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2/16/2014 to 2/28/2014
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February 28, 2014


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Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Introducing the San Pedro Youth Cadet Corps
Cadets are taught a variety of skills and techniques, including foot drills, team work exercises, life skills lessons, and sporting skills. The group has scheduled practices at the Isla Bonita Elementary School campus. “We want the children to learn respect and honor, but also humility. In the coming months we will have Kristina Romero from the National Drug Abuse Control Council to speak to the youth about drug abuse and how they can make a difference in the community against drug use,” said Gonzalez. In addition, the San Pedro Youth Cadet Corps will also be preparing to participate in the Annual National Youth Cadet Camp held every summer by the Belize Police Department. Cadet groups from across the country are invited to take part in sporting activities and educational sessions. On Friday, February 28th at 3:30PM an introductory meeting will be held for parents, members and the general public at the Reef View Education Center located on Barrier Reef Drive. The San Pedro Youth Cadet Corps is aiming to have 50 members, there are currently 35 available spaces. Anyone interested in having their child join the San Pedro Youth Cadet Corps can contact Shane McCann at 631-8366, PC Juan Chu at 607-9033, Freddy Gonzalez at 604-0949, or attend the meeting to learn more. Uniforms will be provided at no charge for all members.

Canoe Challenge: Boom to the City – powered by GUINNESS
This year’s Boom to the City Canoe Challenge – powered by GUINNESS, went from Henderson’s Bank to Riverside Tavern on February 22nd, 2014, and had a big turn out with 26 teams paddling for the pride. The Junior Division was won by Turd’z, Martin Gideon, Sergio Barrera and Glenford Sutherland, sponsored by Martin Woods. In second place was Unruley Wave sponsored by Belize Rural High School with Jeffery Seguro, Ashton Moody and Mathew Mask. The third place team was AFM with paddlers Mark Menez, Alexander Cruz and Feliz Neal. The Intramural Division was won by Wateva Boyz sponsored by D & D Consulting Ltd., and paddled by Sergio Lopez, Adrian Williams and Jesus Linarez. Second place went to Western Home Supplies paddled by Alfred Lopez, Byron Cruz and Armando Lopez. Our third place finishers, 3 Hours Later, had a female paddler, Ashley Pelayo, Shaheed Mai and Victor Valdez.

Four new officers join The San Pedro Police Formation
Four new officers have joined the San Pedro Police Formation, bringing the total number of island officers to 43. The new officers on duty include three Police Constables and one Woman Police Constable. The San Pedro Sun is pleased to introduce the new officers.

Ambergris Today

Belize Works in Improving Road Safety and Reducing Fatal Accidents
With the increase in number of fatalities caused by traffic accidents along the highways around the country, the Government of Belize is investing more in making roads safer. Progress seems slow, but people are the center of the efforts because of the nature to save lives on the roads. The Government of Belize, within the scope of the Belize Road Safety Project, last week officials conducted a monitoring exercise on Friday, February 21, 2014, along the demonstration corridor from Belize City to Belmopan. The Government of Belize is undertaking this project in collaboration with the Caribbean Development Bank with the hope to implement sound road safety measures that will contribute to saving lives on Belize's road system. This is a first phase of a long-term initiative by the Government of Belize to improve road safety in the country with an overall objective to reduce deaths and serious injuries associated with road traffic collisions/accidents along a demonstration corridor by 20% in 2016.

Dorian’s Angels Support Cricel Castillo at The Arnold Classic
Belizean Bombshell, 25 year-old, Cricel Castillo has been making headlines locally and international as she is one of the few Belizean figure competitors. Cricel has made her country proud every single time she competes both locally and internationally. This week Cricel is currently in Columbus, Ohio in the United Stated competing at the famous Arnold Classic Figure Competition. Cricel took the first place trophy in the Figure Competition at the Diamond Classic, Boca Ranton Florida in April 2013 and is Belize’s Ms. Body Figure 2013. She is a dance and fitness enthusiast and is very motivated and dedicated to figure competition. Cricel left Belize on Tuesday, February 25, 2014, along with Rigoberto Vellos to compete at the The Arnold Classic, renamed Arnold Sports Festival. The event is an annual multidisciplinary sports convention named after Arnold Schwarzenegger, focusing mainly on bodybuilding and fitness and figure competition.

Misc Belizean Sources

Bookkeeping Workshop
Bookkeeping is the heart of any business. Without it, we cannot hope to keep track of the most important part of any business; money. Gain excellent skills in using various accounting procedures and maintain your books efficiently and effectively for the success of your business. On completion of this course, you will have a sound knowledge about the basic steps and techniques used in bookkeeping, including Identify the differences between commercial environment. Workshop Date: March 6th, 2014 Time: 9am to 12pm LOCATION: University of Belize, Faculty of Management and Social Sciences, College Street, Belize City Tel: 223-3195 or email: [email protected]

Preliminary Estimates of GDP for 2013 and January 2014 Consumer Price Index

Private Citizen Wants to Take Hon Edmund Castro to Court
Go get'em, Trevor Vernon

An International day to celebrate freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), and the United Nations General Assembly responded by designating March 22, 1993 as the first World Water Day. Every year thereafter, World Water Day is celebrated on March 22 around the world. This year the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture, in collaboration with other Ministries and Departments, has taken the lead for the celebration of the annual World Water Day (WWD) event as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater.

Belmopan Active Youth High School Drug Free Rally
NDACC Director and Drug Educator, Belmopan participates in the launch of Belmopan Active Youth High School Drug Free Rally at Independence park today in Belmopan. The event was held under the theme, "Count on Me to Be Drug Free." (Ministry of Health) (7 photos)

(via Norris Hall) The most recent expose of sex tourism in the ever expanding tourism market in Belize, first came to light on Facebook and elsewhere, when people began to shout out loud about an advertisement by a company calling itself “Global Fantasies”, an online site advertising Belize as a sex paradise with offers of “Belize Adult Sex Vacations”. The first public reaction was to want to find out who is behind this one. It has the potential of becoming yet another scandal. It would appear that the Belize Tourist Board may, or may not, know something about this before the panties hit the fan. It was not until the public began to take notice and when Facebook began to flash, that the BTB, in typical reactionary fashion, blew some smoke from its rear end while snorkeling with its head in the toilet bowl. In a press release it warned hoteliers of the obvious: that under the Belize Hotel and Tourist Accommodation Act the advertising and sale of sex is unlawful.

Final figures for the 2013 tourism year
The final figures for the 2013 tourism year are in, and we are happy to report that Belize’s Overnight and Cruise arrivals are up! Last year Belize recorded 223,510 in PGIA arrivals. March 2013 saw the highest tourist arrivals at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) with 28,623 visitors; this is a 10.2% increase in comparison to March 2012. The month with the largest increase in 2013 was August, with a 10.5% increase when compared to August 2012. While there were 3% decreases for April and September, overall PGIA arrivals are up 5.5%.

In a media interview after his election victory, Ralph Huang, the newly elected standard bearer of the United Democratic Party for the Cayo South constituency admitted that he had received financial contributions from a foreign company headed by one Mr. Lord Neil Gibson. Media reports are that Huang openly paid for votes and promised resident of the constituency that he would improve their lot by building roads and bridges and providing medical facilities for them. These reports are extremely troubling for many reasons:

Yesterday at 11:15 pm Independence Police visited an area in the Maya Mountain Forest Nature Reserve where five male persons were detained for Unlawful Possession of Forest Product. They were in a Ford Tractor which was pulling a Trailer with about 1500 board feet of Rose wood. The five male persons are 38-year-old Pablo Ramirez, 25-year-old Ernesto Choc Guatemalan, 34-year-old Martin Coc, 18-year-old Javier Coc all of Trio Village and 26-year-old Shane Coleman of Independence Village were detained. The Blue Ford Tractor and the Rose Wood was Impounded at the Independence Police Station.

Jamaican government waives visa requirements for Chinese visitors.
In an effort to diversify and develop new markets for the tourism industry, the Jamaican government has waived the visa requirements for Chinese visitors. On Wednesday, Tourism Minister, Dr. Wykeham McNeil, said China has been added to a list of countries including Colombia, Panama, Venezuela, Hungary and Poland where visa requirements for travel to Jamaica have been relaxed. “Last year we attracted 2,420 Chinese tourists an increase of 15.1 % over the previous year the fact is that the numbers are small but the market has potential for significant growth . In all the efforts to ease the difficulties experienced and to harness the market potential of China, Cabinet has now approved the conditional waiver of visa requirements for nationals from China who travel to Jamaica for tourism purposes for periods of 30 days or less,” he said.

Profiting from a strong private sector – Part IV - Entrepreneurship and Innovation:
New ideas and products most often originate with the private sector. A perfect example, did you ask your waiter or waitress at lunch for Marie Sharp pepper sauce? Perhaps you clean your tools with a citrus degreaser. And while you’re watching that new TV show on a local channel, do you snack on plantain chips or Belizean made chocolate? Think about it.

BAY Basketball Tournament
The Belmopan Active Youths are having a basketball tournament tonight, Friday, February 28th, at Hilltop Court, at 6:00pm.

SHJC's Cancer Awareness Efforts
Sacred Heart Junior College had 3 days of fundraisers, from Monday to Wednesday, for the San Ignacio Cancer Society. They had bake sales, ribbon sales, a donation day, and a 'color your hair' fundraiser. SHC raised $1,000, and it was presented to the Cancer Society after Dr. Marvin Manzanero gave a great presentation on cancer and the benefits of early detection. "In an effort to promote cancer awareness and to assist cancer patients, SHJC students, faculty and staff engaged in a 3-day fundraising event that culminated with a session given by Mrs. Flora Usher - President of the Belize Cancer Society - San Ignacio Branch, and Dr. Marvin Manzanero... The Director of Student Services presented the monies raised by faculty and staff through the different efforts carried out over the course of the 3 days. We collected a total of $953.87 cash and our Student Gov't Association pledged the remaining $46.13 to make it a total donation of $1,000.00."

Teachers and Public Officers Salary adjustment announced
Teachers and public officers will get a 5% salary adjustment over 3 years. This was confirmed this afternoon by the Honorable the Prime Minister Mr. Dean Barrow. The announced salary adjustments of 5% over 3 years for teachers and public officers will amount to $22 million. This is in addition to the annual 2.5% annual increments based on merits. Future adjustments are expected to be determined on a merit-based system.

Nest boxes in Paynes Creek National Park
TIDE is working to protect threatened yellow-headed parrots by installing nest boxes in Paynes Creek National Park. So far 30 boxes have made nesting much easier for this intelligent bird whose populations have been reduced through illegal export in the pet trade and loss of its pine savannah habitat.

The Phoenix hosts Angela Kinsey and Rashida Jones
The Phoenix is very proud to have been able to host Angela Kinsey and Rashida Jones, who teamed up with Oceana to help promote the importance of ocean conservation. Rashida and Angela are great people and we really appreciate them taking the time to help Oceana do its thing, protecting Belize's Barrier Reef, the Caribbean, and oceans across the globe. We hope our fans enjoy these pics from their stay and adventures along the reef. Thank you as well to Tony Rath for these wonderful under water photos of Angela and Rashida. (4 photos)

Junior 'I Have a Dream for Belize' Winner
Congratulations, Kyla Cuervas, for winning first place in the U.S. Embassy's Junior 'I Have A Dream for Belize' essay contest! In related news, tomorrow is the last day to nominate the Belize Woman of the Year. "Congratulations to Ms. Kyla Cuervas from Our Lady of Guadaloupe High School in Belmopan for winning first place in the Junior 'I Have A Dream for Belize' Essay Contest!!! On Wednesday, she and the other participants attended the U.S. Embassy's special award ceremony for all of the participants. As a first prize winner, Kyla recevied a tablet computer device, a book of Dr. King's 'I Have a Dream' speech, and her essay will be published in the Amandala newspaper. Belize has a bright future in its youth!!!"

Junior Buddy's Big Birthday Bash
Junior Buddy had his 7th birthday this week, and The Belize Zoo threw a big bash for it. Happy birthday, Junior Buddy! In related news, there's now an action plan for the sustainable development of the Central Belize Corridor, which jaguars and many other animals use, and need. It's a great start, and you can read more about it on Panthera's or the zoo's sites. "As promised, Junior Buddy had a fan club of over 200 strong show up at the Zoo yesterday to wish him many more as we celebrated his 7th Birthday. Students, parents, and teachers from La Democracia and Mahogany Heights communities in the Belize District saw Junior diver headfirst into his pond to retrieve his delicious birthday bone, then proudly feast on it for the rest of the day while his admirers looked on. The entire school joined TBZ Director Sharon Matola in yet another rendition of the Junior Buddy song, while cameras rolled from Love FM and News 5 news stations. Games, prizes, snacks, facepainting and fun for all followed for a successful day in celebrating the magnificent jaguar species that still calls Belize its home, and will for many years to come!"

Reputation Week seeks good Belizeans
Public relations firm Nauta Vero, chaired by Niall Gillett is looking for a few good local men and women. Gillett told us today about his initiative to find five Belizean companies and individuals of whom the best can be said. Belizeans will have the opportunity to submit the names of a large company, a small business, an NGO, a politician – elected or aspiring; and an ordinary Belizean not otherwise nominated. Gillett says he took up the challenge when he did business with a foreigner who looked up Belize on the Internet following a family member’s visit and found things not to his liking, though that did not dissuade him.

Woman allegedly busted with marijuana at the northern border
Reports from Corozal say that a former Town Councilor has been busted with just a little less than one kilo of suspected marijuana. No official report has yet been put out by the police, but sources say that the bust happened on Wednesday at the northern border. Because no official charges have been laid against her as yet, the name of the accused woman is being withheld at this time. A source told has confirmed that the former town councilor was elected in 2009. More information will be posted as they are confirmed.

“Killa” Gentle murder verdict due March 5
Justice Adolph Lucas will rule next Wednesday, March 5, if 20 year old Corwin Bennett is guilty of the murder of reformed gang boss Raymond “Killa” Gentle. 34 year old Gentle, who had moved into sports and other community activities after renouncing his bad past, was shot 4 times while working on a house on Kraal Road on January 12, 2011. Bennett was tried without a jury and 13 witnesses testified including Gentle’s brother, Bevans, who recalled chasing the shooter unsuccessfully while narrowly dodging being shot himself, as the shooter’s gun misfired.

Private citizen wants Edmond Castro to answer for BAA funds
Earlier this week, we reported on Edmond Castro’s suit against a Belize Rural North resident who told the nation she worked with Castro to get hundreds of visa recommendations for Chinese nationals. Today the embattled area rep was the target, as former public servant and journalist Trevor Vernon of Burrell Boom wants him to answer for the more than $30,000 handed out by the former board of the Belize Airports Authority (BAA) for various personal and political fortunes. Vernon says he believes that Castro should repay the money as it was not his to legally receive. Vernon retained Philip Palacio for the case but the man standing beside him today was PUP Belize Rural North aspirant and attorney Arthur Saldivar, who insisted that Castro committed multiple violations of the law and particularly the Prevention of Corruption in Public Life Act.

CitCo to begin concreting 35 streets
The second phase of a city-wide infrastructure project in the old Capital begins next week and by September of this year, one in every three streets in Belize City will have been concreted. The list of selected streets include significant arteries and according to Mayor Darrell Bradley, were selected for their importance as bridges of connectivity to move traffic and goods around the Old Capital. The total cost of the project is $9.7 million including drainage. The first phase of works was funded with a $20 million municipal bond floated by the Council and saw 102 streets concreted, some of which are in their final stages of completion. The second will be funded by a $10 million grant from Central Government, in addition to $2.8 million allocated for immediate works in the aftermath of last year’s wet weather and a drainage project outlined by the Council.

Public servants getting $22 million more
$22 million over three years. Prime Minister Dean Barrow confirmed this evening that this is the total figure for how much more teachers and public officers will be paid, guaranteed, by the Government of Belize. It represents an adjustment, but really an increase of 5%, the minimum they asked for, and they will also get the standard 2.5% annual increment. Despite issues with poor economic growth, the Prime Minister stated that this increase is locked in permanently. It also means that the Belize National Teachers’ Union, Public Service Union and Association of Public Service Senior Managers have added responsibilities, as adverse effects to the Government such as a reversal of the takeover of the Companies and Ships Registries and lower profits for Belize Telemedia Limited may easily reverse the state of affairs.

Motorcycle and van collide; one man dies
A man died as a result of a road traffic accident this morning on the Hummingbird Highway in the Cayo district. The victim has been identified as 29 year old Jose Flamenco, a resident of mile 28 on the Hummingbird Highway. Police say that around 11:20 am today, they responded to reports of a fatal traffic accident between miles 43 and 44 on the Hummingbird Highway that involved a motorcycle and a van. Flamenco, according to police, was the driver of the motorcycle and he was carrying Juan Pau of Plancencia as a passenger.

KHMH NICU and parking lot improved
2013 was a year to forget for the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, chiefly because of the bacterial outbreak at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) which claimed 8 lives before they had a chance to truly live. Since then money has poured in, both for renovations to the current unit and a new unit. Today public relations manager for KHMH Niall Gillett said renovations are coming along fine and size has been expanded. And from the inside to the outside, the hospital’s parking lot is the latest addition to Belize City’s concrete revolution. That is near completion, and when the installations are complete the hospital will implement its plans to charge for parking to all non-patients and staff and provide a slot for taxi operators to work in.

Cruise ship tourist overstays welcome
A 42 year old American from the U.S. state of Indiana says six hours is just too short a time to get to know the Jewel, so he stayed for a week. Bryan Rusk, a diesel mechanic, came to Belize last Thursday, February 20, aboard the Carnival Glory cruise ship but he failed to get permission to enter the country from either Immigration officers or the ship’s master. Once on Belizean shores he reportedly rented an apartment in the King’s Park area and spent a week sightseeing. But he ended his vacation on Wednesday when he turned himself in to the Fort Street Tourism Village. He pleaded guilty to failure to obtain permission to enter Belize and was fined $1,000, which he immediately paid.

Why is Belize the Perfect Destination for Retirees?
Those who will soon reach the retirement age, or have already started availing the benefits of a retiree, can better understand why saving is so important. Some may feel they should have started much earlier to end up with more dollar bills in their account. As you approach the retirement age, you want to save your accumulated wealth over decades and want it to last longer. Many single persons and couples want to settle down after retirement to a serene place where there is less traffic, life is relaxed and there is no race with time. For retirees, Belize, nestled in Central America, is the best place to relocate. Relocating to Belize is a great way to relax and save on your savings. Check out why Belize is the perfect destination for retirees:

Benefits of Retirement in Belize
QRP program give tax and residency breaks to foreigners with the status of a Qualified Retired Person (QRP). To be designated a QRP under the program, the applicant should be:

This is one of those WTF stories too salacious to pass up. To think it happened in Belize! Former Miss World Belize 2010 and Miss Earth Belize 2012, Jessel Lauriano has come forward with a rather bizarre story. According to the former beauty queen, who has been working at the Princess Hotel and Casino in Belize City since December 2012, the terms of her employment have dramatically changed and has rendered her to life of servitude. According Lauriano, she was first hired as a DJ after she was trained by her employer. Things deteriorated when she was forced to strip and perform topless in the club. She was then forced to make out with other women portraying herself as lesbian, Lauriano said. A beauty queen, she is no more because Lauriano is now a man. That was the latest request of her employer, Lauriano said.

Channel 7

Teachers Will Get 5%, Not 4%
Two weeks ago, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow told the media that the teachers and the public servants could expect a 4% raise. But today - as his government gets ready to present its new budget next week - he said that figure has been revised. With economic growth coming in at less than one percent when 2.5 percent had been projected - you might expect that raise to go down by a point or two, but today the PM told the media today that it's actually going up!:.. Prime Minister Dean Barrow "We've just gone over the numbers this afternoon and I can tell you that it is clear that the teachers will get 5%; teachers and public officers. We keep saying teachers because they made the most noise - this is teachers and public officers will get by our reckoning 5%, in addition to the 2.5% annual increment. We are looking at 22 million dollars more in salaries to public officers and teachers and by our calculations that represents not less than a 5% salary increase."

COLA's Private Prosecution Of Penner
And while that 5% should provide some comfort to the teachers and public officers, on the political front government continues to hemorrhage politically for Elvin Penner's Citizen Kim affair. And the pressure is increasing as the 6 month statute bar draws near. As we've explained, those who say he committed a crime have to act before a 6 month statute bar prohibits them from trying to bring charges. The Kim stunt was pulled in early September, so the statute bar limitation kicks in next week, which is early March. That's why the PUP got their mandamus hearing tomorrow, and today we found out that COLA is also going for a private prosecution of Penner before the deadline. Their plan is very much a work in progress, but they say they have to get it in before the deadline. They explained at a press conference this morning at the Radisson that they have the intent but no attorney at this time:... Gilroy Usher Jr. - VP, COLA "At COLA we assert that Mr. Penner committed a crime against the integrity of this nation. Now where there exist a reluctance on the part of the state to take adequate action we the members of COLA through consultation with the people decided and will initiate a private prosecution against Elvin Penner."

PM to COLA: "Handle Yu Candle"
And since they say they got the idea from the Prime Minister, what does he think of it? He told the media today that he wishes them luck and he hopes that Penner will soon be in the UDP's rearview mirror:... Prime Minister Dean Barrow "Well I think they are exercising their rights as citizens and I would leave it there. I need to say that our party will soon start to announce the invitation for applications for standard bearer for the Cayo Northeast constituency and of course Hon. Penner - he is not going to be able to contest that convention and I don't think he is interested, but we will very shortly then have a properly elected declared standard bearer in Cayo Northeast and the continuing effort to hang Penner around the necks of the United Democratic Party will hopefully have to be rethought once that development occurs." Now the thing about a private prosecution is that the accuser must have first-hand knowledge and evidence of the crime. Sections 19 and 21 of the summary jurisdictions act says that anyone launching such an action must have the statement of the offence along with the accompanying documents relating to the offence. That's why the PUP balked at it, even though they have a slew of attorneys right in their own party. But COLA is rushing in where even a mass party dared to thread. As they freely admitted, they don't have the requisite documents. So will government help them get it? Here's what the Prime Minister said about that today:..

Ten Million For City Upgrade
They made it: in less than a year the Belize city council paved more than one hundred streets. And though there were major inconveniences for residents, things are starting to shape up now, and even the most hardened doubter would have to agree that the city is shaping up. The only problem is the other 420 streets that are in bad to terrible condition. The problem with those is that the city council has pretty much spent out the 20 million dollars it raised in a bond to pave those streets. So, to the rescue, here comes the government of Belize. Today Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Mayor Darrell Bradley outlined a plan for phase tow of the project. Here's how it will work:.. Prime Minister Dean Barrow "The absolutely splendid job that has been done - the way this city is being transformed, these are things that obliged the central government to partner with the mayor and hic city council in trying to move things forward and so my principal purpose for being here this afternoon is to say that with respect tp phase 2 of the street concreting program that the mayor and the city council have undertaken, central government is now going to contribute 10 million dollars."

Bradley Won't Run/Will Run/Won't Run": Say What?
But the one benefitting the most from that largesse is the Belize City Council. It’s an investment in the leadership of Darrell Bradley. But he’s told the media he won’t be leading for much longer. Bradley has said more than once that it’s one and done for him, meaning after one term, he’s moving on either to a division in the general election, or back to his law practice. The answer varies depending on whether you ask him on a good day or bad. But, today at a major press conference with his party leader, he changed up – and maybe that’s after the Leader Barrow gave him an endorsement:….

Hon. Finnegan Back Home, Back In Order
And while Bradley isn’t sure whether he’s coming or going, Micahel Finnegan is here to stay. The Mesopotamia incumbent and UDP Party Whip left Belize a month ago to get back surgery – his second in less than a year. During his absence baseless rumours circulated saying that he was in critical condition, and then today, another one took off saying that he’d died! Well he didn’t. And we can be sure of that because we found him back at his evening hang out spot today, right in front of Brad’s on Central American Boulevard. He told Monica Bodden he just returned and is feeling renewed:..

Cruise Tourist Liked The Place So Much, He Stayed
42-year-old American Tourist Brian Rusk came to Belize on a Cruise Ship, decided that a one day stay wasn't enough for him, and ended up being criminally charged for overstaying in the country. Rusk arrived on the vessel, Carnival Glory on last week Thursday, and he was supposed to leave when the ship took off. Instead he chose to stay in the country, where he ended up renting a room at an Apartment Complex on Lizarraga Avenue, where he was staying for the last 5 days. He was picked up by immigration yesterday, and when they found out that he didn't leave when he was supposed, to, the auto-mechanic from Indiana was charged with entering and remaining in the country illegally.

Hutchinson's Son Still Giving Trouble
UDP Caretaker for Belize Rural, Central Michael Hutchinson is preparing for an upcoming convention, but he will have to deal with his son's newest criminal charge will surely bring. 27 year-old Andre Hutchinson, who is mentally challenged, was remanded to prison for an allegation of indecent assault. His accuser is a 35 year-old woman who lives in Ladyville. She said that on Tuesday, she was walking on Scissors Tail Street when Hutchinson rode up behind her on bicycle and slapped her on the rear end. According to her, when she confronted him about it, instead of being remorseful, he allegedly laughed in her face and taunted her before riding off. Police arrested and charged him with aggravated assault of an indecent nature, and he was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith today. He pleaded not guilty to the charge, but the Chief Magistrate remanded him to prison until March 24, so that he can get a psychiatric evaluation. Of important note is that in March of 2009, Andre Hutchinson pleaded guilty to exposing his person in public after he rode naked through Ladyville in broad daylight.

Escapee Rodney A Robber Too?
22 year-old Sherman Rodney, who was arraigned on Tuesday for allegedly escaping from police went back to court today for allegedly stealing jewelry from a woman. Amy Eligio reported to police that on Saturday, February 15, she was walking on Jane Usher Boulevard when she saw Rodney snatch her gold chain with a heart medal, valued at $218. He ran off, but police soon detained him, and charged him with theft. He was arraigned today before the Chief Magistrate, where he pleaded not guilty and was granted bail of $500. He must return to court on April 16, his next court date.

Man died In Traffic Accident
There was a terrible traffic on the Hummingbird Highway today, which claimed the life of a 29 year-old man. Just before midday, Jose Flamenco was on his motorcycle between miles 43 and 44 when he slammed into a van being driven by 33 year-old Manuel Simpson. Simpson was travelling with his passenger, Juan Pau, and they were heading toward Belmopan when he collided with Flamenco. The mother cycle hit the passenger side of the van and police believe that he died on impact, or shortly after he went crashing to the ground. Pau was injured, and had to be transported to the KHMH for treatment. Police continue to investigate.

Rosewood Still Rolling
The rosewood hustle continues, and tonight, Independence Police have detained 5 men who they say that caught in the act of illegally harvesting Rose Wood. Last night, at around 11:15, they visited an area of the Maya Mountain Forest Nature Reserve where they found these a ford tractor pulling a trailer with 15 hundred board feet of Rose Wood. Inside the tractor at the time were 38-year-old Pablo Ramirez, 25-year-old Ernesto Choc Guatemalan, 34-year-old Martin Coc, 18-year-old Javier Coc all of Trio Village and 26-year-old Shane Coleman of Independence Village. The men were immediately detained and escorted to the Independence Police Station where their Rose Wood cargo remains impounded along with their Tractor. It is expected that these men will be charged with unlawful possession of a Forest Product.

GOB Supports Maduro
In Venezuela, after two weeks of anti government protests, more than a dozen people have died – and the government’s only hope for things to calm down is that next week’s carnival will cool student protestors down with some rum and rumba. But the government of Nicolas Maduro remains very embattled. That’s the same Chavissimo government that has extended the Petrocaribe initiative to Latin America and the Caribbean – which is the source of so much recent government spending on infrastructure – including g the ten million committed to City Hall today. So where does this government stand? Today the Prime Minister said it is with Maduro:..

PM Doesn't Frown On Lord Gibson
Lord Neal Benjamin Gibson, his website says he’s a businessman, humanitarian and philanthropist. He is an international businessman with an interest in Belizean politics, specifically the UDP’s recently elected Cayo South standard bearer Ralph Huang. Hunag has called Gibson a great friend and says they work together on many projects. But, one of Gibson’s companies is blacklisted by the Central Bank, and other sources say that he’s more of an imaginer – than a real investor. Today we asked the Prime Minister about his influence on the UDP and Huang. It’s been all over facebook and in the media, but the PM was surprised to learn of it:…

Siarsha In Merida, But Still Not Out Of The Woods
Two days ago, we told you about on Siarsha Amri Alvarez - the 3 year old with the rare and terrible skin condition that is eating away her entire outer layer of skin. It is life threatening and her father Simeon Alvarez Jr rushed her to Merida for specialized treatment. He told us tonight that she is receiving very expensive medication which is helping but she is still in intense pain. He says his medical bill so far at the Clinica de Merida is ninety one thousand pesos. He says she has opened her eye but the doctors are not sure she IS seeing. He's returning to Belzie tonight to collect donations to see if he can pay off the bill that ahs accrued so far as Doctors there are saying they cannot continue unless the bills are paid. We'll have na update tomorrow.

No Arrest In case Of Man Hit In Head
Tonight, 22 year old Carlos Vargas is at the KHMH receiving treatment for injuries he sustained when he was hit in the head with an iron tube. It’s an assault that happened 2 weeks ago, but the family is getting frustrated with the investigating officers who haven’t arrested the person he claims clubbed him. 7News spoke with Vargas today on the hospital bed, and here is what he told us.

Cricel's Journey To Perfection, Will It Be Enough?
Last night, 7News told you about how Mr. Belize, Rigo Vellos and Ms. Belize Fitness, Cricel Castillo, are in Columbus Ohio to compete in prestigious Arnold Classic Bodybuilding Tournament. It started today, and will continue through to Saturday. Rigo is preparing for his preliminary round qualification which happens tomorrow, and at this hour, Cricel is competing to try to qualify for the competition. Rigo and Cricel are up against the elite bodybuilders in the world, but these two are no slouches themselves. Before she left, Cricel granted an interview, in which she explains her training regimen to be able to compete with other top class athletes abroad. Here's what she told us:

Bus Driver Admits His Bus Was Overloaded
Last night, 7News told you about 63 year-old Jose Elmer Villanueva, who tumbled out a moving overcrowded bus and ended up in a coma. Well it seems that the Traffic Department is taking that accident seriously, and today a bus driver was taken to Magistrate's Court for taking on too many passengers. 41 year-old Roman Chan was taken to the Belize City Traffic Court for the offence carrying passengers in excess of what his bus could safely seat. According to Traffic Officers, on last week Friday, he drove his Blue Bird Tillett Bus on the Northern Highway with 20 more passengers that bus could carry. He busted at a checkpoint at mile 8 on the Northern Highway, in front of Manatee Lookout. At the time, the officers stopped him and found out that he had over filled the bus.

Channel 5

Penner’s signed recommendation claims he knew Won Hong Kim for 3 years
The memo from the D.P.P. queries whether the police intends to proceed with an investigation to determine if anyone can be charged for immigration irregularities. News Five has also obtained [...]

Was Prime Minister Dean Barrow aware of the memo?
Shortly after receiving a copy of that damning memo, News Five contacted D.P.P. Cheryl Lynn-Vidal for comment. She was livid about the leak and had absolutely nothing to say about [...]

Teachers to get a 5% salary adjustment
Teachers and public officers will get a salary adjustment in July, retroactive to April. The increase has been the subject of heated discussion and intense negotiations, but it appears, at [...]

PM says nominal GDP growth for 2013 is no cause for worry
Prime Minister Barrow has stated that they are locked into the commitment, so even if revenues decrease next year, G.O.B. will still have to shin up. The next big issue [...]

COLA to file suit against Penner
This Friday, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin will hear an application by the People’s United Party’s Leader Francis Fonseca on why Elvin Penner should be investigated by the Commissioner of Police [...]

Finnegan back in Belize following spinal surgery
Minister of Housing Michael Finnegan returned to the jewel this afternoon after a round of successful spinal surgery. Finnegan left Belize for the U.S. late last month and was treated [...]

The history of Lord Neil Benjamin Gibson; is it of concern?
Lord Neil Benjamin Gibson, Minister of Trade and Investment Erwin Contreras and novice U.D.P. politician Ralph Huang…those three names have dominated social media in recent weeks, intensifying after Huang was [...]

VIP says U.D.P. Cayo South standard bearer, Ralph Huang, treasonous
U.D.P. Cayo South standard bearer Ralph Huang, who was recently elected by voters in that constituency, has reportedly admitted to receiving financial contributions from a foreign business interest that has [...]

$10 Million to be spent on infrastructure in Belize City
As is traditional whenever Prime Minister Dean Barrow makes an appearance, he was bombarded with any number of issues. But his presence at the Radisson today was actually so he [...]

1 man dead and another critical following accident on Hummingbird Highway
One man is dead and another remains in critical condition, following a road traffic accident this morning on the Hummingbird Highway. Just after eleven a.m., a van driven by thirty-three [...]

Independence Police uncover illegal logging operation
An illegal logging operation in South Stann Creek, carried out by a group of five men, has been uncovered by Independence police.  On Wednesday, shortly after eleven p.m., officers visited [...]

B.T.B. releases Tourism Stats for 2013
Tourism statistics for 2013 are out and the Belize Tourism Board is boasting a significant increase in the number of overnight and cruise arrivals.  There were a total of two [...]

PM speak on uprising in Venezuela
There is currently civil unrest which has resulted in numerous casualties in Venezuela, as troops mass to quell anti-government protests. Normally, while that would be cause for interest and commiseration [...]

Venezuelan Ambassador says uprising does not affect PetroCaribe
Violent protests continue to rock Venezuela, where the government is coming under heavy pressure from opposition parties. But according to news reports, even as the unrest continues, a rift between [...]

Healthy Living explains the basics of child stimulation
Child Stimulation Month is celebrated in March. This year’s theme is: “Where our future begins”.  Many parents are known to focus on the formal education of their children; but development [...]


Burglary At FarWorld Technology In Orange Walk Town
Orange Walk Police are investigating a burglary that occurred sometime last night at Far World Tech located at the corner of Cinderella and Fonseca Streets. According to owner of the computer store, Sylvino Riverol, he estimates that the break in took place after midnight. SYLVINO “A restroom from the back window, and we lost two laptops and we lost about four watches, some flash drives, DVD blue ray player, and a hundred dollars cash from the smart top-up.” Dalila Ical – Reporter “But from the way things happen you still have a lot of valuable that were actually left untouched?” SYLVINO “Yes, that is what I notice that the person that came in didn’t had knowledge that we had a lot of valuable stuff in the stores, for example we had a lot of wireless routers, speakers, we had Mac computers in the technician room and none of that was actually touched not even the brand new printer that we have for display so it seems that the person that came in just saw a laptop and couple watches and that is what they decided to take so it was a quick and probably somebody that; a sprang head I would say.”

Scotia Bank Observes Small Business Week
Scotia Bank continues to observe small business week and the branch in Orange Walk Town today held a seminar with small business owners in the district. Lourdes Gongora, Business Banking Manager says this is their way of giving special attention to small business entrepreneurs. Screen_Shot_2014-02-27_at_7.39.58_PMLourdes Gongora – “It is important because as we say small business is the engine to the growth of the economy and Scotia Bank has invested much time and effort for catering for this sector of the economy, we are highly interested in creating awareness amongst our business customers in order to continue nurturing that idea or that interest in continuing with the business or even to start a new business.” Dalila Ical – Reporter “How exactly is Scotia Bank doing that for this particular week?” Lourdes Gongora – “For this particular week we have engage into conducting a seminar which we are carrying out today and the primary focus of our seminar is talking about marketing because marketing is the most vital role that plays into building up your business and we here at Scotia Bank are interested in working along with our customers to be able to create that awareness for at the end of the day all of us would be happy and will have new businesses growing, establish business doing more business and that is the idea.”

Drug Lord "El Chapo Gusman" Captured In Mazatlan Sinaloa Mexico
After 13 years of successfully running away from the law, Drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán was unexpectedly arrested on Saturday in Mazatlán, a Pacific port city in Sinaloa, his home state. Supplied with U.S. wiretaps and surveillance technology Mexico was able to track El Chapo’s cell phone locations as he traveled from one safe-house to another through connecting secret tunnels and city sewers. The Mexican press reported that his journey between hideouts involved moving through stinky black water, dead rats and rotten garbage. As head of the Sinaloa Cartel, an international criminal organization with billions of dollars in revenues, El Chapo was the #1 supplier to the U.S. of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines. Guzmán and his associates have been indicted in New York, Illinois, Florida, Texas and California on charges of drug trafficking, racketeering, money laundry, kidnapping and conspiracy to commit homicide, among many others.

Mr. Belize To Compete At The Arnolds Sports Festival
Since 1989, the unparalleled Arnold Sports Festival has attracted fans across the world yearly to Columbus, Ohio, for a myriad sporting events like archery, fencing, and gymnastics, just to name a few. Of course, the reason bodybuilding fans love this time of year is the Arnold Classic. The world's best IFBB pro bodybuilders will come together gunning for the top coveted prize. This year's Arnold stage will see no shortage of incredible bodies from a variety of promising newcomers and established seasoned veterans. Two of those participants are no other than two of our very own Belizeans, Ms. Belize-Fitness Cricel Castillo and Mr. Belize Rigo Vellos. Cricel will compete in the Women’s Figure B Class among 40 competitors while Rigo will compete in the Light Heavyweight Men’s Bodybuilding Category among 22 competitors from all over the world.


PM Barrow Responds Onto the Huang-Gibson and COLA Vs. Penner Situations
The Prime Minister also responded to today’s announcement by COLA that it was seeking private prosecution of Elvin Penner. Basically, he says that the organization can do as it pleases, though when we asked him if the resources of the State and in particular the files at the Immigration...

KTV Latino King and Taxi Driver’s Widow in Desperate Need for Forensic Help
Almost six months have passed since the reported death of KTV Latino King and taxi driver Daniel Aguirre. As you might remember, Aguirre’s vehicle was found engulfed in flames in an isolated area miles off the George Price Highway. Inside the vehicle, the charred remains of what was widely...

Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Gets Much Needed Improvements
2013 was a year to forget for the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, chiefly because of the bacterial outbreak at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) which claimed 8 lives of new born babies. Since then, money has poured in, both for renovations to the current unit and a new...

35 More Cemented Streets for Belize City, Due Yearend, Says Mayor
This afternoon the Belize City Council announced plans to concrete an additional 35 streets, most major arteries, in its second phase of a city-wide infrastructure project. The first phase, funded with a $20 million municipal bond floated by the Council, saw 102 streets concreted, some of which are in...

Belize Territorial Volunteers Call on Women for Duty
This coming month of March is women’s month. The Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) are heading back to the Belize-Guatemala borderline and leader Wil Maheia explains what they are doing to honor the country and its women. Mr. Wil Maheia- Belize Territorial Volunteer “As you know that March is woman’s...

Father of Goal Scorer McCauley Responds Proudly About his Son
Player Deon McCaley has scored his way into the big leagues. He signed a contract with professional football club Atlantic Silverbacks in Atlanta Georgia officially making him the first Belizean to ever sign a professional football club in the U.S.A. He is scheduled to start training on Saturday, March...

American National Fined for Illegal Overstaying in Belize
A 42 year old American from the U.S. state of Indiana overstayed his welcome by about a week. But he has a good reason: he told a court this morning that six hours is just too short a time to get to know the Jewel. Bryan Rusk, a diesel...

Reputation Week Seeking Nominees for Recognitions
We are almost at the end of Reputation Week. It’s a first time initiative of the public relations firm Nauta Vero, chaired by Mr. Niall Gillett. Mr. Gillett told us today about his initiative to find five Belizean companies and individuals of whom the best can be said. Mr....

Belize Active Youth Launches Drug Awareness Campaign at Independence Park
It was a relatively hot day in the City of Belmopan, nevertheless, that was no deterrent for dozens of High School youths who gathered at the Independence Park for BAY’s youth rally drug awareness campaign. President of Belmopan Active Youths Anna Banner Guy told about the day’s event. Ms....

“Thousand Men Rally” to Hit the National Assembly Steps
The Thousand Men Rally is prepared to hit the National Assembly Steps tomorrow, Friday from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Men from all walks of life are invited to partake in this spiritual building event that will see key presenters like Louis Wade Jr., Pastor Scott Stirm, and other...

The Guardian

Men and Women at Work
Hundreds of Belize City residents will have the opportunity to earn some money over the next 12 months as Cisco Construction Limited executes an important feature of Government’s Southside Rejuvenation Project - the paving of Central American Boulevard. Through an agreement with OPEC, the Government of Belize will spend over $4.7 million on the concreting of Central American Boulevard from Belcan Bridge to its intersection with Caesar Ridge Road. Those who bid for the contract were mindful of Government’s special emphasis on making the project as labour intensive as possible in order to create the maximum amount of employment opportunities. Cisco Construction Limited submitted the most favourable bid and was awarded the contract. The first phase of the project started on Monday, February 17th, with the trenching of the section of the street from Belcan Bridge to Mahogany Street. It is a job that with heavy machines would require 5 men to complete; however, almost 30 men are working in that area with pickaxes and shovels. The men are trenching the side of the street for the utility companies to get in and adjust their lines for the concreting of the street. The second section being trenched is from the roundabout junction with George Price Highway to Iguana Street.

Fishermen fish oversized lobsters
The fisheries department issued a release on Wednesday in which it advises fisher folk that the closed season for the spiny lobster runs from February 15th to June 14th every year. During the closed season no one is allowed to fish for the crustacean. Persons who have traps are also advised to remove their traps from the sea bed during the closed season, those found in the sea will be confiscated and destroyed by the fisheries department. Currently the department is conducting an inventory of lobster traps which will run until March 7th of this year. While these are some of the measures taken to ensure that the Spiny lobster is not taken from the waters out of season, there are measures to ensure the continuity of the specie in Belizean waters. And these measures have landed three fishermen in trouble with the fisheries authorities. On December 18th they were found with 68 lobsters inside the Glovers Reef Marine Reserve inside what is considered the conservation zone where no type of fishing activity is allowed. What the fisheries officers found is next to amazing as the catch contained Spiny lobsters which were as big as 3 feet in height and their tails weighed as much as 2 pounds. The normal catch for lobster include tails that range in weight from 7 to 9 ounces.

Free Zone Heist nets over a million pesos
Corozal Police are investigating a robbery in the Commercial Free Zone in which the thieves managed to rob a businessman of $208,333.33 in Belizean currency. 48 year-old Ricardo Villasenor, a Mexican businessman told police that on Monday, February 24, at around 9:30 a.m., he was leaving the back exit of his store to get into his vehicle, which was parked on the compound of his business place, North American Store. That’s when 2 men ambushed him at knifepoint and ordered him to hand over money bags which were inside the trunk of his car. Fearing for his life, he complied with their requests, and handed over 2 plastic bags which contained 1.25 million pesos, or $208,000 Bze. Currency. The men then shoved him in the trunk, after which, he was robbed an additional 800 pesos, or $133 Belize, and his cellular phone.

Economic Growth Stunted by Challenges in Agricultural Sector
In 2013 the economy of Belize grew by 0.7 percent, according to the initial estimates from the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB). 0.7 percent is significantly lower than the 4 percent growth in 2012 and even the 2.5 percent growth projected for 2013. The disappointing growth rate was a direct result of the significant decrease in production of citrus and sugarcane products. The citrus and sugar industries were injured by both natural and manmade disasters in 2013. However, the shortfall in the agriculture sector was offset by the growth in aquaculture with the rebound of shrimp exports. A second consecutive year of double digit growth in construction also acted as a boost to the economy as well as a record number of overnight tourist arrivals. In 2013, production in fishing increased by 28 percent. Glen Avilez, Director General of SIB, says this was due in large part to the resumption of operations at the Belize Aquaculture Limited’s shrimp farm after nearly two years of closure. According to SIB, in 2013 farm shrimp grew by 81 percent to $51.6 million. Avilez says the construction sector was the second largest contributor to the economy’s performance with a growth of 16 percent. He attributes this growth to “a significant boost to public infrastructure projects such as those being carried out by the Belize City Council and Belize Municipal Development Project”. Tourist arrivals increased by 6 percent in 2013. There were a record number of overnight arrivals with over 294,000 foreigners spending at least one night in Belize. This increase in overnight tourist arrivals resulted in a 4 percent increase in hotels and restaurants services. One of the positives from the prolonged period of rain in 2013 was a 7 percent increase in electricity production. Government services also increased by 6 percent.

Cayo North coming back to the UDP
The Cayo North Constituency has a new Standard Bearer for the United Democratic Party. On Sunday February 23rd 2,051 voters came out to the CET in San Ignacio and from 10 in the morning to 5 in the evening they voted to have a new Standard Bearer. At the end of the convention Omar Figueroa had received 1,383 votes besting his competitor Jorge David Tesecum who received 648 votes. There were 20 spoilt ballots. Immediately after counting and tallying the announcement was made public to a group of anxious party supporters who had gathered at the gate of the CET. Addressing the crowd was Alberto August, Party Chairman, who indicated that this had been one of the largest conventions the division had ever seen. He then went on to administer the oath of allegiance to Figueroa after which Tesecum spoke to the UDP faithful in the constituency.

BTB & Industry Partners Give Couple A Belizean Honeymoon
The couple’s positivity in the face of such a difficult time in their lives, coupled with the acts of thoughtfulness and kindness demonstrated by Precinct II, really moved us and we created a nine day itinerary after we received overwhelming support from our industry partners. On Friday, February 21st, Mr. & Mrs. Flowers departed for the much needed break which takes them to the destinations of Placencia, San Ignacio and San Pedro. The pair is set to experience the warmth of our Belizean hospitality and the indescribable beauty of our country through the best of what Belize has to offer in attractions, food, art, transportation and accommodation. The Belize Tourism Board extends a sincere thank-you and acknowledges all the people who made this initiative a success. We want to recognize Tropic Air, Robert’s Grove, Tutti Frutti, The Art Affair Gallery, Laru Beya, Splash Dive Center, Maya Beach Bistro, Barefoot Services, Rum Fish Y Vino, Wendy’s Creole Restaurant, The Lodge at Chaa Creek, Yute Expeditions, Rolson’s Cosina Y Cantina, San Ignacio Resort Hotel, Hode’s Place, Boaz Golf Cart Rental, Belize Pro Diving, Caprice Restaurant, El Divino, Victoria House, Elvi’s Kitchen, Caramba’s, and Seaduced. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Garifuna Celebration of Our Founding Fathers
This thanks giving event is going to be a mini Dugu known to Garinagu as Chugu. During the ceremony the convergence of the Garifuna communities of Guatemala, Honduras and Belize will take place in a Mass of thanksgiving on the 28th and Mali drumming on the 27th and 28th along with Offerings of song and food to the ancestors. We give thanks to Joseph Chattoyer,his chief wife Barrouda, his daughter Gulisi, Elejo Veni, Marco Sanchez Diaz (the founder of Livingston Guatemala, Thomas Vincent Ramos the Garifuna Settlement Day founder of Belize, Juan Francisco Bulnes (Walumugu) the founder Of Honduras settlements and Santiago Avilez. This event is also a process of the healing of our nation as we believe that our ancestors still play a vital role in our daily lives. All are invited.

Deon McCaulay plays professional Football in Atlanta
“It feels very good to be here in Atlanta, and I’m excited to play in the U.S. I want to thank the Silverbacks organization for giving me the opportunity to come here and represent their team,” McCaulay said. “I’ve arrived in Atlanta with a good level of fitness, and my expectations are to come here and help the team win championships. I always try to succeed in everything that I do, so I hope that I can score some goals and help the team win.” Before the 2013 Gold Cup, McCaulay spent time training with the Portland Timbers of Major League Soccer during their preseason camp. The prolific forward’s move to the Silverbacks marks the first time he will play professionally in the U.S. McCaulay arrived in Atlanta on Sunday, and he will begin training with his teammates when the Silverbacks’ preseason begins this Saturday.

I Have a Dream for Belize
The historic and poignant “I Have a Dream” speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. beckons all Belizeans to enact the change we deserve. We have been called to build, to uplift, and to drive towards social, political and national development. The national psyche can no longer rest on complacency and mere reaction. We are now pressed to be proactive in our approach in the realization of all our endeavors. I have a dream that Belize will be the country most recognized for its understanding of the spirit of community. My dream for Belize includes using our hands and hearts to appreciate the rich, aesthetic beauty that we have cherished for so many decades. The beauty I speak of lies in the canopies of the Chiquibul Forest, the majestic Barrier Reef and in communities where we leave our doors unlocked and shared rice and beans with our neighbors and the occasional stranger.

Measurement by itself has little value. It is only when it is teamed up with evaluation on defined indicators that it becomes a powerful tool to measure your action or intervention. A simple example can illustrate this truth. Imagine that you have a table with a broken leg and you decide to fix it. You make your measurements, cut the lumber and fix it into place. However, no matter how precise your measurement it is of no use if you do not evaluate whether it does the job once you have finished. To evaluate the situation you need to know the indicators that you will use to determine whether you have been successful. In this case the indicators might be that the table top is horizontal and the table does not wobble. If one or more of the indicators are not fulfilled then your intervention has failed. Even if the table is now stable and flat you still need to determine whether you could have accomplished your goal spending less time and money. Maybe a thinner piece of lumber or one made of a cheaper wood would have done the job just as well at a lower cost. As you can see the ideas behind the new science of monitoring and evaluation are pretty obvious, even simple-minded and have been in use in the physical sciences and in business from the very beginning of these disciplines. We cannot imagine scientists publishing their raw measurement data without explaining what they were trying to find and evaluating whether or not their results prove their hypothesis. No business person of any sense would authorize a marketing campaign without knowing what results the investment might bring and evaluating whether it had been successful when it was completed. This evaluation would include a detailed cost analysis to determine if profits had improved by more than the cost of the campaign.

Central Christian girls and boys remain undefeated in primary schools softball competition
The Belize City Primary Schools Softball Competition continues at Rogers Stadium with a number of games on the schedule. On Tuesday February 25, in the girls’ competition, Central Christian School continued on its winning path when it won handily over St. Martin De Porres School by the score of 20-1. The winning pitcher was Hannah Usher and the losing pitcher was Melanie Smith. On Monday February 24, in the girls game played, St. Luke Methodist defeated St. John Vianney by the score of10-4. The winning pitcher was Destiny Rudon and the losing pitcher was Camryn Hinds. In the boys’ game, St. Luke Methodist won over Buttonwood Bay Nazarene by the score of 9-5. The winning pitcher was Avery Rudon and the losing pitcher was Mark Estell.

San Pedro Tiger Sharks rebounds after an unexpected loss
The Elite Basketball League third week of competition continued over the last weekend with four games across the country. On Saturday February 22, 2014, three games were played at various facilities in the district towns. At the San Pedro High School, the host team the San Pedro Tiger Sharks rebounded with an impressive victory over the Corozal Heats by the score of 79-54 after losing the week before to the Toledo Diplomats at the PG Sports Complex. The top scorers for the San Pedro Tiger Sharks were Winston Pratt with 20 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals, Ashton Edwards with 18 points, 1 assist and 3 steals and Darwin Leslie with 14 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal. For the visiting Corozal Heats, their top scorers were Jason Daly with 11 points, 2 rebounds and 3 assists, Geovannie Lennan with 10 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist and 5 steals, and Jason Grant with 10 points, 13 rebounds and 1 steal.

Nazarene High School continues on winning path in high school softball
The Central Region Secondary Schools Softball Competition continues at Rogers Stadium in Belize City. On Tuesday February 25, in the scheduled male game between St. John’s College and Anglican Cathedral College, SJC won over ACC via the default route. On Monday February 24, in the female competition Gwen Lizarraga High School defeated Wesley College by the score of 10-0. The winning pitcher was Ashley Lucas and the losing pitcher was Brianna Meighan. The competition then continued on Saturday February 22, with a number of games in both the female and male competitions. In the first female game of the day, Nazarene High School won over Pallotti High School via the default route. In game two played, Ladyville Technical High School defeated Wesley College by the score of 12-2. The winning pitcher was Amber Wade and the losing pitcher was Brianna Meighan.

MnM Steelers Inter-District Football champions
The Football Federation of Belize 2013 Inter-District competition finally came to an end on Sunday February 23 at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan. In the second and final game in the championship series, MnM Steelers of Independence Village routed the Roaring Creek United by the score of 2-1. The visiting MnM Steelers were able to get on the scoreboard first when Rollin Burgess scored the 1st of his 2 goals in the 39th minute of play for a 1-0 lead. The lead was further extended when Rollin Burgess scored his 2nd and final goal of the game in the 48th minute of play for a 2-0 lead. It was well into the second half of the game that the home team Roaring Creek United was able to score its only goal of the game when Kenroy Williams scored in the 78th minute of play to cut the deficit into half. However, the defence of the MnM Steelers were able to keep the Roaring Creek United offence from scoring any more goals in the game to preserve the victory and the Inter-District title.

Football Federation of Belize calls female footballers to training camp
In preparation for the Women’s UNCAF Qualifier which will be held in Guatemala from May 19 – 25, 2014 for the Women’s CONCACAF Gold Cup in Cancun, Mexico, the Football Federation of Belize is calling the following players to attend a meeting at 10:00am and a training session in the afternoon on Saturday March 1, 2014 at the Football Federation of Belize Training Facility in Belmopan. An invitation is also extended to any other player wishing to attend the meeting and training.

Cycling Federation of Belize to holds Test races
The Cycling Federation of Belize would like to inform of the upcoming events scheduled for this Saturday and Sunday, as we continue our Test Race Events. Please note that both events carry a registration fee of $10.00. Kindly confirm your participation no later than midday, Friday, February 28th. Any confirmation there after carries the late fee registration of $20.00 per person.| Saturday, March 1st - Individual Time Trial on the Boom Road This event will be held on the Boom Road starting at CDS Service Station at 6:30 a.m. Open Elite/U23/Masters will do 15 miles; while the Female/Junior/Youth will do 9 miles.

Joel Borland captures first Test Race
test race.jpg - 43.80 KbThe Cycling Federation of Belize held the first in a series of Test Race Events on Sunday February 23, 2014. The event featured a Hill Circuit Race from Belmopan to approx. 1/2 mile from Cave Branch Bridge and return for three and a half laps, with a return climb to finish on top of the Hill in Armenia Village, for the Elite and two and a half laps with a return climb to finish at the same spot. Elite: 1st. Joel Borland of BTL Cycling Team 2nd. Ron Vasquez of Western Spirit 3rd. Peter Choto of Western Spirit 4th. Giovanni Lovell of BTL Cycling Team 5th. Byron Pope of Benny’s Megabytes 6th. Marlon Castillo of BTL Cycling Team 7th. Giovanni Choto of Western Spirit 8th Herman 'Hijo' Requena of SMART Cycling Team 9th. Quinton Hamilton of SMART Cycling Team 10th. Gregory Lovell of BTL Cycling Team

The Return of Street Games
Under the auspices of the Belize City Council and UDP representative for the Lake Independence constituency, Hon. Mark King, the once very popular street games are back in Belize City. On Sunday February 23rd the most recent installment of the Street Games were conducted on Mahogany Street at its intersection with Periwinkle Street. Teams signed up with the Belize City Council to participate in football and basketball competitions at the end of which the Yabra Sporting Club took home the 1st and 2nd place in football. In basketball Unruley Ballers took 1st place and Sey Sorry took home second place. Hon. Mark King and Councilor Philip Willoughby who's brainchild the Street Games was originally, both indicated that they were more than happy with the outcome of this first try. Hon. King stated that there will be many more such sporting activities taking place in his constituency especially because it creates a community spirit which has been lacking in the area. He added that he will do his best to also upgrade existing sporting facilities to ensure that sports return to Lake-I. Already significant investments have been made in the basketball court behind the Charles Bartlett Hyde building, "but there is much more to be done," stated King.

Town Council holds meeting in San Ignacio Town
A public meeting to take account of the developments within the Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena was held on Wednesday night of last week. Mayor John August joined Council members to interact with members of the public and share some good news. In his financial report, Mayor John August informed that the revenue for January 2014 was $493,219.13, plus $80,236.18 brought forward from December 2013. He reported that the expenses were $482,525.13, bringing to a positive balance of $90,930.18 to the end of January 2014. (Government’s subvention and grant to the Town Council for last month stood at $51,780.00) The Mayor also announced that within the next four months the various stadiums within the Twin Towns will be the upgraded. This is thanks to five million dollars that Government has apportioned to improve the sporting facilities in both Santa Elena and San Ignacio. Some 1.5 to 1.8 million dollars will be going towards the improvement of the Victor Galvez Stadium and $600,000.00 to $700,000.00 towards the Falcon Field in San Ignacio.

Simulation Exercise for Avian Influenza held in Toledo
A communication center was set up Wednesday of this week at the Community Center in Big Falls in the Toledo District to act as a coordinating center on a hypothetical outbreak of the Avian Influenza Virus. At the center of the activity is Dr. Miguel Figueroa, Director of the Food Safety Department within the Belize Agricultural Health Authority. In this simulation exercise, the participants include the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Health, Police as well as partners from the Belize Poultry Association, who have been reacting to an imagined outbreak of Avian Influenza.

No More Pillaging for the PUP
The People's United Party is in so much trouble that they realize that if things continue in the manner in which it is going, their party will not be able to survive for another term. This is the first time that they have had to endure two consecutive terms out of office and they cannot survive. A third consecutive term, which is what the UDP is looking at, would be a disaster for the PUP. Faced with their inability to fill their pockets at the expense of government coffers they have strategically been trying to undermine the government. Readers will recall that very early after the elections they attempted to have elected representatives, Hon. Mark King, Hon. Herman Longsworth and Hon. Elvin Penner removed and new elections called for these seats. Needless to say those failed. What readers will also recall is that being in government to the PUP is literally a bread and butter issue. They eat at the trough every single time they have been in office and their inability to do so now is causing them belly-ache.

What to do when making a cellular phone purchase
Occasionally we purchase products that are defective and then go back to the store owner for redress but none is to come our way. This is especially troubling with cellular phones. These devices have become the center piece of our lives not only to communicate but to conduct bank transactions and to log into our documents in the ‘Cloud’. It is estimated that in 2010 some 5.4 billion people owned a mobile phone; in 2011 it was 6 billion and in 2013 that figure rose to 6.8 billion. But what can we do with a phone that we have invested our hard earned money on and two weeks later we discover that it is faulty? It is a dilemma faced by many around the World and for this reason March 15, 2014 will be celebrated as “Fix Our Phone Rights!” under World Consumer Rights Day. As Belize prepares to observe World Consumer Rights Day, workers from the Belize Bureau of Standards BBS launched their first mobile booth at the Cayo Welcome Center on Friday of last week. Samantha Budna Banner, who is a Consumer Protection and Education Officer, was along with other members of her team educating members of the public on their rights, particularly as it relates to purchasing a cellular phone. The BBS team also took the opportunity to conduct a survey to examine customer trends when purchasing the ubiquitous cell phone.

PUP continues on Mandamus hunt
The People's United Party was back in court again on Wednesday February 26th as they pursued their effort to have the commissioner of police lay charges against Hon. Elvin Penner. In the Supreme Court Justice, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin decided that he will hear the case by the Opposition Leader, Francis Fonseca, as to why the court should force the Commissioner of Police to investigate Elvin Penner's role in the immigration matter. The PUP had earlier written sto the Compol, Allan Whylie demanding that he direct an investigation against Penner. Since they have neither the moral or legal authority to do so, the letter fell on blind eyes and now, in a bout of good conscience, the PUP want the matter taken to court filing for a Writ of Mandamus.

Barry Lee Wade Busted with Over 8 Pounds of Weed
Barry Lee Wade, 34, and his common-law-wife, 37-year-old Elizabeth Ann Linarez, were busted over the weekend with 3.9 kilograms of marijuana. The Gang Suppression Unit executed a raid of the couple’s home on Mahogany Street Extension at about 4:30 on Saturday afternoon, February 22nd. According to reports, when Jonas Velasquez opened the door, police proceeded to search the house and found a bag in one of the bedrooms which contained six parcels. Another bag in the room contained ten parcels. Officers checked the parcels and found that they contained marijuana. They then went to get the owner of the house, Barry Lee Wade, and escorted him to the house. Wade told the officers that Velasquez had nothing to do with the marijuana and that he did not live there. Velasquez was allowed to leave. As officers were concluding the search, Wade’s common-law-wife, Linarez, showed up. Since she lived at the house, Linarez was also arrested and taken to the police station. The marijuana was weighed in their presence. The six parcels amounted to 2.7 kilograms and the ten parcels amounted to 1.2 kilograms for a total of 3.9 kilograms marijuana, or 8.6 pounds.

Escaped prisoner captured, one still at large
Sherman Rodney,22, escaped from police a few hours after Steel Bob jumped out of a moving vehicle also escaping police custody. Police say that an officer escorted him to the KHMH because he was complaining of severe pain to his left arm. When he was taken inside a room by a nurse, the officer waited outside, and when the nurse exited, he went in to check on Rodney. Rodney took the brief moments of no supervision to escape. After 3 days of searching, Rodney handed himself back into police custody, and he was charged with escaping from lawful authority. He was arraigned on Tuesday, February 25, before Magistrate Dale Cayetano, and when the prosecutor explained that Rodney was being investigated for a crime, bail was denied, and he was remanded into custody. Officers from the Criminal Investigation Branch immediately escorted him back to the police station after his arraignment.

Steven Palacio Remanded for 4 Rounds of 9 mm Ammo
Steven Palacio, 23, is in jail after he was allegedly busted with four live rounds of 9 mm ammunition on Saturday, February 22nd. Palacio was unrepresented when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Monday, February 24th, and pleaded not guilty to keeping ammunition without a license. Due to the nature of the offense, bail was not granted and Palacio was remanded to the Belize Central Prison.

Guatemalan Illegal Fisher Pleads Guilty to More Crimes
Guatemalan Georgina Maribel Mendez Aldana, 49, has been back and forth to court since she was busted on Monday morning, February 17th, with thousands of sea cucumbers. Last week she pleaded guilty to two counts of employing a person not in possession of a valid employment permit after she was caught with 52-year-old Hugo Rolando Orellana Salas and 22-year-old Cesar Gerardo Hichos Ramirez who claim she is their boss. Aldana paid a fine of over $2,000 for that offense. Aldana was immediately rearrested after paying the fine and charged along with her workers for engaging in commercial fishing without a valid Fisherman’s License; attempting to export fish without a valid fish exporter’s license and engaging in the fishing of Sea cucumbers without a special license. She pleaded not guilty in court before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton on Tuesday, February 18th, and the case was adjourned for Monday, February 24th, so she can gain legal representation.

Escaped prisoner has been re-captured in Cayo
Four days after having escaped from a moving Police van on the George Price Highway and near his home in Ontario Village in the Cayo District, Jarod Arthurs Lamb, better known as “Steel Bob” was recaptured by Police in Santa Elena Town at about 4:00 PM on Monday of this week. San Igancio Police had been informed on the whereabouts of Jarod Lamb and responded to his location, seeing him flee near the Santa Elena Football Field. Police then set chase and fired several shots at him, with one shot being directed two inches below his left knee. Jarod Lamb was then escorted to the San Ignacio Hospital and then to the Karl Heusner Hospital where he is now in stable condition and under Police guard. Jarod Lamb was being transported by Police from the Hattieville Prison to the San Ignacio Magistrate Court on Thursday of last week along with six other prisoners when he freed himself from his handcuffs and made a “loud bang” on exiting the back of the vehicle.

Anthony Hunter dies in Traffic accident
Police from Belize City Precinct 2 continue to invest the terrible traffic accident which claimed the life of 52 year old Anthony Hunter, the son of Former PUP Minister Freddy Hunter. The accident happened just after 8 a.m. on Saturday, February 22, at Mile 2 on the George Price (Western) Highway in front of the Foam Factory. Police found Hunter's lifeless body in the middle of the road and his trademark grey Kawasaki "Ninja" motorcycle in the drain. Across the road, they found a backhoe excavator, which belongs to Cisco Construction, with one of its wheels showing signs of impact. The driver of the backhoe, one of Cisco's employees, told police that Anthony Hunter slammed into his back wheel. They've been able to piece together that the driver was in transition between the intersection of the highway and Linda Vista Street, when Hunter came up on the backhoe, unable to avoid the crash. Investigators believe that the force of the collision was massive enough that it crushed his face and killed him almost instantly.

Protecting Belize’s Jaguars
Panthera’s CEO Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, Hon. Lisel Alamilla, the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, and Dr. Wilma Wright, Interim President of the University of Belize, have signed a memorandum of understanding which will benefit the Jaguars living in Belize’s Central Corridor. The trilateral agreement represents pledges from all 3 parties to work together in implementing science-based conservation initiatives to conserve Belize’s jaguar populations and their natural habitats. It’s significant because according to scientists, they discovered a jaguar corridor in Belize, which showed the ideal relationships between the wildlife and human populations.

Lindbergh Clarke Gets 5 Years for Gun and Ammo Conviction
Lindbergh Alexander Clarke, 21, a laborer of a Central American Boulevard address, is in jail after he was convicted of three illegal weapons charges. At around 1 a.m. on July 14th, 2012, Clarke drew the attention of Gang Suppression Unit officers when he was seen riding a bicycle contrary to the flow of traffic on Central American Boulevard. The officers approached and tried to stop him but he sped off. The officers chased him and, according to detective constable Adrian Lopez, that was when they saw him throwing an object from his waist into a drain on Central American Boulevard. The officers eventually caught up with Clarke and took him back to the area where the object was thrown. Lopez placed a plastic over his hand and retrieved the object from the drain. It turned out to be a black Carl Walther brand 9 mm pistol with serial number 132218. It was loaded with 3 live rounds of bronze PMP brand 9 mm ammunitions and 2 live rounds of Winchester brand bronze .380 ammunitions. Clarke was arrested and charged with one count of keeping a firearm without a license and two counts of keeping ammunition without a license.

Another City Murder
The recent gang feud between George Street and Supal Street has led to the murder of 21 year-old Ryan Arnold and the shooting of a 15 year-old who now has a bullet lodged in his right leg. At around 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 25, a group of 5 men were socializing on Armadillo Street when a gunman rode up on bicycle and fired gunshots at the group. When they realized what was happening, everyone tried to take cover but Arnold was shot in the back, while the 15 year-old was shot in the leg and grazed on the arm. The man, according to the victims, rode in the direction of Supal Street, and in the aftermath of the shooting, Arnold suffered extensive internal injuries from the bullets which struck him. Both he and the minor were immediately rushed to the KHMH, and after he held on for just over 12 hours, Arnold passed away.

Stephon Anderson charged with attempted murder
A man was shot in the city on Sunday February 23rd and police have charged 23-year-old Stephon Anderson, a resident of #7 Ebony Street in Belize City for the shooting. Anderson, who was unrepresented appeared in the Court room of Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith where he was read three indictable offenses including, one count of attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and dangerous harm for the shooting of 21-year-old Andrew Augustine. In court, no plea was taken from Anderson and due to the nature of the offenses, he was denied bail and remanded to the Belize Central Prison until April 15, 2014.

Accused killer of Raymond Gentle’s fate hangs in the balance
Back in January 2011, Kraal Road Gang Leader, Raymond Gentle, aka “Killa” was executed at his workplace on Kraal Road in Belize City as he was in the company of men and co-workers building a wooden structure. Following the killing the trial without jury came to a close on February 26th before Justice Adolph Lucas. Appearing to answer to the charge of murder is 20-year-old Corwin Bennett, who will learn his fate on March 5, 2014. Bennett who could not afford an attorney was represented by legal aid attorney’s Baja Shoman and Michelle Trapp-Zuniga. At the end of the case, Judge Lucas heard addresses from both attorneys for the accused as well as from the DPP’s crown counsels in the matter, Shanice Lovell who was assisted by Porsha Staine.

I-phone finds Robber
Tanya McNab, a Belize City resident was robbed at knife point on December 30th, 2012 in the George Street area of Belize City. At the time a man placed a knife at her and stole her handbag valued at $2,000 which contained an I-phone along with personal items such as her wallet, credit card, passport and other identification cards. It was her cell phone however that led police to the robber and his subsequent arrest and conviction. After being robbed McNab used the phone’s tracking capability to let her know what the phone’s location was. That led police to an alley off Princess Margaret Drive and onto Gentle Avenue in the King’s Park Area. When police made checks in the area they found 23-year-old Ashton Grant in possession of NcNab’s I phone. On Tuesday February 25th Grants’ trial began before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. It took 2 hours to complete and at the end of his trial, Grant was found guilty of robbery and was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment since this is his second conviction for similar crimes.


Three persons, reported missing, have not yet been found. They are Hilmar Cal, 15, of Libertad, who went missing on Thursday, January 31; Mamerto Castillo, 87, missing since February 13; and Conrad Jones, 64, a retired inspector of police, missing since September 13, 2012. Hilmar Ical left home in Libertad to sell homemade bread in Corozal Town, and has failed to return home since, and no one seems to know where he is. Ical is described as being of Mestizo descent, with brown complexion; he is about 5 feet tall, of medium built and weighs about 85 pounds. Ical is now missing for 27 days. Marmerto Castillo, also known as “Don Mito,” of Yo Creek Village, Orange Walk, was last seen 14 days ago by his family, at about 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 13, when he left home to go for firewood in San Lazaro Village. To date, his whereabouts are unknown. Castillo was last seen wearing a light pink long-sleeved shirt and khaki long pants. The family said that Castillo has problems with his hearing, and is offering a reward of $400 for information leading to his successful recovery.

Ladyville police on an anti-drug patrol in Ladyville found and confiscated 1,353 grams of weed, found in some bushes on Scissors Street. No one was in the area. The weed was taken to the Ladyville Police Station and deposited as found property. Police said that at about 8:00 Monday morning they went to the Scissors Street area and conducted searches for drugs, guns and ammunition. They found a black plastic bag hidden beside a patch of bushes in an open lot on the street. The bag was retrieved, and it contained twelve separate parcels that contained weed. The weed was taken to the Ladyville Police Station, where it was weighed and it amounted to 1,353 grams


Fresh Baked Bread and Cinnamon Buns: San Pedro’s The Baker
Ambergris Caye’s “The Baker” has been open for about five years. With various locations and a handful of different owners, I hadn’t been much of a customer. And honestly? I hadn’t heard much about it around town. Without rave reviews, I was just going to stay away. Though I am no health nut, the last thing I wanted was to find myself alone on a Friday night with a fresh baked loaf of whole wheat bread, a stick of butter and my toaster oven. The guilt would be hard to bear. But over the past six months, I’ve seeing glorious pictures of pastries and treats on Facebook and heard friends working through the cinnamon bun guilt, their cinna-sins (sorry)…even setting up rules like “only one a week” or “I’m giving them up for Lent”. Time to get in there. I started with the VERY convenient coffee station. $2bzd cup of coffee. Make your own. To-go cups. AND it tastes good. San Pedro’s own Caye Coffee in fact.

OK, Hand up! Who Eats Sea Cucumber?
If you’ve done a fair amount of diving or snorkeling (and who amidst the turquoise beauty of Belize hasn’t?), you’ll have seen the innocuous-looking critters on the sea floor, and immediately understand how they got their name. They do look like cucumbers past their use-by date that have spent too much time on the sea floor. Other varieties are more distinctive, covered with squared spike type thingies that make them look, to us, anyway, kind of cool. Well, cool-ish. Let’s be honest – there’s nothing very striking about sea cucumbers. For most of us, that is… But read Jack London, Robert Louis Stevenson, James A Michener and those writers of the South Seas and you’ll come across them… Often known as trepang, bêche-de-mer or balate, they are highly prized in Asia, going for some $300 a pound in Chinese markets.

Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches
Jada helps me out while I recover from a eye strain and a little bug and makes a semi-homemade ice cream sandwich. Although, she uses store bought ice cream, she does make the chocolate cookies from scratch. These sandwiches were so rich that I was able to share one with Jada an be totally satisfied.

Belize’s biggest beach party!
Join us for the biggest beach party in Belize!! Head out to Tom Owens for an overnight diving/snorkelling/swimming adventure on abeautiful remote private island. Then head up to Placencia for the most amazing beach party, Placencia Lobsterfest!! Eat some lobster and lionfish kebabs, enter competition,s drink rum and dance the night away on the beach!!

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Raspberry Creem Parfait
Febuwary is knowed as t'‘luv month’. N' keepin wit at theme…here is a tastee lil parfait at we enjoyet at a luncheon earli'r thishere month. Servet up n' wee Masen jars er mini-parfait glasses…it is t'purrfeck ‘afterthouite’ ta a lovelee meal. Chocolate Crumb Base: 1 cup oreo bakyun' crumbs 4 tablespoons meltid butt'r Creem Fillin: 1 cup whippyun' creem 1 tablespoon sugar 1 teespoon vanilla 4 oz. / 125 ml creem cheez 1/2 cup icyun' sugar (confectyuners sugar)

International Sources

Climate Change: Shifting the Debate to Geopolitics
Climate change, nearly by definition, is slow, moving at a pace that constrains policy debate and typically precludes it from being the most important geopolitical event of any day. However, a report released last night by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the United Kingdom's Royal Society -- building on a major Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment released in September -- reflects a consensus in the scientific community that the world is changing in ways that could influence the actions of countries for decades to come. Though the issue of climate change remains politically controversial, the public scientific consensus makes the issue essentially geopolitical and warrants a focus on its possible economic and general policy implications. How then can we use the imperfect scientific tools available to anticipate the effects of a changing environment? Like all science, climate change research is in a constant state of evolution. Our understanding of how different aspects of climate interact is expanding, as is our ability to forecast future environmental behavior. Increased computing power increases modeling capacity. However, we are still limited by instrumentation and by our inability to measure and fully understand climate conditions. Scientific models used to predict the magnitude of climate change, as well as the effects climate change will have in various regions, are not completely reliable. Because there are so many variables involved in developing climate models, structural uncertainty is inevitable. Every equation output is used as an input somewhere else, exponentially increasing the effects of any mistake or incorrect assumption, and each iteration can breed new errors.

Tropic Air flights to Belize begin on Monday
Tropic Air, the largest and most experienced airline in Belize, will begin nonstop flights between Merida and Belize City on Monday March 3rd. The flights will operate three times a week, and will offer connections to destinations throughout Belize, as well as two cities in Guatemala and two in Honduras. TYT reporter Stewart Mandy will be joining the inaugural flight from Merida to Belize City, and will be reporting from San Pedro on Ambergris Caye next week. Have you been thinking of visiting Ambergris or any of Tropic Air’s other destinations? Getting there is about to get a whole lot easier. We’ll be telling you everything you need to know. Watch for Stewart’s reports soon!

In Hard-To-Believe Yarn, Fugitive Cuban Migrant With Long U.S. Criminal Record Is Finally Caught
But in the end, he got caught. Officials in Belize found him hiding in the bushes near the country’s border with Guatemala. Belizean immigration officials found the 33-year old Valdez outside the small border town of Benque Viejo, carrying an unmarked Cuban passport, a cellphone and over $2,000 in cash. Authorities in the small, English-speaking Central American country charged Valdez with illegal entry, arraigned him and charged him $2,000, but were unable to deport him to neighboring Guatemala because he did not have a stamp in his passport for that country.

Belize, Part I (Placencia)
Hi. I'm Brigid Gallagher. I'm a Chicago-based Photographer and Writer and this is my blog. Thanks for checking it out. I went to magical Belize with my beautiful wife for our honeymoon and it was pretty much the greatest ten days of our lives. My photos from the vacation should clarify why it was so difficult for us to get on the plane home. It was, hands down, the best vacation we've ever been on and we have Susan's (my wife's) maid of honor, Melissa Pugh (of Jet Set World Travel) to thank. Melissa planned the ENTIRE honeymoon for us and she is basically the greatest travel consultant and person out there so you should immediately book a vacation (because you know you need it) through her and fabulous Jet Set. I'll kick off my series of Belize posts (there will be four total) with a look around breathtaking Placencia. Enjoy! So, yeah, this was our home for five nights. Our little cottage on the sea at Turtle Inn (a Coppola Resort). It was heaven. We have nothing but amazing things to say about our stay at Turtle Inn - it's a spectacular place. The staff is wonderful as is the management. Actually, I might just go ahead and apply for a job there.

Sonia Marsh & Life in Belize
This week’s League of Expat Writer’s features Sonia Marsh. Some of you may have read my previous interview with Sonia where I discussed her “Freeways to Flipflops” book. This week, Sonia discusses how her family coped with food shopping as their year as an expat in Belize – and her account of a trip to the local orthodontist. In 2004, my family left our comfortable life in Orange County, California, to experience life as an expat in Belize, Central America. After two months of living in a hut, we decided to buy a house on the island of Ambergris Caye. There, we relied on our boat for transportation, including shopping for food. After running out of food every other day, I finally learned how to stock up gringo style. This was something I’d taken for granted in the U.S., and now I worried that my boys weren’t getting enough nutrition to stay healthy – especially Alec, who seemed to be growing skinnier by the day.

Strolling lazily down a tropical white sand beach, a soothing azure sea lapping rhythmically at your feet, a Caribbean breeze stealing away the cares of the world as it brushes gently across your face… This is La Perla Del Caribe Resort. This Luxury Ambergris Caye Resort is located on the north end of Ambergris Caye, the most popular vacation destination in Belize. La Perla Del Caribe captures the Caribbean ambiance of Belize in elegance and luxury. You can relax in the modern indoor-outdoor style of your private beach villa between trips to the pool and snorkeling, just offshore lies one of the top ten dive sites in the world, the pristine Belize coral reef. Or you can enjoy the vibrant life of the island, participate in village fiestas or sample local and international cuisine in the restaurants and clubs.

Wildly Civilized Paradise in Paradise
Cayo's Chaa Creek got another great article written about it, this time by Communities Digital News, and they are right about it being a paradise in paradise. The lodges activities, along with many of the main Cayo sites, are covered. "With more than 60 species of vegetables, herbs and fruit trees, the 30-acre Maya Organic Farm is a favorite tour for guests that can be done either by vehicle or on horseback. Even the swimming pool is environmentally designed with salt water that continuously circulates and re-cycles. Activities include a private 365 acre nature reserve, miles of well maintained nature trails, nature hikes, birding, horseback riding, mountain biking and canoeing on the Macal River which flows beside the property. There is even a rainforest medicine trail where naturalists showcase the importance of medicinal plants, their uses and the need for conservation."

February 27, 2014


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Chief Justice grants PUP Writ of Mandamus against Compol Whylie
This morning, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Belize, Kenneth Benjamin granted permission to the Leader of the Opposition People’s United Party’s Honorable Francis Fonseca, on behalf of the Belizean people, a permission of a writ of mandamus against the Belize Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie. Fonseca and the PUP have until 4:00PM on Wednesday February 26th to file official documents before the court. Earlier this month the PUP said that they have opted to take such actions after Whylie failed to act against the disgraced Area Representative Elvin Penner and criminally charge him for wrongdoings after being given seven days’ notice. The Former Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security with responsibility of the Nationality and Passport Department and Area Representative of Cayo Northeast has been in the middle of a major national scandal for the illegal issuance of a Belize Nationally Certificate number 28577/13 dated April 22, 2013 to criminal fugitive South Korean national, Won Hong Kim. That is the same nationality certificate used to issue a Belize Passport number P-0246777 dated September 8, 2013 given to citizen Kim. The Belizean people, the unions, social partners and the opposition have been calling for criminal charges to be brought against Penner but despite the public outrage, none has been forthcoming from the Police Department. After the writ of mandamus has been filed, Whylie should be notified by Thursday February 27th and he is expected to appear in court on Friday February 28th. It is expected that the PUP will ask the court to force Compol Whylie to execute his duties as mandated by law.

Isla Bonita Elementary School Students talk about Drugs and other Issues
On Friday, February 21st, Isla Bonita Elementary School opened its gates to the public to showcase their upper division students’ work via an open house. The open house demonstrated the students’ elaborate demonstrative booths on Drug Abuse, HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) and the Effects of Smoking. Judging each booth was Officer in Charge of the San Pedro Police Department Luis Castellanos and Police Constable (PC) Juan Chuc. Using an array of pamphlets, examples, games and more, the students not only explained their topics but also identified the problem’s causes in a community. A group of standard six students, whose topic was Alcohol Abuse, explained how the heavy consumption of alcoholic beverages is affecting the youth of San Pedro. “Children of San Pedro are drinking alcohol before they turn 18. This is causing health problems such as Cirrhosis of the liver,” explained one of the group members. Castellanos further elaborated on the topic, giving real life examples of alcohol abuse that occur in San Pedro Town. After a series of fun question and answer games it was time to move to the next booth.

Ministry of Health Heads Delegation to Drug Abuse Program in the United States
A delegation of six Belizeans, through the National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC), Ministry of Health, returned to Belize over the weekend from the Training and Certification Program (PROCCER) Regional Training of Trainers Workshop with the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission, Organization of American States (CICAD/OAS). The objective of the program was to share new methods that can be adapted to improve the quality of care in prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of drug abuse and dependence and drug-related violence. In this approach, the program works with both governmental and non-governmental front line organizations that provide drug abuse and violence prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services for persons suffering from drug abuse and/or dependence and their families, as well as other high-risk populations.

It’s time to Play with Chukka Caribbean Adventures!
Living on Ambergris Caye is blessing, we have the sparkling Caribbean Sea and gorgeous beaches as our playground. Yet every now and then, a change of scenery is needed, and there is no place than mainland Belize. It is an adrenaline junkie’s paradise. With sprawling mountains to mysterious caves, there is no end to the adventures you can partake in. Which it is impossible to experience everything Belize has to offer in a single day, with the help of Chukka Caribbean Adventure and Tropic Air, you surely can get your fix. At their invitation, I board the 7AM flight to Belize City, excited for the adventures that await me. We meet our two friendly hosts, Karina Cunil and Melecia Bank before we take to the road towards our first stop of the day. At Chukka’s Almond Hill Lagoon Sanctuary Outpost, we are greeted by the entire staff with a military salute (super official, I felt like royalty). There at the banks of the lagoon were our royal carriages- I mean airboats! The happy-go-lucky Chukka crew rounds up our group, giving us a briefing on the tour and the environmentally friendly vessels we are about to ride in. After the dos and don’ts of air boating, we took our seats in the vessel, put on our safety gear (noise canceling earmuffs) and with one final salute from the Chukka crew, we were ready for take-off.

Ambergris Today

Atlanta Silverbacks sign Belizean Soccer Player Deon McCaulay
He's the greatest striker of his generation but Deon McAuley's fame isn't only local - he's also one of only 3 players in the whole world that scored 11 goals in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. And the NASL’s Atlanta Silverbacks have signed one of them, Belize’s national team forward Deon McCaulay. Deon has hit the big time as it was announced on Tuesday, February 25, 2014, that McCaulay has signed with the Atlanta Silverbacks, a US professional soccer team. The Silverbacks Technical Director Eric Wynalda had been scouting him during the Gold Cup and they are very thrilled to have McCaulay in their team.

San Pedro Traffic Department Now Equipped with Speed Guns
Speeding is quiet an issue on Ambergris Caye and residents can be heard venting their frustrations on the local radio stations, while others commenting on the incredible road rage experiences on social media. To help in this situation the San Pedro Traffic Department is now equipped with a speed gun to monitor the speed of vehicles and to enforce laws even better. The speed limit in the San Pedro Town core area is 10MPH while on other roads its 15MPH. Motorists are asked to respect these speed limits and are advised that they will be fined if they are caught speeding. Other than golf carts, vehicles that will be closely monitored for speeding will be the taxis, private cars, Polaris vehicles and motorcycles.

Misc Belizean Sources

Fires burn in Bella Vista village
Reports from the Toledo district today indicated that the 2014 fire season appears to be off to an early start. An alert motorist travelling through Bella Vista village in the Toledo district on Monday afternoon, provided these photographs showing at least three fires burning. It is not certain how the fires started and one possibility may be the soaring daytime temperatures in the area.

Health workers learn about quality performance
Belize’s Ministry of Health has committed to improvements in the national health system, which includes seeing that the system polices itself. This week at the Biltmore Plaza, approximately 60 health workers from the country’s major health centers and outposts will learn about optimizing performance for quality and learning for performance. Director of the Planning Unit for the Ministry of Health Dr. Ramon Figueroa says quality covers everything from patient care to service to equipment and training to internal analysis.

Spanish Lookout Business Expo
The Spanish Lookout Business Expo is this weekend. "The Spanish Lookout Business Chamber is organizing its biannual Spanish Lookout Commercial/Industrial Expo on Friday and Saturday, February 28 and March 1, 2014 from 9:00a.m. - 5:00 p.m. on each day to be held at the Country Side Park in the Spanish Lookout Community. We hereby extend an invitation to the wider Business Community in Belize to be a part of our highly anticipated expo."

Delroy Cuthkelvin picks up endorsement from former rival
The field of five aspirants for the Stann Creek West standard bearer position for the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) is now down to three. This follows the withdrawal of Adon Arzu on Tuesday. Duncan McPherson had withdrawn back in the middle of January. A brief statement emailed to the media today announced that Arzu had withdrawn from the standard bearer race and was throwing his full support behind Delroy Cuthkelvin. Barring another withdrawn before the March 16 standard bearer convention for the UDP in Stann Creek West, Cuthkelvin will square off against former minister Melvin Hulse and Alexander Romero. The statement put out from the Cuthkelvin camp says that elements of Arzu’s platform will be incorporated Delroy’s campaign and bid to emerge as the next standard bearer for the UDP in Stann Creek West.

Chief Justice grants permission for Writ of Mandamus
Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin this morning granted permission for the Honorable the Leader of the People’s United Party (PUP) Mr. Francis Fonseca to apply for Writ of Mandamus against the Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie. The PUP went to the Supreme Court earlier this month seeking to have that body force the Commissioner of Police to arrest the Honorable the member for Cayo Northeast and to investigate him for his alleged violation of Belize’s Passport and Nationality Act. PUP leader Francis Fonseca sent Whylie a letter giving him a week to move to investigate Penner; but that letter was ignored.

The Dons of the Done Deal
by Lucius Blackstone The last time we visited the happy land of Felize things were going wonderfully. The industrious people of that fair land, through hard work and cooperative effort had made their home the envy of their neighbours. They had stopped cutting down their trees and instead invited people to come sit in the shade and enjoy the many beautiful vistas to be found in the pristine peaceful forests. For combined with the beautiful white beaches protected by their famous reef, with crystal clear waters lapping gently upon the sand, Felize was indeed a magical land to visit. In fact, once word got around, people from all over the world were coming to see this beautiful place and the Felizeans prospered. Some opened hotels or tranquil retreats, others restaurants, or fed their families by showing visitors the many sights to be found in this wonderful land.

BBIA Prize for Literature
The Belize Book Industry Association is having their first annual Belize Prize for Literature. They are looking for short fiction, 2500 to 3000 words, and the theme should be 'Belize: From Now Until the End of the Century.' The first prize is $1,000, and the deadline for submissions is March 30th. The top 10 will be published. Good luck!

Cayo West Women in Business Center
The Cayo West Women in Business Center had their grand opening. They are located near the Benque House of Culture. "The Benque Marimba Academy was a part of the grand opening of the new and refurbished Cayo West Women in Business Center. This is a rich source of empowering Women in the entrepreneurial sector and a rich contribution in the Arts & Culture. Visit and support this iniciative and buy all Belizean made handicrafts, show your love and appreciation to all things in Belize. Location St.Joseph Street, 1 block away from House of Culture."

Motivational Missionaries Tour Video
Bert Oliva and his Motivational Missionaries Tour came through Cayo a few weeks ago. They've uploaded videos from the tour, which they had in Benque(Cancha Marshalleck) and San Ignacio(San Ignacio Resort Hotel). When is the best time to change your life? Now! They've uploaded a series of videos on their youtube channel, and videos 9 through 11 are in Cayo, with 9 being a drive through Cayo. "Social change will only occur when a large enough group of people are made aware of, informed about and motivated to be upset by a specific issue. That is why we are creating a world tour. The Motivational Missionaries Tour is about educating the world's young adults and empowering them to take steps in personal growth. On our latest tour, we traveled around the entire country of Belize for the third year in a row while speaking to over 8,000 students."

John Paul II JC Groundbreaking
They had the groundbreaking for the new John Paul II Junior College. "A milestone for John Paul II JC and the community of Benque Viejo: Groundbreaking at our new campus on Saturday, February 22, at Chapel Hill. Our proud faculty and students at groundbreaking ceremonies with Bishop Dorick Wright"

Western Ballaz Defeat Dangriga
The Western Ballaz organizing committee, the SHC/SHJC community, the fans, and the sponsors, really came together and made the first home game a complete success. 3 and 0 makes the Ballaz the best team in the league. The players and the coach proved their skills. It was a great time for all. The cheerleaders did a great dance for halftime - - and there were raffles and even a half court shot prize attempt. Great food and drinks too. The Ballaz travel to San Pedro this weekend to play the Tiger Sharks, and host the Belize City No Limit the next week. Thanks to Adma's Photography for the great pictures.

Why I Love Belize
by Viannie Montero. Travelling to another country is always a great experience that teaches you many things that you probably wouldn’t otherwise learn. I had the opportunity to do just that, only that I wasn’t only visiting for a short time, I was relocating for three years. I am a born Belizean and have lived in Belize all my life, however in 2010 I moved to Barbados. My move to Barbados wasn’t because I had gotten a job or because I was eager to leave my country, instead it was simply because my husband was going to study there and as a result our little family of four relocated. Barbados is a beautiful Caribbean country that is surrounded by amazing, white sandy beaches that are simply irresistible. Walking to the beach is the norm in Barbados and you can get there within 5 – 10 minutes. That was one of the first things we did when we arrived, we walked to the nearest beach. The people are also very interesting and they take great pride in their country. They make an effort to keep their country clean and rarely will you see trash lying around on the streets. They are also very courteous to one another and would normally say good morning or good evening when you walk pass them. Respect is a great part of their culture and I love that about them.

La Ruta Maya-Belize River Challenge
An exhilarating four-day endurance challenge to the finish line, as “Belikin La Ruta Maya – Belize River Challenge” canoe racers vie for the win! Be among thousands of (cheering) fans, lining the Belize and Macal River bank during this spectacular 4-day race on March 7th, 8th, 9th & 10th, 2014. Witness this (170 mile) display of epic sportsmanship and celebrate in commemorating ancient Maya civilization’s legacy. The festivities begin with a “Cultural Night” in San Ignacio, Cayo District, on March 6th starting at 7:00 p.m.

Court of Appeal opens for 2014
The Court of Appeal has began its first session for 2014 in Belize City. In addition to the opening case with Wilbert Cuellar and Darwin Diaz, other major cases listed for hearing in this session include Lavern Longsworth, appealing a murder conviction; Melonie Coye, the sole living defendant in the Money Exchange money laundering case after the death of her father Michael, who is also seeking an appeal; Patrick Lorent, acquitted of carnal knowledge, in which the ruling of the trial judge is being challenged, Edward Buller appealing a manslaughter conviction and Gregory August appealing a murder conviction. Attorney for Coye, Arthur Saldivar, appeared in court on Monday and was told the case was accidentally left off the court docket but would be fitted in depending on the calendar.

Unconfirmed but reliable information is that PUP Senator Collet Montejo has been sacked. Montejo earned the ire of his party’s hierarchy after he endorsed Luke Espat for Standard Bearer for the Cayo Central constituency. Recently Montejo was encouraged to re-enter the race in the division which he lost marginally in the 2012 elections. Those plans changed shortly when he was asked or told to stand down from contesting. Montejo then decided to support Luke Espat. Inside sources tell NBZLIVE that senator Karen Bodden may also be on the chopping block and that Lisa Shoman will be the only senator that will retain her post. Convention is set for Sunday, April 27, 2014 when Luke Espat will face off with Daniel “Dan” Silva.

Channel 7

Supreme Court Grants PUP Mandamus Hearing
Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin has decided that he will hear the case from Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca on why the court should force the Commissioner of Police to investigate Elvin Penner for his role in the passport scandal. As we’ve reported, early this month, the PUP retained attorney Edwin Flowers to write to Commissioner Allen Whylie demanding that he should direct his officers to commence a criminal investigation into former Minister of State Penner’s role in the issuance of a fraudulent passport to South Korean Won Hong Kim. Commissioner Whylie ignored the request, so the PUP took it to the next step by filing a Writ of Mandamus to let the court decide if it should compel the ComPol to do it. That application was heard today before Chief Justice Benjamin, and after the hearing, the CJ decided that the case has merit and that he should allow the PUP to present their full case as to why the police have acted inappropriately when they didn’t investigate Penner. After the case, Fonseca spoke with the media. He said that while he is pleased with the outcome, he’s upset that a professional such as the Commissioner has to be compelled to serve the people:

Retaliatory Murder One Block From Cops
About an hour before news time yesterday, there was a shooting on Armadillo Street, very close to the Racoon Street Police Precinct. 5 young men were socializing in a yard on Armadillo Street when a gunman ambushed them and let off with a barrage of gunshots and ran off. He left 2 persons injured, and 1 of them died 12 hours later. Police won't confirm, but street sources say that it is a direct retaliation from Supal Street against George Street for Tarique Cadle who was buried yesterday. Today, 7News went looking for answers, and Daniel Ortiz has this report: Daniel Ortiz Reporting Marsha Arnold - Mother of Deceased "I heard last night. My niece called my work and told me that my son got shot. They say that he was in surgery. He got 2 shots in the back, and 1 in the hand. Basically, they say that he was on Armadillo Street with some friends, and a gunman pulled up in the yard and fired shots."

Youth Says Police Set Him up to Get Wet Up
On Monday night's news, we told you about 21 year old Andrew Augustine. He is the young man that was shot on Sunday night in the Lake Independence area. Augustine was picked up by police just after 10 that night when he was found with a stick of marijuana. But instead of him being taken to the police station to get charged for possession of the drug, he was instead taken and release in the PIV neighbourhood – one of the biggest gang territories in Lake Independence. Now Augustine lives behind the complex area which is known to be the turf of another gang, one that just happens to be rivals with the PIV gang. And even though the young man claims to have no affiliation with any gang, he told us he became an easy target due to a set of malicious police officers. Augustine was shot in the neck but despite all odds, he is alive to tell his story which he shared with Monica Bodden today: Andrew Augustine - Shooting Victim "They went straight down Mahogany Street, and when they thought about letting me off is when they took a curve up Flamboyant and hit all the way to the back in the heart of PIV going to the river side. When they reached there, they told me to jump out and go home. I felt so good that I wasn't going to get a charge, and I started to walk home.

Did Corwin Kill Killa? The Judge Will Decide
Justice Adolph Lucas has reserved judgment after hearing the murder trial without jury of 20 year-old Corwin Bennett, who was accused of gunning down 34 year-old gang leader Raymond "Killa" Gentle in January of 2011. The prosecution, led by Crown council Shanice Lovell, presented evidence that Gentle was doing construction work on Kraal Road when his assailant shot him 6 times. Gentle's brother testified as an uncooperative eyewitness. He gave police a statement that immediately after the shooting on January 12, 2011, he chased down the shooter but couldn't catch him. He even picked Bennett out of an identification line up. But, in court, he told the court that he didn't want to give evidence in the case because he feared for his life. Crown Counsel Lovell still managed to get the identification evidence admitted by calling the police officer who conducted the ID parade on the day that the main witness pointed Bennett out of the line-up. The prosecution also tendered 2 caution statements that Bennett gave to police in which he admitted that he was the shooter in one, and in the other, he said that he was with the shooter on that day.

63 Year Old Falls Out Of Bus
Tonight, the family of 63 year-old Jose Elmer Villanueva is worried about his condition after he tumbled out of a J&J bus coming from Benque. It happened this morning just before 7 o'clock. The bus was moving when Villanueva, who uses a cane, slipped and fell out suffering injuries that doctors are unsure of yet. Fortunately, someone rushed him to the KHMH, but due to his pain and his condition, the doctors placed him in an induced coma. Today, 7News caught up with his niece, who explained what they knew about it accident: Badra Coleman - Niece of Jose Elmer Villanueva "We know that he came to Belize the day before and he was returning to Orange Walk. Apparently, some people say that somebody wanted to step out and so he stood up and a truck was coming or something and the bus swerved and he fell out. But we don't really know because we haven't spoken to him yet. He is in intensive care here at the Karl Heusner. He was put in an induced coma so that they can observe him for the next forty-eight hours."

Family Wants To Know Who Hit And Run A 13 Year Old
And while that family wants to thank the unknown person who helped them, another family wants to speak with the unknown individual who knocked down their 13 year-old son and cousin. Earl Ismael Flores was struck in a hit and run on Sunday afternoon just after his family had had dinner. He was walking around in Burrell Boom when someone knocked him down and fled the scene. He was fortunately found a short while later by residents who alerted his parents. He was rushed to the KHMH, and he remains in a critical condition, and today after searching for answers his family turned to the media to make a plea to the person who did it to just come forward and speak with them. They told us that this person needs to accept that a human's life is now on the line because of their actions:

GDP Growth Improved In Fourth Quarter, Against All Odds
The Statistical Institute of Belize today released the fourth quarter GDP figures for 2013. Growth had been projected at 2.5% for the entire year, but a slew of adverse circumstances conspired to cause almost zero growth for the first three quarters of the year. So, how did it turn out in the final quarter? That's what we found out today at an SIB Press Conference at the ITVET Compound:… Jules Vasquez Reporting The GDP in the fourth quarter of 2013 increased from the previous three quarters which were virtually stagnant, but at 1.5% the mild uptick is nothing to write home about – and it still only brings to annual growth to less than one per cent: Glen Avilez, Director SIB "In the fourth quarter, there was an acceleration, and that was the period of highest growth of 1.5%. Putting all 4 quarters together, we get a growth rate of 0.7% for the entire year. We are a little worse off than we were last year. If the size of the economy was 100 last year, it has expanded by 0.7%, so it is just under 101."

Gino Got A Gun
We've heard a whole lot about Corporal Gino Peck with guns, but tonight the story is different. He's the one making the bust, not being busted! This morning at 8:40 Peck along with members of the Quick Response Team for Precinct 2 searched a yard on Supal Street. They found a black Glock 23 brand pistol with the serial numbers scraped off. It contained a magazine loaded with (14) live rounds. No one was in the area so it was labeled as Found Property. It has been sent to the Forensic office for further analysis.

Thief Outsmarted By Smart Phone Gets Ten Years
23-year-old Ashton Grant is spending the second night of a 10 year sentence, after the Chief Magistrate found him guilty of stealing a 25 hundred dollar iPhone. The investigators caught him with the phone after using the "iCloud feature" which finds the device's exact location – or in other words, he got outsmarted by a Smart phone. It belongs to Tanya McNab, who testified that in December 2012, she had just pulled into her driveway when a man approached her on bicycle and pulled a knife. He then robbed her of her hand bag which contained her iPhone, and as soon as he rode off, she went to work to track the phone. With the assistance of police officers who she quickly alerted, Grant was caught with the phone in his possession, and she identified him as the man who robbed her. The officers charged him with robbery, and after the case went to completion, the Chief Magistrate found him guilty. Though he begged for leniency as a young father, he has a previous conviction for robbery, so the Chief Magistrate sentenced him to serve 10 years in jail.

BRN Resident Calling Castro To Court
At the top of the newscast we told you about the writ of mandamus that the PUP has gotten a hearing for. That one is against Cayo Northeast Representative Elvin Penner. But now there is another action filed, and this one is against Minister of State Edmund Castro. Trevor Vernon, who lives in Belize Rural North today filed an application for declaratory relief, asking the court to rule that Castro violated his oath of office. He explained it to us today: Trevor Vernon - Taking Edmond Castro To Court "This action is to seeking to get the court to confirm and to issue a declaration on whether Mr. Castro - Minister Castro - as the Minister in charge of the Belize Airport Authority, abused his office for personal gain. If we just sit back and let this fly, it's going to create a dangerous precedent. We would want the judge to acknowledge, and in his declaratory relief statement, acknowledge that the Minister did violate his oath of office. I think that the time has come that we need to - I as a voter out here in Belize Rural North - I am very offended by the fact that Ministers can just use Airport Authority, or whichever of these statutory boards, as their personal slush funds, paying his political workers. And we intend to also share this with the OAS when they bring in their team in April and have them take a look at it because they're going to be bringing in a team base on the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption that we signed. We're going to have them take a look at this to see if it violates the spirit and the word of that convention."

What the Price Of Beans Has To Do With Inflation Spike In January
Earlier on, you saw the Statistical Institute of Belize outline the figures for Belize's fourth quarter GDP. But that's not all the SIB has in the numbers bag today. They also unleashed the latest inflation statistics for January. It was high, and we found out why: Jules Vasquez Reporting Prices have been trending up from August of last year. Glen Avilez, Director SIB "In January, prices were roughly 1.8% higher than they were in the same month of last year." Transportation and food prices were up the most - food by as much as 4% and transportation by 5%. Glen Avilez "Food was heavily influenced by fresh vegetables being significantly up in that month, when compared to the same month of 2013."

46 New Cycles For Police
While his name was being called in the Supreme Court today, police commissioner Allen Whylie was in Belmopan receiving a major donation from his department's minister John Saldivar. Saldivar handed over 46 Meilun Trail bikes, along with helmets. He also threw in two Nissan Navarro pickup Trucks – all valued at over a quarter million dollars. No word yet on where the motorbikes will be deployed.

Buff Belizeans Bodybuild Abroad
They've got muscle….and Mr Belize Rigo Vellos and Ms. Belize-Fitness Cricel Castillo are the first Belizeans to participate in the Arnold Classic being held in in Columbus, Ohio, from February 27th to March 1st 2014. A release says Cricel will compete in the Women's Figure B Class among 40 competitors while Rigo will compete in the Light Heavyweight Men's Bodybuilding Category among 22 competitors from all over the world. They must first qualify in a preliminary stage if they want to advance to the finals on Saturday. The Arnold Classic is a highly recognized bodybuilding tournament named after 7-time Mr. Olympia/4-time Mr. Universe, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Channel 5

Court grants P.U.P.’s application to seek Judicial Review
The People’s United Party wants former Minister of State Elvin Penner to be held criminally liable for his role in the Won Hong Kim passport scandal. Just as vehemently, the [...]

P.U.P. wants ComPol Allen Whylie to criminally investigate Elvin Penner
The P.U.P. chose this less travelled route of seeking a writ of Mandamus because the party has maintained that it has exhausted all other options, legal and political. But is [...]

Urban warfare: one dead and minor injured, but was it gang related?
Two men were shot on Tuesday night as a surge in urban warfare grips the City. On Tuesday night following the funeral of Supal Street’s Tarique Cadle who was murdered [...]

Massive layoffs at Fruta Bomba in Corozal
Last Friday, we reported on the laying off of fifty-seven workers at the Golden Princess Casino in Corozal.  Employees of the gambling den were let go in the wake of [...]

SIB Report: 2013 records lowest economic growth in past 3 years
The Statistical Institute of Belize held its second press conference for this year. Today, S.I.B. released the figures for G.D.P. and inflation rate. In short, S.I.B. confirms that the basket [...]

P.U.P. Leader speaks on the recall petition
All eyes will be on the Supreme Court on Friday, as the P.U.P. fights for judicial review and the government fights to protect the man in the center of an [...]

Trial for 2011 murder of Raymond “Killa” Gentle concludes
Back in January 2011, Kraal Road gang leader, Raymond Gentle, aka “Killa”, was executed at his jobsite in Belize City while he and his co-workers were building a wooden structure.  [...]

Shane Budram escapes jail time for ammunition charge
Shane Budram is no stranger to the courts or police. The thirty-seven year old street figure has been before the court on a slew of charges; he was back today [...]

2 persons injured in separate traffic mishaps
Two persons were gravely injured in separate traffic accidents in the past three days. The family of sixty-three year old Jose Elmer Villanueva is today standing vigil at the K.H.M.H., [...]

13 year old Earl Flores clinging to life following hit & run
Another family from the Belize District is at the K.H.M.H. tonight, praying that thirteen year old Earl Ishmael Flores will hold on to life. Flores is from the small community [...]

Road Safety Project to introduce breathalyzer test
Traffic fatalities are inevitably a part of the annual mortality rate every year.  Casualties of road traffic accidents often perish as a result of speeding or drunk driving.  While there [...]

The uprising in Venezuela
The Venezuelan government is bracing for more protests which have now spread to the capital, Caracas.  The United Nations, as well as the Pope speaking from the Vatican, has called [...]

Venezuelan Ambassador speaks on relations with United States
The Venezuelan Ambassador says that the opposition is fueling the uprising and accuses the US government of throwing its full support behind the Mesa de la Unidad Democrática, MUD or [...]


Fruta Bomba Cuts Staff Due To Consequence of 2013 Weather Conditions
Agriculture across the country has been adversely affected by the incessant rains that fell in the latter part of 2013 and early this year. Farmers in northern Belize saw great losses in crops like onions, tomatoes, sweet peppers and even sugar cane fields were flooded triggering a decrease in its sucrose content. Going further north, into Corozal, the climate’s impact may have proved damaging even for non-farmers. Reports reaching our news room are that a total of 95 employees were released from Fruta Bomba as a result of the bad weather conditions last year. General Manager at the company Rigoberto Vivas confirmed that the releasing of these employees was necessary. Gilberto Vivas – General Manager Fruta Bomba “As you know that the effects of the bad weather that we had 2013, I think it didn’t only affected Fruta Bomba but it affected the entire agricultural sector in Belize, so in order for us to survive we had to lay off some people. It decreases our production volume to about 50%, we use to export about 30 to 35 thousand boxes right now we are between 8 to 12 thousand boxes and that is even more than 50% and that is our weekly basis.”

A Dream To Visit Different Cultures and Belize Is No Exception
Two couples from the Netherlands are doing the unthinkable and quite frankly we find the next story an admirable one. With a self-built motorhome, Ton and Anneka Vogelzang have been travelling the world since 2007. They have been to over 40 countries and yesterday they arrived in Belizean soil. When our news team caught up with them at Eco Adventures we learn that the view from the windshield is constantly changing; one day its ruined castles and the palaces of great empires in Turkey, the next week its white sandy beaches in Merida Yucatan and today they found themselves being sun kissed under the Belizean sun. World Travelers Ton and Anneka shared their story with us. TON VOGELZANG – World Traveler “We started a couple of years ago our first stop was to India and then Naple and back home and then we made a decision to go to America and there we were not so lucky because in family there was a small problem we had to go home. 2012 we started again in Baltimore United States and then to Canada, Alaska and then from Alaska southwards to Mexico and Belize now.”

Scotia Bank Corozal Raises Educational Campaign To Assist Small Business Customers
In this day and era when the world is evolving faster than we can cope with, business owners are constantly looking for new ideas to keep their customers satisfied and their business running. Of course good management is also key when it comes to running a business. Bearing that in mind, Scotia Bank is holding a month of activities across the country in celebration of Small Businesses. In Corozal Town, a forum to educate business owners was held at the branch office with over a dozen business owners in attendance. Yvonne Romero. – Business Banking Manager. “This week was design as small business week and during the course of this week we have had different activities and one of them being the one that we had today which was a presentation to our small business customers who were interested in attending and getting a little bit more information on the cash flow and why it is important for a business and why is it can affect the business, how they can increase their cash flow to have a more stable and profitable business so that is the session we had this afternoon with invitees that we had.”

Helpage Hold Tea Party For Elders
Today, the Zenobia Meggs Helpage Center was filled with happiness and comfort thanks to the warm hospitality of the Helpage volunteers who treated our golden citizens to a tea party. It gave attendees a sense of belonging and usefulness as special friendships united under one roof. Our news team deemed it worthy to highlight the event. And despite only one fourth of its members showing up, President of Helpage Orange Walk branch, Arecelia Leiva, who told it was a wonderful afternoon spent. ARCELIA LEIVA – President, OW HELPAGE “We invited the Senior Citizens to come and spend an evening of fun and to socialize with their colleagues and so we had a tea party and we played some games and we had some help workers from the Orange Walk Hospital who came to delight them with some games because we want them to be active and not to just stay home and be sedentary so we invited them to have a day of fun.”

The Myths About San Antonio Cenote
Tonight, we will feature a story that not many of us know the history of; these are the mysterious Cenotes that are found in the San Antonio Rio Hondo Village in the Orange Walk District. While the Ancient Maya believed that the rain god Chaak resided in caves and natural wells known as these cenotes, these sinkholes are giving archaeologists new insights into the sacred landscapes of the ancestral Maya. From what we gathered during our weekend escapade to three of the many sites, cenotes are natural sinkholes that form when the roof of a cavern collapses. The Mayans believed the mysterious formations were entrances to the underworld. Reporter Maria Novelo delves deeper into the mysteries of these underworlds and bring’s you this report.

Miracle Child Is In Great Shape
Tonight we bring you a success story involving a child whose family is calling him, a miracle child. In a follow-up to a story we ran exactly one year ago, we were elated to get a call from the family of then 12 year old Graciano Ramos, who, as we’ve reported, fell off a tree and sustained life threatening injuries including a fractured skull. At the time, Graciano’s diagnosis was dismal as doctors claimed that he only had a twenty percent chance of living. And while it has been a long road to recovery, we were pleased to catch up with Graciano and his family today. At home, we found the 12 year old smiling as he has defeated the odds. Felipa Smith – Aunt “We took him to the hospital and they transfered him to Belize and they told us that we only had 20% chances that Graciano will live but today I can say that we have Graciano 90% living and when he came out of the hospital he weighs 42 pounds and now we have him with 95% so we see the increase in his weight and he is doing good now. Before we use to brush his teeth, wash his face and clean and now he is doing everything by himself; he is trying to take off his shirt, his socks so we see a lot of improvement with him.”


The Reason Why We Love
Let us leave some inspiring words from the Bible for your growth. This week’s verse is taken from 1 John 4:19.. We love because first loved us.

Gunman Kills Mr. Ryan Arnold, Another Gets Injured
Around 5:30 on Wednesday evening, a single gunman opened fire on a group of five socializing on Armadillo Street in Belize City. His shots caught 25 year old Ryan Arnold in the back and a 15 year old minor in the leg. According to police, Arnold died around 6:30...

Commissioner of Lands Speaks of Structural Stir and Suspension of Officers
Last week, there were reports of suspensions, resignations and terminations at the Lands Department. The media reported that there three very senior officials were dismissed from the Land’s department as well as some suspensions over missing funds . You may also remember, that despite our many attempts to seek...

Private Citizen Wants to Take Hon. Edmund Castro to Court
Earlier this week, we reported on Edmond Castro’s suit against a Belize Rural North resident who told the nation she worked with Castro to get hundreds of visa recommendations for Chinese nationals. Today Castro’s name was in court again, and this time, he is the target. Former public servant...

Daylight Robbery in Corozal Commercial Free Zone
A daylight robbery occurring in the Corozal Commercial Free Zone has left one businessman short of several Hundred thousand dollars. On Monday the 24th February, 2014 about 10:00am Ricardo Villasenor 48 yrs. A Mexican businessman of Quintana Roo, Mexico, exited the back of North American Store to go to...

Man Falls From Moving Bus
Reports are that a man fell out of a moving bus this morning on the Phillip Goldson Highway en route to the Northern Districts. The incident occurred a little after 7:00 am near the Burrell Boom junction. Reports are that the man was sitting on the machine at the...

Hard Times For Family Following Murder
On Monday we reported that 44-year-old Thomas Ferguson Sr. lost the battle for his life on Saturday, February 22. Mr Ferguson had been in the hospital since December 7th of last year after he was stabbed, allegedly by his nephew Oliver Peters, who will now be charged with murder. Reports...

Man Charged With Damage To Property In Under Investigation For Incest
A man has been arrested and charged for the crime of damage to property and is under investigation for the crime of incest. A 15 year old female minor of the District of Corozal visited the Corozal police station accompanied by her mother and reported to police than on...

Fatal Road Traffic Collisions Decline
Belize is investing in making roads safer as across the nation, Government has initiated road works across the country. In a reminder released by the Project Management Unit of the Road Safety Project, progress seems slow, but people are the centre of their efforts to save lives on Belize’s...

Belmopan Hospital Auxiliary Staff Threaten Strike as Overtime Pay Is Delayed
The Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan was brewing with tension Tuesday afternoon and according our sources, members of the auxiliary staff, were threatening to go on strike. This was because they claimed that their over-time, which they had already worked for, would not be paid to them this coming...

Jarod Lamb Is Recaptured
Jarod Lamb is finally back in police custody after being on the run for the past week. On the 18th of February at 9:30am when Police were escorting (7) Male prisoners from Kolbe Foundation Prison to San Ignacio Town in the Blue Police van, prisoner Jarod Lamb escaped by...

Shane Budran Acquitted of Keeping an Unlicensed Firearm
36-year-old Shane Budran of Wagner’s Lane, Belize City, was acquitted of a charge of keeping an unlicensed firearm on Tuesday morning in the Magistrate’s Court. Magistrate Dale Cayetano upheld a no-case submission from Mr Budran’s attorney, Richard “Dickie” Bradley, who told the court that the sole prosecution witness and...

Court of Appeal Begins First Session For 2014
On Tuesday the Court of Appeal began its first session for 2014 in Belize City. We already told you of one major decision they handed down involving Wilbert Cuellar and Darwin Diaz, accused of attempted murder. Cuellar, who was convicted but then released by Justice Denis Hanomansingh after the...

Health Workers Learn About Optimizing Performance
Belize’s health system is not the best, but the Ministry has committed to improvements and that includes seeing that the system polices itself. This week at the Biltmore Plaza, approximately 60 health workers from the country’s major health centers and outposts will learn about optimizing performance for quality and...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker Sailing Club Thank Yous
The Caye Caulker Sailing Club would like to thank the following for their support towards our fundraiser that was held on Saturday, February 22nd 2013. Without your assistance and support we wouldn’t been able to have a successful fundraiser for our kids. We would also like to thank all those who came and supported us at the Palapas, the DJ for providing entertainment and Pat & Stell’s. Last but not least the San Pedro Junior Sailing Club and President of the club Tammy Peterson. You guys have been giving us much needed assistance and we greatly appreciate all the support you have given to us and we look forward to many more!! After expenses we made approximately $3,900.00. This will assist us in the upcoming regatta that will be held in Belize City on March 8th and 9th.

R.I.P. Bob Ross
Funeral Mass to be held at St. Martin’s de Porres On Friday, February 28, 2014 at 10:00 am And on Saturday, March 1, 2014 10:00 am Caye Caulker Nuestra Señora de la Ascunción Predeceased by his mother and father and three brothers. Survived by his wife Elizabeth Ross, daughter Karen Ross and other family members abroad. The Ross Family would like to thank Dr. Jorge Hidalgo, Dr. John Sosa, Dr. Jorge Lopez, Nurse Arlene Requena, Miss Martha, and all the other medical personnel and health care providers who helped care for Mr. Bob during his illness. God Bless you and thank you.


Sailing and Dining on the Rum Punch 2 Never Disappoints
Yesterday was a GORGEOUS day. In fact, February has been an absolutely gorgeous month. And that is just how it should be. Lots of sun, getting a bit warmer (no blanket needed at night anymore) and breezy. Perfect for all things. But especially perfect for sailing. A bunch of fun friends were headed out on the old Belizean-made ex-fishing boat, the Rum Punch 2. They even brought their own pirate flag. These ladies are prepared! George Eiley (above), the owner, was born and raised in Placencia, Belize but in the 70s fell in love with Ambergris Caye where the tourism and tour guiding businesses were in the beginning stages. He purchased the Rum Punch from a fisherman, cleaned her up and started tours.

“Finish What Ya Started” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
The irregular publishing frequency though does create this recollection issue. But hey, most of you know the usual beginning of my blogs anyway. You know, got up, make coffee (black, no sugar) take it and my iPad out on to the veranda (normally the western facing one on the first floor) and enjoy the sights, the sounds (even when there’s hardly any sounds at all) and a sense of total relaxation. And then there’s my fairly frequent (I wonder if I might be the most regular breakfaster there?) visits to Estel’s where I continue with my ‘me time’ (Rose rarely goes with me for breakfast). Monday was much the same until I asked Rose if she wanted to join me for breakfast and she said that she did. OK we set off later than I would normally set off but it was worth it (got to keep building up those brownie points!) All was going great until Rose struck up a conversation (she’s so much more social than I am) with a woman sitting at the table next to us. The woman explained that she and her husband had recently moved here and was looking to get a slow cooker and asked Rose if she knew where she could get one. Quick as a flash (and she has her moments, believe me) Rose responded “Take John. You won’t find a slower cooker than him!”.

Chocolate, diving, Whale sharks and Science!
Toledo’s links to chocolate goes back to Ancient Maya days. But in present day too there are a number of chocolate factories where you can experience how chocolate is made (and taste it of course!) If you are a chocolate lover, like us, then a date for the diary is 23rd, 24th and 25th May! Toledo hosts the annual Chocolate Festival of Belize, a unique 3-day event celebrating chocolate and culture!! Its a “must see” festival starting with wine and chocolate night, showcasing some of the areas finest chocolatiers! Saturday is an all day street festival in PG and Sunday is the closing ceremony at one of the beautiful Mayan sites, Lubantuun. Pilot whales, dolphins, silky sharks, huge hawksbill turtles, large rays and a WHALESHARK!! All that in the past few weeks with ReefCI!! What have you been up to?? Although March – June is official whale shark season here in Belize, for the past few years we have seen them as early as January and right through to September. 2014 started off well with sightings in January and February, so its gearing up to be another exciting whale shark season! ReefCI are delighted to announce that our PADI Instructor extraordinaire, Tracy Allen, has accepted a new challenge! With a background in biology, Tracy will be using her degree and focusing more of her time and energy on collecting and analysing our data.

International Sources

Belize - bot flies, beef worms, pinching and other joys of travel.
This is my introduction to the Bot fly, the Beef Worm, and the technique that's used to get the parasite out of ones body, after the infestation. Exciting day today. I have had a bump beside my ear for about a week. Carpio, Jack's little renter that uses the basement downstairs, looks at it and says I have a "Beef Worm" This I do not need to hear. Covers it with Vick's Vapour Rub, and puts a band-aid on it. "We'll get it out later" he tells me. Marvey, I think. So , the way to get this thing out is to squeeze the skin together. Like someone pinching you real hard. He's trying to squeeze this thing from under my skin - to get its little head to show so he can grab it and pull it out. Now, sit back and think about that for a moment…………It is big enough to have a head and a body - growing under my skin - and I think I have two others in me. Just like home - NOT!! So , at it he goes, Squeezes the skin together , gets his wife to bring out a pair of tweezers, and starts trying to get a hold on his ( The beef worm's) head. Success! - he gets it, I feel a little twinge of pain and sure enough, he drops down this little worm (about 1/8 of an inch long!) on the rail. I find this really hard to believe - this bloody "beef" worm has eaten a portion of my body, grown from a bite from a fly! What the HECK!!! looks over my bites, one is mosquito and two more look like infection from the dreaded Bot fly, the "beef worm" carrier.

Mc Cauley to become first player from Belize to play professional soccer in the US
Star striker Deon McCauley has become the first Belizean footballer to sign a contract with a professional soccer team in the United States. McCauley has signed with the Atlanta Silverbacks which competes in the North American Soccer League (NASL), the second tier of the American Soccer Pyramid. McCauley, who plays for Belize’s Belmopan Bandits, has been scouted by numerous international teams since his ascent to football stardom. He boasts of a stellar record as the first player to score a hat trick in the World Cup qualifiers. The 26 year old striker scored 11 goals in eight matches for Belize in World Cup 2014 qualifying to tie Dutch star Robin Van Persie and Uruguayan Luis Suarez for the most goals in the 2014 qualifying campaign.

Ten reasons to travel in March 2014
Whale shark season in Belize begins next month, and one tour operator (Original Diving; intriguingly claims to have found "a secret spot where scientists can predict exactly when and why these elusive creatures turn up, year in, year out". Should they fail to show, there's always dramatic dive sites like the Blue Hole to compensate.

Waste Management Volunteer Programs Around the World
Belize is the only country in Central America with English as their official language, so you'll fit right in during a two month volunteership with FrontierGap. Their project takes place in Southern Belize and aims to support local communities by providing jobs toward protecting the country's exotic rainforest ecosystem. You can be gardening with kids, constructing new facilities or even managing social media for raising waste management awareness. $1,500 is a bit much for a volunteership without accommodation or food, but your home currency will likely stretch a long way -- average apartments go for $200 a month and food and drink come cheap. Plus there will be plenty of free time to snorkel the Northern Hemisphere's longest barrier reef in any one of Southern Belize's secluded beaches.

Big fish still excite veteran angler
In ways, it's heartening to me that I still get excited when I cast to a big fish because I know that I am not jaded, and I'm still passionate about fishing. Still, I would like to be able to calmly make pinpoint casts at 60 or 70 feet and not have to worry about mechanics. On our recent trip to Belize, my wife, Carol, and I had the pleasure of being guided by a master guide, Eloy Badillo. Eloy had roamed the waters around the island of Caye Caulker since his youth and knew hundreds of square miles of water as well as I know the waters of the Bighorn River from Afterbay to Two Leggins. Not only does he know the waters but he can spot fish as easily as an osprey. Our first day with Eloy had gone well: Carol landed four or five bonefish in the course of a half hour and I had landed one on my first cast. After we had eaten lunch, Eloy motored to a flat near a small caye. The water was only a foot to 2 feet deep and the bottom was sand, not marl. So Eloy and I disembarked and started to wade across the flat.

A Stunning Map Pinpoints the Worst Places in the World to be Gay
After months of debate and controversy, Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni officially signed the country's anti-gay legislation into law on Monday, charging those found guilty of "aggravated homosexuality" with life in prison. The move is a huge backwards step not just for the country, but for all of sub-Saharan Africa, which has seen rampant homophobia in recent years due to the ongoing AIDS crisis. The fear and hatred of homosexuality in turn has created an awareness vacuum for HIV/AIDS, leading to a vicious cycle of disease and hate. As can be seen on the map, homophobic legislation is most commonly found in a bloc stretching from Africa to the Middle East and South Asia — these regions incidentally include the only countries that have death penalties for homosexuality: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Sudan, Nigeria, Mauritania and Somalia.

How Many People Live in the Caribbean?
How many people live in the Caribbean? It’s a question we’re often asked. And the answer is, well, complicated. That’s because it depends on what geographical area you define as the Caribbean. We culled data from a range of sources, using the most recent estimates from 2012 across the region, breaking it up into different sub-regions and then applying it to the various definitions of the Caribbean. We start with the Caribbean Community, the political bloc of largely English-speaking countries, along with Haiti and Suriname, joined by Guyana, but not by Cuba or the Dominican Republic.

February 26, 2014


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Monitoring fatal road traffic collision
Belize is investing in making roads safer. Progress seems slow, but people are the centre of our efforts because of the nature to save lives on our roads. Sympathy is extended to all who was impacted by the lost of a loved one, friend or colleague. Join us in tracking fatal road traffic collision each month and comparing it to 2012 and 2013 statistics (Source: JICC). Road safety is everyone’s responsibility and only together we can save lives using an integrated model designed for you.

Atlanta Silverbacks sign Deon McCaulay
Only three players in the entire world scored 11 goals during the qualifying rounds for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and the NASL’s Atlanta Silverbacks have signed one of them. Belize national team forward Deon McCaulay equaled the goal-scoring totals of strikers Robin Van Persie of Netherlands and Uruguayan Luis Suarez during the last qualifying cycle, and now he is bringing his talents to Atlanta, the Silverbacks announced Tuesday, pending ITC approval. The 26-year-old caught fire during the opening rounds of 2014 World Cup qualifying, scoring 11 goals in just eight games. Although Belize was unable to book their place in Brazil, the exploits of McCaulay didn’t go unnoticed.

Competition getting tougher at the San Pedro Sports Committee Football Tournament
The competition is getting tougher and tougher as the San Pedro Sports Committee Football Tournament progresses. On Saturday, February 22nd and Sunday, February 23rd, the third set of games was played at the SacaChispas Football Field and all the teams were out for a win. Football fans were treated to exhilarating matches, as most games either ended in a tie or a close win. Saturday’s games were all about strong defense. The first game was between Caye Caulker and Communicaciones. It was clear that both teams wanted the win, but in the end it was Caye Caulker who edged out a 4-2 point win. The second game was between the Dorados and Caribbean Depot. Even though Caribbean Depot played defensively, the Dorados still managed to sneak in a couple goals and won the match in a 2-0 point game.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Police Indicates Teenagers Involved in Recent Crime Problems
Teenagers as young as 15 years old (and younger) have been identified by the San Pedro Police Department as being the culprits of a recent increase in crime this past month, January 2014. Castellanos says that they know who some of these teenagers are and the department is working on apprehending them. The heads of the Neighborhood Watches suggested a possible curfew to target teenagers out during the late hours of the evening. A second factor attributing to a slight increase in crime in January, says Castellanos, would be the department's lack of patrol vehicles. "The police officers have not been able to conduct their regular and scheduled patrols around the island properly due to the lack of vehicles," stated Castellanos. "This hinders the department tremendously in our response time and visible presence around the island. Criminals are aware of this and know when to take advantage of our handicap." Currently the San Pedro Police Department counts on only two trucks and one golf cart for mobility, one of those trucks just recently being donated anonymously to the department by a local business. Castellanos is sending appeals to various entities requesting assistance to obtain more vehicles for the department and Mayor Daniel Guerrero also mentioned that the San Pedro Town Council is also working on acquiring a vehicle for the police department.

25 Years Ago: First Retired Couple in San Pedro
Vernon and Terri Hamman arrived in San Pedro in the 1950’s at a time when the village was about 400 strong, and fish nets were hanging to air and sun-dry on poles near the beach. The village probably had about 20 fishermen who survived with subsistence fishing. There were also some 15 coconut farmers working for Mr. Blake and earning a living by cleaning the coconut groves known as ‘cocals’ and collecting the coconuts for processing and exportation. This was the scenario when Vernon arrived to visit the island and the little fishing hamlet known as San Pedro. Vernon liked it and thought it was the best place in the world to retire. He talked it over to his lifetime companion, a beautiful blond who wore large sunglasses day and night, and she too thought it was a beautiful idea. They were people persons and easily got to make friends with 399 of the Island inhabitants. Soon Vernon and Terri were busy visiting friends, getting free fish from their island friends. The locals thought it was an honor to befriend a pair of friendly gringos who either came from heaven or from Hollywood. Of course nobody knew about Hollywood at that time but what is the difference?

Misc Belizean Sources

Corozal Police Report
All police reports are official and unedited. Report #1 Incest/Damage to Property: A 15 year old female Belizean minor, unemployed of the Corozal District, accompanied by her mother reported to Corozal Police that on Saturday 22nd February 2014 around 7:30 P.M. her father arrived home highly under the influence of alcohol. He proceeded to behave disorderly and began to have a domestic argument. He left the house and went away but about an hour later he arrived home and asked for a cell phone and broke it into pieces...
Report: #2 Robbery: On Monday the February 24th, 2014 around 11:00 A.M. upon information received of a robbery at North American Store located in the Corozal Commercial Free Zone, Santa Elena Border, Corozal Police visited the said area where upon arrival 48 year old Ricardo Villasenor, Mexican businessman of Las Flores, Manzana 23 Quintana Roo, Mexico, reported that on said date about 10:00 A.M. he exited the rear of North American Store to go to his white color Chevrolet AVIO car with L/P VVY2275 which was parked approximately 15 meters away in the compound and whilst opening the trunk of the car to take out the money which was inside two separate black plastic bags...
Report: #3 Burglary: 33 year old Brigida Paulina Patt of Rainbow Town Area, Corozal Town, reported that between 8:30 P.M. on Saturday the 22nd of February, 2014 and 5:00 A.M. on Sunday the 23rd of February, 2014 her house was broken into and stolen were (1) one 24 inch Ladies Hurricane Nankon Pink in color with purple strips s/n unknown valued at $230.00Bcy, (1) one Pink in color Tablet "Go" brand valued at $300.00Bcy, (1) perfume brand "Women of Earth" value $55.00Bcy (1) Perfume brand "Forever" value $55.00Bcy, (1) perfume brand "Adorise" value $145.00Bcy...

Ministry of Health Heads Delegation to Drug Abuse Program in the United States
Government of Belize Press Office

Vanilla Hills Lodge
Vanilla Hills Lodge, a beautiful little eco-lodge located in Bullet Tree Falls, is getting some outstanding reviews. They are small right now, with only 2 cabins, the Hibiscus and the Orchid, but another one is on the way. They also have a line of cheeses, breads, and jams that are tasty and healthy. "Vanilla Hills Lodge is situated in the rolling hills of Cayo on a wooded lot on the banks of the Mopan river. Although only five minutes from San Ignacio Town, the tourist center of Western Belize, the lodge is surrounded by peaceful nature. Vanilla Hills is your ideal starting point for a multitude of tours. From here you are within easy reach of famous Maya sites, impressive cave labyrinths, the tropical jungle and many more day tours. At Vanilla Hills Lodge you will be staying in spacious and well equipped cabanas."

Rotary's Annual Eye Clinic
The Rotary Club is having their annual eye clinic, starting on March 9th, and going through the 12th. They are bringing in eye specialist, and they'll help with cataracts, glaucoma, and other diseases. You can register at the Pharmacy on West street. Call 804-2510 for more information. Thanks, Rotary!

Armed robbery reported in the Corozal Free Zone
Police in Corozal are investigating an armed robbery on Monday morning in the Corozal Commercial Free Zone. Police say that Mexican businessman Ricardo Villasenor, 48, came out of his establishment, namely North America Store, and was going to his vehicle which was parked in the compound when he was accosted by two men of Creole decent one of whom was armed with a knife. Villasenor told police that the man with the knife placed the weapon to his right side and demanded money. The official report says that “after several demands from male persons Villasenor then took both plastic bags which contained the sum of $1,250,000.00 Pesos in different denominations which is equivalent to $208,000.00 Bcy. He was then pushed inside the trunk where he was search and robbed of his red Alcatel cellular phone value at $1,200.00 Pesos equivalent to $200.00 Bcy and $800.00 pesos equivalent to $133.33 Bcy a total of $208,333.33.”

Man reportedly falls out of moving passenger bus
There are reports that a man fell out of a moving bus this morning on the Phillip Goldson Highway. The name of the man who fell out of the bus has not yet been confirmed; but reports are that the incident happened around 7 am today near the Burrel Boom junction. The bus was heading towards Orange Walk when the man, who was seated on the machine at the front of the bus, apparently slid off and through the open door of the bus. A passsenger on the bus says that he only saw when then man tumbled out of the bus.

Bambi success story! Thanks to all who helped with this rescue!
Wildtracks Update: A big thank you to all those involved in the safe rescue and transport of the white tailed deer fawn (it is reported that the mother was killed) - Nathan Sherred of Columbia Village (for the rescue), Ian and Kate Morton of Hickatee Cottages (for hosting the fawn for a couple of days while travel arrangements were finalized),Tropic Air (for being willing to fly the fawn north to the Municipal Airport), and Jen Chapman (for being willing to "fawn-sit" on the back seat of the vehicle for the 4 hour journey) heading northwards for Sarteneja... (2 photos)

Stranded adult female loggerhead sea turtle
Nora from Minnesota was walking the shores of Maya Beach and encountered a stranded adult female loggerhead sea turtle. The turtle was barely moving and she contacted the police who moved the animal to a nearby resort where the animal is being monitored before being transported to a rehab facility at Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Please report all stranded sea turtles immediately so that they can be rehabilitated if alive or the threats can be identified if found dead. Thank you Nora for your important report.

ATURDAY, MAR 1, 8am-1pm SELLERS: $25 for two (2) tables Sell whatever you want! FUND RAISE for your school, medical needs or personal. BUYERS… You never know what you’ll find!!!! CONTACT: Tamara, 226-2070 or Jan Brown, 662-2725 Under cover for rain or shine. “San Pedro Lions Club – We Serve”

World Wildlife Day? Let's celebrate our wildlife EVERYDAY!
The Belize Forest Department under the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development is preparing to celebrate the first ever World Wildlife Day which will be held on March 3rd, 2014. The day is being set aside to celebrate and to raise awareness on the importance of the world’s wild flora and fauna. On this day, efforts to show appreciation for and highlight the importance of our flora and fauna are encouraged. Therefore, the Forest Department is inviting the general public to come join us here at the Forest Department Compound on Monday March 3rd 2014, to celebrate World Wildlife Day by witnessing a ceremonial Memorandum of Understanding signing at 11:00 am. Each rehabilitation partner will be showing casing their work and the Forest Department sees this as a practical way of engaging young Belizeans in being good stewards of the environment through active involvement in conservation activities. (2 photos)

Strike at Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan?
Sources indicate that workers at Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan are threatening to strike if their overtime is not paid. The overtime wage bill should have been submitted to the Ministry of Health by the hospital’s accounts department before February 13th. This includes some 108 workers including doctors and nurses.

Training and Certification Program (PROCCER) Regional Training of Trainers Workshop with the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission
A delegation of six Belizeans, through the National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC), Ministry of Health, returned to Belize over the weekend from the Training and Certification Program (PROCCER) Regional Training of Trainers Workshop with the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission, Organization of American States (CICAD/OAS). The objective of the program was to share new methods that can be adapted to improve the quality of care in prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of drug abuse and dependence and drug-related violence. In this approach, the program works with both governmental and non-governmental front line organizations that provide drug abuse and violence prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services for persons suffering from drug abuse and/or dependence and their families, as well as other high-risk populations.

Last Tuesday at about 9:30a.m., police were escorting 7 male prisoners from Kolbe Foundation Prison to San Ignacio Town in the Blue Police van and upon reaching Ontario Village, one of the prisoners namely Jarod Lamb who is on remand for Murder and Robbery escaped by jumping out of the moving van and made good his escape. Yesterday at about 4:00p.m., San Ignacio Police conducted a sting operation near the Cemetery in Santa Elena Town, Cayo where Jarod Lamb was found. He attempted to run into the nearby bushes when he was shot in the left leg by San Ignacio Police. He was then transported to the San Ignacio Town Community Hospital and later transported to the K.M.M.H, where he remains under Police guard.

Women in Belize Tell Their Stories
Over the course of a month in San Ignacio, Belize, I spoke with women about their experiences in their relationships and in their communities with regard to family planning. These women, whose ages ranged from 24 to 50, were open and generous when sharing their stories. We talked about a variety of things, like where they learned about sex and their experiences with pregnancy. Although their lives were different, there were similarities in every woman’s story. When I asked Crystal, who was 24 years old, where she turned for information about sexual and reproductive health, she sighed and said, “Google.” Crystal didn’t have any children, but shared with me that she’d seen a lot of her friends panic when they learned they were pregnant. “I think most for people, it’s more of a scary situation, rather than a joyful one,” she said. “They wonder what they’re going to do, and if the father is going to sustain the child.” A Creole woman named Irene agreed. She’d become pregnant unexpectedly at 22 years old. “I really wasn’t making any decision,” Irene said, but took action after giving birth. She spoke to her sister, and then to a doctor. She started taking birth control pills to prevent another unplanned pregnancy.

Belize: Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave
ATM cave is known world-wide as the cave of the Crystal Maiden. She was a sacrificial victim left deep in a cave by the Mayans near the village of Teakettle, Belize. The cave is a very popular attraction, and as such may be closed to the public in the next few years if damage to the artifacts continues. You can visit it ONLY with a licensed guide and with a local tour company. We went with Destiny but PACZ is also highly recommended. We also went to Tikal with Destiny. I loved Tikal, but didn’t care for the guide they gave us. He was smart, spoke English, and was well informed as to dates and the subject matter. The problem was that he had some kind of New Age Spirituality agenda that didn’t sit well with six scientific types. For instance Donelo said new studies show that all people in the world are descended from the Maya, that Mayan is the root of all languages in the world, the Mayans first invented the number zero, and they introduced ideas of heaven and hell to the Vatican. He also talked a lot about higher spiritual planes, energy vortexes, and other new age ideas that may or may not have resonated with the ancient Mayans.

Return of the howler monkeys: signs of recovery 13 years after Hurricane Iris
Maarten Hofman, until recently Research Coordinator with Ya’axché Conservation Trust, now FONASO PhD Candidate, shares his thoughts on a recovering ecosystem. He recalls the joy of witnessing the first signs of a species returning since Hurricane Iris cleared most of its habitat 13 years ago. In 1998, Ya’axché Conservation Trust, with the help from Fauna & Flora International, Grassvalley Trust and IUCN, acquired the Golden Stream Corridor Preserve, a 15,000 acre area in southern Belize, mostly consisting of secondary forests. At that time, the area had been subject to both indiscriminate and selective logging, underbrushing and limited agricultural activities such as slash-and-burn and small scale cattle ranching. The corridor preserve was recovering from these disturbances and in some areas, timber trees were expected to take at least 15 years to reach harvestable size again. Despite the disturbed nature of the forest, several tree dwelling species, including howler and spider monkeys, reportedly inhabited the tree crowns, albeit in low numbers.

Spanish Lookout Business Expo
The Spanish Lookout Business Expo is this weekend. "The Spanish Lookout Business Chamber is organizing its biannual Spanish Lookout Commercial/Industrial Expo on Friday and Saturday, February 28 and March 1, 2014 from 9:00a.m. - 5:00 p.m. on each day to be held at the Country Side Park in the Spanish Lookout Community. We hereby extend an invitation to the wider Business Community in Belize to be a part of our highly anticipated expo."

Flavors of Belize Interview
The Flavors of Belize cookbook was the subject of Larry Waight's recent interview with Tanya McNab. The interview is a great read, as is the book. "The fascinating thing about Belizean cuisine is that we are able to pull influences from all over the world, while still being able to call it our own and stand apart from all of them. Due to Belize’s rich history of welcoming so many immigrants from across the globe, our country, culture, and inevitably our cuisine has become a fusion of these many different influences and that is what makes it so special. We have dishes that can blend the curry brought here by the Indians with chocolate, a staple of the Maya for a dish that is a hint at both cultures but so different that it’s in a category all on it’s own. We don’t realize how lucky we are to enjoy good food almost everyday with such ease and inexpensively at that."

Google Forest Watch
Interesting article of the day. The Cayo Tour Guide Association has a new article out entitled 'Falling Trees,' and it's all about how Google has aggregated data that shows how deforestation has occurred around the world, and Belize. Global Forest Watch is interesting, to say the least. "This now leads me to Google, yes the big fat giant that is on everyone’s PC or on mobile devices these days, which has developed a new way to monitor deforestation worldwide, combing data for the past twelve years. Using services they already have, like google earth and maps you can monitor deforestation in almost real time, a technology that is still is in its beta form meaning it will only improve from here. They are calling it Global Forest Watch. The browser program uses layers to show areas of deforestation and also areas of regeneration worldwide including Belizean forests. Tweaking around, you can highlight protected areas and layers also show satellite and terrain images. In some areas, logging and mining can also be shown. The data is from 2001 up to 2012 so last year’s activity is not visible just yet. "

One hundred and eight workers at Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan are threatening strike action if their overtime is not paid soon, a source says. Those threatening to strike reportedly include doctors, nurses, attendants and drivers. This would bring operations at the hospital to a stand still. The workers are blaming the administration for their inconvenience. The overtime wage bill should have been submitted to the Ministry of Health by the hospital’s accounts department before February 13th but for whatever reason, it wasn’t. Some workers say that they will simply not show up to work. Efforts to contact the hospital’s administrator or those in the Ministry of Health have been unsuccessful.

Channel 7

Mexican Held Up And Robbed In Free Zone
Tonight, Corozal Police are investigating a brazen, daylight, armed robbery of a Mexican businessman inside the Corozal Free Zone. Yesterday morning 48 year-old Ricardo Villasenor, was held at knifepoint by two men who robbed him of 1.25 million pesos, that's $208 thousand Belizean dollars. The robbers were able to pull off the heist and escape before Belize police were called in so it is proving be a difficult case for them to crack. Today, the Officer Commanding Corozal Police told 7News that the victim identified his robbers as Belizean because of their particular Spanish dialect: Supt. Andrew Ramirez, OC - Corozal Police "Yesterday about 11am in the morning we received information about an incident in the Corozal Freezone. As a result Corozal police visited the North American store located in the zone where a Mexican national who has identify himself as Ricardo Villasenor reported that about 9:30 thereabout he had went into the zone to make purchase and upon going to the trunk of his car to retrieve the money he was approach by 2 creole decent male persons whereby one of the male persons placed a knife to his side telling his to give him the money or he will be killed (in spanish). Fearing for his life he surrendered 2 bags of money which he had in it contain about 1.25 million pesos which would be approximately 208 thousand Belize. Thereafter they put him in the trunk of the car and also stole his Alcatel cell phone and $800 pesos. These guys made good their escapes. They are being sought. We have one person of interest in our custody at this point in time."

Princess Golden Making A Run For The Border?
Since Friday, 7News has been reporting on the sudden termination of over 100 employees who were let go when the Princess Group of Companies closed down the Golden Princess Casino. Tonight, we have a more on it, as the trail of the story led us to Chetumal. Daniel Ortiz found out more:.. Daniel Ortiz reporting Today, we found movers clearing out the building that once was Golden Princess Casino. From the outside, one gets the impression that it will open for business later, but it won't. The decision to close it was delivered abruptly last week. Best reports to 7News are that around 130 Belizean employees were laid off. The reasons given were that business is bad, the rent is too high, and that the company is losing money to keep Golden Princess open.

Port Remains Closed For More Than A Week
Tonight two cargo vessels are waiting at sea and the shelves in the port warehouse are bare because the Port of Belize remains closed, more than a week after a barge crashed into it. CEO Arturo Vasquez told us this evening that the damaged beams have been removed and hauled away, and work on the news ones has been completed and everything re-assembled. Now, they are waiting for the cement to set so that the bridge can reach the required strength to support the massive weight of containers being hauled across it. Work to cast the three beams that had to be replaced finished at 3:30 this morning - and the cement needs 24 hours to reach the required strength. So that should be finished at 3:30 tomorrow morning - in time for offloading of the Seaboard vessel to start at 8:00 am.

US Embassy: OJ Holden Wanted
The name OJ Holden popped into the news last week when the 76 year old American-Belizean Caye Caulker Resident had what could have been a serious accident at the San Pedro Belize Express Terminal. He pulled up his pants, and accidentally triggered the 9 millimeter pistol that was in his pocket. The gun fired towards the ground, and when the bullet hit, the fragments splintered off and grazed two persons. They received only very minor injury and Holder's gun was confiscated, while the two injured persons declined to press charges. But it seems that little appearance in the news, however fleeting, caught the attention of US Law Enforcement. Our reports say that last week, Holden was detained in Belize on the interest of US law enforcement. But, Holden who has been in Belize for 22 years, is a naturalized Belizean, so he was released. Today, an embassy spokesperson in Belmopan told us that, quote, "The U.S. Embassy can confirm that OJ Holden is wanted by U.S. law enforcement for narcotics charges." End quote. When asked if the U.S. will be seeking his extradition, we were told, quote, "(US) law enforcement routinely works with Belizean counterparts on areas of mutual interest." End of quote.

Girl Diagnosed With Rare Skin Condition, Father Pleads For Help
Tonight, a Belize City family is making hasty preparations to get their 3 year old daughter to Merida after she was diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a rare and serious skin condition. Last week, little Siarsha Amri Alvarez was rushed to the hospital with a very high fever - but it turns out that was the onset of the syndrome, which first appears with flu-like symptoms, and then breaks out into an aggressive rash that causes the top layer of skin to die. Today her father came to appeal for assistance and gave us some background on what's been happening with his daughter:.. Simeon Alvarez Jr. - father "She is in severe pain. Doctor Craig said that her sickness is not mild, its not moderate, its severe. She can die as long as all of her skins peel off. Speaking right now her skin is peeling off; she is crying, she can't pee how she wants, she can't stool how she wants - everything pains her. Her eye brows are peeling off, her skin, top of the skull is peeling off - her hair, now she is in terrible condition."

The Aftermath of A Murder Is Tough For Family
Last night we told you about 36 year-old Oliver Peters, who is accused of inflicting the stab wounds that caused his Uncle, 44 year-old Thomas Ferguson Sr.'s death. While those are the bare facts of the case, today Monica Bodden visited with the family and looked beneath to find a family devastated by the killing and overwhelmed with medical bills:.. Monica Bodden reporting On December 7th, 44 year-old Thomas Ferguson Sr. was stabbed once to the chest by his nephew- inside his family yard on Arlington Drive. After being in the intensive care unit at the KHMH for 2 and a half months, Ferguson succumbed to his injuries 9am on Saturday morning. Lorraine Ferguson - Wife of Deceased "The nurse told me that he would have come out of the hospital well, they would have taken out the thing from his throat and they would have teach him how to walk but 2 days after my husband got worse and the doctor said that he had complications because of the stab wound." Monica Bodden "He had water in his lungs?" Lorraine Ferguson - Wife of Deceased "He had water in his lungs and they say that his heart was too weak, it wasn't functioning well and bacteria was in his blood and his pressure goes up and down."

Trying to Find Quality In Healthcare
The Ministry of Health is hosting a 3 day training workshop on Optimizing Quality Performance. Over 60 personnel from the different health facilities across the country are taking part in the training sessions, which aims at identifying quality in the health system and figuring out how to measure it. It is a Central American Initiative and Belize is participating. Today 7news stopped by to find out more. Dr. Ramon Figueroa, Director - Planning Unit - MOH "There is a training workshop which is related to USAID sponsored project called the optimizing performance for quality. Its really a Central American initiative which Belize is participating and so for the next 3 days we are training personnel from the different health facilities across the country from north to south, east to west in the methodology; what we are taking about when we are discussing quality and how to measure quality." "I think that over the past years one of our biggest challenges has been how do we deliver quality health services to the population. It's not only about delivering services but the quality of the services. More and more quality has taken on a greater importance in Belize and all across the world, so its a significant project for us to be able to have our people trained on how do we measure quality - its not only talking about quality, but what do we mean by quality, how do we measure it and how do we ensure that our services are of the good quality for the population."

Man Charged for Shooting In Neck
Last night, 7News told you about 21 year-old Andrew Augustine who was shot in the neck. Well, the man who police believe to have been is shooter is 23 year-old Stephan Anderson, and he is at prison tonight. As we reported, Augustine was walking on Jasmine Street, when he was a gunman rode up to him, and shot him in the neck. He was rushed to the KHMH, where the doctors were able to successfully treat his wound. Police investigated, and today they took Anderson to court. The Chief Magistrate read him charges of attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm, and dangerous harm, when he was arraigned, and due to the nature of the offences, he couldn't be granted bail.

Dion Mc Does It With US Second Division Team
He's the greatest striker of his generation but Dion McAuley's fame isn't only local - he's also one of only 3 players in the whole world that scored 11 goals in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. And now, he's hit the big time. It was announced today that McAuley has signed with the Atlanta Silverbacks, a US professional soccer team. A release on the team's website says Silverbacks Technical Director Eric Wynalda scouted him during the Gold Cup. McAuley arrived in Atlanta on Sunday and is quoted as saying "I've arrived in Atlanta with a good level of fitness, and my expectations are to come here and help the team win championships….I hope that I can score some goals and help the team win." The 26 year old Mcauley just finished doing that same thing with the Belmopan Bandits who won the Belikin Cup Championship - after he scored four goals in the final game of the championship series. The Silverbacks play in the North American Soccer League, the second Division league in the US.

Sisters Are Working In the Trenches
Last week we showed you the men from tough neighborhoods who have been hired to do the trench work on the Central American Boulevard. The Boulevard is going to be paved from the Belcan Bridge right up to the port of Belize, so there's a lot of trenching to do, especially if it's manual labour. But, there's a wrinkle in the project to report tonight. It's not only men that are doing it - we found some ladies in the trenches today! And they weren't there serving refreshments, the 12 of them were brandishing shovels and pick axes and getting the job done! Monica Bodden found out more from their contractor: Monica Bodden "Now, for many people they will say that this is a man's job. How comes you guys actually have the females onboard?" John Pollard "These females have a lot of heart and as you guys can see - take a look at what they are doing, this is their production. This morning I said to them there is no job for females and they are saying to me 'man, Mr. Pollard, please don't take us likely because we can do what men can do too.' So here I am. They got their respect, they got their try and they are showing me that yes they can do what the males also can do."

Fugitive Rodney Rolled Into Police Custody
22 year-old Sherman Rodney, who escaped from police while at the KHMH is back in custody after he handed himself yesterday. Though, he did them the huge favour of having to track him down, Rodney was charged with escaping from lawful custody, and he was arraigned today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. Because he is being investigated for a burglary, he was denied bail and remanded to prison, after which officers from the Criminal Investigations Branch immediately escorted him back to the Police Station. As we reported, a police officer said that at around 6 o'clock on Thursday evening, he escorted Rodney to the KHMH to seek medical attention because he was complaining of severe pain to the left arm.

Artisans Making Tourism Work
Last year we told you about a project called "Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites". It is a project to teach Belizean producers how to make crafts that are genuine products of Belize. The $350,000 dollar project which has been awarded to a Caribbean consultant is being done in different segments. One such segment is diversification of the artisan product that is available in Belize - both physical products as well as experiential tourism. Artisans from around the country were selected to take part in the first stage of the training. Judy Karwacki - Tourism Project Specialist "The project has essentially a few key steps to it; the first was a rapid assessment, where we came in and working on 9 archaeological sites. So we've gone and we went into this area around Altun Ha and then up in Orange Walk because they've got Lamanai and Barton Creeek in these things - Cayo, because of Xunantunuch - Caves Branch, ATM etc. and Punta Gorda with Nim Li Punit, Lubaantun and Blue Creek. We went in and we met with community members and artisans and we did what we called a rapid assessment and based on that process and with the input of local coordinators, we engage people from the community who works with artisans, we select artisans or artisans groups to come to the first stage of training because in many cases we are taking a group approach because group supports each other and we told them to bring people."

NCL Opponents Get Fuel
The opponents of the Norwegian Cruise Lines proposed project in southern Belize are gaining steam. Today the Peninsula Citizens for Sustainable Development sent an email to Chief Environment Officer Martin Allegria to comment on the supplemental information submitted by Norweigain Cruise Lines after the EIA public consultation went awry. They say that "the (supplemented) EIA fails to provide enough complete and sound environmental and socio-economic information on which to base a rational decision about the desirability or undesirability of NCL's proposed cruise port at Harvest Caye." They add that "the revised and additional information provided by the project proponents… actually suggest that the project is less feasible than originally considered, rather than more so."

Hon Alamilla Presenting At Prestigious Conference On Oceans
One of the persons that mail is addressed to is Minister of Environment Lisel Alamilla. But she'll get it on the road in California where she is right now presenting as part of a prestigious panel at the World Oceans Summit. The high level event is organized by the Economist Magazine and it convenes global leaders from government, business, international organizations, NGOs, think-tanks and academia to discuss the risks bought about by ocean degradation and help shape debate about governance of the ocean. Tonight Alamilla is the lead presenter on ecosystem based management.

Channel 5

2 men injured in late evening shooting in Belize City
Just before news time this evening, several shots rang out in the Queen Square area, approximately a block away from the Raccoon Street Police Station.  Two Belize City youths were [...]

2 bandits escape with $208,000 in daring daylight robbery at Free Zone
Corozal Police are investigating a broad daylight robbery which occurred in the Commercial Free Zone on Monday morning. It happened in the parking lot of the Fabrica de Mayoreo, and [...]

Deon McCauley signs contract with U.S. Soccer Team, Atlanta Silverbacks
Belize’s star striker Deon McCauley, one of only three athletes to score eleven goals during the qualifying stages of competition leading up to the approaching FIFA World Cup, has found [...]

Family says contract is a stepping stone in McCauley’s career
While the Belmopan Bandits, the Football Federation of Belize and his teammates on the Belize National Selection celebrate the success of one of their own, Deon’s father, David ‘Manu’ McCauley, [...]

Post mortem confirms Thomas Ferguson died of stab wound
A post mortem examination on the body of Thomas Ferguson Sr., who succumbed over the weekend to an injury received on December seventh, 2013, confirms that he died of complications [...]

57 employees terminated from Golden Princess Casino
Last Friday, the Golden Princess Casino located at the Northern border closed its doors. The news was immediate cause for concern, particularly so because reports were that as many as [...]

Stephon Anderson remanded for the attempted murder of Andrew Augustine
In Monday’s newscast, we reported on the shooting of twenty-one year old Computer Technician, Andrew Augustine. While Augustine remains hospitalized, police believe the alleged gunman was twenty-three year old Stephon [...]

Man gets 10 years for robbery
Tanya McNab, a Belize City resident, was robbed at knife point in December 2012 by a man who stole her handbag valued at two thousand dollars. Her bag contained her [...]

Sherman Rodney arraigned for escape
Sherman Rodney is claiming he was beaten badly by the police and had to be hospitalized. And while the cops say he escaped from the K.H.M.H., Rodney says he walked [...]

Repairs near completion on Port of Belize’s pier
Repairs to the wharf at Port of Belize Ltd. have been ongoing since an accident last Tuesday during which an incoming barge caused significant structural damages when it collided into [...]

A workshop for artisans who work adjacent to archaeological sites
Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archeological Sites…It is a project that is the brainchild of the Belize Tourism Board, the National Institute of Culture and History and the European [...]

Junior Buddy, the jaguar, celebrates his 7th birthday
Throughout the years, many animals at the Belize Zoo, including the now deceased April the tapir, celebrated their birthdays to much fanfare from animal lovers across the country.  Junior Buddy, [...]

…while Edgar Hill, to be used for research studies
Another jaguar, Edgar Hill, was caught in a trap within the Mennonite village of Pine Hill, in the Toledo District.  The predator cat had attacked a horse and buggy and [...]

A one-on-one with Deon McCauley
As we mentioned earlier in this newscast, Belizean footballer Deon McCauley has signed a one-year contract with the Atlanta Silverbacks, where he will be playing in the North American Professional [...]


The police manhunt to recapture escaped prisoner and accused murderer , Jarod “Steel Bob” Lamb, 25, of Ontario, came to a violent conclusion at about 4:00 this afternoon, in the area of the San Ignacio cemetery, where policemen found and shot him just below the right knee. Lamb was taken to the San Ignacio Hospital, after which he was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, under police escort. After Lamb is released from the hospital, he will be charged with escape from lawful custody, and returned to the prison cell at the Belize Central Prison, where he has been remanded on a murder charge. Lamb had escaped from San Ignacio police at about 8:30 Thursday morning, and they have been searching for him ever since. Lamb was today sighted in the area of the Santa Elena cemetery and residents called police, who responded immediately. When Lamb saw the cops, he ran, and they fired at him, hitting him just below the knee.

The families of former PUP Minister of Government and Sir Alexander “Sandy” Hunter and his brother and former PUP Minister Fredrick “Fred” Hopkins Hunter, and the family and many friends of Fred Hunter’s son, Anthony “Tony” Hunter, 52, are mourning the loss of Tony, who was killed in a tragic road traffic collision that occurred about 9:00 Saturday morning between Miles 2 and 3 on the George Price Highway. Tony was travelling on his motorcycle from Hattieville to Belize City when he reportedly collided with the rear of a backhoe between San Foam Factory and the highway’s junction with the entrance into Linda Vista Estate. Tony, operations manager for a car rental franchise bought by Bowen and Bowen, died at the scene, and was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival. A witness who lives near the scene of the accident told Amandala that she was in her house when she heard a loud bang, and when she looked out, she saw a man lying on the road in front of her driveway. The motorcycle on which he had been travelling was across the road in the drain and a backhoe was about 20 feet away from where the body was lying.

A woman is devastated, after her son stabbed her brother, who died at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital at about 9:00 Saturday morning. Alice Ferguson’s son, Oliver Peters, 36, will be arraigned on a charge of murder for the death of her brother, Thomas Eugene Ferguson, 53, who died on Saturday, February 24, two and a half months after he was stabbed by his nephew at about 1: 00 Friday morning, December, 6, 2013, at their family house on Arlington Drive. Ferguson told Amandala that they were all at home sleeping that Friday morning, when Peters, who does not live with them, came to their house and began to cause an uproar. He caused the light in the house to go out by breaking the bulb and got into an altercation with his brother and then punched his brother in the face. Peters then got a knife and went to the home of his uncle, Thomas Ferguson, which was in the same yard. He knocked on the door and when Ferguson opened the door, he stabbed his uncle in the chest. Ferguson then fell to the floor. Alice said that her son stood there, watching his uncle on the floor. She said she got angry with him and asked him why he stabbed his uncle.

The draft national budget—which includes roughly $800 million in recurrent spending and $200 million in capital spending, for a total of approximately $1 billion—is slated to be submitted to Cabinet this Thursday, February 27, according to information Amandala received today from the Ministry of Finance. Last year, Parliament approved $778 million in recurrent spending for the current financial year, and the draft of the 2014-2015 budget, which is due to be tabled in Parliament on Friday, March 7, before the March 9th holiday weekend, calls for just over $800 million in recurrent spending. Almost 40% of that is earmarked for wages and pensions, including funds programmed for a salary adjustment for teachers and public officers, which is due to take effect in July 2014, an official told us.

130 workers terminated from Golden Princess Casino
The Golden Princess Casino of the Corozal Free Zone, which employed over 200 workers from the Corozal District area, has ceased operations and roughly 130 workers of those workers were terminated. The workers were called to a meeting in the casino about 11:00 Friday morning, when they were informed that the casino was closing down. The owners reported that the casino was operating at a loss and could not afford to stay open. The casino has been operating just outside the Free Zone for over 10 years. The employees are now waiting to be paid, and to collect other severance benefits from the company. In an interview with CTV News, workers of the casino reported that they all went to work as normal on Friday, when they read a message placed on the bulletin board informing them of a meeting that was to be held in the casino conference room at 11:00 that morning. They attended the meeting and that was when they were told that the company was closing down.

CGA and Banks can’t agree on Citrus MOU
The contentious rift between citrus stakeholders Citrus Growers Association (CGA) and Banks Holdings Ltd. has reared its ugly head once again – this time leading to a delay in the signing of a crucial Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which should have been finalized last Wednesday, February 19. Tonight, Amandala managed to speak with CGA executive Denzil Jenkins, who told us that CGA is optimistic that an agreement will be reached as soon as “the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed.” Reliable sources within the citrus industry told Amandala earlier today that both parties were apparently still trying to “iron out” issues regarding “certain technicalities and legalities in terms of the MOU.” Amandala understands that the current disagreement is over an addendum which was inserted by Banks Holdings into the MOU – one with which the CGA does not agree. The CGA’s attorneys reportedly described the MOU as being “bogged down with technicalities.”

Attorneys for Minister of State Edmund Castro, Channel 5 News and Alverine Burgess were at the Supreme Court today, Monday, for a case management session before the start of a libel suit that Castro has filed against Channel 5 News and Alverine Burgess. But if attorney Godfrey Smith, S.C., who is representing Channel 5 News, has his way, Castro’s claim will be struck out under a provision in the Prevention of Corruption Act, he told reporters. Less than one month after the Penner Passport Scandal broke, Prime Minister Dean Barrow, speaking at a press conference on October 23, said he had reports that Cabinet ministers were involved in a visa hustle. The Prime Minister emphatically begged his ministers to “please stop it,” adding that hustling at the Immigration Department “could cause the government to fall.”

As a people, we have been through experiences that have left us in disbelief. This description of “disbelief” applies to those of us Belizeans from the older generations, and the disbelief reaction occurs because of the colonial frame of reference with which we grew up five and six decades ago. Younger Belizeans do not experience our disbelief. They have grown up in the age of television and computers. There is nothing which leaves them in shock. They are more likely to experience anger and outrage, and it is arguably the case that anger and outrage are more relevant in 2014 Belize than shock and disbelief. 1950 Belizeans fought against colonialism and class prejudice. 1969 Belizeans fought against racism and imperialism. Today, what Belizeans are fighting against are modern, sophisticated, sinister forms of racism and imperialism. It is a very difficult fight, because we are not properly educated about the nature of sovereign nationalism, and we are not dedicated to that sovereign nationalism. In addition, educated Belizeans, such as our lawyers and politicians and big business people, have taken the lead over the last three and a half decades in selling out Belizeans, Belizean assets, and Belizean national dignity, for money. They are never punished for their treacherous deeds. In fact, it is the treacherous ones who run our society.

From The Publisher
Over the past few weeks I’ve been discussing political and economic concepts with you which have to do with the market place and the state. We say that the market place is committed to competition, raw competition, whereas systems wherein the state is prominent, focus on cooperation amongst the citizenry as the road to national progress. In George Orwell’s classic satire, Animal Farm, he attempted to show that in the state-prominent models, there still have to be individuals in charge. And the likelihood is great that these individuals will become elitist, selfish, and acquisitive in their behavior, thus undermining the very philosophy which drove the people to overthrow the previous leadership and install new ones. Near to us in Cuba, we have not seen Fidel and Raúl Castro become corrupt in material terms, although they have been in power now for 55 years. I think it is fair to say that the Castro brothers are exceptions to Orwell’s rule. Fidel and Raúl have been authoritarian, nevertheless, and people in my profession do not have that freedom in Cuba which we enjoy here in the media. The thing is, the United States, the most powerful country in the world, essentially declared war on Cuba the year following the Cuban Revolution of 1959, and when you are in a war, you cannot tolerate as much dissent as when you are at peace.

LETTERS: Floating viral time bomb?
Dear Editor, While the debate over a major cruise ship terminal in the otherwise pristine southern Belizean waters continues, another serious concern has to be addressed. I refer to another recent outbreak of suspected norovirus aboard a Carnival cruise ship that incapacitated some 700 passengers and crew, and a recent CNN article, “Are cruise ships floating petri dishes?” The article raises some serious concerns and made me think; can a small country like Belize take a chance on what could be a floating viral time bomb? At the risk of sounding alarmist or as resorting to hyperbole, I feel that this is a very real concern that needs to be addressed.

LETTERS: Compton writes Evan X
Dear Evan, In “From The Publisher” of February 19, 2014, you mentioned that the Chamber Reporter was the first to introduce the offset printing technology in Belize in 1967. While it is true that the Reporter was the first newspaper to adopt this offset printing technology in Belize, I believe the technology was introduced by the Government Printers, which was on Church Street in Belize City where a BTL office is now situated, about 1963. This was followed by my brother, the late Elwood Fairweather, who had his print shop on Albert Street (Craig’s Waterside) in the lower flat of the residence of attorney and poet, Raymond H. Barrow. Elwood later helped the Chamber to set up their equipment. The Chamber Reporter was previously printed in Miami, Florida.

BCB Holdings reports US$4.8m net loss
BCB Holdings Limited (BCBHL), the parent company of the Belize Bank – the largest, full-service commercial and retail banking operation, today reported a net loss from operations of US$4.8 million for the nine months ended December 31, 2013, contrasting with net income of US$4.7 million for the same period of 2012. Consequently, the company reported a net loss per ordinary share of US$0.05, contrasting with net income of US$0.05 per share in 2012. BCBHL also reported a net loss from operations of US$2.7 million for the three months ended December 31, 2013, while it reported US$2.1 million net income for the same time in 2012. This has meant a loss of US$0.03 per ordinary share for the last three months. For the last three months of 2012, BCB Holdings reported net income per share of US$0.02.

Mrs. Grace Peters (1920-2014)
Funeral services were held this afternoon at St. Ignatius Church for Roselia Grace Peters, a Dean Street stalwart for many decades. Officiating was Rev. Amelio Chi and the Organist was Mr. Joe Lawrence. Pallbearers were Lisburn Peters, Alvin Peters, Delbert Peters, Kevin Peters, Stanley Leslie, and Herman Arnold. Mrs. Peters was born on November 8, 1920, and passed on February 17 of 2014. She leaves to mourn her children: Lauren Diaz, Lisburn Peters, Alvin Peters, Blossom Peters, Therese-Peters Arnold, and Delbert Peters; daughter-in-law, Diane Peters; son-in-law Herman Arnold; sixteen grandchildren; twenty four great grandchildren; three great great grandchildren. Mrs. Grace Peters was a foundation stone of the United Black Association for Development (UBAD), the parent organization for the Kremandala businesses, in the early years. This newspaper extends the deepest of condolences to her family and friends. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.

BWC arrears to be settled out of court
The strenuous relations between the Belize City Council and one of its sanitation contractors, Belize Waste Control (BWC), soured even more after BWC hauled the Mayor to court last Friday for 5 weeks of outstanding arrears for sanitation services. Mayor Darrell Bradley stressed that the litigation hearings were “unreasonable,” since the Council was doing its best to keep the debt within the limits of their contract with BWC – which allows for 4 weeks of indebtedness on the part of the Council. This week, he told Amandala that both parties have decided that the lawsuit will now be settled out of court. The Mayor explained, “The situation is that last week, Waste Control had commenced other action against the City Council in respect of the arrears. In December of last year, we were 15 weeks behind with them (BWC), and they sued us for that 15 weeks. I was kinda surprised, because we were paying them. Now, we’ve brought it down to 5 weeks, and the contract itself shows us to be 4 weeks in arrears. Last Friday in court, we agreed to enter into a settlement order, and each side would bear their own costs, so the City Council will not incur any costs [of court].”

Suicide in Santa Clara, Corozal
A family from Santa Clara in the Corozal District is devastated after a 25-year-old father was found dead with a rope around his neck by his common-law wife, Karina Pech, 23, in the living room of their house at about 6:30 Tuesday morning. Adriano Samuel Ramos, 25, a laborer, was rushed to the Corozal Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival by Dr. Sajiah Jacobo and Dr. Ingrid Sansores. Ramos’ body was taken to the Corozal Morgue where a post-mortem was carried out to certify the cause of death. There were no signs of violence on his body, and police have ruled out foul play. His twin brother, Rafael Auriano Ramos, 25, a tour guide of St. Matthews, Cayo District, identified his body to police. Doctor Mario Estradabran, Police Coroner, conducted the post-mortem today, and at the conclusion of the autopsy, certified the cause of death to be asphyxiation by hanging due to suicide.

The horse and buggy business has become a staple attraction of the cruise tourism industry in Belize City, and on days when cruise tourists come to our shores, the horse-and-carriages can be seen weaving through traffic, pulling groups of tourists to-and-fro all across the city. That practice, though, has now come under scrutiny after a 10-wheeler truck ran over the leg of a horse that was pulling some tourists in a carriage this past Tuesday at the corner of Craig and Daly Streets. The horse, called Jack, sustained a broken leg and had to be subsequently euthanized, to the ire of animal enthusiasts who have long been complaining that the horses are sometimes treated inhumanely because they work long hours and normally have to compete with buses, taxis and other vehicles in heavy traffic.

Health and CitCo address pigeon infestation at Michael Finnegan market
Some weeks ago, we told you about the problem of pigeon infestation at the Michael Finnegan Market (formerly the Queen Street Market), but the Environmental Health Unit in the Ministry of Health quickly stepped in with corrective measures, after observations that pigeons were found eating directly out of sacks of beans left open at the market. They have mandated vendors to use clear plastic to cover their produce, which they retail by the pound, rather than leaving them exposed to the open air. Amandala was informed by an official of the unit (formerly Public Health) that their investigations had revealed that some of the market vendors were actually encouraging the pigeons by feeding them. The unit has since asked those vendors to discontinue the practice. As we detailed in our previous article, pigeons are known to carry an array of pathogens, a serious problem because of their bad habit of dropping their feces anywhere they please.

PLB Closing Season delayed
Last Tuesday, February 18, the Premier League of Belize (PLB) released the schedule for the first 2 weeks of its new Closing Season 2013-2014 tournament, with games slated to be played over the weekend on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. This was followed by another release on Wednesday, February 19, where the PLB announced the “Disciplinary Board results/sanctions” in respect to the semifinal game from the last competition on Sunday, January 26, at the Marshalleck Stadium between home team Verdes FC and visiting FC Belize. We considered the late issuing of the sanctions to be of poor timing to usher in the start of the new season. As reported in last weekend’s issue, 4 Verdes players were suspended for 6 months and 1 Verdes player for 2 years (effectively all of the upcoming season), and both Verdes FC and FC Belize had the charges for cards issued during the course of the game raised to $150.00 per card. Both clubs, but especially Verdes FC, would therefore be reeling from the effects of the sanctions, while trying to prepare for opening games. FC Belize, whose owner, Lionel Welch, passed away recently, was given a pass by not being scheduled for action in the opening weekend. But, what was looking like a rocky start to the Closing Season turned out to be no start at all.

Corozal sports news
On Saturday, February 22, the official opening and parade of the Mayor’s U-10 Football Tournament 2014 was a huge success, with 12 participating schools. This was followed by the first 2 games of the tournament at the Corozal Civic Center grounds, where Corozal Methodist won, 1-0, over St. Francis Xavier; and Calcutta Gov’t defeated San Antonio Gov’t, 3-1. The Corozal District primary school male softball Finals will be completed on Wednesday, February 26, at the Civic Center grounds between the boys of Corozal Methodist and Xaibe RC. The Corozal Methodist female softball team are already the District Champions. The Family Fun Run 2014 is scheduled for 9th March, commencing at the Andres Campos Civic Center starting at 9:00 a.m. and finishing at Miami Beach with fun activities such as watermelon eating contest, 3 legged race, lime and spoon, parent and child beach cruiser race, limbo dancing and much more. Your entire family is invited.

Hill Circuit Test Race results – Sunday, February 23
The Cycling Federation of Belize held the first in a series of Test Race Events yesterday on the Hummingbird Highway as part of its selection process and preparation of the National Team. The event featured a Hill Circuit Race from Belmopan to approximately 1/2 mile from Cave Branch Bridge and return, for three and a half laps, with a return climb to finish on top of the Hill in Armenia Village, approximately 70 miles, for the Elite; and two and a half laps with a return climb to finish at the same spot for Female, Junior and Youth riders. Below are the top finishers for each category. Elite – 1st place Joel Borland (BTL Cycling Team); 2nd Ron Vasquez (Western Spirit); 3rd Peter Choto (C-Ray Road Addikz); 4th Giovanni Lovell (BTL Cycling Team); 5th Byron Pope (Benny’s Megabytes); 6th Marlon Castillo (BTL Cycling Team); 7th Geovanni Choto (Western Spirit); 8th Herman “Hijo” Requena (SMART Cycling Team); 9th Quinton Hamilton (SMART Cycling Team); 10th Gregory Lovell (BTL Cycling Team). Female – 1st place Shalini Zabaneh (Sagitun); 2nd Alicia Thompson (Belize Bank Swoosh).

A mentally challenged man of Big Falls Village in the Toledo District died after being shot in the leg by police with a 12-gauge pump action shotgun after he chopped a special constable and attempted to chop another officer at about 8:00 Monday morning in Big Falls. Moses Williams, 25, was declared dead at about 9:30 that same Monday morning by Doctor Luz Legra Williams of the Punta Gorda Hospital. Police said that the incident occurred about 8:00 Monday morning when two policemen of the Big Falls were trying to arrest Williams, who was armed with a machete.

Jury find Lenny Bennett Benguche, 27, guilty of maim
After the court amended the indictment to reflect the accused man’s given birth name, Supreme Court Justice John Gonzalez signaled that he was ready to let the jury into the courtroom to hear its verdict in the trial of Lenny Benguche, who has been using a number of aliases in the past, and who had been indicted for maim. The foreman of the nine-member jury of 5 women and four men, who had been in deliberation for over four hours, indicated that they had reached a unanimous guilty verdict. Benguche, who was unrepresented at the trial which began on Monday, decided to exercise the option of a mitigation hearing before Justice Gonzalez passes sentence on him on Friday, February 28. The incident which led to the maim occurred on January 28, 2008, in Ladyville when Benguche shot his ex-girlfriend, Christina Zetina, behind her thigh, and as a consequence, the leg had to be amputated.

Repeat firearm offender picks up 10-year prison sentence
A Belize City man who has a previous conviction for keeping an illegal firearm and ammunition was convicted a second time for a similar offence and was sentenced to 20 years in prison after he was found guilty of both charges in the Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith sentenced Jevon Levi Slusher, 32, to ten years on each charge, but stipulated that the sentences are to run concurrently, so Slusher will only spend ten years in prison. In 2006, Slusher was convicted on firearm and ammunition charges and sentenced to five years in prison. Concerning Slusher’s latest charges, according to police, around 10:15 p.m. on February 22, 2013, they observed Slusher throwing an object into a bushy area near Jane Usher Boulevard.

Sea cucumber exporters plead guilty to Fisheries charges
Three Guatemalans, a woman and two men, who were busted with thousands of pounds of sea cucumber at a Fisheries Department checkpoint, pleaded guilty when they appeared before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton, who imposed a $500 fine on all three of them. Georgina Maribel Mendez Aldana, 49, and her two Guatemalan employees, Cesar Gerardo Hichos Ramirez, 22, and Hugo Rolando Orellana Salas, 52, were charged with engaging in commercial fishing, while not being the holder of a valid fishing license. In addition, Aldana was charged with being in possession of a forged document. She pleaded guilty to that charge and Hamilton imposed the maximum fine of $6,000, to be paid immediately. The trio was represented by attorney Bryan Neal, who engaged the court in mitigation pleas on their behalf, imploring Magistrate Hamilton to not impose a custodial sentence on them.


More facts about US National adoption related arrest in Belize and my surprising medical refund
Some of you may have read the recent news about the recent US National adoption related arrest in Belize. They extradited Mary Mooney from Belize right around the time I got sick, held her in Miami for a week and no one was able to tell her clearly why. Mary is still waiting for charges to be officially explained in court tomorrow and as far as she has been able to determine they are based on a company she was employed by back in 2007 and 2008 and the indictment has to do with placement of Deaf and HIV positive children from Ethiopia. I agree that it is important for news agencies to help the public be informed and part of this includes letting us to know who to watch out for. Seeing this story progress, I have gained a new perspective about how damaging it can be to label someone guilty [right down to the 'mug shot' picture everyone chose to use] without giving everyone enough facts to make an informed decision. What happened to consideration of a persons life, future and who they really are? Anyone could have found a nicer picture on Mary’s facebook page, I picked a nice one for my homepage feature image slider to this post. Of course doing so would not have matched the guilty criminal side of the story that was being reported. As far as I read, not one news agency took the time to look at who Mary Mooney really is in the adoption word and what her track record has been so far. Please keep in mind I am not faulting anyone for doing their job based on the one report all of us saw and that I am writing this from a personal point of view because I believe a second side of side of the story needs to presented.

Belize’s Big Cats Get a helping Hand as another Belizen Eco-Initiative Takes Off
Another initiative by Belize to contribute to a sane and sustainable world is picking up speed. We’re referring to the recent signing of a memorandum of understanding with 18 nations to create and safeguard a wildlife corridor aimed at preserving one of the world’s most magnificent creatures and a Belizean icon – the jaguar. Thanks to an official commitment from the Government of Belize and its environmental partners, there is now formal agreement to maintain the corridor through the jaguar’s natural habitat from Mexico through Central America and down to Argentina. And according to a keynote speaker at the event commemorating the signing, Belize stands out for preserving a robust habitat for the big cats. Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, who is the CEO of the international non-profit organisation, Panthera was lavish in his praise for Belize’s efforts. “You have some of the wildest jungle I have seen remaining throughout the jaguar range. You have some of the best jaguar populations…

Grow your Business
We are delighted to inform you of another opportunity for growth-oriented, innovative women entrepreneurs and business owners across the region: : “Grow your Business” (GyB) 2014 workshops have today been launched by the Women Innovators Network in the Caribbean (WINC), as part of the ‘Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean’ (EPIC) being implemented by infoDev, a department of the World Bank, in partnership with Canada’s Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD). GyB 2014: Transform Your Business through Innovation These workshops are designed for women entrepreneurs to develop a fresh approach to their business. Over a three-day period, participants will explore new ideas to expand and improve their current business offerings, refine their unique selling propositions, better engage their existing customers and forge new business relationships. Our intention is that this GyB experience will empower entrepreneurs to fulfil their new business visions with ease and confidence.

The “new” debt crisis, and why austerity won’t work
The problem of toxic debt levels in the Caribbean is neither new nor particularly surprising, given the established trends in government spending even amidst poor economic performance and dismal growth prospects. However, the recent and ongoing involvement of the Inter national Monetary Fund (IMF) in the region’s economic affairs and the familiar championing of spending cuts and austerity are cause for concern, especially with the Fund’s history of botched economic experiments in Latin America (including Argentina) , Asia and now Greece. While huge public spending cuts seem to be a band-aid for the economic hemorrhaging, they are inadequate and short sighted solutions to the much bigger problem of creating (and supporting) economic growth.

Enjoy bacon omelet rolls fer brakefuss, lunch er dinn'r
8 aigs 1 cup milk 1 /3 cup flour 1 ret pepp'r, finelee choppet 8 slices bacon, crumblet 3 gree onyuns, finelee choppet 1 teespoon dride oregano 1 cup shretdet Cheddar cheez 1 cup salsa Direckshuns: Heat ove ta 350 degrees. Line 15 by 10 by 1-inch pun wit parchment pap'r wit ends extendyun' ov'r shertest sides o'pun. Spray wit cookin spray. Beat aigs, milk, an' flour n' a large bowl wit whisk until blendet. Stir n' t'nex 4 ingredyints. Pour into preparet pun. Bake 14-16 minnuts er until edges air almos set. Top wit cheez. Bake 2 minnuts er until meltid. Roll up omelet immediatelee startin at one shert end an' peeleeun' off pap'r as omelet is rollet. Place un platt'r, cut into slices. Serve wit salsa.

Cheesy Amish Brakefuss Casserole
1/2 pound slicet bacon, dicet 1/2 lb sausage 1/2 tsp garlic powd'r 4 cups froze shretdet hash brown potatoes, thawet 9 aigs, lightlee beete 2 cups shretdet Cheddar cheez 1 1/2 cups small curd cottage cheez (I uset 4%) 2 cups shretdet Swiss cheez Preheet ove ta 350 degrees. Greese a 9×13-inch bakyun' dish. Set aside. Cook bacon an' sausage n' a large skillet until done. Drane fat. N' a large bowl, combine bacon, sausage, potatoes, aigs, cheddar cheez, cottage cheez, an' swiss cheez. Pour mixture into preparet bakyun' dish. Bake 40 ta 50 minnuts.

Kelsey Balderamos transferred from St. John’s Junior College to University of St. Thomas · Texas. Balderamos went to high school at St. Catherine Academy where she helped lead her team to the National High School Championship in 2007 and 2008 qualifying to play internationally at the CODICADER Games in 2008 and 2009. She also played for the Stars Volleyball Club. Kelsey is a member of the 2012 All-Red River Athletic Conference Team and postseason award-winners as voted by the conference's coaches. Champions of Character..... — at University of St. Thomas - Houston.

Belize Fashion Fusion 2014 a Success
This past weekend Nouveau Model Management, Belize's premier modeling agency partnered with well known wedding, fashion and events photographer and Philanthropist, Will Moreno from Will Moreno Photography to present an innovative show designed to promote Belizean fashion designers, Belizean jewelry designers, an international fashion designer with Belizean family ties all showcased on the runway by the beautiful and elegant models of Nouveau Model Management. The fusion of designers such as Danny Torres from Jada's Fashions, Mauricio Canelo of De-Yans Fashion Jewelry, Lula Bennett of Lula's Impressions, supported by local boutiques such as Catwalk Fashions, Pink Boutique and Eve'e Secrets Lingerie made for a spectacular event. The main reason for the fusion and the fashion show was to show a child some love for Valentines as all profit from the show gets donated to charities such as the Belize Association of California and the Love Foundation for the less fortunate Belizean Children. The show was hosted by Jackie Castillo and William Neal.

Profiting from a strong private sector - Part III TAXES
The private sector also pays the largest proportion of taxes to the government of Belize. In the 2013/2014 budget, approximately $581 million or 80%, of the total $727 million in estimated tax revenue is projected to come from the or through the private sector. This does not include stamp duties, land tax, and several other taxes to which the private sector also contributes. It also doesn't include PAYE, some of which is contributed by private sector employees.

Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico (ESTM) boys win National Football Championship!!!
The boys of Escuela Secundaria Técnica Mexico of San Roman, Corozal, will represent Belize at the upcoming Central American Junior Scholastic Games (CODICADER) in Guatemala in September. They have won the National Football Championships organized by the National Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA). Delille Academy in Dangriga hosted the tournament sponsored by Bowen & Bowen Ltd and Crystal Water at the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga on Friday and Saturday, February 14-15. The Escuela Mexico boys, completely dominated the Southern regional champions, the boys of Independence High School, and won 4-1 in the championship finals. When the Independence defenders blundered into taking down an Escuela forward in the goal area, the referee ruled penalty. Escuela’s central defender, Edgar Itza, stepped up to convert for a 1-0 lead.

Unconfirmed but reliable information is that PUP Senator Collet Montejo has been sacked. Montejo earned the ire of his party’s hierarchy after he endorsed Luke Espat for Standard Bearer for the Cayo Central constituency. Recently Montejo was encouraged to re-enter the race in the division which he lost marginally in the 2012 elections. Those plans changed shortly when he was asked or told to stand down from contesting. Montejo then decided to support Luke Espat. Inside sources tell NBZLIVE that senator Karen Bodden may also be on the chopping block and that Lisa Shoman will be the only senator that will retain her post. Convention is set for Sunday, April 27, 2014 when Luke Espat will face off with Daniel “Dan” Silva.

International Sources

Silverbacks sign Belizean scoring ace McCaulay
The Atlanta Silverbacks signed 26-year-old forward Deon McCaulay from Belize's Belmopan Bandits. He had scored 11 goals in eight matches for Belize in World Cup 2014 qualifying to tie Dutch star Robin Van Persie and Uruguayan Luis Suarez for the most goals in the 2014 qualifying campaign. "I've had my eye on Deon for a long time, and I got a chance to see him up close at last year's Gold Cup. His talent, speed, explosiveness, and knack for scoring goals is exactly what our team needs," said Silverbacks technical director Eric Wynalda. "After the departure of many of our top attacking players from last season, there were some question marks as to how we would replenish the offense. Those questions have been answered in the form of Deon McCaulay, and we couldn't be more thrilled to have him."

Belize offers Mayan ruins, Caribbean pleasures
My wife, Marcia Jacobson, and I like to be in a warm place between my Cornell semesters, and this year we chose Belize — formerly British Honduras — a relatively small country that became independent in 1981 and is bordered on the north by Mexico, on the south and on the west by Guatemala, and to the east by the Caribbean Sea. Because it was once a British colony and people speak English, Belize is a good place for U.S. and Canadian citizens to vacation. Most tourists go to Belize to learn about the Mayan culture and to enjoy sea activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing and swimming. Birding is also popular. Families and young adults find ample resources for adventure activities, such as rappelling and zip lining as well as cave exploration and cave tubing, particularly at Actun Tunichil Muknal, offered referred to as ATM. Of the 325,000 people, many are descendants of Mayas, and these are often Catholics; others include U.S. expatriates, Chinese, Indians from India as well as Amish and other Mennonite settlers who live in their own self-defined enclaves. Tourism is the major industry. The soil is not great, but good enough to support large gardens and small farms. In San Ignacio, many tourist workers supplement their seasonal incomes by growing their own food and selling the surplus.

Jaguar gains new protection in Belize
The future of the jaguar in Belize is looking brighter following the signing of a conservation agreement between the Government of Belize, the Environmental Research Institute of the University of Belize and the wild cat conservation organisation Panthera. The trio agreed to work together to implement science-based conservation initiatives that secure and connect jaguars and their habitats in Belize and beyond, facilitate land development that is both ecologically sustainable and economically profitable, and lesson human-jaguar conflict throughout the country. The jaguar is the third-largest feline after the tiger and the lion, and the largest in the Western Hemisphere. Its decreasing population is primarily due to deforestation rates, human persecution and human-jaguar conflict, and is considered Near Threatened by the IUCN who now estimates it occupies just 46 per cent of its historic range. Situated on the southern tip of Mexico and eastern border of Guatemala, Belize serves as an integral link connecting jaguars within these countries and all jaguar populations south of Belize.

The Man Behind Miami's Biggest Gold Heists Caught in Belize
In October 2012, just outside a pastel-painted Coral Gables apartment building, one of the largest gold heists in Florida history went down. A convicted thief named Raonel Valdez, who was supposed to be wearing a court-ordered GPS device, somehow jacked $2.8 million in gold from courier George Villegas. And within a few months, Valdez had vanished. Private investigator David Bolton, hired by the Bolivian company that owned the stolen gold, stayed hot on Valdez's trail, but not even a $25,000 reward offered by his client produced any good leads. "We tracked him in four different countries," Bolton says. "We were always one step behind." Until now. Last week, immigration authorities in Belize caught the wanted man in a small town bordering Guatemala. The arrest brings to a close one of the wildest crime stories in recent years, one that — as recounted in a New Times feature story last July — suggested Cuban gangs were infiltrating Miami-Dade County's underworld.

Supermarkets urged to increase Fairtrade support
Irish supermarkets lag far behind their European counterparts when it comes to supporting Fairtrade products, the charity’s director, Peter Gaynor, said yesterday as Fairtrade Fortnight got under way. Half of all bananas sold in Switzerland carry the Fairtrade mark, while the corresponding figure in Ireland is 7.7 per cent. Sugar cane farmer Alfredo Ortega from Belize and Alex Flores from a cashew nut co-op in El Salvador are travelling around the State this week talking to schools and community groups about Fairtrade. Mr Ortega works with the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and Tate & Lyle buys some of their produce. He said it had been challenging for farmers to meet the various standards required by Fairtrade but it was worth it. “It has brought benefits to the farmers, to the families of the farmers and the community.”

AT&T Adds Global Unlimited Messaging to Mobile Share Plans
AT&T today announced two of its best-ever offers for international messaging and direct dial calling from the U.S., delivering more value to customers who want to connect with family, friends and coworkers living abroad. On Friday, February 28, all AT&T Mobile Share and Mobile Share Value plans will now include unlimited international messaging from the U.S. to the world. AT&T consumer and business Mobile Share customers can send unlimited text, picture and video messages. Current Mobile Share and Mobile Share Value customers will automatically benefit from this offer. AT&T is also excited to introduce international calling from the U.S. to any number anytime to over 35 countries, including Canada and Mexico, for 1¢ per minute with our new international calling package, World Connect ValueSM. The “penny-per-minute” calling rates also apply to calls made to any number in the majority of Latin American and Caribbean countries: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Saba, St. Barthelemy, St. Eustatius, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Martin, St. Pierre and Miquelon, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, and Venezuela.

Taino-Maya Parallel Cultures
This a synopsis of a talk given by Peter Barratt to the Institute of Mayan Studies at the Science Museum in Miami on the 19 February 2014 As you may know the TA-INO and the MAYA have the same origins - both originally having arrived in the ‘New World’ from Asia. To put migrations to the Americas into context we have the Clovis Culture in New Mexico which has been positively identified as being a settlement at the end of the last glacial period… that, in round terms, was roughly 13,000 calendar years ago. Though…none of us I am sure will be surprised if the date of the migration into the Americas from Asia will be pushed back to …possibly to 50,000 years ago. The first peoples to migrate to the Caribbean were people of the Casimiroid culture who were later driven back to far western Cuba. (They are sometimes mistakenly called Siboney). The Casimiroids entered from the Yucatan/Belize in about 4500-2000 BC possibly following a chain of cays that has long since disappeared under the sea. The Casimiroid were a lithic people who left very little in the way of artifacts, (Polish archaeologist Kozlowski put a date of 4190 BCE on one Casimiroid site in Cuba) The first and most significant migrants came from South America. The first were people of the Ortoiroid lithic culture who lived between 2000 BC and 300 BC. This map shows the five cultures that had developed in the Caribbean up to 1492.

Doing Business in the Caribbean: CARIFORUM Needs Reform
THE RECENT report, Doing Business 2014: Understanding Regulations for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, is one of a long-standing series of co-publications of the World Bank and International Financial Corporation, which records the global competitiveness of 189 nations from 2012 to 2013. Sixteen of these nations are Caribbean: Fifteen are CARIFORUM member states. The current and previous ranking of these nations is shown in table 1. My immediate observation was that the Caribbean’s longest-standing independent nation – Haiti – was ranked last at 177, while the only non-CARIFORUM and dependent nation – Puerto Rico – was ranked first at 40; and these positions were unchanged from the previous year. In “Political Independence and Economic Development in the Caribbean,” I took a look at the Caribbean phenomenon that larger independent nations, like Haiti, generally have lower-income economies compared to the smaller dependent ones, like Puerto Rico: as it is in this case.

AT&T fights messaging apps with unlimited free international text plan
After announcing LTE roaming agreements for various international markets on Monday, AT&T on Tuesday revealed that it will soon offer free international text messaging to its customers, including support for video messaging, in a move that should help it counter mobile apps that offer almost free chatting features. Starting on February 28th, AT&T Mobile Share and Mobile Share Value plans will include unlimited international messaging including SMS and MMS, but the offer will not support messaging apps that require a data connection to send messages, and which, if used abroad, will cause additional roaming data charges. Free picture and video messaging will be supported only for 120 countries, with free texting available to 190 countries in total. Furthermore, the messages must originate from a user’s phone number and must be sent between phones, with tablet and laptops not included in the offer. In its press release, AT&T also says that “service may be terminated or restricted for tethered messaging, excessive international messaging or misuses.” In addition to free messaging, the carrier will also introduce a new “penny-per-minute” international calling rate to any number anytime, for 35 countries including Canada and Mexico. The plan will cost interested users an extra $5 on top of their current postpaid monthly contract.

February 25, 2014


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Specials and Events

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The San Pedro Sun

Placencia Sidewalk Arts Festival, a full weekend of fun!
While visiting Placencia over the weekend of February 15th for the annual Placencia Sidewalk Arts & Music Festival, we found there was so much more to the fun event than just the unique and creative art. Strolling along the once regarded “narrowest main street in the world” by the Guinness Book of World Records (Reutlingen, Germany now holds claim to the title) the sights, sounds and smells of grilling meats invited us in to the very heart of the village.

It’s a blowout: Tigersharks beat the Corozal Heats 79-54!!
The San Pedro Tigersharks picked up their second win in round three of the National Elite Basketball League after they defeated the visiting Corozal Heats on Saturday February 22nd. Held at the San Pedro High School Angel Nuñez Auditorium, the much talked about game saw national basketball action back on Ambergris Caye and had quite a large turnout. Not only did the spectators enjoy a good game, in which the home team blew out the Heats, but fans also got the opportunity to get Tigersharks t-shirts. Looking into the up-coming games in week four of the season, on Friday February 28th, Belmopan Bandits will face the Corozal Heats at the Andres Campos Civic Center in Corozal Town while Orange Walk Running Rebels will host the Dangriga Warriors at the Orange Walk Sporting Complex. On Saturday March 1st, Belize City Smart No Limits will play Toledo Diplomats at the Punta Gorda Sporting Complex while the San Pedro Tigersharks will host their second game of the season against Cayo Western Ballaz. The Tigersharks game will start at 8:00PM at the Rafael Angel Nuñez Auditorium and spectators are asked to come in black t-shirts to show support for the home team!

BTB and Industry Partners Give Couple A Belizean Honeymoon
It is not every day that the Belize Tourism Board receives requests to give a couple a honeymoon in Belize, matter fact, it has never happened, at least not that we can recall. So, when the BTB received a letter from WPC Leyna Cano on behalf of Precinct II requesting the BTB’s assistance for what we believe was a well-deserved and truly touching story, we knew that we had to try our best to make it happen. The Belize Tourism Board extends a sincere thank-you and acknowledges all the people who made this initiative a success. We want to recognize Tropic Air, Robert’s Grove, Tutti Frutti, The Art Affair Gallery, Laru Beya, Splash Dive Center, Maya Beach Bistro, Barefoot Services, Rum Fish Y Vino, Wendy’s Creole Restaurant, The Lodge at Chaa Creek, Yute Expeditions, Rolson’s Cosina Y Cantina, San Ignacio Resort Hotel, Hode’s Place, Boaz Golf Cart Rental, Belize Pro Diving, Caprice Restaurant, El Divino, Victoria House, Elvi’s Kitchen, Caramba’s, and Seaduced.

Ambergris Today

Terminal Cancer Patient Received Belizean Honeymoon by BTB & Partners
In her letter, WPC Cano articulated what a trip would mean for the couple. Very much in love, PC Leon Flowers and Dana got married in court and never had a honeymoon. Shortly after, Mrs. Flowers was diagnosed with Stage III cancer and despite treatment abroad, a few days ago she returned home after learning her cancer is terminal and that she has only a couple months to live. The couple’s positivity in the face of such a difficult time in their lives, coupled with the acts of thoughtfulness and kindness demonstrated by Precinct II, really moved us and we created a nine day itinerary after we received overwhelming support from our industry partners. On Friday, February 21st, Mr. & Mrs. Flowers departed for the much needed break which takes them to the destinations of Placencia, San Ignacio and San Pedro. The pair is set to experience the warmth of our Belizean hospitality and the indescribable beauty of our country through the best of what Belize has to offer in attractions, food, art, transportation and accommodation.

San Pedro Carnival 2014 Kicks off with Masquerade Ball
The San Pedro House of Culture, in collaboartion with the San Pedro Town Council and Holiday Hotel, hosted its first Masquerade Ball to kick off the San Pedro Carnival 2014 celebrations this past weekend on Saturday, February 22, 2014. The invitation was sent out for everybody to join the party dressed in elegance and wearing special masquerade masks. Those who did not have time to create their own masks were able purchase one at the party and join in on the fun filled celebration along with great music, Mardi Gras beads, appetizers and plenty of cocktails. Prizes were given out to the Most Elegant, Most Creative, Best Couple and Most Energetic party goers.

Isla Bonita Elementary School Hosts Drug/AIDS Fair
Students of the upper division at Isla Bonita Elementary School (Std IV, V and VI) in Ms. Sharon Hazel’s Social Studies class held a mini fair on Drugs, Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV/AIDS on Friday, February 21, 2014. Students were divided into groups where they presented on topics given to them. They were very elaborate in their explanations and provided great examples and interactive games. Invited guests included students, teachers, media, San Pedro Police and SP AIDS Commission.

Island Torch Bar & Grill Promises Hearty and Local Dishes
We have found the perfect place for breakfast in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye; well, another awesome place with a superb breakfast menu that you can have at any time of the day. Island Torch Bar & Grill offers large hearty breakfast options that will have you satisfied and full of energy for the rest of the day! But Island Torch is more than just a place for big breakfast; although it has gotten popular as a hotspot for morning meals, the restaurant has amazing lunch specials that compare to homemade meals and evenings come alive with delicious pizza and beer/cocktails at the bar. Island Torch opens bright and early at 6a.m. every morning, so you can have a great Belizean breakfast before you head to the office or commence your daily rituals. Or you might just want to relax, sip on some good coffee while you update your social media status or check your emails. It is located across Central Park on Barrier Reef Drive so you can sit back and observe as the island comes alive.

A Glimpse into San Pedro Mayor's Oval Office
It is the equivalent to the President of the United States' Oval Office! It is cleary not as majestic and prestigious as the one in the White House, but the office of the Mayor of San Pedro Town is pretty awesome. With posh furnishings, ample desk space, seating for small meetings, and a private bathroom, 'Mayor Danny's office is very comfortable for a man who has the task of running the very busy town of San Pedro. The most impressive decor in the office is the artwork on the ceiling that depicts a 3D logo of the San Pedro Town Council. A suitable office for our hard-working Mayor.

Misc Belizean Sources

Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in partnership with the Belize Coalition of Service Providers (BCSP) will deliver a two-day workshop on the Direct Assistance Grant Scheme to attending firms as part of the Regional Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP) funded by the European Union under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) on February 26 and 27, 2014. Following a recent virtual grant proposal training session delivered on February 11, 2014 by Caribbean Export to BCSP and Beltraide officers, at the request of Beltraide, this workshop was subsequently requested to ensure Belizean firms are in the best possible position to access the available funds from the scheme.

Taximan busted with suitcase of marijuana in his van
elmopan resident Lisburn Marin, 45, was booked on drug trafficking charges late last week. Police busted Marin, a taxi driver and security guard, with a suitcase containing just over 16 pounds of suspected marijuana. Police say that the bust happened in Roaring Creek village on Thursday afternoon. Police conducted a search of Marin’s van and the suitcase was found behind the last seat of the vehicle. Marin has been arrested and charged for the offence of drug trafficking.

Community journalists gradaute in Punta Gorda town
Graduation exercise was held on Saturday, February 22 for a group of Toledo men and women who underwent training as community journalists. The training was an initiative of Ak’Kutan Radio and was designed to give participants of the training course a basic understanding and knowledge of what it takes to gather the news, write stories and present the news on radio and television. The training was conducted by veteran broadcaster/journalist Patrick Jones. A total of 12 community journalists graduated on Saturday during ceremonies which were held at the Father Francis Ring Parish Hall in Punta Gorda town.

Ministry of Health to Benefit from Training in Quality and Performance Delivery
Government of Belize Press Office PRESS RELEASE

FFB Inter-District Championship
Congratulations to the MnM Steelers, for winning the 2nd FFB Inter-District Tournament against the Roaring Creek United yesterday in Belmopan. "Championship of the second FFB Inter-District tournament was held at the FFB Goal Project stadium in the Garden City yesterday 23/2/2014 between Roaring Creek & MnM Steelers of Independence village."

Benque Sawdust Art Project
The Sawdust Art Project that celebrates Holy Friday will be on April 18th this year. Benque's famous sawdust art tapestries always impress, and they are inviting everyone to come out and show off their skills and creativity. See you there. Email [email protected] for more information. Thanks go out to NICH and the Benque House of Culture for setting up this amazing cultural event. "Join us in the elaboration of sawdust tapestries in Benque, be creative, innovative and live the momentum of Holy Friday in Benque Viejo. Interested group from all over Belize are invited to partake in this activity, kindly touch base soon, for more information inbox us."

Armed robbery on the Mountain Pine Ridge road
There was a frightening armed hold up on the Mountain Pine Ridge Road on Saturday morning. Guatemalan businessman Leonel Cardona, reported to police that around 9 am on Saturday, he was driving towards Barton Creek when two men emerged from the bushes armed with shotguns. Cardona, who was being accompanied by Luis Aroldo Ochoa Mendez, says that when the vehicle came to a stop, the armed robbers proceeded to relieve them of a total of $4,000 in cash along with 500 Quetzales. The robbers then fled the area. Police say no one was physically hurt in the incident and an official investigation is ongoing.

Cayo cop charged for extortion
A policeman attached to the San Ignacio police station has been arrested and charged for the crime of extortion. He is Constable #444 Henry Nunez. PC Nunez was arrested and charged following a report made by a motorist that he was shaken down for $300 after he was caught driving a motor vehicle without insurance. The alleged shakedown happened on Tuesday of last week by Esperanza resident Francis Requena, 56. Requena told police that he was stopped at the La Loma Luz Boulevard roundabout on the George Rice Highway and notified of the traffic offence. Requena claims that the officers requested the $300, which he was able to get from his son who arrived at the scene shortly after a call was placed by Requena’s wife. Requena’s son says that after giving the money to his father, he saw when Francis Requena handed the money to the officer who was seated in the rear seat of the police vehicle after which the vehicle drove off.

Edmund Castro versus Alvarene Burgess in Supreme Court
The case of Minister of State Edmund Castro and the woman identified as Alvarene Burgess who accused him of involvement in corrupt transactions over visa recommendations is before the Supreme Court for case management. Castro is seeking a retraction, apology and damages from Burgess and Great Belize Television, Channel 5 who interviewed burgess and broadcast her allegations in October of 2013.

#1 Island In the World-Again!
Very proud and happy about this recognition for Belize, Hon. Manuel Heredia, Jr., Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Civil Aviation, says that collaboration and hard work with industry partners, coupled with satisfied guests, made this possible, “We are honored that Ambergris Caye is once again the #1 Island In The World. The commitment and love invested in this industry have not gone unnoticed. We are thankful for the great partnership that we enjoy with our stakeholders and applaud their dedication to the standards that they keep setting not just for Belize, but also for the global tourism industry. We are also very grateful to the travelers for sharing their wonderful experiences with the Trip Advisor community, because without the visitors this award would not have been possible.”

FISHING REPORT: Week of February 15 – 22nd, 2014
Everyone said, “The week went too fast!” And it did. What fun to meet new friends and most enjoyable for us at El Pescador to see you all leave with big smiles. It is so rewarding for the guide team to see you leave with more confidence and with plans to return! Anglers and guides working together make dreams come true. And remember, you now become the teachers for your family and friends. They look at your adventurous self and think that they too might have that possibility someday to land a fish on a fly. Or wade the flats with a special lure like Scott’s. Carlos brought his wife and four children here to run around in the sun and be exposed to the life from the sea. We are thrilled you joined us and look forward to seeing you all soon. In the meantime, practice your cast so you too can cast to your dreams!

National Women’s Month
Greetings from the Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children and the National Women’s Commission (NWC). The month of March in Belize is celebrated annually as National Women’s Month; as a result, the Special Envoy Office in collaboration with the NWC is staging the 20,000 Strong National Women’s Empowerment Rally on Thursday, March 6, 2014 from 9:00A.M. to 3:00P.M. at the Marion Jones Stadium in Belize City. The aim of this first-of-its kind event is to demonstrate the power, influence and significance of women by showing the Belizean society a day without women. This rally will serve as a platform for a collective approach at finding solutions to the issues that affect the lives of women. We are, therefore, inviting all women, from as near as Belize City to as far as the Toledo District to take the day off from work as a means of celebrating their collective strength and participate in the rally en mass.

Ya’axché’s ranger team develops skills for tree conservation
In April 2013, the Ya’axché Conservation Trust initiated a new programme in Belize focusing on increasing the capacity of protected area managers and staff to carry out tree species conservation. Approaching the end of the project’s first year, Gail Stott reports on the early progress made working with Ya’axché’s ranger team. The first year of Ya’axché’s Global Trees Campaign project has so far been an extremely busy one, involving training workshops, competitions, monitoring trees in the field, and the revamp of our tree nursery. Bearing in mind the relatively low capacity of Belizean NGOs to identify, monitor and manage different tree species, we have started with the basics: new training materials have been developed and tailored to the needs of conservationists in Belize, focussing on plant identification, core field skills, survey methods and the collection of voucher specimens.

The cohune, the gibnut and us
The cohune, the gibnut and us is a short film produced by Ya'axché Conservation Trust in Belize, Central America. The film is explains the concept of biodiversity and what an ecosystem is, and why we humans need to take care not to break the links in the forest ecosystem. The film uses the example of the gibnut (paca), a ground dwelling rodent which disperses the nuts of the cohune palm, which is used for thatching. The paca is also hunted for meat by humans.

Galen Wins ATLIB Basketball
Congratulations, Galen Eagles! They won the ATLIB Basketball championships over the weekend, and this makes it 2 years in a row. "Galen University Eagles Basketball Team: undefeated champions for the second year in a row! GO EAGLES, GO!"

Cayo BTIA Website
The Cayo chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association has a web page. It's still being constructed, but it's looking nice so far. Cayo is the ecotourism capital. Great picture of ATM. "San Ignacio Town is the main town in the Cayo District of western Belize and is an ideal base to explore ancient Maya cities like Caracol and Xunantunich, ceremonial caves like Barton Creek and Actun Tunichil Muknal, and cascading water falls like Rio on Pools and Big Rock waterfalls in the Mountain Pine Ridge Nature Reserve. Hiking, kayaking, bird watching and horseback riding are also top rated outdoor activities in the area. San Ignacio is also an important en route to and from Guatemala since it is one of the last towns in Belize before entering Guatemala where many travelers go to visit Tikal - one of the largest archaeological site in the country."

UB Lady Jaguars Win ATLIB Basketball
Congratulations to the UB Lady Jaguars for winning the ATLIB Basketball championship! The UB male team took second place. "The ATLIB Basketball nationals was held on Friday, February 21, 2014 and our Black Jaguars went to represent the University after qualifying in the Regionals. UB Lady Black Jaguars first faced Belize Adventist Junior College and secured a win. The championship game was between UB Lady Black Jaguars and Stann Creek Ecumenical Junior College (SCEJC). Our team subdued SCEJC and became the new ATLIB champions. The males defeated Wesley Junior College in their first game but unfortunately lost to Galen University in the final game of the day. UB Black Jaguars earned second place in the tournament. Congratulations to our athletes for representing the university well."

Love is in the Air Concert
The Benque House of Culture has posted pictures from the Love is in the Air Concert that was at Centennial Park on Saturday. "The kindness and support of our community brings us through the celebration of a close knitted community, our Air of Love Concert was a blissful partnership with you all. We are humbled by the support of each and everyone who assist in fortifying our solid arts & culture spirit."

Corozal: Stop searches, vehicular checkpoints, bike patrols
Feb 24 - Superintendent Andrew Ramirez of the Corozal Police Department is notifying the general public that stop searches, vehicular checkpoints, bike patrols, mobile patrols and highway patrols will be carried out every Saturday and Sunday from 6:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. These operations have been instituted and will stay in effect until the conclusion of the sugar cane season. They apologize for any inconveniences caused during these operations.

Toledo Community College Fair this weekend
The Toledo Community College (TCC) is hosting its Annual fair this Saturday March 1 at its campus in beautiful Punta Gorda town. According to one of the organizers Ms. Arlene Pennell, the objective of the fair is not only to raise the public profile of the institution, but also a fundraising event for the school to help support different academic initiatives at TCC. Pennell says that the fair also helps to keep the students committed to giving back to their school and community. Organizers say it will be a full day of fun activities to suit everyone, whether it be children, youth or adults.


Former UDP Deputy Mayor of San Pedro, Romel “Nesto” Gomez was stabbed multiple times on Sunday night by his wife sources say. Details are still sketchy on the circumstances surrounding the attack. Guerrero is said to be in serious condition and has been hospitalized at a private facility and is expected to be transferred to the KHMH in Belize City today. Guerrero sustained injuries to the neck, chest and abdomen.Image

Channel 7

Fugitive Steel Bob Shot
San Ignacio Police shot fugitive Jarod "Steel Bob" Lamb this evening. Lamb had escaped from police last week Thursday by busting out of a police van near Ontario Village. San Ignacio Police say that at around 4, someone in the Santa Elena Town spotted him in the Santa Elena Cemetery. The person, who had seen his photo in the media, recognized him as a fugitive and called police. Officers responded and spotted him in the area, and when he saw them coming, he tried to run. One of the officers shot him in the left leg, one inch below the knee. He fell, and police apprehended him after four days on the run. He was escorted from San Ignacio to the KHMH under police guard, where he is being treated for his wounds. As soon as he is released, he will be charged with escaping from lawful custody.

Anthony Hunter Dead In Traffic Tragedy
Tonight, the Hunter Family is grieving the loss of 52 year-old Anthony Hunter who died in a terrible motorcycle accident at mile 2 on the Western Highway just in front of the Foam Factory. At this time police believe that he slammed his Kawasaki Z motorcycle into a backhoe tractor belonging to Cisco Construction. The impact was massive, and here's what we found on the scene: Daniel Ortiz reporting When we arrived on the scene, it was an hour or so after the accident had occurred. Tony Hunter lay died in the middle of the road, a sheet wrapped over him to try to conceal the damage that had been done to his body. Police worked quickly to process the scene. They had blocked off the Western Highway for at least a half a mile, and so they needed to reopen it as soon as possible.

Former PUP Minister Hunter Discusses Loss of Third Son
And while the police put the pieces together, for the family, it's more like picking up the pieces of a shattered life. Today, Anthony Hunter's father, former PUP Minister Freddy Hunter, told Monica Bodden that they couldn't have expected to get news of his death because he had left for work and was expected home soon. And then, they got the call that all families hope to never receive: Freddy Hunter "I was up there at 8am when I got the phone call and my daughter Lourdes call me and said Anthony just passed away and then she told me that he had an accident on the motorcycle; the motorcycle ran into the back of a back hoe and he died on the spot. They came for me, my granddaughter Gina and another grand daughter Amy came and brought me to Belize City and then I found out what really happen that - he works for Bowen and Bowen, they have a car rental and there was two customers in a car that he was showing how to find the Western Highway, so they were riding behind him and when he got them on the highway and they were satisfied that they were on the right road - he went ahead to most turn around or go through Boom, I don't know what his intentions were, but he sped up the motorcycle and when the passengers pass the curve they saw him on the highway already dead. It was on a curve that he went. That is all we know about it."

Alfredo Allegedly Chopped By Brother
Alfredo Martinez, a resident of 170 East Canal, continues to receive treatment at the KHMH tonight after he was either chopped with a machete or slashed with a knife in the head and face. But it's no common "cut him up" crime because police say that his brother is their main suspect. Today, they told 7News why: Inspector Jorge Villanueva, Operation's Commander "Last night shortly after 8pm police responded to an incident. They visited #170 East Canal where on their arrival they encounter a dispute between two brothers. As a result, one sustains superficial cut wounds to the head and the nose. He was transported to the KHMH where he was treated and police are investigating into the matter. His brother Ricardo Martinez, 53 years old, Salvadorian security of the same address - he has been detained and he will be charged shortly."

Nephew Charged For Uncle's Murder
And while that brother is being investigated, a nephew will now face murder charges after the uncle he was accused of stabbing, died this weekend. 44 year-old Thomas Ferguson Sr. got into a fight with his nephew, 36 year-old Oliver Peters on December 7, at a house on Arlington Drive. Peters took out a knife and allegedly stabbed his uncle in the center of the chest. Ferguson had been fighting for his life since then and on Saturday, 2 and a half months later, he passed away at the KHMH. That means that Peters, who was charged and arraigned on charges of attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm, and dangerous harm, will now be upgraded to murder.

Andrew Augustine Shot In The Neck
Almost 12 hours later, police had to return to the KHMH to investigate the shooting of 21 year-old Andrew Augustine, who was hit in the neck. Police told us today that Augustine's shooting last night on Jasmine Street is being closely looked at as an escalation of violence in the Lake Independence area: Cpl. Jorge Lemus, Admin "Acting upon information received from the police control room on Sunday 23rd of February, 2014 at about 11 minutes after 10 police from Precinct 2 visited the KHMH hospital where they saw a male person suffering from a single gunshot wound to the neck area. Initial information received is that one Andrew Augustine, he is a computer technician of a Belize City address was walking on Jasmine Street when a lone gunman rode up and pointed a firearm in his direction and fired a single shot which caused the said injury."

Still No Gold For Employees Of Princess Gold
Former employees from the Golden Princess Casino, who were abruptly laid off last week Friday, intend to go back to the Human Resources Department tomorrow to find out if they will be paid their severance packages for the years of service that they were employed at the company. 7News understands from solid sources that those who were terminated were promised that they would be called today, so they postponed the plan to go asking for their pay to give the former employers a chance to follow up with them. We understand that the employers have not gotten back to them, so they will now go and seek out HR. As we told you, reports to 7News were that over 130 employees were laid off without notice on Friday morning at around 11, and our colleagues at CTV3 were on the ground just after the news was delivered to them, and they spoke with one of the former employees. Here's what she told them about how management had ensured them job security days before they were blindsided:

Alleged Sea Cucumber Queen Pin In Jail
Tonight, Guatemalans Georgina Maribel Mendez Aldana, her common-law husband Honduran, Hugo Salas, and their associate, Cesar Gerardo Ramirez are in jail. They couldn't pay substantial fines incurred for pleading guilty to a slew of fisheries offences. One week ago, they were busted with 7,033 sea cucumbers, weighing 3 thousand pounds, which were destined for illegal export from Belize. Aldana and her crew were expected back in court last week Friday, but it seems that her charges had to be amended before they were finally arraigned. They were read charges of engaging in commercial fishing without a fisherman's license before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton today. They all pleaded guilty, and were sentenced to pay a fine of $500 each. The other 2 charges of engaging in fishing for Sea Cucumbers and attempting to export fisheries without a valid exporter's license were both withdrawn.

Castro Vs Channel 5 Goes To Court
By now, you know very well about the consequence arising from the allegation that Minister of State Edmond Castro used the Belize Airport Authority like a political piggy bank. Prime Minister Barrow made the entire board resign, and the BAA was removed from Castro's Portfolio as the Minister of state in the Ministry of Transport. But before Castro's name was called in that scandal, Channel 5 and immigration agent Alvorine Burgess accused him of selling dozens of visa recommendations for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Castro admitted he wrote letters for her, but he said he never did the amounts she alleges, and he never did it for money. So, he took out a lawsuit against Burgess and Channel 5 for defamation, and today, that case made its first appearance in the Supreme Court before Justice Courtney Abel.

King vs. Castro On Secret Recording: "Big Man Business"
3 weeks ago, 7News told you about the tension within the UDP Government after Lake Independence Area Representative Mark King secretly recorded a conversation with Belize Rural North's Edmond Castro. There are widely varying reports about what Castro did and did not say in that recording - but the most credible information we have been able to piece together says that he was complaining, quite bitterly, about Prime Minister Barrow leaving him under-resourced, and to fend for himself in his division. It was a Friday evening meeting with a UDP linked businessman, drinks were being served, and Castro's conversation we are told was loose and critical of the PM. Shortly after the meeting, King forwarded the conversation to Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who has confirmed to the media that he did indeed receive it. The full contents of that conversation are still unknown at this time, and when we tried to get it out of the Prime Minister, he deflected saying that he considers it an internal UDP matter. But in a climate where the Prime Minister has admitted that the scandals are threatening to destabilize his government, we wondered what King's intention was.

Husband And Wife On Weed Charge
37 year-old Barry Lee Wade and his common law wife, 34 year-old Elizabeth Ann Linarez are facing a drug trafficking charge after they were busted by the GSU with over 8 pounds of marijuana. According to the Gang Suppression Unit, they searched the couple's home on Mahogany Street Extension on Saturday afternoon at around 4:30. Inside their room, the officers found 3 large plastic bags on top of a television shelf. One of the bags contained 10 parcels of marijuana; another contained 6 parcels, and the final bag several small plastic bags. When the officers weighed the drugs in their presence, it amounted to 3.9 kilos or 8.58 pounds of marijuana, so the couple was charged with drug trafficking.

Busted, Disgusted, Remanded
23 year-old Belize City resident Steven Palacio is at prison tonight after police say that they busted him with 9mm rounds of ammunition. When police searched his vehicle on Saturday, they found four live rounds of ammunition. They charged him with keeping unlicensed ammunition, and he was arraigned today before the Chief Magistrate. He pleaded not guilty and claimed that the officers who searched him planted the bullets in his vehicle. His protest notwithstanding, due to the nature of the offence, he couldn't be granted bail, and he was remanded to prison until his next court date.

One Prisoner Caught, Another Still At Large
At the top of the news, we told you that police recaptured one of the prisoners who escaped from their custody. But another prisoner escaped from police a few hours after Steel Bob ran off. According to police at around 6 o'clock on Thursday evening, he escorted Rodney to the KHMH to seek medical attention because he was complaining of severe pain to the left arm. Rodney was taken into a room by a nurse, and when she left, and the officer went in to check on him, he was nowhere to be found. He had made his escape, and tonight, police continue to search for him.

Art: The view From The Street
On Saturday, the 4th annual Street Art Festival took over Downtown Belize City where the streets were closed off to make way for a convoy of creators. 7News was there from the very beginning to the end 8 hours later. Here are some highlites:

Healing Helping Community
And while that was Saturday in the city's downtown area, on Sunday in Lake Independence, community activists joined up with law enforcement to host the 9th Day of Healing, an effort to foster fraternity between at-risk youths living in the different turfs in the Belize City Gang Landscape. It's a grassroots initiative which started on George Street, but picked up and carried on by Perry "Stix" Smith try to show the youths that there are alternative avenues to gang life. It happened at the Complex Field yesterday, where boys from different hoods converged on neutral territory, to make peace from the ground up. Daniel Ortiz dropped by to see how it went. Here's what he found out: Sunday's Healing day was the second for 2014.

Hon. King, Positive Recreation
A few blocks away from the Day of Healing, Lake Independence Representative Mark King was hosting his first 3-on-3 Street Basketball Tournament. He and his fellow organizers, including the Belize City Council as his partner, closed 2 blocks of the main artery into the Lake Independence area yesterday and that was transformed into the basketball court. It's an interesting model of positive recreation in a neighbourhood under heavy influence of violence and so Daniel Ortiz stopped in to see the basketball talents from the hood go at it in the tournament. Here's his report:

I Am 100
How often do you hear of a Belizean citizen reaching the age of 100? That's exactly what Jaqueline Ernestine Gibson Celebrated today; she was born on February 24, 1914. To note the landmark in longevity, Help Age threw her a birthday party and invited the media to join in. 7News stopped in and spoke with Gibson, who has a pleasant disposition which allows her to fit into any social interactions, regardless of age. Here's what she told us about the importance of her hundredth birthday: Jaqueline Ernestine Gibson "100." Daniel Ortiz "Ma'am, tell us about your 100th birthday? The people around you I see they are making it as special as they can for you." Jaqueline Ernestine Gibson "Yes, because I am a special person of course. Anywhere I go I always be the life of the party." Daniel Ortiz "How does one become 100 years old? How do you stay healthy like that to get to that age?" Jaqueline Ernestine Gibson "You just take good care of yourself."

Jaguar Man Is Cayo North's Man For UDP
The UDP has a new standard bearer in Cayo North. He is Dr. Omar Figueroa, the well-known jaguar researcher. In a convention on Sunday where 2051 persons voted, Figueroa garnered 1,383 votes, trouncing his opponent Jorge Tesecum who had 648 votes. It's an impressive showing considering that in the run up to the 2012 election, the PUP had a total of 1250 voters at a four way convention to elect Joseph Mahmoud who went on to become the area representative. Of course, conventions are one thing and elections another, because Cayo North has about 6500 voters.

Channel 5

Well-known biker, Anthony Hunter, perishes in traffic accident
A traffic accident took the life of well-known biker, Anthony Hunter Senior over the weekend. Hunter had escorted a group of visitors on to the George Price Highway when his [...]

Police believe speeding was involved
Anthony Hunter’s family is preparing to lay him to rest later this week. But police investigations continue and contrary to what the family says, the police believe that Hunter was [...]

Uncle, who is shot by his nephew, succumbs
Forty-four year old Thomas Ferguson Senior was stabbed in the chest by his nephew on December seventh, 2013, following a bitter land dispute in which the two were engaged in [...]

2 prisoners back in police custody….Jarod Lamb is shot to the leg
Last Friday, we told you about three prisoners who had escaped from police custody. Well tonight, the streets are safer because two of the three have been recaptured. Late this [...]

…while Sherman Rodney hands himself into police
A second prisoner who police claimed eluded the long arms of the law is also back in police custody. Twenty-three year old Sherman Rodney handed himself to police this afternoon [...]

Belize City youth shot to the neck
A Belize City youth is tonight in a critical, but stable condition at the K.H.M.H. following a shooting on Sunday night in the St. Martin De Porres area. According to [...]

Vehicle crashes into gate of Taiwanese Embassy
A sixteen year student who was apparently driving without a license is in trouble tonight with the law. On Sunday night, he collided into the gate of the Taiwanese Embassy [...]

Trial of whistleblower in alleged visa hustle begins
Minister of State Edmond Castro was recently under much scrutiny for his part in a Belize Airports Authority check fiasco which resulted in the entire BAA Board being forced to [...]

PAC hearings take place in the Capital, but the P.U.P. remains absent
The Public Accounts Committee met in Belmopan today to continue its scrutiny of past Auditor-General reports. The hearings of the PAC have been all but lost in the outcry against [...]

PAC Chairman on strengthening Parliamentary Budget Oversight
PAC Chairman Julius Espat recently attended a special conference on strengthening Parliamentary Budget Oversight. At that conference he was invited to give a presentation on the Opposition’s proposal to restructure [...]

San Ignacio cop arraigned for extortion
A San Ignacio cop is in the hot seat after being accused of extorting money from a Santa Elena couple. Police constable Henry Nunez was arraigned at the San Ignacio [...]

GSU carry out 2 anti-drug operations
The Gang Suppression Unit carried out two anti-drug operations over the weekend. On Saturday afternoon, the GSU searched the lower flat of a two storey concrete building on Mahogany Street.  [...]

Georgina Maribel Mendez Aldana still in court for slew of charges
It has been a very rocky road for a Guatemalan woman who has been back and forth in court since last week Monday for a slew of charges. Forty-nine year [...]

Centenarian Jacqueline Gibson meets occasion in style
Jacqueline Gibson is celebrating a milestone not shared by many Belizeans. She turned one hundred years old today. While she shows her years in character, it is fair to say [...]

Weekend Sports Update with James Adderley
Good evening I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   Week 3 in the National Elite Basketball League brought a monster to the Sacred Heart College Gym in San [...]


Prestigious Golden Princess Casino Closes Business In Free Zone
A few weeks ago the Statistical Institute of Belize reported a decrease in unemployment rate. The report showed that unemployment went from 16.1% in September of 2012 to 14.2%. But the tonight SIB can kiss that figure goodbye because, after being in full operation for almost 10 years, the Golden Princess Casino. Located near the Corozal Commercial Free Zone, closed its doors today leaving more than 130 men and women jobless. It all happened in the blink of an eye. As reporter Victor Castillo found out, the news took employees by surprise and left them in shock. Castillo – Reporting Unaware of what lay ahead, the men and women employed by the Golden Princess Casino, located in the area of the Corozal Commercial Free Zone, adhered to the memo placed on the company’s bulletin board: they were to attend a very important meeting in one of the company’s conference rooms at 11:00 this morning.

Vegetable Vendor Complain Of The Abuse Of Power By Customs Officers
Tonight a resident from the Village of Guinea Grass is extremely upset with Officials from the Customs Department. This morning Arturo Perez visited our news center to vent on the treatment he has been getting from Custom officials since he started supplying businesses and restaurants with vegetable products. While the issue has been resolved, we deemed it necessary to air the story since it is a common occurrence. Perez claims that while getting off a bus near the Toll Bridge in Orange Walk, with his products, he was intercepted by Custom Officers. And this is where the harassment began, at least for that day. Arturo Perez– Vegetable Vendor “Son tomates, cebolla y frutas como jícama, entonces cuando estábamos yendo en el bus hacia Belice, porque yo los llevo a la isla, entonces los Customs estaban haya y ellos pararon el bus y lo chequearon y vieron los tomates y todo los que estaba adentro pero todo es Beliceño no es producto mexicano y ellos agarraron mis cosas aunque está viendo que es Beliceño lo sacaron y todo y los botaron porque ellos lo tienen que chequea bien que no sea mexicano y les estoy diciendo que no es y que vienen de Maskal y la cebolla pues tengo licencia de Marketing Board porque tengo recibo y todo eso pero ellos no quisieron ver nada solo lo tiraron en la camioneta y vinieron con las cosas en la oficina.”

National Transport To Assign Tariff Says Senior Traffic Officer
An educational meeting was held yesterday between members of the National Traffic Department and Municipal Traffic Authority from Corozal Town and over a hundred taxi drivers from the district at the Andres Campos Civic Center. Several issues where brought to the lime light including the revision of the Taxi Laws. During the meeting, two topics that raised tensions was the invading of taxi stands and the different fees being charged by taxi drivers. In order to calm the waters a separate meeting was held with presidents of the taxi unions so as to find a solution to the problems. Today we contacted Senior Traffic Officer for the Corozal District Richard Quan for an update on the meeting. Richard Quan Jr. - Senior Traffic Officer “Well the outcome was good and they shook their hands with one another and they insisted that they will respect one another territory and so hopefully this will work out.”

No VIP Area To Be Constructed In The Free Zone Says The Chairman Of The Free Zone
Earlier this year we reported on plans to start construction of a VIP area at the Corozal Free Zone which would feature authentic and luxury goods instead of cheap knock-off goods that is common in most stores at the Free Zone. In late 2013 the Honorary Consul to Belize Jorge Valencia spoke with the Mexican press stating that the facility will cost somewhere around fifty million US dollars to construct and be located next to the international bridge with Belize, “Chactemal”. The story has changed today however as again the Mexican Press is reporting that the facility did not receive government’s approval. In an interview with the Mexican media, Corozal Free Zone administrator, David Akierman stated categorically that through the Deputy Prime Minister, Gaspar Vega, the Prime Minister Dean Barrow has confirmed that the government will not authorize the construction and opening of any other free zone anywhere in the Santa Elena border area. Here is an excerpt of the story published today in the Mexican Press.

BHSA Promotes The Mayan Culture At School
At least once a year schools place all their work on display for parents and the general public to view. That is a tradition at the Belize High School of Agriculture which today boasted the students work accomplished since the start of the school year. In addition, though, is a cultural aspect that the community and especially the students have embraced. Reporter Dalila Ical takes a look at the day’s event. Dalila Ical - Reporter It’s their open and culture day and all 215 students at Belize High School of Agriculture took part in the celebration. High School Principal CecilioPech says the event provides a space for both students and residents in nearby communities to interact. CecilioPech – Principal, BHSA “We are taking the opportunity of integrating both so that the cultural presentations attract more the parents and the community at large and at the same time to take an opportunity to view the students work at school.”

Dusty Road Bad For Business
Back in the month of November the Prime Minister of Belize announced that some major spending will take place across the country to improve road infrastructure. The project saw the allocation of 76.72 million dollars funded primarily through the Petro Caribe agreement with Venezuela. The P.M announced that out of the $76.72 million, $2.92 million was earmarked for the Orange Walk District. This would see the rehabilitation of the Philip Goldson Highway which passes through Orange Walk Town. Forming part of the highway is the Belize Corozal Road which is currently in deplorable condition. While some works have been done on the road by the Ministry of Works, we can safely say it is still not up to driving standards and with the hot season upon us the dust has become unbearably for those who live or run a business along the stretch of road. Today, our newsroom was flooded with calls from residents and business owners who did not hesitate to voice their concerns over the dust road.


Traffic Accident Claims Man’s Life
The family of 52 year old Anthony Hunter, Sr., is preparing him to rest following a fatal accident reported on Saturday. Hunter was accompanying a friend on the George Price Highway on his Kawasaki motorcycle when he hit the rear end of a yellow Caterpillar backhoe belonging to Cisco...

Man Gets Shot in Belize City
Police are also investigating a shooting incident that took place on Saturday night in Belize City. Investigator Corporal Jorge Lemus tells us more. Corporal Jorge Lemus- Chief of Investigation “Police received information yesterday, Sunday 23rd of February after 10:00 last night on someone being shot on Desmond Street. As...

Man Dies After Stabbed by Nephew
44-year-old Thomas Ferguson Sr. lost the battle for his life on Saturday February 22. Ferguson had been in the hospital since December 7th of last year after he was stabbed. The alleged attacker is Ferguson’s nephew, 36 year old Oliver Peters who reportedly got into a fight with his uncle...

4 Year Old Drowns
A four year old boy of the Stann Creek District drowned while swimming with his mother. On the afternoon of Sunday February 23, twenty five year old Serlin Diaz, Honduran domestic of San Pablo Village, was swimming along with her 4-year-old son Ernesto Alonzo Sarabia. The mother told police...

Minister Edmund Castro Takes Alvarene Burgess to Court
Minister of State Edmund Castro is suing Mrs. Alvarene Burgess, who accused him of involvement in corrupt transactions over visa recommendations, and Great Belize Television (Channel 5), who aired those allegations, for defamation of character in the Supreme Court. The case went before Justice Courtney Abel for case management this...

Man Chopped Allegedly by Relative
Police intend to charge a relation of a Belize City man for chopping him during an incident over the weekend. With the details here is Inspector Jorge Villanueva of Precinct 1. Mr. Jorge Villanueva- Inspector of Precinct One “Last night shortly after 8:00 p.m. police responded to an incident. ...

Woman Attacked By Knife Wielding Thief
A woman was attacked by a knife wielding thief. On Friday February 21 at 4:45 in the morning, a 44-year-old woman of St. Martins Area of Belize City was reportedly walking down Mahogany Street on her way to work. The woman told police that she was approached from behind...

Brothers Stabbed in Bar Brawl
A bar fight in Orange Walk has left one man hospitalized. On Saturday February 22nd, three Hispanic men reportedly attacked two brothers at MI CASA cool spot. The brothers, Juan and Jose Ramirez told police that the men attacked them with broken bottles. As a result, Juan Ramirez received...

Police Officer Arraigned for Extortion
Last week we told you of reports of police extortion from the Cayo District in relation to a traffic offense. Police have issued an official statement on the issue. The alleged extortion occurred on Tuesday February 18th when police stopped a vehicle with expired insurance. The officers allegedly asked...

Corozal Man to be Sentenced for Attempted Murder
In opening its first session of the year 2014, the Court of Appeal this morning set aside the order of trial judge Denis Hanoman Singh issued two years ago and ordered the immediate sentencing of Wilbert Cuellar, who was found guilty of the attempted murder of Mr. Josue Chay....

Squatters House on Reserved Land Demolished
Squatters have been removed off prime lands in Belmopan. Today, a house which was illegally located in the Mountain View area was taken down by members of the Belmopan City Council and the Police Authority, leaving a family of 8 persons homeless. The hut was built on the edge...

Woman Builds House On Wrong Lot; City Council Extends Deadline for Removal
Last week, we also told you of one Mrs. Hada Gonzalez, who, through a loan with Atlantic Bank, had bought a piece of property in the Mountain View Area, lot number 6084. Officially confirmed, she has all rights to that piece of land. However, on Thursday of last...

Mr. Omar Figueroa Wins Cayo North UDP Convention
There was a UDP convention in Cayo North over the weekend. The new hopeful for the UDP in that constituency is Mr. Omar Figueroa, who won this weekend. He spoke to our Cayo Affiliate after he was declared the winner. Mr. Omar Figueroa- Winner of the UDP Convention for...

Sea Cucumber Trio Given Fines for Offenses
Last week we told you of three Guatemalans charged with fisheries offenses after police and fisheries personnel stopped their vehicle and found over 3,000 pounds of illegal sea cucumber. Today Georgina Aldana, her common-law partner Hugo Salas and their worker Cesar Ramirez changed their plea to guilty of the...

Cayo Family to Receive New House from Oasis Ministries
Oasis Ministries, led by Pastor Ron Braaten, has been working in Belize for many years since 2003 ; planting churches and building homes. Today, we travelled to the village of Unitedville where the ministry is putting up its 74th home in Belize. When we arrived on location the team...

Fourth Annual Street Art Festival in Belize City
Art comes in many different forms, shapes and sizes, and all forms were on display this past Saturday in downtown Belize City. Albert Street from its junction with Orange Street to its junction with Dean Street was awash with color and life, whether it was musical performances, drama, cultural...


My First Game – San Pedro’s Elite Basketball Team, the Tiger Sharks, Leave Me Wanting More
While I may not be a huge basketball fan, I can appreciate lots of what basketball has to offer. Athleticism, fast, exciting games (it’s hardly ever boring to watch), good looking guys, Jay-Z and Beyonce…and in Belize? Add in music, snacks and beers, rowdy fun crowds, kids and just…good times. I love our local sports in San Pedro. And when my friend Melody invited to the National Elite Basketball League’s first home game on Saturday night, I was in… Cool thing #4: A big crowd attends the games. It’s very reasonable to get in – $3bzd for kids (free if you are under 11) and $5bzd for adults. There’s a raffle, free t-shirts and candy for the first 50 kids in the door. Although it all started a bit late – around 9pm – it’s great fun for kids.

Easter in Belize – a Stunning Spectacular!
Roberto Harrison cites several reasons for the growing popularity of Easter at Chaa Creek, naming excellent weather, the growing trend of families wishing to share memorable holiday experiences, and the springtime urge for couples to do something special together. There’s also a distinctly Belizean reason to be in the little Caribbean country that time of year. The profusion of migratory birds adds to the rainforest’s riot of colour and captivating birdsong, he explained. “Due to the time pressures people face these days, we’re finding that families and couples especially want to get the most out of their holidays together. They’re looking for the traditional trappings and closeness they’ve always associated with Easter along with something to make it extra special and truly memorable.

The weather this month has been glorious. There’s been a little rain but this has occurred either late in the night or very early morning and when it has rained it hadn’t lasted long. Definitely not enough of it or at the time of day that has prevented me from enjoying my early morning ‘me time’ on the veranda with my mug of black coffee and the iPad. No sweat top needed. No rainwear. Just the simple matter of deciding what polo shirt and pair of shorts to wear (decisions, decisions). On most days it’s seemed like the moon had just ‘said’ goodbye for another day and it was automatically sunshine. But then again what do you expect when you live in the Caribbean? Snow? Ice? Sub zero temperatures? Of course not, so I don’t know why I even bothered to bore you by stating the patently obvious. That is, aside from needing to introduce a link for the headline! Those of you that read my ramblings with any degree of regularity will know that I have taken a prolonged break from the fence painting. It’s a big fence and believe me (if you’ve never painted one) it’s boring ( and I mean BORING) just moving a brush up and down or from side to side. It wasn’t just the boredom that took me away from the fence though. No, not all – I had other stuff to do.

Great Blue Hole: hardest place to reach of all my travels.
You know those beautiful images that you see on the internet and then you think, one day I want to go to this place! So, this was the case with the Blue Hole, a vertical cave, full of sharks, shaped in a perfect circle in the middle of the Caribbean Sea and nearly 100 km from the coast. I think the Great Blue Hole was the hardest place to reach of all my travels. Since my departure from Guatemala, I faced: 1) a driver who almost left me at the border because I was the only nationality that needed an entry visa for Belize; 2) then a bad diving instructor, who cancelled without notice 3) two hours in a speedboat at high speed, facing a storm with winds and huge waves 4) amazingly enough, I was trying to dodge a million cockroaches that started coming out of all the cracks of the boat as soon as the vessel began to shake because of the stormy sea. But when the intrepid boat slowed down and parked at the perfectly circular reef, with a gradient blue Caribbean sea under the sun, I was numb and ready for whatever might come. A dive to 40 meters deep (the maximum that can be reached by an amateur diver) in the dark cavity filled with sharks, I had only a basic diving course, so I shouldn’t do it (don’t tell anyone my secret!).

Bacon Cheese Fry Cakes or Fry Jacks
Joe did something different and fun with our Belizean Fry Jacks or Fry Cakes. He added some ingredients to the mixture before mixing the dough and made a delightful breakfast treat.

Belize and the Immigration Hustle
In either late 2007 or early, just before the election, I wrote an article for the Amandala titled: “What Kind of State”. The article explored what kind of country Belize had become and addressed issues such as corruption and immigration. This is a section of the article that dealt with immigration, and I am now wondering how much things have changed since then. Feel free to comment on what I wrote. Immigration We must look at the role of migration in helping to shape the kind of state Belize has become. This is in consideration of the fact that the country has experienced significant emigration and immigration, which have help to define Belize in the last five decades. Greater consideration is given to immigration as Belize continue to attract people to its shores. This immigration has brought up questions of national identity and regional integration. Besides the “immigration hustling” that took place, significant immigration has also highlighted the government’s lack of a coherent immigration policy, although minister Fonseca acknowledge the immigration situation in Belize. There is a political aspect of this immigration, in relation to issues of sovereignty, citizenship, and voting.

International Sources

Jamaica to decriminalise marijuana?
The Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Taskforce (CCMRT) says it has been given an assurance that Jamaica will this year decriminalise marijuana as the island seeks to establish a medicinal marijuana industry. CCMRT leader, Dealana Seiveright in a statement, said that the assurance had come from Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister Phillip Paulwell. The statement quoted Paulwell as telling members of the taskforce that “ganja will be decriminalised in Jamaica this year and emphasised that Jamaica cannot be allowed to be left behind on the issue”. “He also reiterated the multiple economic, social and cultural benefits that Jamaica stands to gain if the laws are adjusted sooner rather than later,” the statement said.

Discover crystal skulls, ruins and other treasures in Belize
Mention the term “crystal skulls” and it immediately conjures images of mystery and intrigue. Even Indiana Jones got into the act. For the traveler, the thought of encountering crystal skulls is seductive enough to challenge any level of curiosity, and the best place to begin the search is in Belize. Though fiction most likely outweighs fact regarding controversies over the crystal skulls, rummaging through ancient Mayan ruins nestled within exotic rainforests while embracing the enigma has universal appeal. In its own unique way, Belize is the best of all worlds for any manner of traveler. Adventurers can savor pristine wilderness and solitude. Environmentalists will discover a wonderland of flora and fauna, whose flowing rivers course through dense forests supporting colorful wildlife protected by a glorious natural habitat. History buffs, curiosity seekers and amateur sleuths alike can speculate about the origins and disappearance of ancient Mayan civilizations as they explore this natural wonderland. For upscale travelers who like to “rough it” by day and luxuriate at night, Belize offers accommodations and cuisine to suit even the most discriminating sensibilities. Not only can Belize satisfy the needs of either an explorer or a socialite. It can also to suit the pleasures of just about anyone in between. Except, that is, for lovers of McDonald’s and other fast-food enterprises. They simply do not exist in Belize.

The Suspect Behind Miami's Biggest Gold Heist Caught Hiding in Belize
In October 2012 just outside a pastel-painted Coral Gables apartment building, one of the largest gold heists in Florida history went down. A convicted thief named Raonel Valdez, who was supposed to be wearing a court-ordered GPS device, somehow jacked $2.8 million in gold from courier George Villegas. And within a few months, Valdez had vanished. Private investigator David Bolton, hired by the Bolivian company that owned the stolen gold, stayed hot on Valdez's trail, but not even a $25,000 reward offered by his client produced any good leads. "We tracked him in four different countries," Bolton says. "We were always one step behind." Last week, immigration authorities in Belize caught the wanted man in a small town bordering Guatemala. The arrest brings to a close one of the wildest crime stories in recent years, one that -- as recounted in a New Times feature story last July -- suggested Cuban gangs were infiltrating Miami-Dade County's underworld.

Flavors of Belize: a culinary publication of Belize (recipes Fry Jacks – Shrimp Tostones)
Tanya McNab is the visionary behind the highly regarded Flavors of Belize magazine – cookbook and robust YouTube channel. McNab created the Flavors of Belize cookbook to engender an exchange of Belizean food and culture with the rest of the world. It is her wish that every kitchen will experience something special from Belize. I met with her recently to find out more information on the magazine and here is how our conversation went: Please tell me more about Flavors of Belize Magazine? The Flavors of Belize Magazine is Belize’s first comprehensive culinary book. We get hotels, restaurants, and service providers including anybody from real estate agents to photographers to come on board with us; we combine that with noteworthy information, entertaining articles, breathtaking pictures, and recipes from our cookbook – and there you have it – The Flavors of Belize Magazine.

The Latest Cruise Port News and Happenings Across the Globe
New Belize Destination: In major news, Michael Feinstein, a businessman in Belize, says he’s received legislative approval for a $100 million island cruise destination with docking facilities for up to six ships near Belize City, according to Seatrade Insider. The expansive project will apparently include shops, bars, restaurants and recreational facilities, plus such Mayan-themed attractions as an underwater city for snorkelers and a lagoon with waterfalls and grottos. Check out the Seatrade Insider story here.

To tackle overfishing, conservation groups look to the past
With small-scale fisheries that feed many of the world’s poor under constant pressure from overfishing, a coalition of conservation groups has turned to one of the oldest ways of dividing the catch in an attempt to promote sustainability. Instead of competing for the same populations and hauling in as many fish as fast as they can, participants in the Fish Forever project assign individuals, villages and cooperatives “rights” to areas known as TURFs — territorial user rights in fisheries. The zones are paired with protected areas where no one is allowed to fish, providing adjacent parts of the ocean where fish populations replenish and spill into the TURFs. Local residents develop their own methods of monitoring and enforcing protections for both areas. Rare has teamed with the Environmental Defense Fund and scientists from the University of California at Santa Barbara to carry out the effort in five countries: Belize, the Philippines, Indonesia, Brazil and Mozambique. They have raised $27 million from organizations such as the Bloomberg Philanthropies and are furthest along in Belize, where they hope to have 3,000 square miles of ocean under the system by 2020.

February 24, 2014


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Doctor Love: Newly Wed
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, I have been married for five months. My husband and I are very loving with each other. Every day when he leaves for […]

Letter to the Editor: San Pedro Junior Sailing Club
Dear Editor, The San Pedro Junior Sailors Club (SPJSC) would like to thank everyone that helped put on a fabulous fundraiser last Saturday with a BBQ in the park during the day and at Fidos with Kelly McGuire that evening. Thanks go out to Kelly McGuire for having us, Fidos for hosting and Cowboy Doug for auctioneering. We also want to thank those that contributed raffle and auction items; Jason Cruz for the beautiful painting, Graniels , Captain Sharks, Coco Beach, Rag A Muffin Tours, El Secreto, Tropic Air, Portofino, Caprice, War Paint, Train Station, Wild Mangos, Searious Adventures, San Pedro Hardware, Zen Arcade Wellness Center, Sun Breeze Hotel, Lino’s Meat, Caye Mart, Bowen and Bowen, Town Board, Carole Goudreau, Vicky Ellias, Angel at Artistic Skin Design, Joel and Sue and Remax Southwind for dinner for two at Victoria House.

Wolfe’s Woofer: Not Quite Enough
“Gary, I notice you’re really walking strangely,” I said. “It looks kind of weird.” “Oh, I can explain that,” he said. “Back home in Bend, Oregon I use spray deodorant. When I ran out of deodorant here I went to a local store but they didn’t have spray deodorant. I bought a different kind and […]

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize Tourism in Full Bloom
Belize’s growing tourist arrival numbers are outpacing the wider Caribbean region, said Jose Manuel Heredia Jr., the country’s minister of tourism and culture, in an address at an annual tourism gathering held earlier this month. Belize hosted 263,065 overnight tourists between January and November of 2013 (the latest date for which figures are available), a seven percent increase compared with the same period in 2012. Heredia said private investment in tourism in Belize, a destination whose largest hotel has 120 rooms, is also growing. “In 2013, we saw an increase of 21.2 percent in the number of tour operators in Belize and 8.4 percent growth in licensed accommodations establishment, meaning that we now have 1,400 licensed tour guides.” Tourism growth also provides “thousands” of employment opportunities for Belizean hospitality workers, said Heredia.

Belize River Valley Expo 2014
The Belize Valley River Expo was Friday and Saturday. Looks like they had a great turnout. "Belize River Valley Eco-Tourism & Commerce Expo."

A Good Start Feeding Program Makes Progress
Feelgood news of the day. The A Good Start Feeding Program is casting their foundations. Great work! "The day of the casting finally started , enough cement , mason men and helpers, mixer, 18 yard of sand and gravel, 65 bags of cement And a lot of the end of the day a elephant foot of rum and waiting it too dry....excited that the next stage is getting done"

Cayo International Banking Fair
The Atlantic International Bank uploaded a short video showing yesterday's International Banking Fair at the Cayo Welcome Center. "International Banking Fair Highlights"

Rick Galvez Concert
The Rick Galvez concert at the - ARE THOSE SKULLS ON THE STAGE? What in the... They have some really artistic pictures from the event at the Soul Project last night, where Rick revealed some new songs from his upcoming album.

Belize Jungle Dome Golf Scramble
The 3rd annual Roaring Creek Golf Scramble was yesterday. They got some funny pictures of the event. Congratulations to the Roaring Creek team, which took first place(of course). The scramble was a fundraiser for Belmopan area football teams. "A fabulous day was had by all at the Roaring River Golf Course, for the 3rd Annual Belize Jungle Dome 2 Person Scramble. It was a really fun day with all the players enjoying the light-hearted atmosphere and fun in the sun... Also thks to all who donated prizes. Too many too mention :-) We raised $715 to be donated towards local football teams in the Belmopan area."

Western Ballaz Win First Home Game
It was an amazing first home game for the Western Ballaz. They kept their number 1 spot by defeating the Dangriga Warriors 63 - 52 in a high energy match that was close for much of the game. The Sacred Heart College auditorium was packed to capacity with all their Cayo fans cheering them on. The first game between SHC and SHJC went back and forth many times, with SHJC winning by 1 point. Mayor John August was in attendance and gave the inauguration speech, and Javier Gutierrez did a spectacular job as MC. Next week, the team travels to San Pedro to play the Tiger Sharks.

Belmopan Bandits Defeat Toledo Diplomats
Congratulations Belmopan Bandits! They hosted and defeated the Toledo Diplomats last night with a score of 76 - 64. They are tied for second place behind the Western Ballaz. They travel to Corozal to play the Heat next Friday. "We stand 2-1!!!! Final score Belmopan 76- 64 Toledo"

The beauty of Belize at the San Antonio waterfalls
On any given day, the beautiful waterfalls at San Antonio village, Toledo district is always a relaxing outing for the entire family. The road to the village is paved nicely so a drive to this rural part of Toledo is no hassle. The residents of this historic village extend a warm welcome to one and all.


A Busy Beautiful Day in Belize City: Street Art Festival, Canoe Racing, Cracklin’ Pig & More
Yesterday morning, I jumped aboard (I had an excellent night’s sleep) the San Pedro Belize Express water taxi for the ride to Belize City. An easy hour and a half later, we pulled in and the conch & lobster boats were looking as beautiful as ever. I know what you are thinking. Belize City beautiful? Well…some of it is. And these working fishing boats look pretty to me from every single angle. No time for dilly dallying with boats. It was about 11:20am and there was a canoe race ending at the Riverside Tavern. This Guinness sponsored Boom to The City Canoe challenge is one of the pre-races for the BIG La Ruta Maya Race that takes place in a few weeks over the Baron Bliss Holiday weekend.

24/7 Loe Carb Din'r: Amish Turnip Bake
So turnips usual make us say yuck. Well, maybe nairy everyone, but y'all have ta admit thay air nairy a'winnin inny popularitee contests n' t'culinree worl. Hard ta compete wit all at bacon an' thems cupcakes. But the if'n y'all add t'‘Amish’ part…I have nev'r foun inny Amish food at wuz nairy deliciyus. My husban' oncet brung trayler sum leftovers frum un Amish restrunt. It wuz so amazyun', I promiss I licket t'styrofoam contun'r. Thishere is purty dadgum close. Pure komfert food an' a deliite ta someone who misses mashet potatoes. Verr mild. I baset thishere off a recipe I foun at

VIDEO: Jungle Sunset in Belize
Shot early in February by hotel guest Toby Clarkson

International Sources

Well-funded program tries new approach to tackle overfishing in developing world
With small-scale fisheries that feed many of the world’s poor under constant pressure from overfishing, a coalition of conservation groups has turned to one of the oldest ways of dividing the catch in an attempt to promote sustainability. Instead of competing for the same populations and hauling in as many fish as fast as they can, participants in the Fish Forever project assign individuals, villages and cooperatives “rights” to areas known as TURFs — territorial user rights in fisheries. The zones are paired with protected areas where no one is allowed to fish, providing adjacent parts of the ocean where fish populations replenish and spill into the TURFs. Local residents develop their own methods of monitoring and enforcing protections for both areas. Rare has teamed with the Environmental Defense Fund and scientists from the University of California at Santa Barbara to carry out the effort in five countries: Belize, the Philippines, Indonesia, Brazil and Mozambique. They have raised $27 million from organizations such as the Bloomberg Philanthropies and are furthest along in Belize, where they hope to have 3,000 square miles of ocean under the system by 2020.

OAS anti-corruption mechanism to visit Jamaica
An Organisation of American States (OAS) commission is scheduled to visit Jamaica in April to meet with representatives from oversight bodies responsible for preventing, detecting and punishing corruption. The commission, made up of representatives from El Salvador and Grenada, is from the Mechanism for Follow-Up on the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC). They will collect information in the field about how these organs perform their functions, which serve as inputs for the preparation of the report to be drawn up by the MESICIC on Jamaica in its September 2014 meeting. According to the OAS, the Anti-corruption Mechanism is also expected to visit Belize, Haiti, Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname in April as part of the framework of the Fourth Round of evaluations.

Mexican National Tourism Forum on "Mundo Maya" Begins
The 12th National Tourism Forum 2014 opened in the Mexican state of Yucatán focusing on "Mundo Maya", as one of the country's best tourist destinations, fostering development and economic growth. According to Fernando Martí, general organizer of the forum, the event running through next Tuesday, is attended by ministers from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Belize. During the forum, ministers will discuss land and air connectivity, accommodations, integration of touristic circuits, credit availability and modernization of archeological sites. Tourism Ministry data show "Mundo Maya" covers 12 percent of the national territory, about 250,000 square meters. It also represents the 38 percent of protected nature reserves, a 46 percent of archeological sites open to the public and 21 percent of World Heritage sites.

The Mystique of the Ancient Maya.
Mayan culture has long been disputed over the years. Who was this ancient culture, what were their beliefs and how has their culture been depicted and portrayed throughout history? There have been various interpretations of this civilization, and who’s to decide which one is entirely correct? It’s hard to say, but we do have evidence available to help point us in the right direction. Just like with anything, the individuals who recount history have a lens that they see it through. They carry with them values and beliefs that alter their perspective on what’s being presented to them. This is a critical component of understanding and describing history that the reader needs to consider when evaluating what is and what is not true. Dr. Adam T. Sellen, a researcher in the Peninsula Centre of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, was kind enough to speak to our class about these very questions this past week with a lecture he crafted together entitled “The Mystique of the Ancient Maya.” Dr. Sellen's presentation dealt with the current representation of the Mayan culture and how society has come to these conclusions. From the mid 1800s until present day, a wide variety of explorers have visited the Mayan ruins that stretch from the Yucatan Peninsula, down to Belize and through parts of Guatemala. Each explorer carried with them a different perspective to see these ruins through. A common depiction of the Mayan civilization has been that they were this extraordinarily unique group; however, this is simply untrue. The Mayans shared many characteristics with cultures like the Egyptians, Assyrians and the Greeks. A distinct writing style, history of conquest and conflict, and writings of people of power and significance are all present in these ancient cultures. Despite that, modern society has completely idealized and sensationalized the Mayan culture to help reinforce the narrative that’s been created over time.

BCB Holdings Slides As It Swings To Loss
BCB Holdings Ltd saw its shares fall sharply Monday after it revealed that it swung to a loss in its fiscal third quarter. In a statement, the parent company of The Belize Bank reported a net loss from operations of USD2.7 million for the three months to end December, compared with a USD2.1 million profit a year earlier. That brought the loss for the first nine months of the financial year to USD4.8 million, compared with a profit of USD4.7 million a year earlier. BCB Holdings shares were down 11.1% Monday morning, one of the biggest declines on the London market.

Service Trips: The Underwater World of Belize
Why Belize and its Underwater World this Summer? A service trip to the underwater world of Belize will completely change the way you view the sea. If you have ever considered studying or working in science or marine biology this is a great way to learn what it’s all about. It will introduce you to new skills, and give you a grounding in invasive species management, marine conservation and biology. If you are looking for more this summer, BELIZE: GUD MAWINTEEN SCUBA AND ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNITY SERVICE PROGRAM may just be the perfect destination for you! WHERE WILL YOU GO? You’ll be in a remote dive camp in a UNESCO World Heritage Site, surrounded by turquoise Caribbean Sea. The data collected during the surveys will aid national and international research and assist with lionfish population management efforts.The data collected will contribute to research publications, written by field scientists, collected by YOU. By reducing the population through culling dives you will be directly responsible for reducing the pressures of the lionfish invasion in the Caribbean.

MaLe Dane
MaLe (pronounced Mah-Lee) Dane, LA Native by way of Belize, is a graduate from the School of Hard Knox with a PhD in Hustle N Flow. A triple threat and one of LA's best hidden secrets, the Belizean-American Rapper, Songwriter and Actress has arrived ready to tell HER story! Nominated as 2012 Best Independent Female Hip Hop Artist, MaLe creates music of substance that everyone can relate, ride and party to. The debut ALBUM "Live Fast, Die Pretty" is scheduled to be released Spring 2014, and includes the hit single "W!F!" and the club banger "It's Go Time" featuring Lady Gaga. Currently trending on Coast2Coast mixtapes Indie Top 100, Lady MaLe Dane is catching fire and soon it won't be long before the rest of the world figures it out!

Best islands around the world, according to TripAdvisor
Nothing beats the serene beauty of an island vacation. And TripAdvisor travelers agree. The travel review site just announced their top island destinations for 2014 based on user reviews and ratings. The Travelers' Choice award winners were determined based on the reviews and opinions of millions of TripAdvisor travelers around the globe. Well known Caribbean destinations like Turks and Caicos top the international list but adventure seekers should be on the lookout for unique finds like Nosy Be in Madagascar. Marco Island, Fla., which ranked first on the best U.S. island list also made it to the international list. 1. Ambergris Caye, Belize: This tropical destination received top reviews by hitting a sweet spot between authenticity and luxury. Divers will enjoy a dip in the Belize Barrier Reef while swimming alongside angelfish, elkhorn coral, cleaner shrimp and stalactites.

February 23, 2014


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Ground Breaking for Infrastructure Improvements at Archaeological Sites
Tourists and local visitors to archaeological sites in Belize will soon benefit from infrastructure improvements at the sites under the Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites (MTBCAAS) project. The infrastructure works will commence at Altun Ha, Belize District and a ground breaking ceremony was today (Wednesday, February 12), to mark the occasion. The project is funded by the European Union and the Government of Belize. European Union (EU) Ambassador Paola Amadei who addressed the ceremony remarked “It is a symbolic event as this EU funded project aims on one side to improve the experience of tourists visiting the archaeological sites AND as well promotes employment and better opportunities in the communities in the proximity of the archaeological site. This project has the component of promoting community development.” Visitors to Altun Ha will experience the upgraded Visitor’s Centre which will be outfitted with audio-visual equipment, enhancing the tourist experience. Additionally, a new male bathroom facility, walking trails and seating areas will be constructed. These improvements will cater to people with diverse abilities and increase health and safety at the site. A contract was signed with KIKOS Engineering Services for $255,583.41 to carry out the construction works at Altun Ha. Construction is expected to last for 4 months, ending in June 2014.

Global Fantasies advertises Belize as a hedonistic escape
Recent reports have surfaced of a website, namely Global Fantasies, promoting Belize as a destination for guests to enjoy the services of exotic escorts. According to initial reports, the website offers packages for visitors to enjoy Belize’s prime tourism destination along with the sexual company of Belizean women. Upon learning of this the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) quickly issued a press release on Wednesday, February 12th in which they denounced any affiliation with Global Fantasies. The press release stated, “We were recently made aware of a website created by an unknown group claiming to operate an ‘adult fantasy’ vacation destination in Belize. The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is in no way affiliated with this group nor does it condone its actions, as this is a human rights issue. The Ministry of Human Development, the Human Rights Commission, and the Belize Police Department have been notified and will be handling the resulting investigation.” Of course residents of Belize reacted negatively to the advertisement, stating that the promotion of Belize as a haven for hedonism is jeopardizing the growing eco-tourism industry and family destination.

Police Report
On Tuesday, February 11th, 35 year old Eric Andrews, Belizean tour operator of Barrier Reef Drive in San Pedro Town, visited the San Pedro Police Station and reported that on Monday, February 10th at about 8:30PM he went into his apartment, located on Barrier Reef Drive to retrieve his licensed 9mm Luger firearm, chrome and black in colour, valued at $2,200 from a safety box in the bedroom of his apartment. When he got to his bedroom, he noticed that the safety box was damaged and open. Upon making a further inspection, he noticed that the firearm was missing along with two magazines containing 26 live rounds of 9mm ammunition. Police are currently investigating.

Misc Belizean Sources

Miss Belize Wins Diosa Maya
Congratulations, Dalina Reyes! Miss Belize won the Diosa Maya pageant in Mexico this week, for the second year in a row. That is an amazing dress. "In case you missed it, Belize's Dalina Alyssa Reyes is the new Diosa Maya Internacional 2014. She was crowned late last night in Merida, Mexico. She was crowned by outgoing queen and fellow Belizean Grisel Rosseli Carballo, making it the second consecutive year an Orange Walk beauty captures the crown for Belize. First-runner up was Miss El Salvador Cecilia Menjivar, while second runner-up was Miss Honduras Eidy Josselyn Bueso Lopez."

Belmopan Football Association Talent Search
The FFB and Belmopan Football Association are finishing up their talent search today. A new tournament starts today. In PLB news, the Verdes and the Bandits both play today. "Football Federation of Belize and the Belmopan Football Association will be conducting its grassroots selection of Talent from Wednesday 19 February, 2014 to Saturday 22 February, 2014 All coaches of the Belmopan City Council Kids, female and youth cup are ask to bring along their players on the specific dates below: Schedule for the selection of Talents Day1 : Wednesday 19th February, 2014- U-13 (boys & Girls) Governor General Field Day 2 :Thursday 20th February, 2014 - U-15 (boys & Girls) Governor General Field Day 3 : Friday 21th February, 2014- U-17 (Boys & Girls) Governor General Field Day 4 Saturday 22nd February 2014 - Grassroots Festival ( Boys & Girls) Devon Beaton Park All Players and Coaches are ask to attend the Saturday Grassroots Festival"

Happy BIrthday Dali and Mayor Daniel!
Happy Birthday to Mayor Daniel Guerrero and his twin sister, Dalinda Guerrero. May God bless you and we hope you have a great birthday!

MMAC: Live to Race
The Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge is over, and the YogaSlackers won the race. Here's the 3rd of 4 videos they made about preparing for the jungles and mountains of Belize. They had some serious gear they had to take with them. The race results are on this webpage: "Welcome to the third video in the the Maya Adventure Challenge series. Follow the YogaSlackers as they prowl through untamed jungles for three days and three nights non-stop in the Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge. We’ll be there every step of the way to bring you the planning, the execution, the failures, and the triumphs in a four-part video series."

Community journalists graduate in Punta Gorda town
Graduation exercise was held on Saturday, February 22 for a group of Toledo men and women who underwent training as community journalists. The training was an initiative of Ak’Kutan Radio and was designed to give participants of the training course a basic understanding and knowledge of what it takes to gather the news, write stories and present the news on radio and television. The training was conducted by veteran broadcaster/journalist Patrick Jones. A total of 12 community journalists graduated on Saturday during ceremonies which were held at the Father Francis Ring Parish Hall in Punta Gorda town.

The Belize Times

From the bottom of the barrel!
Having barely survived the monstrosities that are the scandals of Elvin Penner and Edmond Castro, the UDP seems hell bent to make corruption, fraud and criminal behavior, even involving international goons, the hallmarks of their last term ever in office. Just as the hopes of Belizeans increase for the People’s United Party to keep a failing system in check to ensure that the known UDP wrongdoers face the full weight of the law, there is more news that the UDP continues to abuse our country at the operation of vicious international charlatans such as Kim Won Hong.

Editorial: RISING SUN
“Our elders say that the sun will shine on those who stand before it shines on those who kneel under them.” Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe Belize is in shambles. To the average Belizean, the past six years have been unstable, uncomfortable and uncertain. This is the not only the socio-political reality but even more torturing, it is our economic reality. At the BELIZE TIMES we have watched expectant faces fold time and hearts sink with heaviness after each scandal and the pious press conference that follows. Deep down, even in 2008, we all knew that we were getting “puss inna bag” but there was a cut off point for the voting public and they spoke with that voice of God. Yet no political analyst was startled when Barrow recently admitted publicly that his Party is guaranteed to lose in the next general elections. Let’s not forget that Barrow, the maximum leader of the forty thieves, has been consistent in his pronouncements in this regard. Way back in 2008 Barrow told the media, without shame that it would not be so much that the UDP would win the elections of that year but that the PUP would lose it. Belizeans wanted a short change of scenery and possibly were curious to see if, even by a long shot, Barrow could govern and govern with the eloquence with which he campaigned. But there is nothing smooth in 2014: nothing romantic about Barrow and his legion of doom.

SCA girls maul Pallotti 24-9
The St. Catherine’s Academy girls won 24-9 over the Pallotti high school girls when the high school softball competition continued at the Rogers Stadium on Monday, February 17. The Pallotti girls led 7-0 when Marlette Martinez, Vivianne Gongora, Jinel Flowers, Deja Young, pitcher Andrea Avaloy, Courtney Lightfoot and Thelma Young scored in the top of the 1st inning, but the SCA girls soon roared back to take over the lead 9-7 when Jeddah Sacasa, Kendisha Armstrong, Kendiece Armstrong, Shellidah Moguel, Celine Barrow, Jada Jones, Cori Mckenzie and pitcher Jacqueline Alas scored in the first inning.

Delille Academy girls win national football championship
The Delille Academy girls won the high school football championships after a penalty shootout against the Orange Walk Technical High School girls. The Delille girls stopped the Orange Walk girls 3-2 in a penalty shootout when regulation time and overtime ended in a 1-1 draw. MVP Shayama Caliz had scored for the Delille, but Orange Walk’s Norielly Terry equalized on a penalty conversion. In penalties, Shayama Caliz, Naomi Gamboa and Orel Gillett scored for Delille, while only Baeza and Terry scored for Orange Walk. 3rd place went to St. Ignatius girls who won 2-1 against the Gwen Liz girls; with 2 goals by Jenelle Smith, while only Vivica Young scored a free kick for Gwen Liz.

Angel Tzib wins Valentine’s Classic
Angel Tzib, riding unattached stunned the big names in the cycling fraternity like Giovanni Lovell, 2013 Cross country champion Darnell Barrow and National road champion Byron Pope by winning the 19th annual Digicel Valentine’s Day Cycling Classic held by the Cycling Federation of Belize in uncontested style. Tzib clocked 3:55:49 as he coasted to the finish line at Leslie’s Imports concluding his 89-mile ride to the Hector Silva airstrip and back on the George Price Highway on Sunday, February 16.

City Gang Warfare Escalates – 25 yr. old murdered in retaliation for Tuesday night shooting
3 days after celebrating his birthday, 25 year old Tarique “Paulie” Cadle, was gunned down on George Street on Wednesday morning. Cadle, who is a resident of Supal Street, went to visit a friend when a gunman chased him through the yard, cornered him near the back fence and opened fire at him. Cadle is the nephew of Jason “Soup” Williams, who was arrested by the Police for a shooting that occurred on Tuesday night on George Street. In that incident, Kariq Tzul, of West Street address was shot twice in the left leg and 27 year old Andrew Tate of George Street, was shot in both arms, the left side of his abdomen, his stomach, right upper leg, and left upper leg. Tzul is in a stable condition while Tate is receiving treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, in a critical condition.

PM’s band aid solution to citrus crisis
The Prime Minister’s announcement at a press conference yesterday that his government will bail out the Citrus Growers Association from their bad debts with two local banks prompted knee-jerk reactions, some from unexpected quarters. It made a good political gambit for the PM but it will be short lived. The CGA still owes the Social Security Board. The move will simply exacerbate that debt. Another debt owed by the CGA to the European Investment Bank becomes due next year. The Prime Minister’s move will only delay the spread of the cancer, putting a band aid on the CGA’s inability to manage. Until some of the old antagonists in the industry dies, their problems will never go away-like Ireland, it is like the past happening over and over again. Here are a few reminders for the CGA: The same man, who will be appointed to sit on the newly constituted Board of Directors of CPBL and representing the SSB, was planning a move for a hostile takeover of your 51 percent shares in CPBL. It is the same man, who, as the Police Minister, sent Police Officers to block three newly appointed members of the CGA from attending their first Board meeting of CPBL.

No Escape for Penner! – PUP asks Supreme Court to order a Criminal Investigation
The People’s United Party has turned to the Supreme Court in order for UDP area representative Elvin Penner to face justice for his criminal act of illegally facilitated nationality and passport documents to an international criminal, South Korean fugitive Kim Won Hong, last year. The move by the PUP has come about because the Barrow Administration has protected and defended Penner, and has frustrated and intimidated every possible chance of a proper investigation by various authorities, instead of defending our laws. Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the UDP hold a razor thin majority in the House of Representatives that would be much closer to collapsing if Penner goes to trial and is found guilty, as would be expected in the face of the mountain of evidence of wrongdoing. Despite the evidence that exists, Barrow has declared publicly that he sees no criminal wrongdoing and has defended Penner’s political longevity to save his own. His declaration seems to have scared away the Police Department and the Financial Intelligence Unit.

Bitter times in Citrus Industry
The saga of Stamp and Sharp is immortalized in song and gave notoriety to Stann Creek’s Pomona Valley. The story is always told in bits and pieces and is as about complex and confusing as today’s Pomona problems. The problem today is citrus which has been undergoing some seemingly insurmountable problems and challenges. If you listen to the news and if you listen to Anthony Chanona, a panacea has been discovered and an elixir has been delivered. Nothing could be further from the truth! In a Press Conference on Monday, Prime Minster Dean Barrow announced that he would be once again be dipping into public money to bail out private interest. Social Security has been a cash cow and monies there from have been used for everything except what it was initially intended for; Fifty million to Belize Telemedia (BTL), fifteen million to Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) ten million to the cane industry, etc., etc. Yet, poor hard working Belizeans who are the prime contributors to this fund must go begging to the public when in need of medical attention. As I write, Norman Rodriguez, a corporal of the Belize Defense Force (BDF), who is suffering with a brain tumor cannot receive assistance to receive medical attention. Something is terribly wrong with this picture.

PUP Chairman meets with Cayo West leaders
Party Chairman, Henry Usher, made a working visit to the Cayo West Constituency on Sunday 16th February 2014. His first stop was a tour of Arenal Village and a courtesy call on the Chairman of the village, Mr. Mirto Naj. Villagers came from all over to voice their concerns about the neglect of Erwin Contreras and the UDP who have completely abandoned the village. Chief among the cries was a lack of proper medical attention. The PUP built a health clinic in Arenal, but since the UDP took office in 2008 the clinic has become a shell. No nurse, no medical supplies. It has not opened its doors in the last 5 years. The closest health outpost is Benque Viejo, so even the most minor medical attention requires an arduous journey along one of the many terrible roads throughout Belize.

AMAZING GRACE – The Empty Faucet
This past Sunday, at a local Kingdom of God embassy, an ambassador relayed a thought-provoking story. An American missionary was attacked in the Amazon by a group of one of the native warrior tribes. Five indigenous people who happened by stepped in to save the man. As a token of his appreciation, the missionary took them out to dinner at a hotel in the nearest city. The group went up to the man’s hotel room to talk and he told them that they could have anything they could carry and that he would pay for it. The people led him into the bathroom and pointed. “We want that they said.” The missionary was astounded for the people wanted the bathtub faucet! When he tried to explain why that would be impossible they insisted, “We have no running water at the touch of a button at home. This is what we want”. What the tribe people did not understand was that the faucet had no power on its own. They mistakenly felt that the running water came from the faucet. They did not know the power came from the pipes connected to the faucet. These pipes were behind the walls and unseen to the human eye, yet the faucet would be a useless object without this ‘invisible’ source. It is the same with human beings. People who call themselves ‘Christians’ may have the shiniest exteriors, their faucets may even be made of gold; true value, however, lies not in the tool used to bring forth the water, but in the actual water. If the beautiful gold faucet is inlaid with precious stones and cannot conduct water from the pipes, it is a very beautiful piece of trash. Now, I am in no way calling people trash, but those who perform all the right rituals and actions without being connected to the Source are simply blowing hot air.

The mixed economy philosophy – What does it mean?
The Father of the Nation, Hon. George C. Price, always preached that Belize should implement a “MIXED ECONOMY”…..but how many understand what he meant? The National Constitution, our supreme law, prescribes that the people of Belize “respect the principles of social justice and therefore believe that the operation of the economic system must result in the material resources of the community being so distributed as to sub serve the common good, that there should be adequate means of livelihood for all, that labour should not be exploited or forced by economic necessity to operate in inhumane conditions but that there should be opportunity for advancement on the basis of recognition of merit, ability and integrity, that equal protection should be given to children regardless of their social status, and that a just system should be ensured to provide for education and health on the basis of equality”.

The Plan to Complete Global Sanitation by 2015
“How long will it take for countries of the poor to have adequate access to clean water?” It has been 13 years since the United Nations Millennium Declaration wrote this statement, and to date, many governments that signed up have noted the members in their communities are “still living and dying in their own feces for want of somewhere clean and safe to go to the toilet”. There is a global plan to reduce by half the number of people without access to sanitation by 2015. For many countries, this will definitely happen. How does Belize compare with other developing countries and what can we do to make the necessary changes to make sure our country is in compliance with this mandate? Globally, over 2.5 billion people live without adequate sanitation. Over 900 million people live without adequate access to clean water, which means people are exposed to the transmission of germs from feces by flies, fingers, and other sources, which can result in a public health crisis. I read that, “Sanitation is the basic environmental condition that affects the well-being of people. The conditions included a clean and safe water supply; efficient and safe animal, human, and industrial waste disposal; clean and safe air; protection of food from biological and chemical contaminants; and adequate housing in clean and safe surroundings”.

Belize’s reef health fair, GOB’s score: poor
The government of Belize has once again found to be lagging in implementing internationally recognized best practices in the management of nations’s fisheries resources. It’s been almost 5 years since Douglas N. Rader PhD and Kate Bonzon of the Environmenal Defense Fund visited Belize in March 2009 to propose a system of fish catch share as the only way forward for sustainable fisheries in Belize, but the UDP administration of Prime Minister Dean Barrow has again be found dragging its feet in implementing the necessary legislation to make it work. Belize scored fair: 3.1 out of a possible score of 5, in its performance to keep the Belize Barrier Reef healthy, according to an Eco-report presented by the Dr. Melanie Mcfield of the Healthy Reefs Initiative (HRI) and Roberto Pott of Belizean NGO, Healthy Reefs for Healthy People, at the Radisson Fort George Hotel on Wednesday, February 12. HRI monitors Belize’s reefs as part of the Meso-American reef, in collaboration with the other countries: Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, and published a similar report back in 2011. Since then all the other 3 countries have improved their scores, only Belize has not improved over 2011.

PUP Marshalls Unit – Moving Forward!!
The work of rebuilding the PUP Marshalls Unit goes on with renewed vigour and efforts. This weekend, the Marshalls President Stephen Latchman will hold a meeting with his Dangriga Executive to plan the way forward. On Saturday February 8th and 9th Marshalls President Stephen Latchman met with Marshalls members of the Orange Walk district. A new executive body was appointed prior to the meeting and sworn in. The members of the new executive are President Joel Mollinedo, Vice President Enrique Castillo, Secretary Berta Ortega, Assistant Secretary Antonio Novelo, and Treasurer Mario Gongora.

A Public Fool or a Pig Using Lipstick?
A recent editorial in a national newspaper that has a mutually cozy business relationship with the Prime Minister and his government, took an unusual, but not unprecedented step, to rebuke the PM for “making a public fool of himself”. This chiding of the PM by one of his fair weather friends, is certainly an indication of the shifting political winds against this most unpopular government. But it is not news. If it is news, it is stale news. It is certainly not an epiphany. Cynics, and there is a growing number of those, even snicker that that newspaper’s editorial is a political, publicity, or business stunt. That assertion may have some credibility based on the experiences of readers and pundits. Reading between the lines, the paper has virtually implied that not only has the Prime Minister become a pig with lipstick but more like a pig using lipstick to cosmetically cover up all the evils of his corrupt administration. It would be easier for him to use white lime to help him with the white wash. But even that will only serve to temporarily keep away the maggots and the flies swarming in a government that is rotten to the core. The Prime Minister is fully aware that his power and strongman control is unravelling, and so is his very dangerous political ambitions. He and his government are currently suspended in thin air by a spider’s slippery thread.

This week I would like to focus on Ladyville and to acknowledge many businesses in the area which have added to the amenities enjoyed by residents of this sprawling suburban and rural community. Many times it feels like there are several Ladyvilles because there are such widely diverse smaller zones and residential areas. For example the Ladyville/Lord’s Bank area has a section that is called Hollywood. Another “barrio” is called Spanish Town. Yesterday Pepe and I gave a ride home to Ms. Marion Wallen, who worked for many years with the late Audrey Courtenay. Ms. Marion joked that she lives in the “poor people” Hollywood, since apart from some attention to one or two streets in the area, there are still many bad streets and lanes, making access for residents very difficult. There are the businesses and services at the International Airport, the Coca Cola/Belikin Factories, SriLuck Plastics, Gentrac, the Vista del Mar Marina, Medina’s Construction, Rodla Construction, Easy Does It Auto Shop, Bella Vista Development, Bacab Eco Park, the Data Processing site at Mile 13, Qespro Pest Elimination Service, M&M Engineering, Belize Optical Supply, Belize Western Energy, Mood FM Radio Station, and St. Christopher Clinic and Pharmacy. I am sure this list is not exhaustive.

The UDP Government of Dean Barrow is a Government without purpose or direction. It is a Government without a Plan. A government that lives from day to day reeling from crisis to crisis. No wonder then, that Belize is in a crisis. Ask yourself the following questions: What is this UDP Governments Economic Development Agenda? Does the UDP Government have a Governance Reform Agenda? What is the UDP’s JOB PLAN? What is the UDP SOCIAL AGENDA beyond furthering dependency thru handouts? What is the UDP’s National Security Plan not only to fight crime but also to preserve our territorial integrity? Where are our Education, Health and Housing Sectors going? What is our Natural Resources Agenda? I could go on and on but you get the point. This is a UDP Government that is headed nowhere and quickly. Take the recent standoffs in the Sugar and Citrus industries. The PUP have long called on the Government to become more engaged in bringing the parties in these industries to the table and craft a responsible solution but Barrow and the UDP waited in each case for the matter to become a national crisis before responding.


An Aussie Strikes Back with a tip of the Akubra to Ambergris and Chaa Creek
First of all, we are a continent, see? So the comparison is unfair. You don’t need weeks and the constitution of a camel to cross Ambergris Caye and see all the sights. You don’t even need shoes. Second of all, Ambergris Caye is in the bleedin’ Caribbean, home of swashbuckling tales, Pirates of the Caribbean, buried treasure and all that, so there’s an unfair advantage right there. And third of all, most importantly, you can get to Ambergris Caye from The Lodge at Chaa Creek, one of the world’s top eco resorts, in the time it takes to drink a frosty Fosters. The last time I tried to get home to Aussie from Chaa Creek it took something like three days. And at Chaa Creek you’re surrounded by beautiful rainforest (on par with our Daintree, I’d have to admit), stacks of activities like canoeing, horseback riding, attractions such as ancient Maya temples and the like, a wonderful staff and a restaurant serving some of the best tucker to be had anywhere.

International Sources

Trip to Belize offers outdoor adventures filled with exotic wildlife, sights, sounds
HOPKINS VILLAGE, Belize — Permit, bonefish and tarpon beckoned from mangrove-flocked cayes dotting glistening saltwater flats, but our bountiful reward had nothing to do with recompense gained via measured swings of a fly rod. In reality, the true treasures of this small country nestled below the Yucatan Peninsula in Central America are its people, culture and distinct places, including some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world featuring an abundance of amazing species. My new bride, Michelle, and I spent our honeymoon in November based out of a private residence on what certainly was a quiet and splendid beach, but getting off the beaten path provided so much more to marvel at, allowing us to partake in activities we otherwise never would have enjoyed.

February 22, 2014


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
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The San Pedro Sun

Bert Oliva motivates SPHS students
Over 10 thousand students attended motivational talks as part of the annual Motivational Missionaries Tour 2014 organized by the Restore Belize Project. With the assistance of Chamberlain Consulting, Restore Belize invited Bert Oliva as the guest for the 2014 tour which ran from February 11th to the 19th. On Monday, February 17th, Oliva and his team made a stop at Ambergris Caye where he inspired and motivated the students of San Pedro High School (SPHS). The motivational speakers also made a stop in neighboring Caye Caulker Village before ending their tour on Wednesday where they met with students in the Toledo District.

14th Annual Spelling Bee Zone 5 Eliminations
A total of 14 students are representing the islands seven primary schools. Contestants include Brandon Worthington and Yaire Castaneda from Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES), Jannelie Mas and Daniela Novelo from Caye Caulker Roman Catholic Primary School (CCRC), Jessica Saki and Kirany Caal from Holy Cross Anglican School (HCAS), Juliannie Rivero and Ashley Minott from Isla Bonita Elementary School (IBES), Derrick Clark and Elias Zetina from New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist School (NHSDA), Rachel Alamilla and Natalia Arias from San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School (SPRC) and Nicole Ritchie and Jackson Leslie from The Island Academy. The two top winners of the competition will represent Zone 5 at the Belize District Finals.

San Pedro Sports Committee launches Kids Football Clinic
On Saturday February 15th the San Pedro Sports Committee held a Football Clinic at the Saca Chispas Football Field in San Pedro Town. The clinic was spearheaded by Hector ‘Tito’ Alamilla of the San Pedro Sports Committee and Coach Alex Noralez, assistant coach in the Youth Program of the Football Federation of Belize (FFB). The clinic was open to three age categories Under 13, Under 15 and Under 17 and was designed to provide the children with individual attention, while giving them the opportunity to grow, both individually and as team players, developing and refining the various sport’s skills and tactics. Approximately 50 children attended the first clinic. Another clinic is scheduled to take place this coming Saturday, and henceforth from 9AM. Clinics are scheduled to run through mid March.

Belize scores a “C” in regional Reef Eco-Audit
The 2014 Reef Eco-Audit of the Mesoamerican Reef countries is out and was made public simultaneously in all countries who share the same reef system. In Belize, Healthy Reefs Initiative (HRI) hosted the event at the Radisson Fort George Hotel on Wednesday February 12th and in attendance was a consortium of policy makers, environmentalists, conservation stakeholders and even a rigorous media. The report celebrated the successes in the collective efforts to protect and sustainably manage the region’s amazing coral reef but also highlighted the unfortunate slow pace at which achievements are met.

Elias Zetina of New Horizon SDA and Jannelie Mas of Caye Caulker RC are Zone 5s top Spellers
The 20th National Coca Cola Spelling Bee is underway with district zone eliminations throughout the country. The Belize District Zone five eliminations, which entails Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, took place on Friday February 24th at the San Pedro Lions Den. 14 students from seven primary schools took their opportunities to test their spelling ability but in the end, Elias Zetina of New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) School took the top honors for the zone. The Spelling Bee competition is an annual collaborative educational effort conducted jointly between Coca Cola franchise in Belize, Bowen and Bowen Limited, and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. Started in 1994, the competition has evolved over the past 20 years and is one of the biggest educational competitions, attracting students from all private and public schools in the country. In fact, the competition have been divided into zones, and according to Miriam Codd, District Educational Officer for Belize Rural South, it is the 14th consecutive Zone Elimination held between island schools. This year the national competition is being held under the theme “Go for the Goooal” which coincides with the year of the Football World Cup scheduled for later this year in Brazil.

Members of Caribbean Flying Adventures descend on Ambergris Caye
It seems that everyone around the world has gotten wind that Ambergris Caye is the Number 1 Island in the world (for the second consecutive year). That includes a group of about 16 pilots who flew to San Pedro Town, Belize on Friday February 21st in their private planes. The adventurers will spend the weekend on the island, taking in the sun, breeze and sea and just enjoy the La Isla Bonita experience.

A taste of Belize in Portland Oregon (USA)
So if there’s one thing we’re always looking out for, I’m sure by now you’ve figured out that it’s cool Belizean features! In an article recently posted by Willamette Week, a Portland (Oregon, USA) based online newsletter, a food cart dishing up tasty Belizean dishes managed to make its way onto the list of “Cheap Eats 2014: Top 5 Food Carts of the Year.” Love Belizean is a food cart that set up shop on SW 6th and Columbia Avenue in Portland, Oregon. Tiffany Quillen Love opened up Love Belizean on February 14th, 2013. While Tiffany isn’t Belizean she isn’t letting that stop her. The Hawaiian native fell in love with Belizean dishes like Rice n’ Beans on her honeymoon in the country and has been giving the people of Portland a taste of Belize , Marie Sharp pepper sauce and all. Tiffany was equally joyed to share her Rice n Beans with the Belize National Football Team that travelled to Portland for the Gold Cup in 2013. The team gave Love Belizean the Belizean stamp of approval. Love Belizean ranked third in the Top 5. Way to go Tiffany!

Ambergris Today

Spelling Bee Zone 5 Eliminations Held in San Pedro
Two representatives from each school took on the challenge and competed for a chance to be a part of the 20th Annual National Coca Cola Spelling Bee in the Belize district finals. Congratulations to Third place winner: Rachel Alamilla - San Pedro R.C. School, Second Place: Jannelie Mas – Caye Caulker R.C. School and First Place: Elias Zetina – New Horizon SDA School.

Light The Night For Kids
Join the worthy cause taking place on Friday, March 14, 2014 at 6pm; Memorial Park in Belize City. Express yourself and together let's light up the night for kids.

Mexico Offers Postgraduate Scholarships To Belizeans
The Embassy of Mexico informs that the El Colegio de la Frontera Norte (COLEF) in Mexico, has opened its 2014 scholarship call for applications for postgraduate programs. There are seven scholarships available for Belizean Nationals to carry out Master degree programs and one for Doctorate degree program. These postgraduate programs are registered in the national program of quality postgraduate studies of Mexico’s National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT).

Condolences to Family of the Late Freddy Waight
Ambergris Today expresses sincere condolences to the family of the late Frederick Cassian Waight, "Captain Freddie" of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, who passed away on Saturday, February 18, 2014. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, February 22, 2014, at the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church on Ambergris Caye, Belize at 10:00 a.m. immediately followed by a memorial on the beach.

Education in Belize: Quality Schools
During the last few weeks, the entire country of Belize witnessed with great concern the plight of hundreds/thousands of educators and teachers whose pressing yet ignored working and workplace concerns had finally reached a boiling point. These professionals work very hard and tirelessly everyday to provide an education to our young people; yet they remain unappreciated by many, especially by those who control their very salaries, workplaces, and living conditions.

US Navy Seal Celebrity Marcus Luttrell Vacations in San Pedro
Marcus Luttrell is a former United States Navy SEAL who received the Navy Cross and Purple Heart for his actions in June 2005 facing Taliban fighters during Operation Red Wings. His survival story was so amazing that Hollywood made it into the hit 2013 movie Lone Survivor where actor Mark Wahlberg portrayed him. Well Luttrell and his wife Melanie were vacationing in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, last week and enjoying the accommodations of Azul Resort in North Ambergris Caye. Ambergris Today also found out that the happy couple made trips to the reef onboard Lady Leslie catamaran and totally enjoyed what the island has to offer.

Misc Belizean Sources

Masquerade Ball Feb 22 [email protected] Holiday Hotel in San Pedro
DON'T MISS OUT ON THIS ELEGANT AFFAIR! If you don't have a mask, DON'T WORRY! We'll have masks for sale at the door for only $10!

Mexican Dance Company “Los niños Mayas de Cancun"
The Embassy of Mexico informs that the Mexican Dance Company “Los niños Mayas de Cancun" (The Mayan Children from Cancun) will participate at the fourth annual Street Art Festival in Belize City on Saturday, February 22th, 2014. The dance company “Los niños Mayas de Cancun" was created in the year 2000 with the objective of bringing together the most talented children of Quintana Roo and to provide them a space for professional training on traditional Mayan dances and from other parts of Mexico. The group’s performance offers the public a show within the highest standards of quality and fosters closer relations and knowledge of the culture and traditions of the Maya region of Quintana Roo. This dance company includes more than 20 children between 12 and 13 years old. The group has performed in most states of Mexico, as well as in Los Angeles and New York in the Unites States, Canada, Dominican Republic and Cuba. The group's performance will take place on Saturday, February 22, at 5:00 pm on Albert Street, downtown Belize City.

Western Ballaz Play Today
The Western Ballaz host the Dangriga Warriors today at the SHC auditorium. The warm up game is SHC vs. SHJC. This is their first home game so come on out and support the number 1 ranked team in the Elite League. The game will be televised on channel 5. The video is channel 5's highlights from last week's game, where they defeated the Running Rebels in Orange Walk. "Tip off found Kurt Burgess of Ballaz and Ian Carcamo of OW facing off- Burgess taps to Mark O’brien and we’re underway. Leith Paulino powers the home team to a 12 – 8 lead with this good looking three point shot and he would finish with 11 points and 6 rebounds. However, Kurt Burgess who came in as the assist leader in the league with 8, banks this triple off the glass to pull his team to a 16 – 13 lead at the end of the 1st quarter."

Belmopan Bandits vs. Toledo Diplomats
The Belmopan Bandits are hosting the Toledo Diplomats tomorrow at the UB gym. Belmopan is currently 1 and 1. Go, Belmopan! You can see some of their last game, which was against the Dangriga Warriors, where the Warriors beat them by only one point, 57-56. Their first game, where they defeated the Orange Walk Running Rebels, 76-69.

Women in Arts Fair Call
The SISE House of Culture is having their annual Women in Arts Fair, and they are calling on female artists who would like to enter their arts to be shown. The fair will be at the Cayo Welcome Center on Saturday, March 29th. Call them at 824-0783 for more information if you're interested.

'I Have a Dream for Belize' Essay Winner
The U.S. Embassy is proud to announce that Mr. Elvis Usher is the winner of the "I Have a Dream for Belize" Essay Contest. CONGRATULATIONS!!! The second place winner is Mr. Javier Candelario Romero, and there was a tie for third place by Mr. Dale McDougall and Ms. Maryam Abdul. We received over 50 submissions and ALL of them were very insightful. We've compiled the quotes that stood out from all of the essay submissions and posted them below. Belize has A LOT to be proud of, all of the dreams were inspiring! Thanks to everyone who participated!

Rick Galvez Concert at Soul Project
Rick Galvez will have a concert today at the Soul Project. He has some new songs that he's going to unveil. He's an amazing artist, and admission is free. "Ricardo A. Galvez announces- For the past two months i have been working on several projects, one of which is a compilation of new songs for an album that i am adamant will be recorded and released this year. This Saturday night i will be performing an acoustic show at Belize Soul project, space for the creative arts and debuting some new material. For the first time in a long time i feel totally confident and excited with what I'm working on. Hope to see you Saturday."

Mexico offers postgraduate scholarships to Belizeans
The El Colegio de la Frontera Norte (COLEF) in Mexico has opened its 2014 scholarship call for applications for postgraduate programs. There are seven scholarships available for Belizean nationals for master’s degree programs and one for a doctorate degree program. These postgraduate programs are registered in the national program of quality postgraduate studies of Mexico’s National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT). COLEF is a prestigious public Mexican institution, oriented to teaching and research.

Commentary: If government removes soldiers from the streets of Belize City, it better have a backup plan
By Wellington C. Ramos It is never a good situation for a country when the government decides to deploy soldiers on the streets to perform police duties for which they were not trained. Why? Because soldiers are not trained to perform police duties, only the police. However, due to the increase in crime over the years, the PUP and UDP governments in Belize had no choice but to take that action. Back in the 1960s, when the UBAD was creating havoc in Belize City, the PUP government under the leadership of Minister Carl L. Rogers, better known as "Lindy Rogers", formed the Police Special Force, which was known as PSF. At that time, our country of Belize had no army but had a volunteer force called the British Honduras Volunteer Guards (BHVG). They attended drills during the week in their respective districts and attended camp in Mountain Pine Ridge once a year to do military training. The original PSF enlistees had to do one year of training, which included six months of police duties and six months of military training. That was later broken down to about three months of each.

Golden Princess Casino Closes Operation at the Corozal Northern border in Belize - 200 workers out of work.
Workers at the Golden Princess Casino located near the northern border of Belize were informed that as of today they will not have a job to report to because the casino is closing its operation in Belize. According to a worker at the Casino, they were told that the Casino has been operating at a loss and therefore has gone bankrupt. But sources in the know say – that is far from the truth. On Wednesday, February 5th the House of Representative held an emergency meeting to amend and pass four important bills. They are the Money Laundering and Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Bill; the Financial Intelligence Unit (Amendment) Bill 2014; the Domestic Banks and Financial Institutions (Amendment) Bill, 2014 and the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2014. Unlike the usual rancor that characterizes house meetings, where the “banking transparency legislations” were concerned, there was no sparring. The Opposition agreed even though they said that they didn’t like the bills.

Channel 7

Golden Princess Casino Closing Down; 100+ Jobless?
Tonight, the families of at least 130 Belizean workers in the northern part of the country are in state of financial panic after they were abruptly sent home this morning from the Golden Princess Casino located in the Corozal Commercial Free Zone. It's the kind of thing that blindsided the entire staff after a memo was sent out last night, requesting that everyone needed to attend a mandatory meeting at 11 a.m. this morning. When everyone was congregated, the upper management delivered the news like an executive sledge hammer: they were closing down Golden Princess, and approximately only 60 of their 270 staff would be retained after the process was over. The reasons given by the Executives at this morning's meeting were that business is slow at the establishment, the rent is too high, and there is not sufficient funds to keep casino open and employ everyone on staff.

Hon. Hulse Says Immig. Officers Didn't Have To "Lawyer Up"
Last night, 7News told you about the back and forth that Acting Director of Immigration Maria Marin, Attorney Godfrey Smith and Deputy Solicitor General Nigel Hawke had via letters about the questions being asked of Immigration officers Ady Pacheco and Gordon Wade about role in the Citizen Kim scandal. As has been widely reported, after fake Belizean Won Hong Kim got his passport issued to him in one day, his file famously disappeared, and those two officers from the Immigration Section reportedly handled the file at one point or another. As we told you, Director Marin wrote to Wade and Pacheco requesting that they answer certain questions, but instead of doing so, they retained Attorney Godfrey Smith who wrote back saying that his clients don't have to answer for any breech in procedures. Deputy Solicitor General Hawke, acting on behalf of the Immigration Department then wrote back to Smith saying that Marin's letters were not "show-cause" requests. Today, 7News caught up with Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse, and we asked him to share his opinion on the matter. He said that the officers pressed the gas too fast on the retention of an attorney:

NCL Submitted Their EIA Addendum
Today's edition of the Amandala newspaper reports that Norwegian Cruise Line has submitted corrections to the EIA that they promised, following the negative feedback at the Public Consultation Meeting held on January 22 in Independence Village. The newspaper reports that the Department of the Environment announced that they've received a 25-page supplementary document that they hope the DOE will consider when reviewing their proposal for their quote, "Harvest Caye Nature Park" Unquote. According to the Amandala, with this submission, the NEAC meeting, which was postponed indefinitely, will now meet in early March, after the members have been able to peruse the submitted documents.

Court: Lenny Bennett Shot His Ex
About 2 hours before news time, a jury of 9 found Lenny Bennett Benguche guilty of maiming his ex-girlfriend back in January 2008, when he caused her to lose a leg. Christina Zetina was forced to testify twice against Benguche's where he was acquitted of attempted murder, and then re-tried for maim. The charges arose from an incident that occurred around 8:30 p.m. on January 29, 2008, in which Benguche's ex-girlfriend was shot in her left leg. Because of the severity of the injury, her leg was amputated 10 days later. She testified that she and her boyfriend were riding their bicycles on Clother Avenue in Ladyville when Benguche fired shots at them and a bullet struck her in her leg. Benguche testified and denied that he committed the offence. He said that he was at a Chinese shop on Marage Road in Ladyville when he heard gunshots and he went home.

FECTAB: Back Off From Yhony
For the past, 2 weeks, well-known tour guide Yhony Rosado has been battling a new allegation brought against him by his competitor, Vitalino Reyes Sr. According to Reyes, Rosado, assaulted him on Boxing Day, and so, he now he's facing a disorderly conduct charge in the Magistrate's Court. Well, as we've reported, Rosado claims that the BTB is trying to use this opportunity to move against him and get his tour guide license revoked on what he calls a flimsy charge. As we told you, the Licensing committee is reviewing this allegation, and Rosado's livelihood could be placed on the line if they recommend that it be revoked. Well, FECTAB is take the stance that, if you touch one, you touch all, and today they' held a fiery 1 hour press conference. Rosado and his attorney outlined the long history of bad blood that he's had with Vitalino Reyes, who tried to get him convicted in court with false statements under oath.

Palm Grove Doesn't Want The Apartment Complex
Last night, 7News showed you a small part of our story on the Palm Grove residents who want to block the building of an apartment complex in their neighborhood, because they say that it's private property where their security and peace of mind will be disturbed. We'd interviewed them an hour before news time, and so tonight, we have their full comments to us: Stephen Heusner - Resident, Palm Grove "They are proposing to build a 5 story apartment building on a very small lot which is about 75' x 100' and it just seems out of the ordinary to cram a building of this size on such a small property." Omar Gomez - Resident, Palm Grove "I am here supporting my fellow residents, my neighbors and expressing our grave concern for the parking facilities that are inadequate for this proposed building and obviously the destruction of the entrance to the properties, it's a one exit and one entrance private property only and with this proposed building going up, we don't know who will be coming in and who will be going out and the lack of parking space will inconvenience the fellow neighbors and parking on the street would be very inadequate."

Mayor To Palm Grove: Take It To Court
And so today, 7News spoke with Mayor Darrell Bradley, who they point to as the government authority who is not acting in their best interest. Bradley told us that City Hall cannot block the development without good reason: Mayor Darrell Bradley "I made it very clear to Mr. Heusner that when we deal with regulations and when we deal with the building code, it is that a person applies for a building permit and we will go back to them in relation with certain issues that we may have. As long as they satisfy us with those issues we can't by law block the development. The residents in that area and Mr. Heusner want this thing to be stopped. They have certain remedies that they could take, if it's a nuisance, if its problems that they are finding out they could bring an action in court to deal with the developer directly, but our point of view from the city's responsibility is to regulate them and regulating them means that we are ensuring that they are compliant with the law including the building act and they are building in such a way that ensures that whatever they build comports to certain basic standards including parking and we are doing this, so I don't understand what the issue with the residents are."

Repeat Offender Jailed For Firearm
32 year-old Jevon Levi Usher is spending his third night of a 10 year sentence behind bars after he was convicted of firearm offences in the Magistrate's Court. His trial took place before the Chief Magistrate, Ann Marie Smith, and ended on Wednesday evening. Police say that they saw him on Jane Usher Boulevard on February 22, 2013. At around 10:15 p.m. they were on patrol and when Usher saw them coming, he tried to throw away an item before they arrived near to him. The officers detained him and immediately retrieve what he threw away; it turned out to be a glock 9mm pistol which had 3 live round in its magazine. So, they charged him with keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition. The arresting officers testified to the discovery, and his defence, he said that they fabricated the entire story claiming that the area was too dark for the officers to see him throwing away anything. Under a crafty cross-examination, the police prosecutor asked him if it is not true where the officers detained him is a crime-stricken area. He answered yes saying that he always had to be "strapped" to protect himself, suggesting that he is regularly armed.

Dakers To Jail For Indecent Assault
48 year-old George Dakers is spending his second 9 of a 3-year sentence after he was found guilty of indecent assault against a 12 year-old girl. His trial took place before the Chief Magistrate, Ann Marie Smith, where the 12 year-old testified that on May 11, 2013, at around 2 p.m., she went to Dakers' house to beg him for a nail. She said that Dakers told her that he didn't have any, and when turned around to leave, Dakers squeezed her buttocks. She said that she immediately told her mother who called the police and reported the incident. Dakers was charged with aggravated assault of an indecent nature, and in his defence in the trial, he told the court that the child was telling lies on him once again, like she supposedly always does. He denied ever touching the girl.

Belize Sign On To Jaguar Corridor Initiative
Today, Belize signed on with 18 other countries to a memorandum of understanding which an official commitment from Government and its environmental partners to collaboratively implement science-based conservation initiatives that secure and connect jaguars and their habitats in Belize and beyond its borders, facilitate land development that is both ecologically sustainable and economically profitable, and mitigate human-jaguar conflict throughout the country. Now, it's an initiative which the experts say started in Belize, and it has finally come full circle with this MOU. World renown Jaguar Expert was the main speaker at the Signing, and he explained that from his observations in other countries, Belize has the healthiest relationship with the big cat: Dr. Alan Rabinowitz - CEO, Panthera "Now there are 18 countries signing these MOUs to maintaining the jaguar corridor. It doesn't mean necessarily a bunch of new protected areas, it means land use zoning; thinking of land where wildlife now becomes a part of the thinking of agricultural development; new road building and all those kinds of things. It just means a better way of thinking and where all the local communities and local people are involve in that way of thinking because it's their land, its where they live, it's their resources. Everything got started here 30 years ago and not only am I thrill to see it have come full circle now to where Belize is now signing this MOU for the jaguar corridor, but I want you to realize that you are a piece of the jaguar corridor as small as it might seem. When you look at a map from Mexico through Argentina, it's actually a very special piece of the jaguar corridor."

The First Bel Riv Expo
Another major environmental event which happened in the river valley is the first Belize River Valley Eco-Tourism and Commerce Expo which opened today in Bermudian Landing. It's a commercial opportunity that has been closely organized by the administrators of the Community Baboon Sanctuary Women's Conservation Group. Today, 7News stopped in at the opening ceremony to find out a little about it. Here's what the guest speakers had to say: Hon. Godwin Hulse - Guest Speaker, Belize River Expo "We want especially to recognize the Community Baboon Sanctuary Women's Conservation Group for presenting this Belize River Valley Bel Riv first ever expo. Give the women of the area a huge hand. And I say the women because in 1995 myself together with a group of men attempted to get some economic activity going and we struggled for about 5 years and we never has any major success. Miss Jessie was a part of this. I don't know where she is hiding, come up here Miss Jessie. She was part of this activity together with a lot of other women in this area and she never lost the vision, has been involved in everything in this area, has been keeping literally the babboons alive in the footsteps of her husband and together they did that, she runs the museum and today we will open a business center. She is energetic, full of life, but we have to give her a special hand for this day."

Stix's 9th Day of Healing
Community activist Perry "Stix" Smith has been organizing his Days of Healing all of last year, which is catching on with the residents of the communities affected by the Belize City Gang Landscape. He's putting together his first for 2014 together this weekend, and today he explained to us what his plans for event, which seeks to engaged marginalized youths and give them a sports day to enjoy: This Sunday's healing will be held at the Complex Field. It starts at 9 am, and and ends at 6pm.

A Special Edition Nowhere To Fly For Street Art Festival
And those children he hopes to engage are those who live their lives in constant fear or influence of the gangs that operate in those territories. It's something that Joseph "Stamp" Romero is hoping to bring to life at this Saturday's Street Art Festival. He's had 2 productions of his innovative play called "Nowhere to Fly, Gangs and Boys", and in Saturday's production, he hopes to engage festival goers with a vivid tale of what these youths experience. He told us a bit about how it has been received so far:

Bert Oliva Reached Out To Almost 10k Kids
Motivational Speaker Bert Oliva has been around the country on his third tour to inspire your children to reach their full potential. Yes, they've probably come home and told you exciting stories of eating fire, walking over broken glass, and bending steel using their necks. But, the real message is that to achieve goals, mind over matter is the biggest weapon they have in their arsenal. Oliva and his associates told us about the tour, and the more than 9,000 children they've hopefully influenced positively:

Channel 5

FECTAB’s fiery press conference to clear Yhony Rosado’s name
The Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize, FECTAB, held a press briefing this morning to discuss details of a longstanding rift between executive member Yhony Rosado and rival tour [...]

Executives call out Chukka and B.T.B. on state of cruise tourism industry
Among other issues discussed were FECTAB’s perennial gripe with Chukka and the Memorial Park as part of the Fort Street Tourism Zone.  David Almendarez, an executive of the organization, brought [...]

Global Fantasies: European tourist scammed out of US $26,000
From FECTAB’s protest on the current state of cruise tourism, to widespread objection to another growing sector of the industry, sex tourism.   That niche market sells in premiere destinations all [...]

Over 100 employees fired from Golden Princess in Corozal Free Zone
News Five has received credible information that the casino known as the Golden Princess, located near the northern border, has closed its doors. Those reports circulated this morning, along with [...]

Belize City Mayor discusses BML contracts
The Belize City Council currently pays two sanitation companies for work done in the city – Belize Waste Control and Belize Maintenance Limited. Both companies account for over one hundred [...]

The daring escape of yet another prisoner
In Thursday’s newscast, we reported that San Ignacio Police have launched a manhunt for accused murdered, twenty-five-year-old Jarod Arthurs Lamb. Lamb escaped from custody around eight-thirty on Thursday morning, while [...]

15 years behind bars for Lindbergh Alexander Clarke
Twenty-one year old Lindbergh Alexander Clarke is tonight serving the first night of a fifteen-year stretch at the Belize Central Prison, after being found guilty of three firearm-related offences.  This [...]

Man found guilty of maim
A jury of five women and four men entered the deliberating room at eleven-thirty this morning, to decide the fate of Lenny Bennett Benguche, whose trial for maim commenced in [...]

Immigration bust at Blue House Bar in Ladyville
The Immigration Department continues to target ‘happy bars’ in Belize, racking up an impressive record of cases for immigration offences. Last week it was Temptation Hill, and today officers were [...]

Mahogany Street Police Precinct assists elderly man
The Mahogany Street Police Precinct continues its stellar working in building the Lake Independence community by assisting the needy through a series of community outreach initiatives.  This morning, a team [...]

G.O.B. signs MOU to protect jaguar corridor
This morning in Burrell Boom, officials from the Ministry of Forest, the University of Belize and Panthera, as well as other representatives from various environmental groups, gathered for the signing [...]

The annual Street Art Festival
On Saturday, downtown Albert Street will come alive with the annual Street Art Festival hosted by the Institute of Creative Arts. The transformation will see the commercial hub of the [...]


Red Cross Empowering Communities To Be Decision Makers With In Their Communities
In July 2013 the Belize Red Cross began implementation of the Resilience in the Americas, RITA project. The project is focused on educating and empowering communities in becoming decision makers within their communities. Through the American Red Cross, the project is being piloted in ten countries in the Latina America and Caribbean Region. An assessment model was developed to be a holistic, multi-sector analysis of the needs of communities which in Belize is being managed by the Belize Red Cross. RITA activities are being carried out in San Victor, Consejo, and Corozal Town in the Corozal District, as well as Black Water Creek, Santa Cruz and San Antonio Rio Hondo, Louisiana and Trial Farm in the Orange Walk District.

San Ignacio Police On Hunt For Escape Prisoner
Police in San Ignacio are tonight seeking the help of the public in recapturing an escaped prisoner. About 8:30a.m this morning, San Ignacio Police left the Hattieville Prison en route to San Ignacio. On board the van were seven prisoners. While on their way to San Ignacio, in the vicinity of Ontario Village a loud bang was heard, as a result, the driver stopped to investigate. Upon checking it was observed that the back door was partially opened and prisoner Jarod Arthurs Lamb had escaped from custody.

Concern Raises Over The Use Of Horse Drawn Carriage Tours
Much scrutiny is being raised towards the long-standing Horse drawn carriage tours in the Tourism Sector particularly where the hub of those activities are prominent in Belize City. Of much contention is the revision for proper care of the animal Under the Cruelty to Animals Act, Chapter 115. Tonight, Reporter Maria Novelo visits the story in an effort to educate and raise awareness of what many people call an ‘inhumane’ practice in the Tourism sector. Maria Novelo – Reporting A leisure ride in a horse-drawn carriage around the core of Belize City is one of the longest-running tourist traditions in the country’s history. And while it is a major income earner for several families, many find the horse-carriage industry unsustainable as it is presently with its sub-standard practices. We spoke to several activists, concerned residents and animal lovers who weighed in on the issue.


Acquitted in First Trial; Jury Unable to Reach Verdict in Retrial
A jury of five women and four men retired around 11:30 a.m. today to see if it can reach a verdict in the court of Justice John Gonzalez for 28 year old Lenny Bennett Benguche, charged with maim. The charge arose from an incident that occurred around on January 29, 2008, in which Benguche’s ex-girlfriend Christina Zetina, was shot in her left leg. The injury was so severe that Zetina’s leg was amputated 10 days later. Zetina testified that she and her boyfriend were riding their bicycles on Clother Avenue in Ladyville when several shots were fired at them. Benguche, who was not represented by any attorney, testified that at the time of the incident he was at a Chinese shop on Marage Road in Ladyville when he heard gunshots and he went home. The prosecution is being represented by Crown Counsel Leroy Banner who is being assisted by Crown Counsel Killeru Awich. The trial is a retrial. In June 2010 Benguche was acquitted of two counts of attempted murder for Zetina and her boyfriend. The jury was, however, unable to reach a verdict for maim.


Escaped: Two prisoners, Separate incidents, Same Day
Another prisoner has escaped from police custody. This would be the third for February 2014 and the second in one day, Thursday February 20, 2014. Last night we told you about Jarod Lamb who jumped out of a moving police van on his way to court in San Ignacio....

Beauty Queens’ Pictures Removed from Sex Vacation Website
Organizers of the Miss Belize Pageant have officially written to Global Fantasies, the website which advertises Belize as a sex paradise, offering young Belizean females for sale. The website displays pictures of numerous women, supposedly all Belizeans, who could be purchased for the entertainment pleasure of foreigners. Some of...

Casino Closes at Corozal Free Zone
Golden Princess Casino at the Corozal Free Zone in northern Belize has closed its doors. There has been no official word from the management of the casino but speculations as to the reason for the closure are rampant. Unconfirmed reports are that the casino will be moving across the...

Man Found Guilty of Maiming Ex-Girlfriend
A jury of 5 women and 4 men stepped into the deliberating room at 11:30 this morning to decide the fate of Lenny Bennette Benguche whose trial for maim commenced in the Supreme Court of Justice Troadio John Gonzalez since Monday of this week. They came back out his...

Bar Owner Back In Court for New Immigration Offense
The Immigration Department was back in court today after they raided Blue House Bar, the business place of a well-known naturalized Belizean who is originally from Guatemala. Mrs. Dora Prado is no stranger to the court. In fact, this is the second time that she is being charged for...

Community Service for Woman Who Lied About Rape
Mysha Williams has escaped prison sentence, but must do community service for committing a mischievous act. The 18 year old woman fabricated a story about being raped last weekend. She went to the police station and told police she was raped in her home and even took police her...

Venezuelan Ambassador Complains About International Media Coverage of Anti-Government Protests in Venezuela
The Venezuelan government is gripped with political unrest and has categorically accused the International News Media CNN of “…hostile coverage”. According to an article posted by BBC news, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said that many international networks have created a false idea that Venezuela is faced with civil...

Understanding the Relationship Between Ralph Huang and Lord Gibson
When UDP “Caretaker” for Cayo South, Ismael “Miley” Garcia backed out of the race for UDP Standard Bearer for the Cayo South Division political observers were wondering who would fill the void. In came Ernest Patnett from the village of Teakettle, a close associate of Belmopan Area Representative John...


The gang violence that has been in low intensity for the last several months throughout Belize City appears to be escalating among rival gangs, as stepped-up shootings in various Southside gang turfs have begun to register casualties again. On Wednesday morning around 9:30 the life of a young man was snuffed out for no sensible reason, other than his bad sense of timing and his apparent exercise of poor judgment, according to his sister, who said she was warned by the elders in her Supal Street neighborhood that her brother would be killed if he went into the George Street neighborhood, where he has friends. Tarique Keylon Cadle, 25, took his last breath as bullets mowed him down to the ground in a yard on Plues Street. His corpse was transported to the morgue at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, after his sister identified it to police. An area resident, speaking on condition of anonymity, said she heard about five or six shots in rapid succession.

Two men from the George Street area are being treated at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after being shot multiple times by a man reportedly from the Supal Street Gang at about 11:30 Tuesday night at the corner of West Canal and King Street. The two injured men are Tarique Tzul, 25, of West Street, and Andrew Tate, 27, of George Street. Tate was shot twice in his right arm, once in the left arm, once in the left side of the abdomen, once below the stomach, once in the right upper leg, and once in the left upper leg. He has been declared to be in a critical condition and is in the Intensive Care Unit of the KHMH. Tzul was shot in his left upper leg and has been declared to be in a stable condition. Police announced that fifteen 9mm expended shells were retrieved from the scene of the shooting.

Jason “Soup” Williams, 35, an associate of the Supal Street Gang, is facing two counts of aggravated assault charges, as well as a charge for discharging a firearm in public. Williams was remanded to the Belize Central Prison after he was arraigned in the Magistrate’s Court Thursday morning. Williams pleaded not guilty to the three charges. Before he was arraigned, Williams took advantage of the presence of reporters in court to express his innocence, saying, “The police dem di try set me up.” He claimed that police saw a man with dreadlocks running and arrested him for the crime. The shooting incident occurred on Tuesday night in the vicinity of West and Bishop Streets. According to Police Constables #1308 Elvin Nah and #124 Jason Augustine, they responded to shots being fired in the area, and they saw a man with dreadlocks whom they identified as Williams, running.

It looked like a scene out of a movie – an SUV smashed through the glass wall of a supermarket in Ladyville, leaving half of the vehicle in the store and the other half outside on the pavement. The accident occurred at about 3:30 yesterday afternoon. Luckily, no one was injured, but the vehicle slammed some goods off a shelf in Sky City Superstore, knocked down a 5-gallon water rack containing about twenty bottles, bursting some of them, among other damages. The vehicle, a Nissan Pathfinder with L/P- CY- 31479, which carried a Belize Wild Life and Referral Clinic logo on the right back glass, ended up parked on top of the water rack. The woman who was driving the SUV was detained by police, pending charges.

The worst nightmare of a mother, who was praying for the safe return of her son after he had been missing for 13 days, became a cold reality today. The decomposed body of Luis Enrique Moreno, 22, of Santa Familia Street, Orange Walk Town, was recovered this morning at about 7:30 at the area of the Richman Hill Farm in Shipyard, Orange Walk, after he was reported missing by his mother, Marcela Moreno, since the morning of Wednesday, February 5. Moreno’s skeletal remains were found under a cohune tree on a farm called Rancho Lalo, about 400 meters inward, from Mile 2 ½ on the Guinea Grass Road. Marcela Moreno went to the site and identified the body as that of her son. Moreno told Amandala that she recognized her son from the boxers and sweater he was wearing when he left home on the morning of Wednesday, February 5.

Three immigration officers and their attorneys appeared before the Public Services Commission on Wednesday, February 19, to present arguments for why they should not be terminated from the public service for their role in the issuance of a Belize passport to South Korean Won Hong Kim. But the man who appears to be the principal architect behind the passport scandal, the disgraced former Immigration Minister of State, Elvin Penner, was not questioned during the Immigration Ministry’s internal investigation, carried out by its chairman, Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Immigration; the CEO in the Ministry of Immigration, Candelaria Saldivar; and Director of Immigration, Maria Marin. The findings of the investigation, a three-page document signed by Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse and dated November 11, 2013, appear to be raising more public eyebrows than providing answers the public needs because of the investigators’ refusal to question Penner, who signed the passport “for a business associate I knew before I entered politics.”

At a Special Sitting of the House of Representatives held in early February, Johnny Briceño, Orange Walk Central member for the Opposition People’s United Party, cautioned Parliament that “there needs to be some education” on the bills that had gone to the House for rapid approval, so that Belize could comply with foreign pressure to put into place revisions to its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism legislation. Belize is a small nation of about 350,000 people and many people are connected by relation or association, so the legislation would not just cover the 40-odd persons in Parliament. Belize’s Money Laundering and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2008 has been amended twice – in 2013 and again in 2014, and the scope of persons explicitly regarded as PEPs has substantially expanded.

Belize Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie, having failed to respond to the Monday deadline in a letter sent to him by attorney Edwin Flowers, S.C. on behalf of Hon. Francis Fonseca, the Leader of the Opposition, People’s United Party, will now have to answer in a Supreme Court judicial review. On Wednesday, the PUP, through its legal advisor, attorney Anthony Sylvestre, filed for the judicial review at the Supreme Court Registry. The PUP hopes that the court sets an early date for the hearing. The PUP Leader is seeking a writ of mandamus – for a Supreme Court judge to instruct Commissioner Whylie to investigate and bring criminal charges against the disgraced former Immigration Minister of State, Elvin Penner, for his role in the granting of Belize nationality to the imprisoned South Korean, Won Hong Kim.

The capitalists speak of the “magic of the market place” as an explanation for the energy which fuels their system. That energy is considered the reason for the success of the capitalist system. That energy appears to be derived from the instinct which propels man to seek sustenance for himself at the individual level. So then, the capitalist system is basically a selfish system. The capitalists and neoliberals do not really dispute such a characterization of their system. They argue that man is a selfish being, and that there is really no way forward other than to have man compete against man in a fight for survival, to the death if that becomes necessary. In our third millennial capitalism, the medium of exchange is money. Those who make a lot of money are those who are considered successful, and those who don’t have money, suffer and die. There is great enjoyment amongst the successful ones, and there is crushing misery amongst those who are doomed to die. This is one of the contradictions of capitalism. A few accumulate excessively, while the masses suffer. Proponents of capitalism say this is how it has to be, because the competition is the thing. It’s all about the market place.

We can see now that Barack Obama has served the interests of the American power structure quite well indeed, and for this reason the intensity of domestic hostility to him, such as that of the Tea Party movement, appears unjustified, or misplaced. For sure some of the hostility to Obama has flared up because of moral and religious opposition to his positions in favor of abortion and homosexual rights. But the United States is a nation with a racist, white supremacist history, so that some of the hostility to Barack is also derived from a serious discomfort with the notion of a black man leading the most powerful nation on earth. In Belize, our abiding concern has to do with how we survive and grow as the only black, English-speaking nation in Central America, and one whose territory is claimed by the most powerful Central American republic – Guatemala.

“Negligent discharge” of weapon injures three
Three persons were injured at the entrance of the Brown Sugar Water Taxi Terminal on North Front Street at about 10:00 this morning after a licensed gun owner discharged his firearm, causing bullet fragments to hit the victims after the bullet ricocheted off the concrete floor. As a result, a girl, 12, was grazed on her leg; her mother suffered abrasions on her chest, and a man who was standing near the gun owner suffered a wound on his foot. They were all treated by technicians of the BERT ambulance who went to the scene of the incident, after which they were all released. A witness who was standing near the entrance of the terminal told Amandala that the man had just come off a boat at the dock and was standing in front of the entrance talking to another man when he pulled up his pants, which were starting to fall, and his finger made contact with the trigger. The gun he was carrying in his pants then discharged, releasing a fragmented bullet that hit the victims about 15 feet away.

Belize avoids G-7 sanctions – but review of money laundering measures pending
When the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), established by the G-7, met in France earlier this month, they decided that Belize should not face financial sanctions, because it had taken action to implement new laws, mostly designed to address compliance with international guidelines to counter money laundering and the financing of terrorism. While the cautionary note against Belize, issued last November by the regional body – the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), remains in force, Gian C. Gandhi, Director General – Deputy Chairman of the International Financial Services Commission in Belize, told Amandala today that Belize will be subject to a review by the CFATF plenary in May. A country representative would be attending on Belize’s behalf. Sanctions against our sister Caribbean country, Guyana, which faced a political gridlock which stopped them from passing their version of the anti-money laundering legislation ahead of the France meeting, have also been deferred, Gandhi indicated.

Celebrating the recovering legends – Paul Nabor and The Mighty Sparrow
Belizeans countrywide were recently much relieved and happy to learn that the ailing musical legend Paul Nabor was released from the hospital and was at home recovering his strength in time to join in his already planned birthday celebration in Punta Gorda. Another musical legend, a veteran musical giant of the Caribbean and the world, the Mighty Sparrow, is reportedly also much stronger, and in fact is visiting his hometown in Trinidad during the upcoming Carnival season. Sparrow was reportedly in a diabetic coma a few months ago in Brooklyn, New York, where he has resided for years. Sparrow is no stranger to Belize, where he has a strong and loyal following among Belizeans of the ‘60’s and 70’s and later generations. Though he first visited Belize City in 1969 at the height of his career, and again in 1995, as well as on a couple other occasions, Belize remains one of the few countries where the universally acclaimed “King of Calypso” has not yet been officially honored with the “keys” to our city.

Call me… I will deal with Penner forthwith!
In an ironic twist of faith, three immigration officers are facing a Service Commission Tribunal to fight to clear their name and keep their job. Sharon Neal, Omar Phillips and Erwin Robinson appeared before the tribunal this week, and while they still wait to hear the verdict, the public has already issued their verdict against the one man who is yet to face the public, a tribunal, a commission of inquiry, a police investigation and a court. Elvin Penner seems to have become untouchable, despite his being at the centre of this most distasteful and embarrassing episode in our country’s history. Penner on the prowl What the bits and pieces coming out of the reports are showing is that EVERYONE in CABINET knew Penner was a dangerous man to officers at the immigration department, and there was reason for concern. I say this because of the following statement made by his Minister, Godwin Hulse, on February 17, 2014:

6 years after Yeshua went missing, family continues to seek closure
Earlier this week, police reported that some human remains had been found on the island of Ambergris Caye, and Agnes Nunez wondered if perhaps those could be the remains of her beloved son, Atony Yeshua Roches, who disappeared exactly six years ago today from St. Martin De Porres in Belize City. “Not one day goes by without the family thinking about him and not knowing where he is, is what hurts the family the most,” Joseph Nunez, Yeshua’s brother, told Amandala. Joseph said that on Wednesday, February 20, 2008, Yeshua and Kenrick, his other brother, were hanging out together, and Kenrick left him to go take a bath. When he returned, Yeshua was nowhere around. The brother was told that Yeshua had gone through the “PIV” area in St. Martin De Porres, and he searched for him – to no avail.

CCJ bids farewell to first female judge
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) is the highest appellate court for only three Caribbean countries, but at farewell ceremonies held today for retiring justice, Madam Desiree Bernard—an inaugural judge of the CCJ and its first and only female member thus far—Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ambassador Irwin LaRocque urged other Caribbean countries to establish the CCJ as their final appellate court. Among those attending the session in Guyana was the Chief Justice of Belize Kenneth Benjamin. The CCJ was established in 2001 and inaugurated in 2005. The court serves two functions for member states of CARICOM: In its original jurisdiction, it deals with matters such as the right of CARICOM nationals to move freely between countries and to, likewise, face no hassle in moving their money and business to another CARICOM country. Secondly, the court is empowered to hear appeals from the three acceding countries.

Conrad Jones still missing – his family want him found and brought home
Retired Police Inspector Conrad Jones, 64, of West Street, Belize City, disappeared on September 12, 2012, in Hattieville, and his family wants him or his body found, to complete closure for the family, his relatives say. Jones has been missing for two years now. A Customs guard at the time he disappeared, Jones was returning home after concluding duties in Benque Viejo for Customs on Thursday, September 11, 2012. The driver of the vehicle he was in, left him at the Hattieville roundabout around 11:30 p.m. A security guard for the Golden Haven Home for the elderly near the roundabout said that afterwards, around 2:00 that Friday morning, September 12, he saw Jones still in the area trying to get a passage to go home. He said that he went to make his security rounds on the compound, but when he came back around 2:30 a.m., Jones was nowhere to be seen.

Man knocked down in San Joaquin
Two weeks after a man was knocked down and killed in the Louisville area of the Corozal District on the Philip Goldson Highway, after he reportedly threw himself into the path of oncoming vehicle, a San Joaquin man is lucky to be alive after he was knocked down by a vehicle when he suddenly walked in front of oncoming traffic. The incident occurred about 9:30 Saturday night in San Joaquin between Miles 79 and 80. Marciano Tun, 43, of San Andres, was rushed to the Corozal Town Hospital by the vehicle that knocked him down, where he was treated for his injuries and released shortly after. Primitivo Torres, 53, an employee of the Border Management Security of the northern border, told police that he was driving his vehicle from Corozal towards Orange Walk when in front of Everyday Super Market, between Miles 79 and 80, in San Joaquin, a man who was walking on the left side of the road suddenly ran across the highway to the right side, causing him to knock down the man.

Collision on Philip Goldson Highway
Two vehicles collided in the Mile 20 area of the Philip Goldson Highway and four people travelling in the vehicles suffered minor injuries. An Isuzu Rodeo collided with a GEO Tracker. Police said that one of the vehicles drove onto the highway, colliding with the other vehicle in the oncoming traffic. The incident occurred about 5:30 Sunday evening. Police investigation revealed that the Rodeo was traveling from Grace Bank to Sandhill and upon reaching the junction of Philip Goldson Highway and the Hattieville-Boom Road, made a left turn onto the Philip Goldson Highway and collided into the Geo Tracker which was travelling from Sandhill to Belize City. Both vehicles suffered damage to their front portions, and windshields.

Former CitCo security officers’ issues still not resolved
Although 19 of the 26 security workers whose jobs were made redundant by the Belize City Council (CitCo) have already transitioned into employment with the new, privately-owned security firm, Rangers Security, Amandala understands that none of those workers have yet gotten new offer letters with their new terms of employment, and neither have all of the 26 workers received the full range of benefits that they have been promised. This morning, two of those workers, accompanied by the president of the Christian Workers Union (CWU), Audrey Matura-Shepherd, told Amandala that they have not gotten any indication from the Council as to when the formal arrangements will be finalized by their new employer, and to add to that, they are still not sure when they will be paid the rest of their severance and compassionate packages from their former employer. According to Matura-Shepherd, the workers are at a loss as to when they will be able to get the appropriate monies that they rightly toiled for. She said, “I wish I could have reported that everything has gone smoothly, but it hasn’t. We [CWU and CitCo] agreed to several points, and some of them are being implemented, but the biggest concern at this time is that the workers still have not gotten all their money. Maybe it has not been calculated as yet, but we should have gotten some correspondence to that effect. At the end of the day, these people want their money and we as the union need to provide them with a reasonable explanation as to why this thing has not been settled.

Skeletal remains found in San Pedro Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve
The skeletal remains of a person found in the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye yesterday morning have been taken to the National Forensic Unit for identification by way of DNA procedures. The bones were found by the Marine Reserve ranger, who discovered them in the mangroves while conducting routine checks in the area. Police reports are that at about 2:00 Monday afternoon, they went to the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve where a park ranger reported that while conducting routine checks to ensure that all was in order in the reserve, she found human remains in some mangroves, on the western side of the reserve. Police found the human bones partially embedded in the mangrove. The bones retrieved from the area were parts of the fibula, pelvis, ribs, sternum and the cranium. The bones were then placed in a bag and taken to the San Pedro Police Station, after which they were sent to the Forensic Laboratory.

North Carolina woman nabbed in San Pedro on charges of fraud for adoption scheme
A North Carolina woman was apprehended on San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, and taken to the US by foreign authorities, after Belize police arrested her in an apartment on the island. This was confirmed this week by local law enforcement authorities, which did not inform the public of Mooney’s detention here on charges of fraud in relation to an adoption scheme. On Tuesday, February 11, the US Department of Justice said that four employees of International Adoption Guides Inc. (IAG), an adoption services provider, would face charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States in connection with its Ethiopia operations after having been indicted by a grand jury in South Carolina. “The company’s executive director, Mary Mooney, 53, of Belmont, N.C., was apprehended in Belize by Belizean authorities and transported to the United States. Haile Mekonnen, age unknown, an Ethiopian national who ran IAG’s operations on the ground in Ethiopia, was also charged in the indictment,” said the US State Department statement.

The US has called out Gambia’s president, Dr. Yahya Jammeh, after statements he made on the occasion of the country’s 49th anniversary of its independence from Britain this week and broadcast on national television. Jammeh said that, “We will fight these vermins called homosexuals or gays the same way we are fighting malaria-causing mosquitoes, if not more aggressively.” The Islamic leader said that the world powers are promoting a “satanic” agenda which threatens peace and stability in Gambia. He said this agenda will never be accepted in Gambia, and accepting it would one day lead to brothers marrying their biological sisters, fathers marrying their own daughters and mothers marrying their own sons. Jammeh said they would not accept any friendship, aid or any other gesture that is conditional on accepting homosexuals or LGBT, which, he said, stands for Leprosy, Gonorrhoea, Bacteria and Tuberculosis.

After spending 15 months in the Belize Central Prison, since Corozal Police charged him in November 2012 with firearm and drug offenses, Mexican national Zurisaday Villasenor Mendez, 22, secured a $75,000 cash bail from the Supreme Court on February 10, and appears to have fled the jurisdiction of Belize’s Magistracy since then. Mendez’s case was called up on Tuesday at the Belize City Magistrate’s Court, to which it had been transferred from the Corozal Magistrate’s Court due to security concerns. But neither Mendez nor any of his three attorneys showed up at court. The conditions that Supreme Court Justice John Gonzalez had imposed on Mendez’s bail was that he was to surrender all his travel documents; he was supposed to report to the Corozal Police Station, and he was to appear at all adjournments of his case. Mendez, however, had reportedly failed to report to the police station.

A Guatemalan businesswoman who was busted with 1,800 pounds of sea cucumbers (a discovery which prompted an investigation by the Fisheries Department) was fined in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court, where she pleaded guilty for employing undocumented workers. Georgina Maribel Mendez Aldana, 49, a resident of Mango Creek, Stann Creek District, was assessed by Immigration officers with two counts of employing two Guatemalan workers, who did not have the necessary temporary work permits. She pleaded guilty to the two charges, when she appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano, who charged her $1,000 for each of her two undocumented workers. Cayetano ordered Aldana to pay the fine forthwith, in default of which she would serve six months in prison. She was able to pay the court fine, but remained in police custody pending investigation into the sea cucumbers.

Demand education
Dear Editor, As scandals explode, we are reminded of previous scandals that have come and gone. “De lee breeze” has repeatedly blown over, as Said Musa infamously declared. Media houses report scandals but do not allow for political analysis or welcome commentators to their broadcasts. Follow-ups are done the night after and then the matter is forgotten. The citizenry continues to struggle while our Ministers exploit us and worse, exploit the future of Belizean children. In this letter, I do not want to merely complain. I want to make a proposal to the people of Belize. Demand education. Demand it for yourself. Demand it for your children. Demand it for your grandchildren. In Belize, we are not offered courses in political science, development, and gender studies. When we graduate primary school and high school, we are knowledgeable in academic subjects like math and science. But we graduate socially inept. Many of us do not know how our system works. We do not know our basic rights. We do not know where Belize stands relative to the rest of the world. We do not know how to participate in our democracy and we do not know how to make our country better. The education system is spitting out people who are unable to participate in the development of their country, not because they do not want to participate, but because they do not know how.

The least of these, my brothers and sisters
Dear Editor, In last weekend’s edition of the Amandala,in the Features section, an Editorial (I don’t know what else to call it) was posted under the above mentioned lead in. Full of outrage, as it is, over more examples of the pervasive and fundamental venality of GOB, I view (and hope) that this posting will help bring about the spark needed to effect and correct the current “in-your-face” culture of “Don’t be shy when feeding at the public trough; get all you can, however you can!” A country being run by a group of politicians no better than gangsters – that’s Belize. For those who have lost hope that it will ever be different, I have this to say: history is full of examples of the actions of ordinary people who decided they were tired of waiting for justice and respect; who were tired of being economically bullied; who were tired of being bought at election time for a piece of chicken and a T-shirt, a ball-cap and a free beer.

Coming up this Saturday, February 22, will be the first ever Gary Francisco Rep Your Wood 3 on 3 Basketball Marathon, sponsored by Frank Pawpa Mena. Rep Your Wood means represent your area. This Marathon will take place at Ghans Basketball Court at 9:30 a.m. Registration is free. There is only one prize, which is $200.00, the winner takes it all. There will be special cash prizes for the best free throw and 3-point shooter. This Gary Francisco 3 on 3 Basketball Marathon will take place every last Saturday in every month at different basketball courts in Dangriga. Mr. T. Birthday Classic Also coming up this Sunday, February 23, will be the 5th Annual Mr. T. Birthday Classic. This race will start (and finish) in front of Wadani Shed at 10:30 a.m. and head all the way on the Southern Highway to Kendal Bridge and back. First place gets $300.00; 2nd $200.00; 3rd $100.00. Registration is only $5.00. Station prizes will also be provided going and coming.

PLB announces
The Premier League of Belize late yesterday released the long awaited decision of its Disciplinary Committee on sanctions to be imposed on “Verdes Football Club due to the infractions that occurred on 26th January, 2014 between Verdes FC and FC Belize at the Marshalleck Stadium in Benque Viejo Town.” And a number of Verdes stars have been effectively suspended from the upcoming Closing Season, which should last about 3 months. Five Verdes players were given lengthy suspensions: Norman (“Tilliman” Nunez) Pipersburgh, Orland Lyons, Gilroy “Bredda” Thurton and Julian Maldonado were suspended for 6 months; and Jacinto “Fowl” Bermudez was suspended for 2 years. In addition, the PLB stated that “Marshalleck Stadium should not be used until improvements are made, initially for the second part of the PLB tournament.” And “Verdes will incur the cost of repairs to the referee vehicle pending the Police Report.” The release notes a damage cost list totaling $1,395.00.

A star is born
This morning, a young man from San Ignacio, originally from the village of San Antonio in the Cayo District, shook up the cycling world with a daring move in the home stretch of the 19th Annual DigiCell Valentine Cycling Classic here in Belize City. The Elite/Masters/Masters 4/5 race started (at 8:00 a.m.) and finished (just before noon) at Leslie’s Imports on the outskirts of Belize City, after making the journey on the George Price (Western) Highway to Mile 46 and returned. And nowhere along the hectic route, with prominent team names and renowned past champions being oft repeated by Krem Radio announcers, was a certain rider’s name even mentioned. But as the race neared its climax toward the end, the name of Angel Tzib rang out loudly, as the unattached rider made a strong early move, while prominent teams/riders were sizing up each other; and before they could gather themselves, Angel was too far ahead for them to catch him. It caught the announcers, Mose Hyde and Matthew Smiling, as well as the fans gathered at the finish line, completely by surprise. Aside from enough strength in the legs after the 90-mile journey, it also took daring and bravado to make that first bold move, and Mr. Tzib proved he had no shortage of either in the post- race interview.

The results of the National Secondary Schools Sports Association’s (NSSSA) national high school football tournament, held on Friday and Saturday, February 14-15, at the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga, appear to strengthen the theory held by some observers that the team that wins in a tough battle in game 1 on Friday usually falls in the finals on Saturday. Both female winners on Friday had convincing victories; but the last male match-up had to go to overtime and then penalties. Four male and four female teams represented the four country regions – North, Central, West and South in the high school football Nationals, which follow a simple knockout format, with Friday’s losers playing for 3rd place on Saturday, and the winners on Friday meeting for the championship on Saturday.

Man who attempted to steal a BDF M-14 rifle arraigned
A Belize City man accused of attempting to steal an M-4 carbine rifle from a Belize Defence Force corporal in January was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith on a single charge of attempted theft on Tuesday. Patrick Bevans, 22, a resident of the Jane Usher Boulevard area, who was released from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital into police custody, pleaded not guilty to the charge. Bevans can barely walk on his own, because of injuries he alleges police inflicted on him, on January 12, the date when the incident occurred. When asked by the Chief Magistrate what happened to him, Bevans replied that he was beaten by police and BDF soldiers. Smith granted him bail of $1,500, $300 of which had to be paid as cash, and $1,200 as bail plus one surety.

Loot from burglary of Fruta Bomba discovered
Items stolen from the warehouse of Fruta Bomba/Belize Fruit Packers located in San Andres Corozal were found by police in a lot in San Andres about 1:30 Sunday morning. According to Que Pasa, Corozal, police found (2) picnic tables (4) vehicle tires and (1) wooden door. No one was in the area and no one has yet been arrested Police said that they were on patrol about 1:30 Sunday morning in San Andres Village area when they were alerted about the burglary of the warehouse, and went to the area, where they found the stolen items. Que Pasa reported that the manager of Fruta Bomba, Martin Aguilar, was contacted who confirmed that the warehouse had been burglarized. He was taken to the Corozal Police Station, where he positively identified the items as belonging to the company

Third suspect in Brian Townsend murder caught
Exactly one day after another of his alleged accomplices was found slaughtered in the village of Arenal, on the Belize-Guatemala border, Benque Viejo police came across a third suspect whom they were seeking in connection with the murder of Brian Townsend, 68, a Canadian missionary who was abducted last Christmas Eve and subsequently found dead in Arenal. Last Wednesday, February 12, while in the Valley of Peace attempting to identify the body of Raulito Balona – who had been found shot to death the day before in Arenal for reasons that have not yet been ascertained by authorities – via a photograph of his body, the investigators ran into the third suspect in the Townsend murder – a 19-year-old Hispanic male resident of Benque Viejo Town. Although police could not release his name due to the nature of the investigations, today the Officer Commanding the Belmopan Police, ASP Sinquest Martinez, confirmed to Amandala that the suspect was taken into custody and is presently behind bars at the Belize Central Prison.

4 thieves pardoned by their victim, who dropped charges in court
A group of 4 robbers walked out of the Corozal Magistrate Court as free men yesterday after the robbery victim, Brandon Cobo, told Magistrate Hurl Hamilton that he did not want to proceed with court action against the men. Cobo, 20, a mason of Skeleton Town area, Corozal Town, and his cousin, Isair Monima, told police that they were walking home on Santa Rita Road about 1:30 Sunday morning, February 16, and upon their arrival in front of Magaña’s Pharmacy, a brown Trooper with license plate CZL C-11374, stopped in front of them and four men got out of the vehicle. One of the men grabbed Cobo around his neck, from behind, and told him, “you Spanish, what do you have for me?” Cobo told police that the culprit then pushed his hand inside the right pocket of his pants and took out his pink Motorola cell phone, valued at $150, and $50 cash. The thief also snatched Cobo’s thin-link gold chain with a small cross medal, which was valued at $250. The total value of what was taken from him is about $450.

Fined and confined for 53 pounds of compressed “hydro” weed
A Belize City man pleaded guilty to one count of drug trafficking when he was arraigned before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton, who fined him $10,000 and sentenced him to three years in prison. The court prosecutor, however, did not withdraw the charge against a woman, Clarissa Vasquez, who was charged in connection with the drug bust; instead, she was offered bail and her case adjourned. After entering his guilty plea, Magistrate Hamilton told Reynard Grinage, 40, a mechanic and resident of Faber’s Road, “it’s mitigation time, now beg for mercy.” Grinage told the court, “I want to say that everything that was in the house, this young lady (referring to Vasquez, 31, a resident of 51 Kelly Street and temporary employee of BEL, who was charged with him) has nothing to do with.”

Apartment broken into and gun stolen
An apartment in San Pedro was burglarized at about 8:30 Tuesday night, and thieves stole a 9mm pistol loaded with 26 live 9mm rounds. The owner of the gun, along with police, is trying hard to recover the firearm before it can be used by criminals. Eric Andrews, 35, a tour operator of Barrier Reef Drive, San Pedro Town told the San Pedro police that about 8:30 Monday night he went to his apartment, located on Barrier Reef Drive, to retrieve his licensed 9mm Ruger pistol, valued at $2,200, from a safety box in the bedroom of his apartment. When he got to his bedroom, he found that his room had been broken into. He checked the safety box in his bedroom, but it was damaged and open, and his firearm had been stolen, along with 2 magazines containing 26 live rounds of 9mm ammunition.

Man 49, sentenced to 3 years for indecently assaulting girl, 12
A Belize City man, 49, was found guilty of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a 12-year-old girl today and was sentenced to three years in prison by Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith. George Dakers, a construction worker and resident of Freedom Street, was accused of indecently assaulting the girl in May, 2013. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith heard an in camera testimony from the victim, who is still12. According to the child, on May 11, 2013, her mother sent her to the house of a neighbor to borrow an iron. It was while at the home of her mother’s friend that the child met Dakers, who was also visiting the house.

The Reporter

Why PUP took Compol to court!
Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow has said that the Peoples United Party should launch private prosecution proceedings against ex-Minister of State Elvin Penner. But PUP legal advisor, Anthony Sylvester, said that under the law, that’s not possible. “Under the Summary Jurisdiction Procedure Act, we can’t […]

CWU and BCC keep swinging
Mayor Darrell Bradley claims that all security workers have been paid exactly what they were due, while Christian Workers Union President Audrey Matura-Shepherd claims that the mayor is mistaken. Bradley explained that the ex gratia payments for four people are the only payments outstanding, […]

Skeletal remains found in OW
Orange Walk Police have launched a full investigation into the circumstances that led to the death of twenty-three-year old Luis Enrique Moreno. Moreno’s skeletal remains were found on Tuesday morning, approximately half a mile on Richman Hill Farm located along the Guinea Grass/Shipyard Road in the Orange Walk District. The […]

Man freed by Judge after conviction recalled to Appeals Court
Wilbert Cuellar, who was found guilty by a jury in December of 2011 and upon his appearance for sentencing, was freed by the trial judge, is scheduled to appear before the Court of Appeal in the February/March session on Monday, February 24th. The office […]

Escuela Mexico boys win National Football Championship
William Ysaguirre Freelance Reporter The boys of Escuela Secundaria Técnica Mexico of San Roman, Corozal, will represent Belize at the upcoming Central American Junior Scholastic Games (CODICADER) in Guatemala in September,. They have won the National Football Championships organized by the National Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA). Delille Academy in […]

Delille Academy girls win National Football Championship
William Ysaguirre Freelance Reporter The girls of Delille Academy will represent Belize at the upcoming Central American Junior Scholastic Games (CODICADER) in Guatemala in September, after winning the National Football Championship organized by the National Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA). Delille Academy hosted the tournament sponsored by Bowen & Bowen […]

Moderate exercise may cut women’s stroke risk
Brisk walking, tennis and other types of moderate exercise may lower a woman’s stroke risk by one-fifth, a new study says. Being more active also offset the increased stroke risk linked with using hormone replacement therapy to treat the symptoms of menopause, the study found. The researchers looked at the […]

STD education must start long before kids engage in sex
Having a stable home life as a child, nice friends and success at school reduces the odds of getting sexually transmitted diseases as a young adult, according to a new study. The University of Washington researchers said the findings show that efforts to prevent STD infections should begin years before […]

Sea cucumber fishing season opens but fishermen getting short-changed
The fishing season for sea cucumbers opened on Saturday, February 15, but local fishermen harvesting this valuable marine resource are not getting a fair share of the profits from their hard work. According to statistics provided by Fisheries Officer Adriel Castaneda, the 69 fishermen issued licenses last year harvested a […]

Sea cucumber kingpin busted
A woman suspected of being a Guatemalan sea-cucumber black market vendor was busted with $65,000 worth of illegally harvested sea cucumber. The woman, 49-year-old Georgina Maribel Mendez Aldana, was stopped at the mile 4 checkpoint on the Phillip Goldson Highway. The pickup truck she […] Man shot to death on Plues Street

Man shot to death on Plues Street
A Supaul Street resident, 25-year old Tarique “Pauly” Cadle, was shot several times and died on Wednesday morning in a yard on Plues Street. Cadle, who would frequently hang out on Plues Street and had several friends in the area, was at a friend’s […]

PACT issues over $350,000 in grants
The Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) accompanied by Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable development Lisel Alamilla awarded over $350,000 in project grants on Monday. The first grant, totalling $199,998.75, was given to the Belize Audubon Society for a project titled Enhancing St. Herman’s […]

Mechanic’s keys unlock drugs
A set of keys led the Gang Suppression Unit to a stash of more than 50 pounds of marijuana this week. Following a fruitless Monday-morning search of a four-door Ford Taurus car, the unit found the keys in the possession of the car’s alleged […] Minister of Immigration Senator Godwin Hulse

Attorneys say immigration officers have no case to answer. But Minister says “Not so!”
The attorney for two Ministry of Immigration officers named in the ongoing “Citizen Kim” scandal says his clients have no case to answer to, but Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse said Monday that that’s not the case. Hulse told […]

Is OSH Safe For You?
Occupational safety and health in the workplace is unquestionably important. For many businesses, particularly large industrial ones, the recently tabled OSH Bill should merely formalize already existing safety programs. For others, unsafe practices should be eliminated through the introduction of reasonable safety requirements. Regrettably this is not what this Bill […]

Reality of Opportunity Cost
Opportunity Cost: “A benefit, profit, or value of something that must be given up in order to acquire or achieve something else. Given the fact that every resource, that is land, money, time, capital, etc, can always be put to some alternative use(s), every decision to use resources has an […]

Obama warns Uganda over anti-gay bill
President Barack Obama has warned Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni that enacting an anti-gay law would complicate relations with the US. Under the proposed legislation, those convicted of homosexual acts could face life imprisonment. The law would also make it a crime not to report gay people. Museveni last month refused […]

North American leaders meet to discuss trade and immigration
The leaders of the three major North American countries have met in Mexico to discuss trade, immigration, energy and other issues. On Wednesday, US President Obama, Mexico’s Enrique Peña Nieto and Canada’s PM Stephen Harper held a hemispheric summit. Mr Obama faces stiff opposition from his own Congress on parts […]

PM: Too busy for Integrity Commisssion
“I have been too busy really to have conducted any search for replacements of the Integrity Commission,” Prime Minister Dean Barrow said this week. Barrow told the media that he has been having difficulties trying to construct the Integrity Commission and that he had […]

Integrity Commission or Integrity Omission?
By Louis Wade The Belize Integrity Commission is on pause again. The limbo was created this time when two of the three names, submitted by the Prime Minister, backed down after New legislation was tabled in the National Assembly. The previous excuse for the absence of this most important commission […]

Petro Caribe: are Caribbean countries prepared for the worst?
Caribbean governments that are members of the Petro Caribe Agreement with Venezuela would be prudent by beginning to adjust their budgets to take account of the loss of benefits now derived from the oil arrangement. This is especially important for the countries of the Eastern Caribbean that […]

GOB Rescues CPBL with intricate new structure
The first set of funds made possible through a new configuration designed to rescue the Citrus Products of Belize Limited, CPBL, and by extension, the citrus industry, is expected to be released by Friday to assist the company to meet urgent debts and to […]


Last Night’s DELICIOUS Tasting Menu at Casa Picasso in San Pedro
Casa Picasso is one of my favorite restaurants in San Pedro. They do delicious tapas, have a seriously comfortable cocktail bar and outside loungy area…really good people and good food. It is definitely on the list (along with Blue Water Grill and Elvi’s Kitchen and others) of my “MUST DINES” for dinner in San Pedro. Casa Picasso has been doing a Thursday Tasting menu for the past few months and I haven’t tried it.

US Embassy Belmopan Woman of the Year 2014 Award
Call for nominations...

“Ball of Confusion (That’s What the World is Today)” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Now where was I? I’ve become so indisciplined of late in producing editions of the blog that I sometimes struggle to remember – increasing age/reducing grey cells- what I last told you about. That description of my mental condition (deteriorating memory capacity) and the consequences of it (one being I cannot recall what the last edition contained) probably doesn’t mean a great deal to you because you probably (understandably by the way) feel that most of what I write is repetitive anyway. So apologies in advance if you feel that what follows is something that you have read or seen before. Just make allowances for me. Sometimes I’m just a ball of confusion! When I last sat down and produced an edition (and it seems so long ago now) I told you that I had dug up six coconut trees from our adjacent lot to swap for a banana plant. What I didn’t mention was that the swap was with Carlo of Carlo & Ernie’s Runway Bar & Grill. Fascinating information isn’t it! “Who cares” you are probably thinking. Exactly, I’m thinking. I ‘left’ you with a photo of our cart loaded with the coconut trees but I left you in limbo. Would the swap be made? Answer – yes it was. And Carlo increased his side of the deal. We got the banana plant AND a plantain plant. Now you know what’s coming next. Yes, photos of the plants and me planting them (still awake?).

International Sources

7 Caribbean beaches you need to try
When going to a new destination, many of us stick to the beaten path; we'll go where the other tourists are going for the first time around. But once you’ve been to Cancun, or Montego Bay, or any other well-touristed beach spot, you may be more interested in heading somewhere a tad more under-the-radar on your next visit to the area. Or perhaps you’re the type who opts to skip the crowds the first time around. Either way, we love these seven underrated beach destinations; they’re rarely a traveler’s first choice, but perhaps they should be. Most travelers headed to Belize head to Ambergris Caye, which offers easy access to Belize’s best snorkeling and diving. But its beaches can’t compare to the beaches found on the Placencia peninsula. Travelers to this area can also experience Belize’s rainforests and Mayan ruins – neither of which can be found on the cays. It is still possible to snorkel and dive from this area; the reef is a 45-minute boat ride away.

Les secrets du Belize
Niché au cœur de l’Amérique centrale, le Belize est réputé pour ses plages et son climat. Et pourtant, s’enfoncer un peu dans les terres suffit à dévoiler son caractère exceptionnel. Pris en tenaille entre le Mexique et le Guatemala, le Belize, ce petit pays d'Amérique latine, n'est pas que soleil et plages. Vue sur l'Océan Pacifique à l'est, plongée dans la culture maya à l'ouest. Et pourquoi pas un cours de poterie dispensé par une communauté de femmes yukatanes ? Ou encore une chasse au jaguar en compagnie d'un expert ? Ou, enfin, une longue baignade au milieu d'une crique cachée ? Trois expériences exclusives qui confèrent un nouveau visage à cette destination trop souvent réduite à son potentiel balnéaire. On part du plus urbain au plus sauvage ; de San Antonio, le plus grand village du district de Toledo, le seul muni d'électricité. C'est pourtant là que sévit le plus grand respect pour l'environnement. Devant une série de maisons à toits de chaume, un groupe de villageois en costumes traditionnels bigarrés agitent bras et jambes sur des rythmes effrénés. Voilà la danse du cerf sacré, le trait d'union entre l'homme et la nature. Traversé par divers cours d'eau, cette charmante bourgade jouit d'une atmosphère extrêmement chaleureuse.

Wish you were here? The most amazing island in the world - in pictures
Boasting virgin tropical rainforests and hundreds of beautiful limestone caves, Ambergris Caye in Belize has been voted the number one island in the world. With swaying palm trees and pristine beaches, it's not impossible to see why this idyllic 36-mile strip in Central America scooped the top spot of the TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Island awards based on the reviews of millions of people. Surrounded by the azure Caribbean, the far north tip of Ambergris Caye is almost within touching distance of the stunning 190-mile-long Belize Barrier Reef, which is teeming with underwater life, including Caribbean dolphin, yellowtail damselfish, nurse sharks and parrot fish.

February 21, 2014


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Tigersharks contest game results against Toledo Diplomats and take on the Corozal Heats at home
The San Pedro Tigersharks basketball team has launched a formal complaint regarding the results of the game played against the Toledo Diplomats on Saturday February 15th in Punta Gorda Town. Despite the game going unfinished, the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) organizers, mainly the Belize Basketball Federation, gave the win to the Diplomats with an 89 to 87 final score. Chaos erupted on the basketball court at the last two seconds of the game when the Tigersharks, down by two points, were awarded two free throws following a foul. Due to the chaos on the court the free-throw shots never happened. Results for other games played are as follows. Friday February 14th Corozal Heats 75 Vs Belize City Smart No Limit 78 Dangriga Warriors 57 Vs Belmopan Point Bandits 56 Sunday February 16th OW Running Rebels 70 Vs Cayo Western Ballaz 80. Tigersharks will play at the San Pedro High School Auditorium and according to the management, four Tigersharks basketball jerseys will be tossed into the crowd at every quarter. Fans are encouraged to hold on to their tickets as two lucky ticket holders will be selected to take a $100 CASH SHOT from the three-point line. Game time is set for 8PM on Saturday. General admission is $5 for adults and $3 kids.

Oceana Announces $3 Million Grant from Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation
Oceana, the largest international advocacy group to work on behalf of the world’s oceans, announced a $3 million grant today from the Leonardo DiCaprio foundation aimed at protecting threatened ocean habitat and keystone marine species such as sharks. The foundation’s grant will also support Oceana’s work to advocate for responsible fishing measures, including the effort to ban California drift gillnets. “The foundation and Leo’s support for campaigns like our efforts to ban the drift gillnets in California will help Oceana win more protections for countless sharks and other marine animals and for ocean habitats in the Pacific and Arctic – which include some of the most productive ocean places in the world,” said Oceana CEO Andy Sharpless. “The net impact will be a much more abundant and biodiverse ocean that has many millions more sharks and critical and amazing marine animals, wilder and more pristine ocean habitats and oceans that can feed over a billion people – many of them hungry – a healthy seafood meal each day.” “Protecting our planet’s oceans and the marine species that call it home is one of the most pressing sustainability crises facing humanity today and a moral imperative that we must acknowledge,” DiCaprio said. “It’s my hope that this grant will help Oceana continue the tremendous work that they do daily on behalf of our oceans.”

Public Consultation Meeting on Climate Change
On Thursday February 13th, several organizations teamed up to host a public meeting consultation for members of the tourism sector held at the Lions Den. Those organizations included the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Belize Coastal Zone Management, Caribsave, University of Belize (Environmental Research Institute), The Government of Belize (GoB) and the Belize Tourism Board (BTB).These organizations are jointly involved in a ‘Climate-Compatible’ tourism project for Belize. The project encompasses three main objectives. The first entails identifying coastal tourism areas in Belize vulnerable to climate change that should be prioritized for adaption actions; the second includes identifying areas of existing Belizean policies that can support climate-compatible tourism development in Belize, while the third objective includes identifying and prioritizing adaption integration into policy.

BTB responds to Horse and Buggy Incident
On Tuesday, February 18th, the Belize Tourism Board was notified that a vehicle collided with a horse from Gabourel & Sons – a horse and buggy operation that operates out of the Fort George Tourism Zone. Upon being informed, BTB personnel immediately collaborated with other relevant authorities to ensure the safety of the general public including the tourists involved in the shore excursion as well as to secure proper attention to the injured horse. BTB immediately contacted the Animal Medical Centre to examine the injured horse. Following the examination of the horse’s injury and upon the advice of the veterinary experts, the horse, named Jack, was relocated to a peaceful area and humanely sedated and euthanized. The BTB is grateful that no one was hurt but also saddened by this tragic and unfortunate incident involving the loss of a horse. The BTB remains resolute in raising the standards of the micro-industry: i.e., to train the guides, and operators, in safety management as well as in providing the best care for these horses. The police department is investigating the accident and can be contacted for details revolving around cause & liability in the accident.

Ambergris Today

Ground Breaking for Infrastructure Improvements at Archaeological Sites
The Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites (MTBCAAS) project is being implemented by the Belize Tourism Board and the National Institute of Culture and History. The objectives of the project are: *To improve economic opportunities in rural communities and contribute to the reduction of poverty; *To enhance the tourism experience through improvements in tourism infrastructure and services at selected sites. The project intends to achieve three main sets of results: *Results One: Improve the monitoring systems at archaeological sites; *Results Two: Improve health and safety provisions and infrastructure at archaeological sites; *Results Three: Enhance the diversification of community based tourism products and services offered at archaeological sites in Belize. The MTBCAAS Project targets communities adjacent to the following nine archaeological sites: Xunantunich, Nohoch Che’en (Caves’ Branch), Nim Li Punit, Barton Creek, Altun Ha, Lubaantun, Actun Tunichil Muknal, Lamanai, Blue Creek.The MTBCAAS Project was launched in March 2013 and is made possible with grant funding of BZ$2.75m from the European Union and BZ$1.25 contribution from the Belize Tourism Board and the National Institute of Culture and History for a total estimated cost of BZ$4 million. It is being implemented over 24 month period and scheduled to be completed in November 2014.

Misc Belizean Sources

Churros with Chocolate Sauce
In a medium saucepan, combine butter and water and bring to a boil. When mixture is boiling, add in flour all at once and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together. Continue to stir and cook the dough for about 1 minute. Transfer to a large mixing bowl or to the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Turn the mixer on medium-high. Beat in the eggs one at a time, waiting until each has been well incorporated before adding the next. Batter may look wet before it comes together, but keep mixing and a smooth dough will form. Transfer dough to a pastry bag fitted with a medium or large star tip. Pour about 2-inches of oil into a deep saucepan. Bring the oil to about 365F. Meanwhile, prepare the chocolate sauce. Whisk together the cornstarch and milk. Add mixture, along with chocolate and sugar, to a small saucepan. Bring just to boil, whisking occasionally, and cook until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat.

Mexico offers Postgraduate scholarships to Belizeans
he Embassy of Mexico informs that the El Colegio de la Frontera Norte (COLEF) in Mexico, has opened its 2014 scholarship call for applications for postgraduate programs. There are seven scholarships available for Belizean Nationals to carry out Master degree programs and one for Doctorate degree program. These postgraduate programs are registered in the national program of quality postgraduate studies of Mexico’s National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT).

BNE Refurbishes Two Schools
The Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust has spent almost 80,000 to renovate the school buildings belonging Maya Mopan Pre-School and the Richard Quinn R.C. School. This donation from the Trust has positively affected over 20 students and 2 teachers from the pre-school and 200 students from the primary school. The buildings for both schools were renovated after grants of 33 thousand dollars and 45 thousand dollars, which were disbursed last year, and after the work was completed, it was handed over today.

Prisoner on the loose
A man accused of murder and other crimes escaped from police custody this morning while being transported to San Ignacio for a court appearance. Jarod Arthurs Lamb, also known as “Steel Bob” managed to somehow get out of the police van that was transporting him as the vehicle passed through Teakettle village.

Spelling Bee Zone Eliminations in Benque Viejo del Carmen
Fourteen students from 7 Primary Schools in the Cayo district are today taking part in the Zone Eliminations of the National Coca Cola Spelling Bee. The Elimination contest for Zone 1 is taking place at the Cancha Marshalleck in Benque Viejo del Carmen in a sunny and warm Thursday morning. Schools participating are from Benque Viejo del Carmen, Arenal village, San Jose Succotz and Calla Creek village. The winner and runner up from today’s contest will go up against winners from the other zones in the district finals next month.

The Prime Minister, at a press conference on Monday of this week, made a good political gambit but it will be short-lived. His announcement that the government will bail-out the Citrus Growers Association from their bad debts with two local banks prompted knee-jerk reactions, some from unexpected quarters. The CGA still owes the Social Security Board $17 millions of dollars. The move by the PM will simply exacerbate that debt. It appears that the Association has reached a point of no return in its debt obligations.This could likely mean that they will have forfeit their shares in CPBL. This overture has already been made by the Chairman of the SSB investment arm. It is very likely then, that CPBL could become a State-controlled company taking over the 51 percent shares owned by CGA. It is not far-fetched then that the company could be nationalized. This would be consistent with what appears to be this government’s policy.

Channel 7

"Soup" Charged For Shooting At Police
Tonight, Jason Soup Williams is at the Hattieville Prison after he was arraigned in court today on multiple counts of aggravated assault. As we told you last night, Williams is the main suspect in a shooting where a gunman opened fire on two men who were sitting on the stairs of a residence at the corner of King Street and West Canal. That is considered George Street territory - and Williams is the leading figure from Supal Street. Police say that led to the following morning's retaliatory murder of Tariq Cadle who is from Supal Street is and Soup Williams's nephew and neighbor. But though he was tied to Supal, 25 year old Cadle was known to hang out with the George Street crew. He was doing that yesterday morning when he was killed as a direct retaliation for the suspected Soup Williams attack on King Street.

"Steel Bob" Busts Out Of Police Custody
They call him "Steel Bob" and today Jarod Lamb proved his nickname when he busted out of police custody. It happened this morning when police were transporting Lamb and 6 other prisoners in a police van from the Hattieville prison to san Ignacio for a court date. Near Ontario village the police hard a bang in the back of the van. When they got out to check, they found that Lamb had crashed the door open and escaped. A wanted poster says he is dangerous, and right that it should. From 2009, he has been in the news for robberies, burglaries and running away from police. Most recently, he was charged for the Aggravated Burglary of a Cayo Resort. In that case, he was on the run for 6 weeks before police caught him in Teakettle. Anyone seeing him is advised to call the nearest police station.

Is May Bush Guilty of Murder?
54 year old Cayo resident May Bush is now awaiting the decision of temporary Supreme Court Justice Antoinette Moore to see if she is guilty of murder. Bush has been on trial without jury in Belmopan since Monday. Today Bush, who was represented by attorney Arthur Saldivar, gave a statement from the dock saying that in June 2011, she never did stab 29 year-old David Guerra, who's murder she had been charged for. Bush told the court that she heard Guerra insulting her daughter and her common-law husband. Bush said that she went there because she was informed that a man was assaulting her daughter. Bush told the court that Guerra issued death threats at them, and that he struck her common-law husband with a pint bottle to the face which broke and cut him on the elbow. She said that she picked up a knife and hid it in preparation if Guerra ever attacked her because she feared for her life. She claims that though she had the knife in her pocket, she never did use it because Guerra didn't approach her. She told the court categorically that she didn't stab Guerra, and that she didn't know who did it.

BWSL Doesn't Agree With 6% Water Rate Increase, Says PUC Got It Wrong
On February third, we told you that the Public Utilities Commission had rejected the proposed 16% increase from Belize Water Services Limited. The PUC instead gave the water company a 6% increase. But that was only an initial decision, anyone who didn't like it had two weeks to object. And BWSL did. In time for the deadline on Monday February 17th, BWSL filed an objection on the grounds that the PUC made an error in calculating its Regulated Asset Values. That means the PUC now has to appoint an Independent Expert to review it all and that has to be done before March 5, 2014. That expert will submit a report with his recommendations on the Initial Decision within thirty (30) days of his appointment. After that, the PUC has 15 days to issue its final decision, and only then will you now what you new water rate will be.

H1N1 Test Results Show Low Incidence
In mid-January, there was a legitimate h1n1 scare in Belize after a 29 year old female died from what appears to have been a particularly virulent strain of the influenza virus. But since then, we haven't heard much on the other samples which were sent for testing. Well, first off, no one else has died from influenza type illness. But, after more than a month, the test results are back. The ministry of health reports that 168 persons have been swabbed for h1n1 samples countrywide; only 17 of those have come back positive for H1N1 from different parts of the country with no specific geographic pattern. That's a positive reporting rate of 19%.

Accountant Got 12k Ripped From Credit Card
A Belize City accountant lost thousands of dollars from his First Caribbean Bank Account after someone got hold of his Credit Card. Police haven't given out his name, but the 58 year old from Albert Hoy Avenue, reported that in the three weeks between the second day of January 2014 and the 24th of January, 2014, someone withdrew $12,978 dollars from his First Caribbean Bank account using his First Caribbean Credit Card. They used the ATM machine at the San Cas Plaza to do it. But, while that is the plight of that accountant, today, a representative of the First Caribbean Bank spoke with 7News about the dos and don'ts that credit and debit card holders should know to protect their money. Here's what she told us about how the bank treats fraud and their customers who have been the victims of these crimes:

Port Remains Closed Until Tuesday
Repairs at the Port of Belize are on schedule, and the port will remain closed until next week Tuesday. CEO Arturo "Tux" Vasquez tells us that the contractor is demolishing the three existing beams that were damaged when the Krystal Tortuga barge ended up underneath the main pier. That's hundreds of feet away from where it should have been on its course to the low-berthing facility. We understand the barge operator is blaming it on a mechanical failure. Three new beams are scheduled to be put in this weekend and work should be finished by Monday. In the interim, the arrival of three ships into port have been re-scheduled creating some shipping delays. The damages and delays are expected to cost close to half a million dollars.

Sea Cucumber Queenpin Awaits Another Court Date
She's supposedly the Queenpin of the black market trade in sea cucumber and tonight 49 year old Guatemalan Georgina Maribel Mendez Aldana along with her two Guatemalan employees remains in police custody pending a court hearing. She's already pleaded guilty and paid a two thousand dollar fine for employing Guatemalans. Tomorrow she will appear in court for other offences engaging in commercial fishing whilst not being the holder of a valid Fisherman's License; attempting to export fisheries without a valid exporter's license and engaging in the fishing of Sea cucumbers without a special license. This is after she was caught with 3075 pounds, or 7033 individual sea cucumbers in the back of a borrowed pickup. On Tuesday, we learned from the Fisheries Department that she had apparently forged her 2014 Sea Cucumber license: Hampton Gamboa - Fisheries Supervisor, Conservation Compliance Unit "She had in her possession at the time a contractual agreement signed by a local lawyer for last year with this said person who have an export license. But in our laws its clearly stated under the sea cucumber these license are not transferrable and they are not issued to any company and she had the documentation for this year. We also had to call in the police to look at forgery and things like that. We hope that we can deal with this individual strongly so that it sends a message to the rest of

Stiff Sanctions For Football Melee
By now, we've all seen the ugly scene that played out in the Belize Premier League's semifinal match between FC Belize and FC Verdes. It happened on 26th January at the Marshalleck Stadium in Benque Viejo and yesterday the Disciplinary Committee announced penalties resulting from that event. First off, Norman Nunez Pipersburgh - seen here advancing threateningly on the game referee - has been suspended for (6) months. According to the referee Verdes player Gilroy Thurton actually hit him and he has been suspended for two years. Orland Lyons, the Verdes player who went to the opposing team's bench and emptied out their bags in the mud is suspended for (6) months and so is Gilroy Thurton and Julian Maldonado - who were also verbally abusive to the referee. The decision was also made that the Marshalleck Stadium should not be used until improvements are made.

Sol Gen Hawke Answers Attorney For Immig Officers
Ady Pacheco and Gordon Wade are the two Immigration officers from the Department's Nationality Section who have gotten a lawyer to answer their Director on what happened to the Citizen Kim file - which famously disappeared. In a document obtained by 7News which we showed you yesterday, Godfrey Smith wrote to the Acting Director Maria Marin on January 30th. He told her that his clients don't have to answer for any breech of procedure in handling of the Kim or any other files because they were never provided with an outline of their duties and the Department has no established procedures. And as it relates to Kim, Smith writes that was conceived and engineered by Minister of State Elvin Penner acting either personally or through instructions directed at public officers. Smith tells Director Marin that his clients will not be scapegoats for quote, Minister Penner's disgraceful actions" and they will, quote, "vigorously defend against any disciplinary proceedings before the Public Services Commission and the courts of law," end quote.

The Palm Grove Blues
Palm Grove Estate is a small residential area outside of Belize City, located at mile 4 and a half on the Northern Highway. The residents who live there consider it private property, and so when a decision was made to build an apartment complex in the location, they opposed it. They've been trying to get the Belize City Council to see things their way by showing that it would be detrimental to the community, but they claim that Mayor Darrell Bradley isn't hearing them. According to the Palm Grove Residents, Bradley has pressed forward for the developer to the put the apartment in the community without properly considering their concerns. After weeks of back and forth City Hall in trying to resolve the matter by the use of stop orders, which they say have been ignored, they called 7News out to the area to see the development first hand. Stephen Heusner explained more about their struggle with City Hall: Stephen Heusner, resident "It started out that we found out that they were building this building and we notified the City Council and they said that they have absolutely no knowledge of this building and they check their records and there was nothing there. Anyway, they started building and we got the City Council and they came up and they issued a stop order. When they did their investigations, nothing has been approved by City Council, by the LBA, the CBA, there were no seals on the plans, so they were acting from day one illegally."

Venezuela's Troubles Could Be Belizean Trouble
The Barrow Administration has come under heavy and sustained criticism for corruption in the ranks of its ministers, but no one can argue that right now the Government is spending major money on infrastructure. And most of that is coming from the Venezuelan fund. Through the Petrocaribe initiative, governments all across the Caribbean buy fuel on credit from Venezuela, paying half, and taking the other half as a long term, low-interest loan. Presently, no official figure has been published, but conservative estimates say that the government of Belize has more than 50 million US dollars in its Venezuelan fund - and every time there is a shipment of oil coming into the country, that figure goes up. And that's why what's happening right now in Venezuela is worth watching closely. Hugo Chavez's successor, President Nicolas Maduro is facing a fierce round of anti-government protests. In three weeks of sustained protest, five are dead, dozens injured and the opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez was arrested on Tuesday.

Searching For Closure
Today makes exactly 6 years since 17 year-old Anthony Yoshua Roches went missing, and today his family is still looking for closure. No, they don't think that he is still alive, but they want information from whoever has it about where his body can be found so that they could give him a proper burial. Today, his brother spoke with us about what they've had to endure: Joseph Nunez, Brother of Anthony Yoshua Roches "At this time the family is just seeking closure. It's not like we are sitting around thinking that one day he will be coming home today or tomorrow or the day after because we know for a fact that will never happen. It was brought to my attention or doing my investigation I found out that he went on some kind of mischievous act with some of his friends, but they came back but he didn't. And when we approach them they just turn us around, after which we seek help from the police, but to no avail with

BTB Laments Horse and Buggy Accident
It's the cruise tourism high season and almost everyday in the city, there's a crush of tour buses, vans, taxis and horses and carriages jostling alongside regular traffic. On Tuesday in the city, that resulted in a sand truck crashing into a loaded horse and carriage at the corner of Craig and Daly Streets. The truck's back wheel ran over the horse's leg and broke it - right in front of the three tourists on the buggy. The horse named Jack had to be taken away and put down. It's a sad accident, but the kind that's sort of inevitable with so much traffic on the streets. Today the BTB issued a statement saying, quote, "The BTB is grateful that no one was hurt but also saddened by this tragic and unfortunate incident involving the loss of a horse." End quote. The BTB provides training to guides and operators in safety management.

Belize's Maya Treasures Now In Denver
In December we told you all about the show called "Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed" that ran for 6 months at the Science Museum of Minnesota. The show is the most comprehensive view of the maya ever assembled for a North American show - and it features over 200 pieces from Belize. Now, the show has started a five city US tour and it opened up in Denver at the Museum of Nature and Science last week. This is the first show in the new wing of the Museum which costs 70 million dollars to construct. The Maya show fills 20,000 square feet of space and continues through Aug. 24.

Art From the People
On Saturday, Downtown Belize City will be transformed once again into a creative village for arts and craft in the 4th Annual Street Art Festival. The event is fast becoming a tradition where musicians, artists and creators are given a showcase to display their art, and today, the organizers told us that it's getting bigger. Here's what you can expect at this year's Festival: Karen Vernon, organizer "This year as the previous years we have the food court vendors. Vendors will be displaying and selling jewelry, sculptures - what they have to offer. We have a kids zone, we have a youth section; a youth stage. New to this year we will have a side walk chair competition and a carnival section and of course entertainment." Kim Vasquez, organizer "My section is called the kids zone and it is located on Bishop Street, that's the section that runs right beside the Scotia Bank parking lot and that section is filled with activities for children, some of them are just for fun, there is the trampoline, there is face painting and we and we are going to have a magician this year and ICA also has a booth in there that is called the "kids art world" - that's our "pickey" corner as we called it.

High Schoolers Played Well
And finally, tonight we have a story we've been meaning to air since Monday, but just haven't had the time. That doesn't mean it isn't important, we just had to make sure we did it right. It's about the National High Schools football championships which were played at the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga over the weekend. The Delille Academy girls from Dangriga and the boys of Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico from San Roman, Corozal district, won - and the girls game ended in a dramatic shootout. Here's how that went:... The championships are organized by the National Secondary Schools Sports Association and sponsored by Bowen & Bowen Ltd and Crystal Water.

Channel 5

Supal Street Boss, Soup Williams, arraigned for shooting
Thirty-five-year-old Jason ‘Soup’ Williams, the reputed leader of the Supal Street gang, believed to be involved in a near-fatal shooting incident on Tuesday, during which a pair of Belize City [...]

…Meanwhile his nephew’s killer remains at large
Unfortunately, the events of Tuesday night would subsequently trigger a deadly reprisal by members of the George Street gang, resulting in the callous murder of twenty-five-year-old Tarique Cadle.  While Jason [...]

Almost $13,000 stolen from accountant’s FCIB account
Belize City police are tonight investigating the theft of almost thirteen thousand dollars from the bank account of a well-known accountant.  According to the fifty-eight-year-old resident of Albert Hoy Avenue, [...]

Global Fantasies…is it more than just the sale of sex?
Sun, sand, sea and SEX…lots of sex with exotic women lining up to fulfill your every desire…a different woman every twenty-four hours. Sounds incredible, right? Well, it’s not. In fact, [...]

Redundant CitCo security workers transition to private security firm
There is concord between the Christian Workers Union and City Hall, in the wake of pointed, verbal sparring between both parties over the past two weeks. In fact, it’s a [...]

George Dakers sentenced to 3 years for the indecent assault of a minor
  A man who made the mistake of patting a child on her buttocks back in February of last year was sentence to three years in prison after being found [...]

Repeat firearm offender sentenced to 20 years in prison
  Thirty-two-year-old Jevon Levi Slusher, a repeat offender of firearm and ammunition violations, has been sentenced to twenty years after being found guilty of the offenses of kept firearm and [...]

Accused murderer, Jarod Arthurs Lamb, escapes
A second prisoner has escaped from custody while en route to a court hearing. Earlier this month, on February fourth, twenty-nine year old Edwin Paula, an inmate at the Belize [...]

Mayor Bradley says Belize Waste Control to drop court action
When we last spoke to Mayor Darrell Bradley, he had just come out of court after a litigation hearing brought by sanitation company, Belize Waste Control. BWC is suing City [...]

Verdes FC and FC Belize sanctioned for unsportsmanlike altercation
An unsportsmanlike altercation between members of Verdes FC and FC Belize at the Marshalleck Stadium in Benque Viejo Town on January twenty-sixth has resulted in sanctions being brought against both [...]

BWS objects to PUC’s decision on water rates
The Belize Water Services Ltd., following a request to the Public Utilities Commission to increase water rates by sixteen and a quarter percent, objects to the PUC’s initial decision which [...]

Newlywed couple surprised with dream honeymoon despite terminal illness
A recently married Belize City couple today received a pleasant surprise from the Belize Tourism Board, following a request made by the colleagues of the husband to have them enjoy [...]

Horse euthanized after accident
On Tuesday, there was an accident in Belize City which resulted in a horse having to be euthanized. It went somewhat under the media radar, but on the social media [...]

Dog is mutilated by children in Belize City
There is a very disturbing case to report tonight, and it was no accident. In fact, its senseless nature practically defies comprehension. News Five has confirmed reports that on Saturday, [...]

Healthy Living looks at tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, or TB, as it is commonly known, is a fatal infectious disease that attacks the lungs.  It is an airborne disease when people who have an active TB infection [...]


Garbage Drums Are Being Stolen And Sold As Scrap Metal
Garbage woes will always be an issue for any governing body with the responsibility for sanitation. And while garbage collection for the Orange Walk Town Council has been a constant struggle, another one problem has reared its ugly head. According to the Town Councils sanitation department, in the wee hours of the night, garbage dwellers are stealing the drums that are strategically placed in neighborhoods to collect the trash. This has been an ongoing problem and according to Sanitation Foreman at the Town Council, Antonio Baeza it has got to stop. ANTONIO BAEZA – Sanitation Foreman, Town Council “On Monday I personally witness at 4:00am in the morning, two guys on three cycles taking drums, they were taking an old fridge and then Town Board gets the blame for it, and it cause a problem to Town Board or to us because the people have nowhere to dispose of the garbage, they would throw it on the street side and we have a problem with dogs and when we get there, it is all on the street side, is full with garbage and it causes a problem.

Journey To Retain The Crown Of La Diosa Maya International Pageant
Four Central American beauties including a candidate from Orange Walk are in Mexico tonight making last preparations for the La Diosa Maya Internacional Pageant being hosted in Merida, Yucatan tomorrow night. Cecilia Menjivar is representing El Salvador, Eidy Josselyn Bueso is the delegate from Honduras, Luz Estefanía Cobos Rivera is Mexico’s candidate, and Dalina Reyes is this year’s La Diosa Maya Belize. On Tuesday the women presented and posed in their national costume. Dalina Reyes’s costume was designed by designer and choreographer Gabriel Garcia from Orange Walk Town. Garcia was also responsible for designing the costume worn last year by outgoing La Diosa Maya Internacional Griselle Carballo.

COLEF Accepting Belizean Students Through Scholarship Programs From Mexican Embassy
The Embassy of Mexico has announced that applications from interested students are being accepted as seven scholarships are made available for Belizean nationals. The scholarships are for interested students interested in completing a masters and one doctorate degree. The scholarships are for El Colegio de la Frontera Norte (COLEF) in Mexico. Press Officer at the Embassy of Mexico Marcelino Miranda tells us more about the scholarships. Marcelino Miranda “The programs that are available are different programs for Master’s Degree and for Doctorate’s Degree. The subjects for Master’s Degree goes from Management to social Science and Engineering an in the case of the Doctorate Degree is in Social Science. Students of Belize who are interested in these programs they can contact the Embassy Mexico at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City and they can do it by phone at 223-1408 or the can come and they can visit us at Belize City. The most important to emphasize in these applications is that this institutions is one of the most prestigious and the programs are registered as the Institute of Mexico for Science and Technology therefore these programs are of high quality and interested students would have the guaranteed that they are going to take one of the most important and recognize programs in Mexico.”

Corozal Taxi Union Share Concerns With The Municipal Transport Department
The movement of taxis across Corozal Town was slow this afternoon and that is because over a hundred taxi drivers pertaining to various taxi unions in the Corozal District were attending a very important meeting with the National and Municipal Transport Department from the Corozal District and the Corozal Town Council. We can tell you off the bat that the meeting turned out to be quite heated as several issues affecting the taxi industry were laid on the table. Reporter Victor Castillo has more on the story. Victor Castillo - Reporting The Andres Campos Civic Center was the center stage, for a meeting between Corozal taxi drivers, officials of the Corozal Transport Department and Corozal Town Council. With the taxi industry being the bread winner for hundreds of families it was important that all stakeholders attend the meeting where a number of issues affecting the industry were discussed.


Leonardo DiCaprio Gives Three Million to Oceana
Oceana, the largest international advocacy group to work on behalf of the world’s oceans, announced a $3 million grant today from the Leonardo DiCaprio foundation aimed at protecting threatened ocean habitat and keystone marine species such as sharks. The foundation’s grant will also support Oceana’s work to advocate for responsible fishing measures, including the effort to ban California drift gillnets. Spread over a three-year period, the $3 million from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation is the first marine conservation grant made following the foundation’s 11th Hour Charity Auction hosted at Christie’s last year. The grant to Oceana will support the organization’s work, from the south of Chile to the north of Alaska, to preserve ecologically important ocean areas and Oceana’s campaigns, including the campaign to ban drift gillnets off California, in order to protect dolphins, whales, turtles and other marine animals from being caught and killed as “bycatch.”

Health Training for Community Workers in Southern Belize
Twenty community health workers will receive training in various areas following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Punta Gorda Hospital/Health Education and the Community Participation Bureau of HECOPAB and Medic Force. The goal of the training is to improve health promotion and health education at the community level in the Toledo District. The MOU was signed yesterday with the understanding that training will be given in women’s health focusing on cervical cancer and the importance of pap smears with a session on taking and recording vital signs. The second area of training will focus on the basic introduction in health training which will have the participation of newly selected community health workers from five villages while the third area will be a hands-on project with the construction of eleven latrines in a community. The sessions will be carried out for the period, February 21 through to the 28th. The sessions are carried out and certified by the Ministry of Health through the health-promoting arm of the ministry, HECOPAB.

Huang and Gibson Go Viral on the WWW
Lord Neil Benjamin Gibson – chances are you have probably heard his name before as in July 2013, a local television station reported him to be a fraud that was using, quote, “fantasy ideas to develop a website with videos and articles to fool potential investors into swindling their money.” Unquote. And, even more recently, if you are on any of the social media such as Facebook – you probably have been reading the various links of him announcing his support and backing of the now elected, Cayo South standard bearer for the United Democratic Party, Ralph Huang. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t have been what we call newsworthy, except that the idea of having an aspiring politician be affiliated or being financed by someone who has been labelled or referred to as a fraud does raise some eyebrows. Initially, we thought perhaps the videos shown on Facebook and YouTube were all a hoax as Gibson has listed several projects that he has going in Belize that seem to be nothing but phantom works. So then, we thought, why not ask Ralph Huang, himself and, that is exactly what we did. Huang confirmed for us via telephone today that Gibson is a personal friend of his.

City Council’s Finances Shaping Up; Court Matter Settled with Belize Waste Control
Last week the Belize City Council was taken to court by Belize Waste Control once again but on this occasion it resulted in a different manner. As a matter of fact, Belize City Mayor, Darrell Bradley can now breathe a sigh of relief because they are now inching their way closer in being debt free with the garbage collecting agency. Bradley says that the matter has been settled out of court and he explained why. MAYOR DARRELL BRADLEY “I thought it was unusual and, I would say, in bad faith when you took us to court when we have been paying you. I made it clear in December that we were going to pay them down and we are at the precipice of bringing this thing within what we are legally allowed to be in arrears with them in accordance with the contract which is at four weeks.

Residents Approach Mayor on Unwelcomed Construction
Residents of Palm Grove Estate in Belize City are up in arms against the construction of a massive five floor building in that community. Residents say that the building plan was not approved by the city council and the building will negatively impact the residents. However, Mayor Darrell Bradley welcomes the three point five million dollars investment. MAYOR DARRELL BRADLEY “I will respond to the concerns in two ways; the first is this, the city is actively coating investments within Belize City. When you look at the development trends, Belize City, as a city is failing, the population is going down; the only thing that will allow us to reverse that situation is if we can attract investment in the city. One of the ways that we are seeking to attract investment is to enhance the waterfront area and the area along the northern highway; so, any development that is going to go along there is going to receive support from the city; that support does not mean that we are going to violate any processes or we are going to by-pass any processes.

Three Years for Touching Minor’s Rear
Forty- eight year old George Dakers, a construction worker charged with aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a 12 year old girl, was sentenced to three years today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith after he was found guilty of the charge. The complainant, a primary school student, testified in camera that at around 2 p.m. on May 11, 2013, she went to Dakers’ house and asked him for a nail. She said Dakers told her he did not have any and when she was leaving the house Dakers squeezed her buttocks. The girl’s mother testified that her daughter told her what had happened and she called 911 and contacted the police. The police arrived promptly and took Dakers into custody. Dakers was charged after the girl gave the police a statement in the presence of her mother. Dakers testified and denied that he committed the offence. He claimed that the girl’s testimony was untrue. But Chief magistrate believed the girl’s story and she found Dakers guilty.

Gang Leader Opens Fire on Police
Jason “Soup” Williams, the person who allegedly fired shots at two police officers, was charged with two counts of aggravated assault and discharging a firearm in public when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Williams pled not guilty to the charges. He was remanded into custody until March 20. Police constables Jason Augustine and Elvin Nah reported that on Monday Night, February 18, they were on patrol on Orange Street when they heard what sounded like gunshots. They said when they arrived at the corner of Bishop Street and West Canal Street they saw Williams and he opened fire on them but they were not injured. The shooting is believed to be related to a shooting earlier in which two persons were shot.

Mercy Killing Conducted on Horse
On Tuesday of this week, a vehicle collided with a horse from Gabourel and Sons on Craig Street. The collision resulted in the horse breaking its front left leg. The Belize tourism Board was notified of the incident and in a release issued out today, BTB says that immediately contacted the Animal Medical Centre to examine the injured horse. Following the examination of the horse’s injury and upon the advice of the veterinary experts, the horse, named Jack, was relocated to a peaceful area and humanely sedated & euthanized. Following the event, there has been public outcry on behalf of the horse which was named Jack. BTB says that it is grateful that no one was hurt but also saddened by this tragic and unfortunate incident involving the loss of a horse. The Police Department is investigating the incident. Those who know of the incident hav launched an online petition on to enforce the proper care for the horses under the Cruelty to Animals Act, Chapter 115.


2nd Prisoner in One Month Escapes from Moving Police Vehicle
Jarod Arthurs Lamb, also known as “Steel Bob”, somehow managed to free himself from a police van while he was being transported this morning. The accused murderer was on his way to the San Ignacio Court for his scheduled appearance. According to reports, Lamb escaped from the van while...

Allegations of Terminations, Suspensions and Resignations from the Lands Department
Over the last two days, media reports have been about the unconfirmed dismissal of 3 very senior public officers from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture. The three officers were all reportedly appointed by the Minister of Natural Resources Gaspar Vega to fill very senior posts in the...

Land Scammer Remanded to Kolbe
And in another land related story; a resident of Belmopan says he was swindled out of almost twelve thousand dollars by an individual he knows goes by the name Cesar Mesh. The victim, who wished to remain unidentified, told us that Mesh took him to a property in...

Police Apologize for Unresponsiveness to Bad Dog Situation
The issue, as it relates to stray dogs attacking residents of the Capital has raised many public concerns as it has also brought to light that neither the City Council or the Police Department seem to be responsible for dealing with the matter. On Tuesday, February 18th, one resident...

Suspected Gang Leader Charged in Tuesday Night Shooting
In the #1 Magistrate’s Court today Jason “Soup” Williams, an alleged gang leader and the man police suspect was behind Tuesday night’s shooting of Kariq Tzul and Andrew Tate on West Canal near King Street, was charged for two counts of aggravated assault and discharging a firearm in public....

Man Squeezes Girl’s Buttocks, Gets 3 Years In Prison
48 year old George Dakers, a construction worker of Belize City, began a three-year prison term today after being found guilty of aggravated assault of an indecent nature for an incident that took place last May. Mr. Dakers was accused of squeezing the buttocks of a 12-year-old primary school...

15 Year Sentence for Unlicensed Gun
A Belize City youth who was convicted late this evening is serving his first night of a 15 year sentence behind bars after he was found guilty of three firearm related offenses. He is 21-year-old Lindbergh Alexander Clarke. This evening, before Magistrate Hettie Mae-Stewart, Clarke was found guilty...

Police Officers Investigated for Extortion
Plus news has received credible information that three police officers attached to the Patrol Branch of the San Ignacio police are under investigation for alleged extortion. No charges have been filed as yet but we understand that the allegation of extortion is connected to a traffic offense.

Female Scams Friend’s Boyfriend Via Western Union
San Pedro police are looking for a woman after she reportedly scammed a man out of $1900.00, while using his girlfriend’s name to do so. 18 year old Kendra Mejia made the report to police saying that her female friend received two separate money transfers via Western Union. Those...

Thief Uses Man’s ATM Card To Steal Over $12,000
A 58-year-old Belizean accountant reported that sometime between Thursday, January 2 and Friday, January 24, someone withdrew a total of $12,978.00 from his First Caribbean Bank account using his First Caribbean Credit Card at the First Caribbean Bank ATM machine located at the San Cas Plaza in Belize City...

BWS Objects to PUC Decision on Water Rates
Director of Water Services for the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), Rudolph Williams, confirmed to PLUS News this afternoon that the PUC’s initial decision on the Annual Review Proceeding (ARP) for Belize Water Services Limited (BWS) has not been finalized as the water provider has objected. On January 30, 2014,...

The Guardian

Another Industry Saved by the UDP
"History must record when it is read that at this time of crisis and at this juncture in the saga of this crisis that it was the government of the Honorable Prime Minister and a UDP government that stepped in and put us on a footing forward…” – Citrus Grower and Former PUP Belmopan Mayor Anthony Chanona Telecommunications, water and sewer services, electricity, sugar, aquaculture, tourism, construction, banking… These are only some of the industries that Prime Minister Barrow and the United Democratic Party Government have saved in less than six years in office. The most recent industry to have been rescued from the brink of collapse is the citrus industry. Late last week the management of the Citrus Products of Belize Limited reached out to Prime Minister Barrow because it was experiencing difficulty generating enough working capital to keep the factory open. That would have signaled the painful death of the entire citrus industry. Prime Minister Barrow was already planning to mediate negotiations between the key stakeholders in the industry in an effort to dissolve long standing disputes between parties. However, after learning that the industry was clinging to the edge, Prime Minister Barrow said, “The pace of the negotiations I have been seeking to conduct with the various parties naturally quicken, became absolutely urgent.”

Immigration Officers present their defence
Sharon Neal-Flowers, Erwin Robinson, and Omar Phillips, all immigration officers from the Passports Section of the Immigration Department have had their opportunity to defend themselves and their reputations as public officers before a tribunal of the Public Service Commission, which was held on Wednesday, February 19, in Belmopan. These 3 officers were the same officers who were suspended at the initial stages when the “Citizen Kim” Passport scandal was exposed by Prime Minister Dean Barrow when he took action against former Minister of State, Elvin Penner. These officers’ name became synonymous with the irregular Belizean passport issued to international fugitive Won Hong Kim, where it was suggested that they may have had a hand in the production of that fraudulent document. They finally got their opportunity to present their defence and have the tribunal give it whatever weight they saw fit. That hearing took place behind closed doors where the Director of Immigration Maria Marin presented evidence against all 3 of them, to show exactly what role they supposedly had to play in the passport scandal.

The PUP picked the absolute worst of the worst to be the errand boy to deliver an application for Judicial Review against the commissioner of police. Surely enough, the PUP know that the motion that they are seeking will really not get off the ground, so they decided to go to the one PUP attorney who is really not afraid to take a loss. Shortly before 4p.m. on Wednesday Anthony Sylvester took the walk from across the river at Musa and Balderamos and made his way to the Supreme Court Registry to lodge their application. After coming out from the errand, he waxed to the media. "Blah Blah Blah, Blah Blah, Blah," he stated and even responded to the Prime Minister's challenge that "the PUP, the opposition, is able to mount a private prosecution, if they feel so strongly that there is evidence to justify a prosecution; launch a private prosecution. That's perfectly in order it's their entitlement." In his response Sylvester proclaimed that only persons who have lawful custody of the documents can make a complaint to the police. When pressed that at one point the PUP, Arthur Saldivar from the PUP in particular, had possession of the documents, he stated that Saldivar is not the PUP. He almost went as far as to say that he is not a representative of the PUP. Asked if Saldivar was illegally in possession of the documents, Sylvester skirted around the issue. Simply put, he could not answer the question. This is typical of an attorney who makes a living off cut and pasting information to present in court and when pressed, cannot answer direct questions, especially if his mentor, Said Musa is not by his side.

One positive case of Bovine Tuberculosis has been identified from Belize
After repeated tests in the Central Regional Laboratory in Merida on January 27, 2014, a sample from one cattle farm in Belize, has tested positive for the Mycobaterium bovis; a bacterium in the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex of the family Mycobacteriacea known to cause Bovine Tuberculosis. This particular type of bacteria has the ability of crossing the animal to human species barrier. This single case can have both trade and public health implications for Belize. Given the zoonotic nature of Bovine Tuberculosis, meaning it affects both humans and animals, several entities within Belize are now involved; such as the Ministry of Health (Public Health Department) and the Food Safety and Animal Health Departments within the Belize Agricultural Health Authority BAHA. Bovine Tuberculosis on rare occasions can be contracted by humans from infected cattle via the inhalation of aerosols or the ingestion of unpasteurized milk or by eating unpasteurized cheese. The disease can affect the lungs, lymph nodes and other parts of the human body.

Praises where it is Due!!!
Former PUP Mayor of Belmopan, Anthony Chanona, articulated what hundreds of citrus farmers hold in their hearts: "History must record when it is read that at this time of crisis and at this juncture in the saga of this crisis that it was the government of the Honorable Prime Minister and a UDP government that stepped in and put us on a footing forward.” The caneros of Northern Belize would like to share ownership of Chanona’s words as well. When that industry was at the brink of collapse and the company was having trouble meeting its debt obligation the UDP Government bailed them out with millions of dollars. Government then scouted for a strategic investor to ensure the long term viability of the industry and now the farmers are receiving more than they ever have for their sugarcane as the industry is expanding. Even some of the caneros who are die hard P.U.P. would like to wrap themselves in Chanona’s now famous words.

Preserving Wildlife Connectivity & Enhancing Human Development:
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish and protect Belize’s biological corridors and core areas that function as habitat for jaguars and their prey will be signed at 10 a.m. on Friday February 21, at the Black Orchid Resort, Burrell Boom Village, Belize District. Signatories to the MOU will include the Government of Belize, through the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries, and Sustainable Development, the University of Belize through its Environmental Research Institute (ERI), and Panthera. The ERI, is dedicated to the science and conservation of natural resources and the development of Belizean human capacity. Panthera is a global non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of wild cat species and their habitats, with a long history of jaguar conservation efforts in Belize and the Mesoamerican region. The jaguar, because of its mobility and sensitivity to human presence, along with its ecological function and its role in human culture, can provide an effective focus for monitoring the integrity of core areas and for corridor identification and conservation.

One positive case of Bovine Tuberculosis has been identified from Belize
After repeated tests in the Central Regional Laboratory in Merida on January 27, 2014, a sample from one cattle farm in Belize, has tested positive for the Mycobaterium bovis; a bacterium in the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex of the family Mycobacteriacea known to cause Bovine Tuberculosis. This particular type of bacteria has the ability of crossing the animal to human species barrier. This single case can have both trade and public health implications for Belize. Given the zoonotic nature of Bovine Tuberculosis, meaning it affects both humans and animals, several entities within Belize are now involved; such as the Ministry of Health (Public Health Department) and the Food Safety and Animal Health Departments within the Belize Agricultural Health Authority BAHA. Bovine Tuberculosis on rare occasions can be contracted by humans from infected cattle via the inhalation of aerosols or the ingestion of unpasteurized milk or by eating unpasteurized cheese. The disease can affect the lungs, lymph nodes and other parts of the human body. While precautions are being urged, the experts say that healthy humans with a strong immune system will be able to deal with the Mycobacterium bovis naturally. (The human genome has in its record contacts with microbiological pathogens over the millions of years of evolution.)

Teenage Girl in Jail for Lying about Being Raped
Myesha Williams, 18, of #39 Neal’s Pen Road is in the Belize Central Prison because she lied about being raped over the weekend. According to police, Williams visited the Raccoon Street Police Station at about 4 a.m. on Saturday, February 15th. There she reported to WPC #953 Marroquin that she was sexually assaulted by a man. Police have not revealed the man’s name. Williams then took police to her Neal’s Pen Road home where she showed them a damaged door lock at the front door and then the bedroom where the alleged rape took place. Scenes of crime technicians processed the area and took photos. Williams was then taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for examination. However, Dr. Jose Guerra’s examination led him to a professional opinion that there was no sign of abuse upon Williams. She was then taken back to the police station where she was further interrogated by the WPC. It was during the interrogation that Williams came clean saying, “I meh only want they deal with the man. I am sorry I made up the report.” She was then charged with committing a mischievous act.

Big Tom Fined for Indecent Words to Police Officers
The notorious “Big Tom” was arrested by police again on Sunday, February 16th. Some years ago Big Tom, whose real name is Kenneth Flowers, was thought to be dead after reports surfaced that he was shot and killed while in the United States. That proved not to be true when Flowers was recently deported to Belize. Since his arrival in Belize he has had several encounters with police and, though he claims to be a changed man, Flowers has faced charges of associating with a criminal gang. His most recent charge came from an encounter he had with police on Sunday. According to police officer Alyson Revers, sometime around 8:55 a.m. on Sunday he and other officers were on mobile patrol on Mahogany Street when his attention was drawn to a bronze coloured Honda four door car that was travelling without a license plate. The officers stopped the vehicle and the occupants started to curse him out. Revers claims that Flowers was one of four occupants who used indecent words towards him while he was executing his duty. According to Revers, Flowers used indecent words to him three times while challenging the officers’ decision to stop and search the vehicle. As a result, he was arrested and charged for using indecent words toward PC #1411 Alyson Revers.

Tarique Cadle’s Murder a Retaliation for Earlier Shooting
Tarique “Paulie” Cadle, 25, was shot in the head at about 9:31 a.m. on Wednesday, February 19th, at #376 Plues Street in Belize City. He later succumbed to the injury caused by the bullet, becoming the latest youngster to die from gun violence in the old capital. Cadle lives in the Supal Street area and for his neighbours there is no doubt as to what the motive for his murder was. Everyone in the area believes that Cadle was killed in retaliation to a shooting which occurred just over ten hours earlier. According to police report, sometime after 11 p.m. on Tuesday, February 18th, George Street Gang affiliates Andrew Tate and Kariq Tzul were sitting on a step inside a yard at the corner of West Canal and King Street when a lone gunman came walking from the direction of George Street and opened fire as he got close.

Found dead in a Vat
After being missing for more than a week, police finally found the body of 61 year-old Lester Yorke Rowland, also known as “Doggy” or “Tin Man” on Monday, February 17. The post-mortem will have to confirm, but investigators believe that he was killed and then dumped inside his cement water vat, where his body had been decomposing. 2 hours before his body was discovered inside the vat, officers found his white Ford taxi car abandoned in a drain at the corner of Faber’s and Crewman Roads. The persons driving it ran it in the drain and left it there with the key in the ignition. That was the first ominous sign that Rowland may have been killed. The suspicions were confirmed when residents of Guerrero street started smelling the odour of decay and they noticed scavenger birds circling Rowland’s house. Investigation by persons in the area revealed that a body, strongly suspected to be Lester Rowland, was found inside the cement vat, which is in the yard, right next to his house.

Gold thief caught in Belize
Raonel Valdez, a 33 year-old Cuban refuge, wanted by the US for a 2.8 million dollar gold heist in Florida has been captured by Belizean authorities, and it is expected that he will be handed over to the US authorities. Valdez was caught in the bushes just outside of Benque Viejo, where the Immigration authorities believe that he entered after crossing the Belizean Guatemalan border illegally. He had a Cuban passport, but no stamp which showed that he entered the country legally. He was charged with illegal entry, and he was arraigned and fined $2,000, which he was able to pay, but because he entered the country through the Guatemlan border, he couldn’t be deported to that country because he didn’t have a stamp for that country either. Faced with the immigration issue, he was sent to jail for 6 months, and that’s when the immigration authorities started looking into his credentials.

Body found in Guinea Grass
Orange Walk Police have confirmed that a body they discovered just outside of Guinea Grass Village, on February 18, is that of 23 year-old Luis Moreno, an Orange Walk resident who went missing for about 10 days prior. The body was found on the Rancho Lalo Farm, located 2 and a half miles on the Guinea Grass Road. Moreno’s skeletal remains were found about 400 meters off the road, under a group of cohune trees. The body, which was initially suspected to be that of a male, was also strongly suspected to be Moreno long before it was confirmed. His mother, Marcela Moreno, had been worried about him the entire time, and she believed that she had found her son dead. She confirmed on February 19 that it was Luis Moreno when Orange Walk Police took her to the discovery site. She recognized him from a pair of boxers and a sweater he was wearing.

Honduran in Jail for Immigration Offense
Honduran Johnny Patricio Martinez,42, is in jail after he was unable to pay a fine for failure to comply with a visitor’s permit. Martinez was born in Honduras and got naturalized as an Italian. He arrived in Belize on July 28th of 2004 and was given a month to stay in the country. On Tuesday, February 11th, immigration officials were conducting a routine search of immigrants in the Jane Usher Boulevard area and picked up Martinez. He could not provide any document to show that he is legally living in Belize and immigration officials launched a quick investigation into his immigration status. Records show that after his one month stay was completed in 2004 he received an extension for an additional month which ended on October 2nd, 2004. Almost nine and a half years later, he has not applied for an extension of that stay.

Darrington Lauriano charged with Attempted Rape
A 22-year-old woman from Hattieville Village says that Darrington Lauriano attempted to rape her. Lauriano, who is no stranger to police, was arrested and taken to the Belize City Magistrates Court on Friday, February 14th, to answer to a charge of attempted rape. The complainant told police that she was at a house with her friend in Hattieville when they heard a knock at the door. They went to see who it was but no one was there. According to the woman, minutes later a strong breeze blew the door opened and that was when they saw Lauriano. He walked into the door and stood there watching them. Lauriano then walked into the living room and sat in a chair where they were. She said he sat there not saying anything and when she got up to go to the bathroom he followed her. The woman claims that was when Lauriano started to tell her how he had been in love with her for a while but didn’t know how to tell her. When she tried to walk out of the bathroom Lauriano attacked her and pulled her into a bedroom where he jumped on top of her and tried to rape her. The woman fought him off and escaped.

Mexican skips Bail
Zurisaday Villasenor Mendez, the Mexican national who was allegedly caught by Corozal police with a small stash of weapons and drugs, has been out on bail Since February 10, because he didn’t attend his court hearing on February 18, the authorities strongly suspect that he has absconded. Mendez was granted bail of $75,000, and he needed to show up to court on Tuesday, February 18 for a routine adjournment before Magistrate Narda Morgan. His case can’t progress because a constitutional challenge launched in the Supreme Court has delayed it, but he was supposed to attend the Wednesday hearing, which he skipped out on.

Yhony Rosado in Trouble Again!
Yhony Rosado, owner of a popular cave tubing operation, is in trouble with the law again. Rosado appeared in the Belize City Magistrates Court on Friday, February 14th, to face a charge for fighting in the Fort Street Tourism Zone. Vitalino Reyes Sr. reported to police that he was attacked by Rosado on Boxing Day, December 26th, 2013 while on Fort Street in Belize City. Reyes is the father of Vitalino Reyes Jr. who accused Rosado of pulling a gun at him in the same area two years ago. Rosado was exonerated from that charge after the witness testimonies proved to be inconsistent. Rosado also claims to be innocent of this latest charge. He appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith being represented by Kareem Musa. Rosado pleaded not guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct and was offered bail in the sum of $500 plus one surety of the same amount. He was ordered to stay away from the virtual complainant, Vitalino Reyes Sr. Rosado will reappear in court to face the charge on March 25th of this year.

BTL Park reborn
Friday February 14th was Valentine's day and a more appropriate day could not have been chosen for the official launch of the BTL Park on Newtown Barracks. As the billing had anticipated it would have been an event that would have attracted hundreds to the newly completed park. More than hundreds however, thousands of Belizeans flocked to the new facilities to enjoy time with friends family and loved ones as well as to soak in the newest recreational complex in Belize City. The day’s event started with a children's section where they were entertained by the favorite cartoon characters brought to life on stage. Everyone was there like Spongebob, Mickey Mouse, Dora, Diego and many others. These characters entertained the young ones while adults either walked around checking out the mechanical rides, the food kiosks and other forms of entertainment in the park.

BTB and EU Break Ground on Infrastructure Projects for Archaeological Sites
Minister of Tourism Culture and Civil Aviation, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., European Union’s Ambassador to Belize, H.E. Paola Amadei, and Area Representative for Belize Rural North, Hon. Edmund Castro, broke ground on infrastructural works at the Altun Ha archaeological reserve on Wednesday, February 12th. Altun Ha is one of nine archaeological reserves that will benefit from a European Union funded project entitled “Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites (MTBCAAS)”. The Belize Tourism Board is the implementing agency of the $4 million project supported by the European Union in which nine archaeological sites will be renovated over the next year. The project falls under phase 2 of the European Union’s Belize Rural Development Program. Ambassador Paola Amadei from the Delegation of the European Union to Jamaica, Belize, the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands and the Cayman Islands said, “Tourism is an effective way to target rural development.” At the groundbreaking ceremony she said, “It is a symbolic event as this EU funded project aims on one side to improve the experience of tourists visiting the archaeological sites AND as well promotes employment and better opportunities in the communities in the proximity of the archaeological site. This project has the component of promoting community development.”

No Cabinet Shuffle
Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow, smiled at rumors that have been running fast and wild over the social media and on the lips of PUP political vultures that there was going to be a Cabinet shuffle shortly. PM barrow explained that, "I don't know where it came from. That is absolutely without no foundation at all." With that he dispensed with the rumors and those who are trying to create mischief for the current UDP government. And while there will be no shuffle, PM Barrow explained that his time when he returns from the U.S. on Friday of this week, will be consumed with the budged exercise which will be the best budget presented ever.

Cayo South Standard Bearer Convention
The United Democratic Party Secretariat presided over the 5th electoral convention on Sunday February 16th to elect a Standard Bearer for the party in the Cayo South Constituency. So far there have been 4 other constituencies that have selected Standard Bearers by elections and two that have gone the route of endorsement. Sunday's convention saw Ralph Huang, Michael Hulse and Ernest Patnett go into elections at the Our Lady of Fatima RC School in Roaring Creek. Like all conventions that the UDP holds, polling started at 10 in the morning and was complete at 5. After an hour of counting 2,194 ballots, Ralph Huang emerged victorious with 1,306 votes; Ernest Patnett received 778 while Michael Hulse received 86. There were 24 rejected ballots.

Collett’s Dilema
Collett Montejo must feel like a ragdoll after he decided to endorse Luke Espat as the hopeful for the Cayo Central constituency for the PUP. He must be feeling like this after he gave up his loyalty to the other PUP hopeful in that constituency, Dan Silva. But the loyalty, as we understand it, to Silva has some financial background to it since Dan had assisted Montejo in the last general elections to the tune of thousands of dollars and now, because of his shift in loyalty it is being called on.

Education Minister on National Tour
Minister of Education Hon. Patrick Faber has once again engaged on a national tour of schools across the country. More than just doing the rounds at the schools, he has undertaken to meet with all stakeholders in the education system and more importantly with the parents. According to Minister Faber, the tour is designed so that he is able to get a first hand look at the education system in every corner of the country. He says that in his visits to the schools he takes time out to explain to the teachers and the students the ministry's works and vision and also to get the concerns that are out there. So far he has visited schools in urban and rural areas of the Orange Walk and Toledo District and the minister says it has been a pleasure to do so. He explained that he was impressed by an agricultural program that is being run by a teacher, Mr. Chi, in Santa Cruz (Botes) in the Orange Walk District. It is a novel program and one that encourages students to alternatives to the academic side of education he stated.

Denny Endorsed
The sounds of "Eye of the Tiger" the thunderclap of fireworks and balloon drops filled the People's Stadium in Orange Walk as Denny Grijalva made his entrance to be was officially endorsed as the UDP's Standard Bearer for the Orange Walk Central constituency on Saturday February 15th. With UDP officials including the Deputy Party Leader, Hon. Gaspar Vega, Party Chairman, Alberto August, and Secretary General Pearl Stuart present; there was a thunderous applause and cheering as Grijalva made his entrance. Other invited guests at the endorsement included Orange Walk East Standard Bearer, Elodio Aragon Jr.; Orange Walk South Standard Bearer, Juan de Dios Moguel; and Orange Walk Central supporters who resoundingly endorsed Grijalva as the new Standard Bearer.

Integrity Commission not yet empanelled
The Integrity Commission cannot be empanelled as yet as two members did not accept the appointment. That announcement was made on February 10th. The office of the Prime Minister issued a release on that day announcing that the two members refused the appointment because they would be deemed Politically Exposed Persons (PEPS) and as such would have to adhere to new legislation which would have them declare all their assets and even their friends and acquaintances would have to do likewise. | Speaking to the media on Monday February 10th, PM Barrow explained that he has not yet been able to identify replacements and he is uncertain that those who remain will be taking up the positions given the requirements. He said that checks will have to also be made with the Leader of the Opposition as well to see if the persons he recommended will want to serve given the requirements.

#1 Island In The World - Again!
For a second year in a row, Ambergris Caye is the ‘#1 Island in the World,’ according to Trip Advisor’s 2014 Travellers’ Choice Islands. Ambergris Caye beat out destinations such as Providenciales in Turks and Caicos, Bora Bora in the Society Islands, and even Marco Island in Florida, for the coveted title. According to Trip Advisor, “The beautiful Belize island offers the perfect blend of modern development and laid-back tranquility.” Recognizing the natural resources and beauty of Ambergris Caye and its surroundings, Trip Advisor cites the Blue Hole as a part of what makes this destination so appealing, “Reef divers drool over the Belize Barrier Reef and the Blue Hole, a 400-feet deep circle of limestone that teems with angelfish, elkhorn coral, cleaner shrimp and stalactites.”

PUP’s negligence injures two in Ladyville
Because of poor planning, 2 Ladyville residents got shot at a family event planned by the PUP on Sunday February 19. About 200 residents attended a family day where the neighbourhood kids participated in basketball and football competitions for most of the day without incident. The football section of the event finished, and all that was left was for the trophies and prizes to be given out. In the evening, the basketball competition was still ongoing, and so everyone crowded into the Ladyville Basketball Court waiting for the event to finish completely. Reportedly, while one of the basketball games was ongoing, there was a misunderstanding between individuals known to police, and one of them left after he felt that he was disrespected. He then went home and returned with a shotgun. That man then snuck back onto the basketball court compound, hid from whoever he intended to attack, and while everyone was enjoying themselves, he took aim at a group of people on top of the bleachers.

Resource Center in Cayo opened
A renovated library and new resource center, The Santa Elena Resource Center, was inaugurated on Monday morning of this week in Santa Elena Town, Cayo District. It fulfills a long formed dream from the residents of Santa Elena Town, when 17 years ago a library was built at the same location, with funds from the Baron Bliss Trust Fund. But this time the complete finishing of the Santa Elena Public Library and new computer room was built with funds from an Inter American Development Bank Loan Two Program, which had been obtained by the Government of Belize. Present for Monday’s opening were students from the Saint Ignatius Roman Catholic and Eden Seventh Day Adventist High Schools as well as representatives of the Eden Seventh Day Adventist Primary School, who are now the main beneficiaries of a freshly painted library and fully equipped and air conditioned computer room.

University of Belize partners with European Union in Masters and PhD Scholarships Opportunities for Belizeans
The opportunity for Belizeans to pursue a Masters or a PhD degree is available once again through a program offered by the nation’s tertiary institution, the University of Belize. The European Union project has provided funding for the scholarships through “The Caribbean-Pacific Islands Mobility Scheme (CARPIMS). CARPIMS III is funded by the Education, Audio-Visual and Culture Agency (EACEA) of the European Union, and is designed to facilitate the movement of Masters and PhD students and staff among a consortium of Universities from the Caribbean and Pacific regions. The program aims at building capacity and encouraging socioeconomic development in each country and each region.

Toledo Diplomats upsets the San Pedro Tigersharks
The 2014 National Elite Basketball League continued over the last weekend with a number of games across the country. On Friday night at the Andres Campos Stadium in Corozal Town, the visiting Belize City “No Limit” defeated the Corozal Heats by the score of 78 – 75. In Dangriga Town at the Y-NOT Island, the Dangriga Warriors edged out the Belmopan Bandits by the score of 57-56. The top scorers for the Dangriga Warriors were Trevaughan Usher who scored 16 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal and Jamir Flores who contributed 10 points towards the win. Flores also had 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals. For the Belmopan Bandits, the top scorers were Jamal Harris with 17 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 steals, and Kyle Pascascio with 11 points, 2 rebounds and 8 steals.

Delille girls and Escuela Mexico boys are High Schools National Football Champs
The 2013-2014 National Secondary Schools Football Championship came to an end on Friday and Saturday February 14 and 15, 2014 respectively, at the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga Town. In the female championship game Delille Academy representing the Southern Region defeated Orange Walk Technical High School representing the Northern Region in penalty by the score of 4-3 to capture the national title. At the end of regulation time the game had ended 1-1. In over time the game also ended 1-1 and it was in the penalty that Delille Academy prevailed. The penalties for Delille Academy were scored by Shayama Caliz (2), Naomi Gamboa and Orel Gillett while the goals for Orange Walk Technical were scored by Gisel Baeza and Noriely Terry. In the consolation game played earlier in the morning, St. Ignatius High School representing the Western Region defeated Gwen Lizarraga High School representing the Central Region by the score of 2-1 in overtime. At the end of regulation time, the game ended 1-1and in overtime St. Ignatius High School prevailed. The goals for St. Ignatius High School were scored by Jinelle Smith while the goal for Gwen Lizarraga High School was scored by Vivica Young.

Primary schools softball competition rolls on at the Rogers Stadium
The 2013-2014 Belize City Primary Schools Softball Competition continues at the Rogers Stadium on a daily basis. On Tuesday February 18, in the girls game played, St. John Vianney School defeated Trinity Methodist by the score of 15-0. The winning pitcher was Camyrn Hinds and the losing pitcher was Davena Perera. In the boys’ game played, Unity Presbyterian School edged Trinity Methodist by the score of 4-2. The winning pitcher was Shemmar Bowen and the losing pitcher was Wilson Lalin. On Monday February 17, in the girls’ game, Holy Redeemer School defeated St. John’s Primary School by the score of 23-3. The winning pitcher was Leeza Russel and the losing pitcher was Kayja Gordon.

Nazarene High School maintains lead in high school softball
The Central Region Secondary Schools Softball Competition continues at Rogers Stadium in Belize City. On Tuesday February 18, in female competition, Nazarene High School continued on its winning path when it defeated Anglican Cathedral College by the score of 15-2. The winning pitcher was Elma Wade and the losing pitcher was Ashley Alarcon. In the male competition, Nazarene High also upended Ladyville Technical High School by the score of 11-1. The winning pitcher was Jerome Carr and the losing pitcher was Isaac Dominguez. On Monday February 17, in the female game, St. Catherine Academy defeated Pallotti High School by the score of 24-9. The winning pitcher was Jacqueline Alas and the losing pitcher was Jinelle Flowers.

Angel Tzib captures 19th Annual Digicell Valentine’s Cycling Classic
The Cycling Federation of Belize in partnership with Belize Telemedia Ltd. and Digicell sponsored the 19th Annual Digicell Valentine’s Cycling Classic that was held on Sunday February 16, 2014. The Elite/Open and Master riders all commence their 90 miles journey at 8:00 am from in front of Leslie’s Imports on the George Price Highway and travelled all the way to mile 46 in front of the Belmopan Airstrip and then back to Leslie’s Imports for the finish. At the conclusion of the 3:55:49 event Angel Tzib who is unattached was the first rider to cross the finish line to capture his first national title. He received $800.00, a Net book and a trophy. The second rider to cross the finish line was Giovanni Lovell of BTL Cycling Team and he received $600.00 and a trophy, third place went to Darnell Barrow of Smart and he received $400.00 and a trophy, fourth place went to Byron Pope of Benny’s Megabytes and he received $200.00 and a medal, while fifth place went to Ron Vasquez of Western Spirit and he received $100.00 and a medal to round off the top five finishers in the race.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Belize Fishermen Hosting Workshop On Caye Caulker
Saturday Feb. 22. 9am


Going to My Dentist on Ambergris Caye: Beach Pics
So let me show you what it’s like to travel to a dentist appointment in the great place on earth. My dentist is located about 4 miles north of town, just south of Las Terrazas Resort, so I need to hop on the Coastal Express Water Taxi. My boat dropped me off at my dentist’s residence/rental home Blue Dolphin to continue on north. And then to the side and towards the back, my dentist. Joan and Mark are from Minnesota but have owned property (including the Conch Shell Inn) and have been coming to San Pedro forever. I’ve been going to Dr. Mark since I first arrived in San Pedro – introduced by some friends of mine. There are actually quite a few dentists in San Pedro to choose from…but this is about pictures not useful information!

Cricel and Rigo Represent Belize
Cricel Castillo(Figure B Class) and Rigo Vellos(Light Heavyweight Bodybuilding) are going to the Arnold Sports Festival to represent Belize. The festival has been going since 1989, and is one of the world's largest multi-sport fitness events. About 175,000 sports fans are expected to see 18,000 athletes compete in a variety of more than 45 sports and events. It's in Columbus, Ohio, and it starts on the 27th. Best of luck, Cricel and Rigo! Last November, Rigo, kept his Mr. Belize title, and Cricel won Ms. Body Fitness.

Belikin La Ruta Maya Promo
Belikin has released an epic La Ruta Maya promo. You might want to watch this one more than once. The Cultural Night is 2 weeks from tonight, and the race starts on Friday, March 7th. "Get ready for the biggest race of the year, the Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge. See you at the race and along the stops. Belikin will be there, making it a party as always."

Belriv Ecotourism Expo
The Community Baboon Sanctuary Women's Conservation Group has their Belize River Valley Ecotourism Expo tomorrow, Friday, February 21st, and Saturday, in Bermudian Landing. They'll have an open market, information booths, tons of food, local wines, and a country music sing-off too. They'll end the nights with a dance. Email [email protected] for more information.

Cayo is for Birding
Jeremy and I said goodbye to Phil, Katherine, and Kitty at the Belize airport, and then headed straight to the zoo. We had just finished a wonderful week of birding and working with Belize Audubon on the official Forsyth Audubon trip. Phil and I wrote a series of posts about the trip on the Forsyth Audubon blog. I wanted to stay longer than eight days, so I was very happy that Forsyth Audubon President and fellow Belize traveler, Jeremy Reiskind, also wanted a few more days in Belize. The Belize Zoo calls itself “The best little zoo in the world” and we agree. It was clean, interesting, and the animals appeared to be cared for very well. An added bonus was the many wild birds seen at the zoo. Many enjoy sharing fruit served to the zoo animals. One of our favorite birds was a Common Tody-Flycatcher who flitted about just a few feet from the platform by the Howler Monkeys. We appreciated the Rufous-browed Peppershrike, too, a life bird for both of us. We could have stayed all day, but we wanted to reach duPlooy’s before dark.

Reliable but unconfirmed information is that the infamous Denny Grijalva is under pressure from Prime Minister and UDP Party Leader, Dean Barrow to step down. Grijalva became notoriously infamous after equipment from his company mauled down the Noh Mul Mayan monument in the Orange Walk District in May of 2013. In spite of national and international outrage over the egregious act, the UDP welcomed Grijalva back into the fold and last Sunday, February 15 he was endorsed as standard bearer for the Orange Walk Central division. He would face off with the formidable former Leader of the PUP, John Briceño who is undefeated in that division. The chagrin by UDPs, PUPs and visitors alike who love Belize resurrected again following the audacious act by the UDP. This time it may have prompted PM Barrow to act. Word out the UDP Orange Walk camp is that Barrow and his Deputy Gaspar Vega are not seeing eye to eye over this one, a second blow to Vega’s camp by Barrow in less than a week since he forced Vega to fire three senior persons from his Ministry. Best word is that there may be a growing rift between Barrow and Vega.

International Sources

Top 5 Attractions in Belize
Belize is probably not the number one location on your list of countries you must visit. It should be. Sitting just on the Central American east coast, Belize benefits from Caribbean temperatures and beaches on the Caribbean Sea. More than that it offers a wide range of stunning attractions which tap into the ancient history of the region as well as being immensely enjoyable. A private villa in Belize will give you the luxury you deserve for your holiday as you explore our top five attractions. Ambergris Caye is the largest of the islands that belong to Belize and sit in its northern waters. It’s the top tourist destination of the country due to its relaxing, laid back atmosphere and Caribbean feel. No high rise hotels and big city traffic mean you can totally chill out and most people get around the isle by walking, cycling or renting golf carts. One of the many reasons to travel somewhere exotic is to enjoy things you can’t enjoy at home and see things you’ve never seen before. Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Part is one of Belize’s largest protected areas. It’s existed since 1990 and was originally protected as the world’s first wilderness sanctuary for the jaguar. There are a large number of jaguars living in the sanctuary, although they are rarely seen. Instead you will see many exotic birds and plant types.

The Best 'Off The Beaten Path' Destinations in Cayo
'Travel Like the Locals' host Darley Newman recently visited Cayo. The video from her visit, entitled 'The Best Off the Beaten Path Destinations in Western Belize,' was just released on While nothing she covered is in any way off the beaten path, they are some of Cayo's greatest sites. Xunantunich, Big Rock Falls, and Rio Frio Cave are shown in all their spectacular beauty. While she doesn't mention them by name, she did horse back riding with Mountain Equestrian Trails. "Darley's top picks, adventures that shouldn't be missed in Western Belize."

Refurbished playground on its way to Belize
Camrose Rotarian Ron Grue, and a team of workers from the Rotary Club of Camrose, made their way back to Otoxha Feb. 20th. Last March a team of Rotarians built a new three-classroom school in the community. Now they’re going back with plans to install a playground and programmable streetlight. “When we go there we try to spread ourselves around the community and pay them for our meals,” Grue said. “It gives them a little bit of income and it gives us a chance to actually get out into the community instead of us being [segregated].” The playground was taken out of Ecole Sifton School and then sent to The Emmanuel Foundation to be refurbished. The companies popular “Pay it Forward” initiative has facilitated the installation of over 40 playgrounds in 16 different countries around the world. “They take these playgrounds from different parts of Canada and restore them and then ship them to different third-world countries,” Grue said. “They have arranged for the shipping to Belize in the container and then we’ve arranged for the container to be sent to Otoxha.”

Airmen, Soldiers to provide medical care to thousands of Belizeans during New Horizons 2014
Airmen and Soldiers from Air Forces Southern, the 355th Medical Group and the 349th Combat Support Hospital here readied medical personnel, packed supplies and shipped medical equipment that will be used in treating thousands of patients in support of their upcoming deployment to Belize for New Horizons 2014. "We are so incredibly grateful to the Belizean government for all of the exceptional support they provided in the planning of this exercise and we look forward to once again joining forces on the ground in a few short weeks," said Lt. Col. James Smith, the 12th Air Force (AFSOUTH) deputy command surgeon. During last year's exercise in Belize, Air Force and Army medical teams worked side-by-side with Canadian doctors, the Ministry of Health in Belize, as well as Belizean doctors and medical personnel to provide care for more than 14,828 Belizeans during the medical readiness training exercises, or MEDRETES. A group of highly-skilled professional medical personnel will soon come together once again to provide routine and essential medical treatment to more than 15,000 Belizeans.

'CCJ has proven its worth'
Caribbean Community (Caricom) Secretary General Irwin La Rocque says he is looking forward to the day when all 15 members of the regional grouping will join the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Appeal (CCJ). La Rocque, addressing a special sitting of the CCJ on Wednesday to honour retiring Madam Justice Desiree Bernard, said the court -- which replaces the London-based Privy Council as the region's highest court -- "in both its jurisdictions represents the essence of our independence and sovereignty and is essential to the progress of the integration movement. "It is an institution that has proven its worth and I look forward to the day when all our member states accede to both its jurisdictions," he said. The CCJ, established in 2001, has both an original and appellate jurisdiction. But while most regional countries are signatories to the original jurisdiction, only Guyana, Barbados and Belize are members of the appellate jurisdiction of the court that also serves as an international tribunal interpreting the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that governs the regional grouping.

Petro Caribe: Are Caribbean Countries Prepared for the Worst?
Caribbean governments that are members of the Petro Caribe Agreement with Venezuela would be prudent by beginning to adjust their budgets to take account of the loss of benefits now derived from the oil arrangement. This is especially important for the countries of the Eastern Caribbean that appear to have made little provision for the possibility that the arrangements with Venezuela could end abruptly. Two events are playing-out in Venezuela to which vigilant officials in Ministries of Finance in Caribbean countries should be alert. The first is the problematic state of the Venezuelan government’s finances and the other is the increasing confrontation between dissenting groups and the government that has spurred violence in the streets. Venezuela’s economic conditions make it tough for President Nicolás Maduro to continue the largesse of Petro Caribe started by his predecessor Hugo Chávez.

Leonardo DiCaprio's Foundation Grants $3 Million to Ocean Conservation
Leonardo DiCaprio is getting behind ocean advocacy. Environmental protection organization Oceana announced Thursday a $3 million grant from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation aimed at protecting threatened ocean habitat and marine species. Spread over a three-year period, the $3 million marks the foundation's first marine conservation grant. A longtime environmental activist, DiCaprio -- who has worked to protect elephants and tigers -- pulled together an art benefit, the 11th Hour Charity Auction at Christie's last year, which raised $38.8 for endangered species protection.

Video Reveals Belize’s Lesser Known Caribbean Island (Very Affordable)
You’ve probably heard a lot about the stunning, tiny Caribbean island of Ambergris Caye (pronounced “Key”), Belize. But if you’re looking for a quieter, even more laid-back slice of the Caribbean, you’ll want to check out Ambergris Caye’s little sister, Caye Caulker. The motto of this island is “Go Slow”… Spend any time with the easy-going locals and expats who live here, and you’ll discover it’s a motto they take very seriously. IL Editor Glynna Prentice got to experience the charms of Caye Caulker for herself…and she told a group of IL readers all about it in person. She told them more about what this tiny island has to offer…as well as all about the cost of living and typical real estate prices they could find there (including a condo for just $125,000).

February 20, 2014


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Two tourists receive minor injuries after a gun accidentally goes off
Belize Police Press Officer Rafael Martinez would not go into details, but did confirm that two tourists were injured shortly around 9:30AM on Wednesday February 19th in Belize City. The incident occurred inside the Brown Sugar Terminal that houses the San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi. Martinez said that it was a negligent discharge, meaning that the firearm accidentally went off. An eyewitness, who was one of the many passengers waiting to board a water taxi, told The San Pedro Sun that a firearm belonging to a businessman from Caye Caulker Village fell to the ground and several shots went off. The shots hit the concrete structure and fragments from the shots injured two female tourists, a mother and her daughter who were in the area. Fortunately, the injuries were not life threatening and thus the two tourist have been treated and released.

San Pedro barge collision damages Belize’s largest port
A boat accident involving a cargo barge from San Pedro Town has forced the closure of the largest commercial port in the country, Port of Belize Limited. The accident occurred around 4:45AM on Tuesday February 18th when a vessel belonging to Krystal Shipping slammed into the port docking facility, seriously damaging three beams that hold up part of the port structure. The Belize Port Authority has opened an investigation to find out what caused the accident but the Port of Belize has indicated that the damages and losses to business can be in the hundreds of thousands. Speaking to the media, Chief Executive Officer of the Port of Belize Limited Arturo “Tux” Vasquez said that it will take a minimum of six days before the repairs are completed. “The effects arequite significant really because it puts the pier out of commission and obviously we are still in the stage of assessing everything and the priority for us right now is to make sure that we get this [port] fixed. We thought that it was only one of the beams but apparently it damaged all three, so instead of having to replace one, we are looking to having to replace three beams now. The engineer is currently looking at it and trying to put all the plans in place, but for us even to replace one beam, we would have to close the pier off, so initially we thought about four days, but I think now we are realistically looking at about six days.”

2 years in a row -Ambergris Caye is #1 island in the world!!
Ambergris Caye has been selected by TripAdvisor® as the number one island in the world for the second consecutive year in the 2014 Traveler’s Choice Island awards. The good news was revealed by the travel review organization on February 19th and along with Ambergris Caye’s accolades, other resorts and hotels from various parts of the country were also recognized as top places in the region. Beautiful Ambergris Caye is the largest populated island in Belize located in northern waters of the country and anchored less than a mile west from the regional Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. “Ambergris Caye hovers in a vacation sweet spot: just enough amenities to make it exciting, but not so overdeveloped that you’re tripping over flip-flopped tourists. A mangrove swamp is the eye of this white beach island, the largest in Belize, and golf carts are the main form of transportation along the sandy roads. Reef divers drool over the Belize Barrier Reef and the Blue Hole, a 400-feet deep circle of limestone that teems with angelfish, elk horn coral, cleaner shrimp and stalactites,” describes TripAdvisor®.

Flor Ancona’s Carnaval Group hosts Valentine’s Dinner Dance
Carnaval Season is on its way and already some of the comparsas groups have begun fundraising for the big days of March 2nd-4th. On Saturday February 15th, Flora Ancona’s Carnaval group held a Valentine’s Dinner Dance at the Lions Den in an effort to raise funds for their group. The group would like to thank everyone who came out to support the dinner/dance and encourages the public to come out and have a great time at the first ever Miss Carnaval pageant. The pageant will be their next fundraising event and is sure to be a great time. Set your calendars for Friday February 21st at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium.

Diamond in the Rough- Artisan Edition
Often times the end of vacations, tend to be the least favorite part of a trip for visitors vacationing in the “#1 Island in the World-TripAdvisor Awards 2104.” But thanks to talented Belizean artisans such as our woodcarvers, Ambergris Caye tourists get to take a piece of paradise with them when they leave-literally! In this article you will be introduced to three of San Pedro’s woodcarvers who have given countless visitors the perfect souvenir to remember their time in San Pedro. They work with tools such as chisels, chainsaws, and hammers in order to turn pieces of rough woods such as logwood, driftwood and ziricote into masterpieces that reflect various aspects of rich Belizean culture and wildlife.

Ambergris Today

Ambergris Caye Voted #1 Island in the World Two Years in a Row
Residents of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye are jumping for joy as the island has once again been voted THE NUMBER ONE ISLAND IN THE WORLD for the second year in a row in Trip Advisors’s 2014 Travelers’ Choice Awards. Ambergris Caye beat out destinations such as Providenciales in Turks and Caicos, Bora Bora in the Society Islands, and even Marco Island in Florida, for the coveted title. “Millions of reviews, nothing but the best” posts Trip Advisor as it lists the TOP 10 Islands in the World, voted by its millions of online viewers and reviewers. And Ambergris Caye, Belize is on the top of that list one more time for the second year in a row! This is such a great honor for Ambergris Caye and Belize as the number one tourist destination in the country also becomes the tops in the world once again. This Belizean jewel offers the perfect blend of modern development and laid-back tranquility that keeps visitors coming back year after year to enjoy the sun, sea and air.

Golf Cart Crashes Into Island Supermarket
At about 6:12p.m. on Tuesday, February 18, 2014, San Pedro Police and the San Pedro Traffic Department responded to a traffic accident that occurred on Coconut Drive on San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Upon arrival police and traffic wardens found that a green golf cart had crashed into the glass wall of the Island Supermarket. Driving the vehicle belonging to Peter Jones was 79-year-old Graham Whitehead, UK Citizen. Investigations reveal that Whitehead stepped on the wrong pedal and instead of hitting the brakes, he stepped on the accelerator causing the cart to crash into the glass window. Mr. Whitehead received minor cuts on his left foot and was treated at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Poly Clinic.

A Valentine’s Day Surprise Dive Proposal in San Pedro, Belize
This is quite likely one of the coolest marriage proposals that we have seen done here in Ambergris Caye. Who can beat an engagement underwater at 85 feet deep at the Tunnels of Love? This is exactly what Todd planned as he organized an elaborate marriage proposal for his girlfriend Kristina. It was a surprise dive proposal organized by the team at Belize Pro Dive Center who helped Todd with the dive preparations and the celebration once they came back from the dive. And it all happened on Valentine’s Day. Watch the video; it’s pretty amazing!

Flashbacks: De Ja Vu Stories on Skeletal Findings in San Pedro
Very often we have a de ja vu or repeat story on some incident or the other. In this flashback series of photos taken by renowned photographer Kay Scott in the 1980’s we re-live the same story of the recent find of skeletal remains in the mangroves of North Ambergris Caye. This Flashback was supposedly of a sailor Lawrence Dombrowski of Florida who disappeared on New Year’s Eve of 1987. Despite a rigorous hunt for the person or body, it did not appear until February 21, 1988 when Carlos Martinez discovered a partially clothed skeleton in the mangroves of Boca Del Rio Area of Ambergris Caye. There were many rumors including that the skeleton had two bullet holes, that the body was found buried, and that his dingy had drifted away and he drowned. The biggest rumor was that he headed to Mexico and left the country. Do you wonder what stories will come out of this one that the police has in its hands today?

Misc Belizean Sources

Longest zip line in Central America
The longest zip line in Central America is 2,300 feet long and located at Mayflower Bocawina National Forest in Silk Grass on the Southern Highway in Belize. The last line is very fast & very long, lasting over 30 seconds!

Ground Breaking for Infrastructure Improvements at Archaeological Sites
Tourists and local visitors to archaeological sites in Belize will soon benefit from infrastructure improvements at the sites under the Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites (MTBCAAS) project. The infrastructure works will commence at Altun Ha, Belize District and a ground breaking ceremony was today (Wednesday, February 12), to mark the occasion. The project is funded by the European Union and the Government of Belize. European Union (EU) Ambassador Paola Amadei who addressed the ceremony remarked “It is a symbolic event as this EU funded project aims on one side to improve the experience of tourists visiting the archaeological sites AND as well promotes employment and better opportunities in the communities in the proximity of the archaeological site. This project has the component of promoting community development.” Visitors to Altun Ha will experience the upgraded Visitor’s Centre which will be outfitted with audio-visual equipment, enhancing the tourist experience. Additionally, a new male bathroom facility, walking trails and seating areas will be constructed. These improvements will cater to people with diverse abilities and increase health and safety at the site. A contract was signed with KIKOS Engineering Services for $255,583.41 to carry out the construction works at Altun Ha. Construction is expected to last for 4 months, ending in June 2014.

(MOU) to establish and protect Belize’s biological corridors and core areas that function as habitat for jaguars and their prey
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish and protect Belize’s biological corridors and core areas that function as habitat for jaguars and their prey will be signed at 10 a.m. on Friday February 21, at the Black Orchid Resort, Burrell Boom Village, Belize District. Signatories to the MOU will include the Government of Belize, through the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries, and Sustainable Development, the University of Belize through its Environmental Research Institute (ERI), and Panthera. The ERI, is dedicated to the science and conservation of natural resources and the development of Belizean human capacity. Panthera is a global non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of wild cat species and their habitats, with a long history of jaguar conservation efforts in Belize and the Mesoamerican region. The jaguar, because of its mobility and sensitivity to human presence, along with its ecological function and its role in human culture, can provide an effective focus for monitoring the integrity of core areas and for corridor identification and conservation.

University of Belize partners with European Union in Masters and PhD Scholarships Opportunities for Belizeans
The opportunity for Belizeans to pursue a Masters or a PhD degree is available once again through a program offered by the nation’s tertiary institution, the University of Belize. The European Union project has provided funding for the scholarships through “The Caribbean-Pacific Islands Mobility Scheme (CARPIMS). CARPIMS III is funded by the Education, Audio-Visual and Culture Agency (EACEA) of the European Union, and is designed to facilitate the movement of Masters and PhD students and staff among a consortium of Universities from the Caribbean and Pacific regions. The program aims at building capacity and encouraging socioeconomic development in each country and each region.

The La Ruta Maya River Challenge is just over 2 weeks away. It'll follow the same route as last year. The SISE House of Culture's Cultural Night will be at the Cayo Welcome Center on Thursday, March 6th. The World Culture Band will be playing, and they'll have marimbas, and dancing.

UB's Jan/Feb Newsletter
The University of Belize has released their first newsletter for the year, and it's filled with good news and articles about their endeavors, including articles about their collaboration with TAMU and their student numbers. "The first e-bulletin for the year 2014 - University of Belize Collaborates with Texas A&M University; UB Receives Agricultural Equipment Donation; Educational Trends; UB Receives Donation of Technological Equipment; UB Distributes Micro Propagated Planting Materials to Benefit the Agriculture Sector; Preserving Red Kidney Beans via Science; BSU President Visits UB; UB Scientist Spearheads Research on ‘Dung Beetles’ ; Students Enhancing Campus Landscape; US Graduate Student on Internship at UB; UB Black Jaguars Coach Receives High Level Training; Bringing Smiles to Children; Mandarin Class - Hen Hao; Welcome to the UB Team; Free Laboratory Testing"

20th Coca Cola Spelling Bee
The 20th annual Coca Cola Spelling Bee has been happening all around Belize. Congratulations to Zone 3 finalists Rina Marcos(United Pentecostal) and Leighi Alvarado(Santa Elena), and Zone 5 finalists Sherman Matute(St. Jude's) and Shelby Gonzalez(St. Martin de Porres), who will all go to the district finals. Great event; thanks, Coca Cola! Best of luck to all! "The annual Coca-Cola Spelling Bee is celebrating its twentieth anniversary and this year plans to be a banner year for the national competition. Beginning with the addition of other corporate sponsors, including the Belize Bank, BTL, Caribbean Treasures and the Ministry of Education, the spelling contest is being billed as the biggest primary school event."

Cayo International Banking Fair
The Cayo Welcome Center will be the site for Cayo's International Banking Fair this Saturday, from 9:00am until 2:00pm. The Atlantic International Bank is sponsoring the event, and they'll have an information booth, games, and applications for those interested. "In Belize, we love to celebrate thus, this weekend we are celebrating the new Atlantic International Bank and Atlantic International Corp Services San Ignacio office with an “International Banking Fair”. The fair kicks off at the Cayo Welcome Center from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday February 22nd. The International Banking Fair promises to have something for everyone. Here’s what you can expect!"

Early morning robbery nets thieves undisclosed amount of money
Police in Belize City are investigating an early morning robbery in Belize City. It happened around 6:30 this morning on Freetown Road. Reports are that a person was in the process of depositing money for Western Diaries at the Freetown Road branch of Atlantic Bank when the robbery happened. An undisclosed amount of money was taken in the robbery.

With the rolling hills of Cayo as the backdrop, the Zone Eliminations of the National Cocal Cola Spelling Bee is today in San Antonio Village, Cayo. 16 children from 8 primary schools in Zone 3 are taking part in today's competition.

Profiting from a strong private sector – Job creation:
Collectively we are by far Belize’s largest employer. According to the Statistical Institute’s most recent Labour Force Survey, for September 2013, 84.8% of employed persons (more than 108,000) are working in the private sector. The Government of Belize, on the other hand, employs 11.6%, totaling just under 15,000 people. Contributed by Kay Menzies – President of Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Love is in the Air Concert
The Benque House of Culture is having their Love is in the Air Concert Saturday, February 22nd, starting at 7:00pm. It's at Centennial Park, and the Benque Marimba Academy is involved, so maybe they'll play a little. Thanks, Benque HoC! "Come and support our local artists this coming Saturday!!!"

Lucio and the New Generation
The SISE House of Culture teamed up with the Cayo branch of the Belize Cancer Society teamed up Saturday to bring out Lucio and the New Generation to play at the Cayo Welcome Center. Emmanuel Mangar also played some. It was another fun night at the Cayo Welcome Center. "The Belize Cancer Society teamed up with the SISE House of Culture to bring Lucio and the New Generation to the Cayo Welcome Center."

PUP to pursue Police Penner investigation in court
The People’s United Party awaits a date for the hearing of its application for judicial review of the Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie’s indecision to act on the investigation of the Elvin Penner/Won-Hong Kim scandal. Legal advisor Anthony Sylvestre filed the documents at the Supreme Court Registry this afternoon and spoke to the press afterward, saying the PUP and his law firm, Musa and Balderamos, had to act after there was no response received from the Commissioner by the deadline of Monday, February 17. Sylvestre says the Party still believes that there is time to act and arrest Penner and his assistants, however the six-month statute of limitations on summary offences will run out in March.

Channel 7

Morning Killing Is Result Of Escalating Gang War
Yesterday morning there was a misunderstanding between two rival gangs, George Street and Supal Street at the fish market in Belize City. Tonight, police believe that same misunderstanding resulted in a shooting last night and a murder this morning in acts of random retaliation. Last night’s victims were injured, this morning it was murder on Plues Street. 7News was there: Jules Vasquez Reporting The shooting happened between Plues Street and West Canal at 9:30 this morning. 25 year old Tarique Cadle lay dead in the yard, he had been shot multiple times to the head. His sister Kassian Cadle arrived at the scene in time to identify the body: Kassian Cadle - Sister of deceased "When I arrived on the scene, I saw his slippers outside, his cap behind the fence in the yard where he was shot, and I saw him at the back lying down. It was tragic moment. It was nerve-wrecking because I saw my brother's face - you know - blood coming all out of his nose, his ears, even his eyes. It was was a cruel death."

Gun Accidentally Discharges at Water Taxi Terminal, Minor Injuries For Two
And just as police were processing the Tariq Cadle murder scene, a report came in saying that there had been a shooting at the San Pedro Belize Express Terminal on North Front Street. Now, on a day when there are four cruise ships in port, and the area is thronged with tourists, that was very disturbing news. Fortunately we can report that it was an accidental gun discharge and no one was seriously hurt. But, accident or not, a nine millimeter pistol discharging in a crowded terminal poses a huge public safety risk. Police explained what happened: Superintendent Gualberto Garcia - OC, Police Precinct 3 "It was a local, a Belizean business man who was in the area right behind me this morning, and at about 9:50 a.m. this mornin, he was coming out of the Compound at the back there. He is a licensed firearm holder; he had firearm in his pants waist. Upon exiting the compound, he tried - according to the investigation - to fix his pants, and unfortunately, that action caused his firearm to be negligently discharged. As far as we are concerned, the firearm was pointed downwards, as you can imagine, and the bullet hit the floor, richoceted, and the pieces hit 2 tourists who were coming out and were immediately around him, 2 females, a mother and daughter. Both persons have been treated by BERT personnel, and as far as we are concerned, they refused to be transported to the KHMH, and they returned back into the compound with injuries treated already."

Body Found In Guinea Grass Is 23 Year Old Man
It has been confirmed that the a body found yesterday morning on the outskirts of Guinea Grass Village in the Orange Walk District is 23 year-old Luis Moreno, a young man who went missing about 10 days ago. Preliminary findings from the medical examiner suggests that he may have been killed. The body was found on a farm called Rancho Lalo, located 2 and half miles on the Guinea Grass Road. Approximately 400 meters in, his skeletal remains were found under some cohune trees. HIS MOTHER Marcela Moreno went to the site and identified the body as her son who she’s been looking for. She recognized him from the boxers and sweater he was wearing. Marcela Moreno had been tormented by the news of the discovery since yesterday, and she had strongly suspected that it was her son, which she finally confirmed today.

Public Service Hearing For Officers From Passport Section
Immigration Officers Sharon Neal-Flowers, Erwin Robinson and Omar Phillips, all from the Passport Section of the Immigration Department, are at home tonight, patiently awaiting the decision of the Public Service Commission as to whether or not they will be terminated as public officers. These officers, you will recall, are the same ones who were suspended following the unearthing of the Citizen Kim Scandal. Director of Immigration Maria Marin recommended them for termination in January. After weeks of waiting to defend themselves against the allegations that they had a hand in getting fraudulent passport issued to Won Hon Kim, they got their opportunity today before a Commission Tribunal in Belmopan. The hearing was held behind closed doors, and after 3 hours, it was all over after one witness testified against them. Oswald Twist, attorney for Robinson and Phillips, spoke to the media afterwards, and he told us that he’s confident about the case they presented on behalf of the Immigration officers:

PUP Files Writ Of Mandamus
And while those wheels of process turn in Belmopan, today at the Supreme Court in Belize City, the PUP went to the Supreme Court to file a writ of mandamus – basically asking the court to make the Commissioner of police arrest Elvin Penner for violating the passport and nationality act. This move comes after the party gave Commissioner Allen Whylie 7 days to respond to their request, which he ignored. So the PUP went to court to file the application today and we spoke to the legal advisor: Anthony Sylvestre - Legal Advisor, PUP There’s been no response to that letter and so, as a consequence, we are forced to actually take this course of action and actually initiate judicial review proceedings against the commissioner." Hipolito Novelo - Love News "Is there any indication that the Com Pol even open and read the letter. Well, there was no formal - or any response to our office, but I did read in the Amandala that Rowland Parks was lucky to have a reply given to him from the Commissioner. But, there hasn't been anything formal that has been submitted to our office."

Cuban Gold Heist Fugitive Wanted, But US Not Ready Yet
Last night we told you about Cuban fugitive Raonel Valdez Valhuerdi. He was caught by immigration authorities in the bushes of Benque Viejo trying to slip illegally into Belize from Guatemala. Sharp work by the Benque Border Immigration told them to follow up on a hunch and google his name: they found that he is wanted in Coral Gables Florida for the armed robbery of 3 million dollars in gold. Police reports fr4om Florida say he masterminded the theft of two rolling suitcases filled with more than 100 pounds of gold flakes from a courier working for a Bolivian export company. Now, he’s at the Hattieville Prison pending deportation presumably to Cuba – even though he paid his two thousand dollar fine for illegal entry. But now, since it turns out he’s wanted by the US, Belize police say they will expel him. A US Embassy spokesperson, says that they have been in touch with the Belizean authorities regarding Valhuerdi…and “if necessary (they will) work with local counterparts to take further action.”

Unconfirmed Firings From That "Hotbed of Corruption"
7News has been attempting to confirm all day with Wilbert Vallejos, the Commissioner of Lands, and the Acting CEO of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture about the status of 3 very senior public officers from that Ministry who all been reportedly dismissed. They are the Deputy Registrar of Lands, Barony Hernandez, and the Deputy Commissioner of Lands, Nestor Hernandez, and National Estate Officer Darleen Padron, and we must stress that it is not confirmed that they are indeed terminated. These officers were all reportedly appointed by the Minister of Natural Resources Gaspar Vega when he was elected to office, and CTV3 reports that Nester and Barony Hernandez are Vega’s nephews.

Lawyer For Immigration Officers Say They Are Being Scapegoated For Hon. Penner
In our last segment we told you about the three Immigration Officers from the passport section who were taken before the public service commission today. Well, two more are pending; they are Ady Pacheco and Gilroy Wade, from the nationality section. Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse says they are the ones who handled the disappeared Citizen Kim file. The Director of Immigration wrote to them asking for their explanation and they "lawyered up". Through sources in the public service, 7News has obtained a copy of that letter from their attorney Godfrey Smith. It says that they deny acting in breach of Department procedures since they have never been provided with an outline of their specific duties. As for any breakdown in procedure which led to the Citizen Kim passport, Smith writes that quote, “my clients say that any such misprocedure – as all of Belize knows – was conceived and engineered by Minister of state Elvin Penner acting either personally or through instructions directed at public officers.

Mental Health Association Says Moses Williams Didn't Have To Die
On Monday, we reported on the police killing of a mentally unstable man in Big Falls Village, Toledo District. Moses Williams who was brandishing a machete and charged towards a special constable and chopped both his hands. As Williams stood over him, with the machete in the air and was about to chop him again, a police Constable reportedly fired a warning shot with his issued 12-guage pump action but Williams took no heed. The police then shot Williams in the left leg to subdue him, but, Williams reportedly kept advancing with the machete towards the police and got a hold of his shotgun. Both police officers then dashed off. A few minutes’ later police heard when the shotgun. Police from Punta Gorda arrived on the scene and found Williams sitting on the ground with the shotgun under his injured leg and a machete next to him. Police took Williams to the hospital and he died at 9:20am.

Introducing Breathalysers?
25 Traffic Enforcement Officials from around the country participated in the first of a 2 day training on road safety and enforcement. It’s being conducted by facilitators from a Danish company, SWeROAD, and it will focus on a wide range of topics aimed at making the Country’s roads a safer place to drive. 7News stopped in to find out what the international trainers were presenting to the traffic officials. Here’s what one of the organizers told us about it: Evan Dakers - Representative, Social Investment Fund "There is a number of activities will be taking place. Today's workshop is focusing on issue of communication with road users. We have been trying to get the police officers and traffic wardens to understand that there are proper ways of speaking to road users, and of course, there are not-so-good ways of doing it. But, I think what is even more important - and that will be done tomorrow because this is a 2-day - tomorrow, they will be introduced - or maybe re-introcuded in some cases - to the use of breathalysers. That will be an opportunity for those drivers who are driving under the influence of alcohol to be put on warning. In other words, there will be the distribution of breathalysers, and all the traffic warders and traffic officers will be able to utilize these equipment. So, I think that we are hoping that with the use of the breathalysers, there will be a definite reduction in road traffic accidents and so forth."

From China To Chile, Around The World In A Few Years
Travelling in a motor home is one of the cheapest ways to travel the world. That’s according to a group of friends who have set out to travel the world in an RV. These fulltime RVers are from China and began their journey around the world in May of 2012. A year and a half later, they have visited 35 countries out of a list of one hundred. This had always been a dream for the group of friends - who say they had to sacrifice their businesses and homes to make it a reality. Here’s their story.

Belize Bests Top Island List
For the second year in a row, Ambergris Caye has been voted Trip Advisor’s ‘#1 Island in the World.’ The list this time is Trip Advisor’s 2014 Travellers’ Choice Islands and Ambergris Caye bested destinations such as Providenciales in Turks and Caicos, Bora Bora in the Society Islands, and Marco Island in Florida. According to the glowing review on Trip Advisor, “The beautiful Belize island offers the perfect blend of modern development and laid-back tranquility."

Channel 5

Gang warfare: Tarique Cadle murdered on Plues Street
There is a murder to report tonight resulting from the hostility between two south side gangs. It stems from a shooting on Tuesday night at the corner of King Street [...]

George Street gang members injured in shooting incident
While police are investigating Tarique Cadle’s murder, the two Belize City gang affiliates of George Street who were shot on Tuesday night remain hospitalized. Twenty-five year old Kariq Tzul of [...]

2 persons detained in the murder of cab driver, Lester Rowland
On Monday evening, the lifeless body of sixty-one year old Lester Rowland was discovered inside a concrete vat outside of his home on Guerrero Street.  A team of law enforcement [...]

3 suspended immigration officers go before Services Commission
Elvin Penner, the disgraced former minister of state, who facilitated the illegal issuance of a Belize passport to a South Korean fugitive, has not been questioned much less investigated. But [...]

P.U.P. files writ of mandamus against ComPol Whylie
The People’s United Party believes that by his own admission in an email to the media, Elvin Penner committed an illegal and criminal act in the passport issued to South [...]

Sitting Magistrate Seeking judicial review against Director of Immigration
As you heard, the P.U.P. is asking the court to direct the Commissioner of Police to carry out a criminal investigation into the illegal issuance of a passport to a [...]

2 tourists injured in accidental discharge of firearm
There were thousands of tourists today in the area of the Tourism Village when a pair of visitors narrowly escaped grave; they were wounded by the fragments of a nine [...]

Body found in Orange Walk farm confirmed to be that of missing man
A News Five team traveled to a farm on the Guinea Grass Road where human remains were found by the farm’s caretaker. While the police would not confirm the identity [...]

Infrastructure bonanza a 3-year plan
In November 2013 Prime Minister Dean Barrow hosted a special press briefing to announce a countrywide infrastructure bonanza, what he called a plan on steroids. G.O.B. proposes to spend approximately [...]

Ministry of Works C.E.O speaks on the San Estevan/Progresso Road
That’s good news for Belize City and other municipalities who will benefit under the National Infrastructure Plan. But there is an area in the north which continues to bedevil commuters. [...]

Patrick Bevans arraigned for attempted theft
A Belize City man, who claims he was badly beaten by the police and B.D.F. after he was accused of trying to steal a rifle assigned to a B.D.F. officer [...]

6 illegal immigrants caught in sting operation by Immigration Department
A total of six illegal immigrants, who were rounded up as a part of a sting operation by the Immigration Department, appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court today to [...]

25 traffic enforcement officers receive training
Today, police officers, traffic wardens and transport officers gathered at the Belmopan Training School to learn the dos and don’ts of traffic enforcement. It’s all part of a larger Road [...]

Road Safety Project deals with traffic enforcement and road conditions
As we told you, the Road Safety Project deals with everything from traffic enforcement to road conditions, specifically the road on what is called the western corridor. That’s the Western [...]

Mental Health Association issues release on shooting death of PG man
Moses Williams, a mentally challenged person, was shot and killed by the police in Big Falls.  Police told News Five that Williams was shot after chopping the left arm of [...]


Marcela Moreno Confirms The Body Of Her Missing Son
The human remains found yesterday morning on a farm located off the Guinea Grass Road in Orange Walk have been identified and with that came the worst nightmare for a mother who reported her son missing days ago. The remains were identified as those of 23 year old Luis Enrique Moreno. And while Marcel Moreno had to endure the heartache of identifying her son’s remains, authorities are now tasked to solve or discover the circumstances surrounding his death. Reporter Maria Novelo and Video Journalist Jesus Melgar have been following this story from the onset and filed the following report. Maria Novelo – Reporting Marcela Moreno’s worst fear of her missing son was confirmed today when she positively identified her son’s skeletal remains at the site in which it was found, a quarter mile in on a farm off the Guinea Grass Road. 23 year old Luis Enrique Moreno, better known as ‘Patch’, was last seen by his mom on Wednesday February 5th, when as she recalled, he was in a jovial mood. Little did she know it would be the last time she would see her son alive.

C.R.D.T.F. Commences Project To Avoid Spillage Of Bio Hazard And Garbage In Consejo Road
On our newscast last night we reported on the initiative taken by a group of concerned residents living in the community of Consejo in the Corozal District. They have taken up the task of fixing portions of the Consejo Road which is currently in deplorable conditions. With that also comes finding a solution to the current dumpsite problem residents of the area face especially during the rainy season. As we have reported before whenever it rains the garbage flows on to the road which is prone to flooding. Both issues have become a must fix problem for residents and today when we arrived at the affected area, members of the Consejo Road Disaster Task Force were busy at work getting the job done. Victor Castillo – Reporting An eight feet tall retaining berm constructed of white marl is being erected on this very spot as a barrier to avoid the spillage of bio hazard and garbage, which is currently contaminating approximately half a mile of the Consejo Road.

Charitable Organization Assists With Disable Child's Edcuation
Vibes Alive International in collaboration with Charitable Roots Organization organized a tribute to Bob Marley concert which was held on February 8th at the East Sports Centre in Orange Walk Town. Founder of Vibes Alive, Omar Ayuso said this was the third event being organized by the organization and serves as a fund raiser. Monies raised from the concert are handed to beneficiaries that are struggling with medical ailments. The funds raised in this year’s concert will be handed to fourteen year old Ruby Seleni Garcia, a young girl suffering from juvenile arthritis. And while that donation is yet to be made, today Garcia received much needed assistance from Cuellos Distillery Limited which was also present at the function on February eight. The company set up a stall from where they served mixed drinks at a dollar per cup and all the money earned at the stall was today handed to Garcia for her medical expenses. A shy and thankful Garcia sat down and spoke with us for a moment after she received the donation.

Belize Represented At La Diosa Maya International Pageant In Merida Yucatan
Five Central American beauties including a candidate from Belize hailing from Orange Walk are in Mexico tonight preparing to vie for the La Diosa Maya Internacional Pageant being hosted in Merida, Yucatan. Beauty Ambassadors Miss Dalina Reyes who is representing the country as Miss Diosa Maya Belize 2014 travelled along with reigning Miss Diosa Maya Internacional Grisel Rosseli Carballo over the weekend. Since the beginning of the week the women were slated for a series of appearances with the press and invited guests to the pageant. Yesterday, the candidates presented their national costume and viewers may recall that Belize also won this segment of the pageant last year. Today the candidates were judged in the swim suit segment which is only just being integrated into the pageant this year.

Ambergris Caye, #1 Island In The World
For a second year in a row, Ambergris Caye is the ‘#1 Island in the World,’ according to Trip Advisor’s 2014 Travellers’ Choice Islands Award. Ambergris Caye beat out destinations such as Providenciales in Turks and Caicos, Bora Bora in the Society Islands, and even Marco Island in Florida, for the coveted title. Very proud and happy about this recognition for Belize, Hon. Manuel Heredia, Jr., Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Civil Aviation, says that collaboration and hard work with industry partners, coupled with satisfied guests, made this possible, “We are honored that Ambergris Caye is once again the #1 Island In The World. The commitment and love invested in this industry have not gone unnoticed. We are also very grateful to the travelers for sharing their wonderful experiences with the Trip Advisor community, because without the visitors this award would not have been possible.” This announcement follows the recognition of several properties in Belize in the 2014 Travellers’ Choice Awards.


Gang Boss’ Nephew Murdered
Tonight the family of Tarique Kylon Cadle is preparing to lay him to rest while the Belize Police Department is putting the pieces together to solve the city’s latest homicide. The shooting death of 25 year old Tarique Cadle occurred this morning on Plues Street. He was shot multiple times to the head. It is believed that his death was a retaliation of shooting that occurred last night on the corner of West Canal and King Street. Love News has been following the trail and we first start with the murder of Tarique Cadle. Hipolito Novelo and Brian Castillo filed the following report. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING KASSIAN CADLE “This morning before he went out he came by my room door and peeped inside and he said, ‘where is Kassian?’ and so, I peeped from under my quilt and asked, ‘what do you want now?’. He is someone like that, he would bother you for things every minute and that was my last response to him this morning. He celebrated his birthday on the 17th when he asked me to buy him a t-shirt for his birthday but I didn’t pay him any mind; if I knew it would have ended like this, I would have given him the world.”

Armed Holdup Outside Atlantic Bank
Members of the Criminal Investigations Branch of Precinct Three of the Belize Police Department in Belize City are investigating an armed hold-up that occurred just after six thirty this morning. According to initial investigations, 26-year-old, Edgar Larios, Branch Manager for Western Dairies in Belize City had gone to Atlantic Bank on Freetown Road to make a deposit this morning when he was met by an armed robber just outside the ATM room, in front of the bank. The robber, upon pointing the gun at Larios, demanded that he be given the bag of money but when Larios attempted to hand over the bag, he purposefully dropped the bag on the ground which created a distraction for the robber, at which time Larios grabbed the firearm from the assailant. But it didn’t end there, as a third person came on the scene wearing a security guard’s uniform picked up the bag of money off the ground, running away with it. It is uncertain whether the security guard and the gunman were working together but police are reviewing the camera footage and are expected to identify the culprits shortly. The money bag for Western Dairies contained cash and cheques with a total value of four thousand four hundred and eighty three dollars and seventy five cents.

Head of Adoption Scam Found in Belize
The International Adoption Guides Incorporated, an adoption service provider in South Carolina that were identifying children in Ethiopia for adoption and arranging the process by US-based parents. But authorities in the United States caught on to cases of fraud that were occurring through the falsifying of documents. As a result, several current and former employees of the company were indicted including 53-year-old, Mary Mooney who was residing in an apartment in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. Mooney was picked up from her apartment during an early morning raid and was flown from Belize to the United States to stand trial. She served as the Executive Director of the adoption agency and was charged along with three other American nationals after carrying out an adoption scheme for five years during which they violated the laws relating to the adoption of Ethiopian children by using US parents; meaning that they drew up fraudulent contracts and submitted them to the courts in Ethiopia in order to get visas for the children to travel to the United States. According to reports, the US Government is seeking to have Mooney’s assets in Belize frozen.

GSU Cracks Drug Ring Operation
On Monday, we reported a drug bust conducted by the Gang Suppression Unit that yielded twenty four point four kilograms of hybrid cannabis and led to the arrest of 40-year-old, Reynard Grinage. Further investigations on Grinage were carried out and subsequent arrests were made. According to the GSU, on Monday night, after receiving intelligence of a drug ring operated by Grinage, they conducted an operation on Central American Boulevard in Belize City where they searched a white Toyota Camry that was parked. Standing near the vehicle was 35-year-old, taxi driver, Hugh-Donald Beeks of a Neal’s Pen Road address. A search of the vehicle led to a bag containing 383 grams of hybrid cannabis that was found on the floor on the front passenger side. Beeks was arrested and charged for the crime of possession of controlled drugs with intent to supply. But according to GSU’s investigations, the ring extended even further which led to the arrest of 31-year old, Clarissa Vasquez, an employee of the Belize Electricity Limited with Kelly Street and Bachelor’s Avenue addresses. Vasquez, who is the lessee of the Bachelor’s Avenue house where the initial drug was found, was charged with possession of controlled drugs with intent to supply.

Sanitary Improvements for Children of Southern Belize
The Ministry of Health through the Belize/Japan Social Development Fund Grant Project will begin infrastructural improvements on the sanitary facilities for several primary schools and health posts in the rural areas of the Toledo District. In a press release issued earlier today, an initial assessment was done on seventy three facilities and those categorized as priority areas have been identified as those that will undergo upgrades. While the primary objective of this five point five million Belize dollars project is to improve the sanitary facilities for children in the Toledo District primary schools, the overall aim for the JSDF Grant is to address and improve the health and nutrition of children in the local communities in that southern-most district of Belize which will be attainted through a focus on prenatal care, nutrition monitoring and school health interventions at the primary school level. According to the Ministry of Health, this project has brought about several improvements including the training of several community health workers, the provision of medical equipment to assist in the monitoring of the nutritional aspect of the project in the long term. The project has also brought about a health manual for the students and a monthly health activity in the primary schools. The JSDF project was established by the Government of Japan and the World Bank in June 2000 with the Belize JSDF Grant Project signed into effect for Belize in June 2011 with responsibilities carried out by the Ministry of Health.

Six Charged with Immigration Offences
Six immigrants were charged with immigration offences when they appeared today before magistrate Dale Cayetano. They are 48 year old Nigerian national Michael Igbodokwu, 45 year old Honduran national Jose Flores, 26 year old Honduran national Moris Rodriguez, 44 year old Salvadoran national Noe Alvarado, 28 year old Salvadoran national Jose Lopez and 32 year old Honduran national Christian Amaya Donaire. Igbodokwu was fined one thousand dollars after he pled guilty to a charge of failure to comply with the conditions of his visitor’s permit. He was ordered to pay the fine forthwith. He was unable to pay so he was taken to prison to serve six months. A removal order was made out for him to be deported back to Nigeria either after he has paid the fine or has served the time. Igbodokwu entered Belize via Phillip Goldson International Airport in March 2009. He was given a visa permit to remain in Belize until March 2, 2011. Flores was remanded into custody until March 18 after he pled not guilty to a charge of failure to comply with the conditions of his visitor’s permit. Flores entered Belize on September 26, 2008 and he was given a visa permit to remain until November 21, 2013.

Firearm Discharges Among Tourists; Three Injured
This morning, there was a scare at the Brown Sugar Market place on North Front Street in Belize City as two tourists had to be taken for medical attention after bullet and concrete fragments caused them injuries. Just before ten o’clock this morning, it was business as usual as several cruise ships called today and many were out from tour guides to hair braiders trying to meet their bottom line. But that came to a halt today as 76-year-old, John Holden of a Caye Caulker address reportedly dropped his licensed firearm accidentally on the concrete causing the gun to go off. Since the safety was not on and a bullet was in the chamber, the bullet was fired and ricocheted from the concrete causing chips of cement along with the bullet fragments to splatter and thus causing injuries to the two French tourists. 44-year-old attorney, Isabelle Fillinger and her 12 old daughter both received injuries to their left leg. Assistant Superintendent Gualberto Garcia told us more. A third tourist was injured as well but he left in a taxi with minor abrasions. According to the police, the tourists have stated that they do not want any court action against Holden.

Fish Market Argument Leads to Murder and Attempted Murders
Police believe that the shooting death of 25 year old Tarique Kylon Cadle is retaliation to the shooting of 25-year-old, Kariq Tzul of a West Street address and 27-year-old, Andrew Tate of a George Street. Tzul was injured in the upper portion of this left leg while Tate was seen suffering from gunshot wounds in his right arm, his left arm, the left portion of his abdomen, the lower portion of his stomach, the upper portion of his right leg as well as the upper portion of his left leg. According to reports, the men were sitting on a step inside a yard at the corner of West Canal and King Street when a lone gun man walked towards them from the direction of George Street and opened fire on them. The gun man has been described as being of slim built, dark complexion, long dread hair and dressed in a white t-shirt. Assistant Superintendent commanding Precinct One, Alden Dawson told us more. SUPERINTENDENT ALDEN DAWSON “Sometime after 10pm last night, police from this precinct responded to a shooting at the corner of King Street and West Canal. Whilst there, we learned that two persons, namely, Kariq Tzul – 25 years and Andrew Tate, 27 years both of a George Street address were sitting on a stairs at the same address when a lone gunman arrived at that location and opened fire on them, discharging several rounds.


Public Service Commission Hears Case of Suspended Immigration Workers
Former Minister of State, in the Immigration Department, Elvin Penner continues to enjoy ministerial perks, but while he continues to enjoy the safety of his political affiliation, three Immigration officers, who, some argue, were only following directives from Mr. Elvin Penner, have been suspended facing possible termination. Today the faith...

Andrew Tate and Kariq Tzul Get Shot
27 year old Andrew Tate of George Street and 25 year old Kariq Tzul of West Street were shot at after 11 Tuesday night. It happened in a yard at the corner of West Canal and King Street. Our information is that this is the latest indication of brewing...

Tyrique Cadle Shot Dead
Residents of the area believe that this morning’s shooting of a young man said to be related to the leader of the Supal Street group may be retaliation for last night’s shooting. Police have so far indicated at that around 9:31 this morning an individual identified as Mr. Tyrique...

Man Accidentally Drops Weapon; Three Injured
A French mother and daughter visiting Belize and a man were injured this morning at the Brown Sugar Marketplace compound in Belize City after the owner of a licensed 9 mm. firearm accidentally dropped his weapon while attempting to pull up his pants. It occurred around 9:50 a.m. when...

PUP Initiates Judicial Review on Mr. Penner for Passport Scandal
This afternoon, the People’s United Party’s legal advisor, Anthony Sylvestre, initiated a judicial review on behalf of the party’s leader, Francis Fonseca, against Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie. This is with regard to the Police Department’s investigation of the Penner Passport Scandal, as it relates to his activities with...

Ten Years in Jail for a 9 mm. Pistol
32-year-old Jevon Levi Slusher is serving his second night of a 10 year sentence after he was found guilty of kept firearm and ammunition. His trial took place before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith late yesterday evening where at the end, he was found guilty. Allegations were that...

Mental Patient Shot by Police; Dies from Injuries
There was a shooting in Big Falls Village, Toledo District on Monday. Moses Williams, a known mental patient, was the victim. According to police, about four villagers had made reports about being harassed by Williams who was always armed with a machete. Apparently, Williams had a machette when the...

Concerns Remain Over CitCo Security Redundancy
The redundancy of the Belize City Council’s Security Department took effect on Friday but the headaches continue for City Hall and the Christian Workers’ Union (CWU). The Council had promised to have the cheques ready by 2:00 p.m. Friday but they were not and the workers were not paid...

Early Morning Robbery Targets Deposit Box
At about 6:30 this morning, an undisclosed amount of money was robbed from a person depositing monies for Western Diaries. The target point this time made it to Atlantic Bank on Freetown Road in Belize City.

Guatemalans Charged for Illegal Sea Cucumbers
They are tiny animals, but very valuable. The sea cucumber is a Chinese delicacy that sells here for between US$50 and 110 per kilo, about BZ$21 per pound and in cooked form can run up to US$165 in China. On Monday, February 17 around 4:00 a.m. the Police Mobile...

Man Served with Notice of Intended Prosecution Over Horse Accident
Yesterday we told you about the horse which had to be euthanized due to a traffic accident on Craig Street in Belize City. Police have issued a press release on the matter saying that Josue Garcia has been served with a notice of intended prosecution. Garcia was the one...

Mexican on Ammunition Jumps Bail
Chetumal student 23 year old Zurisaday Villasenor Mendez was due back in court this morning for the continuation of his trial on firearms and ammunition charges. In October 2012 he was busted at the Las Vegas Casino and Hotel but his case, initially heard in Corozal, was transferred to...

Ambergris Caye Named No. 1 Island in the World
For a second year in a row, Ambergris Caye has been named the ‘#1 Island in the World,’. This is according to Trip Advisor’s 2014 Travellers’ Choice Islands Award which says that “The beautiful Belize island offers the perfect blend of modern development and laid-back tranquility.” The blue hole...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Police Officers Should Be An Example To The Community
The Class of Standard 1 of Caye Caulker Roman Catholic School have been learning the different types of pollution as well as endangered species. The students along with parents took a field trip, yesterday February 18th, to the Caye Caulker Forest Reserve located on the North end of Caye Caulker. This field trip was conducted by FAMRACC (Forest and Marine Reserves Association of Caye Caulker). To their dismay, what they found was very disturbing. Trees were shot at, some were completely torn down, paper targets were found as well as expended shells were found by most of the kids. It is said police officers are to serve and protect the community but also to be an example to kids. What are we suppose to say of their behavior especially when it come to destroying a protected area? If someone without ‘authority’ goes and does the same are they to be punished? This is one of many incidents where they have been abusing their authority on our island and yet they are not punished. Children are taught that police officers are there to help when in need and also represent the law. Caye Caulker is a tourist destination and for tourists to see what the law enforcements do, how are they suppose to trust them when they get into trouble.

Support The Caye Caulker Sailing Club
Raffle tickets and bbq tickets are now available! Bbq chicken tickets are $10.00 each. Raffle tickets are $5.00 each or 5 tickets for $20.00. You can contact shary at the island link, charlie jones or head on over to barrier reef sports bar to purchase raffle and bbq tickets! Support our kids!!!

Police Officers Should Be An Example To The Community
The Class of Standard 1 of Caye Caulker Roman Catholic School have been learning the different types of pollution as well as endangered species. The students along with parents took a field trip, yesterday February 18th, to the Caye Caulker Forest Reserve located on the North end of Caye Caulker. This field trip was conducted by FAMRACC (Forest and Marine Reserves Association of Caye Caulker). To their dismay, what they found was very disturbing. Trees were shot at, some were completely torn down, paper targets were found as well as expended shells were found by most of the kids. It is said police officers are to serve and protect the community but also to be an example to kids. What are we suppose to say of their behavior especially when it come to destroying a protected area? If someone without ‘authority’ goes and does the same are they to be punished? This is one of many incidents where they have been abusing their authority on our island and yet they are not punished.


Conversations with a Shaman
Shamanism refers to a variety of spiritual practices involving rituals, prayers and healing. A shaman (priest or practitioner) is considered an intermediary or messenger between the human world and the spirits. A Shaman’s role in ancient history has been that of a priest, doctor, spiritual healer and community advisor. In some places he/she is also termed as “witch doctor.” In Belize, I had the opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation and personal ceremony with a Shaman. Mr. Jovencio Canto and I met at the entrance of the Cahal Pech Mayan Ruins. Dressed in western style black pants and half sleeves shirt, I wouldn’t have been able to pick him out as a Mayan priest from his looks. However, he had a strong gaze and a obscure calmness about him. His English was rather limited, but he spoke Spanish and Mayan. My translator, Lizbeth helped us though the conversation.

Is Li Chee Chinese in Belize City the Best Fried Chicken in the Country?
Fried chicken or (“fry chicken”) is a hugely popular dish here in Belize. And in almost all communities, the busiest place to buy it is at your “local Chiney” or the local Chinese restaurant. Most Chinese restaurants in Belize are more fast food joint doing swift, late night business in take-away fried chicken drenched with sweet ketchup rather than a place for dim sum or won ton soup. In fact, if you order the a Chinese-American staple like an eggroll, you might get a roll that has been in the freezer since…I don’t know…Hurricane Mitch? They say stew chicken is the national dish of Belize but based on what I’ve seen (and eaten)? I’d say Fry Chicken with sweet ketchup is a definite contender. SO it’s time for me to up my game – to officially find the best fried chicken. Not just in San Pedro (that’s at Reef Restaurant on Middle Street in my book) but country-wide. And it’s been a long time coming but FINALLY I tried Li Chee Chicken. Probably the biggest name in fry chicken in Belize.

If you thought one award wasn’t enough you were right – congratulations, Ambergris Caye!
Belize’s Ambergris Caye is famous for fly fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and a variety of water sports, but the attractions of this Caribbean jewel don’t stop at the water’s edge – there are plenty of activities and venues to excite even the most jaded sun seeker. Some 25 miles long by one mile wide, Ambergris Caye is the largest of the nearly 200 islands arranged along Belize’s tropical coastline and spectacular reef system, the second largest in the world. Proximity to the reef, which lies less than a half mile offshore, makes it easy to explore this pristine paradise by snorkel, scuba or hire and charter boats. Attractions such as Shark Ray Alley, the Blue Hole, Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Lighthouse Reef are all close by and easy to get to. Ambergris Caye accommodations are varied enough to suit almost any style and budget, ranging from the luxurious beachside resorts to numerous small budget holiday lodgings. There are also island holiday rental houses, villas and apartments for longer stays and family beach holidays.

Belizeans in World War II - The British Honduras Forestry Unit in Scotland
Happy 104th Birthday, Mr. Sam Martinez, the only Belizean still living from the 800 plus Belizeans who went to Scotland during WWII. Mr Martinez lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, and is originally from Barranco, Belize. Below is a link where you can see Mr. Martinez who was featured in the UK documentary "Tree Fellers" The documentary tells the story of some of the over 800 men who traveled from British Honduras (now Belize) to Scotland in 1941 to work as foresters. Their stories and the stories of other black men and women from the commonwealth can be seen at the Imperial War Museum in London.

International Sources

Ambergris Caye is Trip Advisor's #1 Island in the World!
"For the second year in a row, Ambergris Caye takes top honors. The beautiful Belize island offers the perfect blend of modern development and laid-back tranquility. A mangrove swamp is the eye of this white beach island, the largest in Belize, and golf carts are the main form of transportation along the sandy roads. Reef divers drool over the Belize Barrier Reef and the Blue Hole, a 400-feet deep circle of limestone that teems with angelfish, elkhorn coral, cleaner shrimp and stalactites."

Best Destinations in Central America - Travelers' Choice Awards - TripAdvisor
San Pedro places 7th Place in Top 10 Destinations in Central America!

Best Small Hotels in Central America - TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards
10 Resorts of Belize placed in the 25 Top Small Hotels in Central America! This is outstanding! 1st - Hamanasi Dive Adventure & Dive Resort, Hopkins 2nd - The Pheonix Resort, San Pedro Town 3rd - Pelican Reef Villas Resort, San Pedro Town 6th - Coco Plum Island Resort, Dangriga 7th - Xanadu Island Resort Belize, San Pedro Town 14th - Chabil Mar, Placencia 16th - Athen's Gate, San Pedro Town 17th - Turneffe Island Resort, Turneffe Caye 22nd - Sleeping Giant Lodge, Belmopan 23rd - Ka'ana Boutique Resort & Spa, San Ignacio 4 Resorts are from San Pedro Town!

Top 25 Hotels in Central America - TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards
Four of our Resorts placed in the Top 25 Hotels in Central America! Great Job to all these Resorts! 2nd - Grand Caribe Belize Resort & Condominiums 11th - Coco Beach Resort 12th - Victoria House 24th - Las Terrazas Resort

How Much Does A Property Cost On The World’s Number One Island?
Admit it. Deep inside you want to own your place in the sun. And if you really want to live it up, you may want to head down to the Ambergris Caye in Belize, the world’s number one island as voted by TripAdvisor. For the price of a shack in the middle of Australia, you could own a roomy studio condo on the beach at just A$165,000 (US$150,000). A one-bedroom condo will set you back anywhere between $181,000 and $275,000, while a two-bedder will cost you from $220,000, depending on the location. A free-standing villa home in a managed complex with access to pool piers and other amenities costs around $440,000, while villa homes cost from $907,000 up to $1.595m.

Belize trip offers warm respite, bonefish
Wow, stepping off the airplane at Belize City recently was quite a pleasant jolt: instead of below-zero temperatures and fierce wind chills, we were greeted with a humid 80-degree temperature and a soft breeze. Instead of parkas, pacs and wool pants, people were wearing shorts, T-shirts and sandals. My wife, Carol, and I had been invited to vacation with our friends, Barbara Baker and Jon Sweet, on Caye Caulker, Belize. We eagerly accepted the invitation. Sweet had enticed me with reports of great fishing for bonefish, permit, tarpon and other saltwater fish species. Both Baker and Sweet mentioned the beauty of the area, tasty cuisine and the comfortable tropical temperatures. Sweet extolled the leisurely pace that existed on Caye Caulker. “There are no cars on the island; people get around by riding golf cart taxis, riding fat tire bicycles or walking. The motto of the island is 'Go Slow.'” We hitched a water taxi ride to Caye Caulker and arrived after a 45-minute trip that ran past numerous cayes — small, sandy islands formed on coral reefs. After docking, we disembarked to a vista of white sand beaches, palm trees, brightly colored houses, brown pelicans and cormorants, and friendly street vendors offering fresh grilled chicken or fish.

Airmen, soldiers to provide medical care to thousands of Belizeans during New Horizons ‘14
Airmen and soldiers from Air Forces Southern, the 355th Medical Group and the 349th Combat Support Hospital are readying medical personnel, packing supplies and shipping medical equipment that will be used in treating thousands of patients in support of their upcoming deployment to Belize for New Horizons ’14. “We are so incredibly grateful to the Belizean government for all of the exceptional support they provided in the planning of this exercise and we look forward to once again joining forces on the ground in a few short weeks,” said Lt. Col. James Smith, 12th Air Force (AFSOUTH) deputy command surgeon. During last year’s exercise in Belize, Air Force and Army medical teams worked side-by-side with Canadian doctors, the Ministry of Health in Belize, as well as Belizean doctors and medical personnel to provide care for more than 14,828 Belizeans during the medical readiness training exercises (MEDRETES). A group of highly-skilled professional medical personnel will soon come together once again to provide routine and essential medical treatment to more than 15,000 Belizeans.

Norwegian announces development in Belize
As listed in a 2013 report, Norwegian Cruise Line has mentioned “commenced development of recently acquired island destination in Belize.” It is now confirmed that Norwegian has been investing in building a 50$ million exquisite cruise destination which spans on 75 acres placed on two islands in southern Belize. As mentioned last August, the project will most likely feature a floating pier, a marina, a transportation hub, a lagoon for water activities and sports, a beach area and an island village with open-air structures placed on platforms. The project has been organically oriented to blend into the natural scenery and to incorporate traditional Belizean, Mayan and Garifuna cultural elements. “As our fleet continues to grow to 15 ships by 2017, we expect that we will double the number of guests sailing on our Western Caribbean itineraries and, once this new destination is complete, bring four times as many guests to Belize than we do today,” Norwegian President and CEO Kevin Sheehan said in August 2013.

Which Of These 5 Top Retirement Havens Is Right For You?
Who Should Retire To Cayo, Belize? Belize is a retirement, a tax, and an offshore haven. This is a sunny country where the folks speak English and value their freedom and privacy. Belize is easy to get to from the States, and the people living here are welcoming and hospitable once you've arrived. On the other hand, this is a small country where the infrastructure is most kindly described as "developing." The cost of living can be affordable, even low, but not if you want to live a more developed-world lifestyle that would mean buying lots of things not produced locally. Anything imported comes at an inflated price. My favorite part of Belize is its Cayo District. No infrastructure, limited services and amenities, and little market demand could be interpreted as negatives, but, in Cayo, these things are a big part of the appeal. Once you get to Cayo, you don't mind that there's no infrastructure. You don't mind that the culture is more concerned with country living than consumerism. You don't mind...or, if you do, you're not happy. If you're interested in a lifestyle supported by the diversions and distractions of a big city, Cayo is definitely not for you. If you're delighted by the thought of wide-open spaces where life revolves around the land and where independence and self-sufficiency are prized above all else, then Cayo could be the paradise you seek. At home in Cayo, the view outside your bedroom window and from your front porch would be of fields and pastures, trees and jungle, rivers and livestock. You'd see Mennonites driving horse-drawn carts and children walking home from school. Everyone going about his or her business, not much bothered by market values, fiscal cliffs, or the mounting deficit. Here, in this land of escape, where life is simple, those things don't seem to matter or even to register.

Caribbean islands recognised as top two world's best
TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, has announced the winners of its Travelers’ Choice Islands, with the top two world’s best being Ambergris Caye, Belize, and Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands. In its second year, the annual awards recognize more than 100 islands globally, including top ten lists for Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, South America, the South Pacific, and the US. “There is something transporting about an island vacation, and these Travelers’ Choice Islands winners will help travelers find their next escape,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. “From the coral reefs of Ambergris Caye to the beaches of Ko Tao, these winning islands have been highly rated from travelers around the globe.” Travelers’ Choice Island winners are determined based on the quality and quantity of the most highly-rated hotels, restaurants, and attractions listed for each island on TripAdvisor gathered during a 12-month period. Top ten islands in the world: 1. Ambergris Caye, Belize

25 best little hotels in the world
Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort Hopkins is #8 on the list of the 25 best little hotels in the world.

VIDEO: Kayaking in the mangroves in Belize 2014

VIDEO: Meet Belize's Telecom Regulatory Agency
Public Utilities Commission website -

4 Ways to Experience Culture in Belize
Best known for its barrier reef, Maya sites and dizzying array of outdoor thrills, Belize’s diverse population catches most by surprise. Up to 8 major ethnic groups happily coexist in this small Central American country of about 320,000 inhabitants -- from descendants of the ancient Maya to Afro-Caribbean, Latin and East Indian groups. From one district to the next, this extraordinary mix translates into a slew of cultural experiences. Here are 4 of the best ways to experience Belize and to soak up all of its rich flavors during your visit. Belize City and its surroundings are the hub of Belize’s Creole culture and history. Despite the city’s reputation for crime -- like most urban hubs in Central America -- there is much to be experienced here, from authentic Creole eateries and villages to glimpses of Belize’s former days as a British colony. Start at the waterfront Government House of Culture on Regent Street, with an indoor museum showcasing art, photos and silverware from the colonial period. Directly across the street, marvel at the stained glass and mahogany interior of St. John’s Cathedral -- the oldest Anglican Church in Central America -- built in the early 1800s by enslaved Africans.

15 Travel Photos of Beaches in Belize
This week is a beach theme for my newest gallery of photos from Belize…

VIDEO: Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System
The coastal area of Belize is an outstanding natural system consisting of the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere, offshore atolls, several hundred sand cays, mangrove forests, coastal lagoons and estuaries. The system's seven sites illustrate the evolutionary history of reef development and are a significant habitat for threatened species, including marine turtles, manatees and the American marine crocodile.

February 19, 2014


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Tanya Carter performs live at The Gahden Bar
The sold-out show, done in collaboration with The Gahden and island promoter Fyah Blaze, saw its fair share of people that came out to enjoy a night filled with great DJs and of course a spectacular show by the very talented Ms. Carter. Whether or not the ladies present wanted them back or not, they couldn’t help but sing along to Tanya’s #1 single “Ex- Boyfriend.” After her performance, the charismatic DJs got the dance floor busy while fans got a chance to take pictures with Tanya.

US national apprehended on Ambergris Caye as part of adoption scam investigation
A US national who is being investigated by the United States government was picked up while living on the island of Ambergris Caye, Belize. 53-year-old Mary Mooney, a resident of Belmont, North Carolina USA was apprehended inside her San Pedro Town apartment during a joint operation between US officials and local police on Tuesday February 11th. The arrest was part of a bigger investigation in which Mooney and three other people are being investigated for conspiracy to defraud the US Government as part of an adoption scam. Local police, working along with US agencies, managed to detain Mooney during a pre-dawn operation (sometime around 4AM) and was immediately flown to the US Embassy in Belmopan City and eventually to the US. Mooney, former Executive Director of International Adoption Guides Inc. (IAG), an adoption services provider in the US, is under investigation in regards to an adoption scam involving Ethiopian children. The San Pedro Sun investigation reveals that IAG is a South Carolina organization that apparently identified children in Ethiopia for adoption then reportedly arranged for their adoption by US-based parents.

Bovine Tuberculosis confirmed in one Cattle Farm
The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) has further strengthened its standard disease control measures upon receiving confirmation from the Central Regional Laboratory in Merida that cattle specimens submitted for routine testing have tested positive for Bovine Tuberculosis on bacteriological culture. Through the Belize National Sanitary Cattle Plan Project (BNSCPP), the Belize Agricultural Health Authority has been methodically identifying cattle farms and cattle, testing all cattle for Bovine Tuberculosis and Bovine Brucellosis, and implementing movement controls. The testing of 90,000 cattle has given negative results for these diseases except for one positive case that is being reported. This is not the first time that Bovine Tuberculosis is being reported in Belize. The last outbreak occurred in 1991.

Big wins on the second leg of the San Pedro Sports Committee Football Tournament
On Saturday, February 15th and Sunday, February 16th, the second set of games for the San Pedro Sports Committee Football Tournament was played at the Saca Chispas Football Field. Football enthusiasts came out to support as their favorite teams clashed on the field. Two games were played on Saturday evening. The first game was between the Legends and the Warriors. The Legends annihilated their competition in astonishing 9-0 score. The second game was between FC United and San Juan. FC Unite managed to take their second win in the tournament in a 3-0 score.

Golf Cart crash lands into store window
Late Tuesday, February 18th in the afternoon a golf cart crashed into the glass display window of Island Supermarket located on Coconut Drive. The green golf cart bearing license plate number SPC 2551 was being driven by 78 year old Graham Whitehead who mistakenly hit the accelerator pedal instead of the brake while headed in the northern direction of Coconut Drive. The golf cart was removed from the glass window with the assistance of the shop workers and police officers. Whitehead sustained a minor cut to the left knee and was escorted to the Dr Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic II to check for any further medical conditions.

San Pedro Police retrieve human remains
San Pedro Town police personnel have retrieved the remains of what appears to be an adult human from Northern Ambergris Caye. At about 1:58pm on Monday February 17th, acting upon information received, police officers visited the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve located on the leeward side of northern Ambergris Caye where they were escorted to the human remains. The bones were found some 18 miles northwest of San Pedro Town. According to the Officer Commanding San Pedro Police Formation Superintendent of Police Luis Castellaños, a park ranger of the reserve reported to the police that about 6:30am on the same date, they came across some human remains while on routine checks. The ranger escorted police to the western side of the reserve where they observed what appeared to be human bones partially embedded in the mangrove located on a shallow swampy area along the beach. The fragile bones retrieved from the area almost formed a complete skeleton, with a Fibula, pelvis, ribs, sternum and cranium intact. The bones were then placed in a bag and taken to the San Pedro Police Station to be forwarded to the Forensic Laboratory in Ladyville for testing. According to San Pedro police based on their observation, the bones do not appear to be new as deterioration had set in, but police investigation continues.

Ambergris Today

Human Remains Found On North Ambergris Caye
On Monday, February 17, 2014, the San Pedro Police Department received information from personnel of the Belize Fisheries Department at the Bacalar Chico Reserve that they had found human remains on the beachside on North Ambergris Caye during their routine checks at around 6:30a.m. San Pedro Police visited the area and found the remains of a human body on the western side of the reserve that included were parts of Fibula (2), pelvis, ribs, sternum and cranium. The bones were then placed in a bag and taken to the San Pedro Police Station to be forwarded to the Forensic Laboratory for testing. Although the San Pedro Police has a few missing person’s reports, they do not believe it might be one of those cases as they reported the bone fragments being extremely deteriorated.

Belize Tourism Board Warns Industry Partners about Sex Tourism Website
The BTB also noted that the Registrar has the authority under the Act to suspend or cancel a licence and order the closure of such accommodation where a person refuses to comply with his directions. Information coming forth to Ambergris Today has confirmed that the website is a scam and only using the name of Belize to rip off people of their money. One man claims to Ambergris Today that he booked a $24,680USD, 14-day trip vacation to Belize through Global Fantasies/Traveller’s Digest that included a 5-star hotel, all meals and drinks, excursions, a personal taxi driver and a beautiful lady for each day of his stay. He confirms that upon arriving to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, his accommodations were paid for only one week to the amount of $1,505USD in a simple cabin with none of the other services booked as confirmed by Global Fantasies. Clearly the scam website service stole from him and used the service of the hotel on the island to only book for one week of accommodations with the hotel not being aware of any services from Global Fantasies.

25 Years Ago: Belize Home Remedies -The Miraculous Herbs
Have you seen the Oregano grueso or Oregano gordo? (thick oregano or fat oregano) The regular oregano is the seasoning herb in various dishes. Now the oregano gordo also called oregano Americano is different in that its leaves are quite large and thick, thus very juicy. This leaf is heated over a flame and when rolled/rubbed between the palms of the hands, it produces a clear liquid or sap. Did you know that this is the perfect and almost instant cure for an earache? Just tilt the head sideways and allow some drops to flow into the ear in pain and almost miraculously the pain is gone. No wonder grandma and mom used to send the kids to some renowned lady in the neighborhood for some oregano leaves. “And make sure you ask doña Teodora for Oregano gordo,” said mother.

Socials: Azueta - Palacios Nuptials
Congratulations go out to Killian Azueta and Yanira Palacios who tied the knot in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize on Friday, February 14, 2014. The happy couple exchanged vows at their home in the Escalante Subdivision which was followed by a small family gathering. Killian is the son Maria Luz and Claudio Azueta; Yanira’s Maid of Honor was Maria Luz Azueta and Killian’s Best Man was Luis Raul Muñoz. Congratulations to the beautiful couple!

Help Children Education Scholarship Fund
The Sunshine Scholarship Foundation is now in full gear raising funds locally, nationally, and internationally to assist students in primary education. The Foundation aims in assisting students especially those of low income families and those of special needs. The Foundation is being spearheaded by Mrs. Eve Dirnback, President, and assisted by the Board of Directors of Isla Bonita Elementary. A special appeal and invitation goes to individuals, families and businesses as well as corporate sponsors to contribute to this scholarship fund. The contact persons are: Joy Flowers, Phone 610 0048 Email: [email protected] Eve Dirnback, Phone 623 9962 Email: [email protected]

Misc Belizean Sources

Coastal Xpress closed 2/19 6pm til 8:15pm
Coastal Xpress wishes to advise all resorts, bars, restaurants and any other establishments of which we offer service to, that on Wednesday, February 19, 2014, we will be closing our office and taxi service from 6:00 pm to 8:15 pm for a special staff event. Our 4:30 pm Regular Run will go as normal and we will do our regular pick ups coming south to town. There will be NO 5:30 PM or 6:30 PM Regular Run going north. There will be no boats coming south between 6:00 pm and 8:30 pm. This also means there will be NO Private Taxis during this time either. Please let your guests and staff know. Please post a notice in an open area whereby all your guests and staff can be notified or reminded of this interruption of service. We thank you all for your understanding, support and cooperation in this matter and will be back to serve you as per our regular service at 8:00 PM on Wednesday, February 19th. Should you have any questions or concerns regarding this closure or interruption of service, please do not hesitate to contact our front desk and ask for either Kim or Gricel.

2015 Rotary Peace Fellowship. Applications
The Rotary Peace Centers of The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International is currently recruiting applicants for the 2015 Rotary Peace Fellowship. Applications are due July 1, 2014. Over the past twelve years, Rotary Peace Centers has provided close to 800 future peace leaders with peace and conflict resolution education and field experience. Our alumni work all over the world with organizations ranging from grassroots peace initiatives in Africa to the United Nations. We are asking peace-related organizations and universities to post this fellowship opportunity to their website, listserv(s), newsletters, and social media as a way to unearth potential candidates around the world. Below is a short description of the fellowship:

Besides suspected aphrodisiac qualities, seaweed has been used as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments. It is said to cure headaches, fatigue, and the common cold. Seaweed is even said to alleviate the symptoms of menopause, glaucoma, tuberculosis, arthritis, and worm infestations. Once dried, transforming the plant into liquid form is the most popular method of seaweed preparation. Boil a couple ounces of the dried seaweed until reduced to a thick soup Place in a blender with ice Add evaporated and condensed milk to taste Dash of fresh nutmeg, cinnamon, crushed peanuts (optional) and vanilla

Profiting from a strong Belize private sector
Many people speak of the private sector in Belize in generic terms, without seeing themselves as members of this group. Investopedia breaks the definition of private sector down clearly stating that it is “part of the economy that is not state controlled, and is run by individuals and companies for profit”. “The private sector encompasses all for-profit businesses that are not owned or operated by the government. Companies and corporations that are government run are part of what is known as the public sector, while charities and other non-profit organizations are part of the voluntary sector”.

Zone 5 Eliminations of the National Coca Cola Spelling Bee
Sherman Matute from St. Jude R.C School of Camalote village has won the Zone 5 Eliminations of the National Coca Cola Spelling Bee. Congratulations Sherman.

It is break time at the Spelling Bee Zone Elimination in Blackman Eddy Village.
(4 photos)

Photo of the Day: Chiquibul sinkhole

SI United's Top 11 Goals
It's always football season! The SI United are ready for the next tournament, which starts this weekend. They've released a video with their top 11 goals last season. Goals 3 and 1 are very impressive. Go, United! "PLB Tournament starts this weekend, So here are San Ignacio United's top 11 goals from our last tournament to get you fans excited. Enjoy!!"

SISE Town Council Meeting
Tomorrow night the SISE Town Council is having a public meeting at the Cayo Welcome Center. The main topic is the 'taxi parking situation' that is highly talked about around town. They'll also present their financials, and talk about the road improvements. "Time for you to speak!"

Made for Belize Concert Encores
Seth Montfort, with his Belize inspired piano concerto entitled 'Made in Belize,' is back by popular demand. He'll play two encore concerts at the George Price Centre tonight and tomorrow night. The concerts start at 6:00pm, and they are only $5.

Another success story! Well done Belize Bird Rescue!!!!
The gray hawk is released! Thanks to Black Rock Lodge for an amazing release venue. Jonathan Urbina for arranging release. This gray hawk came to us as a confiscation where someone have cut his tail feathers and wing feathers. Luckily he blossomed into a winter molt with new feathers. Also at the releases were 2 young girls who found a spotted rail with a broken wing and told Jonathan about it. He then brought it to us. (4 photos)

Become a Proud Member of the Belize Audubon Society Today!
The Belize Audubon Society is a membership organization that was founded in 1969. We are involved in enhancing the development of Belize's natural resources through protected areas management, environmental education, advocacy, community development, and research programs. If you are not already a member of the Belize Audubon Society, we invite you to join us today. You will make all the difference when you join or renew your membership. Joining BAS is a Wise Investment in the Future of Belize's Resources. When you join the Belize Audubon Society you will be joining more than 1,400 people who have made a commitment to support the quality management of Belize's protected areas, environmental education for youth and stakeholders, advocacy for stronger policies that govern conservation, and research that informs decision makers.

U-21 Basketball Tournament
6 teams will compete for the title of U-21 Basketball Tournament Champion. It all begins on Friday, February 28, 2014 at the Hilltop Court in the Capital City, Belmopan. Admission - $1.00 Food and drinks will be on sale. This is a drug-free family event. Come support the youths!

Horse and carriage have an accident on Craig Street
Today a horse and carriage had an accident on Craig Street, Belize City, when the horse came too close to a trailer. The trailer probably rolled back a little and frightened the horse. The horse reared and broke it leg knocking the back of the trailer. This was something I knew was coming long time even though I hope it never would. Why does it take something like this to happen to bring it to the public awareness! LOOK! LOOK at the blood! CAN YOU SEE THE PIECE OF THE HORSE’S LEG WHERE IT TORE OFF? Does this look like a nice tourist activity to you?? The tourists were all traumatized. Many tourists have complained about the conditions of the horses. Horse and carriages do not belong in the City!!! They do not belong in congested traffic breathing in exhaust fumes! The stress from the noise and congestion harms the horses only further. If we humans get stressed being in traffic jam how you think a poor animal who is not use to it feels? THIS NEEDS TO STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!! This poor beautiful animal had to be euthanized!!!!! The horse was in so much pain it could barely climb into the trailer. I’m asking my friends in Belize, please put pressure on BTB and ESPECIALLY the Belize City Council to get this antiquated, cruel, inhumane practice to STOP!!!

Newly renovated school buildings in Maya Mopan Village
Over 20 students and two (2) teachers at the Maya Mopan Pre-School in Maya Mopan Village, and over 200 students of the Richard Quinn R.C. School in Georgetown Village, Stann Creek District are the proud recipients of newly renovated school buildings. The renovation projects were provided through grants from the BELIZE Natural Energy Charitable Trust. In late October 2013, a grant of $33,239.25 was approved to fund the renovation of the roof for Richard Quinn R.C. School. In mid-November 2013, the BELIZE Natural Energy Charitable Trust provided a grant to the Maya Mopan Village Council in the amount of $45,625.58 for the renovation of the pre-school. The students of these two schools will now enjoy an environment that is more conducive to learning. The renovation projects were completed over a two and a half month period. The Trust takes this opportunity to applaud the students, principals, teachers and staff of these two educational institutions for their dedication and commitment to continuously improve the learning environment at their school. The Trust is committed to continue working closely with our partners to unlock the potential of the Belizean people and is proud to engage in meaningful partnership such as these that seek to advance the development of our country.

Bones found in the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve
A Police Press Release notes, "As you can see from the photo it would appear that they are old bones." On Monday at about 1:58 pm acting upon information received, San Pedro Police visited the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve where a park ranger of the reserve reported to the police that at about 6:30 a.m. she came across some human remains while on her routine checks. She then escorted the Police to the western side of the Reserve where the police observed what appear to be human bones partially embedded in the mangrove. The bones retrieved from the area were parts of Fibula (2), pelvis, ribs, sternum and cranium. The bones were then placed in a bag and taken to the San Pedro Police Station to be forwarded to the Forensic Laboratory for testing.

Help out Belmopan Bandits FC
The Management of the reigning Champs of the PLB Belikin Opening Tournament, the Belmopan Bandits FC takes this opportunity to make a plea to business persons especially in the Belmopan area to contribute to the upkeep of the team. Belmopan Bandits FC has delivered two PLB Championships in less than two years to the people of Belmopan and the surrounding areas and we are committed to winning even more. However, the cost of keeping such a talented team together as you can imagine is astronomical. The Belmopan Bandits FC needs yours assistance. If you can sponsor one player for the season this would help us tremendously. $2,500 would sponsor a Developing Player and $5,000 would sponsor a National Team Caliber Player for the entire season.

Questions about non-immigrant visas to the U.S.?
Planning a trip to the U.S.? Do you have questions about non-immigrant visas to the U.S.? Join a Google hangout with the U.S. Consulate General in Vancouver at 4:00 pm (Belize time) tomorrow February 19 as they answer general questions and clarify any misconceptions or issues. For access to the web chat go to this URL.

Western Ballaz vs Orange Walk Pictures
The Western Ballaz have uploaded pictures from the game in Orange Walk last Sunday. They defeated the Running Rebels, putting them in first place in the Elite League. They host the Dangriga Warriors this Saturday at the SHC auditorium. The game has been rescheduled to start at 9:00pm so it can be shown on channel 5. Come out and support Cayo's number 1 team.

PACT Awards BAS Grant for Blue Hole
The Protected Areas Conservation Trust awarded $200,000 to the Belize Audubon Society for their infrastructure project at St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park. The project will improve the look and experience of the park. It will also be used to come up with a management plan. Could this be the first step to preserving Mountain Cow Cave? Thanks, PACT!

Valentine's Cycling Classic Winners
Congratulations to all the winners of the Valentine's Cycling Classic. Thanks, Digicell, for sponsoring the event. "Hey DigiCell fans and cycling enthusiasts... here's a list of all the winners from the 19th Annual DigiCell Valentine Classic. Congratulations to all winners and a big thank you to all who came out to show support to the riders along the George Price Highway and at the finish line! Now it's time to start getting ready for the Cross Country Cycling Classic!"

BAS Conservation Award Ceremony
The Belize Audubon Society awarded six Belizeans the James Waight award for their outstanding service in conservation. Congratulations go out to: Mrs. Lydia Waight, Mrs. Alice Craig, Mr. Mike Heusner, Mr. Lascelle Tillett, Mr. Rudi Burgos, and Dr. Judy Lumb. "The James A. Waight award, named after the Society's first president, is given on the anniversary of his birthday, February 16th, to organizations or individuals in recognition of dedicated, positive work in the protection and enhancement of Belize's environment. Photos By: Dirk Francisco"

Fire guts school building in Punta Gorda town
A Primary School in Punta Gorda town in southern Belize has had to cancel classes on Monday, February 17, after a weekend fire gutted the roof of the building. The fire happened at the Bethel Seventh Day Adventist Primary School in the Indianville area of PG just after midnight on Sunday morning. Police say that when they arrived at the scene around 12:40 am on Sunday, they observed roof of the building on the western side of the school compound engulfed in flames. By the time the PG fire service had extinguished the flames, the entire roof had been compromised, affecting the Standards 2, 3, 4 and 5 classrooms.

Bus timetable from Belize to PG
James Bus line run the bus service from Belize down to PG. Please see the attached timetable to help you plan your trip. You dont pre-book the bus, you simply turn up and pay onboard. Make sure to look at the small print underneath the timetable for days that the service doesnt run.

Corozal House of Culture 2nd anniversary
Over two years ago the Old Corozal Market was under restoration (originally built in 1886), on it's way to becoming the Corozal House of Culture. This coming Monday, February 24th, we will be celebrating our 2nd Anniversary. Please join us as the Institute of Archaeology will be in the 'house'!

Horse euthanized after incident while on tour
There was an incident today involving one of the horse and carriage services in Belize City. Reports indicate that the incident happened on Craig Street. Information received suggests that one of the horses was apparently spooked when it came too close to the back of a trailer. The resulting panic by the horse caused the animal to break its leg and crashing into the back of the trailer. A source says that tourists who were riding in the carriage were left traumatized by the incident. The police, officials of the Belize Tourism Board and the Belize City Council all went to the scene to record statements about the incident. The Belize Human Society which has been fighting for better conditions for the horses says that due to the severity of the injuries suffered by the horse, the animal had to be euthanized.

Man from Santa Clara found dead in his hammock
A family from Santa Clara village in the Corozal district is mourning the death of a loved one, and there is a lot of unanswered questions. Auriano Samuel Ramos, 24, was found dead around 6:30 am today. Reports are that Ramos arrived home in Santa Clara on Monday night under the influence of alcohol. His family says that he went to sleep in a hammock in the living room. His common-law wife noticed that Ramos was motionless when she woke up this morning and alerted his parents who live in the same village. When Auriano Ramos’ parents arrived, they also found him motionless and called the police. Ramos’ parents and his common-law wife are telling police that as far as they know, he was a healthy person and showed no signs of illness prior to his death.

Human remains found on a farm in Orange Walk
Police in Orange Walk are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a man whose body was found early this morning. The decomposed remains were discovered around 7:30 this morning on a farm along the Guinea Grass/Shipyard road. Caretakers of the farm made the gruesome discovery and alerted the police. Because of the advanced state of decomposition, the identity of the man could not be readily ascertained. A cause of death has also not been determined as yet.

Toledo village leaders attend training sessions
Representatives of villages in the Toledo district took part in a training workshop on Monday. The one day event was held at the Community Center in Elridgeville village. It was organized and facilitated by the Rural Development Department of the Ministry of Local Government. Rural Development Officer Edwardo Cus says that the workshop, which is the first in as series, was designed to strengthen the capacity of local leaders and to help them understand the Village Council Act and be able to use it to their advantage. It is also hoped that the series of training workshops will also enable the participants to discharge their roles and responsibilities more effectively.

Prime Minister goes to the USA
Prime Minister Dean Barrow today traveled to the United States of America. A brief statement from the office of the Prime Minister announced that Mr. Barrow is accompanying his wife Kim, who is continuing medical checkups in the States. Prime Minister Barrow is due back in the country on Friday. During his absence, the Honorable the Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Gaspar Vega is holding over the reins of government.

Man injured when welding tank explodes
A loud bang shattered the peace and quiet of an Orange Walk neighborhood on Sunday morning. An explosion at Pren’s Welding Service at the corner of Nargusta and Banak Streets in Orange Walk town around 9:30 am on Sunday send one man, identified as Miguel Pren to the emergency room. Fortunately for Pren, he only sustained minor injuries when an empty welding tank he was working on exploded. Pren sustained burns to his right foot and chin. He was rushed to the Northern Regional Hospital by friends who were present at the welding shop at the time of the explosion.

Belmopan family seeks bail for son
Today in Belize City we met with the family of Belmopan resident 21 year old Wilfredo Navarrete. Navarrete, who lives in Las Flores, is one of several young men who say Belmopan Police have been unfairly harassing and targeting them because of where they live. Navarrete was accused of attempted murder in 2012 but was able to get bail. He had been meeting all the conditions of his bail including signing in at the police station, but late last year he was accused of getting into a fight. Today, his brother, amputee Jose Navarrete, says the accuser followed them home that afternoon and challenged his brother with a machete.

Frustrated “Big Tom” accused of cursing out police
He was accused of murder several years ago, but after being acquitted and serving time, he was deported to Belize. Now, 36 year old Kenneth “Big Tom” Flowers says he is trying to turn over a new leaf but keeps getting harassed by police. On Friday, his frustration errupted and he was accused of using curse words at police officers who were searching his vehicle. Flowers went to court on Monday charged with three counts of indecent words for using the f-word three times as he complained about the search of a brown Honda car without license plates on Mahogany Street when police on mobile patrol stopped him and three others and said he wasn’t going with the officers. Flowers pleaded guilty to two counts of utterring indecent words, while a third was dismissed.

Attorney Lionel Welch dies
63 year old attorney Lionel Welch died on Sunday afternoon while in treatment abroad for prostate cancer in California. Welch had been an attorney in private practice since the 1970s but he is perhaps best known as the owner of Premier League of Belize (PLB) sub-champions F.C. Belize, who were former champions in 2006 and 2007 of the Belize Premier Football League. He played football himself in his youth and up to his passing served as legal advisor to the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) after holding posts at the local and national level of football’s executive. Both the FFB and PLB have sent condolences on his passing. It is a double blow for the family as his mother Emma Cattouse, 81, died later on Sunday.

Villasenor Mendez no-show in court
Chetumal student 23 year old Zurisaday Villasenor Mendez was due back in court this morning for the continuation of his trial on firearms and ammunition charges but failed to appear. In October 2012 he was busted at the Las Vegas Casino and Hotel but his case, initially heard in Corozal, was transferred to Belize City after alleged threats to presiding Magistrate Narda Morgan. Attorneys Ellis Arnold SC and Arthur Saldivar challenged Morgan’s hearing of the case in the Supreme Court alleging that she is out of jurisdiction, having been assigned to San Ignacio court. The Supreme Court recently turned down that motion and it was scheduled to be appealed.

Barge damages Port of Belize pier
This morning around 4:30 a.m. a barge crashed into the pier head at the Yarborough compound of the Port of Belize Limited, causing several damaged and cracked beams in the structure. This afternoon, Port CEO Arturo Vasquez told us that the pier is out of commission for 4-6 days as engineers assess and make plans to repair. However, the Port will not be closed and the ongoing shipment of sugar to the U.K. which began on Monday has not been affected as that ship does not use the pier. What is affected is container cargo, and Vasquez says the Port is working out its plans to receive container cargo from those ships which can dock away from the pier, but some others may have to be turned back. No injuries were reported.

Channel 7

Cab Driver Leslie Roland Found Murdered In his Own Vat, Nephew Detained
Last night on the news we told you about Leslie Roland, the 61-year-old taxi driver we'd been missing for at least six days. His car was found abandoned yesterday morning, and his family panicked. Well, two hours after the news we learned that he had been found dead - in the concrete vat in his own yard on Guerrero Street in the Port Loyola area. Our news team responded last night, and here's what we found:... Daniel Ortiz reporting Steven Rowland, his family, and the neighbors on Guerrero St. waited around for the police to process the scene at the Rowland Family house. Apparently, the stench of rot and scavenger birds signaled that there was decomposing flesh nearby . Further inspection by persons in the area revealed that a body was inside the cement vat. Given the fact that Lester Rowland is still missing, his vehicle was recovered last night, and the fact that he lived here, has led everyone to strongly suspect that the body in the vat is Rowland, who has been missing for some days now. Steve Rowland - Brother of Lester Rowland "Police had informed me after searching my brother's house that they observed a body inside a vat which is adjacent to the family house. They are in the process right about now trying to remove that body from the vat, so we can identify the person that is in there. It is very significant because I was here when my mother and my father got this land and I was here when the house was built and when my father died, it just passed down and left in my brother's hand, so it's very significant."

Cuban Wanted For US Gold Heist Caught in Benque
Tonight, a Cuban man wanted as the mastermind of a gold heist in Coral Gables Florida is in jail at the Hattieville prison. On Thursday, he was found in the bushes at the west of Benque Viejo. He is believed to have crossed illegally from Guatemala and was detained for illegal entry. He had a Cuban passport but he had no stamp showing he had entered Belize legally. On Friday he was charged for illegal entry and fined two thousand dollars which he paid. So with that he might have been set free, but he could not be deported or returned to Guatemala because he didn't have any visa for that country either. So he was sent to jail for six months, and that's when Immigration authorities decided to check up on his story. They found that he is the accused mastermind behind a heist in which nearly three million dollars in gold was stolen in Coral Gables, Florida. US news reports say he vanished in March of 2013 after he cut off his ankle monitor while out on bond. US Police say said he came up with the plan to steal at gun point two rolling suitcases filled with more than 100 pounds of gold flakes from a courier working for a Bolivian export company.

Mexican Zurisiday Skips Bail, Predictably
Mexican Zurisaday Villasenor Mendez, the man who police say they caught with a small arsenal of weapons and drugs, has been out on bail for 8 days now, and because he didn't attend his court hearing today, there is the strong suspicion that he has skipped out of the country. Mendez was granted a $75,000 bail on last week Monday, and he was supposed to show up to court today for a routine adjournment before Magistrate Narda Morgan, but he didn't. The police court orderly called for him several times, but they couldn't find him, and in a strange co-incidence, none of his attorneys made an appearance in court either. It was likely that the Magistrate would have requested of them to try to explain why Mendez had skipped his adjournment date.

Citrus Stakeholders Meet: Can't We All Get Along?
Last night, we showed you the press conference that the Prime Minister hosted to explain how his government intends to bail out the crisis torn Citrus Industry. Majority Shareholder the Citrus Growers Association has been at odds with Barbadian Beverage Giant, Banks Holding Limited, which is a minority shareholder - but one with a powerful veto vote over board decisions. The CGA, which represents 90% of citrus farmers, has repeatedly criticized Banks for using its veto power to stall board decisions for years. CGA wants to buy out Banks - but that's an expensive dream - as much as 20 million US dollars, and government has said it won't use public funds for a private buyout. But it will front about 15 million dollars to bridge the Citrus products of Belize Limited through a cash flow and debt crisis which has immobilized the industry. The road map was hammered out by the Prime Minister yesterday before he left the country and today in Belmopan, Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega met with all stakeholders to ensure they agree to a way forward. The meeting included Anthony King, the Board Chairman of Banks Holdings Limited. He sat with all other stakeholders in the cabinet room today for almost 6 hours, and when they exited, 7News was there. Here's what the Banks Holdings Chairman had to say to the media about the controversy his company continues to find itself in:

Alleged "Queenpin" Of Sea Cucumber's Black Market Nabbed
The sea cucumber season opened on Saturday and yesterday the police department's Mobile Interdiction Team made a dramatic bust of a Guatemalan woman believed to be the Queenpin of the black market trade in this prized sea creature. We found out more about the bust and sea cucumber sin general today. Jules Vasquez reports:.. Jules Vasquez reporting This 3-inch creature is a sea cucumber - we found it at a local restaurant. Not very impressive right? In fact it looks deserving of one of its colloquial names, Donkey Dung. But, put it in boiling water for a few hours and it blows up - three hours later this is how our sea cucumber looked. It's a Chinese delicacy; they usually stew it, and enjoy the gelatinous insides. It may not be your cup of tea, but a dish like this will sell for one hundred dollars locally and about 165 US for just one in China.

Barge Crashes Into Port Bridge, Breaks It, Forces Closure
This morning before dawn, at about a quarter to five a barge crashed into the main pier at the port of Belize. It caused major damage and it may leave the port closed for as long as a week - creating major delays in the shipping industry. Today CEO of the Port Arturo Tux Vasquez told us that three major cross beams - valued at about 150 thousand dollars each were damaged - and all of those now have to be demolished and replaced. He told us about the effect:.. Arturo Tux Vasquez, CEO - Port of Belize "It's quite significant really because it puts the pier out of commission and obviously we are still in the stage of assessing everything and the priority for us right now is to make sure that we get this - we thought that it was only one of the beams but apparently it damage all 3, so instead of having to replace one, we are looking to having to replace 3 now. The engineer is currently looking at it and trying to put all the plans in place, but for us even to replace one beam, we would have had to close the pier off, so initially we thought about 4 days, but I think now we are realistically looking about 6 days."

Police: Raynard Grinage's Stash House Was Rented By BEL Employee
Last night we told you about that 53 pound bust of high grade marijuana known as hydro valued at well over fifty thousand dollars. Well today the chips keep falling as the GSU says it is a drug ring led by Raynard Grinage. A female associate of his who works at BEL as a technical assistant has been charged jointly with him for 'Possession of Controlled Drugs with Intent to Supply". 31 year old Clarissa Vasquez was renting the property on Bachelor's Avenue that Grinage allegedly used as his stash house - the same house where the 53 pounds of weed bricks were found stuffed in boxes. And then yesterday evening, further information from that case led the GSU to GSU to Central American Boulevard, where they saw a Toyota Camry with taxi plates parked on the side of the street. 35 year old Orvin Leonard Hugh-Donald BEEKS was standing outside and a search led to the discovery of a black plastic bag on the floor of the front passenger side of the vehicle. The bag contained 383 grams - almost a pound - of what police say is the same hydro cannabis. BEEKS was arrested and charged for the crime of "Possession of Controlled Drugs with Intent to Supply".

More Manual Labour For Men From Troubled Neighborhoods
Last week we told you about the plan to start road works on all of Central American Boulevard. Well, it started yesterday with the trenching of street side where the BTL cables run. But, it's not being done by some big time contractor with tones of heavy equipment, instead, it's manual labour getting the job done the old fashioned way with shovels and pick axes. It might not seem thoroughly modern, but it's a way to generate employment for young men from tough neighborhoods who can't find gainful employment anywhere else. Today we found them working hard and making good progress:.. Reina Gonzalez, supervisor "We started yesterday at around 10am and well as you can see we have more than 200 feet of trench of the BTL trench ready for us to set the pipes on and back fill. So we can say in a day's work the guys basically work 200 feet of trench with the dimensions of 2 feet and 3 feet deep. We are seeing that man power is proving effective for us so far." "Something like this traditionally it's done with the back hoe, with a 24 inch or 12 inch bucket and basically who you will have working? It will be the operator and maybe 2 people supervising and maybe another 2 laying down the pipes and checking that everything is going okay. That is a total of roughly 5 people doing the same thing. Right now we are starting and we have a group of 20 guys doing the manual labour and I have 5 of my guys checking that we meet the specifications and we have another 2 guys dealing with the man holes, so we basically have a total of around 27 people working right now."

BNE Gives A Renovated Schoolbuilding
The Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust has spent almost 80,000 to renovate the school buildings belonging Maya Mopan Pre-School and the Richard Quinn R.C. School. This donation from the Trust has positively affected over 20 students and 2 teachers from the pre-school and 200 students from the primary school. The buildings for both schools were renovated after grants of 33 thousand dollars and 45 thousand dollars, which were disbursed last year, and after the work was completed, it was handed over today.

Channel 5

Body of cab driver, Lester Rowland, retrieved from vat at his home
There was significant progress made in the citrus industry today with an agreement to reconfigure the Board of Citrus Products of Belize Limited. We’ll have all those details coming up [...]

Human remains found on farm in Orange Walk
Up north, human remains were found today at a farm in the outskirts of the village of Guinea Grass in the Orange Walk District. A caretaker at a farm discovered [...]

Is there no criminal investigation in the immigration scandal because other ministers are involved?
Do you think there is no criminal investigation in the immigration scandal because other ministers are involved? Yes or No. Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to [...]

CGA, CPBL and Banks agree to proposal to restructure CPBL Board
On Monday, the Government of Belize announced its intervention in the ongoing citrus industry crisis. That intervention came by way of enabling immediate financing to assure payment to growers, and [...]

Social Security to ultimately take swap debt for shares in industry
The announcement was made Monday that the Social Security Board will be taking on a financial role in Citrus Products of Belize Limited. Currently CPBL has a loan facility with [...]

Barge damages the Port pier
The collision of a barge into the pier at Port of Belize Ltd., shortly before five o’clock this morning, has forced the company to temporarily cease operations at the dock.  [...]

Mexican National, Zurisday Villasenor Mendez, a no show in court today
There is an update to report tonight about Mexican national, Zurisaday Villasenor Mendez, who was granted a seventy-five thousand dollar bail by the Supreme Court less than two weeks ago. [...]

3 persons, all political appointees of Vega, dismissed from ministry
In this newscast, we have reported on a number of cases involving land hustles and questionable land deals facilitated by various players in the Lands Department.  We’ll have another such [...]

US national involved in adoption scam caught in San Pedro
A US woman who was living in San Pedro for some time was picked up by US agents with the cooperation of local police and whisked away to the United [...]

A mentally-ill man is shot and killed by PG police
Punta Gorda police are tonight investigating the shooting death of a Big Falls resident at the hands of one of their own.  Police claim that Moses Williams, a mentally ill [...]

Still no leads in murder of Corozal customs broker, Stephen Kuylen Jr.
It has been one week since Stephen Kuylen Junior was killed in the front yard of his Orange Walk home. Today when we caught up with police in Orange Walk, [...]

Another drug bust by the Gang Suppression Unit
The Gang Suppression Unit is reporting another bust in the alleged ring controlled by Raynard Grinage. On Monday evening, the GSU mounted an operation on Central American Boulevard, where they [...]


Three Persons Fired From Ministry Of Natural Resources
Corruption within the UDP administration has been taking over the news over the last months. And at the foot of the immigration scandal that broke at the start of the year and the Belize Airport Authority cheque scandal with Edmund Castro, there is apparently another looming scandal about to hit the already battered image of the PM’s administration. Reports reaching our news room are that three persons have been fired from the Ministry of Natural Resources. They are Deputy Registrar of Lands Barony Hernandez, Deputy Commissioner of Lands Nestor Hernandez and National Estate Officer Darleen Padron. The tree high scale officers have, as we were reliably informed, been fired under orders of the Prime Minster himself. We understand that the decision was announced during a recent Cabinet meeting.

BSI Engages In Public Education Of Sugar Exportation
The start of the current sugar crop saw a delay due to an impasse in the industry triggered by the standstill in negotiations between the Belize Sugar Industry and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. But the crop kick started on January 26th and by all accounts all is flowing rather smoothly. Today, after almost a month the first shipment of sugar left the Belize coast. The Belize Sugar Industry, in an effort to educating the public and other stakeholders in the industry as to the extent and magnitude of sugar production took the media on a tour of the first cargo ship to leave for this crop. Our crew went on board the San Remo II along with a delegation from BSI and filed this report.

Four Persons Charged For Burglary At Fruta Bomba
On our newscast last night we reported on the burglary that was carried out at Fruta Bomba over the weekend. Today the four men that were arrested for the burglary after police conducted a search on an empty lot in San Andres Village that led them to the discovery of (2) picnic tables, (4) vehicle tires and (1) wooden door, were arraigned in court. Thirty six year old Juan Orosco and 31 year old Miguel Daniels both from the village of San Andres, 51 year old Nonato Yam from Patchakan village and 33 year old Nicholas Landero from San Joaquin Village were jointly charged for the crime of burglary and handling stolen goods.

Human Bones Found In Ambergris Caye And Police Intercept Package Suspected To Contain Cannabis
In a similar case as the one here in Orange Walk, authorities on Ambergris Caye, acting upon information received around 1:58pm, visited the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve where a park ranger of the reserve reported that on same date at about 6:30 a.m, she came across some human remains while on her routine checks. She then escorted the Police to the western side of the Reserve where the police observed what appeared to be human bones partially embedded in the mangrove. The bones retrieved from the area were parts of Fibula (2), pelvis, ribs, sternum and cranium. The bones were then placed in a bag and taken to the San Pedro Police Station to be forwarded to the Forensic Laboratory for testing. The identity of the individual is yet to be ascertained. Also on Ambergris Caye, authorities intercepted a box of suspected cannabis from hitting the streets on Monday from the islands airline cargo section. According to police, on Monday around 2:10pm, San Pedro Police proceeded to the Tropic Air Cargo Section which is located on Manta-Ray Street, where they searched a package in a “Mega-man supplement” box measuring six by three inches wrapped with plastic tape. Upon opening the box police observed a white transparent plastic zip-lock bag which contained a compressed green in colour vegetable substance which was suspected to be cannabis. All items, including a receipt was retrieved and taken to the San Pedro Police Station where the suspected cannabis was weighed and amounted to 229.7 grams. It was then sealed and labelled as found Property.

Another Wanted U.S National Caught In San Pedro
A US national who was residing in the tourist mecca of Ambergris Caye was one of four persons the US Department of Justice in the United States have charged for conspiracy to Defraud the United States in Connection with Ethiopia Operations. A release from the Department states that Mary Mooney was taken from her home on San Pedro Ambergris Caye, in an operation between the island's police department and the US State Department. She was taken to the Embassy and whisked out of the country to the U.S. where she faces charges in relation to adoption fraud in Ethiopia. She and her company is accused of paying orphanages to “sign off” on contracts of adoption with the adopting parents as if the children had been raised by those orphanages — even though the children had never resided in those orphanages and had not been cared for or raised there.

Police Trying To Ascertain Decompose Body Found On Richman Hill Farm
Orange Walk Police are putting together the pieces of a puzzle to identify a male person whose decayed body was found approximately half a mile on Richman Hill Farm located on the Guinea Grass/Shipyard Road. With more questions than answers police are still trying to ascertain the cause of death and are looking at all angles. Before going into the story we advise our viewers that some images may not be suitable for our young audience and viewer discretion is advised. Reporter Maria Novelo and Video Journalist Jesus Melgar were first on the scene this morning and filed this report. Maria Novelo – Reporting Caretakers of a farm on the Guinea Grass/Shipyard Road made the discovery this morning around 8:00am and alerted the authorities. When we arrived at the location, we trekked about quarter mile into this vegetated acreage. The putrid scent permeated in the air and flying vultures overhead signaled the location as well. One of the property’s caretakers told us how the discovery was made.

CDTF Assists MOW In Rehabilitating The Road And Dump Site At Consejo Shores
During the rainy season the road into the village of Consejo is one of many vulnerable areas to floods impeding the passage of villagers in and out of the community. The dump site that is located approximately three miles from Corozal which is used primarily by residents of Corozal Town and the Consejo Community only makes matters worse. The incessant rains experienced during last year’s rainy season have not only caused the road to dilapidate, it has also affected the dump site which is filled with garbage, chemicals, and carcasses thus turning into a health hazard for residents. The good news tonight is that the Consejo Road Disaster Task Force, a non- governmental organization, commissioned by the Consejo Village Council, has extended a helping hand to the Ministry of Works in rehabilitating the road and to build a much needed retaining wall at the dumpsite. This is to avoid the spillage of bio hazard and garbage, that could possible contaminate a half mile segment of the Consejo Road.

Police Uncertain Of Cause Of Death Of a Man Found In Santa Clara Village
The body of John Doe is not the only one that was found in the north today. A second body was found in the Village of Santa Clara in the Corozal District only that this one has been identified as that of 24 year old Auriano Samuel Ramos. Reports gathered from the family indicate that Ramos arrived home last night from work under the influence of alcohol and went to sleep on one of the hammocks that were hanging in the family’s living room. With Ramos asleep, his common Law wife, 23 year old Karina Pech and his 2 year old daughter went to bed. It was until this morning around 6:30, when Karina went into the living room, that she noticed that Ramos was motionless.


Missing Taxi Man Found Dead Inside his Vat
This morning, Belize City police and Scenes of Crime returned to a house on Guerrero Street for the unpleasant business of retrieving a dead body found inside a vat. The family of missing taxi operator, 61-year-old Lester “Tin Man” Rowland, is hoping it is not him, but police say...

Human Remains Found Among the Mangroves
Human remains have been found on San Pedro yesterday afternoon. On Monday February 17 , San Pedro Police were called to the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve where a park ranger of the reserve reported to the police that she came across some human remains while on her routine checks. Human...

Barge Damages Port of Belize Pier
CEO of the Port of Belize Limited, Arturo Vasquez, says services at the Port in Belize City are limited following an early morning crash of a barge into the pierhead at the Yarborough compound. The incident took place between 4:30 and 5:00 a.m. and has knocked the pier out...

Bank’s Holdings CEO Speaks About Government’s Intervention on CPBL
Yesterday, the Prime Minister announced Government’s intervention plan to save the citrus industry of Belize. It amounts to a 15 million dollar bailout for Citrus Products of Belize Limited – with its bank First Caribbean International. The bank will provide 2 million dollars in working capital funds to CPBL...

Decomposed Human Body Discovered on Farm
Earlier we told you about the body of the missing taxi man which was found in his vat in Belize City. Then there were human remains found on San Pedro. Well, today there was another discovery of a body, this time in Orange Walk. The decomposed remains were discovered...

Minister Hulse Updates on Immigration Scandal Investigation
Yesterday, Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse gave the media an update on investigations into the passport scandal as it relates to the two officers from the Nationality section being questioned. He said that the director was satisfied that there were enough questions that the two persons would need to answer...

PM Opines on PUP’s Pursuit on Penner’s Prosecution
PUP’s Legal Advisor Anthony Sylvestre, has confirmed to the media that tomorrow, Wednesday February 18th, his party intends to apply to the Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus which would compel the Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie to carry out his duties and lay charges on Hon Elvin Penner....

Integrity Commission Member’s Appointment Questioned
The Prime Minister was then asked to update the nation on the ongoing search for replacement members of the Integrity Commission. It has been duly noted that another of his appointees, Armeid Gabourel, was a past member of the now infamous Belize Airports Authority Board of Directors. PM Barrow says...

PM Updates on Problems at the University of Belize
The PM was also asked for an update on the Problems at the University of Belize as it relates to the standing of President, Dr Carey Frazer, here is what he had to say about that. Hon. Dean Barrow- Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development “Dr....

Big Tom in Court for Cursing Cops
Deported former murder suspect Kenneth “Big Tom” Flowers was back in court on Monday, accused of using curse words at police officers who were searching his vehicle on Friday. Mr. Flowers, 36, acquitted of a 2010 Salt Lake City, Utah, murder but jailed on federal weapons and illegal entry...

Tourism Horse Euthanized After Getting Injured in Traffic
A horse used in the transportation of tourists in Belize City had to be euthanized today, after it received serious injuries. According to reports, a horse pulling a carriage of tourists on Craig street crashed into the back of a trailer after it was frightened by a vehicle which...


Attorney and businessman Lionel Welch, who has been ailing for some time, died in Los Angeles, California, on Sunday, shortly after 3:00 p.m. Welch had been receiving treatment in Los Angeles since last October for prostate cancer, which, according to attorney Marilyn Williams, the former Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) Director who is now working out of his office, has spread to his spine. After completing his legal studies at the Norman Manley Law School, in Jamaica, Welch returned to Belize to begin his legal practice. He was called to the Belize Bar on December 18, 1980. Apart from his work as an attorney, Welch was also an avid football player in his youth. In later years he supported the sport by serving on the executive of the Belize City Football Association as its vice chairman. He also served as an advisor to the Football Federation of Belize, up to the time of his death.

At a minute before 6:00 this evening, Amandala received an e-mail via our website, responding to last Sunday’s headline article, “Belize ‘Sex Paradise?’”, seemingly from an agent involved in the very type of promotions outlined in the article. In the message, the agent threatens to quit promoting Belize’s vacation packages amid investigations into online postings on the websites Global Fantasies and Universal Fantasies, which promote the agent’s services as “a premium erotic vacation provider” that offers packages which, the postings claim, include beautiful Belizean women. The e-mail, sent to us via [email protected], an e-mail account which seems to be linked to a user in the USA, says: “Our packages consisted of a resort room, some tours and meals, as well as some local excursions. Only a name and contact number of a local Belize taxi driver was ever provided to any guest.

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow today announced that the Belize Social Security Board (SSB) would inject a total of BZ$24.1 million into the beleaguered citrus industry—which reported BZ$50 million in losses in 2013—as a part of a Government proposal to break what Barrow described as “a fierce, intractable deadlock.” That deadlock between foreign investor Banks Holdings of Barbados and the Citrus Growers Association of Belize (CGA) has meant financial pain for citrus growers, who are owed roughly BZ$3 million in overdue payments – funds they have not been able to receive, because local bankers have frozen the accounts of Citrus Products of Belize Limited (CPBL), the processing plant which buys fruit from growers. The proposal unveiled today will see a major shift in the power structure of the industry, with the two main stakeholders—at loggerheads for several years now—making way for the Government to not just intervene, but to grab a 10% stake in the industry via a debt-for-shares swap. This latest development comes after years of Government trying to broker a truce between the parties. Growers are now optimistic that their funds will be freed up—but there is no commitment yet on when they will actually be paid.

The family of popular city taxi driver Lester Rowland, 61, well known as “Tin Man,” of Guerrero Street, is mourning his death after his body was found in an advanced state of decomposition in a cement vat in their yard. The horrible discovery was made about 5:30 this afternoon shortly after his brother, Steven, made a missing person report to the police. Steven Rowland told Amandala that his brother had not been seen since Friday, February 7, but their mother told him that she saw him on Friday, and they have been looking for him since. However, this afternoon, the family was informed that his car was bogged in the Krooman area of Fabers Road. They went to the area and saw the car, but Rowland was nowhere to be found. Steven then reported him missing to police, who began a missing person investigation. Steven told Amandala that they were going to his house to begin the search, and when they looked in the metal vat, his decomposing body was discovered.

A Belize City woman was remanded into custody until Friday, February 21, after she pleaded guilty to one count of committing a mischievous act when she appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith on Monday. Myesha Williams, 18, a resident of #39 Neal Pen Road, remained silent when the Chief Magistrate asked her: “You think the police don’t have enough work?” “Why you think it is alright to waste police investigators’ time, scenes of crime and government resources?” Smith pressed her. “I’m remanding you into custody until sentencing,” she informed Williams, who maintained her silence. On February 15, Woman Police Constable Mario Quinn received information from the Racoon Street Police Station about a report of a sexual assault committed upon a woman by a man.
In our last issue, we reported that the stalemate between the CWU and the City Council had the prospects of ending off on a good note after relations between the two entities had soured due to the Council’s decision to privatize their Security Department, leading to the ultimate redundancy of about 26 security officers who were employed with CitCo. While the agreements that were made during this week between Belize City mayor Darrell Bradley and CWU president, Audrey Matura Shepherd, existed in principle, they were not “etched in stone”, and consequently, the workers were up in arms once again today, as they railed and vented outside City Hall this afternoon, anxiously awaiting their much-needed final cheques, which the workers asserted not only came late, but did not match up to the figures that they were initially promised. This evening, the employees – who were visibly upset – stood in wait outside the offices of City Hall, clamoring because they contended that their severance payments were supposed to be ready at 2:00 p.m., and this did not happen as promised, and some of the irritated workers began to lose their patience.

Spectators watching a basketball match on a Ladyville basketball court were thrown into an uproar when a gunman went into the area and opened fire with a shotgun at about 9:00 last night. There was confusion, as people “scattered” to escape the shooting. Arlene Bainton, 37, a domestic who resides at the corner of Partridge and Pigeon Streets in Belize City, and Ornan Joseph Avila, 16, a student of Paradise Lounge, Ladyville, suffered gunshot injuries. Bainton was grazed near the left temple, and was shot in the foot and arm, while Avila was shot in the left side of the chest, inside the left lower arm and in the left foot. They were both treated at the Belize Defense Force Hospital at Price Barracks in Ladyville and later released.

The Week 1 game between Dangriga Warriors and Toledo Diplomats was postponed last week due to weather, so the two southern teams in the inaugural National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) tournament saw their first action this past weekend in Week 2 of the competition. And both had a winning start, while the only other team to remain undefeated in the young season is Cayo Western Ballers, who made it two victories in a row with their win yesterday in Orange Walk. There were 2 Friday night games this past weekend, 1 game on Saturday, and 1 on Sunday. It was a see-saw dog-fight down in Dangriga on Friday night, February 14, at the Y-Not Island, where the home team Dangriga Warriors won a nail-biter, 57-56, over visiting Belmopan Point Bandits. The Point Bandits led, 13-12, at the end of the first quarter; Warriors led, 31-30, at the half; Bandits took the lead once more, 42-40, to close the third quarter; but at the final buzzer it was Griga Warriors in front again for the 57-56 win. Leading the Warriors were Trevaughn Usher 16 pts 4 rebs, Jamir Flores 10 pts 9 rebs 4 assts 4 stls, and Shai Peters 8 pts 4 rebs; while for the Bandits, Jamal Harris had 17 pts 7 rebs, Kyle Pascasio 11 pts 8 stls, and Christian Rodriguez 9 pts 4 rebs. The Warriors are now (1-0), while the Bandits are (1-1).

Football family
It was in mid-November of last year, during a most competitive and exciting Premier League of Belize (PLB) Belikin Cup Opening Season 2013-2014, that FC Belize long time and original owner/manager, lawyer Lionel Welch suddenly departed for emergency medical attention abroad, days before his team was to travel to Belmopan’s Isidoro Beaton Stadium for a Saturday night, November 16, encounter with the Belmopan Bandits. Both teams were former semi-pro champions, FC Belize back in 2006 and 2007, and the Bandits as recently as 2012. But, despite Welch’s absence, which led to a bit of controversy over some unpaid yellow card bills, FC Belize pulled out a surprising 3-2 road victory, that prompted the Bandits owner, Hon. John Saldivar to seek additional help for his coaching staff, then headed by Edmund “Buzzard” Pandy who had steered them to their first ever championship a couple seasons earlier. But Saldivar was taking no chances; and he managed to lure former national team coach, Leroy Sherrier Lewis back from Costa Rica in mid-season to lead the Bandits effort the rest of the way.

Dear Editor, On the 45th anniversary of UBAD, I’m writing this E-mail in acknowledgement and gratitude for the influence and teachings I received from the organization in the early 1970’s. As a result of the “liberation” classes that were held on Hydes Lane, I developed a greater awareness about the politics of that time – both locally and internationally; and also a higher consciousness of my roots. Today, I can look back and confirm something positive that the UBAD Party brought to at least one Belizean brother.

“Big Tom” pleads guilty to uttering indecent words; claims police harassment
Deportee, Kenneth “Big Tom” Flowers, 36, a laborer, pleaded guilty to uttering indecent words when he appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. Cayetano imposed a $300 fine for two counts of uttering indecent words after the court threw out a third, similar charge. The Magistrate questioned why was it necessary for the police to level three charges of use of indecent words against Flowers, when the circumstances of the complaint appeared to be one incident. Magistrate Cayetano then asked Flowers what he had to say before he passed sentence upon him. “I am a hard-working man, but everywhere police see me, they search me. If the GSU sees [me] five, six times for the day, they will search me,” Flowers told the court, “I just let the anger get the best of me and cuss out the police.”

Gas station robbed; thieves escaped with $248
The Freetown Road Puma Gas Station was robbed by two thieves who got away with $248. No one was hurt and no shots were fired. The incident occurred about 10:30 last Friday morning. Norris Santos, 28, a gas attendant at the station, told police that while at his workplace, two men rode up to the gas station on separate bicycles. One of the men, who was armed with a 9mm pistol, pointed the gun at him and demanded money. Santos told Amandala that he saw the two men coming. They hesitated by a parked vehicle in the compound, then one of them lifted up his shirt and took out a big gun. The gunman pointed the gun at the two attendants, and the second robber came to him, Santos, and told him, “Bway, gimme di money!”

Glenford Ferguson, Jr., 29, gets 15 years for manslaughter conviction
After listening to mitigation pleas from four persons, Supreme Court Justice John Gonzalez adjourned the mitigation hearing for 10 minutes, and when he returned, he imposed a 15-year sentence on Glenford Ferguson, Jr., who was convicted of manslaughter on February 6 for the stabbing death of Koffi Beeks. Ferguson, who was initially charged with murder, spoke first at his mitigation hearing, telling the court that he knows he has done wrong, but pleaded for another chance to be with his family. “I have never been in a situation like this before, and I am really sorry,” Ferguson told the court; “I like to say I apologize to the family, Your Honor.” Ferguson’s brief statement was followed by the four character witnesses who also spoke briefly, but all appealed for leniency on his behalf. His father, Glenford Ferguson, Sr., testified that he was “not a trouble child.”

Minors, 12, and 8, molested by trusted adults
Two families – one from Camalote Village in the Cayo District, and the other from Bella Vista in the Stann Creek District, have been devastated by the discovery that a young girl in each family – one 8 years of age, the other 12 – was raped, each by trusted male adults – in one case, the girl’s brother-in-law, in the other, the victim’s uncle. In Bella Vista, the 44-year-old uncle of an 8-year-old girl was arrested on Friday after being on the run since February 1. However, an intense manhunt conducted by the Independence police forced him to hand himself in at the police station in that village on Friday, where he was immediately charged with carnal knowledge, rape, and an unnatural crime. Police believe that on top of raping the little girl, he also committed unnatural acts with her. He will be taken to the Independence Magistrate’s Court today, where he will be remanded to the Belize Central Prison until his next court date.

A 9-member jury deliberated for three hours and 17 minutes before returning with a guilty verdict in the trial of a 44-year-old man indicted on two counts of incest against his daughter, who was 10 years old when the incidents occurred in 2009. The incestuous man is already serving a 3-year prison sentence for a conviction of aggravated assault of an indecent nature that he committed upon another minor. The trial took place before Justice John “Troadio” Gonzalez, and eight out of the nine jurors voted to convict the man on the two incest indictments. Justice Gonzalez has set Friday, February 21, for a mitigation hearing, before he passes sentence. Incest carries a prison term ranging from 12 years to life in prison. Due to the sensitivity of incest cases (court reporters were barred from this trial), Amandala cannot not use the name or photograph of the convicted man.

The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA), in a press release issued today, announced that it has strengthened its standard disease control measures upon receiving information from the Central Regional Laboratory in Merida that cattle specimens, which were submitted for routine testing, have tested positive for Bovine Tuberculosis on bacteriological culture. BAHA added that through the Belize National Sanitary Cattle Plan Project (BNSCPP), they have been methodically identifying cattle farms and routinely testing all cattle for Bovine Tuberculosis and Bovine Brucellosis. Bovine tuberculosis is a chronic animal disease that affects cattle and is caused by slow-growing (16- to 20-hour generation time) bacteria called ‘mycobacterium bovis’, which is closely related to the bacteria that causes human and avian tuberculosis. The agency reported that a total of ninety thousand cattle have been tested, and all the results of those routine tests have proven negative, with the exception of one case that came back positive.

At a hearing held by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) earlier this week, the standards of care that medical practitioners ought to uphold when attending to a woman giving birth—especially women undergoing cesarean section (C-section) procedures and those having a higher risk of complications—was an important point discussed. What exactly are those standards of care? Who ensures that medical practitioners adhere to them? What recourse do patients have when they are dissatisfied with the care provided to them? Thirteen years ago, Georgia Matute of Roaring Creek underwent a C-section at the Western Regional Hospital. She gave birth to her daughter Janae, who is now a student of Belmopan Comprehensive School. Matute said that she had to leave her government job to focus on giving Janae the best possible chance in life. “It has really been a challenge, but I would rather do this than to have stayed and pushed forward my career”, she told Amandala.

Luis Eduardo Baki, 33, a salesman of El Mana Bakery located at Blue Bird Street, San Ignacio, Cayo, has been reported missing since 6:00 Wednesday evening, February 12. His common-law wife, Neidy Cifuentez, a naturalized Belizean domestic of Ladyville Street, Santiago Juan Layout, San Ignacio, Cayo District, told police that at about 8:30 Wednesday morning, Baki left the bakery in the company’s white-and-orange delivery truck, with L/P 00225, to carry out routine deliveries in San Ignacio. Since driving out of the compound, Baki has not been seen; neither has the vehicle been found. Luis Eduardo Baki is of Maya descent. At the time he left work, he was wearing a black-and-gray checkered shirt, long blue jeans pants and a white peaked cap. He is about 5 feet 5 inches tall, with a low haircut. Baki is of fair complexion and weighs about 235 pounds. He has a tattoo of a heart on his right hand.

Complaints over an inadequate and sometimes overly hassling public transportation system—some of them lingering unresolved for years now—are getting the attention of Crispin Jeffries, Chief Transport Officer, who told Amandala this morning that he has been advised of a call to a morning TV talk show complaining of commuter problems. Partly due to the absence of a proper ticketing system, many commuters have daily troubles trying to get a space on a bus. Our newspaper learned on Friday that a group of students were upset that they were removed from a bus in Belmopan and told to wait for the next available bus, but the same bus which ejected them, on the claim that they had no more space, packed on several more standees just a few blocks away, while Transport officers were not looking. Under existing law, it is illegal for a bus to carry more passengers than its capacity, but Jeffries said that each passenger should by law also be allotted 15 inches of seat space. The refurbished school buses used to run commuters may say they can seat 80, for example – but that’s 80 children, not 80 adults, Jeffries explained.

British Honduras became a self-governing British colony in 1964. At the time, it was felt that we would now move on smartly to independence, but the Anglo-Guatemalan dispute got in the way in 1968 when the Belizean people rose up against Bethuel Webster’s Seventeen Proposals. Early the following year of 1969, the UBAD organization was established, out of nowhere actually, and three months later there was an attempt to unseat the Hon. Philip Goldson as Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition – the National Independence Party (NIP). It was a strange and unexpected challenge. Mr. Goldson was a full-fledged national hero. Two years before, some wealthy businessmen in the British Honduras Chamber of Commerce had begun publishing a new weekly newspaper – The Chamber Reporter. Its first editor was Miss Zelma Tucker, the eldest daughter of a prominent executive in the Santiago Castillo group of companies. Miss Tucker had been trained in journalism in the United Kingdom. (Miss Tucker soon left the newspaper and went on to become Belize’s first novelist – Mrs. Zee Edgell.)

The 1984-89 UDP administration of the Right Hon. Dr. Manuel Esquivel made at least three controversial moves. One was to begin selling Belizean passports. This was reportedly a proposal which had been in the PUP pipeline before they were voted out of office in December of 1984. Another very controversial Esquivel move was to allow the American government to spray Belize’s marijuana fields with paraquat. The third move was to begin the privatization of the Barracks green by selling the southern section of the seafront to the transnational Ramada hotel chain. Subsequently, a prominent PUP family managed to grab the northern portion of the green, where they have built the Marina Towers. Between the Ramada/Princess and the Marina Towers there remained a central seafront section, which became known as “BTL Park.” It is one of the deep and abiding differences between the traditional indigenous view of life, on the one hand, and the modern capitalist mode of economics on the other, that indigenous people view certain God-given treasures as having been gifted to the people as a body in perpetuity, whereas rapacious capitalists believe that the Gospel of private property is supreme, that individuals and corporations can own anything once they have enough money to buy it.

The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), having failed in its recall effort against the disgraced Cayo North East area representative Hon. Elvin Penner, is now initiating judicial review proceedings in an application that will be filed as early as tomorrow, Tuesday, in the Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus. Attorney Edwin Flowers, S.C., who had written to the Commissioner of Police last week on behalf of the Leader of the Opposition, has confirmed to Amandala that he has not received a reply from Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie. Based on instructions Flowers received from the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Francis Fonseca, Commissioner Whylie had until the end of the business day, today, Monday, February 17, to respond, Flowers said. Flowers said that the Commissioner has not communicated with him. “Not even a phone call,” he emphasized. He added: “As we speak, I am going over the paperwork to file the judicial review.”

Two families – one from Camalote Village in the Cayo District, and the other from Bella Vista in the Stann Creek District, have been devastated by the discovery that a young girl in each family – one 8 years of age, the other 12 – was raped, each by trusted male adults – in one case, the girl’s brother-in-law, in the other, the victim’s uncle. In Bella Vista, the 44-year-old uncle of an 8-year-old girl was arrested on Friday after being on the run since February 1. However, an intense manhunt conducted by the Independence police forced him to hand himself in at the police station in that village on Friday, where he was immediately charged with carnal knowledge, rape, and an unnatural crime. Police believe that on top of raping the little girl, he also committed unnatural acts with her. He will be taken to the Independence Magistrate’s Court today, where he will be remanded to the Belize Central Prison until his next court date.

A 9-member jury deliberated for three hours and 17 minutes before returning with a guilty verdict in the trial of a 44-year-old man indicted on two counts of incest against his daughter, who was 10 years old when the incidents occurred in 2009. The incestuous man is already serving a 3-year prison sentence for a conviction of aggravated assault of an indecent nature that he committed upon another minor. The trial took place before Justice John “Troadio” Gonzalez, and eight out of the nine jurors voted to convict the man on the two incest indictments. Justice Gonzalez has set Friday, February 21, for a mitigation hearing, before he passes sentence. Incest carries a prison term ranging from 12 years to life in prison. Due to the sensitivity of incest cases (court reporters were barred from this trial), Amandala cannot not use the name or photograph of the convicted man.


2014 Placencia Art & Music Festival: THE ART and THE MUSIC!
Yesterday’s afternoon post went in a few different direction: bus travel…my lodging…Chelsea Handler…but didn’t really get to the main reason that I travelled to Placencia – the Art and Music Sidewalk Festival. The 11th annual. There were artists and craftspeople from many parts of Belize… The Art Affair Gallery in Placencia (one of my favorite spots) had a booth with both Ernest Garcia’s gorgeous art (see more here and here at the 2013 Expo) and Jeanna’s PRETTY jewelry. You can see many of her gorgeous pieces in Rubimoon in San Pedro. Like this…

“The Best Things in Life Are Free” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up a fair bit later than normal on Sunday at 06.55 hours. Obviously the price paid for a late and ‘liquid’ previous night! Even in my slightly fragile condition I managed to make my black coffee (it’s a times like that I’m pleased that I am not a coffee aficionado), grab the iPad and amble out to the veranda. My body and my experience told me that this was a day to be approached slowly so I decided that reading The Sunday Times online was exertion enough! I made breakfast around 08.30 hours and then showered, shaved and dressed – oh, I did brush my teeth too – and settled down to watch the Arsenal versus Liverpool FA Cup game. We were far from being convincing winners but win we did and advanced to a home game in the next round against Everton. After the game had finished I spent a little time in the back garden weeding (nothing too exertive) and then showered and changed clothes and then around 15.00 hours Rose and I headed to Carlo & Ernie’s Runway Bar & Grill for a few beers (hair of the dog and all that) and a Barbeque. You can get a barbecue on a Sunday nearly everywhere (well at least it appears that way) in San Pedro but for us the best is to be found at Carlo & Ernie’s. A word of warning though – get there too late and it’s all gone.

Development of your business
DAGS is reimbursement grant funding facility specifically designed to provide financial assistance to legally registered firms/individuals/Business Support Organisations (BSOs) with the potential to export their products and services. DAGS is a reimbursement facility which means that no monies are advanced to beneficiaries and they will have to incur the full cost of their projects and be reimbursed on completion of their projects. A grant may not be awarded retrospectively. The objective of DAGS is as follows:

Education in Belize: Quality Schools
During the last few weeks, the entire country of Belize witnessed with great concern the plight of hundreds/thousands of educators and teachers whose pressing yet ignored working and workplace concerns had finally reached a boiling point. These professionals work very hard and tirelessly everyday to provide an education to our young people; yet they remain unappreciated by many, especially by those who control their very salaries, workplaces, and living conditions. BNTU (Belize National Teachers Union) and its members and backers staged many public rallies and demonstrations countrywide to showcase teachers’ concerns to the government and to the country. Extremely unfair and low teacher wages was the overwhelming concern, but very large class sizes, and insufficient continuing professional education for teachers were among other continuously ignored concerns that were not financial. After several BNTU public rallies, and meetings between union and government officials, the Prime Minister and Minister of Education finally ceded. In a press conference, the Prime Minister (was forced to?) addressed the dismal plight of educators and education in the country. Resolution: a promise of a mere 4% raise in teachers’ salaries in the future. However, did teachers win their fight? Did their recent rallies and demonstrations help to resolve their pressing concerns?

International Sources

Belize Zoo Project Plans March 1 Fundraiser
A group of SUNY Cortland students will take its service efforts abroad during the College’s spring break with the intention of making a zoo in Central America more accessible for people with disabilities. Prior to takeoff, however, the group will look to offset the cost of a $10,000 renovation project at the Belize Zoo with a local fundraiser Saturday, March 1. It runs from 7 p.m. to closing time at the Blue Frog Café in downtown Cortland and seeks to pull in monetary donations of any amount with live entertainment, raffles and food and beverages. “I want to become more aware of the conditions in which people live, and have my eyes opened to all the things people don’t have,” said Danielle Ben-Horin, a sophomore inclusive special education major who will make the trip from March 10 to 14. “I want to see how we can improve the environment and make it more inclusive.”

10 Things You Must Do During Your Next Trip to Belize
Maybe your cruise ship docked for only a day in Belize, which didn't allow you the time to explore much of the local culture, jungles or coral reefs. Or perhaps you stayed at one of the all-inclusive resorts and didn't venture out beyond the sun, sand and water. If so, book the next flight you can back to this breathtaking Central American country. Its 9,000 square miles has an abundance of adventures to offer and is often overlooked by travelers. Plan to spend a few thrilling days diving into some of the most unique experiences found anywhere in the world. Here are 10 things you must do during your next trip to Belize:

Diversity is hallmark of Caribbean country
We had a great trip to Belize last month. It was beautiful and diverse in its people, animals, birds, sea life, vegetation and geology. We stayed on a small island off the coast called Caye Caulker, and as we flew there, I gazed at the clear, warm aqua waters and knew it was the Caribbean I had longed to see. Our cabana was painted in bright yellow and blue, and it had a long dock that pointed east. After we met up with Vicki and Dave, friends who had arrived earlier, we headed out to explore the island. Palm trees waved at us as we made our way along the white, sandy shore that was lined with simple resorts. Folks passed us as they rode old-fashioned bikes or drove golf carts. We looked out at the sea and could make out waves breaking in the distance on the Belize Barrier Reef, part of the longest barrier reef in the western hemisphere.

World Press Freedom Index 2014...The Biggest Rises & Falls Press Freedom..US Down To 46th
The new entry, Belize, has been assigned an enviable position (29th). Cases of violence against journalists are rare in Belize but there were some problems: defamation suits involving demands for large amounts in damages, national security restrictions on implementation of the Freedom of Information Act and sometimes unfair management of broadcast frequencies.

SICA Foreign Ministers to Meet in the Dominican Republic
The Council of Foreign Ministers of the Central American Integration System (SICA) will meet here in three days to discuss strategic guidelines of the current Dominican pro tempore presidency. The meeting of representatives of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama will hold morning and afternoon sessions at the Foreign Ministry headquarters. This significant meeting is the first at the ministerial level under our presidency, set to run until June 30, 2014, stated Dominican Foreign Minister Cesar Dargam. Dargam said that goals to be achieved in the five priority pillars of the regional agenda --climate change and disaster prevention, social integration, economic integration, democratic security and institutional reinforcement will be set forth.

Caribbean - American Contribution To Black History
Today, nobody can doubt the sterling contribution of Caribbean-Americans to the growth and development of the United States. And it's been a long history of proven commitment by those who have made this country their adopted homeland. That our ancestors from Africa labored without reward or recompense in the dark days of slavery underscores the stake that Caribbean -- Americans have here in 2014. And for the ignorant and uninformed few who consider Caribbean -- Americans outsiders, just sponging of the legasse of American hospitality I say this -- read your history. But not so long ago, it used to be the politically correct thing to deny one's Caribbean roots. Indeed, early Caribbean immigrants, relatively few in number, only wanted to assimilate into the American mainstream. Those who came before cautioned newcomers to "not rock the boat. Hide your Caribbean identity"; learn to speak "Yankee" in a few days. Never speak in public about the "old country." But even with this old timeish sentiment that found favor among certain sections of the growing Caribbean community, Caribbean nationals, later to be fully assimilated into American life with the honorific name "Caribbean --Americans," formed alliances, and remained at the vanguard of the Black Liberation struggles in their adopted homeland.

I’ve just realized that I used the last of my toothpaste to scrub the inside of my new SCUBA mask - something about preventing it from fogging. Now my teeth feel fuzzy. It all happened pretty fast - a quick question after breakfast: “Do you want to give it a go?” “Sure,” I say. We walk across the sand to the edge of the water with a tank, BC and flippers. I sit down on the steps as I get suited up and water laps against my calves; I think it’s the color of a blue Powerade Slush. My teeth feel fuzzier. But then they meet the regulator; a minty mask goes over my eyes and I hear someone shout, “Remember, just keep breathing!” I go under and it’s like I just woke up somewhere else. I’m only three feet from the dock and I see lobsters gathered under a piece of driftwood; a few feet further, I’m holding a red starfish as big as a Frisbee and I’m turning over conch shells the size of footballs. I swim back to shore to drop one off for ceviche, turn, and hug the bottom out a little further.

Exploring The Jungles of Belize
Belize has become one of the top tourist destinations in the country. It is a place where warm waters meet lost civilizations. Host Greg Aiello brings along self-described workaholic Shiloh Janes for a trip of a lifetime. The pair plans to dive on a world famous reef, get up close and personal with jungle wildlife and discover the Maya ruins of Belize. There's nothing quite like the Caribbean. It is a popular escape for travelers in search of crystal clear waters, white sand beaches, cool drinks made of rum and the warm tropical sun. Belize is a small Caribbean country on the coast wedged in between Mexico and Guatemala. It has become wildly popular as a travel destination for those from the U.S. with direct flights from cities like Dallas and Miami. Winter is the time to come here but an unseasonable wet December turned the Motion crew's trip soggy. But it would take more than a heavy, soaking, torrential, non-stop rain to dampen the spirits of guest hiker Shiloh Janes. He runs the dispatch for the family's trucking business in Oneida, New York, and he hasn't been on a vacation in 11 years!

Belize 2014
See the highlights from our mission team's trip to serve the schools and people of Belize.

Your Own Slice of the Caribbean in Belize
Think of the best of the Caribbean—clear, blue skies…long, white, sandy beaches…warm, gentle waters lapping at the shore…a soft breeze swaying the palm trees overhead—and Belize is where you’ll find it. It’s the sort of place you need to bring your camera to—you only have to point and click in any direction to capture the sort of picture-perfect scenery usually only seen in glossy travel brochures. In its clear, blue waters, you’ll find the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere and the second longest in the world, an expansive system filled with colorful fish and sea creatures of all shapes and sizes. Whether you long to swim, fish, or sail, you’ll find what you’re looking for in Belize.

Shifting to Island Time on Ambergris Caye, Belize
Every morning, when I wake up and hear the birds singing outside my window, and watch the sunbeams that stream into our bedroom, I thank my lucky stars for being able to live a more laid-back life on the little Caribbean island of Ambergris Caye, Belize. When my husband and I left California behind, I promised myself that we’d make time to socialize in Belize. Our busy lives in the San Francisco Bay Area didn’t leave much time for socializing…and we were dreaming of a more simplistic lifestyle. Here, on Ambergris Caye, we have a different challenge: It’s difficult for us to keep up with all of our new friends!

February 18, 2014


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

The Belize Fisheries Department report an increase in marine exports
The Belize Fisheries Department has reported a 46% increase in marine product export for the year 2013. Of a reported $24,997,526.70 in marine export revenue, fish fillet was the most valuable and the northern waters of Belize proved to house highly productive marine ecosystems, contributing $13,986,395 of that figure. Queen Conch product was the largest export, coming in at 965,068.9 pounds for 2013. Spiny Lobster and whole fish were also prominent exports, totaling at 547,638.5 and 525,879.7 pounds, respectively. Both lobster and conch are seasonal marine products and fetch high prices at international markets such as the USA and Mexico. 432,000 pounds of sea cucumber, a marine invertebrate not commonly consumed in Belize, was also exported to supply the Asian and Guatemalan market. Sea cucumber is considered a delicacy in Asia and is sold at relatively high prices. Like the conch, lobster, and grouper, the sea cucumber is also a seasonal product.The Belize Fisheries Department informs sea cucumber fishermen that renewal of licenses for 2014 will run from February 19 to February 28, 2014.

BIOPAMA trains regional officers using Belize’s robust protected areas system
The multi-million dollar project, now in the second of its four year tenure, is expected to impact 11 of the world’s 25 biodiversity hotspots which are all found in ACP countries. BIOPAMA covers terrestrial and marine protected areas (MPA). What gives the project more emphases in MPAs in this region is the fact that the Caribbean has roughly three times more marine areas that are protected than on land. “ACP countries are hotspots for biodiversity but because of the lack of resources, whether it is human or financial, we realize that it is not being protected and sustained the way it should be. BIOPAMA is meant to give support where the support is not there and increase the human capacity to be able to better protect the areas and improve in protected area management,” said Vaughn. According to Vaughn, in the Caribbean, MPAs are more developed than terrestrial protected areas, with Belize having one of the strongest MPA systems. For that reason, countries that are facing challenges in MPAs have been identified and invited to see firsthand how they are managed in Belize. Junior Marine Protected Area Officers, who conduct the day-to-day job in protected areas, were invited to attend the capacity building initiative. “Junior level professional require some exposure; they are young and have ideas. They have come into a system that for some, it may be frustrating depending on the type of set up they have. Others are coming from a system that doesn’t exist at all because there are countries that are new to protected areas. We decided to bring them to Belize because this country has a good history of protected area management. For the region, Belize has a robust protected areas management system. Of course while all is not perfect, there are success stories that can be useful to these participants, who can then strengthen what they are doing, or even develop policy papers,” explained Vaughn.

Grand Opening: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
On Saturday February 8th, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints officially opened their doors to the community as they inaugurated their new building with an Open House and dedication service. Located on Seagrape Drive, the new church is spacious and has several rooms including an air conditioned central chapel, and several classrooms with topics such as family history and temple, primary, young men and young women, relief society and priesthood, and a Bishop’s office.

Hey Blue Water Grill, ‘Sushi-Me’ Please!!
When it comes to eating out, I am biased. Ambergris Caye simply has the best eats; there, I said it. Restaurants and eateries cater to even the most finicky of taste buds. Topping the list of places to dine at is Blue Water Grill (BWG), especially as on Tuesdays and Thursdays, you’re looking at sushi night. Visitors and residents alike love the variety of Chef Chris Aycock’s creations. From the veggie rolls to the adventurous Sashimi, Nigiri and the aforementioned Monkey Brains – there is something for even the most hesitant diner. Chef Chris promised us a plethora of his divine creations, but first, he took away the soy sauce…! Wait, what was happening?! Don’t we need that sauce for the meal? Oh…Chris explained that each of our special dishes came with its own sauce. I look over to the boss – ‘ooohhh…we’re special!!’ Always known it, but love that it’s acknowledged! (Ha).

Belize Bobsled Team training for big event
Go Belize!!!!! Kathy Augey, Larry Pelotte, Robert W Spica and Connie Fournier-Nelson.

Ambergris Today

Celebrity Talk Show Host Chelsea Handler Vacations in Belize
When Astrum Helicopters hovers above Ambergris Caye residents start to wonder which celebrity is being brought to the island. It has become widely known that A-List celebrities acquire the services of Astrum to be flown directly from the international airport to destinations around the country. Case in point, this past weekend word had it that celebrity talk show host of E! Network’s Chelsea Lately, Chelsea Handler was in Belize. Rumors spread that she was staying at Victoria House and spending time at Rojo Lounge in Ambergris Caye. But over the weekend Ambergris Today got hold of a picture of Chelsea Handler in southern Belize.

Alfa Iguana at Belize’s Green Iguana Conservation Project Dies
The many students and visitors who have visited the Green Iguana Project Site at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel in the Cayo District had the privilege to meet Gomez, a three foot iguana who was sort of the king of the iguanas and the main attraction at the project site. It is very sad to report that the beloved alpha male Gomez died last week. The many students and visitors who have visited the Green Iguana Project Site at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel in the Cayo District had the privilege to meet Gomez, a three foot iguana who was sort of the king of the iguanas and the main attraction at the project site. It is very sad to report that the beloved alpha male Gomez died last week.

Pic of the Week: Go Island Tubing in Caye Caulker
We just recently highlighted one of Belize’s newest tours on our iTravel Belize page, Island Tubing in Caye Caulker. The tour takes you around the island while you relax while being gently dragged in an inner tube sipping on some rum punch. It is total relaxation at its best in Belize. Here is another image of the tour as the ‘Island Tubbers’ pass by the famous Caye Caulker Split.

Misc Belizean Sources

Antoinette's Day Spa Opens
Antoinette's Day Spa has moved to Cayo, and it's now officially open. It's a full service spa, and they offer many different massage modalities, along with manicures and pedicures. They are located at 30 Cahal Pech Street, and you can email them at [email protected]

Rotary Repairs Playground at OLoG
Rotarians from Canada that partner with the Belmopan chapter came back to check up on and fix the playground that they originally put in at Our Lady of Guadalupe. Thanks, Rotary! "Recently Rotarians from Canada returned to repair playground equipment that they initial brought from their home country. Some local Rotarians helped as well...great for our fellow Rotarians from Canada to come back to make sure that the equipment is in good shape!"

PACT announces grants
Today, Monday, February 17, 2014, PACT, accompanied by Honorable Senator Lisel Alamilla, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, held a small Grant Award Ceremony at the Belize Audubon Society’s Office in Belize City, where it awarded $356,253.75 in two new medium-sized project grants! The two grants were awarded to the Belize Audubon Society and Programme for Belize. The Belize Audubon Society’s project is entitled: Enhancing St Herman’s Blue Hole National Park (SHBHNP) through new infrastructure, mapping and management plan and is for a total of $199,998.75. St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park is one of the more visited sites co-managed by the Belize Audubon Society.

Health authorities say persons who have contracted the mosquito borne disease, Chikungunya, should remain home as Dominica recorded more than 31 cases of the disease so far. Chikungunya is a viral disease that is spread by the aedes aegypti mosquito and the island recorded its first case on January 16 this year. “The numbers keep changing on a daily basis … we have a number of suspected cases and we have a number of confirmed cases. The last count that we have in terms of confirmed cases was 31 cases and we have other persons who have not been confirmed. “We’re asking the persons with the disease to remain at home and to use mosquito nets when they are sleeping and other persons to use mosquito repellents as well,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr David Johnson, adding that it was advisable that people take precautionary measures to reduce the risk of spreading the disease.

Rape of 19 year old in San Pedro
On Saturday, February 15, 2014 at about 10:30 a.m. a 19 year old woman of San Juan Area, San Pedro Town visited the police station and reported that at about 12:00 a.m. on the same date she left her house with one of her female friends and went socializing with other friends. At about 3:00 a.m. she said that she was ready to go back home and so her friend decided to accompany her as far as the Central Park. She further stated that she continued to walk home and noticed that she was being followed by a male person she knows. Upon reaching home at about 4:00 a.m. she reportedly locked her door when about 2 minutes later she heard a knocking on her door. She stated that she went to open the door because she thought that it was her female friend who had returned. As she opened the door she saw the same male person that was following her at the door. He then reportedly forced himself inside her home and forcible had sexual intercourse with her against her will. Police are seeking one man as investigations continue.

SS Board buys into Citrus Products Limited
The Honorable the Prime Minister Mr. Dean Barrow announced this morning that Belize Social Security Board will be buying into Citrus Products of Belize Limited. More details coming shortly.

FISHING REPORT: Week of February 8 – 15th , 2014
We are just giddy around here. We had two months of rain and some pretty tough weather. This week we have our beautiful Belize weather back here on Ambergris Caye! Anglers and non anglers alike enjoyed the beautiful sunrises and days filled with sea breeze under sunny blue skies. Julie has been to EP the last three years celebrating her birthday! It’s so much fun to see our repeat guests. David and Lea have returned to fish with Captain Kechu, and Rob, Kyra and Tegan are pretty much super stars around here. It was a week where hearts were captured by the special fish that make dreams come true. Through fishing, families spend time together and friends reunite for laughs and more stories to share down the road. Thank you for a beautiful week of fish and hearts.

Official inauguration of the Santa Elena Library Renovation and Expansion Project
Talented kids, visionary leaders and a community working together to better Belize! (5 photos)

Acting upon information of a shooting incident, Ladyville Police visited the Ladyville Basketball Court where initial investigation revealed that Arlene Bainton, 37, was along with Ornan Joseph Avila, 16, where they were watching a basketball game when they heard gun shots. People began running and some laid flat on the ground trying to shield themselves. They felt something warm running from their feet and a result both persons realized that they had been wounded. Investigation revealed that the shooter came from behind the fence of the basketball court and fired shots from a shot gun in the direction of the bleachers. Bainton received gun shots to the left side of the temple, foot and arm and Avila received to the left chest, inside the left lower arm and his left foot. Both persons where taken to BDF hospital in a stable condition, where doctor certify their injuries as wounding. Police are seeking one man pending investigations.

Regional body moves to protect spiny lobster
BELIZE CITY -- The executive committee of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) says it is working on “legal instruments” to strengthen regional cooperation for the conservation, management and sustainable use of the spiny lobster and the protection of its habitat. The 22ndmeeting of the (CRFM) executive, which concluded Friday in Kingstown, St Vincent and the Grenadines, saw a two-day deliberation on matters such as coral reef management, the lobster fishery, and cooperation between CARICOM States and the French Islands in fisheries. “The Committee addressed a number of important regional initiatives designed to ensure sustainable use of our fisheries resources and protect the marine ecosystems,” said Milton Haughton, CRFM Executive Director. The CRFM executive committee consists of representatives of six member states of the regional inter-governmental fisheries organisation. The membership of the committee is drawn from the Caribbean Fisheries Forum, a group of government officials, fishers and representatives of private companies from CARICOM states tasked with providing technical support to the CRFM.

Moto Cross Race 4 Pictures
The Belize Moto Cross Association got some great pictures from their 4th race which they had at the Peter August stadium in Santa Elena. "What a GREAT RACE it was. The track was in Perfect Condition, Had a lot of Riders that participated. We want to Thank All the Riders, and Fans That came Out. The guys that prepared the Track. And Also A HUGE THANK YOU to Our Great Sponsors, without them there would be No Race. Sponsors are Makita, Universal Hardware, Tropic Air, Infinite Wireless, Motor Solutions, Maranco, Southwest Construction."

Architects of Human History
By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez When Garinagu talk about Ahari They are talking about Annikai or Annikari The architects of human history February is the month of Black History What an irony? It’s amazing how our story has been commercialized by the oligarchy Hell bent on being subjects of the monarchy We noh di teach our pickney Their rich heritage, culture and legacy Di tell dem rass bout slavery mi betta fi wi When Africa was the cradle of humanity Timbuktu is the blueprint of all modern universities We have made the slave master our deity They have used religion to enslave wi By having us subscribe to religiosity Ignoring our African spirituality Calling it necromancy, we even gave the world freemasonry Which they stole and corrupted calling it Illuminati

Surprise Wedding Proposal Dive Video
Here's a very special dive for all our divers! Congratulations to Todd and Kristina!

BRAS for Belize!
Got Bras?? Women in Belize need good quality bras! Donate cash (here!), gift cards, or new/gently-used bras to BRASforBelize so we can help very deserving women in Belize in a very personal way! I am an archaeologist and have been working in the country of Belize every summer for the past seven years. I work at an important ancient Maya city called Xunantunich. Just across the Mopan River from Xunantunich is the village of San Jose Succotz, or just Succotz for short. Not far down the road is Benque Viejo del Carmen (Benque for short) and the larger town of San Ignacio. Over my summers in Belize, I have become very close with so many amazing Belizean women from these places! My friend Sylvia Batty (a strong Belizean women and up-and-coming Belizean archaeologist) and I want to give back to Belizean women in very personal ways. There is a huge need for adequate women’s undergarments in Belize. Donations to BRAsforBelize will impact women’s daily lives! Donated funds and gift cards will be used to purchase good quality bras in the US (we are bargain hunters!). Donated bras and those we purchase will be distributed to women living throughout the country of Belize and particularly in rural areas. I will travel to Belize in May to conduct archaeological research and I'll pack every last bra I can into my luggage and any extra bags I can afford!

Western Ballaz Defeat Orange Walk
The Western Ballaz travelled to Orange Walk this weekend to play the Orange Walk Running Rebels. They won the game, 80 to 70, making them the number 1 team in the Elite League. Thanks to Tarun for the great pictures and collage. The Western Ballaz are hosting the Dangriga Warriors this Saturday night at the Sacred Heart College auditorium. Please come out and support them as they remain the best in the league. "10% luck 20% skill 15% concentrated power of will 5% pleasure 50% pain and 100% reason to remember the name! 2-0 watch the WESTERN BALLAZ live in action ad they play their first home game, February 22 (this saturday )8pm @ SHC Auditorium!!!"

Reconstructing the Youths Mentality for National Development
Some people might ask, what is “Reconstructing the Youth Mentality for National Development”? Well, in my professional perspective, the majority of our young people in Belize is poor and thus, is OVERLOOKED. The system TOLERATES this. We, at the Teens Belize Organization say that this must change. There is URGENT NEED for reconstructing the youth mentality if our youths are to take Belize to economic prosperity. Currently, the majority who is poor, and are at a disadvantaged, just “go” with the flow. But they have potential, but it’s no use they advance this potential because the system generates a sense that “it’s the survival of the fittest”. How about “the fittest who survive” help those who didn’t survive the system? Have our people “up there” ever thought of that? A careful person should provide help to those in need. It is in the midst of all the “Rackle & Tackle” of society that this reconstruction begins.

Shotgun taken in Corozal burglary
Police officers in Corozal town are are seeking the assistant of the general public in locating a firearm that was stolen from Lorenzo Reyes. On Valentine’s Day, February 14, Corozal Police were called to the Village of San Andres where businessman Lorenzo Reyes reported that someone had broken into his residence. Upon making checks Reyes noted that his licensed 12-gauge Mossberg Brand Pump Action Shotgun, valued at $ 2,500, an undisclosed amount of money and jewelry were stolen in the burglary.

Caye Caulker Sailing Club Fundraiser
The Caye Caulker Sailing Club will be having a fundraiser this Saturday starting at 10AM. We are looking for sponsors who are willing to donate towards our raffle. It can be a type of tour, dinner or hotel stay. Anything that you are willing to donate is welcome. If you would like to donate some sort of food for us to sell we will appreciate it as well. We are also asking for anyone who would like to offer their help, they are willing to come. We are having a meeting today at Mr. Neil Bradley (Madelin's Hardware by Paradiso Cafe) at 6p.m. so if you would like to be a part of the club or hear what are our plans feel free to come by. Everyone is welcome as well as their ideas to have a successful fundraiser! We will greatly appreciate all the help we can get as all this effort is for the kids. I am once again asking for any parent who would like to have their kids be a part of this club. Sign up sheets will be available on Saturday and it is free. All we ask is dedication from parent and child. This is a serious activity. It will not only give Caye Caulker a name but also your child will have the opportunity to become great sailors and compete against the top sailors from the rest of the country. Our kids attended the Corozal Regatta last week and did exceptionally well for their first time! Your child can be a part of this exciting recreational activity. Please contact me at the Island Link or call me at 226-0592 if you are interested.

Channel 7

Man Shoots Into Crowd In Ladyville, Injures 3
Public terror was unleashed last night in Ladyville when a gunman opened fire on a crowded public event at the community basketball court. It happened at around 8:30 when the gunman pulled out a shotgun and without any regard for the crowd - which included children - shot at a group sitting in the bleachers. Innocent people got shot, while many others could have been hurt, or even killed because the gunman fired indiscriminately. Daniel Ortiz went to Ladyville today to find out what happened: Daniel Ortiz reporting Public Terror unfolded last night here at the Ladyville Basketball court when a family function was broken up at the sound of shotgun blasts. Around 200 villagers and their children were at a PUP event organized to be a sports day. It was supposed to be an outing of activities to promote peaceful and enjoyable interactions, but somehow, violence made its way into the event.

"Beefing" At Club Leads To Southside Shooting
There was another shooting which happened early on Saturday morning. At around 3:00 am, 27 year-old Robert Tracey was walking on Central American Boulevard, and when he got to the Boots Crescent intersection, someone shot at him. One of the shots struck him in his back, but fortunately, he was rushed to the KHMH in time to receive treatment. Today, 7News spoke with the Officer Commanding Police Precinct 1, Superintendent Alden Dawson. He explained that police believe that this shooting is connected to a prior incident which happened after the Friday night opening of the BTL Park. Superintendent Dawson worked to help secure the event, and no flare-up happened at the event. Investigators believe that rival gang members had friction at the Elements Club, where some of the concert-goers went after the BTL Park opening, and which led to Tracey's shooting:

Police Kill Mentally Unstable Man In Toledo
Today police killed a mentally unstable man in Big Falls village. Best information says that a special constable in the village along with a regular constable was called to respond to a case of Moses Williams, a man in his 20's with known mental problems, who was exhibiting violent and aggressive behavior. When they got there, Williams was reportedly brandishing a machete, and chopped the special constable on his fingers. The police constable then shot him in the right leg. He was rushed to the hospital in PG Town , but apparently the gunshot punctured a major artery in his leg and he died at 8:30 am. The special constable was taken to the southern regional hospital.

GOB Comes Up With Multi Million $$ Solution to Standoff
On Friday, we told you about the very serious talks in the citrus industry. The background was the ongoing cash flow crisis at Citrus Products of Belize Limited. That’s the company that buys the citrus products from the farmers. But its accounts have been frozen because its board of directors is deadlocked on finding a new auditor – and the bank First Caribbean wouldn’t release any money until it gets audited figures. With that the industry wasn’t paying farmers, and they had stopped delivering – bringing one of the country’s three major agro industries to a grinding halt. The fallout in terms of losses could be huge – so government was pressed to make a dramatic and expensive intervention. The plan for that was outlined this morning at a Prime Ministerial press conference. 7News was there:…

PM Says The PUP Should Launch Private Prosecution For Penner
One week - that's how long the opposition gave the Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie to respond to an appeal that he commence an investigation of criminal wrongdoing against area representative for Cayo Northeast Elvin Penner. Well, that one week expired today and the PUP's Legal Advisor Anthony Sylvestre confirmed to us today that the Commissioner has not replied. Sylvestre says that on Wednesday the PUP will go ahead and apply to the Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus which would compel the commissioner to act. Speaking with the Prime Minister today he said the decision on what to do is solely for the Commissioner:... Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "That's a matter for the commissioner of police." Marion Ali, reporter "Sir, people have been saying in some sectors that the commissioner has been intimidated." Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "Then you talk to the commissioner about that. I don't know that the commissioner is a man to be intimidated and if he is I don't know by who. But speak to him."

Integrity Commission Member Served On BAA Board, Signed Castro Cheque
Another headache that the Prime Minister is contending with is the Integrity Commission. Two of his appointees stepped down because they didn't want to have to endure the scathing scrutiny of the Politically Exposed Persons disclosure rules. So the Prime Minister has to find two more members, one of them a chartered account. But one of his appointees who did stay on has come under scrutiny. Armeid Gabourel is a former member of the Belize Airports Authority Board of Directors - yes, the same board that was made to resign after the Castro cheques appeared. Today the Prime Minister said that her former service on the BAA, and the signing of a five thousand dollar cheque in Castro's name - is not fatal for her appointment to the integrity commission:.. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "It is my understanding that Miss Gabriel was one who in fact opposed and it's on record as having done so the decision of the board to approved a sort of ongoing commitment to assist the minister in his constituency, so I wouldn't. Clearly we had to ask everybody to resign. You can't at this point making distinctions, but I wouldn't see the resignation there as being fatal to the Integrity Commission appointment. I am more concern about finding the replacement to the new resignations now even before formal constitution of those on the Integrity Commission that have said we simply are not prepared to live with the PEP obligations."

Immigration Minister Holds Forth On Nationality Employees Involved With Kim File
At the Prime Minister’s press conference today, we also caught up with Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse. He patiently waited for the media while we interviewed the Prime Minister – and spoke with us after. First, he discussed the two officers from the nationality section who have been asked to answer for irregularities with the Citizen Kim nationality file:…

Vitalino Gives His Side Of Yohnny Story
Last week, WE told you about the situation developing with Yhony Rosado, the owner of, where he is fighting an allegation of disorderly conduct in the Magistrate's Court and before the Belize Tourism Board's Licensing Committee. His accuser is Vitalino Reyes Sr., one of his competitors, who owns Rosado claims that the Reyes family is trying to destroy his reputation and his business, but Reyes claims that he's doing no such thing. Reyes visited 7News today to explain his side of the story where he claims that Rosado tried to steal some guests from him, and when he was unsuccessful, Rosado allegedly assaulted him. Here's how Reyes explained it to us: Daniel Ortiz "You do understand that whatever you say to us is not final. You have to go to court and prove these things and we as the media have to accept the ruling of the court. We can only present facts and the facts are Mr. Rosado beats that case and he is now claiming that he will be able to beat this allegation as well, so what you say to us has no real bearing on the case. Do you understand that?"

3 Injured In Gardenia Incident
Though the Police Press Office has not yet gotten around releasing the details, there was a serious traffic accident on the Northern Highway, near Gardenia Village, which left 3 persons injured last night. It involved a head on collision between a Chevy Tracker and an Isuzu Rodeo, and today, the Rural Executive Officer explained more about it: ASP Chris Noble - Rural Executive Officer "It occurred last night in the area of Gardenia. It was a head-on collision, it was not fatal. Persons were taken to the hospital and were being attended to. Their condition is unknown to us at this time, but we are looking to what was a traffic accident is that area."

Lied About Rape Report, Women Remanded
18 year-old Myesha Williams lied about being raped by a man, and tonight, she is at prison after being taken to court for committing a mischievous act. We won't reveal the name of the man she falsely accused because it will unfairly damage his reputation, but she told police that on Saturday, he sexually assaulted her. The officers responding to the report conducted a full preliminary investigation where photographs of the scene and statements were recorded. She showed them a damaged lock on her door, and the bedroom where the assault supposedly took place. The problem is that when the officers took her to the doctor to be medically examined, they found nothing to suggest rape. Under questioning, she revealed that she made the whole story up, so they charged her with a mischievous act. She told investigators,quote, "I mih only want they deal with the man. I am sorry I made up the report." End Quote.

GSU Gets 53 lbs Of "Hydro"
The GSU made a major weed bust in the city this morning - and they say it's hydro, known as high grade weed. It happened at 9:30 am while the unit was conducting an operation on West Collet Canal. They stopped a white 4 doors Taurus car driven by Reynard GRINAGE, a 40 years old Belizean mechanic of Faber's Road. Nothing was found in a search, but a bunch of keys was found on GRINAGE and the GSU followed up. So they executed a search at the upper flat of a board house at #5842 Bachelor's Avenue. Inside one of the rooms, the officers found 2 cartoon boxes each containing bricks of compressed hybrid cannabis. Inside one of the boxes were 13 parcels bricks wrapped in brown wrapping and tape that was along with another 5 smaller bricks to a total of 18 parcels. In the other box were 8 similar bricks and 2 smaller parcels in saran wrap to a total of 10 parcels. The box with 18 parcels weighed a total of 17.1 kilograms and the other box containing 10 parcels weighed a total of 7.1 kilograms. All parcels combined weighed a total of 24.4 kilograms or 53 pounds of hybrid cannabis. This would have a street value well in excess of 75 thousand dollars.

A Lovely Race!
The Valentine Cycling Classic, which hadn't been held for 2 years, took over the Western Highway on Sunday morning, from Belize City to Belmopan, and 7News was there for every single mile of the race from start to finish. Daniel Ortiz reviews it in detail in this report: The results of the open elite are Byron Pope, 4th place, Darnell Barrow 3rd place, Giovanni Lovell, second, and Angel Tzib, the champion. In the female category, Kerah Eiley won, defeating Shalini Zabaneh, the second place, and Kaya Cattouse, who came in 3rd.

Hon. Collet Endorses Luke, Says It's Not About His Bills
The PUP is preparing for a major convention in Cayo Central at the end of April. Luke Espat and Dan Silva will face each other in a hotly anticipated contest. Espat has been on the ground for 7 months, but Silva is the PUP's old general in the area. The wild card in this has been Senator Collet Montejo. He represented the PUP in Cayo central in the 2012 general elections and came within a few dozen votes of beating UDP incumbent Rene Montero. First we heard he would support Silva, then that he would run, but today he confounded all observers when he threw his support behind the Espat camp. He made the endorsement at Espat's residence in Belize City today:.. Senator Collet Montejo "I had to choose between the 2 and decided to come out publicly today endorsing the candidacy of Luke Espat. The obvious question then is why. Let me answer in a nutshell and I will give only 3 direct points: 1.) I have met a man that in our discussion shares the views that I have that the party must return back to its social justice agenda, that we've got to go back to the grassroots, that it's time for poor people to again be able to survive in this country. Not just with cheap food pantry programs, but with programs that will move them from that dependency to independence - to true economic independence.

Family Fears Worst For Missing Cab Driver After Finding Car
A Belize City family has grave concerns for their loved one tonight. Taxi-man Lester "Doggy" Roland has been missing for 6 days, and today fear struck at his family's heart when his taxi cab was found abandoned, bogged on the side of a city street. His brother told us more:.. Steven Rowland, brother of missing man "We found his car earlier this evening on Faber's Road right close to Crooman Lane and Western Highway and any information about his whereabouts will be greatly appreciated by the family." Jules Vasquez "You all found his vehicle?" Steven Rowland, brother of missing man "We found his vehicle yes." Jules Vasquez "People have been using his vehicle? What was the status for it?" Steven Rowland, brother of missing man "That's what it seems like." Jules Vasquez "Sir, his vehicle is in good working order and someone was rollin' in it?"

Doing It For Dara
This weekend, Jennine Hamilton held a promotion at her newly opened business place, Mr. Ham's Juices Smoothies, and Shakes. It's one of those news businesses operating from the kiosks at the renovated BTL Park, which was officially opened on Friday night. To give back to the community, she promised to try to sell 1,000 smoothies where she would donate 1 dollar for each cup to the grassroots philanthropist, Dara Robinson. She's trying to assist Dara with his feeding program, and though she missed her target of $1,000, she did very admirably. Today, she handed over $703 to Robinson, and 7News was there: Robinson told us that he already has plans for the money which will go to helping 40 needy children

PM Travels With Wife For Checkup
After meeting with the representative of Banks Holdings this afternoon, the Prime Minister left the country for Houston. He is travelling to be with his wife who is following up on her post cancer reconstructive surgery. He explained today:.. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "It's the usual follow-up of visits and there was to have been some residual reconstructive surgery but we are having some difficulties with the insurance company which is most upsetting, but there is no change in her condition, in other words as far as we know the cancer is still in remission, so it's not anything to worry about." The Prime Minister returns on Friday, 21st February, 2014. Deputy Gaspar Vega is acting Prime Minister.

The Passing Of Lionel Welch
And tonight, as we close we note the passing of attorney and football aficionado Lionel Welch. After a long and difficult illness, the 63 year old Welch died yesterday in afternoon in Los Angeles where he was being treated for advanced prostate cancer. He left Belize in November for treatment but it was too late as the cancer had already spread. He was well regarded in the legal profession and much loved in the football family where he was the owner of the FC Belize Club, recently crowned Sub-Champions of the PLB Tournament. He was also a member of the Member of the FFB Disciplinary Committee, the integrity committee for football and Legal adviser to the Football Federation of Belize. A statement from the FFB says, he will be missed by all involved in the sport of football. By tragic coincidence, his mother, Emma Cattouse who was 81 died yesterday evening in Belize City. She was hospitalized the day before in an unconscious state and never got to hear the sad news of her son's passing.

Channel 5

Social Security to bail out citrus industry
There is crisis in the citrus industry, with dark clouds gathering overhead. It’s certainly not the first in what is a volatile industry, but it is serious. In recent weeks, [...]

G.O.B. to acquire CGA $9 Million loan, but Bank Holdings retains veto power
With all that said…with shares swapped, loan facilities appropriated and the Board restructured, has there really been any fundamental change to the core of the dispute? As we understand, despite [...]

P.M. Barrow says no money to be given to CGA
At the start of the conference, Prime Minister Dean Barrow made reference to lining up the directors of Banks Holdings Limited against the wall and shooting them. That is testament [...]

Chairman says CGA has 2 non-performing loans with the S.S.B.
Earlier we told you about the intervention by G.O.B. into the citrus industry. But at what cost…and at whose cost? G.O.B. has said that it will take over the loan [...]

Will C.E.O. of CPBL, Henry Canton, be terminated?
There have been sustained attempts to remove Dr. Henry Canton as C.E.O. of CPBL. In fact, in 2011, he successfully defended in Court his position after the CGA tried to [...]

Banks Holdings Representatives in Belize to discuss proposal
A pair of executives from the board of directors of Banks Holdings, the Barbados-based firm with minority shares in CPBL arrived in Belize this morning. Chairman Anthony King, accompanied by [...]

Pressing questions continue to revolve around immigration scandals
The interest and outcry in the immigration scandals of passports and visas have been constant. And that’s why Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse remains a person of interest whenever he [...]

2 officers from Nationality Section remain untouched in investigation
The case against the three officers in the Passport Section seems clear, at least from the Minister’s perspective. Those three officers – Sharon Neal, Omar Phillips and Erwin Robinson, have [...]

Services Commission hearing for suspended officers set for Tuesday
The Services Commission hearing for Sharon Neal, Erwin Robinson and Omar Phillips is set for Tuesday. There were reports that Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse would be attending the hearing, [...]

Shooting in Ladyville midst a sporting event; woman and minor injured
A sporting event was abruptly interrupted on Sunday night in Ladyville when a gunman fired aimlessly at a crowd comprising of men women and children. A Ladyville resident and a [...]

Gang rivalry ends with a Belize City youth shot in the back
While the Ladyville police have two persons detained for questioning in regards to the shooting at the basketball court, the Belize City police are investigating a shooting on Saturday morning [...]

3 injured in accident near Gardenia
It didn’t make it on the police blotter today, but we were able to confirm with the Rural Executive Officer of the Police Department, Assistant Superintendent Christopher Noble, that sometime [...]

Big Tom in court for indecent words against officers
Some years ago, Belize City resident, Kenneth Flowers, aka “Big Tom” was said to have been shot and killed in the United States but that turned out to be inaccurate [...]

18 year old pleads guilty to lying about being raped
An eighteen year old girl who fabricated a story that she was sexually assaulted inside her home is looking at time behind bars. When the report was made, the police [...]

Collet Montejo endorses Luke Espat for convention in Cayo Central
Both political parties are holding conventions even though elections are not due until 2017. In Cayo Central, the convention is set for April twenty-seventh, so that campaigns among the contenders [...]

Penner, the pariah, turns investment prospector
Disgraced former Minister of State Elvin Penner might be a political pariah in public, and indeed on camera he has been declared persona non grata by his boss Dean Barrow. [...]

P.U.P. request to ComPol unanswered, mandamus to be in effect
Today is February seventeenth, the last of seven days given to Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie by the Opposition to commence a criminal investigation against former Minister of State Elvin [...]

Still no Integrity Commission, but Barrow defends Armead Gabourel
The Integrity Commission is in trouble after two government appointees stepped down. They did so because under new legislation passed because of the Financial Action Task Force, they would come [...]

First shipment of sugar sails to England
The 2014 sugar crop was delayed for two months this year due to issues over the payment of bagasse between the Belize Sugar cane Farmers Association and the Belize Sugar [...]

Yhony Rosado says he is targeted yet again
Tour operator Yhony Rosado, an outspoken member of the Federation of Cruise Tourism Association of Belize, is in the news tonight again, following an arraignment in the Magistrate’s Court on [...]

Cycling and Basketball featured in Sports
Good evening I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   Week two I the NEBL saw the basketball league consolidate its place on the entertainment landscape here in the [...]


Arizona Resident Undertakes Library Project in Belize
Construction has started on a building in Sarteneja Village in the Corozal District that will serve as a public library for the over three thousand residents. The installation of a library in this community came about following the visit of a US citizen, who, in search of a retirement location came across the fishing community noticed, being the avid reader that she is, that there was no library for the community. Julia Kern of the Palominas area in Sierra Vista in Arizona, USA will be the librarian is currently soliciting contributions from the various residents and libraries in her area. Construction on the new library, with the support of community leaders and local residents began on January 21, 2014 and is expected to be completed by June 2014. If you are interested in making a book donation or financial assistance, you can contact Kern at [email protected] .

GSU Operation Yields More Than Fifty Pounds of Hydro
Operations conducted on West Collet Canal in Belize City by members of the Gang Suppression Unit yielded twenty four point four kilograms of hybrid cannabis. The GSU did their operations just after nine o’clock this morning during which they intercepted a white Ford Taurus sedan driven at the time by 40-year-old, Reynard Thenwick Grinage, a Belizean mechanic of a Faber’s Road address in Belize City. While the search of the vehicle turned up empty, a further investigation was conducted upon the discovery of several keys in Grinage’s possession. A search warrant was acquired and the GSU team executed a search, in the presence of Grinage, at the upper flat of a wooden house on Bachelor’s Avenue. Inside one of the rooms, GSU found two boxes, each containing parcels of compressed hybrid cannabis. One of the boxes contained thirteen brick parcels wrapped in brown paper and tape along with five smaller brick parcels. In the second box, eight similar parcels wrapped in brown paper and two smaller parcels in saran wrap were found. The cannabis combined, weighed twenty four point four kilograms or just over fifty three pounds of hydro.

Police Says Shooting May Have Stemmed From Gang Rivalry
Twenty seven year old Robert Tracey is tonight recuperating from gunshot wound to his back after he was shot once on Saturday morning at about 2:30am. Police say that Tracey was walking on Central American Boulevard and upon approaching at the corner of Boots Crescent heading towards Neal’s Pen Road, Belize City he heard several gun shots and realized he was shot. Superintendent commanding Precinct One, Alden Dawson says that no one has been detained for the shooting as yet. SUPERINTENDENT ALDEN DAWSON “Sometime around 2:30am on Saturday, February 15, Mr. Tracy was walking on Central American Boulevard heading towards Neal’s Pen Road and upon reaching the junction with Boots Crescent, he was fired upon, he heard several shots and realized he was hit in the back. The police went to the scene and retrieved six expended shells. Tracy has since been treated and released. The investigation is ongoing and so far, we believe that it is an incident that stemmed from the night club earlier on the Newtown Barracks. I am not really familiar with the incident that occurred but I understand there was some altercation among different gang members and that may have well led to this incident. In respect to this incident, no one has been detained.”

Traffic Accident in San Joaquin, Corozal
Last Friday, Corozal police responded to a traffic accident in San Joaquin Village just past nine o’clock between miles seventy nine and eighty on the Philip Goldson Highway. Upon the police’s arrival, they observed blood off the highway but by the time the authorities responded to the scene, the accident victim was already transported to the Corozal Hospital. When Police went to the Corozal Hospital Emergency Room they found 43-year-old, Marciano Tun of said village was found suffering from a cut wound to the forehead and nose along with abrasions to the forehead, left side of the back and left foot. According to reports, 53-year-old, Primitivo Torres of San Roman Village, a security for the Belize Border Management was driving his Ford Astro van heading towards Corozal Town and upon reaching the Everyday Supermarket, a man ran across the highway causing the accident. Torres reportedly transported Tun to the hospital for treatment. As a result, a notice of intended prosecution has been issued to Torres pending investigations.

PM Presents Way Forward for the Citrus Industry
The trouble within the citrus industry has been well documented. The latest news from this vital sector had growers complaining that they have not been receiving payments from the Citrus Growers Association of Belize. This is after there was disagreement on the appointment of an auditor. The Association sought the intervention of the Government and after meeting with all sides; Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke of a way forward. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW “The proposal is that FCIB will advance within the limits of their overall facility with CPBL, the immediate working capital funds necessary to get us out of the pickle that we are in in terms of the inability of the factory to pay for fruit. Ultimately, Social Security Board, initially the GOB is proposing to buy out the FCIB facility, buy out the loan that FCIB has with CPBL; the idea is that SSB will afterwards take that loan, Government will unsell it to SSB; in fact, SSB is in the business of making loans while the GOB is not or only unusually so, and, that ought to see then, SSB stepping permanently into the shoes of FCIB.

Immigration Minister Says He Wants Answers
The scandal at the Immigration and nationality department is yet to die as interest continues as to how a jailed individual could have gotten a Belizean passport. Today Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse responded to questions from the media regarding the slow pace of the investigation. HON. GODWIN HULSE “We’re talking Public Service Commission; this is PSC work; when you get to police or criminal work, that is where they step in – they may be the ones who say, you get immunity or whatever, that is what DPP and the others do; that is not how we do it in the department. The department is strictly public service and how it is, that you breached these things; Public Service will decide this week or next week when they hear the people’s case.” REPORTER “Sir, in your opinion, from the evidence you have seen, should Miss Ady Pacheco and Mr. G Wade be fired or terminated or recommended for termination?” HON. GODWIN HULSE “Well, my personal opinion and this is simply my opinion – too much has happened in the department, they are the people responsible and they need to answer how it is, a certificate got to the minister for signing? .

Basketball Court Turns Dangerous Territory
A man and woman were shot last night just before ten o’clock in Ladyville Belize District. Reporter Hipolito Novelo has the details. Residents of Ladyville Village were socializing last night on the Basket Ball Court when a male individual wearing a camouflage suit approach the crowd on the bleachers and fired a single shot. The gunman used a shot gun. The shooting happened nearby the Ladyville Police Station and Officer Commanding, ASP, Christopher Noble told us more. ASP, CHRIS NOBLE “Apparently somebody went there with what we believe to be, a firearm and fired at a group of persons or a person, we are not sure as yet, we are looking into it. Two persons were injured; they have been attended to, treated and released.” HIPOLITO NOVELO One of the shooting victims was 37 year old Arlene Bainton who receives several pellet wound to the leg and face.” ARLENE BAINTON “I went along with my family and friends to watch the basketball game; my son was playing football and that was done and so we went over to watch football. I don’t know what transpired in the park but my cousins and I were talking and I just heard boom and I saw people scatter and then when I noticed, my foot was bleeding and the young man behind me got shot in his chest and foot and another young man that was in front of us got it in his chin and his hand.

Robberies and Burglaries Investigated in Northern Belize
A businessman of San Andres Village in the Corozal District has told police that his home was burglarized last Friday between 5pm and 9pm. According to 53-year-old, Lorenzo Reyes the thief or thieves took a twelve gauge Mossberg Brand Pump Action shotgun with serial number H536324 valued at two thousand five hundred dollars along with an undisclosed amount of Belize coins and jewellery with a value yet to be determined. Reports indicate that access was gained to the house through a door that was left unlocked by the home owner. Investigations are ongoing. Items stolen during a burglary at the Belize Fruit Packers in San Andres Village in the Corozal District were recovered by authorities in that area. On Sunday morning at around 1:30, police visited an open lot where a search of the area led them to two picnic tables, four vehicle tires and a wooden door. Reports are that the items were taken when one of the company’s warehouses was burglarized. Police contacted the Manager, 41-year-old, Martin Aguilar who identified the items as those belonging to the company. Police have detained four persons pending their investigations.

Prime Minister Accompanies Wife on Medical Trip
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has left the country today to accompany his wife to Houston, Texas, USA. Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow is scheduled to be in Houston over the next few days to continue with her medical check-ups. The Prime Minister and his wife are slated to return on Friday, February 21, 2014. In the interim, Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega will act as the Prime Minister of Belize.


Prime Minister Says, The Reshuffling Is Absolutely Not Happening
Last Friday we ran a story where it was alleged that the Prime Minister had reshuffled his cabinet to quote, “save his corruption infested administration”, end quote. The news took the social media by storm. The news then claimed that Area Representative for Belmopan and Minister of National Security, John Saldivar had been removed from his post and replaced by recently elected UDP standard bearer for Orange Walk East, and former Deputy Commissioner of Police, Elodio Aragon Jr. It further alleged that Elodio Aragon Jr. will then be sworn in as Senator and elevated to take Saldivar’s spot while Saldivar scoots over to Public Service. After today’s press conference, the Prime Minister addressed the allegations and put all doubts to rest.

Border Procedures In Slow Mode Causing Delays In Importation And Exportation
In an update to the border issue we reported on a few weeks ago whereby cargo trucks were unable to make it across the Mexican Border due to the suspension of license for the only broker agency “Servicios Aduaneros Integrados, reports tonight are that things are not running rather smoothly. While on February 4th the mobilization of cargo trucks renewed with the opening of a new Aduanal agency, ADJ “Alfonso Bello Juarez” with patente 3950, we understand that the process has been too slow. And truck drivers are become impatient. Today our Corozal news room was flooded with calls, reporting that the process at the new agency had stopped and that truckers wouldn’t be able to come across once more. Reporter Victor Castillo looked into the matter and was informed by officials at the ADJ that the services have not stopped. What’s happening though is that the system is moving a bit slow which is causing the delay for several containers to enter the country.

Blue Hole National Park To Get Major Uplifting
Today, PACT awarded $356,253.75 in two new medium-sized project grants. The grants were awarded to the Belize Audubon Society and Programme for Belize. The Belize Audubon Society’s project, entitled: Enhancing St Herman’s Blue Hole National Park through new infrastructure, mapping and management plan was granted $199,998.75. In case you didn’t know, St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park is one of the more visited sites co-managed by the Belize Audubon Society. The main goal of this project is to install needed infrastructure at the site, with an aim to improve visitor’s experience, while enhancing the aesthetics of the protected area. In addition, the project includes a component which will ensure the Belize Audubon Society’s compliance with the new co-management agreement, by completion of a Management Plan. Key in the drafting of this plan is the protected area map, which will also be developed during this project.

Another Victim Of Rape In The Island Of San Pedro
A teenager on the island of San Pedro has reported to police that she was raped over the weekend and the perpetrator is on the loose. The 19 year old victim reported to the cops that around 12:00am on Saturday she left her house with one of her female friends and went socializing with other friends. At about 3:00 a.m. she said that she was ready to go back home and so her friend decided to accompany her as far as the Central Park. She further stated that she continued to walk home and noticed that she was being followed by a male person she knows.

GOB Proposal To Transfer CPBL Shares To SSB
The citrus industry has been sinking into a series of problems but ultimately the circumstances surrounding the industry have worsened. The dead lock between two of the shareholders, the Citrus Growers Association which owns 51 percent of the shares and Banks Holdings Limited, which holds 46.59% shares, have led the industry into crisis. Over the last weeks, CPBL has been unable to make payments to growers for their deliveries and there was a possibility that the factory would have stopped receiving fruit, in other words the factory would shut down. However, given the industry’s financial strife, government stepped in and has a new proposal to keep the industry afloat. Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize “The proposal is that FCIB will advance within the limits of their overall facility with DPBL, the immediate working capital funds necessary to get us out of the pickle that we are in in terms of the inability of the factory to pay for fruits. Ultimately, Social Security Board, initially the Government of Belize is proposing to buy out the FCIB facility, buy out the loan that FCIB has with CPBL, the ideas is that SSB will afterwards take that loan, government will un sale it to SSB since in fact SSB is in the business of making loans while the government of Belize is not or only unusually so and that ought to say then SSB stepping permanently stepping into the shoes of FCIB.”

Another Firearm Out In The Streets
Tonight Corozal Police are seeking the assistance of the public in locating a firearm that was stolen from Lorenzo Reyes. On February 14th, Corozal Police were called to the Village of San Andres where businessman Lorenzo Reyes reported that someone broke into his residence and stole his licensed 12 gauge Mossberg Brand Pump Action Shotgun valued at $ 2,500.00 Bcy, an undisclosed amount of money and jewelry. The value of the items has not been ascertained as yet. Police believe that the culprits gained entry through one of the doors which apparently was left unlocked by the complainant. Police are investigating.

Another Man Knocked Down On The Phillip Goldson Highway
Another man who is lucky to be alive tonight is 43 year old Marciano Tun who was knocked down by a Ford Astro van on Friday. The incident occurred around 9:25pm between miles 79 and 80 on the Phillip Goldson Highway. When police arrived at the scene Tun had already been transported to the Corozal Community Hospital where police found him suffering from a cut wound to the fore head and nose, abrasions to the fore head, left side of back and left foot. Investigations revealed that around 9:00pm, 53 year old Primitivo Torres, Border Management Security of San Roman Village in the Corozal District, was driving his Astro Van in the direction of Corozal Town and upon reaching in front of Everyday Super Market Chinese Store in San Joaquin Village, a male person ran across the highway from the left to right side.

Diesel Tank Explodes AT Workshop
An Orange Walk resident is lucky to be alive tonight after a trailer diesel tank exploded on Sunday at the corner of Nargusta and Banak Streets. According to Miguel Pren, who only suffered minor injuries, around 9:30 he was at his dad’s business namely Prens Welding Service welding a cylinder tank when it exploded. A big bang resonated in the area shortly after a large plume of smoke was seen. Luckily, the cylinder was empty which contributed to the fact that Pren only received a few burns to the right foot and chin. He was taken to Northern Regional Hospital where he was treated and later released.

Minister Of Immigration Says There Is No Excuse Whatsoever
We’ve covered the visa scam in which it is reported that government ministers are using a quota system, which the prime minister says could cause the fall of his government. But in the passport scandal, three public officers have been sent home; the suspension of the most senior member has been extended to five months at half pay. The C.E.O. of Immigration, Candelaria Saldivar confirmed that throughout the entire administrative investigation nobody looked at Elvin Penner. And even now, the only file under scrutiny is the Kim file. And after the PM’s press conference on the Citrus Industry issues, the media caught up with Godwin Hulse and asked him a slew of questions as it pertain to the investigation of the Citizen Kim fiasco and the passport scandal.


Belmopan Comprehensive High School Launches First Science Fair
The Belize Comprehensive High School, for the first time in a long time, held a science fair inviting parents guardians and other neighbouring educational institutions to witness this grand event. Our crew was on the ground on the day of the event and brought back an explosive report. Our...

Social Security Board to Buy Shares Into CPBL
The citrus industry is badly divided and dangerously close to collapse. Last week, the factories in the Pomona Valley were threatening to stop taking deliveries from growers as capital continued to be withheld by major banks First Caribbean International Bank and Heritage Bank. As it was forced to do...

Asian Belizean Wins Up UDP Convention
Virtually unknown UDP contender Ralph Huang won the UDP Standard Bearer convention for Cayo South on Sunday. Three candidates contested the seat; Michael Hulse, Ernest Patnett, and Asian Belizean Ralph Huang. 1,036 votes went to Huang. Patnett received 778 and 86 votes went to Michael Hulse. Ralph Huang will...

Santa Elena Library Upgraded
The Santa Elena library extension and rehabilitation was officially inaugurated this morning. On hand to open the New Santa Elena Library and Resource Center were Area Representative Rene Montero as well as Minister of Education Hon. Patrick Faber. The resource center is actually an internet café. 14 new computers...

BAY Basketball Tournament on the Way
Over 60 young people between the ages of 13 to 20 showed up at Hilltop Basketball court in the capital city on Sunday. The young men were there to hopefully be drafted to participate in the Belmopan Active Youths’s basketball tournament. After friendly matches on Sunday, the players were...

PACT Awards Grant
PACT awarded over three hundred and fifty thousand dollars in grants today Monday, February 17 to the Belize Audubon Society and Programme for Belize. The Belize Audubon Society’s project is entitled: Enhancing St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park (SHBHNP) Through New Infrastructure, Mapping and Management Plan for a total of...

Placencia Art Festival Successful
Placencia Village in the Stann Creek District made it to the Guiness Book of records for having the world’s narrowest street. Well, those “streets”, which are really sidewalks, were lined this weekend with some of Belize’s most beautiful works of art. The village of Placencia, in an effort to...


Belize Economic Review 2013
As one year ends and we embrace a new year, we tend to reflect on all that has happened and make comparisons to see if the year was better or worst than the previous. At the end of 2013, the same approach was taken and an economic review was done with the assistance of the Statistical Institute of Belize. In their assessment, they highlighted that Belize’s economy has seen several improvements, however it also faced quite a few downfalls over the last 12 months as compared to 2012. At the end of 2012, the economic review shows that Belize’s GDP was at $3.0 billon, with a growth of 5.3% and $8,754 per capita. Foreign Direct Investments were recorded at $197.9 million while public debt was at 78.1% of GDP. The Belize economy has shown a slow small growth from 2012-2013. GDP figures over the first 9 months of 2013 as compared to the same time in 2012 showed that the country grew by a minute 0.4%. A bit under what was anticipated. This is due to banana production which was down 6% and oil production which is also down due to oil fields nearing depletion.

Polvorones/Polboron de Belice
I remember growing up eating Polvorone Biscuits in Belize, I thought they were primarily from Belize or Mexico, but I discovered that the origin of polvorones is Spain. It is a type of heavy, soft and very crumbly shortbread. It is made with flour, milk, sugar and nuts. It is popular all over Spain and ex-Spanish colonies during the Christmas period. The ones in Belize didn't have nuts, so I made them that way.

The sad state of governance and justice in Belize
With the matter of Corporal Peck being for the most part determined, the shift now goes to the highly questionable Firearms Act itself and the nefarious manner in which it has been applied to regular, law-abiding citizens, long before it snared the corporal. For those who are not blind, it is clear that something serious is going-on behind the scenes. This evident because in the not too distant past, there was a case in which an individual with a criminal record was caught with an unlicensed firearm and/or ammunition and by virtue of the discretion of a police officer, he was inexplicably set free. This speaks volumes, especially given the parameters of Corporal Peck’s case. Therefore, it doesn’t take much to determine that there is more afoot than meets the eye.

My Journey From San Ignacio to Placencia, the 2014 Art & Music Festival and Chelsea Handler!
Friday afternoon I attended a gorgeous wedding at the magical Cahal Pech Maya site and Saturday morning I needed to be up before dawn to travel. From San Ignacio in Western Belize to Placencia, south over the Maya Mountains to the southern coast. The travel route: early morning taxi ride from San Ignacio to Belmopan (a friend taxi driver gave me a great rate of $50bzd, an extra 45 minutes of sleep and HOPEFULLY reprieve from the horrible Belmopan push onto the bus. The capital of Belize is my most dreaded bus station. Always crowded with a HUGE line for the bus. Read about all of my bus tips in this post.

By: Audrey Matura-Shepherd I remember when Esquivel government collapse Caz Belize just had to give UDP the axe 1998 was not only bout retrenchment day It was bout minister gone rougue and astray Poor Manny he tried his best to reign dem in But never prepared to defend dem sin Inna no time he step aside Hand over leadership to his joy and pride Then Dean was the super-minister, weh know it all And he vouched he could keep dem straight and tall In his egotistic – I in control voice and stance He forget he just join the biggest power-shuffling dance Well when in opposition he never have to worry None had power, none was doing anything in a hurry Many were nowhere to be seen The party was bruk the coffers lean But when kruffy get tiad and vex They booth out PUP with a curse and a hex Dean beat he chest and rose to power Forgetting even the best love goes sour. He said he was noting like Esquivel

What a Belize vacation looks like (Video)
Today I’m sharing a viral video that showcases what a Belize vacation looks like. This adventure packed video titled Ruins, Rivers and Reefs makes it clear that Belize is an ideal destination for families and couples seeking authentic experiences that will provide unforgettable travel memories. So if you’re either a budget traveler or seeking a bit of luxury, see how Belize can deliver a once-in-a-lifetime trip that cannot be done anywhere else. San Ignacio, Mountain Pine Ridge, Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye are featured in the video, if you’re interested in having a similar adventure, adapt my itinerary recommendations for a week or two weeks.

International Sources

Notes from a Libertarian Paradise
Imagine a place where government plays a negligible role in public life. Taxes are almost non-existent. Businesses operate free from the burden of regulation or bureaucracy. People lean on each other to establish and enforce standards of public behavior. Imagine a place with no Obamacare, no insurance mandates, no mandates of almost any kind. Libertarians are often derided as dreamers whose vision of the world could never be made real, but that is not true. All over the planet there are places where the Libertarian dream of hyper-limited government is played out in daily life. We can learn a lot about the merits and pitfalls of Libertarianism by examining the shape of life in the world’s Libertarian strongholds. Belize is a stunningly beautiful nation of beaches, rainforests, and coral reefs at the southern end of the Yucatan Peninsula. A former British colony, it escaped the upheavals of Cold War politics in the Third World by being altogether too small (only about 300,000 citizens today), too remote, and too poor for anyone to notice their existence.

Post tardío de domingo para enseñaros este mini video de nuestro viaje a San Pedro, ya sabéis, La Isla Bonita, situado en Belize. Era nuestra primera vez en Centro América y el lugar creo que es el más paradisíaco que he visto nunca… espero que os guste y os traslade allí por unos instantes! Veréis de nuevo un poquito mis outfits de viaje en movimiento.Por cierto, lo que sale en el segundo 00:19 es la isla privada de Leonardo Dicaprio… algunos se lo montan bien…Un...

12 Surprising Things You Might Not Know About Tikal Maya Ruins
Tikal is just two hours away from the Belizean border and remains one of the most popular attractions in Guatemala. Almost any traveler who visits the western part of Belize (San Ignacio Town) travels to Guatemala for the day to visit this majestic Maya site. Located in the Peten Region of Guatemala, Tikal is an early classic to late classic Maya City. Here are 12 surprising things about Tikal: 1.) Tikal is one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centers of the pre-Columbian Maya Civilization. 2.) The name Tikal may be derived from ti ak’al in the Yucatec Maya language; and it is said to be a relatively modern name meaning “at the waterhole”. 3.) The Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes passed within a few kilometers of the ruins of Tikal in 1525, however he didn’t mention them in his letters.

February 17, 2014


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Wolfe’s Woofers: The Collar
I was sitting at a table on the deck of the Holiday Hotel when I heard someone say, “Hey, Grandpa.” When I turned around it was Davin, with Melody close behind him. “Oh, I’m so glad I found you here,” Melody said. “Can you take care of Davin while I go to the doctor for […]

Kelly McGuire is back and he sang for Saga!
On Tuesday February 11th Kelly McGuire was back at Fido’s and once again singing to raise funds for The Saga Humane Society. The palapa was packed as McGuire fans and patrons enjoyed delicious food and cold drinks as Kelly stroked up his infamous tunes including our island favorite, Boat in Belize. In addition to the cool Kelly McGuire gear that was available for fans to purchase, Saga also held an auction on fabulous prizes such as gift baskets, stone arts, bar tabs, fishing trips and tours. The various winners were announced throughout the night.

Doctor Love: Self Conscious and Shyness
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, I am almost thirty and I am in a very stable relationship. One thing I have always wanted is to have breast implants. […]

Misc Belizean Sources

Alice Margaret Craig...honored with the James Waight Award for her work as a founding director of the Belize Audubon Society and so much more...
Alice M. (Meg) Craig, sister of Lydia Waight, is a founding member of the Belize Audubon Society. She served on the BAS Board of Directors as Vice President from 1970 to 1987 and as a member of the Cockscomb and Education Committees. In the early years of BAS, Meg was very active in all of the Society’s outdoor activities and programs. She participated in all the Society’s field trips to protected areas, even before they were officially declared protected areas. Meg was chief recorder for all these trips. After the Sunday Field trips, she meticulously catalogued all the birds, flowering plants and mammals seen and sent her report over to Ms. Lydia early the following morning. She, along with other founding members, visited Half Moon Caye as early as 1969 and helped to pave the way for the declaration of this beautiful island Belize’s first Protected Area. “It all started with the Boobies!” Meg also attended all the Christmas Bird counts, year after year, working the Belize Rural Area with Fr. Dieckman. When the Belmopan Bird Count started in 1975, Meg was a diligent participant until the mid-1990s. But Meg’s involvement with BAS was only a part of the volume of work she has done to preserve her beloved Belize’s environment, natural history, and culture. While the history of the very early inhabitants of Belize was well documented, Meg researched tirelessly to fill the information void of the culture of the early settlement. One of her many treasures is her priceless and immaculately curated photo collection from that period of our nation’s history.

Mexico Presents Harp Recital
The Embassy of Mexico had a couple of harp recitals by Ada Tzab, a young harpist from Mexico. She played the recital entitled 'Around the World in 36 Strings' in Belize City and Belmopan. "Ada Tzab is a young artist from Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. She holds a degree in Musical Arts from the Yucatan Advanced School of Music and has participated as invited harpist in prestigious orchestras in Mexico."

Valentine's Cycling Classic
The 19th annual Valentine's Day Cycling Classic was today. Congratulations, Angel Tzib, for winning in the open elite category. The Cycling Federation of Belize posted 100's of race pictures, and they have pictures of the stats too.

Inside the Jaguar Cage at Belize Zoo
Awesome video of the day. A fan of the Belize Zoo, the Best Little Zoo in the World, posted a video of a jaguar that was having some fun.

BWRC Looks Back at 2013
While Cayo's Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic has huge goals for 2014 and beyond, like trying to raise $5 million to keep the Central American Corridor that runs right down through Belize protected, they had an amazingly busy 2013, and they wrote all about it in their latest article. Thank you, BWRC, for all you've done in the last year. They have detailed numbers here: "To recap the wild animals stories: at this point we have hopes that all 3 monkeys can be re-released back into the wild! Of course none of this would be possible without the amazing organization Wildtracks and the dedication of its directors Paul and Zoe Walker who are providing years of rehabilitation care for each individual monkey in their care. So I would like to end with a highlight on our amazing partners at Wildtracks who give imperiled wildlife in several species a chance at returning to their wild home."

Dance the Night Away Fundraiser
The Dance the Night Away fundraiser for Mr. Rolando Torres, will be on Friday, February 28th, at JJ's Bar and Grill. All profits will go towards Mr. Torres' medical expenses. "Dance The Night Away : Support A Worthy Cause. With DJ Lance ( From Belmopan) Entrance: $10.00 Place: JJ's (beside Cayo Twist) Date: Feb 28, 2014 Starts: 9:00 PM All Entrance Funds Will Go Towards Assisting Mr.Rolando Torres for his medical expenses abroad." more...

2010-12 forest cover changes
If your internet connection can stand it - here are the full stats for the 2010-12 forest cover changes. Guatemala is horrific - and Belize is beginning to look that way in places. You can see exactly where the Mennonites live... Sad that we are just sitting back and watching this happen. these forests don't grow back overnight and the critters we are killing off will never recover. :-(


Article Suggests There Was A Shift In Cabinet
A published blog article with the headlines “Barrow shuffles to save his corruption infested administration” has gone viral on Social Media and making its rounds in many media houses today. Our news center picked up the story based on the substance in the content. The article, published by NBZLive, says credible sources have confirmed that Area Representative for Belmopan and Minister of National Security, John Saldivar has been removed from his post and replaced by recently elected UDP standard bearer for Orange Walk East, and former Deputy Commissioner of Police, Elodio Aragon Jr. The article also suggests that put out to pasture was Senator elevated to Minister of Public Service and Election and Boundaries, Charles Gibson. Elodio Aragon Jr. will then be sworn in as Senator and elevated to take Saldivar’s spot while Saldivar scoots over to Public Service.

Negotiations On Payment Of Bagasse Continues
Yesterday the negotiating team of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association met with Representatives of BSI to begin the discussions surrounding the revenue sharing on bagasse. We spoke with Alfredo Ortega Who Told us more about the meeting. Alfredo Ortega-Vice Chairman, BSCFA, COM "You will be a presentation from us as regards our proposal for bagasse in Which They Were Given another copy Relating d our proposal and That They Were going to review it and will give us a counter proposal When we get together Within the next three weeks. " Dalila Ical - Reporter "The points are presented to them the same again?" Alfredo Ortega-Vice Chairman, BSCFA, COM "There are some points yes we had Noted Earlier When We Began trading in the month of June we mutually Agreed and some who stayed to talk and then agree atra went yesterday and instead of them and there are points we agree and others who left to follow reviewing and Malthus have a better understanding of it since we had our lawyer and consult with us and BSI Also had his share of them and Their lawyer are asking Both sides agree That it has more informal terms, legal For Both parties but if we can Their Responsibility understand and share in the agreement. "

Abbas Khan Freed Of Escape Charge
Thirty Nine year old Abbas Khan, a Corozal resident who vanished from Orange Walk Police custody in early March of last year is free tonight from the charge of escape. Abbas Khan, a Naturalized Belizean businessman who at the time of his arrest worked in the Corozal Freezone, had allegedly in his possession 5 Indian passports that he could not account for. And in yesterday’s hearing in Belmopan, the prosecution called 6 police officers as witnesses to the stand but none of them could explain how Khan allegedly escaped from their custody. After hearing all the evidence, Magistrate Merlene Moody found that the prosecution could not establish that Khan was in lawful custody so the charge of escape was dismissed.

Bovine Tuberculosis Confirmed In Belize
Bovine Tuberculosis has been confirmed in a cattle farm in Belize. That’s the news coming out of BAHA tonight. In a release issued today states that the Belize Agricultural Health Authority has further strengthened its standard disease control measures upon receiving confirmation from the Central Regional Laboratory in Merida that cattle specimens submitted for routine testing have tested positive for Bovine Tuberculosis on bacteriological culture. It is important to note that it is not the first time that Bovine Tuberculosis is being reported in Belize. The last outbreak occurred in 1991. Through the Belize National Sanitary Cattle Plan Project (BNSCPP), the Belize Agricultural Health Authority has been methodically identifying cattle farms and cattle, testing all cattle for Bovine Tuberculosis and Bovine Brucellosis, and implementing movement controls. The testing of 90,000 cattle has given negative results for these diseases except for one positive case that is being reported. Cattle producers are asked to assume their responsibility of having their farms registered, their cattle identified and obtaining the movement permits for any movement of cattle out of their farms.

BMHS Holds Business Expo
The students at Bishop Martin High School were out of class today and quite engaged in entertaining and above all educating the public and other visiting students about various topics including business and culture. This was because they held their annual business exposition at the high school grounds and we stopped by to see what they had prepared for the public this year. Screen_Shot_2014-02-14_at_7.59.50_PMDalila Ical – Reporting It was a sea of red today as students, parents and teachers in several schools dressed for the occasion – Valentine’s Day. But for these students at Bishop Martin High School there was additional reason to dress up and more people to impress as they hosted young and old at their annual business fair. The event is held to showcase the business ideas and entrepreneurial skills of the junior and senior students currently majoring in business at the institution. Many groups were making big and small scale sales of candy, food and beverage. Yahira Campos and her team were serving up some Hawaiian Ice.

PASMO Holds Awareness Campaign In Corozal
In Central America Belize is considered to have one of the highest rates of HIV. In addition, several organizations have conducted outreach campaigns to the general public with the aim of bringing awareness of the HIV/AIDS program in an effort to decrease the risk and impact of STI/HIV/AIDS through the delivery of efficient and effective health services in Belize. With that in mind in, PASMO organized an outreach program in Corozal to reach out to the public servants and to the general public. When we spoke with officials from PASMO we were made to understand the importance of the outreach. Talima Lima – Director “Today we are here in Corozal Town conducting a HIV testing in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and USAID which is a combination prevention program. We are offering HIV testing and educational support to the police station department, the fire department, and the border taxi union at this moment we are at the police station and then we will getting over to the terminal to do testing to the taxi men, for us everybody should know their status and there shouldn’t be a single person prohibited to that and that is why we are doing this outreach specially to males at risks there is a big population target here in Belize and that is our main target population.”

Article Suggests There Was A Shift In Cabinet
A published blog article with the headlines “Barrow shuffles to save his corruption infested administration” has gone viral on Social Media and making its rounds in many media houses today. Our news center picked up the story based on the substance in the content. The article, published by NBZLive, says credible sources have confirmed that Area Representative for Belmopan and Minister of National Security, John Saldivar has been removed from his post and replaced by recently elected UDP standard bearer for Orange Walk East, and former Deputy Commissioner of Police, Elodio Aragon Jr. The article also suggests that put out to pasture was Senator elevated to Minister of Public Service and Election and Boundaries, Charles Gibson. Elodio Aragon Jr. will then be sworn in as Senator and elevated to take Saldivar’s spot while Saldivar scoots over to Public Service. The article says that the decision was taken during cabinet meeting yesterday and was reportedly unanimously supported by cabinet. Aragon was vigorously supported for ministerial post by Deputy Prime Minister Margarito Gaspar Vega, according to the article. What prompted the move by Prime Minister Barrow, well, according to article, it is alleged that the move had to do with allegations brought against Minister John Saldivar and Charles Gibson regarding the ensuing passport/visa scandal.

Onion Farmers Prepare For New Harvest
After farmers faced one of the largest onion--losses in production due to bad weather conditions last year, major defenses and methods are being put in place in order to protect This Year's production. Reporter Victor Castillo Travelled to the village of Xaibe with OFFICIALS from the Ministry of Agriculture in Corozal today to find out what methods are and filed Those Following the report. -02-14_at_7.59.22_PM Screen_Shot_2014Victor Castillo - Reporting Over 840 plants of onions are spread out on this 7 acre lot at the end of this harvest Which Should generate an approximate 280,000 pounds of onion. Demetrio Cano, who has dedicated more than 13 years into the production of onion, is the owner of this plantation. I is one of the many farmers who took a great hit when yo have almost lost his crop due to Entire inclement weather conditions the past. But today a new dawn has Settled and Cano is once again setting up shop for production as his farm is being used as a module to educate other farmers on how to double Their production. Demetrio Cano - Onion Farmer "That Showed fertilizer Sergio there and we're pulling right now why is raising the onion and when to we started working at the beginning was the other and it Seems to not work very well and right now we are using that's Ferti-Reigo That the Most will give pretty good and is giving production and we are seeing if we go ahead With This fertilizer. "

Have You Seen 23 Year Old Enrique Moreno?
A mother of a Santa Familia Street address in Orange Walk Town is concerned about her son’s safety as he has been missing for almost two weeks. Marcela Moreno has turned to the media to make a plea to the public for their assistance in locating twenty three year old Luis Enrique Moreno. She says he last visited her house last Wednesday and has not seen him since. Marcela Moreno “In the morning early he come eat and bathe and we were running jokes and thing and he told me what are you worrying about I soon will death he told me and I told him no say that not even in a joke no say that, and he said anyway hold on my birth paper and then I going out so and I tell him mine yourself I tell him like that and before he gone he said watch my birth paper good and my next daughter tell me that she was fifteen when I had him and I tell her yes I was fifteen and I was young but the she said on the side of your dad on the birth paper blank so I tell her no worry about that I am your mother and your father together so you no have to worry about that and then he said mother I love you he said I tell him I love you too but just take care of yourself and don’t get into problem because you know how them police stand as they see you, you are the black sheep and blame you for any little thing so just keep out of their hands I tell him like that because long time they don’t lock up him and I felt proud because long time they no lock him up because when he missing right there they have him so I wasn’t worry but I said two days done pass through, three days pass and I don’t see him so I said this is too much my son don’t go too long and don’t tell me or don’t come around and I start to worry and I done use to every morning he coming to bather or ask me if I got something to eat and I see he don’t come.”

BTB Disassociates Itself From Global
Also causing quite a stir on the social media platform and media houses countrywide is the developing world of sex tourism being promoted by a Los Angeles California website named Global From Cuba, to the Dominican Republic to Honduras and Costa Rica, American and European men travel all across the world to have a good time with female escorts. And that's the kind of service being advertised by a site. The site says it offers quote, "Belize Fantasy Adult Sex Vacations" at exotic locations. The idea is that for a premium price, the outfit provides resorts and female companionship. The menu shows a listing of dozens of girls up for the offering. But we all know that famous saying that says “sex sells”, and with that in mind, we were left wondering if the site is legitimate or it is using this tactic as a marketing strategy to get their services known.

The Belize Times

PUP to ComPol: Prosecute Penner or Else!! – Former SolGen lays out criminal case for prosecution
The Opposition Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca through an attorney has written the Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie advising him that if there is no move by the Police to prosecute corrupt UDP Area Representative Elvin Penner by Tuesday February 18th, the People’s United Party will immediately seek the Court’s intervention in order to force the ComPol to do his job! On behalf of the Opposition Leader, former Solicitor General Senior Counsel Edwin Flowers wrote the ComPol on February 7th, laying out an entire case as to why Penner should be criminally prosecuted. Flowers indicated that the ComPol’s inaction would be detrimental to justice, as the six month statute bar for criminal charges in Penner’s case would come to an end in March. ComPol Whylie has refused to act despite clear evidence that Elvin Penner committed a very serious offence under the Passport Act. In September of last year, the scandal broke that Penner had provided Belizean nationality and a passport to a South Korean national, the notorious Won Hong Kim, who was at the time in a prison in Taiwan.

Customs Broker Slain in Orange Walk
Another young life was lost in the deadly wave of violence that has gripped our country into fear. 33 year old Stephen Kuylen, a customs broker, was killed around 8:30 on Tuesday night outside his house located in the Pasadita Area of Orange Walk Town. Kuylen was found lying motionless in a pool of blood by neighbors who had heard several gunshots moments earlier. When they came neared his front yard, they saw him on the ground next to his house. The Police believe Kuylen was lured outside of his house by the killers, who they strongly suspect were persons he knew.

CitCo Tax Suckers! – New $10 vehicle inspect fee angers city residents
The UDP Belize City Council is hell bent on making life much harder for city residents. Without serving notice, the Council has begun to charge a $10.00 fee when going for a vehicle inspection which is a requirement to license a vehicle. The Council has not explained why there is a new fee, while the service has not improved and remains below average. The service is offered from a one man booth, left abandoned on a street side. There is no proper parking and the Council took extraordinarily long to provide a simple latrine for the workers or customers to use in case they needed to. Clients must form lines under the sun or rain. It is terrible. While city residents must now cough up an extra $10.00 before paying the license fees, taxi drivers must pay an additional $10.00 to the council monthly.

Barrow predicts UDP defeat! Barrow predicts UDP defeat!
Like a cold and ageing man sensing his solemn hour, Dean Barrow has been speaking of the UDP’s future in the bleakest ways. Just days after his Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Leader Gaspar Vega predicted that the PUP under the leadership of Francis Fonseca would be “going back” into office in the next three years (the next general elections is due in 2017), PM Barrow has begun to sing the same tune. Last Wednesday February 5, 2014, after yet another House Sitting in which the UDP had to defend more acts of corruption and embrace the likes of disgraced Edmond Castro and Elvin Penner, Dean Barrow limped out of the national assembly to admit to reporters that he felt that his administration was crumbling apart. Very early in his second term, Barrow has had to deal with a slew of scandals including the KHMH baby deaths scandal, Penner Passport scandal, the Visa Hustling scandal, the Castro Sex/Taiwan scandal, the SIF hustling scandal, and the Castro/BAA fleecing scandal. This is after surviving scandal after scandal in their short first term (4 years) which included the KHMH pharmaceutical hustling scandal, the Castro land hustling scandal, the Social Security insider trading scandal, the Human Trafficking scandal involving high Government officials (which continues), and the Vega land scandal.

While the nation is being sidetracked by Edmund Castro’s abuse of BAA funds and Elvin Penner’s attempt to escape the criminal justice system, PM Barrow is sitting at the top of the pyramid looking down at all the corruption in his administration and thankful that his dirty little secrets are not being exposed. But all that is about to change. The BELIZE TIMES has received reliable information that Denys Barrow, the brother of the Prime Minister, has once again received another million dollar payment in legal fees from the public coffers. Just last week the Minister of Gangs and Princess Casino’s public enemy number 1, Mark King, recorded his fellow Minister, Edmund Castro, lambasting the Prime Minister for being so pious, when he is the most nepotistic Prime Minister Belize has ever had.

Think About It
In the United States of America, black Americans treat the month of February as a period to promote and discuss their history, their journeys from slavery days to where they are today as a people, and their collective achievements. Television and the movies increase the number of shows featuring black Americans or African Americans as black people are officially referred to. In Belize, September is the month of patriotism but little if any patriotism is manifested. Although black Belizeans are heavily influenced by their counterparts, the black Americans in the U.S.A., there is no black history month in our country. This highlights a mystery of sorts. A failure of black Belizeans to learn their history in Belize and to sort through its lessons, if any, and to discuss their achievements – if any. Black Belizean are of two tribes or ethnic groups. The Garinagu and the Creoles. The Garinagua are closer to Africa in their language, clothing, drums and other cultural manifestations. The Creoles have had their cultural traditions diluted to the point where it has almost been erased. Even their color has gone from black shades to “dark” and brown.

A Blessing or a Curse?
By G. Michael Reid Never has the difference between Belize’s two major political parties been more evident than at last Wednesday’s special sitting of the House of Representatives. For the first time in recent history, all bills presented to the House were passed with bi-partisan support. There were many times during the past administration when fairly basic and commonsense bills were presented only to be met with stern and unreasonable opposition. The classic example was when there was the need for a two thirds majority to make the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), our final court of appeal. The PUP was the government at the time and needed the support of the UDP who was then in Opposition. This same Dean Barrow blocked the bill and refused to sign. Ironically enough, shortly after assuming office, this very same Dean Barrow immediately pushed through a bill establishing the CCJ as Belize’s final court of appeal. For the PUP, the interest of the country has always been more important than the interest of the party. For the UDP, it is all about party and sometimes, all about person!

Ahhh, the irony in a name: Belmopan Bandits. It’s almost as though John Saldivar was taking us for cunu munu when he decided to come up with such a name for his football team, rubbing it in our faces and giving us a gentle reminder that the people we have chosen to represent us in Belmopan are, in fact, Bandits. According to the Thesaurus, a Bandit is an outlaw, a crook, a robber, a thief and a thug. How fitting. Was John thinking about his fellow Ministers, Castro and Penner, when he came up with this name? The irony of the whole situation is that last week, the Belmopan Bandits (football team) won the Belikin Cup; and, in the next few weeks the real Belmopan Bandit (Elvin Penner) will, if Dean Barrow has his way, escape the long arms of the law. This week, the Attorneys for the People’s United Party issued a formal demand to the Commissioner of Police to immediately investigate, arrest and charge Elvin Penner for what many Belizeans see as clear and uncontroverted evidence that Penner committed grave criminal acts against our nation.

Nazarene boys lead high school softball
The Belmopan Bandits are the 2013-14 Belikin Cup football champions, blasting FC Belize 5-1 in the finals played at the FFB stadium on Saturday night. Deon Macaulay scored 4 goals as he led the Bandits to victory with Denmark Casey also scoring the 2nd goal. Macaulay’s 1st goal came in the 37th minute when he recovered a rebound from FC Belize goalie Glenford Chimilio, and despite FC Belize’s protests that David Trapp had fouled the ball, Macaulay’s shot into the net gave the Bandits a 1-zip lead. FC Belize counterattacked furiously and Michael “Soup” Hernandez set table perfectly for Mark “Kelo” Leslie to drive in the equalizer in the 9th minute. In the 45th minute of the 1st half, Denmark Casey’s right-away kick put the finish on a pass from Tyrone Pandy for the Bandits to take a 2-1 lead to the locker room at the half.

Joel Borland wins Smart Boom circuit race
Team Telemedia’s Joel Borland clocked 2:09:00 to win the SMART – Cassasola 54-mile circuit race from Leslie’s Imports via the Boom bypass to the Data Pro junction and back on Saturday. Top Ten Finishers 2nd Gregory Lovell – Team Telemedia 3rd Brandon Cattouse – Team C-Ray 4th Brandon Morgan – Benny’s Megabytes 5th Giovanni Lovell – Team Telemedia 6th Tariq Cano – Capital City Cycling Club 7th Allen Castillo – Benny’s Megabytes 8th Mark Staine – Benny’s Megabytes 9th Rafael Choto – Cayo High Road Cycling Team 10th Herman “Hijo” Requena – Team SMART The Cycling Federation of Belize will hold the 19th annual Digicel Valentine’s Day Classic on Sunday, February 16. Elite and Masters riders will ride 90 miles from Leslie’s Imports to the Hector Silva airstrip on the outskirts of Belmopan and back; while the females and juniors will ride a 50 mile circuit to mile 26 on the George Price Highway and back.

Belmopan Bandits are Belikin Cup football champs
The Nazarene High School boys are leading the Belize District high school softball competition with a 3-0 record. Nazarene’s pitcher Jerome Carr struck out 8 in their 10-6 win against Wesley College at the Roger’s Stadium on Saturday. They also outlasted the St. John’s College boys 6-4 last Friday evening. The SJC boys enjoyed a 12-2 mercy rule win against the Gwen Lizarraga High School boys on Saturday, with SJC’s pitcher Dillon Snagg striking out 6 batters; only Raheem Brooks and Raheem Trumbach scored for Gwen Liz.

BTL, Moving “Anward” or Backward?
The sudden resignation of Karen Bevans, the Chief Operations Officer at Government-owned and managed Belize Telemedia Limited, is the latest sign of grave instability at the once reputable telecommunications company. Ever since Prime Minister Dean Barrow took over BTL from its private owners, the company has been shriveling slowly as the persons placed at the helm have been pushing an agenda that is bad for the company but, politically, good for the UDP administration. The most flagrant decision began with the appointment of the Prime Minister’s son, Anwar Barrow, as a BTL Board member. Anwar suddenly rose in status and was eventually appointed to a specially created Executive Committee formed by the political bosses for him and the outgoing Executive Chairman, Nestor Vasquez.

Audrey hog-ties Darrell Bradley Audrey hog-ties Darrell Bradley
The Mayor of Belize City won’t admit it but Audrey Matura-Shepherd beat him up, hog tied him and ate him up for supper as she stood for workers’ rights. In fact, late Monday it was Audrey who was telling the media that the Mayor had caved in with a reasonable deal. What is important here is that the Mayor was looking to fire 36 workers who were hired at City Hall as part of their payback for supporting the UDP in the past election. The Mayor said his Council would not be a higher bed for political persons, but he refused to say what he would do with his dad who is a major political crony employed by him at City Hall. The Mayor was also found flip-flopping. He talks about ending the sanitation privatization with BML yet supports the privatization of the security department. This is pure hogwash! How come the Mayor thinks privatization is bad in one aspect, but could in the other? The truth is the Mayor just doesn’t know how else to explain the unfair firing of the workers.

AMAZING GRACE – Chocolates, Teddy Bears, Hearts and Eros
Once again, Valentine’s Day has descended on Belize with its whirlwind of color and great romantic expressions of love. The boutiques take down their regular wares and put in their places red blouses, pants, and dresses. Candy stores order wholesale heart-shaped candies and chocolates. The florist businesses hope to keep up with the consumers’ demand for roses and orchids. Even teddy bears, during this season, become about as scarce to purchase as eggs during Christmas. The hustle and bustle to find the perfect gift for that special someone produces enough energy to crackle the air with excitement and expectation. Ah, February, the month of love. Few will stop to think, however, about the kind of love that Valentine’s Day is promoting. With my teenage daughter’s permission, I share the following story. Every year around the month of February, several schools would get the students involved in a cupcake exchange. The gist of the program was to purchase cupcakes that would be sent to a special friend or loved one in another high school or even in the same school. The exchange soon became a way for the teens to purchase extravagant bouquets or cakes for their boyfriends or girlfriends to tug around for the day as badges of honor, declaring how much they were cared for. One day, my little baby came home in tears. She had received no cupcakes that year not even from her friends, and she felt that her value and self-worth mirrored the number of cupcakes she had received: zero. I had a hard time convincing her that cupcakes had absolutely no influence on how special and beautiful she was.

HOME ECONOMICS – National Productivity & Pay Raise
One of the issues of highest priority to Belizeans at this time… is the reality that the cost of living is growing much more rapidly than their incomes… hence there is an increasing difficulty with which individuals and businesses are able to make ends meet. There is thus much agitation for salary adjustments among the unions, to seek to compensate for this reality. This suggests that REAL INCOMES are in decline… that the “improvements” seen from the last salary adjustments negotiated in 2005 were eroded since 2011. This suggests that productivity growth and competitiveness are also in decline… or that the benefits of increased productivity and competitiveness accrued to a small minority or a combination of both, when the cumulative performance of each sector is analyzed. Without this vital information… upon what basis can one demand higher pay rates? Or another deny it? National productivity and competitiveness is the sum total of public and private sector performance. Gains in public sector performance can be neutralized by losses in private sector performance, resulting in no net gain to the country… or perhaps even a net loss (as is evidently the case). But we know that BOTH sides have been having a hard time making ends meet (if our roads and private sector default rates do not reflect that, then nothing else will. Thus the challenge of productivity and competitiveness is a systemic one. It is due to our structural faults created laws, policies and practices that have been failing us for a very long time and which we refuse to fix….because our governments, since Independence, have steadfastly acted in the best interest of the status quo establishment that benefit greatly from this structure rather than in the best interest of Belize and ALL its people.

Seek God for Wisdom
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference – The Serenity Prayer (Reinhold Niebuhr) People might be surprised to learn that the best time for me to write is at 3 o’clock in the morning. I love the stillness of the day. It is quiet, and I believe I get spiritual direction and insight that best works for me at this special time. I seek the advice of God before I write each article. Anytime an idea comes to mind, I sit quietly to ask God for guidance on how to prepare my thoughts and on the direction He would like me to pursue. Sometimes I begin an article and I become stuck within my thought process. Sometimes, I silently hear to continue the article later, because it was not the message He would like me to transmit. I have never questioned God’s final decision because His message is clear in speaking to His children. God’s counsel of wisdom is timely and strong. It is He who guides me. I have no doubt or worry with His message, and His decisions are final. This week’s message is simple. When you are faced with a challenge, seek God for wisdom. Being spiritually centered has allowed me to sit quietly for His messages. For example, each time I wrote about child sexual abuse and its impact on our children, He wanted me to tell everyone to protect our children. The recent increase in sexual abuse crimes has angered many, but it is because more children have come forward to report cases. We can only imagine the amount of pain young victims experienced, so we must strongly support our children during difficult moments. If we fail to offer support, we will have a nation of damaged children who grow up to become broken adults.

Mayor suffers black eye for BTL Park nepotism – Councillor Michael Theus claims “feelings are hurt”
The wave of negative public reaction towards shady dealings at the UDP Belize City Council heightened since the BELIZE TIMES exposed the scandal about City Councillors personally benefitting from the new BTL Park. City Hall stinks of Nepotism to high heaven!! The Mayor’s father is employed by City Hall and given special privileges because he is a political crony. The Mayor’s law firm is paid by City Hall to handle legal matters involving City Hall. The Mayor’s mother in law has a contract with the City Council to operate a business in the park. Councillor Michael Theus, who is no stranger to conflicts of interest, was given permission to open a business too. And one more Councillor, a former Deputy Mayor, is opening a bar in the park with a person of notorious fame fronting for him. Mayor Bradley has defended the awarding of these special business licenses to his family and close political friends, employees of the Council. Thinking city residents are fools, the Mayor claimed that he was not aware that his own mother in law’s business at the park. But the Mayor didn’t claim ignorance in the cases of the two Councillors. He said he fully supports their exploitation of the park.

The events of the week of January 26, 2014 which saw the conviction and sentencing of Police Cpl. Gino Peck brought to the fore the fiery debate that has been brewing for some time now in respect of the perceived harshness and inequity of Belize’s Gun Laws. At the time these laws were passed, the PUP strongly objected to the amendments proposed and warned that they would indeed lead to abuse, inequity, and injustice. And so it has come to past. Serious concerns have been raised by social advocacy groups like COLA and by individual citizens about the provisions of the FIREARMS ACT AND THE CRIME CONTROL AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT affecting the right to bail, the stripping of the constitutional right of presumption of innocence, and the imposition of a harsh mandatory minimum five year sentence.

Rotten from Top to Bottom
The Prime Minister has finally decided to activate the Integrity Commission after this body has laid dormant and inactive during the entire first term of the UDP administration and after two years into their second term. One of the persons appointed by Mr. Barrow to sit on ...

Someone PLEASE stone Castro!
Respect Mr. Editor, When I heard Edmond “Clear the checks” Castro say that he who is without sin should cast the first stone, I just wished one of our representatives would have stoned him. The reason being is that Castro’s misdeeds are in the category of outrageous; an abomination and very ...

Nepotism, Favouritism & Corruption
Dear Editor, I saw an article in the BELIZE TIMES last week about nepotism at City Hall and had to add to it. Mrs. Barbara Miller who was asked to resign from the Belize Airport Authority because of questionable checks written to Minister of State Edmund Castro, is the mother of ...

Give the Teachers a Raise of Pay No Matter What!
Dear Editor, Teachers lay the foundation upon which the educational system and our society stand. Teachers work unceasingly, spend extra hours preparing teaching plans, checking papers and preparing assignments at late hours in the night, giving extra classes to children when needed, even spending their own money to educate our children, ...

First Corruption, now PM Barrow redefines Integrity?
Dear Editor, UDP Leader Dean Barrow has been heard attempting to redefine the word “Corruption” for disgraced UDP politicians Elvin Penner and Edmond Castro, and now he seems to want to redefine “Integrity” for a UDP crony who he wants to have as a member of the esteemed Integrity Commission. After ignoring ...


Barrow shuffles to save his corruption infested administration
Credible sources have confirmed that Area Representative for Belmopan and Minister of National Security, John Saldivar has been removed from his post and replaced by recently elected UDP standard bearer for Orange Walk East, and former Deputy Commissioner of Police, Elodio Aragon Jr. Also put out to pasture was Senator elevated to Minister of Public Service and Election and Boundaries, Charles Gibson. Elodio Aragon Jr. will then be sworn in as Senator and elevated to take Saldivar’s spot while Saldivar scoots over to Public Service. The decision was taken during cabinet meeting yesterday and was reportedly unanimously supported by cabinet. Aragon was vigorously supported for ministerial post by Deputy Prime Minister Margarito Gaspar Vega. What prompted the move by Prime Minister Barrow, sources were allegations brought against now former National Security Minister, John Saldivar and Charles Gibson regarding the ensuing passport/visa scandal. That however has not been confirmed. As National Security Minister, Saldivar failed to activate investigation into what occurred at the Immigration and Nationality Department which resulted in a jailed South Korean in Taiwan expeditiously receiving a Belizean passport and citizenship without setting foot in Belize. Saldivar’s sister Candelaria is CEO in the Ministry of Immigration.

John & Dawn’s Incredible Wedding Weekend – Good Times With Great People
I have so many pictures of the past few days that I need to make the story short. And it’s fitting. The couple met, became engaged in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico and now wed in just about 6 months! Love in Belize. John Kennedy and Dawn Dartez met last year in San Pedro, Belize. Both fun, smart expats with big personalities living on a small island…they were bound to get together. I’ve known John for a couple years now – we met on a bus in Mexico. And I wasn’t going to miss Scooping his wedding for anything. Here are the basics. John and Dawn were taking about 30 of their friends, from the States and from the cayes to the mainland, the Cahal Pech Resort in San Ignacio, Belize. For their wedding at the Cahal Pech Maya site and a reception at the beautiful San Ignacio Resort. Many of us took the water taxi from Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker to Belize City to kick off the journey. Bride to be Dawn donned her appropriately rose colored glasses for the trip. (Let’s not make this about me…but it’s also a kinda cool selfie!)

Another Enviable High Ranking for Belize
One of the things that make a country an attractive place to live, visit and do business in is freedom of the press, and Belize has just ranked very high in this area. Even higher than the United States of America, whose freedom of expression we hold in high regard. According to the 2014 World Press Freedom Index, compiled by the well respected international organisation Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières). Belize ranks in the top 15% of the 180 countries it listed and as the second highest in the Caribbean and Central America. In fact, Belize gets special mention in the organisation’s website: “This year’s index covers 180 countries, one more than last year. The new entry, Belize, has been assigned an enviable position (29th).” Pretty cool.huh? An unhindered press and freedom of expression says a lot about a country and its people. It means that citizens aren’t afraid to speak their minds, and government isn’t afraid of people airing their views. A free press is the cornerstone of democracy and a good indicator of a vibrant, confident country.

“Everything Is Awesome” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Before moving here and a hell of a lot more since I have been asked “Why Belize?” And, when we lived in the UK it was, more often than not, prefaced or followed by ” Where is Belize exactly?”. Answering the second question, unsurprisingly, never took a lot of time but the first one? Now that did take some time. So, why Belize, I sense you thinking. Well I don’t really but I’ve got to ‘say’ this otherwise I’ve got very little to write about today. So bare with me. Give me a little slack or today’s edition ends here. Great. And thanks. Where do I start? In 1991, that’s when and with a younger brother who just loved to travel. Most of us read books and he read too. But the difference was that he spent most of his time studying an atlas, finding somewhere that appealed to him and then setting off to visit it. Belize ‘grabbed’ his attention and got him curious so with a friend he travelled to Belize, stopping off first for some time in Costa Rica.

Dreaming of Sun, Sand and Beaches – A Belize Family Vacation Travel Series 1
Warmth. Beach. Sun. Blue sky. It was if my fingers had minds of their own! When I was supposed to be searching my photo inventory for our last snowy adventure, my fingers diverted to photos of beaches, sunny days, and an oh-so-fun family vacation to Belize one January not so long ago. So hey, I’m going with that today! I think we could all enjoy a little bit of sunshine and warmth, right? Join me as I reminisce about balmy days gone by in beautiful Belize. Belize has something to offer nearly every level of adventurer. Vacationers to Belize can explore Mayan ruins, snorkel or scuba dive along coral reefs, build sand castles on sun warmed beaches, kayak along the ocean shore, hike through rainforests, cave tube through Mayan ruins or zipline above the tree tops. Perhaps even meet a local resident monkey or two along the way. And often all within the same day.

International Sources

Cuba shuts down US travel visas
The government of Cuba announced late Friday that it will no longer process visas for U.S. travel to Cuba. Cuba said travel will end until a new U.S. bank can be found to process visa fees that are collected and routed to Cuba. Cuba's decision means only humanitarian travel will be permitted to the island nation from the United States, and that the "people-to-people" visas and other educational travel will be shut off. Cuba said it would cut off "family visits, academic, cultural, educational, scientific, sports" and other exchanges. The decision is a blow to the goals of the Obama administration, which sought to expand travel opportunities to the island. It will also have an immediate impact on Cuba's access to hard currency, on which many of its citizens rely. M&T Bank of Buffalo, New York, had long handled these transactions, but decided last year to terminate all of its embassy accounts. M&T had said it would continue processing visa deposits for Cuba until next Monday. Last summer, M&T's decision set off a mad scramble at the State Department to find a new bank. But while State had reached out to dozens of banks — including some in Miami — no bank has yet stepped up to handle the processing duties. As a result, Cuba pulled the plug on travel Friday night.

February 16, 2014


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Specials and Events

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The San Pedro Sun

NAC/CCM Island Committee and C-Net Present Survey Review of HIV Health Care in Belize
On Saturday February 8th, the National Aids Commission Island Committee held a meeting for its members at the San Pedro High School that saw presentations from guest speaker and Executive Director of the Collaborative Network for Persons Living with HIV (C-Net) Eric Castellaños. The presentation encompassed the results of surveys that made up the 2012 Regional Report on the Evaluation of Health Services and the Quality of Comprehensive Care for people living with HIV/AIDS. While the survey entailed statistical reports from the entire Central American region, Castellaños’ presentation primarily focused on Belize. The information gave insight on how persons living with HIV feel towards the services they receive from the various systems in Health Care System. In Belize, 818 health care patients were interviewed to determine the services of eight hospitals that were reviewed through the survey.

The San Pedro Junior Sailing Club tops Corozal Bay Regatta
Top ten sailors included: Trent Hardwick (Sea Scouts) in 6th, Christian Trejo (SPJSC) in 7th, Antonio Ricardez Jr. (BCSC) in 8th, Jazmin Campos (CBSC) in 9th and Sal Scott (PSC) in 10th. Other participating member of the SPJSC included: Samantha Velasquez in 12th, Beverly Medrano in 18th, Katie Maxson in 23rd, Kenny Vasquez in 29th, Gabbi Knox in 34th and Kathryn Salinas in 40th. San Pedro independent candidates included: Sarah White in 13th, Gorge Olivarez in 15th, Mitchell Sersland in 19th and David Syme in 42nd place. The SPJSC’s elite competition team includes 12 optimist sailors trained by Agustin Terra Brandes under the supervision of Commodore Graham Verralls and Vice Commodore Jeff Bella. Practices are held in front of San Pedro Holiday Hotel. SPJSC’s next two regattas will include the Buttonwood Bay Regatta on Saturday, March 8th and the Baron Bliss Harbor Regatta on Sunday, March 9th, both to be held in Belize City. The San Pedro Sun congratulates all sailors on an excellent regatta! Keep up the hard work!

PUP issues deadline on Compol Allen Whylie to criminally charge Elvin Penner
The People’s United Party (PUP) has given the Commission of Police (Compol) Allen Whylie seven days to act against Honorable Elvin Penner and criminally charge him for wrongdoings. In a six page letter, dated Friday February 7th, and served to the Compol’s office on Monday February 10th, the PUP outlines evidence incriminating the Former Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security with responsibility of the Nationality and Passport Department in a passport scandal. If Compol Whylie fails to charge Penner in seven days, the PUP will ask the courts to force Compol Whylie to execute his duties as mandated by law. The letter points out the illegal issuance of a Belize Nationally Certificate number 28577/13 dated April 22, 2013 and a Belize Passport number P-0246777 dated September 8, 2013 issued to criminal fugitive South Korean national, Won Hong Kim. “We have been instructed by the Leader of [the] Opposition, Honorable Francis Fonseca to write to you on this matter of national importance. The measure is taken, having regard to the fact that five months have passed and the investigation continues. This poses grave concern to our client, who has a constitutional responsibility to, among other things, ensure that the rule of law is upheld in this country,” states the letter in which it points out a similar case before the Privy Council in a case from Trinidad and Tobago.

Sunshine Scholarship Foundation – giving children a brighter future
Potential scholarship recipients will be identified by Martinez. Each student will be screened by the foundations’panel of administration to determine whether the child is deserving of the scholarship. “Sunshine Scholarship Foundation is not a welfare program. We are not giving students scholarship only because they need it financially, but also because they deserve it and want their education,” said Dirnback. Scholarship recipients will be expected to maintain a minimum “B” grade average and attend classes regularly. In addition both Martinez and the Board of Directors will monitor the progress of each child in the program. Parents of the scholarship recipients will be required to ensure that their child’s performance at school is maintained. If the child’s performance drops or does not meet the grade and attendance requirements, the scholarships will be taken away and given to a more deserving student. According to Dirnback, the initial stages of the foundation will provide scholarships only to students from the Isla Bonita Elementary School. As the foundation grows, additional scholarship opportunities will be given to students from other institution in San Pedro. The foundation is supported by generous donations from the business and the private community. “Donations will give Belizean children the opportunity to ignite the power and potential within them to become leaders, problem solvers and successful students,” said Dirnback.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize Archaeology Symposium 2014
This year's Belize Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium will be held from July 1st through July 4th. It'll be at the Bedran Hall in the San Ignacio Resort Hotel, like normal. The theme for this year is 'Ancient Maya Domestic Economy.' The deadline for submission of extracts is March 7th, and early registration starts on March 31st.

Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge Finishes
The Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge, the 3 day eco-themed race through MPR, has finished. The YogaSlackers won the race. More pictures to come. "Team YogaSlackers/ are the official first place finishers of the Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge! They came in to Cahal Pech Village Resort at 12:36pm. Followed shortly by Team Odyssey at 1:14pm! Great job, racers!"

Cayo Students are Positively Influential Motivated Persons
Bert Oliva and the Motivational Missionaries offered free motivational seminars in Cayo on Thursday and Friday. They filled the Mount Carmel auditorium on Thursday, and the Bedran Hall at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel yesterday. Students were taught to be PIMPs, Positively Influential Motivated Persons. This is the third year that they've toured around Belize to help motivate our youth. Thanks, Motivational Missionaries!

I’guana go to Heaven
Cruz Cambranes wrote a nice article for the CTGA about the passing of Gomez, king of the Green Iguana Conservation Project. "Our beloved iguana named Gomez passed away. Gomez was a very famous iguana at the Iguana Conservation Project located at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. He was loved by the staff, by the many Belizean children that visited the grounds on their school trip and by the hundreds of tourists that come to learn about the project. Gomez was 16 sixteen years old, as old as the project itself. Because of his interaction with the iguana handlers and growing up around many visiting people, he was very tame and calm. Adults and children could feed, pet and hold him. He loved being scratched on the back of his neck."

Le Petit Art School
Le Petit Art School is a new after school art program located in Belmopan. They are accepting 10 students between the ages of 7 and 13. Classes start on March 4th. You can download their registration form from their site. "Our after school art program is designed to inspire creativity, forge pioneers, broaden the imagination of your little artists while having fun. We will encourage your child to DREAM BIG. Men such as Donatello, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Raphael Sanzio and many more changed the known world simply by daring to DREAM BIG."

Illegal Rosewood harvest in the Sarstoon Temash National Park
The issue of illegal Rosewood harvesting has disappeared from the national news headlines. But the practice is still going on in the Toledo district. But this time it appears to be the handiwork of Guatemalans who enter Belize illegally to cut the precious hardwood. On February 6, our Toledo correspondent Juan Caal was embedded with a team on rangers from the Sarstoon Temash National Park that was on a patrol in the area of Black Creek. The area is near to the Belize-Guatemala border and during their patrol, the rangers came across what appeared to be a well-planned operation, including about three dozen rosewood flitches and fuel, believed to have been used to illegally harvest the rosewood trees. The illegal loggers, apparently tipped off of the approaching patrol, dispersed into the jungle.


Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Saturdee n' Nerma's Kitchin..makin …
My sist'r Nerma an' I ofte talkt about makin perogies/varenechi togeth'r an' aft'r thay had thar kitchin reno done she suggestid we make 'um n' hern kitchin an' enjoy a meal togeth'r wit air husban's. We kum happilee wit camera n' han'. Nerma mixet an' rollet an' I pinchet perogies. Jack watchet ov'r t'boileeun' process an' John made shure all wuz done rite..oh an' he took photos wen I wuz busy. Nerma’s Cottage Cheez Perogies..we use t'same recipe. 1 cup whippyun' creem er y'all a'ken use half an' half, I reckon t'whippyun' creem makes t'dough mer tend'r. 1 cup milk 2 egg whites (save yolks fer t'cottage cheez fillin) 1/2 teespoon salt 5 cups flour (plus xtrey y'all neet fer rolleeun' t'dough)

International Sources

Fodor's Belize
The new Fodor's Belize by yrs truly was just published by Fodor's Travel/Random House. Belize might just have the greatest variety of flora and fauna of any country of its size in the world. Offshore the Belize Barrier Reef, a great wall of coral, stretches the entire 200-mile-length of the coast. And archaeologists have identified more than 600 significant Mayan sites in Belize. Fodor's guide gives you all the information you need to plan the perfect trip, whether you want a scuba adventure, a getaway to a secluded jungle lodge, or barefoot luxury in a peaceful beach town. Expanded Coverage: We cover the new hotel and restaurants in Belize City, as well as exciting developments in remote jungle areas such as the Cayo and up-and-coming beach communites such as Placencia Peninsula. Plus an entire chapter is devoted to Tikal, one of the world's greatest Mayan ruins, just over the border in Guatemala. Gorgeous color-photo insert: The beauty of Belize is highlighted in an 8-page color feature on "Top Experiences". Indispensable Trip Planning Tools:

Grenada to host OAS corruption commission
A commission from the Organization of American States (OAS) is to visit Grenada in April as part of the follow up process of the Inter American Convention against Corruption. The Commission from the OAS Mechanism for Follow-Up on the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC) says it will conduct an on-site visit to the Caribbean island from April 22-24. The Commission will meet with representatives from the main oversight bodies of Grenada. “The purpose of the visit is to collect information in the field about how these organs perform their functions, which serve as inputs for the preparation of the report to be drawn up by the MESICIC on Grenada in its September 2014 meeting,” the Commission said in a statement.

The Caves of Belize Reveal the Secrets of the Maya
Deep in Mayan Country: In Belize you can stretch out on a tranquil Caribbean beach, explore rich jungle, or venture far into ancient Mayan caves. THE SKY HANGS heavy in the early morning, almost dropping into the forest canopy. My guide, Jorge de Leon, and I weave our way in a jeep along red-earth tracks, deep into the Belize jungle. Finally...

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