting the three-day event at which delegates will explore the theme “Challenges to Regulatory Power in Borderless Societies.”

Belizean entertainer Berne Velasquez luckily escaped with his life after his car in which he was travelling erupted in flames. Information to Amandala is that Berne, who was traveling from Corozal Town, pulled over on the roadside, about three miles from the Corozal Border, to which he was heading, to make a phone call. At that point, he saw smoke coming from under the bonnet of his vehicle, and then saw flames. Berne quickly took out what items he could from out of the burning car, and called the fire service, who responded quickly. While Velasquez was able to get out of the vehicle unhurt and the Corozal Fire Service extinguished the flames, the complete front portion of the car, including the engine, the dash board and the front seats, was destroyed. The incident occurred at about 10:30 Saturday morning.

Today could only be described as a bittersweet moment for Melonie Coye after her bail application was granted late this evening via the Court of Appeal in Belize City in view of the passing of her ailing father, who was in prison with her. Coye was allowed to go home with her family after being convicted of money laundering on August 8, 2012. She was jointly charged and sentenced to three years imprisonment for the offense, along with her father, 66-year-old Michael Coye, who unfortunately died of a massive heart attack last night after also receiving bail last Thursday, October 31. Attorney Arthur Saldivar, who made the bail application on behalf of Melanie Coye, told the court that the Crown, who is the complainant, did not object to bail considering that the requirements have been met for a high prospect of appeal; therefore, the defense requested that bail be offered to the applicant. The Crown, which was represented by Tricia Pitts-Thompson, likewise did not oppose the defendant’s application for bail.

The devastated family of Armando Babb, 32, who died in his home on Coney Drive at about 9:45 on Wednesday morning, October 30, has shown Amandala his post-mortem results, which say that Babb died “due to massive heart thrombosis, brain pulmonary edema, and mild compression sheet type over the neck area.” Police had told Amandala that Babb had committed suicide in his bathroom, and even as late as at press time tonight, have stuck to their story. They had said that there were no signs of violence on the body. The post-mortem was conducted on Thursday at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Morgue by Doctor Mario Estrada Bran, Police Coroner.

An 88-year-old woman is currently being treated at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after she suffered massive injuries when the car in which she was travelling with her daughter and son-in-law was hit head-on by a passenger bus. The woman, Joyce Frankson, suffered four broken ribs, two fractured hands, a broken leg and a fractured pelvis. She was rushed to the Belmopan Hospital, after which she was taken to the KHMH for further treatment. The accident occurred at about 3:30 Friday evening at Mile 41 on the George Price Highway in the area of the Beaver Dam Bridge in St. Matthews Village, during the blockage of traffic on one side of the road by the Ministry of Works, which was repairing the road.

A man who was on the run from the United States justice system was captured in Punta Gorda on Friday. Timothy Ray Veasey of Maryland, USA, who was wanted by the US on charges of burglary, was arrested by Punta Gorda police and has been handed over to the US Marshall Service through the Embassy of the United States, who will take him back to his country to face trial. Inspector Arnel Dominguez of the Punta Gorda police told the media that about 11:00 a.m. on Friday, they were on patrol on Alejandro Vernon Street in Punta Gorda, and went to the upper flat of a two-flat building on the northern entrance of that town, where they saw United States national, Timothy Ray Veasey, 49, who had been living in the area for some weeks, and for whom a warrant for arrest had been issued by the US. The officers immediately took him into custody. Afterwards, Veasey was taken to the Belmopan Police headquarters, and from there, to the United States Embassy.

— by Antonia Uh Dear Editor, I write as a student and as a regular commuter to bring to attention a serious issue regarding public transportation that needs to be addressed. For the past four years I have been travelling from Belize City to Orange Walk Town and vice-versa. From my experience, I can express my distress on the situation prevailing when it comes to being dependent on the last bus to reach home. There is no public transportation going north between the hours of 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., thus, forcing me to wait for the last 7:30 p.m. bus, which is normally always overcrowded. Overcrowding is one of the major concerns for the daily commuters. From Monday to Friday commuters are faced with overcrowding, especially in the morning hours and at night. The drivers are careless, since they allow the bus to surpass its passenger capacity, which contributes to the real issue of the transportation problem.

— by Lino Chan Amandala Belize City 6th November, 2013 Dear Editor, There are laws and regulations that state what levels of noise are accepted within certain times of the day. If one has a party at home, if one has a manufacturing business or an entertainment business, one has to have regard to the neighbors and try to reduce the level of noise being produced. Failure to do so could result in cancellation of licenses or even prosecution. There are two churches in my neighborhood. The first one is no problem, but the second one is on the other end of the scale. The second church seems to have freedom of will to make noise at any time of the day. The congregation, of about twenty five members, has church services with a sound system which can be heard all around the neighborhood. There is no place inside my house where I can have some peace. Church services are held daily from about six in the evening to nine or ten in the night. On Saturdays the services go to midnight. On special occasions it has gone all the way to four the next morning.

— by Joseph Alvarez Dear Editor, As I pass by and observe the demolition of the Belize City Center I can’t help but reminisce of some of the great moments I have been a part of, or a witness to, in that building. It is unfortunate to observe the demise of this public facility that should have still been able to serve not only the Belize City community but the entire country. A project of such magnitude which plays an important role in the social fabric of the country in my estimation should have lasted a least another 25 years. This is just another example of the mindset of our leaders and what they really represent – self-interest and party before the needs of the country – what a waste. Nevertheless, my first introduction to the Civic Center was in 1993 coming from Deep South to participate in the second and last Belize Games playing basketball. I was excited, finally getting an opportunity to play in this spanking new state of the art indoor sporting facility. It eventually turned out that the Civic would be where I would continue the rest of my basketball career. I was fortunate to have played with Maca Lamb and Minor Castellanos in an interoffice tournament and winning after they had retired from the Penta Lakers in the early nineties.

She is best known for her exploits in the field of cycling, capturing two of the most coveted championships along the way – the Krem New Year’s Cycling Classic and the Annual Women’s Cross Country Classic; but Kaya Cattouse is also a 3-time National Women Football Champion with the Triple-B’s club of Belmopan. On Friday night, November 1, at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts, Kaya made her debut in the competitive side of a new sport – body building, after only a few months of training. And she took away her first trophy, being the only contestant in the “Bodybuilding” category, after her two competitors withdrew shortly before the contest. Kaya said she plans to continue in the sport, and has her eyes on titles in other categories in the future. The following were some of the winners in the various categories at Friday night’s Belize Body Building and Fitness Federation Championship 2013:

In Belize to conduct a CONCACAF “D” License certification course for Belizean coaches are CONCACAF training officials Leonard Lake and Andre Waugh. The course is being conducted in collaboration with the Football Federation of Belize (FFB), and begins this afternoon, after an opening ceremony at the FFB headquarters in Belmopan, where the course will run until Sunday, November 10. A delegation including CONCACAF Development Officer, Jonathan Martinez; FFB President, Ruperto Vicente; along with CONCACAF Training Officers, Leonard Lake and Andre Waugh, stopped by the zinc fence this morning, before leaving for Belmopan. Thirty participants, including a few active Premier League coaches, have been selected to take the course, namely: Reynaldo Ico; Deris Benavides; Glenford Hines; Sheldon Ramirez; Steven Lourie; Simon Palacios; Wayne Casimiro; Santi Valencia; Ivor Zuniga; Carlos Chavez; Javier Habet; Raul Gamez; Eulalio Coc; Paul Casimiro; Stanley Reneau; Alfonso Acosta; Luis Zetina; Armando Pech; Nilson Cruz; Leslie Flowers; Freddy Tun; Miguel Cawich; Carlos Umana; David Jones; Kent Gabourel; Gregory Cantun; Marvin Ottley; Jose Lara; Hilberto Muschamp; Hilton Garbutt.

Today, for the first time in history, the most valued prize in the world of soccer, and perhaps the world – the renowned FIFA World Cup trophy – is currently in Belize. Shortly after 10:00 this morning, the one-of-a-kind, solid gold trophy arrived at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) onboard a private Coca-Cola flight, in the custodianship of FIFA and CONCACAF officials. The trophy is presently being featured on a customary worldwide tour – known as Coca-Cola’s FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour – that will be leading up to the 2014 World Cup tournament, which is scheduled to be hosted in Brazil. As part of the 2013/2014 trophy tour, which is sponsored each year by Coca-Cola, the prestigious symbol of football supremacy is slated to be taken to 88 countries over a 267-day period. Immediately after the trophy’s arrival, a press conference was held in the VIP Room at the PGIA, and the speakers included a representative from Coca-Cola Global, FIFA and the FFB, as well as Government officials, and Michael Bowen, CEO of Bowen & Bowen Ltd.

After 5 weeks of competition at the MCC Grounds, the top 3 teams in the standings of the SMART 13 & Under Football Tournament are still undefeated, with standings leader Brown Bombers sporting a perfect 5-0 record; while 2nd place City Boys have drawn twice, and 3rd place Ladyville Jaguars have 3 draws so far. At the completion of the 9-week single round-robin, where each team plays 9 games, the top 4 teams will enter a knockout semifinal, with the winners then facing off for the championship. In Week 5’s game 1 on Saturday, November 2, Brown Bombers dropped Belize Elementary, 2-0, with goals from Sherwin Requena and Jovann Ramos. Game 2 saw Rising Stars (from Ladyville) shutting out Young Stars, 3-0, with a goal apiece from Hakeem Smith, Camryn Lozano and Andres Velasquez.

Leroy “The Grand Master” Young, 46, a resident poet of Pinks Alley, was arraigned this morning before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith on forgery charges. According to police, Carlos Walker, owner of JMS Paralegal Services, reported that he was contacted by a representative of Wellworth Store who reported that they were in possession of a Belize Bank cheque dated October 25, 2013, for one hundred dollars from his business that had bounced. Walker, whose house had been burglarized earlier this month, had noticed that the cheque book had gone missing, but was not worried about it since none of the cheque leaves had been signed. Young was represented by attorney Bryan Neal and was read charges of forgery, uttering upon a false document, and being in possession of a false document, charges to which he pleaded not guilty.

The sexual abuse of little girls by men who should be their protectors continues. Police are now seeking the father of a 3-year-old girl of Corozal. About 2:30 yesterday afternoon, the child and her mother, her aunt and a social worker, went to the police and reported that on Sunday, while the child was sleeping in her father’s bed, her father touched her private parts, causing her pain and discomfort. The child was taken to the Corozal Hospital, where she was examined by a doctor, who concluded that the child had been sexually assaulted. Police immediately went to apprehend the father, but he has since absconded from Corozal. His current whereabouts are yet unknown.

After being on the run from the Belize police for about 8 months, Abbas Khan, 38, a Belizean businessman of 3rd Street, Corozal Town, who escaped from the Orange Walk Police Station where he had been detained for the illegal possession of 5 Indian passports, is now back in police custody. Khan was captured in Mexico on the strength of a warrant for his arrest. He was then handed over to Corozal police by the Mexican authorities yesterday, Wednesday. On Saturday, March 2, Khan was being held at the Orange Walk Police Station both due to a warrant for his arrest issued by the Supreme Court for money he owed in Orange Walk, and because he was a person of interest in the police’s ongoing investigation into human trafficking. On that same Saturday, Khan was then taken to his home in Corozal, where police conducted a search. Police said that in his house they found 5 Republic of India passports belonging to Tajinder Singh, Gagandeep Singh, Parminder Singh Baryar, Gurdeep Singh and Surjit Singh.

Diondray McKoy, 21, is a convict tonight after he was found guilty of trying to kill Everald Gray, 29, in June of 2009. During the trial which started on October 30, Gray took the stand and testified that he was at home at 8:30 on the night of June 23, 2009, when he heard someone calling his name. He went to the door and that was when he saw a man wearing a black shirt and a pair of blue pants, who then pulled out a gun that had been wedged under the waist of his pants. Gray said that just as he attempted to turn around and run, he felt a burning sensation and realized he had been shot. Gray told the court that he ran into his room and collapsed, losing consciousness.

Darrington Lauriano, 27, and a female minor, 15, were charged with burglary when they appeared in court today. According to a report made to police by Stanley Moody, between 6:45 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on October 31, his apartment was burglarized and the thieves made off with his gold wristwatch valued at $60,000, his Seiko brand wristwatch valued at $4,000, his licensed .38 revolver, and other valuables totaling over $80,000 in value. No pleas were taken from the two because it was not determined whether the matter would be tried at the Magistrate or Supreme Court level. They were both offered bail of $10,000, which neither of them was able to meet, and so they were remanded to the Belize Central Prison, where they will remain either until they meet bail, or until their next court appearance scheduled for January 13, 2014.

A police officer who is sworn to protect the public is accused of betraying the trust of his female co-worker in an incident of sexual assault that occurred two weeks ago. According to police reports, Police Constable #1149 Randolph Scott Jr., 30, a resident of #88 Neal Pen Road in Belize City, allegedly approached a female officer while they were working station duties at the Precinct 4 Police Station located in the Belama area around 11:15 p.m. on Saturday, October 26th, 2013, and sexually assaulted her by forcibly and indecently touching her in her private area. According to the female police officer, after refusing his unwanted sexual advances, she tried to defend herself, and PC Scott allegedly punched her in the mouth, which caused her to suffer a bruise to the inner lower lip. The injury was later classified by a doctor as harm.

The murder trial of Eric Gonzalez, 23, of Orange Walk, accused of killing Daniel Soto, 16, also of Orange Walk, by stabbing him with a butcher knife, began at the Orange Walk Supreme Court on Thursday, October 31. Police said that on the evening of February 26, 2009, Eric Gonzalez and Daniel Soto were at a house with others on Mangal Street in the Louisiana area of Orange Walk when they became involved in an argument, which led to a scuffle. Police said that after the altercation, Gonzalez left, but returned shortly after, armed with a butcher knife, with which he attacked Soto, stabbing him in the upper thigh and upper leg.

Ernesto Vasquez, 25, a delivery truck driver from Orange Walk, was charged with manslaughter by negligence, driving without due care and attention and causing death by careless conduct after he knocked down and killed James Gongora, 47, between Miles 17 and 16 on the George Price Highway late Monday evening. According to police, when they questioned Vasquez at 6:55 Monday evening, he told them that he had been driving an Isuzu delivery truck on the George Price Highway from Belmopan that evening, when upon reaching between Miles 17 and 16, he was momentarily blinded by the high beams of an oncoming vehicle.

Denay Gillett, 29, a cashier of #4118 Fern Lane, is out on bail this afternoon after she was arraigned on a wounding charge before Magistrate Clive Lino. According to police, Michelle Gordon, 27, reported that in the wee hours of Monday morning, she was at a club in the Lake Independence area when she got into an argument with a woman known to her as Denay, inside the club. Minutes after the altercation, Gordon told police, she decided to go outside, but Denay then approached her with a knife and stabbed her several times in her left and right upper legs.


Belize marine conservation organization ReefCI, receives Global recognition at the World Responsible Tourism Awards
Today’s post comes from Polly Alford, Founder & Managing Director of ReefCI. I feel it is very important to recognize and help promote those who are making a effort to preserve our beautiful country of Belize, especially now that my work is including conservation on a deeper level. I will fill you in on that big, exciting secret when the time is right, for now I cannot let the cat out of the bag just yet. Some of you might remember ReefCI from the month long lionfish derby and the post Jo sent me ‘Spearheading’ Lionfish conservation in Belize this September!!!! If you want to keep informed with what they are up to and see some really cool under water pictures from the Toledo district, Punta Gorda and Sapodilla Caye area, Like ReefCI facebook page.

Fantastic Indian Food in Belize City and One Swami: Sumathi Restaurant
When I travel through Belize City, I generally eat the same old thing for lunch. Chon Saan Palace. A big comfortable Asian restaurant in town with powerful air conditioning, good internet, reliable & tasty food and a menu/tome that has over 20 pages…from Japanese to curries to Belizean. You can’t go wrong. And it seems to suit my Belizean friends nicely. Here is my friend, the jolly Buddha at Chon Saan. Belizeans, I find (yes, I generalize and therefore apologize), do not have the most adventurous palates. And Chon Saan does good Belizean-Chinese…fried chicken and fries with lots of sweet ketchup. Alone or with those with more daring tastes, I have branched out a bit…Chap’s for Mexican (delicious), Riverside Tavern for burgers (very good), Celebrity (not so good) or some local spots. Yesterday, with a few hours on my hands before my viewing slot for the FIFA World Cup, I tried Sumanthi Indian Restaurant. And? I loved it. It’s the real deal.

Belize Bodybuilders Championships bring out the best and buffed
Our readers know how much space we give to the pursuits of arts, music and crafts in general in Belize, and we’d be remiss indeed in neglecting that ancient art of body sculpting and maximizing the human body into a thing to be admired and wondered at. All this and more was on display when The Belize Body Building and Fitness Federation held its annual championship competition on the 1st of November at the Bliss Institute of Performing Art in Belize City to select the 2013 champions in male and female categories. Now, the BBBFF is the largest bodybuilding and fitness organization in Belize and its champions regularly feature in regional competitions in neighboring countries in Central America. Body building in Belize is serious business. So we’re looking at rigorous competition in a country that prides itself on fitness. Belizeans are not a lazy lot, and it shows.

Preview of the Beautiful Belizean Women that make up the 2014 Belikin Beer Calendar
Belikin Beer recently launched their 2014 calendar and…WAIT FOR IT…WAIT FOR IT…it proves that Belize has extremely beautiful women – not that any of you doubted that. I don’t want to come off as being mean but over the past few years, the women in the Belikin Calendar have significantly gotten better. Does that sound terrible? Maybe reflects bad on me? A little I think… but I’m only trying to be honest. I remember in high school, the boys and I would always complain about Belikin’s choices, citing that there were many gorgeous Belizean women that weren’t being included – shout out to some of my ex girlfriends. Ha! JK It’s now much better though! Take a look at their promo video and see what I’m talking about. If you want to read about the launch, my blogging amiga Rebecca did an excellent post on her experience at the event. On that day, she was treated to a VIP preview that included a luncheon and tour of the brewery. Jealous much?

International Sources

Sea Level Limbo In The Caribbean: How Low Can You Go?
The folks in the Bahamas hamlet of Dunmore Town seem blissfully unaware of sea level rise. One resort hotel operator I called in Dunmore, which sits on Harbour Island, dismissed it altogether. “I was just down at our beachside bar,” she said. “I didn’t notice the sea level rising.” (Yes, she was serious.) I told her I’d call back in 50 years. That’s because recent studies warn that by then, if sea level rise projections of about three feet or more in this century are correct, three-fourths of Harbour Island’s beach resources could be sunk. At least seven of its major tourism properties would be lost as a result. That would be a shame. Harbour Island, a narrow, 4-mile-long Bahamas isle 200 miles east of Miami, is one of the most idyllic spots in the western hemisphere. But climate change experts say Harbour and its 2000 inhabitants are in the crosshairs of sea level rise in the Caribbean. (Technically, The Bahamas lie in the Atlantic, but the country is a member of the Caribbean Community, or CARICOM.)

The Lonely Planet award for the Best Family Destination was bestowed on the state at the World Travel Mart. Lonely Planet, the world’s largest travel guide book publisher, has named the southern Indian state of Kerala as one among the world’s 10 best destinations for taking the family along for a holiday in 2014. The Lonely Planet award for the Best Family Destination was bestowed on the state at the World Travel Mart (WTM) that concluded in London on Thursday. Kerala occupies the fourth position in the Overseas Planet’s top 10 overseas family destinations. The first three are Denmark, Thailand and Belize. The other child-friendly destinations ideal for the family in the list are New York City, Hawaii, Prague, Italy and Iceland.

Diving with sharks in the Bahamas
We splashed into the clear waters off Grand Bahama Island and immediately saw what we came to see: Lots of them. We were nose-to-nose with them. They were so plentiful that we encountered them on each of our 17 dives – as many as 20 on a single dive. In fact, we saw more sharks than people on remote reefs and shoals. There were high-action dives with nurse, lemon and Caribbean reef sharks. And some of them got very cozy. The six-day trip also included dives down to a 100-year-old molasses barge called the Sugar Wreck, as well as exceptional night dives. We also had beautiful encounters on the reefs with a variety of critters such as loggerhead and hawksbill sea turtles, trumpetfish, invasive lionfish, angelfish, snappers and grunts. Our first dive on the Sugar Wreck was among my favorite dives ever. It was a shallow dive – 25 feet down – that allowed us to enjoy this fabulous old wreck for about 90 minutes. We had beautiful light, hawksbill turtles, nurse sharks, hundreds of grunts and snapper, a white-sand bottom off the wreck and an easy current. This is classic tropical diving.

Malaria Cases Down by 58 Percent in Central America
The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – Malaria cases have decreased by 58% in Central America, but there are still 106 million people at risk of getting it because they are living in endemic areas said José Ruales, the representative of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). “The good news is that since 2000 to date, malaria has reduced by about 58% in the Americas,” said Ruales, during an event called “Malaria Day in the Americas.” Countries with greater reduction over the last decade are El Salvador, Paraguay, Ecuador and Suriname, he added. Moreover, he noted that in Central America, according to projections, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Belize have achieved the elimination malaria more quickly than other neighboring countries. Costa Rica reported eight cases last year, El Salvador had 21, and Belize had 37 cases. Panama last year recorded 844 cases of malaria, 1,235 in Nicaragua, Guatemala had 5,346 and Honduras had 6,430 cases.

Damanaki insists in ‘zero tolerance’ as to illegal fishing
The European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries claims that while some of the eight countries that were requested to meet their international obligations as to illegal unreported unregulated fisheries (IUU) have made ‘credible progress’, others have not responded in the same way. In a speech made at an event hosted in Brussels by the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF), Commissioner Maria Damanaki highlighted that from the eight countries those addressing these concerns are Fiji, Togo, Sri Lanka, Panama and Vanuatu, with whom EU authorities initiated a formal dialogue and to whom an action plan was devised according to their specific problems. However, she remarked that Belize, Cambodia and Guinea “have not addressed concerns linked to legislation, effective monitoring and surveillance systems, nor have they introduced satisfactory sanctioning regimes.”

Keeping It Real In Belize
It came exactly as described – a blue hole. Located deep in the Belizean rainforest, this cold, aquamarine swimming spot called the Blue Hole was like something out of a postcard, or a dream. Shaded by the thick jungle canopy, it was fed by springs and drained by a small waterfall. And it was all ours – my group of friends were the only visitors that day. We stripped down to our bathing suits and jumped in, washing away the heavy tropical heat in the cool, blue waters. It was wonderful, and it was just our first adventure in this lovely nation. A tiny, former-British colony, Belize has been attracting eco-tourists for decades, but it has just recently stepped into its own as a premiere world destination. Gaining its independence from the United Kingdom in 1981, Belize is an English-speaking nation of just over 300,000 that’s surrounded by Latin America – a curious place that mixes together Commonwealth values in a tropical setting. My friends and I would learn that it is a country where the adventures are real, close to the ground and unforgettable.

November 8, 2013


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Specials and Events

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The San Pedro Sun

26 Cases of Dengue Fever Confirmed in San Pedro in the Last Four Weeks
San Pedro Town Councilor Kenrick Brackett has confirmed that since the second week of October to present date there have been 26 confirmed cases of Dengue Fever in San Pedro Town. Although this may seem like an alarming number the public is assured that through the efforts of the San Pedro Town Council and the Ministry of Health measures have already been taken and they are confident that the situation is under control. In a meeting with The San Pedro Sun, Brackett and personal from the Ministry of Health discussed the concerning issue. According to Francis Westby, who came out of retirement to serve as the Dengue Technical Advisor attached to the Ministry of Health, a team to five people consisting of Egner Lalin who is the District Supervisor of the Vector Control Unit along with an evaluating technical person and three spray men were deployed to San Pedro on Tuesday, Nov 5th. ”The spray men are in the process of spraying all of the mosquito breeding sights where we have identified the cases and other low lying areas as we drive around San Pedro. We are using a thermal spray technique in the houses where the cases are at and focal spraying around the houses to establish a buffer. In any tropical country where you have rain you will find mosquito breeding areas.

FIFA World Cup Trophy makes historic arrival to Belize
Belize is not going to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, but that is not stopping Belizeans from enjoying the opportunity of having the most prized World Cup Trophy brought to the country – at least for one day. The most coveted sports trophy worldwide arrived today shortly after 9AM at Belize Philip SW Goldson International Airport. The stopover in Belize is part of a world tour of the Cup sponsored by Coca Cola. It is a historic stop and for Belize, a developing country with no World Cup experience, it is the closest Belizeans will ever experience, at least for the immediate future, of having the trophy in the country. As such, the tour has brought much anticipated excitement not only for the local owners of the Coca Cola franchise, Bowen and Bowen Company Limited, but also for football fanatics and indeed, the entire nation.

Miss Earth Belize 2013 Departs for the Phillipines
On August 24th, 2013, 21 year old Miss Amber Reneé Rivero was crowned with the official title of Miss Earth Belize; and, on this coming Saturday, November 9th, Amber will depart the country for the first leg of her journey as the formal Environmental Ambassador of Belize. En route to Manila, Philippines, Miss Rivero leaves Belize and heads to Miami, Florida, for a few days where she will undergo final training for the pageant. The journey continues on the 14th of November when she leaves Miami for Manila. Upon arriving in the Philippines, Miss Rivero will participate in a number of preliminary competitions before the date of the actual pageant, which includes a swimsuit and a costume competition. In lieu of the actual Miss Earth International theme “International Year of Water Cooperation”, Miss Rivero will model a costume depicting one of the greatest features of the Earth, The Belize Blue Hole. Furthermore, for the first time, this year Belize will take part in the Miss Earth International Talent Competition. Amber intends to wow the judges with a rendition of a piece on the violin called ‘Romanza’, which was composed by our very own Governor General of Belize, Sir Colville Young.

SPTC declares shoreline cleanup campaign a success
Over 30 bags of garbage were collected during the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) Shoreline Cleanup campaign. Held on Saturday, November 2nd, the cleanup begun at Central Park and ended at the beach in front of Victoria House Resort. The cleanup campaign started at 6AM as eager environmentalists came out to show their support and help clean up the beaches of San Pedro Town. According to the Councilor responsible for Waste Management and Traffic Kenrick Brackett, there was a good turnout for the cleanup, and even though it was a bit chilly in the morning, the work finished quite quickly. “Everyone that came out to help did their part in cleaning up. We had volunteers from several businesses as well. Cleaning up our beaches is an important task because it is a major aspect of our tourism industry. But we want to keep the beaches clean and inviting, not only for tourists, but for our local residents as well,” said Brackett.

San Pedro Sailing Club Plans for the Future
Since the San Pedro Sailing Club’s (SPSC) inception in 2010 under the leadership of Commodore Andy Milner, the SPSC has worked with Brig. Gen Alan Usher (Ret) and a small group of like-minded people to actively formalize recreational and competitive sailing in Belize. Since then the SPSC has strived to meet the Belize Sailing Association’s (BzSA) aims and aspirations which are primarily to promote competitive, traditional and recreational sailing within Belize, and to acquire through funding and building locally, a fleet of Optimist class dinghies and then introduce sailing activities into schools, and enter Belizean sailors into future Caribbean and Central American games. At this time the SPSC has acquired seven new optimist dinghies which will be available to all youth sailors beginning in December of this year. We expect to add at least two more lasers to our existing fleet of two in the Spring. We have purchased a dedicated safety boat and are looking forward to some fun classes and friendly racing in the superbly challenging waters at Banyan Bay.

Lebeha Drumming Center: Keeping Tradition & Culture Alive
Mango Fest at Hopkins 14Hopkins is a slice of heaven; quiet and relaxed on the shores of the Caribbean. Interspersed by fishing shacks, homes occupied by the Garifuna and dotted with fruit trees, this village is home to culture and beauty. Some may describe it as sleepy, and when you’ve spent a few hours indulging in a couple cold ones and snoozed under the hot sun, perhaps sleepy is all you can think of. But right there to wake you up is the stirring sounds of palms hitting drums, beats filling the air in a glorious rhythm that simply hits your soul. For if there is one thing you must know about the Garifuna, it is this: they have the beats! In 2002, the Lebeha Drumming Center was established by drummer Jabbar Lambey and Canadian Dorothy Pettersen. The full group is comprised of Jabbar Lambey, Warren Martinez, Clayton Williams, Ronald Williams, Shaquile Martinez, Joseph Casimoro, and Kenrik Lewis. Lebeha provides lessons for those wishing to take their turn at the drum or who want to learn a few dance moves. They also create their own music. With drums crafted by Austin Rodriguez of nearby Dangriga, the sounds are a testament to years of talent passed down from generation to generation. The drums are played by hand and the trick is to be able to play fast while keeping the tone strong; qualities that young Warren Martinez has in abundance.

Ambergris Today

Belize Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow Doing Well After Surgery
Prime Minister Dean Barrow underwent surgery on his back on Wednesday, November 6 to alleviate chronic back pain he suffers as a result of three herniated disks on his spine. The surgery took two and a half hours at the DISC Sports & Spine Center in Newport, California. All went well with the surgery, and shortly after the surgery he was alert and even able to walk. The Prime Minister expresses great gratitude to all well-wishers and those who kept him in their prayers. Various church services conducted across the country kept him in mind especially those conducted by Bishop Philip Wright and Canon Leroy Flowers. Prime Minister Barrow is expected to be back in the country, as scheduled, on Thursday, November 14, 2013.

Belize at World Travel Market: Turning Plastic Into T-Shirts
Belize is currently participating in the World Travel Market being held in London with representatives of the Belize Tourism Board promoting the country. One new and exciting project that was announced at the Travel Market is that of T-Shirts made from recycled plastic. Check out this video posted by the Caribbean Tourism Organization where Andrew Wigmore, the managing director of Wigmore Media, talks about a project in Belize where they convert plastic bottles into T-Shirts. He explains how it's done, the cost and its impact on the environment. The innovative project is being launched in Belize early next year with potential of going global.

Misc Belizean Sources

The San Pedro Sports Council Football tournament
Results for the matches on Saturday, Tuesday and Wednesday are below: •Saturday, November 2, 2013 First Match: Island Pure won over Warriors (3-0) Goal Scorers for Island Pure: Brandon Santos Brandon Gonzalez Moses Mejia Second Match: DRAW between Caribbean Depot and FC United (4-4) Goal Scorers for Caribbean Depot: John Carlos Villatoro Oscar Mendez Alberto Quintanilla Arby Novelo Goal Scores for FC United: Joel Banner Ismael Figueroa Andy Mejia (2 goals)

Boca del Rio Park Beautification Sponsored by Canary Cove (22 photos)
Beautification of the Boca del Rio Park donated by Mr. Dan Listwin from Canary Cove and under the supervision of Mr. Gil Nuñez. The beautification consisted of: 4 New Palapas with picnic tables Complete playground set (swings, slides, rock climbing) Painting of basketball court Plants Thank you so much for beautifying la Isla Bonita Mr. Dan from Canary Cove!

On Saturday, November 2, 2013 the San Pedro Town Council engaged in a Shoreline Cleanup Campaign which was spearheaded by Councilor Kenrick Brackett. The Cleanup Campaign was from Boca del Rio to Victoria House and different groups were assigned different areas. The Cleanup Campaign was from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Thank you to the people who participated!

GUNGUDE (Garifuna Porridge)
1/2 cup Gungude Powder (Sun Dried Green Plantains) 3 cups Water 1/2 can Condensed Milk 1/2 can Evaporated Milk 1/2 packet Coconut Milk Powder pinch of Salt 2 tsp Vanilla Essence 2 tsp Nutmeg Extract In a deep pot, bring 2 cups of Water to a boil. In a bowl pour in 1 cup water, stir in Gungude Powder. Pour mixed Gungude mixture in pot of boiling water. Stir in Evaporated Milk and Condensed Milk. Stir for 5 - 10 minutes to get the thickness you desire.

Gem Turner Wins Youth Minister's Leadership Award
Congratulations to Gem Turner, who won the Youth Minister's Leadership award at the Belize Youth Awards at the Bliss Centre yesterday. The Department of Youth Services picked another well deserving awardee, and reading about her hard work is inspiring to say the least. Congratulations, Gem! "The Belmopan Active Youths is pleased to congratulate its secretary, Ms. Gem Turner, on her achievement today. Gem IS the 2013 recipient of this year's Youth Minister's Leadership Award for the Belize Youth Awards. Not only is Gem a hardworking, dedicated and ACTIVE member of BAY but she is also the President of the University of Belize's Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship; Youth Leader, Praise Team Member and Sunday School Teacher at the Belmopan Baptist Church. Congratulations, Gem! Job well done!"

Belize Trails Wilderness Survival Course
Belize Trails, a new Cayo based organization that will specialize in the design and construction of sustainable jungle trails, is having a Wilderness Survival Course starting on December 2nd. You can learn how to prepare a jungle survival kit, identify edible plants, navigate the jungle, train your mind for jungle survival, and much more. Sir Winston Harris and Lenney Gentle, who both have lived in the jungle for extended periods of time, will be some of the leaders of the course. "Wilderness Survival is an intensive survival training program in the jungle of Belize. Instructors provide students with essential skills to improve their chances of surviving and leading a team under adverse conditions in the tropics. This program provides hands-on skill development in route finding and orientation, shelter making, water procurement, trapping and hunting, foraging, fire-craft and bush medicine during a multi-night simulation experience. Students are introduced to the psychology of survival, basic wilderness skills, leadership training and emergency rescue."

PACT Paints Western Regional Hospital
Feelgood news of the day. The crew at the Protected Areas Conservation Trust volunteered at the Western Regional Hospital. Thanks, PACT! "PACT's STAFF GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY"

Metal Haven III Concert
The Metal Haven concert in Benque was wild. Ascenthium, No Te Creo, and the rest really put on great performances. "Ascenthium, No Te Creo, Lisergia, and the other bands really rocked Benque Viejo del Carmen on Saturday night at the Metal Haven concert." Pictures on fb

BTB October Toucan Talk Newsletter
The Belize Tourism Board has published their latest Toucan Talk newsletter. They highlight that overnight tourist numbers are up, as is cruise tourism. You can read about the winners of the Patriotic competition, of which all 3 spots were from Cayo, and see some of the foreign tourism expos they've visited. It's filled with great articles and fun, vibrant pictures, so it's worth a read.

Beluria Night Exhibition Launch
The Venezuelan Institute for Culture and Cooperation is kicking off their Beluria Night exhibition tonight. Beluria Night, also known as Ninth Night, is part of Garifuna culture, and is a grand send off their departed. Pen Cayetano will be playing there. The exhibition will be open from 8:00am to 4:00pm through Friday the 15th.

Channel 7

Michael Silva Brought Into San Ignacio Police, Attorney says Cops Knew His Whereabouts
Michael Silva - he's the son of former PUP Minister Dan Silva - and accused of the September 2011 murder of his 19 year old girlfriend Maritza Santos. He was accused of killing her with a blow to the head, and then trying to kill himself by drinking a herbicide. She died, but he didn't. He was taken to a private hospital from which police agreed to let him go to Guatemala to get treatment for near death internal injuries caused by the poisoning. That was in 2011, but he never came back, and in the middle of this year, Belize Police put out an Interpol warrant for him as a fugitive. Well, he's not a fugitive anymore. This morning at 11:15, accompanied by his father Dan Silva he turned himself into Cayo police. They were ready for him, and at 1:30 he was taken to court where he was arraigned for murder, and by 2:00 pm, he was put on the bus for the Kolbe Central Prison where he is to be remanded. His attorney Dickie Bradley spoke to PLUSTV in Cayo. He claims Silva was never a fugitive - that he was receiving treatment - albeit for two years:

Who Will Pay For Michael Coye’s funeral? Coye Accounts Frozen
Last night, 7News told you about the passing of Michael Coye, the patriarch of the Coye family, who was convicted of Money Laundering along with his daughter, Melonie. He died on Tuesday night from a massive heart attack at the KHMH after a long battle with diabetes, and his attorneys say that his condition worsened while inside the prison. The direct result of his passing, though tragic, was that his daughter was granted bail yesterday, and she remains with the rest of the family while grieving his loss. That process, they say, has been made more difficult to endure because they have no money to bury him, and they are hopeful that the FIU will allow them to access some money from their frozen bank accounts to deal with the expenses. Their attorney tried today to make contact with the representatives of the FIU, and he told us this evening that it was to no avail. He explained how the Coye family's finances look currently:

Catching Khan In Mexico
39 year old Abbas Khan, he's a Corozal resident who vanished from Orange Walk Police in early March of this year. He had been detained for having five Indian passports which he could not account for. Reports said that he had skipped across to Mexico. Police issued a warrant for his arrest and eight months later, he's back. Police report that yesterday, Mexican authorities handed over Abbas Ahmed Khan to Corozal Police. He is wanted for unlawful possession of passports and Escape from Lawful Custody. He has other pending court matters in other local jurisdictions. He vanished form the Orange Walk Police station on March 11th while he was outside of the holding cell because he said he had breathing problems.

“Lucas Magnus”: No Animus For Bze Bank, Says Barrow Is To Blame
On Tuesday we told you about the 29.4 million dollar Supreme Court judgment that the Belize Bank won against Luke Espat. The Bank proved to the court that Espat had signed and was liable for personal guarantees he made on behalf of three of his companies. Well, Espat issued a statement today - and instead of taking any real issue with the bank or the judgment, he ends up condemning the UDP Government. His statement says, quote, "this matter has been taken to extreme lengths by political forces in an effort to undermine my vying for public office, end quote. While we can't quite figure out how reporting on a Supreme Court judgment is an "extreme length", Espat then turns to the business climate and quote, "government induced hard times." He refers to an anti-business government "straight-jacketing" banks which he says are not allowed to work with their clients anymore.

World Cup Trophy In Belize
We've heard of VIP's, but our next story is about a "V-I-T", a very important trophy, specifically, the FIFA World Cup Trophy. It is in Belize tonight for the first time, and it will be the centrepiece of an A List Reception at the Radisson Fort George Hotel, where lucky Belizean fans will get an opportunity to pose for photograph along with it. Arguably the most prized trophy in all of sports, it's on a world tour sponsored by Coca Cola. It touched down in country this morning, and 7News was there to observe the curious fanfare which surrounded it. Daniel Ortiz reports: Daniel Ortiz reporting This morning, the chartered, and brilliantly coloured aircraft carrying the World Cup trophy pulled into the PGIA courtesy of FIFA and Coca Cola. With the amount of red tape and cordoned access, one would think that it was a visiting head of state had landed. But nothing of the sort; it was an inanimate object which is precious, and has priceless value all around the world because it represents the pinnacle of football stardom.

Lowdown On Senate Meeting
Yesterday's Senate Meeting ended in confusion over the motion presented by opposition senator Lisa Shoman. It was put to a vote where the President ruled that the "no's" had it - after six UDP senators had voted against the motion, while 3 opposition senators and three social partner senators voted "yes." That would be a 6 - 6 tie, but President Mark Pech used his vote to break the tie; he voted "no", making it 7 - 6 for the "no's." But Senator Lisa Shoman challenged him on the floor, she said he didn't have the authority to use his vote on such a motion. So did he or didn't he? We'll have the official perspective on that tonight, but we start with what actually happened at the Senate Meeting, which finished at 6:00. Here are some highlights from the debate on that motion:... Karen Bodden, Opposition Senator "....Some time ago heralding a warning that the HMS Belize was sinking. At that time I was given assurance that that was not the case, but here we are almost on the reef, so I warned you Mr. President, get your life jacket and keep it close to you because you definitely will need to use it soon." Marconi Sosa, UDP Senator "This motion to a great extent is like putting the horse before the cart; it's premature. Can't we wait for the auditor general's report who is investigating the occurrences, the activities, the processes and procedures in the Department of Immigration and Nationality."

Cyclist Killed On Northern Highway
There was a fatality on the northern highway on Tuesday night. It happened at around 6:50 where 47 year old Elmer Hall of Santa Elena Road in Corozal was knocked off his bike by a Mexican Dodge Ram Pick-up. Under the pick-up was a green female bicycle extensively damaged. 47 year old Jose Luis Kelly, a Belizean Contractor of Paraiso Village was driving the pickup from Corozal Town to the Belize Northern Border and between miles 85 and 86, he says Hall swerved into the road and he ran him over. Hall's injuries were fatal and he was pronounced dead at 8:15pm. Kelly was detained pending investigation.

Roaring Creek Weed
Yesterday morning between 6am and 9am, the Police Mobile interdiction Team and its K9 counterparts conducted an Anti-Drug Operation in Roaring Creek Village. K-9 Toonje led them to an abandoned lot telling them that something illegal was buried. It led police to the discovery of 13 balls of a green leafy substance which was identified as cannabis - weighing 1.8 kilos, about four pounds. No one was in the area and all the drugs were labeled as Found Property.

Instilling The Road Safety Ethos
The Road Safety project is upgrading roads, educating the public, and training those who should keep road-users safe. This week, they embarked on a Road Safety 101 Training Course facilitated by Canadian Experts. We found out what it's about at the Belize Institute of Management today:.. This is the fifth capacity building and knowledge transfer workshop. The Road safety project is a $14.4 million dollar project financed by the Caribbean Development Bank.

You may remember Reina Gonzalez, she's the engineer in charge of the manual demolition of the City Center. She's petite but tough, tough enough to be in charge of an 80 man crew. So how did she decide to enter this male dominated profession. Tonight, she tells all in the I am Belize profile.

Male Models Make Moves
Belize Treasure Chest is an all Male Belizean Modelling Agency which focuses on sophisticated young Belizean Men in the up and coming Caribbean fashion industry. On Saturday night the organization will be hosting its first ever Male Run-Way-Show in Belize City where 16 professional models - all Belizeans- will be hitting the run-way. Today we found out what's going on Saturday night.: The runway show will be held at Eight Plus Bar Grill and Nighclub on Vernon Street this Saturday night at 8:30 pm. Proceeds from the show will be donated to Haven House - a charity for battered women.

City Hall Training Service Providers For New Park
The Belize City Council is little more than a month away from their grand re-opening of the BTL Park. Part of the plan for the renovated public space is that it will be an area of increased business activity where 21 food venders will be set up with kiosks to house their operations. In an effort to assist the vendors to optimize, the Council is conducting a 5 day training workshop. It started this morning, and 7News stopped by to see the opening. We asked the Mayor about why City Hall felt it necessary to facilitate the vendors. Here's how he explained it: The training comes under the CARILED program.

Vendors “Vex”!
Today a group of street side vendors were irate with the City Council and the administration at Queen Square Primary school, after they were removed by officers from in front of the school yesterday. According to the vendors, no one informed them about the move until it was actually happening - and now the area they are now placed is causing them to lose business. Today 7news stopped by in the area to get the story. Monica Bodden reporting These vendors were once stationed here in front of Queen Square Primary School, but yesterday they were relocated by the City Council and claims without any reason. Vendor "They told all of us that we need to move. They didn't give us a reason why we are supposed to move. I believe that they at least should have come and talk to us and tell us that we need to move or something because we have been selling out here for years. We just see the City Council workers patrolling the area and it just so happens that one of the guys with the crowd was a friend of ours and we ask him what was the problem and he just said that the principal keep calling the office."

Channel 5

Michael Silva back after two years
Two years ago Michael Silva left the country under a dark cloud. Then twenty-six years old, the young man was believed to have killed his nineteen year old girlfriend before [...]

How is the Coye family going to pay for funeral arrangements?
The family of businessman Michael Coye, who succumbed to a massive heart attack on Tuesday night just days after being released from the Belize Central Prison, is cash strapped and [...]

Three bills brought forward in the senate but all eyes were on the senate investigation
The Senate met on Wednesday in Belmopan to consider three bills, some housecleaning write-offs, but the hot button issue was a motion brought by Opposition Senator Lisa Shoman for the [...]

Tables turn for Senator Godwin Hulse
And with that out of the way, the last two speakers were leader of government business Godwin Hulse and Opposition Senator Lisa Shoman. It was an unenviable position for Senator [...]

PM successfully underwent surgery
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is recovering from a round of surgery he successfully underwent on Wednesday morning. The PM had been suffering for some time with chronic back pain due [...]

World Cup Trophy arrives in Belize!
An eighteen karat solid gold trophy arrived in Belize this morning at the Phillip Goldson International via private jet and under heavy security. The arrival of the priceless FIFA World [...]

Senate votes on the motion
Now back to the Wednesday’s marathon session of the senate. At close to six in the evening the parting shots had all been fired and it was time for the [...]

President of the senate challenges the constitution
On that undignified note the session ended. Shoman’s point of order was that President of the Senate Mark Pech did not have the constitutional right to cast a vote. In [...]

Minister Hulse not afforded courtesy
The business of the Senate motion has been front and center, much like the immigration scandal which spawned it. There will be no appointment of a Senate Select Committee because [...]

Mexican authorities hand Abbas Khan to Belizean police
Abbas Ahmed Khan, is a Pakistani national that was busted in Corozal Town back in May of this year. Khan had on his possession a number of Indian passports and [...]

Delivery truck driver is arraigned on traffic offenses
A delivery truck driver, Ernesto Vasquez, was arraigned today in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court and slapped with three traffic offenses: manslaughter by negligence, driving without due care and attention [...]

MLA turns to the UN for intervention
In late October the Maya Leaders Alliance expressed outrage that US Capital Energy was erroneously giving the impression that the Mayan communities were in favor of oil exploration on communal [...]

Arguments come to an end for SSB vs. Sunshine Holdings Ltd.
Arguments wrapped up on Wednesday afternoon in the case of Social Security Board vs. Sunshine Holdings Limited, one entity challenging the nationalizations of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL). As we told [...]


Senators Meet To Discuss Showman's Motion
Yesterday afternoon in Belmopan, the Senate met in a special session to deal with several matters at the forefront of national importance. Precedence on the table was a debate for the Appointment of a Special Select Committee and because that matter was the last item on the agenda, the meeting ended later than usual, going late into the evening. PUP Senator, Lisa Shoman, requested that the Senate pass a resolution to appoint a Special Select Committee to investigate the issuance of Nationality certificates, Passports and Visas at the Department of Immigration. It proposes that the Committee be comprised of five members, with only one from the government, one from the opposition and three from civil society. While that event ended at around 6:30, it ended with a vote, six in favor of the proposal and six against. The President of the Senate, Marco Pech, appointed by the Government, attempted to cast the deciding seventh vote, but the PUP’s Senator Lisa Shoman objected on the basis of a section of the Constitution that prohibited him from doing so.

Residents Concern About Constant Traffic Accidents By The By-pass Roundabout
The roundabout near Establo restaurant was the scene of yet another traffic incident last night and although no lives were lost, it is rapidly becoming an accident prone area that has motorists and residents concerned. And with this by-pass being the main artery highway that connects Orange Walk Corozal and Belize, our news team went looking for answers. Maria Novelo found out why motorist should be wary of this particular stretch, here is that story. Maria Novelo - Reporting Confusion, speed and simple distractions have all been blamed for a number of traffic mishaps around this section of the by-pass near the roundabout by the Establo Restaurant that have resulted in varying minor and severe injuries and even death. Since the start of the year, several crashes have been recorded along this intersection that is a cause for concern for area residents and motorists. CLAUDIA VARGAS “Once going out of Orange Walk you feel that you are going in the highway so people tend to speed up now when you are on the highway but when you get to a certain point there is not sign that you need to take a turn and then there was a sign but somebody went and crashed into it and after that nothing was done and almost every three weeks and a month we have people running right into the ditch. I would suggest that a lighted railing that would guide you to tell you that you need to take a turn or just fill it up and if you go straight you might not end up in a ditch but just on the grass and this happens all the time.” The most recent mishap happened last night at about 7:00pm when the driver of this black SUV explorer occupied by Mexican Nationals heading back home to Chetumal Quintana Roo, took the wrong lane and upon realizing that he was, swerved and landed in this ditch.


Agriculture Minister Meets with With ASR and Cane Farmers’ Chairman
Up to news time there was still no word from Belize Sugar Industries for a date when they plan to meet with the cane farmers to negotiate the sharing of profit from the sale of electricity produced through the use of bagasse. The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association chairman had said that if BSI does not accept to negotiate they would request the intervention of the Government. We spoke with Minister of Agriculture Gasper Vega about the issue. HON. GASPAR VEGA “People still have that confidence with ASR assumed majority shares from BSI because we know they are investing in the factory. I would not like for this trust to be lost because of the BAGAS and other misinformation that exists among the stakeholders. Yesterday I met with the ASR representative Ricardo Lima and today I met with the chairman of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, Leonardo Cano and I like that both parties want to return to the negotiating table because we are conscious of the impact to the industry. Like Mr. Alfredo Ortega said, the respect needs to be mutual; we cannot buy it respect is earned.”

Still No Word From Councillor Eric Chang
Today we asked the Mayor about Eric Chang, the City Councilor who has been demoted from the post of Deputy Mayor after he has failed to return to the country after being away now for over two months. Mayor Bradley says that while Chang’s salary continues to be paid, the Council will take steps to expel him form the Council if he misses three more meetings. Darrell Bradley “Well we still have not gotten any response from him which is very worrisome to me and unsatisfactory. One of the things that I indicated previously was that we wrote him subsequent to our making a decision to remove him as Deputy Mayor and remove him from his various portfolios including the central portfolio of Works. Subsequent to that we have had no communication. What we are doing, we are monitoring this situation very clearly because if he misses a certain amount of meetings then he would be disqualified from office.

Prime Minister’s Surgery A Success
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is recovering from back surgery. On Wednesday the Prime Minister underwent surgery to alleviate chronic back pain he suffers as a result of three herniated disks on his spine. The surgery took two and a half hours at the DISC Sports & Spine Center in Newport, California. According to the Government press office, all went well with the surgery, and shortly after the surgery the Prime Minister he was alert and able to walk. The Prime Minister has expressed great gratitude to all well-wishers and those who kept him in their prayers. Various church services conducted across the country kept him in mind especially those conducted by Bishop Philip Wright and Canon Leroy Flowers. Prime Minister Barrow is expected to be back in the country, as scheduled, on Thursday, November 14th.

Local Bank Employees Raise Funds for Cancer Society
Today the first Caribbean Bank donated over three thousand dollars to the Belize Cancer Society. First Caribbean’s Business Support Officer, Rosanna Villanueva, told Love News that the money was raised by the staff. Rosanna Villanueva “We very proudly handed over $3372.59 to the Belize Cancer Society and this was the proceeds of all our staff’s efforts and our annual walk for the cure activities. We had our second annual walk for the cure on the 5th October but this year the focus was on raising as much funds as possible so we started our activities in August. We had raffles, we had games nights, color Fridays where our staff would make a small donation to come dressed in a certain color on Friday, things like that and then we also had persons who registered for the actual walk; so, those were cumulative funds that we gave to the Belize Cancer Society this morning. For us it takes place in all the territories in which CIBC First Caribbean operates but the funds that we raise are for Belize Cancer Society so it was very near and dear to our hearts in Belize.

Vendors in Training For BTL Park Booths
Today the Belize City Council, along with CARILED and the Small Business Development Centre began five-day training for persons who have applied to occupy the B.T.L Park kiosks. The training, as Mayor Darrell Bradley shared, covers Business Operations Management, Customer Service, Marketing, Recording Keeping, and Accounting and a total of 42 applicants being trained. DARRELL BRADLEY “They are being trained in various aspects of business management, financing, putting together a project proposal, marketing, product development and customer service so they understand the difficulty of being in a business and they understand what commitment and dedication is needed and so that their project is sustainable. The BTL park is right on schedule; it’s going to be launched on December 7 and all of these applicants will be placed somewhere in BTL Park or along the water front and we are looking for an exciting launch. We have coordinated with persons who are going to provide fireworks; we have people who are going to provide music and different things like that, so it’s going to be a fun activity to launch this park for residents and the people of Belize City. The applicants were selected through an application process. Everyone in here is in here just by them applying; every person who applied is here and we have committed because the business ideas were so good that we are going to place every person who applied. The application was done by way of advertisement in all major newspapers and that was done in the months of September and October.


Senate Meets in Special Session
The public has been calling for an independent investigation into reports of unlawful activities within the Ministry of Immigration. The outrage begun with the discovery of a counterfeit passport in the name of South Korean convict Kim Won-Hong and propelled, in the past month, to a horde of accusations...

Michael Coye dies in hospital
Just last week, he was enjoying freedom for the first time in over 2 years after receiving bail ahead of an expected date with the Court of Appeal next year. But on Tuesday night, Michael Coye, former owner of Money Exchange International Limited, died at a hospital in Belize...

Former BWS workers make official complaint against BWS Workers Union
Disgruntled former Belize Water Services workers have issued a press release today saying that they have also lodged an official complaint against the BWS Workers Union with the Labour Tribunal. the release reads, “In the aftermath of the NTUCB’s recent ouster of one of its member unions, several former...

Traffic fatality takes life of 47 year old James Harold Gongora
The latest traffic fatality has taken the life of 47 year old James Harold Gongora. According to Police Reports on Monday, November 5th, at around 6:55 pm, Hattieville Police responded to reports of a traffic accident. The information they received lead them to an area between miles 16 and...

Leroy Young in court, accused of forgery
The poet and entertainer popularly known as Leroy “The Grandmaster” Young was in court on Wednesday accused of forgery, uttering a false document and possession of a false document. The 46 year old self-employed resident of Pinks Alley is alleged to have obtained a cheque leaf from a Belize...

Judgment in case of Social Security Board vs. Sunshine Holdings Limited expected on December 13
Arguments wrapped up Wednesday afternoon in the case of Social Security Board vs. Sunshine Holdings Limited. Sunshine Holdings is just one entity among the alliance challenging the nationalizations of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL). On Tuesday we told you that attorneys for Sunshine, who held...

Gem Turner receives Youth Minister’s Award
On Wednesday, as a part of Youth Week the Belize Youth Awards was held at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts. It is just one of the activities taking place to honor outstanding young people. We caught with one of the awardees this...

European Union’s Ambassador to Belize visits Hattiville Prison
The European Union’s Ambassador to Belize and the Caribbean, Her Excellency Paola Amadei, is on her latest visit to Belize from her base in Jamaica, and one of her stops is the Hattieville Prison. On Wednesday she addressed a gathering of inmates and guests on the...

Mayor Darrell Bradley awaits word from absent Councilor Eric Chang
The wayward former deputy Mayor of Belize City Eric Chang continues to be absent from his duties at City Hall. He still has not responded to the entreaties of Mayor Darrell Bradley to explain his involvement, if any, in the visa and passport scandal that broke in September. And...

PM has successfully undergone surgery
Reports are that the Rt. Honorable the Prime Minister, Mr. Dean Barrow has successfully undergone surgery at the DISC Sports & Spine Center in Newport, California. Details are not forthcoming but Information received says that Prime Minister Barrow is now in recovery and is doing all right. The country...

The Guardian

Godfrey Smith makes Luke Espat pay in Court
The Supreme Court has ordered Luke Espat to pay the Belize Bank 29.1 million dollars after the bank initiated legal proceedings against him on July 22nd and it concluded on 18th October. The claim comes after Luke Espat signed guarantees on August 20th, 2008 for three of his companies. These amounted to $11,540,988.32 for Belize Crocodiles and Reptile Breeders which was a loan that bore interest of 12% per annum from August 2008 to February 2013. The next guarantee was for $4,696,291.32 for Belize Ready Mix also signed on August 20th, 2008 and bearing 17% interest per annum from August 2008 to February 2013. The third loan guarantee was for $1,028,347.21 at 17% interest per annum from August 2008 to February 2013. Representing Luke Espat was Said Musa while Godfrey Smith represented Belize Bank. In his judgment, Justice Courtney Abel cited that “The Claimant’s case is a model of clarity...” while he noted that in following the defendant’s case, “indeed every time I attempted to follow the events being described by the defendant in his pleadings , and his affidavit, I felt that I was being drawn into an impenetrable labyrinth of circumstances, involving actors and companies which/who are not joined in these proceedings, transactions which are collateral to the Guarantees pleaded, and generally matters which can never be pursued in the present proceedings, as they are clearly collateral or tangential to pleaded issues in the case.”

Babies having Babies in Belize
UNFPA Belize along with the Ministry of Health and the Youth Enhancement Services launched the State of the World Population report 2013 on Wednesday, November 6th, entitled Motherhood in Childhood - Facing the challenge of adolescent pregnancy, the document analyzes the problem of teen and pre-teen parents across the world. According to Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health, who gave the keynote address, the issue of, “adolescent pregnancy is a multifaceted problem that is based in poverty and ignorance." He stated that the Ministry of Health through its clinics and hospitals sees the consequences of young teenaged girls who's minds and bodies are not ready to give birth but who actually do, and when they do it is to often times premature and low weight children. He added that this is an increasing social and economic problem as often times babies are born with congenital malformations with incomplete development of different body parts. This situation causes medical complications that later on are causes of "immense not only social but also financial problems”.

PM doing well after surgery
Prime Minister Dean Barrow underwent surgery on his back on Wednesday, November 6th to alleviate chronic back pain he suffers as a result of three herniated disks on his spine. The Prime Minister went into surgery at 8:30a.m. at the DISC Sports & Spine Center in Newport, California. The surgery took 2 and a half hours. His family members who are along with him are reporting that the all went well with the surgery and shortly after the surgery he was alert and was even able to walk. The family members told the Guardian that the Prime Minister expressed great gratitude to all Belizeans who kept him in their prayers. Various church services conducted across the country kept him in mind, especially those conducted by Bishop Philip Wright and Canon Leroy Flowers.

Current Initiatives at the Ministry of Agriculture
A delegation from the Chilean Government visited Belize on Monday of this week to look at the current plant and animal health systems, which is under the Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA), to find gaps and prepare proposals to make improvements in those systems. This is happening as the Ministry of Agriculture embarks on its Annual Work plan for 2014 and 2015 from Wednesday to Friday of this week in Central Farm. The Ministry of Agriculture is also preparing to hold an important forum on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO), starting at 9:00 am, in Central Farm, on December the 10th of this year. The purpose of the GMO forum is to examine the pros and cons of GMOs’ where an expert from both the Caribbean and Central America will be brought in to meet with their Belizean counterparts --to focus on the GMO issue. “We know that GMOs are being planted around the World, especially in the United States; we know we import food from the United State, which is G.M.O produced…the G.M.O Agenda is there in the forefront, we need to address it more consistently, because the population needs to know the pros and cons of what G.M.O is and G.M.O can do,”says Roberto Harrison, Belize’s Chief Agriculture Officer.

Jason Andrews says there was ‘vote buying’ at PUP convention
“To all my Belmopan friends this is your time to preemptively take a stand against corruption.” “Any individual who thinks he or she can win a convention by buying votes is not worthy to lead us. That’s just “more of the same” that has gotten us to this situation.” - Patrick Andrews via Facebook It came as no surprise to anyone that one of the candidates openly admitted on Facebook that those whom he was running against in the PUP Belmopan convention for Standard Bearer had been buying votes. It is the norm for PUP politicians to exercise this kind of tactic in order to secure seats even if it means that it is against one another. But Andrews should be the least among them to speak about vote buying. There were bus loads of persons who were brought in and were offered $100 dollars to vote for the candidate offering the money. If Jason Andrews were to be truthful, he would also say that there were those who played prominent parts in his campaign who were also offering this type of incentive to vote.

International Awakening on Gender Issues
Recently, there have been movements in many countries around the world indicating that more and more people are beginning to understand gender issues at a deeper level. In many cases this awakening is catalyzed by a particularly heinous act that forces people to question the underlying cultural and traditional practices and beliefs that serve as a source for gender inequity and gender violence. Gang rapes where the victim is brutally attacked and then tossed aside like garbage, especially where the perpetrators receive little if any official sanction, have recently sparked widespread protests in India, South Africa and Kenya. The protests go beyond the facts of the individual cases to the seeming impunity for perpetrators, regardless that every country in the world has laws in place to protect women against rape. The protests sparked by the latest case in Kenya were directed against the police authorities for their handling of the gang rape of a 16 year old girl, who was raped by three men and then thrown into a latrine and left for dead. The attack left her wheelchair bound from a broken back and with horrendous internal injuries, but the police thought that an appropriate punishment for her attackers was to chop the grass around the police compound.

Current Initiatives at the Ministry of Agriculture
A delegation from the Chilean Government visited Belize on Monday of this week to look at the current plant and animal health systems, which is under the Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA), to find gaps and prepare proposals to make improvements in those systems. This is happening as the Ministry of Agriculture embarks on its Annual Work plan for 2014 and 2015 from Wednesday to Friday of this week in Central Farm.

Land Distribution in Cayo Northeast
The United Democratic Party is keeping the Prime Minister’s promise, do as much as is possible to help the residents of the Cayo Northeast constituency, and on Tuesday, November 5th, proof of that came as Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture, Hon. Gaspar Vega, handed out Land Lease approvals for 80 residents of that constituency.

Every Wall is a Door
“When one door is closed, don’t you know, another door is open” goes one of Bob Marley’s popular songs and that’s something all positive leaders believe. It is in ‘turning lemons into lemonade’ that one rises above life’s ever -increasing challenges.

Head of European Union Mission Visits Central
Ambassador Paola Amadei, Head of the European Union Delegation to Belize, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos and the Cayman Islands, is in Belize on a five day mission to meet with government officials and representatives of civil society and the private sector to chart the way forward for partnership between Belize and the EU from 2014 to 2020. On Wednesday, November 6th, she took a break from technical consultations to promote one of the European Union’s main social policies, abolition of the death penalty.

Neighborhood watch organization hands over footballs to Cayo schools
Some three hundred footballs were handed out to students from Primary Schools in the Cayo District this past Saturday at the Victor Galvez Stadium in San Ignacio Town. The footballs were handed out by the President of the Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association (CNWA), Marcel Bedran, who took the opportunity to urge young people to take up sports.

Minister Hulse’s Proposals Reach National Assembly
Immediately after Senator Godwin Hulse, Minister of Immigration, was informed of a breach of protocol By Hon. Elvin Penner in the issuance of passport and nationality documents to an inmate of the Taiwanese prison, he launched a review of the entire system and announced changes that would limit the potential for corruption on Thursday, October 10th. Those proposals were forwarded to those who draft legislations in order to make necessary amendments to the laws. Those amendments were introduced in the House of Assembly on Friday, November 1st.

Minister Marin Delivers! House Passes Medical Practice Act
After lobbying Government for two decades, the Belize Medical and Dental Association finally has the authority to regulate the practice of medicine in Belize. On Friday, November 1st, the House of Assembly passed the Medical Practice Bill which, as read in the House, “provides for the control and regulation of the practice of medicine in Belize by medical practitioners”.

Mark King keeps in contact
Hon. Mark King is never failing his constituency and that was proven between last week and this week as he held zone meetings with residents of the Lake-I division. In an effort to better serve the constituency, Hon. King and his committee divided the division into zones and he endeavored to have meetings with these residents by zones to get a feel of what their needs are and how he can address those needs.

Missing Money investigation at Southern Regional nears end
Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Peter Allen, confirmed to the Guardian that the investigation into missing monies at the Southern Regional Hospital is coming closer to an end. We spoke to him on Wednesday morning and he told us that by the afternoon of that very day he would have received a report from the Auditor General’s office as they conduct their investigation into the missing money.

Regional Public Utility Regulators Meet in Belize
Representatives of public utilities regulating organizations from across the region are in Belize for the 11th Annual Meeting of the Organization of Caribbean Utility Regulators (OOCUR). The three day event which opened on Wednesday, November 6th, is being held under the theme “Challenges to Regulatory Power in Borderless Societies”.

Road Safety 101 Training Continued in Belmopan
A second day of Road Safety 101 Training continued at the George Price Center for Peace and Development in Belmopan on Wednesday of this week. The course is part of a Ministry of Finance and Economic Development Road Safety Project that provides participants with an introduction to road safety principles and an understanding of the requirements for delivering road safety strategies.

San Estevan Road underway
Work is now moving along to complete the road that links Orange Walk Town to San Estevan and Progresso. After much delay in the construction which was to have been completed months ago, the work on the road is now moving ahead. Thanks to the lobbying efforts of UDP Caretaker of Orange Walk Central, Denny Grijalva, the contractors are now putting emphasis on maintaining the road which runs through San Estevan Village.

Belize recognized for out-standing Work in Fisheries
The Fisheries Department in Belize was on Wednesday November 5th awarded with the Margarita Lizarraga medal for its outstanding work in the area of sustainable fishing practices under Central America Fisheries and Aquaculture Organization (OSPESCA). The award was started in 1997 by the FAO and is granted to persons or organizations who make significant contributions to the implementation of the code of conduct for responsible fisheries. It is awarded in memory of senior FAO fisheries officer, Margarit Lizarraga for her distinguished work in fisheries management and promoting the code.

The Amandala’s Colin Bh & Rape Apologism, Misogyny, Racism, General Ignorance
Of course it is not your right to touch, but thank you for stating the obvious. I will grant to you your Foucauldian claim that imprisonment is an awful form of punishment, but that is all I will grant. If only we applied this type of logic to issues that were not chiefly womens’. Yeah theft is bad, but prison is too serious a punishment! Yeah embezzling is bad, but they’d be able to pay the fine anyways. You know what actually is really bad? Molesting an innocent party. You know what is arguably worse? Deciding that something you have never and will never experience is not terrible enough to warrant a certain kind of punishment then proceeding to release a dangerous article about it. You know what is definitely worse than that? Involving racial ‘humour’ (this was an attempt at humour right?) in what was already a steaming pile of applied prejudices: I have heard it being promulgated by some ignorant “black people” in the USA that lashing must be outlawed because it reminds of slavery. I say, lashing did not begin when slaves were taken from Mother African and brought to the New World. Aha, simple-minded “white people” in the USA are only too willing to yield to this back way thinking. |

Cop charge with indecent assault upon woman police officer
On Tuesday, November 5th, 30-year-old Police Constable Randolph Scott appeared in Magistrate's Court where he was charged with aggravated assault of an indecent nature and harm upon a female police officer. Scott appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano where he was unrepresented and pleaded not guilty to the charges. There was no objection to bail and he was offered it in the sum of $1,000 plus one surety of the same amount which he met. Randolph Scott is due back in Court on December 12, 2013. In a report to police, the woman police officer reported that on Saturday, October 26, 2013, at about 11:15 p.m., whilst she was working station duties at the Precinct #4 Police Station, she was approached by PC #1149, Randolph Scott who reported sexually assaulted her. The woman police further alleged that when she refused his advances and she tried to defend herself, that’s when PC Scott punched her in the mouth causing her to sustain a bruise to the inner lower lip. A doctor who examined the woman classified her injuries as harm.

Mistaken picture
Last week we mistakenly published the picture of Elario Fernando Eligio as being that of Frank Eligio who was involved in a robbery/murder in Sandhill on Friday October 25th. We take this opportunity to apologize to Elario Fernando Eligio for having made the mistake.

12 years for attempted murder
On Monday, November 4th, 22-year-old Lloyd Elijio was sentenced to 12 years in jail by Justice Troadio Gonzalez. Elijio’s sentence came after he was found guilty of the attempted murder of 22-year-old Mark Lord who was shot on October 28, 2009 on Hyde’s Lane. In court, Justice Gonzalez was prepared to listen to mitigation pleas on Elijio’s behalf but he had no character witnesses to call after one week of preparation. In mitigation, on his own behalf, Elijio had this to say, “I humbly ask the court to have mercy on me. I have a four year old daughter and one on the way, and I am the bread winner. I am sorry for the wrong I have done! I send my regards to the family of Mark Lord and would like to assist them in any way I could. I ask the court to please have mercy on me, for the sake of my family”. After considering his mitigation plea, Justice Gonzalez told Elijio that based on his previous convictions, “It shows a pattern in your lifestyle – that you are prone to give trouble. I am considering the prevalence of this crime in young men your age, but I also have to consider how you did this crime – the stalking of the person, then lay-waiting him and shooting him with the intention to kill him”.

Charged with wounding a woman outside a Club
On Tuesday, November 5th, 29-year-old Denay Gillett was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court where she was charged with one count of wounding upon 27-year-old Michelle Gordon, who was stabbed multiple times to the body. She appeared before Magistrate Clive Lino where she pleaded not guilty to the charge and bail was offered to her in the sum of 3 thousand dollars plus one surety of the same amount which she met. She is to return to court on December 16th According to a police report, acting upon information received, on Monday, November 4, at about 2:45 a.m., CIB personnel visited the KHMH where they saw 27-year-old Michelle Gordon, suffering from three apparent stab wounds to the left upper leg and one to the right upper leg. Initial investigation revealed that Gordon was at a popular Cool Spot located on Lawrence Avenue in Belize City, socializing when she had an argument with one Denay Gill inside the club. Minutes later, Gordon decided to go outside where she met Gillett who pulled out a knife and inflicted stab wounds to her body, causing her injuries.

Nolle Pros in Murder Trial
On Monday, November 5th, San Pedro Fisherman Harrison Jacobs was freed of a murder charge in the Supreme Court before Justice Adolph Lucas.

Grandmaster charged with Forgery
Well-known poet, and entertainer, Leroy “The Grand Master” Young, 46, a resident of Pinks Alley in Belize City was arraigned on Wednesday, November 6th, in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court room of the Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith on forgery charges.

The Great Blue Hole placed 8th in the “8th Wonder of the World competition”
The Belize Tourism Board is pleased to announce that The Great Blue Hole has placed in top ten of the ‘8th Wonder of the World’ competition. Competing against three hundred man-made and natural sites from across the world, Belize finished 8th in the Virtual Tourist competition. “We are extremely proud to be in the top ten; along with worthy competing landmarks. Considering the population size of the nations we were up against and their advertising spend to promote this competition, we’ve done extremely well. It goes to show how our very small efforts of social media, word of mouth, and media releases contributed to our placement. While we didn’t place first, we have certainly reaped the benefits of added exposure of our Great Blue Hole and Belize as a destination,” said BTB’s Director of Marketing & Industry Relations, Alyssa Carnegie.

Eulogy - Alfred Gilbert Smith - Also known as Tengleman or Blood
Alfred Gilbert Smith was born on January 9th, 1928 the second child of Mr. and Mrs Thomas Smith. He has three (3) brothers, Robert and Wilfred who is present with us today and Arthur who I am certain is now with Alfred. He also has three (3) sisters, Leonora who is present and Icene and Iris with no doubt are with Alfred and Arthur in heaven. Grandpa as he was affectionately known as “Tengleman” or “Blood” was a father figure to many, sharing whatever he had with everyone who visit him at his home. I can recall lately when one of his friend came to visit him he told his care giver “Ruby get one of the milk to give the man”. He was talking about his ensure. Ms. Maria recall when Alfred came from work he asked her if Mr. Jones ate, she said no cause only your plate of food left. Grandpa told her give him my plate and fixed me something else to eat. Grandpa was a giver; even if he does not receive anything, he was happy helping out everyone. Grandpa was small in structure, had a big heart, and was a giant in his village. We knew he was coming from a distance because we heard his voice and felt his presence before we see him. He attended Wesley Primary School in Belize City, and had to withdraw from standard four at age 10 to seek employment to help his family.

Belmopan Bandits lead in Belikin Cup
The Belize Premier League Belikin Cup competition continued on Saturday, November 2nd, with three games across the country. In the game played out at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the home team Police United and the visiting FC Belize played to a 1-1 draw. The visiting FC Belize got on the scoreboard first when Jarret Davis scored his team’s only goal of the game in the 15th minute of play to give his team a temporary 1-0 lead. It was not until the second half of the game that the Police United team was able to get onto the scoreboard when Harrison Roaches scored the equalising goal for the 1-1 draw. At the Marshalleck Stadium in Benque Viejo Town, the home boys Verdes FC blanked San Ignacio United FC by the score of 2-0. The goals for Verdes FC were scored by Norman Pipersburgh in the 10th minute of play and Gilroy Thurton in the 62nd minute of play. And in the final game of the day played out at the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga Town, the Belmopan Bandits edged the Belize Defence Force by the score of 2-1. The Belize Defence Force was able to get onto the scoreboard first when Vallan Symms scored the 1st goal of the game in the 22nd minute of play to give his team a temporary 1-0 lead. The visiting Belmopan Bandits finally scored when Denmark Casey scored his team’s 1st goal of the game in the 47th minute of play to tie the score at 1-1. However, in the 76th minute of play, Jerome James scored the winning goal for the Belmopan Bandits that gave them the victory.

Belize District Basketball Association Firms’ Competition
The Belize District Basketball Association Firms’ Competition is fast winding down at the Bird’s Isle. On Friday, November 8, 2013, the third and final game in the championship will be played between Port of Belize/Airport and Customs. This third and final game became necessary when Customs defeated the Port of Belize last Friday at the Bird’s Isle. On Friday November 1, in the second game in the best of three series, Customs defeated Port of Belize by the score of 43-39. The top scorers for Customs were Winston Pratt and Elsworth Felix with 11 points each. For the Port of Belize, the top scorers were Earl Johnson with 10 points and Lennox Bowman with 8 points. Friday night’s game will be for all the marbles, as the winner will take home the championship trophy and the loser will settle for the brides-maid spot.

Rigo Vellos is Mr. Belize and Kaya Cattouse is Ms. Body Building
The Belize Body Building Federation held its Annual Mr. Belize and Ms. Body Building Competition on Friday, November 1, 2013 at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts. In the Bikini Fitness Competition, Annlyn Apolonio captured 1st place, 2nd place went to Christina Requena and 3rd place went to Charlyn Flowers. In the Body Figure competition, first place went to Cricel Castillo, 2nd place went to Gina Lovell while Josephine Gault placed 3rd. In the Ms. Body Building category, Kaya Cattouse was crowned the champion as there were no other competitor. In the Men’s Body Building (Masters Category) 1st place went to Clayton Greenidge, 2nd place went to Deon Danderson and 3rd place went to Guy Neal. In the Welter Weight category, 1st place went to Edgar Rogers, 2nd place went to Deon Ortiz and 3rd place went to Deon Danderson. Meanwhile, in the Middle Weight category, 1st place went to Clayton Greenidge, 2nd place went to Ernest Broaster while 3rd place went to Deon Banner. In the main event of the evening the Mr. Belize competition, Rigo Vellos repeated as Mr. Belize when he bested out Clayton Greenidge and Edgar Rogers in that order respectively.

Certification course for football coaches
CONCACAF in collaboration with the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) will conduct a CONCACAF ‘D’ License certification course in Belize from November 6 – 10, 2013 for Belizeans coaches. This course will be conducted by Mr. Leonard Lake and Mr. Andre Waugh. Participants selected to take the course are: Reynaldo Ico Deris Benavides Glenford Hines Sheldon Ramirez Steven Lourie Simon Palacios Wayne Casimiro Santi Valencia Ivor Zuniga Carlos Chavez Javier Habet Raul Gamez Eulalio Coc Paul Casimiro Stanley Reneau Alfonso Acosta Luis Zetina Armando Pech Nilson Cruz Leslie Flowers Freddy Tun Miguel Cawich Carlos Umana David Jones Kent Gabourel Gregory Cantun Marvin Ottley Jose Lara Hilberto Muschamp Hilton Garbutt

FIFA World Cup Trophy comes to Belize on November 7
The 2013-2014 FIFA World Cup Trophy tour by Coca-Cola is the largest and longest global tour that was ever launched. Over a nine month period, the trophy will travel 88 countries, 50 of them for the first time ever. On November, 7th 2013, Belize will have the first time honour of hosting the most sought after trophy in sports. The one-of-a-kind, solid gold trophy will be in Belize for one day and Bowen & Bowen Ltd., the local bottlers of Coca-Cola has planned an unforgettable experience for football fans to enjoy a rare, close up view of the trophy. The aim of the tour is to champion the power of football to bring the world together.

Belize to host UNCAF U-16 male tournament
The Football Federation of Belize informs football fans and the general public that it will be hosting the Central American U-16 Championship at the FFB Stadium in the City of Belmopan from November 18-22, 2013. The championship will feature six Central American countries namely Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Belize.


It was fitting that Bandage International passed out Lifesavers
Class went great, 28 people including myself finished the first half of 2 day training, Darryl and his crew are really good teachers. One of the many things I learned this time around was no more pulse checks in CPR even a 20 second delay for something like that can significantly decrease a patients risk of survival. There is also officially no more breathing, no matter how remote your location, Darryl said more often that not breathing is not done effectively and as a result could cause more harm than good. He taught us a handy rhyme to survey a scene for safety – fire, wire, gas, glass. Darryl also gave us a good reminder when it comes to the scene of an accident if it is wet and sticky and not yours don’t touch it :) There are so many important things to remember when administering first aid the most important is to keep calm, act quickly, safely and gain as much information about the patient as possible until you transfer them over to a more qualified person. The 27 people getting trained are staff from the following businesses: Victoria House Resort, South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch, Romantic travel Belize, Consolidated Water, Grand Caribe, Spiez Pharmacy, Coastal Xpress and

Happy Birthday Raggamuffin!
If there was indeed a day that Raggamuffin Tours was born it would have to be the date of birth of it’s owner and originator Captain Jimmy Jones – 7th November 1973. So today you could say, and indeed Facebook would agree, is Raggamuffin’s birthday!! So today we are patting each other on the back and wishing ourselves blessings for another year of health, love and productivity!! What will we be doing … well that would be telling but needless to say we will be definitely celebrating with Jimmy and indeed for Lee Shane (as it was his birthday yesterday). So if you are in the vicinity or are a short plane ride away, come on down and we will have a Belikin and a slice of cake to celebrate!!!

Business Training Program
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) through its Small Business Development Centre (SBDCBelize), signed a Memorandum of Understanding with CARILED, to facilitate a one week Business Training Program, for entrepreneurs , under CARILED Belize. The Training program is expected to transfer tools and information, in the areas of Marketing and Sales, Customer Service, Entrepreneurship-innovation, Costing and Pricing, Recordkeeping, Business Model Generation, among others. The program will commence Thursday, November 7th-November 14th, 2013, 9am-4pm, at Samuel Haynes Institute of Excellence.

Belize is our treasure and due to the ever-present human traits of greed and selfishness, successive PUPD administrations have taken our nation down a path of deception and manipulation, which has led to self-enrichment at the expense of “regular Belizeans”. To this reality, neither side of the PUDP equation is exempt. In the process of making Belize a better place, steeped in the foundations of good governance practises, I state unabashedly and unequivocally “THERE ARE NO SACRED COWS!” What occurred yesterday during the Senate meeting was testimony to precisely what the system allows for. Indeed, by way of PUP led effort, a motion was put forth to appoint a Special Select Committee to delve into the current passport and visa quagmire. I will give credit where credit is due, but on the same token no manner of ‘kudos’ shall be provided, for once you understand the nuances of our system of governance, it is evident that yesterday’s attempt is part and parcel of what Her Majesty’s Royal Opposition is required to do. Beyond that, from a prudent, political standpoint, it behooves them to take such action, after all, within this system, those who seek to ultimately control the House of Representatives, shall undertake any viable means by which to lessen the numerical divide between themselves and the current administration. With that said, I am compelled to state that what transpired during yesterday’s Senate meeting was purely shameful, for all who voted against the motion. If one’s motivation for “serving” is steeped in the commitment to do what is best for Belize, there is no acceptable explanation to have voted against the motion. Party politics is sucking the life-blood out of this nation and as mentioned earlier, “THERE ARE NO SACRED COWS!” The names of each member who voted against the motion, or sought to, should be etched in stone, on a wall of infamy, along with all others who have been vested with the responsibility of being caretakers of our nation’s well-being and have, through their actions, fleeced the resources, patrimony and heritage of this nation.

Coca-Cola and Bowen & Bowen Fly 10lbs of Solid Gold to Belize: The REAL FIFA World Cup Trophy
I had seen the posts on Facebook and Twitter: The FIFA World Cup trophy is currently on a world tour. A huge world tour – they are covering 80 countries. A tour to help build excitement for 2014s World Cup tournament that will take place in Brazil. And honestly? My initial reaction was not one of great excitement. I had actually never given the World Cup prize a moments thought. For all I knew, they could have given out medals…or ribbons…or flowers to the last winners, **please pause so I can google who they were** SPAIN! I got my ticket punched and went right up to the 5th floor. There were quite a few people coming out but I seemed to be the only one going in. Perfect. I had time to get a serious close up.

Placencia, Belize: Always Feels Like A Real Beach Getaway
I had landed in the town of Placencia. After my 3 day Raggamuffin sailing adventure (see Part One and Two - one of the very best things I’ve done in Belize), I was ready to relax, lay around and do absolutely nothing. (You’d be surprised how tiring sailing on a catamaran can be!) Placencia is practically tailor made for this purpose. If Caye Caulker’s motto is “Go Slow”, then Placencia might be “Stop”. I like it very much. Here is an example of how quiet it is in Placencia. Here is the Village Council building. And the Transport Department, in case you need to renew your driver’s license.

We wish the PM all the best for surgery in the United States
Don’t worry – it sounds like good news. Apparently the PM is on his way to Los Angeles for back surgery that, if successful, will alleviate at least 80% of his current back pain. Trust us, many of us desk jockeys sympathise with back pain and wish him all the best.Dean-Barrow-1-300x299 And Mr Barrow, who is 62, said if the operation is successful he should be back in in the country by November 14. “The doctor has told me that he believes that it will be a little taxing because of the long flight from Los Angeles. He believes that I could actually come back as early as Wednesday. I set it for Thursday just to give myself that extra room,” Barrow told “Caribbean 360” when speaking of next week’s surgery.

Turkey Pot Pies
Don't know what to do with all that left over turkey? No worries, here's a simple recipe that is delicious and filling.

Butt'r Pecun Pumpkin Bars
These Butt'r-Pecun Pumpkin Skwares would be a nice alternatif' ta Pumpkin Pie. Thay have a good base an' t'fillin stays moist an' is verr simlar ta pumpkin pie fillin. Base Ingredyints: 1/2 cup sugar 1-1/2 cups flour 1/2 cup butt'r, softenet Fillin Ingredyints: 1 – 15oz. a'ken o'pure pumpkin (2 cups pumpkin if'n y'all make yer own) 1/4 cup milk 2 aigs, beete 3/4 cup sugar 1 teespoon cinnamon 1/2 teespoon groun nutmeg 1/2 teespoon salt Toppyun' Ingredyints: 1/2 cup brown sugar 2 tablespoons butt'r, softenet 1/2 cup choppet pekuns

ReefCI receive Global recognition at the WTM World Responsible Tourism Awards
Highly commended for Best for Responsible Wildlife Experiences goes to Marine conservation organization ReefCI at the 2013 10th annual World responsible tourism awards. The awards panel of judges pre-announced: ‘We are focusing on organizations that are both committed to wildlife protection and to providing their guest with memorable experiences tourists will talk about and share with friends and family when back home. We are looking for organizations that have found the right balance between protecting wildlife and providing great experiences to holidaymakers. Their ideas and practices should be an inspiration to companies trying to achieve the same.’ The winners and highly commended were announced at the WTM exhibition to an audience of tourism ministers, destination managers, industry professionals and media. The judges recognized the contribution, which ReefCI makes to conservation both through the quality of the guest experience and the data, which they collect on species and number. The quality of the data on contribution to the local economy through employment and local sourcing was also noteworthy. ReefCI is working with the department of Fisheries in Belize to help protect the marine life and sustain fish stock and fishing. The data they collect assists fisheries with their allocations of open and closed season regulations, which helps conserve commercial species such as conch and lobster.

International Sources

US-based credit rating group calls for a devaluation of EC dollar
The US-based Moody's Investor services is calling for a devaluation of the Eastern Caribbean (EC) dollar in a bid to assist the region address the debt crisis. In addition, Moody’s Investor is also suggesting that the sub-regional Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) adopt the US dollar as its official currency. Governor of the Esatern Caribbean Central bank (ECCB), Sir Dwight Venner said last month that maintaining the stability of the EC dollar and the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) financial system has been the Bank’s major achievement over the 30 years of its existence. The EC Dollar has been pegged to the US dollar at a rate of EC$2.70 to one US dollar since 1976 and as the global crisis continues to affect the economic performance of the ECCU member countries, the ECCB, in collaboration with its member governments and with the support of regional and international agencies, has been implementing measures to strengthen the ECCU financial system.

Leaders in self-denial as Caribbean economic crisis worsens
St Lucia’s Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony says that there is a grave economic crisis gnawing away at Caribbean countries and “governments are busy looking inward - each busy with their own agenda rather than pursuing a Caribbean solution to the economic crisis”. Not for the first time Dr Anthony has dared to tred where many other Caribbean leaders have shied away. Describing it as a “tragedy of the times”, he charged that governments are “engaged in one form or another of self-denial” while the Caribbean is “in the throes of a major crisis like it has never ever experienced before”. Dr Anthony did not say something not previously said by regional commentators, foreign aid agencies and multilateral institutions. But now it has come from a Prime Minister who was previously Legal Counsel to the Secretariat of the 15-nation Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) and, earlier, a lecturer at the University of the West Indies deeply immersed in the many challenges and limited prospects of small States. His remarks, therefore, come with a special authority and should be a reality jolt for all Caribbean leaders in government, opposition political parties, the private sector and the labour movement.

Damanaki insists in ‘zero tolerance’ as to illegal fishing
The European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries claims that while some of the eight countries that were requested to meet their international obligations as to illegal unreported unregulated fisheries (IUU) have made ‘credible progress’, others have not responded in the same way. In a speech made at an event hosted in Brussels by the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF), Commissioner Maria Damanaki highlighted that from the eight countries those addressing these concerns are Fiji, Togo, Sri Lanka, Panama and Vanuatu, with whom EU authorities initiated a formal dialogue and to whom an action plan was devised according to their specific problems. However, she remarked that Belize, Cambodia and Guinea “have not addressed concerns linked to legislation, effective monitoring and surveillance systems, nor have they introduced satisfactory sanctioning regimes.”

Cancer mortality declining in some Latin American countries
Overall cancer mortality has declined in some countries of the Americas, though it remains the second most common cause of death according to Cancer in the Americas: Country Profiles, 2013, a report released this week at the Fifth International Cancer Control Congress in Lima, Peru. The data indicates overall cancer deaths are declining in nine countries: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Venezuela and the United States. Mexico, Nicaragua and El Salvador have the lowest cancer mortality numbers, with the highest cancer mortality rates found in Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba and Argentina. Obesity is most common in English-speaking Caribbean countries, primarily the Bahamas, Belize, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Trinidad and Tobago.

British retirees looking at different retirement locations overseas
Financial problems in southern Europe appear to have forced a shift in perceptions of desirable places to retire for British people including looking at less obvious destinations. A third of people want to move abroad when they retire, but the popularity of Spain, France, Portugal and Greece has plummeted in the past year, according to a recent study. Of more than 1,500 Britons aged over 40, 35% said they would be happier to retire abroad than stay in the UK. The top three destinations were the US, Australia and Canada, if visas were not an issue, but a year ago Spain was the most popular destination. The English speaking country of Belize in the Caribbean has a Retired Persons Incentive Programme which permits people to live 100% tax free. To qualify there is a minimum age of 45 with a non-Belizean based income of a minimum of US$2,000 per month.

November 7, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

San Pedro Town celebrates the traditional Day of the Dead
Los Finados San Pedro Town-8San Pedro Town celebrated Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) with two celebrations. The first was with an early mass at the community cemetery on Saturday November 2nd followed by the blessing of the community altar as part of the Hanal Pixan Celebration. The events were coordinated through the San Pedro Cultural Committee and included the collaboration of several volunteers as well as the participation of the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church. But what is the Hanal Pixan? The San Pedro Sun, in an effort to bring a bit of cultural history to its readers as it relates to centuries-old regional celebration, re-prints the History of Hanal Pixan published by the San Pedro House of Culture. Hanal Pixán in the Mayan language means “food of souls.” This is the name given to Day of the Dead celebrations in the Maya area. In this region, food takes on a special meaning as traditional dishes are prepared for the spirits who are believed to return [to the living world] on this day.

Martin Dawson brings MMA to San Pedro
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a centuries-old full contact combat sport that has evolved into one of the hottest sports of the modern era. It allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, both standing and on the ground, culled from a variety of other combat sports. San Pedro Town is not immune to the draw of the MMA, and with the help of 32-year-old San Pedro resident Martin Dawson, the sport is coming to town. With experience in the disciplines of Taekwondo, Shotokan Karate, Jujitsu, Metcombaint-do, Wushu Kung Fu and MMA, Dawson’s studies could certainly be an exciting new addition to the island sports.

Ambergris Today

Drama Draws Tears at San Pedro HighDrama Draws Tears at San Pedro High
It is about seven years or so every year that retired Professor Larry Heimgartner, along with his lovely wife Debbie, visits San Pedro and specifically San Pedro High School to present live theatrical drama to the students. It is a program designed by Larry and former principal Angel Nuñez to draw attention to social issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, peer pressure, teenage parenthood, bullying, rebellious teens, and rape among others. Angel Nuñez and Ambergris Today were invited on Tuesday, November 5, 2013, by Debbie and Larry to witness and enjoy the presentation which dealt with keeping hurt feelings silent which is devastating to the human spirit. In the thirty minute presentation visiting students Sarah MacKensie from Strathaven, Scotland and Katie Emma Hughes from Stockport, England narrated in the first person situations when they were raped by a boyfriend who was supposedly a perfect, by a brother who was supposedly a hero, a grandfather and even an uncle. “Break this vicious cycle” uttered the SPHS students.

Letters To The Editor: Where is the Equal Employment Opportunity?
Currently, I am a part time student at the University of Belize pursuing my degree on Business Administration. As I embark on my last semester I feel very excited to soon accomplish my goal of graduating and hence have more time to spend with my family and at work. Today, I write to bring across strongly an issue to our Government, non-Government institutions and the private sector regarding the unequal employment opportunities for recent graduates. Gratefully to God, I have a full time job however; many of my friends that will be graduating are now wondering what will be their next step. Unfortunately, the majority will not be able to further their studies due to financial constraints but It will soon be time for them to venture into the work force and face the challenges of unequal employment opportunities. As I look back, I am cognizant of the fact that I have friends who graduated years ago and who are still job-hunting. Additionally, we have the group of graduates who luckily got a job but nonetheless the job had nothing to do with their areas of studies but more because of the mere need of income to be able to pay their student loans.

Dorian’s Angels Enjoy Drinking Vero Water at O Restaurant, Las Terrazas
Water is vital for all known forms of life. Safe drinking water is essential to humans and other life forms even though it provides no calories or organic nutrients. Access to safe drinking water has improved over the last decades in almost every part of the world and O Restaurant at Las Terrazas Resort has taken a huge step in providing its customers with the very best drinking water in the country and region. O Restaurant has taken the initiative of going green and eco-friendly by having purchased a Vero purification system which removes impurities, chemicals and imperfections and leaving a crisp signature taste. Dorian’s Angels were invited to O Restaurant by Executive Chef Patrick Armitage to check out their state of the art water filtrations system and to sample the refreshing water.

Misc Belizean Sources

Updated information on the United States - Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FACTA)
The U.S. Embassy in Belize has shared the following latest release from the IRS. It is the draft agreement and rules for foreign financial institutions (FFI) to report the necessary FATCA information to the IRS. Please click these links to find out more:

Announcing New Belize Travel Video – ‘Collect Memories Not Things’
Island Expeditions, Belize adventure specialists, launch their 2014 adventure season with a new Belize video ‘Collect Memories Not Things’. The clip captures the essence of this tiny Central American country that blends the rhythm of the Caribbean with the exotic flavors of Central America. Viewers are taken on a sensory journey, first traveling 60 miles out to sea to visit Lighthouse Reef Atoll, then they follow a river to the Mayan ruins of Lamanai, and a small Creole village on the banks of the Crooked Tree lagoon. Videographer Steve Adams and writer Sean Horlor on tour with Island Expeditions followed the route of the Lighthouse Getaway and then ventured inland to the Maya World to Crooked Tree Wetlands, the New River and the ruins of Lamanai and Altun Ha. The video accompanied a cover story editorial and photo essay which can viewed online here.

10 Green bananas 2 Whole Snappers (or Sliced Fish)(seasoned) 1 Can Coconut Milk 2 tbsp. Consomme ¼ tsp. Black Pepper Garlic Powder ¼ tsp. Onion Powder 1 sm. Sweet Pepper (optional) 2 thyme leaves Salt to taste Wash, peel and grate Green Bananas. Season bananas with 1 tbsp Consomme, Black Pepper, and Season All. In a pot add Coconut Milk, fill empty can with water two times and add to pot.

Belize Electricity Limited is seeking applicants
To fill the following vacancies: 1. Manager, Internal Audit 2. Senior Transmission & Distribution Operations Engineer 3. Senior Planning & Design Engineer 4. Generation Planner

Working in Belize
If you are interested in working in Belize, there are a couple of things you will need to get in order first. Most important is securing a work visa. Read on to find out how and sign up below for our daily postcards to receive more information on working in Belize and other countries. We’ll also send you a FREE report Belize: The Top English Speaking Retirement Haven in the Caribbean. This special guide covers covers real estate, working opportunities and more in Belize and is yours free when you sign up for our postcards below. Getting a work visa If you are not a permanent resident in Belize, you will need a work permit to legally work. Self-employment permits are by far the easiest to obtain, as you will most likely be viewed as someone with a business that will in fact create jobs and employ local Belizeans. General work permits must be applied for by your prospective employer. That employer will have to prove that they have been unable to find a current local resident to fill the position before a permit will be issued.

Ian Yacab Wins Arts and Culture Award
Ian Yacab, who you've probably seen play with the Benque Marimba Academy, won the Arts and Culture award! The Department of Youth Services held the Belize Youth Awards at the Bliss today, honoring the youths that have provided outstanding service to Belize. This is the 4th consecutive year where a Benqueño has received national recognition in the Arts and Culture. Congratulations, Ian, on your well deserved award! In related news, Ian and the Benque Marimba Academy will be playing at the Benque Festival of Culture on Sunday the 17th. "Estatic feelings! Our Youth Ian Yacab, is the National Youth Recipient for the Art's & Culture 2013-2014 as the Prime Founder of the Benque Marimba Academy, join us in sending him the best wished and may he continued to promote and preserve his cultural heritage. We also salute our partners in the Arts & Culture, Caracol YCD Maritza Barrera (Arenal Villagea), for her outstanding contribution and commitment to the development of the Arts in the region. Kudos to our Youths."

SI United vs Verdes
The SI United played the Verdes last weekend in Benque, and while they didn't win, they did get to break in their new uniforms. "Was A very dramatic derby this weekend. Unfortunately we lost due to two questionable red cards. Its a long season and we have only had 1 home game, so we look to capitalize on our upcoming home games."

Open Mic Night at the GPC
The Department of Youth Services is having an Open Mic Night at the George Price Centre tonight to celebrate National Youth Week. They'll have cash prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places. It goes from 6:00pm until 9:00pm, and entry is free.

Oil in Belize Debates
The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage is having debates on oil all around Belize over the next 4 months. They'll be in Cayo on November 27th, when Belmopan Comprehensive debates Mopan Tech. They are currently looking for volunteers to help with this and other projects. In related news, they have released an ad for their upcoming TV show, 'Our Community, Our Oil, Our Shared Future!' "The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage will be hosting its 1st National Secondary School Debate on OIL IN BELIZE! Come out and show your support as ten schools from across the country battle it out to be the first winners of what will soon be the best debate of the year! Join the Coalition and students in addressing the subject of Oil in Belize as we start our journey toward a National Discussion on Oil that has never taken place! (See flyer for schedule dates and details)"

CAPPS Reading Competition at Bishop Martin
CAPPS had an elimination round at Bishop O.P. Martin primary school, preparing for the Cayo Reading Competition that will be at the George Price Centre on November 21st. Congratulations, Ronan Stewart, who'll represent zone 2 at the district finals. "CAPPS Zone 2 held its reading elimination competition at Bishop Martin RC School. Zone 2 reader now moves on to the District elimination at Belmopan City on November 21st 2013. Representing Zone 2 at the district finals is no other than from Arms of Love School. Best of Luck Ronan at the District Finals :)"

Channel 7

Five Days Out Of Jail, Michael Coye Passes, Jailed Daughter Gets Bail
Last night, a mere 5 days after he got bail, convicted money launderer Michael Coye, who was waiting for his Appeal hearing, passed away from a heart attack while receiving emergency medical treatment. The family and their attorney has voiced very loudly that he had a diabetic condition, which couldn’t be properly managed at the Belize Central Prison. The rest of his family is devastated, and their loss is great, but it has resulted in the granting of bail for his daughter, Melonie Coye, who was also convicted of money laundering. 7News was there for the hearing which finished an hour and half ago, and we have the comments of their attorney on the result. Here’s what he told us:

Opposition Motion Does Not Pass Senate In Controversial Vote
This afternoon at 2:00 in Belmopan, the Senate met as usual to consider bills brought forward from Friday’s House Meeting. But while that was the business as usual, the media gallery was full because of a motion introduced by PUP Senator Lisa Shoman. She wants the senate to appoint a Special Select Committee to investigate the issuance of passports, visas and nationality certificates at the Immigration Department. Today she presented the motion at the senate and it was enthusiastically supported by the three social partner senators for business, labour and the churches. The meeting finished at 6:00 pm and ou team is on the way back with highlights of the session, but we can tell you that the motion did not succeed. Now, there’s some dispute as to whether it was defeated or whether there was a 6 – 6 ties, but for sure, it did not pass. It was put to a vote and the six senators for the government voted no, while the 6 opposition and the social partners voted yes. The president sought to break the 6 – 6 tie with his casting vote, but the PUP Senator Lisa Shoman told him that the constitution bars him from using his casting vote on such a motion. He seemed confused, and then the leader of Government business moved for the adjournment and the meeting ended on that desultory note. Senator Shoman insists it ended in a tie. Whatever the case, as we said, it still did not pass. We’ll have all that for you a little later in the news as our team is coming back from Belmopan at this hour.

Corruption Sickness At Health?
For weeks we’ve been reporting on the missing money – hundreds of thousands of dollars fleeced from the Southern Regional Hospital. But, there are also credible reports of irregularities at the Dangriga Polyclinic, the Central Region and the Punta Gorda polyclinic. Indeed, a tidy chunk the 103 million dollar budget of the Ministry of Health is, it appears, lost to graft. Today we asked the CEO about the panorama of dishonesty confronting the ministry:… Jules Vasquez "Monies were put into a fund for every child born, and those monies should have been used to bolster the hospital's resources. Those monies were not used for that. The money - hundreds of thousands, from what we've heard - were fleeced. What is the status with the person who stands accused from the auditor general review/audit?" Dr. Peter Allen - CEO, Ministry of Health "I haven't spoken to the individual, but the individual, Ms. Sommerville, is still on suspension. The investigation by the Auditor General's Department continues. The investigation by the police continues. I understand from indirect sources that Ms. Sommerville says that she is innocent. She is not guilty of the accusations that have been leveled against here. And in the absence of firm evidence, I really can't add more than that, except to say that the investigations do continue."

Mayor Not Happy With Chang, But Can’t Kick Him Out Of Council
Last week, 7News told you about Mayor Darrell Bradley’s failed attempts to try to contact missing city councillor Eric Chang, who has been stripped his portfolios and his responsibility has deputy mayor. The extended period of time, plus the radio silence has brought public pressure on City Hall to disqualify him has an elected city councillor, but the Mayor says that it’s not that simple. We caught up to him at an business mixer between the council and the Belize Chamber of Commerce, and he told us that his administration cannot expedite Chang’s complete departure just because the public may be calling for it. Here’s his frank comments on it: Geovanni Brackett - Plus TV "Why would you drag it on?" Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council "No no, it's not a situation of dragging it on. The strength of a company has to do with its people and every single person. So that, we have certain procedures that we follow at City Council. We have certain policies that we have put in place. We have a certain modus that we run the city, and we are continuing to do that. Councillor Chang is absent from this jurisdiction. I have indicated that that absence is unacceptable. We have taken certain consequences against him. We will take more serious consequences as it goes on We're monitoring this situation very seriously, but there is not challenge to the city.

Grandmaster Grand Forger?
Well-known dub poet Leroy “Grandmaster” Young, a resident of 10 Pinks Alley, was charged with forgery when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. Young was also charged with uttering a false document and possession of a false document. According to the allegation, on October 25, Young attempted to cash a Belize Bank cheque for $100 at Wellworth Store, but the cheque was forged. Police reports are that the cheque was stolen from a cheque book belonging to Carlos Walker that stolen from Walker’s apartment during a burglary. At the time Walker resided in Pinks Alley. He was offered a bail of $500 and his case was adjourned until December 18.

City Hall And Chamber Meet To Find Common Ground
Belize City property taxes and trade licenses – it’s a thorny issue, because on one hand, the revenue earned from their collection, allows the council the ability to run the city, and meet certain debt obligations. But, the private sector city says that the criteria in which their businesses are assess is unfair and in drastic need of a revisit. Weeks ago, Bradley told the media that he was open to a discussion on the criteria review, but the responsibility rested in the hands of the chamber. Today, both sides met for a frank discussion on the way forward, and 7News attended. Here’s what the president of the BCCI told us about the current system and its weaknesses: Kay Menzies - President, BCCI "In the past we've had our differences with City Hall. Today's event represents the building of a new partnership. We have been working with the City for the last couple months, trying to find an answer to the replace the trade license regime, which we had a little bit of an uproar last year. In that process, I think we've realized and come to an understanding that it takes everybody working together to develop this City to its full potential."

Teenage Girl Charged Along With Repeat Offender
27 year old Darrington Lauriano and a 15 year old girl, have been charged with burglary in a case in which items and money amounting to over $80,000 were stolen. They were arraigned today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. The burglary occurred between 6:45 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on October 31. The complainant, 57 year old retired businessman Stanley Moody, reported to the police that his apartment, located at 13 King Street, was burglarized. He said that the items that were stolen were his licensed .38 revolver, his gold wristwatch valued at $60,000, his Seiko wristwatch, valued at $4,000, 20 thousand dollars and some Mexican pesos. No plea was taken because it has not been decided if the case will be tried on indictment. They were each offered a bail of $10,000, but so far none of them have met bail. They are to return to court on January 13, 2014.

Souring Relations In Sugar Industry
As we’ve reported, there are rumblings of discontent in the sugar industry where the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association is demanding a dialogue on the Bagasse, the by product of the sugar production process which is now used a bio-fuel by Belcogen. The cane farmers have been calling on BSI to meet with them since September 25th – but BSI has not set a date for that meeting. Now, with less than three weeks to go before the start of the Cane season, the Cane Farmers Association has given BSI a deadline With only twenty days before the start of the new proposed Sugar Cane Crop Season, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association has yet to get word from the executives of the Belize Sugar Industries Limited, BSI, on a way forward as it pertains to the by-product Bagasse. Fred Ortega, who ends his one year contract as Chairman of the BSCFA Committee of Management tomorrow, stopped by our studious today and told us that the Association is giving BSI a deadline to come to the negotiating table. While that plays out on a tense deadline, the issue made it to the House Meeting on Friday where Orange Walk Representatives on both sides of the House spoke on the volatile issue with the opposition pressing the government to intervene:

The Problem And Plague Of Teenage Pregnancy
This morning a report was released along with the launching of an educational and informative video on adolescent pregnancy. It is one way in which UNFPA is promoting a holistic approach to tackling the challenge of adolescent pregnancy – which does not dwell on changing the behavior of the girl, but rather on changing the attitudes and actions of the society she lives in. According to the State of World Population 2013 which was released globally in October last month – it mentioned that motherhood in children is a huge global problem, especially in developing countries where every year, 7.3 million girls under 18 give birth. Today we found out how this issue is affecting our young girls. The report was done in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Youth Enhancement Services.

Senate Blowback: Motion Was Defeated, Dispute Persists
Our team is just back from Belmopan with video of the Senate meeting. The meeting lasted four hours and it’s too late to edit it all together, but suffice to say that the Motion to set up a special select committee to investigate the Immigration Department did not pass. Earlier we told you that there was some doubt as to whether the motion was defeated or if it ended in a tie – which still would not have granted its passage. But, during the course of the news, the clerk of the National Assembly confirmed that it was defeated by the judgment of the president who ruled that the no’s have it – meaning 6 government members plus the President’s casting vote. But when the voting was done, before he could rule PUP Senator Lisa Shoman advised him that the constitution bars him from voting on such a motion. Here’s how that exchange went and her comments after the meeting finished at 6:00 pm: Jules Vasquez "Senator, the meeting ended on an inconclusive note, it appears because -" Lisa Shoman, P.U.P. Senator "No, six senators voted in favor - the three social partner senators and the three senators from the opposition - and all six senators for the government voted against. In this matter, the constitution is clear: the president does not have a casting vote. When it comes to any matter relating to section sixty-one (A) (D), which is exactly what we were dealing with today."

Fisheries Awarded
Today the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development received an award from the regional Food and Agriculture Organization representative. It’s a medal named after Dr. Margarita Saucedo Lizárraga, a Senior FAO Fishery Liaison Officer who promoted Responsible Fisheries. Fisheries Minister Lisel Alamilla says Belize is doing the same. Specifically, the award recognizes the work that the Ministry has done in the implementation of the Central American Fisheries and Aquaculture Integration Policy.

Redemption Songs At Prison
You may or may not know about “Songs of Redemption”; it is a documentary shot inside the Tower Street Correctional Facility in Kingston, Jamaica. The film features prison inmates on their road to rehabilitation in a program which uses music as an outreach mechanism. Today, the documentary, which had won three major awards at film festivals in Los Angeles, Toronto and Trinidad, was shown to select inmates at the Belize Central Prison. 7News attended, and we spoke to the EU Ambassador to Belize, who told us about how it has been used all throughout Jamaica as a teaching tool: The administration at the Belize Central Prison has pledged to adopt parts of the rehab program from Tower Street.

Good Feeling For Fantasy Five Winner
Tonight an Orange Walk woman is the lucky Fantasy 5 winner. Solangel Carbajal travelled to Belize City today with her family to collect her winning cheque of two hundred and ninety three thousand, five hundred dollars. It was an unexpected win and a unique set of numbers. Here’s her story. Carbajal winning numbers were 09, 10, 12, 19, 21, a list of dates on the Belize’s holiday calendar. After taxes was deducted, she took home two hundred and forty nine thousand, four hundred and seventy five dollars.

Channel 5

Opposition tables motion for a senate-led investigation on the passport and visa hustle
A highly anticipated senate meeting in Belmopan started at two this afternoon and concluded before six this evening. The main agenda item was the tabling of a motion by opposition [...]

Days after he was released on bail, businessman Michael Coye dies
And now, we turn to the sad story of a Belize City businessman who has been in the news now for years.  Sixty-seven year old Michael Coye spent eighteen months [...]

Social partners rise to support, but the government casts the deciding vote
As we said earlier in the newscast, the motion for a senate-select committee did not pass in the senate this evening. That’s because the opposition questioned the casting vote by [...]

Senator Shoman says President does not have a casting vote
Senator for the Opposition, Lisa Shoman explains.   Lisa Shoman, P.U.P. Senator “Six senators voted in favor—the three social partner senators and the three senators from the opposition—and all six [...]

Well-known poet and entertainer charged for forgery
A report on today’s senate meeting is coming up shortly, but we go to the courts. Well-known poet and entertainer, Leroy “The Grand Master” Young, a resident of Pinks Alley [...]

Woman charged for stabbing another outside a club
A woman was stabbed outside a club on Monday night and police believe they have been able to crack the case. Today, twenty-nine year old Denay Gillett, a resident and [...]

City Council and Chamber of Commerce hold mixer to strengthen relations
Relations between the Belize City Council and the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry have not always been cozy. But an initiative by Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley will hopefully [...]

Still no word of communication from Eric Chang
It’s been two weeks since former deputy mayor of Belize City, Eric Chang, was stripped of his title and portfolios with the City Council. It comes on the heels of [...]

The 11th annual OCCUR International Conference
The Organization of Caribbean Utilities Regulators is hosting its Eleventh Annual International Conference in Belize.  This year’s theme, ‘Challenges to Regulatory Power in Borderless Societies’ sees the convergence of over [...]

Outstanding youths awarded by the Ministry of Education
A number of outstanding youths were honored this morning by the Ministry of Education. They came from all over the country and are from all walks of life but the [...]

Ministry of Fisheries and Forestry awarded by the Food & Agriculture Organization
The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development was today awarded with a commemorative medal by the Food and Agriculture Organization in recognition of work that has been done to [...]

E.U. Ambassador debuts Redemption Song at the Belize Central Prison.
Songs of Redemption is a documentary that has won awards at film festivals in Los Angeles, Toronto and Trinidad. This morning it was viewed by a captive audience of inmates [...]

EU Ambassador meets with stakeholders to discuss 2014-2020 bilateral programs
Ambassador Amadei has been in Belize since Monday and will leave the country on Friday. Aside from her work with the Kolbe Foundation, she is having discussions on the European [...]


Senate Meets in Special Session
The Senate met in a special session this afternoon to deal with several matters of national importance. At top priority on the table was a debate for the Appointment of a Special Select Committee and because that matter was the last item on the agenda, the meeting ended later than usual, going late into the evening. PUP Senator, Lisa Shoman, requested that the Senate pass a resolution to appoint a Special Select Committee to investigate the issuance of Nationality certificates, Passports and Visas at the Department of Immigration. It proposes that the Committee be comprised of five members, with only one from the government, one from the opposition and three from civil society. While that event ended at around six-30, it ended with a vote, six in favour of the proposal and six against. The President of the Senate, Marco Pech, appointed by the Government, attempted to cast the deciding seventh vote, but the PUP’s Senator Lisa Shoman objected on the basis of a section of the Constitution that prohibited him from doing so. We’ll have the highlights of that in Thursday’s newscast. But the regular business of the day dealt with the ever pressing immigration and visa scandal, which Immigration Minister, Godwin Hulse, took time to mention his disappointment that the Opposition, People’s United Party had no regard for his office.

Belize Excels in Fisheries and Aquaculture
A special award ceremony was held this morning at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City during which the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) acknowledged the participation of Belize in the responsible development of Fisheries and Aquaculture. The Margarita Lizarraga Medal is awarded biennially by the Conference upon the proposal of the Council to a person or organization that has served with distinction in the application of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. John Jorgenson, FAO representative was on hand to deliver the medal award. Jorgenson JOHN JORGENSON “The medal is the Margarita Lizarraga Medal which is named after a former officer who worked in the FAO for many years. The medal voted for an organization or individual which says works in distinction in the promotion of responsible fisheries especially in the support of small scale fisheries in developing countries. I can inform you about that OSPESCA has been working tirelessly in this Central American region promoting responsible fisheries in various ways in all the member countries and that is why OSPESCA has been singled out. They have been organizing a lot of wor shops in full capacity building in different aspects of fisheries and aquaculture and I am working with a number of different organizations around the world including the FAO.”

Prisoners Escaped from Corozal Police Custody; One Remain At Large
Two prisoners escaped from the Corozal Police Station on Monday night. Police say that one of the prisoners, 24 year old Florentino Ruiz of Mamey Street in Corozal Town, was waiting on charge of possession of controlled drugs, while the other, 48 year old Alex James, an Honduran National previously living in Chetumal, Mexico was waiting on a charge of illegal entry when they escaped from their cell at the Corozal Police Station. Police say that both Ruiz and James escaped from their cells between the hours of four and seven on Monday night. When police noticed that both men were missing a search was conducted in the immediate area but the men could not be found anywhere. That was on Monday night and on the following day Corozal Police received a tip of a suspiciously looking male person walking on the Phillip Goldson Highway near San Jose Village in Orange Walk. Quick police response led to the detention that person whom was later learnt to be Alex James. Florentino Ruiz is still at large.

Village Resident Killed in Traffic Incident
A man from Hattieville Village was knocked down and killed on Monday night. Police say that the incident happened just before seven that night between miles 16 and 17 on the George Price Highway and involved a red, white and yellow Isuzu delivery truck and a bicycle rider. Police investigations revealed that the truck was heading from the direction of Belmopan towards Belize City when it hit the bicyclist, 47 year-old James Harold Gongora, whose black bicycle was extensively damaged. Police say that 25 year old Ernesto Vasquez was driving the truck towards Belize City when he became momentarily blinded by the lights of an approaching vehicle and knocked down Gongora, who was riding on the same side of the Highway. Gongora died about two hours later at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The police have served a notice of intended prosecution on Ernesto Vasquez.

Ailing Money Laundering Convict Dies Days After Receiving Bail Due to Illness
At the end of last month Michael Coye was granted bail. 66-year-old Coye along with his daughter Melonie were sentenced to three years imprisonment last August after they were found guilty of money laundering. Love News understands that Michael Coye died last night. As has been reported, Coye was a diabetic and it was one of the grounds that his attorney Arthur Saldivar had applied for bail. The Coyes had appealed and their case will be heard in the February 2014 session.

Woman in Northern Belize Wins Jackpot
Solangel Carbajal, a resident of the Orange Walk District, collected her winning from the Fantasy 5’s office this afternoon. Carbajal who took home $249,475.00 after taxes told us she owes her good fortune to her mother: SOLANGEL CARBAJAL “My mother gave me the numbers.” LINETTE CANTO “Where did she get the numbers from?” SOLANGEL CARBAJAL “She was sitting outside on the veranda and she turned to me and told me to buy these numbers. “ LINETTE CANTO “So how did you feel when you realized that you had the winning ticket?” SOLANGEL CARBAJAL “I was really happy, very happy.” LINETTE CANTO “How did you find out?” SOLANGEL CARBAJAL “It was about 9 o’clock or 9:30 when I put on the TV and I saw the numbers passing on the screen. My mother said, ‘see the numbers 9, 10…’ and I said, ‘what?’ and I jumped on the bed and said, ‘Mom, I won the numbers.”

Belizean Poet Attempts to Use Stolen Cheque
Forty-six year old dub poet Leroy “Grandmaster” Young, a self employed of Pinks Alley, was charged with forgery when he appeared in court today. Young was also charged with uttering a false document and possession of a false document. He was offered a bail of 500 dollars and his case was adjourned until December 18. According to the allegation, on October 25, Young attempted to cash a forged Belize Bank cheque for 100 dollars at Wellworth Store. The cheque was one that was from a cheque book that was stolen from Carlos Walker when his apartment in Pinks Alley was burglarized.

Senate Meets in Capital City
The Senate met today in Belmopan. While Senators discussed the three bills that came from the House of Representatives, one point of interest was a motion presented by Senator Lisa Shoman to appoint a special select committee. Our team is just back from Belmopan and we will have more on today’s meeting later in our newscast.

Burglary Charge Levied Against Duo
27-year- old Darrington Lauriano and a 15 year old girl, have been charged with burglary in case in which cash and items amounting to about $84,000 were stolen. Magistrate Dale Cayetano did not take a plea because it has not been decided whether the matter will be tried on indictment. Lauriano and the girl were each offered a bail of $10,000 and their case was adjourned until January 13, 2014. 57-year -old Stanley Moody, reported to the police that his apartment, located on King Street, was burglarized between 6:45 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on October 31. He said that the items that were stolen included his licensed .38 revolver, two wristwatches and cash.

Love FM Awards $500.00 Groceries for A Year
As a part of the September celebrations, Love FM held its annual Raise Your Flag and Win Competition. One of the winners Eloisa Middleton travelled from Corozal to Belize City to pick up her prize which is $500.00 groceries per month from K-Park Supermarket. LINETTE CANTO “So how did you feel when you got the news that you were indeed the big winner?” ELOISA MIDDLETON “Well actually I think my friends were more excited than me. The children at school were all telling me, ‘did you hear you won? Did you hear you won?” The teachers were calling me, texting me and I didn’t hear it until when I got a call from Belmopan and then I said well, it has to be so. That is when I said let me check with Love FM to find out if it was so and then I called, I couldn’t get in, but eventually I got Lorelei and she said, yes and she asked me if I got a ticket for the raffle? I said, ‘of course I did; I have the stub also’. Now I was worrying because I didn’t know where I had the stub. So I went home to search for the stub and then eventually I found it and I said oh yea I won well now yes I can confirm. So I said well I’m coming down to Belize tomorrow because I thought it was like something that would happen immediately and then I came to Belize but actually I couldn’t do anything. So I went back and I said let me have patience and wait. So then today is the day that I am here. This will come in handy for me because actually, I usually help my church. We have people that we usually give stuff to. We have the school and I have my family, friends and I usually share with a lot of people so it will come in handy for me and for them also.”

Lodge Freed After Accused of Destroying Windshield
Thirty year old Darwin Lodge, charged with damage to property, was freed of the charge when it was dismissed today by Magistrate Dale Cayetano. Lodge’s attorney Bryan Neal submitted that Lodge had no case to answer to after the complainant, Tony Anthony, denied that she gave police a statement and that it was not her signature that was on the statement. Magistrate Cayetano upheld the submission and dismissed the charge. Lodge was charged when Anthony reported to police that on July 23, 2012, Lodge threw a bottle at the front windshield of her car and broke it.

Airport Authority Inspects Airstrip Project in Southern Belize
An official of the Belize Airport Authority today completed an inspection visit to the Punta Gorda Municipal Airstrip Fence Project. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the story in this report. PAUL MAHUNG “With the progress of the project nearing its completion phase, an inspection visit to the project site at the Punta Gorda Municipal airstrip was made by Belize Airport Authority’s General Manager, Kenworth Tillett.” KENWORTH TILLETT “Over the years there have been many complaints about the safety and pedestrians crossing the runway at the Punta Gorda Municipal Airport. So, the Belize Airport Authority along with Cocesna is in the process of constructing this fence for the safety of the residents of Punta Gorda. We are about 75 to 80 percent complete at this point. As you can see the fence is progressing well but there have been some problems in terms of the construction and there has been some vandalism. Apparently people don’t necessarily want to have to walk around but in the interest of safety, it is necessary that this fence was built. This is something for the community; so, when anyone should decide to vandalize the site or do anything like that, basically, that is something that is against the community and I think that is something that the community needs to do, to be guardians of the community itself and the assets of the community and this fence certainly is an asset.”

Security Guard Assaulted in Old Capital
A security guard lies in a critical condition after he was attacked at around six-30 on Tuesday night in Belize City. Police say that 49 year old Desmond Miller was standing in front of the Belize City Council building on North Front Street when a man he knows only as “Pizza” hit him with a piece of stick in the back of the head, causing a large cut wound and rendering him unconscious. He was transported to the KHMH where he is hospitalized in a critical but stable condition. Police have since detained a suspect.


Unions press for salary adjustment
The national public sector unions under the umbrella of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) continue to press for a long-standing salary adjustment and there are indications that they are close to getting it. We spoke to a group of union representatives in Belize City. Here is...

PUP is presenting a motion to launch a Special Senate Select Committee on Immigration
The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) is presenting a motion to launch a Special Senate Select Committee on Immigration at Wednesday’s meeting in Belmopan. The National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) is on record as affirming its support. But are they expecting any answers? Mrs. Sharon Frazer: “Yes, but at...

Sunshine Holdings back in court
On Tuesday morning Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin began hearing arguments on the case of Social Security Board (SSB) vs. Sunshine Holdings Limited, one of the many former shareholders of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) – in its case, 22.39% of all shares in trust for BTL employees. Those shares were...

P.C. Randolph Scott in court for alleged sexual assault on female officer
A police officer, sworn to protect the public, is accused of betraying the trust of a fellow police officer. According to police, P.C. #1149 Randolph Scott Jr., 30, of Neal’s Pen Road in Belize City, allegedly approached a female officer working at Precinct Four Police Station based in the...

Orlando Habet continues with the effort to remove Elvin Penner from office
Orlando Habet is continuing with his party’s effort to remove Elvin Penner from office. Mr Habet was on Monday’s Rise and Shine Show. According to Orlando Habet, they have already passed the minimum requirement of signatures needed to carry out a recall; he explains where the process is at...

Taxi Driver accused of causing disturbance at Tourism Village
On Tuesday morning police held taxi operator Henry Gillett, also known as Pulu, at the Queen Street Police Station. He is accused of causing a disturbance at the Fort Street Tourism Village on North Front Street. We spoke to his attorney, Kareem Musa. Mr. Kareem Musa- Attorney at Law...

PSU concerned over transfers of several immigration clerks
The Public Service Union (PSU) has raised its hackles over the reported transfers of several immigration clerks who may need to assist in the ongoing investigations over the passport and visa scandals. President Marvin Blades says that in the first instance, protocol has not been followed. Mr. Marvin Blades-...

Stakeholders of the Sugar Industry are planning for the future
Planning for the future – that’s what stakeholders of the Sugar Industry are presently engaged in. It is expected that in October of 2017, changes to the EU sugar regime may impact prices in Belize’s major export market, reducing revenue from Belize sugar sales. Quotas which have regulated access...

Condition of San Estevan Road highlighted in House
The condition of the San Estevan Road in the Orange Walk District has long been a concern for commuters and residents of that area. And with the recent rain, the lack of a proper drainage system prohibits water from running off the road – devastating the streets even more....

PM says moves are being made to deal with corruption in Lands Department
Prime Minister, in front of a group of Belizean Diaspora in Los Angeles, admitted that the Lands Department is “a hotbed of corruption.” He further mentioned that his administration has been making moves to purge out said corruption, but what are they? Well, the PM expounded on that. Hon....

Belizean Sherilyn Jones heads the Museum Association of the Caribbean
Last week we showed you the regional meeting of the Museum Association of the Caribbean. Now we can report that for the next 12 months, Belize has received the honor of leading that association. The woman holding the post is Director of Museums and Houses of Culture, Sherilyn Jones....

Department of Youth Services hosts youth cook-off
On Tuesday The Department of Youth Services hosted a youth cook-off in which the participants had to make a three-course meal and drink for three hungry judges. But it is not quite as easy as it sounds. For more we join...


NICH International Festival of Culture
Benque, Nov. 15-24

Belize’s Bountiful Birds Showcased in latest Audubon Magazine
There is no doubt that Belize is a birder’s paradise, according to the owners of The Lodge at Chaa Creek, who have been sponsoring professional, scientific and amateur bird watching for over three decades. And now the latest edition of Audubon Magazine not only confirms this but highlights it to an audience far beyond the Belize eco resort’s usual reach, they said. Chaa Creek co-owner and GM Lucy Fleming said that she was “overwhelmed and delighted” by the depth and detail of the November-December 2013 edition of Audubon Magazine’s online edition’s feature, “Beautiful and Bird-Filled Belize”. “Birding is one of our key activities and we’ve sponsored a great deal of avian research over the last thirty years, so to see an authority such as Audubon Magazine feature the bids of Belize, and in such an in-depth and beautiful manner is very exciting. “As anyone involved in conservation knows, knowledge is power when it comes to protecting the environment and various species, and the November-December 2013 edition of Audubon Magazine raised awareness of Belize’s avian treasures in a way we could never hope to.

SPSC Plans New Location – The Villas at Banyan Bay
San Pedro Sailing Club Plan Future Move to Banyan Bay. Since the San Pedro Sailing Club’s (SPSC) inception in 2010 under the leadership of Commodore Andy Milner, the SPSC has worked with Brig. Gen Alan Usher (Ret) and a small group of like-minded people to actively formalize recreational and competitive sailing in Belize. Since then the SPSC has strived to meet the Belize Sailing Association’s (BzSA) aims and aspirations which are primarily to promote competitive, traditional and recreational sailing within Belize, and to acquire through funding and building locally, a fleet of Optimist class dinghies and then introduce sailing activities into schools, and enter Belizean sailors into future Caribbean and Central American games.

International Sources

Treasury Takes Next Step in Effort to Curtail Offshore Tax Evasion
The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service today issued a notice for foreign financial institutions (FFIs) to comply with the information reporting and withholding tax provisions of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). FATCA is rapidly becoming the global standard in the effort to curb offshore tax evasion. To date, Treasury has signed nine IGAs, has reached 16 agreements in substance, and is engaged in related conversations with many more jurisdictions. The notice, which is the next step in implementation, previews proposed guidance and provides a draft agreement for participating FFIs directly engaging in agreements with the IRS and those reporting through a Model 2 intergovernmental agreement (IGA). It provides FFIs with advance notice prior to the beginning of FATCA withholding and account due diligence requirements on July 1, 2014. The FFI agreement will be finalized by year end.

Special Olympian fundraising for trek to Belize
A Lake Havasu City Special Olympian, 34-year-old Jeffrey Cowell, is preparing for his first trek out of the U.S. in December to help promote Special Olympics in Belize City, Belize. His fundraising goal is at least $2,000 to cover travel expenses....

Tropical retirement: a new favourite destination
The little English-speaking country of Belize has long been known for its handful of Caribbean islands lying just offshore the mainland, especially Ambergris Caye of Survivor fame. Leonardo Dicaprio also owns an island in the north of the country. However, another face of Belize is also beginning to attract attention. This country’s lush, mountainous interior and breathtaking shorelines are drawing the notice of retirees from the US, Britain and Europe, interested in a Caribbean lifestyle. Many people, reaching this stage of life, are reminded of what’s really important. This realisation is spurring a new generation of folks looking for opportunities around the globe to embrace a self-sufficient, resilient lifestyle. In this context, Belize stands out. As recently as a few years ago, the numbers of foreign retirees living in Belize numbered only a few dozen. Today, small but ever-expanding communities of expats and retirees seeking a back-to-basics lifestyle have established themselves in along the coastline.

PBS special calls attention to the plight of unwanted parrots
On a trip to Belize in 2010, one of our goals was to see a scarlet macaw, a dynamic, large bird that has become increasingly rare as poachers invade their nests and steal the young for the illegal pet trade. We were fortunate to see several of these spectacularly plumed birds as they flew above a mountainous forest canopy, but our joy was tinged with sadness by the knowledge that these incredible creatures might someday become extinct. The new TV program "Parrot Confidential," a sobering look at the predicament of the thousands of unwanted and abandoned "pet" parrots in the United States, brings the plight of the macaw and other exotic birds into sharp focus. The hourlong documentary, the latest installment in the long-running series "Nature," airs at 8 p.m. Wednesday on Channel 13. It should be required viewing for anyone toying with the notion of bringing one of these incredibly intelligent and complicated birds into their homes — especially if they are thinking of buying one from a pet shop.

Kelly: 'Nature deficit disorder'? 'Wild Kingdom' ambassador urges kids to explore the outdoors
Peter Gros, Mutual of Omaha's “Wild Kingdom” ambassador, fears that kids today suffer from “nature deficit disorder.” “Children spend more time looking at screens and video games,” Gros said. “We encourage them, 'Get out with your family. Whatever you like to do, get outside and reconnect with nature.'” In his show at the Holland (tickets range from $15 to $30), he will share tales of his travels and clips of bloopers, as well as “inspirational stories” about conservation. “The challenge today,” he said, “is to give meaning to young people and help them understand and care about wildlife.” Gros and his wife, Leslie, have been married for 40 years and have three adult sons. The family has enjoyed backpacking, hiking and camping. Expeditions have taken him to Siberia, the Amazon Basin, Nepal and beyond. He has studied the effects of ecotourism on wildlife in Venezuela, Costa Rica, Belize, Mexico and the Galapagos Islands.

Caribbean waters about to get very busy with cruise ships
A portion of the world's cruise ship fleet is on its way to Florida and things are about to get crowded. The imports from across the pond will be joining ships that spent the summer serving the Caribbean and Mexico. At one port, Fort Lauderdale's Port Everglades, 15 ships will depart mostly for the Caribbean and Mexico in just one week in January. Most are heading to the familiar ports - St. Thomas, Belize, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Nassau. At any of these stops, you may find three to five ships in port at the same time. Newbies and regulars don't seem to mind. While I have hopped to many of these popular islands, and will again, I've gained a passion for some of the more authentic smaller ports in the Windward Islands and the Leeward Islands. I haven't been to them all but I expect to cover more this winter.

“Archaeological Discoveries from Space” Is Topic of Next Science Forum
The use of satellite technology in making archaeological discoveries will be the topic of the next science forum. “There have been several exciting archaeological discoveries in the news over the past few years, from lost pyramids in Egypt to lost cities in Belize, Mexico, and Cambodia,” White said. “These discoveries were made possible by using remote sensing technology, which is also behind much of what you see in Google Earth.”

Harvey Vengroff will be sorely missed
Harvey Vengroff - that multi-millionaire, Republican do-gooder - is planning to leave Sarasota for Belize and will be sorely missed. According to Michael Pollick’s story in the Herald-Tribune this morning, Vengroff is leaving because of all the hassles that government creates - from the local level all the way up to halls of power in Washington. In Sarasota, he complains that rules makes it easier for people to build mansions than affordable housing and he doesn’t think that’s fair. Out of all the people I’ve met in Sarasota during my 16 years here, Harvey has done the most good for the greatest number.

Sarasota millionaire sailing on to Belize
Harvey Vengroff, a self-made multimillionaire who moved to Southwest Florida 23 years ago so he could go sailing every day, is sailing on — to Belize. Vengroff, the 72-year-old founder of one of the world's largest collection agencies, plans to sell a $75 million Southwest Florida property portfolio that he amassed after arriving in 1990. He is also making it possible for his real estate employees to acquire another $20 million worth of apartments on favorable terms. Since he got here, Vengroff has been a colorful character who prefers casual clothes, rails against government bureaucrats and tends to do things his own way. In the late 1990s, Barry Seidel of American Property Group of Sarasota sold Vengroff a vacant 400-seat restaurant on the North Tamiami Trail called Brenton Reef.

November 6, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Football Tournament: Island Pure defeats Warriors; Caribbean Depot draws with FC United
The first two games of the San Pedro Sports Council Tournament being done in collaboration with Councilor Gaby Nunez & Coordinator Ernildo Jones took place this past Sunday on November 2nd, 2013 at the Ambergris Stadium. The first game was between Island Pure and Warriors, and Island Pure would secure a 3 to 1 win. Scoring goals on behalf of the winning team were players Brandon Santos(#6), Brandon Gonzales (#7) and Moises Mejia(#9). One yellow card was given to Island Pure player, Elan Gonzales. Game two was played between Caribbean Depot and FC United, and the tight game ended in a 4-4 draw. Scoring goals for Caribbean Depot were Juan Carlos Villatoro (#2), Oscar Mendez(#6), Alberto Quintanilla(#8) , and Arby Novelo (#14). Matching those goal amounts for FC United were players Joel Banner, Ismael Figueroa, and 2-time scorer Andy Mejia. A total of three yellow cards were given in this match, one to Andy Mejia and Giovanni Reyes of FC United and the other to Ruben Pat of Caribbean Depot.

Heimgartners share icy treats with SPRCS
Paleta distribution at SPRC-2The students and staff from San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRCS) were treated to an icy cold snack on Friday, November 1st. Long time island visitors, Debbie and Larry Heimgartner, along with a couple other smiling helpers, distributed paletas (popsicles) to over 1000 students. The delicious strawberry and chocolate treats were perfect for the hot day. The children were surely pleased with their treats and greeted the Heimgartners with smiles of gratitude and choruses of “thank you”.

SPRCS’ All saints Day Fair
San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRCS) held its annual All Saints Day Fair on Saturday, November 2nd as part of the annual tradition that reveres Saints of the Catholic Doctrine. The fair was organized by the Parents- Teacher Association (PTA) in an effort to raise funds. The funds will be used to relocate the cafeteria from its current location to the rear area of the campus and use the cafeteria space as classrooms. The fair started at around 5PM as a crowd gathered to make their way into the fair grounds. Several students dressed as various Saint and Angels of the Catholic Church. But the fair was not all about the Saints; those in attendance enjoyed plenty of food, drinks, music, games and even live entertainment. There was even a fun kids disco for the older kids to dance the night away or until curfew!

SACNW Trick or Treat Social (15 photos)
Residents and friends of the South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch area celebrated Halloween with a neighborhood Trick or Treat Social. The fun began at the "Haunted" Casa Mariposa and ended at Black Orchid Restaurant where costumed-kiddies received treats and ghoulish adults enjoyed an "after party". Residents donated various cakes, cookies and goodies for everyone to savor and a good time was had by children of ALL ages!

I-Spy with my watchful eye… Large choppers circling Ambergris Caye
Many may be wondering about the two massive helicopters that were circling Ambergris Caye on the afternoon of Tuesday, November 5th. The two choppers are part of the US Embassy Military Liaison Office stationed in Belmopan and Joint Task Force-Bravo who has partnered with the Military to successfully eradicate large marijuana fields in mainland Belize. It is unclear what their flyover off Ambergris Caye entails.

Ambergris Today

Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites
The MTBCAAS Project reached another milestone in achieving its objectives and results of the Project. A contract, in the amount of $344,072 (Three hundred forty four thousand and seventy two dollars), was awarded to the consulting firm BELZEB CONSULTING of Grenada, West Indies via tendering process to provide consultancy for diversification of community based tourism products and services to National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) and Belize Tourism Board (BTB). The contract involves the development and delivery of a training program in standardization, branding and certification for Belizean made arts and crafts products being sold at archaeological sites and elsewhere. The consultancy will also advise on how best to utilize the marketing resources of BTB and NICH to assist artisans in marketing their Belizean made products for international consumption. This initiative will directly impact and benefit artisans living and working in communities that are primarily near to archaeological sites.

Saga Thanks San Pedro Community
The Saga Humane Society would like to give our sincerest gratitude to everyone who helped in first of our October SNIP-a-thon clinics with Helping Paws Across Borders Oct.7-12. They were an international team of Veterinarians and Vet Tech’s who held Operation SNIP clinics at Saga Clinic, DFC and Caye Caulker. Helping Paws completed over 150 FREE spay/neuters and 200 vaccinations for our communities. The animals were sterilized, treated for internal and external parasites and vaccinated against disease. All items and services were donated to Saga HS and Helping Paws (USA NGO) by individuals to benefit San Pedro. San Pedro gains economically by having these visiting Veterinary teams. By sterilizing their pets, the community will become invested in the steps needed to control over population of domestic animals in San Pedro.

Misc Belizean Sources

Andre Alamina wins 14th Personality of the Month Award
The Teens Belize Organization is honored to present its 14thPersonality of the Month Award to Mr. Andre Alamina of Belize City. Andre loves writing and maintains the perspective that a love for writing is inextricably linked with first, a love for reading. He believes one of the major issues with young people in Belize is an inherent disinterest in improving themselves academically and making a concerted effort to not just get by, but excel. He also said that the two “Student of the Year” Awards he won at his alma mater, St. John’s College High School, signified the culmination and the affirmation of the great years he had at this institution. In five years, Andre hopes to receive his Law Degree and begin working in one of the city’s major firms.

8 oz brown sugar 2 oz water 8 oz toasted sesame seeds Put sugar and water in a saucepan and cook until sugar caramelizes, turning a deep mahogany brown in color. In a separate pan, lightly toast the sesame seeds to bring out their natural oils, releasing a nutty aroma. Add the toasted sesame seeds to the caramelized sugar and pour onto a sheet tray or baking dish lined with parchment paper. Let cool for 15 minutes and cut into desired shapes. ENJOY!!

Belize - Teenage Wasteland (Baba O'Riley Remix)
On October 16th 2013 Santi G. Barros and Pablo García recorded in Ibero (Navarre) our second music video, "Teenage Wasteland", a remix of the classic The Who hit "Baba O'Riley".

Cayo Defines Ecotourism
Chaa Creek was just picked as one of the 4 best eco-lodges that is within a short flight time from the United States. The article highlights their emphasis on ecology, preservation of biodiversity, and humanitarianism, while still being top notch. They mention glamping at their Macal River Camp too. Cayo wins again. Congratulations, Chaa Creek! "The Lodge at Chaa Creek allows guests a wide range of luxurious sleeping accommodations, from 'glamping' (glamorous camping, of course) in 10 well-appointed camp casitas on the Macal River to luxe tree-top suites with private Jacuzzis. Guests can explore 365 acres of private nature reserve on foot, horseback, and canoe. There aren’t many properties where visitors can pamper themselves in the spa, eat an organic Creole inspired breakfast, then learn about indigenous healing plants from a Maya tour guide, all before noon, but Chaa Creek does just that and they’ve done it with personality and attention to detail since 1981."

Maya Mountain Adventure Club
The Maya Mountain Adventure Club is giving a 50% resident discount and 75% student discount for their adventures. They have some great adventures for this week, and are doing cave tubing at Jaguar Paw on Sunday. You can become a member for free by liking their page. For more information, email them at [email protected] or call them at 824-2164. "This Adventure Club has been created for all those Belizeans and students who are looking to participate in adventure activities and seeking the ultimate Belize experience. This a great opportunity especially for students to get to see all what Belize has to offer and experience first hand these amazing adventures."

CNWA Football Distribution
Feelgood news of the day. The Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association had their football distribution at Galvez Stadium, and they made a lot of kids very happy. Thanks, CNWA! "We had the football distribution this past Saturday with those schools and teams that attended. Not as many showed up as we expected but we know it was largely due to the postponement the previous week because of weather and a number of other reasons some couldn't make it this time. Still had a great time with those that could and did show up."

BWRC's Wild Spring Breaks
The Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic is doing 'wild' Spring Break study abroad classes for 2014. Sounds like a unique learning experience that is fun, and introduces Belizean culture at the same time. In related news, they are also offering their Wildlife Medicine & Conservation Program courses too. "Spend a Wild-Spring-Break in Belize with BWRC! Great for veterinary student groups. 2014 slots available... The Wild-Spring-Break program is an intensive program which focuses on key topics in wildlife medicine. This program also introduces wildlife rescue and rehabilitation; and wildlife conservation strategies... Students visit wildlife and conservation organizations around Belize; and guest speakers enrich the course content with perspectives drawn from the front lines of wildlife medicine and conservation. In between visiting field sites and classroom sessions, students enjoy recreational activities and are introduced to Belizean culture."

Farewell to April the Tapir
April the Tapir lived to a ripe old age, for a Tapir, at the Belize Zoo. April was 30 years old when she went to the big jungle in the sky this week. RIP, April, Tapir Town won't be the same without you. In related news, TBZ is preparing to celebrate the 10th birthday of Panama the Harpy Eagle on Friday, November 15th. "April, for three decades, has brought awareness to the nation of Belize about the special profile of her species, the Central American Tapir, our National Animal. Thousands of children grew up with April. They became well aware that our National Animal was a significant part of our Belizean heritage, and April helped establish a sense of pride, appreciation, and, even love, in visitors that met her. Her birthday parties have served as a platform for community involvement, learning, and, of course, lots of fun for the young and the old. TBZ is committed to keeping April's legacy alive for years to come."

Green Iguana Conservation Project Documentary
Matthew Valdovinos, one of the NMSU film school students that did the Belize study abroad documentary film course, has released the documentary about the Green Iguana Conservation Project. It starts out with Humberto Requena and Eddy Estrada defining what the project does. Interesting fact: the San Ignacio Resort Hotel has been able to raise the survival rate from around 6% to around 60% in the hatchery. Daniel Velazquez, one of the cofounders of the project explains how the project is sustainable, so it will stand the test of time, and shows some footage from the project in 1999. The documentary also has interviews with Miriam Roberson and the Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic's Dr. Isabelle Paquet Durand, and if you ever wanted to know how to clean an iguana, you can learn it by watching. This video is well worth the watch.

Little Miss Sacred Heart Contestants
The Little Miss Sacred Heart pageant is on November 16th, and D Russell Photography took some shots, all smiles, of the contestants at the Sacred Heart Church. "Little Miss Sacred Heart 2013-2014 preliminary photos! Scroll through to find your favorites, share with your friends and family! Pageant on 16 November, 2013."

Benque Festival of Culture
Benque is having their Festival of Culture this month, starting on Friday the 15th, and going through Sunday the 24th, guaranteeing a fun time to everyone that goes. The Photography exhibition kicks it all off at the Benque House of Culture. Panerrifix will be there on the 16th, and on the 23rd, Orquidea Negra will be performing, with tons of other great performances in between. Check out the flier for all the great events. "It is with great joy that we release our Final and Official program! Only a few changes have been made and our sponsers are official! Some of the sponser are included in this pane! Like and share to get everyone informed about the events! And tell your friends to Like our page to get more updates about the Festival... Remember its all happening at Benque Viejo del Carmen Nov 15-24"

Family Fun for the children (9 photos)
On October 31 while some people observed Halloween and others observed Dia de los muertos, for the children of the HIllview area of Santa Elena town, it was time for some good clean fun in a family setting.

Channel 7

Luke Espat Owes The Belize Bank 29.4 Million?
All the time on the news - we tell you about big cases coming out of the Supreme Court, but one that never made the news and slipped completely under the radar is making headlines tonight. It concerns well-known businessman and PUP backer turned candidate Luke Espat. It's what's called a summary judgment - meaning a civil matter in which judgment was entered without a trial. And it's bad news for the man called Lucas Magnus! It finds him personally(!) liable to the Belize Bank for 29.4 million(!) dollars! Now, just a few months ago in August Espat told us very explicitly that he didn't owe the Belize Bank anything. Here's what he said at that time:.. Jules Vasquez "How can are mentioning IMF reports, you are the reason for non-performing loans at the Belize Bank." Luke Espat "Oh yes? And can you always say that I am the reason to that? Why would you say such a thing?" Jules Vasquez "Your name is the name on the paper - you have lost the amount of businesses you have lost in the past three years." Luke Espat "Why do we try to spin this thing with me and the Belize Bank? I will answer you directly - Mr. Lyndon Giuseppe made a statement on public radio that 'Luke Espat doesn't owe the Belize Bank'. Yes or no?"

Senate Meets Tomorrow To Vote On Special Select Committee
The Senate will meet tomorrow afternoon at 2:00, but it's not going to be business as usual. Yes, new pieces of legislation presented at the House last Friday like the new Immigration Laws are going to be tabled, but the main event will be the notice of motion from PUP Senator Lisa Shoman. With a motion filed a week ago, she is asking the Senate to pass a resolution to appoint a Special Select Committee to investigate the issuance of Nationality certificates, Passports and Visas at the Department of Immigration. The motion proposes that the Committee be comprised of five members, one government, one opposition and three from the social partners. One social partner that's definitely in favour of the motion is labour. Today, Sharon Fraser of the Association of Public Service Senior Managers told us why:.. Sharon Fraser, Vice President - Association of Public Service Senior Managers "The NTUCB is in fact supporting that position that in fact there is the Senate Select Committee." Jules Vasquez "As we saw with a very painstaking investigation when Mr. Hulse was a Senator, it took months upon months, hours upon hours and it amounts to zero. That's just how it is because many of the offences aren't actionable."

Unions Want GOB to Promise Minimum Wage Increase
This morning, we also got the unions to talk about their impending raise. The Prime Minister has already committed that they will get something in the next budget, but he didn't say how much. The unions area asking for 10% per year for three years, but the government has only committed to half of any incremental government revenue. Today President of the BNTU Luke Palacio says they are insisting on a minimum:.. Luke Palacio, President BNTU "The adjustment was to be able to catch up with the inflation and the other loss of value of the dollar as it relates to our purchasing power. Our issue right now what we cannot say to our members and the public is what the quantum will be." "Is it enough to appease us? The answer to that would be that we are doing our part to ensure that we can get the maximum out of whatever is being done."

PSU Says Transfers At Immig Dept Are Dubious
And the president of the Public Service Union spoke to us about the recent transfer of clerks from the Immigration Department. Rumours have said that as many as 11 were transferred, but on Friday Amandala quoted six as cited by the Industrial Relations Officer at the PSU who reported on the transfer of second class clerks, first class clerks and a data entry operator. Today the Union President told us the transfers are ill-planned and ill-advised:.. Mervin Blades, President - PSU "What are concerned about is that they are being transferred while the investigation is pending. That is one of the things that we have an issue with, also the Prime Minister mentioned that the Auditor General will be doing her investigation. I am pretty those clerks will be needed for that investigation. Why is it so important to move them now?" "The other thing that we have a concern with is that the Minister publicly states that the Cabinet approved the transfer. It is not the remit of the Cabinet to approve transfers. The Public Service Commission does that. That's not the remit for the Cabinet and so in that case what does the Cabinet know what's the best interest of a public officer."

Accuser Shies Away, Accused Presents Alibi, Jury Still Convicts
21 year-old Diondray McKoy is at prison tonight awaiting sentence after he was convicted of attempted murder in the court room of Justice Troadio Gonzalez half an hour before news time. And he was convicted even though the man he shot refused to testify against him! The victim, Everald Gray, testified that he was at home on Queen Charlotte Street on June 23, 2009. At around 8:30 p.m., he heard someone calling his name. When he went to door, he was confronted by a man who shot him in left shoulder, left armpit, and his right index finger. He ran into his bedroom, and was rushed to the KHMH for emergency surgery. When asked about identity, he told the court that he couldn't see the person very clearly because the lamp post in front of his house kept flickering. During his testimony, he told the court that he didn't want to continue with the case, and as a result, the Crown Counsel Sheneiza Smith was forced to treat him as a hostile witness.

Policeman Accused Of Sexual Assault Of “W”
Tonight, Police Constable Randalph Scott Jr. a resident of Neal's Penn Road, is out on bail after he was taken to court yesterday for allegedly sexually assaulting a fellow officer. This officer reported that on Saturday October 26, she was working station duties at Police Precinct 4 when she was approached by Scott, who made unwanted sexual advances at her. When she refused him and tried to defend herself, Scott allegedly punched her in the face bruising her lower lip. Police investigated Scott for a little over a week, and on Monday, they charged him with aggravated assault of an indecent nature. He was arraigned yesterday before Magistrate Dale Cayetano, where he pleaded not guilty to both charges. He was granted bail of $1,000 which he was able to meet.

Pulu Was Bullish At The Fort George Tourism Zone
Cruise season is in full swing - and managing the mob of service providers outside the Fort Street Tourism Village on North Front Street isn't easy. Two weeks ago, the Belize Tourism Board, which manages the Fort George Tourism Zone, implemented a rotation system, where on different cruise days, different service providers get to be up front, and after that they rotate again to the back. Well, today was one of those days at the back for the Fort Street Taxi Union - and that's when one of their 60 members, Henry Pulu Gillette picked up a bullhorn and started beckoning the cruise tourists. In no time, he was picked up by police, and we met his attorney at the Police Station shortly after:... Kareem Musa "They have been cordoning off different areas - keep pushing back and I think that the members of the union are now fighting back and Henry Gillett was just one of them that were voicing his concern. He does have a loud mouth, but there is absolutely no charge that they can bring against him today. If you go and check their cause book or record book there is no reasons why they've detain Henry Gillett this morning. You can't detain somebody for having a loud mouth or voicing his concern - that's tantamount to suppressing freedom of speech."

How Do You Pass 17 CSEC Exams? Easy, Just Ask Xiaowen
Last night, 7News told you about the top performers on the 2013 CSEC and CAPE examinations. We showed you Marilen Guerra who managed to ace 15 CSEC exams, placing second, but yesterday, we couldn't locate the first place performer. Well today, the administration of her alma mater, Edward P. Yorke High School, arranged for us to meet with this year's most outstanding high school student, Xiaowen Huang. She told us today about how she took 17 exams and managed to ace an incredible 16 of them. Here's what she told us about her push for academic excellence to out-do those who took the sat the exams in previous years: Xiaowen Huang "To put a lot of effort to study... the principal and teachers helped me a lot; they spend extra time to help me with their subjects and also I have to put my own work to it, I had to spend time to go through the syllabus and past papers to help me to get this."

Berne’s Car Burnt
Rapper Berne Velasquez is famous for burning up the charts - but tonight he's making news because his car burnt up. It happened on Friday when Berne says he was 3 minutes away from the Belize Mexico border on his way to a rehearsal in Chetumal when his car, a Ford Taurus spontaneously combusted! He told Monica Bodden how his first priority was to save all his personal items in the car:..

April Forever
Last week, we told you about April the Tapir, the iconic animal who became the standard bearer for the Zoo. Indeed, she was a big girl, but also a gentle giant, who only wanted good company and good food. And it seems she left a big impression. In the 4 days since she passed the Belize Zoo has been and continues to be flooded with notes of condolenc and well-wishing. Today, we spoke with the Zoo's founding director, Sharon Matola, and she told us about finally realizing just how many people April influenced in her lifetime. We set her interview to shots of the ageless April through the years:.. Sharon Matola, Founding Director - Belize Zoo "It took me by surprise. We had over 45,000 people follow what happen with April on Facebook. We had over 1,000 response on Facebook and I had to actually turn my phone off because I just getting calls and texts."

A Cooking Competition to Teach Teamwork
It's youth week, and today Youth For The Future invited over six secondary schools to participate in a cooking competition. Sounds like a free lunch to us, but the organizer said it's about teaching the kids the merits of productive teamwork:.. Katherine Guzman, Youth Empowerment Coordinator "It's a cooking competition; they have a 3 course meal and a drink that they have to prepare." Jules Vasquez "What is the redeeming idea you are trying to teach these kids?" Katherine Guzman "Teamwork basically, these children will be judge by 8 criteria. We have 3 lovely judges and we have 6 schools that are going to participate in this event. Most of the schools have a hospitality class that's participating. Most of them have food and nutrition class that they take on a regular basis."

The Finest Fittest Female Figures
Last night, we showed you the best male body builders who competed in the 2013 Championships on Friday night. Well tonight, we show you the top female body builders who competed in the body figure category. Last year, Gina Lovell was declared the undisputed winner, but she didn't have such an easy time this year. She was edged out by Cricel Castillo, and after the competition, we spoke both competitors. Here's what they told us about competing at the national level: Earlier this year, Cricel Castillo placed first in the Figure category of the Diamond Classic which was held in Florida.

Channel 5

Inez Chan revealed as cop who provided passports to whistleblower in visa scandal
The allegations against Edmund “Clear the Land” Castro have been in the news since October twenty-third and it is a story of alleged corruption which will not blow away. A [...]

Elvin Penner says he will not resign
Former Minister of State Elvin Penner will not resign as Area Representative of Cayo Northeast. While there has been no official verification of this from either Prime Minister Dean Barrow [...]

U.D.P. Cayo Northeast Executive Committee says they not work with Penner
That money and benefits Penner is earning can give him a whole lot of comfort, but it can’t buy any love for the disgraced former Minister of State. The first [...]

While Magana is no shortlisted to replace Penner, there are two persons in mind
Now that’s a situation which is practically unheard of…where the executive committee of a party refuses to work with the Area Representative of that constituency. Magaña says that the decision [...]

Chairman says Penner is trying to vindicate himself by not resigning
And with all that said…why doesn’t Penner just resign and get it over with? Chairman Fermin Magaña says he believes that Penner is trying to vindicate himself by serving his [...]

Opposition Leader wants answers on which ministers are involved to visa hustle
Later in the broadcast, Francis Fonseca, the Leader of the People’s United Party addresses the nation on the immigration scandal. Fonseca says that there are more questions than answers in [...]

Is the prime minister protecting Edmund “Clear the Land” Castro?
Is the prime minister offering protection to Edmund Castro in light of the revelations against him? Yes or no. Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 [...]

N.T.U.C.B. says it will support a senate led investigation
A meeting of government’s social partners, including the National Trade Union Congress of Belize, the Council of Churches, as well as the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry was held [...]

Police officer accused of assault another officer
A police officer is before the courts for criminal charges against a female cop. Thirty year old Police officer Randolph Scott is accused of aggravated assault of an indecent nature [...]

Diondray McKoy found guilty of the 2009 attempted murder of Everal Gray
A jury of nine persons, six females and three males has decided the fate of a Belize City man, twenty- one year old Diondray Mckoy accused of the June twenty-third [...]

Case of S.S.B. versus Sunshine Holdings Limited begin hearing before the CJ
Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin this morning began hearing arguments on the case of Social Security Board (S.S.B.) versus Sunshine Holdings Limited, one of the many former shareholders of Belize Telemedia [...]

Cane farmers say they want in on the millions of dollars earned from bagasse
There is an impasse tonight between the Belize Sugar Industries and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. BSCFA walked out of a meeting with B.S.I. and the American Sugar Refining [...]

New executives elected for the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association
While up north, we also found out that a new committee executive was elected for the BSCFA for the year 2013-2014. Alfredo Ortega, who spoke on behalf of the association, [...]

Top scorers for 2013 CSEC and CAPE to be honored
The Nineteenth Annual CXC National Awards Ceremony is still a few weeks away but the top achievers in this year’s examinations are already celebrating their individual accomplishments.  Leading the way [...]

Marilen Guerra of St. Catherine Academy takes second place in CSEC
Second place in this year’s top CXC performers goes to sixteen-year-old Marilen Guerra, a graduate of St. Catherine Academy.  Guerra scored fifteen Grade Ones in Biology, Chemistry, English and Math, [...]

One couple wins a dream wedding in From Yes to I Do
In tonight’s episode of our reality show, From Yes to I Do, the five couples face the ultimate challenge to determine who will make it down the aisle in this [...]


Another US Fugitive Nabbed In Belize
Another American Fugitive has been captured in Belize this time all the way down South in Punta Gorda Town. American burglar and fugitive Timothy Ray Veasey was busted in Punta Gorda on Thursday October 31st after Police and officers of the Special Branch Unit visited the second floor of a two story building located at Alejandro Street Punta Gorda Town. According to reports, in May of 2013 Police found the 48 year old, of Baltimore, inside a Linthicum home after a resident reported a burglary-in-progress. This is after shortly after 2:00p.m., police responded to a residence on the 6500 block of Englewood Road for the reported burglary, and a woman told police she heard someone enter her home from the roof. The woman fled the house and called police from her neighbor's house. The woman said no other residents were inside the home, so police created a perimeter and entered the home. Police eventually saw Veasey open a lower floor basement door and begin to crawl up the stairs. Officers attempted to detain Veasey, but he allegedly attempted to flee and resisted arrest. That is when officers used the taser on Veasey.

BSCFA, COM Elects New Chairman
Yesterday we told you about the third and final payment that is scheduled to be paid to the Sugar Cane Farmers for the 2013 Crop Season. But before we delve into that matter, the Management Committee at the BSCFA held its annual elections and voted in a new chairman today. Outgoing Chairman Alfredo Ortega brought us up to date on the elections. Alfredo Ortega– Outgoing Chairman, BSCFA “We have Mr. Leonardo Cano as the Chairman, I as the vice-chairman and we have Mr. Eledino Escarraga as the secretary, Mr. Estevan Villanueva as the Treasurer, Mr. Marciano Novelo as member and Mr. Arturo Olivares as the other member so this six persons compose the committee of management, three from Corozal and three from Orange Walk.” Ortega is confident that as a veteran cane farmer and representative of the Louisville branch, Cano has what it takes to continue carrying out the vision of the association, despite the many challenges they face.

Hot Bed Of Corruption In The Lands Department
A few days ago while in Los Angeles the Prime Minister met with the Belizean Diaspora living in L.A. During the meet the P.M came clean as he admitted that the Lands Department is another hot bed of corruption.” Now this is nothing new for Belizeans, but coming from the P.M it confirms the allegations to anyone who was dubious. With scandal after scandal following this present administration certain measures have been set in place at the Lands Department including the rotation of a number of employees who it is believed were in the mix of the corruption. With these changes implemented, and more on the way, the P.M hopes to turn things around at the Lands Department. “The Ministry of Lands or the Lands Department has already taken some steps and about four, maybe six persons were moved out. They’ve been, there have been ongoing attempts to try to assist with processes, remember they had this land management system project funded from abroad and all that. The biggest problem, I hate to say it, the biggest problem, as I see it, is with individuals, I cited the example when I went to Santa Familia of somebody saying, “well, the land that I was working has now been given to others.”

Burglars Target San Francisco Primary School
Sunday proved to be a sad for the teachers and faculty of San Francisco Roman Catholic Primary School as the institution was targeted by burglars once again. Police were on site searching for clues when our news team arrived at the school campus. Here is what we found out. Maria Novelo – Reporting Sometime after 3:00 on Saturday afternoon, when the faculty had secured and left the school campus, burglars with swift precision raided the school’s computer room, preschool and snack shop. A disheartened Maria Baeza, Principal of San Francisco School, said the burglars gained entry through this computer lab window. MARIA BAEZA – Principal, San Francisco RC School “There was a big hole at the back window of the computer lab and she ask if there was somebody working there so when Teacher Blanca called me I told her no there is nobody there so I said I will finish having my breakfast and I will see and yes there was a big hole at the back window and I could see some drums so I assume that they use the garbage drum to lift up themselves to the A/C unit which has a shelf and from there gain entrance through the window and they remove two louvers from there and then they pry it open and then they gain entrance to the computer lab,...

Three Villages In The Corozal District Goes Without Water For Three Days
Imagine being without potable water for three days? Sounds awful right, frustrating even!!! Well that was the case of three villages in the Corozal District who were without potable water since Saturday. On Saturday morning residents of San Pedro, Cristo Rey and Yo Chen Village woke up only to find that no water was running through the pipes. Without potable water available in the villages residents relied on the manmade wells to continue with their daily chores. The good news tonight is that the problem was fixed this morning. When we arrived at the village of Cristo Rey work was being conducted on the water pump which according to Chairman of the Water Board Pedro Cob was the main cause of the problem.


Belize Mission Project In Belize Offers Dental Services for Children
The Belize Mission Project is presently conducting dental clinics in several areas of the country. The group, which travels to Belize at least one week a year, is comprised of 40 dentists, physicians, nurse practitioners, dental hygienists, nurses and dental technicians. Today Love News caught up with the team at Our Lady of the Way R.C. School in Ladyville. Susan Turnbull is a dental hygienist who travelled all the way from Arizona, USA to provide dental services to Belizeans. SUSAN TURNBULL “Oh my goodness we’ve been coming many years; probably 9 years ago. It was a cruise and then we came back and have been coming back maybe 7 of the last 10 years or so to do dentistry with Belize Mission Project. Today we are working in the school; so, it’s mostly restorative of permanent teeth on children and also infected teeth that’s our priority today. We are actually only going to be here for the rest of the day till about 3 when school’s out. In San Pedro there is the Lion’s Den that has a clinic; that will be open probably until Saturday I’m guessing from 8 to 5.”

Bishop Appeals For Prayers for Prime Minister
Prime Minister Dean Barrow prepares to undergo surgery on his back which has been plaguing him for a few years now. The Prime Minister’s operation will take at least a week to heal and today, Anglican Bishop, Reverend Philip Wright, appealed to citizens to remember the Prime Minister in prayer. BISHOP PHILIP WRIGHT “I was made aware of the fact that our Prime Minister will undergo his surgery tomorrow and I wanted to take this opportunity just to invite the nation to remember him and his family in prayer as someone who also suffers from some back discomfort. I know what it is to seek relief and so I just wanted us to be reminded to remember him in prayer and to hold him and his family as well in prayer at this time. I remember the last time we had an interview asking people to pray, it was the Prime Minister’s wife when she was away seeking urgent medical attention and had suffered complications with her heart. Look how well she has rebounded.

Education Ministry and IDB Look At Improving Quality of Education
The Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank, IDB, is putting together an education quality improvement project. A part of that project entails conducting consultations with key people in the field of education and today, there is a meeting to discuss just that. Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Education, David Leacock, told Love News what’s on the agenda. David Leacock “We have already conceived of some of the components of what that project might look like and we are now having a consultation with stakeholders to get their input or feedback and hopefully their support for the project as conceived and whatever other areas they might suggest and how we might improve what is being proposed. You will note that in the audience we have stakeholders, ministry officials, managing authorities, secondary school principals, primary school principals, tertiary education institutions that offer teacher training and we also have parents and students and that for us is very important. As you know, for us, parents and students have been largely left out of the education dialogue and we believe it is very important to bring them onboard.

Police News: Wounding and Burglaries
A Belizean cashier has been charged for the crime of wounding. According to police, acting upon information received, on Monday, November 4th, at about 2:45am, C.I.B. Personnel visited the K.H.M.H. where they saw 27 year old female suffering from three stab wounds to the left upper leg and one stab wound to the right upper leg. Police say that on that day two hours prior was taken to the KHMH the female was at an entertainment establishment named Cool Spot located on Lawrence Avenue, Belize City socializing where she had an argument with 28 year old Denay Gillett inside the club. The complainant told police that after exiting the club, minutes after Gillett pulled out a knife and inflicted the said injuries. The doctor has certified her injuries as Wounding and one black handled knife was retrieved from the scene.

Woman Police Officer Says Policeman Sexually Assaulted Her
A police constable has been charged for the crimes of aggravated assault and harm. Last week Monday, October 28th, a woman police constable reported that on the previous Saturday, October 26th, while she was working station duties at Precinct Four Police Station she was approached by 30 year old PC 1149 Randolph Scott. According to the woman, PC Scott sexually assaulted her and further reported that when she refused his advances and tried to defend herself PC Scot then punched her in the mouth causing her to receive a bruise to the inner lower lip. The doctor has certified her injuries as “Harm” and yesterday PC Scoot was formally arrested and charged 30 year old Randolph Scott for Aggravated Assault and Harm.

PUC Director Freed of Charges
PUC Director of Telecom Kingsley Smith, charged with wounding and aggravated assault, was freed of the charges when they were withdrawn today. The prosecution withdrew the charges after it received a statement from the complainant in which she requested no further court action. The charges against Smith arose out of an incident which occurred on July 6. Smith was represented by attorney Michael Peyrefitte.

US Fugitive Found in Southern Belize
A fugitive of the United States of America was detained in Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details. PAUL MAHUNG “Officer second in command of the Toledo Police formation, Inspector Arnel Dominguez was available to speak of the situation.” INSPECTOR ARNEL DOMINGUEZ “On Thursday, 31st October 2013 sometime after 11 am PG Police along with Special Branch personnel received information visited an Alejandro Street address where in the process they found one Timothy Veasey, 49 years, a US national who had been visiting Belize for the past few weeks. As a result the person was escorted to the PG police station where further information was received that he was a wanted fugitive in the US. From account, we also received that this person was wanted in the state of Maryland; apparently he was on some bond and he had managed to flee the country hence the reason he was a fugitive in the country of Belize. He was later escorted to Belmopan Police where they have made necessary arrangement to deal with him through the US embassy.”

Honduran National Remanded For Wounding Officer
Twenty-seven year old Honduran national Nole Juarez, charged with two counts of wounding, was denied bail when he was arraigned on the charges today. Magistrate Clive Lino explained to him that bail cannot be offered to him because he does not have legal immigration status in Belize. Juarez was remanded into custody until December 19. According to the allegation, on November 3, Juarez, a construction worker of Daly Street, caused a wound to police constable Marcelino Sam and Juana Cowo.

EP Yorke Boasts Most Outstanding Candidate in CAPE Examinations
The results of the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations CAPE have been released by the Ministry of Education. Aaron Stock of St. John’s College Junior College is the Most Outstanding Candidate for the May-June 2013 CAPE examinations and is therefore the recipient of the Belize Scholarship for 2013. Stock obtained eight Grade I passes and also achieved first place in Belize for Caribbean Studies, Chemistry Unit 1 and Physics Unit 2. Xiaowen (Showen) Huang of Edward P. Yorke High School is the Most Outstanding Candidate in Belize for the May-June 2013 CSEC examinations. Huang obtained sixteen Grade I and one grade 2 passes at the General Proficiency Level. She also achieved first place in the Sciences and Technical Vocational Subject Group and first place in Clothing and Textiles and Integrated Science.


Construction worker shot on building site
There was a shooting incident this weekend. On Saturday 40yr old Victor Galliano, Belizean construction worker of Cotton Tree Village; was shot twice, once to his left leg and the other to his right leg. Initial investigation reveals that shortly after 11am that morning, Galliano was working on the 2nd flood of...

Churches considerations on Gender Policy submitted to Prime Minister
On Sunday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country for LA, where he is scheduled for back surgery. Mr Barrow will be on leave for a couple of days, but before he departed, the Council of Churches and the Evangelical Association submitted their collective recommendations for the much talked about Revised Gender...

Ruth Jones and George Hyde charged with perjury
Two persons who brought to the Belmopan Magistrate Court late Monday afternoon, on charges of perjury, they are Ruth Jones and George Hyde. What makes this case interesting is that the allegations of perjury are in connection to statements they gave Police regarding the murder of...

Motorcycle rider dies after colliding with a cow
A 24 year old has died after colliding with a cow in Spanish Lookout. A witness, Bernhard Penner who is a Mennonite Farmer of Duck Lane Spanish Lookout Community, reported to Police that shortly before 7pm on Saturday November 2nd, he was en route to his farm in Spanish...

Patrick Andrews is new PUP Standard Bearer for the Belmopan Constituency
One thousand one hundred and ninety five persons showed up for Sunday’s People’s United Party Convention in Belmopan. They gathered at the Belmopan Comprehensive High School, to vote for their favorite candidate running for the PUP Standard Bearer for the Belmopan Constituency. The convention dragged on...

Court of Appeal frees Dunkeld for arbitration on BTL
On Friday in the Court of Appeal, Dunkeld International Investments Limited, one of the beneficiaries of the Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) shares that were acquired by the Government in 2009, and which is claiming compensation for those shares, was released from an injunction granted by the Supreme Court to stop the...

Court of Appeal orders new trial for Emmerson Eagan accused of murder
On Friday Court of Appeal ordered a new trial for Emmerson Eagan, accused of the murder of Dennis “Colored” Nembhard in June of 2009, and convicted in April of 2012. Dennis Nembhard was shot in the lower back while walking on Oleander Street toward his home on Nutmeg Street. ...

Hilberto Hernandez, guilty of manslaughter, has sentence reduced
The sentence of Hilberto Hernandez on separate charges of manslaughter was extended to 32 years from his original 12. Justice Denis Hanomansingh had sentenced him to 10 years for the killing of Javier Castillo, for which he pleaded down from murder to manslaughter. The judge ordered the sentence to run concurrently...

Caneros threaten work stoppage over bagasse agreement
At the Annual Divisional Meeting of the Orange Walk Division of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers’ Association (BSCFA) held on Saturday, over 400 members were in attendance as their opinion was sought on the latest confrontation between the Association and Belize Sugar Industries Limited (BSI). The sugar...

Land dispute in Cotton Tree Village
There is a land dispute in the village of Cotton Tree that has been brought to the attention of the media. This latest dispute is connected to the St. Joseph R.C. School. According to a Press Release Sent out Friday morning by Nectaly Vela, a Student...

Ambulances donated to Southern Regional Hospital not yet in use
A common complaint regarding the country’s health care services has been a grave shortage of mobile ambulances. Often times we hear of incidents of urgency, where regrettably, it takes a very long time for paramedics to arrive at the requested location. One population that is presently experiencing this dilemma...

Belize Bureau of Standards moves to give accreditation to Private Medical Laboratories
The Belize Bureau of Standards is working with its regional partners to see local laboratories – of all kinds – be formally accredited so that the tests conducted in them are accurate and trustworthy. We spoke to Director Jose Trejo for news of a project to that end. Dr....

Rigo Vellos won “Mr. Belize”, again
“Mr. Belize” Bodybuilding and Fitness Competition was held this weekend. After much strutting and posing, Rigo Vellos won the Mr. Belize again. Reporter: “How are you feeling today?” Mr. Rigo Vellos – Body Building Champion: “Excellent, mein, the best feeling today!” Reporter: “In...

Youth Week offers many rewarding activities for participants
National Youth Week kicked off on Sunday and promises a week of rewarding activities for adolescents. This year’s recognition of the youth in Belize is being held under the theme “Our Voice, Our Impact.” On Sunday, an Ecumenical Mass was held at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, to commence...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Vacancies in San Pedro for Tour Guides and Captains
New tour company in San Pedro is searching for TOUR GUIDES and CAPTAINS with E2-license, please apply to [email protected] or call 6217245


Lloyd Elijio, 22, gets 12 years for attempted murder of Mark Lord, 22 “It shows a pattern in your lifestyle – that you are prone to give trouble.” – Justice Gonzalez Lloyd Elijio, 22, was sentenced this morning to 12 years in prison by Justice John “Troadio” Gonzalez after he was convicted of the attempted murder of Mark Lord, 22. Elijio was convicted of the October 2009 shooting on October 28, 2013, and was given one week to prepare his mitigation plea and find witnesses to speak on his behalf. But this morning when court resumed, there was no one to speak for him, and Justice Gonzalez continued with the proceedings. In his mitigation plea, Elijio told the court “I humbly ask the court to have mercy on me. I have a 4-year old daughter and one on the way, and I am the breadwinner. I am sorry for the wrong I have done! I send my regards to the family of Mark Lord and would like to assist them in any way I could. I ask the court to please have mercy on me, for the sake of my family”.

“ Patrick Andrews, new PUP Belmopan standard bearer, to his opponent, Hon. John Saldivar. Almost 2,000 registered voters from the Belmopan area elected a new PUP standard bearer for their constituency today. The convention took place at the Belmopan Comprehensive School, and former Plus TV talk show host, Jason Patrick Andrews, was victorious in what could be considered one of the most spirited convention turnouts in the PUP’s recent history. There were a total of four seemingly confident PUP candidates who offered themselves for Sunday’s convention in a bid to challenge UDP incumbent Belmopan area representative and Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar. From 9:00 in the morning until 5:00 in the evening – amidst sporadic rain – hundreds of PUP supporters and residents of Belmopan turned out to cast their votes. On Friday, the four PUP hopefuls – Ruth Logan, Oscar Mira, Dr. Amin Hegar, and Patrick Andrews – were all at the PUP demonstration at the steps of the National Assembly building, and they spoke briefly to the media.

PM “confident” that new immigration laws will “guard against corruption” Three new bills for changes to Belize’s Immigration Act, Passport Act and Nationality Act were tabled in Parliament today, in response to recent allegations that key Government officials have been arranging for Belizean passports and visas to be issued to persons who may not be desirable citizens or visitors for their (the officials’) own personal profit. Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who tabled the proposed amendments, endorsed by Cabinet, said that the amendments are designed “to make the procedures as failsafe as possible.” He told Parliament that he is confident that when the new legislation are passed, together with internal changes being made in the Ministry, they will have a much more effective Immigration Department – “both in terms of delivery of service to the people but most importantly in terms of guarding against corruption.”

PUP says Friday demonstrators were not a “rent-a-crowd!” “They [the UDP] are shaking inside [the House] because they are hearing the power of the people …” – Hon. Francis Fonseca Today, there was an added attraction to the customary “antics” that usually take place whenever the House of Representatives convenes in Belmopan. While the representatives of both major political parties ostensibly debated current national issues inside the House, a small crowd of vocal, energetic and displeased PUP supporters gathered at the steps of Independence Plaza – just outside the National Assembly – to express their discontentment with the current state of affairs as it relates to the recent corruption scandals that have surfaced within the Barrow administration, specifically the passport and visa scandals in which Hon. Elvin Penner and Hon. Edmond Castro have been named. A conservative estimate has put the demonstrators at between 500 and 600 at the height of the show of public dissent, which marked a buildup of the initial turnout, and constituted roughly half of the 1,000 supporters the party had aimed to bring out. The demonstrators chanted for almost five hours in front of the House, with blue and white flags and numerous placards, while the sounds of beating Garifuna drums could be heard in the background. The PUP supporters demanded the recall of Hon. Elvin Penner and Hon. Edmond Castro, in addition to voicing their position on other relevant public issues currently on the “front burner.”

The land rights dispute between the Maya of southern Belize and the Government of Belize will be heard by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), following a decision by the Belize Court of Appeal on Friday to grant leave to the parties to challenge a decision granted by the Court of Appeal earlier this year. In that decision, two of three judges upheld the customary land rights of the Maya of southern Belize, but they went further to rescind orders of the lower court which mandated the Government to give effect to those rights, such as orders for the Government to work with the Maya to demarcate lands and orders which restrained the Government from unilaterally issuing oil contracts and logging concessions on what the Maya deem to be their ancestral lands. Antoinette Moore, SC, told Amandala that the Toledo Alcaldes Association (TAA), the Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA) and the villagers challenging the Court of Appeal decision have 21 days to file their claim with the CCJ.

Four years after the Government’s appropriation of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL), the legal disputes over the nationalization continue unresolved, and on Friday, the Court of Appeal lifted an injunction which previously blocked Dunkeld International Investment Limited from pursing overseas arbitration against the Government of Belize. Via a notice filed in 2009, Dunkeld, a subsidiary of the Ashcroft-affiliated Hayward Charitable Belize Trust, which claimed to be the beneficial owner of approximately 69% of BTL’s shares, alleged that the Government had breached several obligations emerging out of the United Kingdom-Belize treaty for the Promotion and Protection of Investments dated 30 April 1982. More specifically, Dunkeld alleged that the Government had “unlawfully expropriated” its investment in BTL, and had “failed to treat Dunkeld fairly and equitably.”

In the late 1960’s, a little village from the Corozal District by the name of San Joaquin won senior football championships in the prestigious Belize City competition. This was an almost revolutionary accomplishment, because football is a lot about socio-economics, because Belize City had dominated the colony, and because districts more accomplished than Corozal in football, namely Cayo and Stann Creek, had tried to conquer Belize City football before, and had failed. What had happened to make the San Joaquin victories possible was this. Around the time of self-government in 1964, a British company named Tate and Lyle, the world leader in sugar refining, invested in Belize. They built the modern Tower Hill sugar factory. The Libertad factory already existed, so both Corozal (Libertad) and Orange Walk (Tower Hill) then had their own factories, and sugar cane farming became a boom industry. It was the biggest thing Belize had seen. People from all over the country of Belize migrated to the sugar belt looking for work, and the areas around the factories became ethnic mixtures. Corozal and Orange Walk had been isolated from the capital city from time immemorial, because the roads were very bad. What wealth existed in the colony before sugar, had been concentrated in the capital, whose demography was dominated by black Belizeans who had developed an attitude of superiority. Not only were black Belizeans a majority in the capital and in the country, they were the primary native allies of the real rulers, the British colonial masters.

by Evan X Hyde One of the reasons why corruption is almost a direct result of electoral politics is because there are no strict laws governing the business of campaigning, in the first instance. All the politician knows is that he or she absolutely has to win, by almost any means necessary, because the difference between winning and losing is so huge for a political party. Now, our Belizean society has become so undisciplined that even where there are strict laws governing an activity, such as the matter of traffic, Belizeans have reached the point where they do whatever they have to do, or even whatever they feel like doing: they have made up their minds to figure out some way out of trouble if the particular law they are breaking at any given point happens to be enforced by some official. Every weekday there are traffic jams in the area around the Belcan Bridge. On the southern approach to the Belcan, there is a stream of traffic coming up west from Mahogany Street and another stream flowing north from Central American Boulevard. There are traffic lights to regulate the interaction of the Boulevard traffic headed to Belcan and the Mahogany Street traffic which is trying to enter the said Boulevard in order to reach the said Belcan.

Robert Henry Young, 37, a taxi driver of #9 Vernon Street, is behind bars tonight since he was unable to meet his $20,000 bail after being charged with four counts of theft. According to police, between October of 2012 and August of 2013, Young allegedly stole a black Saturn vehicle valued at $8,000, and a white 2000 Kia valued at $10,000. They also allege that Young, on May 13, 2013, stole $1,000 in cash, and on June 26, 2013, stole $4,800 in cash, the cash and the vehicles being the properties of STAR Leasing Service Limited, where Young was employed at the time.

Motorcyclist runs into cow; cow lives, motorcyclist dies. Raul Rhodas, 24, a Honduran resident of Duck Run in the Spanish Lookout area, Cayo District, died after his motorcycle collided with a black cow while he was travelling home to Duck Run after a day of work in Spanish Lookout, just before 7:00 Saturday night. Rhodas had been going around a curve on his motorcycle when he hit the cow, which was walking across the road at the time. Rhodas was hurled about 35 feet away from his motorcycle and onto the road, and suffered extensive head and body injuries as a result. The cow which was hit, on the other hand, received only minor injuries. Rhodas was rushed to the Belmopan Hospital, after which he was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City, where he died about 10:00 yesterday morning, after fighting for his life in the intensive care unit.

Vehicle flipped at the Libertad junction; driver fell asleep behind the wheel. A driver whose vehicle flipped over several times and ended up with its four wheels in the air last night at the Libertad Junction on the Philip Goldson Highway was lucky to escape with his life. According to reports, after the accident, the driver got out the vehicle and walked away. When police arrived on the scene, he was already gone. Amandala understands that the driver, who was alone in the vehicle, was travelling towards Corozal from Orange Walk when he fell asleep behind the wheel. The driver later went to police and reported the accident.

Police told Amandala today that they still have no leads into the murder of Canada national, Patricia Lynn Nichiporowich, 57, a resident of Consejo, Corozal, who died after she was stabbed multiple times and her throat slashed in her Consejo Shores home by a killer or killers who invaded her home between 5:30 and 6:30 Tuesday evening, October 29. Nichiporowich’s neighbours told police that they heard screams for help coming from the house, and they became concerned. They began to honk their horns, but saw no one exit the house. They went to see what was happening, but the bottom of the 2-flat concrete house was properly secured with burglar bars, with the only access to the upper part of the building being a stairway, well-secured by a burglar-barred door. One of the neighbors then got a ladder and climbed onto the verandah of the upper flat, where Nichiporowich resides. The upper flat was not burglar-barred. The neighbor found her inside apparently dead, in pools of her blood. Nichiporowich, who was recognized internationally by Who’s Who, an international organization, for her dedication, leadership and excellence as an Indoor Air Quality and Radon Measurement Specialist, was lying in the living room; she had been stabbed multiple times in the neck and body.

The Premier League of Belize (PLB) Opening Season 2013-2014 Belikin Cup tournament returned to action this past Saturday night with 3 Week-6 games played, resulting in a shift in the standings. (Week 5 scheduled games were all postponed due to bad weather last week, and will be played later as back matches.) Belmopan Bandits now lead the standings, having displaced BDF by beating them 2-1 at the Carl Ramos Stadium, BDF’s home field, on Saturday night. Vallan Symms gave BDF the 1-nil lead from a 22nd minute free kick, but the Bandits replied in second half with a spectacular shot from Denmark Casey, Jr. (47’) and a header by Jeromy “Jarro” James (76’) to clinch the 2-1 win. At the Marshalleck Stadium in Benque Viejo, their Verdes FC got a goal each from Norman “Tilliman” Nunez (Pipersburgh) (10’) and Gilroy “Bredda” Thurton (62’) to drop San Ignacio United, 2-nil. (Paradise/Freedom Fighters from Toledo were idle this past weekend.)

The Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) annual high school basketball tournament tipped off on Thursday, October 31, at Bird’s Isle. There are 5 female (F) teams and 8 male (M) school teams participating in this year’s tournament. In the female (F) opener on Thursday, Gwen Lizarraga High School (GLH) crushed St. Catherine Academy (SCA), 37-10, behind An Ma Chang 12 pts, Kekee Requena 10 pts, and Vivica Young 9 pts; while for SCA, Indie Dixon and Krysten Zayden each had 4 pts. The male (M) nightcap saw Nazarene High School (NHS) getting the 51-41 win over Ladyville Technical High School (LTH). Nazarene was led by Shaqueam Valerio 17 pts, Eldon August 15 pts, and Gregory Lambey and Anfernee Brooks with 7 pts apiece; while top scorers for LTH were Rashid Bethran 13 pts and Khalil Noralez 10 pts.

There’s going to be a Game 3 after all in the Belize District Basketball Association (BDBA) Firms tournament Finals. That’s because on Friday night at Bird’s Isle, Customs & Excise Department evened the series against Port of Belize/Airport with a tough defensive effort, coming away with a 43-39 win. Ports had won Game 1 on Friday, October 18, by a 71-61 score; and they had out-rebounded Customs, 37-22, in that one. But this past Friday night, November 1, the tables were turned, as Customs dominated the boards with a 39-24 advantage, on their way to the Game 2 victory. Customs was led by Winston Pratt with 11 pts 8 rebs 5 assts, Elsworth Felix 11 pts 5 rebs, and Marvin Skeet 10 pts 7 rebs; while Ports had Earl Johnson with 10 pts 4 rebs, Lennox Bowman 8 pts 3 rebs, Ian Augustine 7 rebs, and Charles Armstrong 7 pts.

Dear Editor, There was an article posted in Amandala two weeks ago regarding crime against expatriates – since then, there has been a violent home invasion in Hopkins (Sittee Point) and a violent murder in Consejo Shores. Both involved robberies and theft and the victims were expatriates. Looking back over the past 2 years, there have been 20-plus expat murders in the past two years – the majority of these were home invasions gone bad. Belize’s expatriate population is getting very concerned and organized. We do own businesses and love Belize; however, our obligation to our visiting ex-countrymen is their (and our) safety. A well known travel writer for Fodors has started warning visitors of crime for the 2014 tour book. Tripadvisor and our home government travel warnings will be next. We do not mean to threaten; we want to work together with our communities, but our communities and friends are also frightened of the criminals.

From PUP Sec Gen
The Editor Amandala Dear Editor: Reference is made to the Amandala Editorial for today, Tuesday, October 22, 2013, entitled “Living the Life.” Be informed that the PUP Leader, Hon. Francis Fonseca is not an employee of the Party and does not now or ever receive a salary from the Party. Hon. Francis Fonseca receives a salary as Leader of the Opposition and Area Representative for the Freetown Division. Sincerely, Myrtle Palacio SECRETARY GENERAL PEOPLE’S UNITED PARTY

Dear Editor: I would like to respond to Paul Rodriguez’ latest letter to the editor. In his letter, Mr. Rodriguez quoted the following: “…the wisest men of Western Civilization have always proposed modesty of dress” No, Mr. Rodriguez, it is the most UNCIVILIZED men of the world who propose “modesty of dress” for women. Civilized men are in full control of their faculties and urges and feel no need to overpower, control, or exert power over anyone, including women. Long before Christianity came to Belize, the Mayan women of this nation went about their daily business in a state of mostly undress as a natural part of their culture and the climate, and we never heard of rape.

— by Nectaly Vela Dear Editor, The primary school land is one of the many reasons for disagreement in the village of Cotton Tree, Cayo District. The Catholic Mission would like the title of the school land to be transferred to them; in order to build a new building, beautify the campus, and secure its perimeter. Presently the land belongs to the community; the community centre and clinic are also on the same compound. Many of the villagers are of the opinion that if there is a sincere desire to develop the school, the land title is not needed. A meeting was convened on November 3, where villagers came out to speak about the issue and stated that they are against the transfer of the land title. A history of the village was given by Mrs. Hortence Anderson, daughter of one of the first settlers of Cotton Tree. She explained that three acres of land were given to the Catholic Mission for them to build a school but it was never used. The villagers then took it upon themselves to clear another piece of land and build the community centre on it. Children were being taught at the centre but soon there was a need for another building; with assistance the villagers were able to build another building. These two buildings weren’t enough so, the Women’s Group sought the assistance of Social Investment Fund (SIF) to build a new school building.

Bernard allegedly threw a 9mm pistol in an open lot when he saw police. This morning, Gion Bernard, 28, a resident of #91 George Street, was remanded to the Belize Central Prison after he was arraigned on firearm and ammunition charges. According to police, last night they were on patrol on Victoria Street when they saw Bernard, who is no stranger to them, with a weapon in his hand. When Bernard saw the officers advancing toward him, he reportedly threw the firearm into an open lot in an attempt to avoid being caught with the pistol.

The conviction and life sentence handed down to Kim Brannon, 43, by the Supreme Court, after she was found guilty of the death of her common-law husband, Anthony “ Antics “ Herrera, 32, was overturned today by the Belize Court of Appeal. A retrial was ordered, the life sentence squashed, and the conviction set aside. After the retrial was ordered, Brannon was returned to her cell at the Belize Central Prison, where she will await her new trial. The Appeals Court upheld the appeal of Brannon on the grounds that the trial judge failed to properly direct the jury with regard to a confession statement that Brannon gave to the police. The judge ought to have told the jury that it should consider whether the statement was voluntarily given, and if it was true.

A laborer of Cotton Tree Village was shot on his worksite while working on a building at the corner of Vernon Street and Central American Boulevard, in Belize City. Victor Galiano, 40, a Belizean construction worker of Cotton Tree, Cayo District, suffered gunshot wounds to both legs, and is presently recovering at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Galiano told police that about 11:30 Saturday morning, he was working on the second floor of a building being constructed at the corner of Vernon Street and Central American Boulevard when he heard gunshots, and felt both his legs burning. He saw his legs were bleeding, and realized that he had been shot.

Another taxi driver, a father of three children, has been murdered on the job. Orlando Smith, 47, a taxi driver of Roaring Creek who operated for about 9 years in Belmopan, was found with his throat slashed at about 7:30 Thursday night on the side of the road in Salvapan, Belmopan. Police say they found Smith on Costa Rica Street Extension in a remote area. His taxi was missing, but it was later found on the George Price Highway between Miles 44 and 45. Police believe that robbery was the motive for the murder, and are looking for three persons who were seen in Smith’s taxi just before he was found dead.


Day of the Dead celebrates the life and death of our deceased ancestor
Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead is a traditional practice by the Mestizo/ Maya culture that has existed for centuries. This is a day that brings the family together in prayers and food fests to commemorate the life and death of our ancestors. Day of the Dead or “Dia de los Muertos” is celebrated on: November 1st: All Saints Day (Day for the kids that passed away) November 2nd: All Souls Day (Day for the adults that passed away) During my childhood, we would celebrate Los Finados or Day of Dead instead of the more recent and popular Trick or Treat done on All Hallows Eve (Halloween). The day of the dead was a day when our elders and our mothers would warn us about washing our hair at night and leaving the house dirty. The belief was that if we washed our hair a lady, better known as “Obeah” lady would do evil deeds to us. It was also believed that if the house remains filthy when this day arrives that the dead would come and clean it for us. We were also warned about opening our windows to see outside. The superstitious belief was that the dead would be passing by and they would give us a candle which by morning would turn into a bone. If the bone was not buried in the cemetery by midnight the next day, the dead would come for us. These were the stories that I grew up listening to from my elders. It would scare all of us children, so we made sure to follow exactly what they said. Dia de los Muertos, day of the dead, is celebrated to commemorate our deceased ancestors. On this day a sacred alter would be prepared with portraits of all our deceased loved ones. This alter would be decorated with flowers, candles, fruits, drinks, candy and their favourite Mestizo dishes (meals) such as escabeche, chimole, relleno, atole and so on. The entire family comes together on dia de los muertos, day of the dead, to prepare all the food that should be placed on the alter.

Journey through Slavery
This documentary examines the origins of the Transatlantic slave trade which took place across the Atlantic Ocean between the 16th and 19th centuries. Slavery in the New World was one of the largest forced human migration in recorded history.

“Do It Again” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Decided to take a break from writing an edition yesterday but I will tell you that Sunday morning was a very wet one. Not so wet though that it stopped me from braving the elements and heading off to town (over the very bumpy and puddly road south) for breakfast at Estel’s. I got to Estel’s shortly after 08.00 hours and was surprised to find that it was packed. Not so packed though that I wasn’t able to secure a table. And one near the door so that I was sheltered from the driving rain. I really enjoy eating there when it’s a bright, sunny day and you can look out and watch people walking along the beach and just enjoying the views. But sitting there when it’s bucketing down and you are dry and snug and you have a table (whilst others stand around waiting for one to become free) comes a very close second. Not a very nice side of me I know but it’s a real bummer when you get there and find all the tables taken and you know, you just know, that people that go there do not go for a ‘speed’ breakfast.

45 day Countdown for Ramon’s Village Celebration and my Blat
As soon as I set out for my first errand run to town yesterday morning and saw the guys unloading a boat full thatch for Ramon’s Village, I decided that was a good topic to blog for today. One of my regular readers Jeanette is planning a trip back in December and had recently asked me how their progress was doing. I filled her in but decided this was a good idea to catch her up visually on the progress they are making. In addition to Ramon’s I decided to snap a few more pics along the way of businesses that are preparing for high season. Banana Beach was getting a fresh coat of paint just in time for our 2 day intensive first aid training course :) Antijitos San Telmo is getting a nice new look and there is a so work being done beside Super Buy South, I am not sure what the building will be used for when it is finished.

Bucket List Trip: Catamaran Sailing the Belize Cayes with Raggamuffin Tours, Day Two & Three
Let me continue telling you about my catamaran sail from Caye Caulker to Placencia (north to south along the Belize barrier reef) with Raggamuffin Tours. Yesterday I had left off at the end of day one (here is the post)…we had pitched our tent village on Rendezvous Caye, did a bit of sunning and snorkelling on our own private island… ate a delicious meal of baked barracuda with vegetables, curried shrimp, coconut rice, potatoes and plenty of rum punch. I think I fell asleep at about 9pm and even the partying crowd didn’t make it much past 10pm. Cruising, sunning, fishing, snorkelling and basically having everything completely taken care of for you is EXHAUSTING. Plus, you knew that once the sun came up at about 550am, these tents were going to be HOT.

The Next Best Thing to Being There….
A recent feature on scientists identifying a new species of megamouth shark that prowled the oceans about 23 million years ago contains some fascinating reading. But for those Belize aficionados among us there’s an added plus: a beautiful photo gallery of pictures on an attached link PHOTOS: Sharks, Marine Mammals Hang in Paradise. You can click on the link, or just click the arrows on the right side of the main image of the feature story, “Extinct ‘Megamouth’ Shark Species Identified” ( Nov 4, 2013 by Tia Ghose)

5 Branding Tips to Supercharge Your Sales
In business, good branding creates trust and can make it easier to sell a product to customers. While the brands we choose as customers can be reflections of our beliefs and values, the right kind of branding can steer us toward products or services that we may otherwise not have been looking for. So, it makes sense that companies that have great branding can generate more sales. You can improve your own startup’s branding by following these five tips: 1. Be consistent. Regardless of what your startup is about, it needs to be consistent for people to recognize it as a brand rather than a product. Especially in the earlier stages of a brand, people’s trust is only established once they are confident that they understand what your brand does well and what it stands for.

Crafting a New Private Sector Advocacy Model
My good friend and colleague David Jessop, wrote in his recent column titled ‘Wanted: An aggressive regional private sector voice’, on an issue which has been at the forefront of recent deliberations within CARICOM and which both the Secretary General of CARICOM, Ambassador Irwin Larocque as well as the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, the Hon Kamla Persad Bissessar have indicated are critical to driving the regional integration process. The issue of a strong, credible, vocal private sector voice at the regional level. While it is conceded that there currently exists a lacuna in the regional space, of such a private sector entity, I believe that it is a colossal leap to suggest that the “silence” is “an indicator that regional economic integration and a single direction of economic travel may no longer be achievable.”

Apply for a Chevening Scholarship TODAY!
Don't miss your chance to apply for this great scholarship opportunity. You only have 4 days to apply.

Cricel Castillo Iffb of Belize City wins the Female Body Building Figure & Bikini Fitness held at the Bliss Institute on Friday Nov 1st. It was a sold out event and combined male body building in a different category. The Corozal Daily wishes to congratulate Cricel Castillo Iffb for being a good sports Ambassador to Belize and wishes her the best of success.

Rigo Vellos of Corozal back to back WINS as Belize 's Bodybuilding Champion!
Rigo Vellos of Corozal has once again been declared as Belize's best male bodybuilder; that was outcome of the 2013 Body Building and Body Fitness Championships which was held on Friday at the Bliss Institute of Performing Arts! The audience was awed with hours of entertainment from athletes with beautifully sculpted physiques. Rigo Vellos, who was born and grew up in Corozal, Belize, started working out when he was 16. He was fascinated by body building, and loved the discipline and aesthetics of it, but always considered himself too shy to compete. This changed when he saw the movie Hercules starring Arnold Schwarzenegger in June 2009 and was inspired to start bodybuilding. After only five months, in November 2009, he entered the Mr. Belize body building competition in Belize City winning the Junior class. He was allowed to move up to the Senior class where he came in third. In November 2012 Rigo took away the top honor becoming Mr. Belize.

Second lecture in the ‘Perspectives of our Past’ Historical Lecture Series
The Corozal House of Culture values the importance of oral historical retrieval and is pleased to present the Second lecture in the ‘Perspectives of our Past’ Historical Lecture Series. The lecture series is a vital link into Corozal’s distant and not so distant past. Corozal's rich history will be exposed through the words of our elders. This Friday, November 8, Mr. Omar Mitchell will speak on relations between the ancient Maya of Cerros and Chectumal (known today as Santa Rita). The final lecture on November 22, Mr. Jesus Ken will talk about his experiences on growing with the political movement. The Corozal House of Culture (NICH) is kindly requesting everyone's presence. Lectures commence at 7 p.m. at the Corozal House of Culture. Let's keep Corozal Safe & Clean!!!

Loving Belize episode 9 - What's the US army doing in PG? Barranco and the history of the Garifona.
In this heart warming episode you will be introduced to the children in the Saint Peters Claver school in Punta Gorda town where I give them and workshop in stop animation and mural art. Also in Punta Gorda I interview two US Marines, who explain about US aid in Belize and around the world. Then I take you to the beautiful town of Barranco and I am guided around the village by a charming local 'Fish' who takes me to see the village historian Carlson Tuttle, who gives us a lesson on Garifona history and culture. From Barronco back to PG where you are introduced to courageous drum maker Emmeth Young who has open a drum school 'The Maroon Creole drum school' to help get the kids off the streets of Belize and learn to build drums and earn an income. From drums made from hard wood from the jungle of Belize to dried tropical fruit, met Jack Nightingale who has an amazing life story and now has settled in Belize to start a dried fruit company called 'Fruit Full' - Nothing added but the sun. Finally you are taken to a very special place, which is very close to my heart, with people I have come love deeply. Mr and Mrs Coleman. To lovely people in their 70's, hard working and honest, pure and gentle souls. Their song will fill you with love.

Loving Belize episode 10 Education in Belize, Punta Gorda, Belize City, San Pedro Columbia
This is a special episode dedicated to showing you just what Belize has to offer it's children. As Joseph Stamp Romero says in the beginning credits "You see a lot of negative things some times high-lighted about our young people, we also take a lot of time to focus on their positive side." In this episode you are introduced to some of the things Belize has to offer it's children - Belize's education system, talent competitions, a couple passionate about educating the youths in their town who are straggling to open a high school in San Pedro Columbia, and even Belize's first Flash Mob at the Cacao festival organized by a fabulous young dancer Prem Pop. I interview Us Capital energy, a company exploring for oil in Belize, who is one of the biggest supporters of education in Belize, donating computers, repainting schools, building roads and libraries. I interviewed Joseph Arzu head gardener at Belcampo who teaches High school students about organic farming and who shows you the amazing farm and lodge at the luxurious resort. I also interviewed people from San Pedro Columbia to illustrate just would difficult it is for, most families, to send their children to secondary school, the extra work they all have to do to offer their children an education. With an interview from Dr Carmen Lopez from the ministry of education who explains the subsidies the minister of education Patrick Faber put into place in 2010 to help send children to high school. This is an interesting episode full of information, and talented and beautiful Belizean children. Sit back and enjoy the show.

Loving Belize episode 11 - Lubaantun Mayan site, Lobster fest Placencia, El Pilar Mayan site
In this episode of Loving Belize you are taken to Lubaantun a Maya site in the south of Belize with an interview from a local man who has looked after the site for 30 odd years. Then you are whisked away to Placencia for the lobster, where you see the local fishermen diving for lobster and learn some of the local recipes. You travel with the 'Black pearl' Biker group from Placencia to San Ignacio along the beautiful Humming bird highway. Lastly you are taken to El Pilar Mayan site and shown around by the archeologist who found the site 30 years ago Anabel Ford.

Loving Belize Episode 12 - Oil drilling Belize, Hopkins, Caye Caulker, Bush doctors, Boxing
Welcome to last episode of Loving Belize, this one is a whirlwind tour of Belize. - In this episode you are taken to the Archeology symposium in San Ignacio, with interviews from leading archeologists. - Then you are taken to Benque Viejo del Carmen a town 3 km from the Guatemalan border for the festival of the virgin Carmen, lebrates the day of Benque's patron saint Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Nuestra Señora de Monte Carmelo) with traditional marimba bands. - From there we go to Spanish Lookout, where we get a look into the oil drilling business in Belize. - From there we travel across the country to the island of Caye Caulker where you'll met the organizer for the Poor and Famous Boys club. - Then we visit the village of Hopkins where you'll be enchanted by the Garifona community. - Across the country again and right down south to San Perdo Columbia where a poetry and rap festival to promote the Rainforest Academy will bring a smile to your face. - Back to San Ignacio to it's lively market, and it's sister village Santa Elena where I give a work shop in stop animation in the local Library to the children. - Then you are taken on a very educational journey through the jungle of Belize with a Maya Bush Doctor. - Then you are taken to a village which was split in half when the border of Belize was laid down, the village of Arenal on the border of Belize and Guatemala, divides a football pitch in the heart of the village. - Finally We go back to San Ignacio for an out door box match between Belize and Guatemala.

International Sources

A TRIP TO THIS CENTRAL AMERICAN COUNTRY REVEALS OTHERWORLDLY VISTAS AND EVEN THE REMOTE CHANCE OF SEEING A JAGUAR. WHAT'S GUARANTEED, HOWEVER, IS SPECTACULAR BIRDLIFE. "The only place you can get the jabiru closer than this is in the zoo.” Guide Leonard Gillett shuts off our boat’s motor and slowly poles us into a stalking, squawking flock of wading birds, where the massive stork, standing nearly five feet high, towers over great egrets and wood storks like a basketball center trying out for the soccer team. We are very close, indeed: I can practically count the wispy white feathers that crown the jabiru’s otherwise naked black head. Despite this morning’s off-and-on drizzle, the dry season is well under way in Belize, a compact Central American country slightly smaller than New Hampshire. The lagoon at the heart of Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary has been steadily shrinking for weeks, concentrating hundreds of waders—egrets, herons, storks, white ibises, roseate spoonbills, and more—into smaller and smaller feeding areas.

Sarasota multimillionaire sailing on to Belize
Harvey Vengroff, a self-made multimillionaire who moved to Southwest Florida 23 years ago so he could go sailing every day, is sailing on — to Belize. Vengroff, the 72-year-old founder of one of the world's largest collection agencies, plans to sell a $75 million Southwest Florida property portfolio that he amassed after arriving in 1990. He is also making it possible for his real estate employees to acquire another $20 million worth of apartments on favorable terms. Since he got here, Vengroff has been a colorful character who prefers casual clothes, rails against government bureaucrats and tends to do things his own way. In the late 1990s, Barry Seidel of American Property Group of Sarasota sold Vengroff a vacant 400-seat restaurant on the North Tamiami Trail called Brenton Reef.

Archeologist to Theorize on Mayan Artifacts
As the ancient Mayan civilization slowly collapsed in Central America some thousand years ago, perhaps in the face of a quickly changing environment, its survivors retreated with their most precious artifacts into caves. Jaime J. Awe, a noted archeologist in Belize, will discuss what the ancient treasure troves have revealed to researchers about a remarkable civilization, on Tuesday, Nov. 5, at SUNY Cortland. Awe, who directs the Institute of Archaeology for the National Institute of Culture and History at Galen University in San Ignacio, Cayo, Belize, will lecture on “Cave Archaeology in Western Belize and its Implications for Understanding Ancient Maya Response to Environmental Change” at 4:30 p.m. in Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge. His lecture is free and open to the public. Belize, a small Central American country with a scattered population roughly the size of Buffalo, N.Y., is a relatively untapped archeologist’s goldmine. The rain forests have swallowed most artifacts of a once-thriving civilization, but the remnants of their wondrous cultural gatherings can be found in the shards of ceramic ware left behind. Awe, an associate professor at Galen University, is a Belizean archaeologist with 22 years of field experience in Mayan archaeology.

A new legal order: the CCJ as guardian of legal rights
The unanimous landmark judgment delivered by the Caribbean Court of Justice (“CCJ”) on 4th October 2013 in the case of Myrie v Barbados applies to St Kitts and Nevis as much as it does to Barbados and Jamaica. Movement of our nationals to other CARICOM countries, and of CARICOM nationals into St. Kitts and Nevis, are governed by the principles set out in the judgment. This is because we, and the other eleven signatory countries (the “Contracting Parties”) to the Treaty establishing the CCJ, have accepted the “original” jurisdiction of the CCJ, although only three of the twelve countries have accepted the appellate jurisdiction. Those three are Barbados, Belize and Guyana, who no longer allow appeals to the Privy Council. Guyana ended appeals to the Privy Council decades ago, but Barbados and Belize only did so since the CCJ was created. All twelve countries have already paid for the complete CCJ, but only three are fully utilizing the Court. The CCJ’s original jurisdiction mandates the CCJ to authoritatively adjudicate disputes concerning the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (“RTC”). The parties to original jurisdiction cases may be two or more CARICOM Member States, or a company or an individual versus a CARICOM Member State, or may include other legal entities within CARICOM.

Raaka, the Brooklyn-Based Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Maker
If it seems early for us to be hawking "perfect holiday presents," keep in mind that the Christmas commercials are already airing, department stores are telling us that the shoes we want for ourselves are actually great gifts for other people, and here in New York, the Winter Village at Bryant Park, packed with more than 125 boutique-style pop-up shops, opened last week. So even though we haven't even hit Thanksgiving, the holiday season is here, whether you're ready for it or not. And if you're walking through that Winter Village, feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the sheepskin gloves and crafty jewelry, consider going with a gift (or, um, indulgence for yourself) that few will find fault with: chocolate. Raaka goes out of its way -- and out of its pocket -- to support a better system of global trade in chocolate. According to co-founder Ryan Cheney, Raaka supports in-country growth and development by giving cocoa farmers around the world an effective 20 percent raise for their beans. The impact of this kind of capital influx goes far beyond the farmers themselves. "For example," Cheney says, "Maya Mountain Cacao in the Moho River Valley of Belize has seen an increase from 45 percent to 85 percent of children of cocoa farmers in school since they became a cooperative which only supports fair-trade purchases."

US-Caribbean: the Silent Invasion
Havana (Prensa Latina) The fight against drug trafficking became in recent decades one of the cornerstones of the United States for military and political penetration in the Caribbean, a key region due to its strategic position and natural resources. Traditionally, Washington has tried to keep that area under his cloak, given the need to obtain vital raw materials and to control several major transportation routes in the world. This strategy is favored by extension of the Caribbean Sea and the limited resources available to most of the nations of the area. Drug trafficking in the Caribbean increased by 9% in recent years, said U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for the fight against drugs, William Brownfield. "This problem is in process of moving to the Caribbean region and that's a danger," said the official, an argument used by the White House to increase military presence in the area. Similar comment was made by U.S. Vice President, Joseph Biden, during his recent visit to Trinidad and Tobago. I am very concerned about Caribbean vulnerability to the flow of narcotics, said in December 2012 U.S. General John F. Nelly during the Caribbean Nations Security Conference, held in Miami, Florida.

OAS Urges Governments of the Americas to Create Opportunities for Youth
The Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Albert Ramdin, today concluded the Second Conference of Youth in the Americas with an appeal to the governments of the region to make a special effort to create opportunities for new generations. The meeting, which took place at the headquarters of the Organization in Washington DC, opened a discussion forum for the youth of the Hemisphere on issues that affect this segment of society, including politics and new technologies. The senior OAS official warned that "if we do not act as States, then we are running the risk of creating a major problem for the future." In every single country of our region, the majority of our people are young, under 35 years of age. Imagine a scenario where these young people do not have a job, but they still need to live, they still need a house, need transportation," he continued.

Better Know a Country by Its YouTube Stats: Belize
When 6% of a nation’s population visits your videos on YouTube in a month, you take notice. Enter Belize! 8,800 square miles of tropical paradise filled with jungle and reefs which exports petroleum and plantains, two things which start with P. In October, 80,000 views of content from The Orchard came via Belize. While I’m not sure what’s stressing our Belizean friends out, I know it must be something, because our most popular content there is lengthy chillout and relaxation mixes. Another thing the folks from Belize love also starts with a P: Nigerian Hip Hop duo P-Square. Their new release “Personally” was our top content for the territory last month. The largely older male audience is really into rhymes from the continent across the Atlantic. Quite a lot of them are watching on mobile phones, though the computer still offers the lion’s share of views. People in Belize are also generally very friendly, liking videos 20 times more than disliking them. As many as 50 favorites were added and almost 100 shares, mostly for P-Square.

November 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

Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow departs country for back surgery
Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow departed the country on Sunday, 3rd November, 2013, for Los Angeles, California, to receive medical treatment for his chronic back pain. The Prime Minister is scheduled to return to Belize on Thursday, 14th November, 2013. During the Prime Minister’s absence, the Hon. Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister will act as Prime Minister of Belize.

San Pedro Town and Belize City renew Sister Cities relationship with Chetumal, Mexico
Two municipalities in Belize renewed sister cities relationships with the City of Chetumal (Othon P Blanco), Mexico. While no announcements were made in Belize, the Mexican press is reporting that the Mayor of Othon P. Blanco, Eduardo Espinosa Abuxapqui, held an official ceremony on Saturday October 26th to twin Chetumal City with Belize City and San Pedro Town. The aim of twinning is to strengthen exchanges in the cultural, academic, tourism, economic and health sectors. In the presence of the members of the Council of Othon P. Blanco and other special guests, the Mexican Mayor gave twinning letters to San Pedro Town’s Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Culture and Tourism and Culture of Belize. Deputy Mayor of Belize City Bernard Q Pitts Jr accepted the letter on behalf of the Belize City Mayor, Darrel Bradley.

ABC Preschool Grand Halloween Fair (33 photos)
On Thursday October 31st, ABC Preschool held its annual Halloween Fair at the school grounds. Parents brought out their children to enjoy some tricks and treats, dressing them up for extra fun. It was hard for anyone present not to have a good time as there was plenty on sale, from rice and beans to tamales and plenty of snacks to satisfy each sweet tooth.

Ambergris Today

Belize’s Iconic April the Tapir Dies at 30
“We did a great job keeping her comfortable during her last few weeks, but you get to a point where it is just time to go,” stated Sharon to local Belize City media. “At least it wasn’t a dreadful awful disease that took her in a snap. We saw what was happening; we were committed to keeping her comfortable. And if I could say the good news is that she died peacefully in her sleep.” The tapir is the national animal of Belize and April was an iconic figure that will be sadly missed by all. According to the Belize Zoo directors and staff, her legacy will live on at the Zoo, Belize, and beyond, as a cultural icon and symbol of wildlife conservation and education. Rest in peace, April, we will miss you.

Debbie and Larry's Famous “Yummy Paletas” giveaway at SPRCS
“For it is in giving that we receive”, and Debbie and Larry Heimgartner give away thousands of paletas each year at the San Pedro Roman Catholic School and receive the best Thank You a person can ever get, a warm Belizean Smile form all the students. Debbie and Larry are great friends to the island and without fail each yearly visit they purchase these delicious paletas from Manelly’s Ice Cream to distribute to the RC School Children. It is always a joy to see Debbie and Larry have so much fun as they personally hand out the paletas.

Flashbacks: San Pedro's Warm Hospitality Has't Changed Over The Years!
If you were hosting some friends today, you would probably take them diving or snorkeling at Hol Chan and then take them out to dine at one of the most popular restaurants in town. Not so in the past as you can appreciate in this flashback. Sanpedranos would take them out to the beach, pull down some coconuts and enjoy the mixed drinks or cocktails. What is interesting here are the party boys, the teenagers of the 1960’s and perhaps of the 1940’s too. Let’s move from left to right to meet Guillermo Mito Nuñez (+), Abel Sansorez (guest), Emeterio Sansorez Sr.(+), Alfredo Alamilla (+), Flavio Vasquez (+), Agusto “Cucho” Acosta(+), Jeminiano “Jemi”Aguilar (+), Jaime Paz Sr. (+), and Florentino “Colas” Sansorez. Standing up are some Mexican guests, Anastacio "Tacio" Sansorez and Omar Sansorez visiting San Pedro and Alfredo "Fedo" Alamilla. The hospitality of San Pedro has not changed for sure!

25 Years Ago: San Pedro's First Fire Fighters
Let me first talk about our group of 100% volunteers. Norman Eiley was our appointed Fire Chief, and he was joined by Jose Gonzalez, Miguel Alamilla, Genaro Nuñez, Francisco Verde, Dimas Guerrero and Yours Truly. We were simply invited; don’t think there was any physical test. But indeed they all had to be strong as you will find out later on. We were all family men and left time from our home schedule to go to fire drills every Monday evening at 4 p.m. This was a duty which we took seriously and were very responsible and consistent. We drilled with one or two or even three live hoses by branching off with a splitter. We drilled at every possible spot at the lagoon or seaside where we placed our five-inch suction hose. At times we set patches of garbage on fire and drilled on it. Once Captain Eiley had us build a palm leaf house and he lit it early one night about seven p.m. to try out our whistle communication system and our siren as well.

Pic of the Week: Trash the Vera Wang Wedding Dress in Belize
Mike and Aby Simes chose to get married in Belize because they fell in love with our country’s natural beauty and the amazing diving opportunities. Photographer Jose Luis Zapata captured this fun moment as the couple decided to “Trash the Dress” after their marriage ceremony that took place at Turneffe Island Resort, Belize. They trashed the Vera Wang wedding dress! “Yes, even Vera Wang wedding dresses get trashed in Belize,” commented Jose Luis Zapata in his blog post.

Rain or Shine, Discover Your Adventure in Belize
Belize offers many tours and excursion that will make your vacation unforgettable. Rain or shine tourists head out to discover their own adventure. I have been observing a lot of tours being advertised all around Ambergris Caye; from Sunset cruises to Blue Hole trips. So I decided to treat myself and go on an all day sailing trip to Caye Caulker with two snorkeling stops at Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley on the El Gato Tours. Whether perched up front with the breeze blowing...

Misc Belizean Sources

The primary school land is one of the many reasons for disagreement in the village of Cotton Tree, Cayo District. The Catholic Mission would like the title of the school land to be transferred to them; in order to build a new building, beautify the campus, and secure its perimeter. Presently the land belongs to the community; the community centre and clinic are also on the same compound. Many of the villagers are of the opinion that if there is a sincere desire to develop the school, the land title is not needed. A meeting was convened on November 3, where villagers came out to speak about the issue and stated that they are against the transfer of the land title. A history of the village was given by Mrs Hortence Anderson, daughter of one of the first settlers of Cotton Tree Village. She explained that three acres of land were given to the Catholic Mission for them to build a school but it was never used. The villagers then took it upon themselves to clear another piece of land and build the community centre on it. Children were being taught at the centre but soon there was a need for another building, with assistance the villagers were able to build another building. These two buildings weren’t enough so, the Women’s Group sought the assistance of Social Investment Fund (SIF) to build a new school building.

2 lb cassava 3/4 lb sugar 2 tablespoon butter 1 1/2 cup coconut milk 1 tablespoon vanilla 1/2 nutmeg, grated 1 egg Instructions: Grate cassava in a bowl. Add sugar, coconut milk, egg, vanilla and nutmeg. Melt butter and pour into other ingredients. Stir together. Pour into a baking pan and bake at 250 degrees for about 45 minutes. ENJOY!!!

SHJC at Cayo Cancer Walk
Sacred Heart Junior College students participated in the Cayo Cancer Walk on Saturday morning. They had a huge showing, and some great shirts made to raise funds for the event. Thanks, SHJC! "On November 2, 2013 students and staff of SHJC participated in the Cancer Walk that was organized by the Belize Cancer Society - San Ignacio Branch. We'd like to thank all the students who participated, who purchased a shirt, or who donated at the main gate so we can contribute to the Cancer Society."

Mexican Embassy Dia de los Muertos
The Embassy of Mexico in Belmopan celebrated Dia de los Muertos with a celebration. "This Mexican tradition combines the beliefs of ancient cultures with those of the Catholic religion. Mexico has always had its own approach to the concept of death. On the Day of the Dead, the souls of the ancestors are invited to join in festivities including food and dancing. Candy skulls are given to loved ones and funny poems about death are shared."

Add!ction Grand Opening
Add!ction Designs is having their grand opening on Saturday, November 9th. Their shop is at 24 West street, and is looking nicer every day. Gabriela Barrera has done quite a few fashion shows around Cayo, and has some creative fashions. Defnitely check them out. "I am Honor to announce that my store will be complemented by De Yans jewelry design by: Mauricio Canelo... Visit us on Nov 9 to see his most latest designs..."

National Youth Week
Happy National Youth Week! The Department of Youth Services is celebrating National Youth Week all over Cayo, and Belize. Check out their schedule. They are doing a movie night tonight, and many things over the week.

Belikin Halloween Block Party
Best Halloween Block party so far. Thanks to Belikin, Mr. Greedy's, and the SISE Town Council for having such a great party. "It was a wild party on Burns avenue last night. DJ Caesar, DJ Chris, and DJ Wolverine rocked the house. They sold out of beer at the booth too."

Paul Nabor Cayo Tour
Paul Nabor, the great Belizean singer and songwriter, will be coming to Cayo for 2 shows the weekend before Garifuna Settlement day. He'll be playing at the Soul Project on Saturday, November 16th, and the Cayo Welcome Center on Sunday, November 17th. Running W Meats and the San Ignacio Resort Hotel are sponsoring the concerts, which are both free.

Legislation designed to overhaul Immigration and Nationality service taken to parliament
Prime Minister Dean Barrow today introduced a set of three pieces of legislation designed to overhaul the Immigration and Nationality services to make the system “as fail-safe as possible.” The proposed reform includes the setting up of a vetting committee to oversee the vetting of applications for visas and changing the Nationality Act to tighten up the process of obtaining citizenship by registration. These new measures come in the wake of allegations of corruption in the Immigration and Nationalist department, which ultimately resulted in the firing of Junior Minister Elvin Penner in September.

Channel 7

Patrick Andrew’s Rise To Standard Bearer
The recent talk of recall elections, has gotten most everyone in a political mood - but there's no recall, not yet, at least and to fill our political fix, we at least have conventions. The PUP started its convention cycle on Sunday in Belmopan and 7News was there. Daniel Ortiz reports:... Daniel Ortiz reporting For the entire day yesterday, the People's United Party held an open convention for the Belmopan Constituency. Almost 2,000 voters came out to choose who their next PUP standard bearer would be, a big statement for the 4 aspirants, Ruth Meighan, Patrick Andrews, Oscar Mira, and Dr. Amin Hegar, who had all been campaigning for months: Hon. Julius Espat - Deputy Leader, PUP "A great moment for the People's United Party, up to 2pm our numbers are showing at least 1,200 voters - that's an incredible amount of people coming out in Belmopan for the People's United Party. It has never been seen like that for a long time. Whichever candidate emerges as the winner the People's United Party is showing that the people are ready for a change."

Construction Worker Accidentally Shot
A construction worker was hit by a stray bullet in Belize City on Saturday morning. At around 11:00, 40 year old Victor Galliano, a resident of Cotton Tree Village, was working on the second floor of a House at the corner of Vernon Street and Central American Boulevard, when he was shot to both legs. Information to 7news is that there was a dispute in the gang affiliated area of Mayflower, shots were fired, but they missed their target and hit Galiano in the legs. His condition is not life threatening and he has been discharged from the hospital.

No Leads In Canadian Murder
Corozal Police have no suspects and no leads into the murder of 57 year-old Canadian Patricia Lynn Nichiporowich, and they are hoping that the public will assist them to bring charges against persons for it. As we told you, on last week Tuesday, the retiree was found stabbed to death inside house she was renting in Consejo Village in the Corozal District. None of her expensive valuables were stolen, but police believe that the killer or killers where there to rob her. They suspect that the only reason nothing was taken was because the neighbors heard the commotion and responded in time to scare the culprits off. Last week, investigators had one person detained for questioning, but that man has already been released. The mostly expatriate community has been shaken by the Nichiporowich murder, and they've been working with police as recently as this afternoon to devise a better response system to prevent a reoccurrence.

Aaron Stock; First CSEC, Now CAPE
Today, the Ministry of Education and the CXC National Committee of Belize released the names of the top performers in the 2013 CSEC and CAPE examinations. Once again, Aaron Stock, who was the second best performer in the 2011 CSEC, has been named as the country's best performer in the CAPE exams. Stock took 8 exams and managed to get grade ones in all of them. He is also the country's best performer for Caribbean Studies, Chemistry Unit 1 and Physics Unit 2. He has also been awarded the Belize Scholarship for this year. He is presently pursuing studies in the US. In the CSEC examinations, Edward P. Yorke graduate Xiaowen Huang was named as this year's most outstanding candidate because she managed to achieve 16 grade ones in her exams. Second place went to SCA's Marilen Guerra who achieved 15 grade ones; that's one more what than the best performer managed 2 years ago when he edged out Aaron Stock. Today, 7News caught up with Guerra and she told us how she managed to block out all distractions and perform so well, even on subjects she wasn't taking in her 4th form year:

Floods Finally Reach Belize City
NEMO's latest advisory issued this evening says that water is receding in most areas of the country - except for Crooked Tree, where the causeway remains closed to traffic and will be that way until further notice. Residents of the area continue to be serviced by a Coast Guard vessel. But there are still isolated flooding events in different parts of the country and NEMO warns the public to avoid walking and driving through flood waters to keep their children out of the water. Sounds good on paper but in practical terms it's virtually impossible - especially for residents of Belama Phase 3. We found that out when we visited today and found water with nowhere to go. Monica Bodden reports:... Monica Bodden reporting The rains have now stopped but some residents of Belama Phase 3 and 4 are left to cope with the after effects. Parts of the small community remains under water- some areas flooded up to 3 feet high.

Convicted Shooter Says Sorry
22 year-old Lloyd Eligio will spend 12 years in jail, that's the sentence Justice Troadio Gonzalez handed him today after his mitigation hearing. As we told you, in the trial, Eligio tried to convince his victim, Mark Lord, and the jury that Lord was mistaken when he accused Eligio of being the gunman who tried to execute him in October 2009. This morning, He took a complete reversal in position when he told the court he was sorry for what he did, and begged for leniency. After considering all the factors, Justice Gonzalez decided that he should spend 12 years in prison, which will be recorded as commencing from last week Monday, when he was first convicted.

Octogenarian Badly Injured In Accident On Western
Belmopan police have not released the details on the charges for the driver of a bus that collided with a car at mile 41 on the Western Highway on Friday. But we do have the details of the person most seriously hurt, 88 year old Joyce Frankson. She was laid out on the highway after being flung from the backseat of her daughters car into the font seat. She suffered serious injuries: 4 broken ribs, 2 fractures to her hands, a broken leg and a fracture of her pelvis. She was transferred from the Western Regional Hospital to the KHMH and is now in a private facility. As we reported, only one lane was open because of work on the Highway - and when the bus's brakes failed it swerved out into oncoming traffic to avoid a rear end collision. Three people were in the car, the elderly Mrs. Frankson her daughter and her son in law who both received minor injuries.

MTBCAAS Push For Authentic Artifacts
You might not know it, but a lot of those tourism mementoes, the curios and trinkets that you see bearing the name "Belize" are actually made in Chine, or, worse, sometimes even Guatemala. And now, a project called "Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites" is trying to change that. A $350,000 dollar project has been awarded to a Caribbean consultant to teach Belizean producers how to make crafts that are genuine products of Belize. We found out more at the launch today:... Ian Morrisson, Project Coordinator - MTBCAAS "In this segment they will be doing training in standardization, branding and certification of the products. This will allow the artisans to have a better marketability and to ensure that there is a sustainable market for the products in the future."

Accused Murderer Walks; Main Witness A No-show
25 year-old Harrison Jacobs was freed of murder in the Supreme Court today when the prosecutor told the court that she couldn't continue her case because the main witness couldn't be found. Crown Counsel Shanice Lovell called 10 witnesses who testified against Harrison Jacobs, who was charged with the murder of Francis Figueroa, which happened on November 28, 2010. The allegation against Jacobs was that on that day, he had an altercation with the victim which escalated into a fight. Jacobs was accused of beating Figueroa and leaving him on the side of the road while he bled from his injuries. Jacobs allegedly returned with a firearm and shot him in the side of the head.

Big Names Battled In Belikin Cup In ‘Griga
We had a first this weekend at Channel 7, as we brought viewers football live Premier League Belikin Cup football from Dangriga. It was a big game, the unbeaten Belize Defence Force FC welcoming the star studded Belmopan Bandits to their home field at the Carl Ramos Stadium. One of them would leave as the league leaders and Mervyn "Rugged" Flores had the call for our coverage, here's how he put it:.. The Bandits now have the lead in the Belikin Cup with a total of 10 points, while BDF is in second with nine points. In other weekend games, Police United played to a draw with FC Belize and Verdes beat San Ignacio 2 to 1.

Rigo’s Back To Back Bodybuilding Victory
Rigo Vellos has once again been declared as Belize's best male bodybuilder; that was outcome of the 2013 Body Building and Body Fitness Championships which was held on Friday. The audience was awed with hours of entertainment from athletes with beautifully sculpted physiques. When the competition came to a close, 7News spoke with the winner of the male categories, and here's what they told us about what it takes to be best in the sport:

BOS Crack Down On Lab Testing
Have you ever gotten a blood or urine test done at a local lab and the result was completely puzzling - and, in the end, turned out to be completely wrong? It happens more than you'd think and it's the dirty little secret of medical laboratories that there are no standards or independent testing done in this critical field. The bureau of standards is trying to change that. They are working with the CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality on a project called Increasing Awareness of Accreditation Among Medical and Testing Laboratories in Belize." We found out more at the half day workshop today:... Dr. Claire Durant, Project Coordinator - CROSQ "The Caribbean Regional Organization for Standards and Quality will be assisting medical laboratories and public health laboratories in improving the standard of work to bring them up to the international standard. We will assist the persons who are actually working in the laboratory in addressing issues that are happening in the lab, the work, the documents, the calibration of instruments, the preparation of samples, how they do the reporting so that it can all be standardize and they can improve their efficiency in the laboratory and ultimately help the public in producing tests that are accurate and reliable 100% of the time."

100 Bucks For A 2014 Hilux?
On December 23rd the Rotary Club of Belize will be raffling a brand-new 2014 Toyota Hilux pick-up truck. It's one of their yearly fundraising events to support the organization's many charitable programs across the country. With only 1,000 tickets, the club plans on raising one hundred thousand dollars. Today we stopped in at mile 3 on the northern highway to check out the new ride and to find out where raffle tickets can be purchased. Lynn Young, President - Rotary "This is an exciting year for us because this year we are raffling a Toyota Hilux which as you know is a very popular pick up truck. We expect that we are going to get a lot of good response on this raffle and we are starting early this year. Tickets are already available and we are looking forward to a good response." Monica Bodden "How much are the tickets going for and what year is the vehicle?" Lynn Young, President - Rotary "It's a 2013 and the tickets are going for $100, but here is the thing; it's a limited edition raffle - We don't sell a lot of tickets, its limited to 1000 tickets and so you have a much better chance of winning than the everyday raffle that you might be doing. That's why its $100 per ticket."

Channel 5

P.U.P. stages a huge political convention in Belmopan; Patrick Andrews is new standard bearer
It was perhaps the most anticipated and hard fought political convention in recent P.U.P. history, as four persons vied for the right to represent the opposition party in the Belmopan [...]

P.M. personally checks Immigration files to prove Castro’s innocence
Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country on Sunday to undergo surgery in Los Angeles for which we wish him a speedy recovery. But before leaving, he strenuously defended his [...]

Penner to remain seated on the U.D.P.’s backbench
When news broke that a South Korean national imprisoned in Taiwan, had received Belizean citizenship and passport, the Prime Minister put Elvin Penner out of cabinet and announced that he [...]

11 immigration clerks transferred; N.T.U.C.B. and P.S.U. come out swinging
Still on the issue of the immigration scandal…The National Trade Union Congress of Belize, and sister organization the Public Service Union, came out swinging this morning on the abrupt transfer [...]

N.T.U.C.B. concerned about perception of transferred clerks involvement in passport scandal
So far it is only public officers that have been affected in the huge immigration scandal. The police say they are not looking in the direction of the former minister [...]

Mayor of Dangriga says the Barrow is dissing him with market issue
The corruption at the Social Investment Fund which resulted in the halting of the Dangriga Market Project has gone unremarked lately. That’s because the issue has been completely overshadowed by [...]

P.M. says he is seeking a qualified quality assurance person for Lands Dept.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow, at a recent fundraiser in Los Angeles, openly admitted that “the Lands Department unfortunately is another hotbed of corruption.” That acknowledgement, which came on the heels [...]

Fire in Belize City guts a King’s Park house
Early this morning, a fire gutted a house in the King’s Park Area. Luckily no one was at home at the time of the blaze, but the family of four [...]

Cyclist dies when he crashed motorbike into a cow
A Honduran national from the village of Duck Run in the Cayo District is dead after his motorcycle crashed into a cow in Spanish Lookout. The accident occurred just before [...]

Fisherman’s murder trial ends in nolle prosequi
The trial of San Pedro fisherman Harrison Jacobs, charged with the murder of twenty year old Francis Figueroa, ended in a nolle prosequi before Justice Adolph Lucas today in the [...]

Lloyd Elijio sentenced to 12 years for attempted murder
Twenty-two year old Lloyd Elijio has been sentenced to more than a decade behind bars for the October 2009 attempted murder of Mark Lord. Lord was shot on Hyde’s Lane [...]

Is there support for a senate-led investigation into the passport scandal?
The senate will meet this Wednesday in Belmopan when opposition senator, Lisa Shoman, will present a motion calling for s senate select committee to investigate the passport and visa scandals. [...]

Flooding in Rural and Urban Belize
For the past two weeks, heavy rains had been putting a damper on villages along the George Price Highway in the west. But one of the main effects of the [...]

Bodybuilding and much more on Weekend Sports
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   Week six of the PLB’s Belikin Cup found a struggle with Police United needing a win against FC Belize [...]


Fisherman Freed of Murder Charge
Twenty-five year old Harrison Jacobs, a fisherman charged with murder, was freed of the charge today when a nolle prosequi was entered, indicating that the prosecution was unable to proceed. Crown Counsel Shanice Lovell entered the nolle prosequi because the main witness could not be located. Ten witnesses had testified for the prosecution and the main witness was the last left to testify. Jacobs’ trial, which began last week, was a trial without jury and the trial judge was Justice Adolph Lucas. Jacobs was charged with the murder of 20 year old Francis Figueroa which occurred around 2:30 a.m. on November 28, 2010, in the Boca Del Rio area of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. The case for the prosecution was that Jacobs and the deceased had an altercation and during the altercation Jacobs beat Figueroa and left him lying injured on the side of the street. Jacobs left and returned with a firearm, walked up to Figueroa and shot him in his head. But although Jacobs was freed of the murder charge he was held in custody because he has a charge of wounding for which he was not offered bail because of the murder charge. Jacobs’ attorney, Michael Peyrefitte, said Jacobs is to go to court for the wounding on December 2, but he will try to secure bail for him before that date.

Stray Bullet Injures Construction Worker In Belize City
A man was shot in Belize City on Saturday. Police say that at around 11-30 on Saturday morning 40 year-old Victor Galliano, a construction worker of Cotton Tree Village, Cayo, was working on the second floor of a house at the corner of Vernon Street and Central American Boulevard when he heard several gun shots and realized that he was shot in both legs. Police are looking for two persons who they believe can assist in this investigation.

Officials Investigate House Fire in King’s Park Area
An early morning fire in Belize City has destroyed the upper flat of a home located at # 5751A Lizarraga Avenue. The house which is owned by Oscar Salazar was being rented by Gilroy Usher Jr. According to eyewitnesses in the area around 8 this morning they observed black smoke coming from the roof of the building after which the upper flat of the house became engulfed in flames. The Fire Department is presently investigating to determine the cause of the fire. Love News understands that both Belize Electricity Limited and the Fire Department had been called to the same residence late last night due to a small electric fire on the premises.

Police Uncovers Cannabis in Small Town
Police have discovered drugs in two separate parts of the Cayo District. On Sunday evening Benque Viejo Police made checks in an area in the outskirts of Succotz Village, Cayo in the Trek Stop road where near a shed they found a black plastic bag with green leafy substance suspected to be cannabis 220.4 grams. Meanwhile, on Saturday night members of the Benque Viejo Police visited Church Street behind a residence when they discovered a white sack containing six parcels of suspected compressed cannabis weighing close to 20 pounds. The contents were labeled at found property.

Teenager Goes Missing From Children’s Home
A 13 year-old boy who lives at a children’s home is reportedly missing. According to Carlisle Smith, a supervisor at Kings Children Home in the Cayo District, 13 year-old Joel Arzu went missing between seven and nine on Sunday morning when they conducted a head count at the breakfast table. Arzu is described to be of clear complexion, standing four feet five inches tall with black hair, brown eyes and weighs about 95 pounds. Police say that Arzu is believed to be heading to the Orange Walk District since he is originally from that location.

First Caribbean Bank Raises Money For Cancer Patients
In July of this year, CIBC First Caribbean set a target of raising thirty thousand US dollars to support cancer patients across the region through its regional Walk for Cure. In Belize the bank’s employees held several fund raising events as well as their walk for cure which took place on October 5. They raised three thousand three hundred dollars for the Belize Cancer Society. Across the region the bank raised more than three times their initial target by collecting one hundred and four thousand eight hundred and fifty three US dollars through various activities. This is the second year that the bank has held the walk for cure.

New Vehicle Up For Raffle:Rotary Club of Belize Fundraising
The Rotary Club of Belize has launched its annual raffle to raise funds for a number of community-based projects including the Gift of Life Program, Crime Stoppers Belize and the Belize Literacy Program. This year just 1,000 raffle tickets are being sold which means that those who purchase tickets will have a good chance of winning a brand new Toyota Hilux. President, Lynn Young, spoke to Love News about the raffle. LYNN YOUNG “This is an annual Rotary raffle; it’s a Hilux we are raffling this year. We are getting a lot of positive responses for this. The thing about our raffle is that it is a limited edition raffle. It’s 1000 raffles that we are selling at 100 dollars apiece and my advice to people is to get their tickets fast because there is a lot of interest in this Hilux and I think the tickets are going to go real fast.” According to Young you can get your tickets from any member of the Rotary Club of Belize.

12 Years for Attempted Murder
Twenty-two year old Lloyd Elijio, who was convicted of attempted murder last week, was sentenced to 12 years today by Justice John Gonzalez. The sentence, stipulated Justice Gonzalez, is to take effect from October 28, when Elijio was found guilty. Before he decided on the sentence, Justice Gonzalez took into consideration a plea for mitigation from Elijio, his age, the prevalence of the offence, the severity of the penalty and the manner in which the incident occurred. The incident occurred around 12:50 p.m. on October 25, 2009. The complainant, Mark Lord, was walking on Hyde’s Lane heading for Barrack Road when Elijio ambushed him and shot him in the left side of his chest. Elijio was not represented by any attorney. Crown counsel Sheneiza Smith represented the prosecution.


The Best Tortilla Chips on Ambergris Caye come from Corozal Belize
Over the course of almost 8 years living Ambergris Caye and countless potlucks I have taste tested a a lot of tortilla chips. While some were better than others I never found any worth praising. That is until I flew to Corozal Belize and Found Ronny’s Tortilla Factory. I liked his chips so much I made sure to find a couple of stores here that would be willing to stock them. Chips and guacamole, dip or salsa are a fundamental combo, but the ultimate tortilla chip should be able to stand alone. The best tortilla chip should have a taste that stands out leaves you wanting more. They should sturdy but not not to thick or oily, After all no one wants oily fingers or a chip that breaks in bits when you are trying to load it up. The perfect chip should be crunchy and have a firm fresh snap when you bite into it, especially after the bag as been opened. Lastly, they should have a good shape, engineered for scooping a decent amount of guacamole, salsa, or dip.

Bucket List Trip: Catamaran Sailing the Belize Cayes with Raggamuffin Tours, Day One
Mark Twain said it correctly. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did”. Or…if you are unfamiliar with Mr. Twain, you can go with the modern day sage Khloe Kardashian, renowned for her high pitched scream – YOLO! (“you only live once”). Either way, both of them are pretty spot on. My trip over the last three day, sailing from Caye Caulker to Placencia, Belize with Raggamuffin Tours, along the barrier reef, was that kind of trip. Half the time, it didn’t even feel real. It was THAT awesome. A teensy bit of background and an apology in advance. This post is a bit scattered. But after 3 days, I have a TON to tell you about. Raggamuffin Tours has been operating out of Caye Caulker for over 10 years. And they have a stellar reputation.

Belizean Music is Simple, yet Extraordinary
Belizean music is a mixture of Kriol, Mestizo, Garifuna, and Maya. Each culture is known for a special genre but the general population listens and dances to everything. You might believe that the music of Belize has achieved little worldwide recognition, but with one out of every three Belizeans living in the US, and international stars such as Andy Palacio who won the award of top 100 Greatest World Music Albums of All Time, our music has made its rounds. Below you will find popular music by the various cultures of Belize.

What Raggamuffin’s do in October!
Ashamedly we close for the month of October – rest, recuperation and renovation for staff, office and boats! Some of us have taken journeys – Adela, Ellis, Ramsay and Jahlee visited the US and Kevin the US and Japan and the rest of us enjoyed family time at home! It’s a time for us to re-charge our batteries and change the pace so that we can really appreciate what we have. We have found our month off or our slow season being hugely beneficial to the staff that really took advantage of it and it giving everybody that welcome holiday and break that we all look forward to.

International Sources

Increasing drone usage in Latin America
U.S. drone attacks in places like Pakistan and Yemen have gathered a lot of attention. Less so is the explosion of drone usage in Latin America. The issue of drones came up last Friday before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and one of the speakers was Santiago Canton, an Argentine lawyer who was the commission’s former executive secretary and now is director at the RFK Partners for Human Rights, a Washington advocacy group. Canton said 14 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean now deploy drones or have already purchased them. Others have hosted U.S. drones. “The Argentinean army has developed its own drone technology for aerial surveillance. Brazil is the country of Latin America that has the highest number of drones, both produced nationally and purchased outside the country,” Canton said. “Bolivia has just purchased drones for its air force, and it has signed an agreement with Brazil to have Brazilian drones identify coca-producing areas. Chile has sophisticated drones and they’ve bought Iranian ones for their borders and for surveillance throughout their country.

Extinct 'Megamouth' Shark Species Identified
A newly identified ancient creature was related to the megamouth shark, Megachasma pelagios (shown here). But unlike the modern shark, it had slightly longer, pointier teeth. Scientists have finally identified a new species of megamouth shark that prowled the oceans about 23 million years ago, nearly 50 years after the first teeth were discovered and then forgotten. The ancient shark likely prowled both deep and shallow waters for plankton and fish, using its massive mouth to filter food.

Latin American drone use on the rise and unregulated - report
At least 14 Latin American and Caribbean countries have used or purchased drones, an Argentine human rights lawyer said Friday. With the exception of Brazil, none of the countries have laws regulating the domestic use of drones. “The Ecuadorean army has purchased them and is using its own technology to develop them and use them on its border with Colombia,” he said. Belize and Costa Rica, meanwhile, use drones for conservation aims. The Uruguayan army has drones as well, he said, and El Salvador has purchased drones from Israel. Various news outlets have also reported on surveillance drone use in Venezuela and joint ventures with the US in the Dominican Republic.

Quintana Roo wins 6 awards in the “World Travel Market” Fair
The State of Quintana Roo will participate on the International “World Travel Market” Fair that will take place in London, England from November 4th to November 7th. The State will receive 6 awards: Cancun: Best international Airport of Mexico and Central America. Cozumel: Main Cruise Port. Dreams Hotel: Best family Resort. Mayakoba Hotel: Best Golf Resort. Cancun Convention Center: Best facility to host conventions. Rio Secreto Park: Best Nature Reserve.

Go wild: New info and images on Wild Orchid’s beachfront villas in Belize
The seven custom-built beachfront villas at Wild Orchid are situated on one of the most beautiful stretches of white sand in Belize — nay, all of Central America! Just steps from the Caribbean Sea, the open concept homes are highlighted by a state-of-the-art kitchen, media room, modern bathrooms, infinity pool and Jacuzzi, rooftop terrace, lush gardens and two-car garage.

November 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

Doctor Love: Wedding
Readers, please send your letters. They can be emails, formal letters or handwritten notes. They are edited solely for grammar and spelling. Also, they are sometimes edited for length. Dear Doctor Love, My wedding is coming up shortly. My fiancé has been handling the plans for the wedding. The wedding date is four months away […]

Wolfe’s Woofer: Check Up
“Have a seat Mr. Wolfe,” the nurse said. “You’re here for a blood test; right?” “Yes.” I took the only available seat. It was between a mother with a pair of four year-old twins and a pretty young lady in her mid-twenties. “The doctor will be with you shortly,” the nurse said to me. She […]

Misc Belizean Sources

El Pescador fishing report Week of October 27th – November 2nd, 2013
Master casting instructor Steve Hollensend brought a group of wonderful guests to visit us, and we thank him for sharing his vast knowledge of fly casting with not only his guests but with me as well! We also welcomed 8 couples and a few single anglers from the Woodlands Texas Orvis Store for 3 days of fishing and fun.

PUP Belmopan Convention
Patrick Jason Andrews is the victor for the PUP Belmopan Convention held today garnering 788 votes against Dr Amin Hegar with 653, Oscar Mira with 292, and Ruth Logan with 245. There were 16 spoilt ballots culminating in a total of 1994 votes cast in today's Belmopan PUP area representative election.

VIDEO: "We want to see Jesus lifted high"
Performed by the Sunday School class from the Salvation Army church (Georgeville). They are adorable!

Men's Softball - November 2, 2013
And now a break for a sport moment. And for that we go to the Denbigh Fuller Stadium in Camalote village, Cayo.

A Harvest Thanksgiving Festival was held on Sunday, November 3 at the Salvation Army, Georgeville Corps. It was a very good celebration of the Lord's blessings to the peopleof Georgeville and included a stirring message by Commanding Officer Lt. Rose-Marte Buisserreth who challenged the congregation to give of their best to God.

How to Roast a Succulent Turkey 101
In this video, I take you through the preparing, stuffing and roasting of a turkey. For anyone who has never cooked a turkey, this is a step by step tutorial on how to ensure that your turkey will be moist and not bland.

Student Leadership Conference at MCHS
Mount Carmel High School Hosted the BCAPPS Catholic Students Leadership conference. They have a video from the event.

Dia de los Difuntos
Succotz had a Dia de los Difuntos celebration. D Russell Photography was there. "Day of the Dead in San Jose Succotz"

SIPL First Finados
The San Ignacio Public Library had their first Finados. "The San Ignacio Public Library held its first finados remembering those who have departed before us."

Benque HoC Finados
The Benque House of Culture had their Finados, honoring Elias Awe. In the evening, they had their Noche de Cueta Cuentos. "Finados solemn observation was held yesterday with an Altar display in honor of Don Elias Awe, prayers, anecdote, traditional.conservas, I'xpasha, bollos de I'xpelon, were shared.among all the visitors, we thank the masses of visitors and collaborators who assisted in making this event possible. Promoting our cultural heritage, Your Benque House of Culture"

Halloween Block Party
The Belikin Halloween Block party was wicked fun. Costume contests, great DJ's, and tons of costumes really made for a fun evening. D Russell Photography got some awesome shots.


“Don’t Stop the Party” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
The completion of our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize has given Rose and I nearly every thing we have been dreaming about for the last few years. I say nearly because although the construction of it is finished it is still somewhat of a shell. OK, we have a sofa and armchairs. The kitchen is equipped with the essential appliances. But we don’t yet have the niceties. No TV. No dining room table and chairs. No bed (we have an air bed but its not the same – but I do know now what they mean about rolling out of bed!). No patio furniture. The list goes on. We know what we want (we have spent time during the last few months considering options and making choices) and during this last week we have tried, on-line, to make the purchases in the ‘States for the stuff that we want to ship (under the Qualified Retirement Programme scheme) to Belize. The ordering process went exactly as you would expect. You choose what you want and then place it in ‘your basket’. Repeat this action until you have selected everything you want and then go to ‘checkout’. And that is when the trouble begins. I can’t go any further. It won’t let me pay! Why? I am using a Debit card so no risk of not having the money in my account . No waiting for payment.

One stop shopping at Coco Loco’s and Crazy San Pedro Weather
Starting with crazy San Pedro weather, more rain this morning and it was coming down in fast a heavy. The wind also shifting, making me have to change which windows were open, 3 different angles within the hour. The first rain we had was coming from the north which did not last long. Then it started pouring again coming from the south and hitting the front of our house, shortly after it started pelting against the east windows long enough to make a big puddle and now it is back to the south again. Lastly it was drenching us from the west and sadly did not look like it was going stop any time soon. The weather is definitely deterred us from our breakfast plans at Estel’s, thankfully Cindy Andy and Tinker were willing to brave the rain and get us take out o feed my weekly Charles barbecue pork shop addiction. Paul decided to opt for a steak sandwich. Onto Coco Loco’s beach bar. Since I was already across the bridge for work yesterday, I decided to stay north and head to Coco Loco’s for 2:00pm live music with Deanna Dove. When I arrived I could hear her playing as I parked the cart and knew I was in for a treat. Her sound is very earthy with a mix of rock, pop, alternative country and she has a great sense of humor. She was very personable and she really engaged with her audience making the show very entertaining and fun.

International Sources

Cardinals, Pyrrhuloxias and Phainopeplas
Cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis), also known as Northern Cardinals, and Pyrrhuloxias (Cardinalis sinuatus) are similar in many respects. They both eat seeds and fruit; they have similar, and in some cases, identical songs; and they can live side by side in dense brush of desert washes. The female cardinal is often mistaken for a male pyrrhuloxia. You might not think so from the photos below, but the range of plumage makes them sometimes hard to distinguish.

Belize’s Three Distinct Environments: Rainforest, Pine Forest, and Soft Sand Beach
I can’t think of another country where I could have had the range of experiences I’ve had in the past two days. We spent the first four days here in the western part of the country, in a state called Caya. Our first accommodations were at Chaa Creek Resort, in a deep rain forest filled with creatures and howling monkeys were a part of every night’s entertainment. We spent time in the forest and learned about the nearly endless remedies that the trees and plants provided for Mayans over the centuries, and continue to this day. Then we headed a few hours east, over very rough roads that still were flooded due to a week of rains. When we finally arrived at our second lodge, it was a completely different environment. Caribbean pine forests and cooler temperatures and red clay roads. Because of a pine beetle infestation and forest fires, the acres of pine had been reduced, the regrowth showing amidst low green scrub. Our lodge, the Hidden Valley Inn and Reserve, is set on 7200 of these piney forests, and they take full advantage, leading early morning birding trips and excursions to ancient Mayan temples.

Punta Gorda Belize
Settled in 1823, the Belize town of Punta Gorda was once considered to be so remote that it was only accessible by boat for decades. It is the most southerly town in Belize and even though the Southern Highway now reaches the town, and has even been paved so that easily connects the town with points north, there’s still that sense when you visit of this place being a distant frontier. Commonly referred to as PG, it is a quiet place with clean, paved streets, few cars, lush vegetation, and a very slow pace. PG is both a port and a fishing village that is situated on the shores of the Caribbean Sea. Despite its waterfront location, visitors don’t necessarily travel to PG to enjoy its coastal charms as the town has no beach to speak of. However, it is a good starting point from which to visit some magnificent offshore cays. The town is located some 330km (205 miles) south of Belize City. PG itself is the capital of Toledo District. Geographically it is part of the Gulf of Honduras. The surrounding Toledo District is home to various Mayan ruins and numerous villages that are still peopled by Kekchi and Mopan Maya Indians, who have been migrating here from Guatemala over the last century.

First venomous crustacean discovered
Scattered throughout Mexico and central America are pools where water surfaces from underground networks of caves, which the ancient Maya said were gateways to the underworld. Biologists have now found that these bodies of water are home to a mysterious real-world creature as well: the first venomous crustaceans known to science. The crustacean in question, Speleonectes tulumensis, belongs to the remipedes, a group first described in 1981. Observing these pale, blind and tiny animals in their natural habitat has been hard because they live in labyrinthine cave networks that are as difficult for divers to navigate as they are dangerous. Nonetheless, biologists including Björn von Reumont and Ronald Jenner, both of the Natural History Museum in London, found remipedes tossing away empty exoskeletons of shrimp, presumably having fed on them.

Belize, a Country that will Leave you Captivated!
It’s easy to understand why so many people love Belize. It’s quirky, diverse and fun…with tropical landscapes and stunning beaches. It’s close to the U.S. – and it’s English-speaking. One little peninsula in Belize offers the relaxed Caribbean beach lifestyle so many of us dream of. It’s a barefoot paradise with plenty of charm and a laid-back atmosphere. Come and explore this tranquil location for yourself and check out the hottest properties on the market on a personalized property tour.

November 3, 2013


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Wolfe’s Woofer: Check Up
“Have a seat Mr. Wolfe,” the nurse said. “You’re here for a blood test; right?” “Yes.” I took the only available seat. It was between a mother with a pair of four year-old twins and a pretty young lady in her mid-twenties. “The doctor will be with you shortly,” the nurse said to me. She […]

Community Health Workers partner with Peace Corp volunteers
Last year, six Community Health Workers on Ambergris Caye were introduced to the community after they were trained by the Health Education and Community Participation Bureau (HECOPAB). They are regarded as the forefront community leaders who provide preventative measures, health education and direct patients to health facilities. As part of their work, they are working along with the new Peace Corp volunteers currently on the island, Christina Chapman and Diana Sanchez, to strength the group. “We work under the supervision of the Dr Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II and we help to ensure that we live in a healthier community. We promote good health and proper hygiene in our communities. We are happy for the support of the two Peace Corp volunteers because any little help can go a long way,” said Glenda Rancheran, a Community Health Worker living in San Mateo area of San Pedro Town.

San Pedro Town Council asks residents to donate toys
Councilor Kenrick Brackett has announced that the San Pedro Town Council will be having a toy drive in the coming month. The purpose of the toy drive is to acquire 1,000 toys for underprivileged children of the island. SPTC is asking for full support from the community.To make a donation, contact the SPTC at phone number 226-2198 or 226-2788. Remember, no donation is too small; help SPTC bring Christmas joy to the children of San Pedro!

San Pedro Tourist Guide Association receives donation from Canary Cove
The San Pedro Tourist Guide Association (SPTGA) is happy to report that they were the recent recipient of a donation. The much needed donation was given to them by Canary Cove, a private home developer on northern Ambergris Caye. The items included three bales of ropes used to install mooring buoys and a fully loaded, state of the art projector. The donation was handed to the members of SPTGA last week and according to the President Phillip “Billy” Leslie, the support is welcomed and will go a long way. “We have had an excellent relationship with the owner of the private resort development at Canary Cove and they have always assisted us. They donated three rolls of rope, each valued at $800, and a projector that will be used for presentations at our tour guide meetings.” Leslie said that the donation was made possible through the good working relationship that exists between Gilberto Nuñez, a board member of the SPTGA, and the private resort owner.

VIDEO: PUP Party Leader Francis Fonseca addresses protesters outside of the National Assembly Building.

Misc Belizean Sources

One man was injured in a road traffic accident
Friday near the Burdon Canal Bridge on the George Price Highway. According to Channel 7 News, Calman Hall was behind the wheels of a pickup truck assigned to the Department of Fisheries that was east bound when it clipped the front portion of a passenger bus belonging to James Bus Line that was west-bound. The impact of the contact between the two vehicles sent the pickup truck careening off the road and into the bush. The Channel 7 report noted that no one on the passenger bus was hurt and neither was Hall’s passenger. The news report said that Hall’s hand appeared to have been broken and he was taken away from the scene of the crash by BERT Ambulance.

The Belmopan male softball team continued their dominance of the 2013 senior men's competition in Cayo when they defeated Las Flores by a score of 15 - 3 on Saturday, November 2. The game was played at the Denbigh Fuller Stadium in Camalote village.

Cave Garden Halloween Party
The Cave Garden has a cool video out for their Halloween party tonight, and if you dress up, you get 2 free drinks. After Cave Garden, be sure and check out the Metal Haven concert at the Cancha Marshalleck.

SISE House of Culture Finados
The SISE HoC had their Finados yesterday, honoring Elias Awe. It was simple, well done, and they had a good turnout for the great food. "This year's Finados were in honor of Elias Awe. They had some of his favorite dishes. They had food for all the lucky visitors too. Thanks, SISE HoC!" They have some great pictures posted.

SIPL Finados
The San Ignacio Public Library had their first Finados yesterday evening at 5:00pm. Like their page to keep current with their events. "In 1936 the Jubilee Public Library established a 'sub-library' in the town of El Cayo San Ignacio. It consisted of books which were kept in the District Commissioner's Office. In 1951, the sub-library of San Ignacio was moved from the Commissioner's Office to the lower flat of the El Cayo Town Board. In the subsequent years there was a need for more space since the library was already undersized for the number of patrons it served. An ambitious project began; which was to provide the population of San Ignacio and surrounding areas with a new public library. The Mayor of San Ignacio/Santa Elena, John August was approached and it didn’t take long when the new library site was identified being the dilapidated meat market. With the tremendous contribution of the Social Investment Fund, The Rotary Club, San Ignacio/ Santa Elena Town Council and the Belize National Library Service and Information System (BNLSIS) , the new library became a reality and had its grand inauguration on November 3rd 2010."


Belizean Artist Bernie Velasquez Escapes Injury
Belizean artist Berne Velasquez escaped injuries after his car caught fire as he traveled on the Phillip Goldson Highway this morning. The incident happened about 5 miles away from the Santa Elena Border. Reports are that Velasquez had just pulled off the highway to make a phone call when he smelled smoke and realized that his car was on fire. While he managed to save a few of his belongings Velazquez’s car was completely engulfed by flames. The Corozal Fire Department responded quickly and managed to put out the fire that was already spreading along the dry brush that runs on the edge of the highway.

Two Men Charged For Possession Of Controlled Drugs
This morning at around 11:00, a joint Special Branch/Special Patrol Unit team executed a search warrant for drugs and firearm at the residence of Julio Valerio, 42 year old Belizean laborer of number 19 Stadium Street, Orange Walk Town. The search resulted in the discovery of a small transparent plastic bag containing 0.2 grams of crack cocaine and three transparent plastic bags containing 0.3 grams of cocaine found inside a green container that was on the TV stand. Valerio was home alone at the time of search and was escorted to the Orange Walk Police Station where he was formally arrested and charged for two counts of possession of controlled drugs.

Another Cab Driver Murdered In Belmopan
A Belizean taxi driver was murdered in Belmopan last night. The body of 47 year old Orlando Smith was discovered around 9:45 last night lying face up in a pool of blood on Costa Rica Street Extension in the Maya Mopan Area, Belmopan with a large cut wound to the throat. The murder weapon was found inside Smith’s taxi car. Assistant Superintendent Sinquest Martinez- Officer In Command Belmopan Branch “We found the body; it had a cut wound to the neck. He was bleeding after which we transported the body to the Western Regional hospital where he was pronounced dead. “The motive has been ascertained as robbery. His geo prism was not found on the scene. Neighbours saw the vehicle speed off in that area and the vehicle was found on the George Price Highway.”

PUP Supporters Protest At The Foot of Independence Hill, They Want Recall
While both political parties were inside sparring with words, outside close to a thousand P.U.P supporters gathered to demonstrate against Barrows’ alleged ‘corrupt’ administration. With flags, placards and the sound of beating drums, the blue machine vociferously demanded Elvin Penner’s and Edmund Castro’s recall. Orlando Habet – PUP Cayo North East “We came out here because think that in general the people are really dissatisfied as to what is happening in our government, it is really low governance, our people are annoyed as a matter of fact. The issue with Penner, with Castor, the Prime minister is doing nothing about it. He comes out and he says one thing but apparently underground he is doing something else. So our people are here to protest and they came out peacefully if you see all the placards people are annoyed and they are expressing their views and sentiments by they are putting on their placards. Our people in Cayo Northeast were promised two weeks ago that he would spend five million dollars and nothing has happened. So if he does not want to do aht eh primied they are saying call the elections now. “We have collected our thirty percent since about a week ago. We are out there collecting some additional signatures so that we can reach above that thirty percent and of course we are doing the vetting of the signatures so that when we deliver those signatures to elections and boundaries, they will have almost no work to do because all the work would have been done.”

Musa Tells Dean Barrow "Noh Watch Me Watch Yuself "
While the PUP chastised the Government for the Elvin Penner fiasco and allegations surrounding Edmund Castro, the Prime Minister of Belize struck back as he pulled out of the bag the Max Samuels alleged visa hustling scandal. But the PUP came out swinging again and this time held back no punches. Honorable Dean Barrow- Prime Minister of Belize Mr. Speaker exhibit A in 2002 when the member for Fort George was Prime Minister and the dam broke and the passport scandal inundated the then Minister of Immigration, Max Samuels, instead of firing Samuels…you are telling me about tell Penner to leave the house. I can’t do that the people elected him but what I could do I have done. Compare that to the course of action you took when your then leader, your them Prime Minster, your party, your administration when Max Samuels was involved in the kind of scandals that ultimately saw the US embassy and the state department revoke his visa. Instead of firing the minister, the horribly compromised Prime Minister at the time said and I quote “it is the judgment of the Prime Minister that Minister Samuels should be retained in the cabinet and that the decision I took and I am prepared to answer for that, well you are answering for it today, if you never answered before. Instead of firing the minister the horribly compromise Prime Minister at the time said and I quote.

Immigration, Belizean Nationality and Passport Bill Introduced In The House
If you expected fireworks to go off today at the House of Representatives then you are in for a treat. Several motions were introduced but the primary business had to do with the introduction of 3 amendment bills namely, the Immigration Bill, Belizean Nationality and Passport Bill. Amidst the uproar about the Immigration and Visa scandal involving two Ministers of State, it was nothing short of exciting as supporters from the Peoples United Party protested at the foot-steps of the National Assembly building. We’ll bring that story for you later on in the newscast but first here is what took place inside the House. As per usual, the sitting brought much tension between the ruling and opposition parties as their membership battled it out in the halls of the National Assembly. Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke first on the Criminal Code Amendment Bill. One controversial piece of the legislation that went through the House is the Belize Nationality Act where Prime Minister Barrow vowed on better governance and an operating system that would provide future improvements.


Amendments to strengthen the regulatory body at the Ministry of Immigration revealed in the House
The House of Representatives met on Friday at the National Assembly. While there was a demonstration going on outside, new amendments to strengthen the regulatory body at the Ministry of Immigration were revealed. In the absence of the Former Junior Minister, Elvin Penner, whose alleged misdeeds have arguably sparked...

Accusations of illicit activities at the Ministry of Immigration brought before the House
Accusations of illicit activities at the Ministry of Immigration was the hot topic at Friday’s meeting of the House of Representatives. After the Orders of the Day were executed, Leader of the Opposition, the Hon. Francis Fonseca, rose and initiated a war of words that carried on for about...

Taxi Driver murdered in Salvapan
Thursday was celebrated as Halloween and someone was obviously in the spirit of the celebration as a gruesome murder was committed in Belmopan. Another Taxi man was killed, his throat slit and his body dumped in the Salvapan area of the city. This would make the third taxi driver...

Ruth Logan confident before PUP Convention despite negative publicity
A recent document has been circulating in Facebook purporting that Ruth Logan, one of the four delegates running for the PUP standard-bearer for the Belmopan constituency, was convicted for the offence of wounding in the year 2009. This might surely put Ruth Logan in a very delicate position considering...

PUP Belmopan candidates express confidence
Sunday’s PUP convention which will ultimately decide who will run against the UDP titan John Saldivar for the Belmopan constituency. The convention will be held at the Belmopan Comprehensive High School grounds on Sunday, November 3rd from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Ruth Logan, Amin Hegar, Patrick Andrews and...

MLA to go to the CCJ
In July of this year the Court of Appeal issued a divided and hotly disputed decision in the counter appeals of the Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA) and Toledo Alcaldes Association (TAA) and the Government, affirming the Mayas’ rights to control of communal land in the 38 Maya villages of...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Halloween on Caye Caulker
All the island kids look forward to trick or treating because it may be the only time the parents will allow them to have lot and lots of sweets Many characters came out on Halloween Night. From Superman to Princess Merida to Chucky. Here are some pictures of the trick ‘r’ treaters.

The Belize Times

PM, Penner, Castro on di run!!
When the scandal-ridden Prime Minister Dean Barrow gets up to speak at Friday’s House meeting, he will put on a sad face and inform the nation that he will be taking another trip to the United States. The Prime Minister will hold his back and proclaim that his health condition (back problems) has worsened at that his medical doctors have recommended urgent treatment which may see him away for up to four months. This is not the first time that the Prime Minister will be leaving the country on autopilot and in the hands of his corrupt Cabinet ministers. He normally uses his wife’s medical condition as the excuse, but now it is his health. The truth is that Prime Minister Barrow is under so much stress as a result of the growing scandals and evidence of corruption in his administration that he is running away from all of it. The Dean Barrow who is normally impenetrable, composed and in charge, is now weakened, ailing, and losing control fast. This has made him desperate and erratic. This is why last week Friday, upon his return to the country, he dodged the media by authorizing his vehicle to pick him up next to the airplane on the tarmac.

Taxpayers pay Elvin Penner’s medical treatment?
Corrupt UDP representative Elvin Penner was back in the hospital for treatment this week. The disgraced politician was admitted at the private facility, Medical Associates on St. Thomas Street in Belize City, where he is getting first class treatment – something most Belizeans cannot afford or have access to under the United Democratic Party Government. The BELIZE TIMES understands that Penner’s ballooning medical bills are paid for by the Belizean people, the hard-working man and woman who pays taxes to the Government. Penner, we understand, benefits from medical insurance provided and paid for by the Government as an elected UDP representative. This is in addition to the salary, perks and other UDP created ways for official hustling.

UDP wants Castro gone
Dwight Tillett has been selected by UDP party leader to tackle Edmund Castro, the latest pariah in the government visa sandal. The Prime Minister had fired Castro from the Cabinet when a Belizean/American woman presented to the P.M. evidence of a land/cash hustle in which thousands of dollars had been scammed and buyers got no land. The Prime Minister, during the 2008 to 2012 government, had thereafter hand-picked Elston Wade to defrock Castro. But Castro had amassed wealth and Wade was unsuccessful. With Castro once again dogged by impropriety and scandal, the UDP has moved once more against him. Educator, Dwight Tillett, has been selected by the UDP to clear the land of Castro.

PUP Leader pledges Free Education up to High School…re-introduces “One Laptop Per Child” initiative
People’s United Party (PUP) Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca introduced two key components of the PUP’s reform in education agenda when he addressed a packed hall of supporters at the convention for party units on Sunday, October 27, 2013. Hon. Francis said that the PUP deems education as “critically important to the future of the country”, therefore, one of the steps the next PUP Government will take to make education more impactful is making “education free all the way up to high school”. The low access to education continues to be an obstacle to the country’s development. A recent Inter-American Development Bank report found that the gap between those who have access and those who don’t has widened over the recent years. The IDB report found that while 95 percent of the primary school-aged children were attending school in 1999, the numbers have rolled back in 2009. At the high school level, more than half of Belize’s secondary school-aged children remain out of school, 56 percent in 2009, with the rural communities being most affected, according to the study.

JUST BEFORE GOD DESTROYS Before God destroyed the wicked city of Sodom and Gomorrah, his three angels had a discussion with Abraham. Abraham learnt the angels were on their way to totally destroy the wicked city. He asked the Lord if there were fifty righteous citizens in Sodom and Gomorrah, ...

Enough Is Enough
By G. Michael Reid The current state of affairs in Belize is appalling as the corruption in government seems to be going from terrible to atrocious. Instead of a little breeze blowing this away, there seems a tsunami, washing up and bringing more dirt to light every day. Even the best ...

50 Shades of Corruption
The Dean Barrow Government is corrupt. Dean Barrow’s legacy is corruption. This he cannot escape and has publicly admitted. In a weird, UDP twilight zone, no less than four UDP ministers have also publicly agreed that the UDP is corrupt. They have admitted that the rotting stench of corruption is real. Lisel ...

SCA girls win volleyball finals game 1
The defending national female volleyball champs, the St. Catherine’s Academy girls, defeated the Belize High School girls in Game 1 of the high school’s volleyball championship regional finals at the Bird’s Isle on Monday, October 28. The undefeated SCA cruised past the BHS girls in 3 sets, with Xiomara Quan setting the ball for Sherika Burton, Leandra Betson and Gianna Brown to hammer kills at the net, while Karina Bernard and Nayala Tun received and served to win the 1st set 25-12. BHS’ Mia Miles, Lian Herrera and Shania Williams counterattacked furiously, scoring points on plays set by Chelsea Williams with Nour Safa and Ashonti Carr receiving and serving, but SCA’s Alexis Burn

San Pedro Jr. Sailing Club wins Regatta in Bacalar
Two optimist Sailors, Jerdon Anderson and Jorge Olivarez from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, captured 1st and 3rd place respectively in the Regatta “Laguna de 7 Colores” hosted by Associacion de Veleristas president, Miguel Ángel Pani in Bacalar, Quintana Roo, Mexico. This was the first time that optimist sailors from Belize have attended a regatta outside Belize. Anderson and Olivarez were 2 of 25 Optimist sailors racing and after 6 grueling races over 2 days. The two young sailors that are known for their hardworking attitude, showed their skill and the level of performance. Bringing home these wins made the San Pedro Junior Sailing Club (SPJSC,) San Pedranos and Belize proud.

Mr. Belize & Ms. Body Figure this Friday
The Bliss Center for the Performing Arts will be the venue for the 2013 Belize Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships featuring the Mr. Belize and Ms. Body Figure competitions. The event will feature Men’s Bodybuilding, Men’s Physique, Women’s Bodybuilding, Women’s Figure and Bikini Fitness. Over 18 competitors have signed up for the event, including defending champs Mr. Belize Rigo Vellos and Ms. Body Figure Gina Lovell. Both veteran and upcoming bodybuilding athletes will be competing for the top prize. The event starts at 7:00pm on Friday November 1st.

Police terrorize senior citizen & 6 children inside home
“Deh cudda mi kill any ah wi last night,” a terrified 57 year old Carlton “Gideon” Cox told the BELIZE TIMES, referring to himself and five children who were at home on Monday night when a group of armed persons surrounded the premises. “Gideon”, as he is more familiarly known, said that about 9:30pm on Monday night, when he and his children were already in bed, he heard a loud bang on his back door. When he asked who it was, a voice responded, “dah di Police, open up!” When Gideon looked outside, he saw the faint image of a person standing with a gun aimed at the house. He became startled and was reluctant to give entry, but when he heard a gunshot followed by another order, he got dressed and decided to open the front door. Just as he was opening the door, he heard a loud crash as a piece of board was rammed through his glass louvre window.

AMAZING GRACE – Halloween in the Kingdom
Trick or treat? As mentioned in last week’s article, at the end of October we celebrate a huge event called Halloween. It’s a ‘living’ event in the sense that it continues to evolve. Various characters are celebrated ranging from devil worshipers, witches, killers, and even demons! The children dress up ...

Education & Scholarship
By Richard Harrison I do not believe that there should be universal free education, forcing all kids to be pushed through the same corral and the state to fund all through the same system from kinder to university. However, I do believe that a child....any and every child....who achieves an average grade ...

PUP Restores Jane Usher Boulevard basketball court
On Wednesday October 16, residents of the Jane Usher Boulevard Area in the Port Loyola Division began benefiting from much needed lighting of the basketball court in the area. The lights were repaired by the PUP ...

UDP Passport/Visa Scandal…the Saga Continues
Admitted testimony from a witness who said she supplied visas for Chinese Nationals was made public through one of Belize’s trustful news networks claiming that no other than the Minister of State, Edmund “Predator” Castro, is part of an Illegal racket of selling passport visas. Attorneys have said ...

By Norris Hall There is an ominous cloud looming low over the citrus valley of Pomona, the birthplace and headquarters of the citrus industry in Belize. The once emerald green citrus orchards on the rolling hillsides of the valley are disappearing. The old Mandarins in the industry have ...

Trick or treat UDP style
The UDP promised to govern with transparency, accountability and good governance. Trick or treat? Dean Barrow promised to deal with every whiff of corruption. Trick or treat? UDP politicians Mark “Casino” King, Dean “Shooter” Samuels, Denny “Nuh Mol” Grijalva, Zenaida ”Underdepositor” Moya, “Hit and run” Philloughby , “Public bathroom” Yellowman and Elvin “Passport” Penner, ...

Democratic Nationalism… and the New Revolution
By C. Trench-Sandiford-Deputy Party Leader The people of Belize believe in democracy. The Constitution of Belize states this. However, democracy requires public officials to firstly be accountable, responsible and answerable to the people in the disposal of their duties. Yet among other atrocities, 13 babies have died at the KHMH, Noh Mul, our ...

By Dolores Balderamos Garcia It came to the attention of our PUP Belize Rural Central Committee last week that a request or quotation had been submitted to the Ministry of Works for roadworks and upgrades to be done in the Hollywood area of Lord's Bank. The request/quotation had apparently come from ...

A Call For Good Governance
The Orange Walk Town Council expresses its utter discontent with the manner in which the passport and immigration scandal has been handled by government. There has been absolutely no transparency in the so-called investigation into corruption which is not only the government’s business, but is everybody’s business. We find ...

REFLECTIONS IN THE PUBLIC SQUARE – Public Accounts Committee – Stop the games!
By Francis W. Fonseca The People’s United Party has put forward a serious, meaningful proposal to reform and restructure the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives. That proposal provides for an equitable sharing of oversight authority among the Government, Opposition, and the Social Partners (Unions/Churches/Business). The UDP Prime Minister and his ...

Why is the PM hiding from the media?
Dear Editor, I write to express total displeasure with the decision of the Prime Minister not to meet the press at the Philip Goldson International Airport on Friday October 25, after he was away for 9 days, a full week and 2 days. When the PM left the country the Immigration Scandal ...

Welcome Mr. Ambassador… but only if
Dear Pastor Wade, On your show on Monday, you made a statement concerning the new U.S. Ambassador’s assignment: he will focus on the rule of law. Does this mean he is coming to us as a judge to tell us where our Judiciary is lacking? Well, we already know that. So does ...


Good bye April
Along with all of Belize we say farewell to April the Tapir, no doubt Belize’s most beloved and recognised animal. For 30 years her birthday was a media event celebrated by children across Belize. She passed away peacefully at her home at the Belize Zoo in her sleep, in the company of the people who cared for and loved her all these years. April’s birthday was a tradition most Belizeans grew up with, and her birthday parties were an annual event on television. She was loved by children and there are very few school kids in Belize who haven’t petted this docile, friendly creature. It may sound odd that a tapir could have charismas, but April had it in heaps. So farewell April, you brought joy to many a child (and adult) and you’re already missed. And our condolences go out to the staff at the Belize Zoo – we know she was part of the family.

International Sources

Belize PM to undergo back surgery
The Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow is to undergo surgery in the United States later this month. Barrow told reporters that he will be travelling to Los Angeles next week where he is scheduled to undergo surgery on his ailing back. He said the surgery should alleviate at least 80 per cent of the pain he has been suffering. The Belizean prime minister said if the operation is successful he should be back in the country by November 14.

Letter: MacAfee not an expert on Obamacare
John MacAfee invented the world’s first commercial anti-virus software, selling his company for over 100 million in 2004. MacAfee became an adventure seeking playboy with land holdings in Arizona, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, and Hawaii. MacAfee sold most of his holdings by 2008 and moved to Belize. MacAfee bragged of his drug use, using cocaine, Quaaludes, LSD, and DMT a psychedelic, according to a recent MSNBC program. The House G.O.P. demands Obamacare briefing asking for a computer expert, to come to Washington and advise the committee. The expert they invited, you guessed it, John MacAfee, to “guide our oversight and review of Obamacare”. MacAfee was a guest on Fox News listed as an expert on Obamacare. The G.O.P., Fox News, and Mr. Hallwachs should maybe do a background check on their so called expert on Obamacare. As Mr Hallwachs says: this is a debacle, bungle, fiasco, and a failure, to do any research of John MacAfee.

Groups want sister city ties to entail economic development
In San Pedro, Belize, 1,300 miles from here, a streetsweeper from Wilmington is at work. San Pedro, one of Wilmington's four sister cities, received the donated vehicle in 2008, months after the mayor of the Central American city saw a streetsweeper here. She recognized it as more efficient than brooms and dustpans. When the sweeper, Belize's first, arrived, it was heralded with a dance that closed Main Street. Sister city relationships may be known for cultural exchanges, or even gifts such as the streetsweeper. But leaders of Wilmington's two formal sister city groups want to leverage the ceremonial relationships for economic development.

Best places to elope in the Caribbean
If your Caribbean wedding fantasy involves extreme seclusion and servants, Cayo Espanto may be your place. It's expensive — nearly $2,000 a night — but you'd be hard pressed to argue against the value. There are exactly seven private villas ringing the 4-acre islet. The villas have mahogany-paneled interiors, luxurious island-style furnishings and your own designated butler. One of the villas, Casa Ventana is built out over the translucent pale-blue water at the end of a 150-foot dock. The hotel staff will help make arrangements for you to be married on the island, or, if you prefer, make a quick trip to a Maya site on the mainland and get married in the shadow of a thousand-year-old pyramid. Belize does require an approved license application ($100) and you must be in the country for three days before being married. You can apply in advance and get a fax of the approved application before traveling. If you want to get married in an archaeological site, apply to the Commissioner of Archaeology in Belize City by fax at least a week before your planned ceremony.

Animator’s short film opens doors for bigger projects
He conceived “The OceanMaker” as another nine-minute animated film, this time with a post-apocalyptic setting in which the only water left on earth is gathered from the clouds by intrepid pilots and air pirates. Sinking his own money into the project, he bribed a team of animators to come join him for six weeks on a small island off the coast of Belize, where they attempted to complete as much of the project as they possibly could in one marathon work session.

Is the "M" Storm Forming ??
Good Morning, Caribbean and beyond! By the looks of it, and from what I heard this morning, I would say "yes"! There is a 10% chance of this system, which has been dumping flooding rains on us and surrounding islands, to become the next name storm as it moves sloooowly to the Western Caribbean. Unfortunately our friends who are traveling to Guatemala this coming week will probably have to deal with it. Not too long ago the correspondent from Belize wrote that a storm was predicted to go into that area sometime this coming week. We have been having heavy rain again since before dawn and a new Flood Alert has been issued until 9:15 a.m. These conditions will remain through Tuesday and probably longer. I shall update later, if possible. Have a wonderful day and may God bless us all.

Chile's Torres del Paine park named '8th Wonder of the World” by VirtualTourist
El Salvador's Santa Ana Volcano and Lake Coatepeque, Colombia's Coffee Cultural Landscape, Guatemala's Tikal National Park, Slovenia's Skocjan Caves, Mexico's Copper Canyon, Scotland's Dunnottar Castle, Belize's Great Blue Hole, Curacao's Queen Emma Bridge and Croatia's Old Town Dubrovnik are the other landmarks receiving the most votes to make up the top ten.

Government of the Bahamas : The Bahamas set to lead the CFATF in November
The Bahamas will be hosting the 38th Plenary Meeting of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) in Freeport, Grand Bahama from November 18-21, 2013. The CFATF is an organisation of 29 states in the Caribbean basin which have agreed to implement common counter measures to address the problem of money laundering. The main objective of the CFATF is to achieve effective implementation of and compliance with the Financial Action Task Force's 40 Recommendations to prevent money laundering and to combat the financing of terrorism. Money Laundering is growing rapidly and constantly changing due to technological advances.

8th Wonder of the World | Contest Vote Page -
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November 2, 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

ABC Pre School hosts ghoulish Annual Halloween Fair!
On Thursday October 31st, ABC Preschool held its annual Halloween Fair at the school grounds. Parents brought out their children to enjoy some tricks and treats, dressing them up for extra fun. It was hard for anyone present not to have a good time as there was plenty on sale, from rice and beans to tamales and plenty of snacks to satisfy each sweet tooth. Children were entertained at various booths holding fun game stations, music, and clowns. Judges had the very hard tasks of selecting winners for the costume competition. From mummies to zombies, fairies and princesses, witches and warlocks, Ninja Turtles, Spider Men, and plenty more, there was definitely an overload in the “cuteness” factor. At the end of the night winning categories consisted of the most creative (Mummy), most original (Football Player), cutest (Scarecrow), and funniest (Thing 1 &2) . From the beginning to end, the fair proved itself to be fun and well organized.

3 Injured in Traffic Accident on George Price Highway
The San Pedro Sun was on the scene when a bus collided with a small car (Toyota Corolla) on the George Price Highway. The accident happened around 2:40PM on Friday, November 1, 2013. Two females and one male was injured and taken to the nearest hospital for treatment.

Belize Audubon Society’s Urban Bird Watch identifies 60 species in San Pedro
Annually the Belize Audubon Society (BAS) hosts a bird watching expedition throughout the country called the Urban Bird Watch. These expeditions take place across the country in order to raise awareness to the gentle ecosystem that tropical birds live in and emphasize the need to protect them. The Urban Bird Watch is a cross country tour for birders, and this year’s tour has taken birders to Punta Gorda, Dangriga, Benque Viejo del Carmen, Corozal, Orange Walk and San Pedro Town. On Sunday, October 27th La Isla was the next stop for the BAS Urban Bird Watch. While Belize is known for its rich wildlife and hundreds of species of birds, Ambergris Caye is not exactly known for being a birding paradise. That expectation was put to rest when, from 6AM to 10AM, an astonishing 60 different species of birds were sighted, both tropical and migratory.

San Pedro welcomes Belize Mission Project
The Belize Mission Project is back in Belize offering free medical clinics in various parts of the country. The group of approximately 100 US medical volunteers will be in the country for two consecutive weeks and include 30 dentists and five physicians. The project has been coming to Belize for over 22 years and this year, it is one of the largest groups of recent years, costing the volunteers a total of about $800,000 in combined time, supplies and contributions to the country. The Belize Mission Project has been coming to Belize through the efforts of Dr Frank Whipps and this year, Ambergris Caye will see two groups of dentists. “The group has broken down into two. The first group will be working one week, and then a second group will take over. We will be as far south as Placencia (Stann Creek District), as far north as Corozal and as far inland to the Valley of Peace area in the Cayo District,” explained Dr Whipps. On Ambergris Caye, a two-week clinic has been installed at the San Pedro Lions Den, where a group of dentists and other medical volunteers will be offering dentistry services to the community. “We will be doing fillings, extractions, complete and partial dentures. A dermatologist will be working at the Polyclinic (Dr Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II),” said Dr Whipps.

PUP protests against government at House Meeting
The sitting of the House of Representative is ongoing at The National Assembly Building in Belmopan City. Several bills have been laid on the table including the proposal to establish a passport scrutinizing committee. Meanwhile a jubilant crowd of supporters of the Opposition, People’s United Party (PUP), gathered at the step of The National Assembly Building to protest against the government. Speaking to the press, PUP Party Leader Francis Fonseca said that the protest is the “beginning” of several activities with the goal to “put the UDP out of office.” According to Fonseca, the Dean Barrow government has been “plagued” with “scandal after scandal,” and “has failed” to carry out their mandate to govern.

San Pedro Town Council cleaning up the island one step at a time
Garbage is a major issue in Ambergris Caye, and as such the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) is addressing it with much concern. In order to maintain a control on the level of garbage on the island, SPTC has implemented several regulations for households and business on garbage disposal. SPTC has also held several clean-up campaigns in various areas of San Pedro to promote proper garbage disposal, health and sanitation. In the past few weeks,SPTC began an initiative to dispose of old appliances, branches and large amounts of trash from residents’ yards. So far, SPTC has picked up yard garbage from San Pablo, San Juan, Boca del Rio, the Town Core and north of the bridge. They will now be moving to the southern part of the island. SPTC encourages all residents to clean up their yards of all unwanted trash, and they will do their part in collecting it.

Ambergris Today

Great Blue Hole of Belize Placed 8th in “8th Wonder of the World competition”
The Belize Tourism Board is pleased to announce that The Great Blue Hole has placed in top ten of the ‘8th Wonder of the World’ competition. Competing against three hundred man-made and natural sites from across the world, Belize finished 8th in the Virtual Tourist competition. “We are extremely proud to be in the top ten; along with worthy competing landmarks. Considering the population size of the nations we were up against and their advertising spend to promote this competition, we’ve done extremely well. It goes to show how our very small efforts of social media, word of mouth, and media releases contributed to our placement. While we didn’t place first, we have certainly reaped the benefits of added exposure of our Great Blue Hole and Belize as a destination,” said BTB’s Director of Marketing & Industry Relations, Alyssa Carnegie.

Ministry of Health Holds Workshop to Update Influenza Response Plan
The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Council of Ministers of Health of Central America (COMISCA) conducted a workshop session with health care professionals and other key personnel from other Government Departments to review Belize’s Pandemic Influenza Response Plan. The workshop was held on Thursday, October 31, 2013 at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza. The main objective of the session was to provide technical assistance to publish an updated plan to prepare and respond to new emerging influenza viruses recently seen in other countries. Participants will be encouraged to present information and recommendations as it related to their field of work.

Trick or Treat in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
The rainy and gloomy weather postponed some Halloween parties and Trick or Treating, but nothing can't stop the fun, even if it's a little late. Most of the schools held their Halloween parties after October 31; some came out to Trick or Treat on Halloween night but the fun continues this weekend. This year the students of Isla Bonita Elementary dropped by the office on Friday, November 01, 2013, and Dorian’s Angels were there to spread the Halloween cheer.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize Ministry of Health: Epidemiological Bulletin
First edition of the Epidemiological Bulletin (includes Belize’s report on the Dengue Fever, Cholera Alert, Cancer Report 2012, Tetanus Case Study, etc..)

Happy Anniversary Blue Water Grill - San Pedro, Belize!!!!
Today's our 12th Birthday. Our newspaper ad speaks for itself. We love y'all. To celebrate, we're giving away a plane ticket to Belize. But there are a few twists. 1) For every like of this post, we're going to donate $12 (our 12th b-day, remember?) to the San Pedro High School Volleyball Teams for travel, equipment, etc. We'll give the boys & girls team each half the money. They qualified for nationals & we need to support them. So like this post & share it. 2) If this post gets 1,000 likes, the winner of the song contest will actually get 2 plane tickets. (And the volleyball teams will get $6K each!). Vote for 1 of the finalists below. Deadline midnight tonight.

Belize targets international fish markets to protect coral reefs from an uninvited visitor
9th July 2013, Placencia, Belize - Along Belize's world heritage site-listed barrier reef, coastal communities are making waves in fight against a rapacious predator. At 11am on Tuesday, 2 July, the first box of filleted invasive lionfish left Belize international airport bound for Minneapolis, Minnesota. Its contents: 5.2 kg of the invasive lionfish, Pterois volitans, a species that poses one of the greatest threats to the sustainability of coral reefs and fisheries throughout the Caribbean region. First released accidentally into the Caribbean near Florida by aquarists in the 1980s, the predatory fish from the Indo-Pacific has no natural predators in the Atlantic, and an exploding population is steadily eating its way across the entire Caribbean Sea. From the Bahamas to Barbados, coral reefs – and the traditional fisheries they support – are now under siege from this unforeseen threat. While complete eradication of this destructive fish is now impossible, consistent, high-volume removal efforts may halt population growth, diminishing the devastating threat the species poses to native fish populations.

Roots Wraps and Smoothies Opens Today
Roots Wraps and Smoothies is having their grand opening today. If you're wondering where they are, they're located in the Plaza del Rio mall on West street. Their restaurant is really looking good, just like their food. You can call in your orders at 666-2889.

Cayo Cancer Walk
The Cayo Cancer Walk, which was originally scheduled for last Saturday, will take place today. They'll start at 5:00am in Esperanza, and walk to Cayo. SHJC will be participating in the walk; link goes to their event. "The walk will be at 5 am from the Esperanza Baseball field over the wooden bridge, up past SHC, down to the police station and around the Savannah Street, towards Bullet Tree Road, on to Joseph Andrews Drive and ending at the Macal Park."

Succotz Dia de los Difuntos
Succotz is having their Dia de los Difuntos tonight, starting at 7:00pm. They'll have a costume contest and a parade for the fiesta.

An afternoon of steelpan music
Restore Belize and the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) presents an afternoon of steelpan music.

Dia de los Muertos" / "Dia de los Finados" Altar Competition
Congratulations to Our Lady of Guadeloupe R.C. School who took home the top three in cash prizes at the "Dia de los Muertos" / "Dia de los Finados" Altar Competition today at the House of Culture. Come out and view the beautiful altars up until 8 p.m. tonight. Keeping our heritage alive! Courtesy: Corozal House of Culture (NICH)

Scotty's Bar & Grill Halloween Party last night - Creeeeepy night - All had fun!

The passing of April the Tapir
If you ever visited the Belize Zoo then you perhaps petted or had a photo taken with April the Tapir - Today we sad say Goodbye to this national icon - "Farewell to a Belizean Hero: The Belize Zoo mourns the passing of April the Tapir. She had been showing signs of ailing for a few days now, old age finally taking its toll, despite her amazing strength at 30 years. April passed away peacefully in her sleep this morning, but her legacy will live on in the Zoo, Belize, and beyond, as a cultural icon and symbol of wildlife conservation and education. Rest in peace, April, we will miss you." - Sharon Matola

Life After Deportation Film And Records Chairman and CEO Berne Velasquez shaken after vehicle he was travelling in on his way to Chetumal, Mexico catches fire.
Velasquez pulled over about 1 mile from Corozal Town on the Philip Goldson Belize Northern Highway to make a phone call on a scheduled rehearsal he had in Chetumal, Mexico this morning and in the process he noticed smoke coming out and realised his vehicle was on fire. He managed to save a few belongings but the vehicle was totalled. Quick response from the Corozal Fire Department and the Corozal Police managed to put out the fire that was already spreading along the dry brush on the edge of the highway. Berne is seen regularly at the Belize/Chetumal Mexico border promoting his movies and CD’s. He claims he has personally sold over 200,000 CD’s. He told the Corozal Daily that this incident is just a part of his journey and a bigger picture of his goals and aspirations for the country he loves “Belize”.

Channel 7

PUP Protest Spirited But Undermanned
Public opinion pressure has been building against the government for over a month now - and today in Belmopan, the PUP wanted to send them a message with a protest that would harness the collective community outrage at a succession of scandals. But, in terms of numbers, that event fizzled. Apparently, right now, the PUP doesn't have the kind of money that is required to mobilize a true mass party protest. But that doesn't mean today's event was a flatline; in fact, it was very spirited and lively. 7News was on the frontline:... Daniel Ortiz reporting When the Leader of the Opposition arrived this morning, it was a boisterous crowd of supporters who made sure to let him know they were there.

Fonseca Discusses Mass Parties, Mass Crowds
And so what does the PUP Leader have to say about the crowd - or the lack of it. Today after the House Meeting we spoke to him - and we have those remarks, but we preface it with his remarks to the crowd when the PUP walked out of the House Meeting to go to the protestors:.. Hon. Francis Fonseca - Leader of the Opposition "Dean Barrow and the UDP Government - they can hear you, they are shaking inside because they are hearing the power of the people of Belize. My friends, we thank you for coming out and I want you to know today that this is just the beginning. Today we say to the United Democratic Party, today we say to Dean Barrow and the UDP - it is time to recall the UDP, recall, resign, retire whatever you have to do get out." Jules Vasquez "I counted at the height today 577 people. For a mass party that's a disappointing number considering that the Christians say they brought out 4,000 in PG, the teachers brought 7,000 here earlier this year."

Leader Of The Opp, PM, Former PM Tangle On Immigration
And while that protest happened on the National Assembly stairs outside the House of Representatives, inside the House it was combative. There wasn't much business today because the child protection bill, also known as the rape bill did not come back for a second and third reading. That's because all the required changes could not be made in time - you'll recall that the chief legal drafts-person Michelle Daly left the country for good yesterday. So, the only real business was the introduction of three bills: the Immigration Amendment Bill, the Belize Nationality Amendment Bill and the Passport Amendment Bill - which legislate sweeping reform to Immigration policies, procedures and practices. More on that later, but first to the fireworks. That came when the opposition leader spoke on the adjournment. He spoke about that most burning issue, Immigration and accused the Government of going passive/aggressive on Penner, privately coddling him, while publicly shunning the Cayo Northeast Representative, who, if you're dying to know did not attend today's house meeting. And while Penner wasn't there, his ears must have been ringing because his name sure came up a lot. Here's the exchange:...

Third Taximan Killed In Belmopan
Tonight, the community of Roaring Creek continues to grieve the loss of one of their own, 47 year-old Orlando Smith, a well-known taxi driver who operated in Belmopan City. Police say that they have 3 suspects who they believe can help them with solving the case of the 3rd taximan to be killed in the capital city for this year. Daniel Ortiz followed the story, and here's what he found out: Smith was the father of the 5 children, and he was also the grandfather of 2 children.

Barrow Says Social Partners Will Not Dictate
And keeping it in Belmopan - we go back to the House of Representatives. As we told you earlier, the only three significant pieces of legislation presented today were the Immigration Amendment Bill, the Belize Nationality Amendment Bill and the Passport Amendment Bill. They tighten up on nationality requirements, document integrity, increase independent oversight and impose stiff penalties for those who violate the law - including ministers. A key part of the oversight are the social partners - including the churches, the unions and the chamber. They all say that they like the idea, but have insisted on specifics which the Government balked at taking on. Today, in introducing the bills, the Prime Minister outlined some of the differences in approach between the government and the social partners:..

Accidents On Western Highway
This afternoon on the Western Highway we were reminded of how dangerous the road can be and how suddenly and unexpectedly accidents can happen. Our crew came upon two accidents on our way from Belmopan. The first was at mile 41 where, ironically, road crews were working on the road safety project. Their work on one side of the highway forced the closure of one lane, and all vehicles were signalled to slow down or stop to make way for the other lane to pass. But when one bus driver went for his brakes, nothing happened: his brakes failed and he was about to rear end Channel 5's pickup when he swerved to avoid that collision and slammed head on into an oncoming car in the other lane. All three residents of the car were hurt, receiving varying levels of injury. The two passengers in the front seat, a couple, both received chest injuries form the impact, while their mother who was in the back seat, seemed quite seriously injured and had to be put to lie down on the road side while she was consoled. This is during the wait for an ambulance, which was longer than it should have been because no one could get through to 911 and there was no answer at the Belmopan Hospital. No one on the bus appeared to be hurt and the driver admitted that his brakes failed.

Eaghan Appeal Allowed
Last year, 7News told you about 22 year-old Emmerson Eaghan who was convicted of the June 2009 murder of 35 year-old Dennis "Colored" Nembhard. Well, the Court of Appeal has overturned that conviction, they've ruled that he must get a re-trial. His attorney, Simeon Sampson submitted to the Court of Appeal this morning that the trial judge misdirected the jury on how to treat the statement of the dead witness, Shelmadine "Shelly" Sanchez, who was killed August 2010. Viewers may remember that it was suspected that she was killed because she was a witness in Eaghan's case. As we've reported, Sanchez's written statement - presented in court after she was killed - detailed the entire attack against Nembhard, and she also named Eaghan as the gunman.

DPP Gets Sentence Extended
In other news from the court of appeal, the DPP was successful in her appeal of the sentence of Hilberto Hernandez. Justice Hanomansingh had sentenced him to 10 years for manslaughter, for the killing of Enrique Castillo. Hernandez had previously attempted to kill his step brother and was already serving 12 years for that. The judge found that his new 10 years sentence should run concurrent with that. After hearing submissions from the DPP and Hernandez's attorney Hubert Elrington, the court allowed the appeal, set aside the sentence of 10 years, substituted a sentence of 20 years and set it to commence AFTER the sentence that he is presently serving expires - meaning he ends up with 32 years in jail instead of 12.?He had stabbed Castillo 4 times, 3 times to the abdomen and once to the forearm and then he strangled him with a cord.

Again Gion?
28 year-old Gion Bernard, a resident of George Street who is well-known to police, is once again at prison after he was allegedly busted with a firearm last night. Police were on Victoria Street, and they say that Bernard had a weapon on him, which he threw away in an open lot when he saw them coming. It caused a number of police officers to respond where they locked down the street and searched for it. The officers say that they retrieved a 9mm pistol which was loaded with 7 rounds of ammunition from the lot, and as a result, they charged him with keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition. He was arraigned today before Magistrate Clive Lino where he pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Man Accused of Theft From Employee
37 year-old Robert Young Jr., a taxi driver from Vernon Street, is at prison tonight after he was taken to court for allegedly stealing $24,000 in cash and vehicles from his former workplace. According to police, the manager of Star Leasing Service Limited reported that between October 2012 and June 2013, Young stole a black Saturn vehicle, $1,500 in cash, and a Kia vehicle, and $4,800 in cash, to total value of $24,300. As a result, police investigated and the charged young with 4 counts of theft, and he was arraigned this evening before Magistrate Stephanie Gillett.

Placencia Police Get Weed
Placencia police launched another anti drug operation this morning between 5:45 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Four houses were searched and nothing illegal found, but then they searched two abandoned bushy lots in Placencia Village where they first found a black plastic bag with 250 grams of cannabis. The search on the other empty lot also yielded a black plastic bag containing 155 grams of cannabis. No one was found in the area where both drug parcels were deposited as "FOUND PROPERTY"

Maya Land Rights Will Be A First For CCJ
The case of Maya Customary Land Right is making its way to the Caribbean Court of Justice, that's what the Court of Appeal announced today at its final sitting for this October session. As we told you, the Appeal Court handed down a judgement of the issue after a 2 and a half year delay. In that judgment, the court affirmed that the Mayan Communities of the south have Customary Land Rights, but they also ruled in the Government's favour by removing their obligation to protect those rights. Both sides are not happy with the judgment, so they are taking it to the highest court in the land to decide the matter once and for all. After the Hearing, 7News spoke to the attorney for the Mayans, and she told us that this will be the first case of its type to be heard at the CCJ: Antoinette Moore - Attorney for Claimants "On the 25 of July, when the Court of Appeal issued its' judgment it basically gave a split decision; On one hand they affirmed that the Mayan people have the right to the land but, on the other hand they rejected the relief that the former Chief Justice had granted. So they're was injunctive relief, there was no other remedy that was granted or that was affirmed by the Court of Appeal."

PM Taking Back Surgery
The Prime Minister is expected to depart the country on Monday. He travels to Los Angeles for back surgery on Wednesday. As we've reported, the PM suffers from acute, chronic back pain. And today, there was rare bi-partisan civility displayed in the House when both the government side and the opposition wished him a successful surgery and a quick recovery:... Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education "We know the Prime Minister has been ailing and so I am confident that I am able to stand Mr. Speaker on the behalf of my colleagues on this side, so the wider government and people of Belize. I hope that I can also invite the Opposition members as well to wish him well as he goes off on this surgery. We certainly give our prayers and our best wishes. He is a very invaluable member of this government of course the leader of the government and so I would want to see him get a very speedy recovery." Hon. Francis Fonseca "We and on the behalf of all the members of this side want to wish the Prime Minister well. There is no place for hatred and ill-well in politics. We are political opponents but we all stand together, I believe in wishing the Hon. Prime Minister well. We want him to

PM Talks About Ministers “Leaning” On Director Of Immigration
But, bad back and all, the media still drilled the Prime Minister as he left the house meeting today. Standing and prolonged sitting are the most painful for him but today the media plugged away. We asked him about the possibility that ministers in his government would lean on the Director Of Immigration to push visa's through. Here's what he said:... Jules Vasquez "If I could hedge together two statements, you said that you personally spoke to the director of immigration to see if Minister of Castro has leaned upon how you used that..." Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "I don't know if I said I personally spoke to her. If I did I thought I said that I had from the director but actually it's via the Minister that there was no question of any leading on her at all." Jules Vasquez "So but it would indicate if your inquiring the leaning does happen. Hedging together a second piece of information - former Minister of Immigration Saldivar told us yesterday that he has been known to call."

Iconic April The Tapir Passes
Tonight we note the passing of Belize's most beloved public animal; that's April the Tapir. The media - along with about two generations of school children - celebrated her birthday every year in April, and tonight, her passing is also news. The zoo reports that she died peacefully in her sleep this morning at the age of 30. She was in the company of keepers that had cared for her for many years. April's birthday parties were an annual tradition for 30 years straight - and was an unusual and singular opportunity to have an up-close encounter with the docile and oddly charming animal. Because of this April became a genuine cultural icon and certainly, on the news calendar she was a staple and will be missed.

Trick Or Treat Terror In City
Last night was Halloween, and children all around the Belize City went around trick or treating to the different business places and residents. 7News went out to see how the children dressed up in their scariest, cutest, and most creative costumes to coax candy hoarders into giving them the sweet stuff. Here's what they told us about the experience: The two biggest supporters of trick or treating who we observed last night was Rene Store on Cemetery Street, and Stanley Lizama who is mortician residing in King's Park.

Sticks Supports
On Monday, 7news told you about the 5th Day of Healing which got rained out in the Yabra area on last week Saturday. Nevertheless, the organizers made sure that the children could enjoy some of the activities they planned despite the rain. Well, Perry Smith, better known as "Stix" is making sure that the Yabra children get to enjoy their full day of healing. So, tomorrow, he's launching what he calls the 5th Day of Healing Reloaded. Here's what he told us about what is supposed to take place: Perry "Stix" Smith, Organizer - Day of Healing "There's a healing five reloading that will take place this Saturday right here right at Yarborough field from 9 in the morning until 7 the evening and Restore Belize come along with us they will bring out the steel pan from Belmopan we have a steel pan group that will come out and do a live performance that will take place out there and we will do a recruitment drive for youths that want to learn steel pan. Restore Belize like I said teamed up with us and they will offer a free class through NICH to learn how to play the steel pan. So we'll have steel pan, we have Belizean artists like TR, Realty You, Positive Vibes, and food out there enough round the house we have BBQ, stew chicken, rice and beans, white rice. We'll have things out there, refreshments for the youths."

Beautiful Buff Bodies
The 2013 Body Building and Body Fitness Championships will be held tonight at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts. The event which is held every 2 years has become fierce as the competition gets bigger. There are several categories in the male event which includes the novice category, the men's physique category, the welterweight category, the middle weight, and the Light heavyweight category. The female's competition category includes the Bikini Fitness Category, female body figure category and the women's bodybuilding category. Last night we got a sneak peak from the competitors of what can be expected on stage tonight. The show started at 7:00 tonight at the Bliss.

Channel 5

P.U.P. and its supporters protest on Independence Hill
Usually all eyes and ears are tuned to the fireworks, insults, taunts and verbal sparring inside the House of Representatives. But today, attention was split as the opposition announced late [...]

3 amendments tabled in the house on immigration
Prime Minister Dean Barrow will be leaving over the weekend for medical treatment in the United States, but this morning, he faced a firestorm in respect of the recent passport [...]

The Belizean Nationality Amendment Bill also tabled
The second amendment is the Belizean Nationality Amendment Bill which seeks to make more efficient the process by which Belizean nationality can be obtained by registration. This revision also allows [...]

Violators in immigration system will now be fined $50,000
Lastly, the Passport Amendment Bill also sees the introduction of stringent penalties for persons found guilty of unlawfully aiding the acquisition of a Belizean passport.  This proposal is in light [...]

Sparks fly across the House Floor; Barrow versus Fonseca
With the proposed amendment bills out of the way, the sparring got underway. There was a fiery exchange between P.M. Barrow and Opposition Leader, Francis Fonseca, regarding the investigations into [...]

Barrow and Said take a stroll down memory lane
We left you with the sparring between the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. Well that continued with the excoriation of the former P.U.P. administration. Barrow addressed the [...]

Court of Appeal rule in favour of Dunkeld International Investments
The Court of Appeal handed down a number of decisions today. This afternoon, it ruled in favour of Dunkeld International Investments Limited, one of the beneficiaries of the Telemedia shares [...]

Another cabbie murdered in Belmopan
On Thursday night, there was a murder in the Salvapan area of the capital where another taxi driver lost his life. The body of the cabbie, Orlando Smith, was found [...]

P.U.P. Belmopan convention to be held this weekend; four to contest
Still on politics… The People’s United Party will be holding its convention for the Belmopan constituency this Sunday. If the past few weeks are any indication, Sunday’s election promises to [...]

Landy Habet says P.U.P. ready to go all the wall to recall Penner
All eyes have been on Edmond Castro recently because of the compelling nature of the corruption allegations against him. But the man who started it all is former Minister of [...]

Preparations underway for recall of Edmund “Clear the Land” Castro
While Landy Habet is paving the way to recall Elvin Penner, P.U.P. Belize Rural North political officer Arthur Saldivar is not far behind. His target is Edmund ‘Clear the Land’ [...]

Nationality Scrutinizing Committee will limit role of social partners
In respect of the nationality scrutinizing committee….that issue was ventilated fully following the House Sitting when the Prime Minister faced the press for the first time since his return from [...]

Barrow to receive surgery for his ailing back
As we reported earlier this week, Prime Minister Barrow will be traveling to Los Angeles where he is scheduled to undergo surgery on his ailing back.  While it was rumored [...]

Audit of Immigration Department to happen before senate investigation
In the wake of the passport and subsequent visa scandals, there has been a call for a senate investigation.  That request was made by P.U.P. senator Lisa Shoman during the [...]

MLA to go to the CCJ
In July of this year, the Court of Appeal issued a complicated and hotly disputed decision in the counter appeal of the Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA) and Toledo Alcaldes Association [...]

Near Fatal Accident on the George Price Highway
A near fatal road traffic accident involving a passenger bus and a four-door vehicle resulted in the hospitalization of an elderly woman after sustaining injuries to various parts of the [...]

April the Tapir dead
For many years, News Five has been covering the birthday celebrations held for April the Tapir.  But after thirty years of being in existence and a main attraction at the [...]


Belize Has A High Rate In Teenage Pregnancy
A survey conducted by the United Nations Population Fund (UNDP) reveals a high rate in teen pregnancies in developing countries. The report states that over 7 million girls under the age of 18 are giving birth each year. Belize is listed among countries with one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the Caribbean Region. The report states and we quote, “This group faces the gravest long-term social and health consequences from giving birth as teens.” The report looked at births to women under 18 worldwide, the underlying causes of teen pregnancy, and possible solutions to the problem, which the U.N. said is part of a vicious cycle of rights violations.

Institute Of Archaeology Meets With Police For Anti-Looting Campaign
Earlier in the newscast we brought to you the story about the anti-looting campaign launched by the Institute of Archaeology. One of the most important stakeholders in this initiative is undoubtedly the Police Department; hence, the Institute organized a session with police officers attached to the Orange Walk branch formation to sensitize them on the campaign. With a room filled with close to thirty police officers, Dr. Allan Moore, Assistant Coordinator for the Institute of Archaeology, spoke on the circumstance leading to people committing an offence by selling, trading, or even possessing any antiquity. Dr. Allan Moore, Assistant Coordinator, Inst. of Archaeology “We are on an anti-luting campaign and we are travelling country wide to all of our stakeholders, the police department formation is a major part of our stakeholder, our partners in prevention of crime and if it is anti-luting then we saw it fit that they be one of our targeted sector of our community to discuss anti-luting and to discuss ways which we can partner which they can share with us which they can share with them in preventing any illicit dealings with artifacts or mount destruction or selling, importation or exportation of our cultural heritage.”

Van Crashes Into Coca Cola Sign After Allegedly Falling Asleep Behind The Wheel
Texting and Driving can be very dangerous, but falling asleep behind the wheel is worst. And that is what is believed happen to the driver of this blue green van bearing license plate CZL C-03066 last night. It is alleged that the driver of the van fell asleep behind the wheel, lost control of the vehicle and rammed right into the Coca Cola sign located near the Libertad Junction. As a result of the impact the van flipped several times before landing with it four wheels in the air. CTV3 News understands that when police arrived at the scene of the accident the driver of the vehicle was long gone. Police are investigating.

One Person Detained For Questioning In Nichiporowich's Murder
Tonight, Corozal Police have detained one person for questioning in the murder of 57 year old Canadian National, Patricia Lynn Nichiporowich. As we reported yesterday, officers were called to the ocean-front community of Consejo Shores Tuesday night after neighbors reported a woman screaming. Police used a ladder to enter the second story of a home and say they found 57-year-old Patricia Lynn Nichiporowich in the living room face down in a pool of blood. Assistant Supt. Daniel Arzu of the Corozal Police Department said it appeared the woman was stabbed several times in a home invasion-type robbery. Arzu says Nichiporowich and her partner had been living in the community since last May, but her partner had travelled to Florida just the day before the woman's murder.

Fire Works Expected At Tomorrow's House Sitting
The House of Representatives will meet in Belmopan Tomorrow and we are sure that with the latest scandals surrounding the Government of the day there will be a number of fireworks. While we are sure that the Passport, Nationality and Visa scandal will be the Oppositions main ammo, majority of the items on the agenda have to do with finances and will start with an introduction of bills to amend the Criminal Code (Amendment) 2013. The Minister of Foreign Affairs will also take legislation to the floor of the house, seeking to amend the Customs and Excise Duties. Also on the agenda for tomorrow’s house meeting is the second reading for the High Seas Fishing Bill which seeks to make new and improved provisions for the management and control of fishing on the high seas.

Four Men Charged For Blanco's Murder
Four men were charged in the Belize City Magistrates Court late yesterday evening in connection with the broad day light murder of 61 year old Jorge Blanco, a resident of Yo Creek Village in Orange Walk Town. 33 year old Roger Hernandez, 21 year old Alton Bailey, 25 year old Roque Middleton and 33 year old Elario Frank Elijio are tonight confined behind bars after they were arraigned in the Court of Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. As previously reported, the truck driver was killed last week Friday as they drove through Sandhill when robbers targeted him and his employers, Abraham Penner, as they made their way back to Orange Walk in their wholesale delivery truck. Blanco was shot once at the center of the head and died at the wheel. As a result, this caused the vehicle to veer off the road and when it stopped on the shoulder, 3 men robbed the men of approximately 10 thousand dollars and made good their escape through a neighboring yard.

More Witnesses Testify In Case Against Eric Gonzales
Today the case of Eric Gonzalez accused of the murder of Daniel Alberto Soto continued before Justice Herbert Lord in the northern session of the Supreme Court as this another witness took the oath and pledged to testify nothing but the truth. Jaime Triminio was the first witness to be called to the stand today by Crown Counsels Sabita Maharaj and Linsbert Willis. Triminio’s testimony was based on the fact that the incident happened directly in front of him, by which he gave a vivid account of that night, Thursday 26th of February, 2009 when Soto was stabbed on the upper thigh. After rendering his testimony, Triminio was cross examined by Senior Counsel and defense attorney, Simeon Sampson.

Institute Of Archaeology Launches Anti-Looting Campaign
The Institute of Archeology has embarked in an anti looting campaign with the hope of protecting our natural heritage and avoiding what happen a few months ago with the Noh Mul Maya Mound which was destroyed by De Mars Stone Company owned by Denny Grijalva. Dr. Allan Moore, Assistant Coordinator, Inst. of Archaeology “Well, it entails the conscious looting and the unconscious. The conscious looting is when people organize go out there and really go dig, they go with the objective to find and there is a market out there for it we know as a big north American market and people would be paid to go out there in the jungle to saciar out there as they say in Spanish and find stuff for them and take up to north America and sale. Then you would have the people who would just go and have stuff on their farm find a little pot in the caves and then they sale it whatever means they use to get their artifact it doesn’t matter to us what matter is when they sale it this is one piece less that is gone.”


Opposition Leader Says Today’s Protest is Just The Beginning
Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca said it has been 42 days since we have been embroiled in the passport scandal and there remain many questions and no answer. He reiterated his demand for Elvin Penner’s resignation. As it relates to the amendment bills introduced in the house Fonseca said if the proposed changes will improve the system, the Opposition is prepared to support them. HON. FRANCIS FONSECA “We have just gotten an opportunity to look at the amendments proposed this morning by the honorable Prime Minister, in respect to three new bills. Certainly we are going to look at those with a very open mind and anything we can do to supporting or fixing the process then we will do. If those amendments are going towards, closing any loophole that exists and creating as best as possible a fool proof system.

Prime Minister Explains Transfers of Public Officers and New Processes in the Immigration Department
The focus of the sitting of the House of Representatives was on three amendment bill brought to the House. With the passport and visa scandals still up in the air, the amendment bills introduced is to close the gaps when dealing with Immigration, Nationality and Passport. Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke on the proposed changes in the nationality act. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW “What we are trying to do here, Mr. Speaker is to provide for streamlining and enhancing the requirements to obtain Belizean Nationality by registration including the provision that henceforth all applicants for nationality must be in possession of a permanent residency permit declaring their status as a permanent residence for five years of continued residency immediately prior to be a citizen of Belize. The amendments provide for increased penalties for violation of the provisions of the act and these increased penalties would include a fine of $50,000 and a mandatory term of imprisonment from 5 to 15 years, I believe is the range that we set out in the bill.

April the Tapir Dies
One of Belize most beloved national icon passed away this morning. April the Tapir became a household name after he was adopted in 1983 after her mother was killed. April became popular among school children, who year after year, visited the Belize Zoo to celebrate her birthday with her. April’s death came at the age of 30, far longer than her life expectancy would have been had she lived in the wild. Love News spoke with Founding Director of the Belize Zoo, Sharon Matola, who told us more. SHARON MATOLA “She had such a great life. She touched the hearts of so many people. We are all lucky that April lived as long as she did and she was part of our national heritage. Her health was really decreasing. She lost interest in food but we could see that she couldn’t really chew; her teeth were all worn down and so we were making porridge for her and she liked that but then she stopped eating that. When that happened we thought, ok this is a bad sign. When the appetite shuts down other things are happening and we were just planning to get some blood work done on her and see if there was anything at all we could do. My concern wasn’t how much longer she would live but the quality of her life; I didn’t want her to be in any pain; if she can’t enjoy her last days I just didn’t want to see it happen. Thankfully she went in her sleep.”

Traffic Accident Injures One Person
A traffic accident this afternoon near mile seven on the George Price Highway has left at least one person injured. It occurred shortly after three this afternoon when a gold pick-up truck ran off the right hand side of the highway and careened into bushes. Love News understands that one person was shuttled to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital by ambulance for medical attention. The details of the accident was not forthcoming from the police.

Belize Gains Fame Via Wonder of the World Competition
The results of the 8th Wonder of the World Competition have been released and according to the Belize Tourism Board we did exceptionally well. While Belize did not walk away with the top prize, The Great Blue Hole competed against three hundred man-made and natural sites from across the world and finished with an impressive 8th place ranking. In addition the Blue Hole and Belize gained international exposure as an outstanding tourism destination. The Virtual Tourist competition was conducted over a period of four months, from June to October. Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park got the most on-line votes and was declared the winner. Other top ten finishers include El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico.


Government to present Criminal Code Amendment Bill to House on Friday
On Wednesday afternoon, our cameras camped outside the National Assembly, as the Constitution and Foreign Affairs Committee met for the final time, to discuss the Criminal Code Amendment Bill 2 of 2013. The board, which heard submissions from the Bar Association via its president Attorney Eamon Courtnay, , the...

UDP face a crisis of political confidence
The ruling United Democratic Party face a crisis of political confidence going into Friday’s meeting of the House of Representatives. With numerous swirling scandals party members have chosen their words carefully around the press and the public. But the People’s United Party want to turn the screws on the UDP even...

Thyrell Hyde claims he was robbed by Police Officers
This week, young businessman Thyrell Hyde of Belmopan came forward alleging that the Police Department have been ignoring his complaint of being robbed by officers in September. Hyde alleges that he and a group of friends was stopped and searched by police who found an envelope containing...

PAC rescheduled as quorum not reached
The Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives continues to meet even as the Government tries to reach consensus with PAC’s chairman Julius Espat, the Opposition as well as the social partners – business sector, trade unions and the Churches. Last week there was a meeting with several...

VIP Launches Anti-corruption Petition Drive
While allegations of corruptions have rocked the Government of Belize, the Government has assured the country that they are working to solve the problems-to clean up their act. But according to Vision Inspired by the People, well meant words are not enough. The VIP has launched an anti-corruption campaign...

Michael Coye released on bail because of medical condition
On Thursday the Court of Appeal considered the case of Michael Coye, the 67 year old former businessman convicted of money laundering offenses two years ago. His case is up for appeal next year but attorney Arthur Saldivar asked the court to release him because of his medical condition....

Belize has highest rate of teenage pregnancy in the Caribbean
Belize isn’t gaining much favor in recent international reports, in fact, reviews on the country are rather disturbing. The first – a report on adolescent pregnancy titled “Motherhood In Children.” The report, commissioned by the United Nations, suggests that Belize encompasses the highest rate of teenage pregnancy within the...

Belize placed 106 out of 189 countries in terms of the ease of doing business
The second report: Doing Business 2014: Understanding Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises, places Belize at 106 out of 189 countries in terms of the ease of doing business. More specifically:”How easy or difficult it is for a local entrepreneur to open and run a small to medium-size business...

Health authorities review national plan to address communicable diseases
Influenza, or simply “the flu”, is that nastiest of illnesses that creeps upon humans when they least expect it. Belize saw a massive scare in 2009 from the H1N1 or “swine flu” virus and there have since been cases officially reported. This week health authorities are...

NTUCB meets in special General Council
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize, met in a special General Council meeting Wednesday evening to discuss, among other issues, a position on the invitation made to the Congress to become a social accountability partner on the Nationality Scrutinizing Committee. The Congress has decided to “Welcome the opportunity...

Belizean awarded First Class Honours at UWI St. Augustine Campus
Karena Michelle Mahung, of Punta Gorda Town, brought international spotlight and regional recognition to the country of Belize at the 2013 University of the West Indies, St. Augustine campus graduation for the Faculty of Science and Technology, In Trinidad and Tobago. There she was awarded...

Pregnant woman granted bail
One week ago tonight, the Lebanese Nasser family of San Pedro Town – 43 year old Nazim; his wife Jaziba, 36; and two adult male children, 19 year old Jamal and 18 year old Hilal, were all sent to Hattieville Prison after a raid by San Pedro Police at...

Belize Dry Cleaners improves its technology with new machine presser
The foremost name in dry cleaning and formal clothing rental, Belize Dry Cleaners, is taking another step toward improving its technology with the new introduction of a machine presser. Proprietor Lascelle Arnold what it is and what it does. Mr. Lascelle Arnold- Business Proprietor “We have...

The Guardian

An Almost Apology
This week Amandala published a rare apology concerning Colin Hyde’s article of the previous week. Well, it was almost an apology except that it repeated one of the basic ideas in the offending article demonstrating that Colin’s article was not printed in error or through an oversight, but because it was in concert with the ideas of the publisher and editor. Colin also waived aside the reprimand, saying that he could not understand what all the fuss was about. In a way, it as well that the article was published because it helps the public to understand that Amandala’s views on gender relations are archaic and misogynistic. The offending idea is that women are responsible for men’s behaviour or misbehaviour and it repeats the notion that women are to blame for provoking poor innocent men into becoming sexual predators. The major problem with this theory is that it is factually wrong. The vast majority of female rape victims are ordinary women wearing modest clothing who are going about minding their own business. Many are elderly or middle-aged women and a large number are children who have not even reached puberty. Promoting the assumption that men cannot be expected to control

Lawsuit for Channel 5
Hon. Edmund Castro confirmed to the Guardian Newspaper on Wednesday, October 30th, that he will be suing Channel 5 and Alvarene Burgess for the libelous comments which were made against him starting on October 23rd and all other comments made against him thereafter. He added that he has retained the services of Senior Counsel Rodwell Williams and that a letter demanding a retraction, apology and compensation would be served on both Burgess and Channel 5 on Wednesday. Burgess had claimed on Channel 5's newscast on October 23rd and 24th that she had been paying Hon. Castro money for him to write letters of recommendations for people to get Belizean visas. While the station had attempted to conceal her identity, she was quickly identified by many persons and now she is part of a lawsuit.

UDP Conventions
The United Democratic Party will begin to fill out Standard Bearer positions in 14 constituencies across the country. The UDP has taken the decision to hold conventions in the constituencies where caretakers are present. Persons who are interested in taking part in the conventions are asked to submit their applications through the Constituency Committees who will then forward applications to the UDP Headquarters by November 29th. For now the conventions will be limited to 14 constituencies in which caretakers currently represent the UDP. The move is to formalize UDP Standard Bearers in these constituencies through conventions for better representation in these divisions.

Countdown to a New BTL Park
In 38 days time it is expected that the newly renovated BTL Park will be officially opened to the public. The massive renovations to the park is being done in three phases. The first of those was the reclamation of the park expanding it by 40 percent and thereafter the construction of a seawall. That work began on February 20th of this year. On July 8th ground was broken for other work within the part to commence and that would entail the raising of the park grounds by 6 inches, the construction of sidewalks, the construction of a skating area, an amphitheater, a pier and greening of the park and the placing of benches and garbage bins. According to mayor Darrell Bradley, who on Monday, October 21, launched a countdown to the opening of the park, it is now 65 percent complete and he expects that by December 7th the park will be opened to the public. At the grand opening, Bradley says there will fireworks on display as well as local and international artists.

The PUP vultures in Belmopan
We are not certain if, of all the PUP political vultures circling the flooded areas of Belmopan, Rutilia Logan Supall was circling the lowest, but what we are certain of is that someone opposing her from within her own political party put out her dirty laundry on Facebook. A posting appearing on the social network has a police record which was issued on the 22nd of August showing Supall as having a police record in which she was convicted for Wounding and was bound over to keep the peace for a year in default she was to spend a year in jail. The conviction is recorded as having taken place on the of 3rd of November 2009. It would appear that the old saying made famous by Hubert Elrington, that the PUP is a Criminal Organization involved in politics is still holding true. Whatever the case, the Belmopan convention for PUP caretaker is heating up by the minute. Last week the candidates were at each other tearing down their opponents posters. This week they blasted Ruth on Facebook and the rare sighting of Amin Hegar wading in water in the outskirts of Belmopan was also documented. That is not to say that the other candidates have also not been out like hungry vultures but it did seem odd that the decrepit man was out. We were scared that he might catch pneumonia.

BSCFA and BSI at odds over Bagasse
The Chief Executive Officer in Belize Sugar Industries Limited (BSIL) has announced that the factory will begin to receive sugar cane for million on November 25th. Even as that announcement has been made the sugar industry is once again facing an impasse. The latest contention is being brought about by the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) demanding payment for bagasse which they say is a bi-product of sugar cane production which has a commercial value. According to the BSCFA this is as a result of an agreement signed in 2002 between BSI and BSCFA in which payment is made to the cane farmers based on sugar and molasses content of cane delivered after quantities have been verified as well as the deduction of cost of marketing is done. The BSCFA argues that according to the same agreement whenever a bi-product of sugar cane delivered is identified as having economic value, both BSI and BSCFA would determine how the income will be distributed. The Guardian understands that the farmers are looking at some additional $10 dollars more per ton of cane delivered. This is as a result of the use of bagasse by the Belize Cogeneration facility (BELCOGEN) as a form of fuel to produce electricity. BSIL had solely invested in BELCOGEN some U.S. $55 million in the construction of the plant. Before the construction of the plant bagasse was waste material for which BSI incurred an expense to manage. With BELCOGEN now in place it is used as a fuel which produces electricity that powers the mill and part of which is also sold to Belize Electricity Limited. Since the power company has been in operation in late 2009, there has only been one year since it has registered a profit at that was at a marginal 2.5 million dollars.

Four Charged for Robbery/Murder in Sandhill Village
Police have arrested and charged four men for their part in the robbery of three shipyard farmers and the murder of their employee. On Friday, October 25th, Shipyard farmers John, Abraham and Gerhard Penner were returning home along with their truck driver, 57-year-old Jorge Blanco, when they were ambushed on the Phillip Goldson Highway. The robbery took place sometime around 12 noon. The cargo truck was passing the speed bump at mile 19 in Sandhill Village when a gunman approached and fired a shot at the driver. The bullet struck him under the left arm pit and the gunman opened the door. Blanco fell out of the truck and unto the road; he was already dead. The gunman and his accomplice, who held a knife in his hand, then instructed the Penners to hand over all the money they had or they too would be killed. John Penner handed over $9,600 in cash from the day’s sales and Gerhard Penner handed over $800 in cash. The men then escaped into a swampy area off the road. Police arrived on the scene at about 12:30 p.m. one 9 mm expended shell was retrieved from the scene and the body of Jorge Blanco was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 2:10 p.m.

Special Constable pleads guilty to beating his Wife
Special Constable, Barrington Brown, changed his not guilty plea to guilty for the May 14, 2013 beating of his wife during a domestic dispute. The interdicted officer appeared in court on Tuesday, October 29th, where he pleaded guilty to wounding his wife, Sharon Brown. Barrington Brown told the court that his wife provoked him and that was why he hit her. After hearing that, the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, decided to remand Brown into custody until November 4th when he will reappear in court and hear his sentence. According to Sharon Brown, on May 14, 2013, she arrived at home and found her two daughters downstairs at her estranged husband’s house. She then went for the girls and started to rail up with them and that’s when she and Barrington got into an altercation. According to Sharon, she came back down her stairs and that’s when Barrington choked her from behind causing her to fall. He then got over her and punched her in her face, causing her lip to burst and her face to swell.

Canadian Woman Killed in Consejo Shores, Corozal
Police are investigating the murder of a Canadian national which took place on Tuesday, October 29th, in Consejo Village, Corozal District. At about 7 p.m. on Tuesday, police visited a two storey concrete house in the Consejo Shores area after neighbours made reports about screaming coming from the upper flat of the residence. According to police, when they arrived the house was properly secured. In order to gain entry into the premises, police used a ladder to climb unto the verandah of the second floor. Inside the living room of the house they saw the body of 57-year old Patricia Lynn Nichiporowich lying face down in a pool of blood. Officers observed multiple stab wounds to her neck and body. One blood stained eight inch blade stainless steel knife was found on the sofa in the living room. The body was transported to the Corozal Community Hospital where Nichiporowich was pronounced dead at 9:55 p.m. According to police, there was no sign of forced entry into the structure. Police did; however, notice foot prints on the ground beneath stairs of the house. Police believe the culprit(s) gained entry by climbing over the verandah on the upper flat of the building. No arrest has been announced in this murder as yet.

Caught in the act
Police have arrested and charged, 22 year-old Alfredo Cowo, a resident of San Pedro for the crimes of robbery and keeping a firearm and ammunition without a license. Cowo appeared in Magistrate’s court where he pleaded not guilty but due to the nature of the offences he could not be granted bail and was remanded to prison until December 5th. According to police, on Wednesday, Nelson Rhaburn was walking home with a friend when a man, armed with firearm approached him and placed the weapon into his mouth. The culprit then robbed Rhaburn of his Camel bag and a brown wallet with $250 in cash, to a total value of $630. When the thief tried to escape, Rhaburn tackled him and they ended up in a struggle. Quick response from San Pedro Police, who were alerted about the crime in progress, detained the assailant, identified as Cowo. They also retrieved the firearm from his hand, along with the stolen items. The officers found a .32 pistol, which had 3 live rounds in it.

Lloyd Eligio convicted of Attempted Murder
On Monday, October 28th, 22-year-old Lloyd Eligio, who was charged with the October 2009 attempted murder of Mark Lord, was found guilty in the court room of Troadio Gonzalez. When the jury of 9 returned from their deliberation after just over 3 hours, they had a unanimous verdict of guilty. The main prosecution witness was the victim, Mark Lord. He took the stand and testified that Eligio, who he saw and knew very well, followed him on Swing Bridge on October 25, 2009, to Hydes Lane, where he opened fire on him in front of the DHL building. One of the bullets struck him in the left side of the chest, and he had to be rushed to the hospital for emergency treatment, where his life was saved. Under cross-examination, Eligio got a chance to challenge his accuser, Mark Lord, and he tried to convince the jury that Lord was mistaken. Throughout, however, Lord maintained his certainty that Eligio was the gunman When the prosecution closed its case, Eligio took the stand and gave sworn testimony that he and his main alibi witness were at his grandmother’s house at the time of the shooting, so it couldn’t have been him who Lord saw pulling the trigger. That witness, however, took the stand and told the court that he was indeed with Eligio earlier in the day, but at the time of the shooting, they weren’t together. Justice Troadio Gonzalez has scheduled his sentencing hearing for November 4, to give Lord time to prepare a mitigation plea.

San Pedro men charged with burglary
Two men, 21-year-old Edwin Flores and 18-year-old Alvin Gonzalez, both residents of San Pedro, were remanded to prison after being arraigned on charges of burglary. According to police, both men broke into the home of Wilson Vivas on Wednesday, October 23rd, and they stole an assortment of clothes, a pair of tennis shoes, an Xbox gaming system – complete with peripherals to a total value of $2,010. Police were alerted to the crime in progress, and they detained Flores, who was allegedly in possession of all the stolen items. Flores was arrested, and all the items were recovered. Investigators got information of a man matching Gonzalez’s description, who was seen fleeing the scene of the burglary, so police also arrested him. Both men were charged with burglary, and Flores was additionally charged with 2 counts of handling stolen goods. They were arraigned on Monday, October 28th, in Magistrate’s Court where they were remanded due of the submissions made by the prosecution. They will be taken back to court on December 10, their next court date.

Albert Moody charged with Attempted Murder
On Monday, October 28th, 25-year-old Albert Moody was charged with the attempted murder of Elroy Perdomo and Steven Lambey, two Belize City men. Moody faced two counts of attempted murder, two counts of use of deadly means of harm and two counts of dangerous harm when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith. He is accused of shooting 18 year old Elroy Perdomo and 26 year old Steven Lambey on October 20, while the two were riding on Central American Boulevard. Perdomo was shot to the left side of his ankle and left side of his buttock, while Lambey was shot to his right calf and right side of abdomen. Moody was remanded to the Hattieville Prison after no pleas were taken from him due to the nature of the charges. He is due back in court on December 13, 2013, which is there next court date.

The PUP vultures in Belmopan
We are not certain if, of all the PUP political vultures circling the flooded areas of Belmopan, Rutilia Logan Supall was circling the lowest, but what we are certain of is that someone opposing her from within her own political party put out her dirty laundry on Facebook.

BSCFA and BSI at odds over Bagasse
The Chief Executive Officer in Belize Sugar Industries Limited (BSIL) has announced that the factory will begin to receive sugar cane for million on November 25th. Even as that announcement has been made the sugar industry is once again facing an impasse. The latest contention is being brought about by the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) demanding payment for bagasse which they say is a bi-product of sugar cane production which has a commercial value. According to the BSCFA this is as a result of an agreement signed in 2002 between BSI and BSCFA in which payment is made to the cane farmers based on sugar and molasses content of cane delivered after quantities have been verified as well as the deduction of cost of marketing is done. The BSCFA argues that according to the same agreement whenever a bi-product of sugar cane delivered is identified as having economic value, both BSI and BSCFA would determine how the income will be distributed.

International Expert says Belize has a future in Agriculture
Hero Balani from BELTRAIDE announcing that an Export Unit is now on the ‘pipeline’ for BELTRAIDE at last week’s workshop for Small and Medium Enterprises at the George Price Center for Peace and Development

Statement by Honourable Edmond Castro
Statement by Honourable Edmond Castro Belmopan. October 28th, 2013 The Hon. Edmond Castro, Minister of State in the Ministry of Works and Transport, utterly rejects and condemns the viciously false and malicious story concocted about him by Channel 5 and its agent, and aired three consecutive nights last week. That story alleges that Hon. Castro collected four hundred thousand dollars as payment for having procured the issuance of two hundred Belize visas at the behest of a woman that is the source and co-fabricator of the Channel 5 story.

Cooperatives as a strategy to survival
(Top and Bottom) Women from Esperanza, Santa Familia, San Antonio and Succotz participating in a recent training in food preservation, brought about by the efforts of the Ministry of Natural Resource & Agriculture and the Women’s Department “The constant in all success stories has been critical mass and organization. Those that form solid groups remain in business; loners almost always disappear.”

Eulogy for Myrtle Idolly Cruz
“If my parting left a void, then fill it with remembered joys. A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss; oh yes, these things, I too will miss, be not burdened with times of sorrow, look for the sunshine of tomorrow.” It is with great sadness that I stand before you today to present the life of not only one of the most beloved and amazing women I ever met but that of a phenomenal woman. I can say without a doubt that we lost a gem, one of God’s greatest treasures and a blessing to all who knew her. Myrtle Idolly Cruz or Vero as she was affectionately known was born on December 22nd, 1965 to parents Bonifacia Neal Gill and Peter Gill. She was the sixth of fourteen children with the eldest being Albertha, Gwendolyn, Juanita, Francisca, Allan, William, Ronald, Kathleen, Leticia, Egbert, Jane, Gayna and Monica. At the tender age of thirteen Vero moved to live with her Sister Juanita in Middlesex community in the Stann Creek Valley, there she met and fell in love with her partner David Cruz Sr. A relationship that lasted over thirty years and produced three kids, Darren, Lorena and David Jr. Although late in their lives together, Vero and David joined hands in marriage and became man and wife on December 22, 2007. Their family grew as their kids blessed them with four grand children, Dorian, Darren, Darwin and Deidra; Grandkids she adored. Her love for these kids was so overwhelming it showed in just the way she talked about them and especially how she would shower them with gifts. She always went all out for them.

Temporary Wooden Bridge in San Ignacio closed due to flooding
The temporary wooden bridge on the Macal River was completely submerged in water. The temporary wooden bridge that connects San Ignacio to Santa Elena continued to be temporarily closed Tuesday due to flooding of the Macal River. Incessant rains over the past few days and a rising Macal River has resulted in the low lying bridge being closed to vehicular traffic. Personnel from the Traffic Department are now on duty managing traffic across the Hawkesworth Bridge and along the George Price Highway. As a result, traffic has been diverted from the wooden bridge to the Hawkesworth suspension bridge that also connects San Ignacio to Santa

Belize Host AGM for Museum Association of the Caribbean
Curators from across the region are in Belize for the 24th Annual General Meeting and Conference of the Museum Association of the Caribbean and according to them it is a challenge across the region to get locals to enter the doors of cultural and historical museums. Sherilyn Jones, Director of the Museum of Belize and Houses of Culture, says one of the main subjects of discussion during the conference will be how to remain or become relevant in the local community. The theme for this year’s AGM is “Pooling Our Resources: Collaborations, Connections and Partnerships”. The pooling of resources is important for the sector. Participants from across the region identified financial constraints as the main challenge to the museum sector in their country. Jones, who is very passionate about national and regional history, says she believes that “by working together and sharing information and resources with other members of the association we can do a much better job of highlighting our culture and heritage”.

NTUCB Expels Christian Workers Union
The Christian Workers Union is in serious trouble. It has lost significant bargaining power now that it has been expelled by the National Trade Union Congress of Belize and the executive’s authority is being challenged by one of its more influential membership group.

Poinsettia Clean Up Campaign
On October 26, 2013 the Hon. Mark King and the Lake I committee, in collaboration with the Belize City Council held a clean-up campaign on the area of Poinsettia Street, which was a great success. The effort was also an enormous relief for the residents of that area as their drains were cleared and the area was made to look a lot more pleasant than it did before the clean up. Clean up campaigns are done on a frequent basis to encourage self-pride in the area. With this said, the Hon. Mark King and the Lake I committee continues to work for its’ people.

Central Region high schools basketball competition opens
The 2013-2014 Central Region Secondary Schools Basketball Competition is scheduled to commence at the Bird’s Isle this week if weather permits. There are six teams in the female competition and nine teams in the male competition. The teams in the female competition are Pallotti High School, Ladyville Technical High School, Gwen Lizarraga High School, St. Catherine Academy, Belize High School and Wesley College. Meanwhile, the teams in the male competition are Wesley College, Gwen Lizarraga, Nazarene High School, Ladyville Technical High School, Belize High School, Sadie Vernon Technical High School, Excelsior High School, Anglican Cathedral College and St. John’s College. The National Championship is scheduled for December 13 and 14, 2013.

Brown Bombers lead in Smart 13 and under Football Tourney
The 2nd Annual Smart 13 and Under Football Tournament continued at the MCC Grounds on Saturday, October 26, 2013. In the first of five games played, Ladyville Jaguars edged Third World by the score of 3-2. The goal scorers for Ladyville Jaguars were Lyndon Flowers (2) and Allen Anderson, while the goal scorers for Third World were Jalen Myers and Christian Busch. In game two, Brown Bombers the current leaders in the competition also edged Collet Strikers by the score of 3-2. The Brown Bombers goals were scored by Tyreek Muschamp (2) and Sherwin Requena, while the goals for the Collet Strikers were scored by Tyrel Estrada. In game three, Hattieville United blasted Belize Elementary by the score of 6-1. The goals for Hattieville United were scored by Michael Palacio (3), Mario Rivera (2) and Kian Young. For Belize Elementary, the only goal of the game was scored by Jonna Chebat. In game four, Survivors blanked Young Stars by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Shaquelle Matute.

Belize to host UNCAF U-16 male tournament
The Football Federation of Belize informs football fans and the general public that it will be hosting the Central American U-16 Championship at the FFB Stadium in the City of Belmopan from November 18-22, 2013. The championship will feature six Central American countries namely Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Belize.

V Annual UWI Open Campus Day of Races will be held this Sunday
The University of the West Indies Open Campus here in Belize and in partnership with Belize Telemedia Ltd and in collaboration with the Belize Cycling Association will be sponsoring the V Annual UWI Day of Races on Sunday, November 3, 2013. The races will commence at 1:00 pm and will utilise the Marine Parade Circuit. The V Annual UWI Day of Races will include riders from the primary, secondary, tertiary, junior, youth, female, masters and Elite riders. The primary school girls will do 1 lap and the boys will do 2 laps around the circuit. The high school females will do 3 laps while the males will do 5 laps. At the tertiary level, the females and males will do 10 laps. In the junior and youth category, the riders will do 15 laps, while in the female and masters’ categories the riders will also do 15 laps. In the Elite and U-23 categories, the riders will do a total of 30 laps. The registration fee for all riders is $10.00 while kids will ride for free. Riders who are interested in participating can contact UWI Open Campus at 223-0484 or the Belize Cycling Association at [email protected] for further information.

Vega’s Cup Tournament enters Quarter-Final Round
The 2013 Vega’s Cup Tournament will commence its Quarter Final Round on Sunday, November 3, with four games on the schedule. According to the organisers, the Quarter-Final round is a knock-out round, whereby only the winners advance to the semi-final round. All matches are scheduled for 90 minutes of regulation time, if at the end of that time the match is tied then the match goes to overtime of 15/15 minutes. If at the end of the overtime the match is still tied then we move into penalty shoot out. There must be a winner in all 4 matches. The games in the Quarter Final Round will be played at the Trial Farm Football Field with the first game commencing at 10:00 am. In game one, San Jose FC will go up against San Luis FC and this will be followed by Jaguars United against San Pablo FC, and this will be followed by Barrio Boys against Santa Cruz FC and in the final game it will be United Ballers against Old School FC.

St. Catherine Academy and St. John’s College lead in high school volleyball championships
The Central Region Secondary Schools Volleyball Championship will come to an end on Wednesday, October 30, 2013, if the weather permits. The championship series in the female competition features the perennial female champions St. Catherine Academy and new comer Belize High School, while in the male championship series it is St. John’s College and Ladyville Technical High School. The series which is utilising the best of three format commenced on Monday October 28, 2013, where in the female championship game one, St. Catherine Academy defeated Belize High School in three sets by the score of 25-12, 25-12 and 25-7and in the male championship game one, St. John’s College defeated Ladyville Technical High School also in three sets by the score of 25-15, 25-15 and 25-10. The second game in both the female and male competition is scheduled for Wednesday, October 30 and if a game three becomes necessary in any of the category that will be played on Friday, November 1, 2013. The National Secondary Schools Volleyball Championship is scheduled for Friday, November 8, and Saturday, November 9, 2013, and will be hosted by St. Catherine Academy.

Smelling Blood
It seems that Channel Fox is throwing caution to the wind with this story about Hon. Castro and the accusation that he has facilitated for personal profit hundreds of visas to foreign nationals to visit Belize. Even after the fervent denials by the Minister that there is no truth or proof to the matter, Fox continues to run the story, and have basically announced that they will stand by their story no matter what happens. They are prepared, it would seem, for any level of risk, even if it means being condemned by the courts for libel. Let us look at the backdrop of this visa story which was created solely by Fox and continuously nurtured by that TV station for over a week. It has already been established that Hon. Penner has committed a monumental disservice to Belize by approving nationality status to a person who has never been in our country. The Prime Minister immediately condemned the act and promptly fired Penner from his post. Penner was later even asked by the PM himself to resign both from the UDP and from the House of Representatives, even at the peril of exposing the UDP to lose a seat and further eroding the Government’s slim majority.

The Amandala’s Colin Bh & Rape Apologism, Misogyny, Racism, General Ignorance
Before I begin here, let me put across a point. I am very rarely surprised and aghast at things that happen in my home country. It has reached the point of desensitisation as I believe it has for many others. That said I was completely caught off guard by yesterday’s piece in ‘Colin’s Corner’ of the Amandala. If you happen to be one of the few people who missed it, (you didn’t miss much) let me refresh your memory; our ever entertaining (gag) guide into the depths of human indecency, Colin Bh regales us with his flawless perception of race, gender and rape politics. With his insistence on the importance of “virtuous women” in society, Bh kicks off his descent into what can only be described as broad scoping and very dangerous ignorance. The entire article is a tapestry of slut shaming, victim blaming and racism stitched together with terrible semantics and bad jokes. And yet, when asked for comment on the backlash he has so far received, he doesn’t understand what he’s done wrong? Well today is your lucky day, Colin. I’m here to set you straight.

Aviana Ferguson Representing Belizean Youths in Paris, France
19-year-old Aviana Ferguson is representing Belizean youths at the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum in Paris France. The UNESCO Youth Forum is an integral part of UNESCO’s General Conference. It enables young men and women to submit strategic recommendations for youth development to representatives of the 195 member states of UNESCO. The theme for the forum is “Youth and Social Inclusion: Civic Engagement, Dialogue and Skills Development”. The main item that will be discussed is the 2014-2021 Operational Strategy on Youth and its fifteen action projects. Ferguson is a student of the Skills Training Center on Magazine Road in Belize City. She left Belize on Sunday, October 27th, and will return on Saturday, November 2nd.

International Admiration for Crime Stoppers Belize’s T.V. Commercial
Since its inception in 2004, Crime Stoppers Belize has evolved from being simply an information relaying program to now being a fully functioning crime intervention institution that is actively promoting developmental activities in various communities. However, the organization’s principal function is still being an alternative source for the reporting of criminal activities and on Thursday, October 24th, Crime Stoppers Belize thanked its partners who make it possible for the program to be effective. The organization presented certificates of appreciation to various media houses for their support in promoting the program. According to Janelle Chanona, Spokesperson for Crime Stoppers Belize, “Crime Stoppers has always had a great relationship with the media. All our ads are run as public service announcements and the personalities volunteer their time to take part in the ads.” Three media personalities that were specially recognized are anchors Indira Craig of 7 News, Marleni Cuellar of News 5 and Anju Gidwani of Love TV.

Daughter and father from Cayo die on the same day
A case of double tragedy has stricken a family in the Cayo District. Glendy Tepas. 14-years-old succumbed to her injuries at about 10:00 am this past Sunday at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City, some eleven days after being involved in a serious accident in the Cayo District. Adding to the a family’s grief, Glendy Tepas’s father, Ricardo Antonio Rosa Tepas, a Naturalized Belizean from the Santa Cruz Area in Santa Elena Town, consumed herbicide and died sometime around 3:00 pm, also on the same day, Sunday. The 41 year old Ricardo Tepas had beforehand been in police custody where he had been served with a notice of intended prosecution in relation to an accident he was involved in along with a number of his children, including Glendy Tepaz on October 17, 2013. On that date of October 17th, San Ignacio Police had visited the junction of Joseph Andrews Drive and Branch Mouth shortly after 7:20 pm and on arrival they saw a grey in color Toyota Pickup with its front end portion extensively damaged. Further investigation by Police revealed that Ricardo Tepas was the driver of the said vehicle, which had collided into a container that was parked inside a yard. At the time, Tepas was driving in an East to West Direction when he lost control of his vehicle, causing him to run off the road.


Chief Justice Benjamin has reserved judgment in the case. The legal disputes surrounding the government takeover of, and sale of shares in, Belize Telemedia Limited are manifold, and today, one of those spinoff cases was heard before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. Media personality Glenn Tillett is challenging former Social Security Board (SSB) chairman Lois Young and chairman of the SSB’s Investment Committee, Net Vasquez, for their dual roles in the SSB’s purchase of shares in BTL – of which both Vasquez and Young were also substantive directors. Vasquez had previously told Amandala that SSB’s deposits at the commercial banks had been yielding little or no returns, and that BTL would be a better investment, yielding much better returns on the dollar. Speaking on the case today, however, Tillett told Amandala: “Whether BTL is a good investment or not is actually beside the point. The point is that Ms. Lois Young Barrow was both the chairman of the Social Security Board as well as a member of the board of directors of BTL as a secretary, and its legal representative. Mr. Net Vasquez is the CEO of BTL, as well as the chairman of the [SSB] investment committee. In my view, they can’t assess risk. If they were investing in something else, there would be no argument. And the precedent that that sets is a very bad one…”

While no politician has been charged, or seemingly even investigated in the matter of the “Penner Passport Scandal,” the clerical workers of the Immigration Department appear to be taking a hit from Government. Amandala has confirmed that at least six public officers from that department have been suddenly transferred with immediate effect. Further information has not been forthcoming, but we understand that a shakeup is taking place within the department that is expected to affect at least fifty percent of its personnel over the next few weeks. During the course of this week, rumors were rampant that 11 clerks from the Immigration Department were transferred to another government department. Earlier in the week, Industrial Relations Officer of the Public Service Union, Ray Davis, said that he, like everyone else, had heard the rumors – but he had not received anything official.

The TV station, however, says it is standing by its story. Amandala understands that Hon. Edmund Castro’s attorney, Rodwell Williams, has initiated libel proceedings against Channel 5 by means of a letter sent to the television station yesterday, Wednesday. We were able to confirm this today with Channel 5’s CEO and news editor, Amalia Mai. The media house has indicated, however, that they are standing by their story. Minister of State in the Ministry of Works and Transport, Hon. Castro, has successfully evaded all efforts by the press to speak to him personally ever since he was alleged by Channel 5 and a female whistleblower that he was involved in a visa scandal – the most recent of successive scandals that have shaken the current UDP administration.

Said Musa’s second term People’s United Party (PUP) government came under major fire in January of 2005 when the then Opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) teamed up with the unions and social partners to engineer massive protests and public demonstrations against his administration. Three years later, the PUP were ousted by landslide and the UDP voted into office on an anti-corruption platform. In fact, back then UDP Leader Dean Barrow had told our newspaper that his number one priority would be “restoring a sense of confidence in government by tackling in measurable ways the corruption issue, implementing a reform agenda.” Today, though, the second term UDP administration is itself under serious fire after Cabinet Ministers in the Dean Barrow government have been publicly implicated in passport and visa hustles. On Wednesday this week the PUP, “Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition,” announced it will bring out at least 1,000 supporters from the 14 constituencies it won in the 2012 elections to march Friday morning on Independence Hill and the National Assembly to decry what has been dubbed the “Penner Passport Scandal.”

They said they were searching for money and murder weapon. Marilyn Brown Elijio and her family of Marcus Garvey Street, Belize City, are very angry after the tomb of her parents, Albert and Carolyn Brown, who died in May and December, 1957, and were buried in a tomb on their farm in the Lucky Strike area, was “busted open” sometime between 2:30 and 3:30 this afternoon by police who were searching for a gun and proceeds of a robbery. In the tomb also were the remains of Marilyn’s sister, Gwendolyn, who died in May in the USA, but whose ashes were laid to rest in the tomb, and her brother Collet Brown, who died 59 years ago. The tomb reportedly was “busted open” by police without any permission being granted by Marilyn and her family. The farm is now being occupied by Frank Elijio, the son of Marilyn Elijio, the eldest child of Albert and Carolyn; and police, after desecrating the tomb, found nothing of interest in it.

Police Department “foot-dragging;” 6 weeks have passed – nothing done despite video evidence. The latest embarrassment to the Police Department – the shakedown of Thyrell Hyde, 20, by a group of police officers – has intensified the impression held by some citizens that there is not much of a difference between some police officers and the criminal element in the country. Some members of the Department have gotten themselves into serious trouble after they were implicated by Hyde in what seems to be a case of robbery and extortion carried out by police officers. The incident occurred over six weeks ago, around midnight on September 8, and according to the victim, Hyde, he has decided to come to the media because the rogue cops have not yet been made to face the consequences of their actions, part of which were caught on a bank surveillance camera.

City councilor Eric Chang has been absent for an extended period of time from the country and from his duties as a councilor, despite a request from his boss, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley, for him to return to work. It has been over three weeks since Chang promised to return to the country, but so far he has not. Chang departed Belize on an official 3-week visit to his home country – Taiwan — 7 weeks ago, in early September, and was due back the first week in October, on Thursday, October 3rd, to be exact. He is rumored to have been the mediator/courier in the conveyance of a fast-tracked fraudulent Belizean passport to a South Korean fugitive, Won Hong Kim. However, Chang has not been available to answer to the allegations and to clear his name.

PUP 2013 – HARD OR SOFT? Editorial
I have no spur To prick the sides of my intent, but only Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself And falls on the other. - MACBETH, Act I, sc. vii, 25-29. The announcement on Wednesday by PUP Cayo South area representative and Deputy Leader, Hon. Julius Espat, that the Opposition political party would be demonstrating in front of the National Assembly building before and during Friday’s House meeting, was a move the PUP probably had to make. Insofar as dissatisfaction with the Barrow administration is concerned, had Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition waited much longer, they may have run the risk of watching the tail wag the dog, so to speak. It was interesting that it should be Mr. Espat, one of five PUP Deputy Leaders, who was chosen to make the announcement to the media, as opposed to the Party Leader, Hon. Francis Fonseca (Freetown). The PUP has five Deputy Leaders. These are the aforementioned Julius, Toledo East’s Mike Espat, Corozal Southeast’s Florencio Marin, Jr., Belize Rural Central’s Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, and Carolyn Trench-Sandiford, who is the only one of the five who does not own a seat in the House.

Since my parents moved to Buttonwood Bay some six or seven years ago, I’ve spent many, many hours selling newspapers at our old family home at the corner of Regent Street West and West Canal. I’ve had time to look around my old neighborhood, examine the wreckage that remains, and yes, dream of reconstruction. My old family home is no. 1 West Canal, but between 1954, when I moved to the ‘hood, and Hurricane Hattie in 1961, our home actually used to be no. 3 West Canal, which was a three-storey wooden house. A lot of the yard at no. 3 was cement, because the ground floor, before my time, used to be a bakery. When I first went to no. 3 as a seven- year-old, my grandmother used to rent out the front sections of the downstairs. The tenants were a Hispanic tailor by the name of Carrillo on the southern side, and a Jamaican shoemaker by the name of Anderson on the northern side. In 1954, my Hyde grandparents lived on the second floor, along with two of my uncles and two of my aunts. Later, my grandfather took in two of his nieces who had been orphaned when one of his sisters died somewhere in the Stann Creek District. (Some people would call this the first floor, because what I call the first floor they would refer to as the ground floor. In any case, this was the middle section.)

The latest turn of events in the long saga surrounding the Christian Workers Union (CWU) makes it clear that the union’s membership holds the golden key to unlocking a new chapter for the union. As we go to press tonight, there continues to be an impasse over whether the current leadership stays or goes—and that impasse has regrettably led to the expulsion of the CWU from the ranks of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB). It means that the CWU would not have the backing of the NTUCB in the event that muscle is needed to stage industrial action; or in the event that collective bargaining negotiations need an extra push from affiliate unions. This week, the NTUCB moved to expel the CWU, after an abortive attempt by union members last Saturday to set up a new executive at a General Congress at Bird’s Isle on Saturday, October 26, 2013. There was no quorum to establish a legitimate vote.

GOB report tells UN that “human rights in Belize are being advanced” with UNIBAM case. Two very influential nations—the United Kingdom and the United States—turned up the heat on Belize this week over existing laws that criminalize same-sex relations at the 17th Session of the Human Rights Council Working Group’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR), held in Geneva, Switzerland, under the umbrella of the United Nations’ Office of the High Commission for Human Rights. Whereas there has been robust opposition from Belize’s religious community—strongly opposed to the revision of Section 53 of Belize’s Criminal Code, which attaches a 10-year sentence for persons convicted of intercourse against the order of nature, including sodomy and bestiality—the UK and the US, two of Belize’s chief trading partners, capitalized on the occasion of this week’s human rights forum to jab at Belize to do away with those laws. Most notable, though, was the statement made by the representative of the United Kingdom, which went further to call on Belize to formally abolish the death penalty.

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.” EXODUS 20:7 Thus it seems that when you call the name of God, it better not be in vain… it better mean you really want Him to intervene and mete out His justice. I have heard that there are Ministers who are procuring visas for people. I have said pretty much every second Cabinet, if you are doing so, I have no proof, for God’s sake stop it, stop it! That is what will cause the government to fall.” PM Barrow October 10, 2013 Well, not only did the Honorable PM use God’s name in vain, he also spoke in vain, since clearly, if at “every second Cabinet” meeting he implored his Cabinet members to “stop it” and even did so for the sake of God, and they did not obey… it is no wonder they are not guiltless.

The effects of days of heavy rains, beginning from last weekend, are still being felt as flood waters which are now heading towards the Belize District to make its way to the Caribbean Sea, have drained into the Belize River Valley area, causing multiple catastrophes for area residents. In the village of Crooked Tree, the water is reportedly rising fast, and the causeway has become impassable for small vehicles. NEMO has dispatched a boat to the area, as it is believed that buses might soon not be able to enter the village. The Coast Guard has also dispatched boats to the villages of Freetown Sibun and Rancho Dolores. Villagers have reported that waters are rising in Bomba and Flowers Bank, whilst flooding has already occurred in the villages of Gracie Rock, Grace Bank, Biscayne, St. Paul’s Bank, Lucky Strike, St. Ann’s, Santana, and Corozalito. People living in those areas are advised to take the necessary actions to safeguard their lives and properties and move to higher grounds if necessary.

Belize and Taiwan pen new 5-year agreements. Taiwan’s Ambassador to Belize, H.E. David C. K. Wu, and Financial Secretary Joseph Waight this morning penned two bilateral agreements at the Embassy of Taiwan in Belize City which the parties said would deepen their cooperation in Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The first agreement, signed in both Chinese and English, extends an earlier agreement signed on the occasion of a state visit to Belize by Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou. The Ambassador said that there are no new terms to the extension agreement, which makes the ICT cooperation agreement, due to expire May 2014, valid for another five years, until May 2019. In concert with the signing of this bilateral agreement, the parties signed a second agreement for the implementation of a new project, which would see the introduction of the Belize Electronic License and Permit System (BELAPS) initially across 6 government agencies: the Belize Bureau of Standards, the Agriculture Department, the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA), the Forestry Department, the Fisheries Department, and the Customs and Excise Department.

Two well-known community activists, Yaya Marin-Coleman and Samiyyah Andrewin, are planning to conduct a March Against Corruption in downtown Belize City this Saturday, November 2, 2013. Marin-Coleman told Amandala that she believes that there is a seemingly uncontrollable corruption problem within the country of Belize, and hence the need for the march. The March Against Corruption is an international campaign which is aimed at raising awareness about the corrupting influence of money and special interests in governance and public policy-making, providing a forum for people to organize and speak out against corruption, and educating the public about the consequences of corruption.

The incessant rains have led to widespread flooding and strong-flowing rivers in Cayo which resulted in the death of Carlos Rito Valdez, 65, of Santa Cruz, Cayo. At about 10:00 yesterday morning, Valdez, a farmer, while crossing the Mopan River, drowned when his canoe overturned. His younger friend managed to survive the strong eddies of the river and swam safely to the banks, but Rito Valdez went under the water, along with the canoe, and failed to resurface. Luis Robel Baron 45, a Belizean farmer of San Jose, Succotz, told police that they were transporting some plantains from Valdez’s farm over the other side of the river, to Succotz, where he lives, on the other side.

The raging flood waters and strong eddies of the Mopan River along with continuous rains, did not shake the resolve of the family and friends of Carlos Rito Valdez, 65, a farmer of Succotz, Cayo District, to find him. Valdez drowned in the Mopan River at about 10:00 Monday morning when he was crossing the strong-flowing, flooded river in a canoe that overturned. He went under and did not resurface. Police said that he was found at about 10:00 last night in the area of the Succotz ferry by the search party. A member of the party was by the ferry when he saw a figure come to the surface of the water; when they directed a spotlight at the figure, they realized it was Valdes’ body.

There will be no third game this Friday in the best-of-3 games championship finals series in the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association 2013 volleyball tournament for females and males. That is because yesterday at Bird’s Isle, both SCA girls and SJC boys made it a 2-0 sweep of their opponents to clinch the CSSSA titles. In game 1 of the female finals on Monday, SCA breezed past Belize High School (BHS) in straight sets, 25-12, 25-12, 25-7. (They play a best-of-5 sets in the finals.) And in the males finals game 1, SJC also made light work of Ladyville Technical High (LTH), also beating them in 3 sets, 25-15, 25-15, 25-10. In game 2 of the female finals yesterday, the amazing SCA dynasty added one more notch to their spectacular record of championships, when they defeated a game BHS in straight sets, 25-11, 25-17, 25-22, to win what some fans are claiming is their 18th overall and 5th consecutive CSSSA championship. However, BHS made an exciting game of it in the third set, in which they were actually tied at 20-20, before SCA took the lead and eventually won. Sister Margaret conceded after the game that BHS gave them the most competitive game of the whole season.

The action in the Mayor’s 9-Ball Tournament 2013 continued this past weekend, seeing action between Expendables and Cerros Sands, where the home team, Expendables defeated Cerros Sands by a score of 3-2. The wins for Expendables came by Miguel Trejo over Tom Gardiner by a score of 5-3; Raul Montejo, 5-3, over the President of the CBA, Mark Leonard; and Abner Patt over Jose Caballero, 5-0. The wins for Cerros Sands came from Luis Izab over Herbert Dzib by a score of 5-3; and by Guillermo Arana over Mauricio Pena by a close score of 5-4. The other game between Madis vs Rebel was also a victory for the home team, Madis, who won at home by a sore of 3-2. The wins for the home team came by Elias Briceno over Joshua Kuylen by a score of 5-3; Erwin Mutul over Abel Rivera, 5-4; and Rodolfo Alvarez over Marvin Cardona, 5-0. The wins for rebels came by Joel Andino over Mario Pena by a score of 5-3; and by Lazaro Amaya over Bernardo Gongora, 5-4.

Two optimist sailors, Jerdon Anderson and Jorge Olivarez from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, visited Bacalar, Quintana Roo, Mexico, over the weekend to participate in the Regatta “Laguna de 7 Colores,” hosted by Associacion de Veleristas President, Miguel Ángel Pani. This was the first time that Optimist sailors from Belize have attended a regatta outside Belize. Anderson and Olivarez were 2 of 25 Optimist sailors racing, and after 6 grueling races over 2 days, Anderson captured first place and Olivarez took 3rd place. The two young sailors, who are known for their hardworking attitude, showed their skill and the level of performance now in Belize. Bringing home these wins made the San Pedro Junior Sailing Club (SPJSC), San Pedranos and Belize proud.

The goal scoring excitement is picking up in the 2nd Annual SMART 13 & Under Football Tournament 2013, as Week 4 games on Saturday, October 26, at the MCC Grounds saw the net shake a whopping 22 times, with only 1 team going scoreless in the 5 games played. In game 1, Ladyville Jaguars gained their first victory, a 3-2 win over Third World. Lyndon Flowers struck twice and Allen Anderson got the other goal for the Jaguars; while Jalen Myers and Christian Busch scored for Third World. It was another 3-2 score in game 2, as Brown Bombers racked up their fourth straight win, this one over Collet Strikers. Shaking the net for the Bombers were Tyreek Muschamp with 2 goals and Sherwin Requena with 1. Both goals for Collet Strikers were by Tyrel Estrada.

Flowers Hernandez, Bailey, and Middleton also charged with robbery, while Frank Elijio is charged with conspiracy to commit robbery. Tonight, Roger Hernandez, 35, Alton Bailey, 21, Roque Middleton, 25, and Frank Elijio, 33, are on remand at the Belize Central Prison after they were arraigned late this evening on murder, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, handling stolen goods and drug trafficking charges. All the charges except for the drug trafficking stem from the October 25 murder of Jose Blanco, 61, and the robbery of Johann Penner, at a speed bump in Sandhill. According to police, at 12:30 Friday afternoon, Blanco, Penner, Abraham and Gerhard Penner were travelling in their delivery truck after making chicken deliveries in the area when the driver of the truck, Blanco, was shot under his left armpit, killing him instantly and causing the truck to swerve off the road.

Flowers Brown told the court that “Provocation caused me to hit my wife.” Special Constable Barrington Brown, 43, a resident of #1 Wagner’s Lane, is spending his first night of a two-week stint at the Belize Central Prison after he changed his plea to guilty, to wounding his estranged wife back in May. According to the report, the couple had been getting into arguments since May 6, leading Barrington to move into the downstairs of the house, along with two lesbians. On the night of May 14, Sharon Brown arrived home at 8:30 and found her two daughters, ages 16 and 8, downstairs with their father and the two women, which got her upset.

Amidst the uproar of the passport scandal and allegations of an illegal visa scheme – both of which have rocked Belmopan, a well-known resident of Orange Walk Town is on trial at the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court on charges of illegal possession of six passports, and tampering with an official document, including the passport of attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd. Matthew Williams, 56, of Smithsonian Street, Orange Walk, was taken to court on Friday, October 25, but the case has been adjourned until December 9. In court, Matura-Shepherd testified as a witness for the prosecution, and identified her passport that was stolen in September 2006, from her vehicle in Belize City.

The June 12th, 2013 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • The Stage is Set! Can PUP Mobilize like UDP in 2005?:
    As we go to press, word is that the Opposition PUP is attempting to mobilize supporters to descend on Belmopan when the House of Representatives convenes in the National Assembly on Friday, November 1, 2013. How historic a day it turns out to be will to some extent be heavily dependent on what kind of numbers the PUP is able to mobilize. Since it lost the 2008 General Elections and became the Opposition, the PUP has been anything but impressive when it comes to mustering numbers around any event or professed cause. Professed, we say, for therein lies what is perhaps the crooks of the PUP’s problem, the question of whether it possesses the moral authority to genuinely lead any charge against any alleged or perceived wrongdoing by those in office, or any public rallying around any proclaimed righteous cause.
  • Isidoro Beaton Football Stadium Upgraded:
    As most Belmopan residents should by now, a good deal of new investment has been made to strengthen their local football club, Belmopan Bandits, which is participating in the national competition organized by the Premier League of Belize, sponsored this year by Belikin Beer and Bowen & Bowen Limited. The Belmopan Bandits’ home field is the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in the Nation’s Capital; and a good of resources is also being invested to upgrade that facility to encourage more of f he residents of Belmopan to come out regularly to support their home team as the national competition heats up.
  • Existential Questions Confronting the UDP:
    As we understand it, the purpose of the UDP when it was formed 40 years ago in 1973 was not simply to rival the PUP, but to contrast and correct what was fundamentally wrong about PUP style politics. The PUP idolized its leaders and was built on a philosophy of party paramountcy. The UDP was to be the political force that placed Country above Party. The PUP was a monolithic party that rewarded its supporters and friends, and punished its so-called enemies and political rivals. The UDP was to be the party that allowed dissenting elements and provided an opportunity for full participation and fulfillment by all citizens in a country hitherto ruled by one-party domination.
  • 30 Years in the Belizean Beef Business: Running W Continues to “Meat” your Needs:
    Running W is a family owned company that started in 1983 (we are celebrating 30 years in business this October). We remain focused on a cow calf operation, a steer fattening operation, and a meat processing plant. Running W has become one of the largest meat processors in Belize. We supply fresh cuts and processed meats of primarily beef and pork. The company has been innovators in this industry and continue to develop new practices and products ensuring that it serves Belize very good quality. Belize very good quality. Initially our cattle were predominately Brahman then we introduced Nellore but the demand from our customers prompted us to start changing our cattle genetics. People were asking for better meat.
  • “I Give You My Peace”:
    “Thirty seven killed in Syrian car bombing as fighting rages nearby”, the weekend’s CNN headline read. According to the United Nations, over one hundred thousand people have died in the Syrian conflict, which started in March 2011. Weeks earlier the world was terrorized by the news of blood-thirsty gunmen entering the Westgate Mall in Kenya and killing scores of innocent people. On a global level there are wars, famine, disease and pestilence, declining economies and the failure of governments to gratify the masses. On a community level, families are in distress due to financial crisis, alcoholism, absent fathers, violence or death. On a personal level we are often harassed by sickness, personal failures, hopelessness and many other troubles that overwhelm us from time to time.
  • New NAVCO President: Elections Held in Belmopan to Choose New Executive:
    On Saturday October 19, 2013, the National Association of Village Councils (NAVCO) held its Thirteenth Annual General Meeting at the George Price Center in Belmopan. The purpose of the meeting was to elect a new president, as well as to plan and map out a strategy for the direction that the new NAVCO Board intends to take during its three-year term of office from 2013 to 2016. Elected as the new president was Mrs. Ruth Staine Dawson from the Belize District. She will serve for the entirety of the three-year term of the current executive. Also elected by the New NAVCO BOARD were Dr. Francis Arzu as Vice President; Mrs. Anita Mesh as Secretary; Miss Yolanda Molina as Vice-Secretary; Mr. Alexander Romero as Treasurer; and Mr. Jovanni Montolban as Assistant Treasurer.
  • Not a Bang but Quite a Splash! Virtual End of Hurricane Season:
    As we approach the end of October, Belizeans generally utter a sigh of relief. Although the Hurricane season officially extends until the end of November, the latest day on the yearly calendar that ever saw a tropical system of any significance affect Belize is October 31. That storm was, of course, Hurricane Hattie in 1961, which is recorded in history as one of the most catastrophic storms ever to impact Belize. Although we more than likely will not see a hurricane or tropical storm for the rest of 2013, Belizeans countrywide were significantly affected by relentless rains over the past weekend, which resulted in considerable flooding in portions of all but one of our six districts. As one Belmopan resident put it, “It must be the 2013 Hurricane Season’s way of telling us goodbye.”
  • Recruit Intake #89 on Training: Adding 132 New Officers to the Belize Police Department:
    A hundred and Thirty Two (132) new recruits are currently on training at the Belize Police Training Academy in Belmopan. They make up Recruit Intake # 89 of the Police Department. The training, which began seven (7) weeks ago, runs for a total of 16 weeks, and the new curriculum covers seven (7) major areas, namely, Fundamental Concepts of Policing; Philosophy of Modern Policing; Criminal Law; Grammar Usage and Writing; Traffic; Crime Information Management System Technology; and General Police Duties. Of the 132 recruits in training, 37 are females and 95 are males. The course will be completed around January of 2014 at which time the traditional Police Passing Out Ceremonies will be held to mark their entry into the ranks of the Belize Police Force to assume official duties.
    Early Mortality Syndrome or Acute Hepatopancreatic Necrosis Disease (EMS/AHPND) is an emerging disease that is not present in Belize. It affects shrimp that are not of marketable size, normally from 30 days or younger. The disease does not affect humans but is often fatal to shrimp. Infected ponds can experience as much as 100% mortality. EMS was first reported in China in 2009, Vietnam in 2010, Malaysia in 2011 and in Thailand in 2012. It caused massive die-offs in cultivated shrimp in these countries. Clinical signs of the disease includes lethargy, slow growth, an empty stomach and midgut and a pale and atrophied hepatopancreas (internal organ that functions as a liver), often with black streaks. The hepatopancreas does not squash easily when pressed between the thumb and finger. Within 30 days of a pond being stocked large-scale die offs begins. The Global Aquaculture Alliance estimated that losses to the Asia shrimp culture sector could be US1$ billion. The shortage of shrimp supply subsequently had an impact on shrimp prices.
  • Boston Red Sox Win World Series: Most Valuable Papi: Ortiz outstanding:
    It was clear what David Ortiz was going to say -- what, in some form, he had to say. He stood in shallow left field at Fenway Park late Wednesday night, not far from the spot where, six months ago, he dictated an impassioned love letter to the city of Boston. Behind Ortiz was a shiny black truck, his reward for winning the World Series’ Chevrolet Most Valuable Player Award. Around him gathered fans, well-wishers and teammates, so many of them waiting, waiting, waiting for him to say the words again.
  • Safety and Survival in Law Enforcement:
    Law enforcement officers spend a large portion of the lives looking out for the safety mad security of others. Too many of us take this for granted, failing to realize the extent which their own safety and security is threatened while they work to keep the rest of us safe. And in these modern times, when respect for authority in our society seems to be at an all time low, the lives of our law enforcement officers at more at risk than they have ever been.
  • Statement by Hon. Edmund Castro:
    The Hon Edmond Castro, Minister of State in the Ministry of Works and Transport, utterly rejects and condemns the viciously false and malicious story concocted about him by Channel 5 and its agent, and aired three consecutive nights last week. That story alleges that Hon. Castro collected four hundred thousand dollars as payment for having procured the issuance of two hundred Belize visas at the behest of a woman that is the source and co-fabricator of the Channel 5 story. Hon. Castro makes clear that the allegation is a lie. He was never engaged in any visa ring, and never collected a penny from the woman now turned self-proclaimed whistleblower.
  • Saving Lives On The Road: Signing of Contract for Road Safety Project:
    The Government of Belize through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, in keeping with the long-term Vision for improvement in road safety, that through an integrated and comprehensive approach, together with demonstrated respect between all road users, the frequency and severity of traffic collisions (road trauma) is reduced, is pleased to announce the award of contract to Anthony Thurton and Associates Ltd. for the Design and Certification Consultancy. The Belize Road Safety Demonstration Corridor Project is a first step in developing a comprehensive and longterm road safety strategy. The project was officially launched on 14th March 2013 and is being implemented through a BZ$14,495,000 loan from the CDB, and GOB counterpart contribution of BZ$3,191,000.
  • Public-Private Sector Partnership: DPM Gaspar Vega Advances Agriculture Agenda, Meeting With Producers in the Aquaculture Industry:
    Two Thursdays ago, Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Gaspar Vega, Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture, traveled south to meet with key players in the Aquaculture Industry. The Deputy Prime Minister and his team, including CEO for Agriculture Jose Alpuche and three -term UDP Stann Creek Area Representative Melvin Hulse, met with representatives of six major companies that make up the Shrimp Growers of Belize Association. Those companies include Aqua Mar Belize Limited, represented by Mike Dunker; Belize Aquaculture Limited, owned by the Bowen Group with new investment by a group out of Thailand; Texmar Belize Limited, represented by Anthony Chaplin and Hilly Muschamp; Royal Mayan Shrimp Farm, represented by its Managing Director, Alvin Henderson; Paradise Shrimp Farm represented by Hank Williams; and Cardeli Shrimp Farm, represented by its owner Linda Cardeli Thornton. The meeting took place at Belize Aquaculture Limited where the Minister and his team got a full tour of the facilities. Secretary
  • Meeting with Belize Livestock Producers Association:
    Shortly after assuming responsibility for the Ministry of Agriculture back in 2012, Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Gaspar Vega made the following comments about the Cattle Sweep Project to enable the exportation of Belizean Cattle particularly to Mexico: “This is history in the making; not only because we are achieving financially so much more resources, but because of the new direction that we’re taking; and when I say, we are taking, it’s we the government and the private sector. It is the first time that a government agency is not dictating but assisting the private sector in ensuring that they maximize their profitability, their productivity; and that, I believe, is what makes me so proud.” Further commenting on his philosophy of fostering a strong public-private sector partnership, Hon. Vega remarked, “I must say that from the time we took over Agriculture, CEO Alpuche and I have had one thing in common, it was to ensure that we are seen as a facilitator rather than dictator. We want to assist; we want to gain the confidence of all the cattle farmers, not for the government to make a profit, but for the farmers to be more productive. At the end of the day, if the farmers make bigger profits, the government will get its share; the country will move forward. The country will start seeing the development that
  • Touring Running W Brand Meats Processing Plant:
    Last Wednesday, October 23, 2013, prior to his meeting with the Belize Livestock Producers Association, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture, Hon. Gaspar Vega, toured the facilities of Running W. Meats, a local Belizean Company that produces mainly beef and pork products. The Deputy Prime Minister was accompanied by CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture, Jose Alpuche; Acting Chief Agriculture Officer Roberto Harrison and his assistant Belarmino Esquivel; and Executive Chairman of the Belize Agriculture Health Authorities (BAHA), Emir Cruz. Started way back in 1983, Running W is this month (October) celebrating its 30th year in business. The company grows a lot of its own cattle, focusing on a cow-calf operation, a steer fattening operation, and a meat processing plant. It has become one of the largest meat processors in Belize, supplying fresh cuts and processed meats of primarily beef and pork. The owners of the company have been innovators in the industry in Belize, continuing to develop new practices to ensure increased and improved service to an ever-growing market.
  • A “Soft” Handover Ceremony: Hospital Receives Antimicrobial-Treated Pillows:
    Minister of Health, Hon. Pablo Marin was on hand at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital on October 22, 2013 for the handover of approximately 300 pillows donated by the Belize Dry Cleaners for hospitals across the country. The antimicrobial treated pillows measure 20” X 26” and are filled with 8oz garneted polyester. The pillows have soft polypropylene stitching and they are fluid proof, wipeable and flame resistant. The pillows will be delivered over the next couple days to five hospitals: Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, Western Regional Hospital, Northern Regional Hospital, San Ignacio Community Hospital and Corozal Community Hospital.
  • UN & UB Team up for Youth Development: Social Audit Trainees on October 26 - 2013 Workshop on Social Audit for Young Belizean Leaders:
    The United Nations D e v e l o p m e n t Programme in partnership with the University of Belize hosted a two day Social Audit Workshop for young Belizean leaders and Entrepreneurs at the University of Belize, Central Farm Campus, Cayo District on October 25 -26, 2013. A total of 34 youth leaders, women and men equally represented, between the ages of 18-29, from tertiary level student government bodies as well from civil society organizations participated in the Social Audit Workshop. The workshop focused on the rights young people have to participate in auditing exercises of their government. The facilitators explained that it is a must to train youth on technical skills of social auditing and the ability to analyze and interpret public information. Social auditing gives people the skills to answer questions that citizens ask, and have the right to know about the government.
  • Three Outstanding Belizeans Honored: For Contribution to Education, Music & Politics:
    On October 23, 2003, at the at the Belize House, in Belmopan, three Belizean men were appointed to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for their outstanding and selfless service to their communities. Frank Alexander Lizama and Colville Ludwig Young Jr. were both appointed Order of the British Empire: Mr. Lizama for his contribution to art, education and politics and Mr. Young for his contribution to education and music. Receiving the insignia for Member of the British Empire was Norman Samuel Elburt Hamilton for his contribution to music.
  • BDF leads - Bandits Third:
    The Belize Defence Force team remains undefeated in the 2013 Belikin Cup Premier League Football Competition with 9 points obtained from 3 wins. They enjoyed their third win 2-0 over FC Belize at the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga two Saturdays ago. Stephen Martinez scored the Belize Defence Force’s first winning goal in the eight minute to lead 1-0 up to the half time break. The BDF defenders shut out FC Belize for 90 minutes of regulation time, and Tarrel Flores came off the BDF bench to score a second goal in injury time to seal the 2-0 victory over FC Belize. FC Belize are now in Fourth Place with Four points from a win and a draw. The Belmopan Bandits remain at Third Place in the Premier League of Belize, with Seven points from Two wins and a draw, after they schooled cellar- dwellers Police United FC 1-0 at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan two Saturdays ago. Police headline striker Harrison “Kafu” Roches looked to score early when he beat his man, but Bandits’ goalie Woodrow West beat him to the ball.


5th Annual Taste of Playa is coming up fast
Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, Mexico –– In celebration of Taste of Playa’s 5th anniversary event, The Taste of Playa executive committee names the month of November ‘Taste of Playa Month.’ Just shy of three weeks, the main event will take place on November 24th, 2013 at Parque Fundadores in Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya from 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM. The event is open to the public and boasts forty participants, consisting of restaurants, bars and caterers. The daylong festival celebrates the creativity and cultural influences of Chefs throughout the Riviera Maya. All of who have helped make this destination one of the top travel spots in the world. For a list of this year’s participants please visit the official Taste of Playa website. Taste of Playa is excited to announce two additional pre-event celebrations to jump-start their 5th year anniversary. Taste of Playa invites everyone to attend their “Taste of Playa’s Kick-off Beach Party,” which will take place on Saturday, November 16th from 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM at Wah Wah Beach Bar, located at 2nd Street and the beach. For only $500 pesos, this event includes open bar (National drinks) and snacks, plus live music performances. Tickets are available for purchase on the day of the event or online. Tickets purchased on line for this event automatically enter guests to win two VIP passes for the day of the event.

Halloween Haunting at Blue Water Grill and Some Truly Delicious Sushi
Tuesday and Thursdays are sushi nights at one of San Pedro’s favorite restaurants, the Blue Water Grill. As far as I know, they are the only ones in San Pedro that do sushi. And it’s lucky for us, they do it extremely well. It’s definitely a very popular night. Last night was pretty special. #1, it was Halloween and the town was crawling with kids and adults in costume. (I have some pics later.) And #2, it was the restaurant’s 12th birthday and Blue Water Grill was having a contest to give away a FREE ROUND TRIP TICKET TO BELIZE! Wow. Now THAT is generous. (Check their facebook page to follow…unfortunately for you, it expired at midnight last night!bl) The sign is ridiculously low key but the staff was making sure that everyone knew…

Pontoon on the Vaca Lake – an awesome Belizean experience
An early summer morning in August 2013, seven friends and I, went on one of the many tours offered by Chaa Creek, the Pontoon on the Vaca Lake. The day started out early, as we had a bit of drive and a long day ahead of us, but the sun was shining and the mood could not have been better. Our driver and guide from Chaa Creek, Alexie, picked us up around 8 a.m. in San Ignacio. After a quick stop at one of the supermarkets to buy a lot of water and snacks, we made our way to the Upper Macal River Valley. When we arrived at the property belonging to the family hosting the tours, Mr. Lazaro Martinez and his nephew, who was joining us, was greeting us welcome. Mr Lazaro is the owner of the mechanized pontoon, taking tourists on a both relaxing and adventurous trip on the lake. The lake is man-made, caused by the Vaca Dam, creating an great opportunity to experience the nature in the mountains and get close to some amazing waterfalls.

“The Tide Is High” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Regular readers know the score ((if you are not a regular reader then just choose a previous edition -or loads of them (please)). Up early, coffee, blah, blah. So what did yesterday hold? Well it rained. Nothing new there, it feels like it has been raining for ever. But yesterday wasn’t too bad because when it stopped it was a beautiful, sunny day. I am not an expert on the subject – in fact I know nothing – but when Rose and I were standing on the veranda yesterday morning (I’m not always out there on my own) we looked out at Lloyd’s guys working on filling our lot that is immediately south of our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and it was obvious that the flooding of our waterlogged lot and that of our neighbour, Jason, had been caused by more than the rain. I mentioned this to Rose and quick as a flash she replied “The tide is high“. There’s a lot more to Rose than meets the eye!

International Sources

Roanoke Charity Battles Poverty While Protecting the Environment
Roanoke charity Bookbag Santa prepares to celebrate 25 years of service fighting poverty, while at the same time, protecting the environment. Gary Hunt took a friend's advice to visit the Central American country of Belize 25 years ago. Hunt immediately fell in love with the country as he bonded with a family that had small children; a bond that would change Hunt's life forever as gifts of pencils and toys to that family began to snowball. "After awhile I got to be bringing more stuff than their kids needed. They'd bring them to school and share them and then I got requests from other schools," said Hunt. One trip a year, every year since, and Hunt is now supplying a handful of schools in Belize with one ton of supplies a year; a second ton collected usually for kids in this area. All through his charity Bookbag Santa. "We've got one school that has 150 kids and they are so small that the government gives one pencil and one spiral binder per student, per year," said Hunt.

November 1, 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

SPHS teams dominate in Secondary School Northern Regional Volleyball Tournament
Saturday, October 26th was a day for volleyball as San Pedro High School (SPHS) hosted the annual Secondary Schools Northern Regional Volleyball Tournament. Six high school teams from the Corozal, Orange Walk and Belize District travelled to San Pedro Town to compete for the coveted first place championship, and a chance to represent the north in the National Secondary School Volleyball Competition. Competing in the male division was Escuela Technica de Mexico, Orange Walk Technical High School (OWTHS), Kings College and San Pedro High School (SPHS), and in the female division was Escuela Technica de Mexico, Muffles College, Belize Rural High School (BRHS) and San Pedro High School (SPHS). SPHS’ female team comprised of Magdaluz Guerrero, Brianna McLean, Vivian Noralez, Daniela Salazar and Kayla Zetina, while the male team was represented by Gabriel Nuñez Jr., Damian Pollard, Alex Roache, Afrie Black, Josue Marin, Jovi Ico and Guillermo Nuñez. Both island teams have been preparing for months and as such were ready to defend their home turf, and defend they did!

PADI cautions dive guides and tour operators: Belize needs dive and scuba safety policy
There was much concern amongst dive guides and tour operators in Belize after the international Professional Association of Dive Instructors (PADI) sent out a strong letter regarding unsafe dive practices at the world renowned Belize’s Blue Hole. The letter, which was copied to the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), made reference to instances where newly certified or novice divers were taken to a depth of about 130 feet without deep diving training or experience, which violates the code of practice. The letter also reminded tour guides and operators that safety of diving clients and students is the first priority and responsibility.

Ambergris Today

Reaffirmation of Sister City Relationship Between Chetumal and San Pedro
On Friday, October 25, 2013, Mayor of San Pedro Daniel Guerrero, Councilor Gabriel Nuñez, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. – Minister of Tourism and Culture and Mayor of Orange Walk Town -Kevin Bernard attended the signing of the Reaffirmation of Sister City Relationship between Othon P. Blanco, Quintana Roo and San Pedro Town, Belize. Eduardo Espinosa Abuxapqui, Mayor of Othon P. Blanco, Quintana Roo (better known as Chetumal) endorsed the sister city relationship that exists between the border cities of Belize and San Pedro during a ceremony with the mayor of San Pedro, Daniel Guerrero and Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Culture and Tourism, representing the mayor of Belize City, Darrel Bradley.

Misc Belizean Sources

Check out the schedule for the matches to take place the upcoming month! San Pedro Sports Council

Ambergris Caye Shoreline Cleanup

Belize has high rate of teenage pregnancies
A United Nations report which was released in New York on Wednesday says that there is a high rate of teenage pregnancies in the Caribbean. Belize is listed as one of the countries in the Caribbean region with the highest rate of teen pregnancy, ahead of Guyana, Jamaica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Iguana Creek Bridge
The Iguana Creek Bridge which spans the Belize River at Blackman Eddy village remains flooded and closed to vehicular traffic this Thursday morning. Observers noticed that there is a canoe stuck on the railing of the bridge. It is not sure where the canoe came from. Some guys who tried to take out the canoe believe that it is split and that half of it is under the bridge.

Benque HoC Celebrations
The Benque HoC will be having their Finados tomorrow for the Dia de los Muertos. They will also be honoring Elias Awe. The 9:00am prayer time has filled up, but they'll have space starting at 10:30. Later in the evening, they'll have their Noche de Cuenta Cuentos, where David Ruiz and Pedro Can, among others, will tell some stories about Benque. "Just to let you know, we are booked for tomorrow's prayer time that will start at 9:00 a.m so if you are planning to visit you are always welcome after 10:30 am. Prayer leader will be Mrs. Maria Bejerano Martines, prayer ladies will be HelpAge Benque and students of Mt Carmel Primary. Also representatives of ISCR, Belize Archives & Records Service, National Heritage Library and Capital Newspaper will be present."

Dia de los Muertos at Mexican Embassy
The Mexican Embassy in Belmopan is having their Dia de los Muertos celebration today starting at 6:00pm, and all are invited. They'll be displaying paintings from Jose Guadalupe Posada as part of the festivities. Entrance is free, and they ask that you wear white. In related news the Institute of Mexico in Belize just celebrated their 20th anniversary last week. "This Mexican tradition combines the beliefs of ancient cultures with those of the Catholic religion. Mexico has always had its own approach to the concept of death. On the Day of the Dead, the souls of the ancestors are invited to join in festivities including food and dancing. Candy skulls are given to loved ones and funny poems about death are shared. This indigenous festivity dedicated to the dead has already been included by UNESCO since 2008 in the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity."

SISE HoC Finados
Tomorrow, the SISE HoC is having their Finados altar display starting at 9:30am. They are dedicating it to Elias Awe, who was a pillar of the Cayo community. It's been just a little over a year, but we'll say it again: Godspeed, Mr. Awe. "SISE Annual Finados Altar display in honor of Mr. Elias Ajib Awe. Visit SISE HOC for a deep insight of this unique cultural observation, including traditional treats, syrups, and elements that make up a traditional altar. For more details make inquiries through this source of by calling at 824-0783"

BSOLT and BDARRT Help Cayo
A big thanks to the Belize School of Outdoor Leadership Training and the Belize Disaster and Rescue Response Team for helping out around Cayo during the flooding. BSOLT performed a search for a missing person due to a canoe capsizing, and BDARRT assisted NEMO - thanks to NEMO too! - with their Belmopan evecuation. It's people like these that make the world a better place, especially during rough times. We can't thank you enough for your special efforts to help our community. Pictured above is BSOLT in the Mopan river during their search efforts.

Mr. Greedy's New Menu
Mr. Greedy's has a new menu out, and not have the prices gone down, but they've added some new items to it. They now have pizzas starting at $12.50, and slices starting at $3.50. They also have a new Buffalo Burger and boneless wings, and have brought back their cheesy bread sticks. Mr. Greedy's which brought the happy hour to downtown, still celebrates it from 4:00 to 7:00pm every day. In related news, Mr. Greedy's is one of the sponsors of the Belikin Halloween Block Party tomorrow night. See Emmanuel Mangar play, DJ Wolverine mix, and enjoy drink specials all night.

Hode's Halloween Haunted House
Happy Halloween! The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio will be bringing their haunted house back to life. It'll be at Hode's on Saturday night, starting at 6:30pm. They'll also be having a costume contest. "Tell everyone!! It will be a spooky weekend at Hodes Place! Rotaract Club is having Horror House and Costume Contest!! Nov. 2nd!"

True Power!
By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez Despite everyone’s fascination with Gapi Vega The most powerful by far is the Education Youth and Sport Minister Does he know his significance I wonder? Waiting for the PM and Vega’s sanction Worried about losing a convention He has the country’s future in his coffer He is more powerful than the prime minister He has the potential to set the foundation for the future Engineers, pilots, chemists, agronomist, biologist, and doctor If only he was to roll out education proper He could transform this nation with just one signature And teach the country what it means to be a true leader

A Laid Back, Low Cost Lifestyle in Punta Gorda, Belize
Every now and again, when life feels hectic or I fear I’m getting into a rut, I think of little Punta Gorda, Belize. It’s become one of my favorite places to dream of visiting again. Right down near the southern tip of Belize, Punta Gorda looks out on the blue Caribbean. The barrier reef and its wealth of marine life—one of Belize’s main claims to fame—is 30 miles offshore here. That means it takes longer to reach the reef from here than from other coastal spots in Belize…but, in exchange, Punta Gorda has a feeling of wide-open seas and endless space unlike anyplace else I’ve seen on mainland Belize. From Punta Gorda, I can imagine setting sail for parts unknown. The horizon is very wide and beckoning. But I can also imagine just sitting on a dock someplace, basking in the sun and the sea breeze while I enjoy a cold one. There are several little seaside restaurants where you can do just that, mingling with locals, expats, and tourists. One night at dinner I even met some young expats—scuba divers working with various outfits—who’d come over from Guatemala. (The border is quite near, and there’s also a ferry between Punta Gorda and Guatemala.) And given the dinner I’d just had—super-fresh seafood and veggies, washed down with the local limeade, all for about $12—I could understand why they’d made the trek.

Three Great English Speaking Islands
Belize is the only country in Central America with English as its main language, and that goes for on its islands, too. The island of Caye Caulker is only a 25-minute water taxi ride from the bustling, neighboring island of better-known Ambergris Caye. Skimming across the blue waves you can see the island’s white-sand shores, fringed with palms coming into view. On Caye Caulker you are away from it all. At 5 miles long and 1.2 miles wide it has less than 2,000 residents. The developed southern half is separated from the northern jungle half by a popular swimming spot called the Split. Here, life is all about the water. You can swim and snorkel right off the beach and the barrier reef is only a mile away. Many residents have boats in their backyards or moored on the lagoon. Tour-guide operators also offer diving trips to the barrier reef or the Blue Hole, or snorkeling in Hol Chan. It has three sand-packed streets called Front Street, Middle Street and Back Street. Main modes of transport are bicycle and on foot (preferably barefoot). The kick-back and low-key pace of life is what draws people to this island. A simple lifestyle, stunning views and affordable real estate, are all waiting for you on English-speaking Caye Caulker.

Five Top Places in Belize Where Expats are Moving
There are a lot of reasons you might want to be in Belize right now… For a tiny little country (only about the size of Massachusetts), it has much to offer, especially when it comes to scenery. Turquoise waters and white, silky sand beaches… Fertile farmland… Rolling hillsides dotted with pine forests… Amazing Maya ruins… If you’re thinking of relocating to Belize—and you’re looking for real value—there are many places in the country deserving of your attention. Places where you can live the laid-back lifestyle of your dreams. My Five Favorite Belize Destinations In no particular order, check out: The Islands of Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker: (“Caye” is pronounced as “key” in Belize, by the way.) If white sands and turquoise waters are your idea of paradise, either one of these will be your dream come true. La Isla Bonita (beautiful island) of Ambergris Caye may be the most popular destination in Belize for U.S. and Canadian expats (and its stunning little sister, Caye Caulker isn’t far behind)…so you’ll have plenty of company at the plentiful and lively beach bars overlooking those warm gin-clear waters. And if you’re a diver or fisherman or love to snorkel, you’ll be in heaven here. Real estate prices here are among the most affordable in the Caribbean, although you’ll find prices a bit high for imported goods like Pringles and Snickers bars. Word of advice: learn to love the local fare, like the delicious fresh seafood, rum and the tasty national beer, Belikin.

Channel 7

After 15 Months, Ailing Money Launderer Gets Bail
In August of last year, Michael Coye and his daughter Melonie were sentenced to 3 years in jail for money laundering. Since then, Coye's attorney Arthur Saldivar has been trying to get him out of jail - citing his age and the fact that he has diabetes. Today, the plea reached the Court of Appeal and after hearing from both sides, the judges granted him bail. He was able to leave court and go home with his family about an hour and a half ago, and before he got into his vehicle and drove off, 7News got his first reaction to being released after almost 15 months in jail. Here's what he told us: Daniel Ortiz "You are going home with your family, what's that like for you after so many months in prison?" Michael Coye "It's a great relief to be home, so that I can sit in my chair, eat a nice ham sandwich and drink a cup of coffee. Thanks to KOLBE and all my friends at Tango 5 - have a good day." Daniel Ortiz "What's next for you knowing that part of the reason you got release was because the court felt that you had a strong case for appeal." Michael Coye "We have won the strong case of appeal that we were on and on February 24th. We are having a new case. We are set again to after what is right."

Crooked Tree Under Water
The Belize River continues to rise in the Belize District and the Coast Guard has deployed a boat to assist people in the flood prone areas of Rancho Dolores, Boom and Crooked Tree. It was worst in Crooked Tree where the Causeway is impassable and covered by three feet of water. Today 7News went across the Lagoon with the Coast Guard to speak with the chairman who told us that the water is high and rising:.. Darrell Tillett, Chairman - Crooked Tree "We are in a bad situation right now. I hope it wouldn't get worse than how it is right now, most the water are coming in here." Daniel Ortiz "When did the road started to look like that?" Darrell Tillett, Chairman - Crooked Tree "It had gotten worse since yesterday." Daniel Ortiz "I notice that you guys have the Coast Guard assistance today, I was told it started yesterday. Tell us about that?" Darrell Tillett, Chairman - Crooked Tree "They came in last night about 11pm."

Police Borke Up Village Grave Looking For Murder Weapon
Last night, we told you about the 4 men who were arraigned and remanded to prison for the robbery turned murder in which 61 year-old George Blanco Was killed. As we told you, 21 year-old Alton Bailey, 33 year-old Roger Hernandez, 25 Roque Middle Middleton were charged with robbery and murder while 33 year-old Elario Frank Eligio was charged with conspiracy to robbery and handling stolen goods. They all remain at prison tonight, but police are still trying to build an air-tight case against them. This led cops to Eligio's home village of Lucky Strike, where they received a tip that the firearm used to commit the robbery and murder could be hidden in the cemetery, of all places. The officers spent most of the day in Lucky Strike searching for this weapon, and during that process, they dug up the grave of Eligio's grandparents. This was much to the dismay of Eligio's family because they felt that the officers were violating the burial space with nothing more than bogus information. And, the results bear out that belief, because the police didn't find anything.

Saldivar Says He Made A Few Visa Calls
In a time when many politicians are dodging the press, Police minister John Saldivar is available to the media every Thursday morning. That's when he appears on WAVE Radio's "Fus Thing Da Mawnin" as a sort of UDP spokesperson, laying out the party's position on a whole host of issues. After the show, he has to do much the same for the media where he switches hats and becomes an ad-hoc government spokesperson. But, this morning he could have read from a script, because just as we did for the last two weeks, we asked him about visa's and what, if any role he ever played in facilitating them through the Immigration Department. He gave the standard answer, but this week with a small wrinkle: Saldivar says that unlike his colleague Edmund Castro who wrote a letter of recommendation, he made calls to push the process along. Here are his remarks on what elected officials do and don't do for visa's:... Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of Police "Area Representatives are called upon by their constituents to give recommendations for various government services and we do that in the normal course of things and I will repeat since you not have gotten that memo "I am not in any way involved in any visa scam.""

Bus Collision Launches Car Into Cemetery
Just after 10 this morning, there was an accident on the Western Highway near the entrance of Belize City. A D&E bus travelling towards Belize City collided into the back of a small car - which was driven by Edwin Haylock. The impact of the collision launched the car off the road and into the cemetery. According to Haylock, who was travelling along with his wife this morning, the D&E bus tried overtaking them, but due to oncoming traffic, the bus was unsuccessful and instead caused an accident. Here's his story. Edwin Haylock - Car Driver "I was coming from home earlier and this bus was coming from behind and a green Hilux was parked in front of me on the side, some guys was working in the cemetery. At the same time another vehicle was coming from the opposite side. While the bus was coming fast, I approached a pothole and I slowed down, the bus was trying to overtake me and then it hit my car at the side causing the car to slide into the cemetery."

NTUCB/Chamber Ready For National Scrutinizing Committee
Tomorrow, government is expected to take a raft of Immigration Reform measures to the National Assembly. One of the main features of the new law will be increased independent oversight of the nationality process. The social partners have been asked to provide that oversight, and today the National Trade Union Congress of Belize issued a statement saying it "welcomes the opportunity to be part of the National Scrutinizing Committee." But, it's not that simple! The Union adds that before it agrees to be on the Committee it must first get full disclosure of the legislation and terms of reference. In the meantime, they say they'll continue to monitor the evolution of the Scrutinizing Committee. The Chamber of Commerce has also been invited to be on the Committee and this evening that group sent out a statement saying quote, "it must be a part of the transparency and accountability process…." But, again, not so fast; the Chamber agrees to participate only after it has reviewed the proposed amendment to the Immigration Legislation along with the Terms of Reference for the committee.

Police Minister Says ATM Cops Have To Go
By now, we've all seen the video of two police officers shaking down Thyrell Hyde in an ATM Booth. All, except Police Minister John Saldivar, apparently. Today he told the media he hasn't seen the video but he knows that the police perpetrators have to be dealt with:.. Jules Vasquez "Have you seen the Thyrell Hyde video and what are your feelings about it?" Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of Police "I have not seen it on news or anywhere, but I am aware of the video and I know that the police are investigating. I have been told that the DPP has the file now." Jules Vasquez "Is it something that aggrieves you to see police officers shaking down a citizen in an ATM checking his balance and all of that?" Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of Police "Certainly and we will leave no stone unturned in trying to get to the bottom of exactly what took place in there."

Government Ready To Concede Change In Composition Of PAC
And while we had him before us, we also spoke to Saldivar about the Public Accounts Committee. He's assumed the Chairman's seat the few times the group has met, but now the UDP-PAC has postponed as many meetings as it has held. Today we asked Saldivar what's the hold-up and what's in the reform proposal he sent to the social partners. Jules Vasquez "Are you able to say if that proposal changes in any way the composition?" Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of Police "I imagine that it will change the composition yes what is being proposed, but I won't go into the details of that until I hear from the Chamber and the Unions as to whether they'll accept. Like you said this proposal came out of the meeting with the Council of Churches and so it is already clear that the Council of Churches are in favor of the proposal."

PUP – Protest!/UDP – So What?
Tomorrow at the house Meeting in Belmopan - the members will have to contend with protests outside. As we've reported, the PUP will stage a protest which aims to bring one thousand supporters to the capital to rail against the government. But that number didn't move Belmopan Representative Saldivar when we spoke to him today:.. Jules Vasquez "Are you concern - the PUP say they want to mobilize crowd of 1000 for tomorrow?" Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of Police "I don't know that I should be concerned. This is politics and if they think they can mobilize then let them try." Jules Vasquez "But you will recall that in 2005 while it was another scenario, that is how the agitation started with the opposition (your party at the time), starting with protest at the foot of Independence Hill."

Deputy Daly Leaves As Child Protection Bill Goes To House
As a legal drafts-person, Michelle Daly is the essence of a technocrat, but as the Deputy Solicitor General, she had to take center stage as a public figure on the controversial Child Protection Bill. The final House Committee Meeting to consider changes to the bill was held yesterday afternoon, and it ran until after 8:30 at night. All the changes should be made in time for tomorrow's House Meeting when it is expected to be passed by the House. But, Deputy Sol Gen Daly who first approved the bill wasn't there to put on the final touches to the much modified piece of legislation. That's because her contract expired today, and, best information says she left the country this morning. Her contract was with the Commonwealth Secretariat for Capacity Building and it was not renewed. So, the final changes were left to juniour drafts-persons in the Sol Gen's office.

Lebanese Family Jailed, Pregnant Mother Gets Bail
One week ago, we told you how an entire Lebanese family was sent to jail after police found 6 live rounds of ammunition in their San Pedro home. The Nasser family says they had just moved into the house and knew nothing of the live rounds. Well tonight, there is some relief for one of them: 36 year old Jaziba Nasser got Supreme Court bail today on the grounds that she is eight months pregnant and cannot be properly attended to in prison. The men of the family, 43 year-old Nazim Nasser, 19 year-old Jamal Nasser, and 18 year-old Hilal Nasser, remain detained until their bail hearing next week.

Businessman Finds Technology To Cut Costs
Last night we told you about the IDB report which ranked Belize 106 out of 189 countries in terms of the ease of setting up a small to medium sized business. Lascelle Arnold, the owner of Belize Dry Cleaners went through that over 20 years ago when he first set up Belize Dry Cleaners. Now, he's got the market cornered as the only pro grade Dry Cleaner in Belize. But like every other business owner, he's battling rising costs of fuel, electricity and labour. But today he showed us how he's harnessing technology to get past those hurdles: he introduced us to the Princess:... Jules Vasquez reporting Even for dry cleaners, ironing shirts is a pain - this is the old way of doing it - more efficient than what you do at home - but for the cleaners it takes about five to seven minutes per shirt - which is too long when you've got three to four hundred shirts to iron: Lascelle Arnold, Owner - Belize Dry Cleaners "There is a major problem we have in the company doing shirts where we do it by hand and it takes forever to get it done."

How To Track the Flu
A few weeks ago, we told about the presence of the h1n1 virus in Belize. It's not the big deal that it was when it first emerged in 2009. Now there are new strains of the influenza virus and authorities have to remain on high alert. That was the subject of a workshop held today to assess the state of Belize's Pandemic Influenza Response Plan. Dr. Jorge Polanco discussed the ongoing monitoring programme: Dr. Jorge Polanco "We had since 2009 to present a series of variations of influenza outbreaks starting with the H1N1, H5N1 and so we said that it is timely for the region including Belize to review our plans." "We need to have in place structures that would be able as a country to respond in a very timely and appropriate manner to any outbreak that could occur in this case influenza. Since 2009 -2010 we have developed in the country and we have strengthen it as over time a surveillance for influenza virus in general. We have what called SARI (Severe Acute Respiratory Infections) that we monitor in this case especially at the level of KHMH."

Channel 5

Police look for a murder weapon in a grave in Lucky Strike
Yo Creek resident Jorge Blanco was brutally murdered as he drove home through Sand Hill at around midday last Friday.  Blanco was with three other persons when he was shot [...]

Minister of Police admits to facilitating visas, but in a minimal way
Minister of State Edmond Castro first denied that he knew anything about Chinese visa. Later he said he had made one recommendation. And this week, Castro says he admitted that [...]

Does the minister’s sister as C.E.O. in Immigration Ministry allows his interventions
According to Saldivar, he calls so he can see the visa process through. We’re not sure why a Minister completely outside the Immigration Department should be able to do that. [...]

P.U.P. to protest in Belmopan, Saldivar says it does not phase him
As we reported on Wednesday, the People’s United Party is organizing a massive demonstration outside of the National Assembly during this Friday’s sitting of the House of Representatives in Belmopan.  [...]

Pregnant Muslim woman granted bail
Tonight, we can report that a female inmate at the Belize Central Prison is home on bail. Thirty-six year old Jaziba Nasser is an eight months pregnant woman who was [...]

Efforts also being made to bail her husband and teenage sons
It was with the assistance from friends of the Nasser family and members of the Lebanese Community who posted bail and assisted with the process that this afternoon, Jaziba Nasser, [...]

Michael Coye, Businessman behind bars from Money Laundering, is home
Businessman Michael Coye is home tonight. The Court of Appeal granted Michael, the sixty-seven year old former proprietor of Money Exchange International Limited, bail in the sum of ten thousand [...]

Saldivar says he hasn’t seen video of the cop’s shakedown of Tyrell Hyde
On September eight, an evening of hanging out with friends quickly turned into an ugly experience that twenty-year-old Tyrell Hyde won’t soon forget.  As it turns out, Hyde was extorted [...]

PAC meeting rescheduled because Minister Saldivar was unable to appoint substitutes
The Public Accounts Committee was scheduled to meet in regular session on Wednesday, following a round of meetings held last week with various social partners.  Those meetings saw Pro-tem Chairman [...]

Maya Leaders outraged against U.S. Capital Energy and Norwegian Cruise Lines
Charges of false advertisement have been brought against U.S. Capital Energy and Norwegian Cruise Lines by the Maya Leaders Alliance and the Toledo Alcaldes Association. The MLA is outraged that [...]

NCL and oil company falsifying the results of public consultations
NCL, according to Coc, perpetuated a similar falsehood when it began publishing information that alcaldes from several villages across Toledo were in support of the Harvest Caye development project.  A [...]

Investors and Contractor in Dangriga Market Scandal join forces to sue SIF
The recent corruption scandal involving former employees of the Social Investment Fund and the construction of the Dangriga Municipal Market has been overshadowed by the immigration scandal which is rocking [...]

CBC Canada reports on killing of Patricia Lynn Nichiporowich in Corozal
CBC, in Canada is reporting on the death of fifty-seven year old Patricia Lynn Nichiporowich, the Canadian who was found stabbed to death at her house on Consejo, Corozal on [...]

A passenger bus slams into a car and ends up in the graveyard
Earlier in our newscast, we told you about cops breaking open a grave, and to continue the grave theme, this morning a vehicle was forced off the highway straight into [...]

A Lord’s Bank Family receives new house from TUBAL and CALMS
A family in Lord’s Bank is moving into a brand new house, thanks to TUBAL and an organization called CALMS, the Central American Lutheran Mission Society. Irma Bardalez, the recipient [...]

Traveller’s celebrates its 60th anniversary
Traveller’s Liquors is an institution in Belize, and lately the company has embarked on a comprehensive marketing campaign. One of the recent events was a national bartending competition which ended [...]

Healthy Living: expert advice on raising children
Being a parent is easy, but being a good parent is a different proposition altogether. There is no manual and there are no bullet points to follow in sequence. While [...]


  • Belama Residents Experience Flood
  • in Belama Phases Three and Four in Belize City, the waters have now invaded the low-lying landscape and have made the drains one with the streets. It made getting to and from home, work and home impossible for some people. According to Jose Pineda, the flooding in his area this time is so bad that he has been at home unable to get out for days now. JOSE PINEDA “We cannot work none at all; students have trouble going to school. It has never been this flooded before. We have trouble going out to work or school. My dad and mom cannot go to work.” MARION ALI “How deep would you say the water is right now?” JOSE PINEDA Well different parts of it is at your knees like that hole right there that is very deep; about three or two feet.” Residents of the area told Love News that they fear that the crocodiles in the nearby creek will find their way into their space.
  • Mayan Community Outraged Saying Norwegian Cruise Line Reps Are Misleading
  • The Maya Leaders Alliance, MLA and the Toledo Alcade Association, TAA, have expressed outrage at U.S. Capital and Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) over what they say is the propagation of misleading information. Today MLA and TAA sent out a joint press release. In the first instance it says U.S Capital has been airing advertisements on radio stations in Belize in which a Maya tradition leader is impersonated. This says, Public Relations Officer for the MLA and TAA, Christina Coc, gives a false impression that the alcaldes support U.S. Capital’s activities on Maya lands. CRISTINA COC “We point out that at this assembly the individuals who attended and a few of our Alcaldes, themselves said that they attended in their individual capacity and just to observe the proceedings. They were not in any way representing the collective resolve of the Mayan people whether or not they support Norwegian Cruise Line project. In fact on the contrary in this general assembly of Alcaldes they raised major concerns about the Norwegian Cruise Line
  • NTUCB and Chamber Raise Concerns on Scrutinizing Committee
  • In last night’s newscast you heard Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse speak about the meeting he had with social partners including the National Trade Union Congress of Belize on Tuesday afternoon in Belmopan. That meeting was to invite the NTUCB and other relevant parties to form part of the Nationality Scrutinizing Committee. Well after that meeting, the General Congress of the NTUCB met the following day. According to the NTUCB, it welcomes the opportunity to exercise its platform of participatory democracy and social participation by being on the National Scrutinizing Committee. However, the NTUCB, explains that its participation will be determined when the Congress has full disclosure of the legislation and Terms of Reference that will govern the operations of the Committee. The NTCUB raises concerns in regard to who from the Committee will sign to validate nationality documents. The second point that the NTUCB brings up is whether or not the quorum for meetings convened by the Committee include at least two social partners.
  • Judge Grants Pregnant Woman Bail
  • A pregnant woman who was jailed last week has been released. 36-year-old Jaziba Nasser was granted bail today after her lawyer makes application due to her pregnancy. Her lawyer told the court that she has been suffering from premature labour pains and KOLBE does not have facility to properly care for her. Nasser has been on remand at the Belize Central Prison since last Thursday when she and her family, including her husband and two sons were arraigned in Belize City for keeping unlicensed ammunition. Due to the nature of the offense, they could not be offered bail at the Magistrate’s Court and eight month pregnant Jaziba was sent to prison along with her husband and two sons. This morning, their new attorney, Richard “Dickie” Bradley, made an application to the court where he presented a report from Jaziba’s doctor in which he listed that she was experiencing premature labour and needed constant attention from a physician.
  • A Strategic Look at The Sugar Industry
  • Stakeholders in the sugar industry are meeting to formalize a strategic plan. Love News spoke with Olivia Avilez, cane farmers relations officer at BSI. OLIVIA AVILEZ “BSI and the Ministry of Agriculture along with SIRDI and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association had discussed prior to these events to have an engagement with their cane farmers to find out their strategic way forward. The industry is at a good position at the moment with ASR as a key player in this industry. They are able to have a good footing at the moment so we are meeting with the cane farmers from the different branches; yesterday we met with a group of cane farmers from the Orange Walk and Corozal Districts. Today what we did was too met with harvesting group leaders to find out what are the harvesting and delivery challenges; what are the obstacles; what are the solutions and who needs to do it. It’s a collaborative effort; it’s one industry that we have; una industria azucarera; that is the theme that we are having this week “Una industria azucarera unidos solificando un negocio because this is about a business and one of the key important messages this morning was that it’s no longer about survival it’s about a business. How can farmers make more cane out of 1 acr; at the current moment there is an average of 17 tons per acre and what will it take to bring that up to 28 tons so that cane farmers are able to take out more cane out of 1 acre. So we are engaging with all the stake holders, all the key players; not only farmers but we have the field technicians. We had a very good session with field technicians to kind of chart our way forward. The Sugar Industry Research and Development institute is a place near here Mr. Marcus Osorio is the director and he has been part of the organizing of this activity along with the Minister of Agriculture which is also one of our very important players, the Government of Belize, Mr. Jose Novelo, FTCC Chairman and Mr. Javier Garcia gave a presentation this morning on harvesting and delivery as well.” A part of the plan includes meeting with the financial institutions. The workshop ends tomorrow.
  • New Influenza Virus Emerging; Health Officials Updates Plan
  • The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Council of Ministers of Health of Central America (COMISCA) is conducting a workshop session today with health care professionals and other key personnel from the Customs and Police Departments. The key objective of the workshop is to provide technical assistance to publish an updated plan to prepare and respond to new emerging influenza viruses. Jorge Polanco “The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Council of Ministers of Health of Central America (COMISCA) is conducting a workshop session today with health care professionals and other key personnel from the Customs and Police Departments. The key objective of the workshop is to provide technical assistance to publish an updated plan to prepare and respond to new emerging influenza viruses.”
  • Teenager Freed of Carnal Knowledge Charge
  • Nineteen year old Antonio Barraza, a Belize City warehouse keeper who was charged with two counts of unlawful carnal knowledge, was freed of charges today when he appeared in Court and was told that the charges were withdrawn on instructions from the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lyn Vidal. The complainant, a 15 year old girl, had reported to the police that Barraza had sex with her on two occasions, the first being on March 22, 2012 and the second on December 12, 2012. Police caught Barraza at the western border allegedly attempting to flee along with the girl, who it was alleged he had been living with until the report was made against him.
  • Love Foundation Endeavors To Help Homeless and Needy
  • Tonight, Love FM and Love Television will hold the first ever live auction on air. The event is to raise funds for Love Foundation, which is a philanthropic non-government organization that aims to help the less fortunate. It is the brainchild of the Chief Executive Officer of RSV Media Centre, Dr Rene Villanueva Senior, who envisioned taking the service that Love FM and Love TV to a new level. Francis Gegg, the Executive Director of the Love Foundation, explains the purpose behind tonight’s event. Francis Gegg “We can see clearly that there is a whole lot of need in this community; so, we are addressing it from many different levels, many different perspectives. One of which is our (PSA) Public Service Announcements in which we are having a conversation with the community; a conversation that we hope is going to increase awareness of the needs of those in the society who are in greatest need; increase awareness of brotherly and sisterly love; increase awareness of the realization that we are all members of the human family; we are all members of the human Belizean family and when there are those who are in great need...


    Canadian National murdered in her Consejo home
    The relative peace of Consejo Village, Corozal District was shattered with this week’s latest bloody homicide. At around 7:00 pm police visited the residence of 57 year old Patricia Lynn Nichiporowich, a Canadian National. They arrived at a two story concrete building where they found the lifeless body of Nichiporowich, laying...

    Four men charged with murder and robbery of Jorge Blanco
    Four city men have been charged in connection with a murder/robbery that occurred last week Friday. On Wednesday, 21-year-old Alton Bailey, along with Roger Hernandez, and 25-year-old Roger Concepcion Middleton, were jointly charge with the murder of Jorge Blanco. The men appeared before the...

    Gender neutral rape bill has flaws and omissions
    Three widely recognized and well respected attorneys of the Bar Association of Belize have come out and expressed their outright discontent with the bill seeking to amend the criminal code of Belize. This includes President of the Bar Association Eamon Courtney, Gian Ghandi and Audrey Matura Shepherd. Furthermore, there...

    PUP to oppose “Gender Neutral” Rape Bill during Friday’s House Meeting
    Two committee meetings were scheduled for Wednesday in the Capital, but only one materialized and that is the Constitution and Foreign Affairs Standing Committee. That gathering started at 3:00 Wednesday afternoon. The Committee is meeting to discuss the Criminal Code Amendment Bill (2), or as it has been dubbed “The Gender...

    Staff transferred from Ministry of Immigration
    PlusNews has confirmed that Minister of State Edmund Castro has sent a letter to Alverine Burgess, the woman who is accusing the Jr. Minister of partaking in an alleged visa quota system and collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars from the scheme. In the letter, Castro is demanding the woman...

    Attorney believes Police will not investigate Ministry of Immigration
    It has been a little over a month, since alleged unlawful activity within the Ministry of Immigration has surfaced and up till now, we have yet to receive official word from the Police Department on a potential Police investigation. On Wednesday, Attorney at Law Audrey Matura Sheppard told us...

    Body of Carlos Valdez retrieved from Mopan River
    The only casualty of the excessive flooding experienced this past weekend was that of 65 year old Carlos Valdez. It has been reported that on Monday a little after1:00 pm Mr Valdez was transporting plantain across the Mopan River when his canoe capsized. The search conducted on Tuesday proved fruitless, as the river was...

    CWU expelled from NTUCB
    As they had been forewarned, the Christian Workers Union (CWU) has been expelled from the umbrella group of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB). About 11 days ago, the umbrella union sent out a press release making its position clear; that CWU is compelled to stick to...

    Yearwood family awaits attorney’s evaluation on land dispute
    We have been following the land quarrel on Cemetery Road in Belize City. For context, in 1933, two families lived on the same plot of land – one was the family of prominent attorney Rodwell Williams; the other, the Yearwood family. The Williams’ family were allowed...

    Glenn Tillett’s case against Lois Young, Nestor Vasquez and the SSB continues at Supreme Court
    In June of this year, the Court of Appeal allowed media personality Glenn Tillett’s case against Lois Young, Nestor Vasquez and the Social Security Board (SSB) was freed to continue at the Supreme Court by disallowing an objection to a ruling at the lower court. On Wednesday, Chief Justice Kenneth...

    Wesley College Students observe Drug Awareness Week
    Last week we showed you the parade organized by Gwen Lizarraga High School in support of its Drug Awareness Week. Many schools around the country have taken up the initiative. But the school that has done it the longest – and the best – was in...

    Caye Caulker Chronicles

    North Caye Stolen Beachfront Success Story
    Many of you know that when the new 2012 Caye Caulker Parcel Index Map came out, several of the “beachfront” lots on the North Caye suddenly had lots marked in front of their lots. According to the map, their lots were no longer officially waterfront, even though in reality most still had just water or mangroves in front. Some of the owners got the news when they were applying for the now-required First Registration to obtain their Land Certificates. One of the owners affected was Barry Papworth. He hired Estevan Perera of Godfrey Law to look into reversing the process of the devaluing of his land. Mr. Perera traveled to Belmopan many times to meet with the Minister of Lands, Commissioner of Lands and Heads of Survey Department. His persistence paid off and this month he was able to get the survey with the fake lot in front of Mr. Papworth’s property cancelled! Mr. Perera attempted to get all of the questionable lots cancelled but was told that he would have to represent each property owner individually. He must pursue each lot separately so as to avoid a mistake being made and a true lot inadvertently being cancelled.


    Birthday at Carlos and Ernie’s Runway Bar and Scaraoke party
    Due to all the rain Tina’s 32nd Birthday Bash (with 18 years of experience) Lori decided to switch the venue from Grand Caribe to Carlos and Ernie’s Runway Bar at the last minute. We were planning to pop in for a short bit before heading to trivia at Coco Loco’s Beach Bar but once the Cover Ups started playing and got everyone dancing, I told tacoboy I would hook up with him later, the party was to much fun to leave.

    Don Elijio Panti lives on… in Belize and Wyoming (and our hearts)
    Having once studied ethnotoxicology (don’t bother asking) at university and still maintaining an interest in the subject, we ran across an article datelined October 29 2013, Jackson Hole, Wyoming from Planet Jackson Hole by Dr Mark Menolascino. Now, Jackson Hole is right up there with Belize in the beauty stakes – a very different but equally mind blowing beauty. So our interest was piqued. It’s a great story, well written, full of interesting stuff, gives a concise background on ethnobotany; all the things we like in an article about a subject near and dear to our hearts from two places we love. Belize and Jackson Hole. God’s reward or mitigation to us for only thieving one apple from the Garden of Eden, some of us believe.

    “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
    Chose a different position this morning to take my coffee (black), my iPad and myself. The rain was coming down (again) when I got up at 05.45 hours this morning (I think that because I have to go up the stairs to go to bed it is making me tireder!) but had stopped by the time I had made my coffee ( black) so I decided to take my chair to the front of the house. First Floor veranda, near the door. Now where was I? In yesterday’s edition I got as far as telling you what progress had been made on our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize up to Tuesday lunchtime. Today’s edition brings you (and me for that matter) up-to-date. Around 13.00 hours Charlie and Jerome arrived to finish off the carpentry that had been so abruptly brought to an end on the previous Saturday when they punctured the water pipe in the Utility Room. . In no time at all they had fitted the shelf and hanging rack

    San Ignacio, Cayo’s Best Food Spots
    San Ignacio town, or as it’s locally known “Cayo”, is the ideal place to go in Belize if you are seeking adventure. This small quaint town acts a hub for travelers in search of jungle expeditions, tours to ancient Maya cities, caves and countless other eco activities that get you up close to nature. Visitors are also treated to a glimpse of how diverse Belizean culture is. A few ways to experience this is by strolling down Burns Avenue (the main street) and seeing how locals interact, another is by visiting the farmers’ market on Saturdays, but my favourite approach is by eating at the local restaurants and bars. Below are 5 of my favourite food spots in San Ignacio, Cayo.

    Significance of colors and patterns of coral reef fishes: an overview
    Coral reefs are very colorful ecosystems, probably the most colorful in the oceans, if not the world (Marshall 2000b). The first pioneers had much to say about their beautiful colors. In an expedition around the harbor of Amboyna, Indonesia, Wallace (1886) described: “the clearness of the water afforded me one of the most astonishing and beautiful sights I have ever beheld. The bottom was absolutely hidden by a continuous series of corals, sponges, actinic, and other marine productions of magnificent dimensions, varied forms, and brilliant colours. […] In and out among them, moved numbers of blue and red and yellow fishes, spotted and banded and striped in the most striking manner, while great orange or rosy transparent medusa floated along near surface.” Jacques Yves Cousteau (1971) described the wall of coral from his mask as “a living kaleidoscope of lilac flecks, splashes of gold, reddish streaks and yellows”.

    Corozal: Primary School Altar Competition and Exhibit for Dia de los Muertos
    Preparations are under way for today's Primary School Altar Competition and Exhibit for Dia de los Muertos. Join us from 10am - 8pm here at the House of Culture to view the altars. A documentary on Hanal Pixan will be shown throughout the day and into the night. This year's Hanal Pixan altar produced by the House of Culture will honour Mr. Edmond Longsworth.

    Children from Corozal begin to celebrate Halloween
    St. Francis Xavier Primary School - Class of Infant 1 - The school had a halloween dressed day today with treats and tricks at the school grounds..Those who will be trick or treating on public streets during this weekend, please ensure safety at all times...parents please be conscious of your children's plans at all times. Have a safe and enjoyable Halloween celebration!

    International Sources

    Vancouver woman stabbed to death in Belize home
    A 57-year-old Vancouver woman living in Belize was found stabbed to death in her home on Tuesday night. Lynn Nichiporowich was in the process of moving her life to Belize with a new American common-law husband. She had been living in the secluded village of Consejo, a popular retirement destination, for about a year. John Ractliffe, the former brother-in-law of Nichiporowich, worked for the victim's Vancouver-based air quality business, Eco Impact and Mould. He says he was talking to her on the phone just two hours before she was murdered. “When I spoke to her on the phone, she was jolly – everything was good," says Ractliffe. Ractliffe says the family just can't believe what's happened. Nichiporowich's husband was away in Florida at the time of the homicide.

    Vancouver snowbird stabbed to death in Belize
    A 57-year-old Vancouver woman was stabbed to death amid a botched home invasion of her apartment in a Belize retirement community, according to police from the Central American country. Patricia Lynn Nichiporowich, a snowbird who had operated an environmental services company in Vancouver, was stabbed to death inside her second-storey unit Tuesday night in the wealthy Consejo Shores area of the Corozal District, according to Corozal police's Assistant Supt. Daniel Arzu. "Upon the police entering the building, they saw this Caucasian lady lying face down on the floor in the living room in what appeared to be a pool of blood, with several multiple stab wounds to her neck and body," Arzu said in a telephone interview Thursday.

    Books bound for Belize
    Robin Sherwood’s goal is to share his love of books with those who would otherwise have very limited access to them. He has been collecting lightly used books from across Alberta, sorting them into boxes, and stacking them in a sea can located in his yard north east of Vermilion. The project stemmed from a trip he and his wife took to Belize last winter. “I had more books in my house, I think, than they had in their library. And that kind of got me thinking a little bit,” said Sherwood. “The next day we went inland, I met an American-educated Belizean archeologist. We started talking and really hit it off…I must have spent two or three hours with him the first day and then I came back to Alberta here and a few e-mails later I’m on my way to Calgary looking for a sea can.” Vermilion Rotary Club President Jean Vidal said the club was happy to get involved, and the response has been outstanding.

    Calvin Hill, 66: State representative was principled politician and gentleman
    “He was a great leader,” said former state representative and family friend Charlice Byrd, of Woodstock. “He was always out there taking care of constituents. He was a part of the community wholeheartedly.” Hill’s good business sense served him well in the House. He undertook several business ventures in the U.S. and abroad, including a resort hotel in Belize. Don Stevens, of Canton, described Hill as a pragmatic and strategic thinker

    Researcher utilizes drone technology
    Graduate student Max Messinger pulls his cap low as he rotates towards the late afternoon sun. Controller in hand, his eyes follow the DeaconEye’s path across the sky: its arms and propellers take shape as it approaches and the whirring gets louder and louder, until it’s directly above Messinger. Blades of grass flatten beneath it and Messinger’s shirt billows out like a sail that’s just caught the wind. To onlookers the DeaconEye may appear to be some sort of souped-up, remote controlled airplane. In reality, it’s a $10,000 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that collects critical data for Miles Silman’s climate change research. Silman’s climate change research concentrates on the oft-ignored tropical regions of the planet. He has research sites based in the rainforests of Peru and Belize, requiring him to collect precise data related to leaf temperature and forest health.

    Former Destin residents convicted of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, other charges
    A father and son used an offshore bank in Belize to launder millions of dollars from the USA. Now both face lengthy jail sentences after they were found guilty of bank fraud and money laundering. Read more about it here: According to a report carried by News Channel 7 in Pensacola, a federal jury there found Gary Wayne Thomas of Daphne, Alabama, and son Brian Keith Thomas, 40 of Birmingham, guilty of laundering $4.5 million dollars in loans to off-shore banks in the Cayman Islands and Belize. The online report says that the men hid the money in 2008 and stopped paying on the $56 million dollars in loans they received from New South Federal Savings Bank.

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